No! Not really.

In the literal sense of the world the feet of man are never beautiful. The shriveled up, long, and slender feet of the newborn babe can hardly be called beauti­ful. The feet of a well-nourished baby may for a time display a fleeting beauty in comparison with what these feet were and will be; but although we speak of a beautiful face, even in this sin-cursed world, and although we may concede that man’s feet are quite functional and serviceable, we hardly consider them to be a thing of beauty. Especially after that child has begun to wear shoes and develops corns, callouses and bunions, or, because of lack of shoes, inherits cuts and bruises and scars and calloused soles because of the hot and cruel path upon which he must walk, do his feet lose any temporary beauty.

In the figurative sense of the word the feet of some are beautiful. Isaiah declares, and Paul quotes him in Romans 10:15, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.” Isaiah’s version has it this way, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace: that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” We may note that the feet of some are beautiful, and not of all who claim the position of being a preacher in Zion. Those who come with the philosophy of men, with Satan’s propaganda and the wiles of the Antichrist have ugly feet. And we shudder when we see these feet come over the mountains and must despise their appearance. How can we tell? Listen, the preacher sent by God declares, “Thy God reigneth!” Test all the preach­ing by that! Does the message say that He reigns, or only tries to reign? To me it is no good tidings that I am to look to one Who cannot reign unless I let Him. I need no such God. He needs ME! I have no use for a God Who will save me only if I let Him. He needs me, I do not need Him. Ugly and not beautiful are the feet of those who preach the philosophy, “Why not let God have His way?” Beautiful is the truth, “Our God reigneth!” And beautiful are the feet of those that preach that gospel, those good tidings, that comforting and reassuring message.

Undersigned, together with Mr. H. Zwak, expects, the Lord willing, to be with his feet upon the mountains of Jamaica when these lines appear in print (Due to the deadline for copy for the August 1 issue, this is being written June 20), leaving for Jamaica June 27 and arriving there late that afternoon. He is not boasting of how beautiful his fee t are, but in humble gratitude to the living God acknowledges that which His people of another color, race and nation have expressed and we hope will again experience. Among those who in generations cannot and never will be able to say that they are of the fleshly seed of Abraham and of Seth, nor even of Japheth, God has His spiritual seed of Abraham; and to them the gospel of peace is beautiful. Therefore the feet of those that come over the moun­tains to preach these glad tidings are also beautiful. At this writing, therefore, we look forward in eager anticipation to having our feet walk the mountains of Jamaica from First Hill just south of Lucea through all Westmoreland and up Mt. Salem and Porters Mountain to the hills and mountains in the eastern end of the Island, where the Blue Mountains reach up out of the rich tropical vegetation toward the clear, blue sky. (O, yes, they even have occasionally a blue moon in the night sky of Jamaica.)

But share with us the enthusiasm of these Carib­bean children of God for the appearance of our feet upon their mountains. For months and even years they have written of it and pleaded with our churches to send someone to preach these tidings. Eldeis Meulenberg and Zwak brought home the first urgent pleas, as the first emissaries from our churches to the Island. And later Elder Meulenberg returned with the Rev. C. Hanko, who gave them firsthand the riches of the truth that our covenant God has graciously given us. With baited breath they listened as the Rev. C. Hanko spoke, and broke forth with their sincere and enthusiastic “Amen”; “Praise God!”; “Blessed be God forever”; or else, walking along in the truth, they punctuated the sentences with a devout, sincere and quiet, “Yes, Yes.” On our visit two years ago with Elder Zwak, we listened to their account of how the truth came to them as water upon a dry and thirsty land. It was there­fore with some fear, yet eagerness, when it came our turn with Mr. Zwak to place our feet upon those same mountains and on those same paths with the gospel of peace, that we spoke to those who were total strangers in the physical sense and brethren and sisters spirit­ually by the grace of God.

We rejoiced when our feet also were beautiful to them and most welcome upon their mountains. We strove, as the Rev. C. Hanko did, to hold before them that truth, “Thy God reigneth!” And returning to the States it was also our privilege to underscore this by a correspondence course in Old Testament History wherein this truth was stressed from the view point of the Five Points of Calvinism, which in each point declare that He reigns. For He elects unconditionally a totally depraved people; and He by irresistible grace calls them to a salvation that is very particular, because of His limiting of the work of atonement by His own sovereign will, as is expressed in that un­conditional election; and because He reigns, He pre­serves that people everlastingly to a sure and unchange­able salvation.

