No. 151 Robinson St., Allegheny, Pa.
C. T. RUSSELL, EDITOR.
This paper will be sent free to the interested of the Lord's poor, who will send a card yearly requesting it. "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 who 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.
We have about 150 copies of Vol. I. in paper covers (English and German), slightly soiled – not nice enough to send out as new and perfect – which we will supply at 10 cents each to TOWER subscribers, for loaning or giving away. Or, we will loan one of these to any one who will promise a careful reading and to pay return postage.
The Missionary Envelopes are not so generally used as we could wish. They are neat, cheap, and certainly attract attention and do good. Every letter of business or friendship we write, should go in one of these envelopes, accompanied by an Arp Tract or Old Theology Tract, or both, as judgment may dictate, and thus carry the good tidings in addition to what you write. We have already printed about 80,000 but the quantity should be a million or more by this time.
The price is low, merely designed to cover cost, postage, etc.; but if our readers or their friends use a cheaper grade of envelopes and buy in large quantities (5000 to 20,000 at a time), for use in mailing circulars, etc., we will be pleased to supply such at a rate that will correspond with the price of a cheaper grade – at a loss – in order to do mission work in this way.
We mailed it to all of the "Lord's Poor List" who have requested the TOWER for the present year (See Terms above), as well as to all who have paid for this year; and also, to all who requested that the paper be continued to them and who hoped to be able to pay for it during the year.
In our March issue we promised this book ("The Time is at Hand"), without extra charge, as part of this year's WATCH TOWER, to those only whose subscriptions should be received before April 1. But as we find this left too short a time for some, especially our Foreign and Pacific coast readers, we have concluded to leave the offer open until August 1. next. Therefore all whose subscriptions for the TOWER for 1889 are received up to that date, will be supplied with this book without extra charge.
Friends of the truth can therefore bestir themselves among those to whom they have sold or loaned DAWN VOL. I. and take subscriptions for the TOWER for 1889 with VOL. II. included for 50 cents; or, "The Time at Hand" alone, for 25 cents.
Many of the saints abroad, who could not meet with us here at the celebration of the Lord's Supper and subsequent meetings, have written requesting a full report of the proceedings. Such a report we would like to give, but to do so fully is impossible. If pen could portray the glow and warmth of Christian love that illuminated every countenance, the heartiness of the hand-shaking, the tones of good cheer in the words of greeting, and the fervent farewells and God bless you and speed your work, at parting, then we might give a fuller report. But all this can be better imagined than described. It was a season which afforded a blessed foretaste of the joys of the gathering of the church triumphant, when all the faithful sowers and all the faithful reapers shall rejoice together, – when the first-fruits of the harvest have all been gathered in.
The number present from abroad was the largest we have yet had, twelve states and Canada being represented, viz., Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Illinois, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey and some from far off Manitoba. Among the number present were six who had been ministers in various denominations of the church nominal, whose eyes have been anointed with the eye-salve of harvest truth, and who have left title and parsonage and salary and friends and reputation and all, to henceforth preach the glorious gospel of the blessed God; to reap in the whitened fields, esteeming the reproaches of Christ as greater riches than the treasures of the world.
But we, as usual, recognized all the consecrated ones as ministers (servants) of Christ, of his church and his truth, and made no difference, one way or another, because of past prominence in error. Remembering our Lord's words, "All ye are brethren and one is your master, even Christ," we endeavored, according to Paul's suggestion, to know no man after the flesh, but recognized each and all according to their possession and manifestation of the spirit of Christ – the spirit of [R1111 : page 1] the truth. All engaged in sacrificing their human natures and interests (much or little – their all), in the service of the truth, on the altar of love, we heartily recognize as priests – of the royal priesthood under Christ Jesus the High Priest of our profession or order.
With extra seating accommodations, our meeting hall was filled to the extent of its capacity, about 225 being present to commemorate the Lord's Supper. The first meeting, at 10 A.M. Sunday, April 14th, was of a social character, and the time was fully occupied with short addresses from various brethren, telling of the condition and prospects of the great harvest work in their places of labor, the helps and hindrances they meet, the sustaining grace they find, the good hope they have, the joy and peace they have personally found in believing the truth; with interesting incidents of personal experience as to how the harvest message reached them or some others, and of experience in the work as to how God had verified to them so many of his rich promises, such as, "I will give you a mouth and wisdom that none of your adversaries can gainsay or resist;" "Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it;" "Whosoever will do his will shall know of the doctrine;" "My grace shall be sufficient for thee;" "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age," etc.
This meeting encroached somewhat on the noon hour, and yet before two o'clock the company was again in place for the afternoon session, at which, Brother Wallace illustrated his method of presenting the outlines of the Plan of the Ages to the audiences he meets. Bro. W. was a travelling lecturer and professor of phrenology before the harvest truth reached him. When he received it, he began to mix with phrenology the good tidings of great joy for all people; and now as the truth has reached his mind and heart more fully, it has so quickened his zeal in the Master's service that the old profession is almost crowded out, except as it serves to pave the way for the glad tidings which now fills his heart and overflows at every opportunity. His talent is for public speaking, and after every lecture the DAWN is presented as a further elaboration of the great subject to which he has called attention. To illustrate his lectures, he has had the Chart of the Ages (from DAWN Vol. I.) enlarged and painted on canvas, and ornamented with pictorial illustrations of the various ages; and above all a beautiful symbolic sky representing the changing conditions of the various dispensations, from Eden to Paradise restored. God bless him, and may his talent never be turned aside from the service of the great cause.
The address by Bro. Wallace was followed by a discourse on the subject of Baptism and its import, after which at 4:30 P.M. the congregation adjourned to the baptistry of the "Disciples' church," which is kindly placed at our service, where that most impressive and solemn ceremony, symbolic of death and burial to the world, was performed. Twenty-two persons – ten of the brethren and twelve sisters – symbolized in that water-burial their own deadness to self and sin and to the various aims and hopes of the human nature – as dead to the world – to henceforth live as new creatures in Christ, making God's service, the service of his revealed plan, their chief business: this, as well as the grand consummation of resurrection in the actual likeness of the Lord, being pictured in their being raised up from the water. This solemn, symbolic burial-service, with its hymns of consecration and faith and hope and triumph through Christ, its offering of the right hand of fellowship one to another, and its prayers for the divine blessing and aid, was one never to be forgotten.
In the evening at 7:30 the assembly was again convened, for the solemn and impressive celebration of the Lord's Memorial Supper. While partaking of the emblems of our Lord's broken body, and blood shed for the remission of sins, the significance of the emblems and of our partaking of them was shown; and our hearts held sweet communion with our dear Redeemer, – praising and thanking him for his loving sacrifice on our behalf and pledging ourselves anew to his cause and to sacrifice ourselves for it now, in anticipation of his promise that such shall share also his nature, his glory and his great work of restoring all things by and by.
This simple service, so often particularly described in the Tower, lasted until 9:30 P.M., and closed as did the first occasion: we sang a hymn and went to our homes, meditating on our dear Redeemer's last night of sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane and the inestimable value of his death, as our redemption price, [R1111 : page 2] both from sin and its death penalty.
On Monday at 10 A.M. meetings for Bible study commenced which continued without intermission, except for meals and sleep, until Thursday night. The subject of the harvest – the harvest work and opportunities, and the time, etc., connected with it, and past leadings, present indications, and future prospects from the prophetic standpoint – was the almost continuous theme of all these meetings. Questions of almost every conceivable bearing upon the subject were brought forward and carefully considered in the light of the Word of God. These topics you would like us to present here at length, and we would enjoy doing so, but it would be impossible. It would fill a book. However, these subjects will be still more fully elaborated in DAWN Vol. III., now in course of preparation. It is expedient that Vol. II. and especially Vol. I. be fully digested by all of you, first, to prepare each for the still further unfoldings of the wonderful plan of our God. One point, however, is briefly treated in this paper under the caption – "The Door was Shut;" because the deeply interested have already given Vol. II. one reading, and in order that such might not be discouraged by supposing that the "door was shut" when the high calling ceased, in 1881.
All that we can tell you concerning those meetings is, that though brain and body grew weary, from the continuous sitting and continuous thinking, the hearts of all grew warmer, and zeal came to a glowing heat, as all seemed to grasp clearly the conviction that the time for service is short; that we are even now in the "eleventh hour," and that the night wherein no man can work is drawing rapidly on. The Master's voice was heard saying, "Go ye also into my vineyard and whatsoever is right I will give you" (Matt. 20:4); and many were the resolves to lay aside worldly aims and schemes and to bend every energy and concentrate effort to do "harvest" work under the direction of the Chief Reaper, our Lord, in the ways he has been, and now is, so generally and widely opening up. Each seemed to resolve to show the Master his love, and his appreciation of the privilege of being a co-worker, by redoubling his efforts.
Methods of work were discussed at two meetings, as well as late into the nights. While public speaking, lecturing on the Chart of the Ages, etc., was conceded to be good, where a talent for it is possessed and an opportunity could be had, it was nevertheless conceded that the Lord is making use of very few who have this talent specially, and is opening very few opportunities for labor of that sort in the present harvest. It was conceded that preaching by the printed word is the agency chiefly being used and blessed in this "harvest," and more than all others, DAWN Vol. I. Brothers Adamson, Rogers, Hickey, Weber and Bryan – who have sold many thousands of copies of "THE PLAN OF THE AGES," encouraged all by their reports of the Lord's blessing and the good results following to those who purchased of them. They urged and encouraged others to enter this wonderful field of labor which the Lord has opened up, and in which he provides abundantly, though not without weariness, and gives opportunity for them to deny themselves many of the advantages and comforts of a settled home life. They thanked God, too, that he had made provision for all the laborers now, so that they need not depend upon alms, nor upon collections, but while they are giving away thousands of tracts and selling a book containing sixteen sermons (chapters) on the real good tidings of great joy, at half what any other book on religious subjects is sold for, – yet under the Lord's gracious provision (through the TRACT FUND allowance of one half of all receipts for expenses) they were enabled to feed and clothe themselves decently (not elegantly) and to thus "provide things honest in the sight of all men."
