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    To have brethren come our way, year after year, to share a time of fellowship in the Gospel is a tremendous blessing to us. We welcome you once more -- praying that the meeting this year will prove to be a blessed experience for all.
    Though anticipating a smaller attendance than in some past years we anticipate a series of services in which the love of Christ, and a spirit of unity, will prevail.
    We anticipate having a number of young people in attendance -- including some who are young in the ministry. We hope to have them participate in the services. It is no secret that this pastor has always had a warm place in his heart for young people who are desirous of living and ministering to the glory of the living Christ. The fact that his love has sometimes been frustrated in this has not made him any less concerned. Setting our hearts and minds on Christ, and desiring that His name be exalted so that others may see and desire Him through these services, we may be assured of His presence, power and blessings. May His name truly be praised!!
-- Eugene L. Garner

(A Study in Ruth 4)

    Awakened at midnight, and startled to find a woman lying at his feet, Boaz has inquired as to her identity and purpose there. He is surprised at the answer: "I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman". He immediately recognizes this as a proposal of marriage -- a plea that he might grant to her the protection of his house.
    The gracious response of Boaz was not only a tribute to Ruth's virtue; it also reveals the true nobility of his own character. He comforts her, praises her, and admits his kinship. But there is a "nearer kinsman"; he must first be given opportunity to redeem the inheritance of Elimelech. If he will not do so, Boaz assuredly will. She is, thus, sent home to Naomi with six measures of barley. And the mother-in-law advises: "Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not rest, until he have finished the thing THIS DAY".
    Boaz proved himself as energetic in his deeds as he had shown himself kind in his speech. Early in

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

the morning he seated himself at the city gate -- where legal and judicial business was transacted. Seeing the nearer kinsman passing, he called to him: "Ho, such a one! Turn aside, sit down here". Boaz brought ten elders of the city and asked that they sit down. He would lose no time in settling the matter of redeeming Elimelech's inheritance.
    To the near kinsman Boaz stated the nature of his business. Boaz has thought it proper to "uncover his ear" -- to make certain that he is aware of his opportunity to redeem the inheritance of his brother. He asks the kinsman, in the presence of these witnesses, to declare whether he is willing to redeem the inheritance. If the nearer kinsman is not willing to do so, then Boaz will do it himself. The kinsman, familiar with the law of the "goel", expressed a willingness to redeem the land -- believing that upon the death of Naomi it would be his perpetually.

    But Boaz had not finished; in a sense he was being merciful to the kinsman in giving him the story a piece at a time. This redemption would involve more than the aged Naomi; any good businessman would jump at such an opportunity. But the field must also be bought at the hand of Ruth, the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon -- Elimelech's son. Whoever redeems the inheritance of Elimelech must marry Ruth "to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance".
    Hearing of the Moabitess widow, the nearer kinsman immediately declared "I cannot redeem it for myself". He, obviously, feared that to do so would mar his own inheritance. It is not that he questioned Ruth's rights. He may have been superstitious concerning what had happened to Mahlon. Such superstition was nothing new among the Jews -- Judah having been hesitant to give his third son to the same woman (Gen. 38).
    The refusal of the nearer kinsman appears to have been rooted in his devotion to the LETTER of the law which forbad marriage to a foreigner. He saw the formal decree, but knew nothing of the spirit of love by which it was animated. In his anxiety concerning the lower element of the law he overlooked its higher duty. He saw only Moab; whereas Ruth has taken refuge under the wings of the GOD OF ISRAEL. Unwilling to endanger his good name and inheritance history does not even know his name. While the guilt of Elimelech and his sons is removed through the love of Ruth (so

that their names survive), His lovelessness is visited by namelessness. Herein is a great lesson. Divine honor is bestowed upon love; terrible punishment awaits the superstitious legalism of the Pharisee.
    Once the unnamed kinsman gave his consent for Boaz to redeem the inheritance Boaz declared himself both able and delighted. Nor did he waste any time about sealing the agreement to redeem the inheritance for himself.
    In Judah there was a strange symbol attesting such an exchange of rights and property, (vs. 7-8). The "shoe" suggests movement and wandering (Ex. l2:ll; Deut. 29:5), but also symbolized the right of possession and rest (Psa. 60:6-8; 108:7-l3). Suggesting reinstatement in a lost inheritance, the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:22) has shoes put on his feet by the waiting Father. And Christ's redeemed ones are commanded to have their feet "shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace", (Eph.6:15). In passing his shoe to Boaz, the near kinsman surrendered all claim to the right of possession over Elimelech's inheritance -- a possession that would have been his had he been willing to meet the conditions of redemption.
    Boaz calls the elders to bear witness that he is purchasing all that belonged to Elimelech, Chilion and Mahlon "of the hand of Naomi". He is, moreover, purchasing Ruth, the Moabitess widow of Mahlon, who will be his wife. Through her he will attempt to raise up the name of Mahlon -- that his name not be cut off. The firstborn son of this

marriage will he considered as Mahlon's -- to carry on the family name. To him will also belong the inheritance that Boaz has redeemed. And Boaz is taking this woman -- not merely for himself, but for God. He does not take her merely to fulfil the desires of the law, but to fulfil the righteousness of the law. He is more inflamed by conscience than by passion; though old in years, he is young in faith.
    Everyone present was impressed by the noble gesture of Boaz, and pronounced their blessing on this union. They hope that at least 12 sons may come to this marriage, and they desire for Boaz prosperity and power in Ephratha and Bethlehem. They express their desire that his house may be like that of Perez "whom Tamar bare unto Judah".
    Boaz was descended from Perez, the son of Tamar. His life bare eloquent testimony that nobility and honor are not limited to the well-born, but that they come from a heart that is right toward God. Though his genealogy gave no basis for boasting his life was a glowing example of "faith which worketh by love". By his generosity both Ruth and Naomi are freed from poverty and given protection; and the house of Elimelech is preserved in Judah.
(Final installment - next issue)

    Carelessness on the part of readers who move without notifying us in advance, and the unfair advantage taken by the Postal Service -- in returning as many as 3 papers (75 Cents), from one address, in a two-

week period -- is becoming an unbearable burden.
    We want the CLARION- HERALD to go wherever it is welcome, and do not regret the cost of getting it to you. But this added expense is SO UNNECESSARY!
    Will you HELP by informing us IN ADVANCE when you plan a move? Otherwise we will have no choice to conclude that you do not value this ministry high enough to justify our continued effort to reach you with it.
-- the Editor


'Tis a pleasant thing to see
Brethren in the Lord agree,
Children of the God of love
Live as they shall live above,
Acting each a Christian part,
One in lip, and one in heart.
As the precious ointment, shed
Upon Aaron's hallowed head,
Downward through his garments stole,
Spreading odor o'er the whole;
So from our High Priest above
To His church flows heavenly love.
Gently as the dews distill
Down on Zion's holy hill,
Dropping gladness where they fall,
Brightening and refreshing all;
Such in Christian union, shed
Through the members from the Head.
Where divine affection lives,
There the Lord His blessing gives,
There His will on earth is done;
There His heaven is half begun.
Lord, our great example prove,
Teach us all like Thee TO LOVE!
-- H. F. Lyte

    A note from Bro. Ed Potter informs us of their December 2 departure, from New York, for Portugal and the Madeira's.
    Though Bro. Potter is no longer working under the sponsorship of Landmark Church, and though he has accepted some doctrinal positions contrary to what we believe and teach, we pray that God will open before him an effective door of utterance -- enabling him to exalt the name of Jesus.           E.G.