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March 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.MARCH 1, 1895. (16 PAGES.)No. 5.
CONTENTS.

Items – The Memorial Supper – 50
The German Quarterly 50
Views from the Tower – 51
The Religious View 51
The Social View 52
Christian Common Sense 53
God Is Not the Author of Confusion 53
God's Supervision of All Things 56
"Shall there be Evil in a City?" 58
Bible Study: Zaccheus the Publican 61
Encouraging Letters 63

'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.

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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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[R1775 : page 50]

THE MEMORIAL SUPPER.
THE ANNIVERSARY OF OUR LORD'S DEATH.

The Lord's people, scattered abroad, who trust for salvation in the value of his ransom-sacrifice at Calvary, will take pleasure in celebrating on its anniversary the great sin-offering made once for all. The time this year will be Sunday, April 7, after six o'clock, P.M. – answering, according to the Jewish calendar, to the hour at which our Lord instituted the memorial, in "the same night in which he was betrayed."

The church at Allegheny will celebrate the Memorial as usual at 8 P.M.; but no arrangements have been made for a general gathering, nor for subsequent meetings. Indeed, we believe that those who would attend can generally do more good by meeting with the little groups in their own neighborhoods, and contributing what they can to the interest and spirit of those smaller gatherings.

TRACTS NOS. 1 and 22 may now be ordered sparingly; we will soon have a good supply. A sample of No. 26 (DO YOU KNOW? – in Swedish) has been sent to all our readers. Those who have Swedish friends should order them freely. In the English the run is now being made upon No. 25 for use amongst mature Christians, especially Methodists. Order all you can and will use judiciously, – we have plenty of them – free. Nos. 14 and 21 are for general circulation, to all classes; they can always be had in any quantity. page 50

THE GERMAN QUARTERLY.

Whether because our proposition was not understood, or because your friends can mostly read English, our proposition for a German Quarterly was responded to by few. We will restate the matter a little differently.

A small German Quarterly is proposed, whose columns shall contain select translations from ZION'S WATCH TOWER, by Bro. O. A. Kotitz. These papers will be chiefly to introduce the Truth to Germans and to prepare them for MILLENNIAL DAWN. Those who want any will probably want many of them quarterly; hence the following low prices, based upon large issues.

   For 10 copies, quarterly (40 copies during the year).......   .50
    "  50    "        "     (200   "     "     "    " ).......  1.50
    "  100   "        "     (400   "     "     "    " ).......  2.50
    "  500   "        "     (2000  "     "     "    " )....... 10.00

All interested will please send a postal card at once stating how many they would desire at these prices.

[R1775 : page 51]

VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.

RELIGIOUS VIEW.

THE Roman Catholic priest, Rev. A. P. Doyle, representing the Order of the Paulist Fathers, will be remembered as the one who not long since delivered an address to the students and faculty of Union Theological Seminary, – introduced by Prof. C. A. Briggs, of "higher criticism" notoriety.

"Father Doyle" and his colleagues have for some time been holding a Roman Catholic "mission" in the Church of St. Paul, New York City, and upon its termination a "mission for Protestants" was started and held for a week, closing Feb. 10th. Of the latter the New York World says, –

"The mission has been successful far beyond the expectations of the priests. There were about 500 non-Catholics present. A space near the pulpit had been reserved for them. The question box was well patronized, and the answers given each evening appeared satisfactory, judging from the fact that about fifty persons expressed their desire to be enrolled as converts. This is the first time anything of this kind has been tried in this city, though Father Doyle has met with much success through the West."

It should be noticed that the reapproachment between Catholics and Protestants is wholly to the disadvantage of Protestants. They are willing to conciliate Rome in almost every way; – they retract the statements of the past, that the Church of Rome is the scarlet woman of Rev. 17:4, or the Antichrist of 2 Thes. 2:3-10; 1 John 2:18; 1 Tim. 4:1, and they even apologize for their name Protestant and are ashamed of it. They would not think of proselyting Catholics, and are abandoning foreign mission fields where Catholics are at work, so as not to conflict. Catholics, on the contrary, consistently, make no doctrinal concessions, but advance their "missions," etc., as Protestants retreat.

The fact is that, while Papacy holds all her old errors of doctrine and is, therefore, as much as ever the Antichrist* of Scripture, she has been forced to more civilized methods during the past century. Protestants have had considerable less to learn of civilization, but, as for doctrines, they have lost almost all those which distinguished them from Romanists, and now hold but little that conflicts. The main distinction or ground of original protest was respecting the sacrifice of Christ. Papacy held that Christ's sacrifice at Calvary was for past sins, original sin, and that it not only should be commemorated yearly on Good Friday, but also that it could and should be repeated by the priests, for the special sins of individuals, congregations, etc. Protestants held that there could be but one sacrifice for sins forever (Heb. 7:27; 9:28; 10:10; 1 Pet. 3:18), and that while it was proper to commemorate that one sacrifice it was as impossible as it was unnecessary to repeat it; and that faith in the one sacrifice, and not repeated sacrifices, is the true basis of forgiveness of sins. They accordingly protested against this false doctrine as blasphemous, and properly applied to Papacy the names, symbols and denunciations of Antichrist, given in the Scriptures.

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 9.

Papacy still holds her original position, and is therefore as worthy as ever of all the denunciations of Holy Writ and the protests of God's faithful people. But leading Protestants are abandoning faith in any sacrifice for sins, and hence are not disposed to quibble more with those who claim that every priest may repeatedly re-create the Lord and repeat [R1776 : page 51] the sacrifice, than with those who faithfully hold the "one sacrifice for all." They hold that no sacrifice was needed; that our sins were not paid for by our Lord's death; that our lives were not bought with the price of his life; – [R1776 : page 52] that he merely suffered as a martyr for the cause of truth, as many others suffered before and since. Thus the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith in the precious blood of Christ once shed has been abandoned.

We do not say that all Protestants have thus abandoned the Lord, denied that the Lord bought them, and "counted the blood of the New Covenant wherewith they were sanctified an ordinary or common thing, like that of other martyrs; but we do say that nearly all the "great" ones have already done so, that more than one-half of the ministers and prominent laymen are already on that side of the question, even if they do not always express themselves boldly, and that in a very little while, under the lead of such men as Prof. Chas. A. Briggs, Prof. W. R. Harper, Prof. Henry Drummond, Dr. Lyman Abbott and others, Protestants generally will soon be as much a part of the Antichrist, denying the ransom entirely, as are the laity of Papacy, who, while admitting the ransom merely claim that it was insufficient and needs supplementing with fresh masses or sacrifices.

In view of these facts, is it any wonder that intelligent men who reject the gospel of the ransom, and accept instead the evolution theory, are willing and anxious to destroy the evidences of their former faith, by dropping the name Protestant and by withdrawing from Papacy the charge of being Antichrist?

"My soul be on thy guard, ten thousand foes arise;

The hosts of sin are pressing hard to draw thee from the prize."

*                         *                         *

A sharp contrast between the attitude of Roman Catholics toward Protestants and that of so-called Protestants toward Roman Catholics is shown in the telegraphic news of the day, as follows:

On the evening of Feb. 26, an ex-priest, named Slattery, and his wife, an escaped nun, were lecturing at the Masonic Temple in Savannah, Ga., telling what they knew of the under-workings of Papacy, etc., etc., when a mob surrounded the building, breaking the windows with bricks, sticks and stones, and threatening the lives of those within. The Mayor of the city, a Jew, did what he could with the police at his command to restore order, but without avail. The militia had to be called out and, after charging the mob with fixed bayonets, it was dispersed, the Protestants attending the lecture were liberated and the lecturers were escorted under military protection to their hotel, which in turn had to be closed and guarded.

Almost at the same hour a very different scene occurred at Columbus, O. There the Roman Catholic Bishop, by special invitation, addressed the Young Men's Christian Association. He had a large, enthusiastic and applauding audience, which seemed to specially appreciate the Bishop's declaration of his patriotism, and love of liberty and respect for the laws of the land, which he declared to be Roman Catholic teaching. (He little knew how quickly his words would be belied by the conduct of those taught by his church for years – their disregard for the liberty and rights of others, and their lack of respect for all laws.) His audience evidently relished the fact that this was the first occasion on which a Y.M.C.A. had ever protested against Protestantism in this style.

The laity of Rome evidently have not yet generally learned that the crafty Pope Leo has inaugurated a new method of capturing Protestants – who he wisely sees are retrograding, doctrinally at least – that sticks and stones and curses and massacres and faggots are to be discarded, at least temporarily, and Protestants are to be caught with guile. And possibly the ecclesiastics do not so much mind it, if occasionally the laws of the country as well as the laws of liberty and decency are violated in squelching some one who has the temerity to expose some of the holy (?) things done by them in secret behind convent walls and away from the public eye and ear. – Eph. 5:12.

These are important signs of the times corroborative of the Scripture teachings voiced in these columns.

SOCIAL VIEW.

The Pope's last Encyclical, condemning secret societies, is regarded oppositely by two parties amongst the Archbishops. The party unfavorable to secret societies accepted it promptly as the Pope's ultimatum on the subject and promptly published it as such to those under their jurisdiction. The other party, headed by Cardinal Gibbons, contends that the infallible Leo merely "submitted" the letter as a suggestion on which he wishes their criticisms before pronouncing infallibly on the subject.

*                         *                         *

We noted some time ago the decline of Trades Unionism in Great Britain, and now note the same tendency in the United States. The reports of several labor societies show heavy declines in membership, particularly the Knights of Labor. Scarcity of money for dues and distrust of leaders and officers are potent factors, but additionally so is the growing conviction that the power of these societies is very limited, and that the questions to be solved must be treated from a higher and broader platform – the interests of the masses must be considered, not merely in provinces and states, but continentally, if not indeed universally; for the telegraph and the steam engine have practically annihilated distance and brought the labor of the whole world into direct competition.

The look of hope is now more toward various vague Socialistic theories, all of which must soon prove vain and delusive. The true hope of "the groaning creation" as expressed by St. Paul is the Church, the sons of God glorified. (Rom. 8:21,22.) It is the Kingdom of God (Dan. 2:44,45; 7:13,14,18,27), for which our Redeemer himself taught us to watch and pray, saying, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." It is the same for which St. James tells us to wait patiently, saying, "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the presence of the Lord." But at the same time he intimates that connected with the presence will be judgments and vengeance upon many; especially does he prognosticate dire trouble upon the rich in connection with the righting of the affairs of earth. – Jas. 5:1-8; Dan. 12:1.

*                         *                         *

On Feb. 25th a member of the German Reichstag proposed an amendment to the Anti-Socialist Bill, to make it a crime for anyone to deny the Deity or the Immortality of the Soul, publicly, in speech or in print; prescribing a penalty of a fine and two years' imprisonment. Since Deity is generally understood to mean Trinity, to deny the latter might eventually bring the penalty.

We have no thought that the suggestion will become a law, – not yet; but it shows the reaction of sentiment now in progress, which will surely creep into the laws of "Christendom" before long, probably within ten years. Germany had the honor of a leading part in the Great Reformation. Can it be that she will dishonor herself by taking a leading part in the Great Retrogression?

[R1776 : page 53]

CHRISTIAN COMMON SENSE.

"Wherefore, be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is....Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them; for ye were formerly darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light (for the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), proving what is acceptable unto the Lord." – Eph. 5:17,6-10.
C
OMMON SENSE is the homely designation of a mental product which ought to be, and is, very generally appreciated among men. It simply signifies good mental perception. It is valuable to the man in business, to the woman in the home, to the farmer, the mechanic, the lawyer, the doctor, the teacher, the pupil – to all men and all women in every station in life.

Common sense takes cognizance of facts, conditions and circumstances, notes general principles, conceives ideas of utility and propriety, notes the worthy objects of aspiration and ambition, and shapes its course of action accordingly. It is a common name for Wisdom; but as to whether it is truly wise depends, not alone upon a good balancing of the mental faculties, but even more upon the right condition of the heart.

There is, however, what the Bible terms worldly wisdom (1 Cor. 3:19), which is simply foolishness with God; for it wilfully closes its eyes to the broadest principles of righteousness and truth whose effects reach on into eternity, and with childish indifference to futurity, and even to the highest present interests, operates only for the fleeting present gratification, regardless alike of the interests of others and the highest interests of self.

It is not this "foolish," worldly common sense, however, [R1777 : page 53] that we wish to consider, but Christian common sense – that kind of common sense, which, under the searchlight of God's Word, has discovered its human weakness and imperfection and has come to God for "the spirit of a sound mind," assured by the promise of his Word – "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him." – 2 Tim. 1:7; James 1:5.

Christian common sense, then, is good mental perception under the control of a heart in harmony with truth and righteousness, which notes the principles and precepts of the divine law and purpose, accepts God's wisdom as to utility and propriety, and from this high standpoint judges of truth and righteousness, and acts accordingly. If a particular course of action be proposed, Christian common sense perceives its merits or demerits according to the principles and teachings of God's Word; and so, likewise, if a doctrine be announced as divine truth, Christian common sense applies to it the tests of the inspired law and testimony and decides upon its truth or falsity accordingly.

It is the exercise of this faculty that the Apostle, in the above text, is urging upon the Church for her protection against errors of doctrine and of conduct; for all through the age they were to beset her path, and she must wisely discriminate between the false and the true, the bad and the good. Nor does he in any way indicate that such discrimination may be exercised by the Church representatively in the person of a single individual, or of a number of individuals in the capacity of councils, synods, conferences, etc. This has been the mistake – the worldly wisdom – of the great nominal Church, Papal and Protestant. But individually, every man in Christ is expected to have and to use his own Christian common sense, and for its right use he is accountable directly to God. – See 1 Thes. 5:21; Gal. 6:4.

