page 433
December 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. XXXIIDECEMBER 1No. 23
A.D. 1911 – A.M. 6040
CONTENTS
Bro. Russell's Round-the-World Itinerary 434
Editor's British Autumn Tour 435
Prayer of the Consecrated 436
"The Feet of Him" 437
Our Responsibility to One Another 439
"We Are Not to Please Ourselves" 439
The Grace of Humility 440
"To Show Thyself Approved" 442
"Fervent in Spirit, Serving the Lord" 442
Waiting for Messiah 443
"He Is Faithful and Just" 444
Interesting Questions 445
"Now Are We the Sons of God" 445
Land Was Forced to Keep Its Sabbaths 446
Some Interesting Letters 446
Extension Work in Africa 446
"Rolling Old Chariot Along" in Africa 446
"Die Stimme" Stirring Up Jews in Russia 447
Berean Questions in "Scripture Studies" 447

'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 434

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.

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.

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE.
SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED. FROM
FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.

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.

ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, AND DANISH EDITIONS.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.

ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE
ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA

INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS
AT WHICH BROTHER C. T. RUSSELL WILL BE PRINCIPAL SPEAKER
FRIENDS FROM NEARBY PLACES ARE CORDIALLY INVITED.

NEWARK, N.J., DECEMBER 3

Discourse for the Public at 3 p.m. in Proctor's Theatre, Broad St.

Other services of the day will be conducted at Brooklyn Tabernacle, 17 Hicks St. Praise and Testimony at 10.30 a.m., and a meeting for the interested at 7.30 p.m., preceded by half-hour's praise service.

DALLAS, TEXAS, DECEMBER 6

At 10.30 a.m. meeting for Praise, Prayer and Testimony and at 3 o'clock in the afternoon discourse for the interested. Both services will be held in Woodman's Hall, 414 Harwood St.

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, DECEMBER 7

"The New Woodman's Hall" at 117 North Flores St., will be used at 10 o'clock for Praise, Prayer and Testimony meeting and again at 3 o'clock for a discourse to the interested.

LOS ANGELES, CAL., DECEMBER 10

Morning Rally and Discourse for the interested. 10 o'clock, Mammoth Hall, 517 S. Broadway. Discourse for the Public at 3 p.m., Shrine Auditorium, 655 West Jefferson St.

FRESNO, CAL., DECEMBER 11

Morning Rally for Praise, Prayer and Testimony at 10 o'clock and discourse for the interested at 3 o'clock, will both be held in the A.O.U.W. Hall, Fresno St., between I and J. The public address at 8 p.m. will be given in Armory Hall, J and Fresno Sts.

OAKLAND, CAL., DECEMBER 12

Morning Rally for Praise, Prayer and Testimony at 10:30. Discourse for the interested at 3 o'clock, Hamilton Auditorium, Jefferson and 13th Sts. [R4932 : page 434]

BRO. RUSSELL'S ROUND-THE-WORLD ITINERARY

After serving the public at Newark, N.J., and also the Brooklyn Tabernacle congregation on the first Sunday in December, Brother Russell will start at once on the trip that will encircle the world: –

Tue.   Dec.    5   Arrive at St. Louis, Mo., Penn. R.R.......8:30 a.m.
 "      "      "   Leave      "    "     "   M.K.&T. Ry.....10:05 a.m.
Wed.    "      6   Arrive Dallas, Texas,           "       ..9:10 a.m.
 "      "      "   Leave     "      "              "       ..8:00 p.m.
Thu.    "      7   Arrive San Antonio, Texas,      "       ..7:30 a.m.
 "      "      "   Leave   "     "       "   So. Pac. Ry.....8:30 p.m.
Sun.    "     10   Arrive Los Angeles, Cal.        "       ..6:30 a.m.
 "      "      "   Leave   "     "      "          "       ..7:30 p.m.
Mon.    "     11   Arrive Fresno, Cal.             "       ..7:00 a.m.
 "      "      "   Leave     "     "               "       .12:30 night
Tue.    "     12   Arrive San Francisco, Cal.      "       ..7:50 a.m.
Wed.    "     13   Leave   "      "       "  ..Steamship "Shinyo Maru"
Tue.    "     19   Arrive Honolulu, Hawaii.....    "         "     "
Sat.    "     30   Arrive Yokohama, Japan......    "         "     "
Sun.    "     31   At     Tokio       "  ........Imperial Japanese Ry.
     1912.
Mon.   Jan.    1   Leave Tokio, Japan............Imperial Japanese Ry.
Tue.    "      2   Leave Kobe, Japan...........Steamship "Shinyo Maru"
Thu.    "      4   Leave Nagasaki, Japan.......    "         "     "
Sat.    "      6   Leave Shanghai, China.......    "         "     "
Tue.    "      9   Arrive Hong Kong, "  .......    "         "     "
Wed.    "     10   Leave   "    "    "   for Manila.......by steamship
Sun.    "     14   At     Manila, Philippine Islands.
Tue.    "     16   Leave     "         "        "   ......by steamship
Sat.    "     20   Leave Hong Kong, China................P.&O.S.S. Co.
Thu.    "     25   Leave Singapore, Straits Settlements    "   "   "
Sat.    "     27   Leave Penang, Prince of Wales Island    "   "   "
Thu.   Feb.    1   Arrive Colombo, Ceylon..............    "   "   "
        " 3 to 9   ..........................Visit Travancore District
Sun.    "     11   At     Madras, India.
Mon.    "     12   Leave    "       "  ..for Calcutta (via Juggernaut)
Sun.    "     18   Arrive Calcutta, "
Mon.    "     19   Leave     "      " for Bombay via Lucknow and Agra.
Sat.    "     24   Leave Bombay,    " ...................P.&O.S.S. Co.
Thu.    "     29   Leave Aden, Arabia....................  "    "   "
Sun.   Mar.    3   .................(Disembark at Suez, rail to Cairo)
Tue.    "      5   Leave Cairo, Egypt................by rail 9:30 a.m.
 "      "      5   Arrive Alexandria, Egypt.......... "   " 12:45 p.m.
Wed.    "      6   Leave      "         "  .Khedivial S.S.,  4:00 p.m.
Fri.    "      8   Arrive Piraeus, Greece...     "      "   10:00 a.m.
Sat.    "      9   At     Athens,     "
Sun.    "     10   At     Corinth,    "
Mon.    "     11   Leave     "        "  ...........by rail 10:25 a.m.
 "      "     11   Arrive Patras,     "  ........... "   "   3:45 p.m.
 "      "     11   Leave    "         "by steamship, sailing 7:00 p.m.
Wed.    "     13   Arrive Brindisi, Italy................... 3:00 p.m.
 "      "     13   Leave     "        "  ...........by rail  4:55 p.m.
Thu.    "     14   Arrive Rome,       "  ........... "   "   9:35 a.m.
 "      "     14   Leave   "          "  ........... "   "  11:50 p.m.
Sat.    "     16   Arrive Paris, France............. "   "   6:45 a.m.
 "      "     16   Leave    "      "   ...............about  1:00 p.m.
 "      "     16   Arrive London, England.............  "   10:00 p.m.
Sun.    "     17   At       "        "   .....................One week
Sat.    "     23   Leave    "        "   ..................for America
Thu.    "     28   Arrive New York City...........Steamship Mauretania
Sun.    "     31   At New York Hippodrome....Public Service, 3:00 p.m.
 "      "      "   At Brooklyn..............Memorial Supper, 7:00 p.m.

[R4924 : page 435]

EDITOR'S BRITISH AUTUMN TOUR
G
OD HAS greatly blessed us on our present tour. The meetings have been grandly inspiring. Not only have the attendances been large, but the interest has been keen and evidently deep. The friends as well as myself have been encouraged. In every place thus far visited the very best halls available have been secured. The volunteering has been thoroughly done, and the posters have been well placed.

All of our Sundays were apportioned to London Tabernacle except one given to Glasgow on the occasion of its Convention. Good audiences were the rule. The Tabernacle was packed in the evenings, sometimes with standing room only. This is encouraging to us and to all the friends who shall read this report and who properly feel that the work is theirs, because it is the Lord's and the Society's.

THE GLASGOW CONVENTION

This Convention was every way a success. The attendance ranged from 700 to 800 at the ordinary sessions, and the meeting advertised for the public ran up to 5,000, of whom about 500 stood, while about 200 failed to gain admission.

And such attention from so vast an audience! You could have heard a pin drop. For nearly two hours they studied with us "Which Is the True Gospel?" Together we considered what has been presented as the Gospel by various denominations, and then came to the one preached in advance to Abraham, and finally announced "in due time" by Jesus, who brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. The audience saw a vast difference between the creeds of the Dark Ages and the Gospel of Divine grace, of which St. Paul was not ashamed and in which we, too, may well rejoice.

We had three delightful days of spiritual refreshment at this Convention. Friends attended from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Our goodby greetings were at the railway platform, where about 300 tried to shake hands with us; they all waved and sang us away, using "Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love" and "God be with you till we meet again."

BRIGHTON – SOUTHAMPTON – PORTSMOUTH, ETC.

In the South of England, where we had few or no friends, we now have some loyal defenders of the Divine Plan of the Ages; and more, we trust, are ripening. At Brighton we had a grand auditorium, The Dome, whose capacity, 3,000, was none too much. We spoke on the "Hereafter" and had close attention to the message of God's Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power. Besides this witness 35,000 PEOPLES PULPITS had been previously used in announcing the meeting. The Lord only knows how many or how few had really "hearing ears."

At Southampton we had the Coliseum, seating 2,000, and a splendid audience; we used same topic; 20,000 copies of PEOPLES PULPIT had been distributed. Some told of blessing received; others are thinking.

Portsmouth: Another rousing meeting, in Town Hall, seating 2,000, crowded, middle class, reverential, thoughtful, many gray and bald heads; mostly men; same subject, "Hereafter"; 20,000 PEOPLES PULPIT. How many ripe grains of wheat and what will the Harvest be only the Lord knows.

Bournemouth: 10,000 PEOPLES PULPIT; we had an extremely intelligent and attentive audience – 700 – in St. Peter's Church Hall. The volunteering in some of these places was done considerably by brethren, who journeyed 100 miles or more at their own expense to thus serve the Lord, the Truth and brethren as yet unknown to them. How precious is such loving service in the sight of our Lord and his brethren!

PERTH – DUNDEE – PAISLEY – GREENOCK

Our visit amongst the Scotch Bible students was extremely interesting and encouraging, in the smaller places as well as in Glasgow. Everywhere we had the best halls obtainable, and correspondingly large and intelligent audiences. Our weekly sermons in some of the newspapers [R4925 : page 435] affected our audiences favorably, and we trust that the oral presentations will make the printed discourses more popular and more profitable.

It was our first visit to Perth, but the friends had advertised our coming thoroughly. The City Hall, of 2,000 capacity, was crowded in the evening with the public, while we gave an afternoon talk to the interested students of God's Word. A witness to the "Gospel of the Kingdom" was given which, we trust, will tell something for good when the Lord of the harvest shall reckon with His own servants, to whom He gave talents and pounds for service. Ten thousand copies of PEOPLES PULPIT were distributed to announce the service.

Dundee we visited some years ago, and amongst those who helped arrange for this visit were some interested then. Our afternoon session was for the interested in Masonic Hall. Nearly one hundred were present, their faces beaming out the joy within – the joy the world can neither give nor take away. Gilfillan Hall, 1,600 capacity, was well filled by the public at night to hear respecting [R4925 : page 436] "The Great Hereafter." We believe the Lord's blessing was upon the meeting and that good was accomplished; how much we may not judge. Our united services, dear friends, are rendered to the Lord. We are sure He accepts them irrespective of results seen.

Paisley we visited for the first time. We had a splendid hearing of intelligent middle-class people. Although the night was stormy, Good Templar Hall (capacity 1,000) was nearly full, although there were several public functions to divert. The message of God's Word respecting the "Hereafter" was presented in contrast with the horrible fantasies of the Dark Ages. Some got a start in Bible study and sober thinking such as they never before comprehended. Surely, as the Bible declares, the woman, with the golden cup in her hand full of explanations of her abominations, made all nations drunk with her false doctrines. – Rev. 17:1-5.

Greenock we visited for the first time. We had a splendid reception. The Town Hall, holding 3,000, was crowded. Here as elsewhere on this tour the intelligence of our hearers impressed us. Surely people with such heads and faces could not hear of God's Hereafter in contrast with human theories without being thereby impressed in regard to the Truth.

FOUR APPOINTMENTS IN IRELAND

The North of Ireland people like to remind us that their country was the original Scotland according to history; that some of their brothers conquered Caledonia and gave it the name Scotland, and that they have furnished the United States more than half her Presidents and statesmen. Thus impoverished for the blessing of others they fear the proposed "Home Rule." They declare that the Catholics of the south and west of the island, outnumbering them, will trample them.

We encouraged them to believe that Catholics as well as Protestants are more civilized than of yore, and that anyway it will not be long until Messiah's Kingdom shall set all matters right. We encouraged them to do all in their power to be well represented in that glorious Kingdom, in comparison to which victories in Scotland and America will be as nothing.

Belfast was our first stop. We were accompanied by three brethren of Irish birth or lineage from the Glasgow Church, and they rendered valuable aid in various ways in connection with the meetings. We had blessed fellowship. The meetings were quite successful, even though the attendances were smaller than in England and Scotland. Every night was stormy, and the night at Belfast was Hallowe'en. We certainly had very intelligent audiences, and many evidences that a good impression was produced. There were follow-up meetings held by Brother Hemery which manifested considerable depth of interest.

At Belfast we met about forty Bible students in private session. We discussed with them the great blessing of God upon the Elect Church, which, it is declared, is "His workmanship." Although God rested from His work with mankind to permit the Savior to redeem and restore it, God did not rest from His still higher work of developing the "New Creation." He is now "working in us to will and to do His good pleasure" – drawing, calling, sanctifying us by His Word and Providences.

In the evening we had about 1,000 present in the Large Ulster Hall. It was a remarkable gathering in many respects. (1) The personnel: The people were intelligent, fine looking and most attentive. (2) About three-fourths of the audience were men. (3) There were other large meetings and it was Hallowe'en Night. Our address was on, "Which Is the True Gospel?" We made it quite clear that we are in fullest sympathy with all Christians, but opposed to the creeds of the past, which have divided God's people into 600 sects and dishonored God and violated human reason.

We defended the Bible against the modern infidelity, which styles itself "Higher Criticism," and is undermining Christian faith and leading on toward Atheism and anarchy. We reminded our hearers that all Christians believe that there is but "ONE Church of the First-borns whose names are written in heaven: but ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism; that our forefathers organized our different "Churches," each as the only one, and consigned members of other churches to eternal torture, and sometimes even tortured them to death. All that is past, thank God; but the faulty creeds we still hold, and they still separate us. God's time has come for us to return to the Bible and to ignore and destroy all human creeds and isms if we can find, surely, what is the true Gospel, of which St. Paul was not ashamed. That Gospel we presented to the best of our ability.

Ballymena we visited for the first time and had a good hearing. The attendance was about 250; at Portadown about 500; at Dublin about 800. We had excellent order everywhere, except, we might say, at Dublin. At the latter place the same Y.M.C.A. secretary who formerly tried to catch us in our words was present, accompanied by about 100 young men of his association, who gave no great evidence of a work of grace. Evidently the "hell-fire" faith which they profess has not had sanctifying power in their lives. On occasions they yelled and hooted like "hoodlums," and quite disgraced the fair name of Dublin and of the Y.M.C.A.

The questions were of the usual order and were answered fully and promptly and to the apparent satisfaction of all the audience except the "Y.M.C.A." rowdies. One of the questions was inspired by an attack made on me there recently by the Rev. Dr. Torry. It was, "Is it true that you are divorced from your wife?"

I replied that my topic was, "Which Is the True Gospel?" and that my home affairs and my relationship to my God were my personal affairs. Nevertheless I would answer the question. "I am not divorced from my wife. The decree of the court was not divorce, but separation, granted by a sympathetic jury, which declared that we would both be happier separated. My wife's charge was cruelty, but the only cruelty put in evidence was my refusal on one occasion to give her a kiss when she had requested it." I assured my audience that I disputed the charge of cruelty and believed that no woman was ever better treated by a husband. The applause showed that the audience believed my statements.

[R4933 : page 436]

PRAYER OF THE CONSECRATED
"We seek not, Lord, for tongues of flame,
Or healing virtue's mystic aid;
But power thy Gospel to proclaim –
The balm for wounds that sin has made.

"Breathe on us, Lord; thy radiance pour
On all the wonders of the page
Where hidden lies the heavenly lore
That blessed our youth and guides our age.

"Grant skill each sacred theme to trace,
With loving voice and glowing tongue,
As when upon thy words of grace
The wondering crowds enraptured hung.

"Grant faith, that treads the stormy deep
If but thy voice shall bid it come;
And zeal, that climbs the mountain steep,
To seek and bring the wanderer home."

[R4925 : page 437]

"THE FEET OF HIM"
I
T IS NECESSARY for the discipline, trial and final proving of the Church of God that they should be subjected to adverse influence; for "to him that overcometh" is the promise of the great reward. If we would reign with Christ, we must prove our worthiness to reign, by the same tests of loyalty to God, of faith in His Word, of zeal for the Truth, of patient endurance, of reproach and persecution, even unto death, and in the unwavering trust in the power and purpose of God to deliver and exalt His Church in due time. To such faithful ones are the blessed consolations of Psalm 91, which we believe is a picture of the Church in the end of this Gospel Age – a picture of The Christ. Hearken:

"He who dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High [typified by the Holy of the Tabernacle] shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." We thus place ourselves under the Divine protection when, having come to a knowledge of God's willingness to accept us as His children, we gratefully accept the invitation and approach in His appointed way, through Christ our Redeemer, and consecrate ourselves fully to His service. Such may sweetly rest in the precious promises of God, all of which are yea and amen in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor. 1:20.) The world does not see the overshadowing wings of Divine protection, but the faithful have a blessed secret realization of it. Praise the Lord!

