page 97
April 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. XXXAPRIL 1NO. 7
A.D. 1909 – A.M. 6037
CONTENTS
Views from the Watch Tower 99
Combating Higher Criticism in Canada 99
Alas! Too True!! (Illustrated) 101
Unworthy of Everlasting Life 101
Judge Yourselves Unworthy 102
"Mediator of the New Covenant" 103
The Original Abrahamic Covenant 103
Two Covenants Added 104
Abraham's Three Wives 105
Atonement not Mediation 106
Through Much Tribulation Enter the Kingdom 107
Be Ye Not Forgetful, Readers 108
The Covenant of the Law 109
"Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant 110
Berean Studies on the Atonement 111

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

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

page 98

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.

Address Business Communications and Remittances to
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[R4363 : page 98]

"THE OVERLAND MONTHLY"

This magazine, widely known on the Pacific coast, is running a series of special articles from Brother Russell's pen, entitled "The Divine Program." They began with February last.

We have a special clubbing arrangement with the magazine by which it and the WATCH TOWER both cost little more than the price of the magazine alone, namely $1.80. Orders at this rate should be sent to us. In Canada the cost would page 98 be 60 cents per year additional for postage.

NEWSPAPERS PUBLISHING THE SERMONS WEEKLY

We are keeping the friends advised of newspapers in their vicinity publishing the sermons, so that they may patronize these if they desire. The reports that reach us indicate that the sermons are being excellently received. They are now published in more than a hundred journals regularly. Our friends have done much to encourage the newspapers by telling them of their appreciation of the service. Let the good work go on.

Anyone subscribing for these sermon papers and failing to receive them should promptly notify us as well as the publishers. Notify us also, please, if any week the sermons fail to appear.

POLISH TRACTS DELAYED

We have delayed the preparation of the Polish Tracts until we could ascertain exactly how many could be used judiciously. Word has been received from friends in various parts of many whom they suppose they can reach, and will reach, provided we supply them the tract papers free. We hope ere long to have our list complete and send forth the first number of the quarterly, possibly not until at our new address. Address hereafter, 13-17 Hicks St., Brooklyn, N.Y.

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. ½d.) 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. ½d.) 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 of the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. ½d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

SERIES IV., "The Day of Vengeance," shows that 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. (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.).

Is also published in foreign languages as follows: German, six vols., in Swedish Vols. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6; in Dano-Norwegian, three vols.; in Greek, three vols.; in French, two vols.; Hollandish, Spanish, and Italian, one vol. each; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same; in Polish, condensed edition, one vol., 10 cents.

[R4362 : page 99]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
COMBATING HIGHER CRITICISM IN CANADA

A
THEOLOGICAL storm has been raised in Canada along the lines of "Higher Criticism." This was started by Rev. George Jackson's address before the Y.M.C.A. of Toronto, on February 16th. The meeting was opened by the singing of "Coronation" and prayer, and then the reverend gentleman, greeted with applause, began an attack upon the Scriptures, entitled "The Early Narratives of Genesis," saying: –

"'The Early Narratives of Genesis' include in this interpretation, in this use of the phrase, the first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis. Perhaps I may say that this is really one of the course of monthly Sunday afternoon lectures which I have been giving to men in the Sherbourne St. church; and, inasmuch as this is only one of the course, it is so far incomplete. It is a kind of an illustration of the general attitude of mind toward the Old Testament, which, in the course of this address, I have been trying to explain to my people."

Rev. Jackson's people, "my people," are Methodists and the evidence is that they are following Rev. Jackson into infidelity as his sheep and are not giving attention to the voice of the true Shepherd; possibly because they have not heard his word sufficiently to know his voice and to realize that they should be his people, his sheep, if they would be properly guided to his heavenly fold.

From the stenographic report of Rev. Jackson's presentation he holds that the Bible is not of Divine inspiration; that its statements are not worthy of all acceptation, and that they are not sufficient "that the man of God should be thoroughly furnished to every good word and work." – 2 Tim. 3:17.

Something of a storm was raised amongst the theologians of Toronto, but apparently not over the truth or falsity of Rev. Jackson's presentations, but rather over the fact that Rev. Dr. Carman, also a Methodist, who took the opposite position favored by the Bible, understood Rev. Jackson to charge him with taking his stand for the Bible, not honestly but through cowardice. When Rev. Jackson withdrew all imputation of cowardice the disturbance subsided. The newspapers noted the fact that many ministers endorsed Rev. George Jackson's position. Some of them, however, thought the controversy of little moment and that religion should be viewed from the practical and not the theoretical standpoint, and afterward called it a "theological tempest in a teapot." What cared this reverend gentleman whether Genesis be true or a lie – a Revelation from God or a work of monkey-men? He took the view that all thinking men were in the same boat in taking the biblical story of the creation of the world...not as correct history. In other words, they had so little faith in the inspiration of the Scriptures as to be unwilling to contend for the same and believed that their theologies would stand, even if the Scriptures should fall. Alas! we believe this to be only too true: that the majority of theological views contain so little of the Bible that its elimination would affect them but little. On the contrary, were they to lose the teachings of Plato and Aristotle respecting human immortality they would be sadly bereft indeed.

A LAYMAN TO THE RESCUE

In the midst of the commotion the Hon. S. H. Blake stepped forward to champion the Bible as a Divine Revelation "worthy of all acceptation and able to make us wise unto salvation." He has been investigating the matter and finds the colleges of Canada thoroughly given over to Higher Critical Views and teachings (the same being true of the United States and everywhere). The Hon. Blake, supposing these colleges to be blameworthy for the general alienation of ministers from the Bible as the Word of God, has been inquiring into the legality of their teaching theology at all and seems to find, to his own satisfaction at last, that they have no such authority; that the teaching of theology is by Canadian Law restricted to another class of colleges, not Universities. Alas! how rude will be the awakening of the Hon. Blake when he discovers that the theological colleges and seminaries are teaching precisely the same Higher Critical Infidelity – that all the preachers of all the denominations are being ruined as respects faith in the Bible as the Word of God! However, we greatly admire Hon. Blake's stand for the Bible as the Word of God and subjoin some of his arguments which he has presented in pamphlet form under the caption, "The teaching of Religious Knowledge in University Colleges Ultra Vires":

" * * * As the minds of an increased number of young men and women are turning to the mission field, there will no doubt be more students from year to year ready to take advantage of the opinions or instruction referred to. The theological colleges may for this reason look forward to many additional students.

"I believe that this is the cause of the increased interest in legitimate Bible study, which I hope may continue, notwithstanding persistent efforts made in and outside of our theological and other institutions to frustrate such study by seeking to make the Word of God of no effect by the ever-changing motions of a noisy class of men who take for their motto: 'Quantum est quoid scimus,' instead of the more lowly one – the mark of the truly learned, as he picks a pebble on the vast ocean of learning – 'Quantum est quod nesimus.' It will be an evil day for our ministers, missionaries, and teachers, should God permit that what appears to be about the only sure standing ground left us in the world be shaken to its centre; that the statement, 'The Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever,' is proclaimed as an hallucination, and that being born of 'Incorruptible seed by the Word of God' is an old-fashioned delusion, to be rejected with as little compunction as if it were a heathen fable. If we pursue this process of disintegration so that the wonderful cohesive power of this Book shall cease, its author may well write over this wreck, 'They have sown the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind.'"

[R4362 : page 100]
HIS OWN CREED

" * * * I have never been in the least shaken in the simple creed as to the Bible given to me as a child over sixty-five years ago.

"(1) Nothing is more probable than that our Creator who is hereafter to be our Judge, should give to his creatures a revelation of his will concerning them, and lay down rules and regulations for the conduct of their life, for obedience to which they shall one day be answerable to him.

"(2) A book is found which purports to come from him, and which gives such a revelation. This Book, wherever found, and made the guide of life, has raised the individual and the people so using it to a position not reached by those ignorant of its contents or who refuse its guidance.

"(3) The God who created the universe and all the wonders therein found and preserves them in their places, could undoubtedly give with accuracy such a revelation and could preserve it to his people for the purpose intended without error.

"(4) No other book has ever been found purporting to be the Word of God, and which could answer the purposes above set forth.

"(5) 'When the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us...the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,' there was a well authenticated volume in existence to which 'the Light of the world' continually referred, saying: 'Search the Scriptures'; 'The Scriptures must be fulfilled'; 'The Scripture cannot be broken.' He ever referred to this Volume as the Word of God, as the infallible rule, test, and touchstone. He thus endorsed in the most unmistakable manner all the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God.

THE OPINION OF JOHN WESLEY

"I thankfully acknowledge the immense debt I am under to this simple presentation concerning our Bible, from which standpoint I have never been in the slightest degree moved by the ever-changing and never-to-be-relied-upon attacks of those who, not looking or asking for spiritual discernment, merely kiss the Book that they may endeavor to persuade people that their hostile attacks are made in the reverent spirit of investigation.

"Amidst the perpetual attacks made by the clergymen of our various churches, and especially by those in our theological colleges, upon the Bible, it is refreshing to turn to the writings of a well-known clergyman of the Church of England – the Reverend John Wesley, whose use of the Bible wrought so marvelous a change in England at a period when it was nearly drifting to a revolution which might have paralleled that in France of the eighteenth century. He says in the third volume of his writings, page 504:

"'It would be excusable if these menders of the Bible would offer their hypotheses modestly. But one cannot excuse them when they not only obtrude their novel scheme with the utmost confidence, but even ridicule that scriptural one which always was, and is now, held by men of the greatest learning and piety in the world. Hereby they promote the cause of infidelity more effectually than either Hume or Voltaire.'

QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED

" * * * You have presented a strong appeal to me in your letter. Will you permit me to urge upon you the two following requests? The first is, Will you use your best endeavors, as chancellor of Victoria College, to place Toronto University and University College in their true position under the incorporating acts, by preventing in either of them, through a 'back door,' or by any other mode of entrance, teaching and examinations in 'religious knowledge,' or 'theological [R4363 : page 100] subjects'? * * * * The second is, If the theological institutions in affiliation with the university insist on instruction in these subjects and on the lines above referred to, then in common fairness let the laymen, whose money is demanded to support such instruction, know exactly what is the teaching that is insisted upon. Let there be a meeting of these new lights, and insist upon a positive statement showing clearly:

"(a) What books of the Bible, in addition to Jonah, do they think should be eliminated as not being the inspired Word of God, to be accepted as such by their students;

"(b) What chapters in the other books of the Bible they consider should be treated in the same manner; what portions of the books are:

(c) Merely myths;

(d) What allegories;

(e) What poetical effusions, to be merely admired;

(f) In what way do they replace the story of the creation;

(g) Was there any Garden of Eden;

(h) Was there any Adam or Eve;

(i) Was there any Satan;

(j) Was there any sin;

(k) Was there any punishment for it;

(l) Was there any promise of a Saviour;

(m) Was there any deluge;

(n) Was there any Abraham;

(o) By what means is the ordinary reader to know what portions (if any) of this Book are to be taken as the absolute Word of God, to be accepted and acted upon at the peril of the reader, and when does the apparent Word of God pass into scientific subjects, unreliable history, poetical effusions, myths, allegories, parables, etc., which are withdrawn from the region of inspiration and are merely human utterances, to be dealt with as the reader pleases?

A SCIENTIFIC BIBLE

" * * * * It would be a matter of very great relief to a large number of Christian men if the result of these investigations to which you refer were put into the concrete shape of a real Bible, showing what portions (if any) are the inspired Word of God, to be accepted as such, and putting as an appendix the errant human portion, including 'mistakes of Moses.' This would go far to settle the minds of many people and to prevent controversies."

A SUGGESTION TO MANY "TOWER" READERS

The following brought us many replies. Other friends in other cities and through other papers may do as well. This is commendable for its brevity and what it does not attempt to explain:

THE SCRIPTURES RE HADES

To the Editor: In reply to the letter by "A Sinner Saved by Grace" in The American recently I wish to thank our friend for calling our attention to the Scripture concordance on the several words – hell, pit, devil, second death, fire, brimstone, etc. I assure all American readers that we find on examination of the Scriptures upon these subjects that the word "hell" in the Old Testament is translated from the Hebrew word sheol, which occurs in all 65 times, and in every instance it refers to grave, pit, state of the dead – a state in which there is no consciousness or pain or knowledge or device of any kind.

Please note following texts: Amos 9:2; Psalms 139:8; Psalms 16:10; 6:5; 49:14,15; 89:49; 115:17; Ezek. 32:27; Jonah 2:1,2; Gen. 37:35; 42:38; Job 14:13; 17:13; Eccl. 9:10, etc. In the New Testament we find the word "hades" translated hell, and it is synonymous with "sheol" in the Old Testament. For proof texts see Acts 13:35. In regard to the devil we find Heb. 2:14; Rom. 16:29, etc., that he is to be destroyed. Consequently when we read in the symbolical book of Revelation that Satan and the beast and the false prophet are to be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, which is called the second death, we can be sure it is the same penalty that is everywhere in Scripture pronounced against all evil-doers. See Rom. 6:23; 5:12; Ezek. 18:4; Gen. 2:17; Psalms 49:12-16; Psalms 46:4; Psalms 6:5; Eccl. 9:5-10; 3:19,20,22-29; Job 14:21, etc.

I would advise all Bible students who are seeking for truth and a clear understanding of the Bible and God's plan of salvation with mankind to procure a free copy of a magazine which treats this subject thoroughly. Address Brooklyn Tabernacle, New York.

A BIBLE STUDENT.

Baltimore, March 1, 1909.

[R4363 : page 101] [In the top left quarter of this page there is an illustration of a "LIBERAL MINISTER" preaching from the "ADVANCED THEOLOGY PULPIT" with the following list of teachings printed on a scroll to the left:]

TAUGHT IN MANY SERMONS TO-DAY

"ALL RELIGIONS ARE GOOD."

"IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE
WHAT CHURCH YOU BELONG
TO, OR WHAT YOU BELIEVE
AS LONG AS YOU LIVE UP TO
ITS TEACHINGS."

"THE THEATRE IS AN UPLIFTING
INSTITUTION.
(EXCEPT ON SUNDAYS)"

"THEATRE GOING, CARD PLAYING
NOVEL READING, DANCING ETC.
ARE NOT INCONSISTENT WITH
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE."

"DARWIN, SPENCER AND
HUXLEY WERE PROPHETS
NO LESS THAN MOSES."

"IF THE BIBLE DISAGREES
WITH "SCIENCE" DISCARD
THE BIBLE."

[end of illustration]

ALAS, TOO TRUE!!

Whilst we deplore and condemn the prostitution of the ministry of the Gospel, and the apparent dishonesty of so many "ambassadors for Christ" falsely so-called, nevertheless, we are not without sympathy for the perverts. They have reached their present position gradually. First deceived by the "doctrines of devils," re immortality in torment, they gradually lost all faith in all creeds and in the Bible. But they needed bread and butter, and concluded that all the world is deluded and that they, as well as others, may serve to the world the delusions they desire.

Perhaps they even convince themselves that they can serve others better by promulgating error than preaching truth. Gradually their moral sense becomes benumbed until they practice deceit with a feeling that it is noble and ennobling.

How all who discern the Truth, the beauty of the Divine Word, should rejoice therein and handle it carefully, lest they lose the priceless jewel! Soon its value will be seen as never before – the day shall declare it.

With malice toward none and charity for all, let us, whose eyes of understanding are opened to the light of the Morning, be faithful to the Truth, whether men hear or forbear to hear.

[R4364 : page 101]

UNWORTHY OF EVERLASTING LIFE
ACTS 13:13-52. – MAY 9. –

Golden Text: – "The Word of the Lord was published throughout all the region." – V. 49.

A
LTHOUGH the missionary journey was only beginning, this lesson starts with the statement of what "Paul and his company did," whereas previously the narrative was respecting Barnabas and Paul. Barnabas was still the "Son of Consolation," still loved and approved of the Lord, but Paul was his "chosen vessel to bear his name to the Gentiles," and the special power of God upon him and through him promptly manifested itself. If, thereby, any spirit of jealousy awakened in the bosom of Barnabas, it was a great mistake. We trust that there was not – that he still realized that his special talent for Divine service was in being a "Son of Consolation" – now privileged to help, to encourage, to comfort St. Paul. To so do would be to properly recognize the Lord's oversight of his own work, and to rejoice to have his will done. Similar testings come to all of the Lord's brethren to this day – testings of humility, of brotherly love, of full submission to the Lord – of faith in his guidance of his own work. These testings are specially severe upon brethren of prominence in the Church. Hence the Apostle's exhortation, "Be not many of you teachers, brethren, knowing that the man (who is a teacher – in any failure) shall receive the greater condemnation." (Jas. 3:1.) Nor can we complain against the providence which thus tests us; rather we must concede the propriety of it; that those being selected for the glorious privileges of the future must fully demonstrate to the Lord humility and absolute loyalty to his will, even in our secret thoughts. Let us each apply the lesson, remembering the Apostle's words, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." (I Cor. 10:12.) And again, "Humble yourselves, therefore, brethren, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." – I Pet. 5:6.

The same verse briefly states that John Mark departed from the missionaries, returning to his home at Jerusalem. What led him to this course is not stated. Faintness of heart, lack of faith, lack of courage – some arrows of the Adversary evidently smote him. This is evidenced by the fact that St. Paul was unwilling to accept him as a companion on a future missionary tour. Evidently he learned a valuable lesson, however, since we find that eventually he was restored to the Apostle's favor, as indicated by Col. 4:10 and 2 Tim. 4:11. While rejoicing in this recovery it is well that we resolve that such a course will not be ours, but that, as our Lord suggests, after having put our hands to the plow we will not look back, but press forward to the goal.

Another lesson is that those who are unfaithful under such conditions should not be received back again, just as though they had been faithful. Doubtless it was to Mark's everlasting advantage that St. Paul rebuked him and declined his further companionship for work until he had shown evidences of more developed character. The lesson of reconciliation is valuable, too. We should remember Gladstone's remark that "No man ever became great or good, except through many and great mistakes"; also Wayland's remark, "I saw a man last week who has not made a mistake for four thousand years. He is a mummy in the Egyptian Department of the British Museum. The only people who make no mistakes are dead people."

A NOTABLE SERMON BY A NOTABLE MAN

The next prominent stop of the missionaries was at Antioch of Pisidia, a great city, though not such a metropolis as the Antioch of our last lesson. (There were in all sixteen Antiochs.)

The first Sabbath day found Paul and Barnabas in a Jewish synagogue, according to their custom; because the Jews who had been waiting for the fulfilment of the Messianic prophecies were the best prepared soil for the Gospel message; at least so far as their heads were concerned. Entering with the others they took seats and, after prayers, listened to the reading of a portion of the Law, a selection from the prophets by the Elder of the congregation, styled the "angel [R4364 : page 102] of the synagogue." Then came the time for addresses by the rabbis or other learned persons. The officiating Rabbi recognized Paul and Barnabas as intelligent and cultured men and sent them word that they would be pleased to have them use the liberty of the synagogue, and give the people an address, if they felt so disposed. Then Paul stood up in his place, not going to the public stand. Saluting with his hand, St. Paul began his address, saying that he had something that should be heard by all Israelites and by others who reverenced God. He proceeded in a wonderful discourse, which in some particulars reminds us of Stephen's address – which St. Paul had doubtless heard and rejected. His argument was: –

(1) That God, having a great blessing to bestow upon mankind, had chosen the nation of Israel as a channel for the blessing; and that his care for that nation, ordering its affairs for centuries, was in line with this original purpose.

(2) He showed that, by and by, in that nation of Israel God had further indicated the choice of a special family through which the blessing should come. Messiah was to be the offspring of David. And "the sure mercies of David," to be accomplished in Messiah, would mean God's sure mercies to Israel as a nation, because Messiah would come to them as their King.

