July 24, 1904

Republished from The St. Paul Enterprise, March 13, 1917

(From the Pittsburgh Gazette, 1904.)

Toledo, O., July 24 – Pastor C. T. Russell of Allegheny, Pa., preached here twice today to large audiences. This afternoon at 3 p. m., at the Valentyne theatre, his topic was "God's Oath-bound Covenant to Abraham and His seed."

The evening subject was: "Using This World, Not Misusing It."

His text was, "Be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." – 1 Tim. 6:17. He said: Never was there a time when the whole world seemed more intent upon the accumulation of wealth then now. So manifest is the spirit of hunger for riches that some one has compiled a mock prayer which, by its exaggeration of the spirit of the world today, may help to bring home to the hearts of some a realization of their own danger of idolatry. When we speak of the "world" we use that term as our Lord used it, saying to His disciples, "Ye are not of the world even as I am not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world."

The Lord's disciples were chosen out of the professed people of God, the Jewish ecclesiastical system, and those who did not follow His teachings were, therefore, the "world" under His definition. So then we see that the same "world" today, namely: Christendom is considerably given over to idolatry – to the worship of Mammon, to the worship of money. Viewed from this standpoint as a highly-colored picture of the general attitude of Christendom today, it may be profitable for us to read in your hearing this that some one suggests is the real attitude of the civilized world. Profit to us of this mock prayer will be in proportion as we shall discern its impropriety and shall resolve by the grace of God that neither the prayers of our lips nor the condition of our hearts nor the actions of our lives shall in any manner indicate to others that such is our prayer – that we are idolaters of this kind.


"Oh! Almighty Dollar, our acknowledged governor, preserver and benefactor: We desire to approach thee on this and every other occasion with that regard which should ever be cherished for exalted greatness. Almighty dollar, without thee in the world we can do nothing, but with thee we can do all things. When sickness lays its paralyzing hands upon us, thou canst provide the tenderest of nurses and the most skilful physicians. And when the last struggle of mortality is over and we are being taken to the last resting place of the dead, thou canst provide for us a band of music and military escort to accompany us to that place, and, last but not least, erect over our retiring place a magnificent monument to perpetuate our memory with a living epitaph. And while here amidst the misfortunes and temptations of life, if we are accused of crime and brought before magistrates, thou, almighty dollar, canst secure for us a talented lawyer, a favorable judge and a jury, that we go scot free. Be with us, we pray thee then, in all of thy decimal parts; for thou art the one altogether lovely and the chief among ten thousand. There is no condition in life where thy potent and all-powerful charms are not felt. In thy absence how gloomy is all the household and how desolate the heartstone! But when thou, almighty dollar, art with us, how gleefully the beefsteak sings on the gridiron, how genial is the warmth that anthracite coal and hickory wood diffuses through thy apartment, causing the awakened soul to break forth in acclamations of joy! Almighty dollar, thou canst adorn the gentleman, feed the jackass; and, when an election is to be carried, thou art the most potent argument of politicians and demagogues – the umpire that decides every contest! Almighty dollar, thy shining face bespeaks thy wondrous power! In my pocket make thy resting place! I need thee every hour! I need thee !"


The prayer of the true Christian is quite to the contrary of the foregoing. To him the Lord his God is first – He is trusted, is loved, is obeyed at any cost to the extent of his ability. Briefly summed up by the poet, he says: "One prayer I have, all prayers in one, Tis to be wholly Thine; Only Thy will, O Lord, be done, And, Lord, that will is mine. [NS104] The common impression in the world is that to accept the Lord's will and to seek to walk in His ways, is to forego all the pleasures and enjoyments of life and to become very sad and disconsolate. This view of the matter should be corrected on every suitable occasion by those who really know the ways of the Lord. It is not our claim that worldly people are Christians and merely do not know it and that their various pleasures are proper to the Christian. On the contrary, we stick closely to the Scriptures, and admit that faithfulness to the Lord and to His word and to all who have His spirit, and in general; adherence to all the principles of righteousness are sure to bring the Lord's people more or less into a condition of separateness from the world. So the Lord intended and foretold, "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

But, admitting that faithfulness to these principles will interfere with the accumulation of wealth, so that not many great, not many rich, not many wise, will be found amongst the Lord's people; admitting also the force of our Lord's words, "Marvel not if the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you – the servant is not above his Lord."

Nevertheless, the Lord's people want to appreciate more and more and to emphasize the fact that there is a joy and peace and blessing in connection with obedience to the divine guidance which is not to be secured by any other course or from any other quarter. These blessings from the Lord upon His faithful ones more than compensate them for the losses of earthly friendships and wealth and fame, securable to them by their natural talents in other directions. The misanthropic view of Christian life which prevailed during the Dark Ages and led many to monasteries, nunneries, cloisters, etc., was largely induced by misconceptions of the divine character and plan. Under Satan's delusions of that dark time the flames of hell and the imagined shrieks and tortures of deceased friends in purgatory or hell, cast a shadow upon the lives of many who mourned not only for their friends, but who were in torment of fear as respected themselves. From their standpoint of misconception, they imagined that the Heavenly Father wished them to go about in sackcloth and ashes, making themselves miserable continually in the present life, so that they might themselves escape some of the miseries they anticipate for the future. It was in comportment with this spirit that the poet wrote, "Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flowers, have all lost their sweetness to me. This is all wrong, dear friends, and the world in general to some extent has awakened to a realization of the error, while convents and monasteries have become unpopular in proportion as the darkness has lifted; and this despite the fact that many still cling to the theory of eternal torment. The difference is that while hell is still theoretically acknowledged, it is now assumed that all civilized people, church members and their friends and relatives, will escape it. Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic church still insists upon the baptism of infants, lest, dying unbaptized, they should go to hell – still insists that in the case of a child in danger of dying at the moment of birth, baptism should be performed with a special instrument for the purpose before the risk is taken. And many Protestants, while they deny any thought of infants being in danger of eternal torment for lack of baptism, are, nevertheless, quite nervous if their child be taken seriously ill before the baptism ceremony has been performed. Thus they evidence that some of the old darkness of superstition and error still clings to them. How glad we should be that in divine providence our eyes are opening more and more to see that this doctrine of eternal torture is not taught in the Scriptures, and is based entirely upon misrepresentations of certain parables and dark sayings and symbols, with not a single literal statement in its support – As I cannot take the time here, dear friends, to discuss the question, I invite any who are still in doubt respecting the scriptural teaching concerning hell, to drop me a postal card at Allegheny, Pa., requesting a free pamphlet on "What Say the Scriptures About Hell."

