page 225
August 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXI.AUGUST 1, 1900.No. 15.
CONTENTS.

"Let Us Draw Near" 227
Privileges of the Royal Priesthood 227
Having Our Hearts Sprinkled 228
Washed With Pure Water 228
Ye Are Complete in Him 229
Poem: – Unto Him Belongeth All 229
The Great Shepherd and His Son, the Good Shepherd 229
Christ the Door of the Sheep-Fold 231
The Lord Appointed Seventy Others Also 232
Rejoice in Things Unseen 235
Is the Restitution Call Now Open? 236
Chicago Convention – New Date 240
The Pilgrim Harvest Service 226

'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 226

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 & 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.

BRITISH BRANCH NO. 131 GIPSY LANE, FOREST GATE, LONDON EAST, ENGLAND.

[R2672 : page 226]

THE PILGRIM HARVEST SERVICE.

We will be glad to have at once postal card requests for Pilgrim visits from all parts of the United States and Canada. (British friends please address cards to our British branch office, London.) We are re-arranging our "Pilgrim" routes and want the following information in few words on postal cards (not letters) for easy reference. Remember that these "Pilgrim" visits involve no expense for the Pilgrim or his traveling expenses – all of which are borne by the Society. We merely request entertainment for the Pilgrim during his two or three days' stay. Answer the questions by number as follows: –

(1) Do you hope for public meetings, – as well as for private ones for those already interested?

(2) Could and would the friends secure the use of a school or church building or a public hall if public meetings are desired?

(3) Would a suitable room in a private house be provided for the private meetings?

(4) How many friends of present truth reside in your vicinity? (5) How many of these have been consulted and concur in the answers you are sending us? (6) How many of these are WATCH TOWER readers? (7) Do you now meet regularly for worship and study of the Word, as per Hebrews 10:25?

Most of these questions can be answered by either Yes or No or by figures. Number your answers, and add whatever may seem expedient, but do not crowd the card and make it difficult to read and understand.

[R2670 : page 227]

"LET US DRAW NEAR."

"Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from a consciousness of evil, and our bodies sprinkled with pure water." – Heb. 10:22.

N
OT TO SINNERS is this invitation addressed. The invitation to them is a very different one, vis., – Repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus obtain the remission of your sins, and then you will be in the attitude to receive the invitation, Draw near to God. The Apostle is addressing those who have already believed unto justification, receiving to themselves the benefits of the Lord's promise, "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Verse 17.) The Apostle is addressing the brethren, and not sinners, and urges them, saying, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness [courage, confidence, privilege] to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way,...let us draw near."

The Apostle's words carry our attention to Israel's Tabernacle in the wilderness, and the spiritual things which it illustrated. The Court, entered through the gate, signified the state or condition of the justified, who must pass the Altar representing Christ's sacrifice for sins; secondly, approach the Laver of water for cleansing from defilements; and then be ready to pass under the first Vail into the apartment of the Tabernacle called "The Holy." This "Holy" apartment represented the state or condition of God's consecrated people (typified by Israel's priests) while yet in the flesh, and had its Golden Candlestick for their enlightenment, its table of Shewbread, representing their privilege of fellowship with God, – drawing near to him in prayer, praise and communion. The next step beyond the "Holy" was the "Most Holy," representing heaven itself; but this could be entered only from the "Holy" and by passing under the Second Vail, which represented the actual death of the priest, even as the First Vail represented the reckoned death or consecration. The Apostle has this same thought in mind when elsewhere he mentions the consecrated Royal Priesthood as "seated together with Christ in heavenly places" – in the heavenly condition, the condition represented by the first apartment or "Holy" of the Tabernacle and of the Temple.

PRIVILEGES OF THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD.

It is in reference to this proposition to advance from the "Court" condition of justification into the "Holy" or heavenly or spirit-begotten condition, reached through consecration (and the closest possible approach to God) that the Apostle urges, "Let us draw near." His language implies that there may properly be a diffidence on our part in respect to this privilege. We might properly hesitate to expect to have communion, fellowship, close approach to the great Creator, realizing that by nature we are imperfect, "children of wrath, even as others," and that in whatever degree we differ from others and are accounted worthy of such a privilege of drawing near to God, it is not on account of personal worth on our part, but on account of God's grace bestowed upon us through Jesus our Lord. The Apostle therefore speaks to believers in an encouraging voice: "Let us draw near;" let us have courage to draw near; let us have faith in God, who has made us such gracious arrangements and promises.

The Apostle intimates that a close approach to God cannot be effected, except we have first a "full assurance of faith." Only those who trust the Lord implicitly, "as a little child" (Luke 18:17) would trust [R2671 : page 228] its earthly parent, can expect to progress and to have the courage, the confidence, necessary to approach God in this very intimate manner; and the desire to draw nearer and nearer to God must be in the justified believer's heart, else he will never go on and attain to this his privilege. And this desire to draw near to God is a manifestation of our hunger and thirst after righteousness, which the Lord expects to see before he fulfils to such his engagement that they shall be filled, satisfied. – Matt. 5:6.

Satisfaction will not be attained fully in the present life, tho the believer who progresses and draws nearer and nearer to God will have more and more of this satisfaction to the end of his journey in the present life, receiving the full measure of satisfaction in righteousness and perfection on the other side the vail. Similarly, in our drawing near to God, we may continue to draw nearer and nearer to him, as we obtain deeper experience in his grace, growing also in knowledge and love in the present life; but the full attainment of our privilege of drawing near to God will not be reached until we shall have passed the Second Vail – passed through death, and been changed from human to spirit beings, and have entered into heaven itself, the perfect heavenly condition. There and then we shall be fully at one with the heavenly Father and with our Lord Jesus, having drawn near to the full extent of the invitation and to the full of the opportunities granted us in the new and living way, the narrow way to life, consecrated for us, through the vail, by our Lord's death as our ransom price.

There are, however, certain conditions specified as necessary to progress along these lines. As no one can draw near to God except by attaining a "full assurance of faith," neither can he have a full assurance of faith unless he have his "heart sprinkled from a consciousness of evil," for, as the Apostle elsewhere declares, "If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart." (1 John 3:20.) We may be sure that if our course as new creatures is condemned by our own consciences it would also be condemned by God. Whoever, therefore, would make progress in drawing near to God must seek continually to have "a conscience void of offence toward God and man" (Acts 24:16); – a conscience that is clear, that can say, I am striving to do that which would be pleasing to God, in harmony with my covenant of self-sacrifice, and I am striving to do that which would be approved also by righteous men. Nothing short of this is at all permissible in those who have consecrated themselves to be royal priests, to offer themselves as living sacrifices in the Lord's service, and to draw near to him in the name and under the merit of the great High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.

HAVING OUR HEARTS SPRINKLED.

How very much is implied in this expression, "Having our hearts sprinkled from a consciousness of evil"! It not only means that we are to avoid sin, and to take heed that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts are acceptable to the Lord, but it means additionally that our hearts, having covenanted self-sacrifice, shall be able to look up to the Lord confidently and realize his blessing and approval, because of the honest, earnest efforts on our part to comply with the terms of our consecration. But since we cannot fully comply with the terms ourselves, it is requisite that we shall apply to ourselves by faith the merit of the precious blood of Christ, the blood of sprinkling, the blood of consecration, and that we shall realize that our acceptance is only in the Beloved One.

WASHED WITH PURE WATER.

The expression, "Having our bodies washed with pure water," figuratively represents the continued process of "cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the reverence of the Lord," as elsewhere enjoined by the Apostle. (2 Cor. 7:1.) By nature we are all imperfect, sullied, more or less depraved; and our devotion to the Lord is manifested, first, by our full acceptance and full assurance of faith in the merits of Christ's sacrifice; and secondly, by our earnest efforts to put away from our flesh, as we have already put away from our hearts, all things defiling and displeasing in the Lord's sight: that thus we may more and more become copies of his dear Son, our Lord. This "washing of water through the Word" is elsewhere represented (Eph. 5:26) in a similar manner as being a part of the duty and privilege of all of the Lord's people throughout the remainder of their earthly lives. And we can see how beautiful is the illustration here used, that the Word of God, like water, is purifying, cleansing; as the Apostle declares, speaking of the Christian's good hopes in the precious promises once delivered to the saints, "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he [who called him] is pure." – 1 John 3:3.

As it is necessary to a thorough cleansing of our natural bodies that we should wash with "pure water," so much the more is it necessary to this cleansing of which the Apostle speaks, the cleansing of our moral characters, that we should have the pure water of divine truth, and not the muddy and polluted teachings of the Adversary, or of those whom he has blinded. And as we look about us upon the many streams of Babylon – the various sectarian theologies which profess to be the truth – we find that altho there is something [R2671 : page 229] of truth in them all, yet it is sadly befouled and wholly incapable of cleansing their votaries from filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, – wholly incapable of perfecting them in holiness of the kind which the Lord requires. For instance, false ideas of God and of his character and his plan are incentives to those who so believe to copy these misrepresentations and perversions of justice and love, and are well calculated to develop in the devotees of such a theory a low standard of character, because the low standard which they set for themselves and other fellow-mortals is really higher than that which they ascribe to the Creator.

How important, then, is the truth, and how much meaning we find in our dear Redeemer's prayer to the Father on our behalf, – "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy Word is truth." Let us not attempt to sanctify ourselves through any other washing than this; let us not be satisfied with anything short of the "pure water," the pure Word of God, the pure truth.

"YE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM." – Col. 2:10.

Now view the class described by the Apostle: they are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus accepted with the Father through the Beloved One. More than this, to them has been opened up the narrow way to life, consecrated, made possible, through the sacrifice offered by our great High Priest. They are invited to become under-priests, sharers both of the sufferings, and also later on, if faithful, sharers of the glories of Jesus, the Chief Priest of this order. As a means of attaining the glorious end of their calling they are to cleanse themselves from defilement, and for their use in this respect the Word of God has been provided: it is at once a mirror to show them their blemishes, and water wherewith to cleanse themselves – the stimulus for the correction of life being the exceeding great and precious promises set before them in the Scriptures. Their hearts, justified by faith, and honest before God, are fully consecrated to him and to his service, and are to be so kept continually – by obedience to the best of their knowledge and opportunities, and by the blood of sprinkling which covers unintentional errors and failures. This is the class that is called to be associated with the Lord in his Kingdom; they are styled his Brethren, the Royal Priesthood, the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, and various other names representing their near and dear relationship to the heavenly Father: and all of these who are faithful to the end of the race-course are to be made partakers of the divine nature, with its glory, honor and immortality.

But let us not deceive ourselves in this matter of having hearts that do not condemn us; let us remember that our covenant was unto sacrifice and not unto self-preservation; that it was a covenant to lay our all upon the altar – time, influence, means of every kind; and that we agreed with our Lord that we would reckon this our reasonable service. Do our hearts condemn us in this matter, or do they justify us? Do we feel that we are doing all in our power to serve the Lord and his truth and our brethren? If so, let us rejoice, and let us continue in the same way, patiently hoping for the glorious results promised to the faithful. But if our hearts condemn us, let us not be discouraged; but on the contrary remember that this is a part of the cleansing of the flesh and of the spirit necessary to our preparation for the Kingdom, and let us afresh bind our sacrifices to the altar (Psa. 118:27), and be more and more zealous in expending our little all in the service of him who loved us and who bought us with his own precious blood. Thus doing, it will be our privilege day by day to draw nearer and nearer to the "Most Holy," and thus finishing our course with joy we shall have share in the first resurrection, awaking in our Lord's likeness. – 2 Cor. 5:14,15; Rom. 6:5; 1 John 3:2; Psa. 17:15. [R2678 : page 229]

UNTO HIM BELONGETH ALL.

"Just why I suffer loss
I can not know;
I only know my Father
Wills it so.
He leads in paths I cannot understand;
But all the way I know is wisely planned.

"My life is only mine
That I may use
The gifts he lendeth me
As he may choose;
And if in love some boon he doth recall,
I know that unto him belongeth all.

"I am his child, and I
Can safely trust;
He loves me, and I know
That he is just;
Within his love I can securely rest,
Assured that what he does for me is best."

[R2672 : page 229]

THE GREAT SHEPHERD AND HIS SON, THE GOOD SHEPHERD.

JOHN 10:1-16. – AUGUST 26.
"The Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
D
AVID, THE PSALMIST, wrote prophetically, "Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psa. 23); for in David's day the arrangements for the Shepherd and the flock of this lesson had not been completed. True, the heavenly Father had purposed his entire plan as respects humanity's redemption and return to his care as his flock, but he had not yet sent his only begotten Son, the Good Shepherd, to give his life for the sheep, to call the flock, to open the door and to lead them out and into pasturage and to rest. Nevertheless, in the Lord's providence the nation of Israel had already been gathered, as those who would be prepared to be the flock of the Good Shepherd when he should come. These were "shut up under the Law" (Gal. 3:23), waiting for the coming of the Good Shepherd to open the door and to call them by name as his [R2672 : page 230] own sheep. Others, indeed, came before the Messiah, affecting to be the true shepherd, leaders sent of God, but they were mere pretenders, who sought their own good and glory, and not that of the sheep. They were thieves and robbers, who sought to gain possession of the sheep for their own selfish ends.

The "porter" (representing the Law) would not recognize any of these pretenders, nor approve them, nor open to them access to the sheep. But when the true Shepherd came he satisfied the Law (the porter), and bought the sheep from Justice, giving his own life as their redemption price. Thus he gained the full right to open the door, the full sanction of the porter, the full authority to lead forth the sheep to the green pastures and still waters of divine truth which then became due to them.

At the time of the giving of this parable our Lord was laying down his life, and at the same time uttering his voice, that the true sheep might learn to know him. And not only will all the true sheep learn to know the Shepherd, but, precious thought! the Shepherd knoweth his own sheep individually, so that he calleth each by name as he leads them out. This suggests to us the intimacy of the relationship between Christ and each member of his flock.

The treatment of sheep in this part of the world is very different from that described in the parable, which is still maintained in Oriental countries. Here sheep are driven, and have little or no acquaintance with the herdsmen. But in Palestine, for instance, every sheep has a personal acquaintance with its shepherd, and he with it, and it is said that this acquaintance is so particular that the shepherds have a separate name for each sheep, and know each individually by its name, and that the sheep knows its own name and will respond to a call from its own shepherd at any time. How beautifully this illustrates the close relationship between Christ and his flock, the Church! He gives to each one of us a new name, and we are each personally known to him – our peculiarities of character, temperament, etc., our strong points and our weaknesses – he knoweth them all. He loves us, cares for us, helps us over our trials and difficulties, and shields us from the temptations which would be too strong for us. "He will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but will with the temptation provide also a way of escape," and causes that "all things work together for good to them that love God, the called ones according to his purpose" – his "little flock" of this Gospel age.

We note also the care of the Shepherd over the sheep, for he says, "He putteth forth his own sheep and goeth before them." The words "putteth forth" have the significance of looking after them, that they all get started in the way to the green pastures and still waters for soul refreshment. He is not heedless, careless, respecting them, whether they go or do not go; nevertheless, having started them in the way he will not drive them: he goeth before them to lead, that they may follow. Our Good Shepherd has indeed set us a noble example, so that we may walk in his steps; and whoever will, to the extent of his ability, trustfully do this, will find his wants abundantly supplied, for "No good thing will he [the Shepherd] withhold from those who [thus] walk uprightly." "He will guide them with his counsel, and afterward receive them to glory." – Psa. 84:11; 73:24.

