page 189
July 15th
Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

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

VOL. XVIII.JULY 1, 1897No. 13.

Views from the Watch Tower 191
The "Jewish Question" 191
The Diamond Jubilee, etc 193
What Say the Scriptures about Spiritism? 194
– Proofs That it is Demonism
Modern Spiritism and Its Tendencies 194
Paul a Prisoner at Philippi 200
Poem: Cumbered with Much Serving 203
The Gospel to the Noble and to the More Noble 203

'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 190

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, 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.

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.



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


We frequently have calls for text cards, for home embellishment, and have heretofore found it difficult to describe them satisfactorily. Now we are arranging for an illustrated catalogue describing thirty-eight different styles and over two hundred mottoes and texts. Prices from 5 cents to 50 cents each. We are not permitted to cut these prices, but we can and will send all orders postage free; and with each dollar's worth of these motto cards we will send free either one leatherette bound volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN or three copies of "Tabernacle Shadows" (leatherette), or of "Thy Word is Truth" (leatherette), or of "What Say the Scriptures about Hell?"

Orders for these catalogues will be filled in rotation as received.


The artist who paints these for us can do them at the low price of $1.50 only during the dull seasons – Summer and Winter. In the busy seasons they would be worth about $5.00 each. Orders that have been waiting for three months will soon be filled. Order now if you wish one for use the coming Fall. Price $1.50 delivered. Cannot be mailed outside the United States and Canada.


Preaching and divine worship every Sunday afternoon in Bible House chapel, No. 56 Arch Street, at 3 P.M.

Cottage Meetings – for prayer and testimony on Wednesday evenings; and Dawn Circles for Bible Study on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings – various localities – inquire at WATCH TOWER office.

[R2176 : page 191]


AS THE hour draws near, indicated by the prophetic hands of the great clock of the ages, when "Gentile Times" shall end and God's Kingdom shall take control of earth's affairs, with the natural seed of Abraham as its earthly representatives, in the Land promised to Abraham (Acts 7:5), every intelligent student of prophecy naturally watches the events bearing upon the promised land and the covenant people.

It is just about a year since Dr. T. Herzl, a learned Hebrew of Vienna, published his book advocating the foundation of a "Jewish State," in Palestine, the old homestead, as the only practical solution of the "Jewish question." His views, now known as "Zionism," have been taken up by leading Jews and Jewish journals the world over, and while some opposition has been aroused it is wonderful how general is the Jewish sentiment in favor of the project.

Rabbi Stephen Wise, of New York, says of the movement: –

"The Zionists here and everywhere, however, are thinking of the homeless in Israel. Ours it is to plan and toil, not for ourselves alone, but even for those whose existence is threatened by the passions and prejudices of the different peoples among whom their lots are cast. Have we not witnessed the oft-repeated triumphs of 'scientific' anti-Semitism at the German polls? Few are the nations which are wholly friendly to the Children of the stock from which sprang Jesus of Nazareth.

"Enlightened and God-fearing Christendom will marvel at the spectacle of a comparatively small band of heroes venturing upon a task of appalling magnitude. Were all Christendom truly Christians, there were little or no need of this movement. But Zion must be rebuilt, because the law that went forth therefrom hath not prevailed among all of its professors. In the meanwhile I doubt not that the American people will, with characteristic admiration for personal and national heroism, applaud and God-speed the hardy and hopeful upbuilders of a new Zion."

Dr. Moses Gaster of London, Chief Rabbi of the "Sephardim" Jews of all Southern Europe, said recently, respecting Dr. Herzl's Zionist proposition: –

"I feel a very keen interest in the scheme, dating back from the time when I was living in Roumania, and was instrumental in founding the first Jewish colony in Palestine. I have always cherished the conviction that the future of the Jewish race lies there, and nowhere else. I regard Dr. Herzl's scheme not as a politico-economical idea, but rather as a religious one. It is impossible to divorce such a plan from the religious ideals which underlie it. On the practical details he has developed I refrain from pronouncing an opinion, because it is impossible to say what form the movement will assume when once the masses are stirred with enthusiasm. I presided some months ago at a mass meeting of fifteen hundred East End London Jews, and nothing could have exceeded the enthusiasm at Dr. Herzl's appearance. It is the masses that decide such questions."

Delegates representing Jewish societies in all parts of the world have already been chosen, to meet August 25th in the city of Munich, Germany, to consider the most practical steps to be taken for the attainment of the aims of Zionism. The following prominent Jews are in charge of the convention, – Dr. T. Herzl, Max Nordau, C. Montefiore, Dr. DeHaas.

How remarkable that such a movement should take place at the present time! When in 1878 we pointed out that according to prophecy the set time for the return of divine favor to Israel was then due to begin, and that the beginning was in the putting of Egypt [R2176 : page 192] and Palestine measurably under British protection by the Berlin Conference, the idea was scouted by many. When we declared that the return of Israelites to Palestine was the next step, the Jews themselves scoffed, declaring that to be an absurdity: that the Jew in Germany was a German, in England an Englishman and in the United States an American, and so elsewhere the world over.

When the Russian persecution drove thousands to seek other homes, Palestine was spurned as a barren land. Baron Hirsch, the German millionaire, started with lavish expenditure a new land of promise in Argentina, South America; and wealthy American Hebrews helped their brethren by thousands to the United States. But some of the poorest Russian Jews looked longingly to Palestine and went thither – to find the land dry and barren enough. However, for these God raised up friends in Sir Moses Montefiore and Baron Rothschild who, seeing their destitution, pitied them and started Industrial Schools and Experimental Gardens for their instruction, hospitals for the sick, etc.

Then came the decree of the Sultan that no more Jews be permitted to settle in Palestine; and shortly the Russian persecution abated, and a few years of quiet followed in which affairs have been developing and the Jews have learned certain lessons. (1) The Argentine colony, backed by millions and under seemingly most favorable conditions, has not been a success but a great failure, financially and every way. The Jews colonized there are dissatisfied. (2) The Jews brought to the United States have succeeded only fairly well. (3) The Jews who went to "barren" Palestine have prospered phenomenally. As if by magic the land became more fruitful and happy, and gives evidence of a permanent revival. As a result the eyes of all Israel are turned Zionward, and their watchword is Zion! Zion! Verily, O Lord – "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." Surely, in this we have another distinct evidence that we are in "the Day of Jehovah." – See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. I., Chap. 15.

Seeing this trend of events with Israel, we look in another direction to see in what way the Lord will open the gates to permit their return. And as we can now see a providence and blessing in the retarding of their emigration for a time, until the divine favor upon the land should center upon it the interest of all Jews, we shall expect ere long to see the doors opened wide, [R2177 : page 192] and that many not only of the poor, but also of the rich of Israel will seek Palestine as a home. We do not expect, however, as the Zionists do, that they will succeed speedily in organizing an independent Jewish state. This cannot be until the full end of Gentile Times – in the end of A.D. 1914. See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 4.

Turkey still rules over Palestine, and her success in the war with Greece has emboldened her to feel a greater independence than she has felt for nearly a century. She is concentrating troops in Europe from her Asiatic provinces, and the great powers fear a war, while all are striving for peace. The Grand Vizier of the Empire, the Sultan's Prime Minister, has recently expressed himself as follows, as reported by the London Standard:

"My great age, and the confidence shown in me by appointing me the Grand Vizier of so glorious a Caliph, emboldens me to submit to your Majesty my views on the question of the day. The successes of our soldiers over their enemies have so revived the ardor of the nation that an important portion of it, which was previously alienated from you, has now been won back. The whole of Islam is, therefore, one soul and one body, and stands around your throne in an invincible phalanx. Sire, look upon the Powers of Europe as enemies, who are plotting the destruction of Turkey. If, in the present circumstances, we yield to European pressure, not only shall we have done nothing to ensure our existence, but we shall alienate our Mussulmans. Therefore I implore your Majesty, for the sake of your victorious ancestors, to retain Thessaly. If you seize this opportunity, you are destined to revive the ancient prowess of the great Sultans of the past. During your glorious reign there have been several questions which Europe laid stress upon, and on which you refused to be dictated to, such as the Armenian question and others. What was the result? You gained the victory. Let these examples guide you in the matter of Thessaly, but if my views are unpalatable to your Majesty, I beg you to accept my resignation."

Various jealousies and differences of interest hinder the great powers of Europe from uniting determinedly on any policy respecting Turkey. Austria would take the side of Turkey rather than permit Russia to gain too much by absorbing it. Russia would take sides with Turkey rather than let Austria absorb it, etc., etc.

There are not lacking other sources of European complication which some consider much more dangerous to peace. For instance, the German Emperor is credited with desiring to form a European combination against Great Britain, to hinder further extension of her empire, if not to reduce it. English journals have for some months been urging for a larger and more efficient British army, to repel feared foes. The balance of power is held by France, and British statesmen are alarmed at the growing intimacy between France and Germany. It is even claimed by some writers that the volatile French admire in Emperor William II. the very qualities of show and bombast and autocracy which Englishmen and Americans consider to be his weaknesses.

The London Spectator says: –

"The German Emperor is credited with a project [R2177 : page 193] for uniting the whole Continent in a war with England, which – says one scribe supposed to be inspired – 'could afford to each power engaged a magnificent compensation.' The league is to be for plunder....Emperor William II. is almost as formidable an enemy as Napoleon, and we do not feel sure that he will not ultimately succeed in organizing a coalition of some kind the motto of which will be Delenda est Carthago....We shall not have a long warning if a crisis comes."

Another influential journal says: –

"The Emperor of Germany will have to be reckoned with whether in Africa or Europe, and in the stirring developments that are pending it is not to St. Petersburg, Paris, or London that one must look for a clew, but to Berlin."

An Amsterdam journal, Handelsblatt, voices the sentiments of many of the intelligent of America. It says: –

"It seems to us that a coalition against England is in formation not unlike that created by Napoleon I., and that England assists in the work by estranging her friends [by her colonial and financial policies] and leaving her army in its present condition. We hope we are mistaken. Nothing more horrible could be imagined than a victory of the autocrats over free England and her noble people. For, after all, that people remains one of the wonders of the world, be its Government ever so blind."

But Great Britain has able statesmen who doubtless will guard her interests and conciliate France and Russia. However, we see various national complications possible, any one of which would be tolerably certain to affect the future of Palestine and open its gates to the natural seed of Abraham, – preparatory to its becoming the Capital of the world.

But whether it comes peaceably or by war, we expect Palestine to be open to Israel in less than five years. Nor do we expect that any war that might occur (for we do not anticipate a great war) would be the predicted great turmoil that will wreck the present social order.


The whole world has echoed and reechoed joyous congratulations to England's Queen, jubilating the sixtieth year of her reign. Literary men have striven with each other to see how much could be said in praise of the lady and of her reign. The period of reign has even been styled "The Victorian Age" – after the olden style; as for instance "The Augustan Age" was a term applied to the reign of Augustus Caesar.

We have great respect for the royal lady and great appreciation of the blessings of the past sixty years; but we are far from supposing that the latter were dependent upon the former. In the days of the Caesars one man could and did do much to impress his imperial character for good or for bad upon the art, the literature, the finances, the morals and everything pertaining to his reign. Hence there was a propriety in associating the ruler and the epoch as in the term, – "Augustan Age." But this is not true to-day – especially not in Victoria. Indeed, the lady and the nation are to be congratulated that she did not attempt to stamp her personality and will upon the affairs of the great nation of which she is the nominal head and ruler, as William II. is evidently attempting to stamp his personality upon Germany.

Great credit is due Queen Victoria for not attempting to rule the British Empire in any particular. Contenting herself with being a figure-head of royalty, she has done the very best thing for these times, in leaving the rule, the government, wholly in the hands of Parliament, the representatives of the people; – so far as we recall not even once exercising royal prerogatives, of veto, etc. Any king on the same throne, who would have stamped no personality upon his epoch, would have been despised by his subjects as lacking character; but sex-chivalry permits that in the Queen non-intervention in the government and non-personality of reign shall be esteemed graces. Had a man been on the throne, all of his subjects would have insisted that he have some policy of his own, and among people like the English and Americans, as soon as it would be declared it would arouse those of different views as enemies and opponents. This would have led long ago either to imperialism and less liberty as in Germany, or else to a republican form of government, as in France and the United States.

No; the blessings of the past sixty years are not to be credited to kings and queens, nor to republics, but to God. As already pointed out in MILLENNIAL DAWN, the great prophetic period termed "The Day of His Preparation," began in 1799 and will end with 1914: and it is the advancement of this "day" and the light which God provides, necessary for its work, that has brought the wonders of the present, and is rapidly now bringing on the conditions for the great time of trouble, for the overthrow of present imperfect conditions and the establishment of the Kingdom of God's dear Son.


The permit to proceed with the construction of the Roman Catholic church on Government property contiguous to the West Point Military School has been cancelled. The question of the authority of the Secretary of War, under the constitution, was referred to Attorney General McKenna (a Roman Catholic) who, much to the disappointment of Roman Catholics, decided that the Secretary of War has no right to permit the erection of any building for sectarian purposes, at [R2177 : page 194] West Point. The Constitution certainly guards carefully against union of Church and State.

Many great Americans seem to have foreseen danger along this line. President Grant said, – "Keep Church and State forever separate." President Jackson said, – "It is wicked and tyrannical to compel any man to support a religion in which he does not believe." President Garfield said, – "The divorce between Church and State should be absolute." Benjamin Franklin said, – "A religion that depends on the State for support is, for that reason, a bad religion."

Nevertheless, we believe a practical union, or at least a cooperation, is approaching, the result of which will be injurious to religious sentiments not prominent, popular and influential. [R2178 : page 194]


The English Church, having been rebuffed by the pope, is making progress with the Greek Church of Russia. We noted the attendance of the Bishop of London at the Czar's coronation in full mediaeval regalia of gaudy robes, cap, mitre, pastoral staff, episcopal ring, etc., and later the visit of the Archbishop of York to Russia, presumably in the interest of union between the Greek and English churches. Now we notice that the Greek Church has sent the Archbishop of Finland to attend, as its representative, the ceremonies of the Queen's Jubilee, and in addition to attend the Lambeth Conference, which meets shortly in the interest of Church Union.

As an olive-twig to the "Nonconformists," as Protestants in general are designated in Great Britain, Rev. Dr. Barret was invited to and did "read the Scripture lesson" at the Jubilee Service. This, however, as some Churchmen point out, does not signify a recognition of nonconformist ministers as being duly ordained; for any "layman" might be called upon for that service under English Church rules.

Alas! how little the real ordination, the real ministry, the real union, and the real Church are understood; – how sadly and blindly all these questions are confused by the "Babylonians."

