The Confessions of a Backslider – By Henry Morrison

Chapter 12

The Rainbow Of Promise

I feel that my story is told and my confession made, and it is hardly Worth while for me to hold my readers longer. I am the legitimate fruit, the sad outcome of two conditions that exist widespread in our country today. Conditions as unfortunate as could well be imagined. One, a lax family government, a lack of authority to command, discipline, control, and give the authority to the home, in the building of character among the children that can stand the test. Nothing can take the place of home discipline, nothing can atone for the wickedness and waste of manhood and womanhood that will manifest itself in life when a generation has grown up, without proper family government. There are many very good people, moral and religious, earnest and truthful, who are negligent and lax at this point. If my father could have had control over me and taught me strict, implicit obedience, I am confident I should never have been the inside of these walls.

My mother was an intelligent, good woman, but she had no proper appreciation of the importance of careful and rigid discipline over a boy. It is too late, however, to lament these things with reference to myself, but I should certainly feel glad if some one might be benefited by what I have had to say here. The home must have order, there must be some sort of rule and regulation, and day and night the children, without hesitation or fretfulness, must be brought to obey their parents, or they will bring grief to them in the end.

The other condition to which I refer, of which I am a victim, are the loose teachings in our schools. The infidelity and unbelief in the Scriptures, in God, in Christ, in the Holy Ghost, in the future punishment of the wicked, in the supernatural power of regeneration and sanctification, in great essentials of revealed religion, and genuine experience. I am amazed at the startling amount of infidelity that is blasting the rising generation, that is taking the foundations from under the young manhood and womanhood who are receiving college and university educations. I am surprised that the religions press of the country does not cry out in constant and vigorous protest, and that the pulpits of the country do not fight against this rising and sweeping tide of unbelief. I suppose, that the lethargy and seeming indifference arises out of the fact that many editors, and prominent preachers are themselves, without a strong and active faith in Christ, and a deep and warm love for the truth. Their faith is defective, their zeal is cool, they are seeking degrees, office, and larger salaries, no doubt many of them are not willing to take any risk of arousing against themselves criticism or opposition. They choose rather to let the faith go than earnestly contend, and take the awful risk of a generation of people who spurn the Bible, and turn their backs on the great doctrine of the Messiahship of Jesus Christ.

I have had golden opportunities in the world; the lack of home discipline and skeptical teachings in the colleges, made me unfit for an honorable place in life, increasing my wickedness and irreverence which made of me a criminal, and has shut me up in prison, and but for the devout love and zeal of a few of Christ’s little ones, who would cheerfully die for the truth, who sought me out and led me to repentance and faith, I should in the end have been shut up in hell.

I look forward to the future not without hope. Not only is he, our great deliverer, able to save us from all sin, but he is wonderfully powerful to deliver us from evil consequence, and in spite of our failures, to bring to us happiness and victory. If my health should be preserved, and I should live to wear out my sentence, or if the clemency of those in authority should see fit to trust me again, a free man in society, I shall earnestly seek to redeem the past somewhat with a devoted, upright, and earnest life. I can conceive of nothing that would bring to me such great pleasure, as would be mine, could I in some way influence the students of our colleges and universities, who are traveling in the path that led me so far from the right way, to give up their unbelief and turn to inspired truth for guidance and salvation.

With malice toward none and charity for all, I remain, faithfully and gratefully yours.