page 225
August 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.AUGUST 1, 1905.No. 15
CONTENTS.
Views from the Watch Tower 227
Union of Churches 227
Seventeen Million Church Members to Federate 227
The Newer Unrighteousness 228
Luther's Suppressed Utterance 229
The New Christianity 229
Berean Bible Study for August (Brotherly Love) 230
"Full of Mercy and Good Fruits" 230
The Great Company in the Court 232
"Lord, Choose My Cross for Me" (Poem) 235
A Good Son of a Bad Father 235
"Thy Word Was Found, I Ate It." 237
Thanks Be to God for Deliverance 239

'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 226

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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Those of the interested who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for the TOWER, will be supplied FREE, if they send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually.

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THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE
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SAMPLE COPIES FREE.

NEW MOTTOES AND OLD FAVORITES

We have just received a large line of new Mottoes, of designs never before shown, and also duplicates of some of the best patterns of former lots.

The prices on these are gauged so as to cover cost, customs duty, packing and postage, and no more. We again have arranged them in assorted $1.00 packages, marked:

Am, for packages containing some old styles, which some may have had before.

(Bm, for packages all strictly new and different, medium sizes.

Cm, packages new mottoes, chiefly medium and large.

Dm, packages of large new mottoes.

Those who want $3.00 worth or $5.00 worth can thus select several packages. If no designation is made we send the Am assortment.

We have some 25c and 50c packages also – all of the smaller sizes, so as to afford variety. They are all choice mottoes and beautiful. They should be on the walls of all Christian homes – if possible in every room. They exercise a quiet but powerful influence for good.

The variety is too great to catalogue satisfactorily. The prices range from 1c each up to 25c and are about one-half the usual retail rates.

We can supply German mottoes also, though the delivery will be slower, as we order them sent direct from our German branch.

Our British friends can order mottoes best from our London office – saving customs duty, freight, etc. Our mottoes all come from London.

[R3601 : page 227]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
UNION OF CHURCHES

A MOVE toward the formation of a federation of the Protestant Churches of Cleveland, O., was taken yesterday morning at the Ministers' union meeting.

A paper was read by Dr. Paul F. Sutphen of the Second Presbyterian Church, in which he presented an argument in behalf of unity among the churches on the basis of a federation similar to the relationship between the United States government and the States, the denominations to retain their names, but be members of a federation. Dr. Sutphen said that he thought the time was now ripe for the organization of such a federation.

The paper was followed by a discussion. The views expressed by Dr. Sutphen met with approval and the ministers selected a committee of five, of which Dr. Sutphen is chairman, to look over the situation in Cleveland and ascertain whether or not an organization can be formed.

The movement in Cleveland is similar to the movement which has been started to form an organization including all the Protestant denominations in the United States. At a meeting in New York next November delegates will meet to discuss the situation. It is expected that there will be 600 to 700 delegates at the meeting, over which President Roosevelt has been invited to preside.

Cleveland Plaindealer.
*                         *                         *

This is precisely what we suggested as the probable outcome of the "Union" movement, – a federation on the plan of the union of the several States in the United States of America. Denominations of kindred creeds and spirit may indeed unite absolutely, but federation alone will bring opposing creeds into accord. This is really a revival of "The Evangelical Alliance," but it will include the Episcopal Church and thus get the "life" mentioned by the Revelator. (Rev. 13:15). The proposal to have the chief executive of the nation preside at the meeting for proposed federation is significant of the close political alliance which will result.

SEVENTEEN MILLION CHURCH MEMBERS TO FEDERATE

We clip the following from the North American:

Long strides have been taken towards the practical federation of the Protestant churches of the United States. Fourteen denominations have already agreed to participate in the great conference to be held in New York city during November of this year. It is understood that the synods of the Lutheran Church will vote to participate, and the Protestant Episcopal Church, through its Committee on Unity, will do likewise.

If these two denominations' assent, seventeen millions of communicants will be represented. It will be the first time in the history of Christianity since the Reformation that such a unity has been realized.

There will be no union along the lines of rules of faith or church organization, but there will be consolidation of effort in all the matters pertaining to the broad moral and national questions upon which all sects can meet on a common basis.

It will be a great church "trust," in fact, if not in name. The leaders of the movement prefer to say they are adopting the national spirit; forming a union of denominations similar to the union of the States. But the spirit of consolidation of energy is predominant.

One of them said yesterday:

"In many of the general charities, and in scores of other ways, we are dividing our energies; we are accomplishing a minimum of good with a maximum of energy. It is clear that by such a federation as is proposed we can reverse the proposition."

An eminent clergyman, who has done more, perhaps, than any other person to bring this church unity, for which all sects and denominations have so earnestly prayed, yesterday gave the following statement to The North American:

About a year ago a number of gentlemen representing different churches, officially connected with movements for Christian union and co-operation, met in the City of New York and decided to undertake a movement whose purpose should be the bringing together of regularly appointed representatives of the American Christian and Protestant churches, with a view to considering their common interests in connection [R3602 : page 228] with the moral and religious welfare of the American nation.

A committee was constituted, with the Rev. Dr. W. H. Roberts, of Philadelphia, as chairman and the Rev. Dr. E. P. Sanford as secretary.

Dr. Sanford has been for years the secretary of a voluntary organization, with headquarters in New York city, known as the National Federation of Christian Workers, and Dr. Roberts is the stated clerk of the Presbyterian General Assembly and American secretary of the Pan-Presbyterian Alliance.

THE NEWER UNRIGHTEOUSNESS

"Our forced-draft pace relieves us of the super-abundance of energy that demands an explosive outlet. Spasms of violent feeling go with a sluggish habit of life, and are as out of place today as are the hard-drinking habits of our Saxon ancestors. We are too busy to give rein to spite. The stresses and lures of civilized life leave slender margin for the gratification of animosities. In quiet, side-tracked communities there is still much old-fashioned hatred, leading to personal clash; but elsewhere the cherishing of malice is felt to be an expensive luxury. Moreover, brutality, lust, and cruelty are on the wane. In this country, it is true, statistics show a widening torrent of bloody crime, but the cause is the weakening of law rather than an excess of bile. Other civilized peoples seem to be turning away from the sins of passion.

"The man who picks pockets with a railway rebate, murders with an adulterant instead of a bludgeon, burglarizes with a 'rake-off' instead of a jimmy, cheats with a company prospectus instead of a deck of cards, or scuttles his town instead of his ship, does not feel on his brow the brand of a malefactor. The shedder of blood, the oppressor of the widow and the fatherless, long ago became odious; but latter-day treacheries fly no skull-and-crossbones flag at the masthead....

"How decent are the pale slayings of the quack, the adulterator, and the purveyor of polluted water, compared with the red slayings of the vulgar bandit or assassin! Even if there is blood-letting, the long-range, tentacular nature of modern homicide eliminates all personal collision. What an abyss between the knife-play of brawlers and the law-defying neglect to fence dangerous machinery in a mill, or to furnish cars with safety couplers!...

"The stealings and slayings that lurk in the complexities of our social relations are not deeds of the dive, the dark alley, the lonely road, and the midnight hour. They require no nocturnal prowling with muffled step and bated breath, no weapon or offer of violence. Unlike the old-time villain, the latter-day malefactor does not wear a slouch hat and a comforter, breathe forth curses and an odor of gin, go about his nefarious work with clenched teeth and an evil scowl. In the supreme moment his lineaments are not distorted with rage, or lust, or malevolence. One misses the traditional setting, the time-honored insignia of turpitude. Fagin and Bill Sykes and Simon Legree are vanishing types.... The modern high-power dealer of woe wears immaculate linen, carries a silk hat and a lighted cigar, sins with a calm countenance and a serene soul, leagues or months from the evil he causes. Upon his gentlemanly presence the eventual blood and tears do not obtrude themselves."

"The same qualities that lull the conscience of the sinner blind the eyes of the onlookers. People are sentimental, and bastinado wrongdoing not according to its harmfulness, but according to the infamy that has come to attach to it. Undiscerning, they chastise with scorpions the old authentic sins, but spare the new. They do not see that boodling is treason, that blackmail is piracy, that embezzlement is theft, that speculation is gambling, that tax-dodging is larceny, that railroad discrimination is treachery, that the factory labor of children is slavery, that deleterious adulteration is murder. It has not come home to them that the fraudulent promoter 'devours widows' houses,' that the monopolist 'grinds the faces of the poor,' that mercenary editors and spellbinders 'put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.' The cloven hoof hides in patent leather; and to-day, as in Hosea's time, the people 'are destroyed for lack of knowledge.' The mob lynches the redhanded slayer, when it ought to keep a gallows Haman-high for the venal mine inspector, the seller of infected milk, the maintainer of a fire-trap theater. The child-beater is forever blasted in reputation, but the exploiter of infant toil, or the concocter of a soothing syrup for the drugging of babies, stands a pillar of society. The petty shoplifter is more abhorred than the stealer of a franchise, and the wife-whipper is outcasted long before the man who sends his over-insured ship to founder with its crew."

Atlantic Monthly.
LUTHER'S SUPPRESSED UTTERANCE.

A Council of the Lateran, held A.D. 1513, under Pope Leo X., pronounced the immortality of the soul to be an orthodox article of Christian faith. The following is a translation of the rule which was adopted by this council, as given by Caranza, p.412, 1681.

"Whereas, some have dared to assert concerning the nature of the reasonable soul, that it is mortal; we, with the approbation of the Sacred Council, do condemn and reprobate all those who assert that the intellectual soul is mortal, seeing that the soul is not only truly and of itself and essentially the form of the human body, as is expressed in the canon of Pope Clement the Fifth, but likewise immortal; and we strictly inhibit all from dogmatizing otherwise, and we decree that all who adhere to the like erroneous assertions shall be shunned and punished as heretics."

Martin Luther visited Rome during the reign of Leo X., and the profligacy, corruption and licentiousness that he witnessed at the Papal court destroyed forever his former reverence for the sacred authority of Popes and Councils. For the decree of the Lateran Council he seems to have entertained a special contempt. In his Defense, prop. 27, "Adversus Execrabilem Antichrist Bullam," (Luther's Works, Vol. 2, folio 107, Wittenberg 1562) published in 1520, he said:

"I permit the Pope to make articles of faith for himself and his faithful – such as 'the soul is the substantial form of the human body,' 'that the soul is immortal,' with all those monstrous opinions to be found in the Roman dunghill of decretals."

SPIRITISM'S ONWARD MARCH

The day is near when the world will accept the belief that spirits importantly participate in terrestrial life and exercise influences on our minds and acts. I am giving the [R3602 : page 239] study of spirit possession or obsession of insane persons most profound attention. – Bishop Samuel Fallows.

I often see the spirits who cause insanity in my patients and at times I even hear their voices. Persons who are spoken of as helplessly insane are frequently simply lost under the overwhelming control of a spirit or, at times, a crowd of spirits. We frequently find by post-mortem examinations that no physical disorder exists in the brain or nervous systems of such insane. A large percentage of the insane are persons who have attempted to become spiritualistic mediums and who, by laying themselves open to spirit influence, have found the wrong or an evil spirit taking advantage of their susceptibility for the purpose of giving vent to spiritual desires and ideas through an earthly medium.

Dr. Edgar M. Webster,
    member of the Mental Section of the
    American Medical Association.
THE NEW CHRISTIANITY

The Rev. Dr. Francis L. Patton, President Emeritus of Princeton University, addressing the students of Washington University Medical Department, said: –

"Some of the symptoms of the new Christianity are found in the studied avoidance of doctrinal statement, in the disposition to deal very prominently with sociological topics and to treat even doctrinal subjects exclusively from their ethical side.

"Underlying the movement is a new conception as to what Christianity is.

"The old view of Christianity, of course, is that it is a piece of supernatural information respecting the way of salvation through a crucified Redeemer.

"The new Christianity is the direct denial of this. According to one form of that denial, Christianity is simply a stage in the great progress of development. This form of denial has been, in a measure, superseded by another, which looks upon Christianity as the revelation of God in Christ and claims attention as being a return to the historic facts of the gospels. It is a return, however, which is distinctively associated with the repudiation of metaphysics in theology and an uncertain attitude with reference to the real deity of Jesus Christ.

"The logical result of either form of the new Christianity is the elimination of doctrinal statement, and the placing of the emphasis altogether upon the ethical teachings of Jesus. It must, however, be constantly remembered that Christianity must be more than ethical in order to be even ethical. If we are to uphold the ethics of Jesus we must uphold the authority of Jesus, and to uphold the authority of Jesus, we must maintain the supernaturalism that enters into his life.

"The tendency to reject the teachings of Paul is one that [R3603 : page 229] has its logical expression in the thoroughgoing subjectivism of Sabellius, and the way to escape from the blighting influences in morals and religion which result from this subjectivism is to rehabilitate the Pauline theology." – St. Louis Republican.

POPE TOUCHES TRUST QUESTION

The "trust" question is dealt with in an encyclical letter from the Pope. Among other things it says: –

"There are to-day vast numbers, continually being recruited by fresh accessions, who are utterly ignorant of the truths of religion, or who at most possess only such knowledge of God and of the Christian faith as to lead the lives of idolators. In consequence of this ignorance they regard it as no crime to cherish hatred against their neighbor, to enter into the most unjust contracts, the most unjust speculation, endeavor to possess themselves of the property of others by enormous usury and to commit iniquities not less reprehensible."

HUMANITY IS SAVAGE

Count Tolstoy, in an interview, reiterates at length his views on the inefficiency of the proposed government reforms in Russia. He says: –

"This striving for a renewal of the state is impossible until the people have within themselves the image of the living God. Civilization has become savage. When the war with Japan is finished there will be war with India for Thibet. Human happiness is only attainable when such individual will do his utmost, one in the workshop, another in the field and another to compose sonatas; it only matters that each fulfils his duty, creates something. Positive rest will come of itself. Reform is of little value when humanity is savage.

HEBREW CHILDREN EXPELLED FROM MOSCOW

The Russian authorities have ordered the expulsion from Moscow of all Jewish children living with their parents. The order is issued on the ground that while permission has been granted to a limited number of Jews to live in the city the privilege does not extend to their children. The order therefore has been issued that the children must leave the place.

Cleveland Plain Dealer.
"BE READY TO RECEIVE THE TRUTH."

Rev. John Robinson was the pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers. Below we note his memorable "parting charge" to the Pilgrims who came long ago to settle in America:

"I charge you before God and His blessed angels, that ye follow me no further than ye have seen me follow the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord has more truth yet to break forth out of His Holy Word. I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of the Reformed Churches who are come to a period in religion, and will go at present no further than the instruments of their reformation. Luther and Calvin were great shining lights in their time, yet they penetrated not into the whole counsel of God. I beseech you remember it – 'tis an article of your Church covenant – that you be ready to receive whatever truth shall be made known to you from the written word of God."

LIVING AT OUR BEST

Do not try to do a great thing; you may waste all your life waiting for the opportunity which may never come. But since little things are always claiming your attention, do them as they come, from a great motive, for the glory of God, to win His smile of approval, and to do good to men. It is harder to plod on in obscurity, acting thus, than to stand on the high places of the field, within the view of all, and to do deeds of valor at which rival armies stand still to gaze. But no such act goes without the swift recognition and the ultimate recompense of Christ.

To fulfil faithfully the duties of your station; to use to the uttermost the gifts of your ministry; to bear chafing annoyances and trivial irritations as martyrs bore the pillory and stake; to find the one noble trait in people who try to molest you; to put the kindest construction on unkind acts and words; to love with the love of God even the unthankful and evil; to be content to be a fountain in the midst of a wild valley of stones, nourishing a few lichens and wild flowers, or now and again a thirsty sheep; and to do this always, and not for the praise of man, but for the sake of God – this makes a great life.

