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Speaking Truth in Love.’
‘.’At it, all at it, always at it.”
The Central Messenger.
TRUTH AND SERVICE.
Wake Forest, 1ST. C., October, 1911.
WHO HELPED THE MEETING?
A did it—Added fiis presence.
B did it—Brought some one else.
C did it—Came regularly.
D did it—Did all he could,
E did it—Eager to help.
F did it—Faithful and steady.
G did it—Gave attention.
H did it—Had something to say.
I did it—Invited others. -
J did it—Joined in the spirit.
K did it—Kept up his interest.
L did it—Left nothing undone.
M did it—Made preparation.
N did it—Never gave up.
O did it—Offered his service.
P did it—Prayed for it.
Q did it—Quenched not the Spirit.
R did it—Received a blessing.
S did it—Sang heartily.
T did it—Told others about it.
U did it—Upheld the weak ones.
V did it—Vanquished obstacles.
W did it—Welcomed strangers.
X did it—’Xerted himself earnestly.
Y did it—Yielded not to discourage
Z did it—Zealous always.
How many of these things will you do?
THE CUSTOMS OF JESUS.
Thre times in the course of his gos
pel Luke alludes to the place of cus
toms in the religious life of Jesus.
’ ToTegin with, Jesus'was born into
a family of definitely religious habits.
His parents went every year to Jeru
salem at the feast of the passover.
And when He was twelve years old,
they (accompanied by Him) went up,
after the custom of the feast. Every
head of a household in the provinces,
who was strictly pious, made a con
science of attending yearly at least
one of the great festivals in Jerusa
lem, and, although the obligation was
not binding upon women, Mary seems
to have obeyed the recommendation
of some rabbis and accompanied her
husband. Year after year their an
nual absence from home marked the
routine of the carpenter’s household
in Nazareth. The children knew why
their parents went aw'ay for these
weeks. When Jesus reached the age
of twelve. He became a son of the
Law, and for the first time took part
in the annual custom of the pilgrim
It was in the soil of such devout
family religion as we know existed
among the Jews of that age, that the
piety of our Lord struck root. And
this is the beginning of all religious
education. “However we may work
at our religious faith later in life,
criticise it, remodel it”—and Jesus did
both—“we must first receive it. That
we have a religious life today is not
due to our philosophers and men of
science, many oi whom had no relig
ion. It is due to the fact that we
learned to believe as children. We
do not believe at first because it seems
to us good to believe or reasonable
to believe, but because we are taught
to believe. ’ Such teaching ultimately
depends upon the early impressions
of faith and reverence made by the
devout order and regularity with
which the practices of the Christian
life and worship are observed within
the home. The child’s religion needs
to be nourished by the sensre that
faith is as stable and natural and con
stant as any function of the house
hold. When this impression is made,
during the years in which the instinct
of imitation is strongest, religious hab
its are readily and unconsciously
formed; they are made for us by our
seniors, and they acquire a sanction
and binding power just because we
can never recollect a time when they
were not acting upon our lives. Na
ture itself, says Pascal, may be only a
first custom, as custom is a second
nature. And because our first cus
toms are formed early, they are often
one of the last things from which we
But, while religion is transmitted
to us along the channels of custom
and tradition^ it cannot remain a mere
inheritance which is taken over auto
matically from the earlier generation.
Often our early habits have to be mod
ified or changed, in order to suit the
larger needs of life, and even when
we continue to adtj*e to the letter
and detail of the o® habits, we re
quire to put into them the consent
and purpose of our own characters.
These inherited beliefs and practices
—or such of them as we can retain—
must be made our own, in the period
of individual responsibility. Luke is
careful to note this advance in the
religious life of Jesus. Twice he im-
pii'^ir. that our Lord not only' received
customs from His parents, but made
customs for Himself.
The first of these was connected
with public worship. He came to Naz
areth, where He had been brought
up; and, as His custom was. He went
into the synagbgue on the Sabbath
day. The changes which had taken
place in His residence and responsibil-
ties had evidently not interfered with
His religious habits. As a boy He
had been trained from the age of four
to attend the local synagogue with
His parents, and now, as a man. He
continued the custom wherever He
went, not from use or wont, in any
mechanical fashion^ but as a method
of His own religious life. Though He
had come back in the power of the
Spirit, fully endowed and inspired for
a unique work of God, He continued
to frequent the place of common wor
ship. He saw infinitely more in the
word and revelation of God than His
fellow-worshippers. Nevertheless, He
made it His custom still to join in
the old habits and to keep up the prac
tices of public service. This is more
significant than we sometimes realize.
