page 129
May 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

VOL. XIX.MAY 1, 1898.No. 9.
CONTENTS.

Our New Prophetic Chart 130
Views from the Watch Tower 131
War, Horrible War, is upon Us
An Answer to the Queen Regent of Spain, etc 132
"Let Him that Thinketh he Standeth Take Heed" 133
The Marriage Feast 136
The Duty of Watchfulness 139
The Day of Judgment 141
Interesting Letters 143

'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 130

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 –
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 56-60 ARCH STREET, ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.

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MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, N.Y. DRAFT, MONEY ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR, AS FOLLOWS:

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 case and requesting the paper. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list constantly.

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 May, 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.

[R2298 : page 131]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

WAR, horrible war, is upon us. The match is ignited, the combustible passions are being enkindled, and who can tell how great a fire may result; – how destructive, how costly in blood and treasure? It is lamentable indeed that such horrors should be practically unavoidable; yes, really incidentals to our civilization. Except for a great advance in civilization, the present war would not be waged.

League wars, where nations fought for each other because of treaty covenants (hoping for similar favors in return) have been known; religious wars for the aid of co-religionists have been known; race wars, where bonds of blood led one nation to fight for another, have been known; wars of jealousy and pride have been known; wars for freedom have been frequent; wars for conquest and plunder have been many: but never before, so far as we are informed, has there ever been a war like the present one – a benevolent war; a war for the oppressed; a war for the poor and starving; a war for a different race, of a different tongue and of a different religion; a war for a people who can never repay – neither in money, influence, trade nor otherwise. The masses of the people of these United States are far enough from being saints; far enough from having perfect love rule their every thought and word and deed; far enough from fully conquering inborn selfishness; but for them as a people, and for their British cousins, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has done far more than for any other peoples in the world. If it has not given them love, it has given them the sheen or reflection of love – "the milk of human kindness," sympathy.

Spain cries, Robbers! Thieves! Hypocrites! You want to steal my possessions and merely make a pretense of sympathy for my rebels! All Europe shouts the same, denouncing the war as perfidious, a disgrace to modern civilization – national piracy, national highway robbery.

And no doubt these charges are honestly made; that is, they are believed to be true; they reflect the real judgment of Spain and of Europe. Controlled only by motives of pride and selfishness themselves, they cannot conceive of others being influenced by so much nobler motives. And in the United States quite a minority who have no conscientious scruples against war complain bitterly, because "It won't pay." Verily, if the parable of Dives and Lazarus were to be adapted to present times and affairs between nations, it would be incomplete, unless the dogs ate Lazarus, while Dives would refuse all succor because Lazarus could not pay him for it.

If the suggestion of generous motives on the part of the United States should be even glimmeringly seen by Europeans, it would be repulsed; because it would be a reflection upon United Europe's conduct of a year ago in the matter of poor Armenia – united to them by ties of blood and religion, as against him whom they term "the unspeakable Turk." Nor will anyone acquainted with the spirit of the Americans doubt that, had they lived where Austria lives, or where Russia lives, much more than a cup of cold water would have been promptly extended to poor Armenia.

We did not advocate the war. We cannot take part in it; for we are aliens. We belong to the Loyal Legion of the Great King, whose Kingdom is not of this age, and whose soldiers must not fight with carnal weapons. But we want to be able to appreciate the motives of our fellow-creatures when they are noble and good, as in this instance. We should sympathize with every effort for righteousness and the uplift of humanity, even tho we can render our service only to [R2298 : page 132] our Captain in the warfare which we esteem to be still more important than any other.

Where the matter will end, none but the great King, the Captain of our salvation, knows. Peace may suddenly be ushered in by some suggestion of compromise, or the war with its frightful horrors may continue for months or even years – our expectation is that it will not be very prolonged. We do not consider it any part of the final struggle. The following clipping from the Pittsburg Gazette will be interesting: –

"JUST A POSSIBILITY."

"Not that they love Spain more, but the United States less, the sympathies of the European countries are generally with Spain in the present crisis, and there is little reason to doubt that if they could have secured the cooperation of Great Britain the evidence of such sympathy would have found stronger manifestation ere this than in the weak and well nigh meaningless joint note presented to this government a few weeks ago by their ministers at Washington. By reason of the blood relationship between the rulers of Austria and Spain the sympathy referred to has been less concealed in Austria than in other European countries. One Austrian, prominent in scholastic and political matters in that country, is quoted as saying that 'the sympathies of Europe for Spain don't express admiration for her colonial administration, but are rather the instinctive expressions of the presentment that the victory of America will be the beginning of the Americanizing of European institutions.' It is further complained that 'already the republics of America have fallen under the influence of the United States.' In view of the issues involved in these and kindred arguments, surprise is manifested, not to say impatience and disgust, that Great Britain should seem disposed to take its place with the United States in what might develop into a world alignment of the forces of militarism and royalty on the one hand and of republican institutions on the other. It is not approval of Spain nor fear of territorial conquests by the United States that causes now the poorly concealed European sympathy for Spain, but fear of a greater working in the old world of the leaven of republics. Tho it may not be, and probably will not be, it is nevertheless possible that the impending hostilities may widen into a greater conflict than war between Spain and the United States."

The opposition here noted seems to grow daily, rather than to diminish. Not only do the monarchies of Europe begrudge the Great Republic its successes and prosperity, but the Mexicans and peoples of the Central and South American republics are jealous. They fear that we may eventually develop a rapacity and land hunger similar to that of the great nations of Europe, and that then they would be swallowed up. Moreover, they were mostly settled by Spaniards and their cousins, the Portuguese; and tho they fought and won their independence as the United States did from Great Britain, yet they still feel the ties of blood and of language and of religion. Stranger things have happened, than that they should lend their aid to the Mother country, if they saw her being worsted. They know little of love or sympathy for the oppressed: they do know pride; and it is already leading to subscriptions of money for Spain.

Moreover, the comments of the newspapers of Great Britain favorable to the United States, suggesting that the British could never stand idly by and see the United States crushed, and advocating an offensive and defensive treaty between the countries, laid great stress upon the ties of Anglo-Saxon blood between the nations. And this has stirred the pride of the Latin races, especially the French, and their journals now announce that France could never lie passive and see Spain crushed – for they are of the same blood and of the same religion. And the latest news is that the French fleet is being put into readiness for action.

How comforting and heart assuring to be able to look by faith to our Lord and Master and to realize that he is at the helm; not only to supervise particularly the affairs and interests of his consecrated saints, but also in a more general way to guide the nations and their affairs so as to humble them all and dash them all in pieces as a potter's vessel in the great time of trouble by which his better Kingdom will be introduced. The more the billows near us roll, the more let us hold to our anchorage within the vail.

"Faith has dropped her anchor, found her rest."

AN ANSWER TO THE QUEEN REGENT OF SPAIN.

Royalty is no longer above criticism even in Spain. The spirit of liberty there finds ability to reason and to note the selfishness of rulers. In proof we quote a comment on the queen's recent speech before the Cortes, urging the retention of Cuba as a part of her son's patrimony, at any cost. It is from the Madrid newspaper, El Nacional.

"On reading the words of your majesty we cannot hide from our queen the fact that they fill us with profound sadness. Your majesty says nothing of the employment that has been given our 200,000 sons hurried away from productive work in order to fight for the fatherland, and the king, his majesty; and makes no mention of the 2,000,000 pesetas, earned by the sweat of our brow, which we contributed to preserve intact our honor. You say nothing about the matter in which gold and blood have changed places, nor how the gold and blood are to be regained. We can understand, madam, that in your august heart a large place is occupied by your son, our king, but for a similar reason, your majesty will understand that in our soul there predominates a deep anxiety for our 200,000 sons, your subjects. Your majesty speaks to us only of what is yours. It constitutes an enthusiastic hymn to motherly love. Athwart this speech, madam, we see a mother bending over a cradle, but we seek in vain for a queen bending over a tomb, which appears [R2299 : page 133] to open to receive an ill-starred nation. Still, with that nobility of soul that has enabled us to bestow a name and character upon Spain, we receive your request and have no objection to protect the throne of yourself and the king, in remembrance of that other king, your consort, whose memory, as we have noted with much pain, was not mentioned yesterday from your august lips. But now let us speak of ourselves, because if we perish will not ruin overtake your son? If we be dishonored by ignominious defeat, will not your throne be soiled by the mud in which we are buried?"

Would that we could see such loyalty to the true King and Kingdom by the Spaniards and all nations. No Christian heart can do otherwise than sympathize with these sorrowing people who prefer to bury all their sons and all their wealth, rather than mortify and bury their pride.

[R2299 : page 133]

"LET HIM THAT THINKETH HE STANDETH TAKE HEED."

"All these things happened unto them for ensamples [types]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." – 1 Cor. 10:11,12.
I
N THE ten preceding verses, the Apostle has pointed out that, as Israel after the flesh was a type of spiritual Israel, so the various evidences of divine favor toward them were types of the greater favor of God bestowed upon his Church in the Gospel age – spiritual Israel.

As the consecrated people of God are now baptized into Christ, the Mediator of the new Covenant, the appointed leader of the Lord's people, – their wills immersed into his will, their personal identity lost sight of in their identity as members of the body of Christ (beautifully illustrated in symbol in water baptism), so this was typified in the immersion of all the Israelites, when they passed through the Red Sea, with the waters rising on either side as a wall and with the waters of the cloud overhead: they were all thus baptized, buried, unto Moses, in the cloud and in the sea. They all recognized him as the leader upon whom depended their deliverance from Egypt and their finding of the promised land.

So also our spiritual food, the bread which cometh down from heaven – Christ and his word of truth, the gospel of his salvation, were typified in Israel's case by the manna which fell for them daily, and was for a long time their only sustenance. As we require the spiritual food continually, as our daily bread, to give us strength for the journey of life toward the heavenly Kingdom, so fleshly Israel had need of the manna, provided for their strengthening in their way to the typical Kingdom. As the truth and the spirit of the truth must be sought daily by us, if we would enjoy its benefits, and as it is found in small particles, here a little and there a little, and as it requires searching for and pains-taking labor to gather our daily portion of grace and heavenly food and experience in spiritual things, by searching the Scriptures, etc., so this also was typified in natural Israel's experience. They could not gather a stock of manna for the future. It was their daily bread, daily sought. Nor did they find it in large pieces and without difficulty. On the contrary, those who would be fed must pains-takingly gather up its small pieces, and with diligence. Thus "they did all eat of the same spiritual food" – or rather, they did all eat of the food which had a spiritual significance.

As the Lord's consecrated people now have the refreshment of his grace all along the journey of life, and whenever weary and thirsty may come to the Lord for refreshment, and whenever needing purification, may come to the washing of the water through the Word of him who died for us, – so this spiritual truth was typified to fleshly Israel. When in their journeyings they famished for water and cried unto Moses, and Moses cried unto the Lord for them, relief was granted through the smiting of the rock, which typified the smiting of Christ at the hands of the Law, as our atonement sacrifice, our redemption price. As the grace which flows to us through Christ comes as a result of his being smitten for us, his death on our behalf, so the waters flowed to Israel as a result of the smiting of the typical rock. It was dry before the smiting – the waters gushed forth after the smiting. And not only did they drink of the waters freely at that time, but the waters formed a brook which went with them for a long time in their subsequent journey through the wilderness. Thus they did all drink of the same spiritual drink – of the drink which had a spiritual significance, for they drank of the rock which was typical or had a spiritual significance, the waters of which went with them, and that rock was Christ in type, and that water represented the grace of God in Christ.

Having thus established the identity of fleshly Israel's experiences with the experiences and favors of spiritual Israel, the Apostle is ready to enforce from these a lesson. He would have us note that not only God's favors were typical, but that Israel's conduct with respect to these favors was typical of the conduct of nominal spiritual Israel in respect to the realities, the antitypes. "With many of them God was not well pleased:" this implies that he will not be well pleased with many in the nominal spiritual Israel. [R2299 : page 134] Again, many of the typical people, "were overthrown in the wilderness:" so the proper inference is that many of nominal spiritual Israel will be overthrown in the wilderness and fail to reach the antitypical Canaan. For "these things were our figures, examples, – to the intent that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted." The thought seems to be that in their experiences God gave us a lesson, or illustration, of what results would come to us if we received his mercies and favors in an improper manner. They were object lessons in wrongdoing, and God's treatment of the wrongdoers was intended to instruct us in respect to what would happen to us if we, blessed with the antitypical favors, should misuse them, and desire or lust after the former things, the sinful things which we left when we quitted the world (typified by Egypt) to follow Christ (typified by Moses).

The Apostle then itemizes some of the notable mistakes made by typical Israelites, and suggests that the temptations of spiritual Israel are along the same lines, only on a higher plane – that their experiences and temptations were typical of the temptations which we must expect to endure, and which he urges us to overcome.

(1) Idolatry. He points out how Israel was exposed to idolatrous influences and yielded to them, leaving it for us to apply the lesson to ourselves, and to find what idols are most alluring to spiritual Israelites. Alas! we find that idolatry is very common amongst the nominal spiritual Israelites. Idolatry is the inordinate or undue respect, homage, reverence, or devotion paid to any person, system or thing, – aside from the Lord. Judged by this standard, how many are idolaters! Some idolize money, wealth: they are so devoted to it, so enslaved to it, that they can scarcely think of anything else; they bend all their energies to its service, even at the cost of dwarfing their moral and intellectual powers, and at the cost of health, and sometimes even the loss of name and fame are risked by the devotees of this idol. This is one of the oldest as well as one of the most reverenced of all the idols of Christendom.

Another idol is Self: reverence paid to this idol is known as selfishness. Its worship has a very ignoble and debasing effect upon its worshipers. It is worshiped under various forms and name – pride, selfish ambition, self-esteem, boastfulness, love of show, tyranny, unreasonable self-will, self-ease regardless of others, gratification of passions, gluttony, drunkenness. After all these things do the Gentiles seek; but true Israelites are supposed to have left or put off all these, when they left Egypt, the world, to become followers of God as dear children, no longer to worship at the shrine of self, but to worship God and to more and more seek and strive after the spirit of his holiness – Love.

Another idol much worshipped is Denominationalism: this form of idolatry had become so popular in nominal spiritual Israel that anyone who does not worship at some of its many shrines is regarded as almost a heathen. One of the principal shrines is Roman Catholicism; another, Greek Catholicism; another, Methodism; another, Pan-Presbyterianism – indeed, there are so many of these shrines that we cannot take time to enumerate them. Suffice it to say that those which do not count their worshippers by millions, count them at least by thousands and hundreds of thousands.