[R2178 : page 194]




The claim of Spiritists is that Spiritism is the new gospel which is shortly to revolutionize the world – socially, religiously, politically. But, as we have just seen, Spiritism, under various garbs, has long held possession of the world and borne bad fruit in every clime. It is nearly fifty years since the rapping and tipping manifestations first occurred, in Rochester, N.Y. (1848), and gave start to what is at present known in the United States as "Spiritualism." It began with strange noises in a "haunted house" and first answered a little girl who addressed the unseen author of the noises as "Old Splithoof." It had a rapid run of popularity, and judges, doctors, lawyers and ministers and hundreds of thousands of others speedily became its votaries, until its friends and its enemies claimed that its adherents numbered over ten millions. Believing in the consciousness of the dead, ignorant of the Scripture teachings on the subject of death and of their prohibition from holding communion with "mediums;" and very generally disbelieving in evil spirits, it is not surprising that intelligent men and women, having proved to their own satisfaction that supernatural powers were in their midst, as manifested by the rappings, tippings, slate-writings, answers to questions through mediums, clairvoyances, etc., should believe these invisible powers, which desire to converse with them, to be what they profess, – their deceased friends. Even allowing that there are certain tricks of legerdemain, and certain frauds along similar lines, we cannot wonder that intelligent people would believe their own senses in respect to instances which they had personally investigated.

As a result, for a time many of God's people were in great danger, because of their failure to take heed to the sure Word of God's testimony (the Bible) on this subject. Indeed, the personating spirits seem at first to have been very careful in all their references to the Bible, sometimes advising the religious ones who attended seances to do more reading of the Bible, more praying, etc. But this was only to allay their suspicions and fears and to get them more fully under their influence. Gradually the teachings became more and more lax, and the student was given to understand that the Bible was better than nothing to the uninitiated world, but to those who had come to have intercourse with the spirits direct, the Bible was useless, – and worse, a hindrance.

Well has an able writer upon the subject said of Spiritism, –

"A system which commences with light, innocent, trifling and frivolous performances and communications, but which ends in leading its followers to deny "the Lord that bought them," and to reject the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever, gives [R2178 : page 195] evidence that there may be a deep purpose under all its fantastic tricks; and that the craft of the Old Serpent, who is a liar from the beginning, may underlie those trifling and unimportant communications which, by stimulating curiosity and inspiring confidence, lull to slumber the suspicious of honest but undiscerning souls, until they are in the fatal coils of the Enemy of all righteousness."

These demons who personate the dead, seeing that a new dispensation is opening, were prompt to apply their knowledge as far as possible to the advancement of their own cause, and freely declared a new dispensation at hand, and Spiritism the guiding angel which was to lead mankind safely into it; and they have not hesitated to declare that the new dispensation means the utter wreck of the present social order, and the establishment of Spiritism as the new order. In some instances, where they thought it would serve their purpose, they have not hesitated to declare the second coming of Christ, and on one occasion at least it was distinctly stated that Christ had come a second time: and it was intimated that they were ready if any one chose to grant communication with Christ through the medium.

Many of God's people have been saved from being ensnared into this great evil, by what we might term their own spiritual sense, by which they discerned that there was something in connection with Spiritism quite at variance with the spirit of our Lord and the sentiments of his Word. We may safely conclude, however, on the strength of the Lord's promise, that none of the fully consecrated – the "elect" are suffered to be fully ensnared. – Matt. 24:24.

The strongly marked tendency of Spiritism toward free-loveism served to bring it into general disrepute amongst the pure minded, who concluded that, if the influence of the dead was properly represented in some living advocates of Spiritism, – then the social conditions beyond the vale of death must be much worse, much more impure, than they are in the present life, instead of much better, as these demon spirits claim.

We could make voluminous quotations from Spiritist writings, proving that it totally denies the Bible, and that it is in direct opposition to its teachings; that it has denied the very existence of God, teaching instead merely a good principle, and that every man is a god. It denies the atonement and the Lordship of Christ, while it claims that he was a spirit-medium of low degree; and furthermore, abundant testimony could be quoted from prominent Spiritists proving that the tendencies of Spiritism are extremely demoralizing. We will content ourselves with one.

Here is the testimony of J. F. Whitney, editor of the Pathfinder (N.Y.). Having been a warm and evidently an honest defender and advocate of Spiritism for a long time and well acquainted with its devotees, his is a testimony hard to impeach. He says: –

"Now, after a long and constant watchfulness, seeing for months and years its progress and its practical workings upon its devotees, its believers, and its mediums, we are compelled to speak our honest conviction, which is, that the manifestations coming through the acknowledged mediums, who are designated as rapping, tipping, writing and entrance mediums, have a baneful influence upon believers, and create discord and confusion; that the generality of these teachings inculcate false ideas, approve of selfish individual acts, and endorse theories and principles which, when carried out, debase and make man little better than the brute. These are among the fruits of modern Spiritualism....

"Seeing, as we have, the gradual progress it makes with its believers, particularly its mediums, from lives of morality to those of sensuality and immortality, gradually and cautiously undermining the foundation of good principles, we look back with amazement to the radical change which a few months will bring about in individuals; for its tendency is to approve and endorse each individual act and character, however good or bad these acts may be."

He concludes by saying – "We desire to send forth our warning voice, and if our humble position, as the head of a public journal, our known [former] advocacy of Spiritualism, our experience, and the conspicuous part we have played among its believers, the honesty and fearlessness with which we have defended the subject, will weigh anything in our favor, we desire that our opinions may be received, and those who are moving passively down the rushing rapids to destruction, should pause, ere it be too late, and save themselves from the blasting influence which those manifestations are causing."

So bold and outspokenly immoral did some of the prominent representatives of Spiritism become, especially the female mediums (and most of its mediums are females) that the moral sense of civilization was shocked; and for a time demonism under the name of "Spiritualism" languished. Now that its past is measurably forgotten or denied, it is reviving, but along somewhat different lines. The new method seems to be to have less tipping and rapping and fewer special [R2179 : page 195] mediums, or rather to make of each believer a medium, by the use of mechanical appliances. Indeed, almost all who become investigators are assured that they would make excellent mediums: this flattery is no doubt intended to lure them on; the ability to do "wonders" having a great fascination, especially for people of naturally mediocre talents. Nor is the statement untrue: none but idiots are so stupid or so ignorant that they cannot be used as mediums; and they may become powerful mediums in proportion as they yield themselves obediently to the "control" of these "seducing spirits" and their "doctrines of devils (See 1 Tim. 4:1) and are "led captive" by Satan at his will. – 2 Tim. 2:26. [R2179 : page 196]

The term "seducing spirits" exactly fits the case. From amusement of curiosity and answering of questions, sometimes quite truthfully, they proceed to gain the confidence of their victims, and in a plausible manner to break down the will power and make slaves of them. Then they tyrannize in a most diabolical manner, leading into excesses of various kinds. Should conscience rebel or an attempt be made to get free from this slavery, all reserve is cast aside and the victim is taunted with his fall, persuaded that there is no hope for him, and that his only future pleasure must be in diabolism – Scriptures being skillfully quoted and cited to apparently prove this.

A case of this kind came under the writer's observation in 1895. A gentleman who had occasionally attended on preaching asked that an interview be granted his sister whom he would bring from Cleveland for the purpose. She was, he said, laboring under the delusion that she had committed the unpardonable sin, and he hoped we could disabuse her mind of the thought which sometimes made her "wild." We consented, and she came. She conversed rationally enough but assured us that her case was hopeless. We explained the Scriptures relating to the "Sin unto death" and endeavored to show her that she had never had sufficient light to come under its conditions, but we could make no headway. She declared that she had been in a salvable condition once, but was so no longer.

She told us how she had met in California a man who had a familiar spirit and occult powers: at first disbelieving, she afterward became his co-worker in "mysteries" resembling witchcraft, and had finally inveigled and injured a dear female friend. Since then remorse had seized her, and she had been tortured and at times frenzied and hope had forever fled. Before she left us she seemed comforted a little by what we told her of divine compassion and the abundant provision made in the great ransom for all given at Calvary. But we have heard since that she lost hope again and has been placed in an asylum to hinder her from taking her own life. She could not be trusted alone: she would attempt to throw herself headlong from a window, or while quietly walking the street would attempt to throw herself under passing vehicles; – reminding us of the case mentioned in Mark 9:22. We have regretted, since, that instead of merely reasoning with the poor woman we did not, also, in the name of the Lord, exorcise the evil spirit which evidently possessed her; or, failing to cast it out, at least have instructed and helped her to exercise her will power to resist the demon.

There are good spirits, as the Scriptures freely declare; and these holy angels are charged with the care of all who are fully consecrated to the Lord. These, however, do not operate in darkness, nor through "mediums," and have better employment than tipping tables, rapping out answers to foolish questions and entertaining humanity. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Heb. 1:14.) There is no warrant, however, for seeking or expecting communications from these holy guardian angels: God's will being that his "elect" shall walk by faith and not by unusual manifestations or sights or sounds. To this end he has prepared his Word as a storehouse of knowledge from which his faithful shall be supplied with "meat in due season:" and he declares it to be sufficient that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. – 2 Tim. 3:17.

Furthermore, it may be set down as a sure sign of evil (either germinating or developed), for any one to attempt to get control of the will and mind of another – as in mesmerism, spirit-mediumship, hypnotism and the like. The Lord respects our individuality and appeals to it, and urges our self-control in harmony with the principles of righteousness laid down in his Word. But Spiritism asks an abandonment of self-control in favor of spirit control. No one of ordinary prudence would dare to give up the use and control of his mind and will to fellow men, much less to unseen powers which merely profess to be good and great and wise. No Christian who has the slightest confidence in the Bible as the inspired Word of God should submit himself to these influences as a "medium," or even become an "investigator" of that concerning which God's Word has given us so explicit warnings – that it is a way that leads from God and righteousness to sin, and ruin, mental, moral and physical.

One of the simple modern devices for awakening interest and leading on to fuller "mediumship," "possession" and "control," is described in a letter just received, dated March 11, '97, from a Christian lady, a school teacher in Georgia, and a deeply interested student of God's plan of the ages. The writer says: –

"I have been having a rather strange and perhaps unwise experience lately. My husband's brother is a Spiritualist, takes the Progressive (?) Thinker and is thoroughly imbued with its teachings, and, when I visit there, he reads articles from it and asks my opinion concerning them; especially those from persons claiming to have received messages from 'departed friends' through the aid of the mediums. Now I never have thought it 'all humbug' as many do, tho there is much fraud connected with it – for it seems to me that the Bible plainly teaches that spirits have had, and will have, the power to communicate with men. I have told him that I believed those communications came from fallen angels who personated the dead for the purpose of deceiving men into believing Satan's old lie, "Thou shalt not surely die." But as my brother-in-law [R2179 : page 197] does not accept the Bible as the Word of God, my opinion had little weight with him. His wife (who is a firm believer in DAWN) is much troubled over his belief; and both have found their difference of opinion any thing but pleasant, tho his wife avoids the subject as much as possible with fidelity to the truth. Some time ago he bought a Psychograph, an instrument used by mediums for communing with spirits, but he could not use it.

"A few days ago it was placed in my hands, and, as I found I was a medium, I resolved to "try the spirits." [This is a misapplication of Scripture, as shown later. EDITOR.] About the first thing it said to me was that there is a valuable gold mine on our place: that did not surprise me, as we had been told that a "vein" had been traced across the place. It described the exact location to dig for it; said it is only 7½ feet below the surface. So that will not be difficult to prove. Then it gave me some Scripture messages, Col. 1:4,5 and 2:4. I asked what was meant by "enticing words" and was answered, Bellamy, Christian Science, Spiritualism, Ingersolism, etc. I asked who was talking, and was told Epaphras. That did not seem to please my brother-in-law very much, and he said he would like to hear from some one we had known in the flesh, so I asked if such an one were present, and was told, "Yes, Eastman" (a stranger to me, but my brother-in-law and his wife, who alone were present, were both acquainted with him). When asked what he wished to say he cited us to Titus 3:5, said MILLENNIAL DAWN doctrine is true, and that his wealth had hindered him from gaining the prize of the high calling. I, said Eastman, was not thought a very good Christian, tho a member of the church.

"The next day I tried the wheel or Psychograph again, and was told that a dear good friend of mine who had lived in speaking distance of me for several years was talking to me. She asked me to write to her husband and tell him, that she said, a certain boy (giving name) was having a bad influence over their boy. She told me that my husband (who is in Florida) was hurt and was very lame, and I got a letter from him day before yesterday confirming it. She said she regretted that she had not given DAWN the attention that I had wished her to, that she had life on the angelic plane; she also told me of the "mine." I asked did she know the one claiming to be Eastman, and she said yes, that it was a deceiving spirit personating him, and that I would best not make use of the means through which I could receive such communications. One claiming to be Cephas cited me to the first chapter of Daniel. Another, claiming to be my father, said in substance the same. All said the same about the gold "mine," and all professed to believe in Christ and that DAWN is a correct exponent of God's Word, and told me that I was failing to make the best use of one of my "gifts" – teaching; that I should teach publicly as well as individuals, but was cautioned with 1 Cor. 3:7 and Eph. 4:2.

"During the little time I experimented with the instrument I was told many things (a few of which were not true) that would take too much of your time to tell you; and several of the "spirits claimed that they would heal the sick through me, if I would only trust them. A great deal of Scripture was given, and all very appropriate to those for whom it was given; but the Devil quoted Scripture to Christ; and I still think the same as I did before "trying the spirits," – only I was not sure that fallen angels would admit, even for [R2180 : page 197] the purpose of deceiving, that Christ had "come in the flesh;" but it seems now they will. Probably 1 John 4:1-3 refers to doctrines of men wholly. Of course, it would be possible for those who shall have "part in the first resurrection" to speak through such a device, but is it probable that they will? I will be glad to hear from you on this subject.

[That passage has reference to men, – doctrines among men. It may be remarked here that the evil spirits not only have knowledge of present events, but, by some power can frequently closely approximate the future. In one instance under our notice two deaths within a year were foretold: one of the parties died, the other became seriously ill, but recovered. Some power is in Satan's hand, but with limitations. Compare Heb. 2:14; Psa. 97:10; 116:15 and Job 2:3-6. – EDITOR.]

"What experience I have had tends to confirm your teaching – that the communications are from the fallen angels. They are very unreliable. One can but feel how impossible it will be in these closing days of the Gospel age for any one to "stand" who has not a firm foundation for faith."


Here is an illustration of the insidious methods of these demons. Like Satan and the evil spirits of our Lord's day, they will confess Christ and the truth. Similarly, the woman "possessed" followed Paul and Silas several days saying truly (Acts 16:16-18), "These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation." But for that matter, abundant evidence could be adduced that they would confirm and approve almost any doctrine or theory held precious by the inquirer in order to gain his confidence, and thus a fuller power over him.

