The National Labor Tribune, September 28, 1908


Springfield, O., Sept. 27. Pastor C. T. Russell of Pittsburg, preached twice here today. He had large and attentive audiences. Considerable numbers came from neighboring towns and cities. A Columbus party had a specially chartered car.

Fairbanks Opera House was strained beyond its capacity, many being turned away. We report one of the discourses from the text "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." 2 Cor. 4:16.

The speaker said: Our text and similar expressions throughout the Scriptures are not understood by the masses. Few, even amongst Bible students, discern that the Church is wholly distinct and separate from the remainder of mankind: that the Scriptures speak literally when they declare the Church to be a "new Creation" and its members "new Creatures." [2 Cor. 5:17]

As to the natural man there is a human begetting and a human birth so to these "new Creatures" there is a spirit begetting, which will culminate in the first resurrection, in their spirit birth – "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" – spirit beings, glorious, immortal, joint-heirs with their Redeemer in his glorious Millennial Kingdom and sharers with its great work of blessing humanity. On reading our text the majority even of Christians are inclined to apply it to all mankind and to look for an outward man and an inward man. Such a misunderstanding is apt to result in one of two things

(1) He looks at himself and recognizes to some extent his own two-fold nature and then, looking at the world, he mistakenly supposes that all men are the same; or,

(2) Looking at mankind in general and seeing no such dual personality as our text suggests he doubts his own – fails to appreciate this Scripture, fails to get any profitable lessons therefrom. He is further confused by the fact that nominal Christianity embraces three classes:

(a) A class which claims to be Christian merely because the name is popular and because they neither wish to be known as Jews nor as heathen;

(b) A class of justified believers in the cross of Christ, the scope of whose consecration is merely a desire to avoid sin in its crudest form and to live decent, creditable lives;

(c) A class which has gone beyond the "b" class, has recognized with appreciation the divine mercy already received and in response has made a full consecration of itself to the Lord – a consecration even unto death, a consecration to serve the Lord and walk in his steps whatever the cost – a consecration to sacrifice earthly interests, advantages, privileges, etc., as well as to avoid sin, in the interest of Truth, righteousness, and all the principles of righteousness which represent the heavenly Father and his Son.

This latter (c) class is of course that of which was declared, "a little flock," and contains, "not many great, wise or noble." [Luke 12:32; 1 Cor. 1:26]

It is this class alone however which receives spirit begetting, which the Apostle declares is "an earnest of our inheritance" "which God hath in reservation for them that love him" – love him more than they love houses or lands, parents or children, husbands or wife, or life itself. These spirit begotten ones, the smallest section of nominal Christianity, are the only ones addressed by our text. More than this when I say that they are the only ones addressed throughout the New Testament, for these are prospectively the "saints," the elect so frequently mentioned in the New Testament writing and uniformly addressed in the opening of each Epistle.


It may be thought by some that the Apostles were exceptions to every rule and that their sacrifice of earthly interests and their suffering of persecutions in the flesh and their self-denials in the interests of the Gospel service were not intended by the Lord as illustrations or examples for the remainder of the Church. We answer that this is a mistaken view, which, if yielded to, would hinder us from obedience to the Apostolic injunction, "ye become followers of us and of the Lord." 1 Thess. 1:6.

It is true that Jesus was not only the Redeemer but also the Great Shepherd and Guide of his followers. It is true that he sent forth the twelve Apostles as his special representatives and mouth-pieces in the establishment of the Church and that this entailed upon them special obligations and duties, as well as special privileges and opportunities. It is true, also, however, that all of the Lord's followers are called his sheep and that respecting all of them he says, "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world." [John 15:19]

And again, "Marvel not if the world hate you. Ye know that it hated me before it hated you." [John 15:18]

"Whosoever will be my disciple let him take up his cross and follow me" and "where I am to be there shall that disciple be also." [Mark 8:34; John 12:26]

That all of these disciples and followers, not only the Apostles, but the humblest of the sheep, are included in these conditions and the promised rewards of the faithful is distinctly shown in our Lord's reference to his Second Coming and the rewards and blessings then to be administered to all of his faithful, amongst whom he includes not [NS592] merely the twelve Apostles (who are indeed to have the most honorable position in glory) but also every member of the "Church, which is his Body." [Eph. 1:23]

"I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there ye may be also." [John 14:3]

In the parables of the pounds and the talents our Lord evidently addresses those who will be alive at his Second Advent as the representative of all his faithful servants throughout the Age, to each one of whom he has entrusted certain pounds and talents, gifts and responsibilities as his servants as New Creatures. "Ye are called in the one hope of your calling." Eph. 4:4

Changing times and circumstances vary conditions but the principles enunciated in the Scriptures continue to have force and meaning. It is no longer the custom to crucify, nor to stone to death, nor to beat with rods, nor to burn at the stake, nor to imprison for religious conviction. The Gospel of Christ has made a deep impression upon the world and its general sentiments, even though it has influenced only a "little flock" to accept full discipleship and willingness to "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." [Rev. 14:4]

It is still true, however, that whosoever will live godly in this present Age shall suffer persecution – more refined, more civilized, but in some respects no less bitter and malicious than that of times past – sometimes causing excruciating pain and sorrow and heart-ache.

It is still true also that as the persecution of our Lord's time came from the nominally religious and orthodox of his day and Nation; and as all the persecutions of the dark ages similarly were instituted by the professedly religious and professedly orthodox, so, likewise, today more of the pain and sorrow, "more of the mortification of our flesh," comes from the professedly religious, professedly orthodox, professedly brethren.

In every instance the difficulty arises from the fact that these nominally religious people who would persecute the members of the Body of Christ, his consecrated followers, do so because of mistaken conception of the Divine Will – because they lack the spirit of Christ, the spirit of God, the holy Spirit or disposition, the spirit of love. The Scriptures explain to us that Satan exercises a great influence on the world, blinding and prejudicing many and using them unwittingly as his tools – and that God permits him so to do for the better ultimate accomplishment of his great and glorious purposes. Thus of those who crucified our Lord, the Apostle declares, "I wot, brethren, that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." (Acts 3:17)

Similarly those of the dark ages who burned one another at the stake no doubt thought, as did Saul of Tarsus, that they verily did God service. Blinded as to the real purpose of God and not appreciating his spirit of love they served Satan and Sin while supposing that they serve God. And the same is undoubtedly true of those who after a more refined manner today oppose, speak evil of, misrepresent (slander, murder), their brethren.

Nevertheless God from first to last has been overruling in the affairs of his people so that blessing has resulted to those who are "new creatures" in Christ – while their outward man has suffered and perished and been mortified, their inward man, their new nature, has been renewed, strengthened, upbuilt, in the image of God. Their trials have made them more nearly as "new creatures copies of God's dear Son." Rom. 8:29

Thus far we have considered merely the attacks upon our mortal bodies which come from without and have seen how as our context declares, "Our light afflictions which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." [2 Cor. 4:17]

From this standpoint we have realized that all the persecutions, trials, sorrows, pain, which come to our flesh are really blessings in disguise, because our human nature must be utterly destroyed before we as "new creatures" can be perfected in the first resurrection. It may surprise some to note the Apostle's exhortation that we not only endure and appreciate the Lord's providences in respect to the persecutions from without but that our zeal as new creatures" leads us to make an attack upon our own flesh from within. He assures us that there is a conflict to be waged between the "new nature" and the old and that the progress and development and victory of one means the overthrow and destruction of the other – so antagonistic are these interests. Hence we are exhorted to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life." (1 Tim. 6:12)

We are told that our courage and persistency and zeal in this fight against the old self and its natural tendencies and this fight in the interests of the heavenly Kingdom and its divine Law means to us either victory or defeat as respects our attainment of the glorious goal set before us in the Scriptures – joint-heirship with Christ in his Millennial Kingdom and Divine Nature. It is to the conquerors and more than conquerors that the blessed promise of the Scriptures apply. And our Redeemer is the Captain of our salvation, the Head and Leader of all these conquerors, without whom they would be unable to conquer, but by his assistance and grace they may triumph in harmony with the promise that "God is able to bring us off conquerors, yea, more than conquerors through him that loved us." Rom. 8:37 This battle of the "new creature" against the old [NS593] man is referred to by the Apostle when he exhorts the "new creature" saving, "Mortify therefore your members" which are of the earth – deaden them – first of all surrender your human will to death that you may have no will of your own, but may adopt in the fullest measure the mind of Christ, the Will of the Father, that it, the will of the "new creature," may henceforth dominate your life and more and more control your every thought and word and deed. But this deadening is not to end with the will though it must begin there. The mortifying or killing is to proceed to grapple with every organ of our mortal bodies and to render them dead to Sin and to quicken them with the holy Spirit of the "new creature."

Henceforth our hands and all their doings, our feet and all their goings, our eyes and all their visions, our tongues and all their words, are to be dead to Sin, dead to selfishness, dead to everything except the new mind, the holy Spirit, which, controlling those, is to use them daily, hourly, incessantly, in the service of God, the service of Christ, the service of the brethren, the service of the Truth, and, so far as opportunity may afford, in the service of humanity – not forgetting, however, that the real service of humanity comes in the Millennial Age and will be granted only to those "new creatures" who in the present times fight a good fight against the Old Man and its natural inclination and in favor of the "new creatures," the perfect Will of God. As the natural man perisheth the "new creature" develops. At first the natural man is comparatively strong, but if progress be made eventually he will be quite in subjection to the "new creature."

The outward man perisheth and the new being renewed day by day will mean eventually a thorough preparation for the complete "change," for the birth of the spirit in the first resurrection. Since there is no development or schooling in the grave and since none can enter the heavenly condition except those who in the School of Christ in the present life have been made "meet for the inheritance of the saints in life," it follows that, as the Apostle says, the spirit begotten ones need to "Give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 2 Pet. 1:10-11


Here a warning word is necessary. Some have gotten the erroneous impression that actual perfection in every word and thought and deed is the divine requirement. This is a mistake. Such a perfection is an impossibility. The perfection which God requires according to the Scriptures is a heart perfection, a perfection of the will. "Blessed are the pure in heart" – the pure in desire, and hence the pure in endeavor.

God's elect ones, accepted from various stations, are some more and some less noble, some more and some less depraved by nature. We are not to expect that these will all reach the same plane of outward self-control in the present life, but we must understand the Lord's judgment of them will not be according to the letter, but according to the spirit – not according to their outward attainment but according to their inward attainment – hence some of the Lord's people naturally noble, having more or less a high estimation be considered unfit for the Kingdom and its high responsibilities and honors.

On the other hand some of those whom the Apostle enumerates according to the flesh, "The mean things of this world" [Jas. 2:5] and according to men never highly esteemed in the flesh, might in the Lord's estimation be highly esteemed because of his knowledge of the trueness of their hearts, their loyalty to him and to the Brethren, and to principles of righteousness – their fulness of the holy Spirit of love. Undoubtedly there are some great surprises in store for the time when the Lord will make manifest his judgment, his decision. In conclusion we exhort nominal Christians to accept Christ as their Redeemer and thus take their place amongst the justified ones who renounce Sin and desire righteousness. Secondly we exhort these and many who have already taken this position with God to take the second step and to enter the Body of Christ and become "members of the School of Christ, the Church" and members of that "little flock" – fully consecrated followers of the Lamb. We exhort these that when begotten of the holy spirit they will recognize themselves as "new creatures" and fight a good fight against the old nature – putting off the works of the flesh, anger, malice, hatred, strife, and putting on the character fruits of the holy Spirit, meekness, gentleness, kindness, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love.