This is one of the most dangerous idolatries of all. Its influence upon many is most insidious, for it has a "form of godliness" – it closely resembles the true worship of deity but is delusive and ensnaring in the extreme. Whoever becomes a fervent devotee at these shrines is apt to bind himself hand and foot, and in doing so often thinks, mistakenly, that he does God service. The true Israelite should awake to the fact that there is but one proper object of devotion – to whom his consecrations should be made, and his every power of service rendered – God only. [R2300 : page 134]

(2) He points out that with them the sin of fornication was prevalent and caused many of them to fall – 24,000, as is recorded in Num. 25:1-9. As the food they ate typified something higher, as the water they drank typified something better, as the idolatry they practiced found its parallel in more subtle besetments to Spiritual Israel, so their fornication foreshadowed a fornication on a higher plane, and along more subtle lines. While deprecating this sin in the form in which Israel transgressed, we are glad to believe that it is far from being a common or general sin in Spiritual Israel to-day, even as the lower forms of idolatry, the worshiping of the golden calf, etc., are not common to-day, indeed, never practiced amongst those who profess to be of Spiritual Israel. The temptation before Spiritual Israel, which was illustrated by fornication in fleshly Israel, is of a more insidious kind, and we are frequently warned against it, in the book of Revelation. (See Rev. 2:21; 14:8; 17:2,4,5; 18:3; 19:2.) The use of the word in these cases cited seems to imply as its higher meaning or symbolical significance any illicit fellowship with the world, on the part of those who have betrothed themselves to be God's consecrated people: in other words, fellowship in spirit with those who have not the spirit of the Lord, but the spirit of the world. To how large an extent is this improper course, this sinful fellowship, indulged in by the professed Church of Christ! Are not the worldly not only invited but almost pressed into foremost positions in the nominal Church, while those who are [R2300 : page 135] faithful to the Lord and who stand aloof from and rebuke worldly aims and methods, are disesteemed as being fanatical and peculiar people? How many will fall through this cause!

(3) "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted [their leader Moses], and were destroyed of serpents." The reference here evidently is to Num. 21:4-9, which relates how the Israelites rebelled against God's leading at the hand of Moses, and relented that they had started in the wilderness journey for Canaan, and spoke against the manna – desiring the leeks, onions and fleshpots of Egypt, and in consequence were bitten by fiery serpents, so that many of them died. This would seem to represent a tendency or temptation to Spiritual Israelites to lose their appreciation for spiritual things, for the bread of divine truth, and a hungering instead after the pleasures, ambitions, etc., of the world; a rebellion against the providential leadings of the Lord, which are intended not only to bring them ultimately to Canaan, but meanwhile to discipline and fit them and prepare them to enjoy its blessings everlastingly. Such an evil condition, such a yielding to worldly appetites and desires on the part of any, will surely expose them to the bite of the great serpent of sin, whose poison will effectually destroy in them the spiritual life. Any who have already been bitten by such worldly ambitions and desires, are by this lesson taught to look away speedily from themselves to the Crucified One, if they would have life – if they would recover from the bite of the serpent.

As they "look" at him who was made a sin offering for us, him who knew no sin of his own, and behold how he who was rich for our sakes became poor, and how he left honor and riches of glory to become our deliverer and to bring us to the heavenly Canaan, they will have such a lesson in humility, and submission to divine providence, and in waiting for the exaltation and glory which God hath in reservation for them that love him, that they will recover from the bite of the serpent. Nevertheless, many in Spiritual Israel have been thus bitten who never recover, because they keep looking upon the serpents and keep under the influence of the evil, instead of looking away to him who is the author and by and by will be the finisher of our faith.

(4) "Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured and were destroyed of the destroyer." The reference here seems to be to the account given in Num. 16 of a conspiracy on the part of certain leaders of the people, two hundred fifty, "famous in the congregation," who resented the leadership of Moses and declared themselves equally competent, and better qualified, to do the work of leading Israel and ministering to them in holy things. The result of this conspiracy was (1) that the conspirators were destroyed (vss. 28-35), and (2) that many of the people of Israel, being in sympathy with the conspirators, were offended and blamed Moses for having caused the death of the conspirators; in consequence of which the Lord visited upon them the plague; they were "destroyed of the destroyer," and nearly 15,000 perished (vss. 41-49). The lesson of this example, written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the age have come, seems to be (1) that we are to expect leadings of divine providence in connection with the journey of Spiritual Israel. We are not to regard the matter of the Christian progress of the past eighteen centuries as being merely of human leadership, nor to think, therefore, that human leaders could to-day take hold of Israel's affairs and right matters and bring in the Millennium, as the higher critics, social reformers and religious politicians of our day propose to do. The Lord, the antitype of Moses, is still at the helm, still guiding; nor will he permit the matter to be taken out of his hands. Altho Canaan has not been reached as yet, and altho the journey has been a long and tedious one, with numerous trials and besetments, nevertheless, it has been accomplishing what God designed in the way of valuable lessons and experiences which his people could not do without, and yet be prepared for the inheritance promised. We are to draw from this ensample, also, the lesson that the Lord is at the helm in respect to the very smallest affairs which affect his Zion, that "he setteth up and he pulleth down," and that whosoever attempts to place himself in position in the Church, is violating the divine arrangement, as it is written, "Now God hath set the various members of the body as it hath pleased him." Whosoever, therefore, shall conspire in any manner to overthrow the divine arrangement, will be summarily dealt with by the antitypical Moses. Moreover, all who sympathize with those whom the Lord shall overthrow will be in danger also of dying the second death, because of being murmurers against the Lord and lacking of sympathy with his arrangements or providences.

Based upon these examples from the past, the Apostle urges us, the Gospel Church, each individual Israelite, to be on guard lest we should fall from the Lord's favor and fail to enter Canaan, after the manner of the examples herein set before us, and which the Lord provided for this very reason. It is the common thought, especially with those who are in most danger, that they cannot fall, that they are secure, just as some of the transgressors, herein mentioned, boasted that they were God's holy people, saying, "All the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them." (Num. 16:3). Boastfulness is not a sign of piety, but rather the reverse. Meekness [R2300 : page 136] and humility, a realization of our own littleness and of the Lord's greatness, is the most favorable condition for those who would keep faithfully on the pilgrim way and reach the Canaan of promise. Thus the Apostle stated it respecting himself, saying, "When I am weak, then I am strong." It is when we realize our own weakness that we realize also our dependence upon the Lord and are willing to be guided of him in his way. Hence, the Apostle in this lesson specially exhorts that those who feel that they are standing, who feel strong, who feel that they are in no danger, shall take special heed to the examples hereinbefore presented, lest they fall.

[R2300 : page 136]

THE MARRIAGE FEAST.
– MAY 8. – MATT. 22:1-14. –
"Come; for all things are now ready." – Luke 14:17.
A
CAREFUL scrutiny of this parable, as found in Matthew's record, shows it to be in full accord with the similar parable recorded in Luke (14:16-24), tho they differ somewhat in minor details. It is therefore wise to study the two records in unison.

Both records show three distinct calls to the marriage supper, or rather three divisions or parts to the one call which gathers the guests. There can be no difference of opinion respecting what the parable signifies: the thought brought to our attention is the same which pervades the Scripture throughout, namely, that God is selecting from among mankind a peculiar people, a little flock, to be joint-heirs with Christ Jesus, their Lord, in his Kingdom and in all the gracious work of that Kingdom, and symbolized as a "chaste virgin" who enters into a covenant of betrothal to the King's Son, her Redeemer and Lord, in harmony with which ultimately the great marriage shall take place, and the virgin become "the Bride, the Lamb's wife."

This thought was enunciated by John the Baptist who, in introducing our Lord, presented him as the Bridegroom, saying: "He that hath the Bride is the Bridegroom, but the friend of the Bridegroom, when he heareth the Bridegroom's voice, rejoiceth greatly; this my joy, therefore, is fulfilled." John heard the Bridegroom and rejoiced, tho he was not invited to become one of the Bride class. The Lord had specially called Israel as his peculiar people, and had made ready his arrangements by which the first invitation to be [R2301 : page 136] the Bride of Christ was extended to the people of that nation. This invitation was given at our Lord's first advent, during the three and a half years of his ministry. His message, sent throughout all the land of Israel, was, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand; repent and believe the good tidings." This is the invitation mentioned in the third verse of our lesson, which was not heeded by Israel as a people. Following this, as we saw in our last lesson, their "house," or nation, was left desolate, Messiah was slain, etc.

But our Lord did not abandon the people of that nation, when he rejected the nation as a whole; and hence at his resurrection, in directing his apostles no longer to confine their efforts to Israel, but to preach the gospel to every creature, he added, "beginning at Jerusalem." And we know that for a number of years following the crucifixion, the gospel message went again to Israel, under the power and blessing of the holy spirit, operating upon the apostles. Speaking of this, the Apostle Paul said to some of the Jews, "It was necessary that the Gospel should be preached first to you." – Acts 13:46.

This was the second call to the marriage, recorded in verse 4. It says, "Tell them which were bidden" – previously bidden, and who had during the three and a half years of our Lord's ministry refused to come. Moreover, now the servants were commissioned to tell them that "the oxen and fatlings are killed, and all things ready." This comprehensive statement of readiness could not be made in the first invitation, before our Lord's death; for he himself, in his own sacrifice for sin, was the bullock that was killed, and it is the eating of his flesh, given for the life of the world, that is to bring eternal life to as many as receive him.*

*See Tabernacle Shadows, – signification of the fatted bullock of the sin offering, page 34.

To the first call none seem to have responded, save the servants only who bore the message. To the second call some responded, tho only a remnant, as is shown by Luke's account (vss. 21,22). Moreover, the second call is shown to have been not to the righteous and prominent ones among the Jews, but to the morally and mentally poor, blind, and maimed – not to the Temple class of Israel, the leaders of religious thought, the Scribes and Pharisees, but to the poor, found in the streets and lanes of that city or kingdom. This second message found a considerable number of this apparently inferior and unsuitable class, and gathered them for the wedding, where they were made presentable under the provided "wedding garments." Respecting the gathering, under this call, notice the record found in Acts 2:41,47 and 4:4 – three thousand were found willing in one day and five thousand subsequently. Nevertheless, as the Apostle Paul clearly shows, these Israelites who received the message of grace after the day of Pentecost, under this second call of the parable, were but a remnant as compared with the whole of Israel [R2301 : page 137] – but a part as compared to the entire number predestinated to be the number of the elect Church, the Bride of Christ.

In proof of his assertion that only a remnant of Israel was acceptable to God, Paul quotes Isaiah, the prophet, saying, "Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Tho the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." (Rom. 9:27.) Paul proceeds to show that "the fall of them was the riches of the world," and that in consequence of their not completing the elect number, not providing the full complement of guests to the great marriage feast, therefore the invitation was extended beyond them to the Gentiles. He points out that God spared not the natural branches of the olive tree, but broke off the unfit ones, and during this age has been grafting Gentiles into the places formerly reserved for Israelites according to the flesh, in connection with the root and fatness of the great divine promises to Abraham's Seed. – Rom. 11.

It was after the remnant had been gathered out from the "streets and lanes," and after the great and influential of that nation had rejected the divine invitation to the marriage feast, and had imprisoned the King's messengers, the apostles, and had slain some of them (See Acts 8:1-4; 12:1-3, etc.), that God sent his judgments against that city or government, and utterly destroyed it, in a great time of trouble, referred to in verse 7 of this lesson. John the Baptist, speaking of that trouble, likened it in parable to "fire," whose work was to burn up the chaff of that nation. This was the baptism of fire which came upon them, in contradistinction to the baptism of the holy spirit, which came upon the Israelites indeed, who accepted the invitation to the marriage feast. (Matt. 3:11.) It was respecting this fire and wrath that John said to the scribes and Pharisees who came to his baptism, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Matt. 3:7; Luke 3:7.) Concerning this same destruction of these rejectors of the divine favor, the Apostle Paul wrote, saying that they "killed the righteous, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved; – to fill up their sins alway: for WRATH IS COME upon them to the uttermost."1 Thess. 2:15,16.

Thus the way was left open for the third division of the call to the marriage feast (the call of the Gentiles) by reason of an insufficient number of worthy ones being found amongst those which were originally bidden – the Jews, the natural seed of Abraham. This third call, mentioned in verse 9 of our lesson, and in Luke 14:23, is in both the accounts designated as a call in "the highways" – among the nations, the Gentiles, outside the city of the parable, which represents Israel. This call among the Gentiles has progressed for now more than eighteen centuries and, according to various lines of testimony in the Lord's Word, it has about accomplished the purpose intended, namely, the filling up of the elect, predetermined number which shall constitute the joint-heirs in the Kingdom, by becoming the Bride, the Lamb's wife.

Both evangelists state that a sufficient number will be found; and Matthew declares that "both good and bad" were amongst those found willing to participate in the feast. His description reminds us of another of our Lord's parables, illustrative of the same point, namely, the parable of the net which, being cast into the sea, caught fish, both good and bad, – suitable and unsuitable. The separation of the fish, gathering some into baskets for use, and casting the remainder back into the sea, implies a choice, a discrimination on the Lord's part, as between the numbers who eventually would profess to be of his Kingdom class and seek to share the feast, and those whom the Lord will esteem worthy, according to certain conditions and tests of character.

This part of the parable brings us down unquestionably to the close of the Gospel age; because the Gospel age is for the very purpose of calling those who shall participate in the marriage feast. If, therefore, it be true that we are in the end of this Gospel age, it implies that a sufficient number of worthy guests have been found, or, to reverse the proposition, If a sufficient number of worthy guests have now been found, it proves that we are in the close of this age. And just at this point the parable introduces another feature – for it was after the wedding had been furnished with a proper number of guests, that "the King came in" and began the inspection of the guests. This, we have elsewhere shown, marks the date April, 1878.* At that point of time therefore, we believe, on the strength of the testimony of the Scriptures, our Lord assumed the office of King, which he since holds, and will continue to exercise until he shall have overthrown present institutions, falsely called Christian institutions, dashing them "in pieces as a potter's vessel," in a great time of trouble symbolically spoken of as a time of "fire" and of overflowing "floods," and eventually reigning in righteousness for a thousand years, during which all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

*MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. III., page 197.

This date, at which the Bridegroom takes his kingly authority and power, marks a special feature of dealing in connection with his consecrated Church – the class gathered to the feast. The first part of the King's business, in the establishment of his Kingdom, [R2301 : page 138] is, as we have seen, the judgment of the nations, and the Apostle Peter assures us that "judgment must begin at the house of God." This judgment of the house of God, the consecrated Church, is shown in the parable by the statement that the King inspected or examined the guests. Among them he found worthy ones, evidently, and also unworthy ones which, in the parable, are represented by one man – a leader or representative of the class.

