page 289
October 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.OCTOBER 1, 1905.No. 19
CONTENTS.
Views from the Watch Tower 291
Romanism's Losses and Gains 291
Church and State in France 291
To Abandon Sovereignty 292
"The Sun of Righteousness Shall Arise" 292
"Devils Also Believe 293
The Editor's Western Tour 293
Bible Study for October 295
"Greater is He that is on our Part" 295
The Prayers of a Righteous Man 297
The Angel of the Lord Delivered Him 299
In the Wilderness (Poem) 300
Returning from Babylon 300
"Come Out of Her, My People" 301
Encouraging Words from Faithful Workers 302

'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 290

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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[R3635 : page 290]

ABOUT PAPER-COVERED DAWNS.

Since the exclusion of paper-covered DAWNS from cheap postage privileges the cost of mailing has been almost equal to the price of the books; hence we have made a special effort to bring the cloth and leather editions before the friends, partly because the price is little more than the present rate would be on the paper bound books, and partly because those better bound are much more substantial as well as attractive in appearance.

There will therefore be no further edition of DAWN printed in book form in paper covers. If orders for same are received we shall have to hold for further instructions, or return the remittance.

Since, however, there is need for a cheap edition of Vol. I. for missionary purposes, we issued, as a special number of the WATCH TOWER, Vol. I. in magazine form. This edition is not an abridgement; it constitutes the entire book, except the "Appendix" and Scripture Index, and is excellent for introducing the Truth to those who show some interest. We have plenty of these on hand to fill orders. The price is 5c each, postpaid, in U.S. or Canada; 9c each to other foreign countries, in any quantity, to one or various addresses. This edition is published both in English and in German.

[R3636 : page 291]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
ROMANISM'S LOSSES AND GAINS.

WHILE Roman Catholicism has been steadily losing ground in priest-ridden lands – Italy, France, Mexico, etc., – it has of late been making headway in Protestant countries – Great Britain, Germany and the United States.

President Roosevelt's latest appointee to his cabinet, Secretary Bonaparte, a Roman Catholic, is the attorney who was influential in securing a large sum from the Indian funds for Catholic schools. At the recent Young People's Christian Endeavor Society's gathering in Baltimore, Secretary Bonaparte, who represented the President, was one of the special attractions.

SECRETARY TAFT'S TRIBUTE

Manila, Aug. 10. – "I do not think I can illustrate better the character of Theodore Roosevelt than to say what he has said: 'I wish as President of the United States to act toward the Roman Catholic Church as I would have a President who was a Roman Catholic act toward the Protestant churches,'" said Secretary Taft tonight, responding to the toast, "The President," at a dinner given to the male members of the Taft party by Archbishop Harty.

Mr. Taft said the relations between the United States government and the Roman Catholic Church have been made closer by the government's occupation of the Philippines and Porto Rico, where formerly Church and State were intimately connected. Although the separation of the Church from the State was necessitated, he said, nevertheless an association between the two was established thereby which has never before existed.

KAISER GREETS ROMAN CATHOLICS

Berlin, Aug. 10. – Emperor William, alluding to Polish discontent in a speech made yesterday at a dinner at Gnesen, Prussia, said he wished each Roman Catholic Pole to know that his religion was honored by his emperor.

"In my last visit to the Vatican," said his majesty, "the great Leo XIII. held me with both hands and, notwithstanding that I am a Protestant, gave me his blessing. You are my fellow-workers, and Germanism stands for culture and for freedom for every one in religion, in thought and in achievement."

CHURCH AND STATE IN FRANCE.

"The passing of the bill for the separation of Church and State in France, an event of first-class importance, has hardly secured the attention from the press of this country to which it is entitled. The Chamber of Deputies gave a majority of upward of a hundred in favor of the measure, which will not become law until it has received the approval of the Senate, from which, however, no serious difficulty appears to be anticipated.

"Thus the concordat entered into between Napoleon and Pius the Seventh in 1801 has been practically abolished. This instrument regulated the relations between the government and Protestants and Jews, as well as Roman Catholics. The Protestant pastors, the Jewish rabbis, and Roman Catholic priests and bishops have received stipends from the government since 1804 under its provisions, though the vast preponderance of the latter gave them the advantage. The new measure is an approach to absolute religious freedom, but not entirely so, for the government contemplates the payment of stipends to those who at present draw salaries, but new priests and other religious functionaries will henceforth be compelled to rely upon their congregations for support. The government claims the ownership of religious edifices, but will lease them to local associations and to groups of local associations forming episcopal sees.

"Whatever may be the practical working of the measure it undoubtedly implies a loss of ecclesiastical prestige, as the protest of the five cardinal archbishops and the French bishops practically admits, when it cries out for the preservation of the concordat. Italy bears testimony to the same tendency. There the Pope has issued an encyclical, under the terms of which Italian Catholics are declared to be at liberty to exercise their political rights, and the non-expedit policy of Pius the Ninth and Leo the Thirteenth is thus reversed. The Pope says: 'Catholic activities must find a field in the promotion of all those practical measures which are dictated by the study of social and economic science, by the condition of civil affairs, by the political [R3636 : page 292] life of the state.' After this it is not surprising that negotiations should be reported as being carried on between the Vatican and the Quirinal looking to the surrender of the temporal power in consideration of the payment of the arrears accumulated under the guarantee laws. These, the annual sums guaranteed by the Italian government and refused by the Pope's predecessors, now aggregate about twenty-two millions of dollars. There appears to be little doubt that a basis of agreement will be reached, and that the Pope will resign all claims to temporal sovereignty.

"So, little by little, power passes from the hands of the Popes of Rome."

San Francisco Argonaut.
TO ABANDON SOVEREIGNTY.

"No matter what is said in Vienna, I have positive information that Emperor Francis Joseph will go to Rome in the fall to visit King Victor Emmanuel, and will stay for several days in the Quirinal as the guest of the king, and before he returns to Vienna he will visit the Pope in the Vatican.

"Pope Pius, who is anxious to end the long feud between the Church and State in Italy, and who also would like to see the difficulties which have arisen between Italy and Austria smoothed over, has personally arranged this visit.

"The importance of this visit cannot be overlooked, as it means that His Holiness has definitely decided to abandon all claims to the old temporal sovereignty of the Church and to accept a fact which was established thirty-four years ago – the consolidation of the Italian kingdom, with Rome as its capital.

"After October at least there will no longer be a 'Prisoner of the Vatican,' and Romans will see Pope Pius walking or driving through the streets of Rome and making a friendly call upon the king and queen in the Quirinal."

Jean de Bonnefon, Paris.
WHY HE WAS NOT A CHURCH-MEMBER.

Rev. Hiram C. Hadyn, referring to the late Secretary of State, John Hay, said in a sermon in Cleveland, O., recently: –

"Hay was not, so far as I know, a member of any church. Once he stated his reason. It is characteristic. He said: 'My faith in Christ is implicit. I am a believer. I am in fullest sympathy with all that the Church mainly stands for, but I feel that to unite with it formally I should be in full accord with its methods, creeds and aims, and I cannot go that far.'"

Whether Grant, Lincoln, Hay and other men of recognized character had too much heart or too much head, or too much of both with too much honesty, to join any of the sects and subscribe to any of their creeds we know not, but we surmise the latter.

INSANITY AFTER REVIVALS.

An investigation made by the State Board of Control of Charitable Institutions, Topeka, Kan., during the last week shows that the counties in which lengthy religious revivals have been held during the last year have the high records for the number of insane persons sent to the State asylum.

"Insanity," says H. C. Bowman, a member of the board, "seems to have followed the religious revivals like an epidemic. Reno county, where there was a protracted revival early last year, has sent 32 insane persons to the State asylum in Topeka in twelve months. I find that this epidemic of insanity has also followed the revivals which were held in Topeka, Arkansas City, Winfield, Wichita and other places."

"THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL ARISE."

The Women's Board of Foreign Missions has published the diagram which we reproduce below. It speaks of their appreciation of the difference between the Darkness and the Light. And yet it shows too brightly. There are really no such light spots as the illustration shows. The civilized communities thus represented are but drab at very most, not white. The very few who in the Lord's esteem are white are those of whom the Apostle says, "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit."
[R3637 : page 292]

"For the happy beam of day
That shall chase their gloom away –
Waiting! Waiting!"
DARKNESS
AND LIGHT
IN
AFRICA
"The restless millions wait
The light whose dawning
Maketh all things new.
Christ also waits –
But men are slow and late.
Have we done what we could
Have I? Have you?"

Alas! how much darkness prevails in the mind of the one who wrote that stanza. She evidently knew not or forgot that God has promised a glorious Day, which shall chase sin's shadows quite away. The writer intimates that "Christ also waits" for the poor puny arm of flesh which in nineteen centuries has accomplished so little.

Ah, no! Thank God for a better hope, the hope of the Gospel, which as an anchor to our souls enters within the vail, fastened to Christ, the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Our hope began in God's Oath-bound Covenant to Abraham, "In thy Seed all the families of the earth shall be blest."

We see Christ Jesus our Redeemer as this "Seed," [R3637 : page 293] and we see the work of the Spirit during this Gospel age calling, drawing, gathering from among men "the very elect" to be "the Bride, the Lamb's wife," and we hear the Apostle's testimony, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Glory to our God! We rejoice not only that all the world shall yet "come to a knowledge of the truth that they may be saved," but that Christ is not "waiting" on us, but is selecting, or electing, his Church to be his co-workers as the "royal priesthood" in Kingdom glory, to do the work of instructing and judging (Rev. 5:10) and uplifting and restoring (Acts 3:20,21) all who prove willing and obedient "in that day." We are glad to note also that the called and chosen are in "the school of Christ" now, for their development and testing, and that our light afflictions may thus "work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." (2 Cor. 4:17.) Would that all of God's true children could see these things eye to eye with us! And we believe that they will very shortly now; that the Lord's plan will shortly be hid only to the perverse or cold hearted.

"DEVILS ALSO BELIEVE."

We remember the above statement of Holy Writ, and also the fact that demons once cried out to our Lord, "We know thee whom thou art, the Holy One of God," and further how a damsel possessed of a demon followed Paul and Silas certain days crying: "These be the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of eternal life."

These are proofs that the demons keep in touch with earth's affairs, and that at times they have attempted to make capital out of their knowledge: for we are not to suppose that they really sought to serve the Truth or to proclaim it except with selfish, evil intentions.

The above thoughts came to us as we recently read the predictions of some noted astrologers, whose information we credit to the spirit demons and not to ability to read destiny in the stars. One of these in particular closely touches dates and incidents on the line of our Scriptural expectations as follows: –

ASTROLOGICAL PREDICTIONS OF OUR TIME

"In a dozen publications of this present springtime over all Europe astrologers agree that an extraordinary period is approaching. In the first place Saturn enters the sign of the Fishes in April, 1905, to remain there during 1906 and 1907. He will come out only in July, 1908. And these conjunctions, most rare in astrology, promise to be particularly hard on France.

"Each year the sun remains in the Fishes from Feb. 20 to March 20. It will be then in conjunction with Saturn, therefore, in 1906, 1907 and 1908. Combined with divers halts in the signs of the Crab and the Scorpion, this move of the sun threatens internal war and revolution for France, ending in the fall of the republic. The great troubles will commence in 1907 in a 'people's revolt.' There will be pillages, burning cities, massacres and the temporary domination of the lower orders. 'The year 1907,' declares one astrologer, 'will see the triumph of the populace and the reproduction of the worst days of the first revolution. I will add that this year, which seems marked as one of the most fatal in the history of all times, reproduces all the conjunctions of 1572 – the year of the massacre of St. 'Bartholomew!' Twice only have the same conjunctions happened since – in 1793-4, the year of the terror, and in 1848, that other year of revolution in France.

"For France, at least, peace will not be reestablished until 1914, when a 'warrior king' – 'he who is to establish the reign of good' – will set things to rights. This 'Caesar imperator,' realizing the astral reproduction of Napoleon I., will commence to manifest his presence in 1914, and will be definitely crowned in 1916 or 1917. Until then – alas! poor France!"

Sterling Heilig.

[R3637 : page 293]

THE EDITOR'S WESTERN TOUR.
S
TARTING on the evening of August 29th, we were speeded with kind wishes to ourselves and all the dear household of faith whom we hoped to meet later by twenty-five of the "brethren," fully half of whom were of the Bible House family. As we parted the song floated out, "God be with you till we meet again."

The next morning found us in Chicago, where about 200 friends had assembled, waiting for us – including some from nearby places. We addressed them on the subject of "Consecration," and subsequently fourteen symbolized their vows in water baptism.

The afternoon session was attended by about 400, whose attention was directed to the words of the Apostle Peter, "God resisteth the proud, but showeth favor to the humble; humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time."

Although we took the midnight train for St. Louis, nevertheless about a dozen of the dear friends were there to see us off and bid us God-speed. May divine mercy and grace and peace be their portion too. They assured us that their hearts and prayers went with us, though they could not go farther in person.

ST. LOUIS OUR NEXT STOP

We had a warm welcome at St. Louis, too, and the attendance was excellent, notwithstanding the fact that we did not get the announcement into the WATCH TOWER, and hence but few came from nearby towns.

The morning session was in the "Christian Church" edifice. The topic was "Consecration," and following it nine symbolized full consecration by water baptism. Among the number was Brother Alexander Stewart, well known throughout the South for the active and prominent part he took in the war of the Rebellion, as the leader of "Stewart's Cavalry." General Stewart is of advanced years, but clear of intellect. He has been a "soldier of the Cross" for some time, and deeply interested in "Present Truth" for several years. He expected to be symbolically baptized at the time of [R3637 : page 294] the Chattanooga Convention, but was prevented by ill health.

After leaving the water Brother Stewart was heard to express great satisfaction at having thus outwardly confessed his blessed Lord and his full devotion to Him and His cause. Brother Stewart already had joined the army of the Lord, but by this act of public confession he, so to speak, donned his regimentals and joined the forces "on the firing line." May he loyal prove and true to the end of the way, and with all the faithful receive the crown of life which fadeth not away.

How sectional lines, race and party prejudices and all the distinctions of wealth and fame gradually fade from the minds of those who become by God's grace and truth members prospective of the royal priesthood, the holy nation, the peculiar people, called for a purpose, even to show forth the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his marvellous light!

With this erstwhile warrior, but more recently college president and later U.S. Commissioner, none others of the nine were of the same rank or education, yet they all were on the same level of divine mercy through Christ – justified and sanctified through the grace of our Lord. The assorted company well illustrated the Apostle's words, "Not many great, not many wise, not many learned, hath God chosen."

One of these nine was a child of twelve years, a very unusual sight with us. Child though she was she gave good evidence of a clear appreciation of what she did, so that we could not question her acceptability with the Lord. We could not help a mental reflection on how extremes meet in the family of God – in the body of Christ. The tall man, full of years and ripe in the learning of this world, and the little girl, on the threshold of life every way, had both heard the voice of Jesus say, Come unto me and have your sins forgiven, and find rest for your souls and find eternal life. "All of the [R3638 : page 294] Lord's followers meet on this common level. "All ye are brethren," "One is your Master, even Christ."

Some may have almost envied the great man, but we doubt not he almost envied the little child, who, starting thus early to follow the footsteps of Jesus, had apparently reached nearly the same point at the same time by the shorter journey. "They that seek me early shall find me" – the more easily. Nevertheless, the General's learning and influence may be turned to the greater advantage if wisely used in the service of our King. May he, may we all, prove faithful to the cause of him who loved us and bought us with his precious blood.

Again we took a night train – this time for Kansas City. Again a crowd escorted us to the depot and bade us God-speed. Joined by two at the start and two more at Chicago our party now numbered five, and we learned that others would join us further on.