These heavenly qualities will not make us popular with the world, who have a different spirit of darkness which hates the light, because it reproves them, but these graces of God's spirit of love constitute a "panoply" of God, and an army which will enable us to withstand all the fiery darts of the Adversary and enable us to assist others and finally through the grace of God in Christ perfect us as conquerors, "Yea, more than conquerors through him that loved us and bought us with his precious blood." [Rom. 8:37]


The National Labor Tribune, October 7, 1908


Pastor C. T. Russell preached Sunday in Allegheny Carnegie Hall to an audience of about six hundred, which gave closest attention. His text was, "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in the one Body; and be ye thankful." Col 3:15

He said: Has it occurred to you, dear friends, that inventions, conveniences, comforts, luxuries, which are daily becoming more and more common to the masses, are not bringing to them the peace, rest, contentment, which might have been expected? On the contrary, is it not true that while statesmen are measurably successful in avoiding great wars by the maintenance of terrific armaments, nevertheless there is a growing spirit of discontent which is ready to burst forth under almost any pretext?

Is not this the explanation of the increase of mob violence within the last ten years? Is not this restless, dissatisfied sentiment the explanation also of the alarming increase in the number of suicides, which in our own county for weeks at a time have averaged one per day. And the remainder of the world are apparently in the same condition. Some seek to explain the situation by saying that we are as a race living under the pressure of the highest known civilization in the world.

Others attempt an explanation by suggesting that business and labor are operating upon a pressure basis which, even with shorter hours, is more exhausting than the longer hours and less pressure of the past. Others suggest that the evil spirits, the fallen angels, have more to do with the excitement of the human mind, especially along the lines of the fallen propensities, and that this is the special cause of present restlessness. Others charge the difficulty to present social conditions and offer Socialism as a panacea.

Many other explanations are tendered us by those who seem to be wise and thoughtful. There may be truth in some or in all of these explanations; but we, dear friends, will not discuss that feature of the matter, but allow each philosopher to have his own theory while we proceed to offer the remedy – we may say the only remedy for such conditions. We may be curious to know the cause of a disease, but we are much more interested to know the remedy for it.


Our text gives the remedy – "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts."

Wherever that peace is received and granted the rule, the control of the heart, of the affections, of the will, the result will be peace – not necessarily an outward peace, however. Our Lord distinguished between the outward and inward peace, saying, "My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." [John 14:27]

Many a man knows an outward peace with all circumstances favorable to his joy, but knows an inward unrest, unhappiness; likewise some have learned that there is such a thing as an inward peace and joy which can be maintained, notwithstanding all manner of outward disturbances, conflicts, distresses. This is the peace of Christ, the peace of God. There is none other like it. Many have no knowledge of it experimentally and can but imperfectly imagine what others describe of their experience in this life. This is the peace of which the Apostle writes, "The peace of God, which passeth all understanding." [Phil. 4:7]

Even those who possess the peace can with difficulty understand, fully comprehend the philosophy of it, so contrary is it at times with the outward experiences upon which human peace generally depends. It is called the peace of God for several reasons:

(1) Because it is the kind of peace which God himself has, which rules in the divine character and affairs; the peace which comes from realization that every condition in the universe is under divine control.

(2) Because it is the peace which comes from God as a gift, not to all mankind, but to certain ones to whom it is his good pleasure to give this comfort, this rest of heavenly peace. Not all mankind can receive this peace. It is the heavenly Father's good pleasure to give it only to those who become his children, and to these he gives it in increasing measures as they come more and more fully into heart harmony with himself and his gracious arrangements through loving obedience.

The holy angels all have this peace, because they are all in full accord with their Creator and fully secured of his wisdom, justice, love and power. There is nothing therefore to distract their rest, their peace, their joy. The fallen angels, of whom the Apostle tells us that they are reserved in chains of darkness in our atmosphere, Tartarus, we are just as confident as destitute of peace and joy. "There is no peace to the wicked, saith my God." [Isa. 48:22; 57:21]

Had we an intimate knowledge of their affairs we undoubtedly would find them distressing, because having gotten out of harmony with their Creator, having taken the spirit of rebellion and opposition, we must expect that in them are developed the various elements of malignant dispositions, which to some extent are manifested in [NS595] fallen humanity and which the Apostle describes as works of the flesh and of the devil – anger, malice, envy, hatred, strife, evil-speaking, bitterness, wrath. We are not to understand that these evil spirits are in some far-off place torturing humanity. That is one of the delusions with which they once fettered our minds.

In the light of God's Word we see that the human dead are dead and are not being tortured and that Satan, the prince of demons, and his hosts of fallen angels, full of the bitter spirit of rancor and animosity, which the Apostle calls devilishness, are continually near us to incite to evil, to propagate their own spirit, their own disposition, to implant in the minds of men the bitterness, the evil, which have become elements of their own characters.

Alas! the poor world does not realize that, as the Apostle declares, they are under the domination of these wicked spirits, and their fallen dispositions continually incited to evil from this quarter. The Apostle's declaration is that the "God of this world hath blinded the minds of all that believe not," that the Adversary is unwilling that the light of God's knowledge and goodness should shine into men's hearts; hence he with his subordinates in opposition to the Lord and his spirit are cultivating the spirit of animosity, venom, strife, "and every evil work," as the Apostle says. On the other hand we have the divine power. [2 Cor. 4:4; Jas. 3:16]

This is represented to some degree in every member of our race. The original image and likeness of God, in which father Adam was created, has come down to us much marred, much blurred, degraded; nevertheless there is in all something of that original image of God. Every human being possesses some of the mental powers which appreciate goodness, purity, truth, justice – some more, some less. Each has a measure of will power more or less. To some extent, therefore, each individual is prepared by nature to appreciate the right and to resist the evil tendencies and suggestions of the fallen angels, but it is an unequal fight in some respects. The constant attack is upon the will and in proportion as it gives way the diabolical spirit gains control.


As each individual reaches a development of mind he realizes to some extent his situation, that right and wrong are before him, and that because of his fallen condition and evil suggestions and his environment, sin is not only attractive, enticing, but difficult to resist. He realizes temptations. Some more, some less successfully battle against these and to some extent develop character. What all need is divine aid. But our great Adversary who first led mother Eve into temptation and has since been deceiving her children seeks in every manner to hinder our race from accepting the offers of divine assistance: The heathen, as the Apostle Paul explains, are so far deluded that they "worship devils instead of God." [1 Cor. 10:20]

And even in Christian lands and Christian fields are many "doctrines of demons," as the Apostle Paul calls them. All of these seek to terrorize humanity and to hinder their approach to an acceptance of divine assistance. Even God's book, the Bible, has been so misrepresented and misinterpreted as to hinder some of the very best of humanity in respect to its counsels or accepting its teachings. Thus, as the Apostle says, If our Gospel is hid, it is hidden to the perishing. Undoubtedly therefore the great mass of mankind are in this alienated, perishing condition, slaves of sin. Meantime we inquire, What has the Almighty done for the relief of his deluded human creatures? The light of the Bible is that he has set in motion a great plan of salvation which ultimately he will bring within the reach of every member of Adam's race.

The initial step was the work of redemption, to accomplish which our Redeemer left the glory above and took our nature without its sin, and paid the penalty of Adam' s sin, thus redeeming him and all of his posterity, every one of whom were sharers in the results of his death sentence. What is the next step in the divine program? It is more than eighteen centuries since Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification.

What means the delay in bringing the relief? The Scriptures answer that the interim of time from Calvary until now has been devoted to the selection of a very special class from amongst men to constitute a Bride class of joint-heirs with the Redeemer in his Kingdom, which will shortly be set up for the blessing of the world. Then Satan will be bound. Then the fallen angels who now misrepresent themselves as our dead friends through spirit mediums will be restrained, hindered from further interference with humanity, while the glorified Redeemer and his glorified Church will bring to bear upon humanity blessed, uplifting influence to deliver them from ignorance, superstition and degradation, back to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.


While it is encouraging to us, helpful, happifying, to know something of the divine good purposes of the future, what can we say of the present? While we see that the Millennium will bring wonderful blessings to every creature under heaven, "that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God," we are interested to know something about the Lord's provision for his people in the present time. How may we now enter into his rest, his peace? Our text tells of some [NS596] who have this blessed experience and it intimates that these have it in increased measures as they will let, permit the Lord through his Word to work in them, to will and then to do his good pleasure. Our text says, "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts." [Rom. 14:11; Col. 3:15]

Here we see that it is not only with the special class, but also with all, that their own wills have something to do with this matter of letting in something of this peace of God. The more we realize of the truth of this the more it will help us to avail ourselves of our heavenly Father's bounty, which the Scriptures speak of as "Riches of grace and loving kindness through Christ Jesus." [Eph. 2:7]

In the first place, then, we must briefly trace the steps to be taken to come into such relationship to God, that under his terms we may have a right to his peace. The initial step is a desire to turn away from sin and to follow righteousness. Additionally we must learn that we are so fallen that we cannot do the things which we would; that the divine standard is so high and our entire race so blemished that there is in God's sight "none righteous, no, not one." [Rom. 3:10]

We must realize that God is absolutely just in the matter of our condemnation to death. Then we hear the Gospel message that God is not only just but also loving, and that his love has opened a door through his justice that those who trust in the blood of the Redeemer may return to heart harmony with their Creator and eventually be with him in his Kingdom. Whoever heartily accepts this in the present time is said to be justified by faith. His sins of the past are forgiven, set aside, because of his acceptance of the Crucified One. Here is the first introduction to true peace; as the Apostle says, "Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." [Rom. 5:1]

Quite a good many Christian people have entered into this peace and rest through believing, but alas, many of them have lost this peace, this rest, because they have not gone on according to the direction of the divine Word. The acceptance of Christ sufficed for the sins of the past, but not for trespasses future. Hence the believer who neglected to keep in touch with his Redeemer, who neglected to look to him for grace to help in every time of need, would be apt to fall into condemnation – alienation from the Lord – and this means loss of peace, loss of heart rest.


Many trials are experienced by believers after they have taken the step of faith and accepted of Christ. If they allow these to turn them back into sin without battling for the right they are not of the class whom the Lord is now seeking, but will be allowed to lapse back again into the worldly condition. But if they do battle with the world, the flesh and the Adversary they will find that they need the Lord Jesus, not only for their Redeemer as respects the sins of the past, but they need him also as their Advocate and Helper in respect to all the affairs of life, that through him they may obtain mercy for every unwilling failure "and find grace to help in every time of need." Heb. 1:16

The effect of these experiences rightly received should be to lead to a full consecration of their wills and powers to the Lord, the acceptance of him as their Ruler, their Guide, their all. This secondary step in the Scriptures is called sanctification or setting apart in the Lord's service. It is to such sanctified ones that the Lord grants a begetting of the holy Spirit to draw them near to himself and to grant them the necessary instruction and assistance that they may make their calling and election sure to joint-heirship with their Redeemer in his Kingdom and his great and glorious work for mankind.

This class, called in the Scriptures the saints, the holy, the elect of God, because they are seeking to make their calling and election sure, are the ones specially addressed in our text. The peace which they obtained when they first found the Lord expands in every direction and becomes an all-pervading peace, guiding and ruling in their hearts and in all the affairs of their lives in proportion as they grew in grace and knowledge and love.

