Selfishness!—Are we submerging our own interests to the general good of the cause? or do personal position, advancement, and advantage have a bearing upon our actions? We must face God over each of these matters. The good of His work should be the master passion of our lives.
Emotion!—It is felt by some tkat unless some emotional effect has been achieved by a sermon, the effort has not been markedly effective. But after all, the most abiding results often come from some quiet presentation of a principle that firmly grips the mind, and so changes the course of life. Emotion has its proper place, but more teaching and less declamatory preaching is needed. Such was the Master's method.
Blessing!—Seeming setbacks often prove to be providential circumstances designed to stir us out of dangerous complacency and dependence upon human resources. And in nothing is there greater peril of this character than in the realm of finance. So, the 10-per-cent cut operative all along the line may be a blessing in disguise to change certain trends. Certainly we can make it such, if we will. The entire experience should constitute a call for personal and denominational economy and renewed emphasis upon simplicity.
Professional!—The danger of professionalism is one which we must increasingly counter. To minister sacred truths perfunctorily, to deal with the things of the soul and of eternity professionally, is only less serious than to serve deceitfully with defiled hands and unclean heart. When we fully sense the sacredness of our call and commission and our accountability to God, we Shall not dare to minister if all is not right between the soul and Him. The divine fitness is available to all whom God has called.
Simplicity!—There is insidious peril that we shall lose the simplicity of the advent faith. The ideals and practices of earlier decades may well be revived and emulated; for we are drifting toward worldliness in dress and conduct. There is a growing conformity to the prevailing standards of the world and its popular churches. This is seen in our religious life, invading practices and ordinances of the church, as well as in the relationships of the 'individual. We need a company of Job.n. the Baptists, who will cry aloud and spare not.
Exit!--Close,the back door against preventable losses. This is the mandate of"common sense.'and efficiency. Yet it is more. We expend large sums winning the assent of the mind and gaining the public profession of our adherents: Therefore, to let these souls in whom we have a heavy investment slip away through discouragement, neglect, or other preventable circumstances, without heroic effort on our part to hold them, is both bad business and bad religion. Coupled with the new emphasis on evangelism Should be a similar interest in reclamation of the backslider. All about are souls who acknowlefilge this truth, but who, through carelessness, drift, or downright sin, have slipped out of the back door. Thousands of these are susceptible, and would respond to interest and entreaty in these crucial times.
L. E. F.