page 193
August 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.AUGUST 1, 1899.No. 15.
CONTENTS.

The Indianapolis Convention 195
The River of Salvation 196
Returning from Captivity 198
Who May be Coworkers 200
Despise Not the Day of Small Things 204
Questions and Answers 205
Interesting Letters 207
The At-One-Ment
Between God and Man
(Millennial Dawn, Volume V.)
194

'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 194

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

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

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

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[R2507 : page 194]

THE AT-ONE-MENT
BETWEEN
GOD AND MAN.

MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. V.

We have pleasure in announcing that Volume V. of MILLENNIAL DAWN series is now on the press. It will (D.V.) be sent to all paid up subscribers to ZION'S WATCH TOWER (including those who have requested credit for the year, and those who are receiving it free as the Lord's poor) – as September 1st and 15th, and October 1st and 15th issues of this journal. There will be no other issues for the four dates named. If you do not receive a copy before Sept. 30th it will not be our fault. If your account differs from ours be sure to let us know all particulars. Notice the tag on the wrapper. Jun.9 means that your subscription is settled for only to and including June, 1899 – that you are in arrears. Dec.9 means that your subscription is settled for, up to the end of the year and should be renewed in December page 194 or written about. [R2507 : page 194]

This volume will, we believe, furnish an abundance of spiritual food for the two months (September and October). It should be thoroughly masticated, that it may be well digested and give strength to head and heart and hand. It is our prayer and hope that it may be a great blessing to the readers of this journal; and that through them as fellow servants of our one Lord and Master it may honor him and bless many.

[R2508 : page 195]

INDIANAPOLIS CONVENTION ECHOES.

OUR RECENT "Believer's Convention" was certainly a success – so voted by all who were in attendance, so far as we have heard. It was a spiritual feast of fat things, for which we render thanks to the Giver of all good. Our present Lord seemed to gird himself and serve us with "meat in due season," and with the "wine" of his own spirit of love and devotion. It was good to be there. The attendance was about 250, of whom about 200 were visitors from twenty states of the Union, including Massachusetts on the East and Washington on the West, Texas on the South and North Dakotah and Minnesota on the North.

The announced program was carried out with but slight modifications. Brother Owen, the leader of the Indianapolis meetings, conducted the opening "rally" so successfully that every one felt at home forthwith and well acquainted; indeed, there were quite a number of street and train recognitions without previous acquaintance or introductions – each seemed to recognize the spirit of love: as our Lord declared, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another."

Brother Owen's assurances that the Indianapolis Church most cordially welcomed us all was abundantly attested by the careful provisions and kind attentions shown to all – the poorer as well as the financially comfortable, and the blacks as well as the whites: for there were four or five deeply and intelligently interested colored brethren in attendance. [R2509 : page 195]

According to our custom no collections were taken up, either publicly or privately: indeed, the only semblance of a dispute during the three days' meetings was occasioned by some of the visiting brethren insisting with the Reception Committee that they be permitted to share some of the general expenses; while the latter insisted that they had everything provided for, and that the visitors had sufficient journey expenses. We mention this to illustrate the general spirit of the Convention – the spirit of love and benevolence – so much in contrast with experiences we have all had in "Babylon."

One novelty of this Convention which differentiated it, so far as we recall, from all others, was the attendance of two who had previously been spirit-mediums, but who now rejoice in the better knowledge of the truth. One of these declared in the Testimony Meeting that he had been a medium for fourteen years, but thanked God for deliverance through the reading of What Say the Scriptures About Spiritism?

It was remarked by some that while the managers of the Epworth League Convention had a Bishop present to discuss "The Life of Lincoln," and an ex-Confederate General to discuss "The Closing Days of the Confederacy," our Convention, in almost continuous session from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M., had no time for social questions, and knew nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and the blessed hopes which center in the great transaction of Calvary.

One of the most impressive services was the baptism on Saturday afternoon in the Central Christian Church, kindly put at our disposal for two hours and a half. Forty-two symbolized their immersion into Christ's death, by immersion into water – twenty-two brethren and twenty sisters (two of the former colored). The youngest seemed about twenty-five and the oldest about seventy years old. It was a service long to be remembered, and brought a blessing to those who witnessed it as well as to the participants. Our prayer is that the convention as a whole may have buried us all more completely and more deeply into death with Christ, and that walking in newness of life now we may all be prepared to share with him in "his resurrection" – "the first resurrection."

[R2507 : page 196]

THE RIVER OF SALVATION.

AUG. 20. – EZEK. 47:1-12.

"Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." – Rev. 22:17.
M
ANY OF the particulars connected with this vision described by Ezekiel are so circumstantial to the land of Israel as to give considerable ground for belief that it will have a literal fulfilment in the future; and in connection with the vision is shown a new division of the land of Canaan amongst the twelve tribes. But whatever literal fulfilment the vision may have, we may be positive that it is to have a grand fulfilment as a symbol, for the life-giving river here brought to our attention is undoubtedly the same one described six hundred years later, by John the Revelator, and referred to in our Golden Text.

Referring to the description of the river starting from the Temple, Prof. Davidson says, "The natural fact upon which this conception rests is this, that there was a fountain connected with the Temple hill, the waters of which fell into the valley east of the city, and made their way toward the sea." So far as we may know, this fountain never was of any considerable size, and never would be, without more or less of a miracle, for at present the entire country is arid, except in the rainy season. From this fountain the Valley of Kedron leads directly to the Dead Sea, which, as is well known, has no connection with the ocean waters, either on the surface or subterraneously, and is 1308 feet below the sea level.

However, there are evidences that at one time the Dead Sea was on a level with the ocean, and if by earthquake or otherwise the connection between it and the ocean waters were re-established it would rise to its old level, which would make of it an inland sea 150 miles long, and five to ten miles wide. And such a filling up of its basin would have a marked effect, not only upon the humidity of the atmosphere in its vicinity, but also upon the water-springs of lower Palestine. The natural result would be, not only that the Dead Sea would be sweetened of its brackishness, and become like the ocean, but also that the springs in the vicinity of Jerusalem would be greatly enlarged so as to produce some such river as this described in the prophecy, and these springs in that now parched desert country would cause its vegetation to prosper. It is worthy of note that this valley now occupied by the Dead Sea was once most fertile, – before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We read, "Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, – even as the garden of the Lord." (Gen. 13:10.) And the restitution of this country to a Paradisiac condition is what the Prophet Ezekiel describes, if his language be given a literal interpretation at all – and this it seems to demand, as well as the symbolic interpretation.

There are many who seek to apply this prophetic vision as a symbol to the present time, and claim that this river of salvation has been flowing through the world from the days of Ezekiel until now; – especially during this Gospel age. These interpreters claim that the depth of the water up to the ankles would represent a date when Christians numbered fifty millions; the depth of the water up to the knees a period when Christians numbered a hundred millions; a depth of water up to the loins a date when Christians numbered two hundred millions; and a river that could not be waded, representing the present time, when the population of Christendom is estimated at four hundred and fifteen millions. But can we agree with this interpretation? Is it reasonable, is it Scriptural?

(1) We answer, No; it is not a reasonable interpretation, for, if we may judge of the Christians so-called in the past by those so-called in the present, we must conclude that the river is far from pure, "clear as crystal:" indeed, all will agree that if nine-tenths of those who name the name of Christ, but who deny him in their daily lives, were to withdraw from all profession, the Christian Church would be greatly blessed by their withdrawal and the influence of the Church and the light from it would be increased many-fold. Bishop Foster, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, sized up the situation well when comparing the professed church to a sheep-fold, he pronounced the vast majority "black, ring-streaked and speckled." We all are confident that only a comparatively little flock are of the class mentioned by the Lord as being reckonedly washed whiter than snow, through his grace and truth.

(2) It is not a Scriptural view. The Scriptures declare that God's grace at the present time is not comparable to a river, but in our Lord's words, "It shall be in him [each believer] a well of water springing up [R2508 : page 196] into everlasting life." (John 4:14.) And those Christians in whom God's grace is a fountain of life and refreshment are comparatively few. They are those who have been "begotten of the spirit of truth" through the Word of truth. They are the "sanctified in Christ Jesus;" they are the "little flock," to the faithful of whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom.

No Scripture anywhere suggests that the water of eternal life is now free; nor that all are now called to drink of it. Our Lord Jesus himself declared the contrary of this, saying, "No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him." (John 6:44.) The drawing or calling of God through a knowledge of his grace is only unto those who have ears to hear, amongst those to whom the call is addressed; and the call has been specially sent to and has specially reached [R2508 : page 197] only comparatively few of the earth's fifteen hundred millions, – chiefly the inhabitants of Europe and America. And of this comparatively small number to whom the Word of the Lord has been sent, and of the still smaller number who have had "ears to hear" that call, only a still smaller number are chosen, as we read, "Many are called, but few chosen." (Matt. 20:16.) Not many are called, in proportion to the whole, but many are called in proportion to the number chosen, the few, the elect.

Returning to the Prophet's vision, we note that the waters flowed out from the house of the Lord, from the Temple, and that wherever they went they brought vitality and refreshment, healing, restitution life – even to the Dead Sea. This to our understanding is a picture of the grace of God during the Millennial age, when from the Church, the house of God, the Temple, "the habitation of God through the spirit" (Eph. 2:22), the stream of the water of life, healing, restoring, rejuvenating, shall flow to all the families of the earth, whose condition is represented by the wilderness eastward of Jerusalem. The result will be the blessing and restitution of all the living families of the earth willing to receive the blessing. And it means more: for the Dead Sea fitly represents the vast multitude of mankind which has gone into the tomb, and the water of life shall reach even these, and bring to them also awakening from death, opportunities of restitution.

That the fulfilment of this vision could not be a thing of the past nor of the present is evident when we remember that the house of God, the Temple, the Church, is not yet completed – that the present is the time in which the Lord is fitting the "living stones" for the Temple, – is chiseling, fitting and polishing each for the place to which he is called. The present Gospel age was typified in the building of Solomon's Temple, by the period of preparation of the materials, after which we are informed that the whole house came together quickly, each stone fitting to its place and each timber to its position, and that without the sound of a hammer or any tool of iron. So with the "living stones," as the Apostle Peter calls the Church. (1 Pet. 2:5.) These are "builded together for a habitation of God through the spirit," and the building will not be completed until the last of these fitted and polished stones is laid in its position. Then the glory of the Lord shall fill the house, – the Church will be glorified. Then will have come the time represented in this vision, when the stream of the water of life, truth and grace shall flow from the glorified Temple.

As there is no completed Temple yet, so there is no river yet; but when the Temple is completed, when the various members of the body of Christ are brought together and united in glory, honor and immortality to the Head of the Church, then from this united and glorified company of God's elect shall flow the symbolic river of water of life, clear as crystal. In each member of this Temple class, in each of these "living stones," already is a well-spring of truth and grace, and when these many well-springs shall have thus been united to the great Head and Fountain, the result naturally will be a stream of good proportions, – a river. To this coming time of blessing of the world our Lord refers, saying, "He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:38.) In order to be of this class in whom the great river of water of life will take its start, it is necessary, first, that the believer shall now come unto Jesus and drink of him, the great Fountain of life; and it will be as a result of this partaking of the great Fountain that all of the elect Church shall become minor well-springs and fountains in due time.

Turning to the description of this same symbolic river, furnished us in the Book of Revelation (chapter 22), we find abundant evidences that it does not refer to the present time, but to the Millennial age. For instance, it is symbolically pictured as having trees of life on either side, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations – not for the healing of the Church, which at this time is the glorified Temple from which this river proceeds – and this healing of the nations signifies, as plainly as a symbolic picture could indicate it, restitution, – the healing of the woes of the groaning creation, its sin and sickness and imperfection.

We notice also that the proclamation which will then be made will not be restricted, as at the present time, to "even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2:39.) It will not be to an "elect" class; it will no longer be said, "No man can come unto me, except the Father draw him." The call at that time will be general – to every creature – "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." We notice further that that broad invitation is extended by God through the holy spirit and the glorified Church, as it is written, "The spirit and the bride say, Come!" We notice further that this expression, "the bride," unquestionably places this call in the future, because, altho the elect Church of this Gospel age is called out from the world to become the bride of Christ, she does not become such, does not enter that exalted station, until in the end of the age she is perfected in glory and in the likeness of her Lord. Then will come "the marriage of the Lamb:" and not until after the marriage will there be a bride; and not until after the bride has thus been accepted as such can "the spirit and the bride say, Come!" to the nations – the Gentiles.

This same glorious City (Kingdom), the glorified New Jerusalem, the Church, and the river of the water [R2508 : page 198] of life gushing forth therefrom, are brought to our attention in Psalm 46: "There is a river, the rivulets of which shall spring from the City of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved. God shall help her early in the morning." The connections here also show that these rivulets are not to be expected to flow out as a river, until the Millennial morning, and the context refers particularly to the time of trouble with which the present age shall end and the Millennial morning shall be introduced.

Those whom the Lord our God has called, and who, in obedience to that call, have come to Jesus, the Fountain of life, and through him have tasted that the Lord is gracious, should let the Word and grace of God dwell in them richly and abound, making them neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord and in his service. It is for these to seek enlargement in the grace of God, that as well-springs they may be deeper and wider and more and more filled to overflowing with that grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ. It is for these to see to it, each for himself, that he has not received the grace of God in vain, and that this well-spring does not become choked with the rubbish of this present evil world, its aims, its hopes, its ambitions, its pride, its desires of the flesh; – that thus, under divine providence and supervision, we may be made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, and have fellowship with our glorious Lord and Head in the sending forth of the river of salvation unto the ends of the earth in "due time;" – the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, to whosoever will of all the families of the earth. – 2 Pet. 1:4-11; 2 Cor. 6:1; Col. 1:12; 1 John 1:3.

[R2509 : page 198]

RETURNING FROM CAPTIVITY.

AUGUST 27. – EZRA 1:1-11.

"The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." – Psa. 126:3.
T
HE BOOKS of Ezra and Nehemiah are not prophetical, but historical; they take up the history of Israel where it was laid down by the scribes who wrote the Books of Chronicles. Ezra, the writer of the book bearing his name, was a scribe or educated man, whose genealogy is traced back through the priesthood to Aaron. (Ezra 1-6.) Ezra was not amongst those who went up first to Jerusalem under the proclamation of Cyrus: indeed, he was probably not born until a considerable time after that notable event.

The record of the first six chapters of Ezra covers a period of twenty years; and then an interval of about fifty years transpired before the events recorded in the seventh chapter – Ezra's commission under King Artaxerxes of Persia to go up to Jerusalem and establish the worship of God. The history of the return from captivity, and the experiences of the people and their difficulties in connection with the rebuilding of the Temple, Ezra probably got from the records of the scribes at Jerusalem.