This pamphlet discusses the matter in a thoroughly reverent spirit, examines every text containing the word hell, and makes very plain just what the Scriptures do teach and what they do not teach on this matter along this line.


Some of you have noticed that in our hymn book we have changed the stanza already quoted to make it read the very reverse – "Sweet prospect, sweet birds and sweet flowers, have all gained new sweetness to me."

This is as it ought to be; for although the apostle declares, "If in this life only ye have hope in Christ, ye are of all men most miserable," yet the hope in Christ is not merely for the things of the life to come, but also for this present life. The joys and blessings of the life to come, shining into the hearts of the Lord's people, illuminating them, disperses the gloom and sadness to such an extent that the Christian, rightly instructed in the Word of the Lord, and properly filled with His spirit, is the most happy person in the world. Others, the world, are seeking joy and happiness – the Christian finds these when he finds Christ. The apostle speaks of our minds – our new views of life guided and directed by the Father's word – as being "the spirit of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7)

As a [NS105] matter of fact the whole world realizes that it is unsound of mind, of unsound judgment – that it errs frequently on many subjects. Nor is the Christian more favored naturally in these respects than others. Often he is less favored, being, as the apostle says, "Chiefly of the poor of this world."

However, from the time he takes the Lord as his guide, his counselor, he has a wisdom superior to his own by nature, and this wisdom of a sound mind is "The mind of Christ."

In proportion as it is received, all the affairs of life may be recognized according to their true weight, their true value; in comparison with the things of the life to come, for which the present life is to the Christian a schooling-time of preparation. From this standpoint of the new mind, taught of God, the Christian realizes that the sufferings of this present time – trials, difficulties, self-denials – are unworthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us – Rom. 8:18


Our text intimates that the Lord's people are not to be morose and disconsolate; because the Lord has made full provision for their enjoyment. The apostle is discussing the riches of this present time, and urging that the Lord's people do not put their confidence, their trust, in these – that we remember the uncertainty of worldly riches. Our getting of such riches would be uncertain even if we sought them, and our keeping of such riches would be uncertain even if we got them. The apostle urges that our trust and confidence should be in the living God, that is, in the God who is the fountain of our life, of all blessing, who assures us of His good will toward us, and that all things of life are ours to be richly enjoyed. To the worldly-minded man this proposition is false – He reasons that we cannot enjoy that which we do not have. He sees not the fallacy of his reasoning and indeed many of the Lord's dear people have not sufficiently learned to take the Lord's standpoint in such matters. If we look at these things from the world's standpoint we will fail to have the joy; we must view them from the Lord's standpoint if we would enjoy them rightly. This proper standpoint, as expressed by the apostle, is, "All things are yours... things present or things to come, all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God." 1 Cor. 3:21-23

To many this statement by the apostle seems untrue, but we answer that it is true to each one of the Lord's consecrated people in proportion as each can take that standpoint of view and by faith appropriate it to himself. From this standpoint the church, the Lord's consecrated ones, are His sole charge, the sole objects of His providences in this present time. True, He has a glorious provision for the world, in the age that shall follow this one, in the Millennial age; but now the church, of which Christ is the head, is the sole beneficiary of the divine favors, arrangements, providences, etc. "All things are working together for good to those who love the Lord."

They are the "happy objects of His grace, destined to behold His face," and all the heavenly powers are so disposed as to favor and to forward their highest interests. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them." (Psa. 34:7)

"Their angels (messengers) do always have access to the face of my Father." Matt. 17:10

Who shall lay anything to the charge of these who love the Lord, who are trusting in the precious blood, who are seeking to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit? It is Christ who died; it is God, who once condemned, who has now justified them freely from all things; all things are working on their behalf for good. They should recognize these conditions set forth in the Scriptures, that they may the more heartily rejoice in all the present experiences of life, knowing that even its trials and difficulties are working out the greater blessing in the future by preparing their characters – polishing, testing and preparing them for the heavenly kingdom – for co-operation with their Lord and Master in the great work of blessing the world, soon to be inaugurated.


Let us illustrate how the Lord's people can richly enjoy all things as though they were the actual possessors of them now. As they look abroad upon the beautiful fields and orchards, forests, lawns, gardens, etc., they can enjoy the beauty of all of these just as much as can those who hold the title deeds. They can look at the outside at least of many of the beautiful and expensive homes of earth, not to mention the grand public edifices, they can admire and enjoy the architecture of these and think of the blessings and comfort of the occupants. The fine horses and carriages of their more wealthy neighbors they can enjoy, too, without having the care and responsibility of them. But, you ask can not others than the Lord's people equally enjoy these matters? We answer no. There are various things to hinder others from deriving pleasure from such matters. In their hearts is selfishness, envy, malice, hatred, strife, to a greater or lesser degree. If they cannot have the beautiful, the grand, they prefer that others should not have them either; they envy the rich. Nor does this failure to "richly enjoy all things" apply merely to the poor of the world; many who are rich in this world's goods and have need of nothing are [NS106] unhappy nevertheless, because of a failure to "richly enjoy all things."