"I [Christ Jesus, whom David here, as elsewhere, personifies, and who thus addresses His Body, His Church] will say of Jehovah, He is My refuge and My fortress, My God; in Him will I trust, that He will surely deliver thee from the snare of the Fowler and from the noisome pestilence" – from the deceptions of Satan, into which all those not protected shall stumble; for our Lord said that so subtle and deceptive will they be that, if it were possible, they would deceive "the very elect." But this is not possible; for those who are making their calling and election sure abide under the protection of the Almighty. Such [R4926 : page 437] shall be delivered, not from the destructive pestilence of physical disease, but from the moral and spiritual pestilences of destruction – from the sinful propensities of the old nature, which in unguarded moments are liable to assert their mastery and overwhelm the souls of those who are not abiding under the secret protection of the Most High; and from the spiritual pestilences of false doctrine which, with subtle sophistry, destroy the faith of the unwatchful.

Such pestilences are already abroad in the world in the shape of so-called Christian Science, Spiritism and the various no-ransom theories which take the name of "The Larger Hope," and which bid fair, both from present prospects and from the prophetic outlook, ere long to become epidemic. From all these pestilences the Lord's elect shall be protected, resting safely and sweetly under the shadow of the Almighty.

"He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust; His Truth shall be thy shield and buckler." So close to His heart does Jehovah gather His loyal and faithful children that they feel the warmth of His love; and the responsive language of their hearts is, "I will abide in Thy tabernacle forever; I will trust in the covert of Thy wings; for Thou hast been a shelter for me and a strong Tower from the enemy; for Thou hast heard my vows; Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear Thy name." (Psa. 61:4,3,5.) Yes, His Truth – that grand system of Truth comprised in the Divine Plan of the Ages – is an ample shield and buckler to all who in simplicity of heart receive it and prove faithful to it. It is the armor of God, which the Apostle urges all the faithful to put on – to appropriate, to meditate upon and to store up Truth in mind and heart – that they may be able by its use to withstand error and evil in every form presented to them in this evil day.

JEHOVAH SHALL KEEP THE FEET OF HIS SAINTS

"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday." This is the "night," the dark night of which the Prophet Isaiah spoke and to which our Lord also referred, "The morning cometh, and also the night"; "The night cometh when no man can work." (Isa. 21:12; John 9:4.) The Millennial morning comes, and just as surely the great time of trouble will immediately precede it – the night wherein no man can labor for the dissemination of Divine Truth; so great will be the "terror," the tumult and trouble and persecution of that night; the arrows – "even bitter words" of the opponents of the Truth – will fly by day – at the present time, which in comparison with the dark night that is coming, is called day. The various besetments and difficulties from infidelity, Higher Criticism and other false doctrines are pictorially represented as the shooting out of arrows, as pestilences, as stumbling stones. None of these are to injure the "elect," of which Christ is the Head and the Church His Members, as specially indicated in this Psalm. The Church shall be immune, and nothing shall in any way hurt them. As the Lord said, the difficulties of this day would, if possible, deceive the very elect; but this will not be possible, for "the feet" class shall be kept. No; the Church need have no fear of the moral and spiritual pestilences that walk in darkness, spreading and making their victims amongst those who are ignorant of the Truth, or who are unfaithful to it and are, hence, unworthy of it, and who, therefore, lack the Divine protection and are subject to the "strong delusions" of error that subvert the faith and hope of many, just when the light of Divine Truth is shining clearest upon the faithful, as it is shining upon us today.

"A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee." Great will be the falling away from the Truth, even amongst those who, like ourselves, received it once with joy and who did for a time run well; but the Church, because of their loyalty and uncompromising faithfulness and because of the ample armor of Truth and righteousness, shall stand and not fall.

We are not to think of those who will be injured and who will fall ("A thousand at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand") as of the world, but rather as being friends of the Church; closely associated with the Church. The world could not fall from Divine favor, for it has not been in Divine favor. The whole "world lieth in the Wicked One," and, therefore, could not be overthrown. This verse seems to apply to those who were actually begotten of the Holy Spirit or who have assumed a position such as those begotten of the Holy Spirit; as, for instance, the tares which affect to be wheat. They never were wheat, and will not be garnered with the wheat class. Time will show that they are not of this class. So in this picture we see the fall of these in general and of the consecrated in particular. There is a distinction between the thousand falling at the side and the ten thousand at the right hand. We might infer that the one thousand may fall into total unbelief, and the ten thousand, the "great company," into the great time of trouble to wash their robes white and to purify themselves. They will be partakers with Babylon in her sins and have part in her great fall. – Rev. 14:18; 18:10. [R4926 : page 438]

None too extravagant is the prophetic declaration, "A thousand shall fall at thy side." Only the sanctified in Christ Jesus, copies of God's dear Son, will be able to stand complete in Him. These will be the very elect, and it will not be possible for them to be deceived and ensnared; for God will give His messengers a charge [message] for them ["present Truth"] and thus these "feet" of the Body of Christ shall be upheld that they stumble not.

"Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked," who reject the Truth or prove unfaithful to it. We know that we are already passing through the beginning of these troubles (the troubles upon the nominal church incident to its testing), and that we are escaping, while many on every hand are falling into error and infidelity. We escape, not by being taken away from the scene of trouble, but by being supported, strengthened and kept in the very midst of it all by the Word of the Lord, our shield and buckler.

"NO EVIL SHALL BEFALL THEE"

"Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling"
– no evil of the kind referred to; and any other seeming evils shall, under Divine providence, work together for your good. – Rom. 8:28.

God has so arranged that only the truly consecrated will be kept from stumbling into error in this evil day. Every day we learn to appreciate more and more the Divine favor which has anointed the eyes of our understanding, and permitted us to see the internal strength and beauty of the Divine Word and Plan. If, then, we are thus, by Divine favor, made strong in the Lord, and enabled to "stand fast" while thousands are falling from their faith and steadfastness, let us "rejoice with fear" (reverence). Let him who feels strong and well supported "be not high-minded," but "take heed lest he fall." Humility and zeal for the Lord are the terms upon which we received the great blessing, and are also the terms upon which we may retain it to the end – until our "change" comes and establishes in glory what grace began in our weakness.

"For He shall give His angels charge concerning thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." That is, God will raise up some faithful pastors and teachers who will "watch for your souls as they that must give account." True, there shall arise false teachers, perverting the Word of the Lord, and seeking by cunning sophistries to subvert your souls; but if in simplicity of heart the Lord's children require a "Thus saith the Lord" for every element of their faith, and carefully prove all things by the Word, they will be able readily to distinguish the true from the false. And having done so, the Apostle Paul (Heb. 10:35) counsels us to have confidence. The Lord, our Shepherd, will care for the true sheep.

The Apostle Paul assures us that the angels of God are ministering spirits sent forth to minister unto and serve those who shall be heirs of salvation, the saved ones of this Gospel Age – not only the overcomers of the "little flock," but also the overcomers of the "great multitude." Our Lord Jesus sets forth practically the same thought in His declaration, "Their angels do always behold [have access to] the face of My Father." (Matt. 18:10.) The Master's words seem to imply, at least, that one or more angels have charge over the consecrated ones, the "very elect." Nothing can by any means, therefore, harm these, except as the Heavenly Father sees that the earthly injury or disadvantage would prove profitable either to the individual New Creature or to the Lord's general cause. This is in full accord with His general assurance that all things shall work together for good to those that love Him. – Rom. 8:28.

Such a use of the heavenly messengers by no means invalidates the thought that the Lord's earthly children are frequently used of Him as ministers, servants, the one to the other. Indeed, we may be assured that the invisible messengers or servants, generally, if not always, are required to act through human instrumentalities – preferably through "the very elect." Of this kind of service done by the brethren, one for the other, we have illustrations in the Harvest work, for instance – supervised by our present Lord and His heavenly hosts, yet in the main [R4927 : page 438] carried on by the members of His Body still in the flesh.

THE HARVEST MESSAGE GOD'S KEEPING POWER

"They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone""thee" – all the members of the Body of Christ, individually and collectively, using all their strength to protect against any stumbling-stone of false doctrine, and especially that great fundamental Rock-Doctrine of the redemption through the precious blood of Christ; that "Rock of offense and stone of stumbling" to both the houses of nominal Israel. (Isa. 8:14.) "The feet" of the Body are its last members; the saints now living are members of "the feet of Him" (Christ), the ones who are now in danger of being stumbled, as the feet of the Jewish house of servants were in danger in the end, or harvest, of the Jewish Age.

How do such messengers bear up the feet of Christ? By helping them to a clear understanding of the Truth, and teaching and encouraging them by word and example how to be faithful to the Truth, and how to run so as to obtain the prize of our high-calling.

While doubtless the heavenly messengers are connected with this work, yet it is surely done through the Church in the flesh, as already intimated. The Lord in this present Harvest time has given His messengers, the leaders of His consecrated people, a "charge," a message, a word of warning, counsel, advice – an opening of the Word of Truth, an enlightening of their understanding – that they should bear up all the members of "the feet" class, all of "the very elect" in this time of serious trial, testing and stumbling, lest at any time any of this class should stumble through the peculiar trials of the present time. How manifestly this is fulfilled! The Harvest message in its various features, bearing on every phase of Truth now due, and every phase of error now brought forward, is God's keeping power by which, according to His guarantee, we know that nothing shall by any means hurt "the feet" members of the Body of Christ.

It is for us to rejoice in these blessings and favors of the Lord and to increase our faith; and we remember that even before the "House of Sons" was organized the Lord had power and exercised it in the "House of Servants" in a way that illustrates to us the abundance of that power.

Satan would like to have us walk by sight, not by faith; he would like to have us continually tempting God, and demanding some ocular demonstration of His favor and protection, instead of accepting the testimony of His Word, and relying thereupon implicitly, in faith. In the light of the unfolding of the Scriptures we see that Satan, probably unwittingly, quoted this passage of Scripture wholly out of its proper meaning and interpretation, a passage which referred, not to the literal feet of Jesus and to literal stones and to literal angels, but to the symbolic feet-members of the Body of Christ today, and to the stones of stumbling, doctrinal and otherwise, which are now permitted in the path of the faithful, and to the angels, or ministers, of Divine Truth, who in the present [R4927 : page 439] Harvest time would be commissioned to bear up "the feet" members with such counsels, admonitions and expositions of Scripture as would be necessary for them.

"Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon thou shalt trample under feet." Thus borne up in the hands of the Lord's faithful messengers and guarded by their vigilant watchfulness, and under the constant protection of the Most High, God's trusting, faithful children shall triumph over every device of Satan either to overpower or to beguile them – whether he goes about like a roaring lion, or whether, serpent-like, he stealthily lurks about to insert his venomous poison. "Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he hath known [appreciated] My name." On account of the love and loyalty of each individual composing "the feet" class, the heavenly Father will deliver him from the pestilences, etc., and will exalt him to joint-heirship with Christ, make him a member of the "Royal Priesthood" and a partaker of the divine nature. "He shall call upon Me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation" – He will make him understand His Plan. As individuals they are known unto the Lord, who judges not merely by the sight of the eye and the hearing of the ear, but who discerns and judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. And, however widely they may be scattered, whether standing alone as "wheat" in the midst of tares, or in company with others, God's eye is always upon them. Dwelling in the secret place of the Most High (sanctified, wholly set apart unto God), they shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty, while the judgments of the Lord are experienced by the great religious systems that bear His name in unfaithfulness. They have no share in the judgment of Great Babylon, but are previously enlightened and called out of her.

Praise the Lord for such assurances of His loving care! "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, praise His holy name!"

[R4927 : page 439]

OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ONE ANOTHER

"We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." – Romans 15:1.
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HE GREAT PRINCIPLE set forth in our text is the principle of Love, the essence of the Divine Spirit. God is love; and the Spirit of love is the Spirit of God. This spirit, operating amongst God's people, necessarily makes them considerate of one another. It is the opposite of a selfish spirit. It seeks the welfare of others as well as of itself, especially the welfare of the household of faith.

In every case it should be our disposition, as far as possible, to help the weak and those who need assistance. The general disposition of the world, on the contrary, is to speak slightingly of those who are weak and to say, "They have my sympathy." But really, the weak do not get much sympathy. The world applauds those who are the most successful, the mighty, the rich. But as God has sympathy for the weak and lowly, so we should show sympathy more for those who are in need of sympathy than for those who are not. In the Church there are some who are intellectually strong, some who are intellectually weak, some who are physically strong, others who are physically weak; some who are spiritually strong and others who are spiritually weak.

In proportion as we are strong, we should not only help others to overcome their weaknesses, but should be assistful to all, encouraging them and pointing out to them how they can best overcome their shortcomings. We should not make these points too strong, however; for most people do not appreciate their own weaknesses; and the stronger should bear with them in their difficulty as well as bear some of their blunders. If anyone sees his own weakness, it becomes a wonderful incentive to endeavor. Therefore, the mission of the stronger would be so to call the attention of others to their weaknesses as not to offend or stumble them. If their attention be called to these weaknesses in a wrong way they are liable to be stumbled; but if called in a wise way, they will be helped. This might be applied in all the ramifications of life. We should ever be on the alert to see and to overcome our own weaknesses, and to be glad to spend and be spent in the interest of the brethren, considering matters from their standpoint and lending them our assistance.

The Elders in the Church should be really elder brethren. In the family the elder brother is supposed to be next to the father, helping and assisting, and spending himself for the interests of the other members. And so in the Church. Those who are older in the Truth, who are more developed in the Truth, should encourage, assist, lift up and defend the younger. This we observe in the affairs of earthly life in every family. The elders are helpful in the family to give assistance to the younger, and at the loss of their own convenience, their own preferences; their own pleasures are to be yielded up in the interests of the younger of the family. The thought of the Apostle is that both strong and weak should be growing in grace, in knowledge and in love by exercising themselves in spiritual things.

"WE ARE NOT TO PLEASE OURSELVES"

The latter part of the text, "And not to please ourselves," carries with it the thought that, although we have made a consecration to the Lord, although we have turned our backs upon sin, nevertheless we have a tendency, a disposition to sin. The disposition of the New Creature, however, is not to sin, but to do that which is right and to build himself up in the "most holy faith." Yet in seeking to build himself up in that "most holy faith" he might allow something of self-interest to stand first in his mind. But while he should have self-interest prominent in his mind – his own upbuilding – he should remember that, having responsibility in being a member of Christ, he should not wish merely to please himself, but should be willing to forego some of the right and proper things that he might serve others, and thus get a lesson in the Lord's providence. For instance, the more spiritually developed [R4928 : page 439] might choose to be off by themselves discussing the interests of the work. But the spirit of the Apostle's exhortation seems to be that they should look beyond their own preferences, seeking to arrange their own affairs so as to be most helpful to the brethren.

Amongst the different classes of the Lord's people, the classes of Bible students, there is a disposition among those who are more advanced to segregate themselves, to hold themselves aloof from the others. We have endeavored to throw our influence against this disposition. If there are some who have less knowledge let them have the opportunity to learn. If they should bring in good, hard questions, so much the better. We are not merely to please ourselves in respect to time and places of meetings. We might see that some would be desirous of having [R4928 : page 440] the meetings in places more difficult of access, but we are not to be selfish or self-seeking, but seek to please the majority of those whose interests are concerned. If this spirit were observed in classes, more progress would be made; and the Lord's people in general are learning this lesson.

The same thought applies to the servants of the Church. There is a disposition for the Elders to say, "We will meet together and discuss amongst ourselves different things." Now, this is not with bad intention. It might be wise to do so occasionally. But as a general thing, the Elders should meet with the Deacons and treat them with confidence, so that they also might be counted in the Lord's service: it is better for all to meet together, and in the majority of things to have the congregation informed about everything, rather than to keep secrets from the Church. Of course, there would be, at times, something not to be made public in a general way; but, as a rule, the Elders and the Deacons should seek to arrange their meetings so as to assist all the congregation who have time and ability, etc., that all will feel that there is no class separation.

Centuries ago the theory was started by the Catholic friends that the clergy are a separate class constituting the Church, and that the others are the children or infants of the Church. This theory was adopted afterwards by the Protestants. And so we see that the clergy set themselves off by themselves as a separate class. The fact that the Lord has set some in the Church as Elders does not make them separate. We are all one class. Thus, the Apostle says that the eye cannot say to the foot, "I have no need of thee." Every member is to be considered; and no one is to assume a position over others. If one has a higher office he is to use it for the others; if one has a lower office he is to use it for the general good. And so, the Church is to make herself ready until all come to the fulness of the Body of the Anointed, of which we are all members.

Principles may never be abandoned for any consideration; but liberties and personal rights may be ignored in the interest of others frequently and to Divine pleasing. The Apostle Paul was ready to go to any length in defense of principle (Gal. 2:5-11), but in the sacrifice of earthly rights and privileges and liberties for the sake of Christ and the Church, the Apostle evidently came next to our Lord Jesus, and is a noble example to all the Church.

"How wise are God's commands;
How sure His precepts are!"

[R4928 : page 440]

THE GRACE OF HUMILITY

"In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." – Phil. 2:3.
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HOSE WHO naturally have a humble mind have no particular difficulty in esteeming others better than themselves. But there are some who naturally have another attitude of mind. This is not necessarily their fault, for they may have been born with larger self-conceit than were others. But even if we were born with humbleness of mind, we should need to take care that self-conceit and pride do not come in. Sometimes in their own heart some people feel boastful of the knowledge they possess. They like to shine, even though they know they have no more brilliancy than others; they would like to obscure the shining of others that they might be the more noticed in the darkness.

