Scriptures around perimeter of front page:
"The Lord Reigneth! Let the Earth Rejoice. – Zion Heard and was Glad. – Judah Rejoiced." – Psa. 97:1,8.
Along left edge:
Fear not, Little Flock; for it is Your Father's good Pleasure to give You the Kingdom. They shall be Kings and Priests unto God, and Reign on the Earth.
Along right edge:
To him that Overcometh I will Grant to Sit with Me in My Throne, and to Eat of the Hidden Manna, He shall not be Hurt of the Second Death.
"Arise, Shine; for thy Light is Come, and the Glory of the Lord is Risen upon Thee." – Isa. 60:1.
Inside perimeter border:
Vol. No., Cross & Crown emblem, Date.ZION'SWATCH TOWERandHerald of Christ'sPresence."Watchman, What of the Night?""The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11
VOL. XII. JANUARY, 1891. NO. 1.
THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD.
THE CHURCH. – Heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, our Lord.
The Bride, the Lamb's Wife.
BASIS OF HOPE. – Ye were Bought with a Price, even the precious Blood of Christ. – Accepted in the Beloved.
HER HIGH CALLING. – Therefore, being justified by Faith – we have this Grace, wherein we rejoice.
HER PROSPECTS. – To share the Divine Nature – made like her Lord in the First Resurrection.
PRESENT WORK. – Perfecting the Saints for the work of the Ministry and Witnessing to the World.
FUTURE WORK. – To bless and judge the world in righteousness, bringing all to full knowledge of the Truth.
HOW TO ATTAIN THE PRIZE. – Wherefore, laying aside every weight and sin, let us Run with Patience the Race; looking unto Jesus, who for the same joy endured the Cross, despising the shame.
THE WARNING. – He that looketh back is not fit for the Kingdom. Let no man take thy Crown.
ENCOURAGEMENT. – He will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able.
HER GLORY. – Then shall the Righteous Shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father.
ROM. 8:17; REV. 21:9; 1 COR. 6:20; 1 PET. 18,19; ROM. 5:1,2; 2 PET. 1:3,4; 1 JOHN 3:2; REV. 20:6; EPH. 4:12; MATT. 24:14; GAL. 3:16,29; ACTS 17:31; 1 TIM. 2:4,6; HEB. 12:1,2; LUKE 9:62; REV. 3:11; 1 COR. 10:13; MATT. 13:43.WE CONTEND EARNESTLY FOR THE FAITH– ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS. –
"We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men – specially [or most fully and everlastingly] of those that believe." – 1 Tim. 4:10.
"To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." – 1 Cor. 8:6.
All we are brethren, and one is our Master, even Christ. (Matt. 23:8.) Our Master declares: "If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love." "And this is his commandment, that we love one another."WE SEEK TO WALK
Worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to preserve the unity of the spirit [oneness of mind] in the bond of peace. There is ONE BODY [Church], with ONE SPIRIT [one sentiment or disposition], even as we are called in ONE HOPE of our calling; ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, who is above all and through all and in us all. – Eph. 4:1-6.
THE ONE BODY – is "the Church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth;" "the Church of the first-born" "whose names are written in heaven;" the "little flock," to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom; the members in particular of the body of Christ; prospectively, Christ's Bride and joint-heir; the "Seed of Abraham," of which our Lord Jesus is Head. Since Pentecost this Church of Christ has been in process of selection from among justified believers, or the general "household of faith;" and its members, when complete and glorified, unitedly shall inherit the Abrahamic promise and bless all the families of the earth. – Gal. 3:16,29.
THE ONE SPIRIT – is the spirit of the Truth, the spirit of God, the spirit of adoption as sons of God, which actuates and governs all who are of the ONE BODY, in vital union with the one Head, Christ Jesus. It is the spirit of holiness, and chief among its fruits is Love.
THE ONE HOPE – which inspires all the members of the one body of Christ, who have the one spirit of the Truth, is "the hope set before us in the gospel," and not hopes suggested from our own or other men's imaginations or conjectures. The one hope is a "good hope" (2 Thes. 2:16), a hope of eternal life by a resurrection. (Titus 3:7.) The ground of this hope is found in Jehovah's promises, confirmed unto us by the death of our Lord Jesus as the ransom price for our sins, and by his resurrection from the dead for our justification. – 1 Pet. 1:3; Acts 17:31.
THE ONE LORD – is the Head or Chief of the one body – his Church possessing the spirit of the Truth and actuated by the one hope of becoming his Bride and joint-heir. He and his Father are one, even as he and his church are one. (John 17:11.) He is the Redeemer of his church as well as her Lord, Exemplar and Master. And he is the Redeemer also of the whole world, and by virtue of that office he is to be the world's Deliverer from Adamic sin and death. He it is who in all things has the pre-eminence in Jehovah's plan and work. He was not only "the beginning of the creation of God," "the first-born of every creature," but more: he was the "beginning and the ending," he was the "Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last," of Jehovah's direct creation; for all other "things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." (Col. 1:15,18; Rev. 3:14; 1:8; 21:6; 22:13; John 1:3.) He it is who, to carry out the Father's gracious plan, willingly left the glory which he had with the Father before the world was created, and became a man – a little lower than the angels – that he might, as a man, present himself in sacrifice for the sins of man. Thus we behold him as the "Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all." (1 Tim. 2:5,6.) By his willing sacrifice of himself for men he bought Adam and the entire race condemned through his fall, and became Lord of all – not only of the living, but also of the dead, with full power and authority to awaken and restore to all that was lost whosoever accepts of the New Covenant of divine favor which, by his death, he sealed and made effective to all. But our Lord is no longer in the flesh, no longer a human being. He has finished the work of ransoming us, for which the taking of the flesh was needful. He was indeed put to death in the flesh, but was quickened [made alive] in the spirit. "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth we know him [so] no more." As he was begotten of the spirit at his baptism, so he was born of the spirit at his resurrection; and "that which is born of the spirit is spirit." "Now the Lord is that spirit." (1 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 5:16; John 3:6; 2 Cor. 3:17.) Because he showed his obedience to the Father, and his confidence, in that he humbled himself to become a man and tasted death for every man, therefore God highly exalted him – far above manhood, far above the angelic nature; even far above his own glorious previous station, and gave him a name [title] above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess, to the glory of God the Father. He made him partaker of the divine nature and honor, "that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father." "He is Lord of all." – Phil. 2:8-11; John 5:22,23,26; Acts 10:36.
THE ONE FAITH – is that we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, who died for our sins, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God; by whom we have accepted the at-one-ment with God, offered unto us. Wherefore, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; being cleansed by his blood [sacrifice], we are brought nigh to God and are no longer strangers and foreigners, but children and heirs of his favors, prepared for those who love him when brought nigh through the precious blood. Through this faith we grasp the exceeding great and precious promises of God as rapidly as we see them, and gladly appropriate them to ourselves. Faith anchors our hearts securely to the precious things of the future, though unseen as yet except to the eye of faith. Faith is the power of God to every one that believeth.
THE ONE BAPTISM. – Those of the one BODY and one HOPE, joined to the one LORD, possessing the one FAITH, are all baptized or immersed into Jesus Christ. (Rom. 6:3.) As individuals they have reckonedly ceased to exist: henceforth, for them to live is for Christ to live. With their wills buried or immersed into the will of Christ, they thenceforth live, not unto themselves, but unto him that bought them with his own precious blood. Their own wills are dead, and henceforth they recognize only the will of the one Lord, the Head of the body, which is his church, whose names are written in heaven. Justified believers attain membership in this Church of Christ through this burial or immersion of their hearts, their wills, into the will of Christ. And as the Apostle further declares, this immersion of our wills (ourselves) into Christ is acceptable only when it is an immersion even unto death – an entire, a complete immersion forever. "Know ye not that so many of us as were immersed into Jesus Christ were immersed into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by immersion into death; that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we also [from the time of our consecration, the immersion of our wills into that of the one Lord,] should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be [sharers] also in the likeness of his resurrection" – the first resurrection, to be with him and like him, partakers of the divine nature. (Rom. 6:3-5; Phil. 3:10,11.) This is the only real baptism, of which immersion in water is only the beautiful and appropriate symbol.VOL. XII. JANUARY, 1891. NO. 1.VIEW FROM THE TOWER.