It is to this class addressed by our text, dear fringes, that we trust that many of us belong and to this class for whom God has provided perfect peace ruling in their hearts even in the present time we invite all to come who are weary with the strife and hatred and envying and evil-speaking which belong to the world of mankind because of the fall and to the fallen angels – works of the flesh and of the devil. If the times past have satisfied you in respect to the wrong conditions and if you are willing to let the peace of God rule in your hearts and with us accept the Redeemer and give him your heart that he may cleanse it and embellish it, then, as the Apostle says, "Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the holy Spirit." [1 Cor. 6:19]

Let us have the holy Spirit ruling in our mortal flesh; and then how can we have other than the peace of God ruling there. But, alas, dear friends, there are many lessons for us all to learn after we thus make our consecration and receive a begetting of the holy Spirit and its peace and enter the school of Christ to learn there the great and important lessons to fit and properly prepare us for the heavenly Kingdom, its joys, its peace, its blessings. The Apostle represents these spirit-begotten ones as new creatures wrestling with, fighting our own perverse disposition according to the flesh. We are not without assistance in this conflict, else we could never win. But the Lord declares, "Greater is he that is on our part than all they that are against us." [Rom. 8:31]

Our dear Redeemer, remember, [NS597] bids us fear not. "I have overcome the world," he says, and he promises us grace sufficient for every time of need and that we shall not be tempted above that we are able to bear and that with every temptation he will provide a way of escape. He nevertheless desires to develop in us character, and therefore permits the temptations of life to assail us, and often "fiery trials," promising, however, that all these shall work out for us a "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" if we faithfully endure them, and promising further that amongst all the trials and difficulties and besetments of life we max – have the "peace of God which passeth all understanding" ruling in our hearts. Our Master s words are, "My peace I give unto you!" [John 16:33; 1 Pet. 4:12; 2 Cor. 4:17; Phil. 4:7; John 14:27]

He tells us however, through the Apostle, that we wrestle not with flesh and blood merely, not merely with our own mortal flesh and its blemishes, not merely with the imperfect beings who are our neighbors and friends, but, as new creatures, we must contend also against wicked spirits in high positions, "against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness." (Eph. 6:12)

Our conflict is not only with our own fallen flesh to keep it in harmony with God, not merely with the imperfections of our neighbors and friends, but with these fallen spirits, whose power to incite to malice, envy, hatred, strife, is very great. The only safety is in abiding close to the Lord – in close sympathy of heart – in obedience to him and his Word. To our understanding the Scriptures clearly teach that the great time of strife and personal 'animosity is before us in the immediate future and that the effect of this upon the world will be to more and more take away its peace, its moderation and to let loose its envy, hatred, malice, strife, evil-speaking, etc., until the culmination of all in a period of anarchy, which the Scriptures briefly portray as the time in which "Every man's hand will be against his neighbor," and there will be no peace to him that goeth out nor to him that cometh in. [Zech. 14:13]

The intimation of the Scriptures is that the Lord has had a special restraint over the evil spirits during the past centuries and that that restraint will be relaxed at the present time so that a great lesson may be given to men of what the effect of an evil disposition is, a disposition not subject to God, the disposition of the Adversary. In a short, sharp lesson mankind will learn the exceeding sinfulness of sin and how it utterly destroys peace and everything that makes life happy. The lesson will have its designed effect and during the Millennium, which the day of trouble will introduce, mankind will be the better prepared to appreciate the reign of righteousness under the law of love and obedience to God, and the peaceable fruits of that reign of righteousness and love will more and more become "the desire of all nations." [Hag. 2:7]

And now a brief word more particularly to ourselves. The distress which is already coming upon the world will undoubtedly come upon God's people – the household of faith everywhere. Judgment must begin with the house of God. The testings will come first with us. Let us all, dear brethren and sisters, be on guard to cultivate the fruits of the spirit; as the Apostle enjoins in our context, "Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye; and above all things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts." Col 3:12-15

The National Labor Tribune, October 11, 1908


Chicago, Oct. 11. Pastor C. T. Russell of Pittsburg, Pa., addressed large audiences here twice today. He had an immense crowd at Orchestra Hall to hear him on, "Where are the Dead?" We report his morning discourse, the text of which was, "Then thou shalt cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the 10th day of the 7th month; in the Day of Atonement shalt thou make the trumpet sound throughout all your land." (Leviticus 25:9)

He said: The Christian religion is so interwoven and built upon the Jews' religion of the Old Testament Scriptures that its glorious message of hope to the world and the various details of the same cannot be fully understood or appreciated except as their foundation is studied and comprehended. In harmony with this our Lord continually referred to the Law and the Prophets and what they said respecting himself and his word. Similarly the Apostles quoted liberally from the Old Testament, and, under the influences of the holy Spirit, explained, expounded the Prophecies and types which had been observed by Israel for a century, but not understood because the due time for their appearing waited for Jesus, Pentecost and this Gospel Age. As the Apostle declared, "The Law was a shadow of better things coming after," it was a type and picture on a small scale of divine favors coming. [Heb. 10:1]

Every year about this time (varying a little, because the Jews count by the lunar calendar) our Israelitish friends celebrate the beginning of their civil year, and on the 10th day of the same they celebrate their Day of Atonement. This is one of their most important days. In olden times on this day the whole people recognized themselves as specially under the curse of sin, because the value of their atonement sacrifice lasted for a year only.

At its close on the 10th day of their New Year the people put on sackcloth and mourned for their sins and entreated the Lord through the priests a fresh cancellation, which would avail for them an entire year. The priest on that Atonement Day after offering the sacrifice for sin and entering beyond the veil of the "most holy," sprinkled the blood upon the mercyseat, otherwise called the propitiatory. Thus, as the Apostle said, "Without the shedding of blood, there was no atonement for sins." [Heb. 9:22]

The high priest who made the sacrifice symbolized Christ, "the High Priest of our Profession." (Heb. 3:1)

His first sacrifice typified his own death. The second sacrifice typified the death of the consecrated members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church, "The Royal Priesthood." [1 Pet. 2:9]

When this second sacrifice for sins had been offered, the Jewish high priest, having received as a result the divine blessing and authority, went forward clad in his robes of glory and beauty and lifted up his hands and gave to the people a blessing of forgiveness and reconciliation to God, valuable for an entire year, beginning with that day.

The Apostle points out that our Lord Jesus is a still more capable High Priest; that heaven itself is the "holy of holies," in which the blood of Christ is sprinkled, which affects the reconciliation between God and men. He points out that this is done by "better sacrifices" then those of the Law. The first of the antitypical sacrifices was finished at Calvary. The second will include the consecration and death of every member of the elect Church, which is the Body of Christ – the Body of the Great High Priest. This sacrifice is not yet completed. We still hear the Apostle's words, "If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him," and "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." Rom. 12:1


So far as the household of faith is concerned their sins were graciously covered by the merit of Christ's sacrifice, and this permitted them to be accepted as joint-sacrificers with their Lord. Their full reward and full release from all the bondage of sin and death will be at the second coming of the Great High Priest, when, by the power of the First Resurrection, they shall be changed from human to spirit beings, made actually perfect and in their Redeemer's likeness, to be sharers with him in the great work of dispensing the forgiveness of sins "to all the people" – the world of mankind in general.

Do some wonder why the Lord makes a discrimination between the "household of faith" and the world, and why this was shown in the type by the fact that the merit of the first sacrifice of the Jewish high priest affected the blessing and release from condemnation of only the tribe of Levi? Do they wonder why the second sacrifice by the same high priest was offered on behalf of all the other tribes? We reply that the tribe of Levi typified the "household of faith," and the other eleven tribes typified the world of mankind.

But some may wonder why there should be any discrimination made since all our race are alike children of Adam, sharers of his condemnation, "children of wrath. We reply that God during this Gospel Age is not attempting to coerce mankind into obedience to his laws for their welfare and uplifting; he is leaving that work for Christ to do during the Millennial Age. He is now merely accepting volunteers, the willing and obedient. He is, therefore, now calling or inviting and holding out promises of rewards, whereas, in the next age, during the Millennium, when dealing with the rebellious, not invitation but command will be the rule. "And it shall come to pass that the soul that will not obey that teacher shall be utterly destroyed from amongst the people." (Acts 3:23)

Israelites bowed in the dust making lamentation, fasting, praying, symbolically represent the world of mankind at the present time. Of these the Apostle says, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now – waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:19-22)

The sons of God are the antitypical [NS599] royal priesthood under Christ, their Head or Chief Priest. As soon as the last member of this priesthood shall have finished his sacrifice, and, as a member of Christ, shall have passed beyond the veil glorified, then the sprinkling of the mercy-seat will be accomplished.

The sacrifice of the blood of Christ for the sins of the whole world will be accepted of the heavenly Father and, as a result, the High Priest and his "little flock," the royal priesthood, with him will come forth in the power and great glory symbolized by the high priest's glorious garments. They will come nigh to the people, though the latter, bowed down, groaning and travailing, will not perceive. The tinkling of bells will tell those who are nearest, and soon the voice of the priest, accompanied by the uplifting hands, "The manifestation of his power," will be made known to the people.

As in the type the people arose and gave a great shout and offered praise to God, so with the antitype. It will mean the uplifting of the people from ignorance and superstition and death, by the power of God through the Great High Priest. The uplifting will begin at once, but it will require the entire period of the Millennium, the one thousand years of the reign of Christ, to accomplish the full uplifting and blessing.


It may be asked, Why do not the Jews still observe the Atonement Day as formerly, as described in Leviticus 16? We reply that there are several reasons:

(1) Such sacrifices of atonement required a high priest, and while so great confusion came to the Jews after the fall of Jerusalem A. D. 70 that they had no high priests since then and have been unable therefore to keep the Day of Atonement as prescribed in the Law, Christ having become a High Priest of God on a higher plane than the typical priesthood of Aaron, it is doubtless of God's providence that their priestly genealogies were lost. Thus Hebrews named Levi and Korah are presumed to be descendants of the priestly tribe of Levi, but the Law requires a most definite establishment of the ancestral line to Aaron to permit any one to serve as high priest.

One might suppose that our Hebrew friends would be impressed by such a wonderful matter as this, but apparently it has escaped general attention. We call the loss of the priestly genealogy a distinct providence of God to that people, because all of their affairs were supervised by the Almighty, and this supervision leaves that people, according to their own law and teaching, wholly in sin and without hope of ever attaining an atonement of any kind along the lines of the Law. Did not God thus shut them up to the thought that they must accept Christ as their High Priest, through whom they might have forgiveness of sins, or else, according to their own explanation of the matter, be hopeless? Apparently very few Jews realize that the annual Atonement Day sacrifices constituted the very foundation of their relationship with God and his mercy for the year. Hence we have the facts thus:

(1) There is no high priest because of no genealogy to show who might occupy the position.

(2) Since no one else than the high priest can offer these sacrifices or make atonement for sin annually therefore, according to their own theory, they have no atonement, but are under their condemnation.

(3) This has been going on thus for centuries, and any hopes that they entertained are baseless so far as their Law is concerned.

(4) As sinners without a priest, without an atonement, without a forgiveness of sins, they are in as bad, or a worse, way as their Gentile neighbors according to their own reckoning; nor have they any hope along this line if the centuries should continue to stretch out indefinitely into the future.


Realizing partly the situation, not daring to create a high priest contrary to the divine Law and not daring to give the killing of the Atonement Day sacrifices of a bullock and a goat to any one else than a high priest, the Jews, partly as a satisfaction to their feelings, and partly as a blind, have been authorized by their Talmud to make a new institution for their atonement day, one not authorized by the Law. A Rabbi takes a white chicken, and sprinkles its blood upon those desiring forgiveness of sins, after the penitent repeats, "This chicken is my substitute. It will be killed for me, that I may have peace and eventually enter into life everlasting. Amen."

If an intelligent man, however, he knows that what he does is a subterfuge.


All who will consider the subject should be ready to admit that the passing of the Jewish priesthood implies most positively that an antitypical or higher order of priests with higher order of sacrifices had taken its place. This is exactly what the Apostles teach in the New Testament; that our Lord Jesus became the antitypical High Priest and that his followers are the antitypical under-priests.