The Book of Second Chronicles closes with the declaration that the king of the Chaldeans, Nebuchadnezzar, carried away the treasures of Jerusalem, broke down its walls, burned its palaces, and carried its people captive to Babylon, and then declares that this desolation of the land and the city was in fulfilment of prophecy, the word of the Lord by Jeremiah, that the land should lie desolate and keep a Sabbath of rest seventy years. It also declares that this seventy years' desolation was brought to an end by the decree of Cyrus in the first year of his reign. Thus has the Lord clearly marked the beginning of the seventy years and their end; yet we find that chronologists in general reject this plain statement of the Scriptures, and begin to count the seventy years at a much earlier date than the destruction of the city (for we are to remember that there were three distinct captivities at about that time).*

*See MILLENIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 2.

It seems to be no easy matter to determine the chronological order of Medo-Persia. Cyrus is called the Persian, and Darius is called the Median, and whether they reigned jointly for a time seems difficult to determine. It would appear that Cyrus was in some respects the chief, yet that Darius was the representative of authority in Babylon for a time, and that upon his death Cyrus became sole emperor. Daniel most positively declares that Darius the Median succeeded to Belshazzar's kingdom (Dan. 5:31; 6:28), and this was before even Daniel had thought to search the prophecy of Jeremiah and to calculate the date when the seventy years desolation would end, and to pray for the preparation of Israel for the promised deliverance when it should come. (Dan. 9:1-16.) Chronologists in general fall into error here in attempting to fit together the conflicting and disconnected scraps of secular history covering this period: they overlook the bridge over that period furnished by the Lord's testimony that the "seventy years' desolation" began with the close of Zedekiah's reign and ended with the first year of Cyrus, – a well established date, B.C. 536.

We are not told by what agencies the Lord operated when he "stirred up" the heart of Cyrus to fulfil his will, in letting go the captives, and hence we are at liberty to surmise on the subject. We presume it likely that, as Daniel was speedily made a high officer in the kingdom, he had access to King Cyrus, and quite probably [R2509 : page 199] called his attention to the Scriptural predictions which marked him as the divine agent, even referring to him by name. – Isa. 44:26,28; 45:1-5; Jer. 25:1-12; 29:10.

It is quite possible, also, that the Lord used other means in stirring up the heart of Cyrus: possibly he reflected that by such a course he would firmly establish himself in the good will of the Israelites, who numbered millions amongst his new subjects, and comparatively few of whom he might feel sure would avail themselves of his generous offer of liberty to return to their native land. It would appear that this was the custom of Cyrus in respect to the religions of all the various peoples whom he conquered. Nebuchadnezzar had thought to unify the people by bringing to their minds one god, and compelling worship to him. Cyrus seems to have followed an opposite rule, and sought to make himself popular with his subjects of various religious inclinations by doing something to the honor of every prominent god whose devotees he conquered. Thus he posed as a general deliverer of the people and as the servant of all the gods.

Moreover, he may have had in mind the fact that Egypt was a country of great fertility, and that it would be of great convenience to have Jerusalem as a friendly way-station between his capital and Egypt, so that in case of war he would have friendly representatives at Jerusalem to spy upon the enemies and to render assistance to his forces. Possibly some of these, or possibly all of these, were the considerations by which the Lord stirred up the spirit or will of Cyrus to make the proclamation of liberty to the captives of Israel.

It was not an expulsion of the Israelites from the province of Babylon, for evidently as a people they were highly esteemed of their neighbors. The proclamation merely gave liberty to those who desired that they might return to Palestine, with the king's approval: and that those who remained might not feel that the king would be offended if they gave of their substance to help the enterprise, the proclamation made special mention of the fact that such cooperation would be pleasing to the king.

We may readily suppose that the majority of those who thought upon the Lord and who trusted in the promises made to the fathers, which centered in the Holy Land and the Holy City, were poor, for it seems that in every case poverty is more favorable to religious faithfulness and zeal than wealth; and yet that there were some both wealthy and zealous is abundantly testified to by the liberal contributions made by the captives themselves for the rebuilding of the Temple. The vast majority, however, were evidently well pleased with their foreign home, in which some of them had been living for seventy years, some for seventy-eight years, and some for eighty-nine years (those carried away captive at the same time as Daniel), while many of them were born in Babylonia. Many had intermarried with their neighbors, many were immersed in business projects, and many perhaps felt themselves too old for such an undertaking. Thus did the Lord sift them, that he might gather back to the Land of Promise such only as had a fervent zeal for the Lord and full trust in his promises.

The sifting of Israel began in the separation of the two tribes from the ten tribes, for the rapid spread of idolatry in the ten tribes gradually drew those faithful to Jehovah to the two-tribe kingdom, whose king was of the line which the Lord had promised to bless. Subsequently, when the two tribes also had grievously gone into idolatry, the Lord carried them all captive to [R2510 : page 199] Babylon, and now he stirred up Cyrus to make a proclamation for volunteers to return to the Land of Promise. The Lord, we may be sure, did not wish the return of any except those who had reverence for him and faith in his promises. We may therefore conclude that the company which did return, numbering in all not quite fifty thousand, was composed of the very choicest of all Israel out of all the tribes, the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi being most prominently represented amongst these returning ones, as most of the faithful ones for several centuries had been found in their tribes. It should be noticed, however, in reading Ezra's account of the return from captivity, that the division of the nation of Israel was no longer recognized after the return – they are invariably spoken of as "all the people of Israel," and the sacrifices offered were for "the twelve tribes of Israel," and these statements are repeated over and over again. The ten tribes were no more "lost" than were the great body of those carried captive from Judah lost when they neglected to return under the proclamation of Cyrus.

The chief men of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites took the lead in the matter of accepting the provisions of King Cyrus' decree, and we read concerning the others that they were "those whose spirit God had raised to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem." In what way the Lord raised their spirit or disposition we are not informed. We may suppose, however, that those whose hearts burned with faith in the divine promises to Israel and with zeal to be and to do what would be acceptable in God's sight, would be awakened, quickened, by the decree of Cyrus, which was of God's instigation. Moreover, the Lord may have providentially directed other matters not here particularized, in channels favorable to the return of those who had confidence in him and faith in his promises. The fact that many of these returning ones were of the poorer class is implied [R2510 : page 200] by the statement that many of their neighbors "strengthened their hands" with presents of money, goods, beasts and other valuables. Such offers would be a great encouragement and would probably be considered as the leadings of divine providence in the direction of the return by such as were looking for providential leadings. Furthermore, the generosity of Cyrus was manifested in his sending back the precious vessels of the Temple, which must have been of immense value. The larger vessels are enumerated, in all 2499. These, with the smaller articles not specified, amounted in all to 5400, as stated in verse 11.

Sheshbazzar (otherwise called Zerubbabel, which means, "Born in Babylon"), who was of the royal family of David and Solomon, was appointed the governor of the colony, which was nevertheless subject to the Persian empire and its successors, – the kingdom authority, removed from Zedekiah at the beginning of the seventy years' desolation, never being restored to the present time – as was foretold by the Lord through the Prophet, saying, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him" – Messiah, at his second advent. – Ezek. 21:27; Luke 21:24.

We have already seen that natural Israel's captivity in Babylon is Scripturally represented as a figure of the captivity of Spiritual Israel in mystic Babylon; and that the deliverance by Cyrus was to some extent a representation of the deliverance of Spiritual Israelites from mystic Babylon by Christ; that the fall of Babylon before Cyrus was figurative of the fall of "Babylon the Great," and that the message, "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin," applied not only to literal Babylon, but also now applies to mystic Babylon. In view of these things it is but proper that we should consider Israel's return from Babylon as to some extent representing the deliverance of the zealous of Spiritual Israel from mystic Babylon – a work now in progress. "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.

But now, as then, comparatively few, even of the consecrated class, are willing to undertake the trials and difficulties incident to the leaving of the settled affairs, comfortable quarters, contracts, engagements, etc., entered into in Babylon. The only ones disposed to risk the hardships and to go forth into the desert, leaving the strong walls and protection of sectarianism, are those who have great confidence in God and great respect for the promises made to the Seed of Abraham. The call to return to the old paths, and to rebuild the Temple of the Lord, and to replace therein the vessels of gold and silver (the precious truths of the divine Word – setting them in order as at first) is appreciated by the few only; yet these are encouraged by the Lord's providences, by the riches bestowed upon them from every quarter – not riches of an earthly kind, but of a spiritual sort, – precious truths, valuable lessons and experiences, providential leadings, etc. These encourage such as are of faithful heart to go forward and by obedience to become heirs of those glorious things that God has promised to them that love him.

As all the bitter experiences through which Israel passed were, under providential guidance, used to sift, separate, purge and purify the proper class to be ultimately brought back into the Land of Promise as the heirs of the kingdom, so the experiences through which the Lord's people have passed during the "dark ages" in captivity to Babylon, no less than through recent experiences, all tend to show us the necessity for separation from the world and its spirit, all lead us to appreciate more than ever the divine arrangements by which the Lord is making ready for himself and his service a peculiar people, zealous for the Kingdom, zealous for the Lord's Word, and zealous for all good works. – Tit. 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:9.

It is not for those who rejoice in the Lord's promises and leadings to be sad, and to leave Babylon with regrets ("Remember Lot's wife!"), but full of joy in the Lord and hope in his good promises; saying in the language of our Golden Text, – "The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." Those not thus stirred in spirit may as well stay in Babylon, as they would only prove snares and stumbling blocks to others.

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WHO MAY BE COWORKERS.

SEPT. 3. – EZRA 3:10 TO 4:5.

"The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." – 1 Cor. 3:17.
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BOUT FOUR months must have been required for the return of the captives from Babylon to Palestine, for later Ezra, with a smaller company, required that length of time. (Ezra 7:9.) Arriving at their destination about July or August, probably the first steps were to provide at least temporary homes amid the ruins of Jerusalem and the small towns in that vicinity. But as it was a religious motive which prompted their return – faith in God and his promises – we find, as we might reasonably expect, that very speedily after their arrival the public worship of Jehovah was begun – probably about the beginning of their "new year," October. – Verse 6.

Evidently the Lord's hand was with them, and it was of his providential guidance that their first work, in connection with the restoration of the Temple and [R2510 : page 201] its divinely appointed services, was the building of the altar. This will at once appeal to the intelligent Christian as an illustration of the truth so forcefully set forth in the Scriptures, that all approach to God, all reconciliation, all at-one-ment with him, must be by and through the great sacrifice for sins which Israel's altar typically represented. Vain are all the approaches to God which recognize not as their basis the sin-offering which God himself provided – the "ransom for all." – 1 Tim. 2:6.

The site of the Temple was Mount Moriah, and one of the most prominent spots on that mount is supposed to have been the site of the altar. This place selected for the altar, under divine guidance, is believed to have been the same spot upon which Abraham offered his son, Isaac, the type of Christ, and received him again as from the dead in a figure, the Lord providing as his representative, upon the same spot, the ram caught in a neighboring thicket. – Gen. 22:3-13; Heb. 11:17-19.

It is supposed that this same spot was subsequently the threshing-floor of Araunah, where David offered the acceptable sacrifice to the Lord which stayed the plague. (2 Sam. 24:21-25.) The Mosque of Omar now occupies the site of the ancient Temple built by Solomon; and the Mohammedans, who have great respect for the holy places, have left the site of the ancient altar exposed to view, protecting it with a railing. The visitor may there see to-day the very spot on which thousands of typical sin-offerings were sacrificed, the base of the various altars which were erected from time to time. It is of solid rock, and has a rather distinct groove or trench about it, which probably conducted the blood of the slain animals to what seems to be a natural drain or sewer by which the blood flowed in the direction of the Valley of Jehoshaphat – the valley of graves.

As we viewed this historic rock some years ago, and thought of the thousands of beasts slain there as types of the great ransom sacrifice, and noted the natural passageway by which the blood was carried off, our thoughts reverted to the Lamb of God, the great [R2511 : page 201] sacrifice for sins, and how the life which he laid down became a fountain or stream of life, not only for the dead of Israel, but all who died in Adam. The flow of blood toward the valley of graves seems to speak symbolically of life for the dead, secured through our dear Redeemer's sacrifice. But we remember that not only the bullock of the sin-offering was slain at this altar, but as well the goat of the sin-offering was slain there: not only the blood of the typical bullock, but also the blood of the typical goat, then, must have passed through that natural channel or drain; and this reminds us of how the Church, as members of the body of Christ, are during this age filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, sacrificing even unto death – for we know that, as the bullock represented the great High Priest, our Lord, so the goat represented the under-priests, the Church which is his body.* (Col. 1:24; Rom. 8:17.) And, as we have already seen, all the members of the body of Christ, the Church, must finish their course and lay down their lives, before the great work of this Atonement Day, the Gospel age, will be accomplished, and the healing and life-giving stream reaches the dead world with blessings and opportunities of eternal life.

*See Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices.

The beginning of the offering of sacrifices in connection with the Feast of Tabernacles, at the beginning of their "new year" (in the seventh month of their civil year), was a time of special rejoicing with the Israelites – it was always the most joyous season, but on this occasion the return from Babylon and recent evidences of returning divine favor added to its joys. And immediately the work of repairing the Temple was decided upon. They had brought certain gifts from the Israelites still remaining in Babylonia, and these were added to from the means of those who had returned, and the sum thus accumulated gives good evidence of the zeal of all concerned. As nearly as we may be able to judge, the total value of the gold and silver donated would amount to about $400,000. (Ezra 2:68,69.) It would appear that this sum was of three parts of about equal proportions, one-third contributed by those who remained in Babylonia, one-third by the few wealthy of the returned Israelites, and one-third contributed by the mass of the people, about $3 each. – Nehemiah 7:71,72.

We have never considered it proper to solicit money for the Lord's cause, after the common custom; and yet we are thoroughly convinced that there is a great blessing in giving, and that those who do not learn to give deprive themselves of a great spiritual grace, and endanger their spiritual prosperity, if not their spiritual life itself. But the giving, to be acceptable in the Lord's sight, must be voluntary – free-will offerings – "not of constraint." Accordingly, it is our judgment that money raised by the various begging devices in the name of our Lord is offensive, unacceptable to him, and does not bring his blessing either upon the givers or the work accomplished. "The Lord loveth a cheerful [willing] giver." He seeketh such to worship him as worship and serve in spirit and in truth. – 2 Cor. 9:7; John 4:23,24.

Full of zeal for the Lord's cause, the people celebrated the corner-stone laying of the new Temple with great eclat. One of the special features of their worship was praise, and we think it safe to say that singing the [R2511 : page 202] Lord's praise has been amongst the greatest blessings and privileges of worship enjoyed by the largest number of the Lord's people throughout this Gospel age also. The power to praise God in song has been conferred upon man only of all earthly creatures, and how appropriate that he should use this power to praise the King of kings!

If those Israelites, the house of servants, returning from their bondage, and remembering the covenant promises of God to them, had cause for singing and shouting Jehovah's praise, much more have we, who belong to the house of sons, great cause to tell abroad the great things which the Lord hath done for us. We were all servants of sin once, under the bondage of sin, ignorance, superstition and death, but God, through the great Cyrus, has permitted us to go free. Appropriately, therefore, our first step should be to recognize the sacrifice of the altar, and then to offer praise to him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, for "He hath put a new song into our mouths, even the loving kindness of our God."