Respecting the "mine," – that is a bait to draw and hold the interest. It is questionable whether the fallen angels can see deeper into the earth than can mankind. Of course, it might happen that the gold in paying quantities might be found on any of the gold-bearing veins of Georgia, but the experiences of miners in general and of drillers for petroleum who have been "directed by spirits," or who have used "divining rods," has been that, in the end, they lost money by following such directions. The presumption must therefore be that, if the "lying spirits" are not deceiving by misrepresenting themselves as possessing knowledge when they have none, then the same malevolence which leads them as "seducing spirits" to lure mankind to moral and mental wreck, leads them to take pleasure in misleading them to financial wreck. Lying spirits, like lying men, are not to be believed or trusted under any circumstances. [R2180 : page 198]

Concerning the advice to "teach": coming from such a quarter, it should rather incline us to fear that the demons saw in the Sister a weakness in that direction from which she would be most easily assailable. It is safe to conclude in advance that their advice is either directly or indirectly intended to do us harm. And notice the cunning which sought to guard against suspicion by quoting texts cautioning to humility!

True, the people need instruction, and all instructors are "teachers;" but it is very unsafe for anyone to think of himself or herself as a teacher. The preferable plan, by far, is for each to be a pupil in the school of Christ the great Teacher; and to be ready to learn of him through any channel, or to be used by him in helping to make plain to others his teachings. Each one who learns anything of the Lord should tell it to others, not as his own wisdom and teaching, but the Lord's, and himself merely the channel which gladly passes the water of life on to others. No wonder the holy spirit cautions us, "Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that we [teachers] shall have the greater judgment [or severer trial]." – James 3:1.

With the thought of teaching others is closely associated the thought of superior wisdom; and from the first this has been Satan's bait. To mother Eve his promise as the reward of disobedience was, "Ye shall be [wise] as gods." And the temptation to her was that she perceived from his arguments that the forbidden fruit was desirable "to make one wise." Alas, the wisdom which Satan gives is very undesirable. It is "[1] earthly, [2] sensual, [3] devilish;" as many, too late, have discovered. But on the contrary, "the wisdom which cometh down from above is first pure, then [2] peaceable, [3] gentle, [4] easy to be entreated, [5] full of mercy and good fruits, [6] without partiality and without hypocrisy." (Jas. 3:15-17.) No wonder the inspired Apostle said, "I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve, by subtilty [cunning], so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity [purity] that is in Christ." (2 Cor. 11:3.) Let us therefore lose no opportunity for telling the "good tidings of great joy;" – but let us lose sight of ourselves as teachers and point all, as brethren and fellow-pilgrims, to the words and example of the great Teacher and of the twelve inspired apostles whom he appointed as our instructors, our teachers.

We advised the Sister further, that it was very unwise to disobey the divine instructions (Isa. 8:19,20) by having anything whatever to do with these "seducing spirits." These are not the spirits which we are to "try" "whether they be of God," for God has already forewarned us that they are not of him, but that they are "wicked spirits." As well might we use the Apostle's words as an excuse for trying all the various brands of intoxicating spirits to see if one could be found which would not make drunk. These "familiar," wicked spirits claim, that they are numerous, a "legion" possessing one man: they would ask no more than that humanity should "try" them all. A fair trial or "test" is just what they request and they succeed sooner or later in enslaving most of those who test them.

In the passage which says, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God" (1 John 4:1-6), the word spirits is used in the sense of teaching or doctrine and has no reference to spirit beings. This is shown by the verses following, which declare that we are to "try" or discern between "the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." And this may be quickly done, for all false doctrines either directly or indirectly deny that "Christ died for our sins;" that "the man Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom for all."

Assuredly we should not expect that the Lord, nor any in harmony with him, will ever make use of methods which the "lying spirits" use and which God in his Word has condemned and forbidden. To do so would expose God's people to all the "wiles of the devil."

The Sister sent us an advertisement of the Psychograph which says, –

"Do you wish to investigate Spiritualism? Do you wish to develop Mediumship? Do you desire to receive communications? The psychograph is an invaluable assistant. Many, who were not aware of their mediumistic gift, have, after a few sittings, been able to receive delightful messages. Many, who began with it as an amusing toy, found that the intelligence controlling it knew more than themselves, and became converts to Spiritualism."

Thus does Satan now make use of the belief common to all denominations of Christians as well as heathendom, that the dead are not dead but are angels hovering round us; and what is more calculated to "seduce" them than just such a toy?

By the same mail came the samples of The Progressive Thinker, – a Spiritualist organ of the most pronounced type. We examined it, having in view matter for this article, and to our surprise found that several of its leading articles freely conceded that the vast majority of the communicating spirits are evil spirits which seek influence over human beings in order to work their ruin: and if possible to get possession of them to make them crazy. It told of written communications dropped into a room signed "Beelzebub" and "Devil." In one column under the caption "A Critical Study of Obsession," was an account of a poor woman who had been so beset by evil spirits that she was sent to an Insane Asylum and who finally got rid of their torments; and it gives her statement, "I prayed [R2180 : page 199] them away." Asked, "To whom did you pray?" her recorded answer is, "To the Ever-living God. He only can answer prayer." And yet in another column God's name is blasphemed, under the caption, "Peter and Paul," from which we quote these words – "Moses, who tho said to be learned in all the Egyptian skill, was the very meanest of men, and for his God erroneously took Jehovah, a departed spirit of an Egyptian disappointed aspirant to some lucrative or ecclesiastical office."

In the same issue (April 3, '97), under the heading – "Thoughts Illustrating the Status of Spiritualism, and the Dangers that Beset the Honest Investigator," by Charles Dawbran, we have a notice of a book by an English Clergyman, entitled "The Great Secret or the Modern Mystery of Spiritualism." Introducing the author the article says: –

"His experiences commenced with the development of his wife as a writing medium, through whom, from time to time, he received such tests as delight the heart of the worshiper of phenomena. He also seems to have made the acquaintance of almost every public medium who has at any time been high priest or priestess of the Occult, to the worthy citizens of London. And he has apparently been a welcomed visitor to the homes and seances of every distinguished investigator or full fledged believer in that city during the forty years of which he writes. He has included hypnotism in his investigations, and has been successful both as operator and subject. He has even dabbled a little in 'Black Magic,' at least sufficient to prove it a dread reality. So we have in this author a man most unusually qualified to deal intelligently with the subject. [R2181 : page 199] That he is now, and has for almost all these years been a believer is evident, for he narrates incidents and proofs which would carry conviction to every intelligent and unprejudiced mind. But his trouble has been that of every experienced investigator. He has not only witnessed much phenomena that could be explained as due to the normal or abnormal powers of the mortal, but where there has been an evident 'ghost' at work, mistakes, and at times evident fraud, have troubled his ecclesiastical soul.

"So we have little but the usual mixed experiences of the average intelligent investigator. A grain of wheat to a bushel of chaff is claimed by the Spiritualist as abundant compensation for the toil and trouble of long years of waiting upon the 'dear spirits.' And to some minds perhaps it is. But to others there have ever been fierce attempts to increase the crop of truth. And it is herein that the experiences of this clergyman become interesting to every truth-lover the world over. He, as we have said, has had abundant experience in both public and private seances, but his pathway to progress seemed blocked. He was just as liable to the usual imperfections of spirit intercourse after many years of such investigation, as in the very first sittings with his own wife and a few chosen friends.

"So the question became: 'Is progress possible?' And to solve this he tried an experiment which inspires the present writer to call this attention to his book. For as we have seen, the rest was what almost everybody can endorse, and say 'me too.' He determined to seek spirit intercourse from the highest plane possible to the mortal, so that if there be truth to the maxim 'like to like' he might attract the very highest, and repel those who come from the unseen to trouble and perplex weary mortals. He devoted a house to that purpose. Not merely were there rooms for use by mediums and circles of investigators or believers, but a chapel was prepared where he himself conducted a religious service twice a week, and it was at the conclusion of this service that a special seance was held by the believers present. The surroundings were most solemn. Frivolity was conspicuous only by its absence. The spirits had promised great results. For over a year at one time, and for months at others, these meetings were continued. But no promise was fulfilled. Prayers to God for light and truth proved no more efficacious than the eternal 'Nearer my God to thee' of the usual public seance, with its miscellaneous crowd.

"So our poor clergyman has his one grain of wheat after forty years of honest attempt to make at least a pint of it. He clings to that atom of truth with his whole soul, but his earnest attempt at progress has proved a life-long failure, altho, apparently, every condition was favorable to success. Since such is the experience of the thousands, once zealous, who have become 'silent' believers from the same cause, we may well ask: Is modern Spiritualism fixed and bounded like the theological systems of the past and present? Is there no hope of solving its problems, overcoming its barriers, and reaching a higher manhood on this side of the life line? Is the honest and convinced investigator presently to become discouraged, almost as a matter of course?"

The claim made by Spiritists is that good spirits commune with good people, and evil spirits with evil people is thus disproved. Could stronger testimony than this be produced in evidence that all spirit communications are from evil spirits and are wholly unreliable? The writer, further on in the same Spiritist journal, gives the following account of the experiences of another "believer," for which he vouches: –

"For a score of years he had been true to his convictions, endeavoring to reduce all belief to a basis of provable facts. His own sensitiveness permitted spirit approach, and sometimes the heavens had seemed to open to shower blessings on his soul. But foes came as readily as friends whenever the gate was ajar, so that, for the most part, safety compelled him to avoid personal experience of spirit return. The active mind offers poor foothold to any spirit, so he accepted public office and labored zealously for the public weal. But at intervals the experiences reappeared, and it seemed as if the battle had to be fought all over again. He failed to find a direct cause which might account for the presence of his foes. But they seemed to have certain gathering points. For instance, he could rarely visit a public library to select a book but that he would be followed and annoyed for hours by some "invisible," seeking to control him. It is true, each battle, when fought to victory, was usually followed by a brief and happy re-union with angel friends, but the sense of [R2181 : page 200] danger made him only the more earnest to close the door to all spirit return. His method of fighting off the influence was to resolutely fix his mind on some matter of interest in his daily affairs. And this would, sooner or later, prove successful every time. Any attempt to gain help from the spirit side of life only seemed to give added power to the foe."

This man had evidently progressed in Spiritism so that he had become a "clairaudient medium." The supposed good spirits or "angel friends" which sometimes visited him were merely the same evil spirits called by the writer "foes;" but they transformed themselves to his mind by assuming an opposite attitude when they found him getting away from their influence; – to keep him from abandoning them altogether, and in hope that by and by they would get such an influence over him that escape would be impossible.

From the same journal, under the heading, "Incidents With Good Advice," after giving two cases of pronounced insanity, the direct result of "spirit control," we find the following advice: –

"The lesson I would draw is this: Never sit alone, if there is the least probability of the controls overcoming one's judgment. Even though their intentions may be good, as in Mr. B.'s case; yet their experience has been insufficient with regard to the management of mediums, and their operations may become very injudicious. Never permit a control to cause you to do that which your judgment cannot sanction, no matter under what promise it is given. Only evil designing controls are liable to resort to such measures.

"These cases call to mind the thought that undoubtedly there are many others in the asylums, who are simply the victims of control. I could cite another case, where during her first confinement, a young woman was given chloroform and other treatment which weakened her system to such an extent that a degraded spirit took hold of her organism, and the language he made that previously moral girl use, was deplorable. Under these conditions she was committed to the asylum, where she is at present and at last reports was, at times, able to control her body, and, of course, at those times she was considered 'rational' by the authorities.

"Let all Spiritualists be sure to caution persons who are beginning their investigation by sitting alone to be very careful – and to make a regular practice of reporting, so that those of experience may know what is taking place and advise accordingly. And further, let us make a practice of looking into all cases of so-called 'insanity' before they are sent to the asylums; perchance it may be a case like those I have cited."

A "strong delusion," an "energy of Satan" truly Spiritism is, when people with all these evidences before them still return to it time and again, even after being injured, – as do the once singed summer moths to the deadly glare that fascinates them. There is a dense darkness in the world to-day upon divine truth; and thinking people, when awakened from the stupor which has so long benumbed their reasoning faculties, as respects religion, cry out for "Light, more Light;" and if they do not get the true Light of the knowledge of God (which shines only for the honest and consecrated believer in the ransom), they are ready for the false lights with which "the god of this world," Satan, seeks to ensnare all – Higher Criticism otherwise called Agnosticism, or Spiritism, or Christian Science, or Theosophy. These, if it were possible, would deceive the very elect; and are well represented as being Satan's ministers transformed as angels of light.

[R2181 : page 200]

– JULY 11. – ACTS 16:22-34. –
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." – Acts 16:31.
LTHO, as we have seen, Paul and his company were divinely directed into Europe, his early experiences there would have led many others to think that there was some mistake respecting the matter, – some misdirection; for he had not been long in the new field of labor until he was imprisoned. The Apostle, however, knew to expect just such experiences, and realized himself in the hands of one who was both able and willing to make all things work together for good to his servants. The imprisonment was of the Evil One and his deluded servants, and was permitted of God as a means for contrasting the spirit of the truth with the spirit of error, and of bringing the gospel particularly to the attention of the jailor.

The circumstances which led to the imprisonment are interesting and instructive. Satan then, as previously and since, used spirit manifestations to delude the people. A young woman was the spirit medium through which the demons (fallen angels) operated, personating the dead, and delivering messages purporting [R2182 : page 200] to be from them, to those who paid liberally for the service. Apparently, the revenues from this [R2182 : page 201] source were very large, for the woman was owned and controlled by a company or syndicate, and "brought her masters much gain."

It is perhaps difficult for us to determine the motives which prompted the evil spirits to move the medium to cry after Paul and Silas, "These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation." These evil spirits, however, were similarly moved on several occasions to confess our Lord Jesus Christ. (Mark 1:24,34.) The Apostle endured this testimony for several days, but finally expelled the evil spirits; probably through sympathy for the woman, as well as from a realization that if thus permitted the evil spirits might claim some collusion as between themselves and the Apostle, and so after his departure might have an improper influence upon those who would receive the gospel of Christ.

Wealth always has been a power. It is not surprising, therefore, that the syndicate of worldly men who were making much gain through this spirit medium, angered by the wanton destruction of the value of their property, as they would regard the matter, and realizing the loss of all their future profits from this source, would feel disposed to inflict some kind of retribution upon those who had been the cause of their misfortune. And their wealth had power with the magistrate who, similarly blinded, did not recognize that a good work had been done in liberating a fellow-creature from the power of the devil, and thus stopping one avenue of evil influence and deception. The Apostle, as a shrewd man, probably knew to expect some such results; otherwise we may suppose that he would have rebuked the evil spirit on the first day. He probably took the time to think and pray over the matter, and to ascertain the Lord's will before putting himself and the interests of the cause in jeopardy. We may be sure that he was guided in this matter for good, the Lord probably wishing to bring the gospel message to the jailor.