As a result, several new missionaries started forth with DAWN and tracts, and good reports are daily coming in. As an illustration, three brethren full of zeal went to Detroit, Mich., where they distributed about 3000 Arp Tracts and sold about 1400 copies of The Plan of the Ages – DAWN Vol. I. – in four weeks after the meeting.
We wish all could have been here to have enjoyed the liberty and harmony, and to have become personally acquainted with each other as the Lord's members and servants, and to learn something of the Lord's special and general dealing with all. As some expressed it, it was a foretaste of the general assembling of the Church – when all the faithful shall meet with their Lord as well as with each other to recount God's favors in the past and to discuss the great work of restitution then to be ushered in.
We need not tell you that the dear scattered ones, less privileged than ourselves in the matter of this meeting, were remembered by us all, and that rich spiritual blessings upon you all were desired and invoked. And we are glad to note from very many letters received, that our Lord's Supper was so generally commemorated by those who love him and appreciate his great sacrifice for the sins of the church and the world, and we are glad, too, that so many of you were praying God's blessing upon our meeting here. No wonder we were blessed; and you, too, would share it while generously asking it upon us.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – It is very encouraging to hear from you occasionally, if only a few lines. I would no doubt write more and much oftener, if I thought there would be anything of interest to you.
Of one thing I am quite sure: If you were to be in the colporteur's place for a short time, you would have still stronger evidence of the great work being done and that is to be done by DAWN. Even Herod, I think, would say – "I find no fault." If the succeeding volumes are as worthy as the first and second, will the Lord not use it even unto the end of the Millennial age? It helps to open the eyes of the blind, to set the prisoners free, and to cause all to see the beauty of his Word.
As to the work here, I trust the result will be acceptable to the Lord. The towers of Babylon are very high in this place, but there are also not a few "little ones." These, we trust, are being found. We, in all, have about 700 names now, and hope to take three or four hundred more. Brothers Weimar and Leigh are each getting along nicely. We have little meetings of our own, which of course are encouraging to all. One who has been in this post of service for some time can find many little things to encourage a beginner. In working smaller towns it would be hardly advisable for three to go together, so we were glad to hear from the brother in Ohio, wanting a companion.
We think we shall be able to finish the work here, for the present, about the 18th of this month. Please have a box containing three or four hundred DAWNS ready to ship to us on Wednesday, if you can. I am using the Arp Tracts freely and am sure they are doing a good work.
I feel that we should get over the cities of the several states as fast as possible. Good reports are being heard from places where DAWN was introduced over a year since. Remember me when you can find a little time for writing.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Your lines came duly to hand. I rejoice to know that you are praying the dear Lord's blessing upon me and all. Through the favor of God I am getting along pretty well in the blessed harvest work. Though my feet through the day get sore from walking so much, yet in the morning they are generally restored. I think by and by it will be better as I work myself in. I am determined to endure. My heart's desire is to esteem all things a loss, on account of the excellency of the knowledge of the Anointed Jesus, my Lord. And with my whole being I do desire to press along the line towards the prize of the high calling. My sales for the first ten days run as follows: – 22, 24, 19, 18, 29, 24, 18, 18, 31, 30, total 233.
Praise the dear Lord that I am able to be a co-worker and under-reaper with Jesus the Chief-Reaper. Your Christian Brother working and watching,
[Our readers will remember Bro. Weimar as the one who left a Baptist pulpit in Meriden, Conn., recently; going forth to preach the "good tidings" without human hindrance and to a larger congregation, delivering sixteen sermons at a time, by the selling of DAWN VOL. I. His first experience, here related, is remarkably good. We know that his every sacrifice and self-denial for the truth's sake will be amply rewarded by our great Master, both with present joys and future glories. – EDITOR.] page 2
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I am just writing to encourage you by telling you how we are getting on. The other two are going to make their final deliveries Friday and Saturday and then leave for some northern town. I do not make mine till the 20th and 21st.
I am slowly but surely improving. At first I could not sell more than sixteen, but now get up to nineteen and twenty-one, and I can assure you no one is more pleased than I. I have not been getting over the ground as fast as the others and have hardly averaged as many as Bro. W., but I am very thorough and sell more in a given space. I shall perhaps work south from here.
Last Monday I delivered a lot of books, about 88, and as I was passing along one of the streets this evening, a lady who was sitting at the window reading her DAWN saw me. I saw her face light up, and she rose, and I waited till she came out. She invited me in and I had a two-hours talk with her and her estimable husband. Like all the earnest ones she was so delighted with the truth, she wanted every one to have it, and had talked to her neighbors so that two more wanted it. A few grains of wheat like this pays for all we have done here. By God's favor I want to spend the balance of my time ministering to the saints.
I think my experience would help any of the colporteurs who need a word of encouragement. I don't think any one would have more to overcome from within than I. I am Yours in Christian Love,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – As proposed, I delivered the DAWNS in Noblesville on Monday last and canvassed in Anderson for 4½ days. Have not counted the names, but think between 125 and 150 names, beside about 30 sold out of hand.
At Anderson I put the delivery on the first Monday after receiving the names. The place is full of spiritualism and the "blind guides" call it "nonsense," but do not attempt to tell why it is nonsense, and are helpers.
Although the weather is hot, I have good health and speak in the Park here on Sunday. Also could get a church at Noblesville and they would like lectures at Anderson in their fine park. However, both canvassing and lecturing going on together (especially lectures on week-day evenings) seem too much for me in hot weather.
I am rejoiced to see the quickening effect of DAWN VOL. II. All consecrated persons and even others who read intelligently the first Volume are greatly moved and influenced by the statements of Vol. II. Many have been impelled to take a more decided interest in the great truths of both Volumes and have taken a firmer stand in advocating the truth openly and fearlessly. To this I attribute the intense interest and increased numbers attending our late meeting in Allegheny.
With kindest remembrance and love to you and Sister R., joined by Mrs. A.,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – It is with extreme regret that I feel obliged to give up meeting you and many brethren on Sunday, April 14th. I have earnestly desired to go, and prayed that the Lord would open up a way for me to bear the additional expense, but I see no prospect now. It is not that I value $25 or even $50 so highly that I cannot part with it; but I am under heavy obligations, in part for others, and I am not my own until this is accomplished. So I must deny myself what would be to me a great privilege and blessing. Well, a time will come, I am pretty certain, when I can go without loss to any one. My heart and sympathies are with you all in this glorious reunion, where there will be a taste of heavenly joy. I shall calculate on next year for a certainty, if alive.
I will write again after a time. For the fourth time I am going through Vol. I. You would be surprised to see the marks of emphasis and the underscoring on every page. In this way I get the essence or spirit of each thought, at a glance. Sometimes perusing a sentence six or eight times before marking. The Ransom is a fact with me.
Vol. II., so far (only half through it), is a rich mine, a treasure house of truth. To me, it is giving more conviction than anything before it. The light is becoming bright! Your chronology is extremely convincing and the time periods wonderful in their completeness. No "chance" in this! I shall make full notes in my large margin Bible, from Vol. II. for future use. I rejoice with you more and more.
Yours, in Christ's service,
P.S. – "Old Theology Tracts:" Put me down for 1000 copies quarterly (4000 tracts) $25, of which I will use 200 copies to commence with, the balance to go as you find workers to use them. And with first lot please send 200 Arp Slips and 100 envelopes. I shall order some DAWNS soon.
DEAR BRETHREN: – The one hundred copies of VOL. II. came to-day. Since my last I had a little experience: I failed utterly to get a house of any kind to speak in the first of last week. The M.E. church, though used for anything to raise money for that sect, is not let out for anything outside the denomination. The Disciple house had never been in the habit of being let out, and did not wish to change its custom. It is ruled by one man whose only merit is that by horse trading he has more money than any other member of the congregation, and is opposed to instrumental music at home and in the church, and the members bow to him for his lucre. The trustees granted the use of the school house, but the teacher, a narrow and bigoted U.P., objected, and my way was blocked in that direction. But I was bound to be heard, so on Tuesday I had a bell rung over town calling meeting in front of one of the vacant store rooms. I had a splendid and attentive audience, and made such a good impression that the page 8 people were much displeased with their rulers, and during the remainder of the week murmured against them. The following evenings were too cold for out-door meetings, but the landlord of the hotel where I am stopping is friendly to my work and has been very helpful to me. On Friday evening, he put his parlor at my service and invited about thirty of the best citizens to hear a parlor lecture on The Plan. The Chart was stretched against the wall and fully illuminated, and the lecture met with such hearty approval that all present are anxious to hear further of "this way." One lady present kindly offered her parlor for the next lecture. But public sentiment grew loud in favor of public lectures, and this week I have the school house. Last night I lectured to an audience of 36, and distributed a number of Towers and Tracts. This will be kept up all week. I put an "Arp" in every Tower, Tract or book I give, out and before the week is out, the entering wedge of present truth will be in every house in this vicinity.
On last Sabbath evening I gave a full summary of the Allegheny meeting to a large audience at P. Our friends are alive there. In view of my coming the hall was scrubbed and whitewashed, and a vase of beautiful flowers was placed on the stand. A Presbyterian Minister from Delaware, Ohio, was one of my hearers, and was favorably impressed. I go back there next Sunday. The friends talk of starting a Sunday Bible class in order to search the Word for the whole truth. The Lord is leading them.
The tract you sent me before the meeting, I at once sent to a Mrs. A., and she gave it to Mr. R. He immediately sent to your office for more and has been mailing them in DAWN envelopes to all his Presbyterian brethren. Thus the truth spreads. Let us praise the Lord. Regards to all. Yours in the Love of the Truth,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – You will be glad to know that Brothers Page, Dixon, and Dickinson met with us at our home Sunday, April 14th. In the morning we considered the Passover historically, reading Gieke's account of the celebration as observed in Christ's time, and noted that the early Christians in Palestine and Syria commemorated the Lord's Supper on Passover anniversaries only. In the afternoon we studied the symbolism of the Passover, and of its successor, the Lord's Supper. In the evening we participated in the broken body and shed blood, in a manner far more impressive and real, than if our business-like Brother Page had been retired to give place to surpliced and stoled priest, backed by the transubstantiation dogma: and my writing table, covered with a white cloth, and furnished with plain glass service (emblematic of purity and innocence) had been supplanted by a gorgeous altar, fenced off by the kneeling rail, beyond which the "laity" dare not trespass. We had no costly organ, no robed boy choir, but there was a harmony and peace in our hearts the world cannot give or take away.
