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The Editor recognizes a responsibility to the Master, relative to what shall appear in these columns, which he cannot and does not cast aside; yet he should not be understood as endorsing every expression of correspondents, or of articles selected from other periodicals.
This paper will be sent free to any of the Lord's poor who will send a card yearly requesting it. Freely we have received and freely we would give the truth. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat – yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." And you that have it – "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently – and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." – ISAIAH 55:1,2.
DEAR READERS: – You all know that we do not follow the common custom of "begging," "coaxing," "dunning," etc. Your experience in receiving extra papers, tracts, etc., free, teaches you too that the TOWER is not published for worldly gain. And yet you all know that money is needful to carry on the work. We make these statements as a preface to the announcement that we are about to STRIKE FROM OUR LISTS the names of a large number, from whom we have not heard for more than a year. This course is a necessity because some remove without notifying us, some die, some lose interest, etc. Some stricken off may have deep interest, hence we now say to all who have not subscribed during 1886, nor asked to be put upon the "poor list" for 1886, to write at once. Do not trust to me, and think that the editor knows you want it, etc.; for I have not the time to devote to revising the lists myself, and must entrust it to office help who go only by the marks on the subscription books.
Understand clearly, dear friends, this does not relate to those who send their subscriptions at the first of the year; such are not in arrears and should not send now, but at the usual time. Nor is it intended to cut off from our list a single one of the Lord's children who worthily receive the TOWER FREE, because too poor to pay for it. It will appear strange to some that any cannot by care and self-denial spare fifty cents a year, one cent a week; and yet we have very many on the free list as "The Lord's Poor," who we believe cannot pay. Some of them are invalids, some aged and dependent upon children or friends opposed to the "good tidings of great joy." We want all such to remember that they are as welcome to the TOWER as to the air they breathe. But they must write at least a card, once a year, stating their interest and desires and their inability to pay. See the "Terms" above.
As a striking indication of progress in religious thought, notice the fact that the influential class of religious people known as Congregationalists is about to split upon the question, Is there, or is there not, probation after death? The question has been under discussion at two general meetings recently, and is thus stated by the Pittsburgh Dispatch:
Des Moines, Ia., Oct. 3. – Members of the American Board of Foreign Missions are arriving here for their annual convention, which begins to-morrow. There is going to be a great controversy, the preparations for which have agitated Congregationalism during the past three months. The question at issue is whether or not sinners are irrevocably condemned at death to eternal punishment, or are subject to a period of probation and possible salvation beyond the grave. This issue is known to theologians as the Andover question. It is raised in the present instance by the Missionary Board's rejection of those candidates for mission work who cannot declare an utter unbelief in the possibility of repentance after death. So heated has the feeling become that several churches, to resent the repulse of men put forward by them for foreign missionary service, have declined to take up the usual mission collections until after the Des Moines meeting. Further importance attaches to this convention because the National Council of Congregational Churches will meet in Chicago on the week following, and the result at Des Moines will be looked for anxiously as in a great measure a test of the strength of the two parties to the dispute. In a general way the issue may be stated as drawn between old-school believers in endless damnation and those who have been affected by the tendency of the times toward a liberal interpretation of the Scriptures. The National Council will probably have to amend the creed or reaffirm the one now in use, for the trouble in the American Board of Foreign Missions seems to hang upon a doubt as to the true and only genuine doctrine of Congregationalism. The matter has been the subject of clerical discussion for years, and the way the Board of Missions became involved may be told briefly.
In 1880 the National Council met at St. Louis. The debates on the doctrine of punishment and probation had become so hot, that many of the more conservative members feared that the foundations of the Church were being undermined. As a preventive to such a calamity they prevailed upon the Council to consent to a revision of the creed. They wanted the questions at issue so definitely settled and expressed in words used according to their modern meaning, that there could no longer be a doubt as to what was the true belief of Congregationalists. So, by a complicated process, a committee of twenty-five was chosen to take charge, with final power, not even the National Council having the right to revise, inspect or amend the report. After three years this committee completed its task and reported the creed directly to the churches through the press. Two members of the committee withheld their names from the document because they felt that certain articles bearing upon probation, which they had submitted, should have been incorporated in the creed. As a rule the creed met with glad acceptance, not the less joyful, perhaps, because it was silent on the points that had raised all the hue that had led to the revision. The theory upon which these points were omitted from the new creed was that the Scriptures were not so explicit upon them as to warrant dogmatizing one way or another. The revision of the creed failed to act as its advocates had hoped, for it not only did not check the discussion of doctrines of probation and punishment, but soon a new cause of discord was thrown into the camp through the Mission Board.
The present difficulty grows out of the fact that Dr. Alden, of the Mission Board, who is a firm believer that there is no probation after death, refused to send to the mission field candidates for the mission work who believed the contrary. In this matter it is claimed that Dr. Alden has used his official position to impose on candidates articles of a creed that have been rejected, and that by doing this he has greatly hampered church work. This has called forth opinions pro and con in letters in church publications, and in some cases contributions have been withdrawn until the Board settles the matter.
The same question is brewing in all denominations, and must sooner or later develop a split between those who can reason and those who will not think or cannot reason. The question strikes Congregationalism sooner than some other denominations, because it represents religious democracy, is less under clerical jurisdiction, and is largely composed of independent, intelligent, thinking people.
The question at issue has for some time been stealing quietly, almost unperceived, upon thinking Christian people. The time was, when the doctrine of the eternal torture of all but the few saints was generally preached and generally accepted, one church edifice in this city gaining the distinguished title of "Brimstone Corner." But this is so no longer: "eternal torture" is seldom preached before a cultured audience now, for very shame. And though the people still subscribe to the doctrine in accepting the creed and joining any of the various Christian denominations, yet, thank God, they are coming to see better and accept those creeds with mental reservations. It is a pity and strange that they do not see this to be wrong – that they are acting a lie, when they outwardly profess a faith which they do not inwardly hold.
No longer do our Presbyterian and Baptist friends preach about "infants in hell," nor confine all hope of salvation to "the elect children of believers" in their preaching, though the written creeds stand just as they were. The growing intelligence of the people cannot long be fettered by the creeds made a century or two ago by fallible men, who, however well meaning, were wrong in attempting to put "iron shoes" upon all the intellects of those coming after them. Unintentionally they were in this the tools of the Prince of darkness, opposing the unfolding of God's Word which as the shining light was to shine more and more until the perfect day.
The nominal church, cold and selfish was spurred into charity in mission work by pity for the heathen millions, whose everlasting destiny they were led to believe depended upon their liberality and effort. Doubtless this false idea has prompted a larger work of "witnessing" to the cross in all the world, than would have been accomplished otherwise: and yet fewer missionaries inspired by the truth, and the love of it would doubtless have done more good and have thrown much more light upon the real value of the cross.
Even heathen minds can see that there is something wrong with the doctrines of so called Orthodoxy; for missionaries declare that if they preach in full the creeds of the denominations they represent, they would make no converts. The heathen do not consider it "good news" nor will they accept, the teaching that a just God, worthy of their worship has sent all of their forefathers to eternal torment because they had not believed on Jesus, of whom they had never heard.
The rupture between creeds and thinking people is coming surely and steadily, and at it all might well rejoice, were it not for one very sad feature connected with it. The unfavorable feature is this: Many have come to regard their creeds and especially the everlasting torment dogma and the limit of probation to the present life and age, as the teaching of the Bible; and hence in breaking from and discrediting their old creeds (not very old either,) they are at the same time leaving the Bible, the appointed "lamp," to follow their own imperfect reason; which though better than their old creed is useless on religious subjects if unguided by the Divine Revelation.
Thus it is with our Congregational friends in the question above noticed, which instead of being called "Probation after death," should be called Probation in death; for the views above referred to are, that when a man is dead, in some place, they know not where, he has a further chance to come to a knowledge and obedience of the truth and to secure everlasting life. In this we see the bad result of such a tearing apart of reason and creeds and neglect of the sword of the spirit, the word of God, which could have cut the two apart perfectly. In tearing them apart some of the errors of the creed still adhere to their reasonings, and some truth adheres to the creed which they are casting away.
In this case the creed claims that eternal torment is the penalty of sin. If so, reason says then Jesus Christ did not give a ransom (a corresponding price); for he did not suffer eternal torment. Thus the foundation of true faith is cast away, or rather in most cases they slip [R889 : page 2] their building off it, onto the sands of conjecture and human assumption. Next they reason, If eternal torment is the penalty, surely there must be a future hope despite our creed. So they reject the part of their creed which limits probation, but hold to that part of it which declares eternal torment to be the wages [R890 : page 2] of sin. In it all, the Scriptures are neglected, and not called upon as the final arbiter between old creeds and reason; hence though accepting of future probation they do not get it as the Bible teaches it, but oppositely. They expect or hope for a probation in death, while the Bible teaches that "in death there is no remembrance" of God (Psa. 6:5; 115:17; Eccl. 9:5) and points us to a resurrection of the dead as the great means to the end, for bringing all to a full knowledge of the truth, which God has declared to be his will. (1 Tim. 2:4.) In this we see the evil result of an endeavor to limit truth and knowledge by fixed creeds. It is subversive of truth, and misleading to all in any degree bound thus.
Dear Brethren and Sisters, hold up the Royal banner upon which is inscribed "Restitution" – "Good Tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people" and hold up with it as a torch, in the light of which alone the inscription may be clearly read – the RANSOM. Tell it to all, "The man Christ Jesus, gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in DUE TIME." – 1 Tim. 2:6.
One thing that withholds me from such outside work as visiting from house to house, open air preaching, etc., is the saying of our Head: "Give not holy things unto the dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before the swine, lest they trample upon them and turn again and rend you." In this connection I have just found in the gospel by Mark, 6:30,31, something which might apply to us at present. Is it a forced application? Have we all truth, or do we not need a little "leisure to eat" when He has girded himself and is serving us with meats in due season?
