page 65
April 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

VOL. XX.APRIL 1, 1899.No. 7.
CONTENTS.

Blessing God and Cursing Men 67
Christians Who Curse Men with Their Tongue 68
Poem: "Lo, I Am with Thee!" 76
"A Bottle of Spikenard, Very Costly" 76
"I Have Given You an Example" 78
Tabernacle Shadows 66
The Memorial Supper at Allegheny 66

'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 66

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.

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 A YEAR IN ADVANCE.

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.

TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF THE BETTER SACRIFICES.

A
S announced in our Feb. 15th issue, the March issues were in pamphlet form. We regret, however, that it was considerably delayed – our Pittsburg printers and binders being very busy at present. However, we now have an abundant supply besides filling all back orders. The price for extra copies is 10 cents each. WATCH TOWER subscribers are supplied by the dozen at wholesale rates to permit a wider circulation – 50 cents per dozen, postage paid by us.

[R2447 : page 66]

THE MEMORIAL SUPPER AT ALLEGHENY.

Our journal is just ready for press, but we hold it to say, – that the Memorial service here on March 26th was one of the most refreshing ever celebrated by us. We felt that the Lord poured out a blessing upon our uplifted hearts, while they burned with fervent love for our dear Redeemer and for all his "brethren" – who were remembered in our prayers feelingly: we knew, too, that we had the love and prayers of many of the Lord's "little flock" in every quarter of the world. Fourteen witnessed to their consecration by symbolic baptism in the afternoon; and in the evening about two hundred and fifty partook of the emblems of our Lord's broken body and shed blood and pledged themselves afresh to follow in his footsteps and "lay down our lives for the brethren."

page 66

ADDRESS TAGS ON YOUR TOWER WRAPPER.

These show the time to which your subscription is paid. Thus Jun9 signifies that you are paid to and including June, 1899; Dec0 signifies that you are paid to and including December, 1900. These are changed every two months and are in the nature of receipts for moneys received on WATCH TOWER account.

[R2442 : page 67]

BLESSING GOD AND CURSING MEN.

"But the tongue can no man tame: it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father, and therewith curse we men which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." – James 3:8-10.

T
HESE words of the inspired Apostle are addressed to the "brethren" – not to the world. Indeed, the entire Epistle is addressed to the Church: the fact that in opening it James addresses "the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad," is not to the contrary of this. We are to remember that to the twelve tribes of Israel, the natural seed of Abraham, pertained originally the great promise of God made to Abraham. By natural heredity, then, God's offer or proposition to bless the world belonged to fleshly Israel, as the divine instruments, if they would comply with the divine conditions. But one of the divine conditions was that they should have the faith of Abraham, and should not be considered the promised seed of Abraham without that faith, since Abraham was to be the Father of the Faithful. Our Lord and the apostles, in the New Testament, set forth clearly how and why natural Israel, as a nation, was broken off from inheritance under that covenant: the Apostle representing the promise as an olive root, describes all Israelites as branches, growing up out of that root, and tells us that many of the natural branches were broken off, the vast majority, and that only a remnant at the first advent were found possessed of the faith of Abraham, and accepted by our Lord as members of the new house of sons. – John 1:12.

The Apostle further explains that the rejection of the unbelieving of natural Israel left the way open to engraft in the place of the broken-off branches some from amongst the Gentiles, possessed of the faith of Abraham. And this, we see, has been the work of this Gospel age, – grafting into the original root of promise believers from amongst the Gentiles, who were once without God and having no hope in the world, strangers from the commonwealth of Israel, but are now brought nigh, united with Christ, and through him united with the Abrahamic root of promise, and inheritors of all its richness and fatness. – Eph. 2:12,13; Rom. 11.

Thus we see that these spiritual Israelites become the Israelites indeed, from the divine standpoint, the actual inheritors of the Abrahamic promise: altho we see also yet to be fulfilled certain gracious earthly promises to the natural seed of Abraham, they nevertheless have missed, have lost, as a nation, as a people, the great prize: as the Apostle declares, "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for: but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." – Rom. 11:7.

So then the "twelve tribes" of Israel had promises made to them which apply not merely to themselves, but also and specially to Spiritual Israel, whom they typified; while the original election or predestination of God, respecting the Abrahamic seed, that it should be 144,000, or 12,000 from each tribe, still stands; and consequently that each one accepted from amongst the Gentiles, and engrafted into this root of Abrahamic promise, is counted as taking the place of one of these broken-off branches of the various tribes. By the time the Gospel age shall have finished its work, a Spiritual Israel will have been found – "a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people," – showing forth the praises of him who called them out of darkness into his marvelous light – neither one more nor one less [R2443 : page 67] than the original, elect, predetermined number, – a natural Israelite having been "broken off" for each one from the Gentiles "grafted in." The Church is thus referred to in Revelation 7:3-8: and the sealing of the [R2443 : page 68] Church is spoken of as being so many from each of the tribes, with the intimation that all of these will have been "sealed in their foreheads" before the great time of trouble shall come upon the world.

So, then, the Epistle of James is to be understood as addressed to these true Israelites, engrafted into the root of promise, and taking the place of the natural Israelites. And to this agree the words of the Apostle Paul, "They are not all Israel which are of Israel." (Rom. 9:6,7.) And again, "He is not a Jew which is a Jew outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart." (Rom. 2:28,29.) And again, the words of our Lord in addressing his Church: "I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan." – Rev. 2:9; 3:9.

Our Lord recognized this same distinction between natural and true Israelites: when receiving Nathaniel he declared, "Behold, an Israelite indeed." These two Israels, of the flesh and of the spirit, were typified in Isaac and Ishmael, and again, as the Apostle declares, in Jacob and Esau. (Rom. 9:8-13,22-33.) In each case the inheritor of the promise was the younger brother; as illustrating that Spiritual Israel would be developed after natural Israel, and take its place as heir of the chief blessings mentioned in the Abrahamic Covenant. However, we are to remember that a blessing was granted also in each case to the elder brother, in the types; and so it is in the antitypes, – while God has appointed Christ to be the heir of all things, and has called the Church as his Bride, to be his joint-heir in all things, he has nevertheless provided that blessing shall flow from these to the earthly seed, and in turn through the latter to all the families of the earth. – Rom. 11:26-33.

Having thus definitely determined that the holy spirit, through the Apostle, is addressing the Church, let us consider the astounding statement of our text, and seek to ascertain in what sense it should be understood; resolving that, should we find that in any sense or degree it applies to us individually, we will assuredly quickly respond to the spirit's teaching, and correct so evil a condition.

BLESSING GOD WITH THE TONGUE.

We may readily see how the Apostle means that God's people bless or praise his name with their tongues. They do so in prayer; they do so in their hymns of praise; they do so in declaring his truth, and in witnessing to his providences on their behalf. In a word, we bless God with our tongues by showing forth his praises, who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

CHRISTIANS WHO CURSE MEN WITH THEIR TONGUES.

But in what sense does the Apostle mean that Spiritual Israelites curse men with their tongues? – and that so commonly, so generally prevalent as to require public reproof? Surely no Christian curses his fellowman by oaths and profane swearing! But are there not other ways in which our tongues may be a curse and an injury to fellow-men? We are to remember that the meaning of our English word "curse" has somewhat altered in common usage within the last century, having very generally lost the sense of injury and assumed wholly the sense of swearing, profanity. In the Greek language different words are used when referring to a cursing oath (viz., anathema, and anathematiso, used ten times in the New Testament), and when referring to a spoken condemnation as a blight or curse (viz., katara and kataraomai, which signify condemnation, – to speak against, to speak evil of, to injure). The latter is the word used by the Apostle James: hence his language really is – With the same tongue wherewith we praise and honor God, we do injury to fellow-men, by evil-speaking, slandering, etc. Thus our Lord, using the same word, said, "Bless them that curse [speak evil of] you." The Apostle Paul, using the same word, admonishes God's people to "Bless and curse not" – speak favorably of others, but do not speak injuriously of them. Again, we are told that our Lord cursed (the same Greek word) the figtree, saying, "Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth" – he injured it, he made a declaration unfavorable to its future development. Thus also the Apostle declares that the Jews under the Law were under a curse – not that the Law was evil, but that, because of imperfections of the flesh, the Israelites came under the condemnation (curse) of the Law. He declares also that "Christ hath redeemed us [formerly Jews] from the curse [condemnation] of the Law, being made a curse for us" – having suffered for us the full condemnation or blight which the Law imposed upon the transgressor. (Gal. 3:10-13.) He illustrated the same thought in connection with the word "curse," when he declares that garden land which had been overgrown with thorns and briars is "nigh unto cursing" – not ready for profanity, but for condemnation, as unfit for tillage, until burned over and its weeds exterminated. – Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:14; Mark 11:21; Heb. 6:8.

Having thus before our minds the real word, and its signification as used by the Apostle, we see that while curse is a proper enough translation of the original, the whole difficulty is that present-day common usage and common education have largely hidden from sight this signification of the word. (Similarly the word evil has lost its original breadth of meaning, and [R2443 : page 69] is almost invariably considered to signify immorality, badness, wickedness; whereas in its breadth of meaning it may be used to refer to anything that is undesirable, not good, such as calamities, etc.)

Looking at the Apostle's statement from this stand-point, we see clearly that his charge is applicable to Christian people of to-day to an alarming extent. How many there are who do injury with their tongues to their fellow-creatures, who use the same tongue in offering praise to God. We know of no evil to which God's consecrated people are more exposed than to this one. With many it is as natural to gossip as to breathe: they do it unconsciously. We have even known people who took cognizance of the Scriptural injunction against slander and evil-speaking, who were so utterly confused on the subject, and so unaware of their own conduct, that they would declare their horror of speaking a slander in the very same breath in which they utter slanders. We mention this in proof that this evil is so ingrained in fallen human nature as to elude the notice of the new nature sometimes for years – and thus escapes the correction in righteousness which the Lord's Word directs, and which all who are truly the Lord's people desire.

Many are the peculiar subterfuges which the fallen nature will use, in its attempt to stifle the voice of conscience and yet maintain the use of this channel of evil, – long after it has been driven from evil practices which are less common, less popular, more generally recognized as sinful.

(1) It will say, I mean no harm to anybody; but I must have something to talk about, and nothing would be so interesting to friends and neighbors as something which has more or less of a gossipy flavor (scandal) connected with it. But is evil-speaking, slander, any the more proper on this account for the children of the light? By no means. Hence it is that the Scriptures instruct us, "Let your conversation be such as becometh saints;" "Let your speech be with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man;" "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good, to the use of edifying, – that it may minister grace unto the hearers." – Phil. 1:27; Col. 4:6; Eph. 4:29.

But the scandal-monger, however refined his methods and words, well knows that so far from the scandal ministering grace to the hearer, it ministers evil; – that the hearer is impelled by the forces of his fallen human nature to go quickly and tell the scandal further, to others; – true or false, he knows not and heeds not: it has kindled in his heart a flame of carnal sentiment which issues from his lips to "set on fire the course of nature" in others, similarly weak through the fall. The fallen nature feasts and revels in just such things, feeling the more liberty to do so because they delude themselves that thus they are moralizing – preaching against sin, and that in thus discussing and impliedly denouncing the said-to-be transgressions of another, they are mentioning matters abhorrent to their righteous souls. Alas! poor, weak, fallen humanity's reasonings are seriously defective when the Lord's counsels in righteousness are ignored.

As for the point that there would be little else to talk about if scandals were thoroughly eliminated from Christian conversation, and were all to abide strictly by the Apostle's injunction, "Speak evil of no man," we answer: Is there not a wide scope for conversation amongst Christian people, on the subject of the riches of God's grace in Christ Jesus our Lord, expressed in the exceeding great and precious promises of the divine Word? In these things we have indeed that which not only ministers grace to the hearer, but which adds also to the grace of the speaker. It showers blessing on every hand, so far as the "new creature" is concerned, and assists in deadening the old nature with its evil desires, tastes, appetites.

This is what the Apostle had in mind, evidently, when he said that the Lord's people should "show forth the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light." And a heart filled with the [R2444 : page 69] spirit of love, the spirit of God, the spirit of the truth, and overflowing with the same at the mouth will be sure to overflow that which is within, for, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." An evil mouth, therefore, a mouth which does injury to others, either to fellow-members of "the body of Christ" or to those that are without, indicates an evil heart, – implies that the heart is not pure. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." – 1 Pet. 2:9; Matt. 12:34; 5:8.

(2) Another excuse for gossip about other men's matters is offered by others, who say: I can talk about religious matters to those who are religiously inclined, but when I am with worldly people, or with professors of religion who take no interest in religious themes, I must be agreeable and accommodating, and must at least hear their gossip and news; and if I do not share in such conversation I would be considered very peculiar, and my company would not be desired. Yes, we answer; but this is to be one of the peculiarities of the "saints:" they are not only to be different from the world, but different also from the nominal professors of religion. Their religion is not merely to be on the surface, and on one day of the week, and under a certain suit of clothes; but is to be of the heart, related to all the affairs of life, for every day and every moment. To follow strictly the divine injunction will indeed separate you from some who are now your friends [R2444 : page 70] and who love such evil things, – forbidden us who have become sons of God and who have received of his spirit of sonship, the spirit of Love.

And that the Lord understood and meant this is evident from the fact that he foretold to us that the way of discipleship would be a "narrow way." If, therefore, your failure to be an entertaining visitor, neighbor, friend, is because of your fidelity as a "new creature" to the law of Christ, Love – which "worketh no ill to his neighbor," either in word or deed, – then indeed you have cause for rejoicing, because you are suffering a little, experiencing a loss, for Christ's sake, for righteousness' sake. The loss may at first seem heavy, but if you endure it for Christ's sake, in obedience to his righteous law of Love, you will soon be able to say with the Apostle that such losses are "light afflictions," not worthy to be compared with the offsetting blessings. – Phil. 3:7,8; 2 Cor. 4:17.

Your cause for rejoicing is that you have the Lord's promise that such suffering shall work out for your good. Companionship with those who are not seeking to walk according to the mind of the spirit, but according to the common "course of this world," is injurious to the saints, to those who are seeking to walk in harmony with the new mind. They are far better off without such worldly companions and friends, and in proportion as they are separated from these will they find closer fellowship with the Lord himself and with his Word, and with all who are true members of his Body, and under the direction of his spirit. It is in harmony with this that the Scriptures declare, in so many words, that the friendship of this world signifies enmity against God. (Jas. 4:4.) God has purposely placed the matter in such a position that his people must take their choice, and lose either the divine friendship and fellowship, or the worldly friendship and fellowship; because those things which the Lord loves are distasteful to the worldly, and those things which the worldly love, evil deeds and evil thoughts, evil-speaking, are an abomination in the sight of the Lord, and those who love and practice such things lose his fellowship – they are not of his spirit. "If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his." – Rom. 8:9.

(3) Another way by which some otherwise good Christian people avoid this question, and justify themselves in this common fault of humanity, is by confining themselves (as they think) to the truth: tho how frequently their gossip-loving natures pervert their judgments and lead them to accept as truth things respecting which they have little or no knowledge, they never know. Nor are such anxious to know more, after they have circulated a slander with their stamp of verity on it: to find it untrue would prove them "false witnesses" and put them to trouble to correct the lie; the pride of the natural mind objects and refuses to believe the truth under such circumstances. Thus one evil leads to another.

