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

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

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

VOL. XVIII.MAY 1, 1897.No. 9.
CONTENTS.

Can You Do More? 126
Views from the Watch Tower 127
Federation 127
Enforcing the Decalogue 130
God's Wonders 131
Take Heed 131
A Truthful Criticism 134
Celebrations of the Memorial Supper 134
Paul's Message to the Jews 137
A Light to the Gentiles 139

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

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

page 126

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

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

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

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CAN YOU DO MORE TO SERVE THE TRUTH?

WE hope that each TOWER reader will ask himself this question; and then act according to his answer. Furthermore, we want to assist whoever will accept our assistance.

The past three years of financial depression have greatly hindered what we esteem to be the chief branch of the work – the colporteuring of MILLENNIAL DAWN – and the circulation, instead of increasing yearly, has been decreasing, because many of the colporteurs, unable to make expenses, have been obliged to go into other employment.

It occurs to us that if this fact were realized by the friends of the truth it would lead them each and all to say, "In that event I must step into the breach; I must be that much more active in the service; I must devote that much more time in letting the light shine out upon others." And to such we proffer cooperation as follows: –

(1) We cannot make any concession on tracts, for they are already supplied by the Tract Fund free, in any quantity, post free, to any TOWER reader. Avail yourself of this arrangement. No other tracts were ever offered so cheaply. The poorest, who desires to serve the Lord and his cause thus, has no excuse.

(2) The price of the paper-bound DAWNS, when sold by Colporteurs will hereafter be 25 cents instead 35 cents, which will enable a larger number to purchase.

(3) We will hereafter supply the paper-bound edition of MILLENNIAL DAWN (any language or any assortment) in packages of ten volumes to one address, post paid, for one dollar; – larger orders at the same rate. Five or more volumes, to various addresses, at 15c. per Vol.

Let all who can avail themselves of this offer. If the new postal bill now pending would pass, it would make the postage alone seventy cents on these packs of ten, and would necessitate the cancelling of this offer, – except by freight.

(4) The DAWNS bound in leatherette, embossed (English only), 35 cents per vol., we will supply in packs of six for one dollar, post free; or by freight, at colporteurs' charges, for 12½ cents per volume.

(5) Where a town has been thoroughly canvassed for DAWN we advise a canvass for "Tabernacle Shadows" and "Reply to Robt. Ingersoll," leatherette, embossed, 10 cents, three for 25 cents; or for What Say the Scriptures About Hell? For this purpose we will supply these pamphlets at 50 cents per dozen, assorted as you may please.

Those who use one hour or one afternoon a week may by these terms be enabled to devote two hours or two half-days per week. Those who loan the DAWNS may increase their work. (One sister in Allegheny has eighty copies constantly loaned out – changing them, about every three weeks.)

Let us, dear Brothers and Sisters, by the Lord's help, take a fresh hold of his work. The people never needed the truth more! It is the only thing that will keep them from Infidelity! People never were more ready to receive the truth! They realize that some great changes are at hand, and many want to understand them. "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the land, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness [truth – justice]." If we are anxious to serve, the Lord will give us an opportunity. Here it is!

*                         *                         *

Colporteurs and others will please preserve the names of Swedes wishing VOL. III., so we can send them notice when it is ready next year.

[R2143 : page 127]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

FEDERATION OF PROTESTANTS.

IN our last we called attention to the federation of the various Protestant denominations in Great Britain, aside from the Church of England. The New York Independent noticed the matter as follows: –

"We gave account last week of the meeting of the Free Church Council in London, and we asked why such a confederation of the Protestant Churches in this country could not be inaugurated. The subject is well worth further and frequent consideration. That meeting represented the Wesleyans, Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, indeed all the free Churches of Great Britain with two million communicants. It was the most representative meeting of English Christians held for over three centuries; for the members of the combined Free Churches of Great Britain slightly outnumber the communicants of the Established Church. Separated hitherto, they now are confederated. They are one. They no longer suffer under the reproach of a divided Church. They have declared that they believe that the Church of Jesus Christ should be one, and they have made it not merely spiritually, but visibly one, so far as lies in their power. Why should British Christians be more progressive than we in America? Yet, somehow, an old and compact country like Great Britain does work out some problems faster than we do. They are in advance of us in giving popular postal service, postal banks and postal telegraphs; and here we find them far in advance of us in this great popular Christian movement which brings believers into public and confessed fellowship in Christ."

FEDERATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE'S SOCIETIES.

Since (1) it is a settled fact that the Young People of the various denominations will not be encouraged by their denominational "Elders" to unite as Christian Endeavorers, and that such a union is feared, especially by Methodists and Presbyterians, as tending to break down and remove all denominational barriers; and since (2) denominational federation comes slower than was hoped for, it is now proposed to establish a Young People's Christian Federation. This will partially satisfy those who are clamoring for Christian Union without denominational restrictions; it will also fix things where they are, and make it "irregular" and "a breach of etiquette" to criticize, or attempt to supplant, any of the allied or federated Societies; and it will pave the way for the desired denominational federation, which we know from the Scriptures is rapidly approaching, and will be of injury to pure, primitive Christianity, and lead quickly to Church and State alliance and to the collapse of the present social order.

Asked, some time ago, how soon such a federation might be expected to take shape, we suggested that the opening of the twentieth century would be a likely date, as it is growingly the spirit of our times to start large undertakings on prominent and propitious days and years. We are therefore surprised to find the prime-movers in this federation naming a date so far in advance as the new century. This federation we should expect sooner, and the Church federation by 1900, A.D. We quote the views of people prominent in these Young People's Societies.

H. K. Carroll, LL.D., who suggests this federation, and that the congress for the purpose be called for the year 1900, gives as their total membership 4,414,776. We quote from his article in the Independent the following expression: –

"As immediate union of all these bodies is out of the question, why should there not be an Alliance or Federation of them? They have no creeds that stand in the way of closer relations. There is no question of polity to keep them asunder. They have the same [R2143 : page 128] object, similar pledges, and practice methods which do not vary widely. Such a Federation could in no way injuriously affect the denominational loyalty or usefulness of any society. Neither would it interfere with denominational control and denominational development."

Bishop W. X. Ninde, of the M.E. Church, president of the Epworth Board of Control, endorses Dr. Carroll's suggestion, as follows: –

"While organic union seems impossible, certainly for the time, there are no Christians in the land who feel a stronger yearning for a union of sympathy and cooperation in Christian work than do the young people represented in the Epworth League. We are fully committed to the general plan of a Federation or Alliance of Young People's societies. Our Board of Control, at its recent session in New York, emphatically reaffirmed its wish for the closest spiritual unity with all Christian young people, and its readiness to make or receive overtures for joining hands in all practical methods of Christian work."

Mr. J. W. Baer, general Secretary of the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, says: –

"The committee will welcome suggestions, and may its efforts be blessed in binding all the young people of evangelical churches into a closer spiritual fellowship that shall in no way interfere with denominational control. There is no reason why everything that is worth having in the way of denominational control of young people's societies should not be maintained without sacrificing anything that is worth having of interdenominational fellowship."

J. T. Beckley, D.D., one of the trustees of the same society, says: –

"Federation is the next step forward in the Young People's movement. It is logical and providential. The uprising of the young people is the most significant fact in the history of modern Christendom – the twenty-ninth chapter of the Book of the Acts. Its import is far-reaching. It is a splendid apologetic. When the enemy was claiming that Christianity was decadent and the Bible was a last year's almanac, this army of consecrated disciples, numbered by millions, came to the front."

Rev. J. A. Duff, of the Young People's Christian Union of the United Presbyterian Church, says: –

"There is a growing conviction in the minds of many that Christianity as represented by the Protestant churches – each one working in its own way without reference to the success of the whole – does not present a united front against either idolatry or the spirit of the world. While not ready for union, many are ready for such a movement as will combine the efforts [R2144 : page 128] of all and direct against the things that ought not to be."

Rev. J. P. Landis, D.D., president of the Young People's Christian Union, United Brethren, says: –

"As far, therefore, as I have a right to speak for our Young People's Christian Union, I say, by all means let there be a meeting called of all the young people's organizations; and as 1900 seems to be a specially appropriate time, let it be then. We shall vote for a Federation."

It is worthy of note that all these gentlemen feel sure that the proposed federation could do no harm to any denominational interests. Evidently they are not aware that their chief concern is for the preservation of their several denominations. The Lord's plan is very unpopular, because it denounces sectarianism where it does not ignore it entirely.

THE NEXT STEP PREPARING.

Comparatively few realize the motive which lies back of the movements of leaders towards the federation of religious systems. Neglecting to observe the testimony of God's Word, that the mission of this age is the selection of the Church of overcomers to be, with Christ their Lord, the "Royal Priesthood," to bless and rule and teach the world during Christ's Millennial Kingdom, they have, to the contrary, concocted the theory that the conversion and ruling of the world is the Church's mission during the present age. After eighteen centuries they find that in this zenith of their efforts nearly two hundred beings are born for every one that is even nominally converted; and probably five or ten thousand for every one that becomes a fully consecrated "overcomer" or "saint." They reflect that at this rate it will be many centuries yet before they could hope to bring about conditions by which God's will would be done on earth as in heaven.

Wishing to encourage each other, and to impress the world, they want union or federation or something which will "make a fair show in the flesh;" and they begin to feel just as Papacy did fifteen centuries ago, – that God wants them to take control of the world in his name and rule it, and enforce religion by civil law. They forget that this same erroneous view, put into execution by Papacy, not only led it to establish the great antichristian counterfeit of God's Kingdom, but also led to the persecution, in most terrible forms, of those who stood faithful to the Word of God.

The new movement contemplates a participation in politics as a means of getting control of the world for the Lord; and Christian Citizenship Leagues are being formed. The following is their statement of their object clipped from the Christian Citizen.

"Not until the Kingship of Jesus is established over our land and the world, and his teachings are made the rule in all public affairs, will the Christian Citizenship League have achieved its purpose to prepare the way of the Lord. And then it shall be found that not only has the way for his coming been prepared, but that he has indeed and in truth come."

Thus they not only claim that our Lord's second coming cannot take place until they thus prepare his way, but finally they intimate that this success will [R2144 : page 129] make his personal coming unnecessary. They will act as his vice-gerent in establishing righteousness, and can equally be his representative after the important work of conquest is accomplished.

Very true! If they can do all the hard work of conquering the world and the devil, they will deserve the glory and honor. It is clear, however, that present arrangements, multiplied ten-fold, could never bring to earth the heavenly conditions promised in our Lord's petition. The rightful King must take unto himself his great power and begin his reign, and bind Satan, and liberate the "groaning creation" before peace on earth and good will toward men and glory to God in the highest can be looked for.

CHURCH AND STATE.

Evangelist B. F. Mills is advancing along the line above pointed out. He is quoted as saying in a recent discourse: –

"It is a mistake to consider the Church as a society for worship or benevolence instead of an agency for transforming the world. It is the business of the Church to see that the State conducts its affairs in a Christian fashion."

The editor of the (Syracuse, N.Y.) Herald criticizes this utterance very wisely, as follows: –

"Then if the majority in the State were Jews, would it be the business of the Jews to see that the State 'conducted its affairs' in Jewish fashion? Or if a majority were not Christians, would it be the business of the majority to see that the State was conducted in a way not Christian? This is a government by majority, but in order to protect as much as possible the minority against the intolerance and persecution which invariably come with majority rule Constitutions are established as the fundamental law of the State under which the rights of the minority to freedom of speech, freedom of printing and freedom of worship are made sure. The genius of our government is the complete separation of church and state, yet here is a minister of a denomination which knows the meaning of persecution for nonconformity to the ideas of the majority as to what constitutes Christianity, advocating religious domination – which means denominational domination in its logic – in the State.

"Mr. Mills will have difficulty in finding authority in the New Testament for his doctrine that it is the business of the Church to supervise the State: It was the fear that the mission of Jesus Christ was to institute a sorely needed revolution in Judea that led chiefly to the persecution and death of the Founder of Christianity.

"Against this charge made by the orthodox Jews he protested. 'Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, means that he would not have the Church see to it that the State was dominated by it. The words and example of Paul were always in direct refutation of the doctrine enunciated by Mr. Mills. Both knew that the moment the church became political that moment it would begin to lose in spiritual power, and the history of nineteen centuries has proved the scientific soundness of their position. The Church cannot have an influence upon the State in the way suggested by Mr. Mills without becoming political.

"It is the business of the church to call men to repentance, to preach the gospel – the 'glad tidings of great joy' – to work for the spiritual regeneration of mankind through regeneration of the individual. In this business it has employment for all its energies and talents, and thus employing itself it is a more powerful influence for righteousness in the State and righteousness of the State as a governing corporation than it can possibly be in attempting directly to dictate politics to the State and to be the State. The government of the United States and of the State of New York are as much the governments of the non-Christian as of the Christian; of the Jew as of the Gentile; of the Pantheist as of the Trinitarian; of the Agnostic and Deist as of the strictest of the sect of special creationists who believe in divine direction of the affairs of mankind. It is the business of the Christian church not more than of the Jewish church to see to it that the State is dominated by ethical principles, by morality, righteousness, justice and mercy; and it can do this best by following the example of Christ and Paul, not that of Constantine."

"WHAT IS WRONG?"

In the Christian Endeavorer Rev. C. S. Bullard propounds the question, "What is wrong?" and proceeds to answer it as follows: –

"Every pulpit in the land guarded by law – nearly one hundred thousand men of learning and ability set for the bringing to the attention of other men the life and death message of God – and yet –

"Multiply the twelve apostles by eight thousand and how soon they would turn the world up-side-down! What is wrong?

"Think of England – the brightest part of Europe. Eighty thousand criminals; one hundred and sixty thousand drunkards; one hundred thousand prostitutes; nearly ten hundred thousand paupers, and a drink bill of one hundred and thirty-six million pounds sterling! Is that the best the gospel of Jesus Christ can do for England?

"Look upon our own land – over seventy-three million population and about twenty million enrolled members in all branches of the church! Seven million young men, of whom but five per cent. are enrolled as members of the church. These, as a fraction of one of the million, attend church somewhat regularly, another million attend occasionally, but five million never attend. Think of arresting over one and a half million of men and women annually – fifty millions in a generation! Crime increases four and a half times faster than the population. What is wrong?

"Here we stand upon the threshold of the twentieth century with the record of forty million people habitually absenting themselves from the house of God! We have perfect machinery and a seemingly large amount of zeal – we are doing everything we can think of to reach the ungodly – we have tried spinning-wheels and grab-bags, theatricals and tableaux, broom drills and donkey socials. We have fiddled to them [R2144 : page 130] and fed them with ice cream and cake, and tickled them with funny stories, yet 'Ichabod' seems to be written upon everything we do. What is wrong?