We are glad to know that the brother's natural timidity has not full control of him. Mark 6:31 should be read in connection with verses 34 and 37. We think it had reference merely to needed physical rest from arduous and incessant TOIL AS PREACHERS, and that it was by no means an intimation that preaching was not proper, and not their special work. Jesus said, "I send you forth" and "as ye go preach"; and of the Christ head and body it was prophetically declared, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the good tidings to the meek." All the anointed body, following the example and footsteps of the Leader and Head, are preachers; they cannot help it; the good tidings are too precious to keep. Their anointing impels them to preach, so that to us, as to the earlier members of the anointed body it is, "Woe is me, if I preach not the good tidings."
Yes surely, our Lord wishes us to "eat" while he serves us with the food; but, we should observe how the Lord serves. Is it not by using willing members of the body, that he serves the various members? It is to the very few indeed, that the Lord hands truths direct, and not through others. In fact we may say that it is only to those who are serving the others, that the Master directly hands the precious viands.
"Cast not your pearls before swine," should not be used as the brother has applied it. Jesus did not class all Israelites as swine in his day; for he spent three years preaching to them the kingdom, etc., and sent forth twelve and then seventy other disciples also, to preach the same, saying, "The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few," "Go ye also into the vineyard," etc., etc. Jesus and the eighty-two ministers he sent forth, did not go forth casting pearls before swine. And so in this harvest: those who go forth to seek the wheat, to gather the elect from every part under heaven, should not thus apply it in their work.
The meaning of the expression is in brief this: – There are "deep" as well as surface truths. The rich pearls and nuggets of truth are for those who will dig and search as men search (self-denyingly and faithfully) for silver. Those who have received the truth know that they received the simpler features first, and thus they should try to give it out to others. Before showing the "deep things of God," our precious pearls of divine wisdom and grace, to those about us, we should make sure that they are such as would appreciate them. We should first present the simpler features of truth, and those requiring less faith and spiritual discernment. If they are not interested in these, then do not cast the (to you) yet more precious truths before them; for surely they would not appreciate them, but would think you foolish and injure your influence and the truths you advocate.
From reading the "Food" about a year ago, I was led to see the truth on the "Plan of the Ages," and now I do not stop at your liberal salvation, but can see the salvation of "all" clearly taught in God's Word. And I'm trying to preach it with all the strength the Lord gives me. Yours in his love,
Beware dear brother lest you fall into a common error of swinging from one extreme to another – from believing in the everlasting torture of nearly all, to believing in the everlasting salvation of all.
You put quotation marks about the "all" to indicate that you refer to Scripture texts which mention the salvation of all, as the basis of your hopes. Let me remind you that in these columns, also in the pamphlet "Food" and in the "Millennial Dawn," which we have mailed to you, all the Scripture texts which refer to the salvation of all, are recognized and given weight and place harmonious with the remainder of the Bible – a thing which you cannot do, with your present views expressed above.
We teach, as you know, a full and complete salvation for all mankind, from the guilt, condemnation and penalty of the first trial in Eden, and from all the contingent wrong doings and weaknesses, physical, moral and mental, which flow to us as the children of Adam and heirs of his weaknesses. This is the "common salvation" secured for every man by him who gave his life a ransom for all; and all must have the full benefit of that salvation "in due time" – in the next age, if not in this.
Is this not a salvation of all from sin and death? Does not the Bible in all its passages which refer to salvation of "all" indicate that it is the salvation from Adamic death and condemnation? Does a single passage refer directly or indirectly to the everlasting salvation of any, who, when saved from the Adamic death and given the privilege of life again by the Redeemer and Restorer, shall then reject it and sin wilfully? In other words, Is there an everlasting salvation mentioned for that part of the "all" saved from the first condemnation in Eden, who after being tried in the second trial are found unworthy of life and worthy of the second death? (Matt. 25:41,46; Rev. 20:9,15; 21:27; 22:14,15,19.)
There is no intimation that God will ever compel any one to accept of the gift of life everlasting. It is quite sufficient that he provides through Christ an opportunity for every man to come to a knowledge of the truth, and to an ability to live in harmony with the Law of life. The matter is put as an invitation in the present age, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." So of the next age it is written, "The spirit and the bride say Come!...And whosoever WILL, let him take the water of life freely."
The parable which speaks of compelling some to come in, refers to the present age, and not to the next. The Scribes and Pharisees were by their profession, education, etc., the ones originally invited to the Gospel feast, but they heeded not the announcement, "The [R891 : page 2] Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." The messenger then went into the streets and lanes and by-ways of that people [city] and selected a goodly number, but not sufficient to fill the number which God had designed should constitute the Temple class, in which the world at large should be blessed and have access to him. So then the call to this feast was sent out into the "highways" – outside the city [or Jewish people] to all nations and will gather enough to complete the designed number. It here reads "compel them to come in," but the translation would be better constrain as the Revised Version renders it.
Let us beware how we permit reasoning to go beyond the facts set before us in the Scriptures. We might indeed reason, that when all come to a full knowledge of the truth, with full ability to obey and enjoy the favor of life everlasting, that they would be very foolish to do anything else. And yet we should take God's foreknowledge and its revelation as much superior to our reasoning as in other things we have proved it to be. He not only tells us of the grand provision of the future age, when whoever will may have life freely, but he tells us also that some will not accept life on the conditions he offers. God as clearly pictures to us the book of life wherein are written the names of those found worthy of life, as he on the contrary symbolizes the second death as a lake of fire, destroying those found unworthy in that trial.
The fact that a being could have full knowledge and ability, and yet wilfully choose evil, presuming on the love of God to avert its consequences, is clearly proved by one case concerning which we have positive information. For over six thousand years Satan has had good and evil and their results before him, and yet he is an open and wilful adversary of righteousness. God who can read the future as we do the past, informs us that the further unfoldings of his plan in the Millennial age will make no different impression upon him, but that when loosed or permitted to manifest his will in the end of that age, Satan will rejoice in iniquity as before; and God calls all his children thus to witness to his righteousness in the destruction of Satan and all his messengers [co-workers in evil] in the second death. – Matt. 25:41.
Ask yourself, what object there could have been in the permission of evil in the world, or what object there could be in appointing a day [age] of resurrection from the great sentence, and penalty, or of the future trial, – if there will be no trial as to the willingness of the creature, but merely a trial of the ability of the Creator to force obedience. Surely the ability of the Creator is not in question that it need be tried, hence if trial there is to be, as the Scriptures assert, it must be man's willingness that is to be tested.
Had God intended to force obedience and life upon man against his will, he might as well have done so at first, and avoided the first as well as the second trial, and the first as well as the second death. Nay, would it not have been better to have forced the obedience at first, than to have allowed all the anguish, pain and evil which have been, if God must in the end force every creature. But no, God seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth. He does not desire forced obedience and forced love. Those who need force after they have had full opportunity to know and do God's will, will only receive the force of destruction, being unworthy to enjoy the favor of their Creator. Liberty to choose, or free moral agency, is above all other characteristics the liberty and likeness of God in his creature. To destroy it would reduce man to a mere machine. God seeketh not such worship, and hence it is written: "The Lord preserveth all them that love him, but all the wicked will he destroy." (Psa. 145:20; 37:18-20.)
Re-examine, dear brother, and do not allow your fallible reason to lead you outside the Divine plan of the ages. Be guided by God's expressed plan. Reason finds full satisfaction in God's plan only. Those who claim a universal, everlasting salvation, are by the same line of false reasoning invariably led to deny the ransom.
The sculptor, with an ideal form in his thought, produces a statue from the block of marble. Every measurement of the block, every turn of the drill, every blow of the mallet upon the chisel, and every effort of the sculptor's mind, goes to make up the finished form, which is the production of his ideal, as nearly as the materials would admit. So, our Lord, as our Maker, has the idea toward which he seeks to form us. And all his operations are but steps in the work of our formation. Every measurement of our life by the divine truth, tests our capacity to attain the ideal; every turn of the drills of penetrating precepts of life, prepares us for the ideal character; every blow of the hammer of circumstances is, in the hands of the divine providence, constantly shaping us toward the heavenly pattern. And, in the perfect economy of our Lord, never do we have to bear one measurement, or one penetrating cut, or one blow of circumstances, that is not absolutely needed to produce the most perfect work which we will allow to be done within us.
Great truths are dearly bought. The common truth,
Such as men give and take from day to day,
Comes in the common walk of easy life,
Blown by the careless wind across our way.
Great truths are greatly won; not found by chance,
Nor wafted on the breath of summer dream;
But grasped in the great struggle of the soul,
Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.
Sometimes, 'mid conflict, fear and grief,
When the strong hand of God puts forth in might,
Ploughs up the subsoil of the stagnant heart,
It brings some buried truth-seeds to the light.
Not in the general mart, 'mid corn and wine;
Not in the merchandise of gold and gems;
Not in the world's gay hall of midnight mirth,
Nor 'mid the blaze of regal diadems.
Not in the general clash of human creeds,
Nor in the merchandise 'twixt church and world;
Truth springs like harvest from the well plowed fields,
Rewarding patient toil, and zeal, and faith.– Sel.
The term death signifies destruction, extinction. We see it about us on every hand and have the inspired record of its cause in the Apostle's words, "Sin entered into the world, and death by [as a result of] sin." Rom. 5:12. True the word death is sometimes used in a figurative sense, but behind all these is the actual death from which all figures are drawn; the death which "passed upon all men in that all are sinners."
The term "second death" is specific and cannot refer to a figurative use of the word death. When anything is called a "second" it recognizes one, and only one preceding it, of the same kind. If the expression second death refers to a second figurative death, it would imply that there was but one figurative death before it. This we know would be nonsense; for any word can be used in a thousand figurative forms. It must therefore refer to actual death, not figurative. It recognizes but the one death preceding it, the first death. The penalty of failure under the second trial is thus brought strikingly in contrast with the penalty of failure under the first trial.
