Facts Concerning the New Testament Church, a tract by P. H. Welshimer

24 page tract (as paginated by the publisher this count includes covers), stapled, 3 1/8 by 5 3/4 in.  Undated, this printing is no earlier than 1937 given the ad in the rear for Cecil James Sharp’s Personal Evangelism (1937).  Claude Spencer (Author Catalog) by 1946 knows of four printings of this tract, all with pictures of Bibles on the cover.  He doesn’t know of this printing, no. 3252.  The cost of this one, per hundred, is $2.50; it is significantly higher than the .75 per c of the ones Claude knows.  So, maybe even late 40’s?

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church front cover

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Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church ads 1

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church ads 2

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church back cover

Small Improprieties and Annoyances: A Quote Without Comment from Benjamin Franklin

J. A. Headington and Joseph Franklin. A Book of Gems, or Choice Selections from the Writings of Benjamin Franklin. St. Louis: John Burns, 1879, p. 409-410:

To pour the wine, or divide it into several cups, before thanks, at the Lord’s table.  We thank the Lord for the cup, and not cups.  Thanks should invariable be given for the one cup, while the wine is in the one cup.

For some one to start and push his way out through the assembly while an invitation is pending.  This is a most manifest impoliteness and disorder.

For some one that has eat about three dinners at once, to doze and nod in time of preaching, and in the midst of the exhortation, just when the preacher is trying to make an impression, to stretch his limbs, gape and crowd up to the pulpit, and get a drink to extinguish the fires burning within him.  This is ridiculous.

To see some great strapping saphead get up in the middle of a discourse, and go stamping out, thus interrupting the whole audience.  If these could see themselves as others see them, they would be very clear of showing themselves, as they frequently do.

To see a beautiful young lady sit in time of preaching, and then stand in time of invitation, with her mouth spread and a broad and supercilious grin upon her face.

To see some fellow draw his watch and snap it at the preacher, as he shuts down the case, as much as to say, “I consider it is time you would stop.” [410]

To see a lady sit and play with her infant, in time of preaching, laugh at its little pranks, and try to induce others around her also to laugh at them.

To see a lady get into a quarrel with her babe, in time pf preaching; slap it, jerk it, hold it, and this keep it squalling for about half an hour.  If the preacher can keep the thread of his discourse, in a case of that kind, he is a pretty good preacher.

To have some man standing near the preacher, in time of prayer, chewing an enormous quid of tobacco, and about once in half a minute, hear a large spoonful of the filthy spittle splash upon the floor.

The Church Revealed in the Scriptures, a broadside tract from Ozark Bible College, ca. 1942-1944

Ozark Bible College called Bentonville, Arkansas, home from 1942 to 1944. I suspect KC Ice picked up this broadside on one of his tours. He built his own travel trailer and with his 1933 Willys he pulled it hither and yon from Ohio to Florida to California, and back…more than once. Coming or going from central Ohio to California he no doubt pulled in to Bentonville and set up for the night.  If his stay there was anything like his ca. 1925 visit to David Lipscomb College in Nashville, Tennessee, he camped off to one side of the campus and spent a couple days visiting classes and chapel.  (At Lipscomb they called on him to lead prayer in chapel, which he did).  After spending a few days touring and talking he moved on. This newsprint sheet of slightly squattier dimensions than an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper was folded and added to a stack of other papers.  He brought it all home to keep and read and store and treasure and file away and reread someday. I keep it in one of my stacks of paper, with many others like it, to read and store and treasure and file away and reread someday.

For a bit more about Ozark Christian College, now located in Joplin, Missouri, click here.

Lining out the hymns

This clip illustrates the old-time practice of ‘lining out’ hymns.  Used in congregational singing in worship from the 17th century onward, it is still practiced in some quarters today.  The lyrics are on the YouTube page.

Henri on power, love and leadership

Yesterday Josh Graves posted on his blog this quote from Henri Nouwen:

One of the greatest ironies of the history of Christianity is that its leaders constantly gave in to the temptation of power—political power, military power, economic power, or moral and spiritual power—even though they continued to speak in the name of Jesus, who did not cling to power but emptied himself and became as we are. The temptation to consider power an apt instrument for the proclamation of the Gospel is the greatest of all. . . . What makes this temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life (In the Name of Jesus, 58-59).

I agree with Henri that power is an attractive and easy substitute for love.   It is easy, but I don’t think “ease” captures all that is at work here.  It is easy to substitute power for love because it is easy to get a big head.  Such is a peril of being in front, of being visible and noticed and lauded and applauded.  With a big head, folks get confused that leadership=power.   Power is easy and attractive because when it is all about me I must somehow maintain and enlarge this focus on myself to ensure that it remains all about me.   How do you maintain or enlarge focus on self?  Easy…you use power.  You leverage popularity (or at least visibility) into power.  It is a short slide from visibility to narcissism to power.  So begins the manipulation, scheming and conniving.  So begins the politics of self-preservation.

Love, on the other hand, says it is not all about me.  In fact, it is not about me at all…it is about you.  While power strives for the good of self, love seeks the good of another.  Henri’s theological point is well-put: Jesus did not cling to power but emptied himself.  The text underneath this is the hymn Paul quotes in Philippians 2.1-11.  Leaders who would be Christian will take seriously this truth not only in word but in deed. I commented on Josh’s post that what makes Henri’s quote all the more powerful (no pun intended) for me is that he turned his back on power for sake of those who in the eyes of this world have nothing to offer narcissistic people.  I find that truly powerful, and I respect it.