The charges brought against Paul and Silas are worthy of note as indicating the cunning of the syndicate owning the medium. When Paul and Silas were dragged to the public square, where trials were conducted, the charge brought against them was not that they had wrecked the financial interests of the syndicate by the exercise of a spirit more powerful than that which possessed their medium, for such a charge would have had no weight under the laws of the Romans; but taking advantage of the fact that the Roman law, while tolerant of all religions, made it a criminal offense to attempt to proselyte a Roman, they made their charges along this line, claiming that Paul and Silas were Jews, who were endeavoring to proselyte Romans. This charge had some foundation in fact, for of course the brethren were there for the very purpose of converting Jews, Greeks and Romans to Christ. On this charge they were adjudged guilty, and the masses taking sides against them, the magistrates made the penalties the more severe. They were beaten in public, and then put into the inner prison and their feet made fast in the stocks.

With many, such treatment, and the fact that God permitted it, would have brought discouragement, and they would consequently have chosen some less hazardous calling in life; but these servants of God were true soldiers of the cross, who had enlisted for life, realizing that they were called upon "to endure hardness as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ." Instead of bemoaning their lot and wishing they had never enlisted in the Lord's service, or thinking of how they could withdraw from it, these noble men, on the contrary, rejoiced and thanked God that they were accounted worthy to suffer in his name and for his cause. While not disposed to be obtrusive with their prayers and praises, they evidently felt that it would be proper that their fellow prisoners who would know something of their treatment, should know something also of how they received it, and of the grace of God which sustained them. No such prisoners had ever been there before, and never before had that prison been a Bethel, a house of God, a gate of Heaven. As the Apostles prayed their strength of heart and fervency of spirit increased until they broke forth in songs of thankfulness, gratitude and praise to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Heathen religions have holy books, and prayers, and occasional mournful chants by their priests or priestesses, but they have no singing of hymns in worship. These seem to have been confined first, to the Jews, and secondly, to their successors in grace, Christians; but now, alas! they are taken up by all classes, and some times prostituted to the uses of Mormonism, Christian Science, Spiritism, Theosophy, etc.

How greatly this conduct of Paul and Silas differs from the recorded conduct and sentiments of some of the greatest and most notable and most stoical on the pages of history. Of Ovid, the famed poet and philosopher, it is declared – "There is scarcely one of his many letters which he wrote during his short exile, which is not full of unmanly lamentations." Of Seneca, a noted writer of Paul's day, it is written that his books were "full of most sounding professions of stoic superiority to passion and pain, yet, when exiled, he broke into abject complaint." Similar things are said concerning Cicero, and Napoleon Bonaparte is another example. Yet all these men, even in their exile, were surrounded by wealth and luxury: but here we have before us two men who had forsaken all for the privilege [R2182 : page 202] of being God's ambassadors, representatives of Christ, suffering to bear the message of divine grace to the sin-blinded and unthankful; – yet under most distressing circumstances, with their backs lacerated from the beating, with their feet in the stocks, and their whole bodies therefore pained and uncomfortable, with seemingly no cause for thankfulness that the worldly could discern, they were filled with love and gratitude to God, and their hearts overflowed in songs of praise. Surely they were actuated by super-human hopes and joys!

Nor were they the only ones upon whom the truth and the holy spirit of the truth has had such an influence. We remember many martyrs who likewise "endured as seeing him who is invisible." We think of Daniel praying in the lion's den and answering the king in a cheerful voice, "The God whom I serve hath sent his angel and shut the lion's mouth." We remember the three Hebrew captives, who, because of faithfulness to God, were cast into the fiery furnace; and who there had the presence with them of one in appearance like the Son of Man. We remember Bunyan, who, while in Bedford jail, England, for faithfulness to the truth, not only prayed to God, but figuratively sang his praises, as represented in his remarkable work – Pilgrim's Progress. We remember also King David of old, some of whose most expressive and impressive Psalms were written in hours of distress, when the Lord upheld him. Madam Guyon, while imprisoned in the Castle Vincennes (1695), wrote songs and sang them in praise to God. Writing of it subsequently she said, "It sometimes seems to me as if I were a little bird, whom the Lord had placed in a cage, and that I had nothing now to do but to sing. The joy of my heart gave brightness to the objects around me. The stones of my prison looked to my eyes like rubies." In prison she wrote: –

"A little bird I am, shut from the fields of air; And in my songs I sit and sing to him who placed me there: Well pleased a prisoner thus to be, because, my God, it pleaseth thee. My cage confines me round, – abroad I cannot flee; But though my wing is closely bound, my heart's at liberty. My prison walls cannot control the flight, the freedom of my soul."

Thank God, the days of beating and imprisonment for Christ's sake are no more; but there are still opportunities for the development and exercise of the spirit of sacrifice by all who are faithful followers in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus; there are social smitings and ostracisms for the truth's sake, which can be borne with rejoicing to such an extent that the smart is scarcely felt. There are times when the Lord permits our financial conditions to become almost a gloomy prison as viewed from the natural standpoint, – times when responsibilities or sicknesses may shut us in as prisoners; but under such circumstances the faithful are able to realize the Lord's favor and mercy; they find many blessings to recount and their hearts overflow with thankful gratitude and praise, so that all who come in contact with them take knowledge of them, as they did of the Apostles, "that they have been with Jesus and learned of him."

The Lord's response to the faith, prayers and praise of his servants, by an earthquake, is of course out of the ordinary course of his providences; but the case was an extraordinary one. These were extraordinary servants, the work given them to do in establishing the Church was an extraordinary work. And evidently something extraordinary was needed in the case of the jailor, who, though an honest and well disposed man, was not expecting any blessing of religious instruction from the prisoner under his care: yet, as soon as he grasped the situation he became as teachable as a child at the feet of his prisoners, inquiring the way to eternal life. It is worthy of note that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has little effect upon any who receive it otherwise than in meekness: those who oppose themselves and fight the truth at every step are not of the kind, nor in the condition to be blessed by it: hence the Lord's instruction to "preach the gospel to the meek.

The gist of the apostle's instructions is summed up in our golden text, – "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" – the significance of which is very comprehensive. [R2183 : page 202] It implies not only mental assent to the fact that Christ died for our sins and arose for our justification, but also a reception of these truths into the heart and into the life of the believers; so that thenceforth he may realize that he is not his own, but bought with a price, even the precious blood of Christ; that he belongs to him and should willingly submit in every matter to his guidance and direction.

The Apostle did not tell the jailor and his family that they must seek the Lord's favor and forgiveness for several weeks, in prayer at a mourner's bench, or otherwise; but, on the contrary, that they should simply and at once believe the facts as preached to them, and at once start a consecrated life in harmony therewith. And all this faith and consecration was at once confessed and professed by the jailor and his family when they were immersed.

Meantime, we can imagine with what tenderness and gratitude to God the jailor washed the wounds of his remarkable prisoners; and recognizing them as the servants and representatives of the Lord he entertained them with the best his house afforded. A proper appreciation of God and his goodness always leads to an appreciation of the servants and instruments which God is pleased to use in bringing blessings to us. [R2184 : page 203]


"So busy, O so busy," is the cry on every side,
"There's much to do, and workers few, while on the moments glide;"
And weary hearts are fainting oft' beneath their load of care;
And willing hands have grown too weak the burden's weight to bear.

"No time to rest, no time to wait for strength to be renewed,
No time to tarry till the soul with power is endued;
The tasks increasing every day, this life so near its close;
We cannot rest," the toilers cry, "until death brings repose!"

O burdened hearts, can it be true this is the Master's will?
Are you to labor every hour and never to be still?
These vessels are so very small, our cups will not run o'er
Unless we seek the fountain's brink for filling more and more.

Take time to sit at Jesus' feet and hear his blessed Word;
Wait there, like Mary, till your soul to love's best deed is stirred;
Then break the alabaster box, and let its perfume sweet
Spread with the gospel's joyful sound, and make the earth replete!

O be not cumbered with much care, – they serve who only wait;
The Lord's command, "Go thou and work," will never come too late.
His truth must burn within your soul e'er you a task begin:
For we must know our captain's will if faith's good fight we win.

Then come apart each weary one into a place of rest, –
The flesh so weak must often seek the Rock and Shadow blest;
There tarry in that silence sweet till freed from every care,
And you arise, with strength renewed, for him to do and dare.
F. G. Burroughs.

[R2183 : page 203]

– JULY 18. – ACTS 17:1-12. –
"They received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily." – Acts 17:11.
EAVING Philippi at the request of the magistrates, and for the sake of peace, not insisting upon his rights as a Roman citizen, Paul with Silas and Timothy proceeded westward, leaving Luke with the believers at Philippi for the further establishment of the believers in the truth. Their next stop was at the city of Thessalonica, the capital of Macedonia. They were seeking cities where there were considerable numbers of Jews, knowing that they would be the best prepared to understand the gospel and to accept it. One of the attractions at Thessalonica was a large synagogue: and it was to the Jews, as usual, that the Apostle first addressed himself.

It is worthy of note that the Apostle's manner was not that of a "ranter," but of a logical and connected reasoner: his proofs were brought from the Old Testament Scriptures; and the correspondence between these testimonies concerning Messiah, given of God through the prophets, with the facts and circumstances of our Lord's ministry and death were logically set forth. And no doubt all his hearers had some knowledge of the matters which had transpired in Jerusalem; for representatives undoubtedly went every year to Jerusalem, to the Passover. The reports which reached them had no doubt all been from the prejudiced Jewish side of the matter, leading them to believe that, while Jesus was a good man who performed many wonderful works, he was nevertheless an impostor, possessed of a devil, a false Messiah, etc. The Apostle's work, then, was largely to correct these misapprehensions, and to show that the very things which they had heard respecting the ignominious death of Jesus were all parts of the divine plan, that fitted perfectly to the previous testimony of the prophets. He proved to them that Messiah must of necessity have died as the Redeemer, before he could justly dispense divine mercy and forgiveness to any. And then, he showed that all these things had been accurately and properly fulfilled in the experiences of Jesus.

As usual, wherever the true gospel went, the result was a division; and the same is true to-day.

So our Lord foretold, saying, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." The sword of the spirit is the Word of God, and it not only separates in congregations, but also in homes – the Ishmael class opposes the Isaac class – the Esau class opposes the Jacob class. Many not appreciating the divine plan are surprised that the truth causes division. Such divisions along right lines are to be expected and esteemed: but the Apostle speaks of another kind of divisions which are disapproved and are to be avoided; namely, divisions on technicalities, methods, forms, genealogies, etc. The Apostle assures us that such divisions are of the adversary. But divisions as between those who accept Christ as their Redeemer and the only hope of salvation, and those who do not so accept him, are most important and to be desired. Upon all other points the Lord's people are to be peace-lovers and "peace makers." "So far as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Waive all unimportant tests and shibboleths, but in no sense or degree either ignore or deny the only basis of Christian fellowship – the "ransom for all."

The believing Jews consorted or associated with the brethren, and quite a good many Greeks, including a number of honorable women, were counted among the believers; and the cause seemed to be gaining a good foothold: but again God permitted a disturbance which brought the truth and its servants more prominently before the attention of the whole people and served to make the cleavage between the believers and [R2183 : page 204] the unbelievers the more distinct. Thus not only a trial of faith and of character was brought unto the believers, but a blessing came, also, to those who were faithful; for all who took a decided stand for the truth were undoubtedly helped and strengthened thereby. The spirit of compromise with error is the most subtle and dangerous spirit encountered by those who are called to forsake all and follow Christ.

The unbelieving Jews were those who were not in proper condition of heart to receive the truth; – of the Ishmael class, they were full of envy and jealousy against the true seed of Abraham – the true heirs of the promise. They did not hesitate to employ hoodlums as their servants in creating an uproar and making a mob-assault upon the house in which they supposed Paul and Silas and Timothy were lodged. Not finding these, they took Jason and others of the new converts before their tribunal, accusing them of consorting with the disturbers of the peace. As usual, sagacity was shown in the nature of the charges; the same charge was brought forward that was brought against our Lord himself, namely, treason to Caesar – teaching of another king. Under autocratic governments, such as that of the Caesars, rulers everywhere were expected to be specially severe against any and every form of treason, and to have ignored such charges would have made them appear to be co-conspirators against Caesar. How shrewdly the adversary makes his attacks!

Since the Lord had been pleased to frustrate the plans of the enemies of the truth for the arrest of his ministers, the latter concluded that it would be the proper thing not to arouse further antagonism, nor to challenge their enemies by bringing charges of riot, etc., but rather peaceably departed for another city. In this they followed the instructions of our Lord, "When they shall persecute you in one city flee unto another." They followed the example of our Lord also, of whom we read that he left Judea and Galilee, for he "could not walk in Judea because the Jews sought to kill him."

The words of the enemies – "These that have turned the world up-side-down are come hither also," indicate how wide-spread was the knowledge of the truth at this time, and how zealous the efforts of the apostles were conceded by their enemies to be. Nor was this turning up-side-down wholly the work of the apostles: rather it was the work of the spirit of the truth, wherever the truth was preached; the apostles were merely zealous in introducing the truth which did the work. When they were gone, the true believers, inspired by the same spirit, continued the work of turning matters up-side-down, not only in the synagogue, but also, we may be sure, in their own hearts and in their own lives; turning out the evil and impure, and turning in more and more of the fruits and graces of the spirit of the truth. The reason that so many who receive some knowledge of the truth, know little of the turning up-side-down of the perversities of their old natures is, because they fail to receive the spirit of the truth, fail to come into full sympathy of heart with the principles of divine righteousness which inspired the word of truth and formulated the divine plan. Alas! many seem to receive the truth not in the love of it; but rather in the love of controversy or in curiosity. To such it will be of no real value. To profit us it must be received as the sword of the spirit to kill the old nature, that the new nature may develop; – it must become "a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" to us, that we may by divine grace conquer self and bring every thought into captivity to the will of God.

The next stop was at Berea, sixty miles west of Thessalonica. Of the people of this city wonderful words of commendation are written, "These were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the Word in all readiness of mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." This commendation is frequently misunderstood as applicable to the Christians at Berea; but not so, it applies specially to the Jews at that place: they seemed to be just ready for the truth, and yet received it, not in a spirit of credulity, simply because it was told to them, but properly they were ready and of a proper spirit to [R2184 : page 204] investigate, and to see whether the things spoken fitted to the prophetic statements respecting Messiah and his work, etc. This is always a mark of true nobility, and such noble persons are worthy of the truth and are enabled to receive it. Nevertheless, we are to remember that readiness to investigate and to receive the truth are not the only qualities which go to make up a Christian. In one of his parables our Lord illustrates a class which was ready to receive the Word, but had no root in themselves, and who consequently, when the sun of persecution arose, withered and drooped and lost their Christian vitality. – Matt. 13:6,20,21.

Apparently, the larger proportion of the Jews at Berea became believers, and the unbelievers were so comparatively few that they did not attempt persecution. But whether it was from lack of persecution, or whether it was that the seed at Berea fell into hearts that had less depth, it is nevertheless a fact that the Church at Thessalonica seems to have flourished far better than the Church established at Berea. This is evidenced by the fact that the Apostle wrote two of his epistles to the Church at Thessalonica, and we have no record of any written to the Church at Berea. We may draw a lesson from this to the effect that it is not always the places in which the truth is most favorably received that it will hold out the longest and bring forth the most fruitage. Persecution and opposition are often agencies of great blessings; – in part perhaps because they draw the line of demarkation sharply between those who are the Lord's and those who are not the Lord's. A certain amount of persecution is very helpful in the establishment of character. Hence the encouragement of the Apostle to "rejoice in tribulation;" and again his declaration, "Tribulation worketh patience." Again the Apostle Peter stated that present afflictions may be considered light, because we recognize that "they work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

page 205
July 1st

Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

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

VOL. XVIII.JULY 15, 1897.No. 14.

