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June 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

VOL. XXXIVJUNE 1No. 11
A. D. 1913 – A. M. 6041
CONTENTS
The Transforming Influence of Thought 163
Importance of Right Thinking 163
The Church On Trial for Life 164
The Influence of Thought Upon Health 165
Earthly Loves vs. Heavenly Love 165
"Keep Thy Heart With All Diligence" 166
"Let Your Moderation Be Known" 167
"Meditate On These Things" 167
Service of the Brethren a Proper Zeal 168
The Preparation for the Divine Nature 168
Moses, the Goodly Child 169
Co-operating With God's Providence 169
Aided and Protected 170
God's Instrument In Preparation 170
Moses, Jethro's Shepherd 171
1913 – General Conventions.................... 162,172
Interesting Items and Letters 172
Report of the Glasgow Class I.B.S.A 173
Berean Lessons and Testimony Meetings 175
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies 175

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, London, 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.

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EXCURSIONS TO PERTLE SPRINGS

Friends desiring to go to Pertle Springs via St. Louis or by Special Train from Kansas City should address Laymens Home Missionary Movement of either city.

EXCURSIONS – TEXAS TO HOT SPRINGS

We are advised that the I.& G.N.R.R. will furnish tourist sleepers to Hot Springs from San Antonio, May 31, train 4, 2 P.M.; also from Galveston 2:40 P.M., same date, at special rates. Those desiring accommodations may address Laymens Home Missionary Movement, Wallis, Texas.

EXCURSIONS TO LOS ANGELES AND SAN FRANCISCO

A special party will leave San Francisco for Los Angeles Convention on the Southern Pacific, Valley Line, train No. 50, June 10th, at 4:40 P.M., arriving at Los Angeles 8:15 next morning.

A special party will leave Los Angeles for San Francisco Convention on the Southern Pacific, Valley Line, June 15th, at 7:15 P.M., arriving at San Francisco next morning at 9 A.M.

All friends attending these Conventions or the One Day Conventions following them, at Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Regina, should obtain from the Ticket Agent a Certificate-Receipt showing that they paid full fare going to Convention of the Laymens Home Missionary Movement. This Certificate-Receipt, signed by Convention Secretary, will entitle the owner to a return ticket at one-third (⅓) fare, over same railroad.

BETHEL HYMNS FOR JULY

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 July follow:

(1) 165; (2) 267; (3) 130; (4) 58; (5) 95; (6) 82; (7) 101; (8) 299; (9) 4; (10) 326; (11) 145; (12) 293; (13) Vow; (14) 246; (15) 7; (16) 313; (17) 168; (18) 149; (19) 259; (20) 15; (21) 208; (22) 222; (23) 320; (24) 260; (25) 267; (26) 43; (27) 155; (28) 166; (29) 305; (30) 120; (31) 209.

[R5246 : page 163]

THE TRANSFORMING INFLUENCE OF THOUGHT  Audio

"As he thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7.) "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." – Proverbs 4:23.
T
HE HEART is one of the most important organs of our body. If it ceases to work, death is sure to follow. The blood that flows through the heart constitutes the life, the energy of the body. If the blood current is interrupted for a little while, a clot is formed. This is so much of a preparation for death. There must be a continual stream of blood circulating through our bodies to keep life there.

In view of this important function of our natural hearts, the Bible very properly uses the heart, the center of life, as a symbol of the center of our affections, including the will. Our will has to do with everything we do. Whoever of the Lord's people wills to seek more and more to purify himself becomes more and more alive. If we are pure in heart, we resolve to live righteously and soberly in the present life. Whoever appreciates the principle that right is right, and wrong is wrong will desire to live right – whether Jew or Gentile or the Church of God.

The Church, having accepted God's terms, have made a consecration of their lives to Him. They have engaged to fight a good fight against the world, the flesh and the Devil. They are under special obligations as New Creatures. Their hopes and ambitions are separate from those of the world. They are therefore doubly responsible in respect to their hearts, which represent their inmost sentiments.

According to a man's innermost sentiment, so is he. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is his real character. What is your real will? What are your real sentiments? Not, What words do you use? not, What are your actions? but, What is the motive underlying all these?

The New Creature is to be God-like, spiritual, eventually of the spirit nature in glory – perfect. But before it attains that perfection, the heart of the New Creature is required to prove its loyalty. Some will be overcomes in a higher sense than others, but none will be overcomers except those who are true, loyal, pure. If, therefore, we have made a consecration to God, it would be our endeavor that our hearts, our desires, our motives be perfect. The only proper attitude is to confess our imperfections, if we are wrong. God expects us to be loyal of heart. And that loyalty of heart should reach out and control the whole life.

If our thoughts are not according to our ideals, we should endeavor to make them so. We should put away anger, malice, hatred, strife, and all such works of the flesh and the Devil. With some people, in some conditions, these thoughts go very deep. It is not the transitory thoughts of the mind – the passing thoughts – that are meant in our text. Even people of very bad character may at times have deep emotions. The eyes of some persons will be suffused with tears over some trivial matter. This makes them appear to be very tender-hearted, and yet their lives may show that they would as easily be moved to some vicious deed as to sympathy.

We see this fact illustrated in the conduct of mobs. The people who hailed Jesus as King were five days later crying, "Crucify Him!" Those who shortly before had seemed to be so appreciative of Him appeared to lose that appreciation.

IMPORTANCE OF RIGHT THINKING

In reality a man is not always what on the surface he seems to be. His real character is deep down below – the purpose of his life. These are not the mere transitory thoughts, but the deep fissures of thought, if we may so designate those which involve the whole life. The Scriptures bring to our attention the fact that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds – by having them made over. – Rom. 12:2.

The Apostle, speaking of some very vicious traits of character, says, "And such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor. 6:11.) This cleansing, this sanctifying, comes not merely through the reading of the Truth, or the mental application of the Truth, but through the heart – thinking on the Truth. This heart-thinking, these deep resolutions, are ours as Christians, and are to be guided by certain principles. These have to do with the real man whom God is considering – not the old creature, more or less blemished, according to the degree of depravity. God looks at the New Creature.

These deep heart convictions and purposes constitute a transformation of character. This is the man's real condition, and so is he. If he have some transitory emotion of anger or of malice, it would not be his real thought, his real intention. Therefore it would not be he, but his old nature, temporarily asserting itself. As a New Creature, he is to watch his words, his thoughts, his actions. If a transitory, wrong thought should pass through his mind, it would not be the thought of his heart. And he as a New Creature, should stop it, put it away, so that it [R5247 : page 164] may not take root in his heart, and choke out better sentiments.

This right thinking of the heart has very much to do with the whole life. The Apostle says that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds, to know what is the perfect will of God. This is the Christian's standpoint. How glad we are that our Heavenly Father is judging us from this standpoint! How glad we are that He is able to read the heart, that He knows our hearts, that He knows our inmost thoughts!

At one time we might have thought that we were doing God service when we were not. We show our loyalty to God by giving attention to His Word, that we may know what is His will. The more we study God's Word, the more we receive the spirit of the Truth, and the more we appreciate it. And in proportion as we understand God's regulations and desire to be guided by them, our hearts will become purified. Then the more care shall we take of our hands, what they shall do; and of our tongues, what they shall say. Thus we shall keep our hearts – submit our wills to the will of God.

The will is a part of our heart, just as the rudder is a part of the ship. The new will is the rudder to steer us this way or that way. The more we understand the Word of the Lord, the better we understand how to guide our lives. Therefore we are to keep our hearts and purify them by the knowledge of God's Truth, the study of God's Truth. To do this, the will must ever be on the alert, watching with prayer and thanksgiving.

THE CHURCH ON TRIAL FOR LIFE

Some one may ask, why should we do all this? In a general way we might answer, that we may do right – because right is right. But that reason is not sufficient for us. While all appreciate the superiority of right over wrong, yet in our fallen condition we need to have some inducements to action. So the Lord puts certain inducements before us. He says, "If your heart is right, I desire to give you everlasting life. If your heart is wrong, then you will not be of the kind to whom I will grant this boon. You will die the Second Death."

Six thousand years ago there was a trial. Our first father, Adam, was tried, and failed. Consequently we have no right to life. But God has arranged through our Lord Jesus that every member of Adam's race may have another trial. The Father is willing to give life everlasting to all who love righteousness.

So we thankfully accept this provision, and say, "Heavenly Father, wilt Thou indeed give us another opportunity for gaining everlasting life? We would love to have that life! We are very thankful for the opportunity! We love righteousness! If we are loyal to the principles of righteousness, shall we get everlasting life? It is our desire that Thy will be done in us – even that we love righteousness and hate iniquity." "Very well, then," the Heavenly Father says, "I will put you into the School of Christ, where you will learn righteousness."

Day by day we are learning in the School of Christ. Our different experiences are a part of the general instructions for those who love righteousness and who desire to be taught of the Lord. The issue of our trial will be life or death. The world is not now on trial. There is no possibility for the world to gain life as yet. During this Gospel Age the Church are the only ones who are under this Covenant of Sacrifice – who are on trial, therefore, for everlasting life or everlasting death. In the next Age, the world will have their opportunity for learning obedience. Then the issue for them will be life or death.

God says, "I have set before you life and death, blessing or cursing." There is a curse for every one who loves unrighteousness; there is a blessing for every one who loves righteousness. So during the thousand years of Christ's Reign the world will be on trial for everlasting life or everlasting death. All who are obedient will get everlasting life. But all who have the spirit of Satan will be destroyed in the Second Death.

Only those who are more than mere overcomers will be of the Royal Priesthood. There is no excuse for our getting into the Great Company. Let us keep our hearts with all diligence. Let us watch our hearts. If they are in full harmony with God's will, we shall have little trouble with our tongues. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." – Math. 12:34.