(3) Finally, after centuries of waiting, Messiah did come in this very line of descent – of the house of Israel – of the family of David – Jesus of Nazareth. – V. 23.

(4) The Messiahship of Jesus had already been recognized to a considerable extent. – Vs. 24-26.

(5) The Jewish nation as a whole, however, represented by their rulers, heedless of the testimony of the prophets, and ignoring Jesus' manifest purity, had accomplished his death through the Romans. – Vs. 27-29.

(6) The Messiahship of Jesus was proven by his resurrection from the dead. This accorded with the prophecies of the Scriptures and was attested by numerous witnesses. (Vs. 30-37.) Note the absence of cant and rant in this discourse. Note the appeal to reason, the logic of the argument – fact upon fact, each in its proper place and order. However, the mere recitation of these facts might have accomplished little. The Apostle proceeded to draw from the facts a great lesson, most important to his hearers, namely, that

(7) All were sinners, and that Jesus, the Messiah, through his death, had become the Saviour of sinners. Whatever his future work, he was already doing work for all those who would hear the message and give hearty response.

Here is still the test of the right preaching of the Gospel. It must recognize sin and not claim, as Evolutionists do, that "If man fell at all he fell upward"; that instead of being condemned of God as a sinner, man is being approved of God for his evoluting endeavors and successes. The Gospel of Christ recognizes Original Sin and the fall from God's likeness, the need of a Ransom sacrifice, the fact that Christ is our Redeemer and that "by his stripes we are [to be] healed"; that through his death our reconciliation was made possible; and that reconciliation means the covering of the sins of the believer from God's sight now, his privilege of entering the School of Christ and being prepared for heavenly glory. The Apostle briefly showed how justification from sin and alienation from God has thus been made possible – a justification far greater and more thorough than that which the Jews had enjoyed for centuries under their Law Covenant; for theirs was only for a year and the "Law made nothing perfect," while the blood of Jesus, applied on behalf of believers, is effective for all of the various kinds and degrees of sin traceable, directly or indirectly, to the original sin of Adam, under which condemnation passed upon all.

THE WARNINGS OF THE GOSPEL

Notice carefully that the Apostle did not say to his hearers that a rejection of his message would condemn them to eternal torment. Not a word of that. But he did quote them an Old Testament Scripture which said, "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you." – Acts 13:41.

Nor does the Apostle say that his quotation declares absolute hopelessness for the despisers when they perish. The prophecy merely states that God's Plan would be declared and that all who despised it would nevertheless wonder at it and would perish without availing themselves of the blessings of salvation. God knows, not we, how many of these despisers who wonder, while perishing, have sinned against a sufficiency of light to hinder them from ever having any further opportunity during the Millennium. The Apostle does assure us that "Satan, the god of this world, hath blinded the minds of them which believe not," and the Scriptures assure us that the time is nearing when Satan shall be "bound" and deceive the people no more. (2 Cor. 4:4.) The same Apostle assures us that when the New Covenant shall be sealed and its beneficent arrangement inaugurated, God "will have all men to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the truth." – I Tim. 2:4.

In the older manuscripts the 42nd verse reads differently and indicates that the Apostles, after having delivered their address, did not stop (as was the usual custom) in the synagogues to hear and answer questions. Having delivered their message they preferred that it should take effect upon the hearts and that the discussion sure to follow might thus be delayed for a time. The people present, both Jews and proselytes, exhorted the Apostles that they might hear more of these things. One version implies that they desired this further information during the week; another, that they would expect it on the following Sabbath. In the synagogue there were quite a number who were devout, and, of course, a still larger number who were merely formalistic in their worship. [R4365 : page 102] The devout ones, as usual, were interested in the Truth. They followed the missionaries, who exhorted them "to continue in the grace of God," to realize that they had already been recipients of God's grace through the Law and the prophets and that they should go on and attain to the full fruition of their hopes, through the Lord's continued guidance, indicating that our Lord's advent and work were but a further part in the grace of God, in which they had already become sharers, and that to reject this would be to reject all the favors hitherto bestowed upon them.

ENVY, EVIL-SPEAKING, CONTENTION, BLASPHEMY

The next Sabbath there was a great concourse to hear the Apostles. Whether they spoke inside the synagogue or from its steps to people gathered in a broad plaza, we are not told. However, they had not proceeded far in their discourse until there were interruptions, contradictions, anger and blasphemy from some of the prominent Jews. Envy was at the bottom of all this. Their preaching had never drawn such crowds, and besides, the message given by these Apostles claimed to be something better than Judaism offered, something better than the Law and its sacrifices and feasts and fasts. Behold, how the Truth is a searcher of the heart! How it draws some and repels others! What a foe to Truth is the spirit of ambition, of jealousy, of envy! How it leads the natural man to anger, malice, hatred, strife, envy! And how the interests of the New Creature are endangered from this same quarter! How pertinent St. Paul's exhortation that all who name the name of Christ shall put off anger, malice and strife and works of the devil and be clothed with meekness, patience, love, if we would fight the good fight and gain the great prize!

The effect upon the missionaries was to embolden them. They had spoken most gently, avoiding everything to arouse prejudice and opposition; but now, when, in spite of all, the opposition arose and threatened the efficacy of the Truth, they must be bold. They must state plainly the facts. They must show the envious, evil-speakers just where they stood. The people in general, dominated by these leaders, needed also to be shown the line of Truth. Now the Apostle declared, "We have done our duty in giving you Jews the first opportunity to hear of this grace of God, but seeing that you thrust it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, we turn to the Gentiles."

JUDGE YOURSELVES UNWORTHY

What a force there is in these words! God has so arranged matters during this Gospel Age that his Word of [R4365 : page 103] Truth and grace judges, tests, the honesty, the sincerity of those who profess to be his. It was not that the Apostle was judging their hearts and saying, You are not worthy of this message. The rejection of the message showed that the hearer was unworthy at heart. Each one who thus decided added to the count or list of those not worthy of eternal life under present conditions, under the present offer to faith and obedience. How many of them will have any further opportunity, and whether or not the further opportunity would avail them anything, is not for us to say. They are in the Lord's hands. Whatever he shall do for them will be entirely satisfactory to all who have the mind of Christ. We are sure of the

"Love Divine, all love excelling," and that it will give every member of Adam's race a full, impartial trial for life eternal, as a result of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

Similarly today some who hear the message reject it with anger and malice and hatred and strife. They little realize that they are passing judgment upon themselves and proving by their prejudicial course and lack of harmony with righteousness that they are not worthy of life everlasting. And alas! some who had tasted of the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come and been made partakers of the holy Spirit and been fellowshiped as disciples and fellow-heirs of the same Body – some of these, Judas-like, at times have withdrawn themselves in similar anger, hatred, malice, strife, bitterness, blasphemy, evil-speaking. Alas! we fear that their case is hopeless as respects a future trial.

We shall be glad for anything that God may have for them, but we are reminded of the words, "It is impossible to renew them again unto repentance," if they fall away from the Truth, after once having seen and enjoyed it. It is notable, too, that such, as a rule, lose all fear of Second Death. Their eyes of understanding on this, as well as on other features of the Plan, grow dim. Our sorrow for them would be unspeakably deep, were it not that we realize that "The Lord will judge his people" and that we are in the day of which he has foretold us – when the sifting and shaking and purging of his people is due to take place. When we realize that "he doeth all things well," and makes no mistakes, it convinces us that we might have greatly erred in the past respecting heart condition, or that changes of character can be speedily effected under the bite, the poison, the sting, of pride, envy, slander, etc.

Then the missionaries quoted from the prophecies the Lord's Word, to the effect that the light which was to first shine to Israel was also to be to the Gentiles, and that the salvation which was first offered to the covenanted people was yet to extend to the uttermost parts of the earth. How consoling! How satisfying! We are reminded that but very few realize the length and breadth of this great salvation through the only name; that it is yet to extend to every creature, even though it requires the Millennial Kingdom to bring this widespread knowledge and glorious opportunity.

When the Gentiles heard this they were glad and honored the Word of the Lord. "And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." This does not signify ordained of God to have eternal life, but literally so many of them as were of the class and character which God proposed should have eternal life – these believed. There is a good thought here which applies as a general principle, namely, under the Divine arrangement, the Truth and the believing of it, are so related that only those of a certain cast of mind can believe, under present conditions. This includes the thought that they must have a certain harmony with God and righteousness, and that they must submit their minds to the Lord, that they may be taught of him through the channels he may be pleased to use.

The result of these efforts was a widespread recognition of the Truth – of the message of God – "The Word of the Lord was spread abroad throughout all the region."

"On! Fear not, nor falter,
But give of your best;
It is all that an angel can do;
Leave the rest unto God; he is sure,
And he loves more your flags
When the powers of darkness have rent them to rags.
The law of the soul is eternal endeavor,
And bears the man onward and upward forever."

[R4365 : page 103]



"MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT"

"And to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel." – Heb. 12:24.


THE ORIGINAL ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

The Apostle declares that God preached the Gospel in advance to Abraham, saying, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 28:14.) The Apostle shows that the original Abrahamic Covenant contained two parts, or two seeds, represented in the two statements, Thy seed shall be, (1) as the stars in heaven, and, (2) as the sands of the seashore. The first seed mentioned relates to Christ – Jesus, the Head, and the Church, his Body. The Apostle enunciates and emphasizes this in Galatians 3:11,29. Abraham's spiritual Seed, like the stars of heaven and the brightness of the firmament, is the channel through which the secondary seed will receive its blessing. The secondary seed of Abraham, likened to the sands of the seashore, represents [R4366 : page 103] all the families of the earth, which ultimately will come into harmony with God, during the Millennial Age. As Abraham typified God, the picture shows two classes of God's children, developed through Abraham – Christ and the Church on the spirit plane and the perfected Restitution Class of mankind on the earthly plane.

Two Seeds

The Apostle refers to these two seeds, the one developed under Faith and the other under Law and works. The first, the spiritual Seed under the Abrahamic Covenant, is now in process of development during this Gospel Age. The second, the seed according to the flesh, the Restitution Class, is to be developed under the New Covenant and by its Mediator, according to Law and works and actual perfection and not reckoned by faith merely. Its type was the Law Covenant, which had Moses for its Mediator, but which brought nothing to perfection. The Apostle's words are, "Therefore it (the Abrahamic Covenant, covering the Church) is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the intent that the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the [R4366 : page 104] Law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all" – as Jehovah will be the Father of all the saved, not only of the Church Class, but also of the restituted world. As it is written, "I have made thee a father of many nations." – Rom. 4:16,17.

Abrahamic Covenant All Comprehensive

All the families of the earth, all the nations that will be blessed (to whom the blessing will become effective) will thereby become the children of God, whom Abraham prefigured. It is to be hoped, then, that we can all see that the original Covenant made with Abraham includes everything that God promised to give, both to the Church and, through the Church to such of the world as will receive the grace of God not in vain. Notice that no additional Covenants were necessary so far as the Divine determination is concerned – it was all in the original Abrahamic Covenant.

TWO COVENANTS ADDED

If the original Covenant contained the Divine Promise to the full, both for the Church and for all the families of the earth to be blessed through the Church during the Millennium, why did God arrange for two other Covenants, namely (1) the Law Covenant, instituted at Mt. Sinai with the nation of Israel, with Moses as its Mediator, and, (2) the New Covenant, which is to follow and is to bless Israel and the world? We answer that these two Covenants were added for the good and sufficient reason that they further elucidate the Divine Purpose, and, rightly understood, help us to appreciate the operation of Divine love and justice, past, present and to come.

Object of Law Covenant

(1) The Law Covenant. What was its object? The Scriptures answer that it was added to the Abrahamic Covenant to fill up the time until the promised Seed should come, to whom the original Covenant applied, and that this was necessary, because of sin, that the high Divine standard for the Seed might be shown. It is certainly a fact that the Law Covenant with the nation of Israel rendered this very service. It set up the standard which approved Jesus and condemned all others. It helped to develop the Jewish nation towards God and towards righteousness. It helped to fit and prepare them for the glorious "calling" of the Gospel, as it ultimately came to them, inviting them to the Divine favor and joint-heirship with Messiah in the glorious Millennial Kingdom, upon conditions of faithfulness and following in the footsteps of their Redeemer. It had a beneficial effect in that, under God's providences, the Jewish nation was the most advanced in righteousness of any nation of the world at the time of our Lord's first advent, so that amongst them several thousands were found fit for transfer from Moses to Christ. Furthermore the arrangements of the Law Covenant provided for certain typical transactions and for prophecies which have been very helpful to Spiritual Israel during this Gospel Age, illustrating to us in the types and shadows of the Law, and enunciating through the prophecies, various matters appertaining to the blessing of the Church during this Gospel Age and to the blessing of the world during the Millennium.

Hidden Truths

This conglomeration, this mixing, of the matters pertaining to two Ages in the types of the Law Covenant have confused things, to some minds. The Lord hides things from us so as to develop in us the necessity of searching for them. Thus the children of God grow stronger from the Truths, by reason of the difficulties they have in the mastication of them, even as it is with the natural food; those who thoroughly masticate obtain the better nourishment.

Law Covenant Added Nothing

Thus we have clearly before our minds the thought that the Law Covenant "made nothing perfect" and added not a whit to the original Abrahamic Covenant, though it gave certain typical foreshadowings in connection with the general plan. That the Law Covenant was never intended to take the place of the original Covenant, is the Apostle's argument. He develops this at considerable length in Galatians 4:21-31. The Apostle addresses Christian believers who, while recognizing Christ as the original inheritor of the Abrahamic Covenant, felt that somehow or other they were still under the Law Covenant, very much as some of us for a time recognized Christ and the completeness of the Abrahamic Covenant, and yet somehow supposed, without Scriptural authority, that we additionally needed the New Covenant and were under it. We now see that the Church, the Body of Christ, is not under either the old Law Covenant, which came to an end, or under the New (Law) Covenant, which has not yet been even sealed.

Spiritual Israelites Have Superior Portion

What we Spiritual Israelites have is the superior portion of joint-heirship with Christ in the Original Covenant represented by Sarah, as the Apostle distinctly declares in Galatians 3:29, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's Seed and heirs according to that promise."

Second Addition to Abrahamic Covenant

The world is to get all of its blessings and favors of Restitution through the New (Law) Covenant, the second addition to the Original Covenant. This New (Law) Covenant has not yet been instituted, because the Mediator, who is to inaugurate it and to cause its blessings to reach to every member of the race during the Millennial Age, has not yet been completed. The New (Law) Covenant will be inaugurated in the end of this Gospel Age, and will embrace the entire period of the Millennial Age. This is the teaching of the Apostle in our text. Jesus our Redeemer and Head is its appointed Mediator, in the merit of his own sacrifice finished on Calvary. He could have sealed it and could have begun at once its operation, had not the Father "provided some better thing for us," his Church, his Bride whom God foreknew as his members. This is "the mystery," that the Gospel Age has been devoted to the development of the "body" of Messiah, the Mediator by sacrifice.

Inauguration of Both Covenants Contrasted

In Hebrews 12th Chapter St. Paul points us down to the end of this Age and to the inauguration of the New Age, under the New (Law) Covenant. He shows that its inauguration is typified in the inauguration of the old or typical Law Covenant. He draws the contrast between the two. When the Old Law Covenant was instituted, Moses came down from the mountain and set forth the tables of the Law and sprinkled them with the blood, sealing the Covenant in a sense, and then took of the blood and sprinkled all the people. This was typical of what is to occur shortly. The anti-typical Moses, The Christ (Jesus the Head, and the Church, the Body) will come down from the mount veiled, hidden, because mankind could not endure the glory of the shining presence.

Both Covenants Inaugurated with Blood

The inauguration of the Law Covenant was accomplished in a typical time of trouble, a shaking of the mountain, the fearing and quaking of the people. The antitype of what occurred at Mt. Sinai will take place at Mt. Zion (the Millennial Kingdom of Christ) as soon as the "election" closes and the new age opens. The Great Mediator (Head and Body) veiled, hiding the glory of the spirit condition, will set forth the Law, and sprinkle it with his blood of the New (Law) Covenant – as Moses took of blood and sprinkled the (Old) Law Covenant in the type. The difference is that Moses sprinkled the tables of the Law with the blood of bulls and goats, but the antitypical Moses, the Mediator of the New (Law) Covenant, will (symbolically) sprinkle the Law with the antitypical blood of the better sacrifices (antitypes of the bullock and the goat) – "his own blood" – not only the precious blood of Jesus, but the blood of the sacrifices of all those whom he shall have accepted as "members of his Body." Then, as Moses sprinkled all the people at Mt. Sinai in the type, so in the antitype, on a larger scale, the Christ, Jesus and his members, will, during the Millennium, sprinkle all the people, that is bring all mankind to a knowledge of the Truth and to an appreciation of their privileges of full return to harmony with God and his Divine laws and regulations.

"SOME BETTER THING FOR US"


Pastor Russell Emphatic

We hope that the Lord has blessed us with great plainness of speech in treating this subject, and that every reader can clearly discern that God's Covenant with Abraham primarily related to the Seed of promise and faith only, and was symbolized by Sarah, who bore the Seed. The Law Covenant, Hagar bore not the Seed, failing to perfect anything. The New (Law) Covenant costs the death of the Seed in order to pass the earthly rights back to natural Israel and through them to the world of mankind. And this so, not because God could not have done otherwise but because it pleased God to do it thus. [R4366 : page 105]

Well did the Apostle declare that there is a "mystery" connected with the peculiar relationship of Christ and "the Church, which is his Body." So heavily clouded is this Mystery that the Jews could not see it at all, except the few who were Israelites indeed, and they not until after they had been imbued with the holy Spirit at Pentecost. Even then, as St. Paul pointed out, it was difficult for them to grasp the Mystery, that the Gentiles also were to be fellow-heirs with themselves in these special blessings that appertained to Messiah [R4367 : page 105] and the faithful few, the "very elect."

Whoever realizes that the Church is Joint-Heir with her Lord; that those who now suffer with him shall also reign with him by and by, should have no difficulty in seeing that the death of the Church, as the Apostle declares, "fills up that which is behind of the afflictions of The Christ," and that only those who thus have part in the afflictions of Christ will have a share in the glory that shall follow. We are at a loss for words to make this subject more plain than it is already stated in the Scriptures. What we each need is the enlightening of the eyes of our understanding, that will enable us to discern "the deep things of God." But the Scriptures assure us that these "deep things" of the "mystery" are only for the Spirit begotten. – I Cor. 2:10,13.

This holy Spirit is one of humility and faith and obedience of heart – and, so far as possible, of word and of deed also. We trust that the Vow is helping many to get into this attitude, where they will be the nearer to the Lord and thus have the more abundant favor and blessing and enlightenment. One thing to be borne in mind is that our sacrifices would be without merit or value; that it is only because our Redeemer adopts us as his members and imputes his merit to us and counts our sacrifices as a part of his own – only thus does any merit attach to anything that we may say or do or sacrifice.

Whoever sees the above clearly must see that during this Gospel Age the branches of the Vine have been in process of development and are a part of it; and that only as they bear the fruit of the Vine will they be retained as members thereof. This picture of the vintage of the Church, the One Vine – Christ – the crushing of all the grapes, and the gathering of all the wine, is a picture of the experiences of the whole Church.

The Church's Participation

Another picture of the same thing loses sight of the Vine, and represents our participation with the Lord by the Cup itself. Our Lord, after participating of the Cup, gave it to his disciples, urging that they drink all of it. That Cup of suffering and self-denial has come down to us during eighteen centuries, and is still with us. It is a prophetic Cup, representing all the sacrifices and all the sufferings of all the members of the Body of Christ, from the Head down to the humblest feet members.