Our Lord's parable does not tell us about the disciplines which the sheep are sure to receive, but these are set before us in the prophetic psalm on the subject, in the words, "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." The thought is that the Shepherd, while going before and not driving the sheep, nevertheless has such an interest and care that he will not suffer one of the sheep to wander away without administering certain chastisements designed for its good, and to correct it and to bring it back into fellowship in the flock. This is a comfort, and yet it should certainly be the desire of all true sheep to follow the Shepherd so closely that the rod shall not often be necessary.

The link between the Shepherd and the sheep, as here indicated, is love. The Shepherd loves the sheep, and has demonstrated this in having laid down his life for them; and the sheep speedily learn to love the Shepherd, as their care-taker; they recognize him through his voice – the Word of God. This voice appeals to the hearts of all the true sheep, who quickly respond, "Never man spake as this man."

The voice of the Good Shepherd is a blending of various sounds in a manner in which they are blended by no other voice. His voice sounds forth the chord of justice commingled with the chord of love, and the whole intoned with wisdom and with power. Other theories, plans and schemes of men and of devils, have no such harmony of sound as has the message which the great Shepherd has sent us through his Son. His voice speaks to us of a just penalty for sins – death; it speaks of love, in our redemption and the forgiveness of our sins, and the opening to us of the way of life, through resurrection. This "word of grace" constrains all the true sheep as no other message or voice could do. Moreover, when the true sheep hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, it satisfies their longings as nothing else could do. They will no longer be in danger of being attracted by other sounds or voices, theories or schemes, but will reply to all,

"Jesus has satisfied; Jesus is mine."

There are many false voices in the world today, seeking to lead the Lord's sheep astray, and these are [R2672 : page 231] sometimes sounded in deceptive tones, to imitate the Shepherd's call, to draw away sheep after those who would be shepherds, but whom the great Shepherd has not appointed; shepherds who not only have not purchased the sheep, but who seek to ignore the great sacrifice by which the Good Shepherd did purchase them. We might mention many such false voices, or false would-be shepherds, – Christian Science, Theosophy, Spiritism, Evolution, Higher Criticism, etc., but we have the Good Shepherd's word for it, that his true sheep will not be deceived by any of these. Well do they know his voice, and its combination of justice, love, and mercy cannot be duplicated by others, – its message of redemption by the precious blood, justification by faith, the high calling, the begetting of the holy spirit, the by-and-by deliverance of the sons of God, and eventually of all who will obey him of the entire groaning creation, through restitution.

This voice, once heard, can never be mistaken for another; and those who know this Shepherd and his voice need never be misled by others. The Lord's true sheep, whom he knows by name and who follow him, will not heed the voice of strange shepherds, but will flee from them. They know when they hear a false [R2673 : page 231] voice, that it means that the Adversary is seeking to ensnare them; and such will flee from the voice of error that they may come the closer to the true Shepherd, who gave his life for the sheep. If, therefore, we see some whom we had supposed were of the Lord's flock heeding another voice and following after strange shepherds, and heedless of the voice that speaketh from heaven, we need not be fearful; for if they are true sheep of the Lord's flock they cannot long be deceived, if at all. We may indeed sound out the voice of the Good Shepherd, calling their attention afresh to the harmonies and beauties of the "voice from heaven," but if still they do not hear and heed, we may know that they do not belong to the flock which our Shepherd is now collecting and shepherding.

Amongst those who heard this parable from our Lord's lips, not many comprehended, not many had the hearing ear for the true Shepherd's voice: only a small proportion of the Jewish people followed him and became his true sheep. Similarly now, many are professing to be the true sheep of the Lord's flock, but in this day of the Shepherd's presence his voice, the truth, becomes the test. All of the true sheep will hear and be attracted by the voice of truth now uttered, and will obey it. Those who are not of the Good Shepherd's flock, and who have not his spirit, he desires shall now be separated; to this end they will hear the voice of other shepherds, and be deceived thereby: because they are not truly of the Lord's flock.

Dr. Porter tells of a scene he witnessed, in which several flocks of sheep were for a time commingled, and how, when the due time was come, the separation took place. He says: –

"As we sat and looked, almost spell-bound, the silent hillsides around were in a moment filled with life and sound. Thousands of sheep and goats were there, grouped in confused masses. The shepherds stood together until all came out, and then they separated, each shepherd taking a different path, and uttering, as he advanced, a shrill, peculiar call. The sheep heard them; at first the mass swayed and moved as if shaken by some internal convulsion; then points struck out in the directions taken by the shepherds. These became longer and longer, until the confused masses were resolved in long, living streams flowing after their leaders."

So at the present time there are many sheep in the nominal Church, but they are not all the Lord's sheep. Some belong to human leaders of various sects, and some are God's. The harvest, or end of this Gospel age, the time for separating the wheat from the tares, is the time for separating the different flocks of sheep. In harmony with this, we now hear various voices calling the sheep in various directions, as never before. This is, in the Lord's providence, for the purpose of separating all others from his own "little flock." His sheep will hear his voice and follow him – other sheep, consecrated to human leaders, human institutions, human theories, human efforts, will follow their own bents, and thus be separated from the "little flock," and this is now the Lord's good pleasure. Thus he will "gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and them that do iniquity," before the glorifying of his Church and the great time of trouble that will follow.

CHRIST THE DOOR OF GOD'S SHEEP-FOLD.

As a further explanation of the matter, our Lord refers to himself as the Door of the sheep-fold, the lawful, proper entrance-gate, by which God's people might enter into rest. All who had ever come previously, claiming to be messiahs, had attempted to climb up by some other way than that of keeping the divine law and purchasing the sheep. They were thieves and robbers, attempting to take what they had not secured a right to, and that for selfish gain. But none of the true sheep would heed them nor follow them. Now, however, the Good Shepherd had come, and had purchased the sheep, opening a legal door of entrance to them and liberty for them, and it was appropriate that all of the true sheep should know it. Now it had become possible for the sheep to have in Christ the liberty so long desired, and to be led out and into pasturage and refreshment and to rest and security. Henceforth Jehovah's flock should never lack for pasturage; because, having bought them through his Son, they shall be cared for. They may now say, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." [R2673 : page 232]

Others who had approached the sheep, seeking to be their leaders, had done so selfishly; had been willing to sacrifice the sheep in their own interest; but the Good Shepherd, solicitous for the best interests of the sheep, demonstrated this by the sacrifice of his own life on their behalf, that they might have life more abundant, better than they had ever known hitherto, – eternal life. Hireling shepherds labor for the hire, and not from personal interest in the sheep, and consequently, instead of being ready to lay down their lives for the sheep in times of extremity and persecution for righteousness' sake, they are ready rather to flee the trouble and avoid persecution. They think chiefly of their own ease and comfort, honor and dignity, and of how much of the golden fleece they can get from the sheep. They are not very deeply concerned respecting the spiritual progress of the sheep, their growth in grace, and in all the fatness of love and spiritual welfare; but specially in numbers and collections.

Perhaps never more than at present is this truth clearly illustrated amongst those who are professedly representatives of the Good Shepherd – under-shepherds in his flock. Many of them give evidence of wanting to be on the popular side of every question – of unwillingness to suffer anything for the sake of the truth; of carelessness respecting the real spiritual condition of the flock: of interest rather in the human institutions through which they obtain their support, and with whose welfare their honor, dignity and titles are associated. Of such shepherds Milton, the poet, wrote, styling them –

"...blind mouths.
The hungry sheep look up and are not fed,
But, swollen with wind and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread."

The Christian philosopher, John Ruskin, commenting upon this, says: "These two monosyllables, 'blind mouths,' express the precisely accurate contraries of the right character in the two great offices of the Church, – those of bishop and pastor. A bishop means a person who sees; a pastor means one who feeds. The most unbishoply character a man can have is, therefore, to be blind. The most unpastoral is, instead of feeding, to want to be fed, – to be a mouth."

Nevertheless, the Good Shepherd will always be represented amongst the sheep by those who have his own characteristics, and who are seeking to walk in his footsteps; and through these he will utter his "voice," and lead his own sheep to pasture and to rest. These will not only have the same voice, the same Word, the same good tidings, but they will have the same devotion to the interests of the sheep – to feed the sheep, to lead them into the green pastures and by the still waters of present truth, and to preserve their liberties in the Lord, and not to pen them up as their own, nor to make merchandise of them.

The Father, the great over-Shepherd, Jehovah, is referred to by the Good Shepherd, Jesus, in verse 16. "The Father knoweth me" [has confidence in me – has entrusted the care of the sheep to me] and even so I know the Father [having full confidence in him, and recognizing him as my Shepherd, director, leader], and [it is in harmony with his arrangement for me and for the sheep that] I lay down my life for the sheep."

The sheep that I am now calling and leading to pasture and caring for and calling by their own names, and who know me, are a very special lot of sheep; in all only a "little flock," for whom Jehovah, the Great Shepherd, has made special arrangements and provisions in his Kingdom of glory. However, these are not all of his sheep, tho they are all yet called and led forth. "Other sheep I have that are not of this fold." I bought the whole world with the one sacrifice for sins, and all who have the true sheep disposition, all who desire to be in harmony with righteousness, truth, and the author of these, I must recognize as my sheep, and must search them out far and near, until every one of them shall be found. But not yet: this will be by and by, after the present "little flock" shall be glorified with me. Then they, with me, shall be the shepherds who will gather in all of the true sheep, delivering them all from the power of the enemy, and bringing so many as will obey my voice ultimately into that glorious condition of oneness, harmony with the heavenly Father and with myself, in which condition, as my sheep, they will be entitled to everlasting life. "Then there shall be one fold and one shepherd," as it is written, "Of whom the whole family both in heaven and in earth is named." – Eph. 3:15.

[R2674 : page 232]

"THE LORD APPOINTED SEVENTY OTHERS ALSO."
LUKE 10:1-11,17-20. – SEPT. 2. –

"The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few."

O
UR LORD HAD previously sent forth the twelve apostles, as heralds of himself and the Kingdom. (Luke 9:1-6.) The sending forth of seventy was evidently some little time afterward, probably in the last year of his ministry. Their commission reads almost in the same words as that given to the twelve, tho they are not recognized anywhere as apostles on an equality of authority with the twelve. The fact that seventy men would voluntarily go forth as ministers of the Lord, without hope of earthly reward or salary, is a sufficient evidence that a strong influence had already been exerted by Jesus' teaching. In this connection we remember the Apostle's statement that above five hundred brethren were sufficiently advanced in knowledge and zeal to be accounted worthy of meeting the Lord after his resurrection, which implies a keen interest on the part of several times that number. We may reasonably suppose that these seventy were representatives of a much larger company of deeply interested ones. They were sent into the various cities and villages, whither the Lord himself would go. They were to prepare his way by announcing the Kingdom at hand, and by performing the miracles intended to demonstrate the authenticity of their message. [R2674 : page 233]

An explanation of why they were sent forth is given (verse 2): it was because the harvest was great and the laborers too few to properly consummate the work in the time appointed of the Father. All interested were expected to share in this appreciation of the greatness of the work, and the necessity for more laborers being sent forth; and it is but reasonable to suppose that the seventy sent were chosen from amongst those appreciating the situation and anxious to be commissioned.

There are several lessons for us in this matter: we too are in a harvest time – in the harvest time of the Gospel age, as they were in the harvest of the Jewish age. Now, as then, the harvest work is great, and the laborers are comparatively few; and now, as then, we cannot hope that any would succeed in doing harvest work unless specially commissioned or sent forth by the Chief Reaper. Hence, all who appreciate the work now in progress, should pray to the Lord to send them forth in his service, or if already engaged in it, that he would graciously open to them doors of opportunity for greater usefulness in his service. In the beginning of this harvest comparatively few were used of the Lord in connection with the harvest work; but as we progress we find that the Lord is graciously pleased to send forth and use more and more those who are zealously anxious to lay down their lives for the truth.

The expression, "The harvest is great," does not necessarily mean that the amount of ripe "wheat" to be garnered is great. It means rather that the difficulties and oppositions, and multitudes of "tares," make it difficult to reach all of the "wheat" class. The work is great here, as it was great in the end of the Jewish age; yet only a "little flock" will be gathered now, as only a remnant was gathered from Israel, as the Apostle Paul pointed out. (Rom. 9:27.) The mass of Israel professed to be the Lord's people, but their piety was little more than profession. They drew nigh to the Lord in attendance at the synagogues, and in celebrating the feasts, felt full and self-satisfied, and looked with pity upon the Gentile nations, and had a great spirit of missionary aggressiveness, and "compassed sea and land to make a proselyte" to Judaism. Nevertheless, the Lord, who read the heart, recognized that theirs was only a formal lip service, and that their hearts were far from him; and we see conditions to-day very similar to this, in nominal spiritual Israel.

None were fit to be sent out as heralds of the Kingdom except such who thoroughly believed in the Kingdom – such as had accepted Jesus as the Messiah; such as believed in his presence – such, therefore, as could speak forth with earnestness and power the message they were sent to bear. And so it seems to be in this harvest time. The Lord is sending forth more laborers continually; yet only such as recognize the Kingdom as nigh, even at the door; only such as recognize the parousia of the King; only such as have a zeal to tell the joyful tidings to others, are being used and blessed of the Lord in the gathering together of his elect, – the ripe "wheat," his "jewels." – Psa. 50:5; Mal. 3:16,17; Matt. 13:39,41.

It is not supposable that our Lord meant that any should appeal to him to send forth more laborers into the harvest, who at the same time would not be willing and anxious, to the extent of their ability, to enter this harvest service themselves. There may be some, but we trust very few, who would be prepared to pray: "O Lord bless, I pray thee, thy work, and send forth more laborers; but do not send me. Permit others to sacrifice time and strength and zeal, that I may rest, and have neither part nor lot in the matter, sacrificing little or nothing." Only those are properly qualified to petition the Lord on such a subject, whose hearts are burning with a desire to do with their might what their hands may find to do, according to their opportunities. Such, in praying, would be anxious, first of all, to themselves be used as servants of the great Chief Reaper; for it is "he that reapeth that receiveth wages and that gathereth fruit unto eternal life" now, as it was also in the Jewish harvest. Those who are most zealous to serve the Lord, and most willing to sacrifice on behalf of his cause, are the ones who will receive the greatest present blessing of spiritual fellowship with the Lord, and who will be the best prepared to share the glories soon to be revealed.

The Lord adopted with the seventy the same method that he started with the twelve; viz., of sending them two and two; and similarly we, at the present time, encourage the colporteur laborers in this harvest to go two and two, for mutual encouragement and helpfulness, etc. As the poet has said,

"So when two together work, each for each
Is quick to plan and can the other teach;
But when alone one seeks the best to know,
His skill is weaker and his thoughts are slow."

It is questionable just why the Lord chose seventy for this work. However, we remember that Moses chose seventy of the elders of Israel for his assistants, and that this number, seventy, was from that time onward preserved in Israel, and known as the "Sanhedrin," or committee of seventy chief men and judges. In the light of this fact, it would appear that if the nation of Israel had been in proper condition of heart to receive the Lord, the chiefs of that nation would already have embraced his cause, and the seventy members of the Sanhedrin would by that time have been proclaiming the Messiah through the length and breadth of Palestine. But since they had not received the King, and had not prayed him to commission them to announce [R2674 : page 234] him, our Lord commissioned others, and the work went on, the honor and privilege passing by those of influence and education who might have enjoyed it had they been worthy. Doubtless the seventy sent forth were, like the apostles, chosen from amongst the honest-hearted of the common people, and not many, if any of them, were rich, wise or learned.

