page 353
December 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.DECEMBER 1, 1900.No. 23.
CONTENTS.

What Hope for the Innumerable Non-Elect? 355
No Condemnation Possible Until After Trial 357
The Ultimate End of the Commandment is Love 358
Claiming, Receiving and Administering a Kingdom 361
"Thou Crownest the Year with Thy Goodness" 364
"No Weapon Formed Against Thee Shall Prosper" 365
Questions and Answers 368
Items: About Tower Subscriptions, etc 354

'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 354

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.

TAKE HEED HOW YOU SEND.

This is the season at which our mails are largest and when money enclosed in letters not "registered" is apt to greatly tempt Post Office employees to dishonesty. Remember therefore that if you cannot procure a Money Order or Express Order or Bank draft, money sent should be registered.

ABOUT RENEWING YOUR Z.W.T. SUBSCRIPTION.

We hope to have our lists grow larger and larger each year. We are anxious that the names of all interested in "present truth" should be on our lists, and that thus they may share with us the spiritual food now being dispensed by our present Lord. We do not urge you to renew, tho we will be glad to have you continue with us to the very close of this warfare. All we feel it proper to do is to make our terms so reasonable as to leave no valid excuse for any to go without this spiritual food if he has an appetite for it. For instance, If you cannot conveniently send the cash in advance let us know of your desire to have it on credit – and pay when you can: remembering that should you never be able to pay you can have the debt canceled at any time upon request, stating your inability.

"THE LORD'S POOR" SHOULD ALSO RENEW.

Send us a postal card this month informing us that you desire the visits of the WATCH TOWER continued, and that you are still unable to pay for it; and it will go to you as freely, gladly, as to those who pay. Indeed all such subscriptions are paid out of a fund specially provided for the purpose. Do not fear to accept this portion of the Lord's provision for your spiritual nourishment. We much prefer that so far as possible renewals reach us in DECEMBER.

[R2732 : page 355]

WHAT HOPE FOR THE INNUMERABLE NON-ELECT?

[Continued from our last issue, "Make Sure of Winning in God's Election."]

I
N OUR LAST ISSUE we found abundant Scripture evidence that God is selecting a little flock from amongst mankind to be joint heirs with our Lord Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom. That fact being proven, it cannot be questioned that all the remainder of mankind are non-elect. The question now is, What provision has the great Creator made for this class – numbering at least fifty thousands of millions of all the families of the earth? Is this condition hopeless or not?

According to orthodoxy it is hopeless – the theory being that all the non-elect of mankind were predestinated by God to be sufferers of eternal torment; but we find no Scripture whatever in support of such a theory. So surely as God did elect or predestinate an elect class he must equally have predestinated and foreordained that there would be a non-elect class. And to suppose that he foreordained that this non-elect class should suffer eternal torment would be to suppose God a monster, devoid of every sentiment of justice, not to mention love. And if God did not foreordain the non-elect to eternal torment, neither could he have authorized any to use eternal torment as a threat against the non-elect – neither to intimidate them nor for any other purpose. Indeed, what object could there be on God's part in endeavoring to scare the world of mankind into striving to be of the elect little flock, when he had already predestinated that only a small number comparatively could be of this elect flock? The whole matter, viewed from any such standpoint, is unreasonable.

Let us notice, on the contrary, that this eternal torment theory may properly be charged with nearly every deflection from the doctrine of the necessity for holiness of life on the part of God's people. Everyone who has read with care the Scriptures already cited which refer to the elect class must realize that the standard which God has set "for the very elect" is a very high standard; and that comparatively few – saints only – ever attain to that high standard. All will acknowledge that very few of their friends and neighbors, parents and children, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, who have died, could have any hope of being in the "elect class," according to the high standard for that class set in the Scriptures: and yet the awfulness of the theory they hold respecting the non-elect has driven them to so modify the standard of Christian living that would be acceptable to God as to include these dear friends. Thus day by day, and century by century, as deaths occur in every family connection, the tendency, under the influence of the popular error of eternal torment, is to lower in the minds of all Christian people the standard of true holiness, – "What manner of persons ought we to be." The funeral discourses in nearly every case help forward this work of undermining the Christian standard, and dropping it to a worldly level of morality – and scarcely even that; because even persons who are notoriously immoral, unjust, extortionists, etc., and who have very little indeed to commend them, are felt to be not sufficiently bad to be eternally tormented; and under the theory that they must go either to a heaven of eternal bliss or to a hell of eternal torment, they are, in their neighbors' minds, admitted generously to the former rather than consigned to the latter.

What incalculable harm has been introduced into the faith and hopes of Christendom through this God dishonoring doctrine of eternal torment, which implicates [R2732 : page 356] the great Jehovah as the chiefest coadjutor of Satan, – the planner, the designer of all his accredited devilishness, the one without whose cooperation Satan could not have done all that he, as ordinarily pictured, has done and is doing, – dominating a host of fireproof and pain-proof devils, pitchforks in hand, tormenting millions of humanity, delivered into their power by the Almighty, and by some inscrutable power rendered fire-proof but not pain-proof.

THE GENEROSITY COMMENDABLE BUT THE THEORY WRONG.

We cannot but sympathize with the greater generosity of our day which is gradually coming to disown such a theory, and we must also sympathize with that sentiment which has sought to rescue from such an awful future the loved ones of the present life, however evil and injurious they may have been. But while this increase of benevolence is commendable it is bringing the remedy from the wrong quarter. It is bringing a remedy which, while it is to some extent consoling to the heart momentarily, nevertheless leaves a terrible fear, lest peradventure the high standards of the Scripture may be required, and that all not coming up to them will suffer excruciatingly. In others it leads to doubts, not only respecting the eternal torment, but also respecting the eternal bliss: and additionally it casts serious doubt upon the Book of divine revelation which is the only foundation for heavenly hopes, because they believe it to be also the authority for their "hellish fears."

WHAT SAY THE SCRIPTURES RESPECTING THE NON-ELECT?

In the Scriptures the non-elect are of two classes: First: Those who in the present life were (1) enlightened, (2) justified through faith, (3) called, and accepting the call were sanctified and begotten of the holy spirit, and started on the course with a view to making their calling and election sure – but who have not made it sure, but on the contrary have failed, by not coming fully up to the requirements.

This class in turn is Scripturally divided into two parties: –

(a) Those who sin wilfully after that they have received a knowledge of the truth, and been made partakers of the holy spirit, etc. For those there remaineth no more a share in the sacrifice of Christ – no further mercy, opportunity or hope. To them the result is the Second Death – nonentity. – Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26,27.

(b) The other class consists of those who, while at heart preferring righteousness and truth, and loving the Lord, have not become copies of God's dear Son, in that they fail to attain to his Spirit of full devotion of heart to the doing of the Father's will – rather they permit themselves to become overcharged with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches, and thus fail to complete that sacrifice according to their covenant, and hence fail to make their calling and their election sure. For these the Lord has a gracious provision, as suggested in Rev. 7:13-15. They will not be utterly confounded, because they have trusted in him (Psa. 22:5), and he will surely carry them through. Yet the Lord's intervention on their behalf must be strictly along the lines of his covenant and general plan – he cannot interfere with their free moral agency; he will not coerce their wills, but he can and will bring them to such a place of experience as will test them and compel them either to renounce their loyalty to him or to seal that loyalty with their lives. Those who renounce the Lord will, of course, in so doing bring upon themselves the penalty of the Second Death, but those who, under such compulsory circumstances, are faithful, cannot be counted as of the same likeness with God's dear Son, who, without compulsion, voluntarily gave up his life in the Father's service. The little flock of the elect Church will contain all of this class, and to them will be granted the Kingdom, and to sit with Christ in his throne, and to be the Temple of God and to have the crowns. (Rev. 3:21; 1 Pet. 5:4.) But the others, who will "come up out of great tribulation," having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, altho they will have suffered equally as much as the elect (more indeed, if the mental conditions are taken into consideration) will not get a crown of victory, but a palm of victory; will not get a seat in the throne with their Lord, as his Bride, but nevertheless an honorable place before the throne as servants. They will not become pillars and stones in the living Temple of God, but they will have the honorable privilege of serving God in his Temple, the Church.

This class is not prominently referred to in the Scriptures, nor in the types and symbols even; because none were called to this position, but, as the Apostle declares, "Ye were all called in one hope of your calling" – to the highest place of joint heirship. (Eph. 4:4.) The position attained by these is an unpromised one, of the Lord's abundant mercy.

Second: The second class of non-elect from the Scriptural viewpoint is the world of mankind, including three classes: –

(a) It includes those who have never had any knowledge of God's provision of grace in Christ, and who consequently could not have gone on further to be of the called elect class of this age.

(b) It includes those who have heard of the [R2733 : page 357] grace of God, but in that indistinct, indefinite manner which does not bring conviction – those who have seen in Jesus something wonderful and great and admirable, but who have never seen him from the Lord's standpoint of Redeemer and Savior – their eyes being blinded to the manifold evil influences of "the god of this world," business or pleasure or love of money or distracting religious dogmas. These, not having seen and not having accepted Christ as the Redeemer, could go no further and by no possibility could they have been amongst those called to the election of this Gospel age.

(c) It includes those who have heard of Christ as the Redeemer, and have appreciated him as such, and have accepted him as their Savior; but who like the nine of the ten lepers cleansed by our Lord at his first advent, thought not to return to give glory to God – thought not to present their bodies living sacrifices in his service. These having reached the point of justification were, undoubtedly, amongst the ones called; but they failed to make their calling and election sure, not caring to respond to the call. Of this class, apparently, are the thousands, the masses of church members of the various sects. They are glad for what they see, but not anxious to see any more, as, intuitively, they realize that further knowledge would bring greater responsibilities, which they desire to avoid and not even to think much about.

These last mentioned "receive the grace of God [the privilege of justification] in vain." (2 Cor. 6:1.) The intention of this reckoned or faith justification of the present time is to enable the justified ones to present their "bodies living sacrifices, holy, and acceptable to God," their reasonable service; because they could not be acceptable to God as sacrifices, nor in any sense of the word come to his altar, while still they were sinners. Since to permit this sanctification and sacrifice is the only object of the giving of this grace in the present time, they have received it in vain, in that they have not used it as God designed it to be used by those who are appreciative.

Amongst this second class of non-elect, we may say that the vilest are too good to be turned over to devils for an eternity of torment, either mental or physical, and God their Creator was too wise to have ever made them in such a condition as to necessitate such an abominable result, so inharmonious with his character and with every sense of right and justice, and necessitating the everlasting perpetuation of evil, upheld, and therefore sanctioned, by divine power. And God's Word, rightly understood, teaches no such thing. It is only where the false theory has corrupted and perverted the judgment that it is able and willing to construe such a theory from the parables, symbols and "dark sayings" of our Savior, instead of understanding and construing them much more reasonably and in full accord with the divine character of justice, wisdom and love.*

*See What Say the Scriptures About Hell? – sample sent free on postal card request.
NO CONDEMNATION POSSIBLE UNTIL AFTER TRIAL.

If the worst class of non-elect do not deserve eternal torment, the less degraded certainly would not deserve it; and indeed we are to remember that none of them can deserve any punishment until first of all they have had their trial. True, the whole race had a trial in father Adam, in Eden, and when he lost in that trial the whole race lost life and came under the sentence of death. But in harmony with the divine plan, our Lord Jesus redeemed Adam and all his race by giving himself as the ransom-price for Adam and thus incidentally for all. We are to remember that Jesus was not only the Redeemer of the Church, but also the Redeemer of the world, as it is written: "He is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours [the Church's] only, but also for the sins of the whole world."1 John 2:2.

If then all these non-elect have been redeemed from the first trial and its sentence with the same precious blood which redeemed the elect Church; and if the Church, by the grace of God, has had her trial in advance of the world in general, and if the Church's trial was the result of the redemption, and without that redemption she could have no further trial for eternal life, is it not manifest that the same redemption has provided a trial for the whole world of mankind, as well as for the Church of this Gospel age? And what matters it that the trial of the world did not take place at the same time as the trial of the Church? Has not the great God, our Savior, the full right to arrange this matter of salvation according to his own wisdom? Who amongst fallen men is competent to direct him?

And yet this is what Christian people have been doing; they have been attempting to arrange the divine plan, instead of hearkening to God's own revelation respecting the same. They have said, but he has not said, that the present life is the only opportunity for trial, and that this trial-time will end with the end of the Gospel age. He, on the contrary, has foreseen their misrepresentations of his plan, and has caused it to be written aforetime through the prophet: "My thoughts [plans] are not your thoughts [plans], neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord; for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways [R2733 : page 358] higher than your ways and my thoughts [plans] than your thoughts [plans]." – Isa. 55:8,9.

The Scriptures tell us specifically respecting the Lord's plan for these non-elect. We will give it first in our own phraseology and then we will give the Scriptural language. They tell us that the Church is being selected from the world in advance, in order that this little flock, thoroughly trained in the school of experience, thoroughly polished and in full conformity to the Head, Christ Jesus, is, with their Head and Lord, to constitute the Royal Priesthood, whose work will only begin after its election has been completed and it has been received into glory; and that its work will be the judging of the world of mankind, not in the sense of pronouncing condemnation upon them, but in the sense of granting to each member of the non-elect a trial (judgment) for eternal life. That trial of the non-elect is guaranteed, based upon the great ransom-sacrifice wherewith all mankind were purchased from the death-sentence that came upon all through Adam. And that this trial-time, or day of the world's judgment, will be the Millennial day (a thousand years long), in the which full opportunity shall come to all, full knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth, as the waters cover the great deep, and a full blessing of eternal life may be attained by whoever wills and obeys, of those then on trial; and that the remainder (the unwilling and disobedient) will be destroyed in the Second Death.

Among the many Scriptures supporting this presentation we cite two which are very pointed and should be fully satisfactory if there were no others. "God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world [future] in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained" – the Christ, Head and body. – Acts 17:31.

"Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?" – 1 Cor. 6:2.

[R2733 : page 358]

THE ULTIMATE END OF THE COMMANDMENT IS LOVE FROM A PURE HEART AND A GOOD CONSCIENCE.

"Now the end [ultimate object] of the commandment is love from a pure heart and a good conscience, and an undissembled faith – which some, having failed [to discern] have turned aside to foolish talking." – 1 Tim. 1:5,6.

N
OT ONLY in the Apostle's day did many fail to get the true idea of religion – the Lord's commandments to his people, etc. – but many, probably an increasing number, have since similarly failed. We may suppose that the method of the great Adversary is to confuse the minds of those who are feeling after God and righteousness. It is thus, as the Scriptures declare, that he deceives the whole world – putting forms, ceremonies, theories and confessions instead of heart religion.

