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November 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. XVII.NOVEMBER 1, 1896.No. 21.
CONTENTS.

Special Items 254
View from the Tower 255
Poem: Cowper's View of Restitution Glory 257
The Authority of Divine Truth 257
"He Giveth Quietness" 259
Questions of General Interest 260
God's Blessing Upon Solomon 261
Rewards of Obedience 262
Encouraging Letters 264

'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 254

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.

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WHAT SAY THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT HELL?
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TABERNACLE SHADOWS.

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POEMS AND HYMNS OF DAWN.

This volume contains a very choice selection of 150 Poems and 333 Hymns, purged, we trust, from much of the too common, erroneous, hymn-book theology: 494 pages, good print, cloth binding only. It is the Gospel of the Kingdom in verse, by the pens of many of God's dear saints of all centuries. It is a companion to MILLENNIAL DAWN, and sells at the same price as the cloth-bound volumes. It is designed to lead the mind aright in meditation and worship.

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[R2056 : page 255]

VIEW FROM THE TOWER.

WE are asked to give some expression on the "Eastern Question" – the persecution of Armenian Christians, etc., over which the civilized world has for some time been agitated. We have avoided the topic hitherto because we have seen nothing therein specially related to prophecy; and because we aim to review only such features of worldly news as are directly or indirectly related to prophecy.

By many students of prophecy (especially Second Adventists) Turkey's extinction has long been looked for as the great event incident to the collapse of the present order of things: it has been expected and predicted repeatedly during the past fifty years. Every commotion in Turkey revives these expectations in the minds of some.

Our chief interest in Turkey centers in the fact that she holds control of Palestine and at present does not permit its re-settlement by Jews. This embargo must be broken before the severity of the great time of trouble, to permit the return of great numbers of Jews, and with considerable wealth, out of all nations. (Ezek. 38:8-12-16.) This seems to us to indicate that Palestine will be released from Turkish oppression and that the Jews will be persecuted and driven out of various countries before the great climax of trouble; and hence our expectation is a further dismemberment of Turkey, shortly, and not an immediate general European war.

That Turkey occupies an important place in European politics is very true and very apparent; and that the settlement of her affairs is likely eventually to involve serious consequences to the peace of Europe and the general "balance of power" is also evident. But, expecting that the crisis of this world's affairs will not be reached before 1910, we are not looking for anything phenomenal in or from Turkey, at present. Whatever, therefore, may be done by the European powers to restore order and to protect the Armenians, it will not, we believe, immediately involve Europe in the much feared general war.

The true situation is understood by few except the statesmen of Europe, and their patriotism, as well as the proprieties of their positions, prevent them explaining the true situation to the people. Indeed, the British are the only people whose rulers need to, or do, take the sentiments of the people much into account; and the British public are controlled, more than they are generally aware, through the leading journals. Diplomatic and financial questions are admittedly abstruse; even great journals take their theories and policies from a very few leaders of thought; and public sentiment is "waked up" for effect, or "quieted," according to the exigencies of the case as seen by the leaders to be valuable or injurious to their foreign policy.

European national politics are like a game of chess in which each nation is a player for its own interests, which, if not directly involved in the present move, would at least be affected by it and involved in the next move. To the casual observer Turkey is an effete, rotten, semi-barbarous kingdom in whose destruction all civilized nations should rejoice. But statesmen look beyond and ask, What shall be instead of Turkey? If the land could be submerged and made part of the sea it would solve the difficulty. But as this cannot be [R2056 : page 256] done, some other government must take the place of the Ottoman. The people of Turkey are not superior to their present government, and a republic would be impossible; – it would also be objectionable to autocracy. But a government of some kind it must have; and that is the difficult problem with statesmen; for the governments they represent have conflicting ideas and selfish interests to be served.

For many years Russia has coveted Turkey – particularly because of its remarkable seaport at Constantinople; which probably is the finest in the world. But Great Britain and all the powers of Europe have for years feared their great Northeastern neighbor under autocratic sway, and have been more or less anxious to cooperate for his restraint. Thus the Crimean war was the intervention of the English, French and Sardinian combined forces to protect Turkey from Russia; – not for love of Turkey, but from fear and jealousy of Russia. The resultant treaty stipulations prohibited Russia's maintenance of a fleet in the Black sea, and hence crippled her influence in the Mediterranean. Again, when Turkish atrocities against the Bulgarian Christians offered Russia in 1877 a favorable pretext for attacking Turkey, Great Britain encouraged the war for the cause of humanity and Christianity; but when, after a year's war at cost of life and treasure, Russia triumphed and her army invested Constantinople, the British government threatened war, moved her fleets and the Indian army, and, supported by Austria, compelled the Treaty of Berlin, at which Lord Beaconsfield presided and dictated the terms.

Now, the whole situation is different. France, Germany and Austria begin to see that in times past they served as cat's paws for England, whose chief interest has been the protection of her empire in India. They see that she has purchased the Suez Canal and taken possession of Egypt in pursuance of this policy. They see, now, what English statesmen saw long ago, that the great war most to be feared is an industrial war of nations, and that England has seized for colonies and commercial or trade feeders the most valuable centers of the uncivilized world. Now, so far from putting themselves under English leadership, the other nations are more jealous of England than fearful of Russia; and they would be glad to see England undertake to chastise Turkey, while they would improve the opportunity to extend their spheres of influence in Africa.

English statesmen are amongst the shrewdest in the world and are well aware that a war with Turkey would be a long and expensive one, which they dare not close except in victory, and that when victory had been gained the other nations would see that it was as fruitless and unprofitable to England as the war of 1877 and 1878 was to Russia. And, meantime, Russia would advance upon India, France upon Egypt, and Germany would establish an African colony in conjunction with the Dutch in the Transvaal.

Russia and Austria could easily settle the Turkish question by taking possession and dividing her territory, although the Turks could and would make a stout resistance; but meantime England might succeed in exciting France as well as Italy to jealousy and repeat the threat of war at the last moment. This is probably the only reason why Russia and Austria do not take possession of Turkey at once.

It will be claimed, perhaps, that the leading English journals express the desire that Russia should take possession, and declare that England would not only not oppose but would disinterestedly approve such a step for humanity's sake. This is true; but the Czar well knows that the English journals and the English government are not the same; and we are quite sure that he will receive no such assurances from the government. But why not? Ah! that is the weighty factor in this Turkish business that is always secreted by the English government; – "Shylock" has a word to say in all British governmental matters. Like all pawnbrokers he has a dark back office; but from that back office the outward moves are very generally directed. "Shylock" remembers that "the unspeakable Turk" owes him a national debt of over seven hundred millions of dollars ($700,000,000), and that, however badly he may abuse Christians, he pays a heavy interest and with considerable promptness; and he reasons that if the "sick man" dies, the interest and debt will both become a total loss. "Shylock" will not let this come to pass except as a last resort. And he has immense influence with British statesmen – although he must remain out of sight to the public, who, if they knew that he is the adviser and shaper of public policy, would not be so easily controlled by their statesmen.

That Russia and Great Britain are likely to come into conflict before the full end of Gentile Times we believe; and that their struggle is noted in Scripture we think probable. Possibly it will yet be seen to be somehow associated with the prophecy of Ezekiel 39th chapter. Russia is great and powerful numerically, by location and because of her autocracy. England is great intellectually and financially. As liberty-lovers, as civilized beings, and above all as Christians, our sympathies must be closer to England than to despotic Russia, although we cannot close our eyes to England's faults, nor deny that the root of many of them is selfishness. "The love of money is a root of all evil."

Russia's rise to influence has been phenomenal. She is to-day the leading power of Europe, and under her leadership are Germany, France and Austria. The [R2056 : page 257] four at the four corners of Europe, so to speak, seem to give a better temporary guarantee for a few year's peace than Europe has had for some time. Meantime, realizing that the time is short and the work given us to do important, according to the King's command, let us be found using present opportunities with diligence, knowing that the "night" of trouble, wherein no man can work, hasteth greatly. "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset, and run with patience the race set before us."

*                         *                         *

The Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics are not very fully in accord nor much disposed to unite, judging from the following telegram to the press: – [R2057 : page 257]

"St. Petersburg, Oct. 25. – Father Tolstoi, of the Greek Church, recently deposed from the priest's functions because he refused to clear himself of an accusation that he had been converted to Catholicism, has been arrested at Moscow and taken to Nijni, where he was condemned by a church tribunal to seven years' banishment from St. Petersburg and Moscow and was forbidden to hold any state office for twenty years."

[R2057 : page 257]

COWPER'S VIEW OF RESTITUTION GLORY.

"Oh, scenes surpassing fable, and yet true,
Scenes of accomplished bliss! which, who can see,
Though but in distant prospect, and not feel
His soul refreshed with foretaste of the joy?

"Rivers of gladness water all the earth,
And clothe all climes with beauty; the reproach
Of barrenness is past. The fruitful field
Laughs with abundance; and the land once lean,
Or fertile only in its own disgrace,
Exults to see its thistly curse repealed.
The various seasons woven into one,
And that one season an eternal spring,
The garden fears no blight, and needs no fence,
For there is none to covet: all are full.
The lion and the libbard and the bear
Graze with the fearless flocks; all bask at noon
Together, or all gambol in the shade
Of the same grove, and drink one common stream.
Antipathies are none. No foe to man
Lurks in the serpent now; the mother sees,
And smiles to see, her infant's playful hand
Stretched forth to dally with the crested worm,
To stroke his azure neck, or to receive
The lambent homage of his arrowy tongue.
All creatures worship man, and all mankind
One Lord, one Father.
"Error has no place;
That creeping pestilence is driven away,
The breath of heaven has chased it. In the heart
No passion touches a discordant sting,
But all is harmony and love. Disease
Is not: the pure and uncontaminate blood
Holds its due course, nor fears the frost of age.
One song employs all nations, and all cry,
'Worthy the Lamb, for He was slain for us!'
The dwellers in the vales and on the rocks
Shout to each other, and the mountain tops
From distant mountains catch the flying joy;
Till, nation after nation taught the strain,
Earth rolls the rapturous hosanna round.

"Behold the measure of the promise filled;
See Salem built, the labor of a God!
Bright as the sun the sacred city shines;
All kingdoms and all princes of the earth
Flock to that light; the glory of all lands
Flows into her; unbounded is her joy,
And endless her increase. Thy rams are there,
Nebaioth, and the flocks of Kedar, there
The looms of Ormus, and the mines of Ind,
And Saba's spicy groves pay tribute there.
Praise is in all her gates; upon her walls,
And in her streets, and in her spacious courts,
Is heard salvation. Eastern Java there
Kneels with the native of the farthest West,
And Ethiopia spreads abroad the hand,
And worships. Her report has travelled forth
Into all lands. From every clime they come
To see thy beauty and to share thy joy,
O Zion! an assembly such as earth
Saw never, such as heaven stoops down to see."

[R2057 : page 257]

THE AUTHORITY OF DIVINE TRUTH.

"And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind." – John 9:39.
D
IVINE truth comes to us with all the authority of its divine Author. With a gentle dignity consistent with its noble character it urges its claims upon the reason, the judgment and the conscience of men, and then leaves them, as free moral agents, to accept or reject its claims. Its true messengers also come with the same moral force of inherent worth, rather than with noisy demonstrations or "lying wonders," such as are used by the powers of darkness to attract idle curiosity into the snares of Satan. They come imbued with the spirit of the authoritative message they bear – the spirit of holiness and truth.

Thus our Lord Jesus, the great chief Messenger of the divine covenant, was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners; the prophets were holy men who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the holy spirit; [R2057 : page 258] and the apostles were holy men chosen of God and charged with the divine testimony. So also all of those called of God to preach the good tidings have this anointing of the holy spirit of God (Isa. 61:1-3; Luke 4:16-21) as their necessary preparation for this service, and without this anointing they are but as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals, having no commission from God to declare his truth. To any who, without the divine anointing, presumptuously take it upon themselves to handle the testimonies of God, attempting to expound them to others, "God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction and castest my words behind thee!" (Psa. 50:16,17.) Only those who have the anointing of the spirit of truth have any commission from God to preach the truth to others. And indeed only such can do it; for others, not being willing to admit its full sway and authority in their own hearts, yet anxious to justify themselves before men, will pervert the truth, deceiving and being deceived, wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction.

Divine truth, flowing from the pure fountain of truth, God himself, who is all light, and in whom is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), coming to us through the appointed channel of God's Word and declared by his faithful servants imbued with his spirit, comes with a moral and logical power proving its authority and enforcing it with an emphasis which carries warning with it, and which plainly says, "Take heed how ye hear." – Luke 8:18.