Such will say, – Oh, I never tell anything for truth until I positively know it to be true – of my own observation, my own personal knowledge. Anything that I do not know of myself to be true I am always careful to so state, and say, I have heard thus and so, or, I am told thus and so; I do not vouch for the truth of it myself. Thus I am sure that I always avoid speaking evil of anyone. Perhaps there is no more common delusion on this subject than is thus expressed. The depraved taste hedges itself behind conscience, and declares that it is always right to speak the truth, and hence God cannot have meant that speaking the truth would be slander, but that in condemning evil speaking and slander, as works of the flesh and the devil, he must have meant the speaking of that which is false, untrue.

This is a great mistake: a slander is equally a slander, whether it is true or whether it is false, and is so regarded, not only in the law of God, but also in the laws of civilized men. True, in human law, if a suit were brought for slander, if it were proven that the charges made by the slanderer had some basis of fact, that would probably be considered by the Court and jury an extenuating circumstance, and would probably very much reduce the amount of the verdict for damages. A slander is anything which is uttered with the intention of injury to another, whether true or false, and the laws of men agree with the law of God, that such injury to another is wrong.

In other words, divine and human laws agree that a first wrong does not justify a second wrong. Human law says, If a wrong has been committed, the Courts are open to the injured one to seek redress or the punishment of the evil doer; but the injured one shall not be permitted to take the remedy into his own hands, either by making an assault with physical force nor by the use of the more subtle weapon, the tongue, to assassinate his character with the poisoned stiletto of envy and malice. True, many slanderers are never prosecuted; true also, the newspapers of the United States have sometimes escaped heavy damages for libelous slander by the plea that they did not publish the defamations as of malice, but simply as news, which, they claimed, properly belonged to the public as in the cases of politicians who were seeking the franchises of the people for positions of public trust. Then again, public men knowing that much of the false statements by the opposition press will be properly credited as falsehoods, consider it good policy to let any ordinary slanders go unchallenged in the Courts. [R2444 : page 71] The effect is a gradual growth of slander among the people – sure to work evil to themselves and to their institutions; – for government officers and courts and everybody of influence coming under such slanders (generally, we believe, untrue) lose their influence for good over the lower classes, who are thus being helped along to greater lawlessness day by day, and preparing for the period of anarchy which the Scriptures tell us is near at hand.

But the Law of God, the Law of Christ, goes much further and deeper into such matters, naturally, than do the laws of men; for it deals not with men, but with the "new creatures in Christ Jesus" – transformed by the renewing of their minds, and under special New Covenant relationship, and bound by the law of that New Covenant – Love – which "worketh no ill to his neighbor," under any circumstances, under any provocation: which on the contrary returns "good for evil" – "blessing for cursing."

The Law of the New Covenant, Love, commands silence to all who acknowledge that law and the Law-Giver, saying, "Speak evil of no man." (Titus 3:2.) It goes further than this and declares against evil thoughts, evil suspicions, evil surmisings, against neighbors. It declares that love filling our hearts will not only hinder evil conduct and injurious words, but will prevent evil thoughts: "Love thinketh no evil," – can only be convinced of evil by indisputable proofs. Indeed, to impress this subject and its importance in his sight, the Great Teacher declares to the pupils in his school – With what judgment ye judge others, I will judge you. (Matt. 7:1.) And again he tells them to pray to the Father – "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." (Matt. 6:12.) Again he declares, If at heart ye treasure up resentment against others, the Heavenly Father will not forgive you. (Matt. 18:35.) Ah! indeed, a Christian after the Lord's pattern, a graduate of the school of Christ and prepared to teach others, is one who not only outwardly, but inwardly also, is clean – separated, washed by the water of divine instruction, from the meanness, the filthiness of the flesh. He is no longer the slave of sin, controlled by the desires and weaknesses of his fallen flesh and its spirit of the world, bearing fruits unto unrighteousness, – anger, malice, hatred, strife, slander, evil-speaking. (Col. 3:8; 1 Pet. 2:1,2.) From his high standpoint of appreciation of the divine law, the advanced Christian sees that in the Lord's sight hatred is murder, slander is assassination, and the destruction of a neighbor's good name is robbery and rapine. And any of these things done in the Church, among the professed people of God, is doubly evil – the assassination and robbery of a brother. – Compare 1 John 3:15 and Matt. 5:21,22.

To utter a defamatory or injurious remark against another, and then to add, "I do not know whether it is true or not," is to show that the speaker is exercised [R2445 : page 71] by an evil spirit and not by the spirit of Christ, the spirit of love; – he wishes to injure or curse his fellow-creature, is anxious to do so. He would feel restrained to some extent from telling what he knew to be absolutely untrue, but he delights to speak evil, and glad to know of evil that he may roll it as a sweet morsel over his tongue, and hence speaks of even those scandals which he does not know to be true, and attempts to excuse himself with such an apology as the above. Verily, it is with force that the Scriptures declare that the natural heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Those who thus speak, and thus attempt to justify their misconduct, have either never entered the school of Christ, or are as yet only in the infant-class, and do not know that theirs is the spirit of murder, and not the spirit of brotherly-love. Oh! that all true Christians might learn the scope of this law of Love, in its relationship not only to God, but also to fellow-men; what a bridling of tongues it would mean, what a carefulness of speech! As David said, "I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue." And he who watches his tongue is putting a detective upon his deceitful heart and can the better know it and master it, for "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." – Jer. 17:9; Psa. 39:1; Matt. 12:34.

The only exception to this rule, "Speak evil of no man," would come in where we might know of an absolute necessity for making known an evil – where the relating of the evil would be contrary to our heart's wishes, and only mentioned because of necessity – because of love for others who, if not informed, might be injured. For instance, the law of the land demands that, if we know of murder having been committed, it shall not be considered slander, but on the contrary be considered duty, to make known to the proper officers of the law the facts (not suspicions) which have come under our observation. Likewise, if we knew of some weakness in a brother or sister, and realized that they were about to be placed in a dangerous position, because of some other brother or sister not knowing of that weakness, it might become our duty to make known, either to the individual or congregation liable to be injured, so much of our knowledge of facts (not suspicions) as might be necessary to guard them against injury through the weakness mentioned. But this would not be speaking evil, but, on the contrary, would be speaking with a good motive, with the intention of preserving the one party from extraordinary temptation, and of preserving the other party from injury. And before anything should be said on the subject we should most positively satisfy our own consciences that [R2445 : page 72] our motive in speaking is a good one, and not an evil one, that we are about to use our tongue to bless, and not to injure. And even then, prompted by the spirit of love and kindness toward the weak brother, as well as toward the others, we should avoid mentioning one solitary item that would not be necessary to the object in view.

But some will object to limiting this liberty to cases of positive knowledge, and urge that absolute knowledge generally being small little could be said. We answer that this is in line with the Divine law, – "Love thy neighbor as thyself." You would not want your neighbor to use brain and tongue in evil surmises and slanders against you; and you should not do so to him. The law of the land does not demand that you should tell one word more than you know (of personal knowledge) against your neighbor – it does not ask your suspicions and evil surmisings. And on the contrary, the law of the Lord commands that all under the New Covenant shall not utter one solitary suspicion against a neighbor: and that if suspicion beyond knowledge is forced upon the mind by associated circumstances, the new mind shall promptly, with its native benevolence, counterbalance the suspicions by suggestions of the possibility of misinformation or misinterpretation and always give the apparently guilty the benefit of the doubt.

Another will object, – Oh! I could never waste so much time in getting at facts. Life is too short! Why, I would have no time at all left for my own business, if I carefully hunted up the facts so as always to speak from knowledge and never from hearsay!

Just so! and the lesson to you should be to follow the Scriptural rule – "Speak evil of no man."

(1) Because you have not the time to get at the facts, and quite probably also lack the ability to judge impartially, if you had all the facts before you.

(2) Because, if you have the spirit of Christ, love, dwelling in you richly, you will prefer to tell no one the facts, even if you have the chain of evidence complete: you will loathe the matter the more in proportion as the known facts are unfavorable. What, then, must be the condition of those who have itching ears for scandals and of those whose tongues delight in scandal as a sweet morsel, and are anxious to scatter an evil report of which they have no knowledge – only prejudiced hearsay? The most generous view possible of such is that they have little of the spirit of Christ; – that they are deficient in brotherly love and have never truly learned "the golden rule."

The Apostle inquires, "Doth a fountain send forth at the same opening bitter water and sweet?" The form of his question implies the answer, No; it is either good water only or brackish water only. He evidently wishes to suggest that we apply the same rule to our hearts and mouths: How is it possible if our hearts have been renewed that our mouths utter loving sweetness to God and bitter acrimony, envy, hatred, strife, towards or respecting our fellow-men?

There is but one way of understanding this, and accounting for it Scripturally. It is expressed by the Apostle Paul (2 Cor. 4:7): "We have this treasure [the new heart – the new nature] in an earthen vessel." Not that Christians are of two natures, for that thought is contrary to the science of the Bible. No mixture of natures can be recognized, hence it was that our human natures were first justified through faith and a renouncement of sin, and secondly were consecrated or sacrificed to death, that instead we might have spiritual natures and become "new creatures in Christ Jesus." The new creature, however, is as yet only in embryo, only the new mind which dwells in and proposes to regulate and govern the mortal bodies, which are reckoned dead so far as the will of the flesh is concerned.

Hence, every Christian may properly use the language of the Apostle, and speak of and think of himself and of other Christians from two different standpoints – the new mind (the new creature) reckoned alive and given control, and the old mind (the old creature) reckoned dead, and deposed from control. But as the new mind is only living a reckoned existence by faith, so the old mind is only dead in a reckoned sense through faith. And as the Apostle declares, these two are contrary the one to the other. There cannot be spiritual progress if the reign is divided. Hence, the new mind which is to us the "treasure," begotten of the spirit of the Lord, through the word of truth, is to keep the old or natural mind, will, or disposition, tastes and appetites, dead; that the new mind may thoroughly and completely control and exercise these mortal bodies, in works and words and thoughts in harmony with the new mind, in harmony with the new law of love, in harmony with the spirit of righteousness and truth.

When, therefore, our mouths are speaking forth heart-felt praise to God, who hath blessed us, lifted our feet from the horrible pit, and the miry clay, and placed us upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and has put a new song into our mouth, our praise implies that the new mind is controlling at such a time, that the treasure in the new heart is overflowing in the mortal body, and going forth through the lips to the praise and edification, the comfort and encouragement, of those who hear. Thus the fountain in our heart is sending forth sweet waters, carrying with them life, blessing, refreshment. But when our tongues speak evil of any, whether it be true or false, it implies that the new nature [R2445 : page 73] is, temporarily at least, overcome by the old nature; it implies that another fountain is now operating and using the tongue, the mouth, in issuing forth the words of malice or hatred or envy or strife or reproach or evil speaking of any kind, – cursing or injuring others in any degree, great or small. This implies that the old nature, the old will, the will of the flesh, is not being kept under, as the Apostle Paul expresses it, – kept dead, kept buried, kept out of sight: there is either a truce between the new mind and the old mind, by which the two use the mortal body between them, sometimes for good and sometimes for evil, or a stupor and lethargy has come over the new mind, which is taken advantage of by the mind of the flesh. Such a condition therefore implies slow spiritual development or retrogression – falling away on the part of the "new creature." All such should remember, as the Apostle Paul declares, "The time past of our lives sufficeth us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles," and again he says, "Yield not your members as instruments of unrighteousness; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." – 1 Pet. 4:3; Rom. 6:13.

From this point of view we may console ourselves if in looking backward, we perceive that in our own cases from the same mouth has proceeded praise to God and injury and defamation and slander and evil-speaking and malice and hatred and strife, or any of these, toward our fellow-creatures. It does not, therefore, prove that our hearts were not truly justified, and sanctified by the holy spirit of adoption; – it does not prove that we are not sons of God and partakers of his spirit. It does prove, however, that we are in [R2446 : page 73] a sadly improper condition – spiritually sick and in need of taking a purgative, as the Apostle expresses it, saying, "Purge out, therefore, the old leaven [malice, etc.], that ye may be a new [unadulterated, pure] lump" or loaf, – proper representatives of the Body of Christ. – 1 Cor. 5:7.

We may know assuredly that, until the "new creature" gains a thorough victory over the will of the flesh, we will not be winners of the great prize which is promised only "to him that overcometh." The overcoming, however, will be not in the perfecting of the flesh, but in the perfecting of the heart, – the will, the intentions. As for the blemishes of the flesh, some of them, undoubtedly, despite every effort on our part to eradicate them, will continue with us so long as we are in the flesh. The perfection which is to be hoped for, and aimed at and expected and gained by the overcomers, is the perfection of the will, heart, intentions. "Blessed are the pure in heart; they shall see God." Moreover, our physical weaknesses and defects not only vary in kind but in intensity. Some are by nature more inclined to gentleness, kindness, etc.; others, until accepted of Christ, may have very uncouth, coarse, rude, rough earthen vessels: and while the influence of the treasure within, the "new mind," will be sure in any case to exercise a modifying and transforming effect upon the earthen vessel, we cannot expect as much of a change in some as in others. We cannot expect as complete a correction in righteousness in the outward man where coarseness, rudeness, unkindness are, so to speak, bred in the bone and fibre, as we might expect in one born to fine sensibilities.

While recognizing this difference of "earthen vessels," we of course must use our best endeavors each to correct his own. We are to remember that our relationship to one another in the Body of Christ is not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit; hence, as the Apostle declares, we know one another no longer according to the flesh, with its weaknesses, imperfections and ungainly and ungraceful natural tendencies. We know each other only according to the spirit, according to the intentions, according to the heart, – as "new creatures," not as old creatures. (2 Cor. 5:16.) This will lead us to be very pitiful of one another's imperfections of the flesh, so long as we have the assurance that the flesh does not represent our brother's real self, his mind, his will. We are, therefore, to be gentle toward all, kindly affectioned one toward another, so that so far from desiring to wound one another, or to injure one another, or to devour one another with our tongues, we shall sympathize with each other, do each other good, and by words of grace and comfort, or of admonition and reproof spoken in love, may build one another up in the most holy faith – in the likeness of our Lord and Master.

Proceeding with this subject, the Apostle points out that there are two kinds of wisdom, a heavenly and an earthly, and that all of the Lord's people should discern these, and should see to it that theirs is the heavenly. The Apostle's intimation is that there may be some with the Church, who may have counted themselves in the Church, who may have associated themselves with the Church from worldlywise motives – some who have caught sight of the fact that there is a reasonableness and a wisdom in the teachings of the Scriptures, which they admire and which they can turn perhaps to their own advantage. These, he implies, will be inclined to be heady and to make a show of their wisdom, and to be "puffed up" by it, and while outwardly acknowledging the propriety of the Christian graces, brotherly-kindness, gentleness, meekness, patience, love, they have in their hearts bitter envyings and strife – strife to have name and fame – envying [R2446 : page 74] those who may seem to them to have more of these.

These, the Apostle intimates, will find it difficult, yea, impossible, to avoid cursing (speaking evil of, injuring) the brethren. It will be so natural to them to do so that they cannot avoid it, because they have not pure hearts – they have not regenerated hearts. If their hearts ever were regenerated, they have returned like the sow to wallowing in the mire – like the dog to his vomit. The Apostle's advice to such as find that they have in their hearts envious and bitter feelings, is that they have no cause to glory or to boast, but on the contrary should acknowledge that, having these evil conditions in the heart, they are not Christians at all, and they should cease to lie against the truth – cease to act fraudulently, hypocritically – cease to continue to claim to have renewed hearts, sanctified in Christ Jesus.

He tells such plainly that their wisdom, their knowledge, is not of God, is not of the holy spirit, – "This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish; for, where envy and strife are, there is confusion and every evil work [to be anticipated]." – Jas. 3:15,16.