"Wherefore," Christian brethren, "be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." We have before us the open book of the divine revelation, and never in the Church's history has God left his people without teachers – helps, index-fingers to point his flock to the principles and precepts of his Word, and to help them to compare scripture with scripture. But side by side with the true teachers there have always been the false; and side by side with the truth they place the error; and it is your individual Christian common sense that must decide the matter for yourself – "prove all things and hold fast that which is good." "Let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself, and not in another." And thus himself rejoicing in the truth, he may become an aid to others to bring them to the same conviction and rejoicing. Indeed, as we have seen, it is the mission of all in Christ thus to build one another up in the most holy faith and character.

"GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION."

And now for some proving – some exercise of Christian common sense upon a proposition which is publicly presented for the acceptance of Christian people. It is the preposterous and blasphemous assumption that all of the sin and iniquity of the whole world is directly chargeable to God, and not to men. Upon this hypothesis is built up "another gospel (which is not another)" – a theory of salvation on the score of justice (?), to take the place of the gospel of God's grace which we have received, which is on the principle of love and mercy, as taught by all the holy apostles and prophets. The line of reasoning, briefly stated, is that God is the author and instigator of all things, evil as well as good, sinful as well as righteous; – that he alone is responsible for all the sin and iniquity that is in the world, and for all the misery incident to and resulting upon mankind. They thus delude themselves, contrary to all Christian common sense and Scripture teaching, for a purpose: that they may introduce their own theory of salvation. For instance, they say, God having caused all the sin will be bound in simple justice to abolish it eventually; and when God wills that men shall not sin, then, say they, there will be an end to sin. Thus God is made out to be the only sinner, the wilful sinner, and man is represented as his tool [R1777 : page 54] or puppet – now influenced toward and compelled to do sin, and by and by to be influenced toward and compelled to do righteousness.

Of course this theory has no use for a ransom. It puts the precious blood of Christ, which the Bible declares was shed for the remission of sins, at a large discount – it is "a common thing," of no more value than that of any other man. Indeed, in this view the ransom doctrine would be a stupendous fraud on God's part; for why punish men for sin which He had compelled, or why accept a ransom for his own sin. Rather, these claim, God will be bound in justice to change his course and release mankind, both from sin and from degradation and the death to which it has subjected them.

The proposition seems so preposterous and blasphemous to Christian common sense, that a refutation would appear quite unnecessary were it not for the fact that the suggestions are so artfully covered with disquisitions on the wonderful love and providence of God, that some are caught by the bait and held in the snare, – because they fail to use their Christian common sense.

The scripture upon the wresting of which this "new gospel" is built is part of 2 Cor. 5:18 – "And all things are of God." Upon this the following daring exegesis was offered some time ago by one A. P. Adams, and is still urged upon Christians as "New Light."

"When you think of it seriously, it seems that Paul was rather unguarded and careless in his language; it would seem as though he ought to have modified and limited his statement somewhat; say, for instance, all good things are of God. But no, the apostle makes the sweeping, unqualified statement – 'All things are of (literally, out of) God;' and so important did he consider this truth that he repeats it no less than seven distinct times. See Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 8:6; 11:12; 2 Cor. 5:18; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 2:10.

"Now, was the Apostle careless and a little too bold in these utterances, or did he mean just what he said, and are they true absolutely? I say unhesitatingly, Yes, to the latter questions. The more we learn of God's works and ways the more we shall understand that, in a sense, absolutely all things are of God, or, as some put it, God is in everything. This is the doctrine of God's universal, all-pervading, ever constant Providence. 'His tender mercies are over all his works.' 'He worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.'

"This doctrine of God's providence is a most positive and important one; there is no doctrine of Scripture that is more plainly supported, by the most emphatic statements, repeated over and over again, as referred to above; and no Christian would think of doubting it, were it not for the fact that its full acceptance leads to some very startling and, to some, even shocking conclusions. 'What!' they say, 'all things are of God? absolutely all things? the bad things as well as the good? all the crime, and sin, and wickedness? Surely it is blasphemous to say that such things are of God! Paul never could have meant that we should take him absolutely; we must use our own judgment and reason in such matters, and correct these sweeping statements, for it cannot mean that absolutely all things are of God.' And yet that is the way the apostle puts it, over and over again. Was he ignorant and careless? No, he was neither; he was right, and the Scriptures and experience and observation fully bear him out in his statements, strange and startling as they may seem."

Now, let Christian common sense get to work on this proposition. Its very first appearance, as the writer himself suggests, is startling – unpleasantly so, even shocking; and this first premonition of evil bids us beware and carefully prove what is the testimony of the inspired Word upon the subject. We find this expression, "all things," over eighty times in the Apostle Paul's epistles; and if it must be taken in an absolute, unqualified sense in the above instance, it would be equally necessary to so consider it in every other case, which course would lead us to some very strange and indeed absurd conclusions. For instance, the following –

2 Cor. 4:15"All things are for your sakes." What? "absolutely all things" – all the bad things and all the good things, all the wickedness and crime and sin and misery and degradation, and all the wealth and wisdom and honor of this world? This would be all things absolutely and without qualification – a manifest absurdity. The Apostle's reference is to the fact that all the arrangements of the divine plan and their harmonious operation through Christ are working together for our sakes – that the abundant grace of God bestowed upon us through Christ Jesus, might, through the thanksgiving of many [of the world to be blessed by our exaltation], redound to the glory of God.

1 Cor. 8:6 – "But to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things,...and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things." The statement here is as sweeping in one case as in the other. If "absolutely all things" – good, bad and indifferent – are "of God" (inspired or instigated by him), then it is just as true that "absolutely all things" (all the wicked and all the good things) are "by (performed by) Jesus Christ." Can Christian common sense accept that?

1 Cor. 13:7 – "Charity believeth all things, hopeth all things." – "Absolutely all things?" Does charity love or believe all falsehood, hypocrisy and deceit? and does she hope for more and more untruth and every deceivableness of unrighteousness? And is this the nature of that attribute which the Scriptures accredit to God, saying, "God is love?"

1 Cor. 6:12 – "All things are lawful unto me." What! [R1778 : page 54] "absolutely all things?" Is it lawful for me to cheat, to steal, to bear false witness, to kill, or to do evil that good might come? The Apostle Paul (Rom. 3:8) resents this latter charge brought against him, and calls it slander. Evidently he did not consider that "absolutely all things" were lawful unto him; nor did he suppose that any sane man would so interpret him. The matter under consideration was that of the brethren in Christ going to law with one another. This the Apostle Paul is opposing, not however on the ground that it is unlawful to do so, but that it is inexpedient, in that its tendency is to bring the cause of Christ into disrepute. "All things [that is, all the advantages of civil law, said he], are lawful unto me [I have as [R1778 : page 55] much right to its protection, etc., as any other man], but all things are not expedient [for the cause of Christ and for my personal influence as a representative of that cause]." "Why," then, he inquired, "do ye not rather take wrong ...and suffer yourselves to be defrauded?" etc. The Apostle presupposed some common sense on the part of his readers; as, for instance, in 1 Cor. 15:27 – "He [Jehovah] hath put all things under his [Christ's] feet." The statement is obviously not literal, but symbolic of the subjection of all authority and power to Christ. Common sense sees this; and another thing the Apostle Paul indicates which common sense ought to see is that his sweeping assertion that Jehovah hath put all things under Christ, is to be understood with that degree of allowance which would exclude Jehovah himself, who did put all things under him. This he says is "manifest:" it is manifest to that Christian common sense, which, instructed of God in the principles and purposes of his plan, recognizes Jehovah as God over all.

Take another illustration: "One believeth that he may eat all things." (Rom. 14:2.) Shall we suppose that some in the Apostle's day believed in eating "absolutely all things?" – all the cattle and horses and men and houses and trees and mountains? – absolutely all things? Or shall we use a grain of sense and read the connections and find out that the Apostle was speaking by way of contrast of some whom he calls weak brethren, who would eat nothing but vegetables ["herbs"], while others had no such conscientious scruples and, as we would say, "ate anything and everything."

This same common sense, with even a very slight acquaintance with the principles and teachings of God's Word and with only a small measure of his spirit, should be able to see the blasphemy of this teaching and the absurdity of its application to the above scriptures. The Apostle James (1:13) says, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." And Isaiah (5:20,21) adds, "Woe unto them that call evil good [as they do who say that the evil in man is the working of God in him], and good evil [imputing evil to God whose "work is perfect" – only good]; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own sight!" It is indeed a serious thing to wrest the Scriptures. The Apostle Peter indicates that many who do so, do it to their own destruction. – 2 Pet. 3:16.

But it is specially affirmed of 2 Cor. 5:18, that there at least the term "all things" is absolute and unqualified, – "And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation."

Surely nothing in the context affords ground for the supposition that the Apostle would charge God with the wickedness and sin of the world. On the contrary, he is showing our new standing in Christ, who "died for all" (verse 14), but would have us note that while the work of redemption was done by our Lord Jesus, it was planned by the Father himself. All the features of our redemption are of God himself, who reconciled us to himself by Christ Jesus. Christian common sense can see clearly enough that the various features of our salvation are the all things of which the Apostle writes: "All [these] things are of God." The statement of 1 Cor. 8:6, – "To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him" – is a repetition of the same thought.

The significance of 1 Cor. 11:12 – "For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman, but all things are of God" – is that neither is independent of the other, but both are dependent upon God, the Creator of both. – Verse 11.

Eph. 1:9,10 – "God hath purposed in himself that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one [under one head] all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him." This is parallel to the statement of 1 Cor. 15:27 – "all things" in both cases signifying the whole intelligent creation, human and spiritual. Nor should this be understood to mean absolutely all men and all angels, for the Lord through the pen of the same writer has elsewhere shown us that only all who submit themselves to Christ willingly, and in harmony with the New Covenant, will be granted any place under Christ in the great eternity before us. All others, as unworthy, will be cut off from life in the Second Death. (Acts 3:23.) It is for this very reason that "the judgment of the great day" – the Millennial day – has been arranged, – to judge who are worthy and who unworthy of eternal life under Christ. Hence here the sense is, "that he might gather together all things [worthy] under Christ."

The "all things" of the succeeding verse signifies, all the conditions and circumstances of the present and past, which, under God's overruling providence, are made to work together for the final accomplishment of the divine purpose. He is "operating all things according to the counsel of his own will." Even the wrath of men and devils while not in any sense of God shall thus be operated or controlled by God's providence and made to praise him; and the remainder, which would in any way thwart his ultimate purposes, he will restrain. – Psa. 76:10.

Heb. 2:10 (Rotherham translation) – "For it was becoming in him for the sake of whom [are] the all things, and through means of whom [are] the all things, when many sons to glory he would lead, that the Princely Leader of their salvation he should through sufferings make complete." Nothing could be farther from the sense of this passage than to suppose that the Apostle meant "all the sin and crime and wickedness" of the world are for the sake of God and through the means of God. The thought, on the contrary, is that all things as they shall ultimately be re-united under Christ in God, are to be so for God's sake, because such has been his purpose, his pleasure; and that all will be thus brought to perfection and harmony by his means – his plan and his power carrying that plan to completeness through [R1778 : page 56] Christ Jesus, our Lord. Having such a plan, a part of which was the high exaltation of the Church to the divine nature, it was proper that he should thoroughly test the obedience of all so exalted. Even our Lord Jesus, always loyal and faithful, should be no less an overcomer, and no less proved, than the sons of glory of whom he is the Princely Leader. Wherefore God's arrangement included him also (as well as the many being brought under his leadership), that all who would attain to the grand perfection of the divine nature must be proved worthy through their endurance of suffering and resistance of sin.

Rom. 11:36 – "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things." A glance at the preceding verses shows that the Apostle is not teaching that all sin, wickedness and crime are of and through and to the Lord; but, on the contrary, he refers to certain blessings and favors which are yet to come upon Israel. (Verses 25-27.) Though they sinned and with wicked hands slew the Lord of life and glory, and brought upon themselves God's wrath and indignation, which were manifest in their national rejection, trouble and overthrow, yet, after all, God has a way for bringing a blessing upon them, as well as upon all mankind, through Christ and his Church glorified (verses 30,31) who, during the Millennium, will extend mercy and full salvation to all, opening the blind eyes and unstopping the deaf ears. Such a view of God's wisdom and goodness leads the Apostle to the exclamation of verses 33-36 which conclude with the assertion that this plan is not of human device, nor even by human assistance; for no man would have dreamed of such a wonderful blending of justice and mercy. But all this was planned of God, and is by him being carried out through Christ, and shall, when completed, be to his praise.

The above passages, then, do not teach what the writings we criticise claim, but are in perfect harmony with every principle of truth and righteousness expressed in God's Word.

GOD'S SUPERVISION OF ALL THINGS.

That the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good, is unquestionable. "The Word of God is a discerner of [even] the thoughts and intents of the heart: neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Prov. 15:3; Heb. 4:12,13.) That God could interfere with and stop all forms of evil is undoubtedly true; but that he has not yet so interfered is manifest; and that the time will come when all evil shall be fully restrained is his distinct promise. Hence it is as proper to say that God permits sin, wickedness and crime, as it would be false and slanderous to say that he causes, creates, instigates or is in any sense the author of such things. [R1779 : page 56]

"Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God tempteth no man....Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own desires [for wealth, power, revenge, etc.] and enticed....Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change or the least variation. ...For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness [right will or mind] of God." (Jas. 1:13-20.) Nevertheless, God has repeatedly shown us how even the wrath of man has been overruled by him to accomplish his good purposes.

The declaration of the Prophet (Psa. 76:9,10), which assures us that in the great time of trouble, when the Lord shall arise to judgment and to save all the meek of the earth, he will cause the wrath of man to praise him and the remainder, which would not praise him, shall be restrained, is only, we may believe, the expression of what has been the principle of God's dealing throughout all the past, since sin, wickedness and crime began. The truth is, that so far from creating sin or inciting to wickedness and crime, God's actions, where he has interfered at all, have been toward the restraint of sin. The deluge was for the restraint of sin; so also the destruction of Sodom, the destruction of Korah and his band, the destruction of the Canaanites; and the captivities, famines, etc., permitted to come upon Israel were designed to have the same effect.

