page 97
April 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. XXVI.APRIL 1, 1905.No. 7
CONTENTS.
The Heavens Rolling Together 99
Trades Unions and Religious Divisions 100
The Pope's Expression on the Subject 100
"Kaiser and Pope" 101
A Catholic Critic's View 102
Perfume Very Precious 103
Jesus in Social Life 103
"She Hath Done What She Could" 104
Honor to Members – Honor to Head 105
Let Us Do It Now 106
Humility and Meekness – Bible Study for April 107
"Hosanna in the Highest" 108
The Time of Their Visitation 109
Spiritual Israel's Antitype 110
Terms of Discipleship 111

'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 98

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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[R3534 : page 98]

THE NEW EDITION A LITTLE BEAUTY.

Friends having made request for DAWN Volumes split up into several parts for convenience in carrying in the pocket for reading on the cars, etc., we tried that plan, but the appearance was not satisfactory. We conceived the idea of an edition of DAWN on India paper and have gotten out an edition of Volume I. that is a beauty. These are bound in flexible leather, red under gold edges, 1/4 inch thick. Cost price, including postage, 68 cents. We have not placed orders for other volumes, waiting to ascertain what demand may spring up after Vol. I. has been seen. If published, Vols. II. and III. would cost the same money, and Vols. IV., V. and VI. would cost about 75c each. When ordering, specify "India paper, Vol. I." Foreign readers may order through Branches and books will be sent from here.

ABOUT VOLUNTEER MATTER.

Order for Volunteer matter should be in our hands before May 1st. Select your Captains and Lieutenants at once. Say how many copies you think you can use. Order too few rather than too many: more can be ordered later. We will fill a part of your order soon as possible and the remainder afterward.

VOLUNTEERING BY MAIL.

Our output of tracts free as sample copies is limited. This year please follow this plan: Procure wrapping paper of the size in which your tracts go to you, write on these the addresses of all of your friends and acquaintances of the godly sort and mail the bundle to us. Do not this year send us "all sorts" of addresses. Do "sharp shooting" rather. You may repeat the lists every quarter if you desire, indicating other tracts for same, as we would not remember which were previously sent.

[R3531 : page 99]

THE HEAVENS ROLLING TOGETHER.
D
URING the past twenty-five years we have several times called attention to the Scriptures which speak of the Day of the Lord and declare that in it the "heavens shall roll together like a scroll." (Isa. 34:4.) We have pointed out that this means a coming together of the extremes of Christianity, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Other Scriptures show us that the consolidation, federation and unification of Protestants is now in order. This is already well under way and constitutes in the symbolic book of Revelation the "image of the beast" – the symbolic beast itself represented by Papacy. We might here remark that nothing in this word "beast" is specially derogatory or invidious – neither in our use of the word nor in the Scriptural use. Throughout the Scriptures, in the symbolisms of Daniel and the Apocalypse, beasts are freely used as symbols for nations, governments, earthly powers, though never used as representing the divine power – the true Church, the true Kingdom, which shall ultimately prevail.

We have already pointed out a general organization of "the image of the beast" effected in 1846, and are waiting for what in the symbol is referred to as the "giving of life to the image." This life, or vital energy, which the image is to receive shortly, comes from what is described as the two-horned beast, which in our understanding is the Church of England and Ireland. Our expectations, as heretofore set forth in these columns, are that after the federative influences already begun in Protestantism shall have knit the joints and members the more closely the one to the other, the entire federation of Protestants will receive some kind of Episcopal sanction, recognition, or ordination through the Episcopal system, and that thenceforth Protestantism the world over will assume a more active and dogmatic influence in the civil and political affairs of Christendom, cooperating with Roman Catholicism as a sister institution.

These are the two extremes of the heavens or ecclesiastical powers of the present time, and our Lord's declaration that they shall be rolled together as a scroll signifies, not that they will ever become one roll, but, remaining two rolls, will be drawn together by mutual interest and necessity for cooperation. These things must be expected before the outbreak of the great tribulation, which will eventuate in the symbolical burning or destruction not only of the present social structure represented as the earth, but the burning and consuming also of the symbolical heavens rolled together as a scroll. That dreadful anarchy, which will destroy everything of our present conditions and civilization, will in so doing prepare the way for the establishment of the heavenly Kingdom. In view of these things the Lord [R3532 : page 99] bids us, even with such terrible calamities before us, to lift up our heads and rejoice, knowing that our deliverance draweth nigh, and knowing too that our deliverance, our "change," signifies ultimately the deliverance of all the groaning creation from the curse of sin and death now resting upon the race.

"ROLLED TOGETHER AS A SCROLL."

For sometime we have been wondering how this rolling together of the heavens would come about. A few years ago we witnessed a great Romeward movement on the part of the High Church Episcopalians of Great Britain, and were somewhat surprised that Pope Leo XIII. refused to recognize the movement. However, we can see now that the repulsion of the High Church Episcopals has proved the better to keep the two parts of the scroll intact. As a result, the Episcopal Church is yearning for a closer alliance with all Protestants as well as with Romanists. Now we see in Germany what seems to be the start of this rolling together of the heavens, and it is to it that we now call special attention.

The relationship between Protestants and Catholics in Germany, as is well known, has been quite strained for years, but has been gradually easing up. It was Bismarck who, discerning that Catholic influence was inimical to the interests of Germany, secured the enactment of laws expelling the Jesuits and otherwise curbing the influence of the Catholics in that empire. But with the restraint of Catholicism and with the increase of enlightenment in Germany came enormous gains to the ranks of Socialists. The representatives of the German nation, in their Reichstag or Congress, became divided along religious as well as political lines. The Roman Catholics, under the guidance of their religious teachers, formed a solid party by themselves, and used their power on every possible occasion to defeat the Emperor's [R3532 : page 100] plans, except as he would to some extent purchase their cooperation by granting, one after another, numerous concessions to Catholics – numerous releases from the restraining laws. The Socialists on nearly every question were opposed to the Emperor's policy, and as they have grown remarkably in numbers, the Emperor, in order to have measures passed by a proper majority in the Reichstag, has been obliged to conciliate the Catholic element of his empire more and more, until at the present time he can scarcely secure an appropriation of money for any of his favorite schemes without the aid of the Catholic party, called the Centrist party. It is indeed the pivotal party.

TRADES UNIONS AND RELIGIOUS DIVISIONS.

Another element is unexpectedly making itself felt in the direction of union between Catholic and Protestant in the German Empire, namely, trades unionism. The common interests of the working people led them about a year ago to a confederative cooperative association between the Catholic unions and the Protestant unions. The influence of the Roman ecclesiastics was not sufficient to hinder this cooperative movement among the working men for the protection of what they esteemed to be their vital interests. Altogether matters are so shaping themselves in Germany as to draw Catholic and Protestant more closely together.

Added to this is a recent expression by the new Pope which intimates a fellowship of feeling between himself and the German Emperor, and suggests a cooperation between them for the upholding of Christianity. Since the Emperor is a Protestant, and Germany is recognized as a Protestant country, this expression by the Pope seems to imply a willingness on his part to acknowledge Protestantism as a part of Christianity, and a general disposition on his part to favor cooperation between Catholics and Protestants along lines political, social and to a considerable degree religious. This is one of the most remarkable incidents of our time, and points in exactly the direction in which we have been looking. It points to a cooperation between Catholics and Protestants for the control of Christendom, and once the power has been tasted and the authority exercised we may be sure that it will increase, reaching out after more and more of the liberties of the people and bringing them under the combined control.

Doubtless, some of the first enactments will be against anarchy, social evils, immoralities, etc., and be very gratifying to all lovers of peace and order. Subsequently, however, we may be sure that this power will be exercised against Socialists, as being of a class calculated to disturb the public peace and to unsettle the present order of things. Still further along, all who are dissenters from the Church confederation will come under the ban and under the pressure, with a realization that liberty of thought on religious subjects has much to do with all liberty, and with the thought that the repression of liberty must mean the suppression of all religious teaching along independent lines, or, as we say, along Scriptural lines. When that hour shall come – probably within eight years – it will surely mean the suppression of ZION'S WATCH TOWER and all propaganda of the Truth.

We may expect that by that time all of the "elect" will have been found, and we will incline to expect such a suppression as corresponding to the point marked by our Lord's parable when the "door was shut" – that no more might go in to the wedding. (Matt. 25:10.) So far as we are concerned these restrictions and suppressions must not move us to an abandonment in any degree of the wisdom that cometh from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, easy of entreatment and full of mercy and good fruits.

Instead of feeling even angry with those who would use restraint, we must be prepared to regard their course as our Lord regarded the course of those who suppressed him, and his answer to Pilate must satisfy us. His words were, "Thou couldst have no power at all against me except it were given thee from above." (John 19:11.) If the power for suppression is given by our Lord it will mean to us the good tidings that the Kingdom is very near at hand, and all the more we will lift up our heads and rejoice, knowing our deliverance is at hand, and that just a little further, after the great storm of anarchy, the Sun of Righteousness shall shine forth clearly and gloriously to the blessing of all the families of the earth, under the administration of the Kingdom of God's dear Son, of which, by the grace of God, we hope to be members.

THE POPE'S EXPRESSION ON THE SUBJECT.

While matters have been thus shaping themselves in Protestant Germany a very opposite condition of affairs has prevailed in Catholic France. The French, though still nominally a Catholic country, have lost considerable of their reverence for the Papacy, have expelled the clergy from being teachers in the public schools and will not even allow nuns any longer to teach in their religious garbs. Altogether, the relationship between France and the Pope is quite strained. Naturally enough, this alienation between the Church and the nation which so long has been known as the eldest son of the Church, has led the Pope and his counsellors to look for sympathy and assistance from other quarters, and no doubt this condition of things has had much to do with the greater sympathy prevailing between the Pope and the Emperor William, who is seeking more and more to conciliate the Catholic element of his empire.

Pastor Adolph Storcker, who some time ago was court preacher to Emperor William and the royal household, but who it was thought could exercise a wider influence in another sphere, resigned his pastorate, and was elected a member of the Reichstag, where he is recognized as being not only a champion of Protestantism but also of the Emperor. When recently in the Reichstag one of the members, Dr. Spahn, a leader in the Catholic party, made the demand that Catholics should have full and equal rights and liberties with Protestants throughout Germany and that this should include the Jesuits, once expelled, Dr. Storcker replied:

"Delegate Dr. Spahn has demanded full and equal rights for the adherents of both Churches [Protestant and Catholic]. To me this is not the question at issue, nevertheless I wish to answer his proposition. If this thought of his [of full equality of Catholic and Protestant in the empire] is to penetrate into and win the heart of the German people, then not only a civil but a religious toleration [of Protestants] must take place on the part of the Catholic Church. Recently some one showed me the letter of a gentleman who had interviewed the Pope in Rome. That letter said that the Pope had spoken to the writer of the decay of the Church in Catholic countries, for instance in France, and had used the words, 'I expect, in harmony and in cooperation with Emperor William, to lead the world back to Christ.' [R3532 : page 101] The words in French were, 'Restituer le monde dans le Christ.'

"This is a grand thought; who would not wish that it might be realized! But to attain this mutual religious recognition it is wholly indispensable to make an end of strife. The Catholic Church must recognize Protestantism as an authorized element of Christendom, and the Protestant Church as an authorized feature of Christianity. Without this there need be no thought of peace. Only thus can we think of placing the world again upon a Christian foundation. I know full well how difficult this is, but since certain things cannot be developed except by transplanting them to a new soil, so must it also be in the religious domain. Otherwise the wild disputations which confuse and devastate our people will not cease."

Here we have not only the suggestion of the Pope that this shall be the mutual work of a Protestant Emperor and himself, but we have also laid before the German Congress the very correct thought that such a union, such a reestablishment of a community of fellowship and interest along religious lines, must mean some recognition of Protestants as the other end of the [R3533 : page 101] scroll, and a bringing together of the two general parts for mutual well being, for mutual defence against the increasing power of Socialism. And, by the way, the expectation of the Socialists is that at their next general election, less than two years hence, their power will be so great that they can practically control Germany's affairs. It is broadly hinted, too, that if such be the case the Emperor will find some means of overthrowing popular government and holding lines of government on a more autocratic basis – as an emperor, autocrat, by divine authority. As a preparation for this emergency, we cannot wonder that he has strengthened his hands with the Catholic element of the empire and to a considerable degree will be guided by the Pope.

PASTOR STORCKER'S VIEWS ON THE SITUATION.

The above expression by Pastor Storcker in the Reichstag was some little time ago: recently he has made a much more elaborate statement of the same thought, which on December 20th, 1904, was laid before the public of Germany through the columns of Das Volk, a journal published under the Emperor's special sanction. By the way, the motto of this newspaper is "With God for the Kaiser and the Kingdom." We have secured a translation of this article, whose importance lies not merely in the phraseology but also in the fact that its writer is Pastor A. Storcker, honorable member of the Reichstag. The article, after referring to the Pope's language above quoted, proceeds to say, under the caption:

"KAISER AND POPE."

"This matter is well worthy of being made prominent for public discussion. For there can be nothing more fatal to our people than bitter strife between the two churches, and nothing more beneficial for a harmonious control of the Fatherland than through an understanding of the matter. That this desideratum is possible is proven by a coalition known as 'The Alliance of Christian National Trades-Unions,' effected at Frankfort last year. To my knowledge not the least discord has yet come forward in the Alliance between the adherents of the two creeds. Rather the Catholic working men have held their position by an overwhelming vote against the efforts of the Bishops to hinder the harmonious interchanges between the labor organizations, and they have induced the Episcopate to assent to the understanding.

"It is praiseworthy for the working classes and instructive for the others that amid the raging of the poisoned strife a plane of peace has been created upon which Catholic and Protestant have joined in practical work for the combating and overthrow of all opposers of Christianity. Why should not this event be followed in other domains?

"The thought of the Pope, unless its point be lost, can surely mean nothing else than a more moderate Catholicism and Bible-believing Protestantism, which, when the possibility of joint action is found, can do much to deliver Christianity from the condition of unrest and excitement – from apostasy and immorality – from lack of authority and piety.

"The fact that the Pope, viewing the Catholic world, especially France, acknowledges the necessity for such action, is a proof of his perception as well as his energy. The Evangelical [Protestant] world suffers also, but at different points. From different causes, more particularly in the German world, she [Protestant religion] is sharply affected by Socialism and enmity to divine revelation, and similarly needs the restraining and reconciliation of the struggling elements. Of this there can be no doubt in the minds of the friends of the Fatherland, especially such as are disposed toward our social reforms [but not toward Socialism].

"That the Pope did express those very words is certain. The man to whom they were spoken is a prominent man, sufficiently bright to rightly perceive the significations of a remark of such wide bearing, and careful enough to repeat it verbatim. The interesting question is, How deep a meaning did the head of the Catholic Church attach to this extraordinary expression?

"Such a cooperation as the Pope's words imply can never rest upon present religious and ecclesiastical foundations. Catholicism and Protestantism are too much at variance in their principles as well as in their practices, in their doctrines as well as in their lives, to come to an understanding with one another. The stimulation which the humanity of to-day needs does not lie in that which is common to both Churches, nor even perhaps in a still stronger avowing of matters pertaining to salvation as harmoniously asserted by Rome and Wittenburg in the Apostolic Creed. Our task rather is spiritual mediation respecting the divine revelation to mankind, torn by doubts and denials, confusion concerning Bible history by the laws of nature and casualty. Protestantism cannot alone undertake this mediation, much less could Catholics alone succeed with it [hence the necessity for united efforts].