It seems evident that, altho the Apostle's denunciation applies to any professing to be Israelites indeed, he nevertheless is specially aiming his remarks at those who profess to be teachers in the Church, to have wisdom to a considerable degree. And his words remind us of the words of the Apostle Paul, when speaking of the various gifts distributed to the Church, he seemingly points out the dangers of those of large knowledge, and as an illustration of this principle which James presents, he says: –

Tho I could speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love, it would imply that I had become as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal, making a noise indeed, but having no feeling respecting the matter myself, – I have neither part nor lot with those who possess the spirit of Christ. Altho I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and tho I have all faith, and have not Love, I am nothing; and tho I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing. – 1 Cor. 13:1-8.

Thus the Apostle points out distinctly that knowledge and oratory are not the most vital tests, but that Love permeating the heart and extending out through all the course of life, and actuating and operating our mortal bodies, is the real test – the real proof of our divine relationship. He points out that those who had received gifts of God before they had come into a proper relationship to God might become sounding brass and tinkling cymbals, and thus become "nothing," if they lose the love, if they lose the spirit of Christ; for "if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his."

It is well for the Lord's people to take particular note of these divine instructions from two of the chiefest of the Apostles, and to remember that valuable tho they be, neither oratory nor knowledge are to be considered amongst the "brethren" as sure proofs of their being in the right way, nor that their influence might not be injurious instead of helpful. The leading characteristic to be looked for in everyone accepted as a servant of the Church, to minister in holy things, should be first of all the spirit of love. We do not mean to say that knowledge and ability should be entirely ignored, but we do mean to say that these should be considered of secondary and not of primary importance, as is always the tendency. Look out from among yourselves holy men, full of the holy spirit, that they may have the charge of the spiritual interests of the different companies of the Lord's people. And for a divine explanation of how this holy spirit will manifest itself, of the qualities therefore that are to be looked for in the servants of the Church, see 1 Cor. 13:4-8; also 1 Pet. 1:22,23; 2 Pet. 1:1-13. For their own good, as well as for the good of the Church, all who, having other qualifications, give evidence of being puffed up and of desiring to lord it over God's heritage, the Church, or who manifest envy, strife, bitterness, evil-speaking – these should be passed by, as giving evidence of having the wrong spirit that cometh not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. They are unsafe teachers, and are likely to do more harm than good, with whatever knowledge they may possess.

Continuing, the Apostle leaves no doubt respecting his meaning, for he distinctly outlines the course and fruitage of heavenly wisdom, saying, – "The wisdom that is from above is first pure" – (truthful, honest, sincere, not put on, not used as a garment of light to deceive and to cover up selfishness, malice, hatred, strife; it makes no compromises with sin, impurity, in any shape or form.) It is "peaceable." (So far from being a quarrelsome, bickering disposition, the "new mind" desires peace – it will contend earnestly for the faith once delivered unto the saints, but it will not contend simply from a love of contention, a love of strife; on the contrary, the new mind is peaceably inclined, would prefer, so far as possible, to yield a non-essential point in a controversy; it loves its opponents and sympathizes with their difficulties.) It is "gentle" (not rude nor coarse, not rough, in action or word or tone; and if the earthen vessel through which it speaks have these rudenesses by nature ingrained, the "new nature" regrets them, strives against them, and seeks to conquer them; and where they do injury [R2446 : page 75] to others is ready, willing, glad to apologize, and to remove the smart). It is "easy to be entreated" (easy of approach, not haughty, not disdainful, not hard or cruel; yet it is firm on matters of principle – principles cannot be bended or modified; they belong to God. But while affirming the principles, this spirit of wisdom points out its own willingness to moderation, by acknowledging any good features in its opponent, and by pointing out the reason why no modification is possible in relation to divine laws and principles). It is "full of mercy and good fruits." (It delights in all things prompted by love and kindness; it takes pleasure in doing for others; it takes pleasure, not only in showing mercy to dumb animals under its [R2447 : page 75] care, but it especially delights in mercy in dealing with brethren in respect to their faults. It is merciful also in the family, – not over-exacting, but generous, kind, benevolent. It is generous also with opponents, and those who are contentious, – not wishing to push a victory, even for the truth, to such a point as would be injurious, hurtful, unmerciful to the antagonist.) It is "without partiality." (It loves the good, the true, where these are found; and opposes the untrue, the impure and the unholy, whether found amongst friends or enemies. Its justice is of the strictest kind, tempered with mercy; it will not approve a fault in a brother, because he is a brother, but would reprove the same with gentleness and meekness, remembering the liability of all to the assaults of the world, the flesh and the devil. It will not fail to see a virtue in an enemy, nor hesitate to acknowledge it. Truth is its standard, not prejudice, not partyism, not sectarianism.) It is "without hypocrisy." (It is thoroughly candid; it needs not to feign love, because it is love; it needs not to put on a kindly exterior and to smother feelings of wrath and envy and strife, for it is without envy, without strife. Such works of the flesh and of the devil have, by the grace of God, been seen to be earthly, sensual, devilish, and have been repudiated, and the heart has been justified, cleansed, sanctified to God, renewed in thought, intention, will, and is now full of the treasure of the holy spirit.)

With these thoughts before our minds, let us all, dear readers, more earnestly than ever, guard against the old nature, and its insidious attempts to gain control over our tongues. Let us, more and more, seek to appreciate, in ourselves and in others, this heavenly wisdom, whose operation is so forcefully presented by the Apostle. The more important our members, the more influential, the more earnestly ought we to strive to keep them in full subjection to the Lord, as his servants. Our feet are useful members, consecrated to the Lord; we may use them in many errands of mercy, to the glory of his name and to the profit of his people. Our hands are likewise useful, if thoroughly consecrated to the Lord's service. Our ears are also useful in his service, to hear for him, to refuse to hear the evil, and thus to approve evil, and to set a good example to others. Our eyes are a great blessing from the Lord, and they also are to be kept from evil, from the lust of the eye and the pride of life, and are to be instruments or servants of righteousness, in seeing the good, in appreciating the good, and in assisting the good, and in helping us to know the will of our God.

But of all our members the most influential is the tongue. The tongue's influence exceeds that of all our other members combined: to control it, therefore, in the Lord's service, is the most important work of the Lord's people in respect to their mortal bodies and the service of these rendered to the Lord. A few words of love, kindness, helpfulness, – how often have such changed the entire course of a human life! – nay; how much they have had to do with moulding the destiny of nations! And how often have evil words, unkind words, slanderous words, done gross injustice, assassinated reputations, etc.! – or, as the Apostle declares, "set on fire the course of nature" – awakening passions, strifes, enmities, at first unthought of. No wonder he declares such tongues "set on fire of Gehenna" – the Second Death!

The public servants of the Church are to some extent specially its "tongues," and what an influence they wield for good or for evil, in the blessing and upbuilding of the Lord's people, or for their injury – cursing! How necessary that all the tongue-servants of the Lord's Body be such, and such only, as are of his spirit! Their influence not only extends to those who are in the Church, but in considerable measure they are mouthpieces heard outside. And the same principle applies to every individual member of the Church, in his use of his member, his tongue. He may use it wisely or unwisely, with heavenly wisdom or with earthly wisdom. He may use it for strife, and tearing down the faith and character of the brethren, in overthrowing love and confidence, or he may use it in building up these graces of the spirit. How many have proved the truth of the Apostle's words, that the tongue has great possibilities, either for defiling the whole body, the Church, and setting on fire the course of nature, by stirring up the evil poisons and propensities of the fallen nature! How few amongst the Lord's people have conquered the tongue to the extent of bringing it into subjection to the will of God, that they may minister good, and only good, to all with whom they come in contact! Let us, dearly beloved, be fully resolved that by divine grace (promised to assist us) the present year shall witness great progress in our control of this most important member of our [R2447 : page 76] bodies, bringing the same into full subjection and obedience and service to the King of kings and Lord of lords – to him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

[R2450 : page 76]

"LO, I AM WITH THEE!"

The "Lord of the harvest" be near thee,
To comfort, and strengthen, and aid;
His "presence" be with thee to cheer thee,
In sickness, and sorrow, and shade!

May he lead thee to heights of ambition:
To service for great and for small;
The "fire" of the Christ-life within thee,
Consuming the sacrifice all.
– J. W. WATTS.

[R2447 : page 76]

"A BOTTLE OF SPIKENARD, VERY COSTLY."
– APRIL 9. – JOHN 12:1-11. –

"She hath done what she could." – Mark 14:8.

T
HE last week of our Lord's earthly ministry was a busy one. The sixth day previous to the Passover was the Jewish Sabbath, which ended at six o'clock in the evening, and it is possible that it was at that time that our Lord and his disciples were entertained by Martha and Mary at "the house of Simon the leper" – probably their father: Lazarus, their brother, whose recovery from death was noted in the previous lesson, was also one of the table-guests.

Our Lord knew that the time of his death was near at hand, and he had given intimations of this to his beloved disciples, but they were so accustomed to having him say wonderful things beyond the power of their comprehension that they probably failed to realize their closeness to the great tragedy of Calvary. This need not surprise us when we remember the Scriptural declaration that our Lord spake in parables and dark sayings – "and without a parable spake he not unto the people:" for instance, his declaration, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." And again, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man shall eat of this bread he shall live forever." And again, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." (John 2:19; 6:51,53.) Having in mind such unusual language, the apostles would be entirely excusable in doubting the proper meaning to be attached to our Lord's declaration, "The Son of man must be lifted up," and other similar expressions foretelling his death.

Before coming to the consideration of the Bethany supper and the anointing on that Sabbath evening, let us have before our minds the incidents of the days following it, that we may be able to appreciate our Lord's declaration that the anointing with the spikenard was preparatory to his burial. The next morning (the first day of the week, now usually called Sunday), having sent after the ass, our Lord rode upon it to Jerusalem. The people, recognizing the wonderful miracle wrought upon Lazarus, congregated and hailed him as Messiah, the Son of David, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah (9:9), and strewed clothing and palm branches in the way; (hence this is generally known as Palm Sunday). It was on this occasion that our Lord wept over Jerusalem, and declared, "Your house is left unto you desolate." – Matt. 23:38.

It is supposed that it was on the second day (Monday) that our Lord scourged the money-changers out of the Temple, and taught the people there; and we gather from the narrative that it was in his journey on this day that he pronounced the curse upon "the barren fig tree," supposed to represent the Jewish nation – barren of fruit, and therefore rejected. It would appear that the third day (Tuesday) was again spent teaching in the Temple, answering questions, etc., and that evening, as they returned again to Bethany, he discoursed with his disciples respecting the great events near at hand. The fourth day (Wednesday) apparently was spent quietly at Bethany, and on the fifth day (Thursday) the disciples made ready the Passover supper which was eaten after six o'clock that evening – the beginning of the sixth day (Friday) according to Jewish reckoning – the 14th of Nisan. The Gethsemane experiences followed that night and the trial before Pilate the next morning, and the crucifixion later. [R2448 : page 76]

Now we come back to witness the hospitalities extended to our Lord six days before the crucifixion, at the house of Simon the leper, the home of Martha and Mary and Lazarus. We are to remember that our Lord was a visitor in those parts, his home, to the extent that he ever had one, being in Galilee, and the most of his time spent there. "He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him." (John 7:1.) But now the time for his sacrifice had come, and in harmony therewith he came amongst his enemies, – altho it was known that prominent Jews sought to kill him and also sought the death of Lazarus, who was a living witness to his Messianic power.

We may suppose that this was no ordinary supper, but in the nature of a feast or banquet in our Lord's honor. Nevertheless, one incident connected with it so outshone all its other features that the narrator mentions it alone – the anointing of our Lord with the [R2448 : page 77] "spikenard ointment, very costly." Our Lord himself declared, "Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also which this woman hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." (Mark 14:9.) It is entirely proper, therefore, that we should examine with some particularity the details of this service so highly esteemed by the Master.

Prof. Shaff says, "By the 'ointment' we are to understand rather a liquid perfume than what we commonly know as ointment." The alabaster box was rather in the shape of a flask or vase, and the breaking of the box (Mark 14:3) signifies the opening of its tyings and seals by which the precious odors were confined. Judas' words of dissatisfaction furnish us a clue respecting the costliness of this perfume, for he says that it "might have been sold for three hundred denarii." A denarius, translated "penny" in vs. 5, is represented as being the average daily wages at that time – "a penny [denarius] a day." (Matt. 20:2.) If we compare these values with present money values, counting farm labor at fifty cents a day (which is certainly a moderate valuation), the three hundred denarii would be the equivalent in wages of one hundred and fifty dollars of our money. Thus we see that the perfume was indeed "very costly." There was nearly a pint of the perfume, a Roman pound being twelve ounces. Nor need we question the possibility of perfumes being so expensive, for even to-day we have a counterpart in value in the attar of roses made in the far East. It is claimed that four hundred thousand full-grown roses are used to produce one ounce of this perfume, which, in its purity, sells as high as one hundred dollars an ounce, or twelve hundred dollars for the quantity used by Mary in anointing our Lord. It is said that Nero was the first of the Emperors to indulge in the use of costly perfumes for his anointing; but one much more worthy of tribute, homage and anointing with a sweet perfume was the "Prince of the kings of the earth," whom Mary had the honor to anoint.

Calculated at $50 per day (a little above minimum wage for 2005) this would yield $15,000 - very costly indeed! - Site Editor.

Judas was first to object to this as a waste – the difficulty with him being that he loved the Lord too little and money too much. The amount that love is willing to expend for others is, to some extent at least, a measure of the love. Another Evangelist informs us that several of the disciples, under the influence of Judas' words, took the same view of the matter, and spoke disapprovingly of Mary's action. The Apostle John, however, takes this opportunity to throw a little sidelight upon the character of Judas – more than is apparent in the common translation of vs. 6. His declaration is, "Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the box, and stole what things were deposited in it." – Diaglott.

Our Lord's words, "Let her alone!" are in the nature of a severe reproof to those whose sentiments of love had no other measure than that of money. It was indeed true that there were plenty of poor, and there would still be plenty of poor, and plenty of opportunities to minister to them; but the opportunity to specially honor the Lord, and to pour upon him the fragrant odors so beautifully expressive of Mary's love and devotion, would not be for long, and our Lord declares that the circumstances fully justified the costly expenditure. He shows himself out of sympathy with the sentiments which balance themselves too accurately with money values. Moreover, we may esteem that in many instances like the one here recorded the persons who are so careful lest money should be spent except for the poor are often like Judas, so avaricious that whatever money gets into their possession very little of it gets to the poor.

On the contrary, it is the deep, loving, benevolent hearts, like that of Mary, which delight in costly sacrifices at times, which also are likely to be deeply sympathetic and helpful to the physically poor. And in our ministrations to others we are not to forget that money is not the only thing of which people are sorely in need – some need love and sympathy, who do not need money. Our Lord was one of these: his own heart, full of love, found comparatively little companionship in the more or less sordid minds of even the noblest of the fallen race represented amongst his apostles. In Mary he seemed to find the depth of love and devotion which was to him an odor of sweet incense, of refreshment, of reinvigoration, a tonic: and Mary apparently appreciated, more than did others, the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the Master's character; she not only delighted to sit at his feet to learn of him, but now delighted, at a great cost, to give him some manifestation of her devotion, her love.

