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"A prudent man foreseeth the evil,
and hideth himself."—Proverbs 22:3 .
LET NO one suppose that it will be possible to escape the difficulties and trials of the great Time of Trouble, whose shadow is now clouding the earth. The most and the best that could be hoped for in this direction would be an amelioration of the conditions by the exercise of that wisdom which cometh from Above, described by the Apostle, who says that it is "first pure, then peaceable, easy of entreatment, full of mercy and good fruits." To whatever extent any individual, anywhere, shall follow this prescription of Heavenly wisdom, to that extent we may be sure he will have God's favor. And that favor guarantees to the recipient that "all things shall work together for his good."
The most valuable lessons that any parent or counselor can give to those subject to his direction would be, first, the Golden Rule—inculcating absolute justice—nothing less; secondly, in addition to justice as represented by the Golden Rule, should be the lesson of mercy, compassion, sympathy, the spirit of helpfulness. The third lesson in the series should be meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering. The fourth lesson should be economy in everything—avoidance of waste—the realization that what he does not need, some one else does need.
In suggesting the foregoing lessons, we are presupposing a Christian basis—that our readers are themselves children of God, who have been feeding at the Lord's table upon spiritual, Heavenly food; and that they have been seeking to bless their families by training them in harmony with the Lord's Word.
For the dire distress which we see nearing, such character preparation is the best heritage that any parent could leave to his child. Bonds and stocks will be unavailable for food; bank accounts may become uncertain, and the possession of money may become a temptation to the vicious to rob and to murder; but a good character cannot be taken away. Its possession will give a measure of peace and security and confidence in the Lord that is beyond all price.
We recommend that none be urged unduly to make a full consecration of their hearts, their lives, their all, to the Lord and to His service. The lives of God's people should in every case be "living epistles, known and read of all men"—especially by their own families. Those lives should testify not only to the completeness of the consecration to the Lord, but also to the peace and joy and comfort resulting. "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; and be ye thankful." (Colossians 3:15.) Your [R5572 : page 334] being a living epistle, without a single word of exhortation, will be powerful in its lessons to all those directly under your influence. Additionally, at a suitable time, it would be proper to intimate to your family, friends and neighbors the comfort and joy, peace and blessing, which you have received through a full acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Message of His Word, and what pleasure it would be to you to see your dear ones similarly blessed, comforted and spiritually healed.
It is better, however, that your children and friends should refrain from any profession of consecration to the Lord which would be a mere hypocrisy. There are too many hypocritical professors already. They are doing harm to the Cause of Christ as well as harming themselves; for hypocrisy seems to be especially disdained of the Lord, and an insurmountable wall of hindrance to the hypocrite himself. Our influence, therefore, should always be on the side of honesty, not only in matters financial and social, but also, and particularly, in respect to God and religion.
The Apostle urges God's people to provide for their own—for their own families—their necessities, and He urges that such provision shall be honestly made—if not honestly, then not at all. Again he exhorts the Lord's people to "labor with their hands," that they may have to give to others who may be in need. These exhortations are not to be understood as recommendations to lay up earthly treasure—an earthly fortune. The Lord's people are to live in harmony with their faith—to lay up their treasure in Heaven. These suggestions, therefore, respecting temporalities, are not recommendations to hoard wealth, but merely to "use this world as not abusing it."
In harmony with the text at the head of this article, and in accordance with our views of the possibilities of the future, we have some recommendations to offer to our readers. While we are not certain that all the dire calamities of the Day of the Lord will befall the earth within the next eleven months, nevertheless, there seems to be a sufficient possibility of this to warrant us in making certain provisions against the distress of that time—in the interest of our families, our friends and our neighbors.
We recommend to those having dry, clean cellars, or other places suitable and well-ventilated, to lay in a good stock of life's necessities; for instance, a large supply of coal, of rice, dried peas, dried beans, rolled oats, wheat, barley, sugar, molasses, fish, etc. Have in mind the keeping qualities and nutritive values of foods—especially the fact that soups are economical and nourishing. Do not be afraid of having too much of such commodities as will keep well until the heat of next summer begins, even if it were necessary to sell then, at a loss, to prevent spoiling. Think of this hoard to eat, not too selfishly, but as being a provision for any who may be in need, and who, in the Lord's providence, may come your way—"that you may have to give to those who lack."—Eph. 4:28.
Do not sound a trumpet before you, telling of your provisions, intentions, etc. "Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God." Only your own family should know of this storing of food, and they should be under strict injunctions not to tell it to others. At most, suggest to your friends or neighbors the wisdom of keeping a stock of staple foods ahead in view of the possibilities of storms and strikes, etc., during the winter. Do not attempt to go into too great details respecting the Time of Trouble; for the majority of people are blind and deaf anyway on this subject.
Do not make these purchases on credit if you have not the money. Leave the matter, and exercise the more faith; but remember that the Golden Rule is the very lowest standard that can be recognized by the Lord's people and that it comes in advance of any kind of charity.
We thank Thee, Lord, for raiment, and we thank Thee for
We thank Thee for our shelter, O, Thou Giver of All Good;
We thank Thee for the day on which our eyes first saw the light,
We give Thee thanks for every sense, for hearing and for sight.
We thank Thee for the sunshine, and we thank Thee for the
We thank Thee for the pleasure and we thank Thee for the pain.
We thank Thee for the friends we've won, and for the friends we've lost,
We thank Thee for the heart-aches which these separations cost.
We thank Thee for the tender love which makes us clearly see
That every severed heart-string hath but drawn us nearer Thee.
We thank Thee for forgiveness when we fail in word or deed,
We praise Thee for sufficient grace in every time of need.
We thank Thee, blessed Father, for the gift of Thy dear Son,
We thank Thee and we praise Thee for the victory He won.
We thank Thee for His righteousness, His robe so pure and white,
We praise Thee that, when clothed in it, we're blameless in Thy sight.
We thank Thee, oh, we praise Thee for Thy good and precious
We bless Thee for the wondrous faith its promises have stirred.
We thank Thee for the glorious Hope of Immortality—
Our hearts are longing, Lord, with Thee to dwell eternally!
We thank Thee for "That Servant," for the love of each dear
We bless Thee for their fellowship when heart and strength grow faint.
And thus we give Thee thanks, dear Lord, for each and every thing,
And pray that Thou wilt keep us safe beneath Thy sheltering wing!
Oct. 24, 1914. GERTRUDE W. SEIBERT.