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[QUERY:What if health or weather hindered leaving the door open, and one were alone in a room with one of the opposite sex? Or what if it were in an office or room not under the control of the one who took the Vow?
ANSWER:Both of these and every other contingency are fully met by the words "so far as reasonably possible," and it is your own judgment that decides. It would not be reasonably possible for anyone to regulate an office or room that is only partly or not at all under his control.]
It is difficult to estimate the power of the human will. Apparently God has placed all the interests of the present life under the control of our wills, and, indeed, much of the success in respect to the future life is similarly under the control of our wills. Apparently the will, rightly exercised against sin, is invulnerable.
I don't want to wait another hour to register my Vow to the Lord. I am very sorry I waited this long. I am so glad it is not too late. I have hesitated because I was afraid I could not keep the Vow, and know it is worse to break than to pledge myself at all. Since praying and thinking it over I know that I can, with the help of our dear Master, live up to the Vow.
As God's children we are willing to do anything that will help us along the narrow way and bring us nearer to our heavenly Father, and this we know the Vow is doing. We cannot have too much of a good thing if we use it properly.
Beloved Brother in the Lord. It has taken considerable time, and a severe conflict with the old self, to reach the point of sending in my name as a signer and endorser of the Vow in all its particulars.
I must confess that I was somewhat opposed to the matter at the first. However, I prayed very earnestly for guidance and wisdom to decide the matter aright. Have just now finished a re-reading of it, and am wondering how I found any objection, for my heart and head both endorse in the fullest possible manner its every detail. Sister Kendall and I now feel convinced that our heavenly Father in his loving kindness has sent this Vow as a special safeguard to his children in this time of special need, and I have been prompt to send my name as soon as the matter was made plain to my mind. It will surely prove a source of great blessing to all the pure in heart. Doubtless it will sift out some who are not. 'Tis always so. Therefore, with greatly increased thankfulness to our loving heavenly Father for this further evidence of his care over us, and with renewed assurance, dear Brother, of our perfect confidence in your own Christian deportment and integrity, we gladly and solemnly and reverently register this Vow before "Our Father, which art in heaven," praying that he will enable us to keep it inviolate.
In making Pilgrim visits from place to place, I sometimes encounter opposition to the Vow, and to the publishing of names of those who have taken the Vow; and I have just had a letter from a brother who thinks Brother Russell is going too far, and that he feels that he must write Brother Russell in remonstrance. I have just replied to this letter as follows:
"I do not think you look at the Vow properly. If you could know what I do you would be heartily in favor of it. I think I have had a few friends tell me of their objections to the Vow, and in every instance I have been made to see that those who object to it need it much more than many of those who have taken it gladly and are praising God on account of it.
"In every instance of objection made to me, I have been able to see that there is a little false pride left, which is a good thing for Satan to work on, or else (this chiefly on the part of brethren) there is a natural propensity (and sometimes it has been cultivated) to associate too freely with the opposite sex. In either case the Vow would be a safeguard. As to the Vow being published I like this feature particularly. I want my wife and children to look at the Vow each day and say to each other, 'Papa is trying to live up to that Vow. The Lord keep him true to the end.' I hope my name will appear on a card and that my neighbors, not in the Truth, will read it when visiting my home. It may be they will catch the spirit of it and inquire of my wife, 'What is it your husband is preaching? What is this thing which leads you to make such sacrifices as you and the boys do, in remaining at home alone, weeks at a time, while your husband is visiting other parts of the country.'?
"Then why not register one and place it where it can be seen, that others may see what kind of standard we set in making our Vows? Then let us so live each day that those who read the Vow we have taken, will say, 'Those people not only register a Vow, but they keep it!'
"Thus we may please the Lord in fulfilling Matthew 5:16. Take the Vow, brother."
[We fully agree to the advantage of publishing the names of those who have taken the Vow. Nevertheless, let us exercise charity and patience toward all, the fearful and the weak included, and forego for a time at least our rights and privileges lest some should be stumbled. Once they realize that this Vow is now "meat in due season," intended of the Lord to stimulate his people spiritually and draw them closer to himself, we may reasonably expect that every truly consecrated brother and sister in the Truth will be anxious to join us in making this Vow unto the Lord, and in paying it faithfully in the presence of all the people.EDITOR.]