page 97
April 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. XIX.APRIL 1, 1898.No. 7.
CONTENTS.

Our New Prophetic Chart 98
Views from the Watch Tower 99
Poem: O'ertake Us on Our Journey, Lord! 100
The Memorial Supper 101
Is There Hope for Judas? 101
"By Grace are Ye Saved" 102
Once in Grace, Always in Grace 107
"If We Suffer with Him We Shall Also Reign with Him" 109
"We Beheld His Glory in the Holy Mount 111

'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 98

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.

SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
– ADDRESS TO –
TOWER PUBLISHING CO., BIBLE HOUSE, 58 ARCH ST.,
ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.

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

[R2282 : page 98]

OUR NEW PROPHETIC CHART.

WE STILL procure and supply ($1.50 including expressage) the handsome, 5 ft. long Chart of the Ages, similar to the one in the front of MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. I., for parlor and hall meetings. But now we have something entirely new which every WATCH TOWER reader will want for personal and family use.

It is 34 inches long, on extra heavy coated paper, with metal mountings top and bottom and hangers. It gives the outlines of the ages and dispensations, and underneath the same, and to a scale, it shows the various lines of prophecy presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN volumes, also an illustration of the "days of creation" as set forth in the WATCH TOWER some years ago, and promised again in some future volume of the DAWN series.

The chart is too complex to be described briefly. Suffice it to say, If you are deeply interested in present truth, as presented in the TOWER and DAWN, you will surely want one of these charts for your sitting room or study wall. We have made the price 25 cents each, including postage, which will bring it within the reach of almost all. But that the poorest may enjoy it and be helped by it, we will send it free to all such on our list who drop us a postal card stating the fact and requesting the chart free, during the month of April, 1898.

For the suggestion of such a chart, no less than for the drawing of this one, we all are indebted to our dear Brother U. G. Lee, whose service was rendered free to the Lord and his people. Wherever possible, let several unite in one order, to one address, as thus the risk of damage will be decreased.

[R2281 : page 99]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

THE chief concerns of the world are food, clothing, shelter, money and the preparation of munitions of war; – among the Christian (?) nations. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears: turn your factories from the manufacture of the implements of peace to the preparation of war materials is the order of the day.

Great Britain vs. France and Russia, as well as Spain vs. the United States, are straining every nerve to be prepared for war, should it come; – the former over China and her trade, the latter over Cuba and her liberty. We have many reasons for hoping that a conflict will be averted in both cases. Should war come, however, in either case our sympathies would, we are glad to say, justly be with the English speaking nations. For altho England's policy in China has not been one of disinterested benevolence, there can be no question that it has been and is and will continue to be more liberal toward the Chinese than would be the yokes of other Christian (?) nations of Europe.

An armed intervention by the United States to secure the liberty of Cuba from the despotism and cruelty of the most bitter and cruel nation in Christendom would be, as nearly as can be imagined, a war on lines of disinterested benevolence. We believe that it is neither the desire of the government nor of the people of the United States to annex Cuba, while its population in all respects is as dissimilar to our own as is that of Mexico: hence whatever may be done for Cuba must be accredited either to pride or to benevolence – as with the food supplies already sent and still being forwarded by government and people to relieve victims of barbarity.

We incline to think that the President's policy will result in securing for Cuba, without war, a liberty similar to that enjoyed by Canada, and if so he will deserve the congratulations of all civilized peoples. However, should war come – either of the above suggested – it would have no special prophetic significance so far as we can see. It would mean loss of life, increase of debts: and by increased business prosperity for a few years it would really put off the great catastrophe which will overthrow all governments in anarchy.

CORRECTIONS.

Not long since we, in common with other journals, called attention to the inconsistency of the New York millionaire, Trustee of the First Presbyterian church, H.M. Taber, whose Will showed him to have long been an infidel. The son of the deceased has since corrected some misapprehensions which we gladly record. He declares that his father "cherished a peculiarly bitter abhorrence of religious hypocrisy," and points out that he never was a member of the church, and that he had severed his relationship of Trustee ten years before he died: his acceptance of that office originally was to gratify a dear member of his family who was a member of that Church.

*                         *                         *

In Rules for Daily Life given in last issue (which, by the way, we learn have been helpful to the friends in various localities) we neglected a very important item. It is one which is generally recognized by earthly courts and judges, but, alas, too frequently forgotten in the family and in the Church. It is this: No one is to be esteemed guilty because guilt is charged; but only after it has been PROVEN.

The charged person is not to be esteemed guilty until he or she has proved the charge untrue: he is to be esteemed and treated as absolutely guiltless until the accuser has taken the Scriptural steps outlined in [R2281 : page 100] Rule V., and has manifested or proved the guilt. If this course were followed strictly it would quickly put an end to slandering and back-biting. For if the Church slanderer found that his charges were not believed, he would abstain or else follow the Scriptural rule.

Because the fact is not generally known, we remark that any injurious or derogatory report is a slander. Webster defines "Slanderer, One who injures another by maliciously reporting something to his prejudice; a defamer; a calumniator." No one under the control of the holy spirit will engage in such "devil's business;" and each should be careful not to encourage others in such "works of the flesh and of the devil."

In referring to conscience as an unsafe guide (Rule XI), we merely meant that because of "the fall" all of our consciences need the constant guidance and control of the Lord's Word, or they will mislead us. We have no other guide than conscience or judgment; hence, the necessity of having it divinely directed. It is not enough to say, "My conscience does not reprove me."

CHURCH REVENUES DECREASE.

Commenting on the resignation of Dr. John Hall from the pastorate of one of the most prominent Presbyterian churches in the world – the resignation having been subsequently recalled – an Exchange says: – [R2282 : page 100]

"Surprising as his resignation, since withdrawn, was to the public and the Presbyterian church, this reason will be even more surprising. From a surplus, large enough in successive years to build a $100,000 manse, the church has run behind, and pews once rented at $3,000, are let with difficulty. Where 10 years ago the church was giving $44,000 yearly to home missions, it is now giving $12,000, and its contribution to foreign missions has sunk from $28,000 to $9,000. As is always the case, this reduction has affected all receipts. Any church which stops giving to missions before long will stop adequately supporting its own gospel services."

The Editor proceeds to say that a similar falling off is noted in the receipts of all Presbyterian churches.

We render acknowledgment to God that the voluntary contributions to the spread of present truth have been increasing yearly, during this same period, as shown by the reports of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society; – and that notwithstanding the friends of "harvest truth" are nearly all poor – "not many rich," mighty or great among them. But where the heart has been touched and the flame of love to God and man has been enkindled, there is a burning desire to be, to do and to give to the glory of him who called us "out of darkness into his marvelous light."

"THE MODERN STEPHEN."

This is the title of a sketch in the Ram's Horn for January 29th. It represents a faithful minister of the gospel under persecution. He is shown fallen in the street, a Bible on his arm: around him lie stones labeled Hate. Around him are pictured his assailants throwing more stones: a saloon keeper hurls a stone labeled Revenge; a society man with kid gloves hurls a stone labeled Persecution; a finely dressed man resembling a banker hurls a stone labeled Malice; an elegantly dressed woman (possibly his wife?) hurls a stone marked Scandal; while a College Professor with a large head (resembling that of a certain Xenia, Ohio, Professor) is throwing stones marked Ridicule.

The cartoon is a good one, and very forcibly illustrates the changed methods of Satan and his employees for the accomplishment of the same ends as formerly. Thus are the prophets prohibited, "killed" and "beheaded" who do not shun to declare the truth, the whole counsel of God, today. – Compare Rev. 13:15,17; 20:4; 6:11; Luke 21:17; 2 Tim. 3:12. [R2282 : page 100]

O'ERTAKE US ON OUR JOURNEY, LORD!
– (Luke 24:13-32.) –
When to Emmaus the disciples walked,
Downcast, their hopes to sorrow turned,
A courtly stranger came and with them talked
Whose hearts for consolation yearned.

"Why walk ye thus, with sad, dejected mien,
When brightly shines the King of Day?
The woods are decked; for, as a radiant queen,
Spring comes triumphant on her way."

"O stranger, not by us the fields are seen;
We study sorrow's pages o'er.
The day is night, and crushed our hearts have been,
Since Calv'ry's cross our Master bore.

"Jesus of Nazareth his humble name,
But rightful heir of David's throne.
We trusted for redemption; but in shame
We must our cause defeated own."

"Defeated? Say not so who hope in God.
Weep not! Jehovah's oath and seal
Attest Messiah's righteous scepter-rod
Shall Israel bless, all nations heal.

"But ought he not have suffered all these things,
And enter into glory, first
To make conciliation? King of kings
Indeed, but for our sakes accursed."

Unlocking then the mysteries of the Word,
The light the prophecies concealed,
His eloquence their languished faith bestirred,
And lo! the Master was revealed.

*                         *                         *
O kindly stranger! On our toilsome way
O'ertake us, thou who went'st before!
On thy deep footprints focus ev'ry ray
Of light that "shineth more and more."

Forsake us not, when faith and hope are weak,
But walk with us the journey through;
Full fill us with thy spirit, holy, meek,
All bonds of earth and sin undo.

Reveal thyself! With tender touch anoint
Our dimmed eyes. Revive our faith
With visions of the crown thou dost appoint
To those who bear the cross till death –

That, though at first we may discern thee not,
We shall behold thee when we rest
At twilight – all our griefs and cares forgot,
Rejoiced in thee, and by thee blest.
– R. B. HENNINGES.

[R2282 : page 101]

THE MEMORIAL SUPPER.

SOME friends of the truth in Georgia write that they have not celebrated the Memorial Supper since coming out of Babylon, and give as their reason: "We feel that our minds are consecrated, but our flesh is not, nor can be under surrounding circumstances. We are poor and have large families dependent and cannot deny them. Therefore we have abstained from this much desired blessing."

If we understand the brethren aright, they are laboring under some misapprehension. If we should wait until our flesh is perfect, none of us could partake of the Memorial Supper, for the Church of this age is not to expect perfection of the flesh; our perfection, if we are faithful, will be as spirit beings in the First Resurrection. Now we have the treasure of the new nature, the new mind or will, in earthen vessels, – all of them more or less marred, blemished by sin. But [R2283 : page 101] here we have benefit under the New Covenant, by the terms of which God has agreed to accept our perfect wills (backed by our best endeavors) AS OUR ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. All such can say with the Apostle, "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us" – we "walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit," and as close to it as possible.

Consecration does not imply the neglect nor the forsaking of our families; – unless in God's providence his adversaries and ours should be permitted to kill us, or captivate and imprison us, and thus forcibly hinder our care, or separate us; – as was frequently the case during the dark ages. Otherwise God instructs us that reasonable care for our families is his will, and properly our duty.

Full consecration to the Lord means a full surrender of our wills to God's will and of our bodies to our new wills. It means, consequently, the putting away of sin, to the best of our ability under the direction of the Lord's Word, and a cultivation daily and hourly of the holy spirit with its fruits and flowers of meekness, gentleness, purity, kindness, – Love.

So then, dear Brethren, by faith realize that the Lamb of God was slain for our sins, and that the merit of his sacrifice covers and reckonedly cleanses us from sin in God's esteem: and so believing, and with hearts, wills, fully given up to the Lord, come to his table and partake of his emblems with mingled meekness and courage.

*                         *                         *

We have various questions respecting the fourteenth of Nisan, all of which arise from a failure to recognize that the "Passover," as understood by the Jews, refers to the Feast of Passover, and has no reference to the killing of the lamb on the 14th, – which is the thing we celebrate. With the Jew, the 14th was merely a day of preparation for Passover, and the eating of the lamb, and especially its killing, was only a part of that preparation. The Law provided that the lamb should be killed on the 14th of Nisan at even – or literally, between evenings. It was therefore within the scope of that requirement, if the lamb were killed and eaten on the 14th at any time after 6 P.M. of the 13th.

Let none of us forget to "put away all leaven" – sin – in preparation for the eating of the Passover. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filth of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the reverence of the Lord." (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 John 1:7.) Thus the remainder of life will be a feast of unleavened bread.

Do not make the serious mistake that leaven symbolizes merely false doctrine (Matt. 16:6-12); remember that it is also defined by the Apostle to signify a wicked disposition. Not merely a wickedness which would steal and lie and murder (the grosser forms of wickedness), but a form of wickedness much more likely to assail those who have even nominally accepted Christ; viz., "malice," producing hatreds, envyings, strifes, back-bitings, evil surmisings, and other works of the flesh and the devil. Let the spirit of love come into our hearts and purge us of the old leaven of malice. – See 1 Cor. 5:6-8; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; Tit. 3:3.

Let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. Each should seek to make the most of the occasion in the interest of his own spiritual welfare. Let each apply afresh the cleansing blood, and renew his consecration to be faithful to the Master until death. Remember, too, the Master's words, "Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." "Brethren, pray for us!"

[R2283 : page 101]

IS THERE HOPE FOR JUDAS?

Wisconsin.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – In reading the article on Venial and Mortal Sins in the TOWER for June 1, '96, I found a statement on page 122 which, if it is true, would seem to show that Judas' case is not a hopeless one. The statement is as follows: "On the contrary, those who have sinned wilfully and with full intent, and whose sin is mortal, do not feel penitent; but afterwards approve their sin and boast of it generally as greater light and liberty." This does not seem to be true in Judas' case. He repented of his sins, and that his repentance was sincere is shown by the fact that he restored to the Priests the money for which he had betrayed Jesus, and confessed to them that he had sinned, and in his despair went and hanged himself. – Matt. 27:3,4,5.

In the article on Judas' case in the TOWER for April 15, 1896, one of the reasons given for believing [R2283 : page 102] that Judas' case is a hopeless one is our Lord's statement in Matt. 26:24. It seems to me that Jesus could not have meant that it would have been better for Judas never to have lived, as this could not be true. For even the short span of life he did enjoy was better than no existence at all. May the meaning not be that it would have been better for Judas if he were not born yet? This seems to be the meaning in the Diaglott translation of Matt. 26:24. It certainly appears that Judas did not expect that the Jews would be able to capture Jesus and condemn him to death. For if that was what he expected and desired, then he would not have repented of his sin. In John 17:12 Jesus calls Judas "the son of destruction." This would tend to prove that Judas' case is a hopeless one. But we find that Jesus applies just as strong names to the Scribes and Pharisees. He tells them they are of their father, the devil, calls them serpents and generation of vipers, and asks how they can escape the damnation of Gehenna. So it would seem that if Judas has died the second death, at least some of the Scribes and Pharisees must also have suffered it. Judas' case resembles somewhat that of the lady, described on page 41 in the booklet on Spiritism, who had permitted the evil spirits to get control of her will and lead her to wrong a dear friend, and then make her believe she had committed the unpardonable sin. She, too, would have killed herself as Judas did, if she had not been prevented. From what is stated in John 13:2,27, it would seem that Satan was the evil spirit who led Judas to betray his Savior.