The message of divine truth conveyed to us through our Lord Jesus and his holy apostles and prophets, and from time to time, as meat in due season, called to our attention by such members of the anointed body as God hath set in the Church to be pastors and teachers, and even by the feebler members of the body, are not therefore subjects for mere idle consideration and human speculation and dispute: they are not common themes for reckless handling with irreverent hands: they are the eternal principles of truth and righteousness. They are the oracles of God and the principles of his holy law by which every man must be judged as worthy or unworthy of eternal life. They come, with a quiet insistence, demanding our candid, serious, careful consideration of their claims upon us in view of the fact of a coming judgment in which these principles of truth and righteousness shall surely triumph and prove a savor of life unto life or of death unto death to men, according as they are obedient or disobedient to their authority.

It was to establish these principles of judgment, and to acquaint men with them, as well as to redeem them from the sentence of the first judgment of the race in Eden, that Jesus came into this world. (John 5:24; 20:30,31.) Yet this judgment, while it begins in a measure with every man as soon as he begins to comprehend the divine testimony, is not, in the case of the world in general, to reach its final decision until the time appointed for the world's judgment, the Millennial age; for at his first advent Jesus said, "I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" – the day of final reckoning, the Millennial or Judgment day. – John 12:46-48.

In view of these considerations what folly is it for any man blindly to ignore or foolishly tamper with and pervert or reject the authority of divine truth! On the other hand, how grateful to God we should be for his goodness in making known to us the principles of his law, the testimonies of his Word, by which we are to be judged. And how anxious we should be that our understanding of those principles of judgment should be clear and free from any bias of human prejudice which might blind our eyes to truths of such solemn import. As the Psalmist says, "The judgments of the Lord [expressed by his holy apostles and prophets] are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than [R2058 : page 258] honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned; and in keeping of them there is great reward." – Psa. 19:9-11.

The above statement of our Lord was called out by the contrast presented in the conduct of the Pharisees and of the blind man to whom sight had been given. The miracle gave unmistakable evidence of divine power manifested through Christ, and was a testimony to the truth of his claim to the Messiahship. The Pharisees, perceiving the logical deduction from the admission of the fact, and unwilling to admit the authority of a teacher greater than themselves, rejected even this undeniable testimony, and cast the man out of the synagogue, because he confessed the truth.

In this miracle our Lord had clearly taught the great truth that God was with him, and that he was indeed all that he claimed to be – the fulfilment of the law and the prophets, the long promised Messiah. These Pharisees, tho feeling the force of this testimony, nevertheless harbored so much envy and hatred in their hearts that it blinded them to the truth. But not so was it with the young man upon whose sightless eyes the miracle had been wrought. Envy, hatred and the spirit of rivalry were absent from his mind, and wonder and gratitude prompted him to reason out the logical deductions from this marvelous fact. In his course we observe the steps of obedient and increasing faith and the results so blessed and so different from those to [R2058 : page 259] which the course of the Pharisees led. The act of hopeful obedience (based doubtless upon what he had heard of Jesus previously), in following the simple directions to go and wash his clay-anointed eyes in the pool of Siloam, was rewarded by immediate sight, although the man had been born blind; this blessing, gratefully realized, increased faith; the testimony of obedient, grateful faith, in the face of opposition, brought the reward of persecution; and persecution, accepted in preference to the approval of men upon terms of unrighteousness – of stifled conviction and ingratitude, – brought the reward of the clearer revelation of Him who was the hope of Israel and the world. And not only so, but this realization that Jesus was indeed the very Christ promised of God, and expected for four thousand years, came to the formerly blind man with this additional element of joy, that he had been specially favored and blessed by him.

Here we see in strong contrast the spirit of obedience on the part of the young man who received sight, and the spirit of disobedience and rebellion on the part of the Pharisees. In the one case the authority of truth was despised and its light rejected, the darkness being preferred because their deeds were evil; while in the other its authority was received and appreciated and from its blessed testimony were drawn the precious lessons of faith, obedience, gratitude, humility, fortitude and loving reverence. Thus, the same truth which blinded one enlightened and blessed the other. And so truth is always, as Paul tells us, a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. It is only those who receive the truth into good and honest hearts that are rewarded with its blessed fruitage. – 2 Cor. 2:14-16.

Let every man, therefore, take heed how he hears the testimony of God: let him not be of those who receive it into a heart filled with selfishness or a spirit of vain glory or pride or irreverence or ingratitude; so that it may not have the blinding effect that it had upon the Pharisees, or the hardening effect it had upon them and upon Pharaoh, who thereby ten times precipitated upon himself and his people the plagues of divine wrath, which finally culminated in the destruction in the Red sea. But with a pure heart, a good and honest heart, let us receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls. – James 1:21,22.

It is well for all the Lord's people ever to bear in mind that the present age, the present life, is our judgment day. Let us see to it that we conduct ourselves with that prudence and godly sincerity so befitting so solemn and momentous a time, and also that we come to the consideration of the divine testimony with that reverence and humility which insure the enlightening, and guard against the blinding, effects. Well indeed would it be for the world if they too would consider that "the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good;" and that "God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil;" and that "there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known." – Prov. 15:3; Eccl. 12:14; Luke 12:2,3.

This judgment in the case of the Lord's consecrated people culminates with the present life, and in the case of the world it will culminate in the age to come. There is, however, a judgment of the world as nations (not as individuals) which culminates in the present age. Thus, for instance, there was the national judgment of Israel which condemned them to blindness and to an overthrow, as unworthy of the continued favor of God. So also upon nominal spiritual Israel, the nations of Christendom, the judgment of God is also to blindness and to an overthrow in a great time of trouble. "Take heed how ye hear" the teachings of God's Word!

M. F. RUSSELL.

[R2058 : page 259]

"HE GIVETH QUIETNESS."

WHEN he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?' And who but he, the 'God of all comfort,' can give quietness in the midst of tumults which rise upon the soul like sudden storms upon the sea? Like ocean mariners in peril, we cry unto him, and he bringeth us to the desired haven – blessed haven – of quietness and peace in God.

"What is the cry which brings this answer of peace? It is not a prayer that all occasion for disturbance shall be removed, for it is not always the divine will to bring peace to the human spirit in that way; it is not always the best way. But there is a cry which never fails to bring the quietness in which none can 'make trouble.' It is a prayer for sweet, trustful, loving acquiescence in the will of God.

"'May thy will, not mine, be done;
May thy will and mine be one;
Peace I ask – but peace must be,
Lord, in being one with Thee.'

"What is it which disturbs my spirit? Is it anxiety about my work, my finances, my reputation, my friends? Suppose my Father in heaven should hear my prayer and remove every apparent cause for unrest in regard to one or all of these matters to-day. That would not give settled peace, for in a life so full of uncertainties as this, new occasions of anxiety would probably arise to-morrow.

"But if I say, 'Lord, let each one of these matters which concern my peace of mind so closely be under thy control; order all entirely according to thy will, for thou art my Father and my Friend; thy will is that [R2058 : page 260] thy children should have the very best in all things; and thou knowest what is best for me,' what a place of rest is that! How the sense of too heavy responsibility rolls off; how the distracting care is shifted from the heart too weak to bear it to the strong shoulder upon which the government of all things rightfully and easily rests.

"If this experience of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, is not realized at once, we must not be discouraged. It is not only of a great price as to value, but it often costs a great price to gain it.

"It follows successive battles, often repeated self-surrender, and multiplied trials in which the unfailing care and love of God have been clearly manifested. We were watching the sea waves under the northeast wind; how disturbed and dark they were! Suddenly, with a fierceness that seemed cruel, the rain fell in torrents, and the unresisting waters grew perfectly calm as under an overwhelming surprise. When the storm had passed, the setting sun shone gloriously, and the quieted waters were beautiful in colors of rose and gold.

"Nature has its spiritual correspondences. Surprise comes upon surprise, sudden, overwhelming. The spirit which once tossed restlessly in chafing winds of lesser trials sinks in sweet submission under heavier griefs. We learn that even in the storm God was, and at last his conscious love, his abiding presence, his unvarying peace – the beauty of Godlikeness – glorify the character and life."

Selected.

[R2058 : page 260]

QUESTIONS OF GENERAL INTEREST.

Question. How can we reconcile with the love and justice of God the selection of the consecrated believers of the Gospel age only to be the bride of Christ, and not the overcomers of all ages?

Answer. To those who for many years have been under the impression that all of the human family who will be saved will be saved to the same plane it is natural that the "diversity" (See Eph. 3:10,11Diaglott) of God's creation should be difficult to receive. But this does not alter God's plan. The attitude of our hearts should be that of hearty acquiescence in what we see to be taught in God's Word; and we must ever remember the Apostle's words, "Who art thou that repliest [R2059 : page 260] against God?" "Hath not the potter power over the clay to make one vessel unto honor and another vessel unto less honor?" What if the fish should say that it is unjust for them to be confined to the waters? And what if the birds should object to their environment and wish to be as the fleet footed hare or the graceful deer? And what if the king of the forest should insist that it is unjust that he was not made man? What confusion there would be in creation! And is it more consistent for men to wish to be angels, when God never intended them to be such? And why, since God has invited only a special few to be heirs of the Kingdom, should it be taken as a slight to others of mankind not to be invited? God has not arranged to injure any of his creatures. He has blessings in store for them all, but he reserves the right to bestow upon each one such a blessing as his wisdom dictates. If we were to go on the street and from a dozen newsboys select three to whom to give a dollar each, would we be injuring the nine to whom we gave nothing? But if we should do an injury to any of them, we would be guilty of wrong doing. So God has a right to select the recipients of his favors. All that we have is of grace. We have merited nothing. And "the gifts and callings of God are without repentance." On this point we advise that you read again MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., Chap. 10.

To the Church of this Gospel age only, God has offered through Christ a new, a spiritual, nature; they alone are invited to become "partakers of the divine nature." The highest offer to others is restitution to the perfection of human nature lost in Eden through disobedience.

Question. If Noah was 600 years old when the flood came (Gen. 7:6,11), was he not 601 years old when the water was dried up (since the flood covered the earth one year and ten days)?

Answer. In the 600th year of Noah's life (Gen. 7:11), he was 599 years old. In his 601st year, the first month and first day (Gen. 8:13), he was not 601 years old but just beginning his 601st year; consequently up to that date he had lived 600 full years.

Question. What will be the standing of the world in the Millennial age before they believe in Christ, and in case they never come into harmony during that age? Some argue that a man cannot be tried for life until he has life.

Answer. Before they believe in Christ, men are in the attitude of condemned beings. (John 3:18.) We all have been condemned on account of father Adam's sin, and the only name given under heaven or among men whereby we can be saved is the name of Jesus. God can be "just and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus; but he cannot justly be the justifier of any one who does not believe in Jesus. (Rom. 3:26.) Therefore we conclude that any person who has not the Son has not life; indeed, shall not see life; but the wrath of God (death, inherited from Adam) abides on him; he is condemned ALREADY; and this is the condemnation, that light came into the world, and he wickedly loved darkness rather than light. – John 3:36; 1 John 5:12; John 3:18; 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:4; John 3:19.

As for the teaching that "a man cannot be tried for life until he has life," we do not know a single [R2059 : page 261] statement of Scripture to that effect; but we do know, and have quoted above, positive evidence to the contrary.

No man is on trial individually until brought to a knowledge of Christ and his sacrifice and the opportunity of reconciliation with God through him. And this knowledge of the true light, we are informed, must eventually reach every member of Adam's race. If, when he receives this knowledge, he accepts the grace of God and the terms of the New Covenant, his trial for life everlasting under its terms begins: if he rejects the offer his original condemnation to death continues and is approved by his own conduct in refusing this grace of God in Christ.

There are two stages of trial for life set forth in this Gospel age, and similarly there will be two stages of trial set before the world in the next age. The first stage of trial now is to come to a knowledge of the fact that we are sinners, under divine sentence, and that Christ has been appointed Mediator of a New Covenant, under which God is willing to receive us, and under which we may be reconciled to God and gain everlasting life, etc. If we refuse to use this knowledge and to enter into the New Covenant privileges, we thus reject justification; – choose to remain under condemnation, not choosing to take the steps necessary to escape it. If we do accept the favor of the New Covenant, we then begin our trial and discipline and have the assurance that if obedient to the great High Priest we shall be enabled to run the race for life successfully and win the prize of life everlasting.

So with the world in the Millennial age. They must all come to an accurate knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:4.) Those who then decide to reject Christ will be deciding to remain under sentence of death, and "shall not see life." Those who then act upon the knowledge and accept Christ will be reckonedly justified to life and will begin a trial for life, to determine whether they are worthy of everlasting life. The trial will be according to development of character and will close with the end of the Millennial age; and all not having attained acceptable characters before that time "will be destroyed from among the people" – that none but perfect beings may pass into the perfect conditions beyond the Millennium.