The faithful of the past have participated and the Cup has now come to us, and the Master's voice still says, "Drink ye all of it." Soon the last drop of it will be drained and then the sufferings of the Church which is his body – the Body of Christ – will have been completed. Immediately, through the resurrection, the glorious "change" promised shall follow.

Of that Cup of suffering of which the Lord tasted and which he passed on to his followers, and members, he said, "This is the Cup of the New (Testament) Covenant shed for many for the remission of sins. Drink ye all of it." Participate ye all in it. It is not for the world to drink of that cup of the sufferings of Christ. That honor is reserved for his saints. They alone may participate with their Lord in his sufferings. If the blood of the New Covenant be participated in by all the faithful members of the Body of Christ, how could the New Covenant itself be sealed until the members of the Body had all participated? It would be impossible. Whoever sees clearly that which is a "mystery" to the world must see that the work of The Christ in the inauguration of the New Covenant could not begin until the perfecting of his own Body, which is the Church. And the first, the initial feature of the inauguration of the New Covenant, is its sealing with the blood, and all of his blood has not yet been shed.

New Law Covenant Not Faith, but Works

This sealing of the New (Law) Covenant has nothing to do with the ransom nor with our justification. We are not justified by any Covenant, but by faith in the precious blood of Jesus. Who cannot see that nobody could be justified by faith under the New (Law) Covenant? The Law is not a "new" faith arrangement but a "new" work arrangement. The Old Law Covenant (of works) failed only because its mediator could not render the needed aid. The New Law Covenant (of works) will succeed because it has a "better Mediator," able to restore to perfection, and ability for perfect works, all who will.

ABRAHAM'S THREE WIVES

Abraham had three wives; Sarah, his original spouse; then later, Hagar, Sarah's maid, whom she urged upon him as a supposed assistance to God in the carrying out of the Covenant, after a long delay and waiting; and third, after Sarah's death, Abraham took Keturah to wife, and by her had many children, whereas by the primary wife and by the maid, but one each. The Apostle's language justifies us in considering this matter allegorical or typical. The holy Spirit, through St. Paul, tells us that Sarah represented the essence of the original Covenant and that Hagar represented the Law Covenant. He explains that the Jewish people were in bondage under their Law Covenant and therefore the antitypes of Ishmael, Hagar's son, and that these were cast out from Divine favor, even as Hagar and her son were cast off from Abraham's family by Divine instruction, and to make the type complete. The Apostle introduces this lesson to show us that the Covenant of Grace, under which the Gospel Church is developed, has nothing whatever to do with the Covenant of the Law; that the two were separate and distinct.

Children of Covenants Distinctly Separate

Hagar's child might indeed appear to be the child of Sarah for a time, but it was not; even as Sarah's child, Isaac, was in no sense Hagar's son. The Apostle's argument is, "So, then, brethren, we, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise" – the original Covenant, and not children of the Law Covenant. Similarly, we fancy, the Apostle, if writing today to those who claim to be under the New Covenant, represented in the type by Keturah, would tell them plainly, "You cannot be children of two covenants, children of two mothers." If you are children of the Keturah Covenant in any sense or degree, you cannot be the children of the Sarah Covenant; and if you are children of the Sarah Covenant, then in no sense or degree can you be the children of the Keturah Covenant, or New Covenant – which is not yet in existence.

"CHILDREN OF THE OATH"

The original Covenant with Abraham, typified by his wife Sarah, is the one which God bound with an oath, and which the Apostle describes in Hebrews 6:13-20 and which he calls "the hope set before us in the Gospel" and our "anchor sure and steadfast within the veil." We, then, are the children of the oath of God, the children of "the promise." Our begetting promise, through Christ, to the New Nature, is wholly different from the promise by which the Jews were begotten, as the house of servants; and wholly different also from the promises by which restored Israel and all the families of the earth will be begotten to human nature through Restitution processes, as the children of the Keturah Covenant.

Differences Between Promises

What is the difference between the promises by which we came into the family of God and the promise by which others may come into the family of God hereafter? We answer, the differences are very great indeed. God will not deal with the world directly during the Millennium. He has committed all things to his Son, and the Son, in harmony with the Divine program during this Gospel Age, has been accepting as his "members" such as the Father has "drawn" to him, granting them the spirit of adoption and thus bringing them into new spirit relationship. No such promises will prevail in the begetting of other children of God, the "other sheep which are not of this flock." These children of the oath, or children of the promise of God, are the special "little flock," to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom, as the Master declares.

Basis of Acceptance Different

On what basis, different from that of the world, are these acceptable to God? We answer that the world will be accepted only when they reach actual perfection, under the processes of Restitution at the close of the Millennial Age. The [R4367 : page 106] Father will have no dealing with the world until, mankind being perfect at the end of the Millennium, Christ shall deliver up the Kingdom to the Father. Then men will fall into the hands of the living God; but be perfectly secure, because of their perfection, if they are at heart loyal to God and the principles of his Government.

Reversal of Drawings, God Now, Son Later

Jesus Christ (and his Bride and Joint-Heir) will stand as "Mediator between God and men" during the Millennium. All of mankind's communications and relationship to God must come to them through Messiah, and all of God's dealing and relationship with mankind will be in and through the Messiah. How different from that is the dealing of God with the Church of this Age, "Abraham's Seed and heirs according to the promise." These are "drawn" by the Father, as Jesus declares, "No man can come unto me (now), except the Father which sent me draw him," and whoever cometh unto me, drawn by the Father, I will in no wise reject. (John 6:44.) Some of our Lord's followers were drawn to him of the Father before he had completed the sacrifice for sins at Calvary, and others have been drawn throughout the Gospel Age; as the Apostle declares, "Even so many as the Lord your God shall call." (Acts 2:39.) Here is a reversal of the Divine purpose. The Gospel Church, under the Abrahamic Covenant arrangement, are drawn to the Son by the Father, "Given unto him." The world in the next Age the Father will not draw, but the Lord Jesus will draw them to himself. "If I be exalted, I will draw all men unto me." And even after the Son draws them unto himself, he must as the Mediator keep them unto himself until he shall have instructed them, disciplined them, and made their knees to bow and their lips to confess, and taught them the necessary lessons and brought them back to all that was lost, before the Father will have anything to do with them – at the close of the Millennial Age. [R4368 : page 106]

Sarah's Children Have Great Advantage

Who will say that the children of the free woman, the Sarah Covenant, have not a great advantage every way over the children of Keturah, and not only have they this more favorable reception of the Father, but they receive directly his begetting to the spirit plane; as we read, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." (I Pet. 1:3.) These are his "elect." As the Apostle says, "Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren."Rom. 8:29.

WHEREIN IS THE DIFFERENCE?


Why God Deals Differently

Why should God make such a difference in his dealings? Surely there is a logical reason connected with the matter, if we can but ascertain it. And surely it is true that "The Lord God doeth nothing but he revealeth it unto his servants." If all mankind had been at heart "Israelites indeed" there would have been no need of a mediator and a New Covenant – the Abrahamic Covenant would have been quite sufficient. It is because the world of mankind is estranged from God, rebellious against the Divine Law, and lovers of Sin, that the mediatorial work is a necessary one. The Great Mediator (Head and Members) after making "an atonement for the sins of all the people," at the close of this age, will take all the people in hand, and, by chastisements and corrections in righteousness, cause every knee to bow and every tongue to confess, in harmony with the Divine arrangement, or be cut off in the Second Death.

All men are sinners and all are children of wrath and under Divine sentence of death; but there are other respects in which all are not alike. Some hate the chains of Sin, wherein they are held, and long for freedom and for reconciliation to God, while others love the sin and are estranged from God. God is not in their thoughts. Here, then, we have the ground for the difference in God's dealings with the two classes. He takes note of those who are weary and heavy laden; these, feeling after God, if haply they might find him, he is pleased to "draw," during this Gospel Age, through the knowledge of the Truth, to Jesus, that at his hand they may be justified and become acceptable, if they will, as "members" of his Body, suffer with him now. Then they will reign with him by and by. The ungodly are not "drawn" or called in consecration with the High Calling of this Gospel Age, but left to be dealt with by their Redeemer, when he shall assume the Office of Mediator between God and men – the world.

But is it not Scripturally declared of believers that "We were enemies of God through wicked works"? And does not that place us on the same level with the world, in enmity against God? We answer, No, there is a difference. The worldly mass are enemies against God, not merely in respect to their works being imperfect, such as he cannot accept, but also and specially because their hearts are estranged from him. They love unrighteousness. Believers, on the contrary, although enemies through wicked works, are not enemies at heart, and God, who reads the heart, deals with them from that standpoint and leads them to Christ, that the merit of his sacrifice may offset the demerits of their sin and their imperfect or wicked works.

But does not the Apostle again say that we "were aliens and strangers and foreigners from the commonwealth of Israel"? Yes, we, who were Gentiles, were entirely separated and alienated from God, until Christ came, and we found access to Divine favor through him, whereas the Jew had a measure of Divine favor and opportunity for development, before Christ came. Three and one-half years after Christ's death, St. Paul says, the middle wall of partition or separation between Jews and Gentiles was taken down, so that, in God's providence, the honest-hearted Gentile was no more an alien and a foreigner to God than his Jewish neighbor.

ATONEMENT NOT MEDIATION

There is a difference between Atonement for Sin and mediation between God and the sinner. There are certain senses in which we might correctly say that the person who made atonement for the sins of another was his mediator, but this is not the Scriptural use of the word mediator. The Bible speaks of Christ as the Mediator of a Covenant, not as a Mediator for sins. However true it is that he mediated an atonement for the sins of the world, that is not a Scriptural form of statement. Believers, as well as all the remainder of the world, need to have an atonement made for our sins, as a basis for our reconciliation to the Father. But believers are under a Covenant which needs no mediator, as St. Paul distinctly points out. "A mediator is not of one." (Gal. 3:20.) That is to say, Where a Covenant has only one side to it, it does not have, nor require, a mediator. On the contrary, covenants which have conditions demand a mediator, as, for instance, Moses was the mediator of the Law Covenant, and Christ was the Mediator of the New Covenant. Under both of these covenants there is a conditional proposition – "If ye will do those things, I will do this thing. If ye will obey my laws and keep my statutes, I will bless you," etc.

Sarah Covenant No Mediator, Because Unconditional

Let us notice carefully why the original, or Sarah Covenant, "The mother of us all," needed no mediator. It was because in it God made no conditional promises. They were all unconditional to whoever would become The Seed. "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." There are no conditions in that promise, and hence, there would be nothing for a mediator to set straight. God himself undertook to choose who should constitute the Seed of Abraham. He chose our Lord Jesus to be the "Head over the Church, which is his Body," and he foreordained, and, in harmony with that foreordination, chose and called, throughout this Age, such as he desired might have the privilege of membership in that Seed of Abraham. There was no place for a mediator in connection with it, for God did his own selecting. As it is written, "Ye are God's workmanship." "The Father himself loveth you." "Whoever is drawn of the Father cometh unto me." "No man can come unto me except the Father which sent me draw him."

TAKE ANOTHER GLANCE


Church Justified by Faith, Not Actually Perfect

Honest-hearted ones now "drawn" of the Father are, indeed, children of wrath, and hence, before they can be received of the Father as sons, he delivers them over to Christ, and Christ's acceptance of them, or justification by faith in his blood (not faith in a covenant) makes them ready to be returned again to the Father, if they still so will. It is to [R4368 : page 107] these justified ones that the Apostle says, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." If these needed to be made actually perfect they would need to be left in the hands of the Son for such restitution work as is his alone, and would be held over for the Millennium. But instead they are justified by faith. Their faith in Christ, in the merit of his sacrifice, attested by their repudiation of sin, "Is counted unto them for righteousness," Jesus applying his merit on their account. When, afterwards, these made full consecration of themselves to do the Father's will, even unto death, and when they were begotten of the holy Spirit as New Creatures, they became "members" of the Seed of Abraham, members of the Mediator of the New Covenant. Then they by faith passed to a new plane, where no sin or imperfection is imputed to them, so long as they fulfil their consecration Vow and "Walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit." – Rom. 8:1.

[R4368 : page 107]

THROUGH MUCH TRIBULATION ENTER THE KINGDOM
ACTS 14:1-28. – MAY 16. –

Golden Text: – "All the gods of the nations are idols; but the Lord made the heavens." – Psa. 96:5.

N
OTWITHSTANDING the success which attended the message at Antioch in Pisidia, the spirit of the Adversary was aroused in the Jews, who stirred up devout and honorable women (Greek proselytes to the Jewish religion). They worked upon their prejudices, slandering the apostles and their work and their motives. These women in turn exercised influence with the chief men of the city, until finally the missionaries were expelled. Their next stop was at Iconium, about seventy-five miles southeast. Here again they first preached in the synagogue to the Jews, and a great multitude, both of the Jews and also of the Greeks (Jewish proselytes), believed. But again the unbelieving Jews worked upon the Gentile population by calumnies. Hence the apostles remained there a "long time," probably several months, because there were many converts needing instruction and because it was an excellent field of labor every way. Finally, however, the chief Jews of the synagogue and the Gentiles whom they influenced, formed a plot for the stoning of the missionaries and alleged blasphemers. Learning of this the apostles followed our Lord's injunction of Matt. 10:23, to flee from persecution. Their next stop was at Lystra, twenty miles further to the southeast.

How human nature repeats itself! As it was God's covenanted people – yea, and the chief of the synagogue who opposed the Gospel and maltreated its servants who sought merely to do them good – so all through the age the professed servants of God have been the persecutors of their brethren! And so it is today! The slanders, the misrepresentations, come not from the politicians and the worldly, but from the Lord's professed followers, some of them of large influence. [R4369 : page 107] It is still true that there are "perils amongst false brethren" and a Judas spirit is to be expected now, as well as then. How shall we receive these things? If they discourage us or turn us aside in fear, it would prove that we are not worthy of the Kingdom privileges and honors, which are to be granted only to those who come off, by the Lord's grace, "more than conquerors"; to those who willingly, gladly, take the spoiling of their goods, their good names, earthly reputation, etc., rather than prove disloyal to the Lord and his brethren. Nor must we render railing for railing, nor slander for slander. We must take maltreatment patiently.

NO SYNAGOGUE – BUT A MIRACLE

Lystra was the capital of what was called Wolfland. Its people were less civilized than in other places visited. Evidently there were few or no Jews there and no synagogue. The preaching to the people was in the forum.

While St. Paul was preaching he perceived amongst his auditors a man lame from birth, giving close attention and, perceiving that he had faith to cooperate with healing, he commanded him, "Stand upright on thy feet." The miracle astonished the people, who, in their amazement, began to speak to each other, no longer in the Greek language, but in the Laconian, which the missionaries did not understand, saying that these were gods in human form. The apostles evidently retired to their own dwelling apartments after the miracle and were astonished when, a little time afterward, the people came together to offer sacrifices to them, calling Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercury. The people had certain traditions about the gods coming down to earth as men and these doubtless led up to their remarkable treatment of the missionaries.

One of these tales was to the effect that Jupiter and Mercury once visited this very city of Laconia. The people took them to be vagrants and refused to entertain them, and ridiculed and maltreated them. At last two peasants received them into their hut with hospitality, giving them their best. In return the gods transformed their hut into a glorious temple, over which they were set as the chief ministers of earth, while their neighbors were overwhelmed in a flood. The statue of Jupiter stood before Lystra's gate, and it was supposed that this story was repeated annually in the hearing of the people. Thinking of Paul and Barnabas as later manifestations of these same gods, they determined that now was their opportunity to show them reverence and hospitality.

Now came a temptation to the missionaries – such temptations as in one form or another are apt to come to all who engage actively in Christian work. Would they receive the homage of the people and then, as gods, seek to instruct them respecting Christ as the true Son of God come from heaven, who had died for the world's redemption, etc., or would they stop the procedure forthwith? Such temptations are very forceful with many: "Let us do evil that good may follow." Similar temptations of the present time might be suggested. A minister might sail under false colors, under denominational name, which misrepresented his heart and which he misrepresented. He might seek thus to do God service and to advance the Truth, but would it be wise? Would it please God to have us thus do evil that good might follow? We think not. The Truth may be presented as kindly, sympathetically, harmoniously as possible, but it can never fight a good fight under a cloak of hypocrisy.

The same principle applies to others; the business man may put his light under a bushel for the sake of trade and with the promise to himself that he will use money gained in forwarding the Truth. But would such a course be acceptable to the Lord? We believe not. Some affect ignorance of the Truth or disdain for it, that they may retain social position, and persuade themselves that there are more than compensating advantages favorable to the Lord, the brethren and the Truth, in the course which they pursue. We believe that they prove themselves unworthy of a position in the "little flock" of overcomers. The principle is of broad application, and it is the principle each of the Lord's people should see, and fix clearly in his judgment, that he may guide himself accordingly.

HONESTY REWARDED WITH STONES

The missionaries ran in amongst the people, dissuading them from sacrifice and assuring them that they were ordinary men like themselves. They informed them that their very mission was to turn them from such works of ignorance and superstition and to indicate to them the true God, his true character, and his proper worship. They said to them, "We bring you good tidings, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein." Wisdom from on high guided them to know that it would be useless to quote the Old Testament Scriptures to these people, who had no knowledge of them. They discoursed, therefore, what the people could understand and appreciate, and thus they set a grand example to all who should ever speak as messengers of the Lord. Much of the preaching is far over the heads of the hearers. [R4369 : page 108]

They introduced to their attention the God who made the heaven, earth, sea and all the contents of these. They explained that although this great God was interested in his creatures always, yet hitherto he had permitted all the nations to walk in their own ways untaught, unrestrained. Nevertheless he did give them certain evidences of his constant care, in the sunshine and the rain, with the fruitage of earth and its seasons, thus providing mankind with food and occasion for gladness and appreciation of life.

Only a scrap of the discourse is given. We may suppose that the Apostle here, as elsewhere, proceeded to explain that the times of this ignorance of the past, which God had winked at or paid no attention to, were now ending; that a new phase or turn of his great Divine Plan had come. And now all men everywhere are admonished to repent, to turn from sin, to strive to come near to God in reverence and obedience, and to hope for eternal life in his provision. Doubtless he explained that the foundation for these hopes and these commands to repent were laid in the great fact that God had given his Son to be man's Redeemer, and by and by man's Restorer. No doubt he explained to them that every effort toward righteousness and Truth and godliness would have its reward, while every wilful sin would surely, at some time, have its punishment, either in the present age or in the age to come. No doubt also he showed the people that the Divine call of the present time is intended merely to call out of the world a "little flock" of saintly followers of Jesus to be his Bride in the Kingdom.

However, it was probably only a few days after this that some other Jews came to Lystra, zealous as Paul of Tarsus himself had been to oppose the message respecting the Nazarene. The benighted people, who one day were ready to do sacrifice to St. Paul as a god, shortly afterward, under the envious slanders stirred up by the Adversary, stoned him and then dragged him out of the city and left him to be devoured by beasts and birds. But evidently some disciples had been made, for as we read, "As the disciples stood around about him, he rose up, and came into the city; and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe." Such a man with such a spirit was necessarily a force wherever he went; a force for good, as he had once been a force for evil, because now the spirit which energized him was a consecrated one, a holy one. There is a lesson and example here for all of us which we must not miss. He wisely determined that it would be unwise to do more public work at Lystra, so long as the public mind was in such a ferment. To have done so would have been merely to bring needless persecution upon the disciples who, young in the faith, might not so well have been able to stand it.

DERBE, THEN HOMEWARD BOUND

Evidently some Divine power, some supernatural strength, was accorded the Apostle, else he never could have so quickly recovered after the stoning. The explanation is, first, St. Paul's own indomitable will, which mastered his body and made it his servant; and secondly, Divine cooperation assisting him so to do. And will it not be considerably so with us? Will not faith and courage and zeal and determination effect much as to our ability to stand and withstand the trials and difficulties of life? And will not the Lord's grace be sufficient for us? And whether he permit us to be smitten down with the literal stones or the symbolic arrows, the bitter words, is he not able to succor us, that we be not overwhelmed?