C. T. RUSSELL, DEAR BROTHER: – I greet you with much love and joy in the Lord. VOL. II. of "DAWN" has indeed been greatly instrumental in strengthening and confirming convictions that the day of the Lord is present, that we are indeed in the harvest of the "Gospel age," when his chosen are being gathered, "as a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered" (Ezek. 34:12), when the "Abomination that maketh desolate" is visibly being consumed by the bright shining of his presence.
I must say that I rejoice with joy unspeakable and glorious as I am learning more about that new song which no man could learn but the hundred and forty and four thousand. I rejoice even, seeing the opposition against the truth, that is still permitted to try our faith. Many here are getting interested, and MILLENNIAL DAWN has many friends and advocates. The truth is beginning to take hold in this city now, though I seemed to be a lone witness for the truth in New Orleans for the last six or seven years.
I distribute tracts on Sundays, to congregations as they dismiss. I have not yet been molested – with the exception of being asked by pastors, with threats of arrest, to cease giving these things to their flocks. The non-interference must have been providential, as I now learn that a city ordinance, forbidding the distribution of tracts, circulars, etc., has been rigidly enforced, in this place, during the last six months. The last large lot of Arp Slips are now nearly out. About 50 copies of DAWN are out, being read and re-read. The rest have been sold. Some are beginning to join us in singing the Song of Moses and the Lamb. Many more I hope will be "sealed" while this "great calm before the storm" – as it were (Rev. 7:1) – lasts. May the Lord strengthen us, to faithfully improve the opportunities.
Yours in fellowship,
MY BELOVED BRO.: – Some way I am kept at high pressure in my work all the time these days. Yet I bless and thank my Lord. He honors me by permitting me to "sup" frequently with Him, and to keep constantly doing a little something in his service.
Please send me 40 "DAWNS" No. I, and I will remit the first of the next month. I send nearly all the DAWNS I dispose of by mail, to parties in whom I have found a disposition to listen, and who promise to read. Generally I present the work with my compliments, as it takes better and attracts more attention. Then when forwarding the book, I write the party to whom it is sent, a letter such as seems proper under the circumstances.
You can put me down for $50, which I will send you about October 1st, '89, toward paying expense of publishing DAWN VOL. II. in paper as a number of the TOWER. I am glad that all the brethren can thus have it, and now see the way clear to make this arrangement with you, and joy in the fact that the Master will allow me to so pledge myself. Please send me 100 Missionary Envelopes, and about 500 Arp Slips.
Yours in service and much Christian love,
"In Christ all fulness dwells: from him proceeds
All that fall'n man, poor, wretched, guilty, needs.
In him the contrite, bruised in spirit find
Whate'er can heal the sorrows of the mind –
Forgiving love, that saves from blank despair,
Rich grace, that banishes each anxious care,
Soft pity, that relieves the bursting sigh,
And truth, revealing joys that never die.
Thrice happy they, who to his word attend,
His favor seek, and on his strength depend:
'Tis their's to know his heart-consoling voice,
To share his smile, and in his name rejoice;
To them, reclaimed in mercy from the fall
And heavenward marching, Christ is all in all:
In want, their treasure – in distress, their stay –
In gloom, their day-spring – vigor, in decay –
'Mid foes, their guard – in solitude, their guest –
In storms, their hiding-place – in toils, their rest –
In bonds, their freedom – their relief, in pain –
In life, their glory – and in death, their gain."
Many who have read DAWN VOL. II. – "The Time is at Hand" – are anxiously inquiring whether they are too late for admittance to the kingdom class: whether the door of opportunity is yet open, or whether it closed when the high calling ceased, in 1881. We answer, Though the "call" has ceased, the "door" is not yet shut. The "call" and the "door" are distinct and separate.
The Scriptures teach that God fore-ordained or predestinated that a fixed, definite number should be selected from among men to constitute the Bride of Christ and be his joint-heir in the great work of bestowing the Millennial blessings upon the world in general. And this is perfectly reasonable.
To secure this number, "many are called" or invited to pass an examination in the school of Christ, to prove their worthiness to be of that select and limited number. Only believers in Christ, only such as recognize him as their Redeemer, are "called" or invited to stand this examination under the promise of that great prize of joint-heirship with Christ; and all such believers were invited, from the day of Pentecost down to the time when enough had been called to complete the fixed number, which God had fore-ordained. Then, of course, the call to that honor and distinction must cease; for God would certainly not mislead any one nor promise "the great salvation" to a single individual more than the predestinated number. None shall have it to say that God invited him to run the race for the prize of the high calling and that after running faithfully he could not receive the reward because too many had been called and the fore-ordained number was more than supplied.
First notice, that the close of the "call" is not the close of the race. Those who have been called, and who have accepted the conditions of the call and promised to "run" faithfully so as to obtain the prize, must be tested. And hence the fact that the general calling of new runners has ended, in no way ends the running of those who were called in time and who had consecrated themselves to the Lord's service before the call ceased.
And the fact that you may only recently have come to a clear knowledge of the exceeding great and precious promises of the things which God hath in reservation for them that love him, does not prove that you were not called and accepted as a runner for this great prize long before you understood clearly how great and grand the prize is to be. In fact, not one who accepts the "call" is able at first to comprehend fully either the roughness and narrowness of the way, or the grandeur of the prize to be attained at its farther end. The clearness of our comprehension of the promises comes to us as the power of God working in us to strengthen us and enable us to overcome present obstacles, difficulties and trials. The exceeding great and precious promises are unfolded to us gradually, as we prove faithful and go on, in order that by these – by the strength and courage which they infuse – we might be enabled to so run as to obtain the promised prize. – 2 Pet. 1:4.
The class to receive the prize is not only called and chosen (accepted), but also faithful. And though the general "call" has ceased, it is evident that the testing of the faithfulness of the called ones is not yet finished. The faithful are being marked, sealed, and separated from those who are unfaithful to their covenant of self-sacrifice; the wise virgins are being separated from the foolish ones, whose folly consists in supposing that they can run for and win the world's prizes of honor, wealth, etc., and at the same time run faithfully the race for the great prize, of glory, honor and immortality, – the very conditions of which render such a course impossible.
When all the faithful "wise" virgins have been proved so, and have entered in to the joys of the Lord, the "door" of opportunity to become of that class will close, and no more will enter. When all the "wise" have entered in, the number predestinated will be complete; and then the Master will rise up and shut the door. (Luke 13:24,25; Matt. 25:10.) Our Lord himself tells us that then many will begin to see matters differently – to see what privileges and opportunities for sacrifice they once enjoyed and missed. But when they shall seek and knock, the Master will tell them, I do not recognize you as my Bride – she is complete and I have but one. But thank God, other Scriptures show that the foolish virgins, though thus rejected from the high calling for which their conduct, when on trial, will have proved them unworthy, will nevertheless be granted a lesser favor and will be known in a humbler capacity in the Lord's household. [R1113 : page 3]
Before the door shuts, therefore, before the full number of the faithful is finished, let each strive to make his calling and selection sure; and to this end let us permit the Lord, by these precious promises and these explanatory and illustrative parables, to work in us to will and to do his good pleasure.
But some will say, I am certain that I am not one of those called before the general "call" ceased in 1881, because I then was not only wholly ignorant of the deep things of God's promises, but more, I was wholly a stranger to God, and even an enemy of his, far from any covenant with him to do him service, and far from any such desires. But recently I came to know God at all, recently I took Christ's yoke upon me to learn of him, and still more recently I learned of the privilege of suffering with Christ now, in self-denial in his service, and that such joint-sacrificers are by and by to be made joint-inheritors with him in the glorious work of the Millennium. And now, after seeing these glories, and after admiring those precious things, and after setting myself to run this race for this wonderful prize, must I conclude that it is not open to me, because enough to fill the number had already been called? I would not think to change the divine arrangement, or to ask that another be added, beyond the limit determined by divine wisdom, but I shall feel keenly my misfortune.
To such we answer (briefly here, more fully in DAWN Vol. III. now in preparation): Run on, dear brothers and sisters, your case is not so dark as it seems to you. Remember that if all who had accepted the call when it closed should prove faithful to their covenant, there would be none too many, but just enough. Remember, too, that your observation, as well as the Scriptures, indicates that of the "many" who accept the call "few" will be chosen, because but few prove faithful to their covenant when on trial. As one after another some of the "called" ones prove unfaithful, their places of labor and their crowns of reward are transferred to others. One of these places of labor and one of these crowns of reward may be transferred to you, and your name may be written on the scroll of life as a probationary member of the Bride of Christ, instead of one blotted out therefrom as unworthy. – See, Rev. 3:5; Heb. 12:23.
It is already "the eleventh hour," the time for labor and sacrifice in the Lord's service is nearly ended, "the night cometh wherein no man can work," so if you see a "door" of opportunity, to labor for and serve the Lord and his truth, open before you, consider that the Master is saying to you, as in the parable, "Go ye also into my vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you." Remember that the reward is paid only to such as render service, and remember that while, as in the parable, the Lord does not promise the prize (the penny) as he did at the beginning, yet the parable shows that some thus admitted to the harvest work just at its close, just before the night when work will be impossible, will get the same reward as others – taking places and opportunities of labor left vacant by others.
And what a lesson is here for such as have covenanted with the Lord to serve him first and chiefly, and who are neglecting his work to strive with time and thought and means for the transient joys and prizes which the world offers. These the Lord urges saying, "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life;" "He that overcometh [who conquers in himself the spirit of the world] the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his holy servants." But, our Lord says also: "Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." – Rev. 2:10; 3:5,11.
In the Tower for May 1888 the subject of water baptism was examined. It was there shown that the real baptism is the burial of the human will into the will of Christ, complete consecration to him and his service; and that water baptism is but a symbol of this. The symbol should, therefore, be applied only to those justified believers in the ransom who have performed for themselves the actual immersion or consecration. And such should rejoice to fulfill the symbol as soon as they see its fitness and the Scriptural injunctions regarding it.
