Primaries! — Our mission is not simply to correct certain erroneous doctrinal views which in centuries past have been sincerely held by many thousands who will undoubtedly be saved out of the multitudes; nor is it to reform certain outward acts and practices dominant among religionists. Our founding purpose is to connect the soul with Christ, and to prepare a people to dwell in the presence of the King through the righteousness He has provided. The correction of false doctrines is an inevitable corrollary, but it will never save the soul. First emphasis should be placed on fundamentals.
Depedence! — True it is that God buries His workmen, but His work goes on. It does not collapse when certain men fail, for He is not ,constricted to the efforts of certain personalities. Then let us not lean too strongly on particular men. Let us look beyond the human. Let us not falter when stalwarts fail, nor become bewildered when a pillar crumbles. This message, we repeat, is not built upon a set of men. It will survive all crises that may come. It will not fail. The coming of a crisis hour will be accompanied by the coming of chosen men for that hour.
Food! — One cannot forever feed and sustain the soul on reports. Yet it is a common and growing practice to substitute glowing mission exploits and rehearsals of ardent missionary or monetary activities (which are legitimate and proper in their place) in lieu of the living bread. Continued interest in the faith and its extension will be sustained permanently only by genuine nourishment. Any substitute will prove but a temporary and artificial stimulus, and will call for increasing doses. Synthetic food never truly builds nor satisfies. Meanwhile, the soul starves. Yet the larder of heaven is open and unlimited. May God keep us balanced — and fed.
Perfidy! — What is more odious than misconduct on the part of a minister or other gospel worker? If sin be heinous for any and all, what can be said of appointed leaders, spokesmen for God, examples for the flock, as touching veracity, honesty, and moral irreproachability? The sins, therefore, which, forsaken by a layman, have been left with God's forgiving grace, cannot be thus dealt with in the case of a worker. His position, the limelight that surrounds him, the stumblingblock that he becomes, set him apart and put him in a different class. A judge or other public official guilty of perjury or malfeasance is demoted from the bench or other public office. The same principle applies to workers in this movement. The most despicable person in the world is the unrepentant hypocrite, and of all hypocrites on earth the hypocritical gospel worker is the most loathsome. Wearing the livery of heaven, standing as a spokesman for God, supported by the tithe,— the man or woman who is living a double life is guilty of high treason and the most serious breach of trust conceivable. An out-and-out sinner is entitled to credit for his frankness; but a hypocrite has nothing to his credit. God save us from such.
L. E. F.