St. Paul Enterprise, July 4, 1916


New York City, July 2. Pastor Russell spoke here today at the New York City Temple, W 63rd. St., near Broadway. His discourse, as usual, was both interesting and instructive. He said in part:

Our topic for this occasion is found in the wise man's words: "The blessing of the Lord it maketh rich; and He addeth no sorrow with it." (Prov. 10:22) The blessing of the Lord is here put before our minds in contrast with His curse. For more than six thousand years the whole world has been under the Divine curse pronounced in Eden. (Gen. 3:14-19) When our Heavenly Father created man in His own image and likeness- "very good," as He declares He was conferring a great blessing, one not sufficiently appreciated, perhaps, by Father Adam and Mother Eve the blessing of Divine favor and fellowship, the blessing of living amongst the perfect conditions of an Edenic home, in which everything was favorable to happiness.

We have every reason to believe that God has a good purpose in connection with the creation of mankind as in connection with the creation of angels, and that the present greatly different condition of man as compared with that of the holy angels is the difference between a condition of sin and one of righteousness. The angels who live in a state of holiness and happiness are those who kept their own estate. This, some of the angels failed to do but left their own habitation. These, God has restrained under chains of darkness to await the great Judgment Day. (Jude 6; Gen. 6:1-6) In his fallen condition man is sick, mentally, morally and physically. Because of sin he has come under a Divine curse not as once we thought, a curse of a devilish kind, a curse of eternal torment, but that which the Bible declares- "Dying, thou shalt die." Gen. 2:17, margin; Eze. 18:4, 20; Rom. 6:23, etc.

Our text suggests that a great blessing is to come from God to all men when the curse upon mankind has been removed. That a universal blessing is yet to come upon Adam's race is made very clear in the Scriptures. This blessing will come through our Lord Jesus Christ; "for as by a man came death, by a man also comes the resurrection of the dead. For as all in Adam die, even so shall all in [HGL830] Christ be made alive, every man in his own order." 1 Cor. 15:21-23; Heb. 2:9.

The curse pronounced in Eden was a world-wide sentence, which reached to all of Father Adam's posterity; and as the curse brought all mankind into condemnation through Adam, so it is the Divine purpose that a release from this condemnation shall come to all through Christ. Every man, woman and child of Adam's race, living and dead, is yet to experience an individual opportunity for life everlasting through the death of our Lord Jesus. But this blessing will be everlasting only upon certain conditions.


The proposition which God has made is that all who have gone down, and all who are going down, to death through sickness and sorrow because of Adam's transgression will be brought up again, but will not be further blessed contrary to their wills. Let us illustrate this point by referring to condemnation under human law. Suppose that you had a friend in prison, and that in some way you had secured a remission of the penalty and an order for the liberation of that individual. The responsibility is then his. If he rejects the pardon and release, the blessing will be of no avail. But before he can be responsible for the rejection of the blessing, he must know that he has the opportunity to go free from condemnation. Even then he might be brought from the prison and be told that he could go free, but if he should then say, "I prefer to remain in prison," he would lose the benefit of your friendly action entirely.

There are some Christian people who claim that the world's only opportunity for salvation is now. They cite the proclamation that whosoever believeth in Christ shall have everlasting life, and declare that this offer does not extend to any one beyond this life, and that thereby the responsibility to accept this offer rests upon all now. The Bible indicates, however, that not many now hear or see, not many understand, even the first principles of the great blessings which God has provided. The majority believe not, because Satan has blinded their minds through ignorance, superstition and priestcraft. Moreover, vast multitudes have died without ever having heard of Christ. Since intelligent faith in Him as a Savior is absolutely essential to salvation, according to the Scriptural declaration, how can these have any opportunity for salvation if the present life ends all hope?