Those who teach the monstrous false doctrine that the present life decides the fate of every human being, either for eternal misery or for eternal joy, consider this doctrine the very bulwark of pure Christianity and of holiness; consequently many who really do not believe it tacitly give it their consent and approval, believing that in so doing they are forwarding the cause of holiness. But this is a great mistake; this is one of the great Adversary's delusions, by which he would make the piety of God's people serve his cause, (1) because this doctrine dims the divine glory as respects love and justice, and (2) because the doctrine, instead of cultivating or promoting holiness, cultivates and promotes the reverse of this, as we shall show.

The theory that the present life is merely to decide who are worthy of eternal joy, and who are worthy of eternal torments, resolves itself finally in the general thought as signifying that all fiendish characters may perhaps be worthy of some kind of ill-treatment to all eternity, provided they shall not breathe a prayer of penitence at some time before they expire; but that all half-way decent people are too respectable or too good to justly merit an eternity of torture, and hence must be of the kind who will receive an eternity of bliss. Thus this hell-fire doctrine, instead of promoting holiness, purity of heart, promotes the reverse, – carelessness as respects anything except out and out murder and general devilishness.

On the contrary, the Scriptural doctrine makes no threat of eternal torment, and promises a full opportunity for every human creature to come to a knowledge of the truth, either in the present life or in the next life, and thus, under the terms of the New Covenant, to avail themselves of the opportunity for eternal life through the great atonement sacrifice finished at Calvary. This Scriptural doctrine is replete with the highest incentives to holiness, purity of heart and of life; because, instead of holding forth a general penalty of torture, it holds forth "a just recompense of reward," a reward of blessing or of stripes which will be proportionate to the individual efforts of each to come into harmony with God and his holiness.

First we have the call of the Gospel Church to become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, [R2734 : page 359] in the Millennial Kingdom, upon the condition of holiness of heart, and subsequently will come the offer of restitution and everlasting life in human perfection, to those of the world who similarly return to heart-harmony with the Lord. The Scriptures hold out no suggestion anywhere that eternal life will ever be given to any creature on any plane of existence, except upon this condition of full, complete heart-harmony with the Lord. Anything contrary to, or even short of, this perfect harmony with the Lord, will, from the Scriptural standpoint, mean the Second Death. Here, then, in the divine offer, we have the highest inducement to strive for our closest possible attainment to perfection; and we are assured that such striving will ultimately, according to divine favor, be rewarded with perfect conditions (in which absolute perfection will be possible) – in the resurrection.

Many there are who have very erroneous views of what is signified by the expression, "pure in heart;" one class considers this impossible of attainment in the present life; another class, no less mistakenly, considers this to mean absolute perfection in every thought, word and deed; and in believing that they fulfil these conditions, and in teaching others similarly, they are making a grave mistake.

Answering the last error first, we remark that it is possible for one to deceive himself respecting his own heart and his own condition, as for instance, apparently, the Pharisees of our Lord's day: claiming that they were perfect, and that they kept the whole law, they were merely deceiving themselves, but not the Lord; by their self-deception, a form of hypocrisy, which blinding them to their own need of the robe of Christ's righteousness, left them in the filthy rags of their own righteousness, unfit for the Kingdom. And so with some today, who claim perfection of thought, word and deed. They have blinded themselves to their own weaknesses, imperfections and errors, and are in a far worse condition than he who, tho outwardly less moral, is at heart better in the Lord's sight, because honest in confessing his unworthiness, because for such the Lord has provided forgiveness of sins, – covering with the robe of Christ's righteousness.

Nevertheless, those who think that purity of heart is an impossibility in the present life are likewise mistaken. Their mistake arises from not seeing a wide distinction between a purity of heart and a perfection or righteousness of all the words and deeds of life. The heart, as used in this text, refers to the mind, the will, the actuating intentions or motives of the man. With this thought before the mind, it is easy to see that one might be pure of heart, that is of pure intentions, and yet confess himself unable to do and to be all that his good intentions desire and endeavor. He whose heart is pure toward the Lord in Christ is the same one whose eye is single, the same one who is not double-minded but single-minded, whose mind, will, heart, seeks first, last and always the will of God. Hence the exhortation of the Apostle, "Purify your hearts, ye double-minded." – Jas. 4:8.

But how can this condition of purity of heart be attained? Is this to be our message to sinners – "purify your hearts"? No, the Gospel does not call sinners to purify their hearts: on the contrary it declares it to be an impossible thing for the sinner to purify his heart; a fuller's soap, which the sinner does not possess, is needed to cleanse the heart and bring it into that attitude of relationship with God and his will which will be pure and acceptable in his sight. On the contrary, sinners are called to repentance – called upon to confess that not only their outward lives are imperfect, short of the glory of God, but that their hearts also are rebellious, impure and in sympathy with impurity. After the sinner is repentant for sin, desiring to come into harmony with the Lord and his righteousness, he is pointed to the great atonement for sin, and is drawn to the great Redeemer, through a desire to be made free from sin and to come into harmony with God. When this step has been taken – when the sinner having repented of his sins, and having made restitution so far as possible, accepts Christ and the pardon he offers, and seeks to walk in the way of righteousness, then he is justified, – justified freely from all things, from which the Law could not justify him – "justified by faith through the blood of Christ" – brought nigh to God, into relationship with him, and caused to know the joy and peace of his forgiving love.

When this is accomplished, when justification by faith has been established, when the sinner is reckoned and treated as no longer a sinner, but as reconciled to the Father, then his heart may be said to be pure, cleansed from "the sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." But now arises a new question with the reformed one: while past sins are graciously covered, weaknesses of the flesh are present, and temptations of the adversary are on every hand. He starts to walk forward, but finds himself beset by the world, the flesh and the devil: what shall he do? A heart searching probably begins there: finding himself incapable of guiding himself, or of keeping himself, his proper course is to accept another offer of divine grace, namely, the second step in our great salvation. He hears the voice of the Lord, through the Apostle, saying, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God [manifested in the covering of your sins], that ye present your bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." [R2734 : page 360]

The reformed one, if rightly instructed, realizes his inability to stand in his own strength, realizes that his only hope of maintaining justification granted to him lies in getting the Lord to take charge of him. At first he may think to go into partnership with the Lord, and to say, "Some of self and some of thee," some of my own will and some of the Lord's will; but rightly instructed he finds that this will not be satisfactory to the Lord; that the Lord will accept him, and become responsible for him, and guarantee him glorious victory and eternal reward, only upon this one condition, namely, a full self-surrender, a full consecration of heart.

It is after the sinner has come through all this process and has made a full consecration of his heart to the Lord, that he is of the class described in our text, one of the pure in heart, under the law of love, the law of the New Covenant. But notwithstanding the purity of his heart, his motives, his intentions, his will, to fulfil the Lord's great commandment, which is briefly comprehended in one word, Love, – he will find that he has a battle to wage, that the law of his members, depraved through heredity in sin, is a strong law of selfishness, in opposition to the new law, to which he has pledged himself, the law of his pure heart or new heart or will, – the law of Love.

Hence, as the Apostle suggests in our text, we must learn that the ultimate end or object of the divine commandment or law, means LOVE, – even tho we do not find ourselves thoroughly able to live up to every minute particular and requirement of that law. Yet our inability to live up to the requirements of that law must be through no lack of the will, or intentions of the loyal and pure heart toward the law, and toward the Lord whose law it is: whatever failure we make, however short we may come of the grand ultimate object before us, it must be solely because of weaknesses of the flesh, and besetments of the adversary, which our pure hearts, or wills failed to resist.

And here the Lord's promises are helpful, assuring us that he knows our weaknesses and frailties, and the wiles of our great adversary, the devil, and the influence of the spirit of the world, which is contrary to the spirit of love: he tells us that we may go freely to the throne of the heavenly grace, and obtain mercy in respect to our failures to live up to the grand standards which our hearts acknowledge, and seek to conform to; and that we may also find grace to help us in every time of need. And, availing ourselves of these mercies and privileges provided through our great High Priest, we are enabled to fight a good fight against sin, to repulse its attacks upon our hearts, and to drive it off if it shall succeed in invading our flesh. Thus, and thus only, may the Christian keep himself pure in heart, preserving his stand as one of the fighters of the good fight, one of the overcomers of the world and its spirit.

There will be a tendency on the part of the flesh, and the mind of the flesh, to deceive us in respect to this commandment of Love. The mind of the flesh will seek to go into partnership with the new mind, and will be very ready to recognize love as the rule and law of life, under certain conditions. The mind of the flesh would recognize love in words, in profession, in manners – a form of godliness, without its power. Gentle manners, such as love would demand, may be exercised by a selfish heart deceiving itself, and seeking to deceive others; on the lip may be the smile, the word of praise, of kindness, of gentleness, while in the heart may be feelings of selfishness, of grudge, [R2735 : page 360] of bitterness, of animosity, which, under favorable conditions, may manifest themselves in more or less carefully worded slander, or backbiting, or reproaches. Or these, continuing in the heart and rankling, may, under favorable conditions, bring forth anger, hatred, malice, strife and other wicked works of the flesh and of the devil, wholly contrary to the proper course of a pure heart, and at utter variance with the commandment of the law of the New Covenant – Love.

We are, therefore, to have clearly before our minds the fact that the ultimate object of all the divine dealings for us and with us, and the ultimate significance of all the divine promises made to us, is the development of love, which is god-likeness, for God is love. And to have this love developed in us, in the sense and to the degree intended by the Lord, it is necessary that it shall come from a pure heart, in full accord with the Lord, and his law of love, and wholly antagonistic to the Adversary and his law of selfishness. To have this kind of love in its proper development requires also a good conscience: for be it remembered that there are bad consciences, – our consciences require regulating, as do all the other features of our fallen nature. If our consciences are to be regulated we must have some standard by which to set and regulate them. The conscience is like a watch whose dial is properly marked with the hours, but whose correctness as a time-keeper depends upon the proper regulating of its mainspring, so that it may point out the hours truthfully: so our consciences are ready to indicate right and wrong to us, but they can only be relied upon to tell us truly what is right and what is wrong after being regulated in connection with the new mainspring, the new heart, the pure will, brought into full harmony with the law of love, as presented to us in the Word of God.

Our text also points out the necessity for an undissembled faith. And here, we believe, is one of the [R2735 : page 361] important difficulties besetting many who are in the nominal churches: they are not honest; they are not conscientious in respect to their faith. If they believe differently from the denomination they have been connected with, they are willing to dissemble their faith, to misrepresent it, because they fear a disturbance in the church; they fear to be thought peculiar; they fear to lose the esteem of fellow-Christians ("wheat") who might understand them, and of fellow-associates ("tares") who would be sure to misunderstand them, and speak evil of them. They love the praise of men more than they love the praise of God, else they would not risk the disfavor of God through a violation of conscience, and a dissembling of their faith, in order to maintain the friendship of the world and of the nominal church.

We urge that all our readers consider carefully, studiously, the words of our text, remembering it is those who miss this true thought who are not only missing the opportunity of the present time to be overcomers of the world, and the opportunity of the future, to be "joint-heirs with Christ" in his Kingdom, but who, additionally, are lending influence now in the wrong direction, and are likely to be turned aside to foolish talking, preaching and teaching and discussing matters which are illogical, irrational, nonsensical; because their hearts have become darkened through neglect of the principles which the Lord has set forth for the government of those who are new creatures in Christ Jesus. And sometimes the matter goes beyond foolish talking, and the heart becomes embittered and corrupted: love is cast out of the heart, and selfishness takes its place, and from it flows words of bitterness, anger and evil, instead of words of love, kindness, gentleness, mercy and goodness.

"Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" – life or death. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

[R2735 : page 361]

CLAIMING, RECEIVING AND ADMINISTERING A KINGDOM.
LUKE 19:11-27. – DEC. 23. –

"Every one of us shall give account of himself to God." – Rom. 14:12.

N
ATURALLY enough the fact that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, the city of the great King, and that he had definitely acknowledged himself as the Messiah, and that he was exercising a great influence amongst the people, and that under this influence the rich Zacchaeus had been soundly converted, led the disciples to believe that when they reached Jerusalem, then only fifteen or twenty miles distant, they would immediately see tangible evidences of the establishment of God's Kingdom – that they would see Jesus assume regal robes, power and authority, and that they themselves would be associated with him in the throne of power, and that speedily Israel would arise from the dust to be the dominant nation of the world, and through its laws, at the mouth of Messiah, supported by his divine powers, would bring blessing to every nation, people, kindred and tongue.

It was in view of this erroneous expectation that our Lord gave the parable of this lesson – to point out to the disciples, and vaguely to others, that kingdom glories were yet a considerable distance in the future, and that before they could be expected he must leave them and go to the central seat of government and receive his commission from Jehovah, the Father, and return; and that meantime he would give to some of his servants a work to do in his name which would prove their loyalty, their love, by their faithfulness.

The figure used as the basis of the parable was one with which the people of Jericho were quite familiar. They had in their city the palace of Herod, and knew that when his father, Herod the Great, died, Herod Archelaus, then king, set out on a mission to Rome, to the court of the Caesars, the rulers of the world; – the object of the mission being to obtain Caesar's authority and investiture of government as the king of Judea instead of his deceased father. They knew that Herod returned, fully equipped with authority, and was in consequence the ruler. They knew also that when he went to Rome a deputation of citizens of Judea was sent after him to make complaint against him, and to urge that he be not appointed; – and to inform Caesar that the government of the Herods was no longer desired by the people of Judea. Josephus says that this deputation of opponents who went to Rome numbered 500. The people probably also remembered that when Herod Archelaus returned with kingly power he first of all rewarded his faithful retainers with various offices throughout the kingdom, and subsequently dealt harshly with those who had manifested their opposition. Thus we see that those who heard this parable were much more likely to be appreciative of its significance than the majority of the people of today would be, because customs of the present time are so different.

It was understood by those who heard the parable that the Lord referred to himself as the nobleman, that heaven was the far country, that Jehovah himself was the great King, whose commission was essential to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom, and that Jesus' [R2735 : page 362] disciples were the servants to be entrusted with the "Pounds," and that those who would not have him rule over them were more or less in love and in league with the darkness of sin. Everyone who opposes righteousness, or who loves and serves unrighteousness, is thereby declaring his opposition to the reign of righteousness, which the Lord proposes to establish in the earth in due time, – when his Kingdom shall come and his will shall be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

There is in this lesson a severe rebuke (which alas! is not often recognized) to those who claim that the Kingdom of God was set up at Pentecost. They must see, unless they with more or less wilfulness close the eyes of their understanding, that this parable is against their theory, and teaches that the Kingdom is not to be expected to be set up until the return of Messiah at his Second Advent. It is also a rebuke to those who claim that in some manner, incomprehensible to themselves or anybody else, the second advent took place 1800 years ago, at the time of Israel's overthrow, about A.D. 70. They must see, unless with a certain amount of wilfulness they close their eyes of understanding against it, that nothing at all corresponding to a second advent of Christ took place at that time – nothing corresponding to the setting up of his Kingdom occurred there; nothing corresponding to the calling of those of his servants and reckoning with them and rewarding them with places in the Kingdom took place there; nothing corresponding to the calling of his enemies who would not have him rule over them, and the punishment of them, took place there – in A.D. 70.

