page 125
June 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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. XVI.JUNE 1, 1895.No. 11.
CONTENTS.

Special Items: How is the Work Progressing? 126
Views from the Tower 127
Priestcraft Opposed to Liberty [Concluded] 130
The Heavenly Treasure 132
The Precious Faith 134
Bible Study: The Walk to Emmaus 135
Bible Study: Peter and the Risen Lord 136

'I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me.' Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 126

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.
T
HIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated, – Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to – "Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed." – Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; – according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH
That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" – peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age – ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him. – 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. – Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." – Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir. – 1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age. – Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church. – Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor; MRS. C. T. RUSSELL, Associate.

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Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accident, or other adversity are unable to pay for the TOWER will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.

[R1819 : page 126]

HOW IS THE WORK PROGRESSING?

This question is asked by many whom we meet and its answer will be appreciated by many if not by all of our readers, so we reply publicly, – The great Harvest Work prospers! But we will particularize.

(1) The Colporteur work prospers. For a time, particularly during the winter months, the general business depression affected this service considerably, but with the revival of general business comes an increased activity in the colporteur branch of the service, and we feel confident that the first volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN will turn the half-million mark before the close of the present year. One day in May brought orders for over 1000 copies of this volume alone. The second and third volumes are doing well also.

We are glad to add, Those laboring in this branch of the service seem to be more than ever zealous for the truth; they are giving more attention than formerly to those whom they judge to be of the "wheat" class, watering and hoeing the seed they plant. One result is a constant increase of the subscription list of the WATCH TOWER. This we encourage, for we believe that in the busy whirl of our times, line upon line and precept upon precept are necessary to those already established, much more to beginners.

(2) "The New Branch" of the work is prospering also. Quite a number have responded to the Eight Qualifications, saying that by God's grace, they believe themselves to possess them to some degree and were striving and would strive to possess them more fully day by day. Of some of these we have personal knowledge and acquaintance, and others of them are "well reported of the brethren" for their character, faith, zeal and moderation. To all such we have given Letters of Introduction, such as we described in our issue of Oct. 15, last. And to such we have felt free to entrust the addresses of the interested ones of their own and nearby towns. In consequence, numerous little meetings – "Dawn Circles" for Bible study – have been started, which we believe are proving helpful.

Brother M. L. McPhail, as special traveling representative of the Society, during the last seven months has visited the TOWER readers in about fifty different places in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, W. Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Canada, Michigan and [R1820 : page 126] Pennsylvania. The reports from his meetings indicate that much good is being accomplished thereby, and we are urged to send him soon as possible again. Brother McPhail is the only one giving all of his time to the harvest work in this way, who does not combine the colporteur work with the other to some degree. He is the only one therefore whose home and traveling expenses are borne in full by this Society. While it is a considerable drain upon the Society's funds, we feel that Bro. McPhail's fullness of the truth and its spirit, combined with his meekness, zeal and energy, specially adapt him to this service. We will keep him going while we can.

(3) The general condition of the Church is good, and indicates itself in various ways, the most pronounced of which are the efforts to live the truth and to make it known to others.

(4) The progress of the sifting of the "chaff" and "tares" from among the "wheat" is very noticeable, and must be expected to continue, because this is the time of "harvest," the time of sifting. But, painful though it be, this is a necessary process, and marks progress toward the grand consummation when all the overcomers shall be gathered at the right hand of the Master and hear him say, Well done! good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joys of your Lord.

[R1817 : page 127]

VIEWS FROM THE TOWERS.

THE Pope's encyclical desiring union with Episcopalians and all Protestants has fallen rather flat. The sentiments of all except the "high-church party" are probably voiced by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England and Metropolitan, who says: –

"I have no hesitancy in saying that, in my opinion, any corporate union with Rome, so long as she retains her distinctive and erroneous doctrines and advances her present unprimitive and unscriptural claims, is absolutely visionary and impossible."

The Scriptures indicate that there will be no general union with Papacy, but merely sympathy and cooperation: that the union or federation will be of Protestant sects, the Church of England joining with the others.

This sentiment for union of Protestants is expressed by the Archbishop in a recent "Pastoral" letter addressed to his arch-diocese, asking the members of the Church of England to offer prayers on Whitsunday for Unity. He says,

"When we consider the terrible separation of the past, when we now see so many communions, – Presbyterian, Non-Conformist and Roman Catholic, at home and abroad in America – we are moved to desire to seek Christian unity. Who can doubt that this change is of the Lord?"

We answer, that there is great reason to doubt its being an inspiration of the Lord. On the contrary, we believe that the union proposed would be of advantage to error and of disadvantage to the truth. Nor do we believe that it is inspired by right principles.

We will give our reasons for this position.

(1) The federation proposed is not a union or harmony of faith reached by growth in grace and knowledge, but a union in which vital faith in the teachings of our Lord and his apostles is to be ignored, because of a general growth of doctrinal ignorance and doctrinal unbelief, and a corresponding loss of grace which permits the skeptical to glory in their carelessness of divine instruction, as well as in their ignorance and unbelief.

(2) On the contrary, the union which the Scriptures inculcate is a union of faith and oneness of loving interest based upon knowledge – of God as our Father and Creator, of Christ as our Ransomer, and of each other as joint-heirs with Christ in the great work of blessing the world with a knowledge of God and his gracious will. It, however, has no physical union, no fences, no bonds of human dogma, form or custom. Each individual stands absolutely free in the liberty wherewith Christ makes free, and is bound only by the love of Christ which alone constrains such as are free indeed. In this sense there is too little union amongst Christians in the various sects, though there is already too much in the sense of mechanical, sectarian bondage, not of hearts, but of profession; and the proposed greater confederation would only increase this physical bondage, and hence be even worse than the present for the personal liberty of those under it.

(3) The union proposed is largely a business move. There is a strong belief in the proverb, "In union there is strength," and strength is desired for various reasons: – (a) As strong denominations have an influence which smaller ones do not possess, so it is hoped that all denominations would be socially dignified by confederation. (b) Church people represent the wealth, culture and civilization of the world; and it is feared that the times are rapidly developing a revolution against the present social system and they feel the need of cooperation to preserve the present order, on which they perceive that their interests financial as well as social are dependent. (c) It has been their theory that they, by civilization, would convert the world and inaugurate the Millennium of peace and general blessing (quite the contrary of the Bible's presentation [R1817 : page 128] of God's program); and now that it is evident that civilization is not synonymous with conversion, but that the nominally Christianized masses in civilized countries are more to be feared than many times their numbers of the unchristianized or uncivilized (for they improperly confound civilization with Christianization), they are anxious to consolidate and put on a good appearance in numbers as well as in financial and social strength. If carried out, as desired, the confederation would take the place once occupied by Papacy, when it ruled the world with a high and [R1818 : page 128] mighty hand as "God's Kingdom ruling on Earth." (d) A few others may have other motives, but the foregoing represent the general interest in Christian federation.

We submit that a union for such reasons is not authorized by the Scriptures: that the Scriptural union is one of hearts, produced not by such motives of selfish expediency, but by the sanctifying influence of a knowledge of the truth, producing love to the Head and to each member of the body – the only proper bond of Christian union. And we again point out that the result of the mechanical union to be accomplished very soon will be antagonistic to the Lord's plan – unfavorable to the development of the little flock of saints, as well as an obstacle to the introduction of Christ's Millennial Kingdom as he has foretold its establishment.

Nevertheless, the very unfavorableness of the arrangement will serve to prove and test and make ready the Lord's people. (Rev. 13:16,17; 20:4.) And as the last obstacle to the general blessing of the world, united Christendom (financial, social and religious) will be utterly wrecked and both the present heavens (ecclesiasticism) and the present earth (society) shall pass away with a great noise (confusion).

The true Christian Union is that in which each individual believer in the ransom for all is fully consecrated to the Lord; and all thus united to the head and imbued by the truth with his spirit must be one – even as the Father and the Son are one. – John 17:21.

*                         *                         *

The Socialists of Paris recently, on the anniversary of the Commune, at their Maison du Peuple, introduced a "Passion Play," representing the Savior's death at Calvary.

"In the dialogue the unrepentant thief reproaches Christ with the incompleteness of His mission, which, while inculcating goodness and almsgiving, did not boldly preach the right to live. The practice of that right had brought him to a more ignominious cross than that which would be a sign of glory unto all time. The pathetic reply of Christ is that He died as a malefactor for having tried to teach men to love one another. He wished for the happiness of all, but a deaf ear had been turned to His doctrine. From the Golgotha which they shared with Him the eternal light would come. The Redeemer then says to the thieves, "I bless you both." "And I forgive you," replies the bad thief.

The Socialists and all reformers feel that they have some share in Christ Jesus. This is because he is "the Savior of the world." So, too, among the Jews, "the common people heard him gladly," and probably more of them than of the aristocracy became his disciples. But not all of the common people, then or now, accepted him heartily. Now, as then, the interest of the poor, like the interest of the rich, is mostly a selfish interest. Few see the King in his beauty – the beauty of holiness. Few seek him as the bread of eternal life. Most seek the bread that perisheth. (John 6:26-37.) By and by all the blind eyes shall be opened, and all may at least taste of the heavenly bread.

*                         *                         *

The dramatizing of Bible subjects is becoming quite general in Paris. Mrs. Booth, commanding the Salvation Army there, finding that the old methods of the Army no longer attract the multitude, has introduced tableaux of Bible subjects, the first being "The Ten Virgins." The success was great; and now one of the leading theaters has tried the public taste with a play based on the narrative of John the Baptist, Herod, Herodias and Salome, of Matt. 14:3-10. The play was enthusiastically received, and will probably be followed by the dramatization of other Old and New Testament incidents.

From Paris the fad will doubtless spread to London, New York and elsewhere; and this reminds us that theatricals were early associated with religion. In Greece, according to the earliest records, it was in connection with religious festivals that dances and performances had their origin. And beginning about the fifth century and lasting down to the twelfth century the theatricals of Europe were almost, if not entirely, what were termed Miracles and Moralities, or simply "Miracle Plays," and were performed in the churches and occasionally on the streets or in convents.

At first the actors were priests; later on, monks, nuns, etc., joined. It was not until the eleventh century that the "laity" were associated. In these plays heaven and hell, angels and archangels and even Deity were represented; and although started with the desire to teach the world religious matters in an entertaining manner, the effect was bad, the influence degrading. And such will probably be the effect again. Indeed, God is at present selecting the "royal priesthood" only, and they are not such as need to be entertained and wheedled into the truth, but such as so hunger and thirst after righteousness that they will "overcome" otherwise unsurmountable difficulties in order to attain it and the divine favor. Hence God's plan is the preaching of faith in Christ crucified and obedience in walking the narrow way he trod, to glory and immortality. It is during this age, to many, foolishness; but to us who believe it is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

*                         *                         *

A new Roman Catholic Cathedral is to be built in London, capable of accommodating 10,000 people. The land is valued at $1,300,000. One contributor has donated $100,000 toward the building fund. There seems to be plenty of money for the propagation of error; but amongst the saints there are not many great, or rich, or influential; God is choosing chiefly the poor of this [R1818 : page 129] world, rich in faith, to be heirs of the Kingdom which he has prepared for those that love him supremely.

*                         *                         *

In France a movement has been started to tax the revenues of Roman Catholic communities. As a result Catholics, especially ecclesiastics, are exasperated. Socialists are delighted, hoping for an insurrection which will give them a greater opportunity.

How evident it is that self-interest is, in the main, controlling all classes in France and elsewhere. As the trouble progresses this will become evident to all, and the masses will by and by look and long for rulers who will unselfishly and lovingly rule the world in righteousness. They will come to desire the very Kingdom which God has promised and which, unknown to the world, he has been preparing for more than eighteen centuries. Yes, "the desire of all nations shall come," – the Christ, head and body, glorified and in Kingdom power, – the Seed of Abraham in which all the families of the earth shall be blessed. – Gal. 3:16,29.

*                         *                         *

Three candidates for the ministry, recently before the New York Presbytery, were asked their opinion of the fate, after death, of Socrates and Plato. One declared that they were eternally lost, another felt sure that they had another chance with clearer knowledge in the next world, while the third did not know if he had any opinion on the subject. The Presbytery decided that in each case the examination was satisfactory; – probably because, like the third candidate, they had no conviction on the subject.