But questions are raised by some which may be of interest to all, viz.: Is it proper that those who had not consecrated before the general call ceased in 1881, but who have since consecrated, should be immersed to symbolize their consecration? And, if at all, should it be "into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ?"
We answer, Yes, to both questions. It is proper that all who come to a knowledge of the Lord should consecrate themselves fully to him. This will always be the only proper course to pursue, whether they come in under the "high calling" or under another later call, not so highly honorable and distinguished. Nothing short of full consecration will ever be proper, though by and by when our Lord's kingdom is ruling, and when the reward will be less, the keeping of that consecration will cost no self-denial except of things actually sinful. There will no longer be any suffering for righteousness' sake, as now. Since, therefore, it is proper to consecrate – and thus perform the real baptism – it must still be in order, also, to perform the symbol of it in water.
And, it is still proper to use the same words – though really the words used do not affect the symbol at all: it is the thought in the heart of the baptized one; and the significance of the act is according to his understanding of it, – neither more nor less.
As shown in the foregoing article, some of those who have consecrated since 1881 will yet receive the places of service which some, consecrated and baptized before, have failed and are failing to use; and such will also receive their places in the "body of Christ" and their crowns; hence, to these the thought of immersion into the name and body of Christ is altogether proper. And for others the same will be proper, for the name Christ becomes a family name. It is the name of the Bridegroom. It is bestowed upon his bride, the overcoming church; and it will be appropriate to all the children of Christ. The Christ complete, head and body, is proclaimed to be the "Everlasting Father" (i.e., the everlasting Life-giver) to all of the human family, who, during the Millennium, when awakened from the tomb and brought to a clear knowledge of the truth, will become fully and heartily consecrated to him; and who by his power shall reach perfection of mind and body and be counted worthy of everlasting life. It is proper, therefore, that these also should be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; for if he is to be their Everlasting Father, they are to be his everlasting children, and children may always bear the family name.
Some who have read DAWN VOL. II. attentively, are inquiring whether the Apostle's statement concerning the Lord's Supper, that it shows forth the Lord's death till he come (1 Cor. 11:26), should not be understood to limit its observance and to make it no longer proper. We answer, No; it will be proper to celebrate our Lord's death and our consecration, to be dead with him, down to the time when we shall complete our sacrifice by actually dying, and until we partake of the new wine (joys) of the kingdom with our Lord.
The expression "till he come," does not indicate the discontinuance of the observance after the Lord's arrival, until he shall have fully gathered his jewels. A similar expression is found in James 5:7 – "Be patient, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord." No one certainly would page 3 understand the apostle to mean that the brethren should lose their patience at the time of the Lord's coming. Rather they will need still more patience, as they will the more appreciate the Memorial Supper, in the parousia [presence] of the Son of man, until the course of the church is finished.
No Christian is or can be faultless before the Lord. Blameless, all may and ought to be. The child that does its needlework faithfully is commended, though not a stitch is perfect. The child [R1115 : page 4] is blameless, but the work is not faultless. The Christian who lives up to his light and ability is blameless, but in God's sight faulty. He is not always conscious of his defects, his eyes are not as sharp as God's; his best efforts are like the needlework of the little girl, well done for her, but so defective in fact that every stitch must be removed and done again by a more skillful and experienced hand. Saints sometimes judge themselves perfect because they are not conscious of sin. They may be innocent, but surely not perfect. With more light and culture they would discern defects. Others of more experience observe them now, but they see them not, because not sufficiently educated or advanced in wisdom. Jesus keeps his trusting sheep blameless, and step by step leads them up to higher culture, richer wisdom, purer tastes, until finally he gives them his likeness in glory.– Selected.
"If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." – Rom. 8:11.
There is a philosophy in the growth and development of Christian character, just as truly as in the growth and development of vegetation; and the more thoroughly we acquaint ourselves with the natural processes and conditions of development and growth in either case, the better we will understand how to cultivate and to secure the desirable end – maturity and luxuriant fruitfulness. The farmer who puts into practice only what he has learned by accident, and that in a haphazard way, and only goaded to effort by sheer necessity, cannot expect the fruitful fields, abundant harvests and well-earned approbation of the enterprising, thrifty farmer who has made a study of the business and brought knowledge, carefully gleaned, together with enterprise and energy to his assistance in the work.
Take for example a tree. If you know nothing about its cultivation, do not realize the necessity for it, and simply plant it and let it alone, its strength, instead of producing fruit, will generally go to making wood and leaves; worms and decay may attack its roots, insects may sting and blight its scanty fruitage; and if it continue to stand, it will only be a useless, fruitless cumberer of the ground, an advertisement of the farmer's negligence, and worthy only of having the ax laid to its root. Had it been pruned and trimmed, and kept free from insects, etc., under the blessing of God's air and rain and sunshine, it would have been a fruitful, creditable tree; for the laws of nature are true and faithful in all their operations.
And none the less true are the operations of moral law in the growth and development of moral character. Under proper conditions and with proper diligent cultivation, the character will grow and develop, in accordance with fixed laws, and will become beautiful and fruitful in blessings to self and others; or, [R1114 : page 4] lacking the necessary cultivation, even under favorable natural conditions, it will be deformed, worthless and fruitless.
When we presented our bodies as living sacrifices to God, holy and acceptable through the merit of our Redeemer, we there received the spirit of adoption to the spiritual plane, as spiritual sons of God; and from that time the faculties and dispositions of our mortal bodies were reckoned as our new being, now under the direction and control of the Spirit of God. And the faithfulness with which we cultivate this reckoned new nature, by persistently weeding out old habits of thought and action, supplanting them with new virtues, and training them to activity in the divine service, is to prove our worthiness or unworthiness of the actual new nature to be received at the resurrection, to which perfect spiritual condition our present reckoned condition stands related as embryotic. And of course, the disposition and character of the embryo new creature will be the disposition of the perfected new creature when born in the resurrection.
The Apostle in the above text affirms, that if we really have the spirit of God in us – unless we quench or put it away from us – it will quicken our mortal bodies, make them alive toward God, active in growing into his likeness, and fruitful in Christian graces and activities. And again he adds, "If any man have not the spirit of God he is none of his," and that, "As many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God." – Rom. 8:9,14.
The Apostle Peter tells us how to proceed in this matter of cultivating Christian character, intimating that we cannot do it all in a day, or in a few days, but that it must be a gradual daily life-work, a process of addition – adding virtue to virtue and grace to grace, day by day and hour by hour, saying: –
"Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperateness, and to temperateness patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity." And then he adds, "If ye do these things, ye shall never fall." – 2 Pet. 1:5-7-10.
This is a very strong assurance – that if we do these things we are sure to stand approved of God. We do well, therefore, to consider them with special care. Here are eight elements which must go toward making up the Christian character, the one to be added to the other and assimilated by the spiritual germ of the new nature, until the embryo new creature is formed, and then it must continue to grow and develop. Look at them again, They are –
|Temperateness,||Charity – Love.|
Now for a little self-examination: Let each ask himself, (1) Have I the faith to which the Apostle here refers? – not faith in every thing or every person, but faith in God – in his plan of redemption through the vicarious or substitutionary sacrifice of Christ, and in all his rich promises built upon that sure foundation? Do I trust him implicitly? Is a "Thus saith the Lord" the end of all controversy, the solution of all doubts and the restful assurance in every perplexity?
(2) Am I endeavoring to lead a virtuous life? This to the child of God consecrated to be a living sacrifice, implies much more than merely abstaining from evil. It implies living truthfully, that is true to his covenant, which to wilfully violate would be equivalent to swearing falsely. How we need to invoke the divine assistance here! and how critically to judge ourselves!
(3) Am I endeavoring from day to day to gain a more thorough and complete knowledge of God, of the great plan revealed in his Word, and of the special features now in operation, that I may co-operate with him in its execution, and of his will concerning me in the particular relationships and conditions in which I now stand – irrespective of my own will and disposition in any matter?
(4) Am I temperate – moderate in all things? – in eating, and drinking, and dressing, and home-arrangements, and conduct, and thoughts, and words, and deeds, and looks? "Let your moderation [temperateness] be known unto all men," says the apostle. Let men see, by our thoughtful, not rash and hasty but careful and considerate demeanor, in every affair of life, that we honor our profession.
(5) Am I patient under trial and discipline, keeping my feelings always under the control of enlightened reason, letting patience have its perfect work in cultivating the character, however severely the plow and harrow may break up the subsoil of the heart, meekly submitting to the discipline in every case?
(6) Am I carefully observing and endeavoring to pattern my character and course of action after the divine model? If a parent, or one in any position of authority, am I using that authority as God uses his? – not for selfish purposes, to make a boast of it, or to in any way oppress or trample upon the God-given individual rights of those under such authority, but for the blessing and advantage of those under it, even to the extent of self-denial, – with patience, dignity and grace, and not with boastful imperiousness which is the attitude of tyrants?
If a son, or one under authority to any extent, do I consider the example of loyal and loving obedience furnished in the example of our dear Lord? His delight was and is to do the Father's will at any cost to himself. As a man under the kingdoms – authorities – of this world, and as a youth under the authority of earthly parents, he was loyal and faithful (Matt. 22:21; Luke 2:51), yet all of this earthly authority was exercised by his personal inferiors, though they were his legal superiors. How beautifully we will be able to grace and fill whatever station we occupy in life, if we carefully study and copy godliness – God-likeness, whether we be princes or peasants, masters or servants.
(7) Does brotherly kindness characterize all my actions? does it make due allowance for the inherited weaknesses and circumstantial misfortunes of others? Does brotherly kindness deal patiently, and helpfully so far as wisdom in view of the correction of those faults, may dictate? and that, even at the expense of self-interest, if necessary and prudent?
And if, as I look myself squarely in the face, I recognize deformity of character, do I thankfully accept a brother's proffered aid and meekly bear reproof, determining that by the grace of God I will overcome such dispositions, and prove myself a help rather than a hindrance to others, if it should even cost my life to do it, and that I will no longer foster my old dispositions, but plunge into activity in the service of God with those who should have my co-operation in service, instead of my burden?