The unworthiness of this guest is represented in his lack of a wedding garment, hence it is important for us to ascertain the significance of such a garment. Secular history shows that the custom of that time amongst the Jews was that when any notable person made a feast of this kind, he provided for the occasion an outer robe or covering, for each guest, so that however different the guests might be in respect to their circumstances, wealth or apparel, on this occasion, while at the feast, as guests of one host, they were on a common level; for the wedding garments were alike, probably of white linen embroidered. The significance is readily seen. The Lord's people, gathered from every nation and people and tongue, are dissimilar in their intellectual, moral, physical and financial conditions, but when they have accepted the Lord Jesus, the redemption in his blood provided and an invitation to the wedding, they are reckoned as "new creatures in Christ Jesus," and all on a common footing – the robe of Christ's righteousness [R2302 : page 138] making up for the deficiencies of each one, so that there is no difference as respects previous situation or condition, bond or free, male or female, they are all one in Christ Jesus. – Gal. 3:28.

The class represented as without this wedding garment of Christ's righteousness is, therefore, very evidently a class which denies the necessity, value or merit of the great atoning sacrifice accomplished for us at Calvary, – denies totally any necessity for a covering for their sins – attempting to appear at the feast in the filthy rags of self-righteousness.

The appropriateness of the illustration is still further heightened by the knowledge that it was the custom of that day, not only to provide these garments, but to insist that each guest who would enter to the feast should first have on the wedding garment. Just so it is one of the explicit terms or conditions of the call to the great feast that God has prepared, that all who will come to it must first accept by faith the redemption which is in Christ Jesus our Lord – otherwise they can gain no admission. It follows, therefore, logically, that the guest found without a wedding garment must have taken off the wedding garment after he had entered as one of the guests, since he would not have been admitted without it. We can readily see the application of this in the Church. While none could have access to the grace of God in Christ without first accepting by faith the merit of his sacrifice as the ransom price for their sins, yet after having entered the grace of God, we find so many who do despite not only to the King who made the marriage feast, but also to the King's Son who has just assumed the office of King, by rejecting the robe of his righteousness, while attempting to enjoy the benefits of his grace.

Where may we look for this class? We answer, we may look for them in amongst the others, who still retain the wedding garment; and, as we should expect, it is especially since 1878 that the various no-ransom doctrines have come to the front, – "denying that the Lord bought them." And these theories, in derogation of the ransom, seem to have a special fascination for certain classes: (1) For a class which is anxious to appear more independent in thought, and to be known as critics and advanced thinkers. (2) They have fascination for a class whose consecration is lax, or partial only, and who like to take a broad view and to claim universal salvation, partly because they realize that they are not walking in the narrow way of self-sacrifice.

At all events, such a class is to be expected at the present time, and such a class we find quite numerous; some of them openly scoffing at the thought that a ransom was necessary or was given, others tacitly acknowledging the ransom, but in heart and in life denying it: ignoring the logical consequences, and propriety of participation with the Lord in the sufferings of this present time.

The parable shows that at this juncture the full number of the guests has been gathered, and are in the house of their host. We may imagine the provision for their entertainment, the reception room, its brilliant illumination, etc., and these correspond in our case, to the blessings enjoyed by the living members of the consecrated Church now. With us, too, the light has been turned on (since 1874); we are enjoying many of the blessings provided by our host, the Lord, and we have before us the menu describing to some extent "the things which God hath in reservation for them that love him." We can even occasionally see some of the preparations for the great feast progressing, and it is from such favorable conditions, into the ignorance, uncertainty and "outer darkness" of the world, that all who do not have on the wedding garment shall be thrust or forced.

It was in 1878 that the importance of the wedding garment was particularly drawn to our attention, and since that time there has been continual evidence before us of the binding and going into outer darkness of such as have taken off the wedding garment. Of course, it is not a literal binding: it is accomplished by the presentation [R2302 : page 139] of the truth, in contradistinction to the error; the influence of the truth being the binding or restraining influence circumventing the error, on this subject. It is the duty of all who see the truth on the subject of the ransom to be thoroughly loyal to the King, and to thus assist in binding, restraining with the truth, any whom they find exercising influence to the contrary. It is our experience that all who lose respect for and trust in the merit of the precious blood of Christ as the redemption price of the world, go quickly into the outer darkness of the world in respect to the divine plan, etc.

In the parable it is said that in the outer darkness there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. This is generally understood to mean "eternal torment," "hell-fire," altho those who offer such an interpretation seem to entirely ignore the fact that outer darkness and inner fire would be opposites of thought: wherever there is fire, the darkness is absent; where darkness prevails, fire is absent. Moreover, they claim that people will be shut up in hell, whereas in the parable the place or condition is an outside place. None of the conditions favor the ordinary interpretation, tho all favor the interpretation which we are giving. The wailing and gnashing of teeth among those of the outer darkness of the world and of the nominal church has not yet commenced; but, as the parable states it, by and by, "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." And those who are now ejected from the light and from all participation in the joys and blessings of the present time will have their portion, their share in the great time of trouble coming upon the whole world, which is thus signified, "a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." None then living shall escape that trouble, except the little flock, the Kingdom class, the Bride class, to whom the Lord said, "Watch ye, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all those things coming upon the world."

Our Lord sums up the significance of this parable, as meaning that "Many are called but few are chosen." How true! Not all have been called to this marriage feast. Hundreds of millions never heard a word about it all through these eighteen centuries, and hundreds of millions are living to-day without the slightest knowledge of it, and none of these can in any sense of the word be reckoned among the "called." Nevertheless, many have been called – all of the Jewish nation who had ears to hear the message were called, because they, by divine arrangement, were a covenanted people, to whom the first call belonged; but only a few of them were chosen. And so, during the offer of the Gospel to the Gentiles, it has gone to a comparatively small proportion of the whole Gentile world; nevertheless, it has reached millions during these eighteen centuries. The calling has extended to hundreds of millions of Christendom to-day, and a considerable portion of these, we may reasonably suppose, have ears to hear; nevertheless, they very generally choose to ignore the call: the vast majority find other attractions and ambitions – worldly and church power, wealth, influence, pleasure, ease, etc. Comparatively few therefore, care to accept the invitation. And finally, of those who have accepted, the Lord makes choice and separates and rejects all who do not accept the invitation and all its privileges as a grace, a favor. The others constitute the little flock, addressed by our Lord, saying, "Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."

The inquiry naturally and properly arises: If the wedding was furnished with guests when the King came in – April, 1878 – how can there be any room for others to come in now? We answer, that there would be no room for any to enter now, were it not for the inspection which is in progress, and the casting out of those who were not worthy. For each one of those cast out of the light and the privileges of the feast, there is an opening, an opportunity for another to take his place and to take the crown that was reserved for him. – See Rev. 3:11.

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THE DUTY OF WATCHFULNESS.
– MAY 15. – MATT. 24:42-51. –
"Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." – Matt. 24:42.
T
HIS injunction followed our Lord's great prophecy of the events of the Gospel age, recorded in Matt. 24 and Luke 17 and 21. It is not an exhortation to watch the sky in hope of seeing our Lord's second coming, as some seem to understand it. On the contrary, our Lord had just explained that "in the days of" his second presence the world in general would be eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage, and know not of his presence. He had told them that in the time of his presence his people would be gathered from the field, the mill and the bed, to the food of present truth which he would supply; and that if at that time anyone should say to them, Lo here! or Lo there! Lo, he is in the secret chambers, or in the desert, they should believe it not, nor seek to see him thus, because the signs or evidences of his presence would not be secret ones, but would be manifest to all, as is the light of the morning sun.*
*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 5, and VOL. IV., Chap. 12.

[R2303 : page 140]

It is proper, also, to call attention to the fact that nothing whatever in the text, nor in the context, has the slightest reference to watching for death; such a statement is only justified by the fact that very many are inclined to give this very unreasonable meaning to the Master's words. Death is not our Lord, but, on the contrary, the great enemy – the "last enemy that shall be destroyed." – 1 Cor. 15:26.

We are to watch the signs of the times, so carefully delineated by our Lord in the prophecy which precedes this exhortation to watchfulness. The tendency of the world, the flesh and the devil is to absorb our time, thought, interest and affections in worldly affairs, eating, drinking, marrying, building, planting, business, pleasure, sectarianism, and cunningly devised fables. Our Lord presents to us, as an antidote to these prevailing influences, first of all the thought that he is coming a second time, to receive us unto himself, to associate us with him in his Kingdom, and to employ us then in the great work of blessing all the families of the earth: secondly, by the prophetic delineation of the conditions that would prevail in the interim of our waiting he sought to divert our thoughts from the worldly conditions, and to give us therein something which would help to hold and fix our thoughts and affections and interests on higher things, and thus help to hold our interest and to have us always ready. It is thoroughly absurd, however, to claim that the multitudinous signs of our Lord's prophecy are to be studiously ignored by the watchers. Such as give no heed to the "more sure word of prophecy" are not watching and will not know.

Hence, we conclude that the meaning of this exhortation, "Watch therefore," is that the Lord's people should be keeping note of the fact of his coming, and of the various incidents of the interim; not knowing how rapidly they might culminate, might ever live in the attitude of expectancy, and of readiness for his presence. This would imply, not readiness in a literal ascension robe, but readiness in a figurative ascension robe, namely, such a condition of heart and life as would be in readiness to welcome the Lord, and his scrutiny of our hearts and conduct; and efforts to copy his character and to serve his cause every moment. The tendency of things of the earth is to lull us to sleep along the lines of self-control and spiritual activity in the Lord's service, and Watching signifies to keep awake, to be on the alert, to be energetic. Those who have tried it can attest, that nothing is more helpful to wakefulness and energy in the Lord's service than the thought of his coming, and the examination of the prophecies which were given us with the very object of having us know something about the time of his coming, so that we should not be in darkness with the world, nor be overtaken by the day of the Lord as by a thief, unawares, as it will overtake the whole world.

This significance of the injunction to watchfulness is borne out by the subsequent exhortation in the form of a parable. Our Lord represents the world of mankind as a household, whose head or chief is the "Prince of this world," Satan, whose house is to be broken up in the great time of trouble with which this age shall end and the new age be introduced. If the world were aware of the time of the Lord's coming, and of the great dispensational changes then due, it would order its affairs differently, even tho its heart were not different from at present; hence it is that these things are spoken of in parables and "dark sayings," that worldly people may hear and not understand, and see and not believe at the present time, and so the day of the Lord will come upon them as a thief in the night, and as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape it. But ye, brethren, – all the faithful in Christ Jesus, who wait for his Kingdom and watch thereunto and seek to be prepared for it – ye will not be left in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Watch! Not that you may be deceived and know no more about the matter than the world which does not watch, but watch so that when the time does come you may know of it. – Compare 1 Thess. 5:1-9.

Luke says (12:41) that Peter inquired whether or not this necessity for watching was applicable to the apostles merely, or to all? Our Lord's answer is in the nature of a question, which implies that during this Gospel age it would be his method to make use of certain agents or agencies in the presentation of dispensational truth. He inquires, Who then, at that time – at the time of the second presence of the Lord – is the faithful and prudent servant whom his master has placed over his household to give them food in due season? Who will it be? Whoever will occupy that position, happy will it be for him, if the Master, on coming, shall find him thus employed – diligent in his service of the household, dispensing meat in due season to the household of faith. If that servant shall continue faithful during the trials of the day of the presence, he will be continued at his post of service, and used as a channel for the dissemination of all the riches of grace and truth which will continue to be due to the household of faith. But should he lose his faith in the Master's presence, become arrogant and tyrannical to his fellow-servants, and intemperate in his words and deeds, the Master will be present nevertheless [his loss of faith in the presence will not change the fact], and he will be cut off from the office of steward, and separated from the household of faith entirely, and will [R2303 : page 141] have his portion with the hypocrites, – altho he was not one of the hypocrites but an unfaithful servant.

To have his portion with the hypocrites implies that he will share with them the great time of trouble which will follow the gathering together of the Lord's elect – the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, represented by the expression, "wailing and gnashing of teeth." – Matt. 24:51; 13:42.

This answer to Peter's question, while it gives a particular prophecy respecting the Lord's dealing in the end of this age, gives also a suggestive hint to all who might be special servants or fellow-servants, that the greater and more important their service, the greater will be their responsibility to the Master.

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THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.

MAY 22. – MATT. 25:31-46.

"He shall reward every man according to his works." – Matt. 16:27.
M
OST of our Lord's parables or illustrations represent some phase of the Kingdom of Heaven – the Church – either in its present embryotic and preparatory condition, or in its future majesty. For instance, the parable of the wheat and the tares shows the sowing of the good seed, the gospel of the Kingdom, by our Lord, and the development of that seed in the Church; the sowing amongst it of the false doctrines by the adversary, and the development from it of the false professors in the Church; the harvest time at the end of the age, followed by the burning of the tares – the destruction of the counterfeits as such, and the gathering of the wheat into the garner, – which, our Lord explained, was an illustration of the glorification of the Church in Kingdom majesty: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their father." But in the parable before us we have no such illustration of the Kingdom – the Kingdom of Heaven is not likened to, nor illustrated by, the matters presented in this parable. Quite to the contrary of this, it is a lesson or description of the matters which will transpire after the Kingdom of Heaven has been developed in this age, and after it has been glorified at the end of this age.

This is shown by verse 31, which distinctly states the time of its applicability: "When the Son of Man shall come in his glory." We are to remember, in this connection, that the first event of the second advent is not the manifestation of glory, but the thief-like gathering (unknown to the world) of the elect "little flock," the "chaste virgin," to the Bridegroom, and her exaltation to the position of "the Bride, the Lamb's wife, filled with the glory of God." The revelation of our Lord's glory is not another coming, but another step or development during the same coming or presence (parousia). "When he shall appear in glory, we also shall appear with him," explains the Apostle (Col. 3:4), and this view agrees with the Apostle's other statement that, as the wife is the glory of the husband, so the Church is the glory of Christ. Consequently, our Lord could not appear in his glory, according to his own arrangement as expressed through his own mouthpieces, until first he had associated the Bride with himself.

Hence, the scene of this parable is not a judgment scene respecting the Church, because before this scene begins, those who shall be accounted worthy of a share in the Kingdom shall be with the Lord in the throne of his glory, according to the promise, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne;" "To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations." The judgment scene here presented is the world's judgment, in which the Church shall share only as judges, as the Apostle explains, "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" – 1 Cor. 6:2.

