page 321
November 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.NOVEMBER 1, 1900.No. 21.
CONTENTS.

Views From the Watch Tower 323
Still Debating Infant Damnation 323
Dead Bodies and Quickened Bodies 325
The New Creature Alive, the Old Dead 329
"Unthankful, Unholy" 330
Proper Christian Daily Living 332
Why the Christian Should Live Separate From the World 335
Looking For That Blessed Hope 336
About "Pilgrim" Calls 322
Marked New Testaments 322

'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 322

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 322]

ABOUT "PILGRIM" CALLS.

We find to our joy that the Pilgrim visits are greatly enjoyed by the friends of the truth: – the limited responses to our previous notice being the result of misunderstandings. Some presumed that our inquiry was for places where a "Pilgrim" had never yet stopped and who desired one. Others thought we meant to send the "Pilgrim" at once and direct from Allegheny, and thought the distance and expense too great to ask. Now they understand that our method is to make out routes in advance and that we wanted to know where the "Pilgrim" visits are most appreciated in order to specially include such places in those routes. We have many responses. Some are from very remote places not likely ever to be reached: and yet some have already been reached of which at first we had the same thought. We will do our best to serve all. page 322

MARKED NEW TESTAMENTS.

We have now a goodly supply of the Marked New Testaments. The markings are in red ink, making prominent verses which are specially forceful as respects various features of the divine plan for our salvation. The ransom, justification, sanctification, the second coming of our Lord and the resurrection are made quite prominent in these markings. Price postpaid two for 25 cents or $1.10 per dozen by express at your charges.

The publication, markings, etc. are not our work.

ALLEGHENY CHURCH MEETINGS.

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

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

[R2718 : page 323]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

STILL DEBATING INFANT DAMNATION.

IN DEBATES on creed revision among Presbyterians no feature has called forth such heated discussion as that relating to "elect infants dying in infancy." This clause of the Westminster Confession, with those clauses which have popularly been taken as interpreting it, follow: –

III. 3. "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestined unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.

III. 4. "These angels and men thus predestined and foreordained are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite that it can not either be increased or diminished.

*                         *                         *

X. 3. "Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved through the Spirit, who worketh when, where, and how he pleaseth; so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being called by the ministry of the Word.

X. 4. "Others, not elected, altho they may be called by the Word and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet they never truly come to Christ and, therefore, can not be saved. Much less can men not professing the Christian religion be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the law of that religion they do profess; and to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious and to be detested."

From a remote period these statements have been popularly supposed to teach, by implication, that non-elect infants dying in infancy are damned. However, the recent General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (South) claimed that no such interpretation could rightly be put upon the clause, and refused to consider a proposition to alter it. For instance, Dr. Warfield, of Princeton, says, "I think we may characterize the interpretation of Chapter X., section 3 [of the Westminster Confession], which finds a body of non-elect infants dying in infancy implied in its statements, as one of the most astonishing pieces of misrepresentation in literary history." Rev. Dr. Eugene Daniel also asserts that it is unjust to say that the Confession implicitly teaches the damnation of non-elect infants. He points out that it teaches positively the salvation of elect infants, but makes no attempt whatever to solve the Creator's intentions with regard to non-elect infants.

It seems peculiar indeed that anyone claiming to believe in Calvinistic predestination of adults could dispute that the same conditions prevailed in infancy. But hearken to other interpreters of the Westminster Confession, as follows: –

Rev. Dr. Horace L. Singleton (The Homiletic Review, September), states that prior to the Westminster Confession all of Christendom had believed that infants dying without baptism are damned, but that Confession took a step forward in asserting that elect infants, even if unbaptized, are saved. He says: –

"The sacramentarian doctrine of the papal and other prelatical churches, and the logical conclusion of Arminianism, left no other provision for infant salvation than baptism. To die without it was to be lost forever. This detestable doctrine the Confession of Faith was designed to destroy. It does destroy it. The Christian Church and the world are debtors to it for removing the gloom which surrounds the death of babes. The Assembly divines were all Calvinists, in entire accord with the second Scotch Confession, which on this subject 'abhors and detests among the doctrines of the Roman Antichrist his cruel judgment against infants dying without the sacrament.' The Calvinists of the Westminster Assembly who indorsed or approved that Confession, would surely not frame an article on infant salvation which would imply that any [R2718 : page 324] dying in infancy were without the pale of God's grace and redemption. So they made provision for all by referring all to the sovereign will of him 'who worketh when and where and how he will.' Only Calvinistic theology and a Calvinistic Confession can say that. The phrase contains the essence of Calvinism. What is that? Why, the grace of God is sovereign both in its source and application.

"As to the device of the doctrine of infant damnation, not one of the other denominations can point at the Presbyterian Church and say: 'Thou didst it.'

"The Roman Catholic Church in the Council of Trent decreed, and the decree still stands: –

"'If any denies that new-born children must be baptized, or says that they do not derive from Adam anything of original sin which makes the washing of regeneration necessary to cleanse them for an entrance into everlasting life, let him be accursed.'

"The Lutheran Church did not rid itself altogether of Roman sacramentalism. Its Augsburg Confession teaches that 'Baptism is necessary to salvation.' It condemns all 'who affirm that children are saved without baptism.'

"Archbishop Cranmer, the first primate of the English Church, said in his 'Catechism': 'If we should have heathen parents and die without baptism, we would be damned everlastingly.'

"...The founder of the Methodist Episcopal Church, John Wesley, in his 'Treatise on Baptism,' 1756, says: –

"'If infants are guilty of original sin, then they are the proper subjects of baptism, seeing in the ordinary way they can not be saved unless this be washed away by baptism. It has already been proved that this original stain cleaves to every child of man, and that they thereby are children of wrath and liable to eternal damnation.'"

The Independent (August 30) says: –

"It is a mere evasion to assert that 'elect infants' can mean all infants. It would be as easy to say 'all infants', as 'elect infants' if that were intended, and if it were not contradicted by the doctrine clearly expressed in the Confession, that original sin is worthy of eternal death. That the plain meaning of the Confession and its implications throughout includes infants among those who are lost, is sufficiently proved from the language of Dr. Twiss, prolocutor of the Westminster Assembly, who says distinctly in his 'Vindicae' I., 48: –

"'Many infants depart from this life in original sin, and consequently are condemned to eternal death on account of original sin alone. Therefore, from the sole transgression of Adam condemnation to eternal death has followed upon many infants.'

"What Dr. Twiss said was the belief of the rest and the teaching of the Confession."

The Rev. Henry Frank quotes John Calvin himself, saying: –

"John Calvin says with his accustomed clearness: 'The children of the reprobate [i.e., the non-elect] whom the curse of God follows, are subject to the same sentence'. (Opera II.) Again: 'You deny that it is lawful for God, except for misdeeds, to condemn any human being....Put forth your evidence against God, who precipitates into eternal death harmless, new-born children torn from their mother's bosom.' ('De Occulta Dei Providentia'). 'As the eggs of the asp are deservedly crushed, and serpents just born are deservedly killed, tho they have not yet poisoned any one with their bite, so infants are justly obnoxious to penalties' (Molineaux of France)....

"Once again hear John Calvin: 'Very infants themselves bring in their own damnation with them from their mother's womb; who, altho they have not yet brought forth the fruits of their iniquity, yet have the seed thereof enclosed within them; yea, their whole nature is a certain seed of sin; and therefore it can not be otherwise than hateful and abominable to God.'

"Now let us learn what the framers of the Confession themselves said concerning this damnable doctrine. William Twiss: 'If many thousands, even all the infants of Turks and Saracens, dying in original sin are tormented by him in hell-fire, is he to be accounted the father of cruelties for this?' For a vivid picture of the disposition of these eternally damned infants by this mild and maudlin Presbyterian God, read Samuel Rutherford, one of the Scotch commissioners who assisted in framing the creed. 'Suppose we saw with our eyes a great furnace of fire,...and all the damned as lumps of red fire, and they boiling and louping for pain in a dungeon of everlasting brimstone, and the black and terrible devils, with long and sharp-toothed whips of scorpions lashing out scourges on them; and if we saw our own neighbors, brethren, sisters; yea, our dear children, wives, fathers, mothers, swimming and sinking in that black lake, and heard the yelling, shouting, crying of our young ones and fathers....'"

*                         *                         *

It will now be quite in order for some very conscientious Presbyterian brother to tell us that John Calvin knew nothing about Calvinism anyway; or to assure us that tho there were damned non-elect infants in times past, there are none today, tho God and his Word have not changed in the interim.

If, instead of saying elect and non-elect infants, Brother Calvin had said the children of the non-elect are damned when they are born, he would have come much nearer stating the matter truthfully, however erroneous his conception of the facts. For the word damned in plain English simply signifies condemned, and the same is true of the Greek word translated in these two ways in the Bible....

No one can dispute that the Scriptures plainly teach that condemnation (damnation) passed upon all men because of father Adam's transgression (Rom. 5:12), and hence the declaration that mankind are "born in sin." (Psa. 51:5.) The only exceptions to this rule of being born condemned (damned) being in the case of children one or both of whose parents are believers. – 1 Cor. 7:14.

But then, the great difficulty of "Orthodoxy" lies in the fact that it has accepted theories respecting this [R2719 : page 325] original condemnation (damnation or curse of God) framed in "the dark ages," that it means condemned (damned) to everlasting torture, either in fire and brimstone or something worse: a thought as opposed to the Scriptural teachings as to sound reason and common sense. If, however, the Scriptural thought be attached to the condemnation (damnation) and it be seen that all of Adam's race are born aliens and strangers from God, his enemies and under condemnation (damnation) to death as imperfect beings unworthy of God's favors, including everlasting life, – then all is plain, all is reasonable.

It will then be seen that as Adam's sin and its penalty were entailed upon his children, so the harmony with God of a believing parent would properly and consistently attach to his children until they shall have reached years of discretion and ability to accept or reject divine favor for themselves.

However, the children of unbelievers have the opportunity of accepting God's grace when they come to years of discretion, provided they have the necessary "ears to hear" – ears of the heart. And even such as, under Satan's influence, are deaf to the voice of God now speaking to us through his Son – and who therefore continue through the present life under condemnation (damnation), we have the assurance will in the Millennial age have the ears of their understanding opened and then have opportunity to obey and be blessed with the gift of God – eternal life.

[R2719 : page 325]

DEAD BODIES AND QUICKENED BODIES.
"O wretched man that I am: who shall deliver me from this dead body?
I thank God [for deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So then with my mind I serve the law of
God, but with the flesh the law of sin."
Rom. 7:24,25. –

M
UCH PERPLEXITY has been caused to many Christian minds by the statements of the seventh chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Romans. Some have concluded that he here teaches that he lived a life of sin, according to the flesh, but a life of righteousness according to his mind; and yet they are ready to concede that this is rather a perplexing, unreasonable and unsatisfactory view of the matter. Others reach the conclusion that the Apostle must here be describing his condition of heart and mind before conversion, while he was still a sinner; yet these also find difficulties, and confess that many features of such a view are quite inconsistent with the Apostle's language. We submit the following interpretation of the chapter, as proving itself correct by its harmonizing with all the Apostle's statements in this chapter and elsewhere.

The Apostle is addressing believers at Rome, "beloved of God, called saints" (1:7). Some of these were probably converts from amongst the Gentiles, while undoubtedly a considerable proportion were converts from Judaism. This is implied by the fact that the Apostle in this Epistle so particularly explains the Law, not as to Gentiles having no knowledge of the Law, but as to Jews having full knowledge of it. The Epistle is a very comprehensive statement of the entire plan of God. The Apostle begins in the first chapter by showing that God was not responsible for the prevalent degradation, ignorance, sin, etc., throughout the world, and concludes with the crushing of Satan under the feet of the saints during the Millennial reign of the Christ. He explains that at one time God gave to mankind in general certain knowledge and blessings, but that "when they knew God they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Confessing themselves to be wise they became fools." He explains that thus gradually men came down to idolatry and bestiality, dishonoring and degrading themselves, and "perverting the truth of God into a lie;" "for which cause God gave them up to vile affections and to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not proper;" and they became filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, dispute, deceit, malignity, etc., etc. Thus he accounts for the various degrees of degradation, ignorance and superstition prevalent throughout the world. – Chap. 1:21,22,25,26,28,29.

Proceeding, he shows that while Israel had received God's Law, under a special covenant, and with special favors at his hands, they had not been saved by the Law, any more than the Gentiles had been saved without the Law; and that therefore both Jews and Gentiles needed just such a Savior as God had provided. Answering the supposed argument of the Jews, he declares, "Not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law," and he argues that the Jew who rested in the Law, and made his boast of being of God's favored people, and who by reason of these favors knew the will of God more particularly than the Gentiles, would not, by reason of this knowledge and advantage, be justified under the Law, but could only be acquitted by a perfect keeping of that Law; and that since the Jews did not keep the Law perfectly they could not claim the reward promised by the Law, namely, eternal life. Hence, so far as eternal life was concerned, they had no more [R2719 : page 326] claim upon it than had the Gentiles, who had less knowledge as well as less outward piety. He asks: "Are we [Jews] better than they [Gentiles, living according to the light that they possessed]? No, in no wise; for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."

The Apostle's argument is that none being righteous, none could be acquitted or approved before God, whether they had the Law or did not have it. Thus he proved that the Jews as well as the Gentiles, up to the time of Christ, were all under sin, all under condemnation, and that none of them had any claim upon eternal life, according to divine arrangements thus far made. For "By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight." – Chap. 2:13,17; 3:9,10,19,20.

Next the Apostle proceeds to show that whoever would be justified before God, whether he had previously been a Jew, favored with the knowledge and advantages of the Law, or a Gentile, in blindness and ignorance doing to the best of his knowledge, God has now provided for both, one way to be saved and to come into harmony with him – namely, through Christ. He shows that the Law, so far from justifying the Jews, showed them to be in a condition of sin, by their inability to keep it perfectly. But this Law which had condemned the Jews, because of their failure and inability to keep its conditions perfectly, served the more abundantly to attest God's justice; it became a witness to God's righteousness – that he had been right in his declaration that Israel had not kept the Law, and that all mankind, being in a fallen condition, were unfit to receive his favors; and it witnessed more than this: it witnessed to the justice of God in providing the ransom for sinners, in the person of his Son our Lord – "even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe [whether Jews or Gentiles]: for there is [now] no difference, for all have sinned [and consequently all are unworthy of divine favor upon any basis of works of their own, and must therefore needs be redeemed with the precious blood, and their penalty met for them, ere they could be received back into harmony with God]; being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [satisfaction] through faith in his blood." – Chap. 3:19-26.

Appealing to those who had formerly been Jews, and who had been inclined to boast of themselves as God's favored people, and inclined to think that in some sense of the word they were still more favored of God than those formerly Gentiles, the Apostle says, in view of the preceding facts, "Where is [the room for] boasting then?" and he answers, "It is excluded." There is no room for boasting; the Jew and the Gentile having come into Christ are on a common level – both have been justified by faith in Christ; neither was benefited or injured by his previous experience, whether under the Law or without the Law, if now by God's grace they had received adoption into his family through Christ. Boasting on the part of those who previously had been Jews would certainly be excluded, for they had not been able to perform the works which their Law Covenant had demanded, and now being exempted of God, under the law of faith, it would hinder them from any boasting as respects [R2720 : page 326] the law of works. "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without [necessity for] the deeds of [works demanded by] the Law."