AT KANSAS CITY

We had a splendid time at Kansas City, Mo. The dear friends gave us as warm a reception as did the weather, which is saying a great deal for them. The morning session was a praise and testimony meeting and many availed themselves of the opportunity to show forth the praises of him who "called us out of darkness into his marvellous light."

In the afternoon about one hundred and fifty were present at a gathering for the interested only and not advertised to the public; many of them were from other parts of Missouri, and from Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Our subject was, "The called ones according to his purpose," and how to these all things work for good if received in faith and obedience and love.

The evening session was for all – the public included – "To Hell and Back. Who are there? Hope for many of them." We had the closest of attention from a packed audience of about 600, and left them in haste by a side door just in time to get our train for Denver. As we left, the friends united in the song-prayer, "God be with you till we meet again," a sentiment fully reciprocated by our hearts.

THE DENVER TWO-DAY CONVENTION

A ride of a night and day brought us to Denver on Saturday night at 10.30 o'clock, where a group had been keeping vigil for us for over seven hours, because our train was delayed. Meantime five more had joined our party. We were cordially received, and although the G.A.R. encampment had brought hosts of people our bespoken quarters were soon at our disposal, and, with the Lord's blessing, we awoke Sunday morning refreshed for further service for the "King" and his "brethren" and the "household."

Brother Hall opened the services with an address of welcome from the Denver Church and introduced Brother Harrison (Pilgrim) as the permanent chairman of the Convention. The latter made some fitting remarks and soon after threw the meeting open as a prayer, praise and testimony service, according to program.

The afternoon service was advertised and public the topic being "To Hell and Back," etc. A fine audience was present and excellent attention was given. It is hoped that some of the audience of 475 got some further opening of the eyes of their understanding respecting our Creator's gracious character, testified to by the glorious plan he has outlined for us in his Word.

The evening discourse had for its text the story of Gideon and his band, typical of Jesus and his faithful followers and their ultimate victory over the forces of evil, typically represented in the hosts of Midian. This discourse many of our readers already have, as it was reported in the Pittsburgh Dispatch.

MONDAY'S SESSIONS

Monday's services were held in the South Broadway Christian Church. At 9 o'clock we had another praise and testimony service, followed by a discourse by Brother Harrison on "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many." (Isa. 53:11.) The speaker showed how important is knowledge. Without it Adam failed, with it Christ Jesus was a victor. Likewise [R3638 : page 295] knowledge is necessary to the followers of Jesus who would make their calling and election sure. Knowledge is not the end but closely connected as a part of the means of our victory over sin and death and selfishness.

Our afternoon discourse was on "Baptism: true and false" – a review of the topic presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. VI. The baptistry was at our service, and 20 symbolized the full surrender of their wills to the Lord – the immersion of their wills into his will in all things and their rising to newness of life, to be attained perfectly in the First Resurrection.

This was the last session of the Convention proper, and, bidding the dear friends adieu and God-speed in hope of meeting in the Kingdom, we were just in time for the 6 p.m. train for Ogden, Utah, our next appointment. However, as the building was at our disposal, it was decided to hold a post-Convention meeting in the same place, and Brother Harrison, missing the Ogden stop, remained for this meeting also.

[R3638 : page 295]

BEREAN BIBLE STUDY FOR OCTOBER.
– SEE PREFACE OF WATCH TOWER BIBLES
AND WATCH TOWER, MARCH 1, 1905. –
BROTHERLY KINDNESS (BROTHERLY LOVE)

21. How should brotherly-love treat a slanderous report against an elder or other brethren? F.293 (par. 1) to 294 par. 1,2; Z.'02-200 (1st col. par. 1).

22. How should the Church exercise brotherly-kindness toward those who "walk disorderly"? 1 Thess. 5:14; F.292, par. 2; F.298,299; F.303, par. 1; F.307, par. 2; Z.'02-198 (2nd col. par. 1), to 199 (1st and 2nd cols.); Z.'02-311 (1st col. par. 1).

23. How should the Elders exercise brotherly-love in reproving the "unruly"? Z.'03-189 (1st col. par. 2); F.300,301.

24. How may we avoid judging one another as individuals? Matt. 18:15-18; Z.'99-41 (1st col. par. 3, and 2nd col.); F.289-292; Z.'00-217 (1st col. par. 1,2); F.402, par. 2, to 406; F.414, par. 2, to 417.

25. How should brotherly-kindness be exercised toward brethren who have doctrinal "hobbies"? Rom. 14:1; F.317, par. 1, and 318, par. 1.

26. What is the relation between brotherly-kindness and "the unity of the faith"? Eph. 4:11-16; F.239, par. 1, to 240, par. 1; F.326 to 328; Z.'01-295 (1st col. par. 1); Z.'03-6 (1st col. par. 3, and 2nd col. par. 1,2).

27. How should brotherly-kindness deal with serious offenders in the Church? F.302; F.417, par. 2 and 418.

28. By what rules are "false brethren" to be judged? See Topical Index of Watch Tower Bible, under "Brethren."

29. What should be our attitude toward "siftings" among the brethren? 1 Cor. 11:19; Z.'98-334, (2nd col. par. 1) and 335.

30. What should be the attitude of all "true sacrificers" toward each other and toward those who have left "the Holy"? T.62, par. 1,2,3; F.478, par. 2, and 1st half of par. 3.

[R3638 : page 295]

"GREATER IS HE THAT IS ON OUR PART."
DANIEL 6:10-23. – OCTOBER 8. –

Golden Text: – "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
Psa. 34:7. –

K
ING Darius of this lesson has not yet been located in profane history, consequently higher critics hold this as against the authenticity of the book of Daniel. However, it is but a short time since they denied the reality of Belshazzar of our last lesson: only recently his name was found on some of the monuments of that period. Doubtless the same will be true in regard to "Darius, the Mede." Our surmise is that he may have been Cyrus the Mede, and that the name Darius was merely an official title – as, for instance, in Germany Emperor William is called the kaiser, and in Russia Emperor Nicholas is styled the czar. Similarly, Cyrus may at times have been called Darius, just as subsequently in history we read of Darius Hystaspes; or, since the Medo-Persian empire with the addition of Babylon was now large, possibly Darius may have been vicegerent of Cyrus in Babylon. At all events we will stick to the Scriptural account, confidently expecting that sooner or later its truthfulness will be demonstrated.

When the Medo-Persian empire succeeded Babylonia as the world empire, and Daniel was found occupying a place of importance and high honor, his qualifications were promptly recognized; and when the then civilized world was divided into one hundred and twenty provinces, with a governor over each, there was a court of three superior governors who had the charge of the whole as the king's representatives or ministers, and Daniel was the chief of these three. How wonderful this appears! How we must admire that element of candor and evident desire for good government which led the kings of Babylon and Medo-Persia to exalt to place and power those who were found competent and trustworthy! The same conditions were manifest in the case of Joseph in Egypt. Evidently the history of the world marks a contention between the good and the evil in the fallen race. There is a desire for that which is right and just and true in very many, but in opposition to this is the selfishness which overrules and overrides everything that is contrary to its interests, as we find illustrated in the lesson we are now considering. When the new conditions of the Millennial age prevail we may have no reasonable doubt that the majority of mankind, cut off from conditions which now prompt to selfish invasions of the rights of others, will appreciate and enjoy the righteous conditions which will then prevail. As the [R3639 : page 296] Lord has declared respecting that time, "The Desire of all Nations shall come."

FOR ENVY THEY DELIVERED HIM.

Selfishness, a prominent trait of fallen humanity everywhere, is the basis of all graft, dishonesty, wherever it is found in every nation. Probably there is very little superiority of conscience in one part of the world over another; but in Europe and America the light of public criticism and the power of civil liberty combat fraud and dishonesty in public officials in a manner and to a degree unknown in eastern countries – in Turkey, Russia, China, etc. The standard of honesty is higher with us probably on this account. In oriental countries it is the custom for government officials to receive bribes, and to more or less pervert justice accordingly.

Daniel's high position in the empire was doubtless accorded him to a considerable extent because of his opposition to unjust practices and because he was esteemed by the king to be unimpeachable in his honesty. We can readily understand that his associates in the directory of the empire, as well as the governors of the various provinces, being hindered by him from pilfering and from disposing of valuable franchises and privileges to their own profit, would have no kindly feelings toward Daniel. On the contrary, they hated him, not so much because he was good, honest, just, faithful, for these qualities all men to some extent no doubt admire; but they hated him because he stood in the way of their schemes and projects and aggrandizement.

LOVE ENVIETH NOT.

Additionally they no doubt envied Daniel. He was not a Mede, he was not a Persian, he was not even a Chaldean; he was a Jew, a man whose very nation had withered and disappeared from amongst the nations. With him out of the way they would all have better opportunity for attaining their ambitions – not only would one of them get his higher position but all would profit by his fall. As he scrutinized all the affairs of the kingdom, and was permitted to call to account every failure of duty, they concluded that he must be humiliated: he must have weaknesses and faults also, he must be subject to bribery of some kind if it could only come to him from the right standpoint. They felt sure of this, judging him according to the standards of their own hearts. Their first endeavor was to corrupt him, to detect him in some dishonesty and thus to humiliate him. But they failed. Loyal to God, and doing all things as unto the Lord, they found no fault in him – nothing that they could bring against him as a real charge, a crime; but they still hated him – without cause – except that he was honest and sincere, true, and that the brightness of his character discredited theirs and put them to shame.

Thus it has always been, as the Lord expressed it – "The darkness hateth the light." Thus bad men dislike the company of the pure in heart, as it continually condemns them; they do not feel the same freedom in the presence of those who are pure in heart. Thus the Lord again said – "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 now ye are not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world; therefore the world hateth you." "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify God." Daniel's enemies did not glorify God on his behalf at the time; nevertheless God was ultimately glorified by his course before the king and before the people. So it may be with us: for the time all things may seem to work unfavorably, but if we are faithful in letting our lights shine our Lord's promise will be fulfilled: "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass. He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday." – Psalm 37:5,6.

Envy and hatred are set down in the Word of God as works of the flesh and of the devil, antagonistic to everything that is good and right and approved of the Lord. These are amongst things which the Apostle assures us must be rooted out of our hearts if we would ever be of the Kingdom class. Many unconsciously use false measures when judging of righteousness and unrighteousness: many who would roundly condemn in unmeasured terms the thief and the seducer, pass lightly over envy and hatred in their own hearts. From the divine standpoint matters are different, for hateful and atrocious as the former crimes are, they are the results of sin working in the mortal body, while envy and hatred are sins more of the mind and indicate a perversity of will, which is a far more serious matter everyway than a perversity of the flesh. Thus the Scriptures tell us that God looketh upon the heart. It may be a new thought to some of the Lord's consecrated people, who have long harbored more or less of envy and hatred, that their condition is really more reprehensible in the sight of the Lord than that of some who, while better in heart, are in public prisons because of wickednesses of their flesh.

To discern this clearly means a proper sympathy with the poor world in general, the "groaning creation," and it will mean also prayer and fasting before God in an endeavor to purge out the old leaven of malice. We may be sure that envy and hatred cannot abide in the heart in which the Spirit of the Lord abides, for the two are opposites everyway – the Spirit of the Lord is the spirit of love, which thinketh no evil, is not envious, has not hatred. We would not say that a feeling of envy or hatred in the heart was a sure sign that the Lord's Spirit had already departed, but we could say with confidence that the two spirits are in antagonism, and that one or the other must conquer. There can be no peace, no progress in the spiritual life while the heart entertains envy, bitterness, hatred for others.

THE TRAP LAID FOR DANIEL.

Not successful in detecting wrong doing in Daniel his associates took the opposite turn and concluded to entrap him in his well doing. They had learned of his strength of character, and rightly concluded that he would not swerve from the course his conscience approved – and their plans were laid accordingly.

All the great kings of ancient times posed as gods, or, more properly, as the chief priests and vicegerents of their gods – just as the popes of Rome, each in succession, claim to be the vicegerents and representatives of Christ, Pontifex Maximus or chief priest. This same title, Pontifex Maximus, was held by the Roman emperors, and our lesson indicates that the same thought prevailed in connection with Darius – that he was "a very god on earth," as was said of Pope Martin. The conspiring princes knew well the weakness of humanity for praise and honor and homage. They affected a great reverence for the person of Darius and argued that it would have a salutary effect throughout the empire for all the people to recognize his office from the high religious [R3639 : page 297] standpoint – that he was the vicegerent and representative of the gods, and that homage and honor and loyal sentiments would be increased by a decree that all worship should be rendered to him personally for a month. The king, susceptible to flattery and to reasons of State, fell in with the proposition.

Flattery and vanity have been the tools of the Adversary for the injury of the Lord's people and cause many a time, and all who recognize this fact should be specially on guard accordingly. True, none of the Lord's consecrated ones are likely to be placed on a pinnacle of fame or of power as was Darius, nor are they likely to be offered literal worship; yet there are little worlds, little empires, so to speak, little circles of acquaintance, in which the same principles may more or less operate.

In every little group of the Lord's people there may be one or more who, because of talents or other providential circumstances, may properly have a prominent place in the love and esteem of the company, and the Word of the Lord indicates that this may not only be reasonable but just. If they are faithful stewards they should be loved and honored for their works' sake. But it should be remembered that they are still brethren, and that in no sense should they be given the honor or reverence which belongs to the Lord only. No confederation of Church or State can interfere with this principle, that God should be recognized as in every way the Chief, the one alone worthy of worship. The brothers and sisters of the Church, while esteeming faithful leaders very highly, should see to it that they do not flatter or puff up or in any other manner excite the vanity and thus lead to the undoing of those whom they may properly appreciate as servants of the Lord and of his flock. Likewise every leader in any capacity in the families of God should be on guard against the insidious influences of pride and fond desire and ambition, and against accepting to himself the credit which is due to God for the Truth and the knowledge of it and for some ability in presenting it to others. Humility is undoubtedly one of the most important of our lessons – those who in any degree neglect it will surely find trouble as a result. [R3640 : page 297]

THE PRAYERS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN.

Public praying is much more common in the East than it is here. The Mohammedans are very numerous in all parts of the East, and at certain hours of the day, at the striking of the clock, all business is suspended and every Mohammedan engages for a moment in worship. Some fall on their knees, others stand with bowed heads and closed eyes, others stand with the face turned upward in prayer. The spirit of reverence appears to prevail more generally with them than with us, and the man who has no gods, no religion of any kind, is greatly disesteemed. It was, therefore, not at all contrary to usual custom that Daniel, who like others of the time was on the first floor, had an upper chamber for quiet and rest and prayer from the remainder of the house, and reached usually by an outside staircase.

This little pavilion had its windows to face toward Jerusalem, for the prophet remembered the words of the Lord through Jeremiah that, at the end of the seventy years of desolation, Israel would be brought thither again; and we may be sure that, trusting the great Abrahamic Oath-Bound Covenant, he was expecting great things eventually for his nation. It was his custom to go to this little room three times a day to kneel before the Lord in prayer and thankfulness. Ordinarily nothing would be thought of such a matter, but the conspiring princes, who had already noticed this, concluded that Daniel was so thoroughgoing, so truthful, so honest, so bold, that the decree which they got the king to sign, that all worship should be to him alone for thirty days, would not change Daniel's course one iota. They were quite correct in their surmises, and Daniel, hearing of the decree, undoubtedly understood that the purpose and object of it was to entrap him and cause him to be devoured by lions – thus to get rid of him, thus to put out his light, thus to free themselves from his surveillance and honesty, thus to secure to themselves liberty and prosperity in their program of graft.

