Hamilton, Ont., March 10, 1907


Pastor C T Russell, of Allegheny, Pa., preached twice here today. His afternoon topic, "To Hell and Back; Who Are There? Hope for Deliverance of Many of Them," held an immense audience for nearly two hours at the Grand Opera house. We report the morning discourse on crimson and scarlet sins, from the text, "Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" Isa. 1:18.

The consciousness of sin comes to every intelligent being in proportion to his knowledge of Almighty God. "All are sinners," declares the apostle. He also quotes from the prophet, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." In further explanation of the situation the scriptures declare that we were born in sin, shapen in iniquity, in sin did our mothers conceive us. Speaking of the very best intentioned of the race the apostle declares to will aright is present with us, but how to perform our good desires we find not, for such have the treasure of the new will in an earthen vessel, in a body that is prone to sin as the sparks to fly upward.


With the consciousness of our own defects and the divine perfection, the natural tendency would be to hide from God, to avoid Him to realize that from His standpoint of perfection our very blemishes would seem to be magnified far beyond what they might appear in our own eyes and in the eyes of our fellow creatures, who realize their own blemishes. Nevertheless a small minority of the race have learned that they may trust the Almighty for mercy far beyond anything that could be hoped from humanity. At first this seems unreasonable and astounding, and we inquire for the reason and find it in the prophet's words: "There is forgiveness in thee that thou mightest be feared" - reverenced. This is the secret then of our ability to come to God in faith, in prayer, and of our ability to realize that He knows us best, He knows of our blemishes, is our best and truest friend. These who have come to the Lord have heard with more or less distinctness of His mercy.

True, His message of mercy has been greatly perverted and misrepresented, even by those who have experienced it and who delight to call themselves His servants. But even the perverted message has in it the tone of love and mercy, which becomes more and more attractive to us as our eyes discern our own blemishes and as our minds realize that we are not fit for the divine presence or for the heavenly conditions prepared for those enjoying the full image and likeness of God, unblemished by sin. It is when we are in this condition of heart, "feeling after God if happily we might find him" realizing that with Him we must deal eventually and hoping to secure His sympathy that we come to God. But before coming we must have been drawn, as the scriptures declare- "No man cometh unto Me except the Father, which sent Me to draw Him." (John 6:44).


At first we thought of sin in a very superficial way we supposed it to be a condition very easily set aside, but the more we studied the matter the more we realized that the stain has entered into the warp and woof of human nature most thoroughly, and that to destroy it would mean our own destruction. The Lord represents this same thought in our text by comparing sin to scarlet and crimson. In olden times fast colors were still more difficult to secure than in our day, but fast reds had been secured which no amount of washing would fade or remove. This is the picture that the Lord gives us, that the stain of sin has entered the constitution of man, and that there is no power in us for its complete removal, and that he alone can make us white again can cleanse us from all sins. What a hope then this message from Jehovah brings to those who are awake to their condition and who desire to be freed from sin, to those who realize that they are slaves to sin and that it is the wage of death, to those who long for righteousness and eternal life.


The Lord assures us through many scriptures that some of us have already entered into this blessed condition not that we have attained perfection and are in our flesh as pure as snow not that every thought, word and deed is perfect as we would love to have it, but that God is counting some of us as though we were thus perfect that He so regards us and is willing to deal with us from this standpoint, and will eventually give us in the resurrection such perfect bodies as will be in accord with our hearts, our wills, our desires spotless, perfect bodies in which there will be no further trace of the blemish that came down to us from our forefathers in our birth. This class is assured in the scriptures that now their sins are covered, hidden from God's sight, but that by and by in the resurrection all these blemishes shall be forever blotted out.

But, alas, how small is this class! How few are now drawn by the Father, how few accept His grace through the Son, and may now rejoice in the covering of their sins and in the hope of their being ultimately blotted out. What about the remainder who now hear not, now know not, neither do [HGL356] they understand the grace of God? How about the great mass of mankind, of whom the apostle declares that the God of this world hath blinded their minds so that they cannot see with the eyes of their understanding, cannot appreciate God's character, cannot be drawn under present conditions? How about those who cannot hear in the true sense of the word the message of God's love? No matter what may be the difficulty which hinders them, has the God of all grace no love for them and no provision for their salvation? Will He be content to leave them in their fallen condition, blind and deaf as respects His goodness and mercy? or has He some arrangement in His great plan by which by and by they may all come to a knowledge of the truth?

