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March 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.MARCH 1, 1904.No. 5.
CONTENTS.

Views From the Watch Tower 67
"Wars and Rumors of Wars" 67
Ten Thousand in Israel Who Have not Bowed the Knee to Baal 69
Justice Woodward on Republic's Peril 70
A People's Palace 70
Bibles Printed but Not Read 70
"Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" 71
"Under His Wings" 74
"Give Ye Them to Eat" 76
Quarterly Review 79

'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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[R3331 : page 66]

DAWN, VOL. VI. IS READY!

This long-delayed volume has at length reached our friends who have waited so patiently for it. We can fill all orders for it now promptly – in cloth and leather bindings. There will be no paper-bound edition. page 66

REMITTANCES IN POSTAGE STAMPS.

We are pleased to receive small remittances in postage stamps of with orders for books, etc., if that is more convenient, but we request our friends to use great care in sending them. If carelessly inserted in letters so that the stamps are folded in the middle they are broken and become absolutely valueless. Fold them only on the perforations. Remember that the 25c and 50c packets sold by post offices are only worth 24c and 48c to us!

1904. – MEMORIAL SUPPER. – 1904.

On the evening of Tuesday, March 29th, after six o'clock, will be the proper time for the celebration of our Lord's Memorial Supper; – on its anniversary according to the Jewish system of reckoning in vogue in our Lord's day and still. The Jewish Passover, lasting a week, begins the next evening at six o'clock. We do not celebrate the Passover, but the killing of the antitypical Passover Lamb. "Christ our Passover (Lamb) is slain for us, therefore let us keep the feast." – I Cor. 5:7.

[R3327 : page 67]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
"WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS."

IN using the above words (Matt. 24:6) our Lord indicated by their connection that the mere fact of war should prove nothing to his people respecting the consummation of the age. They were to be otherwise guided in their discernment of the signs of the times. Whatever therefore we have to say respecting wars is based on some knowledge of the divine plan, aside from these frequently occurring disturbances.

Our expectations respecting a war have been realized. We based that expectation not on any private information, nor on prophecy, but upon the thought that unless war intervened to prolong the commercial prosperity of Christendom a great financial depression would be sure to come speedily; and because we could not see time enough for such a depression and a recovery from it and a subsequent depression, all before October, 1914, when prophecy teaches us to expect the great climax of earth's troubles. We have in the Scriptures what we think is clear testimony respecting that date, but no particulars or dates for the intervening time. It is not our intention to enter upon the role of prophet to any degree, but merely to give below what seems to us rather likely to be the trend of events – giving also the reasons for our expectations.

The present outlook is that the success of the Japanese over the Russians thus early in their war will prolong the conflict and quite probably draw into it many other civilized nations. The Russian character is badly damaged by the fall, and, as a result, haughtiness, pride and contempt for others, are among the unenviable characteristics of their ruling classes, – and the peace-loving Czar is under their control. This will make it doubly difficult for Russia, as a great nation, to accept defeat at the hands of a small nation like Japan, which they have scarcely been willing to acknowledge as civilized, or in any degree a factor in the world's affairs. It would, we believe, be wisdom on Russia's part to propose terms for peace; but remembering the proverb, "Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall," we incline to think that Russia will blunder into a prolonged war, disastrous to her prestige, finances, etc.

Meantime Great Britain is seemingly disposed to use the opportunity of Russia's distraction to add Thibet-China to her empire, either directly or as a suzerainty. Thibet is a rich country, adjoins India on the east, and its people are peaceable – unskilled in modern warfare and could be easily subjugated if no European nation interfered – and Russia alone could or would interfere. The present, therefore, is England's auspicious moment for satisfying her "land-hunger" – for opening up a new market for the products of civilization.

Turkey will be restless, too, when she sees her chief opponent, Russia, busy afar off.

France, Russia's ally, will feel keenly for Russia, and were it not for the alliance between Great Britain and Japan she most surely would back her ally and send her powerful fleet against the Japanese. She well knows, however, that this would bring England to the assistance of Japan, and that the British fleet is the most powerful in the world. Still, pride and "honor" are powerful factors with the French, who are a very excitable people, and there is no knowing when she may conclude that "French honor" demands her participation in the war.

The German Emperor, we may be sure, could scarcely remain quiet at such an auspicious moment as the present one for "cutting a dash" that would bring himself and Germany into prominence before the world. He will probably seek to befriend Russia, his powerful neighbor on the east, to secure her friendship and also to, if possible, break the tie now uniting France and [R3327 : page 68] Russia. Thus Germany and France may yet vie with each other for Russia's friendship and may both be led into the war.

Even the United States may become involved, improbable as that may at present appear. If the Great Powers of Europe become involved, as above suggested, it would be very difficult for this nation to remain neutral. The seed for trouble is already planted in the "Note" sent by the American Secretary of State to the Great Powers, proposing that the war be limited so as not to involve the independence of China. The "Note" is simple enough and well intentioned, and beneficent, and has been generally assented to, but it may not be lived up to by all, and the United States may yet feel "honor-bound" to insist on the terms of that agreement, and this may mean participation in war.

We do not say that the foregoing will take place, nor that it is likely to occur: we are merely outlining bare possibilities. Nevertheless, there is something behind it worth considering; because the Scriptures seem to imply some sort of a general war preceding or connected with the great time of trouble – anarchy – with which this age will close and usher in the Millennial period. For instance Joel (3:9-16) calls on all the nations to prepare for war; to beat plowshares and pruninghooks into swords and spears, to cause pursuits of agriculture to give place to pursuits of war, and for even the weak among the nations to feign strength. The connection shows this to be at about the present time, and mentions that the "harvest" is ripe (also Rev. 14:15-20) and the Lord's holy ones as about to "come down." This may be fulfilled in the anarchy in which "every man's hand shall be against his neighbor," but we incline to expect its fulfilment in a general and worldwide call to arms.

Another reason why we incline to expect a general war is, that at present the nations are so strong that a successful anarchous uprising against them would be little short of a miracle. But such a general war would increase taxation and breed general discontent alarmingly and quickly, causing the seeds of Socialist propaganda to shoot up and blossom and bring forth red-handed anarchy speedily. The credit of the nations would be weakened also by their increased debts; money would become proportionately scarce and interest rates proportionately higher, with corresponding effects influencing the general welfare and prosperity of Christendom.

ANOTHER FACTOR – RELIGIOUS AMBITIONS.

It may appear strange to consider religious ambitions a factor provocative of war; but it is true, nevertheless, that misguided emotions, supposedly religious, have been potent factors in many wars. Just now the apathy of the public of Christendom on religious subjects is noted as a result of the love of money and the cares of business. All the more those of religious proclivities are looking for another issue more popular than personal repentance, faith in the precious blood and consecration to divine service. They have been seeking it in "social uplift" schemes which have been more or less successful; and now the "civilization" of the uttermost parts of the earth is the popular scheme amongst them. They tell us that the conversion of the world is merely a question of dollars and cents, but do not explain to us why it is that the lands of dollars and cents are the lands of discontent and murder and suicide, etc., more than others. As an evidence of this spirit of aggression "for Christ's sake," note the following: – [R3328 : page 68]

EXTRACT FROM (METHODIST) BISHOP FOWLER'S "GREAT MISSIONARY SERMON," GIVING HIS VIEW OF THE POWER WHICH WILL WIN THE WORLD FOR CHRIST.

"If the storm breaks upon the world too suddenly, and all the other Powers stand back and leave the contest to the English-speaking peoples, we even then can defend our rights, save the world from Russian absolutism and meet the high obligation thrust upon us by a friendly Providence; provided that the strife is like the old Talke-knife strife of the Swedes, where the contestants were bound together by a rope around their waists and, each armed with a stout knife, fought the mortal combat to the finish; provided that we understand its decisive character and have but one argument, and that war to the bitter end; that we have but one plan, and that victory or death, and that we have but one purpose, the absolute control of the Pacific, cost what it may. With such convictions and purposes we can help Liberty to her last and final triumph, and secure civil and religious freedom for mankind forever....A wise and sleepless Providence has cared for us, even before our cradles were made, and furnished defences for our use.

"So God has made ready his channels, and can easily cut the leashes of storm and tempest about the centers of English-speaking peoples, these homes of liberty and Christianity. It is for us merely to use the defences offered us."

The Bishop then proceeded to say to the assembled mission-workers that "the great Methodist Church is only playing at saving the world;" that if an earnest effort were made to straighten the traces, the M.E. Church alone, instead of struggling to raise one million and a half could raise more than three hundred million dollars a year for missions. "But even with one-third of that amount of holy, consecrated money what could we not accomplish?" exclaims the Bishop, and adds: "The world's salvation is reduced to a question of dollars and cents! We have the blood of the atonement; we have the resurrection of the Son of God; we have the Gospel; we have the experience of saving grace; we have the theology and a host of scholarly believers; we have the material agencies, Bibles, presses, steamboats, railroads and an open world – everything ready and waiting – all we lack is money." And yet he concludes, [R3328 : page 69] "This generation of believers will see the salvation of this generation of sinners, and the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our God and of his Christ."

TEN THOUSAND IN ISRAEL WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.

Quite a furor of excitement has been aroused in Presbyterian circles in Canada by the action of the congregation known as "Cooke's Presbyterian Church." This Church, in company with others, has been in the habit of taking up yearly collections to assist in maintaining Knox College, Toronto. At the usual time for voting the money this last year, the pastor called attention to the fact that if the money were donated as usual, it would be in effect the rendering of assistance to the enemies of God's Word. He set forth that the teachings of the college were along the lines of higher criticism, especially arraigning Professor McFayden. He pointed out that higher criticism was really the worst form of infidelity that had yet attacked the Lord's people, and recommended that the donation be not made until the congregation had some assurance from the college authorities that such donations would not hereafter be used against the Word of God, but for the reverent expounding of it.

We are glad to note this evidence that some are still on the side of the Lord and of his Word. The majority are rapidly falling away into unbelief, and day by day the cleavage, the separation between these two classes, believers and unbelievers, in all the churches of Christendom is becoming wider and wider.

Prof. McFayden is unquestionably a full-fledged higher critic, otherwise an agnostic. But he is one of the wise ones who, instead of attacking the Bible, has written recently what might properly be termed AN APOLOGY FOR HIGHER CRITICISM. His book, while avoiding higher criticism most explicitly, is written to show that higher criticism is honest, is candid, is truthful, is necessary, that it will do no harm, that ultimately it will do much good, and, to use his own expression, "while removing the old landmarks, it will not remove the land." These subtle leaders and teachers are the most injurious of all. They pretend a reverence for the holy things and a disinclination to mar them, but assume superiority of wisdom and of honesty which compels them to take the stand they do in opposition to their own preferences. We have no right to question the honesty of Prof. McFayden, and other college and seminary professors and ministers, any more than we have a right to question the honesty of Voltaire, Thomas Paine or Robert Ingersoll. We assume that these men were all honest, but they were none the less enemies of the Lord's Word, adversaries in the most absolute sense, as the Lord used that word concerning Peter when the latter opposed the Truth. The difficulty with all of these professors and free-thinkers is that they are natural men and not New Creatures – that they were never begotten of the holy Spirit, and hence cannot see and understand spiritual things. Besides, their position in society and professionally has made them arrogant and self-conceited. From their standpoint the words of the Book have become to them foolishness. As the Scriptures declare, the world by wisdom knows not God. The Word of God is to be understood from its internal testimony. "If any man will do my Father's will, he shall know of the doctrine." To us who believe, the Gospel of Christ, as expressed by Jesus and the apostles, and their reference to and corroboration of the prophecies, is the power of God and the wisdom of God. But these are evidences only to those who can see them, and none can see them except the eyes of his understanding be opened that he "may be able to comprehend with all saints the lengths and breadths and heights and depths, and to know the love of God which passeth all understanding." (Eph. 3:18.) As our Lord said on the same line to his faithful followers, "To you it is given to know of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to them who are without all these things are done in parables and dark sayings, that hearing they might hear and not understand." Again he said, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes: Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight." – Luke 8:10; 10:21.

We wondered to what extent the action of "Cooke's Presbyterian Church" would meet with the approval of other Presbyterians, and a Toronto journal, dated January 23, before us, gives us the desired information. A reporter for this paper called upon the other Presbyterian ministers of Toronto to ascertain how the question appealed to them, and their replies are given. So far as we observe, every one of the seventeen ministers either avowed their sympathies with higher criticism, or dodged the question, and thus implied that they were to some extent at least ashamed of the Lord and of his Word. One of the ministers, Rev. T. R. Robinson, said that he was amused at the course of Cooke's Presbyterian Church, and did not think it would likely have many imitators. He added that he thought the chief danger to Knox College was not so much the loss of financial support, as a possibility that Professor McFayden might become weary of the treatment he was receiving from his opponents, and leave.

How clear are the evidences that the falling away from the faith is upon us, and that, as the prophet foretold, a thousand shall fall to one who stands. (Psa. 91:7.) How necessary that we should have well in mind the words of the Apostle, "Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." – Eph. 6:13. [R3328 : page 70]

JUSTICE WOODWARD ON THE REPUBLIC'S PERILS.

Speaking at a secular gathering in Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., recently, Justice Woodward said in part: –

"Ours is a democratic government founded on ideas of equality and simplicity, but nowhere is there more of ostentation or of enervating luxury. Fundamentally, also, we are opposed to war and to the entangling diplomatic complications, yet we have forsaken the policy of the Fathers and have chosen a road whose end no man can see.

"In no country is the Church so strong as in America, yet in no civilized country is there so much of robbery and of murder. No other land has so excellent a school system, so free a press, and so just and equitable a law, yet no modern nation has suffered so much from the violence of the mob.

"We all recognize also the absolute perfidy of the citizen who, chosen to public office, proceeds to plunder the community that has invested him with the seal of its confidence; yet of such malfeasance in office we hear almost every day.

"Every true patriot – that is, every man who has the future of his country at heart – must, during the last year, have been brought to an intense realization of the fact that we are face to face with a crisis – a crisis whose results no man knows, and which it is our supreme duty to meet like men.