Aaron and his sons as men offered beasts in sacrifice, but Christ as a New Creature offers himself, his flesh, as a sacrifice, and all his followers similarly present their bodies living sacrifices. Our Lord at Jordan, a perfect man by special birth, presented himself in consecration and sacrifice, saying, "Lo I come. In the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will O God." [Heb. 10:7]

And similarly all of his followers are constrained to offer their justified humanity in the divine service. God's acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice was [NS600] indicated by the descent of the holy Spirit upon him, and so likewise the acceptance of the sacrifices of his Church are indicated by their reception of the holy Spirit.

The consecrated will in each case thus accepted of God, is what is Scripturally considered the new priest. Thus our Lord, anointed of the holy Spirit, was anointed to be the Priest as a New Creature, while his mortal flesh, consecrated to death, was the sacrifice which he, as a New Creature, offered upon the Altar of divine service during the three and a half years of his ministry. Thus Christ lived a dual life, and so do all his members.

Our Lord Jesus, as the man, was dying daily upon the Lord's altar of sacrifice, and in some respects suffered outside the camp, but, as a New Creature, he grew stronger and stronger day by day fulfilling his priestly office of sacrificing the flesh for the service of God. As a New Creature this antitypical High Priest, our Lord, entered into the holy and at his death, passed beyond the veil and subsequently entered the "most holy."

Aaron entered the literal "holy" and "most holy" places made with hands, but Christ and his followers entered by faith into that holy, or consecrated condition, which is the antitype. Aaron ate the literal shew-bread and received light from the literal candlestick, and offered literal incense at the literal golden altar, but Christ and his followers, entering into the holy conditions, are illuminated by the Word of Truth and partake of the antitypical shew-bread and offer incense before the Lord at an antitypical golden altar – the incense of a full consecration and heart service rendered to the Lord and his cause.

Our High Priest went beyond the veil of death, and not beyond the literal curtain. He entered heaven itself, and not the "most holy" of the tabernacle. His followers, the "little flock" the "Royal Priesthood," are invited to follow in all these steps that they may be with him where he is and behold and share his glory and work; this is as far as the Aaronic priesthood is used of the Lord as a type. In a word, the Aaronic priesthood system typified the spiritual condition of the work of Christ and his followers while offering up their flesh as living sacrifices for the Lord, the brethren and the Truth – and nothing more. But there is another priesthood, also typical, but not typical of the same things. Melchisedec, as the Apostle Paul points out to us, was a typical priest. As a type he connected with the Aaronic and represented "The Christ in glory and Priest upon his Throne." [Zech. 6:13]

There was no under-priesthood with Melchisedec. In his own person he antityped a future of glory and service of Jesus the Head and the Church his Body. He did no sacrificing and neither will there be sacrificing necessary in the future for Christ or his "little flock."

"By one sacrifice, therefore, he bath perfected them that are sanctified." [Heb. 10:14]

"Christ dieth no more. Death hath no more dominion over him." [Rom. 6:9]

As Melchisedec was King of Salem, King of Peace, so this Great Antitypical Priest, Christ shall be a Priest on his Throne exercising his kingly office for the world and the putting down of all insubordination and ungodliness. In his priestly functions he will be the Great Helper and Instructor of the people, appropriating to them graciously the merits of his own sacrifice on their behalf and helping their infirmities, that he may thus accomplish the "Restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all holy Prophets since the world began." [Acts 3:21]


The word At-One-Ment signifies the bringing together into harmony and oneness, parties previously estranged. From the Scriptural standpoint Father Adam and his race became estranged from their Creator through disobedience and the sentence, "Dying, thou shalt die," passed upon the race.

The gradual dying of the race under this sentence increases the estrangement. Knowing that man could do nothing to atone for his own sin, because the penalty for that sin was death – a penalty which left nothing; hence any overtures toward Atonement should properly come from the Almighty. God being just must maintain his Law and execute it, and so for a long time there was no indication of how God could be just and yet open a way for the return of sinners to himself and to his blessing of eternal life. Doubtless it was a surprise, to angels when the Logos, "the Beginning of the Creation of God," in harmony with the divine Will, was transformed and took the human nature that he might accomplish the propitiation for the sins of men by the sacrifice of himself, the just for the unjust.

It was a still greater amazement to the angels, as they beheld the Son of God consecrated to death and finally crucified, that he, "by the grace of God, might taste death for every man" by meeting the penalty that was against man – a death penalty, not a penalty of eternal torment. There the foundation was laid for the At-One-Ment, the coming-together-again in harmony with the Creator and his creatures.


We may suppose that the angels of heaven were amazed that as a result of the Redeemer's Sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, no work was at once begun competent to reach the world and give it the blessings. They beheld merely what the Apostle calls "The foolishness of preaching," and the few here and there brought to sanctification of spirit through belief in the Truth. Why did not the great work of God proceed [NS601] more rapidly? Why were so few brought to a condition of At-One-Ment and reconciliation? Doubtless it was a test of their faith in the divine program. Nevertheless, this work has gone on and the Scriptures assure us has accomplished the work intended of the Father, namely, the selection or election of a "little flock" of saints, copies of God's dear Son, who will shortly be changed by the power of the First Resurrection and made spirit-beings as he is and made sharers of his glory. Now in the light of the divine Word we may see the wisdom of this election and how it will bring glory to the Father and to the Son. We are to remember that it is not an election of the best specimens of the human race and samples wherein humanity could boast, but a selecting of the willing and contrite of heart, chiefly "the mean things of the world and the things that are naught." [1 Cor. 1:28]

But on these mean things the grace of God operates with transforming and sanctifying power, changing them from glory to glory of character-likeness and ultimately presenting them by the resurrection change faultless in his presence. What a lesson there will be in this for the angels and the restored human family! As they shall note what God is willing to do for those who love him and consecrate themselves to his service and lay down their lives therein, they will have a lesson for eternity. The elect, then, are the first class to come into At-One-Ment with the Father through the merit of the sacrifice of his Son and through his assistance as their advocate and helper. These are said to be, "a kind of first-fruits of God unto his creatures." (Jas. 1:18)

If the first-fruits are holy what shall we expect of the after-fruits? We may be sure that none will ever be acceptable to the Father except on the same conditions of holiness and consecration. But there are not many able and willing to come into this condition at the present time – some are weak, some wavering, many blind. With the opening of the new dispensation the Great Mediator, Jesus, the Head, and the Church, his Body, will begin the work of rescuing the human family, estimated at twenty thousand millions.

They will be blessed under a "New Covenant," which seems to stipulate that the Jew will return to prominence, with the world under him, and be amongst the first to be reconciled to God by that Covenant. All through the Millennial Age the work will progress – not a work of election, as now, selecting a certain class, but a general work of reformation and uplifting – "Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess." [Rom. 14:11]

All the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped. The uplifting work will progress, not only with those who will be living at that time, but subsequently will include those who have gone down into the great prison-house of death, all of whom must come forth that they may share in that blessed reconciliation to God, the At-One-Ment with him. Not all, however, whose eyes are opened, whose ears are unstopped and whose tongues confess and whose knees bow will be worthy of eternal life.

It is clear intimation of the Scriptures that some will fail to come into that condition of thorough heart-harmony which God has determined shall be the test for eternal life beyond the Millennium. The test in the close of the Millennium will be crucial, to the intent that all not in harmony of heart may be disclosed and that such may die the Second Death and not go beyond to mar the harmonies of eternity. Then comes the assurance of God's Word that thereafter every voice in heaven and in earth and under the earth was heard saying, "Peace, glory, honor and dominion and might be unto him that sitteth on the Throne and unto the Lamb forever." [Rev. 5:13]

The St. Paul Enterprise, October 25, 1908


Altoona, Pa., Oct. 25. Pastor C. T. Russell of Pittsburg, Pa., preached here twice today; in the morning at Eagle Hall, in the afternoon to a very large audience at Nishler's Theater. We report his morning discourse from the text, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." (Heb. 12:5-8)

He said: The essence of the Apostle's thought presented in our text is found repeatedly in God's presentation of his dealings with the Israelites, the typical people of God – in Deuteronomy (8:5), in the Psalms (94:12), and in the Proverbs (8:11).

The identical thought of our text is presented and in almost the identical words. Nevertheless it seems to some peculiar that divine love manifested itself in chastisings, in disciplines, in the permitting or causing of suffering to those who are specially his children through a consecration of their hearts and by his adoption through the holy Spirit. Naturally we would be inclined to say, Why not leave these well-disposed ones without chastisements and indeed shower upon them blessings of every kind, while putting chastisements, rebukes, stripes, punishments upon the wilful evil-doers and the careless? This, that [NS602] we would be inclined to expect the Scriptures to declare, will be the divine policy during the Millennium. When Christ shall reign and Satan shall be bound for that one thousand years, then every well-doer will be blessed, encouraged, assisted and every evil-doer will receive stripes, punishments for his correction and finally it shall come to pass that the "soul that will not obey that Great Teacher shall be utterly destroyed from amongst the people." (Acts 3:23)

There must be reason why this seemingly national policy is not followed by divine providence at the present time. The meek do not now inherit the earth. The sanctified in Christ are not now the kings and priests of earth. On the contrary, as the Psalmist declares prophetically, it is true, "I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked... They are not in trouble as other men ... Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. ... And they say, How doth God know? And, Is there knowledge in the Most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain and washed my hands in innocency for all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning." (Psa. 73:3, 7,14)

Our natural wonderment is expressed for us by Malachi (3:14, 15), "Ye have said, It is vain to serve God, and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered."

Let us not make the mistake that is so common of philosophizing on these experiences of life from the standpoint of our own imperfect knowledge, but let us under the guidance of the wisdom from above seek in the divine word an explanation of this divine procedure, which seems so incongruous to reason.

Let us not conclude with others that times have changed and that the Lord's holy ones no longer are subject to chastisements in special degree more particularly than the world. Let us not conclude that because honorable men are frequently found today in high positions of life, in political influence, in worldly wealth, in financial power, in social distinction, that this means a diametric change from the times and conditions of the times of which the Apostle wrote. Let us see, rat her, that the Lord's "little ones," his saints, were not only esteemed a peculiar people in the days of the prophets and apostles, but that our text is not addressed to the Scribes and Pharisees and Chief Priests and Doctors of the Law, and Captains and Rulers of the apostles' day, but to the saints, the holy ones, the faithful in Christ Jesus. If we get the proper focus upon our subject we will find that our Lord's words are still true, "He that will be my disciple, let him take up his cross and follow me," and "Whosoever will live godly in this present time, shall suffer persecution." Our Master's words are in full accord with our text and indicate that there are no exceptions to the rule; that every son whom the Father receiveth will have disciplinary chastisements. Notice Christ's words again, "Marvel not if the world hate you. Ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own;" "They shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name's sake; but rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven." [Matt. 5:11,12]

The rewards of Christ's discipleship were not to be expected in the present life. All that we may now have in the way of compensation will be the peace and blessing of the Lord in our hearts, with glorious hopes for the future.


The problem why God deals with his holy ones in this peculiar manner, so opposite to the methods he will employ during the Millennium, is that he is now selecting from the world a very special class, a "little flock," a "Bride" class of "joint-heirs" to be sharers with his Son, their Redeemer, in his Millennial Kingdom, which will bring blessings to all the remainder of mankind and helpful opportunities of attaining perfection and eternal life. Our race has been 6,000 years in falling from its original perfection, as represented in father Adam, and God purposes a period of 1,000 years in which the uplifting process out of sin and death conditions shall go grandly forward.

