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June 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.June 1, 1899.No. 11.
CONTENTS

View from the Watch Tower 131
The Influence of Education in Austro-Hungary 131
"Los Von Rom" – Away from Rome 131
Poem: A Visit to the Heavenly Court 132
"Now is Christ Risen from the Dead" 132
The New Life in Christ 137
Interesting Letters 143
Conventions the Coming Season 130
A "Pilgrim" in the West 130

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

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

page 130

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

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

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

SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
– ADDRESS TO –
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.

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

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

CONVENTIONS THE COMING SEASON.

It is urged that we have a Convention of WATCH TOWER friends this year in Indianapolis, Ind., during the session of the Epworth League in that city in the latter part of July; and another in St. Louis, Mo., in October, during the time of the St. Louis Exposition.

It is proposed that these conventions shall last for about three days each, and be rather local than general. At the dates chosen there will be specially low railroad fares to these cities.

This is merely a preliminary notice. Particulars later.

A "PILGRIM" IN THE WEST.

Friends in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa who desire a visit from one of the "Pilgrims" will please report to us at once that we may make up the route accordingly.

WHAT SAY THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT HELL?

This is the title of a pamphlet in which every text of Scripture containing the word hell is cited and examined in the light of Scripture and reason, together with other Scriptures and parables supposed to teach eternal torment. Price 10 cents, postpaid; 50 cents per doz.; $4.00 per hundred.

ALLEGHENY CHURCH MEETINGS.

Preaching and divine worship every Sunday afternoon in Bible House chapel, No. 610 Arch street, at 3 P.M.

Cottage meetings for prayer and testimony on Wednesday evenings; and Dawn Circles for Bible Study on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings – various localities, Pittsburg and vicinity – inquire at WATCH TOWER office.

[R2475 : page 131]

VIEW FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY is called "the dual kingdom," but really it represents three distinct races: – Germans (Austrians), Czechs (Slavs, Bohemians) and Hungarians (Magyars). The Germans occupy the northern Austrian provinces nearest to Germany. The Slavs are most numerous but have long been subservient to the Magyars or real Hungarians, who are in the minority as compared with both the others. All are Roman Catholics, tho the Slavs have quite a sympathy for the Greek Catholics or Church of Russia, to which most of their race residing in Russia give adherence.

The progress of education during the last twenty-five years has had a great influence upon the subject race – the Bohemians, giving them new ideas of their "rights," "liberties," etc. This has caused no end of trouble to the government, precipitating bitter race-contentions in their Parliament, the Germans and Hungarians being unwilling to concede the demands of the Czechs who are in the majority. Seemingly only the loyalty of all to the Emperor has prevented a civil war; and serious results are feared in the event of the death of the now aged ruler. He is nearly seventy.

Once the Papacy had so firm a hold that to be a Protestant meant death – this being the land of John Huss, the martyr; but a change of sentiment came gradually with greater enlightenment. The Czechs were first to discuss the wisdom of leaving the Church of Rome and affiliating themselves with the Greek Catholic Church. This led to Roman concessions to the Czechs to placate them. This however has gradually led to a coolness toward the Church of Rome on the part of the Germans, and it is this that specially interests us now.

The German Catholic element looks with admiration toward the German Empire to the North and West, where German influence is supremely dominant, and annexation to these their brethren is earnestly craved – leaving the balance of Austria to the Hungarians and Bohemians. But Germany has already so many Roman Catholics that they trouble her in her Reichstag or Parliament as an opposition party, and more are not wanted: it was for this reason that Bismarck ignored and declined these pro-Catholic provinces of Austria when forming the Empire.

The new move of the Germans of northern Austria is to renounce adhesion to the Church of Rome and become Protestants, with a view to making themselves acceptable to so-styled "Protestant Germany." The movement has been in progress only a short time, but is spreading rapidly and means some awakening at least amongst these people long bounden under priestcraft and superstition; later it may mean the disintegration of Austria, and points to growing race prejudices the world over.

What influence this may have upon the impending "time of trouble" and distress of nations is hard to say; but surely it marks decline of despotic Papacy – as in France, Italy, Mexico and Spain's colonies. The extent of this Austrian movement may be judged from the following extracts from foreign newspapers: –

"LOS VON ROM" – AWAY FROM ROME.

The Schwaebische Mercur says: –

"The 'Los von Rom' movement is increasing, especially in German Bohemia, where it occasions no little worry to the authorities. The Government has nowadays no means at hand to prevent this wholesale desertion, as the Protestant churches, or rather the Evangelical church, has legally the same status with the Church of Rome. In Eger 1100 Catholics have joined Protestantism, in Carlsbad 100, and another 1000 will become Protestants together. Within a short time half of German Bohemia will be Protestant."

[R2475 : page 132]

The Tageblatt of Vienna says: –

"The Germans on the whole will not renounce their right to make use of their intellectual powers. This the church will not and can not permit. The Slavs, as the case of Russia shows, are patterns of submissiveness, hence the church prefers that Slavs should have all power. For a long time the Slav clergy has preached the doctrine that German is synonymous with Lutheran. 'Very well,' say now the Germans, 'we will become Lutheran to emphasize our nationality. Los von Rom!' How much the church is responsible for this, the case of Bohemia shows. In the mixed districts only 23 priests are German, 262 are Czech. In the purely German districts 618 are German and 562 Czech."

The London Outlook says: –

"The Pan-Germanic movement is one of the disintegrating forces at work upon Austro-Hungary. The events of 1871, says one of its leaders, were but a step in the right direction, and the movement will not be complete, the Altdeutsche Verband will not have achieved its aims, until all the members of the Teutonic race on the continent of Europe have been welded into one state. Not until this is accomplished can Germany assert herself with success as a world power."

The London Saturday Review referring to Baron Schonerer, the head of the new movement, says: –

"His last theatrical stroke of organizing secessions, ten thousand at a time, from the Church of Rome, while naturally exasperating to his opponents, emphasizes his strength beyond previous belief."

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Linz said, at a recent church conference in Austria, –

"In open meetings and in the press our holy faith is attacked in the most violent manner; openly and secretly the people are solicited to desert our holy church."

Herr Wolff, a leader among German Austrians, with his entire family, was recently baptized a Protestant; and in consequence he is now denounced as "a servant of Satan," by the Catholic press, which is extremely bitter on the entire subject.

In a time of such shaking up there should be some with ears for the present truth, and any who have the opportunity should be prompt to use it in serving the King and his "brethren."

A VISIT TO THE HEAVENLY COURT.
– INVITATION TO THE SAINTS. –

Come, dear saints, and let us visit at the court of heavenly grace,
For Jehovah deigns a welcome to prepare.
He has bid us leave our earth-cares for the pleasures of his face,
And recruit in Heav'n's salubrious atmosphere.

He has spread a "feast of fat things" that will tempt our appetites.
O the daintiness and richness of his fare!
He will cheer our drooping spirits with the vintage that delights
Every honored guest his benefits to share.

[R2476 : page 132]

Let us lay aside our burdens, and our sorrows leave behind,
While we hasten to that glory-lighted scene;
Let us purge our hearts of evil, and put on the willing mind,
Lest our eyes be holden by a veil between.

Clad in spotless robes of righteousness, by faith received and kept,
We may safely pass stern Justice' sentry-post;
While our Guide-book, studied carefully, will make us all adept
In the customs and requirements of our Host.

By his grace brought nigh, and joying in his countenance of light,
We may greet the loving Father face to face;
We may learn the hidden mysteries of wisdom, love and might,
Proving the "exceeding riches" of his grace.

With his signet in our foreheads we may wander leisurely
Through the palace gardens, by the river Peace;
We may scale the heights of Happiness, and overlook the sea
Of Content, whose grateful murmurs never cease.

We may saunter through the orchards where the Spirit's fruits are ripe,
Plucking hope and love and kindness as we go;
And their fine, delicious flavors from our memories shall wipe
Every trace of bitterness and earthly woe.

We may change our weariness to vigor and perennial youth,
At the living fountains near the palace-door;
And with newborn energy and zeal explore the mines of truth,
Adding gem on gem of knowledge to our store.

And the feast of his providing! Who can tell, without a taste,
What shall charm our palates at that episode?
Come, dear saints, and visit long and often! Come with seemly haste!
For the King says "Welcome" to his high abode.
– R. B. H.

[R2476 : page 132]

"NOW IS CHRIST RISEN FROM THE DEAD."
– JUNE 11. – JOHN 20:11-20; 1 COR. 15:20. –
U
NDER divine supervision most elaborate proofs are furnished us of the death of Jesus – even tho the disciples and friends saw no necessity for this particularity, and indeed would have regarded all such proofs of his death as so many contradictions of their hopes and so many proofs of their disappointment. But the death of Christ was an all-important event, and hence it was necessary, from the divine standpoint, that the proofs respecting it should be indubitable. Let us note some of these proofs: –

(1) His side was pierced with a spear, and from the wound flowed blood and water – a positive proof that death, dissolution, had taken place. – Jno. 19:34,35.

(2) The centurion who had charge of the execution undoubtedly was a man of large experience in such matters,. And the record is that he was convinced of our Lord's death, and so reported to Pilate, the governor. – Mark 15:39,44,45.

(3) The corpse was buried in Joseph's new tomb, which contained no other corpses, and hence there could be no question respecting the body of Christ and its burial.

(4) The chief priests, anxious to prevent any spread of the doctrine of Jesus, remembered his words respecting his resurrection; and, while they placed no confidence in the matter, judging Jesus' disciples by [R2476 : page 133] themselves they surmised that they would be tricky and attempt to steal away the corpse and to claim the resurrection of their Master in harmony with his previous declarations. As a precaution against thus they requested Pilate to seal the tomb and place a guard of Roman soldiers there; but Pilate refused to act officially in the matter, nevertheless giving them, as was probably customary, the privilege of hiring some of the soldiers as watchmen – much the same as anyone to-day can employ and pay a policeman for extra service as a watchman; thus the Pharisees appointed the watch and sealed the stone, and had full cognizance of Jesus' resurrection. – Matt. 27:62-66.

(5) The friends of Jesus were fully convinced of his death, and wrapped his body in linen clothes, with spices. (John 19:40.) Apparently his declaration that he would rise from the dead on the third day was not appreciated by his followers until after he had risen. Their minds were intent upon the promise of the Kingdom; they were amazed at his arrest, conviction and crucifixion, and, it would seem, forgot for the time many of his precious words. Indeed, we are to remember that our Lord's teachings were almost wholly in parables and dark sayings, and they may have misinterpreted his reference to a resurrection. (Mark 4:13.) After his resurrection they remembered his words, and particularly after Pentecost – after they had received the holy Spirit, which, according to promise, brought to their memories the things which he had spoken unto them while he was with them. – John 14:26.

If it were well that the facts respecting our Lord's death should be clearly set forth as a part of the Gospel, it is well also that all of the Lord's people should fully recognize the fact of this death, and the necessity of it, and its value as the offset or corresponding price for the redemption of Adam, and indirectly the redemption of all those who were in Adam when the sentence of death came upon him, – all redeemed by the one sacrifice, offered once for all. Strange to say, very many Christian people speak of our Lord's death and of his resurrection, and yet really do not believe in either. To believe that our Lord arose from the dead on the third day is to believe that he was dead from the time of his crucifixion on Friday afternoon until the time of his resuscitation or resurrection, early on Sunday morning, the first day of the week. And if he "was dead" (Rev. 2:8) during that period (parts of three days) and did not rise from the dead until the morning of the third day, it means that our Lord Jesus was not in any sense alive during the interim, a period of about thirty-eight hours. It seems strange that it should ne necessary to emphasize a pont so emphatically and repeatedly set forth in the Scriptures. The necessity is twofold: –

(1) Because, through a false, unscriptural theory, many Christian people hold that there is no such thing as death; – that what appears to be death is merely a transformation to a larger degree of life; – that the real being cannot die, and that merely the body dies, and that so our Lord Jesus did not die for our sins, but merely shed off an outer covering of flesh.

(2) It is important to the true Christian's faith that the fact of our Lord's death be not only fully established by the statements of the Scriptures, but that the Christian's faith therein be fully and thoroughly grounded; because only those who realize that our Lord's death was for the time an extinction of his being can realize how his death was the payment of father Adam's penalty. Father Adam's penalty was death, extinction, and this penalty fell by inheritance upon all his posterity; "Christ died for our sins" – he suffered the death penalty for father Adam (and incidentally for all those who had come under the death sentence through Adam's transgression).

Nor should t be understood that the penalty upon father Adam was an extinction of life for merely thirty-eight hours: it was perpetual, the everlasting extinction of life and all the privileges of life he had received from his Creator. Our Lord's sacrifice – the death of the man Christ Jesus – was an everlasting death also, a death which fully off-set the penalty upon father Adam, and as Adam's substitute the man Jesus could never be released. The release of the man Jesus from the death penalty would be as impossible as the release of Adam himself without a substitute: for, as man's substitute, "the man Christ Jesus" took upon himself the entire penalty of Adam's transgression, and must bear to the full the death-curse which rested upon Adam and indirectly upon his race. Hence, faith grasps firmly the thought that our Lord Jesus did not take back man's ransom-price – did not take back the sacrifice for sins, the human nature – in his resurrection.

In order that he might offer this, the only proper and acceptable ransom for man, our Lord left the glory which he had with the Father, left the higher nature, and was "made flesh," "that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." (John 1:14; Heb. 2:9.) If he could pay man's penalty by remaining dead thirty-eight hours, then man could have paid his own penalty by remaining dead thirty-eight hours, and there would have been no necessity for a sin-offering, a ransom-price, to be paid. Indeed, Adam would have overpaid his penalty thousands of times. But since the penalty was death in the absolute sense, unlimited by time; and since this penalty would never permit a restoration of life to Adam, therefore it was necessary that a ransom should be paid for Adam; – that another life should be substituted for Adam's life; – that another, [R2477 : page 134] a perfect man, should die and remain dead everlastingly, that Adam and the race condemned in him might be released from death by a resurrection.

It was just this work, in harmony with the divine plan, that was accomplished by the man Christ Jesus, and finished in his death; and according to divine promise that ransom-sacrifice will never be abrogated, will never be taken back: and consequently all who are trusting in the merit of the great sacrifice of atonement may have full confidence that there will be a resurrection of the dead (of humanity), both of the just and the unjust; because Justice has been paid the full price, and because God has promised through the Gospel of Christ an opportunity for return to everlasting life, which shall eventually be offered to every member of Adam's race. – 1 Tim. 2:6.

In view of these facts, how and why do we speak of the resurrection of Jesus as essential to man's salvation? We answer that neither we nor the Scriptures speak of the resurrection of Christ Jesus as a man. s his coming to our low estate of manhood was merely for the purpose of effecting our ransom, and as the taking back of manhood by a resurrection would undo the entire work of redemption, it is preposterous to think of our Lord's resurrection as a restoration to human nature.

Quite to the contrary, all the evidences of the Scriptures, rightly and carefully arranged before our minds, show conclusively that our Lord was resurrected a spirit-being – not only higher than man, but higher also than angels, archangels, principalities and powers, a partaker of the divine nature. As such he was indeed a "new creature," and not in any sense of the word did this imply his taking back our ransom price. The Scriptures declare that he was "put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the spirit" – a spirit-being and the Apostle Paul declares our Lord's resurrection of the Church which is his body. (Rom. 6:5.) He declared that we with him will constitute the first (chief) resurrection; and then he explains our resurrection, and that explanation, therefore, must be equally an explanation of our Lord's resurrection, for he is the Head, the Firstborn from the dead amongst many brethren: and the experience of the :brethren" in resurrection will only be a duplication of the experiences of their Lord. With this in mind, ley us note the Apostle's statement respecting the first resurrection and its operation upon the Church, assured that the same description, in general features at least, apply to our Lords; resurrection. He says, "Thus is the resurrection of the dead: It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." – 1 Cor. 15:42-44; Phil. 3:10,11.