But why do not thinking and educated men use their brains upon so important a subject, which has to do with billions of the dead and millions of the living? Above all, why do they publicly avow in their Confessions of Faith that which not more than one in three of them really believes? Why not be honest, conscientious, truthful? Why we cannot surmise, except it be as one minister hereabouts declared, their "bread is not buttered on that side." But we do know that the untruthful and dishonest are not likely to get the truth. We presume that the Lord's estimate, like ours, is that such as are dishonest in their confessions are not worthy of more truth. The Lord is seeking a peculiarly honest people for his bride. "He seeketh such to worship him" as worship him in spirit and in truth, and not for money or reputation or social station.

*                         *                         *

In Cleveland the Y.M.C.A., Epworth League and Christian Endeavor Societies are combining their powers politically in what is known as "The Good Citizenship League." This may be considered a hint of what is to come. At first, no doubt, the energy spent will be well directed for purity and honesty in politics, and in that all honest people will rejoice. But within probably ten or twelve years, when religious federation shall have made itself felt in politics, both in Europe and America, and when, believing it to be the only safeguard against Anarchism and Infidelity, all who love peace shall ally themselves with the "religious party," then will come the danger. For, feeling their power, the tendency will be to use it arbitrarily and to trample upon the rights of others; and this, the Scriptures show, will be done, and will lead to the general collapse of the present social order.

*                         *                         *

Henry Varley, the Evangelist, who has been laboring in Oakland, Cal., was invited by the Ministers of San Francisco to come next to help them. But, after preaching and holding Bible-readings on various other subjects for some time, Mr. Varley took up the subject of our Lord's second coming and spent several sessions in pointing out that it is the center of the hope set before us in the Scriptures. This was too much for the San Francisco ministers, and they, at their regular Monday meeting, decided that if Mr. Varley wished to preach on Christ's second coming they would be obliged to cancel their arrangement [R1819 : page 129] to have him speak by turns in their churches, much as they would like to have him revive them and their flocks. They appointed three of their number a committee to visit and interview Mr. Varley, and to make known their terms. But, to his credit, Mr. Varley declined to leave out one of the chief features of the gospel and thus to prove himself ashamed of Christ and his Word, and went to Metropolitan Hall where he could preach the Word of God without restraint. God bless him! Yes, God always blesses those who are not ashamed of him and his Word.

But how strange that men who know anything about the Bible, who know that the Lord encouraged his Church with the assurance, "If I go away, I will come again and receive you unto myself;"* and who know that the Apostles hoped, and exhorted the Church to hope, for "the grace that shall be brought unto you at the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ;"* and who, sometimes at least, pray after this manner, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven;"* – how strange that they above all men should be so blinded, that they should hate the subject of his return, and despise those who trust therein while the promises of God are to those who love his appearing. As at the first advent, so now, the scribes and doctors of divinity are blindest of all, and cannot even discern the signs of the present times.

*                         *                         *

Emperor William's Anti-Socialist Bill in the German Congress was defeated. It was intended to increase the Emperor's power, and practically would have treated as a criminal any one who would have questioned or criticized his person or governmental policy. The Roman Catholic party was relied on to assist in making the bill a law; but it amended certain portions to favor the Church of Rome, and merely put it into a shape which pleased only themselves. No doubt they acted under instructions: Papacy wants to be paid by still greater concessions for assisting the Emperor to make his throne secure. We shall not be [R1819 : page 130] surprised if we find similar clerical parties in these United States within ten years.

*                         *                         *

Germany was the first nation to enact compulsory life and accident insurance laws for all laborers, mechanics, etc. A certain portion of the premium, from one-fourth to three-fourths, according to the danger, is paid by the employer and the remainder by the employee. England and France are moving in the same direction.

France, by a recent enactment, places herself in the lead in the matter of granting pensions for aged work-people, who have for ten years subscribed to Benefit Societies. The Socialists wanted the measure to apply to all, irrespective of the "Friendly Societies," but accepted the present measure as a recognition of principles for which they have long contended. All of God's people may well rejoice in all such well-directed efforts to assist the less fortunate members of Adam's family. Let us all more and more cultivate such sympathy in the present time, even though our hope for the groaning creation lies beyond the great time of trouble by which Messiah's Kingdom is to be introduced.

JEWISH VIEW.

"There are now 100,000 Jews in the Holy Land, one half of whom have arrived there in the past seven years."

"Jerusalem is advocated as the initial meridian instead of Greenwich by no less a renowned society than the Academy of Sciences at Bologna."

"Rabbi J. Leonard Levy lectured last Sunday morning before the Congregation Keneseth Israel upon "Jesus, the Light of Christendom." He said: – His moral doctrines are the purest. They are mainly from the Old Testament. His ethical precepts are the highest. They are for the most part from the oldest Jewish writings. He is a faithful copy of the lovable Hillel, that sweet, meek, gentle character. Our God is his God. Our people were his people; for our God is the Universal Father and our people the human family. I do not, cannot accept the dogma that was built around his name, yet I would be mentally blind if I withheld from him the highest tribute of admiration and respect.

"The greatest tribute that can be paid to him is to be worshiped by 350,000,000 of grateful people. What a wonderful influence he has had upon the world! To the tempted he has been a fortress; to the struggling, a support. Again and again he has told them, 'I, too, was tempted; I, too, suffered, but I bore my cross; go do ye likewise.'

"Where he is remembered in his spirit, men are nobler and women are purer. Where he has entered the human heart, charity abounds and hope is strong. Where he is imitated in his spirit, woman is revered and childhood is sacred, and there grows the sweetest flower that ever bloomed, the violet of meekness spreading its perfume in the human heart."

Jewish Exponent.

*                         *                         *

A young Israelite, a cultured man, thoroughly acquainted with the Jewish faith, became acquainted with several Christian families, and conceived the idea of writing a novel in which Jewish and Christian family life would be illustrated and contrasted. In order to more fully grasp the Christian idea he purchased and read a copy of the New Testament. His study convinced him that Jesus was indeed the Messiah looked for by his people.

*                         *                         *

In Berlin, a Hebrew artist sought new subjects for pictures, and, searching for them, turned to the New Testament. As he read, the moral beauty of the Savior and the simple purity of his teachings deeply impressed his heart. The more he read, the more he became convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Son of God, the Messiah.

Gradually, as the full number of the elect Gospel Church – "the Bride, the Lamb's wife" – is nearly completed, the "blindness" which for over eighteen centuries has rested upon "Israel after the flesh," according to divine prediction, begins to pass away in a manner that must be marvelous even to that people. – See Rom. 11:25-31.

*                         *                         *

Considerable uneasiness is felt in Austria by the recent triumph at the elections of the Anti-Jewish Party, whose motto is "Hang or expel the Jews, and confiscate their property." This party has triumphed in Vienna and has charge of the city government, and it is feared will similarly triumph in the national Congress or Reichsrath.

As we have already pointed out, Jewish persecution in Austria must be expected; for large numbers of them reside there, and the Lord will no doubt use persecution to awaken them, and turn their hearts and minds toward him, that those who yet trust his promises may begin to think of him whom they have pierced and to return to the land of promise. – Jer. 32:37-40; 46:27,28; Rom. 11:25-31.

[R1821 : page 130]

PRIESTCRAFT OPPOSED TO LIBERTY.

[CONCLUDED FROM OUR ISSUE OF MAY 1.]

THE EARLY CHURCHES UNFETTERED.

NOT only were the individuals of the early Church free, but each congregation was free from the control of every other congregation. Even the Apostles, although by divine appointment they were competent to direct all of the affairs, did not do so arbitrarily, but always respected the rights and liberties of each congregation and of each individual Christian. They did reprove, rebuke and exhort, but it was with longsuffering and patience, and by pointing out the errors of doctrine or practice, just as the humblest of the brethren had a right to do.

The entire arrangement of the early Church was based upon (1) confidence in the Lord, and in each other as partakers of his spirit; (2) love for the Lord and for all who possessed his spirit; (3) obedience to the Lord's will, in whatever manner expressed. They recognized the [R1821 : page 131] Scriptures as the substance of the Lord's revelation, but they did not forget that God declared that he would provide teachers, helps, etc., in the Church for its upbuilding in the truth and in its spirit. They were therefore on the lookout for those whom God might be sending as such helpers; yet they were cautioned not to receive every spirit or doctrine, but to try or prove by the Word of God whether or not the teachings and teachers were from God or false teachers transforming themselves to appear as servants [R1822 : page 131] of the light. Accordingly, even the Apostle Paul gave proofs of his teachings by repeatedly referring to the Old Testament Scriptures.

Knowing the superior ability of the Apostles, and noting to how large a degree the Lord had confidence in them and used them, the early Churches readily accepted the judgment of the Apostles as to which of their number would be best qualified, naturally and spiritually, to be their "Elders," or to have the chief direction and oversight of the work in their midst. And the Apostle shows that he judged of fitness in the same manner that we now should judge, and not by some super-human intuition. – See Titus 1:6-11.

But it is very evident that the Apostle appointed no "Elders" in any Church contrary to the will of the congregation. It was by the will of the Church that the Apostle chose for them; they having more confidence in his experience, disinterested judgment, etc., than in their own. Love and confidence were the grounds of obedience, and not arbitrary authority. These facts must impress themselves upon all who read the New Testament with their eyes open. The strongest utterance is merely advisory; it reads, "Obey your leaders and be submissive [then the reason for this advice is given], for they keep watch on your behalf, as those who shall render an account." (Heb. 13:17.) Even when the Apostles called or sent any of the younger brethren in the ministry, it was not as of arbitrary authority, but as of request which they were likely to follow, because of their confidence in him as a faithful and experienced servant of the Truth. (See 2 Cor. 8:17; 1 Tim. 1:3.) But those calls or requests were not always obeyed; and no offense was taken by the Apostle, if the brethren sometimes felt and acted differently from his suggestions or requests. (See 1 Cor. 16:12.) On the contrary, some of the "Elders" became self-seekers, and spoke evil of the Apostles, yet were not anathematized: the Church was merely cautioned as to how to judge, and another more suitable brother was suggested, not appointed (3 John 9-12) – indicating that full liberty was accorded to each congregation. But the caution was sometimes given that the spiritually minded would receive the Lord's counsel through his mouthpieces, the Apostles. – 1 John 4:6; 1 Cor. 14:37,38.

So also in introducing brethren to the Churches, force and authority are ignored, while the liberty of all is respected even by the apostles, who write not commandingly but entreatingly, not arbitrarily, but giving the reasons why those commended should be held in esteem. (See Phil. 2:29,30; Philemon 12,17; Col. 4:10; 3 John 8.) In all this the apostles did nothing more than what all the "brethren" had full privilege to do. (Acts 18:27.) And those who received the letters were bound to act upon such letters only by their love and confidence; hence probably a letter of commendation from St. Paul couched in the very same words would have had a greater influence than if from some others, simply because of the unbounded confidence of the Churches in his judgment and carefulness of their interests.

As the territory was smaller and the means of travel much less complete, the letters used by the early Church were special, rather than general, and were sent to the Churches rather than carried by the visiting brethren. They were written, instead of printed, and were for one visit instead of for a year as are the Letters of Introduction now in use amongst us.

The financial methods in the early Church, although not regulated by law, were simple and full of individual liberty as now with us. Pew-rents, church-fairs, etc., were unknown as means for helping forward the Lord's cause. The "Elders" in each little congregation did not serve for filthy lucre, but of ready minds. (1 Pet. 5:2,3.) So far as we can judge, they served the weekly meetings without thought of compensation; – probably continuing their usual work or business for a livelihood. The traveling "Elders," such as Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Peter, Timothy, etc., who gave their entire time to the service, sometimes "wrought with their own hands" to provide their necessities, but sometimes were supported in part by the voluntary contributions of those previously served with the truth. (See Phil. 4:10-18.) But they all seem to have strenuously avoided asking or receiving anything from those whom they were seeking to win to Christ. (See 3 John 7,8; 1 Cor. 9:12-15; 2 Cor. 11:8,9.) However, the apostles desired, for the sakes of the givers, to see the truth take such hold upon them that they would take pleasure in giving for the spread of the Truth: and therefore he accepted for his own necessities and for the necessities of those who were his colaborers and under his supervision what the Churches he had served were forward to offer. And although he sometimes pointed out the duty and privilege of the Lord's people, he never directly requested money, so far as we know, except for the relief of the poor of the Church at Jerusalem; – probably at a time of dearth or famine.

