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August 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXXAUGUST 1NO. 15
A.D. 1909 – A.M. 6037
CONTENTS
Views from the Watch Tower 227
International Conciliation 227
Spiritism Conquering Scientists 227
Jewish College in Palestine 228
Law Righteousness and Faith Righteousness 228
"The Greatest of These is Love" 229
New Creatures Only Appealed to 230
Our Heavenly Home (Poem) 231
Wandering into "Outer Darkness" 231
The Single Eye of Love 232
"Mind the Same Things" 233
Deliverance from the Adversary 234
Some Interesting Letters 237
Brooklyn Bethel Hymns for September 239
Berean Studies on the Atonement 239

"I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me." Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

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THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION
T
HIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly 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." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I 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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The Missouri Pacific Railway has granted fare-and-a-third rates from all of their stations, except where two-cent per mile rate is now in force. Friends from St. Louis expect to be leaving that city in a special coach on the morning of July 28th at 9 o'clock. Any desiring to join the party had best notify Mr. L. M. Nance, 3659 Russell Ave., St. Louis, Mo., so that plenty of car room may be arranged for.

RE BROOKLYN CONVENTION

We had hoped to be in position to announce in this issue particulars regarding the proposed Brooklyn or nearby convention expected to be held about September 4th to 12th. Details in next issue.

THE WEEKLY SERMONS

We trust that our readers who are taking newspapers which publish "Pastor Russell's Sermons" weekly will not forget to encourage the editors by post-card, referring briefly to some feature specially enjoyed or to the sermons in general. If you miss a paper or if a sermon fails to appear, send a post-card at once stating your disappointment and explaining that you subscribed solely for the sake of Pastor Russell's sermons, which are so different from all other sermons.

1st Volume Spanish DAWN is now in stock.

page 226

STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
"MILLENNIAL DAWN"
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[R4441 : page 227]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
INTERNATIONAL CONCILIATION
(EXTRACT FROM AN ADDRESS BY HON. ELIHU ROOT)

"
T
HERE is a peculiar situation created when a diplomatic question arises between two countries. It is the duty of the diplomatic representatives to argue each the cause of his own country; he cannot turn his back upon an opponent in that friendly contest and state to his countrymen the weakness of his own position and the strength of the other side's position, and it is one of the great difficulties of peace-making and peace-keeping that the orators, the politicians, the stump speakers, aye, often the clergymen of each country, press and insist upon the extreme view of their own country, and impress upon the minds of the great masses of people who have not studied the question, the idea that all right is upon one side and all wrong upon the other side.

"If you would help to make and keep peace, stand behind the men who are in the responsible positions of government, ready to recognize the fact that there is some right on the other side.

"War comes today as the result of one of three causes: either actual or threatened wrong by one country to another, or as the result of a suspicion by one country that another intends to do it wrong, and upon that suspicion, instinct leads the country that suspects the attack, to attack first; or, from bitterness of feeling, dependent in no degree whatever upon substantial questions of difference, and that bitterness of feeling leads to the suspicion, and the suspicion in the minds of those who suspect and who entertain the bitter feeling, is justification for war. It is their justification to themselves. The least of these three causes of war is actual injustice. There are today acts of injustice being perpetrated by one country upon another; there are several situations in the world today where gross injustice is being done. I will not mention them, because it would do more harm than it would good, but they are few in number.

"By far the greatest cause of war is that suspicion of injustice, threatened and intended, which comes from exasperated feeling. Now, feeling, the feeling which makes one nation willing to go to war with another, makes real causes of difference of no consequence. If the people of two countries want to fight, they will find an excusea pretext – find what seems to them sufficient cause, in anything. Questions which can be disposed of without the slightest difficulty between countries really friendly, are insoluble between countries really unfriendly. And the feeling between the peoples of different countries is the product of the acts and the words of the peoples of the countries themselves, not of their government. Insult, contemptuous treatment, bad manners, arrogant and provincial assertion of superiority are the chief causes of war today."

SPIRITISM CONQUERING SCIENTISTS

We reiterate our warnings re all that disregard the Divine assurance that the dead are dead and that resurrection is their only hope. The Bible alone gives us the key to Spiritism's power, showing that it is by the fallen angels, demons, who personate the dead so as to deceive mankind and to favor various falsities and superstitions built upon the error that the dead are alive. The Bible also foretells that at this time the wise men of the world will be deceived. Note the evidence of this in the following item which is going the rounds of the press: –

"Mme. Blavatsky was exposed in India by a strenuous Australian investigator, Richard Hodgson, who afterward settled down in Boston, where he became head of the old American branch of the British Society for Psychical Research, and where also he met Professor James, who took him to see Mrs. Piper. Dr. Hodgson studied this woman for eighteen years and she convinced him that telepathy, automatic writing and communication with the dead were bona fide phenomena. To give her a special test, Dr. Hodgson arranged a unique course of experiments, in which he was aided by Dr. James H. Hyslop, professor of logic and ethics at Columbia.

MASKED HIMSELF AND DISGUISED VOICE

"The professor masked himself and disguised his voice during his visits to her, and while she lay unconscious, with her head upon a pillow resting on a table, her hand wrote out messages alleged to come from his father. She converted Hyslop to the spiritistic hypothesis, and his announcement of the fact made a stir in the scientific world. He and Hodgson formed a compact that whoever died first would communicate with the other, and Professor Hyslop expressed some time ago his satisfaction that he has received messages from Hodgson since the latter's death.

LOMBROSO AND FLAMMARION CONVERTED

"Across the deep no less a proportion of thinking men have turned their thoughts in the same direction. Caesare Lombroso, the great Italian criminologist and anthropologist, after having studied the medium, Eusapia Paladino, has announced his belief in disembodied spirits, although he does not indorse the theory of the return of the dead. Professor Charles Richet, of the Faculty of Medicine, Paris, is a French leader in psychical research work and claims to have photographed the spirit of a Spanish soldier, while Camille Flammarion, the French astronomer, is now an aggressive convert to Spiritism. He says that he has proved that such phenomena as the movement of chairs without contact and the suspension of heavy tables in space are bona fide. [R4441 : page 228]

"No less than an ex-prime minister has recently been a leader of the ghost hunters of England, where he recently served as president of the Society of Psychical Research. He insists that science cannot explain the psychic wonders which he has witnessed. While he headed the society it made a special investigation of 350 cases of aparitions of the dying in England and Wales, and of these fifty-two cases were accepted as beyond the laws of chance or the possibility of fraud.

EDITOR STEAD NOW A MEDIUM

"William T. Stead has become a medium, so he now says – a writing medium, not one of the tambourine and trumpet band. At first the noted editor accepted telepathy and claimed to have written down the thoughts of living men many miles away. Then, of late years, he alleges, he has gotten into close communion with the dead. But it is only this year that he claims to have developed automatic writing, his right arm becoming impassive while its fingers guide a pen over paper on which appear letters from his son, the brilliant young writer, William, who died a year ago last Christmas eve. Mr. Stead claims that this writing appears without his exercising any will power to either hold the pen or move it.

SIR OLIVER LODGE NOW A SPIRITIST

"If the English-speaking public was surprised to hear that Mr. Stead had strayed thus far into the spiritualist camp, it was startled to learn a few months ago that Sir Oliver Lodge, head of the University of Birmingham, had announced his belief in such communication with [R4442 : page 228] those beyond the grave. In a recent journal of the Society for Psychical Research he has given details of messages which he claims to have received from dead members of the society through the pen of a writing medium."

SUGGESTION A POTENT WEAPON

"The spread of Eddyism and the Emmanuel movement merely emphasises the fact that we have another potent weapon at our command," said Dr. William H. Dieffenbach, of New York, in his annual presidential address to the National Society of Physical Therapeutics, affiliated with the American Institute of Homeopathy, which was recently in session in Detroit.

"The use of suggestion to patients," continued the doctor, "should be studied and taught as should every other agent promising relief in the cure of the sick."

SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS

"I have careful records of about five hundred death-beds, studied particularly with reference to the modes of death and the sensations of the dying. Ninety suffered bodily pain or distress of one sort or another, eleven showed mental apprehension, two positive terror, one expressed spiritual exaltation, one bitter remorse. The great majority gave no sign one way or the other; like their birth, their death was a sleep and a forgetting." – Prof. Ossler.

JEWISH COLLEGE IN PALESTINE

Jacob Schiff, the New York banker, has placed $100,000 at the disposal of the Central Jewish Relief League toward establishing a technical college for Jews in Palestine. The college is expected to attract Jews from all parts of the world. It will be located at Haifa.

[R4442 : page 228]

LAW-RIGHTEOUSNESS AND FAITH-RIGHTEOUSNESS
A
LTHOUGH the Church is not developed under a Law Covenant – neither the old Law Covenant nor the New (Law) Covenant – nevertheless it is being measured by the Divine Law standard; as the Apostle says, The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us who are walking not after the flesh but after the Spirit. – Rom. 8:4.

The Jew under the Law Covenant was unable to be justified because unable to keep the letter of that Law, and because Moses, the mediator of that Law Covenant, had no merit or grace to contribute to the people which would excuse them from the letter of the Law and make the spirit of that Law available for their justification.

The New (Law) Covenant, like the old one, will require obedience to the letter of the Law of God, and not merely to its spirit. The rule of that Covenant will be, "He that doeth these things shall live by them." What advantage, then, will accrue under the New (Law) Covenant above and beyond that which the Jew enjoyed under the old Law Covenant?

We answer, The difference will be that the New (Law) Covenant will have the better Mediator, who will have the right during the existence of the Millennial Kingdom to instruct, and chasten, and reward, and assist, and uplift all who will be obedient to him, so that by the close of the Millennial Age all who desire eternal life, all who appreciate righteousness, or who could be made to appreciate it, will have been brought up to that perfect condition mentally, morally and physically which Adam enjoyed but lost by sin, and which Christ redeemed by the sacrifice of himself.

The mediation will last for the thousand years, and at its conclusion the world will be turned over to the jurisdiction of the Heavenly Father – Christ will "deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father." (1 Cor. 15:24.) They will be delivered up perfect, mentally, physically, morally, and be all that Adam was, plus the experiences received through the reign of evil and through the subsequent reign of righteousness. Thus the old Law Covenant and the New (Law) Covenant have special points of similarity, and we see the difference between the two to be, as St. Paul points out, that the New (Law) Covenant has the better Mediator, who is able to cancel the sins that are past and to take away the stony heart, and by restitution processes restore the heart of flesh. Additionally, he will instruct mankind to that condition where they can if they will keep the Divine Law perfectly, both in letter and in spirit.

This was lost sight of in the dark ages. The real object of this Gospel Age – the selection of the members of the antitypical Moses, the antitypical Mediator of the New (Law) Covenant – the mystery – became obscured. No future age for the blessing of Israel and the world was acknowledged. Instead the New Covenant was considered as but another name for the Abrahamic Covenant, to which, instead, it is to be an addition.

THE CASE WITH US IS DIFFERENT

The Covenant under which we become Abraham's Seed – i.e., the Abrahamic Covenant (the Sarah Covenant), had no law provision and no mediator. It was a one-sided Covenant, and needed no mediator. It was made with one who believed God, who was justified by his faith, and whose faith was tested by obedient works to the extent of his ability. To this tested, proved man, Abraham, God gave the great promise, "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." This was the Covenant to which was added the oath of confirmation. That promise and that oath become our strong consolation, our anchorage of hope, because we have become united to Christ as his members – members of the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, which is to bless natural Israel and the world by the long-promised New (Law) Covenant, of which we are being made able ministers or servants.

To Christ the original Covenant came with the Law "added," and he inherited by obedience to the Law. He is now accepting us separate and apart from the Law on condition of faith and obedience to the extent of our ability. To us the righteousness of the Law is counted as fulfilled when we walk, not after the flesh, but after [R4442 : page 229] the spirit of the Law, because we thus give evidence that if we had perfect ability we would keep the Divine Law perfectly. And we who have been accepted as members of the Body of Christ have entered into a covenant of sacrifice as respects the earthly nature, and to be copies of our Redeemer to the extent of our ability – in heart, in will, and, so far as possible, in deed.

After testing us thus, if found faithful, God will accept us fully and grant us spirit bodies like unto our Redeemer's. It is thus, as New Creatures in Christ, that we may be the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, and members of the Body of the great Mediator, the great Prophet, Priest, King and Judge, who during the Millennial Age, under the New (Law) Covenant sealed with his blood, shall establish righteousness in the earth, and lift up the willing and obedient of humanity out of sin, degradation and death to harmony with God and everlasting life.

Is it asked, Under what Covenant is the Royal Priesthood, the Church of the First-Born, justified? We answer, under no covenant. Our justification, like that of Abraham, is by faith. As it is written, "Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone that it (righteousness) was imputed to him, but for us also to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him who raised up Jesus, our Lord, from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." – Rom. 4:3,23-25.

St. Paul in this connection points out that Abraham was not justified because of his circumcision, for he was justified by faith and reckoned righteous before he was given the seal of circumcision. Likewise, he was not justified by the Covenant made with him, but the Covenant was made with him because of his faith, and his justification through faith. And thus it is also with all of us who are counted Abraham's Seed. After being justified by faith, we are granted the privilege of becoming dead with Christ, and thus becoming members of his Body, the spiritual Seed of Abraham, whose circumcision is that of the heart. – Gal. 3:29.

[R4442 : page 229]

"THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE"
I COR. 13:1-13. – AUGUST 29. –

Golden Text: – "And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love) these three; but the greatest of these is charity" – love. – 1 Cor. 13:13.

T
HE Church at Corinth had been founded for nearly five years and had enjoyed a wide range of experiences and Divine providences. St. Paul, in addressing them this epistle, was evidently considering well their needs and seeking to minister to the same the Divine message of grace and truth. The Apostle may not have realized how great a work he was doing and how far-reaching would be the scope of his instructions. Perhaps it was better for himself that he did not know how important was his service to the entire Church of the Gospel Age, as the mouthpiece of his Lord. Such a knowledge might have been too much for him and might have made him heady, the very condition of things the Lord was warding off by permitting him to still have the "thorn in [R4443 : page 229] the flesh," considered in our last lesson.

The Apostle had been discussing God's "gifts" to the early Church, which, to them, took the place of other blessings now enjoyed. They had no Bibles, as we have; no concordances or helps in Bible study. They needed the miraculous "gift of tongues" to draw them together once a week to consider the message of the Lord. They needed that the message should come in this miraculous way, in order that it might be the better appreciated by them and be of the Lord and not of themselves. Then, too, this made opportunity for another gift, "the interpretation of tongues." Thus by the various gifts they were drawn together and edified and built up, until such times as the books of the New Testament gradually accumulated and, after the death of the Apostles and the consequent cessation of the "gifts," these Divine providences of the written Word were quite sufficient, yea, better everyway, as the Apostle sets forth in this lesson.

In this epistle St. Paul has been gradually leading the minds of his readers up to a higher appreciation of the blessings they enjoyed. In the chapter preceding our lesson he calls attention to these various facts and the oneness of the Church, and the Divine intent that each member should love and cooperate with the other. He pointed out to them that they were putting rather too high a value upon the "gift of tongues." That, while this "gift" had its proper place in the Church as a blessing, a still higher lesson lay in the ability to present Truth in a well-understood tongue or language. He declared himself able to speak with more tongues than any of them, and yet pointed out that he preferred to speak in the tongue which would be understood by his hearers. Finally in his argument he came to our present lesson and gave it as a climax to his hints preceding.

THE TONGUE OF LOVE SUPERIOR TO ALL

Boldly the Apostle sets forth a great Truth, which has come to be more and more recognized amongst Christian people everywhere, and that in proportion to their development in the character-likeness of their Redeemer, in proportion to their development as children of God. St. Paul sets forth that not knowledge, not wisdom, not talents, not "gifts" of any kind are the things most to be sought for, but Love – because God is Love, and because all who would be pleasing to God must develop this character, this disposition, and because, according to the Divine Law, none will ever have full Divine approval or eternal life on any other plane of being, without the full establishment in the heart, in the character, of this Divine quality – love. Therefore "Love is the fulfilling of the Law."

In St. Paul's forceful language, if he had all the tongues of earth and of heaven and could speak them with perfection and charming rhythm, these would still not constitute a proof of his harmony with God and his acceptance to life eternal. Should he do all this in a perfunctory manner, even to the extent of speaking of the Divine character and in the interests and welfare of his fellows, he might still have no heart in the matter, but be merely like a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. The argument is that tongues, therefore, were not to be esteemed as a proof of Christian character.

Next he argues respecting prophecy, oratory and the understanding of mysteries and knowledge and the possession of mountain-moving faith, and he asks, Would these abilities not signify a glorious development and a full acceptance with God and an assurance of life eternal? He answers us, No, any of these or all of these abilities, precious as they are, in the Divine estimation would have no value whatever, would profit us nothing, unless mixed with love and based upon love. How his argument exalts this love quality before our minds! He proceeds to say that although all of our goods were given to feed the poor and though, as martyrs, our bodies should be burned at the stake, if the motive, the sentiment, behind the giving and behind the endurance of martyrdom were not love, there would be no reward – it would profit us nothing.

LOVE'S CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS

To those of the Lord's people who have never studied out what love is – what are its elements, its constituent parts, the Apostle's suggestions here will seem like a revelation. He enumerates nine ingredients: [R4443 : page 230]

(1) Patience – "Love suffereth long;"
(2) Kindness – "And is kind;"
(3) Generosity – "Love envieth not;"
(4) Humility – "Love vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up;"
(5) Courtesy – "Doth not behave itself unseemly;"
(6) Unselfishness – "Seeketh not her own;"
(7) Good Temper – "Is not easily provoked;"
(8) Guilelessness – "Thinketh no evil;"
(9) Honesty – "Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the Truth."

What a wonderful world this would be even with all of its aches and pains physical, if every member of our race were perfect in these qualities enumerated! However, it would be a useless waste of time to weep over what we have not, or to unnecessarily chide our neighbors and friends because they, like ourselves, are not perfect in love. Indeed, the more we come to understand the teachings of God's Word, the more of sympathy we may have with the poor "groaning creation." In one sense of the word our sympathies are all for this glorious standard which the Apostle holds up before us. We cannot sympathize with the evil, the error, the wrong. It is uncongenial to us. But, understanding the situation, we can sympathize with our fellows and with ourselves, as being in a fallen condition, in which none of us can do the things which we would.

The Scriptural key to the situation is that as a race we were born and shapen in iniquity and in sin did our mothers conceive us. The calamity of sin, imperfection and death affecting us morally, mentally and physically, has injured the whole world and made us what the Apostle describes a "groaning creation." How this knowledge of the facts of the case possessed by so few, understood and appreciated by so few, should tend to make these few a peculiar people in their loving sympathies and kindnesses towards their fellows in distress! Alas, the difficulty is that even these few who know these facts from the Divine Word have selfishness so ingrained in their constitutions, and are so oppressed by the cares of this life that their sympathies are often not all that they should be.

NEW CREATURES ONLY APPEALED TO

It is for these reasons that the Scriptures do not address the natural man – because his mind is so sodden with selfishness that his eye of pity and his ear of sympathy are well nigh closed. Instead of appealing to the natural man in general, the Scriptures represent that the Lord specially draws some possessed of certain qualities of heart and mind, and specially leads these to a knowledge of the Redeemer, leaving it open with them to accept or to reject the offer of Divine grace and forgiveness. Such as respond are still further enlightened and, if further responsive, they are treated as justified because of their faith in Jesus and his blood; then are granted further to them special opportunities, and exhortations to make a full consecration of themselves to the Lord and his service forever – unto death. If they still respond and make this consecration they then have come to the place where the Lord is pleased to reckon them dead to earthly things, according to their profession, and to beget them of the holy Spirit and the glorious promises of his Word, and to count them as New Creatures in Christ – as members of the Redeemer's Body, which is the Church.