And in almost every instance the cause is stated. At the time of the deluge the whole world, except Noah and his family, had become corrupt, and their thoughts were evil continually. Of Sodom it is declared that the sin thereof was great, and God "took them away as he saw good." (Ezek. 16:50.) His way was good for two reasons: first, in that it made an example of them for the restraint of those who should afterward live ungodly (Jude 7; 2 Pet. 2:6); and second, because God's "due time" for bringing them to a knowledge of his gracious provision for them and for all under the New Covenant (sealed, or made of force, by the precious blood of Christ) had not yet come. Besides, in his due time, during the Millennium, they shall be awakened, when they and all shall be under the restraints of Christ's Kingdom, and have a full opportunity for attaining life everlasting. – See Ezek. 16:48-50,53-55,60-63.

THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CANAANITES.

In connection with the destruction of the Canaanitish nations (the Amorites, Hittites, Jebusites, etc.), we are told that the Lord would not bring Israel into their land, but left his people in Egypt (where they learned valuable lessons in humility), because the iniquity of the Canaanites was not yet come to the full. (Gen. 15:16.) Each nation, seemingly, was permitted to go only so far in sin and there was stopped. And the stopping of sin furnished repeated illustrations, types, suggestions, and outline hints of God's general plan for the final destruction of evil and the permanent establishment of righteousness in the world.

Thus the due time for Israel's release from the bondage of Egypt (which fitly typified the bondage of Sin) was also the due time for a chastisement of Egypt, and the [R1779 : page 57] Lord made use of the opportunity to show his power both for the deliverance of his covenant people and for the overcoming of all opposition. Hence he "raised up" to the throne of Egypt that member of the royal family who was most bold and defiant, and who would resist God's plan the most and the longest, in order to make of him and his army a type of Satan and his evil servants ever seeking to enslave and hold in bondage those who desire to make a covenant with God. The deliverance of the one class by God's power and the overthrow of the other class were not only in harmony with principles of righteousness then, but they were also exemplifications of a fuller work of division and separation to be made in God's due time between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. – Mal. 3:18.

So, too, the entrance of Canaan by Israel and the overthrow of the Canaanites, whose iniquity was come to the full, was not only a righteous act, but it was also a type of how, when the real land of promise (the earth – during the Millennial age) is reached, all the old sinful ways and institutions must be eradicated; and these things are typical also of the case of the Christ of to-day, – of how, when he by faith leaves the world, Egypt, and enters into possession of God's promises, he must wage a war of extermination against the old sinful propensities of his fallen nature.

When thinking of God's course in permitting sin for a time, we should remember that the heart of fallen man is prone to sin – malice, envy, pride, strife, hatred, lasciviousness, and that the sinful propensities are ever ready to take advantage of any opportunity. That God has permitted opportunities for evil is, therefore, true; but that he inspires sinful thoughts, desires and deeds is utterly false.

Let us glance at some illustrations cited as proof that God inspires sinful deeds.

JOSEPH'S EXPERIENCES.

Joseph's brethren sold him into slavery, and when they afterward found him the lord of all Egypt, they feared greatly the punishment of their crime. But to quiet their fears Joseph said, "Be not grieved nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life." (Gen. 45:5.) But, we answer, no ground is found here for charging the crime of Joseph's brethren upon the Almighty. Stephen, filled with the holy spirit, declared (Acts 7:9) that their course was not inspired by God, but by their own envy; which fully agrees with James 1:13,16.

Shall we then say that Joseph made a mistake in the statement he made? No; both Joseph's and Stephen's statements are correct. Joseph's brethren were full of envy and they premeditated his murder, but God caused fear to operate upon the mind of one of them, through whose suggestion the envious brethren took a different course of action and sold Joseph for a slave. Thus God's part in no sense altered the moral responsibilities of Joseph's brethren; nor did it inspire an evil thought. It merely turned the evil thought into another channel (to sell, instead of to murder him), which would not conflict with God's plan in reference to Joseph, his servant. It is merely an illustration of God's power to overrule without interfering with the moral character of men.

So, too, with all the other affairs of Joseph. Because Joseph was taken from prison to Pharaoh's throne, it is not to be argued that God was the inspiring cause of the criminal charge of Potiphar's wife, on account of which Joseph was sent to prison. On the contrary, God could have brought Joseph to the throne of Egypt in a hundred different ways wholly aside from Potiphar's wife and Joseph's envious brethren. The way adopted was the natural course of events which God overruled and turned; so that without interfering with the wills of any, His will for good was carried out.

Thus it is that God causes even the wrath of man (the disposition of the sinful fallen race) to praise him, while the remainder which would interfere with his plans he restrains. When, in the future, it shall be made clearly manifest to all that the efforts of evil men against God and against his children were all overruled and used of God for some testing or other expedient blessing toward those who love and serve him, then the present wrath of men will begin to praise the Lord by showing his wisdom and goodness.

JOB'S TRIAL AND INTEGRITY.

It is claimed, but equally without foundation, that Job's case is another proof that God is the author of "all sin, wickedness and crime." The account given in the first and second chapters of the Book of Job, which represents Jehovah and Satan communing together relative to Job should be regarded as a dressing of facts in figurative language for the purpose of giving certain lessons with clearness. God would teach us that we are not to attribute our calamities to him, to evil or viciousness on his part; that they are merely permitted to come upon us for our testing, and ultimately for the good of all whose faithfulness and integrity toward him are proved thereby.

How much Satan has to do with calamities of the present time (the storms, earthquakes, etc.), aside from his general precipitation of all these upon man through his leading of mother Eve into sin, is not clearly shown in the Scriptures.* But though it is intimated that he has much to do with all of man's calamities, both indirectly and directly, the lesson furnished in Job's case shows that, in [R1779 : page 58] the case of God's people at least, Satan's power is limited. He cannot destroy them at his will; he cannot touch them with adversity except as their God permits.+ And we have the blessed assurance that he will permit only such calamities as will serve to develop us, and to test our trust and obedience.

*For this reason we cannot give to Heb. 2:14 the full force implied in our common version. Had Satan the power of death fully in his control, we may be sure that the saints of God would have perished from the earth long ago. However great a power he may exercise over the world, we know that his power does not extend to the Church. (John 7:30; 13:1; Phil. 1:25; Matt. 10:27-31.) In this instance it seems evident that the word translated power would have been better translated dominion. Satan's dominion is the dominion of death – i.e., death is the sure result to all who serve and obey him.

See "Is Death a Penalty or a Consequence?" in our issue of Aug. 1, '94.

+See "Special Divine Providence," Aug. 1, '93; "The Book of Job," Mar. 15, '93.

As Job said (chap. 2:10), so may all of God's people say under affliction: Shall we receive blessings of the Lord's hand and refuse chastisements and painful experiences if he sees best to permit them? Shall we not rather trust the Lord and patiently accept whatever experiences may come [R1780 : page 58] to us, knowing that he could interfere and protect us, and that whatever he permits must be for our good if we are rightly exercised under it? – Heb. 12:5-11.

"SHALL THERE BE EVIL IN A CITY AND GOD HATH NOT DONE IT?"

This text is also misused to prove that God is the instigator of all things, good and bad, including "sin, crime and wickedness." It is found in Amos 3:6.

A literal rendering of it reads, Shall there be calamity in a city and the Lord have naught to do with it? Another similar text quoted in evidence is Isa. 45:7 – "I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."

To comprehend these two texts, two things must be borne in mind: (1) the proper significance of the word "evil," and (2) the special covenant relationship of Israel to God.

First, the primary signification of the word "evil" is, according to Webster, "Anything that directly or remotely causes suffering." Its synonyms are injury, mischief, harm, calamity. "Moral badness" is a secondary definition of the word "evil," by the same authority.

This secondary meaning grows out of the first as a matter of course: all badness is evil, whether it implies moral perception and accountability or not. The decay or badness at the heart of an apple is evil, just as truly as the decay of morals at the heart of a man. The one is a physical evil implying no moral quality or responsibility; the other is a moral evil and does imply moral responsibility.

How any one could from a good motive pass by the evident sense of the word "evil" in these texts of Scripture, and attempt to prove that the Almighty inspires all the sin, crime and wickedness of every city and time it is difficult to conjecture. It looks like a deliberate wresting of scripture to support a blasphemous theory.

In this text the word "evil" stands in opposition to the word "peace," and hence carries the thought of trouble, war or some similar evil opposed to peace. If moral badness were meant, the contrasting word would be righteousness or goodness. This is a rule of language.

Second, when we consider that these words of Jehovah relate specially to Israel, his typical and covenant people, we have a clear light thrown upon them. As God has a special interest in and care over all his Spiritual Israel, bound to him by the ties of the New Covenant, so he had a special care over Fleshly Israel as a nation, under the conditions of their Law Covenant, while that covenant was in force and before they as a people were cast off from his favor. Under the New Covenant each individual son of God is a subject of special supervision, chastisement and correction, while under their Law Covenant Israel as a nation was corrected and chastised.

A reference to the terms of the covenant between God and the nation of Israel will show this. The Lord's declaration or promise to them was that, if they as a nation would observe the laws which he gave them, he would be their God, and their shield and defender from all evils, wars, pestilences, famines, etc., and would bless them with peace, prosperity and plenty. But if they should neglect God's statutes, and should become idolaters and promoters of evil like the nations about them, God declared, as a part of his covenant with them, that they should be afflicted with sicknesses, famines and pestilences, and be delivered into the hand of their enemies. See the particular description of the blessings promised and the evils threatened in Lev. 26:3-25; Deut. 11:13-28; 28:1-8,15-23,36-49.

Although the Lord had so particularly warned Israel what to expect, they seem to have gotten the idea that their blessings and calamities were matters of chance and circumstance, as with the godless nations about them; and in the above text (Amos 3:6) God points out to them that, according to his covenant with them, their calamities could not come without his knowledge, nor without his permission. This is clear also from the context (verses 1-3): "Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel – against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known [recognized, covenanted with] of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities."

Instead, therefore, of this passage teaching that Jehovah is the great sinner, the inspirer of all "wickedness, crime and sin" in every city, it teaches the very reverse of this – that the evils mentioned were calamities which God would permit or bring upon Israel because of their iniquities.

The lesson of Isa. 45:7 is similar. The Lord, having chastened Israel by seventy years' captivity in Babylon, points out that the circumstances leading to their return to their own land are no less remarkable, none the less of him and by him, because accomplished through Cyrus, the heathen warrior. The spirit of war and the lust for power and gold which hold sway among men and nations are not inspired of God; but when the time for Israel's deliverance came, God permitted the hosts of the Medes and Persians to come against Babylon and prospered the way of the more noble and benevolent Cyrus to the seat of power, at the proper time to permit him to decree the restoration of Israel to their own land at the termination of the predicted seventy years of its desolation. [R1780 : page 59]

In this case, as in others, no room is found for charging the Almighty with "sin, crime and wickedness." He in no degree interfered with the moral sense of Cyrus or of Israel, but, as always, merely took advantage of the aims and desires of carnal men and overruled their courses (not their motives) to the accomplishment of his plans to bless and heal his people, whom he had previously, according to his covenant, permitted Babylon to conquer and captivate.

We assert on the foregoing evidence that God's Word conscientiously interpreted is a full vindication of the divine character; that even the texts cited to sustain the blasphemy clearly and emphatically contradict it; and we warn all to beware of theories – their own or other men's – which make necessary a defamation of the divine character for their support; that charge God with being the instigator and author of "all the sin and wickedness and crime" of the world, in order to prove that he must by and by retract and work righteousness in all, and preserve all everlastingly, and that without a ransom. Let God be true though it make every man a liar.

GOD THE OMNIPOTENT.

As surely as all men are fallen and imperfect, so surely their reasoning faculties are unsound, except as guided by the Lord's Word – "the spirit of a sound mind." But a certain class of thinkers, neglecting to use reason inside the bounds of God's revelation, entangle themselves in their own unsound reasonings.

They ask: (1) Is not God all-wise? Certainly, we answer. (2) Is he not all-powerful? Assuredly, we reply. Well, then, say they, (3) if he be all-wise and all-powerful, can any thing occur in the world contrary to his will or contrary to his power? Must we not settle down to the conviction, held for many centuries past by people called Fatalists, that whatever happens, from a mosquito bite to an epidemic, or from a snowflake's fall to an earthquake or a tornado, is of God; and that all nature is fulfilling his will? Must we not surmise, too, that all the thoughts and deeds of men, both good and bad, are inspired of God? And if these arguments be admitted, are not all mankind like so much clay in Jehovah's hands, which he can and does fashion one way for good or the other way for evil? And if so, are not all our efforts for good or for evil futile? Since God is all powerful, who can resist his will for good or for ill? Is it not, therefore, the only wise course to stop all effort for good or for evil, and merely follow the good or bad impulses which arise within us?

We answer that this is simply reasoning in a circle and without reference to God's revelation of his character and plan. To take such a view as the one we are criticizing was bad enough in the darkness of the remote past for those to whom Jehovah had offered no revelation concerning his will and plan, and his attitude toward sin and righteousness; but such a leaning to pure conjecture, totally ignoring Jehovah's own statement of his exercise of his power, is inexcusable among Christians to-day.

While it is true that Jehovah has all power, and that none can resist his will, yet it is also true that he is not now exercising his power in every matter, nor compelling his will to be done in all things.

Jehovah assures us that sin is rebellion against him and his just provision for our good; that though he has the power to destroy the sinners, he has a more gracious plan with reference to them, to be accomplished through Christ; and that though he could have made men otherwise, he preferred to give them the noble quality of intelligent beings, namely, free moral agency, or the power of choice between sin and righteousness.