"Looking back, we praise the way
God has led us, led us day by day."
Throughout the civilized world, despite the prognostications of many, peace prevails to a remarkable degree. While on every hand the two great armies, Capital and Labor, are busily organizing, and the various elements are preparing for the great final struggle and time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, yet peace still prevails. And thus we see before us a fulfilment of God's prediction that the violent winds of war should be checked and holden until the sealing of the saints of God should be accomplished. – Rev. 7:1-3.
Meantime the sealing progresses. Daily and hourly the saints of God are being searched out and sealed "in their foreheads" [intellectually] with a clear appreciation of "the mystery of God" which has been kept secret in part hitherto, but is now made manifest unto the saints, according to the will of God – the mystery of God being about finished. (Rev. 10:7; Rom. 16:25,26.) The "angels" or messengers doing this sealing (Rev. 7:1) are the same messengers referred to by our Lord when he declared that in the harvest or end of this age he would send forth his messengers with the sound of a great trumpet [the seventh trumpet], to gather together his elect from one end of heaven to the other.* Every consecrated child of God who receives the truth realizes at once his duty and privilege of imparting it to others. He hears the commission, "Go ye into the vineyard;" and "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto eternal life."* These are the Lord's "angels" – messengers or servants. The sealing and the gathering we understand to refer to the same thing. And the heavens through which these messengers go sealing and gathering is not the heaven of God's throne, but the symbolic heavens so often referred to in the book of Revelation, namely, the nominal church.
This "gathering together" is not a literal assembling in one locality, just as the heavens are not literal. The gathering is into one condition, into unity of heart and mind through the knowledge of the divine plan of the ages, and corresponds exactly to the sealing in the forehead; for all the elect are to be sealed with the same seal; and all thus sealed are to see eye to eye, and to be one in heart and hope and work.
This sealing is performed only upon the consecrated. And the rapidity with which the work of sealing progresses in each, and which of them will eventually be fully sealed, depend upon the degrees of faithfulness to their consecration vows on the part of the various servants of God in the time of the sealing. His servants should serve him; and those who, either from slothfulness or from being overcharged with earthly things, are neglecting Christ's service, and burying the talents consecrated to him, will be passed by – will not be fully sealed if at all marked, but will be left to [R1279 : page 2] have their portion with the world in the great trouble which will begin just as soon as the faithful are all "gathered" and "sealed."
All this implies great commotion, not only in the "heavens" [nominal church] but also among those being "gathered" and "sealed." It means crucial testing and sifting and close examination by the Lord through his truth and providences; for the Lord himself is the great superintendent of this important work, and is now directing his own servants. Each sealed one becomes a sealer of others as soon as he himself is sealed; and each gathered one becomes a gatherer of others as soon as he himself comes into oneness of heart and head with the Lord and the present truth.
We must not wonder, then, at the shaking and falling now in progress among those most closely in contact with the work of sealing and gathering. The divisions must come. The Lord's words show us that it will cause much commotion when his order to separate wheat from tares is put into effect – a commotion which he would not permit until the harvest time had come. (Matt. 13:28-30.) And then in some respects a still greater commotion will ensue when these sealed and gathered servants, the "wheat" class, are examined after having been brought into some measure of the light and privileges of the present truth – when, as shown in two parables, two classes will be forcibly cast out of the light into the outer darkness of the world, thus to pass with the world through the great trouble now impending. The two classes to be thus cast out by the Lord are – first, those who have taken off the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness and who deny the precious blood and the ransom which it alone secures; and secondly, the unfaithful servants who bury their consecrated talents in earthly things instead of using them in the Master's service. No earthly power can keep such from going into the outer darkness of error, for it is the Master's order that they shall be cast out.
Moreover, we can only expect that such will struggle vehemently against any reproofs and against any words of warning, and claim that instead of going into the outer darkness of the world they are following new light. As a reward for your efforts to do them good and to help them, by exposing their delusions, they will hate you and say all manner of evil against you. Be not surprised at this; it is merely incidental to the sifting which must go on to the finish. Remember the Master's words further – It is needful that offenses and divisions come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh. (Matt. 18:7; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 11:19.) Let us not by our acts or words or looks drive such from us, except in so far as faithfulness in speaking the truth boldly and in love will do it. Let the truth make the separation. Speak the truth in love, and stand firmly by it. It is the power of God, not only in the first separating and gathering, but it will be the power also in the second separating and casting out. "For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner [manifester] of the thoughts and intents of the heart." – Heb. 4:12.
Nor will those cast out of the light, as unworthy of it, recognize the agency by which the Lord will cast them out, any more than they recognized his agency in bringing them into the light. Yet he tells us that he will cast them out. They will go out from us because they were not of us, that it may be manifest that they were not all of us. (1 John 2:19.) They go out from us because they lack full consecration and full submission to the will of God. For this cause, thus to cast them out, the Lord will send them strong delusions, delusive errors, that they may believe a lie; that thus all who, when they know the truth, fail to take pleasure in serving it, may be condemned and manifested as unworthy of joint-heirship with Christ, and consequently unworthy of the light which he provides only for such.THE DOUBLE WORK NOW PROGRESSING.
While the gathering and sealing work naturally took precedence to the sifting and testing [R1280 : page 2] of the gathered and sealed, yet now both are simultaneously progressing; and no sooner is the sealed one rejoiced with the beauty of the Lord's [R1280 : page 3] great plan than he, on being ushered into the company of the sealed, begins to be sifted and tested. "Who is sufficient for these things?" "Who shall be able to stand?" (2 Cor. 2:16; Mal. 3:2,3; Rev. 6:17.) None but the faithful shall be able to stand, because the Lord purposely will make the test so severe as to sift and shake out all others. (2 Thes. 2:11.) The faithful are those who are trusting in Jesus for all, and whose will is the will of their God, who are so consecrated to his will that they rejoice to serve him with every talent possessed.
Both the gathering work and the sifting work are increasing. While the division is great and many are being cast out of the light, the faithful are daily becoming more awake to the privilege of being co-workers with the Lord in the present harvest, and the gathering more than keeps pace with the sifting and the falling. Each knows something of the falling, for it is confined to no one locality; but you do not all realize the great work of gathering now in progress, and we want, for your encouragement, to tell you of it briefly.
The monthly circulation of the TOWER averages about ten thousand copies, which we may safely estimate represents fifteen thousand readers. And of those readers, scattered in all parts of the world, we estimate, judging from the letters received, that about four thousand are fully consecrated to the Lord and using their talents to praise him to the best of their ability. Such have the Master's assurance that they shall never fall, but that an abundant entrance shall be granted them into the everlasting kingdom and joys of their Lord; for they are faithful, and faithful is he that called them, who also will do all that he has so graciously promised.
This probable 4000 may look to some like a very insignificant number in comparison with the millions of nominal Christians; and yet if there are so many of the consecrated and faithful now living, it is a large proportion of the full number – 144,000 (Rev. 7:4) – to be made up during the 1900 years of the Gospel age, which would be an average of about 76 persons each year. And if 4000 persons now living are fully consecrated to the Lord and faithful, and have been so developed during the past ten years, this would show an average of 400 persons annually during the past ten years, or more than five times the proportionate annual number. So even this seemingly small estimate of 4000 may be considerably reduced by the trials and siftings now in process, which are designed to prove their worthiness of the prize of the high calling. Like Gideon's band, this 144,000 is to be a picked and choice company.
The others, the many – and the very anticipation causes pain – will probably all fall, according to the words of our Master's testimony, unless they, too, arouse speedily and by a full consecration enter fully into the Master's work as the chief business of life. While some will be falling because of unfaithfulness, losing the crowns apportioned to them when they made their covenant of consecration (Rev. 3:11), others will be "gathered" in and tested until the elect number of the "body" is complete.
Oh! awake beloved, and resolve, each of you, that the Lord's work shall be your chief joy and chief work during the year just begun. The time is short. Labor while it is called to-day, for the night of trouble will soon end all the present, blessed opportunities, and it is he that reapeth that receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto everlasting life.