"We are not now confronted with an alien foe; neither are we menaced by rebellion. But the dangers that threaten us today are no less to be feared. Far more insidious, they threaten the very life of the Republic. How shall we stem the money madness of the time? How shall we combat the growing canker of official dishonor? How shall we overcome the menace of the mob? These are the evils that suck the very life-blood of our liberties, these are the sins that tarnish our national honor with deep stain....

"We have enlarged the sphere of our influence in Europe, in Asia, and on the seas – until today we are hailed as the foe of tyrants and the friend of the oppressed. [R3329 : page 70] We stand ready, if need be, to conquer the wide world – but alas, like the great Alexander, we have failed to conquer ourselves."

A PEOPLE'S PALACE.

The New York Tribune, says: –

"The largest Congregational church of New Jersey has begun the erection of a people's palace, in which there will be rooms for dancing and card games as well as for Church meetings and Sunday School. The corner-stone of the structure was laid yesterday on Jersey City Heights.

"In the words of the pastor, the Rev. John L. Scudder, 'the People's Palace' will sanctify all legitimate amusements, and not let the devil have a monopoly of them. It will keep boys off the streets, young men out of saloons and young women out of the dance halls." Accordingly, beneath the roof of this building, there will be bowling alleys, pool and billiard tables, rifle ranges, a theatre, a ballroom, an armory, a gymnasium, together with accommodations for many more amusements, and on the roof there will be a garden for summer recreations.

"Above the auditorium, on the fourth and top floors, will be situated the gymnasium, which is also to be used on certain occasions as an armory. Among other innovations, Mr. Scudder has established a cadet corps, composed of 175 boys, and in this room they will be drilled in the use of weapons of war. A large adjacent room is to be devoted to the quartermaster's department, and will be fitted up with gun racks, drums, cannon and other military paraphernalia. The armory floor will be of hard maple and the walls will be lined with maple sheathing.

"The entire basement will be devoted to popular amusements. It will contain six regulation bowling alleys, and individual and club lockers will be furnished those who prefer private tenpin balls and a place to keep their bowling slippers. Other space will be devoted to shuffleboards, pool and billiard tables and table tennis. Separated from these amusements by a heavy brick wall there will be a rifle range with an adjustable counter to increase or diminish the shooting distance. Near by there will be a smoking room which may, by means of folding doors, be connected with a restaurant, and thus furnish a large hall for diners or smokers. From an elevated platform spectators will be able to watch the games."

*                         *                         *

Evidently the old idea that a change of heart – a full consecration of the life to the Lord – is a prime necessity for the production of a true Christian, is rapidly giving way to the thought that a Christian is just the same as others, except that he avoids grossness and offensiveness. Morality is now the standard and not, as previously, Faith and Morality. We are in the "harvest" time and both the "tares" and "wheat" are ripening, and daily it becomes easier to distinguish the one from the other. Now is the time to thrust in the sickle of Present Truth and gather the wheat to fellowship with the present Lord.

BIBLES PRINTED AND SOLD BUT NOT READ.

Dr. N. M. Butler, president of Columbia University, discussing the subject of Religious Education recently, said, as reported in the N.Y. Journal: –

"One of the most pathetic sights in America is the ordinary Sunday School, taught by untrained persons not properly co-ordinate; text books the poorest; ideals the most vague; yet to that we are supposed to trust the rising generations for their systematic religious teaching."

"Public opinion in the United States is overwhelmingly in favor of secular education," he declared, "for men will agree on the history of everything of the past or the present except religion."

Dr. Butler said that the place for the religious education was in the family and in the Church, but that "the trouble with the Church is that it preaches too much and does not teach enough." He then spoke of the teaching in the Sunday School, and said that there was next to no religious teaching in the home. He said that every time he had said that, he was told that the Bible Society had sold many more Bibles this year than the year before. "I don't care how many Bibles are sold," said the Doctor "I want to know what becomes of them. I am pretty sure they are not read."

*                         *                         *

We fear that Dr. Butler's opinion is too true – that Church-going, Sunday-School attendance, Bible-owning, and participation in the exercises of Epworth Leagues, etc., are forms of godliness which to the majority are without the power of the holy Spirit – the power of consecration. [R3329 : page 71]

A NEW DOGMA: THE "ASSUMPTION" OF VIRGIN MARY.

It is nearly fifty years since Pope Pius IX. decreed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of our Lord's mother. The present pope, Pius X., it is said, purposes soon to decree that it shall be the faith of Romanism that the Virgin's flesh did not corrupt in death – that she was received direct into heaven. It is conceded that the place and time of her death are not certainly known. On the strength of this lack of knowledge the Pope assumes that she experienced "Assumption."

The dogma of the Virgin's immaculate conception is not only contrary to the Word of God – that condemnation passed upon all of Adam's posterity – but it reflects against the divine character and plan thus: If God could justly and properly so arrange that one of Adam's race should be born sinless he might have done the same for us all. And if our birth in sin is God's fault, to that extent he is responsible for all the deformity, mental and physical, with which we are born. In that event Christ's death as the ransom-price for Adamic sin was unnecessary. Let God be true – let his Word stand, though it make every creed and dogma of men appear foolish.

Similarly the dogma of the Assumption is unscriptural. Ascension to glory is to come by resurrection. Our Lord himself was the first-born from the dead, and no member of his Church was to be received into glory with him until he would "come again and receive us unto himself."

SAMSON'S BEE-STORY PARALLELED.

The account of Samson's slaying a lion by tearing it open, and of his subsequently finding honey in its carcase, has been very widely discredited; because bees are particular and generally seek very different storehouses for their honey. However, the workmen in the J. W. Goodwin lumber camp in Ovid Township, Branch County, Michigan, have recently come across a parallel instance. On cutting down a black ash tree recently they found it hollow, and in the cavity the carcase of a large raccoon full of wild-bee honey and apparently preserved by the sweets, though some of the hair of the hide had fallen off. The curiosity was sent to the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.

CONSOLIDATIONS SAVING $5,000,000 A YEAR CAUSE HARDSHIP TO MANY.

Following its announced policy of centralization, the International Harvester Company has decided to lay off 7,500 of its 19,000 employes, and thus save $5,000,000 a year. Already 1,500 employes of the Deering division have been informed that their services were no longer required, and as many more are to be laid off. In the McCormick division 1,500 employes are slated for dismissal. The other 3,000 workers to lose positions are employed in the mills in Milwaukee, Springfield, Ohio, and Plano.

[R3329 : page 71]

"DO ALL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS."

"Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." – Col. 3:17.

W
HETHER he realizes it or not, each one who professes to be a Christian speaks and acts in the name of the Lord Jesus. The thought of our text therefore must be that we should endeavor to keep this fact continually before our minds, to the intent that our actions and words may properly represent our Lord and honor the name which he has permitted us to bear. Imagine a maiden from the lower strata of society married to a prince of royal blood. We can imagine a true wife under such circumstances extremely careful of her every word and action, seeking to have these as nearly as possible comport with her new station in life – her new relationship. We can well imagine that from the moment of her espousal the thought of her husband's high position and of her responsibility as his helpmate and family representative, would lead her to guard particularly her every action and word. From the time that she assumes his name, or acknowledges that she is espoused to him, whatever she does or says must of necessity be either to the credit or the discredit of his name. Elsewhere the Apostle wrote respecting the Lord's people, likening them to a "chaste virgin espoused to one husband, which is Christ;" hence this picture very accurately represents our present responsibilities to the great name which our heavenly Bridegroom has granted us permission to use as his espoused. What an honor to be his representatives in the world! and what a responsibility to bear his name!

Another scriptural illustration well represents the manner in which our words and conduct – good or bad – are all done in the name of the Lord Jesus from the time we formally confess him. The Apostle's words are, we are "ambassadors for Christ," "who also hath made us able ministers of the New Covenant." (2 Cor. 3:6; 5:20.) The United States appoints ambassadors or ministers of state to foreign countries. These are all supposed to be persons of good, reputable character before they are chosen, but we can well suppose that the most honorable and discreet amongst them, after realizing the dignity of such an appointment, would feel doubly impressed with the responsibility of his position. Previously he acted in his own name, and because of his own self-respect and personal love of justice, truth, honor, etc., he was careful of his words and conduct; but now he has not only the same personal responsibility but, additionally, an appreciation of [R3330 : page 72] the fact that the nation he represents will be either honored or dishonored by his course. If he were careful about his language and conduct before, his carefulness would be increased many fold. And then, because of his official position as the representative of a great nation, his words and actions would be more critically weighed than previously by those who know him to be the American ambassador; and we may be sure that morning, noon and night a realization of his position as representative of a great nation would be with him, prompting him to prudence. He would realize as never before that, whatsoever he said or did, all would be either to the credit or discredit of the nation whose general character and policy he represents – in whose name he speaks and acts.

If it is an honorable matter to represent one great civilized nation of earth before another, how much more honorable it is to represent the heavenly Kingdom and its King of kings and Lord of lords before the "children of this world." If we as Christians could keep this thought always prominent before our minds what a dignity it would add to our character! what a transforming power it would be! what an assistance to the new nature in its battle with the low and groveling tendencies of the old nature now disowned by us and reckoned dead! "Our citizenship is in heaven," says the Apostle. "Ye are not of this world, even as I am not of this world," says our Master, Jesus. While still living in the world we are not of it, but have transferred our allegiance and citizenship to the heavenly Kingdom, – set free through the merits of "him who loved us and bought us with his precious blood." And now as the appointees of our Kingdom, while still living in the world amongst aliens and strangers, we as representatives and ambassadors should feel both the dignity and the honor of the position and the weighty responsibilities, and ever keep in memory the Apostle's words, "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus."

Another scriptural figure represents us as the "members of the body of Christ" under our Lord Jesus as our Head. "As he was so are we in this world." When Jesus was here in the flesh he suffered, the just for the unjust, that he might bring men to God. Since his exaltation according to the divine plan such of the redeemed ones as now enjoy the hearing ear and understanding heart, and as are in full sympathy with the Lord's great plan, are called to be joint-heirs with him in his Kingdom – to be changed from human nature to spirit nature in a resurrection like that which highly exalted our great Head. But all such are called upon to demonstrate their loyalty to the Lord by walking in his footsteps. Because of their ignorance, superinduced by the great Adversary, the world hated our Master, opposed him, said all manner of evil against him falsely; and he requires that those whom he shall ultimately recognize as members of the glorious Kingdom class shall now attest their loyalty by being so faithful to him, and to the principles of righteousness for which he suffered, that they will draw upon themselves more or less of the same opposition of the world which he endured.

As his was a most honorable position as the ambassador and representative of the Father, so ours is the same, for he counts us as members of his body, his flesh and his bones. But he forewarns us not to expect worldly appreciation of the high standards of his teaching, but contrarywise, in proportion as we are faithful unto him and the heavenly Kingdom of light – in proportion as we let our light so shine that men may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven – we will, nevertheless, draw against ourselves the opposing forces of darkness. Our Lord explains this, saying, that the darkness and those who are of the darkness hate the light, and therefore oppose all who are children of the light in proportion as they are faithful representatives of it.

We see, then, that when the prophets spoke "beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow," those sufferings included not only the tribulations upon the Head, Christ Jesus, but those also to be endured by all the members of his body before the ushering in of the Kingdom glories – before the change of all the members of the body to the spiritual nature – before their shining forth as the sun in the Millennial Kingdom glory, for the blessing of all the families of the earth with the true light and opportunity for return to harmony with God.

As ambassadors, therefore – as representatives of the Lord Jesus, members of his body, bearers of his name – we are not to expect under present conditions that our embassage will be highly esteemed among men; rather we should "marvel not if the world hate us, for we know that it hated him before it hated us." (John 15:18; I John 3:13.) But we are also to remember that an ambassador of a hated government is more critically and unsympathetically watched than under other circumstances, and that such ambassadors would endeavor to be all the more careful as respects their every word and action.

This subject may be viewed from still another standpoint. With some the tendency is that, whatsoever they do, whether in word or deed, they shall do all in their own name – for their own credit, for their own glory. This is a spirit and disposition contrary to those which the Lord is seeking, and he who maintains such a disposition will surely not be accounted worthy of any place in the Kingdom, whatever may be his ultimate end. The class which the Lord is seeking will be composed of those only who have such an appreciation of the Lord and his grace, manifested in their redemption and forgiveness of sins and call to fellowship with him in his suffering and subsequent glory, that they will take delight in crediting all the honor, all the praise, to him. Not only their honor and praise for salvation, but additionally their credit for any kind deeds or benevolences or services they may be able to render to any. They will be glad to be able to do something in his name – to the glory of him who did so much for them. [R3330 : page 73] Their sentiment of heart is well expressed in the Apostle's words: "We thus judge, that since one died for all, all were dead, and that we who live should not henceforth live unto ourselves but unto him who died for us" – "doing all things in the name of the Lord Jesus."

Another erroneous custom amongst those who have named the name of Christ is that of ignoring his name in favor of some sectarian name. Such as are thus misled consecrate themselves, devote their lives, talents, etc., and spend these talents and opportunities in seeking to glorify the names of human institutions. One does all in the name of Methodism; another in the name of Presbyterianism; another in the name of Lutheranism; another in the name of Roman Catholicism, etc. This is all a mistake. None of these names were ever authorized by the Lord; and who can confidently depend upon it that even the best of works done in these names and for the upbuilding of these institutions, which the Lord and his apostles neither instituted nor authorized, will be accounted of the Lord as just the same as though his admonition through the Apostle had been heeded, – "Do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus"?

Another view of the subject is this: many are unauthorizedly using the name of the Lord Jesus in combination with the name of some earthly institution. Mark the words: – "Unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to take my name into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction and casteth my words behind thee?" The wicked here are not the worldly wicked, but those who have a form of godliness and deny the power thereof – those who draw nigh unto the Lord with their lips while their hearts are far from him. These covenant-breakers are the wicked of this text. These the Lord reproves, telling them that they have no right to take his name – to attempt to speak in his name and call themselves Christians, to advertise themselves before the world as his representatives and ambassadors, when as a matter of fact he disowns them.