This quality of free moral agency thus inherent in the race must of necessity be brought to the test of choice, by the presentation of the alternatives of obedience or disobedience to the Lord; and for a wise purpose this test came first to our first progenitor, in whom we all were; and when he fell into sin and incurred its condemnation, St. Paul tells us that the sentence of death passed upon us all; for "who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one." (Rom. 5:12; Job 14:4.) Thus the whole human creation was made subject to frailty (to the inherent taint of sin and its condemnation to death), not willingly (for both the [R1781 : page 59] taint of sin and the condemnation passed upon them all before they were born), but by reason of him (Jehovah) who (by permitting the temptation and the fall in the beginning) hath subjected the same in hope (not hope on God's part, for he has knowledge, – but in subjecting man to frailty God, in his arrangements, gave man a basis for hope for a future deliverance from bondage to sin and death), that, as by the one man condemnation passed upon all men unto death, so also the free gift of pardon and life by one, Jesus Christ, might abound unto all (who would accept it in faith and obedience) and thus the whole creation (all the willing and obedient) shall (through Christ) be delivered from the bondage of corruption (death), into the glorious liberty of the children of God (freedom from sin and death).

In permitting sin and its consequences for a time, God has subordinated his love of righteousness, his good pleasure, temporarily for man's experience and instruction in the principles of righteousness which underlie his government.

During the present time, that we may see how the course of sin would result, the Lord ignores much that is abominable in his sight and does not swiftly mete out the deserved punishments. But he declares that "He will not always chide [reprove], neither will he keep [hold back, restrain] his anger forever." (Psa. 103:9.) Though it may at present appear as though the Lord is slack in the fulfilment of his promises, in regard to both well-doers and evil-doers, such is not the case. The Lord is not slack, as men count slackness, says the Apostle (2 Pet. 3:9), but is plenteous in mercy, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn unto him and live. Nevertheless, every good deed shall in due time be remembered and rewarded, and every malicious deed punished: "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." [R1781 : page 60]

God is merely biding his time, letting his will and word and character be misunderstood by some and misrepresented by others, letting men have an experience with doing their own wills and trying their own plans and theories, that thus the lesson of sin and its tendencies and results may be clearly seen and appreciated both by angels and by men. Then the Lord will arise and through his Anointed Son will display his power and make known his will. He will lay righteousness to the line and justice to the plummet and will sweep away every refuge of lies. (Isa. 28:17.) His will shall then be done on earth as it is done in heaven. (Matt. 6:10.) A knowledge of and experience with righteousness will be forced upon men by Christ's Millennial reign; all shall come to a knowledge of the truth; all shall see the effects of righteousness clearly contrasted with their former experiences under sin and selfishness.*

*See "The King's Highway" – last issue.

God has an object in thus permitting man to try rebellion and selfishness, and afterward under the Millennial reign of Christ forcing all to have an experience with the different results, when his will is done on earth as it is done in heaven. It is to select from among his creatures those who, after receiving full knowledge of righteousness, will love the good, the right, the pure, the holy, and abhor the sinful. God seeketh such to worship him; for they can and will worship him in spirit and in truth. After they have been fully proven, it is his good pleasure that they shall live forever, and he promises them everlasting life and communion with himself. All others he will cut off from life in the Second Death, because he has no pleasure in them that love evil: "Evil doers shall be cut off, but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth; for yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." – Psa. 37:9-11.

Thus we see the fallacy of the circle-reasoning of those who would judge the Lord merely by their own weaknesses and not by his Word. How grand the view which the Scriptures present – that Jehovah and his will and all his works are wholly on the side of purity, justice and truth, and that he is in no sense practicing or endorsing sin, or causing others to practice it, or in the slightest degree favoring it; but that, on the contrary, while reproving it and explaining its tendency and results, he for a time restrains his indignation and justice and permits men to work out their wilful, sinful plans, and to learn, if they will, from experience the lesson that sin is ever an evil, and to be shunned.

GOD'S STATEMENT OF HIS WILL AND GOOD PLEASURE.

Let us now permit God's Word to tell us the things which he brings to pass, and in which he takes pleasure.

God has pleasure in uprightness. – 1 Chron. 29:17.

He has pleasure in the prosperity of his servants. – Psa. 35:27.

He takes pleasure in his people who reverence him. Psa. 147:11; 149:4.

It is his good pleasure to give the Kingdom to his little flock. – Luke 12:32.

He called them to this Kingdom honor according to the good pleasure of his will. – Eph. 1:5.

It is his good pleasure to work in those who are fully consecrated to him, to guide them both in willing and in doing his will. – Phil. 2:13.

In such as he counts worthy he will fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness. – 2 Thes. 1:11.

The words, deeds and character of our Lord Jesus illustrated to us what pleases God. In him he was well pleased.Matt. 3:17.

Christ was an example for all who would please God. – 1 Thes. 4:1.

The testimony to those who have loved and served him in righteousness and truth is, that they pleased God. – Heb. 11:5.

God is pleased with all the painful though joyous sacrifices which the "little flock" make in his service, following in the footsteps of their Redeemer and Lord. With such sacrifices God is well pleased.Heb. 13:12-16.

Of his own will begat he us by the Word of truth. – Jas. 1:18.

Our Master declares that whosoever shall do the will of the Father is his brother. – Mark 3:35.

And this is the will of God, even our sanctification. – 1 Thes. 4:3; 5:14-23.

Through the fall, we have lost appreciation of God's will, and hence are exhorted to study to prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.Rom. 12:2.

This is needful if we would stand complete in the will of God.Col. 4:12.

That we might be willing, if the will of God be so, to suffer for righteousness' sake. – 1 Pet. 3:17.

It is also the will of God that by well-doing ye should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. – 1 Pet. 2:15.

This to the intent that we should not live henceforth according to the desires of men, but according to the will of God.1 Pet. 4:2.

Because he (and only he) that doeth the will of God abideth forever. – 1 John 2:17.

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God [for righteousness' sake] commit the keeping of their souls in well-doing unto him, as unto a faithful Creator. – 1 Pet. 4:19.

And ye have need of patience [during this period in which Jehovah permits sin and opposition to his will to flourish], that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. – Heb. 10:36.

That we may have confidence in him, and respect and trust him, he has made known to us the mystery of his will (plan) concerning his good pleasure which he purposed in [R1781 : page 61] himself – that in his due, full time he will subdue all things by and under Christ; that evil and sin are permitted to oppose his will only for a little season; that shortly the lessons because of which evil is now permitted to triumph will be learned; and that throughout all the ages to come righteousness, his will, shall be done. – Eph. 1:9,10; 2:7.

This mystery of God's will, though still hidden from the world, was to be fully appreciated by his saints during this evil day and was to be the ground for their faith, patience and endurance. They were to wait for the Lord from heaven and to expect deliverance from evil, both for themselves and the world, through him who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from the evil of this present period, according to the will of God our Father.

Not only were the saints to have this knowledge of the coming triumph of Jehovah and righteousness, but they were to confess to the Lord in prayer their appreciation of the fact that present evil is not of his will, nor of his government, and their faith to the contrary that all holy desires will be fulfilled when his Kingdom has come and when his will is done on earth as it is now done in heaven. – Matt. 6:10.

GOD'S PLEASURE TOWARD THE WORLD.

God, our Savior, desires all men to be saved and to come to an accurate knowledge of the [this] truth. – 1 Tim. 2:4. – Diaglott.

His good desires and plan, however, are all centred in Christ; hence he has appointed no other name by which we must be saved, and no other condition than faith in his blood (in his ransom-sacrifice) and obedience to his precepts of righteousness. No man can come unto the Father except by him. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. – John 14:6.

To this end, the sympathetic love of Jehovah toward all his fallen, disobedient creatures was manifested in the [R1782 : page 61] gift of his Son to be our redemption price – even while we were yet sinners. For the same reason, as a part of the same will of Jehovah concerning men, he has arranged to establish his Kingdom on earth, and that his King and representative shall reign to bless men, to bring them to a knowledge of his goodness, his perfection, his hatred of sin and his desire toward all that they might be saved from death and come fully back into harmony with him, and of his provision through Christ for them all to do so.

Yet God is not pleased to accept men without testing and proving them as to whether, after full knowledge, ability and choice, they will sincerely love the right and hate the wrong. Therefore he has been pleased to appoint a day [the Millennial Day] in the which he will judge the world in righteousness. The Judge of all is to be the Christ – Jesus and his Church; and the work shall be so thoroughly done that no lover of righteousness shall be sentenced to the Second Death, and no lover of evil shall escape that sentence. – Acts 3:23.

The distinction of the incorrigible after the final test will be in demonstration of God's unceasing hatred of sin. He is not a God that has pleasure in wickedness. (Psa. 5:4.) "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God, and not that he should turn from his way and live?" "I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn and live ye." "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live." – Ezek. 18:23,32; 33:11.

Having thus illustrated the use of Christian common sense in proving what the will of the Lord is as expressed in his Word, let us again commend to all the exhortation of the Apostle quoted above – "Wherefore be ye not unwise; ...let no man deceive you;...walk as children of light," etc. And remember always that "the fruit of the spirit [of God] is in all goodness and righteousness and truth," and let no cunning sophistry of the evil one persuade us to ignore our Christian common sense in the study of the divine Word; for as the Apostle tells us (1 Tim. 4:1), "The spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils:" let us not be of them to fall with them. Remembering also (1 John 3:8) that "he that committeth sin is of the devil," what shall we say of that doctrine which ascribes to Jehovah the authorship of "all the sin, crime and wickedness" in the world? Surely this doctrine is not of him, nor does it find shadow of support in his holy Word.

"As for God, his way is perfect: the Word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler to all those that trust in him." "Ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth, and WITHOUT INIQUITY, just and right is he."Psa. 18:30; Deut. 32:4.

[R1783 : page 61]

ZACCHEUS THE PUBLICAN.
– MARCH 17; LUKE 19:1-10. –

Golden Text – "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." – Luke 19:10.
S
EVERAL observations in view of this narrative claim our special attention; viz., (1) The desire and earnest effort of the publican to learn of Jesus; (2) The courage and generous kindness of the Lord in running against the popular current of public sentiment to bless an outcast from the public favor; (3) The proper attitude of heart in coming to Jesus, as illustrated in the publican; and (4) The reward of obedient faith.

Zaccheus was a Jew (verse 9). He was the chief among the publicans or gatherers of revenue for the Roman government. The taxes levied by the Romans on subject nations were farmed out to men of wealth, who, for a specified sum, paid at once into the Roman treasury, secured the privilege of collecting the taxes of a particular city or [R1783 : page 62] province. These contractors in turn engaged other subcontractors or tax-gatherers. This system gave the widest scope for extortion and justly elicited the general public condemnation, as through the abuses of the office the very name publican or tax-gatherer came to be associated with the idea of dishonesty and extortion. As a class, therefore, they were ostracized and despised, though doubtless there were some conscientious and upright publicans.

Among them were many who seemed impressed by the Lord's public ministry and who heard him gladly. (See Luke 3:12; 5:29; 7:29; 15:1; 18:10.) Being cast off from the sympathies and friendship of the Jews in general, they were naturally less influenced by their prejudices and hence more ready to receive the truth. Zaccheus was so anxious to see the Lord that he made considerable effort to do so, and that effort was not unnoticed or unappreciated. Evidently it was not a lukewarm curiosity.

(2) The Lord's courage in withstanding erroneous public sentiment is very marked. How bravely and how kindly he did it! and how heedless was he of the murmuring crowd who said, "He is gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner." So he would have his followers "mind not high things" – popular ideas, methods, etc., – "but condescend to men of low estate" – the despised, the poor and the unpopular. He would have us identify ourselves with them fearlessly and openly. True Christian fortitude is a grace which dignifies and ennobles every soul that cultivates it.

(3) The attitude of heart which Zaccheus manifested in coming to Jesus was that of an earnest seeker after truth and righteousness. He freely acknowledged and repented of his sins, and expressed his determination, not only to forsake them, but proposed also, so far as was in his power, to undo any damage done to others by restoring anything he had unjustly appropriated, and that with large interest – "four-fold." Probably this interest was measured by him by the amount of former extortions.

That was surely a true repentance, and it brought the quick response of blessing – "This day is salvation come to this house." The additional phrase, – "forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham," – was in reference to the fact that the gospel was to be preached first to the house of Israel – "to the Jew first, and afterward to the Gentile." It was in keeping with the Lord's statement on another occasion, "I am not sent, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24), and his commission to the apostles – "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not." (Matt. 10:5.) The Syro-Phoenician woman might eat of the crumbs (of truth) that fell from the rich man's (the Jews') table, but it was not meet to take the children's meat and give it to the (Gentile) dogs (Matt. 15:26); and when the apostles were finally sent to preach the gospel to all the world they were told to begin at Jerusalem.

Why? Because the Lord strictly observed the times and seasons which were indicated in the Father's plan. A [R1784 : page 62] certain time of special and exclusive favor was determined upon Israel (Dan. 9:24-27), and that time must be closely observed. So our Lord would have us carefully note the times and seasons and all the directions of the divine plan if we would be in co-operation with him. Such work is the only work that will abide (1 Cor. 3:12-14) and that will meet the divine approval.

Two words in the golden text are very notable – "seek" and "save." The Lord was seeking to reach the heart of Zaccheus when he (at that time a man distinguished and very prominent before the public as a great prophet and teacher) offered to be the guest of one popularly despised and hated. The gracious offer, together with the tone and manner of a perfect gentleman, seemed at once to win his heart. Ah, there is a way to many a heart if we seek to find it. Blunt, coarse, rough ways are repellant, not winsome; and the heart must be won before the soul can be saved; for "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness."

Oh, with what care should we deal with the hearts of men, when we know that eternal interests are at stake. We need to deal with them carefully, not only to win them for Christ, but also to help to hold them for Christ against the strong current of temptation from the world, the flesh and the devil. And if we need to exercise this care to win men for Christ by the manifestation of his spirit of love and kindness in us, how much greater is the responsibility of helping to hold them for Christ and to speed them onward in the Christian life! When the feet of a weak brother have well nigh slipped and he is stumbling over the stones of severe trials, how disastrous may be the effects of unkindness or impatience or any lack of manifestation of the Master's spirit towards him; and how great is the responsibility thus incurred! Let us imitate the Master's care in seeking the heart; for the seeking is more than half the work of saving, so far as the will of the individual is concerned.