The Apostle assures us that, however appropriate, inspiring and refreshing are the songs of our lips, still more appropriate and still more appreciated of the Lord are our heart-songs, the joy and rejoicing of the new nature – "singing and making melody in our hearts unto the Lord." (Eph. 5:19.) And this joy and singing in the heart, this heart-thankfulness to the giver of all good, necessarily finds expression, not only in Christian carols, but also in all the acts and words of life – all of which constitute the hymn of praise and thanksgiving continually ascending before God from his people.

"My life flows on in endless song,
Above earth's lamentation;
I catch the sweet not far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul;
How can I keep from singing!"

We read, "They sang one to another in praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, For he is good, for his mercy endureth forever toward Israel." (Rev. Ver.) This is considered by some to be an indication of the Lord's will respecting Christian worship – that it should be done by choirs instead of by the congregation, and that it should be in the nature of solos and choruses. There can be no doubt whatever that selected and trained choirs can render better music than can the general average of Christians. Nor can we doubt that this would be particularly true of the time mentioned in our lesson, when musical and other education was very deficient, and when the most that the majority of people could do was to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord." But two things in this connection should be kept in mind: –

(1) That so far as the Christian Church is concerned, the Lord has left her entirely without restrictions in such matters – to praise the Lord with heart and voice, according to her love and zeal and judgment. It is not, therefore, for one to judge another respecting the use of his love, zeal and judgment in offering the Lord worship in songs of praise, whether with instrumental accompaniment or without: it is for each individual and each church to exercise the liberty which the Lord has granted. However, we do urge that all remember that it is not the excellence of our music that will make it acceptable to our Lord. For we may well suppose that the harmonies of the heavenly choirs quite outmeasure the best efforts of earthly choirs, and hence could not hope that the Lord will receive our songs of praise because of their intrinsic merit. Their acceptance at all will be because they are expressions of the heart sentiments; and this being true all who have heart sentiments of thankfulness and gratitude should be encouraged to make "a joyful noise unto the Lord," as acceptable and pleasing to him through the merit of our Redeemer.

"Let all his children sing
Glad songs of praise to God!
The children of the heavenly King
Should tell their joys abroad."

(2) It should be remembered that fleshly Israel was typical, and that their priests and Levites, selected for the offering of sacrifice and for the offering of praise, typified the Church, the "royal priesthood," and household of faith. We are to remember, too, that their songs of praise typified the songs and melodies of our hearts. From this standpoint we see that the setting apart of a special choir of Levites for praise would not be in any sense of the word a sanction or command for the selection of trained choirs, separate and distinct from the congregation of the Lord's people: indeed, it would quite contradict the common practice of hiring unbelievers to do church singing. None can offer acceptable praise to God except those who are of the priestly tribe, – "the household of faith."

Amongst those who were present at the laying of the foundation stone at the rebuilding of the Temple were some who probably as small children could dimly recollect the glorious Temple of Solomon, and who now, returning from seventy years' captivity, were eighty or more years old. These wept as they contrasted the glorious things of the past with the small beginnings before them. Doubtless there was a great contrast, and yet quite probably distance and childhood's eyes lent an enchanted glory to their recollection of the former things. But their cries were drowned with the rejoicing of hope, and this was well. So with Christians [R2511 : page 203] who have gotten free from Babylon, and who are seeking by the Lord's grace to build their faith again on the old foundation laid by Christ and the apostles at the beginning of this age – they are apt to think backward to the blessings and privileges of the early Church, and to weep and sigh for those by-gone blessings. It is well that we should highly esteem the favors of God manifested in the primitive Church, its simplicity of worship and purity of faith and apostolic privileges, to the intent that these may stand before our minds as ideals in the work of reconstructing our faith and hope and love upon the old foundation; but it would be quite improper for us to give way to weeping at such moments; [R2512 : page 203] rather should the necessities and exigencies of our time lead us to energy and the thought of divine favor in our deliverance from Babylon, lead us to rejoice and to sing the new song which the Lord has put into our mouths, even his loving kindness.

"The people of the land" were of mixed nationality, placed as colonists in that portion of the country of Palestine previously occupied by the ten tribes. This colonizing of mixed peoples was in pursuance of the general policy of the Assyrian and Chaldean empires, of removing captives from their native soil to new homes, thus breaking the ties of the fatherland, destroying patriotic feelings, that by these means the sympathies and interests of the people might be the more readily attracted to and united with the one central government at Babylon.

These "people of the land" (subsequently known as Samaritans) were disposed to be friendly to the returned Israelites, and proffered their aid in the building of the Temple, but their assistance was refused, the Israelites realizing that if these "strangers" were permitted to share in the work of constructing the Temple they could with propriety claim a share also in the character of the worship which would be established therein, and they foresaw that it would open the door to laxity in religious matters, and perhaps to the old idolatry, on account of which the Lord had so severely chastised them. Their course in this matter has been freely criticised as "narrow" and ungenerous, by those who have not rightly appreciated the situation. We are to remember that God's covenants were exclusively to the seed of Abraham, and not to other peoples, who were known as Gentiles.

As an illustration of this exclusiveness, and a proof of its propriety, we note the fact that our Lord did not preach to others than the seed of Abraham, saying to his disciples, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." And of himself he said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." – Matt. 10:5; 15:24.

It would be well for those of Spiritual Israel who are now returning from captivity in the various provinces of "Babylon the Great" to remember this lesson. They find mixed peoples ready to express more or less of sympathy with them, and to offer more or less of cooperation in the reestablishment of the true worship of God in its primitive simplicity. The natural inclination would be to accept such proffered assistance, and to call every such assistant a "brother," and to accept and use not only the labor but the gold proffered, regardless of the fact that it comes not from true Israelites. Indeed, the general tendency of our time is not only to be willing to accept the money and other aid of worldly people in the Lord's service, but to beg for it, and to scheme to get it by every device conceivable, – fairs, suppers, subscriptions, collections, etc., etc. The tendency in every case must be to bring in a foreign and unsanctified influence, and to do great injury to the true Israelites. This indeed may be said to be one of the chief troubles with nominal Protestantism to-day. Zion is full of "strange children," and their voice and influence predominate in the business affairs of the churches, in the doctrines, etc., etc. The true Israelites in comparison are but as a little flock of sheep amongst many goats and some wolves.

When "the people of the land" found that their money and services were not acceptable, and that they could have neither part nor lot in the construction of the Lord's house, it offended them and made them enemies; and from that time onward they persistently opposed the work of the Israelites. So it will be with Spiritual Israel; those who conscientiously live separate from the world in spiritual matters, and recognize as brethren in Christ only those who confess to circumcision of the heart and adoption into God's family, will find themselves opposed by moralists, liberalists and higher critics, as well as by the masses, who hate the light, because it condemns their darkness – doctrinal and otherwise. Nevertheless, this is the only good and safe course to pursue. Better far is it that only true Israelites should be recognized as brethren, and thus the wheat be separated from the tares.

Some one has well said: – "The Christian in the world is like a ship in the ocean. The ship is safe in the ocean so long as the ocean is not in the ship." One of the great difficulties with Christianity to-day is that it has admitted the strangers, the "people of the land," and recognized them as Christians. It does injury, not only to the Christians, by lowering their standards (for the average will be considered the standard), but it also injures the "strangers," by causing many of them to believe themselves thoroughly safe, and needing no conversion, because they are outwardly respectable, and perhaps frequently attendants at public worship. It [R2512 : page 204] lowers the standard of doctrine also, because the minister who realizes that at least three-fourths of his congregation would be repelled by the presentation of strong meat of truth, withholds the same, and permits those who need the strong meat, and could appreciate and use it to advantage, to grow weak, to starve. Furthermore, the worldly spirit and the fuller treasury have attracted "strangers" into the professed ministry of the Gospel, many of whom know not the Lord, neither his Word, and who consequently are thoroughly unprepared to feed the true sheep, were they ever so well disposed.

The lesson in connection with the building of the Temple, the Lord's Church, "which temple ye are," is that worldly persons, worldly methods and worldly aid and wisdom are to be rejected. As all the living stones are to be polished, fitted and prepared under the eye and direction of the great master-builder, the Lord, so all the servants, all the ministers of the truth, engaging in this work, are to be, so far as we have to do with the matter, such only as manifest a circumcision of heart, and thus show themselves to be Israelites indeed. Much and serious has been the injury done to the Lord's cause by the selection of workmen whose chief recommendation has been that they had some ability as public speakers, a good address. Rather let us remember that none may engage in this work as true Israelites unless they be in full accord with the Master-builder, and by their ability in rightly dividing the Word of truth show themselves to be workmen that need not to be ashamed. – 1 Pet. 2:5,9; 1 Cor. 3:17; 2 Tim. 2:15.

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DESPISE NOT THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS.
ZECH. 4:10. –
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ANY, AS they note the mighty opposition to present truth, and the comparatively few who have ears to hear it, and hearts to obey it, are inclined to discouragement. They are in danger of despising their God-given opportunities as a "day of small things," and hence of letting slip valuable opportunities for service to God and his people. For such the Lord sends a message, saying, – "Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm [make firm] the feeble knees. Say to the timid of heart, Be strong, fear not: Behold your God! Vengeance cometh! the recompense of God. He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped." – Isa. 35:3-5.

Think of the possibilities, remembering that now as in Elijah's day there are probably more than seven thousand Israelites indeed who have not bowed the knee to Baal. But consider the possibilities within reach of the twenty thousand readers of ZION'S WATCH TOWER as follows: –

If each one will interest another one this year, it will mean 40,000 in 1900.

If all have similar zeal and success it would mean 80,000 in 1901; and 160,000 in 1902; and 320,000 in 1903; and 640,000 in 1904; and 1,280,000 in 1905.

But suppose that only one in ten of the readers are fully consecrated – their all upon the Lord's altar as "living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God" and doing "their reasonable service," – how then would it show? Thus: –

At present 2,000; in 1900 it would show 4,000; in 1901 it would show 8,000; in 1902 it would show 16,000; in 1903 it would show 32,000; in 1904 it would show 64,000; in 1905 it would show 128,000.

But the average should be more than this. Each of the consecrated, watching and praying and improving every opportunity, and permitting no day to pass without some special witness for the Lord and his truth either by word or pen, should expect to reach more than one each year. If they have not averaged better than this in the past, they should seek and pray for more opportunities and especially for more wisdom to see and to use their opportunities. Let us all make sure that the Master at last can say of us as he said of one of old, – "She hath done what she could." – Mark 14:8.

Never before were there so many possibilities of serving the truth – God's provision for his people.

(1) All the interested may have ZION'S WATCH TOWER regularly free if they cannot afford the moderate subscription price, and will write us to that effect: or they may have it on credit, if they prefer it so; and if they can never pay and will write us to this effect, the debt will be cancelled.

(2) All TOWER readers are supplied, free, all the tracts they can use – for enclosing in their letters, [R2513 : page 204] for distribution on railway trains, at conventions, etc. Millions of tracts are thus circulated annually.

(3) For those who can devote their time to colporteuring the DAWNS and booklets every reasonable arrangement is made; and about fifty brethren and sisters are giving their time and strength in this way.

(4) For others who cannot thus "minister," the Lord has opened a new department of "Volunteers" for Sunday service in the free circulation of the "meat in due season" represented in the booklet, The Bible vs. Evolution. Many have taken hold of this opportunity, and at present we are unable to meet the demand as promptly as we would like. We know not [R2513 : page 205] what results the reaping will show, but are sure that the "reapers" are being blest and strengthened by their service.

(5) Opportunity to secure the DAWNS, etc., at extremely low rates for loaning to neighbors and friends.

Evidences multiply that all those facilities for service are at a most opportune time: when the fall of Babylon from steadfastness on even the first principles of the doctrines of Christ is awakening the Lord's people and calling them to come out of her; and when they need the helping hands of true "brethren" to guide them into the light of truth now shining. For we firmly believe that all in Babylon must come out of her, if they would be of the Bride class; and that none of the "brethren" who will be amongst the "overcomers" will be left in "darkness." – See 1 Thes. 5:2-5; Rev. 3:18-22; 13:14-16; 20:4.

"Lord, increase our faith!" If we believe that we are in the "harvest" time of this age, and that the "harvest" work is in progress, and we participators in it, let us believe also that the great Chief Reaper is thoroughly able to use us as well as to bless us in his service; and let none look at clouds and discouragements, but let each do with his might what his hands find to do, with the eye of faith "looking unto Jesus," our Captain, and determined that, whether or not he shall be able to bring many unto the Kingdom, the King shall at least have evidence of his love and zeal and effort so to do.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

Question. – Are not present conditions less favorable to the performance of the injunctions of Eph. 4:28, and 2 Cor. 12:15, than were the conditions at the time the Apostle wrote? Is not the labor market more glutted now than then?

Answer. – No doubt circumstances and conditions varied in the Apostle's day as they do now, but we have no reason from history to suppose that the average working man of that time was more favorably situated in wages, opportunities for labor, etc., than at present. Indeed, it is very doubtful if labor was at any time in the past as well housed, as well clothed, and generally comfortable, as at the present time. This does not mean that we consider the laboring class too well cared for at the present time – nor that we think their condition all that could be desired. Gladly would we improve, if we could, the general conditions of labor. It is well, however, that we should not cultivate in ourselves or in each other a spirit of discontent, which can do no good, but is likely to work injury; and to this end it is well that we should not deceive ourselves or others into thinking our load unendurable or harder than that of other days, when it is really better by a very great deal.

Question. – In a family of seven, when all the incomes foot up an average of $1 per day for working days, how would it be possible, after providing food, clothing, rent and fuel, to put by anything or to give away anything?

Answer. – If you mean that the total income of seven persons is only $1 a day, $6 a week, we admit that it is small, and that it would require extraordinary economy to "provide things decent." But permit a kindly suggestion, dear brother, that there should be no family of seven persons at the present time unable to earn more than $6 per week – unless through some accident, some misfortune. A man who cannot earn more than a dollar a day ought to consider very earnestly the question whether or not he could afford to get married, and assume the responsibilities of a father, and any woman asked to become a wife should give earnest thought to the financial side of the problem before accepting such an invitation. Circumstances and prospects may have been more favorable at the time of marriage, but so soon as such circumstances became unfavorable the propagation of a family, for which only an unsatisfactory provision could be made, should not have continued – continence, self-denial, should be practiced by Christians under such circumstances, and be considered not merely a "virtue," but a "duty." Nor should they unduly bemoan their lot, but on the contrary remember what the Scriptures so clearly set forth – that the heavenly Father knoweth what things his children have need of. By cheerfully seeking to conform to the proper necessities of the case, and accepting such as divine providences in the case of the consecrated, a great blessing may result, for, as the Apostle declares, "All things work together for good to them that love God – to the called ones according to his purpose."

