Bearing Witness Against The Darkness

This was written 114 yrs. ago...how much more true at this late hour approaching 2009.
"As the morning approaches (and oh how near it is!) the Lord would awaken His saints to be living lives which are a standing witness to the God who has justified and supremely blessed believers - the light bearing witness against the darkness.." E.L.B.
"The night is far spent."

I wish, if possible, to awaken the thoughts of all readers to the force of the apostle's words at the end of the thirteenth chapter of Romans - "It is high time to awake out of sleep."
Perhaps a short retrospect up to apostolic times would be of service to our souls, for the night has advanced still since the Holy Ghost aroused the Roman saints. The hands have moved on upon the dial-plate, and are now pointing very nearly to that hour when dials shall vanish and be no more. The day is at hand, the day when the glory of the rejected Christ shall shine through the universe, and when those who have been faithful to Him through the long night, shall reign with Him in splendour.
Let us understand clearly the force of the expression, 'the night,' for I believe it to be important in this pretentious age for Christians to get back to the simple expressions of the early times (I mean early in the true sense, the times of Peter and Paul), and to understand what the Holy Spirit says of the present testimony. In the simplest language, then, we may say that at Rome, when Paul wrote, there was an assembly of justified saints called to live a holy life here by the Holy Ghost, and to await the day when they should reign with Christ; the present time was called the night. And it is night still, whatever may be said as to progress. The Roman believers were surrounded by the glories of Rome in her splendour; they were in the very centre of the world, but they had nothing in common with it. Its works were the works of darkness, and they were called upon to put on the armour of light.
How many changes have taken place since then! The huge iron empire has fallen, the whole face of Europe has changed, the middle ages have run out, and the immense activities of man's mind, discoveries, inventions, have brought in the so-called enlightened state of the nineteenth century. All this is a part of the long night.
The history of Christendom too is most interesting, for God has worked both in restoring souls and in recovering truth, and that whilst the enemy was sowing tares, and carrying out his nefarious schemes. Much might be said about Arianism, the Eastern schism, the apparition of Mahomet, the history of the popes, the reformation, modern heresy and unbelief; but the point is, that the whole of the world's history up to the appearing of Christ in glory is summed up in one short word - the night.
More than 1850 years ago Jesus died upon the cross between two thieves, and surely from that time, that is when the world crucified the Son of God, the very blackest darkness settled down upon this earth, and enveloped the whole system where man cultivates the arts and sciences without God. It is night. Is there not one ray of hope then for the world? Not one!
It is very likely that this paper may fall into the hands of some one who has not yet really understood what the night means. I think many true Christians have not the true sense of it. It might be said, "But we are not in pagan Rome, nor in the dark middle ages; the world has become civilized, Christianized, and there is good everywhere!" Many have spoken to me thus; and I should always reply, "Yes, there are churches everywhere with the sign of the cross, just as there are mosques with the crescent, but how much real Christianity is there in Christendom?" And again, "Is it not too true that we are living in days when rampant infidelity is ready to throw off all restraint and the very name of Christ?" It is night.
Oh, beloved brethren, are we really awake? Much has happened lately to shake the slumber of the most sleepy. Our salvation is nearer than when we believed, and we are called upon to cast off the works of darkness, and to put on the armour of light.
"Are we to be fanatics, neglecting work and duties?" No, the very contrary. There is an honest walk, as in day time; that is, morally enlightened and proof against the evil of the present age, protected by the armour of light. As the morning approaches (and oh how near it is!) the Lord would awaken His saints to be living lives which are a standing witness to the God who has justified and supremely blessed believers - the light bearing witness against the darkness. The enemy has succeeded in making black appear white on various occasions, but God is above all his power and deceit, and there is nothing which so much confounds him and his whole system as the walk of Christians clad in the armour of the light in the midst of the darkness. "The night is far spent, the day is at hand." E. L. Bevir. 1894
"...let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." Rom. 13:12

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