She poured the perfume first upon our Lord's head (Mark 14:3), the usual custom, and then the remainder she poured upon his feet. But the Apostle John, in recording the matter, seems to have forgotten entirely the anointing of our Lord's head, so deeply was he impressed with the still more expressive devotion manifested in the anointing of the feet and the wiping of them with the hairs of her head. It is indeed a picture of love – a devotion well worthy of being told as a memorial. Some one has said, –

"She took 'woman's chief ornament' and devoted it to wiping the travel-stained feet of her Teacher; she devoted the best she had to even the least honorable service for him. It was the strongest possible expression of her love and devotion. She gave her choicest treasures in the most self-devoted manner. She was bashful and retiring, and could not speak her feelings, and therefore she expressed them in this manner."

We are not surprised to learn that the whole house [R2448 : page 78] was filled with the odor; and we doubt not that the odor remained for a long time: but far more precious than that was the sweet odor of Mary's heart-affections which the Lord accepted and will never forget, and the sweet odor of her devotion which has come down through the centuries to us, bringing blessing to all true hearts who have honored her service and desired to emulate her conduct.

It is not our privilege to come into personal contact with our dear Redeemer, but we have, nevertheless, many opportunities for doing that which to some extent will correspond to Mary's act – it is our privilege to anoint the Lord's "brethren" with the sweet perfume of love, sympathy, joy and peace, and the more costly this may be as respects our self-denials, the more precious it will be in the estimation of our Elder Brother, who declared that in proportion as we do or do not unto his brethren, we do or do not unto him. (Matt. 25:40,45.) Moreover, he represents these "brethren" in a figure as "members of his body;" and from this standpoint we see that, while it is not our privilege to pour the perfume upon the Head of the body, now highly exalted far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named – next to the Father, – it is our privilege to pour the perfume upon the feet of Christ – the last living members of his Church of this Gospel age.

We know not to what extent the closing years of this Gospel age may correspond to the closing days of our Lord's ministry – we know not how similar may be the experiences of the "feet" of the body of Christ to the experiences of the Head of the body; we do know, however, that in any event it is our blessed privilege to comfort one another, to encourage one another, to sustain one another, in the trials incident to our "filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (Col. 1:24.) And to whatever extent we would improve these opportunities, as did Mary, we must first appreciate them as she did.

Nothing in this suggestion is intended to imply any neglect of the members of our natural families "according to the flesh:" attentions to these are proper always, and are generally so understood, and should more and more be appreciated and used in proportion as the Lord's people receive freely and fully of his spirit of love, – kindness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering. But we emphasize that which the Scriptures emphasize, namely, that our interest and efforts are not to be confined to those of fleshly tie, but, on the contrary, are to be "especially to the household of faith." (Gal. 6:10.) There will be other and future opportunities of doing good to mankind in general, but the opportunity for serving "the body of Christ" is limited to the present age.

Apropos of this propriety of doing good to others – expressing our love by our conduct as well as by our words, to the members of our families as well as to the members of the body of Christ, we quote the words of another, –

"The sweetest perfume that the home circle ever knows arises from deeds of loving service which its members do for each other. The sweetest perfumes of our homes do not arise from elegant furniture, soft carpets, elegant pictures, or luxurious viands. Many a home, having all these, is pervaded by an atmosphere [R2449 : page 78] as tasteless and odorless as bouquets of waxen flowers."

Another has said, –

"If my friends have alabaster boxes full of fragrant perfume of sympathy and affection laid away, which they intend to break over my body, I would rather they would bring them out in my weary and troubled hours, and open them, that I might be refreshed and cheered with them while I need them....I would rather have a plain coffin without a flower, a funeral without a eulogy, than a life without the sweetness of love and sympathy.... Flowers on the coffin cast no fragrance backward on the weary road."

[R2449 : page 78]

"I HAVE GIVEN YOU AN EXAMPLE."
– APRIL 16. – JOHN 13:1-17. –

O
UR Lord's ministry was about ended. He had met with his twelve chosen disciples to celebrate the Passover supper, declaring, "I have greatly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer." (Luke 22:15.) The passover lamb which they were to eat typified our Lord himself, and the eating of it by his disciples represented how believers of the Gospel age were to feed upon Christ in their hearts, and by faith appropriate to themselves the blessings secured to them through his death, "For even Christ our Passover [Lamb] is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast." (1 Cor. 5:7,8.) But, inasmuch as Jesus was the antitypical Lamb, it was appropriate that the type should be discontinued; and hence it was that our Lord, following this last typical Supper, instituted the Memorial Supper of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine as representing the antitype – his broken body and shed blood.

According to the Jewish custom the Passover supper was celebrated by families, and the twelve apostles, specially chosen by our Lord and giving their allegiance to him as their Head, constituted the nucleus of the family of God – whose hearts and hopes and aims were one – for "ye are all called in one hope of your calling" (Eph. 4:4). Judas was not excluded, altho our Lord evidently knew beforehand that it was he who would betray him. This furnishes us the lesson that, as followers of Christ, we should not judge one another's hearts, nor surmise evil. After the evil of the heart has manifested itself in words [R2449 : page 79] or deeds is quite time enough to separate ourselves from others who profess the Lord's name and desire to fellowship with us. True, the evil begins in the heart, before the outward act, but we should always hope that the brethren may gain the victory, and should seek to do nothing to stumble any, but everything to help them to overcome the influence of the Adversary, and the weaknesses of their own flesh.

John does not give a particular account of the Passover supper, but seems merely to bring in certain valuable features and lessons connected therewith, omitted by the other Evangelists. His declaration is that our Lord knew beforehand that he had reached the end of his earthly career, and was specially solicitous of improving the closing hours with his particular, chosen friends and companions, by inculcating some good lessons. "He loved them to the end" – completely, fully: his own sharp trials, present and approaching, did not distract him, nor absorb his attention. He was, as heretofore, still thinking of and endeavoring to bless others. Nor need we suppose that this love for the twelve applied to them exclusively; rather, that he viewed the twelve as the representatives of "them also which should believe on him through their word" – as he expressed the matter in his prayer to the Father. With this view in mind we can realize that what our Lord said and did to the apostles was intended to be applicable and instructive to all who are his since then. – John 17:20.

From Luke's account it would appear that on this occasion there was a strife amongst the apostles, a contention, respecting which of them should be esteemed greatest. (Luke 22:24-31.) This strife may not have been solely one of selfishness, in the evil sense of the word, but partially prompted by love for the Master – it may have been in respect to their several positions at the table, the coveted position possibly being closeness to our Lord's person. We remember how James and John had made request that they might be on the right and on the left of our Lord in the Kingdom, and we remember that in connection with this narrative it is declared that John was next to our Lord, and leaned upon his bosom.

Quite possibly this dispute respecting greatness arose in part from the fact that they were not in this instance treated as guests, but merely had the upper room put at their disposal; having no host, no provision was thereby made for the usual washing of the feet, and it was neglected. The matter of feet-washing in eastern countries, when sandals were worn, was not merely a compliment, but a necessity, the heat of the climate, the openness of the sandals, and the dust of the roads, making it almost indispensable to comfort that the feet be bathed on arriving at the house after a journey. Apparently this question of who of the twelve was greatest, and of which should perform the menial service of feet-washing for the others, had developed the fact that none of them were anxious to take the servant's position.

Apparently our Lord permitted them to thus disagree, without settling their dispute, without appointing any of their number to the menial service. He allowed them to think the matter over – time to relent and reconsider, and they even proceeded to eat the supper, contrary to custom, with unwashed feet.

Then it was that Jesus arose from the supper, laid aside his outer garment, and attaching a towel to the girdle of his under-garments, took a basin and a ewer for the water, and began to pour the water and wash the feet of his disciples. It was not the custom of the East to pour the water into the basin and put the foot into the water, but to pour the water upon the foot being washed; thus each had clean water, and little was wasted – for water is much more scarce and precious there than with us. We are to remember also that in the East at that time tables and chairs such as we use were not in vogue. On the contrary, the tables were low and shaped somewhat like a horseshoe, and those who sat really reclined, lying upon the table, with the left elbow resting upon a pillow or divan, their heads toward the inside of the horseshoe, where there was a space provided for the food, and also a space for a servant to enter and place the food. Thus it will be seen that the feet extended backward, and could quite easily be reached without disturbing those who were eating.

Our Lord very evidently had already washed the feet of several of the disciples before he came in turn to Peter. Seemingly none of them offered objection, altho no doubt the thought of their own contentions upon this subject, and unwillingness to serve one another, brought them blushes of shame and confusion of face. But when it came to Peter's turn, he protested. It would never do, he thought, to permit our Lord to perform so menial a service. He asks, "Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?" But our Lord did not stop to reprimand Peter – to give him a thorough "setting down" and scolding, as some of his followers might be inclined to do under such circumstances: he merely insisted on continuing, and treating Peter the same as the others, saying that he would explain the matter later, and that if he washed him not, he could have no part with him.

One cannot help admiring the noble traits in Peter's conduct, even tho with the same breath we be forced to acknowledge some of his weaknesses, and herein all the Lord's followers find a lesson of encouragement, for tho they find weaknesses and imperfections, if they find also the heart-loyalty to the Lord which was in Peter, they may continue to have courage and hope to press [R2449 : page 80] on as he did, from victory to victory, and at last to have the prize, the reward of faithfulness.

When Peter learned that there was more meaning to the washing of the feet than merely its kindness and comfort, and its reproof of the lack of the spirit of humility amongst the disciples, he wanted, not only his feet, but also his hands and his head washed. Noble, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent Peter! But our Lord explained that this was not necessary, saying, "He who has been bathed has no need except to wash his feet, but is wholly clean." (Vs. 10Diaglott.) Public baths were in use at that time, but even after having taken a general bath, on return to the home it was customary to complete the matter by washing the feet; and this seems to be the inference of our Lord's remark. The apostles had been with our Lord, and under the influence of his spirit of love, meekness, gentleness, patience, humility, for three years, and had been greatly blessed by "the washing of water through the word" spoken unto them. – John 15:3; Eph. 5:26.

There is an intimation in the Lord's words, too, that this spirit of pride which had manifested itself among them had been inspired to some extent by their treasurer, Judas, – as evil communications always are corrupting. (1 Cor. 13:33.) This final lesson from their great Teacher was a very impressive one upon the eleven, whose hearts probably were in the right condition to receive the reproof and the lesson, but upon Judas, altho his feet also were washed, the effect evidently was not favorable. [R2450 : page 80] The spirit of evil which had entered into him before the supper – the desire to obtain money, and the proposition to obtain it by betraying the Lord, evidently continued with him, and instead of being moved aright by our Lord's humility and service, he was the more moved in the opposite direction – to think little of him. So it is with all who have professed the Lord's name in every time. Those instructions, examples and experiences, which are working out blessing and proving beneficial to some, are proving injurious to others. The Gospel, in its every phase, is either "a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death." As it was God's goodness and mercy that hardened Pharaoh's heart, so it was the love and humility of Jesus that hardened Judas' heart, and these principles are still at work, and may be witnessed in the harvest siftings to-day. – 2 Cor. 2:16; Exod. 7:13.

After accomplishing the work of washing the feet of all, our Lord resumed his outer garment and reclined again at the supper (this was the Passover Supper – the Memorial Supper of bread and wine being instituted afterward). Our Lord now improved his opportunity and explained to them the meaning of what he had done. He pointed out to them that this menial service did not signify that he was not the Lord and Master, but did signify that as Lord and Master he was not unwilling to serve the lesser members of Jehovah's family, and to minister to their comfort, even in the most menial service; and that they should not have been unwilling, but glad, to have rendered such service one to another.

The example which our Lord set was not so much in the kind of service (feet-washing), as in the fact of service. Nothing in this example, as we understand it, was in the nature of a ceremony to be performed by the Lord's people, annually, weekly, monthly, or at any other time; but the principle of his service constituted the example, and is to be observed amongst his followers at all times – they are to love one another and to serve one another, and to consider no service too menial to be performed for each other's comfort and good.

Those who have interpreted this to signify a ceremony similar to the symbolical ceremony of the Memorial Supper and the symbolical ceremony of Baptism, are, we think, in error. There seems to be nothing symbolical in it. It is merely an illustration of the principle of humility which is to attach to every affair of life. If any of the Lord's people need washing, or need any other assistance of a menial character, their brethren should gladly and joyfully serve them; and whoever possesses the spirit of the Lord will surely render such service; but to insist, as some do, that each of the Lord's people should first wash his own feet and have them clean, and then that each should wash one another's feet ceremoniously, is contrary to his example which he instructs us to follow. The example was a service, and not an inconvenience and ceremony.

Once a year, on the day before "Good Friday," the pope washes the feet of twelve aged paupers who are brought from the streets and duly prepared by a preliminary washing in private. The pope's ceremonious washing is done in the presence of many notables. A similar ceremony is performed annually by Emperor Joseph of Austro-Hungary. Neither of these ceremonies, however, is, to our understanding, according to our Lord's example, but contrary to it – likewise the ceremonious washing performed by some denominations of Christians.

All who are truly the Lord's followers should heed carefully and follow exactly the true example of the Master's spirit of meekness, humility and service to the members of his body. The whole thought is contained in his words, "The servant is not greater than his Lord, neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things [if you appreciate these principles applicable to all the affairs of life], happy are ye if ye do them [if you live according to this rule, loving and serving one another]." – Vss. 16,17.

Feelings of emulation, strife and vain-glory seem to specially beset any of the Lord's people who are possessed of any degree of talent or ability or honorable situation in life, and especially those who are in influential places in the Church; and while these, therefore, need to be specially on guard against this besetment of the flesh, it should not be forgotten that, as some one has said, "There is a pride that looks up with envy, as well as a pride that looks down with scorn." The Lord's followers are to remember that pride in any person, in any station, respecting any matter, is highly reprehensible in God's sight and displeasing to him. "The Lord resisteth the proud, but showeth his favor to the humble." Hence, all who would abide in the Lord's love have need to be very careful along this line – to keep very humble, very lowly in conduct, and particularly in mind. – Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5.

page 81
April 1st

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

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

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

VOL. XX.APRIL 15, 1899.No. 8.
CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower 83
Testing of "Christendom" 83
Biblical Criticism among Methodists 84
"My Steps Had Well-Nigh Slipped" 86
"I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life" 88
"He Shall Give You Another Comforter" 91
Volunteers Wanted! 93
The Memorial Widely Celebrated 95
Will My Name Be Blotted Out? 82

'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 82

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.

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 A YEAR IN ADVANCE.

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.

[R2455 : page 82]

WILL MY NAME BE BLOTTED OUT?

If any name, written in the Lamb's book of life, is blotted out, whose fault will it be? Not the Lord's, surely; for he is not only willing, but anxious, for us to continue in his fellowship.

Similarly, if your name be dropped from the lists of ZION'S WATCH TOWER, remember that it will not be of our intention or desire. Every provision has been made that all of the Lord's people who desire its helping hand along the narrow way to life may have it – for a dollar a year, if they are able to pay, or free, on request, if unable to pay.

Many of "the Lord's poor" deny themselves the visits of the TOWER for various reasons; some, because they "do not wish to go into debt." They overlook the fact that they are already in debt to the Lord, and that the WATCH TOWER is the Lord's, and is held as a trust or stewardship for him, – for his people.

Others "have a little proper pride," as they would say, and do not desire "charity." It seems to us that any pride which would lead us to starve ourselves spiritually would hardly be a little nor a proper pride, but a very improper pride which would be very offensive in the sight of our Lord. Possibly this is your test: possibly the Lord has reduced you to humble you, and, if not humbled by his disciplines, you will be rejected. Remember the Apostle's words, "God resisteth [is opposed to] the proud, but giveth grace [favor] unto the humble." Let us, then, humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that we may have his grace more abundantly. – James 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:6.