"What the Pope meant can signify nothing less than a cooperation in the sphere of social and moral reawakening. And that in this some sort of partnership is possible is shown by the already existing equality of the two churches in the social and political economy of our Fatherland and in the cooperation for the suppression of alcohol, traffic in girls, immorality and bad literature. But these matters fail to reach a community of interest and action because the ecclesiastical chasm separating the two conditions prevents this, and the enmity breaking forth ever anew puts again in doubt every good result achieved. [R3533 : page 102]

"For the removal of this difficulty I have made the request that the Catholic Church should recognize the rights of Protestants. In our day, when numerous members of both Churches refuse in principle the doctrines of the apostles, it is senseless to ignore and deny as true Christians such [Romanists] as do hold to the Apostolic teachings. On the other hand, it is unhistorical to refuse to recognize as parts of the great Church system the evangelical Protestant churches, which for the last four centuries have done such great things in Christian development.

"It is self evident that the present strife must continue between the evangelical and ecclesiastical; that a different position than that of conflict is not conceivable between the two churches upon German soil; but the mutual misunderstanding of one another and disregard of one another should cease.

A CATHOLIC CRITIC'S VIEW.

"The Saechsische Volkszeitung, the organ of the Catholics in the kingdom of Saxony, considers my demand obscure and unnecessary. It considers, on the one hand, that a discussion of religious toleration does not belong to the Roman Catholic; one could just as well discuss Jews and atheists. On the other hand, the recognition of Protestants as Christians is being continually conceded even by Catholicism. However, the Catholic Church being convinced that she possesses the truth, must, therefore, consider every opposing doctrine false.

"To these replies I would only say that Delegate Dr. Spahn has demanded full, civil, equal rights for Catholics, including the Jesuits; and that, as a consequence, it is absolutely necessary to discuss that which hinders equal rights, namely, the religious intolerance of at least the majority of the German people. Secondly, the discussion is not about Jews and atheists, but about churches with a Christian creed. Thirdly, it matters not that Rome calls the Protestants Christians, but that she should recognize and esteem them as such. Fourthly, I hold that Rome should not only recognize the individual Evangelicals [Protestants] as Christians, but the Evangelical Churches as well, as recognized parts of Christendom.

"We Protestants, reared as Lutherans, hold the Lutheran doctrines of the Lord's Supper as the correct one, and that of Zwingli, therefore, as being wrong; but we do not draw from this the conclusion which Rome derives from the opinion that she possesses the truth. One can argue about differences and each hold his own opinion as to which is the right one, yet need not exert a decisive influence upon the judgment of the whole.

"In religious matters we have to deal with the material world and with revelation, both of which, according to their nature, are capable of various constructions on different points. Therefore, it would only be a reasonable expectation, a self-evident matter, if Rome were to withdraw from that harsh point of view [respecting Protestants as being anti-Christian] with which Protestantism originally viewed Rome [as anti-Christian].

"At all events, the Pope's declaration shows that such a change in his point of view is not far off. Indeed, we have had times in which a mutual recognition of both stand points was evident. I remember that in my student years, the remark of the Catholic Professor Kuhn of Tubingen was repeatedly mentioned as illustrating a changed Catholic view. His words were, "Who of us Catholics could wish the Reformation had never taken place?" I fully understand his position. In Protestant countries [by reason of the divisions amongst Protestants] the Catholic Church stands out as by far the strongest, most favored and influential.

"But the considerations which cause me to urge my demands are not of a theoretical or historical kind, but that expression of the Pope which upon stern Catholic ground loses its significance. A further consideration is the expression of a still greater than the Pope – Christ – who, in his High-Priestly prayer that all Christians might be one, laid the foundation for the faith of the world. That our Lord in that prayer thought only of the Roman Catholic Church united under the Pope no intelligent Catholic will assert; consequently he must have meant and deemed possible another unity which would cause the world more rapidly to believe in the sending of the Son. A further argument is found in the Epistle to the Galatians, namely, 'If you bite and devour one another, beware lest ye be consumed one of another.'"

[R3534 : page 102]

The argument drawn from our Lord's prayer, "That they all might be one, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me," is an illustration of how the most precious truths may at times be so understood and wrested as to support fallacies and to hide their real meaning. Pastor Storcker considers that this Scripture favors the drawing together into a confederation the various Protestant denominations of Christendom in a sympathetic cooperation with the Church of Rome. He is blind to the facts of the case, both as respects the great anti-Christ and the image of the beast; and the great majority of Christendom are similarly blind on this subject. The Lord has indeed hidden his great divine plan from the wise and prudent and makes it known merely to the babes, the humble.

Can we think that it will be possible for Roman Catholics and Protestants ever to become one in the sense that our Lord prayed in this petition – "that they might all be one even as thou, Father, and I are one"? Surely we can not think so for a moment. What communion hath light with darkness? What fellowship hath wheat with tares? The fulfilment of our Lord's prayer will be on a much grander scale, although all who are his and who will be one with him and the Father will be but a little flock, to whom it will be the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom, in joint-heirship with the Messiah.

The Lord's real disciples have been one in heart, in purpose, with himself and with each other throughout this Gospel age, and they are one to-day. With fellowship of heart and with purpose true and real, they are all both justified and sanctified in Christ Jesus, who counts not in their number any of those who are tares, goats or wolves. "The Lord knoweth them that are his." Soon they shall be one in a larger and more complete and comprehensive sense, when they all shall be gathered to and united with the Lord their Head as his Bride and joint-heirs. Then they shall be one in the fullest sense, and then indeed the world shall believe, for the Millennial Sun of Glory shall then shine out, revealing fully the divine character and plan and filling the whole earth with the knowledge of the glory of God.

[R3534 : page 103]

PERFUME VERY PRECIOUS.

JOHN 12:1-11. – APRIL 16.

Golden Text: – "She hath done what she could." – Mark 14:8.

I
T WAS Saturday night, as we reckon it, the evening following the Jewish Sabbath day – after six P.M. – that Jesus and his disciples and Lazarus, whom he had previously awakened from the sleep of death, with some other friends of the family, sat down to a feast prepared in special honor of Jesus at the home of his friends, where he was always welcome and where he stopped more frequently than at any other house during the period of his ministry, so far as the records show. It was at Bethany, the home of Lazarus and Martha and Mary. It was called the house of Simon the leper, one supposition being that Simon was the father of the family, and another that he was the husband of Martha, who at this time was a widow.

Our Lord and his disciples were en route for Jerusalem, and Bethany was on the way, in the suburbs. They probably arrived on what would correspond to our Friday, or the Jewish sixth day of the week. Expecting them, Martha and Mary had provided quite a sumptuous feast, and, in harmony with the Jewish rules governing in such cases, the dishes were evidently prepared in advance, as Sabbath labor was prohibited. No account is given us of that Sabbath day at Bethany, but we can well imagine the delightful social intercourse between the dear members of that family and the Lord and his chosen apostles.

JESUS IN SOCIAL LIFE.

The Master's words of wisdom and love are not recorded, but we know on the best of authority that a good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Hence we may know that the day was not given over to frivolity of word or conduct, but to rest, spiritual enjoyment, which minister to the refreshment of all in the right attitude of heart. The same rule applies to all of the Lord's followers wherever they may be, whatever may be their vocation or surroundings. Out of the good treasure of their hearts they can bring forth nothing else but good things, and if any be otherwise minded let him beware, and correct the difficulty of the heart and not merely of the head.

We can imagine better than we can portray the loving sentiments of Lazarus and his sisters toward Jesus, the one they esteemed so highly, the one who, by calling Lazarus forth from the tomb, had demonstrated his Messiahship and that in him was the resurrection and the life power. This was probably the first visit the Lord had made to the Bethany home since that great event.

Apparently our Lord had friends in various walks of life; a few were rich, some were poor, some in moderate circumstances. The Bethany household was apparently of a comfortable class, as was evidenced by the fact that they had their own home, that they had their own tomb, and that on this occasion Mary was able as well as willing to spend a considerable sum of money in doing honor to the Lord by anointing him with the very precious spikenard. This reminds us of the prayer of one of old, "Give me neither poverty nor riches." Riches are a great snare to the many, and the Lord's word assures us that not many rich will enter the Kingdom. The attractions of the present life to them will prove too powerful and hinder their fulfilment of their consecration vows – to sacrifice their all, to lay all at Jesus' feet, to become merely his stewards in the use of their temporal opportunities and blessings, and to use these wisely in his service and in such a manner as to demonstrate the love and loyalty they have professed.

In many respects to have a moderate competency in life is very desirable, permitting a more generous treatment of others, greater hospitality, etc.; yet even moderate prosperity seems to be more than the majority can stand and yet be faithful. Consequently we find in fact what our Lord declared, namely, that the heirs of the Kingdom are chiefly of the poor of this world – chiefly of those who have little and who have little hope for getting more, and whose minds consequently are more readily turned to the heavenly things which the Lord has promised to those who love him supremely.

To whatever extent, therefore, we have comfortable surroundings, such as were possessed by the Bethany household – to whatever extent we have the good things of this present life – in that same proportion we need to be specially on guard against the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches and the ambitions and hopes and aims of the world, lest these should lead our hearts away from the loyalty and devotion to the Lord and his cause which full faith and trust should inspire and sustain. Evidently it is possible to be poor in spirit without being actually in poverty, but the more there is of earthly prosperity apparently more grace is needed to keep us in the narrow way.

"OINTMENT OF SPIKENARD VERY COSTLY."

The two sisters evidently had the matter planned between them: Martha served at the table and Mary served in an especial manner with the ointment. Oriental tables were a combination of couch and table, and the guests were properly described as reclining at a feast. It was customary to rest the forepart of the body [R3535 : page 103] upon one elbow while using the other hand to convey the food to the mouth, etc. Our Lord thus reclining, both his head and his feet were very conveniently accessible to Mary, who proceeded to anoint first his head and afterward his feet with the ointment.

The word ointment gives rather a misimpression; the word perfume would more nearly describe the liquid used. Its value is incidentally mentioned as more than three hundred pence (v. 5). These silver pence represent about sixteen cents each, and thus estimated the alabaster flask of perfume was worth about forty-eight dollars; but counting each penny or denarius as a day's wages at that time (Matt. 20:2), the three hundred pence would be equivalent to a year's wages of a working man, or about three hundred dollars to six hundred dollars as compared with our day. [R3535 : page 104]

This was very precious ointment indeed by whichever calculation we reckon it, yet that the statement is not overdrawn is attested by ancient literature. For instance, we are told that Horace offered to give a cask of wine for a very small box of spikenard – Odes, Ovid, IV, XII, XVII. A perfume even in our day has been rated as high as $100.00 per ounce, namely, attar of roses. At this price, Mary's "pound" would have been worth $1,200.00.

"SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD."

The use of such expensive perfumes was very rare: indeed, even the emperors used it sparingly, but when used it was generally poured upon the head. Mary followed this custom in pouring it upon the Lord's head, as Matthew and Mark recount; but having done this, she proceeded to his feet and anointed them with the perfume, and then wiped his feet with the long tresses of her hair. What a picture of loving devotion is here given us! The feet, always recognized as the humblest and lowest members of the human frame – the hair of the head, especially of woman, always recognized as a special treasure and glory to her – here thus brought together in a way which signified that Mary esteemed her Lord and Master as infinitely above and beyond her. She had recognized him first as the most wonderful of men, speaking as never man spake; she had come afterwards to understand that he was a great teacher, especially sent at a special time; and finally, through the awakening of Lazarus from the sleep of death, she had evidence that the power of the Almighty was in him, that he was none other than the Son of God, and she appropriately did him the reverence due to his exalted station.

She could not put him on the throne of earth, but she would show that she was his devoted servant forever; she could not glorify him before all the people of Israel, but she could glorify and honor him in her own home; she could not tell his praises and sing his worth, but she could sing and make melody in her own heart, and pour upon him a perfume which not only filled her home with its sweet savor, but which has yielded a tender fragrance to the honor of womankind in general from her day to the present time. "She hath done what she could," said the Lord – she has shown her devotion to the best of her ability. How true the remainder of our Lord's prophecy on the subject, "Wherever this Gospel is preached, this thing shall be told as a memorial of her." A sweet memorial of a sweet character and loving heart. Considered in the light of the odor and blessing and refreshment which it has shed upon all of the Lord's people throughout this Gospel age, Mary's alabaster jar of precious perfume, very costly, has proven to be extremely cheap.

"MIGHT HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO THE POOR."

Our lesson says that Judas protested against such a waste of money, and explains that it was not because he cared so much for the poor, as that he was a thief and regretted that the amount spent for the perfume had not been handed to him as the treasurer for the group of disciples, so that he might have misappropriated it to himself. This thought is more particularly shown in the revised version, which renders it, "He was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein." Matthew says "the disciples" – Mark says, "There were some" – but John mentions Judas only as doing this murmuring against the expense involved in Mary's service to her Lord. Quite probably all the accounts are correct. Judas, no doubt, was the instigator of the murmuring, some more quickly and more thoroughly shared his sentiments, and the remainder of the apostles, probably influenced by the majority, were inclined to yield and to agree that the extravagance was wrong. But Jesus set the whole matter at rest in a few words, saying, "Let her alone; against the day of my burying hath she kept this. The poor ye have always with you, but me ye have not always."

Many of the Lord's disciples to-day need to reconstruct their ideas on the subject of economy. True, it is necessary for us to be provident not wasteful, and economical not extravagant. Our Lord frequently inculcated this lesson, as, for instance, when he directed the gathering up of the fragments of broken food after feeding the multitude. But there is a proper place to draw the line. The person who is economical and penurious in his dealings with the Lord is sure to be the loser thereby, as the Scriptures declare, "The liberal soul shall be made fat;" and again, "There is he that scattereth yet increaseth, and there is he that withholdeth more than is meet [proper] and it tendeth to poverty."

It is a different matter for us to learn to be economical in respect to our own affairs and to be liberal to the extent of extravagance in matters which pertain to the Lord and his service. We sometimes sing, "Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring," but he who brings large petitions to the throne of grace should be sure also that he bring with him a large alabaster box of perfume for the Lord – not hoping thereby to merit the Lord's favor nor to perfume his requests, but as a mark of his appreciation of blessings already received. Those who bring the alabaster boxes of perfume of praise and thankfulness very generally have little to ask. Rather they realize that they are already debtors to such an extent that they can never show properly their appreciation of divine favor. Properly they recognize that day by day they are receiving at the Lord's hands exceedingly and abundantly more than they could ask or wish, and that in the spiritual blessings alone they have what satisfies their longings as nothing else can do. Such more nearly follow the course of Mary and bring alabaster boxes of perfume to the Lord – their prayers and thanksgiving of heart; and asking nothing, but giving thanks for all things, they receive from the Master such an outpour of blessing that they are not able to contain it.

Those who view the matter rightly must certainly feel that none of us have anything worthy to present to our Lord – that our very best, our most costly gifts or sacrifices, are not worthy of him and but feebly express the real sentiments of our hearts. How glad we are if our humble efforts are accepted of the Lord, and how we hope that ultimately we shall hear the same sweet voice saying of us, "He hath done what he could," "She hath done what she could."

The poet Tennyson beautifully pictures the scene we have been considering in the following lines: – [R3535 : page 105]

"Her eyes are homes of silent prayer,
Nor other thought her mind admits
But, he was dead, and there he sits,
And He that brought him back is there.

"Then one deep love doth supersede
All other, when her ardent gaze
Roves from the living brother's face,
And rests upon the Life indeed.

"All subtle thought, all curious fears,
Borne down by gladness so complete,
She bows, she bathes the Saviour's feet
With costly spikenard and with tears."
THE POOR EVER WITH US.

Our Lord's prophecy that poverty would continue throughout this Gospel age has been amply fulfilled. Looking forward into the future, we rejoice to know that then, under the reign of the Kingdom, there will be no more poor, no more sorrow, no more want. "Every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, with none to molest or make him afraid." Those changed conditions will not be the result of human evolution, human theories, co-operative societies, unions, trusts, etc. All these various panaceas for making everybody rich and comfortable and happy have failed in the past and will continue to be failures in the future. Because of sin warping and twisting the very fibers of humanity, and through selfishness and ambition and desire working upon the warped and twisted elements of humanity, pain, suffering and want are sure to continue as long as sin continues. And sin is sure to continue until the great Messiah takes to himself his great power and reigns, and subdues sin and all that is contrary to righteousness and truth and establishes the latter upon the earth.