Our heart is the most wonderful organ of our body. The tongue is the most subtle of all our members. The Lord takes our words as an index of our heart condition. But since we are imperfect, it is not possible for us to be faultless in word and deed. Yet we are diligently and faithfully to seek to attain the perfect mastery of our words. We should be especially on guard in respect to evil speaking. Every tendency toward slander is to be checked. Whoever of us is reviled is not to revile again. These tendencies belong to the old nature. To be pleasing to the Master, we are to keep our hearts free from every form of evil. If this be done, the heart is rightly instructed of the Lord. Then we will know that we must make good whatever is wrong. We are bound, thoroughly bound, to make it good to the best of our ability. Our heart must keep itself right.

DEFICIENCY IN MODERN EDUCATION

This same principle is applicable to the whole world, though not on a scale so far reaching. Mankind are influenced by thought, by experience. So vicious children may be trained up under favorable environments to become useful citizens. We have seen where, even with people of the world, good resolutions to live honestly, justly, soberly, have had a blessed influence on the life, making noble men and women, although these may not be Christians.

We have also seen the reverse of this – those who were criminals, but not so of necessity. Some of them were born under good conditions; but have read bad books and meditated upon sinful things. Thus the thoughts of their hearts have been evil instead of good. Thus they have become inclined toward evil. As they allow their minds to run in a certain direction, and allow these thoughts to become deeply rooted in their hearts, some of them become very vicious.

We were deeply impressed with this fact in noticing the photographs of the four gunmen recently convicted of murder in New York. Had we seen their pictures before knowing who they were, we should have said, "Those are strong characters." Their hearts had gone wrong, doubtless because of wrong education and a failure to appreciate the principles of righteousness. This seems to be largely the case at the present time. Very few see the principles of righteousness at all. The majority are swayed by superstition, by fear and by hopes which are more or less ephemeral, more or less deceptive.

So we see that the general education of our day is lacking in a very important respect. Although the schools have taken away to some extent the veil of ignorance and superstition, yet they are not giving instead the full, proper view of righteousness. This is because in a general way the Divine character and the Divine laws are being ignored. There is an attempt to teach mortality entirely [R5247 : page 165] aside from the Divine Law. But this course seems to be undermining faith – separating the pupils from faith in a Supreme Creator. Thus we see that while the world is making wonderful progress in education, yet it is not reaching its own ideals. The human mind in its fallen and perverted condition, is unable to see the subject of morality from a standpoint which educators would put before it.

The human mind needs the influence of its higher organs to assist the lower organs. Hence, although these educational influences are beneficial in many respects, yet they are very injurious in others. They do not inculcate veneration for God and for the Divine will. Therefore people are unable to grasp the best principles. The only persons who are in the right attitude are those who are seeking to have new thoughts, to have thoughts conformed to the Divine arrangement, taking the mind of Christ instead of their own imaginations and judgment, and thus growing up into Him in all things. This is our happy position.

INFLUENCE OF THOUGHT UPON HEALTH

There is another view of the text – "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" – given by Christian Scientist; namely, that according to our minds, so be it unto us. They get some good out of this view. They say that if one thinks about kind, noble things, he will be influenced thus. We think our Christian Scientist friends are partly right and partly wrong. They hold that if one thinks himself to be well, he will be well; that if one thinks himself to be sick, he will be sick. There is a measure of truth in this view.

One-half the people in the world are sick because they think they are so. If they thought, not about their aches and pains, but about more helpful things, they would no doubt be better and stronger in every way. The mind has something to do with our condition. Whoever mopes about a headache will undoubtedly make it worse. Whoever tries to put the thought of his condition away and to give attention to other things will undoubtedly help himself.

The less we think about our aches and pains the better for us. If we talk about them we aggravate them. It is also bad to exercise too much sympathy with each other. Of course, there are times when it would be cruel not to show sympathy. But it is not wise to encourage those who are weak to complain about their condition. We become stronger in proportion as we try to avoid thinking of our ailments.

The mistake made by our Christian Scientist friends is that they carry this principle too far. Thinking ourselves sound will not make us so. And it would not be right to lie about the matter, and to say that we have no aches and pains when we have them. The middle line is the one which the Bible encourages – not to say that we have neither aches nor pains, not to say that death is "mortal error," and that there is no death. But we can help the [R5248 : page 165] dying process along, or we can seek to cultivate the more helpful thoughts, and thus exercise a helpful influence upon ourselves and others.

One notices this principle in action in a sick room. Some people will go into the sick room, express a great deal of sympathy, and leave the sick person under the impression that he is in a much worse condition than he really is; whereas they should have helped the person by encouraging remarks. It is not necessary to say to the sick, "You are looking extremely bad!" But we might say, "Are you feeling better this morning? Have you had a good rest?" Many people do not know how much they do rest, and do not feel thankful enough. So we might suggest, "I hope you are feeling thankful to the Lord, and that you are glad because of this beautiful day. See how the sun shines into your room! Hear the birds sing!" The condition of some people when they are sick is that of "groanings which cannot be uttered." Sick people need some one to bring sunshine into the room.

So, then, dear friends, let us resolve that since we have covenanted with the Lord to become dead to the old life, to the old ambitions, to the things of the past, these are to be all given over. We will wish to think as the Lord would have us think, to view all the affairs of life as He would have us view them, and to be influenced by the ambitions which He sets before us in His Word. Thus doing, we shall as New Creatures grow into the character-likeness of the Lord.

[R5248 : page 165]

EARTHLY LOVES VS. HEAVENLY LOVE  Audio
J
OURNALISTS realize that for some years past the civilized world has entered upon an epoch of passion, lust and crime. Editors, especially of the better journals, realizing that the publication of details tends to stir up anger and lustful passions, are unitedly suppressing these. Their wisdom is to be commended, especially in view of the fact that their business managers, knowing the depraved taste of the people, realize that the more nauseating the details, the greater the interest of the public in general, and the greater their appreciation of the journal which panders to their taste.

There are different ways of accounting for this wave of passion and crime. Our enemies would doubtless charge that our teachings, favoring the idea that the Bible Hell is not a place of eternal torment, but the tomb, are setting at liberty human passion by taking off the brake of fear. Our reply is that the vicious do not receive our message. As the Scriptures declare, "None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise [in wisdom from on High] shall understand." The viciously wicked are not sufficiently interested to find out what we believe or teach. Their beliefs are not built upon the Word of God, but upon the general weight of denominational prestige.

On the contrary, our charge is that the general unbelief in God and in the Bible – unbelief in any kind of Hell or Heaven – more likely has to do with this wave of crime. For the past thirty years our great colleges have been turning out agnostics by the thousands. Nearly every graduate is an agnostic. The influence of their unbelief in the Bible pervades every stratum of society, because of their influence in the higher walks of life – in the pulpit, in social circles, etc. And be it noted that the crimes of our day are frequently committed by college-bred men and women, and by others who, under their influence, discredit the Bible as the Word of God.

But we believe that there is something peculiar to our time, in addition to the foregoing. Ours is a day of great mental activity in every direction – a day of push, of feverish excitement, along all lines. Highly seasoned foods and drinks whet the physical appetite, and lead on to spicy desires in every direction. The strain is too great for our race, considering its weakness, its degeneration attained during the past six thousand years. But whatever is the philosophy, the fact remains that the world is in a very feverish condition, in a condition of intense excitement, easily aroused to expression along every line – anger, malice, hatred, strife, envy, pride.

God's consecrated people, although not of the world, [R5248 : page 166] are in the world. Although they are New Creatures, with new wills, "sanctified in Christ Jesus," nevertheless they "have this treasure in earthen vessels." Their earthen vessels are subject to like passions and storms to those which assail the world in general. If we are right in supposing that the Adversary himself and the fallen angels have much to do with the excitement of passions in wrong directions, then we may feel sure also that these spirit adversaries would be especially on the alert to entrap and ensnare the consecrated followers of the Lord. As St. Paul expresses it, "We are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Cor. 2:11), and we realize that flesh and blood is not competent for a struggle against the "wicked spirits in influential positions." (Eph. 6:12.) The Lord's people, therefore, need to be on the alert more than do others, even though all need to be specially alert now to withstand the evil tendencies of our day, which all admit, however they may explain them.

"KEEP THY HEART WITH ALL DILIGENCE"

The secret of the Christian's strength consists in his having given up his own will – the will of his own flesh – and having taken instead of it the will of Christ. His danger consists of the endeavor of his flesh to override the decision of his new will. The flesh covertly insists that this and that and the other things are not wrong, because they are natural. It insists that its rights should be conserved; it even sometimes insists that the New Creature would commit a crime in mortifying the flesh, with its affections and desires. – Col. 3:5; Gal. 5:24.

The New Creature cannot rely upon the suggestions of the flesh in every matter. Experience teaches it that it would be deceived and ensnared if it gave heed to the counsels of the flesh. Hence the New Creature must rely wholly upon the Lord and His counsel – the Word of God. The New Creature's reasoning upon any subject must be along the lines of Divine instruction. He dare not trust his own judgment, the judgment of his own flesh in the matter; neither dare he trust the judgment of fellowmen, who might be more or less influenced by their fleshly minds, however conscientious, and however proper they might intend their advice to be. The New Creature must hear from the Word of God the outline of his proper course, and must follow. He dare not deviate from it, not knowing what dire results might follow.

As the Christian advances in spiritual development, in control of the flesh, in the appreciation of the mind of Christ, he certainly does, in one sense of the word, become "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" – the power of the Holy Spirit. He becomes more gentle, more meek, more patient, more brotherly-kind, more loving. He is thus developing the fruits and growing in the graces of the Holy Spirit and in character-likeness to the Master and Pattern. But his dangers are not over; for he finds the Adversary and the flesh ready to attack him along new lines – totally different from those of the attacks when he first gave his heart to the Lord.

These later attacks are along the lines of love – the very climax of spiritual attainment. As a New Creature, he desires that his love shall be pure, holy, spiritual. He desires that his love for the brethren shall be along the same lines as is his love for the Father and for the Son and for the holy angels. But as he attempts to adjust this love to present conditions, his holy and pure intentions and ambitions and desires are assailed by the flesh.

