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February 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXXFEBRUARY 1NO. 3
A.D. 1909 – A.M. 6037
CONTENTS
Views from the Watch Tower 35
The Task of Converting England to Christianity 35
England's Rich Called Robbers 36
Japanized Christianity 36
Jewish Prospects 37
New Hopes for Zionists 37
"Fighting Against God" 38
"Bring This Man's Blood Upon Us" 39
Led Away by the Error of the Wicked 39
Anger, Malice, Strife – Every Evil Work 40
The First Christian Martyr 42
"Gnashed on Him With Their Teeth" 43
"Thy Money Perish With Thee" 44
Ancient Worthies Under Faith Covenant 45
Berean Studies on the Atonement 47

"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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THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION
T
HIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly 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." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I 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,...to 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.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH
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.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.

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THE SERMONS TO CANADIANS AND OTHERS

If some of our Canadian friends receive the Toronto World and other friends the Pittsburg Dispatch sermon issue let them not be surprised. A friend has paid for several six-months subscriptions. If you prefer to pay for them send us 50 cents each, but otherwise please accept them as a gift.

MOTTOES AND VOW CALENDARS

We still have a choice assortment of newest mottoes. In a few days we will have a new supply of 1909 Calendars with or without the Vow; very choice at 15 cents; 2 for 25 cents.

NEW BIBLE NO. 1928 ALL GONE

Orders already on hand will exhaust our supply. We still have Nos. 1918, 1938, 1948. For prices and samples of type see TOWER of November 1, 1908.

THE MEMORIAL SUPPER

The anniversary date for the celebration of the Memorial Supper this year will be Sunday, April 4, after six o'clock p.m.

MENTION THE WATCH TOWER

When writing to the journals publishing Brother Russell's sermons (of which there are now more than seventy), telling them of your appreciation of those sermons, mention THE WATCH TOWER, of which he is editor, and that you get the two papers on a clubbing list. Thus interested readers may become WATCH TOWER readers, etc.

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STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
"MILLENNIAL DAWN"
THESE STUDIES ARE RECOMMENDED TO STUDENTS AS VERITABLE "BIBLE KEYS"
PRICES ARE NET AND BARELY COVER COST OF PRODUCTION,
WHEN DELIVERED BY COLPORTEURS THE COST AND PRICE ARE INCREASED.

SERIES I., The Plan of the Ages, gives an outline of the divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. 1/2d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.).

This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal – at the extremely low price of 5c a copy, in any quantity, postage included. (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.

SERIES II., The Time is at Hand, treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth 25c. (1s. 1/2d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

SERIES III., Thy Kingdom Come, considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter on the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth 25c (1s 1/2d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.).

SERIES IV. The Day of Vengeance, shows that the dissolution of the present order if things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of Matt. 24, and Zech. 14:1-9: 660 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6½d.)

SERIES V., The At-one-ment Between God and Man, treats an all-important subject – the hub, the center around which all the features of divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6½d.)

SERIES VI., The New Creation, deals with the Creative Week, Genesis 1 and 2, and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6½d.)

The above prices include postage.

IN FULL LEATHER BINDING, gilt edges, the set (6 vols.) $3.00, (12s. 6d.), plus postage 60c (1s.).

MILLENNIAL DAWN is published in foreign languages as follows: in German, five vols., in Swedish, Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 5; in Dano-Norwegian, three vols., in French, two vols.; in Italian, one vol.; in Greek, two vols.; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same.

The volumes in English are bound in two styles, MILLENNIAL DAWN in green cloth binding and SCRIPTURE STUDIES in maroon cloth. Specify which you desire.

[R4322 : page 35]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
W
HEN our friends of various denominations solicit funds for missionary efforts they exhibit a chart showing the heathen world in black and the Christian nations in white and remind us that of the 90,000 human beings dying every twenty-four hours, three-fourths are heathen going down into hopeless despair, eternal torment being understood, though not directly expressed. We concede to them that the heathen are not fit for heaven and that since only the saintly, perfected in intention and character, however imperfect in works, will enter the heavenly state, these heathen certainly will not be received there. But we remind them also that the same is true of the vast majority of people in Christian lands. If readiness for heaven signifies saintliness of character and holiness of will, surely but a fragment of the race, a "little flock," is ready for it. If, as is claimed, eternal torment is the only alternative, then surely the creation of our world, the creation of the human family, was a serious error, for the entering into heaven of only one in 10,000 would be far too expensive a proposition to be approved by either justice or wisdom or love.

When our friends endeavor to stimulate their flagging zeal and to hope for the speedy conversion of the world, they point to the figures 400,000,000 as representing Christians and tell us that they are about to "storm the heathen world for Jesus." We admire their zeal; we appreciate their earnestness. We love them for their love of the Lord and humanity; but we point out to them that while it is true that there are twice as many Christians in heathen lands as there were centuries ago, it is also true that there are twice as many heathen as a century ago. There were 600,000,000 heathen in 1800 A.D. and 120,000,000 in 1900 A.D. We ask them how long it would require at this rate to convert the world to Christianity and point them to the better hope, the Bible hope of the second coming of our Lord and his establishment of the heavenly Kingdom, his binding of Satan and his reign with his Elect Church for a thousand years, for the uplifting of Adam and his race out of mental, moral and physical degradation and death. We point them to the fact that this fall, this degradation, this dying, was the result of Adam's Sin, that our Lord Jesus was made flesh that he, "by the grace of God, should taste death for every man."

We assure them that according to the Scriptures, the redemption of all accomplished by Jesus, who was the ransom price, was paid at Calvary, and that an opportunity for deliverance from the power of sin and death was thus guaranteed. We assure them that it is to this end that God, during this Gospel Age, has been selecting a "little flock," the Church; that as the Body of Christ these might be with him in his Kingdom and share his glorious work of uplifting mankind.

Alas! how few have the ear to hear this message. (Acts 3:19-21.) Instead they seem to be angry with us that we point out to them the futility of their hopes and the more rational, the more Scriptural hope set before us in the Gospel. The reason for this seems to be a reverence for Churchianity and worship of the creeds and hopes which have come down to us from the Dark Ages.

They tell us that the accumulated experiences of the past will now enable them to almost work miracles upon the heathen and that if they can but collect money enough, the thing shall be promptly done. Missionary movements are now going on throughout the United States, Canada and Great Britain amongst the college students, laymen and others. Great things are promised, of money and ambitious hearts.

But again we point out the futility of all this. They can never convert the heathen. We are not opposed to missions. God forbid! We are glad that noble men and women self-sacrificingly take up the work of teaching civilization in [R4323 : page 35] heathen lands. It is well that heathen children should be taught to spell and read and sew; to sit on chairs and to wear clothing more corresponding to the Western styles. It is well that similar lessons, so far as possible, should be taught to the parents of those children also. It is well that they be taught with the Bibles also. Let us not mistake. Civilization is not Christianization, as many are disposed to force themselves to believe. If all of the heathen sat upon chairs, instead of on the ground, and ate with knives and forks, instead of their fingers, they would thereby be in a measure civilized. But this would not Christianize them, even though they were helped to the civilized methods by the most earnest Christians.

We are not disputing, however, that there are probably some genuine conversions amongst the heathen. We are merely controverting the thought of the possibility of Christianizing the world. Sometimes a more nearly correct view of the true situation of affairs finds expression through the lips of prominent clergymen. For instance, the following quoted from the Manchester, England, Dispatch, says: –

THE TASK OF CONVERTING ENGLAND TO CHRISTIANITY

According to Canon Alexander, of Gloucester, "the Church of England is still at the beginning of the long task of the conversion of the English people to Christianity. What is the result?" he asks. "If we step out for a moment from the whirl of machinery, and look frankly at what is being done, we cannot but feel the inadequate results. Is the spiritual outlook all we dreamed of, all we hoped for?

"Look at this city and give your answer. Is it not a terrible phenomenon that confronts us to-day – that of a highly organized Church in the midst of a population which is still largely Pagan, face to face with a growing democracy on which no doubt the Christian spirit has left a very decided mark, but which, nevertheless, still stands for the most part, outside our gates? Is it not a fact that the Church of England is still at the beginning of the long task of the conversion of the English people to Christianity, and for this task is it not power we need?"

But even Canon Alexander has too large a conception of the Church in one sense and too narrow a one in another sense. He thinks of the Episcopal Church and its regular attendants. And to him the pagans of England are those who attend no Church services. We hold, however, that the Scriptural lines are different; that the true Church is composed of those who through faith and consecration [R4323 : page 36] are in hearty loyalty to the Lord and his Word, whether they attend church services or not. Tested by this standard we hold that there are very few in the Church of England who belong to the Lord's Church, which the Apostle designates, "The Church of the First-Borns, whose names are written in heaven." Very few, either inside or outside of the Episcopal Church, will profess to be members of this Church, if the requirements are clearly before their minds, as Jesus and the apostles stated them.

Our Lord said, "He that would be my disciple must take up his cross and follow me;" and Paul said, "Whosoever will live godly shall suffer persecution." The Apostle said that the Divine will is accomplished only in "those who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit."

ENGLAND'S RICH CALLED ROBBERS

The Hon. Lloyd George startled the entire British nation by the most radical speech delivered by any cabinet officer for many years. We quote from the speech as follows: –

"The day will come, and it is not distant, when England will shudder at its toleration of this state of things when it was rolling in wealth. I say again that apart from its humanity and its essential injustice, it is guilty of robbery and confiscation of what is the workman's share of the riches of the land. I have heard some foolish mutterings that much recognition of this fact in legislation may drive capital away. There is nothing capital need fear so much as the despair of the multitude. I should like to know where it will flee, for, judging by the unmistakable symptoms of the times, there will soon be no civilized land in the world where proper provision for the aged, the broken and the unfortunate among those who toil, will not be regarded as the first charge upon the wealthy of the land.

"There is a good deal of nonsense talked about capital. You would imagine that if capital is offended it will immediately shake the dust of this country off its feet and go to other lands where there are no agitators, no radicals, no socialists. The fact of the matter is, the greatest capitalist of this country is nature. England's natural resources have made England rich. You would imagine from the vain and furious talk of peers and their apologists that England's rich natural resources were brought here at the time of the Norman conquest by the ancestors of our great landlords; that they were placed in convenient spots by those dukes and earls and barons after they had stolen the common lands from the people."

Since the foregoing, Lord Asquith, premier, declares that the government was prepared to set aside a fund, $1,500,000, to help the unemployed, and the admiralty has given out orders for the construction of nine torpedo-boat destroyers and five unarmored cruisers, to cost a total of $12,500,000, two months earlier than originally had been intended.

The premier also made a bid for recruits, saying that the war office was ready to take on 24,000 men for winter training in the special reserves.

We remind our readers that we have already pointed out that the standing armies of Europe, although very expensive, have constituted a safety-valve by taking large numbers of men out of competition in employment. The British Premier was acting along this line in proposing an increase of British recruits.

Attending a congress of bishops of the Church of England at Manchester was the Lord Bishop of Perth, who preached at St. Philip's church, Salford, on "Social Problems." He said:

"There never was an age when men and women were so faced with social inequality. The workers are organized and demanding a fairer share of this world's goods, the product of their labor.

"There are thousands whose only thoughts are for sport, thousands whose only thoughts are for pleasure, and thousands who think of nothing but their own salvation, by giving of their superfluity to the poor. What interest do they take in the social crisis? Millions of otherwise good people are not taking the trouble to see the distress. For these some day there may be a rude awakening.

"The present system cannot go on. The poor do not want charity. They want the right to live a full and a free life. To imagine that all is right, and that the present agitation will pass away, is to be absolutely blind to the signs of the times. To see men wasting their time and fighting over trifles is enough to make angels weep. Christians might proclaim a truce for a few years to help put an end to the present distress."

He had no remedy to offer for the present social state, but he thought it would come, as all other great changes, gradually, almost imperceptibly.

SPIRIT OF THE WORLD CREEPING IN

Attending the same conference was the Bishop of Durham. His discourse is thus reported in an English journal: –

"They saw going on before their eyes a disintegration of godly customs and the admission into the Church of the fatal spirit of the world. They saw gaps and ruinous places in our social and industrial system, just now made mournfully conspicuous by a wide and complicated depression in the world of commerce, and by a civil war of class against class. This was the woeful phenomenon of unemployment."

In conclusion, his Lordship, after pointing out that English towns looked miserable, and that Lancashire must have been a lovely place until man spoiled it, said that, so long as the rich lived in luxury, so long would the poor live in poverty. He hoped the discussions this week would show churchmen the importance and gravity of the situation, and that they would all return and do what they could in their own sphere to help the toiling millions.

The entrance of the procession into the Cathedral was an imposing and impressive spectacle. The Lord Mayor and members of the corporation took their places in the Council pews on the left of the main porch, the visiting mayors of the boroughs in the diocese taking those on the opposite side of the aisle.

BLINDED AS TO THE CAUSES

At the same conference Prof. Burkitt, of Cambridge College, spoke against the infallibility of the Bible along the lines of Evolution and Higher Criticism. Probably none of the learned Lord Bishops, whom as one of the teachers of the clergy he addressed realized that the false doctrine which he enunciated is responsible for the spirit of the world amongst the prosperous members of the Church and for the discontent amongst the poorer. The Word of God cannot be set aside with impunity. The baneful results are being manifested throughout the civilized world. The professor said: –

"Can we accept St. Paul's doctrine of sin and death, a doctrine so closely bound up with a belief in the story of Eden and the forbidden fruit? You know we can do nothing of the kind. St. Paul, relying on the Book of Genesis, assumes that through Adam sin entered into the world, and death through sin.

"We have learned from the open book of nature a very different story. We have learned that countless generations of living creatures had lived and died before man appeared. For us the story of Adam and Eve belongs to Asiatic folklore."

[R4324 : page 36]
JAPANIZED CHRISTIANITY

A Japanese writer has the following to say respecting Japanese Christianity: –

"The period 1877-87 was marked by movements opposed to independence; everywhere there were attempts at fusion with American and English churches....Students felt such confidence in their foreign teachers that they scrupulously observed the restrictions imposed by them as to smoking, sake drinking, amusements, and Sunday observance, to such a degree that they considered the least infraction of these rules as a sin.

"During the period 1887-97 the traditional theology and the Puritan morality began to be shaken."

The writer in the Tokyo Mainichi says: –

"Up to 1887, thanks to the prevailing infatuation for Western things, the evangelists enjoyed unquestioned authority. But at this time the Darwinian doctrines began to spread in Japan, and Christianity began to be denounced as unscientific. It was a period of lectures and ardent discussions between missionaries and students, and, notwithstanding the best efforts, the reading of Darwin, Spencer and Mill shook the old beliefs of many. Other relaxing influences contributed to this result. Unitarian missionaries arrived from America; the new German theology took root in Japan; many young pastors, returning from their studies in Europe and America, spread the disquieting news that the old doctrines were felt to be outworn and that most professing Christians were by no means so strict as to smoking, drinking and Sabbath observance as they were expected to be in Japan. It was generally felt that a revision of doctrine was necessary, in [R4324 : page 37] order to try to settle what and how much it was desirable or possible to believe. At the same time, dissensions among the already numerous Christian sects represented in Japan were on the increase. All these motives worked together to strengthen the desire for independence on the part of the Japanese."

In a letter to the London Guardian, the Church of England Bishop of Southern Tokyo says: –

"Before long the foreign missionaries will be obliged to remit all their powers into the hands of the independent Japanese pastors and to retire from the country. There would then remain only a few as professors of theology. As long as the present state of things continues, there are not likely to be great changes in the doctrines, constitutions or ceremonies of the churches. But once the foreign influence is finally eliminated, we may expect a series of profound changes, and an elaboration of doctrines tending to fuse the ideas of the Orient and Occident."

THE PAPACY HAVING MORE TROUBLE

Apparently the spirit of evil is becoming singularly restless in the Latin American republics to the south of us. In Ecuador the Church is again entering upon an hour of persecution; in Argentina the socialists and anarchists are breathing future disaster; in Uruguay, Congress has passed an obnoxious divorce bill and is now attempting to close all the religious schools; in Catholic Chile there is incessant agitation against the alleged "autocracy of the hierarchy," and in Guatemala the Church stands shorn of most of her rights. Now the current Literary Digest thus throws a little additional light upon a matter of which we had heard something before: –

"The Mexican government, apparently inspired by the example of France, has issued a notification to the local authorities throughout the country to make inventories of the property of the Church and report the same to the head of the republic. In addition to this, the Bishops and other clergy of Mexico have been warned 'to see that no property of any description is alienated or disposed of, because the government claims it is the property of the Republic of Mexico and it must be conserved and duly cared for in the name of the republic.' We read further: –

"The peremptory tone assumed by the government has, it is said, caused some perturbation at the Vatican, which, however, during hundreds of years, has become accustomed to such claims, but among the Mexican clergy there is consternation, for, better than the Vatican, do the clergy of Mexico understand the temper of the government. Of course, it is expected that the Church will protest as vigorously as possible, and, viewing the situation in the light of recent experience in France, it is possible that the protests may have some effect, for in France, in spite of the utmost endeavor, the victory over the Church was only partial, and it is claimed that the Gallic Church is stronger today than before its separation from the State.

"The claim of the Mexican government is, however, more radical than that of France, a rather surprising fact, because a belief prevails that, in Mexico, Church and State were on friendlier relations than in most of the Spanish-American republics."

Syracuse Catholic Sun.
BOSTON PASTORS' UNION

A dispatch from Boston is being widely published, narrating that the ministers there propose a union. Rev. Johnson is quoted thus: –

"The conditions among ministers here in Boston are such that something has got to be done. A number of my friends in this city are actually preparing to leave the ministry. They have bought little farms in New England, to which they will retire because they simply cannot live on their salaries. The situation is grave. We are going to form a union along the same practical and closely drawn lines as the great unions of labor. The proposed union would arbitrate not only as to salaries, but a number of other questions would be under its control."

When St. Paul was in similar straits he went to tent-making. Under the Lord's providence that was one of the "all things" that worked for his good. We recommend the proposition to the Boston preachers and others as spiritually wholesome and spiritually beneficial. If each minister supported himself outside his ministerial labors, he would feel perfectly free to tell his congregation the truth, to give them the benefit of his long years of education. Under present conditions not many of them have the courage to do this; or, as many have remarked, "My bread is not buttered on that side;" or, according to the Scriptural presentation, they look "every one to his own quarter," own interest, his own denomination. – Isa. 47:15.

"MOTHER AND DAUGHTER" MORE RECONCILED

The Catholic fathers of the district of Clarksdale, Miss., are conducting a mission to Catholics and non-Catholics at Tutwiler, Miss. One of the most unique features of the mission, aside from its being the first ever given at that place, is that the sermons are delivered from the Methodist church pulpit.

Exchange.

A DANGEROUS AND FORMIDABLE GUN

A gun on a new principle has been invented. Noiseless, it is all the more dangerous. Unlike a gun in shape it will not be easy to detect. Cheap and simple of construction it may prove a terrible weapon for anarchists. The Waterbury American says of it: –

The gun is noiseless, and is fired without powder. And this is not all. Mr. Patten asserts that the gun can discharge bullets faster than they can be loaded into its magazine, and that the loading speed is therefore practically the only limit to the number of shots that can be fired. He maintains that 50,000 shots a minute can be discharged from this new weapon, and adds that he'll demonstrate this when he gets a full-sized one in commission.