Until that glorious day shall come, all through the night of weeping, for now more than eighteen hundred centuries, the poor have been with us and many of them have been the Lord's precious ones. Poverty has proven itself a blessing in many ways in many senses of the word under present conditions. Not only does the fact of poverty and the fear of poverty help to keep many in line and make them active in the battle of life, and thus develop in them overcoming qualities, but, on the other hand, the fact that there is poverty, the fact that we have friends and neighbors who need our care and need assistance, is a blessing to those who are more comfortably situated themselves, in that it develops their sympathy, patience, love, their desire to do good, their desire [R3536 : page 105] to help. He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord and the Lord will repay him. This promise is so rich and so plainly stated that the wonder is that there are not more willing to make investments in harmony with it, and to realize that the Lord not only repays, but gives large interest.

"ME YE HAVE NOT ALWAYS."

The opportunity for honoring the Lord was limited – a little while and his sufferings would be ended and he would be glorified, beyond the evil, beyond the power of human attention. It was appropriate then, when viewed from the right standpoint, that Mary should spend a great price upon her Lord – that the head upon which fell the slanders and anathemas of the chief priests and doctors of divinity of that day, and upon which shortly the crown of thorns would be placed, should now be honored by one amongst a few of those who realized his true worth, his true grandeur, his Kingship, that he was indeed the Son of God. It was appropriate, too, that those feet which had trodden the valleys and hillsides of Palestine, and that were so weary at times, and that symbolized the feet of consecration treading the narrow, rugged way, and that so soon would be pierced with the nails on the cross, should now be highly honored by one who appreciated and trusted them, who loved them and who was seeking to walk in the Master's steps.

When we get the right view of the matter, we can indeed sympathize with our Lord's expression, "Let her alone," Trouble her not, Take it not from her – as though when the first motion was made to use the spikenard the apostles had wished to have it spared that they might sell it, and as though our Lord hindered them from using persuasion to that end, saying, Let her alone, do not hinder her.

Spikenard Mary represents one of the most beautiful elements of Christian character amongst the Lord's people from that day until the present. For be it remembered that the entire Church of Christ in the largest sense is the "body of Christ," as expressed by Jesus and also by the apostles. The Mary class, who would rather purchase perfume at a great cost whereby to serve the anointed Church, the body of Christ, than to spend the same upon themselves, is still with us, and has been of the Church for these eighteen centuries. Not only was the Head of the body anointed, perfumed, honored, comforted, cheered, but all of the members since have likewise received a blessing from this class, this spikenard Mary class. It is composed not always of the orators, the wealthy or the wise – its ministry is unostentatious and to many, especially of the world, it seems foolishness and waste – but the Lord appreciates it, and so do the members of his body who are comforted and refreshed thereby. Blessing be upon this Mary class!

HONOR TO MEMBERS – HONOR TO HEAD.

But if there have been members all the way down who have been comforted in this way, should we not expect some particular blessing of the kind in the end of this age, upon the "feet" members? According to our understanding we are now in the closing of this age – the Head has been glorified, many of the members of the body have passed beyond the veil, and only the feet are here. Perhaps this very picture of Mary's anointing the feet of our Lord as well as his head constitutes a type or picture of what we may expect in this present time. And here comes in a beautiful feature of the divine arrangement – we may all be of the Mary class as well as of the feet class. In other words, each member of the body of Christ may to some extent serve the fellow-members of the body, the fellow-members of the feet, as Mary served the feet of Jesus.

Let each one of the Lord's true people as he studies this matter conclude that by the grace of God he will join the Mary class, and purchase spikenard very costly and lavish it upon the feet of the body of Christ – the Church – the true members. This will mean love, sympathy, kindness, gentleness, patience and assistance and comfort. It will mean large and growing development in all the fruits and graces of the Spirit, whose combined name is Love.

Dear readers, let us each remember that while it is impossible for us to do as Mary did in this lesson, it is the privilege of each to do still more important things for each other, for the brethren of Christ now in the world, the feet members of his body. Hers was a literal [R3536 : page 106] perfume and in time lost its virtue; but the little acts of kindnesses and helpfulness which we may render one to another will never lose their merit in the estimation of our Lord, and never lose their fragrance to all eternity in the estimation of each other. The little things of life, the little words, the little tokens, the kind looks, the little assistances by the way, these and not great things are our possibilities, our perfumes, the one for the other.

"WASH ONE ANOTHER'S FEET."

The washing of the feet in olden times in oriental lands was very necessary to the comfort, and hence to wash one another's feet would signify to comfort and refresh one another even in the most menial services. This is the essence of our Lord's lesson to us, that we should be glad for any opportunity for serving one another, for comforting and helping one another, however menial the service. Apply this now to the expression of our lesson. Mary washed our Lord's feet with perfume, and the Mary class, the most loving and devoted class in the Church, are to help one another, to wash one another's feet; and they are to do so not in the rudest and clumsiest manner imaginable, but, inspired by love and devotion one to another, they are to wash one another's feet with the kindness and sympathy and love and appreciation symbolized by Mary's spikenard; and their comforting of one another is to be with that love and solicitation which was represented by Mary's using the very locks of her head for her Master's feet.

We see some evidence that this love, this spikenard-Mary love and sympathy, is growing amongst the members of the Lord's body; that as they perceive the animosity of the world and the flesh and the Adversary against the Lord's anointed they are all the more devoted one to another, and all the more disposed to honor one another with care and love and sympathy, and to speak and act generously and kindly one toward another. We are glad of this – we know of no better evidence of growth in grace on the part of the consecrated. Let the good work go on until we shall have filled the house with the perfume of love, until the whole world shall take knowledge of how Christians love one another – not in a narrow or partisan sense, but in the broad sense that Christ loved all who love the Father and all who sought to walk in the Father's ways.

LET US DO IT NOW.

If Mary had waited another week she might have used the perfume upon herself but not upon the Lord – within a week from the time of this incident our Lord was buried, the tomb was sealed, the Roman Guard stood before it and there would have been no opportunity even to have poured it upon his dead body. How much better that she improved the opportunity, that she showed the Lord her devotion while he was still her guest. The parallel is here: it will not be long until all the members of the body of Christ will have filled their share of the sufferings and have passed beyond the veil "changed."

Wisdom tells us that we should not delay in bringing our alabaster boxes of ointment and pouring their contents upon our dear ones of the body of Christ, the feet of Christ. No matter if they do not notice us, or think of us, or pour any upon us as members of the feet; let us do our part, let us be of the Mary class, let us pour out the sweet perfume upon others, and the house, the Church of the Lord, will be filled with the sweet odor, even though some disciples might mistakingly charge us with being extravagant with our love and with our devotion, not understanding that the Master by and by will say again, "Let her alone, she hath done what she could." Our Lord's estimate of this spikenard and anointing is that it is all that we can do – nothing could be more or better. It indicates love, great love – and "love is the fulfilling of the law."

"Let us consider one another," said the Apostle – consider one another's weaknesses, consider one another's trials, consider one another's temptations, consider one another's efforts to war a good warfare against the world, the flesh and the Adversary – consider one another's troubles in the narrow way against opposition from within and without, and as we do so it will bring to our hearts sympathy, a sympathy which will take pleasure in pouring out the spikenard perfume, very costly, purest and best, upon all who are fellow-members of the one body.

Some one has spoken of the great "Society of Encouragers" who do so much to help encourage and uplift the footsore and weary in the pathway of life. It is not a great society so far as members are concerned, but it is a great society from the Lord's standpoint and from the standpoint of all who have been helped and encouraged by it. Spikenard Mary might have been said to have been a prominent member in this society of encouragers. We may well imagine that as our dear Redeemer was thinking of the severe trials, including the cross, of the week already begun, Mary's manifestation of love and devotion would come to him as a special encouragement and refreshment of spirit. So few seemed to understand him! even his disciples did not appreciate the situation. Here was one who at least loved him, had confidence in him. No doubt it gave him courage for the remaining days of his journey.

THE TRUTH TERSELY STATED.

Respecting the propriety of using present opportunities for the comfort and encouragement one of another, a writer has pointedly said:

"Don't keep the alabaster boxes of your love and tenderness sealed up till your friends are dead. Fill their lives with gladness. Speak approving, cheering words while they can hear them...If my friends [R3537 : page 106] have alabaster boxes full of the fragrant perfume of sympathy and affection laid away, which they intend to break over my body, I would rather they would bring them out in my weary and troubled hours, and open them, that I may be refreshed and cheered by them while I need them....I would rather have a plain coffin without a flower, a funeral without a eulogy, than life without the sweetness of love and sympathy. ...Flowers on the coffin cast no fragrance backward on the weary road."

Mrs. Preston's poem, "Ante Mortem," expresses the same thought thus: –

..."Had I but heard
One breath of applause, one cheering word –
One cry of 'Courage!' amid the strife,
So weighted for me with death or life –
How would it have nerved my soul to strain
Thro' the whirl of the coming surge again."
SACRIFICE OF SWEET ODOR.

The Apostle, speaking of the ministries of the [R3537 : page 107] Church one for another, says that ours is a sacrifice of sweet odor unto God, but again he adds that the Gospel referred to is of life unto life to some and of death unto death to others. That is to say, good deeds, kind words and efforts will be appreciated by those who are in the right attitude of heart to appreciate them, while on the contrary the same good deeds will arouse offence and constitute a bad odor to those who are in a wrong condition of heart. How often have we seen it so, that with our best endeavors to serve the feet of Christ some have been comforted and refreshed, others have been angered – to one the effort was a sweet odor, to the others it was an offensive odor, because of their wrong attitude of heart toward the Lord and toward the body of Christ – because, perhaps, of their ambitions or whatnot that were interfered with.

It was just so at Bethany: the sweet odors that filled the house, and the blessing and refreshment that came to Mary in connection with the ministration, had a very different effect upon Judas. He was angry; his selfishness hindered his appreciation of the honor done to the Lord; he could think only of himself and what he had hoped to get out of the transaction, and how, so far as he was concerned, the whole matter was a waste. The sourness that came to his heart because of its wrong attitude is indicated by the testimony that he straightway went to the chief priests to bargain with them for the betrayal of Jesus. Let us, then, dear brethren, see to it that our hearts are in a loving attitude toward the Lord and not in a selfish attitude – that we appreciate everything done in his name and for his body, and that we be not self-seeking. Otherwise the result will be with us the savor of death unto death, as it was with Judas.

This concludes our lesson. It was the next day probably that the Jews began to gather in considerable numbers to see Jesus and Lazarus, and to take counsel respecting the putting of them to death – "for the good of the cause." And, by the way, let us remember that the "good of the cause" has nearly always been the basis for every mean and despicable act against the Truth from first to last. Let us beware of such a sectarian spirit; let us see to it that our love for the Lord and all of his brethren is sincere, and not a personal and selfish one for ourselves or some denomination, otherwise we know not into what evils we might be led.

[R3537 : page 107]

HUMILITY AND MEEKNESS.
– BIBLE STUDY FOR APRIL –

1. What importance does God attach to these graces of Christian character? 1 Pet. 5:5,6; 3:4; Psa. 147:6; 149:4; F.90, par. 1; E.277, par. 2; A.83, par. 2; Z.'96-19 (2nd col. par. 1,2,3); Z.'00-67,68, 285 (1st col. par. 1).

2. Although the Scriptures use the words interchangeably, yet, strictly speaking, what is the distinction between humility and meekness? Z.'00-68 (1st col. par. 1); (2nd col. par. 2); Z.'96-79 (2nd col. par. 2). See Webster.

3. What is the relation between humility and knowledge? Psa. 25:9; F.97, par. 2; Z.'96-18 (2nd col. par. 2,3); 19 (1st and 2nd cols.); Z.'98-25 (2nd col. par. 1); Z.'01-262 (1st col. par. 1); Z.'05-59 (1st col. par. 3).

4. How do we know that humility is the underlying principle of the divine government? Matt. 23:12; Jas. 4:6,10; Phil. 2:7-10; E.165, par. 2; E.437, par. 1; Z.'00-196 (2nd col. par. 2,3,4).

5. What does it mean to be "clothed with humility?" 1 Pet. 5:5; Z.'00-196 (2nd col. par. 1).

6. Is it possible to have too great humility? E.278, par. 3.

7. What elements of character are in direct opposition to humility? 1 Pet. 5:5; Prov. 3:34; 6:16-19; Z.'97-247 (1st col. par. 4,5); Z.'96-263 (2nd col. par. 3,4); Z.'99-80 (2nd col. par. 4); Z.'02-359 (1st col. par. 1); Z.'03-329 (2nd col. par. 1).

8. What lessons may we learn from Jesus' example of humility? Phil. 2:8; E.124,125, 437, (par. 1); Z.'97-242 (2nd col. par. 3); Z.'97-296 (2nd col. par. 2) to 297, (par. 4); Z.'99-80 (2nd col. par. 1,3); Z.'05-30 (1st col. par. 4).

9. Was humility characteristic of the apostles? Eph. 3:8; Z.'95-250 (1st col. par 3); Z.'01-187 (1st col. par. 3); (2nd col. par. 1,2); F.210, (par. 2) to 212, (par. 1).

10. Why is humility a chief essential in an Elder? 1 Tim. 3:6; F.246, par. 2; F.251, par. 2; F.278, par. 4; F.296, par. 1,2; Z.'03-430 (1st col. par. 3).

11. Why should husbands cultivate and exercise humility? Eph. 5:25; F.497, par. 1.

12. How can wives exercise humility? Eph. 5:22-24; F.500, par. 2.

13. Why is it important that we teach our children meekness and humility? Zeph. 2:3; F.555, par. 1; Z.'96-82 (1st and 2nd cols.); Z.'96-192 (1st col. par. 4,5).

14. What Scriptural promises are given to the meek and humble?

15. What notable illustrations and examples of meekness and humility do we find in the Bible? Matt. 11:28-30; Num. 12:3; Matt. 8:8; Jno. 13:1-17; Z.'01-347 (2nd col. par. 1,2).

16. Give suggestions as to the best methods for acquiring and cultivating these important graces. Z.'96-79 (2nd col. par. 2,3).

(a) By prayer. Psa. 19:12-14.
(b) By studying the divine wisdom, knowledge and power, as manifested in the Word and in Nature. Psa. 8:3,4; 1 Cor. 4:7.
(c) By comparing ourselves with our Perfect Pattern, the Lord Jesus. Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18.

17. What additional thoughts can be found by consulting the Topical Indexes of the "New Bible" and "Heavenly Manna"?

[R3537 : page 108]

"HOSANNA, IN THE HIGHEST!"
JOHN 12:12-26. – APRIL 23. –

Golden Text: – "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." – Matt. 21:9.

T
HOUSANDS of people were gathering in Jerusalem, not only from every quarter of Palestine, but from Babylon, Egypt, Greece and Spain. It is estimated that at some of these Passover feasts a couple of millions assembled within and on the outskirts of Jerusalem. This was according to the divine commandment respecting the observance of the Passover feast. It is but reasonable to suppose that the majority – coming from a distance at considerable expense of time, etc., – if not pious, were religiously inclined, although some doubtless regarded it merely as an excursion. The purely mercenary had little to expect, for there were a sufficient number so inclined already residing in Jerusalem, who would secure the best opportunities for money-making in merchandising, money-changing, etc.

Our Lord and his disciples, as we noted in our last lesson, were amongst these pilgrims to the holy city, and these, we saw, took up their abode at Bethany. On the morning after the feast at which our Lord was anointed with the spikenard, he sent two of the apostles for an ass – a donkey. On its arrival garments were spread on it as a saddle, and our Lord, riding thereon, with the company of his disciples and the friends of the family and those who had witnessed the calling forth of Lazarus from the tomb, started as a little procession for the city. En route they were met by quite a company of people coming from Jerusalem to Bethany, because they had heard that the Lord was there, and because they desired to see the one of whom they had heard as the mighty miracle-worker who had even raised Lazarus from the tomb.

