People's Pulpit Vol. 1, No. 3, February 1, 1909


Formerly Plymouth Bethel 13, 15, 17 Hicks Street, near Fulton Ferry

Although the weather was not specially favorable, a large audience assembled for the Opening Sunday Service of the New Brooklyn Tabernacle. Its large electric roof-sign offered a cheerful welcome and is very conspicuous from the Bridge. Its central feature is a ten feet long cross, whose center is studded with ruby lights. The Auditorium, with a capacity of 850, was crowded. The large congregation, while waiting for the opening hour, gave special attention to the numerous Scripture texts which embellish the panels on each side. They are assuredly works of art done by a master hand, specially imported for this job. Their soft, beautiful tints, united to their comforting sentiments, seemed to bring rest and comfort to many faces, while some were radiant with joyful peace.

Before the discourse the speaker read


Christian Brethren, Ambassadors for Christ and Students of God's Words -

We greet you one and all in the Master's name! Coming to your City to make it our home and the centre of our future activities in Gospel work, we deem it both a duty and privilege to declare to you the loyalty of myself and associates to the Cross of Christ and to give you a brief outline of our Christian endeavors. In God's providence we have become possessors of the historic "Plymouth Bethel" of Hicks St., near Fulton Ferry, which, after remodeling, we have given a new name, "Brooklyn Tabernacle." We believe that it will serve our purpose excellently as our headquarters. Preaching services will be held in its auditorium every Sunday afternoon, commencing tomorrow. Also special services will be held from time to time in the surrounding cities and neighborhoods for there are about twenty ministers of ability connected with our Society's work here. These all give their services free of charge either for meetings or funerals and are at your call for service.

The Lower floor of "Plymouth Bethel" (hereafter the "Brooklyn Tabernacle") will serve us as a Bible and Tract repository. The Tracts you will be welcome to, free, and the Bibles at cost prices. We will also conduct there a "Bible Correspondence School," for the answering of theological queries, and assisting, in general, to a clear understanding of the Bible by God's people, and those who are not God's people, but who are "feeling after him, if haply they might find him." In a word, we come to do all the good in our power along spiritual lines to all who will accept our assistance or cooperation, free of charge. Already this correspondence feature brings us hundreds of letters daily, inquiring for Tracts and helps in Bible study in various languages. The work is supported by the voluntary contributions of those who have already been assisted, so that money matters never obtrude. [HGL440]


Some may inquire, "What do you teach and preach?" We reply that "We preach not ourselves, but Christ and him crucified." Ours is the old Gospel voiced by the angels who proclaimed our Redeemer's birth- "Behold we bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people." It will be seen, then, that ours is not the Gospel of the Higher Critics and Evolutionists. We cheerfully accord these friends of a modern Gospel their liberty to believe as they think proper; but our feet are firmly planted upon the Bible as the only Divine revelation of the will and plan of our Creator. This, however, does not mean that we believe that the Bible teaches all that our well-meaning forefathers of the Dark Ages supposed it to teach. We find that they burned one another at the stake for disbelieving things which the Bible does not teach, and for believing things which the Bible does teach.

The growing skepticism regarding God and the Bible, we find, is generally the outgrowth of a misunderstanding of the Bible's teaching respecting "hell." No sane man can be blamed for rejecting the old theory that God first made a roasting "hell" and then made a race, knowing that all would spend an awful eternity there, except the few who would hear of Christ and become saints. This blasphemy against our Creator's Holy Name needs to be rebuked.

The people need to be taught what the educated clergy and laity already know, that the only Hebrew word translated "hell" is "sheol," and its Greek equivalent of the New Testament "hades," and that neither word signifies a place of torment, but the tomb, the grave, the state of unconsciousness in which both good and bad must remain until the resurrection at the second coming of the Redeemer. Our literature has helped thousands along this very line as we go into details of explanation of the parables and dark sayings and symbolisms of the Bible, which other Bible teachers have not the time for, with their pastoral and other cares.

In a word, the work of our Society is conducted on the belief that the Bible is divinely inspired, and that we are now living in the wonderful day mentioned by the Prophets, when "the wise shall understand" and receive "meat in due season" from God's wonderful Book. By the "wise," of course, is meant those "wise toward God," and not the "worldly-wise."

If our understanding of the Bible's teaching is correct, we are on the threshold of the Millennium; and this fact explains not only the progress of invention and natural science, but also the finishing of the mystery respecting God's gracious purposes for our race foretold in the Bible in symbols and types. However, our expectation of the Millennium is along different lines than some might suppose. We find no Scriptures to teach that the world will be converted by our commendable missionary or other efforts. To us it teaches that it will follow the second coming of our Redeemer to gather his "elect" Church (the saints out of all denominations) that they, "changed" to spirit nature, may be the teachers and guides and helpers of the remainder of the race, to uplift all who will respond from sin and death to perfection and everlasting life on earth, which will then become Paradise restored.

Statistics agree that the Millennium is not coming by the conversion of the heathen, for there are twice as many today as there were a century ago, notwithstanding our efforts. On the contrary we must agree that the signs of the times presage the near approach of the great "time of trouble," such as never was since there was a nation, by which the Scriptures assure us Messiah's Kingdom will be ushered in, to "bless all the families of the earth."

Perhaps we should explain that we do not recognize as biblical the terms "clergy" and "laity," nor the titles "Reverend," "Doctor of Divinity," and such like now in vogue. This, however, does not lead us to disfellowship those who differ. We use the Scriptural terms "evangelist," "pastor," "teacher," "elder," "deacon," etc., and recognize that all of God's consecrated people are ministers that is, servants each authorized to serve his Brethren as his talents may permit and as the Brethren may desire. As for "ordination," we cannot accept as Scriptural the theory of "Apostolic Succession," and that special power or authority comes from man to man. We hold that the anointing of the Holy Spirit gives the power and the authority to understand and explain the Scriptures.

So then, praying with all saints "Thy Kingdom come and thy will be done on earth as in heaven," my associates and myself crave to be acknowledged "Brethren," by all of you who, with us, have renounced sin and accepted divine forgiveness, through the merits of our Redeemer's sacrifice, and who, on the strength of this justification, have fulfilled Rom. 12:1.

Your brother and servant in Christ,

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