page 337
November 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. XXVIINOVEMBER 1No. 21
A.D., 1906 – A.M., 6035
CONTENTS
Views from the Watch Tower 339
Roman Catholicism in Trouble 339
Hatred of the Jews 340
Insanity on the Increase 341
The Rose (Poem) 341
Report of Recent Conventions 341
Gathering or Scattering, Which? 342
Harvest Helpers and Hinderers 343
The Spirit of Division 344
Berean Studies in "Tabernacle Shadows" 345
"With Strong Cryings and Tears" 346
He Was Heard in the Thing Feared 347
"Despised and Rejected of Men" 349

'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 338

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.
T
HIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated, – Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to – "Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed." – Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; – according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH
That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" – peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age – ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him. – 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. – Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." – Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir. – 1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age. – Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church. – Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.

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FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.

[R3882 : page 338]

SWEDISH AND FRENCH TRUTH LITERATURE

We have just published Vol. V. of MILLENNIAL DAWN in the Swedish language – style, binding and price uniform with English volume; see next column. We do not purpose publishing Vol. IV. in this language, the demand not being great enough.

We have on hand cloth-bound copies of the Swedish TOWER for 1903 and 1904. They will be sent postpaid to any address for $1.00 each.

The Swedish Hymnal, cloth-bound, containing a choice selection of 50 hymns, without music, is 10c, postpaid.

"About Hell," in Swedish, is supplied in paper binding, at 10c each, 50c per doz.; in cardboard covers at 20c per copy, $1.00 per doz.

In French we have "Bible versus Evolution" and "Our Lord's Return: His Parousia," etc., at 5c each. page 338

"VOLUNTEER" TOWERS IN SWEDISH

We have good quantities of Swedish literature for general circulation as Volunteer matter. We cannot send these by mail except in small lots, but where 2000 or more are ordered in one lot we can send by freight, charges prepaid. Order all you can use judiciously amongst the Swedish people of your neighborhood.

[R3881 : page 339]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
ROMAN CATHOLICISM IN TROUBLE

WE have already noted the fact that the French government has cancelled its agreement or "Concordat" with the Church of Rome, and that religion in France is now on much the same plane as in these United States – that is, that religion shall no longer be supported by the government. There is this difference – the French have gone a step farther than America, and have decided that the great church edifices, etc., built with the money of the French public, are not the property of the Pope and Roman hierarchy, but to be supervised by the French government, which, being a Republic, is the people's government.

French laws on the subject are even-handed toward all religions – Catholic, Protestant, Hebrew, et al. They will not recognize the power of the Pope and others in Italy to close the church buildings, nor to otherwise control them; but insists that the Catholic people of the diocese shall have the control. To understand this we must remember, as pointed out in MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., that the Roman Catholic Church is not composed of the Roman Catholics of the congregation, but is a hierarchy composed of the Pope and higher clergy. The Catholic congregations are merely "the children of the Church, who call the Church" (the hierarchy) their fathers. This is the Episcopal idea even amongst Protestants: but the majority of Protestants recognize, in theory at least, that "All ye are brethren." However, even amongst these the division into "clergy" and "laity" is a too common fact – descended from "the dark ages" and fostered by Roman and Episcopal usages.

The Pope (Pius X.) has issued (Aug 14) an Encyclical letter to the Roman Catholic Bishops of France in which he denounced the French government's action, and while apparently forbidding compliance with it, really instructs them how best to comply with it; – by organizing Societies amongst the laity who can and will co-operate with their Ecclesiastics. Note the point: Rome will not concede that her "children" are in or of the Church, but she will outwardly comply with French law to hold possession and control of Church property. The poor French "children" may never know that they have the control of the situation. Similar regulations in Great Britain and in these United States might be favorable to the greater liberty of the people of all denominations. For instance, then Presbyterians and Methodists and Catholics, et al., would control their own properties as the Disciples and some Baptists now do.

ROMISH INFLUENCE IN SPAIN

Ever since the Spanish-American war Spain has been awakening to a realization of her bondage to religious superstitions of the "dark ages." The action of France has been a lesson to Spain, which she is gradually learning, and it need not surprise us if it lead to separation between the State-and-Church union which has prevailed there for centuries. The entering wedge was the recent decision of the Minister of Justice, that a civil marriage is lawful and binding whether sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church or not. The test case was on the refusal of burial privileges to the corpse of one married without the approval of the Roman clergy. The decision will thus be seen to be a breaking of the power of the Roman clergy over the people.

A dispatch from Madrid states that the Church and State relationship is exciting heated discussions and that public disturbances have occurred. It is said that at the next session of the Spanish Parliament the King's representative will introduce a bill making the "religious orders" amenable to the law controlling industrial corporations, and another bill providing that the members of orders recently expelled from France shall either become naturalized citizens or leave Spain.

We rejoice that "the dark places of the earth, the habitations of cruelty," are getting a glimmer of the light of the Millennial morning. We lift up our heads with rejoicing that the deliverance of the true and only Church ("whose names are written in heaven") is nigh at hand; and that then speedily the great Sun of Righteousness will shine forth to bless all the families of the earth, to give to all the knowledge of the glory of God as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Meantime the Lord has stirred the hearts of some familiar with the Spanish tongue, and they are preparing [R3881 : page 340] a translation of Vol. I., ("The Divine Plan of the Ages,") in that language, which we hope to have ready soon after the beginning of 1907. It will be in demand in Mexico first, but we learn will also be appreciated by considerable numbers in Spain.

STRONG PROTESTS AGAINST THE POPE

A cablegram says: – "Poor Pope Pius X's honeymoon is over, and the simple-minded child-like occupant of the chair of St. Peter is surrounded on all sides by dangers and intrigues. That his good intentions have at least partly failed and that the Augean stable of the Vatican is still waiting for a Hercules to clean it is no secret, and it is also a well-known fact that the Pope has fallen a victim to the forces of the reactionary parties surrounding him, and that this has caused great dissatisfaction amongst the Roman clergy.

"This is plainly shown by the numerous libelous pamphlets which have appeared during the last few months. The latest of these, which has created widespread sensation, is entitled, 'Ildebrand monaco,' criticizes the Pope in a manner which in regard to forceful language surpasses anything ever printed in the Eternal City.

"'It is no longer you, Holy Father, who rule, but reckless and unscrupulous prelates who have taken advantage of your kindness and modesty. A small clique of younger prelates, led by Cardinal Merry del Val, are bringing disgrace upon the Church, and while they are satisfying their every desire, the priests are struggling with poverty, many of them living on a lire and a half (30 cents) a day.

"'We know that you, Holy Father, were inspired with the best intentions when you ascended to the throne of St. Peter, but though you do not realize it, you have become a weak, tyrannous Pope. You desired to reinstate the rule of love and charity, but you have been conquered by Satan, whose servants are surrounding you, disguised as young cardinals.

"'Oh, Holy Father, remember that it is your holy duty to seek truth, and more so as many of us are beginning to doubt its existence. Remember that some day you will be called to account for your stewardship!'"

HATRED OF THE JEWS

Benjamin Disraeli, better known as Lord Beaconsfield, wrote a political biography which is attracting considerable attention. Goldwin Smith thus refers to it: –

"It is natural that in the course of this political biography Disraeli, who had witnessed the exclusion of Jews from the House of Commons and who had found and was still finding his own Israelite descent an almost insuperable bar to advancement, should diverge for a moment from the main current of his narration to consider the grounds of the disabilities to which the Hebrew race had been so long subjected in Christian Europe. He begins by reminding us that the Saxon, the Slav and the Celt have adopted most of the laws and many of the customs of the Jews, together with all the latter's literature and all their religion. The former are, therefore, indebted to the Israelites for much that regulates, much that charms and much that solaces existence. The toiling multitude rest every seventh day by virtue of a Jewish law; they are perpetually reading, that they may be taught by example, the records of Jewish history; they are continually singing the odes and elegies of Jewish poets; and they daily acknowledge on their knees with reverent gratitude that the only medium of communication between the Creator and themselves is the Jewish religion. Yet, at the hour when Disraeli wrote, the Saxon, the Slav and the Celt were accustomed to treat that race as the vilest of generations; and, instead of looking upon them logically as the channel of human happiness, they were accustomed to inflict upon them every term of obloquy and every form of persecution. Had it not been for the Jews of Palestine the good tidings of our Lord would have been unknown forever to the northern and western races. The first preachers of the Gospel were Jews, no others; the historians of the Gospel were [R3882 : page 340] Jews, no others. No human being has ever been permitted to write under the inspiration of the holy Spirit except a Jew. 'They nursed the sacred flame of which they were the consecrated and hereditary depositories. When the time was ripe to diffuse the truth among the Gentiles it was not a senator of Rome nor a philosopher of Athens who was personally appointed by our Lord for that office, but a Jew of Tarsus, who founded the seven churches of Asia. That greater Church, great even amid its terrible corruptions, that has avenged the victory of Titus by subjugating the capital of the Caesars and has changed every one of the Olympian temples into altars of the God of Sinai and of Calvary, was founded by another Jew, a Jew of Galilee.' From all which Disraeli concludes that the dispersion of the Jewish race, preceding as it did for ages the advent of our Lord, could not be for conduct which occurred subsequent to his nativity, and that they are also guiltless of that subsequent conduct which has been imputed to them as a crime, since for him and his blessed name they preached and wrote and shed their blood, 'as witnesses.'

"Disraeli says: 'The creative genius of Israel, on the contrary, never shone so bright; and when the Russian, the Frenchman and the Anglo-Saxon, amid applauding theaters or the choral voices of solemn temples, yield themselves to the full spell of a Mozart or a Mendelssohn, it seems difficult to comprehend how these races can reconcile it to their hearts to persecute a Jew.' In the course of the same remarkable chapter Disraeli refers to the futility of persecution in the case of the Jew. 'Egyptian Pharaohs, Assyrian kings, Roman emperors, Scandinavian crusaders, Gothic princes and holy inquisitors have alike devoted their energies to the fulfilment of this common purpose. Expatriation, exile, captivity, confiscation, torture on the most ingenious and massacre on the most extensive scale, and a curious system of degrading customs and debasing laws which would have broken the heart of any other people have been tried, and in vain! The Jews, after all this havoc, are probably more numerous at this date than they were during the reign of Solomon the Wise, are found in all lands, and prospering in most. All which proves that it is in vain for man to attempt to baffle the inexorable law of nature, which has decreed that a superior race shall never be destroyed or absorbed by an inferior.' Disraeli adds that all the tendencies of the Jewish race are conservative. The bias of the Jews is toward religion, property and natural aristocracy. For which reason Disraeli pronounces it for the interest of statesmen that this bias of a great race should be encouraged, and their energies and creative powers enlisted in the cause of the existing social order."

Watchword.
[R3882 : page 341]
INSANITY ON THE INCREASE

Washington, D.C., – At the end of the year 1904, the last for which figures have been returned, 199,773 persons were under restraint in the 328 mad-houses of the country. No account was taken of the hopelessly insane people returned to the insane wards of the county poor-houses throughout the country by the hospitals for the insane maintained by the various States.

During the thirteen years' period from 1890 to the end of 1903, the number of hospitals for the insane and the insane confined therein both doubled. In that same period 16,946 persons were confined in forty-two institutions for the feeble minded.

These statistics were completed by the Census Bureau, and made public in a special bulletin to-day. The bureau does not regard them as conclusive answer to the question whether insanity is increasing. They do regard them as persuasive. They regard them as revealing a remarkable increase in the class to which they belong, namely, to the number of insane placed under restrictions.

The number of insane in hospitals for each 100,000 of population increased from 81.6 in 1880 to 118.2 in 1890, and 186.2 in 1903. A remarkable fact is that among native whites there is more insanity among the males, while among foreign-born whites the females are more likely to lose their reason than the males. Although not made a part of the official record of speculations on the subject, there is an impression among those who assisted in the compilation of the figures that American males go insane as the reason of their strenuous efforts to get the money wherewith to support the female members of their families in comparative ease, while among the foreign-born insanity among the females results from the work their lords and masters compel them to perform.

Rochester Democrat.
*                         *                         *

Science has been boasting of late that the average of human life has been increasing: that the average is now 35 years, whereas only twenty years ago it was as low as 32 years. This raise of the average has been accomplished chiefly through increased skill in dealing with children's ailments. Weakly children are now "pulled through" by the use of incubators, etc., etc. On these achievements of science some were disposed to predicate wonderful things – possibly eventually "eternal life."

But those whose eyes of understanding are opening under the eyesalve of God's Word see matters differently: they see that man's hopes of everlasting life center in Christ and not in medical science. To us there is quite a connection between the above and other reports of the rapid increase of insanity and the preservation of the weaklings of our race. The lesson is that, if science held the race out of the grave a little longer the survival of the weak would mean in a few generations a weaker race and a still more rapid deterioration and shortening of longevity. Even now insanity experts are telling us that at the present rate the whole world would be insane in less than two centuries. Evidently the world as well as the Church has cause to pray earnestly, "Thy Kingdom Come."

[R3883 : page 341]

THE ROSE
Within my hand I gently hold "the Garden's Queen," a rose, –
The softly sighing summer wind about it faintly blows
And wafts its wondrous fragrance out upon the evening air.
And as I gaze upon the rose, so perfect and so fair,
In memory's halls there wakes, the while, a legend, quaint and old,
How once upon a time, one day, a sage picked up, we're told,
A lump of common clay, so redolent with perfume rare,
He marvelled, and the question wondering asked, "Whence dost thou bear
Such fragrance, oh, thou lump of clay?" In tones of deep repose
There came the sweet reply, "I have been dwelling with the rose."

The while the legend stirs my soul, within my hand still lie
The petals of the rose, and from my heart of hearts I cry,
"Thou lovely "Rose of Sharon," may I ever dwell with Thee,
So closely that the fragrance of Thy love shall cling to me!
Oh, fill me with the spirit of Thy sweet humility,
Then all shall see and know, dear Lord, that I have learned of Thee;
And let my earthly pilgrimage, until its blessed close,
Each day and hour bear witness, "I've been dwelling with the Rose."

G. W. S.

[R3882 : page 341]

REPORT OF RECENT CONVENTIONS
ALTOONA, PA., SEPT. 23
W
E had three splendid meetings at Altoona. The morning Testimony Rally showed warmth and zeal and love for the Lord, the Truth and the brethren. The afternoon meeting for the public was in the Opera House, which was well filled with an audience of about 1000. The evening session for the interested was attended by about 275. God's blessing was with our united efforts, we believe, and we already know of some good results.
COLUMBUS, O. SEPT. 30

Arriving at an early hour we had the privilege of visiting the Penitentiary, where a number of "brethren" are confined for misdeeds committed while they were still under the blinding instructions of "orthodoxy." We could not see all, on account of prison rules, but those whom we did meet gave good evidence of the truth of the Apostle's words, "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

The Testimony Rally was at 10 a.m. and was a great success. A goodly number attended from nearby points and the general witness was to the mercy of God and special thankfulness for the Truth. The service for the public was in the new "Memorial Hall," the largest auditorium of the city, said to seat 3500. It was packed full, 200 on chairs on the platform, 300 standing, and several hundred were unable to obtain admittance when the public safety authorities closed and locked the doors. It was a grand audience which gave close attention for nearly two hours to our theme, "To Hell and Back." The evening address to the interested many of you already read in the Dispatch. The attendance was about 700, the majority of them being people who had heard in the afternoon for the first time. The friends had prayed much and labored hard for this meeting and had spent much money in wise advertising, that their fellow-citizens might have the privilege of coming in contact with the Truth, and they [R3883 : page 342] felt greatly blessed and encouraged by the results seen and hoped for.