Apparently the preaching at Derbe resulted in making many disciples. Then the apostles turned their faces homeward – toward Antioch, the Ecclesia which sent them forth as its representatives. Seeking not merely return, but braving return by the same way as they went, they had the opportunity of meeting with the disciples at the various places and strengthening them and encouraging them in the good way, the "narrow way." Nor was there any deception in their preaching. They did not tell believers that shortly they would find themselves prospering in their business interests by becoming disciples of the Crucified One. They did not tell them that they would find Christianity the passage way into the social circles of the wealthy and refined. On the contrary, their message was in harmony with our Lord's words, "In the world ye shall have tribulation. These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace." (John 16:33.) Again, "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you;" (I John 3:13.) "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, falsely, for my sake." – Matt. 5:11.

So we read that, as they journeyed, they "confirmed the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith and explaining to them that through much tribulation we must [R4370 : page 108] enter into the Kingdom of God" – that this is the Divine arrangement for the perfecting of our characters and for our testing as respects our fitness for joint-heirship with our Lord. Let us not forget, dear friends, that the present evil world (age) has not yet closed; that Satan is still its Prince, and that tribulation is still the cost of a place in the Throne! Expecting this, persecution will not disappoint us when we receive it. As with our Lord, we may find that "A man's foes shall be they of his own household" – his own people, his own nation.

"Be strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do and loads to life;
Shun not the struggle – face it; 'tis God's gift.

"Be strong!
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong;
How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
Faint not – fight on! Tomorrow comes the song."

[R4370 : page 108]

BE YE NOT FORGETFUL READERS
W
E have been astonished at the peculiar statements made by some who should have known better – respecting our recent presentations regarding the Covenants. They declare that we are now contradicting our former presentations, etc. As an answer to their absurd statements two of our readers have requested that we republish the below article, copied, verbatim, from our issue of March, 1880. We also suggest the rereading of "Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices," first published the same year. When we see those opposing "the Vow" becoming spiritually blind to things they have professed to see for years, it gives us more and more respect for that Vow. For, practically, every one opposed to the Covenants is opposed to "the Vow." We gave forth "the Vow" as a helpful resolution, little surmising that it would awaken such hostility as to create a schism, but evidently the Lord so intended. – 1 Cor. 11:19. Following is the article referred to: –
THE THREE GREAT COVENANTS

A covenant is a ratified, unalterable agreement. God has made many covenants with man. (Gen. 6:18; Jer. 33:20, etc.) Three, however, stand out very prominently, as in them have been bound up all the best interests of mankind.

FIRST: The Covenant of God to Abraham. This covenant seems to comprehend and include a blessing on the natural fleshly descendants, as well as upon the higher, spiritual, Seed, "which Seed is Christ; and if ye be Christ's (body), then are ye Abraham's Seed and heirs according to (this) promise." If this thought be borne in mind, it will assist us in grasping the full meaning of this Covenant. The spiritual seed is called the "blessing seed" and "stars of heaven." It is prophesied that "They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever." (Dan. 12:3.) And Jesus calls himself "the bright and morning star." This thought seems to have had more weight and meaning with the ancients, who looked up to the stars with superstitious reverence, believing that they controlled the destinies both of nations and of men. So probably this portion of the covenant represented by stars signifies heavenly rulers – Christ and his Bride. The natural descendants are probably meant when mention is made of "a great nation" possessing "this land" – Canaan – said to be as [R4370 : page 109] the "sand of the sea." This represents an earthly people as plainly as the stars do the heavenly. Let us read the covenant and see that it contains these two elements, and recognizes both natural and spiritual Israel. (Gen. 12:2,3; 13:14-16; 15:18, and 22:16-18). Paul assures us that "the seed" referred to in this covenant is Christ. (Gal. 3:16.) Fleshly Israel lost this, the cream or choicest part of the covenant – the spiritual. As Paul says (Rom. 11:7): "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained it." But the losing of this better part does not cut them off entirely from having a part in that covenant. "For brethren, that you may not be conceited with yourselves" (thinking that all of God's favor and covenant are taken from them and given to you), "I wish you not to be ignorant of this secret: that hardness in some measure has happened to Israel till the fulness of the Gentiles may come in" (i.e., until the bride selected from the Gentiles has been completed). "And then all Israel will be saved, as it has been written, The Deliverer shall come out of Zion, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob," and "This is THE COVENANT WITH THEM FROM ME, when I shall take away their sins." – Rom. 11:25 – "Diaglott."

Though for 1800 years they have been counted as enemies, and blinded to the gospel, yet they are still beloved for the fathers' sake; for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (v. 29); i.e., these earthly blessings are just as sure to them as our spiritual ones are to us, because God so promised or covenanted, and never changes. Thus, we see the breadth and grandeur of God's plan and arrangement – how the natural seed was cast aside for the time that the spiritual might be developed, who, in their turn, are to be made the instruments for blessing the natural; when they shall obtain mercy through your mercy; when "The Deliverer shall come out of Zion (spiritual Israel – the church) and turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (fleshly Israel). When we see this, we see the fulness of this covenant to Abraham. It shows us what God meant when he promised that Abraham's seed should be mighty, possessing the gates of their enemies (the place of power and control), and be so far above others as to be able to "bless all the families of the earth." "O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments and untraceable his ways; for who hath known the mind of the Lord?"

THE COVENANT OF THE LAW

is the second covenant we wish to consider. It was unlike the Abrahamic, in that it was conditional and two-sided, i.e., it was made between God and Israel and by its arrangements God was bound to do certain things, if Israel did certain other things. The one with Abraham was unconditional. God said: "I will," etc.; and although that was the Abrahamic covenant, Abraham was in no way obligated. (Circumcision was instituted after the covenant. – Rom. 4:10. It was not Abraham's covenant, but God's entirely; and for this reason it had no mediator. (A mediator is one who stands between the parties to an agreement or contract, whose duty it is to see that both parties fulfil their parts of the covenant.) Instead, God sware by himself that he would keep his covenant. [See form of oath Gen. 15:8-18 and Jer. 34:18-20.] "The Law," is called a covenant. [Compare Gal. 3:17 and 4:24.] It was ordained in the hands of a mediator (Moses, Deut. 5:5), which proves that it contained conditions for its fulfilment; for "a mediator is not of one" (Gal. 3:20), or, not necessary where there was only one party contracting, as in the case of the Abrahamic Covenant.

This (the Law) was not a part of the first covenant, neither was it made with the people of the world, but only with fleshly Israel – "And Moses called all Israel and said unto them: Hear O Israel...The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, BUT WITH US, even us who are all of us here alive this day." Deut. 5:1-5.

That the Ten Commandments, particularly, and the ceremonial law, incidentally, constituted this covenant, is clear from the reading of the remainder of this chapter. A difference between moral and ceremonial law is now recognized, but it is of men. God called them one – "The Law." This Law Covenant was seemingly designed as a blessing to Israel, yet really by coming under it they condemned themselves; for it is written "cursed [condemned] is every one that continueth not in all the words of the Law to do them." God never intended, therefore, that they should be benefited by this covenant since, "By the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in his sight." What then was the object of this covenant? It had two objects: first, it demonstrated that the natural man as a fallen creature, could not live in harmony with God – could not do right or be righteous. And finally it was proved and illustrated that a perfect man could keep God's perfect law, when Jesus did keep it and thereby became heir legally as well as by grace, to all the provisions of both covenants.

SECONDLY: The Law "was appointed on account of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise related." (Gal. 3:19.) God knew the best time, and "in due time sent forth his Son." The law was introduced because the proper time had not come for the development of "the seed" referred to in the covenant to Abraham, and was intended to prevent Israel's becoming degraded like other nations, and to act as a restraint on their fleshly nature, and an educator of self-control, etc. It thus was a "schoolmaster," which, by showing them their own weakness, prepared them to receive Jesus Christ as their justifier from the things which the law condemned. (Gal. 3:24.) And it did this very work. By the time the seed was due, it had prepared some to receive Jesus.

THIRDLY: It was used as a type, not of the Abrahamic, but of the new covenant, to illustrate the operations and conditions of that covenant, as we shall soon see. [R4371 : page 109]

"THE NEW COVENANT"
Is repeatedly mentioned in Scripture. It should not be misconstrued as being God's covenant with us – "the seed;" no, that was part of the Abrahamic covenant, and although in harmony with each other, they are not the same, nor is the "new covenant" made with the church at all. It does not come into operation until the spiritual seed as well as the fleshly children, have come into possession of what was promised them under the Abrahamic covenant.

It, like the law which was its shadow or type, is between God and fleshly men – the world. If, therefore, this covenant is between two parties (God and the world), there must be conditions binding upon both; hence there must be a mediator (as in the type) to stand responsible for the fulfilment of the conditions of both. Who, then, is to act as mediator of the new covenant? Let Paul answer: "Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant." [Heb. 12:24.] Yes, Jesus, our Head, is the one, and the only one, who can stand uncondemned before God's righteous law. In him God recognizes his holy Son, separate from sinners, and in Him humanity may, and soon will, recognize their Lord, now highly exalted, but once "the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, who, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man"; and "who is a faithful High Priest," able to sympathize. Only through him can the world ever be made at-one with God – His great work is at-one-ment. He will associate with Him in this work His tried and faithful bride. Now, what are the conditions of this new covenant? They are, as in its type, the law, do and live. God can never be a party to any covenant recognizing sin. [R4371 : page 110] Perfect righteousness ["Be ye perfect"] has always been the condition on which God recognizes or communes with any of His children. Christians in the present age, although not individually perfect, are reckoned so, being hid in Christ, and as members of His body are covered by His robes of righteousness. But in the coming time, the imputed righteousness of another will not avail, but "every man shall die for his own sin" [not the sin of Adam], or vice versa, live by his own righteousness [perfect obedience].

It may be asked, then: In what way will the new age under the new covenant differ from the Jewish age under the law covenant? If the conditions of life are obedience to God's perfect law, will it not result, as the law covenant did, in condemning all under it to death? We answer no, the difficulty then was, not with the law, but with man. Man, in his fallen, imperfect condition, could not keep "the law ordained to life." But the conditions of this new covenant on God's part are, that man shall be brought to a condition in which he can obey the perfect law, and always keep it in his heart, as it is written, "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah....This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my law in their inward part, and write it in their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people, for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." "In those days they shall no more say, the fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge, but every one shall die for his own iniquity." – Jer. 31:31.

"And in that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowl of heaven and with the creeping things of the ground and I will break the bow, and the sword, and the battle, out of the earth." (Hos. 2:18. See also Jer. 32:37-41, Ezek. 37:26.) We see clearly that the new covenant is yet future and also that a great change will be effected in the condition of Israel, who, under the Law previously, were unable to keep it. The trouble then was, "the fathers [Adam and his successors] had eaten the sour grape of sin, and the children's teeth were set on edge" so that they could not keep the Law of God; so the Day of Atonement is brought in [the Gospel Age] and during it, they, and all men, are redeemed from sin and the curse, through Jesus Christ, who, by the grace of God tasted death for every man. The man Christ Jesus, holy, harmless, separate from sinners, was made a curse for us, made sin [i.e., dealt with as the sinner] for us, [he] who knew no sin. And it is consequently after the gospel age when they are pardoned freely for Christ's sake, and restored to the condition of sinless perfect manhood, that the new covenant comes into force. And to this thought agree the words of Paul [Rom. 11:27]. "This is my [new] covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins."

The nations are to be blessed also under this new covenant, by becoming "daughters" to Israel. "I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy (old) covenant." – Ezek. 16:61.

We have seen that to every covenant to which there are obligations of two parties, there is a mediator, or one who stands between guaranteeing the fulfilment of its conditions. As under the covenant of the Law, Moses was the mediator, so is

"JESUS THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT"
And to him God looks for the fulfilment of the Law, and to him Israel and the world look for ability to comply with its conditions. Remember that we, the gospel church, do not come to Christ under the new covenant, neither under the "old" or Law covenant, but under a covenant older than either of these [Gal. 3:17], the Abrahamic covenant; as part of "The Seed." "If ye be Christ's [body], then are ye Abraham's Seed and heirs according to (that) promise." – Gal. 3:29.

As the typical or Law covenant [or "testament" – same Greek word;] was ratified or sealed by Moses its Mediator, with the blood of a bull and a goat annually, so the "new covenant" is sealed with the blood of "better sacrifices" [plural] which these represented, viz.: Christ – Head and body.

Moses took a bunch of hyssop and scarlet wool and therewith sprinkled of the ratifying blood mixed with water, both the book (type of the Law) and all the people. (See Heb. 9:19.) So with the New Covenant it must also be ratified with blood; and the mediator of the "New," gives his own blood (life,) both head and body, during this gospel day of sacrifice. And soon when the better sacrifices are complete, the people will be sprinkled with this cleansing blood and with the pure water of truth. It will sprinkle both book (law) and people, bringing the people into harmony with God and therefore into harmony with his Law. Their teeth will no longer be set on edge; no longer will they, when they would do good find evil present with them; for "All shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest," and "The knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth."

Who will do the sprinkling after the sacrifices are complete? It was Moses in the type; it will be the Great Prophet and Mediator in the antitype – "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people." (Acts 3:22.) This prophecy belongs to the "Times of restitution of all things," and is quoted by Peter as applicable there.

That prophet or teacher – "The Christ" – Head and body is now being "raised up" (to power) and soon the work of sprinkling and cleansing humanity begins; and the soul (person) who will not then obey and be cleansed shall be destroyed. In that age, the sinner a hundred years old will be cut off, though at that age he would be but "a child." – Isa. 65:20.

ABRAHAM'S THREE WIVES

Let us briefly review these covenants as they are illustrated in a type or allegory. (Gal. 4:22-31.) Paul explained that Abraham's wife, Sarah, was a type of the covenant made with Abraham, referring to "The Seed." As years rolled by, and no child came, they began to look for a fulfilment in some other way, and Hagar takes the place of a wife and bears a son, who apparently is to be the heir. So the original promise of God meant Christ, but He was not born until "due time," and in the meantime "The Law" was given from Sinai, apparently taking the place of the covenant, and under the law covenant a fleshly seed was developed – fleshly Israel. But the Abrahamic covenant had not failed, and after the Hagar covenant had borne fleshly Israel (typified by Ishmael), the true seed of Abraham and heir is born, under the first (or Sarah) covenant; i.e., Christ Jesus and the members of His body – spiritual Israel.

This is as far as Paul carries the type, because speaking only of the two seeds, natural and spiritual, and the two covenants under which they come into existence. But as we find that God is to make "a new covenant," "after those days," we naturally inquire: Why was not this new covenant typified by a wife as well as the other two? And upon examination we find it was so illustrated. Turning to Gen. 24:67, we read how Isaac receives Rebecca into Sarah's tent, and she becomes his married wife, etc., illustrating how our heavenly bridegroom will receive His bride at the end of her journey, [R4371 : page 111] and bring her into, and associate her with Himself in the enjoyment of all things promised in the first (or Sarah) covenant. Then we read: "Then, again, Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah," illustrating, as plainly as a type can, the new covenant.

Each of the first two covenants, bore but one offspring: The first, the "heir of all things" (Isaac – the spiritual Israel), and the second, fleshly Israel, beloved for the Father's sake. But the New Covenant (Keturah) bears six sons, which, taken with the one of Hagar would be seven – a complete number – representing that all the fleshly children would be developed under the Hagar and Keturah or "Law" and "New" Covenants. The name Sarah means Princess, Hagar means flight or cast out, Keturah means incense or sweet; all of which are significant.

Oh, how our covenant – the Royal – looms up above all the others! Let us not forget that we must die with Jesus, if we would LIVE and share in the glorious work of sprinkling and cleansing the world in the next age. "That by means of death...they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." – Heb. 9:15.

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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 Baptism Witness of the Spirit
MAY 2

(1) Why is the witness of the Spirit an important doctrine to the people of God? P. 226, par. 1.

(2) What is meant by "our spirit" in Romans 8:16, – "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God?"

(3) Why should we consider the holy Spirit another God separate and distinct from the Father and Son, if we do not consider our spirit a separate person from ourselves?

(4) Is there danger of trusting too much to "feelings" and what is the remedy? P. 226.

(5) Quote some hymns in proof that doubt and distress prevail and show the real difficulty and the cure. P. 127.

(6) Explain the difference between Faith and Credulity. P. 228.

MAY 9

(7) How may we obtain the witness of the holy Spirit? P. 229.

(8) How may we be sure that we made the proper start in the heavenly way? And that we are still on it? And that we shall make our calling and election pure? P. 230.

(9) Is our "full assurance of faith" based upon our perfection, or what? P. 231.

(10) Are tribulations a witness of the holy Spirit to God's people? If so what testimony or "witness" do they bear? P. 232.

(11) Are the Lord's dealings with us all alike, or alike to all? If not, why not? P. 233.

(12) Why do some of God's children require more and others less disciplining?

(13) Are all chastenings evidences or witnesses of divine displeasure? If not, explain other reasons for them and services through them. P. 234.

MAY 16

(14) What prunings should we note and what results should we expect? P. 234, par. 2, 3.

(15) Quote several texts from the Bible, showing the Spirit's witness to us, and explain how these should be understood as witnesses and how they should influence our lives. P. 235.

(16) What did the experiences of our Lord Jesus witness respecting divine favor with him? Explain his sufferings as in full accord with the Spirit's witness and show how ours should correspond. P. 236.

(17) Would our Lord's witness of the Spirit have been the same had he taken a different course? Pp. 236, 237.

(18) Explain 1 John 5:4, showing how it is a witness and to whom it applies. P. 237.

(19) Is our knowledge of holy things and of "things to come" a witness or testimony? If so, of what? P. 238.

(20) What should every Christian resolve re the witness of the Spirit? P. 239.

MAY 23

(21) Will the holy Spirit witness to the converts of the Millennial Age? If so will the witness be the same as to us or in what respects different? P. 239, par. 3.

(22) Explain the difference between a real witness of the Spirit and the unsatisfactory reliance upon "feelings"? P. 240.

(23) Why should those possessing the true "witness" rejoice and those not possessing it seek it? P. 241.

(24) What is it to be sanctified by the holy Spirit? And what are the needful steps to this end? P. 241.

(25) What did St. Paul mean by his prayer that God would sanctify his people "wholly"?

(26) Are there degrees of sanctification? and are these degrees easily attained? P. 243.

MAY 30

(27) Explain what is signified by the expression, "new creatures in Christ Jesus." P. 243, par. last.

(28) Is a filling of the holy Spirit attainable? If so, is it of sudden or of gradual attainment? P. 244.

(29) Could we be properly said to be filled with a spirit person? and could the same person fill many persons and still retain personality? In a word is personality divisible?

(30) What is the Apostle's illustration of our being filled with the holy Spirit? Show the application. P. 245.

(31) Can we be "filled with the holy Spirit" without conforming to the divine conditions? And can we thus conform unless we know the conditions? And can we know the conditions except by the study of God's Word and obedience thereto? P. 245, par. 2.

(32) Is the sealing of the Spirit the same thing as the witness of the Spirit?

(33) What is meant by the seal of the Spirit? When is it obtained? Suddenly or gradually? Pp. 246-248.

page 112

PUBLIC MINISTRIES OF THE TRUTH
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLE'S PULPIT
ASSOCIATION OF BROOKLYN, N.Y.