On the whole, dear brethren, we congratulate you that as representatives of the Lord to-day, on all these subjects, we all stand, so far as we can judge, in just about the same position as the early Church. The principles under which we operate are identical with those of the primitive Church, and the methods are modified only by changed circumstances and facilities.

Each individual and each little gathering is free, absolutely free, except as voluntarily controlled by love, confidence and obedience to our Lord, and love to each other. We, too, look for the Lord to SET every member in the [R1822 : page 132] body as it hath pleased him (1 Cor. 12:26-31); and we seek to recognize such by the characteristics laid down by the Apostle. We, too, recognize character and consecration as essential prerequisites to a believer (one who trusts in Christ's ransom sacrifice), before he could be "apt to teach" the truth. We, too, introduce by Letters which none are bound to recognize. We, too, have a general fund used in publishing the gospel, much more cheaply than we could publish separately, out of which provision those who can use tracts can have them freely whether they can contribute or not; out of which the poor are supplied with the regular visits and preaching of ZION'S WATCH TOWER; out of which the MILLENNIAL DAWN as a preacher of present truth is sent the world over on loan to the poor or at low prices and in various languages to those who can circulate it and thus share in preaching the gospel according to present improved facilities. And we, too, while pleased to see evidences of a love of the truth which extends to the pocket-book and the bank account, feel that we have neither authority nor desire to beg in the name of our Master.

Let us stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and permit love, and love alone, to be the constraining power in our hearts and lives; and in all matters of small importance, let us say as St. Paul did about wearing the hair long or short; – "But if any one is disposed to be contentious, we have no such custom [as a law], neither have the Churches of God." – 1 Cor. 11:16.

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THE HEAVENLY TREASURE.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; for where your treasure is there will your heart be also." – Matt. 6:19-21.
A
TREASURE is something in which we take special pleasure and delight. It is in our thoughts and plans and hopes, an inspiration in our lives, and an incentive to energy, perseverance and endurance for the hope which it enkindles. There are few people in the world who have no treasures; yet they are generally such as yield but little satisfaction, being earthly and therefore perishable. Some find their treasures in wealth, fame, social distinction, houses and lands, friends, home, family, etc., and in these they center their hopes. But all of these are subject to change and decay, and may, if the heart be centered in them, at any moment desolate the life, plunging the heart at once into an abyss of sorrow which can only be measured by the former high tide of its joy when life was young and hope new, before the shadows of disappointment crossed the way.

The wealth, laboriously gathered and husbanded with much care, may vanish in an hour; the fame, so dearly won, may change to censure at the caprice of fickle public sentiment; the social distinction, which once bade you to the uppermost seat, may by and by relegate you to the lowest seat, as one despised and forsaken; houses and lands may disappear under the sheriff's hammer; friends long trusted may suddenly turn the cold shoulder and prove untrue or even treacherous; the home you love must soon or later break up; the family will be scattered, or death will invade it, or even the love that glowed on the home-altar may flicker and become uncertain or extinct. So the high hopes of early life, centered in the earthly treasures, may in a few short years turn to ashes. How many have found it so! the moth of wear and the rust of time corrupt the fair earthly blessings; and thieves break through and steal the treasures of our possessions and our hearts, and desolation and gloom are the painful results. But it is not so with those whose treasure is laid up in heaven.

The all-important question then is, How can we lay up treasure in heaven, and what kind of treasures are accepted in that sure and safe depository?

We have the assurance of the divine Word that every thing that is pure and holy and good is acceptable there. The chiefest of all treasures there is the personal friendship and love of Christ, "the fairest among ten thousand and the one altogether lovely." If we have gained this treasure we have gained one that never changes, one whose love never grows cold and from which nothing can separate us – "neither tribulation, nor distress, nor famine, nor persecution, nor nakedness, nor peril, nor sword;" for his love and friendship are not like those of this world, which forsake us in the hour of need. Neither can "death," which often consigns to forgetfulness the friendships of this life; "nor angels," even with all the superior charms of their purity and glory; nor the "principalities and powers" of darkness that are arrayed against us to separate the betrothed virgin of Christ from her beloved Bridegroom; nor any of the "things present or to come;" "neither height" of temporary exaltation, nor "depth" of trouble and sorrow, "nor any other creature [thing]" in heaven or earth, separate from his special love the Lord's elect, who have found in him their chief treasure. – Cant. 5:10,16.

Nor will any other creature in heaven or in earth receive from him those marks of special favor which are, and ever will be, the chief joy of his beloved bride. Though "the whole family of God in heaven and in earth" will be blessed through him, his wife co-operating with him in the work, she alone will be his companion, his confidant, his treasure. This close relationship of the Church to Christ was set forth in the Lord's words to his typical people (Deut. 14:2), which the Apostle Peter (1 Pet. 2:9) shows belonged, not to them, but to their antitypes, the elect Church. To them he said, "For thou art an holy [R1820 : page 133] people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." And the Apostle, after showing that the typical people of God stumbled and proved themselves unworthy of such special favor, applies the promise to the Gospel Church, saying, But ye are the chosen generation, the royal priesthood, the holy nation, the peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: which in time past were not the people, but are now the people of God.1 Pet. 2:9.

And to us God has made exceeding great and precious promises – promises, not only of redemption and deliverance from sin and death, and recognition as sons and heirs of God through Christ to the inheritance of eternal life, but more: he has called us by his grace to be the bride of his only Son and heir – the "heir of all things;" to be his intimate and eternal companion in all things; to be "joint-heirs" with him of all his possessions, so that "all things are ours" also, "if we are Christ's;" to be "partakers," too, of the "divine nature" and glory and kingdom; even to sit with him in his throne, and with him to constitute a "royal priesthood" in whom all the world shall be blessed.

Hear the invitation (Psa. 45:10,11), "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people and thy father's house [the world and its ambitions, hopes and aims]; so shall the King [Jehovah's Anointed] greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him." What wonder is it if, when we receive such a message, we hesitate and feel that we are unworthy; that in our imperfection there can be no beauty in us that he should desire us, passing by even the angels in their purity and glory. Surely there must be some mistake! has not the invitation come like the vision of a dream to be dispelled when sound judgment has awakened to realities? Ah, no! hearken again, and be reassured of the voice of Jehovah, our God; for long ago he led his inspired prophet to pen these lines for us, and now by his spirit he unseals our understanding and brings the matter to us with all the freshness of his own personality. But what "beauty" have I? I know that I have not all the graces of the spirit in their glory and perfection; but then, as I reflect, I realize that I wear the robe of Christ's righteousness; then have I not "the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit?" and have I not that faith wherewith it is possible to please God? Therefore I lay hold, with exceeding joy and gratitude, of even this gracious invitation, and, without presumption, I accept the blessed hope and press toward the mark of my high calling which is of God in Christ Jesus, humbly trusting that he who has begun the good work of grace in me will perfect it against that day when he would have me appear before him "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing."

No sooner is the gracious invitation thus accepted than the pleasure of the Lord is expressed to the prospective bride. Hear – Ye "shall be mine in that day when I make up my jewels." "Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty." "I will give thee to eat of the hidden manna" [John 4:32], and will give thee a white stone [a precious token of love], and in the stone a new name written [the name of the Bridegroom, henceforth to be ours – Acts 15:14], which no man knoweth [1 Cor. 2:14] saving he that receiveth it." "Lo, I am with you alway [in thought and loving oversight and care], even unto the end of the age." "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that [personally] I go away to him that sent me: I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and [R1821 : page 133] he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the spirit of truth whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him: we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." – Mal. 3:17; Isa. 33:17; Rev. 2:17; Matt. 28:20; John 16:7,5; 14:2,3,15-18,21-23.

Hear again, as the Lord lifts up his voice in prayer to his Father, and our Father, to his God and our God (John 20:17), "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory. I pray for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine, and all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them." – John 17:24,9,10.

Precious words! con them over again and again, beloved of the Lord, that all their sweetness may permeate your souls and reinforce your waning powers with new vigor, courage and zeal to press along the narrow way until your eyes shall "see the King in his beauty."

Other treasures which we may lay up in heaven are those marks of just approval and distinction among all the good and holy which must result from zeal and faithfulness to the Lord and patient endurance of tribulation in his service in the present life. While an exceeding and eternal weight of glory is to be the inheritance of all of the elect body of Christ who are now laying up treasure in heaven, the Apostle Paul clearly intimates that that treasure may be augmented by special zeal and faithfulness under the peculiar trials of the present time. (2 Cor. 4:17,18.) Treasures also of mind and character we shall find laid up in heaven; for nothing that is good and true, and worthy of preservation, shall be lost to those who have committed their investments to the Lord's keeping. These are incorruptible treasures which neither the lapse of time nor the exigencies of circumstance will be permitted to wrest from us. The treasures in heaven will also include all those true and noble friendships founded in righteousness and truth here on earth, whether they be on the natural or the spiritual [R1821 : page 134] plane. For instance, one on the spiritual plane of being will not be disposed to forget or to ignore the loving loyalty of a former earthly friendship which often ministered a cup of cold water to a thirsty soul in time of need. Surely some special marks of favor from the highly exalted ones will manifest the appreciation of the old-time friendships (Matt. 10:41,42; Heb. 6:10), and the reciprocation of such grateful loving hearts will be a part of the treasure long laid up in heaven, then to be realized. Nor will the special friendships of those on the spiritual plane, begun and cherished here and now, lose any of their value and sweetness when mortality is swallowed up of life.

Oh, how precious will be the heavenly treasures when we view them in the light of the new dispensation – as glorious realities uncorrupted and incorruptible! With what joy shall the faithful begin to realize them when first they hear the Master's welcome, "Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord." Then will follow the welcome of all the glorified fellow-members of the anointed body; and if the jubilant songs of the angels hailed the advent of our Lord in the flesh, can we imagine them to be silent when the anointed "body" is received into glory, their work in the flesh having been finished? Surely not: if "there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth," the glad notes of jubilee will be raised very high when the Church shall have finished her course and entered into her reward. And as the tidings spread to earth, through the established earthly phase of the Kingdom, all creatures in heaven and in earth will be rejoicing together. – Rev. 5:11-13.

Who indeed can estimate the value of the heavenly treasures? Their value is past our present powers of reckoning; yet, with an approximate appreciation of them, let us keep our eye upon them and diligently lay up in heaven many of them, assured that there moth and rust can not corrupt, nor thieves break through nor steal. Let our hearts glory in the heavenly treasures, esteeming all things else as of minor importance. If our hearts are set upon the heavenly treasures only, then indeed the disappointment and trials of the present life cannot overwhelm us, though they may cause us pain and sorrow. The heavenly treasures include all that is pure and good and noble and true. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are worthy of the aspirations of the spiritual sons of God, these are our real treasures; and let our hearts glory in them more and more.

"Let us touch lightly the things of this earth,
Esteeming them only of trifling worth,"
and let our treasures be laid up in heaven and our hearts dwell there.

THE INFLUENCE OF THE HEAVENLY TREASURES UPON THE PRESENT LIFE.

In this view of the heavenly treasures we can see what a marked influence such a hope and ambition must have on the present life. (1) It helps us to realize that the Lord, whose present and final commendation we so earnestly desire, is taking special notice of even the most trivial affairs of our daily life and of our conduct with reference to them, as well as when we pass through the great billows of temptation and trial that seem disposed at times to overwhelm us. (2) It helps us to realize that the future approval of even our present enemies is a treasure worth the seeking. By and by the present opponent may be converted from the error of his way, and when he shall look back and call to mind the patient endurance, faithfulness and uniform kindness of the man formerly despised, hated, reviled and persecuted, the persecuting spirit may turn to mourning and repentance, and the former hatred, to love and admiration. This the Apostle intimates, saying, "Beloved... have your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that whereas they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1 Pet. 2:12.) And this love, the reward of righteousness, will be a part of the treasure of the future. Even so we are told the nation of Israel will by and by look upon him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn because of him. (Zech. 12:10.) This blessed satisfaction will be part of the Lord's treasure which, at his first advent, he laboriously laid up in heaven's keeping. It was the prospect of this treasure that assisted him to so patiently endure mocking, ignominy, scorn, ingratitude, pain and death. Under all his sufferings he did not grow discouraged nor faint, but confidently looked to the joy of the future set before him – the joy of a renewed, grateful and loving race. So also our heavenly Father has for six thousand years patiently borne with the ingratitude and wickedness of men, sending his rain and sunshine upon the just and the unjust, and at great cost providing for their redemption and restitution which by and by will reveal to him also the treasure of grateful hearts which shall to all eternity ascribe to him the praise of their salvation. Similar will be the joy of all the faithful sons of God who likewise now lay up treasure in heaven.