Daniel continued to worship the Lord as before. He would not sell his conscience, he would not deny his God he would not pretend that he was praying to or worshipping Darius. Had the king's decree been of a different kind, Daniel's course might properly have been a different one. For instance, had the king decreed that none should worship in public or in the sight of others any other god, then Daniel might consistently have worshiped in private; but since all worship other than that of Darius was forbidden, the question was different and no compromise was possible. All of the Lord's people should be extremely careful about compromising the conscience. Our consciences may require education, because through the fall our judgments may be warped and twisted and need to be corrected; but conscience must be followed in any event. As the education comes in modifications may result, but no change or modification must be made that conscience will not approve; any other course than this would not be safe for the Lord's people to-day or at any time.

Another thought connected with this is the propriety and necessity for prayer. We have been surprised occasionally to hear of some professed follower of Christ urging the impropriety of prayer – that all of life should be a prayer, and that there should be no formal kneeling before the Lord in worship and thanksgiving. Such a proposition is astounding to us – the logic of it is incomprehensible. True, indeed, we are to pray without ceasing. Our entire lives are to be so devoted to the Lord and to his cause, and our minds are to be so filled with appreciation of his goodness, and our faith in him is to be so constant and so bright, that we will always have in mind his will in every matter, and thus be in the praying attitude of heart continually; but we hold that no Christian can maintain this heart attitude without going to the Lord in a more particular and formal manner, and preferably upon the knees, and if possible sometimes at least in solitude – "Enter into thy closet and pray to thy Father who is in secret."

Nothing in this, however, would interfere with the thought of family prayers, nor with the still further thought of prayers in the Church, which is the Lord's family circle. Our Lord gave his sanction to this, not only by going aside for private prayer but also at times by praying with and for the disciples. For instance, the prayer recorded in John 17 and the words of the apostles commend praying in the Church, and even call attention to the propriety of praying in such a tone and voice as could be understood by the others present. Those who contend to the contrary, the Apostle intimates, are doing so about matters which they do not understand. However capable such may be they should be given no place [R3640 : page 298] of prominence in the gatherings of the Lord's people. First, let them learn before calling upon them to be leaders in the flock. The same principles apply to those who contend against the observance of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They should be kindly treated, for even our enemies should be kindly treated, but none should be selected as servants in the Lord's flock who have not a respect for and a knowledge of the faith once delivered to the saints, and a respect for all the institutions established by the Lord and his apostles.

THE KING WAS TROUBLED.

Shortly after the signing of the decree the princes reported Daniel as having violated its terms, and then and there the king's eyes were opened and he beheld the trap into which his vanity had gotten him. In accord with the theory that the king was the vicegerent of his god was the law of the Medo-Persian empire that every decree by its king was inviolable – unchangeable. No doubt there was a policy behind the establishment of such a law. No doubt the great men of the empire desired fixity, so that when the king had made a positive promise or decree respecting them he could not at the instance of another change the arrangement and thus subject his princes and counsellors to his caprice. The king was greatly displeased with himself that he had fallen into this trap, and was displeased undoubtedly with the princes who had entrapped him. The words "with himself" are lacking from some of the reliable manuscripts, which makes the displeasure all the broader to include his counsellors. He appreciated Daniel as a man of God and as an able servant of the empire, and set about at once to do everything in his power to annul his own decree – "he labored until the going down of the sun to deliver him," but he found no excuse.

Ordinarily, when the kings desired to be released from some decree, they called upon their wise men and magicians, who usually were skillful in suggesting a way out of the dilemma; but in this case it would appear that there was a combination of all the wise men and rulers of Babylon against Daniel. They now had him in their power, and would suggest nothing in the way of release. On the contrary, they held up before the king that he was bound by his decree and that he could not do otherwise than execute it, because a failure to do so would mean a dishonor to the empire in having broken its laws and would endanger his throne, etc. Perceiving the king's endeavor to rescind the decree, the counsellors called upon him in a body to impress the necessity for its execution. In compliance Daniel was cast into the den of lions. It was probably a lion pit surrounded by high walls, just as we have to-day in some parts bear pits. The entrance to this pit from certain protected enclosures was through a door, and there the lions were enclosed at night by a stone, which, pushed across the entrance to the pit, served as a door and was fastened. The king's sealing wax was placed upon this and also the seal of his counsellors, thus indicating that the pit might not be opened except with the consent of both the king and his counsellors.

What must have been the feelings of the aged prophet and ruler as he realized the condition of things, and as the king talked with him and told him of his inability to gain the consent of his counsellors to any change in the decree, and of his deep sorrow in connection with the execution of the sentence. How well Daniel had let his light shine is evidenced by the words of the king in this address – "Daniel, thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee." We may reasonably suppose, too, that a man so firm and strong in his faithfulness to the Lord and to principle could go to the lions' den without fear. Some one has said that one with God is a majority; the Prophet has said, "Greater is he who is on our part than all they that be with them." Although Daniel did not live under the favored conditions of this Gospel age and its influences of the holy Spirit, he did have what by the Lord's arrangement is common to all mankind, namely, strength and courage in proportion to his honesty of heart and faithfulness.

On the one hand he knew that God was able to deliver him from the lions if he chose to do so; on the other hand he knew that if the Lord permitted the lions to devour him he could give him strength and courage to endure the pain and trials, with other Jews who looked forward in hope and anticipation to the glorious Millennial time when Messiah should reign, when all of his faithful will be blessed, yea, when all the families of the earth will receive a blessing. Why should such a man have special fear or dread as respects a den of lions? Much more, why should we, if likewise faithful to our trusts and obligations to the extent of our ability, and if living in the enjoyment of our privileges and with the still greater light upon the divine plan – why should we fear or quake under such circumstances? God is able to deliver us from every evil, and has promised that whatever may come to us shall work for our good, because we love him and are called according to his purpose. It requires faith to pass through such an ordeal triumphantly, and it requires character and obedience behind that faith to give it strength; and above all it requires that behind the faith and the character shall be the realization that Christ is our sufficiency, that he not [R3641 : page 298] only has redeemed us with his precious blood but that he lives to succor us.

Bunyan, in his story of how Christian fled from the City of Destruction to Paradise, tells us how he was attacked in the way by two great lions, and how he trembled and expected to be destroyed, until ultimately he discovered that the lions were chained and could go so far and no farther against him, and that he had room to pass between. This allegory illustrates to us our own experiences in life as Christians. Lions great and small threaten the Lord's people in the present time, and, as in Daniel's case, the threats are generally with the view to turn us aside from duty and the service of the Lord. These are tests that come to us. If we yield to them we are proving that we are not of the overcoming class; if we stand faithful to the Lord they will demonstrate that he is able to carry us through all the trials and difficulties and diverse experiences of this present time.

"NO LION SHALL BE THERE."

The prophet Isaiah, pointing down to the grand Highway of Holiness which shall be open to the world during the Millennial age, the way of righteousness by which they may return to full harmony with the Lord and to full restitution and eternal life, declares respecting that way, "No lion shall be there nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon." Again at the same time it was declared, "Nothing shall hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain [kingdom]." How glad we are, even [R3641 : page 299] while battling with the lions in the way, and while being threatened by them, and while overcoming the fear of those which would bring a snare upon us – how glad we are to know that in the coming age the world will not be subject to such oppositions, but rather will be helped upward and onward in the way of holiness. And how encouraging it is to know that our experiences with these lions in the way, these oppositions of the world, the flesh and the devil and science falsely so-called, are all testing and proving us to the intent that the Lord may use us by and by in the great work he purposes, the deliverance of the whole world from that great Adversary who goeth about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and how then he shall be bound for a thousand years that he shall deceive the nations no more.

THE ANGEL OF THE LORD DELIVERED HIM.

Evidently the more the king thought respecting Daniel and his God the more his faith in that direction increased. He spent a sleepless night, and arose early in the morning and went to the den of lions and cried in a voice full of sympathy and sorrow, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God whom thou servest continually able to deliver thee from the lions?" And is it not true at the present time that those who are not of the consecrated class sometimes have a considerable faith in our God and in his protecting power, and in us as his children? It is well that we keep this in memory – well that we recognize that our worldly friends are watching us to see to what extent our God delivers us from the difficulties and trials of life's pathway. We have known many instances where the strength and fortitude granted to the consecrated ones to endure trials and difficulties and hardships unmurmuringly has told the worldly friends, louder than any professions could tell them, of the power of our God and of the peace of God which passeth understanding, which rules in our hearts. Thus it should always be. The trials and difficulties of life shall not overwhelm us if we trust in the Lord. Our hearts may be joyful in him notwithstanding persecutions and difficulties. Thus the Philippian jailor perceived that the God of Paul and Silas was able to deliver them from being utterly cast down by their experiences when in the stocks suffering from the beatings they had recently received. Their songs in the night told that their God was able to deliver them.

Daniel promptly responded, and assured the king that God had sent his angel and had shut the lions' mouths that they had not harmed him. We are not to understand this to signify literally that an angel held each lion by the muzzle, but rather that God through the exercise of his power had restrained the wild beasts, who were hungry, and without such restraint would have devoured the helpless prophet. A thought that associates with this is the assurance of the Apostle that the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that are his and delivereth them, protects them – protects them not always from the threatening disaster but from any injurious or evil effects therefrom. As, for instance, in our Lord's case, and in the cases of many of his followers, no protection was assured against those who sought to take their lives, but the Lord did overrule so that their death under such conditions was a blessing not only to themselves but also in its influence upon the remainder of the Church.

It would be well for all of us to learn more and more this lesson of the Lord's ever-present power to help. But in order to have the blessing from such experiences faith must be there – not faith in ourselves, not faith in our own righteousness, but faith in God's love, faith in the great redemption price which that love has provided, and faith in the great promises which are still in reservation, waiting for accomplishment.

But the child of God who would have a perfect faith, a perfect trust in God and his promises, must needs remember that they are applicable only to a certain class, namely, to the sincere, the honest-hearted, who not only will to do right but who do the right to the extent of their ability and whose faith in Christ is counted for the robe of righteousness which covers their imperfections and blemishes. This was so in Daniel's case as he testified to the king that God preserved him because of his innocency, and he was able to appeal to the king also, that his course had been one that met the king's approval. Let us live in this attitude continually, in a condition in which our consciences are void of offense toward God and man – in a condition, therefore, in which we can hope for the blessings which God has promised to those who love him, who reverence him, who seek to do his will.

"THE KING WAS EXCEEDING GLAD."

The king's heart was rejoiced. He realized that he had been entrapped, and that those who had been at the foundation of his difficulty were not really worthy men, fit for the high positions of trust which they occupied, seeing that they were willing to destroy a fellow creature because of his adherence to the principles of righteousness – because he was better than themselves, because he was more faithful to the trusts imposed upon him. The king felt that he could not afford to lose one of Daniel's stamp of character. And this is true still: there are not enough men of the Daniel type, courageous, honest, truthful, innocent, capable. Yet if Daniel could occupy such a position, certainly all of the Lord's people of this Gospel age, still more highly favored, should be able to approximate the same standard, especially since our blessings are along the spiritual lines.

When Daniel was taken up from the den of lions his word was fully corroborated, no marks of violence from the beasts were manifest. The king, having strictly followed the law of his country, having been forced to this by his subordinate rulers and wise men, realized that now he was free from their control; and under the despotic form of government then in vogue he called for those who had been Daniel's accusers who had entrapped the king, and he commanded that they be put into the lions' den. He would thus make a test as to which were worthy in the sight of the Lord. Daniel's protection manifested the exercise of divine power in his behalf: let these others, if they would, call upon their gods and let them deliver them. There was no divine power to stop the mouths of the lions, and, hungered, they devoured those who were cast to them.

Thus the notable miracle pointed out the true God, and Daniel as his true servant, and no doubt an important lesson was taught to those acquainted with the circumstances. It is not for us to think of having our enemies devoured when we are delivered, it is not for us to rejoice over their fall. On the contrary, the Lord's people are to be self-content and to remember that the Lord has said, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." Instead of having our enemies devoured we have the Apostle's word, [R3641 : page 300] "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst give him drink." Love and sympathy are to be our attitude toward all the world of mankind, including those who persecute us and say all manner of evil against us falsely, for his sake.

The punishment which came upon Daniel's adversaries was what the Scriptures designate a judgment, and we have the Scriptural assurance that when the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth [when they are general] the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. When the Kingdom shall have been established and the reign of righteousness shall have begun every transgression shall receive a just recompense of reward, every sin will be punished and every endeavor for righteousness will be blessed and rewarded. How speedily the world will learn righteousness we may readily judge. In the present time, although probably the majority of people would prefer righteousness to sin and injustice, yet under present conditions, under the dominion of the prince of this world, the righteous are the ones who usually suffer and the evil doers very generally escape – hence a doubt prevails respecting God and any enforcement of justice. The assumption is that if one can escape the technicalities of the law and the clutches of the law's officers in the present life he is safe and need not fear divine interference. We may readily see then that when the Millennial age shall have been fully ushered in, and when just penalty will follow each transgression and reward follow every good deed, a world-wide reformation or conversion to righteousness will follow forthwith in every land, in every tongue. In that glorious time the righteous shall flourish and the evil [R3642 : page 300] doers shall have the stripes, and eventually if they continue to be evil doers shall be cut off in the second death.

There are indeed various illustrations in the world of transgressors suffering severely for their wrong doing. We are to remember, too, that with the nation of Israel God made a special covenant, under which transgressors were to be punished and well doing was to be rewarded – much after the manner that shall prevail during the Millennial age. But we have no such assurances as respects this Gospel age and as respects the Lord's consecrated people. We are to remember, on the contrary, that many of the Lord's people have suffered as transgressors. For instance, our Redeemer himself was crucified as a blasphemer and injurious person, and against one of the apostles the mob cried out, "Away with such a fellow from the earth!" The Apostle himself says that they were counted as the filth and offscouring of the earth, and our Lord said that we must not marvel if such be our experiences; that we should on the contrary remember that the Master of the house had been called Beelzebub, and that his true followers might be spoken of similarly in an evil manner.

We are waiting, therefore, with patience for the glorious day of Immanuel's reign, the reign of righteousness, when justice shall be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet. In the meantime we are to brave the oppositions of the world as did Daniel, as did Christ, as did the apostles, faithfully, courageously, persistently – even unto death. The principle which we recognize has been recognized also amongst worldly people, as Shakespeare says: –

"Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow,
Thou shalt not escape calumny."

"That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect;
For slander's mark was ever yet the fair;
So thou be good slander doth yet approve
Thy worth the greater."

IN THE WILDERNESS.
Be still, and murmur not, poor heart,
When God shall lead thee to "a desert place,"
And bid thee dwell apart.
If ravens in the wilderness
Did feed the servant of the Lord, will He
For thee, His child, do less?

Nor fear, sad heart, its loneliness, –
Hath He not said, "I never will forsake
Nor leave thee comfortless!"
Have faith, thy Master may design
To fit thee thus for Kingdom work and bliss, –
And wilt thou then repine?

Be patient, let His will be done;
Be calm, be strong, that He may finish there
The work He hath begun.
"A little while," He soon will come,
And say to thee, "It is enough, my child,
My faithful one, come home!"

G. W. S.

[R3642 : page 300]

RETURNING FROM BABYLON.
EZRA 1:1-11. – OCTOBER 15. –

Golden Text. – "The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." – Psa. 126:3.

T
HE first year of Cyrus mentioned in our lesson is by general consent considered the year 536 B.C. Evidently this does not mean that it was his first year of reigning as the king of Persia, but that, having conquered Babylon and accomplished other matters subsequently, this was the beginning of his reign over the united empire of the Medes and Persians as successor to Babylon in world empire.

It will be remembered that in Isaiah's prophecy (44:26-28; 45:1-4), the Lord had distinctly marked out the return of his favor to the Israelites, and had mentioned Cyrus by name as the one who should accomplish their deliverance, saying:

"That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shall be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."

"Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him: I will go before thee and make the crooked places straight. I will break in pieces the gates of brass and cut asunder the bars of iron....For Jacob my servant's sake and Israel my elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, although thou hast not known me."