Hoping you will kindly help me to get a correct understanding of this question, I remain,

Yours in the Redeemer,

R. A. LINDBLAD.

We give the brother's argument space because it is as good as we have ever seen on that side the Judas question.

Some twenty years ago we were inclined to think that all must come to a full knowledge of all truth ere they could be liable to the Second Death; but we have come to the conclusion from the general tenor of Scripture that this is not the Lord's view and plan. On the contrary, deliberate and intelligent rejection of the first principles of the gospel seems to imply an unfitness for further favors on the ground that he that is unfaithful in that which is least, would be unfaithful also with more. Adam's knowledge of the divine plan was very slight, yet his disobedience brought full death penalty. The real grounds for sympathy with and hope for the masses is the Apostle's statement that Satan has blinded their minds, – misinterpreted the facts. All such will by and by "see out of obscurity" when Satan shall be bound – during the Millennium.

We confess little hope for the Scribes and Pharisees who, when they could find no other fault, ascribed our Lord's good works to the devil. As for Judas' tears, – were they better than those of Esau (Heb. 12:17)? Did his repentance lead him to a renewed and reformed life, or to self destruction? – Heb. 6:6.

[R2283 : page 102]

"BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED."

"For the grace of God that bringeth [leads to] salvation hath been manifested for all men – teaching us that renouncing ungodly desires we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age, waiting for the blessed hope, even the glorious manifestation of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people, devoted to good works."
Titus 2:11-14. –
"
G
RACE, 'tis a charming sound," sang the poet, nor did he exaggerate; for to all who have learned the true meaning of divine grace, that word, like the word "gospel," is a synonym for all the divine mercies which God's people may now or ever enjoy. But this word grace is little used to-day in common conversation on the every day affairs of life, and consequently remarkably few appreciate its richness, its wealth of significance, and consequently many of the statements of Scripture in which this word occurs are, to the majority of readers, deprived of their real beauty and force.

The word grace signifies favor – particularly unmerited favor. Acts of grace are thus to be clearly distinguished from acts of justice and from obligations. If this proper signification were in the minds of people when reading the Scriptures where the word grace so [R2284 : page 102] frequently occurs, it would be to all true believers a great protection against numerous of Satan's wiles and false doctrines – the general aim of which is to misrepresent the divine dealings and to pervert and subvert the divine testimonies. Every testimony to the effect that God is extending his "grace" to humanity or to the Church is a testimony to their unworthiness to justly demand those favors or blessings.

The spirit of the world in general is that of self-sufficiency and independence; following their own wisdom and lacking the instruction and wisdom from above, the worldly-wise regard themselves with complacency; they believe themselves to be quite sufficiently righteous to merit a good deal of divine blessing and reward: true, they admit also that they have imperfections, but these they expect to pay for to the full according to some law of divine retribution. Hence they are undisposed to look for or to accept pardon, forgiveness, justification through the great sacrifice for sins which God has provided. They see a law in nature according to which fire burns him who believes that it will burn and burns equally him who believes not that it will burn. And so they regard all of the laws governing [R2284 : page 103] humanity as merciless, graceless – strictly just.

The Scripture presentation of the matter does not overlook the law of retribution – that sin of any kind, the transgression of any law, will surely bring its penalty, whoever may be the sinner and whatever may be the conditions. And the propositions respecting divine grace, rightly understood, are not in conflict with this universal law of retribution: the proposition of grace is not to prevent fire from burning, but to provide a healing balm; not to prevent the wages of sin from following transgression, but to succor the repentant who desire to reform, and to help him back to divine favor and full recovery, along the lines of strictest justice; – by a willing ransom-price. And since this succor is wholly unmerited on man's part and without just obligation on God's part, it is purely of divine favor – "grace." Indeed, if it were not for sin and its retributive punishments, there would be no room for grace: it is man's necessity for grace that constitutes the divine opportunity for its exercise. Grace, however, operates in harmony with the divine laws, and not in violation of them.

Remembering that divine grace signifies God's unmerited mercy and favor, let us examine its operation in the light of Scripture: –

(1) The first movement of divine grace toward mankind was the exercise of benevolence, love and compassion toward mankind in his fallen and sinful condition. There was nothing in man to merit this compassion and sympathy; quite to the contrary: we were aliens from God and enemies of his righteous rule through wicked works, – the depravity wrought in us through sin voluntarily committed by father Adam.

(2) It was in harmony with this thought of grace on God's part, or, as we might term it, God's gracious plan, that he revealed something respecting his purpose of ransom and restitution to father Abraham; – thus preaching first, beforehand, to him the good tidings of a coming blessing or grace, saying, "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blest." Abraham, and others who believed God, rejoiced in mind under the influence of this gracious promise – altho even the beginning of its fulfilment was still nearly two thousand years off.

(3) The third step of grace was in the great gift of divine love, our Lord Jesus Christ. It included the gracious arrangement made with the only begotten Son of God, on account of which he joyfully laid aside his heavenly glories and conditions and humbled himself in death as the ransom or substitute for the first Adam and thus incidentally a "ransom for all" the race of Adam.

(4) It was a fourth step of grace when God, having determined to select a Church, a "little flock," to be heirs of God and joint-heirs of Jesus Christ their Lord, in the dispensing of the divine favors or grace, promised through Abraham, began the work of selecting this Church – receiving at Pentecost the first installment, from the house of servants into the house of sons and joint-heirs. (John 1:12,13.) Altho tests were applied to those received into the family of sons, and altho character qualifications were imposed upon them and will be imposed upon all who will be called and accepted to this high calling, nevertheless this also was a step of grace, because there were no obligations resting upon God to confer upon us such a "high calling," such "riches of his grace in Jesus Christ our Lord."

(5) Throughout this Gospel age the same grace has been in operation doing a twofold work; (a) justifying repentant believers from the guilt of their moral obliquity, and giving them thus a standing before God in Christ's imputed righteousness; – thus making them eligible to the "high calling to divine sonship and to joint-heirship in God's Kingdom to come, and (b) then extending to them that "high calling," inviting them through the divine Word to become the "very elect." True, there are conditions imposed, and not all the many "called" will be among the few "chosen;" but nevertheless it is an inestimable privilege to be "called" and to have put within our grasp the opportunity and all the needful helps, whereby we may make our calling and election sure.

(6) The grace of God will still further be manifested when the "elect" Church shall all have been sought, found, tried, disciplined, and "made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;" for the blessings which will be conferred upon this glorified Church will not only be such as were not merited, such therefore as were not of obligation upon God's part, but according to the divine testimony they will be additionally great, super-abounding in grace, "exceedingly abundantly more than we know how to ask or expect;" for "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath in reservation for those that love him." – 1 Cor. 2:9.

(7) Even then, God's grace will not have exhausted itself; – even after having thus honored and blessed and exalted the Church, the body of Christ, whose only merit consisted first in an honest confession of sin and an acceptance of the divine favor, and second, in their "reasonable service" in rendering their lives in obedience to him who bought them and in and through whom the divine graces were extended.

Then divine grace will begin to be fully manifested – then all shall see it, all shall know it, and all who will may share it; for then will begin the glorious [R2284 : page 104] "times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" – the Millennial age of a thousand years; the time when the knowledge of the Lord shall graciously be caused to fill the whole earth; the time when all the sin-blinded eyes shall be opened; the time when all the prisoners of the pit (death) shall come forth, that they may be instructed in righteousness. Then, according to the grace of the divine promise, he who redeemed the world shall judge the world in righteousness, a trial, an opportunity, that whosoever will, with a knowledge of sin and its penalty, and with a knowledge of righteousness and its rewards, with a knowledge of the goodness and grace of God shining in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord, may then stand trial and be judged as to whether they will receive God's grace and its provisions of eternal life, or whether they will reject these and die the second death.

Here we behold the wonderful steps of grace. No one can intelligently believe in divine grace who holds the theory of evolution or any other theory of salvation than the Scriptural one, which recognizes man's original creation in the divine likeness, his fall into sin and death, his redemption therefrom by the death of our Redeemer, and his hope for recovery through divine grace extended now to the Church and to be extended by and by through the Church (under Christ its Head) to all the families of the earth.

Coming now to consider present manifestations of divine grace toward the Church, we note that many professed followers of the Lord fail in a very large degree to appreciate this grace which it is their privilege to enjoy. This is attributable largely to false teaching and preaching. In very much that is preached in the name of the gospel of the grace of God, the element of grace is entirely omitted, and such preaching is proportionately vain – sometimes worse than vain – in that it is delusive and subversive. For instance, how common it is for people to hear and to believe that if they "do right" they will have divine rewards at the end of life's race; but if they "do wrong" they shall have divine punishment at the end of the race. Such views ignore grace entirely, for if we are to be punished in proportion to our shortcomings and rewarded for our obedient deeds, where would be the "grace?" where would be the mercy? where would be the necessity of a Savior, a sin-offering, an atonement and a reconciliation with God? and where would be the peace through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? None of these mercies and blessings can be rightly recognized except as the grace of God (his unmerited favor) is seen in them.

The fact is that the divine standard of righteousness is much higher than men generally understand: with God righteousness is synonymous with perfection; and hence "all unrighteousness [all imperfection, however or whenever or wherever] – is [a proof of] sin." Thus all men are proved to be sinners, – because all are imperfect, un-right. And the divine law is that the sinner, the wrongdoer, the un-right, the imperfect, shall not live. "The wages of sin is death." Whoever [R2285 : page 104] understands this can see at once that man's only hope of eternal life lies not in his own perfection, but in divine mercy, grace. To plead that we are not wholly bad, corrupt, or even that we are not so bad as some others, is to admit our imperfection, and hence to prove the hopelessness of our case except as divine grace intervenes to help us.

But, says some one, That is not a fair statement of the case. God made me as I am, imperfect; and justice requires that he shall not demand of me an impossible perfection, nor punish me for weaknesses and imperfections beyond my control.

Such reasoning implies a misunderstanding of the case. It is a mistake to assume that God made us imperfect. All "his work is perfect." (Deut. 32:4; Psa. 18:30; Matt. 5:48.) He neither created idiots nor other physical and mental malformations of humanity, but, as the Scriptures declare, we were "born in sin and shapen in iniquity – in sin did my mother conceive me." Our blemishes come to us from our parents, not from God. The Scriptures not only point out to us father Adam's sinless perfection, saying that he was created in the image of God, but they plainly declare that it was by his disobedience that the divine sentence of death passed upon him and passed as an inheritance, a legacy of evil, to his offspring, saying, "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world and death as a result of sin, and so death passed upon all men, for all are sinners [imperfect]." Truly also, "The fathers have eaten a sour grape [disobedience] and the children's teeth are set on edge. – Rom. 5:12,17-19; Jer. 31:29; Ezek. 18:2.

The very basis of all our hopes, then, is this grace of God, operating toward us through Jesus Christ our Lord. God's grace does not subvert or set aside God's law, however, and he who would rightly appreciate and use the divine grace should recognize this fact. God's grace was not intended to frustrate the spirit of his own law: it was not intended to clear the guilty, the wilful transgressor. It acknowledges the divine law, attests its justice, and has fully met its requirements in the person and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus on behalf of Adam and all his race involved in his transgression and his penalty – death. Hence it was that "Christ died, the just for the unjust" in order "that God might be just and yet be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus." And the only condition upon which God's grace is offered is our acknowledgment [R2285 : page 105] of our sin, weakness and imperfection, a sorrow for these and a repentance and reformation to the extent of our ability and an acceptance of Christ Jesus as the personification of divine grace. Upon no other condition can we step into this grace of God or walk in its way and inherit its rewards.

And even after we have received Christ and God's grace in him, and are no longer recognized as strangers, aliens to God, but sons, as servants of righteousness and no longer servants of sin, being imperfect, we are not free from blemishes of word, thought and deed; yet, God's grace under the New Covenant continues with us to cover our blemishes until perfected in the resurrection. Under its provisions whatever is contrary to our wills, and purely the result of hereditary weakness, may be forgiven; and our obliquity and blameworthiness be gauged only by the measure of wilfulness or assent connected with the wrongdoing. Nevertheless, to some extent, chastisements or natural penalties for violations of law may be expected: but to those under grace these will come as helps by the way, causing them more and more to detest sin, as corrections in righteousness, as chastisements and disciplines for their blessing. And even these sure penalties may be to some extent ameliorated in accordance with the wisdom of our great High priest, who, having borne all our sins in his own body on the tree, is freely empowered to abate for us so much of the penalty of our misdeeds as grace may be able to cover as un-wilful transgressions.

There is a disposition in our day, as there was a disposition in the days of the apostles, for those who have once accepted of divine forgiveness, the grace of God through Christ, to turn aside therefrom and to attempt to justify themselves by works. Even while first experiences were those of humble dependence upon divine mercy, subsequent experiences sometimes lead to the rejection of the grace that at first was so thankfully received. The Apostle wrote to some thus affected, saying, "Christ has become of none effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:4.) Judged from this same standard, how many Christians to-day have backslidden – fallen from grace – lost the trust in the merit of the precious blood and in divine favor extended to us through the great atonement sacrifice. Now, as then, the disposition is to trust to works of our own righteousness, which the inspired writers tell us and which our own consciences should prove to us are imperfect, "filthy rags" unfit and unable to cover us. Yes, we need a covering before we could in any manner or degree hope to be acceptable to God, and this covering of our imperfections with the imputed righteousness of Christ, is another statement of the grace of God extended to us. This tendency to depart from a recognition of God's grace in Christ as our only hope for eternal life, and to take instead a hope of being able to walk righteously and to do justly, and thus to merit eternal life, is what the Apostle very properly calls "another gospel" – a false gospel. – Gal. 1:6.

This thought of the divine grace as the basis of all our mercies is interwoven with all the promises of God's Word. Thus the Apostle speaks of the gracious plan of God, and Christ as the exponent of that plan as "the grace of God and the gift by grace." – Rom. 5:15.

Our approach to God in prayer is spoken of as an approach, not to the throne of justice and equity, but as an approach to "the throne of grace," where "we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in every time of need." – Heb. 4:16.

Again we are exhorted that our hearts be established in grace; and again told that unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of our faith; and again the Apostle declares of himself, "By the grace of God I am what I am."

According to the testimony of our text this grace is general, "for all men," and must therefore ultimately in some manner or other be extended to all men, – the dead as well as the living. The translation of our Common Version is manifestly faulty here; all men, even in this most enlightened day of the world's history, have not yet beheld God's grace in any degree, nor has it as yet brought them salvation. But since it has been provided freely for all, so ultimately it shall be extended to all, that all may avail themselves of it.