Of the estimated four thousand laborers in the cause of the present truth, engaged as the Lord's messengers in gathering and sealing his servants in their foreheads, of course the larger number are those who have only one or two talents – who were so hampered by marriage, families, etc., before the truth got hold of them, before their sealing, that their time, influence, means, etc., are more or less mortgaged to these earthly things, and less is therefore left for the great service of our King which now opens before them. These are using what opportunities or talents they have at their disposal, and are realizing the Lord's promise that he that uses his talents shall have them increased; and daily, in blessing and sealing others with the truth, these are entering into the joys of our Lord and having a foretaste of the new wine (joys) which we shall share with him when the Kingdom is fully [R1280 : page 4] established and when the truth shall flow to and bless all the families of the earth.
Another part of the work which has received a great impetus during the past year is that known as the Colporteur work. Brethren and sisters who have five talents – influence, earthly prospects (money, etc.), reputation, strength and time – find that the best way of using all these to bring honor to the Master, to whom these talents by our consecration belong, is in taking the truth from house to house and from city to city, by introducing to others the Father's great plan and the harvest message which has sealed and so richly blessed them. It costs them something indeed thus to forsake earthly things – friends, houses, lands, money prospects and reputation; yet, noble band! they count all these things but loss and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, whom they serve. Yea, they count not their lives dear unto them, but rejoice thus to be privileged to be Christ's co-workers and ambassadors for the truth in his stead.
The world knoweth these not, even as it knew not the Master; but all who do recognize them should, if they ever have opportunity, set before them the best they have, and should rejoice to do for them as unto the Lord.
Still there is room in this service, which seems to be the one most abundantly owned and blessed of the Lord. All the unencumbered can be given this grand opportunity for preaching the glad tidings. And we are continually in communication with others who are in various stages of preparation for this work, their full and grateful hearts longing to give every talent to the service of him who loved us and bought us with his own precious blood. The unencumbered need no preparation; but those who have families require to put matters in such shape that those dependent on them shall not suffer want (1 Tim. 5:8), while they are spreading the good tidings, else they must content themselves with a lesser service. Truly the work is a marvelous one – not that it would be strange to get so many to engage in any business if they had good salaries guaranteed – that we see every day; but it is unusual to find so many laboring for the mere necessities of life – for the majority barely meet their expenses, and those who can do more often esteem it a privilege to donate of their surplus to the TRACT FUND to help carry on the general work of preaching the truth.ANOTHER PART OF THE WORK.
Another agency being greatly blessed and used by the Master in finding and sealing his faithful sheep is the OLD THEOLOGY TRACT work. Hundreds of thousands of these little messengers have gone hither and thither carrying the bread and water of life to many. Our readers have procured and distributed many thousands – one Brother subscribing for and circulating three thousand Tracts each quarter, and others less quantities in proportion to their means or opportunities for using them. Others who are too poor to purchase we have supplied gratis, and others who have no means of using the tracts have sent donations to the fund, thus to help on the cause of publishing and circulating the truth.
About a year ago we requested the friends of the cause to send in to us memoranda of the numbers of the Post Office boxes in use in their towns. We got responses from many and sent out sample tracts by the hundreds of thousands, until the available funds, tracts, etc., ran low. We are now preparing for a vigorous campaign for our King and his truth, to set at liberty and to seal his earnest servants. Over twenty millions of pages of Old Theology Tracts are already under way and will soon, we trust, be with the Lord's other servants and agencies seeking and sealing his jewels. We could tell you much, too, of the faithful laborers connected with the TOWER Office, as well as of others of the faithful scattered ones who are doing what they can for the Master, whose places of service are less conspicuous than those of the colporteurs; but we forbear. The Lord knoweth his own. If any man will do the Father's will, he shall know of the doctrine."FROM GLORY UNTO GLORY."
– 2 COR. 3:18. –"From Glory unto Glory!" Be this our joyous song,
As on the narrow way to life we bravely march along!
"From Glory unto Glory!" O word of stirring cheer,
As dawns the solemn brightness of another glad New Year.
Our own beloved Master "hath many things to say."
Look forward to his teaching, unfolding day by day;
To whispers of his spirit, to insight clear and sweet,
To blessed consolation, while resting at his feet.
"From Glory unto Glory!" Our faith hath seen the King.
We own his matchless beauty, as adoringly we sing;
But he hath more to show us! O thought of untold bliss!
And on we press exultingly in blessed hope to this: –
To marvelous outpourings of his 'treasures new and old,'
To largess of his bounty, paid in the King's own gold,
To glorious expansion of his mysteries of grace,
To radiant unveilings of the brightness of his face.
From Glory unto Glory! What great things he hath done,
What wonders he hath shown us, what triumphs he hath won!
We marvel at the records of the blessings of the year!
But sweeter than the Christmas bells rings out his promise clear –
That "greater things," far greater, our longing eyes shall see!
We can but wait and wonder what "greater things" shall be!
But glorious fulfilments rejoicingly we claim,
While pleading in the power of the All-Prevailing Name.
"From Glory unto Glory!" What mighty blessings crown
The lives for which our Lord hath laid his own so freely down!
Omnipotence to keep us, Omniscience, too, to guide,
Jehovah's blessed Presence within us to abide!
The fulness of his blessing encompasseth our way;
The fulness of his promises crowns every brightening day;
The fulness of his glory is beaming from above,
While more and more we realize the fulness of his love.
"From Glory unto Glory!" Without a shade of care,
Because the Lord who loves us will every burden bear;
Because we trust him fully, and know that he will guide,
And know that he will keep us at his beloved side.
"From Glory unto Glory!" Though tribulation fall,
It cannot touch our treasure, when Christ is All in All!
Whatever lies before us, there can be naught to fear,
For what are pain and sorrow when Jesus Christ is near?
"From Glory unto Glory!" O marvels of the word!
"With open face beholding the glory of the Lord,"
We, even we (O wondrous grace!) "are changed into the same,"
The image of our Savior, to glorify his Name.
Abiding in his presence, and walking in the light,
And seeking to do always what is "pleasing in his sight;"
We look to him to keep us "all glorious within,"
Because "the blood of Jesus Christ is cleansing from all sin."
The things behind forgetting, we only gaze before
"From Glory unto Glory," that "shineth more and more,"
Because our Lord hath said it, that such shall be our way,
(O splendor of the promise!) "unto the perfect day."
"From Glory unto Glory!" Our fellow-travelers still
Are gathering on the journey! The bright electric thrill
Of quick, instinctive union, more frequent and more sweet,
Shall swiftly pass from heart to heart in true and tender beat.
And closer yet, and closer, the golden bonds shall be,
Enlinking all who love our Lord in pure sincerity;
And wider yet, and wider, shall the circling glory glow,
As more and more are taught of God that mighty love to know.
O ye who seek the Savior, look up in faith and love;
Come up into the sunshine, so bright and warm above!
No longer tread the valley, but, clinging to his hand,
Ascend the shining summits and view the glorious land.
Our harp-notes should be sweeter, our trumpet-tones more clear,
Our anthems ring so grandly that all the world must hear!
O, royal be our music, for who hath cause to sing
Like the chorus of redeemed ones, the children of the King?
O, let our adoration for all that he hath done
Peal out beyond the stars of God, while voice and life are one;
And let our consecration be real, and deep, and true.
O, even now our hearts shall bow, and joyful vows renew!
"In full and glad surrender we give ourselves to thee,
Thine utterly, and only, and evermore to be!
O Son of God, who lovest us, we will be thine alone,
And all we are, and all we have, shall henceforth be thine own!"
Now onward, ever onward, "from strength to strength" we go,
While "grace for grace" abundantly shall from his fulness flow,
To glory's full fruition, from glory's foretaste here,
Until his very Presence crown our happiest New Year!– Frances Ridley Havergal.THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW YEAR.OUR TALENTS AND THEIR USE.
The dawn of another new year is properly a time for solemn reflections, both retrospective and prospective. In the retrospect how abundant is the cause for thanksgiving. We who have been blessed with the richest favors of divine grace in that knowledge of divine truth which reveals to us the high privilege of becoming sons and heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for the called and chosen and faithful according to his purpose, have a never failing cause for deepest gratitude. Great indeed was the favor which revealed to us the hope of everlasting life as justified, human sons of God – of full restitution to the divine favor and likeness, as at first possessed by our father Adam. And great was our joy when first, by faith, we appropriated this precious promise and realized that legally, through merit of the precious blood of Christ shed for our redemption, we had passed from death unto life, and that in God's appointed time the everlasting treasure with all its attendant glory and blessing would be ours. But beyond even this favor are the "exceeding great and precious promises" to those of this justified class who have been called, according to God's purpose, to become the bride and joint-heir of his dear Son.