Question. – Under such circumstances, how is the father to follow the Scriptural injunction to lay up for his children? Did Mary make provision for her son Jesus? Did not the son make provision for the parent?

Answer. – "How just are God's commands,

How wise his precepts are!"

Scriptural injunctions we may understand to be applicable only so far as it is possible for us to follow them. If we find it impossible to lay by anything, we may consider ourselves excused from this provision or advice. But our effort should be to follow the Scriptural injunction, if it should only be to lay aside one [R2513 : page 206] or two or five cents out of each day's earnings. The Lord should at least see our effort to follow his instructions, and we would surely have a blessing in such endeavors.

We do not understand the Apostle to mean that aged parents should slave themselves to provide for grown and healthy children. While the offspring are children their future welfare should be provided for by reasonable education, etc., and when such children are grown, they should take pleasure in caring for their aged parents. Mary was probably at least fifty-five years of age when Jesus, having evidently cared for her himself, committed her at his death to the care of John. And the Apostle shows that his thoughts on the subject were in full harmony with this, for, when speaking of widows, he says, "If any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home [by caring for their dependent relatives], and to requite their parents: for this is good and acceptable before God." – 1 Tim. 5:4.

Question. – Is there not in the Scriptures quoted a cold business tone, indicating that man's wisdom had more to do with them than the spirit of the Lord, who so tenderly spoke of the Father's care and love, and who must have known to what straits many of his people would be brought in taking up his cross and following on, and the separation from worldly ways and means of obtaining a living – clubs, labor unions, church unions, etc., in harmony with the injunction, "Come out from among them and be ye separate"?

Answer. – No, dear brother; we are to consider that the same holy spirit guided in all the writings of the apostles, and that God's Word is not yea and nay. Surely no Scripture writer more prominently or more fully set forth the Lord's love and care for his people, and the necessity for full separation from the world, than did the Apostle Paul who wrote the Scriptures which you criticise.

On the other hand, we are to realize that the circumstances in which we are placed have not come to us by accident, but, according to the Scriptures, have come to us under direct supervision of God, – if we are his consecrated people. Consequently, instead of repining, rebelling and bemoaning, we are to accept the Lord's provision as being the best for us, as "new creatures," according to his divine wisdom. We are to seek to do as nearly as he has directed us as lies within our power, and the remainder entirely beyond our power we should take to the Lord in prayer, asking increase of wisdom, increase of grace, increase of strength, to know and to do his will more and more perfectly for the future, and whatever may have been our errors in the past, our loving Father has made abundant provision in Christ for our forgiveness and aid. And doubtless God's reason for permitting some of our experiences is that we may learn just such lessons necessary to the shaping and moulding of our characters into most perfect harmony with the divine pattern, our Lord Jesus.

Question. – In the Old Testament we read, "Trust in the Lord and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed." I would like to know whether or not this and similar Old Testament expressions are applicable to the called-out ones of this Gospel age, or were they merely applicable to the Jewish age, when, according to the Law Covenant, God gave temporal rewards for obedience?

Answer. – As heretofore pointed out, the promises to fleshly Israel were temporal and, as you suggest, guaranteed temporal prosperity as a reward for obedience. But are the promises to the Lord's faithful ones of this Gospel age smaller or less precious, because they do not guarantee riches and friends and freedom from blight and drouth? May we not realize that the promises made to us are much more comprehensive, [R2514 : page 206] having the promise of the life which now is, and also of that which is to come? (1 Tim. 4:8.) Is it not still true, and most abundantly emphasized in the New Testament, that "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly"? If all things work together for good to them that love God, we may be sure that if riches or ease or luxury are withheld from us, they are withheld for our blessing, and may rejoice in such evidences of the divine care. Is it not in the New Testament that the Apostle declares, "Godliness with contentment is great gain"? and must not therefore contentment be a possible thing to those who will live godly in this present time, even tho they suffer persecution, and even tho they be not so prosperous in temporal matters as some others?

The lesson of faith, dear brother, is an important one for all to learn and, if we are slow in learning it, we will probably be kept under the necessary experiences that much the longer – because the Father loveth us and seeketh in us this good quality. Faith will not look at any of the divine arrangements as unkind or cold, but will see in them all, and in all of life's experiences, the very blessing most needed, and can sing,

"Content, whatever lot I see,
Since 'tis my God that leadeth me."

Question. – Please consider, briefly, the following Scriptures additional to those recently sent you: – Phil. 4:10,15-17; 1 Cor. 4:14; 2 Cor. 11:8,9; Luke 6:38; 2 Cor. 10:11.

Answer. – These Scriptures seem to be along the same lines as those considered in our last issue, to which we again refer all readers. We consider them in order.

(1) Phil. 4:10,15-17: – This Scripture indicates that the Apostle, who was giving his entire time to the ministry of the Gospel, labored at tent-making or other secular business only when such a course was made necessary in providing things honest in the sight of all men – and rather than be burdensome to any, or even to request assistance. The Apostle here recognizes as the Lord's judgment that any laborer is worthy of his keep, unless he has missed his calling, or is incapacitated. The Apostle did not mistake his calling, and if the Church recognized him as a servant called of the Lord and being used effectively in the [R2514 : page 207] ministry of reconciliation, it then became their privilege to cooperate with him in that ministry by supplying his temporal needs. And in the case of the Church at Philippi it would appear from the Apostle's testimony that they had appreciated and used their opportunities properly and repeatedly. All are not talented for public service of the truth, and whenever one is discovered by the brethren to have special gifts and talents and zeal for the ministry he should be encouraged in that direction, and the others less qualified in these respects should take pleasure in assisting such an one, and thus they would be reckoned as having a share with him in the fruit of their combined labors.

In the Apostle's case there was no room to doubt that his ministry was owned and accepted of the Lord, and that he was an apostle – one specially sent forth, and whose services were specially guided by the Master; and that his entire time was given to the work and was needed for the work.

(2) 1 Cor. 4:14: – The context preceding shows that the Apostle felt considerably hurt that the Church at Corinth, which he himself had established through the preaching of the gospel, had been quickly turned aside by false teachers, who had denied Paul's apostleship. The Church at Corinth had seemingly flourished financially and socially, and suffered little persecution. They were correspondingly unable to rightly sympathize with the Apostle in his active ministry of the truth, and the many hazardous incidents connected therewith. In the context he addresses them rather ironically, saying, "We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised,... and labor, working with our hands." In the 14th versethe Apostle assures his readers that he is not so writing in order to cause them pain and shame, but to awaken them to a proper appreciation of the true situation, to the intent that they might be to a larger extent co-laborers with him – sharers in the sufferings of Christ, that in due time also they might have share in the glory to follow.

(3) 2 Cor. 11:8,9: – These verses show us that the Apostle was careful to avoid the money question in his preaching. He never so much as asked assistance from the Corinthians while he was with them; not that he would have refused to accept assistance if it had been tendered, nor that he considered that it would have been any less than their duty and privilege to have assisted him, but that he had confidence that the Lord would supply his necessities in the best way, and was willing rather to present the Word of God without charge, to the intent that his ministry should be the more impressive, as an exhibition of the fact that he sought not their money but their highest welfare. He assured them of this by letter afterward, explaining to them that others had been more careful to look after his necessities than they, and had a corresponding blessing. The Apostle wrote of the matter subsequently, not because he desired a gift, but because he realized that whoever receives the truth into a good and honest heart and is really benefited by it must partake of its spirit of generosity, and do his share in forwarding the truth, else he will go backward and lose some of the blessing and light already received.

(4) Luke 6:38: – This verse represents the general principle of divine dealing – "The Lord loveth a cheerful giver," and causes his smile and blessing to rest upon such, whereas those who receive the Lord's favor and fail to be exercised by the spirit of benevolence, receive correspondingly less of spiritual blessing.

(5) 2 Cor. 10:11: – This does not signify that if the Apostle wrote them respecting benevolence in money matters he would also preach to them upon this subject. His own expressions clearly indicate that he did not follow this course, and that his writing upon the subject of money-giving was from a standpoint wholly separate from any solicitations on his own account. The context shows that he was reproving some one in the Church who had been walking according to the flesh and not according to the spirit, and his declaration here is that he would speak in the same denunciatory manner if he were present with them.

[R2515 : page 207]

INTERESTING LETTERS.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – At last I managed to get to London to see the brethren, being hindered from an earlier visit. Brother Guard very kindly provided for me whilst there. I found in London both that which cheered and that which made me sad. It may be said that there are three classes; (1) the scattered ones, whom I found generally lacking in interest; (2) a company who meet regularly in the north of London, and who reside chiefly in the West and North. Brother Sheward, as far as I could judge, is the main-stay of this meeting, which is now getting beyond things we understand; and (3) a meeting in Stratford, East London, which meets in Bro. Guard's home and is in full sympathy with the TOWERS and DAWNS. It was with these all my meetings were held. I went on the 8th of June and held meetings the same day, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, Sunday afternoon and evening, and again on Tuesday. [R2514 : page 207]

The day-time I spent looking up the odd ones, and hard work it was. London is such a big place, and some districts ten or more miles apart. I called upon our dear Brother Hart and spent some little time with him, besides seeing him three times at our meetings. Bro. Guard is another dear brother, to all appearances sincerely desirous of pleasing God. He is rather stern in countenance, but very kindly in disposition, and I believe he does his best for the brethren. We had a good time together. Our meetings were attended by forty or more people, all apparently deeply interested. I found their meetings had been, to my mind, rather too open, inasmuch as they allow interruption at any time; indeed, they had taken the form of conversation more than not. As brother Guard has some ability, I counseled him to develop the idea of worship more than they had, and let questions be asked and answered afterwards if need be. Or, in many cases it would be altogether preferable that a newly interested one should be allowed private opportunity rather than a whole [R2514 : page 208] company should be kept waiting whilst every old question is again threshed out.

There is, as you have often said, a tendency, when one is freed from Babylon's bondage, to swing to the other extreme not only in doctrine but ceremonies, and some forget the prime object of meeting together, – worship. I am thankful to God for Bro. Guard and the dear brethren with him.

There was much to encourage one. One feels more than repaid by the hearty words "God bless you!" The brethren generally seemed helped and encouraged by my visit. Perhaps some of this was due to the form of worship we had. I judged the brethren were needing exhortation, and by the grace of God I was enabled to encourage them.

I was unable to get but a short time with Brother Sheward, but I was satisfied with even that. He was courteous, – one could expect that, – but he is developing a cynical trait of character, I am sorry to say. "I suppose you have some difference with Brother R., Brother Sheward?" "Well, yes! a little theoretically, but practically nil." This I found to be quite in error, for the practical difference is as between light and darkness. He could not define his position. On my saying it was negative, he admitted that was so. He denies the "high calling;" does not know what to hope for; neither does he know his position as touching the world, thinking there is probably the same hope for it as for us now. I pointed out to him how that his philosophy left a vacuum; which he also admitted. His chief claim is that none have understood or been "begotten of the spirit" since the apostles' days, that Bro. R. has made a brave attempt at the elucidation of the mystery, but has failed. "Bro. R. has done a great work and is now exhausted, nothing more need be expected from him." Presumably we are to look to Bro. Sheward (seeing he is not exhausted) for any further developments of truth(?).

I should say that Bro. Sheward's theory of a spirit-begotten condition is "an ability to ring up Peter, for instance, and ask his statement as to an interpretation, etc." So we are to come to Spiritism by a new route. What assured him chiefly was that all the company meeting with him were agreed. As I asked for some Scripture for this or that statement, he admitted he could not prove, but claimed that I must disprove. There was not much opportunity for that, he was so busy telling me of his beliefs. Well! I came away quite sad, but assured, nothing could be done while he was in the same mind. To me it is another [R2515 : page 208] case of "the wisdom of this age." What a need for those who have responsibilities to guard themselves well! I did not seek opportunities of interviewing the members of his flock. He invited me to stay over Sunday and listen to them when they had a better opportunity of telling me, but I declined.

It seems as if the truth received into any other than "good ground" (sincere hearts) creates an insatiable desire for new things; and if nothing new be forthcoming, something must be invented.

I will write again shortly after I have given the brethren in Liverpool a call. With kindest good wishes in the Lord, I am, dear brother,

Yours in the Lord,

JESSE HEMERY, – England.
page 208

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Your esteemed favor of the 28th was joyfully received, because you say in it you expect to be able to send to us again Brother Draper about Oct. 1st. I feel especially pleased over the prospect, and I have good reasons to believe others feel the same. He seems to possess the faculty of stirring up, and waking up, those who have the harness on, as well as comforting and strengthening those that are feeble and halting to press on and entirely forsake the old way which in almost every case is more or less the way of Babylon. I have great reasons to rejoice and be glad and thankful every day for God's loving kindness which, when seen in its purity and grandeur, more than offsets the tribulations, trials and sorrows that surround us on all sides. But it makes me greatly ashamed of the complaining spirit that has heretofore often possessed me. I greatly desire to be separate from every defiling thing and to be clean in thought and desire as well as in person; and I freely acknowledge that your writings have opened to my view the precious, loving character of the Almighty, and of our dear Master, as no other light ever did, and have greatly encouraged me to accept the invitation to freely partake of the bountiful feast of fat things, so wonderfully brought to our view by your pen. Oh how gladly and thankfully I partake of them, and what a longing desire it has created in me to do something useful in return for these great benefits!

I will enclose a small remittance to you, not small when compared with my income, but small compared to what I would like to make it. Desiring for your complete success as heir with Christ to the Kingdom, and with Christian love to all the Church, I am,

Your brother in Him,

A. B. PERINE, – Kansas.

BELOVED BROTHER IN CHRIST: – It is after 11 P.M., but I must drop you a note before retiring, in reference to the meetings of Brother McPhail, the last one of which was held in Philadelphia this evening. To say we have been blessed is putting it too mildly. I believe we will all be better men and women in the Lord for what we have received of our heavenly Father through the instrumentality of this dear brother. He addressed one meeting Friday, two Saturday, and three to-day, and all the meetings were well attended, especially to-day's. Friends were here from Wilmington, West Chester, Chadd's Ford, Lansdale, Doylestown, Newport, Camden and Scranton.

During the entire series of meetings a beautiful spirit of love was in evidence. Everyone seemed to enter heartily into the spirit of the discourse, which can truly be said to have been in the demonstration of the spirit and in power. I believe I can safely say that the past three days have been the most momentous in the experience of the brethren in this city. We feel very thankful, dear Brother, that when Bro. McPhail's route was laid out the brethren in Philadelphia were remembered.