In full harmony with this is the statement of verse 32, [R2304 : page 141] that it is the nations of earth then gathered to judgment before the throne of glory – the great white throne of justice and impartiality – that are here pictured to us. But the day of the world's judgment is not such a day as it has been generally represented. It will not be a twenty-four hour day, but a larger day, a thousand years, for "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years" (2 Pet. 3:8): it is the long-promised Millennial day, in which the overcomers of this age shall live and reign with Christ a thousand years, and as kings and priests unto God shall bless the world by a righteous judgment. – Rev. 5:9,10; 20:4.

This brings us to the thought that this great judgment day, so far from being merely a day of general damnation, is really the great blessing, the great boon, secured for the world by the death of Christ. Originally, through Adam's transgression, the entire race was under sentence of death, justly; and there was no need for anything further of future judgment or sentence, for the original sentence, "Dying thou shalt die," in its execution had utterly destroyed mankind, without hope. But when divine mercy provided the great "ransom for all," another judgment was thus provided; that is to say, another trial for life. The first judgment or trial for life in Eden had resulted disastrously to Adam and all his race, but the penalties of that judgment being borne by our Redeemer in [R2304 : page 142] his own body on the tree, Adam and his posterity are to be granted another trial, another opportunity to see whether or not, with their added experience, they would choose righteousness, and thereby choose the accompanying gift of God – eternal life; or whether they would choose sin and the accompanying penalty of sin – death; which, in this case, would be the Second Death; the penalty of failure under the second opportunity or trial.

God not only appointed the great redemption for sin, of which our Redeemer was the willing central figure, but he also appointed that the Redeemer should be the one through whom the blessings of the ransom – the second trial – should come to all: as it is written, "God hath appointed a day [the Millennial age, the seventh day, the seventh thousand-year period of earth's history] in which he [God] will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained [Jesus Christ]." And not only so, but having predestinated the adoption of a little flock to joint-heirship with Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom and its glory, its service and its judgment of the world, God has, during this Gospel age, preceding the day of judgment, granted a special, earlier trial to the Church.

The trial of the Church during this Gospel age is along lines considerably different from those which will be applied to the trial of the world in the next age. For instance, mankind in general shall be tried or judged according to their works, during the Millennial age, as shown in this lesson, and in the Golden Text, and in Rev. 20:12; but the Church of this age is not judged according to its works, which could not be perfect because of the infirmities of the flesh, "for we have this treasure [the new nature] in earthen vessels." We are judged according to our faith: "This is the victory that overcometh the world [during this age, while the world is under the Prince of this world, Satan, and in antagonism to righteousness and the righteous], even your faith."

True, faith without works would be dead, and we are to show our faith by our works; but we are not to be judged by the imperfect works which are the utmost of our ability, but to be judged by our faith, which is reckoned unto us for righteousness – as full perfection: for, "The righteousness of the law [of God's demands] is [reckonedly] fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit." – Rom. 8:4.

The great work of the Millennial age is briefly comprehended in the statement of verse 33, "He shall set his sheep on his right hand [position of favor] and the goats on his left." The wayward, wilful goat is chosen as a symbol to represent depraved humanity, while the docile sheep fitly represents those who are fully subjected to the Lord's will in every particular. Other scriptures show us that this division of mankind into two classes, the willing and obedient separated from the unwilling and disobedient, will be very gradually accomplished, with much patience, and with every opportunity for the sheep character to be developed by the whole world. For instance, speaking of that new dispensation and the patient and generous trial of mankind there to be granted by the Redeemer-Judge, the Prophet Isaiah shows that while all will be obliged to refrain from doing injury to others, for "nothing shall hurt or destroy in all my holy Kingdom," yet liberty to make progress, or not to make progress, under those favorable conditions will be left to each individual: and that those who refuse to make progress will die a hundred years old (the Second Death) because of having failed to benefit by the opportunities granted to them; altho then they will be but children – for they might live, by even outward conformity and progress, to the end of the day of judgment, till the close of the Millennium. – Isa. 65:17-20.

The culminating scenes, marking the close of the Millennial age, are set forth in verses 34-46, tho in the reverse order to that given by the same Teacher in Rev. 20:7-10, and 11-15. The account in Revelation seems to indicate that the goat class will be dealt with first: a certain test, a deception by Satan, will manifest those who have the goatlike disposition of wilfulness still remaining in their hearts after they have enjoyed all the blessings of the "times of restitution." Those whose hearts are not completely won by the instruction and favorable opportunity for coming to a knowledge of God's goodness and wisdom and grace, will be destroyed with Satan, in the Second Death. Then will be ushered in the grand perfections of the eternal state, in which there shall be no more dying, no more crying, no more pain, because the former things – sin, and those who have unconsecrated dispositions disposed to sin, will be no more.

The reward to the righteous will then be in order, and they will be introduced to the Father by the Son, blameless and irreprovable in love. These will have been perfected through the processes of the restitution. They will be perfect men, in the image of God as was Adam, but with their knowledge of God infinitely enlarged by the experiences through which they will have passed. This is the delivering up of the Kingdom to God, even the Father – the cessation of the Millennial Kingdom, mentioned by the Apostle Paul. (1 Cor. 15:24-28.) Mankind will no longer need a mediator, but will then be able to stand in their own righteousness, as Adam could stand in his own righteousness before he transgressed. [R2304 : page 143]

The mediatorial Millennial Kingdom of Christ and the Church, having accomplished its purpose, and being withdrawn, the dominion of the renewed earth will be handed over to the rule of its redeemed and restored rulers – humanity. Thenceforth man shall again be king of the earth, subject to the Great King, Jehovah, in whose "everlasting Kingdom" Christ and the Church will thereafter be associated. We may reasonably suppose that even perfect men will require some form of government, and that it will be a representative government, since every member of that human family will be perfect, and therefore equally a king with each other member. Such a government would be nothing more nor less than a republic, in which each individual is a sovereign, and one of their number is chosen as their servant or President.

This transfer of the earth's control to the renewed race is briefly represented in our Lord's words, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." It should be distinctly noted that this is a totally different kingdom from the one promised to the saints of this Gospel age, which is a joint-heirship with Christ in his Kingdom during the Millennial age, terminating, so far as the earth is concerned, at the close of the Millennium. The spiritual class and Kingdom was foreordained "from [BEFORE] the foundation of the world:" the earthly kingdom is here described as "prepared for you [restored and worthy humanity] from the foundation of the world." The earthly kingdom relates to the earth; and the foundation or preparation of the earth, which is its basis.

The character of the judgment is intimated, rather than described, in the words addressed to the approved and to the condemned. The reward is for good works, indicative of sympathy, love, compassion; the punishment is for the neglect of good works, thus intimating the absence of good motives, tender, loving sentiments. Thus it appears, that those who will ultimately be accounted worthy of the Second Death will not be murderers, thieves, and liars, in the present-day acceptance of those terms, but those who lack evidences of the possession of the holy spirit whose fruits are meekness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness – Love.

Our Lord's words summed up mean approval to those only who have at heart the disposition of love; and that such only will be adjudged worthy of eternal life. All who shall not attain to that graciousness of character, God-like-ness, will be rejected as unworthy of eternal life, and will die the Second Death. All who have not the spirit of love are "accursed," under that law of the New Covenant. Satan and all who (after the full opportunities of the Millennial age) still have to any degree his disposition or spirit of selfishness, lovelessness, will be accounted worthy of the Second Death, called, in verse 46, "everlasting punishment," in verse 41, "everlasting fire," and in Rev. 20:10,14,15, "the lake of fire;" – and there explained to be "the Second Death;" – "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." The wages or punishment of sin being death, the hopelessness [R2305 : page 143] of any rescue or further redemption from death, makes that death an everlasting punishment.

For a further explanation of verse 46 and of other similar texts, see What Say the Scriptures about Hell? – ten cents, 50 cents per dozen, – this office.

*                         *                         *
THE LORD'S SUPPER. – MAY 29. – MATT. 26:17-30.

For this lesson, please see article in our issue of March 1, "The Memorial Supper."

[R2305 : page 143]

INTERESTING LETTERS.

"THE MILLENNIAL DAWN CHRISTIANS."

"In the city of Birmingham [Ala.] there are several persons now working who call themselves 'Non-Sectarian Christians.' They have espoused the doctrines as promulgated in MILLENNIAL DAWN. I desire now not to speak specially of their doctrines, which seem to me to be mostly theories, but of their methods of spending time.

"They have worked this city from house to house, selling MILLENNIAL DAWN and circulating other brief literature. They talk their religion every chance, and preach on Sunday. They call themselves 'Colporteurs.' They have put over two thousand copies of their books in this city. Their books are in cheap binding. Most all of our literature [Christian Denomination] is too expensive. These books are being read. How I wish 2,000 copies of some of our books could be placed here!

"These young men live very economically. Four of them rent a room, use their own cheap cots, and cook their own victuals. They told me their meals averaged three and five-sevenths cents each.

"Now, why cannot we disseminate our literature and the Bible doctrine, as we understand it, in this way? The fact is, I fear, we have stagnated on methods, and God is gradually hinting to us that, if we do not get to moving forward, he will give us a back seat.

"It will not help the cause for you to become anxious as to my joining the Mormons or Age to Come Folks. The best method of propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ in its ancient purity, simplicity and power is what I am seeking, it makes no difference who is using it. This subject must be agitated."

– O.P.S. in The Gospel Messenger.
[R2305 : page 144]

[There are three ways in which devotion and self-sacrifice may be induced, (1) by vainglory; (2) by superstition; (3) by a knowledge of the Truth in a consecrated heart. The first has plenty of illustrations in business and politics; the second plenty in heathenism and Roman Catholicism; the last is the energizing power in the Colporteur brethren, whose devotion is noted. Error is surrounded by the glitter and tinsel of public approval; it is backed by wealth and immense influence, yet it must provide its ministers with titles and honors and every comfort to secure their service. Those who receive the Truth into good and honest hearts cannot restrain themselves. They must tell the good tidings to others. Compare the message now going forth and the one which went forth at the First Advent, and then compare the effects of both, and you have the secret. – EDITOR.]

Iowa.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Words cannot express the joy I feel after perusing the wonderful truths of MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOLS. I., II., and III. Oh! how I love the Word of God – the Bible – and its Author more and more, ever since the Lord through one of his messengers directed my attention to one of those little tracts which I found in the library case of the Railroad Y.M.C.A., when I went to look for some good book to read. That little tract, The Wages of Sin, led me to look at others that were there, until I had read them all; and I was so pleased to see they were just as the Scriptures teach. What a flood of light came in upon some heretofore dark and difficult passages of Scripture! In fact, after I had gotten through reading MILLENNIAL DAWN, which I sent for at the earliest opportunity, the Bible had indeed become a new book to me, and God's plan so different from what I had always believed; and the beauty of it all is, I had not the slightest doubt from the beginning but that it is really and truly our heavenly Father's plan.

Sixteen months ago I was converted from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism, at a series of meetings held here. Before that I was very much pronounced against Protestantism, as I of course believed that the Catholic Church was the true Church, and the others only rotten branches of the same. In my young days I was an altar boy and was very devout, and indeed, my parents thought I would choose to be a priest, but after going through the Catholic school, I drifted into the printing office and became a compositor, and nearly ever since have followed that vocation.

Altho I had read a great deal, especially Romish papers and books, I never was aware that that church was such a blood-thirsty tyrant, and that she was the author and instigator of so many fiendish outrages. In fact, I did not know that she ever persecuted. Catholics are generally ignorant of this fact. They seem to think that all the persecution was on the other side. They are cautioned about reading "profane" history, as they call it; i.e., all history that is not authorized by their church. Up to the time when I was consecrated I never read the Bible, but had only a glimmering knowledge of some of its sayings and parables. I believed firmly that Peter was the first Pope and that he lived in Rome, and that the Church was founded upon him and not upon the truth he uttered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

I am anxious to spread the glad tidings everywhere, as I am now nearly every day telling them to some one. Some think I am backsliding, while others believe the good news. I would like to know what arrangements can be made as to the sale of these valuable books. Of course, I never sold books, but I am greatly impressed that they would sell, especially to the right parties. I am anxious to put them as rapidly as possible into the hands of the brethren, along with the WATCH TOWER. I would like to engage in the work. Hoping to hear from you at your earliest opportunity,

Yours in Christ,

JAMES S. O'ROURKE.

[This brother has since received DAWN, VOL. IV., and entered the Colporteur work; and the Lord is still blessing him and blessing his efforts to the good of others. – EDITOR.] page 144

Washington.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – The light that has come to me through the DAWNS and WATCH TOWER is such that I feel it is both a duty and a pleasure to write to you. The four volumes of DAWN have been read again during the last eight months, and a larger portion of God's Word has thus been studied with a degree of understanding and enjoyment that was never before possible to me.

My prayer now is that I may be shown the work that the Lord has for me to do and that strength and courage may be given me to do it. I dare not presume to be a teacher, having so much yet to learn, but I try to let no opportunity pass of calling attention to the DAWNS, TOWERS, etc., and have given away some copies, and hope to be able to do more in this line.

I am peculiarly hindered from meeting with the few who have "come out" for the purpose of serving God in the liberty and in the light of present truth. I hope that the hindrance may be overcome, and that I may enjoy the fellowship of those who are striving to serve God in spirit and in truth. May their number increase, both here and elsewhere. With the fervent wish that God will prosper you in the work you are doing, I close, leaving unsaid many things that I would like to say, for fear of taking time that might be more usefully spent.

Yours in the Lord's work,

C. H. FULLER.

[R2305 : page 144]

Minnesota.

MY DEAR BROTHER: – You remember my speaking of an old German here whom I found just before starting for Allegheny, who was so loyal to the Bible and to Jesus? Well, I called on him the other day. I do not know that I ever found a happier man. He had found a "new Bible" and a "new God," and he said, "Why didn't I know this before?" He had read the DAWNS once and almost a second time; says he has been trying to serve Christ for 72 years through much trial, even the threatening of death at the hands of his own brother for leaving the church, and now he says he has learned more about the Bible the last few weeks than during all the rest of his life. Such is the testimony for the truth in honest humble, loyal hearts everywhere. Praise the Father for his Truth!

Your brother in Christ,

W. E. VANAMBURGH.

page 145
May 1st

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

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

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

VOL. XIX.MAY 15, 1898.No. 10.
CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower 147
Ex-President Harrison's Words, etc 148
The Truth in Foreign Fields 149
Reform among Roman Catholics, etc 150
Poem: Grow in Love as well as in Knowledge 153
The Christian's Warfare 153
None but Fighters Wanted in the Lord's Army 156
A Fight of Faith 158
Jesus before Pilate – "Consider Him" 159

'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 146

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 –
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"BIBLE HOUSE," 56-60 ARCH STREET, ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.