Likewise, in this harvest time, there are many ministers, professedly servants of the truth, and possessed of education, influence, etc., who by now should realize that we are in the harvest of the Gospel age, and should be seeking of the Lord an opportunity to engage in the harvest work; but instead, they are described as "dumb dogs, lying down, refusing to bark" – refusing to awaken the household under their care, to let them know that the Kingdom of God is at hand, and that all not received into the Kingdom are about to be plunged into a great time of trouble. All of the spiritual house of to-day must either receive a more than pentecostal blessing, in being "changed" and made sharers of the Kingdom, or else, being rejected from the Kingdom, receive a baptism of fiery trouble – having their portion with the world, not being accounted worthy to escape those things coming upon the world. – Luke 21:36.

That the Lord did not expect the seventy to convert and gather in all Israel is very distinctly shown in his statement, "Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves." The Master knew that the majority of the professedly consecrated Israel of God were consecrated to self and selfishness, to sect and party, and not to the truth. The majority were represented as voracious wolves, not sheep. Nevertheless, there were lambs and sheep amongst the goats and the wolves, and these all must hear the message, and thus be prepared to receive the Messiah, when he should present himself to them.

Special instructions were given to these specially sent-forth ones. They had a peculiar work to do and the conditions accorded. They were not, therefore, a criterion for subsequent workers under different circumstances. They were to carry neither purse, nor valise, nor extra shoes, and were to salute no man by the way. They would thus be dependent on the generosity of those to whom they ministered the truth. And the effect of this would be beneficial in several ways. (1) It would test the faith of those who went forth, and keep them continually depending on the Lord's supervising care, and trusting that he who had sent them knew how to make provision for their necessities while they complied with his commands. (2) It would furnish an opportunity for hospitality to those to whom they preached, and who, by reason of the necessities of the case, would be constrained to reach a decision promptly as to whether or not they were in sympathy with the [R2675 : page 234] message, and hence with the messengers, and willing to entertain them. The same lesson of dependence on the Lord was implied in the provision for no change of raiment. Besides, it was to be but a short tour.

The injunction not to salute any one by the way, may be understood to refer to the custom in Oriental lands of travelers stopping frequently to chat with each other respecting the news. The disciples had but one message, the good tidings, and they were to give all diligence to its promulgation, and not to be general newsmongers. On arriving at a house they were to take careful note respecting their reception, and were to anticipate this with a prayer that peace, blessing, favor, might be upon that house and its inmates. If a son of peace, a child of God, resided there, they might expect that under the Lord's providence they would have a kind reception, and were to accept it as of the Lord's arrangement. If they were not so received, they were to consider it as an evidence that that was not the home of God's people, living in covenant relationship with him, and were to take their departure, seeking another and another place. Peradventure they found no entertainer in the village, they were, nevertheless, to give their testimony. And it should be given in a striking manner; viz., by the shaking of the dust from their shoes, which, to the Oriental mind, would signify a very solemn and final testimony; and then they were to say, "Notwithstanding, be sure of this, that the Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."

All who are engaged in the present harvest work may learn some very profitable lessons here, applicable, indeed, to the Lord's people at any time while engaged in his service. We have no time for the ordinary converse. The time is short; the harvest work is great; the laborers are few; our time is consecrated; we must labor while it is called day, knowing that a night cometh wherein no man can work. We have consecrated our lives even unto death; we are commissioned of the great Lord of the harvest to seek for the true "wheat," and to gather it into the barn. What time have we for frivolities or worldliness or the many social amenities? Rather, we must content ourselves with giving very little attention to these things, and must press along the line, engaging heartily in the work given us to do, if we would have the approval of our Master, his "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Altho it is not customary to-day, as it was in Palestine nineteen centuries ago, to salute a house and say, "Peace be to this house!" nevertheless all of the Lord's people should be peacemakers, peace-promoters, peace-lovers, and a blessing of peace and restfulness should go with them wherever they go. Alas! how many of them are slow to learn that God has not called us to [R2675 : page 235] strife, contentions, bickerings, anger, etc., but to love, joy, peace, etc. How few, comparatively, have learned how to speak the truth in love; and always to give a soft answer which turneth away wrath; and always to avoid the grievous words which stir up anger. Like the seventy of our lesson, in our daily avocations and efforts to minister to others, let the peace of God go with us, shining in our faces, governing our actions and intoning our language, so that, as the Apostle expresses it, our speech shall be always seasoned with grace.

Conditions in civilized lands to-day are very different from what they were and still are in Oriental lands, so that here and now it would be unusual to be expected to entertain strangers; nevertheless, all who are of the Lord's true people should be on the look-out to entertain hospitably any servants of the Lord, who they are sure carry his message, the Gospel of the Kingdom. And, as the Apostle indicates, they should be just as careful not to entertain, not to assist, and not to bid God-speed to any who are bearing a false gospel, and denying that the Lord bought us. – 2 John 10.

REJOICE IN THINGS UNSEEN.

When the seventy returned from this mission they were full of joy; saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us, in thy name." Our Lord assured them that this was what he expected, and intended, when he sent them forth, and explained respecting his own knowledge of Satan in his pre-human condition, that there and then he had been a witness to Satan's fall from high glory and privilege and position to his present attitude of chief adversary of God. "I beheld Satan as lightning [as a bright one] fall from heaven." It is for those who deny the personality of Satan and who deny there are any fallen angels, to explain away these plain statements of Scripture. The true children of God, the true sheep who hear the voice of the Shepherd, will not be deceived upon this point any more than upon others. What matters it to us that we did not see Satan fall from his glorious condition? Our Master did, and he has borne testimony, not only respecting Satan's personality, but also respecting his fall from brightness and honor. What is it to us that others deny that there are fallen angels, demons, who seek to impersonate the dead, through spiritualism, etc.? We have the Master's words, and the words of the apostles, to the contrary, and as true sheep we both hear and heed the Shepherd's voice and follow him. We heed not the voice of Satan, uttered through those whom he controls, telling us that there is no devil, that there is no Second Death, etc.

Our Lord proceeded to tell the seventy that it was he who had given them the power they had enjoyed, and that it included immunity from the bites of serpents and scorpions, and from all the power of the enemy – all enemies, but specially the enemy, Satan: the same one mentioned also in the prayer which our Lord taught, saying, "Deliver us from the Evil One." It may not be amiss to note here the fact that these powers and authorities over Satan, poisons, serpents, etc., were confined to the twelve and to the subsequent seventy, and were never given to the Church in general. The only Scripture which even seems to so imply is Mark 16:9 to the end, and these verses are not found in the oldest Greek MSS., and are evidently interpolations, added probably about the fifth century: they are omitted from the Revised Version and others. But while no such immunity from poisons and bites and stings are granted to the Gospel Church in general, we have what serves every purpose in this respect; viz., the Lord's promise that nothing shall by any means hurt us as new creatures, – that the Lord will permit nothing to happen to his consecrated ones that he is not both able and willing to overrule for their good, their highest welfare.

While rejoicing with the disciples in their increased faith and joy, resulting from their activities in his service, and in the exercise of the gifts which he had bestowed upon them, our Lord cautioned them against thinking too highly of such miraculous gifts, and assures them that their chiefest cause for joy lay in another direction – in the fact that they had been accepted as sons into God's family (John 1:12); in the fact that their names were written in heaven, as prospective joint-heirs with Christ in his Kingdom – prospective members of the body of Christ, to suffer with him, and thus attest their fidelity, and by and by to be glorified with him to all eternity. This is in harmony with the Apostle Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 13:1, where he assures us that the miraculous gifts conferred upon the early Church by the laying on of the apostles' hands, such as speaking with unknown tongues, interpretations of mysteries, etc., are not proofs of spirit-begotten conditions; – that a greater proof is the possession of the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love that never faileth.

The more of the spirit of love we possess the greater is our likeness to God's dear Son, our Redeemer, and the more will we be fitted and prepared for a share with him in his heavenly glories. If, therefore, the Lord permits us to do some little service in the present harvest, or to bear some burdens in the heat of the day, or if he grants us the privilege of successfully contending against the great Adversary and his servants, and hinders us from being stung or "hurt" by their words or looks or deeds, and if he grants us opportunities for helping others out of soul-sickness by administering the good medicine of the present truth, let us rejoice in these privileges and opportunities; but let us rejoice still more that under the Lord's providence we are his children, begotten of his spirit, – that our names have been recorded as members of his family, and that by and by we may expect to be joint-heirs with our Elder Brother. Yea, in these good hopes we will rejoice.

[R2675 : page 236]

IS THE RESTITUTION CALL NOW OPEN?

A DEAR BROTHER in the truth seems to think that the teachings of DAWN, VOL. V., differ from those of DAWN, VOL. III., on the question heading this article. He sees clearly that in DAWN, VOL. V., the view we present is that the restitution call cannot begin until the last member of the Gospel Church has been changed, glorified, but he thinks that the third volume teaches that the restitution call will be in progress simultaneously with the closing work of this Gospel age. This clearer statement of the subject in DAWN V., is the result of our having learned that some had gotten the wrong impression from VOL. III. In proof of his point, the Brother refers us to VOL. III., p.218, where it is stated that "the stopping of the favor or call here, in 1881, is followed, or rather lapped upon, by the general call of the whole world to the Millennial blessings and [R2676 : page 236] favors on condition of faith and obedience." Also pp.365 and C367: "Further, where the special favor of the general Gospel call ceased, October, 1881, the blessings upon the world would seem to be due to have a beginning." "It (1881) was the date of the closing of the high calling, and hence the date for the beginning of the restitution call for mankind in general."

On questions of so much intricacy it is sometimes difficult to use language sufficiently exact; especially if at the time of writing objections or criticisms are not fully anticipated. Were we to express the above points again we would try still harder, as in DAWN V., to guard our statements, and thus to prevent any misunderstanding. Our thought is, that the close of the high calling in the year 1881 was a marked date, and that from that time onward we should expect manifestations along the line of restitution – evidences that restitution blessings were in process of development. We had no intention of conveying the thought that restitution, physical, mental and moral, should be expected in 1881, and onward. As a matter of fact, we see no such process of general physical restitution in operation, nor ought we to expect it until the Day of Atonement sacrifices (of this Gospel age – Christ and the Church, his body) are complete.

We have already pointed this out in the pamphlet, "Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices," published in 1881. We there show that the high priest does not put on the glorious garments, representing the dignity and authority of rulership and blessing, until the "Lord's goat" has been killed, its body burned without the camp, its fat burned upon the altar, and its blood carried into the "Most Holy" and sprinkled upon the Mercy-Seat. (We there show also that this goat typified the Church, all of whose experiences there typified cannot be accomplished until the last member of the body of Christ has finished his sacrifice completely.) Then it was that the high priest went to the altar, lifted up his hands, and began to bless the people, who meantime lay prostrate in the dust awaiting that very blessing, which typically represents restitution.

In the above statement that "the stopping of the favor or call here, in 1881, is followed, or rather lapped upon, by the general call of the whole world to the Millennial blessings and favors," we hoped that the reader would have in mind our further statement; that altho the call, in its open or full sense, ceased in 1881, it would be prolonged in a special or private sense for a time, just as Israel's national favor ceased five days before our Lord's crucifixion, when he said, "Your house is left unto you desolate," yet in an individual sense of the word, God's favor continued with Israel exclusively for three and a half years following that date; only that instead of being a national favor, it was a private, an individual favor. On p.219 we endeavor to explain this continuation of the Gospel call, in another form, using the following language:

"But tho the general 'call' has ceased, the 'door' is not yet shut. The end of the call, and the shutting of the door are distinct and separate. The 'door' stands open for some to enter the race for the great prize of joint-heirship in the Kingdom after the general 'call' has ceased. God has predetermined a fixed number to constitute the Church, 'the body of Christ,' and there can be neither one member superfluous nor one lacking. (See this typically taught in Lev. 21:17-23.) It follows that he could not call or invite to that honor more than would complete the number that he had determined, and God's Word shows that this number had been secured [called] in October, 1881. But since some of those who responded under the general call, and made the covenant with him, will fail to keep that covenant, fail to so run as to obtain the prize, the 'door' stands open after the general 'call' has ceased, to permit the entrance to the race, to self-sacrifice in the service of the truth, of some [under the private or individual call] to take the places of such as may, during the inspection, cast aside the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness; and also of such others as, having made the covenant of self-sacrifice in the service, love the present evil world, become overcharged with its cares or pleasures, and fail to perform the requirements of their covenant."

Our thought is that this secret extension of the privileges of the call, after it has ceased as a general offer, must of necessity precede the beginning of the restitution privileges, and hence that only preparatory [R2676 : page 237] work in respect to the restitution and the proclamation of it, will be in order until the harvest of this Gospel age has been fully gathered. The knowledge of restitution is granted to the Lord's consecrated people now, to the intent that they should not be in darkness with the world in respect to the divine plan, and especially in view of the approaching great time of trouble, and also in view of the falling of the systems of error, false doctrines, etc. It is necessary that the restitution should be recognized by God's people, in order to keep them from falling in this day of trouble. But the message or call to restitution is not due to the world, to our understanding, in any sense of the word; hence it is that the efforts being made in connection with the dissemination of present truth are confined, so far as seems reasonable and possible, to the Church – to those, at least, who professedly claim to be the Lord's people, and not to the world.

Our brother's letter suggests several questions, which we here propound and answer, hoping that the answers may be helpful, not only to him but to others.

(1) Question. – May it not be, that both the high calling and the restitution call are now open? Or, if only one of them, would it not seem the more probable that the restitution call alone is open now? I fail to see the force of your claim that the "door" stands open after the "call" ceases.

Answer. – We believe that we have shown, foregoing that the restitution call could not begin until the sacrifice of the Church is completely finished, and until the High Priest, with every member of his body, is fully clothed with the honors and dignities of his office, represented in the garments of glory and beauty. We doubt if we can make the matter of the open door after the general call has ceased, any plainer than above set forth. We think it beyond question, that the Lord could not call at any time a greater number than the elect number, even tho his foreknowledge assured him that many of the called ones would not make their calling and election sure, and therefore would not be amongst the chosen. We hold, therefore, that at such time as the full number of the elect had been called, the general call must of necessity have ceased; and yet, since the Lord clearly foretold that a casting out of some during the inspection of the guests would follow (Matt. 22:10-14), and since the elect number must be complete, it follows that there must be some way of bringing in others to take the places of those who would be cast out, after the general call ceased and the work of inspection began. To our understanding this work of inspection of the guests has been progressing for some time – since the call ceased. As some were found unworthy of their privileges and "cast into outer darkness," similar to that in which the whole world is, others were admitted to the favors of the called, and the attendant testings. And this work must continue until the full quota of elect ones shall have passed divine approval. We can think of no other way that would permit God to be just and reasonable in his dealings, since he will not accept less than the foreordained number, and since he will not call to that number any who, in any sense of the word, might be open to disappointment. "Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints!" As pointed out (DAWN, Vol., III., page 222) these additions are illustrated in the parable by those admitted to labor in the vineyard at the eleventh hour, – after the regular calls had ceased.