"Is there a power that can change these things? What is needed? Paul cries, 'The gospel is the power of God.' O, that is what is needed – power! POWER! Power in the Church and through the church IN POLITICS, TO REGENERATE SOCIETY. The only thing that can [R2145 : page 130] correct the things that need correction is the 'gospel.' Let us apply the gospel in liberal doses!"

Yes, indeed, power is needed to bring order and righteousness to all the troublesome questions now perplexing the world, – Labor, Capital, Finance, Socialism, Trusts, True Religion, Sectarianism and Superstition, all need power, a mighty power, and a wise and good power, to take hold of them to put down the wrong and to lift up the right. But will the church by going into earthly politics be this power? Never! She holds no such commission. On the contrary, if saints could be put into office, it is very doubtful if they could continue to be "saints" under such unfavorable conditions, attempting to rule the world before the time appointed and without their "Head."

Yes, men in every station of life are beginning to see that the world needs a "strong government" to hold it in check; and the more general the enlightenment of the masses the greater this need – to control the avarice and discontent and to cause the bounties of divine providence to minister blessings and happiness to every creature. No earthly power can do this: our Lord's promised Kingdom – the fifth universal empire of the earth (Dan. 2:44; 7:22,27), and it only, can meet the conditions. It was in full view of this necessity, and to meet it, that a second advent of our Lord was promised; – not as a man and for suffering of death, but as the Lord of all, in power and great glory, a spirit being – as invisible to men as is the present "prince of this world," Satan, and still more powerful. While the many make ready "Christian Crusades" in politics, and "Boy's Brigades" for future assistance, the true "soldiers of the cross" will fight the good fight of faith against their own weaknesses, while praying to their Lord, "Thy kingdom come: thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

ENFORCING THE DECALOGUE IN KANSAS.

The following bill has been introduced in the Legislature of the State of Kansas by Representative Walters. It calls for the enforcement of the Ten Commandments given to Israel at Mt. Sinai: –

"An Act to give statutory force to the Ten Commandments:

"Whereas, The men of the present generation have become doubters and scoffers; and,

"Whereas, They have strayed from the religion of their fathers; and,

"Whereas, They no longer live in the fear of God; and,

"Whereas, Having no fear of punishment beyond the grave, they wantonly violate the law given to the world from Mt. Sinai; therefore,

"Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas: –

"Section I. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

"Section 2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image," etc. [Each one of the commandments constituting a separate section of the Act.]

"Section II. Any man who shall violate any of the provisions of this Act shall be punished as follows: –

"For violating Section I, $1,000 fine; for violating Section 2, $1,000 fine and one year in the penitentiary; for violating Section 3 or Section 4, $500 fine; for violating Section 5, $500 and six months in the penitentiary; for violating Section 6, hanged by the neck until dead; for violating Section 7, penitentiary for life; for violating Section 8, fine or imprisonment, in the discretion of the court; for violating Section 9, imprisonment, in the discretion of the court; for violating Section 10, fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

"Section 12. This Act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the statute book.

"This proposed measure only contemplates in part, and on a small scale, what is proposed in the "Christian Amendment" to the constitution, which has progressed far beyond the possibilities of a joke. That amendment says that 'the revealed will of Jesus Christ' shall be 'the supreme authority in civil affairs' in every State in the Union. The revealed will of Christ includes the law of ten commandments. The 'Christian Amendment' would do for every State what Mr. Walters' measure proposes to do for the State of Kansas.

"It is proposed that the Kansas legislature shall enact, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' As the speaking party in this enactment would be the legislature, the law would be that the legislature must be the god of everybody in the State. And the god who speaks the law having been determined in the first section of the Act, the same god would be meant by the phrase 'the Lord thy God' in succeeding sections. Thus by the third section it would become blasphemy to speak lightly of the Kansas legislature, and in the fourth section this assembly would put forth the stupendous claim of having created the heavens and the earth!

"Absurd as such claims would be, they are no more than what is really involved in every instance of religious legislation. For religion being the performance of those duties which an individual owes to his God, only God can rightfully command such duties; and when such duties are commanded by any party, that party by that very act assumes to be God....

"Another point that must not be overlooked is raised by the query as to what will constitute a violation of this Act. Jesus Christ said that hatred in the heart was a violation of the commandment which says, 'Thou shalt not kill,' which is Section 6 in Mr. Walters' [R2145 : page 131] bill. (See Matt. 5:21,22.) No doubt it will be acknowledged that there is no higher authority upon the subject than this. The courts will therefore be obliged to take cognizance of hatred as a violation of Section 6 of this State law, of lust as a violation of Section 7, etc., and inflict the penalties specified in the Act. The enlargement of the State prisons and penitentiaries which the punishment of such persons, together with all who were covetous, would demand, it would be needless to try to specify. The penal institutions would simply have to be made large enough to take in the entire population of the State."

American Sentinel.

We heartily concur in the Sentinel's comments, but must point out an inconsistency. The Sentinel is an able representative of "Seventh-Day-Adventism;" and the back-bone of that institution is the Law given at Mt. Sinai, referred to above. That Law is held out continually as the criterion for all "Seventh-Day Adventists;" and it is claimed that all who do not keep that law will fail to obtain eternal life. Why then should the Sentinel, above all other journals, object to the enforcement of that Law?

Ah! despite its theory, that the Law is in force upon Christians as it was upon the Jews, the Sentinel cannot help seeing that no member of the fallen race can keep that Law. Hence its comment that, if it be enforced, "the entire population of the State" (including Seventh-Day Adventists) will be found guilty of violating it. The essence of the gospel is that our Lord Jesus, having kept the Law perfectly, gave his life a ransom price (not to break or destroy the Law, but) to justify believers, not by the Law, but by faith.

"THY WONDERS ARE A MIGHTY DEEP!"

As a marvel, the telegraph, by which an energy can be communicated at a distance, prepared the way for the still greater marvel, the telephone, by which sounds and tones can be communicated long distances. Next came the Roentgen or X-ray, by which rays of light can be passed through a plank, a tree, or a human being. Now, finally – no, not finally, for we know not what may await us in the future still more marvelous – the latest wonder is a method of telegraphy without wires or any other connections. Progress has been made in this direction for some time past, and some success was attained by W. H. Preece, head of the British government telegraph system. But now complete success has been reached by a young Italian, named Marconi, whose device has been patented and is now being put into practical operation along the British coast, for communicating from shore stations to light-ships, from half a mile to twenty miles distant.

Experiments show that the electric influence is exerted through or by peculiar vibrations upon the air (250,000,000 per second) which affect a "receiver" and produce a record similar to a telegram by wire. It is expected that an instrument of large size would communicate all around the world simultaneously, wherever "receivers" were placed for recording the messages. These wave currents pass through brick, stone and iron walls as readily as through open air. Astounding as it may seem, the only fear expressed is that "in using the instruments on an iron clad [war vessel] the waves [of ether] might explode the [powder] magazine of the ship."

After six thousand years of human pride and boasting, God is now saying to mankind, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the people, I will be exalted in the earth." – Psa. 46:10.

What now will so-called Rationalists say to their former boast that they believe only what is tangible? And what about certain Christian (Second Adventists and others) who on rationalistic grounds claim that there could be no such thing as a spirit body, invisible to human sight, and accordingly dispute that our Lord, after his resurrection, came into the upper room while "the doors were shut" and claim, contrary to the inspired record, that he opened the doors and came in unnoticed. [R2146 : page 131]

By and by the world will have such evidences of invisible things in nature, that faith in spiritual things which eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of the natural man to conceive, will be an easy matter.

Meantime the infidels of the world are rapidly becoming "Spiritualists" – deceived by the fallen angels from whom God's people are protected by the instructions of the Holy Scriptures.

[R2146 : page 131]

TAKE HEED.

"Wherewithal shall a young man keep his way pure [keep a clean course in life]? By taking heed thereto according to thy Word." – Psa. 119:9.
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EVER in all the centuries of the past was the exhortation to "take heed" as opportune as to-day, when the temperament of the age is aptly illustrated by its two great motive powers, steam and electricity. There is to-day more rush and force than thought and precision. The active brains of the world are scheming for fortunes and rushing to gain them; and very few in any condition of life take time to consider [R2146 : page 132] and to weigh and compare principles and motives of action, to see whether the ends for which they strive are worthy of their efforts. They rush and push and pull because the very conditions of their birth in this time impel them to do so, even though the end of their aspirations be but empty bubbles and bitter disappointments. And this, which is true of the world at large, is also true of the professed Christian Church: the active spirit of the age has permeated its pulpits, its pews and its theological schools. But this activity, partaking largely of the spirit of the world, has taken more of a business than of a pious turn, and tends more to the emphasizing of the forms of godliness than to the cultivation of its vital power, and more to worldly than to spiritual prosperity. It was of a similar class in the Jewish age that the Lord said, "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider." (Isa. 1:3.) Let the thoughtful Christian, therefore, look well to his course and see that he is steering it in exact harmony with the divine Word and plan.

The Psalmist, in the above text, suggests the most worthy ambition of life; viz., to keep our course of life clean and free from the contaminations of this evil world. The suggestion is specially apt in its application to the young, whose tender years and inexperience have as yet learned little beyond the loving discipline of the home circle, which the text presupposes. Parental love, counsel, discipline, example and prayers have thus far guided the youthful feet in the ways of righteousness and peace, and now, at the verge of manhood and womanhood, life's great work and its stern duties and responsibilities must be faced; the youth must come in contact, to some extent at least, with the wickedness of an ungodly world, where the metal of his character will be put to the test, and often to very crucial tests when it is discovered that the way of the ungodly prospers in the present time.

It is true, indeed, that the tendency of "evil communications" is to "corrupt good manners." (1 Cor. 15:33.) As the ear becomes accustomed to profanity and to unkind and bitter words, and the eye to sights of misery and injustice, the tendency is to blunt the finer sensibilities of the pure and good, so that in time the heart will become more or less calloused and unsympathetic, unless these unholy influences are steadily resisted and the ways of the world shunned.

But how, inquires the Psalmist, shall a young man keep his way (his course of life) clean? how, in his inexperience and lack of competent wisdom, shall he succeed, often single-handed and alone, in stemming the almost resistless current of evil about him? How can he prosper in business without resorting to the tricks of trade? how can he gain the desired places of social distinction or political preferment, if his course of life is continually against the current of the world's ideas and its means and methods? in other words, how can a man be in the world, and not of it?

That such a thing is both desirable and possible to the Christian is plain from our Lord's prayer for his disciples (John 17:15-17), "Holy Father,...I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them [separate them from the evil] through thy truth: thy Word is truth."

The Psalmist raises the question for the very purpose of suggesting the answer, and his answer is in full harmony with our Lord's prayer, not that they should be taken out of the world, but that they should be kept from the evil, showing that the only way for a young man to keep his course of life clean is to take heed thereto according to the Word of the Lord. As the Apostle Paul also says, the "scriptures given by inspiration of God are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, ...and are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." – 2 Tim. 3:15,16.

But the Scriptures nowhere show the Christian how to blend the spirit and methods of Christ with the spirit and methods of the world, in order to make what men call success in life. They do not open up the way to either financial, political or social success, but they do "teach us that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope [of the gospel] and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people [not a people striving after the things of this world, but] zealous of good works." (Titus 2:12-14.) Yes, the young man who would follow Christ must forego the ambitions and pleasures of the present life, and live for the enduring and satisfying riches of the life to come.

But the Word of the Lord, full as it is of wisdom and counsel, cannot profit even the professed Christian who does not in a meek and prayerful spirit come to its pages for instruction. Nor does it profit the careless reader who fails to meditate upon its precepts, or who only occasionally looks into the perfect law of liberty and beholds himself, but straightway forgets what manner of man he was (Jas. 1:22-24), and therefore fails to apply the instruction. But he who can truly say, – "Thy words were found, and I did eat them [I appropriated them diligently to the building up of my character]; and thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;" "my delight is in the law [R2146 : page 133] of the Lord, and in his law do I meditate day and night; I meditate also of all thy work, O Lord, and talk of thy doings; I meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways; I delight myself in thy statutes, I do not forget thy word" (Jer. 15:16; Psa. 1:2; 77:12; 119:15,16): these, and only these, are ordering their steps aright, by taking heed to the Word of the Lord.

This was the course that Paul recommended to Timothy, that he might keep himself pure from worldly contamination, and be an example and faithful minister to others, saying, "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity....Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all." – 1 Tim. 4:12,15.

The profiting certainly will not appear if the means are not thus used. Character cannot ripen except under proper conditions; and if professions abound where character is lacking, or is not correspondingly developed, how sad is the plight, and how manifest the self-deception to every discerning saint!

In view of these things, therefore, let the young Christian mark well the counsel of wisdom, and take heed to his course according to the Word of the Lord. Let him come to it for answers to all questions of right and duty; and let him study how the perfect law of God – the law of love – applies to all the conditions and circumstances of his daily life and associations and obligations. In so doing there cannot fail to be a steady growth in grace, and the fruits of the spirit will not be lacking.

But youth is not the only time when it is necessary to steer one's course by the Word of the Lord. While the only right way to start in life is by taking heed to our way according to God's Word, it is equally right and necessary to heed it and to meditate upon it to the very end of our days. A life thus spent becomes beautiful in old age, which should show all the fruits of the spirit tinged with the glow of ripeness, and be a loving benediction to all within the range of its influence. Indeed, what a pattern of godliness does every aged saint present when the hoary head is crowned with the beauty of holiness, when a long life of self-denial and self-discipline gives a practical demonstration of the power of divine grace to overcome the downward tendencies of our fallen nature! What a pattern should the aged Christian be, of patient self-forgetfulness, of loving sympathy and gentle forbearance, able to give kindly counsel and timely assistance in various ways to those who are still bearing the burden and heat of the day, cheering them onward and inspiring them to noble deeds and persistent fortitude, [R2147 : page 133] and fully appreciating all their labors of love!

But, alas! the well-spent lives are few. How few have remembered their Creator in the days of their youth, and from youth to age have taken heed to their way according to God's Word! In many cases youth has been worse than wasted in sowing "wild oats," and subsequent years have reaped the bitter harvest; life's discipline has been endured with murmuring and chafing, the disposition has grown sour, and life a tiresome burden. Alas! too often, even among professed Christians, has the failure to "take heed" permitted the unholy passions to flourish to the great detriment of all spiritual progress, until at last but little remains except empty professions which bring only dishonor upon the name of Christ. Such is the result of a mere start in the Christian life with little or no endeavor thereafter to develop Christian character according to God's Word. Yet God is gracious, and he is slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, so that at whatever point in its downward way or its backslidden course, whether in youth or age, the soul halts and changes its course from the paths of sin to the paths of faith and righteousness, there the love of God is made manifest in pardon and peace, and the operations of divine grace are realized in helps and encouragements to pursue the upward way. But, at whatever point we start in the Christian life, from that starting point begins the duty of diligently taking heed to our way according to God's Word. If we grow careless of this duty, and heedlessly blunder along according to our own understanding, meditating upon our own likes and dislikes, our selfish preferences, or our own depraved tastes and ideas, instead of upon the precepts and principles of God's Word, and endeavoring to bring our own ideas and ways to that standard of righteousness day by day and year by year, – if such be the listless, shiftless indifference that marks our course, we cannot hope to retain the divine favor; nor can we grow in grace and approximate more and more the likeness of Christ.