The gun is fired by centrifugal force. All there is to it is a big wheel with a crank for revolving it. In the 10-inch model this can be turned by hand. A motor of 50-horse power would be required to turn the six-foot model Mr. Patten hopes to build.

The bullets – not shells such as are used in other guns, but simply balls of lead or steel – are poured into the gun. The operator revolves the wheel, and the bullets begin to pour out in a steady stream. They fly so fast that they have the appearance of one long, leaden ribbon, and if the gun were revolved on its base the stream of lead would sweep around in an arc which would mow down anything in front of it.

A six-foot gun is the largest Mr. Patten hopes to build. It is to cost $800, and will weigh only 500 pounds, according to Mr. Patten, yet it will be able to shoot 50,000 half-inch steel bullets a minute, and kill at 2,000 feet. It is Mr. Patten's idea to mount such a gun on an automobile, the motor of which could be used to operate the gun.

JEWISH PROSPECTS

The following report comes from Constantinople relative to the employment of Jews as government officials: –

"The new Turkish government is at present engaged in compiling a list of such Jews as would first come under consideration for government service. Since there is need at the present time of a great number of educated and intelligent officials, it is hoped to find among the Jews an array of such judicious and discreet characters as would meet the demands of the new era. Just how attentive the government is to the national and religious interests is shown by the fact that out of deference to the Christian Minister of Cabinet, there is no session either on Friday, which is the Mohammedan holiday, or on Sunday."

NEW HOPES FOR ZIONISTS

The upset in Turkey, with the resulting prospect of constitutional government, religious freedom, and equal rights to all races, has opened a new prospect to Zionism. Heretofore purchase and ownership of land in the Turkish empire has been denied Jews, but now, according to a London dispatch in the New York Sun, secret land purchases made by Jews in Palestine, notwithstanding the prohibition, are being declared, and a Jewish syndicate is said to be negotiating for a large part of the Sultan's private domain, now in the market, and comprising the whole length of the Jordan valley from Tiberias to the Dead Sea. Given a free hand in Palestine, to buy and possess what is purchasable, and to live and work under fair laws, Jewish capital and energy may accomplish very interesting things.

Exchange.

[R4325 : page 38]

"FIGHTING AGAINST GOD"
ACTS 5:17-42. – FEBRUARY 14. –

Golden Text: – "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven." – Matt. 5:10.

"
W
HOM the Lord loveth he chasteneth," is a doctrine peculiar to Christianity. Until the principles of Divine government are somewhat understood, it seems absurd to claim that Christians are the special objects of Divine love and care and, at the same time, to admit that generally they have a larger proportion of trials, difficulties, persecutions, etc., than others. The philosophy of this is the interpretation of the Divine Plan of the Ages. From no other standpoint can the matter be reasonably understood in all its details. From any other standpoint the question would arise, Why not have made mankind perfect and have preserved him from undue temptations and have granted him enlightenment that he might always choose the good and refuse the evil? Why not have protected those loyal to the Lord and thus have published the Truth, its Author and its servants? Why not have overwhelmed the evil, instead of allowing the evil in so many ways to vanquish the good – as at the cross, and in all of life's experiences?
"SO IT SEEMED GOOD IN THY SIGHT"

The philosophy of why God permitted the evil to triumph now, as beautifully stated in the SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. I ("The Plan of the Ages"), we can but briefly suggest here. The permission of evil is but one feature in the Divine program, according to which our Creator purposes that all of his intelligent subjects shall be free moral agents, and that each of them, angels and men, shall be fully tested in respect to their love and loyalty to him and to the principles of righteousness, which he personifies. Additionally we have the special development and testing of character, having been invited to be Joint-Heirs with Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom and properly required to be "more than conquerors" – loyal in the very highest degree, in thought and word and deed. The testing of such for so high a position in the Divine purpose justifies most crucial tests. When it is perceived that this Gospel Age is the period for the selection of this Royal Priesthood for the spiritual plane, and that the Jewish Age was the period for the selection of the earthly representatives of the Kingdom, it can be seen at a glance why the way of the called, chosen, faithful, elect, has been made so narrow; why so few have found it and why still fewer have had the faith and courage and patience to walk therein to the end of life's journey.

OPEN THE PRISON-DOORS

Our lesson is a sequel to the preceding one, which tells of the healing of the lame man in the temple by Peter and John, and of the wonderful opportunity thus afforded the disciples to preach the Gospel to the people and to the rulers. The result of their hearing before the officers was their commitment to prison for a further hearing on the next day, since it was contrary to the Jewish Law that the trial should proceed after dark. Verse 17 in brief space tells us that the high priest, Annas, was a Sadducee, which signifies that they were agnostics and higher critics, who believed nothing respecting the Divine Revelation, nothing of a future life by resurrection, or otherwise. Josephus informs us that most of the upper class of his day were skeptics, Sadducees, though the mass of the people were Pharisees. It will thus be seen that there is a close correspondency between the ecclesiastical conditions in the end of the Jewish Age and those which now prevail in the end of this age. Today, both in pulpit and pew, the more learned from a human standpoint have very slight belief in anything beyond the present life. Their faith has gradually given way under the attacks of Higher Critics and Evolution, because already undermined by the errors of the dark ages, prominently the teaching that nearly everybody is enroute to eternal torment, either because of Divine inability to prevent it or because of Divine foreordination to that effect.

The teachings of the apostles reflected specially against the Sadducees, because the basis of it was the declaration that Christ had risen from the dead; and secondly, because this very high priest and his associates had been leaders in the conspiracy which led to our Lord's crucifixion. Our text says that they were "filled with indignation" (revised version, "jealousy.") The Greek word seems to signify that they were hot with indignation, and anxious to have them convicted before the Sanhedrin and disposed of. Under these circumstances they were sent to prison.

During the night, however, the angel of the Lord led them forth miraculously while the keepers of the prison slept, and bade them go to the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life. Thus did God intersperse evidences of his Divine care and protection with other experiences which seem to be contrary, and thus were the apostles and the early Church and we, who read the account, strengthened and encouraged to have good confidence in the Lord; that greater is he who is on our part than all they that be against us, and that even the adverse experiences are of Divine permission. As our Lord said to Pilate, "Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were permitted of my Father."

Note the expression of the angel's message (v. 20), "All the words of this life." There is a sermon for us in those few words. They remind us that our message consists of "wonderful words of life" – life from the dead, secured for us and ultimately for all, through the death of the Redeemer, and through his resurrection, and to be actually brought to us and to all at his second advent. The words remind us also that we who believe do now, by faith, enter into this newness of life – the resurrection life, in a figurative sense, and that our resurrection, our life, if we are faithful, will come to us as our final "change," in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.

TEACHING THE PEOPLE

Obedient to God's message, the apostles went early to the temple, and began, as before, to teach the people, to explain to them the Old Testament Scriptures and types, which foretold that Messiah should first suffer before he would enter into his glory, and they identified him as the Messiah. They explained his sacrificial death, his resurrection and his sending forth upon believers his holy Spirit, and that this also was foretold in the prophecies. They pointed out that the Gospel message was for the selection of the faithful "Israelites indeed" to be Messiah's Bride and Joint-Heir in his Kingdom later to be established for the blessing of Israel and all the nations of the world. This message still has an attraction for the common people, and would have also for the more educated had not their philosophies and traditions turned their hearts away from the simplicity of faith in the Lord's Second Coming and Kingdom to a belief that they themselves, without the Lord, are to convert the world – by which they mean civilization. [R4325 : page 39]

Meantime the Sanhedrin, or senate, met at the appointed hour, but the officers sent to bring the prisoners found them not – though the prison was every way secured – until it was learned that they were teaching in the temple and evidently having considerable influence with the people; so the officers wisely arrested them quietly, for fear they should create an uproar and be themselves the sufferers.

"BRING THIS MAN'S BLOOD UPON US"

The Sanhedrin acted as the court, the high priest as the prosecutor. Thus, inquiring of the apostles if they were not violating strict orders already given them respecting preaching in the name of the Crucified One, they claimed that he had risen from the dead; that he was Messiah, etc. Not waiting for an answer, the high priest proceeded to show the Sanhedrin the logical effect of their being permitted to continue this teaching – they were filling Jerusalem with their teaching, bringing upon them (the high priest and the Sanhedrin, which had condemned Jesus) this man's blood – that is to say, responsibility for his unjust death. This shows that they appreciated the position, and that the apostles also appreciated it and had told the truth on the subject unsparingly.

The answer of the Apostle Peter and others is given in brief form, but is a model answer in every sense of the word. Not rudely, yet forcefully and logically, they set forth seven points:

(1) That, uncontrovertibly, where the command of God and the command of men conflict, the Divine authority must be recognized as supreme.

(2) That they were loyal to the God of their fathers, whose power in the resurrection of Jesus was being attested.

(3) That it was true that Jewish rulers were responsible for Jesus' death.

(4) That God has honored him, raised him from the dead and taken him to heaven.

(5) That he was the Prince and Saviour of Divine appointment.

(6) That they were not preaching vengeance, but mercy – not penalty for the crucifixion, but forgiveness of sins to all Israel, on condition of repentance.

(7) That they personally were witnesses, and that the power of the holy Spirit in them and in all believers corroborated these facts.

This is a wonderful testimony, and no doubt the experiences of the apostles in being delivered from the prison on the previous night helped to give them the courage so necessary at this moment. No doubt also the knowledge of that incident, coming to Gamaliel, led him to offer the moderate advice which the Sanhedrin [R4326 : page 39] followed. He advised them, "Take heed what ye do to these men. If this teaching be of God, ye cannot overthrow it. If it be of men, it will come to naught." The result was that the apostles were again charged not to preach in the name of Jesus, and, by way of showing the authority of the Court, it was ordered that they be whipped, scourged. The apostles, realizing the power of the Lord, endured the chastening with thanksgiving that they were accounted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus. Thus the Lord blessed them in their hearts with his peace and grace, while he did not shield them from the scourging. In this, also, we learn a lesson respecting Divine providences.

FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM

Our Golden Text applies the general principle enunciated by our Lord, "Through much tribulation shall ye enter the Kingdom." This is not because Divine power is not able to shield us from the tribulations, nor because our Lord is not interested in our welfare, but, quite the contrary, because, according to Divine tests placed upon the Church, the New Nature can be developed, educated, crystallized, only through the tests and trials it will endure through its earthly members in the flesh, through loyalty to the Lord. These testings will come along various lines – faith, obedience, endurance, love, etc. And it is only to the overcomers that the reward is promised. But, thank God, grace to help in time of need is promised us. If our hearts are loyal and we do our best, the Lord will see to the remainder.

The Golden Text reminds us that we are to expect persecution, and Bible history shows us that these are to be expected from the church, as much or more than from the world. Indeed, when our Lord speaks of the world, he evidently refers to "Churchianity." He says, "Marvel not if the world hate you. Ye know that it hated me before it hated you." The world that hated Jesus and crucified him was the Jewish world, or nominal Israel; and the world from which we may look for persecution, similarly, would be the so-called Christian world – Christendom. Not only so, but sometimes the persecution comes from those who once were brethren in the Truth – those who once dipped with us in the dish of Divine nourishments at the table of the Lord. The trial is all the more severe when it comes from this quarter. Yet was it not so with our Lord, and does it not seem to have cut him to the quick that Judas kissed him at the very moment that he betrayed him?

But as none of these things moved the Master away from confidence in the Divine providence shaping affairs in the interest of the Church, and as he returned not railing for railing, neither must we. And such experiences rightly received will no doubt make us more and more copies of his dear Son.

Our Lord declares that the blessing for persecution endured is for righteousness' sake, and the Apostle, in line with this, declared, "Let none of you suffer for evil-doing, nor as a busybody in other men's matters." This, of course, will not hinder us from being misrepresented and charged with evil-doing, even as our Lord himself was so charged. Was he not crucified under the charge of blasphemy, which, in his day, was esteemed to be the worst of all offenses? Similarly in our day we must not think it strange if the Adversary shall seek to misrepresent the facts and put light for darkness and darkness for light. It is for each of us to preserve a conscience void of offense towards God and men, that, like the Apostle of old, we may be able to call upon all men everywhere to witness whether or not we have coveted their silver or their gold, or done aught to their injury, or left undone any good toward them that was within our power.

In this connection let us remember also that the decision in each of our cases is with God. As St. Paul declares, "It is a light thing that I should be judged of you or of any man. Yea, I judge not mine own self, but he that judgeth me is the Lord."

[R4326 : page 39]

LED AWAY BY THE ERROR OF THE WICKED
"
H
E that saith he is in the light and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in the darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." – I John 2:9-11. [R4326 : page 40]

"Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." – 2 Pet. 3:17.

As love is declared to be the distinguishing characteristic of all who have the Spirit of Christ, so lack of love may be considered the distinguishing characteristic denominated the "error of the wicked."

Our Lord emphasized the fact that supreme love of God is the first duty of all his creatures, and love for the neighbor as for ourselves a closely allied one. But speaking to the Church, to the consecrated, to those hoping to be "members of his Body" in glory, he said, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another even as I have loved you."John 13:34.

We are forced to the opinion that the Lord guided to the presentation of "the VOW" for the very purpose of making it a trial and test amongst those professing to be his disciples and enjoying the light, blessing, privileges of Present Truth. Of course, we had never surmised that that little Vow, or solemn promise, or resolution to God would have had such an effect; nevertheless, had we known at the beginning what we now know, by our Lord's assisting grace, we would have done nothing different from what we did.

In presenting the matter, we had in view solely the assistance of the Lord's dear flock – to help them draw nearer to the Lord, who is our refuge and habitation, so that in the "evil day," already begun, no harm might come nigh them, because safe in that Dwelling-Place. We saw the hawk, the Adversary, plotting for the stumbling of many, especially of the saints. We did what we could for their relief, as kindly and as wisely as we knew how, and with prayer to the Lord for the wisdom from above.

ANGER, MALICE, STRIFE – EVERY EVIL WORK

We well knew that only the fully consecrated could be expected to take the Vow and that they would not be a majority, even on the select lists of the WATCH TOWER. We expected, too, that some of the consecrated might hesitate for a time to give up their liberty to so full an extent – because some might not see, as we do, the necessity for so drastic a Resolution, for so tight a binding of the sacrifice to the altar – though this would seem to be the demand of our Consecration Vow, if necessary.

But we surely were surprised by the effect of the Vow on some few of the brethren. What they saw in it that provoked them to anger, bitterness, hatred, strife, evil-speaking, evil surmising, slanders and wolfish backbiting, we cannot see.

The effect of the suggestion of the Vow seems to have operated on these brethren as an emetic – not that they took it, but that even looking at it led them to belch forth cruelly, bitterly, slanderously, against it, and particularly against us for presenting it. The noble esteem in which we held these dear brethren made the shock to us all the more severe. According to the Scriptures, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." But, in advance, we had no suspicion that such ugly, cruel sentiments, such unkind suspicions were in their hearts to come out. Evidently the Lord, who searcheth the heart, knew just the effect the Vow would have, and evidently he guided us unwittingly to its presentation, as a part of the testing which he wished to bring upon his people at this time.

Note here that it is not the Vow, nor anything which we have written concerning it, that is causing the division which is rapidly taking place, and by which a small company of those whom we loved (and still love) are alienating themselves from us, and, we fear, from the Lord, and from the light of Present Truth. Remember, that in no sense of the word did we at any time suggest that the taking of the Vow should be a test of brotherhood, nor of saintship even. We stand by the thought which we have already made prominent – that the Lord's people are free and that no one has a right to put a yoke of bondage upon his brother, either to take the Vow, or not to take it. We merely advised the Vow, as we still do, just as we advised the original Consecration Vow in the language of the Apostle, "I beseech you, brethren, present your bodies a living sacrifice." – Rom. 12:1.

Similarly we urge this as in full accord with the spirit of the Lord's Word, and related to our original covenant to be dead to sin and self, and to everything that would hinder a brother in the narrow way, or hinder the progress of our Master's cause; yea, more, that we would sacrifice all to assist his cause and to protect and assist the brethren. Let it be noticed that the split is coming from those who oppose the Vow. They are not opposing an attempt to force it upon them, for no such attempt has been made. They are opposing this feature of Present Truth, trying to hinder others from taking the Vow – forcing an issue on the subject and arousing, so far as their influence goes, an evil, malicious spirit, antagonistic to the Vow and the channel through which it came.

To this end circulars are being printed and scattered abroad to poison and to prejudice the minds of all [R4327 : page 40] who will come under the influence. As there are but two Masters, which are these serving? Our question is not, Which do they say they are serving? nor, Which do they think they are serving? We say to God's people, Judge for yourselves what sort of spirit is this which is seeking to cause division amongst the followers of Christ, and that is willing to hint "all manner of evil" and to surmise and to back-bite? We do not believe this is the Spirit of Christ. "By their fruits ye shall know them." Are their fruits grapes or thorns? We ask these dear brethren to search their own hearts and to determine this question. "His servants ye are unto whom ye render service." (Rom. 6:16.) We are firmly convinced that they are serving the cause of the Adversary – ignorantly. We sorrow for them; we pray for them. We endeavor to set the matter forth in these columns in its true light for the protection of the Lord's dear sheep against that evil influence and for the recovery of any of those dear brethren who have not yet gone so far as to be irrecoverable. We use great plainness of speech that, as the Apostle suggested, "We may pull them out of the fire." – Jude 23.

NOT IGNORANT OF HIS DEVICES

We believe that our common Adversary has had to do with the stirring up of this matter and that the Lord will evidently overrule it as one of the "all things" for the strengthening of those who are truly his. Already we are receiving many letters telling of greatly increased blessing as a result of this very shaking up. Still our hearts yearn over the dear brethren who are making shipwreck of their eternal interests in so foolish a manner. If they did not wish to take the Vow, they had a perfect right to use their own judgment and liberty. But why should they hinder others from the use of their liberty? Why should they set themselves in antagonism and allow such bitterness to develop in their hearts, such unbrotherliness, as some of them have manifested?

We can only suppose that our great Adversary has been injecting evil into their minds, and that the Lord is permitting it, possibly because there was some wrong condition of heart there, which neither they nor we previously [R4327 : page 41] discerned. But alas! that they do not discern their own condition, and go to the Lord and purge themselves of the evil thoughts and surmises, and make amends and return into fullest fellowship with the Lord and with us all. It is not for us to judge their hearts and to say what evil was there, perhaps for months or for years before the sight of the Vow acted as an emetic. It is not for us to judge them, condemn them, for the pride and ambition, or the nursing of secret faults. It is ours only to note and reprove their present bitterness of spirit, which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord, and to apply the Apostle's warning, "Mark them which cause divisions amongst you; and avoid them." (Rom. 16:17.) We are not to render bitter words for bitter words, slander for slander, nor reviling for reviling. It is not for us to smite them, either physically or with the tongue – nor even in our thoughts, but rather to pity them and to pray for them. Avoiding them does not mean excommunicating them, nor any other unkindness. It merely means what it says – "Avoid them." If a brother stumbles into some filth and rejoices in it and glories in its stench, and will not permit us to assist him out of it, our best plan is to "hold our noses" and go our way and avoid him, until he gets cleansed from the filth, or at least until he invites us to assist him so to do. Our avoidance of him for a time may be the very best lesson we could give him of our detestation of his attitude, his condition.