Indeed, the parable is opposed to every theory respecting the Kingdom except the right theory, and it is in full accord with it; because the right theory is not a human wish or whim or conjecture to help substantiate some human program of events, but is the sum and substance of all the teachings of the divine Word brought into harmonious unison and interpreted thus, Scripture throwing light upon Scripture, by the holy spirit. [R2736 : page 362]

Those who heard the parable might have conjectured that it required months, or possibly years for its fulfilment; but probably none of them expected that it would require more than eighteen centuries – because, as natural men, they would be disposed to look at matters from the natural standpoint, from the standpoint of seventy to a hundred years as being the limit of human life. Nor did the disciples even know how to view matters from the divine standpoint until after they had received the holy spirit. Under its enlightenment, however, the Apostle tells us plainly that "A day with the Lord is as a thousand years." – 2 Pet. 3:8.

As the Revised Version points out, the ten servants to whom the pounds were given, were only a part of all the nobleman's servants; they would seem to represent the consecrated class who have professed full devotion to the Lord, and to each of whom is given a special gift or blessing, not given to others of the servants of the household of faith. This special gift or blessing seems to be referred to by the Apostle, when he says, "A measure of the spirit is given to every man [in the true, consecrated Church] to profit withal." (1 Cor. 12:7.) It is the same gift to all, the same spirit amongst all, working in all of this class; and the duty of each one is to use this gift of the Lord for its increase; and the more his devotion and the more his faithfulness the larger may be the results.

We are to notice a difference between this parable of the "Pounds" and a somewhat similar one of the "Talents." The latter represented the natural abilities of the individual – "to every man according to his several ability," some one, some two, some five talents or opportunities. But this parable of the pounds ignores the individual abilities of the servants, and shows them each as receiving the same thing and for the same purpose. Possibly the differences of opportunities are to be understood as implied, because the Lord expressed as hearty approval of the one who gained four pounds as he did the one who gained nine. Both did well, both were good, both were faithful. The one with greater talents, in order to be equally faithful with the one of fewer talents, should be able to and should show larger results: and the rewards given would seem to imply the same thing – that greater sacrifices in the present time "work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory," And this emphasizes the instructions of a previous lesson, showing that those who are rich in talents, opportunities and privileges, if faithful, achieve a larger victory and a still grander reward than those who are poorer and who therefore sacrifice less, tho the sacrificing be done in both cases with the same spirit, which in both is thoroughly acceptable to God, pronounced well done, and the servant faithful and good.

The servant who hid his talent and returned it, and whose loss of all opportunity to share in the Kingdom is shown, would seem to represent a class not merely justified but sanctified – consecrated fully to the Lord, and made the recipients of the holy spirit, even as the other members of the body. He is called a "wicked" servant; not because he had committed murder or robbery of any kind, but because, having assumed an obligation by which he was entrusted with certain of the Master's goods not given to others, he failed of his covenant and obligation. Such a servant could not be trusted, and properly was considered unfit for any share in the Kingdom; and the blessings which had been entrusted to him were given to the one who had [R2736 : page 363] already most, but whose faithfulness had been so abundantly attested by zeal. So to everyone who uses present blessings and opportunities well, zealously, further blessings, privileges and opportunities shall be granted, and from those who do not so use them they will be taken away.

To our understanding we are now living in the very time represented by this feature of the parable – the time when our Lord, invested with the authority of the Father, is about to take to himself his great power and reign; and when preparatory to that reign, he is reckoning with his servants now living, with a view to their appointment to places in the Kingdom he is about to inaugurate. It is from this standpoint that we interpret the testings and siftings now in progress amongst the consecrated ones in and out of all the sects of Christendom. "The Lord your God proveth you, whether ye do love the Lord your God or no." Present truth and present conditions are testing and showing to what extent those who have received the Lord's favor are faithful. This does not imply that others of this class who have died in the past of this age are ignored: on the contrary the Scriptures assure us that they would be dealt with first, and that those accounted worthy have a share in the first resurrection preceding those who are alive and remain at the present time. – 1 Thess. 4:1-17.

But the living ones pass through an experience of testing (the ending of their trial) before they die; they must give an account; judgment must pass respecting them; they must either be gathered, as "wheat" into the barn or be left in the field where the "tares" are shortly to be burned. Fortunately for us, the reckoning is not one of an instant, but time is granted to us to make up our accounts; and blessed is he who, finding that he has not been as faithful as he might have been in the past, is now putting forth redoubled energies – "redeeming the time" (grasping opportunities – Eph. 5:16), in order to make as favorable an account as possible while our King is waiting to receive them and willing to show us all the favor that could be desired.

Ten servants were chosen as a general number to represent all of the consecrated, but only three of these are mentioned as illustrations of faithfulness and unfaithfulness. Thus the Lord avoids even intimating how many of the whole number of consecrated will prove faithful to their consecration and enter into the joys of the Lord – into the Kingdom, and to share with him in the throne; and how many of them will fail to be accounted worthy of these honors and blessings; and how many of the latter may be counted worthy of the Second Death; and how many of them will come, through faithfulness in tribulation, to be honored servants in the Kingdom. – Rev. 7:9-15.

The enemies of the King are all to be slain, after he takes to himself his great power and begins his reign; "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." Some would suggest that this slaying will be with the sword of the spirit, and imply a universal salvation; but to our understanding such an interpretation would be utterly at variance with the spirit of the parable, and hence sophistical, and unworthy of any one claiming either honesty or ability as a teacher in Israel. There ought to be a reasonable relationship between the figure of the parable and the reality, as it will be fulfilled. To our understanding the slaying of the enemies represents clearly and distinctly the punishment which the Lord prescribes for the enemies of righteousness, viz., the Second Death. However, this by no means signifies that all the people (aside from the specially trusted servants) are enemies. It was not so in the parable, which rather implies four classes: (1) The king's servants; (2) those specially granted the pounds for use in his service; (3) the citizens; (4) the class of the latter opposed to the king, his laws, etc.

After the Kingdom has been established under the King, and his then exalted servants, we may be sure that all in harmony with him will have cause to rejoice in his favor and the blessings of the Kingdom; and if some of the citizens had misunderstood the King's character, having heard him traduced and slandered, they will soon perceive, under the blessed conditions of the Millennial Day, how grossly the "Prince of this World" had misrepresented the character of the Prince of Peace, telling them that he (the latter) had a place of eternal torment prepared for them, into which he would surely cast nine-tenths of their number, etc., etc. When these begin to have the eyes of their understanding opened, so that "the light of the knowledge of the goodness of God," shining in the face of the new King, will bring them enlightenment and joyful privileges hitherto undreamed of, many of them, unquestionably, instead of longer being enemies and hating the King and hating his rule, will become staunch friends and supporters, and will rejoice greatly that they are freed from the yoke of the former prince, Satan, and will rejoice in his binding, which makes possible their liberation from the bondage of ignorance, superstition, fear and calumny.

It will require all of the thousand years to demonstrate who are the friends of truth and righteousness, and who their enemies. The "enemies" of righteousness are enemies of God and of Christ, and of all who are in harmony with righteousness; and this separation from the King's friends is Scripturally represented as the separating of the "goats" from the "sheep," which will progress throughout that Millennial period, and eventuate in the gathering of all the "sheep" to the right-hand of the King's favor, and the gathering of all the "goats," of contrary disposition, to the left-hand of his disfavor, – where, because of their wilful and intelligent rejection of the principles of righteousness (the laws of his Kingdom), they will be counted not his servants or messengers, but the servants or messengers of Satan, and as such they will meet their destruction in the symbolical lake of fire, "which is the Second Death." – Rev. 20:14; Matt. 25:31-46.*

[R2737 : page 364]

"THOU CROWNEST THE YEAR WITH THY GOODNESS."
PSALM 65:11. – DEC. 30. –

W
HAT MORE appropriate lesson could have been chosen for the close of the year! It is fitting that the Lord's people should continually keep trace of the mercies and blessings they enjoy – otherwise the pressure of the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches would so crowd in upon our minds and hearts as to cover from our observation and ultimately choke up completely the springs of divine grace, which, kept open, minister continually to our joy and refreshment in the holy spirit.

To this end it is appropriate that we have a daily review of the blessings we enjoy – that every evening we call to mind the privileges enjoyed, the providences which have guided our way, and the blessings, both temporal and spiritual, which have come to us; some of them in common with the world in general and others of a special kind, known too and appreciated by those only who know the Shepherd and are known of him; – who hear his voice and to whom the rod and staff, his chastenings and guidance, are continually a comfort and a joy.

It is appropriate, too, that we take weekly reviews, looking at the same mercies and blessings from a still broader standpoint of observation, reminding us of the rest into which we have entered through faith in the precious blood, and also of the rest that remains for the people of God, whereof God has given us assurance in that on the first day of the week he raised up Jesus from the dead. – Heb. 4:3,9.

But it is with special appropriateness that at the close of the still larger cycle of a year we should take a still broader and more comprehensive view of our experiences, looking circumspectly at the way we have traveled and considering well which have been the steps which hindered progress, and which have been proper steps in the footprints of Jesus, bringing us nearer to the goal – the "mark" which we must surely attain if we would be accounted worthy of a share in the promised Kingdom.

A year may seem a longer or a shorter period, according to the circumstances. To the mind of childhood it is a very long period, while to more developed minds, filled with the activities of life, it seems much shorter – speeding all too rapidly to permit the accomplishment of all the things desired to be achieved. Then again, the year will seem proportionately long as it has contained draughts of bitter experience or sufferings, mental or physical; – proportionately short, as it has contained joys and pleasures which seem to slip away all too quickly. To a certain extent such experiences are common to all mankind; yet the Christian, especially if he have been for some time in the school of Christ and is somewhat developed both in knowledge and in grace, has a larger capacity than others for grasping and appreciating life; because, no matter how unsound his natural mind may have been, he has now "the mind of Christ," "the spirit of a sound mind," which is far better able than the natural mind to estimate matters at their true worth.

Such an advanced Christian looks back through the year and recalls life's storms as well as its sunshine, its sorrows as well as its joys, its tears as well as its smiles, and sorrows not as others who have no hope (but who, instead, have more or less of vague fear and dread of the future, both of present life and that which is to come). His troubles have been divested of their hobgoblin features, and minimized by the spirit of a sound mind, and the instructions of God's Word, which assures all such that the trials, difficulties and adversities of life, rightly accepted as lessons, are blessings in disguise, – which will work out "a far more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory" in the life to come. – 2 Cor. 4:16,17.

He will perceive too, that his joys have been of a purer and a more solid kind than any he ever knew before he was begotten of the holy spirit. They have not had commingled with them the bitterness of envy, malice and hatred, but have been unalloyed; because they have not been rejoicings in iniquity, but rejoicings in the truth. Moreover, they have been much more numerous than ever before; because he not only is able to joy in the Lord, joy in his Word, joy in the holy spirit, joy in fellowship with brethren of like precious faith, but by the grace of God he has been enabled additionally to joy in tribulation also; – not because he loved tribulation, but because he loved the patience, the experience, the character, which God assures us are a fruitage which all tribulations must yield us under his providence, if we are rightly exercised thereby. – James 1:3,4; Rom. 5:3.

Of whom are all these things true? Not of every man, surely, for alas! we know many who have no such experience – the world that lieth in darkness knows not God. Nor are these experiences true of all people of intelligence, – nominally Christians. Surely but comparatively few of those who profess the name of Christ enjoy these precious experiences, or will be able to look back upon the year with satisfaction of this kind, realizing that God has crowned the year with his goodness! Many who cannot rejoice in the goodnesses which we have enumerated foregoing, will nevertheless return thanks for temporal good things and mercies, and strive to peer into the darkness with which an insufficient knowledge and an insufficient faith enshrouds the trials and difficulties of life, which to them are incomprehensible and sources of no joy, and generally of little advantage; because they have not taken the necessary step of full consecration to the Lord, to bring them under his protecting care and under the enlightening influence of his Word through his spirit: or, having taken the step of consecration, they have not been performing their vows, but seeking to serve both God and Mammon, without pleasing either, and without receiving satisfactory blessings from either. [R2737 : page 365]

The class which can and does look back through the year from the standpoint that we have described – the class which looking back can see that God's goodness has crowned every feature of life throughout the year, is the "little flock," the true Church, whose names are written in heaven, – the Body of Christ, the Bride class. They are described by the Prophet in preceding verses of this Psalm. They are the true Zion, which shall shortly be set up, filled with divine glory, the joy of the whole earth, and the divine channel of blessing to all the families of mankind; "For out of Zion shall go the Law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Hear the Prophet: –

"Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Zion:
And unto thee shall the vow be performed.
O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come!
Iniquities prevail against me: as for my transgressions,
thou shalt purge them away.
Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to
approach unto thee,
That he may dwell in thy courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house,
The holy place of thy temple."

Here we have a description of the elect Church, of which Christ is the Head, and all the faithful royal priests who, now fulfilling their vows of sacrifice, are companions in the sufferings of Christ, as by and by they shall be his companions also in the glory that shall be revealed. (Rom. 8:17,18.) They are God's choice, or his "elect," for, as the Apostle informs us, God has predestinated that this class whom he will choose shall all be copies of his Son. (Rom. 8:29.) They shall dwell in his house – they will be members of the great Temple which the Lord God is building of spiritual stones, in and through which he will bless the world with a knowledge of himself and his grace. – 1 Pet. 2:4-8.

Is it any wonder that these can rejoice in spirit, saying, "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits"? "He hath put a new song into my mouth, even the loving-kindness of our God." Is it any wonder that these looking back can see in the year that is past that that which has blessed and rejoiced them in every sense of the word has been of divine goodness, and that thus God has crowned the whole year with his favor toward them? These can say with faithful Joshua, "Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake." – Joshua 23:14.