(8) Have I charity – love unfeigned – for the unrighteous and unlovely, as well as for the good and the beautiful? – a love which is ever ready to manifest itself in wise and helpful activity for saint and sinner; a love which pities, and helps, and comforts, and cheers, and blesses all within its reach; which longs for the grand opportunities and power and glory of the incoming age, chiefly for its privileges of scattering universal blessing; and which, in harmony with that sentiment, utilizes every present opportunity wisely, and in harmony with the divine plan, for the accomplishment of the same end – thus manifesting and cultivating the disposition which must be found in every member of that glorious company which shall constitute the King's cabinet in the incoming age? If this disposition is not begun, cultivated and developed here, we will not be considered worthy of that honor and office then.
And just as in the cultivation of vegetation, watchfulness, and the necessary precautions to prevent blight and decay and to guard against the intrusions of evil powers and influences calculated to sap its life, pruning, trimming and cultivation are necessary to accomplish the desired end of fruitfulness. By resisting the devil he will flee from us, and by patient continuance in well doing, an increasing measure of development will result.
"If these things be in you and abound," says Peter – That is, if you have them in some measure, and keep on cultivating them, so that they abound more and more and rule in you, "they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." The truth is for such: "Light is sown for the righteous," and they are sure to get it. They shall not walk in darkness. If any man will do the will of God, he shall know of the doctrine. (John 7:17.) "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."
"Wherefore, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things [if you diligently cultivate this disposition] ye shall never fall." Being justified fully by faith in the sacrifice of Christ for your redemption, and thus sanctified (set apart from the world and devoted to the service of God) by the truth, your final selection to that position of glory, honor and service, to which you are called, shall be sure. And [R1115 : page 4] "so, an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
"Wherefore," again says our beloved brother Peter, "I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things. Yea, I think it meet as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.... Moreover I will endeavor that you may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance." This he did, and the church to this day may profit by his brotherly counsel.
While the Apostle Peter, addressing the consecrated, thus clearly and explicitly points out the way in which we may make our calling and election sure to the chief favor of God, the apostle Paul, addressing the same class, shows that neglect to develop and cultivate the Christian character involves not only the loss of the chief favor of our high-calling, but eventually of all favor, if wilfully and continually neglected. He wrote: "If ye [ye who have solemnly covenanted to sacrifice your very life in the service of God, for the eradication of evil] live after the flesh [with selfish effort, merely to gratify self] ye shall die." (Rom. 8:13.) God has no use nor place for wilful covenant-breakers and covenant-despisers, after they have been brought to a knowledge of the truth and of his will, and have covenanted to do it faithfully.
With all our striving and watchfulness, however, we shall not be able, in our present condition, to reach our ideal. Perfection is something which can only be approximated in the present life. But the measure of our effort to attain it will prove the measure of our faithfulness and [R1115 : page 5] earnest desire to do so. And that effort will not be unfruitful. If no fruit appears, we may be sure that little or no effort is made at cultivation, pruning, etc. The fruit will not only appear in the development of the Christian graces of character, but also in increasing activities. We must not wait for our spiritual and immortal bodies, promised us in our resurrection, before our activity in God's service begins. If we possess the spirit [the will, the disposition] of that new nature our mortal bodies will be active in the service of God's truth now. Our feet will be swift to run his errands, our hands prompt to do his bidding, our tongues ready to bear testimony to the truth, our minds active in devising ways and means to do so more and more abundantly and effectively. And thus we shall be living epistles known and read of all about us.
THE LIVING CHURCH, a Protestant Episcopal organ published weekly in Chicago, is supposed to voice the ideas of "the Church," and to furnish instruction on the religious subjects of the day. It is a 16-page journal, having 4 columns of 13 inches each per page. Deducting 50½ inches for the Headings, Calendar and prospectus we have left 65 feet 1½ inches of solid reading matter, or 3126 quarter inches in length and the width of a usual column of printed matter. These 3126 quarter inches are divided as follows: –
50 Schools 175 qr. ins. 17 Church Bell Foundries, Church Supply Stores 115 " " 17 Books and Papers 226 " " 22 Patent Medicines, Soaps and Baking Powder 302 " " 22 Miscellaneous – Agents Wanted, Insurance, etc. 154 " " --- ---- 128 Different Advertisements (20 feet 3 inches) 972 " "
14 Clippings and Household Recipes 304 " " 4 Obituaries 46 " " 20 Diocesan and other Church News 752 " " 6 Church Ritual, Policy and Instructions 577 " " 4 Bishop's Personals 61 " " 10 Letters and Notes Complimentary and Controversial (4 feet 9¾ inches) 231 " " 10 Miscellaneous Personals 78 " " 8 " Church Finances 46 " " 2 Spiritual Instructions 60 " " --- ---- 206 Items measuring 2154 qr. ins. 128 as above 972 " " --- ---- Total 3126 qr. ins.
Of all this mass of "Stuff," but two items measuring 1 foot 3 inches – or just a little more than one column (or about 2/3 of a column in ZION'S WATCH TOWER) were devoted to religious or spiritual instruction. These taught of the Divine Nature of Christ, and the necessity for self-examination. Some issues are better and they have fully twice as much spiritual teaching or perhaps 2 to 3 columns – out of 64. But even they are of a kind better left unwritten. Nowhere does this paper teach us to consecrate our poor selves to Christ expecting the reward of the divine nature. Nowhere does it present hopes of our being called Christ's brethren. It nowhere points to the glorious hopes which have become our ambition to attain.
This paper, "The Living Church," is recommended highly, and subscriptions are taken for it by the "Clergy," as they style themselves, of the professed "Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." But as we, the consecrated, now know by actual measurement what this would-be teacher really is, we take notice and govern ourselves accordingly. Leaving behind all the worldly vanities this blind leader of a blind church advertises, and uses its sacred character to recommend, let the true Church, the Stone rejected, press forward to the grand prize.
[The above is by the Brother who a little more than a year ago was a staunch "Churchman" – Episcopalian – whose defence of that system we published and answered in the issue of Nov. 1887. He is now more of a churchman than ever, but he serves and acknowledges not a human system, but the divine one – the "Church of the Firstborn whose names are written in heaven." A busy man, the special agent of a leading Fire Insurance Co., he nevertheless is constantly preaching the good tidings among all classes. He orders the Missionary Envelopes and Arp Tracts by the thousand, and seldom a week passes that we do not receive from or through him fresh orders for ten or more DAWNS VOL. I.
The zeal of all who really receive the good tidings with all readiness of heart must surprise former friends, as Paul's course did his friends. Yet with Paul they can say, "I am not mad – but speak forth the words of truth and soberness." – EDITOR.]
"Let your speech be always with grace seasoned with salt." – Col. 4:6.
The whole world is full of suffering; and the more we partake of the spirit of our Lord, the more will our sympathies be drawn out toward the suffering ones around us and cause us to measurably forget our own. And while our present chief business is not to devote special time and attention to the temporary amelioration of present suffering, we rejoice that the time is coming, and that at no distant day, when that will be our chief business, – when with a strong hand which no opposer can stay, we shall be able to help all. With this end in view we rejoice in the present preparatory work, in which we are engaged as co-workers with our Lord – the developing and harvesting of the Church, the body of Christ, which, together with our Lord and Head, is to be the Seed of Abraham which was promised to bless all the families of the earth.
Though this preparation for a future work for the world is not at present appreciated by the world, and does not directly alleviate its present suffering, yet it is the grandest and most important movement in this direction which can at present be made.
And it is to the direct and indirect influence of this consecrated class, preparing for the great future work, that all present benevolent and philanthropical enterprises are due. The truth concerning God's great and loving plan, and the spirit of that truth reflected upon the world, are the moonlight of the present dark night and the promise of coming sunlight in the Millennial day of blessing.
Every educator well knows that if his school is to be a success it must have an educated, disciplined and competent faculty to take charge of the various departments of the work. If the crude, undisciplined and uneducated were placed in such positions, the institution could only imperfectly bless those under its charge. If such an institution were contemplated and no such faculty could be found, its work could not begin, nor its blessings be felt, until the faculty were first selected and prepared for the work. And this work, though it might have little direct or present bearing upon the prospective pupils of that institution, would be the most necessary work for their future welfare. And any side issues which would detract from, or delay this preparatory work, would be detrimental to the great work of general education designed to be accomplished by the proposed institution.
Just so it is with the work now before the church. The great "Prophet," or Teacher of the world under the New Covenant, the Christ, head and body, must first be developed and exalted to his position, before the work of instructing, training and educating the world up to perfection can really begin. We must not expect the world to understand or appreciate our present work; for that is as impossible as for an infant to appreciate a parent's plans for its future good. We, as children of God approaching maturity, have been taken into our Heavenly Father's confidence, and have been shown his plan for the blessing of his entire family in heaven and in earth, and have been privileged to become co-workers with him in carrying out that plan. As the scope of the plan is so broad and comprehensive, it is necessarily of slower development than those would suppose who have narrow, contracted views. The world, and Christians who keep the world's standpoint of observation, have no wider plans for the blessing of others than those bounded by the narrow limits of the present life, while God's plan stretches on into eternity and is for the thorough reformation and eternal blessing of all. Its foundations are therefore laid broad and deep, so as to last eternally, and every step of the plan is accomplished with unerring wisdom.
As co-workers together with our Lord, we are permitted to assist in the gathering and developing of the various members of the body of Christ, building one another up in the truth, and in the spirit of it. And in this very work of assisting one another, come up all those principles of the divine law, by which the whole world is to be governed when the kingdom of God is established in the earth. As children of God, therefore, called to be of that little flock which shall judge both angels and men, we should be constant students of divine law. We should not only acquaint ourselves with its surface meaning, but also with its great underlying principles and all their ramifications, as they apply to the practical affairs of life; and our own course should be ruled accordingly, however squarely in opposition to current opinions it may run.