The Apostle proceeds to show that the Lord's operation of favor on account of faith does not make void the Law, with which for centuries he had dealt with Israel, – the Law of Righteousness. On the contrary, the fact that it was necessary to justify the Jews by faith, and the fact that they could not be justified under the Law of Works proves, not that the Law of Works was bad, but that it was good, and that the Jew was imperfect through the fall, so that he was unable to obey the perfect Law given. Thus God's dealings through the new Law of Faith really upholds and magnifies his old Law of Works, for the latter had to be fulfilled by Jesus on behalf of his people, in order that he might be the Redeemer of the world in general, and set free from the Law of Works those who had been under it, that they also, with the remainder of the world, might be accepted of God under the Law of Faith. – Chap. 3:27-31.

Buttressing his argument, the Apostle shows that Abraham was not justified by the Law of Works, the Law Covenant, but by faith; and hence the claim advanced by some that the Mosaic Law was necessary, with faith for justification, was an erroneous one; because Abraham was called the friend of God, and had his faith counted to him for righteousness, not only long before the Law was given at Mount Sinai, but even before the outward sign of circumcision was given to himself – the latter being given, not as a requirement to his justification, but as a seal or mark of justification and harmony with God, to which he had already attained. – Chap. 4:1-15.

As Abraham was justified by faith, and received into favor with God because of his exercise of faith, so, says the Apostle, it is with us. "Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." And how and why through our Lord? Because, says the Apostle, "He was delivered for our offences [bearing the condemnation which those offences [R2720 : page 327] implied and involved – the very offences or weaknesses of the flesh which hindered Jews from keeping the perfect law given at Sinai, and being justified under it by works of obedience to it]." – Chap. 4:25; 5:1.

This justification, which we receive through faith in Christ, becomes to us the basis of our new hopes in him, – of becoming his disciples, and, if faithful, ultimately joint-heirs with him in the Kingdom. This the Apostle expresses in the words, "By whom also [additional to justification and its peace] we have access by faith into this grace [the privilege of adoption into God's family] wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God [in the hope of sharing in God's glory and Kingdom with our Lord and Head]." The Apostle proceeds to prove, not only that the death of Christ was necessary as the off-set to Adam's transgression, and the payment of his penalty, but he demonstrates that this penalty was fully paid, and that God has accepted it on behalf of the world in general, and not of the Jews only, and has transferred all to Christ; for as "the judgment was by one to condemnation, the free gift is of many offences unto justification. As one offence resulted in a pronouncement which affected all to condemnation, even so by one righteous act a pronouncement was made [by the same Justice] which affects all men [permitting their attainment] unto justification of life."

And, adds the Apostle, the Law Covenant was introduced, not for the doing away of sin, but that sin might be more distinctly seen to be sin, and in its true colors; not, however, with a view to the injury of the Jews, with whom that Law Covenant was made, for if sin abounded amongst them the more by reason of their greater knowledge through the Law, then God's grace abounded proportionately the more; for as sin hath reigned unto death, even so there is to be a reign of grace unto eternal life under righteous provisions through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Rom. 5:12,17-21.

The next point is, If God's grace will be caused to abound in proportion to the sentence, so that he who has many and deep sins can be as fully and completely forgiven and released as he who has fewer and smaller sins, shall we then argue that we may as well delve deeply into sin, assured that God's grace will be that much the more abundantly provided for us? No, says the Apostle; those who have come into the position to see and comprehend this much of divine mercy and favor must first have made a consecration of themselves to God, otherwise their eyes of understanding would not be opened widely enough to grasp the subject with clearness and definiteness; and if one had made a consecration of himself, and immersed his will into the will of God in Christ, and thus reckoned himself dead to the world and to sin, how could such persons live lives of sin or take pleasure therein? So surely as they have received the holy spirit, the new mind, that surely that new mind would be out of harmony with sin, craving, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, truth, etc.

We are therefore to reckon ourselves dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ; and we are not to let sin reign in us, because we, as new creatures, are begotten of a different spirit, that is at warfare with sin, as sin is at warfare against righteousness. Instead, therefore, of continuing to be servants of sin, and yielding our bodies to that service, we are to recognize ourselves as "new creatures in Christ," servants of God, his ambassadors and representatives; and are to seek to use our members, our bodies and their talents, in the new service of righteousness, – remembering our past experience in sin, that its wages are degradation and ultimate death, and that this privilege which we have now entered upon as new creatures, redeemed by the precious blood, is God's covenant through Jesus Christ our Lord, and means to us eternal life, if we maintain it. – Chap. 6.

Having reached this climax of the argument, and having demonstrated the process of our justification and our subsequent adoption into the divine family; and having shown the necessity for maintaining our standing as new creatures, and gaining victory over the weaknesses of the flesh; and that all these privileges, nevertheless, are not of the Law but of grace and of faith – the Apostle next turns his attention to another phase of the subject in Chapter 7. He has in mind, and is specially addressing the Christian brethren at Rome who were formerly Jews, as he says, "I write unto you who know the Law." He wishes to demonstrate to them logically that altho the Jews previously, through the Law Covenant, had "much advantage every way," yet now since the introduction of the New Covenant they were to some extent at a disadvantage – hindered or bound by the old dead covenant, unless they recognized it as dead, and cut loose from it. They were tightly bound by the Law given at Sinai; because as a nation they entered into a positive covenant with God, through Moses, the mediator of their covenant. St. Paul represents this as a marriage contract between that people and the Law Covenant; picturing the Jews as the wife, and the Law Covenant as the husband. He shows an incompatibility between them, but that nevertheless the Jews would be bound by their covenant, as a woman would be bound by her marriage contract, so long as the husband would live.

Hence the Jews, as a people, were less at liberty to enter into a New Covenant with Christ than were the Gentiles, because they were already bound to the [R2720 : page 328] Law Covenant through Moses. The Apostle proceeds to prove three things:

(1) That the Law Covenant, or husband of Israel, had not been abrogated, had not been executed, as a bad law, but had died a natural death, through the fulfilment of the purpose of its creation; and that hence,

(2) Every Jew might properly consider himself as released from all obligation to the (dead) Law Covenant, and might properly be united or married to another, Christ, accepting the terms of the New Covenant, with its grace, mercy and peace through believing, now offered to them.

(3) It was proper that they all should see how much better was the New Covenant, into which they would enter by becoming united with Christ, than was the old covenant, which, he declared, had died a natural death.

However, he would not have them think evil of the first husband, the Law Covenant. On the contrary, he assures them that it was a good husband to them – "The Law is holy and just and good," all must speak well of the Jews' first husband. Nevertheless, argues the Apostle, we all realize that we did not receive from the Law Covenant the blessings we so earnestly coveted; we did not receive an actual cancellation of our sins, but merely a temporary covering of them, which required to be renewed and made mention of year by year continually (Heb. 10:1), nor did we obtain the longed for everlasting life. As Jews, we cannot blame the Law Covenant; we must only blame ourselves; – nor can we blame ourselves (for I may consider myself a representative, in thought and conduct, of all true Jews, and may speak for them, says the Apostle); and I can truly say that while living under this Law Covenant I approved it with my mind, with my heart, and I endeavored to serve it accordingly, but when I came to perform its requirements I found another law, a law of sin working in my members, which hindered me from rendering the obedience I desired to render to that Law Covenant.

Not that it hindered me entirely, for I certainly succeeded in some degree in conforming life and conduct to its requirements; but since I could not render perfect obedience to its every requirement I necessarily failed, because in that Law Covenant no provision was made for my weaknesses and imperfections which I had inherited, and which were my share of the fall [R2721 : page 328] of our race. I found, on the contrary, that even tho I had been able to perform the requirements of the Law in nine points out of ten, and had failed in the tenth point, and even tho that failure were properly attributable to inherited weaknesses, and was entirely contrary to my desires of heart, nevertheless it was failure, and my efforts as a whole were branded failure, and the great prize of eternal life was denied me under that covenant.

Thus I found myself in a terrible predicament: my heart crying out for God and for righteousness, and earnestly desiring to fulfil the requirements of my covenant and to gain life everlasting, but I found myself wholly unable to fully obey its requirements; I found them entirely beyond my reach. Not that they were beyond the reach of my mind, for with my mind I grasped them and enjoyed them and appreciated them; nor that they would have been beyond the reach of obedience of my body, had my body been perfect; but, O wretched man! I find that my body is a dead body, that sin has gained such a power over it and so chained it down to things that are evil, in fact and in intention, that I cannot do the things that I would, – that when I would do good and keep the perfect law, sin is present with me, and hinders, – being an integral part of my body; so that the good that I would do, the perfect life that I would live, I am unable to perform, and the evil things that I would not do, which my mind, my will, rejects, and which I strive against, those things to some extent I find myself unable to resist; and here was my helpless condition as bound to the Law Covenant. I realized that I never could gain, through its assistance and offers, the glorious perfections that I desired, and the eternal life which could accompany only these perfections.

What shall I do? How can I escape this condition of things? I thank God that a way of escape has been provided; I thank God that in his due time he has sent Jesus, as a great Redeemer, and that through his death the world of mankind has been redeemed from the original sentence, and additionally that all we who were Jews and under the Law Covenant are set at liberty from that covenant – that the death of Jesus on our behalf means the death of our Covenant, which, tho in some respects an advantage, was very unfavorable to us because of our inherited weaknesses. I thank God that now I am at liberty to become united to Christ, at liberty to consider my union with Moses and the Law Covenant as at an end, at liberty to take on me the vows and covenants required of all called to be the Bride of Christ. Thanks be unto God for this deliverance from the bondage of the Law of Works into the liberty of the Law of Faith in Christ Jesus!

The advantage of this new position in Christ over the old position in Moses is that now God accepts my new mind, my heart desires, accompanied by my best endeavors; and under this New Covenant, through the merits of the ransom, he justly ignores and hides from his sight the imperfections of the flesh, which are contrary to my wish, and against which I am striving. [R2721 : page 329] It may be said of me, then, and of all such, that it is with our minds, with our hearts, that we are serving God – even if, to some extent, contrary to our wish and endeavor, our flesh should, either through weakness or ignorance, serve the law of sin at times. – Romans 7.

THE NEW CREATURE ALIVE, THE OLD DEAD.
ROM. 8:1-11. –

Under the covenant through which we are united to Christ, our mortal bodies are reckoned as dead, as sacrificed, as no longer us, and our minds are reckoned as the new creature adopted into the family of God, and seeking to serve God and to grow into his likeness, by being conformed to the image of his dear Son. It is therefore according to the standpoint from which we view the matter that we could say of these new creatures that they are holy, and that the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in them, and that the wicked one toucheth them not. – 1 John 5:18.

In such expressions we are referring exclusively to the reckoned "new" creatures, and are ignoring entirely, as dead, their mortal bodies. But if we should speak from another standpoint, and attempt to say that we are actually perfect in the flesh, it would be untrue, and not only so but would be an ignoring of the merit of Christ's sacrifice, and our continued need (while in the fallen flesh) of a share in the justification which it provides. Those who would thus speak of their flesh as perfect, would hear the Apostle speaking to the reverse, saying, "In my flesh dwelleth no good thing," – no perfection; and all imperfection is un-right, and all unright-eousness is sin. Hence, says the Apostle John, "If we say [speaking of our flesh, and ignoring the justification provided in Christ to cover its blemishes] that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." – 1 John 1:8.

St. Paul proceeds to clearly mark the distinction between the new mind, which consecrated in Christ is accepted as the "new creature," holy and acceptable to God, and our mortal bodies, which he calls "this dead body" – originally dead, under divine sentence, because of sin, but redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and justified, and then included in our sacrifice, when we gave our little all in consecration to the Lord, as living sacrifices – to be dead with Christ, to suffer with him even unto death. He declares that it is to those who are walking after the spirit, seeking to serve the Lord in spirit and in truth, from the heart, that are freed from the condemnation; and that this includes the thought that they do not now walk after the flesh, desiring to fulfil its desires. And here we are to closely distinguish between the walking up to the spirit, and walking after the spirit. We should of course follow as closely to the spirit of truth and righteousness as possible, and yet we cannot hope, so long as we are in the imperfect flesh, that we could ever walk up to the spirit of the divine requirements, tho we are to strive in this direction continually. One thing is positive, however, – we must not walk after the flesh. To do so would imply that we had lost the new mind, the new disposition, the new will, – that we had become dead to those hopes and covenants which had led to our consecration.

Any who get into this condition of walking after the flesh, – seeking to serve the flesh, therein have the evidence that their minds had become "carnal," that they had lost much, if not all, of the new mind, the new disposition. All such should know most unequivocally that the carnal mind is at enmity against God, and hence that God could not fellowship it or favor it in any sense or degree. The Apostle urges, then, that all remember that they who are in the flesh, who live in harmony with their fallen propensities, serving their fallen fleshly natures, are not pleasing God and that such an inclination or course leads toward, and, if persisted in, would end in death.

He proceeds to reason that if the spirit [mind, disposition] of God [the spirit of holiness] dwell in us we cannot be in sympathetic accord with the fallen fleshly nature and its appetites and ambitions. We may know, on the contrary, that if any man have not the spirit of Christ he is not of the body of Christ at all, and not to be considered as identified with the elect Church, – and Christ's spirit is not a spirit of harmony with sin, but of opposition to sin, for did he not lay down his life to vanquish sin, and to deliver us from its power and dominion? Whoever, therefore, claims to have the spirit of Christ, but loves and wilfully practices sin, and with his mind serves sin, such an one deceives himself, for he has neither part nor lot in Christ.

The Apostle proceeds further along the same line, arguing that our adoption into God's family, our begetting to newness of heart and mind, and our acceptance thus as members of the body of Christ, while it means, first of all, that the body is ignored and reckoned as dead, because of sin, and only our spirits or minds are reckoned righteous and alive, the beginning of our eternal existence, nevertheless this good condition is not to be considered the limit of our ambition and attainment in Christ-likeness. On the contrary, we are to remember that the spirit of God is powerful: that in the case of our Lord Jesus it was powerful enough to raise him from the dead; and as we become more and more imbued with and controlled by the holy spirit of God in our hearts, in our minds, divine power will come gradually to us through this channel of the holy spirit, which will permit a figurative raising [R2721 : page 330] of our mortal bodies from their death-state into activities of spiritual life, in the service of the Lord. "If the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you [in sufficient measure, aboundingly], he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [energize] your mortal bodies [not your immortal resurrection bodies] by his spirit that dwelleth in you."

