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National Peril

The continuing deterioration of moral standards in Britain and other Western lands gives cause for grave disquiet. The recent High Court judgement upholding the dissemination of a certain highly repulsive pornographic book came as a severe shock to many. There is no doubt that this judgement will give further encouragement to those engaged in this nefarious trade and will open the floodgates for more and more obscene material to flow into bookshops.

It is an undisputed fact of history that it was this kind of moral degeneration which brought about the downfall of the Roman empire. Departure from divine standards in sexual morality can only have one result. It is not something which can be 'swept under the carpet' and forgotten. No nation can escape the consequences; divine retribution will inevitably follow (Rom. 1:24-27).

The traffic in pornographic literature and films would soon decline if public demand for them diminished. In the present 'permissive' climate it does not appear that any attempt will be made to restrict by statute this and other evils which are corrupting the national life. A drastic change in the public attitude is called for. But how could this be achieved? Only by the transforming power of the gospel of Christ. Here lies the only hope of restraining the present drift towards spiritual and moral collapse.

A heavy responsibility for the present 'permissive' state of affairs lies with those who, under the guise of Christian propagandists, impugn the authority of the Holy Scriptures. This is a trend which has been fostered since the

beginning of this century by 'liberal' theologians. The bitter harvest is now being reaped.

The authentic gospel was committed by our Lord to His apostles and is enshrined in the New Testament writings. There is no substitute; it goes to the root of the problem we have been discussing. The palliatives which are now being applied in the restless search for satisfaction have alt been tried in the past and found wanting. In spite of the obvious misery they bring these spurious expedients are glamorized as 'pleasures' to be acquired at all costs. Those of us who have tasted of that abundant life which Christ alone gives (John 10:10) can sing with Cowper:

"I thirst, but not as once I did,

The vain delights of earth to share;

Thy wounds, Immanuel, all forbid

That I should seek my pleasure there.

It was the sight of Thy dear cross

First weaned my soul from earthly, things,

And taught me to esteem as dross

The mirth of fools and pomp' of kings.

Dear Fountain of delights unknown,

No longer sink below the brim,

But overflow and pour me down

A living and life-giving stream."

When our Lord saw the multitudes, distressed and scattered as sheep not having a shepherd, "He was moved with compassion for them" (Matt. 9:36). Oh, for compassionate hearts to love and pray as He did! It is not the Christian way to look with cynical distaste on the frightening ungodliness of our age, and then pass by on the other side. We must be moved to importunate prayer: "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send forth labourers into His harvest", said our Lord to His apostles on the occasion referred to above.

Let us pray in faith for a mighty movement of the Spirit of God in convicting and transforming power. The results in the spiritual climate would be swift and enduring, and those who traffic in soul-destroying commodities would soon be out of business! It has happened before; it could happen again.

End thought

"I'm only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something; and what I can do, that, by the grace of God, I will do."