Many of the most cultures, the most wealthy, the most favorably situated, are very unhappy, and not only do not enjoy the things possessed by their neighbors, but do not properly enjoy the things possessed by themselves. The selfishness which belong to our race by nature is deeply ingrained, and it requires not only the begetting of the Holy Spirit, but considerable growth in grace and in the fruits of the Spirit to arrive at the position where we can take a proper view of all things surrounding us and enjoy them and render thanks to God and be happy. Many of the wealthy lose their interest in their own possession when once they see themselves outclassed by someone who previously had been no more wealthy than themselves. It requires the peace of God and love and benevolence toward our fellow creatures to enable us to richly enjoy the prosperity of others and enjoy the blessings of nature and of art which, by God's providences, are all about us. The true child of God, even though his home be plainly furnished and his food and raiment such merely as would be comfortable and moderate, can look out with joy and peace and satisfaction upon all creation, and can rejoice in whatever he may see of the happiness and prosperity of others – because his heart has been freed from that spirit of selfishness which produces covetousness, envy, strife, and which poisons and discolors everything that is beautiful and attractive of the good things of this present world. The child of God has abundant opportunity for cultivating the very highest tastes as he passes along the city streets and sees the rich window displays of elegant wares. He is not immediately seized with the desire to possess some beautiful work of art, to hang it up and call it his own. He is content to take good view of it, to enjoy it in the possession of other, and we believe gets much more real pleasure from it than the owners. Indeed, he has a pleasure in not "owning" extravagant things – in having sacrificed his "rights" in these respects for a share with Christ in self-denials in this present life, and in the future inheritance of "glory, honor and immortality" eternally. He is content and very thankful to have such things as reasonably contribute to his present comfort. Such is the happy being, the child of God, who recognizes that every good and perfect gift cometh down from the Father of lights, such trust not in uncertain riches, but in the God who is the fountain of life and blessing, and who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.


The apostle inculcates the same thought in 1 Cor. 7:31, where he urges that the Lord's people shall use this world as not abusing it. That is to say, not misusing the things of this present time, or, more exactly in the thought of the original, perhaps, using this world without using it to the full – using it in moderation. In another place he exhorts us to let our moderation be manifest to all men. The teaching of the Scriptures everywhere is that the people of God should be well balanced in their minds – not extremists. True, the world will think us extremists because we are willing to sacrifice all earthly things for the heavenly things – because such a course seems to the world, with its lack of faith in heavenly things, to be unwise, unreasonable. But to us, from our standpoint of faith in the divine promises, moderation in the use of the things of this present time means the use of them in such a manner as will contribute to our interests in the life to come. This is the wisdom which cometh from above – first pure, then peaceable, easy of entreatment, etc. – Jas. 3:17

Our text implies that ability to enjoy richly the things of this present time means a trust in God rather than a trust in ourselves or a trust in others or in wealth. And how often we see it to be the case that those who are self-confident, those who trust in the arm of flesh, and those who trust in and make an idol of riches, find in the end that their trust, their confidence, has been misplaced, and that life as a whole under such circumstances is a failure, that it does not bring them the joy, the peace, the satisfaction but merely discontent, disappointment – they have strife and unhappiness. Trust in God as the giver of all blessings, and a thankful acceptance of the portion granted us, implies that we have approached God in His appointed way and been accepted; that we have recognized ourselves as sinners who by nature have no claim upon divine attention, but who, having heard of the grace of God in Christ, have accepted divine favor through faith in the blood. It implies more than this, that having accepted God's grace we put our affairs in His hands; that we have accepted His proposition that by a full surrender of ourselves as natural beings we should be accepted of Him, adopted into His family, as spiritual new creatures in Christ. It implies further that having taken these steps our faith firmly holds to the divine promises that all things are ours and are working for our good and for our highest spiritual interests. From this standpoint we can indeed have confidence toward God, and face all the mutations of this present life with perfect composure, knowing that He careth for us and that we have cast all of our care on Him.


The statement of our text that "God hath given us [NS107] richly all things to enjoy," and the other Scripture cited that "all things are ours" because we are Christ's and as such are God's, reminds us of a still different statement of the same matter by our Lord Jesus. The apostle inquired of our Lord what special favor would be granted to them in view of the fact that they had made a full self-surrender of all the interests of life to become His followers and servants in the truth. The Lord's answer is applicable to all of His followers from the days of the apostles to the present time – applicable to all that walk in His footsteps in the narrow way, and who thus faithfully make their calling and election sure to joint-heirship with Him in the heavenly kingdom, soon to be established. He said, "There is no man that hath left houses, or brethren, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or lands, for my sake, and for the gospel's sake, but he shall receive an hundred-fold" now, in this time – houses and brethren and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come, everlasting life. Mark 10:29-30

Alas! that we must say it! but there are very many professed followers of our Lord who have had no such experience as is here detailed. It must either be the fault of the Master, and His word does not prove true, or else it is the fault of those who would claim this promise – that they do not faithfully come up to the conditions; that they do not lose or sacrifice everything in the interest of the Lord and the gospel, and hence have little opportunity for getting back an hundredfold. If nothing is sacrificed in the Lord's cause, this promise of an hundred-fold would mean no increase – On the other hand, to those who have sacrificed and who have thus proven faithful to their consecration to walk in the Master's footsteps, there is a depth of meaning in these words. They find themselves in fellowship of heart with others who are walking in the same narrow way , and amongst those who are truly the Lord's there is a fellowship of heart, between the old and the young, as between parents and children and between others as brethren and sisters. All losses sustained as result of faithfulness to the Lord and His message are compensated an hundred-fold indeed, and more – This can be understood and appreciated only by those who have had experiences in this line; others must not judge nor condemn untried the Lord's promise. As we have already seen, too, these same faithful ones by reason of growth in grace and love and benevolence, are able to enjoy all the possessions of their neighbors and their friends more than do their worldly neighbors and friends.

