|VOL. XXXII||AUGUST 1||No. 15|
|Views From The Watch Tower||227|
|"Unto the Third and Fourth Generation"||227|
|Insanity Threatens Race, Says Dr. Wiley||228|
|We're a Nation of Wrecks, Says University Head||229|
|Denver to Portland and Homeward Conventions||230|
|The Church Not a Part of the Ransom||233|
|The Work of the Scapegoat Class||234|
|Blessed are the Persecuted||235|
|Dark Prophecies Fulfilled||236|
|"Overturned Until He Come"||237|
|Ancient Worthies Not Represented in Court||238|
|"Offering" Used in Two Senses||238|
|The Two Altars Contrasted||238|
|Incense Abode in Most Holy||239|
|Both Had to Do With Justice||239|
|I.B.S.A. Convention Railroad Rates||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.
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.
Foreign Agencies: – British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.
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.
MOUNTAIN LAKE PARK CONVENTION
September first to eleventh on the mountain top will surely be quite cool; and as Mountain Lake Park is a "Camp Meeting" village the houses are not so tight as your homes. For these reasons plenty of warm clothing will be needed, especially for evenings. Remember this!
The various other Conventions this year will probably leave us a smaller crowd here than the General Convention last year at Celoron. But neither are the possibilities for lodging so good. All, therefore, desiring board and lodging should apply at once at $1, or at hotels at $1.25, $1.50, $1.75, $2 up. None should count on less than $1.25 daily expense. We have contracted for all the board and lodging available and desirable. Large rooms must accommodate three or four persons, small ones at least two, even to accommodate the smaller crowd we are expecting. We are even arranging for cots in temporary shelters. Surely, then, when you decide to come, send us one dollar, each person, which we will pay over to secure your space. It will apply on your board bill.
A "Brother" has remembered the Colporteurs and proffers, under the following restrictions, one-half the railway fare to such as need the aid to get to the Mt. Lake Park Convention: (1) The half-fare shall not exceed five dollars. (2) The Colporteur shall have paid the Society at least twenty-five dollars for SCRIPTURE STUDIES during this year.
The Society has arranged for the free entertainment of said Colporteurs on a very economical basis. It will supply cots in two large buildings and will supply food which these dear friends can prepare for their own use, as many of them are accustomed to doing.
Our Society regards the Colporteur service as one of the most important branches of the "harvest" work – if not, indeed, the most important. We trust that the above arrangement may assist a considerable number of Colporteurs to attend. It is our hope that the day devoted to Colporteur Instruction may start some on better methods and to greater success than in the past. We will do all in our power to further the usefulness of all desiring to co-operate in this branch of the service.
The notice in THE WATCH TOWER of June 15 that Brother Bohnet has "miracle wheat" in abundance now, and that he will sell it at $1 per pound and donate the entire proceeds to our Tract Fund, has brought in many orders. These will be filled between August 15 and September 1. No limit as to supply has been noted. Sent by Express, prepaid, the price will be twenty-two pounds for $20; fifty-five pounds for $50; larger quantities at the latter rate. The merits of this wheat over the common variety have been mentioned in previous issues of THE WATCH TOWER. page 226
BETHEL HYMNS FOR AUGUST
After the close 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 is considered. Hymns for August follow:
(1) 145; (2) 299; (3) 99; (4) 108; (5) 110; (6) 270; (7) 41; (8) 293; (9) 12; (10) 230; (11) 170; (12) 114; (13) 95; (14) 307; (15) Vow; (16) 123; (17) 176; (18) 109; (19) 273; (20) 333; (21) 222; (22) 160; (23) 152; (24) 137; (25) 312; (26) 267; (27) 9; (28) 7; (29) 259; (30) 281; (31) 46.
WHY is it that a man of genius will not infrequently become the father or grandfather of perfect dunces? Why do a fair-haired husband and a fair-haired wife sometimes beget a dark-haired baby? Why are there such differences in size, appearance or intelligence between the children of the same, identical mates?
"If we observe the so-called 'vagaries of Nature' in the plant and the animal world, we observe that the dwarf pea, sprung from tall ancestors, breeds true to dwarfness; that the progeny of a black and a white rabbit are in one case all black and in another all the wild gray color; that two white peas being crossed may give a purple flower; that two hairless plants may revert to the hairy form.
"We used to call such phenomena 'curious reversions.' We believed first that through slow evolution certain characteristics of certain types had either become over-developed or obliterated, like the lizard's third eye, the bat's wings, the tadpole's tail.
"Now come the Mendelian experiments, proving apparently that heredity and evolution are mere dreams, that species are immutable and that Nature's vagaries are merely Nature's logical efforts to extricate the original type from the tangle of cross-breeds due to man's tampering.
"Even should the far-famed 'missing link' show up in the wilds of Oceania, where it is strongly suspected of keeping itself in the strictest incog., we would no longer have to deplore our descent from a simian ancestor.
"The man who gave a concrete form to such theories was an Austrian monk by the name of Mendel, born in 1822. The result of his biological experiments were embodied in a modest paper read before the natural history society of a little Austrian town, Brunn. He also wrote a few letters on the subject to the botanist Naegeli.
"Unfortunately, pamphlet and letters were written at a time when Darwin's theories, as to the origin of species, had become the scientific fad of the day. And what chance had the modest old monk of being even noticed? He died inglorious in 1884.
"Not until a few years ago did R. C. Punnett, an English scientist with an inquisitive turn of mind, look over Mendel's records of experiments. So appalled was he by their importance that he published a book, christening the new theory 'Mendelism.'
"The world lent an indifferent ear to the new leitmotive; but by and by the Englishman dinned Mendelism into the consciousness of the scientific world. At the present day there is a big English magazine devoted to the new science and called 'Mendelism.'
"Let us now turn to Mendel's own account of his experiments on plants and on animals. In one series of experiments he concentrated his attention on the height of certain plants. He first made crosses between giant peas and dwarf peas. It mattered not which was the pollen-producing and which the seed-bearing plant; in all cases tall peas resulted from the cross. For this reason Mendel called the tall pea 'dominant,' and the dwarf 'recessive.'
"The next step was to collect seeds of the new plant and to sow them in the following year. When this was done it was found that both tall and dwarf plants appeared in the offspring. Each individual was either frankly tall or frankly dwarf, and no intermediate appeared, the proportion of tall to dwarf being three to one. The following year seed from the dwarf peas gave only dwarfs; seed from the tall gave a large proportion of tall and a few dwarfs.
"In the following year tall seed brought forth tall plants only, dwarf seed dwarf plants only. The reversion to the prototype was complete. In the process, however, the tall plant, the dominant, appeared three times as frequently as the recessive.
"The experiment was tried with various animals, and it was found, first, that after several generations the individual reverted to the pure type of either the male or female ancestors, and, secondly, that one type was dominant – that is, produced many more individuals than the recessive type.
"Crossing colored and white mice produced in the long run pure colored and pure white, with a majority of colored; the Angora fur of some rabbits was found recessive to the normal short fur; the rose comb which occurs in certain breeds of poultry, such as Hamburgs or Wyandottes, behaves as a dominant to the high serrated single comb of the Leghorns.
"Freakish cases in which one of the parents was in a markedly abnormal condition were considered. Japanese waltzing mice were crossed with normal mice. The 'waltzers' are driven to circle round sometimes for hours [R4859 : page 228] by a painful malformation of the labyrinth of the ear. After a couple of generations the crosses bred true to either the normal mouse or to the 'waltzer,' the latter being recessive to the former.
"Some varieties of wheat are susceptible to the attacks of a fungus that causes 'rust,' some are immune. When 'susceptible' and 'immune' were crossed, every hybrid was susceptible to 'rust.' The following year the hybrid became differentiated, the 'rusty' and 'immune' plants being in the apparently universal ratio of three to one.
"We have, then, the explanation of facts which Darwin refused to consider as very important. He held that 'freakish variations' in the production of species would rapidly become swamped by intercrossing with the normal form. He considered that species had been and were being built up by the process of natural selection. As a matter of fact, no species is being built up, and deviations from the prototype are corrected in the course of three generations.
"Before experiments can be made on human beings the Mendelian discovery can be applied practically to the improvement of animal breeds. We know for sure that in most cases a cross means greatly increased vigor for the progeny. Breeders, however, are very shy in making crosses for fear of breaking up and losing the desirable combination of characters found in the original strains.