The "second death" is specially mentioned in connection with the closing scenes of the Millennial Age; and if from that standpoint we look backward to see what death it relates to, or repeats as a second, none could reasonably stop with any of the figurative uses of the word death. All, we think, must see that it refers back to the calamity (death) which entered into the world and passed upon all men because of Adam's failure when on trial as our representative.
Adamic death – the loss of existence and all right thereto – was the first penalty, the result of failure under the first trial of mankind for life. The second death is pointed out to us in Revelation as the second penalty, the result of failure during the second trial of the world, of a class not worthy of a place in the "book of life."
None are prepared to understand the book of Revelations except those who understand clearly the general plan of God, the plan of the ages. Only these can see that God judged the world once representatively, and because of its failure condemned it; how then he redeemed or purchased mankind out of that condemnation and death, and made provision for a second trial for all, under the one who was his agent in their redemption. As it is written, "He hath appointed a day [period] in the which he will judge [give trial to] the world, in righteousness, by that man whom he hath afore ordained, Jesus Christ." If God has appointed such a day or time of trial, it must be another, a second trial, for Scripture assures us of the first (Acts 17:31; Rom. 5:12,17-19), and the penalty of that failure we see all about us.
Those who will have another trial must in some way get free from the condemnation or sentence of the first trial (death), else a second trial would be useless. God cannot admit that there was any injustice in that first trial, and cannot set aside his own sentence. If it was just and right, to set it aside would be unjust and wrong; and a new trial, while the sentence of the first trial is firm, uncancelled, would be only a mockery, for it could not reverse the first sentence of the righteous Judge.
But God has made provision for the canceling of the sentence of death, (extinction,) which came upon all through Adam by providing a ransom for all, whereby all may have a second trial, in which the one who redeemed them will be the judge, ready and willing to grant every needed aid to those desirous of availing themselves of this second offer of life. While very few indeed come to this knowledge and second trial in the present time, all others shall be brought to it in the Millennial age, because such is God's plan, and full provision for it has been made both in the ransom for all, and in the appointment of a time or age for judging all.
Every trial must reach a conclusion and have a sentence. The first trial in Eden, ended with a sentence, as we read, "Sentence came on all men to condemnation." (Rom. 5:18. Diaglott.) The second trial is to have a sentence also. The few who in the Gospel age come to a full knowledge of the truth are on their second trial. If they obey the truth they are counted worthy of life, and their names will be written in the book of life, and will be confessed before the Father and the holy messengers, while those who sin wilfully after they have come to a full knowledge of the truth, who despise the favor of the ransom after having been justified and sanctified (Heb. 6:4-6 and 10:26,30), are sentenced as unworthy of life; and this being their second trial, the sentence is to the "second death" as distinguishing it from the first sentence which came upon all men as the result of the first or representative trial.
While during the Millennium when the world is getting its second trial, some of the conditions will be different from the present, yet the main conditions or tests of the trial will be the same as now. [R892 : page 3] That is to say, the world will then be on trial to prove who are worthy of life (the second life – restitution) and who worthy of death (the second death – final extinction).
Life was the original gift of God to his creatures. Representatively he then tried them. In Adam's disobedience the first trial, the first or original gift of life was forfeited, lost, for all, and death (the first) came upon all. Through another representative all were redeemed from the first condemnation, the first death sentence, justified to life again – a second or restored life. A second trial is granted to every man to prove (this time individually and not representatively) which are worthy to retain God's gift (life) everlastingly, and who are unworthy of it. This is the second offer of this gift of life (second life). This time it is offered through Jesus Christ our Lord, who as the Father's faithful agent gave himself for our ransom: and those found unworthy of this second life, under this second trial are sentenced to death – the second death.
The failure in the first trial was the result not of imperfection; for God created man "upright," "very good," "in the image of God," but it was the result of lack of experience, lack of knowledge. This lack of knowledge, God was ready and willing to supply the place of, for he proposed to give man the benefit of divine knowledge through laws and instruction. But as God had foreseen and saw good to permit, man chose to make an experience of his own by disobeying divine counsel. God has redeemed all from that first transgression and its condemnation and granted another, a second trial, knowing that some after their bitter experience in disobedience, will in the second trial choose life, by choosing to be obedient to all his just and loving arrangements and laws.
The second trial is final. There is no hint of another redemption for any who in the second trial are found worthy of the second death, unworthy of the second or restored life. On the contrary we are assured that any who spurn this second offer of life need hope for no more favor; for "Christ dieth no more," death shall never again have dominion over him; – he is death-proof, immortal, now. A third trial is never suggested in Scripture; consequently there could not be a third death, and none is mentioned. Furthermore, none who have reasonable minds and comprehend the subject fully, could expect a third or more trials; because the second is arranged on so comprehensive a scale as to leave no use for more. The Millennial age will furnish full KNOWLEDGE and full ABILITY to all. "The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." (Hab. 2:14.) The weaknesses of heredity will no longer weigh men down; it will no longer be a true proverb, "the fathers ate a sour grape [of sin] and the children's teeth are set on edge. But then it shall be, that he that eateth the sour grape (sinneth), his (own) teeth (only) shall be set on edge. The soul [being] that sinneth [wilfully and deliberately against full light and ability] IT SHALL DIE." – See Ezk. 18:20 and Jer. 31:29,30.
It should not need much argument to convince any reasonable being that the second trial for the second or redeemed life is here referred to, and not the first trial in Eden,* on account of which we are born in sin, shapen in iniquity, and come forth to a few short years of dying and groaning. It clearly refers to the trial of the world in the Millennial age, the second trial; and it shows, as we have already seen, that in that trial some will be found worthy of the second life, and that the wilful sinner will share in the second death, the penalty upon all failing under the second trial; the conditions of which could not be more favorable than they have been arranged for.
"I have set before thee this day life and good, death and evil." "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live." – Deut. 30:15,19.
The words here quoted are from Moses to Israel. To appreciate these words we must remember that they as a people and all their covenants, etc., had a typical significance. The above words "choose life" seem to imply that Israel was placed upon trial for life or death. But not so, they like all others of the race were already under condemnation of death through Adam's disobedience in the first trial, and could not be placed on full trial again, until redeemed from the first condemnation or curse of death.
God knew that they could not obtain life by keeping the Law, no matter how much they would choose to do so, because they like all others were weak, depraved through the effect of the sour grape of sin which Adam had eaten and which his children had continued to eat. Thus as Paul declares, the Law given to Israel could not give them life because of the weakness or depravity of their fallen nature. Rom. 8:3, Heb. 7:19 and 10:1-10.
Nevertheless God saw a benefit to them from even an unsuccessful attempt to live perfectly; that it would develop them as well as show them the need of the better sacrifice, the ransom, and a greater deliverer than Moses. And with all this it furnished a pattern or shadow of the great second trial insured to the whole world (which Israel typified) secured by the better sacrifices for sin; which was there prefigured, to be accomplished by the great prophet of whom Moses was but a type.
Seeing thus that the trial for life or death presented to Israel was but typical of the great second trial and its issues of life and death – second (or restored) life and second death – may help some to see that the great thousand-year-day of trial, of which our Lord Jesus has been appointed the Judge, contains the two issues, life and death. All will then be called upon to decide, and a choice must be made, and the verdict in the end will be in harmony with the choice expressed by the conduct of each during that age of trial, under most favorable opportunity.
This second trial and its sentence and result is shown also in the words of Moses quoted by Peter (Acts 3:22,23), "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me. Him shall ye hear [obey] in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul [being] which will not hear [obey] that Prophet [and thus choose life] shall be destroyed from among his people." In few words this draws our attention to the World's second trial yet future. It shows the great Prophet or Teacher raised up by God to give a new judgment or trial to the condemned race which he has redeemed from the first condemnation. It shows too the conditions of the second trial to be righteous obedience, and that with the close of that trial some will be adjudged worthy of the second or restored life, and some worthy of destruction – second death.
Jesus having redeemed all by his perfect and precious sacrifice is the head of [R892 : page 4] this great prophet, and during the Gospel age God has been selecting the members of his body, the little flock, who with Jesus shall be God's agents in judging the world. "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" – 1 Cor. 6:2.
The Lord presents the same matter to our attention in Matt. 25:31-46. There in few words he shows the trial of the world (not the church, which as members of his body are with him in glory during that Millennial reign – judging, ruling and blessing the world), and concluding the illustration of the second trial our Lord also shows the same two classes noted above and their opposite rewards – the one class who obey and come into harmony with his arrangement enter fully into the blessing of the second life, and are therefore called "blessed." The other class with every opportunity obey not, and experience the second condemnation of death, the "second death," and are thus "cursed" or condemned again.
The first trial was of mankind only, and hence its penalty or curse, the first death, was only upon man. But the second trial is to be much more comprehensive. It will not only be the trial of fallen and imperfect mankind, but it will include every other thing and principle and being out of harmony with Jehovah. "God will bring every work into judgment with every secret thing."
The "Judgment to come" will include the judgment to condemnation of all false systems – civil, social, and religious. These will be judged, condemned and banished early in that Millennial Day, the light of truth causing them to come into disrepute and finally to flee away. This judgment comes first in order, that the trial of man may proceed unhindered by error, prejudice, etc. It will include also the trial of "the angels which sinned" – those angels which kept not their first estate of purity and obedience to God. Thus it is written by the apostle of the members of the body of the great Prophet and [R893 : page 4] High Priest who is to be Judge of all – "Know ye not that the saints shall judge angels?" – 1 Cor. 6:3.