From this standpoint, and from no other, can the facts related in the Scriptures respecting our Lord's resurrection be harmonized with each other and with the object for which he came into the world and suffered death.

Our Lord's resurrected being was a direct gift from the Father, and not something which our Redeemer held over from a previous existence. When he left the glory of the spiritual condition and became the man Jesus, he had a right to life, under the divine law, because he had always fulfilled the conditions of life. In harmony with this the Scriptures assure us that his degradation from a higher nature to the human nature was not as a punishment, but of his own volition; not in obedience to a command of the Father, but in obedience to the will of the Father. As a man also he had a right to life, because the divine law guaranteed life to all who obeyed it; hence in no sense of the word was his human life forfeited. On the contrary, he gave it, he sacrificed it, he offered it, in harmony with the Father's plan, as man's ransom-price But there he lost all right to life: that was the very thing which he surrendered or "offered" on man's behalf. And having surrendered on man's behalf his rights to life he had no such rights remaining, and consequently could plead no right to a future life by a resurrection o that score – he had given his rights for Adam and his race.

But while the rights of our Lord were gone – paid to Justice as Adam's ransom, nevertheless the heavenly Father's power and right to re-create on a higher plane were in no sense of the word abridged. Justice might properly object to the re-creation of Jesus as a man, but would have no ground whatever for objecting to the creation of a new creature – of a nature higher and superior to all others of God's creatures – of the divine nature. And this is that the Apostle tells us did occur; after describing our Lords; humility and obedience to the Father unto death, even the death of the cross, the Apostle declares, "God hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above very name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." – Phil. 2:9-11.

While it doth not yet appear what we shall be, when we are changed by a share in the first resurrection to the same divine nature, and while consequently it does not yet appear to us clearly what our Lord is in his very high exaltation, we can nevertheless appreciate the fact that amongst all who are honored with the title of sons of God upon the different planes or natures there is a measure of identity. Thus, for instance, our [R2477 : page 135] Lord, in his prehuman condition as Michael, the Logos, could be transferred to a lower condition, the human, and yet could preserve a good recollection and appreciation of his previous experiences, and did so, as the Scriptures relate. (John 8:58; 17:5,24.) And similarly it was possible for the perfect man Jesus, the image of God in flesh, to be so duplicated as a still higher image of God in the divine nature, "the express image of the Father's person," that his identity is absolutely assured. The Scriptures clearly indicate that our Lords; experiences as a man, and the lessons of patience and obedience and sympathy which he then learned, are present with him now as experiences, altho no longer flesh, but spirit of the highest order. Only from this standpoint can we rightly appreciate the various facts set forth in this lesson.

Woman's love and tenderness, specially endearing charms of the sex, are well illustrated in this lesson – in the coming of Jesus' female friends "very early in the morning," "while it was yet dark," and the :dawn." They came with no thought of the Lord's resurrection, but to embalm his body more elaborately than there had been time and opportunity for doing on the evening of his burial. They ad bee hindered from coming the previous day, because it was the Jewish Sabbath (the day now known as Saturday), the seventh day of the week. It does not appear that they all came together, but rather that Mary Magdalene was the first to arrive; but before her arrival there had been an earthquake, the keepers were affrighted, and fled to the chief priests. (Matt. 28:2,11-15.) Mary's perplexity respecting the events connected with the crucifixion was evidently intensified by the finding of the stone tolled away from the sepulcher, and full of the thought that the Lord's enemies were still pursuing him, and had even removed his body, she ran with haste to make the matter known to Peter and John, saying, "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him." Meantime the other women arrived, and sw the two angels, who explained to them that Jesus had risen as he had foretold, and they also returned to the city to report to the apostles. – Luke 24:2-10.

Peter and John were immediately interested by Mary's narrative, and hastened to the sepulcher; John, the younger and more active one, arriving there first, looked in and saw the place vacant, and the linen clothes lying; but Peter, the courageous, coming up, was the first to enter the sepulcher. Now they began to think of he words which our Lord had spoken respecting his resurrection to he third day, and John tells us of himself that looking at these evidences "he believed" – yet no doubt with much confusion of thought at first. The two disciples went to their home, but Mary remained at the sepulcher, weeping, and looking in she saw what Peter and John had not seen – two angels. They were doubtless there when Peter and John went into the sepulcher, but as we have heretofore seen from the Scriptural testimony, angels are invisible to human sight, except as a miracle may be performed. Such as a miracle was performed in this instance, and the two angels assumed human form and white raiment, and asked Mary why she wept. While she told them that she was weeping because some one had taken away the Lord's corpse, she heard as a footstep near her, and turning saw what she took to be the gardener, the keeper of Joseph's garden in which this tomb was. [R2478 : page 135] She did not recognize him as the Lord, but asked him if he had removed the body to tell her where, that she might take charge of it – her thought seeming to have been that Joseph was unwilling to have his tomb cumbered longer, and had therefore ordered that our Lord's body be removed, and that probably the gardener had attended to the matter.

It will be noticed in this case, and in the various instances of our Lord's appearances after his resurrection, that his nearest and dearest friends did not recognize him. He appeared in various forms and under varying circumstances. He spoke to them only briefly on each occasion, and during the forty days of his presence from the time of his resurrection to the time of his ascension was seen of his disciples only as a few times, and all of his conversations together probably did not occupy over an hour. These appearances, nevertheless, were for the purpose of teaching them very important lessons. (1) They were to recognize the fact that he was no longer dead, but alive. (2) That he was no longer the man Jesus, and subject to human limitations as before his crucifixion, but with the same loving disposition and characteristics was to as a "new creature," not subject to earthly conditions and limitations – able, as the angels, to appear and to disappear, to go and come like the wind, as he himself had explained that all "born of the spirit" in resurrection can do. – John 3:8.

In this view of the matter we are not surprised that Mary did not know her Lord until he revealed himself by speaking her name in as a familiar manner. Then how quickly her faith surmounted every obstacle; with as a woman's intuition she stopped not to inquire why there were no marks of the mails in his hands and in his feet but crying, "Master!" she clasped him by the feet with as a fervency that meant, Now that I have found you again I will not let go of you! Her love, her devotion, her persistence, gained for Mary the great honor of being the first to whom the Lord revealed himself after his resurrection. She had been forgiven much, and she loved much, and our Lord manifested his appreciation [R2478 : page 136] of her devotion. Nevertheless, he must tell her that she was neglecting a great privilege and as a great duty, for under divine providence it had fallen to her to be the first to announce to the disciples positively that the Lord was alive again. Instead of holding the Lord tightly by the feet, and thinking never to leave him, she should rather gladly become the servant both of the Lord and the apostles, and carry the good tidings.

And this in substance is what our Lord said to her. Our common translation "Touch me not," is faulty: the passage should rather be rendered, – Cling not to me, but go to my brethren, and say to them that I have not ascended to my Father, but that I am to ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and to your God. Announce to them the fact of my resurrection, and that I will be with them awhile before I go to the Father: thus you will do as a work of preparing them for my subsequent manifestations. And having the true love which manifests itself in obedience, Mary immediately undertook the mission assigned her. According to Matthew's account (28:1,9) "the other Mary" must have been near by, and have come forward by this time, and received as a commission with Mary Magdalene to tell the disciples.

We will not stop to call special attention to the words of our Lord, in which he declares that our heavenly Father is his heavenly Father, and our God his God, for the expression is simple enough for all unprejudiced minds. We pass on to notice that the second appearance of our Lord was in the afternoon of the same day, toward evening, when he overtook two of the disciples going to Emmaus, as a suburban village: one of these was Cleopas, and the other evidently was Simon Peter. – Luke 24:13-32,34.

The third appearance was in the evening of the same day. While Simon and Cleopas (who immediately returned to Jerusalem to tell the disciples) were relating their experiences Jesus himself appeared in their midst. The disciples were nervous from the experiences of the preceding days, and were fearful of what the rulers of the Jews would do against them as the followers of Jesus, and were together in conference, "the doors being shut," – barred and bolted, we may reasonably suppose. What could be more astonishing to them than that as a stranger should appear in their midst? And altho he said, "Peace be unto you," no wonder they were affrighted. They thought of this as the manifestation of an angel in their midst, for who but as a spirit being could appear while the doors were shut? They had not yet learned the lesson that our Lord, in his resurrection, was a spirit being and no longer a human being, and that like the angels he now had power to appear and disappear – to assume a human body with clothing, etc., and to dissipate the same at will. This lesson they must learn, and must needs be taught it by practical illustrations. Simon, who had been at Emmaus, and who had noted how the Lord vanished out of their sight as soon as they recognized him, would undoubtedly be prepared, better than the others, for this miraculous appearance while the doors were shut. He would know that he one who could disappear and vanish out of their sight at Emmaus would similarly have power to appear in any place.

Our Lord's interview was not a lengthy one; it was a first lesson, and the disciple would get the more good of it by reflection after he would leave them. He wished them, however, to be at ease in his presence, and to now that they were not seeing a spirit being, for, as he explained, "a spirit hath not flesh and bones." What they saw was not spirit, but matter. This does not mean that our Lord was not a spirit being at this time, as is clearly set forth by other Scriptures (1 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17; Phil. 3:21): it merely means what it says, namely, that what they saw was not spirit, and hence that they had no cause for affright.

In our Lord's appearance to the Marys and on the way to Emmaus there is no suggestion that he appeared in a body scarred with the marks of the nails. Can we suppose that Mary would have clasped him by the feet and not have noticed the great wounds made by the nails? Can we suppose that the two gong to Emmaus, and looking curiously at their companion, asking hi, if he were a stranger to those parts, would to have noticed if his hands and his feet had great wounds in them? The evidence, therefore, seems conclusive that in neither of these manifestations did our Lord appear in bodies bearing wounds and thus resembling his crucified form. But now, at this third showing wishing to emphasize the identity of his risen self with the crucified one, he appeared to his followers in a form exactly like the one that was crucified, and showed them the spearmarks in his side and the nail-prints in his hands and feet. And while they still wondered and feared that what they saw was merely an apparition, he asked them to give him food, and ate some fish and honeycomb in their sight. – Luke 24:39-43.

Nothing in this implies of necessity that the flesh which they saw was the identical flesh which had hung on the cross. On the contrary that flesh, like all other flesh, was subject to the laws of nature and could not have been brought into the room while the doors were shut, nor subsequently caused to vanish out of it. The body of flesh which our Lord displayed to the disciples, was evidently created, and its clothing as well, in their presence, and dissolved when he vanished from their sight after the interview. Such powers are beyond human comprehension, but quite within the range of divine power. [R2478 : page 137]

What became of the body of flesh that was crucified, and that laid in Joseph's tomb, and that disappeared therefrom, we are not told, except that the Apostle and Prophet declare that, "His flesh saw no corruption." (Acts 2:31; Psa. 16:10.) We incline to the opinion that the flesh, which was man;'s ransom-price, will never see corruption, but that it will be preserved by divine power as an everlasting testimony of the grace of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ in man's redemption, and will thus be a witness and a testimony to the divine love throughout eternity. Where God may have that body in preservation we know not. He who could hide the body of Moses, who was only a type, surely could hide the body of his Son – the antitypical redemption price. – Jude 9.

These various appearances of our Lord under peculiar circumstances were continued at long intervals during the forty days. Apparently he appeared in all some four or five times after the appearance above noted, which were on the day of his resurrection, and the Apostle Paul assures us that at the time he wrote his Epistle to the Corinthians over two hundred and fifty witnesses of our Lord's resurrection were still living, and this epistle was written about twenty-four years after the crucifixion. When we remember how close a reasoner the Apostle Paul was, and how logical were all his conclusions, we may rest assured that he did not receive this testimony respecting our Lord's resurrection upon any slight evidence, but had full confirmation of it. Moreover, he attests as a witness to the resurrection himself, saying, "Last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born before due time." – 1 Cor. 15:6-8.

The Apostle Paul did not see Jesus under a vail of flesh, as he appeared to the others before the spirit dispensation began. To Paul he manifested himself in the glory of this spirit being, "shining above the brightness of the sun at noonday." The effect, as is well [R2479 : page 137] known, was disastrous to the eyes of the Apostle, because, altho he saw the Lord as one born before the time, yet not having been thus born himself by a resurrection change to the newness of nature, the sight was a calamity to his flesh.

It surely is a great relief to us to understand correctly respecting our dear Redeemer's resurrection, for several reasons: –

(1) It permits us to see how he arose without taking back our ransom price.

(2) It shows us that, altho, in obedience to the Father's arrangement, he willingly and gladly left a higher condition in order to be made flesh and to give a ransom, nevertheless he has not been permitted to be a loser to all eternity by this arrangement – he is not hampered by the lower or fleshly organism, but has, in his resurrection, attained to the highest form of spirit nature, the divine nature.

(3) It is a comfort to us to know that he does not bear now, in glory, the scars of the thorns, the spear and the nails; nor any of the evidences of the things which he suffered on our behalf: but instead his is an "excellent glory" – "the express image of the Father's person." – Heb. 1:3.

(4) It comforts us also to know that the Church, the body of Christ, will not to all eternity bear the marks of imperfection, the blemishes of sin, nor the marks of the wounds endured for righteousness' sake. No, the promise to the Church is the same as the promise to her Lord, that in the resurrection the Father will give (not the body that died, with wounds and imperfections, but) "a body as it hath pleased him," a glorious body, a likeness of the Lord. "We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" – not as he was. – 1 Cor. 15:38; Phil 3:21; 1 John 3:2.

[R2479 : page 137]

THE NEW LIFE IN CHRIST.
– JUNE 18. – COL. 3:1-15. –

"Let the peace of God rule in your hearts."
F
OLLOWING our consideration of our Lord's death and resurrection, it is appropriate that we apply to ourselves the two-fold lesson therein taught: –

(1) The lesson of man's depravity through the fall and his consequent need of a redemption and restitution. As we have seen, the death of Christ was man's ransom-price, and the resurrection of Christ was God's attestation of the acceptableness of the sin-offering, and preparing of the way for the blessing of mankind by raising up to superhuman life, divine glory and power, the Redeemer, – constituting him "Lord of all," and thus fitting him for the great work of blessing Adam and his family in due time – after the establishment of his Millennial Kingdom.

(2) We should note God's purpose to select from mankind a "little flock" on whom to confer Kingdom power in due time, making them his representatives and agents in the work of blessing the world of mankind with all the favors secured by the ransom sacrifice. The Scriptures show us that this plan or purpose of God was foreknown, forearranged, by him before the foundation of the world. They show us also that in the divine purpose our Lord Jesus was the Head, the First, the principal One, the Lord of this little flock, and that God's dealings with him and the method by which he was prepared for his present high position were an illustration of the method by which his Church is to be prepared for joint-heirship with him in his [R2479 : page 138] Kingdom. – Eph. 1:3,4, 4:15; Col. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:20.

It is with this latter feature or lesson that we now have to do. In the Scripture under consideration the Apostle is addressing, nor mankind in general, – not even believers in general, – but a specific class, namely, "the saints and faithful brethren in Christ." (Col. 1:2.) He is addressing, therefore, those who have taken the two steps of grace: – (1) The step of justification from Adamic sin and death to reconciliation with the Father through faith in the atonement accomplished by his dear Son. (2) Having thus been justified reckonedly, or by faith, lifted out of the condition of sin and condemnation, these, according to the Lords; invitation, have consecrated themselves in the fullest sense and degree to the Lord for obedience and service "even unto death."