F. B. Meyer.

"It is blasphemy to assert that the infinitely good God should plan a redemptive system for His children, and that the Son of God should give His life for its advancement, and the Holy Ghost His continuous, unwordable efforts for its carrying forward, and then have it fail, and the only other alternative should be to have the Judge come and destroy the whole race and world."

Bishop H. W. Warren.

True. Much better is the Bible teaching of coming "times of restitution." – Acts 3:19-21.

[R3603 : page 230]

BEREAN BIBLE STUDY FOR AUGUST.
– (SEE PREFACE OF WATCH TOWER BIBLES) –
BROTHERLY KINDNESS (BROTHERLY LOVE)

1. What is the "new commandment" given by Christ to his disciples? Jno. 13:34; 15:10,12,17; 1 Jno. 4:21; Z.'00-183 (2nd col., par. 1,2); 1 Jno. 3:11,23; Jno. 15:12; Z.'05-125 (2nd col. par. 2).

2. What is brotherly love? Z.'02-197 (2nd col. par. 2,3); Z.'98-201 (1st col. par. 2; 2nd col., par. 1).

3. Who are our "brethren"? Matt. 12:50; Z.'97-311 (1st col. par. 1,2,3); Z.'00-180 (1st col., par. 5 and 2nd col. par. 1); Z.'03-207 (1st col. par. 4,5); E.120, par. 2.

4. Why is the manifestation of brotherly kindness so necessary? Z.'04-292 (2nd col. par. 2,3).

5. Is it important that we observe the spirit as well as the form of our Lord's command? 1 Pet. 1:22; Rom. 12:9; Z.'99-216 (2nd col. par. 6,7), and 217 (1st and 2nd cols.); Z.'97-264 (1st col. par. 2); Z.'98-8 (2nd col. par. 1); Z.'05-118 (2nd col. par. 4,5); Z.'03-333, (2nd col., par. 4).

6. Why do the Lord's "brethren" need no "outward passwords, grips or badges"? Jno. 13:35; Z.'05-139, 1st col. par. 2,3); Z.'05-164 (2nd col. par. 8).

7. How is our love for God measured by our love for "the brethren"? 1 Jno. 4:8; Z.'00-183 (2nd col. par. 3), 184 (1st col. par. 1); F.467, par. 3; F.600, par. 2).

8. Can we fellowship all "the brethren" alike? Jude 21,22; Z.'03-333 (2nd col. par. 1,2,3); Z.'02-198 (1st col. par. 1,2); Z.'03-207 (2nd col., par. 1).

9. Should we always expect to have our manifestations of brotherly kindness received in the same spirit? Z.'05-106 (2nd col. par. 7) and 107, par. 1.

10. How are the comfort and peace of the Church dependent upon the manifestation of this grace? Z.'04-296 (1st col. par. 2).

[R3603 : page 230]

"FULL OF MERCY AND GOOD FRUITS."
O
NE HALF of a year is gone, and we wonder to what extent the text selected as our year text for 1905 has been remembered by all the dear readers, and to what extent they have sought to secure the wisdom to which our text referred.

"Wisdom is the Principal Thing:
Therefore Get Wisdom." – Prov. 4:7

*                         *                         *
"The Wisdom that is from Above
is First Pure,
Then Peaceable, Gentle, Easy of Entreatment,
Full of Mercy and Good Fruits." – Jas. 3:17

These heavenly counsels have been in the Lord's Word for centuries, they have been in our hands and before our eyes for years. We know them, we assent to them and yet how many – how few – seem to know how to apply them in the ordinary affairs of life. Surely as the Lord looks down upon us he must say, These people require line upon line, precept upon precept, instruction and repetition continually. Alas that it is so! We all might well be thoroughly discouraged were it not for the assurance we have that the Lord looks deeper than the outward conduct, that he is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and that according to what he sees to be our desires and efforts is his judgment respecting us. The thoughts and intents of our hearts are sometimes short of the standard that we ourselves approve, and O how short of any standard we could approve would be much of our conduct if we could but see ourselves as others see us and especially as the Lord sees us!

We are not writing with a view to discouraging any dear brother or sister who is painfully, laboriously, striving to climb up Zion's hill along the narrow way. On the contrary, we have nothing but sympathy for them, and are assured that the Lord regards both them and us compassionately – "he remembereth our frame, he knoweth that we are dust." The Lord recognizes [R3604 : page 230] that we are imperfect, fallen creatures, and he is not expecting perfection of us. He has made provision for the covering of such of our imperfections as we do not at heart assent to; he has also given us instruction respecting his will, and he is carefully scrutinizing us day by day to see to what extent our love for him and for the principles of righteousness, which he has enunciated and which we have acknowledged, are entering into and controlling the forces and conduct of our lives; for, after all, the words of our mouths are but the echoes of our hearts, and to whatever extent our hearts are clean our words will be pure, and to whatever extent our hearts are loving and gentle and kind our words and conduct will be in accord with these divinely approved qualities.

FIRST PURE, THEN PEACEABLE.

Let us examine ourselves afresh to know the condition of our hearts, remembering the word of the Lord, that if we judge ourselves we would not require that he should judge us, but that if we neglect to judge ourselves he will chasten us, because we put our cause in his hand, because we are his. The word pure has in it the thought of innocent, without deceit; it has in it the thought of virtue and chastity; it contains the thought of clean, true and truthful. We cannot hope that any, either in the Church or out of it, are actually pure in the absolute sense of this word, but we do rejoice that our dear Master gave the key to a proper understanding of the matter when he said, "Blessed are the pure in heart." So long as we are in this present, mortal, imperfect condition absolute purity is impossible; for us to be pure of heart is possible – purity of intention, purity of motive.

When we begin a self-examination to see whether or not we are using our time and talents and influence [R3604 : page 231] wisely, this is the first point for scrutiny, Are we pure in heart, in our daily course of life? Are we sincere in the prayers that we utter to the Lord, in our endeavors to please him? In our relationship toward the Father are we candid and honest? Do we love him with a pure love, heartily, fervently, or do we not? Let each decide this point for himself before proceeding to the next. If upon examination we find that our hearts have not been pure in respect to our covenants and relationship to the Lord and his Word and to the Father, let us go no farther until we have asked divine forgiveness and resolve that by the Lord's assisting grace we will be nothing less than pure in heart, pure in endeavor.

If we can assure ourselves that our motives and intentions have nothing of selfishness connected with them, that our purposes are pure in the sight of the Lord, then, indeed, our hearts may rejoice whatever may have been our weaknesses and imperfections of the flesh, in our relationship toward the Lord or the Father or our neighbors or the world.

The next point is, Are we peaceable? Have we thus far in the year been seeking to cultivate peace, or, as the Scriptures put it, "Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord"? Have we lived thus far in the year as peaceable, as pure of heart toward God and his Word and his brethren as is possible for us? If so we have cause for rejoicing afresh and being of good courage; if not, here is another lesson and opportunity for going to the throne of grace to acknowledge our fault, to pray for more of this wisdom from above, which is first pure and then so far as possible peaceable toward all – peace loving, peace disposed.

"EASY OF ENTREATMENT."

How has it been with us so far? Have we been hard-hearted, cold and repulsive, or have we been gentle, kind, sympathetic with those with whom we are in contact, easy to be entreated, willing, yes, anxious to do everything which in our judgments would seem to be in the interest and for the welfare of others – proper, reasonable and right to do? If so, happy are we, but let us not too hastily conclude, not too hastily congratulate ourselves along this line, until we have made close inspection of the pathway of the last six months. Have any appealed to us for forgiveness and been refused? If so ours is a very dangerous position. The Lord declares most positively that while that is our attitude we can expect no mercy from him. He insists upon this – "After this manner pray ye, Forgive us our trespasses as we also forgive those who trespass against us."

Emphasizing the matter, we remember that the Master explained, "Unless ye forgive men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses." What a thought! Do we need mercy? Do we need to have our faults and weaknesses of the flesh covered? Do we rejoice in the privilege of approaching the throne of heavenly grace to obtain mercy? Then, as a condition to those privileges and blessings, we must be in the attitude of heart where we not only will forgive those who trespass against us, but forgive them gladly, freely, heartily. Our Lord specially warns us against a forgiving with the lips which does not include a forgiving from the heart, saying, "Except ye shall from your hearts forgive," etc. – Matt. 18:35.

Let no one deceive himself – mercy is a prime essential to everyone who would be counted amongst the Lord's saints, and who would count himself as having any of the evidences of acceptance with the Lord to a participation in the glorious high calling. If we have been derelict in this matter in the past, let us be the more zealous now to correct matters, and the more on our guard as respects the future that we may not err farther in this same direction.

"FULL OF MERCY AND GOOD FRUITS."

Ah! Here we have the pith of the whole matter: Full of mercy does not signify that we are not wholly without mercy, merciless; nor does it signify that we should have a little tinge or coloring of mercy in connection with our thoughts, words and doings. On the contrary, it does mean that the Lord is very merciful, Love is his name, and that in proportion as we have received his spirit, in that proportion we are full of love and full of mercy. He that lacks mercy lacks the spirit of the Lord, as though when we read, "If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his," we should substitute the word mercy and say, If any man have not mercy he is none of Christ's. O, Merciful Lord, help us, we pray thee, that we may have more and more of thy spirit of compassion and sympathy and love, that we may more and more become copies of thy dear Son and thus copies of our Father whose mercy endureth forever, and obedient followers of him who said that unto seventy times seven we should be ready to fully and freely forgive from the heart those who transgress against us and repent!

Full of good fruits! Yes, mercy is one of the good fruits of the Lord's Spirit, but there are others, and it is a consolation that being filled with mercy does not mean that we shall be unable to contain the other graces, but rather that the fuller we are of mercy the more of the other graces of the Lord's spirit we may possess. Mercy is not one of the good fruits, although it is classed high. It is really a negative quality: it signifies merely that we do not resent the evils of others, that we are willing to forgive, to have compassion. Still more is necessary, we must also have the active traits of character that will reach out toward others, not to injure them, not to pull them down, not to slander them, not to backbite them, but to do them good. The fruits of the spirit of evil are anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife. Whoever finds any of these lurking anywhere in his heart should both labor and pray to have himself cleansed from the leaven of corruption that he might be completely filled with the fruits of the spirit, good fruits, meekness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly kindness, love, that these things might be in him and abound.

If we have mercy towards a dear brother or sister who may have transgressed against us, we are not to feel boastful of the matter, but to realize that we also have [R3604 : page 232] been forgiven much and are objects of divine mercy, and we are to go on to cultivate in our hearts and to be filled with the other good fruits. We ought to learn to exercise patience toward a brother, to help him over his natural difficulties and weaknesses in a most kind, gentle, sympathetic manner, remembering ourselves also lest we should be tempted. We should be on the alert to exercise brotherly kindness, not merely toward those whose natural dispositions we admire because like or superior to our own; but rather our love for the Lord and love for the brethren should lead us to sacrifice our natural tastes and inclinations to some degree, that we might give aid and encouragement and assistance in the good way to those members of the body who are naturally less amiable or who have made less progress or whose weaknesses or shortcomings are more apparent.

This will be brotherly kindness, and it will also be God-likeness, for thus the Almighty and our Lord Jesus, while having the common fellowship with the holy in heaven, condescended to us and continually bow down to hear us, to sympathize with us and to assist us. Let us be more and more God-like then in our relationship and dealings with and toward each other, and finally these various elements of love will form in us more and more completely until, by the grace of God, eventually we shall be filled with his spirit, the spirit of love – until we shall have that perfect law in full control of all our words and thoughts and doings, and thus attaining let us stand fast, waiting for the glorious conditions of the first resurrection, which the Lord has promised to all such overcomers of the world and its spirit of sin and bitterness and evil.

[R3605 : page 232]

THE GREAT COMPANY IN THE COURT.
S
OME matters connected with the Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices and the typical services connected therewith seem still to be obscure to some of the dear friends who apparently are giving earnest heed to their study. To all such we recommend a fresh reading of the pamphlet published by our Society, devoted to this topic, and also a fresh reading of the references made to it in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. VI. pp.126-132. Matters of this kind require deep and careful study to be understood by any, and, of course, were never meant by the Lord to be understood by everybody. The Apostle clearly indicates that only those begotten of the Spirit can ever properly and correctly appreciate and understand spiritual things. Others may hear or read and partly understand and appreciate, but can never be expected to grasp matters fully. Amongst WATCH TOWER readers, however, we have hope that there are many who are spirit begotten, and our endeavors in this article and always are on behalf of these. The Lord's time and way for reaching others are our time and way, and we wait patiently for the development of that feature of the divine plan in its "due time."
THE ANTITYPICAL LEVITES

We have already pointed out that only the members of one tribe of Israel, the tribe of Levi, were permitted within the sacred enclosure outside the Tabernacle tent, called the "court," and that of this tribe only the priests were permitted to enter the holy places. We have shown that those priests typified the Royal Priesthood, of which Jesus is the High Priest and his faithful ones the under priests, and that the Levites in general represented the household of faith – the justified. We recognize a difference between the priests of the present time and those of the future; for any now recognized as priests who do not perform the sacrifice will be cut off from that special privilege and honor, and will constitute what in Revelation is pictured as a "great company." Those who have taken the step of consecration and been accepted of God and been made partakers of the holy Spirit, cannot ignore their covenant, they cannot return to human conditions. They must go on to perfection on the spirit plane or be hopelessly lost in the Second Death. There is no middle ground, because the terms and conditions upon which the Lord will receive them on the spirit plane are as reasonable as any he could make for them on the human plane.

When during the Millennial age the whole world of mankind will be granted an opportunity of coming into full accord with their Creator, it will be on condition of their absolute obedience to his law of love – not merely a perfunctory obedience either, but an obedience from the heart. Any who will not by the close of the Millennial age reach that proper condition will assuredly be amongst those who will die the Second Death, as pictured in Revelation 20:9 and Matthew 25:46. Nothing can be accepted of the Lord as righteous that is in any degree in sympathy with sin. And that same rule which will then apply to the world is during this Gospel age applicable to the great company. It will be required of them that when brought into straits they shall at least prove loyal to the principles of righteousness, that they shall not deny the Lord nor the principles of his government, whatever the cost – otherwise they will be unworthy of eternal life on any plane. The case with the little flock is recognized as being still different: the overcomers delight to do the Father's will to such an extent that they make haste at the sacrifice of earthly interests to lay down their lives in the service of the King and his brethren and all the principles of righteousness.

ONCE CONSECRATED, ALWAYS CONSECRATED.

The difficulty with some of the dear friends seems to be their unsuccessful attempt to identify this great company with the typical Levites. Let us, therefore, examine this point. They query, How can these, who have already made a sacrifice, be represented by the Levites who did not sacrifice? We reply that the great company do not sacrifice. Their covenant, their agreement, [R3605 : page 233] was to sacrifice even unto death, and had they faithfully carried out that agreement they would not be of the great company but of the little flock, the overcomers, the Royal Priests. From God's standpoint they never carried out their covenant, and hence cannot be recognized as priests, and therefore, although for a time recognized as priests in a tentative way, their failure to perform the sacrifice hinders them from being ultimately received as priests – it separates them from their brethren and constitutes them a different class, a class who have consecrated but who have not performed in harmony with that consecration.