Special Items 206
Views from the Watch Tower 207
Spiritism – Demonism
Warnings from a Spiritist 209
Many Possessed of Devils To-day 210
Spirits Organizing "Churches" 214
"In the Secret Chamber" 214
Satanic Powers Malific 215
Preaching to Athenian Philosophers 216
God's People in Corinth 219

'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 206

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, 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.

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.



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[R2184 : page 207]


THE "American Railway Union" under the lead of Eugene V. Debbs at its June convention merged itself into a new organization, known as "The Social Democracy of America." The scheme proposed is that members and friends of the Society shall contribute funds to start a system of colonies, one after another, as rapidly as possible, in some state of the Union at present sparsely settled and otherwise considered favorable to the scheme. When the colonists are of sufficient number they hope to control the State legislature and government – to enact socialistic laws, and to enforce them; and thus to give to the world a practical example of their claim, that Socialism is to be the world's savior.

Practical tests of the various social remedies proposed are just what is needed to prove them all at best palliatives, never remedies, and often breeders of woes worse than those they seek to cure. It would be an excellent plan to set apart one half say, of Oregon, and divide it into about twenty little states for experimental purposes, in which the advocates of various "social-redemption" theories could rule themselves and "try" their theories, and prove them failures. Give one to "The Social Democracy," another to the "Nationalists," another to the "Single Taxers," another to "The New Woman," another to "Anarchists," etc. In fact there is no need for legislation on the subject, for there is plenty of good vacant land to be had by settlers, free, in several states.

But what these "reformers" want is not free land, free water, free air, and plenty of hard work in "subduing the forests," etc. The Pilgrim fathers got those things with "sweat of face;" and it developed in them strong characters for integrity, and a reverence for the Creator and his Word.

Judging from their declaration of intentions, "The Social Democracy of America" purposes to steal a State. Under cover of liberal laws they design to enter some favored State and to so change its laws that the invested wealth, improvements and conveniences accumulated by others through years of toil shall, nolens volens, be largely appropriated to the use and convenience of the less prudent or less fortunate invaders.

And all this is proposed on the plea that the "reformers" wish to demonstrate the blessings that would flow from the operation of the Law of Love, as opposed to the miseries of the present Law of Selfishness. Alas! how easily men can deceive themselves. Surely, anyone can see that at very most this is the self-love of one class fighting the self-love of another class.

We rejoice to note any evidence of the growth of the spirit of generosity in mankind; and would be glad if all men were willing to surrender private interests to the public welfare; but we are not so blind to facts and reason as to suppose that Mr. Debbs and his associates are acting the part of philanthropists in scheming to acquire the property of others: tho, of course it may be claimed that such a readjustment should come sometime.

But all such schemes are now in order, and many of them will undoubtedly be tried that the world may have demonstrations of that which God's people already know from his Word; – that all human schemes must fail to bring forth perfect results because conceived and carried forward by men and women whose thoughts and deeds are warped by the sin and selfishness of six thousand years' development.

Mr. Debbs and his principal associates express great confidence in the success of their scheme, and point to the success of the Mormons in Utah. They forget that the secret of the Mormon success is a religious [R2184 : page 208] unity that practically enslaves the people to the control of their Elders whom they accept as divinely appointed and inspired. No other slavery can hold its victims so firmly as religious slavery – good or bad. And Mr. Debbs could expect no such influence over those who would follow him as standard-bearer. There would be nothing but selfishness common to all who would join his colonies: and selfishness is the very basis of anger, envy, hatred and strife, and constantly tends to disintegration. His scheme might prosper so long as donations in its aid would continue, or so long as special hopes of improvement at the expense of others held out; but it would go to pieces at once when these selfish inducements would cease.

Mr. Debbs and some of his associates no doubt have some benevolent sentiments blended with their selfish ones, and with us would probably rejoice to see all the "groaning creation" (Rom. 8:22,23) relieved from the present pressure of evil. What they lack is the knowledge which comes from the Lord's Word – a quarter from which they expect no light.

It teaches – (1) That no man can either appreciate or exercise pure love unmixed with selfishness, except he be "born again," for which he must first be [R2185 : page 208] "begotten again" by the holy spirit of the Lord's Word of truth.

(2) That only such are qualified to rule either themselves or others, or to enjoy full liberty.

(3) That God has been testing and selecting just such a class of rulers during this gospel age; and that soon he will bless the world by establishing his "elect" under Christ, their "Head," as his autocratic Kingdom, to take away human liberty and rule with a rod of iron, until all who will obey shall be blessed and lifted to perfection of being and of character; and all who will not obey shall be destroyed. (Acts 3:19-23; 1 Cor. 15:12-25.) Then, at the close of the Millennial age, full liberty can be granted to all; for none but the worthy will remain.

"Our Father which art in heaven...Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

[R2185 : page 208]



Another popular Spiritualist paper is The Philosophical Journal. It continually urges that its gospel of Spiritism be tested, and declares it to be the one thing the world needs; and yet it also admits the frauds practiced by the "spirits" upon mediums. It will admit that when detected as "evil spirits," "lying spirits," by misrepresentation, fraud, wicked suggestions or works, arousing the victim to resistance or relief through prayer, evidently the same spirits return as moralists, with reproofs, professions of sympathy and promises of aid in resisting the evil spirits, etc., only to improve the first opportunity of weakness or temptation to break down all resistance of the will and obtain complete possession – obsession. We clip a statement in support of this from its issue of April 22, '97, signed by A. N. Waterman, one of the leading Spiritualist lights. Under the caption, "Real Authorship of Spirit Communications," he says: –

"It appears to me impossible that in this life we can know from whom a spiritual communication from the other world is made. We can have evidence, something like that which we possess in reference to the authorship of a telegram, but no more."

Would people of "sound mind" stake their all, risk an insanity which according to their own accounts is manifold worse in torture than ordinary dementia, and spend their lives trying to get other people to risk their all similarly, when for it all they have no more evidence than goes with a telegram? Would they do so when the bitter experiences of forty years testing had told them that the genuine are at most only as "one grain to a bushel," as one of them has just told us?

No, no; only desperately deluded people would pursue such a course. Evidently as the holy spirit in men produces "the spirit of a sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7; Prov. 2:6,7), so, on the other hand, the spirit of devils produces the spirit of an unsound mind.

Another letter received recently from Florida, from a brother in Christ, a WATCH TOWER reader, well educated in several languages, informs us concerning some peculiar experiences recently had with these "seducing spirits." He became aware of the presence of invisible spirit beings, and they seemed to manifest a curious interest in his work: he was translating MILLENNIAL DAWN into a foreign language.

Well informed along the Scriptural lines presented foregoing, as to who these "seducing spirits" are, he nevertheless forgot, or failed to heed the divine instruction, – that mankind should hold no communication whatever with these "lying spirits" and "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness." The neglect of this instruction caused him serious trouble; and but for the interposition of divine mercy, in response to his and our prayers, it might have made shipwreck of him – soul and body. [R2185 : page 209]

He was allured to the conference by a mixture of curiosity with a benevolent desire to do them good by preaching to them the glorious gospel of divine love and mercy operating through Christ toward all mankind; and the eventual hope of a judgment (probationary trial) for the fallen angels, declared in the Scriptures. (1 Cor. 6:3.) At first they gave close attention and appeared to take a deep and reverent interest in the message; but before long they became very "familiar" spirits, intruding themselves and their questions and remarks at all times and places, disputing with him and with each other in a manner and upon topics far from edifying, so that he remonstrated: finally he demanded that they depart, but having gained his "inner ear" (having made of him what Spiritists would term a "clairaudient medium") they were not disposed to go, and only through earnest prayer was he finally delivered. He should have been on his guard against their seductive influences; he should have remembered that whatever message of grace the Lord may yet have for these fallen angels he has not yet sent it to them, and that none are authorized to speak for the Lord without authority. "How shall they preach except they be sent?" The message of salvation thus far is to mankind only; and even here it is limited, for altho all are to be counseled to repent of sin and to reform, yet the gospel of salvation is restricted to repentant "believers" only, – "the meek of the earth."


Joseph Hartman has published a book of 378 pages in which he recounts his experiences as a Spirit medium (led into it by Swedenborg's teachings), his debasement almost to the loss of reason by spirit obsession, and his final recovery from its ensnarement of his will; but strange to say, he is still a firm believer in Swedenborgianism and Spiritism, altho, like others, he cautions every one to be on guard against their wicked devices. Poor deluded man, he still believes that there are good spirits.

Mr. H. had come in contact with the "Planchette," a wooden device which holds a pencil and moves readily under the hands of certain mediums or "sensitives," even children, writing answers to questions propounded to it; and he had attended several tipping and rapping seances, and was convinced that they were not frauds, but the operations of invisible, intelligent spirits. He became actively interested while endeavoring to convince doubting friends of the genuineness of the manifestations. Next he tried it in his own family and developed the fact that his little son was a drawing and writing medium. Next he was curious to investigate the phenomena of spirit materialization. About this time his daughter "Dolly" died, and he was deeply interested in the apparitions or materializations which professed to be "Dolly." He, however, was incredulous, and, in his own words, "gave it up under a cloud, and a suspicion of fraud." But after five years of experience he says, – "Whatever doubts I may have entertained respecting the phenomena, I am clearly of the opinion that honest materializations are now of frequent occurrence. Who the forms are, or whence derived, is a mooted question." We have just seen that if the manifestations are "honest" so far as the mediumship is concerned, they are frauds so far as the persons represented are concerned – simulations of the dead, by the fallen angels.

Later the table-tipping and rapping and drawing and writing tests were revived at Mr. H.'s home, two of his children becoming adept mediums, and finally, he himself became a writing medium, to his own surprise and without expectation or solicitation. Now he could and did hold frequent converse supposedly with his daughter "Dolly," but really with demons who personated her, and others, he was caused to smell pleasant odors, etc. As a later development he became a speaking medium, and "under control" would speak and act without his own intention or volition; but with full power to refuse to be a medium to such "spirits" as he chose to refuse, because of their former rudeness or obscenity. Next he was granted the "inner ear," "Clairaudience," or ability to hear sounds not audible to others, and thus to hold converse with the "spirits" without any outward agency, such as writing, rapping, etc.

Of his "spirit friends" he says, – "They described to me that their controlling circle consisted of 'twelve spiritual gifts or virtues' which composed a 'band' of very great strength; and under their guidance, they declared, I would become one of the greatest mediums ever known. I revolted – had not the least ambition for fame of that sort. – They were the more determined."

Thus gradually was Mr. Hartman brought, against his wish, more and more under the "control" of the wicked spirits which finally obsessed him. The next experience was with a peculiar clairaudient "Voice" which represented itself to be the Lord and took full control of him, directing his every act. It pictured all his errors and weaknesses in darkest shades; and endeavored to destroy all hope. He was told to pray, and when he attempted to pray he was given such conflicting suggestions as to words as made it impossible. He was fast in the snare of the "wicked spirits;" "possessed," and controlled by "spirit-mesmerism," as he calls it.

But finally he escaped their bondage; – a once strong will reasserted itself, and he wrote the account to hinder others from being similarly entrapped. But [R2185 : page 210] he does not understand the matter, notwithstanding his remarkable experiences. His experiences had proved [R2186 : page 210] that all the "spirits" which he had come in contact with were "wicked," lying, profane, and a majority of them vulgarly and disgustingly obscene: Yet, believing these to be the spirits of dead men and women, he surmised that he had met a band of evil ones only, and that there were other bands of good, truthful and pure spirits of good people. If he had but known the Lord's testimony on this subject, it would have put the entire matter in another light.

After gaining will-control of himself he was still attended by these evil spirits whose character he now fully knew; and they tried repeatedly to bring his will power again under "control," but had no power that he would not grant. He did, however, grant them liberty to use his hand in writing communications, and in reply to his questions respecting how and why they had abused his confidence, lied to him, were obscene and sought to bind and injure him, they answered that they were constitutionally and thoroughly bad and that they were "devils;" – again contradicting this and declaring that they were spirits of dead human beings. But to confirm him in Swedenborgianism they told him that there were no Swedenborgians among them. And Hartman evidently believed these self-confessed "lying spirits," for he concludes his book by quoting proofs that Swedenborg had passed through experiences of obsession somewhat like his own. He quotes from Swedenborg's Diary 2957-2996 as follows: –

"Very often when any one spoke with me, spirits spoke through me....This occurred many times; for instance twice to-day. I cannot enumerate the times, they are so many....Moreover, they have laughed through me, and done many things....These are those who introduce these things into my thoughts, and while I am unconscious of it, lead my hand to write thus."

Hartman says of Swedenborg further: –

"It is a matter of history that Swedenborg's maligners, not understanding interior temptations or spirit control, published that he was crazy, and that he did several foolish and insane things while living in London. ...He was under control of spirits who acted through his body, speaking through him and moving his body as if it were their own....During a part of this transitional period he was unquestionably controlled by evil spirits. He says he had 'tremors and was shaken from head to foot, and thrown out of bed on his face' ...'I was in the temptation,' he says, thoughts invaded me that I could not control,...and full liberty was given them....While I had the most damnable thoughts, the worst that could possibly be, Jesus Christ was presented visibly before my internal sight.'"

Mr. Hartman comments: – "This we believe was an evil spirit pretending to be Christ, as in our own case the spirit pretended to be God."

To us it seems evident that Swedenborg was a Spirit-medium and was an advance agent for promulgating and establishing the "doctrines of devils" respecting "seven heavens and seven hells," etc., etc., ad nauseam. Yet Mr. Hartman closes his book with a eulogy of Swedenborg; who, altho admittedly possessed of devils at times, he thinks was sometimes possessed and controlled by good spirits: while Hartman's own experience corroborated the Scriptures, that they are all "wicked," "seducing," "lying" spirits.


In a pamphlet entitled – "The Nature of Insanity; its Cause and Cure", – by J. D. Rhymus, the author shows that in many cases insanity is merely demoniacal possession or "obsession." He says, –

"In my own case I know that the brain was not diseased at all; my whole nature seemed to be intensified by conflicting emotions raging within my breast. I was completely enveloped and pervaded by thought, or in other words thought came as something impinged upon me, seeking expression through me, without being coined or generated by the action of my own brain, altho fully conscious at the time, as I am now, that I possessed a strength within me not my own will and brain power so-called; – yet it was so blended with, and manifested through my own powers of action, that I felt great exhaustion of nerve force and mental prostration when the conditions subsided."