But indeed now with the Church he does not purpose their physical uplifting out of weakness and imperfection, physical, mental and moral, but merely proposes to deal with them as New Creatures, spirit-begotten, according to their will, their intention, and not according to their actual attainment; because believers in the present time exercise faith in God and in the redemption which he has provided in the death of Christ and because they turn away from sin to follow righteousness and because additionally they make a full consecration of themselves to the Lord to do not their own wills, but the Father's will, even unto death.

For these reasons the Lord specially adopts this class as his sons and puts them into the School of Christ, that they may learn of him, who was meek and lowly of heart, that thus they may find rest to their souls now, and eternal glory by and by. It is expected of these – faithful, willing, obedient of heart and of will – that they shall be tried, chastened, disciplined, and in the few short years of the present life, demonstrate the [NS603] few short years of the present life, demonstrate the perfection of their wills (not of their bodies), the perfection of their intentions (not of their performances.)

In a word, these willing and obedient and faithful ones are to have severe lessons and tests in the few years of the present life, that they may learn quickly the lesson of full obedience to Gods which the world in general will be 1,000 years in learning. More than this, they will have more severe lessons than will ever be given to the world, because they are called to a higher station of glory, honor and immortality, to which the faithful will attain to by sharing in the "change" of the "first resurrection," which will include only such blessed and holy ones. Rev. 20:6

The world is not dealt with now because their hearts are not in the condition to be reached by the lessons given in the School of Christ to the Royal Priesthood class, of whom the Apostle said, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God; but it does not appear what we shall be (of grace and glory), but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is" – on the spirit plane. Even in this class there is a sifting and testing, and not all who make the consecration and enter the School of Christ will graduate with highest honors as "more than conquerors." [1 John 3:2; Rom. 8:37]

Some, the Apostle tells us, will return to wallowing in the mire. After having escaped from the bondage of sin they may become entangled again therein and participate in the works of unholiness and get into heart-harmony with selfish ambitions and participate in the works of the flesh and of the devil, which the Apostle explains to be anger, malice, hatred, strife, bitterness, evil-speaking, evil-surmisings – a murderous spirit, a contentious spirit, a spirit out of accord with the holy Spirit of the Father and the Son.

Another class, the Apostle explains to us, may fail to graduate with highest honors, fail to be of the Bride class and joint-heirs of the Kingdom, but may attain to the class styled the "great company," who, instead of crowns, will receive palm branches, symbolizing victory on a lower plane and, instead of sitting with Christ on his throne of glory, will serve him and the Bride before the throne. These will fail, not by rejecting Christ and repudiating the ransom, but because of insufficiency of zeal – because not rightly exercised by the instructions given them in the School of Christ.

They will graduate, but with secondary honors. And their fears of losing worldly honors and respect, so far from shielding them from fiery trials, will really bring upon them more severe testings in the end; as it is written "They shall come up out of great tribulation, washing their robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb" – "delivered over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." [Rev. 7:9-14; 1 Cor. 5:5]


The Scriptures sharply differentiate between such sufferings as might come upon the Lord's people because of sin and the sufferings which are necessary to them as sons of God, in preparation for the Millennial service and glory. The Apostle says, "Let none of you suffer as an evildoer, nor as a busybody in other men's matters; but if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this account." (1 Pet. 4:15, 16)

As another Apostle suggests, "We glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope – and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts." (Rom. 5:3-5)

Let us note this point distinctly:

As children of God, if we neglect the cultivation of his spirit of justice and love towards the brethren and towards all men so as to be evil-doers or evil-speakers or evilsurmisers, and thus get ourselves into difficulties we are not suffering as Christians, but as evil-doers as those who, walking after the flesh, deserve stripes of punishment such as never came to our Lord, who was always obedient, and such as should never come to us as his followers, if we gave heed to his Word and followed its spirit.

Busybodying in other men's affairs, the Apostle here calls attention to, is a fruitful source of trouble to the Lord's people, but any who suffer from such a course have cause to be ashamed, for never did our Master teach us to be busybodies, nor set us such an example. On the contrary, he suggested that instead of busy-bodying ourselves to look for the moats in our brother's eye, we would better be on the lookout for both moats and beams in our own eyes. Probably one-half the troubles experienced by Christians come from this fruitful source of trying to set others right instead of giving proper attention to setting themselves right. that as burning and shining lights they might be examples to the flock, to the brethren and to the world. The sufferings of Christ, then, were not on account of sins nor on account of busybodying, but sufferings for righteousness' sake – because his right-doings were misinterpreted by those of his day, who were blinded by ignorance and superstition, of whose crucifixion of Jesus the Apostle says, "I wot, brethren, in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." [Acts 3:17]

Very different, however, is the record respecting Judas, whose intimate acquaintance with the Lord made him specially responsible, and of whom it was written, "The Son of man goeth, as it was written of him; but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born." Mark 14:21 [NS604] As our Lord was holy, harmless and undefiled and separate from sin, so in him "was no Sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." [1 Pet. 2:22]

Hence the sufferings of Christ were not the suffering for sin, but the lessons, the schoolings, the testings, by which his loyalty to the Father and to righteousness and to his brethren were demonstrated. So it must be with us who are now taking lessons from him with a view to our development into his character-likeness, that we may thus make our calling and our election sure to joint-heirship with him in his Kingdom.


"He suffered, the Just for the unjust," writes the Apostle, and it is this suffering in which his followers are invited to participate – suffering for righteousness' sake, for the sake of their loyalty to the Lord, to his Word, to his brethren. And what is the promise? It is this: "If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him." [2 Tim. 2:12]

Surely, if the Lord's consecrated people realized the force of the Scripture teaching on this subject, they would not be shirking duty and privilege and responsibility, in order to escape the world's disfavor or sneers or sufferings of any kind, but on the contrary they would be joyfully willing to suffer and, as the Apostle suggests, they may even come to the point of rejoicing in tribulations also, as well as in their spiritual blessings.

These tribulations are not to be expected from the heathen, with whom we are little in contact, nor specially from the outwardly wicked and immoral of our neighbors and friends. When our Lord said, "Marvel not if the world hate you. It hated me before it hated you," he used the word "world" as including the Scribes and Pharisees and Doctors of Divinity of his day and the various oppositions direct and indirect which these brought against him. So the Lord's consecrated people should expect that their trials and sufferings and testings and lessons in patience and meekness and gentleness and long-suffering and love would come chiefly from the worldly spirited amongst the professed people of God.


The Lord speaks in most wonderful terms of this class which he is now specially selecting from the world – these that are the pupils in the School of Christ and elsewhere declared to be "A kind of first-fruits of God of his creatures." (Jas. 1:18)

Gold, the most precious of metals, is the symbol used to express the value of this elect class in the estimation of the Lord. He declares that as gold is refined by fire, so these must be refined for his special use and that as gold is carefully watched, lest it should be injured by the fire, so will he, as the Great Refiner, watch over his faithful ones, to the intent that no trials may be too severe for them, no chastenings more than they can bear, or of such kind as would be to their injury. When he speaks of these as his jewels which need polishing, he is giving us the thought which is presented in our text, namely, that as sons we need instruction called chastenings and disciplines to prepare us for his service.

As it is not every stone that is worthy of being shaped and polished, so it is not every member of our race that the Lord is seeking at the present time, calling and drawing and putting into the School of Christ for chiseling disciplining and polishing. If, then, we realize ourselves as amongst those justified by faith in the precious blood and those who still further; through consecration and begetting of the holy Spirit, have received the adoption of sons of God on the highest spiritual plane, let us not be surprised that we need chiseling and polishing to make us 'meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." (Col 1:12)

The Apostle Paul exhorts us that we forget quickly the trials and difficulties and sacrifices we have made in the past and that we press onward day by day to receive fresh lessons from our Great Instructor. And he remarked that these light afflictions, chiseling, chastisings, which are but for a moment in comparison to eternity, are working out for us "a far more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory." (2 Cor. 4:17)

Again he sax's, "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." Rom. 8:18


The New Creature, the new will, begotten of the Lord's spirit, is the jewel which must receive the polishing. The drills and burrs and finer and coarser polishing to which these jewels are exposed for their development and use are all about us, and various, as we might expect.

Chiefest amongst them all, ever present with us with allurements and cajoleries and pleadings and threatenings is the old nature, represented by the crying desires of our mortal bodies. The resistance of these brings the polishing, the development, the beautifying of the New Creature. Are we by nature depraved in our appetites of body and mind?

The New Creature must not only resist such and seek to be dead to such influences and not gratify them, but must go still further and insist that the mortal body must serve the New Creature along spiritual lines, in harmony with the Word and spirit of the Lord. If our mortal body naturally longs for worldly honor, ambition and praise, the new nature, the new mind, must resist this and insist that humility is declared of the Lord to be of [NS605] primary importance and that the height of our ambition must be to learn to do the will of our Father which is in heaven. Is the natural tendency of our flesh combative and dictatorial or quarrelsome?

The New Creature must insist that these influences shall not be exercised, but instead the spirit of meekness, gentleness, long-suffering and brotherly kindness must hold sway. Along all of these lines there are daily battles and by these frictions, in proportion as the New Creature resists the old, the polishing is gradually effected. These are all sufferings for righteousness, for however the new mind may triumph and rejoice, our flesh at first shrinks and squirms and rebels and suffers.

But this is not all. The scriptures tell us that we have many foes surrounding us, some of them invisible to us. They tell us that we wrestle not merely with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high positions. These seek to quicken our mortal flesh, and we seek to deaden it. These seek to enslave us and to make our battle with our old self constant.

Meantime they are but turning the polishing wheel, which, under our opposition, will polish us and fit us for Kingdom glory. Not only so, but all about us in the world we are surrounded by those who see things different from what we do; those who see things from the natural standpoint, take the earthly view of matters, who consider houses and lands, name and fame, and family the gods to be served with heart and mind and strength.

These think us fools that we do not run with them to the same excess of idolatry of earthly things, speaking evil of us – who are fools for Christ's sake – because of our loyalty to the principles and teachings of Christ; but in addition they are opposed to us because they realize that if the standards which we are serving be the true ones, then they are more or less condemned.

Our Lord describes this attitude of mind, calling his followers the children of the light and all others the children of darkness. He told us to "let our light shine;" and he forewarned us that the darkness would hate the light. This we are to do by example, if not by word. In view then, of our besetments by the world, earthly ambitions and strife for glory and honor of men, and our temptations of the adversary, who fain would deceive us and allure us, as the serpent deceived mother Eve, and besides our conflict with our own flesh, there is no doubt but that all these certainly represent sufferings, trials, disciplines necessary to us. And we have the Master's assurance that he will make all these things work together for our good, so that the trial of our faith and our patience and our perseverance, and the testing of our development of the graces of the spirit all are precious to us – the precious fruits which the Lord is desirous to see, the fruits of the vine, the fruits of the spirit and those who endure these faithfully to the end are promised a crown of life and participation in the Kingdom of Glory. Let us be amongst these faithful ones and assist others in every manner in our power into attaining thereto!

Shortly the elect will all be gathered and gloriously enthroned, and the blessing of the world in general will begin!

The Cincinnati Weekly Enquirer, November 12, 1908


Guthrie Center, Iowa, November 8 – Pastor C. T. Russell, of Pittsburg, Penn., preached twice here today to large and intelligent audiences. We report his morning discourse, the text of which was, "Hear Ye, Therefore, the Parable of the Sower." (Matt. 13:18-23)

He said: The words, "Hear ye," in our text have the sense of "understand ye."

The disciples, along with the multitude, had already heard the parable of the sower who sowed good seed only, some of which fell by the wayside and was devoured by the fowl; some fell on stony ground and was thrifty for a time, but was soon scorched by the sun, because of insufficiency of depth of earth; some fell on good, rich ground that was infested by thorns, which choked it, and some fell on good ground and brought forth variously, some 30 and some 60 and some 100 fold.