CONVENTIONS IN TEXAS

Only one Texas Convention was announced – at Dallas, Oct. 13,14 – but at a date too late for announcement in the WATCH TOWER the appeals from San Antonio and Houston prevailed. The determining arguments were that the Editor when at Dallas would be within 300 miles of the other points, that to visit them would consume little more time, and that the majority of the friends could not afford to visit Dallas.

At Dallas we had a splendid gathering of the "brethren," representing every section of Texas, Indian Territory, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The only drawback was the rainy weather, which interfered with the attendance of the public, but in no sense dampened the spiritual ardor of our own people.

The Convention opened Saturday morning, Oct. 13, and closed the following Monday at noon. The largest attendance was about 400; 20 symbolized their consecration by immersion.

The Editor left Dallas for San Antonio on Sunday night. At the latter place two public meetings were held – Monday afternoon and evening. The latter, in the Grand Opera House, was attended by about 1000 who gave excellent attention.

Leaving on the night train, Houston was reached Tuesday morning and there two public services were held – afternoon and evening – about 350 being present at the closing session. Thence by train two days and three nights brought us in safety to the Bible House, Allegheny, on Friday morning, Oct. 20.

[R3883 : page 342]

GATHERING OR SCATTERING, WHICH?

"He that is not for me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." – Matt. 12:30

O
F THE JEWS in general at the first advent our Lord declared, "They knew not the time of their visitation." (Luke 19:44.) When we remember that the people addressed were the prototype of nominal Christendom today, it should not surprise us that the same words are applicable now. As Israel recognized not Jesus as the Messiah and that his work was a harvest work, a separating work, so likewise Christian people in general today are unaware that we are living in the second presence of the Messiah and that a similar harvesting work is now in progress – separating wheat from tares and gathering the wheat into the garner. Although there has always been a right and a wrong side to every question – the side of right and truth and the side of wrong and error, the side of God and the side of Mammon – yet the harvest in the end of the Jewish age brought a new issue and a fresh division along new lines.

So it is in this harvest time: throughout the Gospel age there has been the side of right and justice and its opposing side of wrong and error, the side of God and the truth and the side of Mammon and confusion. But now in the harvest time the fresh separation takes place along new lines – a separation amongst those who are on the side of God, on the side of right, on the side of truth. Evidently these harvest testings, siftings, separations, represent more crucial tests to the Lord's people than have come to them at other times, and correspond with the harvest time at the first advent, and now have come increased blessings, privileges, favors, enlightenments. Where much advantage is given the more will reasonably be expected in return – where the trials are more severe, the more assistance and enlightenment are necessary and have been provided.

THE PERIOD OF TRANSITION

Surveying Christendom we find many in the nominal churches doing all in their power to oppose the harvest work; nevertheless it goes on prosperously, in harmony with our Lord's declaration, "So shall my word be that goeth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isa. 55:11.) It was just so at the first advent: practically all of the leading theologians, Doctors of the Law, as well as the priests and the leading prominent Pharisees, took the side of opposition to the great Reaper and that harvest work. Similarly today in this harvest the most vigorous opponents of the Lord's work are the Doctors of Divinity and those prominent in religious matters. They can agree amongst themselves, and bury all their own serious oppositions of doctrine and usage in union meetings, etc., Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics and Jews, as we sometimes see mentioned in the public press. But they all with one accord are violently opposed to Present Truth as represented in the WATCH TOWER publications, opposed to the harvest work.

Just so the Sadducees, the Pharisees and Herodians made common cause in opposition to the Master and the harvest work in the end of the Jewish age. Nevertheless the Lord's work was really helped forward by their opposition, for he intended the gathering only of the elect class, the fully consecrated, and the opposition helped to separate from these all others; and just so we find it at the present time. We are not, therefore, complaining respecting these oppositions, knowing full well that the Chief Reaper has the entire situation in charge, and that by divine ability he is able to make all things work together for good to the right class, and for the accomplishment of his purpose in the separations intended at the present time.

We feel justified according to the Scriptures in supposing that Satan, the great Adversary of the divine plan, has more or less to do with the oppositions of [R3883 : page 343] this present time, as the Scriptures assure us he had to do with the opposition to the harvest work of the Jewish age. He of course works through natural channels, uses human instrumentalities. As an angel of light he urges those who have been identified with religious institutions of human organization that their systems having been used by the Lord to some extent in helping faithful souls nearer the truth, it would be an error now to think of these institutions or systems as being rejected of the Lord and his people called out of them. He blinds them to the fact that in the past God has repeatedly used the wrath of men to praise him, and various institutions not approved by him have served as his instrumentalities in accomplishing his needed work, just as the Lord had undoubtedly blessed and used the priests and Levites, the Doctors of the Law and the Pharisees, in olden times, and continued to use them more or less up to the time of their final testing, when the Master declared publicly, "Your house is left unto you desolate." – Matt. 23:38.

All true Israelites should have recognized the change of dispensations; or, as the Scriptures declare, they should have known "the time of their visitation." The difficulty evidently was that many of them were overcharged with the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, the honors of men and their sectarian prosperity. And so it is here in this harvest time: the test comes along similar lines. Fidelity to the voice of him that speaketh from heaven through the Bible means, in the clearer light now granted us, an opposition to the errors and false doctrines long cherished as truths by ourselves and forbears and friends. Now as then this increase of light, this hearing of the voice of the Lord, brings a test – the separation of those who are the true sheep from others who do not belong to this flock. "My sheep hear my voice and they follow me." [R3884 : page 343]

The true sheep have long recognized that the voice of their creeds from the "dark ages" was not purely and simply the voice of the Shepherd: they heard instead confused voices, some of them from the Lord and some of them from the Adversary; and this confusion is represented in the creeds. The word Babylon signifies confusion; hence nominal Christendom as a whole is today, according to the Scriptures, to be recognized as Babylon, confusion. Her voice is not wholly bad nor wholly good – it is the message of the Lord contradicted and confused by the message of the Adversary.

But now in the harvest time the Chief Reaper is here, and all the wheat class should know it and should heed his message and be gathered into the garner. Under another figure the Chief Shepherd has come, and all the true sheep should now discern clearly between his voice and the voice of strangers, heard through their creeds and generally from their pulpits – voices which speak Evolution, Higher Critical Infidelity, and the rejection of the Word of God, which the Apostle declares is alone able to make us wise unto salvation – that is alone able to qualify the man of God that he may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. – 2 Tim. 3:17.

HARVEST HELPERS AND HINDERERS

One of the chief delusions practised by the Adversary at this time is to persuade the Lord's true people that any downfall of Babylon in any of its departments or denominations would be sacrilegious, would be an injury to the cause of Christ, whereas they should see clearly that the prosperity of the cause of Christ at the present time means the deliverance of his true saints from Babylon, and that this shall signify eventually the complete fall of Babylon as expressed in the Scriptures, the rejection of Babylon, which chronologically we located in the Scriptures by the words, "Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen....Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:2,4.) This fallen condition of Babylon signifies, not her destruction, but her complete rejection from God's favor, so that God will use her no more as a channel for the bestowment of his best blessings – "The voice of the Bridegroom and the Bride shall be heard no more at all in thee." – Rev. 18:23.

We are now in the little season in which the Lord is waiting for the response of those whom he is calling out of Babylon. Those in her who have the highest stations of honor find it most difficult to forsake these and to become followers in the footsteps of Jesus to the extent of being disowned by the religious teachers and made of "no reputation." The Lord's call out of Babylon is not an audible one – he merely calls us by the principles of righteousness. He lifts the curtain before the eyes of understanding of his consecrated ones and thus lets them see some of the errors, some of the falsities in which they and others of Babylon are involved – dishonoring the holy name – blaspheming the holy name by misrepresentation of the divine character and plan. This is and should be call enough for those who are of the Lord's Spirit, for those who love the Lord and the honor of his name more than they love houses or lands or parents or children or any other creature or thing – yea, more than they love their own lives. Such are sure to respond and to come out of Babylon; others who remain, in spite of seeing the light, fail to be overcomers of the highest class – fail therefore to be in the elect Bride class, and must be counted in with the great company, which will come through great tribulation, and will get out of Babylon only when she has been cast as a great millstone into the midst of the sea – in the time of anarchous trouble with which this age will close.

"WHO IS ON THE LORD'S SIDE?"

What we all need to see clearly is that if we are on the side of the Lord we are helpers in this harvest work – helpers in the separation which is now due to be accomplished – an assisting of the Lord's true people out of Babylon and its confusion and darkness into the light of truth and more fully into the grace of God. We will all then see that to be in Babylon, upholding her systems, upholding her errors, whether by the influence of our names upon her rolls, counted in with her numbers, or by rendering any financial aid in any [R3884 : page 344] measure or degree, we are to that extent opposing the work which he is now doing in the world. If all could get this correct Scriptural thought in mind it would help them amazingly to know the step of duty and to take it. All who are the Lord's at heart must be loyal to him; and if they could but see the force of our Lord's words, that he who is not gathering with him in this harvest work, gathering out of Babylon, is in opposition to him and hinders his work, it would help many such, we believe, to come forward courageously and take their stand on the side of the Lord in opposition to Babylon and every false doctrine and false system. True, the Lord with great forbearance permitted the wheat and tares to grow together, permitted the truth and the falsehood to be mixed together. But now we have come to the turning point, now we are in the separating time: he no longer says, "Let both grow together," but he says positively to those who are his, "Come out of her, my people," and all who are his people of the "more than conqueror" class will heed the voice and come out before the fall of Babylon – come out in time to help rescue others by their word and example, and to bring others of the truth-hungry sheep out of the Babylon creed-pens into the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, that we may be taught of God.

This message, "Come out of her, my people," is not to those who are still blind in Babylon; hence it is not the first message to be given out at the present time. The light, the truth, the divine plan of the ages, is to be let shine; the errors of Babylon on various points are to be shown, and how these are dishonoring to God: then it is that the voice of the truth, the voice of these facts, will cry aloud to all who are truly the Lord's sheep, to separate themselves from such misrepresentation of the divine character and plan, in heart, in person, in purse. There are some of the Lord's people today who much remind us of Nicodemus of old – they are inclined to visit the Lord by night, to hold the truth in secret while giving their time, their influence, principally in opposition to the divine plan.

So long as any one is in this condition he cannot hope to make much progress in growth in grace, in knowledge and in the peace and joy and love and other fruits of the Spirit, now due to be developed and ripened in our hearts and lives. It is an element of the divine law that for every ray of light that we receive a certain amount of obedience and response must be expected: if therefore any would go on and grow in grace and grow in knowledge, he must practice the things which he has already learned, he must take the steps one by one as he comes to them.

THE SPIRIT OF DIVISION

Even if we have come out of Babylon and taken our stand on the Lord's side the great Adversary pursues us, seeking to entrap and ensnare and to hinder the work in general. Strange as it may seem, unreasonable as it may appear, there are some who have recognized Present Truth who have realized that we are in the harvest time, that the separation of wheat from tares is in progress, that the great Reaper is present conducting this work, that under his conduct of the work they themselves were gathered out and have received many blessings, yet now they begin to scatter abroad, they hinder the harvest work, they attempt to sow discord amongst the under-reapers by saying all manner of evil falsely against some of them, by traducing their characters, impugning their motives and by implication persuading those who have only gotten free from Babylon that the great Reaper himself has nothing to do in the matter, and that the proper thing is discord, dissension, slashing right and left to scatter abroad the wheat already separated from the tares.

"We are not ignorant of his devices," writes the Apostle concerning our great Adversary. (2 Cor. 2:11.) We know who is to blame particularly for the present attitude of some in opposition to the harvest work. We remember how he practiced similarly in the early Church; how he got up dissensions amongst the Lord's chosen twelve, disputing as to which should be greatest – as to which had accomplished the greatest service and would have greatest honor. We remember how his spirit actuated Peter, so that he tried to interfere with the Lord's consecration to sacrifice, and how the Lord himself rebuked Peter, saying, "Get thee behind me, Adversary; thou savorest not the things that be of God but the things which be of man." We remember Jesus' own words to that same disciple, saying, "Satan hath desired to have thee that he might sift thee as wheat, but I have prayed for thee." Shall not these incidents from the typical harvest of the Jewish age have their weight with us in respect to the harvest of this Gospel age? Here, too, Satan is desirous to sift out some, and the great Chief Reaper is ready to aid all who desire his aid and succor. Here, too, we may expect to find some like Judas, of whom it is written, "Satan entered into him." – John 13:27.

Satan's work in the heart of Judas was a gradual one: evidently the love of money was the beginning of his fall into the Adversary's hands. With some today the love of money and business prosperity may be the power, the influence, which will lead them to become Satan's accomplices. But so far as our observation goes temptation today is more likely to be along other lines of selfishness – honor of men and desire to be thought great and wise, to be leaders. As the spirit of selfishness undermined the loyalty of Judas to his Master, so a similar spirit of selfishness may today undermine loyalty to the Lord, his truth, his work, and thus lead on and on until Satan enters in, and the work of Satan is manifested more and more in the anger, malice, envy, hatred, strife and other works of the flesh and the devil, against members of the body of Christ, against under-reapers, and therefore against the great Chief Reaper, who declares that "he that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words hath one that judgeth him"; and, "Whoso offendeth one of these little ones that [R3885 : page 345] believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea;" and again, "It must needs be that offences come; but woe unto that man by whom the offence cometh." – Matt. 18:6,7.

The matter is an individual one, as stated in our text: therefore let each of us apply the matter to himself, and with the greatest of earnestness and solicitude inquire whether he is united fully at heart with the Lord, and whether his hands and heart and purse and every talent and possession are associated with the great Chief Reaper in the present harvest work – whether he is gathering into this barn, this garner, or whether he is doing a scattering work. The Lord indicates that his work is one, and that it is all under his supervision. Whoever, therefore, thinks otherwise – that he may do a separate harvest work, and that each of the Lord's people should do a separate harvest work, each according to the bent of his own mind, has evidently misunderstood the divine program.

All of the propositions of Present Truth harmoniously agree that the Lord is here supervising and conducting the harvest work, calling his own servants and reckoning with them. If therefore we have been separated from the world and from Babylon, in part or in whole, let us look well to it that our stand is either for or against the Lord from the moment that we recognize the work he is doing. Hence every word and every act means to us responsibilities that it shall be for the Lord, for the truth, for the gathering of the saints, not in opposition to him and his, not to the scattering of his work. "He that is not for me is against me; he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." Very soon, we trust, we shall render our accounts to the one who gave us this message, and our joy or our shame shall be in proportion as we have heeded his words, allowing nothing of selfishness or personal ambition to have any place in our hearts or conduct. Let us more and more seek exclusively to glorify God in our bodies and spirits, which are his. – I Cor. 6:20.

page 345

BEREAN STUDIES IN "TABERNACLE SHADOWS"

In the references below, Z. represents this journal and T. stands for Tabernacle Shadows. The references should be given to brethren and sisters for reading in the classes. Free comment should be permitted after each reading.

NOVEMBER 4

1. What was the divine purpose in establishing the Tabernacle in the wilderness with its services and ceremonies? Heb. 10:1; Heb. 8:5; Col. 2:16,17; T.11, par. 1; Z.'02-235 (1st col. par. 1; 2nd col. par. 1).

2. What is a "type"? and how should types be used? Z.'92-100; see also WATCH TOWER BIBLE under "Types."

3. What should be our object in studying the Tabernacle "shadows"? T.11, par. 2 to 12, par. 2.

4. Briefly stated, what was the Tabernacle, and where do we find the directions for its construction? T.12, par. 3; Ex. 25 to 27; 35 to 40.

NOVEMBER 11

5. What were the dimensions of the Tabernacle, the names and sizes of its two apartments? T.13, par. 1.

6. How may we avoid the confusion arising from improper translations of the "Holy" and "Most Holy"? T.13, footnote.

7. Describe the Court, with its dimensions. T.14, par. 1.

8. What were the names of the three entrance passages into the "Court," the "Holy" and the "Most Holy," respectively? T.14, par. 2.