These are assured by their Lord that in the Father's house are many mansions, many conditions, suitable to the many kinds of his intelligent creatures; nevertheless there was no mansion for them, because they were to be of a new nature, "partakers of the divine nature," and hence it would be necessary for him to go away and "prepare a place for them" – a heavenly condition. These, knowing that they must be prepared for the place, as well as the place be prepared for them, are enabled to rejoice under every blow of the hammer of discipline, because they realize that it is a part of the Master's work in their preparation to fill the place to which they have been called in the Father's house – which will be the place of God's Temple, in which they are to be living stones. – Eph. 2:10.

And if the experiences and sentiments of this "little flock" are beyond the ken of the natural man, his neighbors and friends, is it any wonder? Despised and rejected of men, they are nevertheless God's royal priesthood; "as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold they live" – a life more abundant. In all these things they have cause to rejoice, realizing that the path in which they [R2738 : page 365] tread has in it the footprints of him who redeemed them and became the leader and forerunner of this priesthood. The world knows us not, even as it knew him not.

As we thus review the leadings of divine providence during the year that is past, let God's goodness and mercy stimulate our faith and confidence in him as respects the New Year coming in. A proper retrospect on the part of a proper child of God will enable him not only to render thanks for the past, but to look up and lift up his head, realizing that our deliverance is nearer than when we first believed; and that he that began a good work in us is both able and willing to complete it, if we will but continue to submit our wills, our lives, our all, to his wisdom and loving care. – Rom. 13:11; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 5:5,6.

[R2738 : page 365]

"NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST THEE SHALL PROSPER."
ISAIAH 54:17. –

O
UR PUBLICATIONS have many able enemies, yet one and all they are powerless in their opposition. As in the harvest of the Jewish age the Scribes, Pharisees and Doctors of the Law, when they could not resist the truths then due, "gnashed upon him with their teeth," but "could not answer him," so it is now in the harvest of the Gospel age. Their rage is impotent except as it resorts to misrepresentation and sophistical trickery which the Lord assures us cannot "deceive the very elect."

About ten years ago a certain Professor Morehead (himself tabooed by many as a "heretic" because of his advocacy of pre-millennarian views) wrote an article for the United Presbyterian in which he did his worst to defame MILLENNIAL DAWN. The article was reprinted as a tract in various quarters by persons laboring [R2738 : page 366] under similar misconceptions of divine and human justice. These are published by some three or four parties – none of whom, probably, ever read the books he seeks to defame.

We did not consider Prof. Morehead's tirade worthy an answer, believing, as we still do, that honest people (of whom alone we need expect to find the "saints" whom we seek) would be quite able to discern the professor's sophistry. The below correspondence will be interesting to our readers as showing the correctness of our supposition that honest children of God are not misled by the Adversary and his agents.

CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN TWO MINISTERS RE MILLENNIAL DAWN AND THE MOREHEAD "SMOKE."

(Bro. Sedden, as we understand it, was at the time Recording Secretary of the Southern Chautauqua Assembly of Atlanta, Ga., and Bro. Worrell a visiting speaker at its Evangelical Alliance prayer service. The matter has been held over for some time now in order to permit Bro. Worrell to find time for a reply justifying his position, but all in vain.)

ATLANTA, GA., Aug. 11, 1899.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – You will probably be interested in the enclosed, which will explain itself. Kindly return to me the letter to Bro. Worrell re the Morehead tract. Keep the latter, however, if you can use it in any way. [The letters follow in their order.] Yours fraternally,

A. E. SEDDON.

ATLANTA, GA., Aug. 2, 1899. REV. A. S. WORRELL,

DEAR BROTHER: – I was in the Alliance prayer-meeting this afternoon when, in the close of your address, you denounced as unscriptural the teachings of C.T. Russell of Allegheny City, Pa. I regret that the necessity of your having immediately to catch a train deprived me of an opportunity I greatly desired to ask you in what particulars in your opinion the teachings of the MILLENNIAL DAWN series of books are unscriptural. I have read four volumes of that series, and other writings of Bro. Russell's, and am not only interested but also impressed by his presentation of God's Word. If there are some points in which he is at variance with God's Word, I should esteem it a great kindness and an act of extreme brotherly service to have them pointed out. Hoping you will kindly reply, I am,

Yours fraternally,
A. E. SEDDON.

LOUISVILLE, KY., Aug. 12, 1899. MR. A. E. SEDDON,

DEAR SIR: – Yours of the 2nd inst. has been received and noted, in reply to which I enclose a tract touching on some of the evils of the MILLENNIAL DAWN. Much more could be said, but my time is taken up in other work that falls to my lot in my regular business.

It amazes me that anyone who really knows the Christ of the Bible should have ever been ensnared by the writings of Mr. Russell. The Christ of Mr. Russell is altogether a different character from the Christ of the Bible. See Isa. 9:6; John 1:1,2, etc., etc.

I trust that his writings do not truly represent him. May you, my dear sir, not be ruined by the errors of Mr. Russell. Respectfully,

A. S. WORRELL.

ATLANTA, GA., Aug. 14, 1899. REV. A. S. WORRELL,

DEAR SIR: – On receiving today yours of the 12th inst., in reply to my request of an earlier date, that you should specify charges that you make against the writings of Bro. Chas. T. Russell (in justification of your denunciation of those writings at the Evangelical Alliance prayer meeting), I regret I cannot accept it as a satisfactory reply.

I cannot resist the impression either that you ranked my intelligence very low in supposing I could accept such a reply as having any weight at all, or that, giving me credit for average intelligence, you trifled with my sincere and even anxious inquiries by sending an answer which would not have satisfied you, had our positions been reversed.

The only charge you made against the MILLENNIAL DAWN doctrines in your address was that you had known cases where Christian character had 'wilted' under their influence. But you surely cannot use that as a proof that the doctrines are unscriptural, since such 'wilting' is possible and frequently happened under Apostolic teaching. See Heb. 6:4-6; 10:28-31; 1 John 5:16. I wrote you in all sincerity asking for a specification of charges. I understood from your own statement that you were wholly given up to the Lord's work. It was as a sincerely inquiring disciple who supposed it possible that you could clearly see some aspect of truth that had escaped my notice that I felt such an inquiry was rightly made of the Lord's servant, and that in the Lord's name I had a right to expect a candid statement of specific charges.

What do you send me? A statement that your time is taken up in other work that falls to your lot in the course of your regular business; but you find time to express amazement that any one who really knows the Christ of the Bible should ever have been ensnared by the writings of Mr. Russell. You make the assertion, "The Christ of Mr. Russell is altogether a different character from the Christ of the Bible;" but you do not specify one single item of the alleged difference. You express a hope that his writings do not truly represent him and that I may not be ruined by his errors, but you do not pen one sentence calculated to avert that ruin, nor do you suggest any explanation of your extraordinary hope that Mr. Russell may think one way and write another. Is that something to be hoped for? If a man teach errors, it surely were better for him that he believe that he is teaching the truth, than that, knowing the truth, he nevertheless teaches error with seeming sincerity in writings that do not truly represent him. It seems to me that could your "hope" for Bro. Russell be realized, it would place him in a very low plane of moral obliquity.

In addition to this you enclose two tracts, one an excellent homily on Luke 2:10,11, in which, after carefully reading it twice, I cannot discern the remotest connection with my inquiries. Personally I would say "Amen" to every sentence of that tract – and I believe that Brother Russell would do the same. You also enclose [R2738 : page 367] a tract which is a direct attack upon the MILLENNIAL DAWN books. To this I will now refer.

You express a hope that Bro. Russell's writings do not truly represent him. I think it will be the kindest thing I can say to you that I trust this attack on the MILLENNIAL DAWN books by Prof. W.G. Morehead does not truly represent what you as a Christian brother, would say about those books if your "regular business" allowed you sufficient leisure to read them – and you certainly ought to read them before you attack them again. Your first attack may be excused on the ground of misinformation, but that excuse should never avail you again.

Can you as a fair minded man approve an attack which cites the price of a book as an argument against it; that cites the missionary zeal displayed in advocating its teachings as argument against it; that calls [R2739 : page 367] names – "nocturnal hallucinations," "hydrophobic," "packed full of fundamental error," "product of insanity," compared with "the infidel Renan"? This is not honest Christian controversy! I think too well of you to suppose that you really endorse this kind of attack; yet my charitable estimate of you is sorely tried when I reflect that you evidently thought this kind of argument good enough for me.

As regards the teachings of the MILLENNIAL DAWN books on the human and divine in the nature of Christ, can you state a presentation of Scripture teaching on that important subject that more satisfactorily answers to all the Scriptural statements than Bro. Russell's? If you can, then for Christ's sake I earnestly and reverently ask you to do it; and I am convinced that Bro. Russell will receive it no less gratefully than I.

I was recommended to write to you as a scholar and a Scriptural exegete: Can you find fault with Bro. Russell's exegesis of kelusma ["shout"]? If you can, what is the error? If you cannot, why do you make use of the Morehead attack? If Prof. Morehead himself could assail the MILLENNIAL DAWN teachings on the two points above referred to, why did he not do it? If he cannot assail them, is he not guilty of shameful insincerity in making believe that he can?

With regard to Bro. Russell's opinions respecting the dates 1874 and 1914, time, of course, will alone prove how far he is right. But surely you do not endorse Prof. Morehead in suggesting these opinions are in the nature of deadly heresy. I have read a vast quantity of Millennial literature, "pre" and "post," have listened to a great deal of platform and pulpit talk on the same subject, and am utterly unable to conjecture what, out of all the bewildering mass, has a right to the name of "orthodox premillenarianism" by the side of which all other opinions are to be denounced as "nocturnal hallucination." Your own recent exposition of 2 Tim. 3 led me to infer that you regard these as the closing days of this present dispensation. Has your study of prophecy led you to detect deadly heresy in Brother Russell's conclusions? If so, what is it?

I understand the Morehead attack to assert that Bro. Russell teaches that the resurrection will be simultaneous for all the dead. My simple answer is that in MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL., IV., pp.640,641, Prof. Morehead can find conclusive proof that he is incorrect. If the bracketed words ("simultaneous for all the dead") are not intended to indicate the writer's understanding of Brother Russell's teachings, but his own conception of Scripture teaching, he had better consult his New Testament before he attacks a Christian brother again. The emphasis placed on a "first resurrection" of necessity implies subsequent resurrection. "All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth"; but not all of these will have part in the first resurrection.

Prof. Morehead, in section 7 of his attack, ignores, possibly does not know enough Greek to distinguish between, the parousia and the epiphania. I was referred to you as a Greek scholar. As such I cannot imagine that you can endorse the Morehead attack or apparent attack. Are you, as a student of the Greek New Testament, prepared to deny and disprove from Scripture that the Lord's second coming will at first be discerned by only a comparatively few faithful watchers? Do you regard the word "coming" in our English version as adequate to embrace the ideas embodied by both parousia and epiphania?

I have detained you so long in criticism of the Morehead attack because I am inclined to believe that you made use of it hastily. I want you to read it carefully, to discern its dishonesty, its innuendo, its crafty appeal to the odium theologicum, its essential weakness, its unchristian vituperation. Lay it aside, Bro. Worrell. Don't fight for the Lord with the devil's weapons. If Bro. Russell errs there is Scripture to show it. If Scripture is on his side then I am convinced that after you have shaken off the theological prejudice with which you are apparently possessed, you will have grace enough to admit that Bro. Russell has a right to speak and to be judged by the Word; and that denunciation about "ensnaring souls," "ruin," expressions of amazement, etc., have really more of bluff about them than of the spirit of Christ.

Your statement about "wilting" of character under the influence of Bro. Russell's teaching proves that your opportunities of observation have not been wide enough to qualify you to form an accurate estimate; certainly not wide enough to justify you in assuming the office of public censor as you did on the 2nd inst. The humble and persistent zeal of the "Pilgrims," engaged in teaching the views advocated by Bro. Russell, comes nearer to apostolic zeal and self-abnegation than most Christian work now-a-days. I have known many who, like you, seem to be afraid of Bro. Russell's teachings, yet who pay well deserved tribute of admiration to the devotion and consecration of those who accept it.

As for Bro. Russell himself, I do not know him personally, have never met him, never seen his portrait even; yet I cannot help admiring the absence of the "ego" in his ministry. I have several times written to him concerning difficulties I have encountered in reading his works. He always replies personally; he presents reasons lucidly and never indulges in denunciation or exclamations of amazement. He never uses the trickery practiced by Prof. Morehead, nor resorts to innuendo. I am, dear Brother Worrell,

Yours in the love and pursuit of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus,

ALFRED E. SEDDON.

[R2739 : page 368]

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

THE BEGINNING AND ENDING OF THE MILLENNIUM.

Question. – I understand from Rev. 20:4-6, that Christ will reign one thousand years, and from verses 2 and 7 that Satan will be bound during that period. If Christ began to reign in 1878, and Satan will not be bound until 1915, the two periods do not seem to synchronize; and furthermore, both extend beyond the seventh-thousand year period which, according to our Bible chronology, began in the Autumn of 1872. How is this? Can you assist me?

Answer. – The Lord has evidently arranged for the gradual closing of the Gospel age and opening of the Millennial age, in such a manner that the one laps upon the other, with some particular purpose in view; but just what his purposes are he has not been pleased to inform us: and since this extends into the future we may reasonably suppose that it is not now "meat in due season for the household of faith." When the end has been reached and accomplished, we have no doubt whatever that it will be manifested to all of the Lord's people that his Word has been accurately fulfilled. Until then a certain amount of faith is required and expected from those who have so many evidences of the Lord's wisdom and exactness in the features of his plan already accomplished. "We can trust him where we cannot trace him." Apparently this matter of when the thousand-year period should be reckoned as fully beginning and fully ending will be an open question until the close of the Millennial age. It is our expectation, from Rev. 20:8,9, that the obscurity of this question will have something to do with the final test of loyalty and obedience to God, which will come upon the whole world of mankind who will have enjoyed the blessings of restitution throughout the Millennial age, and have attained perfection at its close. The indefiniteness of the end of the period would appear to be an important feature of their testing. Apparently they will think the period of Christ's mediatorial reign ended before the Lord's time; and some of them, impatient of delay, will make a demonstration, and demand of the earthly representatives of the Kingdom that full dominion be at once restored to perfect man, according to their understanding of the divine plan and its times and seasons.

In so doing these will be demonstrating their own unworthiness to enter the age of perfection which will follow the Millennium, and will be destroyed in the Second Death. For, while such an attitude of mind may be forgivable in imperfect men of today, those perfect beings who shall have had a full restitution and large experience will be required to exercise a full faith, an unwavering confidence in the wisdom, love and promises of the Creator. And their failure to manifest implicit faith and obedience to the divine program after all their experience will be proof sufficient that they are unworthy of the eternal state. If permitted to go beyond into the full liberties of sons of God they would always be liable to sin and its consequences; and God's promise is that there shall be no more sighing, no more dying, no more crying, no more pain there, the equivalent of a promise that there shall be no more sin. Hence all who shall not have developed characters in full accord with, and fully submitted to the divine will, will be esteemed as having enjoyed all the blessings and privileges divine mercy has to offer. The fire, the judgment from heaven, will destroy such from among the people, in the Second Death, as unworthy of Life-eternal.