Others will say, – I am not so poor that I cannot afford to pay the small price, but just at present I cannot spare the money. Very well, send us a postal card, saying, Please continue my WATCH TOWER for 1899, and expect remittance later. This will be very agreeable to us. And, if later your prospects should become still less bright, and you write us to that effect, requesting that the debt be cancelled, we will do so most cheerfully. Any way, so that we do not lose from our list any who love the Lord and his present truth. In times of adversity you specially need spiritual helps, that your experiences may be profitable, and work out such blessings and graces as will prepare you for an inheritance with the saints in light.

Thus we make the way as clear as possible for all to come to the Lord's spiritual table. But we must insist that each one apply for himself, yearly – otherwise our list would be made up largely of persons who cared little for the truth, and persons removed to other localities, and of the dead.

[R2450 : page 83]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

AS POINTED out in these columns as long ago as 1880, "Christendom," since 1878, is passing through the sifting and testing of the close or "harvest" time of the Gospel age, foretold by the apostles: a sifting which is to result in the fall of many in nominal Spiritual Israel. "A thousand shall fall at thy side, ten thousand at thy right hand, – but it shall not come nigh thee [the true saints, the body of Christ], only with thine eyes [enlightened by the spirit of the truth] shalt thou behold the reward of the unfaithful." – Psa. 91:7,8.

The Prophet describes the testings of this evil day, or day of falling. Its "pestilence" of infidelity he describes as operating secretly, hidden, as in the night darkness, – spreading spiritual sickness and death among the millions who outwardly confess, saying, Lord, Lord, while their hearts are far from him. Its "arrows" of "bitter words" (Psa. 64:3), slanders and misrepresentations of the faithful, he shows will be open as at "noonday;" – yet these "arrows" will not harm the faithful, for they "shall never fall" (2 Pet. 1:10,11), but, glancing off them, all others than the pure in heart will be caused to fall. The real enemy, as the Prophet shows, is the great Adversary, Satan, the "fowler," the ensnarer – his human agents being found amongst the deceived ones: and he prefers the most talented and influential he can obtain.

He is finding thousands of these amongst the professed ministers of Christ who, seeking honor one of another and not solely divine approval, are anxious to pose as "advanced thinkers," "higher critics," etc. These read, more correctly than do the masses, the trend of sentiment, the revolution of religious thought from faith in the ransom for sinners paid by the precious blood of Christ, to a theory of Evolution and self-development. They perceive that a large proportion of the "best educated" laymen as well as themselves already are Evolutionists and anti-ransomists: they are anxious to be considered leaders in thought among their flocks, but not anxious to alarm and drive off any of the "sheep," and especially are they thoughtful of those who have the long golden fleece.

Cases like that of Prof. Charles A. Briggs of the Presbyterian Church, who stated himself so plainly as to arouse the laity to demand his trial for "heresy," are exceptional and purely accidental – the results of miscalculation. Prof. Briggs, finding the Evolution and higher criticism ideas so popular amongst the theological students, miscalculated the general ripeness and readiness of Presbyterianism on this line. He supposed that he would be famous in a night – he knew correctly the sentiments of his own presbytery and the "upper classes" of Presbyterians with whom he came in contact: he did not realize that the Presbyterians of the "back-woods" were so unprepared to welcome him as a new Moses. Others more cautious, not only in Presbyterianism but in all denominations, waited to note the effect. The public did not applaud Prof. Briggs, and hence he was deserted, and in the interest of peace became a heretical "scape-goat," and was allowed to wander off unhonored into the fold of the Episcopal Church and into silence.

But the heresy which Prof. Briggs expressed too soon is growing, spreading everywhere, in all denominations: it is being "wisely," secretly, presented by ministers and Sunday-School teachers everywhere, and if we understand the Scriptures aright, it will not be [R2451 : page 83] long until all but the heart-consecrated children of God will be poisoned by it.

But when we say that nearly all will fall – "a thousand shall fall at thy side," – we do not mean that they will all fall into open immorality, nor that they [R2451 : page 84] will abandon church organizations, nor that the fallen ones will even know that they have fallen. On the contrary, the fallen ones as usual will think that they are rising higher and higher – getting rid of error, etc. They will be thoroughly blind to the fact that with the errors and superstitions they are getting rid also of the truths and the faith which alone constituted them Christians in God's sight. This is the sense in which Babylon is falling, since 1878, and hence God's call, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." – Rev. 18:4.

BIBLICAL CRITICISM AMONG METHODISTS.

The public was surprised indeed, to read among the press dispatches of March 7th, published in the leading journals, under startling headlines –

"THE REV. S. P. CADMAN APPLAUDED, WHEN HE READS A PAPER HOLDING THAT THE GOOD BOOK CANNOT BE THE RULE OF FAITH. HE CALLS ATTENTION TO ITS DISCREPANCIES AND SAYS THE CHURCH WILL HAVE TO MAKE A NEW RULING ON INSPIRATION."

It seems that the Methodist ministers of New York and vicinity have of late been discussing at their Monday gatherings some of the Bible's "errors," as viewed by agnostics and "higher critics,"

– That Joshua commanded the sun to stand still.
– That the Red Sea divided before the Israelites.
– That Jonah was in the belly of a fish three days.
– That Aaron's Rod turned into a serpent.
– That Moses tapped a rock and waters gushed out.
– That the earth swallowed up Achan and his companions.
– That Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were in the furnace unharmed.
– That God spake to Moses out of a burning bush.
– That Daniel stayed unhurt in a den of lions.

On Monday, March 6th, Rev. Cadman read a paper affirming, "That the inerrancy and the infallibility of the Bible are no longer possible of belief among reasoning men."

About four hundred ministers were present, and on the rising of the speaker and the announcement of the topic the clerical audience expressed its sympathy with their brother in that he was willing to champion their views in so bold a statement of it, by hearty applause. The gentleman had not finished when the appointed time expired and "his auditors were so deeply interested in him that they readily voted that he finish. When he sat down the preachers loudly applauded the discourse," says the press report.

We quote from the published reports of the discourse which we have not seen denied in Methodist journals, altho a month has since elapsed: –

"This bold, portentous utterance – involving the most radical departure from accepted tenets of the Methodist Church since its very foundation – was made before the most representative body of Methodist clergy in America. It included the vast majority of the preachers of Greater New York. It is the first announcement of an impending controversy, which may shake the Methodist Church to its very foundation stones.

"The acceptance of Dr. Cadman's proposition, heard with respect and applause by the New York ministers, is comparable to the adoption of a new constitution for the United States. It places the Bible on the basis of historical works on other than divine subjects: it rejects the authenticity of all parts of Holy Scripture which are repugnant to human reason.

"UNDERMINING THE BASIS OF THEIR FAITH.

"As Mr. Cadman himself said yesterday, the Bible was accepted as the true source of authority and inspiration by Martin Luther when he established the Protestant Church. Luther made the Scripture the base of all faith. It is now proposed to abandon the teachings of the early fathers of the Protestant Church.

"The speaker referred to the Old Testament, half of whose pages, he said, were of unknown authorship. The New Testament likewise contained contradictions. The Bible, the church, the ministry, he said, were agencies. The true source of inspiration was neither a book, nor a church, nor a ministry, but the living Christ himself.

"The weekly meetings of the Methodist ministers take place in the Methodist Book Concern building, on Fifth avenue. They are held in secret. The congregations have not known anything concerning the discussion of this vital change in doctrine. This publication will be the first intimation they will have had that the faith in which they have been reared is threatened with an organic change that will make it no longer the faith of Wesley.

"It also goes without saying that the enunciation of this proposition will not tend to heal the differences between the Methodist Church North and the Methodist Church South, which were rent apart by the civil war, for the Southern Church has rejected time and time again kindred innovations.

"But Mr. Cadman insists that, whatever the church may decide on the question in the future, it will not destroy the belief in the chief and final source of Christian inspiration, a belief in Christ, the Son of God.

"In taking up his subject the preacher stated the proposition which he would prove:

"'That the inerrancy and the infallibility of the Bible are no longer possible of belief among reasoning men.'

"THE TWO CRITICISMS.

"The speaker referred to the great change which had taken place in the methods of Bible criticism within the last fifty years. There should no longer be any confusion between literary criticism and the criticism [R2451 : page 85] of inspiration. It had been said in former times by authorities of weight that the two criticisms conflicted. This was not true. They were not on the same plane. Inspiration appealed to the spiritual ear. Literary criticism was addressed to an ascertainment of facts from a human standpoint. Mr. Cadman illustrated his meaning by saying that it was one thing to examine, classify and discuss the mechanism of a great organ, and another to pass judgment upon the music which proceeded from it. No literary criticism could affect the divine music breathed into the soul of man by the life of Jesus Christ.

"The Bible, he said, was compiled much as is any other book. It was written from the records and witnesses of the time. It had been impossible to determine the authorship of much of the Old Testament. Half of its pages, said Mr. Cadman, were of unknown authorship. The same was in a measure true of the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John differed in quoting words said to have been pronounced by Christ upon a given occasion. Parallel passages were not alike.

"Mr. Cadman referred to that much-discussed question of Christ's reference to the miracle of Jonah and the whale. Those who have taken the Old Testament in its entirety, believing all and every part of it, have based their theology in part upon Christ's reference to Jonah, when, in Matthew 12:39,40, he said:

"'But he answered and said unto them: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given to it but the sign of the Prophet Jonas.

"'For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and nights in the heart of the earth.'*

*See explanation in our issues of April 1, '97, and March 1, '98.

"There had been, the preacher said, a great conflict upon this speech of Christ. It had been particularly a bone of contention, because as a matter of fact Christ did not remain in the earth three days and three nights, but two nights and a day. Mr. Cadman said that he had settled the matter in his own mind by saying that he was willing to suffer from the disease of suspended judgment so long as he knew that Christ did arise. It would always be impossible to reconcile the facts of Christ's burial with the facts of his alleged statement, and it would be forever useless to discuss whether he had ever said what St. Matthew attributed to him, or whether he had lain as St. Matthew quoted Christ as saying he would lie. But this should never deter Christian men from believing in the Christ and in his life.

"When Luther separated his followers from Papacy he had turned from priests and priestly interpretations of the Bible to the Book itself. He had placed the Bible before mankind as the source and authority for inspiration. Mr. Cadman said he regretted that these early fathers of Protestantism had not gone further and urged as the highest source of inspiration Christ himself.

"The speaker said that the trend of thought among the best minds in the Methodist Church during the last fifty years had been toward a better knowledge and a newer view of Christ himself rather than of the Bible. He said that there had been a vast increase in the number of the 'Lives of Christ' in the last decade: that the energy and force of Christ as the incarnation of God was becoming better understood every day. He regarded as inevitable a restatement and a rejudgment of the church upon the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible.

"The Bible itself gave authority for a belief that God was in the ocean, in the firmament, in the rocks. Science's contribution to the knowledge of mankind went hand in hand with a belief in God. By this statement he did not mean to agree with those philosophers who had used the word God as a peg on which to hang their vagaries: but nevertheless he believed in the [R2452 : page 85] demonstration of God in the seas, in the mountains, in the various forms of life on this planet.

"There were means of salvation outside of and beyond and before the Bible was written. That must be conceded by every one. The Bible was an agency, the church was an agency, the ministry was an agency.

"The church had dabbled too much in the distant streams of theology. It had examined the streams, but not the source, which was alone pure. The streams had been polluted by conflict and dissension.

"The ministry had taken up too much time in unraveling knots of theology to the neglect of God himself.

"The leading authorities of the church had discussed the questions involved in the parables of Christ. It had been urged that even if the events named in the illustrations the Lord used were not of actual fact, that did not destroy their value as moral lessons. So, also, it had been urged that if the story of Jonah and the whale had been an allegory like Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress,' it nevertheless had force and effect, for the Prophet Jonah without doubt stood on a very high spiritual ground.

"But whatever position the church took – whether it held that the Bible must be accepted, as it stands, as the revealed truth, as the Word of God, as compelling faith because it was the Word of God, or as a historical document, valuable, ineffably valuable, because of its real substance – the decision would never affect the faith of Christian men in the Holy Trinity – in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost."

With more zeal than discretion the Rev. J. B. Gallaway of the Third Presbyterian Church of Paterson, N.J., put in an appearance among the Methodist ministers the following Monday, apparently to criticize Rev. Cadman's position, but he was soon identified and his voice drowned by applause for Rev. Cadman, [R2452 : page 86] and amid cries of "Put him out!" the gentleman was gently hustled out "in a decidedly ruffled condition."

When the press reports were published, the New York M.E. "divines" were astonished that their views should be considered extreme – Rev. Cadman no less than the others. They had been so united in their views that they were surprised that the reporter should think them strange. It was another case of honesty among preachers to an extent the public cannot yet appreciate. But the public of "Christendom" is following these leaders rapidly: if only the leaders have yet lost faith in the Bible and its doctrine of the ransom, the others are rapidly losing this – the saving "faith once delivered to the saints." – Jude 3.

Interviewed by a reporter, Bishop E. G. Andrews, who was present during the address, said, "I do not care to discuss the question." Bishop Stephen M. Merrill, who was not present, said, "I don't want to think of it. It will not amount to much anyway. I have nothing to say either of Cadman or his nonsense." Rev. Cadman himself said of the matter: –

"I was surprised when I saw the article in the Journal. I regard my paper as a conservative statement of the trend of modern Methodist theology. The questions I have discussed must be settled sooner or later. I have no objection, under the circumstances, to the publication of my views."

We are to understand, then, that, bold as these words may appear to some, they were not half the truth, but a "conservative" statement. And they represent the "trend [or tendency] of modern Methodism." This is just what we are emphasizing, – the movement is going on and on, in the same direction with increasing momentum, not only among Methodists, but among all classes of Christians who do not now receive the sealing in their foreheads. – Rev. 7:3.

*                         *                         *

When we remember how nearly our own feet came to slipping in this same manner thirty-one years ago, it gives us great sympathy for others. At that time, confused by the contrary doctrines of Christendom and the irreconcilable antagonism of many of its chief teachings (in re hell, etc.) to the simplest kind of justice and reason and love, the writer concluded, much against his will, that he must abandon the Bible as an inspired standard: he would regard its writers not as knaves, but as well-intentioned tho deceived men. He would give most credence to the New Testament writers, yet could not regard them as inspired or reliable, because they believed the Old Testament prophets to have been inspired and quoted their words as inspired. He reasoned, as others are doing to-day, that, if the New Testament writers had been inspired, they could not have been deceived in re the Old Testament writings; and that the inspiration of the apostles could not have been plenary or direct, but merely an inspiration in a secondary sense, as we sometimes use the word, when we say that music is inspiring, or that the truth is inspiring to all who receive it into honest hearts.

Exactly like Rev. Cadman, his mind centered upon Christ as the great revelation of God to men, and he would hold to Christ, even tho he felt that he must drop the Bible as a standard.

But what should he believe respecting Christ? was the next question. How could he determine which of the apostolic statements were true, and which were their "mistakes"? He soon saw that, if he considered himself able, qualified to select the wheat and reject the chaff of apostolic testimony, he would be obliged to consider himself greater than the apostles – more inspired than they. Of humble mind, he could not do this which many to-day have no hesitancy in doing. He looked again at the plain, unvarnished tale of the New Testament and noted that the apostles displayed no evidences of fanaticism, and that all their reasonings and deductions were eminently moderate and logical. He noted also their purity of life and of teachings, their unselfishness and self-sacrificing zeal, and concluded that these matters must be given weight; and that such cool, noble, zealous men should not be accused either of knavery or fanaticism, when they claimed special endowment with power and wisdom for their particular work.