Now they have reached the stage where, as children of God, they must go to school and develop in knowledge and in character – to be made actually fit, prepared, suitable, for eternal life and a share with their Redeemer in his Kingdom.

THE LESSONS OF THE SCHOOL

When we enter the School of Christ, the lesson, as a whole, set before us is expressed in the Great Teacher's words, "Be ye like unto your Father which is in heaven." The same thought is presented to us in the Apostle's words when he assures us that God has predetermined that only such as become copies of his dear Son – in character likeness – can be his joint-heirs in the promised Kingdom. We did not know that so much was required when we entered the School of Christ. We did not understand all that we did when we made our consecration even unto death in the service of righteousness. However, no advantage was taken of us; for what was presented to us and what we did consecrate to do, includes everything in our power and no more – even unto death. So, then, no lesson that can come to us is beyond our covenant or agreement to perform.

The Apostle in the spectrum of love given us in this lesson is delineating the various parts of this one great lesson of Christ-likeness, which is God-likeness. He is pointing out what constitutes such a character as God desires we shall have, and such as God has predetermined we must have, in order to be worthy of the gift of God, eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

LOVE VIEWED IN COMPARISON

It beareth all things; believeth all things; hopeth all things; endureth all things. Its elements of patience and gentleness are love in the sense of willingness to bear, to endure under all sorts of opposition, wherever it sees a proper subject for its sympathy. It believeth all things in the sense that it is not given to doubt, to disbelieve, to impugn the motives and truthfulness of its fellows. Only after full and convincing proofs to the contrary will it cease to exercise faith. Love hopeth all things in the sense that it desires a blessing for all with whom it is in contact and is continually striving, in harmony with its desire, to do them good. Love endureth all things in the sense that it cannot be quenched wherever there is anything that it can properly exercise itself upon. These [R4444 : page 230] qualities viewed from another standpoint might be interpreted thus: "Beareth all things," as enduring pressure on every side without being crushed; "Believeth all things" as being full of faith in the Divine promises and arrangement, doubting nothing; "Hopeth all things" in the sense that this perfect love toward God enables the heart to be full of confidence toward the Almighty One, in whose love it reposes; "Endureth all things" in the sense that the soul that is united to the God of Love by the link of love cannot be crushed, cannot be overcome, because this is the Divine will, the Divine arrangement. God will not suffer such to be tempted above that they are able to bear, but will, with every temptation, provide a way of escape.

The Apostle institutes a comparison as between love and some of the "gifts" which the Corinthian brethren properly estimated highly. He would have us all see how infinitely higher Love is than any of these gifts in which the early Church rejoiced. Love is not a gift, but a growth, a fruitage which must be developed in the garden of our souls and be tended with much care, in order to its proper development. He says that Love never faileth; but that other things will fail, namely, the power of prophesy or oratory, the gift of tongues, knowledge, etc. These would lose their value as the changing conditions would comparatively do away with their necessity. Prophesying would be done away with, the gift of tongues would cease, and knowledge would vanish. The Apostle's argument is that these things would all come to an end necessarily, when perfection would come in, because all of our gifts and talents are imperfect. Surely with our glorious "change" in the First Resurrection and with the ushering in of the Millennium our conditions would be so different that many things highly esteemed in the lesser light and under the unfavorable conditions of the present would then be valueless. Just so flints were once valuable for the striking of a light, but are now never used, being supplanted by matches, electric lights, etc. Many of those gifts, however, including the gift of tongues, perished long before the morning light of the Millennium – ceased shortly after the death of the Apostles, because those gifts were imparted only by the Apostles.

Next the Apostle compares the gifts of the Spirit with the fruitage of the Spirit and shows that the former, in [R4444 : page 231] contrast with the latter, were as the toys of childhood in comparison with the valuables of manhood. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things." So the gifts of tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc., were given to the Church in its infancy and served useful purposes then, but might well be put away as the Church emerged from infancy to the strength and development accruing from a greater knowledge of God's great Plan. The milk of the Word and the strong meat of the Word were intended by God to develop the members of the Body of Christ, until they all come to the stature of manhood in Christ. The more advanced the Christian, the more surely would he know that the gifts of the Spirit were merely like a childish plaything to be supplemented by the fruits of the Spirit, much more valuable to the Church in its developed condition.

St. Paul points us further to the fact that we are living not merely for the present, but specially for the future; and that whatever we can develop here which will last us into the eternal future, must certainly be the most important matter for us to acquire. He would have us see that most important thing to the Christian – love – the Love which he has described. Our knowledge, tongues, etc., of the present time are only mere shadows of the great powers which will be ours, if we attain to the glorious blessings of the First Resurrection. Whatever clearness of sight we have at the present time we shall then find but darkness in comparison with that full light of the glorious morning-time. Where now we see as through an obscure glass, then we shall see face to face. Now we know in part; then we shall know as we are known.

FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE

St. Paul would have the Church see that faith, hope and love, three fruits of the Spirit, are far superior to all the "gifts" of the Spirit of any kind, because these will abide all through the age. Until the Millennial morning we shall need faith; we shall need hope; we shall need love. We cannot get along without them. We cannot make any progress in the footsteps of Jesus without them. But if we seek to contrast these imperfect qualities amongst themselves, he points out that the chiefest of these is love. Why the chiefest? Because it is the Divine quality without which, with all the other qualities possessed, we should still be unsatisfactory to God. It is the quality which will persist to all eternity. We shall always need to have love, if we abide in Divine favor. As for faith and hope, excellent qualities though they be, the time will come when they will be swallowed up by sight, by fruition, by the actualities of the glorious condition of fellowship with the Lord. But Love will never fail. Amongst all the graces of the Spirit it stands supreme and eternal.

Only because of serious misconceptions of Love is it necessary or even proper for us to remind our readers, in the Apostle's words, that this love quality is not merely a form of loving words, nor merely kind words and smiles, but that it goes deeply into our natures and includes our deeds and our heart sentiments. – 1 John 3:18.

OUR HEAVENLY HOME
To little children "home" is that dear place where Mother is,
Where every wound doth ever find the healing kiss of love,
And little sobbing hearts are soothed to rest upon her breast.
In later years that dear word "home" awakes the precious thought
Of loving wife and happy little ones, and peace and rest, –
A refuge sweet where outside cares and worries cannot come.
And when the sun of life is sinking in the west we dream
Of "home" as that blest gathering place where often through the year
Our children, and their children, come with wealth of grateful love,
That makes our hearts forget the pain and toil of former years.

But to the Christian, though the earthly loves be near and dear,
The thought of "home" belongs to that most heavenly place where God,
And Christ, and all the holy angels are, where sorrow finds
No place, and every longing heart is fully satisfied;
Where we shall love and serve him perfectly, and meet again,
Nor ever part from fellow-pilgrims on "the narrow way;"
Where we shall sit with Christ upon his throne, and bless with peace
And joy the whole creation, groaning now in pain and tears!

And year by year the golden chain grows longer, that doth draw
Us closer to our heavenly home, as one by one, "the priests"
In silence pass beneath "the vail" – each one an added link.
Ah, then, to gain an entrance to that blest abode, shall we
Not count the present things but "loss and dross," and lightly touch
Each object that might hold our heart's affections to this earth, –
For where our treasure is, e'en there our hearts will also be!

– G. W. Seibert.

[R4444 : page 231]

WANDERING INTO "OUTER DARKNESS"
I
N the Scriptures the "outer darkness," the darkness of the world, is frequently mentioned in contrast with the inner light, the light of truth, as Divinely revealed. Thus our Lord said, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear." And the Apostle reminds us that we were translated out of darkness into God's marvelous light. The world in general is represented as lying in darkness, as being unable to see the light of Truth. Thus again we are told that the light shineth in darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it not. Some of the world are asleep, and hence see not the light, while others are very much awake to worldly aims and worldly ambitions and schemes, but thoroughly blind to the Divine purposes.

To a certain class who have certain characteristics of mind, God is pleased to reveal the light, and to guide them by that light in the right pathway. Such as see and improve the opportunity and walk in the way are called "the children of the light," while others who go contrary are called the "children of darkness." Addressing some of these children of the light, our Lord said, To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to outsiders all of these things are spoken in parables and dark sayings, that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. – Luke 8:10.

While it is true that this power to understand is "given," yet it is not given indiscriminately; it is given only to those of certain character. To these alone the light is profitable; to others it would be more or less injurious at the present time. We may well thank God, as Jesus did, that for the time being the Divine purposes are hidden from the wise and prudent and revealed only to the "babes." For others to have the light would mean [R4445 : page 231] injury to themselves, if not a disordering of the Divine purposes and arrangements. As, for instance, St. Peter tells us that those who crucified the Lord did so in ignorance, in blindness, in darkness, "for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;" even though their hearts might have been no better, they could have regulated their conduct by the greater knowledge and thus the Divine purpose, that Christ should be crucified by them, the just for the unjust, would have been defeated.

In Matthew 6:22,23, our Lord gives us a suggestion respecting the condition of heart and what it has to do with our ability to see or not to see Divine truths. He says, "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light; but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be [R4445 : page 232] full of darkness." And then he adds, "If the light that is in thee be (become) darkness, how great is that darkness!" Evidently our Lord is using the natural eye and the natural body as an illustration to draw our attention to the higher eyes of understanding and their power to bless and to guide and to control the interests of the body.

A single eye would seem to signify singleness of purpose, or of heart intention toward God, because in the succeeding verse our Lord calls attention to the fact that there are but the two masters – good and evil, righteousness and sin, God and Satan. Those who are under the power of Satan completely are blinded; as St. Paul tells us, The god of this world hath blinded the minds of all those who believe not, lest the glorious light of Divine goodness should shine into their hearts. (2 Cor. 4:4.) The only ones who are not blinded are those who are the servants of God, and the degree of their clearness of vision depends upon the singleness of their eye, their singleness of heart, their singleness of purpose, their loyalty to the one Master, to the principles of his government, etc.

All who have seen the light of "present truth" have therefore reason to be specially congratulated on having passed from darkness to light, on having been delivered from the Kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God's dear Son, from the dominion of Satan as his servants to be disciples of Christ and servants of God. St. Peter speaks of our translation out of darkness into his marvelous light. St. Paul says, We are not of the night, nor of the darkness. St. John says, In him is no darkness at all. Again, Darkness is past, and the true light now shineth, but he that hateth his brother is in darkness.

THE SINGLE EYE OF LOVE

The point we are establishing is, that as our natural bodies are edified by good eyesight, so as New Creatures we have clearness of spiritual vision in proportion as we have loyalty to the Lord and the enlightening influence of his spirit of holiness, the spirit of love.

The question arises, Is it possible for any of us, after passing from darkness into the Lord's marvelous light, to again get into the dark – to go out of the light? The Scriptures answer that it is possible. They tell us that in certain instances God will force people out of the light into the "outer darkness" common to the world in general; that disloyalty to the Lord and to the principles of his teaching tends in this direction.

We might suppose that those who should thus be cast into "outer darkness," either suddenly or gradually, would be greatly distressed, but, on the contrary, we have every reason to believe that the world in "outer darkness" is not greatly distressed by its darkness, but rather, as our Lord suggests, "loves darkness rather than light"; because it is in an evil condition; because it has not the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love. The inference, therefore, is plain that those who go out of the light into darkness will feel as contented as those who have never come into the light of "present truth" – who even are boastful in respect to the darkness and very unkind in their criticisms of the light – hating the light.

In the Scripture quoted above, under the figure of a single eye, the Lord pictures the singleness of purpose and of heart which must characterize all who become his disciples indeed, or children of light. He even intimates that those who lose this singleness of heart, singleness of eye, singleness of purpose, and then go into darkness, are in some respects in a grosser darkness than are others who have never seen the light. He says, "If the light that is in thee become darkness, how great is that darkness!" Our experience fully corroborates this. Those who have once been in the light of the Lord's countenance, and in the light of the Divine Word, and who lose this, seem to be in a condition much more to be regretted than that of the world in general who have never had their eyes of understanding opened. None others in the world seem capable of such violations of the spirit of love, the spirit of truth, the spirit of righteousness, the spirit of justice. They seem to be capable of saying and doing and thinking more mean, uncharitable, wicked things, than before they were enlightened.

We have tried for years to see the philosophy of this fact which has been painfully manifest to us on various occasions, and we believe we have found the correct explanation of it as follows: –

THE WORLD-STANDARD VS. NO STANDARD

The natural man guides his conduct, words and thoughts considerably by the conduct and words of his fellowmen. The strongest appeal to the natural man is, What would Mr. Brown, or Mr. and Mrs. Jones, or Mr. and Mrs. Smith think of such words, or such conduct? This measuring of themselves with others of the same character and standing, and the gauging of conduct by that of others whom they respect, seem to be the only standard by which the world walks. It sees not clearly the principles of righteousness, justice, truth and love.

But when true conversion to the Lord takes place, when the eyes of understanding become opened, new standards appear before the opened eyes of understanding. The Master's word is heard, saying, "Be ye like unto your Father which is in heaven," and "Be ye followers of me," and "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me." Some see cross-eyed, endeavoring to serve two masters, and to walk according to two standards – to be pleasing to the Lord, and also to walk according to the earthly standards as formerly. But this is found to be a very unsatisfactory course; it has neither Divine approval nor the approval of worldly friends. Those of single eye, of single purpose, say within themselves to the contrary,

"To my Lord I must be true
Who bought me with his blood."

These soon learn that the world is in darkness, and that to walk with the world, and according to worldly standards, would mean to fail to progress from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge, and from glory to glory, under the leadings of the Master, who instructed us to walk in his steps. Hence these of the single eye cut loose entirely from the worldly standards which formerly were their guides, and they look to the Lord, and, so looking, have the very best of guidance, the very highest standard imaginable. Looking unto him, copying Jesus, they come more and more to appreciate the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of Divine love and justice, and seek more and more to be transformed in all their words and thoughts and doings into harmony with the glorious pattern which their single eye entitles and enables them to clearly see. How blessed is their condition! Instructed by the example of the Lord and by his word of grace and truth they are rising daily to newness of life in the character-likeness of their Redeemer, and becoming fit for the heavenly Kingdom and for the glorious resurrection change.

THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE

The Divine purpose is not only to call out the single-hearted, the single-eyed, and to instruct and guide them, but also to test and to prove them. Thus we read, The Lord your God doth prove you to know whether ye do love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deut. 13:3.) The test of obedience is the divine law – supreme love for God and absolute justice to your neighbor – to love him as ourself. Additionally, the consecrated have the New Commandment to love one another as the Redeemer loved them – to the extent of sacrificing, laying down anything and everything on behalf of each other, for each other's welfare and assistance. If this test be faithfully endured, it means that the individual has not only reached the mark of perfect love, but has stood tests thereat and has demonstrated his worthiness of eternal life under Divine terms and conditions. But if these tests be not endured, it means the rejection of the individual from the light, and that he will go from the light, so that the things which were once light to him will appear dark, and the things of darkness will appear right, just, proper. [R4445 : page 233]

It is not for us to complain, therefore, of these trials and testings which the Lord declares to be necessary; it is not for us to insist that those whom we love must be maintained in the light and ultimately be accepted to the Kingdom. It is rather for us to show our obedience to the Lord, to demonstrate our love for him with all our heart, and mind, and soul, and strength by acquiescing in the Divine arrangements and judgments. The Lord is selecting the members of the Bride class. He has given us the privilege of being co-laborers with him in this work, but merely along the lines of his instruction. With him is the decision. If they do not maintain the single eye, the singleness of heart, the singleness of purpose, loyalty to God, to the principles of righteousness, justice and love they cannot continue to be his disciples; they cannot continue in the light; they must go into "outer darkness."

If any fail to go on in the development of the spirit of love, the spirit of holiness, the spirit of God, they will surely retrograde, and the light that is in them will become darkness – great darkness. Instead of the spirit of love exemplified by our Lord, who laid down his life for us, [R4446 : page 233] a spirit of hatred, envy and malice will come in; a spirit of murder which, although hesitating to do outward violence and come under the ban of the law, will not hesitate to assassinate character and to say all manner of evil against those toward whom they become embittered. By such fruits ye shall know them. Such thorns do not grow on the grapevine, nor on the fig tree.

The philosophy of their course is this: When they lose the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of justice and of love, of kindness, and mercy, and truth, they lose the Lord's supervision, direction and control. And having previously discarded the rules and influences which control the world in general, they are without any guidance or restraint in respect to their course of life. Hence they not only act contrary to the Divine standards, but violate the principles of justice and decency, in word and conduct, that assist and guide the world in general. It is for this reason that those who once go out of the light of Present Truth can think, and say, and do, more mean and contemptible things than can the worldly who still retain helps to order and decency by having in mind what their fellows in life would think of their course, their words and conduct.

WALK AS CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT

In conclusion, then, we urge that all who have been once enlightened, and made partakers of the holy Spirit, who have tasted of the good Word of God, and the powers of the age to come – we urge these to be zealous, to maintain the standing to which they have already attained. We urge that they be conformed to the character-likeness of God's dear Son; that they be perfected in love, that they put off all of these: anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife; for if any of these be retained, they will tend to blindness and "outer darkness." More than this, we urge that they put on all of these graces of the Lord's Spirit: meekness, gentleness, patience, longsuffering, brotherly kindness, love. These will strengthen and develop the character-likeness of the Redeemer which God has predestinated must be attained by every one who will be accepted as a member of the Bride of Christ. And then the Apostle suggests, If we do these things we shall never fail, but an entrance shall be ministered unto us abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

[R4446 : page 233]

"MIND THE SAME THINGS"

"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren,... that there are contentions among you." – 1 Cor. 1:10,11.

S
O accustomed have we become to differences of opinion that many of God's children have come to feel that if there is perfect unity of thought, of mind, it must surely betoken a wrong condition, a subserviency. In the words quoted above the Apostle Paul shows that he is not in agreement with any such sentiments. He is criticising such a sentiment. Doubtless there were "Independents" in the Church then, as there are today, some who set themselves up as teachers, and boast of their independent thinking, boast that they do not agree with the "Dawns" and "Towers" on certain features of Truth, and by implication give the impression that they should be the more highly thought of on account of this independence.

It is not for us to judge of their motives and intentions, but we believe they are deceived, and working more injury to the cause of the Lord than they probably are aware. The Apostle's conception of Divine Truth as above set forth was that all who are speaking and teaching should speak and teach the same things; and elsewhere he says that we should all mind the same things. He goes into the subject in considerable detail, and shows wherein the differences have been fostered, and wherein is the error. He points out that these conditions are the result of a party spirit, a sectarian spirit, one claiming to be of Paul, another of Apollos, another of Peter, etc., whereas they all should have recognized the error of such a course – all should have recognized that Christ is not divided, and that his Gospel is not discordant, but that it is one glorious, harmonious message of Divine revelation.

Are we asked how it would be possible for "many men of many minds" to view Divine Truth in exactly the same light? And are we pointed to the various creeds of Christendom which contradict each other on so many points of doctrine? Our answer is, that these divisions of sectarianism are all evidences of the truth of the Apostle's words quoted at the head of this article. The sectarian spirit has torn the Word of God to pieces. The Spirit of Christ, which would have preserved the unity of the Body, the Church, in the bonds of peace, was neglected, and a spirit of "independence" was fostered until the result is – Babylon, confusion.

