page 322
November 15th

ZION'S WATCH TOWER
AND
HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE.

PUBLISHED TWICE A MONTH.

TOWER PUBLISHING COMPANY,
"BIBLE HOUSE"
ARCH STREET, ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.

C. T. RUSSELL, EDITOR.

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE $1.00 A YEAR, IN ADVANCE,
(INCLUDES ALSO A SUBSCRIPTION TO TWO COPIES OF OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS QUARTERLY)
By Express Order, Postal Money Order, Bank Draft, or Registered Letter. Foreign only by Foreign Money Order.

FREE TO THE LORD'S POOR.

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.

[R1462 : page 322]

Probably no book ever had a greater number of free circulars sent out in its interest than MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. I. East and West, North and South, dear friends of the truth are continually seeking to put the "meat in due season" before the truth-hungry. Our latest surprise in this direction was the receipt of an order for a copy of the MILLENNIAL DAWN, from a western town, enclosing a circular of which we had not heard until then, a copy of which follows. God bless the dear co-laborers who far and near are seeking in one way and another to feed his "sheep" – to proclaim the good tidings of great joy. Your efforts have much to do with the large circulation of the Truth. Over 300,000 copies, of Vol. I., The Plan of the Ages, are already in the hands of readers, and the work is still progressing. God be praised!

New York.

DEAR FRIEND: – Lest you should wonder how I came in possession of your name, I will state that I first saw it in the correspondence column of __________, of which I am a reader.

Feeling that you must be one who is interested in searching after a knowledge of the wonderful things of our Great Father's creation, and desiring that your steps may be still further directed in the knowledge of things past, present and future, I have taken the liberty of addressing this communication to you, with the special object in view of calling your attention to a wonderful book – one which, perchance, you already have; but if not, one which I, a disinterested and humble servant of the Lord, would counsel you to obtain without delay.

"MILLENNIAL DAWN" is a book which has been to me, and I know to many others, a great source of gladness and inspiration: a "helping hand" indeed to every earnest student of the Word, producing an inward joy which has caused many an one to cry out time and again from an overflowing heart, "Praise the Lord!" If you want to see things "new and old" in God's Word, brought out as you have never before seen them, and to have, as a humble, hungering seeker after truth, "meat in due season," obtain this deeply interesting book and prayerfully read it, comparing it with the Word. It can be obtained from the publisher by remitting the very low price named. Think not, dear friend, that I am in anyway interested in the publication and sale of this book other than from a desire to spread the truth; for such is not the case.

I am sending out this circular (without the knowledge of the author and publishers) as a free-will missionary work of my own – a feeble effort on my part to spread the "glad tidings of great joy," and an effort which, please God, may he mightily bless to the praise of his great name, to whom be all the glory, Amen.

Should you desire further information on this subject, I will be pleased to hear from you.

Yours in the hope of the Gospel,

JOHN A. MITCHELL.

page 322

THE SYRIAC NEW TESTAMENT.

Murdoch's Translation of the Syriac-Peshito manuscript is sometimes inquired for.

We can supply it in substantial half-leather binding, post paid for $2.00.

Do not forget the Missionary Envelopes. We have a new lot and supply them now at the reduced price of 25 cents per hundred, and $2.00 per thousand. This includes free delivery to you at your Postoffice.

[R1462 : page 323]

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

VOL. XIII.NOVEMBER 1, 1892.NO. 21.
THE LAW OF GOD.

"The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." – Rom. 7:12.

So says the Apostle Paul; and the Psalmist adds, "The law of the Lord is perfect;" and the Apostle James calls it "The perfect law of liberty." And again, the Psalmist breaks forth in an ecstasy of admiration, saying, "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day."

Were these men mere religious enthusiasts when they thus praised the law of God? Let us look into it and see if it has the same inspiration for us. It says, Thou shalt have no other gods before me, nor make nor worship graven images; thou shalt honor thy father and mother, and shalt not kill, nor steal, nor bear false witness against thy neighbor, etc. Is there anything so very delightful and inspiring about these commands and prohibitions as to call forth such ejaculations of praise? To the casual reader it would seem not. Certainly no man feels specially flattered or edified either, on being told not to steal or kill or lie or cheat or bow down to worship senseless idols. And if we turn from the ten commandments to the ceremonial and provisional features of the law given to Israel, are the themes for meditation all the day any more inspiring? There we read articles for the regulation of slavery in Israel, and prohibitions against the enslavement of any Israelite (See Lev. 25:44-46; Exod. 21:20,21; Deut. 23:15,16); and of special provisions for the government of those who desired to take more than one wife, as to how they should still perform their obligations toward the wives they had already taken. (See Exod. 21:10; Deut. 21:15-17.) And again, there were commands that in cases of certain sins all Israel should take part in the execution of the criminal by stoning. Then there were all those features relating to the service of the Tabernacle, and the offering of sacrifices, and the observance of sabbaths, and jubilees, and feast days, etc. Is there any thing so inspiring in all these things? Infidels say, No, and hold it all up to ridicule; but let us with the apostles and prophets look deeper, and doubtless we also shall find God's law a theme worthy of our meditation all the day, and one in which we may truly delight ourselves.

It was foretold by the Prophet Isaiah (42:21) that Christ would "magnify the law and make it honorable." And this is an intimation that in some way the divine law had been made to appear beneath its true dignity and grandeur, – which is true. In bringing it down to the comprehension of sinful men, God was obliged to state it in such a way as to meet the exigencies of their case; and so it abounds in commands and prohibitions – "thou shalt," and "thou shalt not." But hear the law as our Lord Jesus expressed it, when he said, On these two commandments hangs all the law, viz., "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind;" and "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matt. 22:37-40.) And the Apostle Paul briefly sums it up in one word, saying, "Love is the fulfilling of the law." [R1462 : page 324]

It was thus also that the law of God was expressed to Adam and Eve in Eden. Love was the only law given there – love supreme, to God; and then love to each other as measured only by the love of self. Each was to love the other as much as self, and to love God even more. In this law every right-minded person can truly take delight. And those who thus delight themselves in the very central idea and spirit of God's law need no negative commands; for love's quick intuitions readily discover how to express its tenderest emotions toward God, and what would work good or ill to a neighbor.

To meditate on God's law is not, therefore, merely to ponder over the ten commandments – Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, etc. – but rather to ponder over the spirit of that law of love and to study its outworkings in all the minutiae of life's affairs. And if this is the daily theme of our meditations, how truly may we delight ourselves therein. Happy indeed is that soul who can say, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law of love is within my heart.

No parchment or tablet of stone can fairly represent the law of God. To be seen in its beauty and perfection, it must be viewed as engraven on the hearts of his intelligent creatures. The only clear and full illustrations we have yet had of it were Adam and Eve and our Lord Jesus. That written on the tablets of stone and given to Israel was a cruder manifestation of it to bring it down to the comprehension of fallen men.

This law of love works no ill to a neighbor and no ingratitude or irreverence to God, but is holy and just and good. Let us study it as it is written in the character and in the teachings of our Lord, as expressed by his own mouth and by the mouth of his holy apostles and prophets. In it we may profitably meditate all the day; and the more we meditate upon it the more we will realize its perfection and grandeur and see that it is indeed what James declares it to be – "the perfect law of liberty."

It is the only law of liberty that could be made; for nothing else than Love can secure the fullest liberty for every individual without in the least infringing upon the liberties of any [R1463 : page 324] other individual. Love, founded on justice, is therefore the only principle that has any right to authority or rulership anywhere. Justice is generally understood to be the object of all rulership; but Justice can never be fully secured where Love does not reign. Only love to the neighbor as to one's self can rightly adjust the affairs of men, either now or in the future. If it were possible now for love to fully control all the marts of trade and the busy hives of manufacturing industry, what a renovation it would make: How employers and employees would work together for the common welfare, and strikes and lockouts and boycotts would be things unknown; and both the brains of the employers and the hands of the employed would find restful relaxation when the day closes. How would all the inventions and discoveries, the improved machinery and the increased skill of hand and brain begin to bless the whole world. How soon would the toiling hands and brains find labor lightened, and hours shortened, and leisure gained for mental and spiritual culture and social enjoyment of all the good things which God has provided for the world's comfort and happiness. Could it so enter and control all legislative halls and executive departments and courts of justice, how quickly would the world's wrongs be righted and the cry of the oppressed cease. And in the Church, if fully exercised, what beauty and grace would be hers, and how brightly her light would shine out upon the world. And if in full control of the domestic circle, what a heavenly peace would pervade its precincts and send its hallowed influence abroad.

Think upon it: study it out in all its intricate and important bearings, and see what a paradise of beauty and joy will stand out before our mental vision – a paradise in the home, a paradise in the Church and a paradise in the world. O! what an inspiring and what a profitable theme for meditation all the day. As we thus consider this perfect law of God we find that it has indeed, as the Prophet affirms (Psa. 19:7), power to convert the soul; for we become so inspired with the glorious picture that we find ourselves, even here, under the present disadvantages, striving to approximate these [R1463 : page 325] happy conditions, which we confidently hope to realize in the future through Christ our Redeemer and Lord, who undertakes to establish this law of God in our hearts now, and who will by and by establish it in all the world.

Thus viewed, who will deny the Apostle's declaration that the law is holy and just and good; for it consists not in a merely passive refraining from evil, but goes further, in activity for good.

When we carefully consider the law of God, viewing it through the magnifying glasses of Christ's life and teaching, and see how honorable and good and glorious it appears – for he truly magnified it, brought out its fine points, and made it honorable – we see that in what is commonly called the law of Moses, or the law of God, there are two distinct parts, which some have distinguished as the moral and the ceremonial laws; but which we would distinguish as the moral and the provisional laws. The former consisted of the ten commandments written upon the two tables of stone, and the latter of all the remainder of the law, which was peculiarly adapted to the purposes of that dispensation and the circumstances of that age.

In considering the provisional law given to Israel, some features of which, as above noted, are pointed out by Infidels as below the moral status of to-day (as they are), we must bear in mind that God's purpose with Israel at that time was not restitution, but merely the regulation of that people to such an extent as to be able to use them to represent typically the various features of his plan; and, while so doing, to guard them as a nation against such moral deflections as would make them and him as their God a reproach among the other nations. Consequently, God did not set about rooting out all the evils that were in their midst, but, as it is written, "The times of this ignorance God winked at [tolerated, or avoided taking notice of], because he hath appointed a day" – a set time, the Millennial age, for that work. (Acts 17:30,31.) As to how Israel accomplished his purpose as types, see "Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices."

Many in Israel, as well as in the world at large, had fallen into the evil of taking many wives and also of enslaving their fellow men. These evils God was not attempting to correct, because the "appointed time" for the deliverance from sin and the restoration to purity and holiness had not yet come. He was leaving that work for the Millennial age. Yet, without fully undertaking the work of eradicating all evil and bringing about complete reformation then, God did give some directions for the regulation of Israel in these matters, as well as many wise and wholesome laws admirably suited to the conditions of that time and the purposes of that dispensation.

It is clearly manifest that God's original purpose was not a multiplicity of wives, nor the enslavement of any member of that race which he had created free and in his own image, and that he will not permit such things when his time has come for restoring all things according to his original purpose. Thus we see that the claim of Infidels against some features of the Mosaic law, as not being up to the ethical standard of to-day, does not hold good against the divine law, which Paul says is holy and just and good, which the Psalmist says is perfect, and which James calls "the perfect law of liberty;" for Love, which is the central idea of the ten commandments, is the very essence of the law of God, and is indeed the law of liberty; and, as we have seen, it is the only law which can give liberty. It is the law with which God's own nature is inscribed; for "God is love:" and it is the law which he inscribes upon the heart of every one of his intelligent creatures created in his own likeness, both angelic and human, and to the glorious liberty of which it is his purpose to restore our fallen race.

It is the law which shone out so beautifully in the character and teaching of our Lord Jesus, and which he thus magnified and made honorable. It is the law which produced the bliss of Paradise before sin entered, and which will restore it again in the sweet by and by. Glorious law! Well may we exclaim with the Psalmist, "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day."

But this law will not be fully established in the world until the end of the Millennial reign [R1463 : page 326] of Christ; and since the object of that reign is to bring men gradually up to the conditions and requirements of that law, there must of necessity be provisional laws during the Millennium adapted to the conditions and purposes of that age, just as there were provisional laws adapted to the conditions and purposes of the Jewish age, while the perfect law of Love will be held up before all as the goal of their aspirations. And when the end of the Millennium is reached, these provisional laws, which will make allowance for imperfections and shortcomings during the appointed times of restitution or reconstruction, will be removed; and then, every man must come up to the full standard of the perfect law of Love. Any who then, with the ability acquired under, the special arrangements of the provisional laws, show themselves unwilling to be actuated by the high-toned principles of the eternal law of Love, will be counted unworthy of life, and will die the second death.