Just as we now look back in loving remembrance upon the worthy character and noble example of a sainted father or a tender mother with a degree of appreciation which childhood could not realize, so will men by and by learn to appreciate every worthy character; and so every good and noble deed will eventually receive its due reward.

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YOUR PRECIOUS FAITH.

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." – 1 Pet. 1:7.
F
AITH has in it the two elements of intellectual assurance and heart reliance. The former is faith in the abstract sense; the latter is its concrete form. It is in this latter, fullest sense we read that, "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness." (Rom. 10:10.) Both the head and the heart – the intellect and the affections – are necessary to that faith without which it is "impossible to please God" (Heb. 11:6); though many fancy they have faith when they have only one of its essential elements. With some it is all emotion; with others it is all intellectuality; but neither of these can stand the tests of fiery ordeal: they must abide together if they are to endure to the end and be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

An intellectual grasp of the fundamental principles of divine truth – viz., of the existence of a personal, intelligent [R1822 : page 135] God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, and of his purpose and plan of redemption through his only begotten and well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ – constitutes the foundation of faith; while trust and reliance to the extent of his promises, upon the personal God who is the author of our being and who, as a Father, invites the implicit confidence and love of his children, make up the superstructure of our faith.

The trial of our faith to which the Lord and the apostles refer is therefore a trial, not only of our intellectual recognition of divine truth, but also of our heart reliance upon God. In both respects every true child of God will find his faith severely tried, and, as a soldier of Christ, let him not fail to be armed for the conflict. If an attack is made upon the intellectual foundation of our faith we should see to it that we have a, "Thus saith the Lord," for every item of our belief. Let the Word of God settle every question, and let no human philosophies, however ingenious, lead us into the labyrinths of error; for if the foundations of faith become unsettled, the superstructure cannot stand when the winds and the floods of adversity and temptation beat against it. Doubt and fear will cause it to tremble, and when it is thus weakened the vigilant adversary will surely send a blast of temptation against it, and great will be the soul's peril. [R1823 : page 135]

Let us, therefore, look well to the foundations of our faith – study the doctrine and get a clear intellectual conception of every element of divine truth which the inspired Word presents to the people of God; let us become rooted, grounded, settled, established in the faith, the doctrines of God, and hold them fast: they are the divine credentials; and let us give earnest heed to them, lest at any time we should let them slip. – Heb. 2:1.

But having the doctrines clearly comprehended as foundations of faith, we need also to look well to the superstructure of heart reliance, which is really in greater danger from storms and floods than are the foundations, being more constantly exposed. The Apostle Peter tells us that a tried, proved faith, a faith that has stood the tests of fiery ordeal and come off victorious, is very precious in the sight of God. That is, that every time we pass through a conflict and still retain, not only the truth, but also our confidence in God and reliance upon his promises in the dark as well as in the light, our integrity of heart and of purpose, and our zeal for truth and righteousness, our characters have grown stronger, more symmetrical and more Christ-like, and hence more pleasing to God, who is thus subjecting us to discipline for this very thing.

Therefore, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." (1 Pet. 4:12,13.) It is worthy of notice here that special reference is made, not to the tests of intellectual belief brought about by the presentation of false doctrine, but to reproaches and persecution for Christ's sake, either for adherence to his doctrines or conformity to his righteousness; for, the Apostle adds, "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you." He warns us to take heed only that we suffer not as evil-doers, "Yet," he says, "if any man suffer as a Christian [that is, either for Christian principles or Christian doctrine], let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf."

The Prophet Daniel also says that particularly in this time of the end, "many shall be purified and made white and tried;" and Malachi (3:2,3) compares the trials of this time to the "refiner's fire" and to "fuller's soap," which are designed to refine and purify the Lord's people. The Apostle Paul urges that we fight the good fight of faith, and patiently endure afflictions to the end. (1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:3.) And many are the words of consolation and blessed comfort offered by the Psalmist and others to the tempest-tossed and suffering people of God. – See Psa. 77:1-14; 116:1-14; 34:19; 31:24; 2 Thes. 3:3.

Are you then, dear brother or sister, hard pressed on every side with temptations to doubt that God's protection, love and care are yours, that his precious promises belong to you? have you grown discouraged and disheartened? do the foes seem too many and too strong for you? do the reproaches come with crushing weight, and do the clouds hang heavy over your seemingly defenseless head? Ah, it is just here that faith must claim her victory! Is it not promised, "This is the victory that overcometh,... even your faith?" It is your faith that is on trial now. In the calmer days when the sun of favor shone brightly upon you, you were quietly laying the foundation of a knowledge of the truth, and rearing the superstructure of Christian character. Now you are in the furnace to be proved: summon therefore all your courage; fortify your patience; nerve yourself to endurance; hold fast to your hope; call to mind the promises, they are still yours; and "cast not away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward."* "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength,"* "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him,"* and faith has gained her victory. Then in due time the Lord's hand will be recognized in making all things work together for good to you according to his promise. This proof of your faith, says Peter, is more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire.

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THE WALK TO EMMAUS.
– JUNE 9, LUKE 24:13-32. –

Golden Text – "He opened to us the Scriptures." – Luke 24:32.
O
NE thought in connection with this familiar narrative is the privilege and blessing of the communion of saints. Wherever two or three are met together in my name, said the Lord, there am I in the midst. (Matt. 18:20.) These two disciples (not apostles: see verses 18,33) were earnestly discussing the sad events of the last few days, which so perplexed them all. They had trusted that he who had just been crucified was the true Messiah foretold by the prophets: he had seemed to fit the descriptions of the prophets so perfectly, but now he was very generally esteemed as "smitten of God and afflicted." Their sad and perplexed faces were indexes of their minds. They had loved the Lord and trusted in him, and they delighted to call to mind his sweet spirit, his wise counsel, his wonderful teaching and his great love for each of them personally. How strange it seemed that such a one should so perish! [R1823 : page 136]

Yes, they loved the Lord, and delighted to speak one with another, and to think upon his name; and the Lord hearkened and heard it (Mal. 3:16,17): he was beside them all the while though they knew it not, and soon he seemed to overtake them, and gave them a stranger's greeting. Then followed the marvelous opening up of the Scriptures to them. How familiar the stranger seemed to be with the law and the prophets; and how wonderfully he wove together the web of logical and Scriptural argument, to prove it necessary that Messiah must suffer these things before he could enter into his glory! Surely enough, it was all there in the sacred writings, but they had never seen it so before. How reasonable, too, when thus viewed!

Then they told him of the strange news they had heard of his resurrection that very morning; and as he further explained how this also was so to be, as foretold by the prophets, they drew near home and the stranger was therefore about to take leave of them. But their interest in the conversation was too deep to part thus abruptly with him, and they urged him to tarry and partake of their hospitality.

Earnest inquiry and generous hospitality were strong incentives to the Lord, as they always are. So he accepted the invitation; and soon they were made cognizant of the fact that the Lord himself was indeed their guest. And his blessing sank deep in their hearts, and they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us by the way?

Let us take to our hearts the precious lesson of this incident, that we may enjoy more and more of the blessings of communion with the Lord and with each other. If our hearts are humble, earnest and true; if our delight is in the Lord and his truth; if our actions are guided by the noble principles of truth and righteousness; and if our candid, thoughtful endeavor is always to find the purest principles and the exact truth to the end that we may conform our lives thereto, then indeed the Lord will be pleased to dwell with us and to manifest himself to us as he does not unto the world. – John 14:21.

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PETER AND THE RISEN LORD.
– JUNE 16, JOHN 21:4-17. –

Golden Text – "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee." – John 21:17.
I
N addition to the special teachings of these several narratives of the Lord's appearance to his disciples after his resurrection, which were, first, to convince them of his resurrection; and, second, to convince them of his change of nature, which teachings we have noted in previous lessons, we would here call attention to the thrice repeated question of our Lord to Peter – "Lovest thou me?" – and Peter's reply, and his renewed commission to preach the gospel.

Thrice had Peter denied the Lord – though under extreme temptation – and the denial was sincerely repented of with bitter tears; and now thrice would the Lord have him reaffirm his devotion to him, and receive three additional assurances of his ample reinstatement in his love and favor.

"So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?' He saith unto him, 'Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.' He saith unto him, 'Feed my lambs.'"

The question arises, With what did our Lord bring himself into comparison in Peter's mind when he said, "Lovest thou me more than these?" Could he have referred to the other disciples present on that occasion? We think not; for the Lord had no disposition either to embarrass Peter and the others with a tone of sarcasm, nor to inspire nor encourage boastfulness. And Peter's prompt affirmative answer indicates nothing of either embarrassment or boastfulness, but instead, a loving sincerity, which was glad of the opportunity to respond promptly and warmly [R1824 : page 136] – "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee."

With what then did the Lord institute the comparison? Evidently with the fishing tackle and the business prospects represented in them. Once, in obedience to the Lord's call, he had left these to follow him; and then, in the interval of perplexity since his resurrection, not knowing what else to do, he had gone back to the old business. So the Lord inquired how he felt about it now, since the reproach of the crucifixion. It was as though he had said, Are you willing again, Simon, in the face of all the public prejudice and hate and the reproach of the cross to leave all your business and social prospects and go out again to preach the Kingdom of God and the return in glory and power of the crucified One? Are you willing, too, to incur the additional reproach and persecution which zeal and faithfulness in my cause are sure to bring?

Yes, Peter was ready, and so were all those dear disciples, again to forsake all and take up the cause of their crucified and risen Lord, and boldly and openly to proclaim the coming Kingdom and glory of him whom the Jews had taken and, with wicked hands, had crucified and slain. Only the doubt which seemed to be implied in the third repetition of the question grieved Peter. His was an ardent, warm nature, and he wanted the Lord to be fully persuaded of his love and zeal. It grieved him, therefore, to feel that possibly yet there was a shadow of doubt, a little cloud, between him and the Lord which his repentance had not fully removed. But the Lord quickly removed the cloud and enabled him to realize his full reinstatement as an accepted and beloved disciple, in full fellowship and cooperation with himself.

The question thus addressed to Peter – "Lovest thou me more than these?" is the question addressed to every consecrated follower of the Lord, without a single exception. If we have given ourselves unreservedly to the Lord, the necessities of his work are before us, to prove the sincerity and strength of our love. Nor has the reproach of the cross yet ceased: indeed, in this end of the age, as in the beginning, the reproach of the cross is bitter and determined; and it is more and more so every year as prominent ecclesiastics lead the way toward the ditch of open and avowed infidelity. So to each of us comes the testing question, "Lovest thou me more than these" – more than the business pursuits and prospects, more than the social ties and pleasures, more than ease, or comfort, or friends, or fame, or wealth, or a good name, or any earthly good?

Ah! it is truly a test question, and a question which no one can sincerely answer in the affirmative who has not the inspiring incentive of love in the heart. But pure, fervent love to Christ does quicken zeal, and enable those who have it to respond gladly and promptly, "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee," and sends them forth with joy to prove their love by their works. "If any man love me, let him take up his cross daily, and follow me." "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." "The servant is not greater than his lord: if they persecuted me, they will also persecute you." "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in me ye shall have peace." "Feed my sheep; feed my lambs."

page 137
June 1st

ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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. XVI.JUNE 15, 1895.No. 12.
CONTENTS.

Special Items: Missionary Envelopes 138
The Work at Home and Abroad 138
Views from the Tower 139
Whose Glory is in their Shame 140
St. Paul's Earnest Desire 142
Secret and Beneficial Societies 143
Bible Study: Our Lord's Ascension 145
Bible Study: Review 146
Bible Study: The Ten Commandments 147
Into his Marvelous Light. (Letters.) 147

'I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me.' Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 138

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.
T
HIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated, – Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to – "Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed." – Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; – according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH
That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" – peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age – ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him. – 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. – Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." – Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir. – 1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age. – Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church. – Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor; MRS. C. T. RUSSELL, Associate.

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MISSIONARY ENVELOPES.

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[R1825 : page 138]

THE WORK AT HOME.

The colporteur work of late is encouraging. The older colporteurs are succeeding better than for some time; and several new ones have started recently. We are at present giving special attention to New England and the Pacific and Southern states. "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth more laborers into his vineyard."