The Lord has blest us greatly of late, and I think the Philadelphia Church is in an excellent condition spiritually – there is love, unity, and peace, as well as a deepening confidence in God's ability to make all things work together for our good. Excuse the haste in which this is written. With Christian love to you,

Yours,

BENJAMIN H. BARTON, – Philadelphia.

page 209
August 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.AUGUST 15, 1899.No. 16.
SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER ISSUES
Will Be Millennial Dawn, Volume V.
CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower 211
The Peace Conference Failure 211
Presbyterianism in Scotland 212
Conventions – Boston and St. Louis 212
Poem: The Only Begotten 213
"Unto the Pure all Things are Pure" 214
Some Antidotes for Heart Impurity 215
"Give to Every Man that Asketh" 217
"I, if I be Lifted up, will Draw all Men" 218
Encouraging the Temple Builders 219
"My Grace is Sufficient for Thee" 221
An Interesting Letter 224

'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 210

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

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

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

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Those of the interested who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or 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 continually.

THE AT-ONE-MENT
BETWEEN
GOD AND MAN.

MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. V.

We have pleasure in announcing that Volume V. of MILLENNIAL DAWN series is now on the press. It will (D.V.) be sent to all paid up subscribers to ZION'S WATCH TOWER (including those who have requested credit for the year, and those who are receiving it free as the Lord's poor) – as September 1st and 15th, and October 1st and 15th issues of this journal. There will be no other issues for the four dates named. If you do not receive a copy before Sept. 30th it will not be our fault. If your account differs from ours be sure to let us know all particulars. Notice the tag on the wrapper. Jun. 9 means that your subscription is settled for only to and including June, 1899 – that you are in arrears. Dec. 9 means that your subscription is settled for, up to the end of the year and should be renewed in December or written about.

This volume will, we believe, furnish an abundance of spiritual food for the two months (September and October). It should be thoroughly masticated, that it may be well digested and give strength to head and heart and hand. It is our prayer and hope that it may be a great blessing to the readers of this journal; and that through them as fellow servants of our one Lord and Master it may honor him and bless many.

[R2515 : page 211]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

THE PEACE CONFERENCE FAILURE.

CZAR NICHOLAS II. was no doubt greatly disappointed with the barren result of his recent Peace Conference. Called specially to induce a general disarmament on the part of civilized nations and for the institution of national courts of arbitration, the convention may be said to have failed utterly, in that the question of disarmament was totally rejected by Germany and therefore of necessity by her neighbors. The German emperor evidently realized that the disbandment of his great army would not only leave him with less power, but would throw another million able-bodied men upon Germany's labor market seeking employment, further depressing wages and precipitating a panic and anarchy. He did the wisest thing for the present: but no human wisdom can long avert the impending time of trouble when there shall be no hire for man nor hire for beast, and no peace to him that goeth out nor to him that cometh in, because every man's hand shall be against (in competition with) his neighbor. (Zech. 8:10.) The growth of intelligence is being fostered by the schooling connected with these standing armies, and labor-saving machinery is fast bringing these to the place where their increased intelligence will make them the more discontented and the less willing to step backward into serfdom at the command of giant Trusts.

Of the twenty-seven nations represented at the Conference, sixteen agreed to favor and to seek to promote arbitration in settlement of national disputes, and about as many agreed to certain modifications of cruelties of war, which they evidently do not hope are ended. How evident it is that not humanity and not councils, but God who shall "speak peace to the Gentiles [the nations]." – Zech. 9:10.

And his voice commanding "Peace" will be in a very different tone from what is generally expected. – In tones that will shake not only the earth [social structure] but also the heavens [the ecclesiastical structure], he shall, by that awful time of anarchy when all the selfish passions of mankind shall be let loose, say – "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the Gentiles, I will be exalted in the earth." – Psa. 46:8-10.

"KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED" – AND "THERE SHALL BE A TIME OF TROUBLE SUCH AS WAS NOT SINCE THERE WAS A NATION."

Another illustration of the fact that the impending trouble is being hastened and not hindered by education, comes to our knowledge. The security of the past was due, less to the fact that men were better in olden times than now, than to the fact that general intelligence being less men did not so well know how to do evil. A general increase of knowledge not accompanied by a conversion to righteousness and subjugation to the law of Love is dangerous at the present time. The time for such general enlightenment will come safely when the Kingdom of the Lord has been established and when its iron rule will hold in check the evilly-disposed, and teach them lessons of swift retribution.

The illustration of this subject is again in Russia, where, as noted a short time ago, the privileges of high-school and college education were greatly restricted by government authority. Now we clip the following respecting the unrest of the educated classes in Russia from the London Spectator:

"The signs of unrest in Russia multiply. Apart from the local insurrections caused by the prevailing [R2515 : page 212] scarcity, which in some places, notably Kazan, are serious, there are the artisan troubles which we noticed last week; and now the University students are in mutiny. Their real grievance is the brutality with which every expression of their feelings is suppressed by the Cossack police, who strike them with their whips, arrest, and otherwise maltreat them. The students have combined to protest against this treatment, and between their strikes and expulsions thirty thousand young men have left the universities, whose doors are closed in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kieff, Kharkoff, Odessa, Kazan, Tomsk and Warsaw. The female students will, it is stated, follow the example of the men, and are much more dangerous, as they at once become revolutionaries. Indeed, there would seem from some documents published to be small revolutionary parties embedded in the movement. As each student has many families interested in his success, the matter is a serious one for the government, which once again finds itself in collision with the whole educated class. Nothing will, or can, happen in Russia until the military class is discontented, or the Empire finds a reforming Czar, but no government likes to feel itself hated by the class, from which, after all, it must draw all its own agents. There is, however, no remedy to be perceived, except through the Emperor, and Nicholas II., tho he wishes thoroughly well to his people, has no strength of initiative."

PRESBYTERIANISM IN SCOTLAND.

The claim is often set forth that Presbyterianism is drifting from its ancient moorings: and we regard this as having both a favorable and unfavorable aspect. It is favorable to the intelligence and heart of these people to find increasingly large numbers of them unwilling to admit the unreasonable side of the doctrine of election – that God predestinated the torture of hundreds of millions of his creatures before their creation and made provision for it by the creation of a vast torture-chamber called "hell" and the preparation of vast quantities of fuel for their torture. It is unfavorable when we find them drifting toward infidelity – the rejection of Christ's redemptive work and the gospel set forth in the Bible – under the influence of a Higher Criticism and Evolution doctrine. And it appears that this movement is not confined to this country. An evidently well informed writer in the N.Y. Tribune says of this progress in Scotland, –

"Professor Briggs would not have been molested in the church founded by John Knox. On the contrary, he would have found in it scholars and thinkers like-minded with himself. Open-mindedness is the characteristic of the Scottish church. Implicitly, if not explicitly, truth is the first article of its creed, and all the other dogmatic articles of its creed are interpreted in the light of the truth. It is true the biblical scholars and theologians of Scotland are more conservative than those of Germany. But, for all that, some of them would have as hard a time in the American Presbyterian church as Professor Briggs had. Nor is that all. A ritualistic tendency has grown up in the Scottish church that has for its object the restoration of some liturgical and ceremonial features that were discarded at the Reformation. This movement meets with a sympathetic response from the people in the larger towns, and bids fair to revolutionize the church. Only in the remote country districts will one find the typical Presbyterians of the old days, and as they die there are none to take their places. Thus, in spite of its strong government and its uncompromising creed, Scottish Presbyterianism finds itself moving along in the stream of tendency. [R2516 : page 212]

"But most remarkable of all is the drift away from the severe conception of life and religion that characterized the Scottish reformers. During the last few years there has been a noteworthy change of sentiment in regard to the observance of the Sabbath. Not long ago Principal Story, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Scottish church, preached a sermon on Sabbath observance in Edinburgh. In this sermon he made a strong plea for a less rigid observance of the day, and especially for the opening of clubs, public gardens, museums, art galleries and libraries."

If all the "old fashioned" Christians are dying out of the Presbyterian Church and few or none of this class now being developed, and if this church is a fair sample of all churches, what can we expect? Just what the Master implied when speaking of the present time he said, "When the Son of Man cometh shall he find the faith on the earth?" – Luke 18:8.

It is the errors in the creeds of all churches that are causing the overthrow of the truths which they all hold, and which the errors discredit. Let all who have the true light now shining be zealous to lend a helping hand to these dear brethren – especially to the "old fashioned" ones.

[R2516 : page 212] BELIEVERS' CONVENTIONS – BOSTON AND ST. LOUIS.

TWO MORE Believers' Conventions are called under the auspices of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, as follows: –

At Boston, Mass., commencing Friday, Sept. 22d, at ten o'clock A.M., and lasting three days.

At St. Louis, Mo., commencing Friday, Oct. 6th, at ten o'clock A.M., and lasting three days.

At this writing we are unable to give full particulars respecting the program and speakers, except that the Editor of this journal will probably speak each afternoon, and that Pilgrim McPhail is expected to take part in the Boston Convention, while Pilgrims Draper, Willis and Ransom may be expected at St. Louis. The hours for meetings will be the same for both conventions; viz.,

Friday, 10 A.M., opening "rally" led by representatives [R2516 : page 213] of the home churches whose guests we will be, and who promise us a warm welcome. At 2 P.M., a Testimony Meeting. At 3 P.M., a discourse. At 7 P.M., a Testimony Meeting. At 8 P.M., a discourse.

Saturday, 9 A.M., a Testimony Meeting; at 10:30 A.M., a discourse; at 2:30 P.M., a discourse on Baptism, its import and its symbol, – with opportunities offered for its symbolization by any who may so desire. At 7 P.M., a Praise Meeting; at 7:45 P.M., a discourse illustrated by a large Chart of the Ages.

Sunday, at 9 A.M., a Prayer and Testimony Meeting; at 10:30 A.M., a discourse illustrated by the Chart of the Ages; at 2 P.M., Praise Service; at 3 P.M., a discourse; at 7:30 P.M., several speakers, subject, Preserving the Unity of the Spirit in the Bonds of Peace.

All Christians who trust in the precious blood of Christ for justification are cordially invited to convene with us for the study of our Father's Word; – and especially such of these as have made or desire to make full consecration of their justified selves to the service of the Father through the merit and mediation of our Redeemer-King.

RAILROAD RATES, ETC.

The Boston Convention is timed so as to give us the advantage of the "Congregational Convention," held at the same time. Special tickets should be inquired for at once, that the Railroad agents may have them on hand at proper time. These special tickets will cost full fare going; and will have an agreement attached, pledging the Ry. to sell a return ticket for one-third of full fare for return journey. Thus the round trip rates will be two-thirds of the usual. Get full particulars of your ticket agent.

The St. Louis Convention is timed to take advantage of the low rates granted to the "St. Louis Fair," viz., one fare for the round trip. These tickets will be on sale Oct. 2d to 7th and will be good for return until Oct. 10th. Remember that our Convention date there is 6th to 8th.

ACCOMMODATIONS, ETC.

Good, comfortable, clean accommodations will be arranged for at the rate of one dollar per day – board and lodging, – two in a bed (fifty cents extra where separate bed is insisted on). WATCH TOWER subscribers too poor to pay these moderate charges will be provided for, if they will request entertainment as "the Lord's poor."

DECIDE AT ONCE AND, IF COMING, NOTIFY US.

This will be the only notification of these Conventions, as there will be no other issue of this journal in this form until Nov. 1, the special issue (DAWN, VOL. V.) taking the place of the Sept. and Oct. issues.

Therefore, decide as quickly as possible whether or not you will attend either of these Conventions. If your decision is to go, write to the Watch Tower Office, heading your letter with the word Convention. Tell us how many there will be of your party – males and females – and whether you desire us to secure $1. a day accommodations for you, or whether you desire provision as the Lord's poor, as above. Also state by what railway you will come and, if possible, the hour of your arrival. So far as possible there will be a Reception Committee to take charge of all comers at trains; and they may be known by their displaying a copy of MILLENNIAL DAWN or the WATCH TOWER. But more than this, your letter will be so answered as to give you full information how to find the lodging and meeting places.

Dear Brethren and Sisters, let all who attend these Conventions go to them full of earnest desire to get good, and so far as possible to do good to others; – full of the spirit of loving devotion and prayer. All such will surely experience a great blessing – a feast of fat things, in fellowship with our Lord and his brethren.

[R2519 : page 213]

THE ONLY BEGOTTEN.

From far in the great aions of eternity,
From space unlimited, unmeasured by the steps
Of worlds, from silence broken only by the voice
Of him, the Self-Existent One, whose skilful word
Created him,* came forth the glorious Son of God.

(O sacred moment! which with shaded eyes we dare
With holy boldness to approach; not with a vain
Desire to see and know what God has hid, but drawn
Thereto by that blest Spirit which in reverence
Delights to search the deep and precious things revealed.+)

O glad Beginning of Creation's early morn!
O glorious Finish of Creation's noon and night!
O blessed Son, begotten of the Father's speech,
Thou Only Well-belov'd, in whom all fulness dwells!
Silence and space alone were found to worship thee!

But deep within the counsels of th' Eternal One
Lay countless hosts whose praise should celebrate the Son;
And to the Son was giv'n prerogative++ to call
Them to existence, in abodes of him prepared,
And crown with happiness each creature in its sphere.

Rich in insignias of his high rank, he still
Delighted in the emblems of humility;
And wore upon his heart the gem obedience,
And clothed his arm with zeal, his feet with haste, to do
The holy will of Him who loved and cherished him.

[R2519 : page 214]
And now reigns silence, solemn, still, as that which on
His natal day received him; for the angels watch,
With awe constrained, while he divests himself of all
His wealth and glory, and becomes a babe; then loud
Hosannas sing, "On earth be peace, good will to men!"

And lovingly they watch him as the perfect man's
Estate he magnifies with like obedience,
Unflinching loyalty and firm humility;
Till, daunted not by Calv'ry's cross and shame, he gives
His life – a ransom for a helpless, dying race.

That awful day the darkened sun and quaking earth
Creation's anguish voiced; but One yet reigned supreme,
Who loved him with the power of infinity,
And in His master-hand the mighty issues held –
The matchless Son had won the title to a throne!

What throne? Could all the boundless universe produce
A worthy coronet for his escutcheon which
Nor honor, glory, shame nor death could mar? Behold,
The heav'nly myriads worship, while the Father crowns
The risen Son – divine,* immortal,+ Lord of all.++

O hail, Immanuel! Prince of life and glory, hail!
Let earth with heaven unite in adoration, praise,
Thanksgiving to thy God, whose attributes thou hast
Exalted, and to thee, whose love and sacrifice
Constrain a race redeemed to endless gratitude!
– R. B. HENNINGES.
*Heb. 1:3Diaglott. +John 5:26. ++Rom. 14:9.

[R2516 : page 214]

"UNTO THE PURE ALL THINGS ARE PURE."

"Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unfaithful nothing is pure; but both their mind and conscience are defiled: they profess to have known God, but by their works they renounce him, being abominable and disobedient, and to every good work worthless." – Tit. 1:15,16.
N
OT SINNERS, not the worldly, are thus spoken of by the Apostle, but those who have enjoyed the truth, and who have enjoyed at least the first step in heart-purification, namely, justification; and whose hearts have become defiled through a failure to maintain in them the law of love as the ruling principle. Instead of being filled with love, selfishness, with its defilement, has been received back as the ruling principle of the heart. Such have the spirit of the world, and sometimes exercise it with a much greater degree of animosity than the world exhibits. They are specially ready, as the Apostle intimates, to impugn the conduct and motives of others: being selfish themselves, they attribute selfishness to everyone else: being impure themselves, they attribute impurity to others: having lost the spirit of love which thinketh no evil, their hearts rapidly fill up with selfish, envious, uncharitable, ungodly, unkind sentiments, toward those who are true, sincere and noble.

