page 257
September 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.SEPTEMBER 1, 1905.No. 17
CONTENTS.
Views from the Watch Tower 259
A Business Man's View 259
Peace! Peace! When There is No Peace 260
More Darwinism for Sunday Schools 261
Rev. R. Heber Newton's Views on Spiritism 262
The Earth Abideth Forever 262
Church Disestablishment in France 263
Beyond the Shadows (Poem) 263
Anent Archaeology and Religion 263
"A Peculiar People" 264
A Broken Vow – a Fulfilled Penalty 266
Berean Bible Study for September 268
The Life-Giving Stream 268
Some Interesting Letters 270

'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 258

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.

LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
– ADDRESS TO –
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
– OR TO –
BRITISH BRANCH – 24 EVERSHOLT ST., LONDON, N.W.
GERMAN BRANCH – MIRKER STR., 45, ELBERFELD.
AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH – 32 JOHNSTON ST., FITZROY, MELBOURNE.

PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE, 5c (2½d.) A COPY.
MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR AS FOLLOWS: –

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

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

THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE
FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.

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

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

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

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

It is important that all brethren who anticipate attending the Convention should notify Wm. A. Baker at Couch St. Dock, Portland, Ore., at least two weeks in advance, so that accommodations can be secured. After writing thus for accommodations you may depend upon their being secured and should not attempt to secure rooms for yourselves. This would greatly interfere with arrangements we would make for you.

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

Railroad Rates. – The regular excursion rate of all roads entering Portland, with tickets on sale at all times, is one and one-third fare, with a thirty-day limit. Parties of ten on one ticket, ten-day limit, one fare for round trip. "Coach parties" from any one locality are made special excursion rates, averaging considerably less than one fare for the round trip. It is suggested to friends in the northwest that they may be able to make joint arrangements with the local committees of the other two Associations (National Letter Carriers' Association and the "Hoo-Hoos" or Lumbermen) holding their conventions at Portland at this time, for "coach parties," and thus get the advantage of the lowest possible rate. [R3621 : page 258]

GERMAN HYMN BOOK

We have issued a small book of German hymns, with music, 99 numbers, suitable for general worship, public and social meetings. Uniform with "Zion's Glad Songs." Price, 5 cents, postpaid.

[R3618 : page 259]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
A BUSINESS MAN'S VIEW

HOW a well-informed business man views the present situation may be of interest as showing that with all the prosperity of business men in recent years, and all their hurry and greed for dollars, they do see some things which touch their own interests.

The following is an extract from the address of Mr. D. M. Parry, before the National Manufacturers' Association, at its recent session in Atlanta, Georgia. He sees a nearer enemy than "the Yellow Peril." He said in part, as reported in the public press:

"Before proceeding to a brief consideration of the labor question, I wish to make a few statements respecting the tendency towards Socialism, which, at this time, is being strongly manifested in many ways. The Socialist party last fall cast nearly a half million votes, a remarkable development in strength, and organized labor, composed of over two million employes arrayed in opposition to individualism, continues, according to reports of its officials, to increase its membership. The growth of an avowedly Socialistic party, with its present creed, is certainly a sinister fact to all loyal citizens who understand and appreciate the importance of individual liberty. But while the existence of these organizations is indicative of a serious defection from the individualistic principle by certain classes, yet I believe that a still graver portent of coming evil is to be seen in the Socialistic trend of the thought of the general public as reflected by the press, by public men, and by recent legislative enactments. This trend of thought is having a potent influence on the policies of both the leading political parties, and while the question of individualism and Socialism is not a political issue in the sense that it has caused a division of party lines, it is, nevertheless, a leading issue within the ranks of both parties.

"While the enlargement of the scope and power of government by the purchase and management of certain enterprises has found considerable support among the people, yet I believe the sentiment favorable to Socialistic measures involving the confiscation of profits and the limitation of private management of capital is the more widespread and dangerous. Without making special reference to the aim of the avowed Socialists to bring about the Millennium through undisguised confiscation, we have organized labor and its sympathizers supporting the idea that organizations of men may dictate to a large extent the management of enterprises which they do not own. Besides assuming to say how much wages the employer shall pay and how he shall manage his capital in other respects, the union also presumes to deny the right of the individual to the full control of his own labor, determining for him the rate of wages for which he shall work, the number of hours he shall employ himself and the maximum amount of daily output he shall produce. As eight-hour and anti-injunction legislation is designed to assist the unions in the accomplishment of these objects these measures fall under the classification of Socialistic attempts by confiscation. Still another illustration of this kind of Socialistic propositions, and one which does not proceed from organized labor, is the pending national legislation to have the government fix railroad rates.

"It was Macaulay who prophesied, in effect, that the masses of the American people would, in the course of several generations, use their right of suffrage to confiscate all wealth in the name of the State. This prophecy certainly places a low estimate on the moral perceptions of the common people and displays a woeful lack of faith in the ability of men in general to govern themselves. But while the prophecy is rightly to be regarded as absurd, yet there is no question that there are elements in our population that are attracted by the proposition of enriching themselves through the ballot box. It is said that men vote in accordance with their interests, and some men doubtless construe it to be for their interests to vote for confiscation. But I am confident that such men are in the small minority. I prefer to believe that the greater number of those who favor Socialistic measures do so from an honest conviction that these measures would be beneficial for the common weal. The tendency towards Socialism is certainly not to be attributed to a declining sense of public morality. Rather, I believe, is it to be traced to ignorance of the fundamental principles of true liberty and to demagogic leadership that for its own ends would stop short of nothing. Thousands of well-disposed men, who would not think of injuring the interests of their fellow-beings by their votes, have been led by these demagogues and false teachers into the belief that they are in some inscrutable manner being robbed by the rich, and they, therefore, are not to be morally censured for taking up with Socialistic propositions.

"Since the Socialistic tendency is to be attributed to ignorance rather than dishonesty on the part of many voters, the problem of protecting individualism resolves itself down to a problem of educating the voting masses. Many Americans, in reply to Macaulay's prophecy, will declare that its [R3618 : page 260] fulfilment is impossible because the people of this country are generally speaking, far more intelligent than the people of other countries, and that the democracy in the establishment of a great common-school system has amply provided for its own protection. But existing facts demonstrate that the common-school system is not a sufficient guarantee of the perpetuation of liberty. Because the law-abiding elements, busy with their own affairs, leave politics to others, who perhaps are not quite so busy, the government in many of our communities has become a protector of vice and a machine for graft, as well as being a policeman. And if these same law-abiding elements and busy men of affairs do not wish to see the government also blossom out into a paternalistic meddler in private business the sooner they devise methods whereby they can wield at least a part of their proper share of influence in public matters the better. What we need is less politics in business and more business in politics. It is sheer folly to leave the discussion of public questions to the demagogue and agitator alone.

"The most effective and permanent method of meeting the issue of Socialism is, I believe, that of educational propaganda. In order to establish such a propaganda it requires the organization of the substantial and law-abiding citizenship. [R3619 : page 260] With proper efforts and proper support, I have not the least doubt that the movement for the maintenance of individualism can be made so powerful as to be invincible. It is the solemn duty of true American citizens of this generation to do whatever lies in their power to down this specter of Socialism."

PEACE! PEACE! WHEN THERE IS NO PEACE

Notwithstanding the world's fear of war and the general desire to introduce the Millennial peace before the time and before the proper conditions have been established, we opine that more wars are near at hand. Why? Because (1) the Scriptures seem to indicate that the anarchy which will crush our present civilization will be preceded by general wars. (2) Such wars seem inevitable as the forerunners of anarchy, because so long as the nations are powerful anarchy will have little chance of success. (3) The Scriptures assure us that there will be a general call to arms about this time, resulting in the weakening of the nations. (4) There seems not enough time intervening between now and 1915, and hence we expect present prosperity to continue in some measure for the next four years. (5) In order to have measurable financial prosperity for that time, war, somewhere, is almost a necessity – involving large expenditures of money for armies and navies, etc.

From this view-point we are on the lookout for everything likely to result in war. For instance, the rupture between Norway and Sweden, the German and French dispute respecting Morocco, and now the danger of an uprising of India against its British rulers. Let us remember that we are already entering the great "Day of Recompenses." (Ezekiel 7:7-26.) In this connection note the following cablegram from India, widely circulated in the public press:

Dread of another mutiny is being felt by all Europeans here. India is in a very serious state, and the authorities are making heroic endeavors to prevent the unrest and the mutinous spirit which, in spite of all their efforts, is spreading like an infection from Province to Province.

The cause of this condition is the war between Russia and Japan, for the supremacy of the yellow race has come as a revelation to the natives. That an Asiatic race has defied and even conquered a European race has made them think. The spirit of dissatisfaction and trouble in the air now is far more acute than it was two years before the mutiny.

What makes the situation more dangerous is the ability of the "Baboos" to spread their tidings of revolt to every end of the Indian Empire with rapidity and ease. The problem of how news traveled to the utmost ends of India in the days of the mutiny has only been partly solved. Since then Lord Ripon has dignified Indian native opinion, and the "Baboo" can make himself as easily heard as his master.

THE KING IS CONCERNED

Lord Kitchener's statement that the Indian army is practically worthless has been widely circulated among the ignorant natives. Lord Curzon's tyrannical methods have set every class against him personally, and the personality of a ruler has an effect in India which is incalculable. The potential possibilities of the situation have been brought directly to the attention of the King and it is known that he has had a number of consultations with prominent Anglo-Indians now in England on leave.

It is a fact that in Central India hundreds of Afghans are loafing and skulking alone or in couples. This is considered to be an ominous sign, for the Afghans do not wander so far south with any peaceful purpose in mind. If a holy war were to be preached, the Mohammedans would be as much the object of native fury nowadays as the Christians.

The situation has an ugly look, and there is a prayer on every one's lips that the cloud will not entail a storm.

THE YELLOW PERIL

The papers of the world, especially those of Russia and France, are calling attention to the peril of the white race at the hands of the yellow. They call attention to the fact that since Japan's victories the Chinese government has put Japanese at the head of its military and naval schools, dismissing the Germans previously employed. China has now 700,000 well-armed and well-drilled soldiers, and by 1920 A.D. they claim they could have the numbers increased to 20,000,000 and could over-run Russia and all Europe. All the writers seem agreed that the combination of all Europe at once and fifteen years of preparation would scarcely suffice to prepare for such an onslaught. They claim that all the guns of Europe would be worn out killing these and leave plenty to still come on to the fray. Besides, the Japanese and Chinese can make as good guns and are doing so. It is claimed that within five years India and Russia may be conquered.

It may never come to this; but the fact that military critics are discussing it lends force to two Scriptures: (1) Our Lord's words to the effect that in this time "men's hearts would fail them for fear, looking forward to the things coming on the earth." (Luke 21:26). (2) Our Lord's words respecting the awful trouble approaching, that except for the elect's sake, except for the Kingdom of the elect and its establishment of peace, "there would no flesh be saved." – Matt. 24:22.

When we remember that the Yellow Peril is only one of the many now impending, and a minor one, no [R3619 : page 261] wonder we are assured that "men's hearts shall fail from fear" and that all the tribes of earth shall mourn. The anarchy and confusion resulting from clashing selfishness in civilized lands will be doubtless quite enough to make the Kingdom of Christ "the desire of all nations."

A few short years remain wherein the reaping of the "wheat" is to be accomplished. Five years more will surely bring us to stirring times. Let us who are of the Day not sleep as do others; let us not like them dream of worldly wealth and ease and name and fame. Let us, as faithful soldiers of the cross, be so zealous that it will simply cost "hardship," so that we may be among those crowned lawfully. The joys of our Lord and the association in the Kingdom work will much more than compensate us for every sigh and tear and pain now endured.

A WORLDLY MAN'S OUTLOOK

The Oregonian is one of the principal journals of the Pacific coast, and its editor, an Evolutionist, scoffs at our interpretations of the Bible. Nevertheless its view of near-at-hand troubles is very closely in agreement with what we have been pointing out from the Bible for the last thirty years, and very much in opposition to the Evolution theory that men are about to evolute into angels, as monkeys evoluted into men. Here is an editorial clipping from the Oregonian:

"We suppose our country is 'booked' for socialism. Greed of speculators is bringing it on. Exploitation of public utilities by our first families hurries it forward. Such incidents or operations as this one, under our own eyes, of capitalization of the streets of Portland for millions, in the interest of private individuals – the public expected to pay dividends on the usurpation – are making socialists by thousands, in every direction.

"It is the same with all this exploitation of the modern time. Operators everywhere are seizing their opportunity to "capitalize" the wants of the public, in ways to create great properties and to obtain great dividends. The people believe that the only check to these schemes of plutocracy lies in a socialistic movement, under which the productive forces – in particular those related to municipal functions – may be transformed into socialized effort.

"The Oregonian has not been willing to see this change. But in the contest that is coming – forced by the greed of capitalism and of exploitation – it finds itself compelled to yield to new conditions. In the contest between greed and privilege on the one hand, and popular rights on the other, it will follow the demands of the people, because it belongs to the people. It must stand with them, rather than with those who contend for the fictions of privilege and of vested rights."

JUDGMENTS OF THAT DAY

Russia's woes seem to be part of the judgment of the Lord upon an evil system, just such as we should expect at this time when the new King Immanuel is beginning the correction of earth's wrongs and the establishment of justice and judgment [rewards and penalties] in the earth. When the Lord's judgments shall be extended to include all nations and systems what a time of trouble there will be in the earth! But before that severity Churchianity must have her bitter portion and all the true "wheat" be garnered.

A NUT FOR EVOLUTIONISTS

According to the Evolutionists it is only a comparatively short time since men were monkeys and irrational. We have already pointed out that the findings at Nippur contradict such a thought, and that the "Great Pyramid" showed an exactness and skill possessed four thousand years ago which was lost in the interim, since only with something like modern machinery could it have been constructed. In other words, that the world of long ago had really, in some respects, been in advance of everything known in A.D. 1800. This would agree with the Bible's testimony that man was created perfect – in the image of God – and fell from it into degradation. Where the teachings of Christ have been received they have served to check the downward course; but the great advancement of our day is the result of divine overruling, preparing in every way for the great reign of Christ – the Millennium.

Now in accord with all this note the following, remembering that Mr. F. Petrie is a man of science and one of the best informed in all the world respecting the [R3620 : page 261] Pyramid:

A two years' study at Gheezeh has convinced Mr. Flinders Petrie that the Egyptian stone-workers of 4,000 years ago had a surprising acquaintance with what have been considered modern tools. Among the many tools used by the pyramid-builders were both solid and tubular drills and straight and circular saws. The drills, like those of to-day, were, says an exchange, set with jewels (probably corundum, as the diamond was very scarce), and even lathe-tools had such cutting edges. So remarkable was the quality of the tubular drills and the skill of the workmen, that the cutting marks in hard granite give no indication of wear of the tool, while a cut of a tenth of an inch was made in the hardest rock at each revolution, and a hole through both the hardest and softest material was bored perfectly smooth and uniform throughout. Of the material and method of making the tools nothing is known.

Mechanical News.
MORE DARWINISM FOR SUNDAY SCHOOLS

Although Sunday School literature has for some time been gradually undermining faith in the Bible, supplanting it with the suggestions of "higher critics" and evolution theories, it seems that the progress of unbelief has not been sufficiently rapid to satisfy some. Prof. W. S. Jackman of the Chicago University advocates more pronounced teaching – emphasizing Nature and her laws and correspondingly ignoring the true God. In the Educational Review he says: –

"To thousands of people it were not more shocking to doubt the common axioms of morality than it is to question any part of the Biblical story of nature.... But out of patient and careful observation science has created a conception of the origin, the development and the destiny of nature, and of man's place in the great plan, that can not be linked with the primitive conception by even the maddest flight of poetic fancy.... The Darwinian theory, which certainly has more points in its favor regarding the history of life than any other, completely demolishes the old picture which was very firmly established in our minds in our early years through the teaching of the Sunday school....It is [R3620 : page 262] against this flinty wall of pious belief that Nature-study must hurl itself and upon which it must make some impression if it is to gain a foothold in the Sunday school as a means of moral and religious training. To introduce Nature-study into the Sunday school, that is, to make it a direct factor in moral and religious training, means to give the child an entirely different point of view from that received by those of us who learned its lessons a quarter of a century ago."