It is our hope that in due time the Lord by his spirit will give us new bodies in the resurrection; and that those new bodies will be immortal, perfect in every respect; and that then not only our minds, but our bodies also will be fully in harmony with God and his every law and work of righteousness. That will be glorious – it is already a glorious prospect; but the Apostle holds before us the thought that even our present mortal bodies, sentenced, then justified, then reckoned dead because of sin, consecrated, may be so quickened or energized now, that instead of being any longer servants of sin, or even merely dead to it, they may, under the careful watchfulness of the new mind, be used as servants of righteousness, of truth. This means, of course, a high Christian development, a large attainment of "the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." It is the measure or attainment, nevertheless, which every one of the Lord's people must continually strive after, and their success will be proportioned to their attainment of the mind [disposition] [R2722 : page 330] of Christ, holy conformity to the Father's will in all things. And how comforting, in this connection, is the promise of our Lord, that our heavenly Father is more willing to give the holy spirit [spirit of holiness] to them that ask him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts unto their children! – Luke 11:13.

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"UNTHANKFUL, UNHOLY."
LUKE 17:11-19. – NOV. 18. –

"Be ye thankful." – Col. 3:15.

L
EPROSY is a very prevalent disease in eastern lands, and amongst the Jews lepers were specially proscribed – separated from others – not allowed to have intercourse with their own families nor to come near anybody, but obliged to keep at a distance, and on the approach of a stranger to cry out, "Unclean! unclean!" From the standpoint of the Law it is evident that leprosy was meant to represent sin and its loathsome, contagious and consuming character.

A traveler in the Orient writes: "As our traveling party passed out the western gate of Nablus, the site of ancient Sechem, a group of repulsive lepers greeted us with calls for help. They showed various forms of that terrible disease: the nose or the lips or a hand or a foot eaten away; the limbs distorted, and one case at least was a leper 'white as snow.' When we were fairly in our tents beyond the city westward, those lepers came, fifteen in all, and seated themselves afar off, in a semi-circle, facing our tents, with one of their number a little in advance of the others, holding out a dish for alms, and, as with one voice, they cried aloud to us to have pity on them and give them aid." Another writer describes leprous conditions thus: "The hair falls from the head and eyebrows; the nails loosen, decay and drop off; joint after joint of the fingers and toes shrink up and slowly fall away; the gums are absorbed and the teeth disappear; the nose, the eyes, the tongue and the palate are slowly consumed."

The horrors and loathsomeness of leprosy and its contaminating qualities, both by heredity and infection, well illustrate the disease of sin, which has taken hold of the entire human family, and which separates and alienates from God and all that are pure and in harmony with him. The isolation of lepers was distinctly enjoined in the Law, but no cure or remedy was prescribed. The disease was treated from a religious standpoint, and in every case made amenable to the judgment of the priests: they decided whether or not a case of leprosy had developed, they banished the leper, and in the event of anything occurring to cure him, the priests must pass upon his cleansing before he would be readmitted to society. So, in the great malady of sin, God commits to the hands of the antitypical priesthood – Christ and the faithful under-priests now being selected from the world – the work of pronouncing and making manifest what is sin, as distinct and separate from what is righteousness, and thus to separate between the clean and the unclean, between those who are in harmony with God, and those who are out of harmony with him. And in the coming age, when the Royal Priesthood shall be glorified and in official power to bless the world with the knowledge of God and the knowledge of how to become free from sin and, through the merit of the precious blood, to attain to full restitution, – to purity and perfection of mind and heart and body, – it will be this Royal Priesthood that will have the deciding of when the purification has been complete – when sin has ceased to exist in the condemned, and they have been brought back into full harmony with God and righteousness.

Travelers tell us that in the locality mentioned in our lesson – the borders of Samaria and Galilee – leprosy still abounds rather more than elsewhere; and that groups somewhat like the one described in our lesson, are frequently to be seen. This group stood afar off, as they were compelled by law to do; yet recognizing Jesus as the great Teacher, of whose miracles they had heard something, they conceived the hope that he might have compassion upon them and heal them of their loathsome disease. Therefore they lifted up their [R2722 : page 331] voices together, crying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." There is no doubt as to the meaning of their cry; altho they usually begged for money, they evidently now were seeking for healing from the great Physician.

Hearing their voices Jesus turned compassionately toward them, and we can better imagine than describe the sympathy which he felt for them in their pitiable condition, and no doubt also his mind at the same time took in the thought of the great malady of sin, from which the whole world was suffering, and whose sufferings he had come to relieve, whose bonds he had come to break, by giving his own life a ransom price for theirs. Our Lord merely said to them, "Go show yourselves to the priests." This implied that the leprosy had ceased its ravages, and that they might expect to be pronounced free from contagion and permitted to return to their homes and families, even tho the maiming and marring occasioned by the ravages of the disease would still be with them. Thankful for such a release from their sufferings, the entire ten obediently hastened to comply with the injunction, but in the way they discovered that the blessing they had received from the Lord was not merely a staying of the disease, but a restoration to normal conditions. Their faith had brought them far more than they had expected.

One of them turned back and prostrating himself before the Lord rendered homage and thanks to his deliverer. The other nine passed on to comply with our Lord's words, and to show themselves to the priests, not having a sufficiency of love, appreciation and thankfulness to return in their cleansed condition to, first of all, acknowledge the giver of the blessing they had received. Our Lord remarked this, and called attention also to the fact that the one who did return was a Samaritan, and not one of the Jewish household of faith; saying, "Were there none found that returned to give glory to God save this stranger?" And he said unto him, "Arise, and go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole."

Nothing is said in the record respecting any spiritual blessing or favor which came to the Samaritan whose thankfulness of heart led him to Jesus' feet in acknowledgement. We are not told that Jesus invited him to become one of his followers, nor that he received any spiritual blessing; indeed, we know that it was not possible that he could receive any spiritual blessing, because, being a "stranger," like all Gentiles, he was debarred from any share in divine favor until the full measure of favor was granted to the Israelites – Cornelius, three and a half years after our Lord's crucifixion, being the first Gentile to be received into favor, and that time being the earliest at which the favor might go to the Gentiles – the end of the "seventy weeks" of favor promised to Israel. – See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., pp.69-71.

Neither are we told that the nine who received the favor of God without being moved at heart to return and render thanks were, because of their unthankfulness, in any degree deprived of the blessing already received. We can readily imagine, however, that their condition of heart would not be favorable to them in connection with a hearty acceptance of the Lord and the Kingdom privileges he was offering. We may reasonably suppose that if they were unmoved by so great a manifestation of divine love toward them, experienced in their own persons, they would be equally unmoved by any preaching of the Gospel which they might hear at any future time, either from the lips of Jesus or the apostles. We may even surmise that those nine never came into the Church of Christ. On the contrary, we would have good reason to hope for the Samaritan, whose gratitude manifested itself; – that his condition of heart was nearer to the Kingdom requirement, and that when subsequently the gospel of Christ was preached to Gentiles and Samaritans, this one would be a ready hearer and have a ready heart to receive the good message and to be healed from the moral leprosy of sin, and to come into harmony with God by presenting himself before the great High Priest of our profession, who died for our sins and who accepts as clean all who come unto the Father through him. Tho we have no record of it, we believe that the Samaritan was of the kind the Lord is now drawing and calling to sacrifice with Christ, and that receiving that message of the Kingdom he would be ready to lay down his life and become dead with Christ – presenting his body a living sacrifice unto God. – 1 John 3:16; Rom. 5:1,2.

Viewed from this standpoint, thankfulness of heart is a very sure sign of the character God is seeking, – especially in matters pertaining to our great salvation. And we find parallels to this illustration all about us. We find those who have suffered from the leprosy of sin, and who have appealed to Jesus for mercy and help, and who have been justified by faith – cleansed from their iniquities, covered with the righteousness of Christ; and yet amongst all these who have experienced such blessings and favors at our Lord's hands how few, comparatively, there are who return to him and prostrate themselves before him, to offer thanks for release from the bondage of sin and condemnation, and lay themselves at his feet, living sacrifices – making a full consecration of themselves to the Lord, their reasonable service. (Rom. 12:1.) Only the truly thankful are constrained thus to do, – only the truly appreciative. As the Apostle declares of himself and all such, it is true that "The love of Christ constraineth [draweth, impelleth] us; for we thus judge that if one died for all then were all dead [yea, worse than dead in trespasses and sins and condemnation], and that we [R2723 : page 332] who live [justified to life through faith in his blood] should not henceforth live unto ourselves but unto him who died for us." – 2 Cor. 5:14.

Unthankfulness is unholiness, lack of that proper appreciation which would lead to a full consecration of life and every interest and affair to the Lord – regardless of what reward he may bestow. The "exceeding great and precious promises" of God's Word are not given to inspire thankfulness and consecration, for they are given only to the thankful and consecrated who already have presented themselves living sacrifices to God. "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom," "God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit," which is granted only to the consecrated. These promises are to strengthen and nerve us and to enable us to "overcome," in fulfilment of our covenant of consecration. – 2 Pet. 1:4; Matt. 13:11; 1 Cor. 2:9,10.

Let us each and all seek and cultivate more and more the spirit of thankfulness, the "reasonable" spirit or disposition. Thankfulness will make every trial and sacrifice on our part seem small, and proportionately easy to be offered, and it will make all of God's mercies and favors toward us proportionately grand and great and inspiring.

[R2722 : page 332]

PROPER CHRISTIAN DAILY LIVING.

TITUS 2:1-15. – NOV. 25.

"We should live soberly, righteously, godly, in this present world."

T
HE APOSTLE PAUL penned the words of our lesson, instructing Titus, an overseer (bishop) of the Church – ministering to the believers in the island of Crete. The instructions are not intended for, nor applicable to others than consecrated believers, and refer specifically to six classes in the Church at Crete. (1) The elderly men – not merely the aged, but rather the advanced, the matured, who doubtless oftenest would be also advanced in years. (2) The aged women – advanced, matured. (3) The younger women. (4) The younger men. (5) Those who, tho freemen in Christ, were bondmen according to the flesh, – servants. (6) To Titus himself. (7) The lesson ends with an exhortation applicable to all classes in the Church.

Titus, as a preacher, should have before his mind a certain standard or ideal in respect to each class in the Church, and should as a wise workman labor to the attainment of that ideal, which the Apostle here brings clearly to his attention, – intimating that instructions along the lines here laid down are in fullest accord with "sound doctrine." It has been claimed by some that the people of Crete were specially degraded and lacking of good character, and that this thought is necessary to the Apostle in giving such an exhortation to those who had left the world and joined themselves to the Lord as his Church. We shall see, however, that every word of the exhortation is quite applicable to the Lord's people today, even tho they live under the most enlightened conditions.

The Elderly Men, the advanced, were to be sober, grave, temperate (moderate) – not light, frivolous and excitable. Not only their years of natural life, but also their years of experience in Christian life, should bring them to conditions of maturity and sobriety. These three qualities would belong to a large extent to their mortal bodies, exercised and influenced by their new minds; but in addition to these there should be three other graces, characteristic of their new natures; viz., soundness in the faith, and in love, and in patience. It is of intention that the Apostle here emphasized (in the Greek) the faith, the love and the patience, for there are various faiths, various loves and various kinds of patience, and he meant to be understood as inculcating the faith, the love and the patience which are of God, and respecting which he is instructing his people through his Word, as it is written, "They shall be all taught of God."

It was not by accident that the Apostle placed "sound in the faith" before "sound in love," for since love is one of the fruits or graces of the spirit of truth, and since one cannot receive much more of the spirit of the truth than he receives of the truth itself, therefore the importance of the truth, in the having of the sound faith.

Often we are told it matters not what a man believes, but matters all how he does; but to this we answer that a sound faith is all-important, not only in shaping conduct, but also in inspiring it. It is only in proportion as we have the truth that we have the sanctifying power: in proportion as we hold errors which vitiate or nullify the truths which we hold, in that same proportion we will be lacking and deficient in the sanctifying power; and hence deficient also in the sanctification itself. We should ever remember and cooperate with our dear Redeemer's prayer to the Father on our behalf, "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth."

Neither was it by accident that the Apostle placed love before patience; because, altho patience may be cultivated from a natural standpoint, as, for instance, in the interest of worldly aims and desires, nevertheless, such patience does not affect the heart, but is merely a forcing or curbing of the outside life, and when the force is removed there is a rebound as of a spring, to the original condition of impatience. The patience which will last and become an integral part of character [R2722 : page 333] must result from a change of heart: the mainspring of love must first replace the mainspring of selfishness.

How grand the characters thus portrayed! We could not wish for more amongst the Lord's people of any place today than that the matured brethren should be sober-minded, dignified and moderate, with their new minds well stored with the sound faith of God's Word, and their hearts full of love, manifesting forth all of the various good qualities represented by this word, – kindness, meekness, gentleness, all of which might briefly be summed up in the word patience. We exhort all of the advanced brethren in the truth everywhere to note well this likeness of a matured man of God, well grown up into Christ, the living Head, and well conformed to his image; and we exhort that we all keep this image well before our minds, and make it our ideal in our Christian course.

The Aged Women, matured, developed, have also a model set before them by the Apostle. They should be "reverent in demeanor" (Revised Version). They are supposed to have professed holiness, full consecration to the Lord, full desire to know and to do his will, and such consecration is to show out in their lives. The Apostle proceeds to mention a few of the ways in which it would be manifest. They will not be "slanderers" (Revised Version) – neither false accusers nor accusers in any slanderous sense of the word. On the contrary, as the Apostle shows further on, they will be examples in the matter of minding their own business. They will not be enslaved to much wine, but be teachers of that which is good, by precept as well as by example, to all with whom they have an influence. Naturally their influence will be greatest over the younger women, and it should be exercised as becometh women professing godliness, professing to be guided by the Word of the Lord, the spirit of the truth.

The Younger Women should find ensamples in their elder saintly sisters, the influence of whom will not be in the direction of insubordination and a battle between the husband and wife in the home; and their advice will very rarely be, "Stand up for your rights;" "Give him a piece of your mind," etc. On the contrary, they will be peacemakers, and assist the younger women with such advice as will help to make home happy by obedience to the directions of the divine Word. Instead of helping to cultivate in the younger women the spirit of selfishness, which inheres naturally in every human being, through the fall, they will assist them, by both word and example, to cultivate the opposite spirit, the spirit of love – "to love their husbands and to love their children."

If love were thus inculcated as the first law of every home, the chief of the Christian graces to be developed and practiced, it would indeed make a wide distinction between Christian homes and others; and thus, perhaps, better than in almost any other manner, the Christian mother can preach the glorious gospel of salvation, and illustrate in her own life and home its power to deliver from the bondage of sin and selfishness, even in this mortal state.

They will learn from them also to be discreet, or sober-minded – not too emotional; – to do some sober thinking along sober lines, and thus to cultivate both heart and head, and to increase their own joys in the Lord as well as to prepare themselves the better for their family duties and privileges. Chastity, modesty, purity, should also be learned – an instruction deep and powerful in its influence for good; not only to the younger women themselves, but also in their families. They should learn to be "keepers at home," or "workers at home," as the Revised Version renders it, appreciating the fact that the duties of a wife and mother [R2724 : page 333] are chiefly home duties; that the home is her workshop and her pulpit, where her influence should be greatest and most valuable.

