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April 15th
Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

VOL. XXIV.APRIL 1, 1903.No. 7

Views from the Watch Tower 99
The Groaning Creation 99
Newer Methods in Winning Souls 99
The Observance of Lent 100
Socialists Thank Morgan for Aid 101
Recent Allegheny "Chart Talks" 102
Changes in the European Itinerary 102
Bro. Henninges Goes Abroad 102
The Responsibilities of Eldership 102
"Your Labor is Not in Vain" 106
Interesting Questions Answered 111

'I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me.' Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

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HIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated, – Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to – "Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God, the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed." – Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; – according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" – peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age – ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him. – 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. – Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." – Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir. – 1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age. – Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church. – Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.

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These are now in stock in large quantity. Every letter you send through the mail may be a more or less potent messenger of the truth, even on its outside, by the use of these envelopes. They catch the attention not only of those to whom they are addressed, but postmen and others have an opportunity, and often the curiosity, to read their message of peace, – the gospel in a condensed form. Price, 25c per hundred, postpaid.


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We are preparing two million tracts for this year's work: paper is already ordered and we will be ready to ship the tracts we hope in April. Let the captains get ready the forces and notify us during March the amounts they will be able to use advantageously.

[R3169 : page 99]


THE greatest affliction of the world is discontent: the great prosperity of the few causes the masses to "fret," and the more so as knowledge increases. Individually and nationally the world is restless. Yet statesmen especially are fearful of war – fearful, too, that despite their desire to avoid it something may enkindle the blaze which may involve all Europe. (1) Trouble is feared in Macedonia, an eastern province of Turkey, peopled by socalled Christians who are in a state of ferment because of various oppressions. The country under the misrule of Turkey is, according to apparently reliable accounts, so infested with robbers, "brigands," that neither life nor property is safe. The Turkish tax-gatherers oppress the people. The result is discouragement, and anarchy is expected in the spring. This will call for Turkish soldiers and a general and terrible slaughter is expected.

(2) The further fear is that Russia will seize such an occasion and join in the war; – either because of the sympathy of the people of Russia for all Greek Catholics or with a desire on the part of their government to seize more territory. (3) It is generally admitted that this might lead to further strife between the great powers of Europe. This might start a flame of war which might be difficult to extinguish; for (4) Austria-Hungary is in a bad way – almost ready for civil war. (5) Italy has a grudge against Austria of 37 years' standing, which one of her chief ministers of state recently referred to publicly. (6) France still nurses her grudge against Germany and wants back Alsace and Lorraine. (7) Germany is approaching some kind of a crisis: Socialism there is growing so rapidly that all the other political parties have been compelled to unite to oppose it. The three old parties have just entered into an agreement that whichever party polled the largest vote in each district at the last election shall have the support of the others as against Socialism. This will probably keep the Socialists from gaining full control until the subsequent election, – 1908. Then they and the Kaiser will have a settlement.


Under the above caption the St. Louis Globe-Democrat publishes the following account of a recent discourse: –

"Dr. David F. Bradley, president of Iowa College, Grinnell, Ia., occupied the pulpit of the First Congregational church yesterday morning and evening. At the morning service Dr. Bradley spoke from John 12:32: 'And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself.'

"Dr. Bradley asked if Jesus expected the fulfilment of the prophecy that all men would be drawn to him, and if the present indications pointed to its fulfilment, answering both questions in the affirmative.

"The Christian powers, he said, were dominating the earth, and this was especially true of the last century. St. Louis, with the vast territory of which it was the center, a hundred years ago was in savagery, but was now dedicated to Christianity. This condition was true not only of America, but of other countries.

"Africa, the dark continent of a few years ago, was now dominated by Christian countries, and slavery in all its hideous forms was rapidly being eliminated by the onward march of the Christian religion.

"The emancipation of Egypt by the occupation of the English, and the control of India, with its 250,000,000 of people, by a monarch who is the sworn defender of the faith, were indications that all men were being drawn to Christ.

"Russia, which had reclaimed northern Asia; [R3170 : page 100] Japan, which had joined the family of Christian nations, and the recent opening of China to the outside world, thus bringing one-third of the population of the earth in direct contact with the progressive peoples of other nations, showed that the fulfilment of the prophecy was near at hand.

"There was a closer unity of the nations of the world now than ever before. The introduction of the railroad, the telegraph and other facilities which bring all parts of the world into closer contact with one another, had done much toward spreading the teachings of the Christian religion.

"These facilities had also caused a wider dissemination of the English language, which was essentially the language of purity. This had done much to counteract the effects of the teachings of the native languages which were corrupt and unclean. All these things had worked for the inculcation of Christian ideas.

"The conditions at home were also more favorable than ever before. There was a greater unity among the churches. They were working not only independently for the regeneration of the world, but acting in concert for the same great end.

"In conclusion, Dr. Bradley said that everything was in favor of the optimist's view of the text, and pointed to its fulfilment. The time was not far distant when all men would be drawn to Christ."

*                         *                         *

"Live and learn" is an old proverb; but it will take some of us a long time to learn that soldiers, steamboats, telegraphs, railroads and other modern conveniences are the new missionaries of the cross of Christ. It will be a long time before some of us learn that Civilization is merely another name for Christianization. If it is still true that there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved than the name of Jesus – through faith in his name and obedience to his Word – then some of us will be hard to convince that the millions who are receiving the blessings and conveniences of our day are thereby receiving Christ.

How blinding must be the education and title of a Doctor of Divinity; – "deceiving and being deceived." Others of far less opportunity can see clearly, that love of money, selfishness and discontent are devouring true religious instincts in all classes, and in all quarters. Others can see that, while benevolences are increasing and "a form of godliness" is maintained, vital piety, sanctity, consecration to God's will, as well as faith in the inspiration of the Scriptures, are waning rapidly in every direction.

If the whole world were civilized – as highly as the most civilized nations of "Christendom" – how far from the true Christian standard of saintship its millions would still be. How much need there would still be for us to pray: "Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done! – on earth, even as in heaven!"


The following is from the Pittsburg Post:

"The observance of Lent, formerly confined to the Roman Catholic, Episcopal and Lutheran churches, now extends to the religious public very generally; and for the society of fashionable gaiety quite universally it has become a period of relative asceticism.

"This extension of regard for the Lenten fast has been coincident with an actual or supposed loosening of the hold of religious doctrines on a large part of Protestantism, more especially. Whether there has been a diminution in the attendance on religious services generally during that period of declension we have no comparative statistics to enable us to determine, though it seems to have been proved that in New York at present the great majority of the population do not go to church on Sunday – something like two-thirds.

"A similar census in London shows that in 12 of the boroughs with a population exceeding two millions, only about one in five are church attendants, counting the number at both the morning and evening services, and only one-half of them at the Anglican churches. In New York, out of a total attendance of about four hundred and fifty thousand, nearly three-fourths were found in Roman Catholic churches; and of the rest of the attendance, about 30 per cent. was in Episcopal and Lutheran churches.

"It appears, therefore, that of the people of New York who pay heed to religious observances, something like four-fifths frequent the churches which hold to the celebration of the Lenten fast. But, as we have already suggested, some special regard for that season is beginning to be paid by Protestant denominations which used to look on it as a detestable relic of 'Popery.' For example, we find in the Christian Intelligencer of the Reformed Church, an appeal by the 'National Central Committee of the Twentieth Century Gospel Campaign,' a distinctively 'Evangelical' enterprise, that Ash Wednesday be observed by the churches as a special day of humiliation and prayer, 'That the praying may not be general and indefinite, the committee suggests the following topics: –

"'1. For a return of absolute faith in the Bible, as the inspired, authoritative Word of God, and as furnishing the churches their only credentials and message; and for an immediate revival of earnest and systematic study of that Word in order to learn what God would have us to do in the present conditions.

"'2. For a quickened sense of the sinfulness of sin, and of man's lost and hopeless condition as a sinner in time and eternity.

"'3. For a new vision of the greatness, sufficiency and efficacy of the atonement of Jesus Christ wrought on the cross, and to be universally proclaimed as the only hope for lost man.

"'4. For an overwhelming sense of the obligations and responsibility on the part of every professed follower of Christ, for witnessing to the lost soul nearest him – and to all lost souls he can reach – of the dying love and saving power of Christ, and urging the immediate acceptance of salvation by his blood.

"'5. For an immediate entrance of all Christians upon a campaign of personal work in seeking and winning [R3170 : page 101] lost souls, "beginning at Jerusalem" – at home – and reaching out to the uttermost parts of the earth.

"'6. For a mighty outpouring of and enduement with, the holy spirit, that the church throughout the entire nation may, by his enlightening influence, be brought to understand these life and death truths and be guided in meeting these awful and inescapable responsibilities.'"

*                         *                         *

We read the above six topics with interest amounting to amazement. Whoever drafted that list was either "not far from the Kingdom" and "an Israelite indeed," or else he was a hypocrite. We should be glad to learn that the entire committee agreed to the topics heartily and intelligently – appreciating specially the features which we have italicized. Our best wish for all the people of New York and of the whole world would be that all or at least some of them, may observe Lent and join in such petitions heartily: if but one in a hundred of those who will observe the Lenten season will do so, it will surely mean a great revival in their own hearts.

To us who observe the Memorial Supper on its anniversary only, the occasion is one of the greater solemnity, and may well be approached with the greater reverence. We commend to all of "this way" (Acts 9:2) that the interim between now and the Memorial (April 10th) be specially a season of prayer and fasting – drawing near to the Lord. (1 Cor. 7:5.) True, the Lord's consecrated people are continually to live as separate from sin and from the mind of the flesh as possible, and are to "pray without ceasing"; but, as the Apostle intimates, there may profitably be special seasons of this kind; and surely none more appropriate than this Memorial season. The fasting which we urge may or may not affect the food and drink, according to the judgment of each, respecting what diet will best enable him to glorify God and to keep his "body under." We refer specially to abstention from all "fleshly lusts which war against the soul"; these appetites always under restraint with the saints, may well be specially mortified at this time.


The following we clip from the North American, a thoroughly reliable journal: –

"The State committee of the Socialist party of Pennsylvania has instructed its secretary to send a letter to J. Pierpont Morgan to thank him, as the representative of the trusts, for the aid which monopolies are giving to the Socialist movement in the United States.

"According to the letter, Mr. Morgan does not know anything about Socialism, and does not see what propaganda work he is doing in furtherance of the cooperative commonwealth – the Socialist ideal.

"The great trust-maker is frankly told that he cannot help his actions as a Socialist agitator, being moved thereto by certain inevitable laws of economic development over which he has no control. The letter says the trusts have demonstrated the wastefulness of competition and the practicability of combination on a large scale. While the Socialists say they press forward toward that goal where the nation will own the trusts, they are careful to say that they are not adverse to taking remedial measures, en route, such as shorter hours, more wages, factory regulations, etc.

"Following is the letter in full: – "'J. Pierpont Morgan, New York City.

"'Dear Sir: – As a preface to this letter and as an excuse for the liberty we take in addressing you, we desire to say that we consider you one of the most notable characters the world has seen. At the same time we cannot forbear adding that we are of the opinion that you are an unconscious tool in the hands of natural forces, a chief factor in certain social and economic tendencies, whereof [R3171 : page 101] you know not the meaning and of which you cannot see the end. You are the leader of the great modern so-called trust movement, which is doing more to prepare civilized countries for the advent of Socialism than all the feeble efforts of us working-men. We know, or at least have good grounds for supposing, that you honestly dislike Socialists without exactly knowing why. We cannot blame you for this, because you unwittingly manifest the feeling of your class. As your friend, Emperor William, frankly said, you know nothing about Socialism – "the great question of the day" – but then a man in your position does not, in the nature of things, have time to study social science.

"'Political economy, as taught in all the schools today is an anachronism, holding that competition is the best means of advancing the welfare of society; whereas the successful operation of the trust has demonstrated at once the practicability of cooperation and the impossibility of a continuance of competition. The Socialists have maintained this for the last fifty years, in proof of which we refer you to the predictions of Karl Marx in Das Kapital.

"'For years the recognized intellectual class has told us that production on a national or world-wide scale was impossible; that one man or group of men could not conduct such vast enterprises; that they would break down of their own weight – in short, that they were an ephemeral phase of economic development. We could not convince the intellectuals to the contrary; but the stern logic of events has proved the correctness of our position. The trust convinces the most obtuse.

"'Our position, in brief, is as follows: –

"'In the United States, as in all other civilized countries, the natural order of economic development has separated society into two antagonistic classes – the capitalistic, a comparatively small class, the possessors of all the means of production and distribution (land, mines, machinery and the means of transportation and communication), and the larger and ever-increasing class of wage-workers who possess no property at all. This economic supremacy has secured to the dominant class the full control of the government, the pulpit, the schools and the subsidized press. It has thus made the capitalist class the arbiter of the fate of the workers, whom it is reducing to a condition of dependence, economically exploited and oppressed, intellectually and physically crippled and degraded. Under these conditions their political equality is a bitter mockery. The present government is a conspiracy of organized and incorporated wealth, hiding behind and secretly manipulating the political machine.

"'The contest between these two classes grows ever sharper. Hand-in-hand with the growth of monopolies [R3171 : page 102] goes the annihilation of small industries and of the middle class depending on them. Ever larger grows the multitude of destitute wage-workers and of the unemployed, and ever fiercer the struggle between the class of the exploiter and the exploited.

"'Socialists demand that this struggle shall cease, but it will cease only with the elimination of its causes. To eliminate these causes it is necessary to abolish the private ownership of the modern tool of production – the trust – and place its ownership in the hands of the people. To accomplish this, it is necessary to arouse the wealth producers to a recognition of their class interest and weld them into a compact political force. This Socialists are doing, and the development of the trust constantly accelerates the movement.