It would, therefore, be a safe matter for each of us to follow the Apostle's suggestion to cultivate this humility of mind and never allow it to be lost. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time"; "Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (I Pet. 5:6; Luke 14:11.) God would do this abasing, not of a vengeful spirit, but because the one who would vaunt himself must be brought low.

There might, however, be circumstances when some who appear to be vaunting themselves really are not doing so, but circumstances and conditions make it seem so. Therefore, to best fulfil the Apostle's injunction, we should, as he suggests in this text, cultivate the spirit of humility – not considering our own good qualities so much as those of others. If we have good qualities, we are glad; let us make use of them.

In comparing ourselves with others, let us look at our own blemishes. There are very few in whom we cannot see some good qualities, good traits. If, therefore, we look at our own imperfections and the good qualities of others, we shall find ourselves more and more appreciative of others; and this will be of assistance to us in running the race.

As an illustration of seeing something to admire, even in our enemies, we have the suggestion of the old lady to her nieces. One niece said to the other, "Auntie can say something good about everybody. I believe she could say something good even about the Devil." "That is so," answered the other. "Let us ask her." Then she called, "Auntie, is there any good about the Devil?" "My dear," replied Auntie, "I wish we all had as much perseverance as he has."

So if we could find something in the Adversary that we could admire and commend, we can certainly find something in all others to admire and commend and to give them credit for. Thus we will cultivate the spirit that will be most helpful to ourselves for our future work.

The consideration of our own imperfections would, as we have suggested, make us very humble of mind and keep us in a very humble attitude of mind. This might discourage us unless we had the proper relationship with the Lord and His Word. We know that "all things work together for good to those who love God." (Rom. 8:28.) Through His Word our Lord has provided for such the "Balm of Gilead" for their encouragement, and the anointing oil and the comfort of the Scriptures.

The Lord does not cast us off if we are not wilfully wrongdoers and if we take in the right spirit the humiliating things. That disposition is what He wants. Those things which would humiliate us in the sight of others and in the sight of the Lord Himself, will, if we are rightly exercised by them, work together for good to us. Such He will bless and lift up and give an appreciation of His Love. This He purposes to do. We have every evidence that the Lord will give the necessary encouragement, and we have the assurance of the Scriptures that those who obey His Word to the best of their ability shall not be overcome.

For each one to look merely upon his own things, interests, welfare or talents and to ignore those of others would manifest a general selfishness and, consequently, a dearth of the Spirit of Christ, which is a spirit of love and generosity. In proportion as we are filled more and more with the Holy Spirit, Love, we shall find ourselves interested in the welfare of others. This was the mind, disposition, or spirit which was in our dear Redeemer, which [R4928 : page 441] He so wonderfully manifested, which we must copy and develop in our characters if we would ultimately be of the "little flock," who shall be joint-heirs with Christ in His glory, concerning whom God has predestinated that to be accepted with Him to this position they must be "copies of His Son." – Rom. 8:29.

OUR GREAT EXEMPLAR

That we may partially discern how our Lord Jesus exemplified this spirit of humility, the Apostle briefly sums up the story of His humiliation and shows how it led to His present exaltation. He points out to us that when our Lord Jesus was a spirit being, before He stooped to take our nature and to bear the penalty of our sin, He was in "a form of God" – a spirit form, a high and glorious condition. But instead of being moved selfishly and ambitiously to grasp for higher things than God had conferred upon Him – instead of seeking to set up a rival Empire, as Satan did – He did not meditate a robbery of God to make Himself the Father's equal (Satan's course), and say, "I will ascend above the stars [the bright ones, the angelic hosts], I will be as the Most High" [His peer, His equal]. Quite to the contrary of this, our Lord Jesus, "the beginning of the creation of God," was willing, in harmony with the Father's plan, to humble Himself, to take a lower nature and to do a work which would involve, not only a great deal of humiliation, but also a great deal of pain and suffering.

The Apostle points out how the "Only Begotten" proved His willingness and humility by complying with this arrangement; and that after He became a man He continued of this same humble spirit, willing to carry out [R4929 : page 411] the Divine Plan to the very letter by dying as man's ransom-price; and not only so, but when it pleased the Father to require that the death should be a most ignominious one in every respect, perhaps beyond the requirements of the ransom merely, He did not draw back, but said, "Thy will, not Mine, be done," and stooped even to the ignominious "death of the cross!"

Here we have the most wonderful demonstration of humility, meekness and obedience to God that ever was manifested or that could be conceived of. And this is the pattern the Apostle points out that we should seek to copy. "Let this same [humble] mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." – Phil. 2:5-10.

This humility enabled our Lord to render perfect obedience, on account of which the Heavenly Father has so highly honored Him as to raise Him from the dead to the divine nature, to a station far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named. That this is the Apostle's argument is shown (verse 9) by the word "wherefore"; i.e., on this account, on account of this humility just described, God has highly exalted Him.

Not only did our Lord's beautiful and perfect humility and obedience demonstrate that He was to the core loyal to the Heavenly Father, but it also demonstrated that in Him the Father's spirit, Love, dwelt richly, for He shared the Father's love for the race He redeems. On this account also He is found worthy to be the Divine Agent in the blessing of all the families of the earth, according to the terms of the Divine Covenant made with Father Abraham.

Thus He has become the "Seed of Abraham" which is to bless the race redeemed; and hence it will be to Him that "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess" when Jehovah's "due time" shall come for the pouring out of Divine blessings upon the redeemed world – that all may come to a knowledge of the truth and, if they will, into full harmony with God, and to eternal life.

Not only does the Apostle hold up the Lord Jesus as the great Example of a proper humility, self-abnegation and obedience to God in the interest of others, but he would also hold up before us the reward, the high exaltation of our Lord by the Father, the result or reward of His obedience, that we also might be encouraged and realize that, if faithful in following the footsteps of our Redeemer and sacrificing the advantages of the present to serve the Lord and His cause, then in due time we also may expect to be glorified with Him and to share His name and throne and work, as members of His anointed Body, His Church, His joint-heir.

Beloved, let us apply to ourselves the loving exhortation of the Apostle to the Church at Philippi, contained in the succeeding verses (Phil. 2:12-16), and continue in the way upon which we have entered, making more and more progress in the race-course, working out in ourselves through humility and obedience the character, the disposition of Christ, with fear and trembling, and thus working out each our own share in the great salvation to glory, honor and immortality which God hath promised.

WORKING OUT OUR SALVATION

We cannot work out our own justification, but being justified by the blood of Christ, and being called with the heavenly calling, we can make our calling and election sure. We can work out our own share in the great salvation to which we have been called in Christ by giving heed to the instructions of the Lord, by following the pattern which He has set for us; not that we shall attain perfection in the flesh, but merely perfection of will, of intention, of heart, and if we keep the body under to the extent of our ability, its weaknesses and imperfections will be reckoned as covered by the merit of our Lord, the Holy One.

It is encouraging also for us to know that this warfare against weakness and sin is not merely one of our own, but that God is for us, has called us, and is helping us. He already works in us, by His word of promise, and has led us thus far in the willing and the doing of His will, His good pleasure; and He will continue thus to lead and to help us and to work in us by His Word of Truth, if we will continue to give heed to His counsel. "Sanctify them through Thy Truth – Thy Word is Truth." The Gospel is "the power of God unto salvation" to every one that so accepts it; and no greater stimulus to true godliness can be found than the "exceeding great and precious promises given unto us; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature." – 2 Pet. 1:4.

Moreover, in following in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus, running the race for the great prize set before us in the Gospel, we are not to murmur by the way, finding fault with its difficulties and narrowness; nor are we to dispute respecting it, nor seek to have any other way than that which Divine providence marks out for us, realizing that the Lord knows exactly what experiences are necessary to our development in the school of Christ; and realizing also that, if obedience were possible, while our mouths are full of complaints and dissatisfaction with the Lord and our lot which He has permitted, it would indicate that we are at least out of sympathy with the spirit of His arrangement; and such an obedience, if it were possible (but it would not be possible), would not meet the Divine approval, nor gain us the "prize." Hence, as the Apostle exhorts, we should "Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke,...holding forth the Word of life in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world." – Verses 14-16.

[R4930 : page 442]

"TO SHOW THYSELF APPROVED"

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." – 2 Tim. 2:15.
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OD SEEMS to have greatly blessed and used in the "harvest" work the six volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. Probably none who are today rejoicing in the Truth would dissent from this statement in the slightest degree. Some we know would express the matter more strongly than this. Nevertheless every now and then we are brought to a realization that many of those who rejoice considerably in the Truth have but an imperfect knowledge of it – they are not rooted, grounded, established and built up in the Truth; they are not able to "rightly divide the Word of Truth"; they are not workmen who need never be ashamed in discussing the Truth with others.

Some of these, deficient in their knowledge of the Truth, are mere babes, beginners, who have not yet had a full opportunity for study. Some of them have read Vol. I and have skimmed over the other volumes. They perhaps learned of the classes for Bible study, and, attending them and discussing with the brethren and hearing some discourses, seemed to assume that they knew the teachings of the entire six volumes as though they had read them, studied them.

This is a great mistake; more, it is a serious mistake, because we are in the time when each and all must expect to be specially tried and tested. And those who have only a partial understanding of the Divine Plan – those who have only a part of the provided armor, will find it difficult, if not impossible, to stand in this evil day the assaults of the world, the flesh and the Adversary. If they have proper zeal for the Lord and a proper love for the Plan, they should manifest that zeal by thorough and persevering study of the volumes. They cannot afford to do less.

We find also that some of the dear friends who read the SCRIPTURE STUDIES years ago, and not recently, imagine that they remember their contents, when in reality they are quite ignorant of many of their teachings. We all have leaky, earthen vessels and the precious treasure of Divine Truth soon exhausts unless we keep replenishing. One way of replenishing is to go to the Bible direct. But many have found what the Scriptures seem to imply, namely, that human teachers are necessary, and that they can get much more knowledge of the Scriptures through the assistance of a teacher than they could obtain by their own energy. Such of our readers as have not read the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES this year can scarcely appreciate how much they probably have lost of what they originally learned therein.

[R4929 : page 442]

FERVENT IN SPIRIT – SERVING THE LORD
T
HE HEAVENLY FATHER, through His various agencies operating during the more than eighteen centuries of this Gospel Age, has been seeking for His Son a companion, a Bride of many members, although in comparison to the world a "little flock." Various good qualities are desired and all of these will make the Bride class in the character-likeness of their Redeemer, their betrothed Bridegroom. They are deficient in all of these qualities according to the flesh, but fortunately the flesh will not be the basis of the decision as to their worthiness or unworthiness of the glorious prize. All will depend upon the mind, the will, the heart. It must be not only good, but absolutely perfect. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." They shall be the children of God. They shall be the joint-heirs of the Redeemer.

This purity of heart which the Lord approves and desires might be summed up in the expression, loyalty of heart – loyalty to principles of Truth and righteousness, the principles of the Divine Government – loyalty to God the Father and to our Lord Jesus Christ and to all the members of His Body. This perfect heart-loyalty includes, therefore, love for God and for the Redeemer and for the brethren, as well as sympathetic love for the world of mankind, in harmony with the Divine purpose and Revelation. The Apostle says, "If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord," and "so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." – 2 Pet. 1:8,11.

There is a particular force attaching to this word "abound." All of God's people, all begotten of the Holy Spirit, are inspired by the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of love, the Spirit of justice and loyalty. But how about the degree, the abounding, the having of this love permeate all of life's affairs? If this Spirit of the Lord abound in us it will influence our business, our pleasure, our homes, our workshops, our kitchens, our dining rooms, our bed chambers, our very thoughts.

May it be possible to have a measure of the Lord's Spirit with very little abounding, and hence have merely an enjoyment of some spiritual things, on special occasions, at church, etc.? It is the abounding love, the all-pervading influence of our Lord in the lives and in all of life's affairs of those who would have the abundant entrance into the Kingdom of Messiah as members of the Bride class, that is required. If they have this abounding loyalty and love they will be copies of God's dear Son, the Redeemer; otherwise, they will not. And God has predestinated that only such as are copies of His Son shall have a share in the Kingdom of Messiah. Others may reach, indeed, a secondary place, in the "great company" class, but will never reach the throne and never be members of the Bride class.

How important, then, that we discern clearly the necessity for this abounding love, this zeal for God and for righteousness which will amount to a hatred of iniquity, even while loving, succoring and helping the evil-doers into right paths.

THE HARVEST A SPECIAL TIME OF TRIAL

So surely as we recognize that we are in the "harvest" time, we must also assume that the Lord is now specially ripening the "wheat" and separating it from the "tares" and, shall we say, dividing the wheat into two classes? It is this special testing of this harvest time which the Scriptures draw particularly to our attention, frequently warning us of the necessity of having on the whole armor of God and being not slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.

From our vantage-point in THE WATCH TOWER we perceive that just such testings as we should expect are in progress throughout the Lord's ripe wheat field. Divine providence is permitting tests of love and loyalty, faith and obedience, brotherly kindness and patience. Sometimes the trials come to the classes through the Elders, [R4930 : page 443] who should be the very ones to help, protect, admonish and assist the flock. Sometimes the Elders assume a lordly disposition quite contrary to the Divine Word and example and trying to the patience and love of the brethren.

Sometimes the trial is from the other side. Some members of the class may be very exacting, very ready to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, very ready to find fault with everything that the Elder may do, however faithful he may be. Such experiences, whether coming from the one side or the other, are tests, and it behooves each of the Lord's people to see just how he receives these tests and just what effect they have upon his own heart and character. If the experiences embitter him, anger him, or wound deeply his pride, it proves that he needed just such disciplinary experiences to show him his own lack and to point him to the Throne of heavenly grace for mercy and help.

Again, some of the dear classes are assailed by the Adversary through false doctrines and have their own difficulties in endeavoring to defend the Truth, the Divine Plan of the Ages, and to maintain their stand in harmony therewith. Or, on the other hand, the difficulty may arise from some of the dear friends being hypercritical and trying to find differences where there are none – fomenting the spirit of strife rather than the spirit of harmony – discord rather than love.

We exhort, dear brothers and sisters, what we all can agree to, namely, that we are in the testing time and these various matters are our test. Only by the exercise of much fervency of spirit, much zeal for the Lord, for the Truth and for the brethren, can we hope to stand faithfully and to be of assistance to others to a faithful stand. Let us not be faint-hearted. If we faint not, we shall soon reap our reward and hear the Master's voice: "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

We are in the time of general unrest, grumbling, etc. Let us not think for a moment that such grumblings and murmurings are contentions for the "faith once delivered to the saints." Let us rather cultivate more and more the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. Let us specially exercise these in connection with our brethren of the "household of faith," of course not neglecting to "do good to all men as we have opportunity" and to be patient and forbearing to one another. But the special blessing of the Lord comes to those who specially seek to promote peace, happiness, welfare, prosperity and growth in grace in the Body of Christ, which is the "Church of the Living God."

[R4930 : page 443]

WAITING FOR MESSIAH
MAL. 3:1; 4:3. – DECEMBER 24TH. –

"Behold He shall come, saith the Lord, even the Messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in. But who may abide the day of His coming? for He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap." – Malachi 3:1,2.
M
ALACHI'S PROPHECY, the most striking features of which constitute the lesson of today, concludes the Old Testament canon. It contains not only a Divine rebuke for sin, but also a Divine promise of rescue. It fits well to the time generally assigned to it – Nehemiah's period. It remained for Israel to show thorough repentance and to institute thorough reforms. The needed reformation fits equally well to our day. In their professed devotions they were robbing God and impoverishing themselves. It rested upon them to note what great blessings would be theirs if they rendered a whole-heart service to the King of kings.

The Jews, comparing themselves with other nations, perceived that as a result of being God's people they had been held to a more strict account than other nations, so that although their nationality was superior, it was through repeated and severe chastisements. They were even questioning the profitableness of being "God's chosen people." The arrogant, proud nations around them flourished in temporalities more than they. They could not stand this; they forgot that they were a people for a purpose, and that to fit them for Divine service in the future trying experiences were permitted, and were really evidences of Divine favor. "What son is he whom the father chasteneth not? If ye be without chastisement, then are ye not sons."

This lesson of a future reward is brought forward by the words, "They that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord and thought upon His Name. They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that Day when I make up My jewels." – Malachi 3:16,17.

ISRAEL – TYPICAL AND ANTITYPICAL

The foregoing has revealed very much of all prophecies respecting Israel's favors to be fulfilled – a portion in Spiritual Israel's experiences and another portion in Natural Israel's. The faithful of the Jewish Age, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets, will surely have a great reward. When Messiah's Kingdom shall be inaugurated on the spirit plane, invisible to men, those Ancient Worthies, who were once called the fathers, will have a very high rank of service in connection with the Kingdom, in that they will be its earthly representatives and exponents. "Instead of Thy fathers shall be Thy children" [of Messiah], whom Thou [Messiah] mayest make Princes [rulers] in all the earth." – Psa. 45:16. [R4931 : page 443]

Spiritual Israel, as history shows us, is the great Messiah for whom the Jews have so long waited. This Messiah has many members – Jesus is its Head, the Church are His members. This Messiah, Jesus and His members or Bride, constitute the Spiritual Seed of Abraham – "as the stars of heaven." These must first be completed, and will be glorified in Kingdom power before the Ancient Worthies can receive their blessing on the earthly plane, and before Natural Israel can be gathered to them as the nucleus of the Kingdom of God on earth, to which ultimately all nations, peoples, kindred and tongues shall flow for a share in Israel's New Covenant blessings. Of these St. Paul says, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's Seed [typified by Isaac], and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:29.) These are to be God's jewels on the spirit plane, as the faithful Jews of the past are to be the jewels on the earthly plane, marked or enrolled for distinguished honor in connection with Messiah's Kingdom.

"MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT"

The Israelites, discouraged with their failure to keep the Law and to get the blessings promised therefrom, were encouraged by the Lord with the promise that some day a great Messiah would appear – greater than Moses, with whom God would make a New Covenant on their behalf. The New Covenant would be superior to the old one in that it would have a better Mediator, for Israel already [R4931 : page 444] had God's perfect law. The New Mediator would not relax the Law, either. The advantage to accrue through Him would be that somehow His Covenant and Sin-Offering would be more efficacious than that which Moses instituted, because it would put away sin forever and give willing Israelites a new heart, a heart of flesh, after which they would be given everlasting life on condition of their maintaining their relationship with the Almighty.

Jeremiah particularized this, saying: "It shall come to pass after those days, saith the Lord, that I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah, not according to the Covenant which I made with their fathers when I led them out of Egypt, ...but their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." – Jer. 31:31.

Israel's hope thenceforth was in the Messiah, whose coming would bring to them the New Covenant blessings. They have waited for Him since. Who can help admiring the persistency of the Jewish faith – their loyalty to God! Who can help noticing how sharply it is in contrast with their previous unbelief and idolatry! Who can doubt that God still loves His people whom He foreknew and whom He has promised shall be regathered – back to their own land and back to His favor under the New Covenant! – Rom. 11:25.

But the Prophet Malachi clearly intimates that there might be disappointment in connection with the much longed for Messenger or Mediator of the New Covenant, in whom the Jews so delighted and hoped. The declaration is that His day will be a strenuous one: "Who shall stand when He appeareth?" "Who will abide the day of His coming?" (Malachi 3:2.) The intimation is that not many will abide, not many will stand – the majority will fall.

The reason is given. He will require such purity, such holiness, that few will come up to His requirements. The tests He will impose will be like fullers' soap, which is the foe of every spot upon a garment white. His requirements will be like those of a refiner of silver – all the dross must be eliminated, in a furnace hot enough to insure its separation. The test will last a considerable time, for He will sit as a refiner sits, giving close inspection, that the heat be neither too great nor too little, the time neither too long nor too short.

This great Messiah, the Messenger of the New Covenant, began His refining and purifying work more than eighteen centuries ago. He followed the Divine rule, "To the Jew first." He began to refine and purify a priestly class for association with Himself in the glorious Messianic work. To the Jew first came the privilege of being the antitypical Levites. Thousands of them responded at Pentecost, and subsequently, but not enough to complete the foreordained number of Spiritual Israelites, members of the Body of Messiah.

Since then the selecting work has been in progress for eighteen centuries. God has been calling and drawing from all nations, and as many as respond the great Refiner has been purifying; and if these suffer afflictions for righteousness they are sharing in the sufferings of Messiah that they may be accounted worthy also of a share in His glories to follow. Soon the "elect" number will be completed; the blood of the New Covenant will be made efficacious for Israel and for all the families of the earth, and on that basis the Messianic Kingdom or reign of righteousness will begin.

[R4931 : page 444]

"HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST"
– DECEMBER 31ST. –

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." – 1 John 1:9.
W
E KNOW of no heathen religion which teaches a god of mercy and love and kindness. Heathen deities are represented as powerful, ferocious, terrible. The people fear them as demons, but know nothing about the God of Love. Alas! that we must say it, but there are many Christians who, misled by the creeds of the Darker Ages, do not recognize, do not worship the God of the Bible – the God of all Grace, concerning whom we have the declaration, "God is Love."

The Psalmist's words give us a proper conception – "But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared" – reverenced. (Psa. 130:4.) We can see readily enough that the Almighty must be the very embodiment of Justice – not, however, a justice of the kind we were taught, which was really a great injustice. God was just in sentencing Father Adam to death because of his disobedience to the Divine Law. He was just in making that sentence applicable to all of Adam's posterity. Had He let the sentence rest and allowed man to die like the brute beast, without any hope of a future life, we would have had no ground for complaint. It would have been simple Justice.

But God commended His love to us, and it is His love which constrains us to seek Him and to desire to serve Him and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. God's will meant the requirement of Justice and He opened up the way by which He could be just and yet be the Justifier of those who believe in Jesus, who become His disciples, to take up their cross and follow Him; and having thus arranged for the satisfaction of these, God purposes to give a blessing to Adam and his race in a way which would do them the most good. And this showing of the Divine character is not merely to bring laudation to the Almighty, but specially for the purpose of making His creatures acquainted with His character, that they may have great confidence in Him throughout eternity, and that, seeing the beauties of His character, they may copy the same and thus be more abundantly blessed.

SALVATION'S FIRST STEP

The first step of God's Plan is the selection of a special class, a saintly few from amongst mankind. They are chosen for a purpose. In them God would show forth the exceeding riches of His Grace and His loving kindness in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6,7), in lifting sinners from the miry clay to so glorious a station as He has promised them – the divine nature, far above angels, principalities and powers. Additionally He proposes to use them and their experiences with sin, and their victories over sin, by making them joint-heirs with Christ in the ruling and blessing and judging of the world by and by.

Following the completion of the Church of the First-borns will come the later borns. It is the Divine intention, not only that the Church shall attain to the liberty of the sons of God on the spirit plane, like unto the angels, but it is His purpose also that humanity in general shall be granted an opportunity to become sons of God during Messiah's reign: "For the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption [death and sin] into the glorious liberty of the sons of God" [human sons, [R4931 : page 445] such as Adam was in his perfection, free from sin and death, possessed of the full liberty which God provided for all in full fellowship with Him]. – Romans 8:21.

IF WE CONFESS

Our text undoubtedly refers to those now called of God to be members of the Bride of Christ, and sharers of the liberty and glory of sonship on the spirit plane. Nevertheless it states a principle which will be applicable also during the thousand years of Messiah's reign. None then need expect to make progress on the Highway of Holiness except first they confess their sins and turn from them and accept the proffered blessing of Messiah, who then will be reigning for the very purpose of destroying sin and uplifting sinners.

Applying the text to the present time, we see that it does not refer to sinners in general, but to the Church of Christ, as again we read, "If we sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ." So this confession of sins does not relate to the world, who have not yet become children of God through faith and consecration. This statement corresponds to the one in our Lord's prayer which says, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive [R4932 : page 445] those who trespass against us."

"JUST TO FORGIVE US"

Those who have become new creatures in Christ by faith and obedience – those who have taken up their cross to follow Him and have been begotten of the Holy Spirit – God has agreed to forgive all their unwilling trespasses upon request. Hence the Apostle John here says that it will be merely just on God's part to fulfil to His holy ones this promise which He has made to them. Reasoning upon the same subject St. Paul urges, "Let us come with courage to the throne of heavenly grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." – Heb. 4:16.

It was evidently because the Lord foresaw that His people might become so abashed by their repeated failures through inherited weaknesses of their flesh that He provided this special exhortation for their encouragement. This is a point well to be remembered. At this, the close of another year and the opening of a new one, we urge that all Christians keep daily record with the Lord and never retire to rest without obtaining this grace of forgiveness and help. But if any have delayed the matter and a cloud has come between them and the Lord, let them surely avail themselves of these promises in the close of this year that they may start the New Year with a clean slate – with the smile of their Father's face upon them, and with the fellowship of their Redeemer and with fresh resolves for earnestness and carefulness in walking in His steps.

WEARY AND HEAVY LADEN

There are other Scriptures which apply to those of the world who have not yet become the Lord's people, and who are not therefore included in our text. This class we refer to are included in the Lord's words, "Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, and ye shall find rest to your souls." (Matt. 11:28,29.) There is no rest of heart in the restless striving of selfishness and sin, yet these sometimes work out experiences which lead the weary to the great Sin-Bearer, the Friend above all others.

What more opportune time than the beginning of the year to make the one great contract with the Lord which will make us disciples indeed – the covenant of self-sacrifice, self-denial, self-renunciation, taking up the cross to follow the Lord's leading whithersoever He goeth, knowing that the end of the journey will be glorious and blessed; yea, and that the trials on the way toward the Heavenly Kingdom will be blessed and overruled for good, because Jesus will be a sharer also in them.

[R4932 : page 445]

INTERESTING QUESTIONS
"NOW ARE WE THE SONS OF GOD"
QUESTION. – Are consecrated believers actually or only reckonedly sons of God?

Answer. – Consecrated believers are actually sons of God. The Scriptures so state the matter. "Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (I John 3:2.) Old things have passed away and all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17.) Either you are a son of God or you are not a son of God. If you have made the proper consecration and God has begotten you of the Holy Spirit, you are a son of God. It is just as well, dear friends, that we have this matter clearly before our minds.

In England a business man said to us after one of the great Albert Hall Meetings, "I was out to hear you at Albert Hall, and you discouraged me very much." At first we did not know what he meant. As he proceeded we found out. He said, "I had been thinking that I was a good Episcopalian, and that if God had anything good to give away I should be sure to get it if any one would. From the way you talk I see you think there is only a 'little flock' which gets these good things which the Father has. You have quite upset my faith."

When we came to understand what the gentleman meant we told him that we were very glad, for we wanted to wake him up before he should die with such a misunderstanding of God's terms. God is not calling people who say, "I would rather serve You than go to hell, but that is all the interest I have in you." God is calling those people who love righteousness and hate iniquity. Of that kind He is getting the number He wants for His special place – to be joint-heirs with His Son. He is not calling the remainder of mankind. After this Gospel Age will be the time for those on the earthly plane to receive their blessing, to reach human perfection.

But the only ones who will ever get the spiritual or high calling are those who are saints. How can we suppose that God will exalt to association with Jesus, as members of His Body, any who are not saints at heart, pure in their intentions, especially pure – loyal to God to the very core? Would you expect Him to take any others? You would not even respect the Government of God if you knew He would have all sorts of people in highly exalted places and give them the divine nature. If you believed such to be the case you must lose all respect for the Almighty's Government. But when He tells you that all those who will be highly exalted to association with Jesus will be copies of His Son, you will say, "That sounds right." It is right. The Lord's ways are just and righteous altogether. If we should never make our calling and election sure we would say, "True and righteous are Thy ways, Lord God Almighty."

But we could never count it right if anyone should be roasted through all eternity or in Purgatory for a time. We could never agree to the righteousness of that. Such [R4932 : page 446] ways would be most unjust. There is no one who for his shortcomings could ever warrant the sentence of eternal torment, or even one hundred years of torment, or even one year of torment. It could not be right for poor, imperfect human beings to be held responsible for perfection and to be tormented because of coming short of it. But you know, and everybody knows, that to whatever extent you co-operate with evil, to that extent you will bring upon yourself degradation, mental, moral and physical; and every step you go downward must be retraced, if you attain to anything good in this life or in the life to come. [R4933 : page 446] There is a righteous recompense of reward, as the Scriptures say, to the righteous as well as to the evildoers.

THE LAND WAS FORCED TO KEEP ITS SABBATHS

Question. – In a chapter in Vol. II of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES it is shown how the Israelites while in captivity were forced to observe the Sabbaths which they did not observe before. Why are these Sabbaths called Jubilees in Vol. II?

Answer. – What the Second Volume of STUDIES says is, not that the Jews were forced to keep their Sabbaths while in Babylon, but that the land was forced to keep these Sabbaths, while the Jews were in Babylon. God says so. (2 Chron. 36:20,21.) The Jews were commanded that in the Jubilee year the land should rest. Like the rest of humanity, somewhat selfish, they were afraid that if they should let the land rest a whole year they would get behind in their taxes, etc. So they did not properly keep those Jubilees. Israel had kept nineteen Jubilees up to the time when they went into captivity; and the Lord was greatly dissatisfied with them. He said: While you have had the land, the land did not observe the Sabbaths. You did not keep the Sabbaths properly. We are not herein blaming the Jews, for we believe that if the Lord should put such a commandment upon the United States or any other country, very few would keep it.

According to the Law, the Sabbath year occurred every seventh year. The people were instructed to count seven times seven years, and then came the fiftieth, the Jubilee. Thus two Sabbaths came together, one of which, the fiftieth, was the great Jubilee year. The Jews kept these Sabbaths in a half-hearted way; so the Lord put them out of their land into the enemy's land, until their land should accomplish her Sabbaths. Evidently God did not wish the Jew to understand the full import of these time features; for the Jew does not understand even to this day. If God had meant for the Jew to understand, the Jew would have understood. But we believe that these time features were meant chiefly for the Spiritual Israelite, and that the number 70 was put there to show us when the time should come for the Lord to bless Israel and the whole world. When the time comes, then the Jews will understand about their Sabbaths, the captivity and the fulfilment of all things. But we get this information from the spiritual source, a higher source than the Jews and the remainder of the world.

[R4933 : page 446]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
EXTENSION WORK IN AFRICA
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I have just returned from a Pilgrim visit to Johannesburg and am writing to supplement my reports of the work in that district by what I have learned from personal observation.

In fulfilment of a long-standing promise and regarding it opportune for the advancement of the Lord's work, I arranged a ten-days' visit to Johannesburg and the Orange Free State to meet brethren in both places. Most of that time I spent in the "Golden City."

As there were no regular meetings held there I did not have an opportunity to lecture, but spent a busy time visiting those who were more or less interested, seeking to strengthen and confirm their faith.

I had also some interesting conversations with friends who do not quite see eye to eye with us, among whom was the President of the Natal and Transvaal Conference of Seventh Day Adventists. I had a more profitable time with some other friends I visited, and the outcome is that with the beginning of September there will be a little class meeting in Johannesburg for the study of God's great Plan. This is a small beginning, but it is a beginning, and I am hopeful of further development.

Johannesburg is a peculiar city. Being the center of the gold industry of the world it attracts to itself from all parts people of an acquisitive type, whom we would not expect to show much interest in spiritual things. The vigorous existence of several modern religious idiosyncrasies, such as the Apostolic Faith Movement (gift of tongues), Spiritism, Christian Science, etc., etc., indicate, however, that, despite our expectations, there exists even in this modern Babylon a spiritual hunger, which the old errors and superstitions cannot satisfy and reveals the presence of many who, though meantime blinded by the Adversary, are nevertheless groping for the light.

While in that district I took the opportunity to run down seventy miles into the Orange Free State to make the acquaintance of some Dutch brethren with whom I had been corresponding. I suggested a Chart Lecture in the little town of Parys, where they live, and they jumped at the idea. Through the courtesy of the municipality we had the free use of the Town Hall for the lecture, which was quite an event. The Mayor of Parys occupied the chair and introduced the lecturer with a few well-chosen words. The Vice-Mayor, a brother in the Truth, translated our remarks into Dutch for the benefit of the non-English-speaking portion of the audience after we had been accompanied to the platform by a prominent merchant in town, also a brother in the Lord. There were about 250 people in the audience and they listened attentively to an exposition of the Chart.

I had also interesting talks with several of the Boers and found them quite ready to reason about God's Plan and very tired of the spiritual fare served out to them by the Predikants of the Dutch Reformed Church.

The South African Dutch are a Bible-loving people. They are as yet free from the demoralizing influence of Higher Criticism and Evolutionary Theories and are growing restive under the continued preaching of a theory of eternal torment that is an insult to the intelligence of humanity and a libel on the character of God. Having met some of these people I feel more than ever convinced that God has a work to do among them and would earnestly recommend the proposals which I submit under other covers for their assistance.

The Lord of the Harvest is at work. The time is short. Not a single grain of wheat will fail of being gathered. May we then be diligent in (His) business that we may gather fruit unto life eternal!

With much Christian love, dear brother, and earnestly soliciting your prayers for the Harvest work in Africa, I am,

Your brother and co-laborer,

W. W. JOHNSTON. – Africa.

"ROLLING THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG IN AFRICA"
DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD: –

We, a few in South Africa, gratefully own possession of your "keys" [STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES] and ofttimes praise our dear Lord for the privilege of the free access they afford us to the great storehouse of the riches of His Truth.

With uplifted hearts we bless and praise the God of our forefathers that He hath magnified the Law and made it honorable; that His mercy endureth forever.

Further, in addition to the "keys," which we may also term a magnifying glass, we are greatly blessed with a carpenter in the flesh and "he stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with a compass." Oh, "What shall we render unto the Lord for all His benefits!"

Thus, our little band realizes that the Lord is ever mindful of us; yea, specially favoring us and we rejoice in the love and fellowship of His saints.

But, dear brother, we know full well that there are not many in South Africa who put "the keys" to their practical [R4934 : page 447] use and that few have the penetration of spiritual character that would lead them to the use of the magnifying glass and many there are who cannot be reached by present temporal facilities.

We are, therefore, praying the Lord of the Harvest to call a feast in order that special opportunities may be afforded the lame, the halt, the blind and the indifferent ones, to "see themselves as they are" and afterward contemplate the King in all His love and beauty.

We feel that this is the Lord's due time in this corner of the earth for a special awakening of estranged brethren and the shaking of the structures of the formalist, the scientist, the spiritist and the atheist.

The "weekly flashlights" from across the waters are specially welcome to us, but our hearts are fervently zealous in supplication to our Heavenly Father that He will ship to us the Instrument of His handiwork and favor us with His command – "Let there be Light."

We have come to realize "the liberty of the sons of God," hence our full freedom from restraint in holding converse with a brother we know and love, but have not yet seen with the natural eye, but hope to see in darkest Africa. And until you arrive on our shores we will do our best to serve the Lord and "roll the old chariot along" in His dear name, gratefully ascribing to Him all the honor and the glory.

May the special blessing of the Master rest upon you, dear brother, is our earnest prayer and thus will we continue to pray. Yours in the Lord,

WILHELMINA J. PITT. – Africa.

"DIE STIMME" STIRRING UP JEWS IN RUSSIA
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Your favor of August 1 gladly received. My visit to this place is at an end. The Lord knows best what result shall come from it. The Truth is spread considerably over the country in many different ways. There is also a good deal of interest in Present Truth, but the Roman Catholics in general and Poles especially are very slow to join any Protestant congregation. Many are coming to the meeting and are circulating our literature, but they do not join the class.