(2) Question. – Did not the restitution call precede the Gospel call? Were not Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all Israel called to restitution? If this be true, then the Gospel call was merely a supplementary one, for the time being, and in that event its closing or cessation would at once put in force again the original call which it had temporarily superseded.

Answer. – No: none of the patriarches were called to restitution, nor was it possible that either they or others could attain restitution blessings until after the ransom had been paid; until after all the Atonement Day sacrifices had been offered. If restitution had been possible without the ransom, then Christ died in vain, so far as the world of mankind is concerned. But no; all that anyone enjoyed of restitution favors in the past, was what we now enjoy; viz., a knowledge of them. A slight knowledge or hint at restitution was given to father Adam and mother Eve. Subsequently a clearer statement of the same was made to Abraham, and confirmed to Isaac and Jacob. There is a vast difference between the promise of a thing and the thing itself. Had the restitution call gone forth in the true sense, anyone responding properly would have been restored to perfection and everlasting life. True, there was a kind of offer of restitution made to Israel under the Law Covenant – an offer that they would be restored to perfection and life if they would keep their Law Covenant inviolate. But, as we have seen, the keeping of that Law was impossible; and hence the attainment of restitution under it was equally impossible.

The special merit of the patriarches consisted in the fact that, living before any call to everlasting life was made, and with merely a hint of God's gracious purposes, they exercised so great faith respecting the same, – enduring much in their endeavors to please God, and because of their confidence in his promises. From the Apostle Paul's account, some of them endured, faithfully, experiences which, had they lived [R2677 : page 238] during this Gospel age, would have constituted them overcomers in the highest sense of the word, and joint-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom. But living before this high calling or any other call had been issued, and suffering and enduring valiantly and faithfully, they are promised a better resurrection, a more favorable resurrection than that of the world, – tho it will not be so wonderful a resurrection as that of the Church. As the Apostle remarks, God has promised some better thing for us (than for them), "that they without us should not be made perfect." – Heb. 11:40.

Their resurrection will be better than that of the remainder of mankind, except the consecrated Gospel Church, in that it will be an instantaneous raising to perfection, while the world's resurrection will be a gradual one, accompanied by disciplines and testings, and called by our Lord "the resurrection by judgment" – a gradual raising up of the obedient and willing throughout the Millennial age, step by step, to all that was forfeited and lost in Eden.

(3) Question. – Will not the restitution call be a call to faith and to obedience, without sacrifice? If we cannot imagine such a call as being now in process, let me ask, Why not? Was not this call the one that was open to Cornelius and to everybody else, both before and since his time, as mentioned by the Apostle Peter, "I perceive that in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is acceptable to him"?

Answer. – Peter did not mean to be understood that he that feared God and worked righteousness to the best of his ability had always been acceptable to God. Peter had just learned that a new dispensation had been ushered in, and that since Christ had redeemed, not the Jew only, but the whole world of mankind, therefore now repentance and remission of sins were proper to be preached in Christ's name to every creature, Gentiles as well as Jews; and that whoever sought to do the Lord's will to the best of his ability would be acceptable in the Lord's sight.

The restitution call will be a very different one from any that has ever gone forth as yet. It will not be a call to faith and to reckoned forgiveness of sins, but a call to obedience and to the actual blotting out of sins. During the Millennial age the world of mankind will be dealt with according to the condition of each, and obedience to the extent of ability will be required of each individual. Every obedience will receive its reward, in the way of mental, moral and physical recuperation, restitution; and every disobedience will receive a just chastisement, and thus throughout that age all who will shall have the opportunity of development, mentally, physically, morally, until, at its close, if he has been obedient to the great Teacher, Christ, he will again be in the image and likeness of God, as was Father Adam, but with additional experience gained, – not only during the fall, but especially the experiences gained under the administration of Christ's government, during the Millennial period, while rising again; while being restituted out of sin and death conditions, into conditions of righteousness and life.

What is now known to the Church of this Gospel age as "justification by faith" (in like manner also the ancient worthies were justified) will not be in operation during the Millennial age, nor be necessary; because the conditions then will be so different from present conditions. It is because "we walk by faith and not by sight," – because faith is now so difficult, and therefore so rare, that it is so highly appreciated and rewarded of God. But when the Millennial age will have been ushered in, the age of faith will have passed – that will be the age of knowledge, – the age of evidences so clear, so unmistakable, that even "the wayfaring man, tho ignorant, shall not err therein, for the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth, as the waters cover the face of the great deep." With knowledge thus abundant, so that there shall be no need to say to one's neighbor, "Know the Lord, because all shall know him," it follows that special faith will be impossible, and hence the rewards of special faith will no longer be offered.

We do not mean to say that mankind during the Millennium will not believe; on the contrary, none can do otherwise than believe: we do mean to say, however, that there is a difference between believing and exercising faith. We now believe various things by faith, which the world in the next age will believe, not by faith but on evidence, by knowledge – it will be impossible for them to doubt them, seeing that the evidences will be so indisputable. For instance, now God tells us to reckon all of our past sins forgiven, and ourselves fully justified in his sight. Nevertheless, we continually see evidences of our own weaknesses in our minds and bodies. The sins are not blotted out; they are merely reckonedly covered. In the case of the Church's sins: they will not be blotted out until death shall destroy these mortal bodies, and until the Lord, in the first resurrection, shall grant us glorious, spiritual, perfect bodies. In them there will be no trace of sin or weakness or imperfection; all our sins will then be actually blotted out. But now we are required to believe in the covering of our sins; to exercise faith in God's declaration. Our next step of faith is in connection with the high calling to sacrifice earthly and temporal interests for the gaining of the heavenly glory, honor and immortality. But the heavenly crown and blessing are seen only with the eye of faith; and whoever runs in the race now set before [R2677 : page 239] us in the Gospel, must not only look with the eye of faith unto Jesus, as the author and finisher of our faith, but with the same eye of faith must see the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, has laid up for those who are faithful. Thus ours is preeminently an age of faith, of reckoned conditions, and of trust in the promises: and it shall have its great and precious reward.

Not so will be the conditions of the Millennial age, when ushered in. Knowledge will be there, as we have seen; and each day's experiences will result either in mental, moral and physical development, or in chastisements for failures to make progress. Such experiences will give ample demonstration of what may be expected as the ultimate outcome, – restitution as the reward of obedience, or the Second Death as the punishment of disobedience.

The matter is clearly set before us in the Scriptures, which clearly teach that, during this age, the rule of divine dealing is, "According to thy faith be it unto thee," while the rule of the judgment of the world in the Millennial age is clearly laid down in Rev. 20:12: "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened; and another book of life was opened [the first book of life is called the Lamb's Book of Life, containing the names of the elect Church, his Bride: – this other Book of Life will be the book or record of those who shall pass the restitution trial or judgment satisfactorily], and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books [the Scriptures – John 12:48] according to their works."

It would be a mistake to suppose that God will call mankind to sonship during the Millennial age, and not require them to make full consecration of themselves to him, and to that righteousness of which he is the personal representative. None can ever have eternal life upon any other condition than this – absolute obedience, and more – absolute harmony with the very spirit of the divine law, the law of righteousness, the law of love. And all who will be in harmony with the Lord to such an extent as this, would of necessity sacrifice, if there were opposition to the Lord or to righteousness which would make necessary a sacrifice of any kind, rather than deny the Lord and the principles of his holiness.

The reason why there will be no sacrifices required of the world during the Millennial age is, that sin and Satan will no longer be in control – "this present evil world" (dispensation) will have passed away, and in its stead will have been ushered in "the world to come, wherein dwelleth righteousness" – wherein righteousness will be the rule, wherein the King and all in favor with him and every feature of government will be one of righteousness, truth and love.

To suppose the restitution call already commenced, would be to suppose that God had in some manner authorized some one to announce that henceforth no one would suffer for right doing, but only for wrong doing; and that henceforth whoever sought to do right to the best of his ability, would find himself unopposed therein, and that his every effort would promptly bring mental, moral and physical strength and recuperation, which, going on and on, would by and by reach absolute perfection. Furthermore, it would be to promise that any who accepted this restitution call would never die the Adamic death; but on the contrary, accepting this call heartily, would find that day by day, year by year, the power of death in him was being vanquished and the process of restitution progressing.

When that call shall go forth, and those restitution privileges shall be offered to mankind, it will be as the Prophet has declared, that no man shall thenceforth die for Adam's sin, nor for the sin of his fathers, but only for his own sin. (Jer. 31:29,30.) We understand that this time will not be reached until after the time of trouble – not until A.D. 1915. To our understanding, from that date onward, the Kingdom being fully established, the call of the world to restitution privileges will be opened, and whoever shall then die will die for his own sin [Second Death] and not for father Adam's; and whoever will then be obedient to [R2678 : page 239] the Lord will experience the blessings of his grace in restitution, – actual, perceptible recovery beginning at once, as the reward to the faithful under the restitution call.

The sense in which Millennial blessings and favors are already lapping upon the Gospel age, to our understanding, is this: First, knowledge, inventions, etc., are bringing to the world of mankind blessings never hitherto enjoyed, and which are really intended for the Millennial age, and are merely being gotten ready or prepared in this "day of God's preparation." (2) Restitution blessings are lapping also, in the sense that these inventions, etc., are gradually leading on to the great time of trouble, in which present institutions, social, financial, political, religious, will all be overthrown – that in their stead God may bring in the better provisions and arrangements of the Millennial Kingdom. (3) Restitution blessings are coming to the Church now, in the sense that she is permitted to foresee these coming blessings upon the world, and to rejoice exceedingly, and to lift up her heart in thankfulness and praise to him who loveth us and who bought us with his own precious blood, and to realize how it is "the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

(4) Question. – Suppose some one should say, "I wish to give up this present world and all its honors and pleasures, to obey and follow Christ, no difference [R2678 : page 240] what trials and persecutions it may bring; but I have no expectation of salvation on the divine plane, and I am not running for that prize. Salvation on the human plane is better than I deserve, no matter how much it may cost me to follow Christ now, in the opening years of his reign, before Satan is bound. I am glad of an opportunity to show my loyalty under adverse circumstances, which will prove that I am sincere." Who may say that such an one might not come in under the restitution call?

Answer. – The Apostle, on one occasion, said, "The times of this ignorance God winked at" – took no account of. So all the way down through this Gospel age, while this "high calling" has been presented, there doubtless have been some of the Lord's followers who have not clearly grasped his promises in all their length and strength and beauty, – many who did not clearly understand that the overcomers of this age are to be heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, and partakers of glory, honor and immortality. Their ignorance, however, did not alter the call nor the Lord's engagement. The heavenly Father is, so to speak, dealing with Christ rather than with us, and thus it is written that we are "accepted in the Beloved." Whoever, therefore, during this Gospel age, has fully consecrated himself to the Lord as his Master, fully trusting in him also as his Redeemer, and seeking to walk in his footsteps, the same is an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ, his Lord, whether he knew it or not; just as it would be in respect to an earthly inheritance.

It might seem strange that a son should not have some knowledge of his father's wealth and of his father's intention to give him a portion, but the son's ignorance would not alter in any degree the father's will, nor hinder him from participating in its provisions. So we should say respecting those of the Lord's faithful ones during this age, who have not been aware of how great things "God hath in reservation for them that love him." And this applies also to such an one as you mention in this question: his ignorance will not alter the divine arrangement; and if he faithfully follow the Lord now, we have every reason to believe that in the regeneration he shall sit in his throne, whether he expects so great a favor or not. Nevertheless, we should expect that now the Lord would graciously reveal to such a faithful sacrificer his goodly heritage. There surely is no Restitution Call at the present time – no offer, yet, of an opportunity to grow out of imperfection and death, into perfection in God's likeness, and into life everlasting.

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THE CHICAGO CONVENTION.
CHANGE OF DATE, TO AUGUST 25,26,27.

IT HAS BEEN found necessary to change our Convention dates to one week earlier than announced in our last issue. All arrangements are now complete as follows: –

RAIL ROAD RATES, ETC. We are taking advantage of the extremely low rail road rates granted to the "G.A.R. Encampment," but open to everybody: so Excursion Tickets for the "G.A.R. Encampment," (and not for our Convention), should be called for. Make full inquiry of your R.R. ticket agent in advance, respecting date when he will have these cheap tickets on sale.

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS. The Chicago brethren assure us that they have made very complete arrangements for our entertainment, at reasonable rates.

"Hotel Grace," Cor. Clark St. and Jackson Boulevard has been secured for headquarters. It is centrally located – within walking distance of all depots. A number of comfortable apartments have been secured at 50 cents per night each person – two in a bed: a few choicest rooms 75 cents each person. State which you desire reserved for you.

Restaurants are numerous in the vicinity of the hotel and hall. Plain meals can be had at from fifteen cents upward.

THE CONVENTION HALL. The committee has secured the use of "The People's Institute," corner of Van Buren and Leavitt Streets. It is commodious – probably quite beyond our needs – having a seating capacity of eighteen hundred. It is about 30 minutes ride from our hotel headquarters, and may be reached by the Garfield Park train on the Metropolitan Elevated Road: Get off at Hoyne Station. Or take the Van Buren Street car to Leavitt Street, or the Leavitt Street Car to Van Buren St.

BAPTISM SERVICE. Arrangements for baptism – robes, towels, etc., are complete; so that any desiring thus to symbolize their consecration can be accommodated on Monday afternoon, August 27.

WRITE US FOR PARTICULARS, as soon as you decide that you can attend, and have learned when your train will reach Chicago. Make your letter brief and to the point; thus for instance: "Our party will consist of six – two males and two females single, and one married couple. We expect to reach Chicago at 11 o'clock A.M. August 25, via Chicago and Northwestern R.R. We desire the fifty cent lodgings." Mention names.

COMMITTEE OF RECEPTION of Chicago Church will, so far as possible, meet the friends at depots on arrival of trains indicated – at the door of the Ladies' Waiting Room. Each may recognize the other by seeing a WATCH TOWER in his hand. However, should you for any reason fail to meet one of the committee, you can easily find a lunch room, and then "Hotel Grace" or the Convention Hall, at the addresses above given.

A LARGE ATTENDANCE EXPECTED.

All who trust in the "precious blood" as man's atonement price are cordially invited. We anticipate a large attendance, and urge that all who come shall seek to bring with him the Lord's blessing, that all in attendance may be blessed and that the influence of the Convention may be far-reaching for good to the Lord's flock and to the Chief Shepherd's praise.

page 241
August 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXI.AUGUST 15, 1900.No. 16.
CONTENTS.

Views From the Watch Tower 243
Rev. R. Heber Newton's Opinion 243
Protestantism in France and in America 243
Prepared to Fall Into Spiritism 246
A Change Already in Progress 246
Praying and Fighting – An Emperor's Sermon 247
"Not So Paul Won Macedonia" 249
God's Providential Care 249
Doing, to Inherit Eternal Life 250
The Good Samaritan 252
Beware of Covetousness 253
The Rich Churl 255
Interesting Letters 256
Three More Conventions 242

'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 242

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 & 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.

BRITISH BRANCH NO. 131 GIPSY LANE, FOREST GATE, LONDON EAST, ENGLAND.

THE CHICAGO CONVENTION – AUG. 25-27.

We learn with regret that some of the rail roads entering Chicago have instructed their near-by agents not to commence selling the cheap "G.A.R. Excursion" tickets until Aug. 26. This will undoubtedly prevent some from attending the Convention on its opening day, the 25th; but should it be the desire of a goodly number, the Convention can be prolonged to include the 28. The dates already announced will be the best we can do (Aug. 25-27), for we want to include a Sunday, and prefer that, so far as possible, the commotion incidental to arrivals on the opening day shall be over before Sunday.