The spiritual life, like the physical life, develops according to fixed laws. As the natural life must be nourished and fed according to the laws of nature in order to sustain and develop it and keep it in health, so the spiritual life must be nourished by the various means of grace and fed continually by the Word of the Lord. – "Thy words were found, and I did eat them."

If, then, we realize that, through any measure of neglect, we are out of the way and find in ourselves a low state of spiritual health, let us bestir ourselves to redoubled diligence. No matter how long we may have walked in a blundering way, the Lord stands ready with his grace to help and his presence to cheer as soon as we turn with our whole heart unto him in earnest desire and determination by his grace to overcome. "Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking [R2147 : page 134] guile. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry." But "the face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.... The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." – Psa. 34:13-16,18.

M. F. RUSSELL.

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A TRUTHFUL CRITICISM.

"TO see a Roman Catholic Priest stand within the precincts of his church, and bowing before its altar, while at the same time lecturing from the Bible, and making it his sole arbiter and final court of appeal, is a strange anomaly – indeed we might say a 'new thing under the sun.' One is inclined to ask, What does it all mean? Either he is coming round to Protestantism, which makes the Bible its only standard, and infallible guide, or he is only giving a seeming support to the Bible by keeping out of sight the baneful doctrines of the mass and purgatory, that thereby he may win back numbers to his fold. If the former is true, we welcome him to the green pastures and still waters of the Word of God. If the latter, we trust all those who appreciate freedom – that freedom so dearly bought, – will remember the policy of Rome, 'she changes not;' 'instruments of cruelty are in her habitation,' and she will become more and more the 'hold of every foul spirit and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.' (Rev. 18:2.) Saith the Lord – 'Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues, for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.' (Rev. 18:4,5.) Let us stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. – Gal. 5:1.

"In looking over the subject matter of the lectures themselves, what struck me most was the entire absence of the Gospel of Christ. On such a theme as the destiny of man we might surely expect that 'the only name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved' (Acts 4:12) would have been proclaimed full and free; but no. Little wonder then, that the world is full of agnosticism, gloom and despair when such a Christless Gospel is put forward as the saving truth of God. How one could wish that the rev. father, instead of closing his lecture by quoting the Law as the way to life, had copied the divine wisdom given to the Apostle Paul, who said to the Philippian gaoler, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' (Acts 16:31.) For if through law we have righteousness, then Christ died unnecessarily. – Gal. 2:21.

"The world can draw no comfort from these worn-out husks of gloom and eternal torment on the one hand, or from the new but unscriptural and unscientific (unproved) notion of evolution on the other. Never did the groaning creation need a Deliverer – and a great one – more than now."

Thus writes Brother C. N. Houston to one of the British journals, commenting on a public discourse on "The Destiny of Man." We commend the method to all who possess the requisite talents. Besides such occasional articles Bro. H. takes betimes "a week off" from his store to colporteur for DAWNS. He usually has excellent success. He is "not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:" his friends know this; – and so does the Lord. To "overcome" pride and "the fear of man which bringeth a snare" is a very important item in connection with a full consecration and a desire to be used up in the Lord's service.

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CELEBRATIONS OF THE MEMORIAL SUPPER.

THE celebration of the death of the antitypical Paschal Lamb, our Lord Jesus, on its anniversary, this year the evening of April 15, was very general, as judged by the numerous reports thus far received. As usual, the numbers of communicants varied greatly, from two or three individuals to a couple of hundred, – and in several instances solitary believers worshiped and partook alone, association with others being impossible. All reports seem to indicate deep spiritual blessing and a growing appreciation of the great event celebrated, as the center of Christian joy and hope.

Those who deny the ransom, – that we were bought with a price, even the precious blood of Christ, have properly neither part nor lot in memorializing that great transaction; – nor have those who by lives of sin make themselves "the enemies of the cross of Christ." (Phil. 3:18.) Hence the fact that the number at each place, as well as the number of places, seems to show considerable increase over previous celebrations, is a favorable indication.

The occasion at Allegheny will long be remembered by some present. Beginning at 4.30 P.M. there was a baptism service. In a discourse of nearly an hour the true Scriptural idea of immersion was set forth and contrasted with popular but false ideas on the subject. It was shown that water immersion is not for the remission of sins, nor to be a door into an earthly church, but that it is a symbol merely, an outward confession of an immersion of the heart, the will, into the will of Christ; – a full consecration or immersion into [R2147 : page 135] Christ as members of his mystical body, sharers in his death to the self-will; and in our case also a death to sin. (Rom. 6:3-5.) Twenty-four adults (twelve each sex) were immersed in symbol in water, assenting first to their faith in the Lord as their personal Savior, whose sacrifice for sin formed the only ground-work of their justification and acceptance with the Heavenly Father; and, secondly, assenting that they had already consecrated, buried, immersed their wills into the Lord's will, laying ambition, talents, earthly possessions, hopes, fears, – all, even life, at the Savior's feet, to be henceforth, to the end of the race, used not for themselves, but wholly devoted to the service of him who loved us and gave himself for us. It was a solemn and impressive service, not for them alone, but for the hundred or more witnesses present, the majority of whom had made and symbolized the same covenant.

From eight to nine-thirty o'clock the Supper was celebrated. The significance of the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine as representatives of our Lord's broken body and shed blood, and of our Lord himself as the antitype of the Passover lamb, were considered: it was shown that as the institution of the [R2148 : page 135] type, the night previous to Israel's departure from Egypt, affected first the first-born of Israel and later all Israel, delivered from Pharaoh and Egypt, so the death of our Lamb (Christ Jesus – "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world") affects first, during the Gospel age, the "Church of the first-born" ones and subsequently, during the Millennium, will affect the deliverance of all who are or who will become God's true servants, delivering them from the slavery of Satan and the present evil world.

The emblems of our Master's broken body and shed blood were sweet to us, and by faith through the emblems we partook of the merits and graces of our Lord and his exceeding great and precious promises vouchsafed for the future. We were sad at the thought of our Lord's sufferings for us; yet glad – so glad – that he paid the great price for us. We noticed, also, the Apostle's suggestion (1 Cor. 10:16,17) that the bread and wine not only symbolize our Lord's body and flesh broken for us, but that since we are accepted of him and are reckonedly his flesh and his bones while in the earthly tabernacle, so the bread (one loaf) represents our flesh consecrated to death with our Lord, in his service and in the service of his people. Likewise we have a communion (common union or fellowship) in the cup – our earthly lives are consecrated to be poured out in death, that we may partake with our Lord also in his new life – "partakers of the divine nature." – 2 Pet. 1:4.

Having celebrated the death of the antitypical Passover Lamb, let us now celebrate the antitypical feast of Passover, not for a typical seven days, but for the antitypical period – all time, forever – feeding upon "the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth," and abstaining from all sin, symbolized under the Law by leaven.

We give a few very brief extracts from some of the reports of the Memorial celebration at hand, as follows, requesting that all friends who reported accept this as our acknowledgment: –

Cohoes, N.Y. – The Memorial service was held as usual, and I cannot help but feel that it was the most blessed season that we have yet witnessed; such a deep spiritual atmosphere attending it.

Hegewisch, Ill. – Just a word about our celebration of the Memorial Supper in this place. There were seven of us present – all truth seekers and believers in the ransom. We first sang a few appropriate hymns, then had a short testimony meeting, – subject "Why is Christ precious to me?" Then a season of prayer followed, after which there was a brief review of our reasons for celebrating the Supper at this time, and a short talk on 1 Cor. 11:23-32, especially with the thought of showing forth the Lord's death "till he come." We pictured the eventful night of his betrayal and his death. As we thought of the sufferings, the bloody sweat, the broken heart of our dear Savior, the tears came in all our eyes. Then, as the emblems were passed, we felt as never before the truth, "Is it not a participation of the body and blood of the Anointed One?"

One thing I must not forget: We each made some request to be prayed for, and the answers received during the past few days have been truly wonderful. Praise God! The one thought uppermost in our service seemed to be,

"We may not know, we cannot tell
What pain he had to bear,
But we may know it was for us
He hung and suffered there."

Waukesha, Wis. – Eight met to partake of the bread and wine of our Lord's Passover. We each renewed our covenant relationship for the new sacred year, promising to be more zealous if possible in the Master's work.

Salem, Ore. – I am happy to be able to write once more of our meeting together to commemorate our Lord's death, "till he come." Altho we have not had many additions this year, we were all rejoiced to meet together without one missing, all in their places, and none sorry of their covenant, but all confessing to growth in Christian faith and fellowship.

We earnestly desire your prayers in our behalf that we may grow in all the graces needed to become like our Master and true representatives of him, while spreading this glorious truth. We all received a great blessing, and we pray for all the little flock everywhere.

Ballston, N.Y. – Greeting in the Lord Jesus Christ, our "Elder Brother!" At the Supper there were seven present, a goodly number, and we had a [R2148 : page 136] spiritual feast. It is not yet a year since the first one of six came into the light. I was requested to take charge of the Supper, and I did so, meekly but not doubtingly. Blessed be God that giveth us the victory! I am assured that we pray in union of spirit; and the Father's Word through Christ is being manifested to his saints. Glorious is our hope!

Hayne, N.C. – Brother Draper has come and gone, but his influence remains. Notwithstanding the busy season, made more so by excessive rains which had just abated, the attendance at the series of meetings was very good, about filling the house in the day time, while many could not get in it in the evenings; so much so that on invitation of prominent Baptists who begin to see and love the truth services were held in their larger church house, which would not accommodate many that went. People of all creeds here and nearly all of the neighborhood heard and seemed to understand. Five symbolized baptism, and others expressed a desire to do so after hearing the explanation of the symbol, and when it should be performed. About 35 partook of the Supper, three times as many as ever before. It was indeed a delightful occasion. We are truly grateful for the Brother's visit, as it seemed to be the right time for some who are beginning to see, and others who are willing to hear. We feel like much good has been accomplished here, and would like to have him come every year, or oftener, but want him to go where he can do the most good, and expect to do more to help send him. Pray for us that we may grow in grace and hold out faithful to the end.

Indianola, Ia. – Five met on Thursday evening to celebrate the Memorial Supper. I think we all realized a blessing in a renewal of our consecration and consequent obligation. May the Lord help and keep all his own everywhere.

St. Petersburg, Fla. – About fourteen rejoiced in commemorating the Lord's last Supper, and a very delightful meeting it was. We all felt the necessity of a closer walk with God, more love for Christ and the brethren, a fuller dependence on God's promises and a more careful watch, lest the enemy tempt us from the "faith once delivered to the saints." Our Norwegian brethren thought best to partake by themselves.

Huron, S.D. – Last night six of us met to remember our Lord's death "until he come," and to renew our covenant with him. After prayer we read John 6:31-57; 1 Cor. 10:16,17 and 11:27-30. Sweetly the Lord met with us. I never felt the force and beauty of the symbol so much before, and I believe that was the experience of all. Our hearts burned within us. May we be kept willing to be led.

Philadelphia, Pa. – The Church here observed the Memorial Supper last evening. About 40 partook of the emblems, and 8 (4 brethren and 4 sisters) symbolized their consecration into Christ's death by immersion.

Bethlehem, Pa. – Our little meeting here last evening proved a season of sweet refreshing to all present. There were 13, and our dear Redeemer seemed very near and dear to us. We were greatly strengthened and blessed, especially as we realized that all the Lord's people everywhere were meeting for the same purpose and praying for one another. May we be kept humble, and constantly watch and pray!

Columbus, O. – Our little band met last night to remember the anniversary of our Lord's death on our behalf. We had a very interesting and profitable waiting on the Lord, and many expressed themselves as having been refreshed and edified. 27 partook of the emblems, 6 of our class being absent, but we had 5 from adjoining towns. We felt that the influence of the Lord was present. All seemed to feel deeply the solemnity of the occasion, and yet every face seemed joyful, as if while sympathising with our Lord in his suffering, they could not help rejoicing over the result to both himself and to us and to the world. We remembered all the little bands of like precious faith and felt that we were remembered by others.

New York City. – The Church here held the meeting in commemoration of the Lord's death.

A devotional meeting preceded, beginning at 6.30 and closing at 8 P.M., which proved a genuine feast of spiritual food and a fitting preparation for the principal service. About sixty were present, including [R2149 : page 136] some from neighboring localities. The Lord was there and blessed us wonderfully, as he is constantly with us, teaching, leading and sustaining us in every condition, according to his promise, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age."

Dinwiddie County, Va. – I humbly trust I may never count the blood of my Redeemer a worthless thing or cast off the covering of his name. We read for our Memorial lesson the 13, 14 and 15 chapters of John. They contain much for prayerful thought and study. The love of the Savior is most touchingly manifested in his tender solicitude for his disciples and his words of counsel to them, even though troubled that his hour was so near at hand. We partook of the emblems realizing that we were again renewing our covenant to be faithful unto death.

Cambuslang, Scotland. – Fourteen Christians met here last night to commemorate the Lord's death, and it was a time of great blessing. I believe we all felt the Lord's presence with great power.

Iowa. – I am still seeking to serve the Master to the best of my ability. I intended to meet with a few brethren and sisters at __________ for the celebration of the death of our dear Lord, but circumstances did not favor; but the dear Lord permitted me to partake of the emblems alone, and I had a precious, soul-refreshing feast.

Boston, Mass. – The work is progressing grandly under our great Captain. At the Memorial fifty-three were present, and it was a season of sweet communion with Christ. The Sunday previous eight (seven sisters and one brother) were immersed. We obtained the use of the Disciples' church. Every one of these dear people give evidence of full consecration to God. [R2149 : page 137]

N. Indianapolis, Ind. – Brother Wise conducted the services here, and it was a very blessed service – 21 present, most, if not all, of whom have made a public consecration of themselves, their lives, their all, to God, through the beautiful and appropriate symbol of water baptism.

Linton, Ind. – Twenty to twenty-five, the majority of whom had never before seen the real import of this Memorial, nor the propriety of celebrating it but once a year, commemorated the death of "the Lamb of God."

Los Posas, Cal. – We had a precious season at the Memorial Supper. There were twelve present – the same number as last year. We felt drawn nearer to the Master and to each other in Christian fellowship.

Scranton, Pa. – We had a very precious season of spiritual communion at the recent celebration of the Memorial Supper. Twenty were present – eight more than last year. We are seeking to grow more and more in the grace as well as in the knowledge of our Lord.

