Convention Report Sermons







TAKE time to be holy! Speak oft with the Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word;
Make friends of God's children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy! The world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone;
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy! Let Him be thy guide,
And run not before Him, whatever betide;
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word!

Take time to be holy! Be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control;
Thus led by His spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

Praise and Testimony Meeting

Sister Margaret Russell Land (Brother Russell's sister) arose and said:

Dear Brethren: I rejoice to be here; undoubtedly the Master, the Chief Reaper, is in our midst. How our hearts rejoice as we realize it is His spirit which illuminates each countenance and teaches us how to love one another! How true His words, "My sheep know My voice, and another they will not follow."

Since coming here many have inquired, "How long since you came to a knowledge of the Truth"? Upon my reply that it is "about thirty-three years," much interest has been expressed, with desire to learn something of the infancy and growth of what we term "present truth." After hearing, these have expressed great desire that still others should hear the same as a stimulus to their faith; so I trust that my testimony may be used of the Master to the blessing of some of His little ones.

Taking retrospective view, we see that more than 1,900 years ago the seed of Truth was planted. My mind pictures the seed-germ encased in the hard cover, representing the dark ages, which apparently hindered its growth, until "the due time," about the 16th century, when it sprouted. Laborers such as Zwingli, Malanthon, Luther, Calvin, Knox and Wesley were hired during various periods of its development to water this precious tree of promise. "In due time," we believe about 1874, the husbandman transplanted it into the open, that it might the better grow, blossom and bear fruit. At this stage He hired other laborers, having had several, we believe, in preparation; but He must needs have one who, despite "the burden and heat of the day," would prove faithful to His trust, even to the very end.

A few years prior to this period He anointed the eyes of a lad of 17 years that he might behold the errors and dishonoring doctrines being promulgated among God's true people. I rejoice to believe that later God's smile of favor rested upon him, my dearly beloved brother, according to the flesh, and that he was accepted as a laborer, not from necessity on God's part, but because this vessel lay in his pathway, empty and ready for service. This youth as a member of the Congregational church constantly inquired for explanations of various obscure passages of Scripture. His Bible class teacher, fearing that these unanswerable questions might make infidels of the other young men in the class, advised that the questions be referred to the pastor of the church, who after studying as to how he could harmonize the seemingly contradictory statements with which he was confronted and thus to prove the Bible to be God's Word by showing its harmony said, "Charles, I can help you very easily." And taking a book from his library said, "Read this carefully; it will satisfy your mind thoroughly on these points." He, very much pleased, took it home and began to read, but after reading one page he closed the volume and returned to the minister with the remark, "I shall need to see the book which precedes this one." "Why, what do you mean?" asked the minister. "I mean that this book starts out by assuming to be true the very things I desire to have proven to be true. I want the book which proves the Bible to be God's word and shows harmony in these Scriptures." The minister said, "I would advise you to stop investigating these things, for they were never intended to be understood." But he was met with the query, "Why then, did God place them here? If this is God's word, I believe He designed that it should be understood." Finally it was decided best to call a meeting of the Church session. Here was more perplexity for the youth; he wondering why it should be necessary to call in consultation any outsiders; but he consented, and the Session was called in a special meeting for the purpose of discussing these perplexing questions and endeavoring to reconcile and prove reasonable some of the church doctrines. The men constituting this "Session" ranked high in professional and literary circles, one being a Professor in the Allegheny Theological Seminary. Charles met with them. At the close of the meeting the list of questions were returned to him with the admission that no satisfactory solution to these could be found. Later at a church meeting he requested a letter of dismissal, stating his reasons for withdrawing from church fellowship. About this time he had a very strange dream, and although he was not at all superstitious, not a believer in signs, dreams, etc., being extremely practical, yet this dream strangely impressed him. In his dream he seemed confined in an underground passage and stifled as with gases. Upon seeking an exit, he started toward a tiny yet the only visible light. He, however, found his progress impeded by prostrate bodies, seemingly dead, but upon examination he discovered they were merely stupefied with these same gases. He awoke, and feeling much impressed by this dream sought its significance, until finally this thought dawned upon him: Could it be that these were all stupefied by the same gases (doctrinal errors) from which he was awaking? Could it possibly be that God was awakening him first, and that his life's work was to awaken and help release others? He determined to seek further knowledge, remembering the Lord's words, "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." From that time onward so devoted was he to the Lord's service that he spent all of his leisure time in mission work and conducting Bible studies, etc. About 1874 the true mode of Baptism and its import was discerned by him, and he and father, together with a number of others, including myself, symbolized our baptism into Christ by water immersion.

Later, about 1877, after attending a series of services held by my brother, a prominent Pittsburgh physician remarked concerning him, "I should not be much surprised if he should prove to be the youthful David who will yet slay with his pebble of Truth the great ecclesiastical Goliath." I feel I can truthfully say ever since those years he has been to me an example of self-sacrifice in every sense of that word and an inspiration, reiterating by his example the Apostle's words, "This one thing I do."

Sincerely and persistently he has pressed on to accomplish what he evidently felt to be his God-given mission. For thirty-three years I have watched his toilings up the hill of difficulty, for those were not days when warm, glad hearts welcomed him, nor words of "God-speed" heard to encourage him, as now; but days of scorn, for the Truth's sake, in which it looked foolish indeed to stem the tide of popular thought upon these subjects almost alone, turning the back upon all that seemed tangible, for that which at that time seemed so visionary. True, others came, and for a [CR13] while rejoiced and assisted, but many becoming weary and relaxed their efforts. Though such discouragements came with "the burden and heat of the day," yet special grace and assistance also came, and the Master whispered, "Be not weary in well doing; in due time thou shalt reap if thou faint not." (1 Pet. 2:12,19; also Heb. 6:10.) Thus sustained and strengthened he continues until, behold! the tree blossoms, and its fragrance is wafted to the ends of earth, and others come "from every nation, kindred, and tongue" to co-labor in promoting the growth of Truth, which is so precious to us now!

"Paul may plant and Appolos water, but God giveth the increase." The Kingdom, the work, the laborers are all His, and to Him we delight to give the glory. We come to this convention 2,500 strong, testifying to the saving power of Him who over 1,900 years ago left us a legacy of love, with the assurance that if we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him. As the reigning time draws very near, dear ones, let us "watch, fight and pray," taking heed that no man take our crown. Thus "we shall come off more than conquerors through Him who loved and gave Himself for us."

Blessed Are Your Ears

Dear Friends: I need not tell you how much pleasure it gives me to be with you this morning. My heart has been with you for a couple of days. I have been thinking about your arrival and your pleasant time here, and remembering you in prayer, and I trust you have all remembered me also.

I am very glad to see so many here. Before I came, when some one saw the program made out and said, "Brother Russell, the friends will be tired to death; every session will be full. How will it be possible?" "Well," I said, "Brother, my expectation is that they will not all be able to get into the auditorium; they will have to take turns, and so, perhaps, they will not all be tired to death." So you see, I am not so much disappointed after all, dear friends.

Now, I hope you are going to have a very happy time – I know, indeed, from your faces, as I look at you, that you are already having a happy time. It seems to me that those who are in the truth, those who have come to see, as we do, something at least of the lengths and breadths, and the heights, and the depths, of our heavenly Father's wonderful plan, can not help being happy. How could we be otherwise! No matter what may befall us, we have the assurance of the Lord's word, that all things are working together for good to them that love Him, to the called ones according to His purpose. If we ask ourselves what are some of the best evidences that we are amongst the called, we would say, one of the best evidences is that we have heard. You who have heard, must have been called. If you talk to a deaf person you will find that he does not respond, he does not appreciate; but when you talk to some one, and he gives evidence that he understands, and appreciates, and responds, then you see he has a hearing ear. So, when the message of the Lord goes forth, those who have ears to hear may hear. Our Lord, at the first advent, you remember, said to some in His day, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. For verily, I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear and have not heard them."

And so, dear friends, we are living in the harvest time of this Gospel age, in the time when special things are due, in the time when our dear Redeemer tells of His presence, when those who have heard His knock through the prophetic Word – those who have heard and opened their eyes, those virgins who have arisen and trimmed their lamps, those who realize the situation, those who have heard the voice of the Lord speaking peace and have realized the fulfillment of His promise that at His second coming those who would be ready, those who would be waiting, those who would be on the alert as faithful servants, He would come forth and gird Himself and be their servant, and cause them to sit down to meat and come forth and serve them – are now enjoying these wonderful privileges. Now, dear friends, what you and I are hearing, what you and I are seeing in the Divine plan, what we are seeing of God's great arrangement for a few, that they should be partakers of the Divine nature, is so much more than we had ever surmised, so much more than heart had ever thought, so much more than mind ever appreciated, that when we begin to see what God has in reservation for them that love Him, our hearts are overwhelmed, and we say to ourselves, "Who spread for us this feast if it were not the Master Himself? Where did this message come from? How did it come that after eighteen hundred years we and our fathers, and their fathers, did not know that these things were in the blessed Word"? They were there just the same; we have no new Bible, but we have, dear friends, the light and the blessing that our present Lord gives us upon this Word of His, and this is what gives our eyes the blessing. Blessed are our eyes for we see, and blessed are our ears for we hear His Word in connection with all these things speaking peace to us, and showing us the way in which we should go, and what a joy it has brought into your life and into mine!

So, dear friends, what does it mean that you have been able to see, and you have been able to hear, when all round you, even though some of them seem to be nice people, and some of them very good people, have not heard? What does this say? It says: "Blessed are your ears for they hear, and your eyes for they see." And, indeed, by experience, those of you who have seen and heard, know in your hearts that there is a blessing such as you had never before had in all your Christian experience – I care not whether it was for a day, or whether it was for twenty years. There are undoubtedly many in this room who were Christians for twenty years before they got the blessing of Present Truth, and I am sure that I speak the sentiment of every one of them when I say that all the past of their experience would not compare in any measure with one day, as it were, at the present time, with present enjoyment.

Now, dear brothers and sisters, what effect shall this have on our hearts? Shall we be puffed up as though we made this plan, as though it were ours, as though we had a patent right on it and might sell it out to others? No, indeed! It belongs to the Lord. We are blessed in receiving it, and we would like to see the same blessing extend to all others. We sympathize with those who cannot see, and those who cannot hear; fain would we give them the sight, fain would we give them the hearing ear, fain would we give those virgins who are sometimes asking for it the oil, but it is not in our power to give it to them. The Lord has ordained the means by which all should receive of the oil of the Holy Spirit, which will enable them to appreciate Present Truth; the terms and conditions are clearly laid down, and it cannot be obtained upon any other terms. God has arranged that matter, and the [CR14] terms are these: that we must be fully consecrated to the Lord. And, therefore, when I find some dear friends inquiring about the way, saying, "Well, I am interested a great deal in this and want to know more about it, I think I am going to study this matter up, and see if I cannot see the same as you folks do," I say to them, "My brother, begin at the right place, it will be of no use to study expecting that you will understand merely from study; the study is necessary, but before your study can be effective study, you must make your consecration to the Lord – a whole-hearted consecration, even unto death. Those are the ones to whom the Lord has promised that they shall see, that they shall hear, that they shall appreciate, that they shall understand, and only those."

And so I trust if there are any here today who have not made a full consecration of themselves, and who are desiring to look into these things, as one brother said in this very city when we had our last convention here, "I cannot say I am quite a brother with you; I hear you call each other 'brother' and 'sister,' and I cannot quite call myself a brother, but since my wife is one with you in this way, and I am a Baptist minister and her husband, I guess I can call myself a brother-in-law" – if there are any such here we would say that while we are glad to have a brother-in-law present, yet if there are any brothers-in-law here we want to say to you, don't expect that you will understand the deep things of God except by becoming full brothers. There is no other way; not that becoming full brothers means you will come under any yoke of bondage, for we have no yoke of bondage; the Son has made us free and we want to stay free, all of us. That is the spirit of which we are, that is the spirit of which we have been begotten; it is the spirit of truth, of which our dear Redeemer said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." So the more you are getting of the truth, the more you are getting free indeed.

But there is a good deal of difference, dear friends, let me say, between being free indeed and cantankerous. We do not want to become cantankerous, but we want to become free indeed. Put the emphasis where it belongs; we want to be in sympathy with each other as much as possible, and live peaceably with all men as far as lies in us, and if there are any brothers-in-law with us we want to be at peace with them, and do not want to discourage them, but do want to tell them the plain truth, just as we would like to have them tell us under similar circumstances, that they cannot know the deep things of God except as they are begotten of the Holy Spirit and you cannot be begotten of the Holy Spirit except as you are first of all fully consecrated, after that you have believed. First comes faith as the foundation of everything, before we could be acceptable to God at all; then, as the Apostle says, the basis of that faith, which justifies us in God's sight, covers us as a robe of righteousness, and makes us worthy to come before the Lord at all, and be acceptable of Him through Jesus; then on the basis of that faith, on the basis of that justification, we present our bodies, as the Apostle says, living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, and our reasonable service. Our God has such a reasonable way, dear friends; everything about His arrangement is reasonable, beautiful, grand. So when we put ourselves in His power, we find that He deals with us as with brethren. How gracious is God's arrangement! Then He puts the matter in our own hands and says, "Here you have put the rope around your neck. You have already signified that you are consecrated to death, but I will leave the other end of the rope in your hands; you have control of it, and you can back out any time if you want to." And, dear brothers and sisters, those who have the right spirit do not want to back out; they want to be His clear to the finish; they want to be His beyond the vail in glory, honor, and immortality, and the wonderful things that God has in reservation for them that love Him – for those who love Him not in the ordinary sense of the word love, not with selfish love such as people sometimes exercise toward their own cats or dogs, or children, or what not, but with the love that the Scriptures inculcate – the love of God which passeth all understanding, that is deep, and broad, and generous, and that the Apostle emphasizes when he says, "The fruits of the Spirit are meekness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly kindness, love." These are the qualifications of heart that will make us more and more acceptable to the Lord, and make us more and more fit and prepared for His presence, and for the work to which He has invited us.