"Mendel's discovery may reassure them on this point. In three generations breeders can reproduce the parental types with all the increased vigor resulting from a cross. We must also revise our conception of a 'pure breed.' Until recently we said that the criterion by which we could judge the purity of breed was the pedigree of the individual. Today we know that a plant or an animal can be pure breed, not only owing to its ancestry, but in spite of its ancestry.
"Where the problem becomes fascinating, however, is where it touches the mooted question of heredity, and here again it upsets absolutely our previous notions. Man being the slowest breeding animal, observations are difficult, and only imperfect statistics can be relied upon at [R4860 : page 228] the present day to supply evidence.
"The study of certain diseases, however, in the course of several centuries fortunately enabled scientists to establish heredity tables. One of the most interesting cases observed is that of the transmission of 'brachydactily.' In people affected with this malformation the joints of the fingers and toes are two instead of three, and the whole body presents a stunted appearance.
"It has been shown that this condition is unfortunately dominant to the normal state, which means that 'brachydactily' in one of the parents will affect the progeny in the proportion of three abnormal to one normal descendant. The normal descendants will, however, breed true to normal, while the abnormal children will give birth to both abnormal and normal children in the proportion of three to one.
"Another interesting case is that of the eye color. All colored eyes have pigment at the back of the iris. In addition to this there is frequently some yellow-brownish pigment on the front of the iris. Where it is absent the color of the eyes is blue, gray or violet. Highly pigmented eyes are dominant to those in which pigment is absent. When one of the mates has dark eyes and the other blue eyes, the proportion of dark-eyed and blue-eyed descendants will be three to one, the dark-eyed hybrid begetting only dark-eyed, the blue-eyed hybrid begetting three 'dark-eyed' to one 'blue-eyed.'
"While Mendel's theories throw no light upon the origin of species, at least they seem to prove against Darwin the immutability and the lasting individuality of species. We may have to believe in a distinct act of creation for each and every species, but we can no longer assume that the difference between species arose from the accumulation of minute and almost imperceptible differences. Neither can we believe that a drop of tainted blood will taint the family blood for generations. We know who will bear the taint and who will not."– N.Y. Times.
The heading to this article with the references are ours. The Monk Mendel and those who are now exploiting his findings and theories of course never thought of the Bible supporting their teaching. But let us put the matter the other way about and say that these scientific gentlemen are supporting the Bible and proving it true. Their experiments, they tell us, show that special peculiarities, virus in the blood, etc., will work itself out in the third generation; the Bible says the third or the fourth. We shall stick to the Bible.
Let those who prefer take Darwin and boast of their monkey parentage of gradual development. We prefer the Bible statement, that by nature we were children of God, created in His image and likeness, from which we fell through disobedience and to which the willing and obedient will be privileged to return "in due time" through the merit of the redemption-sacrifice finished at Calvary. Let us rejoice in the special invitation now ours of becoming members of the Body of the great Messiah, who provides both the redemption and the restitution of Adam and his race, and who will destroy in the Second Death all who shall wilfully and intelligently spurn Divine favor.
Alienists the country over are sounding a solemn note of warning to the American people over the alarming rush in which we live. According to Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, federal pure food and drugs expert, nearly every man and woman at some time in their lives border on insanity. That view is also indorsed by the famous Dr. William A. White, head of the United States government hospital for the insane, who backs up the stand taken recently by Dr. Owen Copp, new head of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane. They also commend Dr. Copp's view that extremely few families survive three or four generations without the outcropping of insanity.
Surprise was expressed by Dr. Wiley that more people do not become completely insane. Because of the terrible ravages of drink and drugs, particularly in the United States, thousands of people are rendered so extremely nervous that they are always on the verge of going crazy, he says. The rush and worry of modern life, the chase after money and pleasure, he gives as the causes for threatened insanity. "Yes, it is certainly true that there are very few people who have not been on the verge of going crazy," he stated. "Many have to be sent to asylums, but thousands of others save themselves in time. There are moments in practically every person's life when he feels that one more worry will snap the strings of his mental balance."– Woman's National Daily.
Not only are we today living under a greater strain than anything known by our forefathers, but additionally [R4860 : page 229] the majority of mankind lack the necessary help in bearing the strain. At the very time when help Divine is a four-fold need, faith in God and in His Divine supervision of human affairs is being lost. In the smaller worries of a less busy time there usually was at least one in a family who had respect for religion and for God, and who would speak a word of comfort to the others. But now in humanity's time of greatest stress, verging on insanity, many families are without God and without hope. Faith has been broken down from two great causes: –
(1) The so-called Higher Critics have destroyed the faith of the learned in the Bible as the Word of God and have substituted a theory of Evolution. The learned, in turn, although they have not ventured to give their unbelief unstintedly to the lower classes, have nevertheless left them without the consolation of the Scriptures and its guidance. They have taught Evolution and other things contrary to the Bible. As a consequence, few today think of going to the Word of God for the assistance which they can gain from no other quarter.
(2) The other difficulty contributing to this unbelief is the horrible nightmare of error handed down to us from the "Dark Ages" through all of our Church creeds. Those monstrosities are too horrible for sensible people to believe and have caused a revulsion of feeling – they have driven thinking people away from the Bible, as well as away from the creeds. They have prepared them for the inoculation of unbelief, as expressed by the Higher Critics, Evolution theories, etc. The people have discarded the Bible also, believing that its teachings were fairly reflected in the creeds which they can no longer accept.
The remedy for all this is to get the only proper view of the Bible consistent with itself. This necessitates a study of the Bible along new and independent lines, wholly free from the bias and coloring of the creeds of the past. The Bible must be allowed to interpret itself. It must be recognized as being partly literal and partly symbolical in its statements. Above all we must recognize that the understanding of it and interpretation of it to others is not committed to any special cult nor by any peculiar laying on of hands. It can be understood only by those who are in full harmony with God and guided by His Spirit – "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence Him, and He will show them His Covenant."
The restless, moving life we lead will drive us all to neuresthenia. Leading the pace that kills, not so much as regards vice, but the desire to be always on the move, has ruined our schools and colleges and has attacked the mental and moral fiber of the American brain.
These are some of the signals of danger set up in the roadway of American life by the Rev. John Cavanaugh, president of Notre Dame University, in an attack on modern living as compared with ancient customs and development, in which the latter in no way suffer. Three passions, he says, amazingly developed in the American people, are tearing at the foundations of our characters and home lives. These are the passion for travel from place to place, the passion for public spectacles, whether they be good or bad, and the passion for gregariousness as against home life.
Father Cavanaugh said: "It is often disputed upon good grounds whether there has been any real progress of the human race within the time of recorded history. In my mind the old poems are the best poems; the old philosophy the best philosophy; the old sculpture, paintings and architecture are still the models. Demosthenes and Cicero still hold their prominence. In every important phase of expression modern life has made no development.
"Within my lifetime I have seen three passions developed in the American people – the passion for travel from place to place; the passion for public spectacles and entertainment, and the passion for gregariousness as against home life. In the poorest parts of the country, in the hardest times, among the people least favorably conditioned financially, I find the railroad trains and the street cars crowded with all sorts of people darting here and there on errands of pleasure. The theaters are crowded, the dance hall and the public garden are more frequented than ever, and a new and horrible form of popular entertainment has been found in the 5-cent theater.FAMILY HEARTH IS OBSOLETE
"Steam heat and the modern methods of living have driven out the old family hearth in the literal sense; and the passion for living in crowds or among strangers has killed off the old family hearth in the poetic and social sense as well. An evening that a young woman spends with her family alone is dull, flat and unprofitable; a night [R4861 : page 229] that a young man spends with his mother and father at home is a lost night. In a cartoon a doting father is pictured as trying to catch a glimpse of his pet boy home from college for the Christmas holidays. The time the old man has darting in and out around the home is amusing in the picture, but not in life. That college boy is legion.
"Obviously, what the country needs is chloroform or locomotor ataxia. The effect of this restless, moving, unreposeful life will be national neurasthenia. Its effect on the mentality of the people is already seen in the thin, pale courses of our high schools, and in the fact that our colleges are deep in social things and shallow in intellectual things.MODERN FICTION A NARCOTIC
"I know an eminent neurologist who is treating a dipsomaniac at the present time, and one of the prescriptions he has laid down with most earnestness is that the patient shall abstain from reading popular fiction and from frequentation of the play. The old tragedies scourged the moral power into action; so did the old books. Modern fiction and modern drama are narcotics to the will. They are developing a tribe of maudlin weaklings.
