Joe smilingly took up the next excellence of the tithe which Marcia had named. “Let me see; did you say that the tithe is the fairest of all Christian financial schemes?”
“Not that, exactly,” Marcia corrected. “I said it was the fairest way of acknowledging God’s ownership and of working with him in partnership. And it is. It puts definiteness in the place of whim. It is proportional to our circumstances. It is not difficult. Mr. Drury says that forty years’ search has failed to find a tither who has suffered hardship because of paying the tithe.”
“Well, Joe,” J.W. put in, “if Marcia can produce the evidence on these three points, you may as well take the fourth for granted. If tithing is the easiest, surest and fairest plan of Christian Stewardship, seems to me it’s just got to be cheerful. I’m going to look into it, and if she’s right, as I shouldn’t wonder, it’s up to you and me to get our finances onto the ten per cent basis.”
Joe was never a reluctant convert to anything. When he saw the new way, his instinct was for immediate action. “Let’s go over to Mr. Drury’s,” he proposed, “and see if we can’t settle this thing to-day. I hope Marcia’s right,” and he looked into her eyes with a glance of something more than friendly, “and if she is I’m ready to begin tithing to-day.”
Pastor Drury, always a busy man, reckoned interviews like this as urgent business always. Not once nor twice, but many times in the course of a year, his quiet, indirect work resulted in similar expeditions to his study, and as a rule he knew about when to expect them. He produced the pamphlets, added a few suggestions of his own, and let the three young people do most of the talking. They stayed a long time, no one caring about that.
As they were thanking the pastor, before leaving, Joe said with his usual directness, “Marcia was right, and here’s where I begin to be a systematic Christian as far as my dealings with money are concerned.”
J.W., not in the least ashamed to follow Joe’s lead, said, “Same here. Wish I’d known it sooner. Now we’ve got to preach it.”
And Joe said to Mr. Drury, in the last moment at the door, “Mr. Drury, if we could all get a conscience about the tithe, and pay attention to that conscience, half the Everyday Doctrines would not even need to be stated. They would be self-evident. And the other half could be put into practice with a bang!”
The Delafield Dispatch got hold of a copy of the “Everyday Doctrines” and printed the whole of it with a not unfavorable editorial comment, under the caption “When Will All This Come True?”
But Walter Drury, when he saw it, said to himself, “It has already come true in a very real sense, for John Wesley, Jr., and these others believe in it.” And he knew it marked one more stage of the Experiment, so that he could thank God and take courage.