Let us, then, see that we have this love, not the selfish love, but the generous love, the love that is willing to lay down and sacrifice self, and every earthly thing, according to the will of God, not according to the whim of some other person, or somebody else's idea, but according to your conscience as directed by the Word of God. God recognizes this individuality, this personality, and makes you responsible for yourselves. You are stewards of your talents, and your time, and your things, as I am of my talents, and my time, and my things, and each one of us shall give an account of himself. You do not give account as congregations; you do not give account as families; you give account individually. So we want to have that in mind, dear friends, that our wives, or husbands, or parents, or children, will not carry us into the kingdom; each one shall give an account of himself. Let us have, then, this relationship with the Lord, and this personal liberty, and this personal bondage also. We are bondslaves of Jesus Christ, as the Apostle says, bound to do His will, bound to do it even unto death; that is our covenant, and we are glad of it. We have not thought of backing out. Some one says, What is your pay? Well, no slaves were ever paid as we are paid, dear friends – having in the present time the promise of the life that now is, and also that which is to come. Well, says the World, you Christian people have a lot of persecution, and difficulties, and tribulations, and in proportion as you faithfully walk in that narrow way, as you call it, you have a good deal of trouble. Well, we do have to admit that; there is no doubt about it. Whosoever will live Godly will suffer persecution; we have the Lord's word on it; we do not want to deny the truth. But what do we have in addition? We have what the whole world is looking for, and not finding, we have glory in our hearts, and we have the peace of God which passeth understanding ruling in our hearts, controlling in our hearts, and blessing our hearts, so that we are the happiest people in the world. It is in harmony with our experience that the happiest people in the world are the people in Present Truth. I do not know of any other people as happy; you will notice it in their faces, and in everything pertaining to them; and it is getting more so. I am pleased to tell you that as I meet the Lord's people, as I do every week, and, sometimes, as here today, for instance, and at another time in Ohio, and at another time in Illinois, and at another time in Pennsylvania, and so on – meeting them at various places, and sometimes for the second, third, fourth and fifth time – that I find a growth in grace; and that is what we ought to expect. We tell you, dear friends, that is what the truth is for. God did not give us the truth so that we merely should know more about Him and His plan than any other people. The Truth was given to sanctify, to separate, to make us wholly the Lord's. And if the Truth is not having that effect upon your heart and mind, it is not having its legitimate effect. And we are all in danger, too. As it was a blessed privilege to come into the light, and the light was intended to sanctify, we are to remember also that unless we abide in the light, and walk in the light, and are faithful to the light, and are good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are in danger of losing it. The loss is gradual; at first it is so gradual we would hardly notice it; perhaps it would be permitted of the Lord that the Adversary should bring in some strong delusion, or some weak one that would [CR15] seem strong, then we might lose everything that we might have, and be led astray in the error of the wicked, as the Scriptures call it: But the Lord has promised, and we remember His word, that He will not suffer those who are faithful to be tempted above that which they are able to bear, for the Lord knows them that are His, and He equally knows them that are not His. He not only knows those that are warm, and those that are cold, but also those that are luke-warm. Now, where will He know you and me? That is an important question for us. We are preparing for the great Feast, we are preparing for the great Convention that the Lord has been telling us about, and our lives have all been shaped accordingly since we realized the truth. How is the work of grace going on? I am glad to say that, in a general way, it is going favorably. I hope that in each of your cases you can say, Yes, in my heart the work of grace has been going on favorably. We hope that will be more true by this time next year than it is today, and that you will keep going on from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge, and from glory to glory, until we shall see His face and share His glory.

The Laborer and His Hire

AS tomorrow will be celebrated as Labor Day, and as the Lord's calls are to those who labor and are heavy laden, it will not be inappropriate for us to consider the subject from the Scriptural standpoint. While the Scriptures do not lay down a fixed rate of compensation for labor, they do indicate both in the Old Testament and in the New, as in our text, that labor should have its reward. And the word "hire" in our text seems to carry with it the thought of a bargain or contract between the laborer and the employer, which should be lived up to on both sides. From this point of view all that anybody gets for his laboring is his food and raiment and shelter, luxurious or otherwise. But from another standpoint none should labor for these things alone. In order to happiness there must additionally be a hope of improvement, of betterment. Whoever labors hopelessly, dejectedly, is worthy of our commiseration and needs our assistance that he may enjoy life at least a little. It may safely be set down that the hopeless life is a joyless life. It may also be safely concluded that the hopeful are the ambitious, and that the ambitious are the progressive workers of the world in all departments of industry. Here then lies the difficulty with the vast majority of the race – hopelessness, stupidity, ignorance, blind them to any better prospects, and their toil therefore is doubly weighty upon them and the supply of their daily needs is proportionately disesteemed as an unsatisfactory wage for their labor. It is the hopeful and ambitious that are courageous and successful – and they are a small minority of the whole.

Since, then, the hopeful are the happy, all true philanthropists will be glad to encourage hopefulness in all of his fellow creatures. The bright, intelligent eye speaks to us of hope, whether we see it in the workman, in the merchant, in the lady or in the housemaid. One is hoping for domestic happiness with his or her family, another hopes for name or fame or wealth, and all of these may properly be counted in as part of the laborer's wage and should be sought and appreciated and cultivated.

But some may say, I had hope but it is crushed out, it was killed. My business prospects were seemingly good at one time, but they have all been blasted. Another remarks, I have lost hope of any advancement in my trade; others brighter than myself are far ahead of me; it must be mine to plod along hopelessly. I could long for the end of life's journey were I sure that it would be better. These hopeless conditions apply to three-fourths or more of the adults of the world and of the remaining one-fourth the great majority will ultimately reach the same despair before they die, as comparatively few really attain to the earthly hopes and ambitions and prospects they set before themselves.

The Laboring and Heavy Laden.

Of all the books in the world the Bible is the one which enters sympathetically into the conditions of the race and offers cheer and comfort to the hopeless classes We have already described. It addresses itself primarily, not to the ambitious and hopeful, but to the laboring and heavy-laden and despairing. And to as many as hear and hearken to its voice it brings rest, peace, a new hope. But why does not the Bible especially address the hopeful, the ambitious, the progressives? Ah! it is because these have little or no ear to hear the divine message so long as their earthly hopes and ambitions are so bright and glorious before them. It is when these earthly hopes become blighted that they get the ear to hear the message from "Him that speaketh from heaven," saying, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden (despised and grief-stricken), and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Matt. 11:28,29.) Thus it is that the Scriptures everywhere declare that amongst those responding to the Lord's call in this present time not many wise, not many great, not many learned, not many rich are called, but chiefly the poor of this world, rich in faith. The rich, learned, wise are the hopeful, the ambitious, the progressive of the present time, who feel not their need of sympathy and direction and aid. They see their own way or think that they do, and are following that which they believe will bring them the greatest joy – the prosperity which they covet, name, fame, earthly ease, luxury, etc.

When our Lord declares that the laborer is worthy of his hire he expresses a general principle of justice. There are two great hirers or employers into whose service mankind may go – God and Mammon – and each one who hires out should properly consider the wages offered. Mammon makes great professions of what it will give, honor, dignity, wealth, etc. – all things of the present life; it has nothing to promise as respects the future. On the other hand God is now inviting some to become His servants, and He makes very plain the terms and conditions, present and future, of those who shall accept His service. He tells them that to be His servants will cost them the renouncement of the pleasures of sin. More than this it will cost self-denial even in respect to things not sinful. It will also bring against the Lord's servants more or less of the animosity of the world and of the great Adversary. "Marvel not if the world hate you; ye know that it hated me before it hated you. He that would be my disciple let him take up his cross and follow Me." Here are some of the distinct propositions of the Lord respecting the wages that will come to those who will enter His service – they must endure hardness as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus.

But must they serve to the extent of sacrifice and without compensation? No! The Lord has promised compensation – that He will provide the things needful as respects the present life, though He in no wise engages to give more than bread and water – whatsoever [CR16] is more than this is that much more than the contract between God and His servants. But He does promise more in the way of hope. He promises that now, in this present time, His servants shall have in their hearts the peace of God which passeth all understanding. He promises further that the difficulties and trials of life shall constitute to these supervised experience under divine discipline and care, which will work in us a development of character deepening and broadening our hearts, and enabling us to appropriate more and more the peace of God and the love of God and the character of God in our thoughts and words and doings. But, more than this, God gives to those who accept His invitation most glorious hopes respecting the everlasting future. He points out to these that the present life is but a schooling period anyway, and that to the faithful alone eternal experience remains, an eternity of rest, an eternity of joy, an eternity of divine favor and blessing. More than this, the Apostle declares he has given us "exceedingly great and precious promises – that by these we might become

"Partakers of the Divine Nature."

It is when the Lord's servants begin to get a glimpse of these exceeding great and precious promises that have to do with the coming eternity that they begin to realize in true measure the love of God shed abroad in their hearts. Thenceforth, so long as they maintain this attitude of heart, old things are passed away and all things become new – they care comparatively little for the things of this present life, since their aims and objects now are centered in the glorious things of the heavenly kingdom. Instead of laboring for some petty office of an earthly kind, they now perceive that in accepting the Captaincy of the Lord Jesus they have become heirs with Him in His glory, honor and immortality, and associates with Him in His throne, His Kingdom, when it shall have been established. Instead of laboring for riches of an earthly kind, that would so likely take wings and fly away, they have now learned of the true riches of character and of the divine blessings which are, as the Apostle explains, an anchor to their souls, sure and steadfast, entering into that which is within the vail. – Heb. 6:19.

It will be seen, then, that there are two general classes of laborers – the world in general laboring for the things of the present life and having little knowledge and almost no faith in respect to the things of the world to come. Of these we have seen that the vast majority are in a comparatively hopeless and despondent condition. On the other hand we find a new set of laborers in the world, the followers of the Lord Jesus, composed of those drawn from the ranks of the broken-hearted and discouraged children of this world, servants of Mammon. These have received new hopes, new ambitions, new peace, new joys, which far transcend any that they ever previously had, and all that Mammon has to offer to its most successful votaries. They are still laborers, and indeed in some respects their labors may be as difficult as at any time in the past; but they have found the great Helper and have realized the meaning of His words, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Their coming to the Master meant a great transformation of heart and of ambition, of motive, and they are continually being more and more blessed as they hearken to His voice and learn the good lessons whereby He prepares them for future glories, honors, immortality. A summary of all this is expressed in the words, "Labor not for the meat that perisheth" (John 6:27) – the present life and its present transitory interests – but labor for that which endureth unto life eternal. We hearken again and hear the same message through the Prophet of old, saying, Wherefore do you spend your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. – Isa. 55:2.

"They Have Their Reward."

But there is a great difference between being truly the Lord's servants and being such merely in an outward, superficial way. It is necessary to point out that, while Christians are numbered according to the census at a total of 400,000,000, the real genuine followers of the Lord are represented in the Scriptures as being only a "little flock" – not many. And with this Scriptural delineation our judgments and experiences are in harmony, for truly we know of but few who are even seeking to "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" – to be "not conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds" – walking in the footsteps of Jesus, gladly sharing in the sufferings of Christ for the prospect of having ultimately a share with Him in His Glorious Kingdom. There have been true and false in every age, and hence what we are saying is not a reflection merely against our own conditions. In our Lord's day He called attention to the fact that very prominent amongst those professing to be God's servants were some who made long prayers for a pretense, who gave alms with a similar purpose in view – of having honor of men, of being thought holy. Our Lord declared of them, "They have their reward" – they get the reward which they were seeking, namely, the praise and approval of their fellow creatures. They were not really God's servants, but servants of Mammon, servants of selfishness, who had put on the livery of the Lord and were pretending to be His. They were seeking an earthly reward of Mammon, and that they got. Hence their labor getting its reward in this manner; they had nothing laid up for them as a treasure in heaven; they got what they were working for, and that was earthly honor of men. That there are many enrolled in Church membership today of a similar class can scarcely be doubted, many who draw nigh to the Lord with their lips while their hearts are far from Him, many who are children of this world while wearing the garb of the children of the Kingdom, many that are tares, imitations of the wheat, the true children of the Kingdom.

Whatever we are, let us not be hypocritical; let us not think to deceive the Lord, who knoweth and readeth the heart, and who tells us through the Apostle, "His servants ye are to whom ye render service." (Rom. 6:16.) If we are really living for the present life alone let us not pretend otherwise, but remember that an honest servant of Mammon is much more respectable from the Lord's standpoint than one who dishonestly professes to be a servant of the great King. Whatever we are let us be truthful – we cannot deceive God; let us not deceive our own hearts. Let us be content then to be misunderstood by the world, misrepresented by the hypocrite class, if thereby we have fellowship with the Lord, and have the privilege of walking in His steps, and the glorious promise of by and by sharing His likeness as members of His Bride and sharers with Him in His Millennial Kingdom.

Our text applies to this feature of the subject, too – the laborer is worthy of his hire. The hypocritical desiring the approval and smile of the world and the prosperity of this present time gets the reward sought in some measure at least, though not always. The god of this world cannot be relied upon thoroughly in regard to any promises. As respects the servants of God, all of these who will prove worthy by their faithfulness will find their God faithful and His word of promise sure – faithful is He who has called us, who also will do for us exceedingly and abundantly more than we could have asked or thought. Our hire, then, we are to remember, is in this present life trials, difficulties, sacrifices as respects earthly things; but the divine favor and blessing upon our hearts, upon us as New Creatures, and our faith and hope beyond the vail, constitute the chief elements of our wage. Could all the servants of God from the humblest member of the Church of Christ up to and including the most honorably engaged in the public ministries of the Lord's Word – if all these could but have in mind what constituted the wage, the hire that the Lord has promised them, there would be but comparatively little expectancy of great favors or strife therefore, but [CR17] a contentment with the Lord's provision – with a realization that He knows the things we have need of before we ask Him, and that He is both able and willing to give us the things most expedient for our welfare, the things which will help us best in the attainment of the exceeding great and precious promises which are the main part of our wage – the portion most encouraging to us, most stimulating – for which we really live, and on account of which all other things are to be counted as but loss and dross.

Labor to Enter Rest.

The Apostle calls attention to the fact that those who have become the Lord's consecrated followers have by faith already entered into rest by trusting in the finished work of the Lord Jesus on our behalf, by realizing that through His sacrifices God has made provision for the forgiveness of our sins and our acceptance by Himself. This indeed gives a rest and a peace and a joy which the world could not appreciate, which the world can neither give nor take away. All this, however, is a rest of faith only and not an actual rest. The Apostle differentiates between this rest of the present time, into which believers have already entered, and that rest of the future which is in reservation for them that love God. He says of the latter rest, that remaineth for the people of God – "Let us labor, therefore, to enter into His rest," and again – "Let us fear lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of us should seem to come short of it." – Heb. 4:1,11.

Here then are the two thoughts respecting labor. In one sense the Christian ceases from labor when he by faith accepts the Lord Jesus. In a word, he accepts the fact that he was not worthy of eternal life, but that the merit of Christ has made up for his deficiency. No longer need he labor to do the impossible thing, for all that was on our part impossible has been done for us by the Redeemer, and is imputed to us who believe. The believer's reconciliation to the Father is affected through faith, by which he lays hold upon the work already accomplished on his behalf. But therewith the consecration of himself to the Lord begins a new work – not a work of justification, but a work of schooling, a work of grace, a work of development of heart and of head and of talents in the service of the one who redeemed him and set him free from the slavery of sin and death. He has entered into a contract to serve the Heavenly Father with all his powers, and so surely as he remains loyal to the Father and His covenant he is guaranteed grace to help in every time of need (Heb. 4:16.) It is for the consecrated believer, however, to demonstrate his loyalty by his works, by his endeavor to do the Father's will, and different degrees of blessings have been promised to the faithful overcomers and also special blessings to the still more self-sacrificing, styled the "more than conquerors." (Rom. 8:37.) Both are to get eternal life, but the latter are to have it in association with the Redeemer as the Bride, the Lamb's wife and joint-heir in the Kingdom. Thus the Apostle says that by our labors in the Lord's service we are to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Our labors will have to do with the grandeur of the salvation which will be bestowed upon us, for, as the Apostle again declares, the saved will differ as star differeth from star in glory."

Both of the classes of saved ones just mentioned must labor, must demonstrate their loyalty to God and to the principles of righteousness, by fighting a good fight of faith, striving against sin and laying down their lives for the brethren – for the Lord's cause. Hence, as is declared, we must labor if we would enter into the rest which remains for the people of God. But this labor, as we have already seen, is a different one from that which the unjustified world is occupied in. Our labor is in connection with the Father's work – "I must work the works of Him that sent me." (John 9:4.) We are not laboring for ourselves, but for the cause of the Lord, including the cause of all that are His. If any man after being justified through faith and after making a consecration to do the Father's will shall fail to labor in this manner, it demonstrates that he has not the proper appreciation of the Father's favors nor of his own consecration vow. Such will not enter into his rest – such will be proving themselves at heart disloyal to the principles of righteousness for which God stands, and if disloyal to God and righteousness the only provision for them will be the Second Death. So, then, the better we understand the situation the more thoroughly do we concur with the Apostle's exhortation, "Let us labor that we may enter into His rest."