This being the case, the condemnation of the second trial (destruction, second death) will cover a wider range of offenders than the penalty or curse for failure under the first trial. In a word the second destruction at the close of the second trial is an utter destruction of every being and every thing which will not glorify God and be of use and blessing to his general creation. Thus the second death is to the perfect future age, what Gehenna the Valley of Hinnom – was to the typical city and kingdom of Israel. It will destroy and consume totally whatever is cast into it. (See article Undying Worms and Quenchless Fires.)
Thus seen the second death does not mean simply to die or be destroyed a second time; for some things will be destroyed in the "second death" which never were destroyed before; for instance, Satan never yet died, so it could not mean death a second time to him. So too some of the systems of error which will be destroyed in the Gehenna, which is the second death, never were destroyed before: hence this second death in which they will be destroyed cannot be considered as their destruction a second time. The second death, or destruction, is the name of the destruction which will come upon every evil thing as the result or verdict of the second judgment, the "judgment to come."
Several prophetic pen pictures of the Millennial Age and its work in chapters 20 and 21 of Revelation, clearly show the object and result of that age of trial, in harmony with the balance of the Scriptures as just noted in the preceding articles.
Chapter 20 verses 2,4,11 with verses 1,2,10,11, of chapter 21 shows the beginning of the age of judgment, the restraining of blinding errors, and misleading systems. The beast and the false prophet are the chief symbols and represent organizations or systems of error which we will not here pause to explain. (We have done so heretofore, and will do so again D.V. in a succeeding volume of Millennial Dawn.) This judgment against the "thrones" of the present time, and against "the beast and false prophet" systems, follows speedily upon the introduction of this Millennial judgment reign. The thrones of present dominion of earth will be "cast down" and the dominion transferred to the great Prophet and Judge. (Compare Dan. 7:9,14,22.) And the systems of error will be speedily judged worthy of destruction, the lake of fire, the second death. – See Rev. 19:20.
Thus the second destruction (or death) begins quite early in the new Judgment – with the systems of error. But it does not reach men as individuals until they have first had full trial with fullest opportunity to choose life and live forever. Chapters 20:12,13 and 21:3-7 indicate the blessed favorable trial in which all both dead and living [except the church who are with Christ Jesus, kings, priests, joint-heirs, and judges] will be brought to a full knowledge of the truth, relieved from sorrow and pain, and freed from every blinding error and prejudice, and tried "according to their works."
The grand outcome of that trial will be, a clean Universe. As the Revelator expresses it, "Every creature which is in heaven and on the earth...heard I saying, Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the lamb forever." But this result will be accomplished in harmony with all God's dealings past and present, which have always recognized man's freedom of will to choose good or evil, life or death.
We cannot doubt that when in the close of the Millennial age God will again for a "little season" permit Evil to triumph, in order thereby to test his creatures then thoroughly acquainted with both good and evil and the consequences of each, and to demonstrate to all of them his justice, that those who finally prefer and choose evil will be cut off, destroyed. Thus God will for all eternity remove all who do not love righteousness and hate iniquity.
We read regarding that testing, that Satan will endeavor to lead astray all mankind whose numbers will then be as the sand of the sea for multitude: but that many of them will choose evil and disobedience, with past experience before them, and unhampered by present weaknesses and blinding influences, we cannot suppose. However, when God does not tell us either the number or proportion of those found worthy of life, and those judged worthy of death (the second death), we may not dogmatize. Of one thing we may be confident, God willeth not the death of the wicked, but would that all should turn to him and live; and no one shall be destroyed in that "lake of fire and brimstone" (figurative of utter destruction, as Gehenna) who is worthy of life, whose living longer would be a blessing to himself or to others in harmony with righteousness.
That utter and hopeless destruction is intended only for willful evil doers, who like Satan, in pride of heart and rebellion against God, will love and do evil notwithstanding the manifestations of God's disapproval, and notwithstanding their experience with its penalties. Seemingly the goodness and love of God in the provision of a ransom, restitution, and second chance for man, instead of leading these to an abhorrence of sin, will lead them to suppose that God is too loving to cut them off in the second death, or that if he did so, he would give them other and yet other chances. Building thus upon a supposed weakness in the divine character, these may be led to try to take advantage of the grace (favor) of God, and to use it as a license for willful sin. But they shall go no further, for their folly shall be manifest. Their utter destruction will prove to the righteous the harmony and perfect balance of Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power in the divine Ruler. Such are called the angels (messengers, followers, servants,) of Satan. And for such as well as for Satan, the utter destruction of the second death is prepared by the wise, loving and just Creator. And so, in the parable of the sheep and goats the latter are called messengers or servants of Satan. To them he will say, "Depart from me ye cursed [cursed a second time having been relieved and released from the first curse of death and now condemned or accursed a second time for their own willful sin] into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his messengers. The fire is a symbol of destruction as much as the sheep and goats are symbols, hence the thought would be as in Revelation – everlasting destruction – the second death.
And so we read, These shall go away into everlasting punishment [Greek kolasin "cutting off" from life – the same word is used in Greek for the cutting off of branches from a tree]: they shall go into the punishment prescribed for willful sinners under the second trial, namely the second death.
An inference may be drawn from this parable, from the figures used by our Lord, that the willful sinners who will go into the second death will be few compared with the obedient who will enter into life; for sheep are much more numerous than goats.
The true character of the goat class is portrayed in Rev. 21:8. The fearful and unbelieving [who will not trust God], the abominable, murderers [brother haters], whoremongers, sorcerers and idolaters [such as misappropriate and misuse divine favors, who give to self or any thing or creature that service and honor which belongs to God] and all liars – "whosoever loveth and maketh a lie" [in a word, all who do not love the truth and seek for it, and at cost defend and hold it], shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone [the Gehenna, symbol of utter destruction], which is the Second Death. Such company would be repulsive to any honest, upright being. It is hard to tolerate such now, when we can sympathize with them, knowing that such dispositions are now in great measure the result of inherited weakness of the flesh. We are moved to a measure of sympathy by the remembrance that in our own cases, often when we would do good, evil is present with us. But in the close of the Second Judgment, when the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall have given every advantage and opportunity of knowledge and ability, this class will be an abhorrence and detestation to all in harmony with the King of Glory. And we shall rejoice when, the trial being ended, the gift of life, which these shall have proved themselves unworthy of, shall be taken from them, and the corrupters of the earth and all their work and influence shall be destroyed.
Rev. 20:10, tells us, that after the final test in the end of the Millennium, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire (symbol, like Gehenna, of utter destruction), and reminds us of the beast and false prophet, the systems which in the Gospel age deceived some, saying that they (these systems) shall be tormented, day and night, forever; or, as expressed [R894 : page 4] in Chap. 19:3, speaking of one of these systems, "Her smoke rises up forever and ever." That is to say, the remembrance of, or lessons attendant upon the destruction of the systems of deception and error, will be lastingly remembered – as smoke continues to ascend after a destructive fire has done its work.
Verse 14 says: "And death and hell [hades – the tomb] were cast into the lake of fire [destruction], this is the second death" – the lake of fire. – Sinaitic MS.
"Death and hell" [hades] is used several times in this book as expressive of the first death. Hades is the state or condition of death, and is sometimes translated the grave. It is called a great prison house, because those who enter it, though actually extinct, are reckoned as not extinct, but merely confined for a time, and to be brought forth to life, liberty and a new trial by him who ransomed them from the penalty of the first trial. It is in view of God's purpose and promise of a restitution of all and a second trial, that the tomb is spoken of as a great "prison house," in which the captives of death (the Adamic, or first death) await deliverance. Though dissolved in death, the identity of each being is preserved in the mind and power of God, and will be reproduced in due time by resurrection power. Hades, the prison, the tomb, is referred to by the prophet, the Master himself, and the apostles. (Hos. 13:14; Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18; John 5:28; 1 Cor. 15:55.) The grave is really a symbol of hope; for we would not speak of it as a prison house were it not for our hopes of resurrection. If we believed that death ended existence forever, all hope of release of the dead would vanish, and we would not think of them as in prison, nor hope for their deliverance.
Apply this thought to the verse under consideration, and it implies this: – The first death and the hopes of resurrection, which, by God's favor, were attached to it, will pass away or be utterly destroyed in the second death. From that time forth there will be no such thing as death under the first sentence, because of Adam's sin, and a hope of resurrection from it. That will all have been accomplished; every prisoner will have been set free from all that guilt, condemnation [R894 : page 5] and penalty of the first trial, and the sentence of the second trial, whether to second life or second death, will have fully swallowed up and destroyed the penalty of the first sentence, as well as the hopes which attached to it. Hades is never associated with the second death, because those who go into the second death are in no sense "prisoners of hope"; they are utterly destroyed, extinct, without hope of any deliverance by resurrection. Hence the propriety of hades being destroyed.
The destruction of the first death and hades commences with the beginning of the Millennial reign and continues to its close. It is a gradual process of casting into destruction. This is in harmony with Paul's explanation of Isaiah's prophecy, 1 Cor. 15:54,55, "Then [when the little flock, "we," have been changed to the full divine nature and likeness and begun to reign and bless the world – then] shall be brought to pass the saying that is written – Isa. 25:6-8, "He will destroy [cast into destruction, or in symbol "the lake of fire"] in this mountain [symbol of the "Kingdom of God" or the "New Jerusalem"] the face of the covering cast over all people [death] and the vail [ignorance] that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up [the first] death victoriously."
So then the casting of death and the grave into destruction during the Millennial age, is a part of the second destruction which will include every improper, injurious and useless thing. – Isa. 11:9; Psa. 101:5-8. But the second death, the sentence of that second trial, is final; it will never be destroyed; and let all the lovers of righteousness say Amen; for to destroy the second death, to remove the sentence of the second trial, would be to let loose again all the evil systems (beast etc.) and Satan, and all who love and practice wrong and deception, and dishonor the Lord, to oppose, offend and endeavor to overthrow those who love and desire to serve him and enjoy his favor. We rejoice that there is no danger of this, but that divine justice unites with divine wisdom, love and power to bring in everlasting righteousness on a permanent basis.
