The Mansfield News, January 28, 1912


Singapore, Jan. 28 Pastor Russell's text for today was, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted of Him." Acts 10:34, 35 A report of his address follows:

Never before have I seen so cosmopolitan a city as Singapore. The swarms of Chinese, Malays, Hindoos, Japanese, Siamese, Singhalese, Burmese, Afghans, Madrassi, Tamils and many other nationalities are here interspersed by representatives of practically every nation in the world. Henceforth New York City must in my mind take second place as respects cosmopolitan population. The sight of these commingled peoples, only a few of which know of, worship, or in any wise acknowledge "the Only" [HGL528] "True God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent," stirs my heart, and my head as well. My head inquires respecting God's provision for the three-fourths of humanity who have never heard of Him and the salvation which He has provided in Christ.

We recognize the clear statements of the apostle that "Without faith in is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11:6); and "How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?" (Rom. 10:14) and also the commission: "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness, and then shall the end come". (Matt. 24:14) Properly enough we ask, What kind of an end is coming, and what will it mean to the twelve hundred millions who know not God and to the thousands of millions of their ancestors similarly ignorant of Him?


A considerable class of very good people by their creeds tell us that if God had foreordained the heathen to salvation He would have seen to it that the Gospel would be preached to them; and that their not hearing the Gospel signifies that God "passed them by" as "non-elect;" that the "elect" are to be found only amongst those who have been favored of God and who accept that favor and are "sanctified by the truth" and "made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." Col. 1:12.

Another class of people by their creeds, which no longer truly represent them, tell us that they believe as above, only that they add another condition, namely, that "the elect," in order to be of the "elect," must be brought to a knowledge of water baptism complete immersion, and must obey this teaching.

Another theory held denies that there is any "election" in respect to the matter, and denies that any particular amount of water is necessary, although it does recommend a little. This theory declares God's love for the heathen, but says that He made faith in Jesus' sacrificial death a condition of salvation and that the responsibility for the heathen's not knowing, and consequently their going to eternal torment, rests with Christians themselves. They say that God did His part in providing the Savior and that the carrying of this knowledge is wholly dependent upon Christians. One would think that with this view few Christians would be able to sleep a single night after once assenting to such a responsibility and realizing how little they have done have been able to do to meet the responsibility.

Some dear people, holding the views mentioned, have started a "Men and Religion Forward Movement." They propose to use about two million dollars in starting the movement and thereby to collect a fund of thirty million dollars (six million pounds). Dear people! How I love them for their zeal, even though it be as the apostle said- "not according to knowledge." Rom. 10:2

If they could stand in Singapore's streets and journey with us a little the eyes of their understanding would be opened. They would begin to figure out that the sum they expect to spend in converting the world is little over half a penny per soul! They must indeed think the heathen cheap when they reflect that the estimates on the work of the Rev. Billy Sunday a year after his meetings show a cost of about six hundred dollars per soul, with doubts entertained respecting the saintship of even these. The United States government statistics show that a century ago the heathens numbered six hundred millions and that today the number is double that, namely, twelve hundred millions.


Some, repudiating the creeds of the past as no longer tenable, fault the Bible with being the basis for those creeds and throw it away with the creeds. These are becoming agnostics, higher critics, evolutionists, spiritists, etc. And because of their worldly wisdom and social standing these higher critics are rapidly undermining all faith in the Bible as an inspired message from God to His people. They are adrift, some sailing in one direction and some in another they have lost their chart of the ages and the great compass of Divine truth in the depths of the sea of human wisdom, which, from the Divine standpoint, is declared to be foolishness. Let us not take their course.

Let us, on the contrary, declare that the difficulty with the creeds of the past has been that they divided up the Word of God amongst them, and that each creed has a certain amount of gold as well as a large accumulation of dross. It would be too serious an undertaking for finites to put all the creeds into a crucible and separate the gold from the dross. Let us take the easier, the simpler method, to which all Christian people should be willing to accede, namely: to wholly cast aside our creeds and go back to the Word of God to the Bible to the utterances of Jesus and His apostles and prophets. Thus doing, many will find to their surprise that, while the creeds have gathered precious jewels of truth from the Bible, they have given these false settings by which they misrepresent the truth which they profess to illuminate.

St. Paul's declaration is that the Word of God is sufficient that the man of God may be fully furnished. (2 Tim. 3:17) His further suggestion is that we "rightly divide the Word of Truth" and that "it is able to make us wise unto salvation." Let us follow this course and allow God's Word to be its own interpreter allow one passage to throw light upon another; and let us reject none of the Divine testimony.

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