Nevertheless, this great company class will not consist of persons who have repudiated the Lord, who have sinned wilfully, who have despised the covenant: on the contrary, at heart they are still in sympathy with righteousness, loyal to the Lord, but they do not develop that consuming zeal for righteousness which would constitute them overcomers in the Scriptural sense. They love righteousness and hate sin, and yet they do not deal with these principles in that thoroughgoing manner which would constitute them copies of God's dear Son. So long as they hold on to the Lord, so long as they love him and love righteousness, they shall not be utterly condemned of him even though repudiated as respects a share in the Bride company, the little flock. Thank God, No! All who love righteousness and hate iniquity in any measure shall have fullest opportunity of demonstrating this, and shall be accounted worthy of life everlasting, and unquestionably this company is a "great company," as the Scriptures indicate – far more numerous even than the little flock, as the Levites in the type numbered thousands in proportion to the five chosen from amongst them to be priests.

If, then, the Royal Priesthood were all originally of the household of faith (Levites in the type) before their covenant of sacrifice as priests was accepted of the Lord, what would they be if failing to sacrifice they were put out of the priesthood? We answer that they would still be Levites after they had lost their priestly privileges, after their names had been blotted out as respects membership in the body of Christ, after their crowns had been apportioned to others; as respects the Kingdom they would still be of the household of faith unless they had wilfully and deliberately repudiated the Lord and his grace. They would still, therefore, be represented in the tribe of Levi.

IF JUSTIFICATION WERE LOST

We have already pointed out that as our standing as members of the Royal Priesthood is at the present time tentative, subject to change if we do not sacrifice, so likewise our justification is in the present time tentative – dependent upon our continuance in a condition of faith and obedience. We see again that justification by faith, as it operates during this Gospel age, is merely with a view to bringing us into a relationship to God which will permit us to consecrate ourselves for the Royal Priesthood. Were it not the divine purpose to select the Royal Priesthood there would be no present call to justification by faith, but the whole world of mankind alike would share in the blessed arrangements of the divine plan for the future age, namely, an actual justification, an actual restitution, an actual making perfect, such as the world will experience during the Millennial age – a justification by works cooperating with faith. Thus it is written respecting the world's judgment in the Millennial age that they will be judged according to their works. – Rev. 20:12.

On the contrary, we of this Gospel age are assured that our judgment will not be according to works impossible to us under present conditions, but according to faith, with which our works will cooperate to the extent of our ability. In a word faith is now the standard of test, and such works as we can present merely attest our faith: in the coming age works will be the standard and perfection will be demanded, while faith will cooperate and approve the works.

If, then, it be granted that the only object of justification by faith now is to permit the believer to present his body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, his reasonable service, it follows that those believers who never reach the point of such a consecration receive the grace of God (justification) in vain. It does not accomplish for them the only purpose, the only object, for which it was intended. And it follows that such justification by faith lapses or becomes null and void within a reasonable time if it be not exercised, if the consecration which it was intended to make possible be not offered to the Lord. This being true, it would seem that those whose justification lapses because not used in consecration will at the time of the lapsing cease to be considered as typified by the Levites; they drop back from the Levites' position to that of Israel in general, representing the world, just as those who do make the consecration and for a time are recognized as priests drop back from the priestly position if they fail to go on and complete the sacrifice.

Now, then, view the situation. See who ultimately will constitute the Royal Priesthood – that it will be only the little flock who have gladly and loyally laid down their lives in the service of the King and after the example of the High Priest, Jesus. Likewise note that the only ones who will ultimately constitute the antitypical Levites will be those who make consecration and fail to attain the priestly degree through their failure to make a proper sacrifice – "a great company."

THE LORD'S GOAT AND THE SCAPE-GOAT

We have already set forth in Tabernacle Shadows that the work of this Gospel age, this antitypical Day of Atonement, began with the sacrifice of the bullock, which represented our Lord Jesus. The blood of the bullock being taken within the Most Holy by the High Priest, appropriation of its merit was made on behalf of the members of the High Priest's body, the under priesthood, and on behalf of the entire household of faith, the antitypical Levites. Next in order came the [R3606 : page 234] two goats, both bound, consecrated at the door of the Tabernacle, representing all who consecrate themselves to the Lord, and how ultimately they would be divided into two classes – the little flock and the great company. The course of the little flock, the Royal Priesthood, was typified in what was done to the "Lord's goat." As that goat was sacrificed after the same manner as the bullock, its fat burned upon the altar, its hide, etc., burned without the camp, and its blood taken into the Most Holy and sprinkled, so with the entire company of the little flock: they pass through the experiences of the High Priest, they suffer with him, they are hated with him, they go to him without the camp bearing his reproach. But as a bullock has much fat and a goat is very lean, so our Lord had much love to offer upon the Lord's altar, while his followers altogether have very little, and that little is acceptable merely because the High Priest's previous sacrifice opened the way, covered its blemishes and made it acceptable.

It has required this entire Gospel age to do this sacrificing of the Lord's goat, and its blood has not yet been presented before the Father by the glorified Christ, – Head and body.

Next we have to consider the scape-goat. It represents a consecrated class, because it as well as the other goat was tethered at the door of the tent, devoted to sacrifice. It represents a class, however, that does not go to sacrifice, that does not go without the camp and bear the reproach with the bullock, a class whose fat does not go upon the altar, a class whose blood will never be sprinkled upon the Mercy Seat. It represents the great company of the consecrated who fail to make their calling and election sure, but whom the Lord's mercy rescues from the second death because they also trust in him, because they love righteousness and hate iniquity, even though they did not display the proper amount of zeal in connection with their love of righteousness to merit their being classed with the overcomers, the Royal Priesthood.

THE SINS BORNE BY THE SCAPE-GOAT

The Scriptures show the priest laying his hands upon this scape-goat and confessing over it the sins of the people, and that then it was taken into the wilderness and left there under that load. This we have interpreted as the delivering over of the unworthy members of the Church to the power and control of the Adversary, that their flesh might be destroyed, that their spirits or life might be ultimately saved. In other words, the life which was not sacrificed was destroyed, the sufferings which were not voluntarily taken up in harmony with the consecration are nevertheless inflicted; and if those sufferings are rightly received and if as a result loyalty to the Lord is ultimately demonstrated, that spirit shall be saved "so as by fire," coming through great tribulation – "a great multitude whose number no man knoweth" shall "come up out of great tribulation and wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb" – the Levites, a glorious company, but occupying a lower plane in the divine plan for the world's salvation, occupying a subordinate place to the Bride in the glorious work of uplifting the world of mankind during the Millennial age.

Some who do not grasp the matter clearly, who have not learned how to apply types and antitypes, may say that the scape-goat never went into the Holy and therefore could not represent the great company class. We answer that neither did the goat go into the Holy nor did the bullock go into the Holy. The bullock represented our Lord as a human being, not as a spirit being; the goats represented the Lord's consecrated people as human beings, not as spirit beings. The point to be noticed is that the one goat followed the bullock to sacrifice and the other goat did not. The blood of the Lord's goat, therefore, was sprinkled by the High Priest upon the Mercy Seat, while the blood of the scape-goat was not so sprinkled.

A TIME OF TROUBLE

As to the signification of the confessing of the sins of the people upon the scape-goat: the sins thus confessed upon the head of the scape-goat are assuredly not the sins for which atonement is made by the blood of the bullock and of the Lord's goat. The atonement is made for original sin and all of its blemishes and imperfections as they affect the race of Adam. There are other sins than these for which atonement is not made, which are not to be forgiven, but on account of which divine wrath has been more or less manifest throughout the past six thousand years, and will be especially manifested in the great time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation nor ever shall be again, and which is now nearing. That trouble is spoken of as the pouring out of the vials of wrath upon the world because men have not lived up to their knowledge and opportunities and privileges. It will come as a natural effect from natural causes, and yet will be retributive punishment upon the world. In that, we understand, the great company will be given a special place, a special share. That will be the time in which every man's work shall be tried "so as by fire," this being applicable specially to the Church.

True, some of this great company class have been turned "over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved [that they might be saved as spirit beings] in the day of the Lord Jesus" all down through this Gospel age. But the proportionate number of these has probably been small as compared with the number who to-day, under the greater light and opportunity and privileges which we enjoy, have consecrated themselves, yet hold back from the completion of their sacrifice. The portion of this Day of Atonement picture which relates to this great company class is not different from that which relates to the other classes. For instance, the sacrifice of the Lord's goat is not represented as being accomplished until the very last member of the body of Christ shall have suffered with the Head, until the final work in that connection, the sprinkling of the blood of the Lord's goat upon the Mercy Seat shall have been accomplished, and until the last member shall not only have consecrated but shall have finished his sacrifice. [R3606 : page 235]

LORD, CHOOSE MY CROSS FOR ME.
"It was a time of sadness, and my heart,
Although it knew and loved the better part,
Felt weary with the conflict and the strife,
And all the needful discipline of life.

"And while I thought on these – as given to me,
My trial test of faith and love to be –
It seemed as if I never could be sure
That, faithful to the end, I should endure.

"And thus, no longer trusting to his might
Who says, 'We walk by faith and not by sight' –
Doubting, and almost yielding to despair,
The thought arose: My cross I cannot bear.

"Far heavier its weight must surely be,
Than those of others which I daily see:
Oh, if I might another burden choose,
Methinks, I should not fear my crown to lose.

"A solemn silence reigned on all around,
E'en Nature's voices uttered not a sound;
The evening shadows seemed of peace to tell,
And peace upon my weary spirit fell.

"A moment's pause, and then a heavenly light
Beamed full upon my wondering, raptured sight;
Angels on silvery wings seemed everywhere,
And angels' music thrilled the balmy air.

"Then one more fair than all the rest to see –
One to whom all others bowed the knee –
Came gently to me, as I trembling lay,
And 'Follow me,' He said – 'I am the Way.'

"Then speaking thus, He led me far above;
And there, beneath a canopy of love,
Crosses of diverse size and shape were seen,
Larger and smaller than mine own had been.

"And one there was more beauteous to behold,
A little one, with jewels set in gold;
Ah, this, methought, I can with comfort wear,
For it will be an easy one to bear.

"And so the little cross I quickly took,
But all at once my frame beneath it shook;
The sparkling jewels – fair were they to see,
But far too heavy was their weight for me.

"'This may not be,' I cried, and looked again,
To see if there were any here could ease my pain,
But one by one I passed them slowly by,
Till on a lovely one I cast my eye.

"Fair flowers 'round its sculptured form entwined,
And grace and beauty seemed in it combined;
Wondering, I gazed, and still I wondered more,
To think so many should have passed it o'er.

[R3607 : page 235]

"But O! that form so beautiful to see,
Soon made its hidden sorrows known to me:
Thorns lay beneath those flowers and colors fair,
Sorrowing, I said, 'this cross I may not bear.'

"And so it was, with each and all around,
Not one to suit my need could there be found.
Weeping, I laid each heavy burden down,
As my guide gently said, 'No cross – no crown.'

"At length to him I raised my saddened heart,
He knew its sorrow, bade its doubts depart.
'Be not afraid,' he said, 'but trust in me,
My perfect love shall now be shown to thee.'

"And then with lightened eyes and willing feet,
Again I turned my earthly cross to meet;
With forward footsteps, turning not aside,
For fear some hidden evil might betide.

"And then, in the prepared, appointed way,
Listening to hear and ready to obey.
A cross I found of plainest form,
With only words of love inscribed thereon.

"With thankfulness I raised it from the rest,
And joyfully acknowledged it the best;
The only one of all the many there,
That I could feel was good for me to bear.

"And while I thus my chosen one confessed,
I saw a heavenly brightness on it rest,
And as I bent, my burden to sustain,
I recognized my own old cross again.

"But O, how different did it seem to be,
Now I had learned its preciousness to see,
Yes, now no longer will I say,
'Perhaps another is a better way.'

"Ah! henceforth my one desire shall be,
That he who knows me best shall choose for me,
And so whate'er His love seems good to send,
I'll trust it's best – because he knows the end."

Unknown

[R3607 : page 235]

A GOOD SON OF A BAD FATHER.
2 CHRONICLES 34:1-13. – AUGUST 6. –

Golden Text: – "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." – Eccl. 12:1.

W
E CANNOT treat this lesson from the standpoint evidently intended by those who selected it. We cannot base upon it and plead for "good citizenship" amongst the Lord's consecrated people of spiritual Israel. We cannot make it the groundwork of an exhortation to social, political and moral public reforms, because while commending the course followed by Josiah we cannot concede that it is a proper illustration for the Lord's people of spiritual Israel to-day. A failure to recognize the times and seasons in the divine plan, and the different features of the work apportioned to those different times and seasons, have greatly beclouded the judgment of many good people in their endeavors to expound the Word of the Lord and to draw lessons therefrom.

Coming to the throne at eight years of age it is remarkable that, instead of having his head and heart turned to foolishness and vanity, Josiah at the age of sixteen began to seek earnestly to know and do the will of God in respect to the kingdom which he governed as an absolute ruler. By the time he was twenty years of age his convictions were crystallized and he began a thorough reformation of the kingdom of Judah, extending the same beyond the lines of his own particular dominion into the territories of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon and Naphtali. He was in earnest, and not only [R3607 : page 236] gave the commands for the destruction of the images and various paraphernalia associated with the idolatry established in the land, but he gave the matter his personal supervision, – he went with the officers whom he commissioned and saw to it personally that the destruction was thoroughly accomplished. This work of reform had been prophesied for him years before, even to the declaration that he would burn the bones of the priests of Baal upon the Baal altar at Bethel. – 1 Kings 13:1-3; 2 Kings 23:15-17.

The course of Josiah and that of other reformers of the Jewish epoch – as, for instance, Elijah, who caused thousands of the priests of Baal to be slain – are a source of confusion in the minds of many earnest Christians, as apparently sanctioning acts of violence public or private, totally out of accord with the spirit of this Gospel dispensation. In order to have a right conception of the matter it is necessary that we remember that the Jewish nation by divine arrangement represented God's judgments in the world, and that under the Law there was a certain responsibility resting upon every king of Israel, and also in some respects upon the individuals of that nation, to oppose idolatry with violence, because the kingdom typically represented God and his reign of righteousness. With the end of the Jewish era, when fleshly Israel was cast off from divine favor as a nation, all the laws and regulations given to that people governing such matters ended, were abrogated, made null and void. As our Lord declared unto them, "Your house is left unto you desolate." – Matt. 23:38.

With the establishment of Spiritual Israel at Pentecost a new covenant, a new relationship and new regulations have accordingly gone into effect. The spiritual Israelites are not to war with carnal weapons. Their warfare is to be each within his own heart, fighting the good fight of faith against the desires of the flesh, the wiles of the Adversary and the spirit of the world. Each heart has its own dominion to conquer, to clear of idols; each heart is expected to establish in all the realm of the natural body which it controls the worship and reverence and service of the Lord our God. As for worldly affairs we are distinctly told that we have nothing whatever to do with them – "Ye are not of the world even as I am not of the world." The world at present is under the control of the Gentiles and that by divine permission. The New Creatures, spiritual Israel, are to keep themselves separate from the world, and, so far as their consciences will permit, to be subject to the powers that be because these powers are permitted of God. This does not signify that they endorse all the doings of the powers that be in their hearts – they may be seriously grieved thereby; but whatever they may experience of grief or opposition or suffering or trials of patience and of faith are to be esteemed as so much of the Lord's fitting and polishing process, making them ready for the kingdom conditions of the future, making them the more humble and patient and loyal to himself and to righteousness, and the better qualified for the great work they will be engaged in in the future of blessing, ruling, judging, uplifting and encouraging the world in the right ways of the Lord.

