Nov. 27, 1905


A convention of "Believers in the Atonement Sacrifice of Christ 'a ransom for all'" has been held here during three days in the Casino, our immense auditorium. Pastor C T Russell, of Alleg-heny, spoke twice, one of the discourses was based on 1 John 2:15; as follows:

Our text clearly indicates that there are two kinds of love in the world, with votaries for each the love for the world versus the love for God. The two are stated to be opposites to such a degree that they cannot be blended. We must be on one side or on the other side. As our Lord on one occasion declared, "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon," and as the Apostle declared "his servants ye are to whom ye render service." Matt. 6:24; Rom. 6:16.

So then, dear friends, we who are assembled here are either servants of God or servants of Mammon, and are possessed of one or the other spirit the spirit of the world, which loves the world, or the spirit of Truth, which delights to do the Father's will. It is important that we get this clearly before our minds, as we live in a day when theological teachings are very much mixed, confused, and almost anything passes for Christianity that has with it some degree of respectability, and anything not classed by the world as respectable and in accord with its sentiments is styled fanaticism. From this standpoint of worldly criticism, from the standpoint of Churchianity, our Lord was a fanatic, also the apostles were fanatics, and Luther, Melanchthon, Bunyan, Calvin, Knox, were all fanatics. I hope, dear friends, that we by the grace of God are counted worthy to be numbered with these fanatics.


Did the Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostle, mean to teach us that we should not love those things in the world that are beautiful, beautiful prospects, flowers, birds, etc., etc. Some in times past and at present take this view and go into cloisters, nunneries, monasteries, etc., and shut themselves away from things beautiful and pleasing to their senses. Not only are there such orders amongst Roman Catholics, but also amongst Episcopalians, and a few holiness people in all denominations of Protestants are inclined to feel that if they take pleasure in anything of an earthly kind it signifies sin in the sight of God. It was along this line that the Puritans of New England passed the laws which even forbade a parent to kiss his child on the Lord's day, and which in its strictest interpretation almost implied that a smile or a happifying thought was a sin. It is in harmony with this view of matters that the poet wrote, and that our old hymn books used to contain, the hymn which reads:

"Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowersHave all lost their sweetness to me."

Those who have taken such a view of life have usually done so from a misunderstanding of our text and others of similar import. In our understanding long-facedness is not piety, sour and sullen thoughts are not pleasing to the Lord neither beneficial to our hearts. Quite to the contrary, as we endeavored to show in our discourse of last Sunday, the Lord's people are to be full of good cheer on all occasions, because they realize that all things are working for their good.

In a hymn book of our arrangement we incorporated the beautiful hymn above referred to, but changed its entire sentiment so that it reads:

"Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowers, Have all gained new sweetness to me."

From this you will perceive, dear friends, that it is not our thought that our text signifies that moroseness, a lack of appreciation of the world's beautiful things, is what our Lord wished to inculcate. Properly then we inquire, what does our text mean when it says, Love not the world? What is there in the world to attract our attention aside from the birds, flowers, lands-capes, etc. ? What else could be meant by the world? We reply that the world as it came from the hands of the Creator was pronounced very good, and was certainly intended to be appreciated and enjoyed by all creatures in harmony with the Creator. The word world in our text is from the Greek Kosmos, and signifies the present order of things, especially the social and moral conditions including financial, political and social arrangements.


The Scriptures everywhere contrast what they denominate this world or present order of things with the world to come or future order of things, assuring us that the present social order or arrangement is imperfect, unsatisfactory, sinful and that it must give place in God's due time to the perfect order or arrangement, under the dominion of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." It is in accord with this that the Apostle speaks of the present conditions as the present evil world, and refers to the future conditions of things as "the world to come in which dwelleth righteousness." The thought then prevalent throughout the Scriptures is that unrighteousness is reigning or governing amongst men at the present time, and will hold sway until the second coming of Christ who will overthrow the present order of things and establish the reign of righteousness, the world or order of things promised to come.

Many in the world are totally unable to see why present conditions should be designated "evil." It suits them well enough. They would be sorry to see it discontinued or set aside or changed in any manner lest the results to themselves would be less favorable. It is mainly the poor that are unsatisfied with the present state of affairs, that long for more favorable opportunities for still brighter prospects for themselves and their posterity. It is only as we become the Lord's people that we are able to see matters in their true light, because after we have been inducted into the school of Christ, and begin to be taught of him, the eyes of our understanding open more widely and our hearts fill more thoroughly with the sentiments of love and benevolence. [HGL313] From this new standpoint, both rich and poor alike, can see the situation, because both may see it from the Divine standpoint. They do not see it exactly alike, but they both see light in His light and approximately see eye to eye.

They see that only a fragment of mankind possesses the wealth, the honors, the distinctions of the world at the present time; they see that these are not distributed according to the real character and morality of the individual who possesses them. Their sentiments are expressed in the Scriptures in the words, "Now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered," and again, "The wicked have more than heart could wish." Mal. 3:15; Psa. 73:7

It is far from our heart to proclaim against riches and honors, positions and authorities. It is far from our intention to set forth that all riches are unjustly, unrighteously acquired, and that the rich of the world are the most lacking in principle, the most deficient in respect to justice. Quite to the contrary, we know rich men who are naturally disposed to be noble-minded and generous, while we know of poor people much more selfish, much more grasping, and who if possessed of the same opportunities and power and riches would use them much less generously, much less equitably.


Our thought on the subject is expressed by the Psalmist when he declares that "all the foundations of the earth are out of course." (Psa. 82:5.) His words mean that all the basic principles of the present social structure are distorted out of proper relationship to each other, are in confusion. Society for centuries has been endeavoring to serve its interests as wisely as possible, yet selfishness inherent in the entire human family since the fall affects, influences, warps and twists the judgment on every subject. As a consequence, while it has endeavored to have matters right and just and true, while it has endeavored as a whole to regulate its affairs on lines of justice, sympathy, truth and equity, nevertheless individual selfishness and class preference have distorted the whole arrangement, until we have the conditions which prevail today.

We are not by any means saying that present conditions are intolerable, nor that they are the worst that could be imagined. Much indeed could be said in favor of what has already been attained in the way of laws, regulations, etc. Indeed the judicial mind is astounded at the character of the laws that are upon the statute books of our civilized lands and surprised at how well these laws are executed. Nevertheless, as is the case with all human arrangements, changes are continually in progress, and the selfishness of heart which is innate to all permits each one who has opportunity and discernment of mind to grasp the special blessings for themselves rather than to distribute them equally with all. We are not so much finding fault with those who possess wealth, but our claim is that the present order of the whole world is unsatisfactory, that it does not work equitably for the blessing of the whole world, that it fosters class distinctions, that it favors the few who have the superior intellects, and especially those who by fortune or wisdom have attained the blessings of influence and power and authority. The history of the whole world shows that this condition of things is bound to continue so long as selfishness reigns in the human heart and so long as the present order of society continues.

We are not advocating political, social and financial doctrines, revolution, etc. Quite to the contrary, we claim that the present condition of things as a whole is about as good as it is possible for men to make it. We hold that any attempt to establish socialism, and to deprive the most intelligent and most wealthy of the advantages which they posses, would result in violent trouble and anarchy; and that on the whole the best that the poor world can do for itself is to seek to hold matters as nearly level, as nearly equitable as possible without provoking the anarchy and strife to get all of the riches and liberty and justice properly belonging to the whole world into their hands so far as this can be done along peaceable lines.

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