The Scripture declaration respecting the saints, the "overcomers" is, "They lived and reigned a thousand years." The reign of the saints cannot be properly said [R2740 : page 368] to begin before all the "jewels" have been gathered, nor before "the times of the Gentiles" end, in 1914. Nor is it said that their reign will be no longer than a thousand years. After the thousand years' reign Satan shall be loosed and the above trial shall ensue; but the reign of Christ and the Church will evidently continue long enough after the thousand years to destroy all found unworthy in that final test, and to thus complete the work for which this reign is instituted; – for, as expressed by the Apostle, "He must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet....And when all things shall be subdued unto him [some by conversion and some by destruction], then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [the Father]." – 1 Cor. 15:24-28.

WHO CONSTITUTE "THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH"?

Question. – Our Lord commands us to do good, "especially to the household of faith." Who constitute this household – only the consecrated saints? Or does it include also the justified class, some of whom have not yet reached the position of sanctification or entire consecration? Answer. – We understand that the Church of Christ, as viewed from the divine standpoint, and as addressed in the Scriptures, includes only "the sanctified in Christ Jesus;" – those who have taken the step of justification through faith and, additionally, the second step of consecration to the Lord.

But "the household of faith" takes in a much larger number, – all who have faith in the Lord as their Redeemer from sin and its penalty, – all who are trusting in the precious blood of Christ, and seeking in any degree to be in harmony with the Lord and his rules of righteousness. The loving interest and care of all the "saints" (the consecrated) is to be exercised, not only toward each other, but also especially toward these members of the household of faith who are supposed to be under "instruction in righteousness," helping them forward to take the position of full consecration and become reckonedly dead to the world, and new creatures in Christ Jesus, risen with him, to walk in newness of life and to become his joint-heirs in the promised Kingdom.

page 369
December 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.DECEMBER 15, 1900.No. 24.
CONTENTS.

Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society's Yearly Report 371
A Perfume of Sweet Odor 376
Opposition from Selfish Hearts 378
Hosanna! Blessed is He that Cometh 380
Questions and Answers 382
Duty to the Heavenly and to the Earthly Husband 382
"Who Only Hath Immortality?" 383
Items: Watch Tower Visits, etc 370

'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 370

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.

[R2750 : page 370]

NO DATE TAGS ON TOWER WRAPPERS.

Last year we adopted a new method of addressing the WATCH TOWERS which does not show date when subscription expires. Instead we now send a postal card receipt at once on receipt of the money.

DO YOU INVITE A CONTINUANCE OF THE WATCH TOWER VISITS?

Samples of the WATCH TOWER are sometimes sent unintentionally to those who do not welcome them; but we certainly do not wish to intrude it regularly upon anyone. Hence we desire some expression from every one on our lists once each year: either the subscription price, or a request for its continuance with a suggestion as to when it will be more convenient to send the money, or a request to have it as one of the Lord's poor. Or, if you please, say that you dislike it and don't want to see it again.

We think it not unreasonable to ask at least a post-card expression yearly, from each one on our list. And if you will send this sometime in December it will convenience us greatly.

Do not misunderstand us: we have no desire to drop a single name – the poor who cannot pay, but who relish the spiritual food dispensed through these columns, are just as welcome to it as those who pay. Indeed they do pay: for we have a fund provided for this very purpose. Make known to all the interested that we desire their names on our lists. But they must ask for themselves – unless the person writing for them is a Tract Fund contributor, and at same time requests that these be charged to his donation – which we will be very pleased to do.

[R2740 : page 371]

WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY'S YEARLY REPORT.
– DECEMBER 1, 1899, TO DECEMBER 1, 1900. –

M
ANY OF the Lord's dear people, deeply interested in present truth, are quite isolated, and have comparatively little opportunity for learning of the general progress of the cause, except as they may infer it from occasional remarks in these columns. These, and we trust all of the WATCH TOWER readers, will be looking with expectancy for this report, that they may thus have accurate information respecting the work which interests us more than all else in the world besides – the work in which each, according to his love, zeal and ability, has contributed either financially or through the circulation of literature, or otherwise.

We are glad to think of you as looking for and interested in this report, and give thanks to our Lord that by his grace so favorable a showing can be made; indeed, the grand totals for the year astonish us, for altho we have been aware that greater efforts than ever were put forth, we were not aware, until the calculations were footed up, to what extent the year past had transcended every previous year of this harvest-time in our mutual service of the truth and in the evidences of good results attained. We are sure that our friends will be astonished as they read the reports we have to offer: astonished, first of all, that a company of the Lord's people so poor in this world's goods, as those who embrace present truth generally are, should contribute to the extent our Report shows; and that without being "dunned," urged, or even requested to give; – merely upon the information that an opportunity for thus engaging in the Lord's service is open to such as are able and willing to serve in this manner. The astonishment will be doubled when it is seen how great a work, under the Lord's blessing, has been accomplished with this comparatively small sum of money, which, amongst the nominal churches, would be considered only sufficient to pay the salaries of a few officers, and practically accomplish nothing in the way of propaganda.

And our astonishment still increases as we reflect that the circulation of this amount of literature, accompanied by this amount of "Pilgrim" preaching, etc., supporting the most glorious message that could possibly be heralded to mankind, shows so meagre results; that so few have ears to hear and eyes to see these things which enrapture our hearts. Let us, however, reflect that our Lord informs us that his "elect" will be but a "little flock" – and in it not many great, mighty or wise; but chiefly the poor of this world, rich in faith. The comparatively small results of our efforts to reach the ripe "wheat" in Babylon convince us, all the more, that the "wheat" is very scarce in comparison with the "tares;" that we are living in the time of which the Apostle declares that the church nominal will have itching ears, and be turned away from the truth, turned to fables, and respecting which our Lord said, "When the Son of Man cometh shall he find the faith on the earth?" implying that it would be difficult to find. – 2 Tim. 4:3; Luke 18:8.

True, the results may be more than we can at present discern; for we can estimate the widening influences of the truth chiefly by the growth of the WATCH TOWER subscription lists. These show considerable growth for the year, – but not nearly so much as we had hoped for: and our offer of credit, and of special terms to the poor, should bring to our lists the names of all who have "tasted that the Lord is gracious" and are hungering and thirsting for his righteousness. We can only hope that an under-current of influence is moving, of which we have little outward [R2740 : page 372] manifestation; and that in the Lord's own time and way during this "harvest" all of the true "wheat" will be reached and ripened and garnered.

THE COLPORTEUR BRANCH OF THE SERVICE.

We give this department of the work the first place in the Report, considering that those who are engaged in it are doing the work of evangelists, and remembering that the Lord has specially blessed this service to the reaching of many who are now rejoicing in the light now shining upon the Word. We can think of no branch of the work in this harvest that more nearly corresponds to the style of service instituted by our Lord in the Jewish harvest, than does the Colporteur work. The Colporteurs usually go in couples, as the twelve apostles, and afterward the seventy, went forth, – from town to town and city to city. Like them, also, they go from house to house, and likewise their message is, "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand! The time is fulfilled; repent, and believe the good tidings!" Going in this manner into all the homes of the civilized world, these Colporteur brethren and sisters have opportunities for finding the truth-hungry as well, perhaps better, than if the pulpits of the land were open to them, and they all competent to give able discourses upon the divine plan. Because in such a case they would be able either to preach but few discourses, or else to reach comparatively few hearers: whereas each Colporteur can reach more than an average church audience every week; and with those whom he can interest he leaves reading matter representing many discourses, upon which the reader may feed for months. Where enough interest may not be awakened to lead to a purchase of the books, a tract is left, which sometimes bears good fruitage; and even tho some who purchase may neglect and fail to read at the time, experience shows us that the books thus scattered are often blessed of the Lord to the reaching of others, and sometimes years after, under more favorable conditions, the purchaser may also be blessed through them.

You will be pleased to learn that the sale of the DAWNS and booklets during the year (chiefly through the Colporteurs) was as follows: –

In the English language...........................    84,251
  "    German     "    ...........................     9,137
  "    Scandinavian tongues.......................     6,712
  "    French language (estimated)................       543
                                                     -------
Total.............................................   100,643

BOOKLETS: –
English...........................................    39,047
Foreign languages.................................     1,323
                                                     -------
Total.............................................    40,370

It should be remembered that altho we endeavor to keep this branch of the work on a self-supporting basis, it nevertheless comes short of this, by reason of the fact that our wholesale prices are very low: in the case of the foreign translations considerably less than cost.

We feel sure that this showing will greatly encourage the dear brethren and sisters who are giving their lives in this department of the Harvest work; and we trust that it will act as an incentive to others [R2741 : page 372] who have been contemplating engaging in this work – to lead such of them as are of good address, and without family and financial encumbrances, to give themselves freely to this evangelistic work. It is a department which the Lord has greatly owned and blessed; it is a preaching of the Word in a most practical manner, likely to leave a lasting impress; one which will undoubtedly, we believe, bring forth much fruitage during the great time of trouble, as well as serving to find and to perfect those of the Lord's saints who shall be accounted worthy to escape those things coming upon the world. We will be glad to hear from, and to cooperate with, all who desire to enter this branch of the service. Write to us freely of your wishes, hopes, difficulties, etc., in respect to this, and we will do what we can to open the way before you. There is still plenty of room for the work in this land as well as in Great Britain. The fields are white for the harvest, and the laborers are few; and if we are praying for laborers let us see that we are doing what we can to fulfil our own petitions.

Some who cannot give their entire time to colporteuring are doing valiantly in their spare moments and hours; for instance, one dear brother, an architect, not slothful in his business, is nevertheless so fervent in spirit and in serving the Lord that during the past six months he has disposed of 650 copies of the DAWN to mechanics and tradesmen with whom his business brings him in contact. Others have less opportunities, but the same zeal, and are doing what they can; – some by giving, some by loaning, some by selling the literature. We rejoice that in any and all of these ways there is an opportunity for all of the Lord's dear flock to show their love for the truth, and their zeal in laying down their lives for the brethren still in Babylon and darkness.

THE "VOLUNTEER" WORK.

All who labor for the truth do so of their free will and without compensation, and hence might properly be termed Volunteers: under this head we might include in a general way all the efforts that have been put forth during the year in the way of free circulation of WATCH TOWER literature, bearing on the Harvest themes – but the special use of the word with us has been confined to a particular feature of this free distribution; [R2741 : page 373] viz., that done systematically at or near churches at the time of their dismission on Sundays.

This Sunday church-distribution by those who volunteered for the service was begun in 1899, and reached good proportions and accomplished good results that year, and was continued during the past year with excellent effect. When we speak of results we have chiefly in mind that which is within our power, and not the ultimate results, of which no man can now know, and which time alone will show. The results, so far as the distribution of the Volunteer WATCH TOWER was concerned, were a success, large numbers being circulated in all parts of this country and in Great Britain. In handing literature to church attendants we had no thought whatever that they were all going into the hands of saints; but we do hope that some of them reached the hands of the Lord's consecrated people; and we still believe that it would be difficult to find a more effective way of reaching this class than by reaching the church-goers. In proportion to the circulation we cannot say that we have had large returns; on the contrary, they have been small, so far as letters, WATCH TOWER subscriptions, etc., are concerned. But in various ways we learn that they are making an impression upon the minds and hearts of many of those who have received them and who, while not ready to accept and endorse, nevertheless have been influenced by what they have read, and to some extent brought nearer to the truth and are better prepared for further instruction in the right way, when the Lord in due time may again send it to them.

We incline to think that the greatest blessing of all in connection with this part of the work has come to those who engaged in it as "Volunteers," and who, all over the country, numbered hundreds. These have repeatedly testified that no part of their Christian experience had ever been more helpful to them in the development of true character, in committing them fully to the Lord and to his truth and to his service; making them strong in him, – "not ashamed to own his name, nor to defend his cause." Those who have had the opportunity to engage in this work, and who have allowed the "fear of man which bringeth a snare" to hinder from engaging in it, and thus being ministers of the true Gospel, and co-workers with the great Chief Reaper in this harvest-time, have missed a great deal – how much they may never know in the present life, unless some further opportunity for the Volunteer work should occur and they should then engage in it and ascertain how great the blessing and character-development they have already missed.

The friends in various quarters who have engaged in this work during the past two years, are writing us hoping that the Lord may open the opportunity for further Volunteer service during the coming year, beginning early in the spring. The evidence is that where the entire company of the Lord's people at any point have entered into the work a great spiritual blessing has resulted. We will bear their requests in mind, and see what can be done as respects a future service for the soldiers of the Cross.

The total number of Volunteer issue of the WATCH TOWER circulated during the year was 948,459.

ORAL PREACHING – "PILGRIM" DEPARTMENT.

It is not long since this department was inaugurated, and yet, as this Report shows, it has already reached considerable proportions. While we are in direct contact with the Lord's people through correspondence by mail, it became evident to us about four years ago that if competent brethren could visit amongst the little groups of those who have come into present truth through the ministry of the printed page, they could be of great service and encouragement to them; and at the same time might through public meetings be able to reach and further interest many who were already partially interested through the printed page and through private conversation, etc. These traveling oral preachers we designate "pilgrims," because they are nearly always on the go, their stops with the various little groups or churches being very brief (two or three days, as may seem to be warranted by conditions). We make out the routes for these, and send notification ahead of them, so that no time need be lost. An evening meeting is always in order for the day of their arrival, and afternoon and evening meetings for the succeeding days.

We endeavor, as far as possible, to select for this service brethren who give evidence, first, of character, and of faith in the Lord, in his Word and in his plan; second, such as seem to give evidence of ability in presenting the truth to the minds of others – as the Apostle expresses it, "apt to teach" – and, so far as possible, those who are "mighty in the Scriptures" (1 Tim. 3:2; Acts 18:24); and of ability in "rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Tim. 2:15.) These, so far as worldly judgment would be concerned, would all be classed as plain men; and we trust also would be classed as true Christian men, humble-minded and modest, both in language and deportment – men who do not have the false idea that they are great ones, or lords of God's heritage, of superior caste or order above the household of faith, but who simply and humbly acknowledge that they are "brethren," "servants" of the Lord and of the household of faith, – men who are very thankful for the privilege granted them of being engaged in such a service, and who look for their reward, not in luxuries of the present life, [R2741 : page 374] but in the Father's house, beyond the veil – in the Kingdom. These "pilgrims" are not paid salaries; and tho ample provision is made for their comfortable maintenance, everything connected with this is expected to be done on the reasonable and economical lines which we believe the Lord and apostles followed, and respecting which we regard them as "ensamples." No collections are taken up by these "Pilgrims," nor do they in any manner, directly or indirectly, request aid privately. Nor need we request their entertainment, knowing full well that any we thus send to you in the Master's name will be welcomed by you and granted a share of such things as you have; – according to the Scriptural injunction. – Heb. 13:2.

