“MORE law, more law,” is the cry the comes from the conventions of the religious societies of the land, as they consider the threatening evils in civil government and in society. Prominent among the things that appear most evil in their sight is the growing desecration of Sunday. This impresses them deeply, and they give expression to their feelings on the subject by resolutions calling for more stringent Sunday legislation.
All this they do as professors of the Christian religion. They do it in the name of Jesus Christ. But is this what Jesus would have them do? Is this the fulfilling of the mission of Christ to the earth? This is a vital question, and should be carefully considered by Christians before taking action as has been taken by these societies.
Did Jesus Christ come to the world to condemn the world, or to add condemnation to that already upon the world?—No; he expressly declared that he came not to condemn the world, but to save the world. The world is condemned already; it is overwhelmingly condemned by its sin, and unless it can escape from the condemnation, it must perish. The mission of Christ was to provide this way of escape from condemnation, and the mission of Christians is to point the people to this way of escape.
The law of God condemns the world. Every law condemns the transgressor; and that is all it can do for him. The more law, therefore, the more condemnation. The people of the world are already overwhelmingly condemned by their sin, and now professed Christians want to keep upon all this the condemnation of new laws for observance of the Sabbath. They want new and more stringent legislation, to make the world better! But legislation has no power to save, but only to condemn.
Jesus Christ came to save the world, but made no effort to secure legislation. He did however give a “new commandment,” and what was it?—“A new commandment I given unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34. This is the only new law that can properly be advocated in the name of Christ.
In the synagogue at Nazareth Jesus Christ announced his mission to the world in these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised.” The gospel message is a message not of repression, but of liberty. This and this only is the message of Christians to the world to-day.