Not merely do the brethren and sisters, like himself, appreciate spiritual things, purity, truth, etc., but their development in the fruits of the Spirit tend to make them more attractive in the flesh, as well as more attractive in mind and disposition. As the spiritual love and confidence and fellowship increase, there is a new danger through the weaknesses of the flesh. Hence there is necessity for every child of God to be constantly on the alert – watching unto prayer against any and every intrusion of the fleshly mind, its appetites and desires. It must be mortified, crucified, killed, whatever the cost, in order that the New Creature may survive. The life of the one means the death of the other. The sooner we comprehend this great truth, the better for us.

"SET YOUR AFFECTIONS ON THINGS ABOVE"

These earthly loves do not always tend toward sensuality, but they do always tend in another direction from the interests of the New Creature. We have known instances in which very strong attachments grew up between brethren, and similarly between sisters, to their spiritual injury. The injury consists in a satisfaction of the longings of their souls in an earthly companionship, however pure. It is not the Lord's intention that His people should have heart-satisfaction in anybody, on the earthly plane. It is His intention that thorough loyalty to Him and to His Word will make us realize our individual responsibility to Him, and draw us individually close to Him, that in Him we may each find the companionship, joy, and peace which all true hearts crave.

Any satisfaction, therefore, in the fellowship of the old creature, however pure-intentioned, is to the discredit of the New Creature and his spiritual fellowship with the Lord. The fact that we would be fully satisfied in any one on the earthly plane should be an evidence to us that we have not attained that lofty sentiment and aspiration which the Lord designs for us and which He alone can satisfy. [R5249 : page 166]

The admission into our lives of a close, absorbing fellowship in the flesh, however pure the intention, would be a disadvantage to the New Creature in another way. Not only would it imply his failure to rightly appreciate the Lord and fellowship with Him, but it would imply a failure to rightly appreciate the fellowship of the entire Body of Christ, which is the Church.

The Spirit of Christ is too broad to permit the centering of our sympathy and interest upon one individual, except that individual be the Lord Himself. As for others – the Body of Christ, the Church – our interest should be in all of them, not merely in the rich, but in the poor; not merely in the wise and noble, but in the less wise and ignoble; not merely in the educated, but also in the ignorant and stupid. Our interest must not be in the flesh, but in them as New Creatures in Christ. And those who have the greatest handicap as respects earthly teaching and weaknesses of the flesh are the ones deserving of our earthly sympathies and affections, as they strive to fight the good fight and overcome their blemishes.

We exhort, therefore, that we as the Lord's people set our affections more and more upon the things above, and not on the things of the earth, that we may be transformed, that we may thus prove what is the good and acceptable will of God – that His will may be done in us perfectly. His will is not unreasonable. He remembers our frame – that it is but dust. He desires our will to be that our consecration shall be to Him, that it shall not be along lines of the flesh, but of the spirit, and not merely toward one individual, or little clique of the Church, but toward all who have named the name of Christ and who have set their faces Heavenward as soldiers of the cross marching toward the antitypical Mount Zion and the general Assembly of the Church of the First-born. – Psalm 103:14; Romans 8:4; Hebrews 12:23.

[R5249 : page 167]

"LET YOUR MODERATION BE KNOWN"  Audio
S
T. PAUL urged, "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand." (Phil. 4:5.) The latter clause of this exhortation implies that it belongs specially to the closing of this Gospel Age – to the opening of the New Dispensation. Surely we find his words applicable to ourselves – yea, to all mankind!

Surely there never was a time when this counsel of moderation was so much needed as now! The very air seems charged with some exciting, nervous force. Good people, wise people, thoughtful people, seem easily excited and liable to lose their balance at the very suggestion of ridiculous and foolish things. If any of us find such to be our condition, prayer should be made for that Wisdom which cometh from Above, to strengthen, establish and settle our hearts and lives in the will of God.

Excitement over some vagary of interpretation of God's Word may be injurious to ourselves, injurious to those with whom we may have any influence, and injuriously encouraging to the one who propounds the foolish interpretation, whether such interpretation relates to this journal, to its Editor, to the general interests of the Harvest work, or to other matters and persons.

It is unavoidable that politicians, socialists, anarchists and others, attempting to forecast the future respecting themselves and the world, should be carried away with their own ideas, and lose their bearings and talk irrationally. God's people, on the contrary, are to be most moderate in all things. First, they are to recognize their own littleness and inability, and God's greatness and sufficiency. Secondly, they are to remember that God is ordering all the affairs and interests of His Church and also those of the world; and that all things are working together for good to those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose – to be members of His elect Church, the Bride of Christ. – Rom. 8:28-30.

Such consciousness of personal littleness and of Divine greatness should keep us very humble and restrain us from all boastfulness and headiness and "know-it-all-ness." We should be very thankful and very appreciative of what God has made known to us of His gracious purposes, but should strictly avoid every attempt to run before the Lord and to try to rudely break into any feature of His Plan which He has not yet unlocked. We should remember that any knowledge we might gain in advance of God's due time would be injurious to us. As, for instance, Mother Eve, already possessed of knowledge of good, by disobedience broke into and gained a knowledge of evil, in advance of the Divine regulation. The knowledge thus gained was expensive.

AVOID WHATEVER ENGENDERS STRIFE

We urge THE WATCH TOWER readers to exercise moderation in respect to their faith and conduct in all matters – including their chronological forecasts of the future. In our judgment, it is very unwise to spend valuable time and energy in guessing what will take place this year, next year, etc. On the contrary, we should be using the knowledge we possess – doing with our might what our hands find to do. The Adversary undoubtedly would like to attract us away from the things that we already know, and from our privileges of service, into speculation respecting those matters of which we have no knowledge. We urge that the Lord's people stifle curiosity, and desist from prying into things not clearly set forth in God's Word, as being injurious to them, hurtful to the Cause we are all desirous of serving, and tending to hinder the work of grace in our own hearts and in the hearts of those to whom we are the Lord's ambassadors and mouthpieces.

We take this occasion to remind our readers afresh that nowhere in our writings have they found anything positively stated respecting the closing years of this Age, except that we understand that the Gentile Times will close in October 1914, and that consequently we expect, speedily following that date, the transfer of the rulership of earth to the great King of Glory, in a "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." We have pointed out that prior to that date a testing work will be in progress in the Church – a time in which the question will be, not so much, who will fall? as, who shall be able to stand in this evil day? – Eph. 6:11.

We did in discussing the Great Pyramid – STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES Series – suggest that possibly a certain measurement of the step at the upper end of the Grand Gallery might signify something important by the end of 1910. But we hope that we made it clear that we built nothing on that suggestion – that it was merely a suggestion, a guess only, but a pointer that the year 1911 might be looked to with interest. We may say, however, that every year now is bound to be full of interest and activity of thought, both to our readers and the entire civilized world. Surely,

"We are living, we are dwelling,
In a grand and awful time;
In an Age on ages telling,
To be living is sublime!"

Indeed, as respects the date 1914, which we have emphasized, and respecting which we have repeatedly expressed our faith, our conviction – even respecting this date we have never knowingly spoken in infallible terms. We have always admitted that it is a matter of faith and conviction, rather than of absolute knowledge. We invite a careful re-examination of the chapter on chronology, as such a reading will prove helpful, sobering. Therein we point out that if our knowledge were wholly based upon chronology we would be far from certain of the date – that our faith in it is based largely upon the corroboration, interlacing and intermeshing of various prophecies which seem to prove the reliability of the Bible chronology and of our use of it in connection with this date.

"MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS"

We see no reason for disparaging the date and convictions associated with it. Although only one and a half years remain for the accomplishment of great things in the work, we should not forget that in our wonderful day as much can be accomplished in one year as previously would have been accomplished in five years. We urge, moreover, that a knowledge of the times and seasons connected with the Divine Plan of the Ages is helpful, encouraging and inspiring. Nevertheless, such knowledge is not of itself the Gospel. If every date of the chronology and every prophecy were blotted out, we should still be joyful in the Lord, and should still rejoice in His glorious Gospel, of which Jesus and His great Sacrifice constitutes the center, and our promised participation with Him as His members in the blessing of all the families of the earth constitutes the circumference.

This is the Good Tidings of God's grace in Christ – whether the completion of the Church shall be accomplished before 1914 or not. Let us preach the Message of God's grace, and let our hearts be stimulated with God's Message through the Prophets, to the effect that the blessing is nigh at hand. Let our moderation be manifest to all, and let the fact that we know only in part and understand only in part help to keep us humble and moderate in word and deed and thought. Thus we shall best serve the interests [R5250 : page 168] of our Master and His Cause, and be most in harmony with the teachings of His Word.

It is our conviction that the great time of trouble will come upon the world through the great Adversary, Satan, and his fallen host. It will not surprise us to find evidences accumulating that the work of breaking down the human will through hypnotism, etc., is all a part of the great scheme by which shortly, gradually, increasingly, power will be exercised upon the minds of mankind – to excite them to unwisdom and to passion. Such of God's children as shall have learned the lessons of His Word along the lines of moderation of thought, rest of heart in the Lord, patient waiting for His time and way, and assisted by the Vow to careful self inspection and government daily, will be greatly blessed and by this means kept from the snare of the Adversary – the hour of temptation is coming upon all that dwell upon the face of the whole earth. – Rev. 3:10.

[R5250 : page 168]

SERVICE OF THE BRETHREN A PROPER ZEAL  Audio

"The zeal of Thine House hath consumed Me." – Psa. 69:9.
T
HESE WORDS must have seemed extremely poetical, hyperbolic, to those of David's time. David indeed had a zeal for the House of God – for the Tabernacle first, and subsequently for the Temple, which he desired to build, but which the Lord would not permit him to build. David had a real zeal for that House.