In following the plan here indicated we have been enabled to reach some of the Lord's scattered ones in various parts of this broad land, who never expected to hear preaching along these lines; for it will be readily seen that the expense connected with this traveling ministry is proportionately much less than it would be by any other method which would reach the same number of the Lord's people. Besides, this method assists, rather than discourages, the development of talent amongst the brethren of the various little groups. It is our thought that, generally speaking, the Lord is pleased to use some in each little company for the instruction and assistance of the others in the same; indeed, we encourage the thought advised by the Apostle, that each member of the Lord's consecrated Church should strive to "build one another up in the most holy faith."

We believe that an immense amount of good has been done through this Pilgrim service during this past year, and that quite a number of the Lord's dear people, as they read this part of the Report, will offer prayer on behalf of this feature of the Lord's service, asking for us wisdom and grace in respect to the matter for the coming year. The figures in this line also, [R2742 : page 374] we believe, will astound many of our readers. They are as follows:

Number of persons who gave more or less of their
 time to the Pilgrim work during the year                 14
Number of miles traveled in connection with
 the service......................................    48,845
Visits to churches................................       649
Public meetings held..............................     1,287
Private or parlor meetings held...................       875
Cost of this branch of the work................... $3,357.59

One point alone in this Report seems unsatisfactory to us, and that is the number of private or parlor meetings. These, we think, should have been much more numerous in proportion to the public meetings. It is our thought that the chief good in these Pilgrim visits is for the household of faith: while, therefore, we urge the holding of some public services to which all classes of Christian and earnest people may be invited by advertisement and otherwise, we urge that during the year beginning the parlor meetings be given the chief attention. At these, subjects can be discussed which would not be so fully appreciated by the public, nor by any except those who had been studying along the lines of the WATCH TOWER literature. We take this opportunity, then, to offer this suggestion to the dear friends, – that when notified that a Pilgrim will be with them they may make proportionately larger arrangements for their parlor meetings and proportionately less arrangements for public discourses in halls, churches, etc.

CONVENTIONS OF THE YEAR.

The Conventions are a part of the "Pilgrim" work, but deserve a word of special notice. Three general conventions were held during the year – at Philadelphia, Chicago and Dallas; these were interesting and profitable, but were reported on at the time. Besides these the President of the Society (the Editor) attended several local, one-day conventions, at different points – Toronto, Canada; Saratoga, N.Y.; Houston, Tex.; San Antonio, Tex.; Columbus, O.; Cleveland, O.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Wilmington, N.C.; Roseboro, N.C.; Hayne, N.C.; and the Florida Chautauqua Assembly.

We have good reasons for believing that these gatherings were all profitable to the Lord's flock, seasons of refreshing and joyous fellowship in spiritual things; nevertheless we feel that in the coming year we must be more economical of our time. May the Lord direct; we will be glad to follow his leadings in the matter.

THE GENERAL TRACT DISTRIBUTION.

The circulation of tracts during the year has been highly satisfactory to us. They have not been sown in a broadcast manner, but rather handed out with a measure of discretion, so far as we are able to judge; and this is the plan which we commend. Of course, in a majority of instances we merely know that tracts have been ordered and have been sent; but many give us an intimation of how they use what they receive: some visit hotels, where they hand them to the patrons; others seek opportunity for handing tracts to intelligent looking people at railway stations; others mail the tracts with their letters, perhaps with a little comment, and a request that some report be given after the reading; others keep a variety on hand, and make a selection for those with whom they come in contact. Thus there are various methods in vogue in this department, the colporteurs using a considerable number, leaving one at every house where they [R2742 : page 375] fail to take an order, – the tract sometimes having an influence where the words of the colporteur failed.

The total number of tracts sent out during the year was 1,468,990.

Of these a large number went direct from the WATCH TOWER office through the mails, to lists of addresses which we procured in various ways – many of them those of persons known to be religiously inclined, holy people, lovers of righteousness; and some of the best of these lists are sent to us, written upon proper-sized wrappers by WATCH TOWER readers. You are all welcome to avail yourselves of this opportunity for service. Besides the tracts, we sent out as tracts large numbers of WATCH TOWERS to good addresses. We request that no addressed wrappers be sent us for either tracts or WATCH TOWERS except such as are known to you in some way to represent intelligent and religiously inclined people. It is only a waste of money and labor to cast the pearls of truth before those who are swinish; whose god is their belly or their apparel or their pocket book.

THE CORRESPONDENCE DEPARTMENT.

What blessed opportunities God has provided for his people at the present time! What an opportunity it affords for all of his dear children to have fellowship and communion! In this manner, as well as through the printed page, those afar as well as those near-by may have the privilege of complying with the Apostle's words, to forget not the "assembling" of ourselves together, and so much the more as we see the day drawing on. (Heb. 10:25.) Many letters assure us of the blessings which the wonderful mail service of our day has brought to them; and on our part we can testify that great blessings and encouragement have come to us through this same channel. While some of the letters received are cold and business-like, and others bitterly antagonistic, others, and the majority, are laden with rich perfume of Christian love, sympathy and deep appreciation of present truth. Through these we are kept in touch with the spirit of the Lord's dear flock in all parts of the world; and we can assure you that the touch is profitable to us, as we trust that our responses are profitable to you, and comforting and helpful.

As the work in general has grown, so this feature of it has expanded, so that the figures below are far in advance of those in any previous year in our history:

Letters and postal cards received during the
 year.............................................    37,357
Letters and postal cards sent out.................    38,609
CONDENSED STATEMENT.

Copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN circulated
 at cost..........................................   100,643
Copies of booklets circulated at cost.............    40,370

     CIRCULATED AT EXPENSE TO TRACT FUND.

Copies of ZION'S WATCH TOWER...................... 1,247,960
Copies of Old Theology Tracts................... 1,468,990
These amounts expressed in the usual
 form represent in tract pages.................  131,891,340
                                                 -----------

Whenever figures get into the millions they are quite beyond the average mind to comprehend. We have therefore estimated the matter in pounds, – 206,710 pounds, or over one hundred and three and a half tons, weight.

THE FINANCIAL SIDE – TREASURER'S REPORT.
TRACT FUND EXPENDITURE:
Cost of the above 103½ tons matter, including
 freight, postage, gas, help, etc.................$18,350.21
Pilgrim Expenses, etc.............................  3,357.59
                                                  ----------
Total............................................. 21,707.80

             TRACT FUND RECEIPTS:

Balance on hand Dec. 1, 1899       $   871.54
From "Good Hopes" Donations         13,337.72
From Other Sources...............    4,472.63     $18,681.89
                                                  ----------
Shortage..........................................$ 3,025.91
THE BLESSED PRIVILEGE OF THIS SERVICE.

The Editor (who is President of the Society), in closing this last report of the century, congratulates all the dear friends of the cause upon the above showing, and trusts that it will more than meet the expectations of all who contributed to the funds thus scattered as leaves of spiritual healing all over the civilized world. Especially do we trust that the God of all grace, the Father of mercies, may accept and approve our stewardship – the merit of our Redeemer making good whatever unintentional errors the all-seeing eye may discern.

Do we urge the dear co-laborers to make still greater sacrifices for the work in the year just beginning? Not at all. We have never solicited in the past, and we do not expect to do so in the future. Even of the Lord we make no requests for money. His will, not ours, be done in this and in all matters. If he through his people or otherwise sees fit to entrust to us financial means, we will endeavor to use the same to his praise, and seek for this the wisdom which cometh from above. We esteem it a privilege to have any share in any department of this "harvest" work, and its accompanying blowing of the Jubilee Trumpets proclaiming restitution times at hand. And this joy in the Lord's service is fully appreciated also by the twelve dear "brethren" who, as office assistants, have so ably and so patiently lent their best endeavors to make the work a success; and their efforts under God have contributed largely to the securing of the above results. The Lord will reward them as we can not. "Brethren, pray for us," as your representatives and the Lord's, in this "defence of the truth." [R2742 : page 376]

Below we give some interesting figures from two of the Society's foreign branches (the reports from the other two are not yet at hand). Both of these reports are included in the totals given above.

REPORT OF MANAGER OF BRITISH BRANCH.

FROM MAY 7 TO NOV. 15, 1900.

LONDON, NOV.16, 1900.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I have the honor to submit the following report of the Tract Fund receipts and expenditures for the British Branch of the Society, May 7-November 15, 1900: – [R2743 : page 376]

EXPENDITURES:                                  L.   s    d
Paper and printing..........................   340   14   10
Carriage....................................    55    2    3
Share of expenses for labor, etc............    24   10    4
Expenses in Pilgrim work....................    45    5    9
                                               -------------
Total.......................................   465   13    2
Receipts from Great Britain.................    40   11   10
                                               -------------
Deficit supplied from Home Office              425    1    4
                                               =============
REPORT OF LITERATURE CIRCULATED.

Copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN circulated..............     3,224
    "     booklets................................       667

                  ----------

Tracts sent out free..............................    77,835
Sample WATCH TOWERS sent out free.................   171,850
                                                  ----------
Total sent free...................................   249,685
These represent in tract pages....................19,189,684
                                                  ----------
Letters and cards received........................     1,184
   "     "    "   sent out........................     9,294

The Volunteer work has been quite zealously pursued here this year; how much so you may judge by comparison of the amounts distributed in America and here, and reckoning that there are about twenty times as many TOWER readers in America as we have in Great Britain. Volunteer work has been done in 39 cities and towns in Great Britain, and with some encouraging results. More than 50,000 copies were distributed in London.

Tract distribution has also had considerable attention from the friends here, and with such results as to warrant its continuance. To be sure, we must often put tracts in many houses before reaching one which contains persons ready for the truth; but sometimes the one tract in the right place has a very far-reaching influence, as has been indicated in this city, where one tract under a door has thus far reached four persons, on the principle of John 1:41,45, and is still working.

The Colporteur work has not fared so well, not having had so many workers as have been able to participate in the work in other ways; but the few who have had this privilege have been industrious, and have also been permitted to see some fruit of their labors which has caused their and our hearts to rejoice. We are praying and hoping for more laborers in every branch of service, but particularly in the Colporteur department, which experience has demonstrated to be by far the most efficient means of reaching "hearing ears" with the truth, as it is also the most practical, being self-sustaining. The experience of those who have engaged in the service of the truth by the Colporteur method in Great Britain in the last six months shows that the worker can sustain himself in this service. It is a most attractive opportunity for those who have time to spend in the harvest work, and we shall be glad to hear from many on the subject.

The financial aspect of the work here is presented in the figures foregoing, which plainly tell their own story. It would have been impossible for the British Branch to do as it has done, except for the financial cooperation of the head office to the large amount of $2,000.

We pray daily for ourselves, and for all of God's saints, that we may be plentifully supplied with heavenly wisdom, with strength and grace, for the discharge of each day's duties in such a manner as will redound to the glory of God and the upbuilding of his people. "Brethren, pray for us." Respectfully submitted, Yours faithfully in Christ,

E. C. HENNINGES.

REPORT OF OUR GERMAN WORK.

Sister Giesecke reports 448 letters received and 494 letters sent out; 2,899 copies of the German WATCH TOWER circulated as samples, and 10,108 tracts distributed, representing 232,460 pages.

[R2743 : page 376]

A PERFUME OF SWEET ODOR.
MATT. 26:6-16. – JAN. 6. –

"She hath done what she could."

P
RECEDING LESSONS showed us incidents in our Lord's journey toward Jerusalem, via Jericho – the healing of the blind men by the wayside, the conversion of Zacchaeus, and the parable of the young nobleman, given because they were nigh unto Jerusalem, and because the disciples and many of the multitude expected that the Kingdom of God would immediately be manifested, – set up in earthly grandeur, etc. The distance from Jericho to Jerusalem was only about twenty miles, and Bethany, the home-city of Lazarus (whom our Lord raised from the dead) and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, was quite near to Jerusalem [R2743 : page 377] and with them Jesus decided to spend his last Sabbath-day in the flesh. We may presume that the day was happily spent according to the observance of the Sabbath required by the Jewish law; but the narrative, passing over the events of the day unnoticed, draws special attention to the feast or supper made for our Lord in the evening, after sundown, when the Sabbath was considered ended, and the first day of the week beginning.

This feast was at the house of Simon the leper, yet Simon is not mentioned in connection with the narrative, and it is quite probable that he was then dead. It is conjectured that Simon was either the father of Lazarus, Martha and Mary, or else that Martha was the widow of Simon, and that Lazarus and Mary were younger than she. These items, however, are merely tradition, nothing in the Scriptures throwing any light upon the matter. We remember that on the occasion of a previous visit to this home, our Lord was entertained; and Mary became so absorbed in listening to the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth that for the time she neglected the ordinary affairs of life, until her more practical, but possibly less spiritually-inclined, sister commented upon the fact, which brought forth our Lord's declaration to the effect that while service is quite acceptable and appreciated, veneration and fellowship are still more appreciated – "Mary hath chosen the better part."

The two sisters had the enviable privilege of serving the Lord and ministering to his comfort in the feast of our lesson, just before the agonies which closed his earthly life. As before, so now, the service of the two sisters took somewhat different form, but probably this time by mutual agreement and prearrangement; Martha herself served the table with others assisting, and Mary was left free to render her peculiar service, of which this lesson is a memorial. From some source she had procured a valuable alabaster vase of choice perfume. She had either purchased the vase, and manufactured the perfume herself, at great expense of time, etc., or had spent for its purchase a considerable sum of money. She had anticipated our Lord's coming, and had fully arranged matters so that at this feast she might treat him in a manner in which very few except the worldly great were ever treated; – kings, emperors, etc., were thus anointed with perfume, but very rarely indeed could others afford such a luxury, for the facilities for manufacturing perfume then were quite inferior to what they are now, and even if the perfume were of home manufacture and of fine quality the cost in time, etc., would be great, and the perfume would be so valuable that it was usual to sell it to the very wealthy.

