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

Volume XXXI

May, 1952

Number 10

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

Much of the scripture is addressed to Israel. But in them we, non-Israelites---may learn how God feels about certain things.

Let us consider the teaching regarding the sabbath. Non-Israelites have never been under a commandment concerning this matter, but what was said to Israel on the subject will show us the value of stopping. The word, sabbath, does not denote rest, primarily. It is from a Hebrew word that speaks of stopping. God did not rest from His work as mentioned early in Genesis. He was not tired. He STOPPED. And when, later, God commanded Israel to observe the seventh day and to keep it holy. He said literally, that they were to stop on the seventh day. Of course, when we stop, rest follows.

No such commandment has been given to non-Israelites, but the value of stopping one day of the week, that our body, spirit and mind might be refreshed, and that we might have a whole day in which to specially think of God and worship Him, is evident. This practice, if adhered to by all our population, would, eventually, perform wonders in point of health, calmness, and a recognition of God. And I am sure that we would do more and better work in six days, than in seven.

Many people quit work Friday, until Monday. I said they quit work. I mean that they quit what they are doing, but the next two days are spent in carousing, or going, or in doing some other kind of work, so that, really, they do not stop at all.

The dire things that were to befall Israel because of the neglect of the sabbath, may be seen in great measure in nations that have spent years making a specialty of ignoring the need for a day of stopping. In some of the countries of Europe, Sunday is the special day on which to hold national elections. The particular day of the week, whether the first or the seventh, is of no moment. Long ago man changed from the seventh to the first day. The idea is, man needs a certain day each week, in which to stop. For the best benefit, it should be the same day each week, otherwise, there is danger of not stopping at all.

I am not telling you that God commands us to observe the sabbath. But I am telling you it is far better to do it than to not---better for the health and morale, as well as the cultivation of the spirit.

But let us never advocate forcing people to do it.

Inasmuch as the sum of all the people is composed of individuals let us not wait for some other person, and certainly not for ALL the people to start the stopping. Let us do it our self. For, just as sure as it would benefit all the people so will it benefit each person.

The stopping includes the mind. People are in a mental tension, which is the product of worrying. This, in turn, produces nervousness. In ITS turn, it makes hypertension, which is called high blood pressure. Many medical men have begun to recognize that this "popular" trouble is produced, not only by what we eat, but by HOW we think.

There is a value in attending worship meetings. I mean really ATTENDING in mind, as well as in body. If we sit down in the meeting house while our mind in on the farm, or building a house, or doing some other kind of work---the body just waiting to join the thoughts---the atmosphere of worship does us no good. But if the mind is taking a vacation from work, and if we consciously remember that we are in an atmosphere of worship, we feel refreshed and happy. And while we are in this condition it may be that the preacher says something that arrests our attention. Soon we will find our self listening calmly to the message.

A mind that has stopped, so far as its daily pursuits are concerned, is in condition to enjoy, not only faith IN God, but to become conscious that in it is the faith OF God.

It is refreshing to remember that God acts always with intelligence. He does that in creation. Its orderliness is proof of His intelligence, power, and love.

These are around us at all times. We do our self a great wrong when we do not take time to meditate on this fact. This is one reason why we need a sabbath, or a stopping.

We hardly need "professional thinkers". But there is a necessity for calm, sensible thinkers. Meditation does not necessarily mean concentration. It signifies thought that is calm, unhurried, unmolested, and without tension. Preachers would do well to promote and encourage, as well as provide for, this kind of thinking. A person who hears a sermon should be more rested than when the talk began.

We can move easily into the fulfillment of life's pattern if we have the quiet faith of that great power of wisdom within.  Trusting in Him, we may know that which we need to know. The wisdom of God in our hearts unfolds it to us. The speech of God distills as the dew. His doctrine drops as the rain. We may, with the intellect, learn much of the doctrine, but unless we attend to the speech of God, the doctrine has a tendency to make us selfish, clannish, and intolerant. Let the mind stop, let it listen to God.