"God Will Not Forget Your Labor."

Many of the Lord's children, realizing their own insufficiency and the Lord's greatness, realizing the small value of anything they can do to directly glorify the Lord or to promote the interests of His cause, are inclined to feel discouraged and to say within themselves, if not to others, When the Lord shall decide my case I fear that He will find no labor in service accomplished for His cause – no ground for saying to me, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord." But we remind such that if they are doing with their might what their hands find to do they could not do more, and the Lord is not asking more than they are able to do. He is quite able to do the entire work Himself. But what He does seek in us is the loyalty of heart, the desire, the effort to serve Him and His cause of righteousness. We remind them that in connection with the very Scripture quoted, the Lord not only declares that He will reward the good and faithful servant but he adds, "Thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things." The intimation is that none of the Lord's people have been or could be faithful over many things – that only a few things are committed to any of us, and that the Lord is seeking merely to note our disposition and to reward us accordingly.

We remind these faithful but timid ones again of the Lord's message through the Apostle, saying, "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have served the saints and still do serve them." (Heb. 6:10). And again He still more particularly shows that there are two classes of labor to be rewarded, an active and a passive. He says, "Call to remembrance the former days, in the which, after ye were illumined, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; some being made a gazing-stock both by reproaches and afflictions; and some becoming partakers with them who were so used." (Heb. 10:32,33). Here we note the Lord's benevolence, in that He is willing to count as His servants and laborers to whom He will give a reward not only those who were actively in the conflict, sufferers for righteousness' sake, but also to count in with them and to reward with them others who, themselves suffering nothing, were loyal to the principles of righteousness to the extent that they stood with and acknowledged and upheld the cause of the Lord and those who were His, and who suffered for righteousness' sake. What a gracious arrangement we have here! It shows us that the slightest labor that we can perform in the cause of our Master will be accepted of Him and bring us a share of His ultimate blessing. With such inducements, who has a proper appreciation of the Lord and His goodness would not desire to lay down his life in His service?

The intimation of the Scriptures everywhere is that the Lord's people are to be active, "Instant in season and out of season," using time and talents in the Lord's service and to the Master's praise. They show us that the present life is all one of activity and labor, looking for the rest of the people of God in the future – except that measure of rest which we have by faith, and which enables us to rejoice even in the trials and difficulties of life, and to even count afflictions as unworthy of consideration because of the joys of our faith. I exhort you, then, that we rest from all sin and from all attempts to justify ourselves, that as we have accepted Christ Jesus our Lord, so we continue to rest in Him, the rest of faith, and that we continue to labor to the extent of laying down our lives for the Lord and His cause, and that thus being found faithful as laborers [CR18] we shall ultimately be granted a participation in the glorious honors of the Kingdom.

If there is any one power in the world that will make itself felt, it is character. There may be little culture and slender abilities, yet if there be a character of sterling excellence, it will demand influence and secure respect.

Sunrise Prayer and Praise Meeting

Brother Russell: I was thinking, dear friends, as we gather here this morning, of the words of the Apostle, "Now it is high time that we wake out of the darkness," and then he proceeded to say that those that sleep, sleep in the night, but we are of the day. We recognize that the Apostle did not have reference to the literal day, except as it might symbolize the great day. Looking back, he referred to the past as being a night, and hence it is far spent and the day is at hand. So, when we compare this morning, the whole experience from the fall to the present time, with the morning of the new dispensation representing that great day, then we can easily see that the night is far spent; because four of these days and a little more were in the past and less than two in the future, and he could well say, it is far spent.

And what would the Apostle say, if he were here at the present time? We can suppose that he would be telling us something about the morning that is already dawning. We have heard the glad strain from God's Word that the night has passed, that the morning has come, and we are in the very dawning of the morning. We call it the Millennial Age. I am sure those that have had experience in life will realize that the night of sin and darkness has been a long night, and we are getting anxious for the glorious dawn of the day that our Father has spoken of in His Word, and which He calls, "The day of Christ." If we knew nothing of what the nature or character of the Millennial Age is, the very fact that the Lord called it "The day of Christ" is sufficient. It is the day of the Anointed One, the day in which He will complete the work He came to accomplish. What a great thought it brings to our hearts, from His Word, that the morning is at hand! I trust that you and I, this morning, realize we have fled from darkness into the glorious light of the divine word and plan. The more we are seeking to have our hearts in accord with His Word, the more we will feel inspired to press on for the things before us. The poor world have very little that they can see before them; nearly all that is precious to them is in the past, and they can see only disappointment before them.

Another Scripture about the morning, you remember in the 2nd verse of the 46th Psalm: "Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea," etc. How strange we should not fear if society be convulsed; the shaking time for the whole world, social, financial and ecclesiastical, when all such ruling power that can be shaken will be shaken. And yet, we are not fearing, but we are rejoicing, leaving the world for a little while, and in our daily lives seeking more and more to lay all on the altar. What is it that so fills our hearts? The world has rather a feeling of timidity. It is a blessing they cannot see the troublesome time as we see it. But, blessed are your eyes and your ears – it is because we know what is on the other side, beyond the dark cloud. A morning cometh and a night also. The night of trouble between the glorious morning is a time the world would fear if they knew about it. But we shall not fear, because we have made the Lord our refuge and habitation, and He has promised that all things shall work together for good to those that fear (reverence) Him. We have laid ourselves at His feet to have such experiences as divine providence may see best for us – the things that would best prepare us for the glorious morning.

Then in that same Psalm, after the expression that we will not fear, though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the sea, the Psalmist is prophetically saying that there is a city, a government, a kingdom, that is now in disrepute with the world – the Lord's Church, which He is gathering out, a little flock – the gates of which shall be praise and salvation, the New Jerusalem, and the rivers of salvation make her glorious; she shall not be moved. Oh, no. Everything else may go down, but those that have the hope of the Lord, nothing can move them. Why? Because the Lord, the Most High, is their refuge and habitation.

Some one down in Kentucky had written a couple of letters that he would blow up the Bible House that was sending out those tracts and books, and a brother who happened to be in Allegheny said, if that message could get out everywhere and we knew exactly when he would do it, wouldn't we pack the Bible House full? It is very hard to discourage that kind of people.

We have an anchor, both sure and steadfast, reaching in beyond the vail, reaching clear back to Abraham's time to the Oath-bound Covenant of God, and further back to Adam, and through God's promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. That is the faith that brought us here. It had been lost for centuries in the rubbish, but now our eyes are open and the shadows are passing away.

In the 45th Psalm, after telling about the Bride and how she should not be hurt, we read that the Lord shall help her and that right early. That is as it reads in our common version. A literal translation reads, "The Lord will help her right early in the morning." We are right here, early in this morning, the Millennial Age; the morning is already dawning. You do not see any sun this morning, neither is the sun of the Millennial morning visible. The sun of righteousness shall arise, but not yet. Before that, all the members of the Body of Christ must be gathered; all the true wheat must be gathered.

In Matthew the 13th chapter, after speaking of this whole matter, and representing the whole Gospel Age as the time when the wheat and the tares were sown, you remember our Lord said, after telling about the [CR19] gathering of the wheat, "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun." Why not now? Because all the wheat has not yet been gathered into the garner. Then shall the righteous shine forth, then shall the morning of the Millennial Age be manifested. Now the world is asleep. Some of us have heard the glad message and we are glad to praise Him and to say that the morning is here, not only for ourselves but for the whole world – that is glorious. Leaving out the thought of torment; suppose that all the rest were merely to be destroyed – how much better the glorious hope that, very soon the knowledge of the Lord shall flood the earth and the sleeping ones shall awake and all be invited to breakfast. This will be a grand feast in the morning. He is going to gather all the people and spread a feast, a blessed feast. Singularly, in the original, it is not a supper, but a morning meal.

So, dear brothers and sisters, I hope your hearts are as glad as you are singing about the morning, and praising God, and I hope it makes your faces brighter day by day. As I see your faces from time to time, I can see that they are growing brighter. Wherever the life of the Lord is, it is sure to be manifested. I like to see those whose faces are happy. I would not say that those who have long faces have nothing that would cause them joy, but those that have their faces lighted must have the lamp, or something inspired with God's spirit, which is shining out from their faces more and more, and through their lives more and more shining forth the praises of the Lord in calling us forth out of darkness into His marvelous light.

The Hopeless and the Hopeful

"At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus ye who then were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Eph. 2:12,13.) The speaker said:

OUR text shows us that the Christians of Ephesus, who came into a good hope through faith in the precious blood of Christ, were previously hopeless, without God and having no hope. If we apply this inspired gauge or standard to the whole world today we find the great mass of mankind to be hopeless, and hence unhappy, burdened, downcast, miserable. And surely as we look into the majority of the hundreds and thousands whom we meet daily, we see their hopelessness, their dejection, plainly written in their faces. True, in some cases we see mirth, in others carelessness, but these are by no means the majority, and even with them a closer acquaintance shows that they are trying to be happy, trying to be mirthful, trying to be careless, rather than succeeding. And what we see on the faces of the most civilized of humanity may be still more closely discerned in the countenances of the heathen in general. Extremely few faces notify us that love, joy, peace, reside within, building upon a blessed hope. True, in every land there are some so rich in wealth and honor and friends that seemingly they have no need of hope for anything either in the present life or in the future. But these are exceptions also, and very many of them betoken, not only in countenance, but in words, that they have not a satisfying portion – that their riches of various kinds only partially satisfy the longings of their hearts; that they know of a surety that the present life is fleeing, and that they have more or less trepidation, fear, unrest, whenever they think of the future – beyond the grave.

Hopeless Thousands, Millions.

Statistics divide the population of earth into 400,000,000 Christians and 1,200,000,000 heathen – just twice the number there were a century ago. It is hard for us to comprehend such large numbers, but, according to our text, this immense host of heathen are without God and have no hope in the world – they are hopeless. We should notice, however, that the Apostle does not state that there is no hope for these heathen, but simply that they do not have the hope. According to the Apostle, God's favor is all centered in Christ; and only those who know of Christ, and of Divine mercy arranged for through Him, can possibly exercise faith in Him, and hence only these believers could have the glorious hope which center in Him and await fulfillment at His second coming.

Indeed we may say that the heathen are worse off than hopeless. They not only do not have a hope, but instead of it they have fear, a most awful fear, which overshadows all the affairs of the present life. Spiritism – more truly "demonism" – has long exercised itself amongst them, besetting, threatening, obsessing and tormenting them. It has taught them to fear God as the great arch-demon, and to expect a future life with new and still more trying difficulties than those they now experience, so that with many the only hope of escape from trouble is the belief that they shall ultimately become oblivious of everything, both good and evil. Alas, poor heathen! How much they need enlightenment. They do not need rum, tobacco and opium from the so-called Christian nations – neither do they need to be taught their profanity and vices; they have enough of their own. But they do need sadly indeed the light of the knowledge of God as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord. They do need the true Gospel which the angels proclaimed at the birth of Jesus, "Good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people."

"Another Gospel – A Corrupt One."

With commendable zeal, but not according to knowledge (Rom. 10:2) missionaries have gone to the heathen from Christian lands in a spirit of devotion and self-sacrifice. Some of these have gladly laid down their lives in the service of the heathen according to their light, while others as hirelings, performed the duties required of them by the denominations supporting them as the easiest and smoothest path in life. As the Apostle suggests, however, Christ is preached, whether of devotion or denominational strife. But alas! the true Gospel of Christ is rarely heard – rarely reaches the heathen ears. What they do hear is confusing, bewildering. The trumpet has an uncertain sound. The Methodist's bugle sounds "free grace," the Presbyterian "election" and "predestination," the Baptist and Disciple "water," the Roman Catholic and Episcopal "apostolic succession." To the heathen mind Christ is divided, and His followers cannot agree amongst themselves as to what His teachings are and as to what message should be proclaimed. There are two points upon which they all agree. (1) All mankind are sinners – "born in sin" – and (2) that Christ Jesus is the only Saviour; "for there is none other name given under heaven or amongst men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12.) They all agree that the heathen are not saved in ignorance of Christ, and that the missionaries have gone to them to proclaim Christ and to lead them to faith in Him in order that they may be saved. As the Apostle says, "How shall they believe on Him whom they have not heard?" for "faith cometh by hearing" and hearing depends upon the message of God. [CR20]

Grand Truths Confused by Errors.

In all of the above teaching respecting the necessity of faith in Christ as our Redeemer we heartily agree. This is the very kernel and essence of the Gospel of Christ, as set forth in the Word of God. But the beauty and force and blessing of this gospel message is vitiated by a terrible error, which crept into Christian faith in the dark ages, namely, that the salvation which Christ accomplished for us is a deliverance from condemnation to a fiery hell of eternal torment. This is untrue – unscriptural. It is a slander upon our great Creator to declare that He made our race subject to such awful conditions – to declare for instance, that the heathen who died during the past 6,000 years – thousands of millions of them – without any knowledge of the Saviour, therefore, without any faith in Him, and therefore without any hope in Him, have gone down to a hopeless eternity of torment and despair. This is one of the doctrines which the Apostle Paul styles "doctrines of devils." The heathen get enough of this through their own demonology before the Christian missionaries ever preached to them, but it is doubly sad that, when the message of the love of God as manifested in Christ is being proclaimed to them, this "doctrine of devils" should be attached to it and apparently confirm the demonology under which the poor heathen have so long been held in bondage to Satan.

Can we wonder that the poor heathen, who have been taught to worship their ancestors, should be shocked with this false Gospel message that all of their forefathers have been turned over to fire-proof devils to be eternally tormented – because they were not fortunate enough to hear and accept "the only" name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved?" We can fancy the poor heathen saying, "Is this your God of love? And pray what are your definitions of the words love and justice? You who claim to be the only exponents of the only plan of salvation, is this the best your God can do for us? If He is loving, is He powerless?" Alas! alas! The difficulty is not with our all-wise, all-powerful, all-just and all-loving Creator, nor with the glorious plan for human salvation which He has centered in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The difficulty, the inconsistency, is in the error which has become mixed with the Gospel of Christ as set forth in the Bible. The Apostle spake of some in his day who preached another gospel, and so it is today. In the name of the one Father, God, and one Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, another gospel is being preached, not only among the heathen but also in civilized lands – a false gospel – an untrue message, which misrepresents the truth, and is a slander, a grievous slander, upon the divine character.

"Good Tidings of Great Joy."

We have seen the hopelessness of the heathen, and how little hope is afforded them in the message that is being preached to them in the name of God and of Christ. Not only is this message one of despair as respects their forefathers, but equally so as respects the great mass of their living kindred. Indeed, as the Prophet has pictured this erroneous teaching, it is like a bed that is so short that a man cannot stretch himself on it – cannot exercise his mind and heart so as to find rest therein; and, as the Prophet continues, "the covering is so narrow that a man cannot wrap himself in it. If he tries to convince himself that he is one of a very select class, destined for eternal blessedness, while the great mass of mankind are destined for eternal woe, he cannot help it that fear will creep in just as do the chilly winds upon the person who has too narrow a bed covering. He is bound to fear that the apparent partiality of God in permitting his escape from eternal torment, to which millions of others are consigned, may some day change toward him and drop him also into eternal misery. (Isa. 28:30.)