They should also learn to be "obedient to their own husbands," or, as the Diaglott renders this, "submissive" – not attempting to usurp the place of the husband in the home, not keeping up a continual strife and battle about life's affairs, so that the husband will have one battle of life to win their daily bread and another battle while they eat it. By "obedience" and "submission" we do not understand the Apostle to mean blind obedience or dumb submission, nor in any sense of the word that the wife shall not enjoy fully all proper liberties and privileges; but that while enjoying these she shall use them with propriety, so as to make life a blessing and not a burden to her husband, with whom lie chiefly the responsibilities of the home, according to both divine and human law.

As a Christian wife she should have a judgment respecting the Lord's will, as presented in the Lord's Word, respecting the affairs of the home, and all the interests of the family, and these views she should express, in love and moderation, and kindly, however emphatically; but having expressed her judgment respecting the Lord's will in the matter and the reasons therefor, she should be "submissive" to the decision of the husband (in all matters not involving her conscience); because, according to divine arrangement, the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the Church – the final arbiter respecting family affairs.

Should the Christian wife at times find that the pursuance of this Scriptural course had brought her disadvantages or were about to work ill to the general interests of the family, let her protest kindly, and point out to her husband, without "harping," what she foresees to be the results, and urge a change; pointing out (especially if the husband be not a Christian) that the responsibilities of the transaction lie wholly in his hands: and let her then console herself with the thought that she, at least, is following the divine direction, and that the ultimate result is sure to be a spiritual blessing, in harmony with the Lord's promise that all things shall work together for good to them that love him – and who demonstrate their love by obedience. Let her take the matter to the Lord in prayer, and "bear a song away." As the Apostle points out, this course is the one least likely to bring reproaches upon the cause we love and to which we have consecrated even life itself.

To the Young Men of the Church the Apostle sends [R2724 : page 334] an exhortation that they be sober-minded – not rash, thoughtless, conceited – that they exercise self-control. And then, in view of the fact that Titus himself was a young man, he exhorts that he shall be a pattern to all the young men of the Church, and thus incidentally he exhorts all of the young men of the Church to note carefully and to be exercised by the qualities and considerations then urged upon Titus.

Upon Titus the Apostle urges that he shall be a model man, a pattern of good works and soundness of doctrine; not permitting his teachings (doctrine) to be corrupted either with vain imaginations of his own or those of other people. He urges upon him, and thus incidentally upon all young men also, gravity, the opposite of frivolity, levity: as Christians we have something to occupy our minds that the world has not; and the greatness and grandeur of their hopes and ambitions, based upon the exceeding great and precious promises of the divine Word, should give to their lives and general conduct a weight which, like a good cargo in a vessel, would keep them from being top-heavy and prepare them to outride the storms and difficulties of life through which they must pass to reach the desired haven.

Sound speech, with which no fault could be found, is another of the qualities that Titus and all of the Lord's people, especially the young men, are to strive for. Not merely sound speech in the sense of accurate and grammatical expression, but sound speech especially, in the sense of having their conversation and the influence which one exerts through conversation, of a truly helpful, strengthening kind – to mind and heart and character. Alas, how much of the conversation of even Christian young men is anything but sound, anything but helpful to themselves and their companions. Young men in Christ are to be copies of God's dear Son, so that by their common conversation as well as by their general demeanor they shall continually preach Christ and properly represent before the world his noble characteristics, – truth, righteousness, purity, gentleness, goodness, love. Sound speech cannot be condemned by anybody, friend or foe, heathen or Christian, saint or sinner; and, as the Apostle suggests, such a course will be a constant reproof to those enemies who must always be expected; in the face of such noble living they of the contrary part must surely be put to shame eventually.

To Servants the Apostle sends a message also; and it was a very different message from what some of God's dear children, less wise than the Apostle in their understanding of the divine plan, would have given. Many of God's people of today, instead of being peace-makers are peace-disturbers, because of a failure to see properly the principles which underlie the Gospel, and their proper application in the present time. They exhort servants to "strike," to "stand up for their rights," to see that they are not "tramped upon," to "demand justice," and see that they get it. The Apostle, on the contrary, understanding God's plan, knew not to expect full justice, not to expect human rights or any others to have great consideration in the present time, because we are still in what he designates "this present evil world [dispensation];" because "the prince of this world [dispensation]" is Satan, and because his Kingdom of the present time is based upon neither love nor righteousness, but upon selfishness. – Gal. 1:4; John 14:30.

The Apostle knew not to expect the wrongs to be righted and justice to be dispensed under Satan's administration, and hence in all of his teachings he points the believers to the coming time when the Lord, the righteous King, shall take possession of earth's governments, and fulfil that petition of our prayer, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." Then justice may be expected, because justice is done in heaven; then all rights will be respected, as all rights are respected in heaven; but before that glorious condition shall obtain Emmanuel's Kingdom must be established and Satan, the prince of this world, must be bound, that he should deceive the nations no more, and that his rule of unrighteousness and selfishness shall be set aside, supplanted by the laws of him who shall lay justice to the line and righteousness to the plummet. – Rev. 20:1-3; Dan. 2:44; Isa. 28:17.

The Apostle's exhortation to servants is in harmony with this, that they be obedient to their masters, and seek to please them well. They were not to be shiftless, careless, indifferent as to the prosperity of their masters' interests and the care of their masters' goods. They were to take as much interest in those things as tho they were their own; – as the Apostle elsewhere expresses it, they were to do their work as tho they were doing it to the Lord himself, faithfully, well. (1 Cor. 10:31.) Such service rendered to an earthly master "as unto the Lord," and because of a desire to please the Lord, and because of the indwelling of his truth and its spirit, will undoubtedly be accepted of the Lord as tho it were some service done directly in the interest of his cause, should the conditions of the servant hinder him from doing any work more particularly in the Lord's service and the service of the truth.

Not only were servants to endeavor to please their masters and to please them well, but this in all things – in the little things as well as in the great affairs; and thus Christian servants would be recognized, wherever they might be, as different, distinct from others, too many of whom are "eye-servants," faithful merely under the eye of their employer. Such Christian servants will come to be recognized as jewels even by those who have no sympathy with their religious convictions, and possibly would constitute the most weighty sermons these could deliver. They might obey their masters and yet continually protest and complain; hence the Apostle adds a word on this point, saying, "Not answering again" – not gainsaying nor quarreling with the master over his methods and ways and work; not complaining of sharing the common lot of other servants, whatever that might be; preferably, indeed, letting others complain, and holding their peace, rather than stirring up strife, – and rather than have the cause they love and seek to serve ill thought of.

Not purloining – secretly appropriating to themselves the master's goods, etc., contrary to his known wishes. And it might be not inappropriate here for us to remember that if the master should desire the servant to engage in some work that would be dishonest, morally wrong, this would be a proper ground upon which the servant should object and protest. His conscience must be preserved in every matter that properly [R2725 : page 335] belongs to his conscience; but he may not busybody himself with the master's affairs in matters which belong to the master's conscience, and with which the servant has nothing to do. By his own strict integrity even in the smallest things he shall do his preaching and exercise his influence upon his master, "showing all fidelity," faithfulness to his master's interests.

The effect of all knowledge is to render the intelligent restive under restraints, and as Christian knowledge is the highest form of knowledge, it more than any other tends to restlessness. It inculcates the thought that however widely different the conditions between the king and the peasant as respects men and earthly things, they really are on a par as respects morals, – on the same level from the standpoint of divine justice. This thought once received into the humblest mind destroys very much of the veneration which otherwise might be felt toward those in earthly authority. It is an uplifting thought to the poor, that before the great King of all the earth they stand on the same footing with the richest, the most learned and the most powerful of earth; – that whether rich or poor "A man is a man for all that." It causes them to realize that a man has a man's rights, and that these are more than animal rights, that they include liberty of mind and conscience and certain liberties of conduct.

It is this very enlightenment which Christianity has brought to the world which is about to cause it the great convulsion and revolution which shall overthrow all present institutions in anarchy. The Christian servant is to be more than merely an enlightened man: he is a man consecrated to God as well; one who has surrendered his "rights" to the will of God, and who, having placed himself in the Lord's hands to be taught of God, and to be fitted and prepared for the heavenly Kingdom, is full of faith that the Lord is both able and willing to keep the trust, to safeguard his interests, and to permit nothing to come upon him that shall not be overruled for his spiritual development and welfare.

The true Christian servant (and all Christians must be servants if like their Master – Phil. 2:7) thus consecrated, realizes that under divine providence he is not to expect his rights in the present time, nor to strive for them; but that, on the contrary, he sacrifices them to the will of God – to the doing of the Lord's will so far as he may have opportunity, and to the having of the Lord's will done in him according to the Lord's wisdom and providence. If oppressed and dealt with unjustly, he will look to the Lord for deliverance, and whatever way it shall come will accept it as of divine arrangement; and whatever God does not provide in the way of deliverance along reasonable and just lines he will accept as the rulings of his providence, and render to the Lord thanks for his watch-care and seek to learn the lessons of patience and experience and long-suffering, which these trials may inculcate; recognizing in such a case that these trials, from whomsoever they come, are permitted of the Lord if not ordered by him, and intended for his welfare and spiritual development.

Such Christian servants, and such Christians in any walk of life, are the only ones who know what contentment really is. Others are striving for the attainment of rights and for the correction of wrongs, and are only cultivating more and more the spirit of selfishness in their own hearts, and generally causing themselves the more trouble and discontent. Only the Christian can say,

"Content, whatever lot I see,
Since 'tis God's hand that leadeth me,"

and he can only take this position by the exercise of a living faith, and can only exercise such a living faith in life's affairs after he has made a consecration of himself to the Lord, and can only make such a consecration of himself after he has come to some knowledge of the divine character and plan. Such servants, the Apostle assures us, adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. They show that it is not a doctrine of strife, but of peace and of good-will toward men, not a doctrine merely of personal rights and of selfish strife for their attainment, but a doctrine of love, joy and peace in the holy spirit.
WHY THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD LIVE SEPARATE FROM THE WORLD.

After recounting to us as above the proper course for the various classes in the Church, the Apostle proceeds to give the logical reason for the above advice, saying: "For [because] the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men." – Revised Version.

When did God's grace appear thus? We answer, not until the Gospel began to be preached after our Redeemer's death and resurrection. For four thousand years the grace of God did not appear, was not manifest in any sense of the word. The Law Covenant was to the Jew only, and it was not of grace but the reverse – of law and of justice. At very most this "grace of God" was prophesied of, that it would appear later, and that blessings would follow upon all the families of the earth. It has not yet appeared to all men, but more properly this would be rendered "for all men," since God's grace is intended to apply to every man – as widely as did the curse apply.

In the present time the majority of mankind do not see the grace of God, – it does not appear to them. More than four-fifths of the human family are totally blind to this grace, in heathen darkness, today, and of the one-fifth who have seen something of this grace divine, the vast majority have seen it so obscurely, so dimly, as not to be able to discern its beauties or appreciate its value. Blessed are our eyes if they have seen. In the Apostle's day, and still in our day, this grace of God has appeared "to all men," in the sense that it is no longer in any sense of the word confined to the Jew, but is now open to Jew and to Gentile alike, the middle wall of partition having been broken down, as the Apostle explains.

In what does this grace of God consist? We answer with the Apostle, It is God's favor that has been announced and manifested as the basis of reconciliation – not man's righteousness. God tells us through his Word that he himself has provided the great sacrifice for sins, demanded by his own law, that Jesus has met the penalty in full on our behalf; and that as a result we may be reconciled to God now, and he can justly and without violence to his laws receive us whom he had previously condemned to death. And this receiving of us signifies a restoration of his favor; and the restoration of his favor, if rightly received by us, will, under his providence, bring us to such conditions as will effect our salvation, our full delivery from sin and [R2725 : page 336] death, and imperfection, into the full life and perfection and liberty of the sons of God.

This applies to the Church being elected from the world during this Gospel age, and the same will apply to the world of mankind in general as they shall be blessed of God through the elect Church in the Millennial age. God's grace in the present time is manifested in connection with the "high calling" to the divine nature and the life immortal connected therewith. His grace in the Millennial age will be manifested in connection with the "restitution" blessings which will be offered to all mankind, and the earthly life-everlasting which will be granted to all those who then come into harmony with the terms of that grace.

What has the grace of God to do with us? And why should it lead to such a revolution in our conduct and character as the Apostle has just intimated? Because, says the Apostle, this grace of God, by which we are called to salvation, teaches us something: it teaches us that the way of reconciliation back to God's favor is a way of self-denial, – denying everything that is ungodliness, everything that is contrary to our highest conception of the divine character and will; the denying also of every worldly love or desire or ambition – ambition for worldly influence, for the riches of this world; and that instead of aiming and striving for these things, we who desire the salvation which God promises are to live to the contrary of these, "soberly, righteously, godly [God-like], in this present world" – not expecting worldly honors and advantages under the reign of "the prince of this world," who not only had no interest in our Master, but likewise no friendly interest in any who follow in his footsteps.

But if we are thus to live self denyingly in this world (age) that we may attain to the grace of God in the next world (age) – "the world to come" – what are we to have before our minds in the nature of a prospect or hope toward which we are to look with longing and interest and comfort of heart? Ah! the Apostle tells us what. He holds up before us the grand consideration toward which all of our ambitions are to turn, in which all of our hopes are to centre, and in which our hearts are to find their treasure, outweighing and outvaluing every earthly consideration. He thus describes this hope, –

LOOKING FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE AND THE APPEARING OF THE GLORY OF OUR GREAT GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. – Revised Version.

This is to be the centre of our expectations. We are not to hope for blessing this side of the manifestation of God's Kingdom. We are to note that this Kingdom must come before God's will can be done on earth as it is done in heaven. We are to know that this Kingdom must bind Satan and overthrow his institutions, based upon selfishness, before it can supplant these with new institutions of justice and truth based upon the grand principle of love. Whoever, therefore, has been blessed with the grace of God, and has had the eyes of his understanding opened by the Word of truth, and its spirit, finds its teachings to be that these blessings of salvation are to be "brought unto us at the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:13), and that our chief object in the present life is to fight a good fight against self and against sin, and in defence of righteousness and in the assistance of the household of faith; and not to fight for earthly rights nor to strive for earthly honors and riches, – the warfare and strife in which the whole world, except ourselves, is almost exclusively engaged. If the Lord's saints possess talents or influence or wealth, these are not their treasures, but merely their servants, and they are not the possessors [R2726 : page 336] of these, but merely the stewards, whose privilege it is to use them as best they may know how, in the Master's service, and to the forwarding of the interests of righteousness in the preparation of themselves and others for his appearing and Kingdom.

The Apostle speaks of our Lord Jesus as "our great God and Savior," and this is in full accord with the general teachings of the Scriptures. Our Lord Jesus is a mighty one, a great one amongst the mighty ones, and as our Lord himself declares, all should "honor the Son even as they honor the Father." – John 1:1; 5:22.