BRANCHES OF THE DATE PALM.

Our Lord's fame had spread abroad, and evidently divine providence had much to do with this entire arrangement, the meeting of the two companies, etc. Many of the people broke off branches of the date-palm [R3538 : page 108] trees growing in that vicinity, fernlike in shape and sometimes ten feet long. These were symbols of rejoicing and honor, symbols representing in this case that our Lord was the hero of the hour, whom they delighted to distinguish. At the meeting, there was a joyous uproar of praise and thankfulness to God; they were carried away with the enthusiasm of the moment. They spread the palm branches before the beast upon which our Lord sat, and those who had no palm branches spread their outer garments as an honor to the one who thus rode triumphantly, and picking up their palm branches and garments after our Lord's beast had walked over them they went ahead with these and strewed them afresh, thus in every way seeking to do honor to the one whom God had so signally recognized. In doing this the people were but expressing the pent-up feelings of their hearts.

For over sixteen centuries, since they had come into Canaan, they had been waiting for Messiah and the glorious fulfilment of the Oath-Bound Covenant made to Abraham, confirmed to Isaac and Jacob and their posterity. The majestic personality of our Lord fitted to their grandest conceptions of Immanuel, and had been attested by the wonderful miracles of which they had heard, the most prominent of which was evidenced before their eyes in the person of Lazarus and those who had borne testimony that they had seen him come forth from the tomb after he had been dead four days. Their hearts were right; they had not yet been spoiled by the doubts and fears of human wisdom, which in the worldly wise insisted upon seeing the money, and the soldiers, and corresponding influence before it could believe in or accept any one as the Messiah, the Deliverer from the Roman yoke.

So it sometimes is with the Lord's people to-day. In the simplicity of our hearts we see precious promises in his Word and are ready to believe them; then the Adversary brings along objections, fears and doubts, and queries as to how, and the faith becomes diluted and loses its power to control our lives and conduct further. Our Lord, therefore, urges upon his followers that they should have the faith and obedience of little children and not be of the worldly wise. His Word assures us that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God, and that God's wisdom and God's plan seem to the world to be foolishness. We must take our choice as between human wisdom and divine wisdom. Blessed are they who walk by faith and not by sight, and accept the wisdom of the divine Word. The end of the Lord's plan will fully justify their confidence, and work out abundantly more and better things than they ever dreamed.

HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST.

The word Hosanna is an acclaim of praise and confidence and expectancy and very closely resembles in thought the word hallelujah. Collecting the different exclamations of the people as given in the different Gospels we have these: "Hosanna," "Hosanna to the Son of David," "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord," "Blessed is the King," "Blessed is the King of Israel, that cometh in the name of the Lord," "Blessed is the Kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord," "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest," "Hosanna in the highest." Our Lord, of course, understood the whole situation – "He knew what was in man." He knew the depths of the sincerity behind these exclamations and acts of reverence; he knew, too, of the forces of evil and their power to make light appear darkness and darkness appear light.

He knew that he was to be the Passover Lamb, and [R3538 : page 109] that within five days another multitude, led by religious teachers, would be crying "Crucify him! Crucify him!" He knew that this shout now around him, gladly hailing him as the Messenger of the Covenant, would be disconcerted by the wolves – that they would be fearful of their own lives and interests as they would realize the power of the rulers and the mob under their control. He realized that with their little knowledge they would not dare to trust their own judgments as against those of their religious teachers; he knew that the Shepherd was about to be smitten and the sheep to be frightened and scattered, yet he said nothing; he allowed the divine program to be enacted; he was going as a sheep to the slaughter, but he opened not his mouth to appeal for aid, to defend himself, to explain the true situation. He could, but he would not, deliver himself out of the hands of those who sought his life; for this very purpose he had come into the world – to die, to be sacrificed for sins.

"THE VERY STONES WOULD CRY OUT."

Some of the Pharisees had come along, perhaps through curiosity or perhaps to act as spies – perhaps some of those with whom Judas was conferring, and who were endeavoring to decide when and how the Lord should be taken, not realizing that their powers were limited until his hour was fully come. These spoke to the disciples, requesting them to call to the attention of Jesus the language of the multitude, and to suggest that it was not appropriate for him to permit them to thus proclaim him the Messiah and King. We are to remember that Jesus did not sound a trumpet before him, prominently announcing himself as the Messiah, as impostors were in the habit of doing. For three years he had preached the Gospel, gathering his disciples, performing his miracles, but had said nothing about his being the Messiah. He allowed his disciples to wonder and the public to wonder.

Some said he was a prophet, others that he was one of the prophets risen from the dead, others that he was Elias, but Jesus himself said nothing until a few months before the time of the lesson, when he broached the matter to his disciples by asking whom they considered him to be, and Simon Peter, speaking under a measure of inspiration or guidance, declared him to be the Messiah. From that time on Jesus began to explain to them that although he was the Messiah he must suffer, and they understood not. To them it seemed that, so far from his death being near, the very reverse was true. Some of the people were just getting awake to his greatness and power, others were just finding out that Messiah had really come – it could not be, they thought, that their Master would be crucified. They considered this one of his dark sayings.

But Jesus would not bid the multitude stop. On the contrary, he explained that their shouts were but a fulfilment of a prophecy made centuries before by Zechariah (9:9) – "Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy King cometh unto thee: he is just and having salvation; lowly and riding upon an ass." Furthermore, by way of emphasizing the matter, by way of convincing his disciples that he was the very one mentioned by the prophet, he declared that if the multitude had not broken forth in a shout the very stones of the ground must have shouted, because thus God had caused it to be written aforetime in the prophecy, and not one jot or tittle of the divine declaration could fail. A little later on, when our Lord and his followers had reached the Temple, the shoutings of "Hosanna" were renewed; and in that connection it is particularly mentioned that the children joined in the shouting, in accord with the words of the Scripture – "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained praise."

THE TIME OF THEIR VISITATION.

How remarkable is this scene! – the people of Israel waiting for Messiah for centuries, striving to be ready to be his peculiar people, to be associated with him in his Kingdom work, in the blessing of all the nations of the earth their religious teachers, with broad phylacteries and many outward manifestations of piety, zeal for the law and for the Sabbath, and claiming to be waiting for the Messiah, were all unprepared, not in the heart condition which alone would be able to recognize the Messiah – "blind," leading the blind multitude who were too confidently trusting in them.

On the other hand the apostles, ignorant and unlearned men from Galilee, at a distance from the advantages of Judea, were the chief supporters and backers of Messiah. The crowd around him and favoring him, recognizing him, shouting his praises, were common people, many of them strangers to those parts, who had fewer advantages religiously than the people of Jerusalem. Amongst the number to give him praise were the little uninstructed children. How strange the scene appears, and yet it is no more strange than at present. Again we are in the days of the Son of man – again the doctors of the law, doctors of divinity and chief priests and scribes and learned professors and prominent church people, professing faithfulness to the Lord and praying continually, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven," are blind to the fact of our Lord's second coming, to the fact that we are now living in the days of the Son of man." – Matt. 24:37-39.

Only a few realize the situation and they are chiefly of the Nazareth and Galilean type, not highly esteemed amongst men and in religious circles – thought to be rather peculiar at very best. These alone to-day are hailing Emanuel, shouting his praises and laying at his feet their garments of praise and the palm branches of such victories as they can gain on behalf of the Truth in conflict with the world, the flesh and the devil.

"YOUR HOUSE IS LEFT UNTO YOU DESOLATE."

The little procession was not long in passing from Bethany to the knoll of the Mount of Olives, which overlooks Jerusalem. Here the Master stopped and the multitude with him, their attention riveted upon the city and the King. They knew not the importance of the moment, they realized not that the great clock of the universe was striking, that a new dispensational change was taking place, that the favor which God had for centuries bestowed upon Israel as a nation was about to pass from them, because they were not as a nation in heart readiness to receive the blessings and privileges proffered to them.

And it is not for us to mourn that they were not ready – rather it is for us to realize that the plan of God was not thwarted nor hindered by their unreadiness; and in God's providence, as he had foreknown and foretold, the fall of natural Israel from divine favor was about to open the way for so many of the Gentiles as were ready [R3539 : page 110] for the blessing, to come into divine favor, and become with the elect of natural Israel members of spiritual Israel. The Master saw all this, and as it was the marked-out divine plan he murmured not in any particular, and yet he wept as he beheld the city, as he thought of the privileges that were about to be removed from Israel as a nation, and how instead of blessings there would come upon them as a consequence of their rejection of their opportunities a "great time of trouble," awful trouble. He felt now as he expressed himself a few days later as they wept with him on the way to Calvary, "Weep not for me, weep for yourselves."

By way of identifying the transpiring events in the minds of his followers, even in this day, our Lord uttered audibly the words, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, 'Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.'" – Matt. 23:37-39.

WHAT THE SENTENCE IMPLIED.

Our Lord's words emphasize five points:

(1) The Jews as the natural seed of Abraham had the first opportunity under the divine arrangement of becoming fully and exclusively the elect of God, the Church, the Bride, the Lamb's wife. But only a remnant of them were worthy, because only a remnant were in the heart condition of Israelites indeed. The majority were praying to the Lord with their lips while their hearts were far from him, as Jesus declared.

(2) The time had come for the end of their national favor. The "house of Israel" according to the flesh had received all the favor God intended for it up to this time, and now, being found wanting, it was cast aside – "Your house is left unto you desolate."

(3) When that typical house of servants was left desolate it furnished the opportunity for the installation of the antitypical house of sons. The Apostle expresses this, saying, "Moses, verily, was faithful as a servant over his house, but Christ as a Son over his house [house of sons]; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." – Heb. 3:5,6.

(4) Our Lord's absence during the period of the selection of spiritual Israel is indicated by his statement that natural Israel should see him no more "until that day." Spiritual Israel would see him, but only with the eye of faith, as our Lord again expressed it – "Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more, but ye shall see me."

(5) Our Lord's words indicate further that when that day shall come the blindness of natural Israel shall be turned away, their eyes of understanding shall open, and they also will see out of the obscurity, out of the darkness under which they were then laboring and under which they have been for more than eighteen centuries of this Gospel age.

The Apostle emphasizes this point, telling us that as soon as the spiritual Israel class has been completed and glorified, then favor shall return to natural Israel, and the blindness which came upon them because of the rejection of Messiah and because their house was rejected from the Lord's favor will pass away – "All Israel shall be saved" from their blindness. The Lord through the prophet tells the same thing, assuring us that in that day he will pour out his Spirit upon the house of David and the house of Judah, and they shall look upon him whom they have pierced and shall mourn because of him. He assures us that in that day he will pour upon them the spirit of prayer and supplication.

How glad we are for these assurances that God hath not cast away perpetually the natural seed of Abraham, whom he foreknew and to whom pertained the promises, and who are sure to get a share in those promises, although they have forfeited their privileges as respects the chief part, concerning which the Apostle declares, Israel hath not obtained it, but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. So, then, while sympathizing with Israel in their loss, we rejoice that in God's providence our eyes have seen and our ears have heard of the King and his Kingdom, and that we have become his spiritual Israel and are to be with him the seed of Abraham, through whom all the families of the earth will be blessed, natural Israel being the first of those who will receive the divine favor.

"Ride on triumphantly, O Lord,
Pride and ambition at thy feet we lay.
Our eyes are opening and we hear thy Word;
We are thy followers, lead thou the way
To victory over sin and death and grave."
SPIRITUAL ISRAEL'S ANTITYPE.

The Scriptures clearly indicate that spiritual Israel, as the antitype of natural Israel, will similarly have a great testing in the end of this period or age; that a harvest time for the gathering of the wheat is the consummation or closing of both the Jewish and the Gospel ages; that a terrible time of trouble, symbolized by fire upon the chaff of the Jewish age and by fire burning the tares in the end of the Gospel age, will prepare the way for the grander dispensation to follow the glorious reign of Messiah. The Scriptures declare that as our Lord proved a stone of stumbling to the great mass of nominal Israel after the flesh at his first advent, so he will be for a stone of stumbling to spiritual Israel, his second house, at his second advent.

We are, therefore, to expect that now in this harvest as in the harvest at the end of the Jewish age, the great mass of the Lord's professed people will be unready, and stumble, and go into the great time of trouble which will wind up this age. While sympathizing with the conditions, while weeping as our dear Redeemer wept over the natural house, while saying, Babylon is fallen, as he then declared, "Your house is left unto you desolate," we nevertheless learn to rejoice in the outworkings of the divine plan, realizing them to be the very embodiment of justice, wisdom, love. And the more deeply we inquire into the Word of the Lord, the more do we see that his love has still wonderful provisions in the future for many who are not found worthy to be of the very elect, the house of sons, but who may come into divine favor on a lower plan during the Millennial age.

Those who did receive the Lord at his first advent, those who were "Israelites indeed in whom there was no guile," not only were kept from stumbling over the Lord, but, instead of becoming a stumbling-stone to them, by the grace of God he became a stepping-stone to the higher and grander things of this Gospel age, to the great spiritual blessings which began at Pentecost. [R3539 : page 111] And so now, while the mass of nominal spiritual Israel, Christendom, are stumbling in the time of the second presence, we need have no doubt that all who are now spiritual Israelites indeed will be found of the Lord and gathered into his garner; and that while the masses of professors will stumble, all of this class will find the Lord and the present Truth a stepping-stone to the still grander and still higher new dispensation to which we will be ushered in, not by another Pentecost, but by the glorious change of the first resurrection, which shall make us like our Lord, spirit beings, partakers of the divine nature.

This class, prepared for this blessing and exaltation, will be found – much like the class at the first advent – to contain not many great, not many wise, not many learned, but Israelites indeed, sincere lovers of the Truth, willing at heart at least to lay down their lives for the Lord and for the brethren. To them also come the Lord's comforting words, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear." Even in the present time they have a blessing, before the change.

THE JEWS SOUGHT SIGNS, THE GREEKS WISDOM.

John's account does not give all the details respecting the entry into the Temple, but, passing over some of these, enumerates an incident that occurred probably a day or two afterward while our Lord was preaching in the Temple. Certain Greeks, realizing that the Lord was not appreciated by his hearers, apparently thought to invite him to go with them to their homes, not realizing the plan of God in respect to his great sacrifice. They requested an audience with Jesus, and, naturally enough, went to Philip and Andrew, whose names of Greek origin implied that they had a knowledge of the Greek language. These made known the matter to Jesus, who, however, merely used the incident for an opportunity to impress still further the lesson of the hour, that the time had come for him to be glorified – not glorified in the way that his disciples and friends had expected and hoped, but glorified in the higher sense which our Lord realized. He knew that his hour was approaching in which he was to be crucified, and that his obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, was the condition upon which his high exaltation in the divine plan was made to hinge. His heart, fully consecrated, was merely waiting for the opportunity to finish the work which the Father had given him to do.

"IF A GRAIN OF WHEAT DIE."

Our Lord answered in a dark saying, in a parable, "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." No wonder that the apostles and the Jews were mystified by such statements of the truth. Indeed we know from other Scriptures that the majority of our Lord's teachings were not expected nor intended to be understood until after Pentecost – after the holy Spirit of adoption would enlighten their understandings. Now, by reason of this enlightenment, we are privileged to appreciate the rich depths of our Lord's statement. [R3540 : page 111]

We see that if Jesus had kept his life, had not sacrificed it, he might indeed have maintained it forever, but he would not in that event have been privileged to bestow life upon the Church and the world. His death, the just for the unjust, applied to his believing disciples, justified them to life, "through faith in his blood." His death thus brings forth choice fruit in his Church, his Bride, his Members. And, indirectly, the fruitage will be still larger, for his disciples, justified through faith in his blood, are invited and privileged to lay down their lives with his, to become dead with him. The results or fruitage in their case as members of his body means a still larger crop in the age to come. Otherwise stated, our Lord as the one grain brings forth much fruit, an hundred and forty and four thousand, besides the "great company" whose number is known to no man. And through the hundred and forty and four thousand, his representatives, his members, the result will ultimately be a still larger fruitage, when all the families of the earth shall have the fullest opportunity of reconciliation to the Father and of life everlasting upon the divine conditions.