We have known such to go even to the extreme of impugning the motives of the great Jehovah and our Lord Jesus Christ. Unable to think of love and benevolence as motives for conduct, and accustomed in their own hearts to think merely of selfishness and personal aggrandizement as motives, they view the divine course from this standpoint, and esteem that God was moved by pride to recover man from sin and death, or by vanity, to show what he could do. They claim that our Lord Jesus was moved by selfish motives, of self-gratification, honor, increase of power, in becoming our Redeemer. They think of the loyalty of the angels from a selfish standpoint, as in hope of advancement, or in fear of punishment. Who can bring a clean thought out of an unclean heart? Who can expect benevolence, generous feelings, sentiments or words, except hypocritically, from a heart in which selfishness has the control? Who would expect generous considerations in a mind full of envy and self-seeking?

The Apostle suggests of such that not only their minds become corrupted, but also their conscience; so that they will do evil, speak evil, think evil, and yet their consciences do not reprove them; because their consciences and minds work in harmony, and, as the Scriptures declare, they become blinded, self-deceived. What a terrible condition this is, and how careful all of the Lord's people should be, not only to have pure hearts, pure minds, but also to keep their consciences very tender, in close accord with the word of the Lord. This condition can only be maintained by judging ourselves, and that strictly and frequently, by the standard which God has given us, his law of Love. [R2517 : page 214]

"I want the first approach to feel
Of pride or fond desire;
To catch the wandering of my will,
And quench the kindling fire."

As the Apostle points out, those whose minds become impure, poisoned by ambition or pride or selfishness, the spirit of evil, profess to have known God they are apt to profess as loudly as ever, sometimes, indeed, becoming boastful of how much they know of God, and of his Word, and of how wise they are as respects its interpretation. Not by boasting or professions, therefore, can we always judge who are of the pure minds and of good consciences, and in full harmony with the Lord. Rather by their fruits we shall know them, as the Master said – by their works, as the Apostle here points out. If any profess to know God, and yet by their works renounce him, we are fully justified in questioning whether or not they may not be self-deceived, whether or not their consciences, [R2517 : page 215] as well as their minds, may not have become defiled.

To renounce the Lord in our works, does not necessarily mean a resort to murder, robbery, licentiousness, etc. It means rather, in the beginning at least, that from the hitherto good fountain of a cleansed or renewed heart or will, from which issued purity, truth, sweetness, kindness, encouragement and refreshment for all who drank of its waters, in the home and family and neighborhood and amongst the Lord's people, would issue instead bitter waters, producing bitter feelings, watering and nourishing roots of bitterness, stirring up malice, envy, hatred, strife, etc. No wonder the Apostle says of such that they are abominable! All who have the spirit of the Lord must abominate the spirit of evil, however surprised and grieved they may be to find it issuing from one who previously gave forth sweetness, love, kindness, good works.

As the Master declared, if the professedly sweet fountain sends forth bitter waters, we may know that there is something wrong, something defiling, in the fountain, and are not to deceive ourselves respecting its waters, and to partake of its bitterness.

Commenting along the same line the Apostle James declares, "If any man among you seemeth to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, that man's religion is vain." Because the tongue is the index of the heart, because "out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh," therefore the unbridled tongue speaking selfishly, enviously, bitterly, boastfully, slanderously, proves that the heart from whose fullness these overflow is unsanctified, unholy, grievously lacking of the spirit of Christ, – hence, whatever religion it may have attained is thus far vain, as that heart is not saved nor in a salvable condition. No wonder the Apostle comments in our text, that such are "disobedient:" only by disobedience to the law of the New Covenant, Love, could anyone reach such a condition of heart and conscience defilement, after he had been purified through faith in the precious blood, and consecrated to the Lord.

The final statement of our text is that such an one, having lost the spirit of the truth, and having obtained instead a spirit of bitterness, rancor, evil, having a poisoned or defiled mind and conscience, is "to every good work worthless." No matter what work such an one might undertake to do, it would surely be spoiled, because the spirit of evil, the spirit of pride, the spirit of selfishness, the spirit of malice and envy, are so violently in opposition to every feature of righteousness and goodness and truth and love, that there can be no peace, no cooperation between them. And this reminds us of our Lord's words, to the effect that those who are his people and who have his spirit, are "the salt of the earth," – preservative, so long as they have this spirit; but, as he suggests, if the salt lose its saltness – if the Christian lose those peculiar features of the spirit of Christ which constitute him different from the world, separate from the world, and a salting or preservative quality in the world – if he should lose these, what? – he would be worthless as bad salt, "to every good work worthless." – Tit. 1:16.

What course should be pursued by those who find themselves possessed of impure minds, – minds inclined to surmise evil rather than good, envious minds, selfish, resentful, bitter, unforgiving, minds which love only those that love and flatter them? Is there any hope for these? Would God not utterly reject such?

God is very pitiful; and it was while all were thus "in the very gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity" that he provided for our redemption. There is hope for all such who see their defilement and who desire to be cleansed.

"His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood avails for me."

But true repentance means both contrition and reformation: and for help in the latter we must go to the Great Physician who alone can cure such moral sickness; and of whom it is written, "Who healeth all thy diseases." All of his sanctified ones, it is safe to say, were at one time more or less diseased thus, and proportionately "worthless" for his service. True, it is worse for those who were once cleansed, if they "like the sow return to the wallowing in the mire" of sin, – but still there is hope, if the Good Physician's medicine be taken persistently the same as at first. The danger is that the conscience, becoming defiled, will so pervert the judgment that bitterness is esteemed to be sweetness, and envy and malice to be justice and duty, and the "mire" of sin to be beauty of holiness. Then only is the case practically a hopeless one.

SOME OF THE GOOD PHYSICIAN'S ANTIDOTES FOR HEART IMPURITY.

The Good Physician has pointed out antidotes for soul-poisoning, – medicines which if properly taken according to directions will sweeten the bitter heart. Instead of envy it will produce love; instead of malice and hatred and strife, love and concord; instead of evil-speaking and backbiting and scandal-mongering it will produce the love which thinketh no evil and which worketh no ill to his neighbor; which suffereth long and is kind, which vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, which never faileth and which is the spirit of the Lord and the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Let us all take these medicines, for they are good not only for the violently sick, but for the convalescing and the well. The following are some of the prescriptions: – [R2517 : page 216]

(1) "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he [the Lord] is pure." – 1 John 3:3.

The hope mentioned is that we have been adopted as sons of God, with the promise that if faithful we shall be like him and see him as he is and share his glory. As our minds and hearts expand with this hope and we begin to measure its lengths and breadths, its heights and depths, it surely does set before us the Heavenly Father's love and the Redeemer's love in rainbow colors and we more and more love the Father and the Son because they first loved us. The divine form of love becomes more and more our ideal; and as we seek to reciprocate it and to copy it, the cleansing and purifying of our hearts follows: for looking into the perfect law of liberty – Love – we become more and more ashamed of all the meanness and selfishness which the fall brought to us. And, once seen in their true light as works of the flesh and of the devil, all anger, malice, wrath, envy, strife, evil-speaking, evil-surmising, backbiting and slander become more and more repulsive to us. And finally when we see that such as to any degree sympathize with these evil qualities are unfit for the Kingdom and to every good work worthless, we flee from these evils of the soul as from deadly contagion. Our hearts (wills, intentions) become pure at once and we set a guard not only upon our lips but also upon our thoughts – that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts may be acceptable to the Lord.

(2) "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works." – Titus 2:14.

We might theorize much and very correctly upon how and when and by whom we were redeemed; but this all would avail little if we forgot why we were redeemed. The redemption was not merely a redemption from the power of the grave; – it was chiefly "from all iniquity." And the Lord is not merely seeking a peculiar people, but specially a people peculiarly cleansed, purified. This medicine will surely serve to purge us from iniquity if we are anxious to make our calling and election sure.

(3) "Pursue righteousness, fidelity, love, peace, with all who call upon the Lord with a pure heart." – 2 Tim. 2:22.

We not only need to start right, but also to pursue a right course. We may not follow unrighteousness even for a moment; whatever it may cost, justice and righteousness must be followed. But here a difficulty arises with some: they do not know how to judge righteous judgment. They are too apt to judge according to rumor or appearances, or to accept the judgment of scribes and Pharisees, as did the multitude which cried, "Crucify him! His blood be upon us and upon our children." Had they followed righteousness they would have seen the Lord's character in his good works as well as in his wonderful words of life: they would have seen that so far from being a blasphemer he was "holy, harmless, separate from sinners:" they would have seen that his accusers were moved by envy and hatred.

And it is just as necessary as ever to follow the Lord's injunction, "Judge righteous judgment," and whoever neglects it brings down "blood" upon his [R2518 : page 216] own head and becomes a sharer in the penalty due to false accusers. For as the Lord was treated so will his "brethren" be treated. And the more pure our hearts the less will they be affected by slanders and backbitings and evil-speakings, and the more will we realize that those who have bitter hearts from which arise bitter words are impure fountains in which is the gall of bitterness and not the sweetness of love.

Next comes fidelity, that is, faithfulness. The Lord declares his own fidelity or faithfulness and declares himself a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. And even the worldly recognize fidelity as a grace: and by such it is often given first place; for many would commit theft or perjury through fidelity to a friend. But notice that God's Word puts righteousness first. Fidelity, love and peace can only be exercised in harmony with righteousness; but unrighteousness not being proven against a brother, our fidelity and love and peace toward him must continue, and indeed must increase in proportion as envy and slander and all the fiery darts of the Wicked One assail him "without a cause." This valuable prescription will help to keep our hearts free from the poison and bitterness of roots of bitterness which the Adversary keeps busily planting.

Justice is purity of heart, – freedom from injustice.

Righteousness is purity of heart, – freedom from unrighteousness.

Love is purity of heart, – freedom from selfishness.

(4) "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit [the spirit of the truth] unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart, fervently." – 1 Pet. 1:22.

This medicine is for those who have used the other prescriptions and gotten clean. It points out that the purity came not merely through hearing the truth, nor through believing the truth, but through obeying it. And not merely a formal obedience in outward ceremony and custom and polished manner, but through obedience to the spirit of the truth – its real import. All this brought you to the point where the love of the "brethren" of Christ was unfeigned, genuine. At first you treated all with courtesy, or at least without impoliteness; [R2518 : page 217] but many of them you did not like, much less did you love them: they were poor, or shabby, or ignorant, or peculiar. But obeying the spirit of the truth you recognized that all who trust in the precious blood and are consecrated to the dear Redeemer and seeking to follow his leadings are "brethren," regardless of race or color or education or poverty or homeliness. You reached the point where your heart is so free from envy and pride and selfishness, and so full of the spirit of the Master, that you can honestly say, I love all the "brethren" with a love that is sincere and not at all feigned.

Now having gotten thus far along in the good way, the Lord through the Apostle tells us what next – that we may preserve our hearts pure, – "See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently [intensely]." Ah, yes, the pure heart must not be forgotten, else it might be but a step from pure love into a snare of the Adversary, carnal love. But the pure love is not to be cold and indifferent: it is to be so warm and so strong that we would be willing to "lay down our lives for the brethren." – 1 John 3:16.

With such a love as this burning as incense to God upon the altar of our hearts there will be no room there for any selfish, envious thoughts or words or deeds. Oh how blessed would all the gatherings of the "brethren" be, if such a spirit pervaded all of them! Can we doubt that, if it held sway in one-half or one-third or even one-fourth, it would speedily exercise a gracious influence upon all – for righteousness and fidelity and love and peace, and against envy, strife, malice, slanders and backbitings?

Let all the "brethren" more and more take these medicines which tend to sanctify and prepare us for the Master's service, here and hereafter.

[R2518 : page 217]

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

HOW CAN WE "GIVE TO EVERY MAN THAT ASKETH"?

QUESTION. – What is the meaning of our Lord's words in Luke 6:30, "Give to every man that asketh"?

Answer. – Our Lord's discourse, of which this is a part, is given more fully, more completely, in Matt. 5:40-44. From Matthew's account it would appear that our Lord meant that when we are brought under compulsion, legally, we are to submit gracefully, and not to harbor resentment or grudgings. For instance, he says, "If any man sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat [by legal process], do not refuse him the cloak also." It does not follow that we are to allow him to take coat and cloak, etc., without the process of law-suit and compulsion. But whether we think the legal decision a just or an unjust one, we, as the Lord's disciples, are to be so law-abiding that we will offer not the slightest resistance to the enforcement of the legal decision, tho it take from us everything.

We should interpret Matt. 5:42, and Luke 6:30 in harmony with the foregoing, and assume that the asking means a demand, a compulsion. As for instance, if a highway robber were to "ask" or demand your money (as was much more customary in olden times than now, under present police regulations), surrender it without a fight. That this is the proper view is proven by the preceding statement, "If any man sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat," etc. If the coat were to be given freely for the asking, the injunction respecting the law-suit to obtain it would be meaningless.

The succeeding statement is in harmony also, "From him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." Here the attitude of the borrower stands out in contrast with the attitude of the highway robber, who demands absolute possession. The Lord's followers are to be generously inclined toward all men, anxious to "do good and lend," and to use hospitality without selfishly hoping for return favors. If so situated that an enemy could demand of us our goods, we are to submit; but if so situated that we can resist legally, we are to resist any unjust demands, and compel a suit at law. If the suit at law shall go against us, we are to submit gracefully and heartily. The teachings of this verse seem to be that the Lord's people are to seek to be generous, peaceable and law-abiding under all circumstances and conditions.

WAS THE GOSPEL PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD IN PAUL'S DAY?

Question. – Please harmonize Matt. 24:14 and Col. 1:23, with your teachings.

Answer. – The statement of Matt. 24:14 does not imply that the whole world will receive the gospel and be converted by it, before the end of the Gospel age. Quite to the contrary, it expressly states that the preaching is to be for "a witness to the nations." From the form of your question, it would appear that you consider Col. 1:6 to mean that the gospel had already been preached to all the world in the Apostle Paul's day. If this be your thought, it is evidently quite incorrect, because, if the gospel had already been preached to every nation at that time, the end of the Gospel age should have come at that time, as our Lord declared, and the Millennial Kingdom should have been set up and Satan been bound eighteen centuries ago. Besides, as we look over all the world to-day, [R2518 : page 218] we know that neither now nor at any time in the past has the gospel converted all the world: the most we can say to-day is that now, finally, the gospel has been preached as a witness to every nation – the Bible, which is the gospel message, has been translated into all the national tongues of the world, and thus every nation (through some representatives) has been made acquainted with the letter of God's message, at least; and this is in full agreement with our position that we are now in the "harvest" time or end of this gospel age, and in the dawning of the Millennium.