The teaching of this grace is not that we may continue in sin that grace may abound; for divine grace is intended to benefit only those who renounce sin and become servants of righteousness: and thus, as our text declares, God's grace teaches us that we should repudiate sin and live separate from every ungodly desire, in righteousness, soberness and godlikeness. Furthermore, as our text declares, this grace of God does not claim to have reached its completeness, and to have accomplished in us and for us the grand designs of the God of all grace. On the contrary, it teaches us to wait for the consummation of this grace until the glorious manifestation of the Son of God in the majesty and power of his Kingdom, to unite his Church with himself as his Bride and joint heir, the channel of mercies and blessings through which God's grace shall flow to all the groaning creation. – Rom. 8:18-22; 11:31.

"RECEIVE NOT THE GRACE OF GOD IN VAIN."

"We then as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain." – 2 Cor. 6:1.

This exhortation is addressed to such as have already recognized God's gracious character and the gift [R2285 : page 106] of his grace toward mankind, – the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. The Apostle has just been explaining this matter of how God's grace had provided a reconciliation; "that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them [but unto him who died for them]." He declares himself an ambassador on behalf of God to declare this grace and exhorts his readers not only to accept of God's grace in the forgiveness of sins through Christ, but additionally that they also should become fully reconciled or completely in harmony with the Lord, as would be represented by full consecration to him and his service, after the example of the Apostle himself.

We take it that this exhortation of our text is the equivalent of the same apostle's exhortation elsewhere, namely, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God [already brethren because already believers in Christ and partakers through him of divine grace], that ye present your bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." – Rom. 12:1.

The Apostle was here urging progress on the part of the believers, advancement from "justification by faith" to the next higher step in divine grace and privilege, – full consecration even unto death, in response to the "call" to joint-heirship with Christ in his Kingdom, – to suffer with him in the present time, and to reign with him by and by in glory. These two steps are contrasted by the same Apostle, who says of himself and others who had taken both steps, (1) "Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (2) "By whom also [additionally] we have access by faith into this [further] grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of [sharing] the glory of God." – Rom. 5:1,2. [R2286 : page 106]

In our text the Apostle distinctly implies the possibility that some may receive the grace of God in vain – to no purpose. We see from the connection as we have examined it, that he refers to the grace of God in justification, the forgiveness of our sins, and not to the second step of grace, our acceptance to the new nature through the begetting of the spirit. This implies, therefore, that the only object of justification by faith in this present age, is to give us a footing, a standing of acceptableness with God, from which we may be able to advance and take the second step of self-sacrifice, and become joint-heirs with Christ in his Kingdom. Nevertheless, this first step and all the privileges and blessings connected with it would be "in vain," profitless to us, if we fail to take the second step, the particular feature of the divine plan which belongs to this Gospel age.

We are not to add to the Word of God, and to say that to receive justification in vain (by not making use of it to progress to a complete consecration and newness of nature) would mean eternal torment, or even the second death: we are simply to understand it as it reads, that the intention of the grace of justification, the first step, being to qualify us for the second step, those who fail to take the second step will have no particular benefit accrue to them from the first step, which would thus have been taken in vain, profitlessly, without permanent results and advantages.

We hold that the Scriptures in general teach that only those who take the "narrow way" will gain any prize offered during this Gospel age, which is specifically the age set apart for the development of the "royal priesthood," devoted to good works – to self-sacrifices in the service of the Lord and his cause. Indeed, there is only one prize and one hope of our calling during this age – the other prize and other hope and other call will be in the age to come. We cannot therefore expect that any who take the first step of faith in Christ, and who are therefore temporarily justified because of their faith, will have a reward for a faith which did not work by love. The faith that works by love speedily goes on to full consecration and self-sacrifice, and is a sure indication of the kind the Lord is seeking for his "little flock," the "royal priesthood," the "joint-heirs." The faith, therefore, which refuses to work by love, cannot be considered an acceptable faith in God's sight. Nor can we expect that this class will be counted worthy to share in the earthly phase of the Kingdom with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets.

Why should they be rewarded? It was by God's grace that the knowledge of his grace reached them, while it passed by others. Will they be rewarded further because they have already been blessed with a knowledge of God's grace which they have rejected – received in vain? We think not. Instead of being more worthy to receive blessings of the Lord than the ignorant world who never tasted of his grace, they are, if anything, more blameworthy, because that after having tasted of the truth they did not love it sufficiently to serve it when they found that that service implied self-sacrifice. Quite different from this was the conduct of the ancient worthies. While not favored with the "high calling" to the divine nature and jointheirship with Christ, because this "call" was not yet due to be proclaimed, nevertheless, these ancient worthies manifested a faith and a trust in the Lord and his promises which worked, and by their works manifested a love for the Lord and a loyalty to him which did not hesitate to sacrifice reputation, wealth and life itself, in obedience to the principles of righteousness revealed to them. [R2286 : page 107]

Those who receive the grace of God (justification, forgiveness) in vain, permit their justification to lapse, and to our understanding have thereafter no advantage above the remainder of the world, nor has the Lord more interest in them than he has in "all the families of the earth," for whom he has prepared the gracious blessings of the Millennium. When God's time shall come for extending to the world in general his mercies and blessings, we fail to see that previous knowledge and opportunity, misused, received in vain, will be of any benefit or advantage: whether or not it will be of disadvantage and bring greater "stripes" of punishment, will depend largely, we believe, upon the measure of light enjoyed with its corresponding responsibilities, and the measure of conscientiousness with which that light was lived up to.

A much misunderstood text respecting grace is the one used as a caption for this article, namely, "By grace are ye saved, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." (Eph. 2:8.) The erroneous thought given by many is that our faith is not our own faith, not of our own volition, but an impartation, a gift from God. Of course, in one sense every gift and blessing which we enjoy is indirectly if not directly from God; "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights." (Jas. 1:17.) But the proper understanding of the Apostle's words, we believe, is this: It is of God's grace and not of personal merit on our part that salvation is offered to us; and altho that salvation is offered to us as a reward of faith (including true faith's obedience), yet we cannot even boast respecting our faith as tho it merited the Lord's favor, – for our faith is something which is the indirect result of divine providence also; there are millions of others in the world who might exercise just as much faith as we if they had been favored of God with as much light, intelligence, knowledge, as a basis of faith: hence our faith is not to be credited as a meritorious condition but we are to be thankful to God for it, for the circumstances and conditions which have made it possible for us to exercise faith are of his grace.

[R2286 : page 107]

ONCE IN GRACE ALWAYS IN GRACE.

QUITE a large number of people rest themselves very securely upon the fallacy that if they have once been made the objects of divine grace, it means perpetual grace to all eternity, and insures their salvation despite anything they may afterward do or leave undone. This view is an outgrowth of false views of election and predestination,* and is hurtful to many. Like most of errors, this view is supported by misapplications of Scripture. For instance, the following: –

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." – John 15:16.

"My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." – John 10:29.

"If God be for us, who can be against us?" – Rom. 8:31.

"Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth." – Rom. 8:33.

"What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." – Rom. 8:35,37.

"I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord." – Rom. 8:38,39.

*MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. I., p.96.

Those who become thoroughly infatuated with the theory that God's grace, having once reached them, must abide with them through all eternity, entirely lose sight of the numerous texts which declare that all who would be permanent and everlasting objects of divine grace and love must abide in Christ, and as the Apostle says, "Keep yourselves in the love of God." They must so run as to obtain the prize of the high calling. We must lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us and run with patience the race set before us in the gospel, if we would win the grand consummation which will mean everlasting grace. It was grace that first contrived the way. It was grace which opened the door to this race-course and invited us to run for the prize. It is grace that holds before our eyes the inspiration of the prize. It is grace that provides strength and succor along the journey in every time of need. But the necessity still remains that we shall "abide," that we shall "run," that we shall not "faint," that we shall not be "overcharged" with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches.

Mark how the Apostle Peter declares the matter: after telling respecting the cultivation of the fruits of the spirit, he says, "If ye do these things, ye shall never fall, but so an entrance shall be ministered abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." – 2 Pet. 1:11.

Mark how the Apostle Paul speaks of some and says that if they shall fall away after having tasted of divine grace it will be impossible to renew them again unto repentance. – Heb. 6:5,6. [R2286 : page 108]

Mark how the Apostle John declares, "There is a sin unto death: I do not say that ye shall pray for it." (1 John 5:16.) The sin unto death in the present time could be committed only by those who have tasted of divine grace, which ultimately shall reach every man and test every man; because "the grace of God hath been manifested for all men" – "to be testified in due time."

Mark our Lord's words on this subject. Speaking of those who had already received the grace of God and had already become members of his body, branches in the true Vine, he says, "I am the true vine and my Father is the husbandman; every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away." (John 15:1,2.) [R2287 : page 108] "He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit." (John 15:5.) "If any man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withered." (John 15:6.) "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." – John 15:14.

Here, then, we have two separate lines of texts, and the question before us properly is, not which set of texts will we adopt, for we are not at liberty to choose portions of Scripture which we may prefer, or to reject portions because out of harmony with our theories: rather our theories must be modified, altered, amended, so as to be in fullest harmony with every testimony of the inspired Word. How, then, can these two sets of texts be harmonized? We answer, they can be very simply and very beautifully harmonized by giving to each its proper place and weight: they balance themselves.

The statement that none could pluck us out of the heavenly Father's hand is equally precious and equally important with the one which declares that if we do not bear fruit, the heavenly husbandman will cut us off from membership in the Vine, not permit us to abide in the Vine; but as rejected ones we shall be deprived of all his grace, and hence wither. The point to be noticed is, that so long as our hearts are loyal to the Lord and his Word and his work, neither angels nor devils nor men nor any other creature or thing would be permitted to alienate us or separate us from him who loved us and bought us; but if, on the contrary, we do not earnestly desire to abide in the Vine, and to bear the fruit of the Vine, and to work the works of God, we are thus proving that our hearts are alienated from our Lord, and under such circumstances he would not only permit us to leave him, and his work, and his word, but, indeed, would force us to do so, – as expressed in the statement, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away."

From this standpoint all is clear and harmonious: it was by the action of our own wills, after we had been favored with a knowledge of the truth, that we consecrated and were "accepted in the Beloved;" and similarly by the actions of our own wills we can at any time withdraw from the Lord. He would not compel our loyalty; he seeketh not the worship of slaves, or any compulsory work or service. "He seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23.) As by our own will or volition we placed our hands in the hand of the Lord for guidance, and submitted our wills to his will, to be dead to ourselves and alive to our God, so by the same will and volition we may withdraw ourselves and break our covenant and do despite to the spirit of grace, and bring upon ourselves all the loss which this would entail. But once having been accepted in the Beloved, nothing but our own wills could change this relationship: the ill will of others could not do it; and as for our heavenly Bridegroom, like the Father, he changes not – he is faithful. Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus so long as our wills are actively enlisted with the Lord and his cause.

It is well, however, for us to note from another standpoint the operations of grace on behalf of those who have received it. For instance, suppose that our hearts are loyal to the Lord in the sense that we do not willingly and intentionally repudiate him, or his people, or his Word, or his work, but that nevertheless from some cause our hearts become overcharged with the cares of this life, or the ambitions of this life, or the strife for the riches of this life, and so our zeal and energy for the Lord and his cause, and our fruit-bearing, are largely hindered (not stopped, but lessened): will the Lord's grace let go of us in such an hour of temptation and trial and abandon us to the Evil One? Will he say to us lightly, You are now choosing the world; I now drop you entirely; go to your choice. Or will he have compassion upon us, and remembering our frame, that we are dust, go after us as lost or wandering sheep?

The latter, we answer. Once in grace under divine protection and oversight, means always in grace until we shall have done despite to the spirit of favor, by sinning deliberately, repudiating either the Lord or his Word or its spirit. The Lord goes after his sheep frequently with the rod of chastisement, reproof, trial, difficulty, persecution, adversities, that he may correct them and bring them again to the narrow way; or as expressed in another place, the branch is pruned, many of the tendrils which were catching hold of all the various attractions of earthly life are pruned off, yet the branch remains a branch in the Vine: the very object of the pruning is to cause that branch to bear fruit more abundantly. "If ye be without chastisement," says the Apostle, "ye are not sons." Every son needs discipline to fit him and prepare him for the [R2287 : page 109] Father's service, that he may be pleasing, acceptable as a co-worker with God, not only in the present period but also in the world to come.

These chastisements will be kept up for a reasonable time, often are kept up for years. With some they result in a complete correction in righteousness, bringing the wandering sheep back, so instructed by its experiences that it will never wander more. In other cases this discipline and chastisement are repeated over and over and become a life-long lesson, and the recipients will fail to get the great prize of the high-calling, which is offered only to the overcomers.

A pen-picture of these, who having become the Lord's people by his grace, and who, still clinging to the Lord do not repudiate him, his Word and his people, yet are not overcomers of the world nor proper fruit-bearers, nor "fit for the Kingdom," is given us in Rev. 7:14,15: "These are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Because the grace of God in Christ keeps hold of us so long as we do not repudiate him and his principles of righteousness, therefore that grace will bring us through if we thus abide in him and in his Word, even if it should not bring us through as conquerors and more than conquerors, but must bring us through "great tribulation;" – palm bearers, tho not crown wearers.

In still other cases, however, the chastisements of the Lord merely sour and embitter the hearts which in such cases usually become the more proud, boastful, arrogant and resentful of the rod of correction. They become deaf to the Shepherd's voice, and run to the goats for sympathy and fellowship and counsel, and speedily lose the sheep nature. For such there seems to be no hope held out in the Lord's Word. We should do all that we can to help these, – "pulling them out of the fire" – but if we find it impossible to renew them again unto repentance we may surmise the reason to be that they have ceased to be "sheep," ceased to abide as branches in the Vine.

The proper attitude of heart for all who have received divine grace, is to be anxious to bring forth much fruit and thus to be more and more like our dear Redeemer, daily growing in likeness to him, as well as in knowledge of him. "Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit," and such fruit as will remain.

[R2287 : page 109]

"IF WE SUFFER WITH HIM WE SHALL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM."

APRIL 10. – MATT. 16:21-28.
"He was bruised for our iniquities." – Isa. 53:5.
T
HIS lesson brings us down to near the time of the crucifixion. The former part of our Lord's ministry was devoted apparently to the establishment of his disciples' faith, through cures and miracles and instructions. He had taught them that he was the King long promised, the Messiah; and had promised them that if faithful to him they should participate in the glories of the Kingdom; but up to this time he had not explained to them how sufferings and death must precede the glories. "From that time forth began Jesus to show to his disciples how he must... suffer,...be killed, and be raised again the third day." It was necessary that they should know of the sufferings, that were to be expected as well as the glories to follow; but it was not expedient that they should learn of the sufferings at first, nor until their faith and confidence should become established. Here is a valuable lesson to all who are seeking to walk in the Master's footsteps – especially to such as endeavor to teach others: namely, that the truth should be told as the hearers are able to hear it; "milk for babes," "meat for men."