REV. R. HEBER NEWTON'S VIEWS ON SPIRITISM

That Spiritism continues to make progress in deceiving those in high positions as well as in low, the following extract will show. What will the harvest of such teachings be? How soon will the seed ripen? A very few years will show terrible results.

Discussing psychical science in an address to-night before the American Institute for Scientific Research in the home of C. Griswold Bourne, the Rev. Dr. R. Heber Newton made the assertion that the spirits of the dead communicate with the living; that telepathy is a power possessed by many men and women, and that clairvoyance is an established scientific fact. Said he in part:

"Clairvoyance was nothing but a will o' the wisp, but it is now a confessed power of certain organizations.

"For the first time in the history of man these powers have been scientifically investigated in our day. Already the result is that a considerable number of eminent men of science have had the courage to avow that, after allowing for illusion, fraud and every possible hypothesis of interpretation, they have been driven up to the ultimate solution of the problem – the belief in the actual communication of the spirits of those whom we call dead with the living.

"Anyone who walks with his eyes open, ready to hear what men have to tell, will find stories pouring in upon him from men whom he cannot mistrust as liars, and whom he knows to be sane and sensible, which will stagger him. These experiences are not at all confined to the seance and the medium. Their most impressive forms occur in the privacy of the home without a professional medium present."

RUSSIA AS SUPERSTITIOUS AS JAPAN

Rev. Dr. Robert S. Macarthur, in an address before the Baptist Young People's Conference, held in New York, said: –

"There is Russia – holy Russia, with its famous ikons and its worship of them. Everyone knows the story of the carload that was sent from St. Petersburg to defeat the Japanese. Has heathendom anything to offer worse than this? When I was in Russia I knew a noble lady. She went to one of the high priests of her faith and hired an ikon to cure her of a disease. She paid an enormous sum for it and it was drawn through the streets of St. Petersburg, clothed in royal robes and in the royal carriage. As it passed through the streets I saw men and women throw themselves down on the street and bury their faces in the mud until the thing had passed.

"Yet Russia calls herself a Christian country and begs as such our sympathy."

THE GERMAN KAISER'S AMBITION

It is the growing impression among diplomats that Emperor William II. regards himself as a "man of destiny," another Napoleon I. He is accredited with a desire to form a combination of the governments of Europe either as United States of Europe or as a Fifth Universal Monarchy. His ambition is a "germ" which the Lord can make use of at any time to foment strife-war. True, he speaks for peace, but was not the Czar of Russia the instigator of the Hague peace conference? Very evidently there will be more war ere long. The nations apparently will be weakened preparatory to the great cataclysm of anarchy which we understand to be due to commence October, 1914. "Then they that reverenced the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before him, for them that reverenced the Lord and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his only son that serveth him." – Mal. 3:16.

THE EARTH ABIDETH FOREVER, BUT AGES AND EPOCHS PASS AWAY

BY REV. JOS. A. SEISS, D.D.

"There is a notion bred from the morbid imagination of the Middle Ages, which has given birth to many a wild, poetic dream, which has much influenced the translators of our English Bible [which has unduly tainted religious oratory, song and even sober theology], and which still lingers in the 'Popular Mind' [as if it were an article of the settled Christian creed], that the time is coming when everything that is, 'except spiritual natures' shall utterly cease to be, the earth consume and disappear, the whole solar and sidereal system collapse and the entire physical universe vanish into nothingness. How this can be, how it is to be harmonized with the promises and revealed purposes of God,...there is not the least effort to show. The thing is magniloquently asserted, and that is 'quite enough for some people's faith', though 'sense,' 'reason' and 'Revelation' be alike outraged. There is indeed to be an 'end of the world.' The Bible often refers to it. But men mistake when they suppose the world spoken of in such passages to be the earth 'as a planet.'

Four (4) different [Greek] words have our translators rendered 'world.' 1, Ge, which means the earth proper, the ground, this material orb which we inhabit; 2, Kosmos, which means the ornamentation, beauty, the existing order of things, but not the substance of the earth as a terraqueous globe; 3, Oikouene, the habitable, the inhabited earth, and 4, Aion, which is used more than one hundred times in the New Testament, but always with reference to time, duration, eras, dispensations, – a stage or state marking any particular period, long or short, past, present or future, – the course of things in any given instance, rather than the earth...on which it is realized. It may be earth or heaven, time or eternity...it is all the same as to the meaning of the word 'aion' which denotes simply the time-measure and characteristics of that particular period or state to which it is applied. And this is the word used in all those passages which speak of 'the end of the world.' It is not the end of the earth, but the end of a particular time, age, or order of things, with [R3620 : page 263] the underlying thought of other orders of things and perpetual continuity in other ages. Aeons end, times change,...but there is no instance in all the Word of God which assigns an absolute termination to the existence of the earth, as one of the planets, or any other of the great sisterhood of material orbs... It will not be another earth, but the same earth under another condition of things. It is now laboring under the curse, but then the curse will have been lifted off. At present it is hardly habitable, – no one being able to live in it any longer than a few brief years; but then men shall dwell in it forever without knowing what death is.

"It is now the home of rebellion and injustice; it will then be the home of righteousness.

"It is now under the domination of Satan, it will then be under the 'Blessed Rule of the Prince of Peace.'"

CHURCH DISESTABLISHMENT IN FRANCE

In the debates in the French Chamber of Deputies respecting the withdrawal of the Government from the support of religion in the matter of paying the salaries of the preachers and priests and furnishing the church buildings, the controversy was warm on both sides. Deputy Briand, favoring the movement and opposing [R3621 : page 263] some who pleaded that all religions would suffer – Catholic, Protestant and Jewish – said: "If the Church cannot exist without the aid of the State it is because the Church is dead!"

With the carrying into effect of the new arrangement religious matters must be managed in France as they are now managed in the United States. Each person can pay for his own religious propaganda and have his own kind. It will be a good move so far as true religion is concerned. However, clericalism will manage somehow to ride the people, while more or less blindfolding them as respects the truth of God's Word.

UNION OF THE CHURCHES

The success attending the efforts to unite Congregationalists, Cumberland Presbyterians and United Brethren, encourages others. Now the various Lutheran bodies are endeavoring to unite, and are meeting with good success. The Baptists, as is well known, are independents, each congregation being free except as the Ministers' Union and Missionary Society unites them. Baptists' Missions – South and North – were separated during the Civil war and are now arranging for re-union.

BEYOND THE SHADOWS.
Further on – beyond the shadows
Falling darkly o'er my way,
There is home, and rest and shelter,
Where no storms can e'er dismay.

Though the way be rough and narrow,
And a cross must needs be borne,
Further on – the night is waning
Soon will dawn the welcome morn.

Meekly to His will submitting,
In His love secure and strong,
Jesus whispers, "Bide the shadows,
It is better further on."

Further on – O blest assurance!
How it thrills my raptured heart,
Just to know that I shall see Him
When the shadows all depart.

Let me still be strong and patient,
Trusting where I cannot trace,
Further on – beyond all darkness
Faith can see God's smiling face.

Only waiting, ever praying,
Let my heart be filled with song.
Sweet the promise Jesus gives me,
"It is better further on."

– LIZZIE C. RAMSDELL.

[R3622 : page 263]

ANENT ARCHAEOLOGY AND RELIGION.
DR. EDGAR, one of the leading physicians of Glasgow, Scotland, sends us the following letter: –

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

As many good people think that the dates which are accepted by archaeologists must be more reliable than those furnished in the Scriptures, it is important that we should be aware of the true value of the proofs which satisfy these scientific men. The following extract is to the point: – "DATE OF SARGON. – Sargon, King of Akkad, reigned about 3800 B.C. This is the first date in the world's history about which there is no serious dispute. This date is made certain by an inscription of Nabonidos, the last native King of Babylon, who was a zealous restorer of ruined temples. He tells us that he succeeded in reaching the foundation stone of the ancient temple of the Sun in Sippar, a stone which the great Nebuchadnezzar had sought in vain to find. Under it was the seal-cylinder of the founder of the temple, Naram-Sin, son of Sargon, which, says Nabonidos, had not been seen for 'thrice a thousand, twice a hundred years.' The date of the discovery of this corner-stone was about 550 B.C. We thus reach 3750 B.C. as the date of Naram-Sin, and by adding fifty years for the reign of Sargon we get 3800 B.C." (Babylonia and Assyria. By Ross G. Murison, M.A., B.D. One of the Bible Class Primers edited by Principal Salmond, D.D., Aberdeen).

Surely no one but an archaeologist would accept such a statement as was made by this heathen king without demanding clear proof as to its truth!

ANOTHER ITEM OF INTEREST, CONFIRMING STATEMENTS OF DAWN VI., CHAPTER X.

In the "Zentralblatt fur Gynaekologie" of 8th October, 1904, there is an article on "The Intra-uterine [R3623 : page 264] Baptism of Human Ova and Foetuses." The author begins by referring to the war engaged in by Dr. Treub, a Dutch professor of Midwifery, against the theological obscurantism which would allow a mother to die when the induction of abortion might have the effect of saving her life. An article, entitled "The Right to Life of the Unborn Child," written by Dr. Treub, has been translated into English by the Rev. C. van der Donckt, of New York. To this translation the reverend gentleman adds an appendix in which he declares that in such cases the intra-uterine baptism of the ovum or the child is obligatory. He refers to a case to which a friend of his, an American physician, was called. The woman's life was saved by the removal of her three-month's child from the uterus. "Tormented by the family and the first physician, our friend, still hesitating, explains to a venerable Jesuit father the reasons which make him propose to apply to this case a new method, which permits the baptism of the infant. This therapeutic process, formerly impossible, but without danger since the discovery of the antiseptic treatment, has for its object to open quickly the orifice of the matrix by the natural ways and to allow the injection of an abundant stream of baptismal water by means of a suitable instrument: the remaining operations of extraction which may be hurtful to the life of the germ are carried out afterward. It is admitted, in effect, that baptism in utero by injection is not only allowed but obligatory when the physician is certain that, despite all his efforts, the child will die during delivery. As the reasons were considered valid by his counsellor, the physician was enabled thanks to the method employed (special metallic instruments) to open gently the matrix (in a minute and a half) sufficiently to make the baptismal injection also done gently; then he quickly completed the thorough extraction of everything contained in the uterus."

(It may be well for me to add that the method described is the one always followed nowadays by medical men. The novelty consists not in the injection but in the meaning attached to it).

We have much reason to thank the Lord that the Sun of Righteousness will now soon arise and dispel the fogs of theological obscurantism and of "science, falsely so called."

Our eyes, dear Brother, are indeed blessed, for they see the light while the darkness is still covering the earth. This light is getting brighter and brighter as the perfect day draws near. We have much to be thankful for.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be ever with you

I am, yours in the Lord,
JOHN EDGAR.

[R3621 : page 264]

"A PECULIAR PEOPLE."

"Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." – 1 Pet. 2:9.

D
URING the Gospel age, which is now drawing to a close, the Lord has been making ready a peculiar people for a very peculiar and very glorious purpose. The purpose is nothing less than that of a joint-reign with Christ for a thousand years, by means of which, not only shall "all the families of the earth be blessed," but angels also shall be brought to a righteous judgment and reward, and all things in heaven and in earth will be brought into perfect harmony with and conformity to, the divine will, and universal peace and joy and praise shall abound to the glory of God.

This peculiar people is a new and chosen generation. They were first chosen out from among men, "through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." (2 Thess. 2:13.) Or, in other words, having believed the message of salvation through Christ the Redeemer, and having gratefully accepted the same, and being earnestly desirous of perfect personal conformity to the divine will, and having, therefore, humbly submitted themselves entirely to God, they were chosen of God to be his peculiar people.

That which renders this people peculiar as compared with all other people in the world is a very radical change – a change of nature from the human to the spiritual. (2 Pet. 1:4.) This change of nature has been brought about by the power of the Truth, which leads those who are rightly exercised by it to a full consecration of heart and life to the will and service of God, even unto death. This change of nature is, however only begun in the present life, and consists as yet only of a change of mind and a consequent change of character and action in harmony with the new hopes, aims and aspirations generated by the "exceeding great and precious promises." No wonder is it that a people actuated by such hopes and aims should be a peculiar people – a people separate from the world – in the world and yet not of it.

They are indeed a new "generation" – i.e., – a new race, of a new and noble nature, distinct and separate from the human race, although as "new creatures" they are as yet only begotten and developing in the embryo state, the full development, or birth, being due at the resurrection. Wonderful indeed is this truth – "Ye," brethren, "are a chosen generation" – a new order of beings and chosen of God as the heirs of his special favor. And not only so says the Apostle, but ye are a priesthood, a royal priesthood – a people to be clothed with authority and power to stand between God and fallen humanity; to lift humanity up from its degradation and restore it to the divine likeness and favor. Ye are indeed a royal priesthood, whose power and glory will appear in due time, to the glory of God and the blessing of all the families of the earth.

But further, says the Apostle, Ye are "a holy nation." In what sense can this people be called a nation? A nation is a body of people united under one government and having common interests and bound by mutual obligations and mutual consent, either expressed or implied, to conserve those interests. Truly such a people, such a nation, [R3621 : page 265] are we under Christ Jesus our King, and our interests are indeed one: they are the interests of the truth concerning the establishment of Christ's Kingdom in all the earth. Our national policy is aggressive, and contemplates the complete subjection of every other power; but its object, unlike that of all other ambitious powers, is not the glorification of selfishness, but the exaltation of meekness and righteousness and the establishment of universal peace and happiness. Every loyal citizen of this nation is deeply interested in its politics, and is ready to take up the sword for its defense at any moment. However, we remember that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal; but they are mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strongholds. Our sword is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," and an every-day exercise and drill in its use makes us able soldiers.

Let all the members of this "chosen generation," this "royal priesthood," this "holy nation," this "peculiar people," seek more and more – by vigilance, by faithfulness and by holiness – to separate themselves from the spirit of the world, to submit themselves to the transforming influences of the Spirit of God, and to discipline and drill themselves in the use of the sword of the Spirit, that so they may "show forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light."

"BABES IN CHRIST"

This peculiar people the Apostle likens, in the beginning of their life of faith, to babes. Though they may be men of mature years, they are but babes beginning a new life. And the Apostle counsels them, as new-born babes, to earnestly desire and seek for the sincere milk of the Word of God – the simple truths, the foundation doctrines. These are the plain clear statements of the Scriptures – (1) of the original perfection and glory of humanity, created in the image of God – Gen. 1:27,31; (2) of the fall of Adam and the race represented in him in trial – Gen. 3; 1 Cor. 15:22; (3) of the death penalty – Gen. 2:17; 3:19; Rom. 6:23; (4) of the redemption of Adam, and therefore also of the race represented in him, by the payment of an equivalent price – the sacrifice of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all" – 1 Cor. 15:22; 1 Tim. 2:6; (5) of the actual deliverance of the redeemed race in God's due time and order. – Acts 3:19-21.

Those who in simple faith accept these truths and who, laying aside all malice, and all guile and hypocrisies and envies [R3622 : page 265] and all evil speaking, endeavor to live worthy of this salvation, esteeming it as only a reasonable service to devote themselves thenceforth to the service of God, are accepted of him as sons and heirs – as spiritual sons. And precious indeed are these little ones in the Lord's sight. It was with reference to such that the Lord said to Peter, "Feed my lambs"; and again that he gave warning to false teachers, saying, "Whoever 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." (John 21:15; Matt. 18:6, Diaglott.) And again, under the figure of a tender shepherd caring for a weak and straying lamb, he shows his tender solicitude for these babes of the family, saying, "It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." – Matt. 18:14.