"'Our ultimate goal is the cooperative commonwealth, but in striving for it we do not hesitate to seize any opportunity to improve the condition of the working class, such as securing a shorter workday, increased wages, child labor laws, factory regulations, employers' liability acts, etc.

"'The Socialist vote in the United States now numbers one-third of a million; in industrial Pennsylvania, 28,000; in intellectual Massachusetts, 40,000. These few facts, Mr. Morgan, constrain us to acknowledge our indebtedness to you and your class for demonstrating the practicability and inevitability of Socialism.

"'Yours truly, FRED LONG, Secretary.

"'By direction of the State committee."


Replying to many letters of inquiry, we report to all friends of the cause that the six meetings held here recently in Carnegie Music Hall – instead of in our usual chapel – to afford opportunity for the public – were quite successful, so far as human judgment can determine. The attendance was good; at the first meeting at least 600 and at the others 800 or over, each. The audiences were not aristocratic, but very intelligent, and almost exclusively of the middle aged and elderly. The closest of attention was given, although the discourses were three or four times as long as many of the auditors were accustomed to.

We cannot doubt that some prejudices and misconceptions were removed; and we certainly trust that some were led to clearer views of our gracious heavenly Father and his plans for man's salvation. Let us hope also that some who heard will be drawn by the cords of love nearer to the Lord. We can only do our best and leave all results with the Lord. It is his work specially, and ours only as his mouthpieces and representatives. The speaker and all of the Allegheny Church were surely blessed in the efforts put forth to reach with the truth "brethren" still in "Babylon."


We are advised by our Swiss brethren that arrangements have been made for a General Convention of German and Swiss friends, to be held at Zurich, Switzerland, May 31 and June 1, at which a large number of friends is expected. We, therefore, change the date of the Editor's visit in that vicinity to conform with this arrangement, and announce that he will be at Zurich May 31 and June 1, instead of Thun, May 23 and 24.

In view of increasing interest in Ireland, we have decided to include that country in the visit, and, if the hoped-for arrangements for public meetings are made, they will be as follows: –

   Dublin   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  May 21, 22.
   Belfast  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   May 24.

In all these places he will be very pleased to greet the interested, and trusts that as far as practicable, these will make themselves known to him.


Believing that the general interests of the work hoped to be accomplished through the Editor's visit abroad will be thereby advanced, it has been decided that Brother E. C. Henninges shall go, too. Indeed, he goes before – hoping to assist in making arrangements for the meetings and in gathering information necessary to the determining of the further course of operations in various parts of Europe. He is sure of a cordial welcome, and looks forward with pleasure to meeting the friends of present truth in London on April 5th, and also on the Memorial occasion, April 10th, and to accompanying the Editor, as above.

[R3171 : page 102]

ACTS 20:28-38. – APRIL 5. –

"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."

HE Apostle Paul, on leaving Ephesus after the rioting there, determined to visit Jerusalem again, but first would visit the European churches – of Macedonia and Greece. It was while in Macedonia that he is supposed to have written his second letter to the Corinthians; and, on this tour, while in Corinth for about three months, he is supposed to have written his epistle to the Romans. At this time Nero, aged 21, was Emperor of Rome, and the Apostle Paul was about 56 years of age – in the full prime of his Christian life and experience.

Our lesson finds the Apostle en route to Jerusalem, on a trading vessel which was detained at the port of Miletus, about thirty miles distant from Ephesus. The number of days the vessel would be detained, changing cargo, etc., was uncertain; hence, the Apostle, instead of going to Ephesus, sent word to the elders of the Church there that they might come to him at Miletus [R3171 : page 103] – that thus he might have as long as possible with them, without missing his vessel when it would be ready to start. The elders came, and our lesson records the Apostle's address to them. They may have stayed several days in his company, and probably he said much more, but the final words evidently, in the mind of Luke, who chronicled them, were an epitome of the entire address, which is generally esteemed as both eloquent and touching. It is an address from a general overseer to local overseers, and to be appreciated must be viewed from this standpoint.

"Take heed unto yourselves": well did the Apostle realize that those who do not keep guard over their own hearts can not faithfully serve the interests of the Church in general. Piety, as well as charity, should begin at home. Along this line John Calvin said, "No one can successfully care for the salvation of others who neglects his own, since he himself is a part of the flock." This thought is brought out by the Apostle, [R3172 : page 103] also, saying, "And [take heed] to all the flock, over the which the holy spirit hath made you overseers" – more properly, "in the which," as in the Revised Version; for the overseers are not to be considered lords over the flock, but members in it who have a responsibility respecting fellow-members. The care of the overseer should not be confined to the well-favored members of the flock, financially, socially, educationally or otherwise; but as the Apostle declares, should be general "to all the flock" – including the poorest as well as the most uncouth naturally.

The elders were not necessarily aged men, according to the flesh; for in the Church of Christ the flesh is reckoned as dead; – their age, their maturity, their eldership, is as New Creatures. Although the chosen representatives of the Church, they were to esteem their responsibility as coming from on high; – however earthly influences had been associated with their appointment, their obligation was really as representatives of the Lord, through his holy spirit. The word "Elders" here is the same as Presbytery in 1 Tim. 4:14; and the word "overseers" is the same elsewhere in the Scriptures rendered "bishop," signifying one charged with a duty respecting others. We thus see that this word bishop, or overseer, has in modern times been divested of its original simplicity. The elders of the Church of Christ are its overseers, and should realize the responsibility of the position they have accepted. The Apostle Paul was an overseer in a general sense; as he himself expresses it, he had "the care of all the churches" – particularly of all those which, in the Lord's providence, he had been the means of establishing in the truth, or who accepted his ministry, either in person or by letter. While the holy spirit has the supervision of such matters, it, nevertheless, remains for the congregation of the Lord's people to note the leadings of the spirit in the appointment of overseers, and to accept such, and only such, and so much overseeing and supervision as they believe to be of the Lord's providence.

Mr. Thompson-Seton, the renowned student of wild animals, relates in his work, "Lives of the Hunted," that "the leaders of the flock gain and hold their position as leaders, not from any authority over the flock, but from the fact that they have shown themselves wisest in finding the best pastures and the most successful in guarding against enemies, – the flock having learned to trust them." This furnishes a good illustration of what the attitude of the Lord's people should be toward those whom they accept as superintendents, overseers, elders, – according to the Scriptures. But alas! we find in the church nominal many leaders who seem to be nearly devoid of the proper qualities of leadership here referred to by the Apostle: (1) to oversee, or look out for, the interests of the flock in general; and (2) to feed them. It should be observed that the position of a bishop gives no authority over the Church, except that which properly comes from great piety, wisdom and experience. The flock is to be guarded against errors of doctrine, and from false teachers, and to be guided into the richest pastures of the Word of God, and into the brightest Christian experiences, and into the fields of greatest usefulness.

A prominent writer on this subject says: –

"Mr. Ruskin, in his Sesame and Lilies, commenting on the strange phrase, 'blind mouths,' in Milton's Lycidas, says: 'Those two monosyllables express the precisely accurate contraries of right character in the two great offices of the Church – those of bishop and pastor. A bishop means a person who sees; a pastor means one who feeds; the most unbishoply character a man can have is, therefore, to be blind; the most unpastoral is, instead of feeding, to want to be fed. Nearly all the evils of the Church have arisen from bishops desiring power more than light. They want authority, not outlooking. It is the king's (Christ is our King) office to rule: the bishop's office is to oversee the flock, to number it sheep by sheep; to be ready always to give full account of it.'"

The Apostle states the grounds for so earnest an exhortation: (1) The Church which they were overseeing and feeding was to be recognized as God's Church, "purchased with the blood of his own [Son]."* [R3172 : page 104] That which God so highly valued, and purchased at so great a price, is to be esteemed very precious by all who would be his servants and its servants. (2) Because dangers and foes would arise; and while these could not come without divine permission, it is a part of the divine will that they shall serve as tests of faith and loyalty of the entire flock, including the elders, overseers, pastors. The energy necessary to such resistance of evil would tend to develop character which God desires each member of his flock to have. God would not suffer them to be tempted above that they were able, but would with every temptation, or trial, provide a way of escape; but he would have them learn to trust him, to exercise faith and obedience and vigilance and resistance of evil.

*This is not be understood as conflicting with other Scriptural statements to the effect that our Lord Jesus "bought us with his own precious blood." Both thoughts are correct: though they view the subject from two different standpoints. From the larger standpoint, God is the originator of the entire plan of salvation – from start to finish he is thus the Savior. But he accomplishes the salvation through the Son: he laid help [for us] upon one who was mighty to save – fully qualified. (Isa. 43:11; 1 Tim. 2:5; 4:10; Psa. 89:19.) Thus every feature of our salvation is of the Father, though by the Son, as the Apostle clearly points out. – 1 Cor. 8:6.

The Apostle evidently knew by inspiration of some kind that he would never see these dear brethren again – that his mission in this field was at a close, and as a true under-shepherd he was looking out for the interests of the flock. He knew, probably from the prophecy of Daniel, that a great falling away was to come; – that the Adversary was to be permitted to develop a great antichrist system, – as he subsequently wrote to the Church at Thessalonica; and he wished the local overseers to realize the responsibility of their position, and to be vigilant. "Grievous wolves shall enter in amongst you, not sparing the flock;" – ambitious for power, influence, etc., they would not hesitate to barter the interests of the flock for their own advancement. Another source of danger would be from within – "of your own selves" some would rise up – be puffed up with ambition, to have followers, adherents, and would lead them into false doctrines, to the injury of themselves and those misled by them.

The knowledge of these things was to keep them on guard continually, not only as against wolves from without, but against the rising of ambitious ones amongst their own number – not necessarily watching each other merely, but rather each specially watching and guarding his own heart against the insidious attacks of the Adversary along the lines indicated, – too great self-esteem or desire to be great. The Apostle, we may be sure, was glad to be able to point to his own course in their midst, as an example of proper humility of spirit, and of zeal for the interests of the flock. "Remember that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn [admonish] everyone day and night with tears." The secret of the Apostle's zeal lay, evidently, in his appreciation of the fact that he was God's ambassador, and that the work of the Lord in which he was privileged to be a coworker, is a most important one – relating first to the salvation and perfecting of the saints, the elect, and ultimately through them to the blessing of all the families of the earth. Had the Apostle, during those three years, been neglecting the spiritual interests of the flock, he could not have made such an address as this to the elders. It would not have done to have said: Ye remember how many entertainments of a frivolous character I attended with you and helped to arrange; the oyster suppers and peach-and-cream festivals; the private theatricals, charades and tableaux, and general fun- and money-making schemes which we entered into. The Apostle's appreciation of the fact that he was an ambassador for the King of kings, was ever present with him and lent a force and earnestness to his entreaties on behalf of righteousness and spirituality, which, with his tears, were much better backing than frivolities of any kind.

Turning from the darker picture of coming trials and difficulties, the Apostle commended the brethren to the Lord, who loved his Church so as to purchase it, who watches over its interests, so that the Adversary cannot harm those who faithfully follow the Captain of their salvation, – assuring them that this grace of God might be expected to come to them through his Word. The Apostle had nothing to say against colleges and seminaries and worldly sciences of themselves; but when he would mention the power that is to keep the Lord's people against the wiles of the Adversary it was not to these that he pointed his colaborers, but to the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. We of the present time may well lay this testimony to heart; for today we see foes assaulting the Lord's flock on every hand; wolves who, in the name of science, would not spare the flock, but dash to pieces the faith, the hope, the trust, of the Lord's people, giving them nothing substantial in return; "higher critics" vaunting themselves upon their superior learning and their ability to distinguish between inspiration and non-inspiration, and who offer to select for the sheep an occasional blade of grass from the Word of God, which, however, they assure the sheep, requires much scholastic learning to make nutritive.

Today, also, we see in every direction this same tendency on the part of some amongst ourselves to arise and to seek to draw away disciples after them; and we need to remember that the defense of the sheep is not to be found in worldly wisdom, but in the power of God, as represented in the Word and plan of God. As the Apostle said to these elders of Ephesus, so we may hear him say to us, that the Word of God is able to build us up substantially, to make us "strong in the Lord and in the power of his might," and to give us eventually [R3173 : page 105] "an inheritance amongst all them which are sanctified."

It is worthy of note here that all the inheritances and eternal rewards held before the Lord's people in the Scriptures are to the "sanctified" – none of them are promised to any other class. One of the Society's colporteurs recently wrote us that when about to deliver a volume of the DAWN series to a person who had subscribed, the lady made objection, and declined to take the book, saying that she understood it denied that the Scriptures taught a hell of eternal torture; and that she was sure to the contrary, and that if there is no such place there ought to be. The colporteur replied by inquiring who she believed would be saved, and she answered, "The holy, the sanctified," the ones mentioned by the Apostle in this lesson. The colporteur asked the lady if she claimed to be one of the consecrated saints of God. She answered, "No." He then replied, "You are expecting, then, to spend eternity in torment?"

The lady saw at once the force of the erroneous argument, and said she would take the book, concluding that if all were to go to eternal torment who were not of the sanctified class the outlook for the future would be horrible, for almost the entire race. What a relief we find in the clearer knowledge of the divine plan, which shows us that the inheritance of the sanctified is to be the Kingdom, at the second advent of our Lord; and that the Kingdom then to be established is to be the divine agency for blessing the world of mankind with a clear knowledge of God, and a full opportunity to accept his grace and mercy and blessing unto sanctification and everlasting life through our Lord Jesus.