TERMS OF DISCIPLESHIP.

Stating matters far beyond the comprehension of his hearers, our Lord proceeded to mark out the course of his immediate followers in language which they would understand after the begetting of the Spirit, after Pentecost, saying, "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." That is to say, if we esteem highly our present existence, under present imperfect conditions, we will not be willing to lay down our lives in the Lord's service in the hope of future life, seen only by the eye of faith.

We must love less the present life under present imperfect conditions in order to appreciate more the eternal life under better conditions. Whoever is satisfied with the sinful and imperfect condition in the present life is in no state of mind to become the Lord's disciple. Being satisfied with present conditions, he will be unwilling to sacrifice them for the really better ones which the Lord commends. We have no reason to think that the Lord's words apply beyond this Gospel age – in the Millennial age things will be greatly transformed, reorganized. The Lord's language limits the matter saying, "in this world," – that is, this kosmos or order of things.

Still continuing to explain the requirements of present discipleship, our Lord declares, If any man will be my servant let him follow me; where I am there will also my servant be. By this language our Lord shows that his faithful followers shall ultimately share his divine nature in the spirit realm. Again he states the same matter in different language, saying, "If any man will serve me, him will the Father honor." The Father honored the Son because of his faithfulness even unto death; the Father accepts as sons the followers of the Son, justified through his blood; and those who are faithful in walking in his steps the Father will surely honor as he honored Jesus, the first-born, whom he raised from the dead to glory, honor and immortality, far above angels, principalities and powers and every name that is named. Let us all be faithful followers.

page 113
April 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. XXVI.APRIL 15, 1905.No. 8
CONTENTS.
Views from the Watch Tower 115
The Welsh Revival 115
Several American Revivals 116
An Editor Who Sees Something 116
Spirit Phenomena Increasing 117
Washing One Another's Feet 118
A Favorable Opportunity Lost 119
The Meaning of the Lord's Action 120
The True Vine and Its Fruit 121
The Vine of the Earth 121
Many Illustrations of our Oneness 122
The Object of Pruning 122
"Now Ye are Clean" 123
Withered Branches Burned 124
Interesting Letters from the Antipodes 125

'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 114

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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[R3540 : page 115]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
THE WELSH REVIVAL.

CONFLICTING views of the significance of the Welsh revival abound. The movement is novel in that it seems to be outside the labors of "ministers," carried on by men and women hitherto without reputation and still manifesting "little ability." Indeed, the meetings are described as "go-as-you-please," in many respects. We rejoice that it seems well established that better morals and much less drunkenness mark the region affected.

Lady Henry Somerset writes to friends respecting this spontaneous revival, contrasting it favorably with the less successful efforts being put forth in London by the ministers and others, in cooperation with Dr. Torrey and Mr. Alexander, "American Evangelists." The latter movement has had all kinds of advertising, and every assistance that $57,000 could command. An extract from Lady Somerset's letter follows:

"Dr. Torrey spoke simple, straightforward words without any great magnetic force, although you could not but feel the earnestness of the man and the strength of his belief, and yet his words to me were a disappointment. Ten thousand men and women were there, who, speaking generally, professed Christianity. They were gathering in a city where sadness and sin abound, where the indifferent crowd the pavements, and the hopeless fill our slums and mean streets. The revivalist took for his text, 'Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice.' Joy, he said, was the characteristic of the Christian, joy overflowing filled his heart, illumined his features, welled out in his words. Does it? I thought, as I looked round the audience. Ought it to do so? was the question that rose in my heart.

"The cries of the oppressed in Russia are ringing in our ears, the cruel grasp of poverty holds our people in the iron grip of hunger, the steps of the man who is seeking work in vain beat upon our streets, the sin which mars, blights and destroys is stalking abroad at this very hour, the drink poison is inflaming men's brains and cursing their lives. Can our attitude as Christians be one of joy?

"Ought we not rather to weep with Christ over sorrowful, wayward Humanity, and humbly face the dread responsibility which rests upon us? Calm, self-satisfied we all sat there, and never a word did the revivalist say to those listening thousands to arouse them to the fact that the state of London, nay of the world, lies at the door of the lethargic church itself. We sang songs over and over again about heaven, about joining our loved ones yonder.

"A young man with a beautiful voice in the top gallery sang a solo about "Telling Mother I'll Be There," but to me the note of a real revival was missing, which should sound the call to be about the business of our Master, to be in dead earnest that God's will be done on earth, and to understand that it is the business of His Church to get it done. And as I went away after the meeting, to the slums of the East End, I felt more strongly than ever that to define our understanding of what heaven will be is an impossibility. One thing we know, however – that it must mean an eternal harmony between our will and God's, and that our present peace lies in doing His will now.

"But it is still more difficult to understand how joy can be the keynote of our Christianity if the revivalists really believe that for some an eternity of torment awaits them, without even the escape through the purifying fire which the tenderer spirit of the medieval church granted as a recognition of the mercy of God; for them it surely seems to me joy is impossible. "It is as though one individual, with a cry of exultation and a shout of Alleluia, found the fire escape, while the rest of the household perished in the flames. But the impression produced on my mind may have been possibly heightened by the contrast presented by the wonderfully vivid realization of the simple work of the Spirit which has been blowing like the divine breath through the valleys of South Wales.

"There organization has been unknown, money has been unsought, newspaper puffs nonexistent; indeed, the revivalist has still to be found. True it is that the figure of Evan Roberts stands out strongly, and yet the revival is independent of him.

"There is no order of service, no set choir, only bursts of wonderful Welsh melody, no hymn books – the words are written in the hearts of the worshipers. The little whitewashed chapels resound with song, song exquisite in its harmony, solemn as death, and yet jubilant as a choir of angels. Then stillness, prayers, soft sobbing [R3540 : page 116] from broken hearts, confession, profession, all the wonderful gamut of the soul's experience, but all spontaneous, with no settled effect, only the greatest effect of all, the reality of human need and divine power.

"What wonder Wales has been shaken as never before since the great religious revival a century and a half ago! What wonder the drink shops are empty, that at the assizes there has been no crime!

"Everywhere as you move about you feel a great hush as though Christ walked over the mountains and into the mining towns and out through the valleys among the sons and daughters of toil, whose eyes have been opened to see Him as He came to them by the way."

*                         *                         *

This dear writer seems to be "ripe" for the message of Present Truth as are all the best hearts the world over. We trust that somehow she and all such will be reached within the next ten years. It is said to be remarkable, too, that the eternal torment idea is but seldom referred to in the Welsh movement.

The editor of Review of Reviews, Mr. Stead, has given considerable attention to the Welsh movement and predicts that the blaze there started will sweep over the world. He declares that he sees evidences of clairvoyance in connection with Mr. Evan Roberts, the leader of the revival. Mr. Stead is himself an avowed Spiritualist [R3541 : page 116] and ought to be good authority on the subject.

The "lights" which follow one of the women leaders of the revival, Mrs. Jones, we have referred to on the next page. A reader sends us the following, which purports to be an extract from a work, Luminous Phenomena, by no less a celebrity than

SIR WILLIAM CROOKS

"Under the strictest test conditions, I have seen a solid self-luminous body, the size and nearly the shape of a turkey's egg, float noiselessly about the room, at one time higher than anyone present could reach standing on tiptoe, and then gently descend to the floor. It was visible for more than ten minutes, and before it faded away it struck the table three times with a sound like that of a hard solid body....I have seen luminous points of light darting about and settling on the heads of different persons; I have had questions answered by the flashing of a bright light a desired number of times in front of my face. I have seen sparks of light rising from the table to the ceiling, and again falling upon the table, striking it with an audible sound. I have had an alphabetic communication given by luminous flashes occurring before me in the air, whilst my hand was moving about amongst them. I have seen a luminous cloud floating upwards to a picture. Under the strictest test conditions I have more than once had a solid, self-luminous, crystalline body placed in my hand by a hand which did not belong to any person in the room. In the light I have seen a luminous cloud hover over a heliotrope on a side table, break a sprig off, and carry the sprig to a lady; and on some occasions I have seen a similar luminous cloud visibly condense to the form of a hand and carry small objects about."

*                         *                         *

When we remember how Satanic influence operated toward the work of Paul and Silas (Acts 16:16-19) and when we remember, too, the repeated declarations of the Bible, that Satan is to have great power and signs and lying wonders in the end of this age, which, "if it were possible, would deceive the very elect," we are not yet sure that Spiritism (demonism) has not something to do with these signs. We are to expect that as a last resort to gain power, Satan will in effect cast out Satan – thereby to gain and hold a greater influence against the Truth. In the temptations to our Lord, Satan practically offered everything if he might but retain his power; and doubtless he would be no less willing now to do good, that evil might follow. Without judging until more fruits are ripe, and surely without opposing good moral results, let us beware lest we fall into any of Satan's traps, for we are not ignorant of his devices.

For a week Evan Roberts would not speak one word nor attend a meeting. The latest word is that on the eighth day he broke silence and said: "I have wrestled, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, but power has been given to me, and I have obtained the victory."

SEVERAL AMERICAN REVIVALS

The newspapers tell of a remarkable revival in New York state, of one in New Jersey, which converted almost the entire population, closed the saloons, etc.; of another in Southern Illinois, where the principal minister seems to have been a professional base ball player, whose efforts for righteousness are turning many from sinful ways to sobriety and religion of a sort; and of a similar movement in a Dakota town, which has apparently awakened some to a changed course of life, "turning over a new leaf," etc.

Let us rejoice with those who rejoice! Let us be glad to note every evidence of reform in heart or conduct! But let us remember that conversion is the beginning and not the end of the Christian life. If these converts are now of "the household of faith," let us greet them as such and congratulate them and hope for their growth in grace and knowledge to the point where they will be ready for the next step, – full consecration.

The privilege and responsibility for the instruction of these lies at our door; for alas! most other Christians through lack of development are unable to assist these into right paths of faith and hope, not having found these for themselves, – being still bewildered by the fog and smoke of the "dark ages." Let us be as wise and kind and helpful as possible along these lines; and let us pray for the wisdom from above promised in our year-text.

Meantime let us stand fast in our uncompromising but kindly opposition to Churchianity, "Babylon," and our loyalty to the One Church of many members of which Christ is the Head. While repudiating sectarian systems as of the Adversary, let us fellowship as brethren all who trust in the precious blood and are consecrated to his service – no matter how imperfectly they discern [R3541 : page 117] the truth – hoping for the fuller opening of the eyes of their understanding soon.

AN EDITOR WHO SEES SOMETHING

The Methodist Advocate, of Richmond, Va., editorially notes the need of a revival of religion, but fears that the prosperity of our times is unfavorable for its development. He concludes thus:

"The South, in 1865, was the land of woe. No words have been coined to rightly represent its anguish. God in mercy gave them a divine solace. For years a revival continued. There was a million of accessions to our Church, unparalleled. But 'prosperity' spread to the cotton, cane and tobacco fields. We erected temples, hired men singers and women singers, set up sackbut, dulcimer, cornet, flute and harp, as never was seen or sought after by our fathers. We admired ourselves. And so likewise did our brethren of the "Twin Methodism," [Methodists of the North]. Such superb fanes, each with its baritone, alto, soprano and imported music master.

"There has been a dry-rot. The evolution is the 'boll weavil' of the pulpit. It has sapped the faith of the prophet. Commercialism raving in a delirium is the cut-worm of the piety of the pew. If ever this Republic had need of 'old-time religion,' it is in this era. The Trust is hatching the cockatrice eggs of Socialism. There are men living who saw 'Black Republicanism,' as then called, hooted. And presently that genius, a dwarf corked in a bottle, grew into a giant. He turned into the Demon of Civil War. Socialism yesterday cast but a handful of ballots. At last election it was a head taller than the 'Black Republicanism' of its early days. The contest, now on, is one of political economy. The Strike and the Trust are 'foot to foot, beard to beard,' at the ballot-box. And to-morrow, it will be the cartridge-box.

"America needs the inflow of the divine influence. The rainbow must arch the sky or the Deluge of Death will overwhelm this fair land."

SPIRIT PHENOMENA INCREASING.

It should not surprise us that spirit-manifestations are on the increase. In Pittsburg recently a Miss Fay gave public exhibitions of her power to read questions in the pockets of her audience, others held tightly in their own hands, etc. Her answers to the questions were said to have been remarkable everyway. True, it was claimed by some that her work was fraudulent; but others as positively declared that stolen goods were recovered by her advice and matters explained as no human being could have done without supernatural aid.

A SCHOOL GIRL'S POWER

A newspaper report tells of a school girl in the West who has just discovered that she possesses similar powers. She first found that she could "see the answers in her books" when they were closed, just as accurately as when they were open before her, etc.

"STRANGE SIGHTS" IN WALES

From London come cablegrams telling of peculiar manifestations of "supernatural lights" in the vicinity of the Revival scenes, and are regarded as signs from heaven. These follow one of the women preachers and are seen near one of the chapels. We quote further: –

"Suddenly I saw what appeared to be a ball of fire above the roof of the chapel. It had a steady, intense, yellow brilliance and did not move. Later two lights flashed out, one on each side of the chapel; they seemed about 100 feet apart and considerably higher in the air than the first one. In the distance they looked like large, brilliant motorcar lights. Just after 10:30 I was startled by a flash on the dark hillside. It looked like a solid ball of light, six inches in diameter, and was tiring to look at."

SPIRITS IN A TREE

The public press reports that a tree on the farm of W. Albert, near Paducah, Ky., called the "talking tree" has attracted much attention lately – crowds going to see and hear it. Strange noises emanate from the tree, including a crash, as though it were being crushed, and then a voice can be distinctly heard, saying, "There are treasures buried at my roots." One journal says: –

"A party consisting of the most reliable citizens of the county visited the tree to make a thorough investigation for themselves as to the noises being heard. They listened patiently for several hours, when there was a sudden crash, which has been given many times before, and the marvelous reproduction of human voice came out.

"The mystery remains unsolved, and so great has the number of people been who have gone there in the last several months that the tree is now dead, caused by the continuous tramping on the earth surrounding the tree. [R3542 : page 117]

"The only theory that has been suggested is that a man was killed under the tree in 1862, and while many do not believe in "spirits," the facts are so plain and the voice can be so distinctly heard that they cannot dispute the fact."

THE OBJECT INTENDED

Evidently the time is nearing when the Lord will permit this "strong delusion" to mislead many; and we may be sure that the fallen spirits will be ready to use whatever liberty is granted them. We may expect their manifestations to increase and to deceive many more, and be one of the important influences leading up to the persecution of the followers of the Truth, and ultimately to the great world-trouble. There have been so many applications for extra copies of our issue of January 15 that we have concluded to issue its article on Spiritism in tract form at once. Order samples for your friends as you can use them to advantage.

TO FOUND AN INSTITUTE OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH

Professor Hyslop and others recently held a meeting in New York City to take steps to found a Research institute. It was decided that it would require one hundred thousand dollars to found it properly, and fifty thousand dollars a year to maintain it. Speaking on the subject, Rev. M. J. Savage said: –

DESIRES KNOWLEDGE OF NEXT WORLD

"If the life we are leading here is all there is to it, every sensible man would wish to know it, and yet there is no use in hiding from us the fact that such a knowledge would be sad to most of us and that it would change the entire meaning and outlook of existence. [R3542 : page 118]

"I have been immensely interested in these investigations because I believe that if we could make people sure of continued existence and could couple with this in popular appreciation a recognition of the universal law of cause and effect, we should be able to lift the level of the moral life of the world. That is, if people could know that they must keep right on and if they could couple with this the further knowledge that as the past has made the present, so the present must make the future; that there is no magic in the fact of death to change our nature, but that we keep right on what we have made ourselves – this knowledge would seem to me the mightiest moral lever that the human mind can possibly conceive.