Let us turn now from these obnoxious misrepresentations of the Divine character and plan and note the beauty and simplicity of the Bible's teaching respecting what man was condemned to, what he is delivered from, and of what his salvation shall consist. Let us note first how different the tone, how different the ring of the Scripture references to the Gospel from anything that could properly be applied to these false gospels, these misrepresentations of the Divine plan which have come down to Christendom from the dark ages. Hearken to the first word from the Lord respecting the Gospel – the message to which St. Paul refers when he says "God preached the Gospel in advance of Abraham, saying, 'In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'" (Gal. 3:8.) Is this the Gospel of salvation or of damnation, good tidings or bad tidings? Assuredly the former. Indeed, as all are aware, this is the very meaning of the word "gospel" – good tidings.

How evidently then some terrible, awful mistake has been made by somebody when the message of eternal torment for 999 out of every 1,000 of earth's teeming population has been called Gospel. The Word could not have been more seriously perverted, for that surely would be bad tidings of great misery for practically all people. But this first message of the Gospel to Abraham tells of the blessing of all the families of the earth – it excludes none. It extends backward as well as forward. It takes in the families of the earth that were living before the flood as well as those living in Abraham's time and all who have lived since, and all who will live in the future. God's promise, the Gospel message, is that all of these shall be blessed. Have they been blessed yet? Assuredly not. Blind indeed would be the eyes of understanding or judgment that could suppose that this gospel blessing has yet come to all the families of the earth. Note again a very similar statement of the New Testament – the message of the angels at the time of our dear Redeemer's birth. They said to the fear-stricken ones before them, "Fear not, for behold we bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people." All Christian people, whatever trumpet they blow, by whatever name they are known, claim these records and translate them just as we have done. It is when they come to apply them that they fall short.

Those who believe in the doctrine of election would have us understand that God did not mean that the Gospel would be a blessing to all the families of the earth, "to all people," but merely to the elect, chosen out from amongst all nations and people. Those who hold to the doctrine of "free grace" would deny this, and declare that there is no election and no preference with God; yet their theory also would make these Divine promises of no effect by claiming that God has limited the blessings to the energies of His people, and that the most that these promises could mean would be that ultimately the zeal of the Lord's people shall be so great that they will accomplish the evangelization of the world, that the "all nations" of these promises are those of the future, and that the thousands of millions of all nations lying in the interim have been without any blessing and will have none. And these two messages are practically all the explanations of these glorious promises that the heathen have heard. Alas! Alas!

Two Errors Bar the Way.

We have already intimated that errors handed down from the dark ages are casting this great cloud upon the Divine character and plan, and hindering a proper appreciation of the glorious plan of salvation which centers in our Lord Jesus Christ. The first of these, as already intimated, is a misconception respecting hell. The Bible "hell," as we have elsewhere shown, is not a hell of torment but of death, destruction, unconsciousness. According to the Bible, the penalty upon Adam, which descended to us, his children, in conformity with the course of nature, is the death penalty. [CR21] He, created in perfection and in God's image, might have lived forever had he been obedient; but, in disobeying, he came under the sentence, "dying thou shalt die." This sentence is the wrath, the curse, that rests upon all mankind. Dying, we all die, because we are the children of Adam and share his sentence as we share his depravity. Hearken to the Apostle's words on this subject, "By one man sin entered into the world and death (not eternal torment) as the result of sin, and thus death (not eternal torment) passed upon all men, because all are sinners." (Rom. 5:12.)

According to the Scriptures, as well as according to the facts as we see them, both the wise and the ignorant, moral and immoral, believers and unbelievers, die, go into Sheol, into Hades, into the state of death. This dying process has continued now for over 6,000 years, and it is estimated that 20,000,000,000 have been "born in sin, shapen in iniquity (Psa. 51:5), lived in more or less depravity and imperfection, and died with more or less of pain, sorrow and hopelessness. The tomb, the great prison-house of death, is well filled with almost enough to reasonably populate the earth. The Scriptures declare that "they know not anything.' (Eccl. 9:5.) They have not gone to a heaven of bliss, for our Redeemer declared that "No man had ascended up to heaven." (John 3:13.) The Apostle Paul declares that "David the Prophet has not gone to heaven." (Acts 2:34.) The wise man declares that they are all in Sheol, Hades, the tomb. (Eccl. 9:10.) Our Lord again declares that they are all in their graves. (John 5:28.) How glad we are that this great mass of mankind are neither in a hell of eternal torture, suffering at the hands of fire-proof devils, nor in a purgatorial inferno, as taught by our Roman Catholic friends. How glad we should be that the doctrine of devils which consign them to such tortures is entirely untrue, unscriptural, and we are not obliged to think that our heavenly Father is an arch-demon, but, according to the Scriptures, may know Him as a God of love.

We have elsewhere shown that those who translated our Bibles have in some instances twisted their translation in harmony with their misconceptions, and that our minds thus perverted have misunderstood some of our Lord's beautiful teachings, and been stricken with fear at some of the symbolical pictures of Revelation which we did not understand.

Hope for the Dead.

The second point in error received in the dark ages is that which teaches that death ends all hope. There is not one word in support of that erroneous thought within the lids of the Bible. On the contrary, its teachings abound with hope for many of the world in the future – not that the Scriptures teach that a knowledge of the grace of God now may be trifled with, but that the vast majority never yet had a full, fair opportunity to benefit by the redemptive work of Christ. Ignorance, superstition, depravity, and the God of this world have combinedly obscured the eyes of their understanding, more or less; and only in proportion as each has seen, has tasted, has appreciated the grace of God in Christ is each now responsible. This certainly throws the possible opportunities of the vast majority of the race into the future, and, as we shall shortly see, the Scriptures fully corroborate this thought, and promise to Adam and all of his posterity a full individual opportunity for return to harmony with God and of a possibility of life everlasting.

Let us remember that from God's standpoint the entire human race was sentenced to death as unworthy of life, because, as the Scriptures declare, "There is none righteous, no not one," and eternal life is intended only for the righteous. The Scriptures declare also that Jesus is a Savior and a great one, but human theories would make Him the Savior of a small handful of the race, and then declare that that handful get their salvation by their good works instead of by God's grace. Let us see what the Scriptures teach more fully. Let us note the beauty, grandeur, length, breadth, depth and height of the Divine plan therein set forth.

The Bible does teach an election – that ever since Pentecost God has been choosing from Jews and Gentiles a little flock, to be the Bride of Christ. They teach that evil is now permitted in order that the way of obedience to God may be narrow now, to the intent that these elect ones shall be thoroughly tried, tested and proven as respects their faith in God, their loyalty to Him and His righteousness. All of the New Testament Scriptures are addressed to this class – none of them to the world. Jesus prayed for His apostles and for all them who would believe in Him through their word, but added, "I pray not for the world." The reason for this was that He knew that this age was not the Father's time for dealing with the world, but the time merely to deal with those called to be the bride. To this bride is promised His exceeding great and precious promises – to be partaker with our Lord of the Divine nature, to share His glory, honor, immortality and kingdom. The elect enter into these joys and blessings, not at death, but in the resurrection, as the Scriptures declare – "Blessed and holy are all them that have part in the first resurrection." (Rev. 5:10; 20:6.) "They shall be kings and priests unto God and shall reign on the earth."

The Kingdom of Christ.

Everywhere the Scriptures point us to the second coming of Christ and His kingdom of righteousness, which will then be established "under the whole heavens." (Daniel 7:27.) It was for this kingdom that He taught the elect to pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matt. 6:10.) That kingdom has not yet come, God's will is not yet done on earth as it is in heaven. The Church with her Lord is to constitute that Kingdom, and it cannot be established until the gathering of the elect from the world has been accomplished.

The long-promised Kingdom of God is the hope of the world. Christ and the Church, spirit beings unseen of men, will take charge of the affairs of earth. Satan will be bound for a thousand years, that men may be free from his deceptive influences and from all the power of demons during that reign of righteousness. Then the "Sun of Righteousness" will scatter all the darkness of ignorance, superstition and sin, and the whole world will be brought to a knowledge of God in His true character as a God of love, a God of justice, a God of mercy, a God of power. So forceful will this be that the Scriptures describe the effect, saying, "Then every knee shall bow and every tongue confess." (Phil. 2:10,11.) There will be none in ignorance. Thus the living, under the judgment of the great King, will be instructed in righteousness and helped out of their fallen and weak condition back to their mental, moral and physical life and health and strength. And only those who will deliberately refuse and rebel against that reign of righteousness shall be accounted wicked, and be everlastingly destroyed in the Second Death without hope of a resurrection or any kind of recovery.

But this glorious hope is not merely for those who will be so fortunate as to live at, or after the second coming of our Lord and the establishment of His Kingdom. The Great King has all the power. He declares that He has the key of the great prison-house of death, Hades, and that it is His good pleasure that all that are in their graves shall hear His command to come forth – the good and the evil. The first resurrection, as we have already shown, will consist of those who have hope, but the future resurrection will include all the remainder, who will come forth for a judgment or trial or test, to see whether or not their past experience with sin and their experience with righteousness will lead them to choose righteousness with all their hearts and thus choose the blessing of God, eternal life. Here we have the resurrection hope which the Scriptures everywhere set forth. We [CR22] remember the Apostle's words, "For the hope of the resurrection of the dead I am called in question. (Acts 23:6.) Again we read that the early Christians were scattered abroad and went everywhere preaching Jesus and the resurrection; Jesus as the One who redeemed us from the power of death, and satisfied for us and for all the demands of justice, and the resurrection power or method by which the blessing of Divine forgiveness will profit Adam and his race, recovering them to all that was lost.

Whoever will take a Concordance and look up what the Scriptures have to say about hope will be thoroughly convinced that as the heathen are without God and without hope, Christians are everywhere exhorted to hope and to allow this hope to be an anchor to their souls while they wait for the fulfillment of all the precious things God has promised through the Redeemer – to be brought unto us at His revelation, at His second coming, at the establishment of His kingdom." (1 Pet. 1:13.) Let us then search the Scripture that we may enjoy this hope and, as the Apostle says, "Be ready to give an answer to everyone that asketh us a reason for the hope that is within us with meekness and fear." (1 Pet. 3:15.)

To Colporteurs and Harvest Workers

HOW wonderful a thing it is, dear friends, that our heavenly Father should condescend to permit us to be co-laborers with the Lord Jesus Christ in any part of the work. The more we think on the subject, the more wonderful this seems to be. When we remember that before our father Adam was created, there were holy angels of God who were in His favor, and in His likeness, and who never departed into sin at all, that God in His great wisdom and love and generosity has not only provided a Saviour for Adam and all of his race, but has also provided that that salvation should be made known to the world through the Church, which is the Bride of Christ, how wonderful a matter it is. Our first thought doubtless would have been, if we had had the management of it, to take these holy angels, who are so great and wonderful in their character and brilliancy, and to have in some manner used these in conferring the blessings of the knowledge of God's grace and mercy to humanity. But God's ways are not our ways, we read, and His plan and arrangements are not as ours would have been. We are all witnesses of that, not only as respects our own imaginations, plans and conjectures, but as respects all the conjectures that have been formulated, as are represented in all the creeds of Christendom, and all heathendom. God's plans are different from all of those, and yet so wonderful, and so gracious, and so favorable to us, that we could not have asked for anything so wonderful as He has provided.

First of all then is the work of the Gospel Age. We could do nothing at all with respect to the first part. It was necessary that God should send His Son to become the Redeemer. It was necessary for Christ to have been born, so that He could be related to our race, and be the Man Christ Jesus, and that He could give His life, perfect, holy, harmless and undefiled, a ransom for Adam and all the race.

We could do nothing at all in that part of the work. He therefore does not call on us to have any part or share in it at all. But just as soon as Jesus had paid the ransom price, just as soon as He had ascended upon high, there to appear in the presence of God for us, for all who are trusting Him, and for all who believe in Him and turn away from sin and to God and accept His divine favor – just that soon did God begin to manifest His favor toward mankind. And the first ones were the twelve who were blessed with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and were sent out to carry the good tidings of great joy to all people that had ears to hear – not to anybody else. God was not speaking to those who had no ears to hear, but as many as have ears to hear, let them hear, and so God began right at Pentecost and has been continuing all the way through this age to select a people for His name, selecting a Bride for His Son, to be with Him in the kingdom, and all this work of manifestation, all of this work of gathering a people for His name, and all the telling of the good tidings, is not committed to angels, but is committed to those who accept the Lord Jesus.

What favor is there in that? We look back to the time of Jesus' birth, and there was no man in the world at that time who was suitable to tell the good tidings and make known that part, and it was better that God should send the company of angels in the plains of Bethlehem to proclaim that, "Unto you is born in the city of David, a Saviour, that is, Christ, the Lord." It was necessary that that first proclamation should be made by the angels, because if some man had said it, they would have said, "How does he know? Where did he get the information?" But when God sent this first part of the message through the angels, it seemed necessary to use them to that extent, and they were used.

Then came, as we see, the work of this Gospel Age. All through the age, notwithstanding the imperfections of the earthen vessels, the Lord has been pleased to use human instrumentalities all the way down for the gathering of the Church; and He has honored His Word as presented in the Scriptures, and He has spoken through the mouths of those who were His consecrated children. He has honored His message wherever it has gone, and the blessing of the Lord has thus gone out to all the earth – not confined to the Jewish nation, or to the English nation, or to the American nation, or to any one nation, but the message has gone to all the families of the earth. Then we look at what has been accomplished during the Gospel Age, and we see the ups and the downs, and we see the failure at the end of the first century; we see the Church going into the wilderness condition, and we see the Scriptures telling us that notwithstanding the fact that the whole system has become a nominal system merely, and has gotten largely under the influence and control of the Adversary himself – notwithstanding that, God did not leave Himself without a witness; He had witnesses all the way down; they were not known or recognized to much extent of men, but nevertheless God had true witnesses all the way down through these eighteen hundred and more years.

Now then, dear brothers and sisters, if we were to look at the most important part of God's Plan in respect to the selection of the Church, where would we look? Well, we answer, we would, of course, look back to Pentecost and say that was one of the most important points in God's great plan – the beginning of the blessing. Surely it was one of the most important points. The Apostles were there, and a great blessing of truth and grace was on all those who followed the Lord and had a measure of the divine plan, which was doubtless enjoyed by some.

