page 1
January 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. XXV.JANUARY 1, 1904.No. 1.
CONTENTS.

Views From the Watch Tower 3
Pray for the Reapers 4
The Financial Storm 5
The World's Outlook 5
Special Trials Follow Consecration 5
The Teacher and His Message Rejected 11
The Earth Shall Yield Her Increase 15
General Conventions, 1904 16
Public Ministries of the Truth 16
Special Items:
Dawn Vol. VI Further Delayed 2

'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.

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

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

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

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ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.

VOL. V. IN GERMAN.

This translation is in good stock, and orders will have prompt attention.

DAWN VOL. VI. FURTHER DELAYED.

Volume VI. seems to be unfortunate. Our printers have disappointed us further. However, it is on the press and a short time will see copies in the hands of the patient watchers. Wholesale rates are granted to our subscribers on single copies or more.

PASTOR RUSSELL'S DISCOURSES EVERY MONDAY.

By a special arrangement with The Pittsburgh Gazette a stenographic report of Pastor C. T. Russell's discourses will be printed on Mondays. We will send you "The Pittsburgh Gazette" (daily) and ZION'S WATCH TOWER twice a month for a period of 12 months for $3.25, which is about the price of The Gazette alone. The subscriptions must be paid in advance and sent to us.

NOTICE. – Where Gazette agencies are established the issues desired can be readily obtained through them. The Gazette refuses to mail papers to towns where they would interfere with the agents already located.

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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
F
ROM the standpoint of the Truth and its prosperity – its victory over error – no year in the past, in our experience, has ever offered so grand a prospect. During the past year the Lord has done great things for his people, whereof we are glad. Viewed from some standpoints it is difficult to imagine that the coming year could equal the past one, much less excell it. However, as we are learning more of the Lord's ways we are coming to have greater confidence in his almighty power, which is able to make all things work out his glorious plans as the due time of each item arrives.

But our hopes have circumstantial foundations supporting our faith. We will mention some of these, that we may hope and rejoice together. (1) The number of the interested is greater than ever before; – the WATCH TOWER list is nearly twenty thousand, which represents about 40,000 readers and colaborers. (2) The consecration of all seems to be deepening. (3) These furnish nearly one thousand "Volunteers," and guarantee a circulation of at least three millions of tracts which we may hope will find and enlist other earnest, consecrated heads, hearts and hands. (4) The Colporteur brigade is now nearly 150 strong, and many of them well tried and experienced soldiers of the cross, whose zeal increases as they realize that "now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed." (Rom. 13:11.) These will surely put into the hands of the Christian people many thousands of volumes of Millennial Dawn – which, in turn, should assist much in breaking down prejudice and superstition in thousands and in bringing hundreds into fellowship with the Truth. (5) The Pilgrim service will, we trust, be blest of the Lord to those already fully committed. (6) The Pittsburgh Gazette each week publishes the editor's sermon to from 70,000 to 85,000 readers far and near. This should prove a help to some. Many will read in a secular journal what they would refuse to notice elsewhere. (7) The "Good Hopes" prospects are favorable so far, and encourage us to lay our plans broad and deep for the year beginning.

The above prospects relate to the "machinery" which the Lord seems to have provided and blessed in connection with the "harvest" work. Now let us look to the conditions in the world outside our influence. We find that an increasingly large number of pious, Christian people are losing their prejudice and getting their eyes opened, little by little, to the beauties of the Divine Plan of the Ages. It may be that the millions of tracts and hundreds of thousands of DAWNS which we have unitedly circulated, and the other efforts put forth to proclaim the truth, have been used of the Lord to break down the prejudice and to anoint the dim eyes. We are glad to hope so: we would feel discouraged indeed with any other view.

However, we are inclined to think that the results are largely the operation of forces at work in an opposite direction. While we are busy heralding the Truth and endeavoring to show the real meaning of God's Word and its sureness of fulfillment, Satan is no less busy and has powerful influences at work. For the past twenty years he has been carefully sowing and watering the seeds of unbelief – "Evolution" and "Higher Criticism" – in all the colleges and theological seminaries of Christendom. As a result the "leaven" – the corruption of faith – abounds in every direction. To such an extent is this true, that the term "orthodoxy" practically stands for this modern form of "rationalism" or unbelief.

The effect of this growing skepticism, or "falling away" from the faith, is two-fold. To a large class it is infectious: never well established or convinced of [R3295 : page 4] the truth of God's revelation, they needed only the word of some one "highly esteemed among men" (Luke 16:15), D.D., to turn them away from the truth to fables. Soon they plume themselves upon their "advanced views," and learn to look down upon those who hold fast to the precious Word (Titus 1:9), and to think of them and speak of them as "credulous" and "old fogy."

These "snares of the Adversary" will, we doubt not, entangle the great mass of professing Churchianity. They shall indeed be snared and taken. A thousand will fall to one who will stand. (Isa. 28:13; Psa. 91:7.) But the Lord's truly consecrated people will be kept by the power of God through faith. At first they are sure to be bewildered as they hear their trusted under-shepherds advance the very arguments once set forth by Ingersoll, Paine and other opponents of the Word. They wonder whether or not they heard correctly, and finally they wonder if they have been too slow and stupid and too credulous.

Alas! many of these dear sheep have relied too much on the creeds and traditions of men, and have not sufficiently "proved all things" before acceptance, with the standard of God's Word. And so their faith may be sadly shaken and their peace and joy in the Lord destroyed. But as surely as they are the Lord's sheep he will not abandon them, but if they cry unto him he will deliver them from the Evil One.

Deliverance will come to them just in time; – just when they have learned to deplore their loss of faith and its connection with the joys of the Lord. We are rapidly approaching a time of famine for the hearing of the Word of the Lord. Those who have always fed on the husks of human theory and tradition will not be aware of this famine; but those who do know the Lord will begin to feel the pangs of hunger. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." The Lord will hear their cry for the bread of Present Truth and will send it to them by the hand of some of his willing servants. Verily they shall be fed and led into green pastures; because they are true sheep and under the care of the true Shepherd. – Psalm 23.

It is, therefore, in the interest of the Lord's true sheep that the Evolutionists and Higher Critics should become more and more bold and aggressive soon. So much the sooner will the Lord's true followers discern that Babylon has been rejected – that instead of the name meaning longer the Gate of God, it now stands for Confusion. When once they get their eyes open on this subject they will listen more carefully than ever for the true Shepherd's voice, and seek for the flock he is feeding, that they also may feed in pastures green and be refreshed by the still, deep waters of Present Truth.

Our view in this direction is most encouraging. The leaders of Babylon are nearly all Evolutionists and Higher Critics, and their numbers and influence are making them more and more bold and outspoken. We welcome this progress of error in this class, realizing that it is the Lord's way of letting error and all [R3296 : page 4] things work out good to those who really love him; – the called ones according to his purpose. Thus God will cause the pride and worldly wisdom and wrath and boastfulness of Satan and his deluded ones to praise him, to serve his cause, to deliver his true sheep from the bondage of Churchianity. Let us be vigilant to use every opportunity to serve these and to do good unto all as we have opportunity; but let us not forget that the "strong delusions" the Adversary is now permitted to bring upon Christendom will not be permitted by the Lord to deceive "the very elect." – Mark 13:22.

PRAY FOR THE REAPERS IN THE HARVEST.
MATT. 9:28

Seeing that the fields of Christendom are thus white for harvesting, that everything is ripe for the gathering of the "wheat" class, what should be our attitude toward the Lord's work? The Lord arranges matters so as to place opportunities for his service within our reach – such opportunities for printing and circulating the Truth as never before fell to the lot of the Lord's people. Are we doing all that we can for the Lord's honor, and for the assistance of brethren both in and out of Babylon? Some are doing heroic service and are being blest. It is our duty to stimulate all as best we can to seize and use the opportunities as they are daily passing us. If we fail so to do some in the future might reproach us with not having done all we could to bring them into the place of greatest blessing and security; for it is the zealous that are least likely to be ensnared by the Adversary – if their zeal be born of love.

This time of great opportunity for the Lord's service is likewise a time of great opportunity for self-service – for "money-making," etc. It is a time of general activity, and the question is – In what direction shall our energies be expended? Whom will we serve? The Lord, his Truth and his brethren? Or self, or the world, or the flesh, or the devil?

This is the hour of trial for the consecrated. We have solemnly told the Lord that we love him more than we love houses or lands, or father, or mother, or self, or any other creature, and now he is putting our professions to the test. The measure of our sacrifice of earthly privileges for spiritual ones will mark the degree of our love, our devotion, to the Lord; and [R3296 : page 5] our favor with the Lord, our growth in him, in his character-likeness, will be proportionate.

We all see the issue squarely. Let us each resolve that by the Lord's grace we will yet hear his voice declare of us, as members of his Bride, – "She hath done what she could." This will mean more energetic and more persistent service. It will mean more "Volunteers," and a still greater area of the wheat-field attended to. It will mean more WATCH TOWER subscriptions (free or paid – for you know that the interested poor are as carefully served and as much esteemed as those who can and do pay). It will mean daily watching and praying, that neither fear of man, nor pride, nor sloth, nor any form of selfishness, shall hinder us from attesting to the Lord our love and loyalty, nor deprive us of the present and future joys and rewards of his service.

We have specified labor in the circulation of our Society's publications, because we know of no others giving the "harvest" message – no others which the Lord is using so specially and peculiarly; and because we address those who we believe view the matter in the same light. We urge your cooperation, not only for the good that may thus be done to others, but also for the spiritual profit sure to come to your own souls. The work as we view it is one – the Lord's, and hence yours and ours, in proportion as we are the Lord's and are colaboring with him. TOWER subscribers now number 19,000; let us see what, under the Lord's blessing, we can make it by this time next year. In our last issue you saw the circulation of tracts and DAWNS for the past year; let us see what we each can do to increase those large figures for the year now commencing. The way to accomplish large results is not to hope that some one else may do and bear and get a blessing in this service; but for each to resolve to do what he can. Ask yourself, – What more can I do to increase the circulation of the WATCH TOWER and the DAWNS? How many more DAWNS can I put into circulation than I did last year? How many more WATCH TOWER subscriptions can I influence than last year? Remember, however, that our desire for the list is that it shall represent the interested, whether free or paid subscriptions; – especially are we desirous of having the Lord's saints on this list.

Pray for reapers! And ask the Lord to help you more and more as one of them, to gather much fruit. But in all this labor for others let us not forget that our first duty is the cultivation of the graces of the Spirit in our own hearts. "He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto eternal life."

THE FINANCIAL STORM.

Whether the financial storm is over, or only begun, no man knows; but appearances seem to indicate a clearing financial outlook for 1904. In any event, care and conservatism, "moderation," is the proper course for the Lord's people to pursue. Seek first (i.e., chiefly) the Kingdom of God (to be joint heirs in it with our Lord), and seek its righteousness, – the righteousness it will uphold; and so far as possible get out of debt and keep out of it.

We still think, as a year ago, that the next few years will be very favorable ones for the propagation of the Truth. This may be by the continuation of "good times," permitting the purchase of DAWNS by all classes: or it may be by a curtailment of prosperity which may give some the time for thought and study as well as the inclination now lacking.

THE WORLD'S OUTLOOK.

There are strong indications of war between Russia and Japan, and there would be no knowing where the matter would end if once begun. Alliances might involve other nations. We look for a great war in which the whole civilized world will be involved (Joel 3:10), but know not if the time for it is very near. Our confidence is that the Lord is at the helm of national affairs in a special sense now, and that all things permitted will work favorably to the establishment of the Kingdom for which we long and pray.

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SPECIAL TRIALS FOLLOW CONSECRATION.
MATT. 3:13-17-4:11. – JANUARY 17. –

Golden Text: – "And lo, a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." – Matt. 8:17.

T
HIS lesson, relating to our Lord's baptism unto death and his temptations in the wilderness, which immediately followed, illustrates the experiences of all who follow in his steps. In order to become Jesus' disciples at all, we must take a step which he did not take, namely, that of justification from our sins to divine favor and relationship through faith in the blood of Christ. Having taken this step the call of the Gospel age has been for such as are of right condition of heart to forsake all and follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth – in trials, difficulties, oppositions and persecutions in this present life and into the glorious honors and divine favors of the life which is to come. Our Lord's experiences, therefore, furnish a good basis for reflection respecting what is to be expected and endured by all of his faithful.

Our Lord's baptism was more than "John's baptism." The latter was merely for sinners against the Mosaic Law, and indicated a return to harmony with that Law and to the relationship with God which that Law Covenant through Moses established. Our Lord Jesus needed no such repentance and reformation, being holy, [R3296 : page 6] harmless, and separate from sinners; hence it was that John was astonished when he presented himself for baptism. At first John declined, asserting that of the two he himself rather than Jesus needed that baptism, since they were both heartily obedient to the divine arrangement and had not at any time been open transgressors of the Law.

LIKE A DOVE.

Without explaining to John what the latter would not have understood respecting the new dispensation and the appropriateness of water immersion as a symbol of his consecration unto death, our Lord merely said, Permit the service to proceed, John. I have a reason for so desiring it, and it is proper that I should do it in the fulfilment of certain things which I recognize to be right. Then John baptized him, and immediately after Jesus' baptism was finished and he had come up from the water John beheld and heard peculiar things, which apparently others thereabouts knew nothing of. He saw as it were an opening in the heavens, and something which he understood to represent the holy Spirit, the power of God, descending upon Jesus. This was possibly a stream of light, which came not violently, like the lightning, but gently, like a dove, and he heard a voice saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Whatever sentiments John entertained toward his cousin Jesus previously, he was now convinced by what he witnessed that his cousin was the Messiah. Then he bore record, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," and testified that when he was sent with the mission to baptize, and to preach the Kingdom of heaven at hand, he was distinctly informed that in due time he would know the Messiah by seeing the holy Spirit from God come upon him. Nothing in the account [R3297 : page 6] indicates that others than John saw this vision, nor was it necessary for others to see it. John was to bear record, and those who heard him had the same opportunity that we today have of knowing about this matter.

CONSECRATION AND BEGETTING.

To Jesus this was a great moment – the moment of his begetting of the Spirit. He had left the spirit condition that he might fulfil the Father's will and plan by becoming man's representative, substitute, ransom price; but he had been promised that the faithful performance of this would bring to him again the spirit nature, with added glory and greatness and divine favor. Now at thirty years of age, as soon as was possible for him to begin his ministries under the Law, he had made a full consecration of himself as a man – to give his time, his influence, his energy, his life, "all that he had," to purchase the forfeited life and inheritance of father Adam and his entire posterity. The consecration made by our Lord at the moment of his baptism is represented in the Scriptures in these words, "Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will O my God; thy law is written in my heart." This full consecration to death involved every human power, and there – as sealing the engagement – the Father gave him the holy Spirit as a firstfruits of the new spiritual nature, which he would receive completely in his resurrection. That anointing of the holy Spirit was the begetting which, in due time, our Lord being faithful, would bring him to the birth of the Spirit in the resurrection. We know from the Scriptures that he was faithful and thus became the firstfruits of them that slept, the firstborn from the dead.