9. What and where was the "Camp"? T.14, par. 2.

10. What were the furnishments of the "Court" and how situated? T.15, par. 1 to 3.

11. What were the furnishments of the "Holy" and where were they placed? T.15, par. 4 to 17, par. 1.

12. What furniture did the "Most Holy" contain? T.17, par. 2.

13. What difference in the material of which the furniture in the Tabernacle and the "Court" was made, and what did this signify? T.17, par. 3.

14. What did the "Camp" typify? T.18, par. 1.

NOVEMBER 18

15. What did the "Court" represent, and who alone might enter into it? T.19, par. 1; Z.'02-235 (2nd col. par. 2).

16. Briefly, what did the two apartments of "the Tabernacle" proper represent? T.19, par. 2; Z.'02-236 (1st col., top of page).

17. Who only of the Israelites might enter the Tabernacle, and what is the antitype? T.20, par. 1.

18. In the antitype, do all who enter the "Court" experience a change of nature? T.20, par. 2.

19. What does entering the antitypical "Holy" imply, and how is Christ the "Gate" and the "Door"? T.20, par. 2.

NOVEMBER 25

20. What parts of the Tabernacle represented the two stages of our new life? T.20, par. 3.

21. Who are those begotten of God through the Word of Truth (Jas. 1:18), and how represented in the "Holy"? T.20, par. 4; Z.'00-227 (1st col., par. 2).

22. Did the "Most Holy" represent the present or future condition of the "overcomers"? T.21, par. 1.

23. What is the hope, which "as an anchor entereth into that within the [second] vail"? Heb. 6:19; 10:20; T.21, par. 2.

24. How do consecrated believers follow in the footsteps of their Leader and High Priest, Jesus?" T.21, par. 3, to 22 par. 1; Z.'02-236 (1st col., par. 1).

DECEMBER 2

25. How do we pass the "vail of sin and unbelief," and why was it not necessary for Jesus to take this step? T.22, par. 1.

26. How do we pass the first vail, and into what does it lead us? T.22, par. 2, 3.

27. What does the passing of the second vail typify? T.22, par. 3.

28. Why must we leave our human bodies behind when we pass the second vail? I Cor. 15:50; John 3:5,8,13; T.23 (top of page).

29. By way of recapitulation, what did the "Camp," "Court" and "Tabernacle" typify? T.23, par. 1.

[R3885 : page 346]

"WITH STRONG CRYINGS AND TEARS"
MATTHEW 26:36-50. – NOVEMBER 11. –

Golden Text: – "Not my will, but thine, be done." – Luke 22:42.

T
HE Garden of Gethsemane was not a wild woods nor a public garden, but an olive orchard. The name seems to indicate that upon the premises was located an oil-press for the extraction of the oil from the olives. It is supposed to have been the home of the mother of Mark, reputed to have been a wealthy widow, a friend of Jesus' cause. The house and outbuildings were probably in one part of the orchard or "garden." At all events it seems evident that the property was under the control of Jesus' friends, and that he and his disciples were well acquainted with the spot to which, after eating the Memorial Supper, our Lord and his disciples adjourned. The site now pointed out as this Gethsemane Garden is about half a mile from the wall of Jerusalem, and contains some remarkably old olive trees, the Garden itself being under the care of some monks who reside near by.

When our Lord and his eleven disciples had arrived at the entrance to the Garden or orchard, Jesus left eight of them there as a kind of outer guard, taking with him the favorite three, Peter, James and John, the three who on various occasions had been similarly favored – for instance, in connection with the visit to Jairus' daughter – and it was the same three who were privileged to see the "vision" on the Mount of Transfiguration. While Jesus loved all of his disciples, these three were especially dear to him, probably because of their special zeal and love for him. But on this occasion not even these, his specially dear disciples, could enter into or sympathize with the weight which was upon our Lord's heart; hence he stationed them and went still further along to engage in prayer to the Father. The language of all of the accounts of this incident taken together, especially in the light of the original Greek, shows that a sorrowful loneliness and anguish came upon our Lord with great force at this time. While with the disciples, doubtless in their interest, he had sought to be cheerful and to give them the needful lessons in preparing them for their trials; but now, having done all in his power for them, and having gone to the Father alone, his thoughts turned inward upon himself and his relationship to the Father, and outward upon the public shame of his trial and conviction as a blasphemer, a seditionist, and further on to the contemptuous mockery of the trial, and still further on to his public execution between two thieves. All this, now clearly before his mind, was enough for anguish, for pain, for deep, poignant sorrow.

"THE MAN OF SORROWS – ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF"

In viewing the matter of our Lord's sufferings on this occasion it is well to remember that his perfect organization – untainted, unblemished by sin, undegraded, undulled by dying processes – was much more susceptible to the pains and sorrows of the hour upon him than the feelings of others of the fallen race could be. Under adverse conditions the finer the sentiments and characteristics the greater the pain. A hoodlum ringleader might even glory in a ride in the patrol wagon, while to a refined person the experience would be terrible. Take another illustration: A finely educated musician, with an ear for harmonies well developed, would know a disturbance and a pain from a discordant note that might not at all be appreciated by one of less acute musical talent. We could even imagine that one of the seditious robbers crucified at our Lord's side might have gloried in his death as a triumph had there been over his head those words which were over our Lord's head, "This is the King of the Jews." It is, of course, difficult for us to appreciate perfection, since neither ourselves nor any with whom we have relationship are perfect; but we repeat that it must be true that the perfect organization of our Lord would suffer far more than any of his followers could suffer under the same conditions.

But there was another reason, and indeed it was the chief reason, we may be sure, why our Lord sorrowed on this occasion so that his agony, becoming very intense, produced a bloody sweat. That other reason was his realization of his own situation in relationship to God and the covenant under which he made his sacrifice. To fulfil the Father's will he had left the heavenly glories, stooped even below angels to take the human form and nature, so that he by God's favor might redeem Adam and, in redeeming him, redeem the race condemned in him. He had pleasure, yea, "delight," in this self-abasement, as it is written, "I delight to do thy will, O my God: thy law is written in my heart." (Psa. 40:8.) It was this spirit that led our Lord to a full consecration of himself to death as soon as he was thirty years of age, and could properly thus present himself as our sin offering. The same love and zeal kept him faithful during all the years of his ministry, and enabled him to count as light afflictions all the experiences of life and the various contradictions of sinners against himself – because he realized that he was doing the Father's will.

Why was it, then, that at the very conclusion of his ministry, after he had told his disciples of his coming death, and having explained that he would be "set at naught by the chief priests and elders" and crucified – in the face of all this knowledge, confidence, loving obedience, faithfulness to his consecration vow unto death – why did our Lord experience so terrible an ordeal in the Gethsemane orchard?

The words of the Apostle explain the situation: he says of Jesus, "He offered up strong cryings and tears unto him that was able to save him from [out of] death." (Heb. 5:7.) But others have died, others have faced death in as terrible or even more terrible form, and done it with calmness. Why did our Lord break down in such deep sorrow and such strong cryings as to bring on a bloody sweat? We answer that death to him was a very different proposition from what it is to us. We are already nine-tenths dead, or worse, through our imperfections, our share in the fall, which has benumbed all of our sensibilities, mental, moral and physical, and which renders us incapable of appreciating life in its highest, best and supremely fullest sense. Not so our Lord. "In him was Life" – perfection of life. True he had for three and a half years been laying down his life, using it in the preaching of the truth, and especially in the healing of multitudes of the sick, when virtue or vitality went out of him and healed them all. This indeed weakened his physical frame and strength, but undoubtedly he [R3886 : page 347] continued mentally very full of vigor, life, perfection. Besides, our experiences with death and our expectancy of death lead us to estimate it as a certainty sooner or later. On the contrary, our Lord's experiences were with life: for centuries to us untold he had been with the Father and the holy angels, enjoying the perfection of endless life; his experiences with dying men were but for a few short years, and hence to him death had a very different signification from what it has to the dying race.

But there was more than this, much more: The heathen have a hope of future life built upon the traditions of their ancients, and God's people have hope of a resurrection built upon the divine promise and guaranteed to them through the merit of Christ's sacrifice – but what hope had Jesus? He could not share the heathen's hope that the dead were not dead, for he knew to the contrary; he could not share hope in a redemption and a raising up through the merit of another. His only hope, therefore, was that his entire career, from the moment of his consecration to the close, had been absolutely perfect, without flaw in the sight of justice, in the sight of the heavenly Father. It was here when alone that this awful fear overwhelmed him: Had he been perfect in every thought and word and deed? Had he pleased the Father absolutely? and would he be able on the morrow, with such a shrinking from the shame and ignominy as he would experience on account of his perfection – would he be able unflinchingly to perform his part? and would he, as a result, be accounted worthy by the Father to be raised from the dead on the third day? Or had he failed, or should he fail, even in some slightest particular, and thus be accounted unworthy of resurrection and thus become extinct? No wonder these weighty matters bore in upon our dear Redeemer's heart with unsurmountable sorrows, so that he offered up strong cryings and tears unto him who was able to save him from death [by a resurrection].

Matthew says he prayed, "If it be possible let this cup pass from me;" Mark says he prayed, "All things are possible;" Luke records it, "If thou be willing," and the substance of all is that our Lord was exceeding fearful of himself – fearful lest he should make a misstep and thus spoil the entire plan of God, which he had so obediently undertaken and thus far so loyally performed. Apparently death in any form would have been sufficient as a ransom for the first Adam's disobedience, meeting his death penalty; but it had pleased the Father to put his Son, the Redeemer, to the extremest of all tests, laying upon him the ignominy, the shame, of the cross. Our Lord's query was, Could he stand this? or would it be possible for the Father to deviate to that extent without interfering with the divine plan or the great work being accomplished? The necessary submission is indicated – "Not my will but thine be done."

HE WAS HEARD RESPECTING THE THING FEARED

The Apostle declares that our Lord was heard, that is, answered, in respect to the thing he feared – in respect to the cross and the recovery out of death. Prayers for help or deliverance from these troubles may be answered in two ways: The Father may remove the disturbing cause, or he may so strengthen us that we will be able to quite overcome the disturbance. And with us, as with the Master, the Father usually takes the latter course, and gives us the peace and strength through his assurance in his Word. Thus we read of our Master that an angel appeared unto him strengthening him. We know not what message that angel brought to our dear Redeemer in his hour of loneliness and violent grief, nor is it necessary that we should: it is sufficient for us to know that the Father answered the prayer, that it was heard respecting the thing feared, that the fear was all removed, that calm reigned in our dear Redeemer's bosom thereafter, so that in all the affairs and incidents of that night and the following day he was of all men the coolest and calmest. We can surmise that the Father's assurance through the angel was that he had the divine favor, that up to that moment he had been faithful, that he had the Father's smile, and that he would be fully able to meet, when the time would come, all the exigencies of the hour of trial before him. With the assurance of the Father's approval no wonder sorrow took its flight, no wonder hope, joy, love and peace streamed into the dear Redeemer's heart, and he returned to the disciples ready for the events that he knew were about to transpire.

"LET US ALSO FEAR"

It is well that the Lord's people strive to live a rejoicing life, giving thanks always to the Father in all things, and rejoicing to be counted worthy to suffer shame, etc., for the cause of Christ. But as the Apostle elsewhere declares, Let us rejoice with fear: let not our rejoicing be of that reckless, self-satisfying kind which might ensnare us and entrap us; let our rejoicing be in him who loved us and who bought us and who is ever present with us, our best Friend and truest Guide. Let us rejoice, not in feelings of our own strength and courage and wisdom, but in the fact that we have a Savior and a great one, who is able to deliver to the uttermost all that come unto the Father through him. Thus may the Lord be our strength, our confidence, our shield, our buckler.

In our Lord's case we read that "He trod the winepress alone, of the people there was none with him." In his very saddest hour, when he most needed comfort and consolation, it was not possible for even the closest and dearest of his earthly friends to enter into his feelings or sympathize with him. How different with us! We are not so different from others that they cannot enter into our joys and sorrows, our hopes and fears, if they have been begotten of the same Spirit and instructed in the same school of Christ. With us human counsel and sympathy are both possible and proper. Indeed, this is the divine provision as set forth in the Scriptures, which assure us that the Lord desires that we should comfort one another and build one another up as members of the body of Christ. Nevertheless we should never neglect the throne of heavenly grace in personal interview with our Father and glorified Lord. Whatever of earthly companionship we may have, the Lord's companionship must never be underestimated or forgotten. The Lord sometimes sends his angels to us to comfort us, to give us the assurance of his love and to point out to us the sureness of our confidence, our hope. But it is not necessary any longer to send a heavenly messenger, for already the Lord has on the earth angels – messengers, members of the body of Christ [R3886 : page 348] – imbued with the Master's Spirit and love, and ready always and anxious to speak the kind word, to bind up the broken heart, to pour in the oil and wine of consolation and joy, and in every way to represent to us the Master himself. What joy often comes through such ministries, what blessing we have received in this manner, and what a privilege we have when occasion offers to be thus used of the Lord as his ministers of joy and peace and blessing to the fellow-members! Let us be on the alert that no such opportunity pass us by.

The Apostle intimates that we have need of fearing the same thing that Jesus feared when he says, "Let us also fear lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should seem to come short of it." As New Creatures we have tasted of the new life, the heavenly life: our eyes of understanding have to some extent been opened to see the grandeurs and beauties of the heavenly things which God hath in reservation for them that love him. And we, too, realize that our attainment to the glory, honor, immortality and joint-heirship with the Lord depends upon our faithfulness to our covenant of sacrifice. If faithful, we know that he is faithful who has promised; if unfaithful, we know that we shall fail of that prize. What manner of persons ought we then to be under these conditions? Let us fear the loss of such a wonderful prospect of glory, honor and immortality, in the sense that we will seek constantly to fulfil our covenant and to abide in our Father's love and in our Redeemer's favor and smile. All who are thus walking carefully may have their moments in which they will experience something of the shadows of Gethsemane loneliness, for their testing, for their proving, and to develop in them the proper fear necessary to their full knowledge, to their appreciation of the situation and to faithfulness.

"SLEEP ON NOW"

During that hour of intense mental agony our Lord prayed and prayed again, and in the interim came to his disciples, doubtless craving such sympathy as they would be able to give; but he found them asleep, their eyes being heavy from sorrow, says the Evangelist. The hour was midnight; they were sharing his sorrows, but unable to appreciate them rightly. The Master chided, probably especially Peter, when he said, "What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." The noble Peter had but a short time before declared, "Lord, though all men forsake thee, yet will not I," and even now he had the sword which he subsequently used in seeking to defend the Lord, and yet he did not realize the importance of the hour; he knew not, as the Master did, how serious were the testings and how close; he knew not that it was a very short time until the Master's words would be fulfilled. "Before the cock crow twice thou shalt deny me thrice." Ah, had he realized as the Master did the trials that were near, how vigilant he doubtless would have been! And is it not so with us to-day? Are we not as the Lord's people in this harvest-time drawing close to the Gethsemane hour of the Church? Are we not already in the hour of temptation to a considerable extent? Will not the last members [R3887 : page 348] of the body soon follow the Head unto complete sacrifice? How ready are we for the ordeal? Are we asleep, or are we heeding the words of the Apostle, They that sleep sleep in the night, but we who are of the day should be awake, sober, putting on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand in this evil day, in the time of trial already upon us, and in the still severer trials which no doubt will be ours in the near future? Are we prepared for the time when there will possibly be a general scattering, as these "all forsook him and fled"? How courageous we will be in our hour of trial will probably depend much upon our following the Master's example and securing first of all that positive conviction that we have the divine approval. Let us not then avoid the Gethsemane moment if it come to us in the Lord's providence, but let us also with strong cryings and tears look up to him who is able to save us out of death by the glorious First Resurrection, and let us remember that we have an Advocate, we have a helper. The Lord is our angel who speaks to us the Father's message, telling us that if we abide in his love all will be right in the end, and that he is able and willing to bring us off conquerors, yea, more than conquerors through his own merit.