"But in scoring the modern life for negative developments surely something may be said for science, however, and very much may be said for the things that make for comfort and convenience in life. To some of us the railroad train, the steamship and the automobile appeal as conveniences, but to the greater number of Americans such inventions and fruits of the few great brains are merely instruments of their desire to lead the pace that kills."– St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Missionary Review reports that "the Zionist movement has suffered a setback through opposition recently expressed in the Turkish parliament. The Grand Vizier in particular has spoken with contempt of Zionism and its expectations."– The Outlook.
A brother of the late Senator Stanford, of California, has given $50,000 to Stanford University to found a department for the investigation of occult phenomena, chiefly the manifestations of spiritualism, in which Mr. Stanford has for years been a believer.– The Outlook.
Sunday, June 18, at 3 o'clock, we gave a public discourse on the "Hereafter" in the Auditorium at Denver. The attendance was estimated at four thousand, of which about four hundred (men) were on the platform. We had excellent attention, and feel sure that many left the place with very changed conceptions of the "Hereafter" and of our Heavenly Father and His great Plan of the Ages.
The evening subject, "Zionism, the Hope of the World," had not been so widely advertised, and, as was expected, the audience was considerably less – less than one-half. A considerable number of Jews attended. We had closest attention, and at the close many expressions of appreciation were made.
The following day we took an excursion into the mountain wilds, where we had very enjoyable services, in the nature of praise, prayer and testimony. The evening meeting was held in the auditorium of the Woman's Club, where an excellent address was given by Brother Barton.
The following day was spent in the mountains of Colorado and Utah, journeying to Salt Lake City over the Denver and Rio Grande Railway. The scenery was very beautiful, picturesque and interesting. The convulsions of nature which threw up those great mountain ranges spoke to us of a Power Divine, while beautiful mountain flowers told of the same Divine Power exercised in a more pacific manner. It was a day of rest from oral preaching, affording us an opportunity for preparing sermons for future use. Our faithful stenographer, Brother Rutherford, Jr., materially assisted in the work.
Our one-day stop here, Wednesday, June 21, was an interesting and profitable one. The city is very beautiful and prosperous looking. Our morning services (a rally and testimony meeting) adjourned in time for us to attend the organ recital in the Mormon Tabernacle, an immense structure with a seating capacity of five thousand. The organ and recital interested us greatly; the music was very fine.
Our afternoon meeting was a symposium on the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. Several participated, our own part being the conclusion. The evening meeting at Salt Lake Theater was crowded, nearly two thousand being present. The interest was great. Close attention was given by the mixed audience of all denominations. It is our opinion that Mormons are as honest as others – more honest than many. We understand that their institution, while financially strong, is theologically weakened; that is to say, the original doctrine of Mormonism is being called in question by newer elements, differently educated than their fathers. We trust that some good fruitage may result from the meetings. The class of Bible Students there is quite small.
Here the class of Truth friends number about one hundred and twenty-five. It is a zealous class in many respects. They had all worked hard for the convention, and the Divine blessing made it a great success. Those in attendance at the meetings of the interested numbered nearly six hundred, and included friends from nearby places as well as our touring party. The forenoon was given to testimonies, our own being the concluding one of about half an hour. In the afternoon, by request, we had a meeting for the consecration of children; about thirty-five children were presented. A Question meeting followed. The questions were good and were answered to the best of our ability.
The evening meeting for the public was in the Auditorium, our topic being "The Great Hereafter." About three thousand people were present, including those on the platform. An overflow meeting was held in another room in the same building. It was addressed by Brother Sexton. At the conclusion of our discourse in the main auditorium, we gave a further half-hour talk to the overflow meeting, the conclusion of the service being at nearly 11 o'clock. Here again the people heard with great earnestness, as though they were hungry. Again we had proof of the Word of the Lord to the effect that there is a famine in the land; not a famine for bread nor for water, but a famine for the hearing of the Word of the Lord.
About sixty Los Angeles friends journeyed with us to Santa Cruz, and the following day to San Francisco; some even accompanied us as far as Sacramento, contributing to our pleasure and to the success of the meetings.
Our train was delayed in reaching Santa Cruz, where there is but a small class of Bible Students. We had a very enjoyable time, however. Our afternoon meeting was held in the Casino Theater, at the beach, where the friends rested meanwhile. At the hour appointed for the public service, we discussed "The Hereafter" to a very intelligent audience, numbering about a thousand. Close attention was given for two hours, and we hope the interest will prove abiding. Following the service, the speaker was escorted by some local friends in an automobile to a park of big trees, where some pictures were taken and a bountiful supper enjoyed. A delightful ride returned us to Santa Cruz, where we had a meeting for the interested, which concluded the day.
Sunday, June 25, was an interesting day for the Truth friends at San Francisco. The Bible Students here are very energetic and surely worked hard for the attainment of the good results achieved. The afternoon service for the public at 3 o'clock was splendidly attended by about four thousand, our topic being "Hereafter." We had close attention. The evening service on "Zionism, the Hope of the World," was less advertised, but there was a good attendance also, about one-half that of the afternoon service. Those present in the afternoon (kept late and filled full) had little time or inclination to hear further the same day.
At the evening meeting it was estimated that about five hundred Jews were present. They heard very coldly and cautiously until we were about half through, when their interest seemed to grow. When they heard things respecting their nation and its history, and the outworking [R4862 : page 231] of prophetic promises, they were apparently greatly interested. We feel here like reminding our readers afresh that we are not to expect any considerable number of Jews to manifest interest in Present Truth now. We hope for them that the message they are now hearing will direct their hearts and minds and prayers toward God and the Holy Scriptures, and thus prepare them for further glorious experiences in the midst of troubles in the near future. We remind you afresh that it is our expectation that the interest of the Jews will really come in the midst of the time of trouble, and that the Great Company will have the opportunity and honor of leading them to a fuller appreciation of the Divine Program, with the Messianic Seed of Abraham on the spirit plane, and the Jews in conjunction with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Prophets on the earthly plane, to bless the world of mankind.
Monday was given to Oakland, which lies just across the bay from San Francisco. In many respects, the two classes are one – their interests at least co-operated happily with our program for the day. Our first meeting was with the Elders and Deacons of the two classes, numbering about thirty. It was a pleasant experience and lasted for nearly two hours. We talked of the local interests of the work and the best methods of promoting them. At 10 o'clock there was a general rally and testimony meeting which we could not attend. The First Baptist Church was at our disposal for the entire day. Its capacity is estimated at fifteen hundred.
At 2 p.m. we gave a talk on the propriety of parents consecrating their children to the Lord. We reminded our hearers of how the Jewish parents had a custom of consecrating their male children to the Lord by a circumcision ceremony. We reminded them that many Christian denominations practice infant sprinkling with really the significance of consecration. We pointed out the unscripturalness of infant sprinkling, because it is understood to mean baptism and to be performed instead of it, baptism being prescribed in the Bible only for the consecrated believers. We reminded our hearers of how the parents of Samuel had specially presented him to the Lord for service. We called their attention to how Jewish mothers brought their children to our Lord, desiring them to be blessed.
We explained that there is nothing in the nature of a command in connection with such consecration of children – at very most it is a privilege, an opportunity to such as may desire to avail themselves of it without the slightest reflection against those who might think and act differently. We recommended that it be considered applicable only to children who have not reached maturity of judgment so as to have a will of their own in such a matter. We suggested that, later in life, children coming to know that they have been devoted to the Lord in infancy might to some extent gain a measure of blessing in this connection. We suggested to the parents that we hoped that the consecration of their children formally to the Lord would help to impress upon them their responsibility toward their children and toward the Lord – furthermore, from this standpoint they might be helped to a fuller acknowledgment of the Divine will in respect to the child – for sickness or health, for life or death, for interests great and small. Approximately forty-two participated in the Consecration and its prayer for Divine blessing.
Next came a discourse on Baptism, which was followed by the symbolical immersion of forty-three. We learned afterward that three Baptist Ministers were in the audience and that one of them in particular was very angry because we had intimated that water baptism was the door into the Baptist church, so that none were permitted to partake of the Lord's Supper or be classed as members of the Church of Christ unless immersed in water. Thus we intimated also that their theory is that all others, not immersed, not being members of the Church of Christ, cannot be partakers of His blessings – one of which is the heavenly estate, and that all unimmersed, therefore, are lost, by which Baptists in general must mean that Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Methodists, Lutherans and others, not immersed, will spend eternity in torment. We certainly had no unkind intentions, but on the contrary endeavored to choose such words as would express the Truth in the least offensive form. One member of the church thanked us, rejoicing that her daughter had been led by the discourse to give her heart to the Lord.
