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The Golden age. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1906-1915, July 05, 1906, Page 3, Image 3

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“I Am The Way, The 7 ruth, ana The Life." Origin of Things as Revealed in Genesis. By DR. A. C. DIXON. VI. CIVILIZATION. Primitive civilization was founded on purity. The first two pages of Genesis have not a trace of sin in them. And with this purity there was beauty. We have the picture of a garden, which carries with it the idea of blooming flowers and landscapes of beauty. The instinct that cultivates flowers, that would put the pot in the window and watch the geranium grow, is one of civilization. It delights in the beautiful as God made it. Some value beauty in dollars and cents, and whatever has not a cem mercial value they think of little worth. But the higher type of civilization is that which values beauty for its own sake, and looks through the beau tiful back to God who delights to charm His people with the beautiful in nature. With purity and beauty there is a civilization of industry. Adam is put in the garden and command ed to till it. He is to cultivate the soil, and, as Dr. Parker very strikingly says, “You can trace back any form of civilization from that day to this to the man on the soil.” Take the man from the soil and you will have no factories. Work means civili zation, and civilization means work and the love of work. The motive that should prompt us to con tend for eight hours of toil is not that we may have the other hours for lounging, loitering, and idleness, but for employment along other lines that will be helpful to others. With purity, beauty, and industry we find a civili zation of law. Physical laws are, of course, at work, but there is also a law of permission and pro hibition. “Thou mayest eat of every tree of the garden,” except one. “Thou shalt not.” Permit ted and forbidden. This civilization based on law is linked with a civilization based on love. In the second chapter of Genesis there is a picture of mutual ministry. Wherever the Bible has not carried its blessings, you will find woman a chattel and a slave. But turn to this first civilization that God Himself founded, and you will hear Him say, “A man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Woman is given the preeminence. It is not woman leaving the mother and father and cleaving to the husband, but it is the man leaving the mother and father and (cleaving to his wife. In no period of the world’s history has woman reached a higher plane of civili zation than you will find in the primitive civiliza tion of Eden. With the purity, beauty, law, and mutual ministry we find religion. When a child is born the mother says, “I have received a man from the Lord.” And when one of their children brings an offering of blood and lays it upon the altar, God recognizes it. There is in the family a self-sufficient, Pharisaical son, and, as we study his career, we note the crumb ling of civilization. It is destroyed by a revolt against authority. God had said, “Thou mayest,” and “Thou shalt not.” The Devil insinuates that God is not supreme after all, and that He is selfish m His command, for He knows that the moment yon eat you will be as gods, knowing good and evil, in timating that the command was not for the benefit -. The Golden Age for July 5, 1906. of His subjects. The result is a revolt against love as well as authority. Then follows self-indulgence. These three thi \gs have caused the wreck of many a civilization revolt against authority; revolt against the beneficence of those who govern; and self-indulgence. Note the words: “The tree is good to eat; the tree is pleasant to look at; the tree is good to make one wise.” As already noted, we have here an appeal to the intel lectual. The tree is good to eat—an appeal to the appetite. The tree is beautiful to behold—an appeal to the love of the beautiful. The tree will make one wise—an appeal to the intellectual. Men are often dragged down through these things. There comes next a self-centered and self-asser tive individualism: that seen in Cain, the individual ist, as he replies, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The individual has declared himself independent not only of God but now independent of man, and the one follows the other. When a man revolts against the authority of God, he is almost certain to revolt, sooner or later, against the authority of state, and when he revolts against the authority of ■the state, he revolts against the authority of all forces that should restrain him. Cain asserted his independence of his brother just because he had as serted his independence of God. Following the course of events we find a federa tion of selfishness. There are two lines, the line of Cain and the line of Seth. The line of Seth was the line of loyalty and worship, and these two lines came together. “The sons of God saw the daugh ters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” They mar ried. Thus the church and the world got together, and as a result the world became so wicked that God had to destroy it with a flood and start anew. That is what God is constantly doing. Civilization be comes so rotten that He has to destroy it and start anew. He sent the flood, and having saved out of the church one family, He began a new civilization with the home and the altar. Now comes an attempt at federation the second time. They come to the Plain of Shinar. Here is a magnificent opportunity. With their large in crease of wealth they propose to make a name, and they go to building a civilization with God left out again. What took place before the flood is paral leled after the flood. We find along the line of Cain a godless culture, Enoch, the son of Cain, builds a city; the grandson of Cain is a musician; another grandson of Cain is an artificer in brass and iron; another grandson of Cain is giving his atten tion to the raising of cattle, and we find a system of civilization made up of the city with its architec ture, music, and fine arts, but with no altar; with out any recognition of God. You scarcely enter that civilization until you find the first case of poly gamy. Lamech, the descendant of Cain, takes two wives and goes crazy as a result. Read what La mech says and you will say that Dr. Parker is right, the old man is out of his head; he is stark crazy as the result of disobeying God in taking more than one wife. There is a derangement in the moral or der, for God has been left out. Woman has been degraded. The command that God gave concerning woman has been disobeyed, and she begins to be the plaything, the chattel, the slave of her master. Along this line there develops a godless culture, the civilization of city building and fine arts, without prayer, praise, or church. Then follows a great national sin. The Babel builders founded a civilization centered in self with God left out. They had no thought of building a tower that reached to Heaven in the sense that they could go into Heaven; what they did intend was to build a city and a tower by which they could make a name, and by which they could be kept together in national unity, and thus become powerful. But God was left out. And when you leave God out, He Comes in. If you don’t let Him in by prayer, He will come in by providence. He will reign over you, if you will not let Him reign in you. Then God scatters them, and the lesson for us is that selfish federation is the destruction of civilization. If men will federate as capitalists; if labeling men \Gn unite with the purpose of helping their fellows, they will be a blessing; but if men federate with a view to simply helping themselves and leave God out, they wil just make a rope with which to hang them selves; they are manufacturing the electric chair for their own execution. Federation based on a self ish purpose is the death of any civilization. Ye leaders of organizations, see to it that the federation shall not be simply for your own glory, but for the glory of God and the uplifting of humanity. That soit of federation will perpetuate civilization, while selfish federation is certain to destroy it. A word in conclusion concerning the restoration of civilization. Purity, beauty, industry, law, love, religion, everything that makes the perfect state shall be restored. It is to be done through the res toration of the individual. In the book of Revela tion we find this civilization restored. The cities of Cain with God left out are no more. Heaven itself is a redeemed municipality, a city with streets and order arid government, the river of crystal and the tree of life. National Baraca Convention Meets in Atlanta 1907. “Young Men at Work for Young Men; All Stand ing by the Bible and the Bible School,” is the ral lying cry of hundreds of thousands of young men in every part of America. It is the motto of the Baracas and is at once a call to service and a pledge of loyalty to the Sunday school and to the Book. Next year these enthusiastic young men and their leaders will meet in annual convention in Atlanta. Special rates will prevail on all the railroads and delegates from every part of the United States will be present. The most popular Sunday school work ers obtainable will be on the programme. The young ladies’ organization—the Philatheas— meets with the Baracas. Nearly five hundred class es of Philatheas have been organized. The Atlanta Baraca Union will hold its next quar terly meeting at the Ponce de Leon Avenue Baptist Church, Tuesday night, July 17, to discuss plans for entertaining the convention. The following are the officers of the city union: A. B. Caldwell, pres ident; W. H. Fitzpatrick, corresponding secretary; L. F. Camp, vice president; Lindsay Flurry, record ing secretary. Any of these young men will be glad to give information about the work or assist in the organization of new classes, ‘‘''The Entrance of Thy Words Gi-veth Eight." ■ M 3