We get the key to this prophecy from its application in the New Testament to our Lord. When Jesus had made a scourge of small cords, He drove the money-changers out of the Temple. Then His disciples remembered and probably quoted the passage: "The zeal of Thine House hath eaten Me up." (John 2:17.) The Lord's House in that case was the Temple; and our Lord's zeal in cleansing the Temple of all merchandise would be considered by some as very appropriate, and by others as very extreme.

But the still deeper meaning is indicated by the declaration that the Church is His House – the House of God. The Apostles, speaking of the Church, say that we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. (I Cor. 6:19.) Again, it is said that we are builded together as living stones. (I Pet. 2:4,5.) So we see that the real House of God for which Jesus had zeal was the House of Sons. The Jews had been a House of Servants under Moses; but Christ was a Son over His own House – the House of Sons – "whose House are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end;" for "Faithful is He that calleth you." – Heb. 3:5,6; I Thess. 5:24.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE

Having this view of the House before our minds, we can see in what way Jesus' zeal for the House of God consumed Him – burned Him up. We use the word burn, consume, in the same way that we use the word rust, in the case of iron. And so zeal is that which is warm, aglow, hot. With this view of the Master and His House before our minds – the House that He was interested in – we perceive that His zeal, His energy for them, prompted Him, led Him, to lay down His life – for as many as would become God's House, God's sons, God's people. This zeal for the Lord's House, for the Lord's people, consumed His time and strength in helping them.

During this Gospel Age the Lord invites the Church to be similarly consumed with Him. But the only ones who are yet members of the House of God, or sons of God, are those who are begotten of the Holy Spirit, as the Apostle distinctly tells us. If we then have this Spirit of Christ, it will be the spirit of service. It will be a zeal, a warmth, an energy, prompting us to serve in the Church. It will mean that we will be consumed as the Master was consumed – in the service of His Church, which is His Body. – Matthew 20:28; I John 3:16.

THE PREPARATION FOR THE DIVINE NATURE

There are sons of God on the Heavenly plane who were never given an opportunity to manifest such a zeal as this. There was no offer made to them to be associated in the reclamation of mankind. This privilege was given to the Logos, the Only Begotten. To Him was given the opportunity to lay down His life – "Who made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name." – Phil. 2:7-9.

Our Lord's zeal has not cost Him His Heavenly home, His Heavenly estate; but, on the contrary, God has highly exalted Him – to a higher position. The statement that He was consumed refers to His earthly life, which He laid down for the world. The Father has given Him a still higher nature than He had before – the Divine nature. And this zeal in being consumed prepared Him for the high reward of the Divine nature.

St. Peter says that the Lord hath "given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these [working in us] we might become partakers of the Divine nature." (2 Pet. 1:4.) The Apostle Paul says that if we suffer with Christ, we shall reign with Him; if we be dead with Him, we shall live with Him. (2 Tim. 2:11,12.) If we have our earthly natures consumed, then we shall get the Divine nature. "We shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." – 1 Cor. 15:51,52.

This opportunity, then, of manifesting a fulness of zeal for the service of God, was granted, not to Adam, or to any of the human family, until this Gospel Age. This opportunity will not come to the sons of God in the next Age. The sacrificing then will be at an end; and there will be no more sin, sorrow, pain, sighing, crying or dying! – Isaiah 35:10; 51:11; Revelation 21:4.

*                         *                         *
"One more day's work for Jesus,
One less of life for me!
But Heaven is nearer, and Christ is dearer,
Than yesterday to me;
His love and light fill all my soul tonight!

"One more day's work for Jesus!
How glorious is my King!
'Tis joy, not duty, to show His beauty;
My soul mounts on the wing,
At the mere thought how Christ my life has bought!

"One more day's work for Jesus!
How sweet the work has been,
To tell the story, to show the glory,
Where Christ's flock enter in!
How it did shine in this poor heart of mine!

"O blessed work for Jesus!
O rest at Jesus' feet!
There toil seems pleasure, my wants are treasure,
And pain for Him is sweet.
Lord, if I may, I'll serve another day!"

[R5250 : page 169]

MOSES, THE GOODLY CHILD  Audio
– JULY 6. – EXODUS 1:22-2:10. –

"Whoso receiveth one such little child in My name, receiveth Me." – Matthew 18:5.
J
OSEPH was the Grand Vizier of Egypt for eighty years – dying at the age of one hundred and ten years. Surely his brethren, the Israelites, suffered no oppression during that time. Shortly thereafter, however, another Pharaoh came into power, who "knew not Joseph" – who ignored his services to Egypt and the tentative covenant with the Israelites. This Pharaoh is supposed to have been Rameses II, a hard-hearted, selfish despot.

This Pharaoh perceived that the Israelites were multiplying much more rapidly than were the Egyptians. Therefore he considered them a menace. At first they had been viewed as a protection to Egypt, because the land of Goshen lay to the eastward, and an enemy advancing against Egypt would encounter the Israelites first. Egypt's only antagonist in those days was Assyria. When the Israelites became more numerous than the Egyptians, a new danger threatened; for an invading army might bribe them, and thus the rule of the Pharaohs be overthrown.

To meet this contingency, various expedients were tried. First, an edict compelled the Israelites to perform arduous labors, which it was hoped would undermine their strength – weaken them. On the contrary, however, they seemed to flourish increasingly with every added burden. The next repressive measure was the edict to the Hebrew midwives – that every male child of the Israelites should be strangled at birth. But this command was disregarded, the midwives claiming that they arrived too late. The final resort was the royal edict that the Israelites must drown every new-born male infant. Failure to do this was made a punishable crime.

It was under these conditions that Moses was born. The account indicates that both his parents were pious, and hence we are not surprised at the statement that he as a babe "was a goodly child" – fair, beautiful. Comparatively few parents seem to realize that where children are otherwise than "goodly" – graceful in feature and character – a responsibility for the defects rests upon them. We do not mean by this that it would be possible that any human pair could bring forth absolutely perfect children. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" – Job 14:4.

What we do mean is that as careful breeding affects the features, form and character of the lower animals, and improves both fruits and flowers, so also it is potent in respect to humanity. Yea, much more so; for while neither the parent nor the state may ignore the choice of comrades in human marriage, nevertheless the married have in their own control the most wonderful power known in the world whereby to influence the character and form of their children before birth, and not to be ignored after their birth – the power of the mind.

Were this law of nature clearly recognized by intelligent, conscientious people, what a change would speedily be effected! We are assuming that such parents would not only desire to bring into the world children beautiful in form, in feature and character, but that they would feel it a crime not to do their very best in these respects.

If every mother realized that during the period of gestation her mental moods were either blessing or cursing her offspring, how persistent she would be in resisting evil moods and tantrums! How carefully she would guard her reading, her companionship, her mental reflections! How faithfully she would put into execution the suggestions of the Apostle respecting whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble, whatsoever things are honorable and beautiful – to think on these things, and thus to birth-mark her child after the highest, noblest conceptions of which she might be capable!

And if the father realized his responsibility, how careful he would be to do his full duty! not merely as a father and life-giver, but as a protector and guardian of the mother, assisting her in the most important function of human life and in the time of her greatest need of assistance, according to his ability. The mother, during gestation particularly, would be surrounded by things suggestive of the good, the great, the noble, the pure, the intellectual, the cultured. He would be especially sympathetic, and would endeavor to keep the mother's mind at ease. Even if too poor to provide luxuries – pictures, art, etc. – he could measurably fill the place by conversing with the mother on noble and ennobling themes, or he could read to her. Ah, when civilized peoples shall finally learn that the same care which they exercise in respect to the breeding of their fast horses, fancy dogs, pigeons and swine can be applied still more successfully in their own families, who will doubt the wonderful results?

Josephus, the Jewish historian, says that those who met the infant Moses as he was carried along the stream forgot their business, and stood still to gaze at him. The time is nearing when human perfection of features, form and character will be considered the grandest thing in the whole world. Then the names of the parents of such will be honored on the pages of fame still more than those honored with first prizes for flowers, fruits and dumb animals. It is quite to the point that the parents of Moses are well spoken of in the Old Testament; while in the New Testament we are distinctly told that they were people of faith, and counted in the noble list of Ancient Worthies, who are to share in the "better resurrection" on account of faith. – Hebrews 11:23.

CO-OPERATING WITH GOD'S PROVIDENCE

It is entirely probable that the parents of Moses thought how to advance the plan which proved so successful for the saving of his life. They knew of the custom of the Egyptian Princess to resort to a certain secluded spot on the Nile for her bath, which is presumed to have been part of a religious custom. They surmised that so beautiful a baby boy would have a special attraction for her. They may even, as tradition claims, have been guided by a dream to take the course they did. But however we shall account for the matter, we perceive that it was co-operation between the parents and Divine providence which brought the results.

A little basket was woven of bulrushes, which grow abundantly along the banks of the Nile. On the outside it was made water-tight with pitch. The babe was placed therein, and at a proper time was left near the spot visited by the princess. Then conveniently near stood Moses' sister, Miriam, about eight years old, ready to suggest the bringing of a nurse. It is even quite probable that the princess herself perceived the ruse and merely co-operated, believing that the little one might as well have as its caretaker its own mother, and that she might be its patron and benefactress.

Thus in God's providence, notwithstanding the opposition of the king, the wonderful Moses was reared in the royal palace, and in Egypt's schools became "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians." Thus God's providence [R5251 : page 170] prepared the suitable person for his great work as the leader of Israel – and more, as the prototype of Messiah who in God's due time will be the Deliverer of all humanity desirous of becoming God's people and willing to be led by Him into the antitypical Land of Promise.

AIDED AND PROTECTED

How much there is of simple, yet wonderful romance in this narrative! Think of the leadings of Divine providence in this case! One day the child Moses was a danger and a menace in the home of his parents. At any moment his presence might be discovered and made known to an Egyptian officer. Then he would be killed, and the home broken up, and possibly the lives of his parents lost for venturing to disobey the royal edict. The next day, through Divine providence, the child is back in the same home, and its own mother is paid by the Egyptian princess for caring for it, and is every way fully protected by royal favor.