"THE SPIRIT IS WILLING, BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK"

This was our dear Redeemer's comment upon his disciples. He appreciated the fact that at heart they were loyal to him – he was not unmindful of their forsaking all to be his followers, he is not a hard Master, but on the contrary ever willing to accept our heart intentions, even where the flesh fails to come up to the perfect standard; and doubtless, therefore, his words, "Sleep on now, and take your rest," were not meant as sarcasm, but in very truth he wished that they might get a little rest, refreshment, in view of the ordeals of the day approaching. But not long did they rest until the trial was upon them. Judas guided a multitude seeking for Jesus – not Roman soldiers, but a multitude, a rabble of the curious, with certain servants of the High Priest, who was also a Judge. These, then, were court officers, an impromptu sheriff's posse, that came upon Jesus in the garden and arrested him by night, fearing that an arrest in daylight would create a disturbance at a time when the city was full of visitors to the Passover, and when disturbances were rather to be expected, and by the officers of the law sought to be carefully avoided.

Judas either knew the garden as a spot frequented by Jesus and the disciples, or had learned at the Supper where the company intended to go subsequently. When Satan entered into him and he resolved to earn the thirty pieces of silver by betraying the Lord, he left the gathered company at the Passover Feast and went to the chief priests and bargained with them, and now, as the result of that engagement, he came forward in advance of the multitude mentioned to meet Jesus and to indicate to the soldiers the one they wished to apprehend. As he approached he saluted, saying, "Hail, Rabbi," and kissed him. The Greek indicates that he kissed him repeatedly. Jesus received these expressions that belong to love, and knew that they were traitorous, yet made no evil retort. Instead he most kindly and respectfully said, "Friend, do that for which thou art come." The word "friend" does not signify loving friend – it is not [R3887 : page 349] from the Greek word philos, beloved, but from hetaire, which signifies comrade or partner.

AVOID THE JUDAS SPIRIT

Truly every disciple of Christ, realizing that the issue is with himself, will desire to follow such a course as will insure against his ever becoming a Judas to the Lord and his cause. God's foreknowledge that one of the twelve would prove a traitor, not only receiving the grace of God in vain, but using it in a most villainous manner, was not the cause of Judas' fall. The Apostle says, "The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Tim. 2:19.) It is for us to determine how the favors of God shall be received and used, and God's foreknowledge in no sense of the word influences us.

We have every reason to suppose that Judas at the beginning of his career as a disciple was sincere. We may safely conclude that the gross deflection of his heart and character manifested at last came upon him gradually – that it began with the merest suggestion and ended with the most awful tragedy. The suggestion was probably along the line of selfishness; that he was not sufficiently honored amongst the twelve; that our Lord seemed to have a preference for Peter, James and John, and thus showed his lack of superior knowledge and ability – discernment. Doubtless Judas encouraged his own spirit of criticism. Self-complacent, he no doubt thought he saw places where Jesus and the others erred in judgment, failed to take advantage of opportunities, probably said the wrong word at the right time, etc., etc. Such a heady spirit, such a critical spirit, such a self-satisfied spirit, such a selfish spirit always go before a fall. The history of the Church as well as our individual experiences attest this.

When Judas perceived that the cause of Christ was not prospering – that Jesus not only did not respond to the suggestions of the multitudes here and there that he become a king, but that on the contrary his mind turned in another direction, anticipating violence from the rulers of the Jews, the suggestion probably came to Judas that it was time to begin to "feather his own nest," so that when the disruption would come he would be one of the party who would gain and not lose by his experiences as a disciple. Thus selfishness was in control of his mind and led him to pilfering, as it is written, "He was a thief, and carried the bag." That is to say, he was the treasurer of the little company, and appropriated some of the funds to his own personal account. We can even suppose that in his perfidy he exonerated his theft with the thought that he had been giving his valuable time to the cause, and that what he took would not more than reimburse him the value thereof. Such is the spirit of selfishness, the very reverse of the Spirit of the Lord – the spirit of self-sacrifice and whole-souled service to the Truth. Whoever has this spirit in any measure has the Judas spirit to that extent, and the result will surely be evil whether it amounts to such an awful result as that of Judas or not.

Our Lord declares that his faithful members in the world represent him, and that anything done against them is done against him. We may be sure, therefore, that the Judas spirit of selfishness even today might lead to betrayal of the Lord by the betrayal and injury of one of the least of his followers. Nor should it surprise us that these representatives of the Judas spirit follow his course even to the extent of betraying with a kiss, and ofttimes profess great love and respect for the members of the body of Christ, whom they secretly smite for their personal gain, or in an endeavor to gain place or influence or other selfish aggrandizement. Let each follower of the Lord apply to himself exactly Judas' words, saying, "Lord, is it I?" And let us each examine our own hearts to see to what extent anything of this Judas spirit might be lurking there, seeking a favorable moment to entrap us and destroy us as New Creatures.

[R3887 : page 349]

"DESPISED AND REJECTED OF MEN"
MATTHEW 26:57-68. –

"
H
E is despised and rejected of men," wrote the Prophet Isaiah (53:3), as in the Golden Text of this lesson. How strange it all appears to those who have come to know the Lord and to appreciate man from the standpoint of the divine Word. Nevertheless, as we take up the narrative and follow the circumstances as though we were there present we perceive that it was difficult for the chief actors surrounding our Lord to realize the true situation. And turning from these to ourselves in the present time we may apply a lesson and realize that we, too, are in touch with great and important subjects in the present harvest-time; that we, too, probably are so close to great events as to be unable to appreciate their true import; that we, too, should go very carefully and should continually watch and pray lest we also fall into temptation. The thought of our own precarious condition will doubtless give us sympathy with those whose reprehensible conduct is noted in this lesson.

Our last lesson left Jesus and the disciples at the garden gate. There Peter, who had one of the two swords previously mentioned, started to use it in defence of his Master, at the first blow smiting off the ear of Malchus, one of the servants of the High Priest's court. As Jesus said when instructing them to bring their swords, and being informed there were two swords already in the company, "It is enough," so this mere demonstration of the willingness of the disciples to defend him was quite sufficient, and the order at once came to "Put up thy sword." The opportunity was thus furnished for Jesus to heal the ear and so display his gracious magnanimity toward his enemies. The disciples apparently learned most thoroughly the lesson that he that taketh to the sword shall perish by the sword, and hence never afterward do we hear of their using force or violence in the service of the Lord. How well it would have been had all the followers of the Lord learned and applied to themselves this same lesson. The neglect of it has stained the pages of history to the dishonor of the Lord's teaching and been injurious to his real cause, while favorable to nominal [R3888 : page 350] Christianity – Churchianity, Christendom and its large crop of tares. All of the Lord's people should take to heart this message and remember the Lord's word, "Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall be called the children of God." (Matt. 5:9.) We are never to use the sword, earthly power, in seeking to promote the cause of the Master. He has power enough, and when the time comes for its exercise he will take to himself this great power, and the sword of justice will be unsheathed and cause a terrible time of trouble. But that will be the due time, and the Lord will then so take charge of the affairs of earth that the lessons from that experience will prove profitable and not injurious. The only sword which the Lord's people now may use is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and it is to cleave its way by its own sharpness and penetrating power rather than force of language and invective, or any manifestation of anger on the part of those who use it. On the contrary, they are directed to speak the truth in love, that thus the truth may do its own work in its own way.

"ALL FORSOOK HIM AND FLED"

At first glance it would appear that the disciples were very cowardly when they all forsook the Master at the time of his arrest. But then we must remember that this was our Lord's own suggestion. He said to the officers, "If I am the one you seek, let these go their way." They discerned that they could be of no use to the Lord after he was in the hands of the high priests, who represented the civil court, the law of the land, and whom they knew to be prejudiced against Jesus. They may have even taken Jesus' words to imply a command that they should go their way. Furthermore they were perplexed: they had been expecting such different results from their adherence to Jesus. When they looked for his exaltation he talked about his crucifixion, was sad and distressed, and now was arrested. Everything was perplexing, disheartening, and they probably went to their homes thoroughly discouraged, except Peter and John, who followed him afar off. Arriving at the High Priest's palace and court-room, Jesus was first led before the aged priest Annas and cross-questioned a little, and then sent to the court of his son-in-law, the official priest, Caiaphas. His presentation before Annas was probably merely a matter of courtesy, as apparently it was Caiaphas who had caused his arrest and was waiting with certain elders of the Jews to examine him preparatory to his trial, with a view to ascertaining just what charges they would bring against him. (But in the morning it was evidently not thought worth while to have a formal trial according to the Law. Hence the unlawful night hearing was really the trial. The determination to get Pilate to try and execute Jesus was the thought, though to Pilate they subsequently implied that they had condemned Jesus lawfully.)

SEEKING FALSE WITNESSES

We have little reason to doubt that the High Priest and elders had considerable knowledge of Jesus, his teachings and his mighty works. We are informed that one of his last miracles in the vicinity of Jerusalem, the awakening of Lazarus from death, had so stirred the Scribes and Pharisees that they determined that Jesus must be put to death, because they feared that a few more such miracles would thoroughly arouse the people on his behalf and thus break their control over them. They now had their victim in their grasp, arrested without the knowledge of the people and without arousing any disturbance. And they still had the murderous intention respecting him. It was merely a question how they might execute it – not how they might serve the ends of justice, but how they might appear to conform to the requirements of justice and the Law, of which they were representatives, and yet accomplish the villainy, the murder, that was in their hearts. Hence we read that they sought false witnesses: they did not wish true witnesses, who would tell what they knew about the Master, but false witnesses, who would misrepresent him, his teachings, etc., either ignorantly through misunderstanding him or designedly with a view to gaining favor with the officers of the court. But they found none. It is certainly to the credit of those connected with the court, aside from its chief officers, that they neither seriously misunderstood our Lord's teachings nor were willing to misrepresent them. Finally, the best they could do was to find two witnesses who declared that they had heard Jesus say that if the Temple were destroyed he would be able to raise it up in three days. Nothing about this was false evidence – it was what the majority of those who heard probably understood our Lord to mean. It was subsequently, under the enlightenment of the holy Spirit, that the apostles understood that he "spoke of the temple of his body"; hence these two witnesses are not to be blamed as false witnesses, though doubtless in their ignorance they supposed that the testimony they bore was against Jesus and discreditable to him, as showing a spirit of boastfulness and a disregard for the greatness and grandeur of the Temple. The High Priest, however, realized that he had utterly failed of getting any testimony against the Lord. But he did not wish this to so appear to all the people present, and hence he affected to regard this testimony as very damaging, and indignantly questioned Jesus whether or not he heard that testimony, and if he had nothing whatever to say in rebuttal – was he unable to refute the witness, the testimony? Jesus answered nothing. Had the witnesses repeated his words exactly there was nothing in them upon which any law would condemn him.

"ART THOU THE CHRIST?"

Finally, unable to get Jesus to discuss the Temple question, and thus possibly say something that could be considered incriminating, the High Priest bethought him that a leading question put in a most solemn form might succeed in getting Jesus to make some admission that would be incriminating. The question was, "Tell us whether thou be the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God?" Caiaphas probably knew that Jesus had not boasted of his Messiahship, that rather he had gone quietly about his work, doing good and instructing the people, and allowing his works to testify that "never man spake like this man," and that he was working the works of him that sent him and was therefore the Messiah. It was a question, therefore, whether or not Jesus would incriminate himself by admitting his Messiahship. Had he denied it what recourse for a charge against him would have remained? But Jesus did not deny this question. To have remained silent even would have been to deny himself, denying the truth, denying the High Priest [R3888 : page 351] of the nation the knowledge and the corresponding responsibility of the hour. It was every way due to the head of the nation he should know that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah. Our Lord therefore answered, "Thou hast said," that is, I assent to what you have said, or, I am the Messiah, the Son of God, and I will volunteer further to assure you that by and by, hereafter, ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the glories of heaven.

In this statement, as in nearly all of our Lord's utterances, much was said in few words. It was not his intention nor would it have been proper to have explained the future of the divine plan at that time under those circumstances to those people. "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence him, and he will show them his covenant." Hence our Lord did not say, as he might have said, "You are about to condemn me; I will be crucified this day between two thieves; I will rise again on the third day; I will ascend to the Father in forty days thereafter; I will then send my holy Spirit at Pentecost, and the work will be begun of a spiritual kingdom which will find the very elect throughout the whole earth. When these are found I will come again at my second advent in power and great glory, not to be tried by you, but to be your judge and to be the King and Ruler of the whole world, and to grant the blessings of the Millennial Kingdom to every creature, with full opportunity of coming to full knowledge and full blessing." We see that what our Lord stated implied that he knew all this, but it was not the proper time for its declaration.

What lessons are there for us in connection with these facts? One is that when we seek information on any subject we should be thoroughly honest, thoroughly just, and not seek opportunity to misrepresent another, no matter what useful ends we might suppose would be served by such a course. To all who are the Lord's people in any sense of the word justice must stand out prominently. It is the very foundation of God's throne, we read, and surely must be the foundation of all character amongst those who are the Lord's and who hope ever to come off conquerors in this present time. Only the honest, only the just, seem to be influenced by the message of the Lord's Word at the present time, and those who lose their candor, their honesty, their sincerity, seem very certain to lose the Truth also. Let us all beware, therefore, of any slackness along this line of justice – toward God, toward ourselves, toward our friends, toward our enemies. We can not, we must not, be less than just to any, though we may be and should be more than just to all – yea, loving, generous.

FEIGNING RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION

Hearing Jesus' admission that he was Messiah, the High Priest realized that this was the strongest, indeed the only complaint he could make against the Lord of anything that [R3889 : page 351] had the appearance of evil. Nor was there evil in this, for it was the truth; but feigning great piety, great respect for God, great reverence for the promise of God respecting Messiah – feigning to be thunderstruck with such a claim by Jesus, Caiaphas arose, his face full of pretended indignation and wrath against such a claim, which he affected to think so dishonored God as to be blasphemy, he rent or tore his robe as an expression of his pretended righteous indignation. He cried out to the people, "This is blasphemy – what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? What would be the proper punishment for such an awful crime as this? How shall we deter others from similarly coming forward and claiming to be Messiah, the Son of God, healing the sick, giving examples of his power in awakening the dead and casting out the devils from the people?" The elders, there assembled for the very purpose of murdering Jesus, answered, voted, "He is worthy of death." Jesus must wait, and they meanwhile reviled him – if not the elders and officers, yet with their knowledge and without their hindrance – and smote the Lord and spat upon him and derided him, and, calling him a Prophet, asked him to prove his ability as a Messiah and prophet by naming his tormentors. "But as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth" to defend himself, nor did he use the power invested in him, nor call for the twelve legions of angels who he previously declared would have been ready to respond for his release. On the contrary, he realized that he was but carrying out his covenant of sacrifice and submitted himself accordingly, desiring that this or whatever was the Father's will might be done in him.

What is the lesson in this for us? We have covenanted to learn of him, to follow his example. How do we receive the buffetings, the trials, the "contradictions of sinners"? Are we similarly patient, long suffering? Do we endure these, realizing that nothing could happen to us except by our Father's knowledge – nothing that he is not both able and willing to overrule for our good? It will not do for us to say that if we deserved the evil treatment we could take it patiently, for we are to remember the truth of what one of the thieves confessed, "This man hath done nothing amiss." We cannot say that we have been perfect in all of our dealings with those who may despitefully use us and persecute us, even though our intentions have been the best, and even though we have in some degree rendered good for the evil we receive. Let us remember the Apostle's words on this line, "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye might follow in his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him who judgeth righteously." – 1 Pet. 2:20,23.