An hundred-fold more is a very small statement of the matter. Indeed, we think our Lord could truthfully have said that we enjoy houses and lands, etc., a thousand-fold more than anything we have sacrificed for His sake. Let us learn, dear brethren and sisters, more and more, to take this divine standpoint in viewing life and our surroundings. Under such conditions every day's experience, even in the present life, will be an hundred-fold better, happier, more joyous with the true joy of the Spirit than would be possible under other conditions; and this in turn will be manifest in our outward life, and not alone to ourselves. "Singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord," we can receive all the experiences of life – the painful as well as the pleasurable – with joy and thanksgiving, and with the realization that they all are working out good for us, valuable experiences and character developments to fit us for the kingdom. More than this, these joys of heart will be manifest in our faces. The heart that is happy finds expression in the face just as the contents of a book are told by the index. The lines of care and worry which belong to the cares of this life, and being troubled about many things, striving for the unattainable things and being grieved over failures, will give place in the Lord's people to lines of countenance indicating faith, trust in the Lord, rest of heart, fixity of purpose – peace with God and, so far as lieth in us, so far as possible on our part, with our fellow men.

The typical temple of old was not built in a day, neither the glorious temple of the future, the Body of Christ, the Church now in process of development and perfecting for the kingdom. As "living stones," the shaping, chiseling, polishing, requires time. We must not expect to have the full appreciation of all the gracious promises of the Lord at the beginning of our Christian way; but we should have them before our minds as indicating the objective point of our attainment in the Christian life. We should keep looking toward the "all things" that are ours, endeavoring to realize the fact more and more. We should be looking toward the "hundred-fold more in this present time" and seeking to appreciate the blessings as they are coming to us or are within our grasp to be used. We should learn more and more not to trust in uncertain, earthly riches, but speedily begin to "richly enjoy all things," realizing that our Heavenly Father is at the helm and is guiding us as His children into all the exceeding riches of His grace and loving kindness, which He has promised to them that are in Christ Jesus, members of His body, the church.


October 2, 1904

Republished from The St. Paul Enterprise, January 23, 1917

(From Pittsburgh Gazette)

St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 2, 1904 – A three day's convention of "Believers in the Atonement Sacrifice of Christ," "A Ransom for All," began here yesterday, with a good attendance from all parts of the Middle West and South. This is the third convention of these people this year. In May they held one for the Pacific coast in Los Angeles, and in August one for New England in Boston. Eight speakers are on the program for the present convention, and all thus far heard have shown marked ability as well as reverence in handling their topics. Pastor C .T. Russell of Allegheny, Pa., was the speaker this afternoon. He had a large audience. His topic was, "Spiritual Lessons from the Great St. Louis Exposition."

His text and discourse follow: "O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge be increased." Dan. 12:4

Innumerable are the lessons to be drawn from the great Exposition which has attracted and is attracting to this city hundreds of thousands of visitors from all parts of the globe. Like the great world which it in miniature represents, it contains lessons for the wise and for the foolish, matters of interest for the good as well as for the evilly disposed. The profitableness or unprofitableness of a visit to such an exhibit depends largely upon the mind and heart of the visitor. Some see nothing to interest them except the follies of the "Pike," and these are by no means an inconsiderable number, we are sorry to believe. Others more noble-minded are interested in the general manifestation of the world's progress, testified to in every department of this great exhibition. We have all heard of the sailor who had visited all the principle ports of the world, but could give little account of them except their saloons and dance halls. And so it is sure to be in respect to world exhibitions. Some see nothing in them ennobling, but rather appear to draw evil inspirations from every quarter. Others of loftier mind are stirred to the depths of their hearts and quickened to fresh appreciation of the privileges of our day, to fresh laudable ambitions to do their part in ministering to the physical, mental and moral uplift and comfort of the whole world.