Noble, impulsive Peter had previously been commended for his good confession, that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, the long promised Messiah: perhaps the Master's approval on that occasion had something to do with Peter's forwardness on this occasion. With our poor, weak, fallen natures, it is a difficult matter always to keep well balanced and to say the right thing at the right time. On this occasion Peter made a serious mistake, for he attempted to turn teacher and got out of his place as pupil or disciple, when he attempted to reprove the Master and to instruct him, saying, "This shall not be unto thee."

In his commendation of Peter's confession of him as the Christ, our Lord had intimated that it was not merely by his own wisdom that he had thus recognized and confessed, but that he had been under the guidance of the Father, – "Flesh and blood hath not revealed [R2288 : page 109] it unto thee, but my Father." So in this case, our Lord intimates that Peter evidently had come under the control of a different spirit or influence – the influence of Satan: and since Peter had become the mouthpiece of error, of Satan, our Lord addresses him as tho he himself were Satan, "Get thee behind me, Satan." Our Lord recognized that the temptation put to him at the beginning of his ministry, and which he had resisted in the wilderness, was now again being thrust at him by the same great enemy of God who was seeking to use Peter as a channel of temptation, to hinder him from progressing in the way to sacrifice which the Father's plan had marked out for him. [R2288 : page 110]

What a lesson is here for every one of us to the effect that we may be either mouthpieces of God and righteousness or error and Satan; – helps or hindrances to the fellow-members of the body of Christ. How careful we should be that our words and conduct are in full accord with the divine plan as presented to us lesson by lesson through the great Teacher and his appointed, and since Pentecost, inspired, apostles. We remember in this connection the words of our Lord, "His servants ye are to whom ye render service." Many are professing to render service to the Lord and his cause, who in reality are serving the great Adversary of God and the truth.

And how many there are to-day, who like Peter attempt to turn aside those who have consecrated themselves as living sacrifices: not that they wish to do evil, but that they have not the spirit of the truth themselves, but the spirit of the world, and hence speak from the worldly standpoint, which is in direct conflict with the divine plan as respects God's consecrated Church. Let each of us take heed first, that we be not thus tools of the Adversary in stumbling others, and second, that we be not stumbled by any of the Adversary's tools who may take such positions, no matter how kind and sympathetic their manner and intentions. If they seek to turn us aside from the narrow path which our Lord marked out, they are not our true friends but most seductive enemies.

Our Lord lost no opportunity of enforcing the lesson which he had started and which Peter attempted to interrupt. He proceeded to show the disciples that not only he, their Master, must suffer, but that all who desired to be his disciples, and to sit with him in his throne and share the honors of his Kingdom, must likewise expect to suffer. Each must "deny himself, and take up his cross" and follow the Captain of their salvation. He enforces this by laying it down as a general principle, that the disposition to preserve the present life and its comforts at any cost is the disposition which will be deprived of eternal life; while the reverse disposition, that is willing to lay down the present life in the service of the Lord, his truth and his people, is the one to which God will be pleased to grant life eternal. The word that is here rendered "life," is the same that in the next verse is rendered "soul:" it is the Greek word psuche, and signifies being or existence.

Our Lord put the proposition squarely before his disciples and inquired whether they thought it would be profitable to a man if he should gain the whole world in this present life, and then lose his being, – utterly perish. The implication is that it would be much more desirable for him to lose all things pertaining to this present life, yea, and the present life itself also, if thereby the eternal life of the future might be obtained. What could be considered a valuable exchange for the everlasting life of the future which God hath promised to them that love him?

It should be noticed that our Lord says nothing here in favor of the common fallacies on this subject usually drawn from his words by mistaken inference: his words by the plainest inference contradict the very unreasonable and so-called "orthodox" views of this subject. Our Lord did not say, What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and be cast into an eternal torture – be roasted and boiled in liquid flame? Not a word of the kind. Such a statement, altho in harmony with the views often advocated by Christian people, would be wholly contrary to the divine plan and Word. Such "orthodox" teachings are, like Peter's expression, instigated by the great Adversary, Satan, as a libel and slander upon the divine character and plan. Our Lord's statement was most explicit; that is a question of life or no life; of being or no being; of existence or non-existence; of eternal life or destruction in the second death. Let those who will not hear the Lord's words believe Satan's falsehood if they prefer it: we may be sure that all who have the Lord's spirit and who are seeking to walk in his footsteps will hear his voice and be guided into the truth which now, as meat in due season, is provided for the household of faith.

In the 27th verse our Lord handles very rudely another of Satan's deceptions. Satan, through many mouth-pieces in many church pulpits and at many funerals is declaring that every man is rewarded either with heaven or hell for all eternity at the instant of death. But here our Lord expressly declares that he will reward every man when he shall come in the glory of the Father – at the establishment of his Kingdom. This, taken in connection with the preceding verse, gave to the disciples and gives to us the correct thought; viz., that if we now are willing to lay down our lives for the truth, in the service of God and Christ (including the members of his body), and thus shall suffer the loss of earthly things which otherwise we might have gained or attempted to gain, we shall be rewarded by the Master with eternal life and a share in his glory – at his second coming.

The 28th verse is separated from its connection by the starting of a new chapter and thus many are confused,* and fail to see that the record of the fulfilment of this promise immediately follows it. But this is a part of our next lesson.

*For the division of the Scriptures into chapters and verses is a modern invention, and while intended for convenience is sometimes misleading, as in this case. In the Revised Version this difficulty has been corrected.

[R2288 : page 111]

"WE BEHELD HIS GLORY IN THE HOLY MOUNT."
– APRIL 17. – MATT. 17:1-9. –
"We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father." – John 1:14.
L
ITTLE did the disciples imagine that our Lord's statement that some of them should not taste of death until they had seen the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom, would be fulfilled within six days to Peter, James and John in the Mount of Transfiguration. Yet so it was, and evidently it produced a great and designed effect upon the witnesses, one of whom, writing respecting it, says (2 Pet. 1:16-18), "We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God, the Father, honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount."

The transfiguration scene was not all that it appeared; – it was a "vision," as our Lord explained to the disciples when they were coming down from the mount. In this vision, as in all visions, the unreal appears real. Just so it was in the vision of John, on the Isle of Patmos, described in the book of Revelation. He saw, he heard, he talked, yet the things thus shown him in the vision were not realities – not beasts with many heads and many horns, and angels and vials and thrones, nor real dragons, etc., merely a vision. And a vision was in every sense of the word just as good, and really better suited to the purpose, than realities would have been.

Moses and Elias were not present on the mountain, personally, but were merely represented to the disciples in the vision. We know this not only from our Lord's statement, that it was a "vision," but also from his statement that no man had ascended up to heaven. (John 3:13; Acts 2:34.) We know also that Moses and Elijah could not have been there, since they were not resurrected from the dead; because our Lord Jesus himself was the "First-fruits of them that slept" – "the first-born from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence." (1 Cor. 15:20; Col. 1:18.) Furthermore the Apostle to the Hebrews distinctly mentions Moses and the prophets (which would include Elijah) and their faithfulness in the past and their acceptance with God; but he points out that they had not yet received their reward, and that they would not receive it until after we (the Gospel Church) shall have received our reward as joint-heirs with Christ in his Kingdom. "These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the [blessings of the] promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." – Heb. 11:39,40.

Since, then, the appearance of Moses and Elias with our Lord was an appearance merely, we properly inquire, What was the significance or meaning of this vision? We reply, It was a tableau, illustrative of the glorious Kingdom of Christ, as our Lord had predicted, and as Peter understood it and expressed it. In this tableau, the three disciples formed no part. They were merely witnesses. Christ was the central figure; his features and garments, shining with miraculous lustre, represented in figure the glories which belong to the [R2289 : page 111] spirit nature, which our Lord received at his resurrection, "the express image of the Father's person." It is this same spirit glory that is represented in the visions of Revelation, where our Lord is represented with eyes as a flame of fire, and his feet bright as burning brass, etc. (Rev. 1:14,15; 2:18.) At his second advent our Lord will no longer be flesh because, as he testified, "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." He is now, and every will be, a glorious spirit being of the highest order – the divine nature: and the transfiguration was intended to convey to the minds of his disciples a faint conception of the glory which excelleth.

Moses represented the faithful overcomers who preceded our Lord, described by the Apostle (Heb. 11:39,40), who cannot be made perfect until the Kingdom shall have been established. Elijah represented the overcomers of the Gospel age.* The topic discussed in the vision was our Lord's crucifixion. (Luke 9:31.) The cross of Christ is thus pointed out as being the necessary thing in order that he might enter into his glory, as he himself expressed the matter after his resurrection, saying, "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" (Luke 24:26.) There could have been no Kingdom glory without the redemptive work. But this vision portrays the Kingdom glories which will ultimately result from our Lord's death.

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 8.

Possibly, too, the vision was intended to represent the two classes who will be associated with the Lord in his Kingdom, first the Church – the body of Christ, his bride and joint-heir, who shall be like him and see and share his glory, as spirit beings. These in the present time are represented by Elijah. Second, the overcomers of the past, who shall be the earthly representatives of the Kingdom, as per our Lord's statement; – The world "shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom;" because they will be restored, perfected human beings: but the world will not see the Lord and the Church, his glorified spouse, because they will all have been changed from flesh and blood (human nature) and will be spirit beings and of the divine nature, and hence as invisible to men as are God and the angels. – 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16; Heb. 11:27.

Of course, the disciples did not clearly comprehend the matter at the time, yet they realized a blessing and felt that it was "good to be there." Their meeting had started as a prayer-meeting: the three favorite disciples of the Lord accompanying him on this occasion, as on several other occasions – for instance, when he went in to awaken the daughter of Jairus from the sleep of death, and a little later than this in the Garden of Gethsemane, they were again his chosen and closest companions. We cannot suppose that the choice of these was an arbitrary one, but must suppose that there was something about these three men that made them specially companionable to the Lord. One thing about them that impresses every reader of the New Testament record is their faith in the Lord and their zeal for his cause. It was James and John who, in their zeal (but not according to knowledge), were about to call down fire from heaven upon the Samaritans, because they did not promptly recognize and cordially receive the Master. It was Peter who first promptly confessed Jesus as the Christ, the same Peter [R2289 : page 112] who drew his sword in the Master's defense, and declared that he would die with him. The Master himself was of a warm temperament, and naturally and properly was most drawn toward those who were similarly fervent.

There is a lesson here for us, to the effect that, if we would be closest to the Master and most frequently privileged to have fellowship with him, we should similarly have and cultivate this earnest, zealous spirit. Cold, calculating people may have other good qualities, but there is no room for coldness or even luke-warmness on the part of those who have once tasted that the Lord is gracious. With such, the love enkindled should lead to a consuming zeal. It was thus with our Lord Jesus, and this was one of the reasons why he was beloved of the Father. Speaking for him, the prophet said, "The zeal of thine house hath consumed me." Let all who desire to be pleasing in the Lord's sight become so filled with the same spirit of zeal for righteousness and truth that it will consume them as sacrifices upon the Lord's altar. Thus they will be most pleasing and acceptable to him through Jesus our Lord. As a rule, only the warm and zealous ever get free from Babylon. The others coolly calculate and weigh matters so long that the spirit of the world, the flesh and the devil puts fresh blinds on them, even after they have gotten into the light and see considerable.

Peter proposed making some booths on the mountaintop for the Lord and his guests. Luke adds, "Not knowing what he said." He was bewildered, confused, but in harmony with his natural temperament wished to say something. The voice from heaven, however, seemed to say, Be still! hearken rather to the words of my beloved Son. Not a few need to learn the lesson of quietness – to hear and learn, be taught of God, before they have much to say. Peter evidently learned, as we may judge from his after conduct, to be slower to speak and swifter to hear. (James 1:19.) This is an important lesson to all who would be servants of the Lord: we must learn that of ourselves we know nothing, and can do nothing aright. The proper learning of this lesson means a lesson in humility and in patience, a lesson respecting our own nothingness, and that "our sufficiency is of God." Those who reach this condition become apt students in the school of Christ – not forgetful hearers, but doers of the Word: and such only are prepared to teach the truth to others. Those who are too forward and ready to teach, before they have received instruction from the Lord, are very apt not to know what they say, as was Peter's case; and if such be true-hearted and worthy of being used of the Lord as his servants, they are very apt to receive numerous reproofs from time to time.

The first lesson for such to learn is that "The fear [reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Thus, Peter's rash expression, "not knowing what he said," found a reproof in the voice from heaven which said, "Hear ye Him." And fear fell upon the disciples.

Not only is the fear of the Lord valuable as a beginning of true wisdom, but it is valuable all our journey through. One tendency amongst those who have received the light of present truth, and who lose thereby the terrible and slavish fear inspired by misrepresentations of the divine character and plan, is to lose all fear. And according to the Scriptures this is a very dangerous condition, an ultra freedom that is apt to lead to license, under our present imperfect conditions.

It is true that "perfect love casteth out fear," but it is also true that perfect love is a very scarce commodity on earth even amongst the saints. Hence the Apostle urges, "Let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should seem to come short of it." (Heb. 4:1.) The fear which we are to lose entirely is "the fear of man which bringeth a snare." He who loses the fear of God, and the fear of losing the great prize which God has held out before us, is in a very dangerous position: he is likely to become self-conscious and self-satisfied, and readily drops into the condition where he does not believe even in the just sentence against sinners, the second death, and where he is proportionately careless respecting the keeping of his own words and thoughts and deeds in strictest alignment with the principles laid down in the Word of the Lord. Having lost his fear of the Lord, he rapidly loses carefulness respecting the Word of the Lord, and inclines more and more to "lean to his own understanding," and becomes blinded to his own faults.

Let us note carefully additional encouragements to fear held out in the Scriptures. Some of these are as follows: – "O fear the Lord, ye his saints." "Ye that fear the Lord, praise him." "Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth forever." "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." "The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him." "He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him." "The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him." (Psa. 34:9; 22:23; 118:4; 103:13,17; 145:19; 147:11.) Our Lord says, "I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear." (Luke 12:5.) The Apostle Paul says, "Be not high-minded, but fear." "Let us also fear." (Rom. 11:20; Heb. 4:1.) The Apostle Peter says, "Honor men; fear God;" and "He that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him." (1 Pet. 2:17; Acts 10:35.) God says through the prophet that they who fear his name, are the ones who speak often together, and of whom a book of remembrance is made. And again he promises, "To you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his beams." (Mal. 3:16; 4:2.) Of our dear Redeemer himself it is recorded that Christ "was heard in that he feared."Heb. 5:7.