[R2059 : page 261]

GOD'S BLESSING UPON SOLOMON.
– NOVEMBER 15. – 1 KINGS 9:1-9. –
"The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it." – Prov. 10:22.
G
OD'S second revealing of himself to Solomon, recorded in this lesson, occurred twenty-four years after he had become king, when he had reached the forty-fourth year of his age. He began the building of the temple in the fourth year of his reign. Its construction occupied seven years, and after finishing it he built his own palace, which took thirteen years. (1 Kings 7:1.) During this long period of twenty-four years Solomon was occupied not only with these great works, but in general in cultivating trade with neighboring countries, repairing his cities, etc., etc. He had just reached the period, we may suppose, where he was "in all his glory." His fame had spread throughout the world. He had become wealthy and had cultivated luxurious tastes, which in turn had increased the expenses of his government and, if prosecuted further, would lead to the oppression of his people with burdensome taxes. In the language of the first verse of the lesson, Solomon had reached the place where he was able to gratify his every desire. He had reached the critical point of danger; for, without question, great prosperity is much more dangerous than moderate competency.

Up to this point of time, we may reasonably infer, Solomon's course at least in a general way had the divine approval. He had accepted the prayer of his dream as the sentiment of his heart. He had been seeking for wisdom and to a considerable extent had been walking in her way and had received the promised blessings of affluence and fame. But now he had reached the danger point: He had come to a parting of the ways. One way would lead onward in humble reverence for God and a continuous seeking for Divine wisdom and guidance for the management of the kingdom and a seeking more and more for the elevation of the people, their prosperity, happiness and cultivation in mental, moral and religious directions. The other way opening before Solomon would lead onward to pride, folly, self-gratification, the oppression of his people and by setting before them a bad example of royal profligacy, licentiousness, extravagance, carelessness of religious obligations and charity for false religions.

At this juncture the Lord appeared to Solomon as before at Gibeon; that is, in a dream (1 Kings 3:5); and an account of the Lord's words spoken in that dream is given in this lesson. The Lord's words imply his approval of Solomon's course up to this time, indicating that he had accepted the prayer of Solomon's first dream as Solomon's prayer, that he had accepted the temple built to his name, not only outwardly but in reality, as implied by the words: "Mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually." The Lord then proceeds to set before Solomon a view of the right and the wrong paths which lay before him, counselling him to [R2059 : page 262] choose the path of wisdom and righteousness as his father David had done. This reference to David shows us that the Lord was not expecting absolute perfection of David or Solomon, or any of the fallen race, but that he was seeking and would appreciate the heart intentions of those who sought to serve him and who, even though falteringly, sought to walk in his way.

The outcome of both paths is particularly stated: the path of obedience would not only establish the kingdom in his own hands, but insure it in the line of his posterity, even as it was promised to David. In this promise God shows that he has reference not merely to the immediate descendants of Solomon and David, but that his particular reference is to Christ, the great King, the antitype of Solomon, whose Kingdom shall be an everlasting Kingdom, and all people shall serve and obey him. As God promised to David that Christ should come of his seed, so here he proposes the same to Solomon, that if Solomon would hearken to his words and walk in his way, the Messiah should come through his posterity. But on the other hand, the choosing of the wrong course now would mean disaster not only to [R2060 : page 262] Solomon and his greatness but to Israel and its national prosperity, and to the temple which was a delight to Solomon and a wonder to the world.

We all know the sequel: We know that Solomon chose the wrong path, that he chose self-gratification; and thus, although noted as the wise man, he is also noted as having determined his course unwisely and the "high" house which he had built to the Lord, that is, the notable house in the eyes of the world, did become a by-word. It was robbed of its treasures and profaned; and the world knows to-day that the Lord's displeasure against Israel and his rejection of them for a time was the result of their rejection of him, and that this in part at least was induced by Solomon's choice of the wrong course; and that the high places which he established for the worship of false religions to please his wives and their heathen relatives, became snares to the people of Israel and continued to have an idolatrous and ungodly, sinful tendency for centuries; until God cast them out of their land, overthrew their typical kingdom and temporarily gave a lease of earthly dominion to the Gentile nations, to last until the time for his establishment of the antitypical Kingdom in the hands of the greater than Solomon and through the instrumentality of the true Israel of God; – until the time for the building of the true, spiritual, antitypical temple of which Christ and his Church are the "living stones" as well as the "royal priesthood." – Eph. 2:21; 2 Cor. 6:16.

As a matter of fact, our Lord Jesus did not come through Solomon's line, but through that of his brother Nathan, in whose lineal descent was Mary, the mother of Jesus. (See Luke 3:31.) Only the legal heirship came through Solomon, through his descendant Joseph, the legal father of Jesus. (See Matt. 1:7,16.) That the line of genealogy given in Matt. 1 is not that of Mary, our Lord's mother, according to the flesh, is conclusively shown by a comparison of Matt. 1:11,12, with Jer. 22:30.

The practical suggestions of this lesson are applicable to all of the Lord's people, for although none of us of the Gospel age are called to be typical kings with typical grandeur and wealth and wisdom, as was Solomon, but on the contrary are called to occupy humble positions, not many great or wise or learned being chosen and called, nevertheless, before each of us continually appear two ways, the one the way of divine favor, spiritual blessing and light, the other the way of self-gratification, divine displeasure and condemnation. The choice which we are called upon to make is even more important than that which was placed before Solomon. The question with him was whether or not Messiah, according to the flesh, should come in the line of his posterity. The question with us is whether or not we shall make our calling and election sure as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, our Lord, in the Kingdom and glory of which Solomon's was but a type. The resolution of each one should be that with humility he will accept the divine favor, seek to walk in the divine way – in the footsteps of Jesus – and by obedience, humility and love seek to make his calling and election sure, as one of the kings and priests of the antitypical Kingdom. – Rev. 5:10.

[R2060 : page 262]

REWARDS OF OBEDIENCE.
– NOVEMBER 22. – PROV. 3:1-17. –
"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." – Prov. 3:6.
I
N this lesson Wisdom personified stands as an instructor and offers good counsel to such as have an ear to hear and a desire to obey her.

(1) "Wisdom is justified of her children."** They show their parentage, and reflect their mother's likeness. But to this end Wisdom's laws and commandments must be carefully heeded. Wisdom's laws are divine laws, expressed not only in the Scriptures, but also in the laws of nature. "The children of the light"* should walk in the light in reference to physical as well as spiritual matters – health, food, cleanliness, clothing, etc. [R2060 : page 263]

(2) No one of ordinary perception can fail to note that a wise and moderate course in life in obedience to the divine laws is beneficial with respect to the life which now is, and also that which is to come. True, many in the prime of life and health do not give heed to Wisdom's voice; true, many who do give heed are such as are already greatly impaired, having either inherited weaknesses and frailties from the un-wisdom of their parents (beginning with Adam and Eve) or having neglected the voice of Wisdom until retribution overtook them. But even for the impaired the counsel of Wisdom is profitable, as many have proved, and brings with it more of peace than can be found in any other way.

(3) How grand the counsel of this verse! How wise, and how necessary to a large development of heart, are the graces here mentioned – mercy and truth! No one is truly great who is mean, spiteful, vindictive. Mercy towards others, implying consideration for their failings and sufferings, is an ennobling grace, a part of the image of God, too largely lost by many. Truth here stands for sincerity, pureness and uprightness of dealing in all our affairs. Who could be a true nobleman without this quality? Much more is it necessary to every true Christian.

"Bind them about thy neck" signifies that these are to be esteemed as jewels and ornaments of character carefully guarded from loss and always in sight, – delightsome things. And not only should they be manifest to all as outward graces, but they should be written or engraven in our hearts. Nobility of character, God-likeness, was a part of man's original endowment, and was written in his very heart, nature, constitution; but Adamic sin and its resultant separation from God, and now six thousand years of degradation, have well nigh obliterated this original divine law from the heart of humanity. So to fallen man in general, the evil and selfish and resentful suggestions present themselves, instead of mercy and sincerity. But the child of God, the child of Wisdom, is to retrace and engrave again upon the tablets of the heart (that is, in his very character) these graces so generally obliterated. This work is at the present time being followed only by those who are in the school of Christ, – the "little flock." But by and by the school of Christ will be enlarged; and these who are now pupils will be associated with the great Master as teachers and instructors of the Word; and then the whole world will be called upon to rewrite in their hearts the original law of righteousness. And all who appreciate the opportunity will be assisted in so doing by the Lord and his servants; as it is written. – Jer. 31:33,34.

(4) Such characters are sure to be pleasing in the sight of God, and are acknowledged even by such persons as are children of darkness and hate the light, and would say all manner of evil falsely against the children of the light.

(5) Every matured child of God must learn well and appreciate the sentiment of this verse. Experience has taught him the imperfection of his own judgment in many things, and the fallibility of all human counsel; and he has learned and is still learning to trust the Lord implicitly. In order thus to trust the Lord, a knowledge of his Word and the plan of salvation which it reveals are very important; they inspire trust and confidence, not only in the ability and wisdom of God, but also in his justice and love.

(6) It is not only proper that God's children should trust him in their hearts, but also that they should confess and acknowledge him as their Lord and Master in all of their affairs. Such as are careful thus to acknowledge the Lord have the assurance that he will direct their paths. Their paths will not be directed in ways most congenial to the fallen nature: nor do they wish for this; for, as already seen, they are desiring and seeking mercy and truth, as outward charms, and also as deeply graven inward principles.

(7) Nothing is more dangerous to the child of God than self-conceit: it blocks the way to true progress and reformation of heart, and hinders true usefulness to others, and especially usefulness in God's service; for his Word declares, "God resisteth the proud, but showeth his favor unto the humble."

Instead of self confidence, Wisdom dictates a distrustfulness of self, remembering its weaknesses and imperfections, and correspondingly the greater reverence for God and reliance upon him, which more than anything else will strengthen and enable us to depart from the evil of our fallen estate.

(8) "Health [or vigor] to thy muscles and marrow to thy bones," as a figurative expression, would seem to signify general vitality, vigor of mind and body, which certainly are among the blessed results of that proper reverence for the Lord which leads us to depart from sin in thought, word and deed.

(9) Whatever we possess should be made to contribute its part in God's service. Whether our substance consists of a rich endowment of talent, or education, or influence, its first fruits, its results, should go to the service of our gracious heavenly Father, as our Lord said: "Seek ye first [chiefly, to serve] the Kingdom of heaven."

(10) Whatever our substance, if faithful in its use and in consecrating its best to the cause of God, a blessing will result to us. During the Jewish age God's covenant with that people was to the effect that faithfulness to him and his laws would bring them temporal [R2061 : page 263] prosperity; and the same rule will be in force during [R2061 : page 264] the Millennial age; as it is written, "In his days [the Millennial age] shall the righteous flourish," but "evil doers shall be cut off." (Psa. 72:7; 37:9.) This rule does not apply during this Gospel age, however: the meek do not now inherit the earth, nor the righteous in general. Now the proud are prosperous, "Yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered." (Mal. 3:15.) Not only our Lord Jesus and the apostles, who honored God with the first-fruits of their being, but also many of the household of faith since, have not had overflowing barns and wine presses. Chiefly they have been "the poor of this world, rich in faith;" yet, nevertheless, they have had the finest of the wheat, the purest of the oil and the best of the wine, as represented in their spiritual nourishment and enrichment.

(11,12) The trials and difficulties of this present life are not to be esteemed as marks of divine disfavor, if we have become children of God, children of Wisdom, under the provided conditions of the New Covenant. We are to remember the promise of our Father, that "All things work together for good to them that love God, to the called ones according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:28.) Reproofs, trials, disciplines should be reminders to us that we are not perfect, that we still have need of the mercy of God in Christ, even with our best efforts; and should lead us to greater diligence in "perfecting holiness in the fear [reverence] of the Lord." – 2 Cor. 7:1.

(13-17) Wisdom and understanding are not exactly synonymous terms. Wisdom describes more particularly the perception of right and wrong principles and their results and the propriety of following these. Knowledge or understanding relates more particularly to the information and building up of judgment and character, as the result of obedience to the voice of Wisdom.

It is a great blessing and privilege indeed to find Wisdom, for few there be that find her in this present time. Wisdom is the light which cometh from above. She is the truth. Her grand exemplification among men was "the man Christ Jesus," our Lord, "the true Light." Light from above, Wisdom, is still in the world, as represented in the divine Word; but to the majority it is unseen, unknown; as it is written, "The God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not." Thank God for the assurance that in due time all the blind eyes shall be opened, and that then the true light, the true wisdom from above, shall lighten every man! Then all will see the truth, and all will hear the voice of Wisdom, the voice of God, the voice of Christ, the voice of the Church, and be privileged to drink at the fountain of Wisdom and knowledge, and, if they will be obedient, to obtain the full measure of divine favor and blessing as represented in the offer of everlasting life. – See Rev. 22:17.