In respect to Col. 1:23, we will suppose that you refer to the clause which says, "The gospel which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven." To assume, as you evidently do, that this implies that the gospel was already preached to every creature under heaven in the Apostle's day, and hence that there would be no need of a presentation of Christ to any in the future, because all have had a full and fair opportunity of knowing of the grace of God in the present life, is a most unreasonable interpretation of the Apostle's words. We submit to you that his meaning is as follows: –

God's grace for over two thousand years was restricted to Abraham and his seed, – the one nation of Israel; and was not sent to any other nation under heaven. (Amos 3:2.) And even when the gospel "began to be preached by our Lord," it was restricted to the same "lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24): it was not until Israel had stumbled through unbelief, and been rejected of God (Matt. 23:37,38), and after our Lord Jesus had "tasted death for every man," "for the sins of the whole world," and had risen from the dead, "Lord of all," that he authorized the preaching of the gospel to others than the Jews – to the Gentiles. His message was, "Go ye and teach all nations," etc. In harmony with this the Apostle tells us in Col. 1:23 that the gospel which we have heard is open to every human creature under heaven – there is no longer any restriction of it to the Jews. The difficulty in the translation is in the word [R2519 : page 218] to: the proper thought would be better conveyed by the word for. The Greek word here is en, and altho its strict meaning is in, yet it is frequently used in the sense of for, being so translated six times in the New Testament. Instances: "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ." (1 Pet. 4:14.) "Well reported of for good works." (1 Tim. 5:10.) "Think they shall be heard for their much speaking" (Matt. 6:7), etc.

"I, IF I BE LIFTED UP, WILL DRAW ALL MEN."

Question. – What is meant by "lifted up" in our Lord's expression, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me"?

Answer. – The primary thought undoubtedly is our Lord's crucifixion – his lifting up on the cross, as the great sin-offering on behalf of "the sins of the whole world." It is as a result or consequence of this sacrifice that all the blessings which God has purposed and promised shall eventually come to our race. Until the atonement for our sin had been made, nothing permanent could be done for man's release; for the sentence upon him was a death sentence. Our Lord's lifting up was as the antitype of the brazen serpent which Moses lifted up in the wilderness, looking to which the Israelites, bitten by the fiery serpents, were healed, – in type of how the world of mankind, bitten by sin, poisoned and dying, may have life through the exercise of faith in the Redeemer, based upon his great sacrifice – his lifting up as our redemption price.

A secondary thought connected with this passage would be that our Lord's obedience in laying down his life as our sin-offering led directly to his own exaltation to power and great glory, as the Apostle has stated it, "Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,...and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." – Phil. 2:10,11.

It is by reason of our Lord's lifting up, in both of these senses, that the blessing is to come to the world. His lifting up as the sin-offering was our purchase-price; his lifting up in exaltation as our great Prophet, Priest and King, is equally necessary to the drawing of the world of mankind, and the resultant blessing upon all who yield to the drawing influence.

While considering this passage, it is well to have a proper thought in mind respecting the drawing. That our Lord is not drawing all men to himself at the present time is evident to every one: moreover, the Scriptures assure us that he is not drawing men at the present time: on the contrary, his own words are that during the present age the Father does all the drawing: "No man cometh unto me, except the Father which sent me draw him." The drawing by the Son will not begin until the drawing by the Father has accomplished its intended purpose. That purpose, as Scripturally expressed, is "to take out of them a people for his name" – to gather out of the world an elect Church as a bride for his Son, to bear the name of Christ, to be his Bride and joint-heir, "members in particular of his body."

When the election of this Gospel age shall have accomplished this purpose, and the Church shall have been glorified, Bride and Bridegroom made one, then will begin the time in which the Son will "draw all men," the world of mankind, as the Father has been drawing the Church during this age. In this work of [R2519 : page 219] drawing all men, the Church will be associated with the Lord as "members of his body," of which he is "the head over all, God blessed forever." a id=Z219:1>

It has required this entire Gospel age to lift up, first the Head, and afterward the members of his body, joint-sacrificers with him. When all the sufferings of Christ are ended, and the last member of the body has finished his course in death, then, through the power of the first resurrection (which began with our Lord, and will finish with the change of the last member of his body) the entire Church will be lifted up in the secondary sense, of exaltation, and then will begin the work of drawing the world – pointing all to the great sin-offering finished at Calvary.

That our Lord meant by this expression, "lifted up," more than his own crucifixion is evident from his words, "When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am he." The Jews do not yet know Christ as the Messiah: and this is an additional proof that his words include the lifting up, the crucifying, of all the members of his body – the Church.

The drawing does not mean, as some have erroneously supposed, a compulsory forcing of mankind. Some Universalists have used this passage as tho it supported their contention; but rightly understood it is quite to the contrary. It intimates that the Lord will exert a drawing and helpful influence upon all men, but nevertheless leave their own wills free to act; for he seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth. In proof that the word, "drawing," as used in the Scriptural sense, does not signify compulsion, note well the fact that the Father's drawing during this Gospel age has not been compulsory: it has consisted of enlightenment and help and opportunities which may be either accepted or resisted by all who experience the drawing. Thus we are distinctly told concerning this calling and drawing that "Many are called, but few chosen;" because few make their calling and election sure by obedience to the terms of the call. So, too, it will be during the Millennial age; the light, the opportunities, the general influence of that time, will be so favorable, that "all shall come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4; Isa. 11:9) and to opportunities of harmony with God. And it shall come to pass that the soul who will not hear (obey) that Prophet, Priest and King, then in power, shall be cut off from amongst his people – in the Second Death. – Acts 3:23.

[R2520 : page 219]

ENCOURAGING THE TEMPLE BUILDERS.

SEPT. 10. – HAG. 2:1-9.
"Be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work, for I am with you."
H
AGGAI'S prophecy dates from a period fifteen years after the return of Israel from Babylonian captivity. In our last lesson we saw the corner-stone of the Temple laid with much rejoicing and hope, but it would appear that the builders soon became discouraged, and practically gave up the work. We are to remember that the work of reconstructing their homes, gardens, etc., would be considerable, and would keep them very busy for years. Besides, a new ruler of the Medo-Persian empire had succeeded Cyrus, viz., Cambyses, and he with his hordes of soldiery had passed through Palestine en route for Egypt, which he conquered, and doubtless both going and returning the large number of poorly disciplined soldiers did considerable looting, and thus discouraged the hopes of those who so confidently looked for a return of national prosperity.

But apparently a considerable portion of the difficulty lay in a lukewarmness toward religion. The people, it would seem, had provided themselves with comfortable houses, gardens, etc., while the Temple, the Lord's house, lay desolate. This is implied in the Prophet's words. (Haggai 1:4-6.) Haggai not only came as a reprover of the people's neglect, but also as an encourager to a reformation in this matter. He pointed out to them that their crops were small, and prosperity was lacking, because they had neglected to honor the Lord with their substance. We remember that this was the Lord's covenant with Israel as a nation – that they should have temporal prosperities as a reward for faithfulness to the Lord, and temporal adversities as a punishment for neglect of their religious obligations. Hence the Prophet's words would be recognized by the people as in full accord with the Lord's predictions through Moses. (Deut. 28:1-42.) And the appeal seems to have had the desired effect. The people began to realize that in neglecting the Lord's cause, and merely caring for their own temporalities, they had not only dishonored God, but had also justly hindered their own temporal prosperity. In consequence, a revival of religious interest followed, and the Temple reconstruction began again.

Many have failed to note the distinct difference between God's covenant with fleshly Israel and his covenant with Spiritual Israel, and therefore are inclined to apply the above reasoning to Christian people of the present time, and to say that if anyone is not prosperous financially and socially it is an indication of his lack of religion and of divine disfavor. But the very reverse of this is frequently true now. If we see an individual, or a company of individuals, very prosperous in temporal things, experience would lead [R2520 : page 220] us to question whether or not the prosperous ones were living as near to God as when they were less prosperous, and whether or not their prosperity might imply extra danger from "the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches." – Mark 4:19.

True, riches do not in every case indicate worldliness. Apparently the Lord occasionally finds some earnest and faithful children to whom he can entrust a stewardship of riches for the furtherance of his cause, without injury; but observation shows that such instances are rare, and that as a rule not many great, not many rich, not many wise, not many learned, hath God chosen, but the poor of this world, rich in faith, to be heirs of the Kingdom. – 1 Cor. 1:27.

If it be inquired, then, Wherein is the parallelism which we should expect to find between God's dealings with fleshly Israel under the Law Covenant, and his dealings with Spiritual Israel under the New Covenant? we answer, The parallelism is there, but on a higher plane. The Spiritual Israelite who is faithful to God will grow rich spiritually in deed and in truth, but if unfaithful to God he will grow poor spiritually in deed and in truth. And those who are poor in temporal things may be rich in spiritual things, but in any case will find that "godliness with contentment is great gain" – true riches.

The date of Haggai's prophecy is given as the second year of the reign of Darius (1:1), but this Darius was not the one who succeeded Belshazzar, but Hystaspes, who succeeded Cambyses.

Haggai's message, as presented in the first chapter, had evidently aroused an interest in religion, as intended; and so we find that the second chapter, of which our lesson is a part, is in the nature of an exhortation and encouragement to "the people of the land." And by the way, this expression, which fifteen years before was considered applicable to the foreigners residing in Palestine, is now applied to the returned exiles; they were henceforth the people of the land, – God's people in the Land of Promise. The encouragement, extended to the governor, the chief priest, and the people in general, was an exhortation to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might; and the basis of the encouragement was in the declaration, "I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts."

It is a mistake to suppose that God's people always need a berating. It is well to remember the weaknesses and discouragements with which all contend, and to administer the oil and wine of consolation and encouragement. We are to remember that when the Lord's people are weak in confidence in themselves is the most hopeful time to cultivate in themselves and each other a spirit of reliance upon the Lord and confidence in him. Fain would we say to the Lord's spiritual children these words of the Prophet, "Be strong, saith the Lord, and work, for I am with you."

It is when the Lord's people begin to feel that the Lord is afar off, and that they are depending on themselves or on each other, and when they realize their weaknesses, that discouragement is apt to creep in – especially upon those who, having returned from mystic Babylon, are seeking to build again the spiritual Temple, the Church, the Temple of the living God. There are many temptations to these to attend to earthly affairs, to build their own reputations and earthly prosperity, and to neglect the great work for which ostensibly they came out of Babylon. Let all such take courage from the Word of the Lord, through Haggai, "I am with you; be strong and work." To those who have no interest in the work the message respecting the Lord's presence will be undesirable; but it encourages and strengthens the truly devoted who are merely discouraged by the fightings without and within.

The Lord, through the Prophet, called the attention of the Israelites to the fact that he had made a covenant with them after they had come out of Egypt, assuring them of his willingness to perform it; and that his spirit, his power, his energy, was in their midst to guide, to overrule and to bless, and on this account they should not fear nor be discouraged. And if that Law Covenant, given at the hands of Moses, and ratified with the blood of bulls and of goats, was a cause of encouragement to fleshly Israel, much more should Spiritual Israel remember the New Covenant, and its new Mediator, who ever liveth to make intercession for us, and to regard our welfare at the throne of the heavenly grace; and the precious blood by which this New Covenant was ratified. Spiritual Israel may well say, I will not fear; for if God so loved us while we were yet sinners, much more now that we are accepted in the beloved are we the special objects of divine care and grace.

The message of vss. 6-9 was doubtless considerable of a riddle to the Israelites who heard it. It seemed an extravagant statement; indeed, it was so, if applied to the house which they were seeking to reconstruct. But the holy spirit, through the Apostle, shows us that this prophecy did not relate wholly nor even specially to the literal Temple at Jerusalem, but to the symbolic Temple, the Temple of God, "which temple are ye" – the Church of the living God, whose names are written in heaven. This Gospel Church is the "latter house" or Temple, Spiritual Israel, as the former house was natural Israel, represented in the natural Jerusalem and its Temple. Ours is the New Jerusalem and our Temple is being built by the new [R2520 : page 221] Master-builder himself, as it is written, "Ye are his workmanship." (Eph. 2:10.) The Apostle shows us that Christ Jesus himself is the great Corner-Stone of this house of sons, and that all of the faithful followers of Christ are being shaped, fitted, polished, prepared, as "living stones," for places in this antitypical Temple, whose builder and maker is God. – 1 Pet. 2:7; Heb. 11:10.

It is only when we get a glimpse through the New Testament of the glory, honor and immortality which shall attach to the great spiritual Temple now under construction, and realize by faith the "glory that shall be revealed in us," in God's due time, that we can realize even slightly the significance of the words of the Prophet, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace."

The peace and joy and blessing which the world needs and craves cannot come, will not come, until this latter house of the Lord's building shall be completed and filled with his glory – until the elect Church, whose Head is Christ Jesus, shall be given the Kingdom, the dominion of earth – then a King shall reign in righteousness and princes shall execute judgment, the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth, and none shall need to say to his neighbor, Know thou the Lord, and great shall be the peace of that Millennial day, when the Prince of Peace shall reign. – Luke 12:32; Rev. 5:10; Isa. 11:9; 32:1; 54:13. [R2521 : page 221]

This prophecy respecting the shaking of the heavens and the earth is quoted in Heb. 12:26, and we there have an inspired comment upon it, showing that it will be fulfilled in the end of this Gospel age, and that it is a symbolic shaking and signifies the removal of everything that is unstable, transitory, imperfect, – in the great time of trouble with which this age will end and the Millennial age be ushered in. The Apostle assures us that the expression, "Yet once more," signifies a finality; that there will never more be requirement for shaking, for revolution, for changes, because with this great shaking, this great change, will be ushered in that perfection of the new order of things which cannot be shaken – the Kingdom of God conditions.

The shaking of all nations is here, as everywhere, associated with the glory of the Temple: in other words, the Scriptures show that the time of great trouble upon the world, in which all the Kingdoms of this world and its various institutions, religious, political, social, shall fall, will be the very time when God's Kingdom, God's Church, shall be "set up" in power and great glory; to be his agency in blessing the world. And not only here but elsewhere we are assured that when this shall take place the Desire of all nations shall come.

All peoples have been looking with more or less earnestness and sincerity for a just and good government, however blindly they may have sought it, because the prince of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not through the weakness of their judgment and the selfishness of their hearts. But when the vail shall be taken away, and the blind shall see out of their obscurity, and God's Kingdom shall have come and established peace and good will amongst men, and when the knowledge of the Lord shall have been caused to fill the earth, and when the evil-doers shall have been cut off from life, in the Second Death, verily then the Desire of all nations will have come, and the desire of the Creator will have come too, – for God's will shall yet be done on earth as it is done in heaven, as prophesied in our Lord's prayer. – Matt. 6:10.