LED INTO SIN AND INTO DARKNESS

Darkness is a synonym for the condition of those in sin – those out of harmony with God; for God is Light – "In him is no darkness at all." Where the leading away by the Adversary is a doctrinal deflection, it may, or it may not, lead to a wrong spirit. We know of a great many people whom we believe to be in great doctrinal error, who, nevertheless, maintain a spirit of kindness. We know of many worldly people who have a much keener sense of justice and right, not to mention love, than have some who have deflected from the Truth. But while doctrinal errors are dangerous, and should be avoided, it is still more serious a matter to lose the spirit of Love – the holy Spirit. He who loveth not his brother loveth not God. He who hateth his brother and back-biteth him is not under the control of the spirit of God, whatever may have been his professions or his past relationship to the Lord and to the Truth.

So then, of all dangers that beset the pathway of those who are seeking glory, honor and immortality, none is more dangerous than to be "led astray with the error of the wicked" into lovelessness. This is quickly followed by antagonism to the truths which should be held and thus into antagonism to the God who should be served, and to whom the brethren are related, and who declares that whatsoever is done against them is done against him. Those "led astray with the error of the wicked" into a reprobate condition of mind, of heart, are sure to get into doctrinal darkness. Hence we must not be surprised if some of those who have manifested a bitter, loveless spirit, and who have been harrying the Lord's flock in a back-biting and wolfish manner and endeavoring for some time to stampede the stragglers and to corral them for their own purposes should become more and more dim and uncertain in respect to the Truth and unable to follow the light further.

The Lord declares that "the path of the just is as a shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day." But as a right condition of heart is necessary in order to get onto this shining path, so a wrong condition of heart would surely take us off of the shining pathway and into the darkness which so generally prevails all about us. This also, we may concede, is a part of the Adversary's program of opposition to the Lord and the harvest work.

Warning By Pastor Russell

While greatly rejoicing in the further clearing up of the subject of the Covenants, as set forth heretofore in these columns and further elaborated in this and recent issues, we have, nevertheless, the sorrowful thought that it may mean the passing on of the light before those who are walking in the light, and the leaving of some of our dear ones in a measure of darkness, which will increase day by day, as they either turn aside or go backward, or even fail to advance – "walking in the light." Yet what can we do? We dare not stop. We must go on, whither the Captain of our salvation leads. Much as we love those who stop, or those who turn aside, it is for us to say, "Where he leads I will follow." This does not signify that every one of the Lord's followers will see this matter of the Covenants immediately, in the same clearness and fulness as do we, and as we have tried to express it. Indeed, some never see great truths with the same clearness as do others, and yet are following on, their hearts leading more rapidly than their reasoning faculties can follow; nor does it signify that we are putting tests upon the flock. The Lord has been putting these tests before us, all through this harvest time, and leading us from knowledge to knowledge and from grace to grace, as we followed his leading.

STRENGTHEN THE BRETHREN


Charged with Denying the Ransom

Already we hear of circulars being sent about which oppose the Vow and admonish the friends that Brother Russell is endeavoring to lead the Church away from the Ransom, away from the precious blood of Christ. The argument is that when we say that the New Covenant is not in operation yet, but is to be a New (Law) Covenant between God and the Jewish nation, which will be sealed at the close of this age and be in effect throughout the Millennium, to bless Israel, and through Israel all the nations – this, we are told, is denying the Ransom, denying the blood of Christ. How foolish! We would accredit even the babes in Christ with more knowledge and a better logic on the subject than this. Surely a film or mist of some kind is coming "over the eyes of understanding" of the dear brother who presents this illogical proposition. It is a fact that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that he arose from the dead the third day and that he appeared in the presence of God for us. Those facts stand, regardless of whether they are connected with one Covenant or another Covenant or no Covenant. You and I, dear reader, believed in the death of Christ as our redemption price before we had any knowledge of the Covenants.

Justification by Faith in Blood vs. Philosophy of Knowledge of Covenants

We were justified by faith in the precious blood, and not by our knowledge or ignorance of the Covenants. And this is in harmony with the Apostle's statement that we are justified freely through his blood and have the remission of our sins. Nor is your justification and mine dependant even upon our understanding of the philosophy of the Ransom and the Atonement based upon it. We were justified by our faith before we understood the philosophy, and our justification still rests upon our faith and not upon the philosophy. But our faith has been made more clear, more substantial by the philosophy. Ask yourself the question, "Where did I get the philosophy of the Ransom and the Atonement, in which I now rejoice?" And, Where did the dear brother who sends out this circular letter get his knowledge of the Ransom and of the Atonement? It all came from God and it has come in this harvest [R4327 : page 42] time, because it is God's due time to make it known.

Watch Tower Publications Contain True Philosophy of Ransom Atonement

If there are other publications on the face of the earth which present the true philosophy of the Ransom and the Atonement, outside of those published by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, we have no knowledge of them and would be glad to be informed respecting them. If there are any other publications on earth which have so clearly and so persistently and so logically set forth the value of the precious blood and the philosophy of the redemption, we would be glad of the fact, and would be pleased to know of them and their authors.

[R4328 : page 42]

Be not deceived, dear friends. Such blindness and confusion are of the Adversary. Remember that for years we have been explaining that we are in the harvest time, and must expect the wheat to be threshed and winnowed and "sifted like wheat." If now you feel a shaking think first for yourself and your own safety. Hold fast to what you have already attained, and, through the agency of the Vow, or in any other manner possible, draw still closer to the Lord. Bind your sacrifice to the altar. If some lose their hold and seem likely to be shaken out – and these same ones you dearly love and of them expected better things, love them still, but not with the weakness which encourages them in wrong. Rather remember that "faithful are the wounds of a friend," and in love reprove them.

The "shaking" (Heb. 12:27) which is now due to take place in the house of God is a part of the same which will ultimately extend to the whole world, causing a great time of trouble, setting every man's hand against his neighbor. The Apostle declares this, assuring us that everything that can be shaken will be shaken out, so that ultimately, both in the Church and subsequently in the world, only "those things which cannot be shaken will remain." The same spirit of bitterness and wolfish back-biting will ere long reach the world and set every man's hand against his neighbor. Under another figure the Apostle explains the same situation, saying that "Every man's work shall be tried so as by fire," and only the developed characters will stand. Let us watch and pray and labor for this character which will have the Divine approval and be acceptable to him forever. Naturally, and properly, these "siftings" are severest upon those who have been most favored of the Lord. "Who shall be able to stand?"

A SIMPLE TEST OF "THE VOW"

If your mind is in any degree agitated by this question, we suggest a very simple method whereby you may test it, reach a conclusion, and henceforth have your mind at rest on this subject. It is this: First, ask the Lord for wisdom to know his will, to see things from his standpoint; second, take the latest statement of the Vow on the New Calendar, or in TOWER, and read it item by item, slowly, thoughtfully. At the conclusion of each item, think over it carefully and judge of its contents by asking yourself two questions – Is this in harmony with the teachings of God's Word and pleasing to him? Then ask, Would it be pleasing to Satan if I should make that Promise, Resolution, Vow, to the Lord? and then ask, Would it probably be helpful or injurious to me to so resolve? Do this with each paragraph. Reach your decision and consider the matter settled forever.

Our opinion is that nearly all the most earnest of the consecrated class will conclude that God is well pleased with each of those seven provisions and that singly and collectively they could do you no harm, but might do you much good, besides the influence of the action upon others. We believe, also, that your conclusion will be that Satan would be very much displeased to have you make this fresh loop upon your sacrifice, binding it to the altar. If this is your conclusion you will, undoubtedly, promptly raise your heart to the Lord in prayer, saying, "O Lord, I thank thee that in thy providence this Vow has been brought to my attention, as an assistance in making straight paths for my feet – an assistance to greater carefulness respecting my conduct as thy representative amongst men. And, now, Lord, I do solemnly promise Thee that I will observe all the provisions of this statement, to do them to the extent of my ability, relying upon thy promised grace to help in every time of need, through the merit of my dear Redeemer."

More than 5,500 of our readers have notified us that they have taken the Vow and tell us of special blessing and nearness to the Lord since taking it. We know of only three who have since turned opponents to it. They are quite prominent brethren. We fear they decided without proper consideration. As the Scriptures say, This is to their shame. (Eccles. 5:4.) Let this be a warning to others, not to follow their course, but to "sit down first and count the cost."

[R4328 : page 42]

THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYR
ACTS 6:8-15; 7:54; 8:3. – FEBRUARY 21. –

Golden Text: – "And they stoned Stephen calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." – Acts 7:59.

T
HE infant Christian Church prospered at Jerusalem. Not only was the Lord's blessing upon the apostles in their ministries, but upon others of the Church also, who, full of love and zeal for the Truth, told the good tidings as they had opportunity. They had the Gospel message in its purity, and it was a pleasure to tell it. They needed not inducements of social advancement, financial prosperity, honorable titles and good salaries. The message itself incited love and devotion, and enkindled a flame of sacred love in their hearts which tended to make each believer a burning and a shining light, as the Lord himself had enjoined. This same condition of things prevails again today, since the smoke of the dark ages is being washed from the eyes of our understanding, and since the dust and must of human tradition are being brushed from the Word of the Lord. Now, as then, the Truth charms, sanctifies, energizes all who receive it. And each, according to his ability, is quickened to its service, regardless of cost or time, of energy, of human disapproval and ostracism.
THE ADVERSARY ACTIVE ALSO

Our great Adversary will usually leave us comparatively at ease, if we are not actively engaged as heralds of the Truth. Indeed, his policies seem to be to minister opiates wherever the Truth is dispensed. He prefers that we sleep and dream, rather than that we be awake and on the alert, putting our lights upon candlesticks, that they may give light to those about us. It is not surprising, therefore, that he stirred up a great persecution against the early Church, because of its activity. We must expect that similarly we will draw his fire upon ourselves, in proportion as we patiently and faithfully fight the good fight against sin and error – darkness.

Stephen, a young man of prominence who had [R4328 : page 43] been chosen a deacon at Jerusalem, was very zealous for the Truth. He got into a public discussion, and his opponents, finding their arguments inferior to his, were angered instead of convinced. This shows their insincerity. Had they hungered and thirsted for the Truth, they would have been glad to receive it from Stephen, or from anybody. Let us beware of such a spirit in ourselves, knowing that it is dangerous. In this case it led on to murder; not merely the murder accomplished when Stephen died, but they were murderers in advance, from the Lord's standpoint, because hatred of him was in their hearts; "And he that hateth his brother is a murderer." They had, however, respect to the outward forms of the Law, and sought any pretext to justify them in killing their opponent. Had they no fear of God! Apparently it is possible for men to get into such a condition of heart that they will not only speak evil of us and plot mischief against us, but to the extent that they can do so will be glad to effect our death. This is a part of the murderous spirit, whether they stop short of the actual death or not. It went to the limit with Stephen and with our Lord, and it may do so with us some day. Let us be on the side of the martyr rather than on the side of those whose wrong condition of heart our Lord explained, saying, "Satan hath filled thine heart."

Stephen's opponents were crafty. They hired witnesses to describe the teachings of Stephen in an unjust manner, saying he talked dishonorably of the Law and of Moses. Blasphemy in that day was the worst of crimes. As a result the people, the Elders, the scribes came upon him, seized upon him and brought him to the Council, or place of trial. Then the prejudices of the people were again appealed to through witnesses who perverted the truth, saying that Stephen was continually saying things against the holy city and temple and the Law and claiming that Jesus would destroy the place and change the customs. There was, perhaps, considerable truth in this statement, rightly understood. But as it was stated it was untrue; and so today in traducing us, some may tell partial truths, which really are falsehoods. It is weakness of human nature to suppose that such misrepresentations are excusable. They should remember how impossible it is to lie to the holy Spirit, as Ananias and Sapphira learned. The lesson to the Lord's faithful is that it is far better to be the sufferer under such circumstances than to be the one who causes the suffering and who must eventually answer for his crime.

"AS THE FACE OF AN ANGEL"

There is an inspiration of the heart and an illumination of the features which accompanies the presentation of the Truth by those who are indwelt by the Lord's holy Spirit and who are speaking as his ambassadors. Many have noticed this peculiarity amongst those who are now rejoicing in what we designate "Present Truth." Doubtless this is akin to what is mentioned in our lesson respecting Stephen's face – that it was bright, happy, radiant "as the face of an angel." Ah! Stephen was an angel. An angel is a messenger, and if Stephen, by the grace of God, was permitted to be the Divine messenger or mouth-piece and permitted to convey the "good tidings" to others, surely, then, we also are angels in the highest sense conceivable. No wonder there is no need since Pentecost that the angels should appear in human form! The sons of God, indwelt by his Spirit, can be God's [R4329 : page 43] mouthpieces in the very highest sense.

Stephen's sermon is not directly a part of our lesson, but indirectly it should be borne in mind. It was a comprehensive view of Divine favor in Israel, bringing the matter down to date and showing Jesus the son of Abraham, according to the flesh, rejected and crucified by those who should have received him. This was the galling feature of the Gospel amongst the Jews – their responsibility as murderers of their Messiah. We read that his hearers

"GNASHED ON HIM WITH THEIR TEETH"

This signifies chagrin, disappointment, savage animosity. We read that they were "cut to the heart." Stephen's words were sharp and their force consisted not in any angry or bitter denunciation, but in plain, simple narration of the Truth. This should be the style of all preaching. It is not necessary for us to say angry or bitter things. The Truth itself is "sharper than any two-edged sword," and needs no unkind language, no profanity, no epithets to drive it home. Where immoderate and unchristian language is considered necessary it is a sure sign that the argument is correspondingly weak, and it warns us to beware. The Truth itself is mighty, even if spoken by a little child.

Hearing Stephen with impatience, aggravated by the fact that his argument was true, they were gnashing their teeth with chagrin, because they were unable to detect a flaw or excuse for his death.

Finally, however, when he declared that he saw a vision of Christ at the right hand of God (whether he actually saw such a vision or merely pictured it before his hearers, we do not know), his statement of the matter furnished the excuse they had been waiting for, and, seizing it, they rushed upon him, crying out in a loud voice and stopping their ears, as though to convince one another that to willingly hear anything more on that line would be a participation in the blasphemy. They rushed him out of the city gate and stoned him. A young man, Saul, supposedly an officer of the Council, being present, gave his sanction by taking charge of the outer-garments of those who stoned him to death.

Such a martyrdom is not the style in our day; hence none of us will probably suffer death in that form. We have more refined forms of persecution. Christian people may get themselves into such a wrong attitude of heart as to think that they do God service in hurling slanders at those who have sought to do them good. And indeed who does not know that the blow of slander may be even more cruel and even more painful and more shameful than the literal stoning? Yet, strange to say, there are many who would read the account of Stephen's stoning, or Jesus' crucifixion, and who would roundly condemn all who took part in either, and who, nevertheless, would either unthinkingly or under supposition of doing God service engage in the worst form of persecution – stoning and crucifying and spearing with their tongues. We ask ourselves what was the matter with those Jews who thus maltreated our Lord and Stephen, and the answer comes back, "Ye have not the love of God in your hearts." Similarly we must answer in respect to those who in our day persecute through slander, vituperation, evil-speaking, evil-surmisings, evil-insinuations, etc.

FATHER, FORGIVE THEM

Stephen's attitude of heart towards his enemies indicates that he had not only received the holy Spirit as a gift, but that he had it as a living power, and that its fruitage was in his heart. He had only love for his enemies. Having done his very best to serve them with the Truth, he had prayers for them in return for their imprecations and their cruel stones. He prayed, "Lord, [R4329 : page 44] lay not this sin to their charge." But it was not for Stephen to direct Divine justice as to what should be the reward of those who stoned him. We cannot suppose that he was attempting to direct the arm of the Infinite. We must assume that he was speaking merely for himself; that, so far as he himself was concerned, he had no desire that they should be punished. This beautiful condition of heart should be ours. "Owe no man anything but to love one another" – and to desire one another's welfare is the application of the Divine rule to all the affairs of our lives.

We read that Saul (afterwards Paul) was amongst those who consented to this martyrdom. How strange the anomaly – that so many should think right and the Divine service that which we know was very reprehensible in the sight of God! Seeing such great blindness on the part of one who subsequently declared, "I verily thought I did God service," should surely cause us to be very circumspect, very critical, in respect to our thoughts and deeds. We must remember that it is not a question of whose servants we claim to be, but, as our Lord said, "His servants ye are unto whom ye render service."

THEN STEPHEN FELL ASLEEP

No suggestion was given that the first Christian martyr passed immediately to heaven, and that with his expiring breath he became more alive than he ever was when he was alive. On the contrary, here as elsewhere in the Scriptures, death is pictured as a sleep.

"Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep,
From which none ever wakes to weep."

How glad we are that this is so! The awakening time will be after the close of the reign of sin and death; after our Redeemer's Second Advent, when the power Divine will be in control, as instead of that of the prince of this world. Truly, "Weeping may endure for the night," but it ceases with our sleeping, and "joy cometh in the morning" of the resurrection. – Psa. 30:5.

"THEY WERE ALL SCATTERED ABROAD"

The death of Stephen marked the beginning of an epoch of persecution, especially in Jerusalem, where for some years peace had prevailed and the message of the Gospel found considerable root in the hearts of "Israelites indeed." The Lord allowed these new beginners to attain a fair degree of development in grace and knowledge, and then permitted the persecution which scattered them everywhere throughout Judea and Samaria. The effect was that, so far from the Truth being injured, it was carried to larger numbers, for every true disciple is a light-bearer. Saul was one of the chief persecutors, apparently. We read that he made havoc of the Church, entering every house, and, armed with the necessary legal authority, he effected the imprisonment of many, and thus led to the scattering of others. But in some unaccountable manner this persecution seems to have passed by the apostles. The Lord probably wished to keep Jerusalem as the center for the Apostolic ambassadors of the Truth for a season.

The lesson for us all is faith, courage, zeal, a loyal heart, a shining face, love and prayers for our enemies, and to see that we learn a lesson from the evil course of others, "See that no man render evil in return for evil," as the Apostle says.

The fact that the Jews had not power to put our Lord to death, but did have the power to stone Stephen, is explained by the fact that stoning to death for blasphemy was the Divinely instituted punishment, according to the Law. But the Jews, being subject to the Romans, were not permitted by them to exercise the death penalty. Following the death of our Lord, Pilate was ordered to Rome to stand trial on certain charges brought against him and thus the Roman power in Palestine was somewhat abated, and the Jews, in the absence of a dominating force, exercised their own laws.

[R4329 : page 44]

"THY MONEY PERISH WITH THEE"
ACTS 8:4-25. – FEBRUARY 28. –

Golden Text: – "And the people with one accord gave heed to those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did." – Acts 8:6.