Full particulars were given in last WATCH TOWER, and will be sent by mail on application. The Editor of this journal will attend, and hopes that all friends will introduce themselves to him, by name and place.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. CONVENTION – SEPT. 4 AND 5.

Friends of the truth residing in the vicinity of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., advise us that a Floral Fete will be held there Sept. 3-6, which will have very low rates of rail road fare from all points in New York and New England. They request a gathering of the friends of that vicinity, – and as many others as can conveniently meet with them on Sept. 4 and 5. The Editor has promised to attend on the 4th, and if possible to remain also the 5th. Purchase Excursion tickets to Floral Fete.

Comfortable accommodations can be secured at one dollar a day including board. Notify the WATCH TOWER office at once by postal card, when you will arrive, by what road, and how many will be of your party. On arrival go at once to the New Prohibition Hall, No. 464½ Broadway. – But first look out for the Reception Committee at the door of the "Ladies' Waiting Room" displaying a copy of the WATCH TOWER.

DALLAS, TEXAS, CONVENTION – SEPT. 29,30, OCT. 1.

We merely remind the friends of Texas and vicinity of the date as above, reserving particulars for a later issue.

"HE THAT HATH NO MONEY – COME YE!"

At all Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Conventions provision is made for the free entertainment of the Lord's "brethren" able to attend, but unable to pay for hotel accommodations. In notifying us of your coming, mention if the Lord's providence has made it expedient for you to accept the free hospitality of the entertaining Church.

CONVENTION OPPORTUNITIES FOR SYMBOLIC BAPTISM.

This is a feature in all conventions. Robes, towels, etc., are supplied, and the use of baptistry secured.

[R2679 : page 243]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

REV. R. HEBER NEWTON'S OPINION.

DOCTOR NEWTON writes to the Christian Citizenship League as follows: –

"The teachings of the church, for the most part, are far from following the teachings of Jesus. Nay, they are far from recognizing what those teachings are. The organization of the church is planned and patterned upon a policy which is the very antithesis of a true society of Jesus.

"Commercialism dominates the organization, and conventionality tyrannizes the pulpit. The law of the market, rather than the law of the mount, is accepted by the church at large.

"Our Protestant churches are composed, for the most part, of a constituency drawn from the well-to-do classes, and they see nothing essentially unsound or unethical in the economic system of the day. The pulpit, therefore, is rarely free to deliver its soul, if it has one, upon the burning questions of our generation.

"Blind leaders of the blind, both seem hastening to fall into the ditch which lies before our civilization. And yet within the Christian church is the very ideal that the world hungers for, the very power to solve these problems. Infinitely pathetic is the situation."

This is a very severe arraignment of orthodoxy in any case; but coming from one of its leading lights it is terrible!

PROTESTANTISM IN FRANCE AND IN AMERICA.

Within the past few years Protestantism has been making considerable progress in Catholic France; but it is to be remembered that there the term Protestant includes all systems of religion and irreligion opposed to Roman Catholicism.

As might be expected, this in turn arouses the ire of Romanists, especially the clergy, who, long accustomed to full control of the masses, and to having their mandates pass without dispute or criticism, are now furious in their attempts to hinder their people from slipping the bonds of gross religious ignorance and superstition, and escaping from their control. Deprived of the civil power of the past – lost a century ago – and unable to torture or destroy those who protest against their system, they nevertheless clearly show that the spirit of the past still dominates them, and that only opportunity is lacking, and this by reason of a higher civilization and a more generally enlightened public conscience – not because of a higher and holier religious standing.

Words are the cruelest weapons now permitted, and these are used with energy and venom and regardless of the truth. For instance, the Bonne Presse, the organ of the Assumptionists (a Roman Catholic order), and many Croix, or Catholic Church papers, are seeking to arouse prejudice and public sentiment against everything not Catholic, by confounding Jews, Freethinkers and Freemasons with Protestant Christians – charging all with treachery to France, etc., – and the general name of "Huguenots" has been revived as applicable to all those to whom Romanism is opposed. The inference is deducible from some of the writings, that their authors would like to see these modern "Huguenots" massacred as were the others – for the glory of God and the peace of the Roman Catholic Church. – See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., pages 332-353.

The names of some of the tracts and books published in the interest of this crusade against Protestantism would, alone, give a clue to the character of the attack; but we will give a few extracts: –

"The Protestant Peril," of 569 pages, declares: –

"The Huguenots go hand-in-hand with the traitors of the fatherland and with the foreign foes of France, just as their religious fellows did in the year 1870....The Protestants force their way into the houses of the French people, ostensibly to sell Bibles, but in truth to spy out where the honest peasant has [R2679 : page 244] hidden his savings. They are picking out quarters for the army of the invasion. Therefore, we must keep a watch over these imbeciles and force them to leave our towns....These pious gospel messengers do not propose so much to make converts to Protestantism, as to demoralize our good people and to lay plans for facilitating the proposed invasion of our country. We appeal to the peasants to become new crusaders in the interests of the good cause."

"The Protestant Conspiracy" charges that the queen of England annually contributes five million dollars to propagate Protestantism in France, and thus to make the latter a vassal state to Great Britain. Another work is entitled, "The Treachery of Protestantism." "Treason's Formation" is another of these. It says: –

"The Huguenot is a born traitor. A Catholic will die for his faith; a Jew to save his money; but a Protestant knows no martyrdom....The claim of the innocence of Dreyfus was simply a specimen of Protestant treachery in order to make it possible for England to occupy Fashoda, and William II. to make his journey to Jerusalem. All the defenders of Dreyfus are open or secret Protestants."

"The Protestant Conquest" is the title of another of these blasts of ignorance and falsity, designed to prejudice the populace so that they will give Protestants and the Bible no hearing. It suggests the wisdom and propriety of murdering leading opponents, both political and religious, as follows: –

"The Catholics are too scrupulous. Nobody can bake an omelet without breaking some eggs. No revolution can be achieved without advancing over dead bodies. Do you think it would be a crime to condemn and put to death such men as Zadok Kahn, Reinach, Scheurer-Kestner, Picquart, Zola, Brisson, Yves Guyot, Jaures, Clemenceau, Monod, and Ranc, because they have organized the Dreyfus conspiracy? I confess openly that I would have no hesitancy to vote for the death of this Reinach, etc., and such pastors as Monod, etc."

French Protestants are justly indignant at such unscrupulous methods of opposition, and are crying out for freedom and fair and honest treatment; and to offset it are publishing pamphlets entitled "Away from Rome," and scattering them widely.

*                         *                         *

But now note the difference between the sentiments of Protestants in France, and Protestants here. Where they are in the minority they want liberty and God's Word to prevail, and appeal to reason and the Bible as in offset to ignorance, superstition and priestcraft. But how is it here in "the land of the free" where Protestantism controls the great majority? Ah! here we see the weakness of fallen human nature displayed; for here Protestants, like the Catholics of France, are most bitterly opposed to any advanced light – especially any further light from the Bible; – not only denying what they cannot gainsay Scripturally, but becoming the more angry in proportion as they find present truth unanswerable.

True, they have not published volumes in opposition to our presentations, but this is no doubt due to two facts: (1) There is no opportunity to confound the gospel we preach with any class of politicians or political aspirations; and (2) they know nothing to say against our position, and fear to call attention to it lest their closely guarded and tightly penned "sheep" should get a taste of "the good word of God," and break away from sectarianism to the "green pastures and still waters" of divine truth. But most of their fears are groundless, for the majority of their flocks are not "sheep" anyway; and the "goats," true to a perverse nature, would prefer tin cans, paper, filthy rags, or any thing of a sensational character – Evolution, Higher Criticism, human philosophy, and "science falsely so called" – rather than the truth.

United States Protestant methods differ from French Roman Catholic methods, but both have the same object; namely, to prejudice the minds of the people under their control who are trusting to them as their guides and spiritual advisers; thus to hinder them from investigating truth on its merits and in the light of the divine Word.

Having mentioned the Roman Catholic method, it is but just that we cite instances illustrating the Protestant method. For instance, some years ago the pastor of the North Ave. M.E. Church of this city made a most furious attack upon the Editor of this journal, whom he had never met, and whose writings he probably had never read – as would seem to be implied by the false statements of our position made by him in a discourse over an hour long. What was the ground for the attack? Simply that five members of his congregation had been baptized by us the week previous, and that he knew, in some way or other, that we believed in the imminence of the Kingdom of God. He railed at the fact that this teacher did not belong to any of the sects, and was not recognized by any of them, informed his people that he had been specially educated so as to be able to guide them in all spiritual matters; and that they should seek no other counsel respecting God's Word.

He then demonstrated his wisdom and ability as "a scribe instructed respecting the Kingdom" by declaring that the second coming of Christ must be many thousands of years future, because in his judgment, this was clearly taught, not by the Bible writers, but by the coal fields and ore deposits of earth, which he thought would last that long.

If the learned gentleman had only thought of it he might have prophesied a still longer interim – millions [R2680 : page 245] on millions of years – basing his calculations on the supply of limestone for macadam and whitewash, and on the supply of granite for tomb-stones. This encouraging (?) sermon on "The Second Coming of Christ" ended with an attempt to arouse the murder spirit amongst the "goats" of his flock and to intimidate the "sheep" with words, understood by all to refer to the Editor of this journal, who was (by request of the recently baptized ones) present in the audience thirty feet from the reverend and learned speaker, who in loud and angry tones shouted, "Do you know what they would have done to such a man eighteen centuries ago? They would have led him outside their city and would have stoned him to death!"

Here is the same murderous spirit manifested by the French Catholics – and in both incited by a bitter hatred of the truth – or rather by a fear of the truth, and a desire to preserve, by any and every means, the human organization they have been taught to regard as divine. "By any means" is none too strong; for we know of numerous instances in which professed ministers of God's truth have most outrageously falsified for the good of the cause, as the Jesuits would say.

For instance, it makes the false shepherds (who seem to predominate) very angry when members of their flocks receive present truth and request that their names be stricken off the sectarian roll because they consider it quite enough and much more in accord with the Lord's will and Word to have it written only in "the Lamb's book of life," – and quite sufficient to be members of "the Church of the first-born, which are written in heaven," and thus in fellowship with all true "sheep," wherever found. In some instances reported to us the pastor kept the letter to himself, and long afterward charged the one who had withdrawn with backsliding, neglect of covenant in not attending service and hence unworthy of respect or fellowship.

In one instance a dear sister who had been a Bible class teacher of prominence and influence was so feared by her erstwhile pastor that he deliberately, and with much hypocritical show of sorrow, circulated the report that she had "gone insane" – "a very pitiable case." His crafty satanic method succeeded; and her church friends and neighbors "let her alone," for fear they would "excite her" and "make it necessary to send her to an insane asylum." Needless to say, the sister is of much sounder mind than ever before; – of much sounder mind than any who can believe the unscriptural and God-dishonoring doctrine of eternal torment, taught by the jarring creeds labeled "Orthodox."

It was in view of such cowardly and disreputable methods coming to our notice that we prepared what are known as "Withdrawal Letters" – setting forth the truth in kindly language – which we supply freely to all who desire them, so that each member of the congregation receiving one may be truthfully informed as to our reasons for renouncing membership in sectarian systems; and thus, too, the temptation to misrepresent is taken from the false shepherds whose love for the sheep is chiefly for the sake of their "golden fleece." But those kindly-worded letters are feared and hated as much as the DAWNS.

Space forbids us to mention numerous instances of perfidy and misrepresentation by "ministers" against our publications – especially MILLENNIAL DAWN. Publicly and privately they warn their people against it, and advise those who have it not to read it, but to "saturate with oil and burn it," evidently thinking us so opposed to eternal torment that we would use some kind of fire-proof paper that would need oil to make it burn. Others, learning that colporteurs had reached their city and had sold DAWN to their parishioners, have gone about from house to house, warning, threatening and entreating (according to the intelligence and financial dignity of the person) that they violate their engagements and refuse to take the books, and if they already have them to be sure to burn them.

Why all this warning, etc.? Love for the "sheep"? Oh no, indeed! but love for themselves. They well know that wherever the true light of the Word of God goes their "craft is in danger." (See Acts 16:16-24.) Often they hear of their "sheep" getting into by-paths of sin, but who ever heard of their working themselves into a frenzy of energy on that account? Why then are they so excited the moment MILLENNIAL DAWN is mentioned, or seen in the houses of their sheep?

Their fear is (1) that if their people read the DAWNS they will know far more about the Bible, and will begin to think and to ask questions which they cannot answer. (2) It will show them that they have been hiring shepherds to lead them to the green pastures of truth, who, instead, have been penning them up in sectarian folds and forcing them to subsist on the God-dishonoring doctrines of the dark ages. (3) It will lead the true "sheep" to get out from among the "goats" and "wolves in sheep's clothing," by showing them that the "harvest" time of separation has come, and that the great Chief Shepherd is calling forth his own sheep to himself and to fellowship with all other sheep – free from human creed-pens. (4) No wonder these worldly-wise shepherds resent a teaching which would gather the few grains of "wheat" from a parishful of "tares." It would look bad to call his a wheat-field if there were no wheat in it. Then, too, it would count in numbers (tho far less than they suppose [R2680 : page 246] – for the "tares" take little or no interest in present truth), and their prestige and salary depend so much on numbers; how could they regard DAWN otherwise than as their enemy likely to bring all kinds of trouble to their slumbering flocks by awaking them to thought and Bible study?

This seems to make no allowance for honest preachers, lovers of the truth who should be glad to find it in DAWN or anywhere, and glad to proclaim it at any cost, – some one complains. No, we do not deny that there are honest, God-fearing and truth-loving men in the Christian ministry, scattered probably among all denominations; but, evidently, as at the first advent, the Doctors of Divinity as a class are, by their training and selfish interests, enemies of the true light, the wisdom from above, and friends and patrons of earthly wisdom. The majority are blind and cannot see the true light, and of the remainder a large proportion seem to love the present world, and to be willing to sell the truth for its "mess of pottage." Nevertheless, here and there some "forsake all" for the sake of the truth, – to suffer with Christ, if so be that they may also reign with him by and by.

Nor does it always stop with threatening words: these in small towns are often followed by social ostracism and business boycott too often successful. For instance, a brother wrote us a short time ago, changing his address, explaining that he had been obliged to move onto a farm because his cotton-gin, saw-mill and grist-mill in town had been boycotted until he could no longer earn a living – because of his attempt to explain the truths of the Bible to his neighbors. The charge against him was that he "had too many different translations of the Bible" and "had many texts marked in his Bible which neither the preacher nor his neighbors could find in theirs;" – not being so well acquainted with their Bibles as with their almanacs, daily papers, dominoes, cards and chess.

Alas, poor world! It is still true that "men love darkness rather than light," and that this is their condemnation, leading surely to the great time of trouble with which this age is predicted to end, as the same love of darkness led natural Israel to its great trouble and overthrow, in the end of the Jewish age.

Yet none of these things move the Lord's people, for the same light upon the Word shows not only that the Lord's true people will be hated and maligned even to the end of this age, and that whosoever will live godly must suffer persecution; but it shows also the object of such tests and trials and sacrifices – to fit and prepare a little flock to be faithful and merciful kings and priests of God during the coming age, when with their Lord, Jesus, whom they follow through evil as well as good report, they shall, as God's representatives, "judge the world" – giving to all the fullest opportunity to come back to full harmony with God and righteousness.