We answer that this is true that the Word of God distinctly declares that He so loved the whole world as to provide salvation for all, and that the time is coming when all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears be unstopped, when all shall know of the divine character for mercy and compassion even as we know of it who already have had the eyes of our understanding anointed and opened and hearing ears granted to us. True, a special blessing and favor is granted to those who now hear and who now accept. To them comes the additional privilege of consecration, self-sacrifice, and a participation accordingly with their dear Redeemer in the coming glories of His millennial reign.

What advantage have these? Much every way. Not only do they enjoy the peace and favor of God during the few years of this present life remaining to them, but if faithful they gain a transformation to a new nature, spiritual, heavenly, like unto the angels yet far above angels, principalities and powers and every name that is named, because they shall be partakers of the divine nature in association with their Lord, their Head and Bridegroom. O, what a wonderful blessing then comes to these favored ones who now hear and respond! Should they be jealous of God's mercy that it will ultimately extend to every creature, give all an opportunity of seeing and hearing? By no means! Indeed, if they have this condition of heart, of mind, it would demonstrate at once that they had not the mind of Christ, and if any man have not the mind of Christ he is none of His. (Rom. 8:9.) Let us, then, as the eyes of our understanding open hourly, daily, yearly, more widely to the glorious character of our God, and as we more and more come to see the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of His wonderful love and gracious provision let us more and more rejoice in Him and in His plan, for as the heavens are higher than the earth so are His ways higher than man's ways.


The greatest of all philosophies is the divine philosophy. Surely the great Creator, who informs us that He is working all things according to the counsel of His own will, is working also according to fixed principles of righteousness. It is this that our text invites us to examine- "Come, let us reason together, saith the Lord." Strange to say, the majority of Christian people seem not disposed to accept our Lord's invitation and to reason with him on this subject. Hence, and no wonder, they fail to grasp the Divine plan, and proportionately fail of ability to be rooted and grounded in that plan, and consequently they are deficient in most elements of reason which would permit them to have the firmest foundation of faith and to rejoice therein with exceeding joy. Proportionately they have an indifferent, shifty, uncertain, unsatisfactory faith, and proportionately lack its rewards of joy and peace and preparation for the privilege of fellowship with Jesus in the narrow way of self denial.

Let us heed the Master's invitation, let us reason with Him, let us inquire how it comes that He who condemned us as unworthy of eternal life and who told us that the wage of our sin was death everlasting death how comes it that he can now with truth and justice assure us, to the contrary, that our sins may be forgiven, and though as scarlet they may become white as snow. Is God changeable that He once condemned and now proposes to cancel the condemnation? Is God unjust that He once gave us a penalty too severe and that now He proposes to cancel it? or if He gave us a penalty that was right and proper, how can He with justice now set it aside and violate the principles of justice as well as make void His own sentence of death? To those who seek the answer to these queries concerning God there comes an abundance of satisfaction: God affirms that with Him is no changeableness, and that therefore the sin of Adam which we have all inherited, and the proper wage of which is death, can never be cancelled without a consideration, without a payment. He informs us also that no man could pay his own ransom price nor give to God a ransom for his brother, because all are under the original sentence of death.

Where then, we ask, is our hope? Who, then, would pay the penalty for Adam, and release him and all of us that are involved in His sentence by reason of inheriting his blemishes? The Lord, nevertheless, assures us that when there was no eye to pity and no arm to save us from our fallen condition, His own eye had pity and His own arm had prepared salvation. (Isa. 63:5) He points us to His beloved Son, who for the joy that was set before Him left the courts of the heavenly condition and nature, and was made flesh and took upon Him our nature that He might thus pay a corresponding price for father Adam, and in redeeming him redeem all of his posterity and their heritage, the earth. Ah! now light begins to break in, and we understand the apostle's words that it was because God must be just and yet desired to be the justifier of those believing in Jesus that He provided the way by which His Son became man's Redeemer.

