Sunday, September 29, 2013

Even Before Hippies, There was Love

I never met my grandfather, Frank Hall.  He died in 1955, before I was born.  But I do have a few pictures of him and a few of his writings.  Like me, he was a lawyer.  And like me, he practiced workers (or, as it was known then, "workmens') compensation law.  He was even an Administrative Law Judge for a time, having been appointed by Governor Happy Chandler.  And he was a farmer, with an orchard,  And he was a beekeeper.  These last few impress me more these days than when I was younger. 

For a time, Frank (full name: Franklin Pierce Hall) was also Clerk for the New Salem Association of Old Regular Baptists.  He was asked to write the Circular Letter for the 1952 session - their annual meeting.  The following is excerpted from that letter.

...I could mention many subjects in the Bible that would be interesting and beneficial, but the night following your selection of me to write this letter, I was impressed and inspired, as I feel, to write on the subject of "Love."...There is no greater subject to be found in the Bible.
The Apostle John...writes much about this subject.  John tells us love is of God and God is love.  We all understand that love has more than one form, and we all know, or should know, it's the greatest thing in the world, in the home, in the church and in our associations.  It is that perfect expression of unselfishness which prompts us to do good, to return good for evil, and to make the Golden Rule our rule of dealing with our Brethren and Sisters, and not only them, but all with whom we deal and come in contact with.  It puts into our lives something nothing else can put there, a feeling for which a price cannot be fixed, a feeling all the gold on earth cannot buy.  Naturally, everybody has love for natural things, love for their family, love for their country, and in a degree, love for all humanity.  This natural love prompts the parent to work for and support its offspring; it prompts us to love our homes and the natural surroundings, and to protect our countries against invaders.
I could write at length about natural love, but my desire is to write about the love the Apostle John wrote about.  God's love, which we are born of, and lets in deed and in truth and not in words nor expressions by tongue.... Love is the the dominant factor throughout both the old and new scriptures and a requirement of our Lord.
Beloved, our whole spiritual life is the product of love, and not only our whole spirit lives, but love is the foundation of all our true churches and associations. ...
...I must conclude this letter, but my subject will go on, for it's from the beginning to the end.  It's the first and the last.  God is love.  In the day and age, tribulation is mounting, and we are praying for peace, peace, where there is no peace except that found in Jesus....  Spiritual peace is a product of love.  It is born in us, and prompts us to strive for unity; prompts us to work for harmony and refrain from saying or doing anything that will bring discord....
May God's perfect love and peace be with you and bless you all.  Your humble Brother in hope for a more abundant life.

                                                                                                               Frank P. Hall

Too bad I never met my mother's father.  I think I would have liked him.  Or, maybe closer to the truth, I would like him if I met him now.

1 comment:

  1. This is profound, Jeff. And I concur. In Jesus' name, Amen!