SOLUTION OF THE LABOR PROBLEMS

"It would become a practical motive bearing on every thought, every feeling, every action of the daily life. Right here I believe we should find the best possible solution of our industrial problems.

"If the mass of men come to believe that this life is all, it is the most natural thing in the world that people should struggle for their share of whatever good things life may seem to have for them as they go along. If we are only dogs in a world kennel whose roof is the sky, why should one smarter and fiercer than the rest be allowed to monopolize a pile of bones a thousand times larger than he can personally use while the rest simply snarl and starve?

"There is no use in my saying that this is not a practical question. It seems to me the most practical and vital of all of which we can possibly conceive. What kind of being am I? What is the rational way for me to live? On what scale shall I lay out my life? What is to be the possible outcome and what shall I try to attain? If these questions are not practical and important, then I do not know of any which are more than trifles."

[R3542 : page 118]

WASHING ONE ANOTHER'S FEET.

JOHN 13:1-14. – APRIL 30.

Golden Text: – "By love serve one another." – Gal. 5:13.

O
UR lessons can only be properly understood by taking note of the surroundings. The feast at Bethany, followed by our Lord's triumphal entry on the ass amid the shoutings of the multitude, his several days' preaching in the Temple to large crowds, and the coming of the Greeks to inquire for him, all seemed to indicate a growing popularity; and the disciples, thoroughly unable to comprehend the Master's declaration that he was shortly to be put to death by the chief priests, were full of ambitious thoughts respecting the future – respecting their identity with the Lord, and how his exaltation as a king would bring them into prominence and honor with him, as well as confer upon them the coveted opportunity of accomplishing a large amount of good, blessing a larger number of people, etc.

The thirteenth of Nisan apparently was spent by our Lord in quiet retirement, and the evening following, beginning the fourteenth, was the time appointed for the celebration of the Passover Supper in the upper room. Some of the apostles had, by the Lord's instruction, made ready beforehand; and now, as they assembled without a host to appoint them their places at the Supper, a discussion as to their prominence and their rights to the most honorable places, nearest to the Master, is not surprising. Our Lord twice before had rebuked them on this very line, assuring them that unless they cultivated and attained a spirit of meekness like little children they could have no part in the Kingdom. And only a week before, while en route to Jerusalem, James and John had made the request that in the Kingdom, when established, they might sit the one on the right hand and the other on the left hand of the Master, in closest proximity to his person. It was this spirit that controlled on this occasion, and led up to our Lord's washing of the disciples' feet as a lesson of humility and willingness to serve one another even in the humblest capacity.

SELFISHNESS EVEN IN LOVE

Nor are we to think of the apostles as each striving for the highest position merely from a selfish standpoint. Rather we should suppose that Peter, James and John, whom the Lord had in various ways specially favored in times past and who seemed to be specially close to him, loved the positions nearest his person, not merely because of the honor thus implied, but largely because of their love and esteem for the Master himself, and perhaps with the feeling that they appreciated this privilege more than some others could appreciate the same. Indeed we may suppose that a considerable number of the other apostles strove on their behalf, insisting that they should have the most honorable position. But however we view the matter, it is evident that a wrong spirit had been engendered, one very inappropriate to the occasion, especially inappropriate to the Memorial Supper which our Lord intended to institute after the Passover Supper.

It is difficult for us to gage our own hearts thoroughly and hence we should use great charity in measuring the hearts and intentions of others, and should err rather on the side of too great sympathy and leniency than on the side of too strong condemnation. Doubtless had the apostles been inquired of respecting the matter they would have denied any elements of selfishness in their motives and conduct, and would have thought and spoken only of their zeal for the Lord and desire to be near him. This illustrates to us, what the Scriptures declare, that the human heart is exceedingly deceitful – that it needs scrutinizing carefully lest, under the cloak of something good, it might harbor qualities which without that cloak we would despise or spurn.

As further illustrating this subject, and as helping us each and all to apply the lesson personally, we relate a dream told by a Scotch minister, Horatius Bonar, shortly [R3542 : page 119] before his death. He dreamed that his zeal was represented in a package of considerable size and weight, and that some angels came to it and weighed it and assured him that it was full weight, an hundred pounds – all that was possible. In his dream he was greatly pleased with this report. They next determined to analyze it. They put it into a crucible and tested it in various ways and then reported the result thus: "Fourteen parts selfishness; fifteen parts sectarianism; twenty-two parts ambition; twenty-three parts love to man; twenty-six parts love to God." Awakening he realized that it was but a dream, yet felt greatly humbled, and doubtless was profited by it throughout the remainder of life. That dream may be equally profitable to each of us in leading us to a close inspection of the motives which lie beyond our words and thoughts and doings – especially beyond our service for the Lord and for the brethren.

The first verse of our lesson calls attention to our Lord's love as the basis of all his dealings with "his own." Because of his love he laid aside his glory and became a man; because of his love he devoted himself as the man Christ Jesus; because of his love he was now anxious to help his dear disciples over a difficulty which, if not conquered, would hinder their usefulness as his followers both in the present and future. This love not only led our Lord to administer the reproof necessary, but led him to do it in the wisest and best and kindest manner. His example in this respect should be observed and copied by all his followers, especially those who in any public capacity or service are his representatives in the Church.

Had our Lord and his disciples been the guests of some host on this occasion, it would have been considered the duty of the host to have sent some menial [R3543 : page 119] to wash their feet. This was the custom of the country, and very necessary to comfort. The open sandals or imperfectly sewed shoes allowed the dust of the highway to soil the feet, and really made washing a necessity after every journey, but particularly on a festal occasion of this kind. As the Lord's company were not guests, but merely had the use of the room, no servant appeared to wash their feet, and it would have been properly the duty and custom for one of the number to have performed the menial service for the others. As we have just seen, however, the spirit of rivalry was warm in their hearts, and no one volunteered to render the service, nor had any one the right to demand it in a company in which the Lord had made no special rank and appointed none as menials. This, however, rightly understood and appreciated, would have left the greater opportunity for some of them to have volunteered this service to the others. What an opportunity they all lost!

A FAVORABLE OPPORTUNITY LOST

Our Lord apparently let the matter go to the full limit to see whether or not any of them would improve the opportunity and make himself servant of all: he waited until the supper was being served (not ended, as in our common version;) then arising from the table he laid aside his outer garment or mantle and took a towel and girded himself – that is to say, tightened the girdle worn around the waist, which would hold up the flowing under-garments and keep them out of the way of his activity. We can well imagine the consternation of the apostles as they watched this procedure, and then saw the Lord go from the feet of one and another as they protruded from the couches on which they reclined (as illustrated in a previous lesson). The method of washing feet was different from ours: the basin was merely a receptacle for holding the soiled water, the water being poured from the pitcher in a small stream while the foot was being washed, rubbed, rinsed.

Apparently the apostles were so astonished at our Lord's procedure, and so felt the condemnation which his course implied, that they knew not what to say, and so silence reigned until it came Peter's turn. Peter had a peculiar combination of character, part of which was extremely good. He objected to having his feet washed by the Lord, saying, "Dost thou wash my feet? – It is not appropriate, Lord, that one so great as you should serve a person of my standing, a poor fisherman." But our Lord answered that although Peter did not discern the full meaning of the matter, he would explain to him later when he had finished the washing of all. Peter's second remark was less praiseworthy than his first. He said, "Thou shalt never wash my feet."

It was hard for Peter to realize that he was the disciple and the Lord was the Teacher, – that it was for him to obey and not to dictate; but Jesus' answer, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me," at once brought out the better side of Peter's impulsive nature. If his washing had anything to do with his nearness to the Master and his relationship to him, then he wanted it. Going even to the other extreme again, fearing to leave matters in the Lord's care, he cried, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head." There is a lesson for us in this matter: We are not to dictate to the Lord, not to attempt to be wise or good or obedient in ways that he has not directed. This is a hard lesson for some dispositions to learn, – continually they want to do more than is written in the Scriptures. Such a course indicates either a lack of reverence for the Lord and his Word and the wisdom thereof, or else a too great self-confidence, too much self-esteem. A humble and trustful heart should learn to say, Thy will, O, Lord, thy way and in thy time – "Thy will, not mine be done."

WASHING THE FEET OF THE BATHED

Our Lord's answer in our common version is somewhat obscure; the revised version is better – he that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet to be clean every whit. Properly they had all bathed in accordance with the Jewish requirement of the putting away of all filth at the beginning of the Passover season. Our Lord's [R3543 : page 120] intimation, then, signified that having bathed they merely now needed the rinsing of their feet, the cleansing of the members that had come in contact with the earth. Our Lord added, referring to Judas, "Ye are clean, but not all." This expression shows us clearly that he had in mind a higher cleansing, of which this washing of their feet and their previous bath were but figures.

The Lord knew that the hearts of his disciples were loyal. He had accepted them as his disciples and had reckonedly imputed to them the merit of his sacrifice as a covering of their blemishes, the full testimony of which would be given them by and by at Pentecost, the holy Spirit testifying that the Father had accepted the Lord's atoning sacrifice on their behalf. But there was one in the number whose heart was not clean. Our Lord did not pass him by, but washed the feet of Judas with the rest, knowing the while of his perfidy, and that he had already bargained with the chief priests, and was merely awaiting the opportune moment for the carrying out of his malevolent scheme.

Our Lord's words, although not understood by the rest, must have been appreciated by Judas, as were also his subsequent words recorded in verses 18,26,27,28. Our Lord went so far as to quote the very prophecy which marked Judas and his disloyalty, his violation of even the common hospitality. None of these things moved Judas; none of these things appealed to his heart in such a manner as to change his course. We have thus strong evidence of the willful intention which marked his crime and enforced the meaning of our Lord's words when he called him the "son of perdition," and declared that it would have been better for him that he had never been born. The quotation from the Psalm was, "He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me."

PATIENCE TO ITS LIMIT

We may be sure that our Lord's conduct in dealing with Judas is not only a proper outline of what our conduct should be to any of a similar class, but additionally we should note the lesson that the Lord is long suffering toward all who become his disciples, not willing that any should perish, but disposed to do for them until the very last, and to bring to their attention the error of their ways repeatedly, in hope that thus they may be turned therefrom. The latter lesson has associated with it the thought that those who have received the Truth, and who in spite of all the favors connected therewith encourage and develop in themselves the spirit of selfishness, are apt to become so hardened, so calloused, that not even the Master's reproofs and the words of the Scriptures will influence them. This reminds us of the Apostle's words, "It is impossible to renew them again unto repentance" – to a proper course – if once the Spirit of the Lord has been fully subjected to the spirit of selfishness in their hearts.

In harmony with what he told Peter – that he should know later on the significance of the washing – our Lord explained the matter after he had gone the rounds of all the apostles. He said, "Know [understand] ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye ought also to wash one another's feet."

THE MEANING OF THE LORD'S ACTION

Here we have the entire lesson explained. In their fear to be the least, all the disciples had shunned the opportunity of service for the Master and for each other. Our Lord, their acknowledged Head and Master, the Messiah, had humbled himself to serve them all, and had thus rebuked their inhumility, and at the same time set them an example that would apply to every affair of life, namely, that they should be glad to serve one another on every proper occasion, in the high things or in the common affairs of life. This washing of one another's feet we may readily see applies to any and every humble service of life, any and every kindness, though specially to those services and kindnesses which would be along the lines of spiritual assistances and comfort.

From this standpoint it will be seen that we do not understand that our Master here enjoined a form or ceremony as our Dunkard friends and others believe. We do not even see in the matter the groundwork for the custom of the pope of Rome, who once every year, at this season washes the feet of twelve poor men, perhaps beggars, who are first prepared by a general washing and then brought in while the pope performs the special public service in the washing of their feet. We see no such formality in our Lord's intention. Indeed so far from it being a comfort or necessity to literally wash feet in our day and under our conditions, the reverse would be true. On the contrary, the Apostle points out, to wash the saints' feet in olden times was a mark of special hospitality, and entitled the performer to a loving respect in the Church. – 1 Tim. 5:10.

How many blessed opportunities we have for comforting, refreshing, consoling one another and assisting one another in some of the humblest affairs of life, or in respect to some of the unpleasant duties, experiences or trials of life. As our Golden Text expresses it, we are in love to serve one another and not through formality. Any service done or attempted to be done in love, with the desire to do good to one of the Lord's people, we may be sure has the divine approval and blessing. Let us lose no opportunities of this kind; let us remember the Master's example; let us, like our Master, not merely assume humility or pretend it, but actually have that humility which will permit us to do kindness and services to all with whom we come in contact, and proportionately enjoy this privilege as we find the needy ones to be members of the Lord's body – the Church.

As our Lord said to the disciples, "He that is bathed need not save to wash his feet," even so we may realize that all who are justified and consecrated members of his body have already had the bath, the washing of regeneration, and are already clean through the word spoken unto them. (John 15:3.) Nevertheless, although thus cleansed and sanctified, so long as we are in contact with the world we are liable to a certain degree of earthly defilement, and it especially behooves each one not only [R3544 : page 121] to look out for himself but to help one another to get rid of earthly defilements, thus serving his brethren, helping them in the weaknesses, trials and imperfections of the flesh, assisting them to become overcomers. In these respects he is cooperating in the great work of washing the saints' feet, cleansing from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and perfecting holiness in the reverence of the Lord. – 2 Cor. 7:1.

[R3544 : page 121]

THE TRUE VINE AND ITS FRUIT.

JOHN 15:1-12. – MAY 7.

Golden Text: – "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." – v. 8.

F
OLLOWING the institution of the Memorial Supper, the Lord and his disciples, excepting Judas, who had gone to betray him, went forth from the upper room toward the Garden of Gethsemane. It was while the disciples were troubled in heart in respect to various things the Lord had said unto them and his declarations respecting his coming death, and while the Lord, too, had in mind the parting from his disciples and their future experiences, that he gave them the parable of the Vine. Some have inferred that this, like other of the Lord's parables, was an object lesson – that something seen by them all suggested it. Some surmise that the vineyards on the route offered the suggestion, and others that their journey probably led past the golden gate of the Temple, on which there was a large golden vine, which Josephus describes as having had clusters as large as a man: another Jewish writer declares that its "leaves and buds were wrought in gleaming, reddish gold, but its clusters of yellow gold and its grapestones of precious stones." According to Jewish authorities, this vine kept growing by means of offerings of a leaf or a cluster or a branch by the wealthy, just as some to-day present memorial windows to churches. In any event the Lord and the apostles must frequently have seen this golden vine.

The Lord announced himself as the true Vine and his Father as the true Husbandman who planted the true vine, and his followers as the true branches of that vine. The expression "true vine" suggests a false vine, and this thought is accentuated and elaborated in our Lord's last message to his people in the symbols of Revelation. There he speaks of the gathering of the fruitage of the "vine of the earth," and the casting of the same into the wine-press of the wrath of God at the end of this age. (Rev. 14:19.) There was, therefore, a deeper meaning in our Lord's words, "true vine," than the apostles could have possibly gathered from them. We who are living at a time when both the true vine of the Father's planting and the false vine of the earth, earthly, have developed, have opportunity for noticing the difference between the two vines, and of noticing also that the vine of the earth is a counterfeit of the heavenly vine. In proportion as we see this matter clearly it will assist us not only in the understanding of the Lord's parable, but also in our application of it in our daily lives. We will be in less danger of misunderstanding, misconstruing and being deceived by the false vine, or by the false branches and the false principles represented in connection with its development, for it is not under the divine Husbandman's care.

THE TRUE VINE

The vine of the earth is the nominal Christian system organized along the lines of earthly wisdom. Its branches are the various sects and parties of Christendom. Its fruitage is cathedrals, temples, tabernacles, chapels, orphanages, hospitals, etc., political power, honor of men, wealth and social standing. It is great and influential in the world, and has the spirit of the world running through its branches and governing all of its affairs, and brings forth a fruitage which is not entirely bad, but which is entirely earthly, and which is relished and appreciated because it is earthly and practical rather than heavenly. This vine has grown wonderfully, has some three hundred branches and claims four hundred million adherents, and through its untold wealth of property and in its adherents it may be said to practically control the wealth of the world.