But, alas! although but few find Wisdom now, still fewer heed her voice and purchase the true knowledge and its precious blessings as she directs. Nothing else that can be bought is so valuable. Under Wisdom's direction now not only the silver of truth may be obtained, but the divine nature, as symbolized by gold, and graces of character, as symbolized in precious stones. All these may now be secured by obedience to her voice – and more; for "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man the things that God has in reservation for them that love him," – including everlasting life, heavenly riches, honor, joy and peace.

page 264

ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS.

Minnesota.

DEAR BROTHER: – I wish to present a few thoughts called up recently by reading in DAWN, Vol. III., pages 228, 363, etc., the statement that the Scriptures do not indicate, so far as seen, the exact date of the exaltation of the last members of the "little flock" and the "closing of the door."

During '94 and '95 I spent some time in studying Revelation for my personal development, but was unable to come to any conclusions as to the "day"-year of Babylon's destruction. (Chap. 18:8.) Later I was referred by Sister Townsend to Hos. 5:7.

Note in connection Zech. 11, which refers particularly to the Jewish rejection of Jesus. We know that the Jewish house was left desolate in A.D. 33 and that to the Autumn of A.D. 36 special favor was confined to the individuals of that nation. As Israel is referred to in prophecy as Israel – the whole house; Judah – the two tribes; and Ephraim – the ten tribes, it occurred to me that "the three shepherds" (Zech. 11:8) were the priesthood of the nation, as a whole and in its two later divisions – the whole Aaronic line. One month (30 years) for their cutting off would bring us to the Autumn of A.D. 66.

From history we find that just at this time (at least not later than early in A.D. 67) a band of Jewish rioters displaced the Royal and Legal Priesthood and polluted the temple; hence the Aaronic Priesthood was there literally ended, though rejected previously, when the sacrifice of Christ displaced the sacrifices of the Law.

Finding its literal fulfilment thus upon Fleshly Israel, it is not difficult to see how it is with Spiritual Israel (Babylon, Ephraim, Ariel, etc.), which is also represented as divided into three parts. – Rev. 16:19.

Hos. 5:7 speaks of "strange children" of Israel and says Jehovah withdrew himself from them entirely. "Now shall a month devour them with their portions [belongings]." The antitype of cast-off Israel is the nominal Christian Church (Babylon), and the corresponding date to Jehovah's withdrawal from Israel in A.D. 36 is 1881. 1881 plus 30 equals 1911, when Babylon shall be entirely "devoured" or destroyed.

In DAWN, Vol. III., we see how the Pyramid indicates Oct. 1910 as the [probable] date when the last members of the "little flock" shall be changed and accounted worthy to escape the severity of the trouble. The saints are warned, "Come out of her,...that ye receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4); for (verse 8) "her plagues shall come in one day [year], and she shall be utterly burned" – destroyed in that, her last day, ending Oct. 1911 and beginning Oct. 1910, thus corroborating the Pyramid's testimony.

The shortness and suddenness of her destruction are indicated by Isa. 47:9; 10:17 and Rev. 16:17-21, as plainly shown in DAWN.

Thus the dates 1910 and 1911 seem clearly marked. I have attempted to give briefly the main thoughts, just enough to enable you to grasp the idea. Yours in fellowship,

C. H. DICKINSON.

A returned missionary writes us as follows: –

New York.

TO THE AUTHOR OF MILLENNIAL DAWN. DEAR SIR: – A friend gave me the first volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN. I have been greatly interested and profited by it, reading it with Bible in hand to note references.

As a missionary of twenty years in China, there are times when I cannot look at that dreadful diagram of the condition of the world. Having been in the chief great heathen fields of the world, and seen the darkness (yea, felt it), and this nearly 2,000 years after Christ's coming, with all my assurance that Christ shall have his rightful inheritance, and all my enthusiasm in the work, yet often my heart has failed within me, at the magnitude of the work yet to be accomplished. Your rendering of the matter brings me comfort, appeals to my reason and faith, and yet does not "cut the nerve of missions."

I want volumes II. and III. of DAWN, also TABERNACLE SHADOWS. Kindly also send me sample copy of your paper.

Mrs.__________

page 265
November 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. XVII.NOVEMBER 15, 1896.No. 22.
CONTENTS.

Special Items 266
View from the Tower 267
Future Probation 269
Mr. Dimbleby and Mr. Totten Heard From 271
Sealed Unto the Day of Redemption 272
"Hell No Part of Divine Revelation" 274
Splitting Things Fine 275
"Unauthorized Workers" 276
Questions of General Interest 277
The Fame of Solomon 277
Solomon's Sin 279

'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 266

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.

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[R2061 : page 267]

VIEW FROM THE TOWER.

OUR October 1. issue pointed out that according to the prophecy of the Apostle James the recent election would fail to relieve the "reapers." The results have corroborated the prophecy. Earnest and honest men were on both sides of the contention, and the tremendous efforts against silver carried the day. The majority saw that, while the "fraud" was easy to introduce, it would be difficult to expel; that at least one year of great financial depression must result, before legislation could be secured which would restore silver to its former relationship and equal privileges with gold; and having greater confidence in Shylock's assertions than in their own judgment, they chose the immediate better and ignored the future and thus helped fulfill prophecy.

The managers of the successful party declare that now bimetallism will be established by international agreement, and that thus agriculturalists will be relieved. But taking the divine Word for our guide, we do not expect relief for the "reapers" in any form. Rather, their burden will increase, and their cry, already begun, will grow louder, and eventually place many of those formerly law abiding amongst the lawless.

There is every indication that the next year or two may be quite prosperous, because of the shortage of merchandise incident to the past three years of depression; but eventually prices for labor and for goods will gravitate toward still lower levels, barring wars, famines, etc.

*                         *                         *

Notwithstanding the outward harmony maintained by the Church of Rome, she has her own internal disorders in every quarter. In Italy her conflict is with the Government; in Russia it is with the Greek Church; in Great Britain it is with the Church of England; in France it is with the Masons; and in this land of liberty it is with freedom's institutions and progressive ideas, especially with free schools.

In the French republic the papal influence until lately has always been with the monarchical parties (as a threat this is now being reversed); in Italy it is thrown against monarchical parties, and the people of Italy who, to the number of about probably five million voters, have for years, at the command of the Pope, refrained from voting are now to use their votes to embarrass the Government and in favor of republican institutions. In the United States, for some years back, the Papal policy has been extremely liberal (for it); Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Ireland and Bishop Keane have been leaders in an attempt to form a liberal, American-Papal policy. For a time they succeeded. The Council of Baltimore permitted Roman Catholics in the United States to read the Bible, Protestants were no longer to be treated as heretics, whose end was a hopeless eternity in hell and anguish, but as "separated brethren," many of whom were honest and, like Romanists, would go to Purgatory, but being without beads or prayers to Mary or masses, holy candles and the like, they would be obliged to stay longer in Purgatory than would faithful Romanists; but the under-surface intrigue of the Jesuitical party has finally triumphed, and the whole policy of the Papacy is to be made more conservative. The infallible Pope is not left to himself, but is assisted by advisers and counselors, whose mouthpiece he [R2061 : page 268] really is; and Protestants will no longer be permitted to go to "Purgatory," but will be sent directly and forever to "Hell."

This change of policy is noticeable in the Encyclical dealing with the Anglican question – no special desire being manifested to conciliate the Church of England, but rather the reverse. More recently Bishop Keane has been removed from the Chancellorship or Presidency of the Washington City (Roman Catholic) College. And now it is reported that Archbishop Ireland is in disfavor at Rome and will suffer degradation in some manner. Probably Cardinal Gibbons, who has been very cautious, may be permitted to continue for some time, if he continues tongue-tied.

Without much doubt fear lies at the bottom of this policy. The Italian prelates hold control of the Papacy, and intend to hold it. They no doubt realize that the Anglo-Saxon race is the more brilliant and would out-shine them and eventually capture the control of their system; hence they do not desire union with the Church of England, lest it should turn out that Papacy had joined the Church of England and not the Anglicans joined the Church of Rome. And the Pope has been obliged to yield to their pressure, which is manifesting itself here in the United States also, and has already declared against any further cooperation with Protestants in any future Parliaments of Religion.

This change of policy on the part of Rome should not be understood to signify antagonism and hostilities between Romanists and Protestants: it does, however, corroborate the Scriptural testimony to which we have frequently called attention, – that the two will never unite in one system; that the coming Protestant federation will be distinct from Catholicism and that, while treating each other with respect and in many matters cooperating, the two parties will really be in opposition as the two sides of the great "scroll" (Rev. 6:14; Isa. 34:4) down to the time of their mutual and sudden collapse.

The situation as respects the United States is well set forth in the following extracts from prominent journals: –

The Western Watchman (Roman Catholic, St. Louis) says: –

"Tell the truth. Rome removed Bishop Keane. Cardinal Satolli advised the measure. The Germans had nothing to do with it. Rome did not want the young priests of America to be taught Pelagianism. The advocates of the doctrine that any form of Protestantism is better than no religion at all, claim Cardinals Manning and Newman for their contention. Neither [R2062 : page 268] of the English cardinals was regarded as a theologian in Rome, and at the time of their death neither enjoyed the slightest influence in Rome. Pelagianism must be stamped out. Man is in the supernatural order and whether pagan or Christian is obliged to tend to his supernatural end. Grace is an aid to that end. The church is a guide to that end. Protestantism is a siren. It sings to the seafarer and allures him to the breakers. Protestantism is the enemy of God; of God's truth; of God's church. It is not better than nothing, because good for nothing."

The Christian Standard (Disciples, Cincinnati) says:

"The virtual deposition of Bishop Keane from the Catholic University at Washington, D.C., is taken to mean that the ultramontane policy is to prevail in Roman Catholic affairs in this country, rather than the liberal policy voiced by Archbishop Ireland. No doubt there is a genuine fear in the highest circles of papal authority that the so-called liberal policy advanced by certain ecclesiastics of this country means rather the making of Americans out of Catholics, than of Catholics out of Americans."

The Mid-Continent (Presbyterian, St. Louis) says:

"With all its outward show of smoothness the Roman Catholic machinery suffers many a jolt. The vigorous protest over the removal of Bishop Keane, the late executive head of the Catholic University at Washington, is a jar that threatens to work much confusion. ...It brings to a point of issue the opposing American factions; those who believe that in America Romanism must adapt itself somewhat to environment, that it must be 'liberalized;' and those who stand for the Romanism of Spain and Italy on this side the sea. Keane, with Gibbons and Ireland, stand for this progressive movement. Corrigan of New York, Wigger and Schroeder stand for ultra-conservatism. The removal of Keane, with all its crafty explanations, is, of course, the ban of Rome placed upon that progressiveness."

The Western Christian Advocate (Methodist, Cincinnati) says: –

"The removal of Bishop Keane from the rectorship of the Catholic University at Washington might ordinarily pass for an unimportant piece of Catholic domestic economy, not to be noticed by the outside world. But his removal because of his adherence to the liberal elements of Catholicism, represented by Archbishop Ireland, and as a result of the plottings of the clerical or Jesuitical section, at once make it a matter of momentous significance."

A Washington correspondent of the Boston Transcript gives the following as the "true inwardness" of the present situation: –

"There are two distinct classes in the Catholic Church. One class is made up of the Orders – the Jesuits, Augustinians, Paulists, Dominicans and others. The other class is made up of the general rank and file of the clergy, who have attached themselves to no particular Order. Each order attends to some particular line of work, the Jesuits to teaching, other Orders to missionary work, others to charity, etc. Gradually the Orders have drawn away from the clergy who are outside of the Orders. The two classes may be illustrated by the Catholic University and the Georgetown University, both leading Catholic institutions here in Washington. The Catholic University is conducted by the secular clergy, that is, by those outside of the [R2062 : page 269] Orders; while Georgetown University is conducted by the Jesuits, or those attached to the Orders.

"From the arrival of Satolli this latent antagonism between the Orders and the 'seculars' began to develop. The seculars had in their ranks such conspicuous men as Archbishop Ireland and Bishop Keane. Moreover, the seculars had become identified with a progressive and advanced policy which sought to send Catholic children to public schools instead of parochial schools. On the other hand, the Orders, conspicuously the Jesuits, represented the old adherence to Catholic colleges, Catholic schools, and to the religious training which they regarded as more essential than the intellectual training of a child. Naturally, therefore, there was much comment when Satolli took up his residence at the Catholic University, where he was the guest of Bishop Keane. It was regarded among ecclesiastics as settling that the Pope's representative had cast his influence with the seculars and against the Orders. It was a proud day for Archbishop Ireland and the many others who, with him, had been urging the advanced and liberal policy. But this satisfaction changed unexpectedly when Satolli took his leave of Bishop Keane and established permanent quarters for the papal legation in the remote Eastern section of Washington, within a Jesuit parish. It was the parish of St. Aloysius, with Father Gillespie at its head. He is a scholarly Jesuit, and his adherence to the doctrine of parochial education is shown by Gonzaga College, which he is expanding to the dimensions of a great seat of learning. Thus Satolli was suddenly transferred from the seculars to the Orders. From that time, Satolli made most of his public appearances at the Jesuit church, and the Jesuits were his most intimate and most constant associates."