Let us not only see to it that we are as nearly as possible faultless and undeserving of reproaches and buffetings, but when these experiences come to us let us remember to take them patiently, uncomplainingly, and thus to more and more develop and exhibit the character-likeness of our Lord. Those who thus do, have the Lord's guarantee that every such experience shall prove a blessing in the end. Those who, on the contrary, undertake to "battle for their rights," show that they either do not understand the nature of the covenant they have made to take up the cross, or else that they are unwilling to comply with the terms of that covenant.

page 353
November 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. XXVIINOVEMBER 15No. 22
A.D., 1906 – A.M., 6035
CONTENTS.
Views from the Watch Tower 355
From Devilish to Saintly Surgery 355
Another Operation at Toledo 356
Secretary of the Navy on Anarchy 356
Glasgow Convention Report 357
One-Day Conventions 358
Earthly Things Appreciated Most 358
Do All as Unto the Lord 359
"Ye Can Do Nothing Against the Truth" 362
"As Deceivers and Yet True" 363
An Apology for Pilate 364
Barabbas Chosen – by Popular Vote 365
Some Interesting Letters 366

'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 354

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.
T
HIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated, – Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to – "Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed." – Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; – according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH
That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" – peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age – ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him. – 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. – Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." – Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir. – 1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age. – Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church. – Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.

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For some time the friends have been inquiring for symbolic pins, and now we are able to supply them. One represents the scene of Isa. 11:6. Sister Darlington drew the design for us and it is very fine. The other is a representation of the cross, crown and wreath which appears on the upper left corner of the TOWER cover. These are without metal rims, celluloid finish – beautiful. The latter design is in three sizes, 5/8 in., 7/8 in. and 1¼ in.; the former is 1¼ in. in diameter.

Getting these made in large quantities permits us to supply them at 25 cents per dozen – postpaid. We will assort them three of each unless you specifically mention a different preference. They are ready now. You may order at once. From their appearance you would expect them to cost each, the price we charge by the dozen.

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These are substantially made of stiff cloth boards, and can hold two years' issues of the WATCH TOWER. They prevent soiling and loss. Price, postpaid, 50c. [R3894 : page 354]

Vol. III. in Norwegian and Vol. V. in Swedish, just issued.

We again have "The Wonderful Story" in stock.

[R3889 : page 355]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
FROM DEVILISH TO SAINTLY SURGERY

WE HAVE already noted in these columns an instance of how surgery, the trepanning of the skull and the removal of a tumor from the brain, changed a bad boy into a good one. We now note, in the American-Journal-Examiner, the account of another such case: a bandit, desperado, train robber and murderer of the Northwest, after being imprisoned was found to have some good traits and became a very useful man in the prison service, but nevertheless retained a vindictive, murderous spirit. Seizing his opportunity he was about to kill one of the keepers. The record says: "He fought like a madman, and it was only after a spirited struggle that the handcuffs were placed upon his wrists. When the man regained his feet he said, "I never expected to be taken alive. Give me my arms and I will defy the whole town." The man's name is Charles Holzhay, but he was generally known as Black Bart.

The attention of the surgeons connected with the prison was drawn to the man, an operation was performed, a tumor removed from the brain, since which time Black Bart gives every evidence of being greatly changed in his general disposition, and, as the newspaper records – "Before they cut out the bad spot in the brain of Black Bart, the murderous bandit, he was the wildest, fiercest villain and freebooter of the Northwest; now he is tame and mild, a teacher in a Sunday School, a reader of tracts, a praying man full of noble impulses."

No one for a moment supposes that all the meanness and weakness of the world are caused by brain tumors; but from our standpoint we can readily see that all the badness and meanness of the world is caused more or less directly by the fall, the imperfect twists and ruts of the human mind in consequence of depravity. Sin and death working in our race have wrought the general havoc of mind and morals and physique which makes of the human family what the Apostle describes as the "groaning creation." We can readily see that the will may have large influence in rectifying these defects, so that those who give their hearts to the Lord and turn from sin and meanness to copy the Lord's character to the best of their ability, may and do make considerable progress; but we all are witnesses that perfection is not attainable by any of us, however much we will to have it. As the Apostle said, "To will is present with me, but how to do [all that I will] that which is good, I find not." – Rom. 7:18.

What the world needs, then, is the great Restorer, who, during the "times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began," shall lift up the poor, degenerate race from its fallen condition and bring it gradually back to all that was lost in Eden by the first man's transgression – back to the image and likeness of God. True, there will still be room for the human will to exercise itself, and any who knowingly, willingly, understandingly reject and oppose the divine restitution work will be utterly destroyed in the Second Death. – Acts 3:19-23.

The whole world, then, is waiting for the good Physician, and the Scriptures tell us how long they must wait and what blessings will come to them as soon as the waiting time is ended. They must wait until the Church, the Body of Christ, has been selected from the world and proven itself worthy of its call by willing and glad participation with Jesus in his work of sacrifice, that they may also be participators in his coming work of glory and blessing and uplifting. Then all the blind eyes shall be opened, all the deaf ears shall be unstopped and the lame shall be healed – physical, mental and moral healing and enlightenment are herein proclaimed as the work of the great Restorer, soon to begin. The entire work will require one day's time – not a twenty-four-hour day, but the "Day of Christ," for, as the Apostle Peter declares, "we should not be ignorant of this one thing, that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years." – 2 Pet. 3:8. [R3889 : page 356]

ANOTHER OPERATION AT TOLEDO

The Toledo News-Bee says: – "Nearly a year has elapsed since Doctors J. & P. Donnelly operated on Harold Hurley, an incorrigible boy, at St. Vincent's hospital, and since that time four other operations of similar character have been performed. The Hurley boy was a burden to his family and a menace to the neighborhood: he is a changed youngster, obedient, kind, tractable, and the parents are ready witnesses to the efficacy of the operation which rescued their boy from degradation, vice and crime.

"From all over the country, especially from large cities, come eager inquiries for the Toledo surgeons seeking information as to the nature of the operation and its results. Already in Philadelphia the city is bearing the expenses of the operations on incorrigibles and considers them a good investment, while New York is seriously considering the same problem.

"The last operation of this kind was performed in St. Vincent's hospital Friday morning (Aug. 24) by Dr. J. Donnelly, on a 13-year-old boy, who was released from the workhouse and taken directly to the hospital for the operation. [R3890 : page 356]

"Dr. Alfred Gordon reports that he has discovered a surprisingly large number of cases of feeble-mindedness among children supposed to be victims of cruelty, who are really in a condition bordering closely upon imbecility, and calling for constant and patient care, of a character their busy parents are unable to give them.

"It is proposed that these children in many cases shall be sent to the Institution for Feeble-Minded, which is to be built at Spring City, where the evil can be corrected to a great extent and perhaps result in the total cure of the children, who would otherwise be turned out upon the world, misunderstood and regarded as common criminals, for it is believed that the criminal instinct in their brains, caused by the defect, would increase as they grow older.

"The Philadelphia Inquirer tells of the organization of a Society there for surgical operations on juvenile incorrigibles apparently destined to a criminal career through some physical defect. It says:

"'In all seven children were put under the knife by a number of the city's most prominent surgeons, who performed operations of varied natures from the most delicate to those of minor importance, calculated to improve the mental and moral conditions of the patients. The total number of children examined was 147, and about fifty per cent. of these were found to be suffering from refraction of the eyes. Glasses have been ordered for all of these, and wherever possible the parents have been required to meet the cost, but the Society furnishes them free to the others.'"

SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ON ANARCHY

Secretary of the Navy C. J. Bonaparte's recent address is thus reported by the secular press:

After reviewing briefly the history of anarchism in this country, the efforts made in the past to check its growth and its probable peril to nations for years, Mr. Bonaparte said:

"In the first place, the unlawful acts prompted by anarchism should be made crimes, in so far as they are not, strictly speaking, crimes already, and as crimes they should be visited with such penalties as are particularly distasteful to the criminals and therefore the most effective deterrents to crime. In dealing with a convicted anarchist two facts may well be remembered: the chances of his real reformation are so small that they may be safely neglected, and we can appeal for practical purposes to but one motive on his part to discourage a repetition of his offence, namely, the fear of physical pain and death.

"On anarchists the death penalty should be unequivocally imposed by law and inflexibly executed whenever the prisoner has sought, directly or indirectly, to take life. For offences of less gravity, I advise a comparatively brief, but very rigorous imprisonment, characterized by complete seclusion, deprivation of all comfort, and denial of any form of distraction, which could be, to my mind, advantageously supplemented by a severe, but not a public whipping; the lash, of all punishments, most clearly shows the culprit that he suffers for what his fellowmen hold odious and disgraceful and not merely for reasons of public policy.

"The final and most truly vital condition of success in ridding our country of anarchism in practice is that American public opinion should recognize the utter emptiness, the inheritent folly of its theory, and of all the kindred ready-made, furnished-while-you-wait schemes for the social regeneration of mankind. Civilized society, as it exists to-day, if it be nothing more, is the outcome of all the strivings for justice and happiness of the human race during thousands of years. What monstrous presumption, what preposterous conceit, for any man, were he the wisest, the most learned, the most justly famed of his own age or of all ages, to imagine that, with but the dim, flickering lights of his own dull, feeble mind, with but the few imperfect lessons of his own short, ill-spent life to guide his hand, he could cast down and build up again this incredibly vast, this infinitely complex fabric and improve on its structure!"

*                         *                         *

Poor world! All are deranged in some measure as a result of the Adamic fall. Some go crazy on religion, others on politics, others are money-mad. Only a few have what the Apostle calls, "the spirit of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7.) All deserve our sympathy as all have the Lord's sympathy and are soon to have his aid, through Christ's Millennial Kingdom.

Anarchists are probably as sincere as others, but their brains have a different twist from those of the majority. They have lost all hope of the establishment of a reign of righteousness by human instrumentality; and in their selfishness and sympathy exaggerate the woes and wrongs suffered by themselves and others, and propose the extermination of the rich; because lacking the spirit of love, "the spirit of a sound mind," they see them as wholly evil.

From the standpoint of God's Word we see that in the near future Socialists will become quite strong throughout the civilized world, as in opposition to anarchy, but that later on their failure to achieve their hopes will make anarchists of the majority of them and speedily convulse the world in the greatest time of trouble the world has ever known, which will completely overthrow present institutions. Thank God we see still further in his Word – that on that anarchistic [R3890 : page 357] wreck the Lord will establish the Kingdom of his dear Son, "under the whole heavens."

No doubt Mr. Bonaparte's prescription of death for anarchists will soon become law, under the claim that society's life, as well as the lives of its individual members must be preserved, secured. And no doubt, also, at about that time the law of might will become so powerful as to throttle all liberty. And no doubt about then the enemies of Present Truth, as we expound it, will be numerous enough and powerful enough to throttle Zion's Watch Tower publications, if not to persecute its subscribers. Opposition to civil government being esteemed injurious and worthy of a death sentence, it may be that a further step will be to declare a State Church standard of religious doctrine, and to proscribe us and others who cannot assent to it as "religious anarchists" also worthy of death. Let us not forget that our Lord and his apostles thus suffered as religious anarchists, because not in accord with the so-called orthodoxy of their day. "When ye see these things begin to come to pass, then lift up your heads and rejoice; knowing that your redemption [deliverance] draweth nigh." – Luke 21:28.

[R3890 : page 357]

GLASGOW CONVENTION REPORT
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

It is said that "Coming events cast their shadows before," and surely we felt that the Convention just past was affected by the knowledge that the great Convention of the Church is near at hand. But it was not a shadow we had – rather it was the light from the "glory to come" which gave us such a happy and blessed time together. While all the conventions are good there was a general consent to the feeling that this has been our best time. If we might judge we should say that while the addresses and talks were good and helpful it was not in these specially that the chief advantage was felt or the chief gain made; but that the fellowship and the encouragement gained from personal intercourse between the brethren – the communion of the holy Spirit – gave the real help and advantage. But all was good, and we praised the Lord for the foretaste of the "good to come."

The British brethren were better represented than ever: the whole country from extreme North to furthest South sent messages of love, and a showing of interest. The Convention meetings were held in a pleasant hall, situated in one of the city parks; and besides the overflowing cup with which we were fed inside the hall the Lord favored us with the good things of nature. The weather smiled, and the brethren smiled, and the trees of the park, moved with the wind, clapped their hands for joy, and seemed delighted with the privilege of holding up the large advertisement telling that a "Bible Students' Convention" was being held.

Many prayers had been offered for the Father's blessing and guidance, and the Convention at once struck a high note of expectation and spiritual desire, and this was maintained throughout the meetings. Brother Hemery gave a welcome on behalf of the absent President of the Society – Brother Russell – and Brother Edgar, on behalf of the Glasgow brethren, gave a welcome to the Society. Then we had a most inspiring talk from Brother Bilsbrough on "Our Good Fight." Other brethren who addressed the Convention were Brother Barton, Brother Edgar, Brother Johnston and Brother Hemery. On the second day thirty-three brothers and sisters were immersed, symbolizing their consecration to the Lord: our hearts went out to them and our prayers ascended for them that they might walk worthy of the grace given to them. The whole of the Sunday afternoon session was given for testimonies, and surely no people ever spent a happier time than we did. The testimonies were of the best character, and we laughed and wept and rejoiced with each other, and all to the glory of him we love and to the praise of his grace. Our minds recalled the earlier [R3891 : page 357] meetings when we met in small numbers, and we thought of the testimonies then given. Mostly, and naturally so, they were of thankfulness for the light which had come: now while there is the same gratitude for the light there is more praise for that which the light has worked in the heart. The Lord's people are learning to rejoice in him as well as in his Truth.

Monday afternoon was spent partly on an exhibition lesson in the Berean Studies, and partly on a talk on the Harvest Work. The Study was chosen as an opportunity of showing the benefit of this special arrangement; how a very profitable time can be spent together, and how all can take part in the lessons. Already we have heard of several classes which are beginning these studies since the Convention. In the talk on the Harvest work Brother Edgar gave us a series of notes he had taken in the States, and the meeting was stirred as he told of the many brethren there who are spending their lives in the colporteur service. Brother Edgar and his wife, and his sister also, came back from the States enthused for the colporteur service, and as a consequence we had, on the Tuesday, a further meeting with this work specially to the front. As a result a general stimulus was seen: one dear brother gave up his work right away, and is doing well; others are to give a portion of their time, while quite a few others are thinking of entering the field. Bro. Hemery was unable to take part in the colporteur meeting, but on the previous day he said he thought the Lord's hand was in the recent visit to America of the three Glasgow friends, for their report was very timely. The work of putting the books into the hands of the people is not increasing in proportion with the increased numbers of those who show interest; and owing to sickness and other causes the number of colporteurs had not been quite so large, and therefore the sales were not increasing as could have been wished. (We are glad to say that there has been a quickening of the output, and that we feel a little lighter since our stock is getting less! We cable today for further shipments.)

We had a very affecting time when Brother Barton was to leave us. The "sweet sorrow" of parting was almost too much for the dear brother. He had a good send-off as he left the railway station at night, for his visit has been a spiritual blessing to all the churches. How these brethren are appreciated! We shall look [R3891 : page 358] forward to the coming of a brother next year, but we should be glad if you would bring him – under your own hat. At the close of the Convention the meeting expressed its appreciation of the sending of the Pilgrim Brethren, and it rose to signify its love to Brother Russell, and to send him loving greetings and good wishes by this means.

This report is delayed through the writer's sickness in Glasgow, where he was confined to bed for some days. Thanks to the Lord's favor and the kind care of a good nurse, he is back at work again. We thank the Lord for the mercies of the past days, and are going forward with stimulated zeal and desire to do his will, to spend and be spent for him. With the love of all the brethren,

I am, dear Brother, your fellow-servant,

J. HEMERY.

LONDON, Eng., Oct. 13, 1906.

