that it is sin which brings happiness. To take an extreme illustration, it is not the underworld which is the happy world! Sin may give momentary satisfaction, but in the end so hardens the heart that it becomes incapable of happiness and peace of mind.
In this matter of sin, therefore, God has made it plain that He has to deal with a flock of silly sheep, who follow one another over the same precipice, and come to the same awful end. Everyone who leaves God becomes a fool, walking in the ignorance of darkness, and not realising the end of his steps. Adam had no idea that his 'one little sin' would in a few hundreds of years lead to a world of universal violence. The man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath day in the wilderness did not foresee a Jerusalem which would have its weekly rest undermined by hordes of Tyrian traders (Nehemiah 13:15-22). The selfishness of one always wakens the latent selfishness of others, till the struggle for life is universal and hard. The so-called Christian countries of Europe did not realise that their forsaking of the ways of Jesus would bring upon them the dread of the hydrogen bomb and an unimaginable future.
Because we all go astray like fools it has not been enough for God to put into the world a Book which speaks as to wise men. That Book too often lies unopened, despised, derided, contradicted. We are shown in the parable of the Prodigal Son, God's second arrow, shot into the ears of fools, the arrow of hard experience. If God has allowed the sad ages of history to pursue their unhappy course, it is not because He is unmindful of earth's sorrows. Nay, in all our afflictions He is afflicted. It is because it was only the disillusionment of life in the far country, which brought the fool to his senses, and so back to his father. God has treated this earth as a prodigal son, that the miseries of a sinful life