O
UR preceding lesson told us of the zeal and faithfulness of Deacon Stephen. Today's lesson deals with the faithfulness of Deacon Philip, who was one of those who fled from Jerusalem under the persecution which arose following Stephen's death. He went to live in the city of Samaria, and, his earthen vessel being filled with the holy Spirit, he was a burning and shining light there, and speedily many of the Samaritans believed in Christ. The gift of miraculous healing and casting out of demons attested that Philip was a servant of God, and, as was intended, served to draw attention to the message which he delivered. He healed the sick, cast out demons, and thus caused great joy.

Simon, the magician of Samaria, had long been a spirit medium amongst them, practising witchcraft, sorcery, the black art. His power had been recognized, and he himself had been free to claim personal greatness because of the power of the demons exercised through him. But now the power of Christ being brought into sharp contrast with the demoniacal power and works, the people of Samaria recognized this promptly. Many of them made a full surrender to the Lord and were baptized. Amongst these was the magician himself. Deacon Philip was not the Apostle Philip, and hence was unable to confer the gifts of the holy Spirit upon others, which was an Apostolic privilege exclusively. He therefore sent to Jerusalem, and forthwith [R4330 : page 44] Peter and John went to Samaria and laid their hands upon the believers, and imparted to them the miraculous gifts which were a part of the Lord's provision for the Church at that time. Not only for the convincing of outsiders, but also for the uplifting of each other in their meetings, the gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues were given, serving practically as instead of the written Word of God.

We remember that they were the same John and Peter to whom our Lord a few years before had said, "Into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not" with the Gospel, "for I am not sent, save to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." And this is the same John who, with his brother James, was refused the privilege of purchasing bread for their needs, and asked our Lord, "Wilt thou that we command fire to come down to consume these men and their city?" We remember our Lord's answer, "Ye know not what spirit ye are of. The Son of Man came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them."

Now we find John quite willing to join with Peter in recognizing the Samaritans as brethren – fellow-members of the one Body of Christ; and very willing to confer upon them the gifts of the holy Spirit. What a [R4330 : page 45] change, and why? Ah! John was seeing things from a different standpoint. He was no longer actuated by a pride for his Master that would have been willing to destroy his enemies, but now, controlled with a spirit of love, he realized that the Samaritans and all mankind were under the blinding power of the Adversary, and he was as anxious to save their lives as he had been previously willing that they should be destroyed. And is it not so with each one of us? In proportion as we have received the Spirit of Christ, we have learned what love and sympathy towards fellow creatures really mean. We, like the apostles, are drinking of the same spirit which controlled our Master.

But why should the Lord bless Philip's preaching at this time, when previously he forbade any preaching of the Gospel to the Samaritans? The explanation is found in the dispensational change which had meantime occurred. "The middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles had been broken down." It crumbled at the end of the seventieth week of Jewish favor, three and a half years after the cross, Cornelius being the first Gentile convert. This preaching at Samaria was probably three years after the conversion of Cornelius. The Samaritans claimed a relationship to the Jewish Law Covenant, but, as our Lord explained to the woman of Samaria, their claim was fraudulent. They were as separate from the Covenants and promises of Israel as were the other Gentile nations. To this day the Samaritans hold to their old traditions and claim to have a high priest, but entirely without right or authority.

As the old Law Covenant given through Moses was wholly Jewish, Israelitish, and as the New [Law] Covenant to be instituted by Messiah (Head and Body) will be wholly Israelitish, and as the original Abrahamic (Sarah) Covenant blessed only those who exercised the faith of Abraham, it follows that such of the Samaritans as came truly into Christ became spiritual Israelites, while the others, like all the Gentile nations, will during the Millennium have the opportunity of becoming naturalized, fleshly Israelites under Israel's New (Law) Covenant, as the only means of coming into harmony with God.

"SIMONY" IN OLDEN TIMES AND NOW

When the sorcerer, Simon Magus, beheld the Apostolic power – that by the laying on of the hands of the apostles miraculous gifts were imparted to the believers – he offered them money, if they would confer upon him this Apostolic power. Apparently his mind had assented to what he had heard and seen, but his heart was not radically changed. He did not appreciate the matters in which he had a share as one of the believers. It took the Apostle's sharp word to awaken him to a realization of the fact that he was now dealing with God and holy things, and that his failure to appreciate this implied that he was not begotten of the holy Spirit. St. Peter said to him, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought to obtain the gift of God with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter, for thy heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord if, perchance, the thought of thine heart shall be forgiven thee, for I see that thou art in the gall of bitterness and the bonds of iniquity."

It is not for us to judge the heart, although we are commanded to judge the outward conduct and to discern the difference between the true Vine and its grapes, and the thorn-bush and its thorns. Without attempting to judge the hearts of any, we suggest to all the wisdom of seeing to it that nothing like the spirit of Simon Magus gain any control over us. This may be a special danger in this our day when the power of money is so great. As material things are all moved by the lever of wealth, it is not surprising that many conclude that the world's conversion is merely a matter of dollars and cents, and that those who control the money are the real masters of the situation. There may indeed be some who pride themselves in their money power and who think of it as having authority and direction in the work of the Lord. Let such beware of "Simony." Let them beware of the Apostle's words, "Thy money perish with thee." We are not of those who despise money. But it must be recognized as a servant of the Lord and of the Truth, and not as a master – not as a controlling force. To thus estimate it is to dishonor the Lord and to show that we have failed to grasp the spirit of his Truth.

THOSE THINGS WHICH PHILIP SPAKE

Our Golden Text refers thus to Philip's preaching: "He preached Christ." Some dear Christian people make the mistake of preaching on sociology, the beauties of nature, the things of the world. Others continually dabble with errors and errorists. Such things may have their time and place in connection with the message; but all who would serve the Lord should remember that we are commissioned to preach the Gospel of Christ only. Christ and his message constitute the light which came into our minds – the light which we are to let shine for the blessing of others. The darkness hateth the light and battles against the light; but the light is to keep on shining. Thus said our Lord, "Let your light so shine before men that, seeing your good works, they may glorify your Father which is in heaven." There it is again. The light is not merely the message which we bear upon our lips, but also the influence which emanates from our daily lives. More and more we are convinced that the will of the Lord is that his message shall be borne by those who are pure of heart. "Be ye clean that bear the message of the Lords house."

[R4330 : page 45]

ANCIENT WORTHIES UNDER FAITH COVENANT
T
HE question may arise, Under what Covenant are the Ancient Worthies acceptable with God? Since they died before Christ and the opportunities of spiritual begetting, they were not favored with the high calling to membership in the Body of Christ, the elect Church. This the Apostle emphasized in Heb. 11:39,40. He informs us that they "pleased God," but that apart from us, The Christ, they shall not be made perfect. In the Divine order the Church is to be the first-fruits of God's creatures. "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures." (Jas. 1:18.) Notice further that the Apostle's list of these includes Abel and Enoch, before the flood, and before even the Abrahamic Covenant was made. It also includes some who lived during the period of the Law Covenant, and who were therefore under it. How, then, should we classify these, as respects the three great Covenants, represented by Sarah, Hagar and Keturah?

The matter becomes very simple when we recognize the prime distinction between the Abrahamic Covenant and the Law Covenant that was added to it. The first was of faith, not without works. The second was of works, not without [R4330 : page 46] faith. As the Apostle says, the conditions of the Law Covenant were, "He that doeth these things shall live by them." (Rom. 10:5.) We are also reminded that the Sarah Covenant is of faith and not of works, but that where the faith is right, the works will "attest" the faith, even though they be not perfect; and that if judged by our works we would be condemned. The entire Jewish nation failed in the Covenant of "works of the Law;" yet a few individuals of that nation, rising by their faith superior to that Covenant, trusted not to it, but to the original Covenant of Mercy, Grace – the Sarah Covenant. These are the Ancient Worthies mentioned by the Apostle. He specifies that it was by faith they did and endured. According to their works they were condemned by the Law Covenant, but according to their faith they were acceptable to God, along the lines of the Sarah Covenant, even though they could not receive their blessing under it, until first the promised Seed should come and the blood of that Covenant be shed. Similarly Enoch and Abel, because of their faith, were acceptable to God and listed with the faithful of the Law Covenant, as in Divine favor, and subject to the blessing of the Sarah Covenant, because, although they lived before Abraham, they had the Abrahamic faith in the sense that, like Abraham, they trusted God for the grace which he is willing to bestow upon those who love him and seek his favor.

The New Covenant will really be a New Law Covenant, or a New Covenant of works of the Law. The old or first Law Covenant was faulty and insufficient for Israel, not because [R4331 : page 46] the Divine Law upon which it was based was faulty, nor because it was an unreasonable demand, but because men were imperfect, "born in sin and shapen in iniquity," and already under a death sentence, because of Adam's transgression. The Law Covenant had in Moses a faithful mediator, loyal both to God and to the Israelites, but he was incapable because his own life also was forfeited. God has made provision, therefore, that a New Law Covenant take the place of the Old, and has provided a new Mediator, who has already given his life as a redemption price – Jesus, the Head, and the Church, the Body. The finish of the sacrifice is in sight. The Head and many of his members have already, as New Creatures, passed beyond the vail. Soon the last member of the Body will have been thus "changed" and then the blood of the New Covenant will be sprinkled on behalf of "the sins of all the people" – the people of the Covenant, Israel, with an open door for all peoples to become sharers of their New Covenant blessings, even as we (Gentiles) are now privileged to share the Sarah Covenant blessings which belonged "to the Jew first." That sprinkling will be acceptable to God and efficacious for the blotting out of the sins of the whole world. This is abundantly attested in the Scriptures and in the types of these "better sacrifices." – Heb. 9:23.

Forthwith the Great Prophet, Head and members; the Great Priest, Head and members; the Great Judge, Head and members; the Great King, Head and members, will begin dealing with Israel and through Israel with the world. They will rule, bless, instruct and uplift so many as are willing, "And it shall come to pass that every soul that will not hearken to that Prophet, shall be utterly destroyed from among the people." (Acts 3:23.) The New Law Covenant will operate exactly as the Old Law Covenant did, except that the "better sacrifices" sealing it will be fully efficacious, and not need to be repeated from year to year; and the power and glory of its Mediator will be superior, and the results of his work correspondingly great and lasting.

This is testified to additionally by the statement of Revelation, which pictures the Millennial epoch, with its great white throne of justice and mercy, before which all the dead, small and great, will stand – for trial; not to see whether they were sinners or not, for that is conceded. All were sinners. Nor will it be to see whether or not God is willing to forgive them, for that is conceded – the sacrifice of Christ will then have been accepted as a full "satisfaction for the sins of the whole world." Their judgment or trial, like ours, will be to determine whether or not they will come into fullest harmony with God, and have his blessing of joy and eternal life, or, otherwise, be "destroyed from amongst the people." They will not be judged according to their faith, because they will be under the New Covenant of Law and works. As it is written, "They were judged every man according to their works." – Rev. 20:13.

They will be assisted step by step out of imperfection of mind and body up to perfection, including perfect works, which will be their standard or test. On the contrary the Gospel Church and the Ancient Worthies have not been judged according to their works, but according to their faith – works having been demanded to the extent of ability, as attesting faith. We are not helped out of the blemishes of the fallen nature, but instantly reckoned as lifted out of them, or as having them covered with a mantle of grace.

Bearing in mind the facts and conclusions above will assist us greatly in understanding our subject, the relationship of the Covenants to each other and to mankind. The original Covenant promised a blessing that should reach all mankind – a redemption from the Divine sentence, and an opportunity for the return to harmony with God, through faith and heart obedience. This promise has in some respects already had its fulfilment, as we have seen. God has already accepted, yea, been willing to lead or to draw, all who exercised faith in him and a hearty desire to live in harmony with his will. Already, in this sense of the word, the original Covenant operated before the flood, and since the flood, and toward Abraham, and toward all of Israel, who had the spirit of obedience and faith, and during this Gospel Age has operated amongst mankind in all nations and tongues. But a comparatively small portion of the race has received the blessing, because so small a proportion were in a condition to exercise "the faith of Abraham."

While at first it might appear that the adding of the Law Covenant was a disadvantage and similarly that the adding of the New Covenant might, in some respects, be a disadvantage or a curtailment or abridgment of the original, all-comprehensive Grace or Sarah Covenant, yet this is really not so. While the Law Covenant did condemn the nation, because they did not have the faith, it did bring a blessing to many of that nation – many more than were developed in other nations, which had no such Law Covenant, with its limitations, threatenings, chastisements, etc. The New Covenant will be still more successful. It will follow the reign of Grace under the Sarah Covenant and be a reign of Law. As it is written, "Righteousness shall he lay to the line and justice to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of misrepresentations." – Isa. 28:17.

The Redeemer and his followers will no longer be a flock of sheep for the slaughter, reviled amongst men, but to the contrary, they shall be the kings and priests, clothed with glory, honor and immortality, before whom "Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God." (Rom. 14:11.) The King shall rule in righteousness and princes [R4331 : page 47] shall execute judgments in the earth.

Faith, giving place to sight, the test will be works, according to the ability; and everything less than the ability will receive stripes and corrections in righteousness. That reign of Law and good works will thus be rightly tempered to the condition of each individual, and the result, we believe, will be marvelous – the bringing of thousands of millions to perfection, in harmony with God. So far from the New (Law) Covenant being an abridgment of the Abrahamic (Sarah) Covenant it will be an extension of it which will make its blessings much farther reaching. The original Covenant now gathers those who can and will exercise faith and obedience. Its usefulness would thus be at an end, were it not for the added New (Law) Covenant, which, ignoring the lack of faith and obedience, will take hold of the world and, by chastisement and instructions, force obedience and knowledge and then gradually develop the heart-obedience of Abraham in so many of them as possible and destroy the others. Thus Abraham, "the father of the faithful," will become under the New (Law) Covenant the "father of many nations" – a multitude, as the sand of the sea – as well as the father of the faithful under the original Sarah Covenant of faith and grace.

Thus we see that the influence of the original Covenant, after electing a Faith Seed, both natural and spiritual, will, through these by the New (Law) Covenant, bless a far greater number than by any other method conceivable. Thus again the Lord shows us how much greater are his arrangements than any which the human mind could have planned. Surely no flesh can glory in his sight. The more we see of his plans, his purposes, his methods, the more must we glorify him and realize our own nothingness, insignificance!

page 47

BEREAN STUDIES ON THE ATONEMENT
THE TEXT-BOOK USED FOR THIS COURSE
IS SCRIPTURE STUDIES, SERIES V (E)*
*Five years ago DAWN-STUDIES, VOL. V., was reset, and unfortunately the type was not exactly same size as before; and hence page for page they differ. The references given in these Berean Studies apply to the present edition, a copy of which postpaid will cost you but 30c. But keep your old edition, for unfortunately the new Bible Helps refer to its pages.
Questions on Study V. – The Holy Spirit
MARCH 7

(37) If it be agreed that the Bible teaches that "God is a spirit" and that he is holy, hence a holy Spirit, what distinctions should we properly observe as between this expression and the other one – God's holy Spirit? P. 188.

(38) Who besides the Creator must by his arrangement have the holy Spirit if they would have his approval? P. 188, par. 1.

(39) If Satan is a spirit being, has he also a spirit or disposition? and his associates, the demons? P. 188, par. 1.

(40) What do we know of battlings between these two classes of spirit beings – the "holy" and the "unclean"? Where is the battle-ground and when did the contest begin? P. 189.

(41) Which contestant gains the victory and why? Explain the entire subject. Pp. 190, 191.

(42) Why the apparent weakness of the right spirit and those under its sway? Will it always be thus? What say the Scriptures. P. 192.

MARCH 14

(43) Does the same principle apply in the individual as well as to the Church? How is this matter generally understood? P. 193, par. 1,2.

(44) What is the right spirit which should be renewed in us? What kind of a consecration secures the begetting of the holy Spirit? Pp. 194, 195.

(45) What is it to be spiritually minded? And does this condition lack perfection and why? P. 195.

(46) What is the thought behind the word "holy"? P. 196, par. 1.

(47) What shall we think of the "spirit of fear" and the "spirit of error"? and how should we get rid of these? P. 196, par. 3; P. 197, par. 1.

(48) What do we know of the "spirit of faith"? "the spirit of Truth"? "the spirit of holiness"? Pp. 197, 198, 199.

(49) Are all mankind dual beings? That is to say, can all be spoken of as having an old mind and a new mind or man? If not, why not? Give the proofs of the answer. P. 199, par. 2.

MARCH 21

(50) What does the Apostle Paul say regarding the conflict between the flesh and the spirit in those who have been spirit-begotten? P. 200.

(51) How are the spirit-begotten children of God taught of God through the spirit? Give illustrations. P. 201.

(52) How may the spirit-begotten ones know things which the natural man cannot appreciate and why? P. 202.

(53) Why is the holy Spirit styled the comforter? Give illustrations of the operation of the holy Spirit. P. 203.

(54) Does anything connected with the Scriptural use of the term holy Spirit, either directly or indirectly, imply another God or that a number of Gods is necessary to the work being done or to be done? P. 204, par. 1.

(55) Does the fact that the personal pronoun he is used in referring to the holy Spirit imply personality? Explain the matter. P. 204, par. 2.

MARCH 28

(56) Through what agency does God supply the holy Spirit, the holy disposition? And why is it called the spirit of the Truth? P. 204, par. 3.

(57) What thought is connected with the expression, "Be ye filled with the spirit"? And is the filling instantaneous or how is it? P. 205, par. 1.

(58) If "filled" with the spirit is a further filling possible? and why? and how? P. 205, par. 1.

(59) Is knowledge essential to the filling with the spirit? Does knowledge always result in a filling with the spirit? What rules operate in this matter?

(60) Is the "Spirit of the Truth" one of the "gifts" of the Spirit? Is it one of the "fruits of the spirit"? P. 205, par. 3.

(61) Show how these matters are illustrated by the Vine. P. 206.

(62) Explain the difference between the "fruits" and the "gifts" of the holy Spirit? P. 206, par. 2.

(63) Enumerate some of the "gifts of the Spirit" and some of the "fruits of the Spirit." Show why and how these matters are as they are. P. 208.

page 48

PUBLIC MINISTRIES OF THE TRUTH

BIBLE STUDENTS' SOUTHERN CONVENTION
JACKSONVILLE, FLA., FEBRUARY 12-16, 1909

Excursion rates on the "Certificate Plan" have not yet been granted, but may be ere the date. If not, buy a regular Jacksonville Winter Excursion Ticket.

All sessions will be held in Board of Trade Auditorium on Main street.

Lodging at 50 cents and up, per night; meals, 25 cents and up.

The surrounding territory and immediately adjacent states are expected to furnish most of the attendance, though some from more distant parts will be present also.

Pilgrim brethren will be present, including also Brother Russell.

Come all who can, and let those who cannot join us there in person join in spirit and in prayers, and thus participate in the showers of refreshing which the Lord will surely pour upon us.

ONE-DAY LOCAL CONVENTIONS ADDRESSED BY THE EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL AS FOLLOWS:

BROOKLYN, N.Y., FEBRUARY 21

Morning session for Prayer, Praise and Testimony at 11:00 o'clock. Discourse by Brother Russell at 3:00 p.m. Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30 o'clock. This will be a Question Meeting. Visiting friends cordially welcomed.