During the Gospel age this same law of Love is held up as the ultimatum of the Church's aspirations for holiness and purity. And yet, as there will be during the Millennial age, so there is now, a provisional law of life under which the Church is placed, whose conditions take cognizance both of our infirmities (and make due allowance for them) and also of God's purposes for our discipline and development. This law the Apostle Paul (Rom. 8:2) calls "the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus," whereby all who submit themselves fully to it are "made free [reckonedly] from the law of sin and death." Under the blessed provisions of this law, so admirably adapted to our present conditions, all in Christ are now permitted to work out their eternal salvation, while God works in them to will and to do his good pleasure.

THE PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD'S LAW.

Complete happiness and unalloyed bliss can never be secured to any one except by entire harmony with the perfect law of love – supreme love to God and love to the neighbor as to one's self. This law is the full expression of God's will and purpose concerning his creatures. His will is our happiness and peace and joy, and is essential to our fitness to live forever in the possession of his favors. The proper attitude, therefore, of every loyal child of God is not only that of submission to this law to the fullest extent of ability, but also of grateful and joyful harmony with it, and delight in obedience to it and in contemplation of it.

This law of love, whose foundation is justice, is the only law which seeks the highest good of its subjects, and it is the only law which will ultimately be permitted to rule anywhere in God's clean and sinless universe. Now, however, the case is different: Satan is permitted to interfere largely in the affairs of men, and for a time men are permitted to take their own course subject to Satan's interference and unhindered by divine interposition. And in the midst of this state of affairs the Lord's children, who constitute the embryo Kingdom of God, grow up and develop. They find themselves under human laws sometimes approximating the perfect law of God, and sometimes far from doing so. What should we do about these laws [R1464 : page 326] wherein they fall short of the perfect law of God? – resist them? or submit to them?

To resist all such laws would be to array one's self in violent and fruitless opposition to the whole present order of things, and we must remember that even this present order of things is ordained of God (Rom. 13:1); for he decreed that the time of Gentile rule should continue until the appointed time for Christ to reign in righteousness. Consequently the children of God are counseled to be subject to the powers that be, because the powers that be, although imperfect, are ordained of God to continue for a time. It is therefore his will rather that we should suffer injustice than that we should spend our strength in fruitless efforts to interrupt the present order of things. And so the kingdom of heaven suffers violence now, but such will not always be the case; for the time of her deliverance is at hand.

While such necessity is laid upon the Church in its relationship to the world, however, there should be no such state of things among themselves. In the Church every member should be a careful student of the perfect law of love, and her society should be, so far as possible, a [R1464 : page 327] model exemplification of this glorious law. There should be no tyranny of one member of the body of Christ over another; for, says the Apostle, "All ye are brethren, and one is your master, even Christ."

Of necessity the present order of things often places one member of the body of Christ in a measure of temporary subjection to another member of the same body, as, for instance, in the relationship of master or mistress and servant, of parent and child, or of husband and wife; and in all these relationships there is an opportunity to let the graces of the spirit adorn and beautify the character and exemplify before the world the outworking of the perfect law of love. And it is thus, by our daily walk and conversation in all the little things of life, that we are to let our light shine before men, as the Lord commanded. – Matt. 5:16.

The Apostle Paul calls our attention to this, and lest we should be slow to gather from our meditations on the perfect law of God the exact line of conduct to be followed in these various relationships, he clearly points it out for us. He counsels those in authority to remember that they have a Master in heaven, and that there is no respect of person with him; that he regards no distinctions of Jew or Greek, bond or free, male or female, because we are all one in Christ. And therefore he counsels magnanimous and generous conduct, saying, Give unto your servants that which is just and equal, forbear threatening, and "do the same things unto them that they are counseled to do unto you" – i.e., serve them with kindness and compensation, and do it with good will as unto the Lord. – Eph. 6:9; Gal. 3:28; Col. 4:1.

Then to those who serve he says, "Let as many as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor [treat them with respect and Christian courtesy], that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit." With singleness of heart they should render service as unto the Lord, not as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart, knowing that it will be accepted of the Lord and rewarded. (1 Tim. 6:1,2; Eph. 6:5-8.) There is no servility in such service, however humble the task may be. Service rendered in such a spirit is always dignified and ennobling; and a recognition of such nobility on the part of the master or mistress is also a beautiful exemplification of the spirit of Christ.

Children are taught to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1), because their youth and inexperience stands in need of parental guidance and control. There comes a time, however, when parental authority must cease to control – when the child has come to maturity and is able to guide himself or herself. Otherwise the wheels of progress could never roll on in the world, but would be continually dragged back by the withering hand of infirmity. The rule applies to children during their minority only, though the duty of honor and reverence to parents may never be relinquished, but should the rather increase as age advances.

Wives are counseled to submit themselves unto their own husbands as unto the Lord. Aye, respond many voices, there is at least one blot of injustice upon the sacred page. Yes, chime in many Infidel voices, the Bible institutes domestic slavery and therefore it is a bad book. And there is a strong undertone of similar sentiment even among Christians. At least there is considerable perplexity on the part of many as to the exact line of duty in emergencies arising out of this relationship, and therefore the subject requires here something more than a passing notice.

While the Scriptures represent the husband as the head of the wife, and counsel a deferential attitude on her part toward him, the instruction to the husband is such that, if it is carried out, such an attitude on the part of the wife is the most natural and agreeable thing. A true woman, however marked her intellectual and spiritual attainments, is naturally worshipful. She looks up to God and Christ with supreme reverence, and to the earthly image of God – if such her husband be – (See Eph. 5:33Diaglott) with something akin to the same feeling; especially when she considers that such a [R1464 : page 328] one, so worthy of esteem and reverence and love, has indicated his preference for her above all others of womankind to be his life-companion and an heir together with himself of the grace of life. If he is truly noble and good and pure and of sound judgment, and yet modest in asserting his prerogatives, as well as humbly mindful that he is short of perfection, and therefore reasonable and considerate when judgments differ, it is so natural for a true wife to defer to such a one that she is rather in danger of exercising her own thought and judgment too little, and needs to guard against such lethargy. – 1 Pet. 3:7.

Such husbands are those who love their wives as their own bodies, and "as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it" (Eph. 5:25-29); and who, forsaking all others, cleave only unto her as the beloved and cherished companion. And no woman, however cultured or refined or possessed of true dignity and worth of character, is in the least degree humiliated by her deferential attitude toward such a husband. Her love and respect will dictate such an attitude, while his love and true nobility will call it forth.

The law of love, whose foundation is justice, is the only law that ought to rule in the home; and that law should be written in the heart of each member of it. If it is not written there, the walls of the home may be covered with rules and regulations, it may be thundered forth from angry voices, and emphasized with frowns and hard sayings, and yet, notwithstanding all this, anarchy will reign supreme – there will be no "home."

Thus viewed, the Bible does not institute domestic slavery; but, on the contrary, it points the way to the most perfect bliss that earth can know.

MRS. C. T. RUSSELL.

[R1464 : page 328]

PALESTINE AND THE JEWS.

We really cannot see why these unhappy and unfortunate Jews who have been flying from Russia to this country, who are now excluded from our ports by the bars raised against immigration, who cannot find a country in Europe that will let them live in it, who have failed in their attempts to form colonies in South America, who have searched vainly all over the world for a part of it in which they will be welcomed, should not look to the land of their forefathers, Palestine, and should not seek to repeople that land, in the hope that the power of their race will be revived as it existed in ancient times when Jerusalem was in its glory.

The idea that this restoration might be accomplished was entertained by the late Mr. Laurence Oliphant, a diplomatist, publicist, traveler and author, a true friend of the Jewish people, a scholar who knew Palestine and its resources, and the race that once inhabited it, and its rulers, and the governmental system under which it exists. Mr. Oliphant was never able to carry out the Palestinian project which he devised, but even after he gave it up and came to this country he brooded over it, and maintained that it was practicable.

We are familiar with the arguments that disfavor the Jewish colonization of Palestine in this age of the world. We know that many attempts to establish Jewish colonies there have failed. We are aware that the Turkish Government has been averse to all the colonizing projects for which its grace has been invoked. We are fully conscious of the facts that Palestine has lost many of the attractions which it formerly possessed; that much of its once fertile soil has been reduced to sterility; that the few petty old cities in it are shriveled and poverty stricken; that the people by which it is inhabited are opposed to the incoming of a multitude of Jews; and that the administration of its affairs by the functionaries of the Turkish Government is not in accord with the desires of the pious and able Sultan of Turkey.

These things are true, yet they need not dishearten Baron de Hirsch, who, on account of the suspension of immigration to this country, is again looking toward Palestine as a possible home for the millions of Jews of the Russian exodus. [R1465 : page 328]

Palestine itself yet stands, and it still has its old-time hills, valleys and plains, its brooks, [R1465 : page 329] rivers and lakes. The country is redeemable, and it has in some respects better prospects in these times than it has had at any other time since the fall of Jerusalem. Its climate is the same as it was when Moses started out from Egypt to occupy it. Its soil, though impoverished by centuries of neglect, can be improved by modern scientific appliances. Grain and fruit can yet be grown in its fields; sheep and hoofed beasts can yet find grass in its pasture lands; fish can yet be bred in its waters; its cities can be rebuilt and made fit for merchants and all manner of workers; its trade with the sea-coast and with distant countries can be revived and made more extensive and advantageous than it was in ancient times.

Capital can work wonders in Palestine, capital that is now in Jewish hands. Were a tithe of the enormous amount of money owned by the Jews of Europe invested in Palestine, and used there with Jewish shrewdness and energy, the country might be transformed within a brief generation. A short time ago, the Jewish millionaire, Baron de Hirsch, announced his readiness to expend $100,000,000 in the execution of his project for the removal of the four million Jews of Russia to some other country; and he had begun to carry out that project this year by transporting 25,000 of them to the United States, when we were compelled by the approach of the cholera to put a stop to immigration. It is under these circumstances that he has once more taken up the thought of Palestine, upon which, some years ago, his mind was set. Other Jewish millionaires, among whom we may name Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Sir S. Montefiore and M. Lazar Brodski, have expressed their desire to co-operate with him, and they have it in their power to furnish all the capital required for the development of the manifold resources of Palestine. At this very time capitalists are making investments there far greater than any that have ever before been made. The railroad line from Jaffa to Jerusalem, which has been built by a French company, and which will this week be open for business, is but one of several railroad enterprises in Palestine, the most important of which is perhaps the line already begun between Haifa and Damascus. The influence of the new Jaffa-Jerusalem line upon the region which it traverses, and the cities which it unites, has already been marked. Population is increasing there, and many hundreds of new houses are now building. We learn through a letter from Jerusalem that about 600 residences and shops are in course of construction outside the city walls, and that the city itself, which had but 30,000 inhabitants six years ago, has now nearly 80,000, or more than it has had at any past period since the times of Titus.

The Turkish Government has recently adopted measures favorable to the repeopling of Palestine by the Jewish race. Jewish colonists can now obtain, upon easy terms, proprietary rights in those agricultural settlements that have been turned over to them, and they are at liberty to build houses upon the lots which they may be able to procure. The price of good farming lands in Galilee, which will soon be traversed by the Haifa-Damascus Railroad, is from $10 to $15 per acre, and a farmhouse can be built for $600 or $800, while laborers who will not work very hard can be hired for low wages.

The greater number of Jews now taking up their abode in Palestine are from Russia; and several millions of Russian Jews are ready to go there, in case Baron de Hirsch and his compatriots can find no more desirable place for them.

A writer in the Hebrew Journal of this city gives some account of the new Palestinian movement. He says that the Jews who have been praying through the centuries for the "restoration" are now trying to bring it about by natural means; that the desire of the Russian Jews for it is overwhelming; that they are raising funds for the establishment of colonies; and that the "Palestinian propaganda" is sustained by the great body of the orthodox rabbis, including Chief Rabbi Joseph of this city.

There are now in the world more than ten million Jews, about three-quarters of whom are in Russia, Poland, the Balkan States, and Turkey. If the movement toward Palestine should get the impulse that the Hirsch committee is able to give it, an imaginative person can conceive [R1465 : page 330] of the country's doubling or trebling its Jewish population before the close of our century, and of its having a larger Jewish population fifty years hence than it had in ancient times, when its census ran up to three millions.