THE MOTHER'S INFLUENCE

In a previous lesson we saw something of how a good father might have a bad son, and how in a general way at least it implied dereliction, unfaithfulness to his duties as a father, no matter how zealous and faithful he might have been in other respects and whatever excuses might be possible as respects his own lack of parental talent. Our lesson to-day reverses the matter, showing us the good son of a bad father, and we think it entirely reasonable to suppose that this implied a good mother. For a bad father and a bad mother to have reared a good son would appear almost impossible. Hence we feel safe in assuming that Josiah's mother was a godly woman.

The divine arrangement by which the mothers of the human family are considerably separated from the selfishness and strife of business and politics, so that if the mother will she can expend her energies in the training of her children according to the highest ideals before her mind, has undoubtedly been a great blessing to the race in various ways. Undoubtedly it has prevented a more rapid decline into extreme selfishness and sin, and wherever this arrangement of nature is interfered with more or less of disadvantage to the children is almost certain.

O, that the mothers of the world could appreciate the great power for good which the Lord has placed in their hands! O, that they could realize that the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world! To realize this and to use the opportunity thus providentially placed in their hands would be a proper response to the divine arrangement, and would entirely remove from such the ambition to have a share in politics, business, etc. The trouble is that the counsel of the Lord's Word and the arrangements of divine providence [R3608 : page 236] on this as on other subjects pass measurably unheeded. The poor world is doing perhaps as well as it knows, some better and some worse proportionately as the instincts of nature are acknowledged and followed with a lofty sentiment.

Christian mothers, especially those whose eyes of understanding are opening to a larger appreciation of the divine character and plan, should be swift to avail themselves of their privileges in the training of their children – their responsibilities. Let none think that the work is small and insignificant and without its influence. Every son and every daughter properly trained to reverence and obedience to God and his Word and to their parents, and to the Golden Rule in respect to their dealings with playmates and neighbors, and to order and regularity and punctuality and system and truthfulness, is not only prepared for his and her own blessing in life, but prepared also to be a blessing and example to other boys and girls and men and women. Thus every mother's influence extends and multiplies as days and years go by.

Even if there were no such desirable influences to [R3608 : page 237] be exercised outside the family circle, the proper training of the children means so much to the home – so much to the general peace and comfort and love constituting a home. While the father should not shirk his responsibilities as the head of the family, the mother as his efficient co-worker and helpmate earnestly cooperates, and to her must fall the major part of the responsibility for the training of the children, the breadwinner of the family being necessarily less in contact with them. And when the mother only is a child of grace, the whole responsibility, so far as her husband will permit, falls upon her shoulders, with only the assistance and guidance which the Lord provides. Alas, that so many homes are anarchous, lawless, therefore not really homes at all. Many parents, with false conceptions of kindness and indulgence, allow the children to grow up devoid of the proper respect for God, for parents and for the rights and interests of others. This is the secret of much of the lawlessness and growing spirit of anarchy everywhere manifest in the world. The wonder indeed is that, with homes devoid of law and order and love and kindness, the world is not in a worse state than we find it.

"IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH"

The Golden Text of our lesson should be made prominent in every family. The child who learns to remember and reverence his Creator, who learns also of his own imperfections and how they were incurred, and that the death penalty is the curse resting upon himself and all the world, blighting every earthly prospect, will be in a fair way to receive the message of salvation from the curse – to learn of how God in his love has provided Jesus as the great Redeemer, and that the deliverance secured through his death will soon extend to every member of the human family. Reverence to parents follows naturally as a result of reverence to God.

The Editor of this journal had the good fortune to be born of Christian parents and to be reared under Christian influences, and thus in God's providence, quite early in life, was led to see the privilege as well as the blessing of consecration to the Lord. Looking back he can see with increasing clearness the many pitfalls and snares and sad experiences which were thus averted and the great blessings which were thus secured. His sympathies go out toward all who by the grace of God flee from sin and lay hold upon the great Life-giver and seek to walk in his steps, holding fast his hand. He rejoices with all such, but he feels specially interested in those who seek the Lord early in life, before the evil days draw nigh, before passing into the sowing of wild oats and the reaping of the crop of bitter experiences which this implies. He feels a deep interest, therefore, in all the younger readers of this journal, especially of those who have felt the love of God constraining their hearts and who have responded to that drawing influence and have made a full consecration of themselves to walk in the steps of the Captain of our Salvation – steps of self-denial, self-sacrifice, steps which lead from glory to glory. To all such he extends earnest greetings and salutations in the Lord – congratulation on the steps already trod and best wishes for those which are to come.

[R3608 : page 237]

"THY WORD WAS FOUND, I ATE IT."
2 CHRONICLES 34:14-28. – AUGUST 13 –

Golden Text: – "I will not forget thy Word." – Psa. 119:16.

K
ING AHAZ, in his wicked rebellion against God's authority, had caused the manuscripts of the Law to be burned – presumably all of them. However, in God's providence, perhaps with the cooperation of some of the faithful priests, one copy of the Law was buried under a pile of stone and rubbish in one of the little rooms surrounding the court of the Temple. There it was found by the priest Hilkiah in the process of the cleaning up and restoring of the Temple services commanded by King Josiah in connection with the reforms he instituted, considered in our last lesson.

Shaphan was the name of the king's scribe, his position corresponding somewhat to secretary of state at the present time. He, as the king's representative, had general charge of the Temple repairs, the collection of moneys donated by the people for the repairs of the Temple, and the re-institution of its services. Not to the king, therefore, but to Shaphan his representative, Hilkiah the high priest delivered the sacred manuscripts, and he in turn reported them to the king. Whether they included all the books of the Law, the five books of Moses and possibly the book of Judges, we cannot surely know, but evidently from the context they included the book of Deuteronomy.

"SANCTIFY THEM THROUGH THY TRUTH."

The Lord predicates two things respecting his Word of truth: First, it is intended only for those of an honest heart and who are seeking the truth; and, secondly, it is intended to still further enlighten and thereby to still further sanctify this class for whom it is intended. It was so with Josiah. Devoted to righteousness and seeking to serve the Lord, the message of the Law tended to deepen his every conviction and stimulate him to still further endeavors in the Lord's service. The reading of the Law alarmed the king greatly, for he was in a condition of heart to believe every word of it. He realized that the nation of Israel had committed the very sins recorded in Deuteronomy, the twenty-eighth chapter (See 2 Kings 22:19), and that, therefore, they were subject to the very penalties therein specified. He rent his clothes – the tearing of the loose outer garment in olden times being a symbol of distress, perplexity or fear. [R3608 : page 238]

At once the king sent commissioners, saying, "Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for them that are left in Israel and Judah concerning the words of the book that is found, for great is the wrath of the Lord poured out upon us because our fathers have not kept the commandment of the Lord to do all that is written in this book." The commissioners inquired of the Prophetess Huldah, and brought to the king the answer that all the evils, "curses," declared in the book as the punishment for such sin would surely come upon the people because they had forsaken the Law. The punishments must be inflicted, but the king, who had shown such a loyalty to the Lord (and presumably others who manifested a similar spirit), would be preserved from the trouble. That is to say, it would not come at such a time and in such a manner as to involve them.

LOYALTY TO GOD, SYMPATHY FOR MAN.

The king was doubtless comforted in a measure by the assurance of his own escape from the fiery troubles predicted, but the right condition of his heart was evidenced by the fact that he was not content merely with this, but sought as far as possible to bring the priests, the nobles and all the chief people of Israel, and incidentally, of course, all who were under their influence, back into harmony and fellowship with the Lord. The work of destroying idols throughout the land, which was accomplished in a considerable degree six years before, was renewed and thoroughly accomplished; the Temple services were established also in good form.

In this connection the king ordered the observance of the Passover as directed by the Lord, and the record seems to be that there had never been a more notable one in the history of Israel: the reformation seems not only to have been an outward one but one that reached the heart, and the desire to please and serve the Lord seems to have extended to all classes. Nevertheless we may be sure that then, as at all other times, there were both deep and shallow natures, and that the majority of the Israelites were swayed by the example of the king and nobles, without having any clear moral and religious sentiments of their own on the subject. It is always so in every nation; only the comparatively few seem to really hear and appreciate the Word of God. Thus our Lord said to those whom he addressed, "Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear." The majority neither saw nor heard nor appreciated with their hearts, although the multitudes said, "Never man spake like this man," and great crowds appeared to listen. [R3609 : page 238]

I WILL NOT FORGET THY WORD.

The golden Text is the key to all proper living. It was because David did not forget the Word of the Lord that he was the good king, the prototype of the great Messiah. David's prophetic words, however, relate more particularly to the Christ than to himself. Many of his prophecies were written from this standpoint – as speaking for Messiah. We are reminded of our Redeemer's sentiments as expressed in another Psalm, "I delight to do thy will, O my God: thy law is written in my heart." (Psa. 40:8.) The Apostle applies these words directly to our Lord. – Heb. 10:7.

What was true of our Lord, the Head of the Church, must be true of every member of his body. Not a member can be indifferent even to the Word, the testimony, the will of God. And the attitude of each must not merely be a willingness to do the Lord's will under restraint, but it must be of a willing heart, "I delight to do thy will." To this end the Word of God must not only be appreciated as so much of literature and history and divine direction, but it must be so thoroughly appreciated as to be received into the heart, or, as the Apostle states it, it must be written in our hearts. This reminds us of the fact that Adam in his perfection was an image of God – that God's law was written in his heart. Indeed in his nature, being, he was created in harmony with God, in his image, his likeness, as was also our Redeemer by his immaculate birth. The followers of Jesus, however, born in sin and shapen in iniquity, are far from having the divine law written in their hearts – with all of them it has become more or less obliterated through the fall. A part of the Christian's daily business is to engrave in his character, in his heart, more and more deeply, the laws of the Lord; and the more earnestly he gives attention to this discipline and schooling, necessary to all the disciples of Christ, the more he prepares himself for the Kingdom condition and joint-heirship with the Lord, promised to all those who love and obey and follow him.

"MAKING WISE THE SIMPLE."

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes." (Psa. 19:7-9.) How true are these prophetic declarations may be comprehended only by those who have learned to appreciate the Word of God. It deters from sin, it encourages toward righteousness, it gives consolation in trouble, it gives strength and courage in a time of general fear and quaking, it gives wisdom in times of perplexity, and the result is that the people of the Lord have much advantage everyway through it as respects the present life, besides the hope, the encouragement and the preparation which it gives for the life which is to come.

The Prophet, representing the Lord's people of a future day, cries, "Thy words were found and I did eat them," and this represents a double thought: first it implies that the Word of the Lord would be lost and would need to be searched for; secondly it implies that when found it will avail us nothing unless it be appropriated to our needs, unless its testimony be received into good and honest hearts and be put into practice. The Word of the Lord was lost in a most important sense during the dark ages. Forms and ceremonies and the decrees of councils took the place of the testimony which the Lord declares to be sure. The result was increasing confusion and deterioration of spiritual vitality amongst those professing the name of Christ. Not only was the Word of the Lord lost in the sense of not being followed, [R3609 : page 239] but in a very important sense it was also lost by not being studied. The writing of the Scriptures was generally discontinued and the old manuscripts were lost sight of.

The finding of the Word of God seemed to begin afresh with the introduction of the art of printing, at a time when certain of the Lord's people were aroused to inquire more particularly for the "old paths." (Jer. 6:16.) In Luther's day, when printing was considerably advanced, history tells us that although he had been in a religious college for years, and was a professor and teacher, he never saw a copy of the Word of God until he was twenty years of age. Thank God, conditions are so changed now that his Word is found in the sense of being easily accessible to the whole people, and in the sense, too, that, under his providential care, in this time of the end knowledge has been increased so as to be universal in Christian lands. (Dan. 12:4.) Thank God that to-day his Word is abundantly distributed in all civilized lands and is obtainable in all heathen lands and in all languages.

BURIED UNDER TRADITIONS.

Nevertheless the Word of the Lord is in one sense still hidden. It is covered with a thick coating of false teaching and human tradition, so that in the homes where the book is to be found there is often so much blindness upon the eyes of the understanding that the truth of God cannot be appreciated. It is still necessary for us to pray with the Apostle, for ourselves and for others, that, the eyes of our understanding being enlightened, we might be able to comprehend with all saints the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God, which passeth understanding. It is only as our eyes of understanding open that we really see the wonderful things of God's book, and that we really get the wonderful blessings which he intended only for those who seek in truth and in sincerity, only for the saints.

The prophet speaks of a famine in the land, not for bread nor for water, but for the hearing of the Word of the Lord. There was such a famine in the dark ages, and to a large extent the reformation movement was a supply of the heavenly food and drink, spiritual nourishment. But, as we have just seen, there is still a famine though of another kind. Although there are churches in every direction, Bibles in every home, many are beginning to find that they are starving – that with the Word of God in their hands they are famishing, because they have been feeding upon the husks of human traditions, creeds and theories of men, which will not stand the tests of present-day enlightenment. Some are feeling lank and hungry spiritually. We wish there were more of these, for the Lord to-day, as ever, is as good as his word, assuring us that they that hunger and thirst after righteousness [truth] shall be filled. To all who now come into the right relationship to the Lord and to his Word there is refreshment never before known by his people. His Word, always precious, is a hundred-fold more precious now than ever before; its beauty, its true meaning, its reasonableness are more and more manifest to those who have the hearing ear and the eyes of their understanding opened, to those who are freed from the bondage of human traditions and are seeking the Bread from heaven, the testimony of the Lord that maketh wise the simple, the humble.

Now is the time for those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious and who have found his Word to be meat indeed, who realize that the Lord is present and has girded himself, and is serving the household of faith with meat in due season – now is the time for these to seek for and to assist those who are coming to an appreciation of their lankness and their hunger and thirst. May the Lord more and more give us wisdom and grace in presenting his Truth, that we may testify not only with our lips, but with all the conduct of life, the power and grace of the Word of Life.

[R3609 : page 239]

THE LONDON, ENG., CONVENTION.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I have much pleasure in giving you a short report of the third London Convention. The three days of last weekend the 10th, 11th and 12th of June, were, to the brethren who gathered in London, as a holy convocation unto the Lord. We had indeed a time of rejoicing with each other for all his goodness, and a time of solemn waiting upon him, that we might offer our praise and gain further strength. The result is according to his gracious promise: the windows of heaven were opened and his love was poured out upon us. It has been a memorable time for all, and with one consent there were expressions of gratitude for the privilege of attending and for the encouragement and stimulus gained. It was specially good to hear from some who are learning the value of the Truth that the Convention has been as a seal to their faith, and that full assurance had come.

All the meetings were well attended and all were larger than last year. On the Sunday night there were about 600 present, while the average of the other meetings was about 350. We had with us Brother Luttichau from Copenhagen and Brother Lundborg from Stockholm, and it gave pleasure to hear of the growth of the Truth in their countries. Then there were, as usual, brethren from Scotland and Ireland.

The addresses were helpful, but a large proportion of the value of the Convention was plainly in the assembly of the brethren and encouragement through the mutual faith. The testimonies were good, indicating a fervent desire to be found pleasing to God, and to be faithful stewards of the treasure committed to us. On Monday 32 brothers and sisters symbolized their consecration to the Lord by immersion.

At the close of a Colporteur meeting for testimony, etc., on the suggestion of a brother, a message of love was sent to you and I have very much pleasure, dear brother, in conveying this to you. In support of this all the people rose to signify their feelings. We look forward to the time when we may have you with us again and when the love may be spoken to you and shown in the face. We were also desired to express the gratitude which the friends have for the meetings held under the auspices of the Society.

We pray for you, dear brother, that you may ever be found faithful to the great things committed into your hands, that your joy of the Lord may ever increase and that you may walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being spared to do all his will may have for you.