All meetings will be held in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Nos. 13-17 Hicks street. Convenient to all cars and ferries – close to the old bridge terminus.

WATERBURY, CONN., FEBRUARY 28
BROOKLYN, N.Y., MARCH 7
SCRANTON, PA., MARCH 14
BROOKLYN, N.Y., MARCH 21

page 49
February 1st

ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXXFEBRUARY 15NO. 4
A.D. 1909 – A.M. 6037
CONTENTS
"Able Ministers of the New Covenant" 51
Not of the Letter, but of the Spirit 52
"Except Someone Shall Guide Me" 52
Respecting the Great Mediator 54
"The Hidden Mystery" 54
"Full of Good Works and Alms Deeds" 55
A Beautiful Christian Woman 56
The Jacksonville (Florida) Convention 57
Lesson Review 57
Quarterly Temperance Lesson 58
"Preserve the Unity of the Spirit" 59
Some Interesting Letters 60
"Who Gave Himself a Ransom" 61
"Mediator Between God and Men" 62
Questions Re the Covenants 63

"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 50

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION
T
HIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly 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." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I 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,...to 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.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH
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.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.

LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
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FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR AS FOLLOWS: –

All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied FREE if they send a Postal Card each MAY stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.

ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.

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FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES.
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ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA ----------

POSTAGE STAMPS OF LARGE DENOMINATIONS

If necessary to make small remittances in stamps kindly send 5, 10 or 15-cent values, when possible. We cannot use foreign stamps; we must return them for redemption. [R4332 : page 50]

VOLUME SIX IN OTHER LANGUAGES

The sixth volume in Swedish, WATCH TOWER style, is now ready; in cloth binding, at $1.50 per copy.

Volume six, German, is temporarily out of stock. Will have a new supply upon our arrival at Brooklyn. page 50

MOTTO ORDERS NOT YET ALL FILLED

Orders for the Calendar Mottoes have so far exceeded our expectations that our second large consignment has been found insufficient to fill orders. We are therefore arranging that all remaining orders be filled direct from the printers in England. [R4332 : page 50]

BROTHER RUSSELL'S THANKS AND APOLOGIES

Brother Russell desires to thank the dear friends for their many, many kind expressions (by cards, letters and telegrams), congratulating him on his entering his fifty-eighth year, and wishing him showers of divine blessings. These were from individuals and from classes or churches – one signed by 122 of the Philadelphia ecclesia. Brother Russell would gladly respond to all letters; but as this would hinder other features of the harvest work he asks that you accept the WATCH TOWER articles as personal letters.

page 50

STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
"MILLENNIAL DAWN"
THESE STUDIES ARE RECOMMENDED TO STUDENTS AS VERITABLE "BIBLE KEYS."
PRICES ARE NET AND BARELY COVER COST OF PRODUCTION.
WHEN DELIVERED BY COLPORTEURS THE COST AND PRICE ARE INCREASED.

SERIES I., The Plan of the Ages, gives an outline of the divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c (IS 1/2d). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.).

This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal – at the extremely low price of 5c a copy, in any quantity, postage included. (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.

SERIES II., The Time is at Hand, treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth 25c. (IS. 1/2d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.).

SERIES III., Thy Kingdom Come, considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter on the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible; 384 pages, in embossed cloth 25c (IS. 1/2d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.).

SERIES IV., The Day of Vengeance, shows the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of Matt. 24 and Zech. 14:1-9; 660 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (IS. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6½.)

SERIES V., The At-one-ment Between God and Man, treats an all- important subject – the hub, the center around which all the features of divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages in embossed cloth 30c. (IS. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6½d.).

SERIES VI., The New Creation, deals with the Creative Week, Genesis 1 and 2, and with the Church, God's New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (IS. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6½d.).

The above prices include postage.

IN FULL LEATHER BINDING, gilt edges, the set (6 vols.) $3.00, (12s. 6d.), plus postage 60c (IS)

MILLENNIAL DAWN is published in foreign languages as follows: in German, five vols., in Swedish, Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 5; in Dano- Norwegian, three vols.; in French, two vols.; in Italian, one vol.; in Greek, two vols.; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same.

The volumes in English are bound in two styles, MILLENNIAL DAWN in green cloth binding and SCRIPTURE STUDIES in maroon cloth. Specify which you desire.

[R4331 : page 51]

"ABLE MINISTERS OF THE NEW COVENANT"
2 COR. 3:6. –

S
T. PAUL says, "Our sufficiency is of God: who also hath made us able ministers (servants) of the new testament (New Covenant); not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." – 2 Cor. 3:5,6.

How could St. Paul and the other apostles be servants of a New Covenant, if no such New Covenant is yet in existence? A similar question might be raised respecting our Lord's statement that his memorial cup represented the blood of the New Testament, the New Covenant. The answer to these queries is: (1) There will be no blood of or from the New Covenant after it has been completed. The blood of the New Covenant is the blood prepared in advance of the Covenant, wherewith to seal it and make it obligatory – make it a Covenant. Our Lord's words respecting the cup were uttered before he died. The cup was symbolical and pointed forward to his own death. It was offered only to his followers, and not to the world. It was shed for them, and was the basis for their reconciliation to the Father; but it was to be in due time the blood of the New Covenant – the blood with which the New Covenant would be sprinkled, sealed, made efficacious. It was offered to the Church more than eighteen centuries before the time for the sealing of the New Covenant, to grant the Church, the overcomers, the privileges of participation with Christ in his sacrifice, not only in the sense of justification, but also in the sense of sanctification, or death with him.

This St. Paul most distinctly asserts in 1 Cor. 10:16, saying, "The cup of blessing, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?" The drinking of that cup symbolizes our fellowship in the sufferings of Christ, our common union in [R4332 : page 51] all of the afflictions that came upon him – our death with him. By the time all of the members of the Body of Christ shall have taken part in this cup, the time will have come for the application of the merit of that communion cup, that united sacrifice of the Body, with and under the Head sealing the New (Law) Covenant with Israel, and, through Israel, for the benefit of mankind. When the disciples asked if they might not sit in his throne, the one on the right hand and the other on his left, he asked, "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I drink of?" (Mark 10:38.) All who would sit in the throne must drink of the cup. All who will faithfully drink of the cup shall sit in the throne as members of the Body of Christ – "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife."

Take an illustration: Suppose the Declaration of Independence or some important document were about to be signed and sealed. The document itself might be printed and while in the process of being signed might be spoken of as the covenant, agreement or declaration, although it would not be such a document, even after being printed, until duly signed and sealed. Similarly the ink might by law be specified to be of a certain kind, and the person having charge of it might speak of it as the ink used, in the sense that it was the ink designed to be used in the signing of that Covenant, when the proper time should come. Similarly the person designated to be the mediator of that covenant might be so spoken of in advance of the signing. Similarly those of his suite, who would accompany him as assistants and who would need certain preparation before they would engage in this service, might be spoken of as the ministers or servants of that Covenant, even though it had not yet been signed and really made a covenant.

Thus the Apostle speaks of himself and others as able servants of the New Covenant. He does not mean that the New Covenant is in effect, in operation, but that in view of this New Covenant which God has promised shall ultimately be signed and sealed and made effective, he and others, the entire Royal Priesthood, are servants of that Covenant, ministering, or serving its interests and fully qualified of the Lord to do so. Of ourselves we have no righteousness, no merit, that could be made effective for the sealing of that New Covenant with Israel. But, being justified by faith in the blood of Christ, we are made able or competent to serve the interests of the New Covenant. We serve it by laying down our lives as Joint-Heirs with our Redeemer for its sealing, and subsequently putting it into operation.

Our position is that of ambassadors for God, explaining to men his mercy and his provision of the New Covenant, through which all may be blessed and recovered if they will. So many as receive our message with joy and turn from sin to follow our Lord may be invited to become members of the Body of Christ, the Body of Messiah, the Body of the Mediator, the Body of the great Prophet, the Body of the great Priest, the Body of the great King of the Millennial Age. So, then, we are ministers of the New Covenant in that we are laying down our lives in its service, in its interest, although it is not yet a Covenant, but merely a promise. We are not only laying down our lives, but seeking out fellow-members [R4332 : page 52] of the Body of the Anointed One and assisting them in the laying down of their lives, under the assurance that these better sacrifices will soon be finished and their application be made by our glorious Head, and we with him in glory.

NOT OF THE LETTER, BUT OF THE SPIRIT

Even with our dealing with the world we can serve them to some extent, as servants of the New Covenant, for we can make known to them something of its terms, which some of them may grasp by faith and others may not. We can explain to them that this New Covenant which will go into effect evidences Divine mercy and sympathy for mankind. We cannot minister to them the letter of the New Covenant, because it has not been sealed. We can merely tell them of its spirit and endeavor to show to them the import, as respects the future, that justice and mercy will be tempered together for all. If the New Covenant were sealed now, the conditions are not such as would make it a blessing, for Satan is still the Prince of this world, sin abounds, and the Kingdom which is to bring deliverance has not yet been set up. The New Covenant is a Covenant of Law and of Works made possible – the same exactly as the Law Covenant, except with a better Mediator. If, therefore, the letter of the New (Law) Covenant could be enforced now, it would be a great disadvantage to all coming under it, and, as the Apostle suggests, it would be unto death. Hence it is much better for the world that it is not sealed and operative and that we who are connected with it as prospective members of its Mediator merely explain to the opposing world the spirit of that Covenant, which can profit and enlighten and encourage only those who are feeling after God, and who have no heart rebellion against him.

Thus a believer in the Lord Jesus, justified by faith in his blood, would have the right to look forward to the Millennial Age and the blessed privileges of the New Covenant then to be inaugurated. And to the extent that he would live in accord with the conditions of that New Covenant, he would be the better prepared for the blessed privileges which will then be brought to the world. But he could not come under the letter of the New Covenant if he chose, for it has not yet been sealed. He could merely by faith come under its spirit.

But the special work of these ministers or servants of the New (Law) Covenant is to make known to such as are interested in a looking forward to the New Covenant and its blessing by faith, that God has some better thing for us – for the called and chosen and faithful, namely, that by consecration unto death, by drinking of his "cup," we may be counted in as members of the Body of the Mediator, under the higher, the Abrahamic Covenant. "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the promise." – Gal. 3:29.

[R4332 : page 52]

"EXCEPT SOME ONE SHALL GUIDE ME"
ACTS 8:26-40. – MARCH 7. –

Golden Text: – "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me." – John 5:39.

T
HE pith of this lesson is the Divine supervision of the Gospel work and use of consecrated talents in the unfolding of the Divine Purposes. Deacon Philip, whose ministries of the Truth were so abundantly blessed of the Lord in Samaria, evidently continued humble, so that the Lord could use him further as his agent and mouthpiece. The message of the Gospel was to be sent into Africa. An Ethiopian eunuch in high station under Candace, the Ethiopian Queen, was a suitable person to bear the message. For a considerable time he had knowledge of the true religion of the Jews. Because a eunuch he could not become a Jew (Deut. 23:1), except as "a proselyte of the gate" – one who adopted the Jewish worship. He had come to Jerusalem to worship on one of the holy festivals. Under the Lord's providence, the hope of Israel, Messiah, was prominent before his mind. He was returning to his home in Ethiopia and, after the custom of the time, was reading aloud from a scroll. It was Isaiah's prophecy, which he had probably purchased at Jerusalem at considerable cost. He was puzzled by what he read, which seemed to relate to Messiah. Some statements implied his great glory, honor, dignity, power, [R4333 : page 52] while others seemed to mention him as despised and rejected of men – led as a lamb to the slaughter. Many other men had read the same passages for centuries with similar perplexity. Why? Because the right time had not come for them to be understood and God had not sent servants or messengers to interpret them.
"THE SPIRIT SAID UNTO PHILIP, GO!"

Meantime the Lord, as able as willing to make "all things work together for good," directed Deacon Philip on a journey which, at the right time, brought him in contact with the eunuch's company, for it is entirely probable that so notable a man would travel with considerable escort besides the driver of his chariot. Philip did not expostulate with the messenger sending him. He did not urge that he had business matters which required his attention, for it was his first business to serve the interests of the Kingdom. If the Lord ever sends us on a mission and makes it possible for us to fulfil it, that should be considered the chief business of life for the time, and everything else secondary, inferior.

Arriving at the appointed place, Philip was on the lookout for service. How we wish that all of the Lord's people might more and more attain to this attitude of heart and mind – a readiness, waiting, looking, to note the Divine providences in their affairs and to use them wisely, as did Philip!

Evidently the chariot had passed Philip and he had heard the reading. He knew that this meant that the eunuch was a man interested in the Word of God and that his mind was centered upon it. He may even have surmised that the Lord had directed the eunuch's attention to this very part of the Scripture at this very moment, so as to make Philip's mission opportune. The Spirit of the Lord told Philip to run after the chariot and get into communication with the reader. In what way the Lord's Spirit thus prompted him we are not informed. We may consider, however, that the holy Spirit dwelt richly in Philip, quickened his perceptive powers to a realization of the opportunities of the moment and suggested to him that this was a way in which his knowledge of the Lord and his consecrated powers might be used in proclaiming the good tidings. So each of us should be so full of zeal for the message, so full of the desire to assist others into the grace of God, that the Spirit of the Lord in us would prompt us to speak a word in season.

Paraphrasing the account we may suppose that Philip, running near to the reader in the chariot, called out, "Friend, do you understand that which you are [R4333 : page 53] reading?" So much depends upon a word in season, and the right word! Not only our words, but our tone of voice should be considered, when we attempt to represent the great King as his ambassadors. Kindness and brotherly love should be indicated in our faces and by our words, and made a part of the message we deliver.

The honesty of the eunuch, his readiness for the Truth, his humility of mind, are all indicated by his reply, "How can I understand, except some one shall guide me?" The arrogance which would have given Philip a haughty stare would have meant a heart unready for the Gospel – unworthy of it. The pride which would have said, "I suppose that I understand it as well as you do, sir," would have indicated a heart not meek enough for the Truth, and to be its servant in Africa. A superstitious reverence which would have said, "None but the Doctors of the Law are supposed to understand these writings," would have meant a bounden condition of heart, unready for the message. The eunuch's answer was the proper one for a heart in the right condition towards God and the Truth. It admitted his ignorance of the Prophet's meaning, and it admitted the Divine power which would explain the seeming contradiction in due time, and it admitted that the Lord would probably in his own time and way send the interpretation through human instrumentality. His invitation to Philip to ride with him in his chariot was a further indication of his meekness and that he realized that in Philip he had found one who, like himself, was deeply interested in the Word of the Lord and his promises to Israel. He would give Philip a lift on his journey and would, doubtless, the while enjoy fellowship with him in holy things.

Many in our day are hindered from receiving a proper knowledge of the Divine Word and Plan through a lack of meekness, humbleness of mind, teachableness. Some of these have concluded that because the Scriptures declare "They shall all be taught of God," therefore they should expect angels or angel voices to guide them individually in the understanding of the Scriptures. Under this error many have been led clairaudiently of the evil spirits into various fanaticisms. Rather we should give heed to the Lord's Word on this subject, and not how all of his true people will be taught of him. The Apostle explains how, saying, "And he gave some apostles, some prophets and teachers for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ." (Eph. 4:11,12.) He who rejects the Lord's way evidences the fact that he is not in the right condition of heart and hence is not taught of God.

"SO HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH"

The portion of the prophecy which the eunuch was reading referred to Messiah as meekly enduring the opposition of sinners against himself, saying all manner of evil against him possible, and declaring that in this respect he was like a lamb dumb before his shearers. And what was true of the Master should be increasingly true of all those who are seeking to walk in his steps, in proportion as they make progress in the good way and become copies of God's dear Son.

The eunuch further manifested his humility of mind by asking Philip's interpretation of this prophecy. Did it relate to Isaiah himself or to some one else? We read that this opened Philip's mouth to preach unto him Jesus as the antitypical Lamb of God, as the one who suffered severe humiliations, even unto death, even the death of the cross. We can imagine his explanation of the prophecy, "His generation, who shall declare? for his life is taken from the earth." Philip doubtless explained that although our Lord had ceased to be of the earth, earthy, and had been resurrected to the spirit plane of being and the Divine nature, nevertheless he would have a generation, or a posterity. His posterity, his children, will be on the earthly plane and will be Adam's children, whom he has adopted as his own. In due time, under the Millennial Kingdom, he will become their Life-Giver or Father, their Regenerator or Deliverer, freeing them from the power of the tomb and then restoring to full human perfection as his children all who will receive and profit by the blessed knowledge and opportunities of that time. Thus he will become in due time "The everlasting Father" of the redeemed and restored race of Adam. We can imagine that his preaching of Jesus went still further than this and showed the eunuch that before that glorious day of the world's regeneration another feature of the Divine Program will be called out, namely, the selection of a Church to be the members of the glorious Body, under the Headship of Jesus – the Body otherwise styled, "The Bride, the Lamb's Wife." He doubtless explained to the eunuch that this is the message of the present time, the message or invitation to become heirs of God and Joint-Heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord, and members of the great antitypical Messiah, the antitypical Prophet, Priest, King and Judge of the world. He doubtless explained the two steps necessary as an entrance into this grace, this privilege, namely, (1) the abandonment of sin and the acceptance of Christ as Redeemer; (2) a full consecration of the justified humanity to the service of the Lord and of his brethren and of his Truth.

The eunuch's meek, teachable, honest attitude made it easy for him to receive this glorious message in its simplicity and beauty. He was already a believer, to the extent that he knew. He was already justified by his faith in the Redeemer promised. Now that justification became actually his, as his mind and heart grasped the thought that the Crucified One was the Son of God who bought us with his own precious blood. He was already devoted to the Lord, so far as he knew his will. So now, with clear knowledge directly sent to him through Philip, his consecration was revived, renewed, enlarged, practically applied. Evidently Philip explained to him the New Baptism, not only in the sense in which we are baptized into Christ's death, but also the appropriateness of symbolizing this by water immersion. Note the promptness of the eunuch to confess his full submission to the Lord and to symbolize this in water immersion. Had he not been in ready condition of heart, this, too, would have been put off with some excuse. How evident that God had chosen in him a suitable vessel to bear his message to the Ethiopians – to be a foreign missionary!

Ancient manuscripts omit verse 37. It evidently was added later as a marginal note, as an answer to the question of verse 36. Quite probably such words, or many more, were used by Philip. Evidently the account does not pretend to be a report of all that was said, but merely of the leading features of the conversation. The eunuch commanded the driver of his chariot to stop. Philip and he alighted and he was baptized – immersed. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more. But the latter went on his way rejoicing in the glorious message he had received, which "satisfied his longings as nothing else could do." Doubtless he talked with his charioteer or others of his company and ran by-times of his homeward journey. Tradition has it that amongst his converts in Ethiopia was a Queen herself. [R4334 : page 54]

As to how the spirit caught Philip away we may not certainly know. But that was the day of miracles and doubtless his miraculous transportation would not only serve as an encouragement to himself and assurance that his service was under the Lord's supervision, but his vanishing would give the eunuch additional faith in what he had taught him, for it would testify that God was with him, and that he was being used as the angels had been used previously.