These latter, whom we sincerely hope constitute the majority of those who have visited and will yet visit this Exposition, stand amazed as they behold the progress made by the world within the last century, and particularly within the last few decades. Their ideals and standards are elevated by contact with the best material things which the world has to show in attestation of its own progress from darkness to light. Those in the agricultural department are specially interested in the labor-saving machinery and in noting the fact that it has nearly all been invented within a century. They marvel as they contrast the implements of today with those of the year 1800. In the horticultural department they contrast the wonderful development accomplished in fruits and flowers, the infinite varieties of today compared with those of past times. In the electrical department they see wonders of our day; and when they think of the fact that these are of recent production, and that a hundred years ago none of them were known, they are amazed, and disposed to inquire, "How did the world get along without these conveniences? and at the present rate of progress what may we not expect within another century or another thousand years?" They view the exhibits made by the schools, and remember that free schools are comparatively recent innovation and that only the favored parts of the world yet have them. They note the skill and mental development of children of 5 and 10 and 12 years of age; they thoughtfully reflect on the marvelous change in this respect – that knowledge is so generally disseminated in our day. Those of reflective mind call up the fact that the forbears of these children only a short distance back were comparatively ignorant, whether they came from the sunny lands of France and Italy or from the emerald islands of Great Britain or from the great plains of Central Europe. Some of them will call to mind the fact that, not remotely in the past, a law was passed by the British parliament permitting that any peer of the realm, any member of the house of lords, unable to write his name should be permitted to make his mark instead on official documents. How almost incredible this seems in this our day of general, [NS109] free and even compulsory education, when even the little tots have advanced to the degree testified to in their share of the exhibits in the educational department. But perhaps no part of the Exposition is more interesting to the thoughtful than the machinery department – to note how under some peculiar impulse the human mind has suddenly broken forth in the last century so as to construct machinery whose operation is almost miraculous. They are inclined to say, "How did the world ever get along without machinery? How did mankind succeed in being comfortable without the innumerable conveniences of our day, which are but on recent invention?" In this department the printing press has properly an important place assigned to it, where all can see in contrast the advances, the progress made from the earliest and crudest endeavors to put thought into tangible form for the instruction of others, down to the most modern mechanism, whose accurate and rapid movements and marvelous particularity in every detail are testified to by the large journals of every quarter of the world. With what difficulty do we realize that the first newspaper in the world was published in Venice in 1630, and that the first in England was in 1665, and that those were the merest handbills in comparison to the metropolitan newspapers of our day. Annexed to the machinery department we find the transportation exhibit, in some respects showing more wonderful and rapid development than any other. It is almost inconceivable, yet fully testified to by history as well as by these exhibits, that a hundred years ago there was not a steamship in the world – that the first, the Claremont, built by Robert Fulton, had its trial passage of the Hudson river in the year 1807. Thousands have viewed with interest and curiosity the samples of locomotives of early times, and contrasted these with the steam giants which, girded with superhuman power, rush hither and thither at almost lightning speed, with long trains of passengers and goods. How difficult it is for us to realize that the first steam railroad was put into operation less than 75 years ago between Albany and Schenectady, New York – in 1831 A.D.

We might continue with profit our study of these and other marvels, and might draw from them many helpful lessons respecting what man has done and what man may yet accomplish, and no one can accurately measure the profitable lessons which may be drawn from these exhibits, which represent an outlay of nearly $50,000,000. To the thoughtful mind the exhibition rightly considered is of incalculable value – more helpful than a year in college – giving a wider scope of information than a year spent in travel at a cost of thousands of dollars and with every advantage. But we must hasten, for our particular interest centers in the spiritual lessons to be drawn from this great Exposition.


Pondering the meaning of the wonderful developments of the past century, two explanations present themselves: First – To the average mind these wonders speak of a new evolutionary development of our race – Indeed, the Darwinian evolution theory, which has captivated and now dominates civilized thought, was no doubt suggested largely by an attempt to explain present conditions as related to those of the past. From this standpoint the evolution theory seems logical – much more so than when it is thoroughly investigated in the light of facts. The claim that mankind sprang from monkeys by an evolutionary process and that the intervening 6,000 years has marked a gradual rise in the intellectual development of humanity, appeals strongly to the superficial reasoner as being substantiated by present-day conditions and progress, illustrated by the great exposition now being held in this city. But the facts of history do not bear out such a conclusion, and, therefore, do not substantiate such a premise. Were we to ignore history and merely follow this course of reasoning backward, the logical conclusion would be that men were monkeys four or five centuries ago – not to consider what they would have been 6,000 years ago. If we look at the modern locomotive and railway train and mail service and compare these with the first locomotive and train service of 1830, only 75 years ago, and to measure the past according to this ratio of increase in knowledge, skill, etc., we would be forced to think of the people of the seventeenth century as being almost devoid of mechanical skill. But what do the facts of history attest? Instead of monkeys in the seventeenth century we find Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton; in the sixteenth century we find Luther and Shakespeare, and the thoughts of these great men are so great that they are reverenced today, and many are of opinion that no works written in our time are superior to theirs in depth and breadth of intellectual power. Let us go further back, far beyond the date that modern inventions would lead us to look for monkeys among our ancestors, and find the great Apostle Paul as an illustration of intellectual power and logical reasoning, more than 1,800 years before steamboats and locomotives were invented. Let us go further back and four centuries before the Christian era finds Socrates and Plato, whose philosophy, however erroneous, still to a large extent dominates [NS110] the most intellectual members of our race today. Still further back we come to Solon, the great philosopher and publicist of Athens, and yet further back was the renowned Solomon the Wise, king of Israel, whose proverbs are published today in every land for their recognized wisdom. A little further back, ten centuries before the Christian era, was King David of Israel, whose psalms are recognized as touching the hearts and sentiments of mankind more widely and more deeply and more thoroughly even then the writings of Shakespeare. How is this? If evolutionary processes have been the method by which our race has attained to present-day blessings and prosperity, should we find great minds all along through the past – minds whose products have refreshed and inspired the best heads and hearts of the world from their day until the present time, and whose words are quoted not only by Shakespeare, but by every living author and public speaker of note throughout the world today – and quoted, too, approvingly and with the conviction that the quotation carries weight with the intelligent?