The remedy is the one which we have sought to present in all of the Society's publications, namely, the ascertainment of the mind of Christ, the spirit of the truth, by the acceptance of the entire Word of God, and the bringing of every interpretation into alignment with it, and the rejection of everything found contrary to it.

The questions of the hour, which may as well be faced one time as another, are these: Have we who believe in "Present Truth" greater mental acumen and greater ability in the interpretation of the Word than all of our forefathers for eighteen centuries? Or, are we living in the glorious epoch which is designated the harvest time? And is not the Lord to receive the credit for having brought to our attention the harmonies of the Divine Word?

We believe that all who have a proper conception of "Present Truth" realize it to be indeed the Divine Plan of the Ages, and realize, too, that it is so far above and beyond the natural man's ability that it would be a miracle for him to construct such a theory – the most stupendous miracle of which we have any knowledge. If its discernment now is not of man, nor by man, but by the holy Spirit, then the holy Spirit should be looked upon as the Teacher and not the human instrumentality through which the presentation has been made to the Church. And if this be accepted as a reasonable and truthful solution of the matter, is it not equally true that the "independent thinker" and the "independent teacher" is more likely by his independence to lead into darkness than to lead into further light?

It is surely in vain that we pray in the hymn, "Be [R4446 : page 234] thou my teacher, Lord," if in practice we give no heed to the Lord as the Teacher, but, on the contrary, encourage great independence of thought, and encourage the suggestion that anybody could strike a spiritual match which would give greater light and throw the Divine Plan of the Ages into the shadowy back-ground.

Whoever believes this to be possible cannot believe that the Divine Plan is the Truth – the true plan of God. It cannot satisfy his longings as nothing else could do, else he would not be longing for or seeking for something further, an independent and special light. Rather, he would be so over-awed with the wonderful grace of God in the light of Divine Truth, which had percolated through the blindness of his previous superstitions and given him the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, that he would be bowed down in humility and gratitude. He would fear to lift his eyes even for a moment from the beatific vision lest a single feature should be missed. Nor could he rationally expect to find a grander one, if he has really seen and really tasted the riches of God's grace and truth, as now made manifest to the saints.

The only explanation that at all fits or explains present conditions, and the present bright-shining of the Divine Word, is that given us by the Master himself. He assured us that at his second coming he would make himself known to those who would be at that time his true, loyal, faithful servants. He assured us that he would gird himself, become their servant, and cause them to sit down to meat, and bring forth to them from the treasuries of Divine Truth things new and old. (Luke 12:37.) This is the only explanation of the wonderful light on the Divine Plan now shining; the only explanation of the bounties that crowd the table of the Lord's faithful ones. Meat to eat indeed have they of which the world knoweth not.

The Lord is proving us to see to what extent we recognize him as the giver of all good; to what extent our hearts are feeding upon the Truth; to what extent they are being nourished spiritually; and to what extent in others there is merely a feverish excitement and dissatisfaction, and looking for something new. We may be sure that to those who are in this dissatisfied condition Satan will present himself as a messenger of light, offering them other food and other light – "newer and better." We may be equally sure that God will be pleased to permit him to bring such delusions upon his people to prove them, to test them.

Our Lord's parable of the wheat which fell on the highway and was devoured by the birds of the air, and on the stony ground where the earth was shallow and the sun of persecution wilted it, and on the thorny ground and was choked by the cares of this life, and on the good ground where it brought forth thirty, sixty and an hundred fold, has fulfilment in our day as well as in the past. Truth tests the character, and God desires that it should do so. We must see to it that whatever we might have been by nature, by God's grace our hearts shall be in a productive condition, and that if possible [R4447 : page 234] we shall be of those who bring forth a hundred fold.

Only those who take heed to the Lord's Word and cultivate its spirit, and recognize the Master, and his providential leadings and care, and the feeding of the flock, will be ready to mind the same things, and be able to bring forth much fruit, and to gain the Kingdom.

Since writing the foregoing we have received inquiries from several quarters on matters closely allied to this subject and give our responses herewith:

(1) What shall the Lord's sheep do when those who have been leading them object to references to and quotations from Dawn-Studies in the church meetings, at which there is otherwise full liberty of expression? The specious claim is that this is "man worship, or book-worship," and that God's people should use God's Book only – the Bible.

We reply that the answer which should be openly made is this: We are unable to see the difference between hearing a teacher expound orally and having his teachings in printed form read or quoted by another. If teaching by the printed page is wrong, then all teaching is wrong. If it is not unreasonable for us to hear with respect the words of one who claims ability to assist us in the right understanding of God's Word, it cannot be unreasonable for us to hear the words from these books which already have actually and truly taught us nearly all that we do understand of God's Word. If we ever conclude to have only the one human channel of instruction our decision will be to stick firmly to the one God has used and blessed to our enlightenment rather than to an oral teacher, who thus shows his opposition to the agency God has owned, used and blessed to us. To do otherwise would be not only unwise but dishonoring to the Giver of all good.

(2) Our chosen class-leader or Elder is a clever brother, and yet we often think his expositions slightly in error – different from our own views drawn largely from our study in the light of the Towers and Dawn-Studies. When we call the Elder's attention to the matter, he generally replies that it is a good while since he read the Dawn-Studies and, that as for the Towers, he really is too busy to read them. What would our duty as a class be in this case?

We reply that there are two duties to be considered: (a) The duty towards the leader or Elder would be to tell him in love and kindness that according to his own statement he is "overcharged with the cares of this life," and that it is your duty toward him to excuse him from the leading of the class that he may have proper time for personal study and development. (b) The duty toward the class would be to set as leader of its Berean Lessons a naturally less talented brother possessed of more time for study or more zeal for Truth. Elect him Elder and then all turn in and help him by studying well the questions for each lesson. We feel sure that the Lord will bless this courage and loyalty to the principles of his Word.

Remember that we and our forefathers have had Bibles and attempted to have Bible studies, Bible classes, etc., for centuries, without gaining much wisdom or light as a result. Did the light which you now enjoy come to you by "independent Bible study"? We doubt it!

What are the "Dawn-Studies" but the Bible arranged topically, with citations for every point and paragraph? Is it not probable that the great Adversary who delights to pose as an angel of light and an upholder of the Bible is really deceiving some of our dear friends – attempting to gradually draw them away from the great light which our Lord has now provided for us all, back to the methods in vogue before the true light shone upon our pathway?

[R4447 : page 234]

DELIVERANCE FROM THE ADVERSARY
BROTHER C. T. RUSSELL: –

Dear Sir. – Yielding to an impulse I am writing to you, baring the present thoughts and intents of my heart before him who knoweth them all and who – O wondrous grace – careth for me even after all these years that I have been in the hands of the Adversary who beat and pounded and plucked me bare while I cried, Oh, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? I trust you will bear with me while I recall the past and try to explain how I got so far out of harmony with the "Watch Tower Society" and the spirit of the truth. I had been a very close student of scriptures and a "come-outer" since 1875; your chronology in Vol. III., M.D., was just suited to my mind and I began to study the subject closely. I saw a chance to differ from you and sent my findings to a brother in the Truth who rather liked them and encouraged me to study and write some more.

Now this was all lawful, and it helped me much because I had arrived nearly at the same conclusion as you, but the thought that I could successfully cope with [R4447 : page 235] Brother Russell in his findings on chronology had puffed me up considerably, and I felt that I might be able to find other flaws. At this time you called for such as were "in fullest harmony" with M.D. and W.T. teachings, who had some talent in the way of leading meetings, that they might be sent here and there under the name of Pilgrims and representatives of W.T. office at the society's expense. I had not the least talent in that direction, so I could not feel slighted at not being invited.

At this point, and through hints dropped by others, I became fearful that Brother Russell was seeking to draw around us the lines of sectarianism and bind me within a society where "fullest harmony" with the teachings of M.D. was to be the test of the Lord's approval.

I rebelled against this with what to me seemed righteous indignation, and right here the Adversary got me. I know it was here because I am not ignorant of his method of attack, as you will see further on.

Some unclean demon appealing to me through my righteous hatred of sectism gave me the mental suggestion that Bro. R. was trying to place himself over us, and this demon kept suggesting these words – "I will not have this man reign over me." This was not a passing thought, it was a suggestion applied to my mind over and over again, and while I was not sure of this at that time I am positive now because of my experience with these evil spirits.

I then began to lose interest in the Truth and tried to save myself by writing continuously on subjects differing from Bro. R., while I longed for something to inspire me and take the place of the "Watch Tower" but found nothing.

This was the demon's opportunity, and he began to torment me at my work. If I put something down I could not find it when I wanted it. Everything went wrong; business was a failure, debts piled up, and I was now fighting mad. Let me pass over the rest of this sad experience; it would only give you pain if I should relate it here. I come now to the time I became personally acquainted with four unclean demons. I had heard that they were in darkness as to the Truth, but I found that they knew the Scriptures and Brother Russell better than I. I merely mention here a few things, such as discussing Scripture with them and English translation of Greek words.

The subject turned to the "Seventh Trumpet" and "the strong delusion that should deceive even the very elect if it were possible." They represented themselves as the angels of the seventh trumpet sent forth with the Truth of God for the Elect and to save them from the strong delusion with which Spiritualists were to deceive the whole world by their wonderful feats.

The intense inquisitiveness in my make-up that made a close student of me had now got me into communication with demons through reading Spiritualistic books and papers, together with that longing desire for the spiritual. Nevertheless I still held on to the Truth and was proof against all these vain sophistries that make for "outer darkness," and I prayed God in desperation to take me out of the depravity into which I had fallen. How I longed to be a Christian and back in the sunshine of God's love once more. I even apologized for God's favor on the ground that he might use me in the other age, exhibiting me as a miracle of his glorious grace for the encouragement of the depraved.

It is now more than a year since I began to find my way back into the favor of God through continuously watching and praying. It has been a wonder to me how God could ever look upon me again with the least desire. The thought seems to answer this, that it was not on my account but on account of the great love wherewith our Heavenly Father loved his only begotten by whom and for whom all things were created. John speaks of those who manifest the Spirit of Christ in love for the brethren that in such God's love is made perfect. He loves them for what they are, and this love seems to be that kind referred to by the Apostle in these words – "Keep yourself in the love of God."

I feel grateful to God for the encouragement he has given me, and his tender care over me has been wonderful. He has led me back over the same lines of Truth and has granted me, seemingly as a tonic, to see new beauties in the Truth I had learned so that they come to me with new relish as when I first received them. Just so you have found new beauty in the Truth on the Covenants. Without unlearning anything you have added greatly to the Truth as a whole, and I have entered into your joy.

Dear Brother, I wish I could say something as a warning to others, not because you do not see the danger to those who seem to have the contentious spirit, but because I have had such a sad experience. I feel anxious [R4448 : page 235] to put the brethren on the alert that they might judge themselves and weed out any little root of bitterness in their heart so that they may escape the chastening of the Lord.

If those brethren who are just a little fearful for the Lord's work in your hands could only realize how the hosts of darkness are pressing them and watching for an occasion to slip in a mental suggestion; appealing to their honor here, that they might find an entrance there! We read that "the angels of the Lord are encamped around them that fear him to deliver them." May it not be reasonable at least that the Lord has withdrawn his bodyguard at this crucial time that the soldiers of the cross might all the more place their reliance in "the sword of the spirit" and "the shield of faith"?

Realizing that the time is short, there is every reason that we give heed to what we have already learned. The command at San Juan Hill – "Every man watch out for himself," is appropriate at present, and he who insists on his comrade keeping step with him is in greater danger.

You have what is termed a "Vow." I do not know much about it, only I read the one in last "Tower" and will say that it expresses exactly my heart's desire and prayer to God. The paragraph on the opposite sex is very timely in view of the great power which Satan has taken to himself, so that the members of Christ may refrain from every appearance of evil lest the powers of darkness gain an advantage.

Now I want to put myself on record here, and feel that my experience justifies the claim that I know whereof I speak. It is this. The closer one is living to the Lord, the more will he love Brother Russell and the Truth which he stands for, the more love will he have for the brethren, and, as a consequence, the more God will love him.

If this "Vow" be intended to bring the Church of God into closer fellowship with each other, that they be of one mind and one spirit, then the present is the providential moment to use this "Vow" as it is intended. It is well to have the sheep disposition and to flock closely together in time of danger.

I have written this with a full heart and eyes moistened, but not with the hopeless tears of Esau, because the Spirit of the Lord is with me and has caused me to hope when there was no hope, and with God's help I feel encouraged to take up the lines where I let them slip and press forward to the mark of the prize, and where it will be the very law of my nature to walk in the paths of righteousness and peace.

Yours very sincerely,

ALEX. ALLAN.

[R4448 : page 236]
DEAR BROTHER ALLAN: –

Your letter made me glad. I rejoice with you that you are recovered from "the snare of the fowler." Surely it is true that "we wrestle not with flesh and blood merely, but with wicked spirits in high positions," possessed of great intelligence and wily. What your letter expresses we have often wished to say to the dear friends, but have hesitated lest, instead of doing them good as we desire, we might do them harm by giving them even a flimsy excuse for saying that we endeavored to throttle their liberties. Alas! how few realize what a dangerous thing liberty is – how carefully it must be used for our benefit and how easily it might be misused to our eternal danger. Because God created us free agents; because this is part of his likeness; and because, additionally, ambition must be a part of every progressive individual, therefore this free agency and ambition in conjunction bring us all under tests of character. And the greater our abilities, the more our talents and the wider our influence, the stronger the power of ambition may become. Then comes the test. Will this laudable ambition be subject to the Divine will – thoroughly consecrated to do the Lord's will even unto death?

If our devotion to the Lord be absolute, fully in control of our thoughts and words and doings, our liberty and largest ambition will be rightly directed and eventuate in blessings to ourselves and to others. But if the Divine will be not first and absolutely in control of our wills the more ambition and the more liberty we have the greater will be our danger. Where the Lord is not reverenced, obeyed with all the heart, mind, soul and strength, some one else has an influence in our hearts, husband or wife, parents or children or, more than probably, self. We cannot be "overcomers" except as our hearts are absolutely loyal to the Lord, with self-will and every other will subjected to the Divine will. This is the lesson of life to those who would come off conquerors. How we rejoice with you, dear Brother, that, although you were nearly vanquished in this struggle, you have finally, by God's grace, recovered your balance.

It is not to be wondered at that the more prominent brethren have the more severe trials along this line. It must not surprise us if, in this evil day into which we have entered, we should find a considerable number of those possessed of talents or influences stumbling. Of this condition of things the Apostle forewarns us, saying, Be not many of you teachers, knowing that he who is a teacher will experience the more severe trials. (James 3:1.) The deflection of some recognized as teachers will cause special trials to others not teachers and will prove to what extent they have a personal relationship to the Lord through an individual consecration to him and through his instructions by his Word and the prophecies – in the School of Christ. We fear that too many are in this attitude of leaning on others whose fall might bring them disaster.

It is because we have long recognized this principle that, in all of our writings, we have presented the Lord's message as his message, and not as our own; giving the chapter and verse for every doctrine. If any are leaning on us or on anything but the Lord's Word for guidance, we believe that the fault is not traceable to our teachings. We have striven to bring all the members of the Body into direct personal contact with the Head. While not ignoring the value of books and sermons, we have, nevertheless, urged upon all the necessity of proving, to the extent of their ability, every item of Truth which they receive. Notwithstanding this we fear that many of our dear readers lean upon us and upon others. We fully know that we are in the evil day and that the armor which the Lord provided is to be put on individually by each one of his faithful soldiers of the cross. We will use our shield, breastplate, helmet and sword in the defence, as much as possible, of all of the Lord's people; but each must see to it that he puts on this armature for himself. The great King of the Universe has provided it. The great Captain of our salvation, Jesus, has invited us to put it on. We, as a corporal, merely call attention to the Captain's order. Whoever is negligent will surely rue it.

The time for adjusting this armor is very short. The battle is on now. Many are falling at our side. What we do should be done quickly, energetically, systematically, thoroughly. It is important that we help others to the extent of our ability, but still more important according to the Divine will, that we should take heed to ourselves and make our own calling and election sure. It has been our observation that some who have come into the Truth quite recently are much more clear in it and have the armor better adjusted and are able to use the "sword of the spirit" better, than some who have been in the Truth for five, ten and even twenty years. Indeed some who have been long in the Truth seem less skillful today in the use of the armor than they were years ago.

Why is this? And what is the remedy? The answer is a simple one, manifest to all. Divine providence has furnished to the people of God at this time an outline of the Divine Plan and a detail of Bible doctrines such as God's people have never before had in their possession. Without claiming any inspiration for the "Studies in the Scriptures" we surely may claim a Divine supervision in respect to the matter which they contain and the time of their presentation. Whoever admits that we are in the Harvest time at all – that we have been in it since 1875 – must acknowledge this also. The Lord promised that at this time he would cause his people to sit down to a bountiful repast of spiritual food and that he would be their servant and bring forth to them "things new and old." (Luke 12:37.) All who recognize these things must recognize these "Studies in the Scriptures" as being identified with the fulfillment of that promise. If they are not, how has the promise been fulfilled? It will not do to say that the "Divine Plan of the Ages" and the general elucidation of Divine Truth through those volumes is merely one man's opinion. That would be giving too much honor to any man. No one who understands these things can possibly believe that any man could fabricate a theory which puts all other theories of this and every other day completely into the shadow, as a tallow dip in comparison to the most wonderful are lights of our day.

Neither is there reason or sense in the attempt of some to claim that these "Scripture Studies" are merely a rehash of what has been believed for centuries. True, they present the doctrines of Election and Free Grace, Baptism, etc., etc., but not as they were nor as they are discordantly believed. These books discuss the Bible's presentations and set them in order as showing their relationship to each other, as one harmonious whole as never before presented. They are opposed by those who cannot refute them. We repeat, then, that "Studies in the Scriptures" are either of the Lord's providence or else they are a fraud, and at the same time one of the greatest miracles.

The secret of the clearness and power of some who have come recently into the Truth can be traced to the fact that they have been diligently using these Divinely provided helps for Bible study. On the contrary many of those who today are less clear in the Truth than they were years ago owe their loss of spiritual vigor and clear perception of the Truth to the fact that they have neglected this Divine provision for their needs. They have followed the worldly thought – that, having digested what some other man has thought, believed and taught, they should break fresh ground for themselves, [R4449 : page 236] in hope of bringing forth still brighter jewels from the Divine Word. Some of these diggers have searched long and carefully, but have found nothing, brought forth nothing, that has specially sparkled as a gem of truth before the eyes of the Lord's people. Some of them have sought far and near for other fruits and viands for the table of the Lord's family, but have added little, if anything, to that which the great Provider has set before us of "things new and old." Some of their new dishes, [R4449 : page 237] new viands, set before the Church have proved to be unhealthful, indigestible, visionary, and calculated to give a fever, rather than real spiritual strength. Others failing of their ambitions in these directions have become destructive and have uttered what some of the friends have styled a "Midnight Howl," against the food that the Lord has prepared, against his service of his people, etc. They cannot approve his management of the Harvest work; and although admitting that the time is short now for a radical change they feel they must take it in hand for him or everything will come to naught. "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: The Lord shall have them in derision." – Psa. 2:4.