Great is the vine of the earth, wonderful in the eyes of men. But the harvesting time will show that these nominal systems are not the vine of Jehovah's right-hand planting (Isa. 60:21), and it is, therefore, the system which the Lord declares he will utterly uproot and destroy, and whose destruction is so graphically described in Revelation. In the wine-press of the wrath of God, in the great time of trouble which is nearing – which we believe the Scriptures to teach will be fully upon the world ten years from now – the blood of Babylon's grapes will mean a flood of trouble and anguish to the world. By that time, however, the true vine and its branches will all have been glorified, and the results of their proper fruit-bearing will mean blessings to all the families of the earth.

Let us consider carefully the "true Vine" and our relationship as branches of it, and the character of the fruit which the great Husbandman expects, that this last of our Lord's parables may greatly profit us, strengthen us, encourage us, assist us as it was intended that it should.

THE VINE OF THE EARTH

In the true Vine the branches are not sects, parties, and it is only by delusions of the Adversary that any who are his people recognize these systems of men. As the apostles were not Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, etc., neither should any of the Lord's followers be such, and it is only because we have been blinded by the Adversary's misteachings that any of the true children of God are in such error, and so we understand this parable and other teachings of the Word. The apostles did not join each other, but each Apostle was united in heart, in faith, in hope, in love, in devotion to the Lord himself. And so we should not join the apostles, nor say, I am of Paul, I am of Peter, etc., but each should individually join the Lord as a member, as a branch; each must have the sap of the vine if it would bear fruit. Sectarian sap is of no value in producing the real fruitage which the Lord desires – it is only a hindrance. By this we do not mean that none of the branches of the true Vine are by mistake associated with the nominal Church system, the vine of the earth. We recognize that this is so, and we also recognize [R3544 : page 122] the Lord's voice calling – "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues" – the great troubles coming upon her, mother and daughters.

As the branches do not represent denominations and sects, but the individuals who are united to the Lord, so the teaching of the parable is that our Lord does not prune sects and denominations but the individual Christians, whoever and wherever they may be – "The Lord knoweth them that are his." Our Lord's word on the subject is, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth [pruneth] it, that it may bear more fruit." Everything in the Scriptures teaches us that our salvation and our relationship to the Lord are individual, personal matters; that we are not saved by congregations and sects and parties and families, but that individually and personally we must be united to the vine if we would have the sap, if we would have the life, if we would be counted members of the Church, which is his body.

MANY ILLUSTRATIONS OF OUR ONENESS

It is remarkable how fully the Lord has covered the whole range of illustration in describing the oneness subsisting between himself and his consecrated followers. He gives us an illustration from the mineral kingdom, saying that we are living stones built together upon him as the foundation and capstone, to be the Temple of our God. From the animal kingdom our Lord drew illustrations of this oneness, likening himself to the good Shepherd and his true followers to the sheep under his care, one with him in fellowship. From the vegetable kingdom he drew the illustration of this lesson – I am the Vine, of which my true disciples are the branches. From the family relationship he drew an illustration of the true husband and true wife, and their complete, thorough union of heart and of every interest. From the family again he drew another illustration representing the Creator as the Father, himself as the elder Son and all of his followers as brethren. From the human body we have another illustration, Jesus himself being the Head over the Church, which is his body, for, as the Apostle declares, we are members in particular of the body of Christ. In proportion as our faith can grasp [R3545 : page 122] these declarations, in proportion as we can realize their truthfulness, in that same proportion we may have strong faith and confidence that he who has begun the good work in us is both able and willing to complete it. Whoever of a loyal, obedient heart can exercise faith has thus provided for himself strength and grace for every time of need, for every hour of trial, for every difficulty and perplexity and for all the affairs of life – the ballast which will give equilibrium and enable us to profit by all of life's experiences, the bitter as well as the sweet.

Our Lord's declaration that where two or three of his disciples are met together in his name they constitute a Church or body of Christ, and he as the head is with them for their blessing in proportion as their hearts are loyal to him and seeking his guidance, leads us to conclude likewise that wherever two or three of his members are there we have a representation of the vine, and they may have all the blessings of branches and all the privileges of fruit bearing. Very evidently, however, the Lord did not wish us to understand that in every little company of those who have named the name of Christ there would be so thorough a purging, so thorough a burning, that only the true branches would remain. His intimation is that he deals with us individually, as well as collectively, and that if we would maintain our personal relationship to him it must be by the receiving of the sap from the vine, the receiving of the holy Spirit, as one of the results of the union and fellowship with him.

So surely as we receive the holy Spirit into good and honest hearts the result will be a tendency to fruit-bearing, but the illustration our Lord gives teaches that some may become true branches in the vine and yet overlook and not possess the fruit-bearing disposition. Sometimes a healthy, strong branch develops from a good stock and root but has no fruit-bearing qualities. The husbandman with a trained eye discerns between buds which would bring forth grape clusters and the buds which would have only leaves. Those which do not have the fruit buds are known as "suckers" – because they merely suck the juices of the vine and bring forth no fruitage such as the husbandman seeks. These are pruned or cut off, so that the strength of the vine may not be wasted in such merely outward splendor, but may be conserved for its purposes of fruit bearing. Evidently a class of true professors resemble these suckers, who selfishly would draw to themselves as much of the righteousness of the Vine as possible, and would make a fair outward show in the world with leaves or professions, but would have no thought of bringing forth the fruitage which the Lord requires and which can only be brought forth through sacrifice.

THE OBJECT OF PRUNING

Aside from the suckers there are branches which, while having fruit buds, would never bring the fruit to a good ripe development if allowed to take their own course and to develop themselves as branches merely, and hence the wise husbandman, noting the bud, is pleased with it, and pinches off the sprout of the vine beyond the bud, not to injure the branch but to make it more fruitful. So with us who have not only joined the Lord by faith and consecration and been accepted as branches, but who as branches desire to bring forth good fruitage, which the Lord seeks in us – we need the Husbandman's care so that we may bring forth the much fruit, so that the fruit that we bear may be more to his pleasement, large fruit, luscious fruit, good fruit, valuable fruit. The methods of the Lord's prunings should be understood by all the branches, otherwise they may be discouraged and droop and fail to bring forth the proper fruitage.

It would appear that the great Husbandman prunes the branches of the Christ sometimes by taking away earthly wealth or property, or sometimes by hindering cherished schemes and plans. Sometimes he prunes us by permitting persecutions and the loss of name and fame, and sometimes he prunes by permitting the loss of earthly friendships toward which the tendrils of our hearts extended too strongly, and which would have hindered us from bearing the much fruit which he desires. Sometimes he may permit sickness to afflict us as one of these prunings, as the prophet declared, "Before I was afflicted I went astray." Many others of the Lord's dear people have found some of their most valuable lessons on the bed of affliction. [R3545 : page 123]

Some have written us how they were too busy, too much absorbed in earthly matters and interests that seemed to press for attention, so that they had not the proper time to give to the study of the Divine Plan of the Ages and the cultivation of their own hearts and the bearing of the fruits of the Spirit, and how the Lord in much mercy had laid them aside for a season, and given them the opportunities which they needed for thought and for Christian development, for growth in knowledge that they might have growth in grace. So far, then, from the true branches esteeming the prunings of the Husbandman to be injuries and wounds, they should conclude that according to the good promises of the Word all things are working together for good to them that love him – to the true fruit-bearing branches of the true Vine. Such prunings, instead of causing discouragements, should be to us, rightly understood, sources of encouragement. We realize that the world is left to itself; that the vine of the earth has not special prunings of the Lord, and that when we have these special prunings it is an evidence that the Father himself loveth us and is caring for our best interests.

"NOW YE ARE CLEAN"

Applying this lesson to his disciples our Lord intimated that the proper pruning work had already been done on them up to date, and in the Lord's providences they had been purged of an unfruitful branch, Judas. He therefore said to them, "Now ye are clean through the word I have spoken unto you" – you are justified and accepted because of your faith, obedience and loyalty. What a joy the eleven must have felt when they heard those words, and what a joy we may properly feel as we realize the truth of the same words applied to ourselves. Praise the Lord for this great gift of his favor through Christ – that we have in him not only the forgiveness of sins and the covering of his robe of righteousness, but that through him we are accepted of the Father as branches of the true Vine, clean through the acceptance of the message or word sent to us. But this is not all, this is merely the beginning. The thing necessary to be remembered is that our ultimate blessing and acceptance of the Father will depend upon our abiding continually in this blessed close relationship of branches in the Vine.

If we will not bear the fruitage we may not remain in this relationship; if we do bear the fruits, if we have that spirit and disposition, and desire the Lord's grace and strength and assistance, his grace will be sufficient for every time of need and we will come off conquerors and more than conquerors through him who loved us and bought us with his precious blood. The bearing of the fruit which the Father desires cannot be accomplished, we cannot be pleasing to him, except as we are related to Christ and as his fruit is born in us by our relationship to him and the power of his Spirit and his Word working in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. The assurance is that if we abide in him we will bear much fruit and that without him we can do nothing, have no fruit that the Father will accept.

What is the nature of this fruit-bearing? How may we know the fruitage which the Father seeks? We answer that many, under the misguidance and wrong example of the vine of the earth, incline to think of grand earthly temples, orphanages, etc., as being the fruits which the Lord desires to see well developed. We answer, No. If these were the fruits, then Jesus and the apostles bore no fruits: they built no churches or cathedrals or temples, they neither built nor founded orphanages or asylums or hospitals. If these were the fruitage which the Father seeks, then the Lord and the apostles erred totally. But we hold that they did not err, that the error rather has come from another quarter; that the vine of the earth guided by the spirit of the world has taken a utilitarian direction, and is bringing forth the fruitage of the kind which the world approves.

THE WORLD MAKES PROVISION

We are not saying a word against hospitals, asylums, etc., – we believe them to be very good, very desirable, very proper adjuncts of society and civilization, – but we believe that the world is thoroughly capable of providing for all those things, and that the world is quite ready to provide for them; indeed we find that the world really does make provision as it is. For instance, the various St. Francis, St. James, and St. Agnes hospitals, asylums, etc., Protestant and Catholic, all seek support from the donations of the State for their maintenance and all get them, and the State might just as well, and better in some respects, have full charge of these. And indeed we are not sure but that it does have full charge of them now as fully as possible. Not that we wish to intimate that there are none of the true branches of the true Vine connected with any of these earthly institutions; but we hold that these are not their fruitage according to the Lord's parable, and that if they are members of the body as well as members of Babylon, they must bear the fruit of the Vine of the Father's planting as well as be identified with other good fruits.

The fruits of the Spirit are sometimes taken to be activities in the service of the Truth, as, for instance, the scattering of the Truth, the talking of the Truth, the bringing of some out of darkness into the light and [R3546 : page 123] knowledge of the Truth, the expenditure of money for the publishing of the Truth, – all these are sometimes considered the fruits which the Lord expects of the branches. Not so! The fruits are something still nobler and grander than these things, and are described by the Apostle as the fruits of the Spirit. The Spirit of the Vine must permeate all the branches, and the fruit of the Vine must be in every branch. These fruits of the Spirit are enumerated – meekness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly kindness, love; if these things be in us and abound, says the Apostle, they make us to be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior.

These fruits are all one in some particulars: that is to say, the essence of proper Christian patience is love; the essence of hope and faith and joy is love for our Father, and our confidence in his love, as expressed in his promises to us. So the name of all these fruits and graces of the Spirit is expressed in the one word, Love. These are the fruits which must be found in every branch if it would retain its place as a branch and be of the glorified Vine by and by. Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that other things will do, and that we may pass the divine inspection without these. The other things, the good works, the seeking of the Truth, the distribution of the literature, etc., are only to be acceptable to the Father in proportion as they are the results of this fruitage in our hearts. The Apostle expresses [R3546 : page 124] this forcefully when he says, If I should give my body to be burned and all my goods to feed the poor, and have not love, it would profit me nothing.

The same thought is true in regard to service to the Lord: if we should spend every day and every hour in harvest work, if we should give all our money to printing tracts and books, or use ourselves in any other way for the service of the Lord's cause, it would profit nothing unless it were the result of love in our hearts. We see, then, that the thought is that we must cultivate in our hearts the graces of the holy Spirit, meekness, gentleness, patience, etc., love, and that we must have these in abounding measure to be pleasing to the Lord, to bear "much fruit." The expression of these fruits, therefore, undoubtedly will be through various channels, perhaps of giving goods to the poor, perhaps of such faithfulness in the presentation of the Truth as might lead us to martyrdom, that our bodies might be burned. If the burning of the body or the loss of all our goods comes in such a course through our faithfulness to the principles of righteousness, through our love and loyalty to the Lord, then happy are we indeed.

WITHERED BRANCHES BURNED

The declaration that those who will not bear the fruit of the Vine will be cut off from being branches and will wither and ultimately be burned, seems to imply the second death, utter destruction of the class indicated. This is not the worldly class, for they were never united to Christ, never were branches in the Vine and hence never were on trial in this respect. It refers only to those who have gone the lengths of making a full consecration to the Lord, a full union with him, a thorough consecration and begetting of the holy Spirit. These words, then, seem to correspond with the Apostle's declaration, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

The world is not in the hands of the living God, but is at the present time reckoned as dead in Adam, under the Adamic sentence, not being judged by the Lord. The Church only is reckoned as free from Adamic condemnation and placed on trial or judgment, and these only, therefore, could fall out of the hands of Christ, the Mediator, and into the hands of the Father in the sense here indicated. Being cut off from Christ their case is hopeless; for such we can look forward to nothing better than the second death. Even then we are glad that the theory of eternal torment is not true; that when they die the death of utter extinction they have suffered all that God has pronounced, terrible as that loss will be to those who appreciate everlasting life.

This statement about the branches cut off, withered and burned does not seem to take cognizance at all of the household of faith class, which, though believing in Jesus, never comes to the point of becoming branches or members in the Christ. Nor does it seem to take into consideration the great company. Indeed this class is mentioned in but few Scriptures and then obscurely, the Lord thus indicating, we believe, that none were called to such a company. The Apostle speaks of some as being "saved so as by fire," and a little suggestion in this same line might be taken from the Master's words that, being cut off as branches, they wither and are burned – burned as branches, destroyed as members of the company to which they originally were by covenant attached, but not necessarily destroyed individually to all eternity. The Apostle speaks of this class saying that themselves shall be saved so as by fire, but their works shall suffer loss. Perhaps we should consider these as being included in this manner in the Lord's statement.

FRUITS OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE VINE

Our Lord proceeds to tell us what some of the fruits of this union with him will be: –

First, such may ask whatsoever they will and it shall be done unto them. There is only one condition or limitation, namely, that before they are thus prepared to ask they must see to it that they give attention to the Lord's word that they may ascertain what is his will and what they may ask according to his will. Those who abide in Christ must have no will of their own, theirs must be the will of their Head, and their Head has already declared that his will is the Father's will. These, then, are the limitations, that we have the Father's will in our hearts and the Father's promises in our hearts; then our requests will be in conformity to these and the Lord will be pleased to grant all such.

The second fruitage or result will be that the Father will be glorified the more in proportion as our fruit increases, and on these terms our discipleship shall continue, namely, that we shall habitually seek to know and to do the Father's will and to glorify and honor him by lives obedient to his will. Anything short of this would forfeit our discipleship. Not that it would be forfeited instantly, as though the Lord would take occasion to cast us off lightly; but that it is a part of our covenant relationship that we will grow in grace, grow in knowledge, grow in harmony with God, grow in the fruits of the Spirit, and if we turn from this engagement or contract we cannot be considered as retaining our relationship as disciples, members.

