Causes of Fasting,
And Causes of Thanksgiving
For the Reformed Presbyterian Church,
North Union, Butler Co., Pennsylvania.
The Eve of World War II.
TrueCovenanter.com Editor’s Introduction.
The notes which follow provide a draft of some Causes of Fasting, and Causes of Thanksgiving, prepared for the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North Union, Pennsylvania, as the world was beginning to anticipate World War II. They were found among papers from the 1920s and 1930s consisting mostly of sermon notes from Pastor T. James Blair, the only Reformed Presbyterian pastor then adhering to an authentic Covenanter testimony and practice. The notes were written on the back of a form letter sent to Pastor Blair from the G & C Merriam Company about his purchase of the “Webster’s New International Dictionary.” But the letter is undated, as are the notes. From other papers, it is evident that in 1937 the congregation had a fast day on Feb. 25 and another fast in association with the Lord’s Supper Communion-Season on June 18th. In 1938, a similar practice was likely followed; and in 1939 a fast day was held on Feb. 24th, and then another on June 2nd in association with the Lord’s Supper Communion-Season. Also, there is record of a Thanksgiving day in 1936, held on Nov. 26th.
What is most interesting, and worthy of the reader’s notice, is what Pastor Blair and his brethren identified as the cause of World War II.
[Causes of Fasting]
Distrust and Animosity obtain everywhere in civil society. The nations are holding conferences, and making frantic efforts to formulate satisfactory terms of peace and business relations, but so far have met little but failure.
Each country distrusts the professed intentions of its neighbors, fearful that some sinister motive lies hidden under good words.
Evil-eyed jealousy sees other communities enriching or strengthening themselves at her expense, becoming more prominent [thereby,] and so devises ways to checkmate or ruin them.
Animosities, instead of being allayed by the efforts of statesmen are only becoming more bitter and the nations generally are feverishly preparing for war, which seems near at hand.
It is small wonder that distrust and enmity hold sway in the earth, for the nations are with one consent in rebellion against the divine Mediator — the Prince of the Kings of the earth. For his sufferings for sinners, and obedience unto death, the Father bestowed on Jesus Christ, as Mediator, the governorship of all nations, and promised to sustain him in it: “Behold my servant whom I uphold.” Is. 42:1. “The government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, the everlasting Father.” Chap. 9:6. Psalm 22.
Terrible is the wrath of the Lamb against obstinate sinners who will not submit to his righteous sceptre.
(This above statement was edited by its author to remove words which were more bold, but soon proven correct: "Terrible will be the punishment visited [on] obstinate sinners....")
[Causes of Thanksgiving]
The earth has brought forth an abundant [harvest.]
The great acheivements in arts and sciences are matters for thankfulness to all who devoutly contemplate them.
The radio and aeroplane will no doubt be wonderful factors in the spread of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.