The Lord seems willing to make use of every modern invention for spreading the truth. Brother and Sister Bell who had hoped ere this to be in the colporteur work and who to this end have been trying, but without success, to sell their prune ranch on the Pacific coast, concluded that they must serve in some manner and at once. Bro. Bell assured us that he, by God's grace, possessed the eight qualifications mentioned in the Oct. 15, '94 TOWER, and that he continually strives to abound in those graces of the spirit. He received of the Society a Letter of Introduction, and at once began to visit and, so far as possible, to help the Church in the vicinity of his own home. On Christmas last he and his wife received bicycles as presents from their relatives, and they at once concluded that these should be made to serve the truth also. They have extended the range of their ministry and when last heard from were 300 miles from home encouraging the Lord's people and being encouraged by them. Thus the bicycle has been yoked in as a servant to the "good tidings of great joy."

Several brethren with Letters of Introduction are doing good service, some giving spare time from their business as commercial travelers, some from stores, etc., and Bro. McPhail giving his entire time. Letters received show that the Lord's flock is being refreshed by these agencies. We here remark that brethren and sisters desirous of symbolizing their consecration, the immersion of their wills into the will of Christ, by water immersion, can be served by any of these Brethren when they come your way.

Let the love and sympathy and prayers of God's people everywhere embrace and support these dear co-laborers; and forget not those of less favorable opportunities who are not ashamed of the Lord and his Word, but daily confess the truth, as they can, – by their means, their words, their example and by tracts, letters, etc.

PROGRESS OF THE WORK ABROAD.

Brother Joseph Winter has for some time been at work colporteuring MILLENNIAL DAWN amongst people of his own nation – Denmark. He is meeting with fair success and is now much encouraged by one of his converts joining him in colporteuring. May the Lord continue to bless and use them.

Brother and Sister Westall have just started for England to engage in the "harvest" work there – colporteuring MILLENNIAL DAWN. A great work should be possible in Great Britain, and for some time we have been watching to see whom the Lord would esteem worthy, putting them into the work. (1 Tim. 1:12.) The Tract Society sends these two forth with hope-prayers that they may make full proof of their ministry to the praise of his glory who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. May they be faithful and be greatly blessed.

Brother Oleszynski, a Polander who received the truth into a good and honest heart some three years ago, has gone to his native land to search out consecrated ones to preach to them the grand gospel of ransom, restitution and the high calling. He has much of the spirit of the truth, and in the day of rejoicing will bring his "sheaves" with him.

MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOLS. I., II. and III., English and German, VOL. I. in Swedish and Dano-Norwegian, at uniform prices, 25 cents per volume in paper covers, $1.00 per volume in embossed cloth binding.

[R1824 : page 139]

VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.

RELIGIOUS conventions have been numerous during the past month. The American Baptist Union met in Saratoga. The Presbyterian General Assembly and The United Presbyterian General Assembly met in Pittsburg, and The Unitarian Association in Boston. The latter alone seems to be suffering a serious decline. The time was when Unitarians had a monopoly of "liberalism" and general disbelief in the Bible, its miracles, etc., but it has lost this distinctiveness; not by reason of any reform on its part, but because ministers in so-called "Orthodox" churches have out-run them in disbelief of the Bible, its inspiration, its miracles and its doctrines.

As for the Baptists, they are in great danger of losing their liberty and coming into bondage to their Ministerial Associations which, anxious for power, are drawing the cords tighter and tighter about their confiding lambs and sheep. Increase of wealth among Baptists in the large cities of the North is an important factor in the binding process. The poorer Baptist churches and their ministers are finding union more and more desirable. Baptists have been among the most firm defenders of the Bible: indeed, denying, as they do, all church authority, they have nothing else than the Bible as a foundation to their existence, and the denial of it would mean the destruction of every excuse for their existence as churches, and leave them merely moral and social clubs or societies. Nevertheless, among Baptists, as well as among the organized denominations, disbelief in the inspiration of the Bible and in the very foundation of Christian doctrine – that the death of Christ at Calvary was man's ransom-price – is spreading rapidly, especially among the ministers.

The U.P. Assembly received very warmly a committee from the Presbyterian Assembly, and heard and applauded their addresses, which were to the effect that they hold much of doctrine, history and practice in common, and little at variance, and that the two denominations should become one, etc. They took steps looking to the control of U.P. Theological Seminaries, fearing a difficulty similar to that between the Presbyterian body and Union Seminary of Briggs fame. Evidently their hearts are failing them for fear as they see other quarters of the ecclesiastical heavens being shaken.

The Presbyterian Assembly decided that the graduates of Union Theological Seminary shall not be ordained as Presbyterian ministers. This seemed to many a bold, courageous course in defense of the Bible; but when all the facts are recognized, it appears very much less. It has taken cognizance of Prof. Briggs' teachings, has examined him, has recognized his teaching as Infidelity of the most pernicious sort, has refused to longer recognize him as a teacher and suspended him as a minister until he shall have time to recant. He repudiates all ideas of recanting, and still holds and teaches his unbelief in the Bible, with increased energy. The other professors at Union Seminary have approved Dr. Briggs' course and teachings, and are still recognized as good enough to represent Presbyterianism. The Directors of the Seminary have disregarded the orders of the General Assembly, have endorsed Dr. Briggs and retained him; and yet some of those very Union Seminary Directors were specially honored by being reelected to places of special influence by this very Assembly. Why? – Because of the love of money. Mr. Briggs' friends are wealthy and influential, and the past year has shown that Missionary and other Societies of the denomination have fallen behind financially; and Presbyterianism as a whole, as well as many of its ministers individually, keeps close watch as to which side of every question brings the golden butter to its bread. In no other way can its action be accounted for in selecting [R1824 : page 140] to its Board of Home Missions three out-and-out Briggs sympathizers. (Infidels so far as the Bible is concerned – believers so far as morality is concerned.) One of these, Mr. J. Crosby Brown (a very rich man and eminent banker who is President of the Board of Directors of Union Seminary, and who has a son a Professor in that institution), has been made President of the Board of Home Missions. Another made a director is Dr. Hastings, the noted leader and President of Union Seminary, whose teachings are recognized as so bad that a man instructed there is so likely to be an out-and-out infidel, that no matter what he may confess or profess to believe he cannot be recognized as a Presbyterian minister. The Assembly is learning not to put much faith in the professions of men taught in Union. And, indeed, do they not know from their own consciences that not one minister in ten believes what he professes at the time of his ordination? Evidently it will not be long before the time-and-money-serving spirit will sweep all denominations into practical infidelity, as the Scriptures have pointed out to us.

*                         *                         *

On Sunday, June 2, "Whitsunday," by a very general arrangement, sermons were preached in churches of various denominations favoring a union of all Protestant sects. The Pope, in an encyclical, offered Roman Catholics a premium to have them pray for the conversion of Protestants to the church of Rome. The premium offered was release from Purgatorial pains – so many days release for each prayer offered during the nine days preceding Whitsunday and for the eight days following it.

But neither the motives for union nor the desired object are good, reckoned from the Bible standpoint. They are on a par with the Pope's claim to control the future as well as the present life.

The same bigotry that during the "dark ages" established Inquisitions with their dungeons, and torture chambers furnished with every device that wicked hearts and brains and hands could prepare, would now fain grasp again the power lost in the Great Reformation. It would, no [R1825 : page 140] doubt, at first conduct itself more moderately than in the past; but minds trained to believe that God has prepared "hell" as a great bake-oven and that he is not only sweeping his creatures into it by the million, but that he has pleasure in so doing, – that he made that "hell" for those creatures and those creatures (foreknowingly) for that hell, are wholly unfit to be trusted with power over their fellows. They are sure to be influenced by their perverted ideas of God's methods to perhaps send heretics a little sooner to the burning. The evil is only intensified by adding to these errors the superstition that the pope carries the keys of hell and purgatory (and delegates that power to priests), and controls the future destiny of fellow creatures, many of whom, thank God, are much better every way than himself.

Here is the premium for prayers referred to above, the words of the man who claims to be infallible, unerring, the italics and explanatory words in brackets being ours: –

"To all who, for nine consecutive days before Pentecost, either publicly or privately, recite some special prayers to the Holy Spirit, we grant on each of those an indulgence of seven years and seven quadrgenes [40 days]; and a plenary [full, complete] indulgence [from any and all sins that he may commit] on any one of these days, or on the feast of Pentecost itself, or on any day of the following octave, provided, having confessed their sins and received absolution and holy communion, they pray God, according to the intention which we have above expressed.

"We further grant that those who desire to repeat for the eight days following Pentecost upon the same conditions may gain both of the above indulgences. These indulgences may be applied to the souls [of the dead, already] in purgatory."

*                         *                         *

The Rev. Thos. Dixon (Baptist), on May 26, preaching in New York City, declared that Christianity is a failure in that city and had been repudiated by the spirit of Christ. He is reported by the N.Y. World to have said: –

"The Baptist denomination in this city owns $4,000,000 worth of property, and, although within the last twenty years 15,000 children have been born into that faith, they have in that time lost 2,000 members. The combined wealth of the Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist churches here is $16,000,000. There are in those churches the brainiest men of the age, and yet they are not holding their own. They are a curse, because they are only maintaining the traditions of a dead past."

[R1825 : page 140]

WHOSE GLORY IS IN THEIR SHAME.

"Out of thine own mouth will I condemn thee."*
H
OW gradually people may drift away from their own landmarks is nowhere better illustrated than in that very prosperous denomination known as Episcopal Methodists. Its founder, John Wesley, an Episcopal clergyman, realized that the common people were being neglected religiously, and, prompted (we believe) by the best of motives, started the movement which is now world-wide in its influence, and which in these United States numerically and otherwise is the strongest of all Protestant denominations.

But prosperity has made Methodists proud, and has largely killed the spirit which gave birth to the organization. It is so changed to-day that its founder would not recognize it, and if Mr. Wesley or the Lord Jesus were to appear again and teach the same things in the same manner as of old, neither would be acceptable – neither would be allowed to preach a second sermon in any popular M.E. Church of any large city. We have evidence from Methodist sources on this subject which we will present below.

We learned recently that a new M.E. Church in Allegheny, which is completing a fine church-building about six blocks from our office, to be known as the "Calvary M.E. Church," had decided that in order not to encourage the [R1825 : page 141] poor it would rent no sittings to servants. At first we could scarcely credit the testimony, but were finally convinced that it must be the truth; for even a worse expression of the same spirit manifested itself in the North Avenue M.E. church, two blocks from our office, on the same street. In the latter church a spirit of rivalry with the former had sprung up; and, as a result, a meeting was called to decide whether or not they would best dismiss their present pastor, Mr. Story. At that meeting the astounding charge against the pastor, plainly stated, was that he was bringing into the church too many of the poorer classes, [R1826 : page 141] and that the wealthier people were consequently leaving for other churches.

After considerable discussion, covering so far as we can learn about two weeks, it was decided to have Mr. Story remain. But Mr. Story, having learned that his stay is not the unanimous wish of the people, has very properly resigned.

Following closely our knowledge of the above facts came the article which we reproduce below, by an M.E. minister, published in a leading Methodist journal – The Northwestern Christian Advocate – without one word of comment or criticism, and hence endorsed by it as the new standard of Methodism which it advocates. This abundantly proves that the spirit of Methodism in Allegheny is the claimed new spirit of Methodism everywhere. The writer so thoroughly draws the contrasts between present and past Methodism that comment from us is needless, except to say that in our view of matters they are boasting and glorying in their shame.

Brother Compton, who sent us the clipping (formerly a Methodist), in the letter accompanying it says: "Nothing that I have ever read in the TOWER has so forcibly shown the decadence of the modern church as this complacent article by a 'Minister of the Gospel.'" Yes, the same principle, we fear, applies also to all other denominations to a greater or less extent.

We give the article entire (the italics are Brother Compton's).

"SOME FEATURES OF AMERICAN METHODISM.

"The revival of religion in the eighteenth century under the leadership of the Wesleys and Whitefield purified the moral tone of the Anglo-Saxon race and put in operation new forces for the elevation of the unevangelized. Secular historians, both English and American, have united in crediting the movement originated by these remarkable men with much in modern church machinery and statement of doctrine which tends to spread and plant our civilization. The doctrine of 'free will' preached by them and their successors has, with the evolution of modern experiments in secular government, been one of the most popular dogmas engaging the thoughts of men. Among our American fore-fathers this doctrine was peculiarly contagious. Throwing off the yoke of kings, and disgusted with a nationalized and priest-ridden church, what could be more enchanting and more in harmony with their political aspirations than the doctrine that every man is free to make or mar his own destiny here and hereafter?