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MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, N.Y. DRAFT, MONEY ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL
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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 case and requesting the paper. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list constantly.

THE GERMAN WATCH TOWER.

Many of the friends of the truth are possibly not aware that we have an edition of the WATCH TOWER in the German language. It is a bi-monthly, and its columns are filled with selections from the English TOWER translated by the Brothers Koetitz and Sister Giesecke. Order sample copies free for your German friends, supplying postage if they reside in foreign lands.

POEMS AND HYMNS OF DAWN.

We have just gotten out another edition of our hymn book, and have filled all the accumulated back orders. All of our readers who have not this book should have it. It is almost indispensable where meetings are held and spiritual songs without doctrinal objections are desired. Even those who are alone, and those who do not sing, will surely be profited by reading over these grand hymns and poems. They are of wide selection, – many of them "good old ones." Price to TOWER subscribers, 50 cents each, postage prepaid; or $5.00 per doz. by express at purchasers' charges. – Cloth binding, 494 pages.

[R2305 : page 147]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

RETRIBUTION seems to be a law more easily discerned in national than in individual affairs. "Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after" (1 Tim. 5:24); but, since nations will have no resurrection as nations, it is but justice that the reaping as well as the sowing should always come in "this present evil world [age]."

When God foretold to Abraham Israel's bondage and oppression in Egypt, he added, "And also that nation whom they shall serve, I will judge." (Gen. 15:14.) And only from this standpoint of retribution can we properly [R2306 : page 147] understand "the plagues of Egypt." And in this we seem to have an illustration of a general law whose operation can only be clearly discerned through the glass of history which takes in the sweep of centuries – the Law of Retribution.

A noteworthy illustration just before our eyes is Spain – the derelict nation. Once a queen amongst the nations with more possessions than they all, she to-day is the pauper nation of Europe, whose promises to pay her debts are not one-half as good as those of despised Turkey; while her poor, illiterate peasants and artisans are rioting for bread. She discovered "the new world" and planted her colonies upon it and held the title to more than one-half of it – from Washington and Oregon to Florida, in the United States, to Mexico, Central America and nearly all of South America; yet piece by piece she has lost it all except a few islands, and these will probably be lost to her within a few days.

What was Spain's crime? Her crime was practically the same as that of every other nation that has fallen; – the same that is briefly charged by inspiration against Sodom: "Pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness – neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." (Ezek. 16:49.) Spain's prosperity developed pride – instead of gratitude to God, and realization of increased responsibility as a Steward. Pride begat arrogance, injustice, misrule and tyranny, and led to the despoiling of all who came under her power, for the accumulation of riches in the hands of her favored ones at home. This led her foreign subjects to hate her and to rebel against her unjust rapacity by which their lives and substance were drained. Her pride and avarice spent her wealth and the blood of her young men in seeking to perpetuate the oppressions by which she sucked to herself the wealth of her victims. Thus by war after war she has lost victim after victim, as well as her accumulated wealth, until to-day without national purse or national credit she retains nothing but her national pride – which cannot die because it is an integral element of the spirit of the Evil One.

Yet Spain is one of Papacy's oldest, most loyal and devoted daughters. Has she not been such for centuries? While la belle France can boast of her loyalty as manifested in the massacre of the Huguenots, can not Spain boast that she persecuted Protestant heretics more zealously than any other nation, not even excepting France and Austria? Can she not claim that the "Holy Inquisition" was of her own invention? Yes; and is it not a part of a just retribution that, as France suffered a century ago in expiation of her national sins, so Spain should now suffer for hers? and Austria for hers?

Not only Christians who refused to worship the Man of Sin suffered at the hands of Spain, but the natural Israelites also. Spain was their bitterest foe who first persecuted them and expelled them. The histories of Holland, the Netherlands, Mexico and Peru all [R2306 : page 148] tell the tale that the spirit which centuries of Papal inculcation developed was an evil spirit, a devilish spirit; the very reverse of the spirit of Christ. And the fact that two-thirds of Spain's population are unable to read or write (according to their own published statements – which their pride would not lead them to overstate) is also properly chargeable to the blinding influences of Antichrist.

Draper some forty years ago, dealing with Spain's crimes in Mexico, Peru and Central America, wrote in his –

"INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT OF EUROPE."

"It was one unspeakable outrage, one unutterable ruin, without discrimination of age or sex. Those who died not under the lash in a tropical sun died in the darkness of the mine. From sequestered sand banks, where the red flamingo fishes in the gray of the morning; from fever-stricken mangrove thickets and the gloom of impenetrable forests; from hiding places in the clefts of rocks and the solitude of invisible caves; from the eternal snows of the Andes, where there was no witness but the all-seeing sun, there went up to God a cry of human despair. By millions upon millions, whole races and nations were remorselessly cut off.

"The bishop of Chiapa [Roman Catholic] affirms that more than 15,000,000 were exterminated in his time. From Mexico and Peru a civilization that might have instructed Europe was crushed out. Is it for nothing that Spain has been made a hideous skeleton among living nations, a warning spectacle to the world? Had not her punishment overtaken her, men would have surely said, 'There is no retribution; there is no God.' It has been her evil destiny to ruin two civilizations, oriental and occidental, and to be ruined thereby herself. With circumstances of dreadful barbarity she expelled the Moors, who had become children of her soil by as long a residence as the Normans have had in England, from William the Conqueror to our time. In America she destroyed races more civilized than herself. Expulsion and emigration have deprived her of her best blood, her great cities have sunk into insignificance and towns that once had more than a million of inhabitants can now only show a few scanty thousands."

The Poet Byron, long ago, wrote: –

"Ye who would more of Spain and Spaniards know,
Go read whate'er is writ in bloodiest strife,
Whate'er keen vengeance urged on foreign foe
Can act, is acting there against man's life.
From flashing scimetar to secret knife,
War moldeth there each weapon to his need,
So he may guard the sister and the wife,
So he may make each cursed oppressor bleed,
So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed!"

The inspired words: "God resisteth the proud but showeth his favor to the humble," and "Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall," are evidently as true of nations, as of individuals, tho specially applied to Christians. And while the Lord's people cannot take vengeance, nor join in the strife, nor even permit vengeful thoughts to find lodgment in their hearts; while they must on the contrary feel pity for the poor, ignorant, proud, sin-ruled and blinded people, and must long for the time to come when they as well as other peoples shall be blessed with a knowledge of the truth, and with all the gracious helps which the Millennial Kingdom will bring; nevertheless, it is our duty to take note of the various manifestations of divine vengeance, – the recompenses of Justice; and to sympathize with these and thus learn to apply our hearts unto wisdom; – the wisdom which cometh from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated and full of mercy and good works.

EX-PRESIDENT HARRISON'S WORDS.

Referring to the present unsought and undesired war he recently said: –

"We do not say that we have God's commission to deliver the oppressed the world around. To the distant Armenians we could send only the succor of a faith that overcomes death and the alleviations which the nurse and the commissary can give. But the oppressed Cubans and their starving women and children are knocking at our doors: their cries penetrate our slumbers. They are closely within what we have defined to be the sphere of American influence. We have said: 'Look to us, not to Europe,' and we cannot shrink from the responsibility and the dangers of this old and settled American policy.

"We have, as a nation, towards Cuba, the same high commission which every brave-hearted man has to strike down the ruffian who in his presence beats a woman or child and will not desist. For what, if not for this, does God make a man or a nation strong?"

While the people of the United States have favored war from a purely humanitarian standpoint, and not from a desire for combat nor for the acquisition of territory, yet we can see clearly that the success of the right, in which we rejoice, will have its dangers, which will be proportionate with the quickness and the brilliancy of the victories.

Pride has a controlling influence in the hearts of the world in general – except the "saints," and even in these it is not wholly eradicated. True, the pride which grows under the greater light of a higher civilization and religious freedom is less rank than the Spanish article and more amenable to reason; yet success in the present war will develop this evil plant wonderfully: so that people who resisted the present war to the last notch and then yielded only for the sake of justice and humanity will, if the navy meets with great success, feel much more than before like brushing with other navies "to demonstrate American superiority." So there is no knowing to what the intoxication of success may lead. [R2306 : page 149]

One result seems clear now – that Cuba will not be given her independence, as was the wish of the majority of the people at the outbreak of the war. By the time the war is ended and order restored in Cuba, Sugar Trust and Tobacco Trust and various wealthy citizens and officials will have purchased large holdings of property in Cuba; and some sort of a United States protectorate or control will be deemed essential. Indeed, it is doubtful if the poor people who constitute the vast majority of its population are capable of establishing a safe and stable government there.

The duty of God's people, if they speak at all on the subject of the war, is found in the Apostle's words: "Let your moderation be known unto all men." God's people must not only cultivate the spirit of love, peace and good will toward all men, but their words should be along the same lines – not stirring up strife and anger and malice. We all must be "peace-makers" if we would be blessed as sons of God. [R2307 : page 149]

"EAT HER FLESH AND BURN HER WITH FIRE."
REV. 17:16. –

Roman Catholic sympathy is strongly with Spain; because she is the most intensely papal kingdom of earth. Their argument is that Spain owns Cuba and has a right, therefore, to drain its wealth to her treasury and to murder all of its population, if they defend themselves and resist her tax-pillaging. They blind themselves to the fact that Cuba belongs to the people of Cuba, and that no nation can claim the slightest right of justice to govern a colony or to take any revenues therefrom except as a reasonable, just recompense is made in the way of protection of their personal liberties by good government. While Great Britain's rule is by no means perfect, it at least recognizes and makes an attempt to follow these lines of justice: and as a result her colonies regard her as a mother and protector, rather than as whipped slaves regard a merciless master.

But there is another side to this question. One century ago France passed through her terrible revolution, one result of which was the confiscation of the immense wealth of the Roman Catholic Church, accumulated during centuries. Later, Italy passed through a similar but lesser revolution and similarly degraded papal power and influence and confiscated much of Papacy's property. Now it looks as though the time were at hand for Spain to do the same – and later perhaps Austria.

Telegraphic reports say that the newspaper organ of the Vatican already mistrusts the Spaniards and advises those having such matters in charge to "take measures with all speed, whereby the title to that property and the usufruct of it would be secured, – by its timely transfer to trustworthy private individuals." The reason assigned is that further reverses in the war will lead to the closing of the convents and monasteries and their confiscation and the sale of the Church's estates for uses of the government.

Roman Catholics have been blind and unreasoning for a long time; but they are waking up. They begin to see that the prayer of the pope and the clergy for their success means a curse, and that heavenly blessings pronounced upon their naval vessels presage disastrous defeat. The ignorant two-thirds of that nation which can neither read nor write can reason so simple a problem as this, – that the so-called infallible "Lord God the Pope" has little wisdom and little power in respect to earthly affairs: and correspondingly they will lose confidence in his ability to unlock Purgatory and Heaven to Catholics and to lock up Protestant "heretics" in Hell.

"God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform;" and we shall not be surprised to see a revolution in Spain which will roll back from that people and from other peoples several centuries' growth of superstition. The whole world is witness that all of earth's governments are "beastly" – none of them more than base counterfeits of the Kingdom of God, yet their prosperity is proportionate to their recognition of the liberty wherewith Christ makes free – proportionate to the liberty of God's Word – proportionate to the numbers of the "salt of the earth," God's holy ones, the elect Church, and their freedom.

We sympathize with the thousands of poor people in Italy and Spain who are rioting for bread, occasioning a greater number of deaths and wounds than the Spanish-American war thus far; we sympathize with the poor of France not quite so badly off; we sympathize with the politically troubled masses of Austro-Hungary in the trouble threatening them. But we fully believe that these lessons and experiences are needful to mankind. It is a blessed thing to have a God who is too wise to err, too just to be unkind. It is a blessing to know through his Word of the rich provisions of his grace for his elect Church, and for all the families of the earth through her. And it is a blessed thing to have faith in God not only as respects our own personal affairs, but also as respects the affairs of nations. And it is profitable for us to trace his providences so far as we may be able – trusting him where we cannot trace him.

THE TRUTH IN FOREIGN FIELDS.

As we write, we bid Goodbye to a dear brother who starts for his native land, Hungary, to tell the good tidings to his countrymen. A professor for years in the schools of his native land, he is well educated in [R2307 : page 150] Latin and German as well as Hungarian, and we trust that he may be used of the Lord to find and to seal some of the elect.

He was a Roman Catholic, but his studies soon led him out of that into Agnosticism, and he became an ardent advocate of Darwinism and thought that the sum of knowledge. But the deeper he drank of the Pierian spring the more he saw that science so-called is chiefly conjecture, hypothesis, guess-work; until he concluded with the Brahmins and Theosophists that the sum of learning and of thought is so unsatisfactory that the most happifying condition would be that finally conscious existence would cease.

Next he became interested in a kind of Social uplift for his people, and started an agricultural colony in Canada. It was while so engaged that he obtained through one of the colonists MILLENNIAL DAWN in German. He read at first skeptically, noting his objections on the margins of the pages. But soon he found a consistency and order in the divine plan which withstood the attacks of logic in a manner that nothing else ever did. He read the volumes a second time, and was obliged to erase his criticisms one after another as he became more and more enlightened by the truth. After reading some portions for a fourth and fifth time he is so full of the truth and its spirit that he is ready to lay down his life if need be in its service.

Because he foresaw its approaching trouble, he left Hungary that he might seek peace and personal safety. Now all the more convinced from the "more sure word of prophecy" that the trouble impends, he courageously returns to do what he can for God's people there – to seal them in their foreheads with present truth before the great time of trouble breaks. Let us all join our petitions that the divine blessing may go with him and attend and use his efforts.

While we write, a shipment of DAWNS and tracts of nearly six hundred pounds goes to China, to a brother, a missionary there, who has recently become interested in the harvest message and who believes that he sees opportunities for some of the elect to be sealed in that far off land. While all this is encouraging, it has also a sad feature: for each one who now comes fully into the light of present truth implies that some other one once sealed and accepted of the Lord has failed to keep his covenant and is being rejected, and his crown apportioned and his place in the race for the Kingdom given to another. Let us each remember the Master's words, "Take heed, let no man take thy crown." – See Rev. 3:11; MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. III., pages 225 and 363.

REFORM MOVEMENT AMONGST ROMAN CATHOLICS.

Although Roman Catholicism never parades its difficulties, but seeks to quietly but forcibly crush and extinguish any movement among its priests or people toward liberty, nevertheless sufficient leaks out to prove that such movements are general; – in Poland, in France, in Italy and amongst recently arrived foreigners in these United States.