ONE-DAY LOCAL CONVENTIONS ADDRESSED BY THE EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL AS FOLLOWS:
PITTSBURG N.S. (Allegheny), PA., MARCH 28

Session for the public at 3 p.m. in Allegheny Carnegie Hall, Corner Ohio and Federal Sts. Visiting friends heartily welcomed. Baptismal services for those desiring same and notifying, at 10:30 a.m. Question meeting at 7:30 p.m., Bible House Chapel, 610 Arch street.

BROOKLYN, N.Y., APRIL 4

Discourse by Brother Russell at 3:00 p.m. Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30 o'clock, when the annual Memorial Supper will be celebrated. 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.

BOSTON, MASS., APRIL 11

Morning and evening meetings in Faneuil Hall. Take surface cars from depots going through Dock Square. Local friends will be at stations to assist visiting friends. Meeting at 10:30 a.m. for Prayer, Praise and Testimony.

Afternoon session for the Public in Tremont Temple, Tremont street, between School and Bromfield streets, at 3:00 o'clock; subject, "Where are the Dead?"

Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30 o'clock. Arrangements have also been made for a meeting in Tremont Temple Building, on Saturday evening, for the benefit of those who may have to come to the city at that time. When purchasing railway tickets inquire for reduced rates, account of Bible Students' Convention.

TOLEDO, OHIO, APRIL 18
BROOKLYN, N.Y., APRIL 25 and MAY 2

BROOKLYN TABERNACLE EVERY SUNDAY

Preaching at 3:00 p.m. Praise service at 7:00 p.m.; Berean Bible Study at 7:30 p.m. Convenient to New York via Subway, and Jersey City via P.R.R. Annex Ferry.

page 113
April 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. XXXAPRIL 15NO. 8
A.D. 1909 – A.M. 6037
CONTENTS
Views from the Watch Tower 115
Rev. Lyman Abbott on Resurrection 115
Rapidly Growing Burden of Militarism 115
Settling Doctrinal Differences 116
The Conclusion of the Matter 117
The Memorial Celebration 118
Our Personal Responsibilities 119
The Sweet-Brier Rose (Poem) 120
"You Hath He Quickened" 120
The Begetting, then the Quickening 121
"Not the Spirit of Timidity" 122
The Tongue a Power for Good or Evil 124
Samples of Interesting Letters 126
Brooklyn Bethel Hymns for May 127
My Solemn Vow to God 127

"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.

[R4372 : page 114]

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.

PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

Foreign Agencies: – British Branch: 24 Eversholt St., London, N. W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Equitable Building, Collins St., Melbourne.

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE
MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR
REGISTERED.
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.

SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER. APPLICATION MADE FOR ENTRY AT BROOKLYN, N.Y.

ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN EDITIONS.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.

YOUR ORDERS DELAYED

Removal to Brooklyn interfered considerably with the filling of orders for books, and it will take two weeks more for us to get fully caught up.

India Paper STUDIES, Vols. 4, 5 and 6, are out of stock, and as the paper must be imported, it will be some months before all orders can be filled.

WATCH TOWER BIBLES

We have in stock a few of Nos. 1918 and 1938 only. See description and price in WATCH TOWER of Nov. 1, 1908. The sale of these Bibles has been phenomenal; 10,000 India Paper Bibles in eighteen months breaks all records. We will publish more, but they will not be ready for some months.

HOW TO ADDRESS LETTERS TO US

The PEOPLES PULPIT has received many letters and remittances which should have been addressed WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY. Nothing should be addressed PEOPLES PULPIT except subscriptions for that journal. And such letters may be enclosed in your envelope addressed to the WATCH TOWER if you are writing to us; but make the letters and subscriptions separate, so that we need only to hand them over to the proper parties. This is to comply with United States mail requirements. A money order for both may be sent to the WATCH TOWER.

page 114

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. ½d.) 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. ½d.) 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 of the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. ½d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

SERIES IV., "The Day of Vengeance," shows that 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. (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.).

Is also published in foreign languages as follows: German, six vols., in Swedish Vols. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6; in Dano-Norwegian, three vols.; in Greek, three vols.; in French, two vols.; Hollandish, Spanish, and Italian, one vol. each; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same; in Polish, condensed edition, one vol., 10 cents.

[R4373 : page 115]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
REV. LYMAN ABBOTT ON RESURRECTION

WHEN addressing the students of the Yale University on the subject of "Human Immortality" from the text, "The dead shall rise again," Doctor Abbott is reported to have said: –

"I do not think the dead will rise again. I do not think that good people ever die. Their spirits, I think, just drop off the body, as clothing, and they go on into a higher and larger life.

"When people really die, I do not think they ever live again. There are some people who in their lives on earth become wholly animal, wholly sensuous. These people, with the going out of life from their bodies, I think really die, for they have no place in a higher life.

"I do not think of those whom we see no longer as being in spotless raiment afar off, knowing nothing of what we are doing and being happy in only a sort of negative bliss. I believe they are with us still, though we cannot see them, and that they are still very interested in what we do. A year ago my wife died in a foreign land, but I still feel that she is beside me helping and inspiring me."

*                         *                         *

This is a frank statement of what Doctor Abbott thinks or guesses. He is to be commended for not trying to prove that his text means the reverse of what it says. How much better it would be for the world if all Bible teachers thus distinguished between what they think and what the Bible teaches. But what is the value of the doctor's thought? On what is it based? What does he know on the subject on which to base speculations and surmises? Was he ever dead? Does he really know anyone who passed through the experience of death? Until we get such a demonstration we prefer to believe the Bible, corroborated by our five senses, rather than trust to the infallibility of Doctor Abbott's thinking apparatus.

Dr. Abbott is a gentleman and a scholar of no mean caliber, yet his teachings, here reported, are in line with the claims of Spiritism, which the Bible teaches us is demonism. Should the doctor resist the seductive proposition of Spiritism to put him into communication with his dead wife, etc., it will be because of his strong character. Many of those who read his words may be far less strong to resist and may fall under a demoniacal spell, led on by the doctor's words, to seek communication.

Well do the Scriptures declare of our day, "The wisdom of their wise men shall perish; the understanding of their prudent men shall not be manifest." – Isaiah 29:14.

PEACE! PEACE! AND DREADNOUGHTS

"Britain built a ship which created a class by itself. By a strange fatality she called the ship the Dreadnought, but experience is teaching her that from it she has everything to dread. Germany began to build new ships and naturally these were Dreadnoughts. Other Powers are about to follow. Among them we regret to find our own land. But it is inevitable that if any ships are to be built they must be Dreadnoughts.

"An interesting suggestion has been made by a London writer proposing the co-operation of the fleets of the two English speaking peoples, Britain to guarantee the safety of our possessions on the Pacific and we to guarantee the safety of hers in the North Atlantic."

– Ex.

*                         *                         *

Peace! Peace! is the cry, as the Scriptures predicted. Yet there is no peace, as they declare. True, no war is being waged at the present time; but it is surely expected, and the great nations dread it and spend millions on war preparations in harmony with those convictions. Would the world's wise and rich men tax themselves to the point of distress for war purposes if they believed as Mr. Carnegie seeks to convince himself and others? Surely not!

But why is there no peace? Because sin has entrenched itself in fallen human nature. Selfishness is sin and the cause of war; wickedness is the Scriptural name – "There is no peace for the wicked, saith my God."

If Mr. Carnegie can tell the world how to convert its people, giving them tender instead of stony hearts, then the peace proposition will be quickly realized. But aside from such a wholesale conversion there is hope for peace only along the lines predicted in the Bible; namely, by the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom in spiritual glory and with unlimited power. This the Bible assures us is nigh at hand. But, alas! its blessings must be introduced by wars of selfishness which will wreck present institutions and prepare humanity to cry to God for his relief and the new heart. "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as in heaven!"

RAPIDLY GROWING BURDEN OF MILITARISM

The "Dallas Morning News" says that "Militarism has reduced more people to slavery and crushed more nations into the earth than any of the other burdens. It is unaccountable that the civilization of to-day will promote or endure it. It means the same thing over again, and yet the educated people of the twentieth century tolerate it and hurrah over it just as the Assyrians and Persians did in the remote ages of passion, tyranny and [R4373 : page 116] conquest. The penalties of it are incalculable. The appropriations for armies and navies, tremendous as they are, are by no means the heaviest of the losses. There is no other line of jobbery and graft that is comparable to that of the sharp opportunity hunters who invent causes of war, and who sell to their pets in military politics the stores, supplies and equipments which are consumed by armies and navies, whether idle or active. But more scandalous than all the costly plundering and grafting is that loss of self-reliance, of ability to make a living, of civic character and peaceful purpose that follows in many instances the change from a life of working for a living to a life of idling or fighting for a living.

"Truly, as an observant contemporary says, it is of little use for consumers to protest against a tax on coffee and sugar, for property owners to protest against income taxes, or for States to object to Federal inheritance taxes, unless a similar protest is made against the policies which relate to these taxes as cause to effect. What causes the deficit in National finances? Out of a total of $810,000,000 appropriated, exclusive of the postal Department, $526,000,000 was required to meet the war bills of the government! We are paying $1,440,000 a day for war! That is more than the cost of the first year of the Civil War, and more than half the cost of the last year, in which great armies were maintained in action. We are at peace with the world, but we are maintaining a war standard of equipment. We must pay for it. We have followed the nations of Europe in our military policy. In this we have taken on the deadly curse of the ages. As a nation we have never committed before any blunder that is comparable to it in either its material or moral penalties."

*                         *                         *

The above is the serious side of this matter. The amusing side is that this war fever attacks nations in proportion as they become "Christianized" or "Civilized." Would we not better term this warlike spirit unchristian and uncivil? Ah, yes! to be a Christian is a personal and not a national matter. Not until Messiah takes the reins of government will there be an end of wars.

As respects the war-expenditures, they cost the poor nothing and the middle class almost nothing. Why object to the rich having the costly toys – battleships costing millions to build and other millions to maintain? Do not these monies circulate amongst the masses? Does not the employment of men in the building and maintaining of a war-outfit relieve the pressure upon the labor market, too, and thus inure to the maintenance of wage-rates? Let the poor world have its way. Let it play with its toys and find by experience their little worth. Surely they will become the more ready for the new King and Kingdom of Righteousness!

INTERNATIONAL PEACE FESTIVAL

Andrew Carnegie, presiding at the International Peace Festival held by the Peace Society of New York to celebrate the peace now prevailing throughout the world, told an audience representing a score of foreign countries in Carnegie Hall that the only shadow on the occasion was the competition of great nations in building battleships. But he predicted that the day of universal peace is at hand.

The stage presented a brilliant scene, "Peace" blazing forth in hugh white letters from the centre, flags of eighty nations adorning the hall, and delegations in costumes representing a dozen different nations, including seven Japanese girls in the front row in native dress, Russian belles in costume and others adding to the color scheme. Except the speeches of Mr. Carnegie and Dr. Wu Tingfang, the Chinese Ambassador, the programme was musical. Japan received the warmest reception of the evening, and nearly all the nations were represented by singers.

Mr. Carnegie said in part:

"It was thought proper that the Peace Society assemble to-night to celebrate the fact that the world at the present moment is at peace.

MORE WAR ENGINES

"The first thought that arises is an unpleasant one, viz., that never in the history of the world have the leading powers been engaged to such extent in hastening the construction of engines of destruction such as the world has never seen, a deplorable fact which cannot but give pain to every lover of his race."

[R4374 : page 116]

SETTLING DOCTRINAL DIFFERENCES
ACTS 15:1-35. – MAY 23 –

Golden Text: – "We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." – V. 11.

T
HE season of peace and prosperity, growth in knowledge and in numbers in the early Church, was followed by a season of contention and differences at Antioch. Paul and Barnabas returned from their missionary tour, and reported to the congregation which had sponsored their journey expenses. Together they, the Church and their missionaries, rejoiced in their mutual service for the Gentiles. The cause indeed was quite prosperous everywhere. Then came from Jerusalem, the headquarters of the Church, certain brethren, Hebrews by birth, who, perceiving that the Gentile Christians ignored circumcision, raised a great commotion on that score, claiming that circumcision would not save without Christ, neither would Christ's salvation be operative without circumcision. The minds of many were disturbed, and for a time a split in the Church seemed probable. But better counsels prevailed and their beloved brethren, Paul and Barnabas, were sent to Jerusalem as a committee to confer with the Apostles and Elders there. Our lesson tells of this Conference and its results.

Incidentally we remark upon the wisdom shown by these early Christians – they had "the spirit of a sound mind." They had indeed great confidence in Paul and Barnabas and realized that under their ministrations they had already received great blessings from the Lord, which fact rather contradicted the idea that they could not be esteemed proper subjects for Divine favor without circumcision. They did wisely, therefore, to consider that the will of the Lord on the subject was positive and that his will would be indicated through the Apostles, of whom our Lord had said, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven." These Apostles, then, might properly be expected to know and to be able to advise, whether circumcision would be a bounden obligation upon the Gentiles as upon the Jews, or whether they would be loosed from that obligation which had been placed upon Israelites – upon all of Abraham's family.

THE JERUSALEM CONFERENCE

The kindly deference of the Apostles, one to the other at the Conference, is quite marked in this account. It is also noticeable that they based their conclusions on the subject on what they found written in the Scriptures (the Old Testament) and their leadings of Divine providence. Gradually for several years the Truth had become more and more plain to them; how that the special favor of God to the Jews had given place to a general favor toward people of every nation, so that all men everywhere believing in the Lord, accepting his promises and consecrating their lives in harmony therewith, might [R4374 : page 117] henceforth have equal privileges and advantages with those of Hebrew birth. They knew of God's covenant relationship with that nation, and it took time for them to become convinced that the Divine program had taken another step forward. Similarly in the end of this age there are many who realize that only a "little flock" has been called and has responded, sacrificed, under the present High Calling. It is difficult for these to grasp the thought that a change of dispensation is at hand and that God intends to complete the work of this age for the "elect" and to inaugurate a new work for the new age, for the non-elect, for the benefit of "all the families of the earth."

The conclusions of the Conference are given us in few words, namely, that so far as God is concerned, he had recognized believers of Gentile birth by his holy Spirit in just the same way in which he had recognized believers of Hebrew birth, "and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:9.) What more could be asked? And these Gentiles had received all this favor of God without having come under the bondage of the Law Covenant. Why, they wisely asked, should we put a yoke upon them, when God has made no such requirement? They realized that the Law Covenant was indeed a yoke. More than this, that it was so heavy a yoke that neither they nor their fathers had been able to bear it. Christ had relieved them of the yoke of the Law Covenant. Why should they put it upon brethren to whom the Lord had never given it?

Going beyond this, even, they recognized that in some respects the Gentile, free from the Law, never having come under that yoke, held the superior position of the two; hence the statement, "We (Hebrews) believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they (Gentiles)."

THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER

We have in Vs. 22-29 the decision of the Apostles on the question. They not only wrote it out, but sent it at the hand of two of their trusted brethren, Judas-Barnabas and Silas, with Paul and Barnabas, that they might have the matter in written and in oral testimony. The declaration was that the disquieting teachings had not been authorized by the Apostles at Jerusalem. Then they briefly summed up, not as Law, but as "necessary things," the following: –

(1) Abstain from sacrifices to idols;

(2) And from blood;

(3) And from things strangled;

(4) And from harlotry.

It was not intimated that abstinence from these things would make them Christians, for nothing but faith in Christ and consecration to him and endeavor to walk in his steps could constitute them Christians. By these recommended abstentions they declared, "It will be well with you"; you will find these recommendations profitable to you as followers of the Lord. As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul has pointed out most forcefully that "Love is the fulfilling of the Law," because love for God would control the life as respects holiness, and love for our neighbor as respects earthly justice. The things here recommended were necessary to a preservation of the fellowship of the "Body" composed of Jews and Gentiles of their different education and sentiments. Without discussing whether or not harm could come to the meats sold in the markets, by reason of pagan ceremonies in connection with their killing, the advice was that these be abstained from, because Jews certainly would consider the eating of such meats as participations in the heathen idolatry – even though from the broad standpoint of fact the idol, being nothing but wood or metal or stone, could neither profit nor injure the food. Nevertheless, it was advisable that the Gentile Christians abstain from the use of their liberty in this direction, out of deference to the weaker brethren, Jews and Gentiles, who could not so deeply philosophize and whose consciences might be injured.

A similar thought attaches to the prohibition of the use of blood. To the Jew it was forbidden, and under his covenant it was made a symbol of life – to partake of it would imply responsibility for the life taken. Moreover, in the typical ceremonies of the Law the prohibited blood was used as a symbol representing the sin-offering; for by the blood atonement for sins was effected. To emphasize these typical lessons the Jew had been forbidden to use blood. And there may be other, sanitary, reasons connected with the matter, which are not yet known to us. These prohibitions had never come to the Gentiles, because they had never been under the Law Covenant; but so deeply rooted were the Jewish ideas on this subject that it was necessary to the peace of the Church that the Gentiles should observe this matter also. The things strangled meant animals taken in traps, whose blood was not shed or drained out by bleeding to death, as the Jewish Law required of all meats that should be eaten. This restriction was necessary to the harmony between the two branches of spiritual Israel – that which came from Judaism and that which came from the Gentiles.

If they did not wish to be contentious and cause divisions in the Church, the Gentile brethren would surely be willing to restrain or sacrifice their liberty respecting these matters. The fourth restriction specified was "fornication," the Greek signifying "harlotry." It is difficult to understand why one moral precept should be thus separated from others and placed on the list with ceremonial requirements. We incline rather to ask, Why not have included profanity, drunkenness, idolatry, adultery, false witness, murder, etc.? Are we to understand that the Gentiles are free to commit all the crimes in the calendar not stipulated by this Conference, and merely counseled respecting meats offered to idols, or that have died by strangulation – and the use of blood and fornication? Surely not. Rather all the requirements of the Law are included in the one law of the New Creation – Thou shalt love the Lord and thy neighbor.

Love would cover idolatry, profanity, murder, theft, false witness, adultery, but the law of Love would not so thoroughly cover the items enumerated by the Counsel. These were necessary, proper, and we are to recognize the authority of the Apostles to "bind things on earth," and that they were so guided in their public utterances that they bound nothing unnecessarily, nothing contrary to the Divine will. It is our opinion, therefore, that these items thus superadded to the Law of Love should be observed by all spiritual Israelites as representing the Divine will. As a matter of fact nearly all the butchering for our markets is in harmony with the Jewish regulations, although many Jews decline to recognize this and eat only such meats as have been inspected and approved by their rabbis. [R4375 : page 117]

The wise course pursued brought its good results. Harmony prevailed, unity of spirit, fellowship amongst the members. The secret of this lay in the fact that the Lord was recognized as having the supervision of the Church's affairs, and as guiding her course and directing her way through the appointed channels, the Apostles. Similarly to-day, where honesty of heart prevails amongst the Lord's people, schisms, divisions, should be unknown. The Lord's guidance and instruction should be sought – his Word through the Apostles. Moreover, the Lord has been pleased since the Apostles fell asleep to use faithful brethren in the Church as finger-boards to indicate the right path, in harmony with his Word through the Apostles and prophets. The thing necessary is the pure heart and the honest conscience and the humble spirit.

"We would be one in hatred of all wrong,
One in our love of all things sweet and fair;
One with the joy that breaketh into song,
One with the grief that trembles into prayer,
One in the power that makes Thy children free
To follow truth, and thus to follow Thee."

[R4375 : page 118]

THE MEMORIAL CELEBRATION
O
N Sunday evening, April 4th, approximately 450 celebrated our dear Redeemer's Memorial Supper in Brooklyn Tabernacle. We were much pleased to have so considerable a number of communicants present. Of course, these were not all of Brooklyn proper. In fact, the regular congregation comes largely from the region round about. The occasion was a very solemn and impressive one. Our afternoon discourse on the Passover, typical and antitypical, led our minds in the proper direction for the appreciation of the solemn memorial and our comments in the evening related chiefly to the significance of the bread and the cup. We showed that the eating of the bread pictured the appropriation of our Lord's human rights, by which we were justified and by which our justification of righteousness in God's sight is maintained, notwithstanding the imperfections which are ours through heredity. We showed that the blood represented primarily our Lord's earthly life rights appropriated to us, justifying us to life.