Having commended them to the Word of God, the Apostle draws attention to his own mode of life, while with them, as a proper illustration of the effect of the Gospel in a sanctified heart – as a proper example of an overseer and elder in the Church, which they should seek to copy. He could speak of these things now, to these fellow-elders, in a manner that he probably would have hesitated to speak of them to the Church at Ephesus while still ministering to them, as, by some, it might have been considered boasting. He would have these brother-elders and overseers note that in his ministering to the Church at Ephesus he had not coveted their silver or gold or apparel, but instead had labored with his own hands, and had thus in all things set before them an example of how they also as elders (presbyters) and overseers (bishops, episcopos) ought to help the weak and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

The Apostle could point thus to himself as an example of a proper servant of the Church, because he had so closely followed the example of the great Head, Jesus. It is blessed to receive, but still more blessed to give. God himself is the great Giver, continually bestowing favors upon us, and not upon the good only, but also upon the evil – even providing a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. These words of our Lord ("It is more blessed to give than to receive") are not recorded in any of the Gospels. Dr. Philip Schaff tells us that "outside the inspired memories of the Gospels we possess the record of some twenty sayings of Jesus which have floated down to us." This quotation by the Apostle Paul is one of these, of whose authenticity we can have no doubt; and surely it is in full accord with our dear Redeemer's conduct. He emulated the Father in that he continually gave, gave, gave to others. He did not selfishly see how much comfort and ease and honor he could secure for himself, but made himself of no reputation, for our sakes, daily giving his life for the assistance of others in matters temporal, as well as spiritual, until finally he completed the sacrifice at Calvary, having given on our behalf all that he had.

If all the elders of the Church of Christ could thoroughly take to heart these noble examples of Jesus and of Paul, and could become so thoroughly enthused with the Gospel message and with the privilege of being coworkers with God that they would entirely forget themselves, it would be a great blessing for them as well as for the various little companies of the Lord's people over whom, in the Lord's providence, the holy spirit has made them overseers, to watch out for the interests of the flock and to feed them. We are not meaning to say that there are no earnest brethren today. Quite to the contrary. But we do mean to say that it is well for us to lay to heart the Apostle's earnest exhortation, that we all may be more and more faithful, more and more copies of God's dear Son, more and more like the great Apostle as regards self-sacrificing devotion to the interests of Zion.

At the close of the conference, when we may suppose the sailing of the vessel was announced, the Apostle knelt with the brethren from Ephesus, in prayer, the tenor of which may well be imagined. Then the parting took place, and doubtless the dear brethren began to realize more fully than they had ever done before what great blessings God had bestowed upon them through the Apostle's ministries, and the thought that they should never see him again filled them with sadness, and they wept as they accompanied him to the ship.

Doubtless the Apostle consoled them with the reflection that the time of partings would soon be over and the blessed eternity of union and fellowship soon begin, when they would meet not only one another, [R3173 : page 106] but above all meet the Redeemer himself and all the faithful in Christ Jesus. So our Lord also expressed himself on this matter, "a little while." The eighteen centuries intervening would have seemed a long while had any lived from then till now, – but since their "sleep" would be an unconscious interval, it was well that God kindly veiled their eyes and merely comforted them from his own larger standpoint of "soon," "quickly," "a little while." But now that the Kingdom is nigh, even at the door, our hearts no longer cry, How long, O Lord? but, Hallelujah! the day star is risen – the morning is here!

[R3173 : page 106]

1 COR. 15:20,21,50-58. – APRIL 12. –

"Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept."

ERY appropriate to its date, this is a lesson on the resurrection. There are few features of truth on which Christian people in general seem to have greater need for Bible study than that of the resurrection. There are many systems of religion in the world, but none but Christianity teaches a resurrection of the dead. We mean true Christianity – the Bible teaching; for alas! with deep regret we write it, Churchianity does not believe in the resurrection of the dead: it has adopted the heathen theory that the dead are not dead, but alive; hence, whatever resurrection it teaches is along that line – of a resurrection of the living. Its claim is that at death something leaves the body (although they have not the slightest evidence of such departure, except that breath and vitality leave it); they claim that dying is a release, a benefit, an advantage; an unprisoning of the one who appeared to die, but who, they claim, is really more alive than ever. However, finding the doctrine of resurrection in the Bible, they do not wish to ignore it entirely and, hence, teach that its beneficiaries, whom we will call "shades" or "ghosts" have hankerings after their bodies – which continue persistently after centuries of experience without bodies – although they perhaps had only a few years' experience in bodies. This hankering for a body (which they claim is unnecessary to existence and happiness) God proposes to gratify, and by and by the resurrection of the bodies will take place. They anticipate a grand, glorious time in getting back into bodies which they describe much after the manner of present bodies, which they say are "prisonhouses." Surely there is inconsistency enough in such a theory to nauseate almost anybody, and it is not surprising that great confusion prevails throughout Christendom on this subject which, as we shall see in examining our present lesson, finds so prominent a place in the Scriptures.

The Scripture teaching is most explicitly to the contrary of the above, but seems obscure, because of certain doctrinal errors which the great Adversary has introduced. One of these is a confusion of thought respecting what constitutes a soul. Churchianity's view of a soul was expressed by a Methodist bishop in these words: "It is without interior or exterior; without body, shape or parts – and you could put a million of them in a nutshell." The bishop's definition of a soul would be a proper definition of nothing, and one could just as readily put ten thousand millions of nothings in a nutshell, – and have room left. In the Bible, the word "soul" is used to signify being, or person; and a human being, or human person, is made up of two parts; viz., a body and its vitality, otherwise called the spirit of life, or breath of life. The body is not intelligent of itself, neither is vitality intelligent; but when the two are brought together, intelligence, being, or soul, commences. So it was with Father Adam: the Lord formed his body, but it was not a soul, – it was merely so much organized matter in good form. Next God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives" – the vitality common to all living creatures, but [R3174 : page 106] not a soul. It was when these two things, organism and vitality, were properly united that man came into existence, a living, thinking being – "man became, – a living soul." (Gen. 2:7.) We must notice carefully that the lesson is not that man has a soul, but that man is a soul, or being.

Let us take an illustration from nature – the air we breathe: it is composed of oxygen and nitrogen, neither of which is atmosphere, or air; but when the two combine, as they do in proper chemical proportions, the resulting thing is atmosphere. Just so with soul. God speaks to us from this standpoint, of our being each a soul. He does not address our bodies nor our breath of lives, but he does address us as intelligent beings, or souls. In pronouncing the penalty of violating his law, he did not address Adam's body specifically, but the man, the soul, the intelligent being: "Thou!" "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." "The soul that sinneth it shall die."Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:20.

When we perceive, then, that it is the soul that dies, we perceive also that it is the soul that will need the resurrection from death. Death is the dissolution of the union between organism and vitality, whether it be in man or in beast, in fish or in fowl. Scientists agree that a general repair of the tissues of our bodies is continually in progress; some elements constantly [R3174 : page 107] sloughing off, and new ones as constantly being added; they assert that this process renews the body every seven years. If, therefore, God had pronounced the death sentence merely against Adam's body, it would have been paid within seven years. But the penalty was not against Adam's body, but against Adam himself, the soul, the ego, the being, and hence, the sloughing off of the atoms of his body did not pay the penalty. It required the sacrifice of another soul to redeem him. Hence, we read that our Lord Jesus made "his soul [being] an offering for sin"; that he "poured out his soul unto death." – Isa. 53:10,12.

The Apostle Peter points out that the soul of our Lord Jesus was not left in death – in hades – and he quotes from the Prophet David in corroboration. David declares, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in sheol [Greek, hades – the death-state]." The Apostle explains that David was a prophet, and spoke, not of himself, but of the Lord Jesus, that "his soul was not left in hades." (Acts 2:25-32.) This constituted the Apostle Peter's argument regarding the resurrection of our Lord – that his soul was not left in hades – in the death-state; that God raised him up by his own power. And this is the proper thought respecting all death and all resurrection from death. It is the soul that dies – the being is dissolved by death. Then the body, subject to corruption, returns to dust. If it was our Lord's soul that died and was raised, and if he gave himself a ransom, a corresponding price, for soul-Adam (and his race in his loins at the time of his transgression) the thought now must be that all the souls of Adam's race are to be recovered from that death penalty; – and that the resurrection is for the purpose of restoring these souls of Adam's race, who have been bought back from destruction by the soul of the Redeemer.

Let us now look at the words of our lesson, and see that they are in full accord with what we have here set forth to be the Scriptural teaching. Vs. 20 mentions the dead as asleep, and declares that Christ was the first one to experience a resurrection from death. Let us note these two points: (1) In what sense is death a sleep? We answer that really, actually, death is an extinction of the soul; but that God, having purposed our redemption from before the foundation of the world, purposed also, as a result of that redemption, the calling of us back to being again in his own due time, by a resurrection of the dead: as it is written, "Thou redeemest my life from destruction." Psa. 103:4; 34:22.) In view of this the Lord speaks of death as a sleep, and his people are similarly justified in using this term "sleep." Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the prophets, and the kings, good and bad, are all declared to have "fallen asleep," "slept with their fathers," etc.

The New Testament records our Lord's words respecting the maid whom he called back from death: he said of her, "The maid is not dead, but sleepeth." So of Lazarus he declared, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth," and when his disciples understood not the meaning of his words "then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead." The plain statement is death; the proper figure of death, in view of the divine purposes and promises, permits it to be called by the more comforting term, sleep, which expresses at the same time both our hope for the dead and our faith in God. The record of Stephen's death is that "he fell on sleep;" and the apostles, in writing to the Church regarding, not only the brethren of the household of faith, but all their dear friends who go into death, speaks of them as "them that sleep in Jesus," while of the Church he declares that they are "dead in Christ." Only the members of the "body" can be said to be in Christ, or to have any hope of sharing with him in his resurrection. (Phil. 3:10.) But, it was "the man Christ Jesus, who by the grace of God tasted death for every man," and thus, in harmony with the divine plan, turned what would have been death for every man, into a sleep from which all will awaken at Christ's second advent, – after he shall have established his Kingdom. Respecting this awakening, and the place from which the dead will come forth, he says, "All that are in the grave shall hear the voice of the Son of man and shall come forth." – John 5:28.

(2) This statement that our Lord was the firstfruits of them that slept is in general accord with the testimony of the Word, "that he should be the first that should rise from the dead"; and also that he should be the "first-born [from the dead] among many brethren." (Acts 26:23; Rom. 8:29.) Our Lord, as the Head of the Church which is his body, was raised from the dead by the Father's power, on the third day after his crucifixion; but the body, the Church, will not be raised up until the time of its completion, in the end of the Gospel age. When raised up it will, as his "brethren," or the members of "his body," share in "his resurrection" – his kind of a resurrection – a chief, or superior resurrection; not a resurrection in flesh and as human beings, but, as we shall see shortly, to a spirit nature, with a spirit body. Our Lord was not only the firstfruits from the dead amongst the brethren, the Church, but the first to arise from the dead in every sense of the word, none having preceded him.

What, then, becomes of the theory that the dead are not dead, or that their resurrection to a higher life took place at the moment of their dying? We answer that these theories have no foundation whatever in Scripture. They are the vaporings of those who have learned in the school of Plato science falsely so-called, [R3174 : page 108] and who have not on this subject, at least, been taught of God in the school of Christ. Mark the words of the Apostle Paul on this subject. He did not claim that our Lord arose from the dead the next instant after he expired on the cross, but plainly declared that he "rose from the dead on the third day." Incidentally, too, Peter refers to the prophet David, and while speaking of him in most respectful terms, as a prophet of the Lord, he declares, "David is not ascended into the heavens." – 1 Cor. 15:4; Acts 2:34.

The Apostle balances this question of life and death in the 21st verse, declaring that death passed upon all by a man's transgression, and that the resurrection provision is for all, through the obedience of the man Christ Jesus, – who "poured out his soul unto death" on behalf of our race. There could have been no resurrection without this redemptive work, the substitution of our Lord's soul for the soul of Adam. It was a man who had sinned; and only the life of a man could meet the penalty prescribed; hence, as the Apostle says, the blood [death] of bulls and of goats could never take away sin (Heb. 10:4); and we might add that likewise the death of angels or archangels could never take away sin, – because of this divine arrangement of a life for a life, a man for a man. (Exod. 21:23-5; Lev. 24:12,17-22; Deut. 19:21; Matt. 5:38.) Hence, the necessity that our Lord should leave the glory of his spirit condition, which he had with the Father, should humble himself, and take a lower nature, – the human, – in order that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man. He gave his soul, his being, all that he had as the man Christ Jesus – he kept nothing back – the price has been paid fully and satisfactorily. The evidence of its satisfaction to God is doubly attested, (a) by the fact that he raised our Lord Jesus from the dead – giving him a new life, – life on a new plane of being, far above angels, and principalities and powers. (Eph. 1:20,21.) (b) It is also attested by the giving of the holy spirit at Pentecost, after our Lord had ascended up on high and had presented the merit of his sacrifice on our behalf.

Having thus established the general principle of a resurrection, and its applicability to all mankind, because the redemption was "a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:6), the Apostle proceeds to discuss particularly the First Resurrection, in which the Church is specially interested (he was not addressing his words to the world, but to the "sanctified in Christ Jesus" – 1 Cor. 1:2). His words, found in vss. 42-44, describe, as clearly as it is possible for us to understand things so far beyond our plane of existence, the grandeurs and perfections of being which shall be ours when we shall have experienced this great change of the First Resurrection: we shall no longer be weak and imperfect, with dying tendencies and with animal bodies; but shall be incorruptible, powerful, and have spiritual bodies. "We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2.) We will not discuss these [R3175 : page 108] verses particularly here, as they are not made a part of this lesson, and as we have treated them at length previously.

