October 25, 1894
WE note that six Christian ministers in Cleveland recently attended the dedication of a new synagogue in that city, and united with Jewish rabbis “in delivering discourses of exultation.”
COMMENTING on the fact stated in the preceding paragraph, the Sun of this city says:—
This whole thing is wonderful. Was there ever another occasion upon which a half dozen Protestant clergymen of as many denominations united with two rabbis at the dedication of a synagogue? The clergymen judiciously refrained from making any allusion to the gospels in that place. We guess they were more shrewd than the Apostle Peter or the Apostle Paul would have been under the circumstances.
This is certainly true. “This whole thing is wonderful,” and it is not hazarding too much to say that not one of the apostles would have gone into a synagogue without taking Christ with him. There is a vast difference between Christian charity and unchristian indifference.
THE Christian is required to love all men; yea, the Christian does love all men, for that is the Spirit of Christ; and “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.” Moreover the Christian will do good to all men as he has opportunity; but the latter he cannot do by encouraging them in error, and the former he does not do except as he does it in the Spirit and power of his Master.
OUR Saviour himself, and his apostles and the early Christians, preached the gospel to the Jews declaring that without Christ there was no salvation. When they went into the synagogues it was to preach Christ; and upon no occasion did they by word or act admit that Judaism without Christ was as good as Christianity, or that there was salvation in it. But this is virtually what those Cleveland preachers did when they joined with Jewish rabbis in dedicating a house from which the name of Christ must be excluded, or if admitted at all, admitted only to be denied.
ON the occasion referred to one of the ministers is credited with these words: “Is there, after all, such a difference between us? Have we not one God?” Doubtless to the minds of many this latter question admits only of an affirmative answer; but the truth is that God, the true God, is revealed to us only in Christ. Says the Saviiour: “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” It follows that there can be no true worship of the true God except through Christ, and the Christian who by word or act denies this, thereby denies his Lord. To insist that Hebrews shall enjoy equal civil and religious rights with all other men, is Christlike, and honors our divine Lord, for Christian charity requires this; but to admit that Judaism is to-day acceptable worship of the true God is to deny Christ and put him to an open shame.