This correspondent, noting the appointment of Mgr. Martinelli (Italian) as successor to Mgr. Satolli as papal Ablegate in the United States, continues: –

"Martinelli is of the Augustinians, an Order marked for its austerities. His choice, therefore, is even more conspicuous as a recognition of the Orders than would have been the choice of a Jesuit. The head of an Order is placed in a position over seculars as well as Orders. There is no doubt, however, that the judicial temperament of Martinelli will save him from an undue preference to the Orders. At the same time the Orders are entrenched, while Archbishop Ireland and the other seculars see their power waning."

*                         *                         *

The New York Tribune of Nov. 5, says editorially:

"For more than a quarter of a century the Catholics in Italy have been debarred by order of the Church from taking any part in Parliamentary elections. To what extent these commands of the Vatican have been obeyed may be gathered from the fact that in a country of practically universal suffrage, where the adult male population numbers according to the latest census considerably over 10,000,000, not more than 1,600,000 have ever yet cast their votes at the polls at any general election....

"The Pope, having found no disposition on the part of the present Italian dynasty to come to an understanding either with regard to the temporalities of the Papacy, or upon any other subject, has wisely decided to throw in his lot with the republic, as being the form of the Government of the future. With that prescience which sometimes comes to men on the border of the grave, he apparently foresees that the days of the monarchical system not alone in Italy, but in all other parts of the world, are drawing to a close, and accordingly he is maneuvering the sails of the church so as to adapt them to the wind of democracy. That is why he has just astounded the Catholic world by appointing as Nuncio to Paris a prelate entirely devoid of diplomatic experience, whose only recommendation is that he is an ardent Republican; that is why he professes such unbounded admiration for America and American institutions, and that also is the reason why the Catholic electors, now for the first time sent to the polls, are openly recommended by the Vatican to disassociate themselves from the cause of the monarchy and to prepare to accept another form of government – that is to say, a republic....

"Should one of these days the ruined, starving and overtaxed population rise up in its despair to overthrow a dynasty that has transformed Italy from the fairest and gladdest country in Europe into the saddest, it will be found that the Papacy will have weathered this as so many previous storms, and that with all sail set to the democratic wind it is riding safely on the stormy waves of the revolution."

To our understanding the present Italian government is the seventh head of the "beast" (Rev. 17:9-11) which has continued "a short space," represented in the present monarch and his father Victor Immanuel. According to this prophecy Rome will never have another head – the eighth condition will be the beast without a head, – either a republic or anarchy. If a republic, we shall shortly expect anarchy, "perdition."

All the signs of our time corroborate prophecy and bid us lift up our heads and rejoice that our redemption draweth nigh.

[R2062 : page 269]

FUTURE PROBATION.

A contemporary says: – "ONE seemingly plausible argument in favor of a future probation is the alleged fact that a large percentage of the race are cut down in infancy by the scythe of death before accepting or rejecting the offers of salvation; and this is coupled with the claim that faith is essential to salvation in all cases. At first glance, this surface claim may be deemed reliable; but candid reflection will spoil it in a moment.

"1. While there is death among children in this age, the theory of probation in the next age insists that there will also be death among children born in that age: so those children dying there, will as really [R2062 : page 270] be entitled to another age of probation as those who die [R2063 : page 270] in this age; and so on indefinitely. This proves too much or proves nothing.

"2. While faith is required in adults, unaccountable infants are never placed under that law: 'Of such is the kingdom of heaven.' We cannot go back of this divine rule: 'Thy children shall come again.'"

(1) This is poor logic as well as poor exposition of Scripture. If it were true that all children dying in infancy are saved eternally without a future trial or risk of the Second Death, it would follow that Herod of old, who slew so many infants, was the greatest, the most successful missionary of his day; for he made sure work of it. If the writer of the above believes what he says, he should follow the example of some who, becoming mentally unbalanced under such false teachings, have killed their children "to insure their going to heaven," as they expressed it. If this writer's theory be true, laws should be passed to hinder physicians from exerting their skill to keep alive young children, because they thus more than double the number which reach maturity, and according to this theory are keeping many from reaching eternal bliss. According to this theory infanticide, instead of being punished, should be encouraged by rewards and premiums; and no doubt such false and irrational teachings as the above quotation do act as a premium, and encourage the mentally and physically weak and depraved.

The theory is illogical, further, in that it presupposes that God is acting irrationally, in placing millions on millions of human beings under present conditions for no reason or useful purpose; because, if there be no necessity for the development of character by experience and trials, so that a blank is more desirable in God's esteem than the painstaking and tear-washed, though imperfect, page of Christian character, it would seem very cruel and loveless, if nothing worse, on God's part, to expose so many millions to the buffetings of the world, the flesh and the devil; – especially with the foreknowledge that "few there be that find" the strait gate and narrow way in "this present evil world."

As to the Scripture passage cited: We hold that it is here and frequently given a false interpretation. We hold that our Lord did not mean to be understood that the blank of childish character is the ideal standard of God's Kingdom. Another of the Evangelists tells that our Lord, coming to his disciples, found them disputing as to which of them should be considered greatest or chief, and that he, setting a child in their midst as a sample of guilelessness and humility, told them that, unless they became as a little child, they should have no share in the Kingdom; – not as a little child in stature, nor in blankness of undeveloped character, but in humility, simplicity, guilelessness. "Of such [like] is the Kingdom of heaven." As the Apostle urged, "Be not children in knowledge [character], howbeit in malice be ye children." (1 Cor. 14:20.) And this evidently covers the point of our Lord's remarks about children, as understood by the Apostles; for surely they never expressed such ideas as we are here criticizing.

Our Lord frequently spoke of his followers as "children," "little children" and "little ones." See the following instances: John 13:33; Matt. 10:42; 18:6,10,14; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2. These were the "little ones" in malice and pride and in the world's estimate, among whom there would not be many great or wise or learned, according to the course of this world; – these were to overcome the world by faith and faithfulness, even unto death; and as "overcomers" were to share Christ's throne as heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord, if so be that they would suffer with him that they might also be glorified together. – Rom. 8:17.

The promise concerning Rachel's children is mentioned as a proof that they will have no trial, but are saved; however, a reference to the prophet's words (Jer. 31:16,17) shows that in this Scripture, also, the writer has made a misapplication; for so far from the children being saved or in the Kingdom, the prophet declares, "they shall come again from the land of the enemy" – the general prison-house of death. They shall indeed come therefrom, thank God! Our Lord Jesus gave himself a ransom for ALL, and hence in due time, as our Lord declared, "All that are in the graves shall hear his voice and come forth;" some to the first resurrection and some unto a "resurrection by judgment;"* – and then "they that hear [obey, see Acts 3:22,23] shall live" – everlastingly. – John 5:25,28,29.

*See our issue of Oct. 15, page 246, and our issue of Aug. 15, '95, for explanation of "Resurrection by Judgment."

(2) Faith in the promise of God, that Christ and the Church constitute the true Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16,29), and that in and by this Seed, according to the Lord's promise, "all the families of the earth shall be blessed;" and that it is for this purpose that the Kingdom – the Millennial Kingdom – is to be given to Christ and the overcoming Church (Rev. 2:26,27; 1 Cor. 15:25), makes no claim such as this writer suggests, namely, that infants will die during the Millennial age as now.

On the contrary, it claims in the words of the Prophet Isaiah (65:17-20) when describing the new heavens and new earth conditions, that "There shall be no more thence an infant of days,...for as a lad shall one die a hundred years old; and as a sinner shall he be accursed who (dieth) a hundred years old."

This is in agreement with the Scriptural assurances that, when the Kingdom of God is established in [R2063 : page 271] the earth, the high-way of life will be made clear and open to all (Isa. 35:8), and that only such as wilfully refuse to walk therein shall die at all, and they the Second Death; from which there is no resurrection, no recovery, provided. "Every soul which will not hear [obey] that prophet [the great prophet, Christ Jesus the head and the Church his body, – the antitype of Moses] shall be destroyed from among the people." – Acts 3:23.

Thank God for a good hope, a Scriptural hope, a reasonable and logical hope, – for the Church now a high calling to a joint-heirship in the Kingdom with immortality; and for "whosoever will" of "all the families of the earth," when in due time the grace of God shall be extended to them, a restitution of all that was lost in Adam. And, let us not forget it, "He that [truly] hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he [Christ, his redeemer and exemplar] is pure."

[R2063 : page 271]

MR. DIMBLEBY AND MR. TOTTEN HEARD FROM.

IN our issue of May 15th we called attention to the pretentious claims of some teachers to give a "Bible chronology," though really they merely attempt to force the Bible's time-records into harmony with the secular records, which are admittedly broken, pieced and wholly uncertain. We showed, moreover, that the claim that any chronology from Adam to Christ can be proved by astronomy down to the fraction of a minute, or in any degree, is purest nonsense; because, although eclipses, etc., past or future, can be calculated by astronomy, no facts of Bible history and chronology are so stated as to permit astronomy to be applied to them; and no other chronological history goes back connectedly or reasonably half way – 3,000 years. We also pointed out years of miscalculation in their minute-exact "proofs."

Furthermore, we called attention to the foundationless predictions of Mr. Totten concerning the period from 1892 to 1899, all of which, up to the present date, are of course absolute failures. The holy spirit was not withdrawn in the Spring of 1892, the predicted man-Antichrist did not arise then and deceive the Jews into worshiping him and building him a temple at Jerusalem, he did not sit as God in that temple in 1895; Mr. Totten and his faithful followers were not taken up to heaven at that date; and his man-Antichrist has not been holding high carnival on earth and fulfilling Rev. 13:15-17, and consequently he will not continue the carnival and complete it in the spring of 1899.

We have since heard from Mr. Dimbleby, who writes in a kindly manner, which is convincing that, notwithstanding his errors, his intentions are good. He claims that he used cycles, transits, etc., in a manner common to all astronomers. We are ready to admit probably all that Mr. Dimbleby would claim on this line: our contention is, and the verdict of all unbiased astronomers would be, that these cycles cannot be used as measures of history unless there be astronomical facts noted in the history. If Genesis told the exact location of the stars, or if it very particularly described an eclipse, its very minute, etc., when Adam was created, then astronomy would measure the chronology; or if such a minute record were given in the account of the end of the flood, when Noah entered the 601st year of his age, we could locate that date and use the Bible history back of that to Adam. But Mr. Totten's absurd claims about "Joshua's long day" (which neither Mr. Dimbleby nor any other astronomer could endorse) furnishes not one shred of evidence upon which to base an astronomic calculation. There are absolutely no astronomical facts noted in Bible history; consequently astronomy can neither prove nor disprove Bible chronology.

Mr. Dimbleby notes our criticism of the slip of his pencil implied in his statement that 2520 solar years exactly correspond to 2595 lunar years. He claims that in our showing of a difference of over five years we neglected some fractions. We reply, that we took his statement of 354 days to a lunar year as the basis of our calculation, supposing that he had so calculated. Mr. Dimbleby's tract reads thus: "A Solar Year is 365¼ days. A Lunar Year is 354 days." But, allowing for all the fractions, Mr. Dimbleby is two years and one hundred and nineteen days astray, – entirely [R2064 : page 271] too much for an astronomical "proof," exact to the minute.

We will here give our calculations: –

A lunar-year (354 days, 8 hours, 48 minutes and 36.04 seconds) reduced contains 30,617,316.04 seconds.

A solar-year (365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds) contains 31,556,926 seconds.

In 2520 solar-years there are therefore 79,523,453,520 seconds; and this number divided by 30,617,316.04 (the seconds of a lunar-year) shows that 2597 lunar-years, 119 days, 36 minutes and 4.12 seconds are the equivalent of 2520 solar-years and not exactly 2595 years, as Mr. Dimbleby stated.

Mr. Dimbleby wrote in good spirit. Without endeavoring further to urge the exactness of his chronological beliefs, he rejoiced with us that the end of all things pertaining to "this present evil world" is near; and that the Kingdom of God is at hand; and expressed [R2064 : page 272] the hope that we should soon stand shoulder to shoulder in the Kingdom; a hope which we heartily share.

We have also heard from Mr. Totten, but evidently he wrote in a very different spirit, what is unworthy of a reply: He endeavors to draw attention away from his errors, which we have pointed out, by making a furious attack upon the Bible Chronology which we present, interlarding it with sarcasm and personal abuse. We have no disposition to contend along lines of personal abuse, seeing the Lord has given us more important work to do.

