Steady!—We must keep our heads and guard our words in times of hysteria, with a carefulness proportionate to the seriousness of the situation. We must never forget our divinely appointed place and responsibility in the midst of a world reeling under the impact of war. We must not permit prejudice or partisan feelings to deflect us from our concern for all men—that they might be saved. We must avoid all entanglements that would compromise our witness in a crisis hour like this. We must see in the imbroglio of nations one of the "all things" that in the providence of God will turn men from setting their affections and placing their trust in the perishing things of earth. God's mastery of affairs, and His designated outcome of the course of human history, must give courage and direction to us in the hour of encompassing gloom. We are to be bearers of light and hope and courage to men at this time.
Tests!—The actual tests of orthodoxy imposed by some often include debatable minor points upon which the Spirit of prophecy is silent, and consequently gives us no decisive lead. Settling such minor matters to their own satisfaction, such perSons would test all others by their own arbitrarily adopted measures. If the majority of our respected and experienced leaders are against them, then so much the worse for that majority. According to this few, their own convictions may properly appear in print, but that held by the majority may not so appear, because—differing from theirs—it is "unorthodox." Such an attitude is presumptuous.
Fallacy!—The thrust is sometimes made that some of the, very ones who have stumbled into sin have formerly been champions of the victorious life. But so were they of the moral law that condemned their sin. Did the preaching of the law lead anyone to violate its seventh commandment? No, it was personal failure to lay hold of God's provided, keeping power that occasioned their fall. Similarly, it was failure to enter into the keeping power of Christ that made their moral lapse possible. It is preaching a theory of truth with the heart unsanctified by that truth that is fraught with peril. Each catastrophe that breaks out in our ranks should alarm us, and drive us still closer to Him who alone is able to keep us from falling. These catastrophes constitute flashing danger signals of increasing perils all about. Being a worker will not save us. Christ alone saves and keeps. In Him only is there safety. Let not apathy toward emphasis upon a deeper, more triumphant, spiritual life hide behind such sad episodes. Let no one who is commissioned to prepare souls—first to stand without an intercessor when probation closes, and then to meet the Sinless One in His coming glory—lamely cite such cases as an excuse for indifference.
Craftsmen!—There is joy and stimulus in meeting kindred craftsmen of this movement, such as the denominational editors assembled in recent council at headquarters. Able, loyal, hard-working, congenial—these public expositors of the message fill an exceedingly important, exacting role in this movement, especially in these troubled times. This message creates a bond of fellowship unlike any other friendships in this old world—friendships based upon the incomparable platform of truth and its effective enunciation and defense. It is an honor and a privilege to be marching side by side with skilled workmen of like precious faith. God bless our editors scattered all the way from the large home-base publishing houses out to little mission printing plants at the ends of the earth. Toiling away with one aim and one endeavor, these are among the key men of this cause, for the printed utterances of this movement form the criterion by which it is judged.
Interchange!—Through the fellowship of books we have communion with the great minds of the past. Through books, we have interchange of thought with the trained, virile thinkers and achievers of the present. It is not always possible to meet such face to face, but it can be achieved by any and all through means of their printed works. Books sweep away the obstructing barriers of time and distance, and melt down every hindering obstacle. Here mind meets mind. Here we sit at the study table, and live and learn and grow. Indeed, this is perhaps the chief function of books. Therefore, choose the best books—books that make you think, not that do your thinking for you; books that stimulate, not that make you content; that spur to greater achievement, not that make you complacent. Select your books on the principle of purposeful planning. Systematize your selections. Sign up now for the 194o Ministerial Reading Course as one of the imperative steps in your scheduled program for this month.
L. E. F.