This full consecration of every talent and power and opportunity is Scripturally called death – because the will has died, self-will has gone, and the Lord's will has been accepted in it stead. And since the will is the real ego, the real person, the thought is that the old ego, will or person has died, and that the new creature, having no will of his own, but being wholly under subjection to the divine will as expressed in Christ, who is the Head of this body, has come into control. Let us not lose the thought-picture here conveyed. We are not new individuals or persons, for it was individually and personally that we ceased to be when we gave ourselves over by full consecration to the Lord: our new condition is that of members or parts of the larger corporation or body of which our Lord Jesus is the Head. Whoever has a will of his own is properly to be considered an individual; but whoever has dropped his own will, and accepted instead of it the will of another, has creased or figuratively has died as an individual. And this is the picture which the Apostle presents in this and in various other presentations of this subject. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 12 the same writer declares that the entire Christ is not in the members but in the Head. To whatever extent, then, the Lord's people have fully consecrated themselves to him as members of the body of Christ, they should be in absolute subjection to the will of God in Christ; and so far as their own wills are concerned they should have none, but in that respect should be "dad."

This is the Apostle's thought in this lesson; but he carries it further, saying that as our own wills, ambitions, aims and hopes were consecrated and reckoned dead, so we should reckon ourselves as members of the Christ, risen from the dead: new creatures, possessed and controlled buy the new will, the mind of Christ. It is this class that the Apostle addresses, and from this standpoint that he declares, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God."

The thought is that all of this class have, as justified earthly beings, desiring and hoping to attain jointheirship with Christ in his Kingdom, been taught of God and inspired by the exceeding great and precious promises of his Word to come to this position of self-consecration. We are to note how our Lord Jesus laid down his earthly life, and was by the Father exalted to a heavenly condition and the right hand of power, – as a criterion for our course as followers in his footsteps. We are to remember continually that joint-heirship with the Lord in that spiritual condition and in his heavenly power and Kingdom are the hopes set before the Church of this age, and we are to "seek those things" – "seek" chiefly the Kingdom of God" – seek to make our calling and election sure to participation with our Lord in the Kingdom honors and glories to which he already has attained as a reward for his faithful sacrifice. – Verse 1; Matt. 6:33; Rom. 2:7; 2 Pet. 1:10.

The Apostle wishes us to understand how we are to "seek" those things. We are not merely to seek them in prayer, altho prayer is an excellent aid in the seeking. We are to seek them by setting our affections on those things, and by lifting our affections from earthly things.

Comparatively few realize to what extent we have the forming of our own characters – to what extent our minds, our affections, are gardens, in which we may plant either the thorns and thistles of sin, or plant the merely moral and practical qualities corresponding to the useful vegetables, or plant those seeds which will produce the fragrant and beautiful flowers which more particularly would represent the heavenly and spiritual graces. That which a man soweth he shall also reap in kind, whether he sow to the flesh or to the spirit. Whoever, therefore, seeks for the heavenly things, joint-heirship in the Kingdom etc., Must plant or set out in his mind, in his affections, those qualities and grace which the Lord marks out as essential to the development of characters such as will be "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." – Col. 1:12.

Thus the Lord throws upon all those whom he calls to this "high calling," this "heavenly calling," and who accept the call and covenant thereunder, the responsibility of their success or failure in attaining it. Through his Word he tells of their own natural weaknesses and imperfections, and shows them how he has provided a full off-set or counterbalance for these imperfections in the merit and sacrifice of the Redeemer: he shows them also what re the fruits and [R2480 : page 139] graces of the spirit which they must possess, in heart at least, if they would be joint-heirs with Christ: he shows them also in the Redeemer's life as well as in his teachings the copy which all must follow who would reach the same glorious station and be his joint-heirs. We might look at this matter merely from the standpoint of the responsibility which it throws upon us, and might well feel over-awed thereby; rather, however, we should view it from the standpoint of divine grace, and consider what a blessed privilege has been granted us, not only of being transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we might come more and more to know and to strive for the good, acceptable and prefect will of God, but in addition to all this God has set before us the grandest reward imaginable for the doing of that which is merely our duty and reasonable service – the doing of that which would bring us the largest measure of joy and peace, aside from a future reward. – 2 Pet. 1:3,4.

There is a natural attraction to earthly things for all mankind: even tho the earthly things, during the reign of evil, be blemished and in many respects distasteful to those who have learned to love righteousness and hate iniquity, there is nevertheless still a strong attraction to the marred and blemished earthly things. Like weeds, earthly affections and desires spring spontaneously from seeds which come we know not whither. The Christian, therefore, who would keep his heart in the love of God must not only keep planting out or setting his affections on heavenly things, but he must keep rooting out the weeds of earthly desire and attraction.

As the Apostle intimates, our new life is not manifest to all, nor upon all occasions; it is a life of new desire, new aims, new aspirations, – which the world can neither see nor fully appreciate, tho it see some outward manifestations of the new life in our daily conduct. Even the "brethren" may not be able to appreciate the progress of the new life in us; and even ourselves may at times be somewhat perplexed respecting the rapidity and strength of its growth, and we may need to look back over weeks or months, or perhaps years, in order to determine unquestionably that it is growing. Our new life, represented by our endeavors to follow the new will of Christ, is hidden thus in Christ and in the Father.

It is in harmony wit this thought that the Apostle Paul declared in one place that neither the world nor the brethren were capable of judging him – that only the Lord, who could read the heart and know all the conditions and testings an weaknesses to be striven against, could properly judge him. He even declares, "Yea, I judge not mine own self." (Rom. 14:4; 1 Cor. 4:3; Jas. 4:12.) It is an excellent plan neither to condemn others who claim to be walking conscientiously as children of the Lord, nor even to condemn ourselves under similar circumstances. We should simply press along day by day, doing the best we can to cultivate the heavenly graces and to serve our Master, leaving all the results with the Lord. He careth for us, and so long as our hopes and aims and objects of life are centered in the heavenly things, and our lives thus hid with Christ in God, we need fear no evil, present or future. Fr the Lord, will be with us and bless us and keep us from falling and ultimately present us blameless. – Psa. 23:4; Jude 24; Col. 1:22.

This condition of things is to last throughout the entire Gospel age, and is to apply to all the members of the body of Christ. All are to be dead to the world and all are to have their ambitions and hopes or life hidden with Christ in God. As the Father has done for our Lord, so he wills of or all those who are truly untied to him; and the time for bringing these blessings to the Church is, the Apostle states, at the second coming of the Lord. Then the Lord's people will n longer be misunderstood by each other nor by the world; then the faithful will all appear with the master in glory, and then will begin the work of blessing all the families of the earth with a knowledge of the truth and with an opportunity for full restitution to all that was lost in Adam.

Having thus set forth the proper course of the Church in the line of aspirations, hopes, etc., the Apostle turns to the other side of the question, and gives us particular and explicit directions how we should proceed to carry out our consecration vow of deadness to earthly things and life only toward the heavenly things. It will be noticed that he does not counsel retirement from the world and its busy cares to cloisters, monasteries or nunneries, but taking the Lord's consecrated people where they may be, he advises respecting the methods by which they can best accomplish the desired results of mortifying of deadening their appetites, desires, etc., which are rooted and grounded in their fallen flesh or earthly nature. He mentions these besetments, commencing with the more gross and ending with the most subtle.

Fornication was very prevalent in the Apostle's day, and he would have the saints recognize this gross, prominent evil, and then in connection with it notice others which they might be much mor likely to overlook. First of these in order is "uncleanness." What a searching thought is in that word! It means anything that is not pure, not chaste, not holy not clean. If a good many of the saints might feel that it was useless to mention to them so gross an evil as fornication, they would be forced to admit that in their imperfect condition they required guarding, counseling, [R2480 : page 140] on the score of "uncleanness." This reminds us of our Lord's words to the disciples on the night before his crucifixion. He said to Peter, when proposing to wash his feet, "Ye are clean, but not all." So the saints consecrated to the Lord are clean of heart, pure of heart; yet they re not all clean – the members which touch the earth, their sensibilities and passions which come in contact with the defiled human nature, need cleansing, need "washing with water through the Word." All filth, all uncleanness, every "spot and wrinkle," needs attention, and the "precious blood: is the antidote for every stain. – Eph. 5:25-27.

"Inordinate affection" is one of the things mentioned as needing attention and correction but the saints: this signifies earthly or animal passions. The saints are to mortify these, that is, to deaden them – not only to seek not to cultivate, not to enliven, not to arouse, such passions either in themselves or in others, but on the contrary they are to seek to deaden these as well as to cultivate the higher and nobler joys and sentiments. The deadening or mortifying of these, and the self-denial according to the flesh thus implied, is a part of the antitypical fasting in which all of the Lord's people should seek to engage, each according to his zeal, opportunities and possibilities.

"Evil concupiscence" (or, in more modern language, desires for forbidden things) is a step higher in the Apostle's list of evil tendencies that should be rooted out and mortified, deadened. It is not sufficient that we acknowledge sin in its various forms to be evil, and that we resolve that we will strive against it because it is under the Lord's ban: in addition to this we are to root out of our hearts every longing, every desire for every thing not thoroughly approved by the Lord. Oh, what a cleansing this would mean in the hearts and lives, and especially in the thoughts, of many who have named the name of Christ! Many who fail to note this point, who fail to follow the Apostle's admonition, find themselves continually beset by temptations, because, while outwardly avoiding gross immoralities, they secretly harbor sympathies for things condemned, – desiring that they might have them, if only they were not forbidden. Under such conditions comparatively little progress can be made in the higher life. The Apostle would set before us the proper course to be pursued, if we would win the great prize, – namely, the high standard of bringing the very thoughts, wishes, desire, of our hearts into full conformity to the perfect will of God: and only those who do so are properly making progress, running the race set before us in the Gospel. – 2 Cor. 10:5.

The Apostle concludes his list of things against which the "new creature" must war to the death by naming covetousness, and declaring it a species of idolatry. In other words, if the hearts of the Lord's people are running after any earthly thing )even if it be not an evil thing of itself_, if they are centering their affections upon even good things of an earthly kind, and are neglecting to set their affections upon the heavenly things, they are failing to run the race successfully. This is amongst the most seductive trials of the Lord's people. Some will set their affections upon a wife or a husband, or upon parents or children, or upon a good name before the public, to such an extent that when testings come as to whether or not they love these more than they love the Lord, their conduct proves that they have given to these earthly good things a degree of love beyond that they accorded to the Lord.

Frequently the Lord's people do not at the time realize that this is the case. They love the Lord, and they love their families and friends, and a good name, which is to be preferred to great riches; and they do not realize that they love the Lord less than they love these other things. The Lord, however, will test everyone whom he will receive to the high calling along just these lines; he declares in advance that whoever loves father, mother, children or any other thing more than him is not worthy of him – not worthy to be counted as a member of the body of the Christ in glory, – the overcoming Church. The overcomers must all be proven to be such as would sacrifice every other thing for the Lord; such as would sacrifice the love and fellowship and approval, if necessary, of every other being, in order to retain the love and favor of the Lord. We believe that this test is coming daily closer and closer to the Lord's consecrated people, and it behooves everyone of us to remember that this is one of the elements of our trial, and to set our affections on the heavenly things accordingly, and to mortify or deaden all such affections toward earthly beings and things as would bring these into competition with our [R2481 : page 140] Lord in our affections, service. etc.

The Apostle sums up this list of evils to be deadened by saying that it is in the seeking o these earthly things, because of such things growing in their hearts, that the Lord's wrath is to come "on the children of disobedience." Are they the wicked the worldly, the unregenerate? No, none of these; for they are to ;children" at all. The reference evidently is to those who have become children of God by his legitimate arrangement of (1) justification and (2) sanctification through faith in Christ. He is referring to those who are of the class "called to be saints," but who fail to make sure their calling and election to jointheirship with the Lord, as members of the kingdom "little flock." He refers to those who do not properly set their affections [R2481 : page 141] on heavenly things, but allow their affections to centre chiefly in earthly things. He refers to the "great company" who, because of loving father or mother, houses or lands, or something else, to such an extent that they fail to keep their covenant of sacrifice, will be accounted unworthy of a share in the Kingdom, and instead will be subjected to the great time of trouble – "the day of wrath." – 1 Cor. 3:15; Rev. 7:9-15.

This does not signify, however, that such persons have become exceedingly corrupt in their lives, but merely that they are continuing in the course of life in which they were before making their covenant to the Lord. This is clearly expressed in the seventh verse of our lesson.

Coming down to a particularization of the change which should take place in those who have consecrated themselves wholly to the Lord, the Apostle enumerates certain alterations of disposition which should be attempted, and, so far as possible, accomplished; namely, the putting away of all the following – anger, wrath, malice, evil-speaking, impurity of language, and falsehood in its every form. At first thought such correction of life might seem to be unnecessary to mention as being too coarse and entirely opposed to every true Christian principle; but as we scrutinize the matter we find that the Apostle has really taken into his list nearly all the weaknesses of the flesh which beset those who have' become "new creature in Christ.' What is more common with Christian people than to become angry? How many there are who have named the name of Christ who have malicious or at least unkind thoughts respecting others, and who harbor these, and sometimes permit them to influence their conduct! How many there are who indulge in evil speaking, that is, slander (here translated "blasphemy")! This is often done in such a manner as not only to deceive the hearer, but also to deceive the speaker as respects his real intention in speaking of others discreditably, unkindly.

What a wonderful world this would be if all the evil or impure language were avoided! Every Christian should see to it that henceforth every word which proceeds from his mouth shall be such as will minister grace to the hearers – such words as wills only good and be edifying. Finally, how much need there is, not only of having good intentions in the heart, but also of expressing those good intentions truthfully one to another – without deception, without hypocrisy. But it requires that a heart be very pure and very full of love if it would be very truthful, otherwise it would lad into trouble continually. If the unloving, ungenerous, unkind hearts, full of evil surmising, malice, hatred and strife, were to express themselves frankly it would add immensely to the trouble of the world. The Apostle therefore urges first, the purifying of the heart, and then general candor.

These corrections of life are urged as the reasonable and proper outcome of our transformation from the Adamic and fallen nature, reckoned dead, to the new nature of Christ, of whose "body" we have become reckonedly members, controlled and renewed in knowledge through our new Head, Christ Jesus.

And the Apostle then shows that in this new condition, as members of the body of Christ, we are to remember that previous differences of man are ignored, for whoever is accepted of the Lord as a member of his body is a fellow-member with every other member thus accepted, – whether, according to the flesh, they were Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, Barbarian or Scythian, bondman or freeman; because all who come into Christ are reckoned dead to their previous condition, and alive to the new conditions which are life for all. Thus, a slave being set free is dead to his former slavery, and may figuratively be said to have started on a new life. Thus also a citizen may renounce his allegiance to the land of his birth and may swear allegiance to another country, and become a citizen of it, and thus be reckoned as dead to the nation of which he was a citizen by birth, and to have become alive as a citizen of the new nation to which he has been adopted. Thus it is with all those who re in Christ: they may have been Welshman or Spaniards, Britons or Gauls, blacks or whites, Indians or Malays, but as soon as they are accepted of the Lord as new creature through faith and consecration they are to reckon themselves dead to all their former relationships and obligations, and as having come into new conditions as citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom, and reckonedly heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.

This does not mean, however, that the white man will become a black man, nor the black man a white man; it does not mean, necessarily, a change of language either, nor a revolution in all the tastes and peculiarities wherewith one was born; nor does it mean a full release, according to the flesh, from obligations to the land of our birth, nor imply that we should not be subject to the powers that be, except as their demands might conflict with the positive commands of our King; nor does it imply an ignoring of the differences of sex and the proprieties which belong to each sex, and which, according to the Scriptures, are to be continued and preserved during this age. It does imply, however, that in thinking of each other as new creatures in Christ Jesus. All are to be considered as on a common plane or level – none are to be disesteemed as "brethren" because of color, speech or sex.

