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By REV. L. W. GOSNIiLL
Assisiant Dean. Moody 13:ble
TEXT-I beseech thee for my son One
The epistle of Philemon was written
nn<!i.;. most interesting circumstances.
_lis recipient, a
in Colusse, was
master o? a slave
w ii ? c h means
the slave In ques
tion had boen far
Indeed it seems
he had stolen
mouey and run
off 1" Borne, the
haunt of thieves
and criminals of
all sorts. Here lie
came into contact
with Paul, who
was imprisoned, and was led to faith
in Christ. He endeared himself to the
apostle by ministering to him in his
bonds, a service for which his training
as a slave peculiarly fitted bim. Yet
the time came when Paul felt be
should send him back to his owner, the
Christian Philemon. But ito places in
his hands tho letter with which all the
world has become familiar, in order to
tnpure him a kindly reception as a
Christian brother, in spite of hie past
defections. Erasmus said of this let
Hr, "Cicero never wrote with greater
eloquence." and Kenan declared that it
11 "a small but true masterpiece of the
tai of letter writing."
We will not deal at this time with
the marvelous tact exhibited by Paul
in appealing to Philemon on behalf of
Onesimus, but confine ourselves to the
terms used by the apostle in .speaking
ol the slave whom he is sending home.
It will help us to appreciate these
terms if we remind ourselves that, in
Paul's day, slaves were looked on as
"things" rather than men. Wealthy
?nen sometimes owned ns many as 10,
000 or 20,000, and a couple of hundred
in a family was common. In tho time
of Augustus 400 slaves were put to
death because their master had been
murdered, presumably by one of them.
How remarkable, then, the expres
sion Paul uses, "?ly sou Onesimus
whom I have begotten in my bonds."
He calli the thief Ins son ! Again be
refers to him as "my very heart" (v.
12 B. V.) and says, "If thou count me
therefore a partner, receive him as my
self (v. 17). Anything winch could
make a Pharisee talk so about a slave
ls certainly worthy of consideration
and the wonder of il is increased as
we recall that Paul was a Roman citi
Again, as if punning on Onesimus'
name, he says that lie was in time
past "in thee unprofitable, but now
profitable to thee and to me." What
was this power thal had taken Onesi
mus out of tile refuse heap of society
and made him useful to all to whom
he was related? Voltaire said, "Phil
osophy does not concern Itself with
comin*n minds. We have never under
taken to enlighten cobblers and maid
servants. We have that to tipos!les.4
Turning Point for John B. Gough.
Well, fortunately, the apostles know
a power, eveu tho gospel which is unto
salvation to every one who believes.
We wonder what Voltaire could have
done for Onesimus, or to come lo mod
ern times, for John B. Gough? Gough
once Jay in the gutter, drunk, willi the
noonday Min pouring down ou his face.
A good woman passed by and in com
passion threw her handkerchief over
his bloated face lo protect it. Whoa
he awoke lie fourni Hie dainty hand
kerchief ami was greatly moved. Said
he. "I am deep enough down. God
knows, hut some one lias thought inc
worth pitying, and ii' I am worth pity
ing, I a;n worth saving." Ii was the
turning point in his life, and that ho
became "profitable" needs no demon
Finally Paul bids Philemon receive
this man, "not now ?s a servant, but
above a servant, a brother beloved,
specially to me, but how much more ;
unto thee, both In Hie flesh and in tho !
Lord." As one luis [?it it, "In tho flesh
Philemon had the brother for his
slave; in the Bord Philemon had the
slave for his brother." We need not j
urge that a gospel which made master ?
and slave brethren sounded the death
knell of slavery.
. First Christianizes-Then Civilize.
? We hear much today of social re
form, but forget sometimes that "the :
soul of improvement is the improve
ment of the soul." Would that we
might learn from the story of Onesi
mus this truth, which nil the Christian
eenturles illustrate. The history of
missions in Greenland Is a typical one. ,
Hans Egedo went out first and labored
faithfully on the theory that we should
first civilize, then Christianize. But lie
finally gave up his task as hopeless. Ile j
was followed by John Bick, who re
versed the process and found the se
cret of success. From his lips a sav
age named Kajarnak heard the story
of Christ's agony in Hie garden. It
melted his heart and lie went out with
flowing eyes and Irresistible pathos to
tell his countrymen the story of Hie
Oros.?. ITo does most for social reform
who plants most deeply the Spirit of
sr-* a |9 IQ
?y Maror G^I?H gg^it
GRANDPA TURKEY EXPLAINS.