The third fruit or evidence of this membership in the Vine and of our continued growth as branches is stated in verse nine, namely, that as the Father loved the Lord Jesus, the Vine, so our Redeemer loves us, his branches or members. What a wonderful thought this is, that our Master has toward us the same kind of love that the Father has toward him! Could our faith always grasp this thought and maintain this hold, we should indeed have nothing to wish or to fear – our summer would last all the year. The next thought suggested is that having reached, having attained this high position in the Lord's favor, if we are his disciples and truly appreciate what he has done for us in this respect, we will desire to continue in his love. Next in order come the terms and conditions upon which we may continue in that love, namely, that we keep his commandments.

By way of showing us that this is not an unreasonable proposition, our Lord declared that these are the same terms on which the Father deals with him, namely, "Even as I have kept my Fathers commandments and abide in his love." We cannot expect to abide in the Lord's love and be careless of his injunctions. The measure of our faithfulness to him will be indicated by our obedience to him, as the measure of his love for the Father was indicated by his obedience to the Father. The Apostle intimates this same thought and adds a little to it, saying, "For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5:3). It is not enough that we [R3546 : page 125] keep the commandments, but that we keep them lovingly and loyally, of good pleasure, that we do not consider them grievous but rather are to be glad to be in line, in harmony, with all the Lord's righteous provisions and arrangements. Let us all more and more seek this spirit of full heart-harmony with all the principles of righteousness laid down by our Lord Jesus – his commandments.

Our Lord's commandments are not the ten commandments of Moses, but more or less according to the standpoint of expression. They are less in the sense of requirements on our flesh; they are more as respects the requirements on our hearts. Briefly summed up he tells us that his law is love with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength to the Father and for our neighbor as for ourselves. This is possible to our regenerated hearts though not possible to our imperfect flesh. The Lord's requirement, therefore, is that with our hearts we serve this law of God and with our flesh we shall do to the best of our ability, and we have the assurance that in the resurrection we shall have the new bodies in which we shall be able to serve the Lord thoroughly, completely, satisfactorily.

MY JOY REMAIN, YOUR JOY BE FULL

Our Lord concluded this little lesson, so short and yet so full of meaning and depth, by an illustration of why he gave it, saying, "These things have I spoken unto you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be filled full." This is my commandment that ye love [R3547 : page 125] one another even as I have loved you." Wonderful words of life are these that have come down to us through the centuries, that have helped to cheer and encourage so many of the Lord's followers in the narrow way.

Many are the objections that are raised to pure and undefiled religion: Some complain that it is gloomy, joyless, a fetter upon heart and brain; that it drives men from every temple of pleasure with a whip of small cords; that it posts notice, "No trespassing here," in every field of enjoyment. Our answer must be that this is a mistake: that these are the words of those who know not, neither do they understand the things whereof they speak. Those who have truly made a covenant with the Lord, who have truly accepted him, who have truly laid down their lives at his feet and become his followers in sincerity, are filled with his joy, as he promised; and it is an increasing joy, which day by day and year by year becomes more nearly complete – a joy which will not be complete, however, until that which is perfect shall come and that which is in part shall be done away, until in the resurrected condition we shall see as we are seen and know as we are known and appreciate to the full the joys of our Lord, hearing his welcome invitation, "Enter thou into the joys of thy Lord."

We enter now into those joys through faith, through anticipation, through rest of heart, but by and by we shall enter upon them in the actual sense. Meantime it is the world, that has not submitted itself to the Lord, that has not appreciation of the joys of the Lord, that is full of selfishness and ambition and strife and envy; it knoweth us not even as it knew him not; it knows not of our joys in the Master's service even as it never appreciated the joys of our Lord in doing the Father's will, even at the sacrifice of his life.

"AS I HAVE LOVED YOU"

It does not astonish us that the Lord directs that we love one another, but we stand amazed with the thought contained in these words, "As I have loved you." How can we love one another with the same love which the Lord has for each of us? is our first inquiry. We reply that this is impossible at first, but as we become more and more filled with the Spirit of the Lord, we approximate more nearly to this standard of perfect love to all that are his, a love that not only would refuse to do injury to another, but a love which would delight to do good to a brother, yea, to do good at the expense of one's own time and convenience. Thus Jesus loved us all and redeemed us with his precious blood, and to whatever extent we grow in grace, knowledge and love of him, in that same proportion we are Christlike and have a Christlike love. This love is the fulfilling of the Law, and whoever has such a love for the brethren will have undoubtedly a full, sympathetic love for the whole groaning creation, and will be glad to do now the little that is possible to be done on their behalf, and doubly glad that the Lord in his own good time and pleasure has a great and wonderful blessing for every member of Adam's race.

Some one has said, "Do not imagine that you have got these things because you know how to get them. As well try to feed upon a cook book." There is a good and an important thought here: it is very important that we should know these things and understand the Lord's plans and appreciate the principles laid down in his Word, but though we had all knowledge it would not benefit us unless we used it. Let us not think of getting the benefit of the Lord's gracious provisions by merely learning how to get them, but let us take the necessary steps – see that we are fully his, see that we live close to him, see that we are fruit bearers, see that we abide in his love, in the Father's love, in the love for one another, which he has enjoined.

[R3547 : page 125]

INTERESTING LETTERS FROM THE ANTIPODES.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I have the pleasure herewith to hand you extracts from interesting letters received at the Society's Melbourne office. Accompanying are extracts from two Reviews of MILLENNIAL DAWN Vol. I., which recently appeared in Australian newspapers.

We have been made very glad by the safe arrival at Auckland of Colporteurs Brother and Sister Richardson. They had a very successful three weeks at Honolulu arriving at Auckland without a volume of DAWN in their possession. The arrival of Colporteurs Brother and Sister Nicholson and Brother Zink is expected early in March, D.V. Brother Anderson, who is laboring in Southern New Zealand, reports some interest in and opposition to the Present Truth.

Pray for us, and also that the Lord may send more laborers into the vineyard.

Faithfully yours, in the Anointed,

E. C. HENNINGES.

DEAR FRIEND: – I am enclosing 4s. for a year's subscription to ZION'S WATCH TOWER. I feel I cannot [R3547 : page 126] do without the reading. We never read such beautiful explanations of the Bible; my daughter and I think it wonderful, almost too good to be true, only that we know God is Love, and he doeth all things well.

My daughter said when I was reading to her a bit about the Millennial Age, "Why, mother, you might get your desire after all!" I always desired to be a missionary; since childhood I have wished to tell the heathen about the Love of Jesus. What a privilege that would be; may the Lord help me to be ready for His work.

If I can't keep on paying for the paper, I shall send a card at Christmas. Do not think I don't want to pay for the paper; if I had money, I should pay the people to read it.

Yours in the love of God,
__________, VICTORIA.

DEAR FRIEND: – Please accept thanks for the liberal supply of tracts for distribution, which I shall do my best to place judiciously.

It is about seven months since I first heard of these publications. The first volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN was handed to me by a friend. He said, "Now, George, here's something that will just about suit you, and when you've read it, you can tell me what it means, for I have no time. And here is some lighter reading; you ought to read something lively, for you need a change, but it seems nothing goes down with you but something religious; and if you don't alter you'll become quite mopish." In a few days I returned the light books unread, but I read the DAWN four times, carefully referring to every text quoted therein.

During the last few years I have always denied the doctrine of Eternal Torment, also the teaching that the heathen would all be lost to the Jesus who died for them; but I was quite unable to confute these matters. By some means, my reason disdained to receive such a portrait of God as the various sectarians presented to me; but I could merely affirm that I was unable, nay, that I dare not, believe these doctrines. I was not trusting in any but God, and he caused me to get that volume put into my hands, I am assured.

I have since read volumes 2 and 3, and now have a fuller comprehension of God's Plan, and feel very earnestly that it is my bounden duty to talk of God's Love; to tell of his Kingdom; to lovingly exhort people to brush aside all shadows that would intervene between themselves and the Truth, to verify for themselves all the doctrines advanced in the DAWN series, and the portion of life remaining to me I consecrate to his service, for the enlightenment of any and all such brothers and sisters as I may be thrown into contact with. I am now fully His, and in fellowship with all who believe in His Kingdom. I am, dear Brother,

Yours in the Glad Tidings,
__________, South Australia.

DEAR FRIEND: – I received your welcome letter and the paper some time ago, and should have written before this, only I wished to read the "Plan" first, so as to tell you what I thought of it. I am indeed very glad that it has dropped into my hands, and believe it has come in answer to prayer. I have been studying the Bible deeply for the last three years, and I thank God for the day that I determined to "search the Scriptures." He has blessed me wonderfully. Although I failed in business, and am now totally deaf, God has given me something in this last three years that I would not exchange for the best business in New Zealand, or the best pair of ears in Australia. There are several things in the paper you sent me that are very different from what is generally held in the churches, but which I fully agree with, and I want some more. With kind regards,

Yours and His,
__________, New Zealand.

DEAR FRIEND: – I have much pleasure in sending payment for the valuable and interesting pamphlet you loaned me, and my most sincere thanks added, as well. I must say it not only afforded me much pleasure to read, but opened up new avenues for thought, never before dreamt of. The masterly way in which every subject is handled, one after another, and the proofs brought forward to substantiate the argument, leave the whole matter beyond contradiction.

It grieves me to think that so many to-day ignore the inspiration of the Bible. Most of our colonial youths know nothing at all about it, and the theology that is preached from many of our pulpits does not improve matters much. But I am certain that anyone reading carefully The Divine Plan of the Ages cannot but be impressed by the doctrine contained therein. Please send me the next volume.

Yours faithfully,
__________, New Zealand.

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DEAR FRIEND: – I tender you special thanks for the volume, MILLENNIAL DAWN, which I have already read, and re-read with intense interest, as it has thrown an entirely new light upon many passages of Scripture which previously were a puzzle and worry to me. I would be very glad to see any subsequent volumes by the same author, and shall be only too happy at any time to give a friendly notice of same through the columns of our paper.

Trusting that the book may be instrumental in removing many of the misconceptions regarding the attributes and plans of our Heavenly Father, I remain,

Yours fraternally,
__________, Editor, New South Wales.

DEAR FRIEND: – I thank you very much for sending me The Divine Plan of the Ages, which I have been studying at intervals ever since it reached me – as I have been endeavoring to read and study my Bible all my thinking years. The work is inestimable; it has opened the eyes of my understanding, and lifted a harrowing weight from my mind. This grand opposite arrangement, and application of the Scriptures texts is far and away before anything of the kind I have ever been privileged to see. The study of them all in their respective and most reasonable connections as now presented dispels the gloom of the stern ascetic Calvinism, in the atmosphere of which I was brought up in Scotland.

Our so-called spiritual advisers in these parts would perhaps be benefitted by the study of this book; for, alas! they don't seem to know too much about the Bible Truths they profess to preach and explain. I have resided here many years, and there seems to be far less fear and love of God in men's hearts now than even in what were termed the wild old times. We are fallen [R3556 : page 127] upon evil days; the age is throbbing with mercenary passion, and grows mad with the lust of gold; men's hearts are failing them for fear. Truly I believe and have believed for years past, that we are fast approaching the close of this dispensation.

And so, may the Lord Jesus come quickly; for with the advent of his chariot wheels and the brightness of his coming, such a rose-light will flush over the world that the tired nations will up-leap with joy.

Yours faithfully,
__________ Editor, New South Wales.

page 127 [The reviews will appear in our next issue. – EDITOR.]

[R3548 : page 127]

THE MEMORIAL CELEBRATION

T
HE annual celebration of our Lord's death, rather than a more frequent one, commends itself to the Lord's people more generally every year. At Allegheny the number participating this year was much larger than ever before. Anticipating this, Carnegie Hall was secured for the afternoon discourse on Baptism, as well as for the Memorial Service of the evening of April 16th. The death-baptism was symbolized in water at Bible House baptistry by 10 brethren and 31 sisters, after their public confession of faith in the redemption accomplished by the precious sacrifice of Christ, of their renunciation of sin, and of their full consecration to walk in Jesus' footsteps in self sacrifice, even unto death.
THE EVENT AND THE DAY

At the Memorial service explanation was made of why we celebrate the greatest event of history annually – not weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. Not that the very day or hour or moment is of special consequence, but that it was meant to be a yearly celebration, and that so observed it is more than proportionately impressive. In fact, as all are aware, it could not be celebrated throughout the world at the same moment or hour or even on the same day, so great is the difference of time. For instance, the brethren in London had celebrated, and it was past midnight and they were asleep while we at Allegheny were celebrating. And for us to have partaken at the same hour with them would have been a day too early. A similar difficulty is met with by the Jews in their celebration of the Passover. History tells us that the early Church met with the same difficulty and that it was partly to correct this that it was decided to always commemorate our Lord's death on the day of the week nearest to the Passover date – "Good Friday." This arrangement has three advantages: –

(1) It groups the events of that momentous week more accurately before the mind's eye: Palm Sunday, when our Lord rode on the ass as King of the Jews; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Temple teaching; Thursday preparing for the Passover Supper eaten that night and followed by the institution of our Memorial Supper, the lessons and prayer of John 14-17, the experiences of Gethsemane, of Caiaphas' court, and on Friday morning before the Sanhedrin, and at Pilate's and Herod's palaces. Then the scenes of Calvary and Joseph's new tomb. Saturday our Lord lay dead, hope being buried with him. Sunday, the resurrection day, with its new hopes, then comes in most appropriately – an Easter-day of new hopes and impulses.

(2) It would bring us into closer fellowship and sympathy with those who celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and our celebration of the Memorial on Thursday night would suggest the appropriateness of that date and cause them the more to question the authority for and the wisdom of more frequent celebrations.

(3) In civilized lands Good Friday is quite generally a legal holiday, and all the associations and precious memories of our Lord's death-day would find the better opportunity for exercising our minds.

Since it is impossible for all to celebrate on the same night and hour anyway, the congregation was asked to consider these arguments for hereafter having the celebration on the Thursday night before Easter Sunday. And now the same thought is offered to all the dear friends scattered abroad.

THIS DO, REMEMBERING ME

The occasion was, as usual, a very solemn one as we communed respecting our Lord, the "Bread from heaven" broken for us. Nevertheless we rejoiced as we recognized in it a token of the "Love divine all love excelling." We rejoiced afresh as we assured our hearts that if God so loved us while we were yet sinners, much more does he love us now as he sees us daily striving to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, – "not after the flesh but after the spirit."

The bread spoke to us of the human rights of Jesus sacrificed for us and of which we who believe may eat – appropriate by faith to ourselves, reckoning ourselves justified to all the rights originally possessed by Adam. Then we took the further lesson suggested by the Apostle's words, – "The loaf which we break, does it not signify the communion [fellowship] of the body of Christ? For we being many are one body: for we are all partakers of that one loaf." – 1 Cor. 10:17.

The "cup" we recognized as symbolic of our Lord's blood – his life poured out during the three and a half years of his ministry and the dregs at Calvary. It was shed for us, yes, "shed for many for the remission of sins." Not the blood which flowed from our Redeemer's side when pierced by the soldier's spear. No, he was already dead then. Blood is used symbolically to represent life, and our Lord's life or being or soul was poured out unto death before the spear was thrust. We saw the necessity for this under God's law, that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins." While we sorrowed we again rejoiced, singing in our hearts unto the Lord –

"His blood can make the foulest clean.
His blood availed for me."

Then we got the still deeper meaning of the "cup" from the Spirit's teaching through the Apostle's words, – "The cup of blessing for which we bless God, is it not a participating [sharing] of the blood of the Anointed One?" (1 Cor. 10:16.) Viewing it thus our Lord's words would have a deep meaning to our hearts, "Drink ye all of it;" – partake of my shame and death, walk in my steps; so shall ye be my disciples indeed and where I am there shall my disciples be.

We thanked God then for the privilege of being broken with him as part of the great loaf; and for the privilege of drinking of his cup and so filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ; assured that "if we suffer with him we shall reign with him."

About 550 were present and probably 525 partook of the emblems of the broken body and shed blood. Then we sang a hymn and went out to remember the scenes of the night of the betrayal, and of the day of suffering which followed it.