With this thought before our minds, – of the oneness [R2481 : page 142] and equality of those who have been accepted into the body of Christ, the Apostle urges upon out attention the necessity, not only of putting off the evil dispositions of our fallen flesh, but the necessity also of putting on, cultivating, the various graces of the Spirit exemplified in our Head, Christ Jesus. He specifies these: (1) Bowels of mercies, or, in more modern language, compassionate sentiments; a disposition toward largeness and generosity of heart toward everybody and everything – toward the saints, toward our neighbors and friends and relatives, toward our enemies, and toward the brute creation. Amplifying, he continues, showing that it would imply (2) kindness toward all; (3) humbleness of mind, the reverse of boastfulness, headiness, arrogance; (4) meekness, or gentleness of disposition; (5) long-suffering, or patient endurance with the faults and weaknesses of others. It implies that we should bear with each other's peculiarities of temperament and disposition, freely forgiving one another, if there be cause of offence found in each other – learning the meanwhile to correct ourslves, as we see our own blemishes more or less mirrored in others. Ad the standard for all this course of conduct is found in the Lord's course toward us, for he surely has been generous, kind, forbearing and forgiving.

The Apostle wishes us to notice that he is not attempting a reformation of the world along these lines, but merely a transformation of those how have entered into a special covenant with the Lord, namely, the Church: "the elect of God, holy and beloved." Nevertheless, all whoa re thus covenanted to the Lord, and hope to make their calling and election sure to membership in the glorified Church, will not only seek to have these fruits of the spirt in their own lives, but will seek also to cultivate the same a they may have opportunity in their friends and neighbors: above all will such seek to exercise such a good influence upon their own families – that as their children receive from them, as parents, the natural life and the necessary instructions and start therein, they may also if possible receive from them their start in the new life, and the necessary instructions and equipment for the same.]

But the Apostle, as the mouthpiece of the holy Spirit, is a thorough instructor: not only does he tell us what dis-graces to put off and what graces to put on, but viewing the Lord's body arrayed in these glorious qualities of heart, – compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patient endurance, forbearance and forgiveness, -he adds, "And above all these put on love, which is the bond of perfectness." Love is thus pictured as the "girdle" which binds and holds in place the folds of the robe of Christ's righteousness, with its various graces. In other words, the Apostle would have us see that forbearance, meekness, patience, etc., must not be matters of courtesy merely, or matters of policy merely, but however much they might partake of these qualities at the beginning, the wearers will not be perfected in heart, not be fit of the kingdom, until they have reached the place where these various graces of their wills, or intentions, are bound to them by the cords of love – love for the Lord, love for righteousness, love for the "brethren," ad sympathetic love for the whole groaning creation. Love is indeed the bond of perfectness, the very spirit of the Lord.

How forceful in its place is the last verse of this lesson, "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body [one corporation, one Church – the body of Christ], and be ye thankful." Not until God's people have reached some measure of what the Apostle has here outlined can they know experimentally the blessedness of having divine peace rule in their hearts and lives, controlling their relationship with every member of the body of Christ under the bond of love, and producing more and more in them the spirit of gratitude and thankfulness to God, for mercies and blessings enjoyed. And such gratitude will find its natural and proper outlet in endeavors to serve the Lord: endeavors which the Lord will be sure to accept form such hearts, reckoned holy and acceptable through Christ Jesus, the head and Redeemer.

[R2482 : page 143]

INTERESTING LETTERS.

DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD: – It is with pleasure that I report an increased sign of interest in the truth by some more of the Lord's people. Since the loss of our dear brother Nicholson (who will doubtless be profitable for the truth wherever he may settle in the States) we have unmistakably entered a new era in our Christian history. At the point of his leaving and for a few weeks later the lowest ebb of the tide was reached; but at the darkest hour of future prospect, a revival of interest set in which has increased steadily. Our work is altogether in the interest of the "household of faith" – seeking to be used of the Chief Reaper in supplying the present truth. The interest is marked in the saints who, realizing the great need of separation from what tends to compromise with Christendom and having a desire to be of the sanctuary class, follow the Lord outside the camp.

Our Dawn Circle (every Tuesday evening) is exceptionally successful compared with the past year, and the work on Sunday is at last bearing fruit. All the helpers are in our midst, and all who speak the truth are known to be sound in the faith. Thus we are able to avoid the inevitable consequences of the warning of Scripture, "Sow not the field with mingled seed." As far as lies in our power the truth (unadulterated) is proclaimed.

Some years ago I wrote you upon the seeming discrepancy of the 400 and 430 years of the Israelites' sojourning and afflictions, and since have come across what is a very helpful solution of the matter, and a further indication of the reliableness of the Bible dates.

This distinction between affliction and the bondage of the Israelites (the former including the latter, but not confined to it) throws light upon the difficulty which is often experienced respecting the period of 400 years here mentioned. The actual bondage in Egypt was of comparatively short duration (one-half of 430 years); but the affliction of the seed of Abraham commenced in his son, Isaac. The interval between Isaac's birth and the Exodus was 405 years; and if we place the predicted affliction of the seed to commence in Isaac's 5th year, when he would begin to feel the effects of Ishmael's mockery, we then have the afflictions enduring 400 years, and including in the last period of it the bondage. What is said (Exod. 12:40) about the sojourning of the people 430 years before the Exodus presents no difficulty in the way of this solution, but rather confirms it; because it is evident from Gal. 3:17, that this period of 430 years is to be reckoned from the giving of the promise to Abraham, which was first done 25 years before the birth of Isaac. This corresponds exactly, and was the whole period of sojourn, including the other two periods, which are more actually characterized as, first, the period of affliction, and finally, the period of actual slavery.

I remain, Yours in the Kingdom hope,

JAMES HAY, – England.

page 143

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Inclosed is a draft for __________dollars which I wish to deposit in the Tract Fund for its use as a loan. It is the earnings of the past two years above my daily necessities. I gathered it with the thought of giving the interest for the Tract Fund, and later the principal. I do not need it; and, judging from the past, I will not need it. The Lord has always provided ways and means to enable me to earn all things needful in the past, and since he has permitted me to come into the wonderful light and knowledge of the present truth, I can trust him much more fully, for I understand his ways better. I did think of donating it entirely, but as I am not quite clear in regard to the difference between tempting and trusting, I will wait until I have more knowledge; meanwhile the Society can use it as its own. It is but little to help others into the knowledge of our dear Lord's plans, but it is all he has given me, and the only way I can find now to serve, outside of sending out tracts.

Some of the people of the world seem to like to hear the truth, and so long as they do, is it not best to tell them of God's wonderful provision for all that will obey him? I have wondered what was best to do when they do not work on what they hear, and yet come where they will hear more. They do not seem to be worse since they learned that God does not intend to roast them forever. Eagerly we look forward to the time when the blind eyes and deaf ears shall be opened.

It is such a wonderful joy to know the Lord's ways. I thought when I first read the DAWNS that I was full of joy (and so I was: all I could hold), but that was three years ago, and I have learned so much since of heart culture and head knowledge that my heart is singing all the time. When in the M.E. Church, I never was at rest; everything seemed mixed and hazy. I was never sure of anything, except a desire to know the Lord. No one could tell me why it was necessary for Christ to die, or how to present my body a living sacrifice, or how to keep the first commandment. Now an understanding of God's character enables me to keep the first commandment; now my eyes are opened, and the way seems easy. It is so easy that I am fearful that I may lack in some way and be blind to it, for I see so many warnings in the Word; yet while the Word teaches that the heart is very deceitful, I know that I love the Lord and his ways above all things. Yours in our dear Redeemer's name,

MARY SHAFFER, – Pennsylvania.

DEAR BROTHER: – I am waiting here for the afternoon train to D__________. Five meetings have been held here, in the opera house, all of which were unusually well attended. Brother Fairbrother advertised the meetings most thoroughly, having notices in the papers for two weeks, beside having sent 75 or 80 invitation cards to persons who purchased DAWNS from Brother Kent. The results were very satisfactory – from the standpoint of numbers at least. The two largest meetings were those of Sunday afternoon and evening. I judge that about 100 persons attended the former and between 200 and 300 the latter. The Baptist minister attended the Saturday evening meeting (when we presented the Plan of the Ages) and was so pleased that he closed his church Sunday evening, so that himself and congregation could go to the opera house to hear a discourse on "How God can be just and the justifier of him which believeth on Jesus."

The people took tracts quite freely, and a goodly number ordered sample TOWERS.

With much love,

Yours in Christ, FRANK DRAPER.

MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I thank God that he offered me the opportunity of reading MILLENNIAL DAWN. Never in all my life of Scripture reading have page 144 I found so much comfort and peace. Thanks to his holy and righteous name, I do not see as I used to see, since I have been led into the glorious light! I love God better; I love my fellow man better. No more fears are haunting my mind of a life of eternal misery in the future. To acknowledge that I have lived a long time in total darkness, is but mildly expressing my extreme blindness pertaining to God's plan. Now the mystery is solved. I have often wondered, and asked the question, What will become of those millions of souls who have died in innocent ignorance of the plan of salvation? and received the answer, My brother, they must live forever and ever in a flame of fire, which God has prepared for all who do not become Christians before they depart out of this life. Oh! to think that I ever charged such atrocities to One who has created and cared for me, pains my heart sorely. But glorious light fell athwart my gloomy pathway, and I read in beautiful lines –

"Good will to men; blest echoes that thrill
His first-fruits with rapture grand –
Shall be to all, when, on Zion's hill,
The Bridegroom and bride shall stand."
W. M. P. DEVINE, – Ind. Ter.

[R2482 : page 144]

DEAR MR. RUSSELL: – The undersigned, ex-captain of the Salvation Army, has recently, on account of the light God has sent him through your work, M. DAWN, left said organization.

I have read VOLS. I. and II. twice, and have just received VOL. III. God has, through furnishing me with this volume, plainly shown his will in regard to me; I recognize his voice. Glory be to his name! Even before I received the truth I was fully consecrated to the Lord's service, and am determined, by God's gracious help, to spread further the great light he in his wonderful graciousness has counted me worthy to receive. Should be very grateful to you for some advice on how to act in the matter. Could no doubt get a situation in some worldly business, but, as I have said, being consecrated to the Lord's service, and believing that God has work for me to do, I much prefer to turn my talents into the service of our King.

I am twenty-five years of age, have no worldly possessions, can only speak or read Swedish. If you so desire, I shall be very glad to go into the colporteur work here in Sweden; but if you think I could do more good in any other country, I have no objection to go anywhere you may suggest.

Yours, devoted and grateful,

AUGUST LUNDBORG, – Sweden.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Please find draft for One Thousand Dollars, a thank-offering to the Lord for his many blessings given to me. Please use it in the harvest work, and, if you think best, I would be pleased to have you use it to assist in defraying the expense of the "Volunteer" service, mentioned in the April 15th TOWER.

Please do not publish my name in the TOWER in connection with this. I am thankful that I can help a little in this way.

Your brother in Christ,

__________, Wisconsin.

[The zeal of the Lord's dear people as "Volunteers" in the various departments of the King's service is very encouraging. Altho we have appropriated the name "Volunteers" specially to the public tract distribution now in progress, it is a fact that all who serve this harvest message in any capacity are really volunteers. The important financial part of the work is all volunteered – never begged, never urged, but always, as in the above case, done freely "as unto the Lord." The "Colporteur" service is similarly done by volunteers: and all these efforts are owned and blessed by the great Chief Reaper, we are sure.

The friends will be glad to know that the call for "Volunteers" for Sunday work amongst church-goers – circulating gratuitously the pamphlet, The Bible vs. Evolution – met with prompt and cordial responses from every direction. We send portions of each order in its turn and not all at once: and yet many orders are waiting for the pamphlets from the binderies. We have already sent out over 100,000 copies and are pushing the matter along as fast as possible: meantime fresh "Volunteers" are constantly reporting and the proposed half-million booklets may not be near enough; but if Providence so indicate, we are ready to issue more. The topic is apparently a very timely one, as many are in danger of "stumbling" on the subject of Evolution. – EDITOR.]

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – You will be pleased to have a brief account of our first two Sundays' experience in distributing the Bible verses Evolution pamphlet. Last Sunday we served six churches, and to-day we served five. Six of the brethren and four of the sisters in the truth are in the "volunteer" ranks at present. We have still over two hundred churches to be served. The average distribution to a congregation thus far has been about 125 of the pamphlets; as we are now working chiefly on the outskirts of the city among the smaller churches.

The common people receive them gladly and often with hearty thanks. One lady this evening was so favorably impressed by a hasty scanning of its pages that she walked back and tendered twenty-five cents to the sister who handed it to her, but the money was politely declined.

Another, a gentleman, stepped to the light to examine [R2483 : page 144] what it was that had been handed to him. In a moment he returned and said, "This is just what I have been seeking and did not know where to send for it; I am so glad to have it. Had I known you were outside to hand out these, I should have taken your supply inside and passed them out to our people." Others declared that we are certainly accomplishing a good work and wished us Godspeed. At one church, where we served this morning, the minister's sermon was on "Evolution," and he preached against that theory; our pamphlets at the door capped the climax.

I trust our effort will show for itself in the inquiries you will receive from here and requests for further reading matter along these lines.

We exercise great care in handing out the pamphlets so as not to pass them to any except such as we deem worthy of receiving them. We much appreciate our privilege of cooperation in spreading the Gospel to others. The Lord bless you and all the dear ones engaged in the harvest work!

Your brother "Volunteer,"

J. A. BOHNET, Washington, D.C.

MILLENNIAL DAWN
– THIS IS –
THE GENERAL TITLE OF A SERIES OF BOOKS BY THE EDITOR OF ZION'S WATCH TOWER

VOL. 1., The Plan of the Ages, Gives an outline of the divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restituion: 358 pages, paper bound 25 cts., in leatherette 35 cents.

Vol. II., The Time is at Hand, treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible testimony on this subject: 370 pages, paper bound 25 cts., in leatherette 35 cts.

Vol. III., Thy Kingdom Come, considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter on the great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, paper bound 25 cents, in leatherette 35 cents.

Vol. IV., The Day of Vengeance, shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these evetns the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's grat prophecy of Matt. 24, and that of Zech. 14:1-9: 660 pages, paper bound 35 cts., in leatherette 50 cents.

In cloth binding-VOLS. I.,II.&III. are 50 cents each, plus postage 10 cents each: VOL. IV., 75 cents, plus postage 12 cents.

MILLENNIAL DAWN is published in foreign languages as follows: In German and in Swedish., VOLS. I,II.&III In Dano-Norwegian, VOLS.I.&II. In French VOL.I Bound in cloth and paper uniform with the English edition; prices the same as above. WHOLSALE RATES TO WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIBERS

Namely, one-half above rates. In the United States and Canada add postage on cloth-bound: to foreign countries add postage on all editions.

page 145
June 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.June 15, 1899.No. 12.
CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower 147
Spiritualism Steadily Asserting Itself 147
Dr. Briggs an Unwelcome Episcopalian 148
Sowing to the Flesh – In the Churches 149
"Will a Man Rob God? Yet Ye have Robbed Me" 150
Application to Spiritual Israel 152
Questions and Answers 155
"Unto the Uttermost Parts of the Earth" 157
Divine Mercy in Hosea's Prophecy 159
Convention at Indianapolis in July 146

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

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

page 146

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

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

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

SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
– ADDRESS TO –
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 A YEAR IN ADVANCE.
MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, N.Y. DRAFT, MONEY ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR, AS FOLLOWS: –

Those of the interested who, by reason of old age, or 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 INDIANAPOLIS CONVENTION.

