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In this 40th Anniversary issue let us reminisce a little with some old news items. Oct. 1, 1925—The first news letter appeared in theStandard Bearer in the form of a personal letter by the Rev. H. Hoeksema to “My Friend In The West”. This was written in the Holland language as was most of the material in the early issues. This “first” was in the first anniversary number of our magazine. In the same issue was a news account of the organization of a church in Byron Center, Mich., which occurred Sept. 30, 1925.
The occasion for this article is a growing menace to our farmers. In recent years an organization has come into existence called the National Farmers’ Organization. It has grown phenomenally in recent months and now numbers in the thousands of members. A description of this organization and its purposes can be learned from the by-laws of its Constitution from which we quote in part:
“And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew in his death were move than they which he slew in his life.” Judges 18:30
“I am a stranger here, dependent on Thy grace, A pilgrim as my fathers were, with no abiding p1ace.”
The recipients of grace reign in life through the agency of Christ. vs. 17 In this verse Paul further elucidates upon the great Gospel-truth in Christ concerning the abundance of grace and free-gift in Christ over the transgression in Adam. We do well to take notice of this great benefit of grace as here expounded; it is for our comfort and edification.
For forty years in the providence and grace of our GodThe Standard Bearer has borne the standard of truth for which our churches stand and have stood these many years. Amid countless thousands who speak of the sovereignty of God and maintain it in limited spheres, we have been given grace to maintain it also in the sphere of God’s grace and to hold forth the Word of truth that God is sovereign in His grace and mercy because He is sovereign in His love.
Finally, the sacrament seals the promise of the gospel and the truth that righteousness is by faith. The sacraments and faith belong inseparably together. How must this expression be understood? That the sacrament seals this righteousness by faith is objectively true. The sacrament itself is a seal of this. This is not difficult to understand. Fact is, the sacraments (also applicable to the sacrament of baptism) speak of two fundamental truths: man’s utter hopelessness and the fulness of all our salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is plain, is it not?
The committee of the Editorial Staff that was appointed to prepare the anniversary issue of ourStandard Bearer thought it would be interesting to present some significant quotations from past volumes of the Standard Bearer. To make a significant quotation from an article apart from the context in which it is found is rather difficult. Moreover, space will not permit making such quotations from all forty volumes. The citations below were taken from the first ten volumes. They are not all significant for the same reason.
It is but natural at the occasion of an anniversary to look forward as well as backward. It is not my intention at this time to attempt a long look into the future, although that can very well be done without claiming to be clairvoyant. The forward look of this editorial has the purpose only to inform you of some of the planned changes in the format and content of our Standard Bearer for the coming volume-year.
Anniversaries are occasions to pause and to look back. And this fortieth anniversary of our Standard Bearer is no different; we too wish to pause and take a backward look at the forty years of the life’s history of our magazine. Such a backward look, however, should serve a better purpose than that of merely indulging in fond memories. I have no doubt that many such memories,—memories of glorious times in the history of our churches,—might be recalled at this occasion.