Tradition has it that this prophecy was drawn to [R3642 : page 301] the attention of King Cyrus, and that it was in harmony with the prophecy that he promptly made the proclamation mentioned in our lesson, permitting all Israelites who might desire to return to their own land to do so. The wording of the proclamation, "The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he hath charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judea," might seem to imply that Cyrus was a believer in and a servant of the true God, but we have no corroborative evidences to this effect: rather the records of his time refer to the heathen gods, but apparently make no mention of Jehovah. We are to remember that the heathen kings were at that time in the habit of recognizing the gods of the various countries which they governed, and wrote and spoke respectfully in reference to all of them, apparently with a view to preserving the respect for their realm of every creed amongst the worshipers. Thus also to-day Great Britain, ruling over millions of Mohammedan subjects through her viceroys, shows deference to the Mohammedan faith and worship, and not long since built and endowed a Mohammedan college. We are to remember that amongst worldly people policy continually has an upper hand, and that the religious convictions, aside from a clear knowledge of the Truth and consecration thereto, are more or less vague and indistinct in vision and see good and bad in all religions. Positiveness in religion usually is only found in those who have the Truth and a clear knowledge of the Divine Plan of the Ages, or in fanatics blinded by ignorance and superstition.

The king's proclamation encouraged all the people of Babylon, neighbors of the Jews, to help such as desired to return to their own land. The king himself provided liberally for the expedition, sending a troop of one thousand cavalry for the protection of the emigrants and their goods from the depredations of the Arabs of the desert. He also returned to the Jews the vessels of the Temple which Nebuchadnezzar had taken at the beginning of the seventy years' desolation of the land – the last captivity, when Zedekiah was taken. The total number of these vessels, gold and silver, is astounding – five thousand four hundred, large and small.

ONLY 50,000 RETURNED.

When we remember the length of time the people had been in Babylon, that scarcely any of the Jews living at the time of this emancipation proclamation had ever seen Palestine, that they had merely heard of it through their parents, and that only a few very aged men and women remembered to have even seen the city as children, it will not surprise us that the total number volunteering to return to rebuild the city and the Temple was only 50,000. But they were a choice 50,000; they were, as nearly as could be reasonably expected, Israelites indeed. In their hearts burned faith in God and in the great Abrahamic promise which had held their nation together up to that time. In their captivity they had learned lessons respecting why they had been cast off from divine favor, and had learned also to look for and wait for this very event in which they now participated. They knew that the prophets had foretold that it would be seventy years of desolation, and they recognized that the opening of the door for their return was of divine arrangement.

Of course that fifty thousand were not all men and women of faith in the promises, but many of them, probably more than half, were children. The great mass of the nation, having become settled in business and in family relationships in Babylon, were loth to leave – just as to-day, if Palestine were opened to the Jews for their return, there would be comparatively few to go from America, where they are prospering in business, socially, etc. The majority would undoubtedly go from the lands of persecution, and would probably be chiefly the poor. In the present case we know that they were not all poor, because a very large sum indeed was collected for the rebuilding of the Temple, a sum estimated to be [R3643 : page 301] nearly equal to four hundred thousand dollars.

"YE SHALL GO FORTH WITH SINGING."

Psalm 126 seems to picture the returning of the Jewish exiles from the Babylonish captivity, our Golden Text being the key to the joys of the occasion – "The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." A writer describing the scene of their departure from Babylon says:

"Forth from the gates of Babylon they rode, to the sound of joyous music – a band of horsemen playing on flutes and tabrets, accompanied by their own two hundred minstrels and one hundred and twenty-eight singers of the Temple (Ezra 2:41-65), responding to the prophet's voice as they quitted the shade of the gigantic walls and found themselves in the open desert beyond: 'Go ye out of Babylon, Flee from the thraldoms, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The Eternal hath redeemed his servant Jacob,'" – Isaiah 48:20.

We are interested in the affairs of this narrative sympathetically, and also because we realize that the Lord's providences control in respect to all the affairs of Israel, his people. But we have greater and more profound interest in the events here narrated now that our eyes have been opened to see that the seventy years of desolation of the land of Palestine represent the seventy jubilee cycles appointed to them in the time the fulfilment of which we are now living. Our interest is still further awakened when we remember that in this long interim of time God's favor was transferred from the Jewish house of servants to the Gospel house of sons, and that an antitypical Babylon has carried away captive the Lord's people and all the golden vessels of Truth. Spiritual Israel in captivity has been waiting for the glorious deliverance to be brought about by Immanuel, the Deliverer greater than Cyrus.

The proclamation of liberty for the Lord's people to go forth from Babylon has not been generally responded to by them. A comparatively small number of them have had such love for the Lord, such a reverence for his promises, such a desire to be inheritors of those promises as to lead them to sever the earthly ties and the bonds which hold them satisfied in Babylon. But some have heard, some have rejoiced, some have stepped out and some are still leaving. Our antitypical Cyrus, our present Lord, has permitted us to bring back the golden vessels, the golden truths which for so long have been misappropriated, misapplied, misunderstood, misused in Babylon.

"COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE."

The Lord now calls his people forth from mystic Babylon ("Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots"). His words are, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be [R3643 : page 302] not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4.) No one should be urged to come out of Babylon. If he does not come out joyfully, "with singing," making melody in his heart to the Lord, glad of the opportunity of coming out, glad of the opportunity of getting away from the error and into the place of divine favor and inheritance of the divine promises, let him stay in Babylon. If he loves the things of this present time, the social advantages of Babylon, the business advantages and opportunities, the greater honor of men, the greater comfort and ease, let him so indicate to the Lord and refuse to respond to the Lord's message.

As the company of the Israelites left Babylon with great joy and rejoicing, so we who have gotten free from mystic Babylon rejoice exceedingly and would not go back under any consideration. By and by, when the time of trouble is imminent, others may still escape and deliver their souls, but it will not be with the same joy: some we are assured will be in Babylon up to the time of its fall, and will be delivered, but theirs will not be the songs of gladness and joy and victory; they will not be of the overcoming class. Rather it will be theirs to mourn that they were unfaithful to the voice of the Lord, that they remained in Babylon contrary to his Word and that they receive of her plagues, her chastisements, her troubles, which so surely will come thick and fast – the "seven last plagues."

"Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry;
We're marching through Immanuel's ground,
To fairer prospects nigh."

[R3643 : page 302]

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

More than six years ago I commenced to look to the Lord alone for help, asking grace to be made willing to die or live, just as His will would be.

Years of suffering followed and no notable change physically, but spiritually the blessings were many and the Lord's nearness very sweet.

Reading the Word of God continually, also many publications on the blessings and need of an absolute surrender, the Lord not only made me willing to consecrate myself fully to him, but same time prepared me to receive the present truth. (I must count it a real wonder, a special grace of the Lord, that I was able to read most of the time, as the nature of my illness, according to man's knowledge, makes reading impossible.) About this time a tract came to hand warning all Christian people against a publication called "MILLENNIAL DAWN," – denouncing same as a dangerous and anti-Christian work, and quoting numerous Scriptures in proof of this assertion. Carefully reading same I soon noted that most Scriptures quoted were given a different interpretation than I was led to understand them so far. This naturally awakened the desire to read the very publication mentioned and compare notes, but how and where to get these books was more than I knew. All I knew was the name, and this subsequently proved all sufficient, because only a few days after, two books were left in our house to be given to a party living near. Sitting in my chair near the table, and noting the paper on this package badly torn, I reached out to do it up better, and – oh, wonder! – MILLENNIAL DAWN was in my hand. Dear Bro. Russell, had it not been for the torn wrapper these precious books, which proved to me a source of instruction, joy and happiness for years, would have passed out of the house and I not any the wiser. Surely this was the Lord's doing. I was hungry for the truth, longing for more light, and true to his promise he provided. Glory to his name!

This was three years ago last winter and often almost overwhelming blessings received in the study of God's dear Word in the additional light presented, frequently makes me cry out: "Oh, Lord, I am utterly unworthy of so much grace. Grant that I, like clay in the potter's hand, may rest in thy Masterhand, to be prepared and molded into a vessel ready for thy use and honor only."

With Christian love and greeting, I remain,

Yours in Christ Jesus,
JOHN F. GRAF, – Oregon.

page 302 PASTOR C. T. RUSSELL: –

The books which, by the grace of God, you have been led to write and publish, have been an inestimable blessing to me, and some of my dear ones, and I cannot thank my dear Redeemer sufficiently for having directed my attention to them.

I read them over and over again; indeed, I may say I read nothing else but these and my Bible, and much as I loved the Scriptures before, they are doubly dear to me now; because, I have the key which opens up to me much that was mysterious and therefore not properly understood. Now, since through you and the other dear friends who labor together with you I have received this "present truth," the whole Scripture is illumined – God's plan, in Christ, for the glorification of the Church, his body, and the salvation of the world, is grasped as never before, and I say, reverently, that I rejoice even with a joy unspeakable and full of glory. There are of course many things that I would like to talk with you about, with the hope that I might see more clearly than I do: but it is wonderful how the holy Spirit enlightens – as one reads, ponders, prays, and compares the statements in the DAWN series with Scripture, endeavoring to rightly divide the Word of Truth, how the mists clear away, and the light of the truth fills the soul, and one gets a faint idea of what it is to be filled with the Spirit. I try, as I have opportunity to do, some harvest work, and have frequent chances for conversations. One is astonished at the various ways in which different people, many of them professed Christians, receive the truth. Some turn a deaf ear entirely, and change the conversation as quickly as possible; others are indifferent – the truth as preached is sufficient for them; they do not wish to be any wiser than their parents, etc.; still others are startled and state that the signs of the times indicate that some great catastrophe is approaching they know not what. Others, and these are the ministers and learned men I talk with, admit that we have fallen upon evil times; but that brighter times are coming, that an age of greater faith is approaching, etc. Pity they cannot see just how it is to be brought about! But, thank God, there are a few who have the listening ear. With those I earnestly talk, as aided by the spirit of God, and generally get them to promise to read one of the series of books, DAWN.

I had been sending my copy of the WATCH TOWER to a friend. This week my copy was late in coming, and yesterday I was delighted to have her ask where that paper was I had been sending her.

You will not be surprised when I tell you that I am about to withdraw from the Presbyterian Church here. For some time I have been studying the Confession of Faith, and of course I am not in accord with it, and for this reason cannot loyally remain. There are two other reasons why I must withdraw – one is that I deplore the spirit of destructive criticism, and the evolutionary theories that not only exist in the Church but are tolerated and approved. Again, while in the Church I am bound, if loyal to its creed, to be silent about present truth; but I must speak, and therefore my course is plain.

Yours in this glorious harvest work,

__________.,Canada.

[R3643 : page 303]

MY BELOVED BROTHER, RUSSELL:

I always appreciated the work being done through the colporteur service, but this appreciation has grown wonderfully since entering the pilgrim field, as coming in contact with the various little classes I have learned how some colporteur – often unknown – sowed the first seed which gave the work in that place its start. If each colporteur could know how often we hear of such things discouragement would be unknown amongst them.

For instance, about two and a half years ago, I was at Savannah, Ga., and during my visit a sister told me how that city had been canvassed with apparently no results, – books had been sold but no fruit could be seen. Two months ago, I went to Chauncey, Ga., for the first time, and in the course of my drive into the country I asked the brother how he first learned of these things. He said that some years ago his sister was working in Savannah, and one day a colporteur came to her employer's home. She answered the door bell, and found a colporteur there from whom she purchased "The Plan of the Ages." That book brought her and her two brothers into the light, and now, a hundred miles or so from Savannah, a grand little company is laboring and rejoicing because of the seed dropped by a colporteur.

I went to one place in Michigan where a brother and his wife were full of joy over the light which had come into their hearts and home. The brother told me that when his wife ordered the book he thought, "There's another one of those fake book agents," and tried to show the colporteur brother just how he felt about it. But he said to me, "Oh, Brother Barton, I only wish I knew who that brother was. How glad I would be if I could only show him how different is my feeling now, and could take back what occurred then."

Do you not think the Lord purposely keeps results from being seen by those who do the work in order to give room for the exercise of faith? They should believe their "labor is not in vain in the Lord," whether they can see its outward fruit or not. Our heavenly Father wants us to work for him, [R3644 : page 303] not for results, – work from principle, not from a mere desire to see our efforts prospering.

Should we not also esteem the fruit borne in our lives of more consequence than the results of labors in the harvest field? Does not 2 Tim. 2:6 teach this?

So even if there was no fruit from the colporteur labors except the fruits of patience, humility and fortitude borne in our own lives, it would more than pay to be in that work, but there is other kind of fruit too, and we pilgrim brethren would like to tell of that for their encouragement.

"God's mercy 'tis which hides results –
A mercy which our good consults;
For did he choose he could reveal
The fruitage of our Christian zeal.

"He might have shown the seed you thought
Had surely died and come to naught
Was living in some unknown place
Producing words and works of grace."

May the dear Lord continue to bless those noble brethren and sisters who in this way are "laying down their lives for the brethren."

With Christian love in the royal service of the King,

BENJ. H. BARTON, – Pilgrim.

DEAR BRO. IN CHRIST JESUS:

I am so thankful to the Lord for having brought my husband and myself out of that awful darkness into the light of Present Truth, that I want to write you a few lines in regard to same. We were spiritualists for five years: In fact I was a trance medium, although I could never bring myself to take any money for it, as I regarded it altogether too holy to use it for earthly gain; yet for the past few years I was not satisfied with it and its teaching, and I prayed to the Lord to show me whether it was his work, as I had always remarked to the spirits if it were God's work I would be very thankful for the gift and to be his instrument to further his truth; but if it were the Devil's I did not wish for any of it. Whereupon they always replied, "There was no Devil," and that it was God's work. I gave up friends for their sake, and for two years I lived in a haunted house suffering untold agony, doing, as they told me, what God had ordained me to do, to release an earthbound spirit, the spirit of a man that committed suicide by cutting his throat from ear to ear.

Many times I suffered the horror and agony of having the sensation of a razor cut my throat from ear to ear. This they told me was to be a proof when that spirit was near me: Time upon time I suffered dying agonies to bring tests to friends. Prior to my coming into the Truth last fall, I had a very severe trial, which I thought I could not bear, and when I prayed to die a beautiful little form appeared assuring me God would forgive, and I would suffer no punishment if I committed suicide, which I had intended. But, thank God, my husband watched me until I became more calm, and could reason again. That was just one week before the booklet "What Say the Scriptures on Spiritualism" was placed in my hands. When studying that for two hours, and fighting the great battle all night, I knew who I had been serving, and so you can probably gain a glimpse of why I say awful darkness. In fact I could write many more experiences, should you think they would be any benefit to God's people.

I rejoice in the Lord and pray he may keep all. I desire to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Lord and to you, for the DAWNS – as Bible Keys. May the Lord continue to bless you and use you as that faithful steward, is our earnest prayer.

Yours with Christian love,
MRS. G. K. – Ill.

page 303 DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:

Much love and greetings in the name of our dear Redeemer. May our Father continue to bless you richly in all your efforts to serve his cause. The Cleveland Church has requested me to inform you of the rich blessings derived from the Niagara Convention, not only by those who attended, but also by those who did not attend. We had a convention echo meeting last Sunday, and all who attended the Convention echoed the blessings they received to others. We had a delightful season of refreshing, so much so that we had to let you know about it. It was, indeed, good to be there, among so many of the Lord's people. Such a happy people, all so full of love and the spirit of unselfishness. If this is a foretaste of the heavenly joys, what will it be to have gained the crown and be forever with the Lord? It was a means of drawing those who attended closer to the Lord and a fresh endeavor to run the race set before us more patiently. These conventions, dear brother, are a great spiritual uplift and, as you said, the money expended was not wasted, and we think could not be spent better. The Niagara Convention was, by far, the most blessed convention we ever attended. We are so happy and thankful that you intend continuing them. May the Lord preserve you, to continue to give us such refreshing seasons of fellowship.