The feast had begun, and Jesus, with the disciples and other guests, were at the table, which, according to eastern custom, was long and narrow, the guests not sitting upon chairs, but reclining full length upon couches or divans, with the head extending over the table, and the feet extending back to the rear, the weight of the shoulders poised upon the left elbow, while the right hand was used in partaking of the food.

While Martha and her associates were serving, Mary came forward and, breaking the seal upon her alabaster vase, she began to pour the precious perfume upon our Lord's head, and subsequently, as John's record of the matter informs us, going to our Lord's feet she poured some of it upon them, and wiped them with the hair of her head. Mary's affection for our Lord was so deep and so strong that it could not be satisfied with any of the ordinary methods of expression. If the kings of earth were perfumed and anointed, much more did she esteem it fitting that her friend, her Lord, the Messiah, should be anointed with the best that she could procure for him. Her love was so intense that it knew no economy – nothing could be too good for her Beloved. She would give expression to the rich sentiments of her heart by giving him the finest and most costly of sweet natural odors. Our Lord appreciated the matter fully – the sweet odor of the heart-love which prompted the act, still more than the sweet odors which filled the entire house.

But the disciples, more selfish and less able to appreciate Mary's true sentiments, and the propriety of their expression in this form, found fault with her, and the records show that their leader and mouthpiece, who incited the fault-finding spirit amongst the others, was Judas, the treasurer of the little company, whose disappointment [R2744 : page 377] was great that the value of this ointment did not find its way into his money-bag, and thus a part of it, at least, to his own private uses; for we are told, "He was a thief, and carried the bag." His objection seems to favor the thought that Mary may have prepared the perfume herself, for he does not object to its having been purchased for a large sum, but that it might have been sold for three hundred pence. (Mark 14:5.) Estimating the value at 300 Roman pence, or denarii, worth about 16 cents each, the value of the ointment would be about forty-eight dollars, but much more than this amount would be represented in today's values; for we are to remember that a denarius represented a workman's wages for a day, and hence that 300 denarii would practically represent a workman's wages for a year. It was indeed an extravagant action, but it represented an extravagant love, and was expended upon one whom God and the angels delighted to honor, and whom Mary seems to have appreciated much more nearly at his true value than did his other associates of the hour.

Beloved Mary! We can, perhaps, imagine to some [R2744 : page 378] extent the emotions which filled her heart as she prepared this costly expression of her devotion, the sentiment of which she hoped others would appreciate. But now, on the contrary, she beholds the "indignation" of her friends and guests, the Master's nearest companions; and her heart sinks within her as she fears that the Lord himself will view the matter in a similar light, and reject and disapprove her libation. What a load is lifted from her heart, when she hears our Lord pronouncing her work a noble deed, and reproving his disciples for lack of sympathy in her sentiment, telling them that this perfuming of his body was in preparation for his burial. It was probably in the midst of this discussion of the matter between Jesus and the apostles that Mary, having anointed his head with the perfume, went to his feet, and began anointing them also, wiping them with her hair, as an evidence that the most precious thing of her personal adornment was gladly at the service of her Lord.

Probably Mary had no thought of perfuming our Lord's body for burial, and his words to this effect would be as astounding to her as to the others who heard them. It was customary with the ancients to spend considerable care and money upon the persons of their dead in preparing them for burial; sweet spices and perfumes, etc., were lavishly bestowed, just as today it is the custom to provide handsome caskets and many and expensive flowers and fine monuments, as expressive of the love and appreciation in which the dead are held by their friends. In Mary's conduct in the pouring of the precious perfume upon the Savior while he was yet living, we have a most excellent suggestion in respect to the proper course to be pursued toward those we love. It is far, far better that we should unstop our alabaster vases of perfume, and pour them upon the heads and upon the weary feet of our friends, while still they live, than that we should wait until they have expired, and then give our attention to the cold, inanimate and unappreciative corpse. Our alabaster boxes are our hearts, which should be full of the richest and sweetest perfumes of good wishes, kindness and love toward all, but especially toward the Christ – toward the Head of Christ, our Lord Jesus, and toward all the members of his body, the Church; and especially on our part toward the feet members who are now with us, and on whom we now have the privilege of pouring out the sweet odors of love and devotion in the name of the Lord, and because we are his. The poet writes:

"How oft we, careless, wait till life's sweet activities are past,
And break our 'alabaster box of ointment' at the very last!
O, let us heed the living friend, who walks with us life's common ways,
Watching our eyes for looks of love, and hungering for a word of praise!"

The heart of each truly consecrated child of God is like the alabaster vase, – a receptacle for the holy spirit, the spirit of love, the choicest perfume and most precious to the Lord and to men. It is expensive, because it cannot be gathered rapidly, but requires patient perseverance in well-doing to be "filled with all the fulness of God." Again, it is like Mary's vase in that it gives forth its odor not before, but after the seal is broken and the contents poured forth. It differs from hers, however, in the fact that it may be continually poured out and yet its fulness all the while increase.

Our hearts and their holy love are like Mary's vase again, in that they should be poured upon the Lord himself – upon the Head first, but subsequently upon the members of his body, even the humblest, the lowliest, the feet. And this should be our service, even tho it be unappreciated by others, who instead would think that we should pour our love and devotion upon sinners, or upon the poor heathen world. They realize not what abundant opportunities there will be for blessing the heathen world in the future, in the Millennial age, which God has set apart for their blessing, and in which his disciples will have abundant opportunity for co-working with him in the general uplifting of the world of mankind. Those who upbraid us for pouring out our heart-treasures upon the members of Christ, the Church, do so through ignorance, and if at times it has caused some discouragement to us, let us hearken to the words of the Master, declaring that such is a noble course that has his approval, and that it is proper as a prelude to the burial of the entire Church, the body; – that it will be appropriate that this shall be done to the Church rather than for the poor world, up to the time when the Church shall have finished the earthly pilgrimage; – up to the time when the sufferings of Christ having been fulfilled there shall be no longer opportunity to bless and refresh and comfort the body of Christ, respecting whom our Lord declares that what is done to them is done to him. – Matt. 25:40.

So, then, let the Marthas serve the Lord in one way, and the Marys pour out their most precious spikenard perfume, assured that neither service will be forgotten; for both are told and have been told for eighteen centuries, as memorials to their praise, testimonies of their love, which the Lord appreciated and accepted, however they were viewed by others.

OPPOSITION FROM SELFISH HEARTS.

In this connection it is well to notice sharply that the one who made the greatest ado on behalf of the poor, and who objected most to Mary's expression of her devotion, was the thief and murderer, Judas. And the principle, to a considerable extent, seems to hold good all down throughout this Gospel age: that those who make the greatest outcry on behalf of mission work and in opposition to the expenditure of costly time in [R2744 : page 379] the anointing and blessing of the consecrated members of the body of Christ, are not always those who have the interests of the heathen exclusively at heart, but are frequently those who have an "axe to grind," a selfish interest in some way to serve. And not infrequently these hypocrites mislead others of the Lord's dear people, who are thoroughly conscientious, even as Judas, by his sophistry, for a time misled the other apostles into indignation against Mary for the doing of the very thing which was pleasing to the Lord, and on account of which he decreed that wherever this Gospel should be preached her conduct should be mentioned as a memorial.

And so it is today: this gospel is preached in more than 350 languages – to every important nation in the world. But we presume that it was not merely Mary that our Lord wished to memorialize, but especially her deed: he wished that all who should know the good tidings should know also of his appreciation of such devotion to him, to his body, and that the more it costs us the more he appreciates it. In view of this, let each one who would be pleasing in the Lord's sight seek continually to pour the perfume from his heart and life upon other members of the body of Christ, and let him realize that in so doing he will not only be pleasing to the Lord, but will be receiving also a blessing himself; for as no alabaster vase could pour forth perfumes upon others without itself being thoroughly involved in the perfume, so our hearts, as they pour forth upon others of the members of the body the sweet perfume of love and devotion to the Lord and his cause, will be sure to bring a blessing to ourselves, even in the present life – our Lord's approval and benediction now and everlastingly.

Some of the methods employed in connection with present endeavor to anoint the members of the Lord's "body" for burial, – with the perfume of his truth and grace – call down the condemnation of fellow-disciples. As for instance, the expenditure of time, energy, and large sums of money this present year in the "Volunteer" work has been, and will be misunderstood by many of the Lord's dear children, – and be bitterly reproved by those who are of the Judas stripe. Yet realizing the Lord's approval we have quite sufficient to make our cup of joy overflow. Fellow-disciples tell us that we should not be handing the meat in due season to the household of faith, but to sinners; that we should not be seeking to anoint the saints with the sweet perfume of present truth, but should, on the contrary, be going to the outcasts of society, engaging in slum-work or in foreign-mission work. The real difficulty with the Judas class, however, is that they fear that the circulation of the truth amongst the Lord's people would cut off the revenue which otherwise might flow into their coffers: they fear the loss of numbers and influence in sectarianism. But their fears are largely imaginary; for the perfume of the truth is only designed [R2745 : page 379] to fall upon "the members of the body of Christ," and our expectations are that the Lord will guide it to these, and that to others it will be of no effect. And since the members of the body of Christ, the consecrated ones, are so few, their anointing and their separation from Babylon, and their burial, will be comparatively unnoticed so far as numbers are concerned, – tho their taking away as the "salt" and the "light" of those systems, will indeed be a serious loss, conspiring to their downfall in the great time of trouble approaching. – Matt. 5:13,14.

Let us not forget to note clearly and distinctly the wide difference between love and selfishness, as exemplified in the opposite courses of Mary and Judas. Mary, full of burning devotion, was willing to sacrifice much to honor, comfort and please her Lord. Judas not only was unwilling to sacrifice on his behalf, but on the contrary was willing to sell him to his enemies for thirty shekels – the price of a slave. Not only so, but the devotion of the one seemed not to impress the other favorably, but rather the reverse; the devotion of Mary, and our Lord's approval of it, seem to have aroused the opposite spirit in Judas, for he went straightway to negotiate with the chief priests for our Lord's betrayal into their hands.

It would appear from the Greek text, and the rendering of the same in the Revised Version, that Judas received the money for his work in advance: "They weighed unto him thirty pieces of silver." He completed the contract; he sold himself to work evil, and that against his benefactor, his Lord, of whose power he was fully conversant, and of which, indeed, he had received so abundantly that he himself had been enabled to heal the sick and cast out devils. How strange that any could be so perverse! No doubt he had a way of reasoning the matter to himself which made his crime appear to him less heinous than it does to us. No doubt, also, others who today are willing less directly to sell the Lord for earthly advantage or influence or money find ways of excusing their perfidy; but in proportion as our hearts are loyal and devoted, as was Mary's, in that same proportion will the Judas course appear heinous and impossible to us.

Yet these climaxes of character are not reached suddenly. Mary's love had been growing from the first; it was greatly strengthened by her course in sitting at the Master's feet and receiving from him spiritual nourishment, which our Lord declared to be a still better part or course than that pursued by her sister, tho the latter was not disapproved. Mary's faith and love had been still further increased as she witnessed the [R2745 : page 380] Lord's power in various ways, and especially at her brother's awakening from the tomb. She had cultivated this love and appreciation for the Lord until it filled her entire heart, and found its expression in the costly libation which she had just poured upon his head and his feet. Judas, on the other hand, had long been permitting the spirit of selfishness to more and more intrude upon his heart; he had permitted himself to think of what money would do, and had given his thought largely toward its accumulation. It had fettered his soul, so that he was unable to appreciate the Lord's character, even tho he knew him intimately from daily association, so that he was unable to measure anything except from a monetary standpoint. And these bands of selfishness gradually grew so hard and tight about his heart that they squeezed out everything of character, of love, devotion and friendship, and thus gradually he came to be the representative of, and his name the synonym for, the grossest of ingratitude and meanness, selfishness and treachery. One lesson for us here is, to cultivate love and the appreciation of whatsoever things are just, good, lovely and pure; and to fight down and eradicate so far as possible (especially from our own hearts and lives) everything selfish, mean, ignoble, dishonorable.

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HOSANNA! BLESSED IS HE THAT COMETH!
MATT. 21:1-17. – JAN. 13. –

"Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!"

A
FTER THE FEAST of our last lesson, the next morning, the first day of the week (our Sunday), our Lord early began his preparations for his triumphal entry into Jerusalem as a King. Altho he well knew that "his own" people would not receive him, but, as he had already testified to his disciples, that he would be put to death by the rulers, and intimated the night before that Mary's anointing was for his burial, it was nevertheless necessary as a part of the divine plan that he should formally offer himself as King to the Jews, and thus fulfil to that people God's promise that his favor should be "to the Jew first."

Our Lord had previously resisted the disposition of some of the people to take him by force and make him King, withdrawing from their midst, etc. (John 6:15); but now the time, the due time, having come, and that to the very hour, he deliberately planned his triumphal procession, instead of, as previously, hindering it. He sent some of the disciples for the ass and colt, manifesting his superhuman power by designating where and how the animals would be found. An ass was used rather than a horse, and tradition tells us that so all the kings of Israel were accustomed to ride to their coronation.

When the animal arrived the disciples and the whole multitude seemed to enter into the spirit of the arrangement; for it would appear that quite a number of those who came up from Jericho, and who had witnessed our Lord's power and teachings en route to the Holy City and the Passover, lodged at Bethany over the Sabbath, as he did. These, with the disciples, constituted quite a little band, who began to hail Jesus as the King, and to do him homage, as was customary with notables at that time, by spreading their outer garments in the way for his beast to tread upon; and by plucking grass and flowers, and branches of palm trees, and strewing these also in the way.

Jesus, in the honored position, riding at the head, was followed by this multitude on the road toward Jerusalem. Then another multitude from the city, having heard that the great Prophet and Teacher was at Bethany, came forth to see both him and Lazarus, and these, meeting the Lord and the shouting company behind him, turned about and became a vanguard, shouting like the rest, "Hosanna to the Son of David," which meant the King, one of the royal line. They probably were deterred from using the word "king" lest they should bring upon themselves charges of treason against King Herod, and against the Roman empire, which sustained him in power.

It was a grand or a ludicrous triumphal entry into the city of the Great King, according to the standpoint from which it was viewed. From the standpoint of the disciples and the multitude, full of Messianic enthusiasm and hopes that the longed-for blessings upon Israel were about to be realized, and full of faith that this great Prophet, who had the power to raise the dead and heal the sick, could in his own time and way make himself and them invincible against all enemies, and amply fulfil all the glorious things foretold by the prophets, – for these it was a grand occasion, a real triumph. For, notwithstanding the fact that Jesus had previously told them repeatedly of his death, and had even reproved Peter for speaking to the contrary, nevertheless his disciples and others seem to have been unable to receive his words in their true meaning, and to have interpreted them as merely a part of his "dark sayings" which would undoubtedly later become luminous in some grand significance. This is attested by their language, even after his death and resurrection, – "We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel." – Luke 24:21.