While in the flesh we have to deal with the questions which confront the rest of mankind with regard to our duties in the various relations of life – our duties to God and to each other, as members of society, and as husbands, wives, parents and children. When the law of God and its underlying principles are carefully studied, it will be found to touch every contingency which can arise, and to point out the narrow path of duty in every emergency. No question of duty is too mixed and complicated for God's law to unravel and justly settle, if appealed to with studious effort. And if we make a study of that law, we will not only find the solution of all the perplexing questions in our own experience, but we will have a fund of information which may be of great service to others in times of trouble and perplexity, whether of the church or of the world, when they come to us for sympathy and advice. Our own human judgment in many cases would be very imperfect, being biased by our ignorance, or prejudices, or our natural dispositions; but if we are law students under the great Teacher we will be able to say, Thus and so is the law of God on this subject, and as it applies in this particular case. Neither our own affairs, nor the affairs of others who seek our counsel, should be decided upon by the impulse of the moment, but always with a careful consideration of the law of God on the subject. Thus may our speech be always "with grace seasoned with salt." Salt is a preserving element keeping that which is good from decay and putrefaction. And just so, the influence of wise and well instructed saints tends to the preservation of everything that is good; and their counsel and sympathy will assist and encourage every earnest seeker after righteousness. And if their own lives and affairs are continually governed by the high principles of true Christianity, they are living epistles known and read of all men.
As intelligent creatures of God, we stand related in some sense to the entire family of God in heaven, and in earth. Our very existence has brought us into these relationships, with all their corresponding privileges and obligations, and as intelligent beings it should be our desire and effort to learn the exact measure of privilege and obligation which these varied relationships involve.
To our great Creator, we originally stood related as children, and to all his intelligent creatures as brethren – brethren of the family of God, though not as great as our brethren the angels, who are of higher nature (Eph. 3:15): and to earthly creatures lower than human nature, we stood as rulers. When we became sinners, these privileges, blessings and relationships were canceled by our Heavenly Father's decree. As unworthy of life and its blessings, we were condemned to death. Thenceforth we were no longer recognized as children of God, or brethren of his family, but were regarded and treated as aliens and enemies until the death sentence should be fully executed upon us – until existence should terminate.
After our redemption by his grace, through the precious blood of Christ, and our acceptance of the same by faith, the former natural relationships are again recognized, though all their privileges are not enjoyed, nor all their obligations insisted upon, until the effects of the fall are fully overcome – until we are actually restored to perfection. Though again recognized by our Heavenly Father as sons and heirs through Christ, yet until actually perfect all communication with him must be through the name and merit of our Mediator, Christ, who represents us and our interests before the Father. All judgment is therefore now committed unto the Son of God who purchased us by his blood. (John 5:22.) Believers now, therefore, stand in a new relationship to Christ, who becomes Lord and life-giver (a father) to those whom he purchased and proposes to restore out of condemnation and death to fellowship and life. Hence he is called the Everlasting Father. (Isa. 9:6.) And when the age of his reign is over, the restored ones will again recognize Jehovah as the great Father of all, and Christ as their Lord and Redeemer.
Thus far, no reference is made to the peculiar relationships of the church as new creatures in Christ. We wish first to consider the human relationships and their privileges and obligations, and then to inquire [R1116 : page 6] how the new conditions, into which we come by consecration during the Gospel age, affect our former relationships.
First then we inquire, What, in the way of privilege and obligation, is involved in our relationship to God as justified human sons? As justified human sons we come into possession of all the rights and privileges bestowed upon Adam, viz.: life and the dominion of earth – life in its blessed fulness, unmixed with any element of death, perfect health without an ache or a pain, life which will never terminate unless forfeited by misuse. To be given the dominion of earth, signifies the full enjoyment of every earthly good. The earth was made for man. "God created it not in vain, he created it to be inhabited" (Eccl. 1:4; Isa. 45:18) and enjoyed forever by a glorious race of perfect [R1117 : page 6] beings, to whose wants it will be perfectly adjusted when both they and it have attained his ideal perfection, which was at first illustrated in our progenitor, Adam, and his specially prepared Eden home. Then the whole earth shall blossom as the rose, and the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad. (Isa. 35:1.) The animal, the mineral, and the vegetable kingdoms will all be at man's command, to serve his pleasure and to supply his needs. And the laws of nature which govern their increase, and circumscribe their power and place, are so appointed, and, we are guaranteed, will so continue, as to forever minister to human necessities and happiness. Earth, air and water are teeming with blessings, constantly inviting man to prove by still deeper investigation their wonderful power to enhance his comfort and pleasure. Delve into the mines, bore into the earth, dive into the waters, soar upon the wings of the wind, harness the electric currents, study and apply the divinely appointed laws of nature, and prove the Creator's power and will to bless his creatures. And as we lift our hearts in grateful praise for his goodness and love, let the smiling heavens again whisper to our hearts that "God is love;" for he has appointed the sun to bless us by day, and the moon and the stars by night.
And yet the half has not been told. Consider your own organism – how wonderfully made! not only your physical, but your mental organism, those wonderful mental faculties which answer to God's own glorious attributes – the will, the judgment, the reasoning powers, the conscience, the memory, the imagination, the aesthetic tastes, and the capacity for social enjoyment founded upon the love and appreciation of the good, the pure, and the beautiful. Then remember that all this capacity for happiness, as well as all the means of happiness within our reach, is God-given. We are not attempting now to account for the irregularities and miseries brought about by sin, we are merely considering the perfect condition of humanity, when fully justified, not only reckonedly, but actually, when as it is promised, there shall be nothing to hurt nor destroy (Isa. 11:9), when sin and its consequences will have been forever banished. And yet quite a measure of these blessings we are permitted to enjoy even now. We now taste and see that the Lord is good, but the fulness of his favor will be realized when he hath made all things new. – Rev. 21:5.
Then consider that all these blessings flow to us from purest love; that God created us for his pleasure, that he might have a father's delight in us as his children, that he might bestow upon us the wealth of his affection and bounty, and that he might find in us the corresponding satisfaction of filial love and gratitude. When we thus consider the object of our creation and the love and bounty of our Creator, love and gratitude spring up spontaneously in our hearts towards him who thus first loved us.
Some say, It is our duty to love God; but duty is not the word. We never love any person or any thing because it is our duty to love them. We love because we cannot help loving, because the object is worthy of love, good, beautiful, true, or in some way precious to us. A feeling of selfishness or gratification which springs from any other source, is not true love. Love is a pure and noble quality. By a law of our mental constitution, love springs up spontaneously for the good, the pure, and the beautiful in all who are right-minded. To love God, therefore, we need but to acquaint ourselves with his character and to meditate upon it. Therefore it is our duty to acquaint ourselves with God, and to meditate upon his goodness and favor toward us, and when he is fully known and appreciated, as he will be by the restored race, then will men love him voluntarily with all their heart, with all their mind, and with all their strength.
Thus the first commandment will be fulfilled; and the second, being like unto it and springing from a similar source, will be fulfilled just as spontaneously or naturally – "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Why? For a two-fold reason: First, All our neighbors are creatures of God, and therefore, like ourselves, objects of his love and care; and to love God with the whole heart, is to love all that he loves, for the same reason that he loves them. And secondly, the germ of the future perfect man, however now degraded by sin, must be a thing of great value when God gave his only begotten Son to redeem it; and therefore, every man for whom Christ died is worthy of love. However, from the very nature of the case, the creatures must always take a subordinate place to the great Creator in the affections of each other, when that upon which love is to be based is fully known and recognized.
The justified man's relationship, therefore, to the Creator, is that of a child to a father. His condition is that of entire dependence upon God for every thing, from least to greatest. And his wisdom and justice being faultless and infallible, his power omnipotent, and his love fathomless, our only safety and security is in implicit confidence and obedience to his will in every matter, whether in our shortsightedness we can or cannot understand it as the expression of infallible wisdom, justice and love. We can safely trust such a Father, even where we cannot trace him.
It is because it is necessary for our good, and because it is the proper attitude in which filial love and gratitude should naturally place us, that God requires of his creatures implicit obedience. It is for the same reason that you as a parent require obedience from your children. And as you accept cheerful and prompt obedience from your children as the expression and measure of their love to you, so God measures our love to him. And since an enforced obedience is no expression of filial love or confidence, he has given to all his intelligent creatures freedom to either obey or disobey, that thereby he may prove them, and that thereby the eternal blessedness of all his loyal and obedient children may be established in the universal mutual love which shall bind and cement all hearts with the tenderest, most beautiful, and strongest cord – love.
Then our deepest and warmest affections, our profoundest gratitude, and our implicit faith and obedience, are due to our heavenly Father, and should be manifested in our conduct toward him in studious efforts to learn, and ambitious efforts to do, his will. On the first commandment, and the second which grows out of the first, hang all the Law and the prophets, said Jesus (Luke 22:40); for "love is the fulfilling of the law." – Rom. 13:10.
Having thus considered our relationship to our Heavenly Father, let us remember his words – that he would also have us honor his dear Anointed Son "even as we honor the Father:" not that he should take the Father's place in our affections, but that next to the Father, as the executor of his plan, he should receive the honor, love and praise of our hearts. To love and honor and obey him, not only for his personal character, and because of his great love for us, but also because he was the willing obedient agent of our Father in the execution of his benevolent plan, is the natural outgrowth of deep love to the great Designer of the plan.
When we observe closely our relationship to God and all of duty and privilege which that relationship involves, we find that the same principles carried out, apply to all our relationships with each other. For the very same reasons that as children of God we should love, honor and obey him, children of earthly parents should love, honor and obey them. Their love and care and sacrifice and bountiful providence during the years of helplessness and ignorance, should ever be held in loving remembrance, and should be rewarded with gratitude, and with kindest attentions when their age and infirmities require it. And though the helplessness and ignorance of our early years, which necessitated our obedience to earthly parents until the years of maturity were reached, then no longer require subjection to parental authority, yet the duty of love and honor and grateful recognition and preferment, is never canceled.
So, likewise, when we observe God's attitude toward his children, we see the model for all parents to imitate. We see how love, justice, benevolence, generosity, economy, wisdom and prudence harmoniously work together for the good of his family. And as we study his plan and his methods for discipline, development, and culture, we have practical suggestions to parents for every emergency which can arise in the family. We have in his methods the example of love which never grows cold or indifferent and of firm justice which never bends; and the two always act in harmony. Let earthly parents study and copy the divine pattern; and let the children of earthly parents be taught to be grateful for all favors, from whatsoever source they come, and to recognize the principles of love, justice, benevolence and generosity, as manifested in God's dealing with us, and to act on them from earliest infancy.