PREPARED TO FALL INTO SPIRITISM.

It is our expectation that Spiritism, as one of the latter day delusions, is to play an important part in the next few years in connection with the great falling away already begun, in which "a thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand." Romanism taught, and still teaches, a Purgatory to which their dead go at death for purification for heaven; and that while there the prayers and paid masses of their friends on earth avail for them to a sooner release – to heavenly bliss. Protestantism at its start, through Luther and its principal exponents, denounced this as a Papal deception to fill its coffers with the money of its deluded people; and failing to grasp the truth that a dead person is not alive anywhere, but awaits the resurrection of the dead as his only hope of a future life, Protestantism took its illogical position still held – that death ends all hope, and that all not fit for heaven go to a hell of everlasting torment. And, in harmony with this, prayers to and for the dead were reprobated – the righteous needing none, and the wicked being hopeless.

It has often surprised us that with the thought that their dead are not dead, but more than ever alive and "hovering" among the friends at the funeral, as some ministers explain (?), there has not been a greater disposition to follow the lead of Spiritism and seek communion with those supposed to be alive and near, and able to assist. The explanation seems to be that Romanists are under the control of the priests instructed who are the saints who may be prayed to, and [R2681 : page 246] instructed that those who need to be prayed for can only be reached or assisted through the priests, – who alone must do the mass-saying and praying. And Protestants have been restrained by the original declaration of the leaders that prayers to and for the dead were both Romish superstitions, unsanctioned by the Word of God – to which we heartily agree.

A CHANGE ALREADY IN PROGRESS.

But the Boer-British war has started a fresh discussion of the question of prayers for the dead. As Roman Catholics, after news of a battle, repaired to their cathedrals to pray for the Catholic dead, and to offer mass on their behalf in Purgatory, Protestants have been perplexed and felt their need of something to offset the hard error of their creed that if the soldier were a saint he went at once to glory, but if not a saint at once to an endless and hopeless torment in [R2681 : page 247] hell. Loving fathers and doting mothers were unable to hide from themselves that their sons, and the army in general, were far from being saints or "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light;" and yet they felt sure that they were far too good and noble and patriotic to be turned over to the care of devils to be roasted eternally: and this coming now, at a time when people are thinking more than ever before, and when human sympathy is greatly expanded, is awakening serious thought in Britain.

As usual, however, the Adversary manages to turn thought into a wrong direction; and so they fail to see that all the dead must wait for the second coming of the Lord and for the resurrection awakening then due, and that then (during the Millennial age) the whole world will be a grand and good Purgatory; – when Satan will be bound, and when so many as will, can have the assistance of the Royal Priesthood in getting rid of their errors and weaknesses, and coming back to perfection by a process of restitution. No, on the contrary, the suggestion is that the early Reformers must have erred in rejecting that feature of Rome's teachings which permits and encourages prayers for the dead. Note the sentiments promulgated by the influential Christian World of London. It says: –

"Here is theology in the roughest; its chiefest problem thrust on you in a fashion which brooks no shirking. What has really happened? Where or what is he who, a moment ago so near, is now at a remove to which our space computations offer no clew? We are all on-lookers to-day at tragedies of this sort, and the questions behind them press us with relentless force. Do our dead still think or love? Have we any sort of relation with them? Can we do aught for them or they for us?...

"What on this subject [communion with the dead] is the position of Protestant Christians to-day? Signs are abundant that the standpoint from which it is approached by non-conformists, not less than by conformists, is a somewhat different one from that held by the Reformers and the Puritans.

"Thoughtful minds are now asking whether the sixteenth-century onslaught on Purgatory and priestcraft did not, in the rush, carry away with it some precious things that it is time now to restore....

"And why should we not pray for the dead? What is prayer, in the best conception of it, but the following of those we love, with aspiration and affection, with desire for their highest good, with the whole best emotion of our soul? What barbarous infidelity has taught us that death interposes a limit to this outgoing? The notion that those who now rest in God are, because of that, beyond the reach or need of prayer is heathen, and not Christian. It is disloyal at once to God, to the departed themselves, and to our own best instincts. There is no position, not that of heaven's central point; there is no condition, not that of supremest blessedness, that is outside the range of love....

"We have neglected our dead, and in so doing have weakened one of the most intimate of our links with the unseen. We have put up in our minds barriers that do not correspond with the reality, and so have obstructed the flow of some of the grandest of the human inspirations. The mind revolts against these limitations. Its prophetic instinct recognizes them as a mistake. The vagaries of Spiritualism are a rough protest against the policy of cutting the cable between here and the Beyond. And that other side protests also. Near to us, on the other side of a very thin veil, lies a great realm of life which has the closest connection with our own. What that connection is we at present only dimly discern. Our organs of perception seem only in the most rudimentary condition. It may be that our later indifference on this side has hindered their development. But develop they must, for they are among humanity's most priceless possessions. A stage will yet be reached when they will be part of the soul's general apparatus, and when, not to a stray prophet here and there [mediums?], but to the common man will it be given to stand with Bunyan's pilgrim on the Delectable Mountains and behold what was visible there."

Light (Spiritualistic, London, April 10) thinks this is a real, tho belated, recognition of the essential truth of the Spiritualistic position. It says: –

"Spiritualists have been severely criticized and ridiculed for affirming that the departed are frequently benefited by the advice, sympathy, and prayers of earth-dwellers. We have been denounced for teaching that progress after death, following upon repentance and effort, is possible for the ignorant and sinful dwellers on the threshold....

"Think of it! Spiritualism is a 'protest against the policy of cutting the cable between here and the Beyond!' Aye, and evidently the protest has not failed, it has not been in vain. While the writer laments that 'our organs of perception [psychical, mediumistic perception, or "spiritual gifts"] seem only in the most rudimentary condition,' he suggests that indifference has 'hindered their development,' and he fully justifies us and our long struggle for recognition against, not only indifference, but prejudice, intolerance and active hostility, by affirming 'develop they must, for they are among humanity's most priceless possessions!'

"After this we shall assuredly have The Christian World founding a 'School of the Prophet's for the development and exercise of mediumship and psychical powers generally."

PRAYING AND FIGHTING – AN EMPEROR'S SERMON.

The German Emperor preached a sermon on board his yacht Sunday, July 29, from the text, Exodus 17:9-11. His argument was that as Moses prayed and got a blessing for Israel, so all Germans at home should pray that their brethren gone to war in China might successfully slaughter the heathen Chinese, who should be like the Amalekites. The press report of the discourse follows: –

"The soldiers shall be the strong arm which punishes assassins. They shall be the mailed fist which [R2681 : page 248] smites that chaotic mass. They shall defend, sword in hand, our holiest possessions. True prayers can still cast the banner of the Dragon into the dust and plant the banner of the cross upon the walls.

"Again is heard God's command, 'Choose us out men and go out to fight with Amalek.' A hot and sanguinary struggle has begun. Already a number of our brethren are over there under fire. Many more are traveling along hostile coasts. You have seen them, the thousands who, to the call of volunteers to the front who will guard the empire, have assembled themselves to battle with victorious banners. We who remain at home are bound by other sacred duties. Woe unto us if we remain slothful and sluggish while they are engaged in their difficult and bloody work, and if from our place of security we only curiously look on while they wrestle in battle.

"Not only should we mobilize battalions of troops, but we should also, and shall, set in motion an army of trained people to beg and entreat [God] for our brethren that they may strike into the wild chaos with sword in hand. May they strike for our most sacred possessions. We would pray that God the Lord may make heroes of our men and lead those heroes to victory, and that then, with laurels on their helmets and orders on their breasts, he may lead them home to the land of their fathers.

"Our fight will not be finished in one day; but let not our hands grow weary or sink until victory is secured. Let our prayers be as a wall of fire around the camp of our brethren. Eternity will reveal the fulfilment of an old promise – 'Call upon me in trouble, and I will deliver thee.' Therefore pray continuously."

The Emperor and many other militant "Christians" fail to see that Israel was used of God as a typical people and that the duly authorized slaughter of the Amalekites was because their iniquity was "come to the full" (Gen. 15:16), and God would use them as types of evil and evil-doers to be overthrown by the antitypical Moses, the antitypical Mediator, Christ – as Pharaoh and his hosts previously typified the same thing. Similarly the "Land of Promise," Canaan, was typical of the heavenly Canaan.

The Spiritual Israelite is to watch and fight and pray, but against a different kind of enemies and with different weapons – mighty through God to the pulling down of error, and the gaining of victories over sin and self and Satan. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal," says the inspired Apostle – not swords, machine-guns and battle-ships. – 2 Cor. 10:4

As for the "Christian soldiers" going to "heathen China" from "Christian Europe" we fear they have not a true "soldier of the cross" among them, and [R2682 : page 248] but few who have any knowledge whatever of the sword of the spirit – the Word of God. They are probably no better than the thousands of their comrades already there and of whose unchristian conduct, after the capture of Tien Tsin, the telegraphic dispatches published say: –

"This day has been devoted entirely to looting the native city [Tien Tsin]. The Chinese killed many of their women to keep them from falling into the hands of the allied troops. It is impossible to cable a description of the scenes that were enacted.... American and Japanese troops were the only ones who made any attempt to restrain the civilian or soldier looters."

THE GERMAN KAISER'S HUMANE (?) EXPRESSIONS

The Emperor is practically the pope of the German National Church system; we presume he has received the collegiate degree of "D.D.," as did Bismarck. He is evidently another "man of blood and iron." He has surely placed himself, by recent utterances, at the head of the revived ancient order of Christian soldiers of the period of the crusades. The "Boys' Brigades" should all be pointed to this fact; – and be advised to resign and turn in the opposite direction from the general Christian (?) drift of our day. The following from the Presbyterian Banner is to the point. It says: –

"'Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.' Is this passage in the German New Testament? Has the Emperor William ever read it? If he has he must have forgotten it, or lost its spirit, for last week, in dispatching German troops to China, he is reported to have said to them, 'Every civilization not founded on Christianity is sure to be brought to naught. I send you out. If you close with the enemy, remember this: spare nobody, make no prisoners; use your weapons so that for a thousand years hence no Chinaman will dare look askance at any German.' The whole address breathes the spirit of ruthless destruction to the Chinese. The great 'war lord' doubled up his 'mailed fist' and threatened to pound China to pieces. The vain emperor, swollen with a sense of his own importance, seemed to be sublimely unconscious of the violent inconsistency of his fierce paganism with his professed Christianity. He would outdo Mohammed in spreading religion with the sword. There are difficulties, however, in the way of this plan. Christ himself told Peter, who was eager to use it for defending the Kingdom, to put up his sword, and there is no evidence that he has handed this weapon to William II. for this purpose. And further, there are the Chinese themselves; there are 400,000,000 of them, and they may prove a considerable obstruction in the way of William's policy. In fact, the German emperor's plan is about the worst possible one that could be announced in the present emergency. It would consolidate the Chinese and turn them into a horde of fanatics that might easily turn out to be a genuine 'yellow terror.' It is believed that the emperor's rash words will render the cooperation of the powers difficult, if not impossible. England and America will not set out on any such bloodthirsty mission. [R2682 : page 249] When Christianity seizes the sword, it may perish by the sword. Poor old China, in its paralysis, needs pity. Something must be done in the way of chastisement and reorganization, but let not passion seize the sword and sweep it with a besom of destruction. Justice must be done, but let it be tempered with mercy, and let the Christian nations act in a Christian and not a pagan spirit."

"NOT SO PAUL WON MACEDONIA."

Rev. Dr. Halderman lifts his pen against the modern and erroneous methods of propagating the gospel of "peace on earth, good will toward men." He says: –

"I am absolutely sure that in the future Russia will gain the supremacy. It is also true that, taught by Western genius, the Eastern hordes will yet break in awful avalanches on the West. The greed, the rapacity, the Christless, godless selfishness of European nations will get its reward. All the Christianity that has been wrought in China will be small, counting in the terrible final balance that shall be made against so-called Christian nations, who have poisoned China with opium and made them look upon Christians as only another division of rapacious foreign devils.

"Considered morally, there are two sides to the question. These Chinese are fighting for their homes, their land, their institutions. They know the Christian nations are ready to rob and cheat them; and when they find the missionaries backed up by guns and swords and bloodthirsty Cossacks, by rude and godless soldiery, ready to kill and slay, they are only the more infuriated and determined in the opinion that any white man is a devil and needs to be slain.

"It was not so that Paul won Macedonia and Rome. When he went to Rome he did not say, 'Down with Nero! Down with the powers that be!' On the contrary, he counseled Christians to recognize that here Nero's government, bad as it was, was permitted by God and that Christians should submit.

"It was by the blood of martyrs our church won at first: not by the blood of their foes, but their own blood; not shed with arms in their hands, but shed at the stake or rack or block with prayer on their lips and love in their hearts."

[R2682 : page 249]

GOD'S PROVIDENTIAL CARE.

BECAUSE two of the Lord's dear sheep of the Allegheny congregation recently lost their lives in an accident, while returning home from meeting and discussing the sermon, many of the brethren have been surprised. The inquiry arose, Do we not believe that God's consecrated people are specially the objects of his care? And if so, how was such an accident possible?

These same questions are liable to arise in many minds, and hence we discuss the matter here for the benefit of all.

We advise that each WATCH TOWER reader shall peruse afresh the tract entitled, "Calamities: Why God Permits Them." In it we discuss this topic at considerable length – from the standpoint of accidents to the world, and accidents to the Church. Now we will confine our remarks to the latter phase of the subject, suggesting: –

(1) It is the Scripture teaching that every member of the Church must die somehow. This was the purport of our consecration – "even unto death." Each member of the "royal priesthood" became a member by consecrating, – presenting his body a living sacrifice as did our High Priest, Christ Jesus. And just as it was necessary for him to finish his course of dying in actual death, so will it be with each of us.

(2) As the Master's death was not on a "flowery bed of ease," neither, probably, will be the death of any of his footstep-followers. And, if it be a choice between a bed of tedious sickness and a sudden death by "accident," many would choose the latter as the less painful – the quicker "change."

(3) But it is not for us to choose on this more than upon other subjects. It is ours to accept with patience and full resignation whatever divine providence may permit; and this may vary. Under some circumstances it may be better that death come through a lingering illness in which God will be glorified, and the power of his truth to sustain shall be demonstrated in the patient, loving spirit of the dying sufferer. Or, at another time, the Lord may see best to permit death to come upon his dear ones suddenly – as a shock, as a calamity; to test the faith of some, and to awaken others from lethargy to vigilance, – from drowsiness to a fresh energy in running the race toward the mark for the great prize. The suddenness of the death of the two dear sheep of this Allegheny fold certainly has had a good effect upon many of the dear ones most intimate with them, and who knew them both as most saintly characters – ripe in the Christian graces, and fully ready and waiting for their "change." Undoubtedly many not so prepared have been awakened to fresh vigilance, and a renewal of consecration vows, and zeal in self-sacrifice, by this incident and the thought – Would I have been ready had the call thus suddenly come to me?

(4) If to some the question arises, – But what about the little children needing parental care? The answer is, that these parents had already placed their children, as well as themselves, under divine care; and that care is still over the children: as able to care for [R2682 : page 250] them now, as for both parents and children before. This is a place for trust – for faith. Whoever cannot trust his children to divine care does not as yet properly know his Heavenly Father, and needs to give renewed diligence to this important study. Such an one has not yet attained the faith that would be acceptable to God, and without which it would be impossible to please God, – the faith of an "overcomer."