Yours with Christian love,
FLORENCE SOPER, – O.

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: –

I am still rejoicing in the light, and appreciate the strong and helpful words in the WATCH TOWER and DAWN. You certainly lift the standard high, higher than any other religious teacher I ever knew, but none too high, and I rejoice in it. I am greatly enjoying the new Bible Studies, and as I am not where I can meet with others, I have pretty long lessons. Am not doing as much personal work as I could wish, but hope to be able to do more sometime.

Yours in the blessed cause,
EMILY A. HAYES, – Maine.

page 305
October 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.OCTOBER 15, 1905.No. 20
CONTENTS.
The Editor's Western Tour 307
Papal Attempts at Reformation 308
"By Myself Have I Sworn" (Poem) 309
"Bear Ye One Another's Burdens" 310
"Pay Thy Vows Unto the Lord." 312
Rebuilding the Temple 313
Hopes Deferred – Trials Many 314
"Which Temple Ye Are." 315
"By My Spirit, Saith the Lord." 316
Prophets to Both Israels 316
He Shall Not Fail, nor be Discouraged 317
A Day of Small Things 318
Encouraging Words from Faithful Workers 318
General Convention for the South 320

'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 306

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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A collection of sixty hymns, with music, for social and testimony meetings, and semi-private gatherings. Price, 5c each, postpaid. English and German editions.

[R3644 : page 307]

THE EDITOR'S WESTERN TOUR.
– (CONTINUED FROM LAST ISSUE.) –

O
GDEN, Utah, was our next appointment. By this time our company was small, as some came no farther than Denver; however, others joined us en route for Portland. The Ogden friends met us at the depot, and showed abundantly, by words and deeds, that they were glad of the one-session Convention. They had secured the use of the Mormon Tabernacle and had thoroughly advertised our discourse, "To Hell and Back. Who are there? Hope for many of them."

About 600 were present, a very large audience for us in a city of Ogden's size. Excellent attention was given for nearly two hours, while we endeavored to show forth that the real penalty for sin is death, that the tomb is the hell of the Bible and that the salvation promised as a result of Christ's death and a consequent reconciliation with the Father is awakening and resurrection – for whomsoever wills. We believe that some were helped.

ON TO PORTLAND, OREGON

We took train for Portland at 2.30 o'clock in the morning – spending nearly two nights and two days on the journey. A crowd of dear friends awaited us at the depot, though our train was several hours belated. We got a good opportunity to wash and rest and visit before the opening of the Convention on Friday, September 8.

The Portland gathering had the distinction of being the only three-days Convention on this trip, and it was a most enjoyable season of refreshment. The local friends had made every preparation for the nearly two hundred visiting friends who, while chiefly from Oregon, Washington and Utah, included representatives from British Columbia, Dakota, Minnesota, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and one from Australia. The interspersed testimony meetings were rich treats, as always, and caused many hearts to "burn" as they recounted their experiences and heard of similar mercies of God variously manifested toward others.

We had "Woodmen's Hall" for all the meetings except the Baptism service, which was held in the Christian Church, and the service specially advertised for the public, which was held in the Taylor St. M.E. Church on Sunday, Sept. 10th. At the latter our topic was, "To Hell and Back," etc., and an audience of about 900 gave close attention for about two hours and then took our free literature with avidity.

The program was followed throughout. One of the Elders opened the Convention with words of greeting and welcome, after which Brother A. H. MacMillan became the permanent chairman and greeted all present in the name of our Society, and then the first testimony meeting began. Pilgrim Brother Harrison gave an able address in the afternoon, his subject being, "The cost to our Lord for the world's redemption." The necessity and value of the ransom were shown, as well as the Master's great sacrifice in leaving the realms of glory and enduring all that our redemption cost. "Take heed to the doctrine" of the ransom was the essence of his discourse. The evening service, introduced by a service of praise, was a Chart Discourse by Pilgrim Brother Barton, who made the various features of the divine plan very plain and very interesting.

Saturday morning's opening service was one of praise and prayer, after which a question meeting, occupying two hours and involving a great variety of topics, prepared us all for noon refreshments and rest.

The entire afternoon was devoted to the consideration of Baptism, showing the erroneous views, and, in contrast, the true teachings of the Bible on the subject – substantially as set forth in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. VI. Following the discourse twenty-nine requested and received symbolic immersion in water, as illustrating and confessing their true baptism into Christ's death.

Saturday evening Pilgrim Brother Barton addressed the Convention on the lessons of the Ninety-first Psalm – showing what it is to be safe under the protecting shadow of the Almighty, and how these secured ones are protected from the various snares and deceptions [R3644 : page 308] of this harvest time. About 300 heard very attentively.

Sunday forenoon brought another blessed testimony, praise and prayer meeting, after which we spent over an hour discussing the spiritual lessons taught by the Exposition, which many of you have read through the columns of the Pittsburg Dispatch and other Monday publications, which now carry extra messages from the editor of this journal to so many of the friends weekly.

The Sunday afternoon discourse we have already mentioned. The Convention closed that evening with a Love Feast introduced by a short discourse on the Twenty-third Psalm. We parted, hoping to meet at the great Convention, "The General Assembly of the Church of the Firstborn." We left on the night train for Everett, Washington, about twenty friends of those parts accompanying us.

EVERETT'S ONE-DAY CONVENTION

Warm hearts and hands greeted us and entertained us at Everett. An afternoon meeting for the interested [R3645 : page 308] was attended by seventy-five. We discoursed to them for nearly two hours on the terms on which our calling and election may be made sure; and the evidences we have of the divine favor with us to assist us in overcoming the world, and how all things work together for good to the faithful.

The evening service for the public, on "To Hell and Back," was held in Everett's Carnegie Hall, whose capacity of about three hundred was fully taxed. We had excellent attention and were pleased to learn of several who were "greatly helped" by the service. After a good night's rest we proceeded to Seattle.

SEATTLE'S ONE-DAY CONVENTION

As Seattle friends and others accompanied us to Everett, so many from Everett, etc., came with us to Seattle. The opening was a praise and testimony service, followed at 3 p.m. by a discourse on "Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom," in which we emphasized the favor of the present age call and the blessings to result to the Church and the world in the Kingdom. About 200 were present and they mostly the interested from various parts, adjacent and distant. Our evening address on "To Hell and Back" was heard with great attention by an audience of about 650, and we trust that good fruitage will appear in God's due time. The afternoon services were held in Third Avenue M.E. Church edifice, the evening service in the Arcade Hall. The midnight train speeded us back to Portland, where, on the 13th, we took the Pacific steamer for San Francisco, our next appointment.

FROM PORTLAND HOMEWARD.

The ocean journey from Portland to San Francisco was a delightful and restful one. Our party numbered six – three on return journey to Los Angeles, one from St. Louis and one from Millvale, Pa., besides the Editor. Brother MacMillan preceded us to Los Angeles to open the Convention there.

Every morning we had our usual "Heavenly Manna" as well as our physical refreshments and in the day time we had Scripture question meetings, in which all participated, and by which we trust all were profited. Thus our journey passed pleasantly, bringing us to San Francisco, Cal. on Saturday morning, Sept. 16th. At the landing awaiting our arrival were seven of the dear brethren and sisters of that vicinity, who gave us most hearty greetings, to which we as fervently responded.

Complete arrangements had been made, and we were soon comfortably located in the home of one of the dear ones, where a question meeting engaged us all pleasantly until dinner, after which came the general gathering of the friends of that vicinity, so far as it was possible for these to be in attendance on the busiest day of the week. There were about forty present, to whom we spoke on "God's Election" – our opportunity for making our calling and election sure, and the mark of the prize, perfect love. The service lasted from 2 to 4 p.m.

A goodly number accompanied us to the train which speeded us to Los Angeles, a distance of over 400 miles. Many were the hopes expressed that we should meet again in the "General Assembly," if not in another Convention on earth. Many prayers went up for a share in the heavenly Kingdom, even though led by the Master in the narrow way and by the way of the cross.

LOS ANGELES CONVENTION

As per program, this Convention opened Saturday, Sept. 16th, with a rally and testimony meeting. An unannounced feature, much enjoyed by the friends was a Chart Talk by Brother MacMillan. This Convention thus happily opened was already under good headway and awaiting us Sunday morning, when we had a praise and testimony meeting participated in by many, including a Methodist minister and an ex-Methodist minister and ourself.

Our afternoon topic was for the public, "To Hell and Back. Who are there? Hope for many of them." The attendance was estimated at 700. The closest of attention was given and we trust some good seeds of Truth were planted in honest hearts, and that others partly assured were fully convinced respecting our Father's character and plan.

The evening topic, "The Sin Unto Death," many of you have already read as reported in the Pittsburg Dispatch, and we need not go into details here.

By general desire the Convention held over Monday, Sept. 18. The morning session was a praise and testimony meeting, during which we made a trip to Santa Monica at the urgent solicitation of one disabled from attending the Los Angeles meetings. There we had an opportunity for a talk on the Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices to a little group which included a Presbyterian minister of an apparently thoughtful cast of mind.

At the afternoon session of the Convention we [R3645 : page 309] spoke on the true and the symbolic baptisms, following which twenty were immersed.

The evening session, which closed the Convention, was a question meeting. A number of questions were proffered but the first one occupied our entire time until 9.15 p.m. and the remainder we brought with us, to be answered in the WATCH TOWER columns from time to time. The topic which was so engaging was respecting "The satisfaction of Justice." Many seemed edified and we hope at some time to take up the subject again in the WATCH TOWER for the benefit of all.

Bidding Los Angeles adieu, we started (two only) on our journey to San Antonio, Texas, an item of 1,430 miles, mostly through a sandy desert, growing little but sage brush – extremely hot and dusty, especially one stretch which dips one hundred feet below sea level.

"BY MYSELF HAVE I SWORN."
What means the oath that God hath sworn?
Have Christians from their Bible torn
The great Jehovah's seal?
When Christ shall bring the world's reward,
Will not each tongue confess him Lord –
Each knee in homage kneel? – Psa. 82:8.

Will every kindred, every tribe,
To Him all majesty ascribe,
And glorify his name?
Yet while the nations bow so low,
Will vengeance hurl the bombs of woe,
To blast with endless shame? – Psa. 86:9.

Will God his lowly creatures cheat –
Or call the nations to his feet,
To feel a tyrant's rage?
Then will He scorn their prayerful breath –
Will nothing but a deathless (?) death
His stern revenge assuage? – Rev. 15:4.

What being do you worship then?
What unrelenting foe of men
Has chained you to his throne?
What form of error doth supply,
Your awful views of God Most High
To sacred truth unknown? – Mal. 1:11; Isa. 26:9.

Our God is love, of Gospel mould;
Who sent the Shepherd of the fold
To seek his sheep astray,
With yearning still His heart will burn,
Until the countless lost return,
To see the "Living Way." – Jno. 12:32; Rom. 8:21.

The love that brought salvation nigh,
Will heed the bruised sinner's sigh,
And soothe away his pain,
While "whosoever," great or small,
Upon Jehovah's name shall call,
Will never call in vain. – Acts 2:17 and 21; Rev. 22:17.

– G. M. BILLS.

[R3645 : page 309]

PAPAL ATTEMPTS AT REFORMATION.
"
B
ACK to the Gospels!" comes the cry from the Vatican, sounding the knell of Catholicism. After centuries of crafty misrepresentation of the Scriptural teachings, the Church of Rome has been forced to acknowledge the error of its ways, and at last a man has been found honest enough and of sufficient boldness of heart to say, "We have sinned; let us return to the truth." A Reformer in the Vatican! It is a difficult role to play. Will Pius X. be able to carry it through effectively?

Five centuries ago John Huss made the first attempt, in Germany, to bring about a reformation in the Catholic Church, but the time was not yet, and the priests were too strong for him. Despite the fact that he carried a safe-conduct, under the seal and hand of the German Emperor himself, for his journey to Constance, he was seized, condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake. A century later saw the rise of three mighty champions for Truth – Luther, Calvin and Zwingli – who successfully drew from the otherwise rotten body of the Almighty Church of the Middle Ages the only healthy elements therein, wherewith [R3646 : page 309] to build up the real Church of Christ. The rich priests and tyrannical nobles however, assisted by the cunning and unscrupulous Jesuits, tightened their hold upon the ignorant masses and wrapped the cloak of ignorance more closely around them. These brought a rich income to their worthy masters, who repaid them with adulterations of Christ's teachings suited to their vile purposes. The truths of the Gospels became hidden or utterly unrecognizable under the accumulated dogmas of centuries of Popery. The Council of Trent but added to the venerable collection of fraudulent misrepresentations, and even as late as the third quarter of last century the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope was promulgated afresh by the Council of the Vatican.

Even nature must suit herself to the Catholic dogmas. When Galileo discovered the rotation of the earth he naturally upset the Popedom, and was informed that he was wrong and must admit his mistake or__________! Galileo was not of the stuff of which martyrs are made, or it may be he was wise in his generation. He knew he was right, but he preferred a natural death, and he felt confident that the time would come when this scientific truth would be acknowledged in spite of the Pope and all his minions, so he acquiesced in the Papal fallacy. Nature, however, eventually triumphed, as Truth is now doing, and the Lion of Rome continues to retire beaten and cowed before a power too great even for its mighty strength.

From the many official booklets which have been published of late, and which have been directly inspired by the present Pope, it is easy to see that he, along with many of his high-placed followers, has come to the conclusion that some measure of reformation has become an urgent necessity within the Roman Catholic Church, otherwise the mighty edifice may totter to a fall. The [R3646 : page 310] direct reforms at which Pius X. aims may be summed up as follows: –

(1) To transform the religious cult into keeping with the sense of the true religion of Christ, insisting more upon the worship of the Redeemer and less upon that of the Virgin Mary, the saints, holy relics, etc.

(2) Complete reform, i.e., restriction and simplification, of the Papal Court.

(3) Restriction of the numbers of Orders, which now runs into hundreds, to about five or six; and purification of monastic and convent life, which at present teems with abuses.

(4) Modernization of the teaching of divinity in the Roman Catholic Colleges.

(5) Greater liberty to the Catholic scientist, and the prevention of rash condemnation, such as that experienced by the Abbe Loisy and others.

(6) Reform in the Papal diplomacy, and the foundation of a sound school of diplomatists.

(7) Reduction of the 264 Italian dioceses, with an equal number of bishops, to a reasonable number.

(8) Reform of the Congregations, which have not been altered since the time of Pope Sextus V.

(9) Thorough reform of the entire Roman Catholic religion, morally and intellectually!

(10) Formal renouncement of all claim to temporal power in Italy; and finally, in fact, a return of Catholicism to the Gospels!

Reform literature has been particularly in evidence throughout Italy of late, and the publication of pamphlets goes on continually. Bishop Bonnemelli of Cremona, for instance, has published a pastoral letter in book form, and with the full permission of the Pope, which may be taken as a typical example. Referring to the worship of the Virgin Mary, he says: "It shocks Christian feeling and common sense to see the Virgin Mary and many saints placed upon the same level as our Lord Jesus Christ." The Bishop then goes on to criticize the superstitious worship of Saint Antonius of Padua and the financial exploitation connected therewith. "Not only are there people who believe in him," he says, "but there are those who turn him to good business account, and also others who afford permission for the conduct of such transactions." Monsignor Bonomelli frankly admits that it is quite comprehensible to him that in Italy the educated classes – be they patricians, merchants or workers – do not desire any connection with the Roman Catholic Church. What an admission from a Catholic Bishop! And why is this? Simply because that religion represents a pot pourri of absurd ceremonies, customs, devotions, etc., which may have the effect of subduing the ignorant masses to due reverence and respect for their spiritual (?) guides, but offends the good sense of the educated and enlightened.