If a sharply dividing line were drawn in the Church, which would place on the one side the sincere believers in the precious blood, begotten of the holy Spirit, and thus recognized of God as his ambassadors, – and on the other side of the line all those who are merely nominal Christians and without either ability or authority to act as representatives of the heavenly Kingdom, what a small number it would leave on the Lord's side amenable to the Apostle's words in our text and ready to be influenced by the presentation of them we are here making! There are some who are anxious to get the worldly to sing the song of Zion, to get the worldly to name the name of Christ in religious profession: but we are not of these. We are anxious to recognize as brethren in the Lord all who hold "the faith once delivered to the saints" – faith in the Lord and in the salvation which he is yet to bring to us at his revelation – and who on the strength of such faith have presented their bodies living sacrifices to God, and are therefore commissioned of the Lord to be his representatives and to bear his name; but we would be glad indeed to see all others than these discard the precious name which they misrepresent.

Would it seem like a great falling away? We answer that it would affect only the "tare" class, and that all the true "wheat" would be much better off separate from the [R3331 : page 73] "tares." It is only the holy class the Lord recognizes as his, anyway. The great mass of professors have neither part nor lot in his present grace. The sooner we learn that at the present time the Lord is choosing out of the world a peculiar people, zealous for his name and delighting to do his will, and that the hope of all others lies in the Millennial Kingdom, with its chastisements and corrections of righteousness and uplifting influences, the greater will be the benefit to ourselves who are seeking to make our calling and election sure to a place in that Kingdom.

One of the ten commandments given to the Jews forbade their taking the name of the Lord in vain; and although this commandment was not given to spiritual Israel we can readily see how the spirit of it comes to us. The spirit of that commandment applied to us would not relate to profane swearing, cursing, etc., but rather to a misappropriation of the Lord's name. We have taken the name of Christ as our name. We are counted as members of the body of Christ. The holy name of the Head belongs to all the members of the body. The honored name of the Bridegroom belongs to his espoused. What carefulness the thought of this should give us, and how appropriately we should say to ourselves: – "I must see to it that I have not taken the Lord's name in vain, – that I appreciate the honor, dignity and responsibility of my position as his representative and ambassador in the world. I will walk circumspectly, seeking as far as possible to bring no dishonor to that name, but contrariwise to honor it in every thought and word and deed."

Nothing in this should be understood to mean that our Lord expects from us absolute perfection. He merely expects us to do all in our power to glorify him "in our bodies and our spirits which are his." Nor are we to consider the Apostle to mean that whatsoever things we do, in word or in deed, are all to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus – with the hope that by thus doing things well we shall obtain salvation. The thought is really the reverse of this. Those whom the Apostle is addressing are the "saints at Colosse," and the words are applicable today only to a similar class – "saints." Only the "saints" are authorized to take the Lord's name and act as his ambassadors and representatives. And this honorable position came to them because their sins had already been forgiven by the grace of God – through faith in the precious blood; and because on the strength of this forgiveness of sins they had been called to membership in the body of Christ which is the Church; – and because they had accepted this invitation and presented their bodies living sacrifices to the Lord.

Having thus properly, legally, officially taken the name of Jesus upon us, and having been acknowledged by having [R3331 : page 74] had his Spirit shed abroad in our hearts, and having been promised in addition the completion of this work of grace at the close of this age, we seek to speak and to act to his name and to his glory, not in hope of obtaining forgiveness of sins, but because we have obtained divine favor and because we appreciate the same and love him who first loved us. This loving devotion to him whose name we bear must with all "saints" be the power of God, working in us to will and do his good pleasure; – to honor his name and to serve his cause to the best of our ability. And the best of our ability, thank God! is accepted in the Beloved as perfection. How gracious are the divine providences! The more we realize these things the more careful and circumspect they will make us, – that whatsoever we do, in word or deed, it shall all be done in the name of Jesus and to his glory.

[R3331 : page 74]

"UNDER HIS WINGS!"

"He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou find shelter." – Psa. 91:4. – Leeser.

I
N the midst of the "perilous times" of this "evil day," and of the warning voices of prophets and apostles pointing out snares and pestilences and subtle dangers on every hand – and in the midst, too, of a realizing sense of the actual existence of such evil besetments and perils – how precious to the saints are the assurances of divine protection and care and personal love!

We call to mind the gracious promises of our Lord – "The Father himself loveth you;" "Fear not, little flock; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom;" and "He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him;...and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.... Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." – John 16:27; 14:21,23,27; Luke 12:32.

But warning voices and wholesome counsel are also necessary; and he is not wise who turns a deaf ear to them, and takes cognizance alone of the comforting assurances which are designed only for those who faithfully "watch and pray lest they enter into temptation." Every soldier of the cross needs to heed the Apostle's warnings – "Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand;" and again, "Let us fear lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it;" and fear also "lest, as the serpent [Satan] beguiled Eve, through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ;" "for grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them." "Behold," said our Lord, "I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves." – Eph. 6:13; Heb. 4:1; 2 Cor. 11:3; Acts 20:29,30; Matt. 10:16.

It is necessary for the discipline, trial and final proving of the Church of God that they should be subjected to these adverse influences; for to him that overcometh them is the promise of the great reward. If we would reign with Christ, we must prove our worthiness to reign by the same tests of loyalty to God, of faith in his Word, of zeal for the Truth, of patient endurance of reproach and persecution, even unto death, and of unwavering trust in the power and purpose of God to deliver and exalt his Church in due time. To such faithful ones are the blessed consolations of Psa. 91. Hearken –

Verse 1. "He who abideth in the secret place of the Most High [typified by the Most Holy or Sanctuary] shall rest under the shadow of the Almighty." We thus place ourselves under the divine protection when, having come to a knowledge of God's willingness to accept us as his children, we gratefully accept the invitation and approach in his appointed way, through Christ our Redeemer, and consecrate ourselves fully to his service. Such may sweetly rest in the precious promises of God, all of which are "yea and amen in Christ Jesus." (2 Cor. 1:20.) The world does not see the overshadowing wings of divine protection, but the faithful have a blessed secret realization of it. Praise the Lord!

Verse 2. "I [Christ Jesus, whom David here, as elsewhere, personifies, and who thus addresses his body, his Church] will say of Jehovah, who is my refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I ever trust" (John 20:17) –

Verse 3. "That he will surely deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, [from the deceptions of Satan, in which all those not protected shall stumble; for our Lord said that so subtle and deceptive will they be that, if it were possible, they would deceive the very elect. But this is not possible, for those who are making their calling and election sure abide under the protection of the Almighty] and from the pestilence of destruction." [Not from the destructive pestilences of physical disease, but from the moral and spiritual pestilences of destruction – from the sinful propensities of the old nature, which, in unguarded moments, are liable to assert their mastery and overwhelm [R3331 : page 75] the souls of those who are not abiding under the secret protection of the Most High; and from the spiritual pestilences of false doctrine which, with subtle sophistry, destroy the faith of the unwatchful. Such pestilences are already abroad in the shape of so-called Christian Science, Spiritualism and the various no-ransom theories which take the name of The Larger Hope, and which bid fair, both from present prospects and from the prophetic outlook, ere long to become epidemic. From all these pestilences the Lord's elect shall be protected, resting sweetly under the shadow of the Almighty.]

Verse 4. "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou find shelter. [So close to his heart does Jehovah gather his loyal and faithful children that they feel the warmth of his love, and the responsive language of their hearts is, "I will abide in thy tabernacle" – under thy protection – "forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings; for thou hast been a shelter for me and a strong tower from the enemy; for thou hast heard my vows" – my consecration – "thou hast given me the heritage of [R3332 : page 75] those that fear thy name." – Psa. 61:4,3,5] His truth shall be thy shield and buckler" – thy protection. Yes, his Truth – that grand system of truth comprised in the divine Plan of the Ages – is an ample shield and buckler to all who in simplicity of heart receive it and prove faithful to it. It is the armor of God which the Apostle urges all the faithful to put on – to appropriate, to meditate upon and to store up the Truth in mind and heart – that they may be able, by its use, to withstand error and evil in every form presented to them in this evil day.

Verse 5. "Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night [the dark night of which the Prophet Isaiah and also the Lord spoke, saying, "The morning" – the Millennial morning – "cometh, and also the night" – the great time of trouble which shall immediately precede it, the night "wherein no man can labor" for the dissemination of divine truth: so great will be "the terror," the tumult and trouble and persecution of that night. – Isa. 21:12; John 9:4]; nor for the arrow ["even bitter words" of the opponents of the Truth – Psa. 64:3] that flieth by day" [at the present time, which, in comparison with the dark night that is coming, is called day].

Verse 6. "Nor for the pestilence [moral and spiritual] that walketh in darkness [that spreads and makes its victims among those who are ignorant of the Truth, or who are unfaithful to it and hence unworthy of it, and who therefore lack the divine protection and are subject to the "strong delusions" of error – 2 Thes. 2:11]; nor for the destruction [caused by these pestilences] that wasteth at noon-day" [that subverts the faith and hope of many, just when the light of divine Truth is shining clearest upon the faithful, as it is shining upon us today.]

Verse 7. "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand [so great will be the falling away from the Truth, even among those who, like ourselves, received it once with joy and who did for a time run well]; but it shall not come nigh thee." – Because of thy loyalty and uncompromising faithfulness and because of the ample armor of truth and righteousness, thou shalt stand and not fall.

Verse 8. "Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the recompense of the wrongdoers" – who reject the Truth or who prove unfaithful to it.

Verses 9,10. "Because thou hast said, 'The Lord is my protection;' because the Most High thou hast made thy refuge, no evil shall befall thee" [no evils of the kind above referred to; and any other seeming evils shall, under divine providence, work together for your good – Rom. 8:28].

Verse 11. "For he shall give his angels [messengers] a charge concerning thee, to guard thee in all thy ways. [That is, God will raise up some faithful pastors and teachers who will "watch for your souls as they that must give an account." True, there shall arise false teachers, perverting the Word of the Lord and seeking by cunning sophistries to subvert your souls; but if in simplicity of heart God's children require a "Thus saith the Lord" for every element of their faith, and carefully prove all things by the Word, they will be able to distinguish readily the true from the false. And having done so, the Apostle Paul (Heb. 13:17) counsels us to have confidence. The Lord, our Shepherd, will care for the true sheep.]

Verse 12. "They shall bear thee [all the members of the body of Christ, individually and collectively] up in their hands [using their strength], lest thou dash thy foot against a stone" – any stumblingstone of false doctrine, and especially that great fundamental rock-doctrine of the redemption through the precious blood of Christ; – that "rock of offense and stone of stumbling" to both the houses of nominal Israel (fleshly and spiritual). (Isa. 8:14.) The "feet" of the body are its last members; the saints now living are members of the "feet of him" (Christ), the ones who are now in danger of being stumbled, as the feet of the Jewish house of servants were in danger in the end or harvest of the Jewish age.

How do such messengers of the Lord bear up the feet of Christ? By helping them to a clear understanding of the Truth, and teaching and encouraging [R3332 : page 76] them by word and example how to be faithful to the Truth, and how to run so as to attain to the mark for the prize of our high calling.

Verse 13. "Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet." – Thus borne up in the hands of the Lord's faithful messengers and guarded by their vigilant watchfulness, and under the constant protection of the Most High, God's trusting, faithful children shall triumph over every device of Satan either to overpower or beguile them – whether he boisterously goes about as a roaring lion, or whether, serpent-like, he stealthily lurks about to insert his venomous poison.

Verse 14. "Because he hath set his love upon me [saith Jehovah], therefore will I deliver him [from the pestilence, etc.]: I will set him on high [exalt him to joint-heirship with Christ, make him a member of the "Royal Priesthood," and a "partaker of the divine nature"], because he hath known [appreciated] my name."

Verses 15,16. "He shall call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life [eternal life – John 10:28,29; Rom. 2:1] will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation" – make him understand my plan.

Praise the Lord for such assurances of his loving care! "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!"

[R3332 : page 76]

"GIVE YE THEM TO EAT."
MATT. 14:13-23. – MARCH 20. –

Golden Text: – "Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life." – John 6:35.

O
N hearing of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus crossed the Lake of Galilee, – out of the dominion of Herod. Possibly his thought was that his ministry was not yet concluded, and that Herod, having shown such boldness against John, might seek to interfere with his labors and the completion of his ministry. Or possibly he feared that a rebellious spirit might be aroused amongst the people – and his teachings would seem to foster this. An intimation of the kind is given in the fact that after the miracle the people sought to make Jesus king. To have encouraged any such matter would be to have opposed what he recognized to be the divine arrangement.

Possibly, as some of the epistles seem to intimate, Jesus sought privacy with his apostles that he might contemplate the character of the work he was to do. Evidence of his growing popularity at this time is given in the fact that so large a multitude went afoot for many miles around the shore of the lake that they might be with him and hear his precious words of life – parables, etc., respecting the Kingdom which he proposed to establish, and in which all his apostles and all his faithful were to share.

INSTANT IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON.

When Jesus saw the multitude his heart was filled with compassion, and he could not withhold himself from them. In season and out of season, so far as his convenience was concerned, he must work the works of God, lay down his life inch by inch, hour by hour. We read that "he had compassion on the multitude," for they were as sheep without a shepherd. They had a heart-hunger, although they knew not what it was really, for they longed for higher, better, nobler conditions than surrounded them, and this great Teacher seemed to have words such as none other had for them – words of hope, of reconciliation with God, of divine providence and care. Those who sat in Moses' seat (scribes and Pharisees, Matt. 23:2) were so filled with a misconception of their proper attitude toward God, misled so, that they merely banded themselves together to enjoy the divine promises and to appropriate them to themselves, and give up the remainder of their nation as publicans and sinners, considering them too lacking in piety to have divine favor or any part or lot in the Kingdom privileges. Jesus, however, passed by these self-righteous ones who rejected him and the only way of approach to God, and showed his special favor to the humbler poor, who heard his message gladly and wondered at the "gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth" – words telling them that God despises not the imperfect and weak if they are sincere and consecrated to him.