Then, in addition to all these blessings of hope and promise, was the blessed realization during all the year, and with some of us for many years past, that though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, as the Psalmist aptly represents the present life, our blessed Shepherd's rod and staff have been our comfort and our safeguard. How often has the friendly crook of the Shepherd's staff stayed us from wandering off into by-paths and kept us in the narrow way; how his chastening rod has from time to time aroused us from dreamy lethargy and urged us on our way. And at such times we have recalled the comforting words: "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons." – Heb. 12:5-8.
Spiritually, we have feasted on the bounties of divine favor, while in things temporal, under whatsoever circumstances we have been placed, having the assurance that all things work together for good to them that love God, we have realized that godliness with contentment is great gain, having promise of the life that now is [so long as God wills to have us remain here], and also of that which is to come. Wherefore, we can and do most heartily "offer unto God thanksgiving." And shall we not render unto him, not only the praise of our lips, but also the incense of truly consecrated lives, throughout the year upon which we are just entering. Dearly beloved, consecrate yourselves anew to the Lord today – not in the sense of invalidating the consecration made once for all, possibly many years ago, but rather in the sense of re-affirming and emphasizing that covenant. Tell the dear Lord that you consider yourselves entirely his, and that it is still your purpose to keep your all upon the altar of sacrifice during this new year and until it is wholly consumed in his service. Then let us proceed with studious care from day to day to pay these, our vows of full consecration, unto the Most High.
As we look back and with sorrow view the imperfections of even our best efforts, and then forward and see the lion-like difficulties that seem [R1281 : page 7] to obstruct our onward course, we will need greatly to re-inforce our waning courage with the special promises of divine grace to help in every time of need. We have the blessed assurance that "the Lord will give strength unto his people." "Call upon me in the day of trouble," he says, "and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." As soldiers under our great Captain, we have enlisted in no uncertain struggle, except our own faint-heartedness or unfaithfulness should make it so. We are fully supplied with the whole armor of God, and will be amply protected against all the fiery darts of the adversary if we will accept it and carefully buckle it on; we are forewarned of all the snares and dangers that beset our onward way, so that we may avoid and overcome them; we are fully informed as to the policy and course of the Captain under whose banners we have enlisted, and of the part we are to take under his leading. We have his constant presence with us, even to the end of our course. His inspiring voice may always be heard above the clash and din of battle – Fear not, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom! Be of good cheer: I have overcome! Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid! Greater is he that is for you than all they that be against you. If we are weak and incline to faint-heartedness we have only to remember the blessed promise, "The Lord will give strength unto his people;" and by our faithfulness in the service we shall glorify God and he will deliver us gloriously from all our foes, both seen and unseen.HOW SHALL WE PAY OUR VOWS?
This is an important question with all the truly consecrated, and one surely of paramount importance. Let us consider, then, that when we consecrated ourselves fully to the Lord, we thereby signified that we would hold nothing back for self. That consecration included all our possessions, our time, our physical energies and our mental attainments. And it implied the sacrifice of all our former earthly ambitions, hopes and aims, so that we should no longer pursue them to any extent. This, and nothing less, is what our vow of full consecration signifies. But it signifies, further, that these possessions or personal qualifications, which the Lord terms talents, are not only to be released from the service of the worldly ambitions, etc., but that they are to be so released, not for aimless inactivity, but for the purpose of being utilized in an opposite direction – in the service of God, of his plan and of his children.
In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) the Lord illustrated very clearly how we are expected to pay our vows of consecration to the Most High. He says: "It is like a man who, intending to travel, called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to each according to his respective capacity; and straightway took his journey."
This master had important and valuable interests to leave in charge of his servants; and as these servants had all engaged to serve him, he had a right to expect of them a sincere and faithful interest in the work. Yet he did not expect more of them than they were severally able to accomplish. He rightly expected larger returns from the one who had five talents than from those who had one or two talents. And in the reckoning, it will be observed that the servant who had doubled his two talents was just as highly commended as the one who had doubled his five. The reply to each was the same – "Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." And had the servant with the one talent been similarly faithful he would have received the very same commendation. Notice also that the parable does not represent the obligations of the world of mankind in the use of their talents, but merely of "his own servants" – the consecrated believers only. And notice also that no servant was left without some talent of usefulness and responsibility. Each servant had at least one talent; and for the right use of that one talent he was just as accountable to his master as were those who had more.
But the professed servant with the one talent was unfaithful to his master, and yet he evidently wanted to be considered a servant still, and probably thought he was worthy of commendation and reward for not perverting his Lord's [R1281 : page 8] money to other uses. He had taken good care of the talent; he had not turned it in opposition to the Lord, but he had simply buried it – failed to use it. At the reckoning time, he who had received the one talent said, "Lord, I knew thee, that thou art an exacting man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou has not scattered. And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth; lo, there thou hast thine own."
"His Lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not scattered: thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers; and then at my coming I should have received mine own with interest." It will be observed that this servant was not what men would generally call wicked. He was simply an idler, willing, if he could, to draw a servant's approval and compensation, but lacking any real, active interest in his master's business. He had no ill will toward his master, he was probably very glad that the other servants kept the business from going to wreck and ruin, he did nothing to hinder them from using their talents, but he did not feel the responsibility he had assumed in becoming a "servant," nor take a proper interest in his master's affairs. Yet, as a faithless, slothful servant, he was really a covenant-breaker, and therefore "wicked" and certainly unfit to be trusted with [R1282 : page 8] still greater responsibilities on the master's return.
But let us remember that this was not a real case: it was simply a parable used to illustrate real cases. And if the illustration fits your individual case, let it not lose its effect upon you. The very object of the parable is to arouse such to a sense of their short-comings, and to recover them from the lethargy into which they have relaxed, by reminding them of their responsibilities. Activity in the Lord's service to the full extent of our ability or talents is what the Lord has a right to expect of all who profess to be his servants; and it is what he does expect. Therefore, if you have but one talent, do not bury it, but cultivate and use it; do what you can, and all you can, in the great work to which we have already consecrated our lives. And those who have several talents, let them see to it that they too are faithful to the extent of their abilities, not being content to do merely what the one-talented man can do or ought to do. Such a one would not be a good and faithful servant, and could not expect the Master's approving "Well done!" His approval will be given to those only who are faithful to the extent of their opportunity.
Those who find the truth and make the consecration before they are encumbered with the cares of this life, who have no families dependent upon them and who have a reasonable degree of health, have at least two talents – time and health – which can and ought to be utilized in the service to the best possible advantage. Then there are those who have a money talent, or a business talent, and such should consider how these are being used. Are they largely swallowed up in luxuries or a superabundance of the good things of this life, for either self or family? Or are they being laid up as treasures upon earth – in banks, store-houses and investment securities, to enrich and to cultivate the spirit of pride in friends or children, and for them to quarrel over after you are dead?
Our talents for use in the Lord's service consist of all those things and opportunities which are over and above what we need for the necessary and reasonable maintenance of ourselves or our families, if we have families, and the reasonable provision against distress in case of a sudden calamity or approaching old age, etc. Aside from these, all we have should be in active service, be they many talents or few. If we have five talents and are using only one or two, how can we expect the Master's "Well done, good and faithful servant." Did we not covenant to give and to use all for him? – all our money, all our time, all our influence, all our mental activity, all our physical ability? How faithful have we been during the past year? How do we stand at the bar of our own judgment? And how faithful will we be during the coming year? After providing things decent and honest for ourselves and those dependent upon us, let us judiciously appropriate our talents to what we profess to consider the chief business of life. Here are the testing points of true loyalty and [R1282 : page 9] devotion. Let us ponder them well, and not lightly set them aside.