But while the babes in Christ, because of their very feebleness and inexperience, have much special care bestowed upon them, and are dearly beloved of the Lord, and while their meek and teachable spirit is commended to all (Matt. 18:4), it is not the will of God that they should always remain babes. The very object of his commending to them the milk of the Word is that they may grow thereby out of this infantile state up to the maturity of spiritual life – "that we be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine." (Eph. 4:14.) There should come a time in the experience of every healthy growing child of God when he should be able to leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ – the foundation doctrines – having them firmly established and settled in his mind, and therefore not needing to dig them up and lay them over again – and go on growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Truth unto perfection. – Heb. 6:1.

The Apostle Paul reproved some of his day because they did not thus grow; saying, "For when for the time [spent] ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat: for every one that useth milk [only] is unskilful in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe." (Heb. 5:12,13.) We are not to live continually on the milk diet, "but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4.) Some of these words are the simple truths above noted – the milk; and others are deeper truths, the strong meat for those who, nourished by the pure milk, had grown and had developed considerable firmness and strength of Christian character. This "solid food," says the Apostle (Heb. 5:14), is for adults – for those possessing faculties habitually exercised in the discrimination of both good and evil. He also warned them of the dreadful result to them if they should fall away. – Heb. 6:4-6.

If the babes in Christ are fed on adulterated milk – a confused mixture of truth and error concerning the above-mentioned foundation doctrines – the result will be that they will sicken and die, unless the unwholesome diet is speedily removed and the sincere, pure milk is sought after and used. As a general thing there is not sufficient care on the part of the babes in Christ about seeking the pure milk of the Word; and many of the adults are too careless about setting the impure milk before them. Let those who are truly the Lord's little ones bear in mind the Apostle's counsel to desire and seek after only the pure milk of the Word, and resolutely to discard all else. Any theological views which will not rest squarely upon the above-named foundation doctrines, so plainly enunciated in the Scriptures, but which attempt to pervert and to shift and to make them void, do not constitute the pure diet for the Lord's children. Let them cautiously beware of all such adulterations, and feed only upon the pure milk, and by and by upon the more solid food – that is food indeed to those who have their faculties exercised – and thus grow up to maturity, to a full development of Christian character and faith. [R3622 : page 266]

The Apostle then shows (1 Pet. 2:4-8) that such consecrated and faithful children of God have the privilege of becoming members of a grand spiritual house, of which Christ Jesus is the head. The shape of the building to which reference is made is evidently that of a pyramid, and was probably suggested to his mind by the words of the Prophet Isaiah (28:16) to which he refers, saying, "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious; ...the same is become the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the Word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed."

The chief corner-stone in a pyramid is the top stone, which is also the model after which the whole building is being fashioned. The Prophet Zechariah (4:7) calls it the head-stone, and Isaiah (28:16) calls it a foundation-stone. At first thought these figures seem incongruous, but they are not really so when we consider that this building is not an earthly, but a heavenly building, having a heavenly foundation, and that it is held together, not by earthly, but by heavenly attraction. And it is in accordance with this thought that we are invited to come unto Christ, the chief corner-stone, to be built up under him and to be fashioned for our places as living stones in this building, in accordance with the lines and angles seen in him who is the model.

The great work of preparing these living stones for their places in this building of God is still in progress, although it is almost completed. This is the painful part of the work to every one of the stones. The blows of the hammer and the chisel – the hard discipline of experience – are not desirable except for the effects – the peaceable fruits of righteousness. And if we would have the results we must patiently submit to the painful processes, and see to it that no cross-grained wilfulness on our part shall interfere with the work; for such interference would sooner or later be the occasion for abandoning us, and the Builder would substitute another stone more pliable and easily worked; for the time is short, and what is to be done must be done quickly.

The Prophet further showed that the foundation stone of this great building would be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to many until the time of its exaltation. Those who will stumble over it, says the Apostle, are not those faithful and loyal to the Word of God, but those who stumble at the Word, being disobedient, and who will not accept its plain and simple teaching relative to the great foundation of our faith – Christ Jesus, who gave his life a ransom for many. (Matt. 20:28.) And this class, he assures us, were appointed to stumble – that it does not happen so, but that God designed that they should stumble, because they are unworthy to stand, being disobedient.

God lays great stress upon loyal and loving obedience on the part of all his children. It was only a little matter of disobedience that cost Adam and his posterity so dearly, and that will bring similar results to all those who, having once escaped the condemnation of death through faith in Christ the Redeemer, thereafter refuse to stand before God in the robe of his righteousness, but prefer to appear in their own. All such were appointed to stumble; but blessed are the meek, for they shall stand. "The Lord knoweth them that are his."

[R3623 : page 266]

A BROKEN VOW – A FULFILLED PENALTY.
2 CHRONICLES 36:11-21. – SEPT. 3. –

Golden Text: – "Be sure your sin will find you out." – Numbers 32:23.

Z
EDEKIAH, the last king on the throne of David, was exalted to his position by Nebuchadnezzar and reigned eleven years, until the overthrow of the dynasty. He was given the throne upon his taking a solemn oath of faithfulness as a vassal to the king of Babylon. The taking of that oath was the immediate cause of his downfall. The matter is so stated in Ezekiel's prophecy. – Ezek. 17:11-21.

The folly of the king's course in this matter is but an illustration of the general folly of all who reject the Lord as their counsellor. Our lesson relates how the Lord through Jeremiah his prophet had warned the king respecting reformation and the keeping of his oath and the certainty that the king of Babylon would vanquish him. Self-willed and unbelieving and careless of his oath, the king, abetted by the princes and his counsellors, took the course which proved to be the way of folly and which led to the utter overthrow of the nation.

This reminds us of our text for the year, "The wisdom that cometh from above is first pure, then peaceable, easy of entreatment, and full of mercy and good fruits." It was, of course, not the privilege of Zedekiah or others living at that time to have the guidance of the holy Spirit in the sense that spiritual Israel may enjoy it now. Nevertheless they had what to them was a very fair substitute, all things considered, namely, God's direct revelations through his prophets. But now as then an evil heart of unbelief is inclined to lean to its own understanding, its own wisdom – earthly wisdom, which often, as the Apostle declares, is sensual and devilish. This is the meaning of much of the war and commotion which we see about us in the world, especially amongst so-called "Christian nations." Nor should we too severely censure the world for not acting along the lines of faith and trust in the Lord when we remember that they know him not and see him not as do his spirit-begotten children – "Blessed are your eyes for they see and your ears for they hear." For those who do see and do hear and do know the Master's will to proceed along worldly lines would certainly be much more reprehensible than for the natural man to take the same course. The Lord looketh upon the heart, and where the privileges are small the requirements will be correspondingly lenient; where the privileges are [R3623 : page 267] great, as with us, we can only reasonably expect stricter requirements at the Lord's hands.

"THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE"

In Zedekiah's case the Lord allowed the natural consequences of his wrong course to follow, and they were severe indeed. His sons were slain before his eyes, then he was blinded and carried to Babylon, where he was a prisoner until his death. We infer from this that he never came to a properly repentant attitude of heart before the Lord. On the contrary his father, the previous king, Jehoiachim, who was taken a prisoner to Babylon eleven years before, was subsequently released from prison and granted many favors at the hands of the king of Babylon.

These high ones in nominal Israel may properly enough represent the more highly favored ones of the Lord's people in spiritual Israel, and we may draw the lesson that the unfaithful, like Jehoiachim, might be chastened and afterwards treated with leniency; but that those who violate the oath of their covenant, their vow to the Lord, breaking that vow, will suffer loss in every sense of the word – they shall thenceforth be blinded by the Adversary to the blessings they had once enjoyed and they will subsequently die the Second Death. Everywhere the Scriptures uphold the thought that a vow, a solemn compact with the Lord, is a most binding obligation. It is under such an obligation that all the members of the New Creation have been granted the first fruits of the spirit. Disloyalty or renouncement of this vow to us could therefore mean nothing short of the Second Death.

CALAMITY AND RUIN

The calamity and ruin which came upon Jerusalem and Judea, at the time described in our lesson, doubtless seemed to many to indicate God's lack of power, his lack of ability to protect the nation which he had specially planted. Not so. The Scriptures assure us that God foresaw the calamities which then came upon his chosen people; he foretold them through the prophet and he permitted them to come upon the nation. The lessons he had sent them in the nature of milder chastisements had availed little. The example he had shown of scattering the ten tribes on account of their idolatry had not properly been taken to heart by the two tribes with whom his favor still remained. Now he would scatter them all and leave the land desolate for a period of seventy years – a period long enough to allow nearly all of them to die in exile, a period in which those who loved idolatry might go their way, as it is written, "Ephraim is joined to his idols, let him alone." It was a period, too, in which those who still reverenced the Lord – as for instance Daniel, and others mentioned – would in a foreign land look back longingly to the land of promise, read more attentively than ever the records of the Lord's dealings with their nation, and see how he had predicted this very trouble which they now were experiencing, and lead them thereby to a better condition of heart and to the instruction of their children in the right ways of the Lord.

As a matter of fact this was the result. At the close of the seventy years' desolation of the land the Lord raised up Cyrus, the King of Media and Persia, who, having conquered the Babylonians, offered liberty to all of the Jews who desired to return to their own land. That proclamation would have little influence upon the vast majority of the Israelites who had gone into captivity. Those idolatrously inclined had undoubtedly forgotten all about Jehovah and the covenant made with their fathers, and were fully amalgamated with the heathen by intermarriage, etc. The indifferent Israelites settled in the foreign land realized that it would be to their disadvantage in temporal matters to leave their Babylonian homes to go back to Palestine, there to begin life afresh and to battle with the inconveniences, the wilderness condition, of their once fertile land. Consequently of all the hosts of the twelve tribes that went down to Babylon in various captivities only about 50,000 accepted the offer of Cyrus to return. Only a very few of these had ever seen Palestine; they had merely heard of it through their parents and the few aged ones of their number. These, however, had learned well the lesson which their fathers refused to learn. From the day of the return from the Babylonian captivity, we have not a record of further idolatry in Jerusalem and Judea.

DESOLATED SEVENTY YEARS

The last verse of our lesson tells us how the land lay desolate three score and ten years to fulfil her Sabbaths, as the Lord had foretold by the mouth of [R3624 : page 267] his prophet Jeremiah. Here we see clearly marked the time when the seventy years began, that it was at the time of the carrying away of Zedekiah and not at the time of his father's captivity, eleven years previously. We see distinctly that it was not seventy years' captivity but seventy years' desolation of the land, and apparently the land was not desolate during the eleven years of the reign of Zedekiah. This is an important point in history, and one which has misled many in their chronological reckonings. It is an important point in the reckoning of the Jubilees, but for a fuller statement of this matter we refer the reader to MILLENNIAL DAWN, Volume II., Chapter VI.

The Lord had appointed a jubilee arrangement by which every seventh year would be a Sabbath year of rest to the soil, and every fiftieth year a Jubilee of restitution for all the people, to all the inhabitants throughout Israel. It would appear that this divine arrangement fell into neglect or was only partially observed for a time. Doubtless the princes and nobles and wealthy thought they saw an error in the divine program and that they could improve upon God's arrangement. At all events there is no record of the keeping of the Jubilees, and the Lord here declares that they were neglected – either they were not kept at all or they were observed in so perfunctory a manner as to constitute neglect from the divine standpoint. Nevertheless we have no record [R3624 : page 268] of the Lord having chided the people on this score. A lesson for us would be that every feature of the divine law is of importance, that every regulation should be observed, that there is a blessing in the arrangement whether it so appears to human judgment or not, and that the Lord will require an account from us eventually respecting our knowledge and obedience.

Turning to Leviticus 26:33-35, we find that the Lord through Moses had foretold this very failure to observe the year Sabbaths and Jubilees, and that it was on this account that the whole nation was cast out of the land of promise so that it received in the seventy years of its desolation the full number of Jubilee years – "For as long as it lay desolate it kept Sabbath to fulfil three score and ten years."

This thought, that each of those years that the land was desolated represented a Jubilee year which had not been properly observed by Israel, furnishes one of the keys by which we may estimate the whole number of Jubilees from the entrance of the children of Israel into the land of Palestine down to the grand consummation when the Kingdom of Messiah will be established and the actual Jubilee, the antitypical Jubilee, will begin. These calculations carried out show that we are already living in the great antitypical Jubilee, which will last for a thousand years. As the priests were to blow the silver trumpets in the beginning of the typical Jubilee year announcing its beginning, so now all who are of the Royal Priesthood are commissioned by the Lord to blow upon the silver trumpets of truth, and to make known to all who have a hearing ear in spiritual Israel our present times and seasons, and that the great Jubilee, the times of restitution of all things, has begun. This implies, as we have already shown, that the great King is now taking unto himself his great power, and that his reign over the nations will soon begin, precipitating the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, the result of which will be the overthrow of all human institutions and the opening of the way to the establishment of the Kingdom for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come," under whose ministrations all the families of the earth will be blessed, and every evil institution and thing suppressed, and every good and true matter brought forward to the light, established.

Thank God for the great blessing and privilege of living in our day under these favorable conditions. Let us be faithful to our vow and for the present be submissive to the powers that be, waiting for the Lord in his own time and way to establish his Kingdom and to fulfil all the gracious promises of his Word. Let us who realize that we are now in the antitypical Jubilee be faithful to the blowing on the trumpets.

"Blow ye the trumpet, blow
The gladly solemn sound;
Let all the nations know,
To earth's remotest bound,
The year of jubilee is come,
Returning ransomed sinners home."

[R3624 : page 268]

BEREAN BIBLE STUDY FOR SEPTEMBER.

– SEE PREFACE OF WATCH TOWER BIBLES

AND WATCH TOWER, MARCH 1, 1905. –

BROTHERLY KINDNESS (BROTHERLY LOVE)

11. How should brotherly love exercise itself in seeking opportunities for service? Z.'98-228 (2nd col. par. 1,2); 229, (1st col. par. 1,2).

12. How should brotherly-love manifest itself "in honor preferring one another"? Rom. 12:10; Z.'97-264 (2nd col. par. 4); Z.'05-139 (1st col. par. 1).

13. How should we "consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works"? Heb. 10:24; F.308, par. 1,2; Z.'05-106 (2nd col. par. 1).

14. How will brotherly love exercise itself in "laying down our lives for the brethren"? 1 Jno. 3:16; Z.'98-228 (1st col. par. 3); Z.'01-4 (1st col. par. 3); Z.'01-150 (1st col. par. 1); F.468, par. 1, and 469.

15. How should we manifest brotherly-kindness toward the weaker brethren? 1 Thess. 5:14; Z.'98-183 (2nd col. par. 1); F.236, par. 1; F.304 to 306.

16. How will brotherly love sympathize with the more demonstrative brethren? F134, par. 2.

17. How should brotherly-kindness deal with the self-seeking? F.296, 297.

18. How will brotherly-kindness deal with brethren who lack self-control? F.148 (par. 2) to 150 (par. 1).

19. How should brotherly-kindness seek to avoid "busy-bodying"? 1 Tim. 5:13; 1 Pet. 4:15; F.583 to 586.

20. How should brotherly-love control the tongue? F.291, par. 2; F.292, par. 1; Z.'98-85 (1st col. par. 2,3); Z.'98-86 (1st col. par. 2,3); F.586 to 588; F.406 (par. 1).

[R3624 : page 268]

THE LIFE-GIVING STREAM.
EZEKIEL 47:1-12. – SEPT. 10. –

Golden Text: – "Whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely." – Rev. 22:17.

E
ZEKIEL'S prophecy is full of symbolism, and has appropriately been termed the apocalypse of the Old Testament. It was written in Babylonia in the Chaldaic language.