It was after three o'clock in the afternoon, in the early evening, that the disciples suggested that it was time for the multitude to be dismissed that they might find food and lodging in the surrounding villages. John and Mark record a dialogue on the subject between Jesus and Philip, the home of the latter being in the adjoining town of Bethsaida, and who was therefore acquainted with the region, its resources, etc. Jesus inquired of Philip, "Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?" Philip replied that it would require two hundred pennyworth of bread to give each of them a little. This would mean about two hundred dollars' worth of bread according to our present day reckoning. All of the apostles then seemed to join in with the suggestion that the multitude be sent away that they might buy their own provisions as well as secure lodging – though as a matter of fact the people of the East make little ado about lodgings. They will camp almost anywhere, and, wrapping their cloaks about them, lie down in the fields or by the roadsides to sleep – in any place not supposed to be dangerous. [R3333 : page 77]

SEEKING FIRST A NATURAL SUPPLY.

It was then Jesus said to his disciples, "Give ye them to eat." Mark says that they inquired, "Shall we go and buy them 200 pennyworth of bread and give them to eat?" Jesus asked, "How many loaves have ye? Go and see." It was the Apostle Andrew who returned with the word that a lad of the company had five loaves and two small fishes which he had put at their disposal. Jesus accepted the situation and instructed that the multitude be directed to be seated in companies. It is supposed that they arranged themselves in groups of fifty, and that there were 100 groups, making in all 5,000. Apparently they adopted the form of a three-sided square, after the shape of a Roman reclining table, the disciples who served them passing in at the open side and thus being able to reach the entire company. We are not informed how the five barley loaves and two small fishes were increased so as to be sufficient for the five thousand people with a remainder of twelve baskets full. Quite probably the increase was while being broken in the Lord's hands, though possibly also the increasing continued at the hands of the apostles as they in turn distributed the food to the people.

If such a story were told us respecting an ordinary person we could not believe it. Indeed it would be not faith but credulity on our part to believe it. So it is with those who deny the heavenly origin of our Lord Jesus: they do not believe that he could or did do such works as are recorded in the Scriptures. Neither could we believe the matter from their standpoint. It is because we believe that Jesus was the only begotten of the Father, who came into the world to be our Redeemer – because we believe that the Father poured upon him the divine spirit or power that we can also believe that he had power to still the tempest or thus increase the food by his blessing.

EVERYDAY MIRACLES OVERLOOKED.

But, after all, the greatest skeptics in the world do believe in miracles: they see them all about us, in all the affairs of life. They well know that the same amount of barley that composed those five loaves, if planted, might have brought forth a harvest sufficient for the five thousand; they also know that the two fishes in the ordinary course of nature in a short time might have brought forth a sufficient supply of fish for the five thousand. It is easy to be seen that he who arranged the provisions of nature had full control of the situation, and could as easily supply the needed food in the way he did as by some other method. Who will deny that it is a miracle from man's standpoint to have the grain grow and the fishes produce their kind? These miracles of nature are going on about us every day, and hence they are common to us and we forget that they are miracles. It is a fact, nevertheless, that while we can analyze the fish and determine exactly its component elements, and could bring these same elements together in a dish and could form them into shapes of fish, we could not give life to the fish or cause them to bring forth of their kind. That to us would be a miracle.

It is also true that we can analyze the barley and determine definitely its component elements and could bring them together in the same proportions and shapes, yet it is beyond our power to cause the products to germinate or to increase. Let these standing miracles that surround us every day convince all those who trust in the omnipotent God that he is able to do all that he is recorded to have done through his Anointed One. And let us remember that these things which Jesus did, as the Apostle declared, "manifested forth his coming glory" – illustrated and exemplified the coming power and glory of the great King of the world, who is to bless and feed and uplift the race of Adam and give life everlasting to as many as will receive it upon his terms.

If we could not accept these Scriptural testimonies respecting the power of Jesus over natural things, neither could we accept the declarations of the prophets and apostles respecting his coming power in the Kingdom. If we can accept the Scriptural declaration respecting him as the great Restorer of all things, God's representative, Emmanuel, who in the future shall bless the whole world of mankind, then with equal propriety and with the same kind of faith we can recognize him as the one in whom the Father's power operated in a small way in connection with the miracles under consideration and others at the first advent.

CAREFUL USE OF DIVINE BOUNTIES.

The whole lesson was intensified by the Lord's direction that the disciples should gather up the fragments; and, besides, another lesson was given, namely, that however great and bountiful are God's provisions for people, none of them are to be wasted. We cannot see wastefulness in any of the Lord's consecrated people without feeling that, however great progress they have made in understanding the mind of the Lord in some respects, they are still deficient in this particular. An appreciation of the gift and respect for the Giver implies a carefulness and a stewardship in respect to all that comes to us from our heavenly Father – things temporal and things spiritual. According to our Lord's parables he is measuring our love and zeal in a considerable degree by our use or abuse of the talents, opportunities, blessings, temporal and spiritual, now bestowed upon us.

We may be sure that in this miracle as in the others our Lord intended to inculcate some important lesson of faith or practice – not so much for the public as for his special followers, his disciples. We may presume, therefore, that he had a twofold purpose in sending them away by ship while he remained and dismissed the multitude, telling them that his discourses and miracles were at an end. One of these purposes doubtless was private fellowship and communion with the Father in the mountain – apart from the multitude – apart even from his beloved [R3333 : page 78] twelve apostles. There are times when we love to join our hearts and voices with others at the throne of heavenly grace, and come as a company of the Lord's people into fellowship and communion with him, and there are other times when we seem to need individual, personal, private communion with God, as our Lord seemed to have required on this occasion.

Our Lord's second object was, doubtless, to give his disciples opportunity for thinking over the miracle and talking it over by themselves in his absence. They might thus speak more freely one with the other, and get more benefit than if he had been with them, and they would have been under a certain degree of restraint in his presence. The Lord wished this great lesson to be thoroughly impressed upon their minds: it would be helpful to them in future years to remember how he had power to increase their temporal food without human interference and independent of human conditions. It would be a lesson also respecting the spiritual food, that they should not despise the day of small things; that if sent by him to break the bread of life to the people, they should not be fearful and hindered by reason of unpropitious conditions prevailing, but should have full confidence in him that he had the power to overrule in all the affairs of life, that all his gracious purposes might be accomplished.

WE MAY DISPENSE THE BREAD FROM HEAVEN.

There is a lesson for us of the present day, too, in this matter, as there has been a lesson for the Church all the way down throughout this Gospel age. We may feel that the multitude is large and that the means at our disposal for reaching them with the bread of life are limited. We may be inclined to say here, we have such and such things, but "what are they among so many?" Let us hearken to the Lord's Word, "Give ye them to eat." It should be sufficient for us to know that any one is present who is hungering and thirsting after righteousness. "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear." Tell him the good tidings, no matter in what form they must be presented, no matter how intolerable the conditions. The important thing is that here are some who are hungry for the Truth, and that if we will the Lord will bless us in ministering it to them.

We have been reminded of this parable sometimes as we made out our annual reports of the work done by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY – and endeavored to realize the immense amount of spiritual food borne to the people all over the civilized world, and our privileges connected with its dissemination. We have marveled how the Lord blessed the comparatively small amount of money so that it reached so far; – it seemed to multiply under the Lord's blessing. The matter is with us as it was with the apostles. The Lord himself raises the question of how much it will require. We look about us and see how few are hungering and thirsting for the Truth, how many grasping after multitudinous errors, false gospels, new lights, etc., and we hear the Lord's word, "Give ye them to eat." It requires faith to go forth and to hope to accomplish the great harvest work under present limited conditions, but so surely as the Lord is the Chief Reaper, his blessing upon what he has given us to dispense will make it sufficient, so that all who are really hungry may be fed.

Let the lesson sink deeply into our hearts; let us have the more confidence in him who not only provided the temporal food centuries ago, but who now according to his promise has come forth a second time and is dispensing again spiritual food, meat in due season, things new and old from the treasury of his Word. Let us be swift to appropriate these promises to our hearts, seeing to it that we are still hungering and thirsting after clearer views of the divine character and plan. Let us be on the alert to give to all who are hungering and thirsting the blessed food which has so greatly refreshed and strengthened us. [R3334 : page 78] If they do not get it they will faint by the way as they go looking for other provisions. We have the very thing which all of the household of faith need; without it they cannot maintain their standing, they cannot press on, they shall surely become discouraged. A thousand shall fall at our side and ten thousand at our right hand without this needed nourishment. Let us be alert.

THE USE OF MEANS – THEN AND NOW.

The lad who had the loaves and fishes and who put them at the disposal of the Lord, we may be sure was greatly blessed, although we hear nothing further of him than is here mentioned. It was a case of opportunity, and we may be sure that the boy thus willing to put his all at our Lord's disposal, instead of attempting to sell it to the hungry at famine prices, received a corresponding blessing. The lesson for all is that whatever we may have of financial means for sending forth the bread of life to others, or whatever we may have of knowledge of the Truth, is neither to be selfishly hoarded nor selfishly partaken of by ourselves. It is to be consecrated to the Lord, and out of that consecration the Lord will bring blessing to others and increased blessings upon our own heads and hearts.

The Golden Text of our lesson may be said to be the very heart of it in some respects. It was after Jesus had spent the night in prayer and toward morning came to his disciples still on the lake in the boat – stormstayed – and after they had come to the landing safely, that some of those who had been with him and who had partaken of the miraculous bread and fish had returned to the vicinity of Capernaum and sought Jesus again, that he upbraided them and accused them of seeking him more for the loaves and fishes than on account of the truths which he proclaimed; and using this as a text, proceeded to tell them of himself as the Bread of Eternal Life that had come down from heaven, of which if a man eat he would never die – the bread of life everlasting.

Blessed are our ears for we have heard! blessed are the eyes of our understanding for we have seen him! blessed are we for we have tasted of this Bread of Life! Blessed [R3334 : page 79] are we if we are still hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and day after day being more and more filled according to the promise.

A FAMINE FOR THE WORD OF GOD. – AMOS 8:11.

We live in very stirring times, in times when there is a greater hungering for knowledge, for wealth, for influence, for power, for everything, than there ever was before. Everybody seems to be hungry. Yet our day is so full of philosophies, inventions, sciences (true and false), moneymaking schemes, financial schemes, theological schemes, etc., etc., that the whole world is absorbed in attempts to satisfy these various hungerings of the soul. Yet these things do not satisfy even the worldly; – they still hunger and thirst; and nothing will ever satisfy them but the living bread – the Truth. Now is the time for us who have become "new creatures in Christ Jesus" to see to it that we dispense to others the true bread and water of life; and that our own earthly hunger for earthly things shall not be prospered or gratified at the expense of our spiritual hunger for spiritual things, but that the latter shall have our special attention and care and provision.

The more people are satisfied with earthly things the less inclination they will have for the heavenly things, and the more we are satisfied with the heavenly things the less of appetite will we have for the earthly things. The new nature flourishes at the expense of the old nature, and the new ambitions, hopes and desires at the expense of the old. Likewise when the old nature flourishes, it is at the expense of the new in all of life's affairs. Let us then, realizing the difference between the food that perisheth and the food that brings divine blessing – eternal life – let us choose the latter, let us feed more and more upon the Lord and upon his Word and thus grow strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, and be more and more weaned from the world, its spirit, its hopes, its ambitions. We seek a heavenly country, a heavenly Kingdom, a heavenly nature, and heavenly qualities, fitted and prepared for that heavenly nature. We have found the great Lifegiver, the one who can and does supply this bread from heaven. It is our great privilege to be the dispensers of this bread – "Give ye them to eat." "He that hath an ear let him hear."

[R3334 : page 79]

QUARTERLY REVIEW. – MARCH 27.

Golden Text: – "Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness." – Matt. 4:23.

T
HE Sunday lessons for this quarter have given us numerous profitable pictures and studies in the life of Christ. Beginning with his birth we have traced his life from boyhood to manhood, and there noted his consecration even unto death and his consequent begettal of the holy Spirit as the beginning of the New Creature of God – the Head of the Church. We have followed him through the various steps of his ministry, noted many of his wonderful miracles on the sea and on the land, and in every particular have seen him faithful to his mission, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" his expression as a boy, seemed to be with him through all the affairs of life.

We are to remember that while Palestine at the present time has a population of about 600,000, it had about ten times as many in our Lord's day. Galilee, where most of his miracles were performed, as recorded in this quarter's lessons, is supposed to have had over 100 towns of 15,000 population, or a total population of over 3,000,000. The people of Galilee were evidently thrifty, prosperous work people. The aristocracy centered more about Jerusalem, and the explanation is given that Jesus could no more walk in Jewry because the Jews sought to kill him. Hence, as we have seen, much of his time was spent in Galilee, and evidently with the people best prepared to receive his teachings. We remember that he was called the "Galilean," and his disciples were "men of Galilee."

The essence of this quarter's lessons to the Lord's consecrated people should be specially that of discipleship – following the footsteps of this great Teacher and Savior. He has called us also to be fishers of men, and we have responded to his call and left all to follow him, to be his disciples, to share his experiences and whatever ignominy may come as the result of faithfulness to him and the truths which he proclaimed. To us also he has displayed his powers, permitting us to see and know things which are kept secret from those without. To us he has given the good tidings of the Kingdom to encourage us, to inspire our hearts with love and loyalty. Blessed were those disciples of old, and blessed are the disciples of today! The blessing then was largely dependent upon the nearness of the disciples to the Lord, and the nearness was marked largely by the degree of zeal and devotion; and thus we must expect it to be today. It was Peter, James and John, who were the most zealous of the apostles, that had the special favors when such were to be given. And so it is today; those who most cheerfully, most zealously forget self and earthly ambitions, aims and projects, and who most fully give themselves to the Lord and to his service, these may walk nearest to the Lord at all times; these may go with him to the Mount; these may be special witnesses of his powers, and these in special times may be close to the Lord. Some, like John, may not only sit at meat with him, but sit next to him – in his bosom. In proportion as our lives are copies of the Lord's, all the time and influence at our disposal, outside of necessary obligations for things needful to ourselves and families, will be spent as he spent his time – in doing good unto all men, especially unto the household of faith.

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March 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.MARCH 15, 1904.No. 6.
CONTENTS.