The present boasts of its laws, and well it may. Truly no other age ever had better or wiser laws, however much they may be improved to adapt them to our new conditions. But when thinking of these laws, how few consider that the basis upon which they all were built was that great system of law which, by divine arrangement, was instituted in the nation of Israel through the great law-giver, Moses. The trouble with the majority of people is that they have never carefully studied those wonderful laws and do not appreciate them. We can well sympathize with the attorney who, having made a study of the matter, exclaimed, "Where did Moses get those laws?" Admitting that the laws of Moses were of divine inspiration, we still must concede that the human intellect through which those laws were given to the world must have been sufficient to have appreciated and grasped them, since Moses was not only the giver of the laws but the enforcer of them also – Where, then, are the evidences of his close relationship to the monkey at a period 3,500 years before our first crude locomotive was constructed? At that date, too, we find that not Israel alone was above the plane of the monkey, but that other nations also possessed civilization of a high order. The Chinese had the great Confucius more than 2,400 years ago; several centuries still further back the Greeks had their great lawyer Lycurgus and their great poet Homer, and centuries before that the Egyptians manufactured glass, and that of a kind which we are unable to duplicate today, elastic glass. Moreover, the tempering of copper, the secret of which is not now known, was practiced in those early days, as is testified by tools which have been found. It was at a still earlier date than any of these things that the great pyramid of Egypt was built – 461 feet high, 746 feet square at the base, and covering twelve acres – and still reckoned as one of the great wonders of the world. If the people of those early days – 4,000 years ago – had the skill to construct that wonderful building, which could not have been duplicated one century ago, does it look as though they were monkeys or very much nearer to the monkeys than we are today? When we learn with astonishment that the great stones in this structure are so closely laid that the thin edge of a knife can scarcely be inserted between them, and when we remember that there is not another building in all the world that exhibits so masterly construction as this, it assures us, dear friends, that there is a great mistake in the theory of Evolution, which would link people of the world of the immediate past as well as of the remote past with monkey-men – I am confident that no one in this audience has the ability to lay such masonry as the Great Pyramid exhibits.. I am confident that with all the machinery and acknowledged skill of our time in such matter, no mason in the world would undertake such a contract of laying stones in so exact a manner as we find them in the Great Pyramid in far-off Egypt. We might go further back and find in the records of the only history of that early period of the world – in the Bible – the record of the first man and of how his children were inventors of musical instruments, workers in iron, steel, etc., but we desist, merely calling attention to the fact that the wildest Evolutionists are forced to admit that the human family sprang from one original pair, as the Scriptures declare; and hence, if the Evolution theory were true, it would merely prove that one pair of monkeys and no more ever reached the plane of humanity, the likeness of God, and that no others have ever since so attained. But such an admission, as all may readily see, would mean death to the Evolution argument.


Seeing the lameness of the Evolution theory, its general inconsistency in the light of facts, let us, dear friends, grasp more firmly the history and revelation which God has provided for us – the Bible. Let us assure ourselves of the consistency of the divine presentation, the very reverse of that proffered us by evolutionists, which we have found unsatisfactory. The Scriptural assurance is that God created our first parents under favorable conditions in a specially [NS111] prepared garden, in His own image – His own character likeness with mental and moral qualities capable of appreciating right and wrong, justice and injustice. Not only does Genesis tell us of the fall of our first parents and point out the hope of the world to be a recovery from sin and its penalty, death, but it points out also the particular line or channel of the human family through which God would send deliverance – through the seed of Abraham. The Scriptures give us the history of Abraham's posterity, through whom the divine blessing for the uplift, the saving of the world, was to come, and they point out Jesus as that Savior, showing His lineal descent through the nation of Israel from Abraham to whom the promise was made. We find in the same Scriptures that this Jesus received His name, which signified Savior, because it should be He who would redeem His people and become the Savior of the world. We find that in the divine plan it was ordered and arranged that this Messiah should die for the sins of the whole world, and thus by meeting the divine penalty against the lost race, make possible their release from sin and death. We see also that the opportunity to be thus associated with Him in His coming reign of righteousness was properly offered "to the Jew first;" and that when all the Israelites indeed of that nation had been selected, the rest, blinded by worldly wisdom, lost the favor, the opportunity, of joint-heirship with Christ in His kingdom, which then opened to the world in general – whosoever would have an ear to hear and a heart to obey and to walk in the narrow way, taking up the cross of self-denial. The Scriptures give us an account of all these matters, and, moreover, points us to the prophecies by which we see that the Lord foreknew that only a part of the Jewish nation would prove to be Israelites, indeed, and, accordingly, foretold the offer of joint-heirship with Messiah in His kingdom-work of blessing the world would be extended to the Gentiles "to take out of them a people for His name" to be members of His bride, the elect church. (Acts 15:14)

These matters are all consistent with themselves and with the facts as they come down in history. The great Apostle Paul, writing under inspiration, explains to us how it came about that some of the race are so sunken in degradation – how some lost more rapidly and more completely than others the original image and likeness of God, in which our first parents were created. While telling us that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, that we are all fallen through one man's disobedience (Rom. 5:12), he tells us how the most degraded of the race reached their miserable condition. He says (Rom. 1:18) that the wrath of God is revealed, manifested, in these degraded people – as retribution for their wrong course. Why the wrath of God is thus revealed in these brutish offshoots of the race of Adam, he says (verses 21-28): "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imagination, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and to four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanliness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator."

Let no one misunderstand the record. It does not say that God brought this degradation upon them, but that these most degraded sections of the human family brought the degradation they are in upon themselves by their neglect of the divine regulations. God merely permitted them to take the course which they, as free moral agents, chose. And all the facts agree with this thought, for we perceived that all through the past, as well as in the present time, those people most influenced by the divine message are the ones that not only are preserved from the deepest degradation, but proportionately as they receive and obey the divine instruction it uplifts them. Let us now view this great St Louis Exposition from another standpoint, from the Scriptural standpoint. Let us see how the divine word explains the wonderful epoch in which you and I are privileged to live, the most wonderful period of the world's history thus far.


