I am writing this on Christmas Day, 1941. It
has been a day of reminders of God's truth. I went up town early,
and engaged in conversation with a colored friend who had taken part in
the other so-called World War. He said that, while he is hardly
able to walk, he is ready to go again, if the country calls him.
Asked by someone if he was afraid, he replied that he was not.
"My life is in God's hand, whether I am on the battlefield or at
home," he said. "God turned every bullet that was aimed
at me during that war, because it was not His time for me to die.
I knew, even then, that I was in no more danger than if I had been at
home. God can manage things, and He does."
Returning to the house I told my wife that I heard a Sermon
that had started me off right for the day. I was heartened, not
because what he said was new to me, but because I had found that God had
taught him. I felt that he was my brother, in spirit.
My next activity of the day was to conduct the
funeral of a friend, who had just returned from a stay of several months
in Mexico. I had talked with him for half an hour Tuesday
afternoon, and early Wednesday morning was found dead. We would
have thought he was safer in this country than in the one "south of
the border." But no so. It was God's time for him to
die, and he died. In other years I had had fellowship with him,
and he had been a participant in the evangel, in his humble way.
It gave me pleasure to tell the people at the funeral, of the grace of
God that saved Paul, the foremost among sinners, and, therefore, could
reach and save all sinners. If the Son on Mankind came to seek and
to save that which was lost, we may be sure that He will never quit as
long as there is a lost one.
The Lord told His Jewish disciples, (Matt. 10:29-31),
that, although two sparrows are worth only a little more than
one-and-a-half cents, according to man's valuation, yet God values them
so highly that not one of them falls on the earth without the
Father. Then He assured the disciples that they were of more
consequence than many sparrows. While this was said to
Circumcision believers, the same thought, and far more, is expressed in
the passage referred to in the caption of this editorial. If God
is operating the universe in accord with the counsel of His will, his
management is extended to the matter of life and death, as well as
I am thinking today of the funeral of my mother,
which was held November 10, and the funeral of my father, which was held
December 1. He died just three weeks after she did. I spoke
at both funerals. No one can describe the feelings of one who
realizes that both his parents are gone. Yet, Mother wanted to
die, because of her long afflictions, and Father had very little
interest in life after she was gone. And how much better it is,
that they are both reposing! They lived their allotted days, and
died without a struggle. I am grateful that they spent several
years rejoicing in the precious doctrine of Universal Reconciliation.
At Mother's funeral I spoke on the text about the sparrows. At
Father's funeral I used the text: "The last Adam was made a
vivifying spirit." He will call them both at His appointed
time, and they shall be vivified. I am thinking of them today,
mainly because they were married on Christmas Day, about 63 years
At noon today I sat down to a bountiful dinner.
None of the children were able to be present. But my wife and I
were not so lonely as one might imagine, for we were sustained by the
faith God has put in our hearts. We firmly believe His care
extends to the smallest of his creatures, as well as to the largest
There were happy days in the years agone, when three
sons and two daughters sat with us at meals, not only on Christmas Day,
but all the days. Today we know that all of them are in reasonably
comfortable circumstances, physically, with the exception of one
son. More than twelve years age he joined the Navy and is an
aviator. Where he is today, we do not know. He may be with
his wife and children, or he may be on the opposite side of the
earth. He ma be engaged actively in the war. We just don't
know. We are concerned for him, as any parents should be.
But we know that His plane cannot fall until the Father says so.
We know that no bullet can strike him without the Father, We have left
all this in the hand of God, and are praying. And we are asking
for the prayers of other saints. Pray that our faith may not fail,
for it is the shield on which we rely.
I have had a good many letters from saints all over
the united States, within the last few weeks. Most of them mention
the war. And they breathe a spirit of trust in God, based on the
fact that He has a program, and is carrying it out. They know, as
did Job, that it is unreasonable to expect to receive good at the
hands of the Lord, and not receive evil. They know that the Lord
has given, and has taken away. How refreshing to know that they
are saying, in their hearts, "Blessed be the name of the
This calmness is not evidence that all of them expect
to be preserved from bombs, if the raiders come. They know that
they may be blown to pieces. But they believe this cannot be done
without the Father. In other words, they do not regard the war as
something God could not keep off. They know that He is in it, and
they are calmly waiting on Him. My wife and I share this
feeling. We lie down at night and sleep, with the full knowledge
that only God can cause us to dwell in safety.