"The doctrine of the 'new birth' upon which the Methodists insisted, and the preaching of which by Whitefield in New England was like the telling of a fresh and unheard story, likewise produced effects upon which the secular and even the unreligious looked with approbation. For this doctrine not only demanded a 'change of heart,' but also such a change in the daily life as to make the Methodist easily distinguished from the man of the world by his behavior. The great purpose for which the church existed was to 'spread scriptural holiness over these lands.' This was the legend on her banner – with this war-cry she conquered.

"Another reason for the phenomenal success of Methodism in this country is to be found in the fact that to its simple, popular service the common people were gladly welcomed. Only those who have been untrained in ritual can appreciate this apparently insignificant but really very important fact. To know that you may enter a church where you can take part in the service without the risk of displaying your ignorance of form and ceremonies is of greatest concern if you have no desire to make yourself conspicuous. Thus the plain, unstudied service of the early American Methodist church was exactly suited to the people who had but lately abandoned the pomp of Old World religions. Lawn sleeves, holy hats, diadems, crowns and robes were repugnant to their rough and simple tastes. The religion that taught them that they could make their appeals to the Almighty without an intermediator of any kind emphasized the dignity and greatness of their manhood and appealed to their love of independence.

"The marked triumphs of this church may also be attributed in part to the fact that she had not then laid down the Master's whip of small cords. There was in those early days, from time to time, a cleansing of the church from pretenders and the unworthy which had a most wholesome effect, not only on the church itself, but also upon the surrounding community. For after the storms which often accompanied the 'turning out' of the faithless, the moral atmosphere of the whole neighborhood would be purified, and even the scoffer would see that church-membership meant something.

"A factor also assisting in the success of which I write was the pure itinerancy of the ministry which then obtained. Without doubt there were heroes and moral giants in those days. The influence of a strong, manly man, possessed by the idea that here he had 'no continuing city,' making no provision for his old age, requiring no contract to secure his support or salary, denying himself the very things the people were most greedy to obtain, and flaming with a zeal that must soon consume him, must have been abiding and beneficent wherever it was felt. page 141

"No mean part in achieving her commanding position in this country was played by the singing of the old-time Methodists. Serious, sensible words, full of doctrine, joined to tunes that still live and rule, there was in such singing not only a musical attraction, but a theological training whereby the people, uncouth though they might have been, were indoctrinated in the cardinal tenets of the church. The singing of a truth into the soul of child or man puts it there with a much more abiding power than can be found in any kindergarten or Quincy method of instruction. Thus, without debate, doctrines were fixed in the minds of children or of converts so that no subsequent controversy could shake them.

"It remains now to show that [R1826 : page 141] THESE ELEMENTS OF SUCCESS HAVE BECOME ANTIQUATED, AND THAT A NEW STANDARD OF SUCCESS HAS BEEN SET UP IN THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

"Let me not assume the role of boaster, but rather be the annalist of open facts, a reciter of recent history. So far as the standard of doctrines is concerned, there is no change [R1826 : page 142] in the position held by the church, but the tone and spirit which obtain in almost all her affairs show at once the presence of modern progress and light-giving innovations. The temper and complexion of this mighty church have so far changed that all who are interested in the religious welfare of America must study that change with no common concern.

"The doctrine of the new birth – 'Ye must be born again' – remains intact, but modern progress has moved the church away from the old-time strictness that prevented many good people from entering her fold, because they could not subscribe to that doctrine, and because they never had what once was called 'experimental religion.' Now Universalists and Unitarians are often found in full fellowship bravely doing their duty.

"The ministry of the present day, polished and cultured as it is in the leading churches, is too well bred to insist on 'holiness,' as the fathers saw that grace, but preach that broader holiness that thinketh no evil even in a man not wholly sanctified. To espouse this doctrine as it was in the old narrow way would make one not altogether agreeable in the Chautauqua circles and Epworth leagues of the present. page 142

"The old-time, simple service still lingers among the rural populations, but in those cultured circles, where correct tastes in music, art and literature obtain – among the city churches – in many instances an elaborate and elegant ritual takes the place of the voluntary and impetuous praying and shouting which once characterized the fathers. To challenge the desirability of this change is to question the superiority of culture to the uncouth and ill-bred. [R1826 : page 142]

"When the church was in an experimental stage, it possibly might have been wise to be as strict as her leaders then were. There was little to be lost then. But now wise, discreet and prudent men refuse to hazard the welfare of a wealthy and influential church by a bigoted administration of the law, such as will offend the rich and intellectual. If the people are not flexible, the gospel surely is. The church was made to save men, not to turn them out and discourage them. So our broader and modern ideas have crowded out and overgrown the contracted and egotistical notion that we are better than other people, who should be excluded from our fellowship. page 142

"The love-feast, with its dogmatic prejudices, and the class-meeting, which was to many minds almost as bad as the confessional, have been largely abandoned for Epworth leagues and Endeavor societies. [R1826 : page 142]

"The present cultured ministry, more than ever in the history of the church, conforms to the Master's injunction to be 'wise as serpents and harmless as doves.' Who among them would have the folly of the old-time preachers to tell his richest official member who is rolling in luxury to sell all for God and humanity and take up his cross and follow Christ? He might go away sorrowing – the minister, I mean.

"While evolution is the law, and progress the watchword, rashness and radicalism are ever to be deplored, and the modern Methodist minister is seldom guilty of either. The rude, rough preacher who used to accuse the God of love of being wrathful has stepped down and out to give place to his successor, who is careful in style, elegant in diction, and whose thoughts, emotions and sentiments are poetical and inoffensive.

"'The time limit,' whereby a minister may remain in one charge five years, will be abandoned at the next General Conference in 1896. In the beginning he could serve one charge but six months; the time was afterward extended to one year, then to two years, then to three, and lately to five. But the ruling, cultured circles of the church see that if her social success and standing are to compare favorably with other churches, her pastorate must be fixed so that her strong preachers may become the centers of social and literary circles. For it must be remembered that the preacher's business is not now as it often was – to hold protracted meetings and be an evangelist. No one sees this more clearly than the preachers themselves. Great revivalists used to be the desirable preachers sought after by the churches, and at the annual conferences the preachers were wont to report the number of conversions during the year. Now, however, a less enthusiastic and eccentric idea rules people and priest alike. The greater churches desire those ministers that can feed the aesthetic nature, that can parry the blows of modern skepticism and attract the intellectual and polished, while at the annual conference the emphasized thing in the report of the preacher is his missionary collection. The modern Methodist preacher is an excellent collector of money, thereby entering the very heart of his people as he could not by any old-fashioned exhortation or appeal.

"How great the lesson that has been so well learned by these leaders of Christian thought, viz., that the gospel should never offend the cultured and polite taste. To a church that can so flexibly conform to the times the gates of the future open wide with a cheery greeting. What more fitting motto can be found for her than the herald angels sang: 'Peace on earth, good will to men.'"

Rev. Chas. A. Crane.
Danville, Ill.

[R1827 : page 142]

ST. PAUL'S EARNEST DESIRE.

"For me to live is [to live] for Christ, and to die, gain. But if to live in the flesh, this is to me a fruit of labor; and what I should choose I do not exactly know. I am indeed hard pressed by the two things (I have an earnest desire for the returning and being with Christ, since it is very much to be preferred); but to remain in the flesh is more requisite on your account. – Phil. 1:21-24, Diaglott translation.
I
T will be observed that the chief difference between the above and the common English version of this passage is the substitution of the word "return" for the word "depart." In justification of the use of the word "return" the translator in a footnote says: –

"To analusai, the loosing again or the returning, being what Paul earnestly desired, could not be death or dissolution, as implied by the word depart in the common version, because it seemed a matter of indifference to him, which of the two – life or death – he should choose; but he longed for the analusai, which was a third thing, and very much to be preferred to either of the other two things alluded to. The word analusai occurs in Luke 12:36, and is there rendered return; – 'Be you like men waiting for their master, when he will return,' etc. Jesus had taught his disciples that he would come again, or return, John 14:3,18; thus, also, the angels said to them at his ascension, Acts 1:11. Paul believed this doctrine and taught it to others, and was looking for and waiting for the Savior from heaven, Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:16,17, when... he would 'ever be with the Lord.'"

An examination of the Greek word analusai shows that it is used in Greek literature by Plato in both ways – [R1827 : page 143] as signifying sometimes depart and sometimes return; but the word occurs only twice in the New Testament, here and in Luke 12:36. In the latter instance, as stated above, it is rendered "return," and manifestly could not be otherwise rendered and preserve the sense. In the case we are discussing (Phil. 1:23), we hold that it should be rendered return, for the very simple reason that, even when used to signify depart, it must carry with it the thought of depart again, to depart to a place where one had previously been. The Greek prefix ana in ana-lusai signifies again as our prefix re in return signifies again. Hence, if rendered depart, we would be obliged to add the thought re-depart or depart again. And this would spoil the matter as related to St. Paul; for he had never been with Christ in glory, and hence could not "depart again" to be with Christ there. But when we translate analusai "re-turning," and apply it to our Lord, every difficulty seems to be removed.

Let us note the circumstances which gave rise to the expression. The Apostle had been for some time a prisoner at Rome, and while at times well treated by some of the Emperors, he was constantly liable to be put to death on some caprice. He wrote this Epistle in acknowledgment of a substantial gift from the Church at Philippi, and took the opportunity to tell them fully of his own condition, the progress of the Lord's work, etc., and to encourage them to steadfastness to the end.

Since they would like to know his prospects for release, he tells them that enemies (seeing his liberty for two years, Acts 28:30) were explaining Christianity, hoping thereby to add affliction and perhaps death to his bonds. (Phil. 1:16-19.) But he realized the prayers of the Church on his behalf and expected that his trial before Nero would result in his deliverance, – his acquittal, or his sentence to death. Then he tells them that as to his own preferences it would be difficult for him to choose between life (with its sufferings) and death (with its rest from toil); but while he had no choice as between these two things possible, he had a longing, an intense desire for a thing he well knew was impossible, a thing which he knew, and had taught the Church, was a long way off (2 Thes. 2:1-8) – the returning of Christ and being with him. Then, leaving the impossible and returning to the possibilities, he assures them that he has a conviction that God has a work for him yet to do for the Church, and that he would be released. And although the Scriptures give no account of it, tradition declares that he was acquitted by Nero and had some five years of liberty and service before being rearrested and executed.

It is worthy of note here that several other words are repeatedly used in the writings of both Paul and Luke when depart is manifestly meant. And it should be remembered that Luke was the Apostle's amanuensis, who traveled much with him and was accustomed to use words in the same sense.

But if any yet contend for the word "depart," rather than "return," we submit the following.

No doubt Paul would have desired, especially in view of his knowledge that the Lord's second coming could not occur soon, that he might depart to heaven or anywhere else in order to be with the Lord at once. But he knew that such a desire could not be granted in harmony with the divine plan, and hence, although it would have been his earnest desire, it did not enter into consideration as one of the possible things: he was still left in a strait of indecision as to his own preference of the two possible things – to live and serve the Church in suffering, or to die and rest from his labors – waiting "for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body."

[R1827 : page 143]

SECRET AND BENEFICIAL SOCIETIES.

DEAR BROTHER: – I would like to have your opinion on the subject of life insurance. They are organizing lodges all around here – United Workmen, Knights of Pythias, Red Men, Masons, Odd Fellows, etc. They are working it just about like sectarianism in the churches. Would like to see an article in the TOWER on the subject.

Yours in the love of the truth,

W. E. KILLAM.

OUR REPLY TO THE QUERY.

In our judgment the majority of "secret societies" are merely beneficiary and have no secret schemes antagonistic to the general public welfare, the secret rites and ceremonies being merely "boys' play," occupying the time and attention of persons who have no greater aims than those which pertain to the present life. We note, however, that several Roman Catholic Societies seem to have schemes connected with the use of fire-arms, and are therefore to be classed as malevolent rather than benevolent.

We note also that the Order of Free Masons, if judged by its past history, has some secret object or scheme, more than fraternity and financial aid in time of sickness or death. And, so far as we can judge, there is a certain amount of profane worship or mummery connected with the rites of this order and some others, which the members do not comprehend, but which, in many cases, serves to satisfy the cravings of the natural mind for worship, and thus hinders it from seeking the worship of God in spirit and in truth – through Christ, the only appointed Mediator and Grand Master.