All these things are tests, dear Brother, and the sooner we realize this fact, the better for us. We have no fear that the great Shepherd now present with his sheep and gathering these who know his voice out of all the various pens of Christendom, will suffer the wolves to stampede his flock, or to devour them. Has he not said, "The Father who gave them me is greater than all and none can pluck them out of my Father's hand"?

The lesson to us all is, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time." Let us not be heady, high-minded and worldly-wise, but humble, teachable and full of faith in the Divine promises, which are so rapidly fulfilling and culminating.

Very truly your servant in the Lord,

C. T. RUSSELL.

[R4449 : page 237]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL AND CO-LABORERS: –

It is a real pleasure to me that I am permitted to write to you as one interested in the Truth and the harvest work. I praise God that he has found me worthy enough to understand those glorious truths revealed through you to us.

I began my reading after Thanksgiving Day and found that I was prepared to receive instruction as I went from book to book, and, consecrating myself, I have taken my place in the ranks to do whatever he requires.

I find many who are glad to know about Restitution, the Resurrection and "The Plan" in general.

I was very much surprised today when a friend told me that one of my acquaintances wondered if I had become a Christian Scientist, as my health seemed so much improved of late, and was glad she was informed that I am a follower of the humble Jesus, and that the wonderful peace that follows the knowledge of our God's real love for the world, silencing all my questions, is responsible for my improved physical condition.

Some of my friends are chagrined that I do not now hustle for the church society. If they could only experience the happiness that husband and I find in the pure, simple Christian life they would understand. I pity them and they pity us. They think so much physical suffering has weakened my mind along religious lines.

Now about the Vow. Of course I have taken it and am stronger for it. Every feature of it appeals to me as a strong help in this "evil day."

I am sending $1.80, for which please send me the six volumes of DAWN-STUDIES, TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF THE BETTER SACRIFICES, THE BIBLE VS. THE EVOLUTION THEORY and some tracts.

I am leaving the request for Pilgrims for an older member of our band to look after; but I must tell you that Brother Johnson's visit here did a vast amount of good. Am sure we can get a larger number next time. We under-laborers can tell the story, but you can tell it so much better and so much more thoroughly.

Yours in the One Hope,

MRS. A. M. VAN HORN, – Mich.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I thank you for the spirit you are manifesting in this testing time; it is quite a strength to me, and no doubt to others who are noting your stand for Truth while manifesting the right spirit of Love. Our Brother Paul also had many trials, and we see in 2 Cor. 1:14, that as he was rejoicing, those who were noting his trials and how he walked in them, were themselves stimulated to do likewise. As he said in another place, "Follow me, even as I follow Christ."

Many of the churches that I visit are in trials of one kind or another and I am rejoicing with them, for I know the Lord is dealing with them and that these trials are such as we all need to put on brotherly love and all the Christian graces.

May the blessed Lord enable each of us to be rightly exercised thereby (Heb. 12:6-13), and endure the corrections in doctrine and in character, that our heavenly Father may still deal with us as with sons.

Your Brother in his service,

S. D. SENOR.

DEAR BROTHER: –

After due consideration and prayerful thought on the matter, I want to register my name as one having taken the Vow, as I do not see anything in it that I cannot heartily endorse; and I also want to add my thanks to what has already been said to you for all the light I have received through your works; and I also want you to know how much I do enjoy the TOWER, especially the little helps you give to us who have made this sacrifice.

With prayers for your continued blessing in the work, I remain,

Your sister in his dear name,

MRS. F. W. MAIN, – Mich.

TO THE BROOKLYN TABERNACLE: –

While riding on the subway train one day recently, a young man handed me your paper, "THE PEOPLES PULPIT," and as I am a Christian and trying to live as God would have me, the little paper seemed to make me feel as though I could help others through it. Therefore, please find enclosed 20 cents for two subscriptions to be sent to me.

I am yours in the Lord,

LOUIS TINES, – N.Y. City.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I again send you the little poem which I composed and sent to you about fourteen years ago, when I was located at Guttenberg, Ia. I little thought at that time that the ability to "receive" it would prove a sifting of those who had once been enlightened.

My constant prayer for you is that you may fulfil those conditions which shall enable you to continue to give meat in due season to the household of faith.

Your brother in Christ,

ALVAH F. ROGERS.

THE HIDDEN MYSTERY.
Wondrous mystery, long concealed,
Unto us has been revealed.
Herald wide the gracious story,
"Christ in you, the hope of glory!"
Christ in you, the world's sore need,
Christ in you, the promised Seed.
Canst receive it? Then thou art
Of the Christ, indeed, a part.
[R4449 : page 238]
July 5th, 1909.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

My new route sheet has been received, and I am looking forward with much pleasure to resuming my pilgrimage after this brief period of rest. I never get tired thanking the Lord for the wonderful privilege that has been granted me the last eight years of spending all my time in such a direct form of service. And should it be his will nothing could give me greater joy than to continue to seek to glorify him in this way to the very end of my course.

It has been a source of pain to me to note so many inclined to put such extreme and unscriptural interpretations upon some of your recent statements, especially on the subject of the Covenants. I have given the subject a most thorough investigation and am satisfied, perfectly satisfied, that you are right in applying the New Covenant to restitution times.

The consideration of the Covenants from this standpoint has brought me one of the greatest blessings I have had since coming into the light of "present truth," while probably a score or more of passages which were rather vague have received an illumination which has meant much to me. Other passages which were always quite clear have taken on new depths of meaning; for instance, the typical value of the recorded history of Abraham has had depths of significance added to it that we once never dreamed of.

It has assisted me to see why the Word of God so frequently speaks of God's promise to Abraham as a "Covenant." When God says death he means death, and [R4450 : page 238] yet it always seemed that when he said Covenant he did not mean a Covenant at all, but merely a promise. I had frequently wondered at this, but it is all clear now. I see it was a Covenant; but, as you have always expressed it, an Unconditional Covenant, since God attached no conditions to it for Abraham or for us to observe. But he determined what he would do under that Covenant, and then left it with Abraham as to what he would decide to do in view of such a promise on the part of God. It was one of the respects in which this Covenant differed from the Law Covenant, for that was a Covenant of bondage (Gal. 4:24), saying, You must do this, or you must not do that. But this Abrahamic Covenant was a Covenant of liberty, it being left to the liberty of each as to what he would do in view of God's oath-bound promise. But only those who are willing to sacrifice all are accepted of the Lord as joint-covenanters with him. This is why he says in Psalms 50:5, "Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a Covenant with me by sacrifice."

Likewise I can now understand how that Covenant was barren for over two thousand years. It was barren as respects producing anything in Abraham's life that would not have been produced anyway. When God made that Covenant with Abraham his loyalty to the Lord had been so decided that we have no reason to suppose that God's agreement prompted Abraham to do anything he would not have done even if this Covenant had not been made. But beginning with the Lord Jesus, a result followed the coming into covenant relationship which had never occurred before; a begetting to a new nature. At last the barren state of that Covenant was past, and, in the words of Isaiah and of Paul, we hear that Covenant personified and called upon to rejoice, "Sing! O barren, thou that didst not bear." – Isaiah 54:1.

So to me it is as clear as day that we are not under a New Covenant, but under a Covenant as old as the days of Abraham, far older than the Law Covenant; but which has at last been redeemed from its barren condition.

And when the Covenant that was typified in Sarah has finished its travailing, and has brought forth the Isaac class, Christ and the Church (Gal. 4:28), then the people of Israel, the Ishmael seed, will be regathered for their blessing. (Micah. 5:3. Note preceding and following verses also.)

I fear that I am making my letter too lengthy, but my heart is filled with gratitude to the gracious Lord who not only sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins, but who has additionally taken us into his confidence and revealed to us so much of the wonderful arrangements he has for the blessing and uplifting of our race.

Trusting that the Heavenly Father may ever find you in that same faithful and humble attitude as of old, so that to the end of the harvest season he may use you in the edifying of his people, and assuring you that, in harmony with the sentiments of our Vow, I remember you specially at throne of grace every day. I remain,

Yours by the Grace of God,

BENJ. H. BARTON, – Pilgrim.

DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST: –

I had thought to write you before you left on your trip abroad, but was prevented. I am taking this, my first opportunity, to write you and let you know that you had our prayers and sympathy while away. We feel thankful to our heavenly Father that he has permitted you to return. We all miss you when we know you are away from headquarters. We feel so thankful that we know and can see how the Lord has used you and is still doing so. The Truth is becoming clearer and more precious to me. My sincere desire is to keep very close to the Master. When we see so many that once loved the Truth walking no more with us it makes us want to be more careful and watchful.

My husband and I have noticed since we have been here that so many that are confused on these subjects have not been reading as they should. I am so glad that there has been just one source from which we can get pure food. Otherwise how much confusion there would still be for the true child of God. We would still be as we were in Babylon.

Our meetings with the Allegheny Church are very helpful. There is such a good spirit. We all miss you and all the office force so much. There are many friends here; some that have always been of the quiet kind seemingly, but loyal to the Lord and to you as the servant of God. We have been with you in your late trials and have suffered with you. We rejoice that you have been victorious so far. We feel that the Lord is on your side and our side.

I am longing for the time when we shall be united to our Living Head and begin the blessing of all. I am trying to embrace every little opportunity, and it seems I can be a help to some that are in need. I want to be ready always to be of any service that I can. May the dear Lord continue to bless and help you is my prayer.

With Christian love from my husband and self I am, as ever,

Yours in the one hope,

LEONORA T. FOLL.

P.S. – We love the Vow more and more.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Being one of the Lord's poor, and, noticing on date of wrapper of "Watch Tower" (June, '09) that my time has expired, I ask you to send me "The Watch Tower" for another year. I am now in my 64th year. About eight years ago I broke down from hard overwork as a traveling salesman and was discharged as an honest, faithful man, but too old ("we want younger men") and ever since they have refused to employ me, and I have not been able to secure remunerative employment since.

On my way home on July 5, 1901, the tract, "Do You Know?" fell into my hands. Although I had been a member of the Baptist Church since November, 1877, and in good standing, too, I was not fully satisfied and had investigated about everything sectarian. Nothing satisfied me so much as the light revealed in this tract. It is as full of truth as an egg is full of meat, and the deeper I have investigated Present Truth, the better I love it, and while I am poor in this world's goods, health, etc., I am doing what I can for the Lord's cause, both within and without. Have distributed over 30,000 tracts during the last eighteen months. It was a Tract that led me into The Truth.

Your brother in the Lord Jesus,

GEORGE W. PLEASANTS, – Mo.

[R4450 : page 239]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I am becoming convinced that some whom we have counted "of us" (who seem to be drawing back unto perdition) have never been begotten of the Spirit at all, but are simply justified. Although claiming consecration they seem never to have completely consecrated, but to have harbored a "hope" that somehow God would not accept their offer and restitution might still be theirs. These say they do not believe any one can really know he is begotten of the Spirit. To me this explains an otherwise inexplicable situation. Having never been "begotten again" they cannot see some of the mysteries of the Kingdom. This relieves me greatly – for if they had seen and fallen away into blindness, their condition would seem hopeless. I am happier than I was, for I was secretly grieving – contrary to commandment.

Every word of opposition I have read or heard in regard to "Tabernacle Shadows" has served to make your presentations clearer to me. For years I have read this precious, priceless little book just before Passover time. This year I read it twice. I am now more convinced than ever before that you, as our shepherd, by the Lord's grace, are leading us in green (nourishing) pastures, beside still waters – where the peace of God rules in our hearts – predominant over the tribulation in the world that confronts us. For sixteen years I have read and rejoiced in the marvelous truths brought out in "Tabernacle Shadows" – and now my soul magnifies the Lord as my faith rests on so sure and steadfast a foundation – God's holy Word.

Again (although it seems needless) let me express my confidence and trust in you and assure you of my abiding love and appreciation along with my continual prayers for you and the great work you represent. I thank our Father for the clear exposition of the Covenants which he has enabled you to make.

To me the Vow also is precious, an honorable emblem of our holy, heavenly fraternity.

Pray for me, dear Brother. We are not without trials, but in these we rejoice, if by their means we may attain the desired goal – the coveted immortal crown.

Yours in the holiest and happiest of bonds, the love and service of the King of Kings.

H__________.

page 239

BROOKLYN BETHEL HYMNS FOR SEPTEMBER

After the singing of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "My Vow unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text for the date is read and questions and comments considered. Finally, just before leaving the table, the MANNA comment is read. Desiring that all share the blessings, we commend the plan to others. The hymns for Sept. are indicated below to permit all who so desire to join with us: (1) 280; (2) 147; (3) 130; (4) 224; (5) 72; (6) 240; (7) 312; (8) Vow; (9) 25; (10) 152; (11) 114; (12) 131; (13) 324; (14) 12; (15) 255; (16) 29; (17) 95; (18) 328; (19) 167; (20) 208; (21) 300; (22) 333; (23) 307; (24) 235; (25) 231; (26) 79; (27) 61; (28) 197; (29) 136; (30) 199; (31) –


page 239

BEREAN STUDIES ON THE ATONEMENT
THE TEXT-BOOK USED FOR THIS COURSE
IS SCRIPTURE STUDIES, SERIES V (E)*
*Five years ago DAWN-STUDIES, VOL. V., was reset, and unfortunately the type was not exactly same size as before; and hence page for page they differ. The references given in these Berean Studies apply to the present edition, a copy of which postpaid will cost you but 30c. But keep your old edition, for unfortunately the new Bible Helps refer to its pages.
Questions on Scripture Study V. – Man
for whom Atonement was made
SEPTEMBER 5

(1) What two general views are there in response to the question, "What is man that God is mindful of him?" And what is the proper basis of our information on this subject? And, Why is that information provided? P. 301.

(2) Explain these two popular theories – the "Orthodox" and the "Scientific." P. 302-304.

(3) What is the importance of an understanding of what man is, as related to the subject of the Atonement for man's sins? P. 302, top.

(4) Why should we ignore the two general views and accept the Bible testimony respecting the nature of man? P. 304, par. 3.

(5) Cite some texts frequently misunderstood and misapplied on this subject and show their true meaning. P. 305-307.

SEPTEMBER 12

(6) Is man, as scientists claim, an animal? And what is the meaning of the word animal? P. 307, par. 2.

(7) What is the relationship or comparison as between man and the lower animals – beasts, birds, fishes, etc.? And did man receive a special spark of Divinity at first or at conception or at any time? P. 307, par. 3,4.

(8) What theory is built upon the assumption that a Divine spark comes to each human being?

(9) How do the Scriptures recognize man – of how many parts or elements?

(10) Is the body the soul? Is the spirit the soul? Explain what is meant by the spirit of life. Show distinctions between the human spirit of life and the spirit of life in the brute. P. 308, 309.

(11) Is each human being separately and specially created by the Almighty? Is God, therefore, responsible for the birth of idiots and for the general unbalance and imperfection of the human family, or what is the explanation? P. 309.

(12) Did God implant a Divine spark which the human imparts to his offspring, or what is the secret of man's superiority over the beast? P. 310.

SEPTEMBER 19

(13) Give a little dissertation on the spirit of man – what the word implies. P. 310, also 172.

(14) Compare and contrast the spirit of man with the Spirit of God. P. 311.

(15) The spirit-begotten, the Church of the First-born, are during this Gospel Age spoken of as in the Spirit, spiritual, possessed of a new mind or a new spirit, etc. Explain the meaning of these words and show the difference between these and the remainder of mankind, the natural man, in this respect. P. 311.

(16) Give illustrations of the use of the word spirit in the New Testament and classify them and explain them. P. 312, 313.

SEPTEMBER 26

(17) What can we say of the word spirit in respect to mankind in the Old Testament? P. 314.

(18) Cite the Scriptures of the Old Testament referring to the spirit of life or animation and explain these. P. 314-317.

(19) Cite the Scriptures of the Old Testament in which "ruach" – spirit – is used to signify mind or will. P. 318, 319.

(20) Explain the Scriptural use of the Hebrew word Neshamah, the breath of life. Cite the Scriptures and analyze them. P. 319, 320.

page 240

PUBLIC MINISTRIES OF THE TRUTH
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLES PULPIT
ASSOCIATION OF BROOKLYN, N.Y.

ONE-DAY LOCAL CONVENTIONS ADDRESSED BY THE
EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL AS FOLLOWS:
BROOKLYN, N.Y., AUGUST 8

Morning Rally and Testimony Meeting at 10:30 o'clock.

Discourse by Brother Russell at 3:00 p.m. Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30 o'clock; this will be a Question Meeting. Visiting friends cordially invited.

All meetings will be held in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Nos. 13-17 Hicks street. Convenient to all cars and ferries – close to the old bridge terminus.

Baptismal services will be arranged for if requested on first Sunday of any quarter.

SANDUSKY, OHIO, AUGUST 15

Both Sessions in the Opera House, Cor. Water and Jackson Sts., one square west of the Columbus St. dock, where most of the excursion trains come in.

Morning Rally at 10:00 o'clock for Praise, Prayer and Testimonies. Discourse for the interested at 11:00 o'clock. Meeting for the Public at 2:30 p.m. Subject, "Where are the Dead?"

As there is no regular class at Sandusky the co-operation of surrounding classes would be very much appreciated. Address Mr. S. Kuesthardt, Port Clinton, Ohio.

SYRACUSE, N.Y., AUGUST 22
WATERTOWN, N.Y., AUGUST 29

page 241
August 1st

ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXXAUGUST 15NO. 16
A.D. 1909 – A.M. 6037
CONTENTS
The Seed of Abraham and Its Work 243
The Scroll in the Divine Hand 243
The Promised Seed 244
Messiah the Redeemer 244
The Hidden Mystery 245
The Blood of the New Covenant 246
The Necessity for the New Covenant 247
Our Western Convention Tour 248
Our Greeting (Poem) 251
"Take Heed to Yourselves and the Flock" 251
"Preaching the Kingdom of God" 252
Grievous Wolves and Perverse Talkers 253
As an Example to the Flock 254
"With Jesus and Learned of Him" 254
General Convention 255

"I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me." Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 242

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION
T
HIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly 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." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I 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.

PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

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SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
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Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows: – All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.

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ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE
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[R4450 : page 242]

HUNGARIAN (MAGYAR) VOLUNTEER MATTER

We now have Hungarian literature (PEOPLES PULPIT) for free distribution. There are 16 pages of matter, translated from recent English tracts. It will be remembered that there are thousands reading Magyar in all the principal cities of the Eastern and Central States. Order as many as you can use.

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A convenient way for the friends desiring to subscribe for Peoples Pulpit would be by classes. Moneys intended to be sent us as Tract Fund donations might be so used if agreeable to you. One member of the class could act as its agent and order the papers for the class, but all to be sent to one address. His letter should be addressed to PEOPLES PULPIT and should enclose subscription money and be a business letter such as could be understood by the Postoffice Examiner.

Subscriptions in Canada and Foreign countries are not solicited, as the rates would be double on account of postage.

Prices will be as follows: – Single copies, per year, 12 cents; club rate, to one address, 3 copies, 25 cents; 12 copies, $1.00; 25 copies, $1.50; 50 copies, $2.50; 100 copies, $4.00; 300 copies, $10.

NEW SUPPLY OF WATCH TOWER BIBLES
Nos. 1918, 1928 and 1948

For description and prices see October 1, 1908 TOWER.

page 242

STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
"MILLENNIAL DAWN"
THESE STUDIES ARE RECOMMENDED TO STUDENTS AS VERITABLE "BIBLE KEYS."
PRICES ARE NET AND BARELY COVER COST OF PRODUCTION,
WHEN DELIVERED BY COLPORTEURS THE COST AND PRICE ARE INCREASED.