Then where else shall we look for special divine favor? We hearken to the Apostle Peter and hear him say that the blessing has come upon us who are living in the ends of the ages. Now there are two ends to the age; there was a beginning end, and a closing end. There was a time at our Lord's first advent, the end of the Jewish age, and at the beginning [CR23] of the Gospel age, of lapping; and so now, when we come down to our time, we have the closing of the Gospel age and the dawning of the Millennial age. The lapping of the ages have come upon us, and we are living in that time now, dear friends. There are two very important periods during the last two thousand years, and we are fortunate enough to be living in one of them. As a child I used to look back to the days of our Lord, and think with considerable interest of the hymn that says, "Oh, that I could have been living on earth then." You remember the picture it gives when Jesus was here amongst men. I cannot remember the hymn, but you are perhaps familiar with it. I would like to have been here then, that I might see Him and His miracles. But it seems to me that when we come to consider the matter more fully, the blessings in the end of this age are greater than were the blessings in the end of the Jewish age. At very most, our Jewish brethren of that time saw our Lord, the wonderful man, the man Christ Jesus, and they saw the one who was doubtless far beyond all others in His appearance, and they saw the one who spake as never man spake, and they saw the one who performed various miracles, and all that must have been very interesting; and yet we can see that a great many people could have been there present, and hear and take notice of those things, and yet be in the utmost perplexity. They did not know whether this was Jesus the Messiah, or not. You remember the Bible tells us many of the people said, "Do our rulers indeed know that this is Jesus, the very Christ?" And they were perplexed. The rulers said, "No, no, this man is talking about a kingdom, and we are expecting a kingdom, it is true; we have been expecting it for all these centuries, but this man has no army, and he has no financial backing, and the Roman government would not recognize Him, and we Jews ourselves would not recognize Him. He is a kind of a womanish man, talking beautifully, kindly, gently; He is not swearing any, and getting angry, and rushing around as though He would rip the whole world to pieces if they were not likely to fall into line with Him. We need a man of that kind. That is the kind of a man Israel had hoped would establish a kingdom and bring the other nations into subjection. Haven't we been looking and praying for centuries for the time to come when Messiah would come and rule the whole world, and do you suppose a man like this, who goes around and saying, "Blessed are the meek" and "Blessed are the merciful," would make a good general or ruler to bring the kingdom to Israel? "How foolish! Your poor common people don't know anything about this matter. Leave the matter to us; we are scribes and pharisees; trust us; we have a grain of sense and know what we are talking about. Pay no attention to that man, and His disciples. I never saw such stupid people, thinking of Him as the Messiah." Now, if I had been there, my dear brothers and sisters, I am sure my faith would have been very weak, and I should have said, "It don't look much like it, does it?" I am really glad that my lot fell in this time for more reasons than one. I believe that for my cast of mind – now, we are not all the same – it is a great deal easier for me to exercise faith in the presence of the Lord at this time than it would have been in the days of Jesus in the flesh. I am naturally of a disposition to reason things out from facts, and possibilities and I would have had a terribly hard time to become one of the twelve apostles, or to have gone around with our Lord, without any apparent manifestation of kingly authority then. I would have asked Him a whole lot of questions, at least. Perhaps He would have told me, but I would have asked a whole lot of questions. It would have been a question meeting for a good while with me. How are you going to do it? How is it going to come? How can it ever be accomplished? Explain the matter. And perhaps the Lord would have been gracious to me and said, "Well, he has that kind of a head, and he cannot help it, and I will condescend to make up for him, for his lack of ability to take things for granted. In other words, I would have made a poor rat to go into a trap; I would have wanted to know how to get out at the other end before I would go into the trap.

Now, we have before us the two ends of the age, and we see that at the time of the end of the Jewish age and the opening of the Gospel age, the Lord said there was a harvest work going on; He said that the fields were white already for harvest, and he that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto eternal life. And after telling them that, He sent out the twelve Apostles, and afterwards also, the seventy and told them to go everywhere and to preach that the Kingdom of God had come nigh unto them; the Kingdom of God is very near. If you are ready for it, God is ready to establish the kingdom now. So an opportunity was given, and what was the result? Well, the nation as a whole, we are told, at the time of their visitation, did not discern; they did not recognize Him; they said, it is foolish and silly to think of this being the Kingdom of God that this man is preaching. You remember the pharisees came to Him on one occasion and said, we will show up this man, and said it in the presence of His disciples, for they wanted the disciples and all the people to hear how they would overthrow any of His arguments. And they said unto Him, When will the Kingdom of God appear? You do not mean to say you have it now; you do not mean to say you are a King now; you do not mean to say your disciples have any power now – how long have you to wait on your kingdom?

And the poor pharisees were utterly disconcerted when Jesus said, It is not going to appear at all.

How is that?

Why it will be in the midst of you, and you will not perceive it; it will be an invisible kingdom. How much they were astonished!

Well, the fact is, anyway, dear friends, that as a whole they could not receive spiritual things, for they were not for natural men. They were not begotten of the Holy Spirit and the trouble was, they were not in the right attitude of heart to be begotten of the Holy Spirit – that is, excepting a few. As we are told in John 1:11, He came to His own, the nation of Israel, and His own nation received Him not, but as to many as did receive Him, to all of those who were Israelites indeed, in whom there was no guile, to them gave He liberty – privilege – to become the Sons of God, to step from the House of Servants over into the House of Sons, from fleshly Israel over into spiritual Israel; to them, gave He liberty to become Sons of God, even all those who believed on His name, and who subsequently were begotten, not of the will of the flesh, but of the will of God. It was that little class, the twelve Apostles, and perhaps many of the seventy that went out – we do not know whether all or not, probably not all that were sent out – but the twelve and many of the others, many of the seventy, altogether about five hundred we are told, were influenced by the preaching of the Word of God. That was all the wheat found up to the time of Jesus' death, and that was called a harvest time. They were sent out to reap. Jesus said, I send you forth to reap that upon which ye bestowed no labor; other men have labored, have done plowing and sowing, and ye are entered into their labors; it is the time to reap now, and not specially the time to sow. So they did this reaping work, gathering the five hundred brethren out of the Jewish nation. And then you remember after Pentecost, they kept up the reaping work, because the harvest lasted from the time of Jesus' baptism for forty years, and they were doing a reaping work all of that time. What was the effect of it? The effect was to gather every Israelite indeed – not only those Israelites that were living in Jerusalem and Judea and Galilee, but the work extended out, you remember, ultimately to the Gentile nations, where the Israelites had gone to live, and where they were engaged in mercantile pursuits – Athens, Corinth, and in Rome. The Apostles were [CR24] sent by the Lord and directed by the Holy Spirit, so they went here, there and everywhere. They first of all went to the synagogues of the Jews, and said it was necessary that the Gospel should be preached first to them. Why? Because it was God's arrangement, that those who had been favored with the blessings of the divine law, and the divine guidance, as the peculiar people of God, should have the full opportunity of having a harvest time, and of having all who were real ripe grains of wheat gathered into the garner of the Gospel age, and so that work was fully accomplished. My supposition is, and I think you will all agree with me it is Scriptural, that God knew every Israelite at heart, and did not leave a single one, but every honest Jew, every Israelite indeed, in all of that nation during those forty years was found. God knew how to direct the various influences of His work, so that those whom He sent forth as reapers – the Apostles, and all who became associated with the truth, each one becoming a reaper – were blessed of the Lord, so that the whole work was accomplished and no grain of wheat was lost. If you remember, the Lord pictures that as the result. Through John the Baptist it was declared that our Lord's work would be to gather the wheat into His garner and to burn up the chaff. When was it gathered into the garner? During these forty years the wheat of the Jewish nation was gathered. And where was the chaff burned? At the end of this forty years the fire of trouble came on the Jewish nation, and all of that chaff was consumed, in the sense that the nation was overthrown – lost its national existence. The nation died there. There has been no Jewish nation from that day to this. There is no Jewish nation today. There are Jewish people today, just as there are Polish people, although there is no Polish nation today. The Polish nation perished, but you will find people who came from that land, and who speak that tongue. So you will find Jewish people, but there is no Jewish nation. That nation has been overthrown. Everything went down at the end of that forty years.

So that harvest time saw a double work. It first gathered the wheat into the garner of the new dispensation under the spiritual ministration, it gathered the wheat of the Jewish nation, and it also did the cleaning up, or the burning up, of the chaff. So that work was concluded, as far as they are concerned. The work has been going on outside of them altogether – it has been with the Gentiles.

I remind you all how the Lord cared for the true Israelites there. You remember how Nathaniel was brought to the Lord's notice. Two of the disciples had been well acquainted with Nathaniel. They knew him to be a very fine, honest, honorable Jew, and he knew them to be true, candid men also.

So, after they had found Jesus and had become His disciples, they went and found Nathaniel and said, "Nathaniel, we have found Him of whom Moses and all the Prophets did speak; we have found the Messiah."

"Oh, my friends, my brethren, are you being deceived by that Nazarene?"

"Nathaniel, he is the most wonderful man – come and see for yourself."

"Oh, my brethren, I am so sorry for you; you have been caught in that snare. I have heard of other good people being caught in that; I am sorry for you."

"Now, Nathaniel, come and see; you can do no less than that as a true Israelite; you cannot refuse to examine the matter. Can you refuse to examine that which commends itself to your brethren with whom you are well acquainted, and whom you know to be honest Israelites? Are you afraid to examine? Do you not know that God has promised the Messiah? Come and see."

Well, Nathaniel concluded that he would have to go to see. But on the way, you remember, he felt the importance of the matter and realized that he might be subject to deception – he might make a mistake and be at fault. He knew there were false Messiahs being received lately, and he might be deceived, too. There was a large fig tree with its branches coming down towards the ground; under the fig tree he crept and said, "I will have a prayer with God before I go, because it may be a new temptation, a new delusion, and I want the power of God to be with me to help me to know whether my friends here have been deceived, or whether this is the true Messiah." So he went under the fig tree and prayed for wisdom, for knowledge and for aid from the Lord. And then he said, Now I will go. Presently he came, and as he was approaching, our Lord said, pointing to him, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile."

Well now, thought Nathaniel, I hope, I trust, I am an Israelite indeed, and I hope that I have no guile; I hope that is all true; but it does sound to be a good deal as though that man were trying to catch me by saying something pleasant – in our day, we would say, giving him some sweets. So Nathaniel hesitated a little; that was not going to be sufficient proof to him; so he said, "How do you know anything about me, Sir?"

"When thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee."

"The answer to my prayer! How could I ask it better?"

The Lord had fixed it so that, being an Israelite indeed, it was very easy indeed for him to find the Master, and get right into confidential touch with Him. I do not suppose that is all the story; it is all that is recorded in the Word – and a little more than is recorded in the Word indeed, for I have paraphrased it a little, but I suppose the facts are that Jesus told him a good deal more, and that they had quite a heart-to-heart talk about the matter. I suppose there was quite a good deal of conversation there. We can't believe that our Lord in all the three and a half years of His ministry said no more than is recorded of Him in the Gospel. You and I would have talked a hundred times as much in three and a half years. But there is enough here and the best part, and the right part, is recorded, so we are very well satisfied.

Anyway, dear friends, the point is this: that there were a great many Jews there to whom our Lord did not talk or try to make it plain. You remember the disciples were surprised at times when He spoke to them in parables and dark sayings, and used figures of speech, and said, This is the bread that cometh down from heaven. If you eat of my flesh, you shall live always. What does this man mean, when He says to eat my flesh? No wonder these poor men were confused. These are very precious words to us because now we understand them; but to those that heard them, and who had no knowledge of spiritual things, no conception of how Jesus was to be the bread of life for the world, all of these must have been very dark sayings indeed. When the disciples asked of Jesus, Lord why do you tell the people these things in such obtuse and parabolic language, He said, To you it is given to know the mysteries, but to them that are outside, to all the outsiders, these things are in parables and dark sayings, so that they might not understand; it is not for them to understand; if they are outsiders, they are not in the right attitude. If they were in the right attitude they would come here to me; they would be my disciples, and I would make the matter clear and plain to them; but they are not for them now; but they are for you. The Lord might have blessings for them by and by; but now all the blessings He had were for those who were His – to those Israelites indeed, in whom there was no guile.

So we carry the parallel from that harvest time down to this harvest time, and we have the sanction of the whole Scriptures in doing this. For instance, we find the Jewish age was a type or pattern for this Gospel age, and that, as God dealt especially with the Jewish nation for 1845 years, so He has dealt with the Gospel Church, Spiritual Israel, for 1845 years. As He has thus dealt with them, and made the one the pattern for the other, we are justified in looking at what was accomplished in the Jewish harvest by the Lord and His Apostles, and we are justified in expecting similar [CR25] conditions in this harvest, only on a somewhat higher plane, because ours is spiritual Israel and theirs was natural, or fleshly, Israel; ours is the heavenly calling, and theirs was the lower calling; ours is the house of sons, and theirs was the house of servants. Therefore, everything here properly belongs on a higher plane. They were taken out of the Jewish dispensation, from the house of servants, into the Gospel dispensation, on the higher plane, and that was the garner for them; and we are to be gathered from the gospel plane to a still higher plane, the spiritual plane, changed in a moment, in the first resurrection; so our things are all higher than theirs. But these two ages are parallel, and the two harvests are parallel, and just as the Lord in the end of that harvest sent forth His disciples to be the reapers in doing the right work, so likewise in this harvest, He is sending forth His people, the spiritual Israelites indeed, in His name, and as His representatives, in doing a harvest work. He is telling us to go everywhere, wherever we find Israelites indeed, and tell them this is the day of their visitation, tell them that now is the presence of the Lord and the harvest of this age, tell them that God is not going to be forever calling the Bride, that the elect will all be called, and that this age will end, and that this is the work in the closing of the harvest time in which the wheat shall be gathered into the garner. And as there the work was successful, blessed of the Lord, and accomplished all that He intended, so it will be here; it will accomplish all that God purposed. If we look back there we will find that the people of that time did not suppose there was any great success; they did not suppose the Gospel Church was making any headway. They would have looked at this fact that there were five hundred people out of the millions of the Jewish nation, and would have said that it is a very trivial thing. What is that, anyway, finding five hundred people in three and a half years ministry, after all of these miracles? Or if it was five thousand, how small was the work compared with the whole Jewish nation!

And what do people today say? Well, you people are very small. Yes, we say, we are very small. You are very insignificant. Yes, that is all very true. Why you think you are going to tear down our churches, and you are not going to do it. Not at all; we do not think we are going to tear down the churches, my brethren. I remember a gentleman who called on me; he was not a minister, but had been educated for the ministry; he was a printer, and had been doing some work for us, and incidentally talking about the matter, he said, "Mr. Russell, how does it come that you seem to be trying so hard to tear down all our churches?"

"Why, my brother," you have misunderstood the matter. I am not trying to tear down the churches."

"You are not?"


"What does it mean that we are printing so many of these tracts and booklets, etc., and what our shop is doing is very little compared to what other shops are printing for you; you are printing thousands and millions of tracts that are going all over the world. What does it mean if you are not trying to pull down the churches?"

"Why, this is what it means: In the first place, we do not want to pull down the churches; we want the churches to stay; we want them to keep a tight band about all the tares, and hold them in there. If all of the tares got out, they would get in with us; we don't want any of them; what we are looking for, my brother, is to get the wheat, so we look wherever we can and hunt for all the heads of wheat, and try to get them. You will never miss them, they are few; you will never miss them out of any of the bundles; so don't you be afraid, my dear brother; the distributing of a lot of tracts does not mean we think that we are going to get a whole lot of people. We know that not very many wise, or learned, and not many all together, are going to get all of the wheat, and you will not have a single grain left, but you won't miss them very much, because they are in the minority now, and you think them very odd, peculiar people, and you had better be rid of them maybe, and we just want those."

He said, "If that is all you are after, why do you make such a stir, and spread the thing around so?"

I said, "I will tell you: that is the question, we do not know who the wheat are, and the only way for us to do is to take in everything, everywhere, so that we will be sure to reach the wheat in some way. If we only knew the wheat, we would not bother one of the others at all; we would take the truth right to the wheat; but we do not know the wheat; the Lord has kept that secret from us. The Lord knoweth the wheat, and He is going to guide the matter."