But observe further what the Lord has to say about this "wicked and slothful servant." He says: "Take the talent from him and give it unto him which hath ten talents; for unto every one that hath [made use of his talents] shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not [made use of his talent] shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." The outer darkness here referred to is in contrast with the inner light of the holy place of favor and communion and instruction from God, symbolized in the Tabernacle. The testing comes on the return of the Master. Then the faithful servants shall enter into fuller joys and privileges and blessings, while the unfaithful will go into the outer darkness of error and ignorance concerning God's plans and ways, which envelopes the world in general, and their neglected opportunities for more abundant service will go as a reward to those who are already earnest and active, and whose abundant labors will in due time be abundantly rewarded.
As we thus view our Lord's teaching, we see that our only security as sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ is in activity in the service of the truth. Well, says one, I see very few doing that. Very true: only a few will do it. But that precious few are the Lord's jewels. Are you one of them? Ah, that is the point to be considered. No matter how few they are, or whether you ever saw or knew of any such, that does not alter the conditions of our calling. This is the way: walk ye in it. One, at least, has trodden it before. Look for his foot-prints and follow him, and "He will give strength unto his people," even though they walk alone, as he did, without the cheering companionship of fellow-travelers.
But think not that you are traveling alone in this narrow way. The Lord has now a consecrated people, a faithful band of servants who, with every talent consecrated, are steadily pursuing their course in the narrow way. We know some of them by name and by character and by their steady and progressive activity in the blessed work. Not many of them have five talents, but a good many have two or three, and some only one. Quietly and unobtrusively they go about from day to day preaching the wonderful words of life, and God is with them and is leading them on. Their hearts are full of joy and hope and they are kept securely amidst all the perils of this evil day. None are so clear in their apprehension and appreciation of truth as those who are fully enlisted in its service. Let all who would run the race successfully look well to their zeal and activity in the Lord's work. If we bury our one or our many talents under a weight of worldly cares and encumbrances which might be avoided or set aside; if we bury them under worldly ambitions for either self or family – whether this be by wasting consecrated time upon science, philosophy, music or art; or upon business, politics or pleasures; or in pampering pride and appetite – then as unfaithful servants we will sooner or later go into outer darkness, by being caught in some of the snares of this "evil day," and will be led farther and farther into error and away from truth.
Mark well that it is not a case of such unfaithful servants being liable to get into outer darkness, into error: it is a case of must. The Master's orders are peremptory and decisive: "Cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness." The light now shining is not for the unfaithful, but for the faithful servants; and no matter how clearly the unfaithful may have seen and understood the deep things of God, and no matter how he may have enjoyed them, if he has not loved them so as to serve them and sacrifice his conveniences for them, he is unworthy of them and must go out into the outer darkness of the world in general. With these as with the world the disappointment of theories and plans in the great time of trouble will ere long bring the weeping and gnashing of teeth foretold.
It is indeed a notable fact that in no single case have we seen one drift away from the truth into the snares of these perilous times who was very active and fully enlisted in the Lord's work, whose one aim and endeavor was to herald the [R1282 : page 10] truth and to bless others with it. To such the Lord says, "My grace is sufficient for thee" – "Ye shall never fall, for so an abundant entrance shall be ministered unto you into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Let us, then, dearly beloved, have for our watchword during the year the word DEVOTION; and let each of us write upon his heart the gracious PROMISE – "The Lord will give strength unto his people." Let us be faithfully "his people," and let us earnestly desire and faithfully use the strength promised. Faithful is he that hath promised, who also will do it. So, then, if you lack the strength to use faithfully your talent, the fault is yours, not God's. You either have not his service closely enough at heart or else do not make use of the strength he provides. "The Lord will give strength unto his people" – his trusting, faithful servants – those who are using to his praise the talents consecrated to their Master, however many or few those talents may be.THE THRONE OF HIS GLORY.
– MATT. 19:28. –
In reply to the Apostle Peter's question – "Behold, we have forsaken all and followed thee, what shall we have therefore?" Jesus said unto them, "Verily, I say unto you that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." In another record of the same conversation there is a variation of words, but the ideas, so far as the present subject is concerned, are substantially the same: "Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations; and I will appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:28-30.) For Christ to have a kingdom appointed to him, as Luke records the conversation, and for him to sit on the throne of his glory, as Matthew records it, appear to indicate one and the same rank, though in expressing it the same words are not used. As this statement contains, in germ, so much that is to be developed and perfected in the future, it is important to consider in detail its various elements. [R1283 : page 10]
1. THE THRONE. In the regeneration the Son of Man is to "sit on the throne." What throne, or what kind of a throne? Is it the identical seat, bench, or chair of state which David used that is to be given to David's Son and Lord for his use? Certainly not. Solomon laid aside his father's throne, and made a unique and costly one for his own use. (2 Chron. 9:17-19.) Is it Solomon's, or a material throne of any kind, whether made of ivory, or gold, or anything like them, which Christ is to occupy? There is no testimony to that effect. David sat on a material throne, and the throne of David is to be given to "the Son of the Highest," but it does not follow from that that the Son of the Highest is to sit on a material throne. A throne is the seat of a priest or a king, and it is often used as the emblem, or symbol, of sacerdotal or regal authority. In this figurative sense, it seems that many glorious promises are to be fulfilled. "Thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:31-33.) That celebrated promise, which was made known to the virgin Mary by the angel Gabriel, may be taken as a sample. The throne of David is the emblem, or symbol, of David's reign, or kingdom; and David's reign, or kingdom, is a type, or figure, or shadow, of the reign, or kingdom, of David's Son and Lord. To the same effect is that memorable testimony which was given by the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost: "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore, being a [R1283 : page 11] prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he, seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (hades), neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens; but he saith himself: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:29-36.) Nor is the authority of Christ confined to the house of Israel, or any other particular house, the land of Palestine, or any other particular land, because "all authority" is his: "God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:9-11.) The authority of Christ to teach, and rule, and judge, extends over all heaven, all earth and all hades. Limitarians would have us ignore the words – "under the earth" – or blot them out of the inspired testimony; but hades is a part of Christ's dominion, and as indispensable as either earth or heaven. Christ has authority to reckon with every enemy of God and man; and wherever man is, his fealty will one day be claimed. "Every knee" is to have the opportunity of voluntarily bowing at the name of Jesus, and "every tongue" is to have the opportunity of voluntarily confessing that the Savior Anointed is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Neither death nor hades is an insurmountable barrier to this, because he holds the keys of both (Rev. 1:18), and will liberate every captive in due time.
2. HIS GLORY. In the regeneration the Son of Man is to sit "on the throne of His glory." What glory? "There are celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial, but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differeth from star in glory." (1 Cor. 15:40,41.) There is a glory peculiar to each kind of existence, whether animate or inanimate, from the very lowest to the very highest. There is one glory of the mineral, and another glory of the vegetable, and another glory of the animal. There is one glory of man, and another glory of angels, and another glory of the Generator and Regenerator of man. It is the highest kind of glory to which the Son of Man has been raised – that glory which is peculiar to the divine nature. This is the burden of that wonderful prayer – in the highest sense "The Lord's Prayer" – which Jesus uttered shortly before he died: "Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee." "And now, O Father, glorify me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." (John 17:1,5.) That this prayer was answered does not admit of a doubt. It is recorded of the martyr Stephen that he "saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God." (Acts 7:55,56.) To the same effect is the testimony of the highly favored Seer of Patmos, only his description of what he saw is much more full and gorgeous: "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last." "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were as white as wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his [R1283 : page 12] right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore, amen; and have the keys of hell (hades) and of death." (Rev. 1:10-18.) It is clear that the glory of our blessed Lord is of the same kind as that of the Most High himself. He has been glorified with the glory of God – the glory which he had with the Father before the world was; and his position is at the right hand of God. Not merely first in executive authority, but first in executive power also, in the accomplishment of the divine purpose regarding the salvation of man.