[R3891 : page 358]

ONE-DAY CONVENTIONS
A
T Scranton, Pa., Sunday, Oct. 21, we had a splendid season of refreshment. A Praise and Testimony meeting was started at 9 a.m., about 200 being present – interested friends from Scranton and surrounding points. It was closed shortly after the arrival of Brother Russell, in charge of a reception committee of six. Then followed the discourse to the interested, a report of which those desiring same already have in the public prints. It related to the manner of the Kingdom, and was intended to stimulate the faith and zeal of those present, to make their calling and election sure.

The afternoon session for the public had been well advertised, and was in the finest and largest auditorium in the city. Of course under those conditions a large audience was secured. The dear Scranton friends had determined to bring the Truth to the attention of their friends and neighbors more thoroughly than ever before, and succeeded splendidly – we understand at an expense of about $300. They seemed greatly pleased that, notwithstanding dark, threatening weather the Lyceum was crowded, about 300 being unable to obtain admittance, but were given with tracts on the topic. It is estimated that 1600 were seated and that 600 stood during the service. We all prayed the Lord's blessing upon our united efforts to glorify his name. Only eternity will show the full results; but we know that no such efforts in his honor are despised by our gracious Lord, whether few or many of the large concourse were blest. Anyway all seemed to feel more than rewarded for the time, money and energy it cost. What a blessed privilege it is to be permitted to be co-laborers with the great Chief Reaper in this "harvest" work! Brother Russell left at 6 p.m., and Brother Samson gave a public discourse in the evening.

At Brantford, Ont., Canada, Brother Russell arrived about 10 a.m. Sunday, October 28. At about the same time others arrived from Hamilton and Toronto. At the meeting place about 200 assembled, and as the Brantford class numbers not above 20 this signified a large attendance from outside places: from Hamilton 14; from Toronto 30, and Chatham, London, Highland Grove, Galt, and many other places, as far away as New Liskeard, were represented. Some of these dear ones arrived Saturday, and their Praise and Testimony meeting began that evening and adjourned at 10 p.m., and was in full tide again on our arrival next morning, and continued until 11 o'clock, affording us an opportunity for hearing some of the praises to God for deliverance from darkness into his marvellous light. Something about the Canadian brethren and sisters reminds us of the friends in Great Britain; they are very whole-souled and warm-hearted. We always greatly enjoy meeting them. They seem to combine reverence for sacred things and fervency of spirit.

Brother Russell's discourse to the interested began promptly at 11 o'clock and lasted for an hour and a half. It was on Matt. 25:31 – the coming of our Lord in power and great glory. We need not comment, as those interested already have the newspaper report.

At 3 p.m. the service for the public was held in the "Grand Opera House." The day was dark and threatening, but the house was packed (about 1000), many standing. Several hundred unable to gain admittance were supplied with tracts. Close attention was given and we trust some hearing ears were found. Anyway all in the Truth rejoiced in the hoped-for fruitage of our mutual endeavors. Homeward bound in the evening we had the company of many of the Toronto and Hamilton friends as far as the latter place, and parted singing "God be with you till we meet again," and hoping that it may not be long until "we meet to part no, never, on the resurrection shore."

[R3891 : page 358]

EARTHLY THINGS APPRECIATED MOST
N
OT infrequently we meet some dear brother or sister who says: "It seems to me that I am not of the spiritual class. Try as I will I cannot imagine spiritual things, heavenly things. On the contrary, I can well imagine and take great joy and pleasure in thinking of the blessings of the Millennial Kingdom, the restitution times, the earth in process of release from the curse and progressing to the Paradise condition, and mankind being greatly uplifted through the ministries of the Lord and the glorified Church out of sin-and-death conditions now prevailing up to the full perfection of all lost in Adam, with the added favor of increased knowledge on every subject. Does not this indicate that I am not begotten of the Spirit, and that I need not have any expectancy of attaining to the heavenly things of which we read so much in the WATCH TOWER publications?"

We answer that those who take this position [R3891 : page 359] labor under a great mistake. These same things are true of every Christian. Everyone who has seen beautiful fields and lawns and gardens and who has a soul appreciative of the beauties of nature, can to some extent imagine what Paradise restored will be. Everyone who discerns the noble and true qualities of the human mind can approximately estimate what perfection of mind and heart would mean in the fully restored race of Adam, the result of restitution times at the end of the Millennial age. But not a soul on earth, not a saint that ever lived, has been able to imagine the heavenly things, the spiritual things, because he has never seen anything of the kind, has no powers whereby to contrast these with earthly things, and because they are not described in the Scriptures. As the Apostle declares, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be." (I John 3:2.) He gives the key to our faith and knowledge when he adds, "But we know that we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

Our knowledge is purely a faith knowledge, dependent [R3892 : page 359] upon our confidence in our Lord and his promises. We walk by faith, not by sight, whom not having seen we love, whose heavenly home not having been described to us we realize to be grander than all earthly things, because our heavenly Lord has assured us that "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man the things which God hath in reservation for them that love him." These things he tells us God hath revealed unto us by his Spirit. (I Cor. 2:9.) Not that he has given us pictures of them either by visions or mental pictures or word pictures, but he has revealed them to us in the sense that he has revealed himself to us; and as we come to a knowledge of the Lord and to an appreciation of his great wisdom and love and justice and power – as we come to realize that he is the grand exemplification and illustration of all that is good and great and loving and wise and beautiful and true, so we know that his heavenly home and all the arrangements which God has prepared for his special elect ones must be in some very special sense far above the very glorious things which he has prepared for those of the world in general, who during the Millennial age will accept his favors and his blessed provisions.

Suppose a woman who had found her ideal of a man, noble in every trait, mental, moral and physical, the one altogether lovely in person and character: suppose that she has accepted from this lover an invitation to become his bride and joint-heir in his estates: suppose that he showed her the most beautiful things of her knowledge in the vicinity of her home, and told her that these were not worthy to be compared with the grandeur of the home which he had prepared for her. Would not her confidence in her lover, that would lead her to forsake all to become his bride, lead her to have full confidence in his judgment and in his veracity respecting the many advantages of the home which he had specially prepared for her? Surely it would! She would need no more than his assurance, and would be glad to forsake her father's house and the best of everything that she had ever seen or could imagine and attain to the things of her betrothed. And is it not so with those who have accepted the Lord's invitation to become his Bride – to leave the world, to be changed from human nature to spirit nature, to inherit with him the glory, honor and immortality unspeakable and unknowable until the change shall come? Is this an unreasonable faith? Is this credulity? Does our Redeemer require of us an unreasonable faith? We think not. Yea, in proportion as we become followers in his steps our faith in the Leader grows, and our confidence not only in his words but also in his wisdom increases day by day as we onward go. We are confident, therefore, that he is able and willing to do for us exceedingly more abundantly than we could have asked or thought, according to the riches of his grace and his loving-kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. – Eph. 3:20.

Let us, therefore, gird up the loins of our minds and be sober minded, and hope to the end for the grace that shall be brought unto us at the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us look not at things that are seen, which at most are temporal, but let us look at the things that are unseen, at the eternal things. Let us look unto Jesus with the eye of faith, let us look unto the crown of life which he has promised, let us look unto the place that he is preparing for us in the many mansions of the Father's house; let us look, not with doubt and fear, but with full confidence that the grandest of our hopes will be much more than realized when he shall bid us come up higher and enter into the joys of our Lord. "Faith can firmly trust him, come what may." The more we exercise faith along these lines of his direction, the more are we pleasing in the sight of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light; and the more of such faith we exercise the more we will have in us the power of God, which will work in us both to will and to do his good pleasure – which will enable us to more and more live separate from the world, to overcome the world, and to fight a good fight against sin and selfishness, the world, the Adversary and our own flesh.

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DO ALL AS UNTO THE LORD
ISAIAH 5:11-23. – NOVEMBER 25. –

Golden Text: – "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection." – 1 Cor. 9:27.

T
HIS DATE has been set aside as the "World's Temperance Sunday," and the S.S. Lesson has been selected in accord with this. The consecrated of the Lord's people are not to be supposed to need special warnings or reproofs along this line. They have left the world behind, turned their backs upon sin and its various snares, and begun a life of consecration to the Lord – to them "old things have passed away, all things have become new." For such to turn again to the ways of sin and the gratification of the flesh, the Apostle says (2 Pet. 2:22), would be like the sow turning to wallowing in the mire after having been washed. Nevertheless the general weakness and frailty of our fallen human nature, and the fact that we are surrounded by temptations, make it necessary that the New [R3892 : page 360] Creature in Christ should continually watch as well as pray lest he enter into temptation. None achieve such strength of character nor attain to such heights of spiritual development as would permit them to glory in the flesh or insure them against ever yielding to its seductive influences. Hence it is, the Apostle assures us, that when we realize our weakness and our dependence upon the Lord for grace to help in every time of need, then we are really strong; whereas when we feel strong, sufficient of ourselves, self-confident, we are really in danger.
THEREFORE GONE INTO CAPTIVITY

Isaiah's prophecy was written after the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel had gone into captivity to the Assyrians, and in this lesson he seems to imply that in connection with the idolatries which were the direct cause of the nation's overthrow as elsewhere stated, intemperance was associated. But although he uses most direct language on the subject we are still not sure that the drunkenness referred to was not symbolical, figurative, representing intoxication with the spirit of the Adversary, the spirit of self-indulgence, the spirit of licentiousness, the spirit of wilfulness and alienation from God. We do know that in other parts of Isaiah's prophecy drunkenness is thus used figuratively, and we do know the same of other Scriptures, as, for instance, when we are told that Great Babylon made all the nations of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication, and again it is declared that the world is drunk with the wine of the wrath of God just before the great climacteric trouble, which will be the consummation of the present age and the introduction of the new dispensation.

Isaiah was not writing to the people who had been injured – to the people of the ten tribes, but to the Israelites of the two tribes. He was seeking to warn them by the experiences of their sister nation. In a parable he pictured a garden of the Lord kept with diligent care by the great Husbandman, which should have brought forth good grapes and good wine, but which instead brought forth evil grapes and a generally evil, poisonous influence. And it is upon this pedestal or basis that our lesson is set up, warning the Jews who were still under divine favor against making a similar mistake. However, whether we apply the Prophet's words to the figurative wine and strong drink or to the literal, we have lessons in both which are surely very profitable to all of the Lord's people. We need to fortify our minds, not only against strong drink of false doctrines and error, but against every intoxicating influence. In our poor fallen state none of us have any too much sense, and we need to conserve all that we have, and of the Lord's grace to receive more and more of his Spirit, which the Apostle describes as "the spirit of a sound mind." In this connection we quote the wise words of Professor George Adam Smith: –

"No one who has had to do with persons slowly falling from moderate to immoderate drinking can mistake Isaiah's meaning when he says, 'They regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands.' Nothing kills the conscience like steady drinking to a little excess; and religion, even while the conscience is still alive, acts on it only as an opiate....With fatal persistence the luxury of every civilization has taken to drink; and of all the indictments brought by moralists against nations, that which they reserve for drunkenness is, as here, most heavily weighed. The crusade against drink is not the novel thing that many imagine who only observe its late revival amongst ourselves. In ancient times there was scarcely a State in which prohibitive legislation of the most stringent kind was not attempted, and generally carried out with a thoroughness more possible under despots than where, as with us, the slow consent of public opinion is necessary. A horror of strong drink has in every age possessed those who from their position as magistrates or prophets have been able to follow for any distance the drifts of social life. Isaiah exposes as powerfully as ever any of them did in what the peculiar fatality of drinking lies. Wine is a mocker by nothing more than by the moral incredulity which it produces, [R3893 : page 360] enabling men to hide from themselves the spiritual and material effects of over-indulgence in it."

In our lesson the Prophet represents those who are enslaved to strong drink, saying, "Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, until wine inflame them." That which at first was a matter for the will to decide becomes very speedily a fixed habit, which controls the will and brings it into slavery, rendering it almost powerless. To the slaves of liquor or other intoxicants, such as tobacco, opium, morphine, etc., the voice of their tyrant master is heard when they awaken – their nerves cry out for the opiate; it is not with them as with those who are fully consecrated to the Lord and have him as their Master. To the latter the thought is and should be thankfulness to the Lord for blessings received, and petitions to him for wisdom and grace to render service in his cause for the day beginning. The Apostle declares that it is not so much whose servants we claim to be, but "his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death or obedience unto righteousness." (Rom. 6:16.) If we are serving sin, serving the flesh, we are slaves to it; but if Christ has made us free in heart it is for the new mind to claim the divine promise, and to exalt itself in the ways of righteousness and to gain repeated victories over the weaknesses and besetments of the flesh.

EVERY GOOD THING PERVERTED

While under slavery to sin there is a disposition to turn all the good things of life into the service of the perverted appetites, and so our lesson sets forth that the harp, the flute, the tabret, good in themselves, become improperly associated with the wine of revelry. Then the result is stated, "They regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands." How true this is: sin in its various forms blinding, influencing, the mind and heart are attracted away from the most worthy subjects of consideration. The Prophet David tells how he praised the Lord early in the morning, and in the night-watches called to mind his goodness, but contrariwise declared of those given up to self-indulgence and enslaved to sin, "God is not in all their thoughts." (Psa. 10:4.) Their minds are distracted, turned to unworthy and ignoble subjects, that have more and more a degrading influence upon them. In a word, the general tendency of sin, which abounds in the [R3893 : page 361] world through the fall, is downward, but God has set before us in his Word higher and nobler and better standards. Wise are those who, hearing the voice divine, seek to follow it; foolish are those who, knowing the downward tendency of sin, pursue it.

CAPTIVES IN HELL

"Therefore my people are gone into captivity for lack of knowledge: and their honorable men are famished, and their multitudes are parched with thirst. Therefore hell hath enlarged herself and opened her mouth without measure, and their glory and their multitude and their pomp and he that rejoiceth shall descend into it; and the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled." [Isa. 5:13-15 – Site Editor]

We cannot hope that even the most abstemious living on the part of the most godly of mankind would deliver any from the divine sentence, "Dying thou shalt die," which, the Apostle declares, "passed upon all men through one man's disobedience." As a result of that sentence Adam himself went down to sheol, into the tomb, into the state of death (the "hell" of the above quotation). We can, however, fearlessly assert that the ignoring of the divine Law, the disposition to gratification of the fallen flesh, has greatly enlarged hell, sheol, the tomb. That is to say, that many more die prematurely than otherwise would. Because of this slavery to sin and appetite our race is greatly weakened mentally, morally and physically – hence the death of so many of the weaklings of our race in infancy and the general captivity of all, for, as the Apostle declares, "Sin and Death reign," and the world are their subjects, their slaves. Thank God the Apostle points out a coming day when the groaning creation, slaves to sin, will be delivered from this bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. The opportunity for deliverance will be within their reach, yea, thrust upon them by the blessed conditions of the Millennial age, so that only by a wilful, persistent resistance of God's gracious purposes will any of them be remanded to the Second Death as incorrigible.

Our lesson points out that this enslaving and degrading influence takes hold upon all the mighty and the great as well as the mean and the little, but eventually out of all this miserable failure on man's part the Lord shall get glory and honor. In due time his gracious plan will so outwork as to bring in righteousness, and cause it to predominate and rule the world, even as Sin and Death are now ruling. Thank God that the great Redeemer who has purchased the world with his own precious blood is shortly to be the King of earth, Immanuel, God with men, and that one of his first works in connection with the establishment of his Kingdom will be the binding of Satan, the restraining of the power of Sin and Death and the setting free of all their captives, as it is written, the prison-doors shall be opened and the captives shall be liberated. – Isa. 61:1.