We know not at what age the child was considered weaned, but it is assumed to have been when he was four years old. This interesting child at this interesting age was then claimed by the princess as her own son. He was given the name Moses, of which Professor Sayce says: "The Greek form of the Hebrew Mosheh – Moyses – is derived by Josephus from the Coptic (ancient Egyptian) Mo (water), and uses (saved out of it). In other words, the princess made a pun of the name, as though she had said: 'This is my son, because I brought him forth – out of the water.'" Truly, we never know when Divine Wisdom is working in human woof into the Divine web or plan. God's people are ever to remember that in all their undertakings He is "working all things according to the counsel of His own will." While using human instrumentalities, God nevertheless respects the human will and merely co-operates with it. And whoever most zealously co-operates with God receives proportionately the larger share of the Divine blessing.

We are not to understand that God's providences use only His saintly people and their families, nor even that He uses only those who are at least nominally His. In the present lesson we see how God made even the wrath of man praise Him and accomplish some of His purposes for the furtherance of His great Plan of the Ages amongst those wholly ignorant of Him – "aliens and strangers from the commonwealth of Israel." The entire household of Pharaoh, as well as the princess, were used of the Lord in respect to the preservation of Moses and his education and preparation for his great work. Surely this simple lesson, received into good and honest hearts, gives us greater faith in God and greater reliance upon His Wisdom and Power to fulfil all the gracious promises which He has made to the Church, to Israel and to the world.

[R5251 : page 170]

GOD'S INSTRUMENT IN PREPARATION  Audio
– JULY 13. – EXODUS 2:11-25. –

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." – Matthew 5:5.
T
HE deliberateness of Divine providence often astounds us. Our lives are so brief, our limitations so many, that any plans we may have must be pushed to completion as rapidly as we are able. But not so with the Almighty, who is "from everlasting to everlasting God." He has unlimited time at His disposal, and accordingly is working out His sovereign will with great deliberation. It is a comfort to His people to be assured that He knew the end from the beginning, and is working all things according to the counsel of His own will. Bible Students are being blessed in proportion as they are learning that the Divine will is always a good will – just, wise and loving. wonderful deliverance by the greater than Moses, which is now nearing.

God's providences may be noted in respect to the experiences of Moses, who is credited by the Lord with having been "the meekest man in all the earth." God wanted a meek man for the important position which He intended Moses to fill. And the lessons and experiences given to Moses helped to make him meek. Who cannot see that, if he had been proud and arrogant, he would have been unfit for the duties and responsibilities which devolved upon him as the leader of his people out of Egypt to the borders of Canaan? Perhaps no man in the world had a more difficult task than that represented in those forty years of Moses' experience. We may be sure that he was prepared for the ordeal only by the experiences of the eighty years of his life which preceded the Exodus.

The adopted son of the princess of Egypt, Moses must have been a court favorite, and in danger of cultivating pride and arrogance. As an offset to this, he had continually before him the fact that his features were Jewish, and that thus every one had knowledge of his identity with the despised and oppressed people. The tendency of this would naturally be toward one of two courses: Either he would seek to ignore the Hebrews and to become more and more identified with the Egyptians, or he would exercise faith in the special promises of which his people were heirs as children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

This was perhaps his first test. Would he prove loyal to God and to those Divine promises relating to the future? Would his faith be equal to the task of casting in his lot with the enslaved and oppressed people, and thus losing caste with Pharaoh, his family and all the Egyptians of influence? St. Paul notes that Moses was a victor in respect to these matters. He chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the riches and honors which might have been his as an adopted member of the royal family. (Hebrews 11:24-26.) We may well surmise that if he had taken side with the Egyptians, he might even have become the reigning Pharaoh.

To Moses the Promise which God made to Abraham, and repeated to Isaac and to Jacob, and which still waits its fulfilment, was more to be desired than all the riches and honors of earth. Moses stood well this test in respect to his faith and loyalty. He would be on God's side at any cost! Similarly, there have always been tests, both to the Natural Israelites and to the Spiritual Israelites, and these tests are still applied in our day. The world [R5252 : page 171] holds out inducements to the Jew to abandon his covenant relationship with God, as it also holds out inducements to the Spiritual Israelite to abandon his spiritual relationship with God.

It is still true that the friendship of the world means enmity with God, and the friendship with God means the enmity of the world, so widely different and opposed is the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of Light and everything related thereto. It is still as true today as in Moses' time that "Whosoever will live godly [in this present time] shall suffer persecution." But it shall not always be so. A great change is impending. Those who love righteousness will be exalted, blessed, while those who love sin will be restrained and punished.

MOSES DISCOURAGED, HEARTBROKEN

Trusting in the Lord's Promise, Moses believed that the time had come for the deliverance of the Israelites from their bondage. He knew well of his miraculous preservation, and had the assurance of God's Promise that this signified that God had a special work for him to do. He was ready and anxious to begin that work. He knew not of his own unreadiness. Nothing was further from his thought than that he would require forty years more of special schooling. Supposing that the time had come to strike for liberty, he was on the alert. He would inspire his people with confidence in him. They should know that although he was educated in the court of Pharaoh, his sympathies were with them, and that he could be relied upon as their leader.

An occasion to show his zeal for his brethren came when he saw an Egyptian abusing one of them unjustly. He threw himself into the conflict. The Egyptian was killed in the scuffle. The Israelite was delivered. Moses perceived that none of the Egyptians knew of the matter, so he buried the victim in the sand. He doubted not that his brethren would quietly pass the word along that he was their friend and defender, and that thus they would look to him with confidence as their leader, when God's providence would open the door for them to leave Egypt. But all these dreams faded when, on the following day, he perceived that there was no such loyalty among his brethren as he had expected, and that instead of being his followers they were ready to deliver him to the Egyptian authorities for having rendered assistance to one of their race.

Thoroughly discouraged and fearing for his life, Moses fled to the wilderness of Midian. It looked as though all of his loyalty and all of his forty years of education and development had gone to waste. He had supposed that he was being prepared to be the captain of the Lord's host and to lead it forth. In one hour all of his hopes were dashed and he was a fugitive, fearing to show his face in the palace amongst the Egyptians or amongst those of his own race. "A wasted life," was undoubtedly his comment – forty years spent in cherishing hopes and ambitions never to be realized.

MOSES, JETHRO'S SHEPHERD

As the fugitive sat upon the casing of a well, shepherds brought their flocks to it for water. Amongst the sheep-tenders were Jethro's daughters, and opposing them some ungallant shepherds, who not only did not help, but hindered them. Moses, full of the instinct of justice, not only took their part, but helped by drawing water for their flocks, and incidentally walked with them toward their home. Jethro was appreciative of the stranger, who did not at the time disclose his identity. He who was learned in all the learning of the Egyptians, and who had been one of the generals of Egypt, was now thoroughly crestfallen, meek, tractable, teachable.

Moses married one of Jethro's daughters, and continued to be a humble shepherd for forty years. He did not at the time understand the Lord's providence in his affairs, but he was all those years learning a most important lesson of meekness, of full submission to the Divine will. When the lesson had been learned, God's time had come to put His thus doubly educated servant into a most important place, for which he would have never been qualified without just such experiences.

God's dealings with Moses illustrate the general principles of His dealing with all those of whom He would make special servants prepared for special services. Our Lord Jesus in the Heavenly courts testified His loyalty and fidelity to the Almighty. As a means toward his further exaltation the opportunity was given Him of becoming the Savior of mankind, and thus of carrying out the Divine Program. He gladly responded. "Although He was a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered." (Hebrews 5:8.) And the Apostle declares that because of this demonstration of His full submission to the Father's will "unto death, even the death of the cross," therefore God highly exalted Him in His resurrection, not only as high as He was before, but higher – "far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named." – Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:20-23; I Peter 3:22.

Similarly, God during this Gospel Age is calling out of the world a saintly company, a Little Flock, to be associated with Jesus in His great work of the future, the blessing of all the families of the earth, as promised by God to Abraham, saying, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Those responsive to this special invitation are required to demonstrate their loyalty to God, "through evil report and through good report – as deceivers and yet true." At times these saintly ones have even been branded, as was St. Paul, "the filth of the world and the offscouring of all things." – I Corinthians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 6:8.

These insults came frequently from poor, blinded slaves of sin, and at other times, the Bible says, from those who are "willingly ignorant." But, nevertheless, all these sons of God whom He is now receiving as members of the Royal Priesthood to be members of the Bride class, must be tested in respect to their humility – their submissiveness to the Divine will. Only those who learn this lesson and become copies of God's dear Son (Romans 8:29), will be "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light" – prepared for the glory, honor, immortality, and the Divine nature which God has promised to His faithful, elect Church.

*                         *                         *
[R5255 : page 171]
"In pastures green? Not always; sometimes He
Who knoweth best in kindness leadeth me
In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.
Out of the sunshine, warm and soft and bright,
Out of the sunshine into darkest night;
I oft would faint with terror and with fright,
Only for this – I know He holds my hand;
So, whether in the green or desert land,
I trust, although I may not understand.

"And by still waters? No, not always so;
Ofttimes the heavy tempests round me blow,
And o'er my soul the waves and billows go.
But when the storm beats loudest, and I cry
Aloud for help, the Master standeth by,
And whispers to my soul, 'Lo, it is I!'
Above the tempest wild I hear Him say,
'Beyond this darkness lies the perfect day;
In every path of thine I lead the way.'"

page 172

1913 – GENERAL CONVENTIONS – 1913
L
AST year, difficulty was experienced because our Convention gathering at Washington was too large and unwieldy. This year we are seeking to avoid such an experience by increasing the number of Conventions and scattering them. Not only are moderate-sized Conventions found more enjoyable and more edifying, but additionally they are much less expensive and permit, therefore, a larger attendance – many finding it possible to go a short distance who cannot well afford the time and expense of a long journey. It is quite proper that these matters should be taken into consideration by you in making your arrangements for Convention privileges and blessings, and also by the Society in making the arrangements for such Conventions. This is but exercising the spirit of a sound mind.