"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." – Psa. 9:17.
This statement of the Lord recorded by the Psalmist, we find without any qualification whatever, and we must accept it as a positive fact. If the claims of "Orthodoxy" were true this would be indeed a fearful thought. Hell, to them, means a place of unmitigated woe, where untold millions of human beings writhe in anguish, tortured by literal fire or the gnawing of conscience, which, say some, is even worse. Under this fearful sentence they see the vast majority of mankind hastening, as they believe, to their dreadful doom; yet feeble indeed are the efforts put forth to rescue them. Babylon still has plenty of time for social enjoyment and festivity, which, according to their belief, should be spent in an almost frenzied endeavor to save the perishing. And she still has plenty of money to spend in gratifying the pride of life and the lust of the eye which might be applied to the same purpose; but instead, witness her costly temples of fashion, her grand organs, her costly apparel, her contempt of the poor, her greed of gain and strife for worldly honors.
But let us look at the true meaning of the word hell, into which God says he will turn the wicked and forgetful nations. We find that it is the translation of the Hebrew word sheol, which simply means, the state or condition of death. There is not in it the remotest idea of either life or torment; and no scholar can by any manner of twisting or turning make it to signify anything else. And suffering of any kind would be impossible where there is no consciousness, no life. The Psalmist says, "In death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave (sheol) who shall give thee thanks?" (6:5.) And again it is written: "Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave (sheol) whither thou goest." (Eccl. 9:10.) The corresponding Greek word is hades, which also means the state or condition of death, and no other meaning can properly be attached to either. Every well educated minister knows that this is true: and ignorance on this subject is in no wise excusable in these days when books are so plentiful and so cheap. But still they go on preaching this false idea of hell, which is nothing short of a slander against the character of God, as though they were still enveloped in the ignorance of the dark ages. This very text which we are now considering, is quoted and preached from over and over again by men who ought to know, and many of whom do know the true meaning of the Hebrew word sheol, and who nevertheless in their attempt to uphold the frightful doctrine of eternal torture, knowingly pervert this Scripture.
Well, you inquire, How then did this idea first originate, and obtain such universal acceptance? We answer that it originated with Papacy, and was a part of her scheme for raising money from her ignorant and deluded subjects. Papacy taught that this place of torment was prepared for all who did not seek the protection of THE (Papal) Church. All heretics (all not of the Roman Catholic church) they claim are sure to go there; while those of THE Papal Church not counted worthy of heaven, are permitted to tarry in Purgatory, to suffer reformatory punishment, which might be shortened and relieved by the liberality of their friends in securing the prayers of the priests, etc.
No other doctrine of the Romish Church ever did so much towards holding her captives in the bondage of fear, and increasing her revenues. The Protestant Churches in emerging from Romanism rejected the doctrine of Purgatory, but retained the worse doctrine of eternal torture. Though the increase and spread of knowledge has proved it to be false, yet like Papacy, finding it to be such a powerful agent in binding her subjects, and exacting her revenues, she is loathe to part with it; and since reasoning and enlightened minds are beginning to question this dogma, her policy now is, to put the brakes on reason, and to hurl her anathemas against investigation. If this bondage of fear were once broken, and God's children relied entirely on His Word, these great systems of error would soon dissolve.
If we substitute the true meaning of the word sheol, our text will read: "The wicked shall be turned into the condition of death, and all the nations that forget God." This we believe; but next, Who are the wicked? In one sense all men are wicked, in that all are violators of God's law, but in its fullest sense the wicked are those who, with full knowledge of the exceeding sinfulness of sin and the remedy provided for their recovery, wilfully persist in sin and refuse the remedy.
As yet few, only consecrated believers, have come to a knowledge of God; the world knows him not, and the nations cannot forget God, until they are first brought to a knowledge of him. The consecrated have been enlightened, led of the Spirit through faith to understand the deep and hidden things of God, which reveal the glory of God's character, but which, though expressed in his Word, appear only as an idle tale and foolishness to the world.
As we have hitherto seen, this will not be so in the age to come, for then "The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." (Isa. 11:9.) Much that we now receive by faith will then be demonstrated to the world by sight. When he who has ransomed man from the power of the grave (Hos. 13:14) begins to gather his purchased possession back from the prison-house of death (Isa. 61:1); – when the sleepers are awakened under the genial rays of the Sun of Righteousness, they will not be slow to realize the truth of the hitherto seemingly idle tale, that "Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man."
We have also seen by previous investigation, that the gradual ascent of the King's Highway of Holiness in that age will be easy and possible to all, when all the stones – stumbling blocks, errors, etc. – shall have been gathered out, and straight paths made for their feet. It is in that age that this text applies. Those who shall ignore the favoring circumstances of that age, and will not be obedient to the righteous Judge or Ruler – Christ – will truly be the wicked. And every loyal subject of the kingdom of God will approve the righteous judgment which turns such a one again into sheol – the condition of death. Such a one would be unworthy of life, and were he permitted to live his life would be a curse to himself and to the rest of mankind, and a blemish on the work of God.
This will be the SECOND DEATH, from which there will be no resurrection. Having been ransomed from the first or Adamic death (sheol) by the sacrifice of Christ, if they die again on account of their own sin, "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." (Heb. 10:26.) "Christ dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him." (Rom. 6:9.) This second death should be dreaded and shunned by all, since it is to be the final end of existence to all those deemed unworthy of life. But in it there can be no suffering. Like the first death, it is the extinction of life.
It is because mankind had, through sin, become subject to death (sheol, hades) that Christ Jesus came to deliver us and save us from death. For this purpose Christ was manifested, that he might destroy death. (1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14.) Death is a cessation of existence, the absence of LIFE. There is no difference between the condition in the first and second deaths, but there is hope of a release from the first, while from the second there will be no release, no return to life. The first death sentence passed upon all on account of Adam's sin, while the second death can be incurred only by wilful, individual sin.
That the application of our text belongs to the coming age is evident, for both saints and sinners all go into sheol now, and this scripture indicates, that in the time when it applies, only the wicked shall go there. And the nations that forget God must be nations that have known him, else they could not forget him; and never yet have the nations been brought to that knowledge, nor will they until the coming time, when the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth, and none shall need to say unto his neighbor, Know thou the Lord, for all shall know him, from the least to the greatest of them. (Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34.) In further proof of this, we find that the Hebrew word shub, which in our text is translated turned, signifies turned back, as to a place or condition where they once were. They once were in sheol, and were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and will be brought out of sheol; but if then they are wicked, they, and all who forget God, shall be turned back to sheol.
In our July issue we classed among others who deny the ransom, and thus reject the work of Christ and teach another gospel (Gal. 1:6,7), the so-called Mind-curers and Christian Scientists. Some of our readers not having noticed this in their teachings, requested our re-examination of the subject, suggesting that there is a difference between so-called Mind-curers and Christian Scientists, and that while the former ignore God and our Lord Jesus, the latter acknowledge them and claim to perform cures in the merit of Christ and by the power of God.
We have re-examined the subject, and reach the conclusion that the two classes of healers work on exactly the same principles, except that the Christian Scientists find it prudent, in that it becomes popular with a much larger class, to call it Christian, and to refer occasionally to God and to our Lord Jesus, and to quote here and there texts from the Bible, which for most part are out of connection or wholly misapplied to their "science." Doubtless some children of God are for a time at least deceived, and fail to get the real idea, and place a religious and favorable construction of their own upon the sayings and doings of these scientists.
The "scientists" are mostly women, one of whom – the author, inventor or discoverer of the science – writes her name "Rev. Mrs. M. B. G. Eddy" in the Christian Science Journal which she edits. She teaches her disciples the "science" for the sum of three hundred dollars, and gives them six lessons in theology for two hundred dollars additional. If the price be a good criterion by which to gauge the value of this "other gospel" and its teacher, it is certainly far in advance of that of Jesus and the apostles and their message.
The basis of their theory, as set forth in this official Journal, is that the real man is an immaterial being, whose body is his house, and has no more real feeling than the wooden or brick house in which it in turn dwells. They claim that pain and sickness are really nothing but mental ailments, imaginations; and that if people can be made to believe they are well and sound, their bodies would rapidly become so; – they would not be subject to sickness and pain, but would gradually go on to perfection, and thus death would cease to reign and Christian Science be the great Deliverer or Saviour.
It calls Christ the "Master Christian Scientist," yet really it puts the Rev. [R894 : page 6] Mrs. Eddy as the Great Christian Scientist, the teacher over and above all others whose efforts are already more successful than those put forth by Jesus in advancing the science, and in whose hand now the whole world is to be revolutionized and brought to endless life and freedom from all pain, sickness and death. If, therefore, Jesus were a Christian Scientist who was trying but failed to do what Mrs. Eddy claims she will succeed in doing, it follows that she, and not our Lord, is the great teacher, saviour and deliverer of the dying human race.
"It [Christian science] is still centuries ahead of the world in its teachings. When its author planted her feet on the rock of Truth, twenty years ago, saying, 'All is mind, there is no matter; all is life, there is no death; all is good, there is no evil; all is love, there is no hate,' who listened, who saw, who read, who cared? Oh, faithful one! we can come into a true conception of thee, sharing thy love and power, only when we pattern our ways after thine, heeding thy precious words. Oh, patient Mother! we see thee dearer as we grow older in truth. We learn that THIS BOOK which thou hast bequeathed to us [Science and Health, price $3.00] is the outgrowth and epitome of a life spent in closest walks with God. We are willing now to follow as thou leadest,...as thou revealest to us the mother-side of God! We take this blessed key which thou dost place in the hands of the faithful to unlock the seals of error. This discovery of the Truth, that heals as well as saves, has made her as truly the Deliverer of this people as was Moses to the children of Israel."