Should the restoration be accomplished, all hail to the New Jerusalem!

New York Sun. Sept. 27,'92.

[R1467 : page 330]

"FATHER, GLORIFY THY NAME!"

"Father, glorify Thy name!"
Is my humble prayer,
Not because in all Thy joys
I may have a share;
But because my love for Thee
Has grown deeper, Lord,
I would have Thy blessed name
By all hearts adored.

"Father, glorify Thy name!"
Is my earnest prayer.
It may cost me keenest pain –
Yet, O Lord, I dare
To uplift this fervent plea,
And the answer claim:
Though it mean the cross for me,
Glorify Thy name!

"Father, glorify Thy name!"
Is my daily prayer.
All the loss my life may know
Thou wilt help me bear;
To Thy will I say, Amen!
In Thy love I trust:
Father, glorify Thy name
Through unworthy dust!

"Father, glorify Thy name!"
Is my constant prayer;
I have nought to dread or fear –
Thou hast all my care.
Death can be but gain to me,
E'en a death of shame:
Father, grant my humble prayer,
Glorify Thy name!
– F. G. BURROUGHS.

[R1465 : page 330]

CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP.

There is a tendency among God's people to cement fellowships as well as to make divisions upon various unscriptural lines.

As illustrations: The various branches of the Presbyterian family have each its own system of theology and its own methods of worship. They are one family and have a special sympathy or fellowship upon the doctrine of Calvin – that everything that comes to pass was foreordained. Among Baptists, although there are many subdivisions of them, there is a common bond of fellowship in water-immersion. No matter what else a man holds or does not hold, if he practice immersion there is at once a sympathetic fellowship. So also it is among Premillennialists: They feel that any other differences, almost, should be overlooked if their point of special interest is acknowledged.

We protest that none of these are true grounds for the fellowship taught in the Scriptures; and that the rejection of any or all of these is not the Scriptural ground for refusing fellowship in Christ.

The Scriptural basis of fellowship and disfellowship is both a much broader and a much more simple one. It is simply of two parts: (1) an acceptance of Christ as the Redeemer, and (2) a full consecration to him. Whoever complies with this scriptural formula is entitled to the love, respect, sympathy and care of every other such one; for such, and such only, constitute the Church which God recognizes – the Church "whose names are written in heaven."

And if the above proposition be true as indicating who are worthy of our fellowship, it must be true also that any one who cannot claim fellowship upon this basis has no claim to it at all.

All Christians should see that this rule is broad enough to unite all of God's people, and narrow enough to exclude all others, including those who would seek to "climb up some other way." (John 10:1.) And if this simple test – the only one recognized by the early Church – is sufficient, let us recognize it and none other.

But, says an objector, such a simple basis of [R1465 : page 331] faith would let in all sorts of false doctrines and would divide the Church of Christ. No, we answer, the Church is already divided: it would tend to re-unite the true ones and to separate the worldly and the false. Upon so broad a platform all true Christians could come together for the study of God's Word. Methodists would find themselves studying the principles of election, baptism, etc., while Presbyterians and Baptists would find themselves studying free grace and free agency. The result to all (after sectarian considerations were gone) would soon be harmony – Bible harmony.

But, says one, so broad a platform would compel us to fellowship Unitarians and Christian Scientists and Spiritualists. Not at all, we answer. None of these believe in Jesus as their Redeemer. It would exclude all such and all others who deny that man is a sinner under divine condemnation, and that "Christ died for OUR SINS," "the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." It would and should exclude all who do not recognize this essential base of Christianity. (Possibly a few believers in the ransom may call themselves by the above names, ignorantly – not appreciating the doctrines upon which they are built. We refer to the views of the leaders and the masses of these denominations.)

A man may be honest and sober and in every way moral and be a Buddhist or a Mohammedan or an Infidel (an unbeliever as to the claims of Christ) of any other shade. Morality and general decency may be proper enough grounds for their recognition socially, as friends and acquaintances; but these constitute no claim whatever upon the sacred name of Christian, nor upon the close heart-sympathy which should make truly one all who are trusting in the precious blood of Christ – our ransom-price from sin and death – and who are fully consecrated to him.

We are living in the time when past and present combinations and doctrines of men will be breaking to pieces; when many are, and many more will be, seeking fresh grounds for fellowship; when it is important that all true Christians should stand fast, and shoulder to shoulder defend the foundation principles upon which we stand – the rock foundation; – for "other [proper] foundation can no man lay."

How our great Adversary would like to get the soldiers of the cross confused and separated, following different affinities, rallying around different standards, and hence leaving the true standard – "the cross of Christ," the "Ransom" – undefended. Let all who see the true standard assemble to it, and separate themselves in heart and Christian fellowship from all the unclean [those unjustified by faith in the redeeming blood, and clothed still, therefore, in the filthy garments of their own unrighteousness, instead of the wedding garment of Christ's imputed righteousness]. Let their efforts be for and with each other; to present each other blameless and unreprovable, without spot or wrinkle, before the Heavenly Bridegroom. Hear the Word of the Lord: –

"Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people: cast up, cast up the highway, gather out the [stumbling] stones; LIFT UP A STANDARD for the people." Isa. 62:10.

Let us assure ourselves, from a study of God's Word, that it is as much a part of our duty to disfellowship (as Christians) those who, either directly or indirectly, deny that Christ gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price] for all, and who, hence, are the worst enemies of the cross of Christ, as it is our duty to fellowship any who confess him thus as their Savior; and who, hence, are our "Brethren" in him. We are to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but should rather reprove them."

SECTARIAN UNION VS. CHRISTIAN UNION.

The clamor for closer sectarian union progresses; and the rapid growth of the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor not only furnishes an illustration of the popularity of such a union as is being called for, but suggests a way by which it might be attained – by a league as Christians which, while guaranteeing fellowship to its members, will make fealty and fidelity to the various sects an obligatory condition. Such a union will bind men and women, more than ever, to the creeds of the dark ages, and help sustain a little longer the tottering walls of Babylon. Resolutions favoring such a union were recently passed by the Protestant Episcopal Conference at Baltimore and by the Congregational Conference at Minneapolis. In our next issue we hope to present evidences showing that the giving of life and authority to the Image of the Beast (Rev. 13:15-17) is not far distant.

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STUDIES IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
– INTERNATIONAL S.S. LESSONS. –

SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THOSE OF OUR READERS WHO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES WHERE THESE LESSONS ARE USED; THAT THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL. PUBLISHED IN ADVANCE, AT THE REQUEST OF FOREIGN READERS.

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PAUL'S FIRST MISSIONARY SERMON.

IV. QUAR., LESSON VIII., NOV. 20, ACTS 13:26-43.

Golden Text – "To you is the word of this salvation sent." – Acts 13:26.

VERSES 14-26. When Barnabas and Saul came to Antioch in Pisidia they spent the first Sabbath day in a synagogue of the Jews. They went in and sat down, trusting that the Lord would open some door for them to speak to the people. They did not force themselves forward or in any way seek to violate the customs of the synagogue, but, looking to the Lord for direction, they simply placed themselves, as best they knew how, in the way of opportunity to serve the Truth. In this alone there is an important lesson for us all. By their very attitude Barnabas and Saul were each saying, "Lord, here am I, use me!" And very soon the Lord did make use of his ready instruments, and used them effectively to his praise. If these brethren had gone about some other business, or listlessly wandered about or waited at home and said they would like to do something for the Master, but would wait for him to hunt them up and to disentangle them from other engagements, they might have waited a long time, and no doubt other instruments would have been used instead. And so may we wait long and unsuccessfully unless we place ourselves in the way of probable opportunity, and thus declare our actual readiness and our waiting attitude.

VERSE 15. "And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, 'Men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.'"

One cannot but admire the spirit of liberality which prevailed among the Jews, and wish that the Truth had a similarly free course today. In how few congregations of God's professed Christian children is there any opportunity offered at any meeting for any one to speak a word to the people or to call attention to the Lord – except the pastor, and he is gagged by an elaborate and very restrictive "Confession of Faith" before he is allowed to say a word, and is liable to be deposed if he violates that Confession. How evident it is that the great Adversary has gotten the various Creeds so expressed that they suit his purposes, and has hedged the way so that they cannot be displaced even fragmentarily by truths.

VERSES 16,26. Then Saul, who was called Paul, stood up to bear his testimony for the Lord. With what eagerness he embraced the opportunity is manifest from the stirring discourse which followed, in which, with characteristic skill, he drew the attention of the people to prominent points in their national history, leading up to the reign of David as king; and then, referring to the promise of blessing to Israel through a son of David, he declared (verse 23) that of this man's seed God had, according to his promise, raised unto Israel a Savior, even Jesus, whom they had ignorantly crucified; and that this same Jesus was he of whom John the Baptist had said, "There cometh one after me whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose."

VERSE 26. Then we almost catch the tones of his voice floating down the centuries, as with kindling eloquence he declares – "Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent." Yes, it was sent to Israel first – to the people whom God had chosen and to whom belonged the promises – to all such as were "Israelites indeed," worthy sons of faithful Abraham who trusted in the promises and were anxiously waiting for their fulfilment; and not only to these, but also to all the worthy Gentiles among them who feared (or reverenced) God. Or, in the words of the Prophet Isaiah, it was now sent to all the meek. (Isa. 61:1.) This gospel is not for the proud and high-minded. The proud Pharisee and the dignified Rabbi could not receive it; and those who looked only for Israel's national predominance over the nations of the world, and who figured only this out of the numerous prophecies of Messiah's glorious reign, could not receive it. Nor could the proud or wicked Gentile who had dismissed God from all his thoughts, and given himself over to a life of present ease or pleasure or self-gratification, receive it. It is "good tidings" only to the [R1466 : page 332] meek, who reverence God and who have respect unto his promises. But God assures us that not only the Day of Vengeance, but also the entire Millennial age which will follow it, will have the effect of breaking many stony and proud hearts and bringing all mankind to [R1466 : page 333] so humble a condition that they will be able and willing to appreciate the grace of God which offers salvation (Rom. 14:11; Phil. 2:10) – whether they, after the humbling chastisement and greater knowledge of the Lord, submit themselves fully to his gracious arrangements and gain the reward of Life, or whether, when permitted, pride and self-will will again be their choice, and they thus be accounted unfit for Life – deserving the Second Death.

VERSES 27-31. Then, in reminding them of their national sin in crucifying Jehovah's Anointed, he shows that it was because their rulers did not honor him or recognize him as the one of whom spake Moses and all the prophets; and yet he tells them that even in this sinful act of crucifying the Lord they were unwittingly fulfilling what the prophets had foretold; for Isaiah had declared that he should be brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he would not open his mouth to defend himself, for he knew that his hour was come and that his life was to be given a ransom for many. Probably here the Apostle enlarged on the prophetic proofs of Jesus as the Messiah; for we must regard this account by Luke as a mere synopsis of his discourse, showing its general drift. Then he drew attention to the fact of his resurrection, and declared himself one of a number of witnesses of that fact; for "he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem."

VERSES 32-37. Having thus introduced Jesus, the promised Messiah and Savior, the hope of Israel and the world, he then added, "And we declare unto you glad tidings" – glad tidings of the fulfilment of prophecy in the resurrection of Jesus, which was in itself, according to the divine plan, an evidence that his sacrifice had been acceptable as our sin-offering and a pledge of the resurrection of all who believe in him as their Lord and Redeemer. Then the Apostle referred to the statement in the Second Psalm – "Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee" – as applicable to his new resurrection life, which should never again return to corruption – death – and showed that the promise in Isa. 55:3,4, of "the sure mercies of [or holy things promised to] David"* – the dominion and power and glory of the kingdom of God on earth, etc. – belonged not to David literally, but to the Messiah, Jesus, whom David in some instances typified; "for," said he, "David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers and saw corruption." Consequently he argues that the prophecy has not reference to David, but to Christ, whom David here typified.

*See Lesson vi., First Quarter, in our issue of February 1st.