Silver and gold, in the restoration of the Temple, seem to have been lacking; hence the Lord's declaration that all the gold and all the silver are his. In the antitypical Temple construction, it at times appears as tho the silver of divine truth were lacking, and the gold of the divine character insufficient, but all who have confidence in the Lord may rely upon his assurance that he has all things needful for the accomplishment of his purposes – "the Lord knoweth them that are his," therefore, in the language of the text, let us all be strong, and work, for God is with us; we are merely co-workers together with him. He will surely accomplish the great work he has promised; the spiritual Temple shall be built: but our individual blessing in connection with it will be in proportion as we have been strong in the Lord and full of faith and full of zeal, co-workers together with him. "I am with you,...work!"

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"MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE."

SEPT. 17. – ZECH. 4:1-14.

"Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts."
Z
ECHARIAH the Prophet was a priest as well, and was a young man at the time of his return under the governor, Zerubbabel, from the Babylonian captivity. As a prophet he was the successor of Haggai, who was now old, and his career as such began in the second year of Darius Hystaspes, and continued about two years. It was part of his mission to encourage Zerubbabel and all who labored in the construction of the Temple, and who were beset by innumerable oppositions, difficulties, etc. – Neh. 12:4-7; Zech. 1:1; Ezra 5:1; 6:14; 7:1.

There are two general views respecting this and [R2521 : page 222] all prophecies; one of these, the one favored by the "higher critics," is that the prophets of the Old Testament Scriptures were men of high moral attainment and faith in God's promises, who realized in advance of others and more keenly the true situation of things, and of their own volition, prompted by their own faith and zeal, exhorted the people, in parables that would be helpful, instructive, encouraging, etc. The other view is that God had the faith in his own promises and arrangements, and that he miraculously operated upon certain chosen persons, so that "holy men of old spake as they were moved by the holy spirit" – things which were not their own thoughts, but which encouraged themselves and inspired their own faith and zeal, as well as the faith and zeal of all about them. This view of the prophets and their prophecies gives the glory to God, and makes of the words of the prophets messages from God, and hence authoritative and reliable, while the fervent utterances of the very best men could not be considered reliable; but, as we all know, are frequently faulty, because of the fallibility of their authors. The Apostle Peter asserts this last view of the matter, and contradicts the former one. – 1 Pet. 1:10-12.

Any other view than the latter would make the prophecies valueless as prophecies to the Church of to-day. It is not until we realize that the prophecies, altho having some force and application to the times in which they were written, have a special force and application to us, as the antitypical Israel, and to the building of the antitypical Temple, that we get the true force, value and beauty of these prophecies – a force and meaning that is entirely lost to those who take the higher criticism view, and reduce the prophets of olden times to the level of street-corner preachers, who expressed truth in crude forms and figures, blended with considerable of untruth and human misjudgment.

Altogether the Lord gave the Prophet Zechariah seven different visions; and the fifth of the series is the subject of this lesson. It showed a large golden candlestick, or, as we would say, lampstand, with a large central bowl, and seven branches therefrom, each of which terminated in a lamp. The prophet, no doubt, was somewhat familiar with such a lamp, since it in many particulars corresponded to the one made by divine direction, and kept in the holy apartment of the Tabernacle, and later of the Temple. The Prophet knew that this lamp represented in some manner divine favor, enlightenment and blessing as connected with the promises made to Israel. But the lampstand of the vision had a peculiarity all its own, for the Prophet beheld also two olive trees connected with it by golden pipes. (Vs. 12.) Thus the Lord indicated that the supply of oil for Israel's candlestick and the supply of Israel's light was an inexhaustible one.

No doubt the Prophet himself, and those in that day who heard his prophecy, drew from this vision a considerable amount of blessing and encouragement. To them it would speak of the Lord's continued favor with them, notwithstanding the persecutions and difficulties on every hand. Quite probably they interpreted these two olive trees to represent in some manner the kingly and the priestly offices in Israel, which offices were now represented by Zerubbabel, the governor, and Joshua, the high priest, God's special representatives in the work of restoring Israel. No doubt the Lord wished those to whom Zechariah prophesied to get just such encouragement, and arranged that these two leaders of the people should be types of the Royal Priest – Christ Jesus.

Nevertheless, we believe that there is a much higher significance to the vision than this, for we find, not only the golden candlestick, but also the two olive trees, mentioned six hundred years later, in our Lord's revelation given to the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos: and this is conclusive proof that the vision was more than merely a parable by Zechariah, and farther reaching than merely the encouragement of the builders of the typical Temple. We will not here enter into the subject in detail, but merely call attention to the fact that the seven lamps or candlesticks shown in united form to the Prophet are shown as separate and distinct in the Book of Revelation, where each of the seven Churches, or the seven epochs of the history of the Church, is represented by a separate candlestick, or lamp. – Rev. 1:12,20; 2:5; 11:4.

The message sent to Zerubbabel, the governor, no doubt carried with it the intended blessing and encouragement to that officer, and was in full accord with the candlestick vision. He was to learn, and all the people with him, that the success of their work was not by the might, influence and favor of the Persian monarch to whom they were subject, nor by the power and numbers and ability of themselves, as laborers and defenders of their cause against their nearby neighbors, the Samaritans. They were to learn that the success of their efforts should be attributed to God, whose holy spirit, power, influence, would guide and control the affairs of that nation, and accomplish in his own time and way the gracious things which he had promised them.

"Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain."

This probably referred to the mountain of difficulty which stood in the way of the Lord's work, and which had for some time prevented its completion, and [R2522 : page 223] at the present moment was a serious menace. The Lord's assurance, through the Prophet, was that the Temple should be completed, shall be finished; and not only so, but that Zerubbabel, who had laid the foundation stone, should also have the honor and privilege of completing it with the head-stone or cap-stone, and that when completed there would be great rejoicing and appreciation of the work, acclamations of "Grace, grace, unto it!" In harmony with this, Israel was exhorted, "Despise not the day of small things" – small beginnings, feeble efforts, discouraging conditions, etc., – but to consider Zerubbabel the master-builder, the plummet-user, and to recognize the Lord's wisdom and power with him.

But the language used in this connection is entirely too strong to be applied solely to the insignificant little temple built by Zerubbabel and his associates. As we have seen that the former part of this vision applied to fleshly Israel only typically, so we see that this part also applies to Israel, and to Zerubbabel and to Joshua only typically.

Looking for the antitype, we find it in Spiritual Israel, the spiritual Temple, which God is building. In Zerubbabel and Joshua we find the kingly and priestly offices of our Lord Jesus represented in two parts – the word Joshua in the Hebrew signifies Savior, and in the Greek is Jesus, and the name Zerubbabel, as we have already seen, signifies Born in Babylon. The particular time typified would be the present time, when God's people are returning from Babylon, and when the work of Temple-reconstruction is in progress.

Our Lord Jesus himself laid the foundation of the spiritual Temple, and he himself will complete it as its top-stone, and it shall be acclaimed glorious, not only by men, but by angels, in God's due time. The work is in his hand, and altho from outward appearances at the present time there may seem to be discouragements, and little progress may seem to have been made, yet his servants should be of good courage and should remember that their victory is to come, not through human might, popularity and influence, nor by their own power, but by the Lord's spirit. The possession of his faith and his spirit will give us the victory over the world, the flesh and the Adversary, and make us more than conquerors through him who loved us and bought us with his own precious blood. Our struggles, our efforts, our building, are all on a discouragingly small and insignificant scale, but we see not and build not the real Temple, the living stones. We see each other according to the flesh, to some extent, despite our efforts to know no man after the flesh, and to recognize each other only as new creatures in Christ. We look more or less, however unintentionally, at the things that are seen, which are temporal and imperfect. We think more or less of the work of construction from the standpoint of numbers, influence, outward polish, etc. Instead, we should be looking unto Jesus, the author of our faith, who laid the foundation-stone, and who is to be the finisher of it, and is the cap, the climax, of his great and wonderful work, the new creation in glory. – Heb. 12:2.

The "great mountain" of the present is the great kingdom of the Evil One, which has the appearance of being immovable, but which now speedily, in the great time of trouble and "shaking," shall pass away, leaving a plain, a highway of holiness on which whosoever wills of the world of mankind may return by restitution to full harmony with God under the great Prophet, Priest and King.

The antitypical Temple will be complete when the power of the most high, represented by the oil of the candlestick, the holy spirit, shall rear up the living Temple in resurrection power (from the dead) in the likeness of our Lord, in glory, honor and immortality. Then the glory of the Lord will fill the spiritual Temple! Then will be the shoutings, "Grace, grace, unto it!" Then will begin the great work of blessing all the families of the earth, and the blessing shall flow from this spiritual Temple, a river of water of life, clear as crystal, – as seen in our lesson of August 20.

From this standpoint only, as applicable to the antitypical Zerubbabel, can we understand the reference to the "seven eyes" of the Lord which run to and fro through the whole earth. We can see that the eyes of the Lord (his perfect and much diversified wisdom) are necessary to be exercised throughout the whole world in connection with the work of preparing the living stones and rearing up the antitypical Temple in the hands of the antitypical Zerubbabel, but we could not see how divine wisdom would be necessary in all parts of the earth to take supervision of the building of the little typical temple by the typical Zerubbabel.

No one can rightly appreciate the hopes and ambitions aroused in the minds of the Jewish nation by the Lord through the holy prophets, except as he realizes the fact that Spiritual Israel has taken the place in large measure of natural Israel, whose branches were broken off, that we who were of the Gentiles might be grafted in and become heirs of the chiefest, the heavenly, the spiritual features of those promises. Nevertheless, we are to remember that there are also earthly features of those promises, which the Apostle assures us are still sure, and reserved for the natural seed of Abraham, and through the latter to extend to all the families of the earth, that whosoever will may become of the earthly seed of Abraham: for Abraham's seed is to be of two parts – "as the stars of heaven" and "as the sand of the seashore." – Rom. 11:26-33; Gen. 22:17.

SEPT. 24TH. – REVIEW.

page 223

Golden Text. – "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." – Psa. 34:7.

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AN INTERESTING LETTER.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I thought I would drop you a few lines as to my experience in my recently begun work as a colporteur. In company with Brothers Richardson and Barbour I came to Washington, Pa., a nice town of about 20,000 population. For the most part its people are very intelligent and independent. I found DAWNS and tracts in many of the houses, and a strong feeling of suspicion as well as of opposition against both. For this the ministers of the place are evidently responsible; the most of them had never read what they blindly oppose. Thus they are guilty of expressing judgment in advance of knowledge!

The WATCH TOWER readers have just distributed The Bible vs. the Evolution Theory. In a majority of the houses at which I called I found that excellent booklet, and upon inquiry learned that nearly all who had it had read it with benefit, and some were loud in their praise of such "a good and timely tract." On the strength of this tract many gave me their orders for DAWNS, saying that "the author of such a tract would certainly produce a readable and profitable book." One old "brother" said he "knew something heavier was coming." He gave me his order for the books that he might learn more of the truth.

One of the ministers of the city was very industriously engaged in misrepresenting the DAWN, going about from house to house counseling his flock not to read the book, but to exercise the same caution concerning it as they would relative to a dose of poison. He told some of them that if they had any faith at all the book would eclipse it with the darkness of unbelief. That if they had the least hope, they would be deprived of it should they read the DAWN! This "shepherd" and I came near forming acquaintance; he was always one door ahead of me! The first house I saw him come out of I went into. The "lady of the house" recognized me as if by instinct. "Good morning," I said. "Good morning, Sir; you are the man that's around with that book, MILLENNIAL DAWN?" "Yes; and I will be only too glad to call your attention to the book for just a few moments." "Oh, no! our minister was just here and told me not to read the book, nor receive you into my house, nor bid you God-speed, for your book was full of infidelity, and neither you nor the book believed in God, heaven or hell."

I replied, "Sister, I am confident the minister never read the book, – does not know what it contains, and am sure he is entirely wrong, for the book treats on all these subjects; and, besides, if you will read it, you will find as much hell taught as you could wish." "Oh, well, if that is the kind of a book it is you may bring it to me," said she. I thanked her, and in leaving the house was just in time to see the good minister emerging from another house.

I made my way to this residence and was received with a way-below-zero air, and at once told that "We do not want the book, and would not give it house-room." The minister, she said, had told her not to read the book, and that was enough for her! I said, "Lady, do you do everything your minister tells you to do?" She said, "No, not everything." I said, "If he would tell you to put your head in the fire, would you do that?" "No," said she. Then with true womanly curiosity she inquired: "What's in the book, anyway? It must be a funny book, everybody has so much to say about it." This opened the way, and after rehearsing some of the leading points she said: "If it's a book like that you may bring it, for I have often wondered what was to become of the heathen, anyway!" I recorded her order, and in leaving was just in time to catch a glimpse of my adversary leaving another house. I was soon in the presence of the "lady of the house," who at once advised me that I was wasting time at her house with the book; that when she wanted to read Ingersoll she would procure his works! I said, "Now, lady, why don't you want [R2523 : page 224] my book? I am sure it contains heart-satisfying and mind-catching explanations of the very things you wish to know about, and concerning which you have inquired of your minister and others many times, only to be left in the dark. You have, I am sure, been all your life querying respecting how the death of your Redeemer and the love and justice of God can and will affect the heathen. How and what will be the general judgment? When and how God's Kingdom will come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven? Why God has permitted evil so wide an influence? etc. You have never found satisfactory answers to these questions, but can have them now in the MILLENNIAL DAWN. Besides, a lady of your intelligence should read for herself, as I am sure you do." "Well," said she, "bring me the first volume, and if it holds out, I will have the rest." I thanked her, adding, "I am confident you will have all the books. You do not look like a woman who will abide having her reading matter selected for her. The book may cut the corners of your creed, but" – . "I don't care anything about the creed, I never read the creed! I don't know it. Bring me all the books! How much are they?" she interrupted.

It is strange how little mental and moral independence some people have! Yet, there are instances where some go to extremes with what they do possess. For instance, in this town of Washington is a beautiful college building filled with the young of both sexes. The learned "Doctor" who presides over the institution, told Brother Barbour, who was presenting the claims of DAWN, that when he was a young man the question of the second coming of Christ troubled him very much. But as he grew in years and wisdom (?) the question did not bother him any more, and said: "I have absolutely no interest in the question of the second coming of Christ, and do not wish anything to do with the question." "No, young man, I don't want your book."

Altho I have been a minister of the gospel for nearly a quarter of a century and thought I knew something about matters and things, yet I realize that much of that service, tho rendered in all good conscience, seems to have been worse than wasted, for evidently my conceptions of the character and work of God were to a considerable extent decidedly wrong. Now with more correct and enlightened views of the lengths and breadths, and heights and depths of the justice, wisdom, love and power of our Heavenly Father, I am glad to avail myself of this new ministry which enables me to leave from sixteen to fifty printed sermons with the truth-hungry with whom I meet.

Praying the blessing of our Heavenly Father upon you, dear brother, and that you may be spared to us and to his service unto the end, I am,

Yours in his service,

C. W. COOPER.