Immediately he was led into the wilderness – Mark expresses it "driven into the wilderness" – by the Spirit, the holy Spirit, which was now his own spirit or mind or will. We can readily understand why the spirit thus forced him away from the society of others. Jesus realized that he had a special mission in the world, different from others; that he had left the spirit plane of being and had become a man, that he might accomplish a work for mankind. He realized that this work was an important one in the Father's sight, and that already for centuries his coming and the great work he was to do had been foretold in the types of the Law and in the words of the prophecies. Even at the early age of twelve years he had felt anxious to be about the Father's business, and as soon as the legal age for his engaging in the Father's business had arrived, he had hastened to make his vow of consecration to do the Father's will in everything. As a man he could not understand and comprehend clearly and fully the meaning of the various prophecies, even as the prophets did not themselves understand these; and, although familiar with the letter of the Scriptures, he had been obliged to wait for a clear understanding of them until the time of his anointing of the spirit; – because "the natural man [however pure and perfect] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." – 1 Cor. 2:10.

"LORD WHAT WOULDST THOU HAVE ME TO DO?"

Jesus then hastened into the wilderness, away from friends and acquaintances and every distracting thing, that he might make use of the power of the holy Spirit that had come upon him, that he might use the new sight. The eyes of his understanding had been opened to comprehend the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the divine love and plan which he was to fulfil. He must not confer with flesh and blood respecting his future course, even if there had been any one perfect like himself with whom he might have conferred. He must confer with the Father. He must take the Father's words through the prophecies, and the lessons through the types, and must hear and see in these the great work mapped out for him. He must make no mistake at the beginning of his mission. He must not hastily conclude that the suggestions of others respecting the course Messiah would pursue were correct. He must not even take his own previous conceptions of his work. He must look at everything from the new standpoint of the spirit. No wonder he wished to be alone with God, and with the Word of God, which he had treasured up in his heart from infancy, and which, having a perfect mind, he unquestionably had before him as plainly as though he had the printed book.

Forty days passed, yet so intent was he upon the study of the work the Father had given him to do, and so perfect was he physically, that he did not hunger until then, as it is written, "He afterward hungered." The season had been a precious one, and undoubtedly the close of that forty-day period saw the Lord fairly well equipped in an understanding of the divine arrangement respecting the necessity for his death. He understood [R3297 : page 7] that the payment of the ransom price for the world was a prerequisite to his coming reign of glory and to its privilege of blessing all the families of the earth with an opportunity for attaining all that had been lost through father Adam's disobedience. But just at that juncture, when he was weak from his long fast and probably also from lack of sleep – for he probably was so deeply engrossed respecting the study of the divine plan that he neither ate nor slept those forty days – at this juncture of his extreme physical enervation came the adversary's chief besetments. True, through the forty days, while thinking of the divine arrangements, there were opportunities for questioning the wisdom of the divine arrangement; but these apparently were all nullified in the Lord's zeal to know and do the Father's will, and hence the temptations that are recorded are those following the fasting.

"HE WAS A MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING."

We may well suppose that the great Adversary – through whose deception mother Eve fell into disobedience, which brought in its train the wreck and ruin of the race – was an interested spectator in everything pertaining to the divine plan. Of course he knew the prophecies. Of course he knew of our Lord's birth and the annunciation of the heavenly hosts that the babe born at Bethlehem was to be the Savior of the world, the one whose coming was intimated to mother Eve – the seed of the woman who was to bruise the serpent's head. No doubt Satan had watched Jesus in all of his course up to this present time, had seen his baptism of consecration and had seen the Father's recognition of him by the anointing of the Spirit. No doubt he had kept track of him while in the wilderness. All this is intimated in the words of one of the fallen angels or demons, who subsequently said, "We know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God." It may be noted here, however, that the Greek word daimonion (demons) is the word generally translated devils when speaking of the evil spirits which our Lord and the apostles cast out of many, but in the narrative of our lesson this is not the word used. Here we have the word diabolus, preceded by the Greek article thus making it the diabolus, the devil, the one whom the Jews sometimes called Beelzebub, the prince of the devils – the one referred to in the Hebrew as Satan, an opponent of God and of righteousness.

Satan realized that the most favorable time for an attack upon the anointed Jesus would be when he was weak from his long fast and vigilance, and hence it was at the close of the forty days that the temptations mentioned in this lesson were set before the Lord. It may be wondered by some why the Father would permit temptations, or why they would be necessary, or how they could be temptations to a perfect one. There is a difference between temptations which the Father considers proper and the temptations which come of the adversary. The former are tests of loyalty to God and to the principles of righteousness, and are intended to be a blessing and a help to all those who withstand them, and who thus demonstrate their loyalty to righteousness. The temptations of Satan, on the contrary, are in the nature of pitfalls and snares in evil and wrongdoing, temptations to make right appear wrong and wrong right, putting light for darkness and darkness for light. In this sense of misrepresentation and ensnarements in evil, God tempteth no man. (Jas. 1:12,13.) It was necessary that our Lord should be tested, and he was tested all through the three and one-half years of his ministry. Since he had consecrated himself and entered upon his work, it was necessary that these testings should begin at once, for if he manifested disloyalty to the Father, if he had a will of his own, a will that was not fully submitted to the Father's will in all points, he would not be worthy to be the Leader, the Captain of salvation to the many sons God intended to bring to glory. And unless proved perfect by testing his death should not have been accepted as an offset, the ransom price for the sin of Adam and for the sins of the whole world. To experience temptation does not imply sin, but it does imply liberty and freedom of will.

The three temptations here recorded practically illustrate all the temptations that came to our Lord during his three and a half years of self sacrifice, and likewise they illustrate all the trials and temptations that come to his followers. We are not to think of the Lord Jesus as being tempted by the weaknesses of the flesh, for he had no such weakness. We are not to think of his being tempted as a father, for he was not a father. We are to remember the statement that he was tempted in all points as we are – not we the world, not we believers merely, but we the consecrated believers, who are likewise begotten of the Spirit and therefore subject to the besetments of the adversary along the lines in which the interests of the Spirit clash with the interests of the flesh, however good and pure the latter may be.

"COMMAND THAT THESE STONES BE MADE BREAD."

The first of these temptations related to the Lord's hunger. He had possibly been hungry before, but not until endued with the holy Spirit after his baptism had [R3298 : page 7] he that divine miraculous power at his command which would have permitted him to turn stones into bread. This temptation, therefore, did not signify that it is wrong to eat nor that bread is an improper food, but merely that the method of obtaining the food would not have been a proper or legitimate one. But why not, if he had the power, if he were the Son of God and God had given him this ability – why not use this power to satisfy his legitimate cravings? We reply, that the power that was given him was to enable him to carry out the consecration which he had made, and which involved the sacrifice of his flesh instead of its preservation. He might use this holy power upon others, to demonstrate his mission and to draw the attention of the people to the glorious restitution times prefigured in his miracles; but he might not use this holy power in any selfish manner for anything personal. To have done so would have been to misuse it and would therefore have meant sin.

Let us stop here and notice the lesson there is in this temptation for the Lord's followers. We also have received of the begetting of the Spirit; and although we have the Spirit in less measure than our Master, it is for the same purpose – not to be used selfishly for the feeding of our material bodies nor for the healing of our bodily ailments, but simply and only for the service of the Lord, the brethren, the Truth. As our Lord declared [R3298 : page 8] in the garden, he could have asked the Father and have had twelve legions of angels to protect him; and so he could have asked the Father and have had the stones turned into bread, which would have nourished his body; but as our Lord declined to do both of these possible things, so should his followers, having consecrated their lives to the Lord, refuse to ask for divine interference for their own personal and temporal convenience or advantage. To do so would be to ask amiss, to ask selfishly, to ask what would be in opposition to the consecration made.

"THOU SHALT NOT TEMPT THE LORD."

Satan then tried another plan, suggesting a use of our Lord's divine protection which would bring him suddenly into notoriety amongst the people, and demonstrate that he was not an ordinary person but a special object of divine care. The suggestion was that he should go to the highest part of the temple structure, which overlooked the Valley of Hinnom, at a height of six hundred feet from its bottom – that he should leap from this prominent place in the sight of the people, and thus demonstrate his own faith in the Lord and in his mission as the Messiah, and attach to himself the awe and reverence of the people who would see the transaction or hear about it; – for all would know that without divine protection such a leap would mean certain death. The temptation had its plausible side. It seemed to imply great faith in the Almighty, and a refusal to follow the thought would seem to imply doubt on our Lord's part respecting his Messiahship and lack of faith in the divine power. It was a shrewdly put proposition. Additionally, it was backed up by Scripture texts: for Satan can quote Scripture when it suits his purpose just as, under his guidance, Spiritualists and Christian Scientists and other rejectors of the Word of God are ready at times to quote what they think will serve their purposes. The Scripture quoted was a very able one, "He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up lest at any time thou shouldst dash thy foot against a stone." (Psa. 91:11,12.) It would almost appear that this Scripture implied that our Lord was to make such an exhibit as Satan proposed.

First we inquire wherein such a course would have been an improper one – what Scriptural injunction or righteous principle would have been violated? We reply that if our Lord had been pushed from the pinnacle of the temple, or if he had been in a dangerous position in discharge of duty and his foot had slipped, and he thus had been precipitated to the valley below, he would have been quite right in assuming that the divine power could protect his interests and cause that all things should work for his good according to promise. But to deliberately place oneself in danger and to call upon or expect God to offset the deliberate act with divine protection would be a mistake. It would be tempting God. And this was our Lord's reply to Satan, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

We are here furnished a practical lesson in the interpretation of Scripture. Where two Scriptures seem to conflict we must examine the principles which underlie them, and the spirit of a sound mind, the holy spirit of loyalty to God and reverence for him, must assist us in determining the proper relationship of these Scriptures, or which one should be followed when they seem to be in conflict. It is quite possible that the time had not yet come for the Scripture which Satan quoted to be rightly understood. It is possible, therefore, that our Lord at that time did not know the proper interpretation of the words quoted by Satan; for if he had there would have been little temptation in the suggestion. He was guided by the principles of righteousness as well as by the Scriptural testimony which he quoted. He perceived that it would be wrong to do a foolish act and to tempt the Lord to shield him from the natural consequences of the act. This conclusion of our Lord's mind was fully backed up by the Scripture which he quoted.

RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.

The Scripture quoted by Satan we may now understand clearly, and this proves that the due time for its comprehension has come. We now see that the Psalm from which this is taken refers to the whole Church of this Gospel age – Jesus the Head, and his faithful, the members of the body. We now see that while there have been feet members in some respects all the way down through this Gospel age, yet in a particular sense the Lord's people of this present time are the "feet of him that bringeth good tidings of peace." (Isa. 52:7.) We see that as the feet, the last members of the Jewish house, stumbled over Christ as the stone of stumbling and rock of offence in the end of the Jewish age, so now we see the feet members of the spiritual Israel in the harvest or end of this Gospel age will be in danger of stumbling over the rock of offence. As it is written, "He shall be for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel" – the fleshly and the spiritual. (Isa. 8:1,4.) We see that as the fleshly house stumbled over the cross (1 Cor. 1:23), so the spiritual house is to stumble over the same obstacle – the cross.

We see this stumbling now taking place, that higher criticism is undermining true faith in all denominations, and that the Evolution theories are making the cross of Christ of none effect – implying that Jesus and the sacrifice for sins was wholly unnecessary, that men have been evolving and progressing upward under a natural law of progression and evolution, that he needed no redemption, and that restitution to a former estate (Acts. 3:21) would be the worst thing which could happen to him. We see that in fulfilment of this promise the Lord has given his ministers a message for the feet class, designed to be helpful to them and to assist them over these peculiar stumbling stones of our day – to enable them to "stand" (Eph. 6:13); and this we see corresponds exactly to the assistance rendered to the feet members of the Jewish house – the Israelites indeed of that time. We remember how the Lord's dark sayings were not for any except those in a special attitude of heart, so that others hearing might hear and not understand, and seeing they might not perceive. So it is now: the great mass of Churchianity hear not, see not, and rejoice in conditions which they fail to recognize as stumblings and in falling away from the faith once delivered to the saints.

"TEMPTED IN ALL POINTS LIKE AS WE ARE."

Coming back now to the temptation, let us see whether [R3298 : page 9] or not there are temptations before the body of Christ similar to this one recorded of our Head. There are. Temptations continually assail the Lord's people – suggestions to do some wonderful works in his name, and to thus prove to themselves and to others that they are heaven's favorites. The lesson for us to learn is that the work which the Father has given us to do is not a work of convincing the world of showing his favor toward us and our greatness in him, but rather – "Hast thou faith, have it to thyself," as the Apostle says. Rather that we should quietly and humbly, yet as effectively as reason and propriety will permit, let our lights shine, and show forth the praises of him who hath called us from darkness into his marvellous light, and from a desire to be wonder-workers to the reasonable position of servants, ministers of the Truth. Let us fix our Lord's answer clearly in our minds, "It is written, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Let us as members of the feet of Christ not accept outward deliverances from the trials and difficulties and responsibilities of life, but expect that our protection, our upholding, will be along spiritual lines – that we shall be kept from falling and from injury as New Creatures in Christ Jesus, because our faith is stayed on him.

We do not know that Satan was personally visible to our Lord during these temptations: we must assume that he was not visible, that he did not appear as a man, nor in any other tangible form. Undoubtedly, as the holy angels had power to appear as men, Satan and the fallen angels at one time had the same power or privilege. But the divine sentence against them after the flood is distinctly recorded in the Scriptures. They are "restrained in chains of darkness" until the judgment of the great day, until the dawning of the Millennial morning. However, it matters not to us in what way Satan communicated to our Lord these tempting suggestions. In the third temptation, however, it is evident that the taking of our Lord to a high mountain and showing him therefrom all the kingdoms of the [R3299 : page 9] earth, was not a literal taking, but a taking in spirit or in mind or in thought. There is no mountain in the world from which all the earth could be seen, and even if the Roman world were understood there was no mountain anywhere in Palestine from which any considerable portion of the Roman world could be seen. But the mind can be projected to any part of the world in an instant or to any part of the universe in imagination.

Satan called to our Lord's mind, imagination, a great mountain or great kingdom, having supervision of the entire world. He suggested to our Lord that his mission would be accomplished if he should succeed in thus establishing a kingdom over all the kingdoms of the earth. This to some extent is the spirit of prophecy; namely that it is God's purpose to establish through Christ a world dominion which will rule all the people of the earth to their blessing and uplifting from sin and degradation to life, joy, and peace – or so many of them as will respond to the blessed influences of that Millennial Kingdom. Our Lord certainly understood that this was his mission – to lay the foundation for such a Kingdom: we cannot, however, suppose that he as yet fully understood or comprehended all the steps incidental to that Kingdom's establishment. Had he understood this, there would have been no temptation in Satan's presentation.

SATAN AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT WOULD MISLEAD.

Having stated the proposition in a form that would at once appeal to our Lord as being largely in accord with the Father's plans he had come to execute, Satan would have our Lord feel that he sympathized with Jehovah's project and with our Lord Jesus in the execution of it, and was willing to render co-operation and assistance. In effect he said, Such a universal Kingdom, for the civilization, enlightenment, uplifting and blessing of all the world I know is your proposition, and I am fully in sympathy with it; but there are different ways of getting at the matter. If you attempt this great work in the wrong way you will merely bring disaster upon yourself and failure to your plans, but if you get at the matter in the proper manner you will succeed. I am the master of the situation – the whole world is under my influence. I admit that in many respects it is a painful influence, and I shall be very glad indeed to have it rectified and the world's government made righteous. My leading of mankind into sin and rebellion and superstition was not so much because I wish them evil as because I knew that only in this way could I hold my power over them. Now all that I ask for co-operation with you in this scheme of a great kingdom to bless the world is that I receive a share of the dignity and honor with you – that you recognize me. Let us be partners. I will recognize you and you will recognize me, and together we will effect this great work of reformation for the whole world, for which you have so grandly and nobly sacrificed every interest up to this moment. Now be wise, for I assure you that any other method will meet only with disaster and bring needless and fruitless pain upon yourself.

