Sin And Its Results

DEAR READERS: You are all, doubtless, more or less familiar with the character of Nero the Roman Emperor, and with the persecution the Christians suffered under his reign. We will not, therefore, harrow up your feelings by giving a graphic description of this horrible persecution, but simply call your attention to Nero himself. 

So much did this tyrant delight in suffering and the shedding of blood that it is said, "Death was his most trusty servant, whom he paid by daily victims." These victims were not confined wholly to those who believed in Christ and obeyed his teachings, but those who stood in the way, or hindered in the least the accomplishment of his selfish designs, were alike subject to his displeasure, and consequently imprisonment or death was the result.

So destitute was this hated emperor of all the tender emotions of the human heart that he caused to be destroyed his own mother, wife, and step-brother, as also his wise and faithful teacher, Seneca, the philosopher, who alone had the courage and interest to point, and persuade him, as he had done in his youth, to the ways of virtue and of peace. 

These facts alone lead us to accept the statement made in reference to Nero, that "not a spark of love and mercy remained in his breast."

And yet there was a time when his heart was tender and compassionate. It is said that " his youth gave fair promise; his heart was as pure and bright as the morning sun of the early spring. When he became emperor, and was called upon to sign the first death warrant, tears flowed from his eyes. 

He threw down his pen, and bitterly lamented that he had ever learned to write."

But, behold how great the change! And what has wrought it?  Dear children, pride and selfishness were the two leading principles of his character, and these conquered the man and proved his ruin.

It has been observed that love is man's best friend, while-selfishness is his worst enemy. 

"Love endures all things to do good only; selfishness works sorrow everywhere in order to enjoy life, and yet the enjoyment which it obtains relates simply to earth, indeed, here yields its bitter fruits."

This tenderhearted and promising prince, by indulging in sin, became the worst of tyrants; hated and feared by man, and forsaken by God, he died in the prime of life by falling upon his own dagger, which was held by another at his command because he had not the courage to hold it himself. He died, crying, "Too late! I am lost. "Dear children, this is a sad picture, but it teaches us emphatically that the wages of sin is death, and unless we overcome sin, and not suffer it to overcome us, we shall be lost eternally. Can we afford to sin at so great a loss?


Battle Creek, Michigan


WHEN this world came from the hand of the Creator, it was pronounced very good it was in its Eden perfection. But sin came, and oh, how changed this Eden beauty! As every generation sins more and more, the curse rests heavier and heavier, till now we can see its effects everywhere. Every deformity in God's work of creation is the result of sin. 

As long as this world lasts, sin will mar and disfigure it; so the real conflict of life is not with poverty, or sickness, or any ill that flesh is heir to, but with sin. It hardens the conscience, so that at length it almost ceases to note that which once aroused its sharpest challenge. 

Sin is a tyrant that never dies. Not till Christ sets up his everlasting kingdom will sin and the originator of sin be destroyed. Then, God will have a clean universe.

We are now dwellers in this world of sin, and must contend against it if we would form good Christian characters; for it is sin that deforms. It is no sin to be tempted, for Jesus was tempted; but He triumphed over sin; this was for us, that we in his strength might also overcome. 

A good old minister once said, "If you do not find out your sin and bring it to Calvary to get it pardoned and washed away through the blood of Jesus, your sin will find you out, and bring you to Judgment, to be condemned and sent away by Jesus Christ to everlasting punishment."

To guard against the inroads of sin, requires constant watchfulness at every point. 

The chief danger comes from the unexpected quarters. It comes stealthily, silently. The time to strike is when the very first movement is discovered. If thoroughly armed with PRAYER, sin is vanquished, and victory stands triumphant on the side of right.

When Christ sets up his kingdom, it will be a sinless one, and only the pure in heart will be dwellers there; then, the greatest failure that any can make in life is to let sin deform the character and unfit him for Heaven.

 V. A. M.