Since the above article was written, a Rome correspondent informs us that Pius X. has appointed a committee consisting of several Cardinals and Doctors of Catholic Divinity, to consider and decide upon the measures of reform to be adopted. The Intransigeants and Jesuits, continues the correspondent, are highly indignant at the lines of the policy taken up by the Pope, as they can see only too well that should the meditated reforms be carried out the knell of the priesthood's power is sounded, and their hitherto uncurbed license at an end. These latter views find strong confirmation in the fact that outside of Italy the Catholic priests are careful not to breathe a word of the movements, pregnant with meaning, which are going on in Papal circles, since they fear, and with good cause, that as soon as the Vatican announces that the dogmas hitherto propagated by them as Gospel truths are entirely wrong and merely the results of former abuses on the part of the clergy, people will immediately come to the conclusion that where so much is false it is useless to look for aught that savors of the truth, and will, in their disgust at the manner in which they have been misled, turn their thoughts towards the true faith and so swell the ranks of the Protestant believers.

The Bulwark.

*                         *                         *

But, alas! how few they will find of true Protestants – holding the Bible as God's inspired Word and protesting against the errors of the "dark ages." By that time "higher criticism" will have infidelity intrenched in pulpit and pew. But, God be praised, some are already seeing Present Truth.

[R3646 : page 310]

"BEAR YE ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS."
GALATIANS 6:2. –

T
HOSE WHO LOOK upon the Bible as a collection of moral precepts designed for the regulation of the world in general, are very far from the proper estimate of its object and scope; for the Bible is not addressed to the world at all. The whole book, from beginning to end, is the inheritance of the saints – "the sanctified in Christ Jesus." To them, all the apostolic epistles are addressed.

The book of Revelation is also similarly addressed. And the Apostle Peter, in referring to the prophecies of the Old Testament, says even of the prophets that "not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister." (1 Pet. 1:12. See also Dan. 12:4,8,9.) And the Apostle Paul says that "whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we [the sanctified in Christ Jesus] through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." (Rom. 15:4.) Consequently, all that was written aforetime by Moses and the prophets – whether of history or law or prophecy or type or precept – was designed specially for us who are in Christ, for the instruction and comfort of the children of God. And not one iota of it belongs to the unregenerate [R3646 : page 311] world. It is a "light which shineth in a dark place" to Christians: it is "a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path." And whatever light the worldly get from it, reaches them indirectly – as reflected from the children of God, who "shine as lights in the world." "Ye," said our Lord, "are the light of the world." – Phil. 2:15; Matt. 5:14.

The plan of God, once discerned, indirectly inculcates every principle of morality and virtue by showing just what God designs to have us do; by showing, first, how he created us perfect and glorious in his own image and designed us for everlasting life in the enjoyment of his favors; next, that everything in us which is short of that original perfection is due to sin and renders us unworthy of life. Then there is the recognition of sin; and thus the glorious plan for both our legal and our actual deliverance from sin and death is opened up, and the final restitution of all things is assured to the loyal and obedient sons of God; and all the necessary provisions thereto are made manifest.

As the plan is now clearly outlined we see how history and prophecy and type and law all minister to the one grand design of the Book of books, in which the reverent and careful student finds the highest incentive to purity and holiness, and the most perfect delineation of that praiseworthy character which he should seek to build up, and in contrast with which the deformity of every evil is manifest.

Among the instructions to the children of God is the one above cited – "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." The law of Christ we have seen to be the law of love: and Love says, "Bear ye one another's burdens." There are times in the experience of almost every one when the surges of trouble roll high, and the timid, shrinking soul is almost overwhelmed by them. And then how soothing is the sympathy and counsel of a fellow-member of the body of Christ! Worldly-minded friends may sympathize, but their counsel is almost sure to be wrong. Hence the [R3647 : page 311] necessity of fellowship in the body of Christ, and of disfellowship with the world.

It is not always necessary to tell one's sorrows and perplexities to another, and to have their sympathy and aid: in most cases they are better untold, except to the Lord. But Love's quick discernment is always watchful and ready with the word in season, the cordial friendliness and the helpful hand if need be, to help bear the burden.

There are various kinds of burdens to be borne: there are burdens of bereavement, of financial embarrassment, of business and family cares, of physical and mental suffering, of sudden disasters and great perplexities and anxieties; and there are burdens also of conscious sins. In all these, if we are diligently seeking to fulfil the law of Christ, we may be able to cheer and strengthen fellow-members of the body of Christ with sympathy and counsel, and such aid as may be most needful and timely.

But the Apostle calls particular attention to this last kind of burdens – burdens of sins – and counsels the exercise of this disposition specially in cases of acknowledged sin. We are all to remember our own liability to sin, and therefore to be patient and considerate with others when they are overtaken in a fault. Such patient, forbearing love is one of the most beautiful adornments of the Christian character.

In the body of Christ the various members have their various inherited weaknesses, against which they must wage a lifelong warfare; and these weaknesses are sometimes of such a nature as to interfere to some extent with the rights and comforts of others as well as of themselves. And just here the Apostle offers a word of counsel, saying, "We, then, that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." (Rom. 15:1,2.) This does not imply that we should not expostulate with such a one and endeavor to help him get rid of his infirmity. This we should do, in the spirit of meekness and kindness, while we patiently endure the trial of our patience, not seeking to please ourselves, but rather to help a weaker brother or sister. "Let every one of us," as the Apostle counsels, "please his neighbor [brother] for his good, to edification" – i.e., not by simply ignoring his fault as though you considered it all right, but, while kindly urging him to strive against it, still humbly and patiently submitting to the discomfort it brings to you.

If this spirit prevails, the Apostle further shows (1 Cor. 12:24-26), there need be no schism in the body; because the members all have a mutual care and a mutual love one for another – a care which seeks to encourage and strengthen all that is good and to discourage all that is unbecoming, and a love which throws its mantle over the deformity and endeavors to conceal a fault, rather than to expose the weaker brother to the reproach of others. Thus in the true body of Christ, which is knit together in love, if one member suffer, all the members suffer with him, in proportion as they are more or less directly associated with him; or, if one member be honored, all the members rejoice with him, and to some degree share the honor; just as when in an earthly family one member rises to honorable distinction all the members partake of the honor and the joy.

For such self-sacrificing love how necessary is the spirit of humility and gentleness and patience and faith! How forceful are the Master's words, "Except ye be converted [from the spirit of the world to the spirit of Christ] and become as little children [in meekness and teachableness], ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." – Matt. 18:1-6.

And again says the Master, "Whoso shall receive one such little child [one such humble, teachable child of God] in my name receiveth me." Let us, therefore, be in haste to receive and to heartily fellowship every such one.

And here he adds a caution which all would do well to heed, saying, "But whosoever shall ensnare one of the least of these who believe in me, it would be better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were sunk in the depth of the sea." With what carefulness, then, should we regard one another.

Dearly beloved, bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ – the law of love; and so bind up the body of Christ that there be no schism in the body, but that it be more and more knit together in love. Let this blessed law of Christ rule more fully in all who have taken, by consecration, the name of Christ: and let its hallowed influence shine out upon the world, showing them how it brings peace and harmony and [R3647 : page 312] happiness – how it makes more tender and devoted wives, more noble and good and kind husbands, more loyal and loving children, more kind and good neighbors; and how it puts oil upon all the troubled waters of present experience and prepares the heart for the enjoyment of all the fruits of righteousness.

[R3647 : page 312]

"PAY THY VOWS UNTO THE MOST HIGH."
T
HE FIFTIETH PSALM furnishes food for most profitable meditation to the consecrated. It starts with a precious reminder of the glory that is shortly to be revealed in and through the faithful. Taking the standpoint of the Church's future completeness and glory, it says (verse 1): "The mighty God, even Jehovah, speaketh [through the glorified Church, the Christ, Head and body], and calleth the earth from the rising of the Sun ["the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in his wings" – Mal. 4:2] unto the going down thereof" [i.e., from the beginning to the close of the Millennial day, Jehovah, through his Anointed, will be calling the earth to repentance and to righteousness and eternal life.]

Verse 2. "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty [out of the Church exalted and glorified], God shineth forth [his glorious character and plan are made known]."

But verse 3 reminds us that that time is yet future, and begins to describe the coming of the Lord, while the following verses discourse as to the first work of his presence.

Verse 3. "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire ["the fire of his jealousy"] shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him." It will be the tempest of the great time of trouble so often and so variously and vividly described elsewhere.

Verse 4. "He shall call to the heavens above, and to the earth, to judge his people." In this time of the Lord's presence and the harvest of the Gospel age, all who claim to be his people – i.e., all "Christendom," Christ's kingdom, falsely so-called, or "Babylon," as named in the Scriptures (Rev. 16:19) – are brought into judgment before the assembled hosts of heaven and earth – angels and men. Already this judgment of "Christendom," "Babylon," is in progress: hence the late overhauling and revision of the hitherto accepted and unquestioned creeds of its various sects. And hence, too, the unsparing criticism of nominal Christianity by the world at large, in the secular press, etc., calling attention to its traditional errors, and to its untenable positions. It is now recognized as a self-contradictory mouthpiece of God.

Verse 5 is the command of the now present Lord of the harvest to the reapers, to separate the true wheat from the great bundles of tares in Babylon – "Gather my saints together unto me: those that have made a covenant with me [not merely by the lips, but] by [actual] sacrifice" – those who have faithfully carried out the solemn covenant of entire devotedness to the Lord.

Verse 6. "And the heavens shall declare his righteousness; for God himself is judge." In that judgment which heaven and earth are called upon to witness, and which shall closely discriminate between the wheat and the tares, and effectually separate them, "the heavens [the Kingdom of God which will be established as the outcome of this judgment] shall declare his [God's] righteousness; for God himself [who cannot err] is [the] Judge."

The following verses of the chapter sum up charges brought against God's nominal people, while verses 14,15,22 and 23 interpose a word of wise counsel for those who will receive it.

Verses 7 and 8. "Hear, O my people [ye who claim to be my people by a solemn covenant], and I will speak: O Israel [nominal spiritual Israel], and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. Not because of thy sacrifices will I reprove thee; and thy burnt offerings [free-will offerings, such as benevolent works, etc.] are continually before me." But such works cannot commend them to God in that day of judgment; for, said Jesus, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? and then will I say unto them, I never knew [approved] you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:22,23.) These have been "false prophets" (Matt. 7:15), "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt. 15:9.) For their own erroneous theories they have claimed divine authority; and though in going about to establish their own righteousness they have done "many wonderful works," those works are not acceptable to God, because they have not submitted themselves to his plans and methods.

Verses 9-13 declare God's independence of their works, and intimate his perfect ability to accomplish the blessing of the world according to his own plan without their assistance. "I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds; for every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell thee; for the world is mine and the fulness thereof. [R3648 : page 312] Will I eat flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?" – Am I in need of your wisdom or works, or in any way dependent upon your gifts? No – "Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High." (Verse 14.) What have any of us to offer unto the Lord that we did not first receive from him, and that should not, therefore, be thankfully received and used according to the directions of his plan? And this is what all who have consecrated themselves to God have covenanted to do. It is, therefore, obligatory upon all such that they pay their vows, fulfil their covenant unto the Most High.

True, in the faithful fulfilling of a covenant of entire consecration to God there is much to endure in the way of reproach and persecution from the world (2 Tim. 3:12); but to such the Lord through the Prophet (verse 15) says, "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou [by thy testimony and faithfulness] shalt glorify me."

Verses 16,17. "But unto the wicked God saith" [The wicked here referred to are not people of the world; for, according to verse 7, this testimony is borne against those who claim to be the Lord's people, and members of the spiritual house of Israel. These "wicked" are the covenant-breakers among those who still claim to be [R3648 : page 313] faithful people of God.] – unto these God saith, "What hast thou to do to declare my statutes [decrees, doctrines] or that thou shouldest take my covenant into thy mouth? seeing thou hatest instruction and castest my words behind thee." The Lord will not hold them guiltless who, professing entire consecration to him, nevertheless despise instruction and cast his words behind them while they cling to their own traditions and theories; "For," says the Apostle, "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold down [Greek katecho – hold down or suppress] the truth in unrighteousness." (Rom. 1:18.) This is what the various ecclesiastical systems of Great Babylon have been guilty of for centuries past: they have taught their own false doctrines and have claimed for them the divine authority of the Word of God. In doing so they have unjustly suppressed the truth: they have hated instruction and have cast the words of the Lord behind them whenever the latter were brought forward to testify against them or their plans.

What right, the Prophet inquires, have such covenant-breakers to declare the plan of God? None whatever. Such unfaithful and "wicked and slothful" servants are hindered by their errors from seeing truths now due. Having been unfaithful to the measure of truth received, they are not permitted to know, and hence cannot declare, the deeper things of God – the breadth and scope of his wonderful plan. "Light is sown for the righteous" who faithfully and thankfully receive and disseminate it, "and gladness [the gladness which comes from a realization of the truth] for the upright in heart." – Psa. 97:11.

But the testimony against this class proceeds – verse 18 – "When thou sawest a thief [one desirous of robbing God's children of the truth], then thou consentedst with him." All who do not guard the truth and the flock of God against the encroachment of error, who bid false teachers God-speed, or who commend wolves in sheep's clothing to the Lord's little ones, are, according to the Prophet's language, wickedly consenting with thieves and robbers. And not only so, but he continues – "and hast been partaker with adulterers." Such a compromise with the spirit of the world is, in the language of the Scriptures, defined as adultery. For this reason Babylon the Great (Papacy) is termed a harlot, and the mother of harlots (of the various similar systems that sprang from her); and the principle holds good in every case where unfaithful covenant-breakers consent to any degree with the thieves and robbers who plot and scheme against the truth.

Verse 19. "Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit." Such is the course of all who in unrighteousness suppress the truth and go about to establish their own righteousness and their own plans.

Verse 20. "Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son." The unfaithful always take the attitude of persecutors, to some degree, of the faithful. Such is the attitude of the whole nominal church against those faithful servants who receive and advocate the truth.

Verse 21. "These things hast thou done ["Babylon," "Christendom," the great nominal church], and I kept silence: [up to the present time, the harvest; and because I kept silence and permitted this evil to run and prosper] thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself [that I was consenting with thee to thy evil ways]; but [not so; for a purpose I permitted you to run your course and to make your real character manifest; but now, in this harvest and judgment time] I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes." Hence the present investigations and exposures of creeds, and the growing unrest in the various sects of "Christendom."

Verses 22,23. "Now consider this [reproof], ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces [destroy you], and there be none to deliver.

"Whoso offereth thanksgiving [thankfully receives the reproof and applies his heart unto instruction] glorifieth me [or honors me, as a faithful and consistent believer and representative of the truth]; and to him that ordereth his course aright [that conforms his life and teaching to the light received] will I show the salvation of God."

How solemn and weighty the admonition, and how worthy of the most thoughtful and prayerful consideration of all who name the name of Christ! The day of reckoning is upon the Church – upon all who profess to be members of it: "The hour of his judgment is come." Who is worthy to stand? Only those who gratefully receive the message of divine truth, and who faithfully pay their vows to the Most High.

[R3648 : page 313]

REBUILDING THE TEMPLE.
EZRA 3:10-4:5. – OCTOBER 22. –

Golden Text: – "The Temple of God is holy, which Temple ye are." – 1 Cor. 3:17.

L
OYALTY to the Lord, and faith in his promises, are costly. The Lord has so arranged the matter, to the intent that only those who are willing to pay the price may enjoy these blessings. Only the faithful and the obedient are willing to pay the price. Thus the Lord proves his people, separating the merely nominal believers from the true, selecting to himself his "jewels," his "peculiar people."