As already intimated, the Lord had been studying the Scriptures from childhood; his perfect memory had grasped every detail of the prophecies, and now, since his anointing with the holy Spirit, he had come into the wilderness to determine this very point – how the great object of his coming into the world was to be made effective to the blessing of mankind – how he must proceed in order to fulfil the divine projects and become King of kings and Lord of lords amongst men for their blessing and uplifting. He heard Satan's proposition carefully, he noted the weight of the argument, he realized the truthfulness of much that Satan had said; but he saw in the Scriptures enough to indicate to him that the Father's plan was not the smooth one that Satan had suggested. He noticed in the Scriptures suggestions not only about glory, honor, dominion and power, and the bowing of every knee, and the confessing of every tongue, and the desire of all nations coming, and the knowledge of the Lord filling the whole earth, and the time coming when there would be no need to say to one's neighbor and to one's brother, Know thou the Lord, because all should know him from the least even unto the greatest; but he noticed also Scriptures and types which clearly intimated that there was to be a sacrificing work accomplished. All the sin-offerings implied this, and the testimony, "he shall be led as a lamb to the slaughter," etc.

Reasoning on the question he could readily see that this sacrificing, slaughtering, etc. could not come after [R3299 : page 10] the glory and blessing and enlightenment of the world, and hence that it must precede the glory; for, as the Apostle Peter points out, the prophets "spake of the sufferings of Christ and the glory which should follow." Doubtless by this time the Lord had come to see that it was a clear teaching of Scripture that without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sins, and that this meant that in some manner he should die for the people. Supposing that he saw this at the time, it meant that the temptation he experienced was all the stronger, because here Satan was proposing to him a method for dealing with the question from the opposite standpoint, without suffering, with exaltation and honor from the very commencement.

COMPLETE CONSECRATION ESSENTIAL TO VICTORY.

Our Lord was saved from any vacillation or manifestation of weakness on this subject by reason of the fulness, the completeness of his consecration, which he had symbolized at Jordan. There he had said, in heart at least, "I delight to do thy will, O my God, thy law is written in my heart." This desire to please the Father, to obey the divine law in his heart saved our dear Redeemer from any yielding to Satan's wiles, and similarly our consecration as members of his body must be thorough if we would hope to stand the testing which must come to each one of us as we pass along the narrow way, following in his footsteps, seeking the glory, honor and immortality which he has promised us. Our Lord's prompt and allsufficient answer was, Leave me, Adversary; for it is written, the Lord thy God shalt thou worship and him only shalt thou serve. I cannot be a co-worker with you in any sense of the word; to do so would be disloyalty to the great Jehovah. I must be loyal to the Lord and to the commission he has given me and to the doing of his will in his way whatever the cost.

Members of the body of Christ following in his footsteps have temptations from the Adversary along similar lines. Not that he offers to divide the kingdom of earth with us, for so great a proposition would not appeal to us, being incredible; but to us he does propose deviation from the close following in the Master's footsteps. He suggests continually to the Lord's followers easier ways by which as much or more good can be accomplished and without sacrifice and self-denial. These ways of avoiding sacrifice and yet of seemingly attaining good ends always imply more or less of co-partnership with the Adversary directly or indirectly, an acknowledgment of him, a bending to evil – to evil men or evil principles.

Under such circumstances we should note carefully the Lord's method and walk in his steps. We should refuse to have any partnership with sin or evil influences or methods in our endeavors to serve the Lord and his Truth. Satan does not approach us in human form nor in diabolic form, but generally through human agencies, through human ambitions, parties, sects, etc. If our Lord had made inquiry of Satan as to what would be the program, doubtless he would have advised him to become a Pharisee of the Pharisees at once, and through such steps gradually he would have proceeded to elevate our Lord over the Jewish people and ultimately over the world – if indeed he who was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the Truth could be trusted in respect to any promise.

Similarly, today, he proposes to the Lord's followers identification with nominal Churchianity. He flatters them with some trifling office larger in name than in fact or service; he persuades them that they have a large influence and that to withdraw from Babylon would be to incur suffering upon themselves and their families and to do general injury to the work which they seek to forward. By this means, if he cannot lead them onward step by step to full co-operation with him in the blinding of others, he at least can hinder those who yield to his propositions from ever stepping out boldly and courageously on the Lord's side and in opposition to superstition and error. He can hinder them from being more than conquerors and having a place in the body of Christ. What shall our answer be to his suggestions? Let us answer with our Lord that we can enter into no partnership, be members of the institution, nor co-operate with any along lines that would be either dishonoring to the character of our heavenly Father or in any measure contrary to those which he has marked out as the pathway for those who love him – the pathway of self-denial, and incidentally of suffering for the cause of right and truth.

"ADD TO YOUR FAITH, FORTITUDE."

Another thought: one great difficulty with the Lord's people is that, even when determined for a right course and thus resisting the temptation, they do not take sufficiently positive action. Many say to the tempter, I have concluded not to yield at this time. Thus they leave in their own minds an opportunity open by which the tempter may return. Our Lord's course was the proper one: we should dismiss the tempter once and forever. We should take our stand so firmly that even the Adversary would not think it worth while to come back at us along that line; "Leave me, Adversary," I will worship and serve my God alone.

Our Lord's temptations thus terminated. Henceforth he had Satan for his Adversary, but the Father his protector and ultimately his deliverer. Had he not reached this final decision we may presume that Satan's temptations would have continued for days or weeks or years, and would have been a hindrance to the Lord in the work he had come to do. So with us, we must settle it if we would be on the Lord's side; we must decide that in no [R3300 : page 10] sense of the word will we yield to the Adversary, either from policy or to enter into any transaction either to protect life, name or fame. Our decision must be a firm one, somewhat as expressed by the poet: –

"Vain, delusive world, adieu,
With all thou callest good!
To my Lord I would be true,
Who bought me with his blood."
"MARVEL NOT IF THE WORLD HATE YOU."

When the Lord's followers take a firm stand on this subject as their Leader did, the results are the same. Satan is their implacable opponent; he will see to it that they do suffer, that there will be opposition not only by himself but by the world, which is largely under the influence of his spirit and in various ways. Taking this stand they must not marvel if the world hate them, and if all manner of evil be said against them falsely for Christ's sake. And the more prominent they may be, as [R3300 : page 11] in our Lord's case, the more virulent we may expect attacks against them to be – the more interested will the great Adversary be in overcoming them. This thought of Satan's opposition to us, and that we are contending not merely with flesh and blood but with principalities and powers and wicked spirits in high positions of power, would be appalling to us did we not on the other hand realize that by this same positiveness of decision we acquire great helps and assistances by other unseen powers. From that moment of our positive resistance of temptation and positive standing up for the Lord and his cause, we become stronger in the Lord and in the power of his might, and greater is he that is for us than all that be against us.

It was so in our Lord's case. At once he was ministered to by the unseen messengers of Jehovah, and whatever terror lay in the intimated opposition of the Adversary was more than counterbalanced by the assurances of divine favor and assistance. So it is with us. If God be for us who can be against us – what will all the oppositions of the world, the flesh and the devil amount to since God declares that we are his and all things are ours, for we are Christ's and Christ is God's? – 1 Cor. 3:21-23.

[R3300 : page 11]

THE TEACHER AND HIS MESSAGE REJECTED.
LUKE 4:16-30. – JANUARY 24. –

Golden Text: "He came unto his own and his own received him not." – John 1:11.

O
UR LORD began his ministry in Judea, and is supposed to have spent a year there before going to Galilee, the province in which most of his life had been passed. And even when he did go to his home province he chose to visit Capernaum before going to his native city, Nazareth. This was a wise course, considering the fact that a prophet is generally less esteemed at home than abroad. As it was, his fame in Judea and still later at Capernaum had aroused quite an interest in the people of Nazareth, where he had lived from about three years of age until thirty. A certain amount of pride in their fellow-townsman had thus been awakened, and we may be sure that there was a large attendance at the synagogue on the first Sabbath day after our Lord's arrival in Nazareth.

But while it was an object of our Lord's ministry to awaken and draw the interest of the people of Palestine to himself and to the message which he had to deliver, nevertheless it was not the object of that message to gather all the people to the Lord, but rather to separate the wheat from the chaff – to gather the wheat to Jesus and, naturally, to array the chaff class in opposition. This foretold result of the Lord's ministry we see was fully accomplished. "He came unto his own [people] but his own received him not, but to as many as received him, to them gave he liberty [privilege] to become the sons of God" – to be transferred from the house of servants, of which Moses was the head, to the house of sons, of which our Lord Jesus is the Head. We remark incidentally, however, that although faithful servants were gathered during our Lord's ministry, they were not begotten again until Pentecost. Pentecost brought the begetting of the Spirit to such of them as were then ready – the begetting necessary to a spirit development of character, necessary to an ultimate birth of the spirit in the First Resurrection.

The first verse of our lesson shows distinctly that it was our Lord's custom to attend the synagogue meetings every Sabbath day, and his custom also to be the reader for the congregation. The synagogue services were not at all like the temple services. The latter was the house of prayer, and the place where typical atonement was made for the sins of the people with the blood of bulls and goats, etc. The synagogue more nearly resembled present day Bible classes, where the Scriptures are read and freely discussed, not only by the leader but also by all in attendance as they may feel disposed. There are certain good features connected with this arrangement, one of which is the opportunity it affords for bringing out discussion on any Scriptural topic. We warmly commend the Bible study and Bible-class methods as still appropriate to the Lord's people and still beneficial for the elucidation of Truth.

RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.

The Jews had a certain order in which the Scriptures were read in the synagogue, and apparently the book of Isaiah was the appropriate one for this occasion. The Lord turned to what we now call the sixty-first chapter of Isaiah and read the first verse and part of the second, and closing the book he sat down and made certain comments upon the passage read. We find that our Lord read discriminatingly, or, as the Apostle expresses it, he "rightly divided the Word of truth." He read the part appropriate to the time, but did not read about the day of vengeance. His teaching was to test the people: if his message were received no day of vengeance would be necessary; if not received the day of vengeance would follow, as it did follow upon that nation after it had rejected him. There is a lesson for the Lord's people in this: it is better that we should read one verse understandingly and appreciatingly than that we should merely read chapter after chapter of the Lord's Word in a formal manner.

Our Lord brought home to his audience the meaning of his text, saying, "This day is this Scripture [R3300 : page 12] fulfilled in your hearing." It had been written centuries before and read hundreds of times, but now, in the harvest of their age, for the first time it could be said that it was fulfilled. The holy Spirit had come upon the Lord Jesus about a year before, after his consecration at Jordan. It constituted his anointing. The Jews were accustomed to this thought of anointing: their high-priests were anointed, as representing the Lord's power or spirit upon the priest, to authorize him to perform the sacrifices and to mediate between God and the people. Their kings were anointed, representing that divine power and guidance was upon them, and that they were specially authorized to represent the Lord in the government of the people.

The promise was that the Lord's anointed, the Messiah, should by and by come and establish a reign of righteousness in the earth, and now our Lord announced himself as the anointed of the Father. He did not do this in any coarse or rude manner, saying, "I am the Messiah. I am the anointed of Jehovah, with authority as priest and king;" but he did it in a quiet, unassuming manner, by calling attention to the prophecy and declaring that its fulfilment had now taken place. The announcement was not that the Lord had anointed him to rule, but that the first part of his mission was to preach, to declare, to be the mouthpiece of God to humanity. He had a great message, which should ultimately be unto all people, but which at that time was only for so many as had ears to hear.

It would undoubtedly be disappointing to many to have the royalty feature passed by, and to find that Messiah's work as herein delineated by the prophet and announced by the Lord, was one of preaching a good message rather than of raising a great army – of preaching to the meek and poor, rather than of rallying round himself the rich and wise and proud. They would be disappointed, too, at the part of the message which says that he was to bind up the broken-hearted. They had expected, perhaps, that, like the great warriors and leaders amongst the other nations, their deliverer would be the one who would cause the loss of many lives and the breaking of many hearts with sorrow and with trouble. Even those whose hearts were somewhat broken were probably disappointed because of their wrong expectations.

The proclaiming of liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison doors to them that are bound, our Lord's hearers probably did not understand. Their thoughts may have gone out to John the Baptist, who at this time was in prison, and they may have wondered whether Jesus would take any steps for his release. They probably had little conception of the real meaning of this Scripture – that it signified the liberation of Satan's captives from the bondage of sin, and ultimately the release from death and its bondage of the millions who have gone down into that great prison-house, the tomb. Even the Lord's disciples, who had ears to hear his message and hearts to respond thereto and become his followers at any cost, could not at this time have appreciated the greatness of the Lord's work. Little by little he needed to make known unto them the meaning of the prophecies and explained that the hour is coming in which all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth. [R3301 : page 12]

THE ACCEPTABLE TIME.

"The acceptable year [time, period] of the Lord" mentioned by the prophet was not understood either. Blessed are our eyes that we now see that this acceptable year or acceptable time or acceptable period is the entire Gospel age, during which God is willing to accept all that come unto him through Christ – willing to accept them as joint sacrificers with Jesus, as members of the great Royal Priest. True, by and by, at the close of the Millennial age, the Lord will be willing to accept so many of the world of mankind as the great Redeemer shall have brought into heart-harmony with him, and, by restitution processes, back to the image of God. But that acceptance of the world, after restoration by Christ, is a very different one from the acceptance of the Church in this present time.

Our acceptance now means our change of nature, our begetting to the new nature, the spiritual; and the terms or conditions of this acceptance are, as expressed by the Apostle, that having been first justified freely by God's grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, we should, secondly, "present our bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God and our reasonable service." This acceptable day, then, means the day in which our heavenly Father is willing to accept the sacrifices of the anointed. He had only accepted Jesus' initiatory sacrifice of consecration, which later our Lord fulfilled and finished at the cross. It was the ground upon which the heavenly Father gave him the exceeding great reward of the First Resurrection blessing – to glory, honor and immortality. So with all the members of the body following in the footsteps of the Savior, justified by his blood – their sacrifices are counted in as acceptable to the Father during this antitypical Day of Atonement; and by its close all of these "better sacrifices" – then the typical bullock and goat sacrifices – will have been offered and will have been accepted, and thereafter no sacrifices will be either needed or accepted.

This wonderful prophecy which our Lord declared was being fulfilled in his own person is still in process [R3301 : page 13] of fulfilment in the persons of his truly consecrated followers – the members of his body. This was shown in the type. The holy anointing oil was poured upon the head of Aaron, but ran down even unto the skirts of his garments, thus anointing in the figure each member of his body. So it is with us. We are members of the Anointed One, and that which was true of our Head is true in a measure also of each one of us. We are all anointed to preach, all authorized of the Lord to declare the good tidings of the coming Kingdom to all the meek and broken-hearted. It is a mistake to suppose that our commission and the Gospel message given us is intended of the Lord to break men's hearts. It is a mistake to suppose that we are commissioned to go especially to the froward. Our message, while given out broadcast, must not be expected to attract any except the meek and broken-hearted. True, the light shining in the darkness will reprove the darkness and convince of sin, of righteousness and of coming judgment, or discrimination between the righteous and the unrighteous; but this is an incidental feature. The real mission of the Gospel is to the meek and to the broken-hearted.