This quotation, we doubt not, is quite sufficient for our readers, to show the tendency of this Christian science to be anti-Christian – in opposition to Christ, replacing him and his words by the false teachings of this woman and her science [R895 : page 6] falsely so called, which makes void the words of God concerning sin, death, the ransom, the mode of deliverance and the Deliverer. By a further quotation it will be seen that God, though often referred to by them as good and kind and loving, etc., is not considered as a personal being, but as a PRINCIPLE OF GOOD, after the idea of the Brahmins of India.
"When I first understood that 'God is principle, and not person,' it was like a great light suddenly shining."
Another writer in the same states it thus: – "What is Christian Science? The understanding of an everywhere-present and everywhere-powerful PRINCIPLE OF GOOD. What are the purpose and result of Science and Health? To explain the whole of this PRINCIPLE, to reduce divine love to human perception, to interpret God on a purely practical and scientific basis,...that each may at once begin to understand GOOD."
"Man is an inventor of disease as well as of other things, and the doctors are busy at all times encouraging their patients to develop their inventions and take out patents therefor, death being the final patent or perfected invention. ...The medical fraternity are ever inspecting and probing the body of man in search of some new symptom, ailment, or disease, and what they look for they generally find or help the patient to find." Again we read (page 85), "Let the diseases of mortal thought come to an end; then the diseases of the body will perish, for these are nothing but abnormal thoughts."
As a sample of how these would-be teachers destroy or make void the Scriptures, darken the understanding, and cover the truth, in their endeavor to have some texts fit their theory, we quote from the editorial columns as follows (p. 90, 91): –
"'The soul that sinneth, it shall die,' means, that mortal man (alias material sense) that sinneth shall die; and it is the commonly accepted view that soul is deathless. Such is the divine mind, for soul cannot be formed or brought forth by human thought, and must proceed from God; hence it must be sinless, and destitute of self-created or derived capacity to sin." [In other words, this Scientist, in a roundabout way, contradicts the Scripture she attempts to explain, and teaches that the soul can neither sin nor die.] She continues: "Now, if soul sinned, it would die, for 'the wages of sin is death.'"
Page 86 explains that "the power over disease was NOT A SPECIAL GIFT, but an understanding." [Compare this with Paul's statements, 1 Cor. 12:7-11,28-31.] On page 97 we read: "We are growing into that state where human possibilities and powers expand to their ultimate limits, and are pushing on toward the divine development as sons and daughters of Good." On page 91 the editor speaks of Jesus Christ as the Master Metaphysician; and on page 102 she declares herself the discoverer of the science of mind-healing. Then, with the same inconsistency which marks every topic of this journal, we read a contradiction to this "discovery" and "development" theory in the editor's remarks on page 94. She there hints that Jesus was even greater than herself and perhaps a co-discoverer of the "science" (?), though she ignores the apostles. She says: "Some day Christian Science will enable us to enjoy a treat without raising the fruit, compounding the cake, freezing the cream, or buying the sugar; just as Jesus fed the multitude without procuring the loaves and fishes through the usual channels of supply..."[not through a gift of miraculous power, mark you, but] "through the power of the mind." She argued that "if belief PRODUCES DISEASE, and its removal leaves health to have its perfect work, then false belief may also prevent the perfect fulfilment of spirit in all our material surroundings, flowers and fruit not excepted."
This "scientist" (?) evidently sees that to claim that diseases are merely mental affections, would demand a similar explanation, of the same principle when applied to the lower animals and "flowers and fruits" and this she offers in the above statement. "False belief" may prevent perfect "flowers and fruits." This is consistent, but at what a cost! At the cost of common sense and reason. At the cost of reasonable people doubting her sanity, this editor thus claims that not only human ailments are all mental emotions, imaginations, and not realities, not actual, but also that the blight and imperfections of plants and fruits and flowers are the result of their mental imaginations.
And yet it is more reasonable to believe this concerning plants and flowers than for a man or woman who has experienced pain to convince himself that he only imagined the pain from the ulcer, the wound, the bruise, or amputation. How about the various diseases of children? How could they imagine themselves into the measles, croup, etc., etc., before they are old enough to think at all? And why do they all always imagine the same ailments if it is imagination? This is as contrary to reason as the thought of a flower or tree blighting and dying from a "false belief" that it is decaying and dying.
This so-called "Christian Science" is of itself unworthy of so much attention as we have given it, but the fact that some of our readers have been deluded by it, is our justification. The system is a mixture of a very little truth with a great deal of theorizing, and as a whole, it is directly antagonistic to the truth.
It rightly claims that sickness and pain and death are abnormal conditions, that these are not the conditions under which God designed man should live. They err greatly when they think these things wholly imaginary (though undoubtedly some are in part at least imagined). They ignore often, and sometimes deny the fall of man, as recorded in Genesis, and taught by Jesus and the apostles. Denying this they see no reason why sickness, pain and death are in the world, except imagination. They see not that by sin came death and all its train of misery. Hence they see not the ransom feature of Christ's work, and place him on a plane with their teacher, Mrs. Eddy, the subsequent discoverer of the same science of healing which they say Jesus practiced. To them Jesus is a Saviour of the same kind, only to a less degree than Mrs. Eddy, since he merely attempted to introduce the "science," but failed, while she, the later discoverer of the science, it is claimed is succeeding and will fully succeed: and hence she will be the real Saviour and Jesus the unsuccessful deliverer.
Blinded by their theory, they see not the great divine plan of the ages, nor the relationship in that plan, of sin, pain and death to the ransom given eighteen hundred years ago, and the resulting restitution of the age now dawning. Consequently the wonderful growth of knowledge upon various subjects witnessed in the past twenty years, and the incipient steps toward restitution such as faith cures, mind cures, etc., they regard as the natural development or growth; while we, instructed by the Word of God, see them to be marks of the dawning of the new age, because it is "due time" for him who redeemed all to begin the great work of restoring those whom he ransomed.
That these who call themselves "Christian Scientists" are somewhat different from what are called "Mind Curers" or "Mind Healers" we admit; yet their methods and theories seem to be exactly the same, except that the so called Christian Science is more deceptive in that it clothes itself as a messenger of light, calls itself Christian, and quotes and misapplies Scripture where it can. It even prints a cross upon the title page of its organ, "The Christian Science Journal," from the July '86 number of which, the above quotations are made.
How many cures they do we know not, nor does it matter. Neither class of mind curers however, claim to do them through the merit of the ransom; on the contrary they ignore all necessity for a ransom when they ignore the reality of sin and its consequences, claiming that it is all imagination.
Yet nerve thy spirit to the proof,
And blanch not at thy chosen lot;
The timid good may stand aloof,
The sage may frown – yet faint thou not.
Nor heed the shaft so surely cast,
The foul and hissing bolt of scorn;
For with thy side shall dwell at last
The victory of endurance born.
And they shall go forth and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. – Isa. 66:24.
It is good for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell [Gehenna]; where their worm dieth not and their fire is not quenched. – Mark 9:48. Verses 44 and 46 are omitted by old MSS. See Rev. Version.
The figure here used by the Prophet and by our Lord, represents the utter destruction of the second death. We say figure, because it must be evident to the surface reader even, that there are no immortal worms and that a fire which would burn ceaselessly is not conceivable.
The basis of fact upon which the figure rests is alluded to in our Lord's reference to Gehenna (translated hell in the common English versions). Gehenna was the Greek name for a valley outside Jerusalem called in Hebrew, "The valley of Hinnom." It was the place for depositing the offal, garbage, carcases and filth in general of the City, and in it fires of sulphur were kept burning to destroy the carcases and thus prevent infection and pestilence.
Sometimes a carcase would lodge upon a ledge of rock and not fall into the fires and then the maggots would surely destroy it. None were permitted to quench or extinguish those fires and hence they burned until the substance was consumed.
It became customary to cast the "carcases" [dead bodies] of criminals of certain classes into that Valley of Hinnom or Gehenna, instead of giving them decent burial. [Nothing was ever cast alive into Gehenna; the Jews were not permitted to torture any creature.] Thus Gehenna came to be noted and detested and dreaded as an extreme of punishment. It thus became a synonym for utter and hopeless destruction, the opinion prevailing that those decently buried would be resurrected, but that those destroyed in Gehenna were blotted out of existence forever.
With this idea already in the minds of his hearers, how appropriate that our Lord should use Gehenna as a symbol or figure for the second death, the utter and final destruction of all the incorrigible; a destruction sure and detestable among the filth and offscourings of the new order of things.
Jerusalem itself was a figure or symbol of the kingdom of God, the New Jerusalem; and even its Gehenna or valley of destruction was an appropriate figure of the second death, the utter extermination of all things abominable and filthy in the close of the Millennial age. – Rev. 22:14,15.
The prophet's remarks, point us down into the future to a time when the new heavens and new earth are fully established (verse 22) under the Prince of Glory, when full knowledge and ability having come, all transgressors will be consigned to the second death, the antitype of Gehenna, and when only the righteous shall live to serve and obey and enjoy God's blessings. Then all such shall see the justice as well as the wisdom of the utter destruction of the incorrigible, willful enemies of right. As it is written: "They shall be an abhorrence unto all flesh."
Millennial Dawn. One's first thought on taking up this volume is that it is the work of some good-meaning but over-zealous Christian who, in order to add strength to and fortify the faith that is within himself, has been led to "rush in where angels fear to tread" and to fix the day and hour of the Savior's second coming, as so many have already done. However, the reader is agreeably surprised, before he has read half a dozen pages, to find that such is not the aim and object of the book; that, on the contrary, there is nothing of the prophetic about it, and that it is the product of a wise and thoroughly Christian pen. The work is a serious and philosophical review of "the plan of salvation" as laid down in the Book of Books. No other authority is quoted except the Bible, the writer stating that it is his endeavor to divorce his subject as completely as possible from all opinions of men, and to give his readers the truth undefiled from the fountain head. The work is admirable in many ways, being produced in a style sufficiently pleasant and attractive to at once fix the attention of the reader, while the subject matter, relating, as it does, to the "old, old story," can never grow prosy or dull. The book is calculated to do good to all, whether a young recruit, an old soldier of the cross, or one blindly groping in the dark. As a reference book for the Bible student it is invaluable, and no Christian household should be without it.– Galveston News, Sept. 5, '86.
