The last lecture of this winter’s series was held in First Church March 28. Rev. J.A. Heys of Holland was the speaker and the topic was, “The Last Hour.” In contemplating this Hour the speaker explained the meaning of the term, showed the part we are to play in it, and found no little comfort in the fact that this Hour is in the hands of the Timeless Timekeeper, and the end of the Hour will be for us the time to enter the timeless Day in the beauty and bliss of God’s Presence.
In our preceding article, we called attention, in connection with Augustine’s conception of sin, that this renowned church father, among other things, maintained that man’s freedom of choice applies only to Adam as before the fall; since his fall, man no longer has this freedom of choice, to be able to choose the good. Before we call attention to Augustine’s conception of the fall of man and its consequences, as set forth by Philip Schaff in his History of the Christian Church, we must note that whereof Augustine speaks most frequently and most fondly. Vol. III, 823:
FOREWORD In that part of the Form for the Administration of Baptism to Infants of Believers in which a word of admonition is directed to the parents who present their children for baptism in the midst of the congregation it is said that “baptism is an ordinance of God, to seal unto us and to our seed His covenant.” Moreover, it is emphasized that baptism “must be used for that end, and not out of custom or superstition.”
It would not be possible to think of Christ in His death on the cross as having done but one thing for us, namely, to have paid the just penalty of our sin. He did much more than that. If all He had done by His death was nothing more than to pay the penalty due against man’s sin, where would man be? He would certainly not be back where Adam was when he was in the state of rectitude where he daily paid God the debt of obedience he owed Him. For Adam had fallen and had brought moral...
And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth? Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fallest thou. And all the people wept again over him. II Samuel 3:33, 34
If anyone were to ask me what is the biggest need and the biggest problem which our churches face and which our coming synod will face, I would reply without a second’s hesitation: our severe man-power shortage.