The lesson of these various scriptures is that, to lose fear of God, in the sense of losing fear of his displeasure or fearing to come short of the grand possibilities which he has so graciously put within our reach, would be a most serious loss, as it would probably cost us our eternal life; for those who have lost this fear are like steam-engines which have lost their governors, and are apt to run with too much liberty to self-destruction and unfitness for service. Hence, as the Apostle again says to the pilgrims who seek the heavenly country, – "If ye call on him as Father,... pass the time of your sojourning here in fear" (1 Pet. 1:17); not in levity, nor in worldly frivolities, nor in sensualities, nor in land and money grabbing, nor even carelessly and slothfully, but in earnest watchfulness of every word and act, to please the Lord and to copy his character and thus to make your calling and election sure to a place in his Kingdom, when it shall be established in power and great glory.

page 113
April 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. XIX.APRIL 15, 1898.No. 8.
CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower
The Zionist Movement 115
Brother Cone's Pilgrimage Ended 116
Poem: "All my Springs are in Thee" 116
The Celebration of the Memorial 117
Reports from Elsewhere 120
Questions and Answers 122
"Forgive and Ye shall be Forgiven" 123
"Behold, thy King Cometh unto Thee!" 127

'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 114

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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THE TRUTH IN FOREIGN FIELDS.

As we go to press, we are preparing shipments of books and tracts for England, Scotland, Germany and Switzerland, to the amount of 1972 books and 64,750 tracts, 300 of the new charts, envelopes, etc.

We mention this for the encouragement of some of the dear friends, who, finding their own efforts to serve the truth stoutly resisted, may feel discouraged and inclined to give over the battle for the truth. The foreign field is more difficult to work than our home field, and yet we see evidence of steady progress there, as illustrated in the above good sized shipment, which is by no means the largest yet made. Besides this, remember that the French DAWNS and tracts were published in Switzerland, and are kept in stock there.

"Pray ye – that He will send forth more laborers." The general revival of business throughout this country makes it possible for colporteurs of even moderate ability to meet their expenses, upon the liberal terms allowed by our Society. (We cannot, however, encourage those who have families wholly dependent upon their labor to engage in this service.) We accordingly suggest to the dear friends of the truth that each do with his might what his hands may find to do, while it is called day, "for the night cometh, wherein no man can work."

We still favor making a specialty of DAWN, VOL. I., but the Spiritism and Hell pamphlets, and DAWN, VOL. IV., are meeting with such success that we can encourage colporteurs to take them over fields recently worked with VOL. I. The results are good. Write us, if you feel an inclination, and have the opportunity, for entering this branch of service to any extent. "He that reapeth receiveth wages [reward] and gathereth fruit unto life eternal."

[R2290 : page 115]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

THE following, from the pen of the Editor of the Jewish World, may be regarded as a better than average review of the subject discussed, both as regards knowledge and candor. Very evidently "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7-9) is not yet ended. Probably still greater persecutions will shortly overtake them; – to drive them to Palestine and thus to fulfil the Lord's predictions through the prophets. The spiritual Israelite must always feel a deep interest in the natural Israelite – whose favor ceased when ours began, and whose favor is to return when ours has accomplished its purpose in finding and developing the Bride, the Lamb's wife.

THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT.

"Few movements with deep political and social significance have come to the front with such well-ordered rapidity as has marked the progress of Zionism. The return to Palestine, and a Jewish State for Jewish people, have been the dream of the 'People of the Book' for hundreds of years; in fact, the vision was forever the patrimony of the Diaspora, and has haunted the house of Israel through the long intervening centuries. Isolated instances are scattered through the records of history, showing how small bodies of devoted men have from time to time gone to end their days in the Holy Land, and for some this is still the highest aim. Very early in the sixteenth century the Turkish Sultan, Mehmet, gave a huge tract of territory in Central Palestine to Don Joseph of Naxon for the purpose of establishing a Jewish Colony. But the time was not then ripe for a general exodus.

"The present movement has been working slowly and silently for a long time, and is directly an outcome of the changed political condition of things on the Continent. Liberalism came into Europe with the peace that followed the disastrous wars of the beginning of the present century; it was hailed everywhere as the death blow to an already obsolete Feudalism; it produced later on a race of youthful martyrs whose blood stained the barricades in most of the capitals of Europe nearly half a century ago. Then, slowly but surely, the masses found that Liberalism had brought no millennium in its train, that the pressure of economic evils was as great as heretofore, that they had changed the nature rather than the weight of their burdens. As the years passed, and men's minds were filled with self-satisfaction, while they regarded scientific progress and the modern rush of events and life as an indication of prosperity; while the idea, that the nineteenth century knew everything, and that our forefathers lacked our gifts, gained in strength; it became necessary to provide a scapegoat upon whom a half-trained, uneducated populace might lay the burden of its own faults, and the blame for the difficulty of the struggle for life. Who so fit to be a scapegoat as the Jew – the survivor of a mighty past, the man who held aloof from the people among whom he lived, who worshipped his God in his own way, who did not intermarry, whose virtues were essentially domestic, and whose vices were, tho few, decidedly Eastern and remarkable?...

"To-day the state of affairs on the Continent is a disgrace to the vaunted civilization of the century. Law and order are suspended whenever the Jew comes into question. These are no random statements. In Paris, the Dreyfus case and the pages of La Libre Parole prove the case; in Germany, the almost military discipline of the populace alone keeps the Judenhetze subdued: in Austria, men of infamous character openly lead the mob against the Jews; in Roumania, riots are planned in high quarters; while in Russia and Poland there exists such a condition of affairs as may fairly be termed indescribably revolting. So far as Eastern Europe is concerned, only in Turkey, the country of Abdul Hamid, for whom the worst phrase of the dictionary has been deemed too good, is the Jew permitted to live in peace....

"Dangerous diseases proverbially require desperate remedies, and only the present condition of the Jews can adequately explain the far-reaching step that is being advocated throughout Europe, and is filling [R2290 : page 116] the hearts of an outraged people with a joy they never knew before. Dr. Herzl, of Vienna, a man of extraordinary attainments, who has given very great study and care to the case, published a remarkable pamphlet a few years ago, advocating the establishment of a Jewish State, and pointing out the complete possibilities of the plan. Soon after the publication, Dr. Herzl came to England and unfolded his scheme to the Maccabaean Society, whose members listened to it with an interest in which enthusiasm had no part. English Jews are not inclined to go to Zion under any aegis other than that of Thomas Cook and Son.

"They have no personal need, and only a scant knowledge of the need of their brethren. It was not until Dr. Herzl convened the Basel Congress in August of last year that the enthusiasm and needs of Continental Jews became apparent. Two hundred delegates from all parts of the world were present, and the plans were most carefully discussed. The idea of the present movement is to secure Palestine from Turkey just as England secured Cyprus from the same Power, and also to obtain the sanction of the European Powers; then to draft, as rapidly as may be, sections from the districts where most congestion is, and the struggle for life is made almost hopeless by the repressive economic laws that grind the Jews to poverty. Petitions, signed and presented, show that more than three million of Jews are prepared to go to the State when established, and that the vast majority of these are not destitute aliens, but able to hold out for awhile pending preparations for existence under new conditions. This would lead to an immediate relief in congested districts, and so soon as a Jewish State developed, diplomatic relations could be established all over the world that would afford adequate protection from mob violence and premeditated moral oppression to those left behind. Limits of space forbid any amplification of the outline of the plan laid down by Dr. Herzl....

"Societies are springing up in the laboring districts, and, significantly enough, all the good work down to now is by the poor, to whom the idea of a State more specially appeals.

"Now comes a vital question: Is Palestine fit and able to accommodate the many hundreds of thousands who desire to return? Granting that the people go without undue haste, that the land is free for their work, and that the management is vigorous and single-minded, I answer, with modesty but with assurance, in the affirmative. The soil in Palestine is of more than common fertility, and we have the testimony of the Bible that it covers considerable mineral wealth; the climate is healthful and would probably be improved by occupation and cultivation of the land.

"Colonies in Palestine have long been an accomplished fact. I have visited several, some in or by the plains of Sharon near Jaffa, others in Central Palestine by the Sea of Galilee, or more to the north, near the sources of the Jordan. Everywhere the same phenomena are to be observed. The land, long lain derelict, has smiled again at the first return of labor; the orange and the vine have come rapidly to perfection; fields of waving corn, lighted with vivid splashes of poppies, recall old England. As is the land, so are the people. A single generation has in many cases sufficed to change the stunted sons and daughters of the Ghetto into stalwart men and women: they are themselves as flowers removed from poisonous soil and stifling atmosphere to healthy land and pure fresh air. The change of physique has been accompanied by an equally welcome change of temperament. In place of the men and women whose condition called for a pity in which contempt often succeeded in finding a place, we find a race springing up in which something of the old national spirit has come to sudden rebirth – people who look out upon existence with a knowledge that they, too, have a natural right to share Nature's heritage without reproach. Seeing that this change has come to the few, why should it not come to the many? And if it come to the many, can a Jewish State be so very far away?"

BROTHER CONE'S PILGRIMAGE ENDED.

On the last of March, too late for notice in our last issue, our dear Brother S. S. Cone, well known to many of our readers as one of the "Pilgrims," died at Augusta, Ga., after a brief illness. He was about seventy-eight years old, and for the past two years had been giving all of his time to the service of the truth, under the auspices of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, as a traveling minister or "Pilgrim." His last tour was through the Southern States. He was a very effective speaker, very zealous for the Lord and the Harvest truth, and will be greatly missed by us all. Our hope for him is that he was faithful until death, and that he is now among those of whom it is written, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them" – beyond the vail. – Rev. 14:13.

[R2297 : page 116]

"ALL MY SPRINGS ARE IN THEE."
– (PSA. 87:7.) –
A brook goes brightly on its way,
Its ripples on the pebbles ring
Incessant, day by day;
It has a living spring.

A life moves buoyantly along,
Tireless its walk; heart, glad and free,
Breaks out to God in song –
My springs are all in Thee.

God sets his seal upon the heart,
The holy unction from above,
His new name to impart;
Transcendent spring of love!

He gives the running-over cup,
Water of life, without alloy,
Forever welling up;
Perennial spring of joy!

God's mercies, every morning new,
Bid every anxious worry cease,
Distilling like the dew
To fill my spring of peace.

A watered garden is the soul,
Where grows the branch within the vine.
Thou dost sustain the whole,
O Spring of Life divine!
– F. I. PARMENTER.

[R2291 : page 117]

THE CELEBRATION OF THE MEMORIAL.

THE RECENT celebration of the Memorial Supper at Allegheny was amongst the most solemn and impressive that we have ever enjoyed. The attendance was good, perhaps the largest we have had since the abandonment of the general convention at this date, in 1892. About two hundred were present, and that notwithstanding the fact that none were invited to come on this occasion except believers in the ransom who professed full consecration to the Lord. Quite a number of brethren, too, were hindered from attendance, by reason of many of the works in this vicinity running extra time, and the inability of those desirous of attending to get substitutes for the time. Our meeting convened at 7.30, but we delayed the general service to accommodate some who were unable to arrive until nearly eight o'clock. Meantime the entire congregation took part in worshiping the Lord in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts also, to him who loved us and bought us with his own precious blood. We sang,

"Ask ye what great thing I know,
What delights and stirs me so?
What the high reward I win?
Whose the name I glory in?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified."*

Then we joined in prayer for the divine blessing upon our gathering and upon all of the Lord's people everywhere gathered for similar purpose, not forgetting also the solitary ones; entreating the divine blessing and wisdom, and grace to appreciate the realities symbolized by the "Supper" before us. Then our hearts and voices united in the grand old hymn, –

"There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains."+

Following this came, –

"In the cross of Christ I glory,
Tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers 'round its head sublime."++

This was followed by the old, familiar, solemn and heart-cheering hymn, –

"Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
Which before the cross I spend;
Life and health and peace possessing,
From the sinners' dying Friend."+++
POEMS AND HYMNS OF DAWN, *No.15. +No.290. ++No.123. +++No.276.

At eight o'clock we took up our Lord's words in which he describes himself as the living bread, reading from John 6:48-58, –

"I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat [feed upon] this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth [continuously] my flesh and drinketh [continuously] my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead: he that eateth [continuously] of this bread shall live forever."

Examining the subject we saw that the manna of the wilderness was at very most only a type to illustrate our Lord Jesus who is the true manna for our souls: feeding upon which we are to have eternal life. We sympathized with the Jews and realized how, in their fleshly condition, unenlightened by the holy spirit which was not yet given, it was impossible for them to comprehend the significance of the deep things of God contained in our Master's words. Indeed, we see that the majority of Christians but faintly comprehend their meaning to-day. We discussed the subject of how our Lord's flesh is the bread of life to those who eat it. We noted that "Bread is the staff of life" amongst all mankind, the main dependence for this present life, and hence the appropriateness of the figure of speech which likens our Lord and the graces and virtues which are in him to the bread which imparts sustenance to the new life.

We noted the importance of our Lord's flesh and that it was uncontaminated, free from sin – "holy, harmless, separate from sinners." We noted that this is necessary because our father Adam, having been created in a similar condition of sinless flesh, had, by transgression of the divine law, become a sinner: his flesh came under divine sentence of death and became corrupt both morally and physically. We noted the necessity for the man Christ Jesus, whose sinless flesh could be accepted as the ransom price, the offset, the full equivalent, instead of Adam and his flesh which had become defiled through sin. We noted the Scriptural explanation that it was for this purpose that our Lord Jesus left the glories and honors of the higher nature and condition and "was made flesh,...that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." We noted our Redeemer's own words: "My flesh I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:51.) We saw that thus the giving of our Lord's unblemished flesh as a corresponding price for father [R2291 : page 118] Adam's condemned flesh, constituted the purchase price by which not only father Adam was redeemed, but also all his race which was in his loins at the time of his transgression. We praised God for the undefiled flesh of our Redeemer and took note of the fact that, while it had been broken for all, it is required of each that he shall for himself accept of his own share in the great work of atonement accomplished by that broken body and shed blood. We noted that none can have eternal life except by partaking of this broken body. This meant to us an out and out contradiction of all the various claims to the effect that a knowledge of the historic Christ and of his sacrifice for sins is unnecessary to salvation: it meant to us what it says, that only by eating of the Lord's flesh and partaking of his blood can any ever obtain life eternal.

We considered what is signified by the eating of the flesh: we saw that as the eating of natural bread includes the thought of its assimilation and absorption into the system through the blood, so our eating of the flesh of Christ signifies (1) our appreciation of the fact that he was sinless, and a suitable sacrifice on our behalf. (2) Our faith in the fact that he did offer himself a ransom for all. (3) Our conviction that this sacrifice was acceptable to the Heavenly Father, as evidenced by our Lord's resurrection from the dead, and also by the Father's acceptance of believers through him, and his impartation to them of the holy spirit of adoption, which began at Pentecost and has continued since. (4) It signifies our desire for the life eternal and also for the purity which was in Christ, and implies our separation from sin – the renouncement of our relationship to the first Adam, and our acceptance of the hoped-for life through the second Adam, based upon his sacrifice – his flesh given for the life of the world.