I am astonished at the depth of knowledge the book contains. In my judgment there never has been before the public a work to equal Millennial Dawn. It ought to be in the hands of every minister.G. A. SLOTE.
Millennial Dawn, the Plan of the Ages. A remarkable book! A book for the times! It is emphatically A Helping Hand for Bible Students. In these latter days, when Christians are so eagerly seeking the light of God's word, to interpret passing events and to forecast the dawning future, so pregnant with tremendous import to all mankind, this book comes as a soothing, satisfying draught from the fountain of all truth, knowledge and wisdom. Every earnest seeker after truth, every sincere student of the Bible, will do well to secure a copy of this remarkable book at once and enjoy the feast of fat things which it contains.– J. E. Jewett in Christian Herald, Oct. 7, '86.
I have never been so interested in any work on the Bible. I am carried away and lifted up. I think it is the very pith of the word of God. It seems I would give all I had if I could only get all Christians to read it. It does seem that the writer has gotten right down to facts as they are in Scripture. I cannot but think how blind I and all the world have been on many things now so plain and Scriptural to me. May God bless the author and more and more reward his search for the "deep things" of His word.A. H. BLUNT.
It is thoroughly refreshing, in this age of skepticism and vaunted indifference to the truths of religion, to find a writer coming nobly forward to maintain the principle of a revealed religion. This the author has done with strength and good reasoning in his Millennial Dawn. A concise idea of his position in regard to the Bible may be gleaned from the following extract: "When Columbus discovered the Orinoco river some one said he had found an island. He replied: 'No such river as that flows from an island. That mighty torrent must drain the waters of a continent.' So the depth, and power, and wisdom, and scope of the Bible's testimony convinces us that not men, but the Almighty God, is the author of its plans and revelations."– Evening Post, San Francisco, Cal.
"I never read any work on the Bible that presented such a vast amount of truth in so small a compass in my life."W. HAYMAN.
Millennial Dawn is the title of a series of books issued by the Tower Publishing Company. The first [R897 : page 8] volume of the series, now on our table, is entitled The Plan of the Ages. It is nothing less than an exposition of the purposes and method of the Supreme Being in the creation of mankind and in the economy of human and angelical affairs. It may be described as a philosophy of history, but a philosophy so far-reaching [R898 : page 8] in its grasp and so comprehensive in its range as to make the expositions of Bossuet, and even of Augustine, seem narrow and prosaical. What, with manifest hyperbole, Dr. Johnson said of Shakespeare, seems literal truth when applied to this Pittsburgh writer: –'Existence sees him spurn her bounded reign,
Readers will cease to suspect any ironical meaning or intent in these statements, when they reflect that the writer of this Plan of the Ages professes to be merely an interpreter of Scriptural prophecies and an expositor of divinely attested facts, soaring upon the wings of inspiration, and not of his own natural powers.
That the author of the book is in earnest, fully believing in the sufficiency of his own insight and in the soundness of his interpretations, no attentive reader can doubt. So much is manifest from the direct, straightforward style, as well as from the modest confidence with which he ignores antagonism or the possibility of contradiction.
Some of his interpretations and applications of Biblical texts are striking at least, and some of the views expressed are certainly novel and ingeniously presented. The references to the industrial, social and other troubles of the present time give a practical character to many pages of the book, showing that the author is by no means a mere dreamer. To persons, therefore, who take pleasure in Scriptural interpretation, or in the application of Scripture to contemporary history and questions of the day, this Plan of the Ages may be safely commended as likely to be interesting.– Pittsburgh Times, Sept. 28, '86.
"It is a strong writing, showing much research and excellent arrangement and method in its treatment of its subjects. None will doubt the honesty or earnestness, or the intended devotion to truth of the author. Christian readers may find teachings in the book to combat, but they will find much more to commend. From a scholarly stand-point the book will be marked as one of merited literary excellence."– Inter-Ocean, Chicago, Ill.
Millennial Dawn, the Plan of the Ages, is a first or introductory volume to a series of works intended to arrest skepticism by reason and Scriptural truth. To Bible students its pages will be found of most absorbing interest. Its arrangement is clear, and every page bears evidence of profound thought as well as patient and intelligent study of the Holy Scriptures. The Scriptural story has been fitted to the history of the world in a manner that is singularly compatible and highly suggestive to the minds of those who are willing to read further than the dedicatory page, which reads thus: "To the King of Kings and Lord of Lords: In the interest of his Consecrated 'Saints,' waiting for the adoption, and of 'All that in every place call upon the Lord' – 'The Household of Faith,' and of the Groaning Creation Travailing and Waiting for the Manifestation of the Sons of God, this work is dedicated."
It may not be a palatable truth, nor a fact creditable to the mental or moral status of the American people, yet it is undeniable that when an author has studied the Scriptures until he gets "a new light" on the subject, and begins to teach the second coming of Christ, the advent of the Millennium, etc., and publishes this to the world, they are apt to scoff at him as "a crank," or to use the more scriptural language: – "Saul, Saul, much learning hath made thee mad."
If the author be mad there is an excellent system in his madness, and if "a crank," his mind never takes the reverse motion. He presses steadily forward from premises apparently well settled to his conclusions, with an orderly and calm arrangement of strictly logical truths seldom paralleled, and the whole argument is presented in such a dispassionate style as to preclude the slightest notion of rant, cant or insincerity. The independence of thought and originality of "The Plan of the Ages," are refreshing, but it is a work which demands careful study to comprehend. It is one that will require the average reader to keep a Bible constantly at hand for verification of the references and amplification of assertions, and in this respect may become a helping hand to Bible students.
The author draws many startling analogies, showing the aptitude of likening human governments to beasts, drawing the parallel from their selfish and destructive character, based on "man's idea of self-government, independent of God." Still, he must not be understood as urging therefore that the Church should assume control of the affairs of State, and therein reads a wholesome lecture in a few words to many ecclesiastical politicians. He says: – "The Church of God should give its entire attention and effort to preaching the Kingdom of God, and to the advancement of the interests of that Kingdom according to the plan laid down in the Scriptures. If this is done faithfully, there will be no time or disposition to dabble in the politics of present governments. Jesus had no time for it; the Apostles had no time for it; nor have any of the Saints who are following their example."
Although the Apostle speaks of the Church as the Kingdom over which Christ reigns, and the Church is frequently called the Kingdom in the parables of our Lord, yet the author maintains that this has reference merely to the Church before the Second Coming and is but the "incipient, embryotic condition" of the Kingdom.
In short, he does not believe that the Kingdom of God is figurative, but that it is an actual empire to be established on earth and among men, that Christ in person will assume the reins of government on earth "for a limited time and for a particular purpose; and that it will terminate with the accomplishment of that purpose." This will be the Millennial age, and will end when Christ delivers up the dominion of earth to the Father. (1 Cor. 15:25; Matt. 25:34.)
The author's work evinces a keen observation of and lively interest in the present situation of mankind; his array of facts tending to show from the present aspect of affairs in the world as they are "shaping themselves for the rapidly approaching conflict" are not alarming, but they force themselves on the attention of the intelligent, even though we may not be able to see as clearly as himself that the "trouble of the day of the Lord is immediately at hand." And, it may be added, that in a commercial community, enjoying the comforts of wealth and the comparative security of governments founded on the will of the people, they will be saints indeed who can be expected "to abandon the strife of greed and vain glory and its discontent; striving for the higher riches and the peace they do afford."– Commercial Gazette, Pittsburgh, Oct. 9, '86.
Millennial Dawn is even more than I could have possibly hoped for: so loyal to God's Word, while so true to moral logic, and competent to convince the mind and heart of the truths of our holy religion and its "future glory."J. COBB.
Millennial Dawn. We have here what seems intended to be the first of a series of volumes under this general title, and which is designated as The Plan of the Ages. Prefixed to the volume is a chart which is designated as the Chart of the Ages, and which embraces two dispensations and an unfulfilled part of another. The first dispensation extends from the creation of the world to the flood, covering a supposed period of 1,656 years. The second dispensation – that of this present evil world – embraces the Patriarchal Age, the Jewish Age from Jacob's death to the end of the seventy weeks, and the Gospel Age, extending from Jesus' baptism to the completion of the church, which is his body. The third age, not yet begun, is the Millennial Age, or that of the personal reign of Christ. Of course the volume is what is known as pre-millennial – with additional views, which probably many pre-millennialists will not endorse. The writer enforces the idea of three "ways" in the Scriptures: The Broad Way – to destruction; the Narrow Way – to life; and the Highway of Holiness – for the ransomed of the Lord. He also holds that the first great judgment was in Eden, but that God will give the world a second trial under Christ, in person and as judge. With all this, and with other positions to which exceptions may be taken, the work is thoroughly reverent, and may be read with profit.– The Interior, Chicago, Sept. 16, '86.
The author of the well-known publications, Why Evil Was Permitted and The Tabernacle and Its Teachings, has sent forth another volume entitled Millennial Dawn, the Plan of the Ages." It is the first of a series designed to make plain the teachings of the Bible and arrest skepticism and infidelity. It is intended especially as a help for Christians, and this purpose is well carried out in the work. It will be of inestimable value to Bible students.– Buffalo News.
"I prize it very highly, and nothing in the world would please me better than to see it in the hands of every professing Christian. I think it would make real Christians of many of them."G. EICHORN.