Now, dear brethren, why does not the Lord tell us where the wheat is? Why does He not make the thing simple and easy, so that we can come, for instance, to Norfolk and say a word to a dozen, or two dozen, or whatever number of genuine wheat there may be, or a hundred or two hundred – I could not say how many; the Lord knows, I do not. But why don't the Lord fix it so that we can just get at the wheat and fix it up with them? And so in Allegheny, and New York, and Philadelphia, and all over the country. Why don't He fix it up that way? Well, I think the answer to that question is the answer to our text today. God could have gotten all the Israelites indeed in the end of the Jewish age very much easier than in the way in which He did get them, very much easier than to have Jesus and the Apostles go around everywhere preaching the Gospel; He could have done it very much easier than that if He had so chosen; He knew the hearts of these people; He could have picked them out and sent some word. Why did He not do it? To my understanding, there was a great blessing to be given to the reapers, and the Lord is going to give us a chance to do some reaping work now. You remember the illustration of the Emperor moth. A doctor was very fond of butterflies, and was making a large collection; he heard of a very famous kind of a butterfly he did not have in his collection, and a friend presented him with the Emperor moth in its cocoon, and so he put it up in his library and said, I will watch the development of that butterfly with interest. And gradually it began to show evidences of life, and made struggles and worked to get out of the cocoon; and as day after day he would glance up and see the little animal working and fighting its way out, he said, It is too bad, I could let it out easier than that; it should not have to work like that, so he snipped it with his scissors; and the thing got out finally, but he let it out too soon, and as a result of not having enough work, it could never fly; it was too weak. It had not had muscular effort enough in getting out.

So we think that is the reason the Lord allows us now to do the reaping work; it is necessary in His plan and it is necessary for our development; that we should not only have the opportunity of doing something in the Lord's service, but see the reason for it, for if we could see no reason for it, or if we knew our labor in the Lord would be in vain, it would not be very easy to do. Suppose now, for instance, in a certain town, there was not a single grain of wheat, and you knew it. Would you say, Well I know there is no wheat here, but I need the exercise and I will go over the town and spread tracts all around even though I know there is no one here that will be interested in the truth. Do you suppose it would be possible for you to do that, to spend time, labor and car-fare? You would not want to beat the air, so you see God kindly veils our eyes, and does not tell us whether there are any grains of wheat there or not. It is going to do us good to go around and do the reaping and serve the cause, so He veils our eyes, and does not tell us where the wheat is, but gives us the assurance that [CR26] He knows where it is, and that He will not let a grain of wheat be lost; but He will make sure that every grain is reached in some way, and it is our opportunity if we want to be reapers, and if we want to receive some of the wages, to get to work, and according to the energy and zeal we display, we will be manifesting our love for the Lord, for the Brethren, and for the truth. So then, these opportunities of the harvest time are most wonderful.

I do not know how to account for the various features of the harvest work that we have, except to say that the Lord apparently guided our judgment in respect to the matter and gradually opened them up before us, and they seemingly were made necessary by certain things; as, for instance, in the matter of the Pilgrim work. We found that there were little companies of the Lord's people here and there that needed to have a little encouragement, a little bit of help; they had a certain amount of ability and could carry on a certain kind of meetings very well among themselves, but if they would have some additional encouragement, someone to come around and visit them, to help them, and to advise and counsel with them, some who probably had more experience in the truth, or more experience in respect to the holding of meetings, this would be a great advantage. So we started by having one or two go around and as we found the work was increasing and needed more, and as the Lord seemed to provide more, we arranged for others to go around, and they kept going and are going all over this country, and to some extent over other countries, though not so much anywhere else as here. But we see how that part of the harvest work was brought in; there was a necessity for it. There were little classes growing up in their various places needing help, and there was a way to meet this very exigency. The Lord seems to direct the path, and it is grand. We now see that this Pilgrim manner of serving the meat to the household of faith is one of the wisest and best – far wiser than we knew at the time. It is carrying some fresh thought and ability to every class of any size all over the country, to do them all the good possible, and that without hindering the balance. It is far better than having a paid preacher established in every city; it accomplishes more good. A little class must help itself, and must edify one another, and that is what God intended. God's intention never was, in connection with the Church, as the early Church's example would show, that the Church would simply meet together to have somebody preach to them; the Church was to meet together to edify itself, to build one another up. There might have been, and probably was in every congregation of the early Church, a leader, and may be several leaders, who would take turns; but it was not the Lord's plan that one man should do all the teaching and the others do all the hearing, but that all should co-operate in the service, each according to his ability and according to what seemed to be the Lord's providence in the matter.

So these little congregations, instead of being encouraged to give up and sit down and hear something, were all encouraged to co-operate and be Bereans, searching the Scriptures, and pointing out their fulfillment, one to another. It is the very best way. I do not know of any other way that would be as good for the edifying and for the bringing out of the talent, small and great, wherever it may be, either in asking questions, or answering them, or in helping them in any manner; and as a consequence those all over the country who never would have known they had any ability, and whom others would not have known or found to have ability have, under the Lord's blessing, and as they come to a clearer knowledge of the truth, considerable ability in pointing out to each other the precious things of the Lord's Word.

Then again, in the matter of the colporteur work; The colporteur work when it was first started was not what we had planned at all. We were not smart enough; we did not know enough. We tried to introduce the literature in the usual way by advertising in the usual manner in the newspapers, and by getting the books into the book stores, so the people would see them, and so they would be put out through some wholesale house and be taken to the retail places in the country and the people have a chance to come at them in that way. And the Lord permitted the Devil to pen that way up thoroughly – so thoroughly that we could not get any out. I have told some of you, and will tell others now whom I did not address on this subject before, how that the principle book concern handling religious books in the United States tried the Dawns. They first of all said, Yes, send us one hundred copies of the first volume. So we sent the hundred copies, and in about ten days or two weeks, the books came back. We wondered, and inquired how it happened, and got the information, finally, that the gentleman who was at the head of that establishment was very intimately acquainted with some of the premillennial people, Mr. Moody and Major Whittle. He put the Millennial Dawns on the book shelves among other religious books, and in the department where the premillennial literature was kept. You have probably heard of Major Whittle as an evangelist, who used to be associated for some time in holding meetings and in evangelistic work with Mr. Bliss. He came in and looked over the books in this department. They were arranged in rows, and he saw Millennial Dawn.

"Here, look here, what have you got Millennial Dawn on here for?"

"Well, now look here, Whittle, I am not so narrow as all of that. If anybody wants Millennial Dawn or any other book, let them have it. If they want your books let them have them. I am not so narrow and hide-bound as that; people have a right to get what they want."

"Revell, if Millennial Dawn stays on your counter, all of my books, and all of the books of my friends, will come off."

"Well now, Whittle, if you are going to talk that way, they will have to come off." So he ordered them taken off and sent back to us.

That settles it, you see, in short order. We tried advertising Millennial Dawn in some of the religious newspapers. We even took the method of having the address away from Allegheny, so that they would not even smell that way; they were advertised as Scripture Studies, and an address of another city given, but it was not long before they were found to be Millennial Dawn. Then immediately the contracts were cancelled. The contracts were to run for months, but they were cancelled at once, they paid back the balance of the money, and said they would not have that published in their paper at all. So neither the Methodists nor Baptists or anyone else would have Millennial Dawn in their paper or on their book-shelves, and we could not do anything with them that way.

Now, why did the Lord allow Satan to block all of these ways? It looked as though the Lord was allowing Satan to hinder the work, and perhaps Satan thought he had put in a real good stroke, – but he did not know his business. Just the same as when he thought he had done a real smart thing when he got our Lord crucified, it did not work his way. I suppose he instigated Judas; in fact that is what we are told, that Satan entered into Judas, and that was part of the prompting which led him to sell the Master, and I suppose Satan helped those who were trying to accuse Him, and those who finally crucified Him; I have no doubt he was engineering that whole thing; but he engineered it God's way, and so these, when they were hindering Millennial Dawn from being advertised and being put on the counters, were co-operating with God, but did not know it, for when we found they could not be advertised that way, then the next thing was to start out and try to sell them.

Well, at first we were trying to sell them at the regular prices at which other people sold such books. They were costing nearly fifty cents in paper binding, the way [CR27] we were publishing them, in small quantities, and we were selling them for one dollar in cloth binding, the usual price for such books; and then we thought, if these were published in larger quantities could we not get them out cheaper? So we got them out cheaper, you remember, so that we could sell the paper-bound ones for twenty-five cents, and the cloth bound ones for fifty cents. So, for a while we sold hardly any but the paper bound copies. They were entered in the Post Office as second class matter, with the privilege of mailing at a cent a pound, and you remember we finally got it down to where we could send ten volumes by mail delivered to any address in the United States for one dollar. We thought we had done something wonderful, and so we had, and a whole lot of books went out that way; and then what do you think? It looked as though Satan had gotten the upper hand on us; he had tried it several times before. They got a man in the Post Office department who would not obey the law. As long as they held to the law, we always got the better of it. This man said, I am going to make the law myself. Congress did not make the law right and I will construe it myself so that you shall not send that through the mail, nor any other thing of that kind, at that rate. He did not merely rule this against Millennial Dawn. The gentleman was fair enough; it was a general rule of the department against all magazines of that character going through the mails at that rate, – the pound rate, as they called it. What was the result? We could not send out the Dawns ten for a dollar, for the postage alone amounted to about ninety cents on the ten. What did we do then? Well, temporarily, the Devil got them stopped pretty well. We had been and we were sending them to colporteurs in every direction at these rates, as well as to other readers of the Tower, ten cents pre-paid; and the colporteurs were selling them at a quarter; but the Devil stopped that. Of course, I do not want to accuse the Devil of anything improperly. But we thought, well, what will we do now? We thought, we will see if we can do any better by getting a cloth bound book at a very low price. So we hunted around and applied for bids on large quantities, and finally got it so that we could say to the colporteurs or any of the friends, we can send these to you so you can sell them at thirty-five cents, and if you get them by freight they will cost you eighteen cents, and you have about one-half of what you get for them for your expenses on which to live. That is a very remarkable thing, that books could be gotten out at that price. I do not know of any other similar size books that are selling at that price. We sell all the translations, the English, the French, the German, the Greek, the Norwegian and the Swedish, etc., at one price, and the foreign editions that are small necessarily cost a good deal more. The English books we sell to the colporteurs at sixteen cents cost sixteen, sometimes a fraction over, according to varying circumstances, and the foreign ones, some cost twenty, some twenty-five, and some thirty cents a piece, so that last year, the Society lost nearly four thousand dollars just on the price of the books alone. I merely mention this so that you will get the situation before your minds – not that we are making any complaint about it; it is all right. We are very pleased to have it that way. We think that is the way the Lord would have it to be. We want all the poor foreigners who have gotten away from superstition and ignorance to have an opportunity to get the truth at no more cost to them than to anybody else. So as the government carries some letters to California for two cents, and it certainly costs more than that to deliver the letter, and they charge the same to carry a letter across the river from Allegheny to Pittsburgh, just so we make a common rate on all Dawns, as low as possible, so that the colporteurs can have consideration, and so that they may be able to sell them at such a small price that they can have enough left to defray their expenses if they live economically.

Now then, dear friends, under that arrangement, instead of paper books going out, it is cloth books that are going out. You say, is there any difference? Don't they all read alike? They all read alike, but there is a great deal of difference in this way: when a paper-bound book has been laying around for about a week, and several people have handled it with greasy fingers, and the cover shows marks of fly-specks and grease-spots, and becomes a little torn and wrinkled, people throw it in the closet or some place else, and that is the last of it; so we find it is a great deal better to have cloth-bound books, because they lay on the center-table, and friends will come in and say, What is that book? And they will find them years afterwards, because they are in a more substantial form.

So that which seemed to be an adverse ruling of the Post Office department, and that which we fought hard and tried to get it changed and could not, turned out all right. All things are working together for good to us, and always have been. It just takes a little time to see it.

Now then, as a result today, what do we find? We find that the first volume has passed the two million mark. And as far as I know, no other book except the Bible has reached such a sale as that; and it is going on and increasing. We do not have any printing establishment of our own. We could not do the work as cheaply as we get it done, because I suppose if we were trying to do it ourselves, we would have to have a plant for that alone, whereas these other people have a plant going and working on other things, and some of them smaller jobs out of which they are making more profit. They have to keep things going anyway, and they just charge a certain profit on what they do our work for, and it comes to us cheaper than if we did it ourselves. Then we do not have to keep the money invested. We can keep turning the money into tracts, and keep sending it out. So the money goes a great deal farther, and that is what surprises some people; they say, There must be a mint of money behind this work. We never heard of so many tracts going out. But our money is not all eaten up by salaried officers, large buildings, interest on mortgages, etc., that are very heavy. The money is going out in the work, and is done economically and as wisely as we know how.

Now as to the colporteur work, I do not know just what the report for this year will show, but this year is already ahead of last year, and we have time in which more will go out. But in connection with this colporteur work, we believe it is not merely the plan to let the books go out. We could have done that by newspaper advertisements. Some newspaper might have given a great write-up, and had the other papers copy it, and the people would have gone into the book-stores and said, Have you any of those books, I want one? There might have been a great rush for them, and they might have gone out over the country very quickly. But that was not the Lord's way; He wanted to give you and me an opportunity of working. He said, "There is the harvest work, go in, he that reapeth receiveth wages. I want to give some of the reapers a chance." If the newspaper people had done it all, where would the reapers have come in? Where would they get the wages? "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit." Is it not a great blessing and privilege that we can have in this harvest work? It is not merely the colporteurs who are having a blessing. There are others that are having a blessing, as I think, for instance, of one; I was talking to him not a great while ago, and mentioned to him about one of his family being in the colporteurs' work, and said, How happy you must be, not being able to get into the work yourself and have a personal share in it, that you have at least a number of your family engaged in it? He said, O yes, how much I appreciate that! So, you see, we all are more or less interested, and are drawn together by the very privileges we are enjoying. One may be doing more of actual work, and the other may be sustaining, advising, helping, encouraging, or speaking a kind word, or perhaps taking duties and responsibilities that would hinder this one from going into the [CR28] work, and perhaps another one says, now you can be spared because I can do some of these things for you. So, each one is helping the other.

About how many colporteurs are there, dear friends? Leaving out Great Britain, Australia, and other places, there are about five hundred in the United States and Canada. Now that is five hundred that are having a great blessing, and many other hundreds that through them have their zeal and love intensified, and are kept warm by their efforts, and that is not all. Besides the colporteurs, there are the Sharpshooters. By sharpshooters, we mean those who simply sell to their friends, give away some, and sell some. We call them sharpshooters, because they are not going from house to house, trying to put them into every home. The sharpshooters are doing a whole lot, and are getting a whole lot of blessings.

And then, when we could not have the paper-bound volumes of the Dawns to supply to the friends at ten cents a volume, the Lord let us think of another way of doing it. The Watch Tower is a regularly entered publication of the second class, under the Postal laws. There is no hindrance to the number of pages in it, and so we issued the first volume of Dawn as one number of the Watch Tower in magazine form at five cents per copy, postpaid. If the Devil thought by stopping the ten for a dollar he was going to do us up on getting cheap books into the hands of the people, he was mistaken, because it merely led to a five cent edition, which is only half as much. Now you do not know how many of those are distributed. I know a brother who in the state in which he lives has circulated at least three thousand of those himself, and paid for them all out of his own money. He has sent them all around, all through his own county and in many parts of his State. He is only an example; there are others thinking how they can do somebody good. All the rest of the world is thinking how they can get something, but those who get the truth are thinking how they can do some good, or give somebody something. It changes our hearts and lives. People can hardly believe it of you, that you are trying to do something for them that would cost you something; they cannot understand that. Well, we are willing to be peculiar in that way.