When, in the 50th verse, the Apostle declares that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, we are not to delude ourselves, as some dear Adventist friends are inclined to do, – by saying that "flesh and blood" cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, but flesh and bones can. We are to recognize that the Apostle, in the use of these words, "flesh and blood," signifies human nature, as when our Lord Jesus, for instance, said to Peter, "Flesh and blood [humanity] hath not revealed it unto thee." The Apostle's declaration thus properly understood, is that human nature cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. This is in full accord with his own statements and the statements of other apostles, to the effect that we must become "New Creatures in Christ" – "partakers of the divine nature," if we would be sharers with our Lord in the coming Kingdom, and its great and glorious work. Our Lord's words to Nicodemus are in full accord with this, when he declared, "Except a man be born again [begotten now to a new nature, and born in the resurrection] he cannot enter the Kingdom of God," and cannot even see it. (John 3:3.) Earthly beings of human nature, flesh and blood, can see earthly beings, but as "no man hath seen God at any time, likewise no man can see the glorified Son of God; and for similar reasons none will be able with the natural eye to see the glorified Church – for all these in their resurrection change will be spirit beings, and like their Lord, "the express image of the Father's person." We must keep in memory the fact that the Church is entirely separate and distinct from the world; and that the hopes of the Church are to be differentiated from those of the world in every particular.

"Neither doth corruption inherit incorruption": this word "incorruption" (aphtharsia) is the same that is rendered "immortality" in Rom. 2:7, and in 2 Tim. 1:10. It is rendered incorruption in vss. 42,53,54 of this chapter. The thought is that our flesh is subject to decay; but that the new body which all who participate in the First Resurrection shall receive, will be an incorruptible one – one that cannot decay, that cannot die. This incorruptibility, or immortality, to be attained in their resurrection by the faithful of the Lord's disciples of this Gospel age, is to be applicable to all who will have a share in the Kingdom; and now the Apostle notices what might be a difficulty in the minds of his readers. He imagines them asking the [R3175 : page 109] question, How will it be with those who will be alive and remain at the time of the second coming of the Lord and the setting up of his Kingdom, and the awakening of these sleeping brethren to immortality? Will the living ones pass over into the Kingdom with flesh and blood and inferior bodies?

The Apostle undertakes to clear up this mystery; but although he handles his subject with lucidity the matter is not clear to the majority of the Lord's people. We may presume that the Lord intended it to remain more or less of a "mystery" until now, in the due time for its fulfilment, it should be understood. The Apostle's plain declaration is that "we shall not all sleep," but this is misunderstood by many to mean, "We shall not all die." There is a vast difference between dying and sleeping. We die in a moment, in an instant; it is the period of unconsciousness that is styled sleep, and the Apostle's declaration, therefore, is that we shall not all pass through a period of unconsciousness, "but we shall all be changed." It will be as impossible for the human nature, flesh and blood, of those living at the close of the Gospel age, to participate in the spiritual Kingdom which Christ will then establish, as it was impossible for any of the brethren of the past to do so. How, then, will these get rid of their flesh and blood, their human nature? We answer, that the Scriptural declaration is most explicit, that all who will be partakers with Christ in "his resurrection," must be sharers with him in "his death." As he himself expressed it, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." It was not sufficient that our Lord should merely consecrate himself, nor that he should merely sacrifice portions of his time and energy in the service of the truth; – it was necessary that he should complete the matter of sacrifice in literal death. And so it must be with every member of his body; as it is written, prophetically of the Church, "I have said, Ye are gods, all of you children of the most High; but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes" – not like Prince Adam, a convict, but like Prince Jesus, in sacrifice – filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. – Psa. 82:6,7; Col. 1:24.

The change from corruptible to incorruptible, from mortal to immortal, from weakness to power, from ignominy to glory, from human nature to divine nature, in the case of these last members, will be so sudden as to occupy no appreciable space of time, and to be illustrated only by the twinkling of an eye; – the instant of their dying will be followed the next instant by their "change."

The thought of some, that resurrection "change" has come to each individual at the moment of dying throughout the Gospel age – that resurrection has all along followed the dying of all, is abundantly contradicted again, when the Apostle definitely fixes the time of the First Resurrection of the Church, the body of Christ, to be "at the last trump" – when the seventh trumpet shall sound – then "the dead [in Christ, – his members] shall be raised incorruptible, and we [of them then living] shall be changed; for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" – there can be no doubt that the present bodies would be wholly out of place in, and unpermissible, – impossible, to the Kingdom.

After this change of the Church has been completed – after this First [or chief] Resurrection has been accomplished – "Then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." Here again the Apostle's statement is generally misunderstood: most readers get the impression that he means that the victory over death and the grave is already accomplished; and a few nearer the truth infer that the "victory" will be fully accomplished in the "change" of the Church, the body of Christ, in the First Resurrection. However, neither of these views meets the scope of the statement. On the contrary, the First Resurrection, the "change" of the Church, will be but the beginning of the great victory which Christ is to achieve over death and the grave. This will be merely the bringing forth of the "first-fruits," as the Apostle declares: "A kind of firstfruits unto God of his creatures." (James 1:18.) This is the force of the Apostle's expression, "Then shall be brought to pass;" – that is to say, then this prophecy of victory over death will begin to have its fulfilment. It will require all of the Millennium to accomplish the victory over death; and Christ and the glorified Church will be the victors, as it is written (vss. 25,26), "He must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet; the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." To accomplish this complete victory over death and the grave will be the very object of the establishment of the Kingdom, and will require a thousand years; as it is written again, respecting the reign of those who have part in the First Resurrection, "They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." – Rev. 20:4.

This First Resurrection glorifies the Kingdom class; and forthwith the Kingdom will be set up – "The mountain [Kingdom] of the Lord's house" will be established in the earth. This agrees with the statement of the prophet, from which the Apostle quotes, "In this mountain [Millennial Kingdom] shall the Lord of hosts make unto the people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined; and he will destroy in this mountain [Kingdom] the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all [R3175 : page 110] nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it." (Isa. 2:2; 25:6-8.) How much of the beauty and fulness of the divine Word has been hidden from our eyes by reason of the errors introduced into the creeds of Christendom by the great Adversary for this very purpose!

The Apostle, glancing down to the grand culmination at the close of the Millennium, exclaims with poetic fervor (vs. 55), "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" The thought is: Death has been stinging our race, blighting it for six thousand years, and sending it ignominiously to the tomb; but God, who justly condemned us as a race, has looked down in compassion, and beheld our impotence, and has provided a Savior and a great one – Jesus, the Head, his only begotten One, our Redeemer, and the Church, his body, whose Kingdom shall destroy, at one and the same time, death and the grave, and their power over all who will obey the requirements of the Kingdom – completely delivering such from their power. Adamic death is to be utterly destroyed – not a soul of Adam's posterity is to be left therein, – for those who will not accept the grace of God when offered to them will be destroyed utterly, not for Adam's transgression, but for their own transgression, – not, therefore, by Adamic death, but by Second Death. – Ezek. 18:2-4,20.

This utter destruction on account of personal, wilful sin is Scripturally known as the Second Death, which is nowhere denominated an enemy. On the contrary, it is the friend of God, – his servant, to "destroy those who [would] corrupt the earth." It is the friend of all who love righteousness, and desire peace, joy, blessing, in harmony with the divine will. It is not even the enemy of those whom it will destroy – the wicked – because it is better that they should be destroyed [R3176 : page 110] than that they should be permitted to institute another reign of sin and death out of harmony with the Lord's righteous arrangements. It is Adamic death that our Lord Jesus will destroy; and it is denominated an enemy, because it came upon Adam's posterity contrary to their wills, and because some, at least, of the thousands of millions under its control, are disposed to be perfect and righteous, and are hindered by the weaknesses and restraints imposed by the great enemy in whose clutches they were born. It will be the "last enemy" to be destroyed, because other evils will be brought into subjection early in the Millennium; but men will get the victory over death only in proportion as they obey the voice of the great Teacher, Priest and King, and gradually rise, inch by inch, through restitution processes, up, up, up, out of death, until finally, at the close of the Millennial age, they shall reach life in its full, perfect degree. When all shall have become thus released from death to life, or else transferred to the Second Death, – then this enemy, death, – Adamic death, – will have been vanquished; its victory over all who long for righteousness and life eternal will be at an end.

It will be noticed that the translators of the Revised Version have usually avoided the use of the word "hell" throughout the Scriptures, substituting therefor in the Old Testament the Hebrew word "sheol," and in the New Testament the Greek word, "hades." Evidently, in view of the meaning attaching to the word "hell" the translators could not conscientiously so render sheol and hades and, therefore, avoided any translation; – not wishing to translate these words "grave," for fear, perhaps, that the public should quickly see that they had been hoodwinked on this subject for many years. We much prefer not to think ungenerously of men of such great scholarship, but circumstances certainly point in this direction. One of these pointers is found in vs. 55, where, instead of translating hades "grave," as in the old version, or leaving it untranslated, hades, as in most other places in the Revised Version, they have translated it "death."

What was the object of this deviation from the general usage? We can only surmise that it was to help keep the public in the dark respecting the true sentiments of the Word of God. Had they rendered the sentence, "O hades, where is thy victory?" it would have given some, doubtless, the thought that hades, whatever it is (hot place of torture, or the cold grave), would finally yield to this triumph of the Lord Jesus, which will begin as soon as his Church shall be "changed" and his Kingdom established.

The Apostle continues his argument and shows that the victory will not be completely brought to pass until the end of the Millennium. He declares that the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is in the law. Under Christ's Millennial Kingdom the sins of the past will be forgiven, because of the atonement accomplished; and the perfect Law of God, having been met by the Mediator, will be applied to the ransomed race only in such proportions as they can receive it – in proportion to their knowledge and ability to obey. Thus the Mediator of the New Covenant will ultimately bring off conquerors all who will obey him.

The Apostle next turns back the line of his argument from the future time, when men will be actually lifted up out of sin and death and imperfection, to the present time in which this is reckonedly accomplished for the Church, the body of Christ, through faith. His words are, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us [R3176 : page 111] [now] the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Although as yet we see none of these things accomplished; although we have not our spiritual bodies, incorruptible and powerful; although we still have the treasure of the new mind in the earthen vessel; although we see nothing of the Kingdom's establishment; – nevertheless, God giveth us victory through Christ, by faith; so that even now we can "rejoice with joy unspeakable," and can so confidently look forward into the future as to claim a share in the victory over sin and death and the grave, through him who loved us and bought us.

The closing argument is that on this account – because we see these things so clearly with the eye of faith, we should be "steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord"; – realizing that it is God who is working out this great plan of salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and supporting all those who are seeking to walk in his steps, and to come off conquerors through him. Death and the grave may still seem to be gaining victories over us. But faith sees the matter from the other side, from the standpoint of accomplished victory in the future; and even now it exults and rejoices in the privilege of colaboring with the Redeemer, and realizes that time and energy and life so spent are spent "not in vain," because we confidently hope for, expect and wait for the glorious First Resurrection "change" and the glorious privileges of association with our Master in his Kingdom and work.

[R3176 : page 111]


Question. – How shall we view suicide? How serious is this matter? Should it be considered a crime?

Answer. – Suicide should be considered a very serious crime, unless it be the act of a deranged mind whose responsibility in the sight of God and men would, thereby, be considerably lessened.

Since the greatest gift of God is eternal life, through Christ, we may reason that life in any measure is an inestimable boon, privilege. For any sane mind, enlightened by present truth, to contemplate suicide would be unthinkable. We, above all others, realize the value of the present life: we see through it a special opportunity for the development of character along the lines of divine instruction. We see that the development of such character is essential to a share in any part in our heavenly Father's plan; we see, then, that whatever would prematurely take away our life privileges would be that much working against us, and our highest and best interests. We have faith to believe that our heavenly Father will even protect our lives so that nothing could happen to cut them off up to that point where we shall have had the full privilege and opportunity of character-development – making our calling and election sure. Any attempt on our part to cut short our own privileges would mean not only a rebellion against the divine will, but a folly as regards our own interests, incomprehensible, as we have just said, except under some mental delusion.

The Lord's people, especially in the light of present truth, should be overwhelmed with the privilege of living at such a time as this, as well as with the privilege granted to us of making our calling and our election sure to a share in the Kingdom honors. There is no antidote for despondency so good as the medicine of the Lord's Word – its assurance that our Savior loved us so as to purchase us with his own blood, and his assurance, in turn, that "the Father himself loveth us," and the additional assurance that "all things shall work together for good to us because we love God and have been called according to his purpose." "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself," and has with the hope a ground for joy and peace and trust and contentment which the world can neither give nor take away. Alas, poor world! We wonder that more of its number, without God, without hope, without intelligent knowledge of the divine plan working out blessing for the groaning creation, should not be tempted to do away with the present life – seeing in it no special value, no special blessing, no special opportunities, such as we see and enjoy and hope to realize.


Question. – To what or whom does Isa. 42:19-21 refer? Is it applicable to our Lord Jesus?