The general lesson to us is, (1) readiness, alertness, to serve the Lord in season and out of season, when convenient to ourselves, and when not convenient – glad of any opportunity and at any cost to be the ambassadors of the King; (2) the necessity for humility and promptness of obedience, if we would make progress, and either maintain, or attain to usefulness in the Lord's service.

THE GOLDEN TEXT

As our Golden Text points out, the Lord is revealed in the holy Scriptures, and those who would know him should seek their information from that quarter. Under Divine providence, apostles, prophets and teachers are necessary, indispensable. But no words of man are to be taken as instead of the Word of God. On the contrary, their presentations are to find acceptance only in proportion as they are found to be in harmony with the Scriptures, and to discern this harmony, the holy Spirit is necessary. The Scriptures must be searched, but only by coming into a condition of heart harmony and teachableness, and then by a full consecration receiving the holy Spirit, can we hope to understand the Divine message and to obtain therewith the eternal life which it promises to those guided and taught of the Lord.

[R4334 : page 54]

RESPECTING THE GREAT MEDIATOR
I
T seems strange how long it requires for an idea to really work itself into some of our minds. A brother of apparently discerning mind has recently published a little pamphlet in which he sets forth that Brother Russell evidently believes and teaches that The Christ is composed of many members – Jesus the Head and the various overcomers, members of his Body; and that through this great Christ God proposes to seal the New Covenant and through it to bring blessings to Israel and to all the families of the earth. The brother states this as something new and wonderful which he has just discovered, although he has been a reader of our publications for ten years. We are glad that finally the thought has broken into his mind. Our belief is, however, that he got this thought long ago from our writings, and was in full sympathy therewith until his heart got soured. Then spiritual indigestion set in, and finally blindness of "the eyes of his understanding" has resulted, so that the things which he once saw as reasonable and beautiful are no longer so to him. In other words, after having come into the light of Present Truth, he apparently has gone out of it into the "outer darkness," in which he previously was, and in which mankind in general still are. Why did the Lord expel him? We cannot surely know. We can and do note the fact. And our Lord's words indicate what is the probable difficulty. Our Lord assures us that "If any man will do his (the Father's) will, he shall know of the doctrine." (John 7:17.) The intimation is that wrong-heartedness is intimately associated with wrong-headedness, as respects doctrine.

But we cannot judge each other's hearts. We are incapable; and, besides, are forbidden. In any event we should prefer to think well, rather than ill, of each other's sentiments and motives. Our only judgment must be as respects outward conduct – whether the thorny disposition or the wolfish spirit; or whether, on the other hand, the fruits and graces of the true grape Vine are in evidence. Again, ability to see, to discern spiritual things, is another evidence the Lord has given of those who are in proper relationship to himself. If obedience to the Lord and to the Truth brought us into the light, disobedience or loss of the Spirit of the Lord undoubtedly will lead out of the light into the darkness prevalent all about us – not necessarily on every subject, for amongst those outside the light of Present Truth, truth and error prevail in a mixed and confusing manner. Only to the consecrated is it given to "know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God." To all outsiders these things are more or less parabolic and dark sayings.

"THE HIDDEN MYSTERY"

For forty years we have been endeavoring to show to those who have the spiritual eyes and the ears of understanding that the "hidden mystery" is "Christ in you, the hope of glory." – Col. 1:27.

The Spirit of Christ in you leads now to self-sacrifice, self-denial, cross-bearing, etc. – "filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." This is a mystery to the Jews, Gentiles and nominal Christians who understand not why we should be called to fellowship in Christ's sufferings and who make light of our rejoicing that soon we shall be made sharers of Christ's glory in the First Resurrection. This mystery, hidden from past ages and dispensations, is now made known to the saints and none others; and if the saintliness be lost, the understanding of the mystery undoubtedly goes with it.

The Apostle explains that the mystery class (Jesus the Head, and the Church his Body) are the antitypical Isaac, the heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant – the offspring of the Sarah Covenant. (Gal. 3:16-29.) The Jews know this not, but are still trusting to their Law Covenant, made at Sinai. The majority of Christians know not of it, but still think of themselves as having once been under the Law Covenant as Jews, until, as they think, at our Lord's first advent, he sealed the New Covenant with Spiritual Israel. How often we sang, "Free from the Law, oh happy condition," and "Cursed by the Law and bruised by the fall, Christ hath redeemed us, once for all."

There is an admixture of both truth and error in these statements, and we were unable to differentiate until the "mystery" began to dissolve. The Truth on the subject is a "mystery" to the nominal Christian, even though it be plainly stated in the inspired Word, namely, that natural Israel and their Covenant have been cast off from Divine favor; that Christ Jesus won the prize of the Law Covenant and is the Head of the Church, The Christ, the Isaac Seed of the Abrahamic Covenant. The members of Christ's "Body" are being called and chosen and found faithful during this Gospel Age and will be complete with its termination. The sacrifice of this antitypical Isaac (Head and Body) yields the blood of the New Covenant, which will shortly seal or ratify it and make it operative to Israel as a New (Law) Covenant, as instead of their Old Law Covenant. It will have an antitypical Mediator, instead of Moses, and everlasting blessings, instead of temporal ones, and living works of faith and obedience as instead of dead ones. We are glad to have assistance [R4334 : page 55] from any quarter in setting these things before the "household of faith."

A few points, however, the brother, doubtless unintentionally, misrepresents. Our writings clipped from here and there, may be made to appear contradictory, just as contradictions of the Scriptures are claimed and pointed out by those who do not understand them, and are in opposition to them. If our presentations be read in their proper connections, they will be found to be harmoniously progressive, as the Scriptures intimate should be expected, saying, "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." – Prov. 4:18.

The Reformation movement was in the right direction – each successive reform attempting to get nearer to the true light. The close of the 2300 days of sanctuary cleansing (Vol. III., Chap. X) found us free from traditions of Babylon and reestablished upon the testimony of Jesus, the apostles and the prophets, and following on to know the Lord. But freedom from falsities did not mean that all the precious things of Divine Truth were properly located and fixed in our understandings. Thus, for instance, the New Covenant, its sealing and its work are precious facts, not at all erroneous; but we had misplaced these facts, following the traditions of Babylon. We still have the New Covenant and still appreciate its every feature just the same, but perceive that it was misplaced; that it is the New (Law) Covenant which will be sealed or made effective with the blood of Christ, by the merit of Christ's death, at the close of this Gospel Age, instead of at its beginning. We now see clearly that the Scriptures everywhere teach that the New Covenant is to be made "with the House of Israel and the House of Judah," and not with Spiritual Israel. We now see that we are under the Faith or Grace Covenant, the original or Abrahamic Covenant, and not at all under a Covenant of Law and Works, such as the Old Law Covenant was, and such as the New (Law) Covenant will be. We now see the full force of the Apostle's statement, "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise" – the children of the Abrahamic Covenant. – Gal. 4:28.

Jesus was the Head of that Isaac, and the Church the members of the Isaac Body. The entire antitypical Isaac, "the Seed of Abraham," was represented by the typical Isaac and in his sacrifice. It is the blood (sacrifice – death) of the entire antitypical Isaac which will seal the New Covenant [R4335 : page 55] with Israel, "After those days." (Jer. 31:31.) The fact that the antitypical Isaac was to be not only Jesus, but also the Church, is the Mystery which the Jews could not comprehend, and which Babylon cannot comprehend, and which only "The wise shall understand." – Dan. 12:10.

Our critic is in error in supposing that we claim that the Church is any part of the "Passover" sacrifice. We hold, on the contrary, that the Passover Lamb found its antitype in our Lord alone. This is in harmony with the words, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast." (1 Cor. 5:7,8.) The passover Lamb was prepared whole, not a bone being broken. It thus represented our Lord alone, and not his "members," the Church. On the contrary, in one of the atonement day sacrifices, the ram of the burnt-offering was cut into pieces, and the parts washed, and then laid with the head on the altar, thus representing Christ and his members separately, yet unitedly, offered up to God – the members under the merit of the Head.

The passover was not for all the people, but only for the first-born. This symbolized, therefore, the work of Christ for the Church of this Gospel Age, which is elsewhere designated the "Church of the First-Born." Evidently the Church has no share in her own deliverance, which is entirely a work of grace and love Divine. As the passing over of the first-born of Israel led to the making of the Law Covenant with Israel at Mt. Sinai, so the passing over of the Church of the First-Born during this Gospel Age leads to the inauguration of the New Covenant for the blessing of natural Israel and the world, Moses, representing The Christ, Head and Body (which God is selecting from amongst mankind during this Gospel Age) became the Mediator of the Law Covenant. And he took the blood of a bullock and a goat and sprinkled the book of the Law, representing God or Divine Justice, and subsequently sprinkled the people, thus binding God and the people by that Covenant. The blood of the antitypical bullock (Jesus) and of the antitypical goat, the Church, will both together seal the New (Law) Covenant. The antitype will soon be here. The raising up of the antitypical Moses, the antitypical Mediator, will soon be accomplished.

As Moses ascended Mt. Sinai and received the Law and brought it down to Israel and sealed the Covenant thereupon, so the antitypical Moses ere long will have gone into the Mount of God, the Kingdom, and soon thereafter will appear but under a vail, invisible to mankind, to seal the New Covenant, and to put all of its beneficent mercies into operation.

[R4335 : page 55]

"FULL OF GOOD WORKS AND ALMS DEEDS"
ACTS 9:31-43. – MARCH 14. –

Golden Text: – "And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole; arise and make thy bed. And he arose immediately." – Acts 9:34.

T
HE opening verse of our lesson informs us that after the persecution which scattered the Church (following Stephen's death) there came a lull and rest time. "So the Church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the holy Spirit, was multiplied." How much is here recorded in a few words! And how will the principles here set forth apply to the Lord's dealing with his people today? The Scriptures give us the illustration of the Lord's dealings with his people in the words, "As an eagle stirreth up her nest." (Deut. 32:11.) Thus does the Lord at times permit trials, persecutions, etc., which outwardly seem to imply the wrecking of most precious interests, and sometimes cause surprise to his people by the roughness and jarring conditions. Nevertheless, under Divine supervision, the stirring up of the nest and the throwing of responsibility upon his people can be made advantageous to them, strengthening, helping them. Then comes a time of rest and opportunity for spiritual edification, comfort, growth in grace and knowledge. Happy are those who, in the time of the stirring up of the nest, are rightly exercised by the Lord's providences and taught of him and made more and more active in his service – the service of righteousness, truth and love. It brings them preparation for the period of rest and development.

But to others who are not rightly exercised by the siftings, the shakings, the stirrings up of the nest, the experience is different. They are sifted out, alienated, [R4335 : page 56] and develop a hard spirit, foreign to the Lord, and out of accord with his Word. The one class goes on from grace to grace and from strength to strength; the other goes back into the outer darkness of the world. Thus, as the Apostle says, our message is a "savor of life unto life to some, but of death unto death to others." – 2 Cor. 2:16.

"THE SAINTS WHICH DWELT AT LYDDA"

This lesson gives a little insight to the condition of things in the early Church. The Truth was sufficiently unpopular to keep out the majority of those who love this present life and the praise of men more than the future life and the Divine approval. The edification, the comfort of the holy Spirit, and the walking in the fear or reverence of the Lord already mentioned (v. 31), is illustrated by the statement of verse 32, that St. Peter in his travels came to Lydda, to the saints who dwelt there. At that time, under those conditions, to be a Christian was to be a saint, a holy person, a sanctified or set apart person. And so it should be still. But, alas! popularity has brought under the name Christian not only wolves in sheep's clothing, but goats and ring-streaked and speckled and black sheep, as well as saintly ones. We are to remember, however, the declaration, "The Lord knoweth them that are his." Therefore, "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" – depart from inequity (injustice) and from everything that is unrighteous (2 Tim. 2:19); in other words, let them all be saints, "For this is the will of God (concerning you), even your sanctification." – I Thess. 4:3.

We can, without pride or boastfulness, record that the number of saints for whom the light of Present Truth has an attraction are saintly, and also that it is leading the honest-hearted who receive it into a condition of consecration or saintship. The multiplying evidences to this effect, borne in upon us day by day and year by year, are comforting, strengthening assurances of Divine favor accompanying the Divine Word, just as we should expect. And more than this: The saintliness of heart seems to be increasing in lengths and breadths and heights and depths of Christian character. Incidentally, we remark, that nothing that has been presented in these columns for many years seems to have been more helpful to the saintly and those seeking saintliness than "the VOW." We doubt if the same number of people, able and willing to take that Vow, could be found in all the denominations of Christendom. We believe that as saintliness progresses amongst our readers, our lists of those who have taken this solemn Vow, this solemn promise to the Lord in the name and strength of Jesus, will continue to increase, and that it will mean an increase of spiritual power and Christian grace and strength of character to them all.

At Lydda St. Peter found a palsied man bed-ridden for eight years. He was not one of the saints, for miracles of healing were rarely, if ever, performed by the Lord and the apostles upon believers. If sickness comes to those who are of the "household of faith," it is to be considered as of Divine permission, with a view to correction or to opportunities for growth in grace – as amongst the "all things" which shall work together for good to those rightly exercised thereby. The instantaneous healing of Aeneas was used of the Lord to advertise the Truth, after a manner not necessary at the present time. We read, "All that dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw and turned to the Lord." The work at that time was of setting up the Church, bringing it into notice, establishing it, and gathering to it all "Israelites indeed" worthy of the Truth, worthy of being saved out of their own nation and the blindness and the trouble coming upon the same. The work of the present time is different. It is a gathering out of the wheat from the tares. We walk by faith, not by sight and by miracles.

"SHE WAS SICK AND DIED"

St. Peter stopped at Joppa, near to Lydda. There one of the saints took sick, but was not healed and died. Similarly Jesus healed many of the sick; but he allowed his special friend, Lazarus, to be sick and to die, without relieving the distress. As subsequently Lazarus was awakened from the sleep of death as an evidence of divine power and an evidence of Restitution times (Acts 3:19-21), so with Tabitha (Greek, Dorcas), she died, but, through St. Peter, the Lord awakened her from the sleep of death as a miracle and demonstration of the Divine power accomplishing the work of the Gospel message and making it forceful to the people.

A BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN WOMAN

Tabitha, in the Syrian language, then and there prevalent, signifies beautiful, and its Greek equivalent, which carries the same thought of beauty, signifies gazelle; the gentleness, the timidity and the bright, sparkling eye of the gazelle are the characteristics indicated [R4336 : page 56] by the name. We know not if the saintly woman revived from death was beautiful of face, but the account justifies us in acknowledging her to have been beautiful of heart, of character. The statement, "This woman was full of good works and alms deeds which she did," tells us that she was beautiful in the Lord's sight and in the sight of all his saints – provided, of course, that her good deeds were prompted by love of heart. For we should always remember the Apostle's words, "If I should give my body to be burned as a martyr, or if I should give all my goods to the poor, yet have not love, it would profit me nothing" – it would be without esteem in the mind of him who searcheth the heart and to whom motives in those of this age are everything.

We read that "All the widows stood by weeping and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made while she was with them." These words remind us of our Lord's expression respecting another woman, "She has done what she could." Such mourners at the death-bed give eloquent testimony to saintship. It is not recorded that all of the widows were saints, and quite probably some of them were not, for St. Peter put them all forth while he prayed. We are to have in mind that while the saints are God's peculiar care and should, therefore, be likewise the peculiar care of one another, nevertheless we have in a broad, general sense, a relationship to the entire world of mankind and whensoever we will may do them good. The Apostle urges us to "Do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." – Eph. 6:10.

The widows of olden times had a peculiarly hard lot for various reasons; hence the frequent reference to them in the Scriptures as objects of charity. Under the civilized arrangements of our time, induced and fostered by the spirit of Christianity, good provision is made for widows and orphans and thus in some measure our opportunities for charity are diminished. Nor is it either Scriptural or wise to always pass by the provisions of civilization for the care of the poor, the afflicted widows and orphans, and to institute private benefactions, more expensive, and, in some cases, more troublesome, and, in some instances, less advantageous. The "saints" should seek upon this, as upon every subject, the spirit of a sound mind, which cometh from above. There are still, however, opportunities for the exercise of benevolence in matters temporal – and especially along spiritual lines. Few know of the heavenly manna of the Gospel. Few are able to prepare and to give to others the Bread that came down from heaven. Few are able to help sinners to wash and be clean, and to point them to the robe of Christ's righteousness and to assist them in putting it on, and to show them how it is to be kept "without spot or wrinkle" or any such thing.

Few are ready to counsel others on how to get rid of the spots and wrinkles if they do get these upon their robes – that the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord cleanseth us from all of our errors and misdeeds of ignorance. These are the real saints, and they should all be so diligent, so zealous, that when their "change" shall come, there may be many able and willing to praise God on their behalf, many living epistles, to be known and read of all men, and changed from knowledge to knowledge and from glory to glory, through their active assistance as brethren, as saints, as ambassadors for God!

[R4336 : page 57]

THE JACKSONVILLE (FLORIDA) CONVENTION
V
ERY enjoyable and profitable to all who were present – about one hundred – was the first Convention of the year. The attendance from outside points was not very large. Florida was specially represented; Georgia next. There was a fair sprinkling from a number of the Northern States, including Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Ohio. Commencing February 12th and closing the 16th the time was well occupied. Pilgrim Brothers Hall, Wise, Sullivan, Bundy, and Brother Moffatt and Brother Russell delivered public addresses, besides which a number of brethren took part in the symposium on Love on the last day. We have not a memoranda of all the names; hence think it preferable not to give any of them. The number who embraced the opportunity for symbolizing their consecration by water baptism was quite large for the attendance – twenty-one brethren and seventeen sisters.

The Sunday afternoon meeting in the Opera House, of course, was the most largely attended, so far as the public were concerned, the house being crowded and some standing. The attendance was estimated at twelve hundred.

All seemed agreed that while there is a certain amount of enthusiasm engendered at such Conventions as that of Put-in-Bay last summer, nevertheless the smaller Conventions in other respects have their advantages. We heard numerous expressions to the effect that this was the very best of all the Conventions; that none had ever been more enjoyable, etc.

On the closing day of the Convention Brother Russell was ushered to the platform on a pretext and then informed that the Convention, aware of the fact that the day was the anniversary of his birth, desired to express their love in some substantial manner and, concluding that Brother Russell would most enjoy a birthday token which he could enjoy with the Bible House family, they had shipped to him at Allegheny a box of grape fruit, a crate of pineapples and two boxes of sweet Florida oranges. He was handed the receipted bill and express receipt, accompanied by some very comforting words by the Chairman of the meeting in the name of the entire Convention. He spoke with a great deal of feeling, in which the moist eyes of quite a number of the audience showed deep sympathy. Brother Russell replied in a few words, thanking the dear friends and assuring them of his appreciation of their gift, but telling them that, most of all, he appreciated the love that prompted it and wished them to know that next to the Lord's love and esteem he prized the love of the brethren.