SERIES I., The Plan of the Ages, gives an outline of the divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. ½d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.).

This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal – at the extremely low price of 5c. a copy, in any quantity, postage included. (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.

SERIES II., The Time is at Hand, treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. ½d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

SERIES III., Thy Kingdom Come, considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter of the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. ½d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

SERIES IV., The Day of Vengeance, shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of Matt. 24 and Zech. 14:1-9: 660 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6½d.)

SERIES V., The At-one-ment Between God and Man, treats an all-important subject – the hub, the center around which all the features of divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6½d.)

SERIES VI., The New Creation, deals with the Creative Week (Genesis 1 and 2), and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the Body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6½d.)

The above prices include postage.

IN FULL LEATHER BINDING, gilt edges, the set (6 vols.) $3.00, (12s. 6d.), plus postage, 60c. (1s.).

Is also published in foreign languages as follows: German, six vols., in Swedish Vols. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6; in Dano-Norwegian, three vols.; in Greek, three vols.; in French, two vols.; Hollandish, Spanish, and Italian, one vol. each; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same; in Polish, condensed edition, one vol., 10 cents.

[R4451 : page 243]

THE SEED OF ABRAHAM AND ITS WORK
D
IVINE foreknowledge is one of the great lessons which God will impress. God would have us know that every feature of his plan was premeditated, forearranged from before the foundation of the world. He would have us recognize the fact that he is working all things according to the counsel of his own will, according to fixed rules, and principles which are unchangeable. This lesson is one of the principal objects served by a Divine revelation; a secondary object is the blessing of a certain class in sympathetic accord with God by giving them in advance such information respecting Divine purposes as would enable them to rejoice therein and to cooperate therewith.
THE SCROLL IN THE DIVINE HAND

A beautiful word-picture of this Divine foreknowledge and prearrangement is given us in the fifth chapter of Revelation. There Jehovah, the Emperor of the Universe, is pictured upon the throne, and in his hand a written scroll, sealed with seven seals. That sealed scroll represents the Divine plan which God purposed in himself from before the foundation of the world, but which he had revealed to no one, no, not to the angels, neither to the Son. (Matt. 24:36.) In a word, all that has occurred since creation – the permission of sin, the fall, the Covenant with Abraham, the Law Covenant with Israel, the coming of Jesus, the Pentecostal blessing, the gathering of members of the Church – all these things were foreknown to the Father and provided for. Additionally, that scroll contains a record of all that is happening now, and all that will occur throughout the Millennial Age, down to its very close – down to the time when every creature in heaven and in earth and under the earth shall ascribe praise, honor, glory and dominion to him that sitteth upon the throne and to the Lamb forever. – Rev. 5:13.

In the picture John notes a proclamation made throughout heaven and earth, inquiring for anyone worthy of the great honor of having this scroll of the Divine purpose committed to his care – to be opened, to be executed in harmony with the Divine purpose. He looked to see who the worthy one might be, but none was found worthy. Then he wept. It seemed to John too bad that God should have some great, wonderful purposes which might come to naught because no one was worthy to be the Divine executor in respect to the plan. But his tears were checked by the angel, who said, "Weep not: Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." And John said, "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne...stood a Lamb as it had been slain." And to the Lamb was given the scroll. Then all the angels of God worshiped the Lamb, saying, Thou art worthy to receive glory, and honor, and dominion, and might, and power, etc.

Applying the picture, we see the signification. Until our Lord was slain, until he had given his life as man's redemption price, there was no being in all the universe worthy to be the executor of the Divine purposes. By our Lord's loving obedience to the Father's will – even unto death, even the death of the cross – he proved himself loyal to the last degree. Him the Father raised from the dead, and when he had ascended up on high the proclamation went forth, Let all the angels of God worship him. He is the Lamb of God who was slain, and by his death redeemed a condemned world of mankind, and merited the Father's confidence that to him might be entrusted every feature of the Divine program. "He is worthy." From that time on, every feature of the program would be under his supervision and he would open the seals and see to the execution of every feature of God's gracious purposes. He had promised his Church that whatsoever things the Father would reveal to him, he, in turn, through the holy Spirit and by his providences, would reveal to his faithful ones, to those walking in his footsteps of full consecration.

THE GOSPEL BEFOREHAND

St. Paul speaks of the Gospel's having been preached beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Here was a vague statement of the Divine purpose, relating to the blessing itself as an acorn would be related to an oak tree. Similarly, seed-thoughts respecting coming blessings had previously been given, though with much less definiteness. Directly after the fall God had declared that the Seed of the woman should yet bruise the Serpent's head. In other words, he foretold that evil should not always triumph. Again, through the Prophet Enoch a seed-thought had been given in his prophecy, "Behold, the Lord cometh with his holy myriads, to execute judgment." But to Abraham the message was so much more explicit as to make it worthy to be termed a part of the Gospel, a part of the good tidings now more fully made known unto us who are in Christ Jesus.

Abraham no doubt expected that Isaac, the son of promise, would be "the Seed," or the offspring, through whom the blessings would come; but when Isaac was grown and nothing wonderful was accomplished through him, God confirmed to him, and subsequently to Jacob, his son, the same Abrahamic promise, assuring them that "the Seed" was still future, and implied that the promise meant a nation instead of an individual – a nation of Abraham's Seed, Abraham's children. And this feature of the Divine arrangement was made manifest at Jacob's death, when the blessing was passed on from him, not to only one of his children, but to all of [R4451 : page 244] them collectively. There he pronounced them a nation of twelve tribes, and indicated that to them as a whole descended this Abrahamic promise – that they, as the Seed of Abraham, inherited the promise, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

This promise held that nation together for all the centuries down to Christ – yea, it still holds them together as a peculiar people, separate from all the other nations of the world. St. Paul and the other Apostles refer to this repeatedly. St. Paul says, Our twelve tribes instantly (incessantly) serving God, hope to come to the fulfilment of this Abrahamic promise – the blessing of all the families of the earth through them. – Acts 26:7.

THE LAW COVENANT WAS ADDED

As St. Paul points out, the Law Covenant was added to the Abrahamic Covenant so far as the nation of Israel was concerned – to continue until the promised Seed should come. He is particular to add that the Law Covenant itself did not disannul or make invalid the original Covenant, which was of Grace and not of Law. (Gal. 3:17.) He was particular also that we should see that the Law Covenant "made nothing perfect" – it accomplished no real reformation or restitution. It did, however, set forth in types and allegories some wonderful lessons illustrative of great Divine principles of truth and righteousness – lessons which were beneficial to the Jewish nation, natural Israel, and also to the Gospel Church, which constitutes spiritual Israel.

During the period from the death of Jacob to Christ, while the Law made nothing perfect, a few of that nation, exercising faith above and beyond the Law Covenant, were blessed by the underlying Abrahamic Covenant. These the Apostle enumerates in Hebrews 11. They had this testimony, that they died in faith, and that thus "they pleased God," although they did not by obedience to the Law Covenant secure the blessing which it proposed. Those faithful ones will get through Christ what the Law Covenant could not give them, for, because of inherited weaknesses, they were unable to fulfil the requirements of the Law Covenant.

THE PROMISED SEED

Let us keep in mind that the Law Covenant was added to the Abrahamic Covenant because of transgression – to show to the Israelites and to all the impossibility of an imperfect man's keeping the Divine Law, and also to manifest in due time our Lord Jesus, who, born under the Law Covenant, kept its provisions faithfully. By so doing, says the Apostle, Christ "magnified the Law Covenant and made it honorable." Previously it might have been claimed that the Divine Law was too rigorous and that nobody could possibly keep it; that it would be impossible for a man to love God with all his heart, all his mind, all his being, all his strength, and his neighbor as himself. But when Jesus did this, and did more in sacrificing himself, the just for the unjust, it demonstrated the fact that God had not given an impossible Law; it demonstrated that the fault lay with mankind; that they had lost the original perfection with which the Creator had endowed them.

We read that our Lord was born under the Law Covenant "that he might redeem those who were under the Law" Covenant. So far as other peoples were concerned, he might have been of any other nation and redeemed Adam and the remainder of the world, but in order to preserve equitably to Israel the special blessing of God's Covenant with Abraham it was necessary that Christ should be of that nation, "born under the Law, that he might redeem those who were under the Law." That nation had been separated from the other nations of the world for the very purpose of giving the illustrations already referred to, and God would see to it that they should not be disadvantaged by reason of his having used them thus. The blessed opportunities offered them under the Law Covenant through the typical sacrifices, etc., lifted them above the other nations and gave them, as it were, a second trial for eternal life. In common with the remainder of mankind as children of Adam they had one trial and one [R4452 : page 244] condemnation through him; and then, under the Law Covenant arrangement and its mediator, Moses, another trial for eternal life was granted to that nation; but it was lost because none of them did keep or could fulfil the requirements of that Law Covenant. The day was saved for that nation as respects that Law Covenant, by which they were bound, by the fact that Christ became a Jew and by obedience to the Law Covenant gained all of the rights which it held out.

The rights gained were earthly rights – human perfection, an Eden home, fellowship with God and the dominion of earth; as recited by the Prophet, "Dominion over the beasts of the field, the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air." Had Christ kept these rights, which were properly his through obedience to the Law, he could indeed have brought a great blessing to the Jews, instructing them along the lines of health and morals; and through Israel these blessings and instructions might have been imparted to all other nations. But as the race was under Divine sentence of death, it would not have been possible for Jesus to give mankind perfection of mind or body. The blessings of the Seed of Abraham in that event would have been very limited indeed, and then only to such as would exercise faith and obedience similar to the faith and obedience which Abraham exercised.

MESSIAH THE REDEEMER

Instead of keeping the earthly rights which his special birth and obedience to the Law made possible to him, Jesus, in harmony with the Father's program, sacrificed these earthly rights at once – as soon as he reached manhood's estate, 30 years. He gave up all earthly rights and interests and privileges. His consecration was complete; he symbolized it by a water immersion at Jordan. The Father accepted it, and forthwith gave him the begetting of the holy Spirit to a new nature. For the three and one half years of his earthly ministry our Lord persistently sacrificed his earthly life and every earthly interest, finishing the sacrifice at Calvary when he cried, "It is finished." On the third day thereafter the Father raised him from the dead to a newness of life – again on the spirit plane of being. This was the reward for his obedience to the Father's will in the sacrificing of his earthly rights and privileges as the perfect man.

So, then, as the glorified one in his resurrection, Messiah was a spirit being, "partaker of the Divine nature," and had at his command all those earthly rights and privileges which he had sacrificed, which he laid down in death in obedience to the Father's will. He had these now as a possession, as an asset which he might dispense, which he might give to others.

Let us not lose the thread of the thought: The Law Covenant promised earthly life and earthly blessings and earthly dominion – those which Adam had lost. Whoever would keep the Law should have these. Christ Jesus, as the keeper of the Law, had the right to these and laid them down. And now, being exalted, it is these earthly blessings and earthly rights which he has to dispense – to the Jew, or to all mankind, or to such an elect or select number of mankind as he may please, and as will be in accord with the Father's program outlined in the scroll sealed with seven seals.

When the Israelites found that Moses could not give them eternal life, and that even under David and Solomon they did not reach the pinnacle of power and influence in the world to bless mankind, they might well have been discouraged. Hence God, through the prophets, sent them further enlightenment to the effect that they could never accomplish the Divine purpose of blessing the world except as he would send them a Messiah, an Anointed One, a King and Priest after the order of Melchizedek. When Messiah should come as the great Priest, and the great King, he would be able to do for [R4452 : page 245] them under a New [Law] Covenant what Moses and Aaron had not been able to do for them under the old Law Covenant.

It was in connection with this promise of Messiah that God told his covenanted people that he would replace the Law Covenant under Moses by a new and better Law Covenant under Messiah, the antitype of Moses. He said: "It shall come to pass, saith the Lord, after those days, that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the [Law] Covenant which I made with them when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, but I will make a New Covenant with them, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more, and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and I will give them a heart of flesh, and I will write my Law in their inward parts." – Jer. 31:31.

Israel was looking for this glorious Messiah greater than Moses, who would introduce to them and put them under a better, a New (Law) Covenant, and under more favorable conditions by which they would more fully accomplish the Divine purposes in their own hearts, and be prepared, qualified, to introduce those blessings to all the families of the earth, as they had been expecting to do from the beginning.

THE HIDDEN MYSTERY

We can see a reason why the Lord kept secret from the Jews in general his identity; for, as the Apostle Peter says, "had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." They did it in ignorance. (Acts 3:17.) We can see it was necessary that Christ should die; that he should lay down his earthly rights and earthly life and receive of the Father the higher life, and a spiritual realm, in order that he might have the earthly blessings to give, to dispense to Israel and to the world. We can see that otherwise no blessings of a permanent and eternal character would have been possible; hence, as our Lord explained to the disciples after his resurrection, "It was necessary that Christ should suffer and (then) enter into his glory."

Now the question arises, What disposition will the risen and glorified Jesus make of these earthly rights which in his death he had secured by his sacrifice of them? The most reasonable, the most natural thought to us would be: Surely having consecrated the earthly rights he will confer these upon Natural Israel: He will at once become King and Priest to that nation, and in harmony with their hopes cherished for more than sixteen centuries he will exalt Israel as a nation. He will open their eyes. As the prophets have declared, "They shall see out of obscurity"; and "They also that pierced him shall mourn," and he will "pour upon them the spirit of prayer and supplication." – Zech. 12:10.

But Jesus did nothing of the kind. Instead of so doing, he cast off the nation of Israel, saying, "Your house is left unto you desolate." He did not establish for them the New Covenant; he did not bless them at all. They have been the most outcast nation of the world for the nearly nineteen centuries since they crucified him. No wonder the Apostle asks, Has God cast away his people whom he foreknew? – the people to whom he made the promises and covenants? – the people whom he encouraged in every way to believe that they were his special people and would be specially used by him in carrying the blessings of the Divine Law and instruction to all nations? Has God set aside all his promises?

We shall see presently that God has not in any degree abandoned his original program as respects the nation of Israel – "the seed of Abraham" according to the flesh and according to the Law Covenant. Here comes in "a Mystery," as St. Paul explains. This Mystery he declares was hidden from previous ages and dispensations, and is now made manifest only to the saints, to the holy ones taught of God. It is still a Mystery to Israel after the flesh. It is still a Mystery to the world of mankind in general; for the world knoweth us not, even as it knew not the Master. The world does not perceive that God is selecting a "Little Flock" to be with Christ, members of his mystical Body – members of the spiritual Seed of Abraham.

THE MYSTERY SHALL BE FINISHED

In his last symbolic message to the Church, the Lion of Judah, who received the scroll of the Divine purpose, informs the saints, to whom it is "given to know the Mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven," that the Mystery shall be finished; but not until the days of the voice or sounding of the seventh trumpet – in the end or close of this Gospel Age and the dawn of the Millennial Age. Whoever is interested may profitably search the Word respecting this Mystery class, its calling, its selection, its testing, its completion, its glorification; but only those who are begotten of the holy Spirit will be able to understand in the sense of fully appreciating these "deep things of God" which "God has revealed unto us (the Mystery class) by his Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God." – 1 Cor. 2:10.

This Mystery class is composed of such as have the faith of Abraham and the obedience of Abraham – beginning with our Lord and continuing from Pentecost down to the close of this Gospel Age. It is upon these that Christ's blessing of forgiveness, reconciliation, and earthly favors lost by Adam and redeemed by himself were conferred.

Call to mind that he has something to give away – earthly rights and privileges which were his by virtue of his keeping the Law Covenant. Those were not spiritual rights and privileges which he secured through keeping the Law, but earthly ones only. He got his spiritual and higher privileges and honors as a reward for the sacrifice of himself. What he has to give to us therefore is not spiritual life and honors and dominion, but the earthly. These come to us in the nature of a bequest. The earthly life and the earthly rights which Jesus sacrificed are willed or bequeathed to all those of the faith and obedience of Abraham. But here comes another feature of this Mystery. It is not enough that we have the faith of Abraham and his loyalty to righteousness; an additional matter is necessary. All who would become sharers of this gift of Christ must now, in addition to faith and obedience to righteousness, take up their cross and follow Christ as the Captain of their salvation; [R4453 : page 245] they must walk in his footsteps in the narrow way of self-sacrifice, even unto death. Any who do not thus will and thus covenant cannot be his disciples now, whatever blessing they may obtain by his grace later on. He is now, during this Gospel Age, making a special selection of a special class, "elect, precious." These he styles his Bride, members of his Body, the Royal Priesthood, his Jewels. These various names indicate his high appreciation of this specially called class.

THROUGH THE SPIRITUAL TO THE NATURAL

Let us keep in memory the Apostle's words that "God hath not cast off natural Israel whom he foreknew" and to whom pertained the promises, the giving of the law, etc.; he has merely turned them aside temporarily during this Gospel Age, that in the interim he may develop a spiritual Israel, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a Peculiar People, to be the Bride of Messiah, or otherwise his "Members." This "Mystery" is working no disadvantage to the Jew, but really is a further step in the Divine program in fullest accord with the original Covenant made with Abraham. The seed of Abraham was to be of two parts: (1) As the stars of heaven and (2) as the sands of the seashore. The Mystery class developed during this Gospel Age are the Spiritual Seed, symbolically pictured as the stars of heaven, while the natural seed of Abraham is yet to become as the sand of the seashore. The Apostle refers to both of these seeds (Rom. 4:16) – "Not to that only which is of the Law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all." The old Law Covenant brought not forth the seed to Abraham, but the New (Law) Covenant will bring forth many children – as the sand of the seashore. The only children of Abraham thus far developed [R4453 : page 246] are those who are the Seed of Abraham according to faith.

As we have already seen, all of Christ's blessing goes to this faith class, the "Mystery" class, according to a program which the world does not understand, but with certain conditions attached which obligate all who receive this blessing to become dead to earthly aims and hopes and ambitions, and thus as members of the Body of Christ to have fellowship in his sacrifice of the earthly things that they may have fellowship and share with him in the heavenly part of the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant. "If we suffer with him we shall also reign with him; if we be dead with him we shall also live with him." "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne." – 2 Tim. 2:11; Rev. 3:21.

THE DEATH OF THE TESTATOR

The Apostle explains that no will or testament or bequest is of validity so long as the testator liveth. Whatever covenant or agreement may be had, it awaits a final sealing or completion by the death of the testator. The Apostle applies this to Christ. By his death Jesus passed on to us, the Church, the benefit of his merit; namely, the earthly rights or "justification" to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by the precious merit of Christ's sacrifice finished at Calvary. In accepting these earthly blessings we, as his members, agreed to the terms: namely, that we also surrender our rights to these as servants or "ministers of the New (Law) Covenant" – that these earthly blessings secured by our Lord's obedience and death should thus pass through us and still be the Redeemer's asset to be given to Israel, under Israel's New (Law) Covenant.

The fact that Israel is still outcast from God's favor is merely an evidence that the Body of Christ is not yet completely sacrificed, for bear in mind that the Covenant is of no validity until the death of the testator. The Lord Jesus, the primary testator, has accepted believers, as "members of his Body," and he is working in them by his holy Spirit to will and to do the Father's good pleasure – that they may lay down their lives in sacrifice, filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Messiah. As soon as the last member of the Church shall have died as a member of his Body, the New (Law) Covenant with Israel will be sealed – sealed with the blood of the testator, the death of the testator, the death of the Christ, Head and Members.