Answer. – This Scripture seems to apply to our Lord Jesus, and incidentally to the Church which is his Body. These are to be blind to some things – blind to earthly ambitions and prospects and worldly wisdom, to the intent that they may the more diligently render obedience to their high calling which leads them to ignore present advantages, – to sacrifice them all, laying down even life itself in the service of the truth. It is not the blindness of ignorance, as is indicated by verse 20, "Seeing many things ["but" omitted], thou observest not [heedest not: it is not that we do not see earthly advantages, but we purposely reject, close our eyes, to all such earthly allurements.]" The word "perfect" in v. 19 has the significance of surrendered or devoted. With this blindness Jehovah is well pleased; he accepts it as the atonement sacrifice, and thereby his law is proven to be reasonable, possible to be kept by a perfect man; yea, indeed, it is multiplied and shown to have a still higher and deeper scope than was ever previously comprehended.

page 113
April 1st

Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

VOL. XXIV.APRIL 15, 1903.No. 8

Views from the Watch Tower 115
Kaiser William's Theology 115
Religious Freedom Granted by the Czar 116
Trust Methods in Church Work 117
Gen. Chaffee Startles Methodists 117
The Memorial Supper 118
"Lest Ye Enter Into Temptation" 118
Obligations of a Christian 119
"Love as Brethren" 124
An Interesting Letter 127
General Conventions, Etc 128

'I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me.' Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 114

HIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated, – Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to – "Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God, the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed." – Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; – according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" – peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age – ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him. – 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. – Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." – Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir. – 1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age. – Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church. – Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.

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[R3177 : page 115]


ABOUT a year ago, at the German Emperor's instance, Professor Delitzsch delivered an address at the palace. He spoke on recent excavations in Babylon; attempting to show that the findings entirely discredited the Bible and proved that the Hebrews' intelligence of religious things came to them from the Babylonians. The impression went out that the Emperor was much pleased with that discourse, and evidently had lost his respect for the Bible. This greatly distressed some of his orthodox subjects, and encouraged the Socialists, many of whom are reputed to be unbelievers – agnostics. To offset this, the Emperor has recently invited Prof. Harnack to address his court on the same theme; – Prof. Harnack being rated as "orthodox."

(We, however, could not rate the Professor as orthodox or Biblical. He holds that the Babylonian findings confirm the Bible records in some respects; viz., that there is a sufficient agreement between these witnesses and the Bible to prove that the Bible is not a fable, – that it records some facts of actual occurrence. However, Prof. Harnack does not accept the Bible as of divine origin as do we and, hence, discredits its dates, and accepts instead the uncertain decipherings of hieroglyphics relating to many dynasties (which may have existed contemporaneously) and by stringing these out one after the other, he and his associates count thousands of years which the Scriptures do not allow.)

Additionally, the Emperor prepared a letter which, as was intended, has been made public. In it he sets forth his religious views and, it is said, has quite satisfied his people. In this connection it should be remembered that the Emperor is summus episcopus of the Prussian Protestant Church – its chief bishop, or overseer.

Commenting on the Emperor's action, the London Times correspondent says: –

"Orthodox Protestants seem to have apprehended that the foundations of the State, as well as the Church, would be undermined if the summus episcopus encouraged heterodoxy. The question has a deep political bearing also, because the Social Democrats are professedly anti-Christian in a doctrinal sense, and because nearly all the Liberals are freethinkers. The Conservative press is satisfied that the Kaiser holds to the essentials of orthodox Protestantism, and the Liberal press is pleased because the Kaiser's statement upholds the freedom of research and speculation for scholars.

"The Catholic Kolnische Volks Zeitung sees danger in this distinction between the learned and the 'people,' and the Radical Berliner Tageblatt comes to the far-fetched conclusion that the Kaiser's fearless initiative will produce the greatest and most triumphant impression in England and America, and may help to inspire friendlier feelings there for 'our Germanic cousins.'"

The "orthodox" are evidently easily satisfied. We trust that readers of ZION'S WATCH TOWER have a much more distinct idea of the inspiration of the Bible writers – the apostles and prophets – than has the Kaiser. We cannot with him count Moses in along with Shakespeare and the Kaiser's grandfather and Homer and Charlemagne. Moses was both a prophet and a type of the great Prophet and, hence, to us, belongs to an entirely different class from the worldly-wise and great. We quote a portion of the letter: –

"I distinguish between two different kinds of revelation – one progressive, and, as it were, historical; the other purely religious, as preparing the way for the future Messiah.

"Regarding the former it must be said, for me it does not admit of a doubt, not even the slightest, that God reveals himself continuously in the race of men created by him. He breathed into man the breath of his life and follows with fatherly love and interest the [R3177 : page 116] development of the human race. In order to lead it forward and develop it he reveals himself in this or that great sage, whether priest or king, whether among the heathen, Jews or Christians. Hammurabi was one; so was Moses, Abraham, Homer, Charlemagne, Luther, Shakespeare, Goethe, Kant and Emperor William the Great. These he sought out and endowed with his grace to accomplish splendid, imperishable results for their people in their intellectual and physical provinces, according to his will. How often my grandfather pointed out that he was only an instrument in the Lord's hands....

"The legislative act on Sinai, for example, can be only regarded as symbolically inspired by God. When Moses had to reburnish well-known paragraphs of the law, perhaps derived from the code of Hammurabi, in order to incorporate and bind them into the loose, weak fabric of his people, here the historian can perhaps construe from the sense of wording a connection with the laws of Hammurabi, the friend of Abraham. That is perhaps logically correct. But that will never disguise the fact that God incited Moses thereto and in so far revealed himself to the people of Israel."

The Emperor has evidently become quite tinctured with higher-critic infidelity. If Moses concocted the Law with the assistance of a heathen legend which had been extant several centuries before he was born, he perpetrated a fraud at Mt. Sinai, – a stupendous fraud – when he represented that it was directly God-given. Was our Lord also deceived respecting Hammurabi's law, palmed off by Moses as of divine origin? And were all the Jews, including the apostles, deceived? Hear our Lord's words, "Did not Moses give you the Law?" (John 7:19.) When our Lord, after his resurrection, would establish the faith of the disciples on the way to Emmaus, we read: "Beginning with Moses and all the prophets he expounded unto them the Scriptures," etc. (Luke 24:27.) Did he begin by quoting a fraud, a deceiver who had palmed off Hammurabi's law for a new divine code? Whoever believes so, cannot believe in our Lord's claims to Messiahship; for surely Messiah could not be inspired to know what was in man and yet be deluded as present-day wise men claim.

If these men are right Stephen, the first martyr to follow the Lord in death, for his sake, was deceived also. See his testimony concerning Moses in Acts 7:35-44, noting specially vss. 38 and 44.

Who that believes Moses a deceiver and a fraud could longer accept the inspiration of the words of the Apostle Paul on any subject, after noting his eulogy of Moses and the Law of God given by his hand? He says: "It is written in the law of Moses." (1 Cor. 9:9.) Again he recites an incident of Moses' presence in Mt. Sinai, not as a part of a stupendous fraud, but as a fact; saying, "Moses...put a vail over his face." (2 Cor. 3:7-13; Ex. 34:29,30,35.) Again he ascribed that law to God, declaring it so "just and holy and good" that no fallen man could keep it. (Rom. 7:9-12.) He even recites circumstantially the giving of the Law Covenant at Sinai, pointing out that this was a type of the ushering in of the New Covenant. – Heb. 12:18-26.

"The Law was given [of God] by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." "Moses verily was faithful, as a servant over all his house" – he was, therefore, not a fraud. – John 1:17; Heb. 3:5.

The great and worldly-wise are all to stumble into just such unbelief respecting God's Word, but the faithful are to be kept by the power of God through faith and by assistance divinely granted in this "evil day." "A thousand shall fall at thy side, but it [the pestilence of infidelity] shall not come nigh thee." The elect will stand on a sea of glass, as it were mingled with fire, and be able to sing intelligently "the song of Moses, the servant of God [not a fraud], and the Lamb." – Rev. 15:3.

Quoting further from the war-lord-bishop we are touched to sympathy by his "blind unreason" in the following "most orthodox" sentence, – in which he attempts to discuss what he, evidently, in no sense understands. How true that "the natural man receiveth not [comprehendeth not] the things of the spirit of God: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14.) He says: –

"Christ is God, God in human form. He redeemed us and inspires us, entices us to follow him. We feel his fire burning in us. His sympathy strengthens us. His discontent destroys us. But, also his intercession saves us. Conscious of victory, building solely upon his Word, we go through labor, ridicule, sorrow, misery and death, for we have in him God's revealed Word, and he never lies."


St. Petersburg, (Press Cable). – The Czar has issued a decree providing for freedom of religion throughout his dominions, establishing to some degree local self-government and making other concessions to the village committees.

Among the measures outlined by the Czar for the attainment of these ends is reform of the rural laws, which is to be effected with the advice of persons who possess the confidence of the people. The system of administration in the various governments and districts is to be examined by representatives of the different localities concerned, with the view of effecting the necessary amendments. Measures are also to be taken to relieve the peasantry of the burdens of forced labor.

The decree, which was issued in commemoration of the anniversary of the birthday of Alexander III., is considered to be the most significant act of state since the emancipation of serfs. The public hails it as the proclamation of a new era, opening up bright [R3178 : page 117] prospects of the early improvement of Russian internal administration.

*                         *                         *

All who love righteousness and freedom will rejoice in the news conveyed by the above dispatch. However, it would not be wise for us to expect great and speedy changes as a result of this decree. It is almost forced upon the Czar by the poverty and discontent of the people; and it may be a considerable time before the promised reforms are realized. Powerful nobles are opposed to reform, and many of the evils are deeply entrenched in the customs of the land. As yet it is only a paper reform; but it is an illustration of the melting of the mountains [kingdoms] predicted by the prophet. – Psa. 97:5.

The extent to which this decree will affect the political or religious liberties of Jews is doubtful; we expect little from it to their advantage.


We quote below from the Chicago Inter-Ocean. Where the matter may end is difficult to determine now, but that it is along the lines of higher-criticism, and therefore opposed to real Bible study, from the standpoint of faith, is never to be forgotten. Extracts follow: –

"The purpose of the new organization, which will be known as 'the Religious Educational Association,' is to bring about a greater unification of religious interests, irrespective of denomination or creed, and to disseminate religious education through the various mediums outlined in the constitution and by-laws adopted by the convention at the afternoon and closing session of the conference.

"President William R. Harper of the University of Chicago, in his address before the convention, gave a comprehensive and detailed outline of the real scope and purposes of the new organization. All of Dr. Harper's suggestions concerning the new work were adopted by the convention.

"'The new organization will be something of a clearing house for religious thought and work,' said Dr. Harper in his address. He urged the necessity of cooperation among the various religious bodies in stimulating and carrying on the work of the Sunday school and church.

"'There is a great waste of effort for the lack of co-relation,' declared Dr. Harper. 'The new organization will undertake to render service in stimulating present agencies to greater effort, such aid being furnished through suggestion, through the publication of information concerning the work at large, through the provision of larger and better opportunities for these agencies to confer together, and through the help derived from personal contact with each other of those interested in the same divisions of work.'

"Departments and committees represented in the various organizations were named in the constitution adopted by the convention to carry on the work of the organization: – Universities and colleges, theological seminaries, churches and pastors, Sunday schools, secondary public schools, elementary public schools, private schools, teacher-training, young men and young women's associations, young people's societies, the home, libraries, the press, correspondence instruction, religious art, and music.

"Three classes of members are to be admitted. These are active, associate and corresponding.

"The new organization will include the establishment of a central board of trustees or directors, which will constitute the executive body of the association, and as such arrange the programs of special and general conventions, secure by proper means the coordination of the work of the departments, and carry into effect the decisions of the association.

"The members of the board will represent the various countries, states, territories and districts furnishing the membership of the association; also the various religious denominations and the various schools of opinion recognized as Christian; and still further, the various divisions of Christian activity, educational, evangelical and philanthropic.

"The principal address of the afternoon was made by the Rev. Frank Gunsaulus. He declared it was not the intention of the new organization to interfere with the work being done by the various lines of religious organizations, but to aid these in securing better results. He said that the field was sufficiently wide to permit the exercise of the very best energies of all who desired to engage in the work. He predicted a useful future for the new organization, and closed his address with an eloquent plea for church unity in educational work.

"President Charles J. Little of Garrett Biblical Institute said he regretted that the Catholics and Jews were not included in the new organization. 'They exclude themselves from conferences of this kind, but I sincerely hope that the day will soon dawn,' declared Mr. Little, 'when we can all get together on common ground.'"


New York, March 20. – Maj. Gen. Chaffee told the members of the Methodist Social union tonight that he never met an intelligent Chinese who expressed any desire to embrace the Christian religion.

– Pittsburg Gazette.

*                         *                         *

General Chaffee has been in China for a considerable time, and is widely recognized as a moderate man, whose general sympathies are with the Christian religion; hence, his opinion is weighty. It attests the wisdom of God in passing by the Chinese and sending the gospel to the European barbarians eighteen centuries ago. Evidently there will not be many representatives from China in the "elect Church," "the bride, the Lamb's wife."

Thank God for the good hopes inspired by the great oath-bound promise made to Abraham, of which we, the Church, are heirs (Gal. 3:29) – that all the families of the earth shall yet be blessed with a knowledge of the Lord and with an opportunity for applying that knowledge, so as to return to God's favor and life everlasting.

[R3179 : page 118]

N Friday evening, April 10th, we celebrate the greatest event of this world's history: the death of our Lord Jesus, the Redeemer of Adam and his race from the death sentence of the violated law of God. "Christ our Passover is slain, therefore let us keep the feast...with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." Elsewhere we have explained why this Memorial supersedes the typical Passover lamb, etc., and on the same date annually; and the meaning of the bread as the emblem of our Lord's body, "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners," and the "cup" as representing his sacrificial death, etc. – See our issue of March 1, 1898.

We earnestly desire that all interested in the divine plan of the ages, trusting in the precious blood and consecrated to the Lord's service, – even unto death – may appreciate the great privilege and blessing of this service; – wherever they may be and however few may be their collective number. Surely nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ our Lord and, likewise, nothing shall hinder us from thus confessing his great work for us and our great reliance upon him and our respect for his words, This do ye [as often as ye do it] in remembrance of me; – annually.