Views From the Watch Tower 83
The Era of Religious Toleration 83
Views of a Cleveland D.D 84
Russia and the War 84
Noah's Ark Well Proportioned 85
Mental Toxin and Anti-Toxin 85
"His Way Is Perfect" 86
"Christ Brought Life and Immortality to Light Through the Gospel" 87
"What Think Ye of Christ?" 91
Interesting Questions Answered 94
Public Ministries of the Truth 96

'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 82

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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SAMPLE COPIES AND TERMS FREE.

The Pittsburg Gazette publishes one of Pastor C. T. Russell's sermons each week. See terms on last page.

VOLUNTEER MATTER FOR 1904.

We are ready for your orders for Volunteer matter for this year. Please observe the following rules: (1) Write us what will be the full number required. Where these orders amount to over 2,000 we expect to send them in four equal parts; where less than 2,000 in two equal parts. (2) State when you will be needing and ready for each separate installment. (3) Give particulars readdress, to which they should be sent. [R3342 : page 82]

THE AUSTRALIAN BRANCH.

Brother Henninges reports that he and his wife have arrived safely at destination after a pleasant voyage. They have secured suitable quarters and the Melbourne Branch is an accomplished fact. May the Lord's blessing be with the work and workers there as elsewhere we surely all pray. AUSTRALIAN BRANCH – 32 JOHNSTON ST., FITZROY, MELBOURNE page 82

MARKED NEW TESTAMENTS.

We have a good stock of these on hand – cloth binding, red edges, minion type. Convenient for the pocket. The special feature is the marking in red and black of the passages which refer to salvation through Christ. Price, 15c; 2 for 25c, postpaid. They are not our publication, nor marked exactly as we should have preferred.

[R3334 : page 83]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
THE ERA OF RELIGIOUS TOLERATION.

DR. ALEXANDER McKENZIE, pastor of the oldest Trinitarian Congregational Church in Cambridge, and Dr. DeNormandie, pastor of the ancient Unitarian Church of Roxbury, exchanged pulpits recently; and the next Sunday the Rev. Dr. George A. Gordon of the Old South (Third) Church and the Rev. James Eells of the First Church (Unitarian) exchanged pulpits, and, later in the day, Drs. Gordon and Eells officiated together at the communion service in the First Church, to which Dr. Gordon invited his people.

These facts have much significance when locally appraised, but they are only part of a movement by no means sectional or denominational. The pastor and pastor emeritus of the leading Trinitarian Congregational Church in the State of Iowa have just refused, on conscientious grounds, to belong to the Ministerial Association of Des Moines, "so long as fellowship is denied [R3335 : page 83] to Jews, Catholics and Unitarians," and this because, "in their opinion, the action of the association in withholding fellowship from the ministers of these churches does not represent the Christian sentiment of the churches; does not measure up to Western standards of hospitality, and finds no justification in the ideals of modern civilization." Notwithstanding the Rev. B. Fay Mills still affirms that he is a Unitarian in theology, he is being welcomed to the pulpits of more than one Orthodox Congregational Church in Wisconsin, and is being accepted as a teacher of social Christianity. So that this new mood of fellowship between two long-alienated wings of the one denomination is not confined to Massachusetts or to Connecticut – as the recent State conference's action with respect to the church in Plymouth proved – but has extended to the interior, hitherto deemed unreservedly conservative."

Boston Transcript.

*                         *                         *
PILATE AND HEROD MADE FRIENDS.

The very occasion of our Lord's rejection and crucifixion was the same in which Pilate and Herod were reconciled. Similarly, as the foregoing shows, we have now reached the time when the wide extremes of Trinitarianism and Unitarianism are reconciled; but in this the very moment when both should be harmonized by the Truth, both unite against it. It seems a trifling thing that Unitarians, who utterly repudiate our Lord's pre-existent state and his leaving the glory of the Father and that he was our Redeemer, should be fellowshipped by those who go to the opposite extreme and claim that Jesus was one in person, in substance, with the Father and his equal in power and glory.

Why, under the circumstances, should the view which harmonized all the Scriptures on the subject – that shows our Lord's pre-existence next to the Father and above all others, which shows him while on earth to have been "the man Christ Jesus," "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners"; and which Scripturally presents him as now "highly exalted, far above angels, principalities and powers – be opposed in every way imaginable?

The secret reason is that all these ministers have become Higher Critics and Evolutionists; – in plainer terms Agnostics or Infidels. The Trinitarians no longer believe in the trinity and have repudiated the Bible as a divine light. They are fulfilling prophecy, unwittingly, and fancy that they are making a great advance. (Isaiah 29:14). Truly they are ridding themselves of unscriptural traditions received from the dark ages, but at what a cost! They are discarding cardinal truths which their errors obscured and which alone kept them at all in touch with the Lord. We want none of their union in unbelief: but the "One Lord, one faith, one baptism," and one God and Father of our Lord Jesus, who is above all.

Now is the time for true soldiers of the cross who have put on the "whole armor of God" to wisely, carefully, loyally help the dear "brethren" who are still loyal to the Lord and confused by present-day developments. Let us not hesitate to "lay down our [R3335 : page 84] lives for the brethren" – our time, talent, influence – doing all as unto the Lord, the Captain of our salvation.

VIEWS OF A PROMINENT CLEVELAND D.D.

Evidently some ministers realize their true situation. Note the following plain statements, clipped from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"In speaking yesterday of his recent utterances regarding the surprisingly small number of persons who joined Cleveland churches last year, Dr. Wood said:

"'The arithmetical phase of the church problem today, I believe, can be explained in no other way than by the expression, "Old things have passed away, all things have become new."

"'The old systems of thought and expression, and the corresponding action, are working today, and there is abroad in the world a deep-seated conviction that something better is needed – a crying out of the soul for something that the church has not yet been able to supply, but is earnestly reaching after. The apparent decay of, and lack of interest in, the present religious life, instead of being discouraging and disheartening, ought to be considered in the light of truest optimism.

"'There is a marked transition. Yet I believe that out of all the debris of the present will come a new way of thinking, which will be more in accord with the divine plan for the uplifting of the race.

"'Preachers today are conscious that the message they bring to the people is not a message which supplies the heart's demands, and many of us, I believe, would be glad to become prophets of the Higher Truth were it not for the fear of losing our positions as safe leaders among men. But the time is near at hand when, if the voice of the Christian ministry is to be heard, clergymen must take their stand for those things which are true, as against those things which they have been trying to make themselves and the world believe are true.'"

RUSSIA AND THE WAR.

Russia in Manchuria is thus described by Senator Beveridge, who has recently visited there:

"Although the Russians are slothful, their course in Manchuria has been wonderfully modern. By the side of every filthy, reeking Chinese town has arisen a clean, orderly Russian town, with wide streets, often paved, handsome residences, public buildings, amusement halls, churches, parks with band-stands, drives – in every respect like the modern small cities of our Middle West. Thus is the Chinese population of Manchuria being taught, not by precept but by example.

"One of the great services Russia has rendered Manchuria and all the countries of the globe which sought to trade with that province was the destruction of the thriving bands of brigands who invested the country, and whose power had so grown that they captured every shipment of goods across the country not previously protected by insurance in an office established by the bandits for that purpose. The Russians, it seems, in a short war on these marauders, slew over two thousand, and hunted the remainder to the far corners of the empire."

Senator Beveridge finds the Russian to "have more understanding of the Oriental temperament and Oriental conditions than is possessed by any other European people, and scarcely less than the Japanese themselves have. Because of this fact Russia has succeeded so well in eastern Asia. It is feared and hated in war, but liked in peace. The Russian never retreats from ground once occupied, and when he makes war he is terrible. He never parleys. In peace he is quiet, orderly, just. He minds his own business, and is kind, untiringly patient and conciliatory. But when he makes war he makes it so thoroughly that he never needs do the same job over again. This is the keynote, as sounded by Skobeleff, the hero of all Russians: 'My system is this – to strike hard, and keep on hitting until resistance is completely over; then at once to form ranks, cease slaughter, and be kind and humane to the prostrate enemy.'...

"Holy Russia looks to the regeneration of the world as one of her great, if, indeed, not her greatest historic mission. Of course, even the most fanatical Russian churchman does not consider this a thing of the present day or the present decade or the present century. Indeed, the centuries, to the thought of the Russian churchman (or, for that matter, the Russian statesman), are small matters. 'All in God's own time' is the motto of the Russian peasant. If 'the mills of the gods grind slowly' to us, they do not grind slowly to the Russian. He sees no particular reason for hurry. Let the processes of evil and good work out their distinct results naturally. Let the world's age-old battle between darkness and light not be waged in the flash of a spark struck from the meeting of swords of single combatants in some portion of the universal field. It is a gigantic struggle, in which the decades are but moments and the centuries but hours. In the end light will conquer darkness, thinks the Russian; and, to his mind, the Christian faith is the all-conquering light and the Greek Orthodox Church the only true bearer of that sacred torch."

The New York Press contains the following interesting item on the war:

"A United States naval officer of high military reputation gave The Press his opinion at the outbreak of the war that the Russian war-ships, guns and torpedoes would be of no value to the Czar, because his 'people do not know how to use their tools.' Since the Russians have so abundantly confirmed his judgment of their navy – blowing up their own ships on their own mines, firing into their own lines and generally doing more harm to themselves than to the enemy – it will be of interest to see if his views are also well founded as to the Russian army. This officer believes that the Russian army will be proved far inferior to its efficiency of thirty years ago, for the reason that the Russian in the ranks is not a thinking man or capable of independent action. In the old manner of fighting in mass one man was as good as another so long as he had a strong stomach for combat, since he could be directed and controlled by the officer standing near him, even flogged (literally with whips) into quick and soldierly action.

"In the fighting line of today, however, the men of the ranks, strung out at great distances, in 'open formation,' taking ranges where the enemy cannot even be seen, and in return being fired at by those they cannot see and whose position they cannot locate (thanks [R3336 : page 85] to smokeless powder) without intelligent deduction, must all be capable of independent action and thoughtful action or they will fail to perform any useful function in a battle. A subaltern cannot be near all his men. He cannot give them commands except for general formation and maneuver unless by signal. If a soldier does not find the right range, there is no one to give it to him, if he is firing to the right when his enemy is to the left of him, no one will discover the fact for him. On the firing line today every man who carries a rifle, to be an efficient soldier, must be capable of self-command, his own sub-lieutenant, lieutenant and captain when necessary. And he must know something of the science of war, of which, the American officer declares, the Russian in the ranks, having an extremely low intelligence and absolutely no education (ninety-six per cent. of the Russians cannot read), is totally and densely ignorant.

"However brave the Russian is, therefore – and the American officer concedes him the greatest amount of sheer animal courage – he is not expected by military men of the modern school of war to make much better use of his fighting tools on land than on sea. If this opinion should prove to be a fact in the land campaign which is now following the brilliant performances of the Japanese afloat, the Czar, with his hope of military ascendancy utterly crushed, will begin to think, no doubt, of educating his millions on millions of subjects who have never been permitted even to see a printed letter; and in such event the Russian war, terrific defeat though it should be, would come to be a blessing to the Russian people gaining this boon, and to the world."

RUSSIA'S AWAKENING.

"Russia's behavior since war with Japan was declared, and especially in the interval since the Port Arthur engagement and the sinking of two Russian warships at Chemulpo, is suggestive of anything but a power flushed with confidence. The studied and insistent appeals to Christendom that are proceeding from St. Petersburg, setting forth the respects in which Japan has violated, or seems to Russia to have violated, the law of nations since the beginning of hostilities may be warranted or not, in the judgment of competent international lawyers. But at any rate it is apparent that Russia has been surprised, and that she is beginning to realize poignantly the difficulties by which she is confronted. Her complaints are a plain confession of physical weakness. It would be no marvel if Russia should succeed, by the diplomacy which has for many decades been her chief reliance, in so enlisting the sympathies of France and Germany as to complicate affairs in the gravest manner."

Pittsburg Press.
NOAH'S ARK WELL PROPORTIONED.

The New York Tribune credits to the Syren and Shipping the following comparison of the ark with modern vessels:

"Within the last ten years the general dimensions of the ark have been closely followed by cargo steamship builders for deep sea and the American Great Lakes service. According to the Bible, the ark was 480 feet long, 80 feet wide and 48 feet deep. Her tonnage was 11,413, and she had plenty of room for pairs of all the distinct species of animals that are classed by Buffon – 244 – and she could have accommodated a thousand persons, and then have had plenty of room for the storage of supplies. In the seventeenth century Peter Jansen, a Hollander, built a vessel of the exact proportions of the ark, and she was successful, as the records of the time show, in making money for her owners. Noah, 'the Father of Naval Architecture,' is held in profound respect by naval architects of today, who know how immeasurably the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans and all other shipbuilders fell short of the excellence of the type of the ark as a commodious, safe and economical vessel."

MENTAL TOXIN AND ANTI-TOXIN.

That thoughts may poison is a well-proven fact. Depressing thoughts interfere with the cerebral circulation, impairing the nutrition of the cells and nerve centers. The result is that the organs and tissues manifest lost or impaired function – loss of general nutrition follows – and a break-down is inevitable. Fear, worry, anger, envy, jealousy, and other negative thoughts, reflect themselves most disastrously in the human system. Fear has paralyzed nerve-centers, and turned hair white over night. A mother's milk has been poisoned by a fit of anger. Fear and hate – father and son – have produced insanity, idiocy, paralysis, cholerma, jaundice, sudden decay of teeth, fatal anaemia, skin diseases, erysipelas and eczema. Epidemics owe their rapid spread and heavy death rate to fear and ignorance. Epidemics may kill their dozens – fear kills its thousands. All the brood of negative, fearful, selfish, hateful thoughts manifest themselves in physical conditions. Stigmata or marks upon the body, caused by fear or desire, are quite common in the annals of medical science and psychology.

Professor Gates, of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D.C., in his investigations of the effect of mental states upon the body, found that irascible, malevolent and depressing emotions generated in the system injurious compounds, some of which were extremely poisonous; he also found that agreeable, happy emotions generated chemical compounds of nutritious value, which stimulated the cells to manufacture energy. He says:

"Bad and unpleasant feelings create harmful chemical products in the body, which are physically injurious. Good, pleasant, benevolent feelings create beneficial chemical products which are physically healthful. These products may be detected by chemical analysis in the perspiration and secretions of the individual. More than forty of the good, and as many of the bad, have been detected. Suppose half a dozen men in a room. One feels depressed, another remorseful, another ill-tempered, another jealous, another cheerful, another benevolent. Samples of their perspiration are placed in the hands of the psycho-physicist. Under his examination they reveal all these emotional conditions distinctly and unmistakably."