As respects the world our general message, so far as they are able to hear it, is liberty to the captives and ultimately opening of the prison-doors of death, that all the families of the earth may in due time receive from the Lord through his Anointed the great blessing of the knowledge of the Truth, the opening of the eyes of the understanding, opening of the deaf ears, that they may know their God and be able to return by way of holiness and the restitution processes which will ultimately be at their disposal during the Millennial Kingdom. We can do still more for those who have ears to hear now. We can tell them of their liberty, of their freedom from the domination of Satan and sin and the weaknesses of the flesh. We can assure them in God's name, and through the merit of the great sacrifice for sins given by our Savior, that their past sins are forgiven and that their present weaknesses and imperfections are covered, if so be that they are trusting in Jesus and seeking to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit to the extent of their ability. This justification by faith is for the Lord's servants and handmaidens now, but an actual justification or release from the bondage of sin and Satan is the glorious provision for the world in general during the coming age, when Satan shall be bound, when he will deceive the nations (peoples) no more.

GRACIOUS WORDS TO UNGRACIOUS HEARTS.

The Lord's discourse is not given, but unquestionably it was a grand one based upon so grand a text. The record is that all present bore witness to the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth – words of favor, of blessing, of comfort, of peace. We know not to what extent the Lord may have described the blessings yet to come upon the world through his Millennial Kingdom, secured by his work of redemption. His old neighbors and friends were beginning to think very highly of him, and apparently the old proverb that a prophet is without honor in his own country and amongst his own kin was about to be disproved. Apparently, also, the people of his home city were about to receive him as indeed being a great prophet, and rejoice in him and be proud of him because he was of their city – Jesus of Nazareth.

But how short-lived was their appreciation of him! How quickly the natural mind and perverse reasoning turned everything upside down, and turned his admirers into enemies, hating him and seeking his life! They began to say, Is not this the one we have known as Joseph's son? And then they began to wonder what mighty works Jesus would do in their midst, having heard of the great miracles wrought by him in the province of Judea and in the nearby city of Capernaum. Our Lord interpreted their thoughts and said, "Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, 'Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do here in thine own country.'"

We know not why our Lord refused to perform miracles in Nazareth. We may surmise, however, that this being his home city, where he was well known and where undoubtedly he had previously read in the synagogue, the people being in a right condition of mind should have been ready to accept the good tidings without any attestation of miracles; whereas in the other cities, where the Lord was not known, the miracles were more or less necessary as his credentials, and none might have been expected to receive him and to accept his teachings without having either a personal acquaintance with him or the attestation of miracles. The thought would be that the miracles of our Lord were not intended to be restitution blessings, because the restitution times had not yet come – that the miracles performed were merely to witness, to attest, to substantiate, fortify and clinch our Lord's teachings. Secondly, the people of Nazareth should not have expected miracles, did not need miracles, having another attestation instead, namely, their acquaintance with Jesus.

HAVE WE NOT DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS IN THY NAME? – MATT. 7:22,23.

A lesson may be drawn from this circumstance applicable to our day. Miracles are not necessary today amongst the Lord's people, and hence they have passed away. Not that the Lord has any the less power, but that the time for restitution has not yet come, and the necessity for miracles as introductions [R3301 : page 14] to the Gospel message is no longer manifest. Hence, although not for a moment doubting the divine ability to heal all manner of diseases today, we are inclined to look with suspicion upon the miraculous healings of the present time, whether done by Mormons or by Christian Scientists or by Christian Alliance people or by Spiritualists or by Mr. Dowie and his followers or others. We are inclined to look upon miracles as some of the "wonderful works" mentioned by our Lord, to the performers of which he will say, I do not recognize you as my faithful disciples.

Satan and his work are undoubtedly opposed to life and healing, etc.; nevertheless, he is quite able and willing to reverse his processes and to become either a preacher or a healer, as may best suit his convenience. Our Lord in speaking on this subject implied such a course on the part of Satan, but intimated that it would mean the fall of Satan's kingdom – that it would imply that such efforts were necessary in order to perpetuate the superstition and blindness which he has been exercising over mankind, necessary in order to distract attention from the glorious light of Present Truth, gradually breaking in upon the hearts and minds of those who are the Lord's truly consecrated people.

The present time, so far as the Lord's people are concerned, is a time for sacrifice and not a time for restitution – a time for laying down their lives and not a time for saving them. It is a time for the binding up of their broken hearts, though not a time for the repairing of their marred bodies; a time for a reckoned deliverance from sin and death, but not a time for actual deliverance. As for the world, it has now a sufficient witness on every hand to the greatness of Messiah and to his merit as a teacher, it needs no temporary healing of the sick for this purpose, and as for the permanent healing of the world's sickness, the time has not yet come for this; but, as the Apostle Peter points out, it will come at the establishment of the Lord's Millennial Kingdom at his second advent. "The times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began" shall follow, and they will indeed be "times of refreshing."

The people of Nazareth were interested in Jesus from the standpoint of selfishness – pride in him as the representative of their city – and hoped that the great miracles that he had wrought in other cities would be more than duplicated at his home. And so when he intimated that he would do no such miracles there they were chagrined. His citation of previous similar [R3302 : page 14] dealings in no measure placated their anger. They were filled with wrath and rose up and thrust him out of the city in the direction of a precipitous hill about forty or fifty feet high, with the evident purpose of killing or maiming him by pushing him over the brink.

"MARVEL NOT IF THE WORLD HATE YOU."

What a picture we have here of the natural man in his fallen condition! At one moment rejoicing in the Master's gracious words, at another desiring to destroy him because of the failure of their selfish hopes and ambitions. So it has been with the Lord's people since, and particularly is this true in the present time, the harvest of this Gospel age. Many hear the good tidings of great joy for all people, and while declaring it to be the grandest Gospel message conceivable, yet selfish interests – especially sectarianism, and the feeling that instead of this message building up their favorite sect or party it will have the effect of discrediting the same – seem to evilly influence those who rejoiced in the gracious message but a short time previously.

Apparently our Lord permitted the matter to go far enough to show the real spirit of his opposers, and then, turning himself, he overawed them with the glance of his eye and passed through their midst unmolested. He exercised this power because his time was not yet come. So, too, we may suppose it will be with all the members of his body. As the Father had a due time for the Son in which to accomplish his work, so, doubtless, divine providence is overruling and guiding the affairs of each member of the body of Christ so that not even a hair of their heads could fall without divine notice; and so, their lives being precious in the Father's sight cannot be taken from them in any manner until their time shall have come – until they shall have finished the work which the Father has for them to do – until they shall have experienced the chastening and polishing necessary to fit them for the Kingdom, or until by their own wilfulness they shall have taken their affairs out of the Lord's hands or have refused to walk in his steps.

"HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT, BUT – "

Our Golden Text was fulfilled not by the above rejection of our Lord at Nazareth, but by his rejection by the whole nation of Israel. The Apostle, however, points out that, while the nation as a whole rejected the Lord, there were individual exceptions; and hence, while the nation as a nation was rejected by the Lord, these faithful individuals who became his disciples were received of him, were granted liberty to become members of the house of sons, and at Pentecost received the spirit of adoption, the spirit of begetting to the new nature.

A parallel to this experience of fleshly Israel is to be sought and is readily to be found in antitypical Israel – nominal spiritual Israel. At our Lord's second advent he comes to Christendom as his professed people; and, in harmony with the prophets, he is again rejected – yet not by all. As there were some amongst the Jews ready to receive him and to follow in his steps, so, today, there are some to whom his words are applicable, "Blessed are your [R3302 : page 15] eyes for they see and your ears for they hear." Those of the spiritual house now accepting the Lord are in due time to receive a great blessing – the antitype of the Pentecostal blessing – it will be glorification. Soon shall the wheat class of this Gospel age be blessed and changed that they may "shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father." (Matt. 13:43.) Thus we see that the Lord will be for a stone of stumbling to both the houses of Israel, but for a blessing to some, the faithful of each. They shall become as the very elect, his body members, his Bride, and be associated with him not only in the anointing and sufferings of this present age, but also in the glories of the future work of blessing all the families of the earth with a knowledge of the Lord and with an opportunity to return to favor if they will.

[R3302 : page 15]

"THE EARTH SHALL YIELD HER INCREASE."

T
HE following is a letter from a brother in the Truth illustrates well how all that the Lord has promised respecting food for the restored millions of our race now in death can be fulfilled:

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I have recently learned of a matter which I believe will be interesting to you. It is this:

About ten miles from Philadelphia there is a small farm of fifteen acres, the owner of which has brought it to an extremely high state of cultivation. The results are almost past belief. The matter has been attracting the attention of the United States' officials, who have been keeping tab on the wonderful doings of this farm for the past four years.

I visited the farm and met the owner personally. He is a Minister in the nominal Church, and manages this little farm additionally. On the fifteen acres he was supporting, at the time of my visit, twenty-nine head of cattle and three horses. He raised all the feed for this stock on the fifteen acres, and sold additionally considerable hay and grain which he was unable to use. He has a good-sized house and barn on the premises, and last year, besides maintaining himself and family from the proceeds of the farm, cleared from it a profit of twenty-one hundred dollars. He has brought his farm to a condition where it produces three crops annually without expending a dollar for fertilizers of any kind. The vegetation is so heavy and luxuriant that weeds are completely choked out. There is scarcely a weed to be found on the place. All this has been done on an ordinary clay soil in only twenty years. About him on every side are farms many times as large where the owners use large quantities of imported fertilizers, gather only one crop a year and only just manage to get along comfortably.

I at once thought to myself, this is an illustration of how the wilderness shall blossom as the rose and the earth yield her increase, and it is coming to the attention of mankind at just the proper time – at the beginning of the millennium. I suggested this thought to the minister, but to my sorrow he replied that he had no faith along that line; that he was in accord with Henry Ward Beecher's view that the fall of man must have been upward, and that we are gradually attaining by evolutionary processes the perfection of our race.

I replied that my loyalty to the Scripture teaching that man passed under Divine condemnation through disobedience, so that he needed the redemption which our Lord Jesus accomplished as a ransom for all, and that he still needs the blessing of restitution to bring him back to the image and likeness of God in which he was created, forbade me to accept any such view.

The minister replied that he once held similar views regarding the atonement until he went to college, and that there he learned to view matters very differently. Seeing that he discarded the foundation doctrines of the Divine Word, I felt that it would be useless to make further effort to interest him in the glorious Plan of the Ages. I said to myself, "Here is one of those mentioned by the prophet when he said, 'A thousand shall fall at thy side.'" This friend has fallen. Doubtless many others are similarly falling away from their relationship to our Heavenly Father through a loss of faith in the Redeemer he has provided. I at once applied to myself the words of the Apostle, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall"; and while rejoicing that I still stood firm on the ransom, I uplifted my heart in prayer to the Lord that he would ever keep me loyal to himself and the great Plan of the Ages of which our dear Redeemer's sacrifice is the center and foundation.

Returning to the subject of the farm, I made a little calculation as follows: In a little country village a total annual income of two hundred and fifty dollars, used carefully, will easily maintain for one year five adult persons who enjoy good health, even under present unfavorable conditions as respects the quality and prices of commodities. Thus this little farm of fifteen acres would maintain the minister's family of say five persons and forty-two other individuals or forty-nine in all – an average of about three per acre or one thousand nine hundred and twenty persons per square mile.

The total land surface of the world is 52,299,431 square miles, and doubtless under the Divine government nearly all of this will be reclaimed for purposes of cultivation; but let us suppose that one-third of it will always be waste land. This leaves 34,866,287 square miles for cultivation, and, on the basis I have suggested, would support an army of 66,943,271,040 people.

It seems to me that the preacher's little farm comes pretty near making a basis for a mathematical demonstration of the earth's ability to yield crops sufficient for the support of all who will be found worthy of lasting life at the conclusion of the millennial age: even without allowing for supernatural power and bettered conditions.

CLAYTON J. WOODWORTH.

page 17
January 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. XXV.JANUARY 15, 1904.No. 2.
CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower 19
Employers of Labor Agitating 19
Fertilizing Soil with Bacteria 20
Our Year-Text for 1904 21
Fishers of Men 25
The Good Physician 27
The Pilgrim's Wants (Poem) 31
New Arrangements for Pittsburgh Gazette 31
Public Ministries of the Truth 32
General Conventions, 1904 32

'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 18

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

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

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

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VOL. V. IN GERMAN.

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THE MUSICAL TOWER.

A new edition of this choice selection of 12 numbers of Music, with words appropriate to our Scriptural hopes and aims has been issued. We supply them in any quantity at 2c per copy, post-paid.

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By a special arrangement with The Pittsburgh Gazette a stenographic report of Pastor C. T. Russell's discourses will be printed on Mondays. We will send you "The Pittsburgh Gazette" (daily) and ZION'S WATCH TOWER twice a month for a period of 12 months for $3.25, which is about the price of The Gazette alone. The subscriptions must be paid in advance and sent to us.

NOTICE. – Where Gazette agencies are established the issues desired can be readily obtained through them. The Gazette refuses to mail papers to towns where they would interfere with the agents already located.

[R3303 : page 19]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
EMPLOYERS OF LABOR AGITATING.

THESE ARE THE CONDITIONS WE HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCING SINCE 1875, AS EVIDENCES THAT WE ARE IN THE GREAT "DAY OF THE LORD" AND THAT ITS BATTLE OR STRUGGLE IS IMPENDING.

IN December last two important meetings of manufacturers and labor employers were held; one in Dayton, O., the other in Chicago, Ills. The proceedings at Dayton and the object of the meeting are thus described in the daily press –

A resolution was adopted asking Congress not to indorse the eight-hour bill, when that document comes up for action. Another resolution requests all employers' associations throughout the country to affiliate with the national body.

AGAINST UNION LABEL.

The determined stand to be taken by the association is indicated in the passage of a resolution instructing all members of employers' associations affiliated with the national body not to place the union label on any of their output.

It is proposed also to establish a labor information bureau, where will be kept a tabulated record of all law-breaking and undesirable workmen.

The present methods employed by unions in conducting a boycott were bitterly denounced.

A bureau of organization, publication, and education will likely be located at Dayton, although the headquarters will be at Indianapolis.

PLATFORM ADOPTED.

The following platform was adopted as an open letter to the public and affiliated associations:

Resolved, By the executive committee of the Citizens' Industrial Association of America, that the present industrial conditions have become so deplorable by reason of the indefensible methods and claims of organized labor that the time has come when the employing interests and good citizenship of the country must take immediate and effective measures to reaffirm and enforce these fundamental principles of American government guaranteeing free competitive conditions.

"In its demand for the closed shop organized labor is seeking to overthrow individual liberty and property rights, the principal props of our government. Its methods for securing this revolutionary and socialistic change in our institutions are also those of physical warfare. Because of this warfare the industrial interests of the nation during the last years have been injured to an irreparable degree. Many firms have been driven into bankruptcy, and the cases are innumerable in which workingmen have been disabled and even murdered, while numerous families have been rendered destitute by reason of the tyranny and seditious attacks upon society by the strike organizations.

"CONDITION OF ANARCHY."

"A condition of anarchy has existed continuously in some States for months past, and, in fact, the acts of lawlessness committed under the sacred name of labor are of such frequent recurrence that the public sense of their enormity has become blunted. The period of great prosperity brought about by the unrestricted operation of the law of supply and demand is also being destroyed by the acts of violence of organized labor, and as a result we are now confronted with the possibility of a period of depression.

"While we most emphatically object to being classed as enemies of organizations of labor that are conducted upon lawful and beneficent lines, yet we are unalterably opposed to the present programme of violence, boycotting, and tyranny now being carried out by the majority of labor unions.