(5) The shock connected with our dear Redeemer's death was no doubt a severe test of faith to some of the early disciples – it seemed as tho it proved that our Lord was in disfavor with the Father – "We did esteem him smitten of God, and afflicted." Yet to those who stumbled not in unbelief the shock of our Lord's cruel death became afterward a great lever of sympathy for good as they fully grasped the thought, "He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for sin which brings peace to us was upon him, and [R2683 : page 250] by his stripes we are healed." The apostles also suffered violent deaths and learned to regard such calamities not as marks of divine disfavor, but the reverse.

(6) There can no "accident" happen to the Lord's consecrated ones, viewed from the divine standpoint. Not a hair of their heads can be injured aside from the Father's permission, and what God purposely permits cannot be properly considered an accident from his standpoint, nor from the standpoint of those who fully trust his providence and grace. We might even suppose a calamity in which ninety-nine children of this world and one of the Lord's consecrated met death together. It might be purely accidental so far as all but the Lord's one was concerned: but, to that one nothing could occur unforeseen of God – nothing that God could not have fully controlled, and which permitted must mean a blessing to his child who rightly and in faith accepts it, – "For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God." So it was in our Lord's case. As he testified, the Jews could not touch his life before because his "hour was not yet come." And when his hour did come, our Lord testified to Pilate, – "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above." The same is true of every member of the body of Christ, the royal priesthood. But this divine supervision does not watch for the unconsecrated of the world – except as they may be children of the saints, or others whose affairs and interests are interlinked with theirs.

(7) Expecting as we do that the living members of this royal priest or "jewel" class will all be gathered to glory sometime before A.D. 1915 (and so far as we are now able to surmise by 1910), we are bound to suppose that a considerable number of these will, in some manner, die sudden or violent deaths. And happy for us will it be if this thought that our "change" may come at any moment, shall be so impressed as to assist us to be always ready to answer the summons with joy.

Let us each permit this thought to arrange our business affairs, our family affairs, our relationship to the "brethren" – our relationship to the world in general – all our words, and thoughts, and doings; and thus it will bring us great blessing and assist in making us "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light."

The Editor will not be surprised if his death should come suddenly; nor if by divine permission it should come in some unpleasant form that might, for the moment, seem to "jolt" and interrupt the "harvest work." Let all of the consecrated be on guard against such a wavering of doubt respecting the divine power to care for and carry on the work. If such a trial does come, it will no doubt in part, at least, be intended of the Lord to show that the work is his and not ours; and that he is perfectly able to carry on his work, using one or another of his children as his servants to set the food of his providing before the household of faith.

All of our affairs in daily life are shaped to these ends: to the development and bringing forward of others ready to the Lord's hand, should he at any moment call for the transfer of our stewardship and bid us "Come up higher." And the same applies to the financial means and interests which the Lord has entrusted to our care. Let none be surprised, then, at anything which may happen to us, but, on the contrary, glorify God on our behalf, and press along the "narrow way" with redoubled energy.

[R2683 : page 250]

DOING, TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE.
LUKE 10:25-37. – SEPT. 9. –

GOLDEN TEXT: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." – Lev. 19:18.

P
ROBABLY while our Lord was preaching, and his audience seated about him, either upon the hillside or in a synagogue, a lawyer stood up, and thus politely intimated his desire to say a word in connection with the subject under discussion. The term "lawyer," amongst the Jews at that time, signified one versed in the Law of Moses, one claiming to be able to expound that Law, and to teach others its true meaning. Such persons today we term theologians. These were also termed scribes or learned men – irrespective of their religious convictions, some of them adhering to one view and some to another; some being Pharisees, [R2683 : page 251] others Sadducees, etc., – each endeavoring to interpret the Law in harmony with the teachings of the sect to which he adhered.

Luke does not give us the connections, but quite possibly this lawyer raised his question in connection with some discourse in which our Lord held forth that he himself was the Bread of Life, of which, if a man eat, he may live forever – or in which he had been representing himself as the Good Shepherd, who would give his life for the sheep; or as the Redeemer who had come, that God's people might have life, and that more abundantly – eternal life. This lawyer (or, as some today would say, this D.D.) was probably of the Sadducees, who denied a resurrection and any future or eternal life, interpreting the Law, which promises life upon certain conditions, as merely a decoy, intended to promote holiness amongst the Lord's people, but nevertheless a deception, since the holiest and most faithful of the race had not inherited eternal life, but had gone down into death, even as others.

In this view of the matter this Jewish D.D. propounded to our Lord a question, hoping that the answer would give room for a discussion, in which he would be able to show himself the greater of the two teachers, and to prove to his pupils, at least (who were probably present with him), that his theories were correct – that no matter how faithfully the Law might be kept no reward of eternal life would be given, and that faith in Christ would be equally futile in this respect. The Evangelist says he asked the question, "tempting" the Lord, that is, to prove him, to draw him out, to expose the weakness of his argument: saying, "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" You recognize me as a scribe, a doctor of the Law, a teacher; as one, therefore, who is living a godly and upright life, so far, at least, as his neighbors and pupils may be able to discern. Looking back I see that the holiest and best of our nation (the holiest nation in the world, and the only one recognized of God) have not inherited eternal life. I see that, on the contrary, they have died as other men; I see that for some cause (whether it be the Lord's failure to fulfil his promise, or man's failure to comply with the conditions) all have died, none having attained eternal life. Tell me now, what shall I do that I may not share the same fate of death – that I may live everlastingly?

Our Lord answered the question with great directness, at the same time signifying his unquestioning faith in the promises of God, that whatever God had promised he would surely fulfil – implying, therefore, that if he failed to obtain eternal life it would be his own fault, and not the fault of God. Our Lord practically said, I stand by the Scriptural record: you are versed in the Law; quote, as you understand it, the teachings of the Law on this subject.

The answer shows that this Doctor of the Law was well versed, for he quoted correctly the most direct statement on the subject to be found in the Law. Our Lord's reply was equally to the point: "Thou hast answered right; this do and thou shalt live" – I confirm the Law; I uphold it; I vouch for its truthfulness; none who keep that Law can possibly die. The difficulty with all Jews who have died has been, that they did not fulfil that Law requirement toward God and man.

The Doctor of the Law was trapped. He had hoped to entangle Jesus in a discussion, and had himself become entangled; for the great Teacher had pointed out that the fault was not in God – that God was not unfaithful to his agreement under the Law; that the fault lay with the people. And this included the lawyer as well as the remainder of the race; and that he so understood it is implied in the statement, "He, desiring to justify himself, said, And who is my neighbor?" It was very shrewd of the lawyer to avoid discussing the first commandment, respecting the love for God with all the heart, mind, soul and strength; because no one can thoroughly judge another in respect to this feature of the Law; only God and each individual heart knows absolutely whether God is loved with every talent, every power of heart, of mind and of body. But others can judge to some extent respecting obedience to the second commandment: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." The lawyer felt that he could safely leave the first proposition and claim that none could judge his heart, provided he could "justify himself" in respect to the second proposition, his dealing with his neighbor. Hence it is that he brought up this point, saying, "But who is my neighbor?"

There was a difference of opinion amongst the most learned Jews on this subject of who is the neighbor meant in the Law, – some claiming that it meant all Jews, and Jews only. Others claimed that the word "neighbor" would mean only those Jews who lived holy lives. Thus the lawyer practically said, I shall be obliged to yield my contention and acknowledge you superior to myself as a teacher, unless we can get into a contention on this subject of who is the neighbor. In that event I shall at least be able to bring a strong argument that will appeal to all the hearers. But when the great Teacher had, in parable form, explained the true meaning of the word neighbor, the lawyer found himself without an argument.

Some have supposed that our Lord meant that this Doctor of the Law and others who heard him should understand that the Samaritan of the parable, by doing a kind and neighborly act, won for himself the inheritance of eternal life, and that our Lord meant further to teach that the lawyer and all of his hearers might inherit eternal life if they would go and do likewise – do as the [R2684 : page 252] Samaritan did – do good, help their neighbors. This view is a serious error. In the first place, we do not know that any Samaritan ever did just such an act of kindness. It was merely a parable, a suggestion: Suppose that such conditions existed, and suppose that a Samaritan had done such an act, would he not be a good "neighbor"? The reward of eternal life was not offered on condition of being a good neighbor merely. This was one of the conditions (the one the lawyer questioned), but it was quite secondary to the main proposition – Thou shalt love the Lord with every power and talent of mind and body. The lesson which the lawyer and every other Jew needed to learn was that no imperfect man could possibly fulfil that requirement. All so learning that "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10), would be prepared to look for the promised Messiah as, first of all, their sin-bearer, to justify them and to discipline them and make them perfect and able to obey the Law.

Our Lord in the parable represents a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan, in order to give force to the matter. The priest was specially consecrated to God, the Levite also was consecrated (and most of the Doctors of the Law were Levites), while the Samaritans were outcasts, without God and having no hope in the world, aliens and strangers from the commonwealth of Israel. The Samaritans, altho they lived in a part of the land of Israel, shared none of Israel's promises; but, as our Lord testified, "Ye worship ye know not what: we [Jews] know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews." The Samaritan, therefore, was introduced into the parable to make a strong contrast before the minds of the hearers, and to say, A neighbor is one who does a neighborly act, however high or however low he may be in the scale of intelligence or dignity or divine favor.

What our Lord wished to prove to the lawyer and to all hearers was, that the Law was just and holy and good, and that any Jew complying with its conditions would inherit its promise – eternal life. He wished all of his hearers to realize, therefore, that the fact that neither they nor their fathers inherited eternal life proved, not that the Law was imperfect, but that they were imperfect, sold under sin, and unable, therefore, to comply with the just demands of the Law. It was difficult for the Jew to learn this great lesson; viz., that he could not keep the perfect Law of God, and hence that he needed a Savior, a Redeemer, who would keep the Law for him, and thus justify him before God, and who would then grant him eternal life as a gift, as a favor – not of the Law, but of grace.

In harmony with this, the Apostle assures us who trust in the sacrifice for sins which Jesus gave, and who have entered into New Covenant relationship with God through him, that "the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us – the true sense, meaning, purport of the Law being in our hearts, God accepts this as instead of absolute fulfilment of the letter of the Law. The sacrifice of our Lord Jesus compensating for all our imperfections, for all differences between the actual demands of the Law and our efforts to conform our lives thereunto, we, walking not after the flesh but after the spirit, are reckoned as no longer fleshly beings but new creatures.

THE GOOD SAMARITAN.

Altho this parable of the good Samaritan was not given to illustrate by what good works the lawyer, or any other man, Jew or Gentile, might attain eternal life, but, on the contrary, was given merely to head off the argument of the lawyer, and to leave him without excuse, it nevertheless contains a rich lesson, which has brought a blessing to many. Not only has it made clear to many of the Lord's dear children the course of conduct pleasing in the Father's sight, viz., that of generosity, love, benevolence, etc., but it has also brought blessing to many who are not the Lord's children, in that they became recipients of mercies, favors and kindnesses in adversity which, otherwise, they might never have known.

The road leading from Jerusalem to Jericho has a steep downward grade through a rocky country, which abounds in caverns, the hiding places of highway robbers. It has always been a dangerous road, and on it the traveler is not entirely safe to this day, unless under some kind of a protective guard. This feature of the parable was, therefore, in strict accordance with the conditions of the time; so was the fact of the priest and the Levite passing, for Jericho was one of the appointed cities of the priests and Levites, and it is estimated that twelve thousand of them resided there then. These, with other priests and Levites from other parts, took their turns in the service at the Temple in Jerusalem, and, consequently, were frequently on this road.

Our Lord's parable seems to imply that the religion of the Jews, instead of bringing them nearer and nearer to the spirit of the Law, was really, by reason of the formalities and ceremonies and pride connected with it, tending to separate them further and further from the condition of heart which would be acceptable to God. The priest, most fully consecrated to the service of God in the Temple, is represented as having least interest in the brother in distress. He passed by on the other side (of the ravine), not counting the circumstance worthy of attention; reflecting, no doubt, with a self-righteous feeling respecting the honor of his own position as a servant of God, and unwilling to run the risk of ritual contamination. The Levite, also consecrated to God and his service, but not so high in office [R2684 : page 253] and privilege, was more disposed to consider the poor brother, and to render a helping hand. He went so far as to stand and look at the sufferer, and to think over how much trouble would be involved in assisting him, and how much risk he himself might run in so doing (altho we are inclined to believe that the priests and Levites were, on account of their office, generally exempted from molestation by the robbers).

Then our Lord chose, as the hero of his parable, a despised Samaritan, unrecognized by God and disowned by his favored people. This heightens the force of the picture, by suggesting the thought that one who had never learned at all respecting the true God and his will, one who had never been offered eternal life on the terms of obedience to that Law, might nevertheless exercise so much of brotherly kindness and sympathy as to lend a helping hand to a neighbor in distress.

And it is still true that many who, by reason of their better knowledge of God, through his Word and plan, should be possessed of a larger measure of his love and grace, are instead more deficient in these qualities than some who have been less highly favored. It might indeed be that some who are strangers to the covenants and promises of God as yet, possess, by reason of being well born, a large measure of natural generosity, benevolence, kindness, sympathy, and might be good Samaritans by nature, rather than by grace; and it may also be true that some who have been begotten again to the new life and to the new hopes may naturally have less of this good Samaritan element of kindness and generosity, because low born according to the flesh – born with a predominance of selfish proclivities. However, such an one, coming under "the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus," will soon be taught in Christ's school, that love is the fulfilling of the Law; and if he be an obedient pupil he will gradually attain to a better appreciation of the heavenly Father, and in heart, in spirit, will learn to love him with all his mind, with all his being, with all his strength. And so surely as this condition obtains, and in proportion as the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, it will enlarge them also toward our fellow-creatures, so that every "new creature" must at heart come into such a degree of fulness of love toward God and toward his fellows as would make him not only an obedient and self-sacrificing son of God, but also a good Samaritan, a kind friend, a loving father and husband, a generous neighbor to all with whom he stands related. He will be a living exemplification of the Apostle's injunction, – doing good unto all men as he has opportunity, especially to the household of faith. – Gal. 6:10.

[R2685 : page 253]

"BEWARE OF COVETOUSNESS."

LUKE 12:13-23. – SEPT. 16. –

"What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" – Mark 8:36.

W
HILE JESUS was preaching on spiritual themes he was interrupted by one of the audience, whose heart was filled with anxiety respecting temporal matters, esteeming that he was being wrongly dealt with by his brother in the division of the parental estate; and perhaps finding that through some technicality he could not obtain what he considered to be his just rights under Jewish laws, he appealed to the great Teacher to use his influence on his behalf – to speak to his brother – to tell his brother that he ought to deal generously, and perhaps to threaten him if he failed so to do.

How many there are who see just this much and no more in the teachings of Christ – a channel through which to serve their own interests; a means of securing justice to themselves. How many are ready to quote our Lord's precepts when it suits their convenience so to do, but who otherwise and at other times manifest little interest in them, and in the principles of righteousness which they inculcate! Persons in this attitude of heart are rarely able to grasp or enjoy the spiritual truths which our Lord enunciated, just as the young man in the lesson was failing utterly to profit by our Lord's spiritual teaching, because his entire thought was preoccupied with his own personal, selfish plans and schemes and views – however just they might have been.