The class at Warsaw is about twenty-five, at Pabianice twenty, at Ricin about eight, besides a few scattered here and there. On August 15 seven of the brethren were immersed. Some interest is manifested in Lodz. One of our brethren here in Warsaw doing Colporteur work will go there to assist. He is a young man, full of zeal, and consecrated; I believe it may be the Lord's will for him to go and do the work. Lodz is a large city of about 500,000 and is very close to Pabianice, where we have a class. At the railroad station in Lodz, at a newspaper stand, we placed Die Stimme; many Jews coming and going to Russia are buying and carrying the paper with them.

Many Jews in Warsaw and small towns already know your name. All Jewish papers were writing articles pro and con, but most of them have the idea that Die Stimme is a missionary paper. However, there is a good deal of interest all over the country amongst the Jews.

It is very hard to do Colporteur work here. One or two books is all that a Colporteur can sell in a day's work; besides, there are many difficulties at every step.

In regard to the permission for meetings, which Brother Bente tried to get, it is a complete failure. The first petition to the Secretary of Religious Affairs was refused on account of some miswording, though it cost fifteen rubles. The second petition was placed in the hands of a lawyer and cost seventy-five rubles and, after all, is good for nothing. I think I have found a man, however, who will do the work for us and bring desirable results. In whatever way the Lord's answer may come this time we will take it as from the Lord.

With this letter I enclose a copy of the Russian PEOPLES PULPIT, "Where are the Dead?" For ten thousand copies they charged seventy-three rubles, about $36. I ordered also stereo-types which will cost about $4 for four pages. Some difficulties were experienced before the paper could appear as it is now. While it is true that there are many difficulties, nevertheless there are many souls longing after God.

As soon as I have everything ready I shall leave for Galicia, and by the end of the month, or October 1, I expect to land in America.

May our dear Lord continue to bless you and all your co-workers until the Harvest work is over.

Your brother in the Lord Jesus,

R. H. OLESZYNSKI. – Russia.

page 447

BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study VI. – Order and
Discipline in the New Creation.
JANUARY 8
"LET EVERY MAN BE FULLY PERSUADED IN HIS OWN MIND."

(85) While it is desirable that each should reach a decision "in his own mind," is it reasonable to expect or demand that all should see exactly alike? P. 326, par. 1.

(86) How harmonize this view with the Apostle's exhortation that we "mind the same things"? P. 326, par. 1; P. 327, par. 1.

(87) To preserve order in meetings for study, to whom only should questions and remarks be addressed? P. 327, par. 2.

(88) While unity of knowledge is desirable, what is still more important? P. 327, par. 3.

FUNERAL SERVICES

(89) What general advice respecting funeral arrangements is suggested? P. 328.

(90) Who are best qualified to conduct a funeral service, and if none such be found, may any brother, or even a sister, with propriety set forth the Truth about death, and our hopes for the future? P. 329, par. 1.

JANUARY 15
SUGGESTIVE OUTLINE OF FUNERAL DISCOURSE

(91) What suggestions as to the order of such a service? P. 329, par. 1-3.

(92) Briefly state the general character and scope of a funeral discourse. P. 330 to 337, par. 1.

(93) What course should be followed with respect to the prayer immediately after the discourse, and in the closing of the service, and at the grave? P. 338, par. 1-3.

(94) What changes should be made to suit the varying circumstances of the deceased? P. 338, par. 4,5.

TITHES, COLLECTIONS, ETC.

(95) Why should public collections and the money question in general be avoided in assemblies of the Lord's people? P. 339, par. 1,2.

(96) Should this avoidance of collections and financial questions in the assembly be interpreted to discourage a spirit of generosity or cheerful giving? P. 340, par. 1; P. 341, par. 1, first six lines.

JANUARY 22

(97) Are our time, talents and influence more appreciated by the Lord than our money, and if so, what should be our course of action accordingly? P. 341, par. 1,2.

(98) What thoughts respecting God, the great Giver, are suggested by the Scripture, "It is more blessed to give than to receive"? P. 341, par. 3; P. 342, par. 1.

(99) In proportion as we have fellowship with the Lord and partake of His Holy Spirit, what are our experiences as New Creatures? P. 342, par. 2.

(100) How does this spirit of love, this desire to give, influence our every thought and action? P. 343, par. 1.

(101) What lesson may we learn from the poor widow and her "two mites"? P. 344, par. 1.

JANUARY 29

(102) Why is our consecration measured by our benevolences and self-sacrifices? P. 344, par. 2.

(103) How shall we determine the Divine Will with respect to carrying out our consecration of our time, our money, our all? P. 345, par. 1.

(104) Why did the Lord give the tithing system to the Jews and leave the New Creation without any such law? P. 345, par. 2.

(105) As all the gold and silver are the Lord's why does He permit His work to be in such condition as to need financial help from His consecrated people? P. 346.

(106) What is our conclusion with respect to the money question? and should money be solicited or accepted from outsiders? P. 347.

page 449
December 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. XXXIIDECEMBER 15No. 24
A.D. 1911 – A.M. 6040
CONTENTS
1911 – Annual Report – 1911 451
Facts and Figures Helpful 451
1912 – Views from The Watch Tower 454
The Outlook is Promising 455
What Recent Events Foreshadow 455
The Editor's British Tour 456
Preparing for the Kingdom 457
The Very Greatest Prophet 458
A Savior – A Life-Giver 459
The Hallelujah Chorus 460
Consecration in the Temple 460
"Set for the Fall and Rising Again of Many in Israel 461
What We are to Expect 461
In Everything Give Thanks (Poem) 462
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies 462
Lecture Announcements 463
Index to 1911 Watch Tower 464

'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 450

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 AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

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.

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE.
SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.

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.

ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH AND DANISH EDITIONS.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.

ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE
ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA

[R4939 : page 450]

A SPECIAL JANUARY NUMBER

The Pastor Russell Lecture Bureau is the style of a newspaper syndicate which handles Brother Russell's weekly sermons. This syndicate felt a deep interest in the world tour and published a pamphlet descriptive of said tour and containing sketches of Brother Russell's younger days, gleaned from an article in the National Encyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. XII. Several WATCH TOWER readers saw the pamphlet, which is about the size of THE WATCH TOWER, and they urged that it be made a part of the January 1st issue. We have adopted the suggestion, believing that the pamphlet would be interesting to all of our readers. The value will be enhanced by the printing of the outside cover of that issue in colors, thus making that page suitable for framing, if desired.

Additionally, on another of the cover pages, we purpose a reproduction of a new and very popular picture of our Lord and His Apostles passing through a wheat-field, Jesus and Peter in conversation, John following, then James, Matthew the Levite and others. We are sure that this picture will be greatly prized by every WATCH TOWER reader. To avoid the marks of folding, we purpose that they shall be rolled and suggest to you great care in cutting the wrapper, lest the picture be injured. It is quite a work of art and probably could not be purchased in any art store for less than fifty cents.

We trust that our subscribers will be as interested in the receiving of the January number as we feel interested in preparing it for them.

YOUR CHURCH CONNECTION REPORTS

In our issue of October 1 we suggested an appropriate answer for such as might inquire respecting our Church connections. It is important that we state ourselves truthfully and explicitly that we be not misunderstood – that our good be not evil-spoken of. Many were greatly pleased with our suggestions, yet they prefer not to cut the item from their WATCH TOWER and inquire if we cannot provide this same matter neatly gotten up in card form.

The suggestion seems a good one and we have followed it, only that we have put the entire matter on one side of the card and on the back of the card the synopsis of faith found at the top of this page – as to what the Scriptures teach. We believe that these cards will be very desirable to the friends. We are able to provide them at a very small price, postpaid, namely 20c. per 100.

page 450

EXTRA TOWERS FOR BEREAN CLASSES

Some are inquiring, "Could a lower price be made on THE WATCH TOWER if sent to Berean Classes in addition to those which the same persons subscribe for and get individually? The thought is to have THE WATCH TOWER at our Class Meeting for use in connection with the Berean Studies."

We are pleased with this suggestion, but would not wish it to interfere in any way with the subscription standing in your own names. We specially like to have upon our lists the names of all who are interested in Present Truth – the Harvest Message. For such Berean Classes we will supply THE WATCH TOWER at half-price.

BETHEL HYMNS FOR JANUARY

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 January follow:

(1) 34; (2) 320; (3) 300; (4) 130; (5) 12; (6) 103; (7) 32; (8) 112; (9) 333; (10) 279; (11) 73; (12) 259; (13) Vow; (14) 177; (15) 229; (16) 16; (17) 301; (18) 70; (19) 135; (20) 325; (21) 191; (22) 87; (23) 109; (24) 127; (25) 96; (26) 291; (27) 307; (28) 313; (29) 213; (30) 91; (31) 260.

[R4934 : page 451]

1911 – ANNUAL REPORT – 1911
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
DEC. 1ST, 1910 – DEC. 1ST, 1911.
S
WIFTLY SPEED the years – another has gone! But none too swiftly do they fly when we reflect that they bring us nearer and nearer to our goal – "the hope set before us in the Gospel" – "the Kingdom of God's dear Son," in which with all the faithful of this Age we hope to share, as members of "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife," associated with Him in His Throne. Yet, while rejoicing in the nearness of the Kingdom, another thought presents itself – are we ready for it – have we the graces of the Holy Spirit shed abroad in our hearts? Have we the fruits of the spirit well ripened in our characters? The greater our faith the more earnest should be our zeal in the race for the prize set before us. If by God's grace we discern with clear vision the goal of glory, honor and immortality, in association with our Redeemer in the glorious work of His Messianic Kingdom of a thousand years, what manner of persons ought we to be in "all holy living and godliness" while awaiting that consummation!

We are glad to be able to report from our vantage point on THE WATCH TOWER that a deep work of grace is in progress amongst the readers of this journal. We know this from the thousands of letters which come to us, as well as through the reports of the Pilgrim brethren and from our own personal contact with you at conventions, etc. Apparently there has been quite a clearing of the spiritual atmosphere within the past two years; some whom we loved walk no more with us, yet, strange to say, their places have been more than filled; and many who have come recently into the light of "present truth" give evidence that for a considerable time they have been in the school of Christ and learned of Him. In the light of "present truth" some of these have made such remarkable progress as to startle and abash others who have enjoyed the light of the Divine Plan much longer.

The general effect is stimulating; many are realizing the force of what we have long pointed out, namely, that while the Divine requirement is not knowledge but grace, nevertheless, in Divine providence, the two go hand in hand today, the one sealing the heart and the other the intellect. The daily Manna text and comments are proving helpful in many homes. Many are joining with the Bethel Family daily in the use of the same hymn of praise and in the reading of the Vow. The numbers who have informed us that they have taken the Vow is now close upon 10,000. What a wonderful prayer circle – these each remembering the others throughout the world. The Berean Studies with the printed questions are stimulating thought and are helping Bible students to consider deep subjects far more than would printed answers. The little classes everywhere are finding that they thus make much better progress than ever before in the mastication of spiritual food. Increasing numbers are following the suggestions offered by one of our correspondents – that the reading of eight pages per day permits the reading of the SCRIPTURE STUDIES series of six volumes in a year. Great blessing is reported; truths are kept freshly in mind which otherwise would be forgotten or lost. The daily touch with the Scriptures and their gracious promises is strengthening and assists in repelling the spirit of the world and in entertaining the holy spirit of the truth.

But while this personal work is indispensable, class work is progressing also. More and more it is being realized that while the Church is indeed commissioned to let her light shine before men as a witness – to reprove sin and to attract those who are feeling after God – yet this is not her only work nor the most important. The Bride is to make herself ready, the various members are to build one another up under the Headship of Jesus. And more and more is it seen that the Divine Plan interweaves for our highest welfare.

Thus while we let our light shine before men, and additionally seek to build one another up in the most holy faith we are by both of these good works developing ourselves personally in the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. Thus personal character-building leads us to "forget not the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is, but so much the more as we see the day drawing on." [R4935 : page 451] Similarly, it leads to volunteering or free-tract distribution, to class extension work and to a personal work amongst our neighbors and friends, in the sale or the loaning of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. So many and so diversified are the opportunities of service that every consecrated child of God may have a share in the blessed Harvest work, however few his talents or opportunities. And the zeal for this work to a considerable extent marks our love for the Lord and our appreciation of our invitation to be associated with Him in the conquest of the great Enemies, Sin, Satan, Error. Faint-hearted fighting against these implies a lack of love for the Lord, the Truth and the brethren – a lack which must be made up if we would be counted in amongst the "more than conquerors" who will share the Messianic Throne.

FACTS AND FIGURES HELPFUL

While we are confident that you will rejoice as you read our estimate of the spiritual growth of Bible Students [R4935 : page 452] with whom you are so closely in touch, we are sure that you will appreciate the corroborative testimony of the facts and figures of our annual report. And while you read with pleasure of the considerable work accomplished by our Society through its Office, through its Pilgrims, Colporteurs, and by tons of free literature, etc., do not forget your own share in this great harvest work. Do not forget the thousands of patient, earnest, self-denying laborers whose zeal has been shown to the Lord, to us and to their neighbors by their faithful circulation of the free literature, and also by the providing of the money wherewith the entire campaign under God's providence has been carried on.

Sometimes our carefulness and economy in connection with all the details of the work have been reflected upon as parsimonious, as a greater degree of economy than the Lord would approve. But we reply that Divine economy is everywhere shown – nothing goes to waste. Every leaf, every flower and every blade of grass, as well as every animal, dying, produces a fertilizer or nourishment for others. And when our Redeemer multiplied the loaves and fishes into an abundance for thousands, He was economical enough to direct that the broken fragments should be collected, that nothing be lost. Frugality is a new lesson to some of the Lord's people, but love will teach it. A desire to do good to others will prompt not only economy, but self-denial. Many of our readers have surmised that the growing donations to the Tract Fund for the spread of the Truth implies that there are many rich amongst the donors. This is a mistake. It is with us as the Lord declared it would be amongst His faithful, "not many rich."

We are glad of the opportunities afforded by these earnest reapers to show all the dear friends who have contributed to the funds how carefully these have been handled – how much work has been accomplished – so much more than usual in religious or other enterprises. The secret is the love, the zeal of all the workers. Without this no such results would be possible. We believe that the Lord guided from the very beginning – that no financial inducements should be extended to anybody connected with the work – that none should have more than comfortable necessities – "things decent." The love of money lies close to every evil, and money lovers find nothing to attract them in our Society's arrangements for any part of the world.

LETTERS RECEIVED AND DISPATCHED

The importance of the Correspondence Department may be judged to some extent by the report below of mail received and mail dispatched. We take this opportunity to assure our readers that their letters are always very welcome – including those which seem to require no special answers except THE WATCH TOWER articles twice a month. Ordinary letters please direct invariably to the Society to insure prompt attention. Occasional changes in the Office force might otherwise delay replies. Of course, with the considerable development of the work in recent years, the Editor has been obliged to give less and less time to the correspondence. Nevertheless, if you so desire, important doctrinal or business questions may still be addressed to the Editor. Such letters will be handled by brethren specially deputed to act as his private secretaries. With these as with the Editor, communications will be confidential. If the questions require, the secretary would communicate with the Editor before sending a reply. But remember, please, to address all general and business communications to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society – to the Brooklyn, London or Melbourne address, as may be most convenient to you. Where the business relates specially to Colporteuring, you may add, "Colporteur Department;" where it relates specially to Pilgrim service, you may add "Pilgrim Department," and where it relates specially to Class Extension work, you may add "Class Extension."

 Total letters received 1911 – Brooklyn........128,712
 Total letters dispatched 1911 – Brooklyn......221,789
"WATCH TOWER" SUBSCRIPTIONS

We watch THE WATCH TOWER subscription list with keen interest, considering it our very best index to the general growth of the work, because all who become truly, deeply interested in "present truth" we assume will want to be on THE WATCH TOWER list – that they may keep in touch with the work as well as with the Truth. Especially have we reason to expect this because we continually keep before our readers the fact that we are glad to have their names there whether they are able to pay their subscription or not. All who ask for THE WATCH TOWER may have it on credit and will not be held responsible if they never pay, or they may have it sent to them free if they will request it as the "Lord's poor" – for whom we have a specially contributed fund.

We have felt considerable disappointment that our list has grown so slowly – that even now it is not much above the thirty thousand mark. True, sometimes the one paper supplies several of the interested, but we would rather that each one have a copy himself, even though the additional copy be on the free list. Specially would we like to have the names of all fully consecrated Bible students on THE WATCH TOWER list. For various reasons we incline to think that our list should be at least double what it is.

However, we must not forget that long ago, before the government made more stringent rules respecting newspaper subscriptions, we had names upon our list from whom we had heard nothing for years. New postal regulations required that addresses be dropped unless subscriptions be renewed, either for money or on credit. We encouraged the Students everywhere to do what they could to help forward this branch of the service because we believe that a stimulating and helpful influence is exercised by the twice a month visits of our journal.

THE COLPORTEUR DEPARTMENT

We have a grand little army of Colporteurs, numbering about six hundred faithful bearers of the cross, enduring hardness as good soldiers. Although more than half a million volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES went into the hands of the public during last year, and although this is a phenomenal sale for such books, we nevertheless are not quite satisfied. We hope that 1912 will show a considerable increase. To facilitate this the books are now appearing in a new style of binding – still more attractive than formerly. And now the sets are put up in paper boxes, making them very attractive. Besides, the prices have been made uniform for all volumes, and the Colporteurs, sharpshooters and classes ordering twenty volumes at a time will be supplied any volume, in any language, at sixteen cents net. Some who cannot give all of their time to colporteuring can give two or three half days of each week. Application to the Office will bring to you helpful suggestions along the lines of this work which God has so greatly blessed in connection with the harvesting of the "wheat."