From the standpoint of Herod, Pilate, the chief priests and scribes, this triumphal procession was merely [R2745 : page 381] the parade of a fanatical leader and his ignorant and fanatical dupes. They saw in it evidently no more than this. King Herod and Pilate evidently had no fear that this despised Nazarene and his company would ever be able to organize and equip an army which would be of any force as against the order of things of which they were the heads. The religious leaders feared merely that the fanaticism might spread in some manner, and bring down upon them the wrath and further oppression of the secular powers, who might make them an excuse for further interference with the liberties of the Jews. Quite evidently none of these chief rulers believed in Jesus as the Messiah sent of God for the fulfilment of the gracious promises of their Scriptures. To this the apostles testify, saying, "I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers;" "If they had known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." – Acts 3:17; 1 Cor. 2:8.

That procession was viewed from still another standpoint by our Lord himself and by the invisible multitude of angels, ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation. These joined in the enthusiasm of the multitude, but from a totally different standpoint – realizing this triumph as merely a part of the divine plan, and merely a prelude to a greater triumph on our Lord's part through the completion of the sacrifice of himself and the attainment thus of "all power in heaven and in earth;" and as a foreshadowing, too, of his coming glory and [R2746 : page 381] his triumphal entry upon the Kingdom on his return from the far country (heaven) armed with a plenitude of power and authority, to put down sin and to bring all things into subjection to God; and to lift up out of the horrible pit of sin and disease and death all desirous of coming back into full harmony with the Father and the laws of his empire. This, the most glorious standpoint of view of that triumphal march, it is our privilege, by the grace of God, to enjoy; and we may well say in our Lord's words, "Blessed are our eyes, for they see; and our ears, for they hear."

Luke's account of this matter informs us that certain of the Pharisees who were with the multitude at the beginning, altho they could not object to anything which our Lord said or did, complained that he should permit his disciples and others of the multitude to hail him as a King, shouting Hosanna! (Salvation, Blessing, Praise!) Then it was that Jesus, knowing of the prophecy bearing upon this subject (Zech. 9:9), not only refused to rebuke the disciples and hinder their acclaims, but informed the Pharisees that since God himself, through the Prophet, had said, "Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem," therefore there must be some shoutings; and that if the people had not arisen to that amount of enthusiasm to give such shoutings the very stones would have cried out, so that the prophecy should not be unfulfilled.

Tho the distance is quite short to Jerusalem from Bethphage, where the Lord mounted the ass, nevertheless the city was hidden from view by the Mount of Olives, and it was when the Lord had reached the top of Olivet, and the city of Jerusalem came suddenly into view, that he halted the procession and wept over the city; saying, "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes...because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." (Luke 19:41-44.) From this language it is evident that our Lord did not consider the multitudes who were with him, as in any sense of the word, representing the city and nation; for altho these who were with him were shouting the very words, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of Jehovah!" our Lord's language indicates that a time is yet to come when the heads of Israel, the chief ones representing the people, shall gladly acknowledge him as King of kings and Lord of lords, at his second advent; but in the meantime their failure to recognize the time of their visitation meant to them a great loss of privilege; meant to them that their house must be left desolate, abandoned of the Lord during this Gospel age, during which he would gather from amongst the Gentiles a sufficient number to complete the elect number, in conjunction with the faithful ones of Israel, the remnant who had or would receive him. – See Matt. 23:39.

The objective point of this triumphal march was the Holy City, the capital city, the City of the Great King. But our Lord did not go to Herod's palace, to demand possession of it; nor to Pilate's palace, to demand recognition of him; but as the representative of Jehovah, as the Messiah, sent of God to be the Savior of Israel and the world, he went appropriately to the Father's house or palace, – to the Temple.

The scene in the Temple must have been a peculiar one. It was undoubtedly crowded with pilgrims from all parts of the civilized world, who at this season of the year came, to the number of hundreds of thousands, to worship the Lord and to observe the Passover, according to the Law. Probably many of them had heard something about Jesus of Nazareth, "mighty in word and deed." Many of them had been healed by him, or had friends who were thus blessed; and we can well imagine the commotion created by the multitudes coming with Jesus and crying, "Hosanna in the highest," etc. The Pharisees, scribes, and chief priests, who were used to dominate the people in religious matters, and especially in the Temple, altho filled with anger against Jesus, recognized themselves powerless to do him injury under the circumstances, for he was doing nothing contrary in any sense of the word to the Law, and this would be manifest to all. On the contrary, as tho to show that he was only doing what was in his power, our Lord began to exercise it as would be befitting a spiritual King – by reproving those who were violating the holy Temple and its precincts, driving out of it those who sold doves for offerings, and the money-changers who were reaping a profitable harvest from the necessities of the worshipers from a distance, whose money, not being Jewish, could not be accepted at the Temple, and which they must therefore have exchanged, at a loss – the profit of the moneychangers. We are not to understand that our Lord was interfering with the proper laws of the land nor of the Temple; – he was in every sense law-abiding. On the contrary, he was thoroughly authorized, as was any Jew, under the directions of the Law, to use so much force as was necessary in the maintenance of the sanctity of the Temple.

Blind and lame people came to our Lord in the Temple and were relieved of their infirmities, and then he taught the people – continuing the healing and the [R2746 : page 382] teaching for several days, returning at nights to Bethany and coming the next morning to the Temple, but without any further demonstration, as a King, for that one demonstration had served the purpose intended. It had given to the officials of the city and nation the opportunity to formally accept him as king, but their contrary spirit is shown by their coming to him while the children in the Temple courts were crying "Hosanna!" requesting that he should put a stop to the matter; but our Lord answered them, quoting from the Scriptures, that this was in harmony with the divine plan: "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise." The worldly-wise did not appreciate this, and were blinded by self-interest; but little children, and especially those who in simplicity of heart and meekness became like little children, should be the instruments the Lord would use in shouting his praises.

Many of our Lord's parables and special teachings were uttered during those days in the Temple, between his triumphal entry and presentation on the tenth day of the month Nisan and his crucifixion on the fourteenth, as the Passover Lamb. (See Exod. 12:3,6.) These parables, etc., are recorded in Matthew, chapters 23-25, in Mark, chapters 11-13, and in John, chapters 12-16. Among other things he declared that the favor of God was, there and then, taken from fleshly Israel, saying, –

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee! How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate!" – Matt. 23:37-39.

In considering the best lessons we at the present time can draw from these incidents, we suggest that their typical feature be not forgotten – that all shall remember that the events in the close of our Lord's ministry, and everything pertaining to the rejection and dissolution of the fleshly house of Israel, is typical and illustrative of the things which are to be expected to transpire in the present time, in the end of the Gospel age, – in the rejection and dissolution of nominal Israel of today, "Babylon." As already shown in MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., page 235, the time which corresponded to the Lord's formal offering of himself to fleshly Israel and his rejection was the year 1878. There nominal spiritual Israel was rejected, as previously the first or fleshly house had been rejected; yet in both cases all Israelites indeed receive him and receive corresponding blessings at his hand.

It is since this date (1878) we understand that our Lord has been in his spiritual Temple, the true Church, teaching in an especial manner all those who have an ear to hear, opening the blinded eyes and helping those who are spiritually lame to walk in his ways. It is since that time that all who belong to the Temple class of true worshipers are permitted to hear and see wonderful things out of the divine Word; and it is during this time also that the Lord is casting out of his Temple all those who make merchandise of the truth and who are not true worshipers – the money-changers and dove-sellers, etc.; and it is during this time that out of the mouth of babes and sucklings the truth is being proclaimed so often to the offense of the scribes and Pharisees of today.

Shortly, the last members of the body of Christ, the feet, already being anointed for burial with the sweet odors of the truth, will complete their sacrifice shortly, the first resurrection will be complete and all the members of the body of Christ be glorified together with him; – and then, the sufferings of Christ being ended, the glory will speedily follow. But meantime before the glory is revealed, there will come a great time of trouble, symbolically a time of fire (trouble) and smoke (confusion) upon the world, and especially upon rejected "Babylon," and all who do not escape from her before the great tribulation comes, even as similar fiery vengeance came upon Israel after the flesh, and all who had not escaped from her. – Luke 3:16,17; Matt. 13:38-43.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

DUTY TO THE HEAVENLY AND TO THE EARTHLY HUSBAND.

Question. – I am the wife of a minister in one of the denominations. I have been studying the truth for now several years, and feel convinced that the WATCH TOWER publications represent the true Gospel. I desire to be faithful to my Lord, no matter what the consequences; but I am in a measure of perplexity to know just what my duty is. As the minister's wife I am, of course, a member of the church; I am the organist for the congregation, and a teacher in the Sunday School. My question is, Should I, or should I not, come out of Babylon – withdraw from worship and cooperation in that which I believe is in many important respects a misrepresentation of the gospel; – of God's truth and character?

I do not wish to weigh earthly interests so far as I am myself concerned, being quite willing to suffer whatever the Lord's providence may permit. My hesitation is more on account of others who would necessarily suffer with me. My husband, who would undoubtedly lose his position and its small salary, is not in sympathy with the truth; my best efforts to awaken his interest in it having proved unavailing. He would suffer, and our two children would suffer, as well as myself; and my query is, – To what extent is it right for me to involve others? And what would be the proper course for me to take that would be pleasing to our Lord?

Answer. – Yours is a peculiar case, dear sister. We will suggest what we would consider to be the Lord's will in the matter, and give the reasons, and then leave it for your own conscience to decide upon. It is your duty to do what you understand to be the Lord's will according to the best light which you possess or can obtain.

First then, we advise that you explain the whole situation fully and frankly to your husband, and tender to him, as the minister and representative of the congregation, a letter requesting that your name be stricken from the list, etc., – one of the printed letters which [R2747 : page 383] we supply free would answer this purpose. Your husband, as the representative of the congregation, can, if he choose, erase your name from the roll. You may request him to make the matter public, but he will not be bound to follow your request, and under your peculiar circumstances we advise (differently from usual) that you do not send the Withdrawal Letters to all the members of the congregation unless your husband is willing. Leave the responsibility with him.

As for the teaching of a class in the Sunday School – we advise that you continue it, especially if it be a class of adult scholars – teaching, however, not any sectarian theory, but the true theology of the Bible. Let your husband, as the pastor of the church, know that it is the only condition upon which it would be possible for you to retain your class. As for the playing of the organ, we recommend that you continue it also, explaining, however, to your husband your objection to certain false hymn-book theology, that you believe to be contrary to the Scriptures, and requesting that if he desire you to continue to be the organist he will give you some little liberty and consideration in the matter of the selection of the hymns. But we advise that you be not too particular, not hypercritical, in this matter. We reason that God's people are justified in praising God with any words from which it would be possible to take a proper thought – even tho others might from the same words take an improper thought.

Our reasons for advising in this case differently from what we would ordinarily are two-fold: (1) Your husband is nominally, and perhaps really, a Christian, and hence it would be proper for you to render some deference to his judgment in any matter not compromising your own conscience – as, for instance, along the lines above suggested.

(2) There is a little difference between the position of a husband and of a wife in such a matter: the wife may throw some responsibility upon the husband, but the husband could throw no responsibility upon the wife. We are not under the Law, but nevertheless the Law in a shadowy way gives to us some conception of the Lord's view of matters; as for instance, see Leviticus 30. Your husband was aware of your vow unto the Lord whereby you consecrated your all to him, and made no dissent thereto. It would appear, therefore, that he could not in any way interfere with the proper liberty of your conscience without doing violence to his own.

"WHO ONLY HATH IMMORTALITY" – WHO?

Question. – How should we understand 1 Tim. 6:14-16? Is it the Father or the Son who is referred to as the "King of kings and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto," etc.?

Answer. – We understand that the Apostle here refers to our Lord Jesus. Our reasons for so concluding are as follows: –

(1) While immortality belongs exclusively to the divine nature, we are to remember that the Apostle Paul declares that the entire Church is called to "glory, honor and immortality," and the Apostle Peter says that God has given us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these "we might become partakers of the divine nature." This implies, therefore, that the Church of God is to possess this divine attribute of immortality or deathlessness. But only our Lord Jesus had yet been made partaker of this quality at the time of the Apostle's writing. The Church, his Body, would not be thus honored and glorified until their due time, in the First Resurrection, when they shall be like him, sharing his divine nature, glory, honor, and immortality, etc.

(2) That our Lord Jesus already possessed this divine nature, and therefore possessed immortality at the time of the Apostle's writing, is fully attested by the Scriptures, which assure us that "as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." This describes immortality, for no other condition of life is inherent life; all other conditions are derived or imparted life. The statement here that our Lord will give this same inherent life to his followers, is in agreement with the Apostle's assurance that all who have part in the First Resurrection are raised in incorruption, in immortality (1 Cor. 15:52,53); and remember that our Lord's resurrection was the beginning of this First Resurrection, and that it could have meant no less to him, the Head, than it is by and by to signify to the members of his body. We are to remember the same Apostle's declaration that our Lord Jesus' resurrection was as a "first-fruits;" that thus he became the "first-born among many brethren." We are to remember also, that the Apostle, in harmony with the above, expressed the desire that he might have a share in "his resurrection," "the resurrection," "the First Resurrection," in which all the overcomers are to share. – Phil. 3:10,11; 1 Cor. 15:20; Jas. 1:18.

(3) If, therefore, sharing in "his resurrection" is to bring his faithful members to immortality, our Lord's own resurrection can have been to no inferior condition. Hence, to apply the text in question to the Heavenly Father would not be consistent with the testimony of Scripture, that the Heavenly Son possessed immortality at the time as well as the Heavenly Father.

(4) That the passage in question relates to our Lord Jesus and designates him the only Potentate, King and Lord, does not imply any disregard or disrespect of the Heavenly Father and his attributes, kingship, etc., as the same writer (St. Paul) elsewhere points out. When speaking in similar strain about Christ's Kingdom and the subjugation of all things under him, he says, "It is manifest that he is excepted who did put all things under him." In other words, comparisons which show dignity and honor pertaining to Christ, Head or Body, are never understood to be comparisons with Jehovah, who is beyond all comparison. – See 1 Cor. 15:27,28.

(5) The correctness of this application is further attested by our Lord's own application to himself of the same titles. – See Rev. 17:14 and 19:16.

(6) The Apostle's entire discourse is along the line of showing the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus, his humility and high exaltation, and how servants and all of us should be likewise humble and lowly and faithful to the truth as servants of God, and in due time be exalted – manifested to the world – in glory, honor and immortality in the Kingdom.