VERSES 38,39. Having thus securely planted the claims of Jesus of Nazareth upon the testimony of the prophets and of the eye-witnesses of his life and death and resurrection, and having called their attention to the glorious promises for the blessing of Israel and all the world through the expected Messiah, he made to that attentive congregation the startling announcement: "Be it known unto therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you [even you, who in your ignorance and folly despised and slew him] the forgiveness of sins. And by him all that BELIEVE are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

VERSES 40,41 are words of solemn warning in view of the responsibility which the hearing of this truth brings with it. When the truth is presented to us by any of God's messengers, however humble, it is to the end that we may either receive or reject it as we choose. The meek, those who reverence God and desire to know and to do his will, will receive it and be blessed by it; but all the proud and worldly-minded and all those who are wise in their own conceits will reject it. And to such says the Prophet, as quoted by the Apostle, "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you."

A great work was going on in those days; for God was there beginning, by the preaching of the truth, to select from among men and to train and prepare "a people for his name" – to be joint-heirs with Christ of his Millennial Kingdom. The despisers indeed wondered at the progress and power of the truth, but they were left in their lost, perishing, unjustified condition, because they would not believe and repent.

The same is true to-day also, the only difference being that we are living in the harvest or end of the age, when the work of selecting the bride or body of Christ, which was there begun, is now being finished. And here as there the truth is manifesting the meek and worthy ones as well as the despisers. Let all heed the Apostle's warning and beware lest that come upon them which is spoken of in the prophets. What is that? – A hardness of heart which despises instruction and which will not walk in the right ways of the Lord, but which walks according to its own wilfulness in the way which leads to destruction; for out of Christ there is no salvation. "Behold, ye despisers, and [R1466 : page 334] wonder, and perish." Beloved, let us mark well the responsibility which the testimony of God's truth brings, and be not like those who, denying the possibility of any perishing, proceed further and reject the great salvation proffered only on condition of faith in Christ as our Redeemer, and consequent repentance of sin and reformation of life in harmony with the will of God.

VERSES 42,43 show that many, of both Jews and Gentiles, received the truth with gladness and desired to hear more of these things. [R1466 : page 334]

THE APOSTLES TURNING TO THE GENTILES.

IV. QUAR., LESSON IX., NOV. 27, ACTS 13:44-14:7.

Golden Text – "I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles." – Acts 13:47.

VERSES 44,45. As a result of Paul's discourse of the preceding lesson, on the next Sabbath day almost the whole city came together to hear more of this gospel. And when the unbelieving Jews observed this evidence of the growing popularity of the doctrines of the crucified Jesus, they were moved with envy and bestirred themselves in opposition to the truth, because they saw that this new religion was calculated to supersede Judaism, around which clustered all their national pride and their selfish sectarian hopes. As a people, they had, because of this very pride, failed to comprehend the true import of their own God-given religion, and to see its transient an typical character; and so its precious promises, misunderstood and perverted, served only to minister to their further pride, while they boasted of being the children of Abraham, the special favorites of God, to whom belonged the promises.

All filled with this spirit of pride were thereby incapacitated to receive the doctrines of Christianity; for there is no room for these in a proud heart: this gospel is pre-eminently the gospel for the meek, and none but the meek ever have continued or ever will continue long to rejoice in it. And as the truths of the dawning Gospel dispensation separated the meek from the proud, and thus gathered out a worthy remnant from the Jewish nation to be joint-heirs with Christ in his kingdom, so the truths due now in the dawn of the Millennium and harvest of the Gospel age are accomplishing a similar selection, and thus completing the elect number from among the Gentiles. And now, as then, the worthy ones are being gathered out of a great organization. Here it is out of the nominal Gospel Church: there it was out of the nominal Jewish Church. In both cases the few are gathered out and the great mass prove themselves unworthy through pride and unbelief.

VERSES 46,47. Seeing the unreasonable prejudice and opposition to the truth on the part of the Jews, Paul and Barnabas boldly withstood them, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you [It was necessary because they were the natural children of Abraham and natural heirs of the covenant made with Abraham]; but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles: For so hath the Lord commanded, saying, 'I have set thee [Christ] to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth."

These Jews did not directly judge and pronounce themselves unworthy of life; but in rejecting the only conditions upon which everlasting life is promised, they in effect rejected life, for it is promised only on the condition of faith in Christ as Lord and Redeemer. However, we do not understand that their rejection of Christ then, blinded and hindered as they were by prejudice and hardness of heart, was a final rejection of life; for the Lord's gracious provision for them is yet to open their blind eyes and to give them a heart of flesh so that they may yet see and believe the truth – and that notwithstanding the fact that they died in their sins without faith in Christ; for it is written, "Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, [R1467 : page 334] O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live." (Compare Ezek. 37:12-14; Rom. 11:25-32.) None will ever be finally judged unworthy of life (worthy of the Second Death) until they have enjoyed every advantage of a full, fair trial with a clear knowledge of the truth. See Heb. 6:4-6.

"Lo, we turn to the Gentiles; for so hath the Lord commanded," etc. Ah, these words were a joyful message, "good tidings of great joy," to some of the humble Gentiles who heard, and who, Lazarus-like, had long desired to be fed with even the crumbs of divine favor falling from the table of bounties provided for the Jewish Dives.

VERSE 48. "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord, and as many as were ordained to eternal life [i.e., as many as had that disposition of meekness and trust in God, and a desire to be in harmony with him and to do his will, which disposition God has ordained shall receive the reward of eternal life] believed." And here, too, we may learn a lesson and recognize [R1467 : page 335] God's direction of his own work as the apostles recognized it. While it is as true now as in the days of the apostles that "Not many great," or wise, or learned according to the course and estimation of this world, but only a few (and they often the poor of this world, rich in faith) receive the "good tidings" joyfully, we should never lose sight of the fact that those drawn to and held by the truth are always those of humble hearts, seekers after God and his ways, the very class for whom God has provided and ordained the blessing of everlasting life. But neither should we forget that God has other sheep, not of this flock; and that he has provided that the fullest degree of natural evidence shall be given to those other sheep, the faithful of whom shall have everlasting life also, though on a lower plane or nature than the little flock now being selected, who are required to walk, if at all, by faith and not by sight.

VERSE 49. "And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region" – doubtless not only by the preaching of Paul and Barnabas, but by all who then received the truth.

VERSES 50-52. Persecution was the immediate reward of the Lord's faithful witnesses, as it always has been and will be until the reign of Christ brings in everlasting righteousness.

Persecution serves to separate those whose interest is only lukewarm, and who, being unworthy of a place in the "little flock" to which it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom, the Lord desires to separate. Besides, it serves to strengthen and develop the true ones, thus fitting these "overcomers" more fully for the work of God, now and hereafter.

But they rejoiced in the midst of suffering and were filled with the holy Spirit – with a holy zeal and enthusiasm which, while it led them to shake off the dust of their feet for a testimony against that city, turned them to another, to declare the glad tidings to others who still sat in darkness.

CHAPTER 14:1,2. The experiences in Iconium seem to have been very similar to those in Antioch – a large congregation of interested hearers, many conversions to Christianity, of both Jews and Greeks, then persecution from the unbelievers and efforts to turn away from the faith those who had believed. Such experiences are not common amongst Christian professors now, because they are drowsy with the wine of Babylon's false doctrine (Rev. 18:3) and are not sufficiently interested and active in the service of Truth; and the devil does not think it wise to persecute for error's sake. But each child of God learns by experience the force of the Master's words, "Whosoever will live Godly [to please God] in this present time [when evil reigns] shall suffer persecution;" and this in proportion as he receives the truth and faithfully declares it.

VERSE 3. On account of the opposition it seemed necessary for the two brethren to remain a long time in Iconium in order to establish the faith of them that believed. And the Lord worked with them, endorsing their testimony by special miraculous gifts – probably of healing, mainly.

VERSES 4-7. By and by the persecutions waxed more severe, so that the whole city began to take sides for and against these witnesses of the Lord, and the excitement grew until it would have resulted in a mob. When they became aware of this, they fled from the city, doubtless recalling the Lord's counsel – "When they persecute you in one city, flee ye to another." They fled to Lystra and Derbe, and there also they preached the gospel.

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ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM EARNEST WORKERS.

Arkansas.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – It is with much pleasure that I inform you that the truth is spreading in our neighborhood. I feel that the Lord is leading me: that I have more patience now than hitherto – which I greatly needed, and for which I often prayed. Of five first Volumes of DAWN, given to such as I thought truth hungry, I have as yet heard from only one. It has opened the light and truth to two Presbyterians, and I am daily expecting to hear the same good news from the others.

But notwithstanding these encouragements, I often fear that our knowledge has outgrown our love and piety, that some of us have imbibed a spirit of debate, and are not wise enough to know just how to speak the truth in its season.

Should we reason upon the Scriptures with those who appear to be insincere, and yet have a zeal to contend for their theory? I have seen on our streets Bible students arguing Scripture from different views, the bystanders hallooing for the side which suited them best, and neither party seeming to have the proper [R1468 : page 335] reverence for the Word of God. The truth would seem to suffer by this conduct, because I saw none who seemed to be truth hungry; and I thought it best to keep silent, and to try only to heal the sick. And yet I am afraid to [R1468 : page 336] settle down on this opinion, for I know that I am not a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and am sometimes surprised to see some, for whom I did not hope, receive the truth, while others, apparently more hopeful, reject it.

The opinion I have of the success of Colporteurs is this: It depends upon the spirit in which the book is presented. I believe that, when one is clothed in the imputed righteousness of Christ, and made pure and clean, whiter than snow, it modifies his manners, making them so loving and kind, that it is hard for any to refuse to purchase so cheap a book on such an important subject. Those who would serve the Lord acceptably must have clean hands; and could I always feel myself thus qualified, I would be still more eager to go out into the field.

It seems to me that all believers need to be forcibly reminded that all knowledge and faith, and many great victories in our warfare, will amount to nothing, if we fail to have the spirit of love, meekness and child-like simplicity. Oh! that my longings for these necessary qualifications were satisfied. The Lord grant that I may be able to put them on; and will you pray that I may be thus endowed.

Yours in the Gospel hope, J. K. CONNER.

[REPLY: – I am glad, dear Brother, that you see so clearly what sort of persons in holy conversation and godliness all the colporteurs, and all who have obtained the hope of the gospel, should be. But you should not wait until you are perfect before giving your time and strength to the Lord's service. You have the proper conception of what the ideal colporteur should be. Now start, and in the strength of the Redeemer work, as nearly as you can, up to that standard. Those who so run shall never fall, but shall have an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of our Lord. – 2 Pet. 1:11.

You are right in not bandying the gospel on the streets. We are instructed to be ready at all times to give a reason for our hope to him that asketh; but neither the Bible nor sound judgment dictates street quarreling for the Truth's sake.

Our great Master did "not cry aloud nor lift up his voice in the streets;" nor did he seek the boisterous and profane for his followers. The spirit of God led him to "preach the gospel to the meek" – to the truth-hungry wherever found – to those who have "an ear to hear." (Isa. 42:2; Matt. 12:19; Matt. 11:15; Isa. 61:1.) We cannot do better than follow the great Teacher's example. – EDITOR]. page 336

Illinois.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – The great cause is advancing, and I preach at my DAWN-selling with great freedom and power. Think of busy infidels letting the shop go, to hear the gospel for a half hour, and then urgently requesting further talks! Many of this class, formerly God and Bible rejectors, listen to the plan of redemption and restoration, and say promptly that it is both reasonable and just; and that they are willing to love and obey God, and to receive the rewards of righteousness, under conditions so just and wise.

I would feel much tempted to preach on the streets, but my rheumatism gets worse in my left shoulder, so I rest poorly at night and need all my strength for the canvass.

I must visit some of the interested, not before seen, this afternoon. I am much gratified to see the advance of truth among "just and unjust" here. The Lord be praised! Mrs. A. joins in greetings to you and Sister Russell.

Loving regards in Christ,

J. B. ADAMSON.

Delaware.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Believing that you love to hear occasionally from those who have been awakened to a livelier hope (than they had in the nominal systems of Christianity), both for themselves and for mankind at large, I will say, as I have often heard it said by brothers and sisters in class-meeting, that I am "not tired of the way" in which I have been led through your ministry. No! I have a joy, peace, confidence, love and knowledge that I did not have when I followed those who are supposed to be religious guides, but are really themselves blind. Oh, I am so glad that we are now in the dawn of the Great Day; and, such are the signs, that we can lift up our heads for our redemption draweth nigh! We are truly, as I have just read in a secular paper, living in an age distinctively one of research and advancement, and men are no longer content to accept blindly the theories and conclusions of others on important subjects; but are becoming students for themselves on the high seas of religious principles and beliefs! It says further: "No little sadness attaches to the piteous state of those who want to believe the Bible just as it stands, but are tormented with doubts believed to be honest ones. May a ray from the throne of God send convincing light to all so harassed and troubled!" And I would add: May we, who have been blessed of God with greater light than others, humbly and meekly offer it to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, that they may rejoice with us.