In proportion as such societies consume valuable time in foolish, senseless rites and ceremonies, and in substituting the worship of their officers, and the use of words and symbols which have no meaning to them, for the worship of God, in his appointed way – through Christ, and according to knowledge and the spirit of a sound mind – in that proportion these societies are grievous evils, regardless of the [R1827 : page 144] financial gains or losses connected with membership in them.

But respecting those orders which are merely Mutual Insurance Societies, in which the members pay a certain weekly sum of money to their sick, and at death a larger sum to their families, we must concede that they represent a good principle. It is certainly in harmony with the golden rule to help our neighbor when he is in need. The only objection we see to this is, that it puts the matter on a business or selfish basis and thus destroys its benevolent features; for each one joins, not for the good he can do, but for the help he hopes to obtain for himself or his family.

If, therefore, the matter be considered merely as a business arrangement, we can see no more wrong in joining such Mutual Benefit Societies than in taking out a policy in a regular Life or Accident Insurance Co., or insuring property in a Fire Insurance Co. – provided always that there be no confession of error or binding obligation required, contrary to the liberty wherewith Christ makes free. Wherever oaths of secrecy are demanded it is safe for God's people to touch not, taste not, handle not, – except as oaths are prescribed by public law, as before courts or in reference to documents for public record. In every other case the children of God will be blessed in obeying strictly the admonition, – Let your Yea be yea, and your Nay, nay; for "whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." It is in connection with his description of the "last days" of this Gospel age that St. James cautions against all binding oaths, such as many Secret Societies demand. – Matt. 5:37; Jas. 5:12.

We suggest, however, that, even as business concerns, many will be disappointed greatly by these Mutual Benefit [R1828 : page 144] Societies, in the near future. When the time of trouble shall have fully culminated, these Societies, as well as the great Life Insurance Companies and business in general, will all be paralyzed; and those leaning upon them will be sorely disappointed. The only ones who will be secure then will be those who have laid up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal. All others, even the rich, will "weep and howl for the miseries" which shall come upon them."

The present agitation for Societies and Unions, which is taking the world by storm, seems to be foretold in the Scriptures, and includes, we believe, not only Church organizations, but all the various organizations which tie men up together in bundles, to-day as never before. (See Isa. 8:12; Matt. 13:30.) These "bundles" or Societies may seem simple and harmless just now, but when the symbolic fire reaches them, when the great time of trouble shall have kindled the passions of the world in general, then it will be almost impossible to escape from these bundles. Pride will hold them together; – none will wish to show the "white feather" of cowardice; – none will wish to appear disloyal in the hour of trouble; – Societies will act en masse, and individuals will thus be led into positions which they never would take alone. Money also will be a factor. After having paid in considerable "dues," they will not feel disposed to lose that money; – especially when they see the cloud of trouble getting darker and nearer. Thus bound together they will suffer from the "burning," the distress, of the time of trouble, which God declares will be such as was not since there was a nation.

Better far will those be who lean not upon Egypt (Ezek. 29:6,7 – the world), for help, but who lean upon the Lord. The Lord will be their fortress in the day of trouble.

Such societies, on selfish business principles, are foreign to the spirit of God's Church. In it, those who have this world's goods should be ready to assist the needy of the Lord's family, hoping for nothing again. And all who are members of the true Church whose names are written in heaven, all who have the spirit of the Head, will be willing and anxious to do good unto all men as they have opportunity, especially to the household of faith, who are not leaning upon earthly Societies, but who, instead of spending "dues" in that way, are using their means to serve the Lord, his truth and his people.

Since we do not condemn Life Insurance Societies conducted upon business principles, even though we fear that they will be very insecure dependencies when the time of trouble shall have fully commenced, some one may ask, How are we to understand our Lord's words, –

"TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR TO-MORROW."

We are to understand these words in perfect harmony with the Apostle's words, "Provide things honest in the sight of all men," and "He that provideth not for his own [as he may be able] hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel." Our Lord's words signify, Do not be weighed down with anxious care for to-morrow; but while seeking to know and to do God's will, trust in his providential care, which he has promised will cause all things to work together for good to them that love him supremely. It is as right for the husband to consider the future welfare of his wife, as for the Heavenly Bridegroom to provide for the Church (Eph. 5:25.) It is as proper for the earthly father to make provision for his children – especially in good training and fair education, as for the Heavenly Father to plan for and educate and prepare a future home for his children. (1 Cor. 2:9.) It is when parents attempt to become rich and to leave their children rich that they specially err. (1 Tim. 6:9,17,18; Mark 10:23,24.) They in attempting to contravene the law of God (that sinners learn to labor and to eat bread in sweat of face) work an injury to their children. But their error does not justify other parents in neglecting to give their children the best patrimony, an education, at least rudimentary, including religious and moral training.

Those who leave their children such a legacy and the example of a noble, upright life of fellowship with God leave a bequest which the breaking of banks and insurance companies and all the terrible troubles of "the great day" will only make the more pricelessly valuable.

So then our advice to God's consecrated people is, – "Trust in the Lord and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed." Use time and money in the Lord's service, and rely upon him to cause all things to work for your highest good.

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OUR LORD'S ASCENSION.

– JUNE 23, LUKE 24:44-53. –

Golden Text – "And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy."
W
HILE all who are still true to the sure foundation of the Christian faith and have not been moved away from the hope of the gospel recognize the necessity of Christ's death as the payment of our ransom, and see in his resurrection the pledge of salvation to all them that believe, few seem to consider what was accomplished for us and also for himself by his ascension. Yet this was a feature of the divine plan as necessary to our salvation as were the sacrifice and the resurrection.

This feature of the plan is clearly shown in the service of the typical tabernacle. It corresponds to the act of the high priest, Aaron, in entering the Most Holy with the blood of the atonement sacrifice and presenting it before the Mercy Seat together with the sweet incense which represented the human perfection of Christ.* As God said to Moses, referring to the Tabernacle, "See that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount," and required that the whole service of the Tabernacle should be performed with exactness according to the prescribed directions, so in the antitype every feature of the divine plan must be carried out in line with the type so carefully given.

Our Lord's ascension was therefore, according to the type, an essential part of the divine plan. Nor was it arbitrarily indicated in the type: there was a necessity for it, else it would not have been expressed there. In referring to it before his death, Jesus said to his disciples, "I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." – John 14:2,3.

If we inquire whither he went, we have his answer, "I go unto my Father." (John 14:12.) But why was it necessary that he should go away? Had he not finished the work of sacrifice? and could he not now have remained on earth for the personal direction and supervision of the work of the Gospel age? Granted that that work was the selection and the teaching, training and discipline of a people for his name, had he remained as the visible head of the Church would it not have been greatly to her advantage? Then all matters of faith and conduct could have had authoritative settlement; and the dissensions of "Christendom" would have been a thing unknown; and "that Man of Sin, whose coming was after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness," could never have arisen: no blasphemous popes or others could then have lorded it over God's heritage. Oh, how blessed would it have been, seemingly, according to human judgment, had the Lord remained with his people after his resurrection! Why might it not have been so? Why was it necessary that he should go away and leave them apparently at the mercy of every wind of doctrine and of all the machinations of the powers of darkness to overcome them – by arts, temptations, allurements, deceptions and by persecutions in every conceivable form?

Well, however it may appear or may have appeared to human judgment, the Lord himself said, "It is expedient for you that I go away." "But consider, "Lord, the disciples might have urged, "that the Church, as it increases in numbers, and as false teachers will surely arise among us, will greatly need a visible head to direct her course and to save her from endless divisions and discords. How can the Church remain one, as thou hast prayed (John 17:11), in the midst of the conflicting voices and influences that will arise?" But no, the early disciples asked no such questions: they were not so self-confident as the multitudes of professed Christians of later date, who seem to have concluded that, since the Lord had so unwisely ignored the subsequent conditions and necessities of the Church, they would select from their midst one upon whom they would confer the title, "the vicar of Jesus Christ," and consider him and his successors in office the visible heads of the Church, who should be considered by all as infallible authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

Both the Church and the world are aware of the evil results of this heady philosophy, and of the monstrous usurpations of authority and power that have made both [R1829 : page 145] the church and the world to groan under the iron heel of oppression. And yet, strange as it may seem, though the folly of this measure has been so glaringly manifest, and the hated power of the false head of the Church has been cast off, again there is a great cry for his restoration to power and authority. The religious leaders of to-day are saying, We need and must have a visible head to reorganize and unify the divided hosts of "Christendom" – Christ's (?) kingdom; – and many are looking anxiously to the Papacy for that head.

Nevertheless, we are of those who still believe that it was expedient for Christ to go away; and that, too, without leaving any visible head to represent him in office. It was expedient for various reasons; and those in view of all the seemingly adverse conditions that could, and that the Lord knew were sure to, arise; for he foretold the very things that were to come to pass – the coming of the Man of Sin, the false teachers, and plausible false doctrines and how they would prosper, and the persecutions of the saints through long and weary centuries, and the treading down of the truth and the prevalence and prosperity of error.

His going away was expedient for the following reasons: –

(1) As already intimated, in order that, in accordance with the pattern given us in the typical high priest, Aaron, in the service of the typical tabernacle, he, as our great High Priest, should enter into heaven, into the presence of God – the antitypical holy of holies – for us. To this the Apostle Paul refers, saying, "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands [into the typical tabernacle, as did Aaron the typical high priest], which are figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." – Heb. 9:24.

If we would know what Christ our High Priest did for us after his ascension to the "most holy," to heaven itself, the presence of God, we have but to look back to the type which was made to illustrate it. There we see the high priest, after he had sacrificed the bullock which represented the humanity of Christ (while he himself then represented the new creature of the divine nature), entering the Most Holy with the blood of the bullock, and there presenting it before the mercy seat in the presence of the Shekinah glory; [R1829 : page 146] thus formally presenting to God the evidence of the typical sacrifice for the sins of the people, and so typically completing the work of atonement toward God. (See Lev. 16:6,14,17; Heb. 9:7.) And the Apostle in Heb. 9:7-14, shows that this work, thus typically accomplished by the typical high priest, was actually accomplished by Christ after his ascension to the Father, and that this formal presentation of the fact of his sacrifice for our redemption, was therefore a necessary part of the work of atonement, without which, according to the type (Lev. 16:2,3), his sacrifice would have availed nothing. It was only after the sacrifice had been made in exact conformity to the prescribed method, and after the evidence thereof (the blood) had been duly presented in the Most Holy, that the blessing of God could be granted to those for whom the atonement was made. Every part of the prescribed work was, in the antitype, as in the type, a necessary part, without which the whole would have been a failure. The typical sacrifices, of course, availed nothing, except to illustrate to our minds the actual processes of the work of atonement and the reasonable necessity of all its various features.*

*See TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF BETTER SACRIFICES.

(2) His going away was expedient also for himself, and again for us indirectly. This our Lord illustrated in his parable of the young nobleman going into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. (Luke 19:12.) Paul tells us that our Lord's great exaltation, which included, not only his change to the divine nature, but also his official elevation to the right hand of God, was granted to him as a reward for his atoning sacrifice – "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name." This full exaltation, it is manifest, could not have been experienced until the sacrifice had been, not only made, but presented as well, as the fulfilment of this part of the divine plan. This full exaltation was that "glory" to which the Lord referred when he said, "Ought not Christ [according to the Scriptures] to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" (Luke 24:26.) His going away was necessary, therefore, to this exaltation to the right hand of God – an exaltation which also is greatly to our present as well as to our future benefit.

But let us consider further what is said of this glorious exaltation for which purpose it was necessary that our Lord should go away. The Apostle Paul says (Eph. 1:17,20,21), "The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,...raised Christ from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world [age], but also in that which is to come." And in his Revelation to John on Patmos, Jesus said, "I am set down with my Father in his throne." The inference is plain, therefore, that our Lord was exalted as Jehovah's Prime Minister in the throne of universal dominion, for which exalted office he was also duly qualified, being made a partaker of the divine (immortal) nature, a dignity never before conferred upon any created being. Such has been the honor and glory of our blessed Lord ever since he ascended up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us.

