WHEN the four great kingdoms of Babylon, Media and Persia, Grecia, and Rome, were established, the prevailing religion of each was that of paganism or idolatry; that is, the people worshiped false gods which were made of wood, stone, iron, brass, silver, and gold. Some of these idols were in shape like men, elephants, horses, dogs, cats, rats, and mice. There were some who worshiped the heavenly bodies.

In olden times these gods were placed in beautiful groves, in which the people built altars and dedicated them to the service of these false gods. At a later period, they erected large and expensive temples, which they adorned with a great amount of silver and gold, and regarded them sacred to these idols.

Although the descendants of Adam were acquainted with the true worship of God, yet as soon as they fully departed from him they ran into idolatry, and as the apostle Paul says of them in the first chapter of Romans, they "changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator," "changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things."

From the creation of Adam in the garden of Eden until Abraham's time, there were some in every generation who faithfully worshiped God, and had faith in Jesus, and manifested their faith by offering the sacrificial offerings; that is, they erected altars, and selected an offering and sacrificed it to the Lord. Sometimes the offering consisted of a turtledove, a lamb, or a bullock. They slew these animals and offered them as a sacrifice to God upon their altars, thus showing their faith in Christ, by which they taught their children from generation to generation that at last Jesus would die upon the cross and shed his blood for us, and thus become a sin-offering for us.

Soon after the flood men again ran into idolatry, and in order that his worship might be preserved, God called Abraham, and his posterity maintained the service of God for hundreds of years. In the next paper we will tell you about the call of Abraham.

 S. H. LANE.