Arrangements are completed for a Convention of believers in the Second Coming of the Lord and the Plan of the Ages, – to be held at Indianapolis, Ind., July 21st to 23d, as follows: –

The Railroad fare will be one-half the usual, except from a few points which will add $2 to the one fare for round trip. All passenger trains run into Union depot, which is about three blocks distant from the meeting place of the Convention – "Shover's Hall," on Market Street, between Delaware and Alabama Avenues.

Accommodations – good and clean – have been arranged for, at the very reasonable rate of ninety-five cents per day, at "Barton's Hotel," No. 29 Virginia Ave. Such ZION'S WATCH TOWER readers as cannot afford even this modest sum, will be entertained free, by the Indianapolis friends, with great pleasure. Those who ride to the hotel can take any car leaving the Union depot and should ask for "transfer" when they pay their fare. A "Reception Committee" will meet all the friends at the Barton Hotel – except during convention hours, when it will be at Shover's Hall, as above mentioned.

The following program will be followed closely as practicable:

Friday, July 21st. – The opening "rally" will be at 10 A.M., conducted by Brother C. A. Owen – an opportunity for getting generally acquainted. At 3 P.M. the assembly will be addressed by the Editor of this Journal from the text – "Looking for the blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:13.) At 7:30 P.M. an address on the Ages and Dispensations of the divine plan, illustrated by the Chart of the Ages, may be expected.

Saturday, July 22d. – Testimony Meeting at 8 A.M. Preaching at 10:30 A.M. by the Editor of this Journal: subject, "The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:2.) At 3 P.M. a discourse by Bro. M. L. McPhail – "Sanctify them through thy Truth." At 7:30 P.M. a discourse from the Chart.

Sunday, July 23d. – Testimony Meeting 8:30 A.M.; at 10:30 a discourse by Bro. M. L. Staples on "The Offence of the Cross;" at 3 P.M., "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ," by the Editor; at 7:30 P.M., "Preserving the Unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace" – several speakers.

All who love the Lord, trust in the precious blood and wait for his Kingdom, are cordially invited to attend this Convention which recognizes only the one Church and her one Lord, one faith and one baptism. All such will please address the WATCH TOWER SOC'Y as soon as they know definitely that they will attend, stating in few words who will be of their party, and whether or not they will stop at the hotel. There will be an opportunity for symbolizing baptism.

[R2483 : page 147]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

SPIRITUALISM is steadily asserting itself.

The Boston Journal of May 28th, reporting recent utterances of Rev. M. J. Savage, says: –

"TALKED WITH WHITTIER.

"In a quite recent sermon Dr. Savage declared that he had talked with the late poet Whittier and knew that he, too, believed in the essentials of Spiritualism. Longfellow, too, he classified with him, and cited his famous line: "There is no death; what seems so is transition.' Most of the poets, he thinks, have shared the Spiritualist conception of the life beyond this one.

"'The other day,' said Dr. Savage, 'the papers contained a long account of the belief of Dr. Lyman Abbott and of Dr. Hillis, who is his successor. Both believe all the essentials that Spiritualists believe, only both were very careful to guard themselves against believing in such vulgar and foolish things as rappings on a table. For the life of me I cannot see what there is so foolish and degrading in rapping. If you are in one room of a hotel and I am in another, I am not so impolite as to go into your room without rapping to find out whether you want to see me. If some one from the other world is near me and wants to see me, is it so dreadful that he should call my attention by rapping? I have been asked as to the nature of communications from the other side. I've had what purported to be hundreds of them, and I say that they are pretty much on a level with my daily mail. I get some foolish and some malicious communications, and again some noble and intelligent ones in my mail every morning. So it is with those from the other side. If we can get rid of the old idea that the moment a man dies he is either a devil or an angel, we will see that this is just as it would be likely to be – the communications being on a level with things as they are now. If I should die here in this pulpit I should not expect to be in the next moment more foolish or more wise than I am now.'"

The matter of the faith of Whittier, Longfellow, Abbott and Hillis is stated as tho it were exceptional among Christians: on the contrary, it is the rule: the exception is to find those who deny these propositions among clergy or laity. All believe that the dead are not dead, but more alive than ever before. All think and speak of them as being near to the living and interested in their welfare; but only Roman Catholics directly invoke their aid in prayer, except Spiritualists who go still further and claim to converse with the living-dead or dead-living. (Which would be the less absurd statement?)

It should not surprise us, therefore, that Christian people, long accustomed to this fallacy (that the dead are alive without a resurrection), are stumbling into Spiritualism, utterly blind to the fact that its manifestations are the work of demons who personate the dead to draw attention away from the Scriptural teaching that the Christian's hope is – the resurrection of the dead at the second coming (presence) of the Redeemer when he will exercise his office of Lifegiver.

*                         *                         *

Rev. B. E. Austin, D.D., of the Methodist Church of Canada was deposed for heresy on June 1st, after a trial by Conference at London, Ont. Respecting the matter Dr. Austin said to the reporter of the Toronto Globe:

"If I had elected to leave the Conference in ignorance of just where I stood on the subject of Spiritualism, I would have been in the church to-day, but, as I was charged with teaching it, I thought it only fair to defend my own views on it, and against the advice of my friends I addressed the Conference. I did not wish to be in the church and hold views which were contrary to its teachings, and I decided that if the church was not broad enough or liberal enough to let me in, I wanted to be out of it. While I valued my standing in the church, I value my liberty much more. I wished a large personal liberty. [R2483 : page 148]

"My views are the result of years of study and investigation. I became interested in the study of psychology through teaching it in class work at Alma College, and five or six years ago I became convinced, not that the current theory regarding Spiritualism was correct, but that underneath all the deception and artifices practiced throughout the country under the name of Spiritualism there was a great deal of natural phenomena. As Principal of Alma College I became specially interested in investigating mental sciences both theoretically and experimentally. I read the works of scientists like Sir William Crookes, Alfred Russell Wallace, Zollner and others, who have been making long and patient researches into this subject, and I finally became convinced that telepathy and clairvoyance were positive facts, and that there were many phenomena that were not explained even by them. The question of the origin of these phenomena then arose. One theory held by a great many people in the church is that it is all deviltry; then there is Carpenter's theory of mental cerebration, and the other theory that the phenomena are caused by the spirits of the dead, or so-called dead. Investigation and study convinced me that the last was the only theory to fit the case. I was led up gradually to a firm conviction in this truth.'"

As the Doctor declares, the fact that some good people cry "deviltry," while teaching doctrinally what supports reasonably nearly all the claims of Spiritualism, is not enough – should not be enough for reasonable minds. Only those who get the Bible teaching on death and on Spiritualism are prepared to see conclusively that it is demonism.*

*See What Say the Scriptures About Spiritualism? – 10c., or loaned free, this office.
DR. BRIGGS AN UNWELCOME EPISCOPALIAN.

Dr. Charles Briggs, famous as a leader among "Higher Critics" and for his determined endeavor to remain a minister of the Presbyterian Church after confessing himself out of accord with it, has been received into the Episcopal Church: but quite a few Episcopalians do not welcome him. Bishop Seymour declares himself forcefully on the subject as follows: –

"I agreed cordially with the Rev. Dr. Briggs in his rejection of Calvinism, but I as cordially revolted from his trying to remain a Presbyterian minister after he had publicly renounced the characteristic teaching of Presbyterianism. This shocked my moral sense. ...This view of the Rev. Dr. Briggs touching Holy Scripture may be true. I do not stop to inquire, since the truth or falsehood of the Rev. Dr. Briggs' theory does not touch the issue. He believes it to be true, and avows his belief in oft-repeated publications. This is quite enough. With such convictions, I cannot understand how any man who accounts himself an honorable and upright man can enter the ministry of the church.

"The test is much more than the declaration which the candidate signs and the vows and pledges which he makes before the altar of his God, and in the most solemn and critical hour of his life it confronts him and will continue to confront him while he lives, in every, or almost every, public service in which he participates. The rubbish and debris theory of the Bible places the Rev. Dr. Briggs in a most frightful position now that he has been ordained. The Bible supplies two lessons for morning and evening prayer daily throughout the year, and it saturates with its language and ideas the offices and services of our Book of Common Prayer. There is no branch of the church which makes more copious use of Holy Scripture than does that one in which the Rev. Dr. Briggs has just been ordained a presbyter, at his own earnest request, and [R2484 : page 148] in spite of protest and warning for his own sake as well as that of others.

"This Holy Book, as we regard it, is, in the estimation of the Rev. Dr. Briggs, a holy book hidden, unknown beneath an incrustation, an accumulation of myth, fables, legends, stories, and to some extent worse material – in a word, dust, debris and rubbish, and this dust, debris and rubbish he and all the clergy must serve up to the people as the Word of God in the public offices of the church. How can any man with one spark of religion in him voluntarily place himself before God and man in such a position? I confine myself to one point, and to one point alone, and I rest upon no question taken from its context, but upon a fundamental position deliberately taken and publicly avowed by the Rev. Dr. Briggs.

"It is true that the Rev. Dr. Briggs professes love and reverence for the Bible, but it is not our Bible, the Bible published by our Bible Society and read in our churches; it is a hidden Bible, an unknown Bible. The kiss of Judas was more conspicuous than the betrayal. A general profession of veneration and love does not condone repeated stab thrusts which are designed to destroy life.

"It has been said that any church is honored by the admission of the Rev. Dr. Briggs into its fold. Alas, the Rev. Dr. Briggs may be, and probably is, all that his admirers represent him to be, but neither he nor any other man, be he saint, confessor or martyr, can honor the Church of God. The church can do without us, but we cannot do without the church.

"Again, there are men who seem to be afraid if they do not profess sympathy and agreement with this higher criticism that they will be regarded as ignoramuses or idiots. Let me tell all such persons that there is a worse fate than that – it is to be accounted a fool by God.

"In conclusion, I wish to press the point that the ordination of the Rev. Dr. Briggs is most of all a moral issue, and brings into view Almighty God, with whom all who shared in that service must deal, if not now, ultimately at the last great day. God may be 'far above out of our sight,' and we may say in our hearts: 'Hush, God will not see.' But this is a sad, fatal mistake. God will not be trifled with. He is patient, but no man can be guiltless who takes his name in vain. 'So, then, every one of us must give account of himself to God.' Must, not may, give account of himself, not of others, to God, who cannot be deceived, not to man, who can be imposed upon and misled."

[R2484 : page 149]
SOWING TO THE FLESH – IN THE CHURCHES.

We regret to note the multiplying evidences that the nominal churches are more and more losing sight of the Scriptural idea of the Church of Christ – that it is a company of called-out ones, separated from the world and united to each other and to the Lord as "members in particular of the body of Christ," whose present duty it is to edify one another and to build one another up in the most holy faith. The false view, that the Church is now to effect a social uplift of the world, is largely responsible for this. The remedy for the malady is the truth, that the election and education of the Church is the duty of the present age except as the light shining out from these saintly ones shall "reprove the world;" and that the Lord's time for the social uplift will be the Millennium, which he will bring about in his due time by the exaltation to glory and power of the Church, whose election will then be complete. In illustration of the misleading influence of a false theory note the following, published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer of May 30th: –

"PRIZE FIGHTS IN A CHURCH.

"New York, May 29. – The idea of special features to attract young people to church, which has gone as far as dancing classes in several places, has gone a step further in the Protestant Episcopal pro-cathedral at No. 130 Stanton street, of which the Rev. Dr. Charles Briggs is to have charge.

"Boxing matches and a wrestling bout were introduced with the approval of the authorities of the pro-cathedral and under the eye of the Rev. Mr. Paddock, the vicar, who seemed to enjoy them. The contests were held in the basement for the Young Men's club, one of the many organizations of the pro-cathedral. There was a smoker, music and recitations. Then a ring was improvised.

"At the opening Kid Rowling of Buffalo and Kid Floss of Avenue A boxed three tame rounds, and a draw was the decision. The boys carried out the custom of the ringside, and vociferous cheers, hisses and catcalls filled the large room.

"Then came the real event of the evening. 'Fellows,' said Announcer Gambert, 'I now introduce to you with great pleasure Dick Wunderlick, ex-champion welterweight, and Phil Kelly, the coming welterweight. They will box three rounds, and in the last introduce their original 'knockout,' which has been imitated by many, but successfully copied by none.' Three strictly professional rounds followed, and in the last round, Kelly delivered the realistic 'knockout' blow.

"The wrestling match was between Mike Zimmer and George Burke, the instructor of the gymnasium attached to the church.

"The Rev. Mr. Paddock said that doubtless many people would not approve of such amusements in such a place, but he said the aim was to hold the young men's interest and keep them off the street."

"I SUPPOSE THEY CALL THAT HERESY."

Rev. F. W. Gunsaulus, D.D., of Chicago, preaching recently, is reported to have said: –

"The fact that the spirit of holiness and truth enters into man with the power of a divine comfort is proved as much in the songs of the Wesleys as in the Psalms of David.

"A man must believe that God has vacated his throne, and that the ascended Christ has ceased to guide human events, and that the holy spirit is dead, if he does not feel within his own inspired nature that the inspiration with which the soul of Lincoln trembled and was yet steadied when he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation is greater and diviner than the inspiration with which Joshua commanded the massacre of a prostrate foe."

Dr. Gunsaulus said, after the address: "I suppose they call that heresy."

This may have been said in a bombastic spirit, with the desire to create a little cheap sensation; or it may have been uttered in all sincerity. If the latter, it only serves to show how blind are the "Doctors of Divinity," selected at good salaries by "orthodoxy" to confuse the people and mislead them into the ditch of skepticism.

The gentleman's words, whether so intended or not, will give to the average reader the thought: "Dr. Gunsaulus believes that Wesley's hymns were as much inspired as the Psalms of David, and in the same manner and degree." Dr. G. may privately deny any such sentiment, but the thousands who read his statement in print will be influenced to discredit the inspiration of the Scriptures in proportion as they are babes in knowledge of God's Word and pin their faith to those who are "highly esteemed among men."

All true Christians partake of the spirit of the Lord – the spirit of truth, of gentleness, of patience, of kindness, of love: for "if any man have not the spirit [disposition] of Christ, he is none of his." The Wesleys, we doubt not, had much of this same spirit, and we may discern considerable of it in their writings, prose as well as verse, with some admixture of what we consider error, which cannot have been, as it is not now, in agreement with the spirit of truth. But in the Psalms of David, written long before Pentecost by one who never received "the spirit of adoption," we find a totally different inspiration from that which fills and guides the Church as its members become emptied of "the spirit of the world."

The Apostle Peter explains the difference exactly, saying, "Holy men of old spake and wrote as they were moved by the holy spirit" – mechanically – often, if not always, without knowing why they wrote what they did, or what it signified. The Apostle declares this in so many words, saying, that they sought the [R2484 : page 150] significance of their own utterances, but were not granted an explanation, but were informed that "not unto themselves, but unto us, they did minister." (1 Pet. 1:12.) How else could we account for the prophetic utterances of the Psalms, descriptive of our Lord's death and resurrection and of his coming Kingdom and of the great time of trouble by which it will be introduced? Can we go thus to the writings of the Wesleys or others since the apostles? Surely not! Hence the blindness of those unable to discriminate, or the criminal negligence of those who pose as oracles of God and yet would mislead the blind into the ditch.

Respecting the comparison between Joshua and Lincoln: Here again evil is done; the blind are misled by the suggestion that the Bible presents Joshua as an inspired man. Nothing of the kind is true. Joshua was no more a prophet than Lincoln, so far as the Scriptures inform us. Both were good men so far as we know them: both, so far as we know, were used of the Lord in accomplishing his purposes. Lincoln was led of divine providence and the exigencies of the war to proclaim the liberty of the slaves; – as a war measure, to enlist the sympathies of the millions of slaves for the Northern cause and to proportionately [R2485 : page 150] discourage the Southern cause. God's hand was behind Lincoln's course, unquestionably, and he did his part courageously and no doubt was brought into that place for that purpose and because he was such a man as the Lord could use. But it is very doubtful if the honored President realized to what extent his Emancipation Proclamation was forced by divine providences.