Ezekiel was one of the captives of Judah taken to Babylonia by King Nebuchadnezzar on the occasion of his first invasion, when he placed Zedekiah on the throne, eleven years before his later invasion, when the city was destroyed. The captives taken at that time included many of the chief men of the Jewish nation, princes and nobles, the brightest and the best. His object in taking these seems to have been to [R3624 : page 269] strengthen his own empire, for the captives were not treated as slaves, but were granted great liberty, some of them, as in the case of Daniel, rising to positions of very high honor in the kingdom. Ezekiel had great liberty, and his prophesying was done for the Jews of the Babylonian captivity – exiles. The Lord's testimony through this prophet was undoubtedly intended to cheer and comfort those of his people who were Israelites indeed, and to fan the spark of faith which still remained in their hearts – to lead them, as in the case of Daniel, to hope for the return of God's favor and the end of their captivity with the end of the appointed seventy years' desolation of the land.

The matter of our lesson as heard by the Jews in exile undoubtedly was pictured as referring to earthly Jerusalem, and the blessings as appertaining to the Jews as a nation. The restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple are clearly and explicitly foretold, and no doubt the hearts of the captives leaped with joy as they thought of the future blessings, and no doubt also, their faith and hope were encouraged. But so surely as Ezekiel's prophecy was the Word of the Lord, so surely the prophecy did not relate to blessings to be conferred upon that people at the time of their restoration from the land of Babylon, for the predictions of Ezekiel's prophecy were never fulfilled. Just so surely they belong to the future. Spiritual Israelites may realize that the prophecy not only related to natural Israel but also to spiritual Israel, not only to a deliverance from literal Babylon but also a deliverance from mystic Babylon, "Babylon the great, the mother of harlots," whose power is soon to be completely overthrown as precedent to a full deliverance of all who are Israelites indeed and the establishment of the Kingdom. – Rev. 18.

THE RIVER OF LIFE

Our lesson deals particularly with one of Ezekiel's visions, which predicted the springing into existence of a wonderful river whose waters would bring to the [R3625 : page 269] land of Palestine and to the Dead Sea verdure and life instead of drouth, desolation and death. The ordinary interpretation of this lesson is that the Gospel is represented in this river, which now for a considerable time has been flowing onward and bringing life. We cannot accept this interpretation, for several reasons: First, the description is in such close agreement with the Millennial age blessings of Revelation 21 and 22 as to leave no doubt that the same thing is referred to. In Revelation we see that the Church is the Bride, and the Church glorified is symbolized by the heavenly Jerusalem and the river of the water of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations and whose fruit is for their sustenance and whose water is the water of life, living water. There can be no doubt that the two rivers are identical. And since the Church is not yet complete, and has therefore not yet been glorified, the river of life has not yet proceeded from the glorified Church, and hence the whole matter must be future.

The same thought is in this lesson as Ezekiel gives it. He first sees the Temple and then beholds the glory of the Lord entering the Temple through the eastern gate, and that gate closed after the Lord. This represents the closing of the door at the end of this age, as our Lord portrayed it in the parable of the ten virgins. The door will be shut, the glory of the Lord will have entered into the Temple. It is subsequent to this shutting of the door that the prophet is shown the issuing of the water from under the threshold. The lesson, therefore, is clear and explicit to the effect that not until the glory of the Lord shall have entered his Temple, not until the Church shall be glorified, not until that door shall be forever shut, will the water of life issue forth.

The stream is shown as rapidly increasing. Issuing as a rivulet it speedily becomes ankle deep, a little further along waist deep and a little further beyond a man's depth to ford. Thus is indicated the rapid increase of the blessings of the Lord as soon as his time shall have come; but, as we have heretofore pointed out, there is no such river of life now, our Master himself being authority for this in his statement respecting his disciples, saying, "The water I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up to everlasting life." Ours is not an invitation to drink of a river of life, but an invitation to have a wellspring of water of life started in our hearts by the impartation of the holy Spirit. As already pointed out it will be after the river of the water of life flows from the glorified Church that the Spirit and the Bride will say to the world of mankind, Come. Then whosoever will may come, whereas now no man can come "except the Father which sent me draw him."

A REFRESHING PICTURE

Thus seen, God has rich blessings in store for mankind in general in the day when his Kingdom shall be established amongst men, in Immanuel's day. The restitution of that time is pictured in the leaves of the trees; the abundance of instruction and nourishment, mental, moral and physical, is represented in the fruit of the trees. More than this, wherever the water of this river went life resulted, until finally it emptied itself into the Dead Sea with the effect that the waters of the latter were healed. Fishes thrive well in sea water, but the water of the Dead Sea is about five times as strongly pregnated with salts, and as a consequence fish taken from the Mediterranean and put into the Dead Sea die in a few minutes – hence its name, Dead Sea.

It would not at all surprise us if, in the beginning of the Millennial age, not only the nation of Israel would receive the blessing of the Lord lost at the beginning of this Gospel age and become his representative people in the world – the Church having been taken from the world, glorified spirit beings – but neither would it surprise us if, in the Lord's providence, some miracle were wrought by which the Dead Sea would become connected with the Mediterranean, possibly refreshed also [R3625 : page 270] by some such river as is here described by Ezekiel, a picture of the symbolical river of life flowing from the New Jerusalem. But however interested we might be in the thought of such a literal fulfilment of this prophecy, our interest is still greater in the fulfilment of it as a symbol in accord with the river of Revelation. From this symbolical standpoint the Dead Sea represents the dead world, and the coming of life-giving waters would represent the resurrection power of the Lord and the Church exercised amongst men during the Millennial age. As the Apostle expresses it, it would mean, for the Gentiles, life from the dead.

But while it is refreshing and exhilarating to look down into the future and think of the blessings to come, it is important that we draw practical lessons and apply them to ourselves, and see to it that we do all in our power now to make our calling and our election sure, that we may be of that New Jerusalem class, the Bride glorified, from whom the river of the water of life will issue. There is no doubt that it will all be accomplished, because the Word of the Lord has spoken it. The whole question for us is whether we or others will be the Lord's ministers, servants, honored agents in causing the blessing of the Lord to fill the whole earth. The more we love the glorious prospects set before us in the Word, the more we will strive for present participation in the sufferings of Christ, in laying down our lives for the brethren, and for future participation in the glories of Christ in the blessing of all the families of the earth.

[R3625 : page 270]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL,

BROTHER BELOVED: –

I have just read in your booklet, "Protestants Awake," these burning words: "Some even admit that their personal views differ from those they preach, and are endeavoring to have their conferences and synods allow them to preach what they conceive to be truth and desist from what they believe to be error; dishonorable, ignoble, hypocritical and slavish though such a course is," etc. This is not all true in my case, but sufficiently so to cause the words dishonorable, ignoble, hypocritical and slavish, to strike me with tremendous force, and in deep agony of spirit, born of condemnation, I cry unto God, What shall I do? I most certainly believe your interpretation of the blessed Word. My soul longs for freedom; I am helpless – chained by environment. Tell me what to do? I doubt not there are hundreds in my condition. They saw the truth too late. What they possessed of this world's goods has been willingly sacrificed to an all-absorbing, but false purpose. Their means is gone; their physical force is spent; their years are well nigh numbered. "Their righteous souls are vexed from day to day in seeing and hearing." Conscious helplessness augments their bitter agony. They are handicapped by dependent families. To withdraw from their denominations means to cut off their bread. Your system offers no support to the helpless. Their minds are constantly harrowed by the light of the new revelation. Their spirits chafe and fret like the caged eagle yearning for the liberty he sees but cannot enjoy. There seems to be no open door of opportunity, and again I ask, in God's name, What shall we preachers do? I would be willing to sink out of sight from the world.

If I could dispense with all responsibility toward my family, I would gladly submit to any sort of humiliation, criticism or persecution, and would feel that the liberty for which my heart and mind so yearns would be cheap at any cost to myself, but alas, alas! Brother, pray that a door may be opened unto me – that deliverance may come, in God's own way.

Yours in bonds and fellowship,
__________
REPLY

MY DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST: –

Your pathetic letter of the 18th is at hand. You have my sympathy, indeed, dear brother. I rejoice that you have a conscience and a heart to which the truth does appeal. Be of good courage! Our heavenly Father lives; our Redeemer lives; his power is as great as it ever was. All of his Daniels are safe from the lions. All of his Elijahs shall be fed. All of the widows shall be supplied with meal. The condition is faith, trust, obedience.

But the Lord's favor cannot be expected unless the step of obedience has been taken. Then man's extremity will constitute the terms on which the Father will be pleased to cause all things to work together for his good. The command is, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Those who discern the real Babylon condition, those who discern the errors of "Christendom," are more responsible than the others in Babylon who discern not; and if they will not come out of her, if they will not stand up for the truth and the Lord, they are demonstrating that they are not worthy to be his disciples in the special sense in which that word is properly to be used during this Gospel age. It is not for us to say that those who do not come out will lose all, but we have the assurance that they will lose the Kingdom position, the great prize of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus; and their position would be, through greater tribulations, in the "great company" of Revelation 7, "before the throne," instead of in it; with "palm branches," instead [R3626 : page 270] of "crowns;" "servants," instead of "the Bride."

Dear brother, if you have my sympathy, much more you may be sure you have the Lord's sympathy, and as soon as you shall have learned the lesson and taken the proper steps he will manifest his love and care and blessing toward you. Exercise the faith; overcome the spirit of fear and bondage, and thus be in heart an overcomer. The Lord will do the rest. It may not be in your way, nor in my way, but in the Lord's way he will supply all your need.

The question before your mind should not be, Shall I come out of Babylon? but that being settled affirmatively, the question should be, How would the Lord have me come out of Babylon? I offer you a few suggestions along this line, which I trust may be helpful.

I advise firmness and courage, blended with moderation and love. The truth of itself is sufficiently strong, without our adding to it any of our weight in the way of invective or sarcasm. "Preach the Word," says the Apostle; "Speak the truth in love." Begin at once to preach on the good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people, showing to all people of the Lord, and all others who will hear, something of the lengths and the breadths, the heights and the depths, of the love of God which passes all understanding. After a few discourses of this kind have filled their hearts with a high estimate of the divine character, preach a discourse on the meaning of the word "hell" as found in the Old Testament; another discourse on the meaning of "hell" as found in the New Testament. Nothing in these sermons can conflict with any reasonable or proper denominational limitations. Get your sermons out of the usual rut, and more into Bible studies, doing the talking yourself, of [R3626 : page 271] course, but appealing to your congregation, not so much through oratory, as through reason and references to the Scriptures. Thus gradually, from Scripture to Scripture, you may draw the attention of your own hearers, and those in your vicinity, to what the Scriptures do say, and they doubtless reverence God's Word. If later a conflict with the creed shall be thrust upon you, you can appeal to the congregation as to whether they desire to be bound by a creed of men, or whether their consecration to the Lord was to be faithful to him, in harmony with his Word. Stand up courageously, dear brother, and if this shall mean (what it doubtless will in the end) the rejection of your message and of you, God will bless those Scriptures to your comfort, and the enlightenment, perhaps, of others in that vicinity.

As you say, the Lord in his providence is not arranging for a paid ministry, after the ordinary fashion, but in the present movement toward the methods of the early Church paid ministry is abandoned, and the original methods of laboring with hands and preaching the truth, as strength and opportunity will afford, is coming into vogue amongst those who are hearing the Shepherd's voice.

When faithfulness to the truth shall have led you outside of all sectarian lines (as it is sure to do, for, as the Apostle declared, "the time is coming when they will not endure sound doctrine"), we would be pleased to have you serve the Society as a colporteur, and will be glad to do what we can to co-operate in the use of your talents in some such manner, in the service of the truth, carrying the message to those who have not as yet heard it.

Meantime, remember, dear brother, that you have our love, and sympathy, and prayers, and that we shall be always glad to hear from you.

As ever,

Your brother and servant in the Lord,
C. T. RUSSELL

PASTOR C. T. RUSSELL,

DEAR SIR: –

I wish to thank you for the tracts and the paper. I will send the money as soon as I get it in the fall. I did not know I would enjoy it so much, but it is the only pleasure I have, as there are no Dawnists here and no one is in sympathy with my belief. I sent for the tracts to distribute among friends, intending then to canvass for MILLENNIAL DAWN. I am sure I could do the work well, but my parents will not allow me for fear the churches would turn against us. They think because I am not eighteen that I do not realize what is right. When I left our Church they thought I was crazy, but I know it was God who sent me the DAWN books. It is very hard to be able to reap in the harvest and yet be held back by authority.

But I realize in all things that my life is in God's hands and I am content to go through the fire since He leads me.

I wish I could tell you how I appreciate the blessed knowledge of MILLENNIAL DAWN! You will some day know how we all feel about it. Oh, how I rejoice in my loneliness to know there are hundreds of "like precious faith" around me though I do not know them, and I hope they remember in their assemblies the isolated ones.

I would be glad if you would write me some words of comfort and remember me in your prayers, for sometimes I do feel so lonely; and God bless you.

Yours in consecration,
__________Ill.
REPLY

MY DEAR YOUNG SISTER IN CHRIST: –

I am glad to hear from you, and to know of the depth of your consecration to the Lord, and of your appreciation of his glorious plan. I rejoice that you will now have the regular visits of the WATCH TOWER, which will compensate to some extent your lack of personal fellowship with others of like precious faith. It is apparently the Lord's arrangement, by which many of his people are enabled to follow the advice of the Apostle, in Heb. 10:25, "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together." Our hearts meet together in the study of the Word, in connection with the WATCH TOWER helps for Bible study, as well as meeting at the throne of grace. Through this means the Lord seems to be blessing, refreshing, strengthening and instructing and preparing for the Kingdom, some of his dear "Jewels."

You are quite right in respect to your duty: so long as you are under age you have no discretion in the matter of obedience to your parents, except in the case of any demand in violation of your conscience, and this is not your present situation.

Be assured, dear sister, that faithfulness to the Lord under the trials and difficulties, as they are permitted to come to you, will, in his providence, work out blessing. He is able to keep us; he is able to open and close the doors of opportunity. Let us trust him fully. Ultimately we will see more and more of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the wisdom and riches of his grace. May the Lord's blessing continue with you.

Your brother and servant in the Lord,
C. T. RUSSELL.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Greetings to you in the Lord.

I wish I were able to tell you of the intense joy and blessing I received from the Dayton Convention. It was a day long to be remembered, and may our blessed Lord and Chief Reaper give the increase to that seed sowing, as the Dayton friends and yourself so zealously have done the planting and watering. It brings to my imagination some of the scenes that must have taken place when our dear Savior spake as never man spake to the crowds that pressed him. Glorious ministry! to be co-laborers together with Him!

In your comments in a TOWER of recent date on John 12:24, you said that our Lord's going down into death brought forth much fruit – the first fruits – the Church, the 144,000. Thinking on this it occurred to me, Will not the Church as so many grains of wheat (by virtue of our Heavenly Father's blessed arrangement in Christ) going down into death, bring forth the same amount of fruit in proportion? Reasoning thus, I found that if one brought forth 144,000, that number would bring forth 144,000 times 144,000, or 20,736,000,000. Ah! I thought, here is where Brother Russell must get his twenty thousand millions to which he refers so often in his sermons as representing earth's dead, and specially mentioned in the Tract, "Millennial Hopes Examined." Now, dear Brother, is this a mere coincidence or did you use this method in addition to the one mentioned in the Tract?

The light of His parousia is growing brighter and brighter as the Truth shines from the blessed Word; how much (and yet how little) I appreciate the various lightning flashes that come from the TOWER, (the "sign" of the Son of Man in heaven); how they clear up and purify the murky atmosphere that has surrounded the Word these many centuries, and wonderful miracle as it were, like of old, the thunder came in the harvest. So here in this "harvest" the thunders have uttered their voices with no uncertain sound, and verily to-day are shaking the very foundations of Ecclesiasticism, and by the time the last one speaks so that all hear, only those things will remain that cannot be shaken, God's blessed, glorious Truth. To Him be glory and honor and praise through Christ Jesus throughout all ages. Amen.

Your Brother in the one Hope,
C. B. S., Ohio.

IN REPLY: –

I am glad to have your suggestion respecting the proportions of the fruit of our Lord's death as represented in the Church of the First-born (144,000) and the afterfruit of these, 20,736,000,000. I had not noted this correspondency, and hence it had nothing whatever to do with my calculations of the world's dead.