The total volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES circulated in 1911 was 538,783.

I.B.S.A. BIBLE STUDY CLASS EXTENSION

During this year our Society recommended a class extension work on the part of classes possessed of more talent for public work than they required. Any brethren [R4935 : page 453] who are thought by the class to be worthy, on Scriptural lines of selection, as Elders, whose talents could be spared, they were encouraged to send forth to start new classes in surrounding villages or wards, as opportunity might offer. Full particulars were sent to the classes telling upon what terms the Society would be glad to co-operate in this work by furnishing free literature for the public announcements of these meetings, and occasionally by rendering some assistance, financially. The subjoined report shows that little financial assistance was called for – the dear friends gladly and enthusiastically took hold of the service. We hope that the results may be a blessing to some truth hungry. Although this work has been under way but a few months, the following reports received are very encouraging.

Number of meetings reported.................    3,049
Attendance at meetings......................   97,898
Number of copies "Everybody's Paper"
 circulated.................................1,111,238
Reported cost of the above..................$6,927.21
Amount supplied by the Society.............. 1,116.34
"Everybody's Paper" supplied by the Society      Free
[R4936 : page 453]

We encourage the dear brethren possessed of ability for public speaking to engage in this Class Extension Work rather than to visit and attempt to preach to other classes. This latter work we believe can better be done by the regular "Pilgrims" sent by the Society in every direction in response to requests. It may be urged that the Pilgrim visits are not very frequent, and we reply that we believe this is all the better for the classes. It gives them an opportunity to serve themselves through the Berean Studies published in THE TOWER. This stimulates thought more than does preaching. Besides it tends to throw responsibility upon each little class and thus to draw out or develop whatever talent for leadership it may possess. Class Extension work is evangelistic and the plan which it outlines and which is being followed is bringing good results and apparently has the Divine blessing.

We have noticed with regret that some of the dear Colporteurs have left their special work to engage in the Class Extension Work. We are sure they meant well, but not so sure that they are doing wisely. The Class Extension is excellent for those classes which have more talent for public speaking than they need – brethren who cannot engage in the Colporteuring. For those who have time for Colporteuring we still recommend that branch of the service as the very best and most useful. All of our meetings anyway will be without results, except as we get the STUDIES into the hands of the interested, and get them to read. One brother and sister, besides Colporteuring, usually leave a Class of Bible Students in every town or city they serve. They note evidences of interest and call back and "water" the seed sown.

HARVEST WORK IN NEWSPAPERDOM

Many of our readers appreciate, as we do, the publication of our weekly sermons by the secular press. This is effected by a newspaper syndicate. The prosperity and success of the syndicate depends upon getting sermons into numerous papers and keeping them there. We supply the sermons to the syndicate free, but, additionally, the one thousand papers which it supplies should have every encouragement our readers can give them. The number of American papers and their circulation is practically the same as a year ago, but the number of British papers publishing the sermons has greatly increased – to about three hundred. The syndicate estimates that thus our sermons go weekly to over ten million readers. This is little short of a miracle. Never before have sermons reached one-fourth this circulation. We are not to deceive ourselves into supposing that this number read the sermons, nor that all readers are converted to the Truth. We have, however, good evidence showing that gradually superstition, ignorance and the errors of the Dark Ages expressed in our creeds are giving way before the light now shining from God's Word. It is our privilege to let our light shine before men, witnessing to the Truth whether they hear or whether they forbear to hear.

A GREAT VOLUNTEER WORK

This year's figures on the Volunteer Work are astounding. To those who understand what tract distribution is these figures speak of an immense amount of work – carrying the Gospel into millions of homes of all denominations of Christendom, in all parts of the world, to which all other efforts put together are as nothing in comparison with our figures, yet they include great institutions with powerful financial backing. There is a difference, for which there is a reason. And we know what the reason is! Ours is the true Gospel of God's Love and Mercy, not only for the elect Church but also in due time for the non-elect world. Ours is the Gospel of which we are not ashamed, and this cannot be said of the other messages of bad tidings of great misery which are mis-named the Gospel, for the word Gospel signifies good tidings. We hope that every reader scanning these figures may have the consolation of thinking – I was a volunteer! I shared in this work! My labors are represented in the grand totals! Well has someone said that to love means to serve – to serve the Lord, the Truth, the brethren.

TRACT DISTRIBUTION FOR 1911 IN U.S. AND CANADA
(includes EVERYBODY'S PAPER and PEOPLES PULPIT) DEC. 1, 1910 – NOV. 1, 1911.
In the English language (copies).........  22,308,582
 (equaling in usual tract pages)......... 356,101,756
In the Swedish language (copies).........      92,500
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........   1,480,000
In the German language (copies)..........      25,700
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........     422,400
In the Polish language (copies)..........     189,500
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........   3,032,000
In the Greek language (copies)...........     109,200
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........   1,747,200
In the Italian language (copies).........      53,500
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........     856,000
In the Hollandish language (copies)......      11,750
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........     124,000
In the Hungarian language (copies).......       7,000
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........     224,000
In the Spanish language (copies).........      19,750
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........     316,000
In the Finnish language (copies).........      16,500
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........     264,000
In the Norwegian language (copies).......       1,000
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........      16,000
In the French language (copies)..........       2,000
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........      20,800
In the Syrian language (copies)..........       1,300
 (equaling in usual tract pages).........      20,800
                                           ----------
Grand total of tracts....................  22,838,282
                                          -----------
 Grand total in tract pages.............. 364,624,956
THE YEAR'S FINANCIAL SUMMARY
The cost of foregoing work, including all the
 expenses of the Office and of the Bethel
 Home maintenance, was....................$140,729.51
Last year's deficit.......................  11,901.94
ADDITIONAL EXPENDITURES IN OTHER LANDS:
British Branch............................ $23,401.87
Germany and Holland.......................   4,098.81
Australasia...............................   2,046.40
India.....................................   1,366.25
South Africa..............................     904.71
Sweden....................................   3,462.65
Jamaica...................................   3,004.42
Greece....................................     240.00
[R4936 : page 454]
Crete.....................................      50.50
Syria.....................................      69.34
Egypt.....................................     115.84
Cuba......................................       5.00
Hungary...................................     115.25
France, Italy and Switzerland.............     137.67
                                          -----------
 Total...................................  $39,018.71
                                          -----------
 Grand total............................. $191,650.16
 Receipts from "Good Hopes" and other
  sources................................  169,234.23
                                          -----------
    Deficiency or shortage............... $ 22,415.93
                                          -----------

We doubt not this indebtedness will soon be cancelled; nevertheless the fact that it is nearly double the shortage of last year cautions us that we must to some extent put on the "brakes"; for it is our judgment of the Lord's will that we spend money only as it is supplied under His Providence.

PUBLIC PREACHING OF THE TRUTH

During the year a very successful work has been accomplished by the brethren of the Peoples Pulpit Association. Every one of them participated and some other laborers were from time to time pressed into service as the work seemed to require and as the funds seemed to permit. Altogether fifty-eight participated in these public ministries, setting forth the teachings of the Divine Word. Some of these brethren labor during the week in the Correspondence Department and otherwise in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, and attend to public preaching on Sunday only, or chiefly.

About an equal number have traveled through the length and breadth of the United States and Canada, holding meetings, both public and semi-public – the latter in connection with Classes of the International Bible Students Association. These are routed from the Office here and all of their expenses are provided. They average meetings twice a day every day in the week. Without flattery we can say for them that they are able to "rightly divide the Word of Truth" and that they are thoroughly furnished for their work of helping God's people to an understanding of His Message. They make weekly reports covering every meeting held and are entirely free from family and business cares, and thus are able to say, with St. Paul, "This one thing I do" – the preaching of "the good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people."

We encourage our readers everywhere to co-operate with these dear brethren, whose entire lives are given to the Lord and His service. All classes who are prepared to supply places for meeting and to provide for the entertainment of the speaker are requested to write to us if they desire such services for the New Year, giving particulars [R4937 : page 454] re the numbers usually attending the Class Meetings and whether any public meetings would be undertaken. Those unable to provide for the speaker at any of their homes should also mention that fact.

While our Society urges upon the brethren strict economy it nevertheless desires them to be suitably dressed for their profession as ministers and representatives of the Lord and His Message. As for their entertainment it is expected or desired merely that it be clean and wholesome – nothing elaborate or costly.

The totals below testify to the zeal of these dear brethren and the efficiency and economy of the arrangements under which the Society regulates this branch of the Harvest Work. We are sure that all of our readers, as members of the Society, will greatly rejoice in the work in this direction which they have been able to achieve during the last twelve months:

Total number of ministers engaged.............     58
  "     "     " cities and towns visited......  4,735
  "     "     " public meetings...............  3,780
  "   attendance..............................508,900
Semi-public meetings held.....................  8,333
Total number in attendance....................168,904
  "   miles traveled..........................470,702

[R4937 : page 454]

1912 – VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER – 1912
W
HO CAN TELL what experiences lie just before us within the portals of the New Year! Ah! 'tis better so; 'tis better that the future is open to our Lord alone, and that we by faith should trust Him for life's blessings and for a measure of the peace which passeth all understanding and which the world can neither give nor take away. It is better, too, that the trials, the difficulties, the sharp stones and thorns of the narrow way we tread are seen alone by our gracious Care-taker who has promised His faithful that all things shall be so overruled as to outwork for their highest welfare.

"My times are in Thy hand; my God, I wish them there."

But while rejoicing that God knows, not we, what lies before us of joy or pain, we may profitably retrospect the past year and begin the new one with good resolutions. Indeed, the custom of merchants to take an account of stock and to map out their business energies at the beginning of each new year is evidently a wise one which may be adapted to our still more important spiritual interests and activities.

Looking back upon the activities of 1911, we are surprised at their magnitude, and amazed that the apparently wise expenditure of so much money has not produced greater results as respects the number of those who have publicly acknowledged the opening of the eyes of their understanding. One would think that our wonderful message of the grace of God shining out as an electric searchlight would have aroused much more interest than we see manifested. One would suppose that so reasonable and gracious and Bible-harmonious a message, so widely delivered in this our wonderful day of intelligence and increasing liberty from superstition, would have aroused the world to a far greater degree than is manifest.

One lesson taught us by this retrospect is a fresh reminder that only he that hath an ear to hear can hear; and that the number with hearing ears at the present time must be comparatively small. Another lesson is that our work must be more particularly in the interest of those who believe – the workers. The wonderful opportunities presented to these for serving the Truth at the cost of self-sacrifice serves to prove their zeal, their loyalty and love for God, the brethren and the Truth. A third lesson is that the present very widespread circulation of the Truth into every nook and corner of civilization implies a general "rounding up," to the intent that not one saint in all the world shall fail to come into contact with "present truth," which, if he be an Israelite indeed, without guile, must surely prove attractive to him and thus draw him to the feast of fat things which some of us have been enjoying for years. Remember the words of the Master, "Wheresoever the carcass is there will the eagles be gathered together." – Matt. 24:28.

Year after year the swing and impetus of the work has [R4937 : page 455] increased until, as the report for 1911 shows, our Society is spending nearly $500 per day for the heralding of the Good Tidings of Great Joy. True, that sum is little compared with the estimation of the value of the Truth to our own hearts, and therefore its value to others with whom we would desire to share our great blessings of the knowledge of Divine Grace. True, our shortage of a year ago, as we predicted, was made up by the third of January; but, as the report shows, since then our expenditures have exceeded the income, leaving a much heavier deficit than ever before. We have no doubt whatever that the deficit will be wiped out; but the increase in the amount warns us that we must curtail expenses – that we are moving too rapidly. This was our Society's decision long ago: that it would work on a cash basis and avoid any danger of insolvency.

Some months ago we realized that we were going behind, and we began to put on the brakes. But the momentum was so great and the opportunities for the service of the Truth so many, that it has been difficult to know just when, where and how much to curtail most wisely in the interest of the cause we serve. The Colporteur work is self-sustaining, except for foreign editions and "bad debts," when some of the dear Colporteurs, through no fault of their own, fail to make ends meet. Neither can we think of curtailing the Pilgrim service – so valuable has it appeared to be. Our curtailment evidently must be along the lines of the supply of free literature, and we must withdraw our offer to assist in "Class Extension," except in the providing of free literature – until we get evened up and see that the expenditures do not exceed the income. Meantime let our watchword be "faithfulness," not only in energy but in frugality. If any have literature laid by, unused, let it be brought forward; and let all orders for free literature be for no more than can and will be used faithfully and judiciously. Perhaps this is a lesson which the Lord would have us learn.

THE OUTLOOK IS PROMISING

Never has the outlook been more promising than at the opening of 1912 A.D. More than twelve hundred newspapers, whose combined circulation is probably twelve million copies, are carrying the Truth to reading, thinking people, especially in country districts. City papers are too crowded for sermons; and if they were published, the readers would not appreciate them. But the Colporteurs are reaching the people in the cities. The increased attractiveness of the books, the increased wisdom of the Colporteurs in presenting them, the increased intelligence of the people and the growing evidence that we are in the midst of a change of Dispensation – these are all very favorable to the Colporteur work; and some of the dear brethren and sisters engaged in this work are not only greatly blessed themselves, but are making their work more efficient by calling back on the interested and watering the seed sown, and starting classes of Berean students. Many are having excellent success in selling the entire six volumes with one year's subscription to THE WATCH TOWER, all for $2.65, the ordinary price for one volume on theology.

There are good evidences both in Great Britain and America that 1912 may be our very best year yet, so far as the Colporteur work is concerned; and for the volunteering, order all the free literature you can wisely use. If we find it necessary we will cut down the quantity sent you, but not otherwise! Let us hope that 1912 will not fall short of 1911 in the circulation of free literature.

WHAT RECENT EVENTS FORESHADOW

The confession of the McNamara brothers has made a profound impression on the social world. For several years they have been under the pay of $1,000 per month to dynamite bridges and buildings with a view to the intimidation of capitalists and the assistance of trades-unionism. It is claimed that no less than twenty serious dynamite explosions have been accomplished through them – some say sixty. The most serious of the lot was the damage done to the Los Angeles Times building, in connection with which twenty-one persons lost their lives. It was hard to believe that members of our race could be so depraved and still harder to believe what trades-unionists claimed, namely, that the explosions have been caused by capitalists in order to incite the public mind against trades-unionism. Now we have the truth in the confession of the McNamaras and the implication of various prominent labor leaders.

The shock to moral sense is tremendous and is sure to cause a reactionary sentiment against all trades-unionism and socialism.

The results we anticipate are the drawing closer together than ever of capitalism and of all law-and-order people. This will mean a practical union of Church and State. Everybody not in sympathy with lawlessness will [R4938 : page 455] be expected and ultimately required to identify himself with the politico-religious arrangement thus inaugurated. Those who for any reason attempt to stand free and to oppose Churchianity will doubtless be seriously misunderstood and make themselves liable to hatred and persecution. Thus the readers of this publication, although the most staunch defenders of Law and Order and the most pronounced opposers of everything like anarchy, may yet find themselves branded as opponents to law and order – just as Jesus was crucified between two thieves.

WHAT OUR POSITION SHOULD BE

The exhortation of the moment is loyalty to God and to the Truth, but great moderation and love and wisdom in every expression respecting the same. Nevertheless, even at the risk of being misunderstood, the true message of the Kingdom must be proclaimed by those who would be esteemed of the Lord good soldiers of the Cross and Ambassadors for God. But let us not forget the Master's words, "Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves."

The results of the combination will be powerful restraints upon everything supposed to effect the present social order and the ultimate results will be that this weighting down of the safety-valve will bring the great explosion of anarchy a little later on, very much as described in the volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, explanatory of the Divine prophecies that our Age will end with "a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation," and that this will usher in the glorious Kingdom of Messiah.

The experience of our British friends in connection with the dock-workers' strike and the railway men's strike of last September was good. They had read of strikes elsewhere, but seemed not to dream of their possibility in Britain. The general stagnation of business for a few days opened their eyes to the fact that, prolonged a little while, it would mean starvation to thousands – so dependent are we today upon modern methods of food and fuel distribution. The British people seem to realize that a mighty struggle between capital and labor is not far distant. The working people are boasting that they realize their strength as never before, and that the next strike will be much more severe than was this one. Capitalists are saying, "It must be settled once and for all who is master; and next time we will resort to severer measures." This determination on both sides is what will make the crisis the more severe when it comes. Both sides will be shouting, [R4938 : page 456] No quarter! No surrender! The next demonstration may be in Germany or in America.

The proper course for us is to keep close to the Lord, maintaining an attitude of humility and justice toward all – always counseling peace, never strife. Half a loaf is better than no bread. The worst government is better than anarchy. To those who expect strikes, etc., we suggest the advisability, where financially practical, of keeping a full supply of coal and of such staples as oatmeal, dried beans, etc.

However, our special concern should be to abide under the shadow of the Almighty, by abiding in His love and hence under the assurance that all shall work for our good. Then with hearts full of faith and rejoicing that the day of redemption draweth nigh, let us use our every opportunity for promoting peace and consolation amongst those of the world with whom we are in contact. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." As the time of trouble closes in, the "foolish virgin" class are to get the oil, the light; and we should be on the alert to assist them. Many of the worldly also will then be amenable to the Truth who are now deaf to it. Perhaps 1912 A.D. may be one of our most successful years for witnessing. In the meantime let us never forget that our main responsibility is in connection with our own covenant with the Lord – a covenant of sacrifice – whereby we are to make our calling and election sure. "They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." – Malachi 3:17.