Grass Valley, Cal. – Five of us partook of the Memorial Supper, feeling our own unworthiness, the value of the covering of the precious blood and resolved to live nearer than ever to our blessed Lord. Two were immersed.

Oakland, Md. – We enjoyed a very pleasant season of communion on the occasion of the Memorial Supper celebration. Twenty-four were present, and about one-half the number partook of the emblems of our Lord's broken body and shed blood. It was an impressive service – the most so far of any ever enjoyed by us here.

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PAUL'S MESSAGE TO THE JEWS.
– MAY 9. – ACTS 13:26-39. –
"Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins." – Acts 13:38.
P
AUL and his company did not stop at Perga, where they landed, but proceeded about one hundred miles inland to Antioch, probably because the inhabitants of the latter place were of a more intelligent class. The Apostle was not looking for the most degraded people, but for the most intelligent, and particularly those who were Jews or who had come in contact with the Jewish religion. This was a different Antioch from the place in Syria of the same name, whence they commenced their journey. As was their custom, they immediately sought prepared soil in which to sow the gospel seed: they went, therefore, to the Jewish synagogue. According to the Jewish custom a portion of the Hebrew Scriptures was read in the hearing of the audience, and the chief men of the congregation, discerning the intelligence of their visitors, asked them to make some remarks. It has been presumed by some that, as Paul's discourse seems to make reference to Deut. 1:31 and Isa. 55:3, these Scriptures had probably been portions of the reading lesson in the synagogue, and that the Apostle took the daily lesson as the text for his discourse.

The Apostle Paul was the spokesman, and without going forward to the rostrum, he spoke from his place in the synagogue, addressing first those who were Israelites by birth, and secondly, such Gentiles as had become proselytes to the Jewish religion, and who, therefore, met with them in worship, – "Men of Israel and ye that fear God." Beginning with the history of God's dealing with Israel, the Apostle reviewed that history down to the time of Christ; thus, wisely, giving his auditors assurance of his full sympathy with the Jewish hopes and the divine promises, quickening in their hearts the desire for the long promised Messiah and reviving their hopes in the great promises to be fulfilled through him.

Having thus gained the attention and interest of his hearers, he was ready to preach unto them the crucified Messiah, and (verse 26) he now intimated that the message which he bore to them was one of special favor. They were aware that the most pious Jews resided in Jerusalem and Palestine, and that they themselves were reckoned as being to some extent alienated from God and from the promises, because they had preferred a residence among the Gentiles, rather than in the land of promise. It was appropriate, therefore, for two reasons, that the Apostles should explain why his message came to them rather than to the more zealous Jews of Palestine. He explained (1) that their fellow Jews, including the leaders of the nation, at Jerusalem had proved themselves unworthy of the gospel by rejecting and crucifying Messiah; and (2) that this very crucifixion, so far from overthrowing the divine arrangement, had merely been another step in the program foretold by the Lord by the mouth of his holy prophets. He pointed out that the crucifiers of Messiah had merely "fulfilled all that was written of him." Supposing a question in their minds – How could it be that the chief priests and chief religionists of our race could make so great a mistake, and so fail to rightly interpret the prophets? – the Apostle answers the objection, telling them that it was "because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day [and which] they have fulfilled in condemning him."

But this is not all – "God raised him from the [R2149 : page 138] dead," and of this we also have witness; and this message of the death and resurrection of Messiah constitutes the "glad tidings" of the fulfilment of God's promises made to father Abraham. This Jesus is the "seed" of Abraham, through the merit of whose death and by virtue of whose resurrection the promise to Abraham shall be fulfilled, – that in him "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" with a full opportunity of eternal life.

With his usual logic the Apostle anticipated objections in the minds of his hearers, – Could Messiah die? etc., and he proceeds to prove to them from the words of the prophets that thus it was written beforehand. Although Messiah had long existed as the archangel, nevertheless the prophet David, speaking for God, said concerning him, "Thou art my son, this day have I begotten [literally borne or delivered] thee." The Apostle would have his hearers note that this birth mentioned referred to our Lord's resurrection, as it is written, he was the "first born from the dead," "the first born among many brethren." If Messiah was to be thus born from the dead, it implied that he must first die, and hence the Apostle gives this as a prophetic prediction fulfilled in our Lord's experiences.

He quotes again the words of Jehovah through the prophet, addressed to Messiah, – "I will give you the sure mercies of David," – i.e., I will make sure to thee forever the mercies of David. The Apostle quotes this to prove that, altho Messiah as Michael the archangel had been great even before David's time, yet it would be at a later date, and as a result of some work which he would perform, that the mercies promised to David and his seed would be made sure to Messiah. This transaction was the giving of "his life a ransom for all," and the making sure to him of the Davidic promises by the Almighty was evidenced "in that he raised him from the dead."

In harmony with this is another statement by the prophet David, which evidently referred to Messiah and not to David himself, since it was not true of David. It reads, "Thou shalt not suffer thy holy one to see corruption." By this reference the Apostle would prove to them further, that God has specially promised the [R2150 : page 138] resurrection of Messiah, and that thus was indicated his death and temporary subjection almost to corruption. This could not apply to David who did see corruption to the full; but it was true of Christ who "saw no corruption," tho brought down almost within its grasp.

Then comes our Golden Text, which is the center and pith of the Apostle's discourse. He was not merely talking to tickle their ears respecting their being the seed of Abraham, nor was he talking for the purpose of showing his comprehensive grasp of Israel's history; nor was he merely telling them the story of our Lord's crucifixion. More than all this, it was an individual message to every heart before him in condition to receive it, – namely, "Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins." The Apostle does not refer to something that was done by our Lord as the archangel before "he was made flesh" (John 1:14), nor does he refer to any work to be done by him in his new, highly exalted condition, "set down with his Father in his throne" and partaker of his divine nature; but he here refers to the work done by "the man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:5,6) at Calvary. Thus the Apostle again emphasizes the fact that "as by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead." (1 Cor. 15:21.) Yes, this is the center of the gospel proclamation that the failure of the first perfect man was fully offset by the sacrifice of "the man Christ Jesus," and that it was to this end that it was needful for our Lord to leave the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, to become poor (in the sense of taking our lower nature – but not its blemishes, for he was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners"); and yielding up this human nature a ransom-price or corresponding price for the life forfeited by father Adam for himself and his race. This is the basis upon which every offer of grace is presented by the Scriptures. And now, he who was the Father's agent in the redemptive work is to be the Father's agent also in the work of "blessing" all the redeemed with ample opportunities for return to divine favor – the first step of which is the forgiveness of sins.

Whoever realizes the divine perfection and himself a sinner, imperfect and under condemnation of Justice, and desires reconciliation with God – and the result thereof, eternal life – such, and such only, are prepared to receive the gospel of redemption and forgiveness and help. "By him all that believe [after the manner described] are justified from all things [reckoned right, just, pure and perfect, notwithstanding all their inherent blemishes and uncontrollable weaknesses]." From none of these things could the law of Moses justify any. The law of Moses condemned every failure, but was powerless to forgive, and had no means of making permanent atonement or covering for those who were under that covenant, because its mediator, Moses, did not and (being himself a member of the fallen race) could not fulfil that covenant and satisfy its demands in his own person, for himself and the people. Hence, Moses and his covenant had not power to grant mercy or justification, as can be done under the New Covenant by its mediator, Christ Jesus, who sealed it with his own precious blood, "a ransom for all."

Paul preached the only genuine gospel – the only one authorized – the everlasting gospel which ultimately must be preached to every creature.

[R2150 : page 139]

A LIGHT TO THE GENTILES.
– MAY 16. – ACTS 14:11-22. –
I have set thee to be a light to the Gentiles." – Acts 13:47.
"
L
ET their table become a snare and a trap unto them," said the prophet respecting Israel. Their "table" consisted of the divine favors and truths which were spread before Israel. "What advantage then hath a Jew? Much every way; chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God." Divine favor produced pride of heart instead of humility, and unfitted the majority of Israelites to inherit the chief blessing offered to that nation. Consequently the words of the Apostle (considered in our last lesson), logical and convincing, in that they were in harmony with the testimony of the Law and the prophets concerning the Messiah, were nevertheless coldly received, because they ran counter to certain Jewish prejudices: (1) Altho Paul preached a Jewish Messiah it was the crucified One. (2) If his message were true, it reflected very discreditably upon the heads of their nation and church, of whom they had been accustomed to boast as the greatest and holiest teachers of the world. (3) If the Apostle's message were true, it vitiated if it did not utterly destroy their long cherished national hopes that Israel would shortly be the great nation of earth, in principal power, instead of Rome. The Messiah for whom they hoped was not the meek and lowly crucified One whom the Apostle preached, but a mighty, earthly conqueror of men and nations. (4) If the Apostle's preaching were correct, Israel was no longer in a place of preference above the other nations, and those who would accept Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah, whether Jews or Gentiles, would become the holy and divinely recognized Kingdom on a common level. The various promises which in their selfishness they misinterpreted, served to blind them to the pure, true light of the gospel as it now shone upon them.

But those of their number who had been proselyted from amongst the Gentiles had less cause for stumbling on these points, being less prejudiced by national pride and selfishness. These seem to have heard the message with true appreciation and inquired for further opportunities of meeting and hearing more of the good tidings, and the privilege of bringing with them Gentile friends who were feeling after God (verse 42). The result of the second meeting was a little nucleus of believers. By and by the news of the new Jewish gospel became noised abroad throughout the city, the result being a large concourse to the synagogue on the following Sabbath.

Here was a new line of temptation to reject the gospel, which bore upon such Jews as were not in proper condition of heart to receive it; the concourse of the Gentiles made them "envious." They said within themselves: We have tried long and earnestly to make an impression upon these Gentiles, but they seem to have no ear for the Law of Moses, few of them attend our meetings: but now that these missionaries of a new gospel have come they seem both willing and anxious to hear them. The result will be that they will despise the Law of Moses, and claim that our church is breaking up, and that after waiting for Messiah for centuries our holiest people crucified him. Thus we shall become a reproach in the eyes of our neighbors, even if we reject this new gospel, and still more so if we receive it. Their selfishness and envy triumphed, and then they began to think of and use all the arguments they could find in opposition to the teachings of Paul – even "blaspheming" the Messiah whom he preached. Thus the greatest and grandest truths become the most crucial tests, stumbling the proud and selfish, and lifting up and blessing the humble and devout. There is a great lesson here for all. As our Lord said, "Take heed how ye hear."

Then Paul and Barnabas told them very plainly that while it was necessary that the gospel should be preached first to Israel, as per divine promise, it was nevertheless now to be extended beyond them to all Gentiles. As usual he quoted them a text on this subject from the old Testament, saying, Thus the Lord through the prophet commanded us: "I have set thee [Christ] to be a light to the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth." The rightly disposed among the Gentiles were glad of this message, but the Jews, who should have rejoiced at the broadening of the divine mercy and grace, only hardened their hearts the more against the message; because the light and favor which they had already received had not dissolved the selfishness of their natural hearts.

Concerning the Gentiles it is written, "As many as were ordained to eternal life believed" – better translated, "As many as were disposed for everlasting life believed;" – as many as were in the right attitude of heart, who desired reconciliation with God and eternal life along the lines preached by the apostle, believed.

But as usual the majority were in opposition to the truth, and amongst their number were found some of the most religious and most prominent. These raised the persecution, and "the brethren," obeying [R2150 : page 140] the Word of the Lord, "When they persecute you in one city flee unto another," shook off the dust from their feet and departed for Iconium, where, notwithstanding the prejudice which spread from Antioch, quite an interest was aroused; and when later an endeavor was made to stone them there they fled to Lystra, the scene of the present lesson, where the apostle Paul performed a very notable miracle, healing a cripple. The people, seeing it, came to the conclusion that as their heathen mythologies told of the visits there of gods in the form of men, in the past, this must be another such occasion. Barnabas, the elder and more venerable looking of the two, they called Jupiter; and Paul, the fluent speaker, they called Mercury. When the brethren found that they were about to do sacrifice to them, they went quickly into the crowd, explaining that they were merely men, and quite in opposition to such procedure were there for the purpose of explaining to them the true God and the true [R2151 : page 140] sacrifice for sin.

What a temptation would have been here for any not well controlled by the Lord's spirit! How many arguments the world, the flesh and the devil could bring up to encourage them in accepting the homage of the people? It would have been a pleasant experience to be treated as gods, feasted and honored, as a change from their usual experiences of privation, persecution and tribulation. They might have reasoned, moreover, that by accepting a little homage they might gain a larger amount of influence with the people and thus pave the way for a gradual presentation of the gospel. Or they might accept the homage applied to themselves in a symbolic fashion as true, might speak of the Lord Jesus as a still greater God than themselves, and Jehovah as the Almighty God above all, and might thus put a favorable turn to the superstitions of the people. But all of this would have been subterfuge which would have done injury not only to the people and to the gospel, but also to the brethren themselves. And altho they did no more than their duty in resisting the homage as they did, nevertheless we note in the fact that they did it with alacrity, the proper spirit of loyalty to the one God and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the properly prompt resistance of every suggestion of the adversary towards self-aggrandizement or self-exaltation. Would that this noble spirit were fully exemplified in all of the Lord's people! Let us take well to heart the lesson of promptness in resisting the devil's baits for the weak points of our earthly natures. We are not ignorant of his devices.

The apostle immediately made this mistaken reverence a text for a discourse in which he presented to his hearers, the one true God as the source of every blessing.

But persecution followed them, and the same people who at one time were ready to offer them sacrifices, stoned Paul as they supposed to death. Miraculously revived, he departed with Barnabas to the next field of labor, Derbe, where he found some more (pupils) ready to enter the school of Christ as disciples.

Notwithstanding persecution in these various cities, the brethren were mindful of the interests of the Lord's flock, and returned to them for the purpose of strengthening or confirming the faith of those who already believed, but apparently with no thought of public meetings; the inference being that all who were "disposed" to accept the offers of eternal life under the gospel call had already heard the message. These, however, needed help and development. This is a point too frequently lost sight of to-day by servants of the gospel; public preaching is very proper and necessary, but in addition "the flock of God" needs constant feeding. Quite evidently the brethren had no expectation that the gospel, even when preached under plenary inspiration, would convert all, or even a majority, of the people. Knowing that God designed it for the selecting of the "little flock" to be joint-heirs with Christ in his Kingdom they acted accordingly.

