So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smoothes with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying…
Societies already exist in multitude — societies religious, political, social, literary, etc; but there is room for another. It need not displace any existing ones that are worthy of continuance; it can fulfil its purpose by infusing into them all a new spirit — a spirit of brightness, of good cheer, and strengthening comradeship. I propose to call it "The Society of Encouragers."
I. ITS BASIS IS LAID IN NEIGHBOURLINESS AND BROTHERLINESS. Does anyone ask, "Who is my neighbour?" Let him read again the parable of the Good Samaritan. In that story neighbourliness stands for love, sympathy, kindness, help, and all those qualities that constitute practical religion. It bridges, at a leap, the chasm of national distinctions. My neighbour's house may be near or far in situation, his rental may stand at £80 a year, and mine at £20. His walls may be adorned with the costliest pictures, and I may be indebted to the enterprising activity of tradesmen at Christmas-time for any adornment on mine; or the financial positions of each may be transposed, but we are neighbours. We live to help each other. Is there trouble anywhere? That is enough, my place is there; and when the hour of distress comes for me, I shall not be without a friend. But there is a deeper word still In the new society, we are brothers. "Every one said to his brother, Be of good cheer." This strikes a yet tenderer chord. "Have we not all one Father?" This will settle the relations between capital and labour by uniting master and man in a common bond of reciprocal interest. Carry it to its furthest issue, and it will solve all questions of national and international strife by brining in the reign of "Peace on earth and goodwill to men."
II. AS TO ITS RAISON D'ETRE.
1. The new society exists for kindly speech to one another. "Every one said to his brother, Be of good courage." A word in season, how good it is! There is helpfulness and inspiration in kindly, encouraging speech. The ministry that never fails is the ministry of encouragement.
2. It exists for kindly speech of one another. In the new society we pledge ourselves to think and act towards the living as we do for those who have passed into the Great Silence. Many have died before their time for want of a Society of Encouragers. Sympathy is vain that is reserved for the eulogy of the dead or flower-wreaths for the coffin-lid. Expend it now.
3. The new society exists also for mutual effort. "They helped every one his neighbour." The kindly word is valuable and precious, but it is better still when crystalised into action. What the world wants is the practical application of the religion of Jesus Christ, whose human life is summed up in the brief sentence: "Who went about doing good."
4. The new society is a society of workers "The carpenter encouraged the goldsmith." You can put your own trade or profession in. All may be included whose calling is honest, just, and pure. What is wanted is a sense of comradeship, and this the new society provides. The isolation is removed. We no longer work alone, but side by side, in the world's great workshop.
III. THE UNITING BOND OF ALL IS LOVE. Love is the common bond that unites man to man, neighbour to neighbour, brother to brother, and all together to Him who is Love s primal fount and source.
Parallel VersesKJV: So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.
WEB: So the carpenter encourages the goldsmith. He who smoothes with the hammer encourages him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, "It is good;" and he fastens it with nails, that it might not totter.