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The Clarion Herald

    "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you", (Jas. 4:8).
    Someone has said that: "To praise God for His mercies, is the way to increase them; and to bless him for miseries, is the way to remove them". Nothing can harm a Christian, but sin; and nothing can save a sinner but Christ.
    When God created man He placed him near unto Himself; but when man sinned he fell far away from the Divine presence. Sin turned the heart of man to enmity against God, blocked up the way to heaven, and opened the Gates of death, (Rom. 8:7; 5:12). But no one need despair. In Jesus Christ, God came to reconcile us unto Himself -- not imputing unto us our many trespasses. Having laid our iniquities on His own dear Son, God has reconciled us unto Himself through Jesus Christ. What was lost to mankind, in the first Adam, has been redeemed by the second Adam --- the "Lord from heaven". Though, by nature, all are spiritually "dead in trespasses and sin", whoever believes on the Son of God comes into the possession of LIFE; by faith that life is retained forevermore (Jn. 3:l8,36).
    It is now the privilege and duty

of every child of God to "draw nigh to God", by Jesus Christ -- to come near with all the confidence that a beloved child approaches a kind and indulgent father. God is well pleased with us IN HIS SON Who has: settled all disputes, paid all our debts, mended the breach between us and our Heavenly Father, and purchased our salvation with His own precious blood.
    However far you may have fallen, as a child of God, the merciful Father is patiently, lovingly awaiting your return. Cast yourself at His feet, and you shall soon know the blessed joy of His favor. If you have wandered afar, then it is most important that you RETURN WITHOUT DELAY! Be assured that if you will draw near to God in faithful, fervent prayer, in the way of duty; He will draw near to you in the way of MERCY! There's danger, ruin and eternal loss in delay.
Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy
Draw me, My Saviour, so precious
    Thou art;
Fold me, 0 fold me close to Thy
Shelter me safe in that haven of
-- Mrs. C. H. Morris

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

    It will be this Editor's privilege to spend the week of August 6 through 12 with Pastor Homer Bryan and the Clear Lake Missionary Baptist Church of Pioneer, Louisiana. It is my understanding that we will be having both morning and evening services throughout the week.
    On Friday, August 10 brethren are invited to share a whole day of Fellowship around the Word of God. It is hoped that brethren will come from far and near to share in this experience. Then, on Friday evening, Bro. Bryan will be ordained to the full work of the ministry.
    The folk at Clear Lake are in the process of building a parsonage for their new pastor on a pay as you go basis. This week the roof is going up, and it is hopeful that the Pastor and family will be able to move into it sometime in the early Fall.
    If at all possible, make plans NOW to share our spiritual blessings at Clear Lake in early August.


    It has been almost two weeks since I heard from Bro. McCoy, but at that time the transportation fund for Bro. Sullivan stood at approximately $675. This is considerably SHORT of what is necessary to get his family back to Japan -- much less settled on the field in Okinawa. May the Lord lay on the hearts of many of his servants a desire to share in the establishment of this new mission work by making an early contribution to this fund. But, HURRY! The Sullivan's have scheduled a flight back to Japan in approximately TWO MORE MONTHS.
    Send your offering: c/o Pastor James A. McCoy, Route 4, Greencastle, Indiana 46135.
    Bro. Michael Rogers reports that the fund established by Union Hill MBC for the purpose of purchasing a means of transportation for the Ed Potter Family, in Brazil, stands at approximately $2,250. This is considerably short of what they had hoped to raise by this month. But, since offerings have begun to come in much faster during the past few weeks, they now plan to extend the time for a couple more months before forwarding the fund to Bro. Potter.
    Send your offering for this fund to: Pastor Michael E. Rogers, Route 2, Box 209, Bradford, Arkansas 72020.
    Neither of these churches want YOU to neglect your local church &
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    "If any man will DO HIS WILL, he shall know the doctrine", (Jn. 7:17). This appears to be a general principle expressed by our Lord with regard to spiritual progress -- both of experience and understanding. One of God's basic requirements is a heart that is WILLING TO DO His will.
    Though there are a great many who hold what they call "strong convictions" on various "doctrines" it seems to have little effect on their LIVING. The courage to FOLLOW THROUGH on what one believes to be right is a scarce quality -- even among professed Christians and Gospel preachers.
    This is why my heart rejoiced recently when Bro. Melvin Gray called to say that -- having seriously and unsuccessfully searched for evidence of proper authority behind his own initial baptism -- he had asked the Mt. Hebron Baptist Church of Lancaster, Kentucky, to "re-baptize" him. Such a step, by one who has been in the ministry, served as a spiritual leader in New Testament churches, and strongly advocated the necessity of "church authority" is deeply humiliating -- requiring a vast amount of Divine Grace.
    Knowing full well that such an act would be costly -- raising the eyebrows of many brethren, providing more questions than he could ever hope to answer to the satisfaction of his critics, and, perhaps drawing fiery darts of slander and reproach from others who ought to follow in his footsteps -- Bro. Gray has unflinchingly taken this

crucial step BECAUSE HE IS CONVINCED IT IS RIGHT!! He has proved himself a man with the COURAGE OF GENUINE CONVICTION! In doing so, he stands a foot taller in my eyes!
    One may proudly and self-righteously advocate, and even defend, the principle of "church authority" -- simply because the arguments once presented forced him to give MENTAL ASSENT. Even this truth may be "held in unrighteousness" -- as a mere "doctrine" before whose righteous demands its advocate has not ACTUALLY yielded himself. The ingredients of haughtiness, pride & hypocrisy cannot possibly be blended in such a manner as to constitute "spirituality"; nor will they ever receive God's approval.      To theorize about WHY God waited so long about effectively stirring Bro. Gray's heart to consider this matter is beyond the legitimate bounds of human investigation. I will not, therefore, presume to enter into it. But, I would not hesitate to suggest that it should shake the very foundation of such as sit loosely on the divine order of a New Testament church IN PRACTICE -- however zealously they may theorize about it, or even cherish it as a "doctrine" to be taught.      It is my understanding that Mt, Hebron Church has voted to retain Bro. Gray as their pastor and to re-ordain him -- following the New Testament order. Both pastor and people are to be commended for the mature way in which they have handled a mutually-humiliating situation. May the Lord prosper their labors together in the future!
Eugene Garner

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    PROGRESS REPORT.....Continued

its obligations. But both are offering an unusual opportunity for the kind of investment that will pay rich, and eternal, dividends.
    Why not get in on it before you FORGET AGAIN.          E.G.

When sorrow comes, as come it must,
In God a man must place his trust.
There is no power in mortal speech
The anguish of his soul to reach.
No voice, however sweet and low,
Can comfort him or ease the blow.

He cannot from his followmen
Take strength that will sustain
    him then.
With all that kindly hands will do,
And all that love may offer, too,
HE must believe throughout the test
That God has willed it for the best.

We who would be his friends are
Words from our lips but feebly come
We feel, as we extend our hands,
That one Power only understands
And truly knows the reason why,
So beautiful a soul must die.

We realize how helpless then
Are all the gifts of mortal men.
Nor words which we have power to
Can take the sting of grief away --
That Power which marks the spar-
    row's fall
Must comfort and sustain us all.

When sorrow comes, as come it must,
In God a man must place his trust.
With all the wealth which he may
He cannot meet the test alone,
And only he may stand serene
Who has a faith on which to lean.
-- Edgar P. Guest
What is YOUR relationship to God? ARE YOU PREPARED TO MEET HIM?