We note that in these exhortations to believers an important place is accorded to "faith," and we have found in our own experience that a well-founded faith is essential to a well-constructed character built upon it. The second point of their exhortation to the believers was, – that "through much tribulation must we enter into the Kingdom of God." They did not tell them that all their tribulation was past and that God would protect them from any in the future, because they had believed, neither did they tell them that the Kingdom of God consisted of a work of grace in their hearts; neither did they assure them that they already were the Kingdom of God in the full sense; but on the contrary they assured them that this Kingdom of God, which Israel had failed to attain, because not ready of heart to receive their King, had been postponed of establishment until God should select from the Jews and Gentiles "a people for his name" to be joint-heirs with the Messiah in his kingdom. They would therefore have the believers wait for the Kingdom for which they pray, "Thy Kingdom come;" assuring them that the narrow path which leads to the Kingdom signifies much experience in tribulation as fitting and preparing them for a share in that Kingdom, by developing in them good characters as copies of God's dear Son.

How necessary that this should be the exhortation to believers still! The Kingdom is a great prize, and he who would attain it must run faithfully and endure hardness, and that unto the end of his race. For such is laid up a crown of righteousness which the Lord of righteousness will give him in that day.

page 141
May 1st

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

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

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

VOL. XVIII.MAY 15, 1897.No. 10.
CONTENTS.

Methodist Estimate of Brotherhood 142
Views from the Watch Tower 143
The Divine Right of Kings, etc 143
Poem: The Secret of a Happy Day 145
If Ye Do These Things 145
Enoch, Elijah and the Sentence 148
"Because Jesus Was Not Yet Glorified" 150
Our Stewardship 151
The Conference at Jerusalem 153
The Faith That Works 154
Keep Thy Tongue from Evil 156

'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 142

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

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

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

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[R2152 : page 142]

METHODIST ESTIMATE OF BROTHERHOOD.

Quite a commotion has been caused in Methodist circles lately by the published statement that "The Methodist Book Concern" of New York has a Roman Catholic foreman over its Composing Room another is assistant foreman in the Press Room, and another is foreman of the Bible publishing department. These, it seems, are gradually discharging Protestants and supplying their places with Roman Catholics. Rev. Dr. Mains, one of the managers of the Concern, explaining away the matter, said (as reported by the Boston Herald) that his foreman "was probably a Catholic. He had called him 'Brother' Cassidy many years without knowing or caring what his religion was." Christian brotherhood has become very cheap when given without knowledge or care as to whether the recipient even professes to follow Christ or Anti-Christ; – and that by a prominent exponent of Christian brotherhood.

The Philadelphia Record says that the news from the financial centers of Europe is to the effect that moneylenders "are willing to lend Turkey five times as much money as Greece, at one-half the interest." Sentiment weighs in the pulpit, the platform and the press, but goes for naught in the financial affairs of the world – great and small. There cold selfishness controls.

"I tell you," said a rabid Free-thinker, "the idea that there is a God never comes into my head." "Ah, precisely like my dog," was the reply. "But there is this difference – he does not go round howling about it."

Selected.

[R2151 : page 143]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

THE DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS GONE TO SEED.

"A DISPATCH from Berlin relates that the Emperor William 'has attended the consecration of two new churches, and presented to each a Bible containing his autograph and a text of Scripture.' The text in one was from John (15:5), 'Without me ye can do nothing;' in the other, from Jeremiah (7:23), 'Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people.'

"These texts written by any other sovereign, even the czar, would have passed without further notice than as showing his orthodoxy, his desire to set an example in faith to his people, but coming from William they excite a wholly different thought. Admitting that the dark suspicions of his insanity heard from time to time are the inventions of his enemies, ample reason remains to believe that he is not always fully responsible for his language or his acts.

"Roman emperors set up statues of themselves and commanded the people to bow down to them in worship, in language not very different from that which this man has repeatedly used. That explains why the newspaper writers pitched upon those texts, which would have been passed unheeded if inscribed by any other man."

The Pittsburg Daily News.

In the German Emperor we have the father, papa or pope, of Germany – its earthly god or mighty one, whose will must be done in Germany, as the Almighty's will is done in heaven. He is the civil and ecclesiastical head of so-called "Protestant Germany." He holds the reins of power and so proclaims himself; and his subjects, while generally repudiating such claims, are so bound by their necessities and by the power put into their emperor's hands, that they cannot help themselves.

In the Czar of Russia we have another pope, the civil and ecclesiastical head of the millions of Russia and the Greek Catholic church; who similarly poses as God's vicegerent or representative. Less enlightened than the Germans, many of his subjects would worship him if so commanded. Indeed, they do enshrine and worship his representative, the minister of religion, whose portrait by law is exposed in all public offices with a continually lighted lamp before it, for the adoration of the people. The writer, when in Russia, seeing the portrait everywhere, inquired who it represented, and was answered, "That is Nicholas – that is our god."

The pope at Rome is the third pope, but, divested of power, his influence depends upon his securing support to his claims by civil rulers (not so ambitious as those of Germany and Russia) who are willing to give him their allegiance. The only one willing to do this to-day is the emperor of Austria.

Here we have the three Emperors of Europe representing autocratic powers and most opposed to everything like religious or political freedom of thought or action, and all are believers, almost to the extent of insanity, that the secular and religious control of the world is in their hands by divine appointment. It is not strange, therefore, that the recent visit of the German Emperor to the Emperor of Austria-Hungary, followed by a visit of the latter ruler to the Emperor or Czar of Russia, has given rise to the conclusion that an alliance of the three empires of Europe is about to be consummated. Not only do the autocratic and "divine right" sentiments of their rulers favor such an alliance, but their temporal interests as well. Russia is glad to drop fickle France with the republican sentiments, and Germany is glad to drop poor and weak Italy. On the whole, the "Imperial Alliance" is the strongest national combination of modern times. The design evidently is that at the proper time Austria and Russia will divide European Turkey, while Germany [R2151 : page 144] will be permitted quietly to absorb Holland, her navy and her colonies. At such a time Great Britain will probably improve her opportunity to take possession of Palestine, and thus will its doors be again thrown open to the Jew, and under conditions more favorable than ever before, facilitating the fulfilment of prophecy to this effect. A few years would work marvelous changes there under such conditions. Meantime the preparations for Jewish colonization progress at a wonderful rate among Jewish "Zion" societies.

THE ARCHBISHOP OF YORK IN RUSSIA.

"The Anglican Church appears to weary of her 'splendid isolation.' Not content with collecting, as she will this year, all her sister and daughter Churches [R2152 : page 144] at Lambeth, in a gathering which will include representatives from every continent, and at least prove to the world that she is as little insular in influence as in aims, she is making overtures of friendship to other churches which she once regarded only as hostile rivals. It is but a few months since some of her leading spirits asked Rome once more to acknowledge her rank in the Christian Hierarchy by admitting the validity of her Orders, and now she is making overtures, or at least offering courtesies, to the Holy Orthodox Church, a corporation as ancient as that of Rome, almost as proud and independent, and destined, perhaps in the near future, to as large an area of sway or influence. The Archbishop of York is hardly visiting the great ecclesiastics of Russia out of mere curiosity, or with a desire to reveal to them that there are Protestant prelates as dignified and as secure in their dignity as themselves. He undoubtedly wishes to draw the churches closer, if only in the bonds of friendship."

London Spectator.

There seems little likelihood of union between the Church of England and the Greek Church of Russia; but evidently they desire to draw closer together. Not long since all Protestants seemed anxious to take the gospel to the poor benighted ones deluded by the Greek and Roman Catholic churches into the worship of images, offering of incense before pictures, etc. But a desire to count numbers and make a fair show in the flesh is changing all this.

On this visit the London Globe says: –

"It turns out that one object of Archbishop Maclagan's visit to Russia was to carry to the ecclesiastical authorities there the answer of the English Primates to the Pope's Bull, The 'Novoe Vremya' is among the Russian newspapers which welcome the Archbishop. His visit, says that journal, 'emphasises the fact that in spite of all national, social, economic, political and religious differences between civilized countries and peoples, the aspiration for the unity of the churches is continually breaking forth.' Dr. Maclagan has been cordially received wherever he has gone, both by Russian churchmen and high State functionaries."

FORTY-SEVEN MINISTERS PROTESTED.

Recently Bishop Sessums of the Episcopal Church, New Orleans, preached a discourse which was printed in the Picayune. Something of its character may be judged by the following items of protest published in the Times-Democrat (New Orleans), May 6, '97, over the signatures of forty-seven ministers of that city, as follows: –

"The undersigned ministers of the Gospel in different branches of the Church of Jesus Christ unite in this public protest against the exposition of Christianity given by Bishop Sessums, as put forth in the Picayune under the sanction of his name. It is, in our judgment, a complete surrender of the whole system of grace revealed in the holy Scriptures. So far from being 'the old religion in the new language,' it is another religion in language which does not contain a single new suggestion. The syllabus offered to us is only a compend of the old heresies which have afflicted the Church of God in ages past. The 'old religion' is swept out of the Scriptures so completely that not a trace is left of that 'grace of God which bringeth salvation.' This will appear from the following specifications of its numerous errors: –

"1. Its undisguised Pantheism, in denying the personality of the divine Being, reduces him to a mere fetich.

"2. The explicit denial of the fall of man from a state of primitive holiness, with the derivation of a corrupt nature consequent thereupon.

"3. In the express denial that Christ hath 'redeemed us by his blood,' being not a sacrificial offering for sin, but consisting merely in the influence of a good example reclaiming man from the error of his way.

"4. In the open disavowal of belief in any judicial process against the sinner, and the absolute denial of the future punishment of the wicked in the world to come.

"5. In the assertion of the final restoration of all men to the favor of God in a state of probation after death.

"6. The sinking of religion into mere humanitarianism, bounded only by the second table of the law, and in which God has no rights, through the practical abolition of the first table.

"7. The significant omission, in a scheme professing to define the gospel of Christ, of the necessity of faith in the Redeemer and of repentance for sin, of love to God or any of the graces of the holy spirit.

"We purposely omit the mention of others clearly implied in the language of the bishop, confining ourselves to those which are explicitly avowed and which spring of necessity from the seed-plot of Pantheism. It is not our design to inflict upon this community a theological controversy which must range over the entire field of Christian doctrine – and that, too, before a tribunal which has no power to issue the case in a formal verdict.

"But, set for the defense of the faith as ministers of the gospel, entire silence would implicate us in the guilt of betrayal of the truth. We cannot, therefore, but deliver, once for all, this testimony against another gospel than that delivered us in the Word of God. Side by side with this, our protest, we append the syllabus of Bishop Sessums, that the reader may compare the two and judge for himself upon the issue made."

We are glad to note that the ministers of New [R2152 : page 145] Orleans as a whole are so loyal to the teachings of God's Word respecting the fall of man and his redemption by "the precious blood of Christ." We are sorry that in the Northern States there are few ministers who still hold to these cardinal and fundamental doctrines.

But what is driving off, from the teaching of the Bible, Bishop Sessums and many (the majority of city ministers) in the North?

It is the failure to recognize the logical results of the "ransom for all!" that he "tasted death for every man." Admit the value of the precious blood as "a propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins [the Church's sins], and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world," and thinking people will not be driven by the wholesale from their faith in it.

But such an admission of the true value of the blood proves a future opportunity for knowledge and trial for the millions who have gone down into the great prison-house of death without knowledge and trial. As surely as the ransom was for all, so surely all must be brought to a knowledge of the truth soon or later – else, so far as the mass of mankind is concerned, Christ died in vain; for, surely, hundreds of millions died before the ransom was given, and other hundreds of millions have since died without knowledge of the only name given under heaven or amongst men whereby we must be saved.

Let God and his Word be true! The sacrifice has been offered and accepted, the Church has been and is being blessed by it, and by and by, "in due time," it shall be testified to all; – and that will be the world's trial time, as this is the Church's. No Scripture can be found which limits the testimony and blessing resulting from the shedding of the precious blood to the present age or the present life. Quite to the contrary; – unless there be a future opportunity for the majority of our race, many precious promises of God will fail, including his promise and oath to Abraham, – "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed;" and our dear Redeemer will not be the "True Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

We too object to such a future probation as pantheists teach, and therefore can agree to protest No. 5. But we heartily believe in, and advocate as the only key to the harmony of the Bible, a future probation for all who have not had one in the present life; – because a probation for all was bought by the one sacrifice, given once for all at Calvary.

[R2153 : page 145]

THE SECRET OF A HAPPY DAY.

Just to let thy Father do what he will;
Just to know that he is true, and be still.
Just to follow, hour by hour, as he leadeth;
Just to draw the moment's power, as it needeth.
Just to trust him, this is all. Then the day will surely be
Peaceful, whatso'er befall, bright and blessed, calm and free.

Just to let him speak to thee through his Word,
Watching, that his voice may be clearly heard.
Just to tell him everything, as it rises,
And at once to him to bring all surprises.
Just to listen, and to stay where you cannot miss his voice.
This is all! and thus to-day, you communing, shall rejoice.

Just to ask him what to do all the day,
And to make you quick and true to obey.
Just to know the needed grace he bestoweth,
Every bar of time and place overfloweth.
Just to take thy orders straight from the Master's own command.
Blessed day! when thus we wait always at our Sovereign's hand.

Just to recollect his love, always true;
Always shining from above, always new.
Just to recognize its light, all-enfolding;
Just to claim its present might, all-upholding.
Just to know it as thine own, that no power can take away;
Is not this enough alone for the gladness of the day?

Just to trust, and yet to ask guidance still;
Take the training or the task, as he will.
Just to take the loss or gain, as he sends it;
Just to take the joy or pain, as he lends it.
He who formed thee for his praise will not miss the gracious aim;
So, to-day, and all thy days, shall be molded for the same.

Just to leave in his dear hand little things,
All we cannot understand, all that stings.
Just to let him take the care sorely pressing;
Finding all we let him bear changed to blessing.
This is all! and yet the way marked by him who loves thee best:
Secret of a happy day, secret of his promised rest.
Frances Ridley Havergal.

[R2154 : page 145]

IF YE DO THESE THINGS.

"For if ye do these things, ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." – 2 Pet. 1:10,11.
T
HIS statement of the Apostle Peter is suggestive of several important thoughts: (1) It indicates the possibility to the class addressed of "an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." This is the prize of the high calling of the overcoming saints of the Gospel age. True, when we consider its exceeding glory, faith is prone to stagger at the promise that, poor and imperfect though we be, God proposes in the ages to come to show the exceeding riches of his grace in his [R2154 : page 146] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:7.) Nevertheless, such is the case: "unto us are given the exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" – through the worldly desires, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." – 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 John 2:16.

These exceeding great and precious promises contemplate the adoption of these called ones by the great Sovereign of the whole universe as his sons and heirs; as joint-heirs with his only begotten Son, the heir of all things: they shall be with him where he is and behold his glory; and they shall put off this mortality, and, like him, who is "the express image of the Father's person," they shall be clothed with immortality. So shall they be forever with the Lord, and see him as he is; for they shall be like him. Having overcome the world, they shall sit with him in his Kingdom, even as he overcame and sat down with the Father in his Kingdom. – Rev. 3:21.