The Bible chronology of MILLENNIAL DAWN rejects all the claimed outside corrections of the Bible, and makes no attempt at minute-exactness, but accepts the Bible record, wherein we trust that the Lord has provided a true chronology whose laps and shorts balance each other; indeed, we have found none other so clearly stated.

We force this chronology upon no one, and make no absurd and deceptive claims concerning it. Those who come to the Word of God in simplicity and sincerity, disentangled from preconceived ideas, find in it a very substantial basis for faith respecting the times and seasons of the divine plan of the ages; – especially when they observe that it is abundantly and beautifully corroborated by the prophecies, the Jubilees, Israel's Double, the Times of the Gentiles, the Days of Waiting, the signs of the times; all harmonious and easily understood by even the "common people" of the consecrated class, who hear gladly. And these God evidently intended should hear and be assured by proofs within the range of their comprehension. We submit the chapter and verse for every figure down to the end of the seventy years desolation of the land in the first year of Cyrus – the well established and generally accepted date, B.C. 536.*

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., chapter 2.

Mr. Totten neither denies nor acknowledges his gross errors and false predictions;+ unless it be in the words, – "We shall not...attempt to explain the occasional presence of dead flies in some of the early samples of our ointment." The dead flies (untruths) he indirectly and very unjustly lays to the charge of Mr. Dimbleby, and still he refuses to pick out even those flies admitted to be dead. The fact is that these "dead flies" (errors) are the very essence of his compound, and if all were taken out, nothing of the "Totten Ointment" would remain. – See Eccl. 10:1.

+See our issue of May 15, '96.

Following our rule, we made no personal attack upon Mr. Totten: we merely obeyed our conscience as to duty in calling the attention of the Lord's people to those "dead flies;" because some, not noticing the "flies" (errors) nor the bad odor (bad spirit), were in danger of using Totten's "ointment""as advertised" – as the eyesalve commended by the Lord in Rev. 3:18.

[R2064 : page 272]

SEALED UNTO THE DAY OF REDEMPTION.

"After that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise, which is the earnest [the pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption [Greek – apolutrosis, a loosing away or deliverance. – See also Luke 21:28; Rom. 8:23.] of the purchased possession." "Grieve not the holy spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption [deliverance]." – Eph. 1:13,14; 4:30.
T
HE expression, "sealed unto the day of deliverance," carries with it the idea that at an appointed day all of the sealed ones will be delivered. And the Apostle further emphasizes this thought when he speaks of the sealing as an earnest or pledge of our inheritance until the day of deliverance. The seal which thus marks all of those worthy of deliverance is here declared to be "the holy spirit of God." It is elsewhere called the spirit of Christ, because in Christ the spirit of God dwelt richly and without measure (Col. 1:19; 2:9; John 3:34); and whom God did foreknow as heirs of his exceeding great and precious promises, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. – Rom. 8:29.

The use of the term "sealed" in this connection is very significant when we consider the importance of the seal, which has been in use from remote antiquity. A seal is an authoritative impression affixed to an important document. When affixed by the originator of the document it testifies to its genuineness, and to the deliberation with which it has been executed. When affixed according to legal requirement, it not only thus authenticates, but it also ratifies, confirms and declares the document legal; and thus it becomes the pledge or assurance of its fulfilment. Hence, any act or other instrumentality which legally confirms or ratifies a statement, promise or agreement may properly be called a seal to such statement, promise or agreement.

It is thus that the inspired writers symbolically apply the term to God's gift of the holy spirit to the Church, which testifies to their divine recognition as sons and heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, if so be that they suffer with him, even unto death. This sealing with the holy spirit is not accomplished by act of the individual sealed: it is the stamp of God, impressed by God upon all his believing and truly consecrated [R2064 : page 273] children. Those whose faith accepts, in childlike simplicity, the provision of God for redemption through the precious blood of Christ, with full purpose of heart to conform to his holy will in all things, and thus sanctify (set apart) themselves unto God and separate themselves from the world, are also sanctified (set apart) by God, being sealed, stamped, with his holy spirit for the day of deliverance.

That blessed day is the resurrection day, the Millennial day, early in the morning of which the overcoming Church will be delivered. – "God shall help her when the morning appeareth." (Psa. 46:5, margin.) While carefully guarding the seal of promise, we may, therefore, as the apostles indicate, look for that blessed hope at the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, who shall then change our vile body – the Church, both individually and collectively – and make it like unto his glorious body; for, "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Titus 2:12,13; 1 Pet. 1:7; Phil. 3:20,21; Col. 3:4.) It was to this blessed day that Paul looked forward with joyful hope, and to which he bade all of those look forward who, like himself, were sealed with the same holy spirit of promise, the earnest of their inheritance, saying, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." – 2 Tim. 4:8.

This "seal" is called the "holy spirit of promise" because it is of itself a foretaste, a firstfruit, a pledge, of that blessedness into which those who possess it and hold it fast shall by and by be delivered. Now, as Paul says (Rom. 8:23), having this first fruit of the spirit in the imperfect earthen vessel which cannot fully and satisfactorily carry out the mind of the new spirit, and hence in which we groan within ourselves, realizing both these divine aspirations and our human shortcomings, we longingly wait for the glorious deliverance provided at the appointed day, – the deliverance or birth of those now begotten of the spirit of God, quickened by his mighty power, and developing daily toward the stage of birth, – the deliverance into the glorious likeness of our Lord and Head, in which we, like him, shall be filled with all the fulness of God, which Paul sets forth as the grand ultimatum of Christian attainment – "That ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Eph. 3:19.) Toward this end every truly overcoming child of God is constantly aspiring, and should be able from time to time to note perceptible degrees of progress; for even though in this tabernacle of the flesh we groan, being burdened with a weight of inherent imperfection, it is our duty and privilege daily to press toward this mark of holiness and Christlikeness, fully assured that, in due time, if we faint not in our strivings, we shall be delivered into the likeness of our Lord and Head.

In this view of the matter how important it is that those who hope for the deliverance should see to it that the seal of God is clearly stamped upon their hearts, that they have this holy spirit of promise constantly witnessing with their spirits that they are in deed and [R2065 : page 273] in truth sons and heirs of God. Nor is it enough that we have the recollection that at one time in the long-ago we were sealed with this spirit, if at the present time neither we nor our friends can discern the impression. The witness, to be of any value, must be a present witness, and must so continue to the end.

In order to the receiving of this divine impress or seal of God, the soul, having first by faith gratefully accepted the redemption provided in Christ Jesus, must also be in a plastic or receptive condition toward all the influences of divine grace, just as wax, being plastic, readily receives an impression; and, like wax, it must also have that cohesive quality whereby it may retain and preserve that impression. Such plastic and cohesive qualities of the soul consist in (1), a loving and grateful submission of the whole heart and life to God; and (2), a resolute purpose and fixed principles of action. Unless the soul be in this attitude it would be impossible either to receive or to retain the seal or stamp of God. The stony heart will not take the divine impress. Nor could the unstable heart, or the double-minded man retain it (Jas. 1:6-8), such not having enough of the cohesive quality of stability and fixed principle. As in dough or other soft substances, it would soon subside and disappear, especially if some, however little, of the leaven of sin be permitted to work in it.

It is to the possibility of thus losing this divine impress upon the soul, that the Apostle refers in charging the people of God not to grieve the holy spirit whereby they are sealed. If we are fully and continuously submitted to the will and power of God, the impression of this seal should deepen with the passing years and become more and more distinctly legible; but, on the contrary, if we do not so continue to yield ourselves to the will and power of God, but allow the leaven of sin to abide and to work in us, we thus resist and grieve the holy spirit, which, if we continue to do, will in time result in the obliteration of the seal of God, and in the loss of that inheritance of which its possession was the pledge. Grieve not the spirit, efface not the seal, despise not the inheritance, but hold fast the seal, the pledge of your inheritance, and let its blessed impression deepen upon the soul, that, when the appointed day of deliverance shall have fully come, this clearly legible, God-given pledge may prominently attest its claim to be redeemed by the payment of that fulness of [R2065 : page 274] the divine bounty of which it is declared by the voice of inspiration to be the pledge.

Another thought in connection with this sealing is that, while the impression is distinctly felt upon the heart of the believer and is thus a testimony to himself of his divinely recognized kinship with God, it is also manifest to others; and it becomes more and more thus outwardly manifest as the impression deepens, bearing to the world its testimony of the wisdom, power and grace of God, and even in its silent eloquence convincing the world of sin, of righteousness and of a coming judgment. – John 16:8.

It is not possible that any man should bear this divine impress or seal of God – even the first impression of it before the discipline of years has deepened and marked its outlines more distinctly and prominently – without its being observed by those with whom he comes in contact. Such is its transforming power that it will attract attention as strongly in contrast with the spirit of the world; and that without the slightest reference to it by its possessor. And if the seal, in its general outlines at least, is thus manifest even to the world, how much more distinctly should its features be discerned by those whose vision is clarified by the spirit of truth. Such quickly recognize in each other the stamp of God, and feel consequently a heavenly affinity which leads to a blessed fellowship and communion of spirit; and where the spirit of God is, there all the fruits of the spirit grow, and the more luxuriantly as the weeds of easily besetting sin, which are ever prone to spring up, are kept down.

If asked to describe the outlines of the seal of God upon his people, we could not do better than refer to the words of the Apostle, who speaks of it as "putting on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." (Eph. 4:24.) And again, it is the image of God's dear Son. (Rom. 8:29.) Let us see to it that this seal is ours, and that its impress upon our hearts is becoming daily more and more distinct.

MRS. M. F. RUSSELL.

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"HELL NO PART OF DIVINE REVELATION."

"AN article under the above title, by the Rev. W. E. Manley D.D., appeared in the Arena. The writer begins by laying down the proposition that there is no term in the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures which has the meaning of the English word hell, and continues: –

"When our late revision of the Bible was in progress, Canon Farrar (now Archdeacon and Doctor Farrar) said in substance as follows: – 'If the revisers do their whole duty, when their work is done our Bible will not contain the word hell, nor damnation, nor everlasting punishment.' This covers the whole ground of our proposition, and something more. The revisers, it seems, have not done their whole duty, though they have gone a good way in that direction. There are four words in the Bible that are translated hell, though not uniformly so translated. One of these is a Hebrew word, sheol, and is found in the Old Testament sixty-five times. In the old version it is rendered thirty-one times hell, thirty-one times grave, and three times pit. In the revision it is rendered hell fifteen times, grave fifteen times, pit five times, and is left untranslated thirty times. The revisers admit that the word does not mean hell, but say it is a place of departed spirits, good and bad, and must therefore embrace a hell and a paradise, though these places, and the separation between them, are nowhere mentioned or alluded to in that part of the Bible. With the views the revisers had of sheol, it was manifestly improper to render the word either hell or grave. There was but one consistent course to take, and that was to give the original in every instance, as they have done in nearly half of them, and as the New Testament revisers have done with the word hades. In passing, we may remark that Sheol was the proper name of the first king of the Hebrew nation, and of him who became the apostle to the Gentiles, with some difference of pronunciation – a pretty good evidence that their respective parents did not attach to the word the meaning of hell, unless it had to them a more musical sound than it has to some of us. The true meaning of sheol is grave, and the translators of the old version have given their sanction to this view by so rendering the word in nearly half the instances in the ancient Scriptures; and if we add the three times it is rendered pit, often the synonym of grave, the rendering 'grave' will be in the majority. It should be borne in mind that the translators of the old or authorised version had but one word for the two renderings, 'grave' and 'hell,' and that the former was the sense of the term more often than the latter. It is as plain to us as anything well can be, that in the whole Hebrew Bible they could not find a word for the idea of hell. It is often affirmed by learned Hebrews that there is no such word in the Hebrew language, in the Bible, or in any other book. This is confirmed by the revisers, who confess that sheol has no such meaning; and they name no other word in the Hebrew language to fill the place. Finding no word for hell, they made use of the word sheol, grave, and attached to that the desired meaning when the connection would not betray the fraud. The meaning of hell was not in the word; but they could inject it, and then it would be there, and the Old Testament would not be obliged to bear the disgrace of having no hell. The people, having no knowledge of the Hebrew tongue, and not doubting that the translators, of high standing in the Church, were pious, good men, accepted the new version as an inestimable boon to the English people, as no doubt on the whole it is. The revisers confess that hell is a wrong translation; but they have not altogether rejected this rendering."

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We commend to colporteurs, and to all interested in serving the Truth, the booklet "What Say the Scriptures about Hell?" (See second page.) It is quite convincing to readers in general that God's Word has been misrepresented and misunderstood on this subject; and after reading it they are generally ready for the study of the divine plan of the ages.

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SPLITTING THINGS FINE.