We then turned to and considered 1 Cor. 11:23-26, and noted the fact that the Lord's Memorial Supper followed the Paschal Supper and was a separate institution and designed to take its place. Looking back to the deliverance of fleshly Israel from Egyptian bondage and the passing over or sparing of their first-born on the night before they left Egypt, we noted the antitypes of these things: that Egypt was a type of the world; its king, Pharaoh, a type of the prince of this world; its bondage a type of the bondage of sin; the deliverance from all these under the leadership of Moses, a type of the ultimate deliverance in the next age of all who love God and who desire to do sacrifice to him, under the leadership of the antitypical Moses (Christ), and that the final overthrow of Satan and his servants was prefigured in the destruction of Pharaoh and his hosts.

In harmony with these thoughts and as a part of them, we saw that the passing over or deliverance of Israel's first-born from death, in the night before all the people went forth from the bondage, was a type of how God passes over, spares, gives life to, a certain class now (in the "night" before the full introduction of the Millennial age and his Kingdom for the deliverance of all who love and seek righteousness). The class that will be delivered, spared, passed over, during this night, while God's people are in the world and under the evil influence of the prince of this world, is merely and only the first-born – the Church – "the Church of the first-born [ones] whose names are written in heaven." – Heb. 12:23.

But we noted that in the type, in order that the first-born ones might be passed over, it was necessary that a lamb without blemish should be killed, its blood sprinkled upon the door-posts of their houses, and its flesh eaten within with bitter herbs. We saw that this Passover lamb was a type of "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world," and that the antitypical first-born, the elect Church, must eat of the flesh of our Lamb, as the literal first-born of Israel ate of the flesh of the typical lamb. We saw that our hearts also must be sprinkled with the precious blood from all consciousness of evil, from all wrong association in sin, and that the "bitter herbs" signify the trials, oppositions, persecutions, difficulties and crosses of the human will, necessary to our feeding upon our [R2292 : page 118] Lord's flesh which was given for the life of the world.

We saw that in giving the symbols of the bread and the fruit of the vine to represent his own flesh and blood, our Lord wished us to recognize two things. (1) That he is the antitypical Lamb, and that the passing over or sparing of the Gospel Church and the deliverance of her from death to newness of life in Christ and to a share with him in the first resurrection, is the antitypical Passover. (2) That the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine were to emblemize the body and blood of the true Lamb, and to take the place of the typical Paschal lamb. Not that the bread and the fruit of the vine are the antitypes of the lamb, but that they are the symbols, figures or representations of the antitypical Lamb. We saw, consequently, that the partaking of the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine are matters of small importance as compared with our partaking of and feeding by faith upon our Lord, which this symbolizes; and that many have partaken of the emblems who have never "tasted that the Lord is gracious:" while others may have tasted of the Lord's grace who may never have seen their privilege and had opportunity of partaking of the emblems of his broken body and shed blood. We rejoiced in our privilege to have both – the real feast in our hearts and the symbols which our Lord himself had provided and instructed us to use. [R2292 : page 119]

We considered the bread that it was unleavened, – leaven, in the type, signifying sin. We noted the Apostle's explanation that the bread not only represented our Lord's flesh upon which we feed by faith, but that, having fed upon it and received of his spirit, we, as his Church of the first-born, are reckoned as being members together in one loaf or cake of unleavened bread. Thus he exhorts us to remember that, as a little leaven leaveneth an entire batch of dough, so a little sin might accomplish a great fermentation in our midst. Hence he exhorts, "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven [rank wickedness], neither with the [less rank but more insidious] leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." – 1 Cor. 5:6-8.

Following up this same thought, and comparing advanced Christians (who have purged their hearts of sin and consecrated themselves fully to the Lord) to a baked loaf of unleavened bread, the Apostle declares that all such are (with Christ) members or parts of one loaf – all pledged to be broken, that they may be of life-giving power and influence to others. He says, "The bread [lit., loaf] which we break, is it not the communion of [our participation as] the body of Christ? For we being many are one loaf and one body: for we are all sharers in that one loaf. The cup of blessing for which we give thanks, is it not our participation in the blood of Christ?" (1 Cor. 10:16.) Thus we see the double figure. (1) Christ our Passover slain for us, on account of which we keep the feast, seeking to abstain from sin and feeding upon the merit of our Redeemer. (2) Our union with him and consecration to participation in the sufferings of this present time, that by and by we may participate also in the glory that shall follow. Thus we see that all who reach this stage of development in the body of Christ have pledged themselves to be broken with him for the good of others.

All such are inspired with their Master's spirit – a spirit of love to the Father, and to those who have the Father's likeness, and to all. It is to these that the Apostle says, "Hereby perceive we the love, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren," (1 John 3:16.) This willingness and desire to be broken for the good of others is the result of our first feeding upon our Lord's broken body and receiving of his spirit, mind, disposition, love. And such have the promises. "If we suffer with him we shall also reign with him." "If we be dead with him we believe that we shall also live with him."

Having thus considered the significance of the bread and having fed upon it in our hearts, and having pledged ourselves afresh to be broken with the Lord for the feeding and blessing of others, we followed the Scriptural example and gave thanks to God for the bread of eternal life. Following this was a period of silence, during which the bread was carried to the communicants.

Next we considered the fruit of the vine, and saw that it symbolized death, and not only death, but the more or less of suffering associated therewith. We saw that the grapes must be crushed, trodden, sorely pressed, ere the fruit of the vine could be drawn. And as we considered the juice of the grape as a symbol for the blood of Christ, his consecrated life, and then as a symbol of the consecrated lives of all those who become joint-sacrificers with him, we saw that it was a most beautiful and fitting symbol. Our Lord likened himself to the vine and his followers to the branches, and declared that it was his desire that we should bring forth much fruit: and the grape juice which we used seemed a fitting symbol of the fruitage of the Vine, Christ, and the sufferings of all who would be faithful as members of his body and who would seek to walk in his footsteps, to spend themselves and be spent in glorifying God in their bodies and their spirits which are his.

We remembered, also, the words of two of the disciples of old, who requested that they might sit with the Lord in his throne, and our Lord's response to the effect that they did not comprehend fully what their request implied of self-denial, saying, "Are ye able to drink of my cup [of ignominy and suffering] and be baptized with the baptism [death] that I am baptized with?" (Matt. 20:22.) We noted that, altho the apostles could not comprehend this subject fully, yet our Lord was evidently gratified with their promptness to make the consecration, declaring themselves willing to endure the cross to win the crown, and he in turn pledged them that, since this was the desire of their hearts, they should indeed be able to carry it out – since they had (and so long as they would continue to have) the will to suffer with Christ, they would have the opportunity; and with that opportunity and faithfulness to it they would have a share in his Kingdom; altho he could not designate for them the particular place, that being in the Father's hands. This gave us the encouraging thought that, however insignificant and weak we are, the Lord by his grace is both able and willing to carry us through; – that if we abide faithful to him and his spirit of sacrifice, he will bring us off conquerors, and more than conquerors.

Then thanks were rendered to the Lord for the cup – for the sufferings of Christ on our behalf for our [R2292 : page 120] redemption, and for our privilege of being partakers of his cup – his sufferings, his ignominy: and that the reproaches of them that reproached him may be shared by us, and that we can rejoice in the divine promise that if all manner of evil be said against us falsely for his sake, and if we take it patiently, we may rejoice therein; knowing that it will work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Then the cup was passed, remembering our Lord's words, "Drink ye all of it" – have fellowship in my sufferings.

We concluded the service, using as a united prayer, and as a fresh pledge of consecration to the Lord, the following precious hymn: –

"Savior, thy dying love thou gavest me;
Nor would I aught withhold, dear Lord, from thee.
In love my soul would bow, my heart fulfil its vow,
Myself an off'ring now I bring to thee.

"Give me a faithful heart, likeness to thee,
That each departing day henceforth may see
Thy work of love well done, thy praise on earth begun,
Some vict'ry for truth won, some work for thee.

"All that I am and have – thy gifts so free –
All of my ransomed life, dear Lord, for thee!
And when thy face I see, thy sweet 'Well done' shall be,
Through all eternity, enough for me."*
*POEMS AND HYMNS OF DAWN, No.259.
REPORTS FROM ELSEWHERE.

We have excellent reports from similar gatherings of the Lord's people in various quarters which indicate (1) that the observance of the Memorial has been more general than ever before; and (2) that the numbers participating were larger than ever before; and (3) that the meaning of the Memorial is more clearly discerned than ever before. We rejoice in all these features; especially the last. We give a few sample reports. We wish that space would permit the publication of many more or all of them. But they breathe the same spirit as these samples.

From reports already received we learn that the number who partook at Columbus was 21; at Youngstown, 35; at Boston, 75; at Chicago, 69; at Buffalo, 21; at Cleveland 20, at St. Petersburg, Fla., 20; and smaller numbers are reported from all over the world. Some of the congregations appoint one of their number as Scribe to report to us matters of interest, to keep up their supply of tracts, etc. This plan has some advantages, tho we would not like it to prevent us from hearing from each of the interested ones individually, at least once a year. You are all subjects of our loving watch-care, interest and prayers, as we trust that we and the general work represented at the TOWER office are of yours. We append page 120 a few reports: –

Maine.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Just a note to tell you of our meeting last night. The weather was bad; it snowed all day and in the evening, and we feared some might not get out, but the five of us came together at the appointed time. The Lord was with us "and that to bless." I know all felt drawn closer to the Lord and to one another. These friends who celebrated the Memorial this year for the first time on its anniversary say that it means so much more to them than it ever has before. They are dear, good friends, and the Lord's own children.

I have been doing very little lately, but hope the poor success will not last very long. Sister H. joins me in Christian love.

Your Brother in Christ,

VIRGIL C. HAVILAND.

Texas.

DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST: – The Church at this place met at the appointed hour to commemorate our Lord's death on our behalf. Our meeting was one of interest, each one realizing the necessity of a closer walk with God. We felt the influence of the Lord's presence. Our hearts burned within us as we reviewed at what cost this privilege to us had been obtained. It was a season of refreshment to us all. Seventeen partook of the emblems. Our love for the Savior and all of like faith deepened; tears came to our eyes; we renewed our consecration to consequent obligations, and a more careful watch over our daily transactions, spiritual and temporal, lest the tempter gain advantage over us. Remember us in your prayers as we remember all in the Lord's work. The brethren join us in Christian love to you and all the brethren.

Yours, a humble servant in the Lord's work,

WILSON SUTCLIFFE.

Florida.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – The Church at this place celebrated the Lord's Supper at the home of Bro. Lee, about three miles out of the city. We had two meetings, one in the afternoon, led by myself, and the other this evening, led by Bro. Lee; we had a short address also, by Bro. Durant. There were about twenty in attendance, some of whom never had met on such an occasion before. We had a very blessed time, and I believe all experienced the presence of the Lord in our midst, and we parted resolved that the next year will find us more faithful than ever in his service. Hoping you at Allegheny had a blessed time I will close, with Christian love to you and all the dear ones there. Your Brother in the Lord,

G. F. RICHARDSON.

South Dakota.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Last evening a little company of eight of us met to commemorate our dear Master's great sacrifice for us. I think we realized more than ever before the cost of our salvation. Indeed, it is "so great salvation" that it is beyond our comprehension at present, and we can only begin to see the dim outlines of its greatness and to catch glimpses of its wonderful light and magnificence. The thought that Jesus had received the "one loaf" and that he had then offered to divide it with his disciples that they, too, might share in his glory gave us cause for heart searching. (1 Cor. 11:27-32.) We surely felt the spirit's presence with us, and that indeed it page 121 was good for us to be there. Earnest prayer was offered that we might all come more and more into the "oneness" of heart and spirit for which our Master also prayed. (John 17:21,22,23.) I think we all went home feeling that altho the fulfilling of our covenant meant a great deal in every way, to us individually, yet with the Father's promised help we would come off more than conquerors through him that loved us. – Rom. 8:35,36,37.

Your Brothers and Sisters in the Lord Jesus,

THE COMPANY AT HURON, S.D.

Massachusetts.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – The Church at Boston met on the evening of April 5th, to commemorate the Lord's death. About 75 were present, some coming a considerable distance, altho it was a stormy night. It was a season of blessed communion and spiritual refreshing to us all. As the years go by, the meaning of the occasion is more deeply felt and appreciated. The Sunday previous we had a baptism service, when twenty were immersed into Christ (in symbol). I notice that those who come into the truth now, seem to come in with more zeal and arrive more quickly at a knowledge of the deep things than formerly. The whole Church here is in close sympathy with you, dear brother, and with the general harvest work, and feels that the Lord is shepherding his flock.

"He safely leads his Church along,
His loving-kindness, O, how strong."

With much Christian love from Sister T. and myself,

W. J. THORN.

[R2293 : page 121]

Brother D. P. Jackson, M.D., in a letter recently received, after telling that four met at his house and partook of the Memorial, adds: –

I wish to submit for your consideration some things which have lately come to the attention of our little communion in this place, namely: –

One of the brethren here received an invitation to meet with the Church at M__________, on April 5th, to assist in the Lord's Supper. He declined because it would break up our own meeting at B__________, there being only the two families of us here. Brother A, of Y__________, in answer to an invitation, expects to go to M__________ to assist the Church there in the Memorial Supper, and Bro. M. goes to N__________ on a similar errand.

The invitation to M__________ was declined on the grounds above stated, but it also occurred to us, on further consideration, that perhaps it is not wise for the members of the Church to get into the habit of sending to the leaders and prominent members of other Churches for assistance in the Memorial services, for the following reasons: –

(1) The Passover was a family observance. This would have some bearing on the question, as showing that the Lord's Supper was not to be made the occasion of any special public display.

(2) We have no record that it was a custom of the Apostolic Church for one congregation to send to others for the services of an elder to officiate for them at the Communion service.

(3) The Lord's Supper has been made, in all apostate churches, a center around which the clergy have built a great deal of the worst ecclesiasticism. It is the principal means which the Protestant clergy of to-day have in their possession for magnifying the importance of the clergy over the laity. Last winter the Presbytery of Louisville, Kentucky, excommunicated a minister for teaching that it was proper for lay members of the church to celebrate the Lord's Supper without the presence of a clergyman – an "ordained minister."

(4) May not the practice of one Church sending to some other for a "leader," "elder" or prominent member to come and help them celebrate the Lord's Supper be the infinitesimal beginning of the same spirit of ecclesiasticism and sacerdotalism, which was the ruin of the early church? Would not the practice have a natural tendency to exalt the mind of the leader called away to assist a distant Church in this ceremony, and to awaken in the minds of the members the idea that it was necessary or at least useful and important to have "leaders" and "elders" present, officiating at the ceremony, and not only so, but that the leader's part was so important that their own home elder needed to be reinforced in the important duty by one from a distant Church? It is a natural weakness of human nature to consider a man who comes from a distance as a "greater" man than one of their familiar neighbors.