The Scriptural explanation of the wonderful progress which we see all about us, as emphasized by the St. Louis Exposition, is that we are in the dawning of the great millennial age. That coming epoch in the Scriptures is sometimes called "The day of the Lord," and sometimes 'The Day of Jesus Christ," respecting which the apostle tells us that "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years."

The Apostle Peter under Pentecostal influence refers to this glorious millennial day, saying: "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must receive (retain) until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:19-21 Erroneous theologies have turned reason as well as the Word of God upside down in our minds, and it [NS112] requires a little time to get things straightened out again and to discern that, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God's ways higher than man s ways: That the second coming of Christ is to usher in the millennium of divine favor toward the world, and not to end probation and hope. That kingdom for which we pray, "Thy kingdom come" will rule the world with "a rod of iron" and establish judgment – justice. It will promptly punish all evil-doing as well as reward all well-doing. And the prophet declares: "When the judgments of the Lord are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." Isa. 26:9 Hastening on, we remind you of the many utterances of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah respecting the glorious millennial kingdom, when the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the sea, when all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears unstopped, when the blessing of the Lord that maketh rich shall be upon the earth, when the curse shall be removed, "rolled away, happy day."

Jeremiah, Hosea, David, Amos, Joel, Ezekiel, yea, all the holy prophets, have spoken of this glorious time of restitution, in which not only all the Gentiles shall be blessed, but when natural Israel, cast off from divine favor when Messiah was rejected and crucified, shall look upon Him whom they have pierced, because, as the apostle declares, the Lord will pour upon them the spirit of prayer and of supplication. On this point I commend to every one of you the remarkable words of the Apostle Paul in Rom. 11:25-33. The present time, dear friends, is called in the Scriptures "The day of His preparation" – God's preparation for the great millennial day. In other words the wonderful inventions and discoveries of our day are here not because this is a "brain age," but because the Lord's "due time" has come to get the world ready for the wonderful blessings yet in store for it. Whoever gives the subject a thought must readily concede that the grandeurs of the perfect time which God hath promised must needs be brought about either miraculously or through natural means. All will be ready to admit that the divine plan generally avoids miracles. In other words, when the "due time" for it came the Lord gradually lifted the curtain, the veil of ignorance and superstition that so long has enveloped the world; and as He did in olden times among the Israelites, so today He has done throughout the world, namely, He has quickened the perceptive faculties and powers of certain individuals here and there, with the result that we have about us the wonders of a new world within the last century – the vast majority of them since 1875. Nor are these wonders at an end. As we draw nearer and nearer to the time for the promised blessings of the kingdom, all the etceteras essential are coming forth forward, nearing perfection, and yet all great electricians, chemists and scientists in general tell us freely that as yet they know little about the various elements with which they are constantly in touch, and that they believe the world is on the eve of greater and more astounding discoveries than any that have yet come to us.


The majority of Christian people, together with Second Adventists, totally misunderstand the portion of our text which refers to "The time of the end."

It does not mean the end of time, but the time of the ending or closing of the present order of things and the period of the gradual introduction of the new order of things. We have not time here to present to you the Scriptural proofs showing that this "time of the end" began A. D. 1799 – to so many as desire we can supply this and many proofs on the subject in print. We have already been in the time of the end for 105 years, and it is our understanding that there will be 10 years more of this "time of the end" before the active operations connected with the establishment of the Lord's reign in all the earth – which active operations will consist of a world-wide "time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation." – Dan. 12:1. We have now come to the point where our text becomes the key of this discourse. We quote it again: "O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even unto the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased."

I remind you that the prophet had received of the Lord a vision which had perplexed him greatly, to understand which he had made prayer with fasting. An angel had been sent him to explain a certain portion of the vision, but he left other portions unexplained, and Daniel was solicitous respecting the unexplained parts, but was told that all that pertained specially to "his people" and all that was proper for him to understand had already been expounded, and that this remaining part of the vision which he did not understand was not for him to know. As the Apostle Paul declares, "These things were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the ages have come." 1 Cor. 10:11; 1 Pet. 1:12 Daniel's exclamation, "O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?" got the answer, "Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end."

It is our conviction, dear friends, that we now well understand these matters which Daniel was not permitted to understand, and that our knowledge of them is not the result of superior wisdom [NS113] and ability, but because we are living "in the time of the end" – that the time has come for the words of the vision to be unsealed, and for all who are the Lord's truly consecrated people to be no longer in darkness respecting these things.


Four characteristics of this period called the time of the end are mentioned in our text and its context. One of these is that the wise of the Lord's people in this time of the end would understand the prophecy which Daniel was not permitted to understand. We hold, dear friends, that many of the Lord's people already understand this matter, and that others are gradually, day by day, throughout the whole world, coming to an appreciation of it. This is one of the inward evidences, to be understood best by those whose eyes are widely opened, but the other evidences furnished, I trust, we all can discern. The second is of this character – namely, "Many shall run to and fro."

What does this signify? It undoubtedly points us to the steamboat, the locomotive and the wonderful travel hither and thither which has come to the world through these inventions. No prophecy could ever be more literally or more truthfully fulfilled than this one is. We are now living in this time mentioned by the angel. His words are, "In the time of the end many shall run to and fro."

We have already referred to Sir Isaac Newton, the great astronomer and earnest Christian and Bible student. He wrote a commentary on the book of Daniel, and was particularly interested in the verse which constitutes our text, "Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased."