And then, the volunteer work: You see this harvest work advances in all these different features. At first, we used to do more as others do in the tract work, publish tracts, and people who wanted them might pay so much for them. Then we thought there was a better way than that – to let anybody who wished pay for them, let him make contribution to the tract fund if he wanted to voluntarily; we shall not ask for anything, but let him make it if he wants to, and thus we can distribute tracts, and let the friends have free all the tracts they can use. Very frequently the ones who can distribute tracts are the very ones who could not pay, and very frequently the ones that can pay are the ones that might find it impossible to distribute tracts; quite a good many make donations to the tract fund, and they get the tracts and do the distributing also; but anyway, we concluded it would be the Lord's will that the tracts be supplied free, and let them go out by the thousands and tens of thousands and by the hundreds of thousands and by the millions, and I might say, by the tens of millions.

Well now, as a result, dear friends, the tract distribution in which you are engaged, and in which I am engaged, and in which many of the Lords' people all over the country are engaged, we call the volunteer work, because it is not urged on any one, but is a voluntary act, something in which anybody can engage. Now the Lord has fixed it so that nobody can say, Lord there was nothing I could do; for they might have said, Well, we cannot all be Pilgrims, and that is so; and some one might say, I cannot be a colporteur, because I have a family, or other responsibilities; there is nothing that I can do. But no, the Lord took away all that. We did not think of it this way at first; we merely thought of making the tracts free, and letting everybody have them to distribute that wanted them, but you see the Lord was making a way by which every mouth would be stopped, so that nobody could come later and say, Lord, there was not a bit of reaping work that I could do; I was so anxious to do some reaping and I could not find any to do. The Lord says, no that is not right, I gave you something to do. There was a lot of volunteer work to do, and you knew you could get the tracts for nothing, no matter whether you paid for them or not; the freight was paid on them, and they were set down at your town and you only had to go there and pick them up and distribute them.

Well, the matter has been growing and it has finally come to be called the Volunteer work, and we encourage the friends all over the country, and in Europe and Australia, and all around, in every little class, wherever they may be, in country towns or in cities, to form a Volunteer Corps of those who would like to engage in the work, and if it is a city or town of some size, to divide up the classes or towns, so that each would attend to such a part of the territory as he or she could work, and do it thoroughly. And we encourage them to appoint a captain in each city, – one who would take general charge and lay out the work, and say, this quarter for so and so, and that quarter for so and so, and divide it up. Then have lieutenants, say in the northwest portion of the city there would be a squad for distribution with one to be a kind of lieutenant, or one to have supervision of that quarter, and the others to co-operate with him, and so on. In that way, there have been little armies of tract distributers over the country.

Some might say, I wonder if there are enough of those very common people to distribute tracts; I wonder how you find enough of those common people to distribute tracts. We do not want any common, dirty, superstitious people to distribute tracts. You do not want any of them to distribute tracts. What do you want? You want sons and daughters of God – God's sons and daughters who want to engage in the harvest work. If God's people do not take pleasure in making known the message, why, then let it stay at home. So, we do not urge anybody, except in this sense, dear brethren, that as we are saying now, there is a great harvest work and the laborers are few in comparison with the possibilities of the hour, and the possibilities of the hour are the most wonderful possibilities, and it is the most wonderful message of the grace of God, the love of God, the justice of God, the Plan of God, that was ever presented to the world, and it is a great honor God has conferred upon us that we should be counted worthy, that He would let us have a share in this work. He could have done without us altogether, but He has done it for our benefit, that we, just by energizing ourselves, might be making character, and as we are making character, we are making ourselves more and more fit for the kingdom of God, for He has determined that none will be in the kingdom who are merely wishy-washy. God tells us He is seeking jewels. He is choosing out the jewels, and He gives them an opportunity for the development of character, and says they must be overcomers; every one of them must be an overcomer, if he would have a place in the kingdom. So now, dear brethren and sisters, here is an opportunity to become an overcomer. What do we overcome? We are to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil; that is the correct statement, of course; but you cannot overcome the Devil very well; you may resist the Devil, but it will take the Lord to overcome him; and you cannot overcome the world; the world is too mighty for you; you have to simply keep out of the way of the world – go not into the world's way – but you have something to do in the way of overcoming your own flesh. There you have your battle-ground – your pride or whatever it may be. I do not know, I am not judging anybody, I am merely saying it is your battle, and when you come off a conqueror and a more than a conqueror, it will not be because you have routed the Devil and made him flee, and not because you have [CR29] vanquished the world, but it will be because you have become an overcomer in your own heart and in your own mind. That will be the victory you will gain in your own case, and that is where you will be a conqueror and a more than conqueror, through Him who loved us and bought us with His own precious blood.

Now, we are taking no credit at all for this arrangement; we did not arrange it at all; we are not smart enough to arrange it. We see the things that God has, in His providence, graciously opened up; we see that it is the power of God, and what a wonderful blessing it is bringing to those who are engaging in this volunteer work.

I think of a brother who before the volunteer matter was arranged was a business man in quite a large city, and he has had a good deal of zeal for the truth for a good many years, but since the volunteer matter came out, and since this plan of distribution has been arranged, he used all the powers of his mind more apparently for the service of the truth than he does for his own business, yet his own business has not suffered, apparently. It is not a long while since that the same man sent a contribution to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society for one thousand dollars. He said, Put this into the work. He is also spending a lot of time in the volunteer work; he is a prominent merchant in his place. I do not know what he is worth, I never asked, it is none of my business; I am merely telling you what he does. And not only is he active, but he co-operates with all the brethren in his city. It is not necessary to steal opportunities from one another – there are enough to go all around, so that all can have a share; so we do not want to be greedy and take it all away from others. I am sure that all who live in the city with this brother have abundant opportunity. Then in addition to their own city, they go out to the neighboring towns, on the electric cars, and while a good many of them do not know how the car fare is paid, I happen to know indirectly more than perhaps the others do; but a whole squad will go down to those little towns, writing down there before hand to some of the brethren who may be living there and say, have you been doing any volunteer work? No, we have not. Well, we have been thinking of coming down and helping you, and do the whole town up in one Sunday, or nearly all, so that you can finish the balance. Would you like to have us come down? Yes, we would be pleased to have you come. Some of them cannot be served by the electric cars, so this brother has an automobile that holds five, and he gets that automobile and enough ammunition to distribute in that town, and then on to the next town, and they do a number of towns. You see, it all shows the way the friends are working. There is no people working for anything else like that. You would have to pay them a good salary for anything else. What, for instance, would that man charge to advertise Pe-ru-na? Not much, my friend, go out and advertise your own Pe-ru-na. But when it comes to the gospel, with his whole heart in it and his life consecrated to it, and when he knows he has the best thing under the sun, or over the sun either, he says, I cannot do too much of this. There is that man, not only working with his time and strength, but with his money also to pay for the tracts.

Now, all cannot do that. I am giving that illustration of what you should do – take your automobiles, etc. Some of you may have three or four automobiles laying aside, but I think very few of you have. What I am pointing out is, that the truth does not strike people as other things do. It makes a different impression. I do not see the person I am going to mention, and I will speak of what was done in another place. In another quarter of the United States they have a very enterprising class, a very diligent class, and it is a large one, too. There are several very prominent brethren there, and they engage in this volunteer work. One of them was telling me how he first came to be interested in the truth. He said he was an Episcopalian. He said, I might go back of that and say I was born in China: my parents were missionaries, and I was born there, and afterwards sent to this country to have my education finished. I was an Episcopalian, and one day, as I came out of the church, I saw a man handing out tracts, and I said, is that a man handing out tracts and not a boy! A man handing out tracts? Why, I know the man! That is a man having several grocery stores. I know he has three or four at least; I know he has several, and what is he handing out tracts for? I wonder who pays him for that. Nobody, I am sure. There is his carriage and he is distributing tracts at the church door. I never saw anything like that before; I am going to get one of those tracts. He said, I got a tract, and I read it over and said, Well, there are some good things in that tract, but I am not convinced by any means. But there is something behind this, for that man is not doing this, except he is deeply interested; that is more than the average consecration to God and loyalty to his convictions. I am going to see what that book is. So he sent and got the book, and he began to be a reader, and now, he says, I am out with the volunteers every Sunday myself. He is a banker in Washington city.

Not long ago in Washington, one brother said to me, "Now Brother Russell, some of us think there has been a little mistake made this way: you know General Hall, of the United States Army, is now interested in the truth?"


"Well, General Hall we elected Captain of the volunteer work this year."


"And what we find fault with is this: General Hall is pretty well acquainted, and all the privates and lieutenants, as they meet him, are by law obliged to salute him, and General Hall, as Captain of the volunteer work, laid out the territory, and assigned who should go to such and such a place, and very unwisely, we think, chose for himself the very part of the city in which he lives. We think that is not right."

I said, "Now my dear brother, don't you say anything about that. I have been wondering while you were telling me, that if I had been in General Hall's shoes if I would have had as much courage as he had, but I am not sure that I would. General Hall has shown more courage in what you tell me than he ever showed on the battle-field in the Philippine Islands when he was over there. I think it takes a great deal more courage for an officer in the Army to go down where he lives and hand out tracts and put them under the doors, and meet his friends on the way, and salute them and be saluted by them, than it would take to go into a battle. I think there are a good many people who would go into a battle who would not go and do what General Hall did. You see, dear friends, God is using that very means to develop and crystallize character, not only in General Hall and some of those others, but to all classes of people everywhere. Then, it has another good effect. If you have gone around and distributed some tracts that are along the line of consecration to God, it will make you straighten right up yourself. You will say, Look here now, people will be looking at me more than ever; they will say, he is claiming to be religious, and he must be more than ordinarily religious when he distributes those tracts, and he will have to walk very straight. So it does you good. If everybody is looking at you, and you have to walk still straighter, all the better. And then, it helps you to remember that God is looking at you, and that is the best of all.

So, dear friends, this work of reaping is giving some of its wages now. We are getting characters formed, characters on which God is placing a grand blessing; characters He declares He is seeking. He seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth, and that means no fear of man; that means full devotion to the Lord; that means a full willingness to give all that we have in His service; when we think of what [CR30] that means, all that we have, why, dear friends, we feel almost ashamed to see how little it is. How little you have that you could give the Lord, and how little I have that I could give – a very few years of imperfect talent, and imperfect ability in every way – but do the best we can, and we are ashamed to offer it to the Lord. We might not be ashamed to offer it to some poor man or woman and say, I have done a little favor for you, and we might feel that we had done something for them and that they were under a measure of obligation, but when we think of God, so high, and so great and wise, and so far above us, and of our own littleness and imperfection, and then to think that we would be permitted to offer ourselves and to spend our lives, and that God would say, Yes, I accept you as ambassadors, you are my representatives in the world; God's kingdom has not been established, but you are representing that kingdom in the midst of a perverse and crooked generation! I think I can never thank God enough for my part, and I think you can never thank Him enough for your part. So let us do all in our power, and remember that God Himself has said, "He that reapeth receiveth wages" – and then what? "Gathered fruit unto eternal life." What kind of fruit are you gathering? Why, this very experience is making your own heart overflow, and your own character fruitful. You remember how the Apostle Peter says that, if ye do these things ye shall never fail, but they shall make you that you shall not be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of God. What kinds of fruits shall these be? Why, this very attempt to serve God and to serve His cause will cultivate that for which you are praying. If as Christians you are praying aright, if you are making your chief prayer that you may have more of the Lord's spirit ruling in your hearts and in all the affairs of your lives, then this will be one of the very means of development, whichever part of the harvest work you may be in, and whatever your hands find to do. And we might not all have opportunity of doing many of these things, but at least our hearts are there. But if we have no opportunity to volunteer, or to colporteur, or to do sharpshooting, our hearts at least should be there and we should be in sympathy, and say a word, or write a letter, or do something else that would be helpful in some way. But to have the desires of our hearts there means the cultivation of the fruits and graces of the spirit.

What are these? Well, meekness comes in. How do we cultivate meekness in being a colporteur? My dear friends, it takes a great deal of meekness to start in as a colporteur. If you feel yourself very big, you will say, O let some insignificant people do that; I am too big to do that, too large a plug for the hole; I cannot get in You see meekness is cultivated when you even begin to think about any part of the service. The Lord has so arranged it that you will have to study meekness, and have to copy meekness, or you cannot stand it at all. And you will find that you cannot get along without gentleness. It is proper that you should be meek, and in your endeavor you will find necessity for being meek in your manner, and deferential to others, which is a good quality. It will help you along; it will help you even if it does nobody else any good. And patience. It takes a good deal of patience sometimes, whatever part of the harvest work we may be in. And faith. It takes a good deal of faith. Sometimes you do not see any fruit from your work, or anything to indicate that there are any results coming. Faith in the Lord. Perseverance. All the graces of God's spirit, you see, are to be cultivated along these lines. So, as the Apostle says, if ye do these things, if you have these graces of the Spirit, if you are exercised by the Spirit of the Lord, if ye do these things, you shall never fail, but so an entrance shall be ministered unto you – an abundant entrance, not merely get in, as we used to say, under the corner of the gate into heaven, but an abundant entrance – open the gates wide, come in ye blessed of the Lord, we have a blessing for you; you are one of the very elect; so you have the privilege of coming into the Lord's blessed favors of the kingdom. An entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the kingdom that is to bless the world, the kingdom that is to accomplish God's will, the kingdom that is of the seed of Abraham, of which all the families of the earth shall be blessed, and for which our Lord said that we should pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." I thank you for your kind attention.

Practical Advice for Colporteurs


I am glad to see such a large company of colporteurs and friends of colporteurs and I presume sharpshooters, too. I was very much surprised to find that so few had made application for territory. I must suppose that you have already applied to the office or else there are very few new colporteurs at this convention who are thinking of entering the work.

A cheerful face: This is very important, some that are the most successful nearly always have something cheerful about their faces. There is no excuse for any of us not having a cheerful face, it does not cost much; you have plenty to make it with; you have the TRUTH. Do not get alarmed when you go to a house to offer the books; you are on a mission of love; you are an ambassador for Christ. I would not like to give anyone such an opinion as would puff him up, but from another standpoint, it is very important that we realize that we are serving the Lord Christ, that you are in the most honorable business you could engage in. You are ambassadors for God. You know how honorable the ambassadors are considered in the various countries; they usually get a good salary and are often exempt from certain laws.

About the happy face, I want to bring in here an item; you cannot have as happy a face after you are all worn out. Therefore when you get to a point where you are weary, stop and go home and rest. Well, you say, I can put in some more energy. If you do, you will just as likely take that much off somewhere else and will have just that much harder work to recuperate. I speak specially of the sisters – some cannot go more than one hour, while others can go for six hours. Some say that while working two hours and having the remainder of the day for something else, they will go forth the next day so fresh that they will take more orders in two hours than they would in four hours if they were tired.

When rested you are all interest, you are animated and you can make the proper impression upon the people. [CR31]

I think of one brother that was not very successful, and I asked him to show me what his method was. His method was while speaking at the door, he wished to appear very offhand and he would look up and down the street, and so would the customer. Now I said, brother, you have the wrong idea, you do not want that man to look up and down the street, but to look at the book, the book, the book – you do not want the dogs or cats or anything about you while talking, that would attract the attention away from the book. Fasten his mind, you want to help him to centre his mind upon what you are telling him, you do not want to help him think of anything else.