In all of the Conventions, practically the same average of daily expense will be incurred; namely, from $1.25 a day and upward. The $1.25 rate will secure reasonable, comfortable entertainment, but, of course, not a separate room, and only plain, wholesome food. If in some instances it should be possible to do better than this, be assured that we will give you all the advantage possible. The Society merely acts for you in making the arrangements. And it is much better that we make the arrangements and assignments in advance.

When a big crowd begins to arrive, it is quite a temptation to human nature to raise the price. It is all right for those who expect to pay $2.50 to $5.00 per day at a hotel to come without any previous arrangement, if they choose; but it makes trouble for everybody if those who want cheap accommodations come to the Convention place without any arrangements, and begin to bid for places we have already secured and have assigned to others. None of the Lord's children willingly do this, and yet it is done nearly every year. We ask all to help us this year by co-operating with the Society and not taking up, at a higher price, lodgings, etc., which we have already secured to others. With this fair notice, any who do this this year will be asked to vacate.

HOW TO SECURE ACCOMMODATIONS

In due time a representative of the Society will be sent to each Convention point to arrange for all the available and desirable quarters, and to make the assignments according to your requests and to send you a memorandum of the locality assigned to you, so that you may arrive, knowing just where you are going, and so that the entertainer will know just who is coming. Be assured that the representative will follow your instructions as far as possible, and with care.

These representatives will be addressed "Laymens Home Missionary Movement," and addresses will be given in these columns (page 2) in due time – two to three weeks in advance of each Convention.

RAILWAY RATES, NAMES OF SPEAKERS, ETC.

We are getting out programs giving the names of speakers, and the railway rates in connection with each Convention. When you decide which Convention you will attend, please write for the program, which will be sent free.

Below find a complete list of the Conventions. Brother Russell hopes to attend them all, but he will probably be unable to give more than two days at each.

CONVENTION DATES
Pertle Springs (Warrensburg), Mo......June  1- 8.
Hot Springs, Ark...................... "    1- 8.
Los Angeles, Cal...................... "   11-15.
San Francisco, Cal.................... "   14-16.
Madison, Wis.......................... "   29-July 6.
Springfield, Mass.....................July 13-20.
Asheville, N. C....................... "   20-27.
Toronto, Can.......................... "   20-27.
London, England.......................Aug.  1- 4.
Glasgow, Scotland..................... "   23-24.

We have arranged to have about fifteen public speakers of ability at each of these Conventions. Besides these, there will be a goodly number of considerable ability to assist in symposiums.

For the most part, we are leaving the evenings without special appointments on the program. This will give a better opportunity for rest and meditation on the things heard in the earlier part of the day, and for fellowship together in spiritual things. Chart Talks, etc., will be given by some public speakers at homes where the friends are being entertained, if there be special requests therefor.

Come praying that you may obtain a blessing and also that your attendance may prove profitable, helpful, to others. All who so come, we feel sure will be blessed. Those whose circumstances or conditions will not permit their attendance may surely join with us in spirit, remembering us in prayer, and they will be remembered in the prayers of the Conventioners; for the family of God is one in hope, interest and aims.

We urge none to attend the Conventions. If, in the providence of God, your affairs are not favorable, remember that He is able to overrule in this and in all things for your good. The lesson of submission learned in staying at home may be just as important a one for you as any blessing which you could secure by attending. Nevertheless, all who love the Lord, who are trusting in the precious blood of Jesus and who have made a full consecration of their lives in the Divine service will be cordially welcome.

[R5252 : page 172]

INTERESTING ITEMS AND LETTERS
J. PIERPONT MORGAN'S WILL

No doubt many, as well as the Editor, were surprised to read the opening paragraph of Mr. Morgan's will, as reported in the public press, as follows:

"I commit my soul into the hands of my Savior, in full confidence that, having redeemed it and washed it in His most precious blood. He will present it faultless before the Throne of my Heavenly Father, and I entreat my children to maintain and defend at all hazards and at any cost of personal sacrifice, the blessed doctrine of the complete atonement for sin through the blood of Jesus Christ, once offered and through that alone."

Many know of a prominent part taken by this gentlemen in the affairs of the Episcopal Church. The newspapers also informed the world of the fact that Mr. Morgan more or less recognized the Pope. Many were inclined to think of his church membership and church attendance as merely formalism – "Churchianity."

Now it appears that, regardless of whether or not Mr. Morgan was a fully consecrated saint of God, he at least trusted in the Savior. Moreover, the faith professed in the above quotation from his will intimates a much clearer appreciation of the Atonement Work of Christ than the majority of ministers of various denominations would be ready to acknowledge.

Evidently Mr. Morgan was not a Higher Critic, nor in sympathy with them; for Higher Critics cannot and do not receive the Bible teaching respecting the value of the death of Christ as the Atonement Price for the sins of mankind.

Evidently, also, Mr. Morgan was not a believer in the doctrine of Evolution; for that doctrine holds that instead of having original sin, which needs to be canceled before the [R5253 : page 173] sinner can have fellowship with God, the contrary is true. Evolutionists hold that man started as second cousin to the monkey, too unintelligent to be guilty of any transgression, and that as a race man has been progressing upward, upward, and needs only to be let alone in order to fully evolute into a god – that is to say, the generations of evoluted men millions of years in the future will be gods. But respecting man present and past, Evolution makes no claim, seeing only a destructive process in operation, and trusting that it is working out the preservation and development of the best of the species.

The great financier's will, viewed from this standpoint, is meaningful. It implies that, notwithstanding vast financial enterprises and the social round of which he was more or less the center, he, nevertheless, caught the thought that he was a sinner; that he needed a Savior; that Jesus was that Savior sent of God; and that through His blood, His death, and through it alone, can come remission of sins and deliverance from the penalty of sin – corruption, death – by a resurrection.

GOD'S ESTIMATION DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD'S
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I request your opinion upon the correctness of a thought expressed in a friendly publication in the following language:

"When the holy Jesus died, it was as a victim of Sin, which, for the moment, seemed to have the victory. Indeed, He could not have died, had sin not been imputed to Him; for all the promises of health, prosperity and life which were by the Law were His. The Law said, 'The man which doeth these things shall live by them.' (Rom. 10:5.) Thus came a necessity for our Lord to be accounted a sinner, in order that He might die for the people. For this reason we do not see that it is possible for the members of the Church to die unless, like Him, they are accounted sinners."

I am well aware that the Lord Jesus would not have died (the publication says, "could not have died") if there had been no sin to be atoned for. But if our Lord died as above suggested, it seems to me that His death must have been a penal death and not a sacrificial one. Could He die both a penal and a sacrificial death? It seems not so to me. If the Lord Jesus died a penal death, it would appear to me that He could have no life-rights left to His credit to bestow upon either the Church or the world....

I anxiously await your reply, for if the foregoing expression is correct I have seriously misunderstood both the Scriptures and the Dawns.

Your loving brother in our dear Redeemer,

W. W. M. – Va.

THE EDITOR'S REPLY
DEAR BROTHER M__________: –

I am glad to note your careful discrimination in your Scripture studies. This is one lesson that all the dear friends in the Truth need to learn – not to accept implicitly everything that they read, nor everything that even a regular Pilgrim may express. The same principle, of course, holds true with respect to our own presentations, oral and printed. All that we receive as spiritual food should be thoroughly masticated before assimilation. We have great confidence in all of the dear brethren engaged in the Pilgrim service; otherwise they would not thus represent the Society. However, we must not be held responsible for their every expression. We believe them to be thoroughly well-intentioned, but perfection will be reached only beyond the veil. We come now to your question.

We cannot quite endorse the phraseology of the statement which you quote. All of the Church die as the victims of sin in the sense that Sin and Death are personified in the Scriptures. Sin has actuated all those who oppose the Truth and persecute the Lord and His consecrated footstep followers.

But we cannot agree to the thought that our Lord's death was a penal one. One Scripture might be considered as supporting this thought, namely, the words, "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin." (2 Cor. 5:21.) But this Scripture we understand to signify that our Lord who knew no sin, was made a Sin-Offering on our behalf. We remember also the Scripture which declares that "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up." (John 3:14.) The serpent, indeed, is the symbol for Sin. But we can think of only one way that our Lord was viewed as a serpent – in the sense that He underwent all the experiences which a sinner could have been required to undergo. Thus He suffered as a sinner and for the sinner the same penalty that might be required of any sinner. But while He was a malefactor, a sinner, etc., in the eyes of men, He was the reverse of all this in the eyes of His true followers and in the Father's sight.

What Jesus did He plainly stated – He laid down, or surrendered, His life, because thus He could best serve the Father's purposes. He did not give away His life. Nor did He die under condemnation as a sinner. He did not forfeit His life. Nor did the Jews or Roman soldiers take His life away from Him contrary to His permission. He laid it down of Himself. Had He died a sinner in God's sight, with sin imputed to Him by the Father, He would have had nothing to give for the redemption of Adam and his race – He would have been unable to become their Regenerator in the Times of Restitution.

We submit that the only proper view of the Lord's death is that it was a manifestation of His absolute obedience to the Father's will. That extreme of obedience was rewarded with the Divine nature and glorious exaltation in His resurrection. The risen, glorious Redeemer made no satisfaction of Justice and paid nothing over on behalf of anybody until after He ascended up on High. Then He appropriated of His merit to all who, during this Age, would accept the Father's call and drawing to become members of Christ's Body. To each of these He has imputed enough of His own merit to make good the deficiencies of their flesh, in order that they, like Himself, might present to God sacrifices holy and acceptable, and thereupon be begotten to the spirit nature.

Later on, our Lord's human life, unforfeited and not yet given away, will be given away on behalf of Israel and the world, canceling "the sins of all the people" and securing for Himself the Mediatorial Throne of the Millennial Age, for the blessing of Israel, through its Mediator, and all the families of the earth through Israel, and under Israel's New Law Covenant....

