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It is frightful to contemplate the rapid increase of crime in all parts of our country. Scarcely a newspaper can be opened that does not contain the account of the perpetration of some horrible offence against society. The enormity of the crimes keeps pace with the rapid increase of their number. One day a man shoots his wife—the next a son stabs his father, a brother kills his brother for some slight difference of opinion, then a father murders his whole family. Common robberies and murders are of everyday occurrence. Forgery, swindling, and speculation are carried on by the wholesale. Private houses, banks and the government are indiscriminately robbed. Men of established reputation for business integrity, suddenly disappear, taking with them fabulous sums of money, the property of others. By perjury and other means the nation is defrauded of money more than enough to pay the interest upon the national debt.
Licentiousness prevails to an alarming extent. It appears as though Satan was let loose, and was exerting himself to the utmost, knowing that his time is short. What is the meaning of all this? Are the last days in reality upon us? Is the world [society] ripening for destruction? Look upon the face of society and see how perfectly its features correspond with the likeness by the pen of inspiration. „This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof—from such turn away.” Did not modern society sit for this picture? Could the Camera reflect a more accurate resemblance? Can this striking agreement be the result of accident?
It is time for the followers of Jesus to be up and doing. But the perpetrators of these high outrages are generally among those who call upon his name and attend upon his worship. They own pews in magnificent temples, or belong to a church which boasts of the imposing character of its rites, and the liberality of its terms of communion. Would you not be carried away with the current of ungodliness which appears to be sweeping all before it? You must build upon the rock for the storms are upon us. You must bear an unequivocal testimony against prevailing sins, and like Lot in Sodom, vex your righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds. From a quiet acquiescence to active participation the transition is gradual, easy, imperceptible and well-nigh certain. Above all let us call upon God in mighty prayer, to lift up a standard against the tide of iniquity which is poured out like a flood. Help Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.—The Earnest Christian.
— June, 1887 —