With Joshua the case was different: he was not guided by circumstances and necessities of the war he was conducting, but was definitely directed respecting what should and what should not be done to the enemy. The matter was not left to his choice in any sense. Those against whom he fought had already been sentenced to destruction; because "the iniquity of the Amorites" had come to the full. – Compare Gen. 15:16; Lev. 18:24,25; Deut. 9:4-6; 18:12.

The difficulty with Christian people, in re the destruction of the Amorites, lies in their misapprehension of the facts and of the future operation of the divine plan of the ages. They think of the slain Amorites as going to a hell of eternal torment; instead of which they went to sheol; of which the Scriptures declare, "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave [sheol], whither thou goest." (Eccl. 9:10.) They think of Joshua as cutting short the probation of the Amorites to all eternity, whereas their probation for everlasting life had not begun; nor did such a probation for life or death everlasting come to anyone until after our Lord had redeemed all from the "curse" of Adam's transgression, by the sacrifice of himself.

Evidently the "key of knowledge" by which the divine plan may be understood is as thoroughly lost to the Doctors of Divinity of our day, as it was to the Doctors of the Law at the first advent. (Luke 11:52.) The people should know this and should seek the "key of knowledge." Seek, and ye shall find! Knock, and it shall be opened unto you!

[R2485 : page 150]

"WILL A MAN ROB GOD? YET YE HAVE ROBBED ME."

"Bring ye all the tithes into the store-house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open to you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." – Mal. 3:8-10.
T
HE TITHING system, so far as Israel was concerned, had its beginning when they entered the Promised Land, after their forty years journey in the wilderness. A tithe signifies a tenth; and under the divine arrangement made with Israel this was the portion of all their increase required to be devoted to holy purposes. One-tenth of the increase of their flocks, their herds, their seeds, grains, etc., was first to be set apart to the Lord's service, as sacred, to be used in the maintenance of the priestly tribe, the Levites, and for the relief of widows and orphans, and other unfortunates. The one-tenth of the family increase was also required by the Lord; but this had already been provided for in the selection of the tribe of Levi and its increase devoted to the Lord's service exclusively, as instead of the firstborn of each family.

The system of taxation in vogue throughout Christendom to-day somewhat resembles the tithing system, except that it is collected and not left to voluntary contribution: and it is assessed on the valuation of property, etc., and not wholly on the income. It covers the expenses of public schools, relief of the poor, improvements of streets, sewers, and general government expense. In the United States maintenance of religion not being included in taxation is left, properly, to the zeal and discretion of the individual: it is safe, however, to assume, that the majority of people do not contribute largely to religion and charity; while others strictly appropriate one-tenth of their entire income to these benevolences.

The effect of this tithing system, had it been carried out in the right spirit, would have been, (1) to teach the people of Israel generosity, and to inculcate in them a realization of their obligations to God, and that all that they enjoyed were his bestowments. (2) It would have made abundant provision for the maintenance [R2485 : page 151] of the priests and Levites, the widows, orphans, and unfortunates, and thus would have been a perpetual insurance fund of mutual benefit. It not only would have provided for the temporal necessities of the unfortunate, but also for the educational arrangements, which were in the care of the Levites.

But the Israelites, like all the other branches of the human family, were depraved through the fall, and had come under the control of the spirit of selfishness, the spirit of evil, – to which may be traced every impure, ignoble, unholy word, thought and act. Hence the Israelites begrudged the giving of so large a proportion as one-tenth of all their earnings, and since the contribution was left to the conscience of the people, and no officers were entrusted with the enforced collection of this tithe, by punishment of those who failed to contribute it, very soon many ceased to contribute altogether, while others gave stintedly and grudgingly. But however the people felt that they were thus at liberty to curtail the amount of their contributions to holy purposes, and however much they presumed that they would ultimately be gainers, to the extent that they would withhold their tithes, we find that they erred; for God himself not only was the ruler of that peculiar people, their King (1 Chron. 29:23), but he was also the chief executive officer to administer the punishments for the violation of his own laws. Consequently, in proportion as they attempted to defraud the Lord of tithes, in that proportion or a greater proportion they were losing, for the Lord sent upon them grasshopper plagues, caterpillar plagues, and various insects, blights and diseases, which more than offset the tithes which they were withholding.

In all this, and in every instance when thinking of Israel and God's dealings with Israel, we should remember that they were a special and peculiar nation, differently dealt with from all the other nations of the earth. (Amos 3:2.) God did not exact from other nations a tithe, a tenth, but neither did he promise to other nations his special care and bounty and blessing. Other nations were left largely subject to the changeable conditions in nature, but Israel, as a result of the covenant sealed between them and the Lord at Sinai, came under special obligations to the Lord, including this tithing arrangement, and the Lord came under special obligations to them, in that he promised that, if they would live up to their engagements, observe his laws and statutes, to do them, he would bless them in their fields and in their cities, in their flocks, their herds, their crops and all.

Israel, therefore, was to know that God would not fail of his part of the covenant, and that if they lacked any good thing, any temporal blessing, it must be because sin lay at the door; because they had, in some sense or degree, violated their part of the Law Covenant. Consequently the coming of caterpillars, army worms, palmer worms, locusts and grasshoppers upon them meant special chastisements from the Lord, and were special evidences of divine disapproval toward them, while similar things coming upon the world of mankind in general meant no such thing.

In our Lord's day, at the first advent, he called attention to the fact that the holiness class of that day had gotten into a formalistic condition – that they were very exact about their tithes, being careful to tithe the very smallest of seeds: mint, anise and cummin. But he showed that their hearts were still selfish, and that these contributions were not according to the spirit of the law, but rather for an outward show, done vain-gloriously: that so far from having the spirit of tithing, a desire to contribute to the Lord's cause, and to the maintenance of the poor, these so-called holiness people (the "Pharisees") were quite ready to devour the widow's house, taking advantage of her necessities, etc., and that their long prayers were, in keeping with this wrong condition of heart, merely outward display.

Our text calls attention to this neglect of tithes on the part of the Israelites, pointing them to the fact that if they had been faithful to the Lord their granaries would be full instead of empty; their flocks and herds would have been well-favored instead of lean; and their general prosperity would have been much greater. This is along the line of the Scriptural injunction, "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth: and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." (Prov. 11:24.) In our text the Lord calls upon Israel to realize the situation, and restore that which they had withholden, and that then he would pour them out a great blessing, and would "rebuke the devourer," the pests which injured their crops.

SOME APPLICATIONS OF THIS IN NOMINAL SPIRITUAL – ISRAEL. –

Many in Spiritual Israel draw from this Scripture the lesson that Spiritual Israelites should faithfully give a tenth of all their earnings and profits to the Lord's cause. This lesson is preached from pulpits of nearly all denominations and emphasized as obligatory upon their adherents. Such is the case with the Mormons, and as a result millions of dollars flow into their treasury, and are used in the propagation of that system of religion or irreligion, as each may be pleased to term it. We see the same method enforced by the "Seventh Day Adventists," with similarly marked results, – hundreds of thousands of dollars pour into their church treasury, and are used in the dissemination of [R2486 : page 152] literature, in the sending forth of evangelists to all parts of the world, and in the general propagation of their doctrines. We note also a similar tendency in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Already it has engrafted this feature of "Moses' Law" upon their young people of the "Epworth League," those who agree sign a pledge, called "God's Tenth – the pledge of Jacob," which reads: "Of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give a tenth unto thee."

The printed matter before us, descriptive of this tithing system, bears the imprint of the Methodist Book Concern – New York and Cincinnati offices. It proceeds to outline suggestions respecting the manner in which so large a sum should be divided up. It takes as a basis of calculation an income of $1.00 a day, or $300.00 per year, the one tenth of which, $30.00, it appropriates to pastor's salary and various other religious benevolences, but says: –

"Those who are specially interested in some particular benevolence are permitted to use a different ratio for these benevolences, provided one tenth of the income is given. Tithing should be figured from the net income, not the net surplus after living expenses have been deducted. Many examples are before us, where the Lord has proven his promise: 'Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse [etc., our text]' – not only rich spiritual blessings, but temporal as well." [Italics are ours.]

We have not learned what measure of success has attended this effort, but infer that it is considerable; because the denominational papers are now calling attention to the fact that Bishop McCabe is starting a similar tithing scheme for the older Methodists. Some objections are urged against it – that it is going back to the Mosaic Law: but the majority apparently do not recognize clearly the dividing line between the Law Covenant and the New Covenant and are inclined to think the movement a proper one, in the direction of duty.

OUR APPLICATION OF THIS TO SPIRITUAL ISRAEL.

While we believe that such a system may be a powerful influence for good or for evil, as respects the amount of money collected and disbursed; and while we believe also that such systematic giving is a helpful discipline to many of those who contribute, increasing their interest in the cause to which they give, and decreasing their selfishness and worldliness, – nevertheless we are not prepared to advocate this system amongst the Lord's consecrated people; because we find no authority for the tithing system under the New Covenant; and we may preach nor advocate neither more nor less than the laws our God has spoken unto us.

To Christians, begotten of the spirit of adoption to be sons of God, the Lord speaks not as he speaks to servants, saying "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not" do thus and so. On the contrary he speaks to us as a father unto his sons. He communicates to us a knowledge of his will and plan, without putting exact limitations upon our acts. He merely places us under the perfect law of liberty – Love; the law which gives us perfect liberty to do all we please in harmony with love to God and man. He who loves much may give proportionately: he who loves little may give little accordingly. Our Lord desires that each should thus show forth his own developments in love. But, shall we consider that this liberty, which we enjoy as "new creatures in Christ Jesus," releases us from all obligations? Shall we consider that because the Lord has not specified that we must give one-tenth of our incomes, as he required of the Jew, under his Law Covenant, therefore we are at liberty to give the one-twentieth, or the one-fiftieth, or one-hundreth part, or nothing, to the Lord's cause?

Yes, we have just that liberty, – that is to say, God will not now withhold from us rain on this account, nor will he send pests as punishments as he did with the Jews under their covenant. Yet surely all who have been begotten of the spirit of adoption, all true sons of God, would rather say: If it were proper that the Israelite according to the flesh should give one-tenth of all his income to benevolent purposes, it is much more proper that we, the spiritual seed of Abraham, who have been still more highly favored than the natural seed, should render some thank-offering unto the Lord our God. And what shall we render unto the Lord? If the Jew, who had much advantage every way over the Gentile, should in all justice devote one-tenth of his income to holy things, how much more should we devote who, by God's grace, have still greater advantages every way – not only greater advantages than the Gentiles, the world, but greater advantages also than the Jew, the natural Israelite? What shall we not render unto the Lord our God, for all his benefits toward us?

The more we consider this matter, the more we might properly be perplexed to know where our giving should end, we who are the recipients of the manifold grace of God – not only of the present life, but also of the promises of the life to come – justification and its joy and peace, sanctification and its rejoicing in hope of a share in divine glory and honor and immortality, and all the good things which God hath in reservation for them that love him. The more our hearts learn to appreciate the blessings of divine favor which have been showered upon us, the more do we feel not only that a tenth would be too little, but that [R2486 : page 153] a half would be too little, and that our all would be too little for us to render unto our God.

Here the Apostle comes to our relief, and offers a suggestion, saying, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God [already received] that ye present your bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (Rom. 12:1.) Ah yes! that comes nearer to our reasonable service than anything else we can think of, and yet we realize that even such an offering is far too small, and does not at all counterbalance divine grace and mercy bestowed upon us. Nevertheless, seeing that it is all that we can give unto the Lord, we are glad to have the Apostle's assurance that, presented in the name and merit of our dear Redeemer, God would esteem it holy, and would accept the offering. And so, with rejoicing hearts, we lay our little all upon the Lord's altar in consecration.

However, let us not forget that the "new creatures" were accepted in Christ and adopted to sonship, because they presented themselves to God as living sacrifices to be wholly his and to do only his will in all things. And since he who thus gives himself gives his life and his all, it follows that all who made this covenant of full consecration thereby agreed to give to the Lord more than ten times as much as the Jew agreed to in his covenant. So then the obligation of the true Spiritual Israelite is the greater, not the lesser, obligation of the two, as compared with the Jew. Our obligation not only absorbs all the income and profits on our capital and labor, but additionally the capital, the life, the principal.

But now the question arises, How shall we present ourselves? We have given our all in consecration to the Lord; in what way would he have us render it unto him? He does not wish us to destroy our lives, and thus become dead sacrifices: and if we present ourselves living sacrifices, how little there will be to render to the Lord! As living beings we have certain necessities of our own and obligations toward others (we must support our own lives and the lives and happiness of those who are immediately under our care, in our own families and households): and if we attend to these, how little time will be left for special service of the Lord. Surely, it requires the largest portion of our time and energy to provide the "things needful" of the present life; and thus, to our disappointment, we find that the all that we had laid upon the altar will mean comparatively little by the time that it is rendered to the Lord in special services or contributions, or efforts on behalf of his cause. What shall we do?

Realizing our perplexity, and how unsatisfactory this condition of things would be to those who are of a proper condition of heart, the Lord very graciously informs us of how he accepts the matter. He tells us that he accepts us as living sacrifices, and that this which we have fully and completely devoted or consecrated to him, and which he has accepted, he returns to our care and custody, making us stewards of those things which we have devoted – our time, our influence, our means, our talents – all. We are to do the best we can with these in our Lord's service, and if we do the best we can with them, to glorify him, he accepts the matter as tho every act and every word and every deed were rendered directly in his service, tho the majority of these acts and words and deeds may necessarily be used by us in attending to our own necessities, and the necessities of those depending upon us. How gracious is this arrangement by which we may not only render [R2487 : page 153] our all to the Lord, but give proper attention also to all the obligations of an earthly kind, and that with greater blessing, realizing that, whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do (as stewards of the Lord, with an eye single to his service, his glory, his pleasement), is accepted of him as done unto him, – as tho it were direct service.

Let us remember also, during this Gospel age the Lord is seeking a peculiar people for a peculiar present and future service. He seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth – from the heart, and not of compulsion. Hence the Lord leaves the Spiritual Israelite free: he does not shower temporal blessings upon those who live up to their covenant, more than upon others, nor does he pour out curses, blights and troubles upon those who violate their covenant more than upon others. He leaves all the "house of sons" thus free, in order that each by his own conduct may manifest the sincerity or the insincerity of the covenant which he made.

Thus all of the sons of God practically pass judgment upon themselves.

