Revivalist Attacks Unitarians


“Rather than offend society our women adopt a. form of dress that is highly indecent and injurious. Why is it that they make the indecent exposure of their person that they do, and which, if they had any modesty left, would bring a blush to their cheeks? I can answer the question – it is because society is their God. They had rather have their cheeks burn and dishonor their God than displease society.

“No man can get into God’s presence who does not believe in the atonement. Did you ever know a Unitarian who was a mighty man of prayer? Certainly not, because a Unitarian has no access to God. Some say I am unkind to criticize them thus. No, I am not – it is a kindness to a man to show him the error of his position. I have no unkind feeling in my heart for Unitarians – on the contrary, I have the deepest pity for them. Their only way of approach to God is closed.”

Opens Again on Unitarianism and Says He Has Great Pity in His Heart for the Unitarian.

By Edward Young Clarke, Jr.

“The exposure of the body which society demands of women Is both indecent and injurious,” declared Dr. Torrey last night to an audience that packed to its utmost capacity the skating rink.
His declaration made in such postive manner and without any qualifying clause and followed by the further statement that a woman who allowed the custom of society In regard to dress to govern her was “making society her god and therefore is guilty of breaking the first commandment”, was received with wonder and impressive silence by the vast audience.
Dr. Torrey last night was more eloquent and dramatic than he has been at any time since the beginning of the mission services, and had it not been for the condition of his voice, which for two days has been giving him much trouble, the practical results of the meeting last night would doubtless have been the most notable of any yet held.

But because of his condition Dr. Torrey closed the meeting immediately following his sermon, and dismissed the audience with, the benediction. requesting that they leave the house as quietly as possible, and making the additional request that if anyone spoke to another before leaving the house they would confine their conversation to the saving of souls.

Governor Northen Absent.

At the opening of the night service Governor Northen announced that much to his regret he would be compelled to leave the city today for Chattanooga where he goes to attend the meeting of Baptists. which is to take place in that city. He also announced in connection with the collection which is taken up each night that when he wrote Dr. Torrey as to the remuneration which he and Mr. Alexander would desire for their services. that Dr. Torrey promptly replied “Nothing – we will accept anything you care to give us when the meeting is closed.” Governor Northen said he particularly wanted this to be known. The night sermon of Dr. Torrey was opened by a thrilling and graphic description of the feast of Belactazzar in Babylon. Dr. Torrey rose with wonderful reserve power to the height of this dramatic scene as pictured in the Bible story and caused a shudder to sweep – through the audience as he told of the terrific terror which shook those around the banquet board when the “armless fingers appeared and began writing on the wall.”

In a wonderfully realistic way he told of the scene which followed the hand-writing on the wall, and then pictured the fall of Babylon which followed so .quickly thereafter.

Dr. Torrey’s Sermon.

His sermon was devoted to the consideration of the second word of the writing on the wall – “Tekel” which being interpreted, was shown to mean “Thou art weighed in the balances an found wanting.”

“In those balances.” said Dr. Torrey “was Belshazzar weighed and found wanting. Not in that of the world, for they would have said he had reached the height of glory. Not in his own balances for his estimate of himself was shown by his desire to show off his greatness through the feast just given. In whose balances then? Why. in the balances of God.

“I bring to you one and all the message tonight that God is weighing you in the balances. How much do you suppose you weigh in the balances of God? Not, in the balances of man – oh, no – but in the balances of God. If we knew how little we weighed we would fall upon our faces and cry, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’

“There are many idolaters in the house. You are shocked – but why?

“Man’s god is the thing he thinks the most of. How many of us worship money, social position and worldly pleasures? You do things in social life to keep your social position.

Society Dress Attacked.

“Now about dress. How many woman adopt a form of dress highly indecent and injurious exposure of your person – yet you dress this way rather than displease society. Society is your god.
“How many make a god of pleasure? Professing Christians who do things against their conscience in the pursuit of pleasure. How many there are who refuse to become Christians because they cannot give up their card playing, dancing and theater going. You are worshiping pleasure and pleasure is your god.

“God lays special emphasis on the commandment relating to profanity. Men seem to regard this sin lightly. But the foundation of any man is gone when he speaks irreverently or disrespectfully of God.

“The profane man will lie, steal, commit adultery and kill if only he has the temptation or the provocation.

Pickpockets Respected.

“I have more respect for a pickpocket than for the profane swearer. He has reached the lowest depths when he loses his reverence for God to such an extent that be is willing to ‘take His name vain’.

Everyone in this house if weighed in the balances of the first three commandments is totally lost. What are we to do therefore? Why, come to God for mercy. God is not only a God of justice, a God of mercy. Come to him for pardon.”

The Afternoon Meeting.

Mr. Butler sang “He Lifted Me” with such intense feeling that an impressive hush rested upon one of the larger afternoon audiences yet present at the meetings.

Dr. Torrey spoke on “How to Pray,” and said in part:

“My subject this afternoon is ‘how to pray so you can get what you ask.’  If I were to be able to tell you businessmen how to go to the bank and at any time get any amount of money needed you would think I had done something wonderful.

“And yet if I can tell you how to reach the bank of heaven and get an answer to your prayers I will have done a far more beneficent thing.

“Prayer unto God.  Is not- all prayer unto God?  Oh, no – not one prayer in five is unto God. When you pray do you always really come right to God and pray to Him?

“Many prayers are to the audience. A Boston newspaper one day unintentionally struck the keynote when it said concerning a prayer of Wendell Phillips. ‘It was some of the most eloquent prayers ever offered to a Boston audience.’  That was the trouble with it – the prayer was to the audience and not to God.

Dr. Torrey Drunk.

“The only night I ever went to bed without praying was one night I was so drunk I had to be put to bed. But my prayers were perfunctory and not from my heart to God.

“If you have the right feeling about prayer it will not be ‘how much must I pray,’ but ‘how long will God give me.’ ”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia)  Thu, May 10, 1906  Page 9
Copyright © 2014 All Rights Reserved.


Posted in Newspaper Article, Unitarian Church of Atlanta

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