The Apostle presents in another consideration why we should be exercised by this blessed hope of the Lord's second coming and our gathering together to him as his elect Church. It is not merely that we should think of life everlasting and glory in which we might share; but that we should think also that this One coming in glory, and to whom we hope to be joined everlastingly, as members of the Bride, to the Bridegroom, – is no other than he who gave himself for us, who sacrificed his own life in our redemption. We are to remember, too, that he not only redeemed us from the penalty of sin, death, but that the redemption which he purposes and provides is more than a redemption from iniquity, from sin. We are to remember also that this purging away of sin and the instruction and cleansing which the Word of truth is to do for us, as the Apostle has foregoing set forth, is to the intent that by these means the Lord may "purify unto himself a peculiar people" – a people different from others, possessed of a special love for that which is just, that which is pure, that which is noble, that which is good; and who, despite the imperfections of their mortal bodies, are striving to cultivate these graces more and more in their hearts, and to keep their bodies in subjection. Moreover, says the Apostle, these peculiar people will be "zealous of good works," earnestly desirous and striving to do good unto all men as they have opportunity, physically, mentally, morally, – and especially to do good to the household of faith.

The Apostle's exhortation, in conclusion, is that Titus shall speak and exhort the Church along these lines which he has laid down, reproving them, whenever necessary (in love and gentleness, and yet with full authority, not doubting as to the meaning of the divine instruction). He was to let no man despise him, in the sense that he was to declare these principles of righteousness governing the Lord's people in a plain, positive and authoritative manner. He was to speak with authority and not as with uncertainty and questioning. And so let us speak, each and all, to ourselves and to others, setting forth the principles of the salvation which has appeared to us, with no uncertain sound, that thus we may minister grace to the hearers and glorify our Father in heaven and our Redeemer and Deliverer.

page 337
November 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.NOVEMBER 15, 1900.No. 21.
CONTENTS.

Views From the Watch Tower 339
Is Nature Cruel? 339
Roman Catholicism in Politics 340
Make Sure of Winning in God's Election 341
Different Standpoint, Different View 342
Ignorance Respecting God's Election 342
Sorrowful, For He Had Great Possessions 346
The Grace of All Graces 347
"Trust Not in Uncertain Riches" 348
Entreaty Answered. – Blind Eyes Opened 349
Ill-gotten Wealth Restored 351
Christian Home Embellishments 352
About Pilgrim Arrangements 338

'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 338

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.

[R2731 : page 338]

"PILGRIM" ARRANGEMENTS STILL MISUNDERSTOOD.

We find that quite a number of our readers did not respond to our queries respecting "Pilgrim" visits because they thought themselves too far from Allegheny to ask or expect a visit. Others who did respond have wondered that a "Pilgrim" was not started to them at once. For these reasons we explain again, as follows: –

The Society sends forth a number of these Pilgrims – according as the Society's funds will permit and the interests of the flock seem to demand. These are sent out on long tours – three to twelve months, according to circumstances; – and sometimes reach very out-of-the-way places where we know that the interest and arrangements will justify the expense and time. We rarely give more than two days to any place unless more is specially requested and good reasons given.

We will be making up new routes for 1901 and therefore requested replies to our questions from all who desire to be remembered and visited. See TOWER Aug. 1, 1900. page 338

MARKED NEW TESTAMENTS.

We have now a goodly supply of the Marked New Testaments. The markings are in red ink, making prominent verses which are specially forceful as respects various features of the divine plan for our salvation. The ransom, justification, sanctification, the second coming of our Lord and the resurrection are made quite prominent in these markings. Price postpaid two for 25 cents or $1.10 per dozen by express at your charges.

The publication, markings, etc. are not our work.

MONEY OR STAMPS SHOULD BE SENT "REGISTERED"

[R2726 : page 339]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

IS NATURE CRUEL?

THIS QUESTION has already been answered by some eminent authorities in the affirmative, and the belief that such an answer is the correct one is widespread. Sir Samuel Baker declares that nature "is a system of terrorism from the beginning to the end," and John Stuart Mill asserts that if there are marks of design in creation, "one of the things most evidently designed is that a large proportion of all animals should pass their existence in tormenting and devouring other animals." If we assume nature to be the work of a Being of infinite power, he concludes that "the most atrocious enormities of the worst men will be more than justified by the apparent intention of Providence that throughout all animated nature the strong should prey on the weak." These radical assertions are controverted by J. C. Hirst, of Liverpool, England, in a book whose title is the same as the head of this article (London, 1900). After examining the experiences of hunters of big game, he concludes in the first place that Sir Samuel Baker's dictum is untrue. We quote from a review in Our Animal Friends (October) the following abstract of his argument: –

"Where there is terrorism there must be terror, and terror is one of the most horrible of sufferings. Is it true, then, that the animals most exposed to the attacks of the carnivora suffer greatly from terror? We believe that it is almost entirely untrue. Terror in human beings is largely due to the imagination.... Have we any reason to believe that the lower animals have a similar terror of imagination? We have good reason to believe the contrary. Mr. J. D. Inverarity tells the following incident: A poor donkey was 'tied-out'; that is, as a bait for a lion. The lion approached, but the hunter, looking through his peephole, saw the donkey standing unharmed, while the lion went on growling. It was afterward discovered that the lion had actually tried to throw the donkey over with his paw and had failed, altho it had scratched the donkey on the inner side of the leg. But 'within a few minutes of the donkey being attacked, it was calmly eating which showed its nerves were not affected.'

"Mr. Wallace maintains that 'the constant effort to escape enemies, the ever-recurring struggle against the forces of nature,' are 'the very means by which much of the beauty and harmony and enjoyment of nature are produced.' To what else is it that the fleetness of the horse and of the many species of deer and antelopes is due? To what else, indeed, but the perpetual stimulus to exert their utmost speed, which is caused by the fear of enemies? But is not this fear the very terror which Sir Samuel Baker affirms? By no means. Mr. Francis Galton not only agrees with Mr. Wallace, but maintains that the peril in which they live is a source of pleasure....

"Prince Kropotkin points out the enormous exaggeration of the 'tooth and claw' view of nature. The Prince refers to the families of elephants, rhinoceroses, and the numberless societies of monkeys to be found in the lower latitudes of Asia and Africa; the numberless herds of reindeer in the far North, the herds of musk-oxen and the innumerable bands of polar foxes still farther north; the flocks of seals and morses and sociable cetaceans which inhabit the ocean; the herds of wild horses, donkeys, camels and sheep which range the steppes of Central Asia. He says:

"'How trifling, in comparison with them, are the numbers of carnivora! And how false, therefore, is the view of those who speak of the animal world as if nothing were to be seen in it but lions and hyenas plunging their bleeding teeth into the flesh of the victims! One might as well imagine that the whole of human life is nothing but a succession of Tel-el-Kebir and Geoktepe massacres.'

"Unless, then, death is an inexcusable incident in animal life, it would seem that the terror of death to be inflicted by the carnivora is really a figment of the imagination; and one might reasonably adopt the language of Mr. Wallace, that 'the supposed torments [R2726 : page 340] and miseries of animals have little real existence, but are the reflection of the imagined sensations of cultivated men and women in similar circumstances, and that the amount of actual suffering caused by the struggle for existence among animals is altogether insignificant.'"

Mr. Hirst does not, of course, deny that there is a good deal of eating and being eaten in the animal kingdom. This, however, he says, is not cruelty, and he devotes much space to showing that in their attacks wild creatures cause their victims little pain, altho he does not go so far as to say that the mangled ones enjoy it, as Wallace maintained of the fleeing antelope. The familiar case of Dr. Livingstone, on whom a lion's jaw crunching through his shoulder acted as an anesthetic, is of course cited, and supported by much evidence along the same line. The reviewer regards the case as having been made out, and concludes as follows:

"So then, as the result of this most interesting investigation, we may reasonably come to the conclusion that nature is by no means the system of terrorism that Sir Samuel Baker makes it out to be; that it does not justify the pessimistic and almost atheistic conclusions of Mr. J. S. Mill, and that it is not the horrible commingling of devourers and devoured that a superexcited imagination is predisposed to paint it. On the contrary, we may believe that the various carnivorous enemies of the gentler races of animals are much more serviceable in training them to the finest exercise of skill and fleetness than they are destructive of their numbers or oppressively noxious to their happiness of animal life, and that in a world in which death is necessary, death by the assault of carnivorous enemies is no more dreadful, but is, in fact, much less painful, than many other methods by which life may be extinguished."

Literary Digest.

The above is in full accord with our presentations on the subject in our issue of June 1, page 165; which please note again. [R2727 : page 340]

ROMAN CATHOLICISM IN POLITICS.

"At the annual meeting of the Catholic Young Men's National Union in Brooklyn, September 26, a resolution was adopted to form a great federation of all the societies of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States for political purposes. Last spring Bishop McFaul of Trenton, N.J., told the Ancient Order of Hibernians that the Roman Catholics of America were fools not to organize into one solid mass and make their power felt in the politics of this country; there were 2,000,000 Roman Catholic voters, and if they were united for political action they could make this country a Roman Catholic nation.

"This federation has now been formed by the following societies: The Knights of Columbus, the Knights of St. John, the Catholic Benevolent Legion, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish Catholic Benevolent Union, the Irish-American Societies, the German-American Societies, the Catholic Knights of America, the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America; and, as the Brooklyn Eagle of Sept. 26, 1900 (from which we quote), says: 'Besides these organizations there are scores of others of less prominence.'

"The federation is formed, says the Eagle, 'for the avowed purpose of influencing legislation and securing what the Catholics claim are their rights.'

"The convention, which met in the Park Theatre, Brooklyn, was the largest gathering in the history of the Young Men's National Union, and it was addressed by leading priests and laymen from all parts of the country. Father Lavelle, rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral in this city, Monsignor Doane of Newark, N.J., Sheriff Buttling of Brooklyn, Congressman Fitzgerald, of Boston, and Father Wall of Holy Rosary Church, this city, made stirring addresses. The latter was elected president of the union.

"'The convention,' continues the Eagle, which is one of the foremost metropolitan daily journals, 'unanimously approved the plan of federation and appointed committees to carry it into effect. By this means tens of thousands of men of the Catholic faith will be brought under one national head, and this stalwart body of men will have a strong influence on national legislation.' The New York Herald and other papers had similar reports. This is the most important step ever taken by the Roman Catholics in the United States. They now have New York City in their possession, and many of the other large cities of our republic are under their control; all, like Tammany Hall, 'worked for all their worth,' in the interests of the Roman Catholic Church, and incidentally for the benefit of the workers. 'In politics I work for my own pocket all the time,' said Richard Croker, the 'Boss' of Tammany. He might have added that a large share of the municipal plunder goes to Roman Catholic institutions.

"Having possession of the cities, the Romanists now reach out to gain control in national affairs. 'We must make America Catholic,' said Archbishop Ireland at the hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the United States, which was held in Baltimore, Nov. 10, 1889. 'We must make America Catholic. As we love our church, it suffices to mention the work and our cry shall be, God wills it, and our hearts shall leap towards it with Crusader enthusiasm.' He was wildly applauded by the eighty bishops, one thousand priests and five thousand laymen present.

"'Why should we fear or hesitate?' he continued, with glowing fervor and proud boasting. 'We number ten millions – a powerful army if the forces be well marshaled and their latent strength be brought into action. Catholics in America are loyal to their church and devoted to her leaders. Their labors and their victories in the first century of their history show what they are capable of in the coming century, when they are conscious of their power and are under complete hierarchical organization.'

"And so, even before the century has begun, they are preparing by a complete organization to conquer this country and turn it over to the pope! What have the Protestants of America to say to this? says The Converted Catholic of New York."

[R2727 : page 341]
SOCIALISM GROWING IN GERMANY.

The election of a member of the Reichstag for Brandenburg has caused considerable political excitement throughout Germany, as it has resulted in a signal victory for the Socialist candidate, Herr Peus, by a majority of 648 votes. This constituency has had a varied history, having returned within the past twenty years Conservatives, Radicals and National Liberals; but throughout all its fluctuations one fact was prominent; namely, the growth of Socialism there.

The number of Socialist members now in the Reichstag is fifty-eight; in 1885 there were only twenty-three; in 1890 the number rose to thirty-five. At the general election of 1893 there were forty-four Socialists returned. At the last general election in 1898 the number was fifty-six. Subsequent byeelections have added two members.

If we turn to the number of recorded votes we find that in 1885 over half a million Socialist votes were given; in 1887 three-quarters of a million; in 1890 nearly one million and a half; in 1893 one million and three-quarters; and at the last general election two and a quarter millions. The calculation which places the strength of the Socialist party at the next election at three million votes, and 100 seats in the Reichstag out of a total of 397 seats, would not appear excessive.

– London Daily Chronicle, Oct. 29.

[R2727 : page 341]

MAKE SURE OF WINNING IN GOD'S ELECTION.

"Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure." – 2 Pet. 1:10.

I
NTEREST in the recent election of a President of the United States has been general throughout the whole world, and especially amongst English-speaking peoples: in fact, the exercise of the franchise by the public, whenever and wherever, is generally a matter of absorbing interest to "the children of this world" – whether the office be a high one, as that of President of the United States, or Member of Congress, or Member of Parliament, or whether it be a lower one, for some petty office of ward magistrate or constable. The candidates for these offices and their friends, in proportion to the dignity of the office, do not hesitate to spend money for printing, brass bands, banners, flags, banquets, traveling speakers, etc. And this is looked upon as thoroughly reasonable, and engaged in by the reputedly more intelligent and sane of all nations. But there is another election in progress – an election of a hundred and forty-four thousand, to a higher position than that of any earthly magistrate or potentate; and for not a few years merely, for the elect are promised this highest of all honors for all eternity.

Does the world know about this election? We answer, No. True, many have heard something about an election – that God is "taking out of the nations a people for his name," a "little flock," who, as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord, will be given the Kingdom which God hath promised to them that love him, – the Kingdom for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." But tho they have heard of this Kingdom and the election now in progress, to make up the foreordained number of its kings and priests they do not really believe it, but regard it as a fantasy, "as a tale that is told," a fairy story which none but the simple-minded and children would take seriously. Ah yes! and so the Redeemer-King informed us it would be; and so he prayed to the Father, saying, "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes; even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight." – Matt. 11:25,26.

If the wise and prudent, the keen and the shrewd, the learned and the great, really comprehended the situation, – if they really believed in this election which is in progress under divine direction, according to the divine Word, what haste there would be amongst them to "make their calling and election sure," as the Apostle exhorts. It is not that people are not appreciative of such honors and dignities of power and influence as this Kingdom offers, that they pass by God's election, and treat it with indifference; for their love of power, their love of influence, their love of position and prestige, is abundantly in evidence in connection, not only with the governments of this world, but also in connection with even the trifling offices in the nominal churches. The spirit of "Which shall be greatest?" has apparently not died out.

But while those who seek for earthly offices of a brief tenure and comparatively small dignity are willing to sacrifice time, energy, money, etc., to attain these petty offices and honors, and while they can arouse enthusiasm amongst their friends and neighbors, leading to expenditures of time, money and energy to an astounding degree, and tho they think it strange that we "run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of us" (1 Pet. 4:4), nevertheless, they affect to think it remarkable that we who are candidates for the superlatively high office for which God has nominated us should spend time, [R2727 : page 342] influence and means in making our calling and election sure, and in assisting "brethren" in their election work: they consider our time wasted. Altho they spend millions of dollars in speeches, brass bands, editorials, parades, etc., to determine which of two men should hold the most honorable office of this nation for four years, they consider it remarkably strange that we should spend a fragment of the amount, or make the one-thousandth part of the commotion to secure for ourselves and to all of the "elect" the great "prize of our high calling."