3. SIT. In the regeneration the Son of Man is to "sit on the throne of his glory." That posture is often assigned to persons when it cannot be understood in a literal sense. Among the gorgeous imagery seen by the Apostle John is an infamous woman "that sitteth upon many waters." In her case, neither seat, nor posture, nor character, can be taken literally. They are all symbolic; and represent an established reign, or kingdom, or dominion, extending over "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." (Rev. 17:1,15.) The Psalmist in his day was very familiar with the same kind of imagery. "The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King forever." (Psa. 29:10.) Here, also, the posture and seat are evidently symbolic, and indicate that Jehovah's reign, or kingdom, or dominion, is established over all created beings. These samples may indicate the way in which the posture is to be understood in the present case. The expression is undoubtedly figurative, indicating that the position of the Son of Man, invested with all executive authority and power, has been established; and not merely established, but permanently established. He is to rest in the position which has been given to him: "In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious." (Isa. 11:1,10.) In what day? Read the context. When he is judging the poor with righteousness; when he is reproving with equity for the meek of the earth; when he is smiting the earth with the rod of his mouth; when he is slaying the wicked with the breath of his lips; when he is filling the earth full of knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea, and so on. His rest is not one of "masterly inactivity," but the very opposite. He is ever active, and his strength is equal to his activity. "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isa. 40:28-31.) His rest is in the strength of his nature; in the security of his position; in the satisfaction of his work; and in the certainty of his ultimate and complete success. "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right-hand, until I make Thine enemies thy footstool." (Psa. 110:1.) That position was given to our blessed Lord 1800 years ago; and it is never to be given up while one foe of God or man remains. Developed, extended, unfolded and manifested it will be, but never exchanged for any other.
4. JOINT-PARTICIPATION. In the regeneration the twelve apostles are to "sit on twelve thrones." This gives every apostle a throne. Not that the number of thrones is restricted to twelve, or that he who is to occupy a throne must of necessity be an apostle. Matthew speaks of them as "disciples," and Luke speaks of "thrones" [R1284 : page 12] without restricting them to twelve, or any definite number. The first disciples appear to be treated as representing all of their kind – true believers: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Rev. 3:21.) The Lord's prayer [R1284 : page 13] also, already quoted, is very clear on this point: "I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine; and all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me." (John 17:9-23.) So the apostles seem to have understood this matter: – "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord: according as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Thereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Pet. 1:1-4.) "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." (1 Pet. 2:9.) "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
Prophetic utterances are in accord with apostolic testimony: – "Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment." (Isa. 32:1.) "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness and hatest iniquity; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." "Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in the earth. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations; therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever." (Psa. 45:6,7,16,17.) Thus it is plain that the glory which is peculiar to the divine nature, as well as judicial, sacerdotal and regal authority, are to be jointly participated in, not only by Jesus and his Apostles, but by all those also who "have obtained like precious faith," and who "overcome" the seductions of the world, the flesh, and the devil, during the present evil age. As the anointed Head has been exalted to the divine nature, the anointed members are to participate in his exaltation; as he has been invested with all authority and power, they are to participate in his dignity; and as he has to occupy his position until his foes are under his footstool, they are to participate in that complete and beneficent triumph. "This honor have all his saints." May we be found worthy!JOSEPH MOFFITT.AN IMPORTANT QUESTION.
In Matt. 18:7, Christ shows that snares must come and warns those through whom they come. In Matt. 13:41, the Lord again informs us that in the end of this age he will send his servants (messengers) to gather out of his Kingdom all "snares" and those who work lawlessness. The Diaglott shows that the "offenses" of Matt. 18:7 and the "things that offend" of Matt. 13:41 are the same words. I have been led to think that all organizations among men of these latter days having first, the hope of improvement of condition as a motive, and which second, owing to cupidity and sordidness of men, deteriorate rapidly into machines of self-aggrandizement of clique or class, belong to the "snares" of which the "overcomers" must beware and avoid. While their aims are generally honorable and satisfactory, especially at first, it seems that their methods, being largely founded on envy and strife, make them rapidly lawless institutions. The Diaglott shows that those who "do iniquity" in Matt. 13:41 are those who "do lawlessness." In James 3:14-16 we are admonished that the wisdom of envy and strife is "earthly, sensual, devilish," and abounds with "confusion and every [R1285 : page 14] evil work." In Eph. 5:11 we are admonished to have "no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness." The rapid movement now in all lines of business is to organize for protection from evils that must destroy the various lines of business unless arrested, and then to proclaim non-intercourse with those who do not come into the organization and fellowship with it in its methods. You may sympathize with the motive and aim that prompts the organization, and give them your moral support by observing right practices, while deprecating the system inaugurated, but if you do not fall in line and aid the system, you will be persecuted. Query: Is it not the privilege and duty of those who are aiming to "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth," to remain outside of all these organizations, however harmless they may appear, and whatever necessity seems to demand their inauguration? It seems so to me, and yet I do not want to go to extremes, unless it is to an extreme the "Lamb" approves; and as you have unquestionably studied this feature, you can help me by your views, confirming mine, or leading me to search the Scripture again more profitably, if I am in error.
I must soon act on this question before 50 to 100 of my associates in the Insurance profession, and if I am confirmed in my present opinions, I shall decline to enter into affiliation with them, and state simply that fidelity to the teachings of God's Word prevents my doing so. This confession may open the way to some fruitful private testimony. Somehow, since I have been writing, the teachings of the Scripture quoted assure me that this is an instance where God's exhortation to "Come out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Cor. 6:16-18), applies. The flesh always shrinks from such ordeals, yet thanks be to God, he always strengthens us through Christ, if we but accept his outstretched arm.
The Lord is very exceedingly gracious to me, and is giving me daily "meat in due season," in things new and old, especially opening up details in many things old to us, but so new to Nominal Israel that they cannot brook them. Sr. Page shows increasing hunger for the knowledge of the truth. May the Lord grant equal zeal and earnestness to spread the "good tidings" as opportunity offers (either through favorable circumstances or watchfulness to use every means at hand).
In Christian love, your brother,W. E. PAGE.
DEAR BRO. PAGE: – Yours of the 13th inst. came duly. It gives me great pleasure to note your conscientious desire to consider and to do the Master's will in all things. With the little time I have at my disposal just now, I can only answer your letter very briefly.
I think in the main you take a very proper view of the binding and fettering processes now going on. I would not be prepared to say, dogmatically, that a man could not be a member of the Knights of Labor or of some other Union, and yet be one of the "wheat" class in the barn-condition of safety; but I feel that the position of separateness from these human institutions and bondages is a safe position for the saints. This will probably be seen more in the future than at present. The present is merely an organizing time; it is in the future that the trials and testings will come. The present time is more like a period of enlistment preceding a war. While the recruiting elements are at work, with fife and drum, and with flags fluttering, many enlisting and wearing the uniform, there is little to arouse apprehension of wounds, pain and death. It is after the enlistment that the shock of battle comes. So with these societies. At present they are organizing, but by and by will begin the battle between them. I think with you that our safe position is to be as separate as possible from them all.
I am glad to hear of Sister Page's progress, as well as your own, in the way of truth and service. May the Lord continue to bless you both in wisdom, grace and love. Your brother and fellow-servant,C. T. RUSSELL.MEETINGS IN TORONTO, CANADA.
At the urgent solicitation of friends in and near Toronto, the Editor of this journal has arranged to speak twice at Toronto on Sunday, Feb'y 22nd next. The hour and place will be duly announced in Toronto papers. TOWER subscribers present are urgently requested to make themselves known to the Editor.THE ANNIVERSARY SUPPER.EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I feel like writing you this evening and telling you how much I have enjoyed reading the "View" in November issue. How I am often led to rejoice that you followed up my "agnostic" remark of several years ago, and by it I have been led into truth. More and more I realize my unworthiness, but try to realize how the worthiness of Christ fills up for me what is lacking. I would like to tell you of some things that have transpired since I saw you last. How crowded I have been, not with the cares of business altogether, but how my time has been taken up by others in a way that has seemed to keep me back, yet in a way I could not help. But all the time my heart yearns for him who loved and gave himself for us.
I have been, too, in trouble financially, and that has been a burden, also up to this time. I ought not to say burden for the Lord has kindly helped me to bear it and carry it in such a way that I will not call it a burden. But that accounts for the dearth of remittances, for I have been continually overdrawn in catching and trying to keep up. But I can now send you a small check ($10.00) which please apply as indicated on another sheet.
I duly received the book of Poems and Hymns and have found many sweet words there. May I mention one? Page 41, "Filled with Christ's Fulness." When I came to that I was so struck with its thought that I made four copies and mailed them where I knew they would be appreciated. I have said so much to emphasize the truth of the remark, that though I have delayed saying it, yet I appreciate the contents of the book.
