Peoples Pulpit'National Labor Tribune, Nov. 19, 1911


Pastor Russell on the Atlantic homeward bound. -"Well as usual, thank God!" was Pastor Russell's greeting by wireless to the millions of readers of his sermons in the secular press. His message for Sunday was from Psa. 42:5, 7 :"Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him. . . . All Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me." We quote as follows:

The Psalmist's knowledge of the sea was probably limited to the vicinity of Jaffa (then Joppa), where tradition says King Solomon once had a little harbor, now filled in and cultivated with orange groves.

King David's knowledge of sea billows was probably confined to the huge waves which sometimes break over the massive stones on the sea front of Jaffa, the result of strong north winds. Nowhere have I ever seen the majestic power of the sea more strongly contrasted with human weakness than at Jaffa Port. The water is deep and the billows follow one another with seemingly irresistible force.

In the Psalm of which our text is a part, the Prophet likened his trials and difficulties and his own helplessness to those of a swimmer battling with the stormy sea at Jaffa; wave after wave of trouble having rolled over him, yet his faith in God continued. He was suffering for righteousness' sake because of his faithfulness to God. He knew that Divine providence permitted his troubles for some wise purpose. He called upon his soul, yea every power within him, to exercise faith, trust, confidence, and to rejoice in his tribulations, knowing that they were not marks of disfavor, but to the contrary proofs of his loyalty; and that thus God was fitting and preparing him for his future service.


"Why art thou cast down, Oh! my soul? Why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him" for these very experiences and the helpful blessings which they will bring to me. "The Lord will command His loving kindness in the day times" in the glorious day of Emmanuel, when Satan will be bound, sin will be uprooted and the Sun of Righteousness will beam forth with healing rays of restitution. Acts 3:19-21; Matt. 13:43.

But what about the night time of the present, while Sin and Death still reign, and while Satan is still the Prince of this world? How should David and all whom he typically represented conduct themselves in this present time, while waiting for the glorious day? Should they bemoan their lot and be unhappy and repine? Nay, says the Prophet: "In the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer shall be unto the God of my life." [HGL511] Only God's children can rejoice in the trials and difficulties of the night of darkness which covers the earth, and the gross darkness which involves the heathen. Only these can sing with the spirit and with the understanding, because only these may understand clearly respecting the coming glorious, world-wide blessings which God has promised.

The unregenerate, even though good and moral, upright and noble, cannot appreciate the deep things of God. They do indeed find temporary pleasures of various kinds, and even have less tribulation than the Lord pours into the cup of His faithful ones, but after all their pleasures are shallow and fleeting Their chief pleasure is in seeking joy and not in realization.


The world understands practically nothing about these things this spirit of a new mind or will in accord with righteousness. It understands nothing about the anointing of the Holy Spirit, under the influence of which old things pass away and new hopes and aims and objects in life take their places. But each one who has passed through these experiences understands them; each one begotten again is aware of the change in his mind, his will knows that he has consecrated his life to righteousness and to the Lord's service, and realizes that an anointing has come to him.

According to the Bible none have ordination of God to act as His mouthpieces except they have received this anointing. Such may be known by the fruits of the Spirit, which all the Spirit begotten ones will soon be able to detect, and which will more or less be manifest also to the world, although the world will not know how to make allowances for having the treasure of the new mind in an imperfect human vessel, although the world will not know how to sympathize with the weaknesses of the fallen flesh, and may often be apt to denounce and condemn those who are walking to the best of their ability, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


We fear, however, that if this line were distinctly seen, sharply drawn, many who are now prominent ministers, reverends, doctors of divinity, would be seen to be barred from the Lord's service. Many of them have had ordination from men, but have never had the ordination of God, and hence are unable to see spiritual things themselves and equally incompetent to present such things to others. They have not been anointed or ordained of the Lord to preach.

On the other hand, many of the Lord's people, misled by the human distinction between clergy and laity and the privileges and limitations accorded to these by Christianity, fail to recognize that they are ordained to preach, and that unless they are continually preaching they are failing to accomplish the Divine will failing to fulfill the ordination which was granted them of the Lord when they received the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

This does not mean, however, that all who are anointed of the Holy Spirit are appointed of the Lord to preach in the same manner, for, as the Apostle explains, we have gifts differing one from another, and, as our Lord's parable explains, we have talents differing one from another, and our opportunities in life are among these talents. For instance, some may have the talent for presenting the Divine message of mercy and truth in a private manner, and may be very effective in their ministries, in their service; others may have the talents and opportunities for more public service. The sisters, for instance, are not scripturally authorized to engage in the more public function of preaching, but they, nevertheless, have glorious opportunities in a more private way of showing forth the praises of Him who has called us from darkness into His marvelous light and who has anointed us to preach, to declare, to make known the good tidings.

Well did the Master say that those hungering and thirsting for righteousness should come to Him if they would be filled. This is the class described by the Psalmist. In the context he likens himself to an antelope, famished for water and seeking a spring. He declares, "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God;" Yet he was misunderstood, his opponents pointed to the waves of trouble which rapidly buried him, and they said, "Where is thy God?" If, as you say, you are His servant, His child, surely He would not permit adversities to cross your way.

But the Psalmist continued to hope; and all true Christians, whom he typically represented, have continued to trust, continued to sing songs of thanksgiving in the night, continued to wait for the morning of the New Dispensation, very early in which will come their own resurrection change. So the Prophet said, "When shall I come and appear before God?" and again, "I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness."