DIFFERENT STANDPOINT – DIFFERENT VIEW.

All this only illustrates the two very different standpoints from which matters may be viewed. From the world's standpoint the Lord's consecrated people who seek to make their calling and election sure to the heavenly Kingdom are counted fools, because to attain that they are willing to sacrifice present temporal interests; and this sentiment of the public is the same today that it was in the Apostle's time, when he wrote, "If any man among you seemeth to be wise, in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise." (1 Cor. 3:18; 4:10.) From our standpoint, seeing the eternal things and the glories attaching to them, we cannot avoid the feeling that it is "the children of this world" who are foolish, in that they expend so much breath and energy upon things which, if attained, last but a short time, and bring with them large measures of perplexity and trouble and criticism of opponents to their election: and sometimes untellable injury to themselves, the ruled.

But why this difference of opinion? Which party is sane, and which is lacking in sanity? We answer, that the difference is that the one class sees what the other class does not see, and that because God has specially revealed it unto the one. As it is written, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man [the natural man, unilluminated by the holy spirit] the things which God hath in reservation for them that love him; but God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit,...which searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." – 1 Cor. 2:9,10.

The fact, then, is that the Lord's consecrated people, through faith and by God's holy spirit, have inside information respecting "the things not seen as yet." Hence we see that the two parties – the one seeking earthly honors and advantages, for themselves and each other, the other seeking the heavenly advantages, or election for themselves and each other – are both laboring for what they see; for what they consider to be the most valuable thing they see and may attain. O how precious, then, is this eye of faith, which the Lord's consecrated people have! No wonder our Lord said to some of his disciples, "Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear" – other eyes do not see and other ears do not hear these heavenly things. And in that sense of the word comparatively few even in civilized lands have been called or nominated of the Lord for his election – comparatively few know anything about it or the terms which must be understood and obeyed in order to make the calling and election sure.

IGNORANCE RESPECTING GOD'S ELECTION.

Even amongst professing Protestant Christians the majority do not know that there is an election. The leading denomination, Methodists, positively deny that there is an election; and even the large denominations which hold that an election is in progress (Presbyterians and Baptists, etc.) have totally false conceptions of its character: they regard God's call or nomination as being the election itself, and hence the words of the Apostle in our text confuse rather than help them. They think of the matter from the standpoint of divine foreknowledge and predestination: they consider the election as something done by the Almighty wholly regardless of the character and works of the elect, saying in their Confessions of Faith, that it takes place without consideration of any worthiness or merit on the part of the elect, but solely of divine grace. They thus make void the Word of God, and the election inducements which it holds out, – confusing their own minds, and in the end traducing the character of the divine ruler and his law.

Would that they could see what is so plainly set forth in the divine Word; viz., (1) that the predestination on God's part was that he would choose a Church, – from amongst those whom his grace would redeem from the curse of death through the precious blood of Christ. (2) That he predestinated that this Church should be of a fixed, positive, limited number; – we believe literally 144,000 – of whom the nucleus was found in the remnant of Israel which accepted of Christ at and after Pentecost: the number being constantly added to throughout the Gospel age, and to be fully completed with the end of this age. (3) That he predestinated what must be the fixed character of each one whom he would recognize as a member of this elect Church, the body of Christ – as the Apostle says, he "predestinated that we should be conformed to the likeness of his Son." (Rom. 8:29.) Consequently the predestination meant that none could be of the elect Kingdom class (however plainly they heard the call or nomination), unless they made their calling and election sure by cultivating the graces of the spirit and thus coming into heart-likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ – copies of him who set us an example, that we should walk in his steps. – 1 Pet. 2:21. [R2727 : page 343]

Here we have an election which accords with every definition of the Scriptures and all the Scriptural facts relating to the divine plan of the ages. It is this election which we feel justified in securing at any cost, at any self-denial, any self-sacrifice; and these self-denials and self-sacrifices are works which must be performed if we would be of the elect; as the Apostle says, we must "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil. 2:12; Jas. 2:22.) Yet these works are not ours (as men) but as "new creatures," members of the body of Christ. And they are God's works in the sense that they are incited by his Word and Spirit: for "it is God that worketh in you to will and to do." – Phil. 2:13; Eph. 3:20.

Let us not be misunderstood, however. Our justification, the basis of our call or nomination to this high position in the Kingdom was secured, not by works, but by simple faith without works. We were justified by faith, and had peace with God, before it was possible for us to do any works which would be acceptable in his sight. But when we were accepted in the Beloved, having made full consecration of our mortal bodies, and every interest pertaining thereto, – then the works began, the sacrificing began, the self-denials began, the overcoming of the world began, the battle with the world, the flesh and the devil began. This battle must be won in our hearts (even tho we will not attain perfection in the flesh) else we will not make our election sure and receive the crown of glory, the symbol of our joint-heirship with him who bought us with his own precious blood.

So then we see (a) that only those who have heard something, at least, of the grace of God in Christ have been in the remotest sense in contact with the privileges of this election, – because "faith cometh by hearing." And (b) faith the result of hearing, rightly received, brings justification from the sins that are past, and peace with God. And (c) only those who are at peace with God (being justified by faith) are called to joint-heirship with Christ in his sacrifice, walking in his footsteps and thus attaining to joint-heirship with him in his Kingdom. And (d) only those thus called or nominated by God have the remotest opportunity of becoming the elect. And then mark, (e) the Lord's own declaration, "Many are called; few are chosen [elected – from the same Greek word]." – Matt. 22:14.

Let us not only assure ourselves of the fact that there is an elect class being selected during the Gospel age, to a special position of honor and service with the Lord, but let us at the same time note the lessons enjoined upon this class of called or nominated ones – the instructions given them of the Lord whereby they may make their calling and election sure.

OTHER SCRIPTURE REFERENCES TO THE ELECT.

"I endure all things for the elect's sake," writes the Apostle Paul. (2 Tim. 2:10.) The Apostle's sufferings whereby, as he said, he sought to "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ [were] for his body's sake, which is the Church" (Col. 1:24) – not for the world. The reason for this is evident: The Apostle knew the Lord's plan to be to call and to elect during this Gospel age a little flock of overcomers of the world, faithful even unto death, as a Royal Priesthood, to share with the Lord Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom. He knew, therefore, that labor on behalf of the world before the world's day of trial or judgment would come, would be to a large extent at least love's labor lost; and hence he was not of those who would "beat the air" in the service of the Lord, accomplishing nothing; he would work according to the divine direction and thus be a co-worker together with God, that in due time as a member of the elect company, faithful to the Lord's call, he would be granted a share in the Kingdom, which is to bless all the families of the earth.

"Even so, at this present time there is an election according to grace....Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained it and the rest were blinded." (Rom. 11:5,7.) Here the Apostle is speaking of this same elect Church, and is referring to the Jewish remnant out of all the tribes with which this elect Church was started, and to which, after Israel's national rejection of the Lord, the special invitation went forth to the Gentiles, to "take out of them a people for his name [to bear the name of Christ]" to complete the predestinated number of the elect 144,000 (twelve thousand accredited to each of the twelve tribes of Israel). Thus we who are being called from amongst the Gentiles are invited to fill up the deficiency in the elect number of Israel, and will be, so to speak, divided amongst the twelve tribes, tho according to what rule of distinction the Scriptures do not show.

"Put on, therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering, forbearing one another and forgiving one another." (Col. 3:12,13.) Here we have an intimation of the character-likeness to God's dear Son which the same writer tells us God has predestinated respecting everyone who will make his calling and election sure. (Rom. 8:29.) God has called us with his high calling, and from the time we accept the call and make the requisite full consecration of ourselves to him he gives us the earnest of our inheritance, viz., the spirit of adoption, the spirit of sonship: it remains, however, for us to be tested, – to [R2727 : page 344] prove the depth of our consecration, the sincerity of our professed love. If we love the Lord with all our hearts we will seek to do those things which are pleasing to him, and these the Apostle is specifying in this Scripture, showing us that God's requirements are all in harmony with his holy spirit of love; that "Love is the fulfilling of the Law," and that we must attain to this condition of perfect love in our hearts if we desire to finish our course with joy, and make our calling and election sure – making sure a share in the inheritance to the spiritual body and the Kingdom glories of which our spirit of begetting is but the earnest or foretaste.

"Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect." (Titus 1:1.) Here the Apostle not only reiterates that there is an elect class, but he specifically points out that this class has a special faith, a peculiar faith, that is not shared by others, neither can others know it, for "it is spiritually discerned." – 1 Cor. 2:14.

"Shall not God avenge his own elect, tho they cry day and night unto him?" (Luke 18:7.) Here our Lord himself testifies respecting this elect class. He gave a parable of an unjust judge, who, tho careless respecting the doing of justice to a poor widow, nevertheless was so careful of his own convenience that he would give her justice, lest by her continual coming she would annoy him. And our Lord's inquiry is, if an unjust judge would thus render justice from a selfish motive, could we expect less from the all-wise, all-loving and all-just Heavenly Father? Verily, God shall avenge the cause of his elect, altho he has permitted them to be maligned, slandered, misrepresented, for over eighteen centuries; the time will come when he will give them justice, when he will exalt them; and when those who have wilfully and maliciously injured them shall certainly be punished – in the great time of retribution in which every such evil deed of mankind shall be rendered a recompense, and every good deed receive its reward – in the Millennial day.

"He shall send forth his angels [messengers] and shall gather together his elect from the four winds of heaven." (Matt. 24:31.) Here our Lord not only testifies to the fact that there is an elect class, but he assures us that he himself will gather this elect class in due time; in the end of this age when he is ready to establish his Kingdom, in which, as the overcomers, the elect of God, they will be joint heirs and sharers, as in the present life they have been sharers in the sufferings of Christ. – Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:12; Matt. 13:43.

For the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matt. 24:22.) Our Lord here refers to the great time of trouble with which this age shall end, "the day of vengeance," the time of retribution, the day of avenging his elect; and he assures us that the trouble then coming upon the world, and which will largely, we see, be brought about by the world's own course, would, if not interrupted by the Kingdom and its intervention with power from on high, mean the utter obliteration of the race at the hand of its own selfishness. But for the elect's sake those days should be shortened, and the time of trouble will not be permitted to run the length which otherwise it would run. As at first, "He shall speak to them in his wrath and vex them in his sore displeasure," so afterward he shall not permit their utter destruction: his Kingdom will stay the trouble, for "He shall speak peace to the heathen [peoples];" he shall say unto them, "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth." – Psa. 46:10.

"Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" (Rom. 8:33.) The Apostle is here pointing out that altho this called class accepted of God to be his elect, and to run with patience the race set before them, and make their calling and election sure, have weaknesses of the flesh, in the overcoming of which they, as new creatures, are not always wholly successful, nevertheless, God looks upon the heart, and their judgment is not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit, the will. Lest such should fear failure after all, he points out that in the great heavenly court there would be none to condemn them; – because God the Judge who once condemned us in Adam has himself justified us in Christ, – accepting on behalf of the Adamic sin and the resultant weaknesses the sacrifice of Christ. And then he points out that Satan, our Adversary, will have no hearing before the heavenly Court, and that there will be none to appear against us, and that on the contrary our Lord and Master, who redeemed us with his precious blood, will be our Advocate. Who then could lay anything to the charge of God's elect? – those whom God has justified, whom God has called, whom God has accepted, and who, according to the divine arrangement, make their calling and election sure. Who would they be who could find fault with these whom God accepts on his own terms? Surely none! "Yea, we are more than conquerors, through him who loved us and bought us with his own precious blood!"

"Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father...through sanctification of the spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." (1 Pet. 1:2.) The Apostle here marks out the terms of our election; none can remain in this elect company, nor make his calling and election sure, without [R2727 : page 345] being under the sprinkling of the blood – justification through faith in the great sacrifice; nor can any attain it without sanctification, a setting apart to God; and such a sanctification as will lead to obedience to God – to the full submission of his will to the will of the Father in heaven. Such must be the character of those who will be of the elect, and this class of which we are seeking to become members was predetermined, foreordained by God; it was not a new thing, but the carrying out of the original divine purpose, in which also our Lord Jesus shared. This the same Apostle shows (1 Pet. 2:4-6), declaring that our Lord Jesus himself was the elect of God, and that we who are now being chosen from amongst men to be "members of the body of Christ," members of the elect class, are chosen in him, chosen as members of his body, and as such must be conformed to the likeness of his character. He says: "To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen [elect] of God and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up, a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices* acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

*The word "spiritual" is omitted in this verse as spurious, by old MSS. It is the flesh that is sacrificed, not the new creature.

"Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious, and he that believeth in him shall not be confounded." Thus the whole Church of Christ, the elect little flock, are now being shaped, fitted and prepared for positions in the Temple of God, of which the dear Redeemer himself is the chief cornerstone, the foundation.

"They that are with him are called and chosen [elect – the same word in the Greek] and faithful." (Rev. 17:14.) Here in symbol our Lord Jesus tells John, and us through him, of the glorious exaltation of the elect in the Kingdom, when they shall be with him and share his glory as the Apostle declares, and with him judge the world; – granting trial, with gracious opportunities to every member of Adam's race to return to full harmony with God through the merit and by the assistance of him who redeemed the race.

"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my spirit upon him. He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." "I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob and out of Judah, an inheritor of my mountain: and mine elect shall inherit it." "They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall make them continue long." – Isa. 42:1; 65:9,22, margin.

Here our Lord Jesus, the Head, and the Church, "members in particular of the body of Christ," are unitedly declared to be God's elect, in whom he is well pleased. The Father was well pleased in the Son, who came not to do his own will but the will of him that sent him, and by his obedience won all the gracious things promised under the Law Covenant, and redeemed Adam and his race; and the Father is well pleased also in us, whom, tho "we were children of wrath even as others," he has accepted in Christ, justified and sanctified by his Word and spirit, and who, if we abide in Christ, faithful unto death, will be fitted and prepared for his promised Kingdom.

In these statements of the Prophet reference evidently is made to the work of the Lord's anointed (Head and body) in conferring restitution blessings upon the world of mankind during the Millennial age; and this is in full accord with all the New Testament declarations respecting the work of the elect.

"Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure." This our text is one of the most forceful of the many references to God's elect, and is particularly clear in marking out the conditions upon which election may be surely attained by each one whom the Lord our God shall call or nominate to this grand office – the Royal Priesthood. The Apostle has been mentioning the various graces of the Lord's spirit which those who are seeking to be of this royal and priestly class must develop in their characters. He shows us that there is more or less of an addition in the matter: we put on one grace and add to it another, and to that another, and so on; and do this repeatedly in respect to all the graces, which keep growing, developing in us and rounding out and deepening and broadening us as spiritual new creatures. And he shows that those who do not have such experiences of growth in grace and in knowledge are deficient, and cannot hope to make their calling and election sure.