May God continue to bless you and yours is the prayer of your brother in Christ,J. H. BROWN.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I received a letter a few days since, some parts of which I thought would be both interesting and encouraging to you, and to many of the readers of the TOWER. The letter was from a brother, both in the flesh and in the Lord. He has been a Methodist preacher for some twenty years. Following are some extracts:
"Since I wrote you last, our trials have been increasing, but our heavenly Father has been leading us and has greatly blessed us in many ways. We are learning lessons of faith and mean to maintain our integrity to the last. I am reading DAWN, Vol. I., for the third time and find nothing so far that I cannot accept. You have done untold good by sending those books and papers. I shall always thank God for your kindness to me in this my most severe trial. I believe I should have fainted and given up if it had not been for your kindness, and for these books. God has made them a wonderful help to me. How glad I should be if I could be a similar help to any one else. If I had the means I would start out over this country and lecture and preach on the THE PLAN OF THE AGES, and circulate these books, and scatter what has been such a great blessing to me.
"I should love to meet the brethren at their annual meeting, but oh, how far we are from having such a privilege. Our heavenly Father will reward you. May God bless you abundantly. Pray for us, that our blessed heavenly Father may teach us his perfect will, and perfect that which is lacking in our faith. We are rejoicing in the Lord. Accept much love.
Yours in Him,E. R. WEST."
It is needless to say that this news greatly rejoiced my own heart. Can you wonder that I sat down immediately and wrote him a twelve-page letter, telling him, among other things, that I could not conceive of a higher calling or a grander work in the world than introducing these books which have been such a God-send to us, and which will be so to every true grain of wheat, and advising him and his wife to commence this work at once. I told him that I thought one could do more good in this way than in any other, and glorify God more fully and at the same time make a good, honest living. It affords, too, such rare opportunities to feed the truth-hungry children of God. Like our Master, we can go about doing good, preaching from house to house, to individuals, and to assemblies when practicable. I wonder why more of our dear brethren and sisters do not engage in this work. Surely it is a blessed privilege. "Look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest." And "He that reapeth receiveth wages." This (as it seems to me) applies to the end of this age as fully as it did to the end of the Jewish age.
Yours in the love of the truth and in the harvest work,JAS. A. WEST.ALLEGHENY CHURCH MEETINGS.
Our meetings are held in Bible House Chapel, Arch Street, Allegheny, Pa. Readers and friends will be warmly welcomed. Preaching every Lord's-day afternoon at 3 o'clock. A Social Meeting at 7.15 p.m. is followed by a Question Meeting at 8 o'clock, at which all reverent Bible questions are entertained.ZION'S WATCH TOWERANDHERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE.
N.B. – Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.THE TOWER TRACT SOCIETY.
This is a business association merely; it was chartered as a corporation by the state of Pennsylvania, and authorized to hold or dispose of property in its own name as though it were an individual. It has no creed or confession. It is merely a business convenience in disseminating the truth. Any one subscribing to one copy or more of the Society's quarterly, styled Old Theology Tracts, (6 cents a year,) is considered an active member of this Society – but not a voting member. Any one subscribing for $10 work or more of the O.T. Tracts, or any one donating $10 or more to the funds of the Society for the spread of the Truth, is a voting member and is entitled to one vote for each $10 he or she may have donated. The affairs of the Society are so arranged that its entire control rests in the care of Brother and Sister Russell as long as they shall live. In fact, the only objects in having the corporation are: –
First, To provide a channel or fund through which those who desire can employ their money talent, whether small or great, to better advantage for the spread of the Truth than if each interested one acted and published independently of the others. Second, The corporation was called for by reason of the uncertainty of the lives of those at present managing the fund. Some wrote that they were doing all that their present necessities permitted, but that at their death, they desired to do more; and urged the necessity of a legal corporation, as Brother and Sister Russell might die too, and they wanted their donations to go to the spread of the Truth.
The Society owns nothing, has nothing, pays no salaries, no rent, or other expenses. Its policy is to use in the work every dollar received, to the best advantage, and as speedily as possible. Its success in publishing and circulating among the right kind of readers, tons of the Old Theology Tracts, is phenomenal alike to its friends and its enemies. The latter imagine that there must be great wealth connected with the concern, whereas really there is very little. – Few of the friends of this cause do, or are able to do, much financially; but what money there is, under economy and the divine blessing, is like the widow's cruse of oil: it accomplishes about a hundred times as much as other Tract Societies, which spend most of their receipts upon salaries.THE OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS
No. 1. Do the Scripture Teach that Eternal Torment is the Wages of Sin?
No. 2. Calamities – Why God Permits them.
No. 3. Protestants, Awake! How Priestcraft now Operates.
No. 4. Dr. Talmage's View of the Millennium.
No. 5. Bible Study and Students' Helps, Price Lists, etc.
No. 6. The Hope of the Groaning Creation.
No. 7. The Old, Old Story. (Poem – 156 Verses.)
Those who desire to send out sample tracts by mail to their friends, or to general lists of addresses of ministers or others, can send the lists to us, and we will save you all the trouble, and in lots of one hundred or more at a time will charge only what the stamps would cost you – one dollar a hundred.
The first edition of each tract costs more proportionately than subsequent ones, and in order to give you the advantage of this we propose to send the old, back numbers, 1 to 6, at 45 cents per hundred for lots of one or more hundred, separate or assorted. (Price 1 cent each for less than 100.) Colporteurs are supplied with any of the above tracts free.
Those who can use tracts to advantage, but who cannot pay for them, will please in ordering say how many they think they can use judiciously, and also explain their method of using that we too, may judge of its advisability."THE WONDERFUL STORY."
This is the same Poem as in No.7, but it is more elegantly gotten up, with "Leatherette" covers and contains 15 illustrations. Originally gotten out to sell at 25 cents, it has been decided to put the price at 15 cents, or two copies for 25 cents, to induce the greater number of sales. As this tract and another one to be issued during this year are larger and more costly than the regular issues, subscribers will be charged 25 cents for the four issues of 1891; and those whose subscriptions are for large quantities, and who send at the previous rates will be sent only a proportionate number of the more expensive issues. Of our Lord it was prophesied – "His name shall be called Wonderful." This is the story of him and his wonderful love and sacrifice, and of his coming reign of blessing and restitution.
We believe that this simple statement of the plan in verse – suitable to the young, the middle aged and the elderly – is destined, under God's blessing, to do a great work. It will prove an entering wedge to many hearts, and will, we believe, lead on to the fuller details and proofs of the plan of the ages presented in the Millennial Dawn series. On these the colporteurs will be allowed one-half of the proceeds toward meeting their expenses – 6¼ cents each, in lots of 25 or 50 or 100 at a time. Those not regular colporteurs, but who are regular subscribers for the Old Theology Tracts, who may desire these for loaning or giving away will be supplied on the same terms in the same quantities.ADDRESS ORDERS TO Tower Tract Society, ALLEGHENY, PA.MILLENNIAL DAWN SERIES."HELPING HAND FOR BIBLE STUDENTS."VOL. 1. – "THE PLAN OF THE AGES."
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. It traces the glorious plan therein revealed, and shows which parts of the plan are accomplished and which will be accomplished during the Millennial age, also the manner of its introduction, and its objects and methods.
We know of nothing to compare with this book, as a "Bible Key." The Two Hundredth 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.
Clear type, good paper, 350 pages. Price in cloth covers, embossed, $1.00. (The subscribers to ZION'S WATCH TOWER, are supplied in any quantity at the wholesale price, 50 cents, as all are considered agents.) Price in paper covers, 25 cents, reduced from 50 cents. A GERMAN TRANSLATION OF THE ABOVE AT SAME PRICES.VOL. II. – "THE TIME IS AT HAND."
This volume presents evidences that: –
Six Thousand Years from Adam ended in A.D. 1872.
The Date of our Lord's Birth was October, B.C. 2.
The Date of Annunciation to Mary, Dec. 25th, B.C. 3.
The Date of our Lord's Baptism was Oct., A.D. 29.
The Date of our Lord's Crucifixion, April, A.D. 33.
The "Seventy Weeks" of Israel's favor ended A.D. 36.
The Jewish Age "Harvest" was 40 years, A.D. 30-70.
The Christian Age "Harvest," 40 yrs., A.D. 1875-1914.