After detailing his own case and his release from the thraldom of evil spirits, whom he supposed to be the spirits of wicked dead men (apparently he also was a follower of Swedenborg), he quotes a letter from a Philadelphia physician, dated Nov. 12, 1884, as follows: –

"The young lady to whom you refer in your letter is a Miss S__________, who was once my patient and quite intimate in my family. Her father was a sea captain, and was lost at sea, no one knowing when or where. Her anxiety to learn something of his fate, led her to apply to a spirit medium. She was found to be very 'susceptible' and a remarkable medium. She did nothing to encourage the approach of spirits; but they came all the same. They almost tormented the life out of her for a long time – how long I do not remember. They often made her get out of bed at night and perform all sorts of grotesque antics. She finally drove them off by repeating the Lord's Prayer on their every approach. Your sincere friend,


The same writer says: –

"Judge Edmonds of New York [a noted Spiritist and both a Clairvoyant and Clairaudient medium – now deceased], has recently expressed the opinion that many so-called lunatics in asylums are only under the influence of spirits." The Judge himself said, – 'Some fifteen cases of insanity, or rather obsession, I have been instrumental in curing. This I said to the Academy of Science, in New York.'

"The Judge has had Catholic priests, after a thorough trial of their 'holy water and prayers,' send [to him] their mediumistic members when wickedly disordered, [R2186 : page 211] to be demagnetized and released from the grasp of obsessional spirits."


Few are aware to what extent Spiritism is now active; how it is gradually reviving. Here is an account of Dr. Peebles' visit to Melbourne, Australia, this year, 1897. He writes to The Philadelphia Journal as follows: –

"Altho I had come for a rest, I was immediately pressed into active service, and have been lecturing every Sunday evening either in the Masonic hall (which seats 1300) or the Lyceum (700), both of them being filled at times to overflowing. I have also spoken in the Unitarian and Swedenborgian churches, and the Australian (Presbyterian) church, on vegetarianism and other reform subjects.

"Several mediums speak about coming to Australia. Before leaving, let me tell you that the Melbourne press says there are already 500 mediums in the city and suburbs, while others say 200, but I see none who compare with Mrs. Freitag, and others. I cannot, conscientiously, encourage mediums to come to Australia, unless they are absolutely first-class test mediums. That's what the people clamor for – tests, tests, tests. Old, bald headed Spiritualists, who had tests years ago, want them renewed, and so seek for tests instead of going on to a higher plane of harmony, beauty and spiritual truth, becoming their own mediums."

Yes; the tests, rapping, writing, table tipping, and even materialization tests are only the beginnings of Spiritism, and not the desired ends sought by the spirits. The end sought is possession "obsession;" and those who by strong self-control constantly resist absolute spirit-control are used as "test mediums," to catch others, and to exhort others, as above, to go "on to a higher plane of harmony" with lying, seducing, enslaving and demonizing spirits.

An English journal called Black and White gives a detailed and illustrated account of recent apparitions at the town of Tilly-sur-Seulles, Normandy, France. It says that the apparitions are of the Virgin Mary and have continued for several months, and are thoroughly vouched for. It adds: –

"The appearances, which seldom or never resemble each other even to the same voyants, always either ascend from the earth, as in the case of those of the Witch of Endor, or appear gradually bit by bit, first a leg, then an arm, and so on, at a slight elevation. All this is very queer reading.

"The trampled field of oats, the elm tree stripped of its branches by relic-hunters, the torn hedge protected by barbed wire and decorated with statues pictures, rosaries, pots of flowers and votive tapers, remain to testify to a belief in the supernatural not less strong than it was in mediaeval times."

Black and White, after quoting from the Croix du Calvados (the official organ of the Roman Catholic Bishop of the diocese), that, "Altho it cannot doubt the fact of the appearances, it is inclined more and more to attribute them to diabolic intervention," adds: –

"If anything, this is calculated to lend them still greater interest in the eyes of the world which, at the end of the nineteenth century, shows itself especially ready to dabble in Satanism, crystal-gazing, astrology, theosophy, spiritualism and magic, both black and white. The chief points in favor of this clerical decision seem to be that one Vintras, who lived in an old mill, still standing on the banks of the Seulles, below the older village of Tilly, prophesied these apparitions about the year '30. Vintras was condemned as a sorcerer and incarcerated at Caen by request of Pope Gregory XVI. He claimed to have been 'inspired' by the Archangel Michael. Curiously enough, another 'prophet,' claiming to be inspired by another Archangel, Gabriel to wit, – namely Mlle. Cuedon, who has made a stir in Paris lately, and whom a certain Abbe [R2187 : page 211] declares to be 'possessed' rather than 'inspired,' prophesied these same apparitions at Tilly a fortnight before they began."

Satan's motto seems to be, Anything to deceive and bewilder humanity and to hinder the truth now due to them from reaching them. From an English Spiritist journal Light, we quote a recent statement of a seance, as follows: –

"At a sitting which was being held one evening at the invitation of a mother who had just lost a dearly loved son, amongst other phenomena a remarkable light was seen. It was in the form of a beautiful radiant globe, the center of which was a bright blue of great brilliancy. It was apparently an immeasurable distance away, the wall of the room offering no obstruction to those who watched it, and it remained for about half an hour, when it gradually faded from their sight.

"All present were filled with a sense of deep reverence and veneration. The control [i.e., the spirit controlling the medium] explained that this was indeed the Light of Christ, who, in verification of the belief which is now very generally held by Christians of every denomination, is gradually approaching this earth; and in fulfilment of His words, spoken nearly two thousand years ago, is coming to establish his Kingdom, the reign of universal love and brotherhood, amongst us.

"The control further said: 'Write thus to the editor of Light, Tell him that light is coming to all men. It grows brighter day by day. This light is the Light that should lighten all men that come into the world. Love is embodied in it. Truth is bringing it. Wisdom teaches it. Faith reveals it. Hope nourishes it. Justice craves for it. Glory attends it. Peace claims it. Power waits for it. This remarkable light is attended by hosts of angels; by dwellers in the spheres of the Blest; by mighty conquerors; by those whose sins, being scarlet, now shine radiant in this Light. Perfected good, perfected man, perfected light.

"Beautiful angels surrounded the medium. The Light appeared behind her; but she was pleased to know that the greatest glory shone when she spoke of Christ's power. Altho not herself viewing the greatest glory of the Light she saw it, far, far away, having a star-like radiance."

[R2187 : page 212]

Just as at his first advent the evil spirits acknowledged Jesus, saying, "We know thee, who thou art." "What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?" and as they testified of the apostles, – "These be the servants of the most high God which show unto us the way of eternal life; so to-day, as we have seen, some of them will testify occasionally to the truth, commend MILLENNIAL DAWN, etc.; but it is safe to assume that it is all for a purpose; as a "bait" for those who are interested or seeking light along these lines, to eventually lead them off into some gross darkness. Let us constantly remember that these deceptions will become so bold, and be apparently so backed by advanced truth that they will, "if it were possible, deceive the very elect." – Matt. 24:24-26.

Under such circumstances there is but one safe course. It is not to stand still with closed eyes, panic stricken: that will be impossible, very soon. It is to fully accept of Christ Jesus the redeemer, the ransomer of the race as your Savior and your Teacher, and to be controlled only by his spirit of truth expressed to man through his Word – the Bible. So doing you will be kept by the power of God from all the snares of the wicked one; for the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that [obediently] believeth."

To what great dangers the people of Christendom are exposed we may judge when we remember that nearly all are laboring under the delusion of Satan, first enunciated to Mother Eve in Eden, – to her deception and fall. He then said, "Ye shall not surely die." He has kept up his side of the controversy since then, and the majority of God's people believe Satan's statement and disbelieve the Lord's word; – holding that no one really dies, but that when death apparently takes place the person is thereby made "more alive than ever." Believing that none are really dead, we cannot wonder that Christendom totally rejects the Bible doctrine that the only hope for a future life rests in God's promise of a "resurrection of the DEAD," and makes nonsense of it by claiming that it is merely a resurrection of the body that died – which the Apostle declares will never be resurrected – but a new body be substituted when the soul, the being is resurrected. – 1 Cor. 15:12-18 and 36-38.

In evidence of the dangers along this line we note the fact that in a very recent issue of "The Ram's Horn," a radical orthodox journal of Chicago published on its outside cover a colored engraving representing a Christian mother with clasped hands, praying beside a little grave decorated with flowers, while just before her is shown the shadowy outline of her child approaching her. The editor of The Ram's Horn and his readers are like all other nominal Christians who neglect the teachings of God's Word on this subject; – just ready for Satan's delusions to ensnare them.

Note also the following, clipped from the Jan. 2, '97, issue of The Philosophical Journal (Spiritualist). Under the caption "Progressive Thought, the editor quotes from Rev. T. De Witt Talmage's discourse of Dec. 6, '96, as follows: –

"Even Talmage has progressed from the old faith, and now believes in the return of the spirit to this world of ours after death. On December 6 he preached a Sermon at Washington on the 'Celestial World,' showing the employment of 'the departed' in that state of existence. In answer to the question: 'What are the departed doing now?' he said: 'That question is more easily answered than you might suppose,' and adds: –

"'Their hand has forgotten its cunning, but the spirit has faculties as far superior to four fingers and a thumb as the supernatural is superior to the human. The reason that God took away their eye and their hand and their brain, was that he might give them something more limber, more wieldy, more skillful, more multipliant.'

"Dr. Talmage says that the spirits, freed from the material body, are 'more limber, more skillful,' and 'are at their old business yet,' but with vastly improved faculties. He argues it thus: –

"'Have you any idea that that affluence of faculty at death, collapsed and perished? Why so, when there is more for them to look at, and they have keener appreciation of the beautiful, and they stand amid the very looms where the sunsets and the rainbows and the spring mornings are woven.

"'Are you so obtuse as to suppose that because the painter drops his easel and the sculptor his chisel, and the engraver his knife, that therefore that taste, which he was enlarging or intensifying for forty or fifty years, is entirely obliterated?

"'These artists, or friends of art, on earth worked in coarse material and with imperfect brain and with frail hand. Now they have carried their art into larger liberties and into wider circumferences.

"'They are at their old business yet, but without the fatigues, without the limitations, without the hindrances of the terrestrial studio.'

"In answer to the question as to what the physicians are doing, since they passed to 'the beyond,' he says they 'are busy at their old business,' and adds:

"'No sickness in heaven, but plenty of sickness on earth, plenty of wounds in the different parts of God's dominion to be healed and to be medicated. Those glorious souls are coming down, not in lazy doctor's gig, but with lightning locomotion.

"'You cannot understand why that patient got well after all the skillful doctors had said he must die. Perhaps Abercrombie touched him. I should not wonder if he had been back again to see some of his old patients. Those who had their joy in healing the sickness and the woes of earth, gone up to heaven are come forth again for benignant medicament.'

[R2187 : page 213]

"Then he propounds another question, as to what all the departed are doing now – who in earth life were 'busy, and found their chief joy in doing good.' He replies: They are 'going right on with the work.'

"John Howard visiting dungeons; the dead women of Northern and Southern battlefields still abroad looking for the wounded; George Peabody still watching the poor; Thomas Clarkson still looking after the enslaved – all of those who did good on earth, busier since death than before. The tombstone is not the terminus, but the starting-post.'

"He then concludes with this very emphatic language: –

"'To show you that your departed friends are more alive than they ever were; to make you homesick for heaven; to give you an enlarged view of the glories to be revealed, I have preached this sermon.'

"Without the slightest doubt then, Dr. DeWitt Talmage is a Spiritualist. He does not claim that cognomen, but he teaches the grand tenets of our philosophy and admits the consequent phenomena of the return of the spirit to visit mortals – spirit physicians to touch those given up to die by mortal physicians, and to heal them – to visit those in dungeons in order to relieve their distress – to watch the poor – to look after the enslaved – and in this work to be 'busier since death than before!'

"If 'the departed are more alive than they ever were' – as Dr. Talmage affirms in his closing remarks – then it is evident that he was correct in saying that 'the tombstone is not the terminus, but the starting [R2188 : page 213] post" – the 'door' to the higher life, the entrance to the state of endless labor, grand possibilities, and eternal progression.

"If Dr. Talmage thought more of these grand truths than of his clerical standing, he would frankly avow himself a Spiritualist.

"All the churches are rapidly becoming permeated with Spiritual philosophy, and soon must either add to their structural confession these grand and inspiring verities, or sink into oblivion in the twentieth century, when the cycle of evolution shall be completely rounded out."

Who can deny the logic of the Spiritualist editor in claiming Dr. Talmage as a Spiritualist, who refrains from fully acknowledging his identity? Who can doubt that the hundreds of thousands who read that discourse in the many journals which publish Dr. Talmage's discourses regularly, accepted every item of its poisonous, unscriptural suggestion as gospel; because in full accord with what they had been taught from other pulpits, and especially at funeral services? Alas! the millions of Christendom are ready, ripe, for the evil work of these seducing spirits.

Note the following hand-bill announcement of Spiritist performances and tests, given at Muskegon, Michigan, recently: it is in display type and illustrated etchings showing shadowy forms, etc. – and was sent to us through the Lord's providence just in time for a notice here. It reads thus: –

"Opera House, under the auspices of the Religio-Philosophical Society of Boston, Mass., Sunday night, April 11, 1897.

"Spirit materializations, marvelous superhuman visions, Spiritualistic rappings, slate writing, floating tables and chairs, remarkable tests of the human mind, a human being isolated from surrounding objects floating in mid air. Behold the marvels of to-day! Reflect on the one great question of the hour: Is there a spirit land? and what is the destiny of man? Do you want to be convinced that there is a hereafter? Do you believe in immortality? Do you believe in a soul world? or do you believe that death ends all?

"Dr. Loyd Cooke, preeminently peer of spirit mediums, assisted by a number of mediums of note, on the open stage, will produce some of the most wonderful materializations ever witnessed in this country.

"The following are some of the tests that usually take place in the presence of these mediums: A table rises 4 to 5 feet and floats in mid-air. Spirit hands and faces are plainly seen and recognized by their friends. A guitar is played and passed around the room by the invisible power. Flowers are brought and passed to the audience by hands plainly seen. Bells are rung, harps are played, and other tests of a startling nature take place in the presence of these wonderful mediums, if the conditions are strictly complied with.

"A night of wonderful manifestations! The veil drawn so that all may have an insight into the spirit world and behold many things that are strange and startling.

"The clergy, the press, learned synods and councils, sage philosophers and scientists, in fact, the whole world has proclaimed these philosophical idealisms to be an astounding fact. You are brought face to face with the spirits. A large piano is played upon without a living soul touching it. And many spirit forms upon the stage – sometimes eight or ten at a time – are proof positive of the genuineness of these mediums. They have been three years developing for the special purpose of demonstrating the facts of spirit power in full gas light!