Then we took the second and larger view of the matter and saw in the light of the Apostle's words that all of the faithful, all of the Royal Priesthood, all of the members of the one Body of Christ, join with their Lord in becoming the One Loaf and join with Him also in the breaking of that loaf, that it may be the Bread of Restitution to the world of mankind. We saw in the light of the Apostle's words, too, that in becoming members of the Body of Christ we become sharers with our Lord in his cup of suffering, in his sacrifice of earthly life. We saw further how in the Divine purpose this earthly life, which we surrender forever, goes under the New Covenant to Israel, Judah and all the families of the earth, while we are granted spiritual life and rights.

"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion (fellowship-sharing) of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion (in his sufferings) of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread and one Body; for we are all partakers (sharers) of that one Bread." – 1 Cor. 10:16,17.

As we thus took a fresh glimpse at the significance of the "deep things of God," our hearts were stirred to their depths with the realization. How wonderful it seems that we should be called to such an intimate association with our Lord and Redeemer, both in the sufferings of this present time and in the glories that shall follow! We called to mind the fact that the Lord could not reasonably require less of us; that this is but a reasonable service, privilege and honor. We realized afresh how great would be our loss if we should fail to make our calling and election sure by unfaithfulness to the vows taken when we were accepted as his "members." We pointed out that even those who would constitute the "great company" must attain that standing through great tribulation, and that none could be acceptable to the Lord for life eternal except the pure in heart, filled with his spirit; and that, as the Apostle says, the matter with us is one of life or death eternal. We sought afresh to build one another up in the most holy faith and love and devotion and zeal, that the victory might be won – eternal life. We exhorted that it is really easier in some respects to gain that eternal life on the highest plane, the Divine nature and Royal Priesthood, than on the lower plane of spirit being, typified by the Levites.

Almost all who were present partook of the memorial emblems and we closed the service with prayer, followed by a hymn, after which we went out quietly, without our usual greetings, striving to carry with us, so far as possible, the precious thoughts of the occasion.

Reports thus far received are that the celebration has been very general and that in a majority of cases the numbers participating show an increase over last year. In a few cases the increase is small or none, because whereas friends from several districts had previously met together, they have now grown large enough to meet separately. The report from Pittsburg is an excellent one – just about as we expected; the Bible House Chapel was more than filled, so that extra chairs were needed and brought in. Notwithstanding this the showing is not as large as on some previous occasions, because usually these services have been held in Carnegie Hall or some other larger auditorium, and have been attended by friends from nearby places – notwithstanding our frequent reminders that it is desirable that the friends of each locality meet by themselves, after the manner of a family, in harmony with the original instructions of the type.

Altogether the general interests of the harvest work seem to be deepening and broadening. Yet, we must expect continued and increasing testings of faith and love, even to the end of the Harvest time; for in no other manner does it seem possible for the Church to be tested. Thus St. Paul, while admonishing us to mark those who cause divisions (Rom. 16:17), and exhorting again that there be no divisions among you (I Cor. 1:10), declares, "I hear that there be divisions (schisms) among you, and I partly believe it; for there must be heresies among you that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." (I Cor. 11:18,19.) Again, St. John says, "They went out from us. They were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would, no doubt, have continued with us; they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." – 1 John 2:19,20.

The substance of this teaching is that while it is true that the Body of Christ is one and should be bound together mutually by the bonds of love and sinews of Truth, nevertheless if, after we have done all in our power to hold a fellow-member with our love and with the truth he departs, we are to take the matter with equanimity, remembering that the Lord knows the heart and that having done all in our power the remainder is for the Lord to attend to and that he will attend to disciplining and bringing back into fellowship with the Body all that are truly his. "The Lord knoweth them that are his." We do not. We do well to remember this and to exercise full confidence and faith in the Lord and his wisdom and love and power in dealing with every disobedient member. It is ours to be kind and gentle toward all, while reminding ourselves and others of the Lord's own statement, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord."

Below we give reports of the numbers participating in the memorial celebration in the more prominent congregations which have thus far reported attendances of twenty and above:

Meaford, Ont.; Hoopeston, Ill.; Clayton, Ga.; Colmra, Ala., 20. Everett, Wash., 21. Moore, Pa.; New Brunswick, N.J.; Mansfield, O.; Pt. Limon, Costa Rico; Reading, Pa.; Halifax, N.S., 22. So. Sharon, Pa., 23. Rochester, N.Y.; New Liskeard, Ont., 24. Elgin, Ill.; Jacksonville, Fla., 25. New Albany, Ind.; Rockford, Ill., 26. Port Clinton, O.; Auburn, Ind.; Iola, Kan.; Hartford, Conn.; Galveston, Tex., 27. Tampa, Fla., 28. Muncie, Ind.; Springfield, Mass., 29. Tiffin, O.; Allentown, Pa., 30. Suffolk, Va.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Milwaukee, Wis., 31. Birmingham, Ala.; Pasadena, Cal., 32. Dallas, Tex.; Knoxville, Tenn., 33. Cohoes, N.Y.; Worcester, Mass., 34. Omaha, Neb., 35. Lynn, Mass.; Lancaster, Pa.; Denison and Sherman, Tex., 36. Detroit, Mich.; Schenectady, N. Y., 39. Vancouver, B.C., 40. Louisville, Ky., 41.

Canton, O., 43; Struthers, O., Atlanta, Ga., 42; Denver, Col., Richmond, Va., 45; St. Joseph, Mo.; Altoona, Pa.; Binghamton, N.Y., 48; Baltimore, Md., Cincinnati, O., 49; Toledo, O., 50; San Antonio, Tex., 52; Hamilton, Ont., 55; Houston, Tex., 56; Dayton, O., Kansas City, Mo., 58; Portland, Ore., 61; Scranton, Pa., 73; Kingston, Jamaica, 79; Columbus, O., 84; St. Louis, Mo., 86; Indianapolis, Ind., 96; St. Paul, Minn., 99; Oakland, Cal., 100; Providence, R.I., 101; Barmen, Germany, 110; Cleveland, O., 134; Washington, D.C., 149; Boston, Mass., 200; Philadelphia, Pa., 201; Chicago, Ill., 275; Glasgow, Scotland, 316; Allegheny, Pa., 320; London, England, 388; Brooklyn, N.Y., 450.

[R4376 : page 119]

OUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES
S
OME of the dear friends are "overcharged" in one way and some in another. Some surround themselves with so many cares of this life and are entrapped by the deceitfulness of riches, either already acquired or being sought after, that they have not time for proper spiritual nourishments and exercises. Hence these are spiritually weak and sick and need to go to the Great Physician and to heed the counsels of his word. Others are overcharged in trying to attend to the affairs of others and feeling responsibilities that the Lord has never put upon them. This also is an indication of spiritual weakness, for these dear friends are surely neglecting their own nourishments and exercises, else they would not have so much time to spare in finding fault with others. They need to read, mark and inwardly digest the various spiritual declarations to the effect that the Lord's people should learn not to be busybodies in other men's affairs. St. Paul says, "For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies." (2 Thess. 3:11.) And again he says, "And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also, and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not." (I Tim. 5:13.) The Apostle Peter admonishes, "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." – I Pet. 4:15.

Nothing in the above, dear friends, is written in any unkind spirit, but with the intention of helping some who are really good and noble at heart, but deficient in their faith in the Lord as the Manager of His own work; hence, sometimes they are given to evil surmisings, if not evil-speaking, in respect to brethren whom they should rather leave in the Lord's care, praying for them and, to the extent that they have actual knowledge and proper opportunity, doing what may commend itself to their judgment and confidence as their proper duty in the way of expostulation and suggestion; but the matter should surely go no further than this. They should not set themselves as regulators of the affairs of others, and especially not as regulators of the Lord's affairs. Surely the Lord can be trusted to manage His own cause. And surely we have confidence in His wisdom and ability, as well as in His justice and His love. Let us have more faith in the Lord and look rather for His leadings than for how we can steady the ark, unless, indeed, He has specially so set us in the Body of Christ as to put the responsibilities upon us. "God hath set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him." – I Cor. 12:18.

We offer the above suggestions in the warmest of Christian love to some of the dear friends who have chided us for permitting the newspapers to print our likeness and, as they would say, for using worldly means in the propagation of the Gospel message. They write us that they fear that the wide publication of our Sunday discourses by the newspapers, in connection with our removal to Brooklyn, etc., means somehow a lowering of the Divine standards and catering to the world and to the clergy, etc., etc.

Our reply is that they should give themselves no concern in this matter, but leave it in the Lord's hands. He has succeeded in guiding His work and us in the past, and we feel sure will continue successful. A Leaven Purgative or a Faith Tonic would appear to be the proper prescription for this spiritual unrest.

As a matter of fact, dear friends, we are confident that there is no lowering of the Divine standards in our public utterances – oral and printed. We are equally confident that we are very unpopular with the clergy of all denominations and that some of them are our bitter enemies, all of whom seem to do everything in their power to injure us personally and to hinder our service of the Truth. Neither do we think for a moment that our utterances are popular with worldly editors and the publishers. These are mostly irreligious and publish the discourses merely to interest their readers. We do not even think that our discourses are popular with the public. There is, however, a sprinkling of deeply religious people, and others who have a respect for religion, to whom the Bible has heretofore been a dark, mysterious, sealed book. Some of these are becoming interested in the Divine Plan – some slightly, some deeply interested.

It is our thought that the Lord is opening the way at the present time for a very general circulation of a knowledge of the Divine Plan and that it is under the guidance of Divine providence that the sermons are now being printed in more than a hundred newspapers every week and reaching millions of readers. While maintaining the highest standard of Truth in our utterances we esteem it to be the Lord's will that we present the Truth in as attractive manner as we know how, if, by any means, we might win some, as the Apostle suggests. The use of pictures in public prints has greatly increased of late, and publishers insist that they must make every item of their papers attractive. That is their business, not ours. It is ours to see that the Truth is presented as wisely and as widely as possible. If we would have the co-operation of the newspapers in setting the Gospel before the public we must allow them liberty in respect to illustrations, headings, etc., within reasonable bounds.

Our thought was that the sermons could be published under the caption of People's Pulpit of Brooklyn Tabernacle without the name of the author, and several were thus sent out. However, the publishers disapprove this and insist that our personality is a necessary feature to make the discourses attractive to their readers.

Some of the dear friends forget that if it had not been for our use of progressive means in setting forth the Harvest message they might have remained in darkness respecting the good tidings, unless God had worked a miracle in bringing the matter to their attention in some other way. The lesson for us each and all is this, "Do with thy might what thy hand findeth to do," and give thy brother the same liberty also. Be glad and rejoice if, by any honorable means, the grace of God is made more widely known. Nothing is much more hurtful to a Christian than the souring or ferment of his mind. And where it attacks the heart it becomes fatal. It is the start of a root of bitterness. Let us put all such things away and remember the Master's words to the disciples, "He that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."

Be assured, dear brethren and sisters, that our move to Brooklyn and the occupation here of larger quarters adapted to the enlarging work means no change of sentiment on our part. We trust that the Lord will find every worker in the Brooklyn Tabernacle and Bethel as earnest and modest and humble and self-sacrificing as ever – and, if possible, more so. Judge not according to outward appearances merely, and think no evil. Should the Lord's blessing continue with the work for a couple of years as now, the Harvest message will, we doubt not, reach the people of small towns and the country through the newspapers as we never were able to do with the tracts and books.

We are not expecting great things, but, temporarily, a considerable degree of prosperity. It will not surprise us if within two or three years a great change shall be permitted by Divine providence, which, to others than ourselves, would seem like a withdrawal of Divine favor from this work; but to us it will mean that the Harvest work is nearing its completion. Let us join hands in the reaping work while it is called day, for the night cometh wherein no man can work.

Personally to be brought prominently before the public attention is distasteful to us; we would much prefer to proceed with the work quietly, unobserved and unknown, holding up the cross and hiding self behind it. [R4376 : page 120] Moreover we realize that the more we are brought into prominence the more are our enemies stimulated to slander us and to say all manner of evil against us falsely: for this cause also we would, if possible, hide personality, if the interests of the work permitted it. It seems evident, however, that the Lord's time has come to bring the Harvest message to the attention of the public; and it is this conviction that leads us to submit cheerfully, willingly, to the arrangements which Providence seems to be opening, and into which the force of circumstances seems to be pressing us.

It will be remembered that in the close of our Lord's ministry there seemed to be a turn of the tide in favor of that Harvest message, so far as public opinion was concerned; this led the religious rulers and teachers of the people to the more bitter opposition, which eventuated in our Lord's crucifixion. May it not be that with the close of this Age, Present Truth may obtain a degree of public recognition which will serve to draw against it and its servants the ire and the fire of some who occupy prominent places and great influence in religious matters! We do not know, but we should not be surprised if such would be the result.

We take this opportunity to express our appreciation of the interest and zeal shown by our readers in the supporting of newspapers publishing the weekly sermons, and sending words of encouragement to the editors. Permit us to suggest, however, that where more than one copy of the sermon is desired the subscriptions should be scattered amongst the various papers publishing the sermons, and that they be encouraged in proportion to their circulation. Another suggestion is that you send all subscriptions to the "Watch Tower" Office, as this will be much more advantageous to the cause.

Another item: In the interest of the work we have contracted with a Newspaper Syndicate, giving it a general control of the sermons, – to say which newspapers may have them and which may not, the terms, etc. This Syndicate will handle the sermons for profit, nevertheless at a low price. Be assured that Brother Russell makes no profit by the sale of the Gospel. In view of this we advise that our friends hereafter refrain from any effort to have the sermons published in any newspaper – contenting themselves with the encouragement [R4377 : page 120] of the papers which are publishing them. The addresses of all the papers publishing these sermons will be sent to us. If your subscriptions be sent to us without specifying which paper you desire we will see that you get the one published nearest to your home, either a daily or weekly, as you may prefer. In most cases we can supply these to you cheaper than you could subscribe for them yourself, because the "Watch Tower" has a clubbing arrangement with many of these.

THE SWEET-BRIER ROSE
Beside my cottage door it grows,
The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows –
A sweet-brier rose.

At dewy morn or twilight's close,
The rarest perfume from it flows, –
This strange, wild rose.

But when the rain-drops on it beat,
Ah, then its odors grow more sweet,
About my feet!

Ofttimes with loving tenderness
Its soft green leaves I gently press
In sweet caress.

A still more wondrous fragrance flows,
The more my fingers firmly close,
And crush the rose!

*                         *                         *

Dear Lord, oh, let my life be so, –
Its perfume when the tempests blow,
The sweeter flow!

And should it be Thy blessed will
With crushing grief my soul to fill,
Press harder still.

And while its dying fragrance flows,
I'll whisper low, "He loves and knows
His crushed brier-rose."

G. W. S. Jan. 20,'09.

[R4377 : page 120]

"YOU HATH HE QUICKENED"
JAMES 2:14-26. – MAY 30. –

Golden Text: – "Faith without works is dead." – V. 20.

M
ANY have supposed doctrinal conflict between St. Paul and St. James, the former holding faith as the important feature of Christianity, the latter insisting that works take precedence. More or less this conflict of thought has come down the ages and is with us to-day. We hold that there was no such conflict between the Apostles, and that the subject, rightly understood to-day, leaves no room for disputation. St. Paul insists that the Law Covenant was a Covenant of works, and that none could be justified under it, because none could do perfect works, and that, therefore, all Jews were under condemnation. He points out that the original Abrahamic Covenant was better and superior to the Law Covenant, because its provisions did not require perfect works, impossible to the fallen man, but instead tested him along another line – the line of his faith. St. Paul did not mean, and did not say, that works were valueless in God's sight; but, realizing that the Jews, trusting in their special Law Covenant, already laid more stress upon works than upon faith, he pressed upon their attention the fact that with Spiritual Israelites of the Isaac class, heirs of the original Sarah Covenant, faith must be regarded as the standard. Under it whoever would attain the proper kind of faith would be acceptable to God. That Covenant does not declare for faith without works, but it does indicate a proper development of faith as necessary – something beyond the initial belief that "God is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him." – Heb. 11:6.

Faith is a matter of steps and development; and only the developed faith could possibly bring to us the blessing of the Abrahamic Covenant. This would imply works, to the extent that they would be possible, as in attestation of the faith. Nevertheless, none of us can be justified by works, because our best works are imperfect. Our judgment, our test, in its last analysis is, "According to thy faith be it unto thee." (Matt. 9:29.) St. James possibly noticed a tendency in some to go to the opposite extreme in the matter of faith, and to ignore works entirely. He does not claim that any could do works that would justify them before God, but merely insists that if the right kind of faith be developed in the heart it will surely bear fruit and make an outward manifestation, according to circumstances. Undoubtedly this is a sound position and one fully in accord with our Lord's words, "By their fruits ye shall know them." – Matt. 7:16.

Coming to an orchard filled with fruit, we may quickly discern the various kinds of trees by their fruits. So with the Christian. If he professes faith in Christ we are willing to acknowledge him as a brother, but "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of [R4377 : page 121] his;" hence, we look for evidences of the Lord's Spirit, disposition, character, in all those who profess to be his "members," "brethren." (Rom. 8:9.) If we see little of the Lord's Spirit (disposition) we are inclined to next inquire how long the brother has known the Lord and professed consecration to him. We thus sometimes find "babes in Christ," who, for the time they have had a knowledge of him, should be more developed and have a larger measure of his Spirit. We should be on guard against considering such, in any sense of the word, suitable teachers or exemplars.

On the contrary, we may very speedily discern the Spirit of Christ in some – their gentleness, meekness, patience, brotherly kindness, love. And if, as sometimes, these qualities be quickly developed in some who have only recently come to a knowledge of the Truth, we may the more rejoice with the fruit-bearer. However young in years, the fruit-bearing quality, the heart development, would indicate such to be possibly one of the "Elder" brethren – even though, because a novice, the Church may not yet consider it due time to advance him formally to an official position as an "Elder."

THE BEGETTING, THEN THE QUICKENING

In other words, the teachings of St. Paul and St. James may be fully harmonized by remembering the words of the former, "You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." (Eph. 2:1.) After the sinner, dead in trespasses and under condemnation, has, by the grace of God, heard of Christ and has accepted his share of the redemptive work by faith, he is "justified by faith," before he has had any time to bring forth works or fruitage of any kind. Then if, following the Lord's leading and instruction, he presented himself a living sacrifice to the Lord to take up his cross and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, the acceptance of his sacrifice by the Father meant his begettal to a new nature – to the spirit plane as a "New Creature." If the begetting spirit be not lost, if it do not die, a transformation work will progress. By and by a quickening or activity will result from the indwelling of the holy Spirit in the mortal body. If this process continues, ultimately the "New Creature" will be perfected and ready for birth on the spirit plane – by resurrection. Thus our Lord in his resurrection was the First-Born of many brethren, and we, his brethren, will be "born from the dead" in due time, if faithful. But if the spark of life perish, we become castaways and will experience no resurrection birth.

From this standpoint we are ready to discern that the beginning of God's leading with us is along the lines of faith, and that it is to our faith that the promises of God appeal, and that by these "exceeding great and precious promises," touching our faith, energizing our faith, God works in us, first to will, and later to do, his good pleasure. To will to do right is of primary importance and is wholly of faith. The doing, which results from this faith, is God's operation through it and corresponds to the "quickening" of the natural birth. The period of the quickening may come sooner or later, but the strength, the vigor, of the unborn infant is usually estimated by the degree of quickening manifested. And so it is with the Christian. When his faith shall have developed sufficiently, the degree of his activity in obedience to God in the service of the Truth and righteousness and the brethren will indicate the strength or the weakness of his spiritual development.