"We therefore urge the rapid organization of those who believe in the maintenance of law and order and the perpetuation of our free institutions, to the end that they may wield their full and proper influence upon the destinies of the nation. Since organizations exist for the apparent purpose of defying law and common sense, and are able to intimidate and influence public men and municipal authorities, there is no alternative left to those who desire to preserve bearable conditions in our body politic than that of forming counter organizations.

ORGANIZATION THE ONLY MEANS.

"It is only through the machinery of organization that we can hope to exercise a potent and salutary influence over public thought and the conduct of public officials, to the end that the rights of American citizenship can be assured to free and independent labor, the rights [R3303 : page 20] of property protected and legislation of a socialistic nature prevented from being enacted into law.

STRONG WORDS AT THE CHICAGO SESSION.
BLOODSHED PREDICTED.

"If the fight for the closed shop is allowed to continue there will be scenes of bloodshed in this country that will surpass the days of the French revolution. The closed shop is un-American, unrighteous, a restriction of the liberties of our people, and a death blow to the individualism that makes for success."

The foregoing sentiment, expressed by W. B. Brinton, president of the Peru Plow Company, was cheered by 600 members of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association at their annual banquet.

"Our rights," declared Mr. Brinton, "are dependent on the settlement of the question once for all as to whether an employer can hire whom he pleases without being subject to the dictation of any organized body. The Chicago City Railway has won a great victory in establishing its right to engage its own employees. Without this right, which is becoming recognized by the great mass of people, the commercial supremacy of the United States will be at an end."

FERTILIZING SOIL WITH BACTERIA.

Because we are in the dawning of the Millennium, the Lord is graciously lifting the curtain and letting in the light upon one subject after another, – to prepare for the great blessings of that glorious time and its re-awakened billions of humanity. From this standpoint the following article from the Literary Digest will be read with interest. It shows one of the ways the Lord's promises may be expected to be fulfilled and cause the wilderness to blossom as the rose. And every evidence of the kind adds to our general faith in our Father's willingness and ability to do all that he has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

The article follows: –

Soil that will not bear crops is suffering from starvation. This may be remedied by properly "feeding" it with fertilizers; but in certain cases the trouble may also be cured, like some diseases, by inoculation. In other words, soil deficient in nitrogenous matter may be treated with cultures of certain bacteria that enable plants to absorb and utilize atmospheric nitrogen, as has been shown in Germany by Professor Nobbe. Fertilizing material sufficient for an acre may now be purchased in a small glass bottle. Ray Stannard Baker tells in Harper's Magazine just how this discovery was made and how it has been utilized. According to Mr. Baker, it had its beginning in the earlier discovery that plants are fed largely from substances in the air and from consequent study of the problem of how the plant is able to appropriate this aerial food. Says the writer:

"The chief chemical elements in all vegetable substances are oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. ...Nitrogen is the all-important element. Potassium and phosphorus are usually present in abundance, or they can be easily supplied in the form of wood-ashes and other fertilizers; but nitrogen is more expensive and more difficult to restore. Nitrogen is what makes the muscles and brain of a man; it is the essential element of all elements in the growth of animals and plants....If the world ever starves, it will be from lack of nitrogen; and yet if such starvation takes place, it will be in a world full of nitrogen. For there is not one of the elements more common than nitrogen, not one present around us in larger quantities. Four-fifths of every breath of air we breathe is pure nitrogen – four-fifths of all the earth's atmosphere is nitrogen. If mankind dies of nitrogen starvation, it will die with food everywhere about it and within it.

"But unfortunately plants and animals are unable to take up nitrogen in its pure form as it appears in the air. It must be combined with hydrogen in the form of ammonia or in some nitrate. These facts have been well known to science for many years. At the same time it has been known, as a matter of experience among farmers, that when land is worn out by overcropping, with wheat or oats, for instance, both of which draw heavily on the earth's nitrogen supply, certain other crops would still grow luxuriantly upon it, and that if these crops are left and plowed in, the fertility of the soil will be restored, and it will again produce large fields of wheat and other nitrogen-demanding plants. These restorative crops are clover, lupin, and other leguminous plants – a classification including beans and peas. Everyone who is at all familiar with farming operations has heard of seeding down an old field to clover, thereby restoring its fertility in a degree."

That this property of clover, beans, etc., is due to small nodules growing on their roots, and that these are produced by so-called "nitrifying" bacteria, is now known to all students of scientific agriculture. Acting on this knowledge, Professor Nobbe has developed his plan for soil-inoculation. Says Mr. Baker:

"If these nodules were produced by bacteria, then the bacteria must be present in the soil; and if they were not present, would it not be possible to supply them by artificial means? In other words, if soil, even worn-out farm soil – or, indeed, pure sand, like that of the seashore – could thus be inoculated, as a physician inoculates a guinea pig with anthrax germs, would not beans and peas [R3304 : page 20] planted there form nodules and draw their nourishment from the air? It was a somewhat startling idea; but all radically new ideas are startling, and after thinking it over, Professor Nobbe began, in 1888, a series of most remarkable experiments, having as their purpose the discovery of a practical method of soil-inoculation. He gathered the nodule-covered roots of beans and peas, dried and crushed them, and made an extract of them in water. Then he prepared a gelatin solution with a little sugar, asparagin, and other materials, and added the nodule extract. In this medium colonies of bacteria at once began to grow – bacteria of many kinds. Professor Nobbe separated the radiocola – which are oblong in shape – and made what is known as a clean 'culture' – that is, a culture in gelatin consisting of billions of these particular germs and no others. When he had succeeded in producing these clean cultures, he was ready for his actual experiments in growing plants. He took a quantity of pure sand, and in order to be sure that it contained no nitrogen, nor bacteria in any form, he heated it to a high temperature three different times for six hours, thereby completely sterilizing it. This sand he placed in three jars. To each of these he added a small quantity of mineral food – the required phosphorus, potassium, iron, sulphur, and so on. To the first he supplied no nitrogen at all in any form; the second he fertilized with saltpeter, which is largely composed of nitrogen in a form in which plants may readily absorb it through their roots; the third of the jars he inoculated with some of his bacteria culture. Then he planted beans and awaited the results – as may be imagined, somewhat anxiously.

"The beans in the first jar, we are told, starved for want of nitrogenous food, exactly as a man would starve under the same conditions. Those in the second jar grew about as they would in the garden. But the third or 'inoculated' jar showed really a miracle of growth. [R3304 : page 21] The soil in this jar was originally as free of nitrogen as the soil in the first jar, and yet the beans flourished greatly, and when some of the plants were analyzed, they were found to be rich in nitrogen. Nodules had formed on the roots of the beans in the third jar only, thereby proving that soil-inoculation was a possibility – at least in the laboratory. Mr. Baker goes on to say:

"Having thus proved the remarkable efficacy of soil-inoculation in his laboratory and greenhouses, where I saw great numbers of experiments still going forward, Professor Nobbe set himself to make his discoveries of practical value. He gave to his bacteria cultures the name 'Nitragen' – spelled with an a – and he produced separate cultures for each of the important crops – peas, beans, vetch, lupin, and clover. In 1894, the first of these were placed on the market, and they had a considerable sale, altho such a radical innovation as this, so far out of the ordinary run of agricultural operation, and so almost unbelievably wonderful, can not be expected to spread very rapidly. The cultures are now manufactured at one of the great commercial chemical laboratories of the river Main. I saw some of them in Professor Nobbe's laboratory. They were put up in small glass bottles, each marked with the name of the crop for which it is especially adapted. The bottle was partly filled with the yellow gelatinous substance in which the bacteria grow. On the surface of this there was a mossy-like gray growth, resembling mold. This consisted of innumerable millions of the little oblong bacteria. A bottle cost about fifty cents, and contained enough bacteria for inoculating half an acre of land. It must be used within a certain number of weeks after it is obtained, while it is still fresh. The method of application is very simple. The contents of the bottle are diluted with warm water. Then the seeds of the beans, clover, or peas, which have previously been mixed with a little soil, are treated with this solution and thoroughly mixed with the soil. After that the mass is partially dried so that the seeds may be readily sown. The bacteria at once begin to propagate in the soil, which is their natural home, and by the time the beans or peas have put out roots they are present in vast numbers, and ready to begin the active work of forming nodules....

"Prompted by these experiments, a valuable series of tests has recently been made by the United States Department of Agriculture, and an improved method for distributing the bacteria has been devised. Instead of a moist culture in glass tubes the bacteria are put up in a small dry mass that resembles a yeast-cake. These may be sent anywhere without deterioration; a little soaking is all that is needed to prepare them for use in the soil. The Department is now formulating a plan for introducing these cultures extensively in localities in this country which are deficient in nodule-forming germs."

[R3304 : page 21]

OUR YEAR TEXT FOR 1904.
[Reprint from Pittsburgh Gazette.]

P
ASTOR C. T. Russell of the Bible House chapel, Allegheny, yesterday afternoon spoke on "A Text for the New Year." He said:

I choose for my text the exhortation of the Apostle Paul to the Church at Philippi – appropriate to us also. I suggest that we each make it our year-text, and trust that our minds, continually recurring to it, may be profited, strengthened and assisted in the right ways of the Lord. The words are:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are reputable, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things." – Phil. 4:8.

Few seem to realize the power of the mind, the power of thought, as an element in the formation of character. "As a man thinketh so is he." How important, then, it is that we should think properly – that our minds should be rightly directed. The Scriptures assure us, and the experiences of the noblest people of the world convince us, that we have all so inherited degeneracy from our father Adam, that "there is none righteous, no not one; all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." This degeneracy affects us physically – we are a dying race under the Creator's sentence, "Dying thou shalt die." And this dying affects us not only physically but mentally and morally. "We are prone to sin as the sparks to fly upward." The taint is in us from our birth, for were we not "born in sin and shapen in iniquity"?

HUMAN REGULATIONS NECESSARY.

There are various methods of appealing to humanity, the success of each varying with the individual. Some need imprisonment and "stripes," others can be profited by moral suasion, by appeal to their reason, by appeal to the better elements of their natures, even though tainted or tarnished through original sin. Both of these methods of appeal are recognized in the world to-day. Pulpits and newspapers are appealing to the minds of men with more or less propriety and with more or less success; but nevertheless society protects itself by penal institutions – reformatories, jails, penitentiaries, etc. So it is with the divine government. Nature has some general laws by which the whole world of mankind is dominated – laws of retribution, by which every virtue brings a certain degree of reward, satisfaction and peace, and every crime brings a certain measure of chastisement, pain, trouble and unrest.

Nevertheless, the course of nature is so disordered in the present time by the prevalence of sin and its penalty and the operation of the laws of heredity that we cannot say that the laws of nature are at the present time absolutely just as respects each individual, whatever we may say of their general justice in respect to the race as a whole. Hence, as the Scriptures declare, "some men's sins go before to judgment and some they follow after."

In the coming millennial age, when Christ's Kingdom shall administer justice amongst men, the rewards and punishments will be equitable. No longer will the child suffer for the sins of the parents. No longer will the righteous suffer; but only the evil-doers, for thus it is written. (Jer. 31:29; Psa. 72:7.) In that blessed time the Lord will use both methods of appealing to the world. (1) An appeal will be made to their hearts and consciences, with inducements and rewards for obedience to the principles of righteousness – the reward of physical, mental and moral restitution or uplift, which will bring the obedient gradually back to the full image and likeness of God enjoyed by father Adam before his fall. (2) This appeal to the hearts and consciences of mankind will be supplemented by stripes, judgments, chastisements "upon every soul of man that doeth evil." We can to some degree realize the great advantage that will accrue to mankind under such dealings – how great will be the assistance. [R3304 : page 22]

THE LORD'S METHOD AT THE PRESENT TIME.

In the present age the Lord does not use this double method of appeal, but merely the first. He appeals to our hearts, our reasons, saying, "Come, let us reason together." But those who will not reason with the Lord now are not chastised, even if they go into grievous sins. The worldly are permitted to take their course; they receive no particular stripes or corrections from the Lord, because the day of the world's trial or judgment has not yet come. As the Apostle says, "The wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand;" and so we have on every hand sin, wickedness abounding, and that without interference from the Lord. Only with one class is the Lord now dealing, namely, the Church. We recognize, of course, that there is a divine supervision over the nations; that the Lord has kept in his [R3305 : page 22] own power more or less of the times and bounds of the nations, as the Apostle expresses the matter. (Acts 17:26.) However, these dealings with the nations have little to do with the world as individuals, and nothing to do with the world's trial, which belongs to the next age. "God hath appointed a day [the millennial day – a day with the Lord is as a thousand years] in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath afore ordained" – the Christ, head and body. – Acts 17:31; I Cor. 6:2.

We repeat, then, that the Lord's special dealings at the present time are with those who believe and not with unbelievers. He sends his message, "speaking peace through Jesus Christ," to him that hath an ear to hear and a heart to receive the message – and these are very few, comparatively. The appeal of the evangelist who follows the scriptural pattern is an appeal to the heads and the hearts of the people who have the ears to hear. He is not privileged to mete out stripes or other judgments or corrections to those who disregard his message. Those who have the ears, and who receive the word with gladness, get a great blessing – and that in proportion as they receive it into good and honest and obedient hearts. Those who do not hear at all, whose hearts are not in the condition to respond to the Gospel message, suffer a loss – a loss of the joy and peace and blessing and "comfort of the Scriptures" which the believers enjoy.

"BY THE FOOLISHNESS OF PREACHING."

Not only does the Lord begin the work of grace among his people with the above-described message, speaking forgiveness and peace through Jesus, but, to those who do receive the message and who are exercised by it he continues the same process of dealing – still appealing to their hearts, heads and consciences. This is what the Apostle means when he says, "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." – I Cor. 1:21.

To the world this method of appealing merely to the heads and hearts seems like a weak and unsatisfactory method of dealing. The world finds it necessary to resort to force, and wonders that the Almighty does not resort to force to compel obedience to His laws rather than merely to exhort obedience to them. We have just seen that in the millennial age the Lord will use both methods, and the question properly arises, Why does he not use both methods of appealing to mankind in the present time – first, appeal through the intellect and heart, and second, appeal through force?

We answer, that the reason lies in the fact that God is now selecting a peculiar class – to use scriptural terms, he is now electing "a peculiar people." The class he is now seeking needs no stripes or punishments to constrain their obedience. They are constrained by love – love for God, love for the Redeemer, love for the principles of righteousness and a sympathetic love for the whole world of mankind, even their enemies.

If force were introduced in the present time it would be a hindrance to the development of this particular class which the Lord is now seeking, each of whom must be in heart, in intention (not in flesh) a copy of God's dear Son. Those who require stripes, punishments, etc., to enforce obedience to the divine requirements cannot be of the "very elect," whose disposition of heart is represented by the words of our Lord expressed through the prophet: "I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is written in my heart." – Psa. 40:8.

HOW GOD WORKS IN US TO WILL AND TO DO.

It is in harmony with this thought that God is now operating in the Church along the lines of appeal to our sentiments and not along the lines of force. As the Apostle says: "It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." God works in this class through the intellect and heart. He makes known to them "the riches of his grace" little by little as they are able to appreciate and willing to respond.

