THE MODERN BAAL
A miserable deity indeedÂ—a mere nonentity was their idol, Baal, for “an idol is nothing in the world.” And does the favourite deity of this enlightened age deserve any better name? Is the god of the Bible-hating and froward generation of the present dayÂ—is the god of most of our philosophers and poets, of our politicians and journalistsÂ—is the god of very many of our seminaries and universities, professors and studentsÂ—is the god of our modern scientific institutionsÂ—is the god of our polished circles and of our fashionable assemblies, in which it is regarded as disreputable to have even the appearance of adhering to the God of the BibleÂ— is such a god any better, any thing more real than the deity of Baal of old? What mean those fashionable expressions which we hear every where substituted for the name of God, the revealed Jehovah? I mean the expressions “heaven,” “fortune,” “luck” and such like. How came these expressions to be so in use, except as a flimsy veil to hide the aversion men have to the name and the word of God? How do they hate to hear of any thing like Divine communication and manifestation, of answers to prayer, of Divine influence on the heart, of communion with God, of experience of His presence! These are mere fabulous and absurd notions to them;
these they esteem as mere delusionÂ—proof enough that, with their god, there is neither voice, nor answer, nor attentionÂ—proof enough that what they call heaven, and fortune, and fate, denotes a mere nonentity. And is this indeed the god of our rationalists, and so many of our literary men and illuminated dreamers? It is; and the belief of no better a god than this spreads from them through all ranks; and no marvel; for a god such as this, that cannot concern himself about the affairs of men, of course will suffer a thousand sins and excesses to take place without being offended. And this is the very thing they want: that the service of the flesh may be a thing allowed; that falsehood, deceit, and flattery may stand as commendable prudence, and the most voluptuous dance
be regarded as an innocent amusement; they wish for a god, to whom it is indifferent what a man thinks and believesÂ—a god, by whose name any one may with impunity swear falsely; a god, in whose presence a man need not be ashamed of any loose discourse, nor blush at any impure lust. Behold, such is the god of this perverse generation! I speak not of all, but of the majority. Such is their Universal Father, as they would gladly conceive him to be; yes, thine, conceited, Bible-hating, and falsely rational generation! Woe unto you! for what will you do in the end thereof, in that day when your fear cometh, when distress and anguish cometh upon you? Then your cry will be no better than that of “Baal, hear us!” and such will your pretended prayers to God be found to have been all your life long. For the god whom you now profess to serve is no God, but only an imagination of your own. For true is that which the Holy Ghost saith by the apostle John, “He that abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God,” 2 John 9. Tremble then at this word of the Lord, all ye who have not the God of the Bible, who have not God in Christ;
for ye are “without hope, and without God in the world;” ye are practical atheists.