Yours in our Lord,
C. T. RUSSELL.

page 273
September 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.SEPTEMBER 15, 1905.No. 18
CONTENTS.
Views from the Watch Tower 275
Zionism's Split on the Line of Faith 275
Keeping the Lord Informed 275
Missionary Motives Set Forth 276
Mob Violence Increasing 276
Germany's Religious Turmoil 277
The Work for a Converted Will 278
Good Purposes of Heart 279
The Power of Faith 281
Defiling the Temples 282
The Lord is My Keeper 282
Weighed in the Balances 283
The Master's Touch (Poem) 285
Some Interesting Questions 285

'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 274

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.

LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
– ADDRESS TO –
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
– OR TO –
BRITISH BRANCH – 24 EVERSHOLT ST., LONDON, N.W.
GERMAN BRANCH – MIRKER STR., 45, ELBERFELD.
AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH – 32 JOHNSTON ST., FITZROY, MELBOURNE.

PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE, 5c (2½d.) A COPY.
MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR AS FOLLOWS: –

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

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

THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE
FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.

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

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

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

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

It is important that all brethren who anticipate attending the Convention should notify Wm. A. Baker at Couch St. Dock, Portland, Ore., at least two weeks in advance, so that accommodations can be secured. After writing thus for accommodations you may depend upon their being secured and should not attempt to secure rooms for yourselves. This would greatly interfere with arrangements we would make for you.

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

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

GERMAN HYMN BOOK

We have issued a small book of German hymns, with music, 99 numbers, suitable for general worship, public and social meetings. Uniform with "Zion's Glad Songs." Price, 5 cents, postpaid.

[R3627 : page 275]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
ZIONISM'S SPLIT ON THE LINE OF FAITH.

THE recent division of the "Zionists" into two parties is evidently along the lines of faith and unbelief – a sifting. Dr. Herzl's death prepared the way. Zangwill, one of the principal subsequent leaders, favored the acceptance of the offer of the British Government of a large and fertile tract of land in Africa, nearly a thousand miles south of Palestine. He threw the weight of his influence toward it and swayed a considerable number, who doubtless, like himself, viewed the Zionist movement merely from the humanitarian standpoint.

It is to the credit of the movement as a whole that it rejected the proposal. It proves that the Zionist movement is not merely for social betterment of the Russian Jews, but mainly a race regeneration built upon faith in the divine promises which attach to Palestine – the Land of Promise. It is worthy of note that not one American representative joined the Zangwill split, though he visited this country specially to advocate the acceptance of the British offer.

THE MOVEMENT'S GROWING FORCE

It is worthy of note also that each year this Zionist movement gains favor with the Jews. At its start a few years ago the learned generally scoffed at it. Now we read that, notwithstanding the death of the able leader, Dr. Herzl, the last congress held at Basle, Switzerland, was one of extra power intellectually. The movement is in accord with prophecy, and delay will only enkindle the desire and hope and faith necessary to a successful entrance into the land when once the Turks grant the privilege of so doing and some degree of self-government.

In a signed statement Professor Warburg of the Berlin University, an eminent Zionist and economist, says: –

"The East African resolutions are not a backward step. The fact that Zionism can afford to decline the British offer is a proof of its strength and determination to remain steadfast in adherence to its basic principles. Zionism does not contemplate an economic experiment, but the renewal of national life by the Jewish peoples, whose future lies in the Orient. The world must realize that the Zionists are bent on the restoration of Palestine to Israel."

A press report of the conference thus describes some of its features:

Herzl was called the new Moses, at first derisively, but now he deserves the name in earnest. His words are quoted everywhere as those of the new prophet of regenerated Israel.

Delegates from the intellectual aristocracy of the world were there. It is doubtful if any parliamentary body ever held equalled it in brain power. The flower of the Jewish people were there. The orators spoke in English, German, Russian, French and classic Hebrew. All physical types were represented – giants, dwarfs, Jerusalem rabbis in Oriental robes, speaking to English baronets, all bound together by the common idea of re-building the Jewish State in Palestine, where the Jews, now crushed by Cossack rule, shall show the world what the race can accomplish through concerted effort. Scholars and writers galore were there; the foremost, Nordau and Marmock of Paris, Warburg of Berlin and Zangwill of London.

Nordau, pale with emotion, opened proceedings, standing near Herzl's vacant seat. Sobs were audible throughout the hall as, with admirable oratory, Nordau eulogized the dead leader to an immense audience standing with bowed heads, the Jewish mourning attitude.

Nordau stigmatized the selfishness of the Jews who, although best able to second Herzl's efforts, were holding aloof. He pictured the Jewish people as a family divided against itself. He exclaimed, "Our people had Herzl, but Herzl, alas, had no people."

Addressing Herzl as though present, he invoked the dead leader's emperor-like personality. He said: "Rest in peace, for what you built we shall forever treasure."

KEEPING THE LORD INFORMED.

Bishop Potter (Episcopalian), of New York "subway tavern" fame, promptly prepared the following prayer for his people on the eve of the Russo-Japan Peace Conference. From the wording of the prayer the Lord may be expected to infer that the arbitrators are "saints" and representatives of saintly nations. The mention of the Millennium, when swords will be beaten into plowshares, seems a trifle strained in view of the fact that armaments on land and sea are increasing as never before and wars are multiplying, and presumably the Bishop is a pre-Millennialist whose hope is the conversion of the world by the preaching which has accomplished so little in nineteen [R3627 : page 276] centuries. The Millennium is near indeed, but coming through wars and anarchy such as never yet have been – coming by the interposition of Immanuel as King of kings and Lord of lords, in power and great glory. The Bishop's prayer follows: –

"Almighty God, whose is the spirit of unity and concord, and who makest men to be of one mind in an house, be, we beseech thee, with thy servants who shall soon assemble on these shores to seek for a basis of peace. Overrule their deliberations with thy heavenly wisdom, fill them with the spirit of brotherhood, and so hasten the day when all men shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, when thy children shall be taught of the Lord and when great shall be the peace of thy children. All of which we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen."

MISSIONARY MOTIVES SET FORTH.

The following letter will be read with interest by many. It appears that Secretary Barton, of the American Board of Foreign Missions, communicated with Mr. J. D. Rockefeller, requesting his contribution to the work being done by the Board, and Mr. Rockefeller commissioned his Private Secretary to look into the matter and to report. It was on the strength of that report (see the letter below) that Mr. Rockefeller contributed the $100,000, the acceptance of which made such a stir last spring. Whether Secretary Barton's share of the donation was one-half (the amount allowed solicitors in some other similar societies) we are not informed.

The letter, or "report," it will be noted, deals with Foreign Missions from the standpoint of Civilization rather than Christianization. It appeals to morals and trade and dollars, rather than, as of old, to flames and devils and torments. Mr. Gates' report to Mr. Rockefeller runs thus:

THE VALUE OF FOREIGN MISSIONS

"We have had long interviews with Dr. Barton, and we have examined each item of proposed expenditure presented by him in detail, with maps before us. We have given it careful attention, both here at the office and at my home in Mont Clair. In every instance we were satisfied that the money asked would be wisely expended and would fill a real need and perform substantial service for mankind.

"No one can observe foreign peoples at all without being impressed with the great need of foreign people in education, medicine and surgery, morals and religion, applications of science to agriculture, manufacture, transportation, hygiene, civil and social institutions and in all things which tend to relieve man from misery and make for health, happiness and progress.

"A vast amount of good has been done. Statistics of mere converts furnish no sort of measure. The fact is that heathen nations are being everywhere honeycombed with light and civilization and with modern industrial life and applications of modern science through the direct or indirect agencies of the missionaries. Look at Japan, for illustration. Quite apart from the question of persons converted, the mere commercial results of missionary effort to our own land is worth – I had almost said a thousand-fold what has been spent.

"For illustration: Our commerce today with the Hawaiian Islands, which are now Christianized and no longer take missionary money, is, I am told, $17,000,000 a year. Five per cent. of that in one year would represent all the money that was ever spent in Christianizing and civilizing the natives. When the missionaries went there the Hawaiians were cannibals, without a dollar of exports or imports. Today these islands are composed of great wealth. What is true of Hawaii is true of Japan. Missionary enterprise, therefore, viewed solely from a commercial standpoint, is immensely profitable. From the point of view of subsistence for Americans, our import trade, traceable mainly to the channels of intercourse opened up by missionaries, is enormous. Imports from heathen lands furnish us cheaply with many things, indeed, which we now regard as necessities.

"Gladstone declared that modern applications of steam and modern machinery had multiplied the productive power of each man in England by (was it not?) 600 over what it was 200 years ago. Never mind the exact figure. We know the multiplication is great. Missionaries and missionary schools are introducing the application of modern science, steam and electric power, modern agricultural machinery and modern manufacture into foreign lands. The result will be eventually to multiply the productive power of foreign countries many times.

"This will enormously enrich them as buyers of American products, and enormously enrich us as buyers of their products. We are only in the very dawn of commerce, and we owe that dawn, with all its promise, more than to anything [R3628 : page 276] else, to the pioneer work and the channels opened up by Christian missionaries. Missionaries are largely influential today in the diplomacy of the Orient. The value to America, therefore, of missions is simply incalculable. The fruitage is only in its beginning.

"So I think the subject of foreign missions should command the interest of patriots and philanthropists, men of all creeds and of no creed, men of commerce, manufacture, finance, of bankers, importers and exporters of our country, and of all who have the well-being of their own country or of mankind at heart. In the long run it will be found that the effect of the missionary enterprise will be to bring to them the peaceful conquest of the world."

MOB VIOLENCE INCREASING.

We have all noted the increasing tendency to mob violence, anarchy, disregard of law, in our own land, especially in connection with strikes and lock-outs. The same spirit grows everywhere, as evidenced by the following late press cablegrams:

FINNISH MOB THREATENING

Viborg, Finland, Aug. 15. – The court-martial which tried Prokope, who killed Col. Kremarenke, Chief of Police of Viborg, July 21, today sentenced him to be hanged. A regiment of dragoons has arrived to reinforce the garrison, as the mob threatens reprisals. Prokope refused to plead unless tried by a Finnish court, and the witnesses summoned by the prosecution said they would testify only before a Finnish Judge. A crowd of 5,000 persons made a demonstration outside the Governor's house here yesterday against the trial by court-martial.

BALTI PROVINCES ALARMED

St. Petersburg, Aug. 15. – The situation in the Baltic provinces becomes daily more terrible. The Slav population, exasperated against the landed proprietors, for the most part nobles of German blood, is constantly making attacks on life and property. The upper classes and higher bourgeoisie are hastily leaving the country. The Government has appointed an extraordinary commission to report on the situation and the necessary measures to be taken.

5,000 HUNGRY MEN IN ARMS IN SPAIN

Seville, Spain, Aug. 15. – A commission of landed proprietors and farmers have laid before the authorities the conditions prevailing in and about Osuna in Andalusia. They estimate that there are 5,000 workmen armed with rifles roaming about the country. The municipal authorities disclaim [R3628 : page 277] responsibility for this condition of affairs. The jails are crowded with persons who have committed no offense, but who have surrendered to the police on the pretense of having committed crimes in order to get shelter and food. The charitable societies have exhausted their resources, and government action is awaited. Hunger riots are of daily occurrence, and are becoming more and more serious. Theft and pillage are common, and it is impossible to maintain order. Reinforcements of the civil guard are needed in every town and village. Not a drop of rain has fallen in that district since March, and the summer and autumn crops will be ruined unless rain falls soon. It is feared that the peasantry will take the law in their own hands, and even now signs of open revolt are plentiful and exasperation at the Government's inaction is becoming daily more pronounced.

*                         *                         *

This is the spirit which must be expected more and more to develop during the next few years, according to the Scriptural forecast – "Every man's hand against his brother and no peace to him that goeth out nor to him that cometh in."

[R3628 : page 277]

GERMANY'S RELIGIOUS TURMOIL.
"
M
ORE than one solemn voice is being raised within the Protestant churches of Germany, voices of warning, seriously asking the Church to prepare for the coming of evil days. Three terrible enemies beset the Reformed faith; and these carry on a war of the most ruthless character, and give absolutely no quarter, just as they expect none.

"There is, first, the old enemy, Rome, ceaselessly on the watch perpetually pushing forward her advanced positions, taking advantage of every slip and error in the opposite camp, sleepless, indefatigable, unscrupulous in her methods. The organization of the Church of Rome in Germany is far superior to anything which the Evangelical churches can show. The discipline of her clergy is perfect. These are apparently not bothered by racking doubt as to the faith that is in them. They have no questions to decide about theological chairs, and 'positive' and 'liberal' professors. Their supply of divinity students is not falling off. Their exchequers are full to overflowing, and a recent report of the Archbishop of Ratisbon boasted that never before in the history of German Catholicism has so much been subscribed by the faithful for purposes of religion. Their associations for young men and young women show a full list of members, and are all financially sound. And their great annual political gatherings, at which they send messages to Pope and Kaiser and receive congratulations in return from both these potentates, are full of enthusiasm and give unmistakable evidence of an advancing cause.

"What is being done by the Evangelical churches of Germany to weaken the Church of Rome, either spiritually or politically? I fear absolutely nothing. There are Gustavus Adolphus associations and Protestant Alliances, and many another society with resounding names: but what are they doing? Where are the proofs of their progress? One asks in vain, and the fact remains that throughout the land Rome is united, compact, strong, growing stronger, militant; while the Protestant churches are torn with internal troubles, feeble, presenting no united front, and above all distracted by religious doubts.

SOCIALISM VERSUS CLERICALISM

"Arrayed against Protestantism to probably a far greater extent than against Catholicism is the whole force of the Social Democrats. Few people outside Germany have any conception of the hatred with which the Socialist leaders follow the Evangelical churches. To a very large extent their hatred is returned with interest by the leaders of the Church. The feeling of hatred against the Church is easily enough explained. It exists in all countries with a State Church, but in Germany to a still greater extent than – say, in England. In England, although parson and squire had common interests and were invariably united against the poor man, there was always, even at the worst of times, an eminently respectable residuum which threw in its lot with the poor man, and defended him against his oppressors. But in Germany, especially in Prussia, this residuum has hardly existed, and the great landowner and the great manufacturer have invariably had the pastors at their back.

"The pastors in Germany, with few exceptions support every measure which tells against freedom. They support universal military service, and are identified in every way with the crushing military life of the country. They support the antiquated electoral system of Prussia, which practically excludes every poor man from the poll. During the exciting times of four years ago, when the proposed new taxes on breadstuffs rent the country into two warring camps, I do not remember a single clerical voice raised on behalf of cheap bread and against the utterly selfish agrarianism of the big landlords. In a word, they are opposed to reform as the people understand reform, and in consequence there is a gulf fixed between the representatives of the working classes and the representatives of the Church which it is impossible to bridge over. At almost every election throughout the country the pastor's candidate is opposed by a Socialist, the two men representing diametrically opposite ways of political thought.

PROTESTANT UNBELIEF A FOE

"But no enemy of the Protestant Church in Germany is so potent and destructive as unbelief. Were only unbelief removed, Rome and Socialism might vainly unite their forces. The believing Church is invincible against all attacks; the unbelieving Church falls a prey to any and every enemy. What can we think of the controversy which has been raging lately in a portion of the Protestant Church press as to the exact number of 'positive' and 'liberal' professors of theology in German universities? By 'positive' is meant those who believe in Christ as very God; by [R3628 : page 278] 'liberal' is meant those who do not believe either in the divinity of his person or of his teaching. It is significant of the whole situation that these leading Protestant journals are busily engaged in collecting such statistics. And what do these statistics reveal? A very terrible state of affairs, viz., that the number of unbelieving professors far surpasses the number of believers – 96 liberals and only 79 positive. This is a state of affairs causing jubilation in the ultramontane camp. Hear the leading and most popular Roman Catholic journal in Germany: –

"'We can, however, still believe that of those Protestants who still interest themselves in Church affairs there is probably a 'positive' majority. The most remarkable thing about this classification into 'liberal' and 'positive' is that both parties belong to one and the same Church. And yet here are two totally distinct religions, as distinct as Lutheranism and Catholicism. [R3629 : page 278] Ninety-six 'liberals' and seventy-nine 'positives' adorning the same Church, teaching the same doctrines – the former absolutely agnostic, the latter anything the government wishes them to be.'