The Allegheny Church cordially invites all of the class described who can make it convenient to celebrate the Memorial with us in the Bible House Chapel at 7:30 p.m. on the date named. However, we urge that so far as possible each little group usually meeting together do so on this occasion, – after the custom of our Lord's time, – each family by itself, – each group of the Lord's children by itself.

We trust for a great blessing upon us all in connection with this service, and are praying for it as one of the things that the Father would be pleased to have us ask for. We hope to hear from the various gatherings by postal card as quickly as possible after the celebration; – the number present and the degree of blessing experienced.

[R3178 : page 118]


"Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." – Mark 14:38.

T seems peculiar that there should be greater liability of falling into sin at one season than at another; but, nevertheless, we have noticed for several years, and have before called to the attention of others, the peculiar force of temptations at the time of the Passover, every Spring. Year after year at this season we have noticed special liability of many or all to stumble, or "be offended." Let us, therefore, take earnest heed to our Lord's words, and earnestly watch and pray for others and for ourselves; and let each one be on his guard not to cast a stumbling-block before his brother. – Rom. 14:13; Heb. 2:1.

It was at the Passover season that our Lord said, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Then many of his friends and followers said, "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?...and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?" – John 6:4,51,60,66,67.

It was at the Passover season that Judas bargained for the betrayal of our Lord, – and a little later on accomplished it.

It was about the Passover season that our Lord said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." (Matt. 26:38.) "I have a baptism [death] to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!" – Luke 12:50.

It was about the Passover season that our Lord took the disciples and began to explain unto them that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of the chief priests and scribes and be put to death (Matt. 16:21); and then Peter was tempted to forget that he was the disciple, and took the Lord and began to rebuke him, saying, "Be it far from thee, Lord. This shall not be unto thee." Thus also he tempted our Lord to repudiate his sacrifice, and brought upon himself the rebuke – "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those things that be of men." – Verses 22,23.

It was while met to eat the Passover that the twelve got into a dispute as to which of them should be greatest in the Kingdom. They thus brought upon themselves our Lord's just rebuke, and induced the illustration of humility on his part by the washing of their feet.

It was when they had sung a hymn and gone out from the Passover that our Lord used to them the words at the head of this article, "Watch ye, and pray, lest ye enter into temptation;" while he himself was in an agonizing battle, and with bloody sweat submitting his will to the will of God; and, praying earnestly, was strengthened. – Luke 22:39-46.

It was but a little later that the emissaries of the High Priest came upon them and the eleven all forsook the Lord and fled (Mark 14:50): the temptation, the fear they could not resist.

It was but a little later that Peter and John, bolder [R3179 : page 119] than the others, went with the crowd into Pilate's court to see what would befall the Master; and Peter, being recognized as one of Christ's disciples, was tempted to deny the Lord with cursing. – Mark 14:68,70,71.

It was at the same time that our Lord was tempted before Pilate, but victoriously "witnessed a good confession." – 1 Tim. 6:13.

The temptations of our Lord followed rapidly. When his foes spat upon him, and crowned him with thorns, and reviled him, saying, "Let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God," he could have smitten them with disease or death; but, as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He overcame, and prayed for those who despitefully used him. – Isa. 53:7; Luke 23:33-37.

He might even have concluded that he would not be the Redeemer of such thankless beings; but, while realizing that he could even then ask of the Father and receive the assistance of twelve legions of angels and overcome his enemies, he resisted the temptation. He gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

The death of our Lord was a great trial of faith to all the disciples, who straightway were tempted to go again to their old fishing business, and neglect the fishing for men. – John 21:3-17.

Paul and the other apostles subsequently had special trials at this special season also. See Acts 20:16; 21:10,11,27-36.

In view of all this in the past, as well as in view of our own experience since the present harvest began in 1874, we feel specially solicitous for the Lord's sheep every Spring; and this Spring is no exception. What may be the character of the temptations, we may not clearly discern until they are upon us; for if we knew all about them in advance they would be but slight temptations. Watch, therefore, and pray always; for the only safe way is to be prepared; because your adversary, the devil, is seeking whom he may devour. He knows your weak points, and is ready to take advantage of them. We will each need the graces of the spirit in our hearts, as well as the Lord's "grace to help in time of need" if we would overcome. "Watch ye, and pray, lest ye enter into temptation!"

"My soul, be on thy guard,
Ten thousand foes arise;
The hosts of sin are pressing hard
To draw thee from the prize."

*                         *                         *

"Whosoever will live godly shall suffer persecution."

"They have called the Master of the house Beelzebub. ...The servant is not above his Lord."

Our Lord said to Pilate, "Thou couldst have no power at all over me except it were given thee from above." The same is true of every member of his body.

"A man's foes shall be they of his own household."

"They shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake....Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven."

"The god of this worketh in the children of disobedience."..."We are not ignorant of his devices."

[R3179 : page 119]

ROMANS 13:7-14. – APRIL 19. –

"Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law."

OME one has well denominated this 13th chapter of Romans "The Christian Citizen's Chapter." We might consider it remarkable, almost to the extent of amazement, that every feature of Christian life, duty and character is set forth somewhere in the apostolic writings, did we not remember that the apostles, as the stars, or bright ones, of the Church, were specially held in the hand of the Lord; specially guided in their utterances, that they should set forth the whole counsel of God, that the man of God might be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work.

There is a vast difference between the governmental conditions of the present time and those which prevailed at about the time of the writing of this epistle. Monarchs are no longer absolute; and it is difficult for us to conceive the condition of things in which an emperor had authority not only to set apart culprits as victims for death in public spectacles, but after these had been destroyed, had the authority also to instruct his servants to select further victims from amongst the audience. It is when we get before our minds this view of atrocious government which prevailed in the Apostle's day that we get the full scope of his injunction, "Let every soul be subject to the higher powers; for the powers that be are ordained of God." It is comparatively easy to be subject to the higher powers in civilized lands today, for although absolute justice might not be meted out in every instance, there is at least an endeavor to render a show of justice, such as the world has never before known. We should be very thankful that our lot has been favorably cast in this respect. In declaring that "the powers that be are [R3179 : page 120] ordained of God," we are not to understand the Apostle to mean that they are endorsed by God, nor that their decisions, rules, etc., are approved by him or are in harmony with his rules and laws. The Apostle's intimation means simply that in divine providence things are as they are, and our God, who knows all the circumstances and conditions, permits them to be as they are, though he could overthrow and overturn and substitute his own Kingdom of righteousness. Nevertheless, this is not his plan; but rather for the time being he permits the kingdoms of this world, whose rulers are under the prince of this world, and largely blinded by his deceptions, to take much their own course – subject only to certain limitations by which the Lord hinders Satan and any of his misguided dupes from doing real injury to the best interests of the Lord's people or to the thwarting of the divine plan. His divine power overrules the wrath of man and makes it to praise him, and the remainder, which will not accomplish anything of good, but which would be subversive of the divine arrangements, he will restrain. – Psa. 76:10.

"Render, therefore, to all their dues" – to all men as well as to all rulers – in financial as well as political matters. A great mistake, we believe, is being made along these lines today. The general sentiment amongst Christian people is that Christian citizenship implies engaging in political strife – and endeavoring to determine who shall be the rulers, striving to better the laws and have them obeyed, and putting forth efforts to oppose and rebuke bad laws. It will be noticed that the Apostle gives no such advice. On the contrary, he elsewhere declares, "Your citizenship is in heaven." (Phil. 3:20, R.V.) We are strangers and foreigners in the kingdoms of this world. Our Kingdom is yet to come; it is promised, and we are praying for it, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth," and we are expecting it; but meantime, as foreigners, "not of this world" (John 18:36), it is our business to render obedience to the laws, customs, usages, of this world, in so far as these do not infringe upon our conscientious obligations to the Lord and the truth; but this does not mean that we are to become partizans in political strifes, and contentions amongst men. Let the world elect its own rulers in whatever way it sees best; we put up with whatever it provides with thankfulness, with gratitude to God for whatever may come, with the realization that he will guide and care for us under all circumstances, and that in any event our highest interests are being conserved. Obedience to the laws of the land might at some time oblige us to bear arms, and in such event it would be our duty to go into the army, [R3180 : page 120] if unable in any legal and proper manner to obtain exemption, but it would not be our duty to volunteer. We are soldiers in another army, which battles not with carnal weapons, and whose contests are from an entirely different standpoint and in an entirely different spirit. There could be nothing against our consciences in going into the army. Wherever we would go we could take the Lord with us, the Captain of our salvation, and wherever we would go we could find opportunities to serve him and his cause. If it came to the point of battling we above all others need have no fear of death, but we, assuredly, would be obliged to draw the line when commanded to fire, and we could not, in harmony with the divine program, fire upon a fellow-creature with the intention of taking his life. If we fired we should be obliged to fire either into the air or into the ground. All this army service would come in under this heading, "Render to all their dues." The governor of the state has the right, under the laws, to call for and to conscript, if necessary, soldiers for the defense of the state and of the nation; and if such requisition be enforced upon us we must render our dues and take our share in the trials and difficulties of the service, whatever they may be. The Apostle, however, stipulates more particularly what he means by dues, showing that he does not mean that we owe it to others to vote, to participate in political strifes. He had particularly in mind the paying of tribute, custom, fear, honor, to whom these are due. Tribute was the tax payable by a subject nation to the principal power, as, for instance, by the Jewish nation to the Roman Empire while its vassal. Custom is a tariff duty, or tax, levied in one form or another for the support of government, by a tax upon imports or exports or by direct taxation. Fear, or reverence, is differentiated from honor, or respect, in the sense that it may be the duty to salute an officer or representative of the government, by baring the head or bowing the knee, or otherwise, thus showing him honor or respect, not necessarily as a man, but as an officer, regardless of his personal character. The fear that is to be rendered is in the sense of obedience, as we elsewhere read, "Fear the judge." The commands of the judge or court are to be obeyed – whatever others might be disposed to do, Christians are never to be found in contempt of court, but are to obey its rules to the very letter, whether they consider them just or unjust, because the judge is the representative of the law, and God permits the law and the judge, and commands us to be subject to whatever he permits. If, therefore, as our Lord explained, some one shall sue us at the law, and take away our coat, or if it include our cloak also, all that we had, we are not to resist; we are to be obedient to the powers that be. This does not mean, however, that we shall willingly submit to the coat or cloak or other articles being taken from us illegally or unjustly without process of law. [R3180 : page 121]

Having thus considered the Christian's obligation to the government, the Apostle next passes to the consideration of the Christian's obligation to his neighbors. He is to owe no man anything. This does not necessarily mean that he must not, under any circumstances, borrow, but that if he borrows with a specific understanding respecting the time of return of the money or goods, he shall be prompt to meet the obligation. And unless he is absolutely certain of his ability to meet the obligation, or can give security such as a mortgage, he should not borrow. There is, however, the standing advice of the Word of God that the children of the great King should be lenders, and not borrowers. "Do good and lend." Indeed, we believe that it would be to the advantage of every child of God if he would put in practise the Apostle's words in this lesson in the most absolute sense, and never borrow anything; never owe anything; paying for what he needs at the time of purchase, or else waiting for it until, in the Lord's providence, he is able to pay for it in advance.

There is one thing, however, the Apostle implies we are continually owing to our fellow-creatures, not only to the members of our own family and our own neighborhood, but to all men; viz., love. We owe them this, under the divine law, and it is a part of Christian duty to discharge this obligation daily. A parent or member of the family is to see that he does his part in support of the home and its comforts and privileges and quiet and harmony, that his influence in his neighborhood amongst his friends and acquaintances shall be for good and not for evil, for peace and not for strife. And as the Apostle elsewhere remarks, if he is to do good unto all men, as he has opportunity, and because he loves all and desires their welfare, much more especially is he to have such sentiments and conduct toward those of the household of faith. (Gal. 6:10.) He is to be ready to do good at the expense of his own time and convenience, to all men, but he is to be ready to lay down his life for the brethren – he is to seek opportunities for laying down his life day after day, in the sense of giving his time to the communication of the truth, or helping the Lord's brethren in any manner, to put on the whole armor of God, and to stand in the evil day.

The Apostle calls attention to the comprehensive statement of the Law set forth by our Lord; viz., that love is the fulfilling of the law, and that, therefore, love for the neighbor signifies that the law of God is fulfilled toward our neighbor. It will be remembered, however, that the law of love is divided into two parts; first, love to God; second, love to our fellows; and the loving of our neighbor would, therefore, be only a part of the fulfilling of the entire love to God. After loving our neighbor, and even laying down our life for him, we would need to see to it that we do not neglect the first feature of this law; viz., that we should love God more than our neighbor and more than ourselves, so that every human interest and matter would be sacrificed gladly in response to our conviction of the divine will.

Going on to speak of the fulfilment of this second part of the Law of Love – the duty toward the neighbor, – the Apostle enumerates the essence of some of the commandments respecting murder, adultery, false witness, theft, covetousness, and all other commandments that relate to our fellow-creatures – they are all met by the Law of Love to our neighbor. The commandments of the Decalogue were all of a negative character, "Thou shalt not" do this or that which would be injurious to thy neighbor. But the new Law of Love is positive, and declares, upon the other side of the question, "Thou shalt love" thy neighbor. Love, therefore, meets all the requirements of the "shalt nots" of the Ten Commandments and much more. For whosoever, in obedience to this Law of Love, is seeking to do good to his neighbor, will surely not slander him nor murder him nor steal from him nor covet his goods, nor otherwise do, or wish to do him injury, or even to think of him with unkindness.