Meantime the resurrection change of the Church as the Body of Christ will have brought the Testator as a whole to the plane of glory, honor and immortality. On this plane the Christ, Jesus the Head, and the Church, his mystic Body, will be in antitype the great Prophet, the great Priest, the great King, the great Judge, the great Mediator between God and mankind in general. Then will come the time promised in the Scriptures when this Great One, this Glorified One, the Seed of Abraham on the spiritual plane, will begin the work of blessing all the families of the earth, under the conditions of the New (Law) Covenant, to be made with Israel first.

THE BLOOD OF THE NEW COVENANT

Our Lord when discussing his sacrificial sufferings, referred to them as his "Cup." In the Last Supper, the memorial of his death, referring to this Cup symbolically, he said, "This is the blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins: drink ye all of it." (Matt. 26:27,28.) That Cup, which symbolized our Lord's death, our Lord's sacrifice of his earthly rights, was sufficient of itself to have sealed the New Covenant. He needed not to ask the Apostles, or us, or anybody, to become his disciples and to share his sufferings, to share his Cup, and to share the rewards of these – his glory, honor and immortality. But he passed the Cup along, passed the merit to us; or, rather, passed the merit of his sacrifice through us, his disciples, his followers. He did this because it was a part of the Divine program; for, as St. Peter declares, "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ hath begotten us." He who foreknew Jesus foreknew us also by Jesus. This was no change of the Divine program. It was surprising to us merely because it was a Mystery not previously made known – that we should be made fellow-heirs with Christ in the sufferings of this present time and in the glory that shall follow.

However some may oppose this and claim that we do not drink, do not partake of the sufferings of Christ, the Scriptures leave no doubt about the matter. They declare of the symbolic Cup that Jesus, after he had supped, gave it to his disciples, saying, "Drink ye all of it" – not only must all partake of my Cup who would be my disciples, but drink all of it, leave none of it. The drinking of the Lord's cup, the sharing of his sacrifice, must all be accomplished during this Gospel Age; none of it is to be left for the future. There will be no sufferings of Christ during the Millennium; there will be no drinking of this Cup. By that time "the glory to follow" will have been ushered in, and under the reign of righteousness thus instituted there will be no sufferings for righteousness' sake, but only for evil doing, because the reign of righteousness will have commenced.

Let us remember, moreover, the Lord's words to the other disciples who made special request that they might sit with him in his throne, the one on his right hand and the other on his left. He said, "Ye know not what ye ask; can ye drink of the Cup that I drink of?" Only those who drink of his Cup may sit with him in his throne; only those who share in the sufferings of Christ will share in his glory, honor and immortality; only those who are thus partakers with him are members of the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, through which the blessings will pass to the Natural Seed in due time, and through them to all the families of the earth. "If ye be Christ's (his disciples indeed), then are ye Abraham's Seed and heirs according to the promise" – according to the highest feature of that promise, the spiritual feature. – Gal. 3:29.

"MERCY THROUGH YOUR MERCY"

We have already shown from the Scriptures that it is part of the Divine program that the natural seed of Abraham shall receive its blessings through the Spiritual Seed – Messiah the Head, the Church his Body. We have already shown that this Great One is to be the Mediator of the New (Law) Covenant, which will bring to Israel actually the blessings hoped for under the old Law Covenant, of which Moses was the mediator. We have seen how and why this Spiritual Messiah, Head and Body, will be able to do for Israel and all who come under that New (Law) Covenant far better things than Moses, mediator of the old Law Covenant, could do. We have seen that the New Mediator has something to present to Justice on behalf of Israel – something to give to Israel; namely, earthly blessings, earthly rights, earthly restitution to all that was lost in Adam. We see that these were secured by Jesus through keeping the Law; that he surrendered them, or sacrificed them in his obedient death, and that he gave them to the household of faith during this Gospel Age on condition that these earthly blessings should not be retained but sacrificed by all whom he would accept as his members. Now we see that it is these same earthly blessings that are to be dispensed during the Millennial Age, first to Israel and, secondly, to all people under the New (Law) Covenant.

Notice how the Apostle Paul states this matter clearly and concisely in few words in Romans 11:25-36. There he tells us that we should think not of Israel as being cast off forever, but merely disfavored of God for a limited period – during the time of the calling and approving and acceptance of the elect number of spiritual Israel, whose first members were gathered from the Jewish nation and whose completeness is to be made up from amongst the Gentiles. He tells us that when this elect number of Spiritual Israel is complete, God's favor will return to Natural Israel, "Jacob," and then "All Israel shall be saved" – recovered from the blindness and stumbling which came upon them when God thrust them aside until first Spiritual Israel should be gathered. The Apostle explains that then God will fulfil his promise to Israel: "For this is my Covenant unto them, when I [R4454 : page 247] shall take away their sins." Thus the Apostle shows that the New (Law) Covenant promised to Israel, in which their sins will be cancelled and remembered no more, comes at the close of the Gospel Age and not at its beginning.

THE DELIVERER MUST BE BORN

The Apostle explains (vs. 26) that before the New (Law) Covenant with Israel could become effective the Deliverer must come out of Zion; for it will be he that shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Zion is another name for the New Jerusalem, of which the Apostle says, She is the mother of us all. Zion was typically represented in Sarah, Abraham's wife, who was the mother of Isaac. Isaac was a type of Christ – of Jesus the Head and the Church his Body; as the Apostle declared, "We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise" – the Seed of Abraham. (Gal. 4:28.) Zion was again typified by Rachel, Jacob's wife, and the two classes of the Church were represented in her two sons, the first of whom, Joseph, was a child of promise, the second the child of tribulation – Benjamin. Joseph, who came to the throne of Egypt through much tribulation, typified the Christ, Head and Body. Benjamin, his brother, born of the same mother, the same Covenant, did not reach the throne, but typified the "great company" class, who will have a special relationship and nearness to the Deliverer. Benjamin's name, "Son of my pain," (Benoni), shows his identity with the "great company"; his mother died in the travail of his birth.

This is again expressed by the prophecy which says, Before she (Zion) travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to birth (the Head) and not cause to bring forth? (the Body) – Isa. 66:7-9.

Zion brought forth the Lord, the Head of the Church, the Head of the Great Deliverer, eighteen centuries ago. Very shortly all the members of his Body will come forth, similarly born from the dead in the "first resurrection." Thus shall a nation be born at once to the spirit plane, "a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a Peculiar People" – distinctly separate from all others of God's creatures, partakers of the divine nature, higher than angels and men. Then in a great time of trouble the "Great Company" will be born to the spirit plane, though not to the throne and not to the divine nature. Thus the spiritual children of Zion will be complete, and the blessing will turn to natural Israel.

The Deliverer born out of Zion, the Christ, with the "Great Company" as servants or ministers of the great God, shall begin the work of blessing "Jacob" – natural Israel. Discerning these things, it is for all who have named the name of Christ, for all who have been accepted as members of his Body and inducted into this "Mystery," to be earnest, to be zealous, in making their calling and election sure, that they may not only come into the Body of Christ, but by obedience to the instructions of the Head they may abide in him and grow in grace and in his character likeness, and be prepared for birth to the plane of glory, that they may have a share in the work of the Kingdom, making effective to Israel and to the world the New (Law) Covenant for the blessing of all the families of the earth.

THEY ARE NOT ALL ISRAELITES

The blessings of the New (Law) Covenant are distinctly shown to be Israelitish. But this will not hinder these blessings from extending to all nations and peoples and kindreds and tongues. By circumcision of the heart, all who will may come into the Holy Nation which Israel will then be. Thus it is written in the prophets, "The Law shall go forth of Zion (the heavenly Kingdom), and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (the earthly phase of the Kingdom). "And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths." (Micah 4:2.) Thus all through the Millennial Age Abraham's seed will be increasing, in harmony with the prophecy, "I have constituted thee a father of many nations."

But it would be a mistake for us to suppose that God's blessing under the New (Law) Covenant will come to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, merely along fleshly lines. On the contrary, we are to suppose that the blessing of the New Covenant will apply first to Abraham and his natural seed who had his characteristics of faith and obedience, and who were developed or proved in the past. St. Paul refers to these, saying, "These all died in faith, without having received the things promised them, God having provided some better thing for us (the Church, Spiritual Israel), that they without us should not be made perfect." – Heb. 11:40.

"They shall obtain mercy through your mercy," as the Apostle explains. (Romans 11:31.) It will, of course, be God's mercy, but through Jesus Christ, and it will of course be the mercy of Christ Jesus, but through the Church – "your mercy." Thus will the blessings of God be passed on. The blessing coming to the Ancient Worthies will not be for themselves alone, but be passed on by them in turn to all who will come to the faith and obedience of Abraham. Undoubtedly at first this class will consist chiefly of the natural Israelites, but later, as we have shown, it will consist of many people, of many tongues, and of many nationalities. All of these, enlightened by the great Sun of Righteousness, will be brought to know the great Messiah, and to understand the principles of righteousness involved in the laws of the great Jehovah. These the new Mediator will most clearly set forth, until every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, until "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep, and until there shall be no need to say to the neighbor or to the brother, Know thou the Lord, because all shall know him from the least unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord."

THE NECESSITY FOR THE NEW COVENANT

If the Abrahamic Covenant was all-comprehensive, and included all the blessings which God intended, why was it necessary or expedient to add either the old Law Covenant or the New (Law) Covenant? We have already considered the value of the old Law Covenant as an addition to the Abrahamic Covenant, hence now we confine ourselves to the consideration of the advantage gained by the addition of the New (Law) Covenant.

When we read that "Without faith it is impossible to please God," and that Abraham pleased God by reason of his faith, we may know assuredly that none could be acceptable to God as Abraham's seed except such as had similar faith to his. Additionally, as God tested Abraham's faith, and obliged him to prove it by works of obedience, so we may be sure it would be with all who ever will be acceptable to God – that as Abraham's seed they also should have faith attested by works.

The comparatively few who exercised faith, and wrought righteousness in harmony therewith, up to the time of Christ, are reviewed by the Apostle in Hebrews 11. These were few indeed as compared with the millions of their time. These alone, therefore, could be counted as participants in God's favor because of Abrahamic faith and obedience. During the Gospel Age a similarly small class has been gathered out of every nation, people, kindred and tongue – called by the Gospel message, and tried and proved by the narrowness of the way of obedience. These consecrated ones, and no others, of this age could be acceptable to God for his blessing of eternal life, because these alone manifested the faith and the obedience exemplified in Abraham.

So, then, we see that if Christ, after redeeming the world, had merely sought out of it such as could exercise Abrahamic faith and obedience, and had blessed these with eternal life, the sum total of his work would have been comparatively small. He would have been on the spiritual plane and the others would have received from him the blessing of restitution, and nothing more. [R4454 : page 248]

LENGTH AND BREADTH

But note the breadth and length and height and depth of the Divine Wisdom and Grace, which provided a more stupendous plan. Under its provisions the "Little Flock" become joint-heirs with Christ in the heavenly Kingdom as the Royal Priesthood, and the "Great Company" become the spiritual assistants of that Priesthood – the antitypical Levites. And, additionally, by the New Covenant arrangement the great Prophet, Priest, King, Judge, becomes the Mediator between God and the world of mankind in general. He will not deal with them merely on the basis of faith, because in their fallen condition few indeed could be benefited thereby, because few could exercise the necessary faith and obedience. Indeed, as we have seen, the majority of those capable of exercising faith and obedience have already been found. The New Covenant takes over Israel through the Ancient Worthies and incidentally all of that nation and all of every nation willing, under the enlightening influences of the Millennial Kingdom, to come into accord with the Mediator and to be taught of him. He will enforce obedience, to the intent that the fallen and degraded members of the race may learn what righteousness is and what justice and love are. He will exemplify to them the rewards of obedience and the penalties of disobedience, that they may learn the benefit of righteousness – and all come to a knowledge of God, not by faith merely, but by demonstrations. It will be after the Millennial Kingdom shall have lifted mankind out of degradation and sin, out of imperfection of mind and morals, that their final testing will come.

God's law will stand forever. Only the willing and obedient will be partakers of the grace of life eternal; all others will die the "Second Death." But we have every reason to believe that as a result of the Millennial Kingdom, the reign of righteousness, the restitution work, the enlightenment of mankind, the bringing of all to a knowledge of the Truth, many will learn righteousness and become servants thereof, and in full accord with the Divine Law: come to love God with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their being, with all their [R4455 : page 248] strength, and their neighbor as themselves.

Thus we see how much more can be accomplished by the Seed of Abraham, the Christ, Head and Body, through the method adopted by the sealing of the New (Law) Covenant, and the establishment of the Kingdom, than could have been accomplished without the New Covenant, under the Abrahamic Covenant alone with its terms of faith and obedience.

Is it any wonder that after having pictured this matter of the rejection of natural Israel, the gathering of Spiritual Israel, and the subsequent giving of God's blessings through Spiritual Israel to reclaim natural Israel, the Apostle should become enthusiastic? Is it any wonder that he concludes with the exclamation, "O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" Who knew of this wonderful, deep, hidden plan of Jehovah? Who counseled him to make it thus? The Apostle's conclusion is that such depths of wisdom and knowledge and grace prove that the plan of God is superhuman; that no man ever thought out this plan. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God's ways higher than man's ways! Of him, and through him, and by him, are all these things, and to him be glory forever!

[R4455 : page 248]

OUR WESTERN CONVENTION TOUR
AT WASHINGTON CITY
O
UR first stop was Washington City. Several of the Baltimore friends joined our train as we passed through their city, while others preceded us on an earlier train – in all about twenty. We had a very enjoyable time and were very cordially greeted, not only by the Washington City friends, but by representatives from Alexandria, Annapolis, and various surrounding cities and towns. Our discourse was from the text, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." We endeavored to point out the importance of reverence to the Lord as an element of Christian character. We showed that it was necessary that we should reverence before we had a desire to come to the Lord, and that it is still necessary to us after we become acquainted with him. This reverence necessarily increased as our knowledge of God increased – as we accepted his gift of justification, through faith in the precious blood. Our reverence increased with every step of our progress, with every increase of our knowledge of our Heavenly Father's character. Thus reverence with each of us should have been in proportion to our progress in grace, until finally, overwhelmed with an appreciation of God's goodness to us, we were ready to hear with appreciation and to obey the Apostle's exhortation, "Present your bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God and your reasonable service." – Rom. 12:1.

We endeavored to point out that every failure on our part after reaching consecration and Divine acceptance and begetting of the Holy Spirit would be because of a loss of reverence or of a failure to continue to grow therein. We intimated, for instance, that neglect of Bible study and prayer implies a loss of reverence, or a deficiency of reverence. Likewise a failure to heed the Divine Word, which is able to make us wise unto salvation, or a neglect to assemble ourselves as Divinely exhorted would mean a lack of reverence for the Divine wisdom which gave the exhortation. We admitted that carelessness on the part of the Church in respect to the election of its servants, whereby sometimes unsuitable brethren were chosen to be the Lord's mouthpieces, was the result of a lack of reverence for the Lord, for had he been properly reverenced his instruction on the subject would have been more particularly sought and more carefully followed. We endeavored to show also that the various deflections from the Gospel message might be safely attributed to an insufficiency of reverence for the Lord's Word, which allowed self-seeking ambition to draw aside from the narrow way of humility and service and self-sacrifice. In a word, practically every difficulty with which God's people have to contend is the result of an insufficiency of reverence.

On the other hand, those who by nature have the mental qualities of reverence large have a difficulty in an opposite direction, namely, they are disposed to reverence persons and things unduly. Some reverence antiquities and, applying this along religious lines, they reverence too highly old religious systems. Some reverence wisdom and human ability and are in danger of "worshiping the creature more than the Creator," because the creature is visible and near, while the Creator is unseen except by the eye of faith.

Thus we reached the conclusion that the naturally irreverent have much to study and develop in respect to reverence for God and his mighty works and his brethren and everything that is good. Reverence for the Lord can neither begin too soon nor ever be too great. It should discern Divine wisdom and providences in all of our affairs, present and future. Reverence guides to the narrow way and keeps us therein and encourages us step by step to make our calling and election sure – to the glory, honor and immortality, which God hath in reservation for those that love him.

The dear friends bade us a hearty adieu, giving many expressions of their love, and of their interest in the Convention tour, and in all the dear friends whom we would meet en route and who they hoped would be greatly blessed, comforted and cheered. A good night's rest at the home of Brother and Sister Pyle prepared us for our journey to Piedmont, Ala. A number gathered at the depot to bid us adieu and one Colporteur, having concluded to take advantage of the Piedmont Convention, accompanied us on the same train. [R4455 : page 249]

PIEDMONT, ALABAMA

At Atlanta, Ga., several friends joined us en route for Piedmont. We had a delightful season of refreshment and fellowship and arrived in due course at Piedmont. The Convention had already been opened. Considerable rain had fallen, but the friends reported that there had been no dampening of their ardor; that the Convention already had been a most delightful season of Christian fellowship and that some of the testimonies given had been amongst the richest they had ever heard. Our stay was for the day only, but the Convention continued four days. Brothers Wright, Senor and Stevens with others serving spiritual refreshment.

About two hundred, gathered from various parts of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee, were in attendance. Our address to the friends of the Truth was an exhortation to a proper appreciation of the Divine guidance of the harvest work, in its every particular. We pointed out that those who cannot recognize anything special in the harvest work and the harvest message were distinctly at a disadvantage and would not be likely to hold out to the end. On the other hand those are specially blessed whose faith enables them to realize that we are now in the harvest time and that the harvest message which we have received into good and honest hearts is the Divinely appointed "meat in due season" intended for our strengthening. Our realization of the Lord's supervision of his own work helps to keep us humble in mind and in conduct. It also helps to keep us trustful, and looking to the Lord, and waiting on him for direction in respect to the future. It hinders us from feeling that a great amount of responsibility rests upon us. It thus deters us from rushing in where angels fear to tread. Instead of feeling like Uzzah of old, that we must steady the Ark or otherwise everything would go wrong, we may have fullest confidence in God and his still greater interest in his work, and his wisdom as to how it should be conducted and his omnipotent power in making all things work together for the accomplishment of his own good purposes. Twenty-four symbolized their consecration by water baptism.

The session for the public crowded the auditorium beyond its capacity. Piedmont is a small city, about two thousand population, including children. We must have had nearly all of the adult population, therefore, in our attendance of about seven hundred. We were glad of the assurances of the friends of the Truth that they had been refreshed and encouraged, and hoped that some impression was made upon the public also.

As we boarded the evening train for Memphis a large crowd of the dear friends, gathered at the station, sang, "God be with you till we meet again."

THE MEMPHIS CONVENTION

We had a grand time at Memphis. Here we were met by Dr. Jones and party in two Tourist Sleeping Cars, the party numbering about fifty. One of the sleepers had a kitchen served by a proficient culinary chef. We joined the party, a reservation having been already made.