Your brother in Christ,

OSCAR JONES.

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SPECIAL ITEMS FOR REGULAR READERS.

MEETINGS IN NEW YORK CITY.

The Editor, in response to the urgent solicitations of the friends in and adjacent to New York City, will (D.V.) preach there Sunday, Nov. 27th, as follows: –

At 10:30 A.M. in Cooper Union Meeting Room No. 24. Subject, "In Our Days."

At 3 P.M. in Hardman Hall (Fifth Avenue and Nineteenth Street). Subject, "The Restitution of All Things."Acts 3:21.

At 7:30 P.M. in Hardman Hall. Subject, "The Millennium and Its Day of Preparation."

Private meetings will be held elsewhere on Monday. Sister Russell, also, is expected to be present.

The notice is given thus publicly and in season, that readers from surrounding places may attend, if they can make it convenient. [R1468 : page 338]

PROTESTANTS NO LONGER.

Protestants lately seem to be sadly at a loss to account for their name – Protestant. They know from history that there was once a wide difference of religious views between the founders of their sects and the Church of Rome. They know of the rack, the prison and the stake; but they wonder why it all was, and think there must have been some great mistake.

Papacy declares that she never changes; and so Protestants fancy that they have been misinformed, and are seeking union with the very one whose conduct and doctrines their forefathers protested against – even unto death. The Congregational National Convention at Minneapolis adopted the following in a resolution on the subject: –

"The Roman Catholic body is recognized as a branch of the church of Christ, and the report welcomes the opportunity to co-operate with its members, clergy or laity in the advancement of the cause of Christian truth and Christian morals. The attitude of the Episcopal church coming forward in England and America bearing an olive branch is heartily commended."

We are glad indeed to believe that the membership of the Church of Rome contains some noble souls, and that as a whole her multitudes are more enlightened than once they were; but we believe the system to be Satan's handiwork, and as really Antichrist as it was when, with greater power, it "wore out the saints of the Most High," and practiced outward evil, and prospered in it. The same false doctrines still underlie her system; and only opportunity is lacking for the same display of devilish intolerance that during the dark ages marked her pathway with blood.

We respect all decent, honest men as men; and whenever we can we shall be glad to do them good, physically and spiritually. But we reserve the titles of fellowship, "Christian" and "Brother," for those who trust in the Savior and his one sacrifice for all. This as much ignores Roman Catholics, who hold to many, repeated sacrifices for sins (sacrifices of the Mass), as it does to those who deny any sacrifice.

*                         *                         *

We mentioned in our last our intention of presenting in this issue some evidences that the giving of life and authority to the "Image of the Beast" is not far distant. We did not mean by this that you should expect a review of Rev. 13. The evidences referred to, crowded out of this issue, may appear in our next.

[R1468 : page 339]

November 1st

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

VOL. XIII.NOVEMBER 15, 1892.NO. 22.
PURGATORY: –

IS IT A ROMISH, A PROTESTANT OR A BIBLE DOCTRINE?

Protestants generally have ignored the Bible doctrine on the subject of a future Purgatory, while Romanists have shamefully perverted and counterfeited it, as they have every other truth, to the unholy ends of human ambition and avarice. Indeed, the whole Papal system is a counterfeit of the truth, and herein has been its great power to deceive and lead astray from the truth. And the Papal system, because of its resemblance to the truth, in its completeness and its general outline, notwithstanding its outrageous perversions and its shameful abuses of the truth, has well been described as "A masterpiece of Satanic ingenuity." Yet, like a counterfeit coin, it may require an expert to detect and expose it.

While we have no sympathy with the doctrine of purgatory as taught by Romanists, nor yet as hinted at by some Protestants in what they term the Intermediate State – between death and the resurrection, when the soul, they claim, is purged from sin and made fit for heaven – we do see that the perverted doctrine of purgatory had a start in the truth; that the Scriptures teach the doctrine of purgatory; and that it is one of the most glorious features of the divine plan for the salvation of our race.

The term purgatory signifies a place or condition of purging or cleansing; and it is freely admitted that all mankind must of necessity be purged from sin and uncleanness (as well as redeemed and justified), before they are fit to enjoy the blessings of eternal life. The common sense of mankind acknowledges this necessity for purgation, and the Scriptures clearly teach the doctrine. The way of salvation lies through redemption through the precious blood of Christ (justification through faith in the redemption thus accomplished) and purgation, or the actual cleansing from sin and uncleanness, and perfecting in holiness.

Protestants (claiming that all mankind are now on trial, and that as a result of the present presumed trial they must, at death, be ushered at once into either an everlasting heaven of bliss or a hell of eternal torture) have no alternative from either one or the other of the following conclusions: First, that only the justified, sanctified and faithful saints developed in the present life will ever be saved, and that all others – medium good, and bad – will be hopelessly and forever lost; or, Secondly, that all mankind, except the vilest of wilful sinners, will be taken to heaven and will constitute it a very bedlam of confusion as the various classes attempt to associate and affiliate with each other – the matured saints (a "little flock"), the inexperienced babes, the ignorant and degraded savages, the idiotic, the insane – all persons of all classes for whom hope is entertained by kindly human hearts, all who it is felt sure are at least too good or too innocent to deserve eternal torture of any description.

Some Protestants take one of these views and some the other; but whichever horn of the dilemma is accepted, insurmountable difficulties [R1468 : page 340] are encountered, as every thinking Christian knows. The first view, if really believed, would fill the world with an indescribable gloom. Death-bed scenes already sad would be still sadder, if such a view were really entertained. [R1469 : page 340] And it is the professed view. But if the second view be accepted, as it generally is by people of heart and breadth of mind, the difficulty is but slightly lessened; for with the idea that at death we must go to either heaven or hell, the only reasonable conclusion is that all who escape hell must go to heaven. The difficulty with this view is that it would fill heaven with a heterogeneous mass of beings, and so mar its peace and harmony that it would be only another babel of confusion such as earth has been. And some, at least, would still feel like praying that they might go "Where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest." Such a condition would be only a continuation of the present imperfect and unsatisfactory state. What fellowship hath light with darkness, or what common joy could these share whose states and experiences differ so widely? None whatever.

But, says one who never before thought of it so, May we not suppose that those lower classes will be gradually disciplined and corrected, and so brought into harmony with God and each other, and that peace and joy will result in the end? Ah! then instead of doing without a Purgatory, you are supposing heaven is Purgatory – a great hospital and reform school for the treatment of moral diseases and deformities. No, that cannot be. Well, suggests another, may it not be that in the instant of dying, all those who are not notoriously bad (and hence too good to be eternally tormented) are perfected and fitted for heaven? No; for in that case present experience would be wholly useless; for beings so changed would not know themselves – in fact would not be themselves, but new beings, wholly different in every particular. If such were the program it would have been wiser to have made them so at first. Besides, that is not God's method of working. We should observe that his operations are always on philosophical principles; and the principles of moral philosophy are just as fixed and firmly established as are the principles of natural philosophy. Observe how steadily God adheres to the principles of natural philosophy, as he saw fit to establish them. Does water ever flow up hill? did an acorn ever spring into an oak in an instant? or was ever a human being born fully developed either mentally or physically? do grapes grow on thorns, or figs on thistles? We smile at such preposterous suggestions as these; but why? Because we recognize the fixed principles of natural philosophy, which never can and never will change. And we see that if they were not thus fixed, the results would be confusion throughout the realm of nature.

Our God is a God of order; and in moral law as in natural law his principles are fixed. Character is a growth, a development. It may grow rapidly or grow slowly, but grow it must. It never arrives at maturity without the preliminary processes of growth, or development by degrees. And along whatever lines – of virtue or of vice – the discipline, experience and consequent growth have been, of such kind will be the matured character – whether bad or good.

It is preposterous, therefore, to presume that a perfect moral character can be instantaneously bestowed upon the morally polluted or upon the morally blank in the instant of death. But here we should distinguish between perfect and imperfect beings without character and perfect and imperfect beings with character. Adam was a perfect being without character. He was put on trial to give him an opportunity to develop a character. His inexperience soon stamped his effort – Failure. But God has provided a ransom for Adam and all whom he represented in his trial; and this implies another opportunity to develop a character such as God can approve – fit for an eternity of companionship with him. Either a good character or a bad one can be demonstrated by imperfect beings, and it is determined by the conduct of each person after he comes to a knowledge of the truth on moral questions. God makes no promises of heavenly bliss except to such as develop character – "overcomers" – and yet it is evident that infants who have formed no character, and many of the ignorant who have never come to [R1469 : page 341] such a knowledge of the truth as would constitute a full trial, or as should condemn them as fit for torment or second death, constitute the great majority and are as unfit for heaven as eternal torment would be unfit for them. For all such God has prepared a Purgatory, a school of discipline which will favor the development of good characters, after which they will be tested; and this we will show from the Scriptures, shortly.

We know ourselves now, and our friends know us, both by our physical features and by our mental and moral developments. But when death has destroyed the physical man, and only character remains for identification (and this is the general claim), if the character, or mental or moral developments, should undergo instantly such a marvelous change as perfect character would imply, all the surrounding conditions and circumstances being new also, how could the man know himself? And if such be God's plan, why has he permitted sin and death and all our present painful experiences at all? and why need any strive against sin? The idea is absurd.

If such were God's plan, the present time of the permission of sin, evil and death might as well be dispensed with as useless, to say the least. And if all were to be thus changed instantly to perfection, why not miraculously change all – even the worst? and why are any exhorted now to "holiness," without which no man shall see the Lord"? and where would come in the many and the few stripes for deeds done in the present time?

THE PURGATORY OF SCRIPTURE.

Seeing that all of the above theories are lame, unreasonable and unscriptural, we come now to the Purgatory of the Bible.

First. It will be established on Earth – not elsewhere. – Prov. 11:31.

Second. It is not now in operation, but is to begin when this Gospel age ends, when the little flock of saints has been selected. – 2 Pet. 2:9.

Third. The overcoming "little flock" of saints, who will have part in the first resurrection and be like their Lord, spirit beings, will then be associated with him in the work of judging, correcting and teaching those in process of purgation during the Millennium, when the world and the "castaways" of the Church are being disciplined and corrected in righteousness. And that will be the only really holy, righteous Inquisition (i.e., court of judicial inquiry or examination on matters moral and spiritual), of which Papacy made so terrible, blasphemous and cruel a counterfeit during the dark ages. – John 5:22; 1 Cor. 6:2.

In a word, the long-promised reign of the Christ, the glorified Church, during the world's thousand-year judgment day, or period of correction in righteousness, is the Purgatory of the Bible. The saints shall not come into purgatorial judgment at all (1 Cor. 11:32); because, in this life, hating sin, they became reckonedly dead to it and alive to righteousness in Christ. Neither will the faithful overcomers of the past, noted in Hebrews 11, have part in that Millennial age Purgatory; but all others of the human family will there be dealt with – corrected and disciplined in righteousness – to bring about true reformation and finally perfection of character. (1 Pet. 4:5; Matt. 12:36.) All will thus be purged except such as in the present age, having enjoyed extraordinary light and privilege, nevertheless sin wilfully against it. For such only there is no further hope (Heb. 10:26,27), through the discipline and purgation of that judgment period; for, says the Apostle, "it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance." – Heb. 6:4-6.

That time will be one not only for rewarding the evil and good then done, but also for rewarding the evil and good deeds of the present time. Whoever now gives even a cup of cold water to one of the Lord's disciples, because he is such, shall have a reward in that Purgatory; and whoever has wronged one of the least of them shall receive a just recompense for the evil deed. And the scourgings of that time shall be justly in accordance with the knowledge that was sinned against. – Luke 12:47,48; Matt. 10:41,42; 16:27; 2 Tim. 4:14.