[R4938 : page 456]

THE EDITOR'S BRITISH TOUR – PART 2
T
HE ATTENDANCE at the meeting held in the Royal Albert Hall was estimated at three thousand – excellent, indeed, for a mid-week religious service in an Auditorium not very conveniently located for the general public. We had an excellent hearing on the topic, "Two Heavens and Two Hells." Amongst those who spoke to us after the meeting was a Methodist brother, who thanked God for what he had heard, saying that he accepted the message fully, and that previously he had been in danger of drifting into infidelity. Another remarked that he came in an unbeliever and departed with faith both in God and His Book. We thanked God and took courage.

The London Tabernacle was the center of our activities in the world's metropolis. We delivered thirteen public addresses there; the attendance and interest were excellent. On one or two occasions the Tabernacle was overcrowded; even with extra chairs some stood. We hope that the dear friends of London and vicinity were as much encouraged and spiritually strengthened as we were.

In our previous report of our visit to Scotland, we overlooked mention of the meeting at Motherwell Town Hall, which was attended by a thousand. Our Scotch brethren are very enthusiastic in their love of the Truth and in its service. We were most hospitably entertained, and brought back greetings to the Bible Students of America and everywhere.

THE GOOD TIDINGS IN WALES

We visited two of the principal Welsh cities and gave two addresses in each. At Cardiff the public address was in Park Hall. About fifteen hundred gave most earnest attention to what we had to say respecting "The Great Hereafter." About the same number were present at the public meeting in Swansea at Albert Hall.

The Welsh friends are a little diffident, but evidently warm-hearted and very keen in their love of the Truth and in their service of it. They worked hard for both of these meetings. The Truth is making good progress in Wales, and the brethren are much encouraged.

HOW THE ENGLISH HEARD

We visited eleven English cities – outside of London. In almost all of these at least two meetings were held – one specially advertised to the public. These gatherings of the Bible Students were well attended, and in many cases were really little conventions of five, ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty and forty, who attended from surrounding cities and towns. How we enjoyed their fellowship, their earnestness, and how we noted their zeal for the Truth and the earnest endeavors put forth to make the meetings a success! And they were very successful.

In our previous report we mentioned four English cities visited; now we record others: –

At Reading at the Town Hall about a thousand were present – intelligent, attentive, sympathetic hearers. At Oxford the Corn Exchange was crowded to its capacity, seven hundred, and closest attention was accorded our message. At Newport we addressed the public in Phillips' Memorial Hall. The audience was estimated at above a thousand. They gave the same close attention and showed the same keen interest in the argument that was noted in preceding meetings. So also it was with the audience at Kittering, where Victoria Hall was filled – about seven hundred. Next came Nottingham. We spoke in Mechanics' Hall to an audience estimated at twelve hundred. We had various manifestations of deep interest and sympathy here also. In Sheffield the public service was at Albert Hall. It was well filled; the audience, approximately eighteen hundred, gave us undivided attention and evidenced much interest. At Leicester we addressed the public in Corn Exchange. Nearly a thousand were present, and from the sympathetic looks and occasional applause we feel sure that many of our hearers caught views of the Hereafter which will help them in future days in their battle against infidelity, doubt, fear, the world, the flesh and the Devil.

On Friday, Nov. 17, at the London Tabernacle, our visit concluded. We bade the friends goodby, exhorting them to be of good courage and be faithful unto death. We spoke from the Apostle's words, which indicate that although our lives and message are an odor of death unto death to those who are in darkness, they are an odor of life unto life to the children of light, and to God a sweet odor in the Anointed One. Although the meeting was not advertised about eight hundred were present. The next day about thirty met us again at the railway platform, where we took the boat train.

Surely we were greatly privileged of the Lord in connection with this British visit. The Lord alone knows to what extent it has stimulated and encouraged the faithful, or enlightened some of His faithful who previously sat in darkness. We leave the results with Him, thankful for the privilege of knowing the Truth and for the joy of being permitted to serve Him in this or in any manner. We felt, and endeavored everywhere to impress upon the dear friends the thought that the Truth is not ours; that it is God's, and therefore belongs to all who are His, and that it is a great privilege to be His ambassadors and [R4939 : page 457] mouthpieces in making it known to all who have hearing ears. Hence we properly ascribe all the glory to Him, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, our Father in Heaven, and to Him through whom these gifts come to us, namely, our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus.

A summary of our tour shows twenty-four cities visited, fifty-five public meetings held, forty-four thousand hearers and over a million papers and pamphlets distributed free. The dear friends in every place displayed great energy and devotion in connection with the meetings, arrangements and announcements.

Our homeward journey was uneventful. The ocean voyage furnishes excellent opportunity for our literary work.

[R4939 : page 457]

PREPARING FOR THE KINGDOM
LUKE 1:5-23. – JANUARY 7. –

"Without faith it is impossible to please God." – Hebrews 11:6.
O
UR BEREAN STUDY course for the year has been mapped out by the International Committee. It constitutes a very thorough investigation of our Lord's earthly life, from His birth to His ascension. Today's study very appropriately calls for investigation of God's dealings and promises up to the birth of John the Baptist, the Redeemer's forerunner and herald.

Four thousand years before the birth of Jesus, God declared that the Seed of the woman would bruise the Serpent's head. This dark saying we now see signifies that sin with all its work of havoc in the world is to be offset and destroyed in due time and that the power of God to this end will operate through a wonderful Son of the disobedient Eve. Centuries passed with no sign of a fulfilment of this promise. Our race became more degraded and lapsed more and more into unbelief. Then Enoch was born, of the line of Seth. "He walked with God" and was used as a Divine mouthpiece to give a further prophecy, saying, "Behold, the Lord cometh with myriads of His holy ones, to execute judgment (justice) in the earth." – Jude 14,15.

Another thousand years elapsed before God made any further suggestion of His benevolent intention of giving the world a fresh trial or judgment. Then to Abraham, the friend of God, He made known more fully still the hope of the world – the Gospel. God declared to Abraham His intention to bless all the families of the earth, and secondly, that this blessing upon mankind would come to them through Abraham's posterity: "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." – Gen. 12:3.

This statement to Abraham, St. Paul pronounces the first Gospel message, because the other statements were so vague as not to make certain human recovery. Sin and the Serpent might have been destroyed without the seed of the woman being specially blessed, and the judging of mankind mentioned by Saint Enoch implied, but did not positively say, that human blessing would result. The message to Abraham, however, was explicit – "All the families of the earth shall be blessed." See Gal. 3:8.

St. Paul reminds us that God not only declared His coming blessing, but that He made oath to the same. God's oath was not necessary to Abraham. He confidently believed; but, as St. Paul said, the oath was for our sake. The fulfilment of the promise would be so long deferred that we, who are so specially interested in it, might have feared some change in the Divine Program. St. Paul assures us that the oath was in order that, "by two immutable things (God's Word and God's oath), we might have strong consolation (we, the Church), who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us (in 'the good tidings', the promise), which hope we have as an anchor to our souls, sure and steadfast, within the veil, whither our Forerunner has for us entered." (Hebrews 6:18-20.) We see, then, by the Apostle's words, that the Abrahamic promise or Covenant has not yet been fulfilled – it is still an anchor for our faith.

SEEKING ABRAHAM'S SEED

Ishmael was not the heir of the promise, but Isaac was; Esau was not, but Jacob was. Finally, all of Jacob's family were accepted as Abraham's seed, and in due time they were all baptized into Moses in the sea and the cloud and became heirs of the promise, on condition that they would keep the Law given at Mt. Sinai. Obedience to the requirements of that Law would give them eternal life, and forthwith the approved ones would be God's agents in fulfilling the promise – in "blessing all the families of the earth."

But, imperfect like all the remainder of our race under the death sentence, the Israelites were unable to keep the perfect Law of God; hence they all died, like the remainder of the race – because they were sinners. As Jesus said, none of you keepeth the Law; as St. Paul said, "By the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in God's sight." Nevertheless, the endeavor of the Jews to obey their Law brought a great blessing upon them; though some were hypocritical and said prayers, not from the heart, others were "Israelites indeed in whom was no guile."

The heart-loyalty of the "Israelites indeed" God appreciated, and they were granted the privilege at Pentecost of stepping from the house of Moses, as faithful servants, into the house of Christ, as faithful sons. (Heb. 2:5,6.) "To as many as received Him (Jesus), to these gave He liberty to become sons of God." (John 1:12.) They were accepted into this sonship after Jesus had laid down His life sacrificially, had been raised from the dead to the divine nature, and had ascended far above angels, principalities and powers to God's right hand of favor and had appeared as the Advocate for all "Israelites indeed," all willing to walk in His steps.

OTHER GRACIOUS PROMISES

All of God's promises were to Abraham and his seed (his natural seed primarily). Consequently all through the Jewish Age, while they as a people were trying to commend themselves as worthy to be the Seed of Abraham, by endeavoring to keep the Law, God spoke to them prophetically. He informed them that it was His intention ultimately to make a New Covenant with them, still better than the one which Moses mediated. Under that New Covenant He would take away their sins and iniquities; but He did not tell them how these would be cancelled; that they would be cancelled through the merit of "better sacrifices" than those which they offered through the Law year by year.

God assured them that this New Covenant would have a Mediator who would be higher than Moses. Of that Mediator Moses prophesied, saying, "A Prophet shall the [R4940 : page 458] Lord your God raise up unto you from amongst your brethren, like unto me (I am a type of Him); Him shall ye hear in all things – and whosoever will not obey that Prophet shall be destroyed." (Acts 3:23.) That greater Mediator would be the One by whom they would be really helped up to a place where they could keep the Divine Law perfectly and be used of God in blessing all the earth. – Jer. 31:31.

How the Israelites longed thereafter for the New Covenant with the better Mediator, whom they styled Messiah, or the Anointed of God! Hearken again to God's message respecting this glorious Messiah, the Mediator of the New Covenant; He says, "Behold, I send you the Messenger of the Covenant, whom you delight in (the One whom you have been so long praying for, the One through whose assistance you will be enabled to keep My Law and to become My agents in the instruction and blessing of the world); but who may abide the day of His coming and who shall stand when He appeareth, for He is like fuller's soap and a refiner's fire? And He shall sit to refine the sons of Levi that they may offer an acceptable sacrifice." – Malachi 3:1-3.

Thus the Israelites had the precious promise respecting the coming of the Messiah – and not only so, but intimations that there would be special trials and difficulties on those living at that time. Naturally every mother amongst the Israelites longed for the birth of a son, hoping that she might be honored as the parent of the Seed of the woman, who would bruise the Serpent's head – the great One of Abraham's seed through whom, by some unknown arrangement or process, a great blessing would come upon the sons of Levi, upon Israel and through these upon all the nations of the earth.

These promises led up to and culminated in the birth of John the Baptist, the incidents of which constitute the study of today. He was not to be Messiah, but His herald. He was not born of a miraculous conception of the Holy Spirit and without human father, but He was announced by a special messenger of God, as our lesson most beautifully tells. If Zacharias' faith was tested, it was found strong and was assisted by his nine-months' experience of dumbness. Thus did God prepare the way before sending His only begotten Son to be man's Redeemer.

[R4940 : page 458]

THE VERY GREATEST PROPHET
LUKE 1:57-80 – JANUARY 14. –

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He hath visited and redeemed His people." – V. 68.
O
F JOHN THE BAPTIST Jesus declared, "Verily I say unto you, of those born of women there hath not risen a greater Prophet than John the Baptist; and yet I say unto you that the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he." (Luke 7:28.) These words are valuable as showing us that John was the last of the Prophets announcing the coming of Messiah and the beginning of the great work of selecting from amongst sinners a loyal class, to be associates with the Redeemer in His Messianic Kingdom and glory. John could not be of the Kingdom class. His grand work terminated before the Redeemer's sacrifice was finished – before Pentecostal blessings came accepting some as joint-heirs with Christ in His Kingdom. John himself seemed to understand this, for he declared, "He that hath the Bride is the Bridegroom," but I am the Bridegroom's friend and rejoice to hear His voice. – John 3:29.
JOHN – "THE FAVOR OF GOD"

In harmony with the message of the Angel Gabriel, John the Baptist was born. On his eighth day he was circumcised and named. The family relatives urged the name of his father, but the father and mother named him John, and immediately Zacharias' dumbness departed. His faith had been helped. He had triumphed over all doubts and manifested this by giving the name mentioned by Gabriel. The name John has a beautiful signification – "The favor of God."

As a man John was peculiar in that he had no other aim or object in life than to be God's messenger – to proclaim His Anointed One and to prepare the people for the trying experiences and character-test which Malachi had declared would come with the revealment of Messiah, who would "sit as a Refiner, to purify the sons of Levi, that they might offer to God an acceptable sacrifice." So it was that John in his ministry declared, "The Kingdom of God is at hand." Believe the good news. Repent, reform. Get ready for a share in that Kingdom.

The trials came in a way not expected. Messiah was not born an heir to earthly wealth or name or fame, and His experiences as well as His teachings were different from any that the Doctors of the Law had anticipated. The opposition of sinners and Jesus' opposition to the errors and hypocrisies of His time produced a burning which had a refining effect upon some and made of them antitypical Levites, consecrated people, many of whom became antitypical priests, presenting their bodies living sacrifices, walking in the footsteps of the Redeemer.

THE PROPHECY OF ZACHARIAS

St. Peter distinctly tells us respecting the Old Testament Prophets, that "Holy men of old spake and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." He intimates that frequently they uttered deeper and broader truths than they themselves comprehended – truths which only the future would fully reveal. This is true of the prophecy of Zacharias, in this lesson. Verses 68-70 constitute the first division of this prophecy; praise to God, the Fountain of every good and perfect gift, comes first. To Him all honor and praise are to be given for the fulfilment of His gracious promises of old, "for He hath visited and brought redemption to His people; He hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David," in harmony with the promises. Here, after the usual manner of prophecies, the thing about to be accomplished is spoken of as though it had been done.

As John the Baptist was born but six months before Jesus, it follows that the begetting of Jesus had already taken place at the time of this prophecy. The Holy Spirit spoke of the things begun, but not yet accomplished, as though finished: "He hath visited and brought redemption for His people." This word redemption applies not only to the redeeming work accomplished by Jesus in the consecration of His life at baptism and down to the completion of His sacrifice at Calvary, but it is comprehensive enough to take in the entire work of reclaiming humanity.

A small section of our race, the "elect," is being reclaimed during this Gospel Age; but the Scriptures assure us that the Messianic reign of a thousand years will all be for the purpose of redeeming or bringing back from the power of sin and death Adam and so many of his children as shall be willing to accept the Divine favor, when [R4940 : page 459] brought to their knowledge. The import, therefore, of this first strophe or section of the poetic prophecy is, The Lord be praised that the time has come beginning the great blessing which He long ago promised.

DELIVERANCE FROM ENEMIES

The second section or strophe of this prophetic poem runs from verse 71 to 75. It relates to the deliverance of God's people from the power of their enemies. One important thought here is that none but God's people will ever be delivered from the enemies here referred to. However, there have been many in the past, as there are at present, enemies through wicked works – not because of intentional wickedness, but because blinded by the god of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, the weaknesses of their fallen flesh, etc.

During Messiah's reign of a thousand years, when all the blind eyes will be opened and all the deaf ears will be unstopped, and when the knowledge of the glory of God's character will be clearly revealed and the horribleness of sin be fully manifested – then many, now led captive by Satan at his will, will bow the knee to Emmanuel and confess to the glory of God. In other words, as Jesus said, His consecrated followers are His "little flock" of the present time. But during His glorious reign He will gather another flock. As He said, "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold – them also I must bring, that there may be one fold and one Shepherd." – John 10:16.

"One fold and one Shepherd" does not signify that all of the sheep will be of the same nature. On the contrary, the Apostle tells us that God's Plan is ultimately to "gather together under one Head (Shepherd) all things, both in heaven and in earth." (Ephesians 1:10.) Of these "all things" the Church, the Bride, will be chief, on the plane of divine nature. The Great Company, cherubim and angels will follow in order, and redeemed and restored mankind in human perfection will be the lowest order in the Divine fold.

St. Paul tells us about the enemies from whom ultimately all of God's people shall be delivered. Satan is an enemy. He shall be bound for a thousand years and ultimately shall be destroyed. Sin is an enemy, which will be stamped out in its various phases during Messiah's Kingdom. And we read, "The last enemy that shall be [R4941 : page 459] destroyed is death" – and with it will go the tomb. Adamic death will be no more. None will be under its power. The resurrection power will release all. Only those who sin wilfully, deliberately, will die the Second Death, which is not an enemy.

THE PREPARATORY WORK

The third section or strophe of this prophetic poem tells us of a work to be accomplished before the grand consummation of the destruction of all enemies and the lifting up of all accounted worthy to be sons of God. This is recorded in verses 76-79. It tells how John the Baptist would be the forerunner of the Lord's special Servant, Jesus, to pave the way for His great work. That great work would be to give the knowledge of salvation to thousands who were already God's people, to show them the "high calling" of this present Age. Thus in God's tender mercy the Church sees and is enlightened by the "Morning Star" or "Day Star" before the Sun of Righteousness arises to scatter the darkness of mankind during Messiah's reign. This lesser light of the present time shines into the hearts of believers with sanctifying power and sets them afire with zeal for the Truth. They in turn shine forth upon those who are sitting in the shadow of death. This "Day Star" guides the feet of the saints in the way of peace, even while still in the time of trouble and before the New Dispensation is ushered in.

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A SAVIOR – A LIFE-GIVER
LUKE 2:1-20 – JANUARY 21. –

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord."
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ODAY'S STUDY is a most interesting one, relating to the birth of Jesus. The Scriptures are most careful to point out to us that He was not begotten after the usual manner – that He had no earthly father, but was begotten by the Holy Spirit. The necessity for this is manifest. The father is the life-giver, the mother is the nourisher of the offspring. If Jesus had received His life from a human father it would have been tainted, impaired, under condemnation of death, as is that of all others. This would have frustrated any work on His part as the world's Redeemer, because no imperfect man could have redeemed a perfect one, as the Psalmist declares – Psa. 49:7.