The church was crowded for the night service, and approximately two hundred of the friends of the Truth gave place to strangers and constituted an overflow meeting, which was held in a Disciple Church nearby.
Tuesday, June 27, found our party at Sacramento, where the class of Bible Students numbers about twenty. The first session of the morning was a Testimony Meeting. This was followed by a talk on Baptism by Brother Swingle, three being immersed later in the day. In the afternoon we had a symposium, participated in by twelve brethren, our own talk in conclusion being based upon a colloquy between Moses and the Lord: "If thou go not up with us send us not up hence"; and the Lord's reply: "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you peace." The evening meeting, topic "Hereafter," was held in Clunie Theater. A splendid audience of about a thousand was present, and the closeness of the attention could scarcely be exceeded. We will hope for some good results and some encouraging reports. At all events the dear friends at Sacramento, ourself and touring party may well rest contented that, having done what we could, the matter is in the Lord's hands, for His over-ruling according to His own will.
We are writing this report on the day following the Sacramento meetings, as we are en route for Portland. Mt. Shasta has been in sight for several hours, its snowy peak rising fourteen thousand four hundred feet above the sea level. Our train stopped for a few minutes at Shasta Springs, allowing us to drink of the effervescent waters. We anticipated the pleasure of meeting a company of friends assembled on the railway platform at Ashland, Oregon, but our special arrived nearly two hours ahead of schedule, so we missed all but two. One dear brother met us at another station. He had ridden nearly seven miles on a bicycle. We would have had but a few minutes with them, but would have been glad to greet them and to receive their greetings in return. We spelled our disappointment with an h instead of a d. How wonderful the Spirit of the Lord, in His people of every nation, kindred, tongue and place – manifesting love for the Lord, the Truth and the brethren!
We had a fine time at Portland. All along the Pacific coast the weather was cool and bracing. The attendance at the meetings for the interested in Portland averaged about four hundred, while the public service at the Auditorium on Thursday night had about fifteen hundred in [R4862 : page 232] attendance. Friday night was a question meeting with an attendance of about seven hundred. Their questions were unusually good, and the entire audience seemed deeply interested in the answers. The meeting lasted for two hours, some remaining with other questions. Brother Bohnet was to follow us the following Sunday. We feel sure that the work in Portland is making considerable progress.
Saturday, July 1, was devoted to Tacoma. Nowhere have we had more interesting meetings. The Tacoma Theatre was crowded, a remarkable thing for a religious meeting on Saturday night. About two thousand were present. The meetings for the interested were precious ones, and attended by about three hundred and fifty. The city seemed to have been greatly stirred.
We were warmly welcomed here, also. About five hundred attended the meetings for the interested. Some of these came with our party from Portland and Tacoma. Others came to meet us from Victoria and Vancouver. We had a splendid season of spiritual fellowship and refreshment, which concluded Monday night with a love feast, although the convention was carried over a day after our leaving. Two of our party remained to give addresses. About twenty-five children were presented in consecration to the Lord, and eighteen adults were immersed. Here again Brother Morton Edgar gave a discourse on the Pyramid. Brother Swingle preached the baptism sermon, and Brother Ritchie gave the address preceding the love feast.
The Sunday service consisted of a rally and testimony meeting, participated in by many. Then followed our Sunday morning discourse, which already has been published in the newspapers, topic, "The Two Babylons." The afternoon meeting for the public drew a crowded house, estimated at twenty-two hundred. We had excellent attention for two hours. The evening service in the same place was for questions, about a thousand being present. Questions were good, the interest was excellent, many hearing for the first time some of the things of the Word of the Lord explained.
Wednesday morning, July 4, we proceeded by steamer to Victoria. The ride was a very enjoyable one, cool and bracing, and our hearts were full of love for the Lord [R4863 : page 232] and for each other, and with a strong, sympathetic love for neighbors and enemies. We were thus prepared to enjoy all the experiences which came to us in the Lord's providence.
Our arrival at Victoria was in time to enjoy an afternoon service with the interested, and to give an evening address to the public, on "Hereafter." Our topic to the interested was, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." (I John 3:14.) We pointed out that a true loyalty to God includes a love for all those whom He has recognized by the begetting of the Holy Spirit, and is a part of our loyalty to Him and to the Captain of our Salvation. We pointed out, also, that the brethren are not always lovable, so that the loving of them all implies a considerable growth in grace. We noticed that such a growth in grace implies frequent polishings and much instruction in the School of Christ, and in the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. We noticed that it is more difficult, sometimes, to exercise meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit, toward the brethren than toward others. We found from our text that such a development of character, in the heart, at least in the will, is essential, and that without it we lack a strong proof of our acceptance of the Lord as New Creatures in Christ.
A night's ride on the boat brought us to our next convention stop. Here, also, we were warmly and cordially greeted by the friends. The class here numbers about seventy; about a hundred were in attendance from outlying districts, besides about one hundred and seventy of our excursion party, making a total of about three hundred and fifty. We had a blessed season of fellowship together, very interesting testimony meetings, etc.
The service for the public in the evening had been thoroughly advertised, and was held in the city's largest auditorium. The numbers present were estimated at between three thousand and four thousand. The interest was good, notwithstanding the slight interruption by a socialist, who wanted his good things right away instead of waiting for the Lord's "times of restitution." His disregard for the rights of others brought upon him the police, who arrested him. We declined, however, to give any information against him, so that probably he lost his liberty for the one night only. The audience in general manifested deep interest in the "Hereafter," as presented. We trust that much studying of the Bible and prayer will be the result.
This is one of the new, booming cities of the Northwest. Although nearly everybody there is overcharged with a love for money and a desire to make it quickly, in real estate, we had an excellent meeting with about a thousand in attendance – an excellent showing, under all circumstances. We had a very attentive hearing, and we trust that good was accomplished. The class here numbers about twenty. We had a very interesting, and we trust profitable fellowship with the interested.
Our train made an unexpected stop at Regina, the capital of the Province of Saskatchewan. We arrived at 3 p.m. and left at 8:30. The brethren of our party were equal to the emergency, and we had a public meeting, beginning at 6:45. They engaged the City Hall, had bills printed and circulated them far and wide. The result was a splendid audience for the little city, and under the circumstances. About four hundred and fifty were in attendance. The editor of one of the local papers introduced us and we had a splendid hearing, from which we trust some fruitage will result. The entire matter seemed to be of Divine providence. A local minister of the Presbyterian church was with us on the platform and expressed himself as deeply interested; said that he was reading the sermons in the newspapers, and that he had read four volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. He expressed great satisfaction with what he heard. One of our audience came to the platform to shake hands, after the service. To our surprise it was the pastor of one of the principal Baptist churches of London, England, located near the London Tabernacle. It seems remarkable that we should meet as we did five thousand miles distant from where we both sat on the platform at the Guild Hall meeting, held by the Lord Mayor of London for the endorsement of President Taft's suggestion of the [R4863 : page 233] peace pact between the United States and Great Britain.
We visited Winnipeg a year and a half ago, and were pleased to re-visit it. The class there has grown considerably, notwithstanding it has lost numerous of its members by removal. It now numbers about thirty-five. Meetings for the interested were attended by about four hundred, and we believe they were very profitable. About thirty were baptized and about twenty-five children presented in consecration. The evening meeting for the public was a success every way. A good theater had been obtained; thorough advertising had been done; a large audience of about two thousand was present, and we had closest attention to our discourse on "Hereafter." In the evening we had a question meeting which had not been previously announced. A thousand were in attendance. The questions were excellent. At ten o'clock we left it to the audience to express themselves by raising the hand whether or not they desired the service to be continued. About six hundred hands went up, and we continued the service until about twenty minutes to eleven, we trust with good results.
Tuesday, July 11, was spent in Duluth. We were hospitably entertained, as usual. The class here numbers about twenty; about sixty were present from various parts. We missed our trainload of helpers who stopped, instead, at Minneapolis, and went from thence to the conclusion of their journey, Chicago. At Duluth we had a baptism service at which eighteen were immersed. Our subject for the occasion was: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." – Col. 3:1.
The meeting for the public was a success. The advertising had been well and thoroughly done. The audience numbered about seven hundred, which for a week night, in the summer time, was certainly extraordinary.
This stop was not scheduled, but we found that we could make it and still be able to keep our appointment at Toronto – reaching there on Sunday morning. Although the friends at Port Huron had but a brief notice of our coming, we received a warm welcome.