The Purgatorial period will be specially severe at its beginning, particularly upon the people of civilized nations of so-called Christendom. They have enjoyed many advantages [R1469 : page 342] and opportunities above those of heathen lands and are correspondingly responsible. For the purpose of quickly bringing mankind to a realization of the new conditions in force under the new Millennial dispensation then introduced, the Lord, the righteous Judge, "will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury and his rebuke with flames of fire [judgments, destructive to evil systems and schemes]. For by fire [destructive judgments upon evil things] and by his sword [the truth] will the Lord plead with all flesh: and [Praise God!] the slain of the Lord [conquered by the sword of truth] shall be many." (Isa. 66:15,16; Rev. 19:15.) "He shall judge among the nations and rebuke [by his judgments] many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isa. 2:4.) The judgments of that day of the Lord are symbolically represented, in all the prophetic delineations of that time, by fire; because fire not only destroys, but causes pain in connection with the destruction. [R1470 : page 342] These purgatorial flames of righteous judgment will consume the evil systems and false principles and theories of the world – political, religious and financial; and while individuals will suffer and weep bitterly, it will be, to the many, reformatory or purgatorial suffering; and only such as willingly cling to the evil will be destroyed with the evil and as a part of it.

This Purgatory will begin in the close or "harvest" of the Gospel age – the Millennial or purgatorial age lapping over upon it. Indeed, the first to enter it will be those Christians who are "double minded" – who seek to serve both God and mammon, and who, to be saved at all, must come up out of great tribulation, washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev. 7:14.) In fact, it might be said that the purgatorial work has to some extent progressed upon this same class throughout the Gospel age (See 1 Cor. 5:5); but the class has been so small in comparison with the world that the term "Purgatory" may properly be applied only to the Millennial age of the world's purgation; for such is the Scriptural method of referring to it. Referring to the beginning of this Purgatory and its first effect upon the two classes of the Church, the Prophet says (Mal. 3:2,3): "But who may abide the day of his [Messiah's] coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them [in that Purgatory] as gold and silver, that they may offer [themselves] unto Jehovah an offering in righteousness."

The trouble which will purge the great company of the nominal church, who are unworthy of a place in the real Church, is a part of that which is coming upon the world in general. They are the unfaithful servants who, though not hypocrites, receive a portion of trouble, as chastisement, with the hypocrites and unbelievers. (Matt. 24:51.) While they will be coming through great tribulation it will be because they have the spirit of the world. The spirit of the world is a selfish spirit: it includes love of the praise of men, love of wealth, love of power, love of ease, love of pleasure – love of everything pertaining to self, and neglect and lack of interest in the welfare of others. This class, and in fact the whole civilized world – "Christendom," as it is called – have had the law of Christ presented to them – Love to God and love toward each other; yet they have neglected it and allowed selfishness to rule them instead. The trouble coming will be the outgrowth of this very selfishness. Kings and princes selfishly seek their own continued advantage and power, and the masses selfishly seek liberty and equality; rich men and corporations seeking selfishly to perpetuate monopolistic methods, customs and privileges which give them a decided advantage over others and secure them and theirs the cream of life's comforts and blessings; and in opposition to these their mechanics band together, not on general principles for the good of all, but on selfish principles, to get for themselves as large a share of the spoils and to give as small a return of labor as possible.

This crop of selfishness is fast ripening in the brighter light of this nineteenth century. [R1470 : page 343] As the light increases, both sides become more cunning as to how to advance their respective selfish ends, and how to detect and meet each other's moves. The breach is rapidly widening and preparing for what God has predicted from of old – "A time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation," "no, nor ever shall be." (Dan. 12:1.) This trouble is the beginning of the purgatorial fire of the day of the Lord. In it the mountains [kingdoms of earth] shall melt and flow down like wax [to the level of the people – equality], and those which do not melt shall be removed and carried into the sea [swallowed up in anarchy], while the earth [society and general order] shall be removed. See Psalm 46 for a symbolic presentation of these retributive and purgatorial troubles coming upon the world, remembering that in the symbolism of Scripture mountains signify kingdoms; earth, the social fabric supporting kingdoms; sea, the lawless or anarchistic elements; and heavens, the religious influences.

This same trouble is also graphically portrayed in the symbolic "fire" in 2 Pet. 3:10-13. Here the earth (society) is shown as melting or disintegrating into its various elements, which, in the heat of bitterness of that time of selfish strife, will no longer blend and coalesce as before. Here the burning of the heavens – the destruction of the religious systems and principles which at present govern and control mankind – is shown, their passing away with great commotion. Then Peter tells of how this confusion and trouble shall be followed by a new organization of society, under new religious principles and government – new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness – wherein right and truth and love will have supplanted error, superstition and selfishness. David also (Psa. 46:8-11) portrays the introduction of the same blessed Millennium of peace and righteousness.

During that Purgatorial trial the glorified Christ, the righteous judge, shall lay judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet, and shall sweep away every refuge of error. (Isa. 28:17.) "He shall judge the people with righteousness and the poor with judgment... and shall break in pieces the oppressor." (Psa. 72:2,4.) This will be the beginning of the purgatorial judgments – in favor of the poor, the ignorant and the oppressed, and hence against the wealthy and great and learned who have been willing to use their superior advantages of birth, of wealth, of education and of mental balance simply for themselves, selfishly – instead of having that sympathy and love for mankind that would lead them to desire and to labor for the elevation of their less favored brothers. Inasmuch as any have permitted selfishness to rule them, so that they are willing to take advantage of the weaknesses and circumstances of others to amass to themselves great wealth and power, and to use that power and wealth selfishly, to that extent they will suffer most in the beginning of this Purgatorial age. Upon this class its hottest fires will come first. See James 5:1-7.

The judgments of this day of the Lord are represented repeatedly in the Scriptures. Isaiah (Chapter 33:2,3,5-16) points out God's succor of the saints from the coming trouble, saying: "O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited on thee: be thou their arm [the helper of all truth-seekers, even though not overcomers],... also our salvation in the time of trouble." Then the effect of the trouble upon the nations is briefly summed up: "At the noise of thy thunder the people fled; when thou stoodest up nations were scattered." Next, the effect of the Lord's standing forth to judge the world is shown upon the Church: "The Lord is exalted; for he dwelleth on high. He hath filled Zion with justice and righteousness. Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times and the strength of thy happiness; the fear [reverence] of the Lord is his treasure." That is to say, the Zion class will be distinct and separate from others, and their advantage will consist largely in the divine wisdom and knowledge granted them, because of their obedience to their consecration. These are to be sealed "in their foreheads," intellectually (Rev. 7:3; 14:1; 22:4), that they may not be in darkness with the world (1 Thes. 5:4), and so may pass through much of the trouble with a happiness based upon this knowledge.

The prophet proceeds to picture the remainder [R1470 : page 344] of the world, aside from the saints, in that trouble. (See Isa. 33:7,8.) Their valiant ones are discouraged and weep, powerless to stem the tide of anarchy: all lovers of peace weep bitterly, greatly disappointed that when they were crying Peace! Peace! and predicting a Millennium of peace by arbitration, all their predictions fail and a time of trouble is precipitated such as was not since there was a nation. They expected it not so, because, neglecting God's revelation, they were not sealed by his truth in their foreheads. The highways [of commerce] lie waste, the travelers cease, contracts cease to be of force or value; and cities [because dependent upon commerce] will become very undesirable places, while principles of honor and manhood will no longer be regarded or trusted; and the earth [society in general] will languish and mourn.

This is the time when I will stand up to give judgment and justice, and to exalt myself, saith the Lord. The nominal church, which has conceived chaff instead of true wheat, shall bring forth only stubble; and her own breath (or doctrines) shall set her on fire and cause her consumption. (Isa. 33:11.) See also the burning of the tares, with which this is in harmony, and but another picture. Matt. 13:30,40.) As for the people in general (verse 12), they will be of two classes. Some, as thorns, evil-doers, will become furious in the fire, because cut off and hindered from their opportunities of doing evil secretly, and will be consumed. Others will be like slaking lime: the heat will be intensified as the water of truth is cast on, until their stoniness, their hardness of heart, shall be dissolved completely, bringing them into complete harmony with the Millennial Kingdom and its just and loving laws.

Going back, the Prophet takes another view of the trouble seen to be approaching; and he pictures the different classes and shows the class which all must join who would pass through that Purgatory successfully. (Isa. 33:14-16.) Transgressors in [nominal] Zion will be afraid, the hypocrites will be in terror as they witness [R1471 : page 344] the troubles of this day draw near. Which can abide [i.e., not be consumed] with this devouring fire? Which can abide with lasting burnings? The answer is clear: – not the selfish, but – "He that walketh in justice and speaketh truth, that despiseth the gain of oppression or deceit, that shaketh his hands from the holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from the hearing of blood [of plans which might cost life, or wreck another morally, physically and financially], and shutteth his eyes against looking on evil. He shall dwell on high." {Such shall pass through the purgatorial fire, and be exalted.] This class shall be preserved from the intensity of trouble and fire, and such as were otherwise at first, but who become of this class, shall be delivered from the burnings of this Purgatory as they develop this character which is a return to the likeness of God and to harmony with his law of love.

The Apostle Paul speaks of this coming Purgatory when he declares, "Some men's sins go before to judgment [being punished in the present life] and some they follow after." (1 Tim. 5:24.) Those who receive punishment for sins in the present life are oftenest the consecrated saints. Hence he declares: "If we would judge [criticize, discipline] ourselves, we should not be judged of the Lord. But when we are judged of the Lord, we are chastened [punished] that we should not be judged [tried and punished in the Millennial Purgatory] with the world." – 1 Cor. 11:31,32.

The same Apostle (Rom. 2:3-11) speaks of this Millennial Purgatory as the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God against all who are in opposition to righteousness and truth, and who obey unrighteousness. Upon such, he declares, shall then be rendered indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every being doing evil, but glory, honor and peace upon all that work good.

The same Apostle refers again (2 Thes. 1:6-9) to the tribulation to come at the second coming of the Lord Jesus, and declares that it will be but a just thing for the Lord, who declares, "Vengeance is mine: I will repay," to render a recompense of tribulation [Purgatorial punishment] upon those who have been opposers of the truth and of the saints. This, of course, includes the individual punishment of those evil doers of the Apostle's day, and indicates [R1471 : page 345] that the tribulation promised was not inflicted at their death, nor yet, but will be inflicted at or during the thousand years of the Lord's second presence – when he shall be revealed in flaming fire, etc.

That their punishment or tribulation will be just, and not an unjust one, we are fully assured from the character of their judge, as well as by the Apostle's words. Those who have sinned against little light shall have the fewer stripes (of punishment), and those who have transgressed with more light shall have the greater punishment. – Luke 12:47,48.

Our Lord's coming is not only for his saints, to be glorified in them, but also on behalf of all who will believe in that Millennial day of his presence, that his character and laws may be admired and obeyed by all such. But the same flaming fire [of righteous Purgatorial judgment] in which his presence will first be revealed to the world, in the great day of trouble which will introduce the new dispensation (new heavens and new earth), will continue to burn throughout that thousand-year day against all evil doers, revealing clearly right and wrong, good and evil; finally consuming all who, after clear knowledge and full opportunity, continue to reject God's goodness. Those who thus refuse to obey the glad tidings or to acknowledge God will be consumed by that fire as being themselves evil; thus they shall be punished with lasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power. – 2 Thes. 1:6-9. See Diaglott translation.

Thus, in a word, the symbolic fires of Purgatory shall, under Christ's direction, consume evil, and leave the world cleansed, free from sin and every evil. It will first burn against evil things, against evil principles and practices in men, and not against men as evil men. But as knowledge is increased and the weaknesses of the fallen ones are removed, all who still love evil ways and practices and principles will be elements of evil themselves, and will be destroyed as such.

And not only shall evil doers be punished in this Purgatory, but in it also every good deed of theirs shall be rewarded – even a cup of cold water given to a disciple shall surely have its reward.

Thank God for his gracious provision in Christ, not only for the forgiveness of the sins of the world, but also for the Purgatorial provisions: whereby the sin-sick may be fully cured and restored to divine favor and likeness. Thanks be to God for his Purgatory! for the great and perfect Inquisition of his plan and for the well-fitted Inquisitors – the Christ of God, perfected, head and body.

[R1471 : page 345]

BEAR YE ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS.

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." – Gal. 6:2.

Those who look upon the Bible as a collection of moral precepts designed for the regulation of the world in general are very far from the proper estimate of its object and scope; for the Bible is not addressed to the world at all. The whole book, from beginning to end, is the inheritance of the saints – "the sanctified in Christ Jesus." To them all the Apostolic epistles, with a single exception (the epistle of James) are addressed.