Coming to the consideration of our Lord Jesus, he concluded that he was dependent upon these witnesses for all that he knew respecting him who "spake as never man spake," and that he could not consistently accept a part of their testimony as truthful and reject another part. Further reflection pointed out that our Lord himself, according to these honorable witnesses, quoted from the Old Testament in a manner which clearly testified his faith in the divine, plenary inspiration of the prophets and in the general correctness or truthfulness of its merely historical portions: – Jonah and the great fish; Noah and the flood; the destruction of Sodom and of "Lot's wife," etc.

The question then was between rejecting all or accepting all. Carefully and prayerfully he considered the matter and reached the conclusion that he had never yet examined the Scriptures purely on the merits of their own testimony. He had followed the usual custom of judging the Bible in the light of what the various creeds of Christendom say it teaches: and yet he was aware that these various creeds in many particulars directly antagonize each other. He resolved to thoroughly investigate the Bible, to see what its theory might be, interpreted by itself to a mind stripped of all reverence for human tradition, and willing, yea desirous [R2452 : page 87] to find in the Scriptures a divine revelation. He felt his need of a standard or test of truth; he felt that he dare not trust or lean to his own understanding – nor yet to the understanding of others, on questions so wholly beyond human knowledge and experience. He felt, moreover, that it is but reasonable that we should expect that God, having wise, just and loving plans and purposes respecting mankind, should make some revelation thereof, that would be reasonable and understandable to those in harmony with him and desirous of knowing and doing his will, however hidden and obscure from others.

The results of these investigations are well known to WATCH TOWER readers, and are set forth in the volumes of the MILLENNIAL DAWN series. We found that for centuries various sects and parties had split up the Bible doctrines amongst them, blending them with more or less of human speculation and error; and that the misplacement of the truth frequently made of it gross error. We found the important doctrine of justification by faith and not by works had been clearly enunciated by Luther and more recently by many Christians; that divine justice and power and wisdom were carefully guarded tho not clearly discerned by Presbyterians; that Methodists appreciated and extolled the love and sympathy of God; that Adventists held the precious doctrine of the Lord's return; that Baptists amongst other points held the doctrine of baptism symbolically correctly, even tho they had lost sight of the real baptism; that some Universalists had long held vaguely some thoughts respecting "restitution." And so, nearly all denominations gave evidence that their founders had been feeling after truth: but quite evidently the great Adversary had fought against them and had wrongly divided the Word of God which he could not wholly destroy.

Our work since has been to bring together these long scattered fragments of truth and present them to the Lord's people – not as new, not as our own, but as the Lord's. So far from desiring to make something new, we are most careful to avoid both in letter and spirit either taking from or adding to the Word of the Lord; for we are fully convinced that "the Word of God is sufficient," "that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." – 2 Tim. 3:17.

What blessings, what riches of grace, have come to us and to others of the household of faith through this bringing together of the jewels of divine truth so long scattered amongst various denominations and misset [R2453 : page 87] in tarnished human theories! What harmony, what beauty, what refreshment we now have in that which before was insipid, incongruous and distracting! How firm a foundation we now have for faith, hope and love! What a contrast to our former vague hopes, dim faith or credulity, and cold love – three-fourths fear!

But as we claim that what we present is not our own, not new, but "The Old Theology" – so old that it had been lost sight of for centuries – we must disclaim any credit even for the finding and rearrangement of the jewels of truth. "It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes." The writer wholly disclaims superior ability or qualification for the reorganization of the truth in its present solidarity. As the time had come for the bringing together of the scattered thoughts of past centuries in the marvelous inventions of our day, – so the time had come for the bringing together of the fragmentary hopes and promises of God's Word scattered through Christendom. To deny that the Lord has simply "poured out" this harvest time blessing of "present truth" in his own due time and in his own way, would be as wrong as to claim it as of our own invention. "Poured out" exactly expresses the truth on this point too, for he neither "burned the midnight oil," nor racked his brain, nor otherwise forged the chain of truth with heavy sledge blows of human reason on the anvil of knowledge. On the contrary, it came gradually, silently, as comes the morning dawn: the only effort necessary was to keep awake and face in the right direction. And the greatest aid in so doing was the effort put forth to awaken others of the "household of faith" and point them to the light and in turn to urge upon them the necessity for serving also, if they would overcome the lethargic "spirit of the world," and be ready to go in to the marriage of the Lamb.

To deny that the "marvelous light" of present truth is of the Lord's providence as truly as was the light of the Jewish "harvest," and the lesser light of the period of "The Great Reformation," would be to deny that we are in the "harvest" of this age, in which the Lord specially promised his people just such refreshment – "meat in due season," "things new and old" – set forth afresh under his own supervision.

In view of the fact that we are in the testing time, when (in the Church) every man's faith and works are to be tested "so as by fire" (1 Cor. 3:15); in view of the fact that we are now in "the evil day" when the question is not so much, Who shall fall? but, "Who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:17) what shall we conclude respecting the conditions on which one may "never fall," but have an abundant entrance to the Kingdom now near at hand? – 2 Pet. 1:11.

Several conditions are laid down in the Scriptures.

(1) All of the "brethren" will be awakened in season to put on "the whole armor of God" as in contrast with the small pieces of the armor worn by various denominations in the past – "in the night." Whoever [R2453 : page 88] shall be left asleep and in darkness and thus not prepared to "stand" in this evil day, will thereby make it evident, whatever his professions, that God who readeth the heart did not find him worthy of the light of present truth. "Light is sown for the righteous, gladness for the upright in heart." – Psa. 97:11.

(2) All once awakened must be sufficiently appreciative of the "marvelous light" to rejoice greatly therein. They must also take heed, lest they become overcharged and spiritually drowsy by "the cares of this life," etc.; and must use energy in putting on the whole armor of God – not only the "helmet" to protect the intellect from the "fiery darts" of Evolution and agnosticism, but also the "breastplate" of righteousness to protect the heart, and the "shield" of faith for use on all occasions as necessity demands; and besides these they must have the "sword" of the truth, the Word of the Lord – grasping it by the handle and not by the blade, that they may defend themselves and others in this conflict with the powers of darkness, with which this age ends. Lastly they must prepare for the rough pathway by putting on the "sandals" of full consecration to the Lord, even unto death. – Eph. 6:11-17.

(3) All such soldiers of the cross will be fiercely assaulted by the Adversary, and, to be able to stand, must "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints."

(4) One of the final and most searching tests of these "brethren," and the one under which probably the most of those once awakened and armed will fall, will be, – love for the brethren. Seemingly many will fail at this point and be therefore accounted unworthy of an abundant entrance to the Kingdom on this score. Whoever has the spirit of love according to the pattern (Rom. 8:29), is expected to agree with the Apostle Paul's statement, – "Because he laid down his life for us, we ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren." – 1 John 3:14,16; 1 Pet. 1:22; 3:8.

This, like all other tests, will be most pointed and conspicuous during this time of special privilege and special trial in the end of the age. (Rev. 3:10.) Let us consider how it will come that we may be the better prepared to meet it successfully. (a) It will recognize brotherhood neither along the narrow channels of sectarianism, nor on the unlimited plane of worldly disregard for the divine Word which declares for "the brotherhood of man." It will recognize children of the Evil One and children of God: and all of the latter will be esteemed and loved and served as "brethren" – all trusting in the precious blood of Christ for forgiveness, and fully consecrated to the Lord's service.

(b) If such are seen anywhere, in "Babylon" or out of her, asleep, fettered and blinded by false doctrines and superstitions, by a soldier of the cross who has gotten awake and put on the armor, it is his duty, as it should be his pleasure, to speed to his relief in the wisest and best and quickest manner. Self-ease, self-repute nor any other self-ish spirit must hinder him; the spirit of love must energize him to do all in his power – even to the laying down of his life – for the brethren. All who have this spirit must yearn to help those in danger of losing their hold upon the Lord after the manner of those now blindly leading them into unbelief.

(c) The same spirit of the "Captain" (Heb. 2:10) will lead him to so love not only the brethren that are still asleep, but if possible still more ready to lay down life for the brethren who, like himself, have gotten awake and are putting on the armor. He will sympathize with their trials by the way and assist them to put on the sandals and to adjust every piece of the armor. Should any be specially weak and liable to stumble he will not despise him, nor revile him, even as the elder brother, the Captain, would not do so. On the contrary, he will be the more watchful and helpful toward the weaker even tho he most enjoy himself in the company of the stronger. This is not the time for the strong to gather by themselves for mutual admiration and enjoyment; – that will come later on to all such who so love the brethren as to lay down their lives on their behalf. These will hear the Master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant: enter into the joys of thy Lord."

*                         *                         *

Only in the light of present truth is the Bible explainable to reason. In its light we see that certain books are inspired directly, others, historical, needed not inspiration, but merely supervision of the Lord, that the truths appropriate for each age might be so stated as to be understood by the consecrated class, the "brethren," under the guidance of the spirit in due time.

Only from the inside can the great plan of God be seen and appreciated, and only the "brethren" are admitted to this inside view. "If any man will do his [the Father's] will, he shall know of the doctrine." – John 7:17.

[R2453 : page 88]

"I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE."
– APRIL 23 – JOHN 14:1-14. –

A
FTER washing the disciples' feet, and after the sop had been given to Judas, and he had gone out; and after telling the disciples that they all would be offended that night because of him, and answering Peter that he would deny him thrice before the cock crew, we may well suppose that the hearts of the eleven were heavy, disturbed, troubled with fearful forebodings. Had they indeed been deluded, or had they misunderstood the Master when he told them that he was the Messiah, the heir of the Kingdom, and that they should sit with him in his throne? How could they interpret his language, seeing that only five days before he had received the hosannas of the multitude as the Son of David, the King of Israel, when riding on the ass? What could it mean that the Master was now "exceeding sorrowful" and spoke of betrayal, and of their dispersion and of his own death?

It was in answer to these their troubled thoughts [R2453 : page 89] that our Lord spoke to them the beautiful words of comfort and consolation recorded in the 14th, 15th,16th and 17th chapters of John's Gospel, beginning – "Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."

The apostles were already consecrated to God as his servants, before they came in contact with Jesus; they already believed in God, trusted in him, were Israelites indeed without guile. This is testified to further by our Lord's prayer, in which he says, "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me." The trouble in their hearts was not in respect to the foundations of their [R2454 : page 89] hopes, for these were all established. They not only knew and trusted God, but knew and trusted also the promises of God respecting the Kingdom and the blessing that should come to all the families of the earth through it. The whole question before their minds was respecting Jesus: – Was he indeed the Messiah, or had they built some false expectations upon his wonderful words and deeds? How should they understand it if now, after three and a half years of ministry he should die at the hands of his enemies, instead of establishing his Kingdom and subduing all things to himself, as they had expected? He had said that he was going away, and that whither he went they could not come. How could they understand these matters, and harmonize them?

They had not yet learned the meaning of the words which early in his ministry our Lord had addressed to Nicodemus – "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God;" – "Except a man be born of water and of spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." (John 3:3,5.) But these were spiritual truths, and could not be appreciated until Pentecost would bring them the anointing of the holy spirit, and permit them to "comprehend with all saints the lengths and breadths and heights and depths" of the divine plan. But they did need some comfort, and the Master proceeded to give them the best and the strongest spiritual food, instruction, that they were able to receive. He had many things to tell them, but they could not bear them then, could not understand them, until the anointing of the holy spirit would prepare their hearts.

Our Lord began by reviving in them their faith in the Father and in his plan, saying, Ye believe in God, – believe also in me: recognize the fact that all of the Father's plan will be accomplished, and inasmuch as you have seen my loyalty to the Father in word and in deed, and inasmuch as you have seen the Father's power unto good works manifested in me, let faith's anchor hold; continue to trust me, continue to have confidence, and you shall have a blessing; wait for the development of the divine plan, and it will more than satisfy your highest expectations. You are perplexed because I said that I am going away – going to the Father, but let me explain to you that my going is in your interest: I go to prepare a place for you in my Father's house of many apartments; and as surely as I do this I will come again and receive you unto myself, that we may henceforth be together forever.

Thus, in a few words, the Master declared the work of the Gospel age, pointing to his second advent and the glorification of the Church at the end of the age. He did not here stop to give them detailed explanations of the trials of faith and of patience through which they must pass; this he had done on other occasions, warning and cautioning them (Matt. 24); now their hearts were troubled, and he would merely console them with the assurance that his going away was necessary, that his second coming would be certain, and that the gathering of all to everlasting fellowship with him in the mansions prepared was assured.

The Father's House is really the Universe, and figuratively speaking heaven is his throne, the earth his footstool. Divine providence has made abundant arrangement for the everlasting blessedness of all the sons of God. In the divine arrangement a provision had been made for man when in harmony with God, before the fall, but by reason of sin all of man's rights to a place in the everlasting abode of the just had been forfeited, and at the time of our dear Redeemer's discourse he was in the world for the very purpose of redeeming man and all his forfeited rights and possessions. (Luke 19:10; Eph. 1:14.) The purchase had not yet been completed – our Lord intended to finish the arrangements therefor within a few hours at Calvary. But this would cost the sacrifice of himself – the full surrender of the man Christ Jesus as a man, and he could be with them no longer as a man. The hope was that by his obedience to the divine will he should not only redeem Adam and his race by the sacrifice of himself, the man Christ Jesus, but that he would be raised from death to a new nature on a higher plane – the divine nature. Thus it was necessary that he should go away from them as the man Christ Jesus, and that they should see him no more as the man, but that in due time, at his second coming, they also should be "changed" from human conditions to spirit conditions, and "be like him and see him as he is."1 John 3:2.

It was necessary, also, that, after laying down his life, he should ascend to the Father and present his sacrifice as on man's behalf – as man's ransom – and this he did: the Pentecostal blessing was the divine attestation that the sacrifice for sins was accepted of the Father on man's behalf, and that hence the resulting blessing came forth upon all who accepted Jesus as their Redeemer.

The interim between our Lord's death and his [R2454 : page 90] second advent is not long from any standpoint of faith. (1) It is not long from God's standpoint, for, as the Apostle Peter declares, "A thousand years are as one day" with the Lord. (2 Pet. 3:8.) (2) It is not long from the standpoint of true believers, for to none of them is the average of life and waiting above fifty years. We are not to take the longest and most incongruous view of this period – not to feel as tho we had been living for eighteen hundred years in waiting expectancy: "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," and sufficient to each individual is his own share in the trials, polishing and preparations for the coming of the Bridegroom to receive him unto himself. While it is an affair of the Church as a whole in one sense of the word, it is an individual affair in the most important sense of the word to each of the Lord's followers.

"And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." For three years our Lord had been making himself known to his disciples, and also making them acquainted with the Father's character; and hence, when he now informed them that he was going home to the Father, they were to feel that they knew the Father better than ever, and could better than ever appreciate such a home of righteousness and true happiness as he would provide and maintain. Moreover, their experience with the Lord, and under his instructions and leading, had made them acquainted with the way to God, even tho they did not recognize it as such. Hence our Lord's declaration, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life – no man cometh to the Father but by me."