(5) This practice of getting a clergyman from some neighboring church to come and "assist" the pastor in holding the "Communion" is very common among Presbyterian churches, and seems to be designed to exalt the importance of the presence of clergymen at the ceremony, and is it not a custom which, to say the least, will "be more honored in the breach than in the observance" by the Lord's humble followers of the harvest period?

I am impressed that temptations to ecclesiasticism, and partisan bigotry and narrowness, are among the most subtle of our trials, the most crafty of the "wiles of the devil." These brethren who have given the invitations, and those who have accepted them, no doubt are acting with the best of motives and without the slightest thought of there being any danger in the practice, but on further reflection I am only confirmed in my first impression, and fear that there is danger in the practice, and that "as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and purity that is toward Christ," by this seemingly innocent and seemingly edifying practice, and I hope you will give it your thoughtful and prayerful consideration.

I would like also to know whether the practice is becoming general. It seems to have occurred to nearly all the Churches in this section. It would be interesting to know whether this was the case in many other places or whether it was limited to this locality. If it has occurred in numerous Churches it would look like a concerted movement of the Enemy to plant the germ of the "mystery of iniquity" in the reformed churches, for if the custom should become general the more retiring and less gifted members would almost certainly get the impression that somehow these "leaders" had more to do with the Memorial than they had, and if time allowed, the difference between elders and [R2293 : page 122] members would widen until a clerical class would be differentiated.

Yours truly,

DAVID P. JACKSON.

*                         *                         *

We presume that none of the friends above mentioned had the slightest thought of encouraging "clericism." The churches supplied we believe celebrated the Memorial this year for the first time; and we think it was well that some of larger experience should initiate them. Besides, the little groups mentioned were gathered to a considerable extent through the efforts of the brethren of Y__________, who as Evangelists drew their attention to the divine plan of the ages. It would, of course be quite appropriate for such to meet with those whom they had already interested along other lines, to introduce to them the Memorial Supper observance.

However, we quite agree with Bro. Jackson respecting the necessity for guarding against the cloven hoof of clericy and everything which might tend to divide the Lord's people or abridge the liberties conferred upon us mutually by our dear Redeemer. The only ground for preference as to who shall serve the Lord's people on this or other occasions is qualification – mental, moral, physical or spiritual. We publish the letter because many of its points are well taken. The Passover was a family affair and the Memorial Supper superseding it is similarly a family matter; – but instead of pertaining to an earthly family it pertains to the Lord's family; "the household of faith."

[R2293 : page 122]

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

Question. In discussing "Feet Washing" in your issue of March 15, you made no reference to 1 Tim. 5:10. Please give us your thought on that scripture.

Answer. It would appear that a "poor relief" had been started which afforded occasional relief to some, and permanent relief to others. The Apostle is here urging that these general charities should not discourage the care of their own afflicted and unfortunate ones by each family: that professing Christians who would not provide for their own relatives and families so far as possible, were denying the faith – denying their share in Christianity in most practical form (vss. 8 and 16). The Church help was specially for the real widows – those bereft, and particularly the aged.

Accordingly no widow was to be enrolled as a regular, habitual beneficiary of the church's bounty under sixty years of age; and certain other qualifications were to be demanded also – Had she reared a family which took her attention? Or had she, without a family, shown herself willing, kind, hospitable in the entertainment of strangers? Or had she in any manner shown a desire to relieve affliction and generally to do good? Had she manifested an interest in the Lord's people and a helpfulness toward their comfort and entertainment, as for instance, by washing their feet?

These, and not doctrinal questions, were the questions to consider when application was made to put some one on the rolls as a permanent pensioner; for, these recipients of bounty might not have come to the place of full consecration or saintship themselves, but might be the sisters or mothers of the consecrated. The tests, therefore, were along lines of good disposition, meekness, helpfulness, kindness. Anyone who could not answer some of the above questions affirmatively, should be esteemed unworthy of enrollment as a permanent or life pensioner.

With this view before the mind, and remembering that the feet-washing mentioned was one of the necessities of that time and country, it will be seen that its performance would merely signify kindness, hospitality, good feeling and appreciation toward the Lord's people.

Question. In Isa. 53:2,3, the statement is made of our Lord Jesus that, "He hath no form nor comeliness that we should desire him." Would it not, on the contrary, be reasonable to suppose that, as among the imperfect members of our race we see some very handsome persons, our Lord, who was perfect, was transcendently beautiful, both in form and feature?

Answer. Yes. The Jews saw no comeliness in Jesus, such as they looked for and desired; because they expected to find in Messiah a mighty warrior to free them from the Roman yoke; whereas he came as a Nazarene and humbly companied and ate with publicans and sinners.

Question. Since we are to be baptized in the likeness of Christ's death, should we not be immersed three times, face-forward, since he bowed his head thrice; [R2294 : page 122] and since Jesus died before he was buried, is it not improper to speak of baptism as a burial?

Answer. We do not understand Paul's words, "baptized into his death" and "buried with him by baptism into death," to refer to immersion in the likeness of the Lord's physical movements in his dying hours. That would be to be immersed in the likeness of his dying, whereas we are to be immersed in the likeness of his death.

You say that he died before he was buried; but on the contrary, we believe it proper to say that he was buried before he died; that is to say, his will was buried or immersed into the will of God at the time of his consecration, and he was reckoned dead from that time [R2294 : page 123] onward, the expiration on the cross being the completion of that death. So he said, "I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!"

When we are baptized in water it is the symbol of the burial of our wills into the will of Christ; and when we are raised out of the water it is the symbol of our resurrection in his likeness.

The claims of triune immersionists as to the apostolic methods, based upon early historians, are not reliable. The "early fathers" are not to be depended on in such matters, the Word of God being the only reliable standard. Many vagaries, including triune immersion, were introduced after accessions began to be made from the ranks of the non-consecrated, and were a part of the falling away which began in the second century and culminated in Papacy.

Question. The statement of John 2:19 is perplexing to some of us: "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." John says "He spake of the temple of his body;" but other scriptures declare that the Father raised our Lord Jesus from death by his own power. Can you throw any light on the matter?

Answer. The Scriptures repeatedly tell us that the Church is "the body of Christ." The Apostle Peter declares that each of the Lord's saints is a living stone prepared for and being placed in the glorious "temple" which God is building – whose chief cornerstone and cap stone is Christ Jesus our Lord. While this "temple" is a temple not yet existent in its spiritual condition, it already has an existence in the flesh – even now we are reckoned as the "members in particular of the body of Christ." In harmony with this we understand our Lord's words of John 2:19, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" – "he spake of the temple of his body" – the Church, of which he is the Head.

The three days we understand to be the days of the larger week, one thousand years to each day. In this larger week the seventh day will be the seventh-thousand-year period – the Millennium or Sabbath of rest from sin and Satan. Recognizing time from this standpoint and applying to each thousand years the parallel day of the week, we find that, as over four thousand years had passed and the fifth thousand had begun when our Lord made this statement, it was therefore at a time corresponding to the fifth day of the lesser week, namely, Thursday, the first day of the three mentioned; Friday the second day, and Saturday (the seventh-day Sabbath) the third, in which the temple is to be "raised up." It is to be early in the morning of this third day – the Millennium – that the body of Christ, the temple of God, is to be brought together as a spiritual temple and filled with the glory of God, to the end that from it may flow the blessing of reconciliation to all the families of the earth.

Another statement, similar to this and interpretable, we believe, in the same manner, was the Lord's answer to Herod – "I do cures to-day, and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." (Luke 13:32.) This last statement could not be interpreted in any other way than that above suggested. The cures and blessings of divine grace have prevailed during the fifth, the day in which our Lord and the apostles lived, and also during the sixth thousand-year day; and on the seventh, the grand Millennial Sabbath, Christ and his Church will be perfected and the cures correspondingly increased.

Are not these three days the same that are mentioned by the Prophet Hosea (6:2)? Referring to Israel's judgments and their final repentance and reconciliation, he says, representing Israel, "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us [see preceding verses]: he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight."

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"FORGIVE AND YE SHALL BE FORGIVEN."
– APRIL 24. – MATT. 18:21-35. –

O
UR Golden Text (Luke 6:37) is not to be understood as applicable to everybody: to so understand it would be to ignore the ransom and faith in the same, and other conditions of discipleship. It is applicable only to the class mentioned, "ye," – believers, already justified and brought into harmony with God. The divine arrangement to forgive our sins presupposes a realization on our part of our own imperfections, and that we who desire to have our own sins cancelled will be magnanimous to others. And the Lord makes this a condition of our discipleship: we must not only start with justification, forgiveness of our sins, but we must continue by seeking to put away "all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit," and to become more and more copies of God's dear Son. As we receive more and more knowledge of the divine character, and as we more and more seek to copy it, we should correspondingly become more and more generous, kind, loving, God-like. If we fail to develop this character, the knowledge received has not profited us; and instead of continuing justified before God, we will be reckoned as having lapsed again into sin – and [R2294 : page 124] greater sin, because of greater light – and will be treated of the Lord accordingly.

Peter evidently recognized this principle in general: he saw that it was his duty to forgive the trespasses of his repentant brother. But he was doubtful how far this principle of forgiveness should go. Our Lord had instructed them in this matter early in his ministry: he had taught them to pray, "Forgive us our debts [sins, trespasses], as we forgive our debtors," and he had explained the meaning of this to them, saying, "If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." – Matt. 6:12,15.

It is not necessary for us to suppose that one of Peter's brothers was a great annoyance to him, continually doing him wrong and continually needing to repent of it and to be forgiven. We may suppose that Peter was turning over in his mind the broad teachings he had received on general principles to ascertain of the Lord definitely how far this rule of forgiveness was to be applied in the ordinary affairs of life. He no doubt made what he thought a very liberal suggestion, that the proper limit of forgiveness would be seven times: but our Lord's answer must have given him still broader and deeper views on the subject – "I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."

It is difficult for some to see how the principle of justice applies in the matter of forgiveness. They reason that God did not forgive the sins of the world, gratis, that he exacted a penalty, a full corresponding price – the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, as a "ransom for all;" and reasoning upon this, they say, If Justice in the Lord demanded a full payment of the penalty, why should not we, in copying God, likewise demand full reparation from those who seek our forgiveness in more trivial matters? Reasoning thus, they very generally overlook several facts; (1) The penalty was exacted, not of an imperfect fallen man, as is each of us, but of a perfect man, created in the image of God (father Adam), whose sin was wilful and deliberate. (2) That, so far as sinners were concerned, God's gift was a free gift. He did not exact the penalty of us. (3) If he had exacted the penalty of us, we could never have paid it. (4) If we were perfect men ourselves and dealing with others who were likewise perfect, a law of Justice and demands of Justice would be in order; but since we are transgressors ourselves and objects of divine grace, and since our fellow-creatures are in the same pitiable plight through the fall, there is no room for us to take our stand upon Justice. He who stands upon Justice will fall before the sword of Justice. Hence, our Lord declares, "With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged." If you realize your own weakness and imperfection and need of help from on high, and if you exercise a similar generosity in the smaller affairs of life with your fellows in tribulation, you will be the kind for whom God designed the full measure of his grace: so long as divine favor does not thus reach your heart and mellow it toward others, you are not of the class to whom the full measure of divine favor will be extended, but will be accounted unworthy of the full ultimate blotting out of your sins.

We are to remember that our sins are not now blotted out, even when we are reckoned justified: our sins are merely "covered;" our Lord hides them from his sight, deals with us as though we had no sins, receiving us into his family and making covenants with [R2295 : page 124] us, as though we were perfect, righteous. Thus the Apostle quotes from the Prophet David, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin; blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered." (Rom. 4:7,8.) Mark the distinction between the iniquity and the sin. The word "iniquity" carries with it the sense of wickedness, lawlessness, while the word "sin" has merely the thought of transgression: and many of our transgressions are wholly without iniquitous intention. Believers who are seeking to escape from sin, that sin should have no more dominion over them, are forgiven the moral obliquity connected with the sin, which they now no longer sympathize with, but hate; and the sin itself, while not blotted out, is covered. So, therefore, should any return to sin, "as a sow to her wallowing in the mire," he removes the covering of sins, and falls back where he was before, "having forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." – 2 Pet. 2:22; 1:9.

The time for the blotting out of sin is, thank God, near at hand. So far as the overcomers of this age, the Gospel Church, are concerned, the blotting out of every vestige of their sins, to be remembered no more, comes with the destruction of the flesh in death. In our flesh (in our imperfections, mental, moral and physical) is the record of sin; and this which God so graciously covers from his sight will entirely disappear in the grave. In the resurrection these overcomers will be granted new bodies, free from all the marks or blemishes of sin, perfect, likenesses of their Lord: not only free from sin reckonedly, but free from sin actually, and without a trace or mar thereof. Oh, how we long for the blotting out of sins!

Later on, as the Millennial day shall advance, the work of blotting out the sins of humanity in general will begin: but the operation will be different with them than with us. Ours by an instantaneous resurrection, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye:" theirs will be a gradual blotting out – a work of restitution. The restoring of the original nature of man in its perfection will mean the blotting out of mankind's [R2295 : page 125] mental, moral and physical blemishes, and their gradual restoration to that perfect condition in which father Adam was before he sinned, which is declared to have been "the image of God," with which God was well pleased.

These two thoughts – the present covering of our sins and the future blotting out of every trace of them, are called forcibly to our attention by the words of the Apostle Peter. Speaking on the day of Pentecost, he urges his hearers, "Repent ye, therefore, and be converted [receive now the covering of your sins through Christ by faith and have as a result the divine favor and instruction in righteousness], that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must receive [retain] until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." – Acts 3:19-21.

To the apostles and to us, even "all those who should believe on him through their word," our Lord gave the illustration or parable of The Two Debtors. The parable is not of general application, but merely applicable to the Kingdom of Heaven class – the Church – called to run the race and, by the grace of God, to win the prize of joint-heirship with their Lord in his coming Millennial Kingdom. The generosity of the King in the parable, toward his servant who was so greatly in his debt, illustrates God's magnanimity, mercy, toward us through Christ. The debt, ten thousand talents, was an enormous one, representing in value about twenty millions of dollars: this debt fitly represents our great obligations to God as a race, and our utter inability to meet the obligations. Adam was already "sold under sin" and his entire family was involved in the slavery, when God graciously had mercy on us through Christ and provided for our liberty. The liberated servant, whose prayer for mercy was heard, represents the Christian believer who has been made free from sin.