And He speaks to us, not only when we are in a place of worship, but also day after day in our pursuits. He spoke to Moses in the burning bush, Moses had a sabbath right there. He took time to listen. He stopped. Whether or not he heard an audible voice, I am not able to say. But He heard the speech of God. First, the bush that was on fire and yet not being consumed, must have reminded him of Israel---in the fire of affliction for centuries and yet undiminished. What is more natural than that the patriarch should think of the unreasonableness of the nation being in slavery, and that he should reach a determination that the people should be free? He clearly saw his mission---to lead the captives into freedom. It was a mind and a heart that was enjoying a sabbath, that was being exercised to think on God.

One has told of his own "call" in these words:

"One bright and lovely morning,
  While walking through a grove,
My theme and meditation
  Was Jesus and His love.
His name to me was precious,
  His glorious presence sweet,
While nature seemed to join me,
  His praises to repeat".

He was seeing, in that grove, the things that others might see; hearing what others might hear. But he was also seeing and hearing that which another might NOT. His thoughts were enjoying a sabbath. When the silent voice of God spoke, he heard. The sighing among the trees became, to him, the speech of God. And, because his mind was in the Sabbath that day, he spent many a year afterwards, glorifying God and teaching His precious truth.

I sat on my porch and looked at the plants growing in my garden. It was a time of sabbath to my thoughts. I heard no voice, but the silent speech of God impressed me, and He spoke to me in the waving blades of the corn, and the sweet flowers of the bean stalks. I saw in them a symbol of God answering prayer. I had planted the seeds, and had left them in the hand of the only One who could make corn and beans. If there had come grass on the place I would have cleared it off. If the ground had been dry I would have watered it. But I would not have dug the seeds up and planted them again, fearing that I had not planted them right at first. No! This would have prevented the germination.

I learned the lesson of prayer from this. I plant in the loving heart of God the seed of desire---making sure that it is a good desire, and for the glory of God. Daily I water the seed with thanksgiving, and wait for the germinating. It takes place, for God is looking after the seed. I do not need to fear that it was not planted correctly the first time. I need not dig it up and plant it again. What I do is wait on Him. He never forgets. Fruitfulness comes, because the whole affair is in the hand of God.

If my mind and heart had not been in a sabbath condition as I sat on the porch, I might not have gotten the lesson.

So the stopping of the thoughts is not an absolute stopping. It means stopping laborious thinking about the things that engage the most of our attention during the day, and sweetly and calmly thinking on God. In my case my attention much of the time is on Lucretia. I have the care of her twenty-four hours of the day, in addition to my other work. It has been prophesied by some that I will suffer a breakdown. This is not necessary. If I can continue to have some hours of sabbath condition of mind each day, the breakdown will not come. I have seen people break down because they "knew" they were going to do so. Their mind is on it, and they bring it about. Most of our illness is brought about by thought. Whatever it is that bears on our mind is the thing from which we must take a sabbath, or a stopping. This is especially true in the case of illness of our loved ones. We must not worry about it, and, as is the case with me, we must have a complete stoppage of thinking about it. Lucretia is much improved---she is better than she has been at all any time since her stroke occurred. But each day I stop thinking about her, I have trained myself to do it. It is absolutely necessary.


In the April issue I made a statement which does not convey just what I meant. I said, "The race belief, instilled into us ever since the close of the second eon at the time of the flood, is to the effect that God did not do a good job of creating, and that we are dependent on the medicine man to pump, either hyperdermically or by mouth, a foreign substance that is no part of God's creation, into our body.

I meant that the substance is no part of what God used as ingredients in making us. He used soil.

I think that that which goes into us should be a product of the soil, whether is be given as food, or as medicine.

More than forty years ago a doctor told me that a person could not live in South Georgia without using a certain drug that is made from mercury. I had then lived in South Georgia for many years, and had already proved that one did not have to take this poison. I have been proving it ever since.

It seems that the second eon---the period from Adam to Noah---was a time of very vigorous health. Evidently people lived sensibly, as to their emotions, habits, diet, etc. No one tried to keep up with the Joneses. It is evident that people did very little worrying---if any---and that they were not in a tension. We have record of some in those days who lived almost a thousand years. It must have been later, when the medicine man came on the scene, and with him, the "education" that made the human family sickness-conscious.

By the way, I have never seen an idea expressed in print by the medical fraternity, as to the reason for the great increase in cancer cases. I wonder if the reason could lie in the injection of too much foreign substance into the blood. 

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