[R1782 : page 62]

ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS.

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I read with interest your article, "The prize set before us," in TOWER of July 1st, '94. There are still features of it, however, which are not clearly seen. It is obvious that God's requirements of obedience are the same in all ages, whatever the reward may be, whether the earthly or the heavenly; but the immortality that was "brought to light in the gospel" has not been understood during the last eighteen hundred years as we now understand it. Many who gave their lives in the service of the Master were believers in the innate immortality of man, and expected at death to be translated and be as the angels. Not dreaming of the high privilege of being made partakers of the divine nature, they did not comprehend the philosophy of surrendering the human in order to obtain the divine, yet virtually did give their lives in his service as they understood service, though really propagating the errors (as we now see) of immortality, hell fire, etc. The question is, did God overlook these errors and reckon their intentions as acceptable? and will he grant to them that which they never expected?

[REPLY. – Let us reason out our answer, carefully guarding every conclusion by the teachings of the inspired Scriptures, that our conclusions be not merely our own judgment, but the mind of God on the subject.

(1) Justification, by faith in Christ as Redeemer, was indispensable then as it is now. Whether or not the philosophy of the ransom was clearly seen in all its details then or now is not the question; but whether or not the FACT is accepted, that we are fallen from divine favor into sin and under its penalty, death, and that the death of our Lord as our ransom-price brings forgiveness and reconciliation to all who believe that fact and strive to forsake sin. [R1782 : page 63]

(2) God's will for his believing people justified by faith in the ransom is still, and always has been, the same, as the Apostle stated it; viz., "This is the will of God concerning you, even your sanctification."

(3) To produce this sanctification in believers God has given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, and declares that it is the truth of his Word that is to produce the sanctification of character which is acceptable to him.

(4) The question then is, Did God's people of the past have a sufficiency of the truth to produce sanctification of character, acceptable to God?

We answer that the sanctification required by the Lord's call in this age is that we be conformed to the image of his Son, our Redeemer. We have reason to believe that some all the way along these past eighteen centuries have attained to this requirement, and hence have been acceptable with God. They did not need as much truth to sanctify them as they would require if they lived in the present time, when the world, the flesh and the devil are quickened by knowledge and selfishness into such activity as was never before known. Ah! it requires a great deal of truth to stand firmly as a soldier of the cross to-day, when Satan is spreading snares and traps through "higher criticism," falsely so-called; for it is lower criticism from such as are mentioned by the Apostle as blind and unable to see afar off since they have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins – from Adamic condemnation – and instead have reached the conclusion that man's fall has been upward and that hence he needs no redemption with the precious blood of Christ. – 1 Cor. 1:18-20; 2:6-12.

(5) Therefore the amount of truth now needed and supplied to God's household, and necessary to their sanctification and protection from the foretold "scoffers" of the end of this age, who even deny that the Lord bought them (2 Pet. 2:1), is much more than was necessary or provided to those in former times equally dear to God, and equally acceptable in sanctified character.

(6) As the apostles declared, the peculiar trials of the end of this age necessitate the whole armor of God that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished. And now to be in darkness, in ignorance of the divine plan, would not only mean that we are exposed to attack and liable to fall, but furthermore, it would imply that we are not of the "brethren" who it is declared will not be in darkness now, and that we are not of the "household of faith" which it is declared will now be specially fed with "meat in due season" – "things new and old."]

Another question: Those who in their lifetime consecrated their lives to God, but who, owing to infirmities or environments, were never able to comply fully with their consecration, – by what fires are they to be purified? or will they simply drop back to the earthly plane (I speak of those of the past)? or shall they go into the land of silence? or what? It is hard for me to see how these two classes [the "little flock" of overcomers and the "great company"] have been forming all along during the age since the first advent, without the knowledge necessary to fit them for either. If you deem it profitable to the "little flock" to give us through the TOWER an explanation of the way the Lord has been perfecting these classes before the present light was seen, please do so.

[REPLY. – The latter part of this question we will consider answered with the previous one; the former part we will now consider.

It seems to us that any who have no opportunity for suffering with Christ or rendering service cannot be of those "called;" for the terms are distinctly stated in the inspired Word, – If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with him; the sufferings of this present time work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Tim. 2:12; 2 Cor. 4:17); we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together (Rom. 8:17); and as "the spirit testifies beforehand, the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow," and as in our Lord's case it was needful that he should suffer before entering his glory, so those whom he redeemed and then called to be his joint-heirs must be "partakers of Christ's sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." – 1 Pet. 1:11; Acts 17:13; 1 Pet. 4:13.

These sufferings are not such as are common to humanity – sickness, etc., incidental to sin and its penalty death – but sufferings for Christ's sake, which means activity in Christ's service. Whoever, therefore, can find no opportunity [R1783 : page 63] to render service to Christ and to suffer something of self-denial, etc., in that service, has no opportunity for making a calling and election sure, and hence may consider himself as not being one of those "called" to suffer and afterward to reign.

But having drawn these lines sharply, according to the apostolic copy, let us note for a moment how many opportunities are afforded us for service and suffering. All may not suffer in exactly the same way, nor for the same cause, although it be still for God's cause. The Apostle shows this, saying, "Ye endured a great fight of afflictions, partly whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly whilst ye became companions of them that were so used."

Who can not suffer in one or the other of these ways, if he be willing? If he have the ability and opportunity and will use them in the direct service of the truth – either by telling the gospel orally or by circulating the message in printed form or by writing of it to his friends, he will surely bring upon himself the disfavor of neighbors and friends, and persecution open or secret. He will suffer for his faithfulness even though he "suffer joyfully." If he have no ability as a public speaker, or a private talker, if he cannot write, if he be lame or sick, so as to be unable to circulate the printed page, he can at least share the reproaches of the truth by declaring himself the friend of the Lord and of those soldiers of the cross who are publishing the truth and being reviled therefor. Thus, at very least, all can suffer who will, and all will suffer who have been begotten of the truth [R1783 : page 64] and are not ashamed of the Lord, the brethren and the truth. And he that is ashamed is not fit for the Kingdom.

However, let our service and suffering be according to wisdom and love – to as good purpose as possible. In our services we should be careful not to interfere with the liberties of others. "Let none of you suffer as a busybody in other men's matters." And let us also be careful not to make our sufferings subjects for boasting, as though seeking the praise of men, or of continual complainings to other members who are themselves perhaps suffering more acutely. If we suffer, let it be as unto the Lord.

But perhaps the question is more respecting the ability to comply fully, than the ability to comply at all.

We answer, if we can comply at all (and we have shown that all can comply), then we can comply fully. It is not a question of, Can we comply? but of Will we comply? and only those who will and do will be classed as "overcomers" and win the great "prize of our high calling." Such as fail to go on to serve and to suffer in one of the ways specified by the Apostle (yet who do not "draw back" in the sense of repudiating the precious blood of Christ, nor in the sense of returning to "wilful sin" as "the sow that was washed to wallowing in the mire"), will be of the "great company"* who will come up to life through great tribulation, and who will "suffer loss" – the loss of the Kingdom glory and divine nature. – 1 Cor. 3:15.]

*Concerning these and the trouble through which they pass, see M. DAWN, VOL. I., and "TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF BETTER SACRIFICES," pp. 59-61.

A further inquiry: In your judgment, should a man be baptized into the death of Christ who is so related to his family and to society that his time is necessarily taken up with worldly duties and cares, and who is consequently unable to do much harvest work, although if his own preferences were consulted and it were not for his family, he would much prefer to engage in harvest work? Has a man who has consecrated himself to his Father's business any right to engage in the ordinary duties of life? Can he do so and fulfill his baptismal vow?

Dear Brother, you can imagine how deeply I feel on this subject, when I tell you the case is my own. I have neglected baptism because I feared to take the vow lest I should fail to fulfill its obligations. Oh, that I knew the will of God concerning me! If you can help me into the light in this matter I shall be glad.

I send greeting to you and Sister Russell to whom I owe so much. May the Lord long spare you to feed the flock.

REPLY. – It is our selves, dear Brother, our hearts, our all (justified by our Redeemer's merit), that we present to the Lord in baptism. And it is this that God accepts. Whether therefore your all be little or very little, it is your all – all that you can render to the Lord, consistent with those obligations of life which he recognizes with approval. And amongst these are the duties of a husband and father, if you have such obligations when the truth reaches you. But after having consecrated himself to the Lord it would certainly be consistent for one to avoid all provisions for the flesh that would war against his own spiritual welfare or hinder his opportunities for spending his time and energy in the Lord's service, in accordance with his baptismal covenant.

Thus seen, God's requirements are a "reasonable service;" and we advise, dear Brother, that you enter it promptly and render such service as you can, earnestly, heartily, prayerfully; and if faithful in the little opportunities, no doubt God will open to you greater ones.]

Your humble brother who desires to do the Master's will,

W. A.

page 64

MY DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – In your issue of TOWER of January 1st there is an article, "On Trial for Life," which has given me no little spiritual confusion. I write to see if you can extricate me from the same.

Do you mean to teach that the saint falling away now will receive the Second Death, so that he will have no chance with the balance of the world, in the incoming Millennium, for restoration to the perfect human nature? Brother G__________, of this place, one of the old time saints, as you know, says you do not so teach; but I have read the article again and again, and confess freely that I cannot understand you otherwise.

None of us are born of the spirit till we die – then we become partakers of the divine nature. If we fail in obtaining this prize, or the lower spiritual nature, then it seems to me that we ought, at least, to be given equal chance with the balance of the world. For instance, I am now fifty-five years of age, and have been a member of the Missionary Baptist church twenty-six years. Should I fail quite to reach the mark, or should I fail entirely in the spirit-begotten nature, then to be cut off from any chance, with the balance of the world, in the dispensation now being ushered in, of obtaining the state of perfect human nature, would not only not be Godlike, but it would be unreasonable. My position has been, that only those who hold out faithfully to the end are the truly regenerate.

Please explain this, my brother. [Perhaps the answer to the above letter will meet your case. – ED] I have learned many grand truths from your writings, for which I thank God and take courage. I remain sincerely yours, in the patience and tribulation of the saints, J. M. C.

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Glad to see the TOWER out on Dress Parade. It looks nice. I fancy Babylon just over the hill under the dark sky being shaken and rent by the overruling elements and earthquakes underneath. They cannot from there see the sun of righteousness that is visible only to those on Zion's Tower.

The saving of nickels since last remittance reaches only 80 cents to date, but I supply a sum to make the amount of $2.00, herewith enclosed as "Good Hope" fund increase.

Regarding German Quarterly, I will pledge myself for twelve copies. I think it a good suggestion.

While it is yet day, we should deny ourselves all we can and do what we can to hasten the work of our Master. It is a blessed privilege, and for every such gift the true child of God receives a blessing even in this world, and, I believe, will receive a far greater blessing and reward in the Kingdom. Out of my little I mean to give yet more from this time forth, relying upon the One to help me who has so graciously fed me the past three years with the spiritual food in due season. I would that all people might read and receive from M. DAWNS the same rich blessing. Now I can love God as I never could have loved him before.

I am glad to say the Church here is a unit, in perfect harmony with its teachings of what saith the Scripture.

Yours in Christian love,

J. A. BOHNET.

page 65
March 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.MARCH 15, 1895.No. 6.
CONTENTS.

Special Items – Extra Towers, Calendars,
Wall Rolls, etc 66
Views from the Tower – 67
The Religious View 67
The Jewish View 70
Poem: Some Better Things 70
The Memorial Supper 71
"Come, My People." 72
Bible Study: Love the Essence of Divine Law 74
Bible Study: Review 75
Encouraging Letters 75

'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 66

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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"CHRISTIAN COMMON SENSE" in our last issue seems to have met the wants of God's people as an answer to the Satanic doctrine that God is the instigator and author of "all the sin; wickedness and crime of the world." We have an extra supply of the last TOWER and will send extra copies free to such as will promise to give or loan them amongst Christian people afflicted with this revived theosophic delusion.

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[R1784 : page 67]

VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.

DR. Horton, in the Methodist Times, says: – "On the church of England it is impossible to rely. She is permeated with the Roman virus. Her clergy denounce the Reformation. Whatever love they had for the gospel of Nazareth and the Son of Man is dying away. They are fascinated by the gospel of Rome and the Vicegerent of Christ. The apostasy is not yet complete, but its progress is amazing. I venture to say that but for the accessions to the church of England from the Nonconformist churches at this time Protestantism would be as good as dead within her borders. And those accessions cannot continue. Presently the Nonconformist churches will claim and use their own sons, and will not be able to spare them for a Romanised Establishment. The hope of England lies in the Free churches, in the homes of the Spirit of Christ which have been provided and kept by the Spirit of God against this time."

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On Feb. 25, Archbishop Ireland addressed the students of the University of Chicago in the chapel, – Subject, "Religion, Science and Good Citizenship."

The Chicago University is under Baptist patronage. What Romanism does not know about true "Religion, Science and Good Citizenship" would fill many volumes; and, judging from the past, a Roman Catholic Arch-bishop should make a remarkable instructor upon these subjects!!

According to an article which has been going the rounds of the Press over the signature A. Tyler, this same Bishop Ireland on the occasion of his last visit to Rome encouraged the Cardinals there in the following (patriotic?) words: –

"We can have America in ten years, and I give three points for your consideration – the Indian, the negro, and the public schools. The importance of the possession of America cannot be overestimated. It is a providential nation. The movements of the modern world have their highest tension in the United States. The natural order is seen here in its best, and here displays its fullest strength. The church, unhampered by dictates of government or by despotic custom, can, with freedom, choose its arms, and, making straight for the opposing foe, bring the contest to a speedier close. I am aware there are those among us who do not partake of my hopefulness. What can be done, they say, in America? Catholics are a handful. What can be wanting? Why should we fear or hesitate? We number 10,000,000 – a powerful army, if the forces are well drilled, and their latent strength put in action. Catholics in America are loyal to the faith, brave in confessing it, self-sacrificing in its interests, devoted to their chieftains; when combined efforts are called for, ready, and at all times prompt to obey when orders are given."