This principle applied to the Jews who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon captivity, in response to the Lord's provision through the proclamation of King Cyrus. Out of the great hosts of that nation carried captive – first the ten tribes, and later the two tribes – there were only Forty-two Thousand Three Hundred Sixty (42,360) of the proper faith in God and the Abrahamic promise, and of the proper zeal and courage, etc., ready to respond. The remainder of the nation had become so comfortably settled in Babylon, socially and financially, that their interests in these things outweighed their faith in the Abrahamic promise. Thus God sifted the nation, and in this motley group from all the tribes he had the jewel class – the very best and most loyal part of all the seed of Abraham. As the Apostle explains in respect to the elect Church in this gospel age, so we might say of these Jews returning from Babylonian exile, that there were not many of them [R3648 : page 314] great, or wise, or learned, or noble, according to the course and wisdom of this world.

HOPES DEFERRED. TRIALS MANY.

Nor had their trials ceased with the surrender of brighter prospects in Babylonia. They left their friends in Babylon, full of zeal, and to some extent admired by their more worldly-wise compatriots, who preferred to remain in the foreign land. The escort granted them by the king, the presents of money, and the costly vessels of the temple service, were with them, and their hopes ran high as they began their journey of nearly 800 miles, about the distance from Philadelphia to Chicago. According to tradition, they must have been about four months travelling, whereas an express train in our day would make the distance in seventeen hours.

The toilsome journey ended, they finally rested at Jerusalem, only to find still greater discouragements. But a very few of them had ever seen the place before, and those few had seen through the eyes of childhood, for the city had lain desolate, according to the Word of the Lord, for seventy years. (2 Chron. 36:21.) The wall and the temple had been demolished by Nebuchadnezzar's orders, and many of the private residences were also left in ruins, and now for seventy years of such desolations, "without inhabitant," the place was a wilderness. Trees were growing in what formerly were streets. Everything was disorder. Any other class than those full of faith and zeal, as these were, would have been utterly discouraged. We are to remember that the Lord thus tries our courage, and faith and zeal, not to destroy these qualities, but to deepen and fix them – to establish us, to develop us in character. As with the typical Israelites there, so it is now with the spiritual Israelites – all such trying experiences, under divine providence, will work out to our advantage if we will but persevere in our faith, and love, and zeal. [R3649 : page 314]

It required more than a year to put themselves in reasonable condition for living, and then their attention turned to the rebuilding of the temple. That they should have begun so soon to think of the house of the Lord speaks well of their spiritual condition. It is at this point that our lesson properly begins, describing the laying of the foundation of the temple, and the priests and the Levites, appropriately robed, making a joyful noise before the Lord, as representing the faith and confidence of the people in the precious promises associated with that temple and with that city. Alas, poor Jews! we sympathize with them greatly as we remember that as a nation they clung to those Abrahamic promises for over 1,600 years, and yet finally rejected the Prince of life, and in consequence were left desolate, as a house, or nation. The Apostle remarks, concerning their faith in the Abrahamic promise, "unto which promise our twelve tribes instantly serving God hope to come."

How glad we are for the poor Jews that although Israel hath not obtained the chiefest favor, but only the "elect" have obtained it, while the rest were blinded, nevertheless God's mercy and favor still have them in mind, and assure us that they shall obtain mercy through our mercy, shortly – that the blindness that has been on Israel, during the selection of Spiritual Israel, will surely pass away, furnishing them the chief opportunity for reconciliation to God, under the New Covenant provisions of the Millennial age. – Heb. 8:10-12.

A NEW SONG IN MY MOUTH.

As with the mind's eye we see those poor but faithful Israelites, out of all the tribes, praising God as they laid the foundation of the Temple, it suggests to us how much more the spiritual Israelites who have returned from mystic Babylon should shout and sing the praises of our King from our higher standpoint of knowledge and appreciation of his grace and truth. Speaking of us, the spiritual Israelites, the Prophet declares, "Thou hast put a new song into my mouth, even the loving-kindness of our God." All spiritual Israelites, who are in the right attitude of heart toward the Lord, are full of songs of gratitude and praise – not always audibly, however, for many can best sing and make melody in their hearts unto the Lord; and indeed the Psalm of Life, which each of the Lord's followers declares in actions and words to those about him, is the best testimony, the best praise we can raise, more to the glory of our King than any others.

If the Israelites who remained in Babylon, whose faith and courage were insufficient, could have witnessed the scene at a distance, they doubtless would have shouted for joy, that they had not undertaken such a pilgrimage and such a work of restoration; but as Paul and Silas could sing in the prison, with their backs bleeding from the cruel lash, while others enjoying every luxury of life in the same city were miserable, so it was with those returned Israelites. Full of faith and hope, they were also filled with joy as they looked forward in prospect for still further favors from the Lord, in harmony with his glorious promises. And so it is with the Lord's people to-day: our rejoicing is not because of temporal favors and advantages and privileges, but on account of those joys which are ours through faith and hope, inspired by the divine promises – the culmination of the same promises for which the natural Israelites were aspiring, and which are secured to us through the great Jew of the seed of Abraham, our Redeemer, our Bridegroom.

The shouts were discordant – some of joy, some of weeping. Those who looked forward in hope shouted for joy. Those who looked backward, and pictured before their minds Solomon's grand Temple, wept as they thought of the insignificance of the present one in comparison. And so to-day among spiritual Israelites, there are some who weep for the past, when they should be rejoicing for the future. The Apostle exhorts us to "forget the things which are behind, and to press forward to the things which are before." The lessons we learn from past experiences, even from adverse experiences, while they should be kept in memory, need not be mourned over by spiritual Israelites, for they can call to mind that the merit of Christ's sacrifice covers all of their unwilling blemishes and mistakes. Carrying with them their experiences they should press forward to fresh victories and fresh joys in the Lord.

"FIRST PURE, THEN PEACEABLE."

We are to remember that these 42,000 people, about 35,000 of whom are supposed to have belonged to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and Levi, and about 11,000 from the other nine tribes, occupied only a small district in Palestine, about twenty-five miles square, Jerusalem being the center. The remainder of the territory of Palestine was more or less settled by immigrants. The king of Babylon followed the practice of moving the [R3649 : page 315] captives from one nation into the territory of another, so that their old associations being broken up they would be more dependent upon the Babylonian government and lose their own natural traits. These people of various nationalities that had settled in Palestine had acquired some of the traditions of the land and its religious customs, and in our Lord's day, 566 years later, they were known as the Samaritans. Of them our Lord said, "Ye believe ye know not what; we know what we believe, for salvation is of the Jews." Respecting the same people, we remember our Lord's commandments as he sent forth the twelve apostles and later also the seventy disciples to proclaim him, he said, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." – Matt. 10:5,6.

These mixed peoples, whom we will for convenience call Samaritans, paid little attention to the Jews returned from Babylon until they heard of their project of rebuilding the Temple on its own site, the consecrated site, for it is supposed that Abraham's typical offering of Isaac was made upon this very "dome of the rock" upon which the Temple was built, a rock that to this day is held sacred by Musselmans, Jews and Christians. The Samaritans had been unneighborly up to this time, but now seemed to catch an inspiration from this Temple building as they remembered the ancient glories of the nation of this land, whose great king Solomon had built the first Temple. Ceasing to act as enemies, the Samaritans proffered their assistance in the building of the Temple. We cannot doubt that they were sincere in this proposition, and that really their religious fervor impelled them to make it.

Many commentators think the Israelites made a great mistake in rejecting their aid and declining to affiliate with them. But such commentators are evidently in error, since our Lord Jesus by his conduct and words fully substantiated the thought that the Samaritans had nothing whatever to do with the true Temple and its building. God had been sifting the true seed of Abraham to select from it the faithful few, and now to have invited the Samaritans to come in and join them in the Temple building and Temple services would have been to bring in a semi-heathen mixture, which the Lord did not desire. Why the Lord did not desire it can be seen only from the one standpoint – not that it was his wish to send those Samaritans to eternal torment, nor that he wished to destroy them in the Second Death, but that he has for future development a great plan of salvation which will affect every nation, people, kindred and tongue, including these Samaritans. In the interim he wished to develop the typical seed of Abraham, and subsequently the spiritual seed of Abraham, to be his agents and representatives in conferring his blessings upon all nations.

"WHICH TEMPLE YE ARE."

We find the same thought abroad to-day, troubling those who have come out of Babylon, and who are wishing to build the true Temple of God referred to in our golden text – the holy temple, the antitypical temple, "which temple ye are." The foundations of our temple were laid at Pentecost, under apparently very unfavorable conditions from the world's standpoint – a dead leader, and a handful of a few hundred disciples scattered and considerably discouraged. Nevertheless, those who recognize the Lord's hand in the matter see things differently: with the eye of faith they discern in Jesus the great rock of our Salvation typified by the "rock of the dome," the top of Mt. Zion, on which the altar of sacrifice stood. The same eye of faith now discerns that the twelve apostles are the foundation stones of divine appointment, built upon the rock Christ Jesus; and that upon the ministries of those appointed representatives of Christ, a glorious church, a glorious temple of the Lord is being erected. Those who then had the eye of faith shouted for joy, and all who since possess the same spiritual vision rejoice in the greater work which the Lord is accomplishing, as they see the preparation now of the "living stones," which, by and by, in the first resurrection, shall be brought together complete as the glorious temple of God, in and through which all the families of the earth may have intercourse with God to their blessing.

There are numerous "Samaritans" to-day who have neither part nor lot in this great temple and its construction. These Samaritans are found in churches of nearly all denominations, men and women of good character and of religious inclinations. Some of them are "good Samaritans," ready to relieve the sick, the indigent. Worldly wisdom says that these should all be recognized as "Israelites indeed," even though they be not fully consecrated to the Lord to do his will. Many are inclined to upbraid us now, as they upbraided the natural Israelites, for refusing the fellowship and cooperation of the Samaritans of their day.

ONLY ONE NARROW WAY.

There is but one course for the Lord's people to follow: they should appreciate whatever is good in these their neighbors and friends, they should deal justly and kindly with them, but they should remember that as [R3650 : page 315] oil and water will not mix, so likewise there cannot be any real union between the consecrated and the unconsecrated in respect to their religious views and their endeavors to cooperate in the divine service. Their standpoints are opposite, affiliations are injurious to both parties. If the spiritually begotten ones, the Israelites indeed, attempt to meet the ideas of the Samaritan class, they will be compromising their own covenant with the Lord. Likewise, if the Samaritan class or the churchianity class of our day be encouraged to affiliate with the consecrated, it will injure them in that it will deceive them into thinking that they have become joint-heirs in the divine promises; whereas none can inherit under those promises except through faith in the Redeemer, circumcision in the heart, and a full consecration unto the death. Such only become regularly and legitimately Israelites indeed, probationary members of the "very elect" Church.

When their cooperation in temple building, etc., was declined, the Samaritans became the bitter opponents of the Jews, whom they, no doubt, described as bigoted. Consistently with their views of the subject they did all in their power, politically and otherwise, to hinder the temple building, and thus the trials and difficulties of the servants of God were greatly increased and multiplied.

So it is to-day. Those who are faithful to the Lord, "the people who do know their God," are esteemed to be religious bigots and fanatics by some of the respectable [R3650 : page 316] of churchianity, who, in harmony with their erroneous conceptions of the situation, are doing all in their power to hinder us in the great work of this Gospel age, the preparation of the living stones of this Temple. We need to understand the situation properly, otherwise we would soon be discouraged, and think of God as being against us because he permits such opposition. But with the right view of things before our minds we may realize that all the oppositions of churchianity are really beneficial to us, helpful in that they serve to do the chiseling and polishing of our characters, necessary to fit and prepare us for honorable stations in the temple of glory soon to be completed. One thought not to be lost sight of is, that in the Lord's arrangement we are the stones, he the master workman – and all the trials and difficulties and oppositions and perplexities and disappointments of our experience are the chisels and the wheels and the emery-sand for our preparation. From this standpoint only are we able to follow the Apostle's advice to rejoice in tribulations also.

[R3650 : page 316]

"BY MY SPIRIT, SAITH THE LORD."
ZECHARIAH 4:1-10. – OCTOBER 29. –

Golden Text: – "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord."

Z
ECHARIAH prophesied during the period of the rebuilding of the Temple. In our last lesson we noted the beginning of the work in the laying of the foundations, and that this corresponds with the establishment of the Gospel Church at Pentecost. The joy and zeal associated with the founding of the Temple was followed by a period of slackness, the result of the opposition of the Samaritan neighbors, who employed their every art to discourage the builders and to cause an interruption of the work. As a result several years elapsed before the structure was finally completed.

Just so, after the founding of the Church by our Lord and the apostles, and the great season of refreshing associated therewith, there came a period of fierce opposition and persecution from Satan and his blinded servants. As a consequence of this opposition very little was done for centuries upon the building up of the Church – the preparation of the living stones; yet finally, with the Lord's assistances and encouragements through the Reformation movement, etc., the work of collecting the living stones has progressed, and now we are in the time when the Temple of the Lord is nearly complete – the spiritual Temple which, when completed, will receive its top-stones in the sense of being brought directly in contact with and under the guidance of the glorified Lord, who is the capstone of the spiritual pyramid – his Church.

Haggai's prophecies were delivered to Israel about the time of their return from the captivity, and therefore at the time of the founding of the Temple, the prophet at this time being advanced in years. Zechariah, a younger prophet, was raised up by the Lord at this time, and other messages were sent to the discouraged Israelites to show them that they must not expect great national prosperity at the time, but that nevertheless the Lord was with them, and that going on faithfully in an apparently small, insignificant matter, they would be accomplishing his purposes. This corresponds in some degree with the messages which have come to the Lord's people since the time of Wycliffe, and which have led to the Reformation movement in its various aspects, and incidentally to the development and preparation of the various living stones of the glorious Temple.

PROPHETS TO BOTH ISRAELS.

Our lesson treats of these visions given to Zechariah and related by him to the people, which served to encourage them to proceed with the work. They were not spiritual Israelites, neither was the Temple they were constructing the true, glorious Temple of the Lord. Those were only the types – the better things, the antitypes, are ours. Nevertheless they got a blessing in connection with the types as we get still greater blessings in connection with the antitypes, and the same messages which mean so much for us meant a great deal to them, though they did not understand them so clearly.

For instance, this prophecy respecting the Golden Candlestick, etc., to natural Israel at that time was properly understood to mean that they were to be God's light-bearers amongst all the nations of the world, and that God himself would see to the supply of light which they would shed forth. And all that was true of natural Israel for centuries; they were God's light-bearing nation, and undoubtedly their influence in the world hindered a greater degradation than might otherwise have occurred. The nations furthest away from them and the light which God placed in them and which shone out from them were the nations which became the most degraded, while the nations nearest them and their light were the nations which went downward least rapidly. Assuredly, however, it was not intended that they should understand the full meaning of this prophecy, and the prophet himself did not understand its full meaning.

The Apostle Peter explains the situation to us when he says, "Holy men of old spoke as moved by the holy Spirit." And yet he proceeds to say, The things which they uttered were not for themselves but for us upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Cor. 10:11; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; 2 Pet. 1:21.) The prophets spoke and wrote mechanically, as they were moved by the holy Spirit. They saw some meaning, some significance of the things they wrote and spoke, but not the true, the deep significations, which were not then due to be understood. Only since the true Temple began to be built at Pentecost, only since the anointing of the holy Spirit came upon the spiritual household, the body of Christ, has it been possible for any to enter into the real spirit, thought, intention of the divine purpose as expressed in this and in other prophecies.

THE GOLDEN LAMPSTAND.