Our Lord flatly refused to interfere in the manner suggested, saying, "Who made me a judge or an arbiter over you?" Thus he illustrated the general teaching of the Scriptures, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's," and again, "If any man sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, refuse not even if he take similarly thy cloak also" – do not ask or expect anything beyond what is granted by the civil laws of the land in which you live. "Be subject to the powers that be; for the powers that be are ordained [permitted] of God." Our Lord's Kingdom, long promised, and which eventually shall be "the desire of all nations," had not then come, and still has not been set up. We still pray, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." The Lord's people are to recognize this fact, and not to expect absolute righteousness and justice until present conditions cease, with the close of this dispensation, – of which the Scriptures tell us Satan is the prince or ruler. Instead of expecting justice in full measure now, the Lord's people should rather be surprised that there is so large a measure of justice obtainable in many parts of the world. [R2653 : page 254]

As our Lord was not willing to impose himself as a judge or an arbitrator in his day, so his followers now should not seek to interfere in secular affairs. The case would have been different had the two brothers come together to our Lord, and, indicating that they wished to do right, had requested his judgment of what would be the right course. In that event undoubtedly our Lord would have favored them with his view of the question and the reasons for it.

It would be an excellent thing for all of the Lord's footstep-followers to learn well this lesson of non-interference in secular matters – the lesson, that those who speak as the oracles of God should speak respecting spiritual matters, to the spiritual class and not to the worldly – to them that have ears to hear, and not to the blind and deaf. This, of course, would not mean that the Lord's people should not give any advice, but merely that they should not give advice nor otherwise interfere outside the laws, customs and usages of the country in which they reside. The young man in the narrative undoubtedly had appealed to his brother and to the Jewish authorities for the relief which he thought he ought to have; and similarly it is proper for a Christian to appeal to the person immediately interested for what he considers to be just rights in the matter in dispute. He may appeal also to the laws of the land in which he resides; but if he fails in this he should content himself with his condition and wait patiently for the Lord's Kingdom and its righteous retribution.

*                         *                         *

This principle, put into practice by Christian missionaries in China, would, we believe, have led to very different conditions than those which now obtain there. But our Lord's example and various injunctions along this line have been very generally ignored, and, to the contrary, it has been the custom of missionaries, who have gone to China and other lands, to ignore the laws of those lands and "the powers that be" there, which God's ordinance has permitted. They have attempted to settle all kinds of disputes; interfering in a manner which the Master, in this lesson, disapproved of. Not only so, but they have sought and invoked, publicly and privately, the interference of various so-called Christian governments of the world on their behalf, and in violation of the laws of "the powers that be" in those countries. It is as a result of this wrong line of conduct that the good of Christianity, its moral and civilizing influences, are specially hated and feared, – as political interferences, aimed at the destruction of the laws and institutions which to those people appear to be wise and good; and which undoubtedly are adapted to the present intellectual and moral conditions of the masses of their people.

We cannot too strongly condemn, as contrary to the Master's teachings, modern methods of missionary effort – backed by cannon, warships and soldiers. It seems to us wholly contrary to the method employed by our Lord and the apostles, and advocated by them. It is much more in harmony with the methods adopted during the dark ages, by Papacy, and by Mohammedanism. Early Protestant missions seem to us to have been along much more reasonable and proper lines. The missionary, in giving himself to that work, understood and agreed that, figuratively speaking, he took his life in his hands; he had already sacrificed his life before starting. Neither he nor those who sent him forth thought of appealing to the government to avenge his death, either with many lives for the one life, or with large sums of money, nor with large concessions of land, or with large privileges of commerce. He went as a representative of the meek and lowly Jesus, as a "living sacrifice," as the apostles in early times went forth, without backing, ecclesiastical or civil. Like the apostles, they were privileged to appeal to all the laws and moral instincts of the people in whose midst they were living, and for whose good they were laying down their lives; but more than this they did not do, and were not authorized to do by anything in the Scriptures.

It is the present wrong system of compassing sea and land to make proselytes, with battleships, cannon and soldiers, that is responsible for the loss of thousands of lives and awful misery. Were the missionary question today left upon the same footing that it occupied in the days of the apostles, and again at the beginning of this century, it would probably be less pretentious in appearance, but in reality probably would have found just as many of the "elect" as the present method; and would have left undisturbed questions that already have caused much trouble, and which in the near future will cause more. It would have left millions of the poor heathen in a much more contented frame of mind than at present – would have left them much more susceptible to the influences of the true Gospel, when, by and by, the great missionary work which God has planned will begin in earnest, under the administration of the Kingdom of Heaven, with Christ and his elect Church, the kings and priests, to rule and bless with infinite power and wisdom and love.

*                         *                         *

But while refusing to interfere with the matter, the Lord made use of the intrusion to point a lesson on the subject of covetousness – a lesson which would be of benefit to both of the brothers, if they were present, and a lesson, indeed, which could not fail to be of profit to all of his hearers. The exhortation to take heed of covetousness would apply to the one who had sought our Lord's interference. Possibly he had been asking something outside of his rights and outside of his father's will and intent – coveting what his father had really intended should go to his brother. Or, if he were asking only what was reasonably his due, our Lord's words would be a consolation to him, as showing that whether or not he got all of his rights in the present life would be a comparatively unimportant matter – unimportant as compared to his having such experiences as would be favorable to his eternal life, and rightly using those experiences. Our Lord's words would also be a lesson to the other brother, if he were seeking to defraud and to take unjustly what belonged to his brother – or even if he were covetously ungenerous in construing his brother's rights. Indeed, everyone who will carefully [R2685 : page 255] consider the meaning of our Lord's parable in illustration of this subject of covetousness will draw from it a valuable, a profitable lesson.

THE RICH CHURL.

In this parable it is not stated that the rich man had obtained his wealth by any unlawful means. He is not charged with having defrauded his brother or his neighbor. The record merely is that he had temporal blessings in abundance, and that by natural increase he was very wealthy; and the point of the lesson turns upon his question to himself, What shall I do with these possessions?

The right attitude of mind, "the spirit of a sound mind," would have answered this question somewhat after this manner: These bounties of divine providence are a trust, and I am a steward, a trustee; my position will permit me to be a source of great blessing to others [R2686 : page 255] of my fellow-creatures not so bountifully supplied; in fact, I have in my hand the power to make many fellow-creatures comfortable and happy; and in discharging this stewardship in this proper manner I shall have much greater pleasure than if I endeavored selfishly to use all these bounties upon myself, or to store them up for my own use in the future.

Such an unselfish, generous course would not only have had divine approval, and thus have constituted "true riches" "laid up in heaven," but, additionally, it would have been the most direct road to happiness for the already favored individual himself. It is a true proverb, "There is that scattereth and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty." So, many have found that hoarding of earthly wealth leads to poverty of heart, to a meanness of disposition, which is not enjoyed by the individual himself, and which is strongly reprobated by him with whom rests our eternal interests, our everlasting blessing and riches. On the contrary, he who uses, in harmony with his best judgment, the earthly wealth committed to his care, thereby purchases to himself a rich reward of approbation on the part of all with whom he has to do; and, through the Lord's gracious arrangement in Christ, this cultivation of the spirit of love becomes a most important factor in respect to his attainment of everlasting joy and blessing.

As illustrating the uncertainty of such selfish calculations, our Lord might have made the parable to close by showing the rich man as losing all of his possessions and being reduced to beggary through some misfortune, such as war or fire; or he might have shown him the victim of a loathsome disease, in which even his riches could not purchase attendance, so that thus he might suffer want in the midst of plenty. But he chose to close the parable by merely representing the rich man as dying suddenly – ceasing to have and to hold and greedily enjoy his selfish hoardings. "Soul, take thine ease," etc., is merely another way of saying – Self, take thine ease, eat, drink, etc.

Our Lord, to enforce the lesson, then raises the question, Whose, then, shall these things be? They could no longer be enjoyed by the accumulator, whoever might get them; he would be poor indeed, whoever might enjoy them; for these were all that he had; he had given up thought and effort and every talent to money-making and to attempted selfish enjoyments, and had not been rich toward God, – had not been rich in good works, – had not laid up treasure in heaven. His life had been a failure; he would enter the next life a pauper, as respects mental and moral development in good qualities. He would enter it with a load of selfishness, with which to some extent he had been born, but to which he had added greatly by a life of selfishness. And his load of selfishness will, in that future life, for a time handicap his efforts toward true nobility, should he then make efforts toward perfection under the gracious terms of the Millennial Kingdom.

Tho our Lord in the parable represents the covetous person as succeeding in accumulating riches, yet, as a matter of fact, the majority of covetous people never so succeed; and their selfishness is not less reprehensible from the fact that it fails of success. The thought rather is that if a covetous person who succeeds makes a miserable failure of life, how much worse would be the failure of the covetous person who gains nothing, either in the present life or in that which is to come!

Our Lord, turning to his disciples at this juncture, gave a special lesson applicable to them only, and not to the multitude. Literally translated this message is: Be not anxious as respects your earthly life, its food and its clothing. Think rather of the life which is to come; remember that this present condition is, from the divine standpoint, a death condition. Consider that in you who believe, the new, the eternal life, has already begun, and that if you will faithfully continue under present conditions in living for this new life, and not after the flesh, it will be perfected in the First Resurrection. Think more of your bodies than of the raiment which covers them; think more of your life than of the natural food by which it is at present sustained. God is able and willing to give perfect life and perfect bodies and perfect conditions to those who believe in me, who walk in my footsteps and meet my approval. The reason why you need not take anxious thought for these temporal things, for which the world takes anxious thought (and necessarily so), is this: you have come into harmony with God, and have been adopted into his family; believing in me, you have been granted "liberty to become sons of God." (John 1:12.) As sons of God, with the new life begun in you, you are to realize that everything of the present life is quite unworthy to be compared with the future and eternal interests. You are to remember that, having consecrated yourselves to the Father's will in becoming my disciples, you have given up every interest and matter to his superior wisdom. Be content, therefore; be without anxiety, knowing that so long as you abide in me, and so long as you are walking in my footsteps, your Heavenly Father knoweth what things you have need of, even before you ask him, and is both able and willing to give what is best.

Therefore, if in divine providence you receive poverty as your unavoidable portion, accept it as best for you, according to divine wisdom; remembering that it is our Redeemer who is guarding our future and eternal interests, and permitting such experiences in this present life as will be most beneficial to us, and as will lead most directly to eternal riches and favors, and that in greatest measure.

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INTERESTING LETTERS.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I feel prompted to assure you that my interest in the glad tidings of great joy is increasing. I assure you this – not that I believe you think otherwise concerning me, but it is a pleasure for me to tell you in words what I am not able always to prove in deeds. I rejoice that in the present great harvest our Lord uses all willing witnesses of the truth in some capacity: no one need be discouraged, for, "Those members of the body which seem to be more feeble are necessary."

ZION'S WATCH TOWER is a very welcome visitor to our home. While meditating on two discourses in July 15 TOWER, viz., "The Ministry of Comfort" and "Forgive Us our Debts," I rejoiced in spirit that you so clearly defined the divine disposition for those striving to attain it, since it is the heavenly Father's desire that we should become copies of his dear Son.

The subject of Justice, alluded to in "Forgive us our Debts," used to perplex me, but about two years ago I was much enlightened by an explanation on the exercise of the above attribute, that I read in a WATCH TOWER. Among other things you wrote, "God did not enact the penalty of sin from sinners, but of a perfect man, created in the image of God, whose sin was wilful. If we were perfect ourselves and dealing with others who were likewise perfect, a law of Justice and demands of Justice would be in order. Since we are transgressors ourselves, and objects of divine grace, and since our fellow-creatures are in the same pitiable plight, through the Adamic fall, there is no room for us to take our stand upon Justice." In another place I noted, "While always endeavoring to be just we should not demand justice from others but act along the line of love and compassion." This view of righteous judgment (John 7:24) appealed to my heart and cleared away my difficulty.

I am so thankful for this Scriptural instruction and that I have learned not to consider the brethren by daily conduct, or rather by the imperfections of the earthen vessel. Doubtless all are striving to do the best they can, but by the ruling thought or controlling motive of their lives. I believe all those who are guided by righteous principles to the best of their ability and earnestly endeavoring to spread the glad tidings of the Kingdom have God's loving approval. How tender, patient and long-suffering our Father is! If there is any sign of fruit on the branches the great husbandman prunes and prunes and does not cut off entirely: only dead branches are severed from the vine. Oh the love and mercy of our God! Praise be to his holy name forever!

My love for God, for the Church and for humanity increases constantly, but I am slow about cultivating the fruits of the spirit. Please pray for me, dear Brother Russell, that I may bloom in this direction. I long for perfection of character.

Accept this letter as a little token of appreciation and much Christian love for yourself and all dear harvest workers in the Bible House.

AMELIA E. POWER, – Pennsylvania.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I beg you not to think me less appreciative if I do not correspond as frequently as others. Indeed, I have at times reluctantly refrained from writing you, having in mind your many thousand correspondents, and your work to "prepare the table" and give "meat in due season," and "declare what he seeth." Assuring you that wife and I try to do our part – watch in the WATCH TOWER, "eat and drink" at the Lord's table (Isa. 21:5); and thanking you for your share in setting forth this meat and drink, we also thank our heavenly Father, the giver of all good – especially for that feature of his plan which you have been chosen to carry out. We make mention of you daily before the throne of grace.

I am happy to report that my efforts, together with yours, have not been in vain in this place. Here are some of the "more noble" who are receiving the truth with all readiness of mind, searching the Scriptures daily to see if these things be so. One sister who was quite prominent in the Salvation Army notified the officers of this sect that she could no longer cooperate with them, and to this end gave a banquet, inviting the officers to it (one Ensign, one Captain and one Lieutenant), at which she took occasion to explain why she withdrew, assuring them that she was not joining another sect, neither leaving God nor Christ nor the "brethren." Then she offered me the opportunity of speaking and reading out of the Word of God.

I have found two who purchased DAWNS a few years ago but did not know what they contained. They have now been aroused to read them. I go over the field once in a while, to see how they all get along with their reading and find out where the wheat is, seeking to ripen it, and will, when they can appreciate it, call their attention to the TOWER. I will try ere long to gather the interested ones to a series of chart talks and to get acquainted, and then will suggest a DAWN Circle.

I often think in solitude of the favor shown me, that I have been called to a share in the sufferings of Christ, and to the hope of sharing with him in glory. He only knows how dearly I love the cause, and how humble it makes me when I think of the kindness you have shown me, first in bringing me onward toward maturity in the knowledge of Him who hath called me out of darkness into his marvelous light, and then in permitting me to share with yourself in the harvest work as a co-reaper and fellow-servant, going from house to house, calling attention to that wonderful book, MILLENNIAL DAWN. I highly esteem this service with you in the gospel as a son with his father (Phil. 2:22), and assure you that I am from henceforth fully and unreservedly in the service of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. I invite your suggestions at any time, for while I am a colporteur, by the grace of God, I am, by the same grace, a "volunteer," so that if you think best to "shell the forts" first, here I am, or if to skirmish on the borders from house to house, I will so continue. At any rate send me some "volunteer ammunition." "Remember me with thee... and make mention of me unto Jehovah."

With due respect and love to the TOWER helpers, I am yours with much Christian love and gratitude,

CHARLES J. PETERSON, – Kansas.