Remember, this is not "the airy fancy of some enthusiastic mental scientist," but is the testimony of a leading scientific investigator in the laboratories of the Smithsonian Institution, one of the best known scientific institutions of the world. "Chemical analysis," mind you – not "transcendental imaginings." [R3336 : page 86]

Now I have said enough about the toxin and a little about the anti-toxin of the mind. I might go on for hours, stating example after example, illustration after illustration; but the tale would be just the same. Now, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to keep on poisoning yourself and those about you with vile, malignant thoughts reeking with the miasmatic effluvia of hate – emitting the noxious exhalation of fear and worry? Or will you cease being a psychic pest-house, and begin to fumigate and disinfect your mind? And after getting rid of all the microbes of fear and worry and the bacilli of hate, jealousy and envy, open wide the windows of the mind and admit the bright sunshine of love, and the bracing air of confidence and fearlessness.

Come, friends, let us get out of this habit of poisoning the air with fear, worry and hate thought. Let us join the ranks of the Don't Worry company – the fearless brigade, the invincible, conquering army of Love. Let us be bright, cheerful and happy – the other things are not worth while. Let us be confident, expectant, hopeful and cheerful – these things are winners. Let us be filled with love for all men and God, and we will find that life is one sweet song. Love, faith and fearlessness are the ingredients of life's great antitoxin. Try it and be blessed.

Selected.

[R3336 : page 86]

"HIS WAY IS PERFECT."

"As for God, his way is perfect: the Word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God, save the Lord? or who is a Rock, save our God?" – Psa. 18:30,31.

G
OD'S way is his plan or purpose, that which he purposes to accomplish and which he is steadily working out according to the counsel of his own will. Men also have various plans and purposes of their own which they try to work out as nearly as possible. Some men purpose to amass a fortune; some to acquire a liberal education and vastly to increase their mental capacity and power; others to gain fame and popular applause, or social or political preferment, etc., etc. But to most men the way they choose proves unsatisfactory after a brief trial, and they turn restlessly from one way to another; and even when they pursue one way to the end they realize that it has been an unprofitable way – that the end was not worthy of the strife necessary to gain it.

Then again men have their various ways or theories as to how God will or ought to accomplish the world's salvation. Some claim that it will be accomplished by a process of evolution, and that it is due to the race by right. Some of these blasphemously claim that the present degradation of the world is directly chargeable to God, who, they say, is the real author of all the sin and wickedness we see in the world – that he made men so, and is therefore bound IN JUSTICE to bring them up to a better condition. There are others who claim that God has predestinated the vast majority of mankind to eternal torment without any will or choice of their own, their doom having been unalterably sealed before they were born, while a small minority were likewise unalterably elected to eternal salvation and happiness.

But these and various other incongruous theories are only the ways of men, and have no foundation in the Word of God, except as men pervert that Word. It is a serious matter for any of God's children to accept or entertain such views of his character and plan when they are so clearly stated in his inspired Word; and [R3337 : page 86] any one who can hear our heavenly Father's character thus traduced without feeling or expressing his righteous indignation is disloyal to God and unworthy to bear the name of Christ. If we have so much regard for the friendship of those who advocate such views of God's character that we cannot reprove their course, we also rank ourselves with the enemies of the Lord, and he will surely so regard us. Such indifference to God and his Truth shows clearly that there is something wrong at heart; and sooner or later such will drift into the outer darkness unless they promptly repent and resolutely determine to make no compromises with error, and to cultivate no friendships with the enemies of the Lord.

But, "As for God, his way is perfect;" and his Word clearly sets forth his way to all the simple-minded ones who take him at his word and who have no fine-spun theories of their own to establish. In coming to God's Word it is always important to remember that our attitude should be that of the disciple and not of the teacher. Such an attitude is itself a long step in the direction of a knowledge of the Truth; for it is written that God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. (James 4:6.) If we come to his Word as reverent students, expecting to find therein the delineation of the pure and righteous character and plan of our God, that plan and character will be revealed to us; but if we come to it in a captious spirit and with impure and unholy thoughts and ambitions, we have just the kind of poor, imperfect brains that can warp and twist the Scriptures to suit our own ideas. If we put on the colored glasses of prejudice we can read God's Word as seen through them only.

And this is what the Psalmist implied when he said, "With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt show thyself upright; with the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt show thyself froward. For thou wilt save the humble people, but wilt bring down high looks." (Psa. 18:25-27.) And again we read, "A scorner seeketh wisdom and findeth it not, but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth;" and, "There [R3337 : page 87] is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." – Prov. 14:6-12.

Oh, how we need to beware of "high looks" and of the pride that goeth before destruction and of the haughty spirit that precedeth a fall! (Prov. 16:18.) For if in pride we go about to establish our own ways, and do not fully submit ourselves to the right ways of the Lord, we will surely deceive ourselves and be led away by the error of the wicked, so that God's way or plan, as viewed through the colored glasses of our ambitions and prejudices, will seem to our obscured vision as the Psalmist describes – unmerciful, impure and perverse, instead of what it really is – merciful and holy and righteous altogether. There is nothing more dangerous than pride, whether it be manifested in a love of display or in ambitions to be great or to be thought well of by others. If we are ambitious to be more generous than God, and go about to establish the idea of the absolute certainty of the everlasting salvation of every individual, when God plainly speaks to the contrary; or if we ignore God's appointed means of salvation, which is by faith in the precious blood of Christ shed for the remission of sins, and endeavor to climb up to life by some other way, and to teach others to make the same effort; or if we repudiate the doctrine of the original perfection of man, who was created in the image of God, and also that of his own free will he fell into sin and thereby incurred its just penalty – DEATH, and not eternal torment; or if we seek out any other human invention contrary to the Word of God, and go about to establish it, it is pride that is asserting itself; and if it be not promptly humbled it will surely and shortly end in complete alienation from God.

Dearly beloved, let us fear lest a promise being left us of entering into God's rest – into the rest of abiding faith in his way, his glorious plan – any of us should come short of it, and instead of calmly and confidently resting in God's way and in the blessed hope of its glorious outcome, we be left in confusion and doubt upon the whole subject.

But if you have thus far stood firmly in the faith of God's way we are persuaded better things of you; and if, with the Psalmist, you can say, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed" (Psa. 57:7); if your heart is established in love and reverence and faith in the sure Word of God, then you may also say, "For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness." (Psa. 18:28.) Yea, has it not been even so? Surely hitherto the Lord hath led us. The language of the prophet applies to all those humble and faithful ones whom the Lord has been leading – "For by thee I have run through a troop [of opposing enemies]; and by my God have I leaped over a wall" [of bondage, into the glorious liberty of a son of God]. – Psa. 18:29.

Beloved, have you been thus overcoming? have you been following the Lord's leading? have you found, and are you still abiding in the sweet rest of faith in his plan, in his way, and not your own? "As for God, his way is perfect": it is just and merciful and benevolent and wise and practicable, and sure of a glorious termination. "The Word of the Lord is tried": when fully understood it will stand the test of every argument that could be formed against it as to its justice, its wisdom, or its benevolence. Of this we are fully assured by our Lord, who prophetically declared that the testimony of those who come to a full knowledge of God's plan will be – "Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." – Rev. 15:3.

"The Lord is a buckler [a defense] to all those that trust in him; for who is God [is mighty] save the Lord? or who is a rock [a safe anchorage to our souls] save our God?" There is no other one to whom we may anchor our faith and hope; but securely anchored to him we may trust and not be afraid, and may sweetly rest under the shadow of his wing. "The Lord liveth; and blessed be our rock; and let the Lord of our salvation be exalted." – Psa. 18:46.

[R3337 : page 87]

"CHRIST BROUGHT LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT THROUGH THE GOSPEL."
MARK 7:24-37. – APRIL 3. –

Golden Text: – "Without faith it is impossible to please him." – Heb. 11:6.

W
ITH this lesson we start a new quarter in studies of the earthly life of Christ. Since it falls on what is generally observed as Easter Sunday, those who have arranged the lessons suggest, without breaking the narrative of Christ's ministry, that this lesson be treated from the resurrection standpoint. The thought is a good one, especially for those whose eyes of understanding have been opened to some realization of the glorious things of the Millennial Kingdom, for which the whole creation is groaning and waiting. These and not others can properly get a connection between our Lord's miracles and the resurrection life of the Millennial age.
LIFE-RIGHTS FOR THE WORLD SECURED BY THE PRECIOUS BLOOD.

From this standpoint we perceive that while our Lord Jesus came into the world to die on man's behalf, to redeem Adam and his race from the sentence of sin – [R3337 : page 88] namely, death – he did, additionally, two other important works. The redemptive work was the principal one, without which there could be no future life of any kind. The laying down of life daily until the sacrifice was finished at Calvary may, therefore, be designated the principal or foundation work accomplished by our Lord. Without that nothing else could have been of any avail, but on that foundation the other two works could proceed. The Apostle declares that the Lord brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. This means that no clear and definite hope respecting eternal life had ever previously been given to any one – even to the Jews. While other nations were without God, having no hope, the Jews did have a sufficiency of divine revelation to inspire a hope in the resurrection; though the philosophy of it – how God could be just and yet release those whom he had justly sentenced to death – they could not see, because it was not time, and therefore was not yet revealed.

Christ brought LIFE to light by explaining to those who had ears to hear that he had come into the world to "give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45.) He explained further that the time would come when all in their graves should hear his voice in kingly authority, and awaken from the sleep of death – come forth from the prison house of the tomb. The people even then might have wondered what advantage there would be in such a release from the tomb if they would still be subject to the pains and aches and demon oppositions of the present time. Our Lord fortified the testimonies of the prophets respecting the Millennial age, which they declared would be a period of universal blessing, with nothing to hurt or destroy in all the holy Kingdom. He showed how this could be by the various miracles which he performed; for he not only preached the Kingdom of God, taught his disciples to look forward to it and to pray for its coming and blessing and power, but in the various miracles which he performed he illustrated that its powers would prevail amongst men for their blessing.

He healed all manner of diseases and cast out demons, and thus gave evidence that in God's due time, as the great Physician, he will be armed with the abundant [R3338 : page 88] power which will completely restrain Satan and all the fallen angels from all work of evil in respect to the human family, and when he will lift up the poor, the lame, the deaf, the blind, the dumb, out of their present tribulation. And moreover, this temporary release which he brought to those who by faith accepted his favor, illustrated still higher blessings, labors and privileges – the opening of the eyes of the understanding, the curing of the leprosy of sin, the returning of the withered powers, as well as the awakening of the dead – that all might see and hear and know of the righteousness which God approves and of the life everlasting which will be its reward, and that all might be helped out of the present bondage to sin and imperfection, etc., into the full liberty of the sons of God. Thus the Lord brought life – everlasting life – to the view, to the knowledge, of those who hear his message of the Kingdom and the blessings to flow from it.

IMMORTALITY OR DIVINE NATURE ONLY FOR THE ELECT.

He brought IMMORTALITY to light also. In addition to everlasting life for the world, he opened up a way by which a special class of footstep-followers might share with himself the glory, honor and immortality of the divine nature. The world in general was not expected to understand or appreciate this. On the contrary, the natural eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which God hath in reservation for them who love him – for the New Creatures – for those who are begotten of the holy Spirit, and that make their calling and election sure to joint-heirship with him in the Kingdom.

Our Lord's ministry and teachings can only be rightly appreciated when viewed from these three standpoints: – (1) His own sacrifice as the redemption price for Adam and his race – laying down his life day by day until he cried, "It is finished." (2) His general teachings – which in due time will be applicable to the whole world – respecting the outcome of the redemptive work, the reconciliation of the world to God, the complete forgiveness of the world's sins, the great trial or judgment or opportunity then to come to the world through the Kingdom which the Redeemer, as the Mediator between God and man, will establish for the deliverance of mankind from the adverse conditions within and without, and for the assistance of all who desire to return to harmony with the Creator. (3) The call to special discipleship, to walking in the narrow way, to be baptized with the baptism of death that he was baptized with – and thus by divine grace through this arrangement to be fitted and prepared for a share in the heavenly Kingdom – to sit with Christ in his throne, and participate in the dispensing of all the wonderful blessings of the Millennium to all the families of the earth.

It is with this thought that we follow the lesson before us. Jesus and his disciples, after the feeding of the five thousand and the stormy night upon the sea of Galilee, spent some time in Capernaum. There the Lord gave the sermon which illustrated that his hearers should think less about the loaves and fishes which he had given them, and should appreciate more the higher things. They should recognize him as the Bread of Life that came down from heaven; they should feed upon his words and thus gain life everlasting. The time had not yet come, however, for the general dispensing of this life everlasting – that work belongs to [R3338 : page 89] the Millennial age. He therefore was seeking specially for such as were particularly hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Of this class were the apostles, whom he was now training for the future work which he would accomplish through them after the new dispensation, to begin at Pentecost.

GOD'S FAVORS FOR HIS CONSECRATED PEOPLE.

With his disciples our Lord traveled north-westward to the borders of the country called Tyre and Sidon, so named because of the prominent cities by these names which were there situated. He did not announce himself publicly to the people there, but his presence soon became known, showing that the fame of his miracles and teachings had spread throughout the whole of Palestine. A Canaanitish woman living as a Greek was amongst the first to hear of his presence, and coming before him she cried or wailed for assistance for her daughter. Our Lord on this occasion acted very differently from his custom, and doubtless for the purpose of imparting a lesson. Although usually so prompt to hear and to sympathize and to heal, on this occasion he paid no attention to the woman, according to Matthew's account, who tells us that the disciples came to the Lord and urged him to send her away – either grant her request and send her away or refuse her request and authorize her expulsion.