A good crowd was in attendance, some coming from Detroit. We had an interesting session in the afternoon with the interested, considering the text, "If ye, then, be risen with Christ seek those things which are above." In the evening the public was fairly well represented – about three hundred being present. We considered this excellent for a Saturday night meeting that had an unfavorable announcement.
Our last stop was at Toronto. The convention had already been in session a day before we arrived. The attendance was nearly six hundred, from all parts of Canada. Some said it was the very best convention of their lives. The Sunday afternoon session for the public had been thoroughly advertised, and the largest auditorium in the city had been secured – Massey Hall. It was jammed with about four thousand people, and they said that nearly two thousand were turned from the doors. Unfortunately, the acoustics of the building are not the best, and some, unable to hear satisfactorily, in going out disturbed others. Nevertheless the meeting, we believe, was a grand success. Some testimonies which reached our ears implied that the Truth had struck home in some instances. The newspapers gave good reports also.
The evening meeting was largely Jewish, and the attendance was estimated at nearly two thousand. We had excellent attention to our subject, "Zionism, the Hope of the World." Some brethren, circulating among the interested ones, took subscriptions for THE WATCH TOWER, and orders for STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES from some who had heard for the first time.
We arrived home early July 18. We met the Bethel family at noon. Some special flowers had been arranged, and as we entered the room all arose and joined in singing, "Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love." We gave thanks to the Lord, related briefly our experiences, and proceeded with dinner. We expressed ourselves as pleased with the trip and also pleased to be back again at the Central Depot of the Harvest Work.
But He is now imputing this merit to a little class, so that this class may be made acceptable to the Father, to participate in the sufferings of Christ and to have fellowship with Him also, in His glory, in His great Office as Mediator between God and men. Thus the Church becomes a part of the Sin-Offering. This does not imply, however, that she has a share in the ransom; for one man – not many men – was the ransom-price. The Church's share, therefore, as part of the Sin-Offering, is not to be confounded with our Lord's ransom-price. Even in the sin-offering, the Church does not offer (sacrifice) the Sin-Offering. In the typical picture the high priest offered (sacrificed) both the bullock and the goat. It is not that the high priest offered the bullock and the underpriests offered the goat – as though we offer ourselves. The utmost that we can do is to consecrate ourselves to be willing sacrifices. It then remains for the High Priest to come forth and impute a sufficiency of His merit to make an acceptable sacrifice of this class represented by the goat.
Thus it is seen that we do not share in the Sin-Offering in the same sense as did our Lord. His offering was of two parts, the bullock and the goat – representing His own person and the persons of His followers. Where, then, [R4864 : page 234] does the Church appear? We answer that, not the Church, but the human beings which have offered (presented) themselves are represented in the goat. When our sacrifice takes place, the personal offering of the High Priest having been accepted, we are counted in as a part of His sacrifice, and are accepted as His members and His Under-Priests. From that time on, as His members, we have participation with Him in everything, sacrificially and otherwise. But we have no personal identity in the Holy. The New Creature that is in the Holy is a member of the Body of the High Priest, under His robe, under His merit, in the Divine arrangement.
Nowhere in the Scriptures is the thought presented that we, the Church, will follow our Lord into the Most Holy, as under-priests, and there sprinkle our blood in the Most Holy, as the typical high priest sprinkled the blood of the bullock. On the contrary, the high priest alone sprinkled, first, the blood of the bullock and, later, the blood of the goat. Consequently, we, as individuals, have nothing to do with the antitypical sprinkling of the blood. Our individuality, as human beings, is lost as we become members of the great High Priest and take His Name. But we do not mean to say that we shall have no individuality beyond the veil; for the Scriptures assure us that we shall be like Him. (I John 3:2.) The thought is that we shall have no individuality in respect to the glorious Office. There is but the one Melchizedek Priest. All others are lost sight of. There will be not only a Priestly, but also a Kingly Office, both of which we shall share in our relationship to Him. But any association that we have in the work of Sin-Offering, from the Divine standpoint, is all accredited to Christ and included in the work of Christ; and we are members of Him. It is to be remembered that the participation of the Church in the Sin-Offering is not, in any sense of the word, a necessity for the satisfaction of Justice, but because the Divine Plan has been so arranged as to permit us to share with Christ His glorious, higher nature and work. The participation in the suffering is purely a favor to the Church and is entirely unnecessary. It is, therefore, a wonderful favor bestowed upon us, that we might be privileged to be associated with Christ. His death and His alone was necessary for the satisfaction of Divine Justice.
It is important that we have clearly in mind the difference between the work of presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, and our Lord's work, as the great High Priest, in offering us sacrificially. The two acts seem to be distinctly separate, as shown in the type. There the goat was brought and presented at the door of the Tabernacle and tied, picturing the Covenant of Sacrifice which we make. (Psa. 50:5; 118:27.) But the goat had not yet been offered, and no one but the high priest was qualified to make the offering. The work of the high priest in killing the goat was the only offering, in the Scriptural sense of the word.
Even after we have presented ourselves acceptably to the Father, and after we have become New Creatures, living members of Christ's Body and members of the Royal Priesthood, there is a continuous work going on – the presenting of ourselves daily. So the Lord Jesus has continued the offering all through the Gospel Age. At the end of this Age, He will finally complete the offering, which will all be considered as one; and the New Creatures will all be admitted to the Most Holy as members of His Body. It is important that we keep in mind that the sacrifice which God has accepted must continue to be presented. If ever our Lord, through our unfaithfulness, should abandon the sacrifice and let go of us, we would fail utterly. The sacrifice would be incomplete.
If it be true that the Church has no merit and that the Church's sacrifice does not enter meritoriously into the matter of the satisfaction of Justice, that it is merely the merit of Christ that does so, and that we disappear, as individuals, after consecrating ourselves, what shall we say in respect to the Great Company and the fact that the iniquities and trespasses of the people were laid upon the scapegoat, which typifies that class? Is there more efficacy and merit in the scapegoat than in the Lord's goat?
We answer, the atonement for sin was accomplished by the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement, and these sacrifices were only the two – the bullock and the Lord's goat. With the blood of these two animals atonement was made for the sins of the priests and the Levites and all the people.
When the two Sin-Offerings were accepted, the atonement for sin was finished. In the antitype, this will mean that the life of the man Adam and his race is purchased back from condemnation. The "great company" class had neither part nor lot in the Sin-Offering. They had the opportunity, but they failed to go on until the sacrifice was completed; therefore, they failed to be of the priesthood. Those sins of the people that were not atoned for by the high priest, with the blood of the bullock and of the goat, were not Adamic sin. The question, then, is, What sins were they? We answer that the sin not atoned for was conduct that was reprehensible, sins that had been committed with more or less intelligence or responsibility, as, for instance, the killing of the Prophets and the crucifixion of our Lord. Although there was a certain amount of ignorance, nevertheless the Jews and their leaders were largely responsible for the death of the Prophets and of our Lord. So there have been many similar instances of violence against the Lord's saints, down through this Gospel Age; and in proportion to the intelligence of the guilty, the world has been more or less responsible for all these violations of Justice. Thus no one is released from responsibility who does anything against any of these "little ones," as the Lord calls them.
In the Lord's arrangement these sins of the world, the sins outside of sins of ignorance, sins against the Lord's people, must be settled for and cancelled in the "great time of trouble" upon the world. The Lord's arrangement is that the "great company" class shall have a special trial and testing and shall be forced forward in the time of trouble, inasmuch as they did not carry out their covenant of sacrifice willingly. Hence the Divine provision that their flesh must be destroyed in this manner. Apparently the Lord would say, "We will allow this 'great company' class to participate in this time of trouble and suffering upon the world, so that the world will have that much less to suffer later." This principle would apply to the "great company" class all down through the Age. All must have had their flesh destroyed by suffering. But we know that they have been few in number in the past as compared with the number in the end of this Age.
We must remember that the types of the Law Covenant were arranged to represent matters as they would be seen by us in the conclusion of the antitypical Day of Atonement, and not to represent the things as they would be seen while they were in progress. In the type, first, the Levites were chosen, and afterward some were selected to be priests. Just so with us. Today we might be of the priestly class; and later we might lose our standing and become merely Levites, of the servant class. We [R4864 : page 235] might, for a time, be of the "Lord's goat" class, and, through carelessness in performing our sacrifices, lose our place in the sacrificial class. Some one might take our crown and we might be thus relegated to the "great company." So these things represent the results as they will be in the end of this Age. There will be a "great company" class, which will bear certain iniquities.