I note your second question, relative to our statement in THE WATCH TOWER of March 1, 1910, page 88, second column – where we set forth that Satan's "little season" will be after Messiah shall have delivered up the Kingdom to the Father. It is true that some years ago we were not so clear on this point as now – less positive. The great Mediator will indeed "destroy from amongst the people" all who will not obey Him, throughout the Millennial Age; so that at the transfer of His Kingdom and the vacating of His Mediatorship, the world of mankind will be perfect. The Mediator will step from between God and man, and Divine tests will be applied, to prove, to demonstrate, the heart-faithful. The sentence upon the disloyal is: "There will come fire from God out of Heaven and destroy them." This indicates a testing and punishing by Divine Justice. This would not be possible so long as the Mediatorial Kingdom held sway. However, we understand that our Lord will be the Father's Representative in connection with that exhibition of Divine Justice which will follow His Mediatorship, just as He was the Father's Representative and Agent before He came into the world to be our Redeemer.

The trial will follow the thousand years of Christ's reign, at the conclusion of which He will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father. Hence the loosing of Satan and the testing of the perfected race will be the result of their being turned over into the hands of absolute Justice, and in contradistinction to their having been in the hands of Mercy through the Mediator for a thousand years. That judgment, or test, therefore, will be of the Father, of Justice – a similar test to that which originally came upon Father Adam.

However, it is written that all things are of the Father [R5254 : page 173] and by the Son. We are to understand that the glorious Son of God will be the Father's active Agent in respect to that Judgment, as well as in all other matters. But it will be the Father's Judgment, or the judgment of Justice, for the Son's Mediatorial Kingdom will have ended.

REPORT OF THE GLASGOW CLASS I.B.S.A.
DEARLY BELOVED PASTOR: –

We have just held our annual business meeting, and we know you will unite with us in praising God for all His lovingkindness and tender mercies throughout 1912 in permitting us to have the privilege of serving in the Harvest Work. The following are a few of the items reported on:

There are now more Departments, and more workers in these Departments, than ever before; and what is more encouraging, there is more activity and energy displayed than at any previous time. Doubtless all taking part are realizing the shortness of the time and are doing with their might what their hands find to do.

There are now nine Elders and twenty-three Deacons. [R5254 : page 174] the work being divided into nineteen Departments. A schedule of these divisions and appointments has been printed this session and a copy is enclosed herewith.

We have thirty regular Church meetings each week, besides a number of occasional meetings from time to time, including a monthly Question Meeting, Quarterly Harvest Work Meeting, meetings to report progress, and extra meetings when Pilgrims visit us. The Elders hold a monthly business meeting, and all the elected brethren meet every Saturday to consider and advise on any matter coming forward.

The printed syllabus enclosed includes all the regular Church meetings. These syllabuses are not only distributed among the brethren, but are also given to any interested who ask for them.

Our meetings are as follows:

(1) Seven Sunday morning meetings in different districts; aggregate attendance about 253. Two Sunday morning meetings outside boundaries, for which chairmen are provided from Glasgow; attendance about 40.

(2) A united meeting on Sunday evenings, well advertised, for the Church and all interested; attendance varying from 400 to 700.

(3) Eleven Wednesday evening meetings in homes of the brethren; aggregate attendance, 146.

(4) Eight Berean Studies on Fridays, and one on Sunday afternoon; total number of students, about 180.

(5) One week-night united Church meeting on Monday evenings, for the study of "Tabernacle Shadows"; average attendance, about 90.

Monthly Question Meetings are held about the last Saturday of the month, and questions are answered by the Elder brethren (who take the meeting in turn), or by a Pilgrim, when the Question Meeting fits in with his visit.

A "Harvest Work Meeting" is held quarterly, on a Sunday afternoon, to hear and give experiences, and also to exhort one another, in the different branches of the work; average attendance, about 150.

Visitation. – There are now 50 visitors (9 brothers and 41 sisters) engaged in this work. It is intended that the visits should be monthly, and in case of sickness or distress oftener.

The Volunteer Work is now divided into two sections; viz., extended Glasgow (being designated, "The Inner Circle"), and the 30 miles radius around Glasgow (being called "The Outer Circle"). The number of Peoples Pulpits distributed from January 1 to December 31, 1912, is 510,230 for regular volunteer work, including special distribution in July; and the number of Everybodys Paper, for Class Extension work, is 291,600, making a total of 801,830. About 200 Volunteers take part in this work.

Occasional Colporteuring. – Thirty-six brethren are taking part in this branch, compared with twenty last year – an increase of sixteen. The number of books sold is close to 1,000.

Besides these thirty-six, there are sixteen sisters and one brother from the Glasgow Church giving all their time to this work, and several other brethren, who are in readiness for another branch of the work, are devoting a good deal of time to colporteuring at present.

Book-loaning. – Thirty-one brethren are taking part in this Department. At present there are 225 books in the work. Each one has 6 books, but some wish 12. This work seems to be opening up and we anticipate more will be done in this way.

Local Pilgrim Service. – Twelve Churches are served, monthly visits being paid on request.

Class Extension. – This work has increased rapidly during the past year. There have been 17 series held, which comprises 15 series of 6 meetings, one of 3 meetings, one of 2 meetings; and there have also been three single meetings; total number of meetings 98. Tracts distributed, 291,600; attendance averaging one person per 100 tracts distributed. The attention at all the meetings has been most marked.

New classes have been formed in four places and existing classes strengthened in three places.

The total expenditure has been approximately £190 ($950), averaging barely £2 ($10) per single meeting.

Convention. – The outstanding feature of the past year was the General Scotch Convention, held July 25-28, and the presence of you, our dear Pastor, with us for three whole days. The number attending the Convention ranged from 500 to 800.

We appreciated very much, and benefited greatly by, your presence with us at that time. The Convention finished with a Love Feast in the Convention Hall, and a large public meeting in St. Andrews' Grand Hall, filled to overflowing, the attendance being about 5,000 and many being turned away.

Baptisms at Glasgow, during 1912, numbered 81, and the number at the Memorial Supper in March was 363.

At the close of the Business Meeting it was unanimously decided to send you a message of love, with the following texts:

"The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make His face shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace." – Num. 6:24-26.

"Wherefore, also, we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." – 2 Thess. 1:11,12.

And we wish to say how much we appreciate your loving interest in us, and all the help we receive from you through THE WATCH TOWER and through the many visits from Pilgrim brethren who come to us from time to time. We thank you and our Heavenly Father for all these blessings, and we would just like to say how much we are longing to see your face and to hear your voice again. Come soon!

With much Christian love,

GILBERT MACKENZIE, Secretary.

"IT SATISFIES MY LONGINGS"
DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL: –

I came to the Lord in 1886, and had been a worker in the vineyard for over sixteen years, but on account of the inconsistency of Christian teachings, I, ten years ago, went out to seek the Truth somewhere else, having lost faith in Christianity. For ten long, weary years I roamed through the world. Theosophy, the Vedas, the Ancient Mysteries, Agnosticism, and all else have been the food of my soul. Finally, last Easter morning, I decided that Christianity, with all its faults and shortcomings, held out more hope for the weary than all the above mentioned husks together. True, I found some truths in all, but nothing, nothing to be compared with the Truth that is accessible even to the weakest Christian. Well, I found my way back – the old, old story of the prodigal's return – an Easter morning in my soul.

Since then one of your tracts came into my hands, and I joyfully accepted the truths I found. I am now studying the SCRIPTURE STUDIES; I love them.

I never thought that I would ever be able to believe in the miracles recorded in the Bible. But I do now. I now look on the laws of nature merely as the habits of God, and as I would set aside a habit whenever I thought expedient for a certain purpose, He would set a settled habit aside for the time being.

As I said above, I am studying the SCRIPTURE STUDIES. I would also be pleased to subscribe to the WATCH TOWER, if your will be good enough to enter my name as a subscriber.

Thanking you again for your kindness, I am

Yours in Christ,

ALEX. P. RIEDEL. – N.Y.

THE LIGHT IN INDIA
MY DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL: –

I want to thank you for sample copy of THE WATCH TOWER, and also for Report on Foreign Mission Work, received a few months ago, and very much appreciated.

I would like to have THE WATCH TOWER sent regularly, beginning with January 1913, to above address. I will send subscription price in due course.

I am much interested in prophetic Bible Studies, and am looking for the Lord's speedy return. I have been working as [R5255 : page 174] a missionary in China for many years, and am now on furlough, most of which will be spent in Travancore, India. May I ask an interest in your prayers for future guidance?

With thanks in anticipation, believe me to remain,

Yours very sincerely.
__________. – Travancore, India.

REJOICING IN TRIBULATION
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Greeting in His name! Your good and encouraging letter of 17th inst. received and very much appreciated.

While we suffered much loss of goods, we did, and still do, and intend always to cling closely to Rom. 8:28. Yes, we were in perfect peace. The flood of water did not reach our second floor by 18 inches; and though our neighbors left their homes and went to the hills, we stayed where we were (upstairs) seven days and eight nights, having plenty to eat and [R5255 : page 175] drink (thanks to your advice as to food for time of trouble). We went to bed every night and slept soundly.

While some of those of the world noted and commented on our peace, others said it was wicked to take things so calmly and serenely while they (the world) were so worried and so many were losing their goods.

Your brother and sister by His grace,
MR. AND MRS. J. L. DILLI. – Ohio.

[R5255 : page 175]

BEREAN LESSONS AND TESTIMONY MEETINGS

W
E HAVE REQUESTED the traveling Pilgrims to do what they can to assist the different Classes with whom they meet to a proper appreciation of the great value of Berean Study Classes and Testimony Meetings. While we have advised these and described their successful operation and method in SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. VI., some of the dear friends seem not to fully appreciate them. We believe this is because they have never seen them in proper operation. With good Berean Study Classes and Testimony Meetings rightly conducted, the I.B.S.A. Classes will surely be prosperous in spiritual things – whether they have any preaching or not.