But seeming to understand that some would question the possibility of their gaining so great a prize, the holy spirit, through the Apostle, gives to this called and chosen class a word of special encouragement, saying, "For if ye do these things ye shall never fall." There may be more or less stumbling on the part of the elect, not through weakness of the spirit, the heart, the new mind, but "through manifold temptations" of the flesh, the earthen vessel, in which temporarily resides the new creature, begotten of the spirit, the elect. The Apostle proceeds to give further assurances, saying, "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." The elect will not be received of the Lord with chidings and upbraidings for the imperfections of the flesh, which were unwillingly theirs, but on the contrary all the [R2727 : page 346] weaknesses of the flesh will be ignored, and the intents of the heart alone will be judged, and the heart-character formed will alone be tested and approved; and this will determine whether or not we shall stand the Lord's approval and be granted the glorious things which he has promised to them that love him – "glory, honor and immortality" and a share in the Kingdom and its work of blessing.

"He that hath this [election] hope in him purifieth himself even as he [the Lord] is pure." But how is it with those who have not this hope, and who are totally ignorant of this election, – even tho they be Christians, in the sense of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Redeemer? Surely they are at a great disadvantage, lacking as they do the proper conception of the exceeding great and precious promises which are the channel of the power of God working in the elect both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

If we have seen that there is an elect class, it follows that there must be a non-elect class – those who are not making their calling and election sure, and it is proper in this connection that we see something respecting this class, and what provision God has made for them. This phase of the subject we reserve for our next issue.

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"SORROWFUL, FOR HE HAD GREAT POSSESSIONS."

MATT. 19:16-26. – DEC. 2. –

"Children, how hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!" – Mark 10:24.

O
UR LESSON relates to what for centuries has been called "The Great Refusal." The rich young ruler, whose name is not given, altho possessed of an abundance of the things of this life longed for an assurance of everlasting life. As a Jew he knew the Law; he understood that God had made with this nation, and with no other, through Moses the mediator, a covenant, under which everlasting life might be attained. He perceived, however, that even the best men of his nation had failed to gain eternal life under this covenant – that all had died. He had heard of Jesus, and that "never man spake like this man," and he knew that in many respects his teachings were of a very positive character, and that his manner and instruction were not like those of the scribes and Pharisees, uncertain and equivocal; – that he taught as one having authority, and knowing what he taught to be true. He hesitated to go to this Teacher, but finally, seeing him leaving a house in his own neighborhood, he ran out hastily and point-blank put the question: "Good master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal [everlasting] life?"

Instead of answering his question directly our Lord inquired why he thus addressed him as "good." Jesus' words do not imply, as some have surmised, a denial of being good. Rather, he would impress upon the young ruler the import of his own language, that when he got his answer he might appreciate it the more. Our Lord's words might be paraphrased thus: Are you addressing me as Good Master from the heart, or only as a complimentary salutation? If you really believe me to be good, you must believe in me as a teacher sent of God – the All-Good. More than this, you must believe my testimony, that I proceeded forth and came from God, that I am the Son of God. If my testimony is untrue in any particular I am not good at all, but a falsifier, a hypocrite, a blasphemer. If, then, you call me Good Master from the heart, and believe that I am the "sent of God," the Messiah, you will be the better prepared to receive my reply as the divine answer to that question.

Without waiting to require that the young man should commit himself definitely on the point involved, but content with merely raising the issue in his mind. our Lord proceeded to answer the question.

We are not to understand our Lord's answer to this young Jew, at a time when the Law Covenant was still in force, to be the same that he would give, or that we should give in his name, today, in reply to a similar inquiry. The young man was living under a covenant of works, of which the Apostle declares, quoting from the Law itself, "He that doeth these things shall live by them." (Lev. 18:5; Rom. 10:5.) The New Covenant had not yet been sealed with our Lord's [R2728 : page 346] precious blood, and hence it was not operative toward this young ruler or anybody else at this time. Our Lord could not properly direct the young man's attention to any other procedure than the keeping of the conditions of the Law Covenant which was still in force. Anyway, this was what the young man inquired: "What good thing must I do that I may have everlasting life?" It was for this reason that our Lord did not say, as we should say today in answer to such a question: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – believe that he died for your sins, and arose for your justification, and accepting him as your Savior, as the Mediator of the New Covenant, present your life in full consecration of all its talents, powers and opportunities to the Lord's service.

Our Lord did point out to the young man the only way to life everlasting then open – the keeping of the Law. He well knew that the young man could not keep this Law perfectly, and hence could not obtain everlasting life through it; but he would bring the matter [R2728 : page 347] before his attention in the most favorable form to be comprehended – without preaching the New Covenant or any other feature of the divine plan not yet due to be announced. Hence the form of his reply.

The Law was divided into two parts or tables, the first relating to Jehovah and the second to the neighbor. Our Lord ignored the first of these, realizing that the young man, so far from desiring to make or worship idols or another god, was seeking to know and to do the will of the true God. Our Lord would bring the answer down to the simplest possible proposition, and hence referred merely to the commandments respecting duty toward his fellow-creatures, and got the response that so far as the young man had discerned the matter he had kept the Law; but altho he kept its outward form he realized that something was still lacking. He had no evidence that he had received any special blessing of eternal life, and wished to know of the Master what hindered, what he lacked of being a perfect man, keeping the Law and meriting the reward of that Law, life everlasting. No wonder Jesus, looking upon him, loved him; everybody who loves righteousness loves those who are righteous, or who are striving to the best of their ability to come up to the mark of righteousness, – perfection.

THE GRACE OF ALL GRACES.

Then Jesus told him plainly, "One thing thou lackest." You have been endeavoring to keep God's Law, and have done well, so far as the outward is concerned; but the spirit of the Law you have not apprehended at all – the spirit of the Law is Love. "The whole Law is comprehended briefly in one word." "Love is the fulfilling of the Law." (Rom. 13:9,10.) You have been getting the outside, or shell of the divine command, but have entirely overlooked the precious thing in it, the kernel, the essence, – love to God supremely and love toward your fellowman as toward yourself. Let me prove this to you, by suggesting that you demonstrate your love for your neighbors by disposing of your property for the assistance of poorer ones. Then consecrate your life in loving devotion to God's service, and come with me as my disciple, taking up the cross of self-denial thus involved.

The test was a crucial one, and manifested clearly the distinction between the letter and the spirit of the Law. The cross was too heavy for the rich young ruler. He had gotten the answer to his question, but oh! it was so different from what he had anticipated. He had felt comparatively well satisfied with himself, altho realizing that something must still be lacking. He had rather expected Messiah's commendation, and perhaps some further advice, but nothing so radical. It was too much for him; he went away exceeding sorrowful, says Luke; his countenance fell, says Mark; it was a sore disappointment. For the time being he could not think of accepting the Master's prescription, the dose was too bitter, and he must at least think the matter over well.

Whatever course this young ruler may have subsequently taken we are not informed; but of one thing we may be sure; he had learned a great lesson respecting the scope and significance of the Law. He had ascertained the impossibility of his attaining eternal life under the Law Covenant.

It will be seen that we totally disagree with those who claim that the condition of this young man and our Lord's words to him apply to all young men or to those possessing wealth – tho the spirit of the matter is applicable to all, under the different conditions of the New Covenant. The New Covenant says to us, rich and poor, "Christ died for us, according to the Scriptures." He not only met the requirements of the Law, and fulfilled that Covenant and annulled it, but additionally he sealed and ratified the New Covenant under which he, its Mediator, can apply to all who come under its provisions through faith whatever share of his merit is necessary to make good the weaknesses and imperfections of our flesh to which our hearts, our minds, do not assent. Accordingly, even if when some come to Jesus to inquire the way of eternal life, they should be unable to say, as did this young ruler, "All these things have I done from my youth up," – if it should be even necessary for such to confess with shame, "All these commandments have I violated," nevertheless, the provisions of the New Covenant are such that even the vilest sinner who has turned from sin and who at heart desires henceforth to walk in the way of righteousness, and who, repenting of the sins of the past, gladly makes such restitution as is within his power – all such are accepted in the Beloved One, and reckoned as justified freely from all things, from which the Law could not justify them.

Then such are invited, as was the young ruler, to come, take up their cross, and follow Jesus – come, prove, demonstrate, their love for righteousness, their devotion to God and every feature of his will; come, crucify self and selfishness, and receive into their hearts instead the spirit of God, the spirit of holiness, the spirit of love. Not merely to love their neighbors in word, but in deed and in truth, so that so far from wishing to steal from them, or to kill them, or bear false witness against them, or to do any other evil toward them, their hearts' desire would be the reverse of these, to do them good, to bless them. God is Love; the spirit of his Law is Love; and the spirit of his faithful Son, Jesus, is Love. Love is the holy spirit, of which the Apostle declares, "If any man have not the spirit of Christ [R2728 : page 348] [love, in some measure] he is none of his." Under the New Covenant, if the heart be full of love, it is acceptable with God even tho the heart may not be able at all times to control the flesh in respect to every thought and word and act, and to show forth through it this holy spirit of love which rules paramount in the heart.

The New Covenant is God's agreement, under which he accepts, through Christ, the intentions of our hearts as tho the same were actually and fully demonstrated in our lives; and certainly our hearts' desires will find expression through the flesh in large measure, tho not always perfectly. Thus our hearts may to some extent be read by our fellowmen, tho not perfectly, while to our heavenly Father they are an open book. Moreover, the love which enters and fills our hearts expands them and crowds out more and more of the natural and selfish propensities, crossing this natural, or earthly will with the heavenly one, the new mind. Thus gradually making progress in the new way, the Lord's saints are growing in knowledge and in grace, and more and more are having the love of God shed abroad in their hearts.

"TRUST NOT IN UNCERTAIN RICHES."

Our Lord took advantage of this episode to impart a lesson to his disciples, showing them the danger of riches – any kind of riches, honor of men, political influence, many and large talents or abilities, social standing, fine education and material wealth – for one may be rich in any of these senses. "It is hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of heaven." (Revised Version.) Our Lord does not here undertake to explain why there would be greater difficulties for those possessing riches to enter into his Kingdom, but from other scriptures we learn the reasons, and why it is that the heirs of the Kingdom will be chiefly found amongst the poorer classes. "Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the mighty." (1 Cor. 1:26,27; Jas. 2:5.) The rich are "called," in one sense of the word, but not in another; they are equally invited but they are much less likely (than others who are poorer) to accept the Lord's invitation and to present themselves according to the terms of the Kingdom call. In this sense of the word "called" only those who accept the call are meant; and they then divide themselves into two classes – those who make their calling and election sure, and obtain the Kingdom, obtain a part in the first resurrection to glory, honor and immortality, obtain a place with Messiah in his throne, to share with him in his Millennial Kingdom; and others who do not make their calling and election sure, either by becoming reprobates, and subjects of the Second Death, or by a failure to manifest a sufficiency of zeal in the race for the prize, and on this account being remanded to the class known as the "great company," who must come through great tribulation, washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb. – Rev. 7:9-15.

It is well that we note carefully what are the hindrances of these "rich," preventing them from having so favorable an opportunity as their (in earthly respects) less favored brethren. (1) The possession of [R2729 : page 348] earthly good things, "riches," is less favorable to the development of faith, without which it is impossible to be pleasing to God. (2) These earthly advantages are more likely to develop pride, a serious barrier to every grace, and an impossible barrier as respects the Kingdom, which can be attained only through humility. (3) Riches of any kind bring with them friends and associates of the earth, whose hearts being generally out of sympathy with the Lord and the Kingdom will constitute them adversaries to the new mind, from whose influence it will be the more difficult to break completely away. (4) And summing up all of the foregoing, those possessed of such earthly riches have proportionately more to sacrifice than those who are poorer in these respects; and the greater the things sacrificed the greater the difficulty in performing the sacrifice.

However, on the other hand, it may be said that whenever one who is rich in this world's goods (talents, etc.) does present himself a living sacrifice to the Lord and his service it witnesses to a deeper heart-loyalty than if he were poorer. It implies a greater sacrifice, and it implies also the exercise of greater opportunities in the Lord's service. The servant who has five talents and who uses them faithfully, and doubles them, accomplishes a greater work than the servant who, having one talent, uses it faithfully and doubles it, and our Lord's understanding of this matter is shown in the fact that according to the parable the one will have granted to him authority over ten cities, and the other authority over two, altho both will be commended – "Well done, good, faithful servant." – Matt. 25:14-30.

If we would look for illustrations showing wherein the rich (in talents, etc.) have been faithful, we would find at the head of the list our Lord himself, "who was rich, but for our sakes became poor." As he was richer than all others in every sense of the word, so proportionately his sacrifice was greater than that of all others in every sense of the word, and his honor, glory and power are greater. "He is Lord of all." "Him hath God highly exalted and given a name that is above every name." Similarly the Apostle Paul was rich – if not in money and property, he was at least rich in education, in social advantages and privileges, and in [R2729 : page 349] life's opportunities; and we may say that since the Apostle so faithfully sacrificed all these earthly riches for the sake of the privilege of preaching the Gospel of Christ, his must have been a much larger sacrifice than that of the majority of men: and proportionately we anticipate that his reward in the Kingdom will be great because he counted these earthly "riches" but "loss and dross that he might win Christ and be found in him [a member of the Anointed One]." – Phil. 3:8,9.

So then, while we call attention to the fact that few will be in the Kingdom who have had great opportunities, privileges, property or other "riches" of this world, we nevertheless encourage those who possess this world's goods of any kind, to consider that they thus hold within their grasp grand opportunities which rightly used will yield riches of grace, not only in the life that now is but also in the life that is to come; working out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, proportionate to their sacrifices and faithfulness in their stewardship.

We cannot wonder that the disciples were astonished to learn that few of the rich would enter the Kingdom, for did they not see on every hand that the rich had the more important places in the synagogues and in the offices of the Jewish system? Did they not see that comparatively few of the poor in this world's goods were rated amongst the saints? No wonder they inquired, where would the Kingdom class be found, if the rich were excluded? How, then, could the salvation which God had promised should come through his Kingdom ever be attained?

The time for explaining these features of the divine plan having not yet come, our Lord contented himself with merely assuring the disciples that they must leave such a question to the Father; that the truth of his statement did not imply that no Kingdom could be formed, but that with God the matter was possible, and that his original promise to Abraham would be fulfilled, a Kingdom class be selected, and the blessing of salvation be communicated through it. To have told them of the rejection of the Jewish nation, all except the "remnant" of believers, mainly the poor, and to have explained to them that the elect Church, the elect Seed of Abraham, would be completed from amongst the Gentiles, of a similarly poor class as respects this world's advantages, would have been going beyond what was then due to be explained, – beyond what the disciples would have been able to comprehend at that time; and hence our Lord, using the true wisdom from above, refrained from saying more than would be to their advantage to know – leaving such information, as he explained to them subsequently, for unfoldment to them by the Comforter – the holy spirit which would come upon them at Pentecost. – John 14:26.

[R2729 : page 349]

ENTREATY ANSWERED, – BLIND EYES OPENED.

MARK 10:46-52. – DEC. 9.

"Lord, that I might receive my sight."