In the type the under priests were representatives of the high priest in that they were his sons, his family, his body. When he had finished his sacrifice of the bullock, [R4865 : page 235] he went into the "Most Holy," typically representing the ascension of our Lord and the Father's manifested acceptance of the Church sacrificed at Pentecost and since. When the sacrifice of those who are of the consecrated class is accepted of the Lord, then it is true of this class, "Ye are dead." The life of the antitypical goat is ended. "Your [new] life is hid in Christ by God." – Col. 3:3.
We have not entered the Holy as individuals. The privileges and blessings which we enjoy are ours as members of the Body of Christ. Whenever the Scripture speaks of the Priest, it refers to but one Priest. The others were privileged to assist, but neither to go into the Tabernacle, individually, on the Day of Atonement, nor to sprinkle the blood nor to offer the Sin-Offering.
We have seen that those who are of the "little flock," the Royal Priesthood, might, through failure to live up to the terms of their consecration, be rejected from the priesthood and become merely of the servant class, ordinary Levites. The question might arise, Could these, after being relegated to the "great company" class, be reinstated and accepted to the priestly class again? Our answer is, No. This picture of the Atonement Day shows the matter as it will be in the conclusion of the antitypical Day of Atonement. God, who knows the heart, never relegates any one to the "servant" class until that person shows that he has not the proper spirit to be a true "overcomer." The decision being once given, the Divine wisdom, foreknowing and foreseeing, would not reverse it. He could not err in His judgment that the person would not be fit for a place in the Bride class.
Those who are of the sacrificing class should know that they are sacrificing and what is their relationship to the Lord. While they cannot be so positive about others, yet they ought to know about themselves. Concerning those who will be of the "great company" class they may not be able to judge. It would seem, however, that there would be certain evidences by which we might have some measure of judgment on the subject; as, for instance, in Revelation 19, it is shown that there are those who are disposed to remain in Babylon after having heard the call to "come out of her." We may infer that any brother or sister in Babylon who understands the call of God should obey. It is the duty of all those who appreciate the light of present Truth to do this. Any of these who, under these circumstances, should continue in Babylon indefinitely, would be there probably because of their failure to have sufficient courage to be sacrificed, because desiring the approval of men, or family, or whatever. These things would stand in their way and hinder them from attaining the glory, honor and immortality with their Lord. Such will not be permitted to enter into the Kingdom glory, for they have not a sufficiency of the spirit of overcomers. They have some of this spirit, but not sufficient; they are lukewarm.
It is very improper, however, for the Lord's people to give time and attention to specially judging people. If we know of a dear brother or sister in the nominal church, we could wish that he or she would come out. But we are to remember that we are not sufficiently able to judge to say that he or she is of the "great company" class. Some persons who have been quite awhile under just such conditions have stepped out suddenly and shown wonderful courage thereafter.
"Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake." – Matt. 5:11.
There have been persecutions from the earliest dawn of history. Cain persecuted his brother Abel to the death because the latter was right and the persecutor was wrong. It is safe to say that the persecutors are always wrong even if we cannot say that the persecuted are always right. The principle of persecution is a wrong one. Whoever, therefore, finds himself disposed to persecute another, either with physical torture or by harassings of slander and epithets should immediately inquire respecting his own heart condition, for there is surely something wrong. Whoever witnesses persecution, either physical or slanderous, should immediately decide that the persecutor is in error and should give his sympathy to the persecuted if he be able to do no more. He will thus be cultivating in his own mind a principle of justice – righteousness – which will make for his own character-development.
Today's study draws our attention to the persecutions endured by one of the Lord's faithful Prophets. He was a patriot in the highest sense of the word, namely, in that he looked for the highest good of his nation along the lines of Divine wisdom. His principle was "God First," and he knew that only this procedure could bring Divine blessings to his nation. He was of course misunderstood by the king and his counsellors. They did not like him because he told the truth, and that fearlessly – they preferred prophets who would tell them of their own wisdom, greatness and the success of their policies.
At the time of this study Zedekiah was on the throne. He was a vassal to Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Chaldeans, whose seat of empire was to the north. Hoping for assistance from Egypt on the south, Judah revolted, contrary to the warning of the Lord through Jeremiah. The Chaldeans laid siege, and the Egyptian army started for their deliverance.
The siege was temporarily raised and the hopes of [R4865 : page 236] Judah rose. Nevertheless, Jeremiah persisted in declaring as at first that the end of the kingdom was near, that they would be swallowed up in Babylon.
Selfwilled, the king and his princes esteemed Jeremiah as a traitor to the nation, and their opponent. Alas! they should have realized that the nation was God's and that Jeremiah alone was standing faithfully with the great King.
When the Chaldean army had withdrawn from the siege, Jeremiah concluded to cast in his lot with some of the nation living outside the city walls – in the portion of the tribe of Benjamin. Attempting to carry out this program, he was arrested on the charge of disloyalty, that he had given himself over to co-work with the Chaldeans against the interests of his own land. Although he denied the charge he was put into prison.
Jerusalem was honeycombed with underground cisterns and vaults, arched overhead, and these were called "cabins." They were designed to be reservoirs for water in time of drouth or in time of siege. The bottoms of these "cabins," or cisterns, after the removal of the water, were frequently deep with mud and slime. The next chapter tells us of the terrible condition of the dungeon into which Jeremiah was put. We read, "They let down Jeremiah with cords, and in the dungeon there was no water but mire; so Jeremiah sank in the mire." When finally they drew him out, we read they took "old cast-off clouts and rotten rags and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah," who put them under his arms and was drawn up. In this dungeon the Prophet remained "many days."
Not from sympathy, not from righteousness, but from a desire to inquire of the Prophet respecting the future, the king had him taken out of the dungeon. However much the king despised Jeremiah and refused to recognize his words, he, nevertheless, in his heart, realized that he was a servant of Jehovah, and he feared that his message was true.
The Prophet's courage in answering the king's question is very praiseworthy. He altered not a word of what he had previously told. In a kind way he urged the king not to heed the contrary prophecies, stating that his own dire statements must be true because they were the Word of the Lord.
At his entreaty he was no longer put down into the mud bottom of the cistern, but was allowed to remain a prisoner in the court of the prison, and was granted daily a loaf of bread for his sustenance.
When thinking of prisons and of their forms of persecution, physical and mental, it is well that we remember [R4866 : page 236] that the mental attitude of the one persecuted has much to do with the amount of the sufferings. As, for instance, Jeremiah in his dungeon, with all those unhappy surroundings, had a mind at peace with God, whereas the very king who caused him to be put in prison, a little later, captured by the Chaldeans, had his sight destroyed and was put into a dungeon. Poor man! Disappointed in everything, with no human sympathy and no fellowship with the Almighty, his must have been a terrible dungeon experience.
We are reminded of others who were put into prison for righteousness' sake – Saints Peter and John, Saints Paul and Silas. The world can never understand the power which, operating in these men, enabled them to rejoice in persecutions. With their backs bleeding from the whips of torture and hands and feet fast in the stocks, most uncomfortable, they were yet able to sing praise to God for the privilege they enjoyed of suffering with Christ, suffering for righteousness' sake, and thus filling up a share of the sufferings of Christ. Such characters we are to emulate. We are to understand that such joy and peace in the midst of sorrow and persecution can come only from the Lord.
The Master's words in our text apply yesterday, today and tomorrow – so long as the reign of evil is permitted – "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake." But to be worthy of this blessing, and to receive it means to develop and possess a character which the enemies of righteousness would deem worthy of persecution. The Scriptures declare that persecution will be the portion of the faithful people of God throughout this Age – until the establishment of the Kingdom of Messiah. Under the new regime suffering for righteousness will not be possible. Mark the Apostle's words, "Whosoever will live godly in this present time shall suffer persecution." To live godly means, not merely to abstain from vicious and overt sin, but to be a hero in the strife, a defender of the right and an opposer of the wrong – a servant of righteousness, a soldier of the cross.
"Be sure your sin will find you out." – Num. 32:23.
The punishment was after the manner of the time, illustrated on some of the victory tablets which still remain. The king's eyes were put out and, a blind prisoner, he was taken to Babylon. Thus were fulfilled two very striking prophecies which, until fulfilled, seemed quite contradictory. In this we get a lesson of how carefully we should study Divine prophecy, and how faithfully we should trust its every detail if we would receive light instead of darkness.