"Fear not, little flock," says the prospective Bridegroom of the Church, "for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom," "for the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me and have believed that I came out from God." Nor will he give the Kingdom to his beloved grudgingly; for Peter says, "an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly:" there will be a glorious welcome, a joyous greeting and a coronation jubilee among all the heavenly hosts when the laurels of victory are placed upon the heads of all the overcoming soldiers of the cross, the heroes who nobly fought the good fight of faith – who kept the faith, fought the fight against the world, the flesh and the devil, and finished their course in faithfulness even unto death.

All this abundance of grace and glory is the possible inheritance of even the weakest saint who, trusting not to his own ability to make his calling and election sure, humbly looks to God for strength from day to day to endure hardness as a good soldier. If any man attempts to do this in his own strength, he must surely fail; for the fiery trial that is to try every one will prove too much for the mind of the flesh; but God who worketh in the consecrated to will and to do his good pleasure, will so fortify and equip those who depend upon his grace, that, with the Psalmist, they can say, "It is God that girdeth me with strength....By thee I have run through a troop, and by my God have I leaped over a wall;" and with Paul, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me." – Psa. 18:32,29; Phil. 4:13.

(1) Let us not fear, then, to lay hold upon the exceeding great and precious promises when we are so fully assured that he who has begun the good work in us will finish it, if we let him. (Phil. 1:6.) "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith" – not faith in ourselves; for we can have no confidence in the flesh. The poor, weak and faltering flesh does not warrant us in reposing confidence in its ability for the great responsibilities of soldiers of the cross. We must draw our supplies of wisdom and strength from above: they are not within us except as implanted there by the spirit of God.

(2) We next notice that while Peter's words encouragingly indicate the possibility of the glorious inheritance to all who are called, there is also the implied possibility of failure to enter into it. There is an "if," a contingency, upon which the scales of divine judgment as to our worthiness or unworthiness of the inheritance must turn. And it is in view of this contingency that Paul urges all the called ones to great sobriety of mind and carefulness of conduct, saying, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall;" and again, "Let us therefore fear lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." It is not enough, therefore, that we have consecrated ourselves to God as living sacrifices; that we have covenanted to follow in the footsteps of Jesus; for the consecration, the covenant, the promise, will avail nothing if we prove unfaithful to it, except to rise up in judgment against us. "Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay." – Eccl. 5:4,5. See also Deut. 23:21-23; Prov. 20:25; Heb. 10:38,39; Psa. 15; Luke 9:62; John 15:6; Acts 5:4,5.

(3) Our attention is next drawn to what is implied in this expressed contingency – "If ye do these things." What things? – The reference is to the things mentioned in the preceding verses; viz., that with all diligence we add to our faith fortitude; and to fortitude knowledge; and to knowledge self-control, and to self-control patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love."

It is important to observe here that while all of these virtues are imperative requirements of those who would be esteemed of God as faithful, they are only of value as they are added to, or built upon, a foundation of faith – "Giving all diligence add to your faith," – your "precious faith," as described in verse 1. This faith is our abiding confidence in the divine plan of salvation, which centers in the redemption accomplished through the precious blood of Christ, who freely gave himself a ransom for all. No righteousness of our own without this foundation of faith can avail anything to commend us to God. All our works of righteousness must be built upon this faith.

But is not faith in Christ sufficient unto salvation [R2154 : page 147] without the subsequent doing of any thing? To this the Scriptures plainly answer that a faith that Christ will save us in our sins – while we still love sin and do the works of sin – is a misplaced faith; for Christ never proposed to save us in our sins, but from our sins; and God is faithful and just to forgive sins and to cleanse from all unrighteousness those who come unto him by Christ, – through faith in his shed blood (sacrificed life) as the propitiation or satisfaction for our sins, and in his cleansing power. "He that saith, I know him [Christ, as my Lord and Savior], and keepeth not his commandments [to do the works of righteousness, and to bring forth the fruits of repentance of sins], is a liar," says the Apostle John, "and the truth is not in him." (1 John 2:4.) Therefore the Apostle Paul also exhorts believers, saying, "Beloved, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." – Phil. 2:12,13.

It was God that provided for us the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, and it is God that has drawn us unto himself and that has promised us all needed grace to walk in the paths of righteousness; and more, even to follow in the footprints of Jesus in the way of self-sacrifice. While, therefore, with fear and trembling, – with great carefulness – we endeavor to work out our salvation, it is our privilege always to realize the promised grace to help in every time of need, and to be confident that our best efforts toward righteousness are acceptable [R2155 : page 147] to God when presented through the merit of the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us by faith.

Having this foundation, then, and "having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" – through the desires of the flesh – and having by faith laid hold also on the "exceeding great and precious promises" of being made partakers of the divine nature and joint-heirs with Christ of his Kingdom and glory, and being anxious to make our "calling and election sure," let us consider these additions to our faith, which, if possessed and continuously cultivated, are the assurance that we shall never fall, and that an abundant entrance into the Kingdom shall be granted to us.

The first addition (virtue) is fortitude or strength of character in righteousness. This implies the cultivation of the strictest integrity in our dealings, both with God and with our fellow men, – scrupulous honesty, justice and truth being the only standard. The Psalmist clearly defines it thus, saying, "He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor; in whose eyes a vile person is condemned; but he honoreth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not [i.e., who will not violate a contract found to be unfavorable to him]. He that putteth not out his money to usury [taking unjust advantage of the necessities of others], nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved." (Psa. 15.) Such a one is a virtuous man, a man of fortified or strong character.

The second addition is knowledge – the knowledge of God and of his righteous will concerning us (revealed through his Word, by the holy spirit). Neglect of this divinely appointed means of knowledge is equivalent to setting up our own imperfect standard of righteousness and ignoring the divine standard. It is therefore important that we give all diligence to the study of the divine oracles that we may be fortified in faith and works accordingly.

The third addition, self-control, is one of the most important elements of good character. He that ruleth his own spirit is greater than he that taketh a city, is the counsel of the wise man; and many a victorious general has yet to learn to conquer and control himself. Self-control has to do with all our sentiments, thoughts, tastes, appetites, labors, pleasures, sorrows and hopes. Its cultivation, therefore, means a high order of character-development. Self-control, accompanied by faith, fortitude, knowledge from on high, implies increased zeal and activity in divine things and increased moderation in earthly things, in judgment, in conduct, in the regulation of temporal affairs, etc. "Let your moderation be known unto all men."

The fourth addition is patience. Time is a very necessary element in the process of perfecting every good thing. The fruit hastily plucked is the unripe, hard, sour, bitter fruit. Time, as well as pruning and fertilizing and cultivating and shower and sunshine, is necessary to the ripe and luscious fruitage that delights the taste. So it is also with the fruitage of plans and purposes, of education and of grace. God's deep designs work out slowly, not only in his great universal government, but also in the hearts and minds of his intelligent creatures. God is operating all things according to his own will along the lines of the fixed principles of his wise and righteous laws – physical, moral and intellectual. To be impatient in any case is foolishly to insist upon having the unripe, hasty, sour, bitter fruitage, which, if the Lord grant it, will prove a sickening penalty for the impatience that demanded it. "Let patience have her perfect work," wait God's time: "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him." Wait the Lord's time and way and the indications of his will in every case, both with regard to ourselves and others and "they that put their trust in him shall never be confounded." [R2155 : page 148]

Faith, fortitude and knowledge prepare God's people to have patience with every effort toward good, however weak, – patience with the poor, blinded world, with the "babes in Christ," with the slow and stupid, with the excitable and blundering, with the over-confident Peters and the skeptical Thomases. But to have patience or fellowship with "the unfruitful works of darkness" and sin, is the perversion of this grace; for these, wherever found, should be promptly and sharply reproved and rebuked according to their evil intent; with patience, nevertheless, toward the repentant prodigals, and always with meekness.

It is noticeable that the Lord seems to forewarn his people of great need of patience in the "harvest" or end of this age: patience toward fellow men and patience, in the warfare against evil, and in waiting for the Lord's time and method of setting right the wrongs of "the present evil world." The poor world, lacking faith, fortitude, knowledge of the divine plan and patience will fall a ready prey to unrest and anarchy in the near future. The Word of the Lord to his people is, – "Ye have need of patience."

The fifth addition is godliness, godlikeness, piety, – that devout, controlling reverence for God which yields a hearty, cheerful, loving conformity to his will – fervency of spirit in serving the Lord. This is a later development and vital element in the Christian character. Piety, godliness, springs spontaneously from appreciative and grateful hearts, whose delight is in the law of the Lord, in meditation upon his precepts and promises, and in secret communion with God in prayer and praise. Loving, cheerful activity must result from such an inner life; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, and the whole being is quickened to new life. Only those who have a living faith in God, and who are fortifying their characters against evil and growing in knowledge and self-control and patience are prepared to appreciate the grandeur of the divine character; and only such are really energized by a desire for God-likeness.

The sixth addition is brotherly kindness, which of necessity grows out of godliness. As God-like-ness presupposes the other graces mentioned, so its development implies an appreciation of divine justice and beneficence, and will broaden and deepen our sentiments toward all the well-disposed, however imperfect, and especially will it enlarge our hearts to all who are of the household of faith – "the brethren."

The seventh addition is charity, love, – the bond of perfectness which unites all the other graces, and as a name stands for them all.

Love to God alone is not the full manifestation of this grace; nor can there be, according to the teachings of God's Word, a sincere love for God, without a corresponding love to man: "If a man say, I love God," says the Apostle John, "and hateth his brother, he is a liar, for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John 4:20.) And Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."John 13:35.

It is the abounding of these graces of character added to our faith in Christ as our Redeemer and Savior that insures the soul against the possibility of falling: "If ye do these things, ye shall never fall." The contingency is not in the doing of these things perfectly, and regardless of the righteousness of Christ to cover our transgressions and compensate for our daily shortcomings; but if, added to our faith in the imputed righteousness of Christ, we have cultivated all these graces to the extent of our ability, we shall not fall. When we have done all that we can do, we are still unprofitable servants, not daring to trust in our own righteousness, but in the ample robe which is ours by faith in Christ, while, with consistent "diligence," we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that the righteousness of Christ is only applied to such as desire to forsake sin and to pursue that "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord." – Heb. 12:14.

[R2153 : page 148]

ENOCH, ELIJAH AND THE SENTENCE.

THE ANSWER to the following query may interest others than the inquirer: –

"Since 'death passed upon all men,' because of Adam's sin; and since all had to be redeemed before they could escape from that death sentence, how came it that Enoch and Elijah escaped from it before the redemption-price was paid?"

We answer, that they did not escape, but were still under the sentence of death until the ransom was paid. The execution of the sentence was deferred in their cases, and their lives prolonged; but they would eventually have died had they not been redeemed. After father Adam was sentenced he lived nearly a thousand years, but under his particular sentence he could not have lived more than a thousand years; because the sentence read, "In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die." And since "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years" (2 Pet. 3:8), his death was fixed to take place within that "day." But God left the way open to make types of Enoch and Elijah, and hence, so far as they and the remainder of [R2153 : page 149] the human family were concerned, no limit of time for the execution of the sentence was fixed. If, therefore, it pleased God to have it so, they might have continued to live for thousands of years, under the death sentence, without dying. In Elijah's case, altho he was translated, it is not said that he did not die afterward. His translation made a type, as we have seen (MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chapter viii.), and he may have died and been buried afterward, unknown to men, as was Moses. – Deut. 34:6.

But with Enoch the case was different, as we are expressly told that he did not die. In his case, therefore, it is evident that the execution of the sentence was deferred, but there is no evidence that it was annulled. He, therefore, remained under that sentence of death until he was ransomed by our Lord's death. As a member of the fallen race, he was an imperfect man, and altho redeemed, and altho a restitution to human perfection is provided for him in the divine plan, we are not certain that he is yet a perfect man. For the Apostle seems to teach that none of those whose faithfulness was attested before the Gospel call was made will be made perfect until after Christ and his bride are made perfect. He says (Heb. 11:39,40), after enumerating many of the ancient worthies, Enoch included, verse 5, "These all, having obtained witness through faith, received not the promise [everlasting life, etc.], God having provided some better thing [priority of time as well as of honor and position] for us [the Gospel Church], that they [the ancient worthies] without us [apart from us] should not be MADE PERFECT." And since the Church, the body of Christ, has not yet been perfected in glory, it is but a reasonable inference that wherever Enoch is and however happy and comfortable he may be, he is not yet made a perfect man, and will not be until all the members of the body of Christ have first been made perfect in the divine nature.

As to where God took Enoch, we may not know, since God has not revealed that. Should we speculate as to whether God took him to some other world, and for what purpose, it would be but an idle speculation. We may not be wise above what is written. We may be certain, however, that Enoch did not go to heaven – the spiritual state or condition – for such is the record: "No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven – even the Son of Man." (John 3:13.) Elijah is said to have ascended to heaven; but, from our Lord's statement above quoted, that must be understood to refer to the air – as, when it is said that "the fowl fly in the midst of heaven:" it certainly cannot refer to the heavenly condition, which flesh and blood cannot enter nor even see without a change of nature, which change has been promised only to the Gospel Church.

Understanding, as above shown, that Enoch was preserved from actual dissolution in death – altho, already under that sentence, legally dead (Rom. 5:12; Matt. 8:22) until the ransom-price for all was paid by our Lord's death – we can see that there will now be no necessity for his dissolution, but that when the due time shall have come he may be fully and completely restored from even the measure of human imperfection he had inherited to full, perfect manhood.

So, too, it will be with those of the world who will be living when the "times of restitution" are fully ushered in: it will not be necessary for them to go into the tomb. For altho they are already legally dead, in that condemnation (or sentence) to "death passed upon all men," yet their penalty has also been legally met by another, Christ. He now holds the judgment against all, but graciously offers to cancel it entirely for each one who will accept restitution to life and perfection on the conditions of the New Covenant.

As during this Gospel age the Church, altho once, under sentence, they were dead in trespasses and sins, are reckoned as freed from condemnation, as justified, and as having passed from death unto life when they accept Christ's merit under the New Covenant, so it will be in the Millennial age with those of the world who, upon learning it, accept God's offer of life. They also will be reckoned as having passed from death unto life – as tho they had been utterly dead and then been awakened. So complete is the reckoning that those who then sin wilfully, and forfeit their reckoned life, die the second death, altho they all may not actually have died before. And indeed so too it is now with the Gospel Church – if after we, through faith in Christ, are reckoned as no longer dead, but alive toward God through Jesus Christ, we were to sin wilfully, intentionally, we would thus bring upon ourselves again (a second time) the full penalty of sin, death, and this would be the second death.