We called attention some time ago to the movement amongst the Polish Catholics of Buffalo, N.Y., and Cleveland, O., and recently we learn of similar movements in Chicago, Ill., and near McKeesport, Pa. In the latter place the leader sought counsel of the Baptists, Methodists and other Protestant sects, and was much surprised to find that there is really so little difference between the beliefs, etc., of these and the Roman Catholic theories, doctrines and methods. He exclaimed – All Catholics! But when Brother Williams met him and explained to him the plan of the ages it seemed to appeal to him directly, and we are informed that he has already begun teaching the truth to his fellow dissenters (about forty in number) in the Slavic language. Near Chicago our very earnest Brother Oleszynski, himself a Polander converted from Romanism, is also doing a good work; he has interested and continues to weekly instruct a class of about fifteen, a number of whom were recently baptized in symbol of full consecration to the Lord, even unto death.

A Protestant missionary laboring in Poland has recently been reached by "present truth" through Sister Giesecke, who, as the representative of our Society, is doing a good work in Germany. He bids fair to be a chosen instrument of God for handing the "meat in due season" to some in Poland.

Brother Adolph Weber is doing an efficient work amongst the French in Switzerland and France. His heart is in the work and the Lord is blessing him, and through him blessings are reaching others. He reports increasing interest in and demand for French tracts and DAWN, VOL. I., which he translated and our Society published there under his supervision. Let us, when at the throne of grace, remember not only the Home Missions (in which all of us have the privilege of sharing), but let us remember also these laborers in foreign fields.

Is it not very evident that so far from its being a favor or compliment to the Lord that we should believe and receive and confess him and his Word, it is a compliment or favor on his part that we have the opportunity? "Blessed are your eyes for they see and your ears for they hear; for verily I say unto you many prophets and righteous persons [of the past] have desired to see and understand these things [present truth] and have not seen and heard them." Whoever thinks himself safe in slacking his race for the great prize, because in comparing himself with other formal and [R2308 : page 151] nominal Christians he feels himself their equal or their superior, should remember also that the self-satisfied feeling of the Pharisees, the professed holiness people of the Jewish "harvest," was rebuked by our Lord, when he said, "Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father [and hence could not miss inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven promised to the children of Abraham]; for I say unto you that God is able out of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."

So now, the fact that we have been favored with the knowledge of the truth does not insure that we will be heirs of the Kingdom. God no doubt knows of thousands of honest-hearted people, now steeped in gross ignorance and superstition, who would promptly respond with their whole hearts if the veil of ignorance were lifted so that the light of present truth could shine into their hearts. We firmly believe, not only that the crowns are limited in number, but that (as shown in DAWN, VOL. III.) we are living in the time when they are all apportioned, and hence that it is only as some "draw back" from the fulfilment of their covenant of self sacrifice that the opportunity of "striving" and "running" for a crown can be offered. Hence the force of our Lord's words, "Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Only our own conduct can forfeit our title to a crown after it has once been reckonedly set apart for us.

Let us each therefore beware lest he lose his own title to a crown: let each guard against the slightest diminution of the Lord's spirit in his own heart and life – the spirit of love. Loss of this spirit means (1) a loss of love toward God which will manifest itself in decrease of zeal and energy in his service and in a loss of fellowship with him in the study of his Word and in prayer. On the contrary these should continually increase with our growing knowledge. (2) It means a loss of interest in the Brethren of Christ – the "members of his body;" – less desire for their company and their fellowship, and an inclination to weigh and estimate their worth according to earthly scales of wealth and education and social qualities, rather than according to the divine balances – which judge them by their honesty of purpose and loyalty to God and his Word, and their efforts to bring every word and act of life into strict conformity thereto. (3) Faith in the Lord's providence will dim, and the inclination will more and more be to think and speak and act according to human judgment regardless of the Word.

Whoever may upon examination find any of these symptoms of spiritual disease should lose no time in taking the medicine made and provided by the Great Physician.

As an indication of a revolt against Rome in France we quote as follows from The Christian World:

"The movement for reform in French Catholicism, which has already been noticed in these columns, continues to develop remarkable features. The first number of Le Chretien Francais, the organ of the party, contains a confession of faith by a priest, M. Philippot, in response to a demand from his bishop, before whom he had been accused of heresy. M. Philippot, it may be said, has since left the Church. In his confession, after recounting his ardent faith in what we might term the great evangelical verities, M. Philippot continues: –

"'The Roman Church is not the universal Church; it is only the most important part of it. The apostles and first missionaries established churches that were independent of each other, united solely by love and the faith of Jesus Christ. The Papacy is a human institution, and to-day as then, all the churches are equal before the gospel. To refuse the name of Christians to 250 millions of human beings who believe in Jesus Christ is a blasphemy. Salvation is found in all the churches if the life is placed in harmony with the teachings of Christ; and damnation in all of them if the life is contrary to Christ.'

"In the Paris L'Eclair an article appeared some time ago describing the attitude of the new party amongst the priests: –

"'According to them the old Roman dogma is rotten. It lives only by intrigue and compromise. A return is necessary, say these Neo-Catholics, to the first age, to the Apostolic teaching. Christ did not institute any visible Church. The apostles did not found a Church, but churches independent of each other. Sacerdotal pride has usurped the place of Christ. True Christianity can only triumph by the vanquishment of sacerdotalism.'

"M. Bourrier, an ex-cure of Marseilles, who has just entered the French Reformed Church, at a conference of Protestant pastors, in which he was asked whether he came to them 'willingly, gladly, and without arriere-pensee,' made the following candid and noble reply, which touched all hearts: –

"'I am thankful for the cordial welcome which the French Reformed Church has extended to me and for the hospitality it promises. But I am and always shall be an exile. Like all exiles, my gaze will be ceaselessly turned towards the fatherland, and my dearest desire will be for the day when I shall be able to return to the Catholic Church; for the day when it will be sufficiently evangelized to recognize in me a son worthy of her, and to respect the liberty of my conscience.'

"It is pleasant to find that the French Protestants recognize perfectly the sincerity and straightforwardness [R2308 : page 152] of this attitude. They do not desire to make proselytes, but rather to see the real truth of the gospel spreading amongst their Catholic neighbors. In an address to French Catholics, M. Philippot asks them whether they understand that 'Your priests, those who have charge of your souls and who form the minds of your children, are condemned by Papal absolution to choose between two alternatives – either to preach a lie or to ruin their career.'

"It is evident that French Catholicism is at the beginning of a movement of most portentous import, not only to France, but to the whole Catholic world."

LEOPARD-LIKE SPOTTED. – REV. 13:2.

Papacy is the most crafty and guileful institution on earth. Chameleon-like it adapts itself to its surroundings. In Mexico and South America it flourishes at the expense of the ignorance and superstitions of the poor benighted ones who purchase indulgences for past sins before starting on a fresh debauch, and whose profitable ignorance they make no attempt to remove. In the United States they build and maintain colleges and parochial schools and pose as the sincere friends of education to gain a standing and attract wealth and public funds. They offer no explanation of the fact that almost all the ignorant and degraded of our population are from countries and families where Romish superstition has ruled for centuries and where practically no effort is made to remove it.

A notable illustration of the spottedness of Papacy is found in the fact that while the Bishops and priests in Spain are violent agitators against the United States as a Protestant nation – promising prayers for and blessings upon the Spanish soldiers and ships that would destroy the Protestants, yet when a priest in New York State voiced the same sentiment, he was promptly relieved of his congregation. Yet he merely said that American Catholics could not fight against Spain; – because with all its pride and cruelty and ignorance and superstition, it is most solidly Roman Catholic. Rome knows that she must hold her freer American "children" with a light and chiefly American tether.

Again, Archbishop Keane recently consented to serve as one of the Vice-Presidents of a Salvation Army meeting, to welcome "General Booth" to the city of St. Louis. In his letter of acceptance he wished the army "godspeed."

It is needless to say that this was done merely for effect – to deceive the Protestants; – it does not deceive the Roman Catholics who well know the Jesuit law that, "The end justifies the means." And they would consider commendable any deception of word or act that would serve the ends of the Roman Church. Contrast this with the treatment the "Salvation Army" or any other Protestants would receive in any city of Spanish America, where no form of Protestantism is tolerated, and where it is no uncommon thing for a Protestant to be chased and stoned for not uncovering his head and falling on his knees and in the dusty streets in veneration of the "host" when it is carried through the streets by the papal clergy.

Romanists are in no danger of being deceived by Archbishop Keane's course, because they are thoroughly informed by their Catechism, that all Protestants are "heretics." We quote from the Deharbe's Catechism of The Catholic Publication Society, New York, as follows (page 145): –

"Everyone is obliged, under pain of eternal damnation, to become a member of the Catholic Church, to believe her doctrine, to use her means of grace, and to submit to her authority." "Whoever is separated from the Catholic Church, however commendable in his own opinion his life may be, he shall for this very reason, that he is at the same time separated from the Unity of Christ, not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." "Hence, the Catholic Church is justly called the only saving Church. To despise her is the same as to despise Christ; viz., his doctrine, his means of grace, his powers; to separate from her is the same as to separate from Christ, and to forfeit eternal salvation."

A slight provision is made for "heretics" who are such from ignorance. These it saves from eternal torments and merely puts into Purgatory where, however, these will suffer long, because not benefitting by the "indulgences," "Masses," "Prayers," "holy water," "Extreme Unction," etc., as all Catholics are benefitted, however wicked.

ROMANISM STEADILY PROGRESSING IN GREAT BRITAIN.

Last summer a petition signed by 40,000 English and Welsh Episcopaleans was presented to Lord Salisbury, complaining that the Premier's appointments of [R2309 : page 152] bishops in the Church of England favored men of Romish tendency – ritualists. The petition was in pamphlet form and set forth that out of thirty-three nominations thirty have been ritualists.

Now it is proposed to elevate the Roman Cardinal Vaughan to a seat in the House of Lords – as a Lord Bishop.

All this is, of course, none of our business, but it shows the tendency of our day, and is preparing the way for the rolling together of the heaven – Protestant and Roman Catholic – in the near future. – Matt. 24:29; Rev. 6:14; Isa. 34:4; DAWN, VOL. IV., Chap. 12. [R2297 : page 153]

GROW IN LOVE, AS WELL AS IN KNOWLEDGE.
"Knowledge puffeth up, but Love edifieth." – 1 Cor. 8:1.
How blest this day the prophets were foretelling,
When truth should speak and knowledge be increased;
The signs are all about, our faith compelling,
That days of waiting for the Lord have ceased.
The saints are in their foreheads sealed,
The hidden mystery revealed.
Knowing what other ages did not see,
How full of humble love our hearts should be!

The mystery and knowledge understanding,
We still need love – "the bond of perfectness."
Tho tongues of men or angels now commanding,
They teach and speak not with effectiveness
Unless pure love to God dictates
And all the being permeates.
Without this love, God says, all words shall pass
Like tinkling cymbals or like sounding brass.

While, by God's will, in knowledge we keep growing,
Keep in the love of God which death defies;
Knowledge puffs up except the love be glowing, –
In humbleness of mind love edifies.
Love is long-suffering and kind,
Love seeketh not her own to find.
The mind through all God's Word this truth descries:
Mere knowledge puffeth up; Love edifies.
– F. I. PARMENTER.

[R2309 : page 153]

THE CHRISTIAN'S WARFARE.

"Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life." – 1 Tim. 6:12.
W
HILE the followers of Christ are to be peacemakers, and are instructed accordingly to "follow peace with all men," nevertheless, they are the greatest warriors the world has ever known, on the principle that "he that ruleth his own spirit is greater than he that taketh a city." But, there are good fights and bad fights. A good fight is one which is in the interest of that which is good, that which is true, noble, pure, godly – a battle for righteousness; every other contest is a bad fight, for an unworthy cause.

But who are these fighters, referred to in our text, whom the Apostle Paul calls upon to fight a good fight? Does he call upon all men? or upon sinners? or upon merely nominal Christians? We answer, No; he addressed only the brigade of the "King's Own" – the body of Christ, the consecrated Church. The Apostle addresses these as the mouthpiece of our Captain of salvation, Christ Jesus, and it would be wholly out of order for a general or captain to issue orders to those who had not joined his army, and did not recognize his authority. Hence it is evident that the world in general is not addressed, and that nominal Christians who have never made a covenant with the Lord are not addressed. "The Lord knoweth them that are his." It is to these that the instructions come respecting the fight that is now on – that has been in progress since the Captain of our salvation began the war nearly nineteen centuries ago.

For whom do we fight – for God – for Christ? No, we answer. We fight for ourselves. A great mistake is made on this point by many who seem to imagine that fighting the good fight of faith is doing something for God, and deserves his thanks and reward. The Almighty God does not need that we should fight for him. He is omnipotent, abundantly able to take care of himself and his cause; he needs not our puny efforts. The claim that we are fighting for God would be as inconsistent as for the Cubans to say that they are fighting for the United States. It is the United States that is fighting for the relief of the Cubans. So it is God who is fighting for us, and assisting and encouraging us to fight the good fight of faith, on our own behalf. It is well that this feature of the case should be clearly discerned.

Against whom do we fight? We answer, our battle is not against our fellow creatures nor with carnal weapons; indeed, we can have large sympathy for even our most relentless foes, who, to the extent that modern civilization will permit, are ready and willing to despitefully use and persecute us, and to say all manner of evil against us falsely. We can readily see that they are blinded in considerable measure, either by their own prejudice and passion, or by the great Adversary's delusive false doctrines, superstitions, etc.; hence our warfare is not directed against these, and as we have opportunity we are to seek to do them good, "in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves." (2 Tim. 2:25.) Hence also, when dealing with these, so far from battling with them and resisting evil with evil, our Captain has commanded that we return good for evil, gentleness for rudeness, kindness for discourtesy; and that we seek to do good to those who speak evil of us and persecute us, that thus the eyes of their understanding may be opened, and that they may discern that there is such a thing as the spirit of love, generosity, kindness, whereas they suppose all to be actuated by the same malevolent spirit of selfishness, which controls themselves.

Our fight is to be against Sin – the great taskmaster, which captured our race in the person of father Adam, and has held it as slaves from then till now – paying regularly for six thousand years the terrible penalty of death, with all its concomitants of [R2309 : page 154] sickness, pain, sorrow and trouble. Yes, this is our enemy.

Indirectly, Satan is our enemy, because he it was through whose influence father Adam first became the slave of Sin; and Satan has still pursued the same course, and is even now endeavoring to bring us back again under the dominion of Sin, and to hold us there. We are not to forget, however, that our battle is not directly with Satan, nor are we to bring against him "a railing accusation" (Jude 9); rather, we are to say, with Michael, "the Lord rebuke thee;" and we are to await the Lord's time and the Lord's way for rebuking Satan. Nevertheless, we are to resist Satan; that is we are to resist his influence and deceptions and endeavors to mislead us into error and into sin.