"Ali. what ?I One succession ni mea la
we've been having lately," .said yuuug
..Vi>,*' saul young John Turkey, "it
is most certainly true. We bave been
having one good meal right aller tho
oilier, day after day, aller day."
"Gobble, gobble, gobble, week after
?eek after week," .xml young George
'.The farmer appreciates us," said
young Master Turkey. "He knows we
should be well fed ?md well looked af
ter, for just see who we are!"
"Who are we?" Inquired young
"Well, did I ever," said young Mas
ter Turkey. "Don't you know what
Sort of animals wc are?"
"Gobble, gobble, gobble, ha, ha, ha,"
chuckled young John Turkey. "Timi's
the best joke I have ever heard."
".Maybe you haven't Ilea rd luunj
jokes," said young George Turkey.
"But don't you really know our fam
ily name?" asked young Master Tur
"Of course I do, gobbie, gobble, gob
ble, of course I do," said young George
Turkey." Our family name is the no
ble name of Turkey.
"That's right," said young Master
Turkey. "Then how could you have
asked such a question as 'Who are
"Well. I know we're turkeys." said
young Georg? Turkey, "but I don't
know why you should strut around
with your chest 'way out, saying, 'Just
see who we are.' "
"And why shouldn't I?" asked young
"Because," said young George Tur
key, "there is no special reason I know
of that should muke turkeys the fu
vored ones o? Uve barnyard. I thiuk
It's most extremely nice that we are,
bul I really, for the life of tue, can't
see any special reason for it."
"Well, did I ever," said young Mas
. r Turkey. It was hi6 favorite es
.?. sslon. "A modest turkey, a turkey
no conceit, a turkey who doesn't
see a good reason for being well fed."
"I do see a good reason," said young
George Turkey, "because I see that we
grow fat and that we feel well when
we are wei J fed. In fact I see two
"You're a most peculiar turkey,"
said young Master Turkey.
"He ls a most peculiar turkey,"
chimed in young John Turkey.
"I um glad I give you all such In
terest," said young George Turkey.
"You surprise us," said young Mas
ter Turkey. "That Is what you do.
''We're to Et Eaten!" Exclaimed tbe
Yon ?uritriso us mightily. We cannot
understand a turkey being so modest.
How you ever cann- liltb our family
is beyond my understanding."
"Gobble, gobble, gobble." said young
George Turkey. "I wouldn't be so set
u? if I were yon. You see you have
to admit yourself I bat there are some
things you ?i'-n't understand."
"There are some i lungs none of you
understand." said Grandfather Turkey
who had been walking about ami who
now joined (be ihre? Turkey broth
Tbev uer.- all very quiet for they
knew that Grandfather Turkey had
been in the world a very much longer
time iban they bad been and thal ho
had bad time to learn ti great deal
"Coi,hie, gobble, gobble." they all
chuckled softly. "Whnl don't we un
derstand. Grandpa, dear?"
"You don't understand why you nre
being fed so much. There is always
such delight at this time of the year
among the turkeys when they fir' be
ing fed more and more every day and
when they are hoing fed the most de
licious food," said Grandfather Tur
"And some of we old turkey folks,"
he continued, "have to tell the younger
ones what lt means."
'"Tell us," said the throe Turkey
"It means," said Grandfather Tur
key, "that we are being fed for a day
known ns Thanksgiving Day. I'm too
old for them to use, I know, but they'll
have a'* the younger members of the
family fine and plump and good to
"We're to bo eaton !" exclaimed all
the Turkey brothers.
"Yes." said Grandfather Turkey.
"Bul cheer up, for you are to bo oaten
on a line and splendid day, and while
you're in tho barnyard your lives are
very ev/e-'t and full of food."
And the three Turkey brothers
tried to ciieer up.
ii. n. RrssEi.i., .M?.
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