But, we ask, would the great Creator deal unjustly with His only begotten Son, full of grace and truth, who never at any time transgressed the divine will? Would He place upon Him the burden of the sinner's guilt, and would not this be a gross injustice, a worse violation of the divine law than to have cleared the guilty race without a ransom? The Lord abundantly answers our query, and assures us that nothing was done contrary to the will of the Lord Jesus; that He gladly gave Himself on our behalf to die, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. And we are and may be amazed at such generosity. Do we inquire how it could be possible that one would be willing thus to sacrifice His own welfare and interest on behalf of sinners? [HGL357] The scriptures answer this query also, informing us that the Heavenly Father set before His Son a joy, a privilege and reward, the declaration being: "Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb. 12:2.

What joy was this that the Father set before His Son? We answer that from the scriptural standpoint there were several joys commingled: (1) The joy of a thoroughly loyal Son to do everything that would be the Father's will; (2) The joy of His sympathy, His participation with the Father in benevolent designs toward our fallen race, His delighting to have a part in the uplifting of Father Adam and those who fell from divine favor through him unto sin and death; (3) Another feature of joy surely entered into this because how could our dear Redeemer have rejoiced first to humble himself, to take a human nature and to sacrifice that nature in death, unless the Father had included in the promise made Him an assurance of His resurrection from the dead, and that in that resurrected condition he would suffer nothing by reason of His sacrifices; that He would be raised from the dead, not to the human plane of being nor even to His own previous highly exalted state, but to the divine nature far above angels, principalities and powers. All of these weighty reasons combined to make the only begotten Son of God well pleased to be the Redeemer of mankind. Thus we see that no injustice has been done to anybody that the Heavenly Father's plan is so great, so wise, that it has brought not only a blessing to mankind but a high exaltation of reward and joy to the Redeemer also.


We have just seen that in the divine arrangement Jesus' death was the offset to the penalty upon Father Adam, and that as all of Adam's posterity were involved with him in his death sentence, the logic of Adam was purchased back from the sentence and was included in him when he was purchased back from the sentence that "as by a man came death so by a man also (the man Christ Jesus) should come the resurrection of the dead, for as all in Adam die, so all in Christ shall be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:21, 22) As the dying included all the degradation, mental, moral and physical, ending in the tomb, so the making alive must signify not only an awakening from the tomb, but a bringing back from all the elements of death and degradation to the original perfection of the image and likeness of God which Father Adam enjoyed before he came under the sentence. His life, his experiences after being driven from the garden of Eden were experiences of death- "Dying thou shalt die." So then the promise, "Even so in Christ shall all be made alive," means much more than merely resuscitation and awakening from the tomb. It signifies restitution, which the Apostle Peter declares "God hath now spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:21

Ah! but there is a limitation; the race shared in Adam's sin because they were in his loins when he was condemned; it was by one man that sin entered into the world, and death the result of sin. Now reversing the matter, "Even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Is there a hope here for universal salvation? No! except that it would be built upon the hope that all eventually would come unto Christ, into relationship with Him; and that this hope, much as we might desire to entertain it, is forbidden by various testimonies of the Word of God, which tell us of the second death and of some who will fall away after having enjoyed the blessed privileges of redemption, as well as knowing about it.

We must give this expression, "in Christ made alive" its full, proper weight. At first this might seem to be too greatly limiting the salvation which God has provided that instead of its being applicable to every man, it would be appropriate only to the more honorable of the race, who have accepted Christ under the terms and conditions of this gospel age by faith, by sacrifice, by walking in the narrow way, by faithfulness even unto death, and the inheritance of the crown of life as the bride class.