It is a reminder of the truth which,
in our fancied spirituality, we are apt
to forget—that the holiest personal
life can scarcely afford to dispense
with stated forms of devotion, and
that the regular public worship of the
church, for all its local imperfections
and dullness, is a divine provision
for sustaining the individual soul. We
cannot affect to be wiser than our
Lord in this matter. If anyone could
have pled that His spiritual expe
rience was so lofty that it did not re
quire public worship, if anyone might
have felt that the consecration and
communion of His personal life
exempted Hiin from what ordinary
mortals needed, it was Jesus. But He
made no such plea. Sabbath after
Sabbath even He was found in the
place of worship, side by side with
God’s people, not for the mere sake
of setting a good example, but for
deeper reasons. Is it reasonable, then,
that any of us should think we can
safely afford to dispense with the
pious custom of regular participation
in the common worship of our lo
Luke mentions yet another custom,
which flowed side by side with this
through the religious life of Jesus.
When He left the upper-room, on the
last night of His life. He went, as His
custom was, to the Mount of Olives.
Why? Not simply to be quiet, away
from the close atmosphere and din of
the city. He doubtless welcomed the
hush and coolness of Nature, but He
also drew strength from the associa
tions of personal devotion with which
He had already hallowed the garden.
It had evidently been His custom, re
cently, to retire thither for medita
tion and communion with the Father.
The spot was therefore consecrated
for Him by His experiences.
We ought to practice the same habit
in our Christian life; in addition to
the custom of public worship, we shall
do well to endeavour to connect our
private devotion with definite places,
either inside a room of the house or
outside with Nature, like Jonathan Ed
wards on the banks of the Hudson
and Leighton beside the Allan Water.
..'■.inian nature has a strange faculty
for spoiling or for hallowing its sur
roundings. We know how the associa
tions of a place may become, through
death or change, or even through per
sonal wrong-doing^ so unbearable to
us that we almost shrink from revisit
ing the former scenes. They may be
come invested with too painful mem
ories and associations. But this tie of
place and heart affect us for better
as well as for worse. A place is very
much to us what we choose to make
it, and we may stamp the outward sur
roundings of life with a special virtue
and grace, which acts like a spell upon
the mind whenever we go to them.
They may speak to us of strength and
peace and reverence, just on account
of their associations with a secret ex
perience which is between us and
Doutless, prayer and fellowship are
not tied to any locality. Jesus was as
near to the Father in Jerusalem as
anywhere, but it is significant that
even He turned in the hour of His
spiritual conflict to the place at which
for some time He had been accustom
ed to be specially conscious of God’s
presence. And so, wherever our lot
chances to be cast, even for a short
cime, in town or country, it is wise
for us to consecrate some spot, in
doors or out of doors, where we can
feel specially alone with our God. If
we do so, its very associations will
soothe and lift us. We may be inclin
ed to regard this as fanciful or senti
mental, but once more we cannot af
ford to dispense with a habit which
Jesus plainly found essential to His
religious life. The tie of place and
heart enters into our most spiritual
phases of devotion, and as we employ
it we shall probably discover that our
life gathers -round it in such places
an atmosphere which is charged with
singularly deep and solemn influ
ences influences that help to draw us
readily and almost insensibly into the
sense of our Father’s peace and pres
ence.—The British Weekly.
CLEAR THE WAY.
Men of thought! be up and stirring.
Night and day.
Sow the seed—withdraw the curtain—
Clear the -way!
Men of action, aid and cheer them,
As ye may!
There’s a fount about to stream.
There’s a light about to beam.
There’s a warmth about to glow^
There’s a flower about to blow;
There’s a midnight blackness changing
Men of thought and men of action;
Clear the way!
Once the welcome light has broken,
Who shall say
What the unimaglned glories
Of the day?
What the evils that shall perish
In its ray?
Aid the drawing, tongue and pen;
Aid it, hopes of honest men;
Aid it, paper—aid it, type—■
Aid it, for the hour is ripe.
And our earnest must not slacken
Men of thought and men of action.
Clear the way!
Lo! a cloud’s about to vanish
From the day;
And the brazen wrong to crumble
Lo! the night’s about to conquer.
Clear the way!
With the Right shall many more
Enter smiling at the door;
With the giant wrong shall fall
Many others, great and small,
That for ages long have held us
For their prey.
Men of thought and men of action.
Clear the way!
Dr. Jeff D. Ray names the following
seven marks of a loyal church mem
ber: “(1) Regular attendance upon all
the meetings of the church. (2) Ear
nest, kindly, definite, persistent effort
to get others to go to church. (3) En
gaging heartily, cordially, and cheer
fully in the activities of the church.
(4) Not only a willingness, but a real
desire to bear a proportionate share
of the financial burden of the church.
(5) A private, domestic, social and
business life such as not to bring re
proach upon the earth. (6) A clear
understanding of the doctrines of the
church and a readiness, in the spirit
of Christ to explain, defend and prop
agate them. (7) Frequent and ear
nest prayer for the prosperity of the
AN UNFORTUNATE VACANCY.
Elizabeth, just six, had been going
to kindergarten and enjoyed very
much the little motion songs taught
there. She was very enthusiastic at
learning all the words, but one day
she realized that try as she might,
she could not make her voice harmon
ize with those of the other children.
Thoroughly disheartened, she ran
home to her mother and with a sigh,
“Oh, mamma, I don’t know what 1
shall do. I’m so full of words, but
so empty of tune.”