It will be comforting, too, to perplexed earthly parents, the fruitage of whose best efforts seems to tarry long, to observe that time is a large factor in the outworking of God's disciplinary measures. For six thousand years he has let his refractory children try and prove the futility of their own plans, before he attempts to force their submission to his, knowing that the rough experience is necessary to their final good; and looking forward to the end to be gained, he is undisturbed by present discords, and firm and unmoved in his unerring purposes.
The obligation, arising from the relationship of brothers and sisters, whether considered as bound by the narrow limits [R1118 : page 6] of the family circle, or the wider sphere of the whole family of God, is simply that of mutual love, as children of common parentage. And love worketh no ill to his neighbor, but delights to be gracious.
But alas! love does not reign in human society. Men do not generally consider the duties and obligations arising out of their varied relationships. Parents do not consider, children do not consider, and generally are not so taught, brothers and sisters do not consider; and so in all the other relationships. Men and women, from infancy up, are generally heady, high-minded, proud, boasters, and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. And those who resolutely set themselves against the overwhelming tide of popular opinion, to live Godly, and if they have families to bring them up in the way of truth and righteousness, must ignore the opinions of others, and study and closely follow the divine law.
Let us now inquire, how the new conditions into which some come by special consecration, during the Gospel age, affect our relationships. Those whose ambitions are not now of an earthly character, but who are seeking the heavenly prize – the divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ – while they are in the world and have to do with the world, must ever bear in mind that they are not of the world, but that they are God's representatives in the world to faithfully carry out and exemplify the principles of his government in whatever position in life they may be placed, whether as parents or children, or brothers and sisters, or members of society. They should not only exemplify the principles of the divine government, but should have such a clear understanding of them as to be able to fairly present them to any inquirer.
While we are in the world our business is the King's business, and all cares of an earthly character must be resolutely pushed aside, so far as may be consistent with the obligations we had assumed before we came into the Lord's service, so that all the time and energy we can possibly spare from the necessary duties of this life may be spent on the great work of preparation for our future work of teaching and restoring the world.
Our duties of an earthly character must be performed in exactly the same way that we would counsel the world to do, if they would heed our counsel. As parents and children and husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, our rightful obligations to each other are not canceled by our higher relationships as sons of God and heirs with Christ of the kingdom to come. But our duties must be limited by the necessities of ourselves and those dependent upon us.
Study and apply the principles of the divine law in all its bearings, both on the present and the future, and let your course be ruled accordingly and your counsel to others be drawn from it. "Let your words be always with grace, seasoned with salt." Ye are the lights of the world; let your light shine, as a beacon on a dark and stormy sea.
An aged farmer and a young man who had recently given himself to Christ were driving along a country road. The young man was talking about his newly found Savior with all the joyous enthusiasm of a young convert, when his old and somewhat cynical companion interrupted, saying, "Oh, yes, you know you are just in your first love; but wait a little, and then you'll – you'll – ," and he meant [R1118 : page 7] though he did not say it, that he would get "cold," like himself. "And what are you?" inquired the young man. "I am an established Christian," was the answer. They drove on for some time in silence, until they were somewhat roughly brought up by the cart-wheel sticking fast in a deep rut. They got out to try and liberate it; the old man whipped the horse and spoke rather forcibly, but all to no purpose; the wheel remained immovable. After one of the fruitless efforts, the young man looked at the farmer and remarked, "I guess, my friend, it's got established." Similarly, there are some Christians who get into a deep rut, and stick there, and mistake their inactivity for established Christianity.– Selected.
Is life worth living? What a question! Who would die? glad youth replies, buoyant with hope, unfettered with care, the ruddy cheek glowing with health, the eye sparkling with pleasure, – How sweet to be, to think, to move, to drink of joy on every hand. Oh, who could part with life?
Is life worth living? 'Tis youth again gives answer, but hope has fled. The pale face, emaciated form, and sunken eye betoken affliction's heavy hand, with days and nights of anguish and unrest. Oh what is life to me! – to be, and suffer. Life is a synonym of pain, and time means torture.
And what has life for you, O man of riper years! busy from early morn till close of day. Has labor aught of joy that one should care to live? Talk not to me of giving up to plan and do, gaining of knowledge, wealth, honor's wreath, and fame's fair title. "Tis true, life has its trials, cares, its stormy days, but these are only fleeting shadows that serve to gild the intervening time with brighter splendor. But again an answer comes from him who has reached the meridian of life in our day. Misfortune on the right hand and the left. Life to me means toil for naught. Affection has no sooner settled firm around earth's fairest blossoms than death puts an end to all our cherished hopes. Friends are gained but to be lost again. Honor is a bubble to be bursted by the first foul breath of jealousy. The cup of pleasure scarce is lifted to the lips till dashed to earth again. To judge the future by the past, what has life in store that I should crave it?
And what of life? 'Tis now the gray-haired veteran gives reply. The weight of years has bent the once proud form, furrowed the cheek and brow, and robbed the senses of their acuteness. Alone, and trembling on the verge of the grave, memory of younger days is all there is left of comfort. The days of the years of my pilgrimage have been few and full of sorrow. The beacon lights of pleasure, wealth and glory are as fleeting as the moments we employ in their pursuit, as changeful as the firefly, and if secured are only vanity. Humanity's portion is, to be, to hope, to hover between its fruition and despair, and end in death, fitting finale of the fitful dream.
But Christian, what say you of life? It is our first and greatest blessing, the [R1119 : page 7] preface to eternity, the time in which true happiness may be forever gained. I look not for the present earthly joy, knowing full well that the afflictions, trials and temptations which abound are means by which God proves me, whether I will do his sovereign will. What virtue in obeying him if there are no desires of my own to disregard? How may I prove him to be the chief object of my affections, and not be called upon to deny myself for his sake? Life affords the opportunity to battle for immortality, to struggle for an existence that shall prove eternal. They who use it for a baser purpose are void of understanding. The curse of God now rests upon the land. We need not think to find our hearts' desires where such a blighting curse exists. But he has promised to remove all evil in his own good time, when, with his blessing here instead, happiness shall be ours. Rejoicing in his love so freely manifested in the gift of his only Son, who even died to redeem us from our present sin-cursed state, gladly do I seek to follow him, scorning all that earth now has in store, and present my body a living sacrifice to God, a reasonable service. I am made conformable unto his death, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection. I rejoice in his self-denial, and partake of his sufferings, that I may share in his joy and glory. Glory to God in the highest! for the being and time by which I may work out so great a destiny. Whatever may be my portion now, I praise his name for life; for I look not at the things that are seen, they are temporal, but at the things that are not seen, which he has promised, for they are eternal. "He that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Those who live to make the most they possibly can of earthly objects through their present fleshly nature, are doomed to bitter disappointment. This life can prove a blessing only when lived for God.
On last Sunday I was one of a crowd of over four thousand people who listened to a sermon by the noted Brooklyn preacher, De Witt Talmage. The whole discourse was a pessimistic view of this present life, and an effort to prove that the more brief the life the greater the blessing, because of the struggle, the labors and heart-aches that are escaped, as well as the temptations that are avoided.
To quote his own expressive language: "If one die at thirty-five, he gets through work at noon;" and speaking of the child that dies in infancy, "That child touched the earth and glanced into heaven."
I could not interpret the thoughts of the throng who appeared to receive his bold unproven assertions as the words of one speaking with authority, but I know that many thoughts coursed through my brain. The following are a few of them: –
I thought – You profess to be a minister of God, why don't you teach the people God's word instead of giving so many of your own words; for since bidding good-bye to your text you have not quoted a word of Scripture to support your assertions. I thought – If it is such a blessing to die young, what a great mistake our Creator has made. If he had taken counsel of modern theologians he would have arranged to have had the bulk of humanity "just touch the earth and glance into heaven," reserving only the "real good," who could not be corrupted, to perpetuate the race, and thus furnish more inhabitants for heaven.
I thought – My dear sir! I wonder were you taken seriously ill, if you would not send post-haste for a physician, and if necessary for a council of them, for fear that by some mistake you might be taken away to the "warmth and sunshine and beauteous landscapes" of heaven before you were quite ready to quit this "outer circle."
I thought – Had you been God's counselor on Mt. Sinai you would have advised Him not to add the promise of long life to the fifth commandment; and you could have corrected Paul when he quoted the commandment, so that he would not have added as a blessing: "That thou mayest live long on the earth." Then again, how ignorant was Hezekiah. What a splendid opportunity he had to go directly through the pearly gates into glory; but he prayed and he wept to remain "in this cheerless world;" and God humored him, and as a special privilege allowed him to remain "outside in the cold and the wet" for fifteen long years. If Hezekiah could have listened to his sermon he would never have written as he did: "Behold for peace I had great bitterness, but Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption, for thou hast cast all my sins behind my back. For the grave cannot praise Thee, death cannot celebrate Thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for Thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise Thee even as I do this day." – Isa. 38:1,5,17-19.
I thought – Solomon was a very wise man; but if you, Mr. Talmage, are correct, he made one great mistake when he gave counsel to the young man, "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments; for length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee;" Talmage would have given as the reward, "For you shall die young and go to glory." Again David ought never to have said, in enumerating the blessings of a perfect man, "With long life will I satisfy him," if as you say, the dead "are more alive than we are – we are the dead."
I thought – "What fools we mortals be" to struggle and labor in search of knowledge as we do, if it be true that, "in five minutes after death we will know more than by studying one hundred years;" and "a child six months old knows more than all the wisdom of Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Oxford, and all other universities combined;" and then, how strange it is that the inspired Psalmist did not know this, as he would not then have written that "the dead know not anything," that "in death there is no remembrance of Thee;" and concerning man that "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish." – Psa. 6:5; 146:4.
"If any man speak let him speak as the oracle of God."– Selected.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I have read with great interest Mr. Brewer's letter to you and your reply, on the resurrection of "the rest of the dead," published in ZION'S WATCH TOWER for March '89.
