Skywriting!—The most impressive piece of skywriting I have ever seen, blazed out in the night this evening over Washington,. D.C. A giant dirigible (265 feet long and 6o feet in diameter) equipped with incandescent letters of fire 27 feet high, superimposed upon 170 feet of the dark background of the ship, roared across the heavens bearing a message that all were impelled to read. It was an ever-changing running sign, spelled out by to,000 electric bulbs, visible to the populace over an area of five miles. It was a motion picture ad, with weather reports and important spot flashes—and a most effective one. Would that messages of eternal import might be emblazoned by night before the gaze of multiplied millions of earth in every land and tongue ! What would the populace of other generations have thought could they have seen such strange spectacle? The mechanical advances of today were designed as aids for the effective heralding of the everlasting gospel. Their possibilities should be perceived and their facilities employed by the heralds of God's transcendent message. Dignity, effectiveness, and appeal should blend. We need more aggressive, daring plans to bring our message before mankind.
Manipulation.—He who seeks to bolster or to bring about his own advancement through manipulation—work-ups among friends, lobbying, wire pulling, or any similar earthy method—is destined to produce heartaches and setbacks. Friends will fail, have their eyes opened and turn, or move out of the picture. The wires will inevitably become crossed in time. Pull and manipulation will break down or flare back. Short cuts will short circuit. Such methods are, in the course of events, bound to catch up with the manipulator. Better is it to develop more slowly and solidly, and to let advancement come as the result of merit, which will be recognized if it is there. After all, if our lives and futures have been committed to God, any attempt to steady or uphold the ark of our career is an interference with God's sovereign plans and prerogatives. This He will not condone today any more than in Uzzah's time of old. Political methods belong to politics, not the church. Let us do faithfully our appointed work, and leave the rest to God and to the brethren. They usually know better than we what we are really fitted for and what our limitations are. Have faith in God.
Small town!—Young man, if tempted to question the wisdom of wasting your talents on smaller towns, think of your ministerial pattern, Jesus Christ, in His sojourn in the towns of Palestine among the humble folk and lowly cottagers. The Prince of heaven deliberately chose those unattractive environs for His public ministry. And He gathered about Himself just ordinary men as His disciples, who through His transforming grace became towers of strength and mighty molders of men. Ministry in inconspicuous smaller places affords the finest preparation for the larger opportunities that are bound to come to the one prepared to fill them. There is no talent too good for lost men and women wherever they may be, in homeland or in mission field.
Appeasement!—Appeasement simply another term for compromise. It is yielding a point for the sake of peace. It is surrendering something in expediency in order to avoid difficulty with some superior or threatening force. The nations have learned by the bitter war experience of the last few years how fatal that procedure is. But there can be appeasement just as verily in the field of religious principle. These compromises include the Sabbath, military or other service on the Sabbath, sending children to secular schools on the Sabbath, Shinto shrine obeisance, and yielding to industrial or other pressures on matters of principle or conscience. Any one of these can be fatal to the life of the church and the individual. We are in an increasingly difficult place in a world controlled by forces unfriendly to the religious principles we uphold. And the way will grow harder, not easier, for us. The pressure will increase, not lessen; and our difficulties will thicken and intensify with the passage of time. We must use tact and sanctified good sense, but we dare not truckle to pressure that involves compromise of principle. The final clash will involve life-and-death issues. How will we stand then if we yield now? We are in the wrong world, and deliverance will come only through the second advent. We cannot change the forces about us, and they must not change us. We must not surrender our spiritual birthright through appeasement, capitulation, or compromise. When moral and religious principle is at stake, we should stand adamant. Our primary allegiance is to God. His will and His law transcend all else. He must have our supreme and undivided allegiance.
L. E. F.