Everywhere the knowledge of the love of God and the grandeur of his plans seems to be spreading and deepening among his truly consecrated children. We think we rightly express the causes of its spread, when we say that not only has increase of civilization been gradually preparing mankind for a less heathenish understanding of the teachings of God's Word; but, as we recently informed a Methodist minister—all of our people are preachers, from the least to the greatest of them. They make the preaching of the "glad tidings" the chief business of life—all other business being considered secondary. Women as well as men, each according to his or her ability, preach Christ and him crucified, and the blessed results accruing to every man, for whom he died. Their preaching, though often in a humble way, shows the inestimable value of the ransom from death, far better than the flowery essays of three-fourths of the "clergy." We preach because we cannot keep the glorious news. It fires our own hearts with so much love and praise to our great God of love, that we must tell it.
On the other hand, those who preach the bad tidings of everlasting misery to the race in general, can only be induced to do it by larger salaries than they could otherwise make with the same outlay of service.
We hope we did not overstate the matter when we said that all who believe "this way" make preaching the chief object of life—preaching by [R335 : page 1] word, preaching by letter, preaching by dress, and manner, and looks, and deeds. We know that as we were "all called in one hope," so we were all given the same commission: "Go ye into all the world and preach this glad tidings to every creature." We were all anointed by the same spirit, for the same work as our Head—"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the glad tidings to the meek." (Isa. 61:1.)
The glad tidings we preach is, that Jesus hath died, and there is remission; that Him hath God highly exalted "to be a PRINCE and a SAVIOUR"; and that this Prince and Saviour whose kingdom and work are soon to be recognized over all the earth, has all power in heaven and earth. He will, during his reign, exalt the meek, and bless the world by saving it out of death and sin. It is a message so grand that its opponents dare never state it fairly, lest all the world might see that, truly, "God is love"—that God's ways are not as men's ways, nor his thoughts (plans) as theirs.
Neither need you fear the influence of truth upon the worldly minded. Some delight to tell of God's plan to His children, but fear to mention it to worldly people, lest they, being freed from the fear of eternal torment, might be made worse. We believe that these things are mainly due to the saints, but have no fear of injuring any class with the truth. In the first place, people don't believe in such a place, and are seldom restrained by it. Secondly, the reason so few, except Sunday School children, become Christians now, is because they see through the shallowness of the teachings of the sects, much better than the unthinking members of those sects. They see that to claim that God possessed all WISDOM, all POWER, and all LOVE, and also to claim that nine-tenths of the race (or even one -tenth) will to all eternity wail in agony and anguish beyond all reach of God's WISDOM, POWER, and LOVE, is not only contradictory, but extremely absurd. The very thing that such need, is a glimpse at the real plan, and perfect harmony now unfolding from the Word of God. In fact, this is the only thing which can set at rest a reasonable and reasoning mind. God wants us to use our reason, and says, "Come, let us reason together."
An illustration of what we here mention occurred in this city, which we will relate. A Christian mother who had been attending our meetings and had become interested, had a son who felt little interest in Christianity. The mother endeavored to conceal from her son one of our pamphlets, which she had been reading; to her surprise and alarm, she one day found him reading it. She feared that if he got an idea that eternal torment was not a doctrine of the Scriptures, it might make him yet more careless of religion. Judge of her surprise when he remarked that this book was the most sensible thing he had ever read, and if that is what the Bible teaches, he thought he would like to be a Christian.
Again, remember the effect of these "glad tidings" upon your own heart, when first you came to KNOW the Lord in his true character of love; when first you tasted that the Lord was gracious. Then neither be ashamed of it, nor fear its effects. Truth cannot produce bad effects, as a good tree cannot bear bad fruit.
As seen from the WATCH TOWER, a book setting forth our present positions is needed, and will be ready as soon as possible. See notice of "Millennial Day Dawn," in another column. The announcement of the "Emphatic Diaglott," in this paper, at about one-third the regular price, will gladden some who need and desire this valuable work, but have been deterred from its purchase heretofore by reason of its cost.
The public laborers generally report progress. Meetings are being held in various localities. Bro. A. D. Jones is now giving a series of discourses in Newark, N.J., and is arranging for the same in New York City and in Brooklyn—The "Day Star" shines brightly and increasingly. Bro. Tackabury will travel some through western New York, holding meetings, commencing this month. We may also count among the public preachers Bro. Graves, who for many years has been not only a "commercial traveler," but a railroad train preacher and tract distributor. He is rejoicing in the shining present truth, and has done good in preaching it, distributing "Food" during the past six months. Bro. Boyer will, for the present, remain in Pittsburgh, where he will do some mission work among his numerous friends and former co-laborers in the temperance work, meantime giving much time to the study of the Word which is able to make us wise; preparing himself thus for more public work.
Bro. Keith, after having spent a pleasant and, we trust, profitable time with the saints at Lynn, Newark, and Chambersburg, and visited us at Pittsburgh a few days, started west for Elyria and Norwalk, O., Argos, Ind., and sundry towns in Mich. We are requested to announce his coming to the following places at the dates specified, where he will be happy to meet and commune with those joint-heirs who "seek for glory, honor, and immortality." He will be in season, for meetings on the dates below specified.
Bro. K. will be in season to commemorate our passover Lamb's death with the Buchanan friends on Sunday night, April 2d. May the Lord bless and prosper his visit among you and cause that it work for your nourishment in spiritual things—your growth in grace, knowledge, and faith. We pray similar blessings upon the labors of the other brethren mentioned, as well as upon others who publicly minister, and upon the thousands who are in a more private way, as "living epistles" letting their light so shine as to glorify their Father in heaven.
We have many inquiries from England, relative to preaching—if there are among those interested in these things there, some who can declare them publicly, they have a great and grand field. Let us hear from you. Some one or two should be in London.