St. David's experiences were not only profitable to himself, but they were typical illustrative of the experiences of Messiah Jesus, the Head, and the Church, His Body. For nearly nineteen centuries the waves of adversity have been overwhelming the Lord's Anointed first the Head, and since, his Members, each in his turn. St. Paul tells us the value of these tribulations. Of our Lord he says "Yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered;" "He humbled Himself unto death, even the death of the cross; wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him" to the heavenly glory and divine nature.

God has made similar promises to the Church: "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him." If it was necessary that Jesus should suffer before entering into His glory, assuredly it will be necessary for all those who constitute His glorious Bride class to demonstrate their love and loyalty by suffering for righteousness' sake before they can enter into glory with Him before "the marriage of the Lamb."


Although the present time is the judgment day or trial day for the spirit begotten, the new creation only, nevertheless, the effects of the reign of Sin and Death, and the waves of sorrow and trouble are not confined to the Church. Although God's children receive

extra waves of trouble as part of their special training, the world has a heavy load, too. St. Paul speaks of the groaning creation and we can readily understand why the world's fewer [HGL512] waves of trouble are much more troublesome than the many of the Christian. Those Divine providences teach the Christians his songs in the night. When he passes through deep waters the lord is with him. The chastening of his soul brings peace and joy and increasing faith and love.

None of these ameliorating conditions are possible to the world. Our Lord's invitation, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," is open, of course, to all who have the ear of understanding to hear, and to responsive conditions of heart; but the great mass hear not, neither do they understand. Alas! poor world, you should have the sympathy of every Christian and not his imprecations and threats of further and eternal torture in the future. The world is surely losing the great "prize of the high calling" which the Church will obtain. It deserves sympathy in respect to this loss; and as our eyes open to see the true Plan of God, we may give the world the message of God's Word- "Good tiding of great joy, which shall be unto all people." Luke 2:10.


The lessons taught by the present reign of Sin and Death, sorrow and pain, are heart-breaking. God represents many as originally created in His own likeness and of tender sympathy tender-hearted. Sin, depravity, selfishness, have gradually hardened men's hearts, some more and some less. The coming Age of Messiah's Kingdom is declared to be a time for the taking away of the stony hearts from mankind and giving back instead hearts of flesh. Jer. 31:32.

Meantime the trials and difficulties of life are heart breaking to all who are still tender-hearted. The message of the Gospel is for this class, the weary, the hear-broken, the discouraged, those not satisfied with the rewards of sin and selfishness, but hungering and thirsting after righteousness satisfied only with the glorious hopes of the future set forth in God's Word, which they grasp with the arms of faith.

The Lord, through the Prophet, tells us that the Gospel message is to this tender-hearted, broken-hearted class, at the present time; and each, as his own heart is healed with the Divine blessing, becomes the authorized and qualified agent for the seeking out of other hear broken ones and the binding up of their hearts with the promises of God. Thus we read of the Divine

commission to Christ, the Head, and the Church, His Body: "The spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, for He hath sent Me to preach the Good Tidings to the meek, and to bind up the broken hearted." Isa. 61:1.


Our present mission, then, is not that of heart breaking! The stony-hearted are doing that work continually. Our mission is to lay down life itself in assisting all the broken-hearted to a true knowledge of God and a true appreciation of His Plan for the Church, and His subsequent Plan for the world. We, then, as ambassadors for God, beseech men to be reconciled to God and to come into harmony with him. Gut event though our words be scattered broadcast and broken-hearted are likely to hear and to respond. The message once confined to the Jews, as God's "chosen people," is no longer confined to them. It was to the Jew first, now equally to the Gentiles: "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear."

Those who have not the ear cannot hear this message, even though the should thereof has gone out into all the earth, and the words of the message to the ends of the earth. In due time, during Messiah's Kingdom, all the blind eyes will be unstopped, and the knowledge of God shall be world-wide and ocean-deep. But not yet! So long as Satan rules in this world he will blind the minds of those who believe not, in order to hinder the true light from shining into their souls. God has permitted him success in respect to the world; because the Divine message at the present time is intended only for the special class who hunger and thirst after righteousness. These are called with the message, "gather My saints unto Me, saith the Lord, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."


We have seen that the Church's present mission is merely to gather from the world the broken-hearted class, which hears and responds to the Divine message. Thus the present work of the Church is merely to complete her own numbers to gather in a sufficient number to complete the elect Church. So the Scriptures declare that in the end of this age shall come the union of the Church with her Lord, by the power of the First Resurrection: "The marriage of the Lamb has come, for His Wife hath made herself ready." The work of the Church is not only to find a sufficient number of humanity willing and glad to walk in Jesus' footsteps, but also to instruct these, building them up in the most holy faith and preparing them for the glorious consummation, and for their future work.

The future state of the Church will be devoid of waves of trouble, trials, sorrow and tears. Her triumph will come; she shall enter into the joys of her Lord and hear the Bridegroom's voice, saying, "Well done, good and faithful!" But the joys of the Lord upon which she will enter will be a career or usefulness for a thousand years. She will be with her Lord, and co-labor with Him in the world's enlightenment, and in their uplifting by restitution to all that was lost in Eden and redeemed Calvary.

Free grace will then be proclaimed. "Whosoever will may come, and take of the Water of Life freely." And everyone drinking may say, "Come," to others. The whole world will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God, and the whole world may join in acclaiming, "Glory, honor, dominion and might and power be to Him that sitteth upon the Throne, and to the Lamb, forever." The whole world of mankind will be blest with the opportunities of this glorious Epoch, in which all the willing and obedient may attain full perfection and Divine favor, while all who refuse the Divine favor will be totally destroyed in the Second Death. 2 Pet. 2:13

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