"And listen to another voice from the press: 'Inside the Lutheran-Evangelical churches there seems to be a perpetual war of factions, each eager to obtain an ascendancy over the other, and this chiefly with a view to the loaves and fishes. It is not which can do God the best service, or which can do most to promote God's Kingdom at home and abroad; it is not which faction or section can do most to elevate the masses, to make their homes happier and brighter. Instead of these laudable subjects for emulation and rivalry, we have petty disputes about the Canon of Scripture and the authenticity of the Gospels, and endless and rancorous quarrels about the filling of certain theological chairs. It is always a thankless task to prophesy, but we can safely assert that if things go on for another twenty years as they have been going, there will be no theological chairs to fill in any Protestant German University.' This extract is from a secular paper well known for its moderation and fairness.

INFIDELITY RAMPANT IN GERMANY

"The works of agnostic professors and their followers are flooding the country and are being eagerly read. In the windows of every book-shop one passes they are displayed in rows. Quite a sensation is being made with a book by Dr. Daniel Wolter, 'Egypt and the Bible.' The author proves to his own satisfaction that the 'myths' of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses are directly derived from Egyptian sun myths; and that consequently these Old Testament worthies were simply characters from these mythological tales of the Egyptians, filtered through a Hebrew imagination.

"There is another still more dangerous class of book engaged in discussing 'the historical Christ': and, under a vast show of learning and much appearance of critical fairness, the authors one and all come to the conclusion that no such person as Jesus Christ ever existed; and that if he did, he certainly does not deserve, owing to the imperfections of his character and teaching, the adoration of mankind. This is the whole trend of Eduard von Hartmann's 'The Christianity of the New Testament,' which is now in everyone's mouth. The eminent philosopher sees nothing in Christ's teaching or character. He describes him as 'an amiable and modest young man, who, through a remarkable concatenation of circumstances, came to the idea, at that time epidemic, that he was the expected Messiah, and who perished in consequence.' According to Hartmann, some of his ideas were admirable, some doubtful, some eminently trivial; but even the most admirable of them have no claim to immortality, and have been better expressed and more powerfully brought home to men by other teachers, both before and after him."

M. A. M., in The London Quarterly Register.

[R3629 : page 278]

THE WORK FOR A CONVERTED WILL.

"The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." – Prov. 16:31,32.

T
O BESIEGE and capture a city is a great undertaking, because every city has its massive defences of law and force, and is built with all the probable contingencies of attacks from enemies in view. In olden times the defenses were walls and gates; but now they are of the improved order of governmental arrangements. Cities and communities of immense proportions are now banded together into great nations for mutual cooperation and defense, so that to attack a city now is to attack a nation, and to be withstood with all the defensive armory of the nation; and in no instance can one undertake it single-handed and alone. He who would undertake it must be backed by other powers equal, or at least apparently equal, to the emergency. And the victory of such a general will depend on his superior skill and ingenuity in utilizing the various forces and advantages in his possession against those employed by the defenders of the city.

Such ability as is thus required in a great general is quite rare. It indicates indomitable purpose, methodical planning and skill in execution, though these good qualities are often exercised in a bad cause. Such ability has always been highly esteemed among men, and the aspirants for fame have, therefore, in times past, sought it chiefly along this line, though they gained their laurels at the expense of the blood and groans of millions of their fellow-men.

While the exercise of these successful qualities along the lines of human ambitions is required of earthly heroes, the exercise of similar qualities along the lines of God's appointment is required of those who would be heroes in his estimation. If there were not a similarity [R3629 : page 279] in kind of the effort and success the comparison would not be instituted. Let us first notice the similarity, and then the difference, that we may see clearly what the Lord here commends.

To rule one's spirit (mind, disposition) implies a conflict similar to that of taking a city; for, no matter when we begin, we find entrenched therein many armed and opposing powers. They have possession by heredity – they are there as the result of the fall. And, if we have passed the days of youth, they are the more entrenched, and it requires the greater skill and generalship to rout them. But, whether he begin early or late, he that would rule his own spirit must war a good warfare – he must "fight the good fight" of faith down to the very end of the present existence. If a man would rule his own spirit, he must not only storm all the fortresses of inherited evils which seem to be almost a part of his nature, but, having gained possession and taken his seat upon the throne of this symbolic city (viz., the will), he must thereafter be continually on the defensive; for the old enemies are constantly on the alert, and ever and anon seeking to regain possession, so that he that continues to rule his own spirit is one who not only has routed the enemy, Sin, from the throne of his being, but who continues to keep him at bay.

To rule one's own spirit is by no means an easy task; and, as in the illustration, it cannot be done single-handed and alone. Consequently, the wise general will invoke all the assistance at his command, remembering the words of the Apostle – "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the powers of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." These powers of the world, the flesh, and the devil are all closely allied; and, therefore, he who plans for conquest and an established reign thereafter must seek alliance with another and a stronger power; which power is tendered to all who earnestly undertake the great work. This power is none other than the almighty arm of our God, who says to all who accept his strength, "Greater is he that is for you than all they that be against you;" gird yourselves like men, fear not, be strong.

The ruling of this symbolic city – one's own spirit – never will be done until first the commanding general, the Will, has decided to change his allegiance from Sin to God, and to rout the rebels who resist the change. But, in the words of a trite saying, "Where there is a will there's a way" – for good or for evil. God will assist, through various agencies, toward good; Satan, with various agencies, toward evil. If the Will says, It must be done, it calls in the needed and available help, and forthwith it sets all the other faculties of the mind at work, first to subjugate and then to rule and regulate the entire being. The Conscience is commanded to keep a vigilant watch over all the mental operations; and the Judgment, under the influence of the Conscience, must decide as to righteousness or unrighteousness and report to the Will, which is under the same moral influence. Thus we have the three departments of government established – the legislative, which should always be the Conscience; the judicial, the Judgment; and the executive, the Will. And in every well-regulated or righteously ruled mind all the other faculties must make their appeal to this Congress, and that, as the Will insists, in due and proper order. Their appeal to the Will to execute their desires before submitting them first to Conscience and then to Judgment should never be tolerated; but, when approved there, they may freely urge their claims upon the executive power, the Will. But the Will governs; and, if it be weak, the government is slack, and the appetites and passions and unholy ambitions of the whole man take advantage of the situation: they seek to overbalance Judgment and to silence Conscience; and loudly clamor to the Will to have their own wild way. If the Will be weak, yet striving to keep under the influence of Conscience and sound Judgment, it will be fitful and irregular in its rulings, and the government will be unstable and ultimately wholly at the mercy of the appetites, passions and ambitions. The condition of such a soul is one of anarchy, which, unless its wild course be speedily arrested, hurriedly sweeps the whole being toward destruction.

It is all-important, therefore, that the Will be consecrated to God and righteousness; and, secondly, that it strengthen itself in the Lord, and in his name and strength rule with a firm hand, cultivating as its assistants [R3630 : page 279] Conscience and Judgment, in determining the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, as expressed in his Word.

The Will has the most difficult office to fill; and the Lord's commendation is to the man of resolute Will, under the influence of a divinely-enlightened Conscience and Judgment. Blessed is the man who sets his house in order, and who maintains that order to the end of his days. Truly, to such a one the hoary head is a crown of glory. The warring elements of his nature having been brought into subjection, the arts of peace have been cultivated, and now they flourish and adorn his character; and as Mr. Whittier beautifully expressed it –

"All the jarring notes of life
Seem blending in a psalm;
And all the angles of the strife,
Now rounding into calm."

[R3630 : page 279]

GOOD PURPOSES OF HEART.
DANIEL 1:8-20. – SEPTEMBER 17. –

Golden Text: – "Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself."

T
HE BOOK of Daniel, as we have it in our common version of the Bible, corresponds to that which was accepted by the Jews, but attached to it were three stories ("Bel and the Dragon," "The Song of the Three Hebrew Children," "The Story of Susannah"), which have nothing whatever to do with Daniel, and which bear no marks of being his production nor give any evidence of inspiration. These are excluded by the Hebrews as apocryphal, but they are incorporated in the Roman Catholic version of the Scriptures.

This book is one against which the higher critics have thrown and are still throwing the weight of their influence. As with the criticisms of nearly all the other [R3630 : page 280] books of the Bible so with this – they claim it was not written until long after the time of Daniel and was merely given his name. The particular ground for this criticism is a misinterpretation of the prophecy, which applies it to the times of Antiochus Epiphanes. Strangely enough these grounds of objection become to us, who have a different view of the meaning of those prophecies, one of the strongest evidences possible of the inspiration of the writer. Certainly no prophet ever described more particularly the great events of universal history, certainly none ever marked more clearly and distinctly than did Daniel the precise time of the first advent of Messiah. The prophecy of the seventy weeks (490 years) was most remarkedly fulfilled. The last, the seventieth of those weeks of years, began with Messiah the Prince, began at the time of our Lord's baptism and anointing with the holy Spirit. His cross marked the middle of that week, as the prophet predicted – "In the midst of the week Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself." The close of that prophetic week marked the end of special favor to the Jew and the opening of the door to the Gentiles, Cornelius being the first Gentile convert ushered into the favors and blessings of Spiritual Israel.

Our Lord undoubtedly referred to the beginning of the seventieth week of this prophecy when he sent forth his disciples to preach, saying, "The time is fulfilled." What time was fulfilled? We answer the sixty and nine weeks of Daniel's prophecy had expired, and the seventieth week, which was to usher in the advent of Messiah, had come. No time could be fulfilled unless it had been foretold, and we know of no other prophecy which distinctly foretold the time of the Lord's advent. And again, it should be noticed that our Lord distinctly referred to Daniel, calling him by name and quoted a part of his prophecy, giving us the assurance that it would be fulfilled in the future. That future fulfilment has not yet come, but we believe is near, even at the door – "A time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." Our Lord adds to the prophecy the words, "No, nor ever shall be." (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:15-21.) The prophet Ezekiel, Daniel's contemporary associated in the exile, twice referred to him in his prophecy, classing him with Noah and Job. He mentions expressly Daniel's great wisdom. (Ezek. 14:14-20; 28:3.) However, as stated at first, those whose eyes of understanding are now opened to see the meaning of Daniel's prophecy and to read the fulfilment of many parts of it in the events of history have no need of any outside evidence or testimony or proof that it was written under divine instruction, and will have no question that the remaining portions of it will be fulfilled with equal accuracy.

FOUR NOBLE YOUNG MEN.

As already noted, the first captivity by Nebuchadnezzar included the very cream of the Jewish nation. Amongst them were four young men of about sixteen years of age whose names implied a parentage that was reverential, loyal to God. Thus Daniel signified, "God is my judge," Hananiah, "Jehovah is gracious," Mishael, "God-like," Azariah, "Jehovah has helped." The fruit of godly training is manifest in the course pursued by these young men, as related in the present lesson. Their captivity doubtless seemed to them and all concerned a great hardship, a sore trial, and yet in God's providence it was overruled to be to them a great blessing, and that blessing has come down through the ages to fortify, strengthen and encourage even the spiritual Israelites.

The four boys mentioned were chosen by King Nebuchadnezzar, because of their brightness and general intelligence, to be specially educated with others in a class from which he drew his assistants and councillors of state. One of the first things done was the changing of their names: Henceforth Daniel was known amongst the Chaldeans as Belteshazzar, Hananiah was named Shadrach, Mishael was named Meshach and Azariah was named Abednego, these names implying relationship or servitude to the deities of Babylonia.

But changing their names by no means changed their hearts, just as their transporting from the land of promise to Babylon did not turn them from loyalty to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God in whose existence they believed and whose promises they revered, and whom consequently they desired to please and to serve. Daniel would appear to have been the foremost or leader amongst them, but the courage and fidelity of all were fully attested, Daniel's by his experience in the lion's den and the other three in their experiences in the fiery furnace.

GOOD BLOOD FROM CHEAP FOOD.

The school or college into which these four young Hebrews were introduced was maintained by the king and supplied with wines and various dainties usual to the table of the king and his nobility; but Daniel purposed in his heart that if possible he would choose plain food and not defile himself with the king's dainties and wine. Therefore he early made a request for the simple food here called pulse, a general name no doubt for vegetables, but particularly for the varieties we now know as peas, beans, etc.

The expression, "defile," was doubtless of double application: first, the meats and dainties of the heathen were usually dedicated to their deities in some manner, and this to a certain degree would defile in the estimation of those who would recognize that there was one living and true God whose blessing alone they might ask upon their food and drink and every interest. But the separate descriptions, meats and wines, rather implies that there was more than sentimental defilement connected with the matter. It seems to imply that Daniel recognized that his own health of mind and body would be clearer and better if he abstained from many of those delicacies and wines commonly in use. Both were good arguments – good reasons for avoiding, if possible, that class of food and taking the simple diet. We might here remark that it is a recognized fact in the light of the closest scrutiny that peas and beans and wheat contain all the necessary elements for the development and support of the human body – bones, muscle and brain. Those competent to speak with authority on the subject assure us that beans will yield to the human system a larger amount of muscular strength than the best of beefsteak. We are not teaching vegetarianism, but it is well for all to know that they have in a vegetable diet all the necessaries of life. This is important in view of the increasing price of meat, and it may be of still greater importance to remember in the future.

Daniel was evidently of a kind to make friends with good people under all circumstances, and it does not surprise us to find the statement of verse 9 that he soon was in favor and "tender love with the prince of the eunuchs," who was the steward having charge of the [R3631 : page 281] students of this college. Daniel's appeal was made to him, but was met with the objection that if by reason of such a change of diet those under his charge should be dwarfed or stunted or physically impoverished it might not only cost him his position but his very life – "endanger his head."

REWARDED WITH GOOD HEALTH.

Daniel, however, was fully convinced that the plainer diet would be none to his injury, and urged a ten days' test, on the results of which he was willing to rest his request. The plan was followed, and at the end of the ten days Daniel, and his companions who joined him in the request, were found to be in better flesh and every way brighter and more intelligent than their associates who were eating of the richer fruits and wines. As a result they were permitted to continue their abstemious diet, no doubt much to the amusement of their associates in the school, who without doubt would consider them foolish for thus choosing simple fare when they might have the king's food. It undoubtedly did cost some self-denial to all of these young captives to forego the pleasures of the palate, to endure the sneers of their companions, to be thought strange, peculiar, to be cut off in a measure, ostracised, from those who would be inclined to consider them common people without the cultivated tastes of the aristocratic. The effects, however, were good everyway, and it will be well for all of the Lord's people to draw a lesson here in respect to their diet as well as in regard to other affairs of life which have so much to do in the formation of character, the character which is so all-important for those who would be heirs of the Kingdom.

It is undoubtedly true that those who are given to gluttony and the use of alcoholic liquors stupefy their brains and are, therefore, to a certain degree disqualified for whatever business or other matter which may come before them. Some of this class may get along well in the world, but doubtless they would get along better so far as clearness of intellect is concerned if they were abstemious. However, it must be conceded that to mingle with the world, to conform to its habits and customs, to be the "hail-fellow-well-met" with the children of this world is the surest way to worldly success, honor of men and worldly prosperity under present conditions, while Satan is still the prince of this world. On the other hand, the abstemious course, self-denial, the practice of self-restraint, though disesteemed and sneered at by the world, is all-important in the upbuilding of the character likeness of Christ, and all who are seeking to walk in the footsteps of Jesus should remember this, and should endeavor to fight a good fight against their own appetites, their natural desires and for the upbuilding of themselves as New Creatures possessed of the new mind, the spirit of a sound mind, which associates with and relates to all the affairs of life, food, raiment, etc.

THE POWER OF FAITH.