The people of Israel had been favored of God greatly in a covenant made with them through Moses, and in the consequent blessings which had attended them through the Lord's general supervision of their affairs; and since they rebelled against all these, and degraded themselves after the manner of the heathen, they merited special judgments and received them. Their captivity was a part of these, and, as our lesson declares, their favored land was permitted to fall into the hands of strangers. Yea, the goodly portion, even the spiritual favors, were many of them bestowed upon us who were by nature Gentiles, aliens, strangers and foreigners from the commonwealth of Israel. – Eph. 2:12.

SLAVES OF VANITY AND SIN

When we read, "Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope," we should not understand the word "woe" as a threat of future tribulation: rather we may consider it as an expression of sympathy. Woeful is the lot of those who are enslaved to a wrong course through vanity. Pride is really controlling a large proportion of the human family, conscience is violated because of pride, iniquities of various kinds are often unwillingly dragged along on this account. The poor groaning creation is as a slave bound to sin by a "cart rope"; it is so strong that he cannot break it even if he did realize its galling nature. On the contrary, blind to the real source of his troubles, the sinner often rejoices and seeks pleasure in his slavery, and knows not that the only one from whom it is possible for liberty to be secured is the Almighty God, who has appointed the Redeemer to set us free, and whose word is, "If the Son shall make you free you shall be free indeed." – John 8:36.

This class of deluded ones, tied with cords of vanity and enslaved to sin with a cart-rope, are inclined to doubt the holy one of Israel – to say within themselves, "If there be a God, and if he have the power, would he not long ago have exerted it? May we not, therefore, go onward in the way of sin with impunity?" As the Prophet expresses it, they say, "Let him [God] make speed and hasten his work that we may see it, and let the counsel of the holy one of Israel draw nigh and come that we may know it." Today we are living in just such a time. The fact that the Lord has been lifting the vail of ignorance from the world, and permitting mankind greater blessings and greater enlightenment than ever before, is influencing many of those who are drinking the wine of Babylon to deny the Word of God and the plan of God therein set forth – to deny that man was created in the divine image, that he fell, that he needed to be redeemed, that it is God's intention to restore him, and that for the purpose of this restoration God has promised the Millennial Kingdom, and that the divine purpose in this Gospel age has been the selection of the Church, to be joint-heirs with Christ in that work of human uplift. As the Apostle has expressed it, they are inclined to say, "Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2 Pet. 3:4.) They have turned their minds in the direction of evolution, and conclude that man did not fall from the divine image, but that he has been progressing for now six thousand years from the image of a monkey, gradually attaining to perfection. They incline to say the world is just what we make it; they incline to ignore the Scriptural promise that there is a coming time of rectification or judgment as respects all the affairs of the world, and that in that thousand-year day of judgment all the [R3894 : page 362] iniquities of the present time shall be rectified, every good endeavor rewarded, every wilful misdeed receive its just punishment, and all mankind have a glorious opportunity of rising up under the stripes and disciplines and rewards of that glorious time to the recovery, if they will, of all that was lost in Adam.

THEY THAT CALL EVIL GOOD

These same people are disposed to consider the evils of our time as nothing, as really good in comparison with the past, and the good of the past they are disposed to reckon as evil, imperfect. The Doctors of Divinity and professors of our day are esteemed to be the highest standards of knowledge and authority that the world has ever seen, while correspondingly the Lord, the apostles and the prophets of the past are esteemed to have been unwise, foolish, ignorant, unable to discern each other's falsities as the Higher Critics of our day discern them. Do not these, as the Apostle declares, call evil good and good evil? do they not put darkness for light and light for darkness, bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter? Are they not "wise in their own eyes, prudent in their own sight"? Are they not "mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink" – strong doctrine – wonderful philosophies?

GUIDED BY POLICY, NOT BY TRUTH

The final arraignment of the lesson is that the class under criticism "justify the wicked for a reward and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him." That is to say, the spirit of "graft" is here recognized – it is a matter of policy. Many today can be found ready to compromise as respects their condemnation of iniquities if there is some reward and advantage or gift for themselves in connection with the matter, or if they believe that some general purposes favorable to themselves would be served thereby. Likewise is there not a growing spirit of disregard for the reputation of the righteous, so that many are not only indifferent on this subject, but would be willing to misrepresent or vilify those in the right if it would be profitable to them so to do? We cannot avoid the thought that this self-seeking disposition is growingly manifest everywhere – perhaps nowhere more so than amongst the clergy of Christendom. Many of them, we have every reason to believe, clearly recognize the weakness of the erroneous positions with which they are associated, and recognize to a considerable degree the strength of the Truth. Nevertheless the majority of them seem to be ready to justify, to defend, the wicked, the erroneous, the God-dishonoring creeds for a reward – for their standing in their denominations, for the honor of men, for the dignity and financial emoluments connected therewith. And for the same considerations many are willing to denounce and misrepresent as in error those whom they know to be the defenders of the truth, of righteousness. What says the Prophet of these? He says: – "Woe unto them!" And the "woe" time is very near at hand. It will be that great time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, which shall engulf the great, the wise, the mighty, the learned, the chief captains, financial, social and religious, in the great catastrophe of anarchy. Thank God for the glorious prospect which we see in his Word – that just behind the clouds of trouble which surround our lonely way the Sun of Righteousness is arising with healing in his beams for the blessing of all the families of the earth, according to the Abrahamic Covenant.

OUR GOLDEN TEXT

The lesson for us all as the Lord's followers is well expressed in our Golden Text, which holds before us the Apostle's example, that we should be followers of him as he was a follower of the Lord and of his instructions. Let us, therefore, each and all, strive earnestly that we may be able to faithfully apply to ourselves the words of the Apostle, "I keep my body under and bring it into subjection, lest having preached to others I myself should be a castaway" – a castaway from the high calling with which we have been favored – losers of the great blessing and privilege of joint-heirship in the Kingdom with our Lord. Could we but keep ever before our minds the thought that we are on trial now, being tested, that we are being given opportunity to prove the sincerity and depth of our consecration to the Lord and to righteousness, the effect would surely be to spur us and energize us in the ways of the Lord. Let us remember, then, that this keeping under of the body appertains to our food as well as to our drink, to our thoughts as well as to our speech. Indeed all the difficulties with which we are obliged to contend begin in our thoughts, and by these, therefore, is the New Creature properly and justly measured by the Lord, who judges us not according to the imperfections of the flesh, which we have inherited, but according to our new spirits, our new minds, our new intentions, our new wills, our new hearts, and the energy and activity which these put forth in the keeping of the mortal body in subjection to the spirit, and so far as possible to the letter of the divine requirement.

"WE CAN DO NOTHING AGAINST THE TRUTH"

Whoever intelligently, wilfully, heartily does anything against the truth, against that which is right, is in serious danger of losing his relationship to the Lord – in serious danger of extinguishing the spark of the new nature with which he had been begotten of the holy Spirit. The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of obedience to the Father and to all righteousness, and whoever loses this Spirit so that he will intentionally oppose the Lord and righteousness, seemingly comes under the head of those mentioned by the Apostle when he says, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his." – Rom. 8:9.

This principle may be widely applied, but for the moment we narrow it down to the special topic of our lesson, intemperance, and suggest that from our standpoint the Lord's people should all be found on the side of temperance and in opposition to intemperance. Even when apparently there will be no hope of enforcing a prohibition law, we do not see how the Lord's faithful could conscientiously endorse the licensing a recognized evil. "We can do nothing against the truth." We must not be of those who say, Let us do evil that good may follow. We do not need to judge those who differ from us as to their conceptions of duty, but we suggest that each one who is the Lord's has a personal responsibility and should view it from this standpoint. We have no hope of the world's reformation along the lines of prohibition, but this does not hinder us from expressing [R3894 : page 363] our sympathy for the right, which we are sure will prevail as soon as our Lord's prayer is fulfilled that God's Kingdom shall come and his will be done on earth as in heaven. It is our duty to help lift up the standard for the people, even though that be a standard which they will not accept nor be greatly profited by until the Kingdom enforce it. In line with this we suggest that if the Lord's people at any time in any place be confronted with the question of license or no license they would do well to exercise their liberties and privileges in voting against the license – even though they may doubt the value of their vote and even though they might be sure that it would bring upon them more or less of odium and ill will on the part of those who are ready to rob the righteous of their righteousness for a reward and consideration.

We quote the following from the public prints without being able to verify its truthfulness. The lesson is true, whether the incident is so or not. The item follows: –

THE DECIDING TESTIMONY

"I have read of a town meeting in Pennsylvania where this question of license was to be decided. As the question was about to be put there arose from one corner of the room a miserable female, wrinkled and gaunt, and stretching out her arms, in a shrill voice she cried: 'Look upon me. You all know me, or once did. You all know that I was once mistress of the best farm in town. You all know, too, I had one of the best – the most devoted of husbands. You all know I had five noble-hearted, industrious boys. Where are they now? Doctor, where are they now? You all know. You all know they lie in a row, side by side, in yonder churchyard; all – every one of them filling a drunkard's grave!

"'They were all taught to believe that temperate drinking was safe – excess alone ought to be avoided; and they never acknowledged excess. They quoted you, and you, and you [pointing with her shred of a forefinger to him who said that alcohol was a good creature of God, to him that sold the poison, to him that gave it as a medicine, for a little was good]. They thought themselves safe under such teachers. But I saw the gradual change coming over my family and prospects with dismay and horror: I felt that we were all to be overwhelmed in one common ruin. I tried to ward off the blow, I tried to break the spell – the delusive spell – in which the idea of the benefits of temperate drinking had involved my husband and sons.

"'I begged, I prayed; but the odds were against me. My poor husband and my dear boys fell into the snare, and they could not escape; and one after another were conveyed to the sorrowful grave of the drunkard. Now look at me again. You probably see me for the last time – my sand has almost run. I have dragged my exhausted frame from my present home – your poorhouse – to warn you all – to warn you who taught, you who sold, you who gave;' and with her arms high flung, and her tall form stretched to the utmost, and her voice raised to an unearthly pitch – she exclaimed: 'I shall soon stand before the judgment seat of God. I shall meet you there, you false guides, and be a witness against you all.'

"She spoke and vanished. But when the chairman put the question, 'Shall any license be granted for the sale of spirituous liquors?' the response was the unanimous, 'No!'"

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"AS DECEIVERS AND YET TRUE."
LUKE 23:13-25. – DECEMBER 2. –

Golden Text: – "Then said Pilate, I find no fault in this man." – Luke 23:14.

O
UR Lord's words, "The darkness hateth the light," were verified not only in his own case but also amongst those who have been his footstep followers throughout this Gospel age. In the lesson before us we see an illustration of this in the incidents connected with our Lord's examination before Pilate and Herod, in his being "set at naught" and variously maltreated, and we can apply the same general principles to his true followers. Another of our Lord's sayings was illustrated in his experiences at this time, namely, "If the light that is in thee become darkness, how great is that darkness." The Jewish people had a certain amount of light, as the Apostle declares, "Much advantage everyway." (Rom. 3:2.) Yet the most rabid of our Lord's foes were the chief priests and rulers, and the Jewish mob whom they incited and authorized, and in a sense legalized by their learning, pretended piety and official position as those who "sat in Moses' seat." How great was their darkness, how perverted their sense of justice, how absent all sense of love! – how fully they demonstrated the wisdom of the divine decision that they were not fit to represent God and his Kingdom amongst men, and should, therefore, be cast off, that a spiritual Israel might be selected as Messiah's associates, his Bride. And is it not the same to-day? Has it not been a similar class all the way down through the age and now that is found opposing God and his Anointed, represented in his members in the flesh? It is even so: while the whole world under the blinding influence of the Adversary is opposed to the light, to the Truth, to the children of the light and to the promulgation of the Truth, nevertheless it is nominal Christendom and her Doctors of Divinity whose opposition is chiefly aroused, whose tongues are the loudest in crying, "Crucify! crucify!" against all the true members of the body of Christ, those who walk in his footsteps. We are glad of the Apostle Peter's assurance, as respects all such, that in general they have not had a sufficiency of light to make their course of conduct a guilty one to the last degree. The apostles said of the traducers of Jesus, his real crucifiers, "I wot that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." (Acts 3:17.) We may be sure that much of the opposition to the body of Christ all down through the age the Lord will be able to similarly pass by as done in blindness, in ignorance. We must be in the condition of heart to love our enemies, to do good to those who despitefully use us, and to pray for such; and we have [R3895 : page 364] good hope that when the blessed Kingdom of the Lord shall be established, and clear knowledge of the Lord fill the whole earth, many of these now blinded and bitter enemies will have the eyes of their understanding opened and be amongst those who will bow the knee and with the tongue confess to the glory of God.
JESUS BEFORE PILATE

Our Lord was brought before Pilate early in the morning of the day of his crucifixion, about eight o'clock. The Jewish Sanhedrin had met still earlier, and had approved of the findings of the High Priest in the examination during the night watches – that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy, of treason against God and his country. This was held to be proven by his admission before the High Priest that he was the Son of God, the Messiah. They were ashamed of him, and desired no such King, no such Savior, no such Messiah. They went to Pilate's judgment hall early, before the news of our Lord's arrest would reach the people of the city in general, and thus too great a commotion be made and perhaps some of his friends be aroused to his defense.

It required but a few moments for Pilate to make an examination of the prisoner at the bar. The charge against our Lord before Pilate was a totally different one from that on which he had been condemned by the Jewish Sanhedrin. It was of three counts: (1) Sedition, raising a tumult, stirring up the people to a rebellion; (2) that he taught the people that they should not give tribute to Caesar; (3) that he himself claimed to be the king who should receive the tributes. The charges were so evidently untrue that Pilate speedily discerned the animus of the Jewish rulers who formulated them. He saw that it was the religious power of the rulers that was in danger, and not the civil power of the Roman government. The multitude standing outside the gates shouted the accusations riotously, incited so to do by their religious teachers. Jesus made no reply, so that even Pilate marveled at his quietness, self-possession, non-resistance and lack of vindictiveness and refusal to defend himself, even though he was manifestly a person quite able to plead his own cause. Pilate even asked him if he were not aware of the fact that he had power either to set him at liberty or to inflict the punishment desired by the people. Our Lord's answer was serene, that Pilate could have no power at all except as it was permitted him by the heavenly Father. Ah, this was the secret of our Lord's composure! He had given his life, his all; he had surrendered to the Father his every interest; he had confidence in the Father's love and wisdom, and was willing, therefore, to drink of the cup which the Father had poured, rejoicing to do the will of him that sent him and to finish that work. So with the Lord's followers throughout this age – in proportion as they, like him, have been enabled to realize the fulness of their consecration and at heart have been filled with his spirit and loving submission to the Father's will – in that same proportion they have been able to be calm under most severe and trying ordeals, so that the world even has marveled at their composure and self-control, the peace of God passing all understanding ruling in their hearts.

Concluding his brief interview with Jesus, Pilate approached the wide-open doorway of his court-room, outside which the people were crowding, and publicly and openly declared, "I find no fault in this man." The rulers, disappointed, fearing that by some mischance they would after all lose their prey, were angry, and aroused the populace to expressions of dissatisfaction with the verdict. Pilate, however, had given the sentence and was not disposed to change it – yet he hesitated about setting Jesus at liberty in the face of such an angry demonstration on the part of the general public as well as of the influential rulers. Incidentally hearing something said about Galilee, he inquired if Jesus were a Galilean, and this being confirmed he said, "Since he is a Galilean I will send him to Herod, who at present is in the city." Then our Lord, publicly accompanied by a squad of Roman soldiers, was sent to Herod, who had a curiosity to see him; he had heard many things about him, and he had wondered whether or not he might be John the Baptist, whom he had beheaded, raised from the dead. But when Herod began to question Jesus he answered him never a word. There is a time to speak and a time to hold silence, and our Lord was the master of the situation. Undoubtedly his silence was more forceful than anything he could have said. Herod was evidently provoked by this silence, but dare not belittle himself by showing this. He therefore contented himself by allowing some of his men of war to array Jesus in a gorgeous robe, and to do him mock reverence. He regarded Jesus as a pretender, and no doubt thought it a stroke of wit to parody his claims of royalty. His verdict was, Not guilty – innocent. As Pilate had turned the prisoner over to Herod, declaring that he himself found no cause of death in him, Herod returned the compliment by remitting the prisoner again to Pilate. When, therefore, Pilate found the matter again in his hands he called together the chief priests and the rulers of the people, as stated in the opening verse of our lesson, and said, "Ye have brought this man unto me as one that perverteth the people: And behold I have examined him before you and have found no fault in this man as touching those things whereof ye accuse him. No, nor Herod, for I sent you to him; and lo, nothing worthy of death is found in him. I will therefore chastise him and release him."