With much love in him, I am your brother,

J. HEMERY.

page 241
August 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.AUGUST 15, 1905.No. 16
CONTENTS.
Views from the Watch Tower 243
The Church and the School 243
The Religions of New York 244
Nominal Christians Described 244
Fate of the Theological Student 245
Convention of the Joyful People 245
The Church of Today 246
"Not Holding the Head" 248
Only the Humble are Safe 249
Burning the Word of God 249
Persecuted for Righteousness' Sake 252
Two Questions Answered 254
Encouraging Words from Faithful Workers 255
Portland Convention Arrangements 242

'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 242

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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GENERAL CONVENTION, PORTLAND, OREGON, SEPT. 8-10

All sessions of the Convention (except the Sunday afternoon public service) will be held in the "Woodman's Hall," corner of East Sixth Street and E. Alder Streets. Brethren arriving over the S.P. line on Friday morning, Sept. 8th, should get off the car at E. Morrison St. station and come direct to the hall, thus saving carfare as well as any inconvenience through transferring. All other brethren arriving on all other lines at any time should come to the Union Depot where arrangements will be made to meet them and direct them to Hall and accommodations. All cars crossing "Morrison Bridge" pass within one or two blocks of the Hall. To get to Hall from Union Depot: – Take "M" car one block south, or "S" car, southbound, three blocks south on Sixth St., ask for "Morrison Bridge" transfer when paying fare, get off at Third and Yamhills Sts. and take any car crossing bridge. Get off at Grand Ave. and look for banner showing location of Hall one block north and one east.

The public service, Sunday afternoon at 3, will be held in the First Methodist Church, corner Third and Taylor Sts., easily reached from all car lines without transfer.

Entertainment. – Good rooms can be obtained in the vicinity of the Convention Hall for 50c, 75c and $1.00 per night for each person, two, three and four in a room. Meals at nearby restaurants can be had for 20c and 25c. Special room rates can be obtained for families or unencumbered brothers or sisters, three or four in a room.

It is important that all brethren who anticipate attending the Convention should notify Wm. A. Baker at Couch St. Dock, Portland, Ore., at least two weeks in advance, so that accommodations can be secured.

Letters should state price of rooms desired, number in party, etc. Arrangements will also be made for brethren who cannot afford to pay for accommodations but who can pay their fare to Convention, but in such cases it is also necessary to be advised before date of Convention. Some of the brethren have already written relative to bringing tents and others as to bringing their own blankets, which they can do without extra cost as baggage. All who feel it to their advantage to do so will be taken care of, and where brethren cannot afford to take furnished rooms it is a very good plan. Compliance with the above will greatly facilitate work of the Entertainment Committee and add to the general harmony of the Convention at the opening session.

Railroad Rates. – The regular excursion rate of all roads entering Portland, with tickets on sale at all times, is one and one-third fare, with a thirty-day limit. Parties of ten on one ticket, ten-day limit, one fare for round trip. "Coach parties" from any one locality are made special excursion rates, averaging considerably less than one fare for the round trip. It is suggested to friends in the northwest that they may be able to make joint arrangements with the local committees of the other two Associations (National Letter Carriers' Association and the "Hoo-Hoos" or Lumbermen) holding their conventions at Portland at this time, for "coach parties," and thus get the advantage of the lowest possible rate.

MISSIONARY ENVELOPES

These are now in stock in large quantity. Every letter you send through the mail may be a more or less potent messenger of the Truth, even on its outside, by the use of these envelopes. They catch the attention not only of those to whom they are addressed, but postmen and others have an opportunity, and sometimes the curiosity, to read their message of peace – the gospel in condensed form. Price, 25c per 100, postpaid.

[R3610 : page 243]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
THE CHURCH AND THE SCHOOL.

THE endeavor to bring the public school system of England under the supervision of the Church of England is causing considerable friction, and amounts to a modern persecution for conscience' sake that reminds of the persecutions of the long ago. Good people, whose consciences are perhaps not backed by proper knowledge of the Lord's teachings on the subject, and who therefore lack some measure of "the wisdom that cometh from above," are refusing to pay school taxes because such taxes would support schools which they disapprove. They thereby bring upon them the regular penalties: their goods are sold to meet the debt and some, in default of the money, have been imprisoned.

In Canada the same question is up in another form – the division of moneys raised by school taxes amongst sectarian schools. Many Canadians see in this an attack on the public-school system that would favor Romanism. They see correctly; but those who see that "the time is short," after voicing a reasonable protest may safely and quietly leave all in the hands of the Lord.

The "Churchman" (Episcopalian) makes some sensible comments on the subject. We quote:

"Does not the endeavor to ally the Church and Christianity with the public school place the Church in just as false a position as would the endeavor to ally it with the State? The Church represents Christ infinitely more than through a mere code of laws or a system of education. She is in the world to convert, to inspire, and to furnish the enabling power for the life of men and of society in its entirety.

"Definite religious teaching should be left where it belongs, to the Church and to the home. State officials could not teach even the Ten Commandments in other than a perfunctory way without arousing controversy. It is because the Church and Christian parents have failed to give the religious instruction, that they ought to have given, that the demand is made for such instruction in the public schools. With anxiety, it seems sometimes almost with desperation, they ask that the State shall do what the Church has failed to do. The State can not do what they ask, but the Church can. With renewed zeal and the best educational methods she must supply the religious instruction that the State and its schools can not give."

CHURCH UNION IN THE MAY CONVENTIONS.

A marked tendency toward Church union characterized the May meetings of the various denominations this year. Among the definite steps taken were the organizing by the Northern and Southern Baptists of a permanent body to be known as the General Convention of the Baptists of North America; the agreement of the United Brethren, at their quadrennial conference in Kansas City, to accept the plan of federation with the Congregationalists and the Methodist Protestants, looking to a complete consolidation in the future; and the action of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church toward completing organic union with the Cumberland Presbyterians. The vote approving the latter merger was taken on May 22. Says a correspondent of the New York Herald, in reference to this vote:

"It was the final action of the General Assembly on one of the greatest questions which have come before it since the Civil War, and brings back into that organization a branch which went out during the war because of differences over negro slavery.

"If the opposition to the union has made any fight it has been chiefly at the secret meetings of the special canvassing committee appointed last Saturday, but there were to-day no signs of such a contest. The special committee in its report canvassed the votes taken by presbyteries on the question of union. It showed 144 yeas to 39 noes. Two took no action, one gave conditional assent, and five made no report."

The same correspondent gives the following further details:

"The special committee in its recommendations [R3610 : page 244] asked that the proposition be referred to the Committee on Cooperation and Union; that the committee be increased in membership to twenty-one; that it have power to confer with a committee from the Cumberland Church; that it find what details must be worked out to consummate the union, and that a report be made to the General Assembly next year.

"This committee is to consider the corporate and legal rights of both general assemblies. The purpose is to keep the consolidation within legal limits, that all civil suits and injunctions may be avoided."

THE RELIGIONS OF NEW YORK.

A journal styled Federation has gathered statistics of religious conditions in New York City. Its conclusion is that "the greatest home missionary field in the United States is New York City, and the sooner the churches realize it the better it will be for our city and our land." The Sun, reviewing the report, says:

"At present the aggregate of the distinctively Christian population of the town is only two-fifths of the whole. This includes the whole of the Roman Catholic population and the total number of Protestant communicants. Besides these the Federation estimates a total of about half a million Protestants who attend Church more or less regularly and more than a million Protestants who are 'churchless,' or outside of any religious faith.

"New York, therefore, can not now be called a Christian city. Jews and infidels and the religiously indifferent or unattached constitute a majority of the inhabitants. The Protestant percentage is becoming less, the vast preponderance of the additions to the population being of Roman Catholics and Jews. The total of Protestant communicants and church attendants, as estimated by the Federation, is only about as great as that of the Jews alone, and by 1910 it is likely to be much less. By that time there will be more Jews here than natives of native parentage. The Jewish population has increased from only about 3 per cent. of the whole in 1880 to nearly 20 per cent. in 1905."

NOMINAL CHRISTIANS DESCRIBED.

We hear boasts of the progress of Christianity in connection with the project of converting the world. We see the estimate of four hundred millions of Christians. It is well that we examine the following picture of some of this number – the great mass of them. We quote from the New York Herald a description of the emigrants now coming to our shores. Alas! the name Christian has come to be a byword by reason of the attempt to count large numbers, and to stimulate the hope that some day the heathen world will be converted to as good conditions as is Christendom now. Alas! Christendom is "Babylon" in God's esteem (Rev. 18:4) and really worse than heathendom – more excusable because of its grosser darkness, denser blindness. If the 400,000,000 of Christendom commit more and greater crimes and are every way more profane than the 1,100,000,000 heathen, which most needs converting?

The Herald says:

"They are barbarians most of them. Subtracting a certain small percentage of fairly intelligent – a percentage drawn for the most part from the better class of Scandinavians, Scotch, and Germans – the great residuum are to all appearances so densely ignorant, so utterly alien to all our preconceived notions of what constitutes civilization, that it is only with great difficulty that we force ourselves to remember that most of them have been born and bred in the very strongholds of Christendom."

REV. A. BEET, D.D.

Some time ago we called attention to Prof. Beet's acceptance of the Bible teaching of man's mortality: that eternal life is God's gift through Christ to those only who become his followers.

The following, clipped from the London Daily News explains the present situation. Prof. Beet's fidelity to the truth he has already seen has led him to renounce his honorable position and good salary for conscience' sake. May he be abundantly blessed and led into the still deeper truths now due to the household of faith. We quote as follows:

When a man loves truth better than dignities and emoluments, he is a man to be noted. Such a man is Dr. Agar Beet, Theological Professor at Richmond Wesleyan College, England. For eight years he has been under a cloud and an object of suspicion in certain Methodist circles on account of his Eschatological views. Under pressure he withdrew his book, "Last Things," from circulation, and gave reluctantly a promise not to issue another edition, "in order to avoid danger to the peace of the Church," and generally to keep silent on the dark question of the Doom of the Lost until the Wesleyan Conference gave permission for the book to be published.

To an earnest seeker after truth the position became intolerable and impossible. It was not a matter of surprise that after the last Conference had refused to unseal his lips he promptly announced his intention to vacate his chair this year and claim freedom of thought and action. It was the only course possible. Better cease to be a Professor than be placed under an embargo of silence.

Rev. Dr. Beet said to a reporter:

"What has brought about this crisis is that I can no longer withhold from the world a book that has already brought light and comfort to many readers. Even in its present form [R3611 : page 244] it has lifted the gloom from many hearts. Not less than a hundred ministers and many laymen have thanked me for blessings received from its perusal. I owe it to the Church, to Christ, and to conscience to place the results of my study of this solemn subject in the hands of readers, many of whom are groping in darkness. The opinion of Methodists on the doom of the lost has completely changed during the last half century. They have discarded the traditional belief in the literalness of hell-fire and the eternity of future punishment, but they have been without guidance as to a positive article of faith to put in its place. This overthrow of the dogma has been carefully hidden. Godly ministers have nursed their doubts in silence, some under a sense of guilt for concealing their change of view, until the need for concealment has become to them a humiliating and intolerable bondage."

"What is your view, the view to which strong objection has been taken?"

"I hold that the New Testament represents Jesus Christ as declaring that for those who reject His Gospel there is nothing in the future for them but ruin, hopeless, utter, and final ruin, but he does not say implicitly what will become of the lost, or in what that final ruin consists. The references [R3611 : page 245] to the doom of the impenitent are too uncertain for us to dogmatise upon them. The traditional view is that those who reject Christ will think and feel for ever and will suffer endlessly. That dogma I reject unhesitatingly.

"That there are some passages in the Scriptures that seem to suggest conscious suffering I admit, but there are other passages which contradict that view, and in the absence of distinct and definite teaching on the subject why should we dogmatise? As to the natural immortality of the soul, that is not a Christian doctrine at all. It has been incorporated in Christian theology from the Platonic philosophers, but no proof of its truth is to be found in Scripture."

FATE OF THE THEOLOGICAL STUDENT

Rev. Robert Ker contributes the following to the Toronto Globe:

On behalf of the modern apostasy known as "higher criticism," a plea is set up on the ground of liberty so-called. But there is no interference with anybody's liberty, that an ordinary mind can see, and the Bishops rightly say to those wonderfully learned men – professors in colleges and holders of Church endowments in various forms – there is a "wide open door" through which you can pass, and through which, as honorable men, you ought to go, and not stand on the manner of your going. We may say to those who take this consistent course that we shall be very sorry to see them go, particularly so, as they modestly tell us that they carry with them all the scholarship and enlightenment of the Church. But it can't be helped, and we shall struggle on in our own feeble way, wrestling with "the traditional view," while they, freed from its oppressive trammels, shall have added to their manifold gifts and graces the homely virtue of honesty. A man who can deliberately recite a creed without believing it, and draws pay for doing so, is as little worthy of respect as the man who forges a check, because they are both "getting money under false pretences."

The theological student, as matters are going, will soon be as extinct as the Dodo. And need we wonder at it? Let the Bible be the hodgepodge which these wonderfully learned people represent, a mass of fiction and folly, and every honest man will see just one of two courses open before him – either plain and unvarnished infidelity, or absorption into the Papal obedience. It is astonishing how men pledged to honor and honorable dealing can blind themselves to the position that they must of necessity occupy in the sight of honest men. And what is it all about? Who is the great high priest of the new cult? The higher criticism had its birth and growth in licentiousness and infidelity. Its ostentatious claim to unprecedented scholarship is now ridiculed as little more and nothing better than hyper-criticism.

But there is a side to this question which is less considered than it ought to be. I refer to the prevailing and widespread indifference of the laity. There was a time in the history of the Church when things were very different from what they are to-day. I think it was last Christmas a clergyman of the city of Montreal sent around a Christmas card to the members of his congregation, on which, instead of a quotation from Holy Scripture, he treated them to a quotation from Harnack. Next year it will likely be a quotation from Tom Paine, Bolingbroke or Voltaire. There's really no difference. But will it evoke any protest from the laity? Do they see that this new apostasy strikes at the root of revealed religion? Do they stop to think that this new "doctrine of devils" leaves them without Christ and without God in the world? "How sweet the name of Jesus sounds," has no music for the man who has no faith in the resurrection or whose views respecting it, as a college professor avowed, were in a state of suspense. It is God-dishonoring to have such men in our pulpits leading men and women into the deeper condemnation.

Then what are we to say about the colossal folly of the men who, having eliminated the incarnation and the resurrection, talk about "a revival of religion?" Better far to call things by their proper name and pray for a revival of Paganism and the re-introduction of its licentious worship.

We are reproducing with extraordinary exactitude the conditions that prevailed in ancient Rome before she sank into the pit of her own digging. It behooves those who are sincerely on the Lord's side in these days of alarming apostasy to stand fast in the faith.

[R3611 : page 245]

CONVENTION OF THE JOYFUL PEOPLE
B
LESSED are the people who do know the joyful sound." (Psa. 89:15.) No Convention yet held by us better illustrated this text than the Niagara Convention. It was a joyful meeting of happy people. Not merely did the association conduce to happiness, but nearly all in attendance were happy before they came, and merely increased their joys by their fellowship there with the Lord and with one another.

The Boston railway agent remarked to the Brother who secured the arrangements for the sixty brethren and sisters from that quarter, – "You all seem to be anticipating a good time. Every face is happy – not a frown, not a vexed or cross word." He was the more surprised because the people were of no sect or party – merely Christians – and enroute for a Bible Students' Convention. He became interested in "the happy people," and says he wants to read "DAWN" to find the secret. A similar experience attended another party.