"The invisible powers are constantly producing new and startling manifestations to convert the skeptical and strengthen the believer. Come and see for yourself. Take no one's word. Investigate and believe your own eyes. Be guided by your own reason. Believe nothing you hear! Every man and woman has a right to see and think.

"Many ask: 'Is there any truth in Spiritualism?' If you should attend this seance with these new mediums, you would never doubt again that the spirits do re-visit the earth, and can be seen and recognized by their friends. They will stand beside you and shake hands with any one who will ask them. Remember, this seance is not like others you have attended. The forms seen here are not afraid of you, but will come so close to you that you cannot doubt their identity, and will satisfy you that they are not flesh of this earth. No [R2188 : page 214] one who has ever attended these seances can doubt the genuineness of these mediums. Remember, these are newly developed mediums, just arrived at this place, and are recognized by all that have seen them to have the most powerful circle that has ever been brought to this country. Not in darkness, but in open light. You feel their touch. You see their disembodied forms. In plain, open light! Every possible means will be used to enlighten the auditors as to whether these so called wonders are enacted through the aid of spirits or are the result of natural agencies.

"Committees will be selected by the audience to assist, and to report their views as to the why and wherefore of the many very strange things that will be shown during the evening. This is done so that every person attending may learn the truth regarding the tests, whether they are genuine or caused by expert trickery. Doors open at 7:15. Commences at 8. A small admission will be charged."


Finding that Churchianity is popular, and a certain amount of formalism demanded by the people they seek to ensnare, Spiritists are organizing "churches" for the "worship" and "praise" of the "All Good," – the name they use instead of God. But since advanced Spiritists do not believe in a personal God this name merely represents to them – all good spirits, among whom they reckon Thomas Paine, Shakespeare, Judas and Nero, as well as Christ, Confucius and Buddha. In these "churches" – "Spiritualist," "Theosophical" and "Christian Scientist," all of the same cult, and all guided (unknown to many of their votaries) by the same master spirit – Satan – the preachers and evangelists are generally women: in marked contrast (whatever the explanation) with the course pursued by the true Head of the one and only true Church, our Lord Jesus, – who appointed twelve apostles and seventy evangelists, all of them men.

The newspapers gave an account of a Spiritist baptism service, at the "First Church of Spiritualists," Pittsburg, on Sunday, Dec. 13, '96, by Mrs. Ida Whitlock, of Boston, as follows: –

"When the babies' parents and godmothers had been assembled, deacons of the church brought out a long flower decked rope, which they tied about the participants in the ceremony. Mrs. Whitlock gave each baby a small bunch of carnations, handing them from a silver bowl. Having completed this ceremony, Mrs. Whitlock took another silver bowl, and, advancing to each baby, she dipped into the bowl a rose and sprinkled the faces of those to be baptized, saying as she did so, 'I, Ida Whitlock, by a power commissioned to me, do baptize thee, Anna Marie Klotz, in the name of the All Good' Alderman Klotz, of Allegheny, is the father of this child."

The power commissioned to Mrs. Whitlock was certainly not from the Father, nor from the Son, nor by the holy spirit; and we feel confident it was from the one who backs all the tests and tricks and lies and obsessions: – "Your Adversary the Devil." – 1 Pet. 5:8.


Brother Thori of St. Paul, Minn., sends us the card of a Dr. Snyder of that city, who styles himself a Christian Spiritualist and claims that he and others there hold regular seances in which the Lord as a spirit being shows himself to their mortal eyes. He says that about forty persons there have seen these manifestations. Three of them received "the communion" direct from the Lord's hand. The card received bears sixteen texts from the Bible, among which are the following: –

"God is a spirit."

"I am the light of the world."

"He that keepeth my commandments, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."John 14:21.

In large type at the head of the card are these words: – "HAVE YOU SEEN THE LORD? IF NOT, WHY NOT?"

Brother Thori remarks that the Doctor appears to be very pious, and professes faith in the ransom and in restitution. The incident at once reminded Brother T. of the statement of MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., page 158, which reads as follows: –

"Among other such things some of them even teach that Christ is present, and we doubt not ere long they will give seances at which they will claim to show him 'in the secret chamber.'" (Matt. 24:26.) Brother T. called the Doctor's attention to this Scripture and this application of it; but he was so enamored by the seducing spirits that he could make no application of it to his own experiences. He declared that it referred to such preposterous frauds as Schweinfurth.

Here we see more of Satan's policy: he works one fraud against another. A few weak-minded people are deluded into thinking and claiming that they are "some great one" – Christs, etc., – and by hypnotic powers deluding a few into their "heavens," thus disgust more sensible people, who, believing that these frauds [R2189 : page 214] fulfil the scope of our Lord's warning, are off guard against the much more subtle deceptions of Spiritism which draw nearer and nearer daily.

Then again, true to his character as a deceiver, Satan begins all such performances with the outwardly devout. He puts a bait on his hook when he fishes for men. It will be found that self-willed Christians, no matter what their morals or faith, will be subject to snares of the great enemy. The full submission of the will to the will of God as expressed in his Word is absolutely necessary to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. [R2189 : page 215]


We will no doubt surprise some when we state that to our understanding "Christian Science," "Theosophy," "Mesmerism," "Clairvoyance" and "Hypnotism," as well as "Swedenborgianism," are all related to Spiritism, and designed by the "seducing spirits" to enthral and "pass along" the various classes of mankind who are now awakening out of mental lethargy; and to blind their eyes to the truth respecting the Lord and his Word. – 2 Cor. 4:4.

"Christian Science" by its attractive but deceptive name, no less than by its lying proposition that there is no pain, no sickness, no death, no sin, no devil, no Savior – nor need of any – by the very absurdity of its claims attracts the curious; and by its seeming harmlessness and "good works" ensnares the unguarded and uninstructed, who do not know "the depths of Satan." (Rev. 2:24.) Their processes for treatment of "imagined" diseases seem harmless, but are their cures therefore less of the demons and more of God than those of Spiritualists? While a pure faith in the first principles of the doctrines of Christ is not to be accepted as instead of good morals, the latter are nevertheless to be considered as concomitants to every manifestation of divine favor and power. All, therefore, who deny our Lord Jesus as the Redeemer of mankind "who gave his life a ransom price for many," are not of God, and their "wonderful works," whether good or bad, are not to be credited to divine power.*

It may be questioned by some whether Satan and his associates can be charged on the one hand with causing sickness and death (Heb. 2:14), and on the other hand with healing the sick and casting out devils. Would not this seem to be an opposition to his own kingdom not supposable of any intelligent being. "If Satan cast out Satan he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?" – Matt. 12:25,26; Mark 3:24-26.

Very true; and this shows to what straits "the prince of this world" is reduced by the great increase of intelligence shining in upon the world during the past century. The demons must sham to be "angels of light," teachers of advanced truths and good physicians, both of souls and bodies, in order to reensnare those who are feeling after God, if haply they might find him. (Acts 17:27.) The words of inspiration give us to understand that Satan's struggles to retain control of mankind will be specially desperate at its close – before he is "bound" for the thousand years that he may deceive the nations no more. – Rev. 20:2.

Here will be one of the "strong delusions" mentioned by the Apostle Paul, to cope with which God's people will have need of "the whole armor of God" that they "may be able to stand in this evil day." (2 Thes. 2:9-12; Eph. 6:11-13.) We are now in the period of which he cautions us to be specially on guard against "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." (1 Tim. 4:1.) Here the Apostle Peter tells us to "beware lest ye also being led away [seduced] by the error of the wicked [one] fall from your own steadfastness." (2 Pet. 3:17.) Hence the Lord tells us to watch and pray to escape the delusions which will be so strong as to "deceive if it were possible the very elect." (Matt. 24:24.) Shall we, in view of these warnings, expect no "strong delusions," deceptions from the wicked spirits? Nay; we expect far more during the next few years than even Spiritists have dreamed of hitherto.


But if Satan and his faithful have a knowledge of curative agencies and skill in their application let us not forget that he has great malific power also. This has already been demonstrated. Take the case of Jannes and Jambres, the celebrated mediums and magicians of Egypt, who in the presence of Pharaoh duplicated many of the miracles performed by divine power through Moses and Aaron. They could transform their rods into serpents; they also turned water into blood; they also produced frogs, altho they could not duplicate the plagues of lice, etc. – Exod. 7:11,22; 8:7.

We have every reason to believe that the fallen spirits have learned considerable during the past four thousand years and that they have a much wider range of power to-day. We are inclined to believe that the grasshopper plagues and the multitudinous farmer-pests and the spores and microbes of disease that are afflicting human and animal life in recent times, may be manifestations of the same power for evil. Similarly Satan is "the prince of the power of the air," and is malevolent enough to exercise his powers to the extent of divine permission. This might account in part for the great floods, cyclones and tornados of recent years.

But surely such forces of nature are not left in the charge of demons? some one inquires.

Not entirely; – most assuredly not; otherwise we may doubt if the world would be at all habitable. Take the case of Job: as soon as divine restraints upon Satan were released, he moved the Sabeans to steal Job's cattle and to kill his servants; he caused fire to come down from heaven, which not only killed but burned up Job's flocks of sheep; he sent the Chaldeans who stole Job's camels, and finally produced a cyclone which [R2189 : page 216] smote the house in which Job's children were feasting together, and destroyed the house and killed its occupants; and he attacked Job's person with disease as soon as granted permission. – Job 1:9-2:7.

There is no question that Satan and his legions are as able and as willing as ever to do all the mischief that divine wisdom may see fit to permit them to do. It only remains, therefore, to notice that God has not only foretold that he will permit them to have great power in the end of this age, but also why he does so. He tells us that he is about to "pour out his indignation, even all his fierce anger," upon the world of mankind, as a chastisement for sin and for a correction toward righteousness; to humble mankind and to prepare them for the blessings of the Millennial Kingdom. All are familiar with the plagues foretold in the book of Revelation about to be poured upon the world in the end and judgment of this age. Of these the plagues upon Egypt were illustrations, – even tho the coming plagues be described in symbols. But let us always remember God's care over his people to preserve them from every calamity which would not under divine supervision work out for them some valuable lesson or experience; and let us remember that he is able and willing to overrule the wrath of men and of devils and to restrain the remainder that would hinder his grand purposes.

The following words of Rev. A. B. Simpson are quite to the point: –

"The healing of diseases is also said to follow the practices of Spiritualism, and Animal Magnetism, Clairvoyance, etc. We will not deny that while some of the manifestations of Spiritualism are undoubted frauds, there are many that are unquestionably supernatural, and are produced by forces for which Physical Science has no explanation. It is no use to try to meet this terrific monster of Spiritualism, in which, as Joseph Cook says, is, perhaps, the great IF of our immediate future in England and America, with the hasty and shallow denial of the facts, or their explanation as tricks of legerdemain. They are often undoubtedly real and superhuman. They are the spirits of devils working miracles,' gathering men for Armageddon. They are the revived forces of the Egyptian magicians, the Grecian oracles, the Roman haruspices, the Indian medicine-men. They are not divine, they are less than omnipotent, but they are more than human. Our Lord has expressly warned us of them, and told us to test them, not by their power, but by their fruits, their holiness, humility and homage to the name of Jesus and the Word of God; and their very existence renders it the more imperative that we should be able to present against them – like the rod of Moses which swallowed the magicians', and at last silenced their limited power, – the living forces of a holy Christianity."

In conclusion let spiritual Israel hear the Word of the Lord to fleshly Israel: –

"When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shall not learn to do after THE ABOMINATIONS OF THOSE NATIONS. There shall not be found among you any one that... USETH DIVINATION, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord; and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee." – Deut. 18:9-12.

"When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and mutter: Should not a people SEEK UNTO THEIR GOD? on behalf of the LIVING should they seek unto the DEAD? To the law and the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." – Isa. 8:19-20.

[R2190 : page 216]

– JULY 25. – ACTS 17:22-34. –
"God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." – Jno. 4:24.
LTHO the Jews of Berea received the message of Christ in a proper spirit and searched the Scriptures daily for the proofs of the gospel, a measure of persecution was at least threatened there. The Jews of Thessalonica, hearing of the progress of the gospel amongst their brethren at Berea, went thither for the express purpose of fomenting strife and hindering the gospel. Satan seems always to have plenty of agents ready and willing to oppose the truth – frequently blindly, as in Paul's own case.

We do not know that there was much persecution at Berea: the brethren merely saw that it would follow, and judged it to be the wiser plan that the Apostle Paul, who was always the chief object of attack, should at once withdraw. The absence of his powerful testimony left nothing for the opposers to contend against, and they probably speedily withdrew, satisfied with having, as they supposed, put a stop to the influence of the gospel, by chasing Paul away. But Silas remained with the Bereans, to strengthen and establish them, as Timothy had remained at Thessalonica, and Luke at Philippi, for similar reasons. Thus Paul was alone when he came to Athens, the center of the world's civilization, religious philosophy and art, at that time, as indeed it had been for several centuries. It was a college city, where resided the most eminent philosophers [R2190 : page 217] of the world as instructors in its great colleges to which came the brightest and ablest thinkers of the world. Some one has said of Athens: "In its prime it sent forth more great men in one hundred years than all the rest of the world could show in five hundred." Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Sophocles, Aristides, Phidias, Zeno, Epicurus, Xenophon and Themistocles, still of world-wide renown, were sons of this famous city.

It would appear that there were no Jews in Athens, and this was doubtless for two reasons: (1) The Jews had a religious philosophy of their own which would have been in continual conflict with these heathen philosophies. (2) Not interested in heathen philosophies, nothing would draw them to Athens, except commerce, and Athens was not a commercial or manufacturing city. Finding no synagogue, the Apostle wandered through the streets of Athens, noting the endeavor of its people to reach, by mental philosophy, a knowledge of God, while ignorant of the holy Scriptures, the revelation of the only true God. In a city so given over to philosophical speculations, it is not surprising that such questions were discussed in the streets, in the market places and wherever its intelligent, cultured citizens came in contact with each other or with strangers. As an educated man the Apostle was well versed in the various speculations of the day, and had besides the philosophy of the divine plan which others had not.

Where the Jews were the auditors one-half of the preaching would do, for they already knew the one living and true God and acknowledged him; they already knew of Moses and the law, and of how Moses had foretold Messiah; and they were already waiting for this long promised Messiah. To such the Apostle merely needed to present the evidences that Christ fulfilled in every particular the predictions of the prophets. But with these Athenians even the true God was not known. Hence, the first point in preaching to them was to establish faith in Jehovah; the second, to establish faith in the prophets as his mouth pieces, and then third, to prove that Christ fulfilled the predictions of the prophets. This was the Apostle's first contact with undiluted heathenism, and he began by talking as the others did, in the market places, on the subject of the true God.

Noting that the Apostle was consistent and logical in his remarks, some of the leading men made an appointment for him to give a public address before the Council of the Areopagus, which occupied chief seats in the auditorium on Mars Hill, and was surrounded at its sitting with the intelligent population of this metropolis of philosophy.