The Lord instructs us that "We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers, and with spiritual wickedness in exalted positions." (Eph. 6:12.) Satan, as the great master or general of Sin, has largely to do with all the various influences with which we must battle. It is his cunning, his "wiles," that supervise the battle against us, and since he is a spirit being, and therefore much more intelligent than ourselves, the contest would be a very unequal one, if we were without an equally powerful spirit leader. But we are not thus left helpless to battle against superior wisdom and cunning. Our chief Captain, the Lord Jesus, has conquered sin, and has been glorified, and he is on our part, so that with the Apostle, we can confidently say, "Greater is he that is on our part than all they that be against us" – Satan and his cohorts of evil spirits, and his deluded earthly agents and servants.

The Apostle seems to sum up the agencies through which our great captor Sin seeks to hold us his slaves, or if we have gotten free to regain his influence over us, as three – the world, the flesh, the devil. We have seen the powerful influence of the devil, as the great chief general of Sin. We next notice in what sense the world is our opponent, and in what sense we are to battle against it. We have just seen that we do not battle with carnal weapons, nor do we in any sense of the word battle or contest with our fellow-creatures, seeing that they are blinded by the adversary, and really little, if any, accountable for their course; our battle is not to be with these. It is with "the spirit of the world," its influence, that we are to do battle: it is to be fought against and resisted – the world's disposition, the mind of the world, the motives which actuate the world, the ambitions of the world, the pride of life and the deceitfulness of riches – these things, these wrong views of matters as seen from the worldly standpoint, we are to resist, to fight against; – and it is a daily battle.

Finally, our battle is with the flesh – our own flesh. Ever since sin captured our race, in the person of father Adam, its slavery has been conducive to mental, moral and physical degradation. Its only tendency is towards evil, and that continually, and only as we get rid of the blinding influences, and perverted tastes and desires, ambitions and hopes and loves which sin cultivates – only in that proportion do we get to see matters in their true light, and to have even a faint glimpse of our own degraded condition. But our great Captain, who is also "the chief priest of our profession," redeemed us from this slavery to sin, with his own precious blood. He had compassion upon us, and when we realized our deplorable condition, and accepted his aid he sets us free from the yoke of Sin's slavery.

But we still have the motions of sin in our bodies, – the tendencies toward sin, which have become almost second nature to us, through the long period of nearly six thousand years of slavery. So that while we are now free, and with the mind are serving the law of Christ, and are accepted into his army as soldiers of the cross, to battle for righteousness and truth and goodness and purity, we nevertheless find our new selves harassed by the old perverted tastes and inclinations of our own flesh, toward the service of the old taskmaster. Not the least of our fightings, therefore, as new creatures in Christ Jesus, is against these perverted tendencies of our flesh, and the battle with these is a daily battle. With the Apostle Paul, one of the great soldiers in our war, we should be able to say, "I keep my body [my flesh and its desires] under [in subjection to my new will, my new self] lest after having preached to others I myself should be a castaway." – 1 Cor. 9:27.

From the time that we enlist under the banner of our Captain, that is, from the time that we make a full consecration to him, to fight the good fight, and to lay down our lives in his service – from that moment on he, under the terms of the New Covenant, reckons our flesh as dead: because our minds are renewed – alive toward God with a newness of life, and hence those [R2310 : page 154] motions of sin which we are seeking to bring into absolute subjection to the will of God in Christ, are not recognized by the Lord as the will or motions of the new creature, enlisted in his service, but merely recognized as a part of the general enemy, Sin, pursuing after and battling with us, which we are pledged to resist and to war against, and which he promises grace and help to overcome.

It is these enemies in our own flesh which cause us the greatest difficulties. It is these that Satan appeals to: these he seeks to encourage in their warfare against the new spirit of our minds; it is through [R2310 : page 155] these that the spirit of the world gains closest approach to us, and seeks to capture us, and lead us back as slaves of Sin. So to speak, the "new creature in Christ is beset, surrounded on every hand with enemies, seeking our disaster and reenslavement. We must battle – battle for ourselves, battle for our own liberty, battle for victory over our own weaknesses, battle against the spirit of the world, battle against delusions and snares of the adversary, by which he would seek to make the evil things appear good, and right to appear undesirable. No wonder, then, that the Christian soldier is urged to be continually watchful; no wonder that he is urged to "put on the whole armor of God;" no wonder that he is cautioned in respect to his various and wily foes, and especially against those of his own flesh.

Thanks be to God for the great Captain of our salvation. Thanks be to God for the great armory of his Word, from which we obtain the helmet of salvation, the intellectual knowledge to protect us from the delusions of our own perverted sense and ignorance, and from the wiles of the adversary. Thanks be to God also for the breastplate of righteousness, the merit of Christ and his great sacrifice, compensating for our imperfections, and covering our vitals, and securing thereby our life – eternal life. Thanks be to God also for the shield of faith, of trust, of confidence in him who has bought us, in realization that he who has begun the good work in us is able and willing also to complete it; for the realization that since God so loved us while we were yet the slaves of Sin, and redeemed us from his bondage with the precious blood of Christ, much more does he now love us and much more is he prepared to aid us now that we have, by his grace, become free from sin, and become the servant of righteousness. Thanks be to God also for the sandals, the preparation to endure hardness patiently, which the truth gives, protecting us for the walks of life from the sharp animosities of the world in our pilgrim journey. Thanks be to God also for the sword of the spirit, the Word of his truth, as a defense by which we can resist the adversary, and come off conquerors through him who loved us and bought us.

BENEFACTORS ALSO – FIGHTING FOR OTHERS.

We have seen that our fighting is on our own behalf, and on behalf of each other. We are fighting to the death in self-defense, to maintain our own liberty, and that of each other. As the Apostle says, "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood [death], fighting against Sin" – we ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren." And we might add that, while the King does not need our fighting on his behalf, nevertheless we sometimes have great pleasure and profit in defending the honor of his name and the majesty of his righteous government from the assaults of those who wickedly or blindly misrepresent the same. But there is another feature of our warfare aside from all these. To observe this feature with clearness and distinctness, we must take an elevated position and note the entire trend of the conflict now in progress for over eighteen centuries, and the great object which the King himself has declared shall be the result of this battle. It is this: –

Not only we, but the whole world were "sold under Sin" by father Adam – the whole world, as well as we, are slaves of Sin. Not only so, but our great Redeemer who bought us with his precious blood gave it as the propitiation price also "for the sins of the whole world." Thus he bought the right, not only to release us (his Church, his army) but the right also to release from the power of Sin, the great taskmaster, all the slaves of Sin. And altho he has not been prosecuting the work of releasing all the slaves at the present time, but has been confining his work to the releasing of a few, a little flock, who are now of his army, nevertheless he informs us that this present election of the little flock is merely with the intention of using these as his associates and joint-heirs in his Kingdom which he will establish at the time he is ready to take his great power and reign, for the utter overthrow of Sin, and the complete release of all from its bondage.

The Apostle Paul, one of the lieutenants under our great Captain, speaks of this coming deliverance of the world, saying, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now [under the relentless slavery of Sin, and its yoke of death], waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. Because the creature itself also [the world of mankind, or as many of them as will accept the liberty] shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption [the bondage of death, with all its incidentals of pain, sorrow and trouble] into the glorious liberty of the children of God [the perfection of life, and all the glorious privileges which belong to the perfect sons of God on every plane – the divine, the angelic, and the human]." – Rom. 8:19,21,22.

We see then, that the poor world, groaning in its slavery, has been waiting for this grand event of which the Apostle spoke, saying, "Yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." The interim between the redemption and the deliverance is only a little while, from the standpoint of divine reckoning, in which a thousand years are as one day; but as yesterday, as a watch in the night. From this standpoint, the nearly nineteen centuries for the selection of the King's Own are but "a little while" – less than two days "with the Lord," – and soon will be past. [R2310 : page 156] Then, glorified with their Master and Captain, they will be liberators with him of the world of mankind, from the yoke of sin and the prison of death. (This period of two days (2000 years) seems to be hinted also in the type of Rebecca's call to be the bride of the typical Isaac, where only two days are mentioned. – Gen. 24.)

What a glorious prospect, what a benevolent ambition is thus set before us in the Gospel, in respect to the future work of all who are now called to be the sons of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, and good soldiers in his cause, – the cause of righteousness and truth. O, how anxious we are that we shall be "overcomers," that we may inherit these blessed privileges – secure this great boon of association with our Redeemer in his work of blessing all the families of the earth.

It was respecting this great work of delivering the world from the slavery of Sin, from the weaknesses and imperfections of the fallen nature, and from the prisonhouse of the tomb, that our Master referred, when quoting the prophecy relative to himself, which says, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor [meek, he hath sent me] to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives [of Sin], and recovering of sight to the blind [whose minds the God of this world hath blinded], and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18.) The little work that was done by our Lord at his first advent, in the way of healing the naturally blind and sick and lame, and setting at liberty a few from the prison of death, was merely a foretaste of the greater and grander work which is to be accomplished by him and his glorified soldiers of the cross, at his second advent.

If the physical and temporary releases from sickness and death at our Lord's first advent were grand blessings, how much more grand and how much more blessed will be the "greater works than these," which we, as his glorified Church, in association with him, shall be privileged to perform during the Millennial age. How much greater is the work of opening the eyes of the understanding than of opening the physical eyes; how much greater the work of healing the lameness of character than of healing the lameness physical; how much grander the giving of an ear to hear the truth and to understand and to appreciate it, than the opening of the natural ear, to natural sounds; how much greater the work of loosing the tongue of the world, to speak forth the praises of him who has delivered them, than of merely loosing the tongue of the dumb to speak of natural things; how much more stupendous the work of giving eternal life to as many of the world of mankind as will accept it under the terms of the New Covenant than was the work of giving for a few years the lives of Lazarus and the son of the widow of Nain, and the daughter of Jairus. O, we praise the Lord for this glorious prospect of being associated with him in these "greater works" of the future, and we see it all comprehended in his statement that "the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth." All the deaf ears of understanding shall be unstopped; they shall hear, in the sense that the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth. And the Master's assurance is, further, that they who hear properly, obediently, shall live – not "live at this poor dying rate," of the present time, but live in the grandly superlative sense of life – in perfection of being, with the power of life eternal, lifted completely out of sin and out of death, back to the fulness and perfection of life which God gave originally, and which was lost in Eden.

NONE BUT FIGHTERS WANTED IN THE LORD'S ARMY.

In the armies of the earth the chances are that many of the soldiers will never see a battle, that the majority of them will never lose a drop of blood; but [R2311 : page 156] in our army all this is reversed. All men know at the time of enlistment that they are sure to see service, and that not only in one battle, but in many battles; and that, altho there may be times of special fightings without and within, there never will be a time when there will be such a cessation of hostilities as that we may consider our enemies utterly routed, and ourselves at liberty to retire for repose. Furthermore, we are distinctly informed at the time of enlistment that there is no discharge in this warfare. We may desert, however, and indeed are at liberty to do so, since none are held in bondage in this army.

All who desire to go back to the service of sin, have full opportunity at any time and in any place. Our Captain wants those, and those only, who serve the truth with the spirit of truth; with a desire for the service; with a love for it; all others are in the wrong ranks. The end of our service, we were informed at the time of enlistment, would be the end of the war; and further we were informed that the end of the war, so far as we were concerned, would mean faithfulness until death. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Only by death can we finish our course, and only by faithfulness to the last can we be acceptable as amongst the conquerors – the overcomers.

There are many other battles than ours in progress; and many different army corps fighting on every hand; but ours is different from them all. We may be interested in some of these battles more than in others. [R2311 : page 157] Some of them may appeal to us much more closely than others, as being along lines considerably in harmony with the "good fight" which we are waging, and to that extent we may heartily sympathize with them; but we can do no more than this: because our covenant, our engagement, our battle, is the most important of all, and to it we have covenanted our every moment and our every talent. For instance, we may sympathize with those who are fighting against alcohol, and in favor of temperance; we may sympathize with others who are fighting for a general social uplift for the civilized world; we may sympathize with those who are laying down their lives for a social uplift in heathen lands, as missionaries; we may sympathize with those who are risking their lives in the cause of liberty from oppression, as in the war in Cuba.

But while our sympathies must always be on the side of everything which is making toward righteousness, goodness, truth, purity – everything either closely or remotely related to our cause of righteousness, we cannot turn aside to render aid to these other warfares. Ours is the most important, ours is the battle which the Lord God Almighty has planned, and which the Lord Jesus, as his Captain General, is carrying forward and will soon bring to glorious success; and which will secure better results, better conditions, than the various battlers for temperance and order and liberty have ever dreamed of.

But we are to beware of certain deceptions which our great Adversary brings forward, by which he would seduce us and get us into the wrong army: appearing as an angel of light, as a servant of righteousness, as a fighter in the Lord's cause. He has organized numerous false army corps, into which he endeavors to attract all who learn something of the liberty of Christ and desire to become soldiers of the cross. In order to make the matter more seductive and deceptive, the Adversary carefully guards against any intimation of his relationship with these. Indeed, he puts forward as leaders and under-officers in these various armies as many of the soldiers of the cross as he can get into a thoroughly deluded condition, in order that these armies may be the more attractive to those who are seeking the Lord's service. These armies are not as select as the Lord's army, and they offer very many inducements to soldiers, and attract very many who are really servants of the adversary; because they promise great rewards and little or no fighting, and a generally pleasant social camp life. These conditions of enlistment seem so much more favorable than those which the Lord holds out, and on the whole these army corps are so large, so fine and so attractive, that many soldiers of the cross make the mistake of enlisting under wrong banners.

The banner of the King's Own is emblazoned with a cross and a crown, and on the reverse side the names of the King and the Captain, and the law of this army, briefly comprehended in one word, "Love." The other deceptive corps, which are not the King's Own, but which contain many who deludedly think that they are in the King's battalion, have various banners, with various names; and their soldiers are generally enlisted under false conceptions of the object of the warfare, as well as respecting the results of it. They are advised that by joining this army they will get to heaven and escape a hell of eternal torment. And the results of the warfare are represented in one of two lights – either that the whole number who will get to heaven will be very small, and the whole number who will go to eternal torment immensely large; or that few of the intelligent will get to heaven, and the majority of the intelligent go to eternal torment, while many of the ignorant and savages will go to heaven, and few of them to eternal torment.