The watchman at the Conservatory had not expected arrivals before 10 a.m. Sunday and refused to open the building, but finally did open it, inquiring, "What is it that makes you all so happy?" He was informed that the people were happy because they loved and trusted the Lord and his Word. He thought he would attend some of the meetings and learn why those people were so happy in coming long distances at their own expense. He attended, declared it was a different gospel from any he ever before heard, and got the DAWN to study further.

The janitor of the building not only noted the joy of the Lord in the faces and conversation, but remarked also that this was the only Convention ever held in the Conservatory, attended by men, that did not litter the carpets, etc., with cigar ashes and stumps and tobacco quids. A number of the employes, we learn, are now reading DAWN as a result of their having read the "living epistles" of the Lord's "people who do know the joyful sound."

THE CITY, THE AUDITORIUM, THE PEOPLE

Niagara Falls, N.Y., is a quiet, clean and beautiful city, all that could be desired. Its citizens let us alone, and we let them alone; except that the 1,100 conveners got their lodgings with them at not unreasonable rates. We did not advertise this Convention to the public, preferring to have it chiefly a gathering of those already deeply interested in Present Truth. No doubt this contributed to the general sentiment that this was the best Convention yet held under our Society's auspices. Hereafter we prefer to follow this plan in respect to the [R3611 : page 246] "General Convention" (except perhaps one discourse for the public) leaving to the "One Day Conventions" more particular appeals to the local public.

The Natural Food Co., manufacturers of "Shredded Wheat Biscuit," granted us the free use of the fine auditorium in their extensive buildings. It was scrupulously clean, well lighted, well ventilated and seats 1,000 persons. It was more than full on two occasions, on Sunday. The Convention voted its thanks to the management and their courteous employes.

EAST, WEST, NORTH AND SOUTH

Some in attendance came long distances – two from Florida, one from Tennessee, some from Nebraska, but the majority, of course, from the more central districts. Boston, Chicago and Allegheny churches seem to have been most liberally represented – about 60 from each.

From the opening of the Convention to its close the keynote was loving gratitude to God and love and sympathy to the brethren and the entire groaning creation. About a dozen brethren took part in the public [R3612 : page 246] services. More than a dozen others present would have been quite competent for service had there been opportunity for them. No doubt the discourses did good by stimulating faith and zeal, but after all the great feature of the Convention surely was the heart-fellowship of the occasion. No earthly family-reunion compared with the gathering of the Lord's family and their loving interest in each other's welfare. Introductions were not waited for – each knew the other's heart and soon reached it.

Ninety-four brethren and sisters symbolized their consecration as being "even unto death." It was a beautiful and solemn witnessing. The pastor of the Baptist Church, which so kindly granted us the free use of their baptistry, was present at the service, we learn, and is now reading DAWN. An Episcopal minister and his wife, also a Baptist minister and his wife, were conventioners with us, having come considerable distances. We believe they were favorably impressed and blessed. We hope to hear from them further, ere long.

THE ABSENT ONES REMEMBERED

We reminded the dear friends that we surely had the prayers and blessed wishes of others of "the happy people," "the Truth people," all over the world, thousands of whom would have been with us had the Lord's providence permitted. We remembered you all earnestly in our prayers that the Lord would compensate your unwilling absence by pouring upon you a portion of our blessing; and we exhorted all of the dear friends present to endeavor to carry back to their homes some of the precious words and experiences of the Convention. We doubt not some of them will talk about their experiences for a year to come.

[R3612 : page 246]

"THE CHURCH OF TODAY."
BY REV. JOSEPH A. SEISS, D.D., LATE LUTHERAN MINISTER IN PHILADELPHIA, PA.
T
HERE is nothing in the history of the world hitherto, and especially nothing in the present status of its affairs, to favor the doctrine of our Modern Millennialists, or to make us think it likely, if at all possible, that the Church in this dispensation, by any human activities or improvements, will ever be able to bring about a condition of universal conversion, righteousness and peace, such as some say will and must come "before" Christ comes. As no preaching of the Gospel, or efforts of evangelical workers, the holiest and most efficient in all these many centuries, have succeeded in making converts and saints of the entire population of any city or locality on this earth, it would seem to be sheer folly to expect these agencies and endeavors to do for the whole earth what they have never done for any part of it, however small. In all the ages... whithersoever it has come it has taken out a people for the Lord, who will live and shine with him in immortal glory...whilst...the majority have everywhere been on the outside...and how can we suppose that it will ever be different in the present order of things? And when we examine the condition in which nearly two thousand years of the Gospel have left the most favored nations, not to speak of the regions beyond, we look in vain for solid evidences that another two thousand years of the same would bring the world any nearer the fancied Millennial state [before Christ comes] than Christendom is at present.... Some hold up their hands in holy horror at the idea that "Christendom," as it now exists – "this chaos of intermingled divisions, antagonistic communions and interminable contentions, jealousies and strifes" – is to remain. They cannot think that the Greek Church, the Papal Church, the disagreeing Protestant churches, together with the many sects and heretical coteries which "disgrace" the Christian profession, are to continue to the end of time.

But this state of things is exactly what has developed under "eighteen hundred years of the Gospel proclamations," and what has been is that which shall be, unless radical changes come, by the intervention of some new power and method of administration, such as the coming again of the Lord Jesus to judge and rectify will bring....

When we look at the evils and the tares that have all the while been growing, at the sad estate into which "Christendom has been brought" by the spirit of sect, human ambition, self-seeking hypocrisy, unbelief, misbelief and the super-exaltation of humanitarian goodishness, "which makes nought of doctrine," it seems next thing to absurdity to say that "this" is the instrument and agency to convert "the world" to truth and genuine godliness.

People say, "Oh, yes; but only set the Church aright. Put it to work to do as it should; bring it up to what it 'ought to be' in enterprise and liberality, and there [R3612 : page 247] can be no question that it will soon conquer and sway the world to Christ and salvation." Be it so; but who is to convert Christendom and put it in condition to convert the world? Reform, Reform! That is the watchword. The whole Church and the whole earth are full of reformers laboring at reforms. But the sad fact remains: "That which is crooked, cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered," while the doctoring is often worse than the disease.... To convert the world there must first be a conversion of the Church, and that can never be until Christ the Judge shall come.

Yet another thing to be noted in connection with our subject, is the character of the times in which we live. The Scriptures abound in allusions to the moral aspect of the world in its "last" period – the period bordering on the time when Christ shall come with power and great glory, and everywhere those times are represented as full of unbelief, lawlessness, outbreaking sin, rampant lust, blasphemous mockery, and reviling of sacred things, – a very carnival of bad passions and God-defiant crimes.

The question, therefore, arises, whether our times are not of the character thus divinely described and fore-intimated....Have "we" not withal fallen upon a time of extraordinary degeneracy and wickedness? Has there not come a grievous falling away from the faith, a giving of heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies? Have not people become lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to law and rightful authority, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, "holding certain forms of godliness," but failing to show the power of godliness in their lives? Have "we" not plentiful examples of those mockers who were to come, walking after their own lusts and likes, and saying "Where is the promise of his coming?" [Parousia, presence, Diaglott translation.]

Think of the startling multiplication of divorces, the breaking down of the sacredness of marriage, the shameless prevalence of licentiousness, and the commonness of infanticide, and secret bloodguiltiness of which physicians tell. Note the growing indifference to the solemnity of oaths, to sacred promises, to moral obligations, to the laws of God, and to all holy things. Observe the rapid accumulations of colossal robberies, swindles, defalcations, embezzlements, rascalities and false dealings, which disgrace our civilization, much of it also in high places, by people of social rank, education and refinement. Estimate the increasing killings, murders, incendiarisms and lawless and malicious misdoings of men and women, and the trampling under foot of right and justice in political, commercial and banking circles.

Observe the awful increase of suicides, which, within the past few years, have exceeded the number of 200,000 per annum! Lusts and crimes and fiendish passions seem to have reached flood tide, blossoming like trees in springtime, filling our "daily journals with their stench," and yet, treated and familiarly talked of as ordinary and trivial things! And when we consider that all this is within the realm of so-called Christendom, we may well wonder that we should have Christian people singing over it, and telling us that we are on the march to a glorious Millennium [before Christ comes]. What this state of things betokens is not Millennial Glory, but "the day of Judgment, on the margin of which the world of to-day is reading."...

The question whether there is to be a glorious Millennium on this earth before the return of Christ is not to be decided by what is most agreeable to our reason and fancy, nor yet by what we imagine the most effective to stir zeal in effort to benefit the world lying in sin, but by what the Word of God says. What does not accord with the Word must go under, without regard to human likes, reasonings or opinions. ...That many good and sensible people have need to examine the question with more thoroughness than they yet have done, is abundantly evident; and that what we have thus written may help some to right conclusions, is our earnest wish....Nor can we leave the subject without solemnly laying it on the consciences of all whom we can reach, not to rest satisfied with notions which flatter and please a rationalistic fancy, but which they have never critically examined; and to beware of giving sanction to a modern popular persuasion, which they may find without just foundation in Scripture....

It is indeed a fact for all to consider, that the side which we take on the question will and must make serious difference in the whole system of our theological thinking. There is scarcely a doctrine which is not [R3613 : page 247] more or less affected by the ground we take upon this question. Our decision will and must affect our views of the Resurrection – of the Kingdom of God – of the Second Coming itself – of the Nature and Purpose of the Present Dispensation – particularly of the Judgment, and what is to come after it, and the whole condition and life of the finally redeemed....

And it will and must make or unmake to us many most pregnant passages of Holy Writ, rendering them grandly luminous, or sealing them as meaningless and uncertain – mere riddles for interpreters to guess at, without agreement as to their clear and certain import.

A decision so far-reaching and momentous in its consequences and effects cannot safely be treated with indifference, and certainly demands a very serious, candid and thorough examination, that the conclusion may be one solidly founded in the revelations given us in the sacred Scriptures.

For our part we are deeply convinced and satisfied that the doctrine of a glorious Millennium of Christianity triumphant throughout all the world before Christ comes, is "groundless" and damaging to the cause it would promote.

[R3613 : page 248]

NOT HOLDING THE HEAD.
COLOSSIANS 2:18. –

T
HE APOSTLE warns us all against a wrong attitude which at all times has more or less threatened the body of Christ, in its larger gatherings as well as in its little handfuls; – he warns us against the danger of looking too much to ourselves or to other men in the Church and not enough toward the Lord, who is indeed "the Head of the Church, which is his body." Some members he represents as taking a head position, forgetful of the fact that "one is the Head of the Church, even Christ," and inclined in consequence of this forgetfulness to think too highly of themselves, to imagine that the whole weight and importance of the Lord's cause devolves upon them, and to assume too much leadership.

The Apostle warns other less prominent members of the Church against a recognition and support of such a wrong position, assuring them that their condescension is extreme, prejudicial to themselves and to the interests they would serve; that the angels, that is the messengers, the representatives of the Church (Rev. 1:20; 2:1) are not to be worshipped, though they are to be highly esteemed in proportion to their faithfulness, good works and humility. He warns other members that such a humiliation as would ignore themselves entirely and cast all the weight and responsibility and influence upon these angels or elders would be improper, would indicate an unfaithfulness to Christ and a failure to rightly appreciate his arrangements.

DANGERS IN OPPOSITE EXTREMES.

Thus, reproving two classes because of taking opposite extremes, the Apostle proceeds to explain that the difficulty with both parties is a failure to hold the Head in proper esteem – Christ, the only true Head of the Church. Whether by exalting ourselves, usurping our Lord's place in the Church, and ignoring his words and arrangements and being puffed up as his servants, or whether on the other hand quietly submitting to such things and doing reverence to those who usurp the Lord's place in his body, in either case the difficulty is the same – a failure to rightly recognize the true Head.

If we accept the fact that Christ is the Head of the Church, let us rest every argument on that basis; let us not feel for a moment that everything will go to pieces unless we steady the ark – that we are main spokes in the divine program in any little quarter of Zion. (1 Chron. 13:10.) All such self-conceited ideas are traitorous as respects the Captain of our Salvation, for he has told us – and we believe his word – "Without me ye can do nothing." Every member of the body of Christ, whom the Lord has in any sense of the word set in the Church to serve his cause, should realize that he is not at all essential to the development of the divine plan, that it is favor pure and simple that he has been granted a share in connection with it, that his blessings day by day more than compensate any little service and sacrifice he may be able to render. So far from feeling heady he should feel humbled by the thought that he is permitted to have any part in the great plan of God as a servant amongst his brethren, and he should realize distinctly that, so surely as the Lord is the Head of his Church, any who cease to occupy positions of trust in a humble manner will be debased, will lose the privileges and opportunities, perhaps with injury to themselves and to others.

Those humble brothers and sisters who quietly permit a brother to exalt himself amongst them and to speak of the gathering, large or small, as "my Church," "my followers," etc., are not only doing the brother an injury and encouraging him in a wrong course, but they are disloyal to the real Head of the Church. He who submits to such conditions and language demonstrates that he does not properly appreciate "the liberty wherewith Christ makes free" – demonstrates either that he is but a "babe in Christ" or that he has gone to sleep as respects a proper watchfulness for the honor of the Church and of the Head of the Church. It matters not that such things can be explained away as not having meant anything serious. The fact is that such language and claims indicate that something serious has already taken place, for no truly humble Elder of the Church of Christ, loyal to the Head, would think of speaking of himself as instead of the Head of the Church, nor think of speaking of the Lord's people as his Church.

Such public offenses should be publicly apologized for, otherwise such leaders should be relegated to the back seats. No matter if they had all the oratory imaginable, no matter if none of the others had any talent for public service. The poorest and weakest and most insignificant member of the body is, in the Lord's estimation, better qualified to teach than is one who vaunteth and puffeth up himself and affects to take in the Church the position of the Head. Mark the Apostle's words, "Vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind and not holding fast the Head, from whom all the body being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increaseth with the increase of God." – Col. 2:19.

SELF FIRST, GOD SECOND.

In 2 Timothy 2:3 the Apostle assures us that, In the last days grievous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents [and higher authority in general], unthankful, unholy...traducers, heady, high-minded...having a form of godliness, but ignoring the power thereof.

This picture certainly fits well to our day throughout nominal Christendom, and it is not strange therefore that something of the same general spirit at times seeks to invade the camp of the saints – the little companies of the consecrated who are striving to be overcomers of the world and its spirit. The fact that the Apostle writes thus forcefully on this question does not prove any lack of sympathy on his part, and assuredly our reference to his words indicate no lack of sympathy on our part. [R3613 : page 249] But the trouble is a grievous one and especially injurious to the brethren who may yield to such headiness: nothing is surer to sap spiritual vitality and to lead us into darkness, both doctrinal and spiritual.

On the contrary the Apostle James warns us against this danger which besets the more talented of the Lord's people. He writes, Be not many of you teachers, brethren, knowing that a man shall receive the stronger testings. (Jas. 3:1.) It is because of our love for the brethren, because of our high esteem for them, and because we appreciate their services and desire that they may be continued in the service of the Lord, not only now but also in the everlasting future, that we feel it necessary to press this point, not personally, not individually, but generally.

We urge upon all whom the Lord hath set in the body, either in a humble position or in a conspicuous place, that the Apostle's words be remembered – that as our Lord humbled himself and was subsequently exalted, it demonstrates a principle at work in the Father's program under which all of his Royal Priesthood must humble themselves if they would in due time be exalted; also the Apostle's concluding argument is, "Humble yourselves, therefore, brethren, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." Now is not the proper time for exaltation; to elevate ourselves or others under present conditions is to incur the greater danger of a fall. Hence all who are earnest and of humble heart should both watch and pray lest they enter into temptation along this line, which from the very beginning of the Gospel age has been the most serious stumbling block in the pathway of this class. We remember that it was amongst the apostles themselves that the argument took place as to which would be greatest in the Kingdom. Let us also remember our Lord's words of reproof to them, "Except ye humble yourselves and become as little children ye can in no wise enter into the Kingdom."