*                         *                         *

As a sign of the times we note that the Socialists of France are adopting a form of civil baptism for their children. In the town of St. Denis, where socialism has quite a hold, the Mayor, himself a socialist, recently baptised as many as nine children in one day – using a socialist formula, with the express statement that the parents desired to withdraw them from the guardianship of the church. The account says, "The god-parents took a pledge to bring up the children 'in the love of labor and liberty and the sentiment of fraternity necessary to make them good citizens and fervent republicans.'"

Not only with these, but with many of the "leading lights" here, who follow more conservative lines, the idea is growing, that "the doctrines of Christ" and "faith in his blood" belong to a religion which has been outgrown; and that the true religion for the future, and the only one that will gain the attention of the masses, is the [R1784 : page 68] gospel of social revolution – humanitarianism and utilitarianism. All who see clearly the true gospel of redemption through the precious blood and as a result, by and by, the offer to all men of restitution (Acts 3:21), and these alone, are prepared to point out clearly to the deluded that they have mistaken the false, earthly systems of men for the Church of God whose names are written in heaven, and that the only hope of the groaning creation is described by St. James (Chap. 5:7,8) and St. Paul. – Rom. 8:22,21.

THE HIGHER CRITICS IN BAD COMPANY.

"It has just leaked out," says Truth, "that at a Baptist congress in Detroit lately the Higher Critics got a deserved set-back. This is the story.

"President Harper [of Chicago University] and President Andrews, of Brown University, with others, had been advocating the methods of modern Higher Criticism, and saying that the last twenty-seven chapters of Isaiah were written by some other man, when Prof. Howard Osgood of Rochester arose in reply. He spoke briefly, completely answered the Higher Critics, and then said, 'I have here an article written almost exactly one hundred years ago. I will read it and tell you the author.' He read a criticism on the Bible, and especially on Isaiah, advocating a double authorship of the latter, in almost exactly the language of Harper and his friends. He made a few comments upon the clearness of the ideas of the author, and showed his teachings to be identical with modern Higher Criticism. He then exclaimed after a long pause, 'The author of this paper was Thomas Paine.' The effect was wonderful. There was a look of surprise on the faces of the critics, and then, as the applause rang out, they looked as though they would like to escape....It was carefully kept out of the papers for some reason."

*                         *                         *

Prof. Drummond, in his "Natural Law in the Spiritual World," after cautiously advancing the doctrine of Evolution – so guardedly that many of his readers absorbed his suggestions without realizing what they implied of Scripture contradiction – has now thrown off the mask and declares his anti-Scriptural views in his new book, "The Ascent of Man."

How could we expect this learned gentleman (See Isa. 29:14) to be interested in, or to appreciate, the Bible doctrines of redemption and restitution from the FALL? (See Acts 3:21.) Far easier for him would it be to forget all the greatness of the past – the statesmanship of Moses, the wisdom of Solomon and Confucius, the logic of Paul and Socrates and Plato; the poetry of the Psalmist, Job and Shakespeare; the "lost arts" of manufacture, elastic glass, tempered copper and Damascus steel; and the musicians and sculptors and painters of the past; and to think only of the greatness of the present so-called "brain-age." Far easier would it be for him to conclude that St. Peter and "all the holy prophets since the world began" were mistaken, deluded, and that he and all the "higher critics" are correct. Because, forsooth, the "times of restitution" which Peter and all the holy prophets and apostles hold [R1785 : page 68] forth as the hope of the world, would, according to these self-styled critics, be a return to ape-hood. Truly the words of the Lord are fulfilled – "The wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE SOCIAL STRUGGLE.

"In a recent number of the Forum, Prof. Goldwin Smith directed attention to the belief current throughout Europe that a wide-reaching and violent social upheaval is not distant. Whether the movement will result merely in temporary collision and disorder, or in complete revolution, depends of course upon the relative strength of the disruptive agencies and of the forces arrayed upon the side of the existing order. At first sight an immense preponderance of material power would be attributed to the upholders of the present social system, but the history of the French Revolution proves that such preponderance cannot be maintained unless there is a corresponding moral power behind it. That this moral support must come mainly from the Roman Catholic Church is the averment made in an interesting article contributed by Mr. Charles Robinson to the American Magazine of Civics.

"It would be, indeed, a mistake to say that no European Catholics are infected with socialistic doctrines. A wing of the Centrist or Catholic party in Germany has evinced considerable sympathy with socialism, and the same thing may be said of a section of the Clerical party in Belgium. These sporadic phenomena are doubtless explicable by the fact that Catholics and Socialists encountered for many years in Belgium a common opponent in the liberalism of M. Frere-Orban, and in Germany a common oppressor in Prince Bismark. Such inclinations, however, to fellowship in feeling and action seem destined to be transient, for the reason that the causes which produced them have ceased to operate. Liberalism of the Frere-Orban type is now almost extinct in Belgium, and Bismark made the journey to Canossa before he retired from public life. Moreover, the head of the Church of Rome, whom every Catholic is bound to obey, has declared himself of late in the most distinct and authoritative terms on the side of the social system which has individualism for its basic principle. Catholicism, therefore, is already in theory, and will presently become in fact, a unit in resistance to the social solvents which range from the collectivism that professes to seek the fulfilment of its aims by constitutional means alone, to anarchy of the most irrational and malignant type.

"On the other hand, no Protestant denomination has yet taken an unequivocal position with regard to the contest between socialism and individualism. Not even in Germany have the so-called Christian Socialists, among whom Chaplain Stocker has been so conspicuous, received any official rebuke from the Lutheran and Evangelical churches. Although, too, we might deem it probable that most of the Protestant sects will be eventually enlisted among the protective forces of society, yet, as Mr. Robinson points out, there can be nothing simultaneous, coherent, and effectual in their action, owing to their innumerable subdivisions and their traditional dissensions. The moral support, then, which is indispensable to the retention of material power by the defenders of the existing order, must come principally from the Church of Rome. In a word, it is not liberalism, as Gambetta thought, but socialism that may see in Catholicism its chief enemy.

"Mr. Robinson does not fail to note the striking change in the attitude of European statesmen toward the Catholic [R1785 : page 69] Church, since they have begun to apprehend the approach of a revolutionary epoch. Crispi in Italy and Castelar in Spain have publicly acknowledged the necessity of securing the cooperation of Catholicism, if the politico-social fabric reared on parliamentary institutions and the individual right of property is to be upheld. The Opportunists, who formerly were the most implacable assailants of the Catholic Church in France, are now disposed to welcome the conciliatory overtures of Leo XIII. and to form a species of alliance with the so-called "rallied" Republicans. In the Reichstag only the other day a bill permitting the Jesuits to resume educational functions in Germany was passed for the second time; and, should it now be sanctioned by the Bundesrath, the last vestige of the Falk legislation, aimed against Catholics, will have disappeared. These incidents are indications of a general awakening to the magnitude of the service which the Catholic Church may render, should the existing social system be seriously threatened."

New York Sun.

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Protestants are rapidly preparing for federative union and to take a hand in protecting both the good and the bad of the present social structure. The world, especially the rich and aristocratic class, is turning to the great religious systems for help. And religious people generally are and will more and more be inclined to assist, because they clearly see that the wreck of society would be a general calamity to the poor as well as to the rich; and because they believe that it would greatly retard mission work for the conversion of the world – which they think to be their special commission; and all this because they do not recognize the times in which we are living. As with the Jews in the end of their age, they "know not the time of their visitation." They know not that the Lord's time has come for the transfer of the control of earth from the princes and kings of the earth (and especially from the great Prince of this world, who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience – 1 Thes. 5:2-4; 2 Pet. 3:10) to the control of Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, "whose right it is."

"But ye [faithful, watching], brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief" – although it will come upon all others as a thief and a snare. – 1 Thes. 5:1-5.

Although you are powerless to rectify the evils of the present social order, while numbers and power and influence uphold it, you are waiting for God to do this according to his promise, and not in vain you pray continually, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is [done] in heaven." You know, too, that the conversion of the world under present conditions is hopeless, and you are waiting for the King of glory to take full possession and to bless all the families of the earth with the knowledge of the Lord, which shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep.

While your influence must always be for godliness, for contentment and for peace, yet you may sustain your hearts and the hearts of others with the Lord's promises of deliverance. And even though the trouble be severe, "such as was not since there was a nation," you need fear no evil; for the Lord is the refuge and habitation of his people, and for them all things shall work together for good. Your hearts are sustained by such promises and by the prospect of the glory and blessing of the Millennial age which will be thus introduced by –

"The signs and groanings promised
To precede a second birth."

"Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather [all] the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy [justice, anger]. For then [following this great trouble, upon the ruins of present systems, I, the God of heaven, will set up my kingdom and] I will turn unto the people a pure language [the unadulterated truth], that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent." – Zeph. 3:8,9.

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Evidently Protestants are feeling the jibes of the world, that their forces are too scattered to be of much avail in the coming "battle of the great day of God Almighty." In evidence note the following items.

EX-PROTESTANTS WORKING FOR CHURCH UNITY.

"The Rev. Dr. Lunn, editor of The Review of the Churches, London, England, and President of the Grindewald Conference, has returned to the Murray Hill Hotel, after conducting a most successful series of meetings in Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

"In several of these cities the recommendation of the Grindewald Conference, that Whit Sunday in each year should be observed as a day of special prayer for unity, and as the occasion for each preacher to give a sermon dealing with the good qualities of some denomination other than his own, has been enthusiastically adopted.

"The ministers of Chicago, Washington and Baltimore all unanimously agreed to observe Whit Sunday in this manner, and in Washington an interdenominational association has been founded as the result of Dr. Lunn's visit.

"Dr. Lunn will address a meeting of ministers, and laymen on 'English Movements Toward Christian Unity.'"

N. Y. Times.

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"The Ram's Horn, of Chicago, has offered a prize, $100 in gold, to anyone who presents the best plan and creed to unite the churches of Christendom. It is specified that the plan of organization or government or federation shall not exceed 500 words, and that the statement of creed (which may be in the language of Scripture) shall not exceed [R1786 : page 69] 500 words. A preliminary examination will select the best twelve papers, which will be referred for final award to a committee composed of John Henry Barrows, D.D., LL.D., George Dana Boardman D.D., LL.D., Bishop Samuel Fallows, Bishop John H. Vincent and Joseph Cook."

"Say ye not, a confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, a confederacy."* [R1786 : page 70]

THE JEWISH VIEW.

The movement in New York City for the conversion of the Jews is at present principally represented in the mission work of the converted Jew, Hermann Warszawiak. Considerable progress has been made of late, and now it has been decided to erect a building specially suited to the needs of the work. It will be called, "The Christ's Synagogue," and will have a separate entrance to, and special apartments for, a Jewish Missionary Training School. A library, a gymnasium, etc., will add to its attractions for the younger Hebrews.

We rejoice in every good work, including such efforts to turn away blindness from Israel. And this, as we have elsewhere shown, is due to come about when the Gospel Church has been completed. But we would rather see them remain "blind," than see them deluded into the no-ransom views of Antichrist. We know not what gospel Mr. Warszawiak is preaching, but we trust that it is the old theology, of which the cross of Christ is the center. With the Jewish mind in its present skeptical state, it would be no difficult thing to lead many of them to acknowledge pseudo-Christianity. Many will admit that the great Jew, Jesus, whose name is claimed and whose character and teachings are generally reverenced if not obeyed throughout Christendom, was a martyr to Jewish prejudices, etc., if only you do not make it a condition that he shall believe that this Jesus died for the sins of the Jews and the whole world. There "the offense of the cross," mentioned by the Apostle, comes in. Leave out the cross, the ransom, and many Jews are ready thus to join in what we may be excused for calling, "Christian Infidelity."

But by and by, as soon as the Gospel Church, the Bride, has been selected, the true gospel will be preached with demonstration to the whole world, and again it will be "to the Jew first;" and then, through the Jews, to others of the world – the gospel that in Christ the sin-offering types of the Jewish law have their fulfilment, and that in Christ the promises to Abraham must all be fulfilled. (Gal. 3:16,29.) This is the gospel that must ultimately open the eyes of the "blind." – Rom. 11:25-31; Isa. 29:18; 35:5; 42:7,16.

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Urging Jewish scholars to study the New Testament, the Jewish Messenger says: –

"The subject should receive more attention than it does in our seminaries; the day is past to regard it as dangerous. We Jews have no right to be so self-satisfied as to refuse new light, if it be good and wholesome, from any source. Perhaps Judaism as it is in the lives of the great mass of us would have more depth, beauty, and spirituality if we did not shut ourselves in an intellectual ghetto and call that process loyalty to religion."

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Miss Barlee, who has been connected with the London Jews' Society in Jerusalem for about ten years, thus describes the changes which have taken place during her residence there: –

"Innumerable houses have been built outside the city walls, and new colonies formed. Rows of new houses are to be seen in places where, when I first came, I used to pick wild flowers among the rocks and stones. Progress is written upon everything. The Jaffa Railway, now an established thing, ceases to be an object of wonder to the native population; new lines will soon be open in other parts of the country; a boat now crosses the Dead Sea, and lately I received a letter from Kerak in Moab, where postal communication with Jerusalem has been established. In Jerusalem itself, civilization has made rapid strides, carriages of every description are now flying to and fro in the different new roads. It would seem that the Lord's time to favor Zion is at hand."

SOME BETTER THINGS.

Though wintry wind the yellow leaf displaceth,
For Spring's sweet harbingers it maketh room;
Ere long the tender bud the forest graceth,
New verdure waketh from old Nature's tomb.