But what does it signify to us that our Lord was thus exalted so far beyond even our comprehension of the glory? Oh, it signifies much! it signifies that "when he ascended up on high, he led captivity [death] captive;" for he that ascended thus into the heavens is he, the very same Jesus, "that descended first into the lower parts of the earth [the grave]; [and] he that descended is the same also that ascended up, far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." (Eph. 4:8-10.) It signifies that we have now "a great High Priest, that hath passed into the heavens [one who is now on the most intimate terms and in the closest possible favor with the Sovereign of the whole universe],... and not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but [one who] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin;"..."a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people;" and "in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted." It signifies that, "if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;" and therefore, we may "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb. 4:14-16; 2:17,18; 1 John 2:1.) His very presence there in the glory of his enduring priesthood is the only appeal that is necessary on our behalf; for Jehovah himself loveth us – the dear purchase of the precious blood of his Anointed One (John 16:27); in fact, the whole plan of this reconciliation was of God, and is wrought out in Christ. Yes, praise the Lord!

"Before the throne my surety stands;
My name is written on his hands." – Heb. 7:22; Isa. 49:16.

Yet the ascension of our blessed Lord to the right hand of power signifies more even than this: it signifies his ability now to "give gifts unto men." At the appointed time – the times of restitution of all things – he comes forth from that holy of holies, heaven itself, whither he hath entered for us, and he will lift up his hands and bless the people (Lev. 9:23), and there will be a thousand years of his glorious reign. But this is not all; for as soon as he had ascended up on high and presented his sacrifice on our behalf, he sent the Comforter, the holy spirit of adoption, into the hearts of his disciples (on the day of Pentecost), whereby they were enabled to cry, Abba, Father. It was with reference to this gift that Peter said on that day, "Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear." (Acts 2:33.) And this gift has continued with the Church ever since. It was sent according to his promise – "It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you: but if I depart I will send him unto you." This gift, the Apostle John shows, could not be given to the disciples until after the Lord's ascension. "For the holy spirit was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified." – John 7:39.

With some idea at least of the necessity of the Lord's departure in their interest, and assured of his coming again in glory and power, we can understand the rejoicing of the disciples as they returned to Jerusalem after his ascension. They were comforted and blessed, not only by the hope of his return, but also by the promise of the Comforter, as a token of his love and of the Father's favor, not many days after. [R1829 : page 146]

A REVIEW OF OUR LORD'S MINISTRY, ETC.
– JUNE 30. –
Golden Text – "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." – Heb. 12:2.

In view of all the precious lessons of this quarter gathered from the life and death and resurrection of our Lord, we have only to repeat to those who are endeavoring to follow in his footsteps, the exhortation of the Apostle: "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so [R1830 : page 147] easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

He who by his example and teaching has inspired our faith will, if we continue to follow his leading, finish, perfect it. He will establish, strengthen, settle us so that we cannot be moved; and finally present us to himself "a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." He will also perfect us by present experiences for our office as the "royal priesthood" as he was "made perfect through suffering" for his office as Chief Priest. [R1830 : page 147]

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
– JULY 7, EXOD. 20:1-17. –

Golden Text – "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." – Luke 10:27.

For a full presentation of the subject of this lesson, the reader is referred to the following articles in previous issues of this journal; viz.,

(1) The Divine Law, Universal and Eternal. – Nov. 1-15, '94.
(2) The Law of God. – Nov. 1, '92.
(3) Taking God's Name in Vain. – May 15, '93.
(4) The Bond of Perfectness. – Oct. '91.

[R1830 : page 147]

"OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT."

DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: – Although we are strangers to you, you are not strangers to us; and as a slight evidence of our appreciation of the blessings your books have brought us, we venture to trespass upon your precious time long enough to tell you something which may prove of interest.

We are a young husband and wife who have been members of the nominal church for about ten years; but are now, we trust, stepping from its darkness into the light of the new day now dawning for the consecrated children of the Most High.

About the first of December, '94, Miss Erlenmyer, one of your colporteurs and one of the Lord's dear saints, called at our home, and finding us deeply interested in the subject of our Savior's return, had little difficulty in persuading us to take the first volume of DAWN, promising to call again as soon as we had had time to read it.

We began to read and in two or three weeks were interested to such an extent that although nearly everything else was mixed up and we scarcely knew what we believed, we did see clearly that there certainly is some special prize, some exceptional opportunity, for which the humble, sacrificing members of Christ's flock are invited to strive. We felt that there was only about one plank in the old platform left for the Christian worker to stand upon, and that was the one in which we have always been most interested, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." We have always been expecting to fall into some trap unless we clung close to our Savior, and at the time of which we speak were by no means sure that your interpretations of the Scriptures, despite their apparent harmony with them, were not the well-meant views of another class of those unfortunates who unwittingly go about "deceiving and being deceived."

This hesitancy to accept the message led us into a most serious predicament from which, however, the Lord has extricated us, and that, too, in a manner which seems to us unmistakable personal evidence that your views of the Word are correct. A few words of explanation are necessary to understand the way we got into what has proven the greatest testing season of our lives.

Long before we ever met each other it was our earnest wish that we might serve the Lord, if it chanced to be his will, as missionaries in the foreign field. One of us has, however, been for years physically unable to go; the other had no opportunity to go before our engagement took place, and as he received only the next day after that event a notice of acceptance of an application made nearly two years before, from which nothing had been heard in the meantime, but which, had it been received even one day sooner would have been considered a "call" and prevented our engagement altogether, it seemed to both of us that we had been plainly shown the Lord did not wish to use us in that direction.

In this city there is a young lady who from her infancy has wished and expected to some time go to the foreign field, and she has had the advantages of the education usually given at Mr. Moody's Northfield School and the Chicago Training Institute to fit her for such work. She is now the city missionary of the church with which we are at present connected, and is, we believe, earnestly trying to do her Master's will.

To come to the point: One evening early in January, after a long discussion of the sore needs of what seemed to us the Master's work, and of the ways and means at our disposal, we decided to send the above mentioned young lady to the foreign field and sustain her in the work as God saw fit to favor the plan, provided she was willing to accept the call. We concluded that if the DAWNS were right we had not many years in which to work and that whether they were right or wrong we would be doing the Lord's will by giving up for him every earthly prospect.

We invited the young lady in question to call as soon as possible, which she did the next evening, and we found her not only ready but anxious to take up the work. The next day she sent in her application to the Mission Board, asked to be appointed to the field to which she has from her childhood wanted to go, and even mentioned the date she would like to start.

About a week later Miss Erlenmyer called, as she had promised, renewed our interest in the DAWN, left VOLS. II. and III., and such a sea of trouble as our first examination of the Chronology plunged us into, we earnestly hope we may never be called upon to go through again. We saw the old landmarks of orthodoxy topple and fall on every side, and although God's Spirit enabled us to look with a sense of joy upon the ruins of the creeds and catechisms, it did not extricate us from our contract to engage in work which we see is no longer necessary, and we did not have the confidence, as yet, in these, to us, new interpretations of the Word, to enable us to withdraw our offer.

In our extremity we asked our Father in Heaven to show us the truth or falsity of your teachings by sending our friend as we had planned, or preventing her from going.

Since that time we have gone on reading and studying the books and growing in the doctrine of grace and in the [R1830 : page 148] knowledge of the love of God until, from a comparison of their teachings with the infallible Word, confidence in the DAWN has become heart-certainty that they are right. But although we have been for several weeks fully convinced, and have been growing stronger and stronger week by week, we have done nothing to interfere with the plans mentioned, fearing to take out of the Lord's hands what we had placed in them, and knowing from many rich experiences in the past that in his own good time he would answer us in a way that would satisfy.

Our confidence in the Lord has not been in vain, for as fast as we have come into the light we have received our answer, although in a manner that has given us much pain. Our dear friend whom we had expected to send began about six weeks ago to have trouble with her eyes. A month ago the affliction had become so serious as to require regular treatment twice a week. Now she is unable to read or write and cannot even bear the light for any length of time.

A week ago she told us that it would be years before she could go, and day before yesterday informed us she had written to the Mission Board and requested them to let the matter drop. Of course we know that the Lord has not sent this affliction upon her for the purpose of answering our prayer, but we know, too, that the young lady in question has heretofore enjoyed good health and we believe this trouble, which it now appears has been coming upon her unobserved for years, has been providentially postponed until now, or otherwise so ordered as to give us an opportunity to "Prove whether these things be so."

Now we have proved the Lord, and he has answered us, and we mean to obey the call. With fear and trembling, but with confidence in our mighty King, we enter at the [R1831 : page 148] eleventh hour to run the race for crowns which others have flung aside. The thought that others have had them and lost them almost unnerves us. Oh! may he grant to strengthen our weak hands and confirm our feeble knees, that we be not castaways after having once entered the Holy Place and feasted on the wonderful truths so providentially placed in our way, is the heartfelt prayer of

Your loving brother and sister in Christ,

EMMA AND CLAYTON J. WOODWORTH.

[Since writing the above the Brother and Sister have withdrawn from the earthly organization of which they were members; but they are more than ever united to the one Church "whose names are written in heaven." – ED.]

page 148

TOWER PUBLISHING CO.: – Enclosed find order for One Dollar for which please send to the undersigned for one year ZION'S WATCH TOWER. I feel that I must have it, for as far as I have read in the DAWN I am more than ever convinced that it is leading me into that truth which will make me free. For nine years I have been groping in the M.E. church for what I have found in your book in as many hours. With the teachings of that church I have always felt, as they often sing, that "there was a void that never was filled." I have been a local preacher in that church, but have now renounced all connections with it, and as fast as the truth is gained by me, with the help of God I will teach it.

I have already given three lectures which have created quite a stir here, and many are looking up the Word to find me mistaken; but the truth still stands, thank God! Coming in at the eleventh hour, I am reminded that "the time is short." Am now sixty years of age; but when speaking in the light my "strength is renewed like the eagles." There are two or three already who are showing a desire to be led into the light. May God bless and help you still to unfold to me and other seekers the blessings that will follow from a true knowledge of him who gave himself a ransom for all. I take the liberty to subscribe myself,

Your brother in Christ,

JAMES BUNTING.

DEAR BROTHER: – Last October a gentleman called at my house and drew my attention to a book he was selling. I was upon the point of refusing when the title, "MILLENNIAL DAWN," interested me. I consented to examine it, saw at once it was something I wanted, and ordered all three volumes. After going through them two or three times, to say I was astonished is a very mild expression. Although I had been brought up in the fear of the Lord and in the faith as taught by the Methodist church, still I had strayed far from all religion, believing that a God who would torment one forever could not be the God of love I had been taught. I was not far from atheism, but those DAWNS, thank the Lord, altered all that. I am now trying to serve God, and thank him sincerely that the colporteur called at my house. I will pray for him, and may his efforts be blessed in spreading the truth.

The DAWNS having proved such a blessing to me, I am anxious that others should have the benefit of the truth which they contain. I enclose Money Order and several addresses. May God spare you long for his work.

Yours in the faith,

E. E. MITCHELL.

DEAR SIR: – Excuse a perfect stranger for troubling you, but will you please tell me if the fourth volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN is yet published, and where I can get it? I got the first three volumes from one of your agents last year, and have read them through five or six times with both pleasure and profit. I consider them books not to be read merely but to be studied. Every time I have read them I have gathered something new. In my opinion this is the true religion, the only one that combines reason with faith, and that is not contradictory to the sciences.

Your respectfully,

E. S.__________.

TOWER PUBLISHING CO.: – I am carefully studying Vol. I. of MILLENNIAL DAWN. It is the clearest production I have yet found, and I desire to read VOLS. II. and III. Enclosed find order. If you have a catalogue of other works please send it, and oblige,

J. W. S__________,
Pastor M.E. church.

[R1831 : page 148]

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – God be praised that at last I have willingly yielded to the Spirit's call through the Word, and have left Babylon, never to return, and am now happy in Christ my Redeemer. How blessed is the light that hath shined into our hearts! And now we realize fully the words of the Apostle – "And we, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake us unawares."

I have been reading DAWNS for about a year and a half. I heard the Spirit's call through the Word, but was so weak and so strongly bound to Babylon, that it was hard to throw off the shackles of bondage and enter into the liberty there is in Christ; but he will not break the bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax; and in his wisdom he sent among us Brother V. C. Haviland to do colporteur work. Bro. H. sought me out, and strengthened me, even as Ananias did Paul; and now I am in the light, bless his holy name, O my soul, and all that is within me!

Yours in hope of eternal life.

FRANK H. RUSS.