W
HILE PASSING along a road in the vicinity of Jericho, possibly going from the old city to the newer one of the same name, a great multitude following him, our Lord passed by two blind men, sitting begging by the wayside. (Mark mentions only one, the chief subject of the lesson, but Matthew mentions a companion.) Bartimeus, one of the two, as he heard the multitude passing and learned from some of them that they accompanied Jesus, the reputed Messiah, of whom he had no doubt heard before, was struck with the fact that his opportunity for a blessing was near at hand and rapidly passing from him. He began to cry out, his voice rising above the din of the multitude, saying, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Our Lord paid no heed at first, but passed on. The multitude rebuked the blind man, so to speak, saying, "You, poor beggar, should not thus cry out and annoy and seek to take the attention of so great a one as this, whom we verily believe to be the Messiah, and whose mission is the establishment of God's Kingdom; keep quiet!" But so much the more did he cry out for mercy. He longed for sight, and had faith to believe that the great Messiah might be prevailed upon to rescue him from darkness. Jesus stopped and gave the word to the multitude to bring the blind man to him. He might have gone to the blind man, or he might have lifted up his voice and spoken to the blind man, bidding him to come; but instead he chose to use instrumentalities – to give those about him an opportunity of sharing in the work of blessing. So the word was passed from one to another, and the blind man was helped forward and thus greater attention was brought to the whole miracle and to the divine power which it manifested. Those who had but a moment before upbraided the blind man for his temerity in expecting a blessing from the Messiah, now gladly bore the message of hope to him, saying, "Be of good cheer! arise; he calleth thee." And he sprang up, casting away his outer robe that he might go the more quickly to Jesus for the blessing.

Everything connected with the case shows us that Bartimeus possessed a large amount of faith, and that he was very earnestly desirous of the blessing which [R2729 : page 350] he received. When he came to Jesus, altho the latter knew well his desire, he inquired respecting it. He would have the blind man express himself respecting his hopes and desires. He answered, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight!" The word "lord" here is "rabboni," the most reverential term of four titles used amongst the Jews at that time (rab, rabbi, rabban, rabboni). Then Jesus touched his eyes (Matt. 20:34), saying, "Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole." Sight came immediately, and Bartimeus became one of the followers of Jesus.

The lesson itself is a very beautiful one in demonstration of the Lord's tender compassion and divine power; and from its incidents we might draw other lessons, parallels, as it were. For instance, sin brought alienation from God, and moral blindness, which prevails today in every land and on every hand. The Apostle thus pictures some of the heathen, desirous of having the light of truth, as blind men groping after things desired. He speaks of such as crying out to the Lord in prayer, and "feeling after God, if haply they might find him;" just as Bartimeus had cried out to the Lord and then went to him. And as Bartimeus cast away his outer robe that he might go to the Lord the more speedily, so the sinner should cast away everything found to be a hindrance – he should make acknowledgement and repentance of sins, and he should make restitution also as far as possible, and thus approach the Lord.

And such, when their eyes are opened to see the blessings of God bestowed upon them, should look, [R2730 : page 350] as Bartimeus looked, first into the face of the Savior with gratitude and appreciation, and look unto the Father through him. Indeed, their eyes being opened by the word of truth, they will gradually come to see everything in a new light, and be able to say, "Old things [of darkness and sin] are passed away; all things are become new" – lighted by the knowledge of God; for we have been "translated out of darkness into marvelous light." It is unnecessary to add that such transformed sinners should thenceforth follow Jesus as his disciples, seeking to walk in his steps.

Another lesson might profitably be drawn from this narrative. Bartimeus was not a sinner, in the sense of being an alien, stranger, foreigner and outcast from the divine favor. He was a member of the household of faith, an Israelite, to whom belonged the promises and the covenants, etc. (Rom. 9:4); yet he was blind. And so there are today in spiritual Israel many who are not sinners, strangers, aliens from God, but members of the household of faith and heirs of the promises, who are mentally, spiritually, blind. They are blind to the goodness of God as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord: they do not appreciate the love of God, having been blinded thereto by false theories and traditions of men. Because of their blindness they are unable to "comprehend with all saints the lengths and breadths and heights and depths and to know the love of Christ," as they should do. Perhaps some of them are accountable to some extent for their own blindness, and quite possibly others are in no measure responsible.

We notice that in the case of Bartimeus Jesus did not inquire respecting his responsibility for his condition. It was sufficient that he realized that he was blind, and that he earnestly desired from the heart to receive his sight, and that he demonstrated this by his prayers and his efforts to obtain sight. So today, to those spiritual Israelites who are blind to the beauties and harmonies of the divine character and plan, if they are willing to admit their blindness, and so anxious for the light that they will cry aloud and not be dissuaded from their good desires, they will undoubtedly get the blessing they crave, the opening of their eyes of understanding, that they may be able to understand "the deep things of God." – 1 Cor. 2:10-12.

We see many blind people of this latter sort today. Nearly all of the nominal churches are full of them. But alas! the vast majority are unlike Bartimeus – they do not realize their condition nor hunger and thirst for the light, nor come to the Master in the humble attitude necessary to receive it. Their pitiable condition is described by the Lord himself (Rev. 3:17) under the name Laodicea. He tells why they do not receive their sight – why they cannot comprehend the lengths and breadths and depths of divine love: "Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked."

As it was not within the power of the multitude to give Bartimeus his sight, neither is it within our power to give sight to the spiritually blind. All we can do is to let the blind ones know that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by – that the great Physician is able and willing to grant them the opening of the eyes of their understanding. Those who long for sight, who love the truth, who hate darkness and error, and none others, will be attracted by the information, and lift up their voices in supplication for assistance. But, alas! when they do cry aloud for help there are sure to be some, even amongst the Lord's friends, to rebuke them for their earnestness, instead of encouraging it. However, such oppositions only serve to demonstrate the amount of faith and the measure of love for the light, and the Lord evidently intends that only those who seek for truth "as men search for silver" shall find the knowledge of God. – Prov. 2:4. [R2730 : page 351]

When the faith and earnestness of the seeker for light have been sufficiently demonstrated the Master will grant him the opportunities he desires. Nevertheless he will require that even in their blindness all shall manifest and exercise faith, and come to him through evil report as well as through good report, to receive the enlightenment sought. And when they obey thus they surely receive a good reward in their appreciation of the Lord's character and plan. From this new standpoint they can sing with the spirit and with the understanding also, –

"How happy and blessed the hours,
Since Jesus I always can see;
Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowers
Have all gained new sweetness for me."

They will surely acknowledge that whatever their joys in the Lord previously they are multiplied by the opening of the eyes of their understanding. And is it surprising that such will follow the Lord? Nay, verily! How could we do otherwise than "show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light"? – 1 Pet. 2:9.

[R2730 : page 351]

ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH RESTORED.
LUKE 19:1-10. – DEC. 16. –

"The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."

Z
ACCHAEUS was a Jew and a chief publican, which signifies that he was in the employ of the Roman government as a tax-gatherer, a very lucrative office, but one greatly despised amongst the Jews, because (1) their views of patriotism led them to resent the service of their conquerors; (2) their tax-gatherers collected for a per centage of the tax, and were at the same time assessors of the amount of the tax, and charged (probably generally with good reason), with gross violations of justice – taking advantage of their position and of the necessities of their neighbors to reap large usury by advancing them money for the tax and requiring superabundant security for both tax and usury. Publicans, then, it will be seen, were a disreputable class amongst their own people, esteemed as financially immoral, and unworthy the confidence and honor of faithful Jews. Zacchaeus as a "chief" probably employed under-collectors to assist him in his contract, and for this reason was designated chief publican.

He had heard of Jesus evidently, and curiosity and possibly other nobler sentiments operated in his heart and led him to desire to see the great Teacher. Possibly indeed he had qualms of conscience respecting his business and business methods, and a longing for peace with God, which his riches could not take the place of. These nobler and better thoughts and aspirations were quickened as he found himself in the presence of the celebrated Nazarene, of whose holiness and exalted teachings he had heard. Quite probably, too, he had heard that, unlike the Pharisees, this great Teacher did not spurn publicans and sinners, but, on the contrary, treated them kindly. Zacchaeus sought a glimpse of the Master's face, but there being a throng in the way, and he being of small stature, could not discern him. There was a throng anyway at this season, going up to the Passover, and so notable a person as Jesus would always be an attraction.

Zacchaeus soon resolved what to do, for he was a resourceful man; he would run ahead and climb into a tree, and thus get a good view of the Master. We cannot help admiring the courage of this little rich man, ordinarily probably dignified enough in his bearing, but now his heart swelling with feelings of interest in righteousness and a desire for reconciliation with God, and ran along like a boy and climbed the tree. When Jesus and the multitude came to the place the Lord addressed Zacchaeus by name, possibly by that power of knowledge which is beyond our comprehension; or possibly by reason of hearing the crowd jeer and laugh at the little rich publican in his lugubrious position.

How astonished he must have been when the Master said, "Zacchaeus, come down, for I must lodge at thy house!" So great an honor as this Zacchaeus had not dreamed of, and the multitude of Jews were likewise surprised. The latter murmured against Jesus because he, as a holy man, should have nothing whatever to do with this publican. Perhaps it was in part to give the Pharisees a lesson, as well as to provide for his own entertainment or to put himself in the way of Zacchaeus, that our Lord proposed this visit to the publican's house. In any event, nothing could have pleased the serious thinking little man more. He came down from the tree immediately, and joyfully took Jesus (and the disciples also we may presume) to his home for entertainment. Thus does the Lord look for and care for and assist those who are of a contrite heart – those who are feeling after God, and longing, as prodigals, to return to the Father's house. Had Zacchaeus been of other condition of heart we may reasonably presume that our Lord would have paid no attention to him whatever.

What a surging of sentiment took place in the heart of little Zacchaeus! His name in the Hebrew comes from a root signifying pure, and the inference is not unreasonable that his ancestors had been noble and holy people, and that back of his love for money and dishonest practices lay good principles, which now, under favorable conditions, were asserting themselves and clamoring for a change of life, – worrying his conscience and embittering all his pleasures and causing [R2731 : page 352] him to long for righteousness in his own heart and life. In no other way can we account for his sudden determination to reform. Nor was he content merely to determine upon reform in his heart; he would seal the matter by a public confession. As we read, he stood forth in the presence of his own family, in the presence of Jesus and his disciples, and probably numerous friends and neighbors who had gone along, and publicly acknowledged that he had gained part of his wealth by unjust exactions, and pledged himself to restore all such wrongfully obtained money, to the extent of his ability, fourfold. More than this, realizing that there were probably many cases of small injustices which it would be impossible for him to ever correct in detail, he publicly pledged one-half of all his possessions to the poor in off-set of these.

Noble Zacchaeus! Well did his conduct show that the Master knew what he was doing when he went to lodge with this little man, so much despised by some of the Pharisees. Jesus knew that notwithstanding his wrong course of life he was much nearer to the right attitude of heart than some of the self-righteous who denounced him – altho outwardly they were living a cleaner life and a more moral one – making clean the outside of the cup while inwardly it was full of vile affections and selfishness, abominations in God's sight.

Our Lord's reply is striking: "This day is salvation come to this house; forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham." While it is true that "salvation is to be brought unto us at the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" – at his second advent – it is nevertheless true also that this salvation begins in the present life to all who are of the spiritual house of Israel, who, repenting of their sins, come into harmony with the Lord, and seek to walk according to his ways. It is a salvation of the heart, reclaiming it from sin and selfishness and meanness – filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit." – 2 Cor. 7:1.

This salvation means reformation and transformation; and while the Lord can read the heart and see there more than men can see respecting the change, yet, as Brother D.L. Moody suggests, the change, the conversion, the transformation of life, must have been appreciable even by the most unsympathetic of Zacchaeus' neighbors when, the next morning after this event, Zacchaeus' servant presented himself to the neighbor with a purse of money, and when asked what it was for replied, "My master says that he extorted from you a sum of money years ago, and now returns it fourfold." The conversion that includes recompense – and that not merely in a skimped manner but abundantly – four-fold – undoubtedly signifies a true conversion, one that is not likely soon to be forgotten or ignored.

We might find parallels to this incident, which belonged to the end of the Jewish age and to fleshly Israel, in the end of this age and to spiritual Israel. We find today some backsliders from the Lord's Covenant of Grace, as Zacchaeus was a backslider from the Lord's Covenant of the Law. We may perhaps find them living in a measure of sin, in business which they admit is unjust and in violation of their consciences. We are not, therefore, to pass by them with the Gospel message, the good tidings of great joy; but if any such manifest an interest in the present truth we are to seek to assist them as our Lord and Head assisted Zacchaeus. And there is an encouragement to this class in Zacchaeus' case, for tho they may feel themselves sadly short of the stature of a man in Christ, if they have in their hearts a longing desire for righteousness and to behold the Lord's face, they will find opportunity to do so, if they will but humble themselves to take the necessary steps. And sincere reformation today must be like that of Zacchaeus; it must make some outward manifestation expressive of contrition and of a desire to make reparation to the extent of ability. Some one has said, and quite truly, we think: –

"No religious profession amounts to anything if it does not include a readiness to put one's property at the service of the Lord. It has been well said that 'a personal consecration' should be spelled 'a purse-and-all consecration.' And the full restitution of all that had been taken wrongfully must be made by a Christian disciple – even to the stripping of himself of all his earthly goods."

[R2731 : page 352]

CHRISTIAN HOME EMBELLISHMENTS.

We have a choice assortment of Scripture and Motto Text Cards of our own importation from London. Some are of dark red and dark green color, assorted shapes and sizes, embossed with silver lettering and with hanging cords; others on light tinted cards with flowers or other illumination, etc. The mottoes are too numerous to specify but all good. The prices range from five cents to twenty cents each: and these prices are considerably less than the usual.

Another drawback has been the difficulty in preparing small quantities for mail, so as to prevent their getting damaged. We believe we can best surmount all these difficulties by putting them up in $1.00 packages as follows: –

2 mottoes dark, 5c each.................. .10
2    "    light, 5c "  .................. .10
2    "    dark, 10c "  .................. .20
3    "      "   20c "  .................. .60
2 "To Us the Scriptures Teach"........... .10
2 Text Easels, 2c each................... .04
4 Text Cards............................. .08
Total....................................1.22
Postage and packing free.

We will put these up in four different

– A,B,C,D, –
assortments, so that persons ordering more than one package need not get duplicates except the fifth item. If you order more than one package and want variety, say so.

Importing these ourselves and saving jobbers' profits and saving time, etc., by packing them in this way, we can afford to supply these bundles for the price named, one dollar. We would not offer them were we not sure that our readers will appreciate them and thank us for bringing them to their attention. The card marked above, "To Us the Scriptures Clearly Teach," is our own get up, of rose pink color printed in maroon ink, size 11x14 inches, with silk cord hanger. On one side is the statement which appears at top of page 2 of each WATCH TOWER in good sized type. It is a statement of Bible faith which none need feel ashamed of; and which should be seen in the homes of all WATCH TOWER readers. We have gotten out a large quantity and can therefore supply them very cheaply, – at five cents each (plus five cents for tube and postage). In lots of 20 for $1.00 postage free.