Self-examination along this line is very proper. If we have heard, seen, tasted, of the grace of God and enjoyed it, and if no desire to serve our gracious Father or to assist others to the same blessings that we enjoy has been manifested, it implies that our spiritual vitality is very weak and in danger of perishing. But if, on the contrary, we find ourselves burning with fervency [R4378 : page 121] of love for the Lord, and with appreciation of his great Plan of Salvation, and are consumed with a desire to tell the good tidings to others for their blessing, strengthening, upbuilding and participation in the Divine faith, it should encourage us. We should notice, too, that Jesus specially loved and favored the more zealous, vigorous and energetic of the apostles, Peter, James, John, and, we may be sure, Paul also.

BE YE WARMED AND FILLED

St. James presses his point and endeavors to awaken some who have a measure of faith, but who have not gone on to the quickening degree. He asks what profit there would be for us to say that we have faith if we do not have works to correspond – to attest the faith, however imperfect the works would be. He asks (R. V.), "Can that faith save him?" We answer, No. As St. Paul declares, It is the faith that works by love that counts. But it is the faith that counts, and not the works; because the faith can be perfect, complete; but perfection of works is impossible to us, because we have this treasure of the New Nature in an earthen vessel.

Illustrating this point he suggests that to tell a poor brother of our faith that God will help him and to send him away without relief, when it is within our power to relieve him, would not be such a faith as God would approve. It would rather signify that we had deceived our own selves. It would profit us nothing. So faith that has no works, of any kind or degree, cannot be called a living faith, because, as yet, it has given no evidence of life – it has shown no quickening.

St. James clearly attests his thought, saying, "A man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works; show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works." Again he points to the special feature of the Jewish faith in one God in contrast with the beliefs of the heathen in many gods. He says to the Jewish brethren, "You boast in having knowledge of the one living and true God, but surely this is not the extent of your faith in this direction; because the devils believe and tremble. Oh, foolish man, faith without works is barren. It can never bring you life, birth." A faith that will not develop obedience, in harmony with ability, is, therefore, unavailing during this Gospel Age, even as imperfect works failed to justify to life under the Law Covenant.

ILLUSTRATIONS OF FAITH AND WORKS

Note the case of Abraham, the "father of the faithful." It is written that he believed God, and that his faith was counted to him for righteousness. But how much faith is required and to what extent is it involved in works? St. James points out that God placed a crucial test upon Abraham's faith, which would have proven it inefficient, if it had not developed to the quickened stage of works of obedience. It was years after the promise had been made, and Isaac, the seed of promise, was grown to young manhood, when God commanded that he should be sacrificed upon the altar – thus prefiguring how The Christ, the true Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:29), must all have the testing of faith to the point of obedience, even unto death – sacrificial death.

Then, fearful that he had given an example of so lofty a faith and obedience as would discourage us, St. James picks out and holds up before us another illustration of faith and works – that of Rahab the harlot. She had faith in God, but it would not have availed her if it had not developed to the degree of activity and helpful service, risking her own interests temporarily for the assistance of the spies. Manifestly she would never have had such works without faith – and it is the faith that is specially pleasing to the Lord. But the faith would not have been pleasing to the Lord, had it not led up to works in accord. Thus we see how works have to do with our justification, in conjunction with our faith, which is the foundation of our works.

THE BODY WITHOUT THE SPIRIT

St. James summarizes this thought, saying, "As the body without the spirit of life is dead, even so faith without works is dead." Some might think that the writer of these words had erred in likening the body to faith and the spirit of life to works, supposing that the illustration [R4378 : page 122] should be reversed, namely, to compare the body to works and the spirit of life to faith. But St. James has expressed the matter properly. A body must be had before any spirit of life could come into it. So a faith must exist before it can be quickened into activity. But the quickening is absolutely necessary ere we could have our birth of the spirit in the First Resurrection.

Notwithstanding all that we have written on this subject, especially in Studies, Vol. VI., some of the dear friends occasionally write us in perplexity, desirous of knowing what course they should pursue, in respect to brethren (and sometimes prominent brethren) whose works do not correspond with their professions of faith. For instance, a letter recently received noted the fact that one prominent in the Truth at whose residence the meetings were usually held, has a weakness for intoxicating liquors. They feared that if the meetings were removed from his home he would not attend them elsewhere. They desired to know the Lord's will respecting their course of action.

We were glad to note their love for the brother and also their solicitation for the Truth, lest his weakness might bring the cause of Christ to a measure of dishonor. We advised that the erring one be still treated as a brother, for his weakness may be of heredity and much against his own will; but we also advised that one thus weak should not in any sense of the word be set forth to the world as a prominent representative of the Truth; that so doing would dishonor the Truth and also be injurious to the brother, who might come to feel that his weakness was conceded by the brethren to be justifiable, and thus encouraged he might fail to put forth the necessary energy – fail to allow his faith to work in him, to rule him, to control his mortal flesh, as the Scriptures require.

With full sympathy and brotherly love it is our belief that the brother is not being helped by the course pursued; that it would be better for him if the dear friends would give him loving reproofs and remove the meeting from his home. If he has any of the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of meekness and love of the brethren, such a course would be a most helpful reproof, setting before him, and before all, the high standards of Christian deportment. Is it claimed that this might lead him to antagonize the Truth? We answer that the Scriptures forewarn us that our Gospel is a "savor of life unto life, and of death unto death." (2 Cor. 2:16.) Our whole responsibility is in doing the Lord's will in the kindest, most gentle, most loving manner possible, yet with that force and positiveness which will impress a lesson upon those who are amenable to our influence and the influence of the Lord through us.

We have just received a letter from a dear Sister who has been connected with and deeply interested in the Truth for years. She writes us that she is only now awakening to a realization of the wonderful privileges that are hers in connection with the Harvest work, and of "showing forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light." This dear Sister is only now becoming thoroughly quickened, energized with the Truth. The good features to result may be expected, not only in the bringing of others into a knowledge of the Truth, but also a bringing of her own heart into full harmony with the Lord and to greater character likeness to him, in the manifestation of the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. This quickening came in conjunction with the endeavors of the Sister to live up to all the various features of The Vow. We hope to hear from others similarly blessed and energized to good works for the Lord, the brethren and the Truth.

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"NOT THE SPIRIT OF TIMIDITY"

"For God hath not given us a spirit of timidity; but of courage, of love and of a sound mind." – 2 Tim. 1:7.

T
HERE is one kind of fearlessness which is begotten of self-esteem, lack of humility. This is not the kind enjoined upon the Lord's people. They are to be both tender-hearted and humble-minded. The spirit of courage possessed by the saints is based largely upon their faith in the Lord. Realizing the divine love and providential care, these can apply to themselves the gracious assurance that "The Father himself loveth you" and that "All things shall work together for good to them that love God, to the called ones according to his purpose." It is this realization of divine all-wisdom and all-power that gives the strength of heart referred to in our text. It will be readily seen, then, that this courage is based upon faith, though of course the faith must have a foundation of knowledge. The proper relationship of our growth is primarily knowledge: faith, courage, activity, and all of these continue to grow, and in their maturity make us wise, faithful, courageous overcomers in respect to the spiritual matters to which we have been called.

Sometimes we realize our deficiencies and are not able to locate the cause. Some one says, I want to be an overcomer, to gain the victory over the spirit of the world, over the tendencies of my own fallen flesh and over the wiles of the Adversary, but somehow I cannot; I fail. Such should learn to look for the source of failure, the deficient element, and should fortify himself in respect to the same. Let him ask first, Is my failure to overcome due to a lack of courage? Am I fearful, and hence unable, to fight the good fight of faith and, by the Lord's assistance, to gain the victory? If he has the courage he may find that he has not been sufficiently trusting the Lord, but leaning too much on his own [R4379 : page 122] strength. Such should remember the Apostle's words, "When I am weak, then am I strong"; reversely, "when I am strong in self-assurance, I am then weak," because the Lord wishes me to rely not upon myself, but upon him, his strength, his grace. If the courage be found deficient the reason evidently is that the faith is lacking, and if so, there is a reason for it: either a lack of knowledge on which to build faith, or a lack of exercise and development of faith. The knowledge is to be sought from the right quarter, in harmony with the Lord and his Word, and the faith is to be exercised, continually recognizing the Lord's interest in us as his children, as testified to by his Word and by noticing the leadings of divine providence in our daily affairs.

LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR

There is a proper fear or reverence and disinclination to offend our heavenly Father and our Redeemer, which we wish never to lose. Perfect love will not cast out this fear, but rather intensify it. The fear which love casts out is timidity, a servile fear or dread of the Lord or of Satan, or the fallen angels, or of men and what they might do unto us. Perfect love cannot be attained without knowledge, faith, courage and overcoming. It is the result of the exercise of all this divine arrangement that brings us nearer to God and makes us truly thankful and appreciative of his gracious purposes and omnipotent power for their accomplishment.

The spirit of courage needs special cultivation by the Lord's people. And this cultivation means growth in all the graces. For instance, if calamity befall us or threaten us we should immediately think of the fact that our Lord assures us that an insignificant sparrow cannot fall to the ground without the Father's notice and that we are of much more value than many sparrows. This thought at once strengthens the heart, nerves the arm, quickens the pulse of endeavor, provided we can realize that God is for us, that no earthborn cloud intervenes between our souls and the love for us which he has declared. If a cloud does obscure the Father's love we must the more earnestly, the more persistently get from behind it by getting our hearts right with the Lord, by going to him in prayer, by confessing our trespasses and by requesting mercy and grace to help and to restore us to his favor.

"Be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart," is one of the blessings assured us in his Word. In the divine order courage is necessary in order to strength and [R4379 : page 123] victory. Some one has said, "One with God is the majority." With the courage to grasp this thought and to hold it things almost superhuman seem possible to the Lord's people, while without this courage they may naturally be weak and easily vanquished.

COURAGE IN THE EVIL DAY

Never before, perhaps, was courage so needed as it will be needed in the evil day just before us; but the Prophets' descriptions of the great trouble time before us are very figurative when they speak of fire and clouds and pillars of smoke, saying of this time, "I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke," etc. But the consecrated children of God need have no timidity in respect to these matters if they have the proper courage, developed by proper exercise and built upon proper faith, founded upon the knowledge of divine revelation. His attitude of heart will be, "I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." Whether, therefore, storms financial, political, religious or demoniacal, come his way, the child of God may rest secure and be of good courage. The Lord is both able and willing to care for his interests and bring him off victor. Should the fallen angels be permitted to again materialize and personate either the dead or the living, this class need have no fear. Their perfect love for the Lord, based upon a knowledge and appreciation of his Truth, will lead them to triumph courageously over all the wiles of the Adversary and his hordes.

THE ELECT TO BE UNDECEIVABLE

The Scriptures abound with testimonies to the effect that the severe trials of the near future will be along the lines of deception. They speak of lying angels and deceivableness of unrighteousness and "lying wonders" and tell us that the Lord will send or permit a strong delusion that they may believe a lie. If we gain the right conception of the matter these deceptions are to affect the whole world, including its wise men, and indeed practically everybody except the "very elect"; and the "very elect" will be preserved, not through their own wisdom or superiority, but through the power of God, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." – Matt. 24:24.

Our Lord in the parable of the wheat and tares tells of the harvest work and how in the present time he would gather "together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matt. 24:24.) It is by thus gathering them that they will be protected in the time of strife and trouble when others will be deceived. But they are not to be gathered physically into one place, but spiritually; their minds, their hearts, their affections are to be gathered together, centered. Our text tells us that our Lord is this great Center to which his Elect must all be gathered if they would have rest or peace, if they would overcome the world, the flesh and the peculiar snares of the Adversary, which will now be laid for the feet of all and will more or less entrap all except the Elect class.

"GATHER MY SAINTS UNTO ME"

Figuratively all of these "very elect" ones are gathered, and the place is thus described, "I will say to the Lord, he is my refuge; in him will I trust"; and again, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psa. 91:1.) Ah! no wonder that we also read, "No harm shall come nigh them." How could harm come to any who are thus close to the Lord? A thousand shall fall at thy side; ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee; because thou hast made the Lord thy refuge; thou hast made the Most High thy habitation." – Psa. 91:7.

This nearness to God, into which his "very elect" will be gathered, will be the source of their protection. And the dangers to others will be in proportion to their distance to this great citadel of strength, this fortress, this refuge or tower.

"Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry;
We're trav'ling through Immanuel's ground,
To fairer prospects nigh."
"ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME"

These were our Lord's words after his resurrection. They were true then. They have been true throughout this age and they are still more completely true today, because we are now living in the time of which it is written, "He shall take unto himself his great power and reign." His reign has in some senses of the word already begun. He has already marshaled forces which will complete the overthrow of everything opposed to his Kingdom and its righteous laws. And we may be sure that the members of his Body still in the flesh this side of the veil are no less subjects of his providential care than is the world and its affairs. We may be sure that nothing is transpiring, either in the nominal Church or amongst the kingdoms of the world; amongst socialistic or political parties or in the financial world contrary to what will best serve our Lord's purposes in connection with the events just before us and the outworking of the same in fullest accord with the prophecies.

Oh, that we could get this thought rightly settled in our minds! Yea, as the Scriptures say, "Settle it in your hearts" – that our Lord is at the helm superintending all of earth's affairs at the present time in a much more practical sense than ever in the past. And have we not seen his graciousness towards the Church in the thirty-four years of the harvest period that are already past? And can we doubt his continued supervision of the affairs of his betrothed to the grand consummation? "He who hath begun the good work in us is able to complete it," and he who has thus far conducted the Harvest work is able still to direct it, order, bless it and use it to his own praise and to the blessing of his people.

"Who led thee first will lead thee still;
Be calm and sink into his will."

Let us not be timid either as respects the affairs of the harvest work in general, or as respects our own personal relationship to it and to the Lord. Let us learn more and more to be on the lookout for the leadings of his providence and utilizing knowledge which he has given us from his Word. Let us not be surprised concerning the fiery trials which may try us and the stormy billows which may at times seem about to overwhelm us, "For greater is he that is on our part than all that are against us" – however numerous, however strong, and whether demons or men. Let us remember that we are called to be overcomers and that the victory that overcometh the world is our faith.

"Resist the devil and he will flee from you" is the Lord's testimony. This implies an assault by the Adversary. It implies that he should be resisted and can be resisted and that in the end he will flee from us, not because of arrogance or power on our part, but, as our Master said, "He hath nothing in me"; so if he finds it useless to continue his assaults he will probably flee also from us to other fields of service. We remind all of our readers that whoever comes under the influence of Spiritism, Christian Science, Hypnotism or any other form of Occultism is thereby endangering himself, not only for the moment, but also for the future, because the evil spirits operating through these various channels seek, some in one way and some in another, to delude, bewilder, confuse the reason and bring into subjection the minds of those [R4380 : page 123] with whom they have to do. Hence, any of the Lord's people who have had affiliation at any time with any of these are specially warned of liability to intrusion by these spirits. We remind all that the special channel through which they have had special success is human curiosity. We urge all of the Lord's people to restrain their curiosity and rely on the Lord's Word and have no dealings whatever with any of these occult systems.

One dear sister told us recently that before coming into the Truth she had dabbled with Christian Science and Spiritism and had been entrapped with mediumship. She was a writing medium and could distinctly feel something take hold of her hand and guide her pencil while she wrote on topics of which she had no personal knowledge. After coming into the Truth, and realizing the source of this power, she resolutely repelled it in every way, asking the Lord by prayer for assistance. She gained strength to resist this influence, but has again been annoyed by the spirits taking her hand and endeavoring in various ways to arouse her curiosity so that [R4380 : page 124] she would yield her hand to them to learn their message for her. She remarked that she has now a fear and a dread of the evil spirits and a strong desire to be free. She finds herself freer from their influence when in the company of other people. We advised her against fear and against refusing to remain in a room by herself. By so doing she would be cultivating fear and subserviency and bringing herself into a condition of mind much more amenable to their intrusions. We advised her, and now advise all similarly affected, to resolutely set their wills in opposition, to refuse all communication, to ask no questions, receive no answers in any manner, but in the name of the Lord to command the evil spirit to depart, meantime going to the Lord in prayer "for deliverance and grace to help in every time of need."

In conclusion, then, dear friends, be of good courage, of strong faith, of heroic determination, and see that your faith is not in yourself, nor in your vows, nor in your very best endeavors, but in the Lord. Trust in the Lord and the practise of your faith to control your thoughts and words and deeds and to bring you closer to our Father and Redeemer. We live in a time when worldly wisdom is taking hold of this need of courage and is advising people that it should be based upon self-confidence, self-assurance, self-esteem. This is the world's counterfeit, the Adversary's counterfeit of the true courage which the Word of God inculcates and through which we may not only rejoice in all of the present experiences of life, but ultimately "come off conquerors; yea, more than conquerors through him that loved us."

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THE TONGUE A POWER FOR GOOD OR EVIL
JAMES 3:1-12. – JUNE 6. –

Golden Text: – "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles." – Prov. 21:23.

O
UR lesson is generally acknowledged to be one of the most profound dissertations known in the world on the power of speech. St. James was evidently a very practical man. His remarks respecting the value of words as attestations of faith, noted in our last lesson, show this. To-day's lesson takes up the practical thought and applies it to the tongue in general, and especially to the power of speech in those recognized as Elders or Teachers in the Church. Thus our lesson opens with the exhortation, "Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that we (who are teachers) shall receive the heavier judgment," because in many things we all stumble. The thought is that whoever attempts to be a teacher, a "rabbi," takes a position which exposes him to more criticism than falls upon the ordinary member of the Ecclesia. And if he errs, he will be subjected to much more severe criticism and rebuke than if he made the same error in his own private judgment. More than this, from the Lord's standpoint, he assumes a great responsibility in becoming an ambassador of the Gospel and mouthpiece of the Lord. If faithfulness and care would bring him a great blessing and reward, unfaithfulness or carelessness would bring correspondingly heavy condemnation.

These words of the Apostle, in conjunction with our Lord's suggestion that if bidden to a feast we take not a high seat, but a low one, and that we seek not the title "rabbi," but be humble, as "little children" – these suggestions from so high authority in the Church, combined with St. Paul's exhortation, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time," should properly cause us to fear the responsibility of a teacher's position in the Church. If seemingly in the Lord's Providence we occupy such a position it should be held very humbly and with great fearfulness and continual watching and praying lest we enter into temptation and ensnare ourselves and others in error.

"PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A FALL"

Of course, there is a reason for this danger. It lies in ambition, which sometimes takes the direction of pride and sometimes the love of praise. The first of these, pride, is always reprehensible, never excusable, for surely no member of our race has any reasonable, just ground for pride, even though in comparison with the remainder of the race he might be forced to the conclusion that he was less fallen than many. The second danger to ambition, namely, love of approbation of others, is proper enough if rightly directed – Godward – but dangerous in proportion as it seeks human approbation, because those about us, likewise imperfect, might often approve and applaud things which our Lord would disapprove and reprobate. Hence, the only ambition allowable would be the desire to please God and to have his approval and ultimately his "Well done."

Of course, this would incidentally mean a desire and expectation of having the approval of such of the Lord's brethren as have the Spirit of the Lord – "The mind of Christ." It might properly also include an appreciation of the love and esteem of all men. But these must not become any part of our ambition, nor must we expect that mankind in general would be so impulsed by righteousness and Truth and the spirit of these that they would approve and applaud the things most pleasing to the Lord. On the contrary, we must remember that if any man love the world and its approval and applause, the love of the Father is not in him. If he gets the approval of the world in general he should remember the Lord's words, "Woe unto you when all men speak well of you." It should be a sign to him that in an important sense and degree he was out of harmony with the Lord and his message – otherwise the world would hate him, as it did Christ, and cry out, "Crucify him."