But while there are such similarities between the Lord's methods now and in the next age for justification to life, or passing from death unto life reckonedly, there are very different arrangements for the two ages or the actual passing out of death into life, when the trial of each is finished. The Church of the Gospel age walks by faith entirely, and not by sight. Her trial occurs before the actual setting up of the Kingdom, and hence each one, as he finishes his course, must wait for the crown of life. They "all die like men," and the world recognizes no difference. But while they actually die the same as other men, God keeps up the reckoned difference between those who have accepted his offer of life and become his children and others who have not done so. Hence in Scripture [R2153 : page 150] believers are not said to be dead, but to be sleeping until the "morning," when, according to God's prearranged plan, such shall have actually and in full measure the life now reckoned as theirs under God's covenant in Christ. Thus our Lord spoke of Lazarus and others as sleeping, and the Apostle's writings refer to "those who sleep in Jesus." And the Scriptures, [R2154 : page 150] throughout, preserve the same sentiment, saying, – "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning;" "I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness," etc. The only exceptions to this "sleeping" are particularly mentioned by the Apostle, when he says, "We shall not all sleep, altho we must all be changed." Those living in the time when our Lord begins to take his great power and reign, altho they all must die, because consecrated even unto death, yet they will not "sleep," their "change" to spirit-being coming in the moment of dying. And in this blessed time (according to the evidences presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II. and III.) we believe we have been living since April, 1878 A.D. What a blessing this is we find stated by our Lord, – "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth – yea, saith the spirit, they rest from their labors [from weariness, etc.], but their works [not discontinued in a sleep of death] follow with them." – Rev. 14:13.

But during the Millennial age it will be somewhat different. Those who accept the New Covenant will no more get the perfect life instantly than we do now. They will get it at the end of the Millennial age, as we get it at the end of the Gospel age. Yet not just the same; for the Gospel Church, as we have seen, has waited in the sleep of death for the close of the age and the reward of the perfect life, while the faithful of the Millennial age, instead of dying, will gradually improve in health – mental, moral and physical – until perfection will be reached by all such, at the close of the Millennial age. Meantime, those who sin wilfully against full light and full ability will be accounted to have committed the sin unto death; and death to such, even if born in the Millennium, will be the second death.

[R2155 : page 150]

"BECAUSE JESUS WAS NOT YET GLORIFIED."

A READER inquires for the evidence that our Lord Jesus has yet been glorified as we have taught in MILLENNIAL DAWN. He says, "From the Song of Solomon (2:10) and other places I gather the thought that he (our Beloved) is just as anxious for the marriage as we (the Church) are;" and quotes from Rom. 8:17 and Col. 3:4, "glorified together," as proof that our Lord Jesus will not be glorified until the Church is completed and glorified. He refers to Heb. 1:6, – "When he bringeth again the first begotten into the world he saith – Let all the angels of God worship him," and holds that it will be fulfilled at the second advent of Christ.

We reply, that the matter is settled beyond all peradventure by the text which we use as the caption of this article, – "The holy spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." So says the inspired Apostle. (John 7:39.) Hence, when, about fifty days afterward (after our Lord had finished his sacrifice and had been raised from the dead by the Father's power, and had ascended up on high there to appear in the presence of God on our behalf), the holy spirit was poured out upon the Church, at Pentecost, it became a sure indication that at that time our Lord had been glorified. Notice this point distinctly. If the holy spirit was not given before, because Jesus was not yet glorified, it PROVES that when it was given, a little later, he had been glorified. [R2156 : page 150]

Come now, and see the picture of his own glorification, given to us by our Lord, through his servant John. (Rev. 1:1.) It is recorded in Rev. 5. He that sits upon the throne is Jehovah. The scroll in his right hand is his plan for human redemption, sealed from all until the one "worthy" to carry out to completion its details should be found and proved "worthy." The inquiry, "Who is worthy to open the book [scroll] and to loose the seals thereof?" had long been made: for four thousand years, from the giving of the promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, it had been the query – Who shall be esteemed, by Jehovah God, to be worthy to perform his gracious purposes, and thus be honored above all others as the Servant (messenger) of the New Covenant of grace?

When silence prevailed, and none was found worthy either in heaven or on earth (representing the condition of things prior to the first advent), John began to weep, saying to himself: Alas! tho God has some gracious and wise plans for the welfare of his creatures, we may never know them, because none is found worthy to know or to execute them. So it was that even our Lord Jesus, prior to the finishing of his sacrifice, as he then declared, did not know all about the Father's plans, and times, and seasons. – Mark 13:32.

But John's tears were soon dried, when the angel declared, "Weep not, for the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed [hath overcome, so as to be accepted and declared worthy] to open the scroll and to loose the seals thereof." We know well who is meant; and the further unfolding of the panoramic vision leaves no doubt. Jesus our Lord is symbolized by a slain [R2156 : page 151] lamb restored to life, and to him was given the wonderful scroll which represents the divine plans, with authority and power to accomplish them all. Then (after his resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father) he was glorified and received a name above every name; then all the angels of God worshiped him; then their thousands of thousands and myriads of myriads sang a new song, saying, "Thou art worthy to take the scroll and to loose the seals; because thou wast slain, and didst redeem* unto God with thy blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation." "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive the power, and wealth, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." And when to him was thus given a name above every name, all the holy ones bowed and offered sweet incense of prayer and homage; because God had honored him by delivering to him the scroll of wisdom, and the power and authority to execute all of its provisions. He is worthy; and the Apostle declares that it is now, therefore, God's will that all "should honor the Son even as they honor the Father." – Acts 5:31; Phil. 2:9-11; John 5:23.

*Oldest MS., with evident propriety, omits us, since the angels were not redeemed.

Since his glorification the Lamb has been breaking the seven seals and thus opening the divine plan before men and angels, and we now living are privileged to share this knowledge more abundantly than others, – because, the last seal having been broken, the scroll is open to all who follow the Lamb in love and obedience and meekness; and "the mystery of God is [about] finished." – Rev. 10:7.

Further evidence on this subject is unnecessary; the testimony that our Lord was glorified, and invested with honor and power and dominion at his ascension, is overwhelming. His promise to his followers is that, as he overcame and was glorified to share the Father's throne (glory, dignity, power), even so they, if faithful, will be glorified to share his throne (glory, honor).

The sense of Heb. 1:4-6 (Diaglott) is that, when God had glorified Christ, mankind in general knew it not, but when, as God's messenger, he is again presented to men, at his second advent, it will be in full demonstration that all the angels of God (all of God's holy ones) worship, reverence and obey him. And in the expression, we shall be "glorified together" the word "together" does not mean simultaneously, at the same instant, but harmoniously, to share the same glory. In proof of this, note the context (see Diaglott); the suffering "with him" or "together" does not mean that we suffer at the same time, but that we share the same kind of suffering, for the same cause of faithfulness to God, and that in due time we shall be glorified "together;" i.e., in the sense of sharing the same glory wherewith our Lord has already been glorified.

This glorification or instalment in honor and power should not, however, be confounded with the change which occurred at our Lord's resurrection; by which he was raised a spiritual being of the highest order, the divine nature. As the human body was termed a "body of humiliation," so his spirit body is termed "a glorious body." This, however, has nothing whatever to do with the glory or majesty of office to which our Lord was introduced fifty days later, when "he ascended up on high" and was received as a sharer of the Father's throne. The latter glory and majesty is shortly to be made manifest to men, – "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." But they will not see the Lord's glorious person, as our Lord declared before he died, – "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more."

Likewise the Church, the "overcomers," his "body," his "bride," will in their resurrection change be granted spiritual and glorious bodies (1 Cor. 15:42-44) and afterward "see him [the Lord] as he is" and be caused to share his glory, to sit with him in his throne.

[R2157 : page 151]

OUR STEWARDSHIP.

"Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful." – 1 Cor. 4:1,2.
W
E HAVE heretofore called attention to the fact that every member of the anointed body, the Church of Christ, is anointed to preach the gospel, the good tidings of the Kingdom of peace. See our commission as recorded by Isaiah (61:1-3) and quoted by our Lord in partial application to himself, the Head of the anointed body. (Luke 4:16-21.) Paul, in the above text, points to the same thing, having special reference to himself and Apollos and Cephas (Peter), and a general reference to all who are Christ's. (1 Cor. 3:21-23.) He would have us each remember that we are the divinely commissioned and ordained ministers (servants) of Christ, as Jesus also taught, saying to all who are branches in the true Vine, – "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit." (John 15:16.) He also said, "Ye are the light of the world" and "the salt of the earth." [R2157 : page 152]

The presence of this anointed body in the world is therefore for a purpose, a benevolent purpose toward, and in the interest of, the world, even in the present life, tho their great and most successful ministry will be in the age to come, when exalted to power and great glory as kings and priests unto God. Tho the world at present knows not God and is not subject to the law of God, nevertheless, God in his abounding grace so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to redeem them, and by and by, under the righteous reign of his Millennial Kingdom, he will restore and bless them, and the good news of this redemption and the coming Kingdom he would have testified to them even now, as he says, – "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end [of this age] come" (Matt. 24:14); and in the coming age the fruit of this testimony will appear. The same testimony also serves the further ordained purpose of gathering out of the world a people for his name (Acts 15:14), to be associated with Christ in the great work of the Kingdom, of restoring "all things" and blessing "all the families of the earth." Being anointed with the holy spirit, and ordained as ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God, it is not merely our mission to live harmless lives – simply to abstain from violence, dishonesty, slander, etc. – so that men can say of us that we never abused or cheated or ill-used them. This negative goodness is, of course, one side of a righteous character, and one without which no man is righteous; but more, much more, than this is required of a steward of God. There must be a positive, as well as a negative, goodness. This we find exemplified in the case of our Lord Jesus, who was not only "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners," but who also "went about doing good" and was abundant in good works. – Acts 10:38; 2:22.

It is this positive element of character and the recognized obligation to activity that are specially implied in the term "steward," while the appointment by the Lord to such an office is also a recognition by him of those elements of a righteous character without which no one is eligible to the office. A steward, therefore, is not a person of merely harmless character, or one who is contented carefully to fold away in a napkin the talents entrusted to his care, so that the Lord, on his return, may find his own just as he left it, but he is one who makes a diligent and business-like appropriation of his one or many talents in the Master's service, so that, at the time of reckoning, the Lord may not only find his own, but also as large an increase as possible, in evidence of the zeal and faithfulness of his appointed steward.

The Apostle also says, "Moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. Thus we see that the entire body of Christ is called, not to indolent, self-complacent ease, but to diligent and enterprising activity; and not in the spirit of a hireling, with eye-service as men pleasers, but with the intelligent, loving interest and zeal of sons and heirs of God, of ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. It is indeed "required" of stewards to be thus active in the divine service, and the Lord will not count us faithful if we simply be good and make little or no effort to do good; and even he who has only one talent is not excusable in folding that one talent away in a napkin, or in hiding it in the earth. (Matt. 25:24-28; Luke 19:20-24.) It is, therefore, most important for every one to consider what are his talents, how they are employed, and whether his course of service is day by day approved of God as faithful.

In thus endeavoring to view ourselves as God views us, it is important that we remember that not only the great talents, such as large ability, mental or physical, large opportunities of time and circumstance, or command of means, are noted by the Lord, but also that the small things are never overlooked by him. Call to mind the Lord's teaching that even a cup of cold water given to a disciple because he is a disciple shall not lose its reward; that the poor widow's two mites were more highly esteemed than the larger offerings of the rich; and when we thus perceive that the Lord is judging according to the thoughts and intents of the heart, the humblest saint can see ample opportunities to prove himself a faithful steward.

This also calls to mind the statement of the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 12:22,17-19), "Those members of the body which seem to be more feeble are necessary." How true! As in the illustration, by far the larger proportion of the members are such; and their office in the body is just as necessary as that of the more notable members, for, "If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members, every one of them, in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body?"

What a blessed thought to every one who realizes himself a member of the body of Christ, that he has a place and an office in the body to which God himself has wisely appointed him, and that that place and office belong to no one else. It may now seem a humble place, but it is nevertheless an important, a necessary place; and in filling that place as a wise and faithful steward he is approved of God, and by and by will be exalted to his Kingdom and glory.

We know of some of these dear saints in the obscure places of the Lord's vineyard, quietly and lovingly doing with their might what their hands or heads or hearts find to do, and doing it so bravely, so nobly and so well; and yet in their humility they are apparently all unconscious of the halo of that beauty of holiness they are shedding around them to the honor of him whose name they bear. Praise God for all these evidences of his grace and these fruits of his training and discipline! They are lights in dark places, tho generally, as in the case of our Lord, the darkness comprehends it not. Yet, nevertheless, there is produced by these lights an effect which men feel and which God will not overlook.

M. F. RUSSELL.

[R2158 : page 153]

THE CONFERENCE AT JERUSALEM.
– MAY 23. – ACTS 15:1-6,22-29. –
"Through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." – Acts 15:11.
C
IRCUMCISION was given to Abraham and his posterity as a sign or mark by which they attested faith in the divine promises. It was obligatory upon every Jew who would maintain his relationship to the divine promises, and it is still obligatory upon that nation. (Gen. 17:14.) We are not to forget, however, that a Jew, no less than a Gentile, is reckoned as losing earthly nationality in becoming a Christian. To all such, "old things pass away, all things become new." They are thenceforth "new creatures" in Christ Jesus, members of the "holy nation."

Inasmuch as circumcision in the flesh as a mark in the flesh had been observed for over eighteen centuries by all recognized as God's people, it should not surprise us to find that some of the early Christians, previously Jews, concluded that it was still obligatory upon all who had become children of God. All the broad distinctions between the Law Covenant and the New Covenant were not clearly distinguished at first, – even the apostles appear for a time not to have distinguished clearly on all points. Nevertheless, the Lord had held them, as the special guides of the new dispensation, and had prevented their making any declaration on the subject, until in his due time the matter was brought clearly to their attention; and then they were guided aright.

The Apostle Paul seems to have been the first to get a broadly comprehensive view of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the New Covenant provisions; and we are not to forget that he was probably helped miraculously to this clearness of perception by being granted "visions and revelations" more than all the others. Barnabas, his companion in the missionary tour, was naturally the first to share this knowledge, and was evidently in full sympathy with the Apostle Paul in resisting the teachings of certain Jews who attempted to Judaize the erstwhile Gentiles who chiefly constituted the Antioch Church. That that Church was in good spiritual health is evidenced by the fact that they were anxious to have the truth, whatever it might be. Accordingly they requested that Paul and Barnabas and certain of their company might consult with the apostles and elders at Jerusalem respecting the propriety of circumcision and the general observance of the Mosaic law on the part of those who were not Israelites by birth. And this plan was followed.

It was now nearly twenty years since our Lord's resurrection; and as a result of the efforts put forth by believers, Christians were now to be found in little groups throughout Asia-Minor and Syria. The brethren made use of the journey to Jerusalem as an opportunity to refresh the hearts of God's people in the various cities enroute, and these fellow Christians in turn gladly entertained them as members of the Lord's body; – setting a good example of hospitality.