To a superficial glance it might appear that there would be no distinction between those now received of the Lord and those whom He will receive during the Millennial age; but the scriptures are quite definite in differentiating these. The class now received of the Lord are called his "brethren" and his "bride," and are distinctly said to be begotten of the holy spirit by the Father. As we read, "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ hath begotten us." The believers of this gospel age are never called the children of Christ, but the children of God, the Father, as Jesus himself expressed it after His resurrection; speaking of His ascension He said, "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, to My God and to your God." (John 20:17.) And there is an appropriateness in this, for it would be very inconsistent for the church to be spoken of in one breath as the children of Christ and in the next as the espoused bride. -(2 Cor. 11:2)

Those who will be brought to a knowledge of the truth and into harmony with the divine plan, through Jesus during the Millennial age, are referred to in the scriptures as the children of Christ, and He as the father of all who will there and then receive eternal life. This is one of the titles given Him by the prophets "Prince of Peace," "Everlasting Father." (Isa. 9:6) Neither is the title vain or meaningless, for the world, we are assured, will receive its life, its restitution rights and privileges, from Jesus, the great King of that age, the great Mediator, the great Life giver to the world. There is a logic in this, too, which we observe after we learn to heed the message. "Come let us reason together." We perceive that the restitution of human nature and perfection and blessing and life everlasting which our Lord will distribute to all the willing and obedient during the Millennial age, is exactly what He purchased for mankind in His sacrifice.

Human nature was lost, human nature was redeemed; an earthly inheritance was lost, an earthly inheritance was redeemed; the first man was of the earth earthy, an earthly image of God, and was sentenced to death; his Savior became a man, flesh, of the earth earthy, that He might redeem or purchase back that which had been lost; and when the restitution time comes it will be the thing that was lost that will be restored, and the restorer will be the one who properly and truly will be the life-giver to all those restored, and the word life-giver is the equivalent of father. Throughout the Millennial age, then, the [HGL358] Christ of glory, Jesus and His Church, His Bride, partakers of the Divine nature, will constitute the kingdom invisible, which will have full charge and control of all the affairs of earth operating through the ancient worthies, perfected, will distribute the blessings of restitution to human perfection and life everlasting to all the willing and obedient, with both stripes and rewards to assist the good work, and with the penalty of second death for the extinguishing of all those who, with that full opportunity within their grasp, will reject the divine blessing. These will be the children of Christ, whom at the end of the Millennial age, at the close of His special reign, he shall deliver up to the Father, perfected and complete and entirely able to stand all the rigid requirements and tests of perfection.


There are those who criticize the scriptural proposition that sins repented of may be justly forgiven under the divine arrangement. They point us to the views and practices of our Roman Catholic friends, and declare that the fact that these believe the priests have authority to cancel their guilt and to exonerate them becomes a power for evil in their lives, leading them to be less careful in respect to transgressions along these lines and regard the entire proposition of sin forgiveness as erroneous. We reply: In so far as our Roman Catholic friends ignore the scriptural arrangement in respect to justification, they err, and do injury to themselves as well as a general injury to the cause of Christ. The mistake, however, should be clearly discerned, and not be charged to the general doctrine of the forgiveness of sins, respecting which we must agree with the prophet that because there is forgiveness of sins with God, He is therefore to be reverenced. -(Psa. 130:4)

Whoever fails to realize the mercy of God fails to come within touch with the greatest power and influence that could possibly affect his life. The error of our Romanist friends lies in the putting of this forgiveness in the hands of the priesthood, which greatly alters its influence. The man or woman who goes to the Lord, intelligently realizes that his very thoughts are open and naked before the Lord, and that the only condition upon which he may realize forgiveness is a sincere heart-repentance of the sin, and application by faith of the merit of the precious blood of Christ, and restitution so far as possible to the one wronged by the sin. This, the scriptural doctrine of justification by faith, is the reverse of injurious it is helpful. All mankind through heredity are weak, liable to err, needing mercy, and, with many conscientious hearts, if no mercy were extended the effect would be despair. There is forgiveness with God that He may be

reverenced; but this forgiveness is only extended through Christ. Divine justice stands unimpaired, irrevocable, but has provided the Redeemer as the way back to perfection and to harmony with God and to His just requirements.

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