The Jewish Jubilees were Typical of the "Times of Restitution of all Things." – Acts 3:19-21.
The Typical Jubilees Mark the Date of their Antitype.
The "Times of the Gentiles" will End with A.D. 1914.
The Jewish Age, in Its Length, Its Ceremonies, etc., Typified the realities of the Christian Age and its Length.
Elias or "Elijah the Prophet" was a Type. – How fulfilled.
The Antichrist Has Come! What? When? Where?VOL. III. – "THY KINGDOM COME."
This volume treats of the prophetic periods of Daniel and Revelation – The 2300 Days, The 1260 Days, The 1290 Days, The 1335 Days. – The Work of the Harvest now in Progress. – The Return of God's Favor to Israel. – The Great Pyramid of Egypt and its wonderful corroboration of all the prophetic testimony.POEMS AND HYMNS OF DAWN.
This is a very choice collection of 150 Poems and 333 Hymns representing the choicest thoughts of some of God's saints, of both the past and the present. Some of these have been slightly and some considerably altered, to fully harmonize them with the clearer light of truth as it is now shining. Authors' names are given so far as known, and any alterations are noted. Cloth bound, red edges, 494 pages, $1 – to TOWER subscribers, 50 cents.
Every TOWER reader should have and use this means of grace. Its poems are gems and will encourage and comfort any loyal heart. Nothing is better calculated to inspire true devotion. To enable all our readers to profit by this means of grace, those of you too poor to purchase at the reduced price will be supplied free, upon request, out of the funds of the Tower Tract Society.TUNES FOR HYMNS OF DAWN.
The 333 hymns above are widely selected and no single book contains all the appropriate turns for them. However, the tunes have been so marked that three popular books will supply them mostly – Winnowed Hymns, Songs of Pilgrimage and Gospel Hymns. Many already have these. Others we are prepared to supply at below the wholesale rate when purchased in connection with our own HYMNS OF DAWNS, as follows: – HYMNS OF DAWN with Gospel Hymns, Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, $1.20, postpaid. HYMNS OF DAWN with Winnowed Hymns, 75 cents, postpaid. HYMNS OF DAWN with Songs of Pilgrimage, $1.50 postpaid. Or the four books, HYMNS OF DAWN, Gospel Hymns Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, Winnowed Hymns and Songs of Pilgrimage, all for $2.25, postage included. The usual price for the four, including postage, would be $3.77. We supply them for your convenience merely, without profit.
Any of the above books will be loaned to the poor who will promise a careful reading and to pay return postage. All orders should be addressed, TOWER PUBLISHING CO., "BIBLE HOUSE," ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA.THE COLPORTEUR WORK.
This important branch of the work is under the care of the Tract Society. Its arrangements are such that those Brethren and Sisters who can and do consecrate their time and talents to the public work of preaching the gospel by the selling of Millennial Dawn and taking subscriptions for the WATCH TOWER can meet their expenses. This preaching of the Kingdom from house to house, which seems to be the work now most favored of the Lord and most productive of good results, much resembles that done by those sent out during the harvest at the first advent; only that here it is not the natural eyes that are opened, but the eyes of men's understanding.
TERMS AND CREDITS FOR COLPORTEURS.
The TOWER TRACT SOCIETY provides that the regular Colporteurs shall have one-half of all their receipts, to meet their expenses, and gives them a limited credit when necessary to start them in the work. Many are so engaged now, and the field is abundantly large to permit all who can and will, to enter this ministry. Though not highly esteemed among men, it is highly honorable in the eyes of our King, and is proving mighty through him to the pulling down of the strongholds of error. "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth more laborers; for the fields are white for harvesting. He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto eternal life."
* * *
Persons able to give a little time to the colporteur work, but not all, and whose circumstances require that moments so spent shall not be financially lost, are allowed 10 cents per volume for "expense money," on the paper editions of DAWN in packs of ten, twenty or more of a sort at a time. Persons using quantities of these books for loaning or for giving away are supplied on the same terms.
Scriptures around perimeter of back page:
Along top: "Study to Show Thyself Approved unto God, a Workman that Needeth not to be Ashamed." – 2 Tim. 2:15.
Along left edge: The Entrance of God's Word gives Light. – "Sanctify Them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth." – Psa. 119:130; John 17:17.
Along right edge: "Put on the Whole Armor of God, that Ye may be Able to Stand in the Evil Day, and Having Done All, to Stand." – Eph. 6:11,13.
Along bottom: The Word of God is Profitable – that the Man of God may be Thoroughly Furnished. – 2 Tim. 3:15,17.
Inside perimeter border:VALUABLE HELPS FOR BIBLE STUDENTS– SUPPLIED –
FOR OUR SUBSCRIBERS' BENEFIT AT MUCH BELOW THE USUAL PRICES, AND IN SOME INSTANCESBELOW THE WHOLESALE PRICES.THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT.
This work, widely and favorably known, is a Greek New Testament with a literal, work-for-word English translation, under the Greek text. It has also an arranged English translation in a side column. Furthermore, it indicates the grammatical emphasis of the Greek text, so important yet so little appreciated, and not shown at all in the common version.
The retail price of this work is $4.00, postage 16 cents; but a Brother, very anxious that all the TOWER readers should possess this help, in order to bring it within the reach of all, arranged to supply the book at $1.50, if we would pay the freight and postage, so that even the poor might have this blessing. We accepted the proposition, which still continues, but is limited to WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIBERS.ROTHERHAM'S TRANSLATIONLESSER'S TRANSLATION
Of the Old Testament will also prove useful. It is a critical translation of the Old Testament by a Hebrew – the standard among Hebrews who read English. Price, in sheep binding, including postage, $1.50.YOUNG'S TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE.THE REVISED BIBLE.STUDENTS' BIBLES.
We can supply at wholesale cost prices, postage added, any of the Bagster's Bibles, including Bagster's Teachers' Bibles – the common version of the Bible, with references and many valuable helps. Our price list (free) contains a selection from Bagster's list, and also from the American Bible Society's list, of such as we deem specially good values.THE TISCHENDORF NEW TESTAMENT.
This is the New Testament with foot-notes by Prof. C. Tischendorf, showing the various readings of the three oldest Greek Manuscripts (the Sinaitic, Vatican and Alexandrine) wherever they differ from the common English version. This is quite valuable for critical study. It is the highest authority on interpolations. Of this work we have imported a large quantity. The usual price is $1.00, but we will supply them at 50 cents, including postage.YOUNG'S ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE.
This work is at once a Greek and Hebrew Lexicon, giving the meaning of the original terms in English, and also a Bible Concordance, giving each work of Scripture, and the word which it translates. The value of the work is becoming more apparent daily, as theorists attempt to palm off a private interpretation under the guise of "a better definition of the original."
This superb volume exhibits 311,000 references and 30,000 various readings. Its size is large quarto: 1094 pages. The retail price of the book is $5.00, with postage, 55 cents added – $5.55. Our price to our readers will hereafter be $4.25 by mail, postage prepaid by us; or $3.70, if sent by express at your charges. As it is quite a large volume (weight seven pounds), it will be cheapest for most purchasers to get it by mail. – This is the "Author's Edition," and the latest revision. The work cannot be sent to England because of English customs laws.CRUDEN'S BIBLE CONCORDANCESMITH'S BIBLE DICTIONARY,
With useful information of an unsectarian sort on all religious subjects, will be found of value; though we cannot endorse all of its theological definitions. We can supply these at $1.00 per copy, cloth bound – postage 30 cts. extra.ENCYCLOPEDIAS AND DICTIONARIES.
The copyright on the original edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary have expired, several reprints have appeared at very low prices. We have selected the best of these, the price of which in imitation Half-Russian binding is $5. These we can supply to TOWER subscribers at half price – $2.50, including postage.FAMILY BIBLES.
The Parallel Edition has two specially valuable features. 1st, In it the proper names are syllabled and accented; 2nd, It is really two Bibles in one, because it contains both the Old Version and the Revised in parallel columns – easy for comparison. These we will supply to any subscriber to Zion's Watch Tower or to any purchaser of Millennial Dawn at one-half the regular list price, the price at which the publishers supply them to agents, wholesale. Or we will supply them to any one else for 10 per cent more to cover our time and trouble.
PRICE LISTS SENT ON APPLICATION.