Arrived at Jerusalem, they were warmly welcomed by the apostles and friends of the truth who had heard much concerning their missionary journey and its good results. Evidently, before they got to a statement of the real object of their visit, a class similar to those who had gone down to Antioch took exceptions to the method which the brethren had used amongst the Gentiles. They probably inquired, Were all the believing Gentiles whom you evangelized commanded to be circumcised, and instructed that they should keep the law of Moses? This opened up the question at once, and led to the announcement that the settlement of this question was the very object of their visit. Accordingly a council of the apostles and elders was called.

Verses 7-21 give probably but a small portion of the discussion. It would seem that the question, What is the responsibility of converts amongst the Gentiles toward the law of Moses? had never come up for consideration previously, and the apostles, it would appear, were without very positive convictions until they began to discuss the subject. Peter, one of the oldest of the disciples, and a man of strong character, pointed out that God had made choice of him as the one who should be first to open the gospel door to the Gentiles; how Cornelius was the first of these converts, and how God poured out the holy spirit upon him and thus recognized him as a son and joint-heir with Christ, while as yet he was uncircumcised, thus proving that circumcision was not essential to divine reconciliation and sonship in the household of faith under the New Covenant. He doubtless also called attention to the fact that our Lord, who instructed them to teach all nations and to baptise those who believed, gave no instructions in reference to circumcision or any of the commands of the Mosaic law. He argued, therefore, that they had no right to put upon the Gentiles, as a yoke of bondage, the law of Moses, which God had not put upon them, but only upon the Jews, and which the Jews found it impossible to bear, and from which they (believing Jews) had to be liberated through the merit of Christ.

Then Paul and Barnabas told how God had greatly blessed their ministry amongst the Gentiles, performing many miracles, etc., and in every way attesting his blessing upon their work; and yet that work had nothing in it respecting obligation to Moses' law or [R2158 : page 154] God's command to Abraham and his seed – circumcision.

James, our Lord's brother, was the president or chairman of the meeting, and after hearing the foregoing coincided with Peter, Paul and Barnabas, adding to the argument by citing from the prophets evidences (1) that the Gentiles would be received into divine favor and (2) that the reception of the Gentiles was not to make of them Jews, but that, on the contrary, God had certain blessed provisions for the Jews to be fulfilled subsequently, – "After this, I will return and build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down." Since Israel is to be recognized in the future by the Lord as distinct from the Gentiles, it follows that the particular national mark which distinguishes Jews from Gentiles was not to be abolished, – was not to be made general amongst Gentiles, even after they believed and became God's people.

The results of the conference were satisfactory to all present, and it was decided to send a statement of the results to the Antioch Church, both by writing and orally by Judas and Silas.

Probably only the substance of the letter is given in the brief recorded statement; but it is sufficient to show clearly that those who claim that the apostles were confused upon the subject so as almost to make a split in the Church, are greatly mistaken, for in so many words they positively declare that those who went out from them and troubled the Church at Antioch, almost unsettling their faith and peace with the statement, "Ye must be circumcised and keep the law," were not representatives of the apostles, and had received no such commandment or teaching from them. It is refreshing and strengthening to our faith to note that the Lord's promise, specially to bless and use the apostles and keep them from error in their teaching, was remarkably fulfilled, as in this case. Our Lord's words to them were, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven;" in other words, I will so particularly direct you that you will make no mistakes in respect to what you will command and in respect to what you will forbid.

The statement, "It seemed good to the holy spirit and to us," should not be lightly supposed to signify that the apostles "guessed at" the mind of the spirit, nor that they put their own judgment on a par with that of the holy spirit. We are to remember that they had special gifts of the spirit which guided them into the understanding of the Lord's will, and they merely assert here that not only was it the guidance of the holy spirit, but that they themselves were so in sympathy that they rejoiced that the holy spirit had not put the bondage of the law upon the Gentile converts.

The Christians at Antioch were already well instructed concerning the terms of the New Covenant, faith and the various added virtues and graces presented to us in the Pauline epistles. Such matters were not entered into by the council at Jerusalem nor referred to in the letter which they wrote in reply. The inquiry was merely respecting the obligation of the converts to be circumcised and keep the other features of the Mosaic law. The answer ignored every feature of that law, except four points; and the first three of these were mentioned no doubt as a basis of common fellowship between those who had been Jews and those who had been Gentiles; namely, (1) abstaining from meats that had been offered in sacrifice to idols; (2) abstaining from animal food that had not been killed after the manner of the Jews; (3) abstaining from the eating of blood. It would be almost impossible for those who had been reared as Jews to ignore these three points, and if the converts from the Gentiles did not observe them it would be a constant barrier to their social intercourse. Furthermore, the observance of the first restriction would be a benefit to those who were coming out of Gentile darkness, in that it would break them off from old customs which might be injurious. It was the custom among Gentiles at that time that much of the meat sold in their markets should first be offered in sacrifice to some idol. The Apostle Paul shows, however (1 Cor. 8:4), that, as an idol is nothing, the offering of the meat in the presence of nothing could do no harm to those who were able to understand the situation aright; but to others it might seem like sacrilege. He therefore advised the Church to abstain from eating meat offered to idols, lest it [R2159 : page 154] should make a brother to offend. The restriction as to the method of killing animals was that it should not be by strangulation, which would leave the blood in the veins, but by the Jewish method of bleeding them to death, which extracts the blood. Abstinence from the eating of blood in any form has probably also a sanitary reason back of it, in addition to a typical significance; for "the life is in the blood."

The mention of fornication was probably considered wise, for altho it should be understood as part of the law of Christ, yet nevertheless, since this evil was very common at that time amongst the Gentiles and in some cases even a part of their religious service, it was thought well to specify it.

[R2159 : page 154]

THE FAITH THAT WORKS.
– MAY 30. – JAMES 2:14-23. –
"I will show thee my faith by my works." – James 2:18.
M
ANY have supposed a conflict of opinion as between the Apostle Paul's teachings and the teachings of James respecting faith and works. We hold, however, that, rightly understood, their teachings are in fullest accord. The Jewish Law Covenant was emphatically a covenant of works, while the basis [R2159 : page 155] of acceptance under the New Covenant is faith. The law said, Do and live; the gospel says, Believe and live.

The Apostle Paul, writing to those who knew the law and who had been trained under it to expect everlasting life as a reward of faithful performance of the requirements of that law, was obliged to show that absolute obedience to that law is an impossibility as respects the fallen race of Adam; and hence that "by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his [God's] sight." If, then, justification and eternal life could not be obtained by any through the works of the law, how could they be obtained? The Apostle proceeds to show that our Lord Jesus had kept the entire law blamelessly, that he thus had secured all the rewards promised to "him that doeth these things;" namely, everlasting life and all the divine blessings. The Apostle further shows that, while none can hope for eternal life through keeping the law, they may hope for it and obtain it in another way – not by doing works that would be approved under the Law Covenant, but by having a faith which would approve them under the New Covenant, and secure to them such measure of the covering of Christ's righteousness as might be necessary to compensate for all the deficiencies and imperfections of their natures which hindered them from performing the full demands of the law. Thus he tells us, "The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit."

The Apostle Paul did not for a moment mean to say that a mere intellectual assent was sufficient. His teachings are in fullest accord with James' statement in this lesson, that a faith that produced no efforts or works toward righteousness would be a dead faith, a valueless faith – or worse, a condemning faith.

Nor should James here be understood to ignore faith, and to teach that works of the law would be able or sufficient to justify sinners or make them heirs of eternal life. It is probable that some in the early Church, having come to realize that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth, and that we are "justified by faith in his blood," went to the opposite extreme, as some do to-day, claiming that the conduct of life is immaterial, if only the faith be maintained. It is probable that James had this class of persons in mind when writing this epistle. He therefore guards the reader on this point – not to think that a mere belief or faith, that makes no impression upon the life, and is unaccompanied by any efforts so to live as would be pleasing in God's sight, would be a faith of any vitality, or that would do any real good. On the contrary, that is the kind of belief that devils have.

As an illustration, he points out that, as a blessing unaccompanied by food would not satisfy a hungry person, so faith unaccompanied by works would accomplish nothing. If the challenge were put, "Show me thy faith without thy works," it would be very difficult to answer it. How could faith be shown, except by works? On the other hand, it would be taking a very proper position to say, "I will show thee my faith by my works."

Abraham is called the father of the faithful; and of him it is written, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." But, as the Apostle points out, Abraham's faith was not of the kind that brought forth no fruitage of good works and obedience. On the contrary, God tested Abraham's faith, and his faith was proved an acceptable one by works of obedience; faith and works cooperated in his case, and must do so in every case, else the faith will not be acceptable.

The points to be kept clearly in mind in this lesson are (1) that no works which fallen men could do would be perfect works; consequently, none of them could be acceptable to God. (2) The Christian is acceptable to God through the exercise of faith under the terms of the New Covenant. It is this faith that counts in his acceptance, because he is unable to perform works that would be acceptable. (3) His acceptable faith must be proved by his efforts to do, so far as he may be able, the divine will. (4) Since works alone would not justify, and since faith must precede good works before they will be acceptable, and since the good works, when accepted, are not accepted on account of their own perfection, but on account of the faith which makes them acceptable, therefore it follows that it is the faith that justifies us where works could not justify us, and that the works do not set aside faith, but merely attest the genuineness of the faith.

There is a grand lesson here for all who desire to please God. It is our faith that is pleasing to him – we at first having nothing else; but if the faith remains alone, without effort to produce fruits of righteousness in the life, it becomes a dead, a putrid thing, offensive to both God and man. He whose life is one of self-gratification and sin dishonors and injures any faith which he professes. Further, it is our experience that whoever fails to live in harmony with his faith will not be permitted to maintain it very long. It is to such as have some faith without corresponding efforts toward good works that the Lord sends "strong delusions that they may believe a lie." – 2 Thess. 2:11.

Let us remember that the Lord's people are "living epistles known and read of all men;" that it is the works that are read rather than the faith, and hence the importance of the Golden Text, which should more and more be the sentiment of every follower of Christ, – "I will show thee my faith by my works."

[R2156 : page 156]

KEEP THY TONGUE FROM EVIL.
– JUNE 6. – JAMES 3:1-13. –
"Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile." – Psa. 34:13.
"
B
E NOT many teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment" (Revised Version). Thus the Apostle indicates that what he has to say concerning the great influence of the tongue is directed largely to those amongst believers who attempt to be teachers; who have a greater responsibility than if they were not teachers. It is not his wish to deter those who have ability, a gift in this direction, but rather to caution all as to the responsibility of the position they thus take. If they possess an eloquent tongue it may be a channel for a great blessing, swaying large numbers to the Lord, the truth and the way of righteousness; or, on the other hand, if contaminated with error, the tongue can do almost untellable harm – injury to faith, to morals, to good works. It is indeed true, that whoever exercises the gift of teaching lays himself open to increased responsibility in the sight of God and men. – See Matt. 5:19; Rom. 2:20,21; 1 Pet. 5:3; Titus 1:11; 1 Tim. 1:7; 2 Tim. 4:3; 2 Pet. 2:1.

The warning in this lesson is not against the tongue itself, but against the power which we exercise upon others by the use of our tongues. Probably every person of experience will fully agree with the statement that the tongue is potent in its influence beyond any other member of the body, for either good or evil. Experience teaches also that with the vast majority it is easier to control any other organ than the tongue. So skilful a servant is it that every ambition and passion and inclination of the fallen nature seeks to use it as a servant or channel for evil. It requires, therefore, on the part of the Christian, increased vigilance, wisdom and care so to govern this member of his body and bring it into subjection to the new mind in Christ, that it shall be, not a hindrance to himself or to others, but, on the contrary, a help in the narrow way. As the bit in the horse's mouth will move and control his strength, and as the small rudder to a vessel will direct or change its course, so the tongue and the pen, its representative, may influence and turn about large numbers of people, for good or ill. How important, therefore, is the tongue, and how much more frequently do we find it employed as an agency for evil than as an agency for good, to pull down the faith rather than to build up the faith, to implant seeds of discord and discontent rather than those which will produce righteousness and peace! While this is specially true in the worldly, it is true to a considerable extent amongst God's people; and each should remember that to some extent he is a teacher, and day by day is either forwarding or hindering the cause of truth, righteousness and peace.

In the unregenerate world the tongue is indeed a "fire" causing no end of burning of wrath, envy, hatred, strife and everything that defileth the entire body, stimulating all the fallen passions and desires. No wonder the apostle declares figuratively that the tongue itself seems to be set on fire of gehenna – the second death. Its burning not only tends to bring its master but others to destruction.

In the statement, "Therewith bless we God, even the Father, and therewith curse we men, which are made in the likeness of God," we should not understand the writer to refer to himself and to the Church as using their tongues for such unholy purposes, but as speaking for the whole world, some use the tongue to praise God and some use it to blaspheme his holy name and to curse their fellow creatures. It is a willing servant in whatever direction it is guided; and hence the importance of having so important a servant and member rightly guided. Apparently, however, there were some in the Church who out of the same [R2157 : page 156] mouth rendered thanks to God and curses to fellow creatures – perhaps not often curses in the ordinary acceptation of the term, but curses in the sense of injurious words, which would lead to a baneful or cursed or evil condition; for every false teaching is a curse to those who receive it. In this sense of the word at least, many out of the same mouth send forth both good and evil influences. This is a wrong condition, and hence the importance of the warning, "My brethren, be not many teachers." Whoever would be a fountain from which would go forth the divine Word, carrying blessing and refreshment and strength, should see to it that bitter waters, false doctrines that would cause a curse, an injury – dishonoring God and perverting his Word – should not find in them a channel of utterance.

In the choice of leaders for meetings the "tongue" qualification, as here laid down should not be overlooked. The fiery tongued should not be chosen, but the meeker, the moderate, who "bridle" their tongues and endeavor carefully to "speak as the oracles of God" only. Such tongues constrain, while others more frequently wound and repel. The Word of the Lord is quick and powerful and sharp and cuts "to the heart" without bitter and acrimonious and uncharitable human expletives to enforce it. Hence the divine instruction that we "speak the truth in love."

The lesson closes with an exhortation to those who have the qualifications of teachers in the Church (wisdom and knowledge) to manifest themselves not merely by words and teachings, but also by godly lives and good works in meekness of wisdom.

While this lesson is pointed specially toward "teachers," it should be regarded by all. It is an old and true saying that "Kind words can never die," and it would be equally true to say, "Unkind words never die." Indeed, the latter live much the longer in a majority of cases – in worldly hearts especially. Let us each and all redouble our energy in subjugating our tongues, that they may always bless and "minister grace to the hearers." – Read Eph. 4:29.