Daniel and his associates, under the influence of the promise made to Abraham and his seed, were looking forward to the glorious Kingdom of the future when Immanuel would be King over all the earth. They were seeking to develop characters in accord with the will of God, that thus they might have a share in the better resurrection. We are glad for them, and are sure that when the new dispensation shall open up, the high positions which those ancient worthies will be granted in the earthly phase of the Kingdom will more than compensate them for the little self-denials which at the moment were no doubt severe tests of character and heart loyalty. And if this is true of those who are the heirs of the earthly phase of that Abrahamic Covenant how much more important to us who by the grace of God are living during this Gospel age and have been called of the Lord to joint-heirship with the Lord in the Spiritual Kingdom. As ours will be the still higher reward and the still higher station, it follows that the trial of our faith will be still more crucial than that of the ancient worthies. The Lord places us frequently where we have opportunities of choosing between this and that, and where, therefore, it becomes a matter of character or principle with us which we should choose. There is no virtue in choosing that which alone is possible to us. As the Scriptures declare, "The Lord your God proveth you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deut. 13:3.) In proportion to our love for the Lord will be our obedience to him, and obedience to him means obedience to the principles of righteousness for which he stands and which are inculcated by his Word; and principles obediently followed develop character, which in turn, by patience, perseverance, must be crystallized, become firm and fixed and unwavering.

THE BLESSING OF THE LORD.

God's blessing was upon those boys and their fixity of principle. He blessed them with superior wisdom, knowledge and grace, so that not only the eunuch perceived his favor in them but their companions also, and ultimately the king. The course of training in that college required three years (v. 5). At the end of that time the king called all the students before him and conversed with them, asking questions, etc. The superiority of the four young Hebrews was very manifest, and they were at once selected for officers of the king's court and subsequently reached very high positions of influence and power in the kingdom as governors, etc., especially Daniel. Nevertheless, as might be expected, this favor with God and with the king meant to a considerable degree the jealousy and enmity of their associates. We see this, for instance, in the reporting of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to the king; we see it also in the casting of Daniel into the lions' den, the result of a conspiracy amongst the various officers and wise men of the kingdom against Daniel.

DARE TO BE A DANIEL.

Here we have illustrated our Lord's words to us his followers, "Whosoever will live godly in this present time shall suffer persecution" – opposition from the world, the flesh and the adversary. This opposition is so great that many would not think for a moment of encountering it; they therefore are not of the special class whom the Lord is now seeking. Others more courageous, more loyal to the Lord, essay to fight the good fight, but when they come to realize something of the opposition and its weight and force and how it touches all the affairs of life, their hearts fail them, because they have not the sufficiency of faith in the Lord nor the sufficiency of love for him. The faithful, like Daniel, will set themselves for the attainment of their object at any cost. Their faith tells them that their object is worthy of their [R3631 : page 282] effort; their love inspires them, or, as the Apostle would say, constrains them to obedience even to the extent of laying down their lives in the Lord's service; neither count they their lives dear unto them that they may win Christ and be found in him.

But there is another side to this question. There are compensations to be had on the Lord's side and the side of righteousness. Sobriety, self-denial, do not mean merely disappointments, trials, deprivations, oppositions, but they mean also the King's favor. They mean the satisfaction of the heart, the mind; they mean peace with God and peace with our own consciences, and they mean additionally clearness of mind and restfulness of heart.

DEFILING THE TEMPLES.

Daniel's determination not to be defiled with certain food reminds us of the words of the Apostle, "If any man defile the Temple of God, him will God destroy." In one sense of the word the Temple of God is the Church, which is now in process of construction as our Lord shapes, fashions and polishes the living stones for places therein. Whoever introduces into the Church that which is defiling, whoever does injury to any of its living stones, is an evil doer in the highest sense of that term, in that he is defiling, injuring the body of Christ, which is the Church. If all could realize this how careful all would be in respect to the bringing in of different errors and false doctrines, misinterpretations of Scripture, etc. How careful each then would be to see that he speaks the things which he does know, that he would confine himself to the things written in the Word of the Lord. In proportion as those who are right at heart see this they will be careful that they do nothing to defile or stumble or injure any of the Lord's little ones.

In another phase of the subject the Apostle speaks of each body, each member of the New Creation, as a Temple, a Tabernacle, in which for the time being the holy Spirit dwells. From this standpoint we should be careful to have our bodies as clean, as pure, as holy as possible. We cannot transform our flesh to make perfect that which was born in sin and shapen in iniquity, but in proportion as the holy Spirit is received by us and in proportion as it has the control of us, in that same proportion there will be a gradual transforming power of the holy Spirit to work in us to will and to do God's good pleasure. Such should remember the instruction of the Apostle to all of this class, that they should purge out the old leaven of malice, hatred, envy, etc., and again his admonition that we cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit – perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. – 2 Cor. 7:1.

We firmly believe that all who receive that grace of God into good and honest hearts will surely experience a cleansing work – that the Truth will tend to make them cleaner physically as well as mentally. We are not advocating outward cleanliness as godliness, but an inward cleanliness which will do all it can to accomplish an outward cleansing. And very generally it succeeds – the filthiness of the flesh in various senses of the word begin to disappear. In proportion as the spirit of righteousness and truth and love enter into the heart, filthy words, filthy conduct, filthy habits, filthy appearance, all begin to come under the control of the transformed mind.

The Apostle distinguishes between the filthiness of the flesh and that of the spirit, the outward and manifest filthiness and the inward and secret filthiness; and, while [R3632 : page 282] both are important works, the latter undoubtedly is the more important of the two – to be cleansed from the filthiness of the spirit, filthiness of the mind. This refers not only to licentious thoughts, but to evil thoughts and inclinations of every kind; hatred, malice, strife, revenge, backbiting, evil speaking, all these come under this head of filthiness of the spirit. The poor tongue that utters the bitter words and voices the animosities is merely the servant of the heart, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. If there were no bitterness in the heart how could the tongue shoot out arrows, even bitter words – especially against the righteous, against those who are seeking to walk in the Lord's ways, however imperfectly – against those whom the Lord has covered with the robe of his righteousness? The Lord grant us more and more of this cleansing of the spirit, that we may be more and more filled with his spirit of love and sympathy and compassion, which does not readily impute evil but is full of mercy and good fruits.

[R3632 : page 282]

THE LORD IS MY KEEPER.
PSALM 121:5. – SEPTEMBER 24. –

A
S THE LAST lesson of the quarter this is a review. We can profitably look back over the lessons of this quarter and note that the key to every one of them has been the keeping power of God. In the first lesson we had the period of the kingdom under Hezekiah at the time of Sennacherib's invasion, and how the Lord graciously heard the prayer of his people and delivered them from so mighty a foe, before whom they trembled. The second lesson of the quarter showed God's power to keep the individual who trusts in him – that he is not only a God of nations, but is willing to exert his power on behalf of a solitary individual who reverences him and who looks to him in prayer. Hezekiah's deliverance from death and the prolongation of his life for fifteen years point this lesson, and while we may not similarly pray for continuation of the earthly life – having exchanged it, its interests and its concerns for the heavenly – we may pray for the still higher, the spiritual life, its protection, its prolongation everlastingly.

The third lesson on the keeping power of God related to Christ's sacrifice and Isaiah's visions of Messiah's sufferings. Here again the keeping power of God, his salvation for his people, for all who have trusted and who, having heard of his fame, by and by shall trust him, are brought prominently forward. Nor was it, as we saw, a desertion of his son in the time of trial, but even his sufferings were overruled and caused to work out his subsequent blessing and glorious exaltation to the Kingdom glory. Surely he was kept by the great Jehovah and surely the interests of mankind were preserved by him.

The fourth lesson was respecting the outcome of God's keeping, the blessings which he has kept in store, [R3632 : page 283] in reservation, which are not yet revealed except to the eye of faith through the promises – the Millennial blessings which may be enjoyed in proportion as we are able to exercise faith in God, the great Covenant Keeper who has promised and who will not fail in his promises – yea, who delights to be gracious – and the knowledge of whose glory and goodness shall soon fill the whole earth.

In lesson five we had a further demonstration of God's mercy and power to keep as manifested toward Manasseh on the occasion of his repentance and prayer for help. In lesson six we have an illustration of God's power to keep those who are seeking to do his will. Josiah, the good king, was blessed and kept. In lesson seven we have a demonstration of God's power to keep his Word, the finding of the book of the Law. And in this connection also we perceive the power of the Law of God reflexly to keep those who hold it faithfully in harmony with himself.

Lesson eight gives us a suggestion on the opposite side, of the loss which is sustained by those who scorn the Lord's Word – Jehoiakim's loss of judgment, the loss of his kingdom through scorning the divine messages sent him through Jeremiah.

In lesson nine we again have illustrated God's power to keep, for he kept Jeremiah even when cast into the dungeon and caused his release, and thus we have again illustrated the fact that he is as able to keep today and is as willing to protect and more willing even to assist those who are of Spiritual Israel.

In lesson ten we again have an illustration of a loss through disobedience to the Lord – Zedekiah's loss of the kingdom, a loss which appertained to the whole nation of Israel. And yet on the other hand we see God's faithfulness as represented in his gracious promise that after the kingdom of Israel had been overturned, overturned until the due time, it shall ultimately be given, as originally promised, to the great Messiah, the Root and Offspring of David.

Lesson eleven is another illustration of the keeping power of Jehovah. The water of life which is by and by to issue forth is all the provision of divine love and mercy through Christ. God has been keeping some of the richest of his blessings; the world has yet known little of the love of God. The only revelations that have yet been made of God's love are in connection with the death of Christ, which the worldly see not in the true light and appreciate not, but by and by they shall see indeed that God has graciously kept the best of his blessings for a future manifestation.

In lesson twelve we have again the keeping power of Jehovah as manifested in his care over Daniel and his associates – those who were faithful to him, loyal to him. And surely as Spiritual Israelites, in view of all these lessons of the past, we may have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hopes set before us in the Gospel. We who have fled for refuge to Jesus, and whose hope is anchored in him beyond the vail, surely we shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.

[R3632 : page 283]

WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES.
DANIEL 5:17-30. – OCTOBER 1. –

Golden Text: – "The face of the Lord is against them that do evil." – Psalm 34:16.

D
ANIEL must have been an old man of nearly ninety years at the time of the present lesson. Nebuchadnezzar was dead; Nabonidus, his son was probably also dead, and Belshazzar, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, had but recently come to the throne of Babylonia. Babylon was the capital city, and from all descriptions must have been by far the most wonderful city of the world up to that time, and in some particulars has had no rival since. It was a very wealthy, luxurious city, enriched not only by the plunder of the palaces and temples of the nations conquered round about, but further enriched by the tributes paid by those nations year by year and by its mercantile traffic with all the nations of the world.

It was not only the largest city in the world but the strongest fortress. The great plain on which it lay, a paradise of fertility and cultivation was intersected by countless canals, both small and great, serving alike for irrigation and navigation. Babylon, built on this fertile plain, was fourteen miles from north to south and fourteen miles from eat to west, and the walls surrounding it were 350 feet high. It had one hundred gates. The river Euphrates flowed through it, and was banked high on each side the stream with solid massive walls and intersected with water gates made of bronze. The historian says, "Babylon was the strongest fortress in the world. Even a small force of brave men could have held it for years." It would be the natural effect of having such riches and strength under his control to make the King Belshazzar proud and self-confident.

At the time of our lesson the army of the Medes and Persians under the command of king Cyrus was besieging Babylon. This was the Cyrus whom the Lord through one of his prophets declared should set free his people, the Hebrews. To all human appearance his besieging of the city of Babylon would be a hopeless task, a failure, so strong was that fortress. Yet the Lord had timed the fall of Nebuchadnezzar's empire, and no doubt providentially guided to the accomplishment of the matter at the time intended. While Belshazzar and the people of Babylon were holding high revel, banquets, etc., convinced of the security, the impregnability of their city, Cyrus and his army were building a trench above the city into which in due time the waters of the Euphrates river were turned, and then, in the darkness of the night, the soldiers were marched through the bed of the river and gained an entrance to the city while its unsuspecting defenders were banqueting.

VANITY AND SACRILEGE.

On this same night the king gave a banquet in his chief palace to a thousand of his nobles, and lords and ladies of the empire residing in the city. The enemy was little thought of. On the contrary, Belshazzar [R3633 : page 284] boasted of the impregnability of the fortress, and declared that the gods of the Babylonians were superior to all others. He pointed to the subject nations surrounding as evidences of this, and in derision called for the holy vessels that had been brought by his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar from the Jewish Temple, that he and his lords might drink from these to do the honor of the gods of Babylon.

It was in the midst of this blasphemy and profanation of the holy vessels of Jehovah's Temple that a hand appeared and wrote in letters of fire upon the wall of the palace the words, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. The king, his counsellors, his nobles, the aristocracy of the world, were astounded and numbed. The apparition convinced them at once that some dire calamity impended. It was recognized as being of superhuman origin. The wise men, the astrologers, etc., were sent for to give an explanation and interpretation. They came, but failed.

The King's mother remembered Daniel and his relationship with Nebuchadnezzar. She had probably heard of the wonderful interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's vision by Daniel when all others had failed. The prophet was evidently well known, and not far off, probably still engaged in some department of the government service and near the palace. He soon appeared, and his courage on this occasion is worthy of remark. He had a most painful duty to perform toward his superiors – the king, as an autocrat, had the power of his life at his tongue's end.

The king had offered both wealth and honor to the wise man able to give the meaning of the remarkable writing, but the Lord's prophet showed that he was not mercenary and that his interpretation was not influenced by any such considerations. His answer was, "Let thy gifts be to thyself and give thy rewards to another; nevertheless I will read the writing unto the king and make known to him the interpretation."

Daniel briefly rehearsed to the king his knowledge of his grandfather's experiences – his great honor and dignity and success, and subsequently his loss of reason, when for seven years he became an outcast from society and was reduced to the level of the brute beasts; how, then, the Lord had compassion on him and restored his reason, and he had confessed Jehovah to be the true God, saying, "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, extol and honor the king of heaven, for all his works are truth and his ways judgment; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase." (Dan. 4:33-37.) King Belshazzar, knowing this, should have humbled himself and been reverential toward Jehovah God, and in so much as he had defied and boastfully and knowingly dishonored him, the writing upon the wall was a message from Jehovah to him announcing the end of his dominion as a just punishment for his sacrilege.

How wonderfully timed was the whole matter! While these things were proceeding Cyrus' army was investing the city. While Daniel was explaining the meaning of the handwriting on the wall to be "Thou art tried in the balances and found wanting," the soldiers for the retribution were at work. King Belshazzar evidently recognized the truthfulness of the prophet's words and the justness of the divine decision. It is to his credit that instead of attempting to do violence to Daniel he honored him and made him the third in power in the kingdom. In a very little while the enemy was upon them, the king was slain, the government was transferred to the hands of Cyrus, and the honored Jew, Daniel, found in a position of trust, was made an officer in the new government of Medo-Persia, which by this overthrow of Babylonia became the second universal empire of the world, represented in Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the image by the arms of silver.

LESSONS TO BE DRAWN.

One lesson to be drawn from this narrative is that, although God had no covenant relationship with the other nations of the earth but only with Israel, nevertheless he exercised a general supervision of the other nations – not to the extent of chastising them and displacing them in the same manner that he did his covenant people, the seed of Abraham, but to the extent that they should have at least general lessons along general lines, that they might hear of his name although they had never been called to be his people, although no invitation was extended to them and no covenant of grace or peace proffered them. They were, as the Apostle subsequently described them, "without God, having no hope in the world," aliens, strangers, foreigners to the commonwealth of Israel. All that while the Lord hid from the Gentiles and from all people the ultimate purposes of his grace, the blessing of all the families of the earth. It was not yet due time either to redeem the world or to inform the world of the blessings that should ultimately flow from the great redemption that in the divine plan should be accomplished at Calvary.