The book of Revelation is also similarly addressed. And the Apostle Peter, in referring to the prophecies of the Old Testament, says even of the prophets that "not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister." (1 Pet. 1:12. See also Dan. 12:4,8,9.) And the Apostle Paul says that "whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we [the sanctified in Christ Jesus] through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." (Rom. 15:4.) Consequently all that was written aforetime by Moses and the prophets – whether of history or law or prophecy or type or precept – was designed specially for us who are in Christ, for the instruction and comfort of the children of God. And not one iota of it belongs to the unregenerate world. It is a "light which shineth in a dark place" to Christians: it is "a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path." And whatever light the [R1471 : page 346] worldly get from it, reaches them indirectly – as reflected from the children of God, who "shine as lights in the world." "Ye," said our Lord, "are the light of the world." – Phil. 2:15; Matt. 5:14.

The plan of God, once discerned, indirectly inculcates every principle of morality and virtue by showing just what God designs to have us to do: by showing, first, how he created us perfect and glorious in his own image and designed us for everlasting life in the enjoyment of his favors; next, that everything in us which is short of that original perfection is due to sin and renders us unworthy of life. Then there is the recognition of sin; and thus the glorious plan for both our legal and our actual deliverance from sin and death is opened up, and the final restitution of all things is assured to the loyal and obedient sons of God; and all the necessary provisions thereto are made manifest.

As the plan is now clearly outlined we see how history and prophecy and type and law all minister to the one grand design of the Book of books, in which the reverent and careful student finds the highest incentives to purity and holiness and the most perfect delineation of that praiseworthy character which he should seek to build up, and in contrast with which the deformity of every evil is manifest.

Among the instructions to the children of God is the one above cited – "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." The law of Christ we have seen to be the law of love: and love says, Bear ye one another's burdens. There are times in the experience of almost every one when the surges of trouble roll high, and the timid, shrinking soul is almost overwhelmed by them. And then how soothing is the sympathy and counsel of a fellow-member of the body of Christ. Worldly minded friends may sympathize, but their counsel is almost sure to be wrong. Hence the necessity of fellowship in the body of Christ and of disfellowship with the world.

It is not always necessary to tell one's sorrows and perplexities to another, and to have their sympathy and aid: in most cases they are better untold, except to the Lord. But love's quick discernment is always watchful and ready with the word in season, the cordial friendliness and the helpful hand if need be, to help bear the burden.

There are various kinds of burdens to be borne: there are burdens of bereavement, of financial embarrassment, of business and family cares, of physical and mental suffering, of sudden disasters and great perplexities and anxieties; and there are burdens also of conscious sins. In all these, if we are diligently seeking to fulfil the law of Christ, we may be able to cheer and strengthen fellow-members of the body of Christ with sympathy and counsel, and such aid as may be most needful and timely.

But the Apostle calls particular attention to this last kind of burdens – burdens of sins – and counsels the exercise of this disposition specially in cases of acknowledged sin. We are all to remember our own liability to sin, and therefore to be patient and considerate with others when they are overtaken in a fault. Such patient, forbearing love is one of the most beautiful adornments of the Christian character.

In the body of Christ the various members have their various inherited weaknesses, against which they must wage a lifelong warfare; and these weaknesses are sometimes of such a nature as to interfere to some extent with the rights and comforts of others as well as of themselves. And just here the Apostle offers a word of counsel, saying, "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." (Rom. 15:1,2.) This does not imply that we should not expostulate with such a one and endeavor to help him get rid of his infirmity. This we should do, in the spirit of meekness and kindness, while we patiently endure the trial of our patience, not seeking to please ourselves, but rather to help a weaker brother or sister. "Let every one of us," as the Apostle counsels, "please his neighbor [brother] for his good, to edification" – i.e., not by simply ignoring his fault as though you considered it all right, but, while kindly urging him to strive against it, still humbly and patiently submitting to the discomfort it brings to you.

If this spirit prevails, the Apostle further shows (1 Cor. 12:24-26), there need be no [R1471 : page 347] schism in the body; because the members all have a mutual care and a mutual love one for another – a care which seeks to encourage and strengthen all that is good and to discourage all that is unbecoming, and a love which throws its mantle over the deformity and endeavors to conceal a fault, rather than to expose the weaker brother to the reproach of others. Thus in the true body of Christ, which is knit together in love, if one member suffer, all the members suffer with him, in proportion as they are more or less directly associated with him; or, if one member be honored, all the members rejoice with him, and to some degree share the honor: just as when in an earthly family one member rises to honorable distinction all the members partake of the honor and the joy.

For such self-sacrificing love how necessary is the spirit of humility and gentleness and patience and faith. How forceful are the Master's words, "Except ye be converted [from the spirit of the world to the spirit of Christ] and become as little children [in meekness and teachableness], ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." – Matt. 18:1-6.

And again says the Master, "Whoso shall receive one such little child [one such humble, teachable child of God] in my name receiveth me." Let us, therefore, be in haste to receive and to heartily fellowship every such one.

And here he adds a caution which all would do well to heed, saying, "But whosoever shall insnare one of the least of these who believe in me, it would be better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were sunk in the depth of the sea." With what carefulness, then, should we regard one another.

Dearly beloved, bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ – the law of love; and so bind up the body of Christ that there be no schism in the body, but that it be more and more knit together in love. Let this blessed law of Christ rule more fully in all who have taken, by consecration, the name of Christ: and let its hallowed influence shine out upon the world, showing them how it brings peace and harmony and happiness – how it makes more tender and devoted wives, more noble and good and kind husbands, more loyal and loving children, more kind and good neighbors, and how it puts oil upon all the troubled waters of present experience and prepares the heart for the enjoyment of all the fruits of righteousness.

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A MIGHTY FORCE.

It has been well said that the greatest problem of mankind is how to utilize the forces of nature; but to make this wholly true the double-sidedness of nature must be regarded. It is not sufficient to utilize the material forces, which facilitate locomotion or the production of articles of utility or luxury. The greater forces, those which have to do with the intellectual side of our life, must be understood and rightly used, otherwise the best material progress will fail to elevate the race to those heights to which it is capable of attaining. Happily for mankind the indications are many that the real nature of the latter forces is being understood. The other day a man was overheard to say to another in a business conversation: "We will have to act on that new rule we hear so much of in the papers nowadays." "What's that?" said the other. "The golden rule," was the reply; and the other assented. Now the point in this conversation, which was a real one, lies in the words, "we hear so much of in the papers nowadays." It is a fact that never in the history of journalism has there been such a turning towards this old yet ever new rule as a solution of the difficult problems of the hour. There is a mighty force in it, which is being recognized as never before [and applied to others by many who are unwilling to put into practice themselves]. When it is fully recognized it will energize society with a new life, and so great will be the onward strides which humanity will make that it will look back to these troubled and almost hopeless times as we look back upon the darkest eras in all past history.

Selected.

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"AS THE FATHER LOVETH ME."

My Savior, is it thus that thou
In truth so lovest me,
E'en as the heavenly Father doth
In verity love thee?

Into the depth of that great love
Can mortal vision see?
Oh, no: such love is fathomless,
And such will ever be.

Still as I think of that great love,
I wonder more and more.
Oh, may I love thee in return,
And, wondering, adore.

O thou all glorious Savior-King,
Cleanse this poor heart of mine,
And fill it from thy fountain, pure,
Fountain of love divine.

Then while I hear thee in thy Word
Telling thy love for me,
I can reply – Thou knowest all –
Thou knowest I love thee.
T. R. SIMPSON.

page 348

STUDIES IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
– INTERNATIONAL S.S. LESSONS. –

SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THOSE OF OUR READERS WHO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES WHERE THESE LESSONS ARE USED; THAT THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL. PUBLISHED IN ADVANCE, AT THE REQUEST OF FOREIGN READERS.

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WORK AMONG THE GENTILES.

IV. QUAR., LESSON X., DEC. 4, ACTS 14:8-22.

Golden Text – "In his name shall the Gentiles trust."

VERSES 8-10. Here again the Lord witnessed to the teaching of Paul and Barnabas by a miracle, thus confirming their testimony, that the people might know they were his messengers. The statement that the lame man had faith to be healed is also worthy of notice. This miracle corresponded closely to the one wrought through Peter and John. – Acts 3:7,8.

VERSES 11-13 show that the effect of the miracle upon the people was in harmony with God's design, in that they were impressed with awe and reverence for his chosen witnesses and thus were prepared to hear their testimony concerning the truth. Yet in their ignorance this reverence led them to the foolish extreme of worshiping the messengers of the truth instead of its divine author.

VERSES 14,15 show how the Lord's true messengers regarded such homage. They were prompt and emphatic in discouraging it. They went out quickly to the multitude which had come (probably to their dwelling) with garlands and oxen for sacrifice, and, rending their garments in token of extreme disapproval, cried out, "Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good tidings, that ye should turn from these vain things unto the living God, who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is."

Had Paul and Barnabas been of a different spirit they might have been overcome by the temptation to accept the praise and homage of men. But they were humble and faithful, and sought only the glory of God and the enlightenment and consequent blessing of their fellow men. Such temptations are common to all public teachers, and therefore they specially need to cultivate the grace of humility. They must humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt them in due time, and, like the Apostle, declare themselves only fallible men, who, by the grace of God, have been permitted to declare the good tidings of salvation; that the glorious message is not theirs, but God's; and that it is now made manifest through his servants, because the due [R1472 : page 348] time for its revealing has come. – Dan. 12:4,9,10.

VERSES 16-18. Paul here emphasizes the fact of a great dispensational change having occurred – the closing of the Jewish age and the opening of the Gospel age. In the former, the favor of God was extended to Israel only – consisting in a typical justification from sin, reconciliation to God and promises of everlasting life. In the latter, the door of access to God [through Christ] had been opened to all nations, and the dividing wall of the Jewish (typical) covenant had been removed. (Eph. 2:14-22.) "Now [having appointed through Christ a day of trial for all] he commandeth all men everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30.) The account here is probably only a brief extract of the Apostle's discourse to the people, whereby he restrained their idolatrous worship and drew their attention to the truth.

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VERSES 19,20 give another illustration of the incessant opposition of error under Satan's supervision in the name of religion. And the prince of this world in this, as in the majority of cases now, was permitted a large measure of success. Probably most of the Apostle's congregation were either effectually turned from the truth, or else were considerably confused or biased in favor of the error; but the few that did hear and believe were precious. Sometimes the evil-doers are permitted to persecute the Lord's messengers even unto death, as in the case of Stephen; but although Paul was almost killed, the Lord raised him up, that he might yet further bear witness to the truth, in which privilege these faithful soldiers of the cross greatly rejoiced. But observe that they did not remain in the same city to invite further persecution for vain-glorious reasons, neither were they discouraged against further efforts; but with good courage, remembering the Lord's words – "When they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another" (Matt. 10:23) – they left Lystra the next day for Derbe. Seemingly, they used as much prudence as was consistent with their mission of preaching the gospel: and in this we should emulate their example. They did not stay to tantalize their persecutors and to invite a second stoning: another door for preaching stood open and they went to Derbe.

VERSES 21,22. Nevertheless, when it became expedient to return to Lystra to confirm the household of faith, the courage to serve the Lord's sheep was not lacking. The entire course of the apostles shows us that their mission work was very different in object, as well as in method, from that of missions to-day. They went to the principal cities, and to the most religious persons in each. They had no expectation of converting all, but merely of interesting a few – a "little flock." They knew what the majority of missionaries to-day do not know, that the work of this age is the selection and perfecting, in patience, experience and character, of the "Bride of the Lamb," the Church – to be joint-heirs with Christ during the Millennium in the work of breaking the power of Satan over the masses, and of opening the blind eyes and unstopping the deaf ears, and leading all who then will be led, to perfection and lasting life and joy.

The Apostle's care for the souls of his converts is also noteworthy. He was not only anxious to make converts, but he was even more anxious to confirm them in the faith and hope of the gospel, to establish them in the doctrine of Christ, to warn them against error and to encourage them to steadfastness in the midst of persecutions which would surely follow. [R1472 : page 349]

THE APOSTOLIC COUNCIL.

IV. QUAR., LESSON XI., DEC. 11, ACTS 15:12-29.

Golden Text – "Through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." – Acts 15:11.

As we saw in the two previous lessons that the envy of the Jews on account of the progress of the doctrines of Christ hindered them as a class from receiving the truth, so in this lesson we see that a measure of that same spirit among some who had accepted the truth was bringing them again into bondage to the Law, and depriving them of their liberty in Christ. And not only so, but some of these were determined to put this yoke upon the whole Church by insisting that all Gentile converts must be circumcised and thus become Jewish proselytes before becoming Christians; and that otherwise they could not be saved.