To this Convention came friends of the Truth from a considerable area. It was certainly a very enjoyable Convention and one long to be remembered. Our stay was for only one day. Brother Rutherford remained, with others, to serve the spiritual food on the following day. Our addresses here were along the same line as at Piedmont and here also there was a good turnout of the public, to the number of about five hundred. The dear friends were extremely cordial in welcoming us. A general dinner for all was served at noon and a luncheon in the evening. The chicken roosts must have suffered a considerable depletion in providing the bountiful repast. Everything that could be thought of was done for our comfort, and we trust and believe that correspondingly the dear Memphis friends received from the Lord a rich blessing upon their own hearts. [R4456 : page 249]

Our farewells brought tears to many eyes, and many requests to be remembered at the Throne of Grace, and assurances that we were remembered, yea, many times a day, in their petitions. Our night's journey brought us to New Orleans on Sunday morning.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

A prayer and testimony meeting of the friends in the local Church had preceded our arrival, and many of the friends were at the depot and gave us a very warm reception. They apologized for the heat of the weather, reminding us, however, that they with us had experienced a more intense heat at the St. Paul convention. We assured them that to have received a cool reception would have been a disappointment to us anyway.

Our discourse to the interested, many of you already have read in the public prints, although certain matter of special interest to the local congregation was added. The evening topic, for the public, was, "Where are the Dead?" We had a fine, cool auditorium and the attendance was excellent, the season of the year and the aristocratic character of the city being considered. About six hundred were present. Our topic received the closest attention and, we trust, proved timely and helpful to some. In any event we committed the results to the Lord with prayer that the effort might be blessed to the good of those who were fully his in that city.

HOUSTON, TEXAS

A night's ride brought us to Houston, Texas, our next stopping place. Our party numbered about fifty, and we were met by a Houston delegation of about the same number, who stood in line and greeted us with hearty handshakes and expressions of welcome as our party passed in review before them the full length of the station room and out into the street. Soon we were at the auditorium, where still others awaited and greeted us. A praise, prayer and testimony meeting proved very refreshing to us spiritually until one o'clock, when all were invited by the Houston friends to a generous dinner, a sumptuous repast indeed, most bountifully provided and most entertainingly served.

At 3 p.m. we addressed the household of faith, particularly seeking to make clear "the mystery hidden from past ages and dispensations, but now made known unto the saints," namely, the fellowship of the Church, the "members of the Body of Christ," the "Bride class" in the sufferings, the sacrifices and the death of Christ the world's Redeemer; – the world's great Prophet, Priest, King, Mediator and Judge. We sought to prove that only by sharing in our Lord's sufferings have we any hope of sharing in his glorious reign of blessing for the uplifting of the world.

Our evening topic for the public was the "Thief in Paradise, the Rich Man in Hell and Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom." We had an excellent attendance, very attentive, numbering about six hundred. At the conclusion of the service, there were indications that some had been deeply impressed with certain features of the Divine Plan. The friends had the magazine edition of "Scripture Studies," Series First, for sale at 5 cents per copy. The public were invited to take them and to hand the price to the ushers at the door. About one hundred copies were thus placed in the hands of readers, besides hundreds of free copies of the "Hell Tower."

Once more we bade adieu to loving hearts, with mutual good wishes and prayers for Divine blessing, taking the midnight train for San Antonio. Brother Rutherford followed us at Houston, no doubt with good effect.

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

Our train arrived in good season. We were most cordially received by the local friends and some who had come to meet us from the surrounding country. One brother and his wife came a distance of seventy-five miles by wagon; another a distance of six hundred miles by rail, and so on. Our personal comforts were carefully attended to at the home of Sister Frost. We did not attend the morning service for prayer and testimony, but sought to conserve our strength for the afternoon and evening meetings. Through others we learned that the morning session was one of great profit, many of the dear friends overflowing with praise and gratitude and love to God for his merciful providence in granting to [R4456 : page 250] them a knowledge of the Present Truth. We met them in the afternoon and surely their faces and their words of greeting manifested as strongly as could be done the intensity of their love to the Lord and their high appreciation of his merciful provision for us as his people in this Harvest time.

Our afternoon discourse was from the words of our Lord to the disciples who asked him that they might sit, the one on his right hand and the other on his left hand in his Kingdom, to which request he replied, "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" We endeavored to show the value of the glorious offer now being made to the Lord's people of sharing his throne and his glorious work of the Millennium as his members, as his "bride," and joint-heirs of his glory, honor and immortality. Then we pointed out the meaning of the Lord's expression, "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?" We showed that it was the same cup that our Lord drank of, no other that we must share; and that we must drink all of it, and that thus we must "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." We pointed out that this is the same as the Lord meant by the sacramental cup – which we must share if we would share with him in the blessing of all the families of the earth. In other words, this cup of self-denial and self-sacrifice with Jesus signifies our participation in the blood of the New Covenant – in providing the wherewithal for the sealing of the New Covenant. We pointed out, however, that the value of the "cup" was in our Lord's merit, that it is his cup, and that we are merely favored with the privilege of participation with him in his sacrifice, which has all the merit, all the blessing power.

Then we looked at the other feature or condition and saw that it did not refer to water baptism, but to the real baptism in Christ's death. We examined the difference between his death, in which we were to share, and the Adamic death, in which all mankind share. We pointed out that Adamic death was a penalty for sin, but that Christ's death was a sacrifice for sin. We pointed out that by being children of Adam we were sharers in his penalty, death, and that we must be justified or freed from that before we could accept a proposition to become dead with Christ. We showed that we were freed from our share in Adamic death by faith in the blood of Christ, so that thus being justified we should present our bodies living sacrifices and become dead with Christ, for only "if we suffer with him shall we also reign with him."

Here we saw the wonderful Divine privilege granted to the Church in this Gospel Age, and to her alone, namely, a share in this "mystery," this hidden thing that the world knoweth not and which only the saints know. The appreciation of this mystery even the saints will lose, unless their hearts are loyal and obedient to the Lord; for obedience is still better than sacrifice in God's sight. At the conclusion of the service an opportunity was offered for water baptism to those who had already made a consecration to the Lord by a baptism into his death through consecration, and who were striving to carry out that consecration by loyalty to the Lord. Thirteen responded and later were buried in the likeness of his death and raised in the likeness of his resurrection.

We started next morning for Los Angeles, leaving to Brother Rutherford and others the carrying on of the San Antonio Convention another day – praying for the dear friends a rich blessing from the Giver of every good.

More friends joined us here and a third car was added to the equipage, the party in all numbering sixty. How much the dear friends enjoyed the fellowship with each other on this journey may better be imagined than described. They are not all wealthy. Indeed, few of them have more than the necessities of life with merest comfort. Some in one manner and some in another, however, had succeeded in raising the money for this Convention tour in the hope that the fellowship of so many and the refreshment, temporal and spiritual, of the journey itself might compensate them. Wednesday, Wednesday night and Thursday were consumed in the journey from San Antonio to Los Angeles. The ride was a hot and dusty one, though less so than on the occasion of our previous tour. The friends apparently made good use of the time in Christian fellowship, discussing the Word, singing songs of praise, etc., while the Editor and stenographer in the end of one of the cars made ready this report, answered letters and prepared "Watch Tower" matter.

LOS ANGELES, CAL., CONVENTION

Our train was nearly four hours late, so that we missed the afternoon meeting of July 16th. We were in good season, however, for the well-advertised meeting for the public in the evening. The auditorium was crowded, about thirteen hundred being present. We had excellent attention, our topic being, "Where Are the Dead?" So large an attendance was surprising, because at the same time a remarkable parade was in progress and apparently engrossed the attention of everybody. It should be remembered that the Convention had already been in session for a day with Brother Sullivan one of the principal speakers. The Convention attendance was good, about 300, including some from nearby towns. The meetings of the 17th began at 9 o'clock with a testimony meeting. From 10:30 until 12:15 the Editor held a Question Meeting. The questions were remarkably good and, we trust, satisfactorily answered. A free luncheon was provided for all who remained to it and apparently it was [R4457 : page 250] much enjoyed, not only for the good things upon the table, but also for the fellowship afforded.

At 3 p.m. we addressed another goodly audience of the interested, numbering about three hundred. Excellent attention was given to our remarks, based upon Romans 11:29-32.

We pointed out from our text that the mercy which the Apostle assures us is yet to come to natural Israel under their Covenant – the New (Law) Covenant – is to be not only God's mercy and through Christ, but also the Church's mercy – "your mercy." We traced the hopes of Israel and their disappointment in connection with the development of spiritual Israel and showed how, eventually, the New (Law) Covenant will bring them all the blessings and honor originally anticipated. We showed also the high honor conferred upon the Church in becoming the members of the Body of the great Mediator of the New Covenant – sharers with our Redeemer in his great Work of sealing and executing the New Covenant for the blessing of natural Israel, and through them "all the families of the earth."

We called attention to the fact that only by drinking of our Lord's cup and sharing his baptism, his death, could we have shared with him in his great and glorious work. Opportunity was then offered to any who had made full consecration of their lives to the Lord, "even unto death," to symbolize their consecration by water baptism. Eighteen responded and several subsequently declared they had almost reached the point, but concluded to wait a little longer and still more thoroughly count the cost before taking the step, which they realized to be a great privilege.

Our party numbered about seventy as we left Los Angeles in three tourist cars. While waiting for a start the crowd on the platform and those in the cars sang hymns of praise to the Giver of all good and bade each other Good-bye, again and again. Quite a number had moist eyes as they thought of the pleasure enjoyed during the Convention, and that while we might not meet again on earth we have the glorious prospect of the heavenly reunion in the General Assembly.

THE OAKLAND CONVENTION

We arrived at Oakland just in time for the Sunday afternoon service. About fifty of the dear friends met us at the station. We had most hearty greetings and repeated expressions of Christian love. [R4457 : page 251]

The afternoon meeting for the public was held in the First Presbyterian Church. It was crowded, the audience being estimated at eighteen hundred or more. We had most profound attention, our topic being, "Where Are the Dead?" We were told that at least twenty ministers of the city were in attendance. The depth of interest may be gauged by the fact that nearly one thousand were present at the night service, which was very little advertised except by announcement at the afternoon meeting. The evening service was a Question Meeting for the Public, and brought out an interpretation of our Lord's words to the thief on the cross, the rich man and Lazarus, etc., apparently to the satisfaction of the hearers.

On Monday morning we gave a discourse on the privileges of the Harvest Work – Colportage, Volunteering, Sharp-shooting, etc. In the afternoon following the praise service we discoursed on baptism from the text, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits? I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord." A deep solemnity pervaded the audience and many eyes were moist. At the conclusion of the discourse opportunity was given for a symbolization of baptism and thirty-four responded, all adults, males and females in about equal numbers. At 7:30 p.m., after a few remarks, we had a Love Feast. It was a most inspiring occasion. About six hundred participated. As they filed past and shook hands with us many were the expressions of faithfulness to the Lord for our privileges and the determinations to be faithful and loyal to him to the end of the journey, and to meet with him in the Kingdom to part no more. Many with tears in their eyes asked to be remembered in prayer and said that they had special trials, special difficulties and special besetments in the narrow way. We sought to assure all that the Lord exercises a protecting care of the sheep, and hence that our success lay in our own hands, because he is faithful to do all that he has promised.

An automobile took us rapidly to the station, while the congregation waited to hear Brother Rutherford, whose discourse was to complete the Convention. We remarked that the Convention began the day before our arrival, with a Testimony Meeting, followed with a discourse by Bro. Sullivan. Our party in the special cars left later at midnight. We hastened ahead, so as to give an entire day at Portland and for fear the train might be delayed, because of the heavy traffic towards Seattle.

PORTLAND, OREGON

A journey of two nights and a day brought us to Portland on Wednesday morning, July 21st. At the station we met a goodly number of the friends of the Truth. After breakfast with them we repaired to the auditorium and soon a most interesting praise and testimony meeting was under way. Our testimonies unitedly were to the goodness of God in all of life's affairs and especially in respect to the Truth – that we had been favored with the knowledge of it. Next came dinner. In the afternoon by request we had a question meeting which lasted for about two hours and developed some very interesting subjects which, we trust, were profitable to us all. After another intermission for refreshments we had an evening service for the public. The house was crowded to its capacity with an audience which gave us the closest attention for two hours, while we discoursed on the "Past, Present and Future of Mankind in the Light of the Bible." Then came our leave-taking and we resumed our journey. The total number in our special cars was now increased to eighty-nine. Nearly all of the Portland friends went to the Seattle Convention, because it afforded opportunities for meeting larger numbers of the friends and for spending several days in spiritual fellowship. They did not join our party because our accommodations were already full. The Portland One-Day Convention will long be remembered by many of us as a season of refreshment.

OUR GREETING
To all aboard the Gospel Train,
And all the friends along the road,
Who gather in convention halls,
Beloved! Greetings in the Lord!
Pen Argyl's little company,
The Bangor brethren, just a few,
Your brothers at Roseto Town,
All join in Christian love to you.

We'd dearly like to go along;
And at this wondrous feast sit down;
But Father knows our means are small,
So, as we go our daily rounds,
Our loving wishes follow you;
Our spirits rise with yours in prayer,
We pray, "God speed the Gospel Train,"
And leave you in our Father's care.

For in His holy Word, we read,
His angels minister to men,
Those who shall heirs of glory be:
Oh, what a shining escort, then,
Attends your way, by day, by night;
Defending you from every foe!
Lie down, and sleep in perfect peace,
While guardian angels come and go.

And as you view God's mighty works,
Think of the perfect earth to come;
When in its robes of living green
It stands, man's everlasting home.
In that blest Restitution time,
Eden shall reach from pole to pole;
While everything with breath, will praise
Our God, while endless ages roll.

There's one Convention, brethren dear,
Which we have set our hearts upon.
No lack of time, or means, or ways,
Shall keep us from that Final One;
When in the New Jerusalem,
The First-borns of the Kingdom come,
From north, and south, and east, and west;
And Christ shall bid them "Welcome home."

If we have on the wedding robe,
That wondrous robe of shining white;
If we've embroidered it with care,
In all the colors of the light;
If we've been faithful to our vows,
To sacrifice our little all;
Then, we shall be of those who meet
In Heaven's Grand Convention Hall.

Oh, brethren! let us faithful be!
The time is short; let us press on.
Oh, we would not be left behind,
When all the Sons are gathered home!
We know not how we'll travel yet,
By water, fire, or by air:
We only know, if we're approved,
When that time comes we'll all meet there.

So once again we say, "God speed."
In love, our hearts go out to you;
We pray, "The Father's will be done"
In all you say; in all you do.
As onward, then, you wend your way,
O'er mountain, valley, hill and plain,
May God bless you and all you meet,
While traveling on the Gospel Train.

R. F. D.

[R4458 : page 251]

"TAKE HEED TO YOURSELVES AND THE FLOCK"
ACTS 20:2-38 – SEPTEMBER 5. –

Golden Text: – "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." – Phil. 4:13.

W
HEN St. Paul fled from Ephesus, after the rioting, he made a tour of the European Churches which he had founded. Passing through Macedonia to the city of Corinth he came by vessel again to Miletus, about fifty miles south of Ephesus. He was accompanied by representatives of several of the churches of Asia Minor. He was en route for Jerusalem, for whose poor at his suggestion collections had been made in the four provinces in which he had been preaching. Seven delegates accompanied him, representatives of the Church at Thessalonica, Berea, Derbe and Ephesus. These visits are supposed to have consumed several months of time, and now, at Miletus, he would have his final opportunity of bidding goodby to the Elders of the Ephesus Church. The vessel on which the party were to go to the Jerusalem port was detained indefinitely at [R4458 : page 252] Miletus, so word was sent to the Elders at Ephesus and they came to Miletus.

Our lesson specially calls to our attention the Apostle's address to these Elders. We are not to understand this as a boastful statement, but rather as a plain rehearsal of matters which his hearers would fully concede and of which he boasted nothing. The rehearsal was given, not for his own sake, not as indicating personal vanity and self-praise, but with a view to quickening the recollection of his hearers and making the lesson of the hour more impressive upon them. He reminded them that for the space of three years they had known him intimately, the manner of his life, his devotion to the Lord, to the service of the Truth and to the service of the brethren. He reminded them of his humility of mind; that he had not been with them as a boaster; that his conduct had not been haughty and overbearing; that he had not sought to "lord it" over the Church, but on the contrary, he had endured amongst them many trials and difficulties with the Jews, with "false brethren."

They knew of his work, his endurance and of his holding back nothing from them that would be helpful to them; that he had taught them both publicly and privately as circumstances opened to him opportunities. He had testified both to Jews and to Greeks that there is only the one Gospel of Christ, to be accepted through faith and turning away from sin. By calling attention to these elements of his own character he was laying the foundation for his subsequent exhortation to them that they should copy his zeal, his fidelity. He had been a faithful overseer or bishop, watching over their interests. He had been a faithful pastor, guiding their welfare and seeing to their nourishment in spiritual things. Knowing the truthfulness of these presentations and having the whole situation in mind, they would be the better prepared to receive from such an one his parting exhortation – the great lesson which he had to give them.

"BOUND IN THE SPIRIT"

He informed the brethren that although possessed of his physical liberty he felt a bondage or restraint upon his mind that he could not shake off; that he must go to Jerusalem; that this was the Lord's providence for him; and that at the same time he received assurances from others through the "gifts" that bonds and imprisonment awaited him at Jerusalem. Then he adds these courageous words: "But none of these things move me; neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the Kingdom of God, shall see my face no more." The Apostle had become apparently more intimately acquainted with the Ephesus Church than with any of the others. Apparently it was one of the most flourishing of them all. He had, by the Lord's providence, spent more time with them, and evidently the results procured justified the prolonged stay. Partings between friends are always grievous. And parting with no hope of seeing each other again this side the veil is a doubly severe ordeal.

"PREACHING THE KINGDOM OF GOD"

Incidentally we note the message which the Apostle delivered and which he here particularly emphasizes as the Gospel of Christ – "preaching the Kingdom of God." It is right that we should recognize that this is the same Gospel which we are preaching today, or, if not, that we are not preaching aright. The grace of God was manifested in the gift of his Son, that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man. The grace of God was further manifested in an outline of how the death of Christ was designed to bring blessings to our race:

(1) By ultimately establishing a Kingdom under the whole heavens for the rule of mankind; for the suppression of sin and death; for the uplifting of those bound by these enemies.

(2) As a precedent to that general blessing to the world, for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven," the Divine proclamation first calls out the "little flock" to be joint-heirs with their dear Redeemer in that Kingdom. Thank God that these precious truths, respecting the grace of God and the Kingdom of God, so long covered and hidden from our sight by the traditions of the dark ages, are now coming forward, are now being revealed by the enlightenment of our eyes by the Spirit – that we might know the things that are freely given us of God, and that thus we might be assisted in making our calling and our election sure!

No wonder the Apostle could add the forceful words, "I testify unto you this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men; for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." What he preached to the Church at Ephesus during his three years' stay amongst them is surely the same message which, by Divine arrangement, has come down to us in his epistles addressed to the various churches. We note that St. Paul's message contained not one word respecting eternal torment, which is no part of the Divine Plan. Surely from these epistles we now assent that St. Paul was very patient in reproving, instructing, encouraging the Lord's dear people. He was much used of the Lord because he had given himself so thoroughly to the Lord.

Herein we note the difference between the operation of the holy Spirit of God and the operation of the unholy spirits, the fallen angels. In both cases the control increases in proportion as the individual relinquishes his own will. Fortunately for humanity we all possess an inherent dread of self-surrender. Had it not been for this natural tendency, this natural self-will, doubtless the whole world today would be obsessed by the evil angels, or, at least, more largely under their control. Even amongst spirit mediums there is generally only a partial yielding of the will and an urging by the spirits toward a full self-surrender. Spirit mediums, however, are freely warned through their journals and books that there is great danger in a complete surrender of the will, lest an evil spirit gain full possession – obsess the medium. Alas! poor mediums! They know not that all of the spirits which communicate through them are evil spirits, demons, fallen angels, who, at times, personate human beings and represent themselves as our dead friends.