ONLY THE HUMBLE ARE SAFE

Thus our Lord marks humility as one of the prime essentials of a place in the Kingdom. And we can see the importance, the reason for this. To exalt to the glory, honor and immortality of the Kingdom and divine [R3614 : page 249] nature one who had not thoroughly demonstrated his humility of spirit would be to place him in a position where he might become another Satan, another adversary, who in time under one delusion or another might wish to divide the divine honors even beyond the munificence of our heavenly Father's provision for all those who are truly his consecrated ones.

It will not be very long, dear brethren – let us have patience. Let us have faith, too, not be doubters. Much of the endeavor to grasp and wield authority in the Church is at first undertaken with the best of intentions, with the desire to do and be in the highest interests of the Church. In such cases faith is not strong enough to realize how unnecessary we are to the divine plan and how able the Lord is to overrule every incident and circumstance according to the divine will. More faith in the Lord's power to regulate the affairs of the Church will counteract largely the efforts of some of his people to run the Church's interests along lines of their own wisdom and ability. Let us remember that he is able, he is willing, to work all things according to the counsel of his own will. Let us remember that our highest place is lying low, that the greatest mastery is self-mastery, and that whatever success we might have in usurping the place and authority of our Lord and his Word would undoubtedly react unfavorably to us in the end. Hence in self-preservation as well as in the interest of the Church and in honor of the Lord, we need to keep self under. Let us remember the words of the poet and apply them daily:

"O! to be nothing, nothing,
Painful the humbling may be;
Yet low in the dust I'd lay me
That the world my Savior might see.
Rather be nothing, nothing –
To him let their voices be raised;
He is the fountain of blessing,
Yes, worthy is he to be praised."

Let us keep ever in memory the Apostle's example and words: "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus our Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." 2 Cor. 4:5.

[R3614 : page 249]

BURNING THE WORD OF GOD.
JEREMIAH 36:21-32. – AUGUST 20. –

Golden Text: – "Amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God." – Jer. 26:13.

K
ING JOSIAH, of our last lesson, dying in battle, made no arrangement respecting his successor on the throne, and the elders of the people chose his youngest son to be the king of Judah. The king of Egypt, on his victorious return from war with Assyria, exercised a suzerainty over the kingdom of Judah, and took the king a prisoner to Egypt, and exalted to the throne his eldest brother, Jehoiakim, who proved to be a thoroughly bold and bad man. Under his guidance of the kingdom evil of every kind seemed to prosper, and the good reforms instituted by his father gave way to fresh idolatry.

This was at the time when Jeremiah was one of the principal prophets in the land, who had been hindered for some time from prophesying publicly, but under the Lord's guidance he wrote out his prophecy respecting the coming judgments and chastisements upon the people of Judea, his scribe being Baruch. When it was finished it was read before certain prominent people of Jerusalem, and so deeply impressed them that they desired that the [R3614 : page 250] matter should be brought to the king's attention. Apparently they were friendly to the prophet and the scribe, and suggested the necessity for their concealment, lest the king should be angry with the prophecy and should seek to do them injury. King Jehoiakim, not satisfied with the general report given him respecting Jeremiah's prophecy, demanded to see the document itself, and had his own scribe read it before him. The king was unmoved by the message, and after hearing the contents of three of the columns of the manuscript he took his scribe's penknife and cut them off and cast them into the fire before him, and so he continued to do with the remainder until the entire manuscript was read and destroyed. Thus he emphasized his determination to take no counsel from the Lord, or we might say that he evidenced his lack of faith in the Lord and his disregard for his Word.

THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH.

The king ordered the arrest of Jeremiah and his scribe, but, in harmony with the Lord's providences, they had already secreted themselves and were not found. In their seclusion they learned of the destruction of the manuscript, and prepared another statement of the prophecy, which we are informed had certain further additions, and this constitutes the book of Jeremiah as found in our Bibles. This gives us a little view of the manner in which the Bible came into existence piece by piece under the Lord's supervision. Doubtless the first manuscript delivered to the king was more particularly in respect to his own time and affairs. This served its purpose, and then the larger and fuller book of Jeremiah's prophecy, as we now have it, was prepared – not especially for the people of that time, but, as the Apostle Peter points out, it was designed for the instruction and edification of the Gospel Church. (Rom. 15:4; 1 Pet. 1:12.) Even those things which were applicable in some measure to Jeremiah's day and to Jehoiakim and to the king of Babylon were, as we have seen, of two-fold significance – applying not only to the literal Babylon of that time but also to the mystic Babylon of this Gospel age.

The Lord declares, "My Word that goeth forth out of my mouth shall not return unto me void, but shall accomplish that which I please, and shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it." (Isa. 55:11.) We see this not only in the narrative foregoing – that the Lord's plans were not frustrated by the king – but we see it also in all the various steps of the Lord's providences in connection with the giving to us of his Word. Much of that Word for centuries has seemed dark and meaningless to the Lord's people, but in the light of the Millennial dawn it is becoming luminous. Not that we should consider that every little item and detail of the prophecies of old would contain great value and great instruction, for this we do not find. Our understanding is that the pearls of truth are scattered throughout the Word, here a little and there a little, and that in this manner our Lord has hidden the beauties of his plan from the casual reader, while his Spirit draws the attention of the New Creation to these pearls of thought so valuable to us in our spiritual upbuilding, in giving us knowledge of the divine plan. It is with this as with everything in nature: diamonds are not found in a heap together, but scattered here and there in the peculiar soil in which they are secreted. Gold is not found in large blocks, but usually in very minute grains intermingled with tons of sand and dirt and rocks. In the wheat field there is a much larger bulk of straw and of chaff than of clean grain.

We have doubtless all noticed this in the quotations made in the New Testament from the prophecies of the Old Testament, that only a fragment here and there is quoted and applied. We have all doubtless noted also that frequently the context seems very irrelevant, without connection with the part quoted. In other words, the Lord and the apostles selected for our nourishment the grains of wheat without specially referring to the chaff and straw of the connections. And so at the present time, as the Spirit of the Lord opens the Old Testament before his people more and more, and we see in it wonderful things, we need not expect to find every item and every verse of every chapter full of meaning and spiritual nourishment. We must expect that a considerable portion of it will be like the straw and the chaff, not suited to our spiritual nourishment though necessary to the presentation of the meat in due season – necessary and proper in connection with the giving of the same, while at the same time hiding it from the world in general, especially until the due time. Thus the chaff hides the grain.

Our figure is still more complete when we remember that even if we have found the grain it needs a certain preparation of grinding or bruising, etc., before it is ready for our nourishment. So even after we have separated wheat from chaff, spiritual things pertaining to our time from other features pertaining to the time in which the Scriptures were written, we still require the assistances of the holy Spirit and agencies used of the Lord for the grinding and preparation of the meat in due season. By whatever means it is provided it is necessarily of the Lord's provision, and to him we render the thanks and praises and appreciation for all that has been done under the various instrumentalities of the Lord, the apostles and others.

FIGHTING AGAINST GOD.

As Jehoiakim found it in the end vain to fight against God, and that burning the words of Jeremiah did not destroy nor render null and void his prophecy, so others are finding the matter to this day. Roman Catholics have apparently long been opponents of the Word of God, the Bible, and under their direction considerable Bible burning has been done. History tells us that the first edition of Tyndale's translation of the New Testament was bought up in the book-stores of London, etc., and burned. Indeed in very recent years we have heard of similar proceedings in Spain and less than three years ago in Brazil. The Bible may be set down as the strongest foe of ignorance, superstition and [R3615 : page 251] every wrong doing: it is no wonder, therefore, that many hate the book.

It would not do for Roman Catholics to ignore the Bible altogether, since in considerable measure their religious system is based upon its teachings; hence they have from time to time issued various editions of the Bible, various translations, though none of these were ever issued by the authority of the Roman Catholic Church as a whole, but merely by local Bishops. It would not be claimed by any that there is a wide discrepancy between the teachings of the popular Douay edition of the Bible used by Roman Catholics and the common English version of the same books. The Catholic version is supplied with elaborate notes on the Scriptures, supposed to safeguard the latter from heresies, while the Protestant version is usually published without note or comment except the marginal readings respecting the translation.

In our day a peculiar anomaly is presented: the Roman Catholic Church, which through her popes has denounced Bible Societies as being of the devil, has within the last few years through its councils at Baltimore, and also more recently through the pope's encyclical letter to the bishops of America, advocated the reading of the Scriptures by its people, and urged that the priesthood shall encourage this reading. Probably this is merely for effect, merely to counteract the past tendencies of the Church, and to seem to imply that papacy is loyal to the Scriptures. As a matter of fact Roman Catholics tell us that the priests do not urge the reading of the Scriptures, but when inquired of on the subject treat the matter lightly and rather discourage it. Of course only a Douay version is permitted at all, and it only to the educated, whom it would be unwise to refuse. Furthermore, the price of the Catholic edition is rather prohibitive so far as the poor are concerned.

THE BIBLE-BURNING SPIRIT.

Those whose eyes of understanding are open have doubtless noticed a peculiar change of sentiment amongst Protestants respecting the Bible. The division is into three main classes: one repudiates the Bible except as a work of literature. These are known as higher critics, who consider their own judgments respecting all Biblical matters to be far superior to the opinions and testimonies of the Lord, the apostles and the prophecies. Egotistical and self-confident, they assume to be much wiser than is written, yet hold that it is not well to break entirely with the Bible because it still has a considerable hold upon many good people, and by rejecting it in toto they would not only lose the respect of these good people but also lose their support. The second class still holds to the Bible as a fetich, a charm, a book of good luck, which they like to have upon their parlor tables and without which in the house they would not feel entirely safe; they regard it as the Word of God, but do not understand it themselves nor do they believe that others understand it. They have a special interest in and regard for Churchianity, especially for the branch of it to which they have given adherence, and they somehow realize that an investigation of the Bible might undermine the influence of Churchianity and make its students independent of those systems of man which have grown so grandly influential in social and financial circles. These would not burn the Bible itself, but would be in full sympathy with the burning of MILLENNIAL DAWN or any other book which would remove the dust and smoke of superstition from the Word of God and let its true light and beauty shine forth. They would not hesitate to burn these, because they feel instinctively that such a shining forth of the Word of God means a proportionate decline in the luster of their earthly systems of Churchianity.

Thus do we account for the burning of the WATCH TOWER publications. In one or two cases the burning was done in public; in many instances, on the advice of this class of people, timid ones of the Lord's sheep have burned their books privately. One sister who attended a Canadian Convention not long since, as she shook hands with the Editor remarked: "Brother Russell, the Lord in his providence sent me MILLENNIAL DAWN several years ago, but I hearkened to the voice of those whom I supposed to be my religious superiors and proper Christian guides and I burned the book. Still gracious to me, the Lord sent me another copy: again I listened to the voices of darkness and burned the book. The Lord in great mercy sent me a third copy, and this time I was ready for it – it burned me; it has set me free, and I am here to-day rejoicing in the favor of God and in the light upon his Word." Her husband at her side spoke up, saying, "Yes, and it has burned me, too," – burned the old self-will and sectarianism and opposition to the Way, the Truth and the Life, which God has revealed to us through his Word, to which Jesus and his redemptive work are the key.

Let us, dear friends, realize more and more that we cannot turn aside the divine plan by our puny oppositions if we were so disposed, and let us get into such heart harmony with the Lord, let us exercise such faith toward him, that nothing will be farther from our thoughts than to substitute a plan of our own for his, or in any wise to alter, change, or amend the gracious plan which, rightly seen, includes all the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of love and wisdom divine. Let us not fight against God, and be overwhelmed and suffer loss of position if not loss of life eternal. Let us on the contrary receive the great blessing which comes to all those who are children of the light, who receive it into good and honest hearts, and who rejoice in it.

THE GREATEST OF BOOKS.

Many of the world's best and noblest characters have acknowledged the grandeur of God's Book, even those who, like Presidents Lincoln and Grant, were not themselves professedly consecrated Christians. We are all familiar with General Grant's declaration that he esteemed the Bible to be the corner-stone of the liberties enjoyed in the United States. President Lincoln said, [R3615 : page 252] "Take all of this book upon reason that you can, and the balance on faith, and you will live and die a better man." Coleridge said, "The words of the Bible find me at greater depths of my being than all other books put together." John Ruskin said, "Whatever I have done in my life has simply been due to the fact that when I was a child my mother daily read with me a part of the Bible, and daily made me learn a part of it by heart." Huxley, the agnostic scientist, declared, "The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the poor and the distressed." Gladstone declared, "What crisis, what trouble, what perplexity of life has failed or can fail to draw from this inexhaustible treasure-house its proper supply?" President Roosevelt said, recently, "If we read the Bible right, we read a book which teaches us to try to make things better in this world."

These testimonies come to us from the outside rather than from the inside – mainly from those who understood very little of the true Divine Plan of the Ages. How much deeper and more meaningful is the testimony of our hearts to the value of this book as we come, step by step, to a proper appreciation of the glorious and wonderful words of life which it contains and the true meaning of its exceeding great and precious promises, by which in the Lord's plan it is designed that a little flock may become partakers of the divine nature and be prepared to be the Lord's instruments for the blessing eventually of all the families of the earth.

THE BIBLE INDESTRUCTIBLE.

In an early edition of Wyclif's Bible there was a frontispiece representing a fire of true Christianity against which its enemies, Satan, the pope, and infidelity, were blowing with all their might, trying to put it out; but the more they put themselves out of breath the more brightly did the fire burn. This is still true. The enemies of the Lord's Word, whether great or small, those who are doing their utmost against the spread of the Truth and to oppose the Helps for Bible Study which the Lord is now sending forth, are really in some respects at least spreading the flame of the Truth. We may be sure that eventually the object, the purpose, of the divine Word will be accomplished – the elect Church will be called, schooled, prepared for the Kingdom and gathered into it to do the work promised, the blessing of all the families of the earth.

As illustrating that the Bible has stood the test of time where other books have failed, we note the fact that while other books have no particular opposition, no attempts having been made to destroy them, nevertheless they sink out of sight – while the Bible, with all the opposition which has been brought against it for centuries, is more widely circulated to-day than ever. It is estimated that "there are more than a million volumes in the imperial library at Paris gathered in since the fourteenth century; yet of this immense catalogue, 700,000 are out of print....Mere fragments of all the literary wealth of Greece and Rome have made their way down the centuries, while the riches of Solomon and David and Moses, prophets, scribes, have held their steady place." "Not a manuscript of the classics is a thousand years old, but at least fifty manuscripts of the Greek New Testament are more than one thousand years old."

Our experiences in the study of the Word in this harvest time, the new beauties and rich depths of the divine wisdom, love and power which our wondering hearts behold, are illustrated well by the experiences of the French electrician, Ampere. He was shortsighted without being aware of it. When he became conscious of his defect of vision, through the casual use of a friend's eye-glasses, he burst into tears as he realized how much he had missed throughout his life of the wonderful beauty of the world around him.

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PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS' SAKE.
JEREMIAH 38:1-13. – AUGUST 27. –

Golden Text: – "Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." – Matt. 5:10.

I
NCIDENTS of our last lesson – the writing of his prophecy, etc. – brought the Prophet Jeremiah into special prominence. Our present lesson finds him in the reign of Zedekiah, the last king of the house of David to sit upon the throne: the one of whom it is written, "O thou profane and wicked prince of Israel, whose time is come, when iniquity shall have an end. Thus said the Lord God: Remove the diadem, and take off the crown....I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it unto him." – Ezek. 21:25,26.