The love feast in the evening was a very inspiring occasion. Quite a number of the dear friends were moved to tears in connection with the adieus that were then given and received amidst expressions of love and sympathy and hopes of a future meeting, if not on this side of the veil, then in the Kingdom. This closed the Convention proper, although a Colporteur meeting was arranged for the evening of the 16th, which, no doubt, proved both interesting and profitable.

[R4336 : page 57]

LESSON REVIEW
– MARCH 21. –

Golden Text: – "Therefore, they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word." – Acts 8:4.

T
HE lesson for the quarter covered the first ten years of the Church's history, dating from our Lord's ascension. It is interesting to note the simplicity of the Divine arrangement. We find no mention of popes, cardinals, archbishops, doctors of divinity or reverends. On the contrary even the apostles are recorded as "ignorant and unlearned." Indeed, the terms evangelist, pastor, teacher, elder, deacon, apostle are the only titles recognized in the Church, according to the New Testament records. And these terms all signify, directly or indirectly, service rather than authority or dignity. Notice again that in that period of Divinely guided progress of the infant Church, no mention is made of fairs, festivals, suppers or shows to raise money for salaries or for Church erection; indeed, none of these subjects is ever mentioned in the New Testament – subjects which today seem to constitute the principal feature of "church work." The Church work then was "preaching the Word." Does it not appear evident that the great change in these particulars has not been favorable to spiritual development?

We congratulate our readers that as associates in faith and service we find ourselves peculiarly different from the majority of Christian people of today, and peculiarly like the early Church in the particulars specified. Like them we have no formulated creed aside from the Bible. Like them, we have no Church "officers" or "rulers." Like them, we give little attention to Church edifices, but are content to meet in private houses, or in public buildings otherwise used on week days, or in synagogues already built and dedicated, if they are placed at our disposal, or in "upper rooms." Like them our chief business is "preaching the Word" – not preaching ourselves, nor human theories and traditions, nor Theosophy, nor philosophy, nor Evolution, nor "Science falsely so-called," nor even social reforms, good as some of them may be. Like them our preaching is sometimes in the street-car chariots, to Ethiopians or Whites, to rich or poor, to Pharisees and Doctors of the Law, and to the poor of every nation and tongue and sect and party. Like them we know the Truth and the Truth has made us free, and it is our pleasure to assist others into the same freedom, from ignorance, superstition and the wiles of the Adversary. [R4337 : page 57]

Like them the hope before us is the Kingdom of God's dear Son, and the prospect of a share in that Kingdom at the second coming of our Lord. Like them we have heard the good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people, and we are glad to sacrifice time, energy, strength, money, influence, all, for the privilege of being co-workers together with God in the calling of the Bride class; in the preparation for the Kingdom of God's dear Son. Like them we need no inducements of name, fame, salary, honor of men. Like them we delight to meet one with the other, and so much the more as we see the day drawing near. We need no operas, we need no salaried singers, we need no pulpit vaudeville to attract us. Like them we were hungering and thirsting for the Truth, and, having tasted of the good Word of God and been made partakers of the holy Spirit, we find that with the strength derived our appetite continues to increase, and we desire more and more of the Bread which came down from heaven, and of the Water of Life.

True, there are changes, adaptations to our time and present conditions. We do not wear turbans nor flowing robes nor sandals. We do not journey on camels, nor so much afoot, nor in sailing vessels. We use the printing press, the mail, the various means of rapid transit, etc. We do most of our evangelizing through the printed page, the public prints, the Volunteer matter, the Colporteur work, etc. Yet these are not differences, but adaptations of the same principles to our time.

The work done in Judea during the thirty-seven years following our Lord's crucifixion and closing with the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, was a harvesting work to that nation. During that time we may be sure every grain of "wheat" was separated from the chaff and gathered into the garner – the higher or Gospel dispensation – into the spirit-begotten condition. That Harvest extended beyond Palestine, but even then it always applied "to the Jew first," until A.D. 70.

A similar work, the Harvesting of this age, we [R4337 : page 58] understand has been in progress since 1878, and will terminate in 1914, with the beginning of a great time of trouble upon Christendom, corresponding to and antityping the trouble which destroyed the Jewish nation. The harvest work there had a radius of but a few hundred miles. The harvest of today extends all over the civilized world, a circuit of about ten thousand miles. Since the reapers are few, how necessary it is that the Lord should provide the extraordinary agencies which are now at our disposal for the circulation of the harvest message – for the gathering of the wheat. May we not well say that the Lord times the inventions of our day so as to provide for the necessity of this harvest work, that every grain of wheat the whole world around may be found and gathered into the garner of the high dispensation, the heavenly? We believe that the principle noted in our Golden Text is still applicable – that the Lord does not wish his consecrated people, when they come into the light of Present Truth, to congregate specially in special cities, States, etc., but rather wills that they be scattered abroad, so that everywhere the Truth shall be preached and that they shall have the inestimable privilege of proclaiming it, serving it, and thus being blessed and upbuilt themselves and prepared for a share in the glory of the Kingdom.

Dear brethren, he who was with and guided the early Church is with us with equal power. He who guided in that harvest time is guiding now, and will continue to guide his work to the end. We may have experience with similar characters to that of Judas, Alexander the coppersmith, Jannes and Jambres. But the Lord is able to make all these things work together for good to us and through them all to fulfil his gracious promises. He may permit persecutions, imprisonments or things corresponding on a different plane, but let us never doubt the presence and power of our Lord.

The glorious results will more than compensate the trials and difficulties.

"Faith can firmly trust him, come what may."

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QUARTERLY TEMPERANCE LESSON
PROVERBS 23:29-35. – MARCH 28. –

Golden Text: – "At last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder." – Prov. 23:32.

A
VERY encouraging sign of progress in many parts of Christendom, our own land being considerably in the lead, is the wave of sentiment in favor of total abstinence from intoxicating liquors and the refusal of the masses to countenance the liquor traffic. The one message which the Lord gave to his people when he instructed them to preach the Word did not include total abstinence, and hence the Lord's consecrated people, faithful as priests, may not turn aside from their more important message, the calling of the Bride class, to urge upon the worldly this excellent but temporary and partial reformation. The message to the Church, to those called to be of the "elect," is the attainment of the spirit of a sound mind, which certainly would not permit them to take anything into their system which would befuddle their reason. Temperance, moderation, sobriety, is the inculcation of the Word of God and its spirit upon all who have named the name of Christ and proclaimed themselves followers of the Lamb.

The Apostle's words intimate that the consecrated are to do good unto all men as they have opportunity, especially to the household of faith; and this exhortation seems to justify us in occasionally saying just a word on the temperance question. It is right that our sympathies for temperance and every reformatory measure should be distinctly known to friends and foes in order that our good may not be evil spoken of by those zealous friends who, not understanding the Divine program and its "hidden mystery," think it strange that we run not with them into larger activities along the lines of social uplift and reforms. Having but small personal experience along these lines, we think it best to present chiefly the words of others on this subject, as below:

The Rev. Dr. Smith's book, Industrial Conflict, says:

"In England, in three years of plenty in the seventies, wages were increased annually $200,000,000. That made $600,000,000 for the three years, but $600,000,000 was just the amount of gold in circulation in Great Britain at that time. Did the workingmen by a common impulse, fired by a great ambition, save this $200,000,000 a year? Did they change the savings into gold? Did they control the banks and dictate terms to financiers?

"If these things had been done, the past thirty years would have seen a new England, and the whole world would have been filled with the songs of the great achievements that had at last been wrought by the working classes. They would have superannuated the aristocracy; they would have swept out age-worn traditions and institutions; they would have come into their own empire. The working people of England earned $200,000,000 extra per annum, and the sad companion fact is that the drink bill of England during each of those three years increased just $200,000,000. All the increase of that bill did not come from the working classes, but enough of it came from those classes to leave the argument still sound that what is wanted is not so much better opportunity as the capacity to make wiser use of such opportunities as men have.

"In the United States we spend about $1,200,000,000 a year in drink. Would it not be worth while for the workingmen of America to take from that drink bill, say, $250,000,000 a year, and put it in an industrial fund for the development of industrial enterprises owned by workingmen, managed by workingmen, and the profits of which should be received by workingmen?"

From Orison Swett Marden, Editor of Success, New York City: –

"My observation of cigarette smokers has confirmed my belief that no man or boy who is a victim of the cigarette habit can keep himself up to a high mental or physical standard. Cigarette smoking leads boys into bad company and a demoralizing environment. A New York City magistrate says that ninety-nine out of a hundred of all the lads charged with crime, from misdemeanors to burglary, have had their moral sense weakened by the poison of cigarettes....In fact, the moral depravity which follows the cigarette habit is appalling. Lying, cheating, impurity, loss of moral courage and manhood, a complete dropping of life's standards along the line, are its general results."

The Honorable Ben B. Lindsey, Judge of the Juvenile Court, Denver, Colorado, says: –

"Our lives depend a great deal upon our habits. Habits make or unmake men. The boy who starts with bad habits is almost sure to be a worthless man. If he starts with good habits, he is just as sure to be a good man; therefore boyhood is the most important part of life. One of the worst habits in boyhood is the cigarette habit. Persisted in, it dulls and deadens all the finer moral sentiments; it makes a physical and moral wreck of any boy. It is sure to lead the victim to other [R4338 : page 59] habits just as dangerous and disgusting. Years in the Juvenile Court of Denver convince me that it is one of the chief evils met in boyhood, and responsible for much weakness, misery and crime."

The Pittsburg Railways Company served this notice to its employees: –

"For the betterment of the service and the safety of the public, it will from this date be the policy of this company to NOT retain in its employ men who use intoxicating liquors or cigarettes or are in the habit of gambling. While it is the privilege of each individual to eat, drink, and smoke what he pleases, it becomes the duty of this management to have in its service only men of sober and temperate habits, PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY able to perform the duties to which they may be assigned."

The superintendent gave his reasons for issuing the order as follows: –

"It is my aim and intention to pursue this policy without abatement, since I have by it proved beyond all doubt that it has raised the standard of our men. I have been criticised for the stringency of the order, especially the prohibition of the use of cigarettes; but on the other hand I have the assurance of our division superintendents (of which we have twelve), aided by my own observations, that persons addicted to the use of cigarettes, especially young men, are the most careless in their duties and less able to perform them than men using liquor in moderation. I may also mention that in seventeen years' experience as manager of public utility corporations I have had occasion to promote many of our men from the rank of conductors and motormen to officers, and in no case has a man using whiskey come up to the requirements."

*                         *                         *

Our chief objections to many of the utterances of social reformers is that in their zeal they make of their reformation movement an antagonistic Gospel, proclaiming that by the methods they are advocating the Millennial blessings might all be introduced, regardless of Emmanuel and the Kingdom which he is to establish, and which the Scriptures declare to be the only power under heaven or amongst men authorized and capable of bringing in everlasting joy and blessing and Paradise restored. Reforms are merely palliative at very most; nothing but a change of heart can bring the desired condition, and nothing but the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom, the overthrow of Satan's empire, and the deliverance of the slaves of sin and death from ignorance and superstition, etc., can bring the permanent blessings needed.

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"PRESERVE THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT"
S
T. PAUL'S exhortation that we preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, was never more necessary to the Church than now. We have already adverted to the fact that a peculiar bitterness of spirit and word seems to attach to those who oppose the Vow, and we wish to caution those who have taken the Vow against any participation in the spirit of strife, anger, bitterness. We cannot help what others may do or say to us, but we can see to it, each for himself, "that no man render evil for evil or railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing."

Some time ago our attention was especially called in a variety of ways to the fact that the fallen angels are coming into a greater degree of liberty than they have had since the flood and their condemnation to chains of darkness. All that we said respecting the probable materializations, counterfeiting both the dead and the living, we still believe, and advise all to be on guard against; but we think it not improbable that while we were thus looking out for and exposing some of the Adversary's wiles, he was getting in his work along other lines – stirring up evil surmising, evil speaking, insinuations, malice, envy, hatred, strife – lovelessness. It is our present thought that the greatest danger to the Household of Faith lies along these subtle lines. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Hence, to whatever extent the Adversary may be able to inject into us an evil spirit, and to drive out the holy Spirit, to that extent he will be separating, alienating us from the Lord. Nor can we wonder that our Master would permit such trials to come upon us as a people. We have had much advantage every way above others – in knowledge, in appreciation of the deep things of God, in an opportunity for the development of the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit. Having preached to others, have we applied to ourselves these precious truths and graces, or shall we eventually be castaways, because of being merely preachers of the Word and not doers of it? – because while preaching love for God and for the brethren, this love was not allowed to permeate and sanctify all the avenues of our hearts, our words, our thoughts, our deeds. We cannot complain that the Lord should test us along these lines.

For years we have been teaching respecting the peculiar trials of this hour, and calling attention to the statement of the Word that "A thousand shall fall at our side." Have we profited by the knowledge, or does the fact that some are now falling cause us surprise? The question is for each one of us. It is time for drawing near to the Captain of our Salvation, and time for complete separation from everything that would not have his and our Father's hearty approval. We believe that the Lord especially brought forward the Vow for this very time, and that it is doing a wonderful work of purifying in the hearts of God's children, as is abundantly evidenced by the letters which we are daily receiving and which tell of the showers of blessings enjoyed, and nearness to the Lord, as a result of this fresh statement of the original consecration.

We promised to announce from time to time the growth of our list of those taking the Vow, and we are pleased to mention now that the six thousand mark has been reached. In this connection we offer the suggestion that everywhere, so far as possible, the Vow be read daily, by everyone who has taken it, either publicly at the breakfast table for instance; or individually and privately. We are assured that there is a blessing in it, not only for the Bible House family, but for all. How wonderful it seems that without our so thinking of it, or intending it, the Lord has used this Vow so that it should call into existence a prayer-circle of six thousand of his consecrated ones who remember each other daily at the throne of grace.

With the Vow freshly before the mind each morning, reminding us of our resolution to guard, if possible, every word and every thought still more carefully than in the past, is it any wonder if more progress is being made in self-control and in the development of the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit? Such results are what we should expect. And those who have not taken the Vow and who realize frequently their shortcomings in word and thought and act, and lament over these – is it not worth their while to consider the help they would gain by this fresh resolution to the Lord, and the increased carefulness that it would bring to them?

We suggest that those who have taken the Vow remember [R4338 : page 60] also the dear ones who have not yet taken it, soliciting for them the Lord's blessing and guidance, and that they be careful in every sense of the word to exemplify the Gospel of peace and love and good will implied by their Vow, to more carefully than ever, if possible, scrutinize their words and thoughts. Let this greater carefulness be manifest to those who have not taken the Vow, that they may see your better self-control and be glad to glorify our Father in heaven.

While we deprecate anything looking toward a division or schism in the Body of Christ, and while we believe that there is no ground for a division in connection with the Vow, and that no one who has taken the Vow has a right to make it a test of fellowship with his brethren; nevertheless, we are free to admit that with those who oppose the Vow the case is different. In opposing it they seem to forfeit a measure of their confidence. They are either less wise or less good than we thought them to be; for we cannot see how either a wise or a good heart could place hindrances and opposition in the way of those who by this Vow are seeking to bind their sacrifice to the altar.

As before stated, the test of the Scripturalness or unscripturalness of the Vow is a very simple one. Take its statements one by one and see whether any Scripture can be found in opposition to any of them; then see how many Scriptures can be found favoring these very propositions either in the word or in spirit. Thus we determine that the Vow is Scriptural to the very last degree, and unscriptural in no degree. Does someone suggest that the taking of the Vow is not demanded in the Scriptures? We reply that the taking of the WATCH TOWER, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Dispatch or the World is not stipulated in the Scriptures; neither is the publication of our tracts and SCRIPTURE-STUDIES directly commanded. Is it unscriptural to wear shoes, or trousers, or hats, because these are not mentioned in the Scriptures? Are they not all thoroughly Scriptural if they do not conflict with any of the holy provisions and regulations; just as any matter is thoroughly legal which does not conflict with any law? We are surprised at the weakness of the arguments by which [R4339 : page 60] some of the dear friends have confused themselves and hindered their reception of a great blessing through the taking of the Vow or Resolution to the Lord, that theirs shall hereafter be a still closer walk with God.

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SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

We desire to express our appreciation and love to you and the dear friends at the Bible House, for your devotion to the work so dear to us all. Your sacrificing spirit and zeal and devotion to the flock over which the Lord has placed you, and your capacity for hard work, have been an inspiration to us. Beyond any doubt the present Lord has been and is your helper; otherwise your poor body would surely sink beneath the heavy cross you have to bear. We thank you and express our admiration for your courage and boldness in not compromising in any matter the Truth, but have always given to the household of faith "things both new and old."

In regard to "the Vow," we have been very much helped and blessed since we advised you that we have subscribed to it; and we have also been very much helped since we have seen the Truth in its fuller light, as explained by you in the TOWERS, and by some of the Pilgrims, in regard to the Covenants and our relation thereto. As stated by one brother, Psa. 50:5 and other Scriptures intimate that when Jesus sacrificed himself he made a covenant with Jehovah, "a covenant by sacrifice." Jehovah, on the other hand, had made his part of the Covenant with Abraham and not with Jesus, but Jesus, by giving his flesh for the life of the world, came under the conditions of the Covenant made with Abraham 2,000 years before. All persons since justified by faith in Jesus' work of sacrifice, and having presented their justified bodies a living sacrifice, these, together, Jesus the Head and the Church his Body, constitute that Seed class which shall do the work through whom all the families of the earth will be blessed. This Abrahamic Covenant, therefore, needs no Mediator, because it includes only those who are actually or reckonedly perfect. Our dear Lord did not need a Mediator on account of being absolutely perfect, and since we have been accepted in the Beloved, we do not require a Mediator, because we become members of his Body as New Creatures – the Seed of Abraham. (Gal. 3:27,29.) God deals with the Body during their trial day through Jesus the Head, the Advocate. (I John 2:1.) But the poor world during their trial day will require a Mediator, otherwise Justice would require their execution. This office of Mediator is surely one of the hopes set before us in the Gospel.

We feel very humble and thankful to our Master that we are permitted to see these grand truths, while some others, blessed with larger opportunities, having for so many years been associated so closely with yourself and received the light and Truth through your ministry, are now asking you to accept their resignations on account of not being able to see eye to eye with you on the Covenants and Vow. I have been given a copy of the letter Brother Hennings sent you under date of November 22, 1908. The knowledge of these facts, dear Brother, has inspired this letter in the hope that it may help to comfort you in the assurance of your being in the heavenly Father's favor, and we can only say, as you have so often said to us through the TOWERS, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"; "No weapon formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."

We pray for you and the Bible House family every day many times. And we ask you to remember us in your prayers. With much love,

Yours in the One Hope,

J. P. HEMPHILL.

MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

On January first we began the New Testament reading, a chapter every evening. It is now looked forward to with much eagerness. The doing of this regularly is proving a great blessing. Also the reading of twelve pages of DAWN daily in the morning.

After you suggested the twelve pages daily to me at Halifax, I went back to Montreal and tried so hard to keep it up, but it seemed almost impossible, and I occasionally had as many as thirty-six pages for one day. Since making the resolution to the Lord to do this it has been possible every day thus far. This further proves to me the help of resolutions or vows made to the Lord.