For the first time the gospel is preached to the most learned and most scientific, according to the estimate of this world, – by its most able exponent on earth. We note with intense interest the method of presentation employed, and the results obtained. It was necessary first of all that these philosophers should learn of their error in supposing that there are many gods, and come to understand that there is but one living and true God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, his Son: then they would be prepared to see how the Father's law was infracted through sin; how a ransom was necessary, and that Christ came into the world and died and rose again for the justification of sinners, and their release from sin's penalty, – death.

We are impressed with the wisdom of the Apostle's method of procedure in addressing a congregation so cultured in error. Our Common Version (v.22) does the Apostle great injustice, by representing him as beginning his discourse by insulting his hearers; – telling them that they were "too superstitious." What he did say to them signified, "You are reverential to an extreme; for as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription – 'To the unknown God.' Whom, therefore, you worship [admittedly] without knowledge [of his name and character], him declare I unto you." What a lesson we have here of presenting the truth with wisdom, in meekness and in love.

Our respect for the Apostle's method is increased when we know that the Athenians considered themselves so well supplied with gods that they had passed a law inflicting the death penalty upon any one who would set forth in their midst any foreign god not previously recognized in their city. (Possibly this helps to account for the absence of Jews.) Thus the Apostle seized upon the only opportunity for presenting to his hearers the true God without risking his own life, by calling attention to the fact that they already recognized and offered worship to the true God, altho ignorant of his name. Such masterly wisdom must have had weight with so intelligent an audience: and apparently the Apostle received a careful hearing as he described some of the characteristics of Jehovah – far above and beyond anything which his hearers had ever claimed for their divinities.

The secret of the Apostle Paul's success, and the reason why God used him so graciously as a servant, is a lesson which all who attempt to serve the truth to others would do well to note and to apply to themselves. Was it not because he preached not himself but the Lord and his gospel? Do not many would-be teachers fail to attain results and to be more used of the Lord because their ambition really preaches self, and the gospel as a means for calling attention to self; – and do not others combine self-glorification with the [R2190 : page 218] gospel, and thus obtain only partial results for the Lord? The Apostle's course was self-abandonment, as he explained, "I determined to know nothing among you save Christ, and him crucified." (1 Cor. 2:2.) His knowledge on other subjects was all sunk out of sight. It is for this reason that many comparatively ignorant men have been greatly used of the Lord in the gospel service – great learning in the philosophies often proving a snare, a temptation to preach these and to make a show among men rather than to preach the divine philosophy – redemption through the blood of the cross. Let us all copy the Lord and his greatly used and thus approved servant, Paul, until the expression of our every word and act will be

"None of self and all of Thee."

Athens was full of idols and temples representing the homage to deities of various degrees of distinction. Pliny, the historian, informs us that in Nero's day Athens contained more than 3,000 public statues – of gods of various grades and of notable human heroes. In one street there stood before every house a square pillar supporting a bust of the god Hermes, and every gate-way and porch had its protecting god. Paul preached (1) a God so great that he not only could not be made by human hands, but that all things, both in heaven and in earth, were his creation; (2) a God who needed no temple or house; (3) a God so great that nothing could be done for him, seeing that he himself is the Creator of the world and the author of every good gift, including life itself; (4) that all the human family evidenced his handiwork, and all from one source or parent; and (5) that God had in general one great plan with reference to the entire human family. All this was very different from the confused ideas presented by the philosophers respecting various gods and the competition and strife between them as between human heroes.

Having set forth the character of God, the next point was to show that all God's creation should seek him, that he is nigh unto all that call upon him; for his power and intelligence are everywhere present. Seizing upon a truthful statement by one of their poets to the effect that all mankind are God's offspring, the Apostle endorses this, and then points out that this, being true, it logically follows that images of gold, silver and stone could not properly represent this great God.

Anticipating the question in their minds – If there is so great a God why has he not previously manifested himself to us? and why has he permitted us to look to and to worship other gods? and would he not be very angry with us, because of this false worship? the Apostle [R2191 : page 218] answers, No; the past period of ignorance God entirely overlooks: You are not charged with responsibility for rejecting that of which you did not know. But, now this great God has sent forth his gracious message, that all men everywhere should come to a knowledge of him, and should repent of sins and seek to do his will.

Here is a definite statement from an inspired source informing us that the millions who lived and died in heathen darkness prior to the coming of Christ are not held responsible and will not be punished for that ignorance. And the same principle can logically be applied to all since who have not known of Christ and of the redemption through his blood. All of these must yet come to a knowledge of the truth.

But note the Apostle's reasoning: God has appointed a day of trial ("judgment") for the whole human family, in which Christ will be the righteous Judge, and in which every man – the whole world – will have a righteous trial, a fair opportunity for accepting divine favor and eternal life, or of rejecting these and receiving the wages of sin, the second death. Here, the Apostle was able to bring Christ to the attention of his hearers. The little portion of the discourse set before us omits all mention of a redemption by the second Adam, before any blessing of life or even a trial for life eternal could be offered to any: doubtless, however, this was part of the discourse, set forth along the same lines as the Apostle's argument in Romans 5 and in 1 Cor. 15.

In logical order, it was necessary that the Apostle would present the doctrine of the resurrection. (1) He must show that Christ, having died for our sins, did not remain dead, but was raised up and clothed with authority and power to be the Deliverer in due time of those whom he had purchased with his own blood. (2) He must show that the ignorant ones of preceding centuries, as they had shared the Adamic penalty, would have an opportunity also of sharing the benefits of the atonement, and he must therefore show that, altho the penalty, death, was justly enforced against all, yet God purposed an awakening from death for all mankind; and a complete resurrection to the condition enjoyed by Adam before the fall, to all who would render obedience to the Redeemer when he would be the Judge. (The mention of the high calling and the way of full consecration leading to it, he reserved for such as would accept justification.)

The Apostle held the attention of his hearers and evidently made considerable impression until it came to this last part of his discourse. But the doctrine of the resurrection ran counter to all their latest philosophical deductions which were to the effect that death is merely a change to a higher form of life. According to their philosophy there could be no resurrection of the dead; for they believed that there were no dead. These philosophers had become so thoroughly imbued [R2191 : page 219] with the sentiments wherewith Satan deceived mother Eve ("Ye shall not surely die") that they were ready and willing to reject what they must have conceded was the grandest philosophy respecting the Deity that they had ever heard. This same error has been a stumbling block to many, hindering them from seeing the beauty and consistency of the divine plan.

The Apostle's efforts were not wholly without fruitage, for one of the Professors of the university, Dionysius, and a lady of note, Damaris, and some others believed, but evidently not satisfied with the prospect for future service, the Apostle departed for Corinth. Aside from the general lesson of this narrative other valuable lessons may be drawn.

(1) As Athens, the seat of learning, was full of idols, so the heart, even tho enriched with earthly wisdom, may be full of idols and wholly lacking of any proper conception of the great Creator and his plan. Many cultured minds have nevertheless idols of selfishness, passions, earthly ambitions and love of falsehoods, to such an extent as to reject the sublime testimony of the gospel, even when brought to their attention.

(2) Culture and refinement are not always accompaniments and indications of the Lord's presence and the light of his grace, but quite frequently are hindrances, in that they give a measure of satisfaction which serves as a substitute for Christ and his gospel.

(3) Forms of worship are not acceptable with God: the Athenians were worshipful and reverential to an extreme. God not only seeks worshipers who have the true spirit of worship, but he arranged also that these shall have a knowledge of the truth, so that they may worship in truth, according to the truth. Hence, the declaration, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." A knowledge of the truth is essential before we can worship in spirit and in truth. As a spirit of worship without the truth is not sufficient or accepted, much more a knowledge of truth is not sufficient nor acceptable without a spirit of worship.

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– AUGUST 1. – ACTS 18:1-11. –
"Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." – 1 Cor. 3:11.
ORINTH as a city was almost the opposite of Athens. Corinth was as completely given over to commerce and sinful pleasures as Athens was given over to religious philosophy and idol worship. We have seen what poor success attended the gospel amongst the superstition-blinded philosophers of the religious metropolis; and we feel curious to know whether its effect will be more or less amongst the non-religious of Corinth. The Lord's testimony settles the matter. In a vision he encouraged the Apostle not to be afraid but to speak boldly, assuring him that he would be with him and protect him; adding, – "I have much people in this city."

Here we see the principle of the divine policy in respect to the sending forth of the gospel. The Lord knew the honest-hearted ones beforehand; and even tho they did not know him, and had not yet accepted of Christ, "the only name," God nevertheless spoke of things to come as tho they already were accomplished, and called the earnest ones who hungered and thirsted after righteousness his people. When we remember that the Lord specially directed the Apostle into Macedonia and suffered him to remain but a short time in the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica and Athens, and that his stay in Corinth was for a year and a half, and then note these words, – "I have much people in this city," it gives us the thought that the objective point of this missionary tour in the divine program was Corinth. And indeed, at the close of his ministry in Corinth the Apostle was sent nowhere else, but took his journey homeward, visiting enroute the Churches he had previously established in Asia-Minor. What a lesson we have here of the divine superintendence of his own Word and plan! what an illustration of the statement, "The Lord knoweth them that are his;" and that our God is "the same yesterday, to-day and forever!" He still knows his own; he still superintends his work; he still sends through appropriate agents and at the proper season just such helps as are needful to his people.

Every laborer (every public and every private laborer in the vineyard) should mark the lesson which the Lord has here set before us. And each should the more carefully watch for the leadings of divine providence and realize that only as he is a co-worker together with God can he accomplish anything. As the Master said, "Without me ye can do nothing."

Every minister of the gospel (and this includes all who serve the Lord in any degree or capacity) can find in the Apostle Paul a most wonderful lesson of practical humility. Upon entering Corinth he did not look up some philosopher and endeavor to ingratiate himself with him as a fellow-philosopher and teacher, who could not dig and was ashamed to beg. He did nothing which would compromise the truth, and his influence or liberty as a servant of the truth. Like all Jews of that time he had learned a trade and he at once set to work to earn an honest living, while seeking the door of opportunity for his great life-work, the preaching of the gospel. His trade, tent-making, was a good one in the sense that it afforded employment in every [R2191 : page 220] seaport town; but a poor one in that not being difficult, it had much competition, and was poorly paid. Nevertheless, there is not the slightest intimation that the Apostle repined or in any degree rebelled against the leadings of divine providence, altho he probably queried why it was that the Lord, who had specially called and commissioned him to the work of the gospel, had so circumstanced him that it was impossible to give any but the fag-ends of his time to this service to which he had devoted himself, and to which he had been accepted. Under the leadings of divine providence he became acquainted with Aquilla and Priscilla, poor Jews, outcasts for their religion, who were earning their living by the same trade. Their troubles had no doubt mellowed their hearts and made them ready for the gospel of Christ, and the Lord brought it first to their humble dwelling, and they became devoted servants of the Lord's cause.

The Apostle was fervent in spirit and not slothful in the great business to which his life was devoted; and hence he lost no opportunity of looking up the Jews of Corinth and attending the Sabbath services in [R2192 : page 220] their synagogue. Apparently, however, the difficulties and persecutions endured tended to make the Apostle cautious, if by any means he might improve upon the methods of the past, by the use of greater wisdom. We see how he left Thessalonica and then Berea as the persecution manifested itself; and we see that he studiously sought to avoid persecution at Athens; and now at Corinth apparently he did not start out to preach Christ boldly to the Jews, but rather reasoned with them, and with certain Gentiles who were feeling after God, for a number of Sabbath days, along general lines; as a preparation for the great message he had to deliver. He persuaded both Jews and Greeks with reference to the Law, its types and ceremonies and sacrifices; and with reference to the significance of the prophecies; but he avoided that which would awaken prejudice until he would first arouse faith and fervor in his hearers, and their confidence in his sincerity, and in his fidelity to the Lord's Word.

But when Silas and Timothy joined him, the opportune moment came: and the Apostle felt such a pressure of earnest desire to make known the Lord Jesus, as the grand hope of Israel and the world, that he could keep it back no longer and spoke it forth.

Then came the opposition and blasphemy which previous experiences had warned him to expect: but by this time he had made some impression, not only upon some of the Jews, but upon the religiously disposed Greeks, who had been interested in Judaism. Foreseeing that thereafter the Jews would consider him an intruder in their synagogue, he withdrew, accepting as a place for meetings the home of Justus, who apparently was a Greek convert first to Judaism, and now to Christianity. This change would make it more favorable to all Greeks to come and hear, and at the time being near the synagogue would keep the gospel of Christ before the attention of the Jews. The result was that "much people," the Lord's people, were found by the truth, including the ruler of the synagogue and many citizens of Corinth.

Had the Apostle been either a cold or a lukewarm Christian and servant of the Lord, or one of the "fearful and unbelieving" kind, he might have attended the synagogue and for years kept his "light under a bushel;" and in such an event it probably would shortly have become extinguished, according to the divine rule; and he would have lost his place as a servant of the gospel and some one else who had a sufficiency of faith, love and zeal would have been permitted to do the work. But the Apostle never kept his light under a bushel, but lifted it high that all might see the glorious light of the goodness of God as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord, which had shone into his heart. He continually showed forth "the praises of him who had called him out of darkness into his marvelous light."

Judging from his past experiences, the Apostle might have expected persecution which would have permitted him to stay but a short time in Corinth. It was probably for his instruction in this particular that he was granted the vision, instructing him that God would protect him from persecution here, because he had much people to be reached by the truth. Nevertheless, it was necessary and the Lord's instruction, that he should speak the truth boldly and not hold his peace, nor expect that the Lord would work a miracle to reach his people in Corinth without a public testimony.

It was during this stay in Corinth that the Apostle received a loving contribution for his support from the converts at Philippi, which gave evidence that Luke, who remained with them, was performing a faithful ministry and stirring up their hearts with zeal for the Lord and his service. It was during this period, also, that he received through Silas and Timothy a good message from the Churches at Thessalonica and Berea; and it was during this stay in Corinth also that the two letters were written to the Church at Thessalonica. Nevertheless, it is respecting this very period of his stay in Corinth that the Apostle subsequently wrote to the Corinthians (1:4; 2:3); in which he mentions his weakness (bodily sickness) and "fear and trembling;" probably the result partly of his weak physical condition and of the remembrance of the trying experiences already passed through.

Subsequently he writes apparently referring back to experiences at Corinth, – "Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat. We are made the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day." – 1 Cor. 4:11-13.

Every servant of the truth to-day can find rich lessons in the experiences and faithfulness and perseverance of the great Apostle. In infinite wisdom the Lord permitted this his chiefest servant amongst men, next to the Lord Jesus, to preach the truth under unfavorable circumstances and with many drawbacks. Paul learned that the servant is not above his Master; and so must every other faithful follower learn the same lesson of faithfulness and endurance – overcoming self and difficulties in the name and strength of the Lord and his Word: upheld by loving zeal and by the exceeding great and precious promises of the Father's Word. In due time we shall reap the reward, if we faint not by the way.