The disciples wondered why the Lord spoke in parables, which neither they nor the multitude understood, and, on this occasion, they asked, specially, why this was so, and also to be given an explanation of the parable. Our Lord pointed out that in thus doing he was fulfilling prophecy – and for a purpose.

The purpose was that those in the right condition of heart who would earnestly seek might receive the instruction, while others, indifferent, careless, would be left in ignorance. This method would best serve the Divine plan, which would be beneficial only to those in the right attitude of heart and might be misused by others, and [NS606] thus the divine purposes be interfered with. For instance, if the masses of the Jews had heard, understood, comprehended our Lord's teachings, "they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory," as St. Peter declares, and since it was a part of the divine purpose that our Lord should be crucified it was expedient that the masses and their rulers should be left in ignorance, and that only those whom the Lord is specially calling should be able to understand His teachings. The same principle holds good today, as the apostle explains: "The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

But as our Lord was willing to explain His parables to His consecrated followers so that they might be informed and strengthened and guided by the wisdom from on high, so the apostle informs us it is today – that the spirit-begotten ones of the Lord's people may, can, must understand the deep things of God to be properly instructed and "thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work." [2 Tim. 3:17]

Hence, as our Lord said to the disciples, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to all the outsiders these things are spoken in parables and dark sayings, that seeing they see not and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." [Luke 8:10]

Similarly the apostle declares that the natural man, not begotten of the spirit, cannot know of the deep things of God, yet the "little flock" of spirit-begotten ones may know, will know. He declares, "But God has revealed these things unto us by His spirit, which searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." 1 Cor. 2:10


Explaining the parable our Lord declares: "When anyone heareth the word of the Kingdom and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the wayside." [Matt. 13:19]

Several items here demand attention. First of all the kind of seed. Next, that it was expressly stated that it was "the word of the Kingdom," the Gospel of the Kingdom. Apparently very few Christian people have much knowledge of the Kingdom. They have not received the word of the Kingdom properly. Instead, they receive through the traditions of men the word of eternal torment, the message that nearly all mankind are bound for eternal woe or for a purgatorial experience, which only a very few might hope to escape – the saintly.

We should note well that nearly all of the Lord's parables and teachings related to the Kingdom, for which he taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven." [Matt. 6:10]

When He sent forth His disciples into every city it was with the message, "The Kingdom of God is at hand." [Matt. 10:7]

When the Jews failed to receive Him He informed them that they were rejecting the Kingdom of God, as had been foretold by the Prophets. And He told them that "the kingdom should be taken from them and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Matt. 21:43)

We remember the particular day when the kingdom was taken from them – just five days before our Lord's crucifixion. When riding upon the ass He declared, "O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." (Matt. 23:37)

This was the house of Moses, the house of servants. Our Lord gave them the first opportunity to become the sons of God and to be associates with Himself as the Great King, to sit with Him in His throne and to exercise the foretold Millennial Kingdom powers for the blessing of all the families of the earth. John 1:13

But they were not worthy as a whole, and hence were rejected as a nation and ceased to be God's special people for a time. Nevertheless, among them were found a "little flock," of Israelites indeed, who were accepted as the nucleus of the Kingdom class.

To this nucleus the Lord has been adding throughout this Gospel Age "elect" ones out of all nations – chosen and accepted because of their faith, love and obedience. With the completion of this election the present age will end and the Church of Christ, which has suffered with the Master throughout this age, will be glorified with Him in the First Resurrection.

Then the Kingdom class will be complete and be granted real power and authority for the ruling, blessing and uplifting of mankind out of present degradation, sin and death – by restitution bringing the willing and obedient back to the likeness of God, in which Father Adam was created, and utterly destroying the disobedient 'in the Second Death. Acts 3:23

The word of the Kingdom, therefore, is the message which has been going forth since our Lord's first advent – the information that God has appointed Christ to be the Great King to bless and restore the world and that He is now seeking a "little flock" to be His associates in that work, otherwise called the "bride," "the Lamb's wife" – at other times styled "the royal priesthood." [Luke 12:32; Rev. 21:9; 1 Pet. 2:9]

This word or message has not been generally proclaimed throughout the world until the nineteenth century. For a long time it was mainly confined to the few nations contiguous to Palestine, where the light of this message first went forth. But the Lord proposed that it should be presented to all nations, in order that all might be represented in this Kingdom class now being [NS607] selected. Hence, during the past century he not only awakened a missionary spirit among His people to carry the message everywhere, but He provided printing presses and Bible societies and railroads and steamships and mail services, that now the message should be carried to all people. And thus it has reached every nation. It has not converted the nations. It was not so intended. The purpose was to gather out of them a "little flock" to be joint-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom.


Alas! the wayside hearer represents the vast majority of our race who have no ear to hear the glorious message as it is now going forth. We blame them not. The Lord blames them not. It was not their fault, perhaps, that their minds were so down-trodden with ignorance and superstition that the message of the Kingdom could find no lodgment in their hearts and in their minds. Hearing with the outward ear, the truth is incomprehensible to them. They were under the adversary's power, too, and he soon caused them to forget what they had heard but not understood. This is his constant policy, as the Apostle declares, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not." (2 Cor. 4:4)

Their minds are closed to the message that is now going forth. Thank God! They are not to be sent to eternal torment because they have been thus blinded of the Adversary and unable to receive the message now promulgated. Praise be to God that after the present message shall have served its purpose in gathering the "elect" for the Kingdom, Satan shall be bound to deceive the poor world no more and the message of God's grace in Christ will be known to every creature! The Divine assurance is that then, "All the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears unstopped." [Isa. 35:5]

And "the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the great deep." [Hab. 2:14]

And "there will be no need to say to our neighbor, know the thou the Lord! For all shall know Him, from the least to the greatest." [Jer. 31:34]


There are well-intentioned people, "good people," who are very shallow – well-intentioned, but they have not deep, strong characters. When God's truth reaches these they can appreciate it and they receive it with joy and start in the good way with zeal, but they are not the kind that the Lord wants in this special election. He will want them, and all during the Millennial Age, but now He is seeking a special class, and these are not fit.

Their unfitness is shown by the fact that they are not producing the fruits of the spirit. Persecution withers them. They are not strong characters. They will be passed by as non-elect; but, thank God, they will not be tortured, but reserved for the Millennial time, when the influences of the Kingdom will be quite sufficient to deal with their case and to give them strength of character and to take away the unfavorable, stony condition which now hinders fruitage!


It requires good soil to produce thorns, but when the good seed was sown upon that soil, and both sprang up together, the thorns choked the wheat. It sapped the nourishment of the soil to itself and the wheat was choked. Perhaps all of us have heard these thorns compared to the attractions of the theatre, the gaming table, sports, novels, etc. – that these as thorns beset the Christian way and tend to choke the development of the fruits of the spirit.

But is this the proper interpretation? Is it true that the danger of the Christian lies along these lines? It seems to us that there are nominal Christians who might be beset by such matters, but that the higher thought is that the true Christian, begotten of the holy Spirit, is out of sympathy with such things, and that they have no place in his heart. Thus the Apostle declares of such, "Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new," and "the things that I once hated I now love, and the things that I once loved, I now hate."

A brother in the Lord, who but recently made a full consecration of himself remarked to me recently, "It seems so strange, Brother Russell, the wonderful change that has come over my life. A year ago I was wildly excited over baseball. It occupied much of my thought and I always attended the games when possible. This year it has no attraction for me whatever. Instead, God's wonderful plan of salvation captivates my thought and every spare hour that I can command I wish to be studying it or fellowshipping with those of like faith. Truly with me, "Old things have passed away. All things have become new." Harkening to our Lord's explanation we notice that it is in agreement with this thought – that the thorns are not wicked practices, but "cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches." [Mark 4:19]

Ah, yes! the true Christian whose heart has been renewed by the gracious promises of God's word and the hopes of a share in the Kingdom with his Lord is in danger of being swamped by the ordinary duties of life – proper enough in themselves to a limited degree. The Lord's Word commands him to be not slothful in business and to make provision for those of his own household, but he is in constant danger of allowing these things to crowd his spiritual interests as a new creature. Instead of curtailing earthly desires, ambitions, business and family responsibilities – minimizing these that he may have the more time or [NS608] money or both to expend in the Divine service, he is apt to allow the matter to go the other way, to give too great heed to these things and to "provide more than things needful and decent."

Pride, ambition for self and for family, love of money and the pursuit of it, and the award which this pursuit brings and the hindrances to spiritual growth and to fruitage in the Lord's service – these are the thorns. Alas, many of God's true saints are thus injured!

These will not be fit for the Kingdom. They will miss the great prize. They will suffer the great loss, whatever may be the blessings and whatever they may attain to in God's providence by coming up through great tribulation. The thorny ground, of course, cannot cast out its own thorns, and herein the parable is defective. The Lord's explanation shows that you and I and all Christians are exhorted of the Lord to keep ourselves in the love of God, to cast out of us thorny influences and to bring forth much fruit. If, then, we find that our hearts are infested with the cares of this life and with the pursuit of earthly riches, let us at once cast out these thorns that our hearts may bring forth the fruitage, in harmony with the intimation of our Master to bring forth the good seed.


Some good-ground hearers will be found. God fore-knew this, and hence prepared this Gospel age and all of its sowing for the sake of these who bring forth good results. Ours will be a blessed condition if we shall have but thirty fold; still more blessed if we bring forth sixty fold; and yet more blessed if results shall be an hundred fold. While the soil cannot change itself, yet we as new creatures have the determining of the condition of the soil in our own hearts. The more fully we are submitted to the Divine will, the more fully we are dead to self and the world, the more abundant will be the crop, the fruitage which we will yield to the Master's sowing.

It should be our ambition every day to attain to that condition of fullest harmony with our Lord which would yield the hundred-fold results in us in return for the exceeding great and precious promises which constitute the seed. Not alone will the Master be best pleased with the largest fruitage, but we ourselves will be most pleased with this result, both in the present time and in the future. The more fully the more heartily we surrender ourselves to the influences of the good seed of the Kingdom, the more we allow these Divine promises to work in us to will and to do the heavenly Father's good pleasure, the greater will be our own satisfaction and joy, both now and by and by. The Apostle speaks of differences in the future glory of the church, saying: "As star differeth from star in glory, so also will be the resurrection of the church." [1 Cor. 15:41,42]

All of the faithful ones will receive a blessing and hear the Master's "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord." [Matt. 25:21,23]

Nevertheless, those who have been most earnest, most zealous, most devoted and who yield a hundred fold, according to this parable, will shine the more brightly in the Kingdom, will be the nearer to the Master in His throne. A similar thought is suggested by our Lord in the parable of the pounds; for while all who used their pounds faithfully were welcomed as good and faithful servants and entered into the joys of their Lord, nevertheless the one who had gained the ten pounds got the greatest blessing, as expressed in our Lord's words, "Have dominion over ten cities." [Luke 19:17]

So then, dear friends, let us realize that every word, every act, every thought has to do with our present and our future nearness to the Lord. Let us cast out the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches, and let us overcome the spirit of the world, the spirit of indifference, and let us be so enthused with the Gospel of the Kingdom that we will bring forth much fruit. "Herein is your Father glorified." [John 15:8]

The Pittsburg Dispatch, December 21, 1908


WOOSTER, Ohio, Dec. 20 – Pastor Russell preached twice here today to attentive and large audiences. One of his discourses, from the text, "Take of the choice fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down the men a present; a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and almonds." Gen. 43:11.