These Judaizing teachers interfered with the work of Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, and a great controversy ensued. The question was a vital one, and one which involved the whole structure of Christianity; for the error struck right at the foundation doctrine – the efficacy of the precious blood of Christ for salvation to all them that believe, whether Jews or Gentiles. These false teachers were claiming that faith in Christ as the Redeemer was not sufficient for salvation, but that this was only an appendage to the Law, which still held dominion over the Jewish converts, and to which the Gentile converts must also submit.

The Church at Antioch was greatly exercised on this question, and Paul and Barnabas were zealous in proclaiming the full value of the precious blood of Christ, as completely abrogating the former covenant of works, which had been proven powerless to save. But the Gentile converts were anxious to know what would be the consensus of opinion on this important subject among the other apostles in Jerusalem. Consequently they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, a distance of about three hundred miles, and have a conference with the apostles and elders there about this question, which they did, probably at the expense of the Church at Antioch. This was the visit mentioned by the Apostle in Gal. 2:1,2, about fourteen years after his conversion. The course of the Church at Antioch in this matter, as well as its former course in sending them out as missionaries to other cities, whence they had returned to minister to it again (Acts 14:28), gives evidence of its zeal and faithfulness, not only to serve the Lord, but also to come to an exact knowledge of the truth.

The early Church, composed first of Jewish [R1472 : page 350] converts, was not in opposition to the salvation of the Gentiles, but having been so long under the Law, it is not at all surprising that even the apostles were slow to follow the leading of the Spirit in turning to the Gentiles, and that all were naturally inclined to trust in some measure to the old Law covenant of works, not realizing that in so doing they were nullifying the covenant of grace in Christ. Paul seems to have been the first to grasp the situation, and his clear declaration in his letter to the Galatians (Chap. 5:2-6) of the all-sufficiency of the atonement leaves no room for doubt as to his position on this subject. He says: "Behold I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised Christ shall profit you nothing; for I testify again to every man that is circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole Law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace....For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love."

While God could have quickly made the truth plain to all the Church in various ways, he chose to do it gradually and through agencies. Hence through a vision to Peter he first gave indication of his purpose to begin the blessing of the Gentiles with the gospel. But to Paul God made known the particulars of his plan, and through him comes the clearer understanding to the whole Church, including the other apostles. To him came visions and revelations more than to others. – 2 Cor. 12:1-7.

VERSES 7-11. When the apostles and elders were assembled together at Jerusalem, there was first a difference of opinion on this subject and much apparently informal disputing, some urging one way and some the other. Then Peter rose up and called the attention of all to the fact of how God had taught him through the vision of clean and unclean beasts that he was not henceforth to call the Gentiles common or unclean, and that he had put no difference between them and the Jews. And so he urged that no yoke of the law be put upon the neck of these disciples, which neither they nor their fathers were able to bear; for, said he, "We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we [Jews] shall be saved, even as they" [the Gentiles].

VERSE 12. Then Barnabas and Paul were heard; and they declared what great things the Lord had been doing among the Gentiles, and how he had been working with them by miracles and signs. (See previous lessons.)

VERSES 13-18. When these brethren had related their experiences among the Gentiles, and after Peter had called attention to his vision and his subsequent experiences, all of which is only briefly stated here, then James, who seems to have been the moderator of the meeting, gave the decision which had been forming in his mind and the Scriptural reasons upon which he based it. He said, "Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simon [Simon Peter – verse 7] has declared how God at first did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name." Then he shows how this blessing of the Gentiles agrees with the teaching of the prophets, to the effect that the blessing of Israel first is only that through them as a channel [R1473 : page 350] it may flow to the Gentiles also. And so they as Jewish converts to Christ were merely the channels through whom God would send his blessed gospel to the Gentiles also. Yes, he said, this was evidently God's plan from the beginning. – Verse 18.

VERSES 19,20. "Wherefore," said he, "my judgment is that we should not trouble them which from among the Gentiles are turned to God" – they are justified by faith in Christ, and have already received the spirit of adoption, in uncircumcision, thus showing that faith in Christ the Redeemer is the only requisite to salvation. He further suggested writing to them merely that they abstain from pollutions of idols, i.e., from meats offered to idols (verse 29), and from things strangled and from blood – as by eating such things they might become stumbling blocks to their Jewish brethren (See 1 Cor. 8:4-13) – and from fornication. The eating of blood was forbidden, not only by the Jewish Law, but also before the Law. The same command was given to Noah. (See Deut. 12:23; Gen. 9:4.)

VERSE 21. The Apostle's intimation is that Judaism and the Law Covenant were very generally known throughout the world at that time. And this harmonizes with our Lord's words – "Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte." Nevertheless these means had not done much to convert the world to God; while the preaching of the gospel by Paul and Barnabas had been signally blessed to the Gentiles – the chief opponents being the Jews. These facts, taken in connection with the words of the prophets which the Lord had just brought to their attention, convinced James that a new dispensation had dawned, of which not the Law Covenant but the New Covenant was the basis.

VERSES 22-29. This advice of James found favor among all the apostles and elders, and they decided to act upon it. So Paul and Barnabas were returned to Antioch with a letter of affectionate commendation, and accompanied [R1473 : page 351] by two of the brethren from Jerusalem – Judas and Silas – who bore the same testimony to the Church at Antioch.

The opening and closing words of this letter are noteworthy – verses 23,28,29. The apostles are represented as a class apart from others of the Church, indicating the distinctness of their office. The elder brethren or elders signify those of largest experience and development. Note also that those addressed – viz., Gentiles – are called brethren, thus indicating Christian fellowship. The statement: "It seemed good to the holy Spirit and to us," etc., indicates that they judged the mind of the Spirit by the special providences manifested in the cases of Peter, Paul and Barnabas, as well as by the expressions of the prophets.

It will be noticed that nothing is said about keeping the ten commandments, nor any part of the Jewish law. It was evidently taken for granted that having received the spirit of Christ the new law of love would be a general regulation for them. The things mentioned were merely to guard against stumbling themselves or becoming stumbling blocks to others.

IV. QUAR., LESSON XII., DEC. 18. – REVIEW.

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"OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT."

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Missouri.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – About two years ago two Old Theology Tracts were cast by you as bread upon the water, which, thank God, were found by me. They led me to read The Plan of the Ages, and the other two volumes, with my Bible in hand, to see if these things be so. I was aroused, I was awakened from a lethargic sleep of fancied security. I had indeed been almost blind, but I knew it not. I was nearly deaf to the voice of truth and reason and to my best interest. But, thank God, I can now both see and hear.

For many years I had been a member of the Christian church, because there, I was led to believe, I would be a freedman, bound by no creed or confession of faith, but the Bible and it alone. I rejoiced in my liberty, and, Pharisee-like, I thanked God that I was not as other men; but I now see that I was nearly as much bound as others, and that I also had the rules and usages of the church, and the teachings of her schools, to profess and to defend, or expose myself to charges, and loss of membership.

I may indeed yet see dimly as through a glass, but I am not discouraged or cast down, for my eye is onward and upward, and I have a hope that maketh not ashamed.

Yours in hope,

A. DELONG.

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Illinois.

DEAR BRETHREN: I have just read with astonishment the second and third volumes of DAWN, and I thank God that he directed me to them; for I have always been seeking truth since I left the Roman church. I concur with nearly all that is taught, and desire to do what I can toward spreading the light. Three years ago I left the Roman church to seek salvation in Christ alone, and I have been greatly blessed in experience since that time. About a year afterward I felt the necessity of being baptized according to the Bible teaching, and consequently was immersed. I have many times thought about the vast number of different denominations in Protestantism, all disagreeing, yet all taking their doctrines from the one Bible. I often thought something must be wrong, and praise God for this, that I did not altogether become a Protestant; but I have been and am seeking truth, and I believe the Lord is leading me. I have come out for the glory of the eternal Father, who so loved us as to redeem us through the precious blood of Jesus Christ; and I mean to follow Jesus at whatever cost, and as near as I can in the manner described in 2 Cor. 6:4-10. Such is my determination, God helping me.

Your brother in Christ,

PHILEMON PEMENT.

India.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – You will, I dare say, be surprised to receive this from one who is situated in such a remote part of India, where no other subscribers to your journal reside but myself and family; and it will be a great pleasure to you to know that your MILLENNIAL DAWN has made its way down here, and that many are rejoicing in reading them. I must say the three volumes have given me much rich food, at a time when I was very hungry for the truth of God's Word; and though I cannot understand certain parts of your writings, still I am confident that the Lord will, in his due time, lead me into all truth, and enlighten my present dark understanding. I am enjoying the "liberty wherewith Christ hath made me free," in which liberty my dear wife has joined, and we are both, as one, in the unity of the Spirit of "Life only in Christ." Though we are deprived of human fellowship, we have as our [R1473 : page 352] companion Him who is the best of friends.

I have received one or two copies of ZION'S WATCH TOWER, and it quite supplies me with the kind of food I would like to feast upon, and I wish to subscribe to it. My only guide is "Thus saith the Lord," and I will gladly accept all explanations on this ground. I close with the hope that the Lord will draw us closer together in His love.

Yours in the Lord,

CHAS. ERSKINE.

California.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I pen you these lines in grateful remembrance that I was brought out into the light of God's Word, as it continues to shine unto the perfect day. I have given much time investigating the DAWNS, comparing them with the Bible, and I find a beautiful harmony, leading me to consecrate all my ransomed powers to his blessed will. I have been running for the prize for some years, and feeling my way. As the dear Lord gave it to me, I have been giving truth to the people to which I belonged, and have had to step out of my church. In all sects I met the same opposition on the part of my congregations, and I finally saw clearly that I must come out of all organized bodies. I find one here, another there, that welcomes the truth. It has taken me quite a while to reach this point. Now it has been reached, and I am free to follow as the dear Lord leads.

I have had to go through trials, and to suffer the loss of my professed Christian friends, but I am praising the Lord – yea, his praise is in my mouth. Jesus was never more precious than now. I can sing,

"Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee."

I want to get a few copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN, to put into hands that will be benefited, as I have been. Pray for me that I may be instrumental in bringing many from darkness into light. In Christian love and fellowship,

H. F. HODGES.

Georgia.

DEAR BROTHER: – About two months ago I had occasion to visit Florida, and while there had frequent conversations with a lady on the subject of religion. Finally she asked me to read your work, MILLENNIAL DAWN. I began the first volume, and became so much absorbed that I almost lost sight of everything else. After reading it several times, I read the second volume with even greater interest, and now continue to read them both with unabated zeal and pleasure. Surely this knowledge has come to you from the source of all wisdom; and the Spirit of truth, which was promised to us by the Holy One of Israel just before his ascension, must be abiding with you, and directing you in this great and good work.

This knowledge came to my hungering soul like good, wholesome food to a starving man; and I will never cease to be grateful for the sweet comfort and consolation I have received. For many years I had been striving to understand and harmonize the plans and purposes of the Almighty God, but had never succeeded, except in part, until I found these books. When I left the Sister's house, I bought two copies, one for a friend, who, I felt confident, would be as much interested in them as myself. I was not disappointed, and we write now to ask that you will send us five dollars' worth. We want these for distribution among our friends, and hope that this step will lead to the sale of many others.

God speed you in your noble work, and give you great reward, both in this life and in the beautiful and happy life to come.

Yours in Christian love,
W. J. WOOD.

New Jersey.

DEAR SIR: – Will you please send me ten copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., as I feel I must do something for God, who has done so much for me. When I first read Vol. I., I wondered if its teachings were true. I then searched and studied the proofs, and was amazed at the wonderful height, depth, length and breadth of the love of God, that passeth knowledge. I am surprised at my past ignorance, and wonder how I could have been so blind.

Your work has brought light to my mind on many texts heretofore all darkness; and I cannot think over it without being inspired by the wonderful love revealed therein. All to whom I have lent it have expressed their approval of the reasonableness and justice of the Plan of the Ages. Yours in Christ,

JOHN CLOUGH.

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New York.

TOWER PUBLISHING COMPANY: – The Plan of the Ages and sample copies of WATCH TOWER came duly to hand. Am reading the book in leisure moments, and must say that it opens up like a gold mine: it is full of rich treasures. I have found what I have been seeking for the past decade, and can find place now for whole chapters of the Bible, that I could not use before. It is irresistible. Please send Vol. II. for enclosed Postal Note. You will hear from me again in a few days.

Yours truly,

T. L. BEEBE.