The parable proceeds to show a wrong course of action which, alas, we often see exemplified; for some of those who have received divine grace in abundant measure are very hard-hearted, uncharitable, unforgiving, vindictive, malicious and vengeful toward those who trespass against them, and whose trespasses are sometimes purely imaginary. We do not live in a day in which a creditor may wantonly inflict physical abuse upon his debtor, nor need we expect under present enlightenment that any Christian would feel like wreaking his vengeance upon his fellow servant by physical force: no, thank God, the day of the rack and fagot and crucifixion is gone. But we live in a day when, nevertheless, the same spirit can and does manifest itself, but in less flagrant, tho not less cruel and sinful forms. The modern method of attack upon an enemy is not with pincers to pull out his finger and toe nails, nor with red-hot irons to gouge out his eyes, nor with molten lead to fill his mouth and ears; but instead the weapon is slander, back-biting, evil-speaking, and according to its degree it may be the spirit of murder (as pointed out in "Helpful Rules for Our Daily Life" in our issue of March 15). Indeed, our Lord seems to have taken more notice of the evil-speaking that would come upon his people, than of the physical sufferings, for over and over again he points out, "They shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." – Matt. 5:11.

What shall we say of the Christianity of the brother or sister who, meeting a debtor, or one whom he esteems to be a debtor (justly or unjustly), thus abuses his fellow servant? But it is much more important that we should know how the Lord would regard such an one, and in the parable before us he has answered it fully. In the parable the King was wroth and called the forgiven but unforgiving servant to account, pronouncing him at once a "wicked servant." And applying the lesson of the parable, our Lord declares: "So likewise shall my Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from the hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."

Let it not be overlooked that our Lord here very particularly called attention to the difference between an outward and formal expression of forgiveness with smooth words, and the true forgiveness which is from the heart. The former, or outward forgiveness, is only lip-deep, and means that a wrangling of an evil, unforgiving spirit is within, and that it will only be a matter of time until the pent-up force of malice and hatred will break forth in words of slander. God reads the heart and, whatever the lip professions may be, he will not consider these unless the heart and life correspond with them. It is in vain, therefore, that anyone should say, I love my brother, and at the same time seek either by word or act to do him injury. All the evil-speaking, malice, hatred, envy, strife, proceeds from evil in the heart: hence, the necessity on the part of all who desire to be of the Lord's body, that they "purge out the old leaven of malice" that they may be members indeed of the unleavened loaf – the body of Christ.

The fact that in the parable the evil servant was delivered to the "tormentors" is not to be understood to mean that the heavenly Father will deliver every unfaithful servant to the torments of devils to all eternity. The tormentors of olden times (and also of today in some Oriental countries) inflicted scourging or [R2295 : page 126] other torment upon accused persons for the purpose of extorting from them money or information or whatever they may be unwilling to give up. The analogy to this in God's dealings with his people might reasonably be expected along the lines of earthly disciplines, such as the Apostle referred to, saying of one, I have delivered him "unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." (1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:20.) This might mean financial difficulties or losses, or physical ailments, disease or what not. Not infrequently, we believe, the Lord through these agencies teaches his servants important lessons respecting their own weaknesses, and introduces and develops in them patience with others and more of his own holy spirit – meekness, patience, gentleness, brotherly-kindness – Love. We do not mean to intimate by this that the trials and difficulties of life are always in the nature of chastisement and corrections in righteousness. We understand that sometimes they are tests instead of chastisements – tests to prove the degree of our loyalty to the Lord, and to develop in us larger degrees of faith and of the various graces of the spirit.

We cannot properly leave this subject without calling attention to certain conditions which ought to precede forgiveness. For instance, in the parable the king does not exercise compassion until the debtor asks for it: so also God does not forgive our sins until we acknowledge our sins and ask his forgiveness. Likewise, in the parable, the second servant, who owed a hundred pence (about sixteen dollars), asked mercy of the one to whom he owed it, before that one was obliged to forgive: and in a further comment on the subject, mentioned by Luke (17:3,4), our Lord expressly states the propriety of expecting those who trespass against us to make some acknowledgment of their fault before expressing full forgiveness. He says, "If thy brother trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent! thou shalt forgive him."

We are not to accept one portion of the divine direction and to ignore another portion: we are not to say that our Lord meant it, when he said, "forgive him," and that he did not mean it when he said, "Rebuke [R2296 : page 126] him; and if he repent, forgive him." With the majority of people, however, it would probably be quite unnecessary to urge the propriety of repentance; – unless they were the transgressors whose duty it is to repent. Most people are sufficiently disinclined to forgive, to wait until their forgiveness is asked. The trouble is that then the large majority apparently do not "forgive from the heart" but merely from the lips. Heart forgiveness leaves no sting, no animosity, no grudge.

On the other side of the question, however, a caution is necessary. The Christian is to have the loving, generous disposition of heart, a copy of the Heavenly Father's disposition. In trivial affairs he is to have so much sympathy and love that he will take no notice, just as God for Christ's sake deals with us and does not impute sin to us, except as it represents knowledge and wilfulness. With such a rule operating amongst Christians, a determination not to recognize as an offence anything that is not purposely done, or intended as an offense, would be a great blessing to all, and the proper God-like course. The transgressions to which our Lord refers, are not trivial affairs of no consequence, are not evil surmisings and imaginings, are not rumors, are not fancied insults, but positive wrongs done us, which are susceptible of proofs, and on account of which it is our duty, kindly and lovingly and wisely to give some proper rebuke; – some intimation that we recognize the wrong and that it has grieved us and hurt us. Then comes in the divine rule respecting the one and only proper manner of rebuke, pointed out in Rule No. V., page 85, this journal.

The disposition to forgive should be with us always, and should be manifested by us at all times. Our loving generosity and kindness and desire to think no evil or as little evil as possible, should be manifest by all the words and acts of life. This is God-like. God had a kind, benevolent, generous sentiment toward us, even while we were yet sinners. Nor did he wait for the sinners to ask forgiveness, but promptly manifested his desire for harmony and his readiness to forgive. The whole Gospel message is to this effect: "Be ye reconciled to God." Our hearts should be so full of this disposition toward forgiveness that our faces would not have a hard look, nor our words of reproof a bitter sting: they should manifest the loving forgiveness that we should have in our hearts at all times.

Forgiveness, "in your hearts," is the condition which is always to obtain there: we should never harbor any other feeling than that of forgiveness and good will toward all, no matter how seriously they may have trespassed against us: and if this be the case, we will be longing and anxious to exercise the forgiveness outwardly and to express it to the repentant ones. Hence, we will not seek to compel the most elaborate statement on the part of the penitent; but, like the father of the prodigal, to see the repentant one coming in an attitude of humility will touch our hearts and prompt us to go out part way to meet him, and to forgive him, and to kiss him, and to put on the robe of fullest fellowship and brotherhood.

"If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." – Matt. 6:15.

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"BEHOLD, THY KING COMETH UNTO THEE!"
– MAY 1. – MATT. 21:6-16. –
"Hosanna to the Son of David: blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!" – Matt. 21:9.
T
HE SCENE of this lesson occurred about six days before our Lord's crucifixion. In many respects it differed from any other circumstance in his ministry. Previously, when the people had spoken of taking him by force to make of him their King, Jesus had withdrawn himself: to such an extent was this true that his friends and disciples marveled that anyone proclaiming himself the Messiah should seemingly avoid the very means of centering public attention upon himself and favoring the sentiment of making him the King. (John 7:4-6.) But on this occasion our Lord deliberately sent for the ass upon which he rode triumphantly as King to Jerusalem: and when the people shouted our Golden Text, "Hosanna to the Son of David: blessed is he that cometh in the name of Jehovah" and strewed their clothing in the way and put palm branches as marks of honor of the King, breaking all previous records, our Lord accepted these marks of honor. It was when the Pharisees, being greatly displeased, remonstrated, urging that he should rebuke the people and not permit them so to honor him, that our Lord explained, to the effect that a prophecy was being fulfilled, and that, since the Prophet had said, "Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy King cometh unto thee," etc., therefore there must be a shout to fulfil the prophecy: so that, if the people had not shouted, the very stones must have cried out, in order to fulfil the Word of the Lord by the Prophet Zechariah. – 9:9.

The fact that our Lord was thus fulfilling prophecy, explains the entire situation; and we at once catch the thought, elsewhere enforced in the Scriptures, that our Lord's previous ministry to Israel had not been as their King, but as John had introduced him – as their Bridegroom and as their Teacher. But now, at the close of his ministry and just as he was about to finish his course of sacrifice at Calvary, the time had come to offer to Israel, formally, the King and the Kingdom which God had long before promised to father Abraham and reiterated through the prophets. The hour was come. Would they now at this moment of trial and testing as a nation receive the Messiah, the long promised King, or would they be so blinded by false expectations, superinduced by wrong conditions of heart, as to be unable to know him and to appreciate him, when the crucial moment should come? God had foreseen that, notwithstanding the favors which he had bestowed upon Israel, including the sending to them of John the Baptist to prepare them, including also the work of our Lord and the apostles, and the "other seventy also," they would not be ready, would not receive their King, and would hence be rejected from being his peculiar people. God, acting upon his own foreknowledge, might have avoided sending our Lord in this formal way to make a formal tender of the Kingdom to the nominal seed of Abraham, knowing in advance that they would reject it; but had he done so, his course would not have been so plain and clear to the Jews, nor to us. God's judgment would have been just, but its justice would not have been apparent to his creatures, and the latter is a part of his good pleasure.

Not only did our Lord accept the salutations of the people as the Messiah, but continuing the same thought of his dignity of power and authority, he rode to the Temple and with a scourge of small cords drove out the money changers and merchants, who were defiling the Temple and violating the divine rule respecting it. Whether it was because of our Lord's dignity of person and presence alone, or whether also because of the large multitude that was with him and shouting for him, the fact remains that no attempt was made to resist him, and the King had his way, cleansed the typical Temple, reproved the wrong doers and received the poor outcasts of society, the blind and the lame, and healed them in the Temple, while the shouting of Hosanna to the Son of David was continued, fulfilling the testimony of the Prophet, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise."

It was on this occasion that our Lord in his journey, when on the hilltop opposite Jerusalem, wept over it, saying, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" – the very shout the Pharisees objected to. – Luke 19:41; Matt. 23:37.

This was the turning point in Israel's history, as the Prophet Zechariah has marked out.* It was here that the Lamb of God offered himself to Israel as a nation as their Paschal or Passover Lamb, and they did not receive him as a "house" or nation. In the type the lamb was to be taken into the house on the ninth day of the first month and to be killed on the fourteenth. Here our Lord appropriately offered himself to them as the Lamb on the ninth day of the month in fulfilment of the type, and on the fourteenth day he was crucified – the Lamb was slain. But since Israel did not receive the Lamb into their house, they lost the great blessing that the Lamb was to bring; their house was not passed over, their house was given up to destruction: [R2296 : page 128] and from that day onward until A.D. 70 the work of destruction progressed, and from it they have never since recovered. Only now – since 1878 – is their measure of chastisement coming to its full, so that we may fulfil the words of the Lord through the Prophet Isaiah, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare – her appointed time – is accomplished, [R2297 : page 128] that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand a second part [of chastisement] for all her sins." – Isa. 40:1,2.

*MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 7.

Thank God, that the failure of the natural seed of Abraham to prove worthy of the great promise, did not frustrate divine grace: but that, using the little band of Israelites indeed as a nucleus, our Lord at once began the work of gathering "a holy nation, a royal priesthood," the true seed of Abraham which, with himself as its King, shall ultimately fulfil all the exceeding great and precious promises implied in the promise and oath to Abraham – that all the families of the earth should be blessed through this "Seed." – Gal. 3:16,29.

But while the incident of this lesson is both interesting and instructive of itself, it assumes still greater importance when we remember that the fleshly Israelites were typical of the spiritual Israelites, and that those features in the close of that age correspond to a considerable degree to the closing features of this Gospel age. Here our Lord has come to the second house of Israel, and he finds it as he found the fleshly house, nominally pious, compassing sea and land to make a proselyte, yet, as described in his own words, neither cold nor hot, and ready to be spewed out of his mouth; – knowing not that they are "wretched and pitiable – even poor and blind and naked." (Rev. 3:16,17.) Poor in that they lack the true riches of divine grace, the gold of the divine nature and the precious hopes and promises associated therewith. Blind, in that they cannot see afar off, cannot see the length and breadth and height and depth of the divine plan revealed in God's Word, cannot see either the high-calling of the Church, with the blessed provisions of restitution for the world of mankind in general. Naked, in that their chief ones have already lost faith in the ransom, the only covering of our nakedness (which the filthy rags of our own righteousness will not cover), and in that the people are following the examples and precepts of their leaders in discarding the precious robe of Christ's righteousness – the only "wedding garment." Surely, this is a pitiable condition, and to many of themselves a miserable one.

As the King he is now taking possession of his Kingdom – first, as with the Jews, offering himself to his professed people – but now, as then, finding only a remnant, in the nominal mass, truly anxious for his Kingdom, and prepared to receive it and him. He is now seeking for all the Israelites indeed in whom is no guile, and he will thoroughly winnow the "wheat," and when it shall be gathered into the garner, it shall be found exactly sufficient to complete the foreordained, predestinated number of the "elect" Church.

As the nominal Jewish "house" was given up and left desolate, and the true Israelites were gathered out of it, so with the "house" of nominal spiritual Israel – Christendom. The Lord is calling out all who are his people, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." As soon as this call and the various siftings of divine providence shall have found the worthy ones, who shall inherit the Kingdom with the King (as his Bride and Consort), then the plagues shall come upon the residue, the nominal system. The great time of trouble so long foretold in the Lord's Word (in which the whole world will be humbled before him, its proud heart broken, its pride and haughtiness brought low) will then break forth upon the world.

We must remember, however, that the King takes his Kingdom not to destroy men's lives, but to save them; to bless them. And while the early part of his reign shall be the ruling of the nations as with a rod of iron, and the breaking of them in pieces as unsatisfactory potters' vessels, yet the intent of all this is that he and his Kingdom may thus be recognized of all, and the work of healing and restitution be caused to progress for a thousand years to earth's blessing.

Meanwhile, however, the Temple class, the "little flock," must be purged, cleansed; the money changers, and those who make merchandise of the sacrifices, must be driven out, before the Temple, composed of living stones, with Christ as its top-stone and foundation, shall be ready to be filled with the glory of God and to become the place of prayer for all nations, the channel which all mankind may, during the Millennial age, find access to God.

Fleshly Israel failed to receive the King because "They knew not the time of their visitation." And they were left in ignorance, because their hearts were not right – they were not worthy of the truth. Realizing that they and their experiences were types of Christendom to-day, let us take heed to our hearts that we may continue to be accounted worthy to be reckoned among the "brethren" to whom the Apostle declares, "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief; ye are all children of the light and of the day."

"The 'Gentile Times' are closing, for their kings have had their day;
And with them sin and sorrow will forever pass away;
For the tribe of Judah's Lion now comes to hold the sway:
Our King is marching on.

"I can see his coming judgments, as they circle all the earth,
The signs and groanings promised to precede a second birth;
I read his righteous sentence in the crumbling thrones of earth:
Our King is marching on.

"The seventh trump is sounding, and our King knows no defeat.
He will surely sift the hearts of men before his judgment seat.
O! be swift, my soul, to welcome him, be jubilant, my feet:
Our King is marching on."