I think of another brother, he said he could not take any orders at all; so I said, tell me how you do it, and he showed me. Brother I know your difficulty. He was a New England man, they talk very rapidly and if you are acquainted with them, you can follow all you can understand, but if not, you would not know a word of what he said. Someone would come to the door and he would say, trrrrrrrrrrrrr. They would say, I don't wish any, thank you. They did not know anything he had told them. In the country, people do not hear much talking and do not talk much, so you must talk slow. In the city people are different and you can talk faster. If you happen to live in the country, you want to get up steam and talk as fast as you can; if from the city, tone down your voice.

Rest: A great many need to know what every person ought to know and particularly the sisters, that is to say; when we get weary all of our muscles relax and not only affects the muscles of your arms and limbs when you are tired, but your abdominal muscles and internal organs and when you get tired, you ought never to lie down in that way; it is altogether wrong, and you are very likely to get up just as tired as when you laid down. Before lying down every night, or any time, you ought to lift the abdominal parts in your hands so as to relax and take the weight from the cords which are elastic. When very weary they are quite stretched out and when you lie down that way you may get up the same and if you keep that up, you will soon not be able to be in any kind of work, especially the sisters, housekeepers, colporteurs, etc. Lift up the abdominal organs, lie down then let go; you have relaxed them. During the night, nature restores the organs and in the morning you will feel you have gotten the good of the rest.

Food: Another important thing is food, you cannot be a good colporteur without eating. Some of the dear friends when they think of economy, think they want to do everything economically. All I am speaking of is that you need food, good food, wholesome food, you cannot afford to take the unwholesome kind. What you want is wholesome food and good food taken regularly and chew it well. God gave us teeth for the purpose of masticating and saliva to help digest the food. But if you swallow your food without chewing it, but washing it down with coffee, etc., you will get dyspepsia and the same if you eat too fast, eat with deliberation and also with thankfulness and an expression of thanks to the Father.

We have already suggested to some of the friends that molasses candy such as you know how to get, is sometimes very good for food, it is very refreshing, you can get a kind of molasses kisses put up in paraffine paper. Take one of those and you will be surprised how quickly it will give you energy; in five minutes you will feel better. Strange, but it is a fact, the governments of the world have found it out, and they are providing candy for the soldiers in the German and American armies. It is found to be a very good thing to bring refreshment to the system quickly. Not that you could live on candy, nor that you should eat all kinds of candy; some is very injurious. I am speaking of the plain molasses, the best kind. You will also find that certain kinds of chocolate is very wholesome and nutritious, it gives nourishment very quickly. Keep in mind food of a good kind and that it should be eaten with regularity. When you are out soliciting, not only your feet have to carry you, and you have to spend energy in walking, but your mind is on the alert and you are using up energy with your tongue, brain and limbs. You are using up energy more than the ordinary people are doing.

Business Details: I wish to mention a few details that will be helpful to you and to the workers of the Bible House: Write plainly, give full name and address of those to whom you want Towers and tracts sent so they will not go astray. Always give your own name in full, do not sign your letter, "Sister Ida." I know that everyone in the Watch Tower Office is a child of God and glad to lay down his or her life in the service, but it makes unnecessary work if you do not give full name and address etc. The work at the Bible House is divided among various departments and if you do not give full particulars in your letter, it necessitates going from one floor to another and consumes a great deal of time which might have been saved by a little more care on your part.

Be prompt; it is not necessary to hold your report and sheets until you have made the delivery of the books; these names are the names of those whose orders you have taken, no matter whether they take the books or not. Just put down all the names of those who order and let it go at that.

In referring to previous communications always give the date. Why? Some write in and say, the last lot of books I did not get. When that letter comes to the office one says, do you remember? No, I do not. We have to ask several people when and where it was, etc., and have a great deal of trouble to hunt up the last order. State what date it was, keep a copy of every order. Some who did not keep a copy, write in and say, their order was so and so, but on looking it up we find they did not order what they now claim; they thought they did, but did not keep any copy. Examine your books at the time they arrive, do not wait and say that the books I got last August or July did not all come. Tell us at once for we want to correct the matter at once. See that the balance is all right, do not wait a month afterwards and tell us, but write at once for it saves you and saves us trouble. Write full name and address at the head of each letter.

Use colporteur envelopes or if you do not have one, write the words "Colporteur Department" on the corner of any other envelope. The reason that colporteur envelopes are provided for colporteurs is that, colporteur mail receives the quickest attention, for their business is important and they are all more or less in a hurry, and if your letter is otherwise addressed, it may be a day or maybe three days later. At Christmas time we may have a thousand letters delayed, which does not matter a great deal, but we want the colporteur letters to have prompt attention; therefore use the colporteur envelopes. You do not need to write on this envelope, for it is already printed on them. If you get out of these, just write "Colporteur Department" on any envelope. If you use a postal card, do the same with that.

Remittances: When you make a remittance or a Money Order or an Express Order, always put it down on your order blank, which is furnished and also enter in the remittance so that it is all there. If you do not, it may make trouble for you and for us. If you make a mistake and someone in the department makes a mistake, they are multiplied.

Keep a Copy: If you have a small piece of carbon paper, so that you could keep a copy of your letters and orders, it would be an easy way and would be very helpful when making reference to any previous transaction. That is an easy way and the best way, for you then have an exact copy, but if you do not have any carbon paper, make a copy anyway for it will take only a few minutes to copy it.

Tower Subscriptions: When Tower subscriptions are not marked (NEW) on the front page of the order [CR32] blank, they will be considered (RENEWALS) and you will be charged 90 cents each, as all colporteurs are allowed 10 cents for renewals. For all new subscriptions, colporteurs are allowed 50 cents. In order to have any recognition as new subscriptions you want to have on the order blank the word (NEW) in the proper place and mark it 50 cents; otherwise it will be understood to be a renewal. We do not have time to go and look up everyone, it would take up more than ten cents of time; because one party takes charge of the subscriptions and another party in another part of the building, quite a distance away, takes care of your order.

Addressing Communications: Communications should be addressed to the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society and not personally to anyone in the office. If you have any personal communication, that of course is a different matter, but no personal letters go into the files. If you should ever want to address me personally, mark it "C. T. Russell, Personal," so it will not be a part of your communication to the office.

Delayed Shipments: If you should find that your books do not come within a reasonable time, advise us; do not wait too long. We have suggested on the bottom of the bill a reasonable time to wait according to the distance from Pittsburgh, otherwise let us know and we will trace it to see where it has been delayed, to see where it is and why it stopped. Do not hesitate to let us know, for we want to do all we can to help you.

Conclusion: I want to tell you in conclusion that I have a very deep sympathetic love for all the Lord's people, but want to say that I have a special love for some. You know Jesus loved certain ones: Martha, Mary, Lazarus, Peter, James and John, and Jesus spoke about John whom he specially loved. It is not wrong to love some more, you cannot help it. Why did Jesus love Peter, James and John more? I think it was because they were the most energetic in the Lord's service. I find myself naturally loving those whose love for the Lord is of the practical kind. So when I find one laying down his life for the Lord, I love him most. I think the Lord does and that He is willing I should, so I have a special love for those who are actively engaged in the Lord's work, those who are engaged as Pilgrims, Colporteurs, Sharpshooters, Volunteers, those that are making contributions, etc; these all make a special appeal to my heart. So to all who are here, I feel that I am addressing those; I am addressing some that I specially love. If ever in trouble, write to me, but first write to the Lord and then to me. I am sure the Lord will take care of the matter and then I shall be glad to do anything in my power.

This colporteur session then closed by singing hymn No. 23. "Blest Be the Tie."

Sunrise Prayer and Praise Meeting

WHEN we entered the hall at 5:15 A.M., there were fully 100 persons present. Promptly at 5:30 Bro. Russell stepped upon the platform and there were by that time 225 present; before the meeting closed there were over 400. The service opened by singing No. 19, "Awake My Soul to Joyful Lays." This was followed with prayer by Bro. LaFerrey. Then we sang hymn No. 206, "O, How Happy Are We Who in Jesus Agree."

Bro. Russell: Dear brothers and sisters, I am very glad to greet so many of you this morning and to see that so many of you enjoy the prospect of an early morning prayer meeting.

As I saw a number of you headed this way as I was coming to this meeting, it made me think of some of the reasons that draw us together. I was reminded of the words of the Lord, that in this day, pointing down to the very time. He said we would all be gathered together, the disciples said, "Where Lord?" and He said, "where the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together." So, one reason we like to meet together in conventions and on every occasion is because the Lord seems to give us something special to eat where we are in fellowship, where two and three are gathered together, etc., so when two or three of us meet in His name, we may be sure of His blessing and a refreshment of spirit.

In this morning time, more than at any other time, though it has been true throughout all the ages where His people met, but now early in the new morning, when, the new day, the grand Millennial Day, He is inviting us together; He tells us that there will be a great gathering, all the wheat from the tares, all the sons of God, that glorious gathering, which will mean the establishment of the Kingdom of God, out of which will flow all the blessings of God to all the families of the earth. So we have many reasons for thankfulness this morning as we think of the blessed scripture references to this morning time in which we are living such as, "God will help her right early in the morning." You remember a picture in the 91st and 45th Psa., and how the Lord in the 45th Psa. tells of the time of trouble. As we see that day gathering all about us, we hear the Lord's word coming to us with special emphasis and we will not fear though the earth be removed, though society be shaken and the Kingdoms be carried into the midst of the sea, because we have made the Lord our habitation. In this connection the Lord tells us He will help her, the church right early in the morning. How precious the thought that we are in the early morning, when the shadows are fleeing and we can see more clearly than they could in the centuries past. It was not the Father's purpose that the special light should shine then, they had all they needed as saints of God that they might be separate from things of this world, but it was not the time to give the glorious sunlight of truth as now. Thus, dear brothers and sisters, if any fail to get that thought, they fail to get one of the most inspiring thoughts of our time, namely: that the light of the truth which you and I are now seeing is not that you and I are brighter than other men to see it, but it is God's due time – it is morning time. Why can you see brighter than you could an hour or two ago? Because the great sun has begun to shine upon the earth. Is that all we shall have? Oh, no, that is only the early light. Bye and bye the great sun of righteousness with full power, strength and light will fill the whole earth with the Glory of the Lord. How glad we are that the blessed day is already dawning, what a blessing it has brought into our hearts; we cannot feast on that thought too much.

I might tell you without any injury to any of you about a dream that I had some years ago that had great influence upon my life. Now do not mis-understand me, I do not wish to commend dreams, I think many are nonsensical dreams. I have had many myself, probably from indigestion. I know of a great many people who lay too much stress upon dreams. I pay very little attention to dreams, only so much attention as would be in harmony with God's word, so as to feel sure the dream came from neither a piece of pie nor inspired by the adversary and I think a great many dreams are inspired by the adversary. I think a safe course is to let no dream have any influence upon our minds except as we can prove them by the word of God. [CR33]

That is our standard. If it agrees not with the word it is because there is no light in it.

But this dream that I will tell you about may help some of you. I might remark that at the time I had this dream, I was giving attention to the Lord's work to some extent, I was publishing the Truth and some thought I was neglecting my business. I had five stores at that time, and people would say I guess Mr. Russell is fanatical on the subject of religion. I knew I was not, so was in no danger. I thought I was not giving enough time, that I ought to give all my time, and this dream helped me.

I dreamed that I was in an attic room, the front looking to the east, and the ceiling was sloping and I thereby knew it was a top room in a house. All around the room was a platform raised about ten inches and on it were mattresses strewn and upon them bed coverings of various kinds; some had been occupied and were vacant and others were occupied by sleepers, and I was in one corner. Over yonder was a door on the right. I heard a knock that awakened me and I remember how sleepy I felt, I could hardly get my eyes open. There I saw a servant, one that I never saw or knew, he said they are waiting for you for breakfast and they sent me up to see if you were coming. Oh! my, it is late, I have overslept myself. Tell them not to wait for me. With that I thought to get up, but as I started to rise, I was heavy with sleep and my foot caught in the arm of the man sleeping next to me and I went sprawling. I thought well, what will he do? But he was sound asleep, my falling over him had not awakened him. Something in my dream told me that it was Sunday morning, with that I awakened.

What did it mean? Well I might take a meaning out of it, that might be in full accord with the truth. I said first of all, this is an upper room and the Lord speaks of housetop saints. Well, then I am glad. Seemingly I was amongst the housetop saints, I was glad that I was not down in the basement. Then it was Sabbath morning, early in the morning. The sunlight was coming in, all that fits well, the sun is coming in and it is time I was thoroughly awake. Then the empty beds around us, yes, yes, so far as we know, most of the housetop saints have gone in, here a few of us still sleeping; in a dozing way over-charged with the cares of this life. Well, you remember how tired and sleepy you feel almost as if you had been intoxicated. Yes, well that is a good deal the spirit of the world. You are glad you got awake, you felt so stupid, but still next to you was one still more so, and even your falling over him does not awaken him. You are glad you are awake and did not need a knock. What was that you told the servant? Have me excused, tell them not to wait for me. Our dear Lord has provided a bridal feast, not a supper or a dinner but a breakfast. So I knelt down and asked the Lord to wait on me for a little; I determined to be more earnest and diligent in His service. So I say that while I do not attach much weight to dreams and consider most of them fleshly and of the adversary, but if we think upon them and the words of the Lord, and accept nothing but what will agree with the Scriptures, we may get a good lesson from it.

Well, we are house-top Christians; we have heard the knock informing us that it was morning, that it was the time of the feast and informing us that there is but little time to get ready. We have heard the knock and how glad we are. Yet we find some here and there who are still asleep. Let us help them also to hear the knock that it may go to all parts of the world and let it not be said that there were some in some parts of the world to whom you failed to give the knock. The Master said: "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

So we have heard the knock and already on this side the vail we have entered in and are getting some of the food and refreshment – how glad we are.

The whole world, a greater part of it, as we came here, are still asleep. Some others are awake besides ourselves; you saw the butcher and the baker and the milkman and others all busily engaged looking after their dollars and cents and that was proper in its way. We also have a business, we have left the world behind, we have become new creatures in Christ Jesus and we must be about our Father's business. A principle proper to apply, how energetic have you and I ever been in the affairs of earth in our scramble for dollars and cents? In that proportion let the Lord see that you will be no less energetic in the Spiritual. Some say Brother Russell, you work late and early; well I used to work late and early for selfish interests, I now have something I love far better, why not work late and early in the Lord's cause as well as in the early interests? If the Lord should find that I was careless of His interests in comparison of my previous experience in life, what would He say? It would indicate that I would love the earthly more than the Heavenly. We do not want Him to say that we ever loved earthly things more than the Heavenly. We are not children of the night, but of the day, let us walk in the light.

Ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should come upon you as a thief, but it shall come as a thief and a snare upon the whole world and they shall not escape. Ye brethren are not to fear or measure yourselves from a worldly standpoint. They have no hope such as we have. Surely, very few persons hope as we do. What manner of persons ought we to be, said the Apostle, in all manner of conversation, etc., hastening to that glorious time which shall be ushered in by the great time of trouble, the time of refreshing from the Lord, because the times of restitution shall then be near.

I am glad that we have this blessed privilege of meeting this morning.

UP then, and linger not, thou saint of God,
Fling from thy shoulders each impeding load;
Be brave and wise, shake off earth's soil and sin,
That with the Bridegroom thou mayst enter in.
O watch and pray!

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