"ONE IS YOUR TEACHER, EVEN CHRIST"

St. James is not warning us against service, nor seeking to hinder us from all good works one for the other, as members of the Body of Christ. His caution is against our attempting to be (school) masters or teachers. There is but the one Teacher or Schoolmaster for the entire Church of Christ for all this age. He is the "Head of the Church, which is his Body" – the Director, Supervisor, Caretaker, Instructor of the "members."

True, the Apostle does intimate that the Lord "Hath set the various members in the Body as it hath pleased Him." He intimates that the qualities of eye and ear and tongue are head qualities in comparison with the hand, the foot, etc., which are body qualities. Our absent Lord or Head promised to be with every little gathering of his people. "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age," and thus with them he is pleased to exercise in some manner and through some agency the Chairmanship of such a meeting and to be the Teacher. But he will not force his Headship upon us. He waits to serve, to instruct, to guide so many as are in the right attitude of heart, desirous of knowing his will and doing it. Having instructed his people respecting his will, he expects them to follow his instructions, if they would have the blessing he is pleased to confer. If, therefore, when assembled in his name they follow the directions of his Word, hearken to his voice in the Scriptures and watch for the leadings of [R4380 : page 125] his Spirit, and approve it in each other where found, his blessing will be proportionate.

Thus a responsibility is upon each little group to approve as its leader none but the consecrated. No goat must be chosen as a leader of the sheep, nor any sheep whose outward conduct does not give evidence of his sincerity of heart and desire to walk in the footsteps of the Master. Pride, and self-seeking ambition to be a lord over the flock, should not be tolerated, because they would be injurious, not only to the Ecclesia of believers, but also to the heady ones seeking to lead them. Nevertheless, where need to be restrained from taking the highest seats in the spiritual feast presents itself, the restraint should be exercised in a kindly, loving manner, with the remembrance that some have greater trials and temptations along these lines than have others, and, as the Apostle says, "Remembering thyself, lest thoualso be tempted."

St. James declares, "In many things we all stumble." He does not mean that we all fall into sin or grievous error, but he does mean that, so long as we are in the flesh and the Spirit of the Lord and his message are delivered through our imperfect powers, no one is infallible. Hence, those who do not aspire to leadership in the meetings of the "saints" should not be hypercritical [R4381 : page 125] of the brethren who seem to manifest humility of heart, and who endeavor to serve them, breaking to them the bread of life. They should be appreciated and loved for their work's sake, even if their every utterance cannot be accepted unqualifiedly. These sentiments attach not only to the oral teacher, but also to the printed page, by which another may be represented in the meeting.

"THE SAME IS A PERFECT MAN"

We are not to understand the Apostle to mean that any man is actually perfect, nor to mean that ability to bridle the tongue would indicate that perfection had been reached in every other channel of his life. His thought manifestly is that the tongue is the most difficult member of the human body to control and that whoever could succeed in gaining such a control of that member as would preclude his ever stumbling in speech would prove his ability to control every avenue of his nature. Of course, in this respect, as in every respect, there is no man perfect. "There is none righteous (perfect), no, not one." The only perfect one since Adam's fall was he who came down from above, and who is above or superior to all, because in him was no sin, no hereditary taint, no blemish.

"Able also to bridle the whole body," gives us the thought of the restraint necessary to us in all of the affairs of life. "Let your moderation be known unto all men" – your self-restraint, the bridling of your entire body. The work of grace which the Lord proposes and admonishes is very thorough and leaves little time to be "killed" in foolish talking or jesting or games or frivolities or novel-reading. Some of the Lord's dear people have not gotten far enough developed to appreciate this – have not reached the quickened stage of activity in the service of righteousness and in the warfare against sin and selfishness in their own flesh.

BRIDLING HORSES AN ILLUSTRATION

St. James, to illustrate the power of the mind, the will, in the control of the body, and especially in control of the tongue, illustrates the matter by the bridling of a horse. The fiery steed, much stronger than a man, can be "broken" or tamed, bridled and made to do the will of the driver. But not so the tongue. It is most unruly. The new will takes hold with determination that the tongue shall go in the proper direction only, speaking forth words of justice and love, yet ere long the tongue runs away, breaks its bonds. Here we have a runaway accident with damage to some – perhaps to many. Similarly with ships; a rudder is so placed as to turn the ship about in the face of the most severe gales – not only little ships, but great ships are thus turned about by very small helms, which answer perfectly to the steering apparatus of the helmsman. But the tongue, which should be tractable to the guidance of the New Creature and its most useful servant, is, on the contrary, perverse, uncontrollable. The tongue, therefore, one of the least of our members, is one of the most important of them. It can accomplish great things, either for good or for evil, just as the little fire of a match might be so used as to set on fire a forest.

"THE TONGUE IS A FIRE,

A world of iniquity among our members. It defileth the whole body and setteth on fire the course (wheel) of nature; and it is set on fire of Gehenna." (Jas. 3:6.) Here we have a series of word pictures. The tongue is a world of iniquity in the sense that every iniquity in the world can be introduced descriptively by the tongue. Of course, the organ itself is never meant, but speech, which the tongue represents. By the tongue, by our speech, oral or written, every form of evil may find its highest power. The tongue can paint pictures more quickly and more vividly than any painter's brush. Since the world about us is full of iniquity expressed in a thousand forms it is within the range of the powers of the tongue to picture these and, by the printing press, to distribute them to thousands of millions. It is indeed a whole world of iniquity, if improperly used. Alas! that even amongst Christians this is frequently the case. Careless words, insinuations, hints, are dropped into the minds of neighbors or friends and, because these are already predisposed to evil-thinking, evil-surmising, etc., these words are like lighted matches dropped in a hayloft – apt to start a conflagration which may do incalculable injury to the neighbor and from him the sparks may fly far and near, working moral and spiritual havoc.

The course of nature, more literally the wheel of life, or the human course from the cradle to the tomb, may easily be set on fire at any time. There are thousands of opportunities. The tongue is the match. Possibly St. James had specially in mind the course of the New Creature and its dangers. What if it should be set on fire and the entire spiritual prospect blighted, destroyed! That this is his thought seems to be implied by the words, "And it is set on fire of Gehenna." The world in general have evil tongues, reprobate minds; but being unregenerate the world's children are not in danger of Gehenna, the Second Death. But the Church, having received the grace of God in Christ, having been "begotten again," has staked its all upon the attainment of the spiritual blessing which the Lord has promised to the faithful. In the Church, therefore, the power of the tongue is much more potent than elsewhere. It may set on fire the course of the New Nature for some – a fire which may burn into the Second Death, and a fire which may not be confined to the one in whose heart it is ignited, but which may spread to others with similar effect, blighting the sweetness, the happiness, the Christ-likeness in the present life and destroying all future prospects. No wonder that our dear Redeemer admonished us to

"TAKE HEED WHAT YE HEAR!"

While each should be on guard against communications [R4381 : page 126] and sparks that would be injurious, each one should also be on guard against allowing sparks to fall upon himself and to ignite in his heart. The fire-quenching apparatus, the water of Truth, should be continually at hand also, so that any spark alighting, its baneful influence may be quenched before irreparable injury be accomplished. "Keep your heart," then, would seem to imply the thought that we not only are not to give forth evil as injurious sparks to others, but that we are to watch, guard our hearts, that no evil either originate there or be received into them. Let us remember the adage that we cannot help the flying of crows over our heads, but we can keep them from nesting in our hair. We cannot rid the world, nor even the Church, of evil-minded people, but we can avoid fellowshiping such, as the Apostle directed, saying, "Mark them which cause divisions amongst you and avoid them" (Rom. 16:17) – as you would avoid a pestilence or a vile odor or the sparks from a neighbor's burning barn.

WILD BEASTS AND BIRDS AND SERPENTS

St. James had evidently learned well and deeply his lesson respecting the ferocity of the human tongue. He compares it, roughly speaking, with beasts, reptiles, fish and fowl. He declares that any of these may be considered as tameable. Man's superiority and power to conquer these has been demonstrated. But power to conquer the tongue and to make it tame and obedient and thoroughly reliable has never yet been demonstrated. "The tongue can no man tame." It is an unruly (restless, ceaseless) evil. And no serpent bite contains so dangerous, so violent poison. The serpent's bite may cause pain and physical death, but the tongue can do more, in that it can produce moral ravage, which will bite, devour and cause madness to others, and its influence extends to death eternal.

If we could but get a proper conception of the mighty potentialities of the tongue, it would make us almost afraid to speak a word, lest we should speak amiss. Such a fear would be very helpful to us, as gradually, then, a desire to speak the words of justice and love and soberness, the good tidings, should burst the restraint and find utterance, while the dread of the evil would still guard every expression. The result would be greater Godlikeness.

THE TONGUE WHICH PRAISES GOD, CURSES MEN

Here again we see that St. James is not speaking of the tongue from the worldly standpoint, but as a member of the Church of Christ to fellow-members. We all use our tongues in praising God, in confessing his grace and mercy and love, and in speaking forth his praises. This is proper. How can we do otherwise? But, alas, that it should be true that the same tongue which thus praises the Creator so often proves a curse, an injury, a world of iniquity to fellow-man! And especially to the fellow-members of the "household of faith!" – setting on fire the course of nature by slanders, evil-speaking and evil-surmising, hints, insinuations, etc. Oh, Lord, who is sufficient for these things! Truly, as St. Paul declares, "Our words are either a savor of life unto life or of death unto death."

"SWEET AND BITTER, BLESSING AND CURSING"

"My brethren, these things ought not so to be." We must see to it that we learn this great lesson in the School of Christ, that out of the mouth which praises God there shall not come forth that which would be injurious to the brethren – or anyone. Look at nature! Did anyone ever know of a fountain sending forth at the same opening sweet water and bitter? No! As the same fountain could not yield salt water and fresh, so we cannot be copies of God's dear Son, nor fit for the Kingdom, so long as we have such a disposition. We must be conquerors. We must be overcomers. And the battle of each of us is within himself. We may indeed do all in our power for others and for the general cause, yet our victory and our title to the Lord's words, "Good and faithful servant," "More than conquerors," will not be for us except as our hearts are allowed to dominate our tongues and gain such a victory over impurity and lovelessness as will not tolerate them in any sense or degree.

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SAMPLES OF INTERESTING LETTERS
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

On Sunday evening 316 of us partook of the Memorial Supper in Glasgow; 305 in the Berkeley Hall, and 11 in their homes. We all felt it a solemn occasion, realizing, as we did, that we were memorializing our dear Lord's death and our own participation in that death; but at the same time we rejoiced in the knowledge that Jesus triumphed over death and is now present superintending the harvest work, and that we shall all so soon be with him and see him as he is.

On two former occasions the Memorial Supper was celebrated in Glasgow on Sunday evening. The first of these was in 1899 when 16 met together; the other was in 1905 when the number had increased to 142. Truly the Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.

In a recent letter to you, dear Brother, I told you that I was considering and praying over the Vow. I am glad to tell you that our loving heavenly Father has opened the eyes of my understanding, and I have made the Vow my own. The difficulty which I had was the thought that a Vow was a solemn undertaking before God which must never be broken for any reason whatever. An address by one of our elders (Brother Johnstone), put the matter in what was to me a new light. This was that the Vow, like our Consecration Vow, is to be made by us on the basis of our justification by faith. God does not expect perfection in the flesh; what he does expect is an earnest desire and a sincere endeavor to fulfil the terms of the Vow. With this thought in mind, I saw that the Vow was simply a decision by the new mind to carry out certain details implied, though not stated, in our Vow of Consecration, and if, owing to the weakness of our flesh, we fail at any time, the blood of Christ will cleanse us from this as from any other sin which is not a wilful transgression. The TOWER of March 1st, received a fortnight ago, on the day following Brother Johnstone's address, corroborated this thought. In it you stated that it was not the flesh, the "old man," but the New Creature, who takes the Vow.

We are looking forward with glad anticipation to your proposed visit among us, and we are rejoicing also in the prospect of meeting and hearing our dear Brother and Sister Bundy.

Praying the Lord's blessing on yourself and all others in "Bethel Home," and on the harvest work in general, I am, with a humble request for your prayers on my behalf,

Yours in the Master's service,

JOHN EDGAR.

MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I have for some time thought that I would write and tell you something of my appreciation of the books and the WATCH TOWERS during the two months that I was unable for the Pilgrim service. I have especially enjoyed the clear, concise statements in the TOWER in regard to the Vow and the Covenants. I have never had any special trouble over either. The only respect in which I have differed from the presentation of the matter in the TOWER was that I did not favor the publication in the TOWER of the names of those who took the Vow, but while I did not endorse that feature of the matter, I did not deem it of such vital importance as to protest against [R4382 : page 127] it. While I have greatly rejoiced in the privilege of reviewing the books, and with more than usual care scanning the contents of each issue of the TOWER, I have found much to confirm my faith, comfort my heart and stimulate to greater activity in the race for the glorious "prize of the high calling."

In my examination of the articles, both on the Vow and on the Covenants, I have seen no Scriptural ground for disagreement with the Editor. I presume that it is because of this fact that I have felt more keenly the pain, as I have learned that some who formerly walked with us, and with whom we have taken counsel, and had sweet fellowship, have turned and walk no more with us.

I trust that these dear brethren may search their hearts very diligently, that they may see whether their differences are really based upon a genuine difference of opinion as to doctrine or whether there may not be back of it some root of bitterness growing out of some real or imaginary wrong received in regard to personal rights, from a social or business point of view, or some lack of recognition or appreciation of personal worth or ability as servants of the Truth. I know from experience, as well as observation, and the teaching of God's Word, that the Adversary loses no opportunity of bringing dissension among the Lord's Anointed, and this planting of "roots of bitterness," I have noticed, is one of his favorite methods of operation.

My joy knew no bounds when I saw through the light of Present Truth the possibilities placed in reach of every truly consecrated child of God, of becoming joint-heirs with Christ in the glory of his Kingdom for the blessing of all the families of the earth. But I soon saw another possibility – that of losing all for a single mess of pottage. I had a well-developed bump of self-esteem, and this assured me that I had certain personal rights and dignity that should be maintained, and that my personal worth as a public minister with many years of experience should be recognized. Oh, how glad I am that in the very beginning of my experience in this, the greatest undertaking of my life, the dear heavenly Father gave me to see not only the vanity of these things, but also the danger of losing the heavenly hopes and prospects by trying to conserve the earthly, and that I was early enabled to see that the Father himself is not only abundantly able, but that he has promised to care for every item of interest for his children!

So far as personal rights of a business, social or other interest were concerned, I determined that they should have no part in determining the matter of fellowship with the brethren; and I have found this very helpful, for while comparing notes with Brother Russell, the Pilgrim brethren and the brethren in general, I have found but little to differ from them in doctrine, while along other lines I often find differences quite radical, and why not, since in our general make-up, education, etc., we are so different. So, then, I am not surprised when I find Brother Russell, the Pilgrim brethren and others doing and saying things that I would not think of doing or saying. This may cause me to stop and reflect for a moment, and I soon see that I am not looking at the matter from their viewpoint, or I would probably agree with them. So instead of wasting time and strength in contention over any of these differences of minor importance, or, perhaps, brooding over them until I conclude that the matter is so serious that I must break fellowship, I find it much better to drop all such claims and the more energetically prosecute the harvest work, which must soon be closed.

May the Lord enable us all to keep humble hearts and level heads in these testing times!

JOHN HARRISON.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Peace be unto you and that multiplied.

If it will not take too much of your time I want to tell you just a little how the dear Lord has blessed me lately, recalling the time when I first gave myself fully to the Lord in consecration; I remember how that for love of him and his brethren there was no sacrifice that seemed too hard for me to make. I loved him and his people, his Word and his will, with a burning and consuming love, but after the lapse of several years, I noticed a cooling off of my love to some extent. I prayed over the matter and was satisfied, but had not the fervent, pure-hearted love as at the beginning. So I went to work for the Lord, at anything that I could do. I pursued it with vigor, and was blessed in it, but nothing brought such blessing and peace as I had enjoyed at first, until I made up my mind to take the Vow. Had I known it would bring such joy, such peace, I would never have hesitated as long as I did, and very much regret that I did not take it at once. If I had a thousand tongues I could not tell how much I have been blessed since registering that solemn, holy Vow unto my Lord. I remember you and all that are his continually.

Your brother, waiting for the deliverance,

R. S. LUTTRELL.

BROOKLYN BETHEL HYMNS FOR MAY

After singing of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "the Vow" to the Lord, then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text for the date is read and questions and comments considered. Finally, just before leaving the table, the MANNA comment is read. Desiring that all share the blessings, we commend the plan to others. The hymns for May are indicated below to permit all who so desire to join with us:

(1) 166; (2) 279; (3) 208; (4) 261; (5) 221; (6) 229; (7) 165; (8) 283; (9) 3; (10) 246; (11) 113; (12) 264; (13) 238; (14) 123; (15) 95; (16) 177; (17) 82; (18) 191; (19) 121; (20) 274; (21) 19; (22) 327; (23) 194; (24) 152; (25) 291; (26) 28; (27) 52; (28) 9; (29) 317; (30) 313; (31) 4.

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MY SOLEMN VOW TO GOD

O
UR Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. May thy rule come into my heart more and more, and thy will be done in my mortal body. Relying on the assistance of thy promised grace to help in every time of need, through Jesus Christ our Lord, I register this Vow.

Daily will I remember at the throne of heavenly grace the general interests of the harvest work, and particularly the share which I myself am privileged to enjoy in that work, and the dear co-laborers at the Brooklyn Bethel, and everywhere.

I Vow to still more carefully, if possible, scrutinize my thoughts and words and doings, to the intent that I may be the better enabled to serve thee, and thy dear flock.

I Vow to thee that I will be on the alert to resist everything akin to Spiritism and Occultism, and that, remembering that there are but the two masters, I shall resist these snares in all reasonable ways, as being of the Adversary.

I further Vow that, with the exceptions below, I will at all times and at all places, conduct myself toward those of the opposite sex in private exactly as I would do with them in public – in the presence of a congregation of the Lord's people, and so far as reasonably possible I will avoid being in the same room with any of the opposite sex alone, unless the door to the room stand wide open: – In the case of a brother – wife, children, mother and sisters excepted. In the case of a sister – husband, children, father and brothers excepted.

1909 – VOW MOTTO AND CALENDAR – 1909

1909 Vow Mottoes now in stock. Order while they last, 15 cents each, two for 25 cents, postpaid.

CHEAP POCKET HYMNALS ARE DELAYED

page 128

PUBLIC MINISTRIES OF THE TRUTH
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLES PULPIT
ASSOCIATION OF BROOKLYN, N.Y.

ONE-DAY LOCAL CONVENTIONS ADDRESSED BY THE EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL AS FOLLOWS:
BROOKLYN, N.Y., APRIL 25, MAY 2 and JUNE 13

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 invited.

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.

NEW BRITAIN, CONN., JUNE 20
GLENS FALLS, N.Y., JUNE 27

WESTERN CONVENTION TOUR

It is proposed that the Western Convention Tour shall start a little earlier so as to include Piedmont, Ala. Hence Brother Russell will leave Brooklyn, N.Y., midnight July 7th via P.R.R.; arriving at Washington City 7:12 a.m., July 8th; arriving at Atlanta, Ga., 5:00 a.m.; Piedmont at 9:21 a.m., July 9th; leaving Piedmont 7:16 p.m., July 9th, and arriving at Memphis, Tenn., 7:30 a.m., July 10th.

The Piedmont convention beginning on July 9th will continue for three days, although Brother Russell will be there only on the 9th. Able speakers will be arranged for on the two succeeding days. Particulars later.