How accurately this prophecy has been fulfilled! With the captivity of Zedekiah the Kingdom of David was overturned but not destroyed. To all human appearances it has been destroyed, for no heir of his has occupied the throne of Israel from Zedekiah's day to the present time – over twenty-five hundred years. If Israel were to-day exalted to place and power in the world, and desired to re-establish the kingdom of David, no Jew could prove his title to the throne as being of the lineage of David. All such records have long been lost. There is just one who could claim title to that throne, namely, he who was the man Christ Jesus. Born of Mary, he was of the seed of David, and adopted by Joseph who was of the same stock. Although he surrendered his life as a ransom for sinners, he was and still is heir of all the promises made to Abraham and to David, and soon, according to the Scriptures, will take to himself his power and great glory and reign as the antitypical David upon the throne of the Kingdom of the Lord, to bless Israel and every nation, people and tongue. [R3616 : page 253]

The long interregnum of 2520 years, the "seven times" of Israel's disfavor and of Gentile rule, will soon be complete and usher in the glories of the Kingdom of God. The overturning of the diadem was not to be perpetual, but "until he come whose right it is." This was not completely fulfilled in our Lord Jesus at his first advent. True, he came to be a King, but the great Prophet, Priest and King of the divine plan was not the man Christ Jesus, but the glorified Christ – Jesus the Head, and the Church, the members of his body. He whose right it is by divine sanction is selecting from amongst his brethren a little flock to be his associates, and this Gospel age is the period of their testing and development.

THE REMOVAL OF THE DIADEM.

The captivity of Judah was in two sections: the first included Daniel and others with the King Jehoiakim. The king of Babylon left Zedekiah in control as his vassal under tribute, but on account of the latter's treachery and league with Egypt, the Babylonian army came again against Jerusalem and besieged it. Famine and pestilence resulted, and ultimately the city of Jerusalem was captured and utterly destroyed, and King Zedekiah, with his eyes put out, was taken a prisoner to Babylon, with all the people except a few of the very poorest and least competent. Jeremiah, given his liberty, chose to remain with the poor of the land who subsequently went down into Egypt, so that Jerusalem and the country round about lay desolate without inhabitant for seventy years, according to the word of the Lord at the mouth of Jeremiah. – 2 Chron. 36:21.

OBEYING GOD, OPPOSED BY MAN.

Our lesson particularly relates to the period at the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar's army. Jeremiah had prophesied the success of the enemy and recommended the Israelites to surrender speedily and save themselves from the great trouble, famine, etc., which otherwise would surely come upon them. He pointed out that their troubles were the result of disobedience to God, and that the proper course now was to repent and accept the situation and learn the lesson and profit thereby.

Certain princes of the kingdom soon learned of the prophesying and appealed to the king that it must be stopped, as it had a demoralizing effect upon the defenders in proportion as the prophecy was believed. They requested the death of Jeremiah, and the king responded that the matter should be in their hands. But perhaps fearful of the consequences of the act, or perhaps deterred by the Lord's providence, instead of putting Jeremiah to death they put him into a dungeon, which was probably a water cistern. Its bottom was foul with accumulated mud, and the prophet sank into this and would soon have perished of hunger had it not been for the interposition of a colored man, an Ethiopian eunuch, one of the king's servants, who appealed to the king against the injustice and was commissioned to take Jeremiah out from the dungeon or cistern by means of cords, his tender heartedness and care for the prophet being indicated also by his supplying cast-off rags to keep the ropes from cutting the prophet's body.

Surely we may conclude that this Ethiopian of kindly heart was used of the Lord in this emergency; that whilst the Lord could have delivered his prophet with equal facility in some other manner, he was pleased to use a person of kindly heart who was at hand. And yet we have people of sufficient intelligence to write books who claim that the "Negro is a Beast," and that he is everywhere condemned in the Scriptures. This Ethiopian evidently had a cleaner heart than the majority of the chief men in Israel – a heart much nearer to the divine likeness than theirs. Similarly, an Ethiopian eunuch, a Jewish proselyte, was amongst the first to be established and blessed with the Gospel, under the special providence of God, through the ministries of Philip. – Acts 8:27-38.

Jeremiah's experiences illustrated a general principle, namely, that where the will of God and the plans of man conflict, those who are faithful to God are likely to be in the minority and to be considered public enemies, because out of accord with those who are out of harmony with the Lord and his plan. It was this that brought upon Jeremiah his imprisonment, as it has brought upon the Lord's people of every age the frowns and opposition and persecution of those who are not the Lord's faithful people, of those who are not guided by the divine counsel, but are walking in their own ways under the leadership of the prince of this world.

"IN IGNORANCE YE DID IT."

Since Satan is still the prince of this world it is reasonable to suppose that those who are in accord with him to-day will be found similarly opposed to God, opposed to all who are loyal to the teachings of his Word. It is for this reason that the Scriptures assure us that we must expect to suffer now, to be misunderstood, misrepresented – "Marvel not if the world hate you; ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world the world would love its own, but ye are not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world."

Looking back all through the Gospel age, from the days of Jesus until now, we find that those who have been loyal and faithful to him in every time have been called upon to prove, to witness, to testify to their faithfulness to the Lord by the trials and difficulties which they would endure for his sake. And this expression, "for his sake," means much the same to-day as it did in the day of Jeremiah, namely, for the sake of the Word of the Lord. It was because Jeremiah was faithful to the Lord's message and the others unfaithful to it that they persecuted him. And this is still the case: the Word of the Lord is his representative in the world still. Our Lord places himself and his Word side by side when he said, "He who is ashamed of me and my Word, of him will I also be ashamed."

The test is upon us to-day as it has been upon the [R3616 : page 254] Lord's people in the past. Are we ashamed of him, of his message? All who are of the overcoming class, all who will constitute the "very elect," the "Kings and Priests unto God," all who will be associated with Jesus as overcomers of the world and his joint-heirs in the Kingdom will have these characteristics. They will be loyal to the message, not ashamed of it. The words of the Apostle well voice their sentiments, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ."

Not being ashamed of the Lord and his message implies that they will be faithful in the presentation of the same when convenient to themselves or when inconvenient. To the best of their knowledge and ability they will speak forth the words of truth and soberness – as wisely as possible, as inoffensively as possible, but they must speak. As the Apostle said, when forbidden to declare the good tidings, "We cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard." – Acts 4:20. But it is only those who have heard something and seen something who have any testimony to give; those who know nothing may as well keep quiet. Until by the Lord's grace the eyes of our understanding are opened, until we shall have seen something of his grace exhibited in his divine plan, we are not prepared, not qualified to tell others. We must first receive the living Bread before we can dispense it; we must first know the truth and be set free by it before we can become its bond servants, before it could be true of us as it was of the Apostle "Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel of Christ." That is to say, he would be unhappy if not permitted to tell the glorious message of God's redeeming love and mercy exhibited in his divine plan.

"GOD KINDLY VAILS OUR EYES."

As the poet has declared, "We know not what awaits us." That is, we know not with distinctness what to expect. In a general way we are informed by the Lord's Word that a great time of trouble is impending. It is not our duty to make this our central theme. Rather the good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people, secured through the precious blood of Christ, [R3617 : page 254] is our central theme; and in connection with this is the proclamation of the terms and conditions upon which we hope to be accepted of the Father as joint-heirs with Christ – members of his body. Occasionally, and only occasionally, need we enter upon the role of Jeremiah to be announcers of the evil conditions coming upon the world. Perhaps as we get down in the stream of time, nearer to the actual trouble, we may see it to be our duty to call attention to it more particularly, and to urge the people to take the course which would save them from the severity of that trouble – the course of harmony and accord with the Lord. When that time shall come such advice will doubtless run counter to the wishes and ambitions of some who will then be in power, and it may be that we shall be imprisoned or otherwise maltreated, after the example of Jeremiah. The Lord knoweth what is necessary for us to know. It is sufficient that we have the gracious promise that all things shall work together for good to those who love him, and that we should be able to trust him, come what may.

Our Golden Text is especially appropriate and should always be remembered, not only in severe persecutions but also in the lesser ones, when our names are cast out as evil, "when men shall separate you from their company," when they make all kinds of misrepresentations against you falsely because of your faithfulness to the Lord and to his Word and to the principles of righteousness. Then remember this Golden Text, and assure your heart in harmony with it and with other statements of the Lord's Word, that all these experiences of opposition the Lord is willing to overrule for your highest welfare, causing them to work out for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. All who will be of the Kingdom of heaven class must pass through some such experiences for the development and testing of their characters.

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TWO INTERESTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED.
ABOUT HOLY THURSDAY

Question. – Your suggestion that we might celebrate our Lord's Last Supper on the Thursday nearest to present calculations pleased some of us, but we have heard nothing further. What is your thought?

Answer. – We have no thought of making any change in the method of calculating the Memorial date. There would always be some who would prefer the present method anyway, and we would needlessly endanger hurting their feelings; and there will be but few celebrations more if our expectations are happily realized.

We suggest to all the dear friends that the main thing to contend for is the annual celebration. We are not Jews bound by the Law nor are we bound by any word of the New Testament on the subject to an exact day and hour; but let us continue to celebrate our Memorial in harmony with the Jewish calendar, and when the date happens to fall on a Thursday we will merely have that much more complete a celebration. Still let us not forget that we must daily partake of the bread from heaven and drink of our Lord's cup to accomplish the real celebration.

ABOUT THE AMMUNITION.

Question. – We note marginal comments on the margin of this season's Volunteer matter. Whose comments are these supposed to be?

Answer. – We got the idea from a Colporteur who was laboriously writing such comments on all the tracts he distributed; because he found that they had the better attention. Assuming that all Volunteers would be glad to write such comments, we did it for them. We assumed also that Colporteurs going in every direction would like to be announced as coming, and therefore so stated. But by error the latter got P – for Pilgrim instead of C – for Colporteur.

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ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: –

For some time I have intended writing you with respect to my recent experiences in re-reading DAWN. It has been my custom for several years past to devote my private study more especially to the TOWERS, but during this year I have been studying DAWN more closely and I can assure you I have been much surprised and chagrined, as well as edified by my reading. Although I have read Vol. I. probably six times, Vols. V. and VI. at least four times, yet I have been mortified to see how much I had forgotten. In fact many passages seemed entirely new, as though I had never seen them before. I fully realized the force of the Apostle's remarks about this "earthen vessel," and how "we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip," or as the margin puts it, "run out as leaking vessels." – Heb. 2:1.

And that I am not alone in this experience of having let some of these things "slip," I was convinced by an incident which occurred in one of our congregations not long ago. A brother had preached a funeral sermon, and at the close of the service a sister came to him and said, "I wish my husband could have heard your remarks, they were fine." Several others made similar remarks, and were much surprised when the brother told them he had done "little more than read the few thoughts given by Bro. R. in Vol. VI."

My experience has led me to the determination that, by the Lord's grace, I will make it the rule of my life to read as many of the DAWNS every year as possible, more especially Vol. I., so that every detail of the "Divine Plan of the Ages" may be made more and more clear to my mind year by year, and kept so.

Praying the Lord's continued blessing upon your efforts to serve him and his people, I remain with Christian regards,

Yours in the love and service of the King,

G. W. S. – Pa.

DEAR BROTHER: –

I feel so thankful for the question lessons which we received in last number of TOWER that I thought I must write and tell you of it.

As our little company have chosen me for leader for several terms it seemed as though it was hard for me to work out a lesson where all could take active part, and, as you said in TOWER, either I did not have the time or the talent to do so, but now as these splendid questions came I quickly passed them around, and you do not know how glad I was yesterday when we had our meeting. Nearly everybody took such interest and had studied their questions so well that we had a most interesting and blessed hour of study and seemed to enjoy it so much.

I also want to express my thanks and appreciation of the little "Heavenly Manna" book. We consider it so helpful in keeping our thoughts more on spiritual things and feel so much more enabled to avoid things displeasing to our Father.

Although our secretary had already sent in report of our meetings while our dear Brother McPhail was here last I feel that I must tell you that it was one of the grandest feasts I ever enjoyed and I know that that was the sentiment of all present. How we always look forward to the good times when a Pilgrim comes our way and how thankful we feel that we may have such dear Brethren so able to present everything clearly and harmoniously. Wishing you and all the dear co-workers in the TOWER Office the Father's richest blessing,

I remain, your brother in our Dear Redeemer,

J. P. ESKELDSEN – Iowa.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

A little more than a year ago I was very nearly an infidel. I was brought up by strictly religious parents, and when 16 or 18 years of age, I was the teacher of a Bible Class in a Sunday School in Michigan. The more I studied the Bible under the light in which I was supposed to teach it, the more perplexed I became, until at last I was nearly ready to say that the Bible was a farce. A year ago I got hold of a book which explained some points in the Bible so clearly that it set me to thinking that perhaps that some man of reason that was not bound down by his little 2x4 church might explain the whole thing in a rational manner. Six months ago a cousin came here on a visit from Ohio. When the station agent gave him several of your publications, and he gave them to me, I became very much interested in them, for I at once saw that the explanation was on the lines of reason, not put up for fame or money. I wrote to ask you to send me the WATCH TOWER, which you kindly did. You also sent me some tracts which I read, and then gave out where I thought they would do the most good.

As soon as I read the WATCH TOWER I send it to some one that I think will read it. Through your instrumentality I am a believer and will try to let my light shine, so that others will see that there is a reality in the Bible,

Wishing you much success, I remain yours truly,

H. B. TALBERT – Texas.
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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I thought I would write you a few lines to tell you how I came to the knowledge of the Truth. I was born and brought up in the Catholic faith in Syria. At the age of eight I was brought to this country and sent to a Catholic school and Church. Being religiously inclined I wandered off into different denominations and sects, Episcopal, Baptist, Spiritualism, Seventh Day Adventism, etc.

At last (about a year ago) I became disgusted with everything and didn't go to any church. At that time I was working in a bakery. In delivering an order I found, in a pile of old paper and rubbish, the first three volumes of DAWN. I read the DAWNS and became deeply interested. Then another day, as I was taking a short walk, I picked up a circular advertising a course of lectures to be delivered in a certain hall. I attended, and to my surprise, I found out that the people there were all readers of MILLENNIAL DAWN, like myself, and just as deeply interested.

So you see, I have been led all the way. Five thousand miles across the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, tossed about and seasick, and then across Babylon, tossed about and almost drowned, but rescued by the Lord, through MILLENNIAL DAWN.

I have been doing colporteur service for the last two months, and would like to continue the work. I have sold 170 volumes and have 75 orders unfilled at the present time. I am now 18 years of age. I think I will do better work hereafter.

May the Lord bless you and all the brethren in Allegheny. I remain,

Yours in the Blessed Hope,
ABRAHAM OBREY – N.Y.

DEAR SIRS: –

I have just read one of your periodicals called "The Divine Plan of the Ages." I consider it fine. I was an orthodox minister for 18 years. The subjects you treat on were always stumbling blocks to me, the fall of Adam especially; the billion of dead in their graves; why they should all be forever lost. It is as plain now to me as the nose on my face. I want you to send me "What say the Scriptures about Hell?" I never preached a sermon on Hell in all the 18 years I did preach. I could never make myself believe that a good God would punish the vast majority of mortals endlessly. I am now a recluse.

I lately wrote an article for one of our city papers, why I did not attend churches. I told the people I could no longer subscribe to the creeds formulated in the 16th century. I told them some of the best men I ever met, while I was a preacher, didn't belong to any church. So some one who believes in MILLENNIAL DAWN sent me the periodical I mentioned. It is the finest thing I ever read, and it is God's truth too.

Yours faithfully, __________, Ohio.