This is illustrated in the parables of the Pounds and of the Talents; in these the Master shows talents and pounds recognized as his, entrusted to his servants during his absence. The servant who had not sufficient love for the Master to use what he possessed in his service was reproved, and rejected from further stewardship as unfaithful, unworthy. So all the sons of God under the New Covenant, having presented their all to the Lord, are now only stewards of what they control – principal and increase. They are given a free hand to do with it as they choose: "Ye are not under law [as servants], but under grace [liberty – as stewards]." But at the reckoning day all unfaithful stewards who failed to use their Lord's goods with energy in his service – time, talent, influence, as well as money – will be rejected, put out of further stewardship. [R2487 : page 154]

While, therefore, the Spiritual Israelite of this Gospel age has a greater liberty than had the natural Israelite of the Jewish age, in so far as the express commands of the Lord are concerned, we find that, in proportion as he possesses the spirit of the Lord, he will realize a much greater obligation than his Jewish brother, and where this obligation is realized and appreciated, it will lead to faithfulness, devotion. As with the Jew the Lord did not make the matter of tithing obligatory, in the sense of enforcing it, so with the Spiritual Israelite he does not attempt to enforce his covenant obligation of full consecration, but takes note of our courses in life, as indicative of the measure of our love and appreciation of his mercies and blessings. Yet as God watched over the Israelites, to give earthly blessings, bountiful harvests, etc., to those who were faithful in tithing themselves, so with Spiritual Israel, the Lord watches over us to give us, not temporal, but spiritual bounties and fatness in proportion as we are faithful in presenting our bodies living sacrifices to him. Do we see some stumble and fall from the truth, after they have been once enlightened, and after they have tasted of the heavenly gift and of the powers of the age to come, after they have had much advantage every way? Do we see some feeble and delicate in spiritual health, and ready to be stumbled by the Adversary? If so, we see some who have been unfaithful in rendering unto the Lord their God that which they have covenanted. Or if they seem to have been energetic in his service, and yet are stumbling, we may rest assured that it is because their energies and efforts were to be seen of men, and were not of pure devotion to the Lord.

It is well, of course, that our criticisms should be chiefly turned inward, and that each should question himself, rather than others, on so important a subject as this. We may not always know who are the Lord's, but we may always know that "the Lord knoweth them that are his" – the heart-faithful. And we may be sure that these shall not stumble, tho they be permitted to pass through trials and difficulties which would deceive and stumble, if it were possible, the very elect. To these the Lord will, with every temptation, present also a way of escape; he will succor them because they are his. As the Apostle Peter says, "If ye do these things [fulfil the royal law of love and devotion to God and the neighbor] ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." – 2 Pet. 1:10,11.

"These things," which the Lord's people are to do, because they are begotten of his spirit, and because they are consecrated to his service, are all of them the things of love – the patience of love, the meekness of love, the long-suffering of love, the brotherly-kindness of love, the gentleness of love. These things can abound only in those who have been begotten of the spirit of love, and who, on this account, are already reckonedly dead (and daily dying) to their former selves, and to the selfishness which once ruled them, through inherited depravity by the fall.

Let each reader look, of course, to his own condition of heart, and judge himself whether or not he is rich in the spirit of the Lord, whether or not his soul is fat, whether or not he is growing in grace and in love, as well as in knowledge. If any, on inspection, find such fatness of soul, let him rejoice, yet nevertheless, as the Apostle says, "rejoice with fear," lest the present condition of divine favor and blessing should give place and some earth-born cloud arise to hide the heavenly Father from the eyes of faith. And should any, upon self-examination, find leanness of soul, spiritual poverty, lack of progress, or perhaps a retrogression in spiritual matters, let such remember the Apostle's words, – "Let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into [divine] rest, any of us should seem to come short of it." – Heb. 4:1.

Nevertheless, let not such be discouraged, but hearken further to the word of the Lord to fleshly Israel, in which he says to them, in the words of our text, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse... and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open unto you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Let all who desire to find blessing in rich and overflowing measure take the Lord at his word, and present to him the offerings which we have already consecrated, and which are not our own, (1) because they were bought with a price, even the precious blood of Christ, and (2) because recognizing this fact, we solemnly consecrated ourselves to the Lord – presented our bodies living sacrifices in his service. Let us resolve for the future to bring to the full measure of our ability a reasonable service, the rendering of time and influence and talent and means to the Lord and to his cause, to his service; – that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts may be pleasing to him: and let us seek that all our acts of life may be living epistles, read and known of all men, showing forth the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

And not only so, but let us, in proportion as we have been lax or careless in the past, and unfaithful to our vows, put forth renewed energy, to compensate, so far as possible, for past neglect, "redeeming the time," remembering also that "the days are evil" – that the times in which we live are unfavorable, [R2487 : page 155] that the tendency of our day is towards selfishness and worldliness more and more.

Those whose consecration will be thus revived will no longer find themselves more interested in worldly riches, and the meat that perisheth, than in spiritual riches and the bread of eternal life, but contrariwise will seek and find opportunities, not only for serving the Lord in their ordinary vocation, but also will seek and find special opportunities of service. This will include the rendering to the Lord of thanks and worship. For in proportion as each becomes earnestly desirous of rendering service to the Lord, and of keeping his heart in the love of God, he will find it desirable, yea, necessary, to seek supplies at the throne of grace and the family altar daily, as well as to lift up his heart frequently in private to the Lord, in thankfulness, or in prayer for help in time of need. And likewise, at the close of every day, those who have been desirous of pleasing and serving the Lord will desire to render their report at the close of the day, and to inspect themselves and the efforts which they have made, that thus they may stimulate themselves in the heavenly race, and renew their vows of consecration. Moreover, those who are thus wholly consecrated to the Lord, and seek first or chiefly his righteousness and a share in his Kingdom, will very generally find opportunities for meeting together with others of like precious faith, to encourage one another, and to build one another up in the most holy faith, and so much the more as we see the day drawing on.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

Question. – (1) To what extent should the Lord's people take literally the statement, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?" – Matt. 6:25-34.

(2) How much time should the Lord's people take from the duties of life for Bible study and in general the service of the truth?

Answer. – (1) The words of our Lord which you quote must be interpreted in harmony with other declarations of the inspired Word. They must not be interpreted so as to conflict with other statements. Other Scriptures instruct the Lord's people to labor with their hands, that they may have to give to those that have need (Eph. 4:28), and this implies forethought and provision in the way of laying up of money earned. Again, the Scriptures declare, "The children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children" (2 Cor. 12:14) – implying some reasonable forethought and provision on the part of the parents for those whom they have brought into being. Again, the Apostle implies that the Christian who is fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, will not be slothful in any business (Rom. 12:11), and declares that "If any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." – 1 Tim. 5:8.

Interpreting our Lord's words in harmony with these other Scriptures, their sense would be that the Christian is not to take anxious care respecting the future, in matters beyond his control. He is, however, to take thought for every matter that is subject to his control. He is to seek to order his life so that it shall be useful to himself and to others. He is to remember the Scriptural injunction, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise," and is to follow the ant's custom of laying up provision in advance of necessity. This lesson is taught by all of our Lord's providences; for instance, the plowing and the sowing are to be done bountifully and in faith, not doubtfully and fearfully. So also the cultivation is to be done with patience, waiting for the harvest: and when the harvest comes the lesson of nature is that the reaper shall not merely reap what he wishes to eat, and let the next day look out for itself, but that he shall gather into barns, making provision for the winter and for the next seedtime. Our Lord's remark that the fowls of the air do not gather grain into barns, and yet are fed, nor do lilies spin, yet are clothed, was not intended to teach that his followers should adopt the method of the fowls respecting their food, nor expect to be clothed as the lilies. It was intended to teach confidence in God as our care-taker, and thus permit his faithful children to plow and sow in faith, to labor in faith, and to reap with faith, to lay up in store with faith, and to use with faith; recognizing every good gift as of the Lord (through the sun and rain, by plowing and reaping), the same who provides for the birds, tho in a different manner. The Christian is ever to remember that man shall not live by bread alone: that he is not wholly dependent upon his own energies; that his affairs are in the Lord's hands for supervision, and that the promise is, "Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." Putting this confidence in God's supervision of his affairs, while making a true Christian restful in mind, will not make him slovenly, careless or idle in doing with his might what his hands find to do, as unto the Lord.

(2) Duties may at times seem to conflict, but they do not really do so. A Christian's first duty is his [R2488 : page 156] hearty acknowledgment of his Creator and Lord, in all his ways. His second duty, if he be a husband and father, is toward his wife and children; or if she be a wife and mother, it is toward her husband and children. In the divine arrangement the husband is made the provider of the family, and is not obeying the divine law if he neglect this duty – no matter for what reason, unless it be disability through sickness. Likewise, the wife's first duty is that of care-taker; looking after the comfort and encouragement of her husband and children along the path of duty. The marriage contract, by divine arrangement, comes in as a first mortgage upon every husband's time and upon every wife's time – the demands of this mortgage must be reasonably met before anything can be properly done to or for outsiders.

It is a great privilege for Christians to study the Lord's Word, yet a great deal of study is done to no purpose. Study which is not put into practice in daily life is worse than a waste of time. It is not he that merely knoweth the Master's will, but he who patiently and perseveringly seeks to do the Master's will, that shall be approved and win the crown. Every reasonable opportunity should be used by the Lord's people to obtain a knowledge of the divine plan – even to the extent of sacrificing; but the child of the Lord will be particular to see that it is his own conveniences and comforts that he is sacrificing, and not chiefly the conveniences and comforts of others. The Bible study which is done merely at the expense of others is a sign of selfishness rather than a sign of a rich indwelling of the Lord's spirit of love.

To make our studies of the divine plan as profitable as possible, we should spend as much time daily in dispensing the truth to others as we spend in seeking to feed ourselves, and Christian experience proves the truth of the words of Scripture, "He that watereth shall be watered also himself:" so that gradually the servant of the Lord will become more and more interested in handing forth the truth to others and finding that his own growth in knowledge and in grace came either in preparing to dispense the truth to others or while dispensing it to them. A state of lethargy, indolence, etc., respecting the duties of life, and respecting opportunities for presenting the truth to others, is a sure indication of spiritual poverty. It is well that all of the Lord's people keep ever before their minds the inspired words, "Not slothful in business, fervent [warm, zealous] in spirit, serving the Lord."

As to the amount of time each can devote, no rule can be laid down except that of fervency of spirit. One fervent in spirit will be serving others temporally and spiritually nearly all the time – with his might, as his hand finds to do.

Question. – Who is the "spoiler" denounced in Isa. 33:1 – "Woe unto thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled"? Do you consider that this verse is in any sense applicable to the present time of harvest?

Answer. – The connections seem to associate this with the coming great time of trouble. No doubt when the time of trouble is fully on or nearly over it will be very easy to distinguish who is referred to by this verse. It does not seem easy to distinguish with certainty at the present time.

Question. – Please give a thorough definition of the words sheol and hades.

Answer. – We hope to furnish such a definition in the fifth volume of the DAWN series, now in preparation.

Question. – Do you consider the history of Joseph, recorded in Genesis, as typical?

Answer. – Yes; to our understanding Joseph was a type – various features in his history seem to be separate and distinct pictures of the experiences of Christ, Head and body. (a) Joseph was hated of his brethren, beloved by his father; so with Christ. (b) Joseph was cast into the pit by his brethren, as Jesus went into the pit of death for his brethren, the Jews. (c) Joseph's life was sold into servitude to the Egyptians, but became ultimately the means of the preservation of his entire family, as well as of the Egyptians; so Christ gave himself a ransom not only for his brethren but also for all mankind; and during the Millennial age will furnish "bread of life" to all who famish for it. (d) Joseph was sacrificed, sent to prison, because of his purity; so our Lord Jesus, "holy, harmless, undefiled," was treated as a transgressor, and went into the prisonhouse of death. (e) Joseph was delivered in due time from the prison, and made the associate of the king upon the throne of Egypt; so our Lord Jesus was raised up from the prisonhouse of death by the glory of the Father, to be set at his right hand in the glory of power, on the throne of earth; agent and representative of the Great King for the blessing of all the families of the earth, typified by the Egyptians.

Question. – Do you understand from the prophecy of Ezekiel 40:40-46, that sacrifices of animals will be resumed after the establishment of Christ's Kingdom and when Israel is again in Palestine?

Answer. – The "better sacrifices" of the Gospel age having taken place beforehand, we think it unlikely that typical sacrifices will be restored. We consider it more probable that antitypical sacrifices are referred to – the broken and contrite hearts of the people, and their consecration to the Lord's service being thus represented. However, we are to remember that God considered these typical sacrifices of bulls and of goats a good method of presenting important truths to the attention of fleshly Israel, and we can see that if such sacrifices were restored now, they would have much more force and meaning to similar classes than they had before their antitypes had come. We may not, therefore, be sure that the Lord will not adopt some such plan as this of instructing the ignorant masses of mankind, as preparatory to higher lessons – as illustrations of spiritual things.

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"UNTO THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH."

MY DEAR SIR AND BROTHER: – Will you allow me, in the spirit of love and humility, to call your attention to two or three scientific errors which have crept into your papers?

Z.W.T., Mar. 1, '97, p. 74, column 1, says, "the healing may be said to have been in a natural way by the removal of the injured cornea." If the cornea itself were removed, the anterior chamber of the eye would be open, and with the consequent exposure of the iris, pupil and lens, the eye would inevitably be destroyed. The removal of the injury to the cornea, in a natural way, would probably be effected by the dried exudation from the inflamed structures (scab or scale) falling off.

[The EDITOR acknowledges, freely, that he should have added the word portion and thus have said – "by the removal of a portion of the injured cornea." Thanks for the correction.]

Z.W.T., June 1, '98, p. 172, column 2, says, – "As it was the full of the moon, a solar eclipse could have lasted but a few minutes at most." That is an unfortunate expression, for at the full of the moon a solar eclipse is an impossibility. A solar eclipse is only possible at the time of new moon, and owing to the varying rates at which the two bodies travel it is not possible under the most favorable circumstances for a total eclipse to last longer than seven minutes, and an average eclipse is two or three minutes only. The most favorable circumstances are, (1) The sun at greatest distance from the earth, i.e., the earth at aphelion; (2) the moon at least distance from the earth (at perigee); and (3) the observer must be on the central line of totality.

[We are at a loss to understand how this statement crept in and thought to have corrected it in our next issue: we concluded not to do so, thinking that few of our readers would notice the error, and that those who had noticed it would recognize it as a "slip of the pen." We should have said – "As it was at the full of the moon, a solar eclipse even for a few moments was an impossibility." – EDITOR.]

In Z.W.T., Oct. 15, '95, p. 241, column 1, and in tract No. 40, p. 3, line 4, it is stated: – "The heart whose valves in turn propelled them to every part of the body." The function of the valves is not to propel, but to stop, the current of blood. It is the strong muscular heart wall itself which, contracting, forces the blood out of its cavities into the vessels, and the blood pressure thus produced shuts down the valves, closing certain orifices, to prevent the backward flow of the blood. In sending out this excellent tract I am taking the liberty of erasing the two words "whose valves" and substituting "which" in their place.

[Thanks for this correction also: our thought was that the heart is a pump with necessary valves. We will correct our next edition of Tract No. 40 to read – "The heart as a pump in turn propelled them to every part of the body." – EDITOR.]

I am sure your large heart will easily bear with me, as I call your attention to these points, and my only reason for doing so is that some readers, I fear, may reject your more precious Bible expositions because they detect an error in your science.

[Fortunately, dear Brother, the EDITOR has never laid claim to infallibility on scientific or other matters. He is on the contrary pleased to have honest criticism from any quarter – appreciating it specially when it comes from "brethren" and in a brotherly, loving spirit. We strive to exercise great care that our every utterance may be as the Scriptures direct – "as the oracles of God." (1 Pet. 4:11.) The EDITOR can scarcely hope that these three are the only errors and "slips" of his pen, in the publications of the past twenty years, and requests that if you or other readers note other errors worthy of correction you will kindly communicate them.]

You may like to see the circular letter, 5,000 of which I have had printed, and which I am sending out to all missionaries in China, Japan, Corea and Siam. I enclose a copy.

[Our readers are interested in all efforts to serve the Truth to others – we therefore print Brother Randle's Circular Letter in full. – EDITOR.]

"There has arisen a witness for God and his Christ, an expositor of Bible truth, such as may be safely said has not hitherto appeared.

"The question is, 'Is this man's testimony of God?' I believe it is. He claims little, but he teaches much. He teaches that the conflicting creeds of Christendom are out of harmony with God; and that even some of the most cherished doctrines regarded as orthodox, are wrong. If what this man writes is true, he is the veritable John the Baptist of this age, or at least the voice of one crying in witness to the second presence (not coming) of the Son of God.