The poor woman's importunities were not for herself but for her daughter, who was possessed of a demon, an unclean spirit; and, so far as we have any knowledge, most of these fallen spirits, demons, are unclean, depraved, and their influence upon those possessed by them is an unclean, injurious one. Sometimes they do indeed simulate purity, and on numerous occasions we have heard of their attempts to personate holy ones – even the Lord; nevertheless the whole tendency of these evil spirits seems to be toward impurity of thought and conduct on the part of those possessed and through them upon others.

Finally, in answer to the woman's cries and to the expostulations of the disciples, our Lord did speak, but very differently from his usual message. He merely intimated to the woman that his miracles and services were not intended for the world in general but for God's covenanted people, the Jews. He followed the Jewish custom of the time, of speaking of the Gentiles as dogs, yet he modified the matter, for instead of using the word which would signify the detestable brutes which infest the Orient and are the scavengers of the streets, he used another word signifying the little or pet dogs of the family. The woman, strong in her faith in the Lord's power, was equal to turning the unfavorable answer to her own benefit, and to urge that as the little pet dogs got some of the surplus from the table of the children, so she as an outsider might be granted some of the Lord's favors without in any degree working disadvantage to the Jews, to whom our Lord's ministry was specially sent and given.

WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM.

This shows the earnestness and faith of the woman. Such an exhibit would surely be pleasing to the Lord. Indeed we can see in our own experiences as Christians that many of the Lord's dealings with us are along the lines of developing and testing of our faith. He is good and gracious of heart, however we may have misunderstood him in the past, and however his character and plan may have been maligned and misrepresented by the Adversary. It is impossible for us to come near to the Lord except as we shall exercise faith and trust in him, in his goodness, in his power, in his wisdom, in his love. All things are possible, only believe – is the lesson which the spiritual Israelite of today needs continually to learn, as the apostles of old prayed, "Lord, increase our faith." Along this line it were well that we should pray, and that we should seek continually to accept the lessons of life from this standpoint – as lessons or instructions in faith. We are not in this ignoring the necessity of obedience to the divine Word, but are holding that wherever faith exists the works will correspond to it and be proportionately large or small. Hence the stronger our faith, the more our works are sure to be under the divine arrangement. Our Golden Text well says that without faith it is impossible to be pleasing to the Lord.

Faith is a matter of cultivation, of development. The same apostles who cried out in terror when the storm was upon the Sea of Galilee gradually grew stronger and stronger in faith until, as the records show, they could and did trust the Lord in his absence and where they could not trace him. Similarly it should be a part of our daily lesson to cultivate trust in the Lord, and to think of the experiences in the past in our lives and all of these lessons in his Word, that thus our faith in him may become rooted and grounded.

FAITH REWARDED AFTER BEING TESTED.

The Lord said unto her, "O, woman, great is thyfaith." (Matthew.) Her faith was strong in its love for her daughter, in its perseverance and persistency, in its humility, recognizing matters just as the Lord recognized them, and not according to the general sentiments of the Greeks and Gentiles – that the Jews were merely pretentious and not more in divine favor than other peoples. It was strong in overcoming great obstacles, – even our Lord's apparent repulsion. We would not consider this heathen woman's conduct to be in every sense of the word a pattern for the Lord's consecrated and enlightened people. The strength of faith is the only one that we should copy. As for us who have become the Lord's people, and are no longer strangers, [R3338 : page 90] foreigners, dogs, but children adopted into the Father's family and recognized by the Lord as "brethren," it would be no longer appropriate that we should cry or entreat or beseech in any wise for things which the Lord is not pleased to give us.

The Master himself represented the difference between the things which the Gentiles might do and the things which we as his disciples might do, saying that our petitions and seeking should not merely be for the bread that perisheth, for after such things do the Gentiles seek – merely the earthly things and with importunity; but seek ye first, chiefly, the Kingdom of God and the righteousness which is appropriate thereto, and all these things of an earthly kind will be added unto you – in such measure as will be for your best interests. Our petitions, our requests, our cries to the Lord, therefore, should be for the holiness of heart, for the filling of his Spirit, for the spiritual food, refreshment, strength; and as for the natural things, he knoweth the way we take and what would be to our best interests as New Creatures. We are to leave this to him: he would not be pleased to see us importuning him for things [R3339 : page 90] which he did not give us, for to do so would not be an exemplification of faith in him, but the reverse – an exemplification of doubt, a manifestation of fear, that he was forgetting or neglecting his promise to give us the things needful.

Our Lord informed the woman that the faith manifested in her saying was sufficient, that her request was granted, that the demon was gone from her daughter. The woman's faith was further manifested by her immediate withdrawal. She took the Lord's word implicitly; if he were what he claimed and had the power that she believed, he would not lie to her. Many of the Lord's people today seem to lack faith along these lines – to have less than this poor heathen woman. Many of them hear the Lord's word assuring them that those who come to him have their sins forgiven, yet Little Faith bids them doubt and keep on bemoaning their sins and requesting forgiveness, which the Lord has assured them would be accomplished from the time of their acceptance of it. They fail to exercise the faith and they fail proportionately of the blessing and peace and joy.

So far as the record goes our Lord did nothing in that quarter except for this poor woman, and the spiritual lessons connected with it were evidently less for her than for the disciples, for we have no record that he taught her or taught anyone of that vicinity. Departing thence, our Lord took an easterly course along the northern borders of Palestine, and crossing the river Jordan began to come southward toward the Sea of Galilee. Matthew says that he made a stop in the mountain, and that a great multitude brought their sick to him; the lame, blind, dumb, maimed and many others they led to Jesus' feet and he healed them, and the multitude wondered and glorified the God of Israel.

Our lesson gives one particular instance from this multitude of healings. A man who was both deaf and dumb was brought to Jesus, and his treatment was peculiar; the Lord took him apart privately, perhaps to impress upon him the lesson. The man could not hear, and hence the Lord imparted the lesson through signs, touching his tongue and touching his ears, and then with a sigh he glanced heavenward, as indicating that the sympathy of heaven was moved for the man's assistance, and immediately the blessing came and he was healed. This may have been the first miracle in that region, and possibly the multitude coming, as Matthew records, were attracted by it. Our Lord's injunction that it should be kept quiet seems to have been understood, not as a command, but rather as a suggestion that he was not seeking publicity. Nevertheless, when the faith was manifested and the poor afflicted ones were before him the Lord never refused to give the blessing. Thus we are taught that when the due time shall come for the blessing of all the families of the earth, the Lord will not withhold a blessing from any; all who desire to be blessed may then have his favor.

BLESSED ARE OUR EYES AND EARS OF UNDERSTANDING.

As New Creatures who have already in a figurative sense risen with Christ to walk in newness of life, to walk in his footsteps, we have our eyes opened and our ears unstopped and our tongues loosed, so that we may not only see and enjoy the grace of God ourselves, but we may speak of his goodness and love to others. In many respects those to whom the Lord grants the special knowledge of the Truth in this present time have a suggestion that it is not for everybody, that we are to be discriminating in our endeavors to dispense the Truth, and that some of these great blessings of the Lord which are to us like pearls are not meant for all; that we should not cast our pearls before swine, or before those who manifest no disposition to know of or receive the Lord's favors. But with us, as with the healed one in this lesson, the message is too good to keep; we love to tell the story, it did so much for us; we desire that all who are blind and deaf may come to the great Physician and be healed; we desire that all who are stammering in their endeavors to tell the good tidings may have their lips touched by the Master and henceforth speak plainly the glorious things of the Gospel of Christ. And as the Master would not reprove this one in the lesson, neither does he reprove us if in our zeal we go sometimes to the extreme of trying to tell the good tidings to those who have no ear to hear, or endeavor to make disciples of those who are swinish and not at all inclined to spiritual things, or of following the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. [R3339 : page 91]

The heart of this lesson is that we who are risen with Christ in the spirit of our minds should walk in newness of life while still in this mortal body and still amongst men; that we should look forward to the glorious change of the First Resurrection, when we shall be actually in the Lord's likeness and see him as he is, sharing his glory and participating with him in dispensing all these blessings of life and healing to whosoever will accept these favors in the glorious Kingdom time which we rejoice to know is near at hand.

[R3339 : page 91]

"WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST?"
MARK 8:27-38. – APRIL 10. –

Golden Text: – "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." – Matt. 16:16.

I
T was probably toward the close of the third year of our Lord's ministry that the incidents of this lesson transpired. In all this time of now three years from the beginning of John's ministry, we have no record that either John or Jesus had publicly proclaimed the Messiahship of the latter. There was wisdom in this. When we remember the expectations of the Jews for eighteen centuries, that the coming of the Messiah was to be the great event for their nation and for the world, and that his Kingdom was to accomplish the blessing of all the families of the earth, we can readily see that their ideas of the glories connected with this heavenly King were such that had Jesus announced himself the Messiah at the beginning of his ministry, the effect would have been disappointment to the degree of disgust. Without political or social influence, without wealth or name or fame as a leader and commander of the people, or a general of armies, he would have been regarded as mentally unbalanced to have made such a claim.

He merely took the position of a religious teacher with whom divine power was specially present, divine power manifested in the dignity of his manner, the grace of his lips, the authority of his teaching, and his wonderful works – healing diseases, casting out devils, walking upon the water, stilling the storm, etc. It would appear that John the Baptist knew more than anyone else respecting our Lord's mission. This is indicated by the sending of the query to Jesus, "Art thou he that should come, or look we for another?" John's knowledge apparently came less through Jesus than through the spirit of prophecy, which indicated to him that the one upon whom he saw the holy Spirit descend was the special ambassador of Jehovah. Even John's faith was staggered by the absence of the glory and prosperity he had anticipated for Jesus. What, therefore, the sentiment of the masses would have been, had Jesus been publicly proclaimed the Messiah, we can readily imagine.

BE YE WISE AS SERPENTS, HARMLESS AS DOVES.

But now, after his disciples had been intimately associated with him for three years, and after John the Baptist had been dead for a year, the time had come for Jesus to prepare the disciples for the ignominy and death which he knew to be in store for him. But even then the matter was approached in a wise and careful manner. O, that all of the Lord's dear people could learn the value of wisdom in connection with their endeavors to serve the Truth! Our Lord not only taught us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, but he exemplified this lesson in his own course, saying on another occasion to the apostles, "I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now." We, too, should learn that there are opportune and inopportune times for mentioning certain truths, and that there are wise and unwise methods of presenting them. It is not enough that we do not speak untruths, it is not enough that we speak the truth; additionally we should see to it that we speak the truth in love, and love that is trained uses wisdom that it may accomplish the more good.

Our Lord would draw out the apostles and seek to crystalize in their minds the thought which he knew already was forming or formed. Leading up to his intention he inquired respecting the general voice of the people as to who he was. The answer that some thought him John the Baptist risen from the dead, and others thought him Jeremiah or one of the other great prophets risen from the dead (Matthew's account), showed that the public mind was being exercised – was noting that he was not an impostor. As we read later on, some of the people were ready to inquire, "When Messiah cometh, will he do greater works than this man does?" All of these sentiments indicated the wisdom of the course pursued by our Lord, and that it was taking effect – that instead of being ridiculed, he was respected by the people, some of whom even thought to take him by force to make him their King.

Now the Lord addressed his disciples as implying that they were separated in his mind from the rest of the people, and should have a clearer knowledge of him than others, and his question is. "Whom say ye that I am?" – with the intimate acquaintance that you have had, what is your opinion? Peter, probably the eldest of the disciples, and in general a leader and spokesman amongst them, answered for them all, – "Thou art the Christ [God's Anointed One: Hebrew, the Messiah], the Son of the living God." This answer proved that Jesus [R3340 : page 92] had rightly judged that the time was ripe for such a confession of him amongst his apostles, and for the first time he intimated to them that their surmises on the subject were correct – that he was more than Elijah, Jeremiah, or any of the prophets – that he was the long-promised Messiah.

THE HUMILITY OF OUR LORD.

Our Lord's answer, given in another account, distinctly acknowledges the correctness of Peter's statement, and declares that flesh and blood had not revealed it unto Peter, but the Father in heaven. We are struck with the modesty of our Lord Jesus in respect to this proclamation of himself as the great Messenger of the Covenant. How beautiful a lowly mind is! and if it was beautiful and appropriate in our Lord, how much more appropriate it is for us who are his followers and who have nothing of ourselves – nothing that we have not received through him. How appropriate the Apostle's words, when, after speaking of how Jesus humbled himself to become a man, and to be obedient unto death, he exhorted us saying, "Humble YOURSELVES, therefore, brethren, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." Indeed, we may be sure that none will share with the Lord in his exaltation who do not learn at heart this lesson of humility. "The Lord abhorreth the proud but giveth grace to the humble."

Jesus charged his disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Messiah. This was an item of truth intended only for themselves as yet; and to have proclaimed it in a general way might have created more or less of insurrection, and might have hindered the carrying out of the divine arrangement respecting his ignominious death. They could still proclaim the Kingdom of heaven at hand, they could still speak of Jesus as the great Teacher and man, they could still wonder as to whom he might be; but the proper time for making him known as the Messiah would be after he had finished the work of sacrifice which the Father had given him to do. Indeed he could not be the Messiah except by accomplishing this work. He must purchase the world of mankind before he could become its Lord and Life-giver, its Restorer, its Messiah.

Now for the first time Jesus began to teach his disciples to expect his ignominious rejection by the Jews, his ultimate death, and his resurrection on the third day. Matthew's account makes this still more explicit, saying, "From that time he began to teach them these things." What a sifting, what a testing of the hearts of his apostles, and yet how wisely it was done! They must be prepared in advance for his shameful death, else it would prove such a shock to their faith that they could not recover from it, neither believe in his resurrection. But now, after nearly three years of experiences, and when they had just confessed him to be the Messiah, and by so confessing had crystalized the thought in their own minds, it must have been a severe blow to all their hopes and aspirations to be told of his ignominious death. How could he be the Messiah, and yet suffer death at the hands of his enemies? How could he bless all the families of the earth, and yet be put to death as a malefactor?

