by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year


March, 1949

Number 8

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

The path of love is the one suited to the highest excellence. Without love, ability to speak in the languages of men and messengers brings forth sounds worth no more than resounding copper and clanging cymbal. Knowledge is nothing if it is not seasoned by love. If one has the greatest faith, and has no love, he is nothing. Sacrifice of self and possessions amounts to nothing, without love.

Love is patient, kind, not jealous, not bragging, not puffed up, not indecent, not self-seeking, not easily angered, and does not make a record, mentally or otherwise, of evil inflicted, so as to "get even," or sulk and act in an unfriendly manner.

Hatred is foreign to the spirit of Christ. Yet one who has His spirit may manifest this baneful trait. This is because the flesh sometimes acts against the demands of the spirit. The spirit of Christ is the faith of the Son of God. Paul said that the life which he lived in flesh he lived by faith that is of the Son of God. that is, the flesh was present, but the life, which is faith, is something apart from flesh. However, sin's flesh sometimes manifests hatred, instead of that love which is a product of the new life.

It would seem that the fact of the conciliation, if understood, would cause us to have good will toward all, for this is the attitude of God toward the world. He is not reckoning their offenses to them; yet sin that is in us sometimes gets the upper hand, and we find ourselves holding against others, the fact that they have offended us. This is manifested in both press and pulpit, by those of whom we expect better.

Love, which was one of the marks of saints in every administration, has not lapsed. There are no more prophets; No one can now speak in other languages without learning them in school; knowledge apart from the written word passed away. I mean that when the scriptures were finished, there was no more revelation of new truth. But love has not lapsed. It is as much in place in this administration as in any previous one.

Paul completed the word of God, installment by installment. But it is now finished. And, by faith, we see face to face, and not merely God's back, as was the case with Moses. We now know ourselves as God knows us. That is, we now see that all is of God, and that our entire career is in His hand.

Before the scriptures were completed, many things puzzled the saints. Even the plan of salvation had not been made plain. A true word-picture of God had never been painted. It is in Paul's writing that the Son of God is unveiled to faith. He is the Image of the invisible God. Knowing Him, we know the Father. Puzzles have been cleared up.

But thousands of saints have not been initiated into these latest truths. God has seen fit to keep them in the "primer grade." They find their spiritual food in writings that are preparatory. They get their "living," such as it is, from the "Old Testament," from the four "Gospels," from the Acts, and from the writings of Peter, James and John, and hardly ever "dip" into the writings of Paul. This is like living on a second rate diet, when the first rate one is available.

But, even so, there is more to it than appears on the surface. In the last analysis, it is God Who keeps them away from the finishing writings. Who would dare say this is not true, and, at the same time, declare that all is of God? Shall we scorn them? Rather, may we thank God if He had brought us a little further along the path of truth. 

Paul, who tells us all the things that I have mentioned, takes occasion to tell us at the close of the marvelous thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, "Yet now are remaining faith expectation, love---these three. Yet the greatest of these is LOVE. Be pursuing love."

Shall we who know the conciliation fail to love saints who do not agree with us. If we are correct in our view of the scripture, then they are not correct if they disagree with us. But they may be more correct than we, in attitude. I have known precious saints in the past who knew nothing of rightly dividing the word of truth, did not know the difference between the new birth and the new creation, had only a vague idea of the present elective calling, and saw no difference between the Circumcision and the Uncircumcision writings, yet they were actuated by the very sweetest spirit of love and forbearance. One who has ALL knowledge and very little love, is not nearly so correct.

Paul tells us that love is not working evil to an associate. If we work evil to anyone, believer or unbeliever, with whom we come in contact personally, or by letter, or one who read our production in print, we are working evil to an associate. This we will not do, if we love him. And saints are not the only ones we are to love. All should be included. We will find ourselves cultivating love for all, if we remember, first, that all belong to God, and, second, that no one is as bad ALL the time as he is PART of the time. I fear that I am disagreeable sometimes. But I know I am not that way all the time. How blessed it is, to remember the best side of every person whom we contact, and forget his worst side.

The three things that lead us to do evil to others, either by act, or by word, or by neglect, are Envy, Suspicion and Prejudice. Who will claim that he has never been afflicted with one or more of these? We envy the person who has what we want and do not have. How silly! I used to envy a certain millionaire whose name was often in the papers. Little did I know that, despite his great wealth, he was deprived of some things that I had. Many times one will work evil to a person whom he envies. It has been done thousands of times.

Suspicion is terrible. We suspect that an associate is planning to do harm to us. This suspicion translates his every word and act into "proof" that what we suspect is true. How unfair this is! Perhaps he is not at all aware that we harbor any suspicion against him. But we will drop a hint here or there, with the view of doing him harm. Or, perhaps, we will actually commit an act of evil against him. Or it may be that we have an opportunity to do him good, and refuse to do it.

I have seen the blighting effects of prejudice. It is without reason. Whatever is the failure of the one against whom our prejudices are aroused, he can't avoid it. In many cases, what we think to be defects are not that at all. We only think so. Without taking into consideration how we would feel if we were in his place, and the arrows of prejudice were directed against us, we go forth in self-righteous fashion, perfectly willing, nay, anxious, to ruin his life.

But, harmful as these things are to those against whom they are directed, we who are possessed of these unhappy traits suffer, also. Envy, suspicion and prejudice soon become actual hatred. And this is a defect of mind that will show in our countenance, sooner or later. No one can maintain a sweet face and uplifting countenance, if his heart is poisoned with the terrible disease of hatred.

As I have said in a previous article, Moses prayed that the loveliness of the Lord might be on him and those with whom he associated. This loveliness shows in a smile, in a glad countenance, in a happy disposition, in helpful and kind words, and in acts that uplift the spirits of those whom we contact.

One who has this sweet disposition is not going about prying into the affairs of others, seeking to find a flaw. If he hears of a scandal he does not try to destroy the one against whom the talk is directed. He earnestly seeks to find something praiseworthy in the life of every associate. If he can't do more, he will say, as did the Indian, when a supposedly good-for-nothing neighbor was being buried, "He was a good whistler." Happy is the man who is always actually seeking for something good and nice to say of everyone with whom he has occasion to associate. To be pitied is the man who is seeking for something to say against him.

Be pursuing love.

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