"If his interpretations are true, he is 'that servant' now engaged in 'giving meat in due season to the household of faith.' – Matt. 24:45,46.

"It is of course a very easy thing to see error in the teaching of other churches than that to which we belong. The Episcopalian sees the Nonconformist as astray from the main track of truth, the Baptist recognizes the mistakes of Methodism, the Brethren condemn both these churches, while the Presbyterians regard the last-named as distinctly misled, and so it is more or less all round. The greatest difficulty of all is to detect one's own errors of Christian doctrine and practice. We are (generally speaking) all of us, so sure that we have the Scripture interpretation correct, and are so confident of our own position, that for one to call anything in question is an offence. That branch of the Christian church to which we belong is much more frequently determined by the accident of our natural birth, than by the circumstance of our regeneration.

"Can it be within the bounds of possibility, that the views commonly held as orthodox are mistaken [R2489 : page 158] ones, just as was the case with Israel at Christ's first appearance? Read 'MILLENNIAL DAWN' and see. We think the Jews were terribly mistaken to reject Christ as they did. Are we quite sure we have got hold of the truth just as God means it? Read 'MILLENNIAL DAWN' and see. Either the author of DAWN is wrong or we are. Of course it is easy, – perhaps all too natural, – to rashly conclude the author of DAWN must be wrong. Still it would be safer to examine his testimony and the Scriptures, to see if these things are so.

"How every age that has ever lived before us has failed to see the hand of God at work at the time; and as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be in the days of the coming (presence) of the Son of Man.

"God gives his evidence in strange ways, emphatically not in the way commonly expected.

"I therefore beg all who are desirous of possessing the pure gold of God's truth, to examine what this servant of God has written. The most important are four volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN, which show the character, circumstances, and time, of the coming Kingdom of God. It may be that some will feel inclined to lightly toss this aside without much thought (as I did myself six years ago). I beg you do not so. If you hunger for God's truth, the living bread, at least read carefully the first volume of 'MILLENNIAL DAWN.'" [Signed.]

I am also advertising DAWN in local prints, and if I may but be used in bringing some others into the light and joy of the truth I shall be satisfied.

I have sold several of the DAWNS to missionaries, and this week I received a very encouraging letter from one who had bought the first volume a few weeks ago, and he now writes: –

"Please forward me the other three volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN. I have been deeply interested in reading the first volume. I am determined by the grace of God to go to the bottom of these questions, cost what they will. If the DAWN teaching is according to God's Word, it will need humility of mind for us to confess how thoroughly we have been mistaken and to retrace our steps."

On the contrary many speak against it, and some with bitterness, but it is (for the most part) those who only hear of it, or only read superficially. But whether few or many receive the truth, our strong confidence is in God's own purpose regarding his Word, which he has clearly stated in Isaiah 55:11.

My wife and eldest daughter rejoice with me in the light of God's truth now shining. We pray for you, and your colaborers, and for all who love the present truth, that God will graciously preserve us all until the manifestation. I am,

Yours in the love and service of Christ,

HORACE A. RANDLE, – China.

P.S. – Poor WONG CHIN FOO (DAWN, VOL. 4, p. 253) died suddenly of heart failure at Wei Hai Wei on Sept. 13th last. A few weeks before he had visited Teng Chaufu where he first heard of and learned Christianity. He then remarked to a Baptist missionary that "he supposed the most wicked thing he ever did, was to write that letter, 'Why Am I a Heathen?' but he never supposed that it would cause so great a sensation."

H. A. R.

"SEND OUT THY LIGHT AND TRUTH, O LORD!"

From earliest childhood the EDITOR has had a deep interest in the heathen, and naturally a deep interest in missionaries. At the early age of seven years he expressed to his mother his intention to become a missionary, and a little later with other Sunday School children contributed his mite to the building of "The [R2490 : page 158] Morning Star" missionary boat – abstaining from certain table luxuries that he might have the value thereof to contribute as his own donation, that had cost him something and was not merely his parent's gift.

This sympathetic love for the heathen has not abated in all these years; but under the leadings of the Divine Word and providences it took a different turn than he had first intended. As the divine plan of salvation unfolded to him, he saw clearly that the Lord's sympathetic love for the heathen so far from being less than his own was greater. He gradually came to see that God's plan of salvation as he has purposed it in himself, from before the creation of the world, has made abundant provision for "every man that cometh into the world" – that all should "come to an accurate knowledge of the truth" – to a knowledge of him who is "the way, the truth and the life" and by whom alone access to the Father and restitution to his favor and blessing are possible. He came to see, also, that God is operating his great plan methodically, and that, as there was a "fullness of time" in which our Savior should be born, so also there is a "due time" in which the knowledge and blessing flowing from his redemptive sacrifice shall be made effective to all who will accept this favor under the terms of the New Covenant sealed with the precious blood. – John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:4-6; Gal. 3:16,29.

In harmony with this he soon learned from the Word that the Church, the "little flock," "the very elect," who are to win the "prize of the high calling," offered during this Gospel age, are to be but a "first fruits unto God and the Lamb." (Rev. 14:4; Jas. 1:18.) And the completion of this specially elect Church with the close of the present age will therefore be but the beginning, and not the ending, of the great plan of salvation which God has purposed. – Isa. 55:9-11.

In a word, he came to see that in God's great plan the present Gospel age is merely for the selection and education of those whom God purposes to use as his ministers, his missionaries to the world in general, in the next age, the Millennium. These are to be the "royal priesthood," to whom (under Christ the King of kings and Priest of priests) shall be committed the full control of earth during the "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." – Luke 12:32; 19:12-15; 22:29; Jas. 2:5; 2 Pet. 1:11; Dan. 2:44; 7:18,22; Matt. 13:43; Rev. 20:4; Acts 3:19-23. [R2490 : page 159]

From this standpoint it soon became evident to him that the duty of the hour is not the uplifting of heathendom, – for which work God has specially appointed a coming age and is specially preparing teachers, who will be granted plenary powers for that work. Accordingly, instead of seeking foreign fields of service, he sought a more and more intimate knowledge of the divine plan from the divine Word – to the intent that he might be a coworker with God in his work. And the due time for revealing to the Church the divine plan respecting its participation with Christ in the blessing of all the families of the earth – "the mystery hid from past ages and dispensations,"* having come, he has been privileged by God's grace to serve this "meat in due season" to many of the Lord's people far and near. – Eph. 3:3,4,9; 5:32; Col. 1:26,27; Rev. 10:7; Matt. 24:45

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN for Scriptural proofs.

Further light upon the Word showed that this knowledge is now granted because due, because we have reached the period designated by our Lord as the "harvest" or closing period of this age.* We most firmly believe that this is the "harvest message" which as the Lord's sickle is to gather the ripe "wheat" of the living Church and that all associated with the promulgation of this message are reapers in this harvest, colaborers with the great Chief Reaper – our Lord and Head. He believes that this message and these messengers are figuratively referred to in Matt. 13:39,41, as doing a separating work in the Church – gathering the jewels, making ready the bride, the Lamb's wife, for the "marriage," – gathering the elect from the four winds – from one end of the ecclesiastical heavens to the other.*Matt. 24:31.

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN for Scriptural proofs.

If it be argued that the work is insignificant in comparison to the great institutions of Christendom surnamed in the Scriptures "Babylon," we reply: It is God's usual method to choose the weak things, and the things that are despised; that it may be the more manifest that not the arm and spirit of man have accomplished the results, but the arm and spirit of Jehovah – our Lord Jesus and the "spirit of the truth." It may be argued, also, that less than sixteen years of the "harvest" period remain and that the Scriptural indications are that all of the elect will have been found and "changed" probably four years before the harvest ends – before the climax of the great time of trouble. We answer, Yes; but each year puts the present truth into more concrete form and increases opportunities (financially and otherwise) for reaching all who have "an ear to hear" (Matt. 13:43); and each year under divine Providence brings the ears of the consecrated – the Watchers, the Jewels – into better condition to hear the Lord's message. – Rev. 18:4-8.

Here, for instance, are the missionaries in far off China and Japan having this "harvest" message served to them by a dear brother in their midst. We have no idea that all missionaries have the true missionary spirit; but undoubtedly some of them have: and all such having ears to hear will surely hear, and be gathered by the truth out of sectarian bondage and the slavery of error and fear into the blessed liberty of the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of the truth, the spirit of Love; and into the closer oneness with our great Head which accompanies a knowledge of the truth to the faithful. May the Lord richly bless dear Brother Randle's efforts to serve the truth to others – more than compensating him for his consequent trials and self-sacrifices.

Nor have we been idle as respects foreign missionaries, for during the past year we sent out large numbers of TOWERS and tracts to English speaking missionaries in all parts of the world.

And as it relates to "foreign missions," but of another kind, we here mention that the past year has witnessed considerable progress of the truth in Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark, and an entrance has been effected into France and Norway. We hope for additional coworkers (Colporteurs) in all these foreign fields as well as here in the home field, which thus far seems to yield the largest returns of "wheat" – under divine providence, previously gathered here from every nation under heaven. All of the Lord's people filled with his spirit must be engaged in this work in some manner. (Jer. 20:9,10.) And "he that reapeth [using his abilities and opportunities] receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life eternal." (John 4:36.) Therefore, let each one who has tasted of this grace of God be forward to avail himself to his utmost in using his privilege of being a colaborer with his Lord.

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DIVINE MERCY IN HOSEA'S PROPHECY.
– JULY 2. – HOS. 14:1-9. –

"Come, let us return unto the Lord." – Hos. 6:1.
F
OR THE next six months the International Lessons are in the Old Testament, and begin with the closing words of Hosea's prophecy.

To appreciate the lesson it is necessary that we have at least a general understanding of the time and circumstances under which the prophecy was given. Hosea was a resident and prophet in the kingdom of Israel – the ten-tribe kingdom – during a part of the period in which Isaiah was prophesying in the kingdom of Judah – the two-tribe kingdom. We recall in our lessons of last year (Sept. 4) the death-bed of Elisha, and his instructions to Joash, the king of the ten-tribe kingdom, to smite upon the ground, and his explanation that the smiting of the ground three times with the arrows by Joash represented three victories which he would gain over Syria, effecting the full deliverance of Israel from Syrian control. Those promised victories were gained, and for a time Israel made great strides nationally, extending its borders to very nearly the area of territory controlled by David and Solomon (Judah excepted). This condition of things was favored by dissensions in Egypt and in Assyria, the greater nations near. The Lord manifested his favor to Israel in token of the measurable reformation begun by Joash by giving [R2490 : page 160] bountiful harvests also, so that the land became very wealthy and prosperous from the large crops, as well as from the spoils taken in war.

But these prosperities, which were in full accord with the covenant God had made with Israel at Sinai (Deut. 28:1-14), instead of leading the people back to God and to full obedience to their covenant, seem to have had before long a very different effect. Soon they forgot that the prosperities were the results of divine favor, and, in the language of Scripture, the nation "went whoring after other gods." Undoubtedly one thing which especially made the false religions attractive was the fact that their worship and ceremonies gave loose reign to licentiousness, and even gave a certain sanctity to it. Thus their great prosperity led Israel into idolatry and into general licentiousness and corruption, worse, probably, than at any other period of their history, and this led to their utter rejection by [R2491 : page 160] the Lord, delivering them to the Assyrians, who took the entire nation captive.

Hosea's prophesying was at the time of Israel's depravity, just preceding their captivity. Through the Prophet the Lord appeals to Israel, pointing out his loving tender care for them from the very beginning of their history as a nation, pointing out their backsliding attitude, their falseness to him – picturing them as a false wife and God himself as a most merciful husband.

It would appear that the Lord permitted Hosea to have certain very trying experiences in domestic troubles, with a view to impressing upon his mind the Lord's view of Israel, his spouse. The Prophet, in the very opening of his book, declares that the word of the Lord first came unto him in connection with his domestic trials. The Prophet had married, seemingly by divine providence, an attractive girl, named Gomer, whom he dearly loved, and who at the time of their marriage was quite probably true and worthy of his affection – or it is possible to understand from the account that the Prophet, loving her, hoped to fully reclaim her, – but, infected with the general immorality of the time, she proved unfaithful, so that only her first child was recognized by the Prophet. The names given to the succeeding two show that the Prophet did not acknowledge them. Dr. George Adam Smith remarks: "Hosea does not claim the second child, and in the name of this little lass, Lo-ruhamah, 'She that never knew a father's love,' orphan, not by death, but by her mother's sin, we find proof of the Prophet's awakening to the tragedy of his home. Nor does he own the third child, named Lo-ammi, 'Not my people.' That could also mean, 'No kin of mine.' Once at least, but probably oftener, Hosea had forgiven the woman, and until the sixth year she stayed in his house. Then either he put her from him, or she went her own way. She sold herself for money, and finally drifted, like all of her class, into slavery."

The Prophet's sympathy went out to his wife to the extent that he redeemed her from slavery, as recorded. (3:1-3.) These severe experiences through which the Prophet passed seemed to be preparing him to voice the Lord's sentiments of tender compassion to Israel, his espoused one, who so frequently and persistently went after other gods. If the prophecy of Hosea be read from this standpoint its tender compassionate appeals will be appreciated as from no other.

Our lesson is the conclusion of the matter. First, the Prophet is represented as addressing the people: "O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God, for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity; take with you words and turn to Jehovah" – words of contrition, promises of reformation.

Then Israel is represented as speaking in a repentant attitude, saying: "Say unto him [the Lord], take away all iniquity and receive us graciously: so shall we render the calves of our lips. Assher shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses, neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless find mercy."

This is the attitude of heart in which all "Israelites indeed" throughout this Gospel age are returning to the Lord; – not those alone who are Israelites according to the flesh, but those also who are called to fill up the elect number from every nation under heaven; to become members of the holy nation, the peculiar people, by becoming the Bride, the Lamb's wife. The Lord has indeed graciously received them, and has put away their iniquity – through the blood of the cross.

The Lord's answer is recorded in vss. 4-6, saying, "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely [unmeritedly], for my anger is turned away from him. [Spiritual Israel is not received of Jehovah as a woman, but as a man, of which Christ Jesus our Lord is Head and his Church the members of his body, accepted in the Beloved.] I will be as the dew [refreshment] unto Israel; he shall grow [thrive] as the lily [whose growth in Palestine is remarkable], and cast forth his roots as Lebanon [the trees of Mt. Lebanon had very sturdy roots]. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as an olive [everlasting], and his fragrance as Lebanon." Thus does the Lord picture the development and establishment of his true Israel, the Christ.

Then follows a picture of the blessings of the Millennial reign of Spiritual Israel as God's Kingdom; the revival and restitution of Israel and of all the nations is symbolically pictured, saying:

"They that dwell under his shadow shall return [have restitution]; they shall revive as the corn and flourish as a vine, and the fragrance thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim [one of the names given to the ten-tribe kingdom, and also symbolically used sometimes in referring to nominal churchianity] shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him [the great Prophet – Acts 3:22] and observed [obeyed] him; I am like a green fir tree [an evergreen tree, – symbolically representative of the possession of everlasting life]. From [in] me is thy fruit found;" – the fruits of the spirit.

In conclusion, attention is called to the fact that not by earthly wisdom and intelligence can these predictions be comprehended. They shall be understood only by those who are taught of the Lord with the true wisdom which cometh down from above: as the Prophet declares, "The [truly] wise shall understand, but none of the wicked shall understand." – Dan. 12:10.

We give the translation of this last verse from Leeser, as follows: "Who is wise that he may understand these things? intelligent, that he may know them? For righteous are the ways of the Lord, and the just shall walk in them [understand them], but the transgressors will stumble through them [misapprehend them]."