The first effect of this upon the proper heart is to induce a responsive sentiment, expressed by the Apostle thus: "The love of Christ constraineth us: for we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that we who live should henceforth live not to ourselves, but to him who died for us." (2 Cor. 5:14.) The class represented in this text have experienced the Truth working in them as the power of God up to the point of willing – willing to do the Lord's will; willing to renounce self; willing to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus; willing to be copies of God's dear Son. The power of God continues to operate in such and unfolds to them more and more of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God which passeth all understanding, and which is expressed to these in the "exceeding great and precious promises" of the divine Word.

These promises operate upon the heart and mind and lead to works – obedience, self-denial, self-sacrifice – even unto death. It is such as are thus rightly exercised by divine grace and truth who may now hope to attain to all the great and wonderful things which God hath in reservation for them that love him.

Not only does God thus appeal to our minds, our thoughts, our reasoning faculties, with his explanation of right and wrong, truth and untruth, righteousness and sin, and promises of his continued favor unto life eternal, or for the disobedient his disfavor unto cutting off from life in the second death; but he urges upon us co-operation with him along the same lines – that we take hold of our minds, of our thoughts, and shape them into conformity with the divine mind, with the divine will.

This is the signification of our text: On the principle that every thought has its influence upon our words and conduct, the Apostle urges that our thoughts be the special objects of our solicitude, care, watchfulness. Our Redeemer expresses the same sentiment in different language saying, "Out of the abundance of the heart [mind] the mouth speaketh." And out of the heart [R3305 : page 23] (mind) proceedeth envies, malice, strife, etc., – or contrariwise kindness, gentleness, goodness, love.

IMPORTANCE OF A RIGHT HEART.

It is all important, then, that we have right hearts; for as a bitter fountain cannot send forth sweet waters, neither can a heart that is in the bitterness of sin send forth blessing to those in contact with it. We admit that a certain amount of refinement and grace belonging to the children of God may be copied by the unregenerate, but it has no depth, it fails easily, it quickly discloses the real bitterness, selfishness and acrimony of the natural heart which underlies.

In the present time, therefore, the Lord does not appeal to these bitter hearts to send forth sweet waters. The appeals of the Scriptures are to the regenerated hearts of consecrated believers, addressed in all the epistles as "saints," "children of God," "the sanctified in Christ Jesus," "the Lord's brethren," etc. These having new hearts, new wills, sanctified or set apart to the Lord, to righteousness, to truth, to goodness, need nevertheless to keep watch over their every deed, word and thought.

Our text is the apostle's appeal to this class along this line. It is well that we should scan our outward conduct, to take note that our good intentions may not be so exhibited to others that they will misapprehend our real sentiments – "Let not your good be evil spoken of." It is right, too, that we should "set a guard upon our mouth lest we should sin with our lips," lest our words be such as would not be honoring to the Lord or edifying to the brethren or to the world. But the number of watchmen or pickets doing duty and standing guard over our actions and words will be fewer in proportion as the picket line guarding our minds, our thoughts, is a strong one. It is here that we need to be especially on the alert.

"Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." This general truth is particularly exemplified in the regenerate, who are more open in their conduct and language, proportionately, than others. Having the right sentiments at heart they are less on their guard in respect to their manner of expression perhaps than previously; but all the more, they need to remember the words of the Apostle. "If any man sin not with his lips, the same is a perfect man." – Jas. 3:2.

LIKELIHOOD OF ERROR.

The inference is that even the most advanced of the Lord's people are liable at times to err with their lips. Hence the appropriateness, to all of the Lord's people, of the prayer, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." – Psa. 19:14.

Before coming more particularly to the items of our text let us briefly glance at the preceding context; for we notice that the Apostle introduces the text with the word "Finally." What comes before Finally? Let us see. His words are, "Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand: be not worried about anything; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds [thoughts] in Christ Jesus."

What a wonderful exhortation this is! Those of us who are able to do so will do well to take the entire four verses for our Scripture text for the new year. The Christian is not to be sorrowful and moping. If he is a true Christian and understands the Father's message he must rejoice. True, as the Apostle elsewhere remarks, through manifold trials, discouragements, weaknesses, etc., there may be moments of dejection and sorrow; but these are only like the sun-showers of the summer-time. To the true followers of the Lord, instructed through his Word, the light of the Lord's kindness shines through all [R3306 : page 23] earth-born clouds and troubles, to bring him joy and peace and blessing.

FORGETTING THE THINGS BEHIND.

At the present time, at the close of the old year and the dawning of a new one, it is especially appropriate that the Lord's people should clearly apprehend the great lesson which the Apostle is here inculcating and which he also taught in another place, saying, "Forget the things which are behind, and press forward to things which are before." In the year that is past every enlightened and proper-minded child of God will be able to discern both weakness and success, defeats and victories. We know this because "There is none righteous, no not one" – none that come fully up to the mark of perfection.

Hence all may look back and find in the year that is closing sources of regret as well as sources of joy and comfort. Are we to mourn over the failures of the past? Is this the will of the Lord concerning us – that we should stop, because we find that we have not been able to walk perfectly in every particular – not even up to our own imperfect standards? Nay, verily! With the Apostle we exclaim, "Let us go on to perfection."

Perfection is not a thing of the past, but of the future. We cannot be satisfied with the past but we "shall be satisfied when we awake in his likeness," sharers in the glorious first resurrection. For this we are pressing along, forgetting the things that are behind.

We forget the things that are behind, because it is right that we should do so. Because God forgets them, and declares that he has cast all of our imperfections behind his back; that our imperfections are all covered from his sight, by the merit of him who loved us and who died for us, and whom we love, and in whom we are trusting, and in whose steps we are seeking to walk with more or less of imperfection according to the defects we have inherited in the flesh. We are not meaning to suggest that slips or failures should be lightly esteemed or quickly forgotten; they should be rectified to the extent of our ability, and Divine forgiveness should be sought for these defects daily.

It is for this very purpose that the Lord has provided access to the "throne of heavenly grace, where we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in every time of need." We merely mean that it is the Lord's will respecting us that, having corrected errors to the best of our ability, and having appealed for Divine forgiveness, we should believe the word of the Lord and accept his forgiveness and start afresh with rejoicing with each new day – and now, as we near it, start afresh for the new year, 1904.

CULTIVATION OF GENTLENESS.

"Gentleness," the forbearance or moderation mentioned in the context, is to be cultivated by each of us to such an extent that it will not only be manifested to ourselves and to the brethren, but to others. This may not [R3306 : page 24] mean the same amount of gentleness in each of the Lord's people, because the treasure of the new mind is in earthen vessels in every instance; and the possibilities for one may exceed the abilities of another. But, in any event, this quality of gentleness (moderation or forbearance) should be increasingly an outward manifestation of the grace of the Lord, dwelling in us richly and abounding, so that those who have known us in the past will at least be able year by year to see in us progress, development along this line.

We have already referred to the necessity for prayer, supplication, mentioned by the Apostle. We now observe that those who are dwelling in close fellowship with the Lord will be so appreciative of the favors and blessings already enjoyed that they will not feel like asking for greater blessings, but rather like giving thanks with a realization that they have already received not only more than they deserved at the Lord's hands, but more than they could have asked or thought. And what has already been received is only a foretaste of the promised coming blessings.

Our requests should be, increasingly, for grace and wisdom and the fruits of the spirit and opportunities for serving the Lord and the brethren, and for growing more and more into the likeness of God's dear Son.

Under these conditions who can doubt that the promised "peace of God beyond all understanding" would "guard" such "hearts" and their "thoughts"? This peace would of itself dispel one of the great evils that afflict the hearts of many. Selfishness and ambition would find little room in a heart so filled with gratitude. God's peace, and not merely the peace of the world, would reign in such a heart, controlling ambitions and energies. Divine peace can dwell in our hearts and rule in them, so as to keep out the worry and turmoil of the world, even when we are surrounded by these disadvantageous conditions – even when the adversary himself is besetting us through deceived agents.

EMPTIED OF THE OLD; FILLED WITH THE NEW.

Then comes our text, suggesting that, with this peace ruling in our hearts, and keeping guard over our thoughts, so that they are spared from many of the intrusions of the world, the flesh and the devil, we should see to it that our hearts are not merely barren and empty of evil, but should give our thoughts food even as we provide sustenance for our bodies. We should see that their exercise is in a proper direction to produce proper and helpful conditions.

We all know how easy it is to allow the old natural mind to assert itself, to allow envy, gossip, backbiting, malice, strife, pride, vain-glory, to enter our minds and to absorb time and attention. We all know that these need to be continually repelled; but all do not know how necessary it is that, while repelling these, we invite into our minds proper thoughts that will fill them and thus effectually bar the way and hinder the coming again of evil thoughts.

It is along this line that the Apostle exhorts, that we believe it will be profitable for us all to specially exercise our attention during the year just at hand. While thanking God for the forgiveness of sins and for the new hearts, new wills, which we have attained by his grace, let us keep guard over our thoughts – let us exercise them upon the lines the Apostle lays down in this text.

"Whatsoever things are true." The Lord's people are to be so in accord with righteousness that everything that is false or unjust or untrue in word, thought or act will be offensive to them – cause them pain. Truthfulness, then, must be the first test to apply to any matter that will be accepted by our minds. It is not for us to waste our time and attention chasing imaginary matters, errors, fictions, etc. First of all, we want to know, Is it true? While this truth will apply in a general way to everything in life, and to everybody, and promote a love for the right and the true, and a heart-opposition to all that is adulterated, yet the principle is specially applicable to the affairs of the new creation and to their spiritual food.

In respect to the latter, our first inquiry should be, Is this the truth or is it to any extent contaminated with traditions of men, calculated to "make void the Word of God"? as our dear Redeemer expressed it. The prophet declares, speaking of God, "Thou desirest truth in the inward parts" – sincerity of heart. It is remarkable how many people would shun to tell an open falsehood, who nevertheless appear not to have a heart-love for the truth. Let us during the year beginning cultivate a love for the truth wherever we may find it, and at any cost. Let us take time to "prove" everything we receive as truth.

THE THOUGHTS WE SHOULD ENTERTAIN.

"Whatsoever things are honorable." This is a second test of what our thoughts should be permitted to rest upon. We cannot avoid the intrusion of thoughts which our judgments would disprove, but we must scrutinize and test our thoughts, as they present themselves, and must refuse to entertain or harbor those which are ignoble, dishonorable, unworthy of us as human beings, and especially as members of the new creation, "the body of Christ." Many things may be true which are not honorable, and their truthfulness must not give them a resting-place in our minds if they will not stand this second test.

"Whatsoever things are just," or equitable. This is the third test which the Apostle would have us apply as we scrutinize suggestions made to our minds from any quarter. Things might be true and might be honorable so far as the principles were concerned, and yet not be just or equitable to others. A story might reach us of an honorable exploit of some friend; we might know it to be true, and yet it might reflect against some one else unfavorably, unjustly, inequitably. If so, the thought must not be entertained, but must be repelled.

"Whatsoever things are pure." This is the fourth test which the Apostle urges us to apply to our thoughts as they present themselves from any quarter. Many things are true, just and perhaps not dishonorable that are not pure – calculated to awaken impure desires. Such things are strictly barred according to this inspired rule.

"Whatsoever things are lovely." This is the fifth test. Amongst true, honorable, just, pure things which we may properly consider, there is a variety, some more and some less lovely, some more and some less admirable; and our thoughts, the Apostle suggests, should give preference to the lovely and loveable as being more ennobling, more calculated to lift us and profit us, and hence more inclined to help others through us; because our influence with others is on a parity with our mental status.

"Out of the abundance of the heart [the mind] the mouth speaketh;" and hence those who follow this [R3307 : page 25] counsel of the Apostle will be found more and more speaking nothing but the truth, and avoiding truths that are not honorable, or not just and equitable, or not pure; and preferring especially those topics for meditation that are lovely. What a lovely character would be assured in one who could strictly and completely follow the Apostle's advice herein given. He would be a copy of Jesus – just what we all wish to be. None of us can attain this.

"Whatsoever things are reputable, possessing any virtue or any praise." By this expression the Apostle seems to throw out general lines of test and examination. His words imply that we should have a scrutiny of our thoughts to the intent that only things that could be profitable to us and to others should be entertained, considered, discussed. Frivolous things would be excluded also by this test. Who will not admit that a mind thus freed from rubbish and evil and allowed only to entertain true, good, clean, profitable thoughts would be a mind which the Lord would be pleased with and which would conduce to the development of the character-likeness of our Lord Jesus, which is demanded of us if we would be his joint-heirs in the kingdom. – Rom. 7:29.

"PERFECT AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN."

The standard which the Apostle has here raised resembles the standard which our Lord raised before us when he said, "Be ye perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." We cannot be perfect as the Father is perfect, but we can and do aim at that perfection; and whatever we come short in while thus endeavoring is made up to us of the Lord's grace through the merit of the precious blood. Likewise we cannot hope to attain so complete a control of our thoughts as the Apostle's words in this beautiful text suggest, but we can make that our standard; and in proportion as we view this standard and daily strive to measure up to it, in that sense and proportion no doubt we will have a blessing every day throughout the year, and at its close find ourselves considerably strengthened in mind, and advanced along these lines, which the Apostle elsewhere speaks of as "bringing every thought into captivity to the will of God in Christ." – 2 Cor. 10:5.

The scriptural proposition is that even the most saintly of the Lord's people, the most developed in character, will need the merit of Christ's righteousness imputed to them until they are made perfect in the first resurrection. Only in our minds, in our wills, have the old things passed away and all things become new. Actually, this great change will be accomplished when this mortal shall have put on immortality, when this corruptible shall be raised in incorruption – raised in glory, in power, spirit beings. But meantime, in order to be counted worthy of a share in the first resurrection, it is required of us that we shall demonstrate our willingness of mind, our earnest desire to be all that the Lord would have us be; and in no way can this be better demonstrated to the Lord and to ourselves, or prove more helpful, than by keeping a strict surveillance of our hearts and of our thoughts. The Lord's blessing will surely be upon all who shall seek to follow this word of his grace during the new year.

[R3307 : page 25]

FISHERS OF MEN.
LUKE 5:1-11. – JAN. 31. –

Golden Text: – "If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples indeed." – JOHN 8:31.

C
APERNAUM lay near the shore of the Sea of Galilee, a beautiful little lake of world-wide honor and distinction because of our Lord's association with it, and well stocked with fish, as we may judge from this lesson. It was to this lake shore near Capernaum that Jesus came after his rejection at Nazareth. He had a different reception here: the people pressed upon him to hear of the word of the Lord, and for convenience to himself and to them Jesus got into the fishing boat belonging to Simon Peter, that he might from the boat more effectually address the people, who doubtless sat or stood on the shore.

We are inclined to wonder frequently that more of our Lord's discourses have not been preserved for us in the Gospel accounts. What we have are fragmentary, the sermon on the Mount being the principal one. As for the other references to Jesus' preaching, they are merely brief extracts – his parables and dark sayings. As an illustration of the latter, note his declaration that he was the bread that came down from heaven, of which if a man eat he should never die. Many of those who heard said, This is a hard saying, and walked no more with him. Our chief instruction in the great doctrines of the Gospel – respecting the ransom, our justification through faith in the precious blood, our adoption, begetting, resurrection, and the difference between the First Resurrection and that of others subsequently, etc., – comes to us through the epistles of the apostles and through the record of their discourses as given in the book of Acts.