One of these prophecies respecting Zedekiah is found in Ezekiel 12:10-13. The other is found in Jeremiah 32:3-5. Ezekiel declared that king Zedekiah would be taken to Babylon a captive, and that there he would live and there die, and yet again declared that he would never see the city, apparently a contradiction. Jeremiah predicted the downfall of Jerusalem, declaring that [R4866 : page 237] Zedekiah would speak with Nebuchadnezzar mouth to mouth and see his eyes. This seemed to contradict Ezekiel's statement, for if he would speak with the king mouth to mouth and see him eye to eye, how would it be possible that he would not see the city of Babylon?
The fulfillment met all the requirements. King Zedekiah saw Nebuchadnezzar and spoke to him at Riblah in Palestine. His sight was there taken from him and he was taken a prisoner to Babylon. He lived and died in Babylon but saw it not.
"In the Bas Reliefs, representing the capture of Lachish by Sennacherib, the prisoners are represented, some pegged down to the ground to be flayed alive – others having their eyes put out. In one of the sculptures at Khossabad, Sargon represents himself in person holding a prisoner by a thong attached to a ring passed through his under lip. The victim kneels before him, while with a spear he pierces his eyes. Others are chained and, with hooks through their lips, are held awaiting their turn. In other cases the king slays the prisoner with his own spear. In another an executioner flays a captive chained to a wall. It was especially in Persia that the cruel practice of blinding prisoners prevailed, and it is mentioned by most Greek historians. In Turkey it was formerly the custom for a Sultan on his accession either to slaughter or blind his half brothers that he might have no rivals or dangerous ones near his throne. In modern Persia the Shahs have invariably, even up to the present century, put out the eyes of all their brothers who did not escape in time to distant provinces." – Canon Tristran.
Our forefathers were once savage and presumably as cruel and as heartless as those described by the Canon. Thank God for a civilization which to a large extent has lifted "Christendom" to a higher plane of civilization – to greater moderation in dealing with foes – to a greater degree of human sympathy! Thank God that the prisons of today are reformatories instead of dungeons! Thank God that we are gradually realizing that as a race we were born in sin and shapen in iniquity! (Psa. 51:5.) The realization of this is helping to make us sympathetic to the depraved and degraded – not to the extent of approving their wrong, but to the extent of attempting to intelligently assist them to better mental views and to better self-control.
To what, therefore, shall we give the credit of our progress and civilization? We cannot give the credit to any church, sect or party. We must honestly acknowledge that every sect, in its turn, has displayed more or less of bitterness, bigotry, superstition and persecution – contrary even to its own standards. In the last analysis we must admit that the great influence which has moulded the civilization of our day has come to us from the words and example of "the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (I Tim. 2:6.) The great Truths which He uttered have come echoing down the centuries, speaking righteousness, peace and love, even for our enemies. Everywhere His "Wonderful Words of Life" have made an impression, and here and there have effected the transformation of character.
We should more and more feel our obligation to the great truths which come to us from the Bible, and less and less obligation to the sects and parties which have quarrelled and battled over those Words of Life.
Thus, gradually, we will come to discern the truth of the Bible declaration, namely, that there is but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, and one Church of the living God, the Church of the First-Borns, whose names are written in heaven. These, found scattered in all the denominations and outside of all, constitute the saintly few who have the promise of the First Resurrection, as joint-heirs with the Messiah in His glorious Kingdom which will soon be established in the earth and enforce righteousness.
"Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." – Psalm 34:14.
God of course knew the end from the beginning. Nevertheless, Divine patience was manifested throughout the experiences of the nation leading up to the overthrow of Zedekiah's government – he being the last king of the line of David to sit on the throne. We have seen how evil followed good, in the kings and in the practices of the nation; and how Divine providence chastened the people, yet repeatedly brought them back from idolatry. Now had come the time for the complete overthrow of the national polity, for a period of "seven times," or seven years, as foretold by Moses. In this case, however, the years must have been symbolic, because frequently they had captivities of more than seven years. Accepting, then, as a fact, that these seven years or "times" were symbolic years, how long a period would they indicate?
It is an accepted fact that in Bible symbolism each day represents a year; and the Jewish year had twelve months of thirty days each. Thus each year represented, symbolically, three hundred and sixty years; and the seven years of chastisement represented 7 x 360 = 2,520 years.
When, therefore, we read that the kingdom would be "overturned, overturned," until Messiah should come, we are to understand that the period of the overturned condition, as a whole, would be 2,520 years, beginning with the time the crown was taken from Zedekiah – in 606 B.C. (70 years prior to the proclamation of Cyrus permitting the people to return – 536 B.C.).
It is always interesting and profitable to the students of the Bible to note the fulfilment of Divine predictions. It establishes faith, it makes all of God's promises more real; it assures us of Divine supervision in respect to [R4867 : page 238] Israel's affairs, and thus gives ground for confidence also in the supervision of the affairs of Spiritual Israel – the Church.
As we look back along the aisles of history we see the fulfilment of the declaration that the nation of Israel would be overturned and overturned. After its restoration by Cyrus, B.C. 536, it continued to have a sort of national existence for 600 years; yet in all that time it had not a king of the line of David, the line of Divine promise, and it was ruled over by the various adjoining nations; as it is written, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times (years) of the Gentiles be filled full." Some may point to the Maccabean kings. We answer that they were not Divinely appointed nor of the royal family. Does some one else remind us of the reign of Herod at the time of Jesus, at the beginning of Anno Domini? We reply that the Herods were not of the line of David – they were Edomites, or of the Esau branch, who ruled over the children of Israel as the representatives of the great Roman Empire.
When God removed the typical kingdom of Israel and His typical throne in the world, as represented by David's family, he gave over the earthly dominion to the Gentiles; and this lease of power, as represented in Daniel's prophecy, was to continue for "seven times" – 2,520 years. In other words, during the same period that Israel would be having "seven times" of tribulation and subjection, the Gentiles would be having "seven times" of prosperity, and both will terminate at the same time – in 2,520 years from B.C. 606 – October, A.D. 1914, the close of the Gentile Times. If any be disposed to dispute the exactness of these figures we need have no quarrel, but simply say that any difference in the calculation must of necessity be but small – possibly one year, possibly twenty years – but in so long a period how trifling would be such a variation.
(1) The facts are as already noted in Israel's case, a national subserviency for nearly seven hundred years, and a national destruction for more than 1,800 years; and so far as the Gentiles are concerned, a prosperity for 2,520 years, as follows: – for (a) Babylon, the first Universal Empire; (b) Medo-Persia, the second Universal Empire; (c) Grecia, the third Universal Empire, and (d) Rome, the fourth Universal Empire. According to the Scriptural view of the matter this fourth Universal Empire is still represented in the Papacy and the various so-called Christian governments of the world. These have practiced and prospered during this long period of Israel's subjection and the overturned condition of God's typical kingdom.
(2) The next thing in order, following the expiration of the "seven times" (2,520 years, to 1915 A.D.), will be the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom and its recognition by the children of Israel, and the blessing of all the families of the earth.
The date, October, 1914, and the setting up of Christ's Kingdom, let us remember, have nothing whatever to do with the burning of the world, as some surmise. On the contrary, they have to do with the blessing of the world; they mark the beginning of what St. Peter styles "The times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His Holy Prophets since the world began." – Acts 3:19-23.
Answer. – In their day the antitypical Priest had not come and the antitypical Tabernacle and Court had not been established; hence, they could not be in it. But according to their hearts, as expressed in their conduct, they must have been members of the household of faith. It is our understanding that, ultimately, they may be granted a place with, and as a part of, the Great Company, the antitypical Levites of the antitypical Court condition.
Question. – "For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp." (Heb. 13:11.) Would this show that the Sin-Offering is made in the antitypical Most Holy?
Answer. – In general those who have translated anything in the Bible respecting the Tabernacle have seemingly been very careless in the use of the terms Holy, Most Holy, Holy place, etc. They did not discern that these terms were used in different senses by the Jews, in connection with different portions of the Tabernacle. Correctly translated, our text reads: "The bodies of those beasts, whose blood is taken into the Most Holy as an offering for sin, are burned without the camp." We must remember that the word "offering" is Scripturally used in two different senses. In one sense of the word, our Lord offered himself at baptism, when He gave Himself to do the Father's will. That was His offering of Himself, His gift, when He presented Himself at Jordan. He finished the offering of His gift when He laid down His life on Calvary; and that life, laid down on Calvary, is an appropriate Sin-Offering. But it remained for the High Priest to ascend up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us, to make application of the Sin-Offering. The sprinkling of the blood on the Mercy Seat was done in the Most Holy. But the presentation of that Sin-Offering was made at Jordan – or, in the type, when the bullock was slain.
