King's Business - 1932-07


July 1932

T h e

K i n g ’ s

B u s i n e s s

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notes, but shrieks. The orchestra tintinnabulated cacophon- ously. A man then howled precisely as though he were having his foot stepped on unexpectedly, persistently, and viciously. Then followed a duet, irr which two gentlemen sang violently half a tone above the orchestra, which was apparently still in the pre-performance stages o f tuning up. The gentlemen, possibly a bit discouraged by the orches­ tra’s noises, seemed to whistle a time or two. They then gave up all pretense of singing and shouted and vocifer­ ated as if they were really put out with the umpire—” "IT. aughter long and loud greeted this sally, and many were the approving glances cast at the young chair­ man. Rodney settled back comfortably in his chair. The speaker of the evening was going over big. He had not altogether approved of the Junior Assembly’s lecture course. But as they had made him chairman of the dinner committee and said a great many nice things to him, he had yielded gracefully. This evening’s speaker, as he later told them, had been wished on him. Professor Stall had been invited to the greatest automobile manufacturing city in the United States by an older organization, and then shunted off onto the Juniors with many graceful and com­ plimentary evasions, to make way for a Hollywood cow­ boy, famous in stardom. The professor was less humorous at this point, which he frankly touched upon. He warned them that one of the chief signs of the decline of the power of Rome was its exaltation of the comedian and the gladiator over the intel­ lectual and the philosopher. Eleanor thought this was a promising beginning and rather wondered if the professor might not have been mis­ quoted. But she did not hold this opinion long; for once launched upon his theme, the professor produced a small volume which he declared to be the book o f Genesis— not written by Moses. Sonia glanced quickly at Eleanor. “ O f course, it really does not matter who wrote this famous old collection of primitive—er, shall we say, tradi­ tions,” he continued. A ripple that indicated divergent reactions was ap­ parent in the Assembly before him. Some heads nodded in approval, but at the same time, a murmur of dissent was quite audible. Rodney was popular. His opinion, as well as his known faith in the Bible, carried weight. Elea­ nor cast on her brother an anxious eye. Rodney was con­ scious of this and shifted uneasily in his chair. His mind reverted suddenly to the cousins in California whom he had just left, Constance and Althea. What would they do under such circumstances as these? Uncle Alan, too! What was it he had said about spiritual courage? The professor was in full stream now. The Bible was no longer to be interpreted as it had been in olden days, he was saying: Now it was to be re­ garded as a marvel of literature, as rich in ancient lore, and as a container of a system of ethics, typically Semitic. The Junior Assembly cooled perceptibly, not so much from amazement as from boredom. They yawned. They were not interested! “ Good!” Eleanor whispered to Sonia. “ They aren’t taking it in at all. They’re just not entertained.”

“ I Am Among You as He that Serveth” “ Ye have said, It is vain to serve God” (Mai. 3:14). “ I f any man serve me, him will my Father honour” (John 12:26). J I ^ odney G orham , E sq ., had arrayed himself for the Junior Assembly. His evening shirt was replete with the most elegant of tucks, the one crowding upon the other. His dinner jacket was cut to flatter. His black silk tie went twice around a flawless collar, and tied in a very particular bow. He surveyed himself in his mirror— critically. His family surveyed him also—approvingly. Their ugly duckling was beginning to assume the propor­ tions and appearance of a swan! Constance had recently referred to him as “my handsome cousin.” Eleanor, his older sister home from college for the summer, looked at him genially. . “ Why all the scenery, Rod?” “ Speakers’ table,” her brother remarked in an offhand manner. “ Are you to be a speaker?” This from Sonia, Elea­ nor’s college friend who was visiting them. “Just introducing the speaker, Harry Allmire Stall.” And with a final wave of the hand, by way of farewell, Rodney vanished. “ But Stall!” Sonia whispered to Eleanor. “ He is that Massachusetts professor who called ‘orthodox religion the greatest existing menace to human welfare.’ ” Eleanor sat erect at this. It had been the desire of her heart to get in touch with the younger set, her brother’s friends, while she was at home that summer, and, perhaps, to be another Althea to them. “ Rodney has come out so splendidly,” she told Sonia, “ I do want him to have some friends who will help him along.” And so it was that Eleanor and Sonia an hour later strayed into the Junior Assembly where Eleanor still held an associate membership. Rodney was on his feet—his smooth black hair shining under the brilliant light, and his dark eyes beneath their imperious black brows looking fearlessly out upon a world that he had always felt confidently able to face. “ After the speaker is through with us,” Rodney was concluding humorously, “ he is going to give us a chance at him. Not every professor is so— a— sporting—or—such a good sport, as to do this. Let’s give him a hand!” A round of applause was the answer to this appeal by the popular young chairman, and Rodney sat down feeling that the evening augured well. At the first, all went well. The learned man was very jocular about these modern times. He admitted the va­ rious extravagances that were committed in the name of modernity—admitted while he deplored them. He humor­ ously described modern music. His wife, it would seem, had superinduced his presence one evening. “ ‘What are they staging—a riot ?’ I asked her as we found our seats,” the professor chortled. “ I heard from the stage something that sounded like ‘Ich cut mich asbes- tum,’ in crescendo, and then two feminine shrieks—-not

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