At first we would be inclined to wonder why this should be so, why we should not get our chief instruction on matters pertaining to the future life and godliness from the words of our Lord. But we understand the matter clearly since we discern that it was necessary that our Lord should pay the ransom price before any of our race could be adopted by the Father and receive the spirit of adoption. This explains the whole situation; for without the spirit of adoption we could not understand spiritual things, and consequently the things of a heavenly character which Jesus declared were parables and dark sayings to those of his time who heard them; for instance, his discourse on the new birth to Nicodemus, who could not understand. Our Lord remarked in this connection the fact that he taught merely earthly things and not heavenly things, saying, "If I have told you earthly things and you understood not, how would you understand if I should tell you of heavenly things?" (John 3:12.) Seeing that his hearers were not prepared to understand the heavenly things, our Lord gave his attention chiefly to discourses on earthly things, and to parables and dark sayings, which the Spirit would subsequently make known to his faithful ones.

THE NATURAL MAN APPRECIATES NOT SPIRITUAL THINGS.

This gives us a larger view of our Lord's ministry: [R3307 : page 26] first, teaching the natural man such things as the natural man could understand; secondly, healing the natural man's ailments, and thus laying a broad foundation for the spiritual work which he would begin at Pentecost and carry out during this Gospel age through his representatives the apostles, and those who should believe on him through their word. Throughout this Gospel age the Lord himself has been the teacher of the Church, which is "his body" – "his brethren": he has been attending to every feature of our instruction, feeding us upon the Truth – "things new and old." He is still the instructor, and whatever we receive through the apostles is merely his message through them and not their own messages. And whoever now speaks in the Lord's name is authorized to speak merely as a representative and ambassador, who must refer for his authority back to the words of the Lord himself, or to the words of those whom he inspired or directed in a plenary manner – the twelve apostles, Paul taking the place of Judas.

Our Lord had been probably a year engaged in preaching, first in Judea, and latterly in Galilee, at the time this lesson opens. He was evidently already acquainted with these fishermen mentioned in our lesson, Peter, Andrew, James and John. It was probably at an earlier interview that our Lord gave Simon his surname of Peter, as it occurs in this lesson. These fishermen had probably met with Jesus and heard his preaching on other occasions, and were his disciples in a general sense of the word – that is, followers of him, believers on him, advocates of his teachings. Now, however, the time had come for our Lord's selection of the twelve apostles who should be with him continually and see his miracles and hear his teachings and be witnesses of all things said and done: and they in turn might in due time serve as his special representatives and be able to give to us, and to all of his subsequent followers accurate and truthful records of the principal events of his ministry.

After preaching to the company on the shore from his seat in the boat, Jesus proposed to Simon and Andrew, the owners of the boat, that the boat be taken into deeper waters and the nets cast for fish; but Peter informed the Lord that this would be useless as the day was unfavorable, or for some reason the fish were not in that quarter of the lake at that time, for he and his companions had toiled all night and caught nothing. Nevertheless, to please the Lord, they did as he suggested. As they began to gather in the net they found it to be heavily laden with fish, more than their boat could hold. Their partners in the other boat were beckoned to, and gave a helping hand to save some of the fish. The lesson had its designed effect; Simon Peter at once fell on his [R3308 : page 26] knees before the Lord, recognizing that no ordinary human being could have produced such results under such circumstances.

THE LORD LOVES ZEAL AND ENERGY.

There is something very noble about Simon Peter: his impulsiveness by itself is an attractive trait. The zeal and energy with which he was disposed to take hold of any matter considered worthy of his attention is admirable. Indeed we know that Peter, James and John were the three whom the Lord specially loved of the twelve – the three who seemed to have the zeal, energy and vim which the Lord appreciates. They were practical illustrations of the admonition, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." Peter's words to the Lord, "Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man," represented his acknowledgment of the great difference between himself and the Master. He caught the true situation, that he was a sinful, imperfect man, while the one before him, the Master, was perfect and in full accord with the Father, and therefore permitted to be the dispenser of the Father's mercies.

Peter's real sentiment was probably the reverse of his expression. He meant, "O Lord, although I am a sinful man, permit me to be near thee, that I may be blessed by contact with thee." This was the proper attitude of heart and the real prayer, which Jesus answered in making him one of his chosen twelve.

The narrative breaks off suddenly and does not tell us whether it was the same hour or the next day that Peter, Andrew, James and John forsook their fishing business – their boats and nets – that they might be specially the companions of our Lord and ultimately his representatives, his apostles. We may reasonably suppose that the partnerships in this fishing business were family affairs, and that Peter left his boat and implements in the hands of brothers or sons or other partners or associates; and that likewise the sons of Zebedee left their paraphernalia in the hands of their father or others who had previously been interested with them in business. Indeed this thought is fully borne out by the fact that after our Lord's death, about two years later, these same men proposed returning to the fishing business, and apparently had some interest still in the boats, nets, tackle, etc. It was on the last-mentioned occasion that Jesus again gave a great draft of fishes, and that Simon Peter was the first again to recognize that the power to perform such a miracle could belong to no other than the crucified but risen Lord, whom he then recognized as the one upon the shore.

CALLED TO A HIGHER VOCATION.

Our Lord's words to Peter were, "From henceforth thou shalt catch men." These words were applicable also to Peter's associates, and doubtless were applied to them later as an invitation that they should with Peter join the Lord as his disciples or apostles. The account in Mark 1:17 mentions Andrew the brother of Simon Peter, and his partner in business also, and gives the invitation in slightly different language, namely, "Come ye after me and I will make you to become fishers of men." Probably the Lord made use of both expressions, but in any event they are of similar import.

All of life's affairs will teach us lessons profitable throughout its future, if we will receive them. Ordinary affairs and business of every kind, in proportion as it is conducted along honest, proper and reasonable lines, will give valuable instruction and preparation for spiritual usefulness in the Lord's service, if they be properly received and wisely improved. Perhaps, however, there was something peculiarly helpful in the fishing business – something peculiarly like the great work in which the apostles were to engage the remainder of their lives. Our Lord intimates this in his call. Fishing requires energy, tact, proper bait, and that the fisherman keep himself out of sight. And these four things are requisites in the spiritual fishing in which the Lord privileges us to engage. Thus he admonished, "Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves." The Apostle Paul, [R3308 : page 27] speaking along this same line of the wisdom he used in presenting the Gospel tactfully, says, "Being crafty [wise] I took you with guile" – with bait. The Apostle took advantage of the natural tendencies and inclinations of his hearers to present the Gospel in the most practical form without, however, shunning or refusing to declare one single feature of it. In this his course is a model for us. We are to remember that as fish are easily alarmed when they find that any one wishes to take them, so humanity is shy of being captured by anything – especially if they have the least suspicion that they may lose their liberties: and thus consecration appears to the world.

The apostles were not, as fishers for men, representing men or human institutions. They were not trying to get disciples into some sectarian bondage. They were fishers of men for the Lord and as the Lord's representatives; as though God did beseech men through them. Their mission was to catch men with the glorious hopes and prospects of the Gospel; to bring them into such relationship with the Lord that they would fully and gladly surrender their all to him. And this is the same course that is properly before the Lord's representatives to-day. We are to catch men for the Lord and for his service, not for our personal profit or gain, – not for sectarian upbuilding. We are not to give our own liberties to men, nor to seek to take away the liberties of others at the behest of men or sects. The message that goes forth from the true fishers of men whom the Lord commissions is nevertheless a message which implies a loss of liberty and a loss of life to those who are successfully caught. However, the fishing business does not fully illustrate the matter, because all who are of the Lord's catch must be willingly his, else they will not remain caught, but be cast forth: and their loss of personal liberty and life means a gain of glory, honor and eternal life.

Our Lord used this fishing business as the basis of one of his parables, saying that the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net cast into the sea which after gathering fish of every kind will be finally brought to shore. That net undoubtedly represented this Gospel age, and a general catch of all classes of people, suitable and unsuitable for the Lord's purpose as respects the Kingdom. The bringing of the net to the shore properly represents the "harvest" time of this age – the reckoning time, the time when this catch is concluded. The parable proceeds to say that the suitable fish were gathered into baskets and the unsuitable were cast away, – cast back into the sea. So the Gospel call, the Gospel net, the Gospel fishermen of this Gospel age are gathering out of the world of mankind a peculiar class of people suitable to the Lord's purposes in the Kingdom, and though others may get into it they are not desired and will relapse again to worldly conditions. The fishing of the next age will be different and on a much larger scale.

APOSTLESHIP MORE THAN DISCIPLESHIP.

There is a difference between apostleship and discipleship. There are but "twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Rev. 21:14), but the number of disciples is considerably larger. The word disciple signifies pupil or learner; and all who are now being called of the Lord, all who are now being caught as acceptable fish under the present arrangement are those who desire to be taught of the Lord and willingly respond to his teachings. Our Golden Text sets forth the conditions upon which we may be disciples, namely, that we not only accept the Lord but that we continue in his word – continue to be taught of him – continue to learn in the school of Christ. Before we enter his school we must learn that we are sinners by nature and that we need just the washing or the cleansing that he prescribes as necessary before we can enter his school or become his disciples. After we accept the word of counsel respecting the need of washing in the precious blood, and after by faith accomplishing this cleansing of sins, and after we have started as pupils, we find that there are various lessons to be learned, all necessary to our progress.

It is the Teacher who is to be the decider of what lessons we need, what experiences, what trials, what difficulties, what encouragements, what assistance are necessary to us. The promise is, that no good thing will he withhold. He will give the warnings, the corrections, the encouragements, the blessings and the promises, according as we need them and are in a condition to make profitable use of them. Not everyone who starts to be a disciple will win the great prize as a graduate from the school of Christ into the Kingdom of glory and joint-heirship with the Master; but he who faithfully and patiently continues in discipleship – continues to learn the lessons which the great Master teaches, until he shall have finished his course, will surely receive his crown at the hands of the Lord.

[R3309 : page 27]

THE GOOD PHYSICIAN.
MARK 1:21-34. – FEBRUARY 7. –

Golden Text: – "He laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them." – LUKE 4:40.

A
LTHOUGH Simon Peter and Andrew were natives of Bethsaida, a few miles north of Capernaum (Jno. 1:44), they had evidently settled down in the latter city, perhaps because larger and more favorable to their business. When Peter, Andrew, James and John accepted the Lord's invitation to become fishers of men they did not immediately depart from home. Some hours if not some days elapsed between the fishing experience and the narrative of this lesson. The Sabbath was come, and Jesus with the four disciples went into the synagogue where he was recognized and given an opportunity for teaching. In the synagogues of olden times there was great liberty to anyone who had the necessary education and faith in the holy Scriptures, to discuss their messages. In some respects that greater liberty was more favorable to the Truth than the present circumscribed methods of Christendom, in which each party or sect holds absolute control and refuses liberty of discussion of its own tenets as well as of the Scriptures. The Lord's people should jealously guard Lord's day opportunities, so that they be not occasions for the overthrow of faith by those who reject the Word of God. At the same time the blessing of the Lord's day, the purity of Truth and the clearness of the faith would certainly be greatly [R3309 : page 28] stimulated by a full liberty of discussion of the meaning of the Scriptures in a reverent manner.

In very few Church gatherings of today would our Lord Jesus be granted opportunity to set forth his doctrines. He could not and would not accept authority from any of the denominations of Christendom, because he could not and would not indorse any of their creeds as a whole; hence he would be deprived of any opportunity for promulgating the Truth in this manner in this our enlightened twentieth century. Likewise those who follow his word closely, and who for similar reasons cannot indorse fully any of the creeds of Christendom, are deprived of opportunities for presenting the Truth in the synagogues of today; and are obliged to adopt other methods of reaching the Lord's sheep with the message of the great King, now due to be understood. However, the Lord has greatly blessed and used these efforts outside the synagogues – especially the printed page, DAWNS, Tracts, WATCH TOWERS, etc.

Our Lord's teaching impressed his hearers as being reasonable and positive; and this is one of the characteristics of the Truth today. The Lord's message is so clear and so forceful that it cannot be gainsaid. It appeals to the minds as well as to the hearts of reasonable people now as it did then. On the contrary, the general mixture of error as then held by the Scribes and Pharisees and Doctors of the Law, and as now held by the various denominations of Catholics and Protestants and their Doctors of Divinity, is confusing, indefinite, self-contradictory and generally unsatisfactory.

THE DEVIL A CHURCH GOER.

The devil went to Church then as he not infrequently does now, and he was as opposed to having the Truth preached then as he is now. The attendants of the Capernaum synagogue, however, were seemingly of a nobler type than that of Nazareth, which gnashed upon our Lord and sought to take his life. In this case the majority of the people were less under the influence of Satan, although one of their number was more particularly possessed by a demon, here called "an unclean spirit." We know nothing of our Lord's discourse, but from the fact that this demon became so excited under the preaching, we may draw the inference that our Lord was explaining to the people the origin of sin and the power of Satan and of the fallen angels in respect to humanity, how all these downward tendencies were more and more injurious to men and should be resisted, how divine fellowship and communion should be sought, and how repentance and reformation and resistance of the evil one were necessary to physical health as well as to a closer approach to our God.

The demon – one of the fallen angels from the time of the flood, mentioned by Jude and by Peter (Jude 6,7; 2 Pet. 2:4) – believed that the Lord's teachings were condemnatory of himself and his associates in evil, and cried out, using the mouth of the possessed man. Unquestionably the fallen angels, although restrained by chains of darkness from manifesting themselves to humanity until a certain time, have contact with each other and are well aware of procedures in general. As Satan recognized Jesus in the temptation, so all of the fallen angels knew that the Holy One of God had become a man for the purpose of redeeming and reclaiming and restoring humanity from the fallen condition superinduced by Satan's lying ambition. Apparently, too, these demons had some knowledge of the divine times and seasons, though we need not suppose that they had a particular or definite knowledge, for our Lord declared that at that time neither himself nor the holy angels knew of the day and the hour of his coming in glory and the establishment of his Kingdom. It is not supposable, therefore, that the fallen angels knew more on this subject. However, there is a great difference between not knowing the exact day or hour of a matter and not having any idea whatever respecting it. Apparently this demon recognized that the time was still distant when the power of Satan and all the fallen angels is doomed to be overthrown.

"BE YE CLEAN THAT BEAR THE VESSELS OF THE LORD'S HOUSE."

The testimony of the demon seemed to be reverential, and might by some have been construed to be a testimony in the Lord's favor. Jesus, however, was not willing to accept such a testimony from such a source, even as the Apostle Paul was similarly unwilling to receive testimony of the possessed woman, who declared of Paul and Silas, "These be the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of life." (Acts 16:17.) The divine method seems to be to make a clear separation between the servants of God and the servants of evil. The privilege of testifying for God or being ambassadors for the Truth is a favor reserved for the Lord's own people. He seeketh not the evil one nor the fallen demons nor evil men or women to be heralds of the good tidings. The Lord's people should note this matter carefully, and resent the services of any who do not give evidences of being in heart-union with the Lord. "Unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to take my covenant into thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee." (Psa. 50:16.) Spiritualists, Trance Mediums, Hypnotists, Christian Scientists, etc., would fain associate themselves more or less with the name of Jesus and seem to be servants of the light; but all children of the light should be on their guard against these, who, however sincere they may sometimes appear, are undoubtedly the tools of the prince of darkness, who would array himself as an angel of light that he might deceive and mislead the children of the light – the children of God.

But some one will say, Did not Jesus surely say, "Greater works than these shall ye do because I go unto my Father," and are not those words genuine? Yes, we answer, they are genuine, and most precious words; but how have they been fulfilled? Have any of the Lord's disciples done any greater miracles than Jesus did so far as healing physical ailments are concerned? Assuredly not. We have no record of greater works of this kind than are recorded in the Gospels. Have any of the Lord's disciples at any time done as great works according to the flesh as Jesus did? Have any of them ever awakened the dead? Surely none except the apostles have done this wonderful work. What then could our Lord have meant by this expression?

"GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL YE DO."

We answer that in our last lesson we saw that Jesus in his ministry dealt only with the natural man, and could not communicate to natural man respecting spiritual or [R3309 : page 29] heavenly things except in parables and dark sayings, which could be but imperfectly comprehended until after Pentecost gave the enlightenment of the holy Spirit. To our understanding, therefore, the greater works that have been done by the Lord's followers since the ascension have been such works as related to the hearts of men rather than to their bodies. The whole creation is groaning and travailing in physical discomfort, but the worst of all groans and pains comes from the anguish of the soul – broken hearts.

The Lord's followers, even the humblest of them, in proportion as they receive of his Spirit, may communicate it through his word and bring to wounded and broken hearts peace and joy and blessing, regardless of physical conditions of discomfort, so that as the Apostle explains they may rejoice even in tribulation, knowing what the tribulations are working out for them in the way of greater glory and blessing and association with the Lord in his Kingdom. (Rom. 5:3.) Would not he who has had the eyes of his understanding opened, that he might see with clearness the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God, esteem this blessing as of much greater value and importance than simply the restoring of natural sight? Who that has tasted that the Lord is gracious has not participated in a greater miracle than did those who tasted of the loaves and fishes which our Lord so miraculously increased that they fed the five thousand? It is true indeed, then, that the Lord has made it possible for his humbler servants in the humbler walks of life and with few natural abilities, but possessing his Spirit and his Word, to do mighty works [R3310 : page 29] even today – "Mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" of error and of sin.

THE NECESSITY FOR MIRACLES IS PAST.

There was a reason why miracles were necessary at the beginning of this Gospel dispensation. Had our Lord Jesus performed none of the miracles recorded in the Scriptures how could we today feel the confidence, the assurance, that we do feel respecting him? Had he gone about as a preacher of righteousness and expounder of the divine Word merely, and had he then died just as he did die, would the proof have been as sufficient as it now is that he was indeed the Son of God and that his death was indeed the sacrifice of a perfect one for the imperfect one and his progeny? Would our Lord in preaching to the Jews have accomplished any work without the use of miracles? Were they not necessary to him as a demonstration of his right to take the place of Moses as the antitypical leader of the Israelites indeed? Assuredly this is true. But we have no necessity for such manifestations of miraculous power today. On the contrary, we behold Christianity already too popular with the world. As it is, too many tares are pretending to be wheat. The conditions, therefore, seem to be the very reverse of those which at the first advent demanded miracles for the establishing of the Church on a proper faith basis.

"WHO HEALETH ALL THY DISEASES."

But some one will urge, Does it not seem more reasonable that the Lord's people should go to him in prayer or go to the elders for healing by miraculous power, than that they should use drugs or medicines or surgery? Yes, we reply; it is very natural. That is just what the natural mind would expect and crave, but the Lord is not dealing with his people of today as with natural men. We are not natural Israelites, but spiritual Israelites. It is to the New Creature that the Lord now appeals; it is the New Creature that now has the privilege of experiencing healing at the Lord's hands, forgiveness of sins, covering with the robe of Christ's righteousness, so that we have the standing before the Father of absolute righteousness, without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing; we know no man after the flesh, we know no perfection after the flesh, but we do know the perfection and miracles after the spirit; and many a time have the Lord's people marveled at the wonderful healing of mind and faith and hope, and the wonderful refreshments, with joy unspeakable, – the holy anointing oil received from our spiritual and glorified Head.

"WE ARE TO WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT."

Not only is this the clear statement of the Word, but the logic of the proposition must be evident to any one. As for the Lord's saints, have they not taken their physical, human, earthly rights and privileges, secured through the death of Christ, and exchanged these with the Lord for heavenly things, the heavenly body that is to be received at the First Resurrection, the heavenly hopes and heavenly joys which are already the first-fruits of the Spirit in us? Yea, verily, they have. Have they not sacrificed thus the earthly interests, hopes, rights, privileges, for the heavenly ones? How then can we who have thus devoted or consecrated our earthly advantages for the heavenly ones ask to have again the earthly advantages? Would not such a prayer, such a request intelligently made, signify a withdrawal of our consecration – signify our preference for the earthly rather than the heavenly gifts, privileges and advantages? And would we as spiritual Israelites be willing to make such an exchange again if the Lord were willing to let us do so? Surely not. Would one who appreciates the privilege of sacrificing earthly interests with Christ, of laying down the earthly life and its privileges in participation with the Lord and in hope of joint-heirship with him in the divine nature and Kingdom, wish for a moment to have the Lord cancel this arrangement and give him back earthly rights, restitution privileges?

As for the world we grant that the Lord has secured for them restitution privileges and blessings, and that in due time they will have them – that in due time Satan will be bound and all of his coadjutors be restrained, and that then the good Physician, with his whole staff of co-laborers, the members of his body, his Bride, will participate in the great uplifting of the millennial age, in administering the blessings of restitutions, mental, moral and physical, to all the willing and obedient of that glorious time. (Acts 3:19-23.) But the time of restitution has not yet come. It will not come until the close of this Gospel age – until the Church shall have finished her course, walking by faith and not by sight, enjoying the spiritual miracles and not the natural ones.

The demon came out of the man, tearing him – that is to say, causing a convulsion, a fit. Luke, describing the event, says that he threw the man in the midst – that is, he fell on the floor of the synagogue in the midst of the people in a fit, but was otherwise unhurt, the demon not having power to do him injury, under the Lord's command. The assembled company was astonished, and [R3310 : page 30] inquired, What new teaching is this which has authority to cast out the evil demons? Our Lord's enemies, it will be remembered, subsequently charged him with casting out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, Satan; hence we see the wisdom of his having refused to receive testimony from this demon. To have received their testimony would have been more or less acknowledging them and giving them credit for truthfulness; whereas the Scriptures everywhere represent Satan and his fallen spirits as lying spirits, deceiving the people.

Undoubtedly there are cases of demon possession today – obsession. The custom of our day removes these to asylums, where they are called insane. It is not our thought that all the inmates of insane asylums are possessed of demons; but that many of them are. So far as we are able to form a conclusion on the subject, it would be that probably more than half are demon possessed, and less than one half are insane through disease of the brain. In all parts of the world this demon possession seems to prevail, and the tendency seems always to be downward – they are unclean spirits, delighting not in holy, pure and good things, but in impurity and unholiness. Their influence is exerted not only upon the possessed ones but upon others, in an evil direction.

WE ARE NOT IGNORANT OF SATAN'S DEVICES.

Even spirit mediums are well aware of the danger they encounter in acting as mediums at all. They caution one another not to yield the will too far, to maintain a self control to a certain extent, to yield themselves to the control of these spirits only in a definitely limited degree lest they become obsessed, because the evil spirit obtaining full control, the human will is therefore powerless to expel the intruder and they are at the mercy of the demon, and from man's standpoint are denominated crazy – more particularly so if several demons gain possession of the same person and thus several wills seek to control the one organization. In proportion as a knowledge of God and the principles of righteousness advance and open the eyes of human understanding, in this same proportion the evil spirits find it necessary to be coy in their deceptions, and proportionately the Lord's people need the protection which the Lord has provided for them, namely, the holy Spirit, the spirit of a sound mind, the spirit of love, joy and peace in the holy Spirit of the Lord.

Apparently, however, the masses of the people were less deceived on this subject at that time than they are today. Today Satan, acting more skilfully than in the past, is leading on as a scientist and is pooh-poohing suggestions that there are evil spirits or a Beelzebub or prince of demons. To such an extent has he prevailed that many of the leading theologians of the world, in all denominations of Christendom, agree that there is no devil, that there are no demons and that our Lord performed no such miracles as are here recited. They claim that the poor ignorant people of our Lord's day did not understand what they were talking about, and said that a man had a devil when he merely had a nervous disease, a fit, etc. Christian Science is one of Satan's latest fads, which, under the guise of morality, is seeking to destroy both common sense and Christianity amongst the Lord's people. It is one of Satan's latest devices, disproving himself and thus turning attention away from the powerful influence which he exercises in the world. "We are not ignorant of his devices." (2 Cor. 2:11.) "We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers, and wicked spirits in high places." (Eph. 6:12.) "But greater is he that is for us, than all they that be against us." (2 Kings 6:16.) The revised version translation of the 28th verse is preferable. It reads, "And the report of him went out straightway everywhere in all that region of Galilee round about." This fame of Jesus subsequently aided greatly in his ministry, when he went to all the towns and villages throughout Galilee.

ST. PETER'S MOTHER-IN-LAW CURED.

After the synagogue incident our Lord went to the home of Simon Peter and Andrew, James and John accompanying him. Peter's mother-in-law lay sick of a fever, and one of the evangelists intimates that it was a violent form of fever. For the first time it seems to have occurred to the disciples that the Lord's power, which they had seen manifested on various occasions, might be exercised on behalf of this sick woman. Now, their faith grown stronger, they mentioned her case to Jesus and he took her by the hand and lifted her up. Immediately the fever left her. Not only so, but instead of being weak and enervated, as is usually the case after a severe [R3311 : page 30] fever, she was strong and vigorous and able to serve the family, probably in the setting forth of refreshments and other household matters. This demonstrates that her cure could have been nothing short of miraculous. The operation of the mind, even if it could in any measure have destroyed the fever condition, could not have made good the waste of strength in the system accomplished by the fever.

Sunset saw the gathering of numbers of the sick and demon-possessed ones. This was probably for two reasons: (1) that it would be during the cooler time of the day in which the diseased could come in a warm country such as Palestine; (2) it was the Sabbath day, and the Jews, however irreligious and even devilish some of them were, were all strict Sabbatarians. We remember how on another occasion the Pharisees found fault with Jesus because he had healed a man on the Sabbath day, and how our Lord exposed their hypocrisy in the matter by showing that if it had been an ox or an ass that had fallen into a ditch, and where there might be a monetary loss if the creature were not assisted, their reasoning would be more correct. Our Lord, however, seems to have preferred the Sabbath days for his healing work: at all events some of his most notable miracles were done on the Sabbath days. His reason for so doing was not, we believe, to exasperate the Pharisees and Scribes or merely to show the hypocrisy of their formalism, but because the Sabbath days served a special purpose as an illustration of the great Sabbath that is to come, the Millennium, in which all the families of the earth shall be blessed by this good Physician, who has already given his life for the redemption of the life of the world, and who during the millennial age (his Bride, the Church, cooperating) will bless and heal all the willing and obedient of the human family – lifting them up, up, up out of Adamic sin and death conditions to the perfection of life lost in Eden through the disobedience of the first Adam.

SATANIC POWER CAN AND DOES NOW CURE.

Many of the Lord's consecrated people of today, [R3311 : page 31] noting the cure of diseases by spirit mediums, mind curists, hypnotists, Christian Scientists, Mormons, etc., are inclined to think of these cures of our day in much the same light as we think of our Lord's cures recorded in this lesson and its Golden text. This is a natural tendency – it is natural for us to seek to walk by sight and not by faith. Some of these dear friends inquire of us, Is not our Lord Jesus as able to heal the sickness of our bodies today as he was able to heal the sickness of the Jews at Capernaum? We answer, Yes, unquestionably. More than this, we hold that our Lord has more power today than he had then.

It was after our Lord had finished his sacrifice, after he had risen from the dead, a life-giving spirit, that he declared to the disciples, "All power is given me in heaven and in earth." We have not a question, therefore, respecting the ability of our Lord to perform today and through his people of today any miracles that he performed at the first advent in person. We are asked, If this be so, should we not expect such healings? Did not our Lord say, "These signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils and heal the sick, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not harm them, etc."? (Mark 16:18.) We answer, that these words are spurious, – that they are not found in any of the old manuscripts, that all scholars admit that they are forgeries, and that no part of the 16th chapter of Mark, after the 8th verse, is genuine.

[R3311 : page 31]

THE PILGRIM'S WANTS.
I want that adorning divine,
Thou only, my God, canst bestow;
I want in those beautiful garments to shine,
Which distinguish thy household below.

I want – Oh! I want to attain
Some likeness, my Saviour, to Thee,
That this longed for resemblance I at once may attain,
Thy comliness put upon me!

I want to be marked for Thine own,
Thy seal on my forehead to wear;
To receive that "new name" on the mystic white stone
Which none but thyself can declare.

I want so in Thee to abide
As to bring forth some fruit to Thy praise.
The branch which thou prunest, though feeble and dried,
May languish, but never decays.

I want Thine own hand to unbind
Each tie to terrestrial things –
Too tenderly cherished, too closely entwined,
Where my heart too tenaciously clings.

I want, by my aspect serene,
My actions and words, to declare
That my treasure is safe in a country unseen –
That my heart's best affections are there.

I want, as a traveller, to haste
Straight onward, nor pause on my way;
Nor forethought, nor anxious contrivance to waste
On the tent only pitched for a day.

I want – and this sums up my prayer –
To glorify Thee till I die;
Then calmly to yield up my soul to thy care,
And breathe out, in faith, my last sigh!

Selected.

[R3311 : page 31]

NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR PITTSBURGH GAZETTE.

M
ANY of our readers have been anxious to procure the Pittsburgh Gazette on account of its containing Pastor C. T. Russell's Sunday discourses in each Monday's issue. About 1000 of our readers have accepted the arrangement for a clubbing rate, which would make the Gazette cost them for the year $2.25. Many of these desire extra copies of the Monday issue only, but the Gazette people refuse to supply the papers by mail in this way. We have arranged with them, however, that those who wish may subscribe for three months for 60c. or for six months for $1.15. These prices they would not accept direct from the subscribers, but will accept from us on the clubbing principle. Some may desire to subscribe for the shorter periods, and if so we will be pleased to hear from them at once.

In the interest of the friends who desire to circulate numbers of these Monday papers amongst their neighbors, and who believe that matter thus printed is more likely to be read than if conveyed in some other form, we have made an arrangement with the Gazette and a news agent by which ANY ONE WHO IS A SUBSCRIBER FOR THE Gazette (either for three months, six months or a year) shall have the privilege of ordering extra Monday copies of the discourse sheet through us at the following rates, viz.:

Seven copies every Monday for 10 weeks, by mail, $1.00
Fifteen copies every week for 10 weeks, by mail,. 2.00
Fifty copies every week for 10 weeks, by express,
prepaid.......................................... 5.00

In sending orders for extra Monday issues, the writer must state explicitly that he is a regular Gazette subscriber, or must include an order for a regular subscription.

We are bound to consult the wishes of the Gazette publishers, because only upon condition of their securing a good list of regular subscribers do they propose to continue the publication of these discourses. The arrangement, however, is, that in the event of their discontinuing a proportionate amount of the subscription money will be returned.

By this new arrangement one regular subscriber can act as agent for the others of the friends in his vicinity, and thus all who desire may be supplied for their own reading, as well as have such supply as they desire for giving or loaning to their friends and neighbors. We believe that good is being accomplished in this manner, and trust for a still larger fruitage. Some of the friends have interested newspapers in their vicinity, and thus secured a re-publication of the discourses. The daily circulation of the Gazette is about 70,000, amongst the most intelligent and religiously inclined people of this city and Pittsburgh.

We are not at liberty to order for the Monday issues under this arrangement for less than ten weeks to any one person.

We have still special issues of the Gazette containing reports of the entire six debates. These can be supplied at 2c. each, postpaid, or 50 or more at 1c. each by express prepaid.