AN APOLOGY FOR PILATE

Many are disposed to censure Pilate's severity: they call him a wicked man, unwilling to stand by his own convictions, and suggest that even the proposition to chastise Jesus was a manifestation of this weakness – that if there was no fault in Jesus, justice would not only have forbidden his execution but would also have forbidden his scourging with whips.

We believe that an injustice is done the man. He was a heathen, had no faith in the Jewish expectancy of a Messiah, [R3895 : page 365] no respect for the Jews themselves, but thought of them as a rebellious people whom he was placed there to keep in order – in subjection to the Roman empire. His training in life had been to consider that there might be many gods invisible, but that Caesar, the Roman Emperor, was the tangible representative of the gods, whose honor, authority and respect should be maintained at any hazard. He knew that he was placed as the representative of Rome at Jerusalem not to do justice but to keep order – not to favor and forward the divine plans, but to represent and maintain the authority of the Roman empire. What mattered it to Rome if a thousand innocent victims suffered every year so long as Roman prestige was maintained and Roman tribute was collected? If injustice amongst the Jews had been likely to stir them up to disloyalty to Rome, then the injustice would have been righted, so that the authority of Rome might remain upon a good basis; but if both the rulers and the people united against anybody or anything, and made it a test of [R3896 : page 365] their loyalty to Rome, the Emperor and senate would surely expect that Pilate, as their representative, would favor the voice of the people and maintain order and quiet. Apparently therefore it was either a respect which Pilate felt for our Lord's personality or the influence of his wife's dream of the preceding night that led him to strive with the Jewish rulers for the release of Jesus. Many another man in his position would have used the opportunity to curry favor with those under his control, and would have executed Jesus simply to please them – just as we see that Herod did on another occasion, respecting which we read, "And he killed James, the brother of John, with a sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also." – Acts 12:2,3.

The scourging incident should be viewed from this standpoint: Pilate wished to placate the mob spirit which he perceived at his court gate: if Jesus were scourged, and thus demeaned, the people would probably be better satisfied and more likely to let the incident drop than if the Lord were turned free without chastisement. We esteem then that it was with a good motive rather than a bad one that Pilate condemned Jesus to be lashed on the back.

BARABBAS CHOSEN – BY POPULAR VOTE

At this season of the year it was the custom for the Roman Governor to release a prisoner as an act of magnanimity and an adjunct to the general joy of the occasion. Pilate reminded them of this, and suggested that after scourging Jesus he would be the prisoner whom he would release, but the multitude cried out against this with united voice, "Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas." We cannot doubt that the priests and rulers had more or less to do with this – that they were still inciting the people against Jesus. And when we think of the Jews we are appalled at the condition of heart which it reveals. Barabbas was a seditionist in fact and had been imprisoned for murder – and this was the choice of the people as against Jesus! Truly they showed the murderous condition of their hearts: although outwardly a moral people, respecting the Law, inwardly they were filled with the spirit of the Adversary – they hated the Light and the great Light-Bearer. Similarly, all down through the age, those who have been chosen to office – while they have not always been seditionists and murderers – have rarely, if ever, been saints. And so today, although nearly nineteen centuries have passed, and the most civilized parts of the world are called Christendom, we may be sure that if our Lord were to offer himself as King to these he would be rejected, and, if not a murderer elected instead, the choice would certainly fall upon one who had considerable of the murderous spirit – the spirit of the world, the spirit of the Adversary, which frequently manifests itself, as the Apostle declares, in malice, hatred, envy, strife – works of the flesh and of the devil. The disciple is not above his Lord; but in proportion as he has a heart-likeness to his Lord, in that same proportion he will be tolerably sure not to be pushed into any place of very great honor and dignity in the present time. We by no means inveigh against those who occupy official and honorable positions. We believe that good, noble characters have filled such positions by popular choice, popular vote, but we consider such occurrences so rare as to prove the rule to the contrary. Let it be remembered, however, that we make a wide distinction between a good citizen, a good ruler, a noble man and a saint, a follower in the footsteps of Jesus. Let us determine that by the grace of God our stand will be with the Master; let us expect that it will be unpopular, cost us shame and contempt and disadvantage, and that this will be our share in his cross – and let us remember that only those who bear the cross will wear the crown. "Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide, In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side; Some great cause, God's new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight, Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right; And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light."

PILATE'S WIFE'S DREAM

Edersheim remarks that it was "While the people were deciding to choose Barabbas instead of Jesus, and Pilate was sitting on his judgment seat, a messenger came to him from his wife, warning him not to yield and deliver up Jesus to be crucified, for she had suffered many things in a dream because of him. We can understand it all, if, on the previous evening, after the Roman guard had been granted, Pilate had spoken of it to his wife. Tradition has given her the name Procula. What if Procula had not only been a proselyte, like the wife of a previous Roman governor (Saturninus), but had known about Jesus and spoken of him to Pilate on that evening? This would best explain his reluctance to condemn Jesus, as well as her dream of him."

"WHY, WHAT EVIL HATH HE DONE?"

Pilate a second time essayed to influence the people, but again they began shouting, "Crucify him, Crucify him," and the third time he appealed to them saying, "Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him. I will therefore chastise him and let him go," but [R3896 : page 366] the mob was "instant with loud voices requiring that he might be crucified, and the voices of them and the chief priests prevailed."

Stalker comments upon this incident: "This scene has often been alleged as the self-condemnation of democracy. Vox populi, vox Dei, its flatterers have said – but look yonder! When the multitude has to choose between Jesus and Barabbas, it chooses Barabbas! If this be so, the scene is equally decisive against aristocracy. Did the priests, scribes, and nobles behave better than the mob? It was by their advice that the mob chose."

Elsewhere their arguments are set forth: they clearly intimated to Pilate that the incident would be reported at Rome, and would have a peculiar light that would reflect against his vigilance as the representative of Roman authority – that a pretender to the dominion of Israel had appeared, and that they themselves, loyal to Rome, had arrested him and brought him to the Governor, who was so slack of his duty that instead of crucifying him he had set him free. Poor Pilate was in a very hard place for one of his character, position and education. He gave way finally under pressure, whereas many a man in his place would not have thought of resisting the popular will in such a matter. He finally gave sentence that the will of the people should be done. And is not this as high a level as is ever attained by earthly law and justice? What human law can stand against the will of the people? Is it not the same with us today? The people make the laws and the people execute them, and Pilate merely hearkened to the voice of Jesus' own countrymen. Here, too, the Scriptures lay the blame, saying, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Here the Apostle also lays the blame, not upon Pilate, but upon the Jews and their rulers.

PILATE WASHED HIS HANDS

As an indication of his dissent, and as clearing himself in the sight of all from the responsibility, Pilate called for water to be brought, and in the sight of the multitude poured it over his hands. Thus washing his hands he said, both in symbol and in words, "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man, see ye to it." (Deut. 21:6-9.) How blinded were the Jews that they could not even appreciate justice to the same extent as this heathen ruler, who had nothing at stake personally nor religiously – whose every interest might be said to have been better served by a concurrence in the popular vote. This hardness of heart is represented by the willingness with which the priests and rulers and multitude accepted the responsibility, saying, "His blood be upon us and upon our children." The full responsibility of what followed was left with the Jews.

"HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED"

Carrying out the thought that the responsibility lay with the Jews, God through the Prophet had already declared that the time would come when the poor blinded eyes would be opened and the Jews would look upon him whom they had pierced and mourn for him. (Zech. 12:10.) Thank God that such a time is coming, and that the Lord promises that he will pour upon them the spirit of prayer and supplication, and will take away their sin. As a people they have had severe experiences for now many centuries, and all who have the Spirit of Christ rejoice to know of their coming reprieve; and not only so, but to know, further, that the blessing which will thus begin with the "Jew first" shall extend through him under the divine guidance of spiritual Israel in glory, the Christ, to the blessing of all the families of the earth during Christ's Millennial reign.

"AS DECEIVERS AND YET TRUE"

These words of the Apostle merely confirm the thought emphasized by the Master himself, that all true followers of Jesus will have more or less of his experiences. He was the true one – the Truth, as well as the Way and the Life – and yet he was crucified as a deceiver, he was misunderstood by the sin-blinded world, yea, by the most enlightened people of that time. The disciple is not to expect to be above his Lord, but rather to expect to glory in the privilege of being his companion. Let us learn, therefore, to rejoice even in [R3897 : page 366] the midst of misrepresentation, falsification, buffetings, scourgings, legal and illegal, farcical – let us count it all joy to be permitted thus to have companionship with our beloved Savior; let us learn the lesson of patient endurance in well doing, that in due time, not having fainted, we may reap the glorious reward of joint-heirship with him in his Kingdom.

[R3897 : page 366]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER: –

I am thinking of that blessed season of soul refreshing which the good Lord permitted so many of us to enjoy to so full an extent at St. Paul. I wish I could have each countenance clearly impressed upon the tablet of my memory as I saw them there. I wish I could remember all their names, and recall all the kind words they uttered. But I can't, and therefore I realize that, good as it was, it was not quite the thing we are expecting; and when I think what a good thing it was, then I wonder just what we are expecting anyhow, and I confess that my lips cannot describe that upon which my heart is fastening its hope. But I know that I shall see my Lord face to face and be with him and like him.

Among the many things that impressed me was the thought that our dear Master was there, and all the glorified saints with him. The thought that very soon, if faithful, we, too, would be on the other side of the vail; and then that "if" impressed me, and I said deep down in my heart, –

"Teach our thoughts to ever rise
Upward toward the heavenly prize;
Help our doubting hearts to clasp
Hope within a firmer grasp."

We thought of the thousand or more of the Lord's little ones there, and we tried to comprehend the sum of their trials, and we tried to multiply it by 144, and we failed; and then we tried to add it to the trials and suffering of our dear Master, and failed again. Then we tried to subtract it from the sum of all our joys when we shall be glorified together with our Lord, and the remainder was beyond our comprehension; and then we thought, Oh, how glad we will be when we [R3897 : page 367] know as we are known, when the dear Master will divide the spoils with the strong.

We thought of the progress these dear friends had made, as we looked into their beaming faces and saw the beautiful lines traced there by the divine artist; lines and coloring that told of the beauty of thoughts, desires and hopes stored away in each bosom, and we seemed to hear the heart-throbs utter,

"None of self, and all of thee."

"But are there no scars and wrinkles to mar this beauty?" our ungenerous flesh asked, and the Spirit gently replied, "Doubtless there are scars and wrinkles, but not to mar this beauty – oh no, no! for there were no eyes there to behold the scars and wrinkles, only the beautiful." "Love hideth a multitude of sins." It was literally love before you, love to the right of you, love to the left of you, love above you and love within you.

Then we thought of it as a rally – a rally around our invisible Standard-Bearer and his unseen army. And then we noticed lines and features that indicated discipline, hardness as good soldiers, firmness, decision, patience, etc. And we were impressed, and at once tightened our armor a little more and grasped the weapons of our warfare a little more firmly, and faced about a little squarer and stood a little straighter, and our hearts responded, "Yea, Lord, we are ready to follow even unto death."

We remembered that we were an army in camp, feasting on food such as loyal soldiers needed, and that we were doing so in the face of the enemy, and that soon the orders would be to break camp and march. Yes, "To the front, to the front!" would soon be the call to the battle. And may we all "Fight the good fight of faith," and be able to say with the Apostle, "I have fought a good fight."

Your brother in Christ and in fellowship of suffering and hope,

J. P. MARTIN, – Ohio.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

As Bro. __________ is very busy he wishes me to write you in reference to the enclosed draft.

Some matters have taken a different turn since he spoke to you of loaning the Society a sum of money this fall. We have again decided to make the enclosed amount ($1,000.00) a donation instead of a loan. We find, somewhat to our surprise, that in the Lord's providence we are about as able to give the amount as we were to give the same amount a year ago, so feel that it would be pleasing to the Lord to do so. Kindly place the amount to our credit on the "Good Hopes" fund for 1907. We thought it as well to pay "cash in advance" on the Lord's account and reserve the "hopes" for our own!

Personally, Brother Russell, I feel that I would like to tell you that I find much peace and comfort from the clearer understanding of the Lord's will in reference to woman's place in the Church and home. I began to seek light on the subject before we came "into the Truth" and I presume I received as much light as I was able to walk in at the time. I can see how it must have cost you some "crucifixion of the flesh" to declare the whole counsel of God on the subject – even as it is in some cases contrary to the natural heart to receive it. But when we see the Lord's will in reference to any matter and submit our wills to his what rest of heart it brings!

Brother __________ and I found the double TOWER of last July a blessing, although we had never been disturbed in mind over your private affairs. We realize it must have caused you sorrow, pain, to be required in the Lord's providence to so lay bare your heart's secrets, but we trust it has not been without a measure of compensating blessing to yourself as it has without doubt been a blessing to others.

May the dear Lord who has so graciously blessed you and made of you a blessing continue with you to the end. Your sister in hope,

MRS. __________.

MR. CHARLES T. RUSSELL:

DEAR SIR, – It has never been my good fortune until the past few months to read any of your works on Bible common sense, but am pleased to inform you that within the past three weeks I have had the use of your work, and so far my reading is quite satisfactory. You are certainly led by the Spirit of God to write the simplicity of his expressed will in plain words.

I had read some of your writings previous to reading these volumes, and was impressed with your reasoning and conclusions. I am a seeker after Gospel information, and have some crude ideas, but a firm believer, and get my opinions from my Bible reading, but never go to the Bible with an opinion of my own. I never believed in "torment" or "torture," but in a just punishment – the law of cause and effect, as it were.

I have some pulpit work to do – not a "preacher," however – just talks, as Superintendent of this Home for paroled and discharged prisoners who would start new and honest in life. I practised law for twenty years, but retired, and am now giving my time and talents to this work.

I thank God for such intellects as yours, and for such industry, such mind-consecration. God bless you.

Sincerely yours,

V. P. K., – L.I.

R.M.S. Lucania, Oct. 1, '06.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

We are now on board, all three of us, off to the "Old Country." About a dozen of the New York friends were at the pier to see us off. We have had a very pleasant and helpful sojourn in this country and have met with so much kindness everywhere that we don't know how to thank you all sufficiently. We know that you will say to this that we are to thank the Lord, and we do, dear Brother, for without the Lord we should not have known you all. We are glad that we and so many others have received such marvellous light. All we have met have shown the same spirit, the Spirit of our dear Master.

We shall always look back with thankfulness to our visit to America, and we hope the many lessons we have learned – for we have been keeping our eyes and ears open – will help us to be conformed to the image of God's dear Son. We shall try with God's help to impart to others the blessings we have received.

We desire to thank you, especially, dear Brother, for the kindness we have received from you. We know that a great deal of the hospitality we have received has been due to you. We trust that you will be sustained throughout the rest of your life's journey on this side of the vail. We shall continue to pray for you. Convey our love in the Lord to all the Bible House friends. We love you all because we see in you so much of the Spirit of Christ.

I am, with love to you from my wife, sister and self,

JOHN EDGAR.