Under these untrue representations these armies are immense in numbers, containing many who have comparatively little interest in righteousness or in the King's cause, but great interest in endeavoring to escape the awful reward which is represented as attaching to a neglect to enlist in these armies. And, be it noted, that these various armies are greatly in accord with each other: while maintaining a certain amount of rivalry, they nevertheless maintain a large degree of fellowship; because their hopes and aims are practically one. But for similar reasons they are greatly out of harmony with the King's Own. Its hopes, its aims, its methods, its banner, and everything pertaining to it, differ so radically from theirs that they cannot fellowship the soldiers of our army, and in order to keep the best of their soldiers from deserting and going to it, they are prone to say all manner of evil against the Lord's army, falsely; to misrepresent its hopes, aims, ambitions and efforts, even calling it the devil's army.

It is not difficult to recognize these large numerous armies, organized under the supervision of the great Adversary. Their names are prominent upon their banners in every direction; and their soldiers are taught that the chief battling is to battle for their respective armies and their claims and names. The banner over one of these is Presbyterianism, over another Methodism, over another Roman Catholicism, over another Lutheranism, etc., etc. The Lord's army is a "little flock," while these armies boast their millions. The Lord's statement respecting his army is that "not many great, not many wise, not many learned, hath he chosen, but the poor of this world, rich in faith, to be heirs of the Kingdom." These other armies all boast to the contrary, of how much wealth they have [R2311 : page 158] accumulated; of how wise they are; of how learned; of how rich their people; of how influential in the world's affairs. There is so wide a difference along all these lines, that it is remarkable that any who desire to find the "King's Own" should be deceived. Yet, the King himself acknowledges, that some of those who are truly his, and who desire to be found in his army are in these counterfeit armies, which he calls "Babylon." He therefore calls to them, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

Nor is it sufficient that we should have the right spirit of loyalty to righteousness, and opposition to sin, in ourselves and everywhere: it is proper that our warfare against sin should be carried on in a systematic and intelligent manner. To this end it behooves every soldier of the cross to remember that he is not the director of the fight, not the commander, but is to fight strictly according to the directions of the Captain. Many, getting the idea that they are simply to fight against Sin, battle wildly and at random, and accomplish little. The Apostle spoke against this sort of thing, when he said, "So fight I; not as one that beateth the air." Beating the air, either with our fists or with our tongues, our words, is of very little avail. Our energies are to be directed of the Lord along the lines which he has marked out, and not along the lines of our own unwisdom and choice. It is one of the Apostle's admonitions to us that we should be "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." We should hear the Lord's direction as to the place to put in our best efforts for the fight, and according to his direction this can best be done, not in fighting others, not in stirring up strife, not in words of anger and passion, but in fighting such a disposition in ourselves, in conquering our natural tendencies, in mortifying the flesh, with its affections and its desires, and its combativeness, and in cultivating in our own hearts the "meek and quiet spirit which in the sight of God is of great value." – 1 Pet. 3:4.

We are to fight the good fight in the putting away and utterly routing from our own hearts and dispositions "all anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, bitterness – all works of the flesh and of the devil – "perfecting holiness in the reverence of the Lord;" and to help all our fellow-soldiers to do the same. And we are to lift high the royal banner of our Lord, bearing his name and his law, and not a banner of our own, or of some other men's device. And we are to help to lift up this standard of the Lord in the sight of all those who are sincerely desiring to be his, and who through mistake have gotten into the wrong army corps. We are to be valiant in seeking to release them from the delusions of the great enemy, who is thus seeking to reensnare them and to deprive them of the liberty wherewith Christ made them free; and to bring them under a yoke of sectarian bondage, as being next best, for his purposes, to the yoke of sin and gross superstition. [R2312 : page 158] Thus doing we are not beating the air; we are not merely hammering pulpit tops nor shouting ourselves hoarse on street corners to no avail; but, like the Apostle, we are seeking to be crafty, that we may thus bring the truth to the attention of those whom our crafty enemy, Satan, seeks to ensnare. Our craftiness will be with a view to their liberty, while his craftiness is with a view to their enslavement. It is along this line that our Master has counseled his soldiers, "Be ye wise as serpents, harmless as doves."

A FIGHT OF FAITH.

Our text calls this good fight a fight of faith, and very properly; it is a fight of faith in every respect.

(1) It is a fight under an unseen leader, and against an unseen foe: only by the eye of faith do we recognize the Captain of our salvation, and only by his Word do we recognize the wily leader who opposes us.

(2) Sin is recognized by our moral sense; likewise righteousness. By faith we accept the Word of God, and under the instructions of that Word we learn that certain courses of thought and word and deed are right in his sight, according to his standard, and that other courses of thought, word and action are therefore wrong; henceforth we accept these conclusions by faith in the Word, – the revelation which God has given us.

(3) We fight for a liberty and a glory of the verity of which we have no knowledge, except as we accept it by faith.

(4) God hath promised exceeding great and precious things to them that love him – that so love him as to lay down their lives in his service. We see the crown of life and we see the Lord of glory, and with the eye of faith, and not otherwise.

(5) The things that are seen with the natural eye, are seeking to influence us to the contrary of our course, seeking to influence us not to lay down our lives, not to cultivate the spirit of meekness, gentleness, patience, love; but on the contrary, to cultivate the spirit of selfishness, ambition, pride and greed, the spirit of the world. Only, therefore, as we are able to have the faith which God inspires shall we be able to fight the good fight.

In this view of matters we see how important an item faith is. If we have it not, we can never come off conquerors. And faith means some knowledge upon which faith may rest, some promises out of which faith may be constructed. These we have in the great and wonderful divine revelation. It follows, therefore, [R2312 : page 159] that it is not enough for us to enlist in the Lord's army; but it is needful that we should go to his armory – the Word – and there painstakingly put on the whole armor which he has provided. And whoever does not follow this course is not following the course directed of the Captain, and will be sure to fail in the battle. We are not, however, to think of the armor as being all that is necessary. True, the doctrinal truths respecting the various features of the divine plan and the divine will concerning us are necessary, are absolutely essential to our victory: but the putting on of the armor is not all, and does not secure victory. It is necessary that with the armor on we should fight, along the lines which we have just examined, even unto death. Let us, therefore, not make either the mistake of attempting to fight without the armor, nor the equally serious mistake of putting on the armor and neglecting to fight.

Our Captain in encouraging us to have faith in him, and in his promises of succor, assuring us that he will not leave us nor forsake us; that he will be with us in six troubles, and in the seventh he will not forsake us; and that he is abundantly able and willing to make all things work together for good to them that love God – the called ones according to his purpose. He declares, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith." Beloved, let us make sure of these things: –

(1) That we have enlisted – that we have fully consecrated ourselves to obey the Captain of our salvation.

(2) That we are seeking to obey his instructions, and to put on the armor which he has supplied.

(3) That we are fighting – resisting unto blood, striving against sin in all its various forms.

(4) That we are so loyal to the Lord and to all that are his, wherever they may be, that we are willing and ready "to lay down our lives for the brethren" – to assist them, to encourage them, to help them, in little acts of service as well as in larger matters.

(5) That we remember that there can be no victory except as we keep the faith – our trust in the Lord as our Redeemer, in his care over us, and in his willingness to help us, and in his ability to help. Thus, and thus only, shall we come off conquerors and more than conquerors through him who loved us and who bought us with his own precious blood; to whom, with God our Father, be praise and thanksgiving everlasting.

"Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!" – 1 Cor. 15:57.

[R2312 : page 159]

JESUS BEFORE PILATE – "CONSIDER HIM."
– JUNE 5. – MATT. 27:11-26. –
"Jesus came into the world to save sinners." – 1 Tim. 1:15.
A
FTER the Lord's arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was brought before the high priests, Annas and Caiaphas, for examination, and it was probably at this same house of the high priest that the Jewish Sanhedrin met, and the trial before it took place, as described in Matt. 26:59-66. It was probably about one o'clock in the morning that our Lord was brought in as a prisoner, and the examination and trial are supposed to have lasted until about half past five in the morning; a little later, probably between six and eight o'clock of that same day, he was brought before Pilate, the representative of the Roman Government. The chief priests and leading Jews of the Sanhedrin had been anxious for some time to apprehend our Lord, and he had walked in Galilee and no longer walked in Jewry (the Province of Judea) because the Jews sought to kill him. True, they had reasoned among themselves – "not upon a feast day, because of the people;" but our Lord had eluded them, and returned only at the time of the Feast of the Passover, knowing that it was at this time that his "hour was come, that he should depart out of the world," and that it must be at the time of the Passover, to fulfil the types and prophecies of the law. Finally, exasperated by the Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the ass, and his driving the money-changers out of the Temple, they had seized upon the proposition of Judas for his betrayal at night, his capture when the multitudes were at home, his trial at an untimely season at night, his condemnation by the Jewish Court, and, rushing the matter through, the securing of Pilate's endorsement of the death sentence, which was essential.

In the trial before the Sanhedrin, which was the chief or Supreme Court of the Jews, and was composed of seventy of their prominent men, it was necessary that a form, at least, of justice should be followed; hence witnesses were sought, to prove something against our Lord which would show him worthy of death. But finding no such witnesses, they ultimately secured two who were willing to bear false witness, who falsified by slightly perverting our Lord's statements – the wish to bear witness against him and to secure the favor of the chief priests probably helping them to distorted views of our Lord's words.

It was because the Sanhedrin had no power to put to death without the consent of the Roman governor that they brought Jesus before Pilate, and they brought him bound, as indicating that they had already determined that he was a vicious character and had found him duly guilty, and that the endorsement of their verdict and order of execution were the only proper steps for Pilate to take.

In the trial before the Sanhedrin no charges of treason or sedition were made, because such would have been out of order: the Jews holding their right to [R2312 : page 160] freedom from the Roman yoke, treason to Rome would have been loyalty to Judaism; besides, this was the very thing for which they had been waiting for centuries – a deliverer, and a great one; hence, the charge before the Sanhedrin was blasphemy. But before Pilate the charge of blasphemy would have had no weight, himself being probably an unbeliever in Jehovah and the Jewish religion and customs. Hence, the charge before Pilate was treason to Caesar; the high priests and Sanhedrin hypocritically taking the position that they were loyal defenders of the Roman power. But Pilate evidently saw through their subterfuge. His experience with human nature taught him at a glance not only that the prisoner before him was a remarkable man, but also that he was not of the kind to make a dangerous enemy to the empire.

Pilate's question to our Lord was evidently one of curiosity full of irony, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" If he expected any wild or blatant assertion of power and dominion, might and greatness, or any appeal to his compassion or pity or fear, he was disappointed. The Master merely answered in the brief and simple [R2313 : page 160] words, "Thou sayest." He made no response to the various charges and calumnies which the Jewish elders and priests heaped upon him – "not one word." He knew that his hour was come; he knew that the cup of bitterness and ignominy which he was draining to the dregs was permitted of the Father; his will was entirely submitted to the Father's will; he had no desire to clear himself, nor to avoid or resist the death sentence sought. Pilate was amazed that anyone should be so indifferent to the preservation of his own life; but altho astonished that our Lord made no effort to resist his enemies and preserve his life, Pilate clearly saw that the charges were base fabrications, unworthy of consideration; and hence he informed the accusers that, as it was the season when he usually set at liberty a prisoner, they could reckon Jesus as having been justly accused, justly sentenced, and then set at liberty. But the accusers were enraged at the thought of their plans miscarrying, and fearful that even yet their prey might escape them, and cried out and incited the people against such a decree.

The Roman governor, like others of his day and since, was susceptible to fear, and especially if inspired by dreams; and a message from his wife, cautioning him to do nothing against Jesus and telling of her troubled dreams on his account, determined Pilate that he would set Jesus at liberty. Accordingly, he gave his decision that the one who should be released to them would be either Jesus or a very noted robber, named Barabbas. By naming Barabbas as the alternative choice to Jesus he evidently thought that, because Barabbas was so undesirable a person to have at liberty, the Jews would finally conclude that of the two they would prefer to have Jesus at liberty rather than Barabbas. But Pilate was mistaken: the hatred inspired by religious fanaticism is the deepest, wickedest and most conscienceless of all, and Barabbas was promptly accepted, – which left Pilate committed on that point, and left Jesus under the implied sentence.

The governor was still further perplexed. In attempting to get out of a dilemma he had unwittingly gotten himself into a worse fix, and he inquired what would be their will, then, respecting Jesus. Their blood-curdling cry, "Crucify him" astonished Pilate, and he answered, "[No!] for what evil hath he done?" But seeing that the case hung in the balance, the bloodthirsty accusers cried with greater vehemence, "Crucify him, crucify him," creating a tumult, and thus endeavoring to impress upon Pilate the danger of a general insurrection, unless their demands were complied with.

Poor Pilate! He stood as a representative and mouthpiece for the Roman empire, and was required to preserve order at any cost. He yielded to the demands, but indicated his own separateness from the sentence by his words, and by the symbolic act of washing his hands with water, in their presence, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person; look to yourselves [that you are likewise free from blood-guiltiness]." Thus laying the responsibility upon them, he evidently still had hope of their change of mind. It was probably with this same thought in mind, or probably because the law required that everyone worthy of crucifixion should first be scourged, that our dear Redeemer was scourged before being delivered to be crucified.

Promptly the defiant cry, "His blood be upon us and upon our children," rang out through the courts of Pilate's tribunal, and reverberated in the courts of heaven, and was recorded as a prophecy of divine judgment against them. Alas! poor Jews; with what judgment you judged, you have been judged. And altho the true followers of the Nazarene have never injured you, his nominal friends have often brought vengeance upon you at the hands of Pilate's successors. You cried, "We have no king but Caesar," and were taken at your word by the Almighty. Oh, poor Jew, there is no way to escape your self-pronounced curse of his blood, except by accepting his blood, freely offered to you as to all mankind as the blood of sacrifice, the blood of atonement which sanctifieth (maketh holy to God) all to whom it is applied by faith. It is the "blood [seal] of the New Covenant."

The narrative of our dear Redeemer's shame, endured so patiently on our behalf, is most touching, and perhaps the relation of it and the reading of it have brought more hearts to repentance than almost anything else. Nor does it lose its power with those who have already accepted our Lord and the redemption which his blood effected: it mellows our hearts every time we consider him who endured such great contradiction of sinners against himself, when we remember that it was unmerited by him, and that it was a part of his sacrifice on our behalf. The Apostle points one of his most forcible lessons with this subject, urging that all of the Lord's followers should consider the meekness, patience and sufferings of Christ, endured most unjustly, lest we should be weary or faint in our minds, when enduring comparatively light afflictions, while seeking to walk in his footsteps. (Heb. 12:3.) Again, the Apostle refers to this, in connection with the other sufferings of Christ, saying that he who was rich for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich; that he suffered, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; and that as he laid down his life on our behalf, a willing sacrifice, "we ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren."