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WISE ... or OTHERWISE?

'The Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus' (2 Timothy 3:15).

Salvation is by faith, but if it be necessary to be made 'wise' unto salvation, faith must include understanding. Faith cannot be mere credulity; can be no mere leap in the dark; cannot be antagonistic to the true exercise of reason. The man who is made 'wise' believes!

If, moreover, salvation is so connected with this Godgiven wisdom, it suggests that there may be elements of deadly folly in the mind of all those who believe not the glad news of a free salvation. We are sure that all thinking men will agree that, with such vital issues at stake, it would indeed be the height of foolishness not to investigate the grounds of this charge, and all can endorse out of their own experience the proverb: 'There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death' (Proverbs 14:12).

Some men are 'Wise'; some men -we'll not be too pointed -are 'Otherwise'! These latter folk are, without apology, called 'fools' in our English Bible, so let us at least see where we stand in this matter.

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(1) THERE IS A FOOL WHO SAYS IN HIS HEART, 'THERE IS NO GOD' (Psalm 14:1).

What should we think of a man who had been taken through an aircraft works, where say a giant aeroplane was being assembled, and had followed the process of its production, from the draughtsman' s table to the 'take-off' at the aerodrome; if after having seen with his own eyes all the marvels of mechanical skill and scientific adaptation, all the evidences of design and fitness for purpose that such a machine exhibits; what, we say, should we think of a man who maintained at the end of his tour that 'There was no designer, no maker, no inventor -the thing just happened!' Should we not put him down as a first class fool?

What shall we say, then, of the man who is surrounded with ten thousand times more evidence; evidence in sun, moon and stars; evidence in fish, fowl and flower; evidence in his own body, and in his own mind, of design, purpose, and plan; of infinite wisdom, and almighty power, what shall we call that man who can still say with the fool: 'There is no God'? 'Ye fools, when will ye be wise?' asked the Psalmist.

'He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye, shall He not see?' (Psalm 94:8,9).

(2) THERE IS THE FOOL WHO MAKES 'MOCK AT SIN' (Proverbs 14:9).

This folly is deadly! It strikes at the heart of society, of family, of country, of honour, of liberty, of right, and of truth. It makes light of the death-bed and the grave, for death came by sin. It mocks at sorrow and suffering, for when the new creation comes wherein dwelleth righteousness, 'sorrow and sighing will flee away'. Moreover, the effects of sin are not exhausted by the

 

experiences