Our Lord was the "Way" in that only through his sacrifice, the "ransom," imputing his merit to sinners, could they be made acceptable to the Father or be received back again into fellowship with him. He was the "Truth" in the sense that only through his words, his instructions, his guidance, could there be any hope of coming into harmony with the spirit of God, the spirit of truth. He was the "Life" in that all the race was dead, under divine sentence – had forfeited the rights of life – and none could come again into life conditions except through him – through the life which he gave for ours. Thus he is our Ransom, or Way; our Teacher or Instructor in righteousness, in the truth, and our Life-giver; – "Neither is their salvation in any other." "No man cometh unto the Father but by me" – no man need hope for any place in any of the mansions of the Father's house by any other way, by any other truth, by any other life. – Acts 4:12; John 14:6.

And so also Christ will be the Way, the Truth and the Life to the world of mankind in the Millennial age. And as the Lord, by his sacrifice and offering, opened for the Gospel Church, his bride, an abode in the heavenly division of God's mansion, or house, so by the same sacrifice he redeemed and will restore and give to mankind (to as many as obey him – Acts 3:23) a home in the earthly divisions of the Father's house, which will then again become a Paradise of God.

Much as the apostles esteemed the Master, it was difficult for them to grasp the thought of his perfection – that he was the very image of God in flesh. (1 Tim. 3:16.) They had heard him tell, and indeed knew also from the Law, that "God is a spirit" – not flesh, and hence not visible. They had heard him declare previously, also, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son,...he hath revealed him." (John 1:18.) But they had never grasped the thought that in seeing Jesus they saw the most that was possible to be seen of the divine character – its likeness, its perfect image in flesh. It was therefore necessary that the Master should call their attention to this fact, saying, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." He did not mean them to understand that he was the Father, for this he had distinctly disclaimed repeatedly, telling them that the Father was greater, and that the works which he did were done by the Father's power. (John 14:28,10.) Nor did he mean them to understand that in seeing him they had seen an invisible being, as God is invisible. He did mean them to understand that in seeing his character, his motives, his love, they had seen a true expression that most faithfully represented the Father in all these particulars.

He would have them understand the unity subsisting between the Father and himself, his will was buried into the Father's will, he would have no other; "Not my will, but thine, be done." He would have them understand that the Father, by his power, by his spirit, dwelt in him also, so that his words and works fully and completely represented the Father. He declared to them that the works which they had witnessed during his ministry fully attested this power of the Highest resting upon him and operating through him. And this seems to have fully satisfied the apostles, and to have brought rest to their hearts.

As a further explanation of the necessity for his going to the Father, our Lord declares that as a result of his going his followers should do greater works than he had done. It may perhaps be proper to think that some of these "greater works" will occur after the [R2455 : page 90] Kingdom has been established – the great work of awakening the world of mankind from the sleep of death and restoring the willing and obedient to the full perfection of human life. That, truly, will be a greater work than our Lord Jesus accomplished at his first advent, for then his greatest work was the awakening of the sleeping ones without bringing them to the full perfection of human nature.

But in our opinion this is not the only sense in which the Lord's followers are to understand that their [R2455 : page 91] works shall be greater than those of the Master. The Lord's works were on a fleshly plane as a matter of necessity. The holy spirit had not yet come – could not come until after he had given the ransom price and had presented it to the Father, and it had been accepted. Consequently, those to whom he ministered (even his disciples, not being begotten of the spirit) could not be instructed from that standpoint. Their ears were heavy as respected earthly things, but in regard to heavenly things they could understand nothing; for, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." It is since Pentecost that "God hath revealed them [spiritual things] unto us by his spirit," which "searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." – 1 Cor. 2:10,14; John 3:12.

In the midst of the house of servants, not yet begotten of the spirit – not yet granted the privilege of sonship (John 1:12), our Lord could do and teach on no higher plane than the earthly, except as he "spoke unto the people in parables and dark sayings," which in due time the Church would understand, under the leading of the holy spirit. It was in consequence of this that our Lord's miracles were all physical, and his plain understandable teachings were all on a plane appreciable by the natural man.

But when the holy spirit was come, after Pentecost, the Lord's people, in his name, and as his representatives, began to do greater, more wonderful works than those which he himself had performed. Did the Lord open the eyes of the blind? His followers were privileged to open the eyes of men's understandings. Did the Lord heal the physically sick? His disciples were permitted to heal the spiritually diseased. Did the Lord cure physical leprosy? It was the privilege of his followers to heal spiritual leprosy, sin. Did our Lord revive the dead? It was the privilege of his followers to preach a Gospel by which many "passed from death unto life" in a much higher sense. And these privileges of these still greater works are yet with the Lord's people. Blessed are those who appreciate their great privileges, and are about the Father's business with energy, with zeal. But those who, having received a talent of the Lord, bury it in the earth – in business, in pleasure, in society – cannot expect to be received of the Master at his second coming, nor to hear him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord."

As indicating how fully he would still continue to be the active agent of the Father in all things relating to the Church, our Lord assures us that such things as we ask of the Father he (Jesus) will do for us, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. The Father hath committed all things into the hands of the Son; nevertheless, in everything the Son acknowledges the Father and gives glory to his name.

[R2455 : page 91]

"HE SHALL GIVE YOU ANOTHER COMFORTER."
– APRIL 30. – JOHN 14:15-27. –

C
ONTINUING his discourse to his troubled disciples at the time of his instituting the Memorial of his own death, our Lord not only promised to come again and receive them to himself in due time, but additionally he promised the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, during the interim of his absence. Since he was about to lay down the human nature he could no longer be with them as the man Christ Jesus – in his resurrection he would become again a spirit being like unto the Father, and could no more be seen by his disciples than the Father could be seen by them, until the time would come when the entire Church, complete, would be "changed," made "like him" (and like the Father) and see him, and be with him, and share his glory. His resurrection "change" made necessary either the leaving of his disciples alone, without any help or aid during the Gospel age, or else that help be granted them in some other manner. The few occasions on which our Lord appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, for a few moments each, were miraculous manifestations, simply for the purpose of assuring them that he was no longer dead, and that having risen from the dead he was no longer controlled by human conditions. Hence, as a part of the lesson, the flesh bodies in which he manifested himself appeared miraculously and disappeared likewise – he came and went as the wind. – John 3:8; Luke 24:26,31; Acts 1:3,4.

The holy spirit would be another Comforter, but the comfort would be of the same kind. Indeed, our word "comfort" does not properly represent the thought of the text, which rather is, to strengthen, to sustain: the holy spirit would not be merely a consoler of woes, a soother of fears, in the sense of our word comfort, but it would quicken their understandings, strengthen their zeal, and energize them for doing and enduring such things as divine providence might permit to come upon them for their correction in righteousness, and in order to make them "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light."

The holy spirit or holy influence that should come to the Church and abide with it through the age, to supervise and direct in the interest of the faithful, was to be a representative of both the Father and the Son. Indeed, the thought that the holy spirit is the representative [R2455 : page 92] of the Lord Jesus with the Church is so strongly put that sometimes the Lord himself and his spirit or influence are spoken of interchangeably; as for instance, when he said to them, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age." (Matt. 28:20.) And again, "I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you [through the holy spirit]." And again, "In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I [through the holy spirit] in you, ...and I will manifest myself to him [through the holy spirit]....And we [the Father and the Son] will come unto him, and make our abode with him [through the holy spirit]." – Vss. 18,20,23.

Thus it is that those who receive the holy spirit, the spirit of the truth, the spirit of love, the spirit of the Father, the spirit of Christ, are enabled to see Jesus, and have a new life begun in them. (Vs. 19.) They see with the eyes of their understanding, and do not [R2456 : page 92] walk in darkness. They hear the voice of the Lord, saying, "This is the way; walk ye in it." They taste the good Word of God, and realize that he is very gracious. They feel the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, producing in them love for the brethren and all the good fruits of the spirit – meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love. – Isa. 30:21; 1 Pet. 2:3; Rom. 5:5; Col. 3:12,13.

These experiences, however, are promised conditionally – they are not promised to those who have never heard of the grace of God, but to those who have heard, to "as many as the Lord our God shall call," who, hearing his commandments, are moved by responsive love to do them. Such have the Father's love, such have the love of the Son, and such shall have the fellowship both of the Father and the Son through the medium or channel of the holy spirit. This is declared in the 15th and 16th verses, and again in the 21st, 23d and 24th. Not only are faith and obedience of the heart necessary, before any can come into the spirit-begotten condition, but a continuance and growth in faith and in obedience are necessary in order to a continuance and growth in the spirit of holiness, or the holy spirit, the spirit of fellowship with the Father and with the Son.

It is one thing to have a begetting of the spirit, and quite another matter to attain to that condition urged by the Apostle, saying, "Be ye filled with the spirit." (Eph. 5:18.) The measure of our filling will correspond with the measure of our emptying of the spirit of selfwill, and filling with the spirit of faith and obedience. And altho the obedience cannot do otherwise than manifest itself in the daily life, nevertheless it is the obedience of the intention, of the will, of the heart, that the Lord regards in his consecrated people, and not merely the control of the earthen vessel. Hence, some whose hearts are thoroughly loyal to the Lord may be pleasing to him, while not the most pleasing to some of those with whom they come in contact; while others, "highly esteemed amongst men" because of outward moralities, may be an "abomination" in the sight of God, because of coldness or dishonesty of heart. (Luke 16:15.) Nevertheless, he that hath the new hope in him, and the new spirit, will seek to purify himself, not only in his thoughts, but also in his words and deeds and all his affairs, inward and outward. – 1 John 3:3.

It should not be overlooked that, altho the holy spirit, like all other favors, is of the Father, it, like all others of his gifts, comes to us through the Son, and not by any direct relationship between the Father and us. As we saw in our previous lesson that our prayers addressed to the Father are to be answered by the Son, – "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son: If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it;" – so we see in this lesson that the gift of the holy spirit comes to us, not because of any direct relationship between the Father and us, but at the instance of our Lord Jesus. "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter" – at my request and my account the Father will do this for you. (Vs. 16.) The same thought is again expressed in vs. 26, "The holy spirit whom the Father will send in my name."

The lesson to us here is, that our only standing before the Father as yet is a reckoned one – in Christ, as members of his body, – our Lord Jesus represents the Father to us and represents us to the Father. The comfort and strength of the holy spirit imparted to us is the Father's, the spirit of truth, all of which emanates from the Father: it reaches us not directly, but only through our Lord and Head, Jesus. In a word, we have no standing whatever with the Father, and will not have any, until by his grace, through our Lord Jesus, we shall have been "made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light," and by the "change" of the first resurrection shall be perfected in his likeness, which is the divine likeness: then and thereafter, being actually perfect, and not merely reckonedly perfect, we may have an individual standing with the Father, but not before.

Hence it is that if any one lose his relationship to Christ through the loss of his faith in the precious blood, or through the loss of the holy spirit, through wilful sin, such an one falls out of the protection, the care, the covering of Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant, – and falls into the hands of the living God, – which means a judgment according to facts and works; and to all imperfect creatures this means death. (Heb. 10:31.) Hence also the exhortation of the Scriptures, that we abide in him, that we remain under [R2456 : page 93] the blood of sprinkling, that we abide in his love. – John 15:4,6,10; 1 John 2:24-29.

Our Lord pointedly declares that he who does not seek to please him by conforming to his instructions, thereby manifests that he does not love him. (Vss. 23,24.) Surely there can be no better test of love than devotion, and no better test of devotion than obedience. Our enlightened consciences render hearty assent to the Master's words, and with the Apostle we exclaim, "The love of Christ constraineth us, for we thus judge that, if one died for all, then all were dead, and that he died for all, that they who live [justified and begotten to newness of life] should henceforth not live unto themselves, but unto him who died for us, and rose again." – 2 Cor. 5:14,15.

The Master pointed out to us distinctly that in keeping his sayings we are not merely pleasing and obeying him, but that he is in all this matter the mouthpiece of Jehovah, the Father, and consequently that in pleasing and obeying him we are pleasing and obeying the Father. This much he could tell them while still with them, but he had many things that he desired to make known to them, and that were necessary for them to know, but that they could not receive as yet, because the holy spirit had not yet come upon them, and could not until after the ransom sacrifice had been made at Calvary and offered in the Holy of Holies, after he ascended up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us. – John 7:39; Heb. 9:24.

Our Lord's assurance is that this Comforter or strengthener, the holy spirit of the Father, sent on account of and at the instance of Jesus our Redeemer, Mediator and Head, will be our instructor – using various instrumentalities for bringing the instruction to us – the Word of truth, the writings of the apostles, and the various helps and agencies which the Lord, through the holy spirit, has and shall from time to time, as needed, provide to his flock.

How beautiful, how consoling to their troubled hearts, and how refreshing to ours, is the legacy of love and peace left to us by our dear Redeemer, as expressed in the 27th verse! "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." This peace and joy which surpasseth human understanding, was not given to the world, nor is it given to the nominal Christian professor, nor to the formalist and ritualist, however zealous they may be. It is intended for and can be had only by those who receive riches of grace through the holy spirit – those who by obedience to the truth and its spirit grow up into Christ their living Head in all things. Such have peace, deep and abiding, and ever increasing proportionately as they come to comprehend with all saints through faith and obedience the riches of divine grace – the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God.

This is not worldly peace, not the peace of indifference and carelessness, not the peace of sloth, not the peace of self-indulgence, not the peace of fatalism; but it is the peace of Christ – "my peace." Looking back we can see that the Master preserved his peace with God under all conditions. It is a peace which implicitly trusts to the divine wisdom, love, justice and power, a peace which remembers the gracious promise made to the Lord's faithful – that nothing shall be any means hurt his faithful, and that all things shall work together for good to them that love God. This peace can accept by faith whatever divine providence permits, and can look through its tears with joyful expectancy for the ultimate blessings which the Master has promised, and of which the present peace and joy are merely foretastes.

[R2456 : page 93]

VOLUNTEERS WANTED!

"We ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren." – 1 John 3:16.

V
OLUNTEERS FOR HOME DUTY, – male and female, are called for: those who can give about two hours every Sunday, and who are willing to give these in the Lord's service and as part of their "living sacrifice" (Rom. 12:1) – together with the best they have of influence, and good personal appearance. The service is such as any person in health can render: it is an unusual but dignified and very successful preaching of the truth, which we will explain hereinafter.

The necessity for this service is that "brethren" are in danger; and love of the brethren and the Elder Brother's approval are the incentives to enlistment. All, whose eyes of understanding are open, realize in harmony with the View of this issue that the leaders in religious thought have already lost their anchorage – their faith in the precious blood of Christ as the ransom price; and that those under their influence are tending rapidly in that same direction under the doctrinal winds of Evolution and higher criticism. They do not cry for help, because they do not realize their situation. We must not wait our sacrificing until they [R2457 : page 93] request it; even as our Lord did not wait for sinners to call him to sacrifice: he gave himself for us, and thus should we voluntarily "lay down our lives for the brethren."

There are some faithful brethren enlisted in the foreign service, who as colporteurs and pilgrims go from city to city. The Lord is blessing these and sending more such laborers into his vineyard; but through love of the brethren still in Babylon he is stirring us up to arrange a plan of work in which many more can engage; – those who are anxious to serve as good soldiers of the cross, but who cannot leave home and family responsibilities, and whose week-day employment [R2457 : page 94] leaves little time for special service of the King of kings and the exercise of their Ambassadorship. (2 Cor. 5:20.) We will explain the plan proposed – indeed already tried with excellent success in Allegheny and Pittsburg.