I have given the subject deep thought and cannot help concluding that to any logical mind it should be clear that the passage in question was a comment or note made by a reader, and was not in the original text. I give you my thoughts as they came to me while studying the subject: Christ is Lord both of the dead and of the living (Rom. 14:9), hence, I conclude that the second resurrection will be his work and will take place during his Millennial reign, i.e., the first resurrection will be that of the saints immediately at Christ's coming, and the second that of the "rest of the dead;" because to restore, or raise up, or give life will be his special work during his reign.
From the study of the Lord's Word I conclude that his work would not be complete, if the "rest of the dead" were raised up after the thousand years, for then Christ will deliver up the kingdom to his Father perfect in every respect. – 1 Cor. 15:24 and following verses.
Peter says in Acts 3:20,21: "Restitution of all things." This implies a restoration of all things both dead and living to their original condition or state of perfection lost by Adam's transgression, and if such is not the case the Apostle Paul's statement in Rom. 14:9 has no meaning. We cannot for a moment suppose that Christ would deliver up the kingdom to his Father in an incomplete condition, and it certainly would be so, if he did not awaken all and give all the opportunity to be fully raised up out of death; and it would be contrary to his own words in John 5:27-29 and 11:25; and to Paul's words in 1 Cor. 15:21,22. – Diaglott. Yours in the service of Jesus,
Sample copies of OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS, No. I. of the series, have been sent to all the TOWER readers. These will be issued quarterly, beginning with April 1889. Our first edition of No. I. was 10,000 and was quickly exhausted; now 50,000 more of the same are at your service. We are ready to do our part to make the edition a million, and if each steward of time and money and influence among us will do what he can, we believe it will not be long before the Old Theology, older than Romanism or any other ism – the theology of our Lord and the apostles – will be much more clearly understood than at present.
Study over the matter, and decide how many you can subscribe for and use each quarter, at the very low rates mentioned on second page of Tract No. I. Some write that they can take a larger quantity, if permitted to send the subscription price in quarterly instalments, instead of sending for the entire year at once, and ask if this will be agreeable to us, or whether it will cause too much trouble. We answer, Do whichever way you can accomplish the greatest results. We gladly take any extra labor that will honor our great Redeemer's name and help set free God's saints still held in error's bondage in Babylon.
Some of the saints are very enthusiastic in regard to these Tracts. Bro. Weber insists that they will be the shower of hail mentioned by the Prophet Isaiah. (Chap. 28:17.) As heretofore shown, water is a symbol of truth; hence hail is a symbol of crystalized and purified truths. May the Lord grant that these old theology hail-stones may in many cases be successful in exposing and sweeping away the refuges of error, and thus in liberating the minds of many of God's true children, who shall be in trouble until made to understand the true doctrine, the old theology. See marginal reading of Isa. 28:19: "report" should be translated "doctrine."
Let us who are of the "Day," and who realize that we are in the dawn, not pattern after the worldly, and be asleep to things spiritual and absorbed and overcharged with worldly aims or pleasures or business; but let us make the spread of the truth the main business of life, to which all other business will be but servant and contributor. As an illustration [R1120 : page 7] of keenness in the spiritual work, worthy of emulation, we note the following circumstance: –
Rev. Dr. Henson of Chicago preached recently on the subject of Eternal Torture, and his sermon, which pictured vividly the everlasting agonies of those who die without becoming saints, was published in the Chicago papers the following Monday; and by the following Sunday two of the brethren there had 500 of the Old Theology Tracts, No. I., and distributed them personally to that congregation at their church doors. Those brethren preached a sermon to that congregation, from the Bible, such as could reach them in no other way so thoroughly; one that Dr. Henson's preaching will never efface. They may not know of the results in the present life, but doubtless in the kingdom some may come to them and say, "Under God I owed my liberation from blindness and error to that hail-storm which as messengers of the truth you let fall upon that congregation, and that was my start in truth-seeking and truth-getting."
We have thousands of old copies of the German WATCH TOWER, very suitable for new readers, which we are anxious to put into their hands FREE. We ask our readers who can do so and would enjoy the privilege of such service, to take these and distribute them at the doors of German churches on Sundays. In ordering say how many you can use.
When thus distributing papers or tracts do not stand to do so, for this blocks the street and is contrary to law, but keep walking up and down while handing them out, and be as polite and agreeable as possible.
The Constitution of the United States guarantees every one the right to distribute money or tracts or papers of any sort, to any desiring to take them, – provided they contain neither obscene nor incendiary matter. Any city or state law, such as is mentioned in a letter from New Orleans, attempting to interfere with this privilege, is unconstitutional and cannot be sustained. The sidewalks are public property, and one man has as much right to walk thereon as another. No one has a right to blockade the way, or to trespass upon enclosures, or to attempt a distribution of anything in the yard or vestibule of a place of meeting; and no one who has clear, true ideas of justice and the rights of others would attempt such an intrusion, even if no human law forbade. The royal law of Love and respect for the rights of others, would quickly settle this point.
Let us clearly divide and distinguish, however, on this subject, and if chief priests and elders attempt to interfere with you in distributing tracts and papers on the public highways, do not easily permit that. They have no more right to interfere with your preaching by tracts, etc., quietly and unobtrusively, to those who want to read what you have to give, than you would have to interfere with people who desire to hear their oral preaching. Both you and they are preachers, each according to his conviction, though you employ different methods of reaching the people. Neither has a right to interfere with the other's methods.
If some shall claim that it is unkind for you to attempt to feed his sheep, just remember that they are misstating the case; for the sheep are not theirs, but Christ's. When seeking to feed Christ's sheep, in any manner that does not intrude upon the private property or rights of others, you are certainly doing the Lord's sheep, who alone have a relish for such food, a great kindness. If the chief priests and elders consider our food poisonous, let them analyze it and show it to be so; if they cannot do this, and the sheep who feed upon it enjoy it and grow spiritually stronger upon it, who has a right to feel that you did an unkind act in offering the food.
The same sort of argument that would prove your act of unobtrusive tract distribution unkind, could be used to prove that it would be unkind and unloving to interfere with the plans of robbers. Kindness in such a case would have to draw a line between the wishes of the robbers and the robbed. And just so, true kindness must choose between the rights and needs of the poor starved sheep of Christ and those who in the name of the Chief Shepherd seek to enslave his sheep as their own, in the bondage of sectarianism and errors.
This work is specially designed to make plain the divine plan. It begins at the beginning of the subject, by establishing the faith of the reader in God and in the Bible as his revelation, and proceeds to trace the glorious plan therein revealed, and to show which parts of that plan are already accomplished, and which will be accomplished during the Millennial age, the manner of its introduction, and its objects and methods.
We know of nothing to compare with this book, as a "Bible Key" – "A Helping Hand for Bible Students." The One Hundred and Twentieth Thousand is now on the press, and many who have read it carefully and prayerfully, declare that if they could not obtain another they would not part with their copy, and the hopes it has enkindled, for millions.
It contains 352 pages, clear type, good paper, etc. Price in cloth covers $1.00 (or together with one year's subscription to this journal, Zion's Watch Tower, $1.25). Price in paper covers 25 cents, reduced from 50 cents to bring it within reach of all. These prices include postage.
Only Watch Tower subscribers are desired to act as colporteurs or agents for this book, and to thus preach with each book sixteen sermons more effectively than in any other way, and to classes not otherwise accessible. Some loan these books in quantities, others give them to their friends, and others sell them. The latter plan is often best, because people will more surely read what they have paid something for.
Some of our readers, who can afford it, pay the above low prices by the hundred copies, and some do more and contribute to the TOWER TRACT FUND, enabling us to make the following terms on the paper covered books to those whose circumstances are such that they can greatly increase their time and labor in this work by taking advantage of the allowance, as all subscribers are at liberty and welcome to do, each according to his own judgment.
The terms to Colporteurs are as follows: – To such as desire these books for loaning or giving away, and to those who can spend more of their time in selling them by reason of this arrangement, the Tract Fund grants an allowance of 10 cents per book, in lots of not less than 10 books AT A TIME – that is $1.50 for 10 books, $3.00 for 20, etc. This allowance is made to enable those of limited means to do more in the work of spreading the truth than they could otherwise do.
To such as give their entire time to this ministry of the truth, traveling from town to town and engaging in no other business for support, the Tract Fund grants an allowance of 12½ cents per copy (called "Expense Money" to pay the traveling and living expenses of colporteurs), – in lots of not less than 20 books AT A TIME, – that is $2.50 for 20 books, $5.00 for 40, etc.
When ordering state plainly which terms you accept, otherwise we shall reckon at 25 cents each. A GERMAN TRANSLATION OF THE ABOVE AT SAME PRICES AND ON SAME TERMS, except that colporteurs will be permitted to order one half the minimum quantities, – 5 for 75 cents, etc., or to regular colporteurs 10 for $1.25.
Prices and terms same as Vol. I. This volume is intended only for those who have carefully and thoroughly studied Vol. I. All such whose interest is awakened, will surely want this volume and succeeding ones which are in course of preparation, as well as the regular issues of the WATCH TOWER.
Though foreign postage is higher, we must not increase the price; for money elsewhere is more scarce among the poor than here, and the poor we want specially to reach, since we know that "not many rich or great" are among the Lord's chosen.
Our foreign friends may, therefore, hereafter, reckon our terms in English money, thus: –
25 cents = 1 shilling. 50 cents = 2 shillings. $1.00 " 4 " $1.25 " 5 " 1.50 " 6 " 2.50 " 10 " 3.00 " 12 " 5.00 " 20 "
All who would engage in the work of ministering as colporteurs, but who lack the means to purchase the quantities mentioned above, can take their sample book and begin by taking orders, payable on delivery. If you can write us that you have secured orders for 5 we will let you have 10 books on credit; if you get orders for 10 we are willing to let you have 20; if you get 20 we will let you have 40 books on credit.
Write your order on a separate piece of paper from that upon which your letter is written. Write very plainly – especially your name and address. The name of the town is not always the same as the name of the post office: be sure to give the name of the Post Office to which you wish books sent. Give us plenty of time by ordering several days before you want the books, as we are very busy.
Address orders to –