To His disciples the Master said, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears for they hear." (Matt. 13:16-17) The intimation is that now few hear or understand. Again, our Lord said, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom, but to them that are without all these things are spoken in parables and dark sayings, that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and I should heal them." Here again, in our own day, we see that it is given to some to know the mysteries of the Kingdom; and to others, the majority, it is not given. How inexplicable this is without the key! The explanation is that God's time to enlighten the world at large has not yet come. Only a few are now in the proper condition to be profited by the Truth. For others who are not in that condition of honesty of heart it is better that they should not know too much about God's arrangements; for the knowledge would give them the more severe condemnation. The Lord sees that this knowledge is not given to any except those who are in the right attitude of heart and able to exercise the necessary faith. Upon others God's Message makes little or no impression even if they should hear with the outward ear. Weakness of heredity or handicaps of training, or both, hinder them.


"The blessing of the Lord it maketh rich." All who have the hearing ear and the understanding heart realize this blessing. Something has entered into their lives the like of which was never known before. During the next Age the blessing of the Lord will come upon the world, but will operate quite differently. The arrangement for the next Age, as we see from God's Word, is that, first of all, Christ will take the Kingdom, and will have absolute control of the whole world. His first step will be to bind that old serpent, Satan, who has been deceiving the nations for 6,000 years. Christ will restrain him, that he may deceive the nations no more, that the people may be relieved from that deceptive influence, that they may the better appreciate the Plan of God, which will then be made known to all.

Will not that be a blessing from the Lord, a blessing of knowledge, when the world is shown that God, instead of being the greatest devil that they could imagine, is a God of sympathy and compassion? Will they not be glad when they learn that God has for a thousand years turned the whole world over to His Son, that our Lord may reign to the intent that the blessing of life everlasting may be granted to all who receive God's gracious offer into good and honest hearts? God's blessing will make rich in body, in mind and in moral quality whoever receives it.

The Apostle Peter declares that these Times of Refreshment shall be "Times (years) of Restitution." (Acts 3:19-21) Restitution means restoration. When Adam fell, he gradually lost his moral and physical perfection, and went down, down, down into the tomb. So have all mankind, his posterity. Adam and all his race are to be offered restitution a restoration from sickness, from sorrow, from death, a restoration from mental, moral and physical disabilities back, back, back to the image of God which Adam lost by disobedience in Eden, but which our Lord Jesus redeemed for all mankind at Calvary.

These wonderful blessings are all to be given to the race by Messiah's glorious Kingdom. Whoever will accept these blessings of God will receive riches beyond human pen now to portray. Just think what this will mean! Suppose that we had the power now to bring the world back from its selfish, mean condition to the image and likeness of God. Where would the European war be in two minutes? Where would all selfishness and sin be? The removal of all these evils is just what God purposes to do, not by magic, but along better lines. If such a change could be wrought by magic, it would go by magic.


God purposes that man must learn a great lesson that sin burns and devours like fire. The true Church of Christ have learned that lesson. The world is learning a similar [HGL831] lesson, and will learn it still more fully. The great Time of Trouble now coming upon the nations will enforce that lesson as it has never yet been realized. Then under the Messianic Kingdom, the world will learn righteousness; they will climb the ladder back to perfection. The Lord sees that this will be far better than magical changes could be.

Now there are sin, sorrow, misery, poverty, all imaginable difficulties and even death itself. But then, the Lord tells us through His Word, there will be no curse, no more poverty, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor dying. The earth will become a Paradise. The blessing of the Lord will make the world rich, and He will add no sorrow with it. If any should then have sorrows, it will be because they add the sorrows themselves. Whoever will be obedient to the laws of the Kingdom will be blessed by the Lord. All who will love righteousness and hate iniquity shall have the blessing of the Lord, making them richer and richer, until by the close of the Millennial Age they will be absolutely perfect, as perfect as are the holy angels, as free from pain as are the angels no more insanity, no more broken hearts, no more curse!