We propose publishing the booklet, "The Bible vs. Evolution," in large quantities (indeed, have already contracted for over 300,000 copies) for free circulation under restricted conditions, as follows: These neat, tastefully bound booklets which we sell at five cents each or twenty-five cents per dozen for general use, will be supplied free to those who will agree to distribute them to church-goers on Sunday mornings and evenings – one church at a time. The preferable plan of operations is for the friends who will so engage in each city or village to lay out a program which will insure that no congregation be omitted and that none be served twice. All large congregations require at least two or three for proper rapid service as they come out. And generally the effect is better if the distributors locate half a block away from the church building in each direction in which the people go – or according to circumstances.

Unusual – for God's servants to follow the example of the Lord and the apostles and go after the lost sheep? Yes, rather unusual – few are ready to lay down anything for the brethren, tho many are willing to toil day and night for wealth or fame or some other selfish consideration. The majority of those who attempt to feed the flock even on unclean provender, and to mislead then, require goodly clippings of their golden fleece for so doing. Hence, some may think of these Volunteers as "fools" or "crazy" for giving books away free. The black-sheep and the "goats" may do some butting and bah-ing, but return them good for evil – kind looks for scowls, kind words for bitter ones.

If there be any of the Lord's true sheep among them, these will take knowledge of you that your methods resemble those of Jesus, and if your manner corresponds, they will know that you have learned of him. And these are the only ones you really need expect to help anyway. And the more genteel your appearance and graceful and loving your manner, the more will your printed testimony count with your auditors.

The minister inside the chapel has entertained the congregation for half an hour and received from ten to fifty dollars for his services, and his congregation will soon forget most of what he said. You on the outside deliver to each a printed sermon an hour and a half long, which can be thought over carefully and repeatedly, and which under divine blessing may do some more good than all the sermons they ever heard, – as many testify.

You might not be able to get the attention of even one congregation in your city, even if you had superior ability: but by this ministry you can reach every congregation. Do you know any better investment of two hours every Sunday, in the interest of the "brethren" yet in darkness? Do you know any work that would probably glorify the Lord more or bring you more of his love and blessing? If you do, you should be actively using that better plan and should be wonderfully blessed in the service.

All Volunteers in each city should come together at once and lay out the work of their city methodically. Then select one of your number as scribe on this business to write to us stating the number of Volunteers, the number of churches in your city and your estimate of the adult attendance, and also the number of juniors. For the latter we would furnish tracts, to save the more expensive booklets. Letters on this subject should be headed "Volunteers" and be on a separate sheet of letter paper from your business orders and from your letters to the Editor, – tho all may be enclosed in same envelope. Care over the Volunteer work will be in the hands of an office assistant, tho under the Editor's supervision.

Even our smallest services are sure to be blessed and owned by our loving Lord who says, – "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto eternal life." – John 4:36.

[R2457 : page 94]

THE MEMORIAL WIDELY CELEBRATED.

REPORTS already received indicate that the Memorial Supper was more generally celebrated than ever before – in modern times – probably one-third more than last year. We are glad of this: it generally indicates good spiritual condition; for those who intelligently and conscientiously memorialize the shed blood of the New Covenant and our Lord's body broken for us are not the ones to fall into the sin of denying that the Lord bought them. (2 Pet. 2:1.) And in turn, it is those who most heartily realize that they were bought with the precious blood who are most constrained by the love thus manifested to resist sin and additionally to consecrate themselves to be "broken" also and to lay down their lives for the brethren.

We have received up to the present 339 reports of meetings, representing 2501 participants (quite a few of these neglected mentioning the numbers participating). We will not attempt a full tabulation of the various reports received, – many of which were from solitary ones and little groups of twos or threes. We will merely give numbers of some of the principal meeting thus far reported, from various States, and a few extracts from the letters reporting same: –

Massachusetts. – Boston, 71; Springfield, 11.

Rhode Island. – Woonsocket, 8 – all French; service in French.

New York. – Binghamton, 11 (and in vicinity, 8); Ballston Spa, 5; Buffalo, 21; Newburgh, 13; Olean, 7; Schenectady, 8; Saugerties, 6; Cohoes, 15; Mamaroneck, 7. New Jersey. – Jersey City, 7.

Pennsylvania. – Philadelphia, 24; Altoona, 30; Scranton, 21; Butler, 13; Rockland, 9; Tyrone, 9; Washington, 12; Easton, 7; Laughlintown, 6; Oil City, 7; Wheeler, 9; Jefferson, 7; Allentown and Bethlehem, 8; Allegheny, 250. [R2457 : page 95]

Delaware. – Wilmington, 7; Washington, D.C. – 12.

Maryland. – Cumberland, 9; Baltimore, 17; Oakland, 14.

Virginia. – Reedy, 12; Manchester, 11; Pleasant Grove, 10; Lynchburg, 6; Portsmouth, 7.

West Virginia. – Mt. Lookout, 25; Wheeling, 14; McMechin, 10.

Ohio. – Felicity, 7; Newark, 7; Cincinnati, 24; Toledo, 40; Cleveland, 25; Columbus, 30; Dayton, 14; Mansfield, 7; Tiffin, 12; Youngstown, 28; Canton, 17; Oxford, 7; Barnhill, New Philadelphia and Dennison (one meeting), 25.

Indiana. – Oriole, 7; Indianapolis, 27; Boonville, 7; Fort Wayne, 15.

Illinois. – Havana, 6; Hegewisch, 11; Belleville, 7; Decatur, 11; Kewanee, 6; Atlanta, 10; Chicago (North Side), 40; Rockford, 6; Martinsville, 7; Elgin, 19.

Michigan. – Saginaw, 12; Detroit, 8; Wheeler, 7; Kalamazoo, 10; Muskegon, 13; Adrian, 6; Ypsilanti, 11.

Wisconsin. – Waukesha, 6; Milwaukee, 9.

Minnesota. – Minneapolis, 15; Northfield, 7.

Iowa. – Red Oak, 13; Tingley, 9; New Albany, 11; Council Bluffs, 23; Atlanta, 7; Indianola, 8; Lawler, 12.

Nebraska. – Bartlett, 7. N. Dakota. – DeLamere, 10. S. Dakota. – Verdon, 4; Huron, 14.

Kansas. – Wichita, 7; Williamsburgh, 6; Atwood, 6; Peabody, 7; Abilene, 10.

Missouri. – Kansas City, 8; St. Louis, 28.

Oklahoma. – Perkins, 7. Kentucky. – Grace, 12.

Tennessee. – Knoxville, 10; Tullahoma, 5.

N. Carolina. – Hayne, 24. Georgia. – Atlanta, 6.

Florida. – Jacksonville, 6. Alabama. – Randolph, 5.

Mississippi. – McCool, 6. Arkansas. – Darcy, 8.

Texas. – Dallas, 12; Tyler, 10; Corsicana, 6; Shady Grove, 6; Bass, 9; Vineyard, 8; Snow, 20; San Antonio, 20; Weatherford, 17.

California. – Norwalk and Downey, 7; Visalia, 12; Santa Barbara, 11; Alameda, 13; Oakdale, 5; Sacramento, 10; Ventura, 9; Los Angeles, 61; Los Gatos, 6; Stockton, 5.

Oregon. – Phoenix, 10.

Washington. – Montesano, 6; Seattle, 15; Farmer, 5.

Canada. – Goderich, 4; Meaford, 5; Dorchester, 5; Brantford, 22; Niagara Falls, 7; Hamilton, 10; Toronto, 21; London, 7; (Ontario). Truro, N.S., 8; Regina, N.W.T., 7; Rapid City, Man., 10; Brandon, Man., 8; Clive, Man., 4; Wharnock, B.C., 5.

Jamaica. – 20. Switzerland. – Thun, 14. [R2458 : page 95]

Great Britain. – Glasgow, 16; Stratford, 21; Sheffield, 4. Denmark. – Copenhagen, 15; Odder, 12.

As a feature of next year's report we propose that the numbers witnessing to full consecration by symbolic immersion in water, during the year beginning March 26th, be mentioned in connection with the number participating at the Memorial Supper.

All of the following reports will be read with keen interest and warm love and sympathy by the "brethren;" but we wish to add to your zest in the reading of the Jamaica letter, by explaining that our dear Brother Clarke is a full-blood Jamaica negro: and we doubt not that at least one-half of those who celebrated with him are negroes. We rejoice that our God is "no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him." – Acts 10:34,35.

Brother Clarke was already a Christian when the harvest message reached him: he was serving the Lord to the best of his knowledge and ability and loved the Bible. The American Bible Society made him its agent, and he went hither and thither holding up the "Lamp." God in due time considered him worthy of the light of present truth and poured fresh oil into his heart, as well as into his Lamp, through MILLENNIAL DAWN. Brother Clarke rejoiced in the truth greatly, and enjoyed his work more than ever, because now he could not only take the people the Bible as God's jewel casket, but he could also take them the "keys," also provided by God, by which they could open God's Word and understand and appreciate its wonderful harmony and beauties as never before.

But the American Bible Society was not willing to have the "keys" go with the jewel casket and informed Brother Clarke that he must either drop the DAWN or leave their employ. He promptly decided that there were already more Bibles circulated than people could understand and that the highest service he could render to the great Giver of all good was to lay down his life in serving the brethren with this "marvelous light" which God has now granted all his people who have eyes to see it. God bless Brother Clarke! His loyalty of heart proves that he has the spirit of the truth.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – A number of us met together here yesterday evening to commemorate our Lord's death. We began our service at 7:30 P.M., and had about twenty present, including two or three Christian friends who participated with us.

Some few were hindered from coming out, and others did not care to participate, on the ground that it was only to be observed "till he come," not being able to see that the Apostle Paul evidently included in this expression the complete glorification of every member of the kingdom, and that "we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord" are to commemorate his death, the very basis of our hope, just as the saints did who preceded his coming, until we receive our change from the human to the spiritual – to be with and like our Lord. Blessed hope!

But in all this we bear and forbear one another in love, hoping and praying that each may win the prize of joint-heirship with Christ our Lord.

Those of us who did participate experienced that blessedness expressed in the words –

"Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
Which before the cross I spend."
We meditated upon our Savior's great agony in the garden, as he prayed to the Father, when his sweat, as it were great drops of blood, fell down to the ground, and then we saw him before Pilate, being falsely accused of the Chief Priests and Elders, and he answered nothing, but "committed himself unto him that judgeth righteously," and then in our mind's eye we saw him as the soldiers took him into the Praetorium and put a purple robe upon him and a crown of thorns upon his head, and then bowed their knees before him, saying in mockery, "Hail, King of the Jews," and he endured it all patiently, "who, when he was reviled, reviled not again," and "who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame." We then read in 1 Pet. 4:1, that, inasmuch as Christ [R2458 : page 96] has suffered for us in the flesh, we are to arm ourselves "likewise with the same mind," – not that we might have to experience the same amount of suffering, but the thought was with "the same mind," "who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not, neither was guile found in his mouth," and that thus possessing the "same mind," the "mind of Christ," to the end of our course, we would come off more than victors through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We then saw him as he hung upon the cross, surrounded by his enemies, wagging their heads and saying, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross and save thyself!" And lastly, we beheld him as his sufferings reached the highest point, when the Father's fellowship of spirit was withdrawn and he uttered those agonizing words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" We could see that he was taking the sinner's place, that he was to die just as if he were the sinner, and that the sinner's place was a separation from God's fellowship and subsequently the surrendering up of life itself in death, and there in his death we appreciated our ransom – the equivalent for all who lost life through the disobedience of father Adam. Oh, how my heart goes out to him, when I think of what he has done for me –

"Nothing to settle? All has been paid.
Nothing to anger? Peace has been made.
Jesus alone is the sinner's resource;
Peace he has made by the blood of his cross."

With love from the brethren and myself, I am, Yours in our Redeemer,

E. J. COWARD, – Texas.

page 96

MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I write you a few lines to acquaint you with the memorial services. I received your letter of the 25th and notified the sister promptly, but she did not get to any of the meetings. We had a lesson on Baptism at Dover Hall, our present place of meeting, at 2:30; at 5 we adjourned to the Brethren Church building, where three brethren and one sister symbolized their burial into Christ's death; then we returned to our hall, and after two hours of social intercourse we partook of the Lord's supper. I neglected to count those present, but I think 24 would be about correct. We had a most pleasant time, and we trust a profitable one, too.

Yours in Christ,

SMITH WALKER, – Philadelphia.

DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST: – I am just writing you a hurried note to inform you of the blessed time we had at the Passover Supper last evening. You will doubtless rejoice with us in the increased number – we had twenty-one who participated in the Supper, this being more than double who joined us last year.

In the usual afternoon meeting we had 23 or 24, about as many as we could get into our little room. We read from the TOWER "A Look at the Crucified One," taking up many of the touching incidents at the supper and in the garden. All seemed deeply interested and touched; all seemed thoroughly imbued with the responsibility and the necessity of a more thorough consecration to the Master's service and love; harmony and earnestness prevailed and much depth of feeling, as also at the Memorial Supper. Our service in the evening commenced with a season of quiet meditation. We then read Matt. 26:26-28 and sang Hymn 2; then followed a prayer of thanksgiving for the great privilege of being able in heart to comply with our Lord's command; then a few words upon the responsibility we were assuming and also an earnest exhortation for the fulfilling of our vows more heartily in the future than in the past. We then read 1 Cor. 10:15-17, also 1 Cor. 11:23-33, and sang Hymn 122. Then before breaking bread thanks were offered by Brother Raymond, and before participation in the cup thanks were offered by dear old Brother Moore, and the meeting closed by singing the first Hymn. Much time of quiet, silent contemplation and communion with our dear Lord was allowed, and we dispersed almost in silence. All seemed to realize the deep solemnity of the occasion, and there seemed but one heart and one mind in desiring to energize for the crown of immortality; every heart seemed full to overflowing in love to our blessed Redeemer. We did not forget you in our prayers.

Your brother in our Master's service,

EBENEZER STOVEL, – Ontario.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I feel thankful to be able to inform you that I had the privilege of observing the Memorial Supper, alone as usual; I say alone, but not lonely, for I had a precious Friend with me who never leaves nor forsakes me. He is more than all the world to me. I have been cooperating in the proposals you made last year to ask the Lord's blessings in striving after the spirit of love, and reading every other Sunday Matt. 5 and 1 Cor. 13. I sincerely believe they have been a great help to me.

May God bless you, is the prayer of your sister in the faith. Pray for me.

MARTHA WILSON, – I.T.

[R2458 : page 96]

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I make haste to send you the report of our little Convention here: the manifestation of divine love, the rejoicing; – Oh! the blessing. I can scarcely write the things which transpired here on the 26th of March. Scoffers who came to scoff at us were speechless, and many were compelled to join in praising our dear Lord.

We began at 5 A.M., with prayer and praise, and at 8 o'clock we marched to the pool prepared by the Bros. Davidson a few chains from their home, where three hundred people looked on with amazement. A short address was given: believers' baptism was set forth to the best of our knowledge. Three brethren symbolized their consecration "unto death" with their Lord. At 11 o'clock we had public preaching, when the benefit of the "ransom" was set forth to the best of our ability. Eighty-five were present at this service. At 2 P.M. we had refreshment. Many scoffers were surprised at the manifestation of love among us, – so that they apologized for being satisfied with both temporal and spiritual provisions. Invitation was then given to all who are trusting in the merits of the "ransom," and fully consecrated, to partake with us in the "cup" of suffering. At 6:30, twenty of us drew around the Lord's table, with solemnity, – following the suggestions given us in the WATCH TOWER. The blessing received at this service can hardly be expressed by me, in writing. The brethren join in sending their love.

Yours, in the service of the truth,

H. P. CLARKE, – Jamaica, W.I.