The Golden Candlestick, or, more properly, lampstand, was an important feature in connection with the Tabernacle services and subsequently with the Temple services. It was the light in the Holy as the Shekinah glory was the light in the Most Holy. We may gain an accurate conception of the appearance of this golden [R3650 : page 317] lampstand from the arch of Titus at Rome. Titus was the Roman general whose army destroyed Jerusalem A.D. 69. Amongst the spoils of the city which he carried away with him was the golden lampstand from the Temple. The arch in Rome was built as a memorial to that victory. It still stands, though somewhat dilapidated, and chiseled in it are representations of Hebrew captives bearing the trophies of war. Amongst these trophies the golden candlestick is represented. The cut herewith produced well represents it.

The golden candlestick shown to Zechariah in this vision differed from the one in the Temple and in the Tabernacle in that it had a special bowl as an oil reservoir and pipes leading from the bowl to two olive trees, one on each side of it, the oil being thus represented as flowing from the tree to the lamp and thus perpetually supplying a light. We remember that similarly, in his last great message to the Church, our Lord pictures seven golden candlesticks or lampstands separated from one another, and explains that these represented the seven stages or epochs of the Church symbolized by the seven congregations of Asia. The seven lampstands united in one represented, therefore, the Church as a whole from first to last, its every member complete, the number seven representing completeness.

We are not to think of this lampstand as representing the Church in the future state of glory, giving light to the world. No! Thank God! The future glory is represented otherwise as the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in its beams, and we are particularly told that the Church will constitute with her Lord that Sun of Righteousness, which shall bless the world and heal its sin-sickness. – Matt. 13:43. [R3651 : page 317]

"LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE."

In applying this lesson, then, we should recognize that it relates to the Church as a whole during this Gospel age, during the time when the preparation of the living stones for the Temple is in progress. The lesson to us is that God is supplying to us the light amidst the surrounding darkness of the world – the light of truth, the light of the holy Spirit. Nevertheless, God is pleased to supply this light through peaceable agencies represented by the two olive trees, which we understand to symbolize the Old and the New Testaments. From these two sources of instruction the Lord's Church is to be filled with his spirit and to shine as lights in the world in the midst of darkness, in the midst of crooked and perverse peoples. From this standpoint they are not to expect that their success in the building of the Temple will be in the nature of worldly success. They are rather to expect that the Lord will furnish them with this supply of oil and light because they are his people and because they are doing the work, and they are thus to be assured of its ultimate accomplishment no matter how or what agencies are in opposition. "Greater is he that is for us than all they that be against us."

Zerubbabel was one of the princes amongst the people of the line of David, and therefore represented the kingdom hopes of the people. His name implies alienation from Babylon. He also represented our Lord Jesus, the prince of the house of David, whose Kingdom is ultimately to be established in the whole earth for the blessing and enlightenment of all, but who for a time was to be unrecognized by the world. The message given to Zerubbabel, therefore, in a general way applies to Jesus the Head of the Church and to all the members of his body, and particularly to all who are his representatives in the Church in the capacity of teachers, elders, etc.

HE SHALL NOT FAIL NOR BE DISCOURAGED.

We are reminded here of another statement applicable to our Lord, "He shall not fail nor be discouraged until he have set judgment in the earth." (Isa. 42:4.) The message here to the Zerubbabel class is to encourage the work, that the Temple must be built, that it shall be built, and that ultimately great blessings shall flow to all people through it. The message reads: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." The implication is that the Lord's Church is not to be established through Crusades, nor through mighty organizations combining with worldly systems and powers, nor by unions of wealthy sects. These all build along different lines. The Temple which the Lord is building is to have a beauty, an honor, a dignity, not in its construction, nor in the value of its stones, but by reason of its completion and of its then being filled with the glory of the Lord – in the first resurrection.

The oppositions of the surrounding neighbors and the difficulties which they put in the way of the building of the Temple must have seemed to the people of that time like an impassable mountain before them blocking their way. And so throughout the Gospel age the various agencies of evil, the civil power and subsequently the ecclesiastical and civil powers in combination, have seemed to have thoroughly blocked the way for the development of the living stones for the Kingdom. From the human standpoint, discerning the class which the Lord is selecting, all the outward circumstances have been unfavorable. The prosperity of Churchianity has meant the hindrance of the truth, the hiding of it under forms and ceremonies and creeds, until those who fear the Lord and who speak often together have wondered why the Lord has permitted such great obstacles in the way of finding the very elect and building them up in the most holy faith. And when the power and strength of present institutions are considered we may well ask, Where will the Lord's little flock be found? how will they ever be glorified? and how can they eventually take possession of the Kingdom under the whole heavens?

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE ZERUBBABEL CLASS.

The message here through the prophet is intended to encourage the Zerubbabel class, representative of all those who are co-laborers with the Lord in the building of his Temple, in the preparation of the stones. The assurance is that however great and formidable the opposition, the apparent mountains of difficulty shall disappear. What we need is faith in the Lord that he is carrying out his work and that ultimately all his good purposes shall be accomplished. Instead of mountains before us shall be a plain, and ultimately God will bring forth the headstone, the capstone, to the great complete Church, and Head and body together shall be glorified, and then will be the shoutings of Grace, grace unto it! God's favor upon it! Then the Shekinah glory shall fill the Temple, every member, every stone, shall be glorified, made partaker of the divine nature, and be fully qualified to carry out all the gracious purposes of our God. [R3651 : page 318]

The message adds that as Zerubbabel laid the foundations of the house, he also would complete it, and the message to us is that as our Lord Jesus was the Father's representative and founded the house of sons at Pentecost, so in due time he will complete the work and it will be completed along present lines, not by power of men nor by the might of men, nor by the riches of the world, but by the Lord's spirit, seeking those who are his and operating in them through the Word to the chiseling and polishing, the shaping and preparing, of them for the glorious positions they are to occupy. He who began the good work in us is able and willing to complete it unto the day of Jesus Christ. – Phil. 1:6.

A DAY OF SMALL THINGS.

To the Jews returned from Babylon the effort to build the house of the Lord and the materials with which they worked all seemed insignificant and poor and unlikely to result in anything great or glorious or lasting. And so with us who now are free from Babylon and who are seeking to be built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the present time seems a day of small things; not many great, not many wise, not many learned are to be found amongst the living stones, but the Lord knoweth them that are his, and our confidence is to be in him. If we despise not these small things we shall ultimately rejoice. We are to recognize the plummet in the hands of the Lord, squaring, straightening, proving, testing, not only our faith but also our characters. We are to recognize that only those who will stand the testing of the Lord shall ultimately constitute the living stones in this glorious Temple. We are to recognize also that the eyes of the Lord are upon all his people and upon all their interests, to note their tears and their joys, their trials and difficulties and their prosperity, to care for all their interests.

In this symbolical picture the eye of the Lord is represented as seven or complete all-seeing, everywhere, all-knowing. This is our confidence, this is our rejoicing. Let us then in our double capacity not only be conformed to the plummet line, to all the elements of justice and truth and righteousness and love, but let us also, as associated with our Lord in the work of upbuilding the Church, build one another up in the most holy faith. Let us use the plummet with love, with kindness, and let us encourage one another with the assurance that ultimately the glorious plan of the Lord shall be accomplished through the small things, the mean things, the insignificant things of the world, the little flock whom he is choosing to be his agents and representatives in the great and glorious work which is to follow. Let us accordingly seek to be more and more filled with the spirit. Let us remember that we are the golden candlestick of the Lord, to shed the light abroad in the present time, whether men will heed or whether they will forbear.

Indeed we have the Lord's assurance that the darkness hateth the light, and that therefore the world will not love or appreciate the efforts, even though they may recognize them as being in many respects good and proper. It is ours not to please the world but to please the Lord, and in order to please him we must let our lights shine out. "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." But we cannot as the Lord's Church in the world let our lights shine out unless we have the oil, unless we have his spirit, and we cannot have the oil, the spirit of the Lord, except as we receive it from his appointed channels or agencies; and we are to recognize that not the wisdom or learning of men is our supply, and not our own wisdom, not the wisdom of this world, but the wisdom from above, which is supplied to us through the two olive trees – the Old Testament, with its glorious prophecies and symbols and instructions and types – the New Testament, with its explanations and assistances and encouragements and exhortations and promises.

"A voice once still and small
Rose sweetly on the ear;
With love so clear and full, that all
In heaven and earth might hear.

"It spoke of peace, it spoke of love,
It spoke as angels speak above;
And God himself was heard.
For oh, it was the Father's voice
That bade his trembling world rejoice."

page 318

ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Every day, and day by day, we have increasing reason for rejoicing that by God's abounding grace we – even we – are in the Light. In reading over "Encouraging Words From Faithful Workers," I am forcibly struck with what seems to be a common source of wonder, to wit: That this astonishing favor is bestowed upon me – "even me!" It is well that we realize our personal unworthiness, but how often, oh, how often, do I have to hold up before the Adversary, when he would overwhelm me with this thought with respect to myself, the assurance of our great Apostle in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, 1st chapter, 26-29 verses.

It would require many pages on which to jot down the particular items of advantage which those who are in the light of Present Truth possess in reading God's Word. Let me refer to one – the understanding of terms, or perhaps 'twere better to say expressions used by the inspired writers. How often we find the expression "That Day;" "In that Day;" and in former times we remember how vague and undefined was our understanding of the "Day" referred to. But now we know its full meaning and we know that we have at last really entered that heretofore mystic period; we are now living – actually living in "That Day," the "great and notable day of the Lord." A day of rejoicing to the Church; of sorrow and anguish to the careless and indifferent world. How more and more we realize the blessedness of those who hunger for Truth. It was the eagle eye and appetite (See Vol. VI., p.610) that led us to the feast, and it is that that enables us to instantly detect the "tid bits" which are here and there dropped for our sustenance along the "solitary way." – Psa. 107:4.

For the edification of all who have been firmly placed upon the rock of God's eternal Truth, through the MILLENNIAL DAWNS, by a clear understanding of His Wonderful Plan of the Ages, I refer to one morsel at which I almost held my breath when I noted it, because I could almost fancy I could hear the voice of our Lord quickly whispering the message to me. Without doubt it is slipped in parenthetically, like some verses in Daniel's prophecy, meant not for the careless or indifferent reader, who really would not understand it, but for the eye which God knew would detect page 319 it, appreciate it and pass it around. I refer to Proverbs 22:17-21. All the chapter up to the 17th verse is proverbs pure and simple, and from the 21st to close of chapter the same; but in these verses there is not the sign of a proverb.

In joy, love and consecration, I am,

Your brother,
EMORY A. SADDLER, – O.

DEAR SIRS:

Kindly mail to above address a sample copy of ZION'S WATCH TOWER, and a list of the MILLENNIAL DAWN publications. I have one copy, "The Divine Plan of the Ages," which came to my hand accidentally, to all appearances, but I shall always look upon it as being sent to me from God. I was wandering in a sea of doubt – feeling that I MUST have something more to satisfy me than I heard in the sermons from Sabbath to Sabbath. The book was in my home for some time before I paid any attention to it beyond merely glancing in it and deciding it was not interesting. My brother, the Rev. W__________., B.A., B.D. (at present in Yale University – recent winner of a scholarship and elected Fellow of Yale College for the year), picked up the book, and after glancing at it asked where I got it. I said my husband bought it from a traveling agent. "Well," he remarked, "I wouldn't advise you to read it." This aroused my curiosity and I decided to read it at once – which I did. I have since read it many, many times finding new beauties, and fresh comfort in every reading. My brother is an advanced theologian, and would no doubt think I was a mild lunatic if he knew how thoroughly I agree with the views taken by Mr. Russell.

Yours sincerely,
__________, Canada.

MY DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: –

I have no doubt but that a report of the following experience will interest you. I have come to this city to attend the N.O.A. meeting, and came in advance to build up a clinic. In order to accomplish this I sent a letter to all the ministers of the city, inviting them to send any member of their congregation who might wish to have the advantages of this treatment, as no charges were made for it.

I received an invitation to attend the meeting of the ministers' alliance. There were present seven ministers. Three of them were amongst the best-known and most prominent of the city. We were invited into the study, where a large center table had been placed in the middle of the room, and the ministers all were invited to sit around the table. I took a seat back in one corner.

In addition to the ministers three women were present. They were invited in, and one of them seated at the head of the table. When all were seated the rector of the church made a speech, the gist of which was that the Christian Scientists were proselyting from the various churches all over this country, especially in Denver, and in order to combat this influence the time had come when the ministry were compelled to do something in self-defense. And the most rational thing for them to do, in his opinion, was to investigate these things and accept that which could be supported by demonstrated facts. Personally, he thought the healing appealed to the people, and every minister of the Gospel should be able to do this. He wound up by saying that the woman at the head of the table was a graduate from Mrs. Eddy's school and was there prepared to give them facts. The "facts" (?) were a few extracts from Mrs. Eddy's teachings showing upon what her methods or "science" (?) were based. These were interspersed with something from Hudson, on mental suggestion. Afterward the ministers present were called upon to give an expression of their views and their opinion as to the advisability of starting a class under this woman as instructor. They were all in favor of it. There was one stranger present besides myself, with a MS. of a book written to show that all these occult methods of healing belong properly within the churches. During his remarks he made the statement that all these various methods of healing were opposed to Christ and denied the atonement.

Before closing they asked me as a physician to make some remarks. I told them I realized that there was considerable efficacy in mental suggestion, but had always avoided such things because they were used of the Adversary and invariably led men into spiritualism and away from Christ. That as ministers of the Gospel, I could not see how they could justify their action in becoming interested in bringing into the Church anything which one of the members had stated, and all felt, denied the atonement sacrifice of our Lord; and that as a follower of our Lord I wanted nothing to do with it.

As soon as I sat down one of the most prominent ministers of the gathering arose and said he was heartily in favor of what I had said; that it was true that these things were opposed to Christ. Consequently the only safe thing to do was to keep the two separate, or not to confound their religion with their method of healing, as they were separate and distinct anyway, but by all means they must do something to save their flocks! So the class was started.

Thus the Devil is using Christian Science to whip the ministry into line, to a finish.

Praying the Lord's blessing to continue with you, I am,

Your loving brother in Christ,
__________, Colo.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:

These Monday issues of the Dispatch are certainly accomplishing a good work. I know of at least two who were formerly very much opposed to the Truth and the TOWER publications, to whom I have regularly sent the Dispatch, and who are now reading the fourth Vol. of DAWN, having read I., II. and III. already and are now inquiring along the line of Truth, and are no longer bitter toward it, and acknowledge the reasonableness of many of the presentations and the scripturalness of many others. If persons continue to read them, we have a ground for hope, and I have noticed that occasionally such ones, all unconsciously to themselves, come to accept portions of the Truth; therefore we will, with the dear Lord's assistance, continue to send out the "glad tidings," hoping and praying that it may find all those who have "ears to hear."

I desire to do all I can to assist in this work, because I believe it is all being accomplished under the direction of the great Chief Reaper, and the time in which we may do this harvesting work will very soon be past – the summer will be ended.

It is a great privilege – co-operating with those already beyond the vail, in the harvest work. May the dear Lord bless his own work, and all those earnest loyal ones, everywhere, who are trying thus to assist, is my prayer. Sincerely,

Your Brother in his Service,
R. H. BARBER. – N.Y.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Am led to write you to say that last winter some one left a tract at our door entitled, "Christ's Death Secured One Probation, or Trial for Life Everlasting to Every Man." After reading it, we decided that it was the Word of God. We then sent to the WATCH TOWER for more and they sent us a good supply, which was a great feast of truth to us. Then we subscribed for the WATCH TOWER and a little later on for the Plan of the Ages.

We have been separated from all Creeds and Sects for a good many years, and being willing sacrifices unto God until death, we are striving daily to become more and more conformed to the Image of our Living Head, and whereunto we have attained we stand fast. Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the Great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ,

Your brother in Christ,
CHARLES W. MANDEVILLE, – Pa.