In his comments he wrote, "I should not be surprised if the time would come that men would travel at the rate of 50 miles an hour."

We do not wonder that at the time it was written many considered the statement an absurdity, just as many have considered absurd all the glorious promises relating to the future. The noted infidel Voltaire wrote much against the Bible and declared that so far from inculcating knowledge and wisdom it made men foolish. As an evidence of the baneful influence of the Bible, Voltaire mentioned Sir Isaac Newton and his comment on our text, saying: "Note the baneful effect of Bible study, as illustrated in its effect upon the great mind of Sir Isaac Newton, the astronomer. In his advanced years he became a great student of the prophecies, to such an extent that his judgment was sadly unbalanced, and he wrote in one of his Scripture comments, 'I should not be surprised if the day would come that men would travel at the rate of 50 miles an hour.' Poor old dotard!" Which of these able men with keen minds was best able to foresee coming events – Voltaire, the "higher critics," who sneered at the Bible, or Sir Isaac Newton, the humble, faithful Bible student? The contrast becomes all the more marked when we remember that Sir Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravitation in 1666, nearly a century before the power of steam was discovered by Watt and the power of electricity by Franklin, and that Voltaire, on the contrary, wrote his sarcastic comment after both of these forces had been discovered and were known to the world and when the steam engine was in process of development. Let us, dear friends, set to our seal that the Lord is true and that His Word cannot fail; and if we admire the faith and perception of Newton in anticipating our day by more than two centuries, let us, who behold the fulfillment of these prophecies, not close our eyes to their real significance. The fulfillment proves – unmistakably proves – that we are living in "the time of the end."


The third evidence or proof respecting "the time of the end" is that then knowledge would be increased. Cast your mind over the whole world and note that this part of the prophecy also is unmistakingly in process of wonderful fulfillment today. Your wonderful World's Fair testifies to it. Knowledge is increased greatly, universally. Children from 10 to 14 have knowledge communicated to them upon almost every subject, and education is not only free but compulsory. If our conditions do not fulfill this prophecy, pray tell me what would fulfill it. I offer that no prophecy ever has been more clearly, more positively fulfilled than is this one. The fourth testimony of the angel respecting the great time of trouble closing "the time of the end" is not yet fulfilled; but on every hand we can see that the precedent conditions are ripening. This fourth feature is expressed in the words, "And there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation."

From other prophetic Scriptures we glean that this great trouble lies 10 years in the future. It will be ushered in at the expiration of what the Scriptures designate the "times of the Gentiles," October, 1914 A.D. Looking all about us, dear friends, we see brewing the elements which will produce that greatest trouble ever known in the world – a time of trouble which the Scriptures depict as most awful, a time in which the passions, the frenzy of mankind will know no bounds, and before which all law and order and all institutions – civil, social and religious – will go down in an awful anarchy. Thank God for the blessed [NS114] assurance that this great storm of trouble, called in the Scriptures, "the fire of God's anger," is not designed to destroy either the earth or its people, but to be a great lesson to man of the utter failure of his greatest efforts – a lesson which will demonstrate that, while knowledge is power, it can be a power for evil as well as a power for good, and that knowledge is of real advantage, of true value, only to those who are in heart accord with the Lord. It is the knowledge that is being spread abroad in the world today that is preparing for this great trouble that is coming, and herein we perceived the wisdom of the divine plan in holding back this knowledge, in permitting the curtain of ignorance to hold in check the ambitions and selfishness which knowledge is sure to bring to the unsanctified heart. Knowledge and all these inventions of today are, on the one hand, permitting some to become the masters of the world – millionaires, billionaires – permitting trusts and magnates to so get hold upon the financial strings that within another 10 years the millions of the world will be like so many puppets, moved by these combinations and trusts, which will not only regulate the price at which the world may supply its necessities and luxuries, but regulate also the price of labor which must be paid in exchange for these. Knowledge, on the other hand, has awakened the masses to such an extent that they never again would return to serfdom – rather they would die. All of ordinary perception have already discerned these signs of the times, and as we measure the increasing momentum by the past we are very safe to say that 10 years from now, the end of Gentile times will indeed bring the predicted time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Our Lord Jesus quoting this same prophecy added a few words saying, "No, nor ever shall be."

Thank God with the trouble "the desire of all nations shall come," the blessing of the Lord shall fill the whole earth, Messiah shall reign, and with him will be His joint heirs, his footstep followers, his elect bride. Dear friends, if to any extent these suggestions of the spiritual lessons to be drawn from the St. Louis Exposition appeal to your hearts and heads as reasonable, scriptural, I urge you to make further examination. We cannot expect that the worldly will be deeply interested in these things, for in this very same chapter we read: "None of the wicked shall understand."

Our hope is that the Lord will bless this discourse to the comfort and further awakening of some of "the very elect," those whom the prophet in this chapter declares to be the truly "wise," who shall understand. I will be glad to hear from such and to freely render assistance, which so many need. Freely we have received of the Lord and freely we will, in His name, dispense it to others. I thank you for your attention, and trust that the Scriptural lessons of the St. Louis Exposition may be long profitable to us in connection with its bearing upon the divine teaching respecting the time of the end.

December 18, 1904 Republished from The St. Paul Enterprise, January 16, 1917

God's Oath Bound Covenant with Abraham

Miamisburg, O., Dec. 18, 1904 – Pastor C. T. Russell of Allegheny addressed a large audience at the Opera House here today on, "God's Covenant with Abraham and His Seed; Oath-Bound and Immutable."

This article was republished in Pastor Russell's Sermons, pp. 527-537, entitled, "The Oath-Bound Covenant."

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