The snowy blossom from the orchard fadeth,
'Tis then the earnest of fair fruit we find;
Though morning mist the landscape overshadeth,
The sunlit mountain-peaks are just behind.

Lo, in the crimson West the glory dieth,
And from his throne Day's monarch hath withdrawn!
Herein the promise of the sunrise lieth –
Already we are waiting for the dawn.

O heart bereaved, some better thing remaineth,
Though God should seem thy treasures to remove;
Some better thing his gracious hand retaineth,
He will not fail the children of his love.

Some better thing! Thy life-joy all departed –
Its glory trailing sadly in the dust;
O cleave to Him, – the Savior tender-hearted;
Thou canst not understand, but thou canst trust.

Perchance he leads to depths of self-abasement,
And storms awake, and billows round thee roll.
Give thanks! Contrition is the open casement
Through which the Dove of Peace shall reach thy soul.

O patient heart, thy best, thy brightest bringing,
With full consent upon His altar lay!
Some fair new blessing even now is winging,
All unobserved, its sure and noiseless way.

Thy purpose crossed, each sunny prospect clouded,
Still to His changeless promise learn to cling.
Although His plan may be in darkness shrouded,
Jehovah hath reserved some better thing!
Lucy A. Bennett.

[R1786 : page 71]

THE MEMORIAL SUPPER.

WITH Christians generally it is customary to celebrate Good Friday as a memorial of our Lord's death, and Easter Sunday as a remembrancer of his resurrection. But with the early Church every Sunday was a remembrancer of our Lord's resurrection, while his death, symbolized in the Last Supper eaten the evening before the crucifixion, but "in the same day," was celebrated annually, as the antitype of the killing of the Jewish Passover lamb, – on the fourteenth day of the first month, lunar time, as reckoned by the Hebrews. Desiring to return to the "old paths," many WATCH TOWER readers, in every quarter of the world, adopt and practice this custom of the Primitive Church. Its appropriateness is beyond question even by those who for one reason or another have seen fit to adopt more modern customs and to celebrate it quarterly or monthly or weekly or daily, – according to human judgment, caprice or theory.

Only two of these theories claim Scriptural authority, and they alone, therefore, require answer.

(1) Those who hold that the Lord's death should be commemorated daily have no other argument than that the Apostle declared, "As often as ye do this ye do show forth the Lord's death until he come." They forget that three or four times a day or even hourly would be more "often," and therefore more proper, according to their definition of this word "often." The fact is that the stress lay upon the words "do this," as our Lord said, – "This do ye, as oft as ye drink it [annually], in remembrance of me." (1 Cor. 11:25.) The Lord's disciples as Jews were accustomed to the killing and eating of the Paschal lamb, at a specified time annually, and our Lord wished that henceforth they should recognize him as the antitype of that lamb, – his death as the antitype of its death and the passing over, or justification from death to life, of the Church of the Firstborn (Heb. 12:23) as the antitype of the sparing of the firstborn of Egypt.

To "do this," – i.e., to celebrate the Passover, – was the command of the Law to the Jew; but our Lord in setting his followers free from the Law Covenant and accepting them under the New Covenant did not command them to "do this," nor to do anything but "love," – which he declared to be the fulfilling of his law of the New Covenant. But he did say, "As oft as ye do this [yearly – never oftener, [R1787 : page 71] and never less often did the Jews celebrate their Passover], do it [henceforth, not in remembrance of the typical Passover and the typical lamb slain and eaten, but] in remembrance of me," – "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world," by whose death and blood of sprinkling you are passed over, from death unto life, and by the eating of whose flesh (figuratively speaking) ye shall obtain strength for the journey out of the Kingdom of darkness, sin and oppression, the dominion of Satan (typified by Pharaoh) to the heavenly Canaan under the lead of the Lord's Anointed, whom Moses and Joshua typified.

(2) Those who celebrate the Lord's death every Sunday well know that more appropriately that day commemorates the reverse idea, – the resurrection of our Lord from death; but they think that they find justification of their course in the "breaking of bread" every first day of the week, practiced by the early Church. But they hastily draw a wrong inference: those "breakings of bread" were only ordinary lunches or "love-feasts" eaten for a double purpose – to satisfy hunger, but apparently, specially, because they met on that day to celebrate the Lord's resurrection; – because it was in the "breaking of bread" that he had twice made himself known to them on that notable day when his communion and expounding of the Scriptures had driven away their fears and enkindled hope and caused their hearts to burn within them with the hope that maketh not ashamed. (Luke 24:32; Rom. 5:5.) It was in connection with the eating of natural food that twice again before his ascension, our Lord made himself known to the disciples and instructed and refreshed them, and probably both were on the first day of the week. – John 20:26; 21:13.

Is it any wonder, then, that the early Church formed the habit of gathering every first day of the week to commune with the Lord in spirit; and is it any wonder that they repeated the "breaking of bread" and any other features that would keep vividly before their minds the scenes and thoughts of their first experience and heart-burning? It is not surprising. But that had nothing whatever to do with the annual Passover, which to the early Christians took on a fresh importance, because "Christ our Passover" had been slain. (1 Cor. 5:7,8.) Christ our Passover represented his sacrifice by both bread and wine, as symbols of his flesh and his blood; but the accounts of the love-feast or "breaking of bread" make no mention of the wine, – and not the slightest hint that these were meant to commemorate the sufferings and death of our Lord, the Head, and the Church, which is his body.

But we, as Christians, do not celebrate the Jewish Passover and its deliverance from Egypt, nor do we kill and eat the typical lamb. With the Jews the lamb, its selection on the 10th day of the month and its killing on the 14th day were separate from the Passover festival, which began on the 15th and lasted for a week. The Jews celebrate specially the festival: we memorialize the death of the great Lamb of God, and understand the Jewish seven days festival to be only typical of the complete and everlasting joy resulting from our present eating of our Lamb with the bitter herbs of persecution during this Gospel night, waiting for deliverance early in the Millennial morning. Surely when the blindness of fleshly Israel begins to turn away, nothing will appeal to them more forcibly than that Christ is the antitype of the Passover lamb, and that the blessings flowing from his death are the antitypes of the Passover blessings. [R1787 : page 72]

We follow the Jewish method of reckoning the date – the same that our Lord and the Primitive Church followed – and it is very simple. The Jewish (ecclesiastical) year begins in the Spring, – with the first appearance of the new moon after the Spring equinox. There they begin to count their month. This year the new moon of Spring will appear on the 26th of March, and consequently the fourteenth day of the first month will be April 8th. But as in the Hebrew reckoning the day begins at six o'clock of the preceding day, it follows that the fourteenth of Nisan will begin at six P.M., Sunday, April 7th. About 8 o'clock on that evening, therefore, would be the anniversary of the Lord's Supper.

At this hour, in accordance with our usual custom, the Church at Allegheny will celebrate the memorial of the greatest transaction upon the pages of history; – the transaction which means so much to all who trust in the ransom given once for all, but which has so little meaning to others. No arrangement is made for a convention or general gathering at the time; but friends passing through the city are always welcome. The same course is recommended to the scattered ones of like mind everywhere: that they meet with brethren residing near them, and celebrate with as nearly as possible the simplicity of the model given us by our Lord over eighteen centuries ago.

Let us each call to mind that the bread and wine not only symbolize our Lord's sacrifice on our behalf, but also that as his Body or Church we are members of the one loaf now being broken for others; – that thus we are to share with our Lord in sacrifice, and by and by share also his glory – "If so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together." – Rom. 8:17.

[R1787 : page 72]

"COME, MY PEOPLE."

"Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." – Isa. 26:20.
T
HERE is an affectionate tenderness about these words of our Heavenly Father which helps us to realize his great love for his people, and his special care over them. Through his prophet, taking the standpoint of the end of this age, he is forewarning us of a great time of trouble which is just imminent (verses 5,6,21) – "a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation," when the whole present order of things, civil, social and religious, shall be swept with the besom of destruction. Yet in the midst of it all he would have his people in rest and peace in him, as saith the prophet, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." – Verses 3,4.

And again the Lord had another of his prophets put into our mouths those beautiful words of trust and confidence – "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth [the present social order] be removed, and though the mountains [governments] be carried into the midst of the sea [overthrown by the turbulent sea of world-wide anarchy]; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swellings thereof.... The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge." (Psa. 46.) Surely, "like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." – Psa. 103:13.

But while appreciating very gratefully this special love and care for us as his people, in the comfort, encouragement and protection afforded us by our Heavenly Father in the midst of the world's great tribulation, we would come far short of having his spirit if we should regard the matter with self-complacency, forgetful of his great love for the whole world also, which, vailed behind the clouds of his righteous indignation against their sins, in wisdom strikes the heavy blow which will shatter all their idols and humble their pride in the dust, that so the sore wounds of his wrath may prepare for their everlasting healing. If God so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son, "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish [eternally], but have everlasting life," he loves them still, and it is his love that wields the rod for their correction. So also would he have his people regard his judgments, and while rejoicing in the sunshine of his favor, because by faith and obedience they have come into an attitude which can receive it, he would have them share his spirit towards the world; and while the blows of his righteous indignation fall heavily upon them, he would have us point them to the cause of their calamities and to the only remedy – "In returning [to God] and rest [in him alone] shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength." "Be still," saith the Lord, "and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." – Isa. 30:15; Psa. 46:10.

But who are those whom the Lord is pleased to designate by the endearing name, "My people?" Does this class include every one upon whom his name is named? No, for that would include a great number of false professors. As the Psalmist expresses it, it includes all those who have made a covenant with God by sacrifice (Psa. 50:5) – all the consecrated and faithful children of God, however young or weak they may be, whose hearts are fixed firmly and resolutely to be true loyal and obedient children by his assisting grace.

To be numbered among the people of God is a very great privilege; but it means much more than many seem to understand – much more both on their part, and on [R1788 : page 72] God's part. On their part, it signifies, not merely a name to live, in some great organization which bears the Christian [R1788 : page 73] name, but that they have become sons and heirs of God through Christ, that they have fully consecrated themselves to God to follow in the footsteps of his dear Son, that they have renounced the vain pomp and glory of the world and have solemnly covenanted to live apart from its spirit, ambitions, hopes and aims; and not only so, but that, in pursuance of that covenant, they are striving daily to be faithful, and meekly to take up their cross and follow their leader and head, Christ Jesus.

On God's part it signifies the fulfilment of all his gracious promises to such through Christ, both for the life that now is, and for that which is to come. It signifies that in the present life we have his fatherly love, care, discipline, counsel, teaching, protection and encouragement to the end, and that afterwards we shall be received into his glorious presence and everlasting rest and joy and peace. Oh, how blessed to be the people of God! even in the present life the reward of his favor is beyond computation. Through all the age God has permitted his people to be scattered as sheep in the midst of wolves, and as wheat in the midst of tares; but now the harvest of the age is come, and their gathering together unto him is due. They have been growing in the midst of that great organization, the nominal Christian church, which God calls Babylon (confusion), but which men call Christendom (Christ's Kingdom). Upon this great system which has appropriated the name of Christ while misrepresenting his teaching and his spirit (although in possession of his Word of truth and of many advantages of precept and example from his saints so long permitted to dwell in her midst), God is about to pour his indignation, which will involve the whole world with it; but before doing so, he forewarns his people to come out of her (Babylon), that they be not partakers of her sins, and that they receive not of her plagues. (Rev. 18:4.) But while calling them thus to come out of Babylon, he calls them also to come into another place, or condition rather – "Enter thou into thy chambers and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself...until the indignation be overpast."

The place of hiding is the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psa. 91:1-9.) This secret place of the Most High, Beloved, is the place of intimate communion and fellowship with God, through the blessed privilege of prayer and through faith in his precious Word and his promised providential care.

"When all around our souls give way,
He then is all our hope and stay."

Oh, how precious is this hiding place! What rest and refreshment we find in the midst of the commotion that is even now bestirring the whole world, but especially the nations of Christendom – rest from the pride and folly of man in their abortive efforts to readjust the present unsatisfactory social order; and rest from the strife of tongues in an equally vain attempt to evolve the clear principles of truth and righteousness from the present confusion of human traditions. (Psa. 31:20.) Here we find rest, peace, light and joy, which the world can neither give nor take away.

Few indeed are those who can understand our motives in thus withdrawing from the world and from the various organizations of the nominal Christian church to walk alone with God; and many are the reproaches which such must endure for his name's sake. But fear not; "shut thy doors [of faith] about thee," and heed not the reproaches; turn a deaf ear to them, and "Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread" (Isa. 8:13); and, "Above all, take [for the conflict before you] the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."

It is well, especially in this time of greatest need, that the Lord's people should consider the value of this portion of the Christian's armor, and that the doors of their faith should thoroughly shut them in to the secret place of the Most High. When the reproaches fall thick and fast, when they are told that they have left the faith and gone after fables, that they have incurred the Lord's displeasure, and that their sufferings for Christ's sake are the penalties they deserve, when their names are cast out as evil and they are separated from the company of those whom they have long regarded as the Lord's people, because they bear his name, ah, then is the time for firmly grasping the shield of faith and for adopting the triumphant language of the Psalmist:

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?...Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident....In time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me: he shall set me upon a rock....When my father and my mother [my most trusted human friends] forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." – Psa. 27:1,3,5,10; 23:1,4; also 56:4.

It is to inspire such a faith as this that the Lord has offered us, in addition to all his precious promises, so many encouragements to simple, childlike trust in him, and that he has bidden us turn a deaf ear to the reproaches of men, saying – "Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings....I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man that shall be made as grass, and forgettest the Lord, thy Maker, that has stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and hast feared continually every day, because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy?...I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens [establish the new heavens], and lay the foundations of the earth [the new earth], and [R1788 : page 74] say unto Zion [the people tried and proved by these afflictions to be the worthy heirs of the new Kingdom – the new heavens and earth], Thou art my people."Isa. 51:7,12,13,16.