Even in the present time it is true that the blessing of the Lord maketh rich His people now. "But," says one, "not many of them are very rich." I am not so sure about that. To be rich is to have all that one desires. If one is a true child of God, he will desire the things that God sees best for him to have. He will wish God to give him whatever Divine wisdom approves. In proportion as he is yielding his life to God, in that same proportion he is getting his desire, and therefore he is rich.

There are plenty of people who cannot get the peace they covet. Many rich people lack much that they crave. But those who get the riches of the Lord are rich indeed; for they have the peace of God, which passeth all understanding. It is the blessing of the Lord which makes His people rich rich in the blessed sense of sins forgiven, in the realization that God no longer condemns us, that we are His children, "joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him." Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:11-12.

In harmony with the call which God has been sending forth during the Gospel Dispensation, He has received us as His children. He has been calling out of the world a certain company. The call goes to the world, but not with the purpose of gathering the world. God's purpose now is to take out from the world "a people for His name," (Acts 15:13-17) To illustrate, if a young nobleman should come to this city to seek a bride, he would choose a young woman of especially desirable qualifications to bear his name. He would select her from amongst all others. Similarly God is now choosing a Bride for His Son, to take the name of Christ. (Jer. 23:6; 33:16; 2 Cor. 5:21) For more than eighteen hundred years this has been God's special work.


This work of choosing the church is almost complete. Probably there are a few more vacant places, but not many, so far as we understand the Word of God. We must be very near the time when the last member shall have come into the Bride Class. In the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13), we read that when all the wise virgins had gone into the marriage, the door was shut. This does not mean, however, that when the door to the Marriage of the Lamb shall have closed, the door of mercy shall also be closed. As long as there shall be any proper use for mercy, there will be mercy. Only the church as yet experiences mercy from God. But during the next age all mankind will receive it.

It is not the door of mercy that is closing now, in the end of the Gospel Age; for that door will be open throughout the incoming age. Nor is it the door of opportunity for salvation that is about to shut. It is the door into the Bride class, into the marriage of the Lamb, that is soon to close; and when once it is closed, no more will ever get into that class. No other class will ever receive offers as good as those now offered. The Bride of Christ will be fabulously rich. Hers will be the highest honors. She will have all the riches of grace promised in the Word, all the loving kindness which her Lord has provided for her.

But even while still in the flesh the church class are greatly blessed. The peace and rest of heart which we enjoy is conducive to physical health. This does not mean that all of the Lord's children are well and strong physically, but that all things considered, their health is likely to be better than it would have been with the same amount of activity had they remained in the world. Even in a temporal way the Master's words, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," have great force. This rest in Christ, this realization that we have the God of the universe as our best and truest Friend, as our constant Helper and Guide, lifts a great load from the heart and brings a joy, a freedom from anxiety; that none others than the Lord's own people can understand.

We may not be richer in the sense that we shall have more wealth, finer homes or greater influence in the world. This will be very unlikely. Nor do we desire these things. But we have the true riches, which far outweigh all these other things; for they cannot bring happiness nor peace of mind. The Heavenly riches give the spirit of a sound mind. This makes the brain clearer, the judgment more reliable, the nerves more steady, the heart more buoyant. We are keeping our eyes fixed upon the unspeakable blessings which await us; and so we rejoice as we go on our way.


The glories which God hath in reservation for His faithful, loyal children are things that eye hath not seen nor ear heard. (1 Cor. 2:9, 16) Wonderful indeed will be the riches of the world when mankind shall have been fully restored to human perfection and to an Edenic home. But far more wonderful will be the riches of the church, the Bride of Christ. She shall be made like her Lord in His present glorified condition far above angels, principalities and powers- "partaker of the Divine nature" 1 John 3:1-3; 2 Pet. 1:4.

Our Lord was exalted to be Head over the Church, His Body; and the Church is to sit with Him in His throne. (Rev. 3:21) What a wonderful blessing of the Lord is this! What earthly riches can compare with it? Then, dear brethren, "let us run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith."

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