A contemporary, The Christian, says: – "SOME one, speaking of the different classes of Presbyterians, describes them as the 'U.Ps,' 'R.Ps' and 'split Ps.' The United States Census Bulletin shows how sectarianism runs to seed in America. In the United States there are about a hundred and forty different religious denominations. Among Presbyterians there are, 'The Presbyterian Church in the United States of America,' and 'The Presbyterian Church in the United States,' and four branches of 'Reformed Presbyterians,' and half a score of other brands of Presbyterians. There are four bodies calling themselves 'Brethren,' which are noted as I, II, III, IV. There is 'The Reformed Church of America,' and 'The Reformed Churches in the United States.' There are some twenty kinds of Methodists, and a number of kinds of Baptists, among which are mentioned, the 'Six-Principle Baptists,' the 'River Brethren,' the 'Primitive,' the 'Free-Will,' the 'Original Free-Will,' the 'General' and the 'General Free-Will Baptists;' to say nothing of the 'Self-Will Baptists' of which the colored brother spoke. Among the Societies of the 'Friends' are the 'Orthodox,' the 'Hicksite,' the 'Wilburite' and the 'Primitive.' The Lutherans have seventeen or eighteen distinct organizations. The Mennonites, with 41,000 communicants, have a dozen different branches. The people who specially claim to be looking for the Lord, and who have adopted the name 'Adventists,' are divided into half a dozen sects, each with their denominational organizations; and so men divide until it almost seems as if they would divide a man before they are done....

"Said Dr. Philip Schaff, speaking on this subject, 'By persecuting, abusing, and excommunicating each other, the churches do cruel injustice to their common Lord and his followers. They contract his Kingdom and his power. They lower in form his kingly throne to the headship of a party or school. They hate those whom he loves and for whom he died; they curse those whom he blesses, they violate the fundamental law of his gospel.'

"One result of this state of things is, that many devout men are unattached to any of these denominations. They love the Lord, and, like the Psalmist, desire to be companions of 'all them that fear God;' but they cannot tie themselves or bind themselves to any single sect or body of people, nor are they ready to accept the creeds and confessions which are, in many cases, imposed as prerequisites to membership in these denominations. Nor are they willing to bear the unscriptural and sectarian names which have been imposed upon the Christians, either as the nick-names of scoffing enemies, or the sectarian badges of men who aspire to leadership, and desire to impose their label upon their followers as the marks by which they know their sheep, as distinguished from the tokens by which the Lord knows his.

"Among the men who have given expression to this dislike of the denominationalism of the day, may be mentioned Abraham Lincoln who, though in former years skeptical, during his presidential career gave evidence of faith in God and a devout desire to serve him, but still remained unconnected with any denomination. To H. C. Deming, of Connecticut, he said: –

"'When any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both law and gospel, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself,' that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul.'"

*                         *                         *

But often even those who seem to see that something is wrong with nominal "churchianity," fail to see in what the real wrong consists, and what is the true remedy.

Was it wrong for Protestants to secede from Roman Catholicism? No!

Was it wrong for John Wesley's followers to secede from the Protestant Episcopal Church, when they conscientiously believed that they were moving in the right direction? No!

Is it wrong for any man or company of men to obey conscientiously their understanding of the teaching of God's Word and the leading of his providence, – even if it make ten thousand splits? Certainly not!

How then can we harmonize these rights and duties of men to split up, with the central thought of the unity of the Church as expressed in our Redeemer's prayer, when he said, "I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me – that they all may be one, even as thou Father and I are one?"

We answer, that our Lord had no reference to any earthly organization, sect or denomination. He referred to the true Church, whose names are written in heaven; and his words cannot properly be applied to any other.

So far as the splitting up is concerned, we may surprise some by declaring that in our view it has not gone far enough. Each split represented a conflict [R2066 : page 275] between truth and error; and the error, darkness and ignorance of Papacy's enforced "union" of the eighth to the fifteenth centuries was so dense as to require all the splitting and reforming that has followed the breaking of its power, and more too; for the work of reform still lacks much of completion. We hope and labor that the good work of reforming and protesting against errors may go on and on, until each individual Christian will rest his faith (not in a denomination, large or small) but personally and individually in the Redeemer, and be united to Christ Jesus, the Head, as a member of his body – the only true Church.

For the past five centuries the Truth (strangled and bound hand and foot and buried by Antichrist in [R2066 : page 276] false creeds and systems) has been gradually awaking and struggling, and with some success, to get back to the light and life and liberty wherewith the true Christ made it free. Yet friends as well as foes have fought against this proper effort persistently; denouncing every reformer and liberty-lover, complimenting all who oppose reform, and tying on new "union" bandages as rapidly as possible.

As the good work of getting free from the fetters of human bondage and error progresses, it is like taking the outer shells off of a nut and getting at the meat, the kernel, the valuable part, which is of very different shape and substance from the original outward appearance. So the cracking and splitting up of the Papal system not only threw off an outer repulsive system of superstition and immorality but cracked the inner shell of unscriptural sectarian bondage in error; and the cracking and picking operation must progress, as it has progressed, until every atom of the real meat of the nut is freed from the shell.

Stripped of the outer shells we now see that the true Church is not composed of two hundred millions of professors, but instead is a "little flock" of fully consecrated believers, among whom are not many great or wise or noble or rich according to the estimate of this world. And we find the faith of this true Church as different from that of the mass as its numbers are different. It has three steps to which none of the true Church can object, – (1) Justification through faith in the precious blood of Christ; (2) Consecration in thought, word and deed to God and his cause as best they understand; (3) Growth in grace, knowledge and love.

Standing thus free, untrammeled by human creeds and bondages, but personally united to Christ, each will find in the others "members of the body of Christ," and affinity, fellowship and love will unite them in the only "union" that is not injurious; – union in Christ, to whom, as living "branches" in the Vine, each is personally united.

But such liberty will not mean anarchy and disorder; for the wisdom that cometh from above which is "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits," no less than the words and example of our Lord through his apostles, will instruct them as to a propriety of order in their assemblies, for the benefit of all. (See our issue of Nov. 15, 1895, "Let All Things Be Done Decently and in Order.")

The physical union of the Church, the entire body of Christ, will be in glory, – at the completion of the First Resurrection; for "we ourselves also groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption; to wit, the redemption [deliverance] of our body," – the body of Christ. – Rom. 8:23.

Meantime let this "splitting things fine" continue; and let each individual Christian seek to be no longer a babe in Christian experience and knowledge but to attain the stature of manhood in Christ. (Eph. 4:13-15.) Too long has assent to human creeds taken the place of individual faith! Too long has membership in a popular or an unpopular denomination satisfied the conscience and taken the place of a personal covenant and union with the Redeemer. Too long have many lords, many faiths and many baptisms taken the place of the one Lord, one faith and one baptism, once delivered to the saints.

Such a splitting up of creeds and systems has been necessary to set free the Lord's "sheep," to prepare a cleansed sanctuary class truly united in Christ. – See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. III., chapter 4.

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"UNAUTHORIZED WORKERS."

"'BY what authority doest thou these things?' said the Jews to Christ, when he was healing the sick and casting out devils. He did the things, this was certain; it was equally certain that they could not do the things. They had authority, but no power; he had power, but they wanted to know his authority. He answered their question by asking another, 'The baptism of John, was it from heaven or of men?' They were in a dilemma. If they said, it was from heaven, then he could quote John's endorsement of himself: if they said it was of men, they feared the people, for all men counted John as a prophet; and so, rather than be trapped, they lied themselves out of the difficulty and [R2067 : page 276] said, 'We cannot tell.' 'Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things;' was his ready reply.

"The enemies of God and truth seek by every possible means to hinder faithful workers from doing the will of the Lord. 'They have no authority,' 'They are not duly appointed,' 'They have no credentials.'

"There are plenty of men who have authority to do everything but have no power to do anything: there are other men who may lack human authority, but yet have the authority of God and the Holy spirit. Said Mr. Spurgeon in a recently published sermon: –

"'Remember Moses when they came to him and said that Eldad and Medad were prophesying in the camp; those two fellows had not been properly ordained, yet they were prophesying in the camp! What did Moses say? 'Stop them directly! They have not 'Rev.' before either of their names, and certainly they have not M.A., or any other letters of the alphabet, after their names. Shut those fellows up?' No, no! Moses said, 'Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!' And is not that what Christ would say, and have you say? Oh, let us have joy in our hearts when souls are saved, even though we may not be the instruments of their salvation, nor any of our denomination, but somebody quite apart from us! God has blessed him, and God be blessed for blessing him!'

H. L. Hastings."

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QUESTIONS OF GENERAL INTEREST.

Question. M. DAWN claims that God's promise to Abraham (Gen. 15:5; 22:17) included both the heavenly and the earthly "seed" – the former represented by the "stars of heaven" and the latter by the "sand upon the seashore." Do you not think this strains the sense, since the sands and stars represent an almost innumerable number, while the heavenly seed (the Church) will be a comparatively small number – probably 144,000?

Answer. No; this does not seem to us a strained use of the language; but on the contrary both a reasonable and a beautiful application of the figures of speech used. We must remember that the Apostle Paul, when describing the resurrection of the Church (1 Cor. 15:41,42), uses this same figure, saying, "as star differeth from star in glory, so also is the [special or chief] resurrection of the [special or chief] dead." The same figure is used in Daniel. – Dan. 12:3.

Since the "great company" of Rev. 7:9 will be spiritual, heavenly, and not an earthly or restitution class, it would properly be included in the star figure, – as well as the "little flock" which alone will receive the Kingdom and the divine or immortal nature.

These figures of speech are only approximate. We cannot suppose that the earthly seed will be as numerous as the grains of sand. "As the sand" gives the thought of resemblance and not of identical likeness or numbers.

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THE FAME OF SOLOMON.
– NOV. 29. – 1 KINGS 10:1-10,13. –
"Behold, a greater than Solomon is here." – Matthew 12:42.
S
OLOMON was in all his glory at the time of the visit of the Queen of Sheba in the twentieth year of his reign, when he was about forty years old. His fame as the most wonderful monarch of earth had not only made him renowned amongst the lesser nations surrounding Israel; but to the extremes of the civilization of that day his fame had spread. The visit of the Queen of Sheba tells of a great appreciation in that day for learning, wisdom and understanding. Herself evidently a more than ordinarily brilliant woman, the Queen wished to prove whether or not it could be the truth that had reached her ears respecting the great King of Israel.

She came to prove him with hard questions, not merely, we may suppose, with conundrums, which were popular in the East, but probably also with questions related to the sciences and arts and probably also with questions relating to wise government. Nor did her inquiries cease with these, but extended evidently to religion, as intimated in the first verse; for not only had she heard of his wisdom, but that in connection with "the name of the Lord." Apparently she rightly associated in her mind Solomon's greatness and wisdom and wealth with some special divine blessing. Perhaps, indeed, the story of Solomon's choice of wisdom and of the Lord's promises to him had spread abroad with his fame.

We have seen in previous lessons that up to this point in his career King Solomon was in favor with God, and that it was about this time that God appeared to him a second time to warn him against the dangers of his high position. The incident of this lesson, the visit of a Queen from the far off South-land to confer with him and to learn something concerning his God through whom this great blessing had come upon the nation of Israel, should have inspired Solomon with a fresh interest in his God and in his religion, and should have cultivated in him a desire to spread abroad the knowledge of the Lord amongst nations afar off. But, as we have seen, instead of choosing the right path of honoring God, serving his cause, blessing his people Israel, and instructing the nations round about, Solomon chose the wrong path of self-gratification and sin.

Solomon himself seems to have anticipated the coming of people from distant countries, because of the Lord's blessing upon him, and in his prayer at the dedication of the temple he made mention of this and freely ascribed the honor and glory thereof to God, asking a blessing upon "a stranger that is not of thy people Israel, but coming out of a far country for thy name's sake, when he shall come and pray toward this house; for they shall hear of thy great name and thy strong hand and of thy stretched out arm." (1 Kings 8:41,42.) In all this Solomon very beautifully, modestly and properly gives the credit for his wisdom and greatness to God. And yet, so baneful was the influence of prosperity in his case, that, when he had reached the moment of greatest possibility for good, he forsook the Lord and his true wisdom.

(2-5) Sheba, the Queen's home, was in southern Arabia, a land noted at that time for its immense wealth, and particularly for its perfumes. Of these the Queen brought a royal present to King Solomon, adding also spices from India. According to verse ten the quantity of wealth, spices, precious stones and perfumes was immense, the value of the gold alone being [R2067 : page 278] estimated at three million dollars. If this sum of gold seems fabulous for a present, its reasonableness is nevertheless borne out by the historian Rawlinson, who says, "Strabo relates that the Sabeans were enormously wealthy, and used gold and silver in a most lavish manner in their furniture, their utensils, and even on the walls, doors and roofs of their houses."

