Author of Comparative Theology, etc.
A BOOK on "Questionable Amusements and Worthy Substitutes" is timely today. Such a grouping of subject matter is in itself a commendation. Possibly we have been saying "Don't" quite enough without offering the positive substitute. The "expulsive power of a new affection" is, after all, the mightiest agency in reform. "Thou shalt not" is quite easy to say; but though the house be emptied, swept, and garnished, unless pure angels hasten to occupy the vacated chambers, other spirits worse than the first will soon rush in to befoul them again.
The author of these papers, the Rev. J.M. Judy, writes out of a full, warm heart. We know him to be a correct, able preacher of the gospel, and an efficient fisher of men. Having thoroughly prepared himself for his work by courses in Northwestern University and Garrett Biblical Institute, by travel in the South and West of our own country, and by a visitation of the Old World, he has served on the rugged frontier of his Conference, and among foreign populations grappling successfully with some of the most difficult problems in modern Church work.
The following articles aroused much interest when delivered to his own people, and must do good wherever read. In style they are clear and vivid; in logical arrangement excellent; glow with sacred fervor, and pulse with honest, eager conviction. We bespeak for them a wide reading, and would especially commend them to young people.
WHITEWATER, WIS., March 2, 1904.
"QUESTIONABLE Amusements and Worthy Substitutes" is a consideration of the "so-called questionable amusements," and an outlook for those forms of social, domestic, and personal practices which charm the life, secure the present, and build for the future. To take away the bad is good; to give the good is better; but to take away the bad and to give the good in its stead is best of all. This we have tried to do, not in our own strength, but with the conscious presence of the Spirit of God.
The spiritual indifference of Christendom today as one meets with it in all forms of Christian work has led us to send out this message. "Questionable Amusements," form both a cause and a result of this widespread indifference. An underlying cause of this indifference among those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ, is lack of conviction for sin, want of positive faith in the fundamental truths of the Scriptures, too little and superficial prayer, and lack of personal, soul-saving work. Is the class-meeting becoming extinct? Is the prayer-meeting lifeless? Is the revival spirit decaying? Is family worship formal, or has it ceased? However some may answer these questions, still we believe that the Church has a warm heart, and that signs of her vigorous life are expressed in her tenacious hold for high moral standards, and in her generous GIVING of money and of men.
Our point of view has been that of the person, old or young, regardless of sect, race, party, occupation, or circumstances, who has a life to live, and who wants to make the most out of it for himself and for his fellow-men, and who believes that he will find this life disclosed in nature, in history, and in the Word of God. J.M.J.
ORFORDVILLE, WIS., March, 1904.
"Get the spindle and thy distaff ready, and God will send thee flax."
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