Question. – "We have an altar whereof they have no right to eat which serve the Tabernacle." (Heb. 13:10.) What is meant by this passage?
Answer. – In this passage the Apostle is contrasting the Levitical priesthood, their services in the Tabernacle, and the table in the Holy at which they ate the shew bread, with the antitypical Tabernacle and its better table. In this connection he points out that, so far as the priesthood of Aaron was concerned, not only could the Church not be priests, but our Lord Jesus could not be; for this priesthood sprang from Levi, and Jesus was from another tribe, Judah. Therefore, if Jesus was on earth he could not be a priest. But now God had intended another order of Priests, namely, the Melchizedek Order, saying to David, "The Lord hath sworn and will not repent: Thou art a priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek." (Psa. 110:4; Heb. 5:6.) It is evident, then, that if Christ was to be a Priest after the Order of Melchizedek, He would not be a Priest after the order of Aaron.
When the Apostle has proved that we, as priests, have [R4868 : page 239] no right to intrude into the typical Holy or Most Holy, he then shows that they, of the house of Aaron, have no right to our place. They have no right to come into this antitypical Holy, which we enter. If they become members of the Royal Priesthood, they may enter; but their standing as members of the Aaronic priesthood does not give them the privilege. Thus he shows a discrimination between these two priesthoods, the Aaronic and the Melchizedek. We have the "better sacrifices"; we have the better services. We have, on the higher plane, everything that they had, typically, on the lower plane.
Answer. – The offering of the incense originally on the Day of Atonement by the high priest gained for him recognition by the Almighty, and manifested his worthiness to appear in the presence of God. Therefore, there was no need of his offering any other sacrifice than this. All the work of Atonement was divided into two parts. If the type had shown the under-priests as going into the Most Holy, then it would seem to have been necessary for each to stop and offer incense before entering.
We are represented, not individually, but as members of the Body of Christ. So it would not be necessary for the incense to be offered more than the one time. It would seem, however, that the incense abode in the Holy and Most Holy. The sacrifice is still appreciated by the Heavenly Father, and always will be.
Answer. – Both the incense and the blood had to do with the satisfaction of Justice. We read that the incense must cover the Mercy-Seat. (Lev. 16:13.) In other words, unless the incense had gone forth the high priest would not have lived. This shows that unless our Lord had rendered up His human life satisfactorily He would have forfeited His right to life. In consecration He had agreed to this and had surrendered His earthly life-rights. If He proved faithful to His engagement, He would receive a higher life beyond the veil. So the satisfaction of Justice, represented in type by the incense preceding the high priest beyond the veil, would be a satisfaction for Himself and would testify that He had faithfully fulfilled the required conditions.
Mt. Lake Park, Md., is a well-known Summer Resort where Camp Meetings, Bible Conferences, etc., are frequently held. It is located in the top of the Allegheny Mountains, on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Naturally the B.&O.R.R. offer the best rates, consequently visitors do best in purchasing the round-trip tickets via this road. Fortunately it is an extensive system, extending from Philadelphia in the East to St. Louis, Chicago and Cleveland in the West, and passing through many important cities. We quote below the special rates granted by the B.&O.R.R. Those residing at other points should consider the advisability of buying regular tickets to B.&O.R.R. stations, and there purchasing "I.B.S.A." Excursion tickets. Should your ticket agent not know of the special rates quoted below, ask him to inquire of his General Passenger Agent at his earliest possible convenience: –
DELAWARE Laurel...................... 7.10 Newark.....................$9.10 Mt. Airy.................... 6.10 Wilmington................. 9.45 Relay....................... 7.10 Rockville................... 6.10 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Rohersville................. 5.05 Washington................. 6.60 Sykesville.................. 6.40 Washington Grove............ 5.95 ILLINOIS Washington Junction......... 5.05 Chicago....................15.50 NEW YORK INDIANA New York City Auburn Junction............13.05 (Through us)...............12.90 Aurora.....................11.85 Garrett....................13.10 OHIO Jeffersonville.............14.35 Akron....................... 8.15 Lawrenceburg...............11.75 Athens...................... 6.40 New Albany.................14.35 Barnesville................. 5.95 Seymour....................13.65 Bellaire.................... 4.87 Wellsboro..................15.10 Blanchester................. 9.95 Cambridge................... 6.65 KENTUCKY Canal Dover................. 7.05 Louisville.................14.35 Canton...................... 8.15 Chicago Junction............ 9.40 MARYLAND Chillicothe................. 8.20 Aberdeen................... 8.30 Cincinnati..................11.10 Annapolis.................. 7.60 Cleveland................... 9.00 Baltimore.................. 7.40 Columbus.................... 8.75 Barnesville................ 5.60 Cuyahoga Falls.............. 8.15 Bradshaw................... 7.90 Defiance....................11.95 Brunswick.................. 4.90 Deshler.....................11.20 Cumberland................. 1.80 Dundas...................... 7.20 Ellicott City.............. 6.95 Elyria...................... 9.25 Frederick.................. 5.50 Fostoria....................10.50 Gaithersburg............... 5.95 Gallipolis.................. 7.95 Germantown................. 5.80 Girard...................... 8.15 Hagerstown................. 5.50 Grafton..................... 9.00 Havre de Grace............. 8.30 Greenfield.................. 8.90 Hyattsville................ 6.80 Hamden...................... 7.35 Keedysville................ 5.20 Hillsboro...................10.55page 239
Jackson.................... 7.70 Foxburg..................... 8.90 Kent....................... 8.15 Hyndman..................... 2.20 Lorain..................... 9.45 Johnstown................... 4.60 Loveland...................10.40 McKeesport.................. 5.85 Mansfield.................. 9.40 Meyersville................. 2.90 Marietta................... 5.30 New Castle.................. 7.65 Massillon.................. 7.55 Philadelphia................10.20 Medina..................... 8.60 Pittsburg................... 6.30 Midland City............... 9.80 Scott Haven................. 5.35 Monroeville................ 9.75 Uniontown................... 4.25 Mount Sterling............. 9.15 Washington.................. 5.70 Mount Vernon............... 8.90 West Newton................. 5.40 Newark..................... 8.15 New Philadelphia........... 7.05 VIRGINIA Portsmouth................. 9.00 Norfolk.....................10.60 Ravenna.................... 8.15 Old Point Comfort...........10.60 Sabina..................... 9.45 Portsmouth..................10.60 Sandusky...................10.20 Strasburg Junction.......... 6.35 Shelby..................... 9.40 Winchester.................. 5.75 Sterling................... 8.25 Tiffin.....................10.15 WEST VIRGINIA Uhrichsville............... 6.75 Berkeley Springs............ 3.75 Warren..................... 8.15 Cameron..................... 3.90 Warwick.................... 7.90 Charlestown................. 5.05 Washington C.H............. 9.15 Clarksburg.................. 2.40 Wellston................... 7.40 Fairmont.................... 2.45 West Farmington............ 8.55 Grafton..................... 1.75 Wilmington................. 9.80 Harpers Ferry............... 4.70 Youngstown................. 8.15 Huntington.................. 8.80 Zanesville................. 7.40 Kenova...................... 9.05 Mannington.................. 2.95 PENNSYLVANIA Martinsburg................. 4.15 Berlin..................... 3.30 Morgantown.................. 3.30 Braddock................... 6.00 Moundsville................. 4.40 Butler..................... 7.55 Parkersburg................. 4.85 Chester.................... 9.85 Point Pleasant.............. 7.50 Connellsville.............. 4.65 Shenandoah Junction......... 4.45 Ellwood City............... 7.65 Wheeling.................... 4.75
Other railroads have granted our Convention round-trip tickets for one fare and a half. These tickets are straight and require no validation or stamping at destination. Some railroads grant a "Summer Tourist Excursion" rate to Mt. Lake Park from distant points, such as California, Texas, etc. Inquire fully before purchasing tickets.
Chicago friends expect to have a special train. There will quite probably be a special car from St. Louis, Mo., and other large cities – Pittsburg, Cleveland, etc. Boston friends expect to come to New York by boat, here to join New York City Delegation on a special train, due to leave New York City Thursday morning, August 31. Bring with you plenty of warm clothing.