The zeal of the Queen for wisdom is evidenced by the fact that she brought so valuable a treasure so long a distance upon camels, and to some extent through a wilderness where she was liable to the attacks of Bedouin robbers. Deservedly her quest for wisdom was rewarded. She communed with Solomon concerning all that was in her heart (mind); and was richly rewarded by having her every inquiry answered, by seeing the temple built to the glory of God, Solomon's own palace just completed, the elaborate arrangements of its cuisine and the remarkable passage way leading from the palace to the temple. (See 2 Kings 16:18.) The last clause of verse five corresponds in meaning with the common expression of our day, "took her breath away," as indicating overwhelming astonishment.

(6-8) Then the Queen confessed that, although she had been somewhat skeptical before coming, and had only half believed what she did hear, yet the half had not been told her of what she now saw and heard, bearing witness to Solomon's wisdom and prosperity; and the summing up of her tribute of praise shows that she appreciated the wisdom of Solomon more even than his wealth and splendor, so that she almost envied his servants, who, continually with him, were blessed by the wise and gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.

(9) Her highest compliment and tribute to the King is recorded in verse nine, where she attributes Solomon's excellent glory and wisdom to the Lord's love of Israel; and she shows in this connection that she herself was a wise woman in attributing the Lord's blessing and favor upon Solomon to be for the purpose of showing justice and establishing righteousness with his people Israel. Well had it been for King Solomon had he laid to heart and ordered his life according to these words of wisdom from the Queen of the South.

(10,13) Having concluded her visit, and given her presents, she received again presents from King Solomon; and although the kind and extent of the presents given her is not mentioned, they were probably of as great or greater value than those she brought to him; for it is a custom in oriental countries for kings and princes to give presents to each other according to [R2068 : page 278] their wealth, and Solomon was no doubt still more wealthy than the Queen.

We cannot apply this lesson of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon better than it has already been applied by our Lord. (Matt. 12:42.) As we have already noticed, our Lord Jesus was "the greater than Solomon" – the antitype greater than the type. He is the embodiment of wisdom, of justice, of righteousness, and in his possession God has placed riches of grace and glory and honor and dominion. When the kingdom is the Lord's, and he is the governor amongst the nations, all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto him. (Psa. 22:27,28.) And when they shall witness the glory of Christ and the greatness of his kingdom under the whole heavens, the majesty of his Church, the true finished and glorified temple, the grandeur of all of his appointments and the blessings upon all who are his ministers or servants, they, with the Queen of the South, will agree that the half was never told them: that they had never dreamed of so wonderful and excellent a kingdom as that which God will thus establish amongst men, for which we pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth," etc. Concerning that New Jerusalem it is written, "The nations shall walk in the light of it, and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it;" and as the willing and obedient shall then present their homage and riches and spices and odors (prayers and good deeds), these will be accepted of them; and in return they shall have from the Greater than Solomon the riches of his grace, including divine favor and life everlasting. – 1 Kings 10:24; Rev. 21:24.

We may apply a lesson also (though not as an antitype) to the gospel Church of this age, which by faith looks forward to and anticipates the great kingdom and renown of the Lord Jesus before the time to become joint-heirs with him in that kingdom. We, who were afar off, having heard of God's grace in Christ, have been brought nigh by the blood of Christ through faith, and have heard the "wonderful words of life" and beheld with the eye of faith that which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, – the things which God hath in reservation for them that love him;" and we have accepted them, and have confessed and do confess that the half was never told us of the riches of divine grace in our Lord. Furthermore, we have presented to him all that we have and all that we are. Our best of desires and intentions, our best efforts, our means, our opportunities, our service. By our covenant we have laid these at his feet, and he has accepted them and made us his stewards to use and distribute them in his name; and, more than this, he has conferred upon us blessings which pertain not only to the life that now is but also to that which is to come.

Having received such grace, let us not faint, but hold fast the confidence of our rejoicing (while suffering with him for righteousness' sake) firm unto the end.

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SOLOMON'S SIN.
– DECEMBER 6. – 1 KINGS 11:4-13. –
"Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." – 1 Cor. 10:12.
A
S Solomon was the wisest man, so also he was the most foolish man; for the greater the opportunity the greater the loss, and the greater the knowledge possessed the greater the sin in its misuse.

McLaren has truthfully said of Solomon: –

"There are many instances in history of lives of genius and enthusiasm, of high promise and partial accomplishment, marred and flung away, but none which presents the great tragedy of wasted gifts and blossoms never fruited in a sharper, more striking form than the life of the wise King of Israel, who, 'in his later days,' was 'a fool.' The goodliest vessel may be shipwrecked in sight of port.

"The sun went down in a thick bank of clouds, which rose from undrained marshes in his soul; and, stretched far up in the western horizon. His career in its glory and its shame preaches the great lesson which the Book of Ecclesiastes puts into his mouth as 'the conclusion of the whole matter:' 'Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.'"

(4-6) "When Solomon was old." We last saw him at forty entertaining the Queen of Sheba with his wisdom, and noted that at about that time the Lord appeared to him a second time to indicate that he had reached a crisis where he must choose the right or the wrong path of life – wisdom or folly. Solomon chose the wrong path. He gave himself up to self-gratification, to "every desire of his heart [mind]." The result was a premature old age, for he died about fifty-nine years old. We may suppose (verse 4) that Solomon was to be reckoned an old man from his fiftieth year onward; whereas really that should have been but the prime of his life had he walked in the ways of wisdom.

Contrary to the divine law (Deut. 17:17), Solomon multiplied wives till he had seven hundred. (Vs. 3.) Some of these "queens" were ladies of rank and refinement from the various royal families of surrounding nations, one being Pharaoh's daughter. Solomon in his wisdom was esteemed by them, and they in turn were esteemed by him, not only for their personality, but because of the court alliance and influence with other kingdoms which it cemented. Having slipped from the path of obedience to God and integrity of heart, Solomon fell readily under the influence of his young wives into the support of idolatry. We are not to suppose that he ceased to believe in the only true God and believed in the heathen gods and idols and nonsense; but that he came gradually to feel that he wished to please his various wives. This thought is borne out by verse six, which declares not that Solomon left the Lord, but that he went not fully after the Lord, and that he did that which was evil in the Lord's sight in sanctioning in any degree the idolatrous desires of his wives.

(7-8) Like all sins this one had its beginning – when Solomon built the high place or altar of Chemosh to satisfy his Moabitish wives; and what might be expected is told us in verse eight: that when one system of idolatry had been introduced, the other foreign wives claimed similar rights, privileges, altars, etc., for the divinities of their lands. In yielding to these Solomon no doubt had in mind the foreign maids and servants of these wives and yet more the visiting delegations of court representatives from those various lands which, finding altars and temples to their divinities, would praise Solomon for breadth of character. But very different was such praise from that of the Lord and from that of the Queen of Sheba, who recognized in her day Solomon's true wisdom in his fidelity to Jehovah God.

(9,10) The Lord's anger with Solomon was not a burst of fury nor a malicious anger. It was a righteous indignation against sin; and an anger of this sort is the only kind compatible with God's character. It is the only kind, therefore, that the children of God should cultivate or exercise. While anger in the nature of hatred, malice, strife, envy should be put away by all who are seeking to be copies of God's dear Son, anger in the sense of righteous indignation against wrong-doing, sin in its various forms, is proper; and although it should be used with great moderation, backed by love, there are circumstances and conditions in which it would be wrong not to have righteous anger and use it.

(11,12) The rending of the bulk of the kingdom from the hand of Solomon's son, Rehoboam, was a part of the penalty for Solomon's sin; yet it came in a natural way, and as the result of natural causes. The evil course which started in self-gratification and was manifested in the multiplication of wives and the gratifying of their desires for false religions did not stop there, but extended in other directions throughout Solomon's affairs and kingdom. He patterned his conduct more and more after other rulers of his day, selfishly augmented his own fortune, and ministered to his own desires and the desires of his numerous household, regardless of the interests of the Lord's people in whose interest and for whose happiness and welfare he should have sought to use the gifts of wisdom, influence and wealth bestowed upon him by the Lord. On the contrary, as we have seen (1 Kings 12:4,11), he bound heavy burdens upon the people.

The Jews as a people have always zealously guarded their liberties; and the spirit of liberty, as we have [R2068 : page 280] already seen, was the result of the measure of divine truth which had been granted them, which showed that the King upon the throne was as accountable as the peasant in the field to God the Judge of all. Hence the Israelites were prevented from believing, as did the heathen nations round about, that their kings were a kind of demi-god whose every wish was law; and hence, although we find no protest of the people against Solomon's departure from the Lord, nor against his erection of the altars for worship of false gods, we do find that they were disposed to resent Solomon's intrusion upon their personal rights and liberties. He divided the whole country into twelve districts, each of which was compelled to furnish contributions to the luxury of the royal palaces and court. He also established a system of forced labor in connection with the building of roads, palaces, fortifications, immense gardens, reservoirs, etc. And while these public improvements were in many respects proper enough, the method of securing the labor was particularly distasteful to the [R2069 : page 280] Israelites, who were thereby reminded of the Egyptian slavery. Thirty thousand men were set to work to fell trees on Mount Lebanon and to work in quarries under Jerusalem, each division of ten thousand serving for one-third of a year; seventy thousand were made carriers and general laborers, while eighty thousand others were engaged as stone masons and carpenters; and it appears that in all there were thirty-two hundred overseers of this labor-army. The heavy work now done by machinery was in those days all done by physical strength. In all this Solomon only copied the methods of his day which treated the masses of mankind virtually as the slaves of the rulers. Besides the forces above mentioned, other levies were made for the royal army and general service. In the end the Israelites were learning under their wisest and greatest King what God, through Samuel, the prophet, had forewarned them they must expect. – See 1 Samuel 8:18.

(13) This verse was fulfilled through Jeroboam, who had been an officer in Solomon's industrial army. Partly from sympathy and largely through ambition, he sought to steal the hearts of the people away from Solomon and attempted a rebellion in Solomon's day, but contrary to the Lord's plan. (1 Kings 11:31.) It was after Solomon's death that Jeroboam, allying himself with the ten tribes of Israel, aroused a certain amount of animosity by pointing out that King Solomon, being of the tribe of Judah, had favored that tribe chiefly. He then joined with the chief men of the ten tribes in demanding of Rehoboam how he would conduct the kingdom, telling him that unless he promised reform from his father's methods and oppression they would revolt. Rehoboam refused to reform and they did revolt, and constituted a separate kingdom down to the time of the taking away into captivity by the King of Babylon, who took first the ten tribes and afterward the two tribes called Judah. Since the return from that captivity the distinction between Judah and Israel has not been maintained, and we find both the Lord and the apostles speaking of them, and applying prophecies to them, as "the twelve tribes," "the house of Israel," "the twelve tribes [a part of whom were] scattered abroad" – not ten tribes scattered abroad and two tribes at home in their own land, but a part of the twelve tribes in Canaan (chiefly Judah), and the remainder of the twelve tribes scattered abroad and living in the various cities of the Gentiles; as for instance, those at Ephesus, Philippi, Corinth, Thessalonica, etc., to whom the apostles first preached the gospel when they went with it amongst the Gentiles. – Acts 16:13; 17:2,10; 18:8,19.

The statement here is that one tribe would be given to Solomon's son; and this is entirely consistent with the facts, for although sometimes called two tribes, yet really the remnant of the tribe of Benjamin (after it was almost destroyed) was absorbed into the tribe called Judah.

We may learn from this sad lesson of Solomon's fall, that it is not only important to begin life wisely in harmony with God, but equally necessary to continue it, and to end it so. We may learn also that the temptations and trials of life are not upon the young only, but rather that the strongest temptations are apt to come as we advance in life; and that for these we need the preparation of character well begun and cultivated, developed, strengthened by experience and endurance.

Another lesson respects the importance of marriage, and fully corroborates the Apostle Paul's statement, that while marriage is honorable, it should be only "in the Lord." Whoever has neglected this advice has either rued his neglect or by it has been led so far astray as to be unable to appreciate his own decline from godliness. Each Christian has in his own fallen members quite a sufficient downward tendency to fight against, without putting himself directly in the way of outside temptation, although he has the Lord's promise of grace sufficient for every time of need. If, neglecting the Lord's instruction, he surround himself with additional downward tendencies, by taking a husband or a wife not in the Lord – not seeking chiefly the Kingdom of God and setting his affections upon the things above, but upon the things beneath – he will surely find it greatly to his disadvantage, as did Solomon in the taking of foreign wives – aliens to the divine promises and blessings, the commonwealth of Israel.

Another lesson is that wisdom and wealth, education and influence and great opportunities are sure to become snares and injurious, unless we are continually guided in their use by the wisdom which cometh from above. And the more of these talents we possess by nature or by acquisition, the more need we have for the divine grace provided in our Lord Jesus only, the more need to study and ponder and practise the exhortations to humility and godliness contained in his Word, and the more need to make full use of every other agency which he has provided for our blessing and help – "building one another up in the most holy faith."