That truth was received as being so very, very beautiful; and we would share with you a few lines from recent letters—there were so many in the past as well—when they received knowledge that our Mission Board would again send feet to their mountains with that truth. A fellow laborer in the gospel in Jamaica wrote, “I notice carefully that plans have been made finally of a visit to this island on June 27, and we hope to greet each other again, as it pleased our Father above and our Mission Board and Synod. May our covenant God guide you to your destination on a safe voyage, for He is the Pilot of everything. Kindly excuse me of not meeting you at the airport (He lives about 100 miles away, has no car, nor extra money for bus fare.) to greet you with a holy kiss, since we hope to meet within a few days after (for the sessions of instruction to be given at Montego Bay).” Another colleague writes, “I am very glad, the Lord willing, that you will be with us here , in Jamaica the 27th of June. All the brethren are eagerly awaiting your coming. Wishing you the Lord’s blessing while I eagerly await your coming.” And a third wrote, “I am happy to know that you will be with us for a second visit on the Island of Jamaica to embrace us with the Word of God in the power of God unto salvation. As to the meetings (those referred to above in Montego Bay) I would like to receive every blessing that you are desiring to bring for me through the leading of the Lord.”

Then two days ago we received the following letter, which we are sorry we did not receive in time to pre­sent to the Synod, “Dear Brethren, Some time ago I was informed by the Radio Committee that I was going to receive five special tapes that deal with the Five Points of Calvinism, and when I was satisfied with these Five Points of Calvinism to send some report either to Rev. Heys or to our Mission Board. Dear Brethren, we surely are satisfied with this doctrine. The preach­ing and teaching of Rev. H. Hanko (He received only the first two lectures on the Five Points of Calvinism when he wrote this letter.) is the same as the basic teaching of Rev. Heys and also as the preaching and teaching of the Protestant Reformed Churches, which is the Reformed Faith. Dear Esteemed Brethren, let me explain that we of the Protestant Reformed Churches in Jamaica by the help of our covenant God are growing daily more and more as God has promised…. May our covenant God ever bless this gospel field of the Re­formed Faith throughout the world where said Reformed Witness Hour broadcast is voiced and proclaimed.”

The above speaks for itself, but we want to call your attention to that “our” in that first letter. It is with deep respect, considering to be beautiful all the feet of those in our churches who were privileged to come there with the truth, that they have adopted our name, and call themselves the Protestant Reformed Churches of Jamaica. This is not plagiarism. It is not theft; nor is it conceit. The truth of the Reformed Faith has taken hold of them; and they feel ONE with us more keenly and really than does any other group of churches, because they have heard the truth that our God reigneth! They speak, in these letters, of OUR Mission Board, OUR Synod because they believe that! As an institute we may stand far removed from them—although the decisions of our Mission Board and Synod show a deep sympathy and love for them—but organically we are one with them in the Body of Christ. And our labors in their midst have made them believe that we are one, and that color, race and nationality to do not count in this respect. One Lord, one baptism, one faith, one God and Father of all, one Spirit—and do not forget now ONE TRUTH, or one doctrine—unites us in a way that Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea and the island of Cuba between us and them do not separate. As one of our Protestant Reformed mem­bers is reported to have said (and we agree one hundred percent and wish you all could experience that) after being with these brethren and sisters for only a short while, you do not notice a color difference between us…

You may therefore expect (rather believe that it happened) that also from their side, as they stand on the “waving gallery” of the Montego Bay airport on June 27 and look to the northwest, they will be strain­ing to catch a glimpse of that little dot that soon has wings; and they will consider those wings of that plane to be beautiful because they bear up the feet of those who shall walk their mountains and preach the gospel of peace among them.

Sunday School children and teachers, can you not get enthusiastic about helping these Jamaican children? Can you not form your own mission project in harmony with the step taken by our Mission Board and Synod? Many of you have pen pals on the Island. When we return, the Lord willing, we can perhaps, show you their pictures in full color. You with your abundance, can you not give to those who have so little? You can be upon those mountains with your gifts and in the spirit. We must first of all minister to their spiritual needs. But their natural needs may not be ignored. And the truth which we preach to them speaks of loving them and of helping them in their natural life.

Undersigned’s consistory and congregation are given much for these brethren and sisters in Jamaica. They are giving two whole months of the services of their pastor, even though he has been in their midst only two months, in order that he may serve those whom the congregation has never seen nor met. And Hudsonville’s consistory and congregation gave up the services of their very capable and respected elder, Mr. Harry Zwak. Such deeds do not go unrewarded. May our covenant God prosper the labor in Jamaica and bring us back to our congregations for them to share with us the benefits and the joy of that gospel of peace.