Having considered these two points; viz., duty to rulers and duty to neighbors, the Apostle next turns to the Christian's duty toward himself, declaring, "Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep." The Christian is to realize that he, and in general the whole world, has been asleep in a sort of stupor, in respect to the highest and best and noblest things. Now having gotten the eyes of his understanding opened, and being, at least, partially awake to righteousness, he begins to weigh and measure matters after a fashion different from his previous course. He begins to estimate rightly the things of this present life, as not worthy to be compared with the glorious things which belong to the eternal life. He begins to realize that the world has now been six days (a thousand years each – 2 Pet. 3:8) under the reign of sin and death, and that the morning of the great Sabbath of refreshment and blessing and rest is at hand. As he realizes this he should feel disposed to arouse himself and shake himself thoroughly from the dust of ignorance, superstition, blindness and sordidness, and to live in harmony with the glorious hopes he now entertains – living for the new era, the new dispensation, which he sees is approaching, realizing that day by day since first he believed, his salvation is drawing nearer. Instructed by the Word of God, he will not expect his salvation except in connection with the second coming of our Lord Jesus and the establishment of his Kingdom; as the Apostle in another place declares, "The grace that [R3180 : page 122] is to be brought unto you at the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." – 1 Pet. 1:13.

The thought of the second coming of the Lord was continually before the Apostles; and our Lord evidently designed that it should be constantly an incentive to all the members of his Church throughout the age. This, undoubtedly, was one reason why he did not particularly explain the length of time that would intervene – it would be a short time, from God's standpoint, and even from the human standpoint it would be a short time to each individual who would have only the few remaining years of life wherein to make ready for the glorious things of the future; since "in death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave who can give thee thanks?" – Psa. 6:5.

Looking back, and perceiving that about 4178 years had already passed in sin and gross darkness upon the world, the Apostle realized that the night was surely far spent, and the day not far distant. And now we, living eighteen centuries nearer to the day, are highly favored by the Lord in this due time, in that we are permitted to see the particulars that were obscure to some extent in the Apostle's day. We believe that the day is actually at hand; that we are now living in the early dawn of the new dispensation, and that as soon as the harvest of this Gospel age shall be gathered, the work of change, or transformation, by which the kingdoms of this world shall, in a great time of trouble, become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, is nigh, even at the door.

What is the force of the Apostle's argument to those who see as he did the approaching Kingdom of [R3181 : page 122] light, that shall banish all the darkness of sin, ignorance, superstition, etc.? It is expressed in his words, "Let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." The works of darkness would be any works whatsoever that would not stand the fullest investigation; that would not stand approval in the light of the new dispensation, if it were already fully ushered in. Let us remember that we belong to the new dispensation, and not to the old, and should, therefore, live in accordance with our citizenship and our responsibilities toward the Prince of light and in opposition to the prince of darkness, his works and his ways.

We have elsewhere considered this matter of putting on the armor of light; and the necessity, as expressed in the Apostle's statement, that the particular period of time in which the change from the dominion of the prince of this world to the Kingdom of God's dear Son will be a specially evil day – a day, a period, in which all the children of light will be crucially tested; such a day as will try every man's work and faith what they are; a day and a fiery trial through which only the gold, silver and precious stones will pass unscathed, and in which all the hay, wood and stubble of error and sin and human tradition and falsehood will be entirely destroyed. No wonder, then, that the Apostle repeatedly urges us to put on the armor of light – preparation by the Lord's people for the trials of this particular time, which we perceive is now just upon us – in fact, we are already passing into these very fires of this day of trial. We are already in the time when the wood, hay and stubble is being consumed, and when Higher Criticism, Evolutionary theory, Christian Science, Hypnotism, under its own name and known as Mind Cures, etc., are devouring as a flame all that are not fully devoted to the Lord, and, therefore, specially kept by his power through his Word and providence.

Let us walk honestly, as in the day. We are not yet fully in the day, but we belong to the new era, and are, therefore, to live even in this present time as nearly as possible up to the perfect standards of the future. So to live will signify self-denial – will imply that we will be misunderstood by the world; will imply that we will be thought foolish, and that we will be considered enemies, not only by those who are in gross darkness, but particularly by those who profess to be the Lord's people, children of the light, but who really prefer darkness and error rather than light and truth. We are inclined to lay special stress on this word "honestly," and to believe that the Apostle used it advisedly and in a particular sense.

As we look all about us we find that dishonesty is very prevalent; not merely in the world, where we expect a certain amount of duplicity and misrepresentation and deception, and people passing for what they are not, but we find this kind of dishonesty very prevalent amongst professing Christians; yea, we have known ministers to boast of their dishonesty – to declare that they never did believe the creed which they had professed to believe and vowed they would teach to others. Intelligent ministers are today preaching in all denominations what they do not believe, standing for creeds and theories which misrepresent their true sentiments. They are acting dishonestly; they are searing their own consciences; they are putting themselves into a condition where they cannot make progress into the light of the truth; for surely God does not want dishonest people in his elect Church. Surely, unless they become honest, they will have their portion with the hypocrites, for the hypocrites are the dishonest. "Let us walk honestly," appeals to every true child of God.

Each one should see to it that he is honest, not only in matters of dollars and cents, but honest in his treatment of his neighbors, in his treatment of the brethren, in the Church, and above all, honest in his [R3181 : page 123] confessions respecting his God and his faith. The test is being made along this line, and those who love the favor of men rather than the favor of God, and who dishonestly are willing to confess and profess a lie, will be given up to their lie, will be permitted to blight their eternal interests, will be proving themselves unfit for the Kingdom – whatever else they may ultimately become fit for. This is the very essence of the Apostle's declaration in his letter to the Thessalonians (2 Thess. 2:11), when speaking of this evil day, and the great trial that would come upon the Church, he declares that God will send them strong delusions that they might believe a lie – because they were not honest – because they did not obey the truth in the love of it, but acted deceptively, hypocritically, two-facedly.

Our translators seem to have forgotten that these epistles were written to "the saints" (Rom. 1:8), and not to the world, hence, when speaking of certain sins they used English words, which would be applicable to the most depraved class in describing the crimes and wrong course – instead of using such language as would properly represent the misdemeanors that might be expected amongst the saints. There is an illustration of this in our lesson (verse 13), where the Apostle is represented as saying to the saints that they should not indulge in rioting, drunkenness, chambering and wantonness. It is true that the saints should not indulge in any of those things; but it is true also that no saints would think of indulging in such orgies.

The Apostle's meaning, to our understanding, is a much more refined one than these words would represent. He urges us that in view of the time, and that we are children of the day, that we should not engage in worldly revelries, time-killing pleasures, harmless though they be, and that we should not be intoxicated with the spirit of this world. As, for instance, some have an intoxication for money, wealth; others an intoxication for business; others for dress; others for music; others for art; but as the Lord's people, who have got a glimpse of the new day, and the great work of God which is to be accomplished in that day, our hearts should be so absorbed in the work of God that these matters, which would be thought proper enough and right enough in others, worldly people – because they are not awake as we are, and because they see not the future as we see it – should be far from our conception and our course.

In urging the saints to avoid chambering and wantonness, we are not to understand the Apostle to mean fornication and adultery, and general lasciviousness, as he might warn the most depraved and most benighted of the children of this world. We are to understand him to address these words to the saints, urging them to continence in their social relations – urging that the thoughts of the Kingdom shall lift their minds and disengage their affections to a large extent, at least, from the earthly affections and the lawful sexual congress. This is a statement to the Romans of the same thing that he mentions to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 7:29); "Brethren, the time is short; it remaineth both that they that have wives be as though they had none, ...and they that use this world as not abusing it." The Apostle, however, puts limitations to this counsel, as expressed in vss. 5-7 of the same chapter. This interpretation of the Apostle's sentiments is fully corroborated by the concluding words of this verse (13). By the general rules of language he would not begin his argument with the grosser sins, and end with the less, but reversely, conclude with the stronger argument. Here he concludes with the exhortation that the saints, in watching as in the day, shall avoid strife and envy.

The other difficulties would be comparatively their own concern – their participation in revelries might do no harm to others, their being overcharged with a spirit of intoxication for wealth or fashion or art or music, might do no injury to others, their inordinateness in lawful sexual matters might do no injury to the cause in general; but when he comes to strife and envy he notes two qualities which reach out and would not only imply a wrong condition of heart on the part of the transgressor, which indulged would ultimately bar him from the Kingdom, but would represent also elements of character which would be injurious to the whole body of Christ, which is the Church. And be it noticed that these various dispositions, carelessness of life, the overcharged, or drunken condition, as respects earthly affairs (Luke 21:34), and lack of self-restraint in connubial relationship, would be very apt to go hand in hand with a wrong spirit in the Church – a spirit of strife, contention, wilfulness – not submitting to the divine Word and providence, but, on the contrary, the arousing of jealousies, ambitions, on behalf of self or others, for prominence in the body.

To the contrary of all this, the saints are to seek more and more to put on the Lord Jesus Christ – to take each to himself the characteristics of the Lord Jesus – his meekness, his patience, his gentleness, his forbearance, his love, his willingness to be servant of all, his temperateness and moderation in all things, his complete devotion to the Father, his complete submission to the holy spirit in all of his affairs.

In thus seeking to be like the Lord the saints are to "make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." They will find the flesh continually insisting that it be recognized, that it be not mortified, that plans and arrangements shall be made for its comfort, pleasure, gratification. The saints, however, are to [R3181 : page 124] make no such provision; they are to ignore the flesh, to the extent they are able; they are to consider its tastes, appetites and preferences, as generally depraved and improper to be gratified. They are to do this so thoroughly that they will make no provision for it, but merely provide for the doing of the will of the Lord in all things, whether the will of the Lord be pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or disagreeable to the flesh.

[R3182 : page 124]

ACTS 21:1-12. – APRIL 26. –

Golden Text. – "The will of the Lord be done." – Acts 21:14.

ROTHERHOOD in Christ is the closest of all relationships, and many incidents in the Apostle's journey from Ephesus to Jerusalem illustrate this brotherhood relationship most beautifully. In a preceding lesson we had the account of the parting of Paul and his company from the elders at Ephesus, and of their loving demonstration and tears and prayers. The first verse of this lesson says, "After we were gotten from them," etc., – the words "gotten from" signifying, torn ourselves away, as though the hearts of all were so thoroughly united that the separation meant the breaking of very tender ties. And so we find it to be today, with the Lord's similarly consecrated people. They become attached to each other in a manner that formal creeds and confessions in earthly bundles, or denominations, do not bind. Each one who is united to Christ feels a special interest in, and sympathy for, each fellow-member, so that, as the Apostle says, if one member rejoice all are glad, and if one member be in trouble or affliction or sorrow all are sympathetically affected. This will be noticeable in proportion as the law of love develops and abounds in each member. The little love in the beginning of Christian character will expand and deepen, filling all the avenues of the heart, and sanctifying them in a pure, unselfish, holy love.

The voyage from Miletus to Patara was probably in a small coasting vessel. At the latter port they found a larger seagoing vessel, on which they made the through journey to Tyre. At the latter place the Apostle and his companions hunted up some believers, whom they previously knew resided there. This is another evidence of affection and interest. Apparently the number of the interested was small, just as today; the twos and threes, sixes and sevens, are much more numerous than larger companies. The fewness did not hinder the Apostle from seeking them out, that he might encourage and strengthen them. Rather, we may say that in some respects the appreciation of the fact that the Lord's jewels are not numerous makes them all the more precious. In this little church were some who evidently had the gift of prophecy, as it was granted in the early church – foretelling future events, just as with the prophets of old, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc., except that those of the earlier dispensation spoke evidently in a more public manner, while these latter had messages especially for the Apostle and the Church. The message that came to them was to the effect that the Apostle at Jerusalem would be caused to suffer; would be imprisoned, maltreated, etc., and on this account they urged him not to go. The Apostle tells us previously, that the spirit witnessed in various places that bonds and imprisonment awaited him; but, nevertheless, he understood it to be the divine will that he should go to Jerusalem, and that, hence, he would not hesitate, knowing that the Lord was able to work out his own good purposes, if he were obedient. We are not to understand this testimony of these local prophets to be a contradiction of the Apostle's understanding of the same holy spirit's leading; the one teaching him that he should go to Jerusalem, the other teaching that he should not go to Jerusalem. We are rather to understand that these prophets merely had from God a revelation to the effect that Paul would suffer violence in the city of the great King, and that on the strength of this information they themselves advised the Apostle not to go. But Paul, without disrespect, or in any degree impugning the truthfulness of their message, drew a different lesson from it – understood the Lord's message differently. He saw that this meant a trial of his faith, his zeal, his perseverance, and that for him to yield to these suggestions, through fear, would have been an evidence of his lack of confidence in God, since the Lord had himself revealed to him that he should go up to Jerusalem.