I feel that it is as it was with Jesus when he took a positive stand and said, "Get thee hence, Satan.... Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him."Matt. 4:10,11.

Is it not the same with us when we take a positive stand on any question – that we then have the special help from the Lord along those lines? I have felt it so in my own case.

Endeavoring not to murmur nor complain about any condition or experience has been very helpful. It many times keeps me from mentioning little things which I otherwise might.

I want to thank you also for the joint-letter in regard to our vows. It is a great encouragement and help in remembering daily why these vows are made – "to promote our spiritual interests and to assist in the mortifying of the mortal bodies."

I thank our Father daily and oftener for the continued help received through his dear Servant.

Your sister through his merit,

ETHEL WHITE.
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BELOVED PASTOR AND BROTHER: –

My dear husband is so earnest, so eager to do the Lord's will whatever the cost may be. Since the taking of "Our Precious Vow," as he calls it, the change has been something wonderful – a change that must be felt; it cannot be described. What that Vow has been and is to me I can never tell. I incorporated each section so as to make a prayer of the whole, and twice every day, if no oftener, I offer that up with my other petitions, and the dear Father is hearing me. How could it be otherwise? He has promised, and "He is faithful that promised." My Consecration Vow seems so infinitely more comprehensive since taking this later one emphasizing the first, and this bringing it before the Father in words makes everything so much clearer and more real. I can approach the heavenly Father in a manner I never understood before, and realize that he hears and will answer. I thank the Lord for the Vow, and you, dear brother, as his servant, in bringing it to his people – "in due time."

We sometimes talk of how easy and blessed it would be to die; but to live in these evil days how hard it is! The closer we come to our heavenly Father, the greater the anxiety to be with him. "How can we keep the longing back and how suppress the groan?"

Yet we realize that each passing hour shall, if we are faithful, prepare us more for the Kingdom, and we are content. But how blessed it will be to have passed through the trials, the testings, and to have been found "faithful!" Oh it is so hard to live, so hard really to live and develop as the Lord would have us grow as New Creatures. Will we all who are so far faithful, be able to say at the end, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do"? Pray for us, dear brother, for my husband and self, even as we pray for you, that we may be always able to say from the heart, "I do always those things which please him."

With much Christian love, your sister in our blessed Lord,

I. P. W.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH

Love, truth and honesty, and sorrow for sin, constrain me to confess my shameful course during my opposition to the Vow, and which I now see to be but a reiteration of my consecration Vow, more clearly outlined in some essential details because of the present evil day.

That expert, Satan, whispered some apparently very plausible suggestions against the Vow, and which, yielded to, soon led me to look at it from a very prejudiced and improper standpoint. Thus I quickly took the bait that the suggestion of the Vow was purely of and by man to ensnare the simple minded, and was not in harmony with the spirit of true Bible teaching. This view soon roused my zeal to not touch, taste nor handle anything that did not have a direct, pointed "Thus saith the Lord" attached to it. Very soon I seemed to lose all the spirit of a sound mind and of love, and began to back-bite Brother Russell, not only orally, but also by writing back-biting letters. In fact, I became a first-rate back-biter. I compared Brother Russell to Moses, when he said to Israel, "Must I bring water for you?" and to David in his prohibited work of numbering the Israelites. I likened the presentation of the Vow to the claimed inspiration of the Mormon Prophet Smith, and the Vow itself to the harmonious sound of a plague of frogs.

Now, Brother Russell, it needs no argument to show such thoughts to be the product of a very unsound mind; [R4340 : page 61] yes, I must say, the product of a Satanic mind or a mind dominated by demons.

I am sorry for such conduct and want you to publish my expression of my sorrow for my sin. I can assure you it found me out. Make a heartfelt prayer for me that I may be kept from the sin of presumption.

I take the Vow today (January 25th), my 66th birthday, and remain,

Your penitent brother,

ELIAS M. GIBBS.

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"WHO GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM"

"There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." – 1 Tim. 2:5,6.

O
UR LORD JESUS gave himself a Ransom (corresponding price for all mankind) at the beginning of his ministry, at the moment of his consecration. He continued that giving throughout his public ministry for three and one-half years. He finished the sacrifice of himself, the "man Christ Jesus," at Calvary. When the Father raised him from the dead, he was the possessor, so to speak, of the value of his previous sacrifice, which he was at liberty to offer as he pleased. The making of the sacrifice was one thing and the applying of its merits was another thing. As, for instance: Mr. A is in trouble, requiring $5000 for his relief. Mr. B has a property which he can sell for $5000 – enough to pay A's debt. When he sells the property A's debt is not paid, but merely B now has the amount, the price, which he can give for A's relief, if he will; and it is for him to elect how and when and where it shall be applied. Christ gave all that he had in order to purchase the world and the treasure which he saw therein – Adam and his family, sold under sin and death. When our Lord ascended up on high he did something with the merit of his sacrifice which brought a blessing to a certain class (the household of faith). That he made reconciliation for their sins is the Apostolic statement, and the giving of the holy Spirit at Pentecost was in demonstration of the fact. But it is equally clear that our Lord did not make an application of his blood to all mankind, because the holy Spirit did not come upon all mankind, nor did any message come to them declaring the forgiveness of their sins.

On the contrary, the subsequent Apostolic declaration was that "the whole world lieth in the wicked one," and that only the Church, the household of faith, has "escaped the condemnation that is upon the world." Furthermore, the Apostle's declaration is not that our Lord appeared in the presence of God as our Mediator, nor as the world's Mediator, but that he appeared in the presence of God as OUR Advocate – but not as the world's Advocate. All this is very plain, if our minds and hearts are in condition to receive it; but of course it will not be clear, and is not to be understood nor to be clear under any other circumstances.

Just what Jesus did when he ascended up on high we are not more particularly informed by the Apostle; but he pointed us to the types, the Law. Looking there we note the various details of the typical atonement day of Israel, which foreshadowed:

(1) The forgiveness of sins for the HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH, under the Abrahamic Covenant with believers.

(2) The subsequent forgiveness of the sins of all the remainder of the world by preparing for the sealing of the New (Law) Covenant with the blood of Christ.

This division separating the Gospel Church from the world was very distinct in the picture, and also distinct in the teachings of our Lord and the apostles. Our Lord said, [R4340 : page 62] "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:16.) He ordained them to go and bring forth fruit – permanent fruit, everlasting fruitage. The Apostle declares of our Lord, "He is a propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins (the Church's) and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2.) Here again a sharp line of distinction is drawn between the "elect" Church and its blessing, and the non-elect world and the blessing that will come to it in due time.

Looking into the type again (Leviticus 16) we see that there are two separate and distinct sacrifices, and that they were not offered to God upon the mercy-seat both at the same time: –

(1) The blood of the bullock was first shed and first offered.

(2) The blood of the goat was subsequently offered.

Our Lord did not die twice and the two animals did not represent him – except as Head and Body. Not only so, but the type distinctly tells us that the two offerings of the blood upon the mercy-seat were applicable to different classes, the first, applied to the tribe of Levi, included the priests. The second applied to all the remainder of the people of Israel. Will anyone claim that our Lord Jesus died twice, first for the antitypical Levites, and second for the remainder of mankind? Christ certainly died once for all. What, then, is the meaning of these two sacrifices and distinctly separate applications and separate acceptances and separate blessings?

We have already answered this question in great detail in the little booklet entitled, "Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices," a fresh reading of which we commend to you all as an elaboration of the "hidden mystery" of the fellowship of the Church, the Royal Priesthood, with Jesus, the great High Priest, in the sufferings, the sacrificings of this present time, and in the glorious work and blessings of the future. Remember, too, that this treatise was first published in 1880. We therein show that no man can redeem his brother, and that it is because all are sinners, all under death sentence. We show also that our Lord's death, represented by that of the bullock, applied on behalf of the household of faith, justifies them freely from all sin and permits them to become "holy and acceptable sacrifices." (Rom. 12:1.) We show that the sacrificing was all done by the Lord, that our part ends in our presentation of ourselves living sacrifices, and that if we maintain this condition of self-denial our Lord counts us as New Creatures, members of his Body, and our flesh his flesh, and its sufferings and death his sufferings and death.

Thus the sacrifice of Christ, Head and Body, has progressed for over eighteen centuries. We believe that the consummation is near at hand. When the High Priest shall have accepted the last member of his Body, and shall have finished the sacrificing, he will apply, beyond the vail, the blood, his own blood – the blood of his members – on the mercy-seat, on behalf of all the people. Then will be due that which the Lord promised through the Prophet Joel – that he would pour out his "Spirit upon all flesh," just as at the completion and offering of the first sacrifice he poured out his "Spirit upon his servants and handmaidens" at Pentecost. Who that has spiritual eyesight cannot see this? And if we once saw it and it is now becoming dim to any of us, what is the remedy? All such should go immediately to the great Physician for eyesalve. They should haste in fear lest complete blindness and outer darkness overtake them. Fasting, prayer and heart-searching and a hearty acceptance of the Vow we earnestly recommend.

Note that it is not our Lord in some pre-human condition who gave himself a ransom for all, but the MAN Christ Jesus. His is a Ransom for all, in that through his sacrifice alone all mankind shall be rescued from the sentence of sin and death and given an opportunity to hear and accept the good tidings of eternal life. The Ransom is none the less for all mankind, because it was first applied to the Church and then made applicable to mankind through the Church. The water we drink is none the less from the sky because it comes to us through pipes and faucets.

"MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MEN"

As already noted, we believe that whenever the word mediator is used in the Scriptures it relates to a covenant between parties who are alienated. God and the world are at enmity. God has condemned the world, because of sin. That condemnation still rests upon the world (except that small portion of it which has been justified by faith.) The "world still lies in the Wicked One" – is still under condemnation. A Mediator was necessary – someone to go between and reconcile these alienated parties. Our Lord Jesus came into the world to be the Saviour of the world as well as the Saviour of the Church. The work which Jesus did, his sacrifice, was in the Divine program with a view to his becoming the Mediator between God and mankind in general – the world, sinners. That purpose will be carried out, though it has not yet been done. It is proper to speak of our Lord Jesus as Mediator and to speak of the New (Law) Covenant as though it were already mediated, because the matter is fully intimated, foretold, promised, by the Lord, who cannot lie, and is in process of accomplishment. God will make such a Covenant with the House of Judah and the House of Israel after these Gospel days. (Heb. 8:8-10.) He will provide a Mediator, who will then, during the Millennium, mediate between God and man. It is a part of the Divine [R4341 : page 62] program that our Lord Jesus will be that Mediator. It is, therefore, proper to speak of him as such now – to speak of the things which are not yet as though they were. This in no degree contradicts the thought that this Mediator is growing day by day – adding members.

Why should there be any delay? If the man Christ Jesus was the Mediator and the plan for a New Covenant was unalterably fixed in advance, why should it not be ratified at once? We answer again that this was one feature of the "Hidden Mystery" – "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:26,27.) It is a part of the Divine purpose that Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant (he whose merit furnishes the price and who shortly will apply that price for the sealing of the New (Law) Covenant) be the Head of the Church, which is his Body – "members in particular of the Body of Christ." (1 Cor. 12:27.) In the Divine purpose the antitypical Isaac is to include the Church. "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise" – the children of the Faith Covenant. (Gal. 4:28.) Jesus the Mediator, by Divine arrangement, accepts members, who must be his joint-sacrificers, and by and by be his joint-heirs.

This Church class is not included in the "men" of our text – not included in the world, "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:16.) "The world," "men," need the great Mediator to reconcile them to God. And the New Covenant and the Kingdom which it will inaugurate are Divine provisions which shall bring blessings for the world, for men, to chasten them, to break their hearts, to cause every knee to bow and every tongue to confess to God's glory. The Church, as the Bride, not only shares in the sufferings of this present time, but also in that glorious work of reconciling "men," "the world," to God by the power and forces and influences of the Millennial Kingdom.

The class now accepted by the Lord as separate from the world needs not the drastic measures of the Millennium to cause them to bow and to confess. They are a special class, who, in the midst of sin, love righteousness and hate iniquity. They are like their Lord and Redeemer, of whom it is written, "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with [R4341 : page 63] the oil of gladness (holy Spirit) above (Head-over) thy fellows." – Heb. 1:9.

WORKS ENEMIES – NOT HEART ENEMIES

But some one may inquire, Does not the Apostle speak of some of the "household of faith" as having once been aliens, strangers, foreigners, from the commonwealth of Israel? Yes; so was Cornelius all of that as a Gentile, yet he reverenced God and gave much alms to the people. But as a Gentile he was naturally an alien from Israel's privileges and blessings until, so far as the Gentiles were concerned, Christ made an end to the Law Covenant, nailed it to his cross, and admitted Gentiles to his favor and to the still greater blessings of the original Covenant.

But does not the Apostle say that some who had become saints had been liars and abominable persons, "alienated, and enemies in their mind by wicked works," and could the world be worse than this description? (Col. 1:21.) We answer, So far as works are concerned, and the divine standards, Yes, "that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God," both Jews and Gentiles. (Rom. 3:19.) But such as at heart were not opposed to the light and Truth, had a different standing in the Divine estimation. Through ignorance and weaknesses they were like the whole world, yet in other respects they were very different and differently estimated by the Lord. These, because of their right-heartedness, were blessed in being drawn to Christ by the Father, that they might be justified by faith in the precious blood, and that they might be sanctified by a knowledge of the Truth, and that thus they might become associates in the sufferings of Christ and in his coming glory and work. During this age only such are drawn, and only such received: "No man can come unto me, except the Father which sent me, draw him." (John 6:44.) Of such "elect" St. Paul says, "If God be for us who can be against us." "He who began a good work in us is able to complete it." These needed the blood and could not be justified without the Redeemer's sacrifice, but they do not need that he should mediate the New (Law) Covenant for them, since they are acceptable under the better, the Faith Covenant, made with Abraham.

We see the difference in the present time: Some, under the influence of error, are terrified with fear of eternal torment, and may live outwardly according to high standards, loving sin, but fearing to practice it. When the Truth reaches such and their fears are dispelled, they have no special inclination toward piety. Others, on the contrary, hearing of the Lord's grace and wonderful providences, are drawn, constrained, to become followers of Jesus, even at a cost of sacrifice and temporal interests. This latter class need no mediator to whip them into harmony with the Divine Laws. To the extent of their ability they delight to do God's will. This faith and its spirit of obedience God counts to them for righteousness. These, after justification by faith in his blood, are invited to become members of The Christ. A sufficient number of these will be found to complete the membership of his Body, and to fill up the sufferings of Christ, and to constitute the very "elect" members of the Mediator for the world – men.

Let us remember that Moses was the mediator of the Law Covenant, which failed, not because of being a poor Law, but merely because its mediator was incapable of doing for the people all that they needed. God purposes to give to that nation, and other nations through them, The Christ, the better Mediator under a New Covenant or Agreement, to be sealed with his blood – the merit of his sacrifice applied indirectly through the Church. Remember how St. Peter, after telling about the times of Restitution to be inaugurated at the Second Coming of Jesus, says, "For verily Moses said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from amongst your brethren like unto me." (Acts 3:22.) The Prophet like unto Moses began to be raised up in the person of our Lord Jesus, the Head. The raising up process has continued throughout this age, and shortly will be completed. That antitypical Moses, Christ and the Church, Head and Body, is to mediate the New Covenant so long promised between God and Israel. That the Apostle is not speaking of anything yet accomplished is evident from the context, "It shall come to pass that the soul that will not obey that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from amongst the people." (Acts 3:23.) All who do not obey Jesus during this Gospel Age are not destroyed; but, under the great Mediator between God and men, the antitypical Moses, who shall rule the world during the Millennium, the Scriptures will be fulfilled – all that will refuse divine favor under that New Covenant will be utterly destroyed.

[R4341 : page 63]

QUESTIONS RE THE COVENANTS

What is the Abrahamic Covenant?

(1) Is it for the selection of the Seed?

Its promise is THE SEED: (1) Jesus; (2) The Christ; (3) The earthly seed through them.

(2) Or is it the blessing of all the families of the earth?

Ultimately, yes. The result will bless all the nations.

(3) When did it begin – with Abraham, Isaac or Abel?

With Jesus Christ: but its provisions extend backward and forward to all who have exercised "the faith of Abraham."

What is the Sarah Covenant?

(1) Is it proper to say that the Sarah and Abrahamic Covenants are one and the same thing?

The Abrahamic Covenant primarily is the Sarah Covenant – the Faith or Promise Covenant.

(2) Under what Covenant were the Ancient Worthies developed, Abrahamic or Sarah?

The Abrahamic or Faith Covenant, typified by Sarah. All justified by faith are of this Covenant. The others are covenants of works.

(3) Are the Ancient Worthies the fleshly seed, or are the Jews who come under the New Covenant in the Millennial Age the fleshly seed?

The Ancient Worthies primarily, but all who ever come to the Faith and Works relationship under the New Covenant will, as children of "the Anointed," be grandchildren of Abraham, who typified God – the Father.

(4) Is the Sarah Covenant as comprehensive as the Abrahamic Covenant?

No! It relates only to the "Seed of Promise."

(5) Does the Sarah Covenant come to an end at the close of the Gospel Age?

Yes.

(6) Does the Sarah Covenant end when the last member of the spiritual Seed is born, or does it end after the Ancient Worthies come forth?

After both: the two being shown in Joseph and Benjamin.

(7) If the Sarah Covenant brings forth the spiritual Seed, how can we say that both seeds are brought forth under the Abrahamic Covenant?

The dual feature is shown in Rachel. [R4342 : page 63]

(8) If both the seeds are brought forth under the Sarah Covenant then how about Gal. 3:16, where it speaks of THE Seed which is Christ?

The Christ is the Seed, but the "promise" is "sure to both."Rom. 4:16.

(9) Are those now called to membership in The Christ justified by the sacrifice of the man Christ Jesus?

Most assuredly, "By faith in his blood." Faith in the New Covenant justifies nobody. Those blessed under the New Covenant will be justified by works. – Rev. 20:13.

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PUBLIC MINISTRIES OF THE TRUTH

ONE-DAY LOCAL CONVENTIONS ADDRESSED BY THE EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL AS FOLLOWS:
WATERBURY, CONN., FEBRUARY 28

All sessions in Buckingham Music Hall, corner Grand and Bank streets. Morning session for Praise and Testimony at 11:00 o'clock. Afternoon meeting for the Public at 3 o'clock: subject, "Where are the Dead?" Evening meeting for the interested at 6:30 o'clock.

Arrangements for cheap, clean lodgings have been made at a temperance hotel, for any finding it necessary to remain over night. Visiting friends cordially welcomed.

BROOKLYN, N.Y., MARCH 7

Discourse on Baptism, import and symbol, at 11 a.m. Discourse by Brother Russell at 3:00 p.m. Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30 o'clock. This will be a Question Meeting. Visiting friends cordially welcomed.

All meetings will be held in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Nos. 13-17 Hicks street. Convenient to all cars and ferries – close to the old bridge terminus.

SCRANTON, PA., MARCH 14
BROOKLYN, N.Y., MARCH 21