These things must at first have appealed to them as inconsistent; but all the more the announcement would prepare their hearts for the explanation of the Scriptures which Jesus was ready to impart. The statement that he began to tell them about his coming death implies that thereafter this was frequently a subject for discussion and consideration between him and them. The same Lord, with no less wisdom, is still guiding in the affairs of his Church, and still teaches us line upon line, precept upon precept, as we are able to bear the Truth, and our preparedness for it will be proportionate to our nearness and fellowship with him. It is worthy of note, also, that the deep things of the divine plan are revealed to us only as we have confessed Christ. To this class it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom which are withheld from others. Only if we have fully confessed Christ are we granted a knowledge of the fact that all who would be his disciples must take up their cross to follow him, must suffer with him if they would reign with him, must be dead with him if they would live with him.

SLOW TO SPEAK AND SWIFT TO HEAR THE GREAT TEACHER.

Our Lord uttered this statement respecting his rejection and death openly – before the entire twelve apostles; but Peter, possibly elated by our Lord's words of commendation that the Father had revealed the matter to him, took our Lord aside privately to whisper to him that such sentiments should not be introduced nor expressed before the apostles – that it would be discouraging to them all, and that anyway there was certainly a mistake about the matter, for such things could never happen to him – must not happen; he must so order his speech and his conduct that these things would not happen. He must not violently antagonize the chief priests or elders, to thus lead them to conspire for his death. Allowance must be made for Peter, in that he was not only the eldest of the apostles, but quite a good deal older than our Lord, and that he was of a very ardent disposition, strong and impulsive. However, Jesus – who had a few moments before commended Peter for his appreciation of the fact of his Messiahship – now rebuked him, not privately, but in the presence of all the apostles. He probably knew that this would be the best method of correcting Peter's sentiments, which, should they spread amongst the apostles, would be very injurious to them all. Hence, [R3340 : page 93] our Lord's rebuke was pointed, sharp, and made known to all the apostles. He said, Get thee behind me, Satan – adversary; thy words are not in accordance with divine wisdom, but in accord with human wisdom. We are not to understand that Peter was turned into Satan, nor that Satan got possession of him, but rather in taking such a position he was becoming an opponent of the divine arrangement, as Satan was and still is.

There is a great lesson in this for us. Even though we be the Lord's disciples, and honored ones at that, we might very easily reach such a position as would be antagonistic to the divine arrangement and thus put ourselves unintentionally on the side of Satan, and become his ministers or servants. Our Lord emphasized this again on another occasion, saying, "His servants ye are to whom ye render service." It is not enough that we have named the name of Christ and have placed ourselves under his banner, and called ourselves by his name, and rejoiced to be accounted his servants; it is necessary that we see to it that we are rendering him service, and that our energies are not being spent in opposition to him and really in cooperation with the Adversary.

It is our opinion that a great many are in this very position today. Unwittingly they are on the Adversary's side of many questions connected with Churchianity and sectarianism, and especially does this seem true of many ministers in the nominal Church. We may assume that some of them, at least, have made a full consecration to the Lord, yet as a whole they are standing in opposition to the Truth – supporting the errors of the dark ages and helping to blind and mislead the people. Let us each be careful, let us each see to it that we be not disposed as Peter was to be wiser than the Lord, and to attempt to tell him how matters should be conducted. In everything connected with the Lord and his service, let us, as the Apostle exhorts, be slow to speak and swift to hear and to obey the divine plan.

THE MILK OF THE WORD – THEN ITS STRONG MEAT.

The foregoing special lessons were to the apostles apart from the multitude; but later on Jesus began to teach the multitude as well as his disciples some of the deep things pertaining to his mission and the conditions upon which any might become his disciples. There is a lesson in this also for us: We are not to put tests of discipleship to the forefront in the preaching of the Gospel. We are not to meet inquirers with the announcements of the "straight gate and narrow way" and the lessons of self-sacrifice, as they come to us to hear something about the Gospel of God's dear Son. There are primary lessons for them to learn first. They should be instructed respecting the goodness, love and mercy of God, respecting the redemption accomplished through the blood of Jesus and that it is free and for all, respecting the glorious times of restitution which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, and respecting the call of this Gospel age to association in the Kingdom. They should know these things with considerable clearness before being informed of the cost – the self-sacrifice even unto death which is the price of joint-heirship in the Kingdom. This appears to have been the Lord's method, and we cannot do more wisely than follow it.

The time had come when not only the twelve apostles but all of the people, who were deeply impressed with the teachings of Jesus, should know what it meant to be his followers. In other words, a time of sifting had come – the time for presenting doctrines that would shake off, sift out, from close sympathy, fellowship and discipleship, all except the Israelites in whom there was no guile. We remember that while there were thousands who attended the Lord's ministry and were miraculously fed by him – amongst all the thousands upon thousands who heard him and profited by his healing, his teaching, and the wonderful words which proceeded out of his mouth, only "about five hundred brethren" (I Cor. 15:6), true disciples, remained faithful to the end. The remainder were all sifted out by such teachings as these that were now for the first time promulgated.

The substance of these discourses is briefly stated to have been that, if any man would be the Lord's follower or disciple, he must practice self-denial and cross-bearing. Of course these words are used in a figurative sense: they signify that all who will be the Lord's disciples and share his Kingdom and glories, will be tested in faith and obedience to such an extent that they will fall out by the way unless their faith and interest are so deep as to lead them to ignore themselves, their own earthly interests, pleasures, appetites, and to seek chiefly for this joint-heirship with the Master in [R3341 : page 93] the Kingdom. They must regard the pearl of great price as worth more than all else, so that they will be willing to dispose of, to give in exchange for it, every earthly interest and thing – houses or lands, parents or children, the love and esteem of friends and neighbors – choose obedience to the divine arrangement at any cost, else they will not be worthy of the Kingdom. They must count upon such crossbearing, such a crossing of their own wills, submission to the divine will.

CHOOSING BETWEEN GOD AND MAMMON.

Emphasizing this lesson, the Lord says that it amounts to a question as to whether we love the present or the future life. He who sets great store by the present life, in whose heart the joys promised in association and joint-heirship with our Lord in the life to come does not overbalance present interests and hopes and aims, that person would lose the life which the Lord [R3341 : page 94] was proposing to give to his disciples – the life eternal, in the Kingdom, with "glory, honor and immortality." While our Lord used these words particularly in reference to the elect class which he is seeking as joint-heirs in the Kingdom, and therefore particularly in respect to immortal life of the Kingdom class, nevertheless there is a large sense and degree in which his words will always be applicable to all men – in the next, the Millennial age, as well as in the present age. Whoever will attain eternal life, either as member of the Church which is being elected now or as members of the restitution class which will be developed during the Millennial age, can only have the eternal life by a full submission of himself and every interest to the will of the Lord. Whoever self-willedly refuses such complete submission will thus prove himself unworthy of eternal life on any plane, for the terms of life-eternal are full obedience to the divine will.

From this standpoint the force of our Lord's words is manifest: it would profit no man if he should succeed selfishly in gaining the whole world, and as a result of that selfish will, which is opposed to the divine will and its law of love, bring upon himself the utter destruction of the Second Death. What would compensate a man for the loss of his soul – his existence? Assuredly nothing would compensate, for without existence there could be no possession or pleasure.

The lesson then is that if we are granted hearing ears and understanding hearts in this present time, and a knowledge of the exceeding great and precious things which God is offering during this Gospel age, we would be without excuse before the Lord if we were to despise his offers and selfishly choose self-control and a share in the world rather than joyful submission to the divine will and a participation in the sufferings of the present time and the glories which shall follow when, as members of the Kingdom, it will be our privilege to participate in the showering upon the world of the blessings secured by our dear Redeemer's sacrifice. (Gal. 3:29.) Similarly, those who will live during the Millennial age, after the present offer of the Kingdom shall have been withdrawn, and when the offer of restitution will be made to every creature, those who then selfishly refuse to submit their wills to the Lord's will fail to make progress in the highway of holiness toward perfection, and instead of gaining life eternal they will fail and fall into the Second Death. In other words, there will never be any other way of attaining life than a full renouncement of every selfish aim, object and desire, and the full acceptance of the divine will.

A SAVOR OF LIFE UNTO LIFE OR OF DEATH UNTO DEATH.

Our Lord sums up this lesson respecting the necessity for self-denial and cross-bearing by showing what it would really mean – that to confess him and the great truths of the divine plan for which he stands as the representative, would surely mean at the present time to bring upon one's self the opprobrium of the world, for whosoever will live godly in this life shall suffer persecution. To live godly will mean not only to abstain from crimes, but to live up to the light which God gives us, to be faithful to the principles of truth and of righteousness. Those who are blinded by the god of this world so that they do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, the sin-bearer and coming King, are proportionately irresponsible at the present time. Their responsibility will come when this knowledge reaches them, and ultimately the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth.

The time, therefore, will come when they will be responsible, and when the Truth will be to them either a savor of life unto life everlasting, or a savor of death unto death everlasting – the Second Death. But those who know the Truth, and who allow shame to hinder them from espousing it, may be sure that they are not disciples of Christ, that they cannot share in the life which he is now holding out as the reward of the overcomers – immortal life. All those who will be acknowledged before the Father and before the holy angels at our Lord's second advent will have proved so loyal to the Lord and to the principles of righteousness that he will take pleasure in acknowledging them, and the Father will also acknowledge them as being copies of his dear Son, their Lord.

The Lord has given us examples of those who are bartering the glorious hopes and opportunities of participating in the Kingdom for the things of this life. The type in the Old Testament mentioned by the Apostle Paul is that of Esau, who for a mess of pottage sold his birthright. Foolish as was that transaction, it was only a type: much more foolish is it for those who are now having the opportunity by the Lord's grace of becoming joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus, in the glory, honor and immortality of the Kingdom, to lose all these privileges and advantages and favors – to trade them, as it were, for a mess of pottage – for a more favorable condition in this present life, for greater honor amongst men, or for wealth, or for the affection and sympathy of husband or wife, parents or children. The prize is of so great value that nothing is comparable to it.

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INTERESTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED.

Question. – Why did the Jews ask the question recorded in John 1:25, evidently surmising that Christ would do a baptizing work?

Answer. – They recognized that John was doing a great work in reformation outside the nominal church system of their day, and they assumed him to be a messenger of God; and as all were in expectation of Messiah and of an Elias to precede him, [R3341 : page 95] they inquired of John as to the matter; and when he very humbly disowned any great authority or position, they raised the question of your text, which implies: If you are a person of no special authority, neither the Messiah himself, nor his forerunner, nor a special prophet, why do you start in to do a special reformatory work, and introduce as a symbol of cleansing this baptism, which is known as John's baptism, and wholly without precedent among the Jews?

Question. – What hope will there be for the progeny of the fallen angels? (Gen. 6:1-4.) Have we any reason to hope that they share in the redemption accomplished by our Lord, or that they will be participators in any measure in the restitution and resurrection processes of the Millennial age? If not, why not? Would they not stand related to the human family in much the same way as our Lord Jesus stood related to the same through the mother and not through the father? Would not this seem to imply that they should be sharers, therefore, in the redemption and restitution?

Answer. – You will find this subject very fully treated in DAWN, Vol. V. See Chapter 4, on "The Undefiled One," and page 115, respecting the Nephilim, children of the fallen angels by the daughters of men. In connection with the fuller treatise on this subject we link the two together as your question does, and repeat that we find no hope for these Nephilim, since they were not of Adamic stock. We call your attention to the fact that our Lord Jesus, not being of Adamic stock, was not a sharer in its condemnation and curse, and hence, similarly, would not have been a sharer in its blessings. We are to remember that the way in which he profits our race is not by being one of us in sin and imperfection, but because he was not one of us he was able to give his separate and uncontaminated existence as our ransom-price. The blessing upon Adam and his family, coming, as it will, through Jesus, as its purchaser, who gave himself instead of Adam, thus redeemed him and all who were in him at the time of his transgression and condemnation. This clear-cut distinction most positively shows us that the fallen angels and their progeny were in no sense of the word Adamic stock, and, hence, were in no sense of the word covered by the ransom.

Please consider a few questions along the line of practical life. (1) Is it sinful to compose or sing secular songs?

Answer. – We would not consider it sinful to compose secular songs so long as the moral tone of them would be good and helpful to mankind. We are to use our talents in the highest and best manner known to us. In respect to attending theatres of high class: We think that very generally this question may be decided by the aid of the following questions: (a) Have I the means to spend in this manner, and is it the best use I can make of those means to the Lord's glory? (b) Would my influence be helpful to others if thus spent? (c) Could I make a better use of my time – to make it more beneficial to myself or to others in personal upbuilding?

(2) Is levity improper in Christian life? Answer. – The Apostle urges us to sobriety. This, however, need not mean moroseness of disposition, conduct, language, etc., but rather earnestness. We [R3342 : page 95] have as Christians undertaken a great contract – a death-contract as regards the flesh; and levity is not to be very much expected in such a funeral, and especially not from the corpse. We may say, however, that we differ constitutionally; and while the Lord has said, "Blessed are those who weep," he certainly has not forbidden us to laugh. Quite probably, experience tends to bring sobriety, and sobriety is, generally speaking, the most proper condition for the representatives or ambassadors of the great King.

(3) Is it sinful to dress well? Answer. – It is not sinful; but many things that are not sinful are still not expedient. We are to consider ourselves stewards of the Lord's means, and whether or not he would approve of rich and extravagant clothing. We are to consider, secondly, whether or not such clothing would be helpful to us in our influence in favor of the Truth. We are to consider whether or not such dressing would be calculated to have a very good influence or a very bad influence on those who cannot afford rich clothing. These things would seem to indicate modesty and simplicity, yet they need not signify coarseness nor carelessness nor mean appearance.

(4) Is dancing improper? Answer. – Not in itself. That is to say, the mere exercise of dancing might in some respects be beneficial, especially if gentlemen danced with gentlemen and ladies with ladies. But with such limitations we fancy that dancing would lose much of its charm. We reason, therefore, that its charm is not morally helpful and that Christians would do well to avoid it, and to take their exercise in some other manner, better calculated to stir up heart purity.

(5) Is it wrong to eat meat? Answer. – The eating of meat is not sinful, if the meat be honestly obtained and of good quality and healthful to the system. Our Lord ate meat during his ministry and also, on two occasions, at least, after his resurrection. This is a sufficient answer to those who claim that the eating of meat is sinful. "In him was no sin."