He said: The gift-making season is upon us, with its pleasures and burdens. Millions of gifts, great and small, will be distributed, with varying motives. It is appropriate that all who respect the Divine Will should learn to govern themselves in this matter, as in everything, in harmony therewith. Undoubtedly many gifts are presented with a view to paving a way for more than compensating favors and privileges. As the wise man has said: "A man's gift maketh room for [NS609] him and bringeth him before great men." (Prov. 18:16)

Although this is not the most honorable motive for gift-making neither is it necessarily a dishonorable procedure. It is, so to speak, an acknowledgment of the favor in advance and an expression of appreciation of the service expected. And who should not wish to make reasonable returns for every favor? Surely such a desire is in fullest accord with justice and with the Lord's and the apostle's directions, "Owe no man anything but love." [Rom. 13:8]

Our debt of love we can never discharge. If everyone who sought a service or received a benefit were scrupulously just in making the terms therefore undoubtedly the whole world would become more generous and more genial. The mean gift – we may say the only mean kind of gift – is the hypocritical one, which represents neither heart love nor gratitude nor a desire to make just returns. Let us not encourage, either in ourselves or in others, such gift-making. It is injurious every way – despicable. If we have no good motive for the gift-making we would a thousand times better give nothing. Such honesty would have a better effect on the friend or neighbor as well as upon our own hearts.


Of all the motives leading to gift-making, love, affection, is the very highest, the ideal. Whether great or small, rich or poor, such gifts from the heart to the beloved ones should be brought with a view to the expression of the sentiment represented and the needs or pleasures of the one served, and not with any desire to make a gaudy show. Such gifts should be in value within our reasonable ability – a reasonable service. If rich, our gifts should be in some measure of correspondence to our earthly possessions.

If intended to represent very deep love and devotion they should be of such character as would represent this – either in cost of time or in cost of money. Aside from this our interchanges with our friends would best usually be of small commercial values but emblematic in some sense of our love, our fellowship. Kings are supposed to be wealthy and their gifts to correspond, while the gifts of their subjects to them might be great or small, according to the rank and wealth of the subject.

This brings us to the pith of our topic, the relationship between the Great King Eternal, our Creator, and ourselves, as His redeemed, forgiven, reconciled and spirit-begotten children. What gifts has the Father of Lights for such and what gifts shall they render to him in return? This gift-making on God's part is the foundation of the entire custom. As the apostle expresses it, "Not that we first loved God, but that He loved us and gave His Son for us." [1 John 4:10]

That gift of His Son has been more or less appreciated by mankind and is celebrated by the Christmas festivities of Christendom with more or less sympathetic intelligence. As the Great King He gave a Great Gift, because of mankind's great need. Nothing less would have availed for our relief. Nothing less would have manifested the opulence of the divine mercy and love.


At first thought it might appear that our Creator's gift was at the expense of another – His Son. It is only when we come to understand the matter from the divine standpoint that we gain the proper conception of this transaction, namely, that the Son of God entered sympathetically into the divine program connected with the gift, so that He delighted to do it and was highly rewarded for His sacrifice; on account of which the Father hath "highly exalted Him and given Him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess, of things in heaven and on earth." [Phil. 2:9,10]

The gift has been given, and, although not fully appreciated by many as yet, neither the Father nor the Son is disappointed thereby. Well they know, and have pointed out to us, that the god of this world, Satan, has so blinded the minds of mankind in general that they cannot see the matter in its true light. However, some have seen; some have appreciated; some have responded, accepted and made returns.

As for the others, the Scriptures assure us that the time will come when all the blinded eyes will be opened and all the deaf ears unstopped, and when all mankind shall know, from the least to the greatest, of the heavenly Father's love, and be made the recipients of blessed opportunities, through the merit of that Great Gift of Love Divine. This will be, we are told, "in due time" (1 Tim. 2:6), during the Millennium.


The Apostle, in speaking of this Great Gift, Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Redeemer, says, "Unto you, therefore, which believe, He is precious." (1 Pet. 2:7)

How precious He is depends upon the clearness of our sight. To those who get the proper view of this Gift of God's love "He is altogether lovely." (Song of Solomon 5:16)

Grading backward in proportion to the darkness and blindness and deafness, the Gift of God's love is less and less known, understood, appreciated, even among those who have named His name, and are known as Christians. King of all kings and Over-Lord, our heavenly Father did not content Himself with merely this great Gift, but, as the Apostle declares, "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" And again, [NS610] "Therefore, all things are yours; and ye are Christ's and Christ is God's." (Rom. 8:32; 1 Cor. 3:21, 23)

What wonderful things are these, and who can understand and receive them? Ah! as the Scriptures declare, "The secret of the Lord is with him that reverence Him and He will show them His covenant." [Psa. 25:14]

He showed them first the Gift of His love, and then, because they accepted that with gratitude, with thankfulness, responsively He was pleased to pour upon them favor upon favor, grace upon grace, gift upon gift, that all of His blessings might be theirs, the Very Elect's.


It is asked, What are these favors additionally to the original gift, the Sacrifice of Christ? We reply that God has in reservation blessings for the world of mankind who shall ultimately accept of Christ and respond to the privileges and opportunities that will be granted to them during the millennium.

The blessings for the willing and obedient of that time will be Paradise restored, a world-wide and individual restitution from the degradation of sin and death, back to the full perfection of manhood, in the image of God; for our Lord declares that He came to seek and recover that which was lost. It is not yet recovered. Merely the foundation has been laid – Adam and his entire family, entire estate, have been redeemed – bought with the precious blood, the sacrificed life of the Son of God.

As for the Church now being called out of the world, in advance of the blessings of the world, because blessed with the hearing ear and the seeing eye of understanding and the appreciative heart – to these, the Elect, God's additional gifts are most wonderful. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath in reservation for them that love Him" now. These being justified by faith, have been called to joint heirship with Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom in His great heavenly inheritance and Kingdom and divine nature. It is of these, after they had responded, that we heard the Apostle say, "All things are yours." [1 Cor. 3:21]

But, before they could enter into this high relationship and be begotten of the holy Spirit and become inheritors of the heavenly things, and joint heirs with their Redeemer in His Kingdom, something is expected of them. They must show their appreciation of God's Great Gift. They must show their love in return, by making the greatest gift within their power. The Apostle speaking of these says, "Ye gave yourselves to the will of God." [1 Pet. 4:2]

Our Great Creator, so generously kind Himself, appreciates whole-souledness wherever it may be found, even amongst the members of our fallen race. Desiring to show His appreciation of such characters, He has arranged His plan accordingly, that the greatest of all blessings, exaltation to the Divine Nature, far above that of angels, should be the reward of the "little flock," who would voluntarily consecrate during this age their every power and talent to Him and His service – because of their love, because of their appreciation for Him and His glorious purposes. St. John says, "When He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:2)

These are to be the Bride. These are to be sharers with Messiah in His Kingdom glory. These are to be exalted with Him far above angels, principalities and powers. These are they that are said to love God – in the supreme sense – more than they love houses or lands, parents or children, husbands or wives; yea, more than they love their own lives – so that they gladly sacrifice anything, everything, in their endeavor to carry out the divine purpose within and without. These are the Lord's jewels – "They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels." Mal. 3:17


St. Paul, prompted by an appreciation of God's unspeakable Gift, not only laid down His own body a sacrifice in the service to the Lord and His Truth and His Plan, but sought to have others also appreciate this great privilege, which, in the Divine arrangement, is limited entirely to this Gospel Age.

"Now is the accepted time" – now is the time when God is willing to accept our sacrifices, however poor or lean, contemptible or mean, if they are all that we have and are presented with faith in the name and the merit of Jesus. In a little while this special day of sacrifice, this specially acceptable time will be passed forever, and the new dispensation will be ushered in, under new conditions, under a reign of righteousness, which will preclude the possibility of suffering or sacrificing for righteousness' sake.

It appears, then, that we are highly favored of the Lord, by being permitted to have that degree of the opening of the eyes of our understanding which enables us to avail ourselves of this exceptional opportunity – of not only accepting God's Gift, but bringing to Him our gift in return, and thereby demonstrating our appreciation of Him, our loyalty to Him and to all His righteous arrangements.

To what extent have we already done this is a proper question for each of us to consider at this time. If we have enjoyed the blessing and privilege of the hearing ear, what effect has the message of God's love had upon our hearts? There are many counter-attractions from the world, the flesh and the Adversary, which will draw our attention away from the Lord's Gift and the wonderful privilege attaching to it. Have these drawn our attention away? Are we amongst those who have received [NS611] the grace of God in vain, not making use of it, not bringing to the Lord our returning gift and thus availing ourselves of further blessings – favor upon favor. If we have neglected this in the past, shall we continue so to do? If so, we should thereby confess ourselves unappreciative of the favors and unworthy of them, according to the Divine decree. While some of us will get these blessings, a sufficient number to complete the predestinated, foreordained Church, which is the Body of Christ, yet none will be of that number who do not present themselves living sacrifices, unto death.

Of such the Apostle declares that "They receive the grace of God in vain," in that they fail to use the great gift of their Justification and to go on to Sanctification and its reward to heavenly glory, honor and immortality. Let us not be of such as hold back from sacrificing, nor of those who, after sacrificing or consecrating, draw back and renounce their privileges, and whose end is the Second Death.


When the Apostle says, "We are not of those who draw back unto perdition," destruction, he is not referring to the world of mankind, who have never seen and tasted of the Lord's grace; nor is he referring to those who have been justified through faith in the blood, but who have never made a consecration of themselves, never offered their present to the Lord; neither is he referring to such as have possessed all these advantages and accepted them, and who then, definitely, intelligently, wilfully, draw back from doing what they see to be the Lord's will, and thus renounce their sacrifice – withdraw the present which they had offered to the Lord, and which He had accepted. For such there remaineth nothing but "A fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." Heb. 10:27

Wherever we stand today, dear friends, as respects the grace of God, we want to resolve to go on to the end, to completion. If, then, we have heard, let us go on to the full conviction of faith in the precious blood of Christ. If we have already tasted that the Lord is good, let us go on to add to our faith and love and zeal, and to hearken to the voice telling us of the multiplied blessing of God provided for those who love His appearing.

If we have already offered our present to the Lord, and it has been accepted, and He has granted us a measure of the holy Spirit, let us realize that these fruits of the spirit are merely a foretaste of the vastly greater riches of His grace prepared for us, and for all who shall be faithful to Him, even unto death. If we have learned to battle royally and faithfully for the Lord, His Truth and the brethren, let us persevere, remembering that the reward is great; not to those who begin, not to those who have enlisted in this army of the Lord, the followers of the Lamb, but to those who in patient perseverance in well-doing shall thus seek for these things in God's appointed way, by learning the lessons provided us in the School of Christ, by faithfully performing all of our Covenant sacrifice, even unto death, by continuing our sacrifice upon the Lord's altar, binding it there with chords of love and zeal. This is our present acknowledgment of His grace. He has promised that those who indicate their appreciation and utilize the favors provided will be granted still further blessings of grace and Truth in the present life, as well as an eternity of glory with himself. Let us, then, not only at the time of our consecration, take a present in our hand, when coming to the Lord, but day by day let us do so, renewing and conforming our sacrifice until its consummation.