It may be wondered why the Apostle would feel so urgently desirous of going to Jerusalem, knowing in advance what to expect. We reply that he evidently realized that the work amongst the Gentiles was growing considerably, and that there was a feeling that there was a more or less clearly defined separation of interest and sympathy as between believing Gentiles and believing Jews, and that part of the Apostle's object in this visit was to counteract this tendency and to help cement the Church as one. He was taking with him contributions from the various churches amongst the Gentiles to the poor of the larger congregation at Jerusalem, a thank-offering to the Lord for the good things which had been sent to them through their Jewish brethren. These offerings would attest the love and fellowship of the Gentile [R3182 : page 125] believers, and help to convince the brethren at Jerusalem that those abroad had one and the same spirit as those with whom they were better acquainted in Palestine. Then again, in Paul's company were several Gentile representatives, as it were, of the grace of God amongst the Gentiles – noble brethren, whose meekness, patience, gentleness, long-suffering; brotherly kindness and various fruits of the spirit fully attested the work of grace amongst the Gentiles to be the same as amongst the Jews. Furthermore, the Apostle realized that some had, intentionally or unintentionally, misrepresented his position – claiming that he was an opponent of the Law and of the Jews. He was an opponent of neither; he loved the Jews as his brethren, and he loved the Law of Moses, realizing that it was just, perfect and good, and so great and wonderful a law that no fallen human being could possibly live up to all of its requisites, and that, therefore, whoever would be justified could not be justified by the Law, through obedience to it, but must be justified according to God's arrangement – justified by faith. During this visit he hoped to be able to show that he had no disrespect for the Law, but that as Jesus magnified it, held it up, and showed how great and wonderful a law it was, he, Paul, magnified the Law of God, the Law of Moses, and showed that it could be kept only reckonedly, by any of the fallen race, and then only by those who could have imputed to them the righteousness of Christ to make up for their blemishes and shortcomings.

Furthermore, he foresaw the complete fall of his nation from all divine favor into unbelief and a great time of trouble, just at hand, and he, doubtless, desired to make one further effort amongst the Jews to give a final testimony that might be helpful to some, hoping that his experience in the many years amongst the Gentiles might have brought him greater wisdom in knowing how to present the gracious message. We know that these were his sentiments respecting the condition of the Jews, because his Epistle to the Romans had already been written – after he left Ephesus, presumably at Corinth, – and in that Epistle to the Romans it will be remembered that in the ninth, tenth and eleventh chapters the Apostle clearly sets forth the stumbling of the whole Jewish nation, only a remnant taking hold upon the Lord Jesus, the rest being blinded until the fulness of the Gentiles should be come in. We remember his explanation of the olive tree, whose root was the promise made to Abraham, and whose branches were the individuals of the Jewish nation. The breaking off of these branches from divine favor left opportunity for grafting into this olive tree – of divine favor and participation in the covenant made with Abraham – of all of the Gentiles who should heartily accept the Redeemer. The Apostle had all these thoughts, then, clearly in his mind. He had no expectation of being able to turn Israel as a nation, but he did wish them to discern his love for them, and his earnest desire to assist them, that peradventure he might remove from the minds of the Apostles not only any prejudice they might, as Jews, have had against the Gentile converts, but that, additionally, he might assist some who had not yet made a decision, not yet gone into the condition of darkness, stumbling, etc. Here again love as brethren is manifest. The Apostle loved the Jewish nation with an intense love, as is witnessed by his declaration, "I could wish myself accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." (Rom. 9:3.) Not that he would wish to suffer eternal torture for them, nor yet that he would wish to be cut off in the Second Death for them; but that he was willing to be cut off from participation in the glories of the Kingdom, as a member of the body of Christ, if thereby he could have brought his nation into that glorious position, the first right to which belonged to them as a people, until they rejected it.

The stay with the little company at Tyre lasted seven days, while their vessel was unloading its cargo and reloading another. As we read the account of how the disciples at Tyre, with their wives and children, accompanied the Apostle and his companions to the ship, and all kneeled in prayer on the shore, we say to ourselves that the spirit of discipleship was evidently the same everywhere in the early Church – just as warm and just as expressive among these probably less cultured ones at Tyre, as it was with the elders of the Church of Ephesus at Miletus. And we are glad to say that the household of faith today has many of the same characteristics of intense love for the brethren, even though they have not previously seen each other. We frequently think of this striking likeness when some of the friends, and sometimes their children, accompany us to the railway station to say "Good-bye." Truly by one spirit we are all baptized into the one body, and whoever lacks this spirit of fellowship, of oneness, is quite likely to become more and more cool and indifferent, until he loses the truth entirely; and whoever cultivates this spirit of fellowship and love for all the members of the body of Christ will find it growing, intensifying.

"Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above."

Mrs. M. J. Preston has put into poetic form the thought that we should speak our kind sentiments, and look them, and perform our kind services to one another, while we have the opportunity – and not let these [R3183 : page 126] opportunities go by, and leave our expressions until our friends are cold in death. She says: –

"What use for rope if it be not flung
Till the swimmer's grasp to the rock has clung?
What help in a comrade's bugle blast
When the peril of Alpine heights is past?
What need that the stirring paeon roll
When the runner is safe within the goal?
What worth is eulogy's blandest breath
When whispered in ears that are hushed in death?
No, no! if you have but a word of cheer
Speak it while I am alive to hear."

Leaving Tyre their vessel soon came to Ptolemais. There were a few friends at Ptolemais, and the day was spent in their company, and probably the partings again were full of expressions of sympathy; and then Caesarea, the Roman capital of Palestine, was reached. Philip the evangelist, one of the seven deacons originally appointed at Jerusalem, and who did a good work, it will be remembered, with the Ethiopian eunuch and at Samaria, was at this time apparently making Caesarea his home. We have no definite statement respecting the number of believers at the place, but evidently most of these groups of the Lord's people were few in number. Five of the Church, at least, were of Philip's own family, for he had four daughters, who are spoken of as unmarried sisters which did prophesy. It is difficult for us to determine whether or not they prophesied of future events, because this word "prophesy" is also used to designate public speaking without reference to foreseeing. Apparently the Apostle's company tarried more days at Caesarea than they had intended, for finding that they would not be in time for the Passover the Apostle and his company were not in special haste to reach Jerusalem before the Pentecost season. It was while they tarried in the latter place that Agabus, a brother in the Lord, who had delivered important prophecies of future events, came to Caesarea and finding Paul took his girdle and therewith bound his own feet and hands, and declared that thus Paul would be bound and delivered to the Gentiles. This form of prophecy, illustrating by signs, was not uncommon to the Jews. It will be remembered that Isaiah and Jeremiah and others of the prophets similarly acted out parts of their messages – thus, doubtless, making them more impressive.

This last testimony from Agabus seems to have affected all of Paul's companions who, taking a view similar to that taken by others, now joined in a general appeal to the Apostle not to go further on the journey – to give it up, not to run foolishly into danger. His reply shows us how thoroughly convinced he felt that it was the Lord's will, and that his dear friends were conscientious, he does not for an instant dispute. His words are most touching: "What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart?" Here again we are reminded of the words of the poet: –

"We share our mutual woes;
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear."

But the Apostle was firm. He had not started on this journey without the full conviction and assurance that it was in the Lord's providence that he should take it; and he was not to be daunted by any of the circumstances that might arise. He well knew that all the powers of darkness would assail him in vain, except as the Lord should permit, and he well knew also that the Lord would permit nothing to occur that would be to his real disadvantage. He would, therefore, go on conscientiously and courageously, and finish the work that the Father had given him to do. He would be sustained by his faith in the divine supervision of all his affairs, just as our Lord Jesus was; who, we remember, said to Pilate, "Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above." – John 19:11.

There are few such noble characters as Paul's, unmoved by threats or fears, strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, and ready not only to be bound for Christ's sake, but to die, if such should be the arrangement of the Lord's providence on his behalf. Let us each and all emulate this noble example of one who followed so closely in the footsteps of our Lord and Master. Let us be strong, not only in our consecration, but also in the taking of all the steps that the Lord's providence may lead us to take.

The Apostle's argument was successful. He infused new courage into the hearts of his colaborers, and they apparently resolved that if he were about to die or suffer they, too, would rejoice if the will of God respecting them eventuated in their death; and if they did not suffer personally they would, at least, have the honor of being companions of those who were misused for Christ's sake, and thus be to some extent the sharers in the blessing promised. (Heb. 10:32,33.) The Apostle's companions saw the matter as he did, that it was the Lord's will; and they resolved to bow to it, notwithstanding that the Lord had given them information in advance which would have permitted them to turn back, or seek to save their lives. There is a very valuable lesson for all of the Lord's dear people in this word, "The will of the Lord be done." We should each seek to know the will of the Lord. If first of all our consecration be complete, even unto death, it will mean that we are seeking to know what the will of the Lord is respecting us, and it will mean that as we learn his will we will do it at any cost. It will mean that we will be on the outlook for the Lord's providences in all of our affairs, realizing that nothing happens by chance to those who are in covenant relationship with God, as members of the body of Christ, – that all [R3183 : page 127] things must work together for good to them. A fuller realization of the divine care over the elect would, doubtless, often guide our steps aright by directing the eye of faith to expect the Lord's leadings and to look for them in all matters that are of any importance.

[R3183 : page 127]



In the late fall of 1899 a young woman stopped in my house long enough to sell my wife a Volume I., M. DAWN, for which she was canvassing. My wife, being of the Roman Catholic faith, hesitated to read the book, and, knowing my irreligious disposition, feared to inform me of her purchase, thinking I might ridicule her action; so the book lay untouched for some months. After Christmas my wife, while engaged in making up a parcel for my relatives in a distant city, bethought herself of the book and an easy way to dispose of it, by sending to my grandmother, and thus also relieve herself one of the perplexities of Christmas giving, the religious nature of the book appealing to her idea of an aged person's disposition. I came into the room at this juncture, and, noticing the book, questioned her concerning it. On learning her intention, I explained to her the conception she had of my grandparent's disposition was erroneous, and that, instead of appreciating the gift, an opposite effect would be the case, as, to one of the old lady's temperament, it would imply that as she was now in the evening of life we felt it were best for her to prepare for the end by becoming religious. My wife saw the point, and the book was not sent, its pretty cover alone saving it from destruction as useless.

During the long winter evenings, being a voracious book-worm and tiring of the mechanical and scientific works which were my usual bent, I took up the volume of DAWN, more out of curiosity and want of something else, apparently. On reading the preface I was very favorably impressed by the utter absence of the ego most authors infuse into this portion of a book, and naturally desired to read further in the writings of so unusual a person. My mind must have been in relation to the volume in about the same condition that a soft veinless piece of marble is to a sculptor, for each statement left an impression, each opposing thought being readily and reasonably answered and dispelled. I read on long past the usual hour for retiring, not heeding repeated admonitions from my wife that I would be late to work next morning. This continued each evening as opportunity offered, taking up each volume, (having meantime procured the same), to the entire neglect of my usual studies, and becoming more deeply impressed and enlightened as I progressed. It was truly a coming "out of darkness into his marvelous light," and the thoughts and feelings inspired in me by the reading of these volumes cannot be described; they are beyond words. It was all so grand, so reasonable, so completely filling my heart with love for the great One who alone could devise such a wonderful plan; it was so natural to believe these writings, and in all my studies from Vol. I. to V. not once did a serious doubt arise in my mind but that each statement was absolutely true, for the God of the writer was different from the horrid monster my childhood's teachers had told me of, who [R3184 : page 127] could torment eternally those he loved, and was otherwise so contrary and inconsistent.

Meanwhile Satan had endeavored to draw me aside, and, by the conciliatory efforts of a Roman Catholic clergyman to induce me to join myself to that faith, as well as the promise of family peace and worldly prosperity, lure me from the high calling toward which I was progressing. But I can with much fervor thank my heavenly Father that I had read enough from M. DAWN, as well as some timely advice from yourself, to be ably fortified against Satan's advances, and, with the "spirit of a sound mind," I could combat his sophistry. Now, since the light has become brighter to me, I can clearly see that God's overruling power was exerted in every instance just where I could not help myself further, and would have fallen but for his aid. Praises to his love!

Of course I could no more keep to myself these glorious tidings than a freshly opened bottle could retain the effervescent liquor that fills it. I must tell someone, and, as my dear wife not only refused to listen but opposed me, I had to try elsewhere. In a fellow-employee, Sister Kestner, I found a ready listener, and the volumes sold to me were of double service, for her experience was but a repetition of my own. Each now was alert to spread to others the knowledge we enjoyed. Bro. Bird we found hungering and thirsting after righteousness and we proceeded to cooperate in filling him, while he, on imparting to his sister Mary what he had learned, was surprised to find that she had a set of the DAWNS, but being somewhat bound by sectarianism had not as yet mustered sufficient courage to make a bold stand for the truth and put into practice the suggestion of complete independence pointed out to present day footstep followers of Jesus as scriptural and necessary.

Sister Grebe became a fellow-employee, and it was but a short time till Sister Kestner had succeeded in bringing her into a study of God's Word as made clear by the DAWNS. We five, now all fully consecrated to God, and having publicly signified such fact by water baptism, acknowledging no Head but Jesus, are gladly working in his harvest field at whatsoever our hands find to do under his guidance; and we can with certainty attest that having tasted and seen that God is good, there is no peace or blessedness except in him; and within sound of our Shepherd's voice there is only gladness.

We have another young student with us now, and we six have been banded together in the Volunteer work this year. God's blessing has been with us and we have succeeded in reaching all the churches assigned to us, 62 in all, as well as giving our help in other parts of the city after our district was finished. We have received abundant evidence of our Master's kind approval of our feeble efforts to spread the glorious message of our Redeemer's second presence and to call his little ones out of Babylon, by the growth in Christian characteristics of love and forbearance, through the experiences while serving the brethren, also in the occasional permission to view some of the good results of our labors.

By the gracious permission of our heavenly Father we were last summer enabled to inaugurate mid-week meetings at my residence (we being so situated that it is not possible to attend the uptown meetings except on Sundays). Each one of our little class can testify to the wonderful help we receive in our daily walk up the narrow way, as a result of following the kindly suggestions which are given in the WATCH TOWER, and it is a sore trial if one of our number misses a meeting.

I close with a prayer for God's blessing on your every effort, through our blessed Redeemer's name.

Yours in Christ,

JAS. LOCKWOOD, – Missouri.