What condescension on the part of the Almighty to thus consider our weakness when the darts of the enemy wound our hearts, and to pour in the balm of his consolation. He would not have one of his children whom Christ has made free to come again under the bondage of "the fear of man which bringeth a snare." (Prov. 29:25.) He would have every man in Christ realize his liberty from sin and superstition and his solemn accountability to God for all his thoughts and words and doings. – "Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread."

Just here the words of the Apostle Paul (1 Thes. 5:21; Gal. 6:4) are worthy of special notice – "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good," and "Let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another." Thus every individual in Christ is reminded of his own personal responsibility in matters of faith and conduct. Not until he has proved what is truth and righteousness, accepting the Word of God as the only standard of authority, is it proper to take a resolute stand; but, having proved "what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God," nothing should be able to unsettle his faith or turn him from the line of duty, and no fear of man should bring him again into the snare of bondage to superstition or human traditions or opinions of others. If each individual prove his own work – his faith in the doctrines and his conduct in life – by the square and compass of God's Word, "then shall he have rejoicing in himself and not in another" – i.e., his faith, no matter through what privileged human agent or agency it may have been received, will be so established by the Word of the Lord that it will be his own, and in no sense dependent upon another.

It was the neglect of this principle, of the right and duty of the individual judgment in proving all things by the inspired Word, that brought upon the Church the snare of the great apostacy, which set up infamous popes to dictate in matters of faith and conduct and subvert the consciences of men. Let us remember the command, "Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread." Let us fear and dread to displease him; let us see to it that we know and love righteousness and that we have the law of God, not in our heads only, but also in our hearts, for so shall we ever find acceptance with him; and to such, who in faith continually rely upon the Lord, who go forth, strong in the strength which he supplies through faith, to do valiant service for truth and righteousness, comes also the blessed assurance, "Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."

While the storm of trouble that is to engulf the whole world will affect all men, both individually and collectively, the Lord's people, who seek only to draw yet closer to him, entering more fully into the secret place of communion and fellowship and rest in him, and shutting the doors of faith about them, will there be safely hidden from the alarm and fear and trembling that will take hold upon all other classes; and while they patiently endure its effects upon their temporal interests, they will rejoice not only in the knowledge of God's overruling providence, in the whirlwind and in the storm as well as in the calms of life, but also in his blessed assurance that his wrath will be thus revealed only "for a little moment," and then will his righteous Kingdom be manifested in power and great glory, and they shall shine forth as the sun.

"Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." Oh blessed invitation! Lord, we will trust in the covert of thy wings.

[R1789 : page 74]

LOVE THE ESSENCE OF DIVINE LAW.
– MARCH 24, ROM. 13:8-14. –

Golden Text – "Abstain from all appearance of evil." – 1 Thes. 5:22.
V
ERSES 8-10
need no comment. The truth of the statement, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law," is obvious to all. Love delights to bless, and against its pure and benevolent instincts there is no law. It recognizes the rights and liberties and proper relationship to God and fellow men of every individual, and in no sense interferes with those inalienable privileges of any of God's intelligent creatures; but rather delights in the largest development and most rapid progress of every individual. It is noble, generous, free, frank, unselfish, kind, tender-hearted, pitiful, helpful and true.

This noble benevolence, Paul says, we owe to every man. – "Owe no man any thing but to love one another." This debt we owe, not only to our brethren in Christ, but also to our brethren of the human family. Originally God created man in his own image, and though that image has been sadly defaced in all, he has planned to restore it, and himself so loved the world, even while they were yet sinners, that he redeemed them at great cost. And if God so loved the world, then we also should love them with the same benevolence, kindness and tender compassion; and if we love God and have our hearts filled with his spirit we will delight to do so.

Verses 11-13 remind us of the near approach of the day of Christ when virtue will meet its just reward, and when sin and selfishness will be exposed in all their horrid deformity. Therefore, the Apostle urges, we should put on the armor of light, that we may stand approved in that day.

Verse 14. Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ – put on his loving, generous, noble, pure spirit: study and copy his life, which was an illustration of the perfect law of God; [R1789 : page 75] and, while so doing, ignore so completely the desires of the old nature as to make no provision for fulfilling them, thus manifesting the singleness and fixedness of the purpose to follow him.

The Golden Text is a plain and timely precept to all who would live godly – "Abstain from all appearance of evil." It would not be consistent with righteousness to do otherwise than abstain from the appearance of evil, as well as from the evil itself. If we love righteousness and hate iniquity we will hate the very appearance of evil ourselves, and will shun the appearance as we would shun the thing itself. We will shun it, not only because we desire to have others think well of us, but because we love purity and delight in moral excellence. [R1789 : page 75]

REVIEW.
– MARCH 31. –

Golden Text – "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me." – Matt. 11:29.

We trust that all our readers who have been studiously pursuing the lessons of this quarter have indeed taken upon them the yoke of Christ, and that they have been learning of him, not only in an intellectual way, but also through the medium of the heart. Not until we have taken the Lord into our daily life as our living, personal companion and confidential friend and counselor and comforter and guide, as well as our Redeemer and Lord, can we fully learn of him those precious lessons which give to his disciples a joy which the world can neither give nor take away.

May this intimate communion and fellowship with Christ impart to us each more and more of his own spirit, so that the world may take knowledge of us, as they have of others (Acts 4:13), that we have been with Jesus; and let the prayer of each be,

"Lord Jesus, make thyself to me
A living, bright reality!
More real to faith's vision keen,
Than any earthly object seen;
More dear, more intimately nigh,
Than e'en the sweetest earthly tie."

[R1789 : page 75]

ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS.

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – We had for our lesson last Sunday, "On Trial for Life." Can it be possible that if I do not attain the high calling, I shall die the Second Death? I had always supposed that if I failed to attain the prize of the high calling I would get the spirit nature; that is, so long as I remained under the ransom. Is there not a second prize, or is there no other life for us?

[In reply we refer the brother to the TOWER for July 1, '94, "The Prize set Before Us." – ED.]

My life has not always been an overcoming one, in the warfare between the new and the old natures; and I have had no assurance that I would attain the reward of the high calling; but I did receive some comfort from the thought that I would be with the "great company;" and now you have taken that from me. But though I have not always walked as obeying the high calling, I do love the dear Lord with all my heart and love his truth and all his saints, and would give my life for any of them; yet for all that I have not assurance that the dear Lord would give it me, and it would be too bad, after serving the Lord for so many years, to be at last a castaway. The thought makes my heart fail within me, and I have again covenanted with the Lord that with his help I will be a better man, and I have resolved to live nearer the fountain of divine grace and to pray without ceasing. Pray for us here, as a church. We all feel a desire, as never before, for a more consecrated life and to walk in the spirit. We will all be more careful to walk in the narrow way. Your Brother, ADOLPH FOYEN.

[REPLY. – You have correctly understood the article in question. The human nature once consecrated to the Lord a sacrifice – exchanged by his grace for the new nature, the spiritual, – is gone from our grasp entirely and forever. Whatever life we gain thereafter must be spiritual life or none. Hence the Lord and the apostles always present the matter as a race for life, and declare that the gospel is to us, either "a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death;" and speak of those who draw back, not as drawing back to an earthly hope of restitution, but as drawing back unto perdition – destruction.

But our Heavenly Father's plan has so safeguarded us that none will be total failures here, except those who would also fail of life there, – in the Millennium. While the way to joint-heirship is very "narrow," as the prize to be gained is very valuable, yet the Lord's provision for the "great company" of the consecrated, who fail as "overcomers," his arrangement for their special scourging as sons and for bringing them through great tribulation for the "destruction of the flesh" which they did not overcome and "sacrifice" as they had covenanted to do, will be so complete that all who would be worthy of life at all will be purified and made white and tried, and be "saved so as by fire," though their works shall suffer loss – the loss of the great prize of joint-heirship with Christ. See the letters and answers in last issue. See also again the article to which you refer and one in our issue of Feb. 15th – "The King's Highway;" also, "The Scape Goat Class" in TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF BETTER SACRIFICES, pp. 59-63.

These are good resolutions, dear Brethren: Any who run for anything less than the great prize of our high calling are making a great mistake. God's way is not only the best in the end, but the best all the way to the end. Those who, though loving the Lord and righteousness, cling to the desires of the world and the flesh, and endeavor to drag these along in the race, are never satisfactory to the Lord nor to themselves. And they find "the destruction of the flesh" a much more severe ordeal than its "sacrifice" would have been; for the Lord's smile is upon those who joyfully sacrifice what they can in [R1790 : page 75] his service. Go on, dear Brethren, the King is your Brother as well as your Lord, and his "grace is sufficient for you." He says, Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Faithfulness means to the extent of your ability: and none of us should expect to be owned at all of the Lord unless willing to do according to our [R1790 : page 76] ability in his service. The love of Christ constraineth us to do no less than this.]

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Your kind favor of the 14th ult. with letter of Bro. Green came duly and was read with much interest.

Relative to meetings to be held at Carroll: It will give me pleasure to lead them whenever I can, and I have so informed Bro. Goodbury. Bro. Allport is also desirous that I should start a class at W__________.

Enclosed please find check to cover our "Good Hopes," also twenty-five subscriptions to ZION'S WATCH TOWER.

During last year a considerable number of tracts (No. 12) were distributed at church doors on Sunday mornings, and we have reason to believe that some good has been accomplished. As a consequence a number of DAWNS have already been sold. Our meetings have also been held regularly. The attendance has been good, sometimes as high as twenty.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous year, I am your fellow-servant and brother in the truth,

H. N. RAHN.

page 76

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: We have had another splendid meeting to-day, although the number present, owing to bad weather, was not so large as usual. Yet all who did come seemed to feel the power and presence of the Lord, and held sweet communion with him and with one another. There is one brother, who is now a regular attendant, in whom I feel a great interest. He is sixty years old or more. Many years ago he read himself out of orthodoxy and withdrew from the Lutheran church, finally becoming an atheist, then a spiritualist of the most pronounced type, which belief he has held for a number of years.

About a year since, I loaned him DAWN, but he did not get much interested until two months ago. He has now read all three volumes, the first volume three or four times, and says that after reading many systems of theology this comes the nearest "holding water" of any of them. He used to be a great Bible reader; but believing that the churches were the authorized exponents of Bible doctrine, and seeing their sham and hollowness, he turned his back on it all, despaired of ever getting any satisfaction out of it, and latterly seemed to take delight in fighting the Bible and was looked upon as a great blasphemer.

Now that he sees the harmony of God's great plan, he says, "I thought I had been fighting the Bible all these years, but I see now, that I have been fighting the hypocrites and liars instead." How many honest skeptics are doing the same thing to-day. Our old brother has given up his spiritualism and is as teachable as a child. In this particular, at least, the truth has wrought a complete change in him. He wants the TOWER.

Yours in our dear Redeemer,

C. A. OWEN.

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL AND WIFE: – Your last communication to me was in answer to an inquiry as to whether a person who had read the DAWNS and accepted their teaching as the plan of God, but who because of his inevitable surroundings could not see his way clear to accept and run for the high calling, would have an opportunity for the earthly phase of the Kingdom. I need not restate your answer. You know what it would be.

As you know I have been a reader of the TOWER since '92, and have never had a doubt as to the correctness of your interpretation of God's plan; but it pointed out the way so narrow and difficult, that I thought that with the responsibilities of a large family and some other difficulties, I could never attain the end. Hence I was really making no effort in that direction (a delusion of the enemy of all souls). Your answer to my inquiry, and the coming of Brother Bohnet about the same time, showed me that the very things I had supposed to be insurmountable obstacles were perhaps the very things I needed to fit me for the Kingdom honors. Hence I am determined to run for the prize, notwithstanding I know I still have much to overcome. But the Lord has promised to be with me in six troubles and will not leave nor forsake me in the seventh. Praise his dear name for ever! I am so glad, too, to accept him as my substitute; for it is only in and through his imputed righteousness that I can hope to stand.

In conclusion will say, pray for our little number here, that the very God of peace may sanctify us wholly, and keep us against the evil day. May God bless you and spare you long to give meat in due season is my prayer.

H. C. ROGERS.

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I desire to congratulate you on the beautiful "new dress" of the WATCH TOWER: it is very striking. How firm a foundation the tower stands upon, while those waves and storms beat upon it. The entire design is excellent.

Regarding contribution to the Tract Fund the coming year: if prospered, count on me for as much as heretofore – more if I can make it so.

With love to yourself and Sister Russell, – in Christ,

Your brother,

J. H. BROWN.

[R1790 : page 76]

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – In reading the article in TOWER for Feb. 1, on "Seeking Fellowship with Rome," I am reminded of an editorial in the N.Y. Evangelist, Jan. 31, which shows how the contagion is spreading amongst all the "daughters" who seem to be developing so much "love" for the old "mother." The editorial in question was upon the Pope's recent American Encyclical. Among other good words for the "old mother," the Editor says:

"There is neither weakness nor corruption in St. Peter's chair to-day, and there is much of wisdom, much we may be glad to recognize without any disparagement to Protestant principles, which is worthy of respect. Why should we not rejoice if the prospect is that, by virtue of this necessity to accommodate itself to the American spirit and American institutions, such a change may be brought about in the ancient church as may be tantamount to an internal, if not an external reformation? The church of Rome, with all its faults and all its errors, is a part of Christ's Church. It has done a glorious work, in some periods of the world's history. We should not be Christians if we did not hope that it may yet have a glorious work to do."

I have underscored some of the most notable words. How it must make the "faithful" smile to read these words of love – especially when they recall those "glorious periods" past, – the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Massacre of Bartholomew, the slaughter of the Hugenots and Waldenses, the fires of Smithfield, and all the other "glorious periods" when noble men and women were horribly tortured and put to death, simply because they loved God and his Word of truth!

How clearly passing events in the "ecclesiastical heavens" go to show the truth of our view of God's plan, – that he has "spewed" the systems – Babylon – out of his mouth. Truly the "voice of the Bridegroom and the Bride is heard no more in her." They "know not the time of their visitation."

With Christian love, yours,

J. A. MITCHELL.