Millennial Dawn; The Plan of the Ages. This is the first of a series of works for Bible students, – "a helping hand." The author endeavors to show that a severe conflict is approaching between Labor and Capital, between Good and Evil – Justice and Injustice, and that when the earth shall have been purified from wrong and oppression the Millennium will have come. The work is scholarly and of much interest.– Springfield (Mass.) Homestead.
Millennial Dawn will be undoubtedly very interesting to a large class of Bible students.– American Rural Home, Rochester, N.Y.
I do not intend to "notice" the book, but believe competent critics will agree that none of the many books on Evidences of Christianity, gives in such compact form and lucid phrase what Christians need to know and remember in this direction as the opening chapters on Divine Revelation in Millennial Dawn.
In the important chapters on "The Kingdom of God" and "Kingdoms of This World" there is the same masterly arrangement of the facts, and calm deductions, so far above the common idle speculation on these glorious themes.
I mention one more topic, Jehovah's Day. Surely no other student of "last things" has seen as clearly and written as boldly yet truthfully and reverently on this theme as the author of Millennial Dawn. Yet in the last chapter of his book the author has given clearer pictures of the scenes and events of the Day of Wrath, and applied the Scriptures more pertinently as God's illustrations, than in any other writings from his pen.
Every man of means who prizes the truth ought to buy a dozen or a hundred copies and sell or loan them. If you cannot preach publicly, you could not find a better substitute than copies of Millennial Dawn loaned to good minds. Here is a book no one need be ashamed to hand to the most polished or refined. If composition, breadth of thought and importance of subject are all considered, it is second to nothing on earth except alone the Book of books.
Millennial Dawn, the Plan of the Ages. This is the first of a series of volumes, each complete in itself, designed to make plain the teachings of the Bible in a manner calculated to arrest skepticism by reason and Scripture. Their special aim is to lend a helping hand to Christians in putting on the whole armor of God that in the present confusion and skepticism and tendency toward infidelity, they may be able to stand. The work is by the author of the well known publications, "Why Evil was Permitted," and "The Tabernacle and Its Teachings," which have had such an immense circulation, both in America and Great Britain.– Ohio Farmer.
TOWER PUBLISHING CO.: Deep thanks for the "helping hand," Millennial Dawn. It is indeed "still waters," and "green pastures," so filling sometimes as to cause fear of a thorn in the flesh to prevent being lifted up above measure. Marvelous are these revelations of the jewels of God's love and plan! I fear of missing them, but cannot think that any can be permitted to develop capacity to taste to exhilaration of this new wine, and yet miss the fruition.
There is a promise connected with spiritual hunger, but this surely goes beyond that. It is delicious feasting on the fat things themselves.JOHN C. STEVENS.
I have received the Dawn, and have not ceased until I have gone through it. What a feast of fat things is opened to those who will run patiently the race for the crown. If I could not get another Dawn, money to any amount would not buy the one I have. It is another book I shall prize above rubies.JAMES PUTTICK.
"I do not say that there is no other such book as Millennial Dawn, the Plan of the Ages, but if there is another such work I am sorry I did not come across it sooner in life. No treatise on the Bible known to me will hold a candle to this book. It starts just where I have always thought a theological book ought to start, by proving and establishing a groundwork for faith before it addresses faith. It shows the reasonableness of believing that there is a God, an intelligent Creator, then aside from the Bible shows that the fact of a Bible as a revelation of God's will and plan is reasonable. Then it shows in few words the oneness and harmony and reasonableness of the Bible itself. But this last it proves beyond question as a whole, for from first to last every argument is based upon reason and Scripture, and by the comprehensiveness and grand symmetry of the Plan of the Ages which this volume presents, it proves beyond question, not only that the Plan is a divine one, but at the same time, that the Bible which contains that plan is a divine revelation.
It is valuable beyond price to all truth seekers – skeptical and others – but who to-day, amid the clamoring creeds, is not in doubt and to some extent skeptical? He who has not longed for some more tangible, more reasonable and more solid basis of faith and hope than is generally possessed by Christians, either has little brain capacity or will not allow himself to think.
Oh! I long to have fellow-Christians illumined by the light of God's Word which this book so marvelously reflects. And imbued with its spirit of consecration, all would indeed be saints. I shall do what I can to bring it to the attention of the household of faith, believing that I can in no other way do them so much good, or so honor God. It cannot fail to bring forth rich fruit of grace, knowledge and love wherever it is read, or rather where it is studied prayerfully by earnest, truth-seeking children of God.
As for me, my feet had well nigh slipped – I was almost an Infidel, disgusted with the unreasonableness of much of the theology and the contradiction one of another of the various religious denominations, all of which I ignorantly supposed to be taught in the Bible. But I thank God that the "glad tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people," as presented in the Plan of the Ages, reached my eyes and heart. It has put a new song in my mouth, even the loving kindness of our God. For this I shall ever praise the giver of every good, and in my humble way shall delight to spend and be spent, in letting the light of the Plan of the Ages shine into other and still other hearts, to refresh and bless and strengthen them as my own has been."W. BELL.
"I have read Millennial Dawn with great interest and am reading it a second time. I think it the best book I ever read, except God's book, the Bible. I purpose sending for more and lending them to worthy ones wherever I can find them; so that they also may know the riches of the grace of our God."J. T. WILSON.
"I am delighted with the book, and think it likely to induce the careful investigation of educated skeptics. I have already had five copies and now want forty more. I want to do what I can to put this book into the hands of truth seekers. I long for the next volume."E. HORNE.
Both Church and State are shown to be involved in the trouble of the Day of the Lord, social, political and financial. In no other book are the Scriptures bearing on these topics so pertinently applied. Mankind will soon be asking the question, "Watchman, what of the night?" and the answer is here given – The morning cometh – the blessed reign or Day of Christ – and also the night; for the word of warning it gives is needed concerning "Jehovah's Day" which closes the world's sad 6,000 years of night, and introduces the Millennial age of glory, the world's Sabbath. I wish a million readers were each in possession of a copy. Its composition, thought and importance of subject, are all that could be desired.
"I am surprised at the truth it reveals. Truly "the half was never told." I am greatly blessed in the study of God's Word, which is made more plain."C. E. COOK.
A volume that will surely be appreciated by Bible students, is Millennial Dawn, The Plan of the Ages. It is the first of a series of volumes designed to make plain the teachings of the Bible, in a manner calculated to arrest skepticism, by Reason and Scripture, the special aim being to lend a helping hand to Christians in putting on the whole armor of God, that in the present confusion, the skepticism and tendency toward Infidelity, they may be able to stand. It is certainly a book that will be welcomed even by those of skeptical minds, for a kindly feeling of forbearance and respect for opposing opinions pervades its pages, and the objectionable dogmatism and evidences of bigotry, so common in the majority of such arguments, are evidently unfamiliar to the mind of the truly Christian and scholarly editor. Millennial Dawn will, we predict, have a very large sale. We heartily commend it to our readers.– Detroit Commercial Advertiser, Sep. 24, 1886.
"Words fail me to express my appreciation of the book. The reading of it was the grandest feast I ever enjoyed. How much I wish that every earnest seeker after the truth could have a copy of it. If it were possible to spare the money I would order several copies to lend, but for the present I am doing what I can with my one copy."N. RANEY.
Millennial Dawn. This is the first volume of a series under this title, and treats, as the author terms it, of the "Plan of the Ages." The second volume will be upon the "Times and Seasons" of Scripture. This volume takes up the subject at a point where the skeptically inclined will be most interested and proceeds with the important theme in logical order, step by step presenting the truths which the author finds in the Bible bearing upon the subject. The author, while a close reasoner, is eminently scriptural, bringing forth a "Thus saith the Lord," to substantiate all his arguments. The subject and its treatment are deeply interesting, and all seekers after the so-called hidden truths of Revelation will be delighted to find a treatise that explains so clearly things but half understood or mysterious before.– Indiana Farmer.
The Pacific Congregationalist says: "In Millennial Dawn, Vol. I., we have a much more pronounced and perfected scheme than they have yet given us at Andover. The author has given to his well-printed book of 351 pages the sub-title, The Plan of the Ages."
New York, August 23, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER: Truly the entrance of his Word giveth light! Your book, Millennial Dawn, has been used by God to so illuminate his divine revelation that the glorious view seems to have left me like one in a trance. Trained, as I have been, in the most rigidly Calvinistic school of thought, my whole self naturally and quickly assumed the defensive as I caught the spirit of the book in its opening pages. But God had beyond all doubt, been preparing my mind and heart for the childlike reception of his truth. And laying aside all prejudice, preconceived notions, and "traditions of the elders," I closeted myself for the greater part of three days with my Bible and Dawn, and earnestly seeking, in prayer, the guidance of God's Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth, I feasted upon the fat things and drank in the precious truth until I could almost say with Paul, "Whether in the body I cannot tell; or whether out of the body I cannot tell: God knoweth."
I have long since become dissatisfied and disheartened concerning the clash and din of jarring discord among opposing creeds and rival sects composing the heterogeneous "mass of baptized profession" – each division, large or small, wresting the Scriptures to conform to its own particular phase of belief, causing the Word to appear so distorted that its divine Author would fail to recognize his own production.
But, blessed be God, the Scriptures, in reality, cannot be broken, and however men may seem to pervert them to support their peculiar views, they remain unchanged and unchangeable – the Rock of Eternal truth! I praise God that he has made you instrumental in opening my eyes to behold the beautiful symmetry which the Word exhibits in the marvelous combination of its manifold and multiform parts, and in unstopping my ears to hear the delightful harmony which its many and varied notes produce when taken in their entirety.S. I. HICKEY, Presbyterian Minister.
Millennial Dawn has highly delighted and consoled me. Indeed aside from the Bible, no book is so highly prized by me. I have books which cost many times more than the Millennial Dawn, but, if I could not get another, I would not part with it for all of my books and many more besides.G. W. DICKSON.