Not even husbands and wives dare fully to surrender to each other their wills without danger of injury. Nor should parents seek to coerce their children to a condition of entire will-lessness. To whatever extent they do this they injure the child, detract from its personality and make it a more easy dupe for the fallen angels.

The One, the only One, to whom we dare submit our wills fully, completely, is the Lord. He invites this full submission of the will to him; and we, in his name and as his ambassadors, may freely invite our children, our friends, our neighbors, to this same full submission of their hearts to the Lord. The more fully consecrated the will the greater the submission, the more blessed should be the experience – the greater the usefulness in the Lord's service. This is the substance of St. Paul's exhortation, "Be ye filled with the Spirit," sanctified, set apart wholly unto the Lord. In proportion as this condition of consecration or will submission is attained – in such proportion we may be used of the Lord as his mouthpieces, his instruments, ready for his service, the service of the Truth, the service of the flock. St. Paul was a noble example of such a full self-consecration to the Lord; of such a filling with the Spirit; of such an emptying of self-will; of such a deadness to the world, its will, its plans, its service.

No wonder the Apostle was able to assure the brethren that they might follow him, as he was following Christ. Christ was filled with the Father's Spirit. St. Paul, a [R4458 : page 253] loyal follower in his footsteps, had a similar filling experience though of smaller capacity. And all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must similarly be filled with his Spirit, the will of Christ, the will of the Father – and be dead to earthly ambitions. The Apostle's thought in calling the elders was to impress upon them that, like himself, they not only were consecrated to the Lord, but, as teachers in the Church, they had a double responsibility – in respect to themselves and in respect to the Church of which the Lord had made them overseers.

Notice his words, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock in the which the holy Spirit hath made you overseers (bishops) to feed the Church of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own (Son)." – V. 28.

Several points in this are worthy of careful attention. The revised version, quoted above, says, "In the which the holy Spirit hath made you bishops," thus agreeing that the general Scripture statement that the elders of the Church are not over the Church in the sense of a superior, or "clergy," class, but in the Church – members of it – overseeing members, assisting members, by appointment of the Lord through the channel of the Church. Note the two points: [R4459 : page 253]

(1) They needed to take heed to themselves and to take heed to the flock. Whoever attempts to do shepherding in the Church will need, first of all, to watch himself lest he fall into temptation, for, as the Apostle declares, Those who accept the position of Elders in the Church, pastors, overseers, are exposed to special trials, special difficulties. They need primarily to take heed to themselves, lest, having preached to others, they themselves become castaways.

(2) Those who accept the ministry or service of the Church as Elder-Brothers under the Divine regulation should realize that they have assumed a weighty responsibility respecting which they must "give an account to God." (Rom. 14:12.) This does not mean fault-finding with the brethren. It does not mean merely preaching to them; nor merely visiting the sick and counseling the troubled. It means an oversight, a care of all the interests of the congregation and the individuals of it in their every detail. Those who are over-charged with the cares of this life are not in a condition, in any sense of the word, to accept the responsibilities of this service in the Church of the living God and should not be invited to do so; should not be voted for as Elders. Only those who seek first the interests of the Lord's Kingdom and the righteousness which it represents are in any sense or degree properly suited to such service in the Church. They should consider it a part of their responsibility to notice how the dear brethren and sisters are progressing, especially in their spiritual interests. They should feel it a part of their duty to warn, to encourage, to assist all of these, as opportunity may offer.

It is not the prerogative of all the brethren and sisters in the Church to endeavor to set each other right, unless it be in some personal matter specially related to themselves; then Matt. 18:15 should be strictly followed. An Elder, however, by his very election, has been asked to take such an oversight of the affairs of the congregation, to give such advice, to give such reproofs, as the nature of the case may seem to demand – in meekness, remembering himself also, lest he should be tempted, if not along the same lines, then possibly along some other line of temptation. He, too, of course, should follow Matt. 18:15.

GRIEVOUS WOLVES AND PERVERSE TALKERS

The Apostle, by way of impressing this duty of oversight upon the elders, reminds them that the Lord purchased this flock with the precious blood of the Lamb of God and that this value in the Lord's sight should be so deeply impressed upon their minds that they would be willing to lay down their lives for the brethren in any service which they could render.

Emphasizing the caution already given, the Apostle prophetically declared that there would be great need of their taking heed to themselves, because of their own selves, of the flock itself, and especially amongst the Elders, men would arise speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them; desirous of being leaders, they would not hesitate to produce a schism or division in the Church to help along their ambition. The word perverse (here) in the original signified distorted, twisted. The thought is that those who begin to lose the Spirit of the Lord, begin to lose their clearness of appreciation of the Truth. As personal and selfish ambitions cloud their vision they see the Scriptures more vaguely and feel free to twist or distort them to make them support their ambitious sentiments. How true the Apostle's words; how great a danger there is along these lines, especially to the Elders, the overseers of the flock! Evidently selfish ambition is one of the greatest of foes with which they must contend.

Nor do these ambitions suddenly germinate, bloom and bear fruit; the process is a gradual one and hence the more dangerous, the more deceptive, the less likely to have our notice. How important then that all of the Lord's flock, and especially the elders, take heed to themselves and scrutinize their conduct, and, above all, the motives lying behind their deeds! Let us remember that absolute purity of the will is essential. Every admixture of selfishness, however little, is a poisonous virus which, if unchecked, would lead to the Second Death. "Take heed to yourselves," is the admonition, for, the Apostle goes on to say, that of their own selves should men arise telling truths in a distorted fashion, for the purpose of drawing away disciples after them; for the purpose of being leaders in the flock; for the purpose of having praise and honor of men. Ah, how dear the price – the loss of Divine favor and of eternal life!

"Grievous wolves" are ferocious wolves. For a time they may deceive the sheep by an outward manner and outward profession, covering their wolfish nature. They and the outward conduct by which they deceive are Scripturally designated, "Wolves in sheep's clothing." The Shepherd certainly knows their character before it becomes manifest to the sheep; but the docile, innocent sheep are deceived until these wolves begin biting and devouring and scattering the flock. The howls of anger, malice, hatred, envy and strife are noted in the Scriptures as "works of the flesh and of the devil" – not works of righteousness and peace and love, the Spirit of the Lord. The wolf does injury with his mouth and so do these – slandering, backbiting and doing every evil work.

St. Paul warned the Elders of the Ephesus Ecclesia what to expect, and his words are true. Hymenaeus and Alexander, Phygellus and Hermogenes, and Philetus are mentioned by name. (1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 1:15; 2:17.) The same principles are still at work. The same warning still needs to be heeded. Indeed, the Scriptures in general imply that the severest experiences along these same lines are due to come upon the Church in "the evil day" with which this Gospel dispensation will close.

"NIGHT AND DAY WITH TEARS"

"Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." Here are two points set before us; first, the duty of the Elders of the Church to watch against these evils so graphically portrayed; to watch for the interests of the flock as against the wolves; to watch to give the wolves as little opportunity as possible to tear the flock and backbite them, and to warn the sheep lest any of them, becoming inoculated with the rabies of the wolves, should display signs of hydrophobia and begin backbiting one another, with the usual symptoms of hydrophobia – with an apparent thirst for water (Truth) yet a refusal to drink it.

Second, the elders are to watch also against those sure to arise "of your own selves." Proper watching will begin with our own hearts, saying, Lord, is it I? And proper watching will [R4459 : page 254] in time discern such characters as Hymenaeus and Philetus and, following the Apostle's example, will expose them – not from any feeling of bitterness towards them, but in the interests of and for the protection of the flock. St. Paul reminds the brethren that such was his own course – one of great watchfulness, interest, care, over them and over all the Churches of Asia Minor. The expression, "Night and day with tears," shows us clearly that the great Apostle felt properly the weight of responsibility resting upon him as a servant of God and an ambassador of the King of kings and an over-shepherd and overseer of the Lord's flock – as a "minister of the New Covenant," delegated by the Great Head to assist in calling out those who will be the members of his Body, for their instruction and building up in the "most holy faith," that eventually they might all come to the full measure of the stature of manhood in the Body of Christ, as the great Mediator, Prophet, Priest and King of the world.

DIVINE ASSISTANCE PROVIDED

The exhortation closed thus, "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." The Apostle's thought seems to have been that his words, his earnest exhortation, might not only awaken them, but have them to inquire as to what defences could be depended upon for the crisis thus pointed out. He draws attention to the fact that God, the great Center of all our blessings, from whom comes every good and perfect gift, is on our part, is on the part of all those who are seeking to cooperate with his arrangements. By way of further explanation he mentions the Scriptures, the Word of God's grace, the Gospel message. He tells them that they, and we also, may be assured that the Word of God is able to build us up, to give us the necessary development of character, of heart and head, and to give us ultimately a share in the great inheritance which God has in reservation for all those who are sanctified by this message.

Let us lay this well to heart: neglect of God's Word of grace, neglect of his promises means a deficiency of strength to bear the trial which is our portion. It means also the opening of the door for Satan to put light for darkness and darkness for light for our confusion. It means that those who will not give strict heed in following might be unable to distinguish between the bleating of the sheep and "the midnight howl" of the wolf; might be unable to distinguish between those who are holding fast and blowing on the trumpets of the Lord's Word and those who are seeking to cause divisions amongst the sheep and speaking perverse things – misrepresenting facts, that they might divide the flock and draw some after themselves.

Let us make no mistake. It is a question of inheritance or no inheritance, amongst them which are sanctified. He who is faithful in that which is least, acknowledges the Lord and his provisions in connection with all of his blessings, temporal and spiritual, will be prepared to look forward with continued zeal and will receive the Shepherd's care accordingly. On the other hand, those who do not appreciate the "meat in due season" and the special provisions of this Harvest time – these will not be prepared; these will quite likely be deceived by those who endeavor to deceive them and draw them aside to themselves. [R4460 : page 254]

AS AN EXAMPLE TO THE FLOCK

St. Paul had already pointed out that the lesson of the law was that the ox that threshed the corn should be allowed to have a share of it for his nourishment; and that similarly those who minister to the Church in spiritual things legally, justly, should have a share in the temporal blessings of those whom they serve. He had also pointed out that if he had served the Church spiritual things of immeasurably more value to them than earthly things, it would be a small thing indeed for the Church to minister to his temporal needs. But, while noting these as points of equity, which should be observed by the Church, he did not require these things of them. It would be to their advantage to see these matters in their proper light and to act accordingly. But if they did not see their privileges in serving him and other ministers of the Truth in temporal matters, he perceived that this offered him a still larger opportunity for self-sacrifice, self-denial in the service of the Truth. Their neglect he did not resent, saying, You have refused me temporal necessities, I will refuse you spiritual comforts. On the contrary, his reasoning was this: These dear sheep need the spiritual blessings and I am so glad that I am privileged by the Lord to be his servant in dispensing them. The more it may cost me in the way of self-sacrifice, self-denial, the more it will evidence to the Lord my love for him, for his Truth, for his flock, and the more I will have of the Great Shepherd's favor, because I will be more like the great Redeemer, who bought the sheep by the sacrifice of himself.

On these lines the Apostle proceeds to call attention to his course – not boastingly, but for their advantage, that they might be the better able to discern what would be the proper character of an under-shepherd of the Lord. He says, "I have coveted no man's silver or gold or apparel." He was not serving them for the accumulation of wealth, nor to secure the comforts of the present life. He coveted their hearts. He coveted the pleasure of bringing them into relationship with the great Head of the Church as members of his Body. He appreciated his privileges as a minister of the New Covenant along these lines – preparing the members of the Body of Christ, the Mediator, and helping them to make their calling and election sure to the glorious things promised in the Word.

He continues, "Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me." Apparently some of those who were of St. Paul's company had no trade or could find no profitable employment, while the Apostle's trade of sail-making, tent-making, was apparently a lucrative one, furnishing employment in the various seacoast cities visited. Apparently the others were largely dependent upon this leader for things temporal, as well as things spiritual. He had never complained. He did not now complain. He merely drew their attention to the proper course which he believed he had followed, which he believed was pleasing in the sight of the Lord. He commended to them a similar spirit of love for the Lord and love for the flock and love for the Truth – to the self-sacrificing degree. Thus they might be faithful stewards of God's mercy, faithful overseers of his flock. His own form of stating the message is summed up thus, "I have showed you an example, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."

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"WITH JESUS AND LEARNED OF HIM"
H
OW much is told in the few words respecting Peter and John, and what their opponents thought of them, in the expression, "Now, when they saw the boldness (courage) of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus"! – Acts 4:13.

One of the remarkable things connected with the "present truth" is its effect upon those who receive it – its transforming effect, its renewing effect. As the Lord foreknew and foretold, the Gospel message has not specially appealed to the rich, the learned or the great. These feel themselves above the Master's teachings and are comparatively satisfied with their conditions. They are [R4460 : page 255] led to believe that God would give them a preference any day over the ignorant, the stupid, the ignoble. Thus they do not so much and so deeply feel their need of spiritual healing from the Good Physician.

The Gospel message takes hold chiefly upon those less favored in the present life. And this is true as well of the special features of Present Truth as of the general features of the Gospel message. In every case, however, the marked effect of the Gospel of Christ is manifested where it is received into a good and honest heart. It lifts up. It gives courage instead of fear. It gives hope instead of despondency. It gives an aim and object in life, instead of brutish stupidity. It cultivates the will and manifests itself in the intelligent expression of the eye, in the alertness of the step, the increased deftness of the hand, and loosing of the tongue to speak of the Lord and his grace.

Our enemies take note of all these things, and frequently marvel at the intelligence on every subject of those who for a little time have been students of the Divine Plan of the Ages as presented in the six volumes of "Scripture Studies," and in the columns of this journal. This is well. We are glad of it. Yet there is a danger here. If the spirit of self-satisfaction, or pride of knowledge of the Scriptures, or of ability to present the Divine Plan, be cultivated, it may mean spiritual injury.

It is well that with us as with the Apostles our adversaries should take note of our courage; that we have the courage of our convictions; that we fear the Lord only, and that our highest aim is to deliver forth the good tidings of great joy to all who have the hearing ear. Here, however, we wish to call attention more particularly to the importance of the second feature mentioned in the Scripture quoted, namely, that they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus; that they were his disciples, learners in his school. This, truly, is the important thing for us – to learn of Jesus, to become copies of our Master.

All of our readers will bear us witness that we give due weight to doctrinal knowledge of the divine character and plan as set forth in the Divine Word. But while emphasizing all of this, and contending for its absolute necessity to growth in grace, we feel the necessity of continually urging upon the Lord's followers those features of the Master's teaching which constitute more particularly his spirit, his disposition. The sum of these is called Love. As of our Heavenly Father it is declared that "God is love," so love also is the special characteristic of our Redeemer, who was the image, the very reflection of the Father.

The analysis of love, as given by the Apostle, may be understood to be an analysis of the divine character as exemplified in our Lord Jesus – meekness, gentleness, patience, longsuffering, brotherly kindness – love. And since all his followers are invited to become disciples, or learners, under him as their teacher, it follows that all who learn of him will gradually attain to these same elements of his character.

How could we better proclaim our relationship to him? How could we better recommend to others the School of Christ? How could we better show forth the praises of our Master than by living out his example, representing his character before men? Is not this the significance of his injunction, "Let your light so shine before men that they, seeing your good works, may glorify your Father which is in heaven"? It is proper, indeed, that we let our doctrines shine out before men, but it is specially important that we let the character of Christ shine out. It is specially important that the doctrines and the character shall correspond and co-attest each other.

We remember our Lord's words, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." This was the new commandment that we should love one another as he has loved us – with a pure, unselfish love which thinketh no evil, vaunteth not itself, is not easily offended, and seeketh not its own, selfishly – the love which lays down time, energy, and even life itself, for the brethren.

We may never become entirely satisfactory to ourselves in thought, word and deed while in the flesh; and we may never, therefore, be entirely satisfactory either to others; but we can, we should, we must, and by the grace of God let us each resolve that we will, attain to all of this so far as our hearts are concerned. Nothing short of this will be satisfactory to our Lord, to whom we are "betrothed" as members of the chaste, virgin Church. If we fail to come up to this reasonable, possible, standard, we will fail to make our calling and election sure to a place in the Bride Company. But if we do these things, if at heart we are at this standard, and are daily seeking to live it to the best of our ability, the heavenly Bridegroom will rejoice to own us as members of his elect. Oh how much depends upon our learning this lesson! "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

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GENERAL CONVENTION
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y., AUGUST 31 TO SEPT. 3 – HUDSON RIVER TRIP ON CHARTERED STEAMER, SEPT. 4. BROOKLYN, N.Y., SEPT. 5, 6
W
E HAVE concluded to have the Convention at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., with steamboat excursion to Brooklyn. This, we believe, will be much more enjoyable than to have the Convention at Brooklyn. Our thought is to have a Four-Day Convention at Saratoga Springs from Tuesday, August 31st, to Friday, September 3d, and on Saturday, September 4th, to enjoy fellowshipping on one of the famous steamboat trips on the Hudson River, arriving in good season to secure necessary accommodation for Saturday night. On Sunday, September 5th, the Academy of Music, the largest and finest auditorium in Brooklyn, will be used for the three sessions, morning, afternoon and evening. Monday, the 6th, will be devoted to visiting the headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the Brooklyn Tabernacle and Bethel Home.

Saratoga has long been regarded as one of the finest summer and health resorts in the United States. Its immense Convention Hall seats five thousand people and is admirably suited for our General Convention. The acoustic properties of the building make it easy for speakers to be heard in any part of the auditorium.

Tickets should be purchased to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., making careful inquiry as to lowest rate applicable from your own station. Special concession on the basis of the certificate plan on account of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's Convention will probably be obtained, in which event full fare will be paid on going trip, and certificate receipt furnished by the agent, which will entitle holder to return fare at reduced rate.

All believers in the Atonement by the Precious Blood will be welcomed if they have the Spirit of Christ. But "grievous wolves," "backbiters," "slanderers" and "contentious" persons are not invited. Should such attend these or any meetings of Truth people, they should be treated so Scripturally as to make them ill at ease and very unhappy at these Love Feasts. Mark the Apostolic delineations and admonitions and be of good courage in obeying the same. Read Jude 10-12 and Romans 16:17 and Philippians 3:17.

Reasonable terms for boarding and lodging have been secured. None should count on an expense of less than $1.25 per day, and of course at good hotels it would be considerably more.

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PUBLIC MINISTRIES OF THE TRUTH
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLES PULPIT
ASSOCIATION OF BROOKLYN, N.Y.

ONE-DAY LOCAL CONVENTIONS ADDRESSED BY THE
EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL AS FOLLOWS:
SYRACUSE, N.Y., AUGUST 22

Morning Rally for Praise and Testimony at 10 o'clock. At 11 a.m. discourse for the interested.

Session for the Public at 3 p.m. Subject, "The Thief in Paradise, the Rich Man in Hell, and Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom."

For further particulars address Mr. Oscar Ochsner, 207 S. Avery Av.

WATERTOWN, N.Y., AUGUST 29

Morning Rally for Prayer, Praise and Testimony at 10 o'clock. Discourse for the interested at 11 a.m.

Public meeting at 3 p.m. in the Opera House. Topic, "Where Are The Dead?" Other particulars from Mr. P. J. Earl, Watertown, N.Y.