The St. Paul Enterprise, December 27, 1908


Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 27. The convention of Bible Students which opened here yesterday was addressed today by Pastor Russell, of Brooklyn, N.Y. He had a deeply interested and attentive audience, taking for his text the message of the angels to the shepherds of Bethlehem: "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10)

Great joy to all people? Did God send that message by the angels? Can we believe it implicitly? If so, it tells us of the most momentous change conceivable in human conditions. Of the present the poet has truthfully said:

"Now the world is full of suffering, Sounds of woe fall on my ears, Sights of wretchedness and sorrow Fill my eyes with pitying tears. 'Tis the earth's dark night of weeping; Wrong and evil triumph now; I can wait for just before me Beams the morning's roseate glow." [NS612] This is in full agreement with the prophetic declaration, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psa. 30:5)

The question is not as respects the weeping and the night, the reign of darkness, of sin, or death. That is fact – not imagination, nor speculation. Even those most favorably situated share with the world in general the condition which the Apostle describes, saying, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together.., waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:19-22), waiting for the morning of the new and better day referred to by the angels and by all the prophets and apostles, as well as by the Redeemer. What interests us in this connection is the promised escape from present conditions to those of joy, happiness and blessing.

Whoever can heartily believe the angelic message will surely agree that it is good tidings – a message of peace on earth and good will to men. But show us how it can be brought about, and when. Prove the matter to us, not only Scripturally, but demonstrate it logically, for it is contrary to all that we have ever been taught, or ever believed, and it seems too good to be true. Dear friends, I address you as Christian believers, pupils in the School of Christ, students of the Lord's Word, and remind you that not only all creation is groaning, but that the Apostle includes us and all believers in the matter, saying, "Ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves, groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to-wit, the redemption of our body," the Body of Christ. (Rom. 8:23)

We have indeed a faith which the world has not – a message of peace and fellowship of spirit with the Lord, and, many of us, also a communion with saints; but, blessed as these divine favors are, they leave much still to be desired, and we groan, waiting for the glorious consummation – the conditions which are to be ours in the Resurrection morning.


In order to appreciate the Bible explanation of how the relief and joy are coming to the world, we must note these declarations respecting the cause and source of our tribulations. Nowhere is the matter so beautifully and thoroughly summed up as in the Apostle Paul's statement, "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death as the result of sin, for that all have sinned." (Rom. 5:12)

That explanation shows the entire situation. We perceive that sin has got hold of our race; has blemished its organism; has more or less defiled its every member. And we perceive that death is its natural outworking or penalty, and that all of our sorrows and troubles and weaknesses, mental, moral and physical, are the results of this dying process, which is operating in us. The Scriptural explanation that the entire matter in its start in weakness, original sin, was in Eden, with our first parents, is logical. We perceive exactly how these blemishes have been conveyed from parent to child with increasing force and virulence.

Thus we confirm the statement that we were "born in sin and shapen in iniquity; in sin did our mothers conceive us," and that there is none righteous from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet. As a race we are unable to justify ourselves before God, for, as the Apostle declares, "We cannot do the things that we would," for "there is none righteous, no, not one," in the absolute sense. (Rom. 3:10)

We see, then, that our Creator determined not to sympathize with, nor encourage, nor permit sin, but to destroy it. His work has operated along the lines of justice, in sentencing us to death, and in holding to that sentence for now 6,000 years.


Is it supposable that the unchangeable God will change? Surely not! What then, is there as a basis of hope, since he has already decreed us unworthy of life – worthy of destruction – death? Does not justice rule in all of the Divine dealings? Could God violate this element of His character, of which we read, "Justice is the foundation of His throne?" [Psa. 89:14]

We must assent that God cannot change. But the Scriptures reveal to us another of God's attributes coming to our relief – His love. We inquire with deepest interest, Is it possible for God's love to triumph over Justice? We answer, No; the Divine attributes are so perfectly co-ordinated that one cannot trample upon another. Human wisdom might here drop the matter as hopeless, but the Divine plan shows us to the contrary – that Divine love provided for the satisfaction of justice by a sacrifice and corresponding price. To our astonishment, the Scriptures hold up our Lord, "The man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time. (1 Tim. 2:5, 6)

Now we begin to see that our all-wise and all-just Creator, in the fulness of His love, provided for the satisfaction of His own justice, and thus provided for the relief of our race, and for the fulfillment of our text, that ultimately great joy should come to all people, through Messiah's sacrifice. But would it be just to lay the penalty of Adam's sin upon a substitute? Would it be just to cause the innocent to suffer for the guilty? Ah, yes! That course would be unjust. But that is not the Divine program. On the contrary, Divine wisdom set before the Redeemer a great prize and rich reward if He would undertake the sacrifice incidental to our deliverance from the power of sin and death. Jesus did this. As we read, "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the [NS613] cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:2)

The Apostle, telling us of the sacrifice, assures us that He voluntarily left the glory which He had with the Father, was made flesh, and gave Himself as the "propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2

The Apostle assures us further that He who was rich became poor for our sakes, voluntarily, and has now been gloriously rewarded in part for His faithfulness to the Father's will. He notes how Jesus humbled Himself, even unto the death of the cross, and then adds, "Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and the things under the earth; that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father." Philip. 2:9-11


These are the fundamental Divine attributes. The first three have been exhibited to us in operation. We wonder and adore Divine justice, unchangeable; Divine love, immeasurable. What remains, therefore, is to see the final demonstration of Divine power in action. A sample of it was given us by our Lord when He awakened Lazarus from the sleep of death, as showing further the glories of His coming Kingdom – the Divine Kingdom. Divine power is still more manifest in our Lord's own resurrection, His "change" from earthly to heavenly condition, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." (1 Cor. 15:52)

The work of this Gospel Age, the selection of the church from amongst mankind, demonstrates further the justice, wisdom, love and power of God; but the power still waits for a full development. If that element of the Divine character shall prevail it will indeed mean what our text declares, that "Great joy shall come to all people." [Luke 2:10]

Love Divine has sought the world and bought it with the precious sacrifice of our Redeemer. Adam was the transgressor, and all his race suffer in consequence. Jesus Christ redeemed Father Adam, and in so doing redeemed all of his family and all of his inheritance. Our glorious Lord proposes to take the place of Adam and to adopt all of his children, if they will, and to give them back again all that was lost in their Father Adam. We must remember that, no matter what our plane of birth, no matter how deep our degradation, our rights, as the children of Adam, were the perfect human rights had those not been forfeited by his disobedience. Consequently the restoration which our Redeemer proposes is not merely a restoring to each individual of the things which he once possessed, but a restitution of all that was His by right under the original Divine arrangement, if Adam had not sinned. Hallelujah! What a Savior! "Able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by Him." (Heb. 7:25)

So surely as the Divine program has thus been carried out, exhibiting God's justice and wisdom and love, so surely the remainder of the Divine program will follow, and demonstrate Divine power.


With a haste which properly belongs to our short-lived and dying condition, we wonder why Divine power has not made greater haste in the deliverance of Adam and his race from the bondage of sin and death – why Messiah, after purchasing the world and the fulness thereof, has not made haste to take possession of it, but has permitted the reign of sin and death to continue, and has permitted Satan still to be the god of this world and the deceiver of men.

The Scriptures give the only answer. They tell us that, from the Divine standpoint, the 6,000 years of the reign of sin and death are a short time in God's sight – that a thousand years in God's sight are but as yesterday, and that we are to have patience and faith. They show us that the Divine command was to multiply and fill the earth, and that this work has been much more rapidly accomplished under the reign of sin and death than it would have been otherwise, and that thus God has provided by now a sufficient number of Adam's race to fill the whole earth.

They show us further that these have all had some lessons and experiences along the line of sin and death and will thereby be prepared for the lessons on the side of righteousness, which God intends they shall have in the future, when the Redeemer shall fulfill His promise and call them forth from the tomb, the prison-house of death. An example of the operation was granted to us when our Lord called to his friend Lazarus, who was dead: "Lazarus, come forth" – and the dead came forth. He was not alive. He was dead, or, from the Divine standpoint of speaking of things which are not yet accomplished, as though they were, he was asleep, just as Stephen was asleep when he was stoned to death, and as the good and bad of all the past are said to be asleep with their fathers.

Another particular reason for the delay of the establishment of Messiah's kingdom and the blessing of the world which He redeemed is that there is another feature of the Divine purpose, namely, the selecting or electing of a "little flock" to be the Church of Christ, His Bride and Joint-heir in His kingdom glory and millennial work. The type or pattern of this church was Israel in the flesh and the overcomers of that time, briefly mentioned by the Apostle in Hebrews 11. They [NS614] are to have a special reward and share in the services of the future. They, however, were not invited to be members of the Bride class, the selection of which began at Pentecost and will, we believe, very soon be completed, when the last one of them shall have been accepted, found faithful, chiseled and polished, and made ready for the kingdom glory, into which they will be ushered by the power of the First Resurrection. "So also is the resurrection of the dead; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body." (1 Cor. 15:42, 44)

"And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had they received his mark upon their foreheads, nor in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." [Rev. 20:4]


That time is scripturally designated the "morning" of the New Dispensation. The picture is carried out by telling us that now darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the heathen, but that in due time the light of Divine glory shall arise. Meantime the Lord's faithful must walk by faith and not by sight, and the Father's word of promise, must be the lamp to their pathway, the light of their footsteps, even as a "Lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns." 2 Pet. 1:19 Our Lord Himself is styled the "Sun of Righteousness," which shall arise with healing, restitution, in His beams. (Mal. 4:2)

And in one of His parables our Lord represents His church, which is also to be with Him the "Sun of Righteousness," which is to return and refresh the world. He describes the future glory of the garnered wheat of this Gospel age, saying: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." (Matt. 13:43)

The results will be the scattering of the ignorance and superstition and darkness of sin, which now prevails, and the enlightenment of all mankind. A further guarantee of the blessing of that time is given us in the assurance that one of the first works of our Lord in respect to the establishment of His kingdom will be the binding of Satan. The apostle says: "And He laid hold on Satan and bound him for a thousand years, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be finished." (Rev. 20:2, 3)

How careful our Lord is to prove to us how every detail of that glorious plan has been worked out, and that nothing shall fail! He assures us as follows: "So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it. (Isa. 55:1 1)

And if our faith be lame, He assures our hearts, saying: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isa. 55:9


Our Lord said: "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matt. 5:4)

So if we find that the great majority of mankind have had considerable experience in mourning and sorrow, under the reign of sin and death, there is comfort in the thought that the same large majority of the race shall be comforted, shall receive joy. All will have the opportunity of coming to this estate of joy, promised for all who are redeemed by the precious blood. And the promised "times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began," will be world-wide in their influence.

All except the church will share in that glorious restitution blessing. And the faithful of the church will have, before then, received their richer blessing through the "change" of nature from human to divine. "Behold, I show you a mystery," says the apostle; "we shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." 1 Cor. 15:51-52

The restitution work will begin immediately with the generation living at that time – following the great time of trouble, which the Scriptures declare will usher in the millennium. As soon as order and blessing shall be established in the world under that glorious kingdom or dominion, invisible to men except through its agents or channels, then will begin the awakening of the sleeping millions – gradually.

The last will be first, so that the first Adam will probably be the last to be awakened. But their awakening will be for the purpose of bringing them to an accurate knowledge of God, His justice, wisdom, love and power, to the intent that, if they will be rightly exercised in obedience to Christ, the great Mediator between God and men, they will gradually regain the perfection lost by original sin and, if they become careless, they will receive stripes, chastisements, that by these judgments of the Lord they may finally regain all that was lost. Their joys will be increasing with every step taken on the return journey back from sin and death to perfection of life. The joy will be unto all people, yet there is the intimation that some will reject the Divine favor. As it is written, "And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will not hear the Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people." Acts 3:23 Thus enlightened by the Divine message, our hearts [NS615] will undoubtedly be drawn nearer and nearer to the Fountain of all grace and our lives will be all sunshine. Let us not only put off the works of darkness, but put off all that pertains to the darkness and error, and be clothed in garments of light, and

"Praise to Him by whose kind favor
Heavenly truth has reached our ears,
May its sweet reviving savor
Fill our hearts and calm our fears."

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