The Pilgrim Brethren are selected with care, and with the thought that they are well rounded out in Christian experience and along the lines of the Berean Studies and in leading Testimony Meetings. It is our thought, therefore, that if a Pilgrim visits a place where such meetings are not held, he cannot do the friends a better service than to give them a sample of how such meetings should be conducted to be interesting and profitable – along the lines indicated in Vol. VI.

In places where such meetings are already in vogue, and are successful and well attended by the interested, sample meetings by the Pilgrims would not be so necessary. Nevertheless, we have suggested to them that where they serve a class more than one evening, and one of those is the regular Testimony Meeting evening, it will be well for them to conduct the Testimony Meeting along the lines of Vol. VI., closing in an hour, and then taking an extra half-hour for a heart-to-heart talk along the lines which the time, place and circumstances may suggest to them as most helpful to the Class. We have urged all the dear Brethren who do public speaking to confine their discourse to sixty minutes – and surely not to exceed seventy minutes – and that if for any reason they speak longer than this, they will kindly explain to us the particular reasons therefor.

This is not done to hamper the brethren, but because uniformly long discourses are too strenuous for the public, and therefore apt to hinder the Cause we all wish to serve. Exceptions to this are made in the case of the two or three brethren who are generally used to open a series of meetings; for a special endeavor is then made to bring out an audience and a little extra time may be necessary, and in the case of especially interesting speakers, a long discourse may be wise. The average speaker, however, can accomplish more good in an hour than in two hours.

In these and in all suggestions and regulations, dear friends, be assured that our aim, object, motive, is the Lord's glory and the blessing of His people.

page 175

BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study XV.
THE FOES AND BESETMENTS OF THE NEW CREATION
JULY 6
Read p. 603, par. 1, to p. 605, par. 2.

(7) What is "fanaticism," and how should it be avoided? and what is absolutely essential in order to properly apply the principles of righteousness to our daily lives? P. 603, par. 1.

(8) What thought should constantly be kept in mind by the New Creature? And what is the only restriction we should recognize along this line? P. 603, par. 2.

THE WORLD AS AN ENEMY OF THE NEW CREATION

(9) Why is the spirit of the world in general opposed to the standard of the New Creation? P. 604, par. 1, 2.

(10) Why is the world one of the chief enemies of the New Creation, and why is a collision unavoidable? P. 604, par. 3.

(11) Explain why even the noblest aims and objects of the world in general are contrary to the standards of the New Creation. P. 605, par. 1.

(12) With what spirit should we meet the hatred and opposition of the world? P. 605, par. 2.

JULY 13
Read p. 606, par. 1, 2, to p. 611, par. 1.

(13) Explain the Scriptural injunction, "Love not the world," etc. (1 John 2:15.) P. 606, par. 1, 2.

(14) Has the Lord set for us the herculean task of reforming the world? and would it be proper for us to make a business of denouncing the present order of things? P. 607, par. 1, 2.

(15) What Scriptural examples in this respect may we well follow? P. 607, par. 3.

(16) What is the special work for the "Royal Priesthood" at the present time? P. 608, par. 1, 2.

THE GREAT ADVERSARY, SATAN

(17) Quote Scriptural proofs of the personality of Satan. Pp. 609 to 611.

(18) What Scriptural evidence that Satan is not only the enemy of the Church but also of all mankind? P. 611, par. 1.

JULY 20
Read p. 611, par. 2, to p. 614, par. 1.

(19) Explain how Satan's opposition to the New Creature differs from that of the world and of our own flesh. P. 611, par. 2.

HE WAS A LIAR AND A MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING

(20) What Scripture declares that Satan began the rebellion against God, and led our first parents into sin and death? P. 612, par. 1, first fourteen lines.

(21) Give Scriptural proof that Satan was created perfect and upright. P. 612, par. 1, last part.

(22) How has God created all His intelligent creatures so that being perfect does not insure remaining perfect? P. 612, par. 2.

(23) Are there different orders and positions among the angelic ranks? And how did the angels probably regard the creation of man? P. 613, par. 1.

(24) What was the probable reasoning of Satan with respect to our first parents? P. 613, par. 2; P. 614, par. 1.

JULY 27
Read p. 614, par. 2, to p. 619, par. 1.

(25) How may Satan have suggested to Eve's mind the thought of injustice on Jehovah's part? P. 614, par. 2; P. 615, par. 1.

(26) What was possibly Satan's disappointment over the result of his deception? And why was Adam's responsibility greater than Eve's? P. 615, par. 2.

(27) Did the results of Satan's first lie tend toward his reformation? P. 616, par. 1.

(28) What is the supreme object of all Satan's efforts? P. 616, par. 2.

(29) Since the Truth is much more reasonable than Error, why has it not prevailed, and what religious system has been Satan's masterpiece and worthy representative? P. 617, par. 1.

(30) Show how Isaiah 14:12-17 applies to Satan and his chief representative system. P. 618, par. 1, 2.

(31) What is the similarity between literal and symbolic Babylon? And what will be their doom, as well as that of Satan? P. 619, par. 1.

page 177
June 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

VOL. XXXIVJUNE 15No. 12
A. D. 1913 – A. M. 6041
CONTENTS
"Your Redemption Draweth Nigh" 179
The "Secret Place" of His Saints 179
Retribution for Wilful Sin 180
A Word to the Watchers 181
Evidences of the New Day 181
Watchmen for A Purpose 182
The Messengers of God in "The Last Days" 182
Christ's Presence A Stumbling-Stone 183
Hope (Poem) 183
Spiritual Vision Proportionate to Heart Purity 184
Individual Claims for Retribution 185
General and Special Rights Under Law 185
Our Share In the Cup of Suffering 186
Making the Wilderness Bloom 186
"With What Judgment Ye Judge" 187
Moses Called to Service 188
The Refiner's Fire (Poem) 189
Men of Destiny 190
Some Interesting Questions 191

'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 178

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, London, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.

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SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.

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[R5264 : page 178]

VOLUNTEER EXTENSION WORK

The Volunteers this year are doing nobly and we have splendid ammunition. No doubt the results will be great. However, we must not hope to know the details until we reach the Kingdom. Meantime it is ours to do faithfully what our hands find to do – what our Lord privileges us to do. We are His ambassadors, His witnesses.

We suggest that Class Extension work find parallel in Volunteer Extension work. After you have served your place of residence, seek the Lord's blessing in an endeavor to extend the distribution of free literature to other towns and cities within a reasonable radius. The Society is pleased to supply the ammunition free of all charges. It merely wishes, with the order, the names of the places to be served and the assurance that the work undertaken will (D.V.) be promptly done – that the literature will not be permitted to lie by unused. Remember that census population includes infants and that a proper estimate of one paper to the family would be one to five of the population. That is to say, a town of 5,000 would require 1,000 copies of the Volunteer matter. In cases where the population is found to be foreign, remember we have free literature in nearly all languages.

"He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto eternal life," is the message of our Master to us, one and all.

[R5255 : page 179]

"YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH"  Audio

Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." – Isaiah 26:20,21.
T
HERE is an affectionate tenderness about these words of our Heavenly Father which helps us to realize His great love for His people, and His special care over them. But while appreciating very gratefully this special love and care in the comfort, encouragement and protection afforded us by our Heavenly Father in the world's great tribulation, we would come far short of having His Spirit if we should regard the matter with self-complacency, forgetful of His great love for the world also. This love, veiled behind the clouds of His righteous indignation against their sins, in wisdom strikes the heavenly blow which will shatter all their idols and humble their pride in the dust, that so the sore wounds of His wrath may prepare them for their everlasting healing.

If God so loved the world as to give His Only Begotten Son, "that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish [eternally], but have everlasting life," He loves them still, and it is His love that wields the rod for their correction. He also would have His people so regard His judgments, and while they rejoice in the sunshine of His favor, because by faith they have come into an attitude which can receive it, He would have them share His spirit toward the world; and while the blows of His righteous indignation fall heavily upon the world, He would have us point them to the cause of their calamities and to the only remedy – "In returning [to God] and rest [in Him alone] shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength." "Be still," saith the Lord, "and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." – Isa. 30:15; Psa. 46:10.

But who are those whom the Lord is pleased to designate by the endearing name, "My people"? Does this class include every one upon whom His name is named? No; for that would include a great number of false professors. As the Psalmist expresses it, it includes all those who have made a covenant with God by sacrifice (Psa. 50:5.) – all the consecrated and faithful children of God, however young or weak they may be, whose hearts are fixed firmly and resolutely to be truly loyal and obedient children by His assisting grace.

To be numbered among the children of God is a great privilege; but it means much more than many seem to understand – much more both on their part and on God's part. On their part, it signifies, not merely a name to live in some great organization which bears the Christian name, but that they have become sons and heirs of God through Christ; that they have fully consecrated themselves to God to follow in the footsteps of His dear Son; that they have renounced the vain pomp and glory of the world and have solemnly covenanted to live apart from its spirit, ambitions, hopes and aims; and not only so, but that in pursuance of that covenant, they are striving daily to be faithful, and meekly to take up their cross and follow their Leader and Head, Christ Jesus.

On God's part it signifies the fulfilment of all His gracious promises to such through Christ, both for the life that now is, and for that which is to come. It signifies that in the present life we have His Fatherly Love, care, discipline, counsel, teaching, protection and encouragement, to the end; and that afterwards we shall be received into His glorious presence, and into everlasting rest, joy and peace. Oh, how blessed to be the people of God! even in the present life the reward of His favor is beyond computation.

THE "SECRET PLACE" OF HIS SAINTS

The place of hiding is "the secret place of the Most High," "under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psa. 91:1-9.) This secret place of the Most High, Beloved, is the place of intimate communion and fellowship with God, through the blessed privilege of prayer and through faith in His precious Word and His promised providential care.

"When all around our