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The Primitive Christian — Offering #13

ANNUAL MEETING FOR 1882.

The work of this meeting is now past, and it will affect the general brotherhood much the same as former meetings have done.  Some will be pleased and some disappointed.  The subjects of the most vital interest, before the meeting were, first,

The Confirming of the Berlin Committee.

On the disposal of this subject, we felt depended important issues and in our judgment thought that their decision should not be confirmed.  Our reasons, in part, we gave a few weeks ago.  We entertain the same opinion still, but as A. M. decided otherwise, we have submitted our judgment with the hope that God will, in his own good way, overrule all things for the best.  We also hope that all who feel as we do, in regard to this decision, will exercise discretion and do nothing rashly.  There is nothing gained by hasty action, and it is possible that what we think to be wrong may turn out to be right in the end.  By patiently waiting and acting judiciously, God's will will be made manifest and the right become clearly apparent.

Our differences are much more matters of opinion than principle, and as we are largely creatures of circumstances, we must, to fulfil the divine law, exercise a great deal of charity towards those who differ from us.  A seperation of intimate church relations, to us, is sad indeed, and we have no doubt but that all of us entertain the same feelings in this respect and therefore, should be willing to make large sacrifices before deciding to seperate.  But if seperation must come, then let the different parties try to excel each other in manifesting the spirit of Christ.  Let us all make Him our motto, our example.  If we are "old order" let us pray and work that we may be like Christ, and if we are "conservative" or "progressive" let us do the same, and then, if we are all honest, and the old theorim is correct when two or more things are like the same thing they are unequal to, or like each other," we will soon come together again.  Our great hope for the future good of the church is anchored on reconciliation and for this we exhort all of our dear brethren and sisters to work and pray.

mandatory decisions.

The next important work of the meeting was in making her future decisions mandatory.  This is one of the greatest changes that A. M. has ever made and unless it is prayerfully and conscientiously guarded, great harm may result from it.  A very essential attachment has been added to it, and that is, no decision shall be made unless based on scripture, and scriptural referencesgiven.  If this is truly done no harm can result from it as we look upon all scriptural injunctions as mandatory and should be obeyed.  The danger lies in the misapplication of scripture.  Some people have scripture for anything and everything, and are never in want for a scriptural reference.  If they stand opposed to schools, Sunday schools, series of meetings, missionary work, &c., "Be ye not conformed to the world," is just the thing and suits the cases exactly, but if these same parties happen to have fine houses and barns, nice buggies and harness, or if it is profitable to raise tobacco, or smoke and chew it, or in short, do as the world does in all these things, the above quotation is not at all relevant.  This indiscriminate use of scriptural quotations will prove ruinous to our church government and a by-word to all right thinking people.  A thousand times better [to] have no references at all, then to wrest scriptures from their true meaning to carry out our selfish views.  If this tendency and disposition is avoided we can see no special danger in having our decisions considered mandatory.

consolidation.

The third important move before the meeting was the consolidation of our papers.  Our remarks some time ago under the head, "Consolidation of our church papers," expressed our views on the subject and therefore shall not repeat.  The desire for consolidation seemed to be very general, while a small number were favorable to the church buying out the present publishers and then run regular church paper.  This, however, did not meet with much favor, and after some discussion, a proposition made by us and the publishers of the Brethren at Work on consolidation was accepted by the meeting but before it was confirmed, the question was sprung, whether we should have but one paper, or whether there should be two, one East and one West.  To decide this a committee of five were appointed to meet and confer with the publishers in regard to it.  The committee met and rendered the following decision.

report.

We the Committee appointed by Annual Meeting to confer with the publishers of the consolidated papers, recommend that for the present the firms continue the publication of two papers.  In the meanwhile the publishers shall ascertain the sentiment of the Brotherhood in regard to having one paper.

John Forney,

B. F. Moomaw,

S. P. Ebersole,

Daniel Vaniman,

Christian Bucher.

This closed the consolidation matter, a full account of which will be given in the Report.

The arrangements made for the accommodation of the meeting were very complete and the brethren that were in charge are worthy of praise for the very efficient manner in which they handled the monstrous concern.  The location in point of adaptability and convenience, was all that could be desired.  The table comforts were ample for the occasion and the water supply was abundant and very good.  The railroad facilities were just a little too good, as the nearness of the trains to the grounds somewhat annoyed the meeting.  The campus should not be located quite so near to the railroad as the approaching of trains will always cause more or less disturbance.

There are many other things that we feel like saying, had we the room to do so, but we close by tendering our thanks to our brethren and sisters for the kindly spirit exercised towards us, for their encouragement in our work and general good will manifested.  Our special thanks are due to the Leslie family, whose home we so much enjoyed during the meeting, and brother Shively for the use of his tent as our business headquarters.  We shall also remember the pleasant night spent with brother Arnold before leaving.  Indeed, we had so many favors shown us that we have not words to express our gratitude to all.  The social aspect of the meeting was a grand success and many will look back to the time spent at "Arnold" with pleasure and, we hope, with profit.  We wish that all could do so.  H. B. B. [Henry Boyer Brumbaugh]

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