Every letter is boastful. But no writer is
boasting in man, or the power of wisdom of man. They boast in the
Lord. Thank God for this!
I want to earnestly exhort all those who believe God,
to be entirely obedient to the government. There must be no breath
of suspicion that we are disloyal. I know that none of us is, but
we have enemies. Give them no excuse to say we are disloyal in any
particular. As I showed in an editorial some time ago, we are to
be subject to the superior authorities. Those who are drafted for
military service should respond cheerfully. The government of the
united States has been, and is the best one on the face of the
earth. Under it we have privileges that no other people
have. We owe to God, and the government, complete loyalty.
If we are called on to do any kind of defense work, let us respond with
I want to also earnestly exhort all who believe God,
to pray to Him to keep our hearts free of hate. We can be just as
loyal soldiers and citizens, without hating people of other
nations. That all should work for the success, which means the
defeat of the enemy, goes without saying. But this does not mean
that we are to hate the people who, in obedience to their government,
are arrayed against us.
The President of the United States has asked that
January 1 be observed as a day of prayer. That date will have
passed before anyone reads this editorial; but I want it placed on
record here, that the saints who gather for worship regularly at Grace
Tabernacle near Glennville, will meet on that day. There will be a
sermon on the subject, and prayers will be made. These prayers
will be no effort to dictate to God, or to tell Him something which He
does not know. We expect to meet, to manifest our loyalty to our
government, and to seek God's guidance and grace, that we may be calm in
the face of all suffering, and thus show that we really do love
Before the struggle is ended there will be great
sacrifices to make. Our standard of living will be materially
lowered. We will have to do without many things to which we are accustomed.
We have been a very wasteful nation. We will have to learn,
through bitter humiliation, that it is not well to squander what God has
We have been a nation of greed. Within recent
monthsnay, weeks!this greed has been so rampant that it
threatened to wreck the defense efforts of the government. We will
be brought low in this respect. The greedy will have to go without
the profits and gains they have been demanding and enforcing.
And we will be notified by the War and Navy
Departments that many of our loved ones have fallen under the onslaught
of the enemy. There will be broken hearts and scalding
tears. How we shall need the God in Whom we believe! Let us
who really do believe Him, pray earnestly that we may be able to remain
calm when these heart-breaking messages come to us. Let us
remember that He is operating the universe in accord with the counsel of
His own will.
Let us not lose sight of the fact that God has a
program, and that He is carrying it out. Not all His program is
pleasant to us. Like Job, we shall receive much from Him that is
evil. But remember, He will not let us be tied above what we are
able. With the trial He makes the sequel, also, that we may be
able to bear it. Out of all the carnage and bloodshed will come
great good, and we shall see it, if not now, some time. May our faith
enable us to look far beyond it all, to a day when the blessed Son on
David shall rule Israel, and the Son of Mankind shall bless all
nations. May we look further, and see the day when a Man, Christ
Jesus, shall, by the giving of Himself a correspondent Ransom for all,
save all mankind and lead them into a realization of the truth.
May we see His love, reconciling the universe. Yea, may be get a
glimpse beyond the eons, and see God, All in all, I Cor. 15:28.
But our immediate expectation is the descent of the
Lord into the air, and we being snatched away to meet Him there, I
Thess. 4:13-18. This may take place at any moment. I praise
God for such expectation! This enables us to bear the trials that
are coming on us.
The last week in November Brother Bundy of Kissimmee,
Fla., conducted a meeting here. He and Sister Bundy stayed at our home.
It was a Pleasure to have them. He spoke ten times. One
sermon each was given by Brother Robert M. Smith of Chattanooga, Tenn.,
and Brother Felix L. Fox of Batesburg, S. C. All sermons
were excellent. We thank God for them.
January 1The prayer meeting today was well
attended, and there was considerable interest manifested. It has
been suggested that I print in The Messenger next month, the sermon I
gave today. I shall probably do this.
of the people in this section paid no attention to the President's
request, so far as could be seen. Perhaps a year from now, there
will be much more humility.