Another lesson is that God does actually balance, weigh the conduct of people; that while grace is the basis of all his dealings, nevertheless the grace is dispensed according to certain principles of righteousness and justice and obedience to conditions, while punishments are executed upon the contrary class who neglect or ignore the divine instruction. It was so with Belshazzar, it will be so with all others eventually.

The Lord's dealings at the present time with nations no doubt pursue much the same lines that we see exemplified in Belshazzar's experiences and still further in the land of Canaan, when the Lord drove out the Canaanites, etc., when their cup of iniquity was full, and not before. Doubtless the Lord still deals with nations along these lines. For instance, the nations which have dealt unjustly with the Jews have been punished. Look at Spain, see Russia, and the nations which have persecuted the Spiritual Israelites. Undoubtedly these have received some measure of chastisements, even though they were long after the crime.

If the Lord's dealings were with the individuals of the race – if he judged every individual, punishing the evil doers and rewarding the well doers promptly, what a change it would make in the world and how speedily that change would be effected. This we see is not the case in the present time, nor according to the Scriptures has it been the case in the past. The prophet points out the fact that the eyes of the wicked stand out with fatness and they have more than heart could wish, while some of the Lord's faithful ones are permitted to be in straits, in difficulties, almost in want. This arrangement is necessary to the divine plan for the present time, to the intent that the Lord's people must walk by faith and not by sight – to the intent that those who love not the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength shall not be attracted to him [R3633 : page 285] by merely the hope of escaping punishment nor by the hope of receiving temporary rewards. The Lord seeks now to deal with those who can and will exercise faith in his gracious promises of a life to come.

By and by, when the Kingdom shall have been established and the Lord's will shall be done on earth as in heaven, all this will be changed. Then, as the Apostle tells us, he that doeth righteousness shall live, and he who wilfully does unrighteousness shall suffer, and, persevering, will eventually be destroyed in the second death.

The Lord's favor to Daniel in permitting him to have a high position in Babylonia and subsequently in the Medo-Persian empires is contrary to his dealings with Spiritual Israelites of the present time. He deals with us not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. Consequently the rewards we get for faithfulness to him are spiritual rewards, "much advantage everyway." The Lord expects that the heavenly hopes and prospects set before us of a participation in the heavenly Kingdom as joint-heirs with our Lord, the Messiah, will be esteemed by us as of greater value than the honors and dignity conferred upon the prophet Daniel in the past. And we, too, so esteem the matter. Let us continue to thus view things from God's standpoint, until by and by he shall say, Enough, come up higher.

The poet Heine has pictured the scenes of the lesson as follows: –

"In the monarch's cheeks a wild fire glowed,
And wine awoke his daring mood.
With daring hand, in his frenzy grim,
The king seized a beaker and filled to the brim,
And drained to the dregs the sacred cup,
And foaming he cried as he drank it up,
'Jehovah, eternal scorn I own
To thee – I am monarch of Babylon.'

*                         *                         *
"The yelling laughter was hushed, and all
Was still as death in the royal hall.
And see! And see! on the white wall high
The form of a hand went slowly by,
And wrote, and wrote, on the broad wall white,
Letters of fire, and vanished in night."

[R3635 : page 285]

THE MASTER'S TOUCH.
"In the still air the music lies unheard;
In the rough marble beauty hides unseen:
To make the music and the beauty, needs
The Master's touch, the sculptor's chisel keen.

"Great Master, touch us with Thy skillful hand;
Let not the music that is in us die!
Great Sculptor, hew and polish us; nor let,
Hidden and lost, Thy form within us lie!

"Spare not the stroke! do with us as Thou wilt!
Let there be naught unfinished, broken, marred;
Complete Thy purpose, that we may become
Thy perfect image, Thou our God and Lord!"

[R3634 : page 285]

SOME INTERESTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED.
THE THREE PARTS.

Question. – Please explain the meaning of the "three parts" of Zech. 13:8,9: "In all the land, saith the Lord, two parts shall be cut off and die; but the third part shall be left therein, and I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call upon my name, and I will hear them; I will say of them, It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God."

Answer. – These three parts are not stated to be thirds or equal parts; hence we are not to so interpret this passage. We understand three classes to be referred to: the two classes that will be cut off and die we understand to be the "little flock" and the "great company," all of both classes being consecrated unto death – the one class, the little flock, going into death in a voluntary manner, sacrificing; the other class, the great company, going into death under adverse circumstances which would test their loyalty to the Lord, and prove their willingness to serve him even at the cost of life itself, even though they had not that consuming zeal which would lead them, according to their covenant, to self sacrifice.

The third part that will be brought through the fire, refined, etc., we understand to represent the world of mankind, which will pass from death conditions to life conditions as human beings during the Millennium – quite probably also a large proportion of the living nations at the time of the establishment of the Kingdom will pass over and become subjects of the Kingdom without going into the tomb. The whole human family, except the few who are vitally connected with Christ, are already reckoned dead with Adam and they all will be granted an opportunity for coming, through the divine processes of the Millennial age, back to the full perfection of human life lost by father Adam's transgression. All such as are thus returned to harmony with God will indeed recognize him as such, and he will recognize them as his people.

PERFECT, WITH LIMITED KNOWLEDGE.

Question. – A question sometimes brought up which I am a little at a loss to answer, is: If Adam was perfect how could he sin? This question is usually followed by a statement that a perfect person cannot make a mistake. I usually answer that there is a difference in perfection of being and perfection of character, but they usually reply that if Adam's character was not perfect then he was in a state of imperfection, requiring evolution to perfect him. It is here that I feel unable to answer, unless by saying that only omniscience could secure perfection of character even with perfection of being.

Answer. – You have answered the question well. Adam was perfect as a man, but lacked experience. We must not however, say that he was perfect in knowledge for this would be a fallacious statement, a misuse of the word perfect. The man is one thing and his knowledge is another thing. When mankind shall have reached perfection in the end of the Millennial age it will not mean that it has attained all knowledge on every subject. Quite to the contrary, we may reasonably suppose that to all eternity mankind will be privileged to progress in his knowledge of the greatness, goodness and wisdom of God. The only thing necessary to Adam's trial was that he should understand that obedience was required, and that the penalty of disobedience would be the loss of his life [R3634 : page 286] privileges. He would have this degree of knowledge, and he therefore sinned intelligently. As the Apostle declares, "Adam was not deceived."

We are to remember that the perfect Adam had a good character in the sense of having a well-balanced judgment, pre-disposed to righteousness by virtue of his organization in the image and likeness of his Creator, but he was not created a machine. If we make a perfect machine it cannot fail to do exactly the thing it was intended to do, because it is entirely without ability to do otherwise. But God made man in his own likeness, a free moral agent – free to choose his own way, whether of obedience unto life or of disobedience unto death. The very fact that he was given such a choice proves that he was perfect, that the ability for either right doing or wrong-doing was his; his reason for choosing the wrong way was, evidently, as you suggest, his lack of knowledge. Had he been omniscient, like his Creator, able to comprehend the end from the beginning, undoubtedly he would not have transgressed. But it was not God's purpose to make an omniscient being, and Adam was not omniscient, neither will the perfectly restored human family be omniscient. God's requirement of his creatures is not that they must know as well as he, but that they should have confidence in him, should trust implicitly to his judgment, and realize that thus in him they live and move and have their being. Their perfection will never be divine, but human perfection, subjected to and guided by divine wisdom and revelation.

OUR FEELINGS RE GOD'S CALL.

Question. – Does the fact that I do not feel so great a craving for the gift of immortality as some others express, indicate that I have not been called to the high calling, but to the earthly calling, to restitution? My desire seems to be to live justly, righteously, rather than to live saintly and sacrificingly. Is this a further indication along the same line as the above?

Answer. – No; our feelings or aspirations are not the call. Otherwise it would imply that we do our own calling. Speaking of our priesthood, the Apostle declares, "No man taketh this honor to himself but he that is called of God," (Heb. 5:4), and the place to ascertain what is God's call is not in our feelings but in God's own Word of revelation. He declares through the inspired Apostle, "Ye are all called in one hope of your calling." (Eph. 4:4.) This contradicts the thought that there might be two callings, an earthly and a heavenly, from which we might choose. Our feelings depend largely upon our natural constitutions, influenced by the experiences of life, and hence they are unreliable except as they are regulated or created by the inspiring and transforming influences of the Scriptures. In other words, our spiritual hopes are begotten in us by the word of grace. What we must do is to let this truth, the divine promise, dwell in our hearts more and more richly, and as the Apostle says, "Think on these things." As you do so they will enlarge before your mental eye, and you will gradually come to see more of their richness and value.

We have heretofore pointed out that we are living in the harvest or end of the Gospel age, and that the Millennial age in some measure laps on to this harvest and has a beginning here. We have also shown that in this harvest time, and especially in the great time of trouble with which it will end, God is dealing with a restitution class. But to deal with and prepare a class for the restitution favors is a wholly different matter from extending such a call. To our understanding no such call to restitution blessings will ever be issued. In God's due time restitution laws will prevail in the world and whoever obeys then will begin to experience actual restitution; whoever rejects will promptly receive retribution. If a restitution call were now in progress it would imply that whoever accepted it would begin at once to experience the blessings of restitution – relief from aches and pains, and from mental and physical imperfections and weaknesses – legitimate restitution work, such as we expect will progress during the Millennial age as soon as it shall be fully ushered in and the laws and judgments for that age have been promulgated. – Acts 3:25.

As for us who have now tasted of God's grace, it is not for us to dictate to the Lord what portions of blessing we prefer, but rather to accept thankfully such favors as he shall be pleased to tender us, and he has tendered us the exceeding great and precious things, far better than the restitution privileges of the race in general.

Your desire for a life of righteousness is a proper one. This is the first lesson we are to learn as soon as we find out that we and others of our race are fallen and imperfect creatures by heredity. As soon as we have learned of our own blemishes and look to the Lord, he points us to Christ as the only way of approach to him, "the Way, the Truth, the Life." Realizing our need of just such a Savior to justify us from sin and to help us out of its miry clay and to put our feet upon the Rock, we gratefully accept, lay hold of the Lord by faith. We are thus justified freely from all things through faith. Then we start to live the justified life, a life of righteousness, soberness, honesty, truth, godliness. We proceed but a short time ere we learn that such a reasonable and consistent life will cost us something – that it will involve self-sacrifices, self-denials, misrepresentations, etc., because the mass of those around us know not the Lord and seek not to walk in the ways of righteousness. The darkness that is in them comes speedily into conflict with the light that has come into us, and hence our Lord's statement, "Whosoever will live godly shall suffer persecution." This means the place of turning back for quite a good many who espoused the Lord's cause. It means the time of forsaking the principles of righteousness, truth, etc., a time for compromises, with the world, the flesh and the devil, for the sake of peace and earthly prosperity, and alas! too many yield. But those who are loyal to the Lord and the principles of righteousness thus reach a crisis point, and those who decide that they will follow righteousness, follow the Lord whatever the cost, thereby take the step of full consecration – whether they realize that it is another step or not. In other words, the maintenance of justification by faith will sooner or later mean consecration, self-sacrifice. We are not to expect that we will love the experience of sacrificing, at least not in the beginning of our experience. We love the right principles and are learning to sacrifice rather than violate them, but no chastisement, no discipline, seemeth at the time joyous, but rather grievous. [R3635 : page 287] Nevertheless, in the Lord's providence, those who make such sacrifices for principle's sake are blessed by him with keener and deeper insight into the word of truth by the spirit of adoption which he bestows upon those who are thus exercised; and those clearer insights into things which God hath in reservation for them that love him, eventually outweigh the trials and difficulties of the pathway, so that with the Apostle we are enabled to say, "I count all things but as loss and dross that I may win Christ." The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glories that shall be revealed in us; but, as before stated, this is the experience only of those who have made considerable progress in the new way, and whose sacrifices of self interest have brought to them the Lord's providence, blessings of head and of heart, which none can appreciate fully except those who have experienced them.

So then, in summing up, let us say that our failure to rightly appreciate the great blessings which God has attached to the call of this Gospel age is not a sign that we have not received the call, but it is a sign that we have not clearly and fully appreciated it. We are to credit ourselves for a great deal of ignorance, and to correspondingly trust the Lord's wisdom, just as little children should realize their own inexperience to judge of values and should look to their parents to judge for them. The Scriptures point out our ignorance on this subject, saying, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things that God hath in reservation for them that love him."

The Lord has chosen for us the things which he is pleased to offer to us, and those who come to a clear knowledge of the Truth and who then deliberately reject the grace of God, would seem to do despite to the Lord's favor. This the Apostle seems to imply when he says, If we neglect so great salvation how shall we escape? – what assurance would there be that we would not reject a lesser favor? We cannot appreciate either except as the Lord instructs us respecting their values.

WHO MAY PROPERLY MEMORIALIZE?

Question. – Is it correct to say that the "sacrament," the Memorial Supper, symbolizes the appropriation of Christ's righteousness by faith in his sacrifice? If so, has not a person who is justified by faith, but who has not yet made a consecration, a perfect right to partake of the emblems?

Answer. – The only object of justification in this present age is to fit or enable the justified one to make his consecration and whoever does not so use his justification as to obtain thereby consecration and begettal to the new nature is to that extent receiving the grace of God in vain – failing to make use of it. Just as though a wealthy friend should give a poorer one an order on his store for goods, saying: "Upon the presentation of this order by John Blank or Mary Blank at my store at any time during the year 1905, he shall be privileged to purchase such goods as he may desire at one-tenth of their actual price, ninety per cent. of all their purchases being charged to me." If John Blank or Mary Blank failed to present this order during the year, and thus failed to buy any goods during the specified period, the order would be practically valueless to them, because they did not take advantage of its favorable terms. Just so now, any who are justified by faith have the privilege of consecrating themselves and being accepted in the Beloved, and thereby the privilege of obtaining the exceeding great and precious promises at the small cost of sacrificing present privileges; and whoever does not so use his justification during this age to obtain the high calling may be said to have profited nothing by it, for it lapses with the end of this life, and must be renewed, if at all, in the next life, upon the same conditions and terms as to all the remainder of humanity.

Applying this to the Memorial Supper: the Memorial Supper not only represents the eating of the bread, the symbol of our justification, but it also represents the partaking of the cup, fellowship in the sufferings of Christ. These two thoughts are linked together in the symbol, and may not be sundered in our application of it. It would not, therefore, be proper for any to participate in the Memorial Supper except such as have not only been justified by partaking of Christ's righteousness, but who additionally have become joint-heirs in sacrifice with him, drinking of his cup.

JUSTICE A PART OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

Question. – In Proverbs 16:11 we read, "A just weight and balance are the Lord's." Should we not, therefore, seek to develop the characteristic of love, rather than of justice, leaving the matter of justice until such times as we shall be perfected and enthroned, and thus be enabled to act upon the principle of justice, the foundation of God's throne?

Answer. – We should apprehend the principle of justice now without waiting until we are made perfect. We should seek to note the operation of divine justice and the operations of justice and injustice in humanity, with special notice and criticism of ourselves. He who fails to appreciate justice must of necessity proportionately fail to appreciate mercy, for mercy is merely the difference between love and justice. We are to seek to note the principle of justice in our dealings with others, and to "deal justly and keep judgment," as the Lord directs, but we are to compensate for our own imperfection and the imperfection of others by permitting love to govern, and to cover all the multitude of faults in those with whom we have to do. Nevertheless, we are to seek to view our own conduct in the light of justice, and with as few allowances as possible for our own imperfections.

SANCTIFICATION OF THE SPIRIT.

Question. – Please explain the latter part of 1 Pet. 1:2, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ."

Answer. – None are to be considered of the elect who have not experienced sanctification of the spirit – of the mind, of the will; and more than this, it must be such a sanctification as will lead on to obedience – a desire to know and to do the will of the Lord to the extent of our ability. And this obedience would not be sufficient to commend us to God, because we are weak through the fall. It needs, therefore, additionally, in compensation for our blemishes, the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus – the merit or covering of his righteousness made available to us by his death and appropriated by our faith.