In order for Jesus to be able to give His life a redemption price for Father Adam's life (and for the life of his race, forfeited by disobedience), it was necessary that He be perfect, sinless; as we read, "He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." And again, "A body hast Thou prepared Me," for the suffering of death.

It is not enough, then, that we recognize Jesus as good, well-intentioned in mind. We must see in Him human perfection, sufficient as a sacrifice to offset the forfeited life of the first perfect man, Adam. And we must see also that He was begotten from above – that the holy spark of life in Him as the babe was a transferred life-principle from a pre-existent condition, mentioned by our Lord when He prayed, "Glorify Thou Me with the glory that I had with Thee before the world was." St. Paul explains to us that "He was rich and for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich."

FOR OUR SAKES HE BECAME POOR

Few babes in all Judea or in all the world were born in a more humble place than Jesus. Joseph and Mary had gone to their native city, Bethlehem, for tax registration, under the imperial edict. The little city was crowded with others on similar errand. And so it came that Jesus was born in a cattle stall, where Joseph and Mary had been compelled to lodge for the night. Ah! we cannot wonder that it is difficult for many to understand why our Heavenly Father sent forth His Son for our redemption under such ignominious conditions! Only those who have the spirit of the Divine Plan, through the begetting of the Holy Spirit, can see the wherefore.

FEAR NOT! – GOOD TIDINGS – GREAT JOY – ALL PEOPLE

The Message of the angels was surely an inspired one, fully in harmony with God's promise to Abraham – only an enlarged statement of the same – the same "all people" to be blessed – and it was still good tidings and it still meant great joy; but now, two thousand years later, the Message pointed out the very Individual through whom the good tidings would have fulfilment – the Babe of Bethlehem.

The angelic announcement, "Fear not," is interesting. All humanity realize that they are sinners and naturally have forebodings. They find it difficult to believe that [R4941 : page 460] God is really gracious and loving. The gods of the heathen nations are ferocious, unloving and unlovable. But the God of all Grace, the Father of Mercies, is a God of Love, who delights to use His Divine power for the blessing and uplifting of His erring children. Therefore He was peculiar in sending the Message of "good tidings of great joy unto all people," as well as in sending His Only Begotten Son at great cost to be man's Redeemer – that He might be just and still be the Justifier of those who believe. – Rom. 3:26.

The Message declared that a Savior had been born – the Anointed, the Lord. He was to be the antitypical Moses, the antitypical Aaron, the antitypical Melchisedec, the antitypical David. In addition to the qualities pictured in these various typical characters, He was, also, the Son of the Highest. He was to be the Savior – the Deliverer – the Mediator of the New Covenant, so long looked for, hoped for, prayed for.

There is a special force or meaning in this word Savior – it signifies life-giver. The Syriac version is the one in which Savior is translated life-giver; and Syriac was, likely, the language spoken by Jesus and others of Palestine at that time. And is there not a special fitness or appropriateness in this name life-giver? What had man lost and what would he wish to have back? The Scriptures answer that Adam lost life and came under the penalty, "Dying, thou shalt die." He did not lose heaven, for he never possessed it. He lost earthly life, an Eden home, human perfection. And Jesus declared that He "came to seek and to recover that which was lost."Matt. 18:11. [R4942 : page 460]

Hence, as we have seen, He was provided with a perfect, human life, that "He by the grace of God might taste death for every man," and that by thus suffering, the Just for the unjust, the penalty of the sinner, He might become the purchaser or the Redeemer of Adam and all his race, with a full right to restore to perfect life and to all that was lost as many as would receive it at His hand – thankfully. Throughout His entire Messianic reign of a thousand years He will be the world's Life-Giver, raising the willing and obedient up out of sin and death conditions to perfection and everlasting life and earthly, human blessings.

But our Lord also does a work for the Church, the "elect," His bride and joint-heir in the Kingdom, and this blessing to the Church begins before the setting up of His Kingdom. The Church "are by nature children of wrath even as others," but they are not to be restored to what was lost. The offer to them is that they shall become copies of the Redeemer and lay down their lives, walking in His footsteps, and that He will make up for all their deficiencies and that thus the Father of Mercies will bring them like their Lord to the divine nature, will assist them in making their "calling and election sure" to the heavenly state which God has promised them, for "if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him; if we die with Him, we shall also live with Him." – 2 Tim. 2:11,12.

THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS

In verse 14 we have a kind of Hallelujah chorus or angelic response to the Message of the angel already given. A heavenly host sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." How grand! How inspiring! But we see not yet this glorious condition achieved. The proper glory to God is not yet rendered on earth as it is in heaven. Nor does peace yet wave her banner, even over so-called Christendom.

What is the matter? Ah, said the Apostle, that is a secret, a mystery, hidden from past Ages and Dispensations! The mystery is that God not only intends to have Jesus for His Anointed One, to rule and bless the world, but He has foreordained also a company of footstep followers to be with Him and share His work, and this entire Gospel Age has been devoted to the work of selecting this class, variously called the Body of Christ and the "espoused virgin," which eventually, at the Second Coming of the Lord, is to become "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife" and joint-heir.

It is for this that the Apostle declares that the whole creation groans and travails in pain until now – waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God – the revelation of Jesus and His Bride in the glory of the Kingdom for the blessing of natural Israel and all the families of the earth with knowledge and assistance, that the willing and obedient may be recovered to the image and likeness of God and to everlasting life.

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CONSECRATION IN THE TEMPLE
LUKE 2:22-39. – JANUARY 28. –

"For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people." – Vs. 30,31.
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HEN JESUS was forty days old, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem and presented Him in consecration in the Temple. This was in accordance with the custom which related specially to the first-born in each family. Although the first-born of the entire nation were passed over at the deliverance from Egypt, they had been exchanged for the one tribe of Levi, which had been specially devoted to God's service; nevertheless, the same principle was exemplified in respect to the first-born of each mother. It was to be devoted specially to God and His service.

The significance of this we see when we remember that the elect Church, being gathered during this Gospel Age, is styled the Church of the First-borns. Again, St. James tells us that we are "a kind of first-fruits unto God of His creatures." The clear intimation of all this is that after the Church shall have been gathered to heavenly glory by the power of the First Resurrection, the Kingdom then to be established will bring blessings to all the families of the earth, giving them also the opportunity of becoming sons of God, on the earthly plane, by restitution processes. – Acts 3:19-21.

Incidentally we remark that it is the custom of some parents to make a formal consecration of their children to God in the presence of believers. The influence upon the children cannot be other than beneficial, as in future days they shall look back and realize the parental care and love and devotion thus manifested in the giving of the very best they possessed to the Lord (the fruit of their bodies). Doubtless very many children will thus experience a beneficial influence upon their minds as respects their own consecration to their Creator.

Furthermore, we believe that the parents who thus give their best to the Lord are really bringing to themselves great blessings. Trials and difficulties are sure to come, but in all of these their children belong to God. And if they can pray, Thy will be done, then they may have a peace and receive a joy in the Spirit which others cannot know. Of course, this does not take the place of the child's personal consecration when it reaches the age of discretion and judgment, but we believe that the blessed influence will be helpful to the child in mature years, assisting [R4942 : page 461] to a right decision for God, for Truth and for righteousness.

At the time of the consecration ceremony at the Temple, an aged Prophet came forward and took the babe Jesus in his arms and praised God. The record is that in some manner God had revealed to him that the accomplishment of the gracious promises made to Abraham was nigh, and that he should not die until he had seen the Deliverer of Israel. By some power Divine this aged Prophet recognized Jesus, and, after saying, "Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation" – the way in which Thy salvation shall come to Israel and to all the families of the earth – he proceeded to say, "which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all people – the Light of the world and the Glory of Thy people Israel."

"SET FOR THE FALL AND RISING AGAIN OF MANY IN ISRAEL"

Simeon, addressing Mary, declared prophetically that the Child was "set for the fall and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign [mark or standard], which shall be spoken against, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." How wonderful a prophecy! It reminds us of the words of St. Paul, that our Lord is "a stone of stumbling and rock of offence" to many in Israel, that many stumbled, being disappointed. And St. Paul told also of the rising again of many who stumbled. He declares, "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained it and the rest were blinded" – stumbled – turned aside from Divine favor. (Rom. 11:7.) Nevertheless he assures us that as soon as "the elect," the Church of Christ, shall have been completed, by the power of the First Resurrection, then Divine favor shall return to natural Israel, through Elect Spiritual Israel: "They shall obtain mercy through your mercy." – Romans 11:25-33.

Not a sufficient number of "Israelites indeed" were found to complete the foreordained elect, and hence the invitation went beyond Abraham's natural seed to gather during this Gospel Age the saintly of every nation, people, kindred and tongue. These must all be found before the blessings shall go to Israel and to the remainder of our race, offering to them restitution and human perfection.

A saintly woman, Anna, a Prophetess, over a century old, resided in Jerusalem and in the precincts of the Temple courts. She, also, moved by the Holy Spirit, recognized the Babe and gave praise to God and mentioned the matter to the saintly ones who were waiting for the fulfilment of the Abrahamic promise – "for the consolation of Israel."

If the seeing of Jesus as a babe was worthy of praise and thanks, still more was it a cause of gratitude to God for those who beheld Him at the age of thirty, consecrating Himself a living sacrifice even unto death, and who realized that He had been begotten again by the Holy Spirit to be a New Creature, of the divine nature. Those who saw the Master's faithfulness in performing the sacrifice of His consecration during the three and a half years of His ministry beheld still more for which to give God praise. And when He had finished His course at Calvary and was raised from the dead the third day, and forty days later ascended up on high where He was before, happy were they who recognized that further development of the Divine Plan for man's salvation – the blessing of all the families of the earth.

Still more blessed were those who at Pentecost received the Holy Spirit as a begetting power and those who since have received the same, evidencing that they are the children of God, and, "if children, then heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ" their Lord to the great inheritance – to the oath-bound promise made to Abraham, that through them all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

THE FALL AND RISING AGAIN

The entire nation of Israel stumbled over Jesus, failing to recognize Him as the Sent of God – except the comparatively few who became His disciples – probably ten or fifteen thousand, according to the records. Of the nation in general the Prophet Isaiah declared, "They shall fall backward and be snared and taken." St. Paul, quoting Isaiah's prophecy, proceeds to show the recovery of Israel to Divine favor as soon as the elect class of this Gospel Age shall have been completed from amongst all nations. Then will come the time for Israel's rising again to Divine favor. – Isa. 8:15; Rom. 11:9-11.

Continuing his argument, St. Paul assures us that blindness happened to Israel, not permanently, but merely for a time, until the full number of the "elect" from the Gentiles should come in. He declares that then all Israel shall be saved from their stumbling. This is the very "rising again" referred to in our lesson. St. Paul declares that this is God's Covenant with natural Israel and that their sins shall be taken away and they shall obtain mercy, through the Church's mercy. In other words, when the Church shall be glorified in the First Resurrection, Divine blessing shall proceed forthwith to Israel and shall then extend to all the families of the earth. God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all. – See Romans 11:25-32.

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WHAT WE ARE TO EXPECT
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HILE IT MAY BE difficult to clearly prognosticate the future in respect to God's "times and seasons" relating to the Church and her glorification, the world's time of trouble and the New Epoch of "joy for all people," we may surely expect all the time and increasingly tribulations: "Marvel not if the world hate you; ye know that it hated me before it hated you; if ye were of the world, the world would love its own"; "I have chosen you out of the world" and ordained you.

How should these attacks be received? may be a question with some. Our answer is, With patient endurance and without bitterness of heart, but with sympathy, recognizing that "they know not what they do." The Lord's people must never retaliate, must never render railing for railing, accusation for provocation, blow for blow, but must ever keep in memory the example of the Lord and the Apostles.

This, however, does not mean that the Lord's people may not use means provided by law for their defense, when it seems wise for them to do so. Jesus protested against being stoned in violation of the Law. St. Paul defended himself in court before Felix, as well as upon other occasions. He became the plaintiff and aggressor in his dispute with the Jews when he appealed his case to Rome. Similarly we, if persecuted contrary to the law under which we live, are at liberty to appeal our case before the courts, but not at liberty to take matters into our own hands to judge and punish our enemies.

When the Apostle reproved some of the early Church for going to law with each other, the stress of his argument [R4941 : page 462] was that brethren should adjudicate their own troubles amongst themselves and not go to law before unbelievers – not ask unbelievers to judge between Christians. This has no bearing upon our dealing with unbelievers, who can be dealt with only through the public courts. If nominal Christians should set up the claim that they are believers, the answer then would be that in the same sense the courts are courts of believers and that, therefore, the action before them would not be before unbelievers.

We must expect that the opposition of the world, the flesh and the Devil will increase in virulence. Thus our faith in the Lord and in each other – our meekness, gentleness, patient endurance, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love – will be in the crucible for refining. And the experiences, properly received, may be reckoned amongst the "all things" guaranteed to work together for good to all those who love the Lord, to the called according to his purpose. – Rom. 8:28. page 462

"In the furnace God may prove thee,
Thence to bring thee forth more bright,
But will never cease to love thee;
Thou art precious in His sight."

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IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS
Dear Lord, with sorrow, I confession make
That while with joy I suffer for Thy sake,
Yet in the cares with which my days abound,
Where I should smile, I fear I often frown.
In days gone by I've murmured o'er and o'er,
And unkind words have left me feeling sore;
Those whom I come in contact with each day,
Disturb me oft by things they do and say.

And thoughtless actions have left such a sting
I could not find it in my heart to sing.
Lord, I'll be honest with myself and Thee,
I have not been as sweet as I should be.
And I have said, "Too hard the wind doth blow,
Too hot the day, too much rain or snow,"
And tho' at times I've checked the hasty word,
Still, in my heart rebellious murmurs stirred.

And I have thought that I could grow in grace
Much better, were I in another's place.
Lord, to this whole long list I guilty plead;
And I am grieved o'er it, I am indeed;
And I am come to make a Vow to Thee,
That in the coming year, whate'er shall be
My portion, trials, cares, vexations, pain,
Dear Lord, I will not murmur nor complain.

And I will say when I arise each morn,
This day my Lord wants me to overcome,
"In everything give thanks," this is His Word;
And I will school my heart to sweet accord.
I'll thank Him for the sun, and for the rain;
I'll thank Him for the sorrow and the pain;
And in the things which try my patience so
I'll thank Him that I have a chance to show

How Sweet and Kind and Loving I can be,
How much His Holy Spirit dwells in me.
Dear Lord, I'll trust Thee tho' I do not know
Why I should walk the path I'm called to go.
I'll give Thee thanks whatever be the way
Which Thou shalt lead me in from day to day;
Relying on Thy grace to see me through,
Lord, this is what I've promised Thee to do.

REBECCA FAIR DONEY.

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BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study VII., The Law of the New Creation.
FEBRUARY 5

(1) What does the giving of a law imply on the part of the recipient? Why are penalties attached to a law? P. 349, par. 1, first 6 lines.

(2) How do we reason with respect to a law having been given Adam? And what was the sin of Eden? P. 349, par. 1, sixth to fourteenth line.

(3) What did the just sentence upon Adam imply with respect to his knowledge? And what did the absence of a Mediator evidence? P. 349, par. 1, fifteenth line to end.

(4) How was the Divine Law written in the perfect organism of Adam and Eve? And why were they without excuse for their sin? P. 350.

(5) What is the condition of mankind today as respects the original Divine likeness? P. 351, par. 1, first half.

(6) How can we account for the more or less crude conceptions of right and wrong among even the most depraved of the heathen? P. 351, par. 1, last half.

FEBRUARY 12

(7) What two kinds of laws prevail among mankind? P. 351, par. 2.

(8) How does this correspond with the Divine Law? P. 351, par. 3; P. 352, par. 1.

(9) Why was it impossible for God to give the fallen race a Law of life? P. 352, par. 2.

(10) Where is the first intimation of an atonement and consequent release from the "prison house" recorded? and how fulfilled? P. 353, par. 1.

(11) To whom were still clearer promises stated as respects the blessing of the world, and what did this signify? P. 353, par. 2.

(12) Why did God place a special Law upon the Israelites? Why were the mediation of Moses and the typical sacrifices for sins necessary, and what does this teach with respect to the Law in Eden? P. 354, par. 1.

FEBRUARY 19

(13) Who was the only Jew who ever perfectly kept the Mosaic Law, and what double purpose did the Law Covenant serve? P. 354, par. 2.

(14) Although Jesus fulfilled it, what is the position of natural Israel with respect to the Law Covenant? P. 355, par. 1.

(15) What two forms of Divine Law were operative previous to the first advent? and what two classes were subject to these laws? P. 356, par. 1.

(16) Give a brief Scriptural summary of the Sinaitic Law, and who only kept this statement of the Divine Law? P. 356, par. 2.

(17) How did Jesus keep and fulfil the Sinaitic Law? P. 356, par. 3, first half.

(18) Was it love to God or love for His neighbor that required Jesus' self-sacrifice? P. 356, par. 3, last half.

FEBRUARY 26

(19) What two things were accomplished by Jesus' death? P. 357, par. 1, first eight lines.

(20) Make a distinction between these two things effected by Jesus' death. P. 357, par. 1.

(21) Has the New Covenant, suretied by Christ's blood, gone into effect? P. 358, par. 1.

(22) Define the purpose and operation of the New Covenant as respects fleshly Israel and the world of mankind. P. 358, par. 2.

THE LAW OF THE NEW COVENANT.

(23) What is the Law of the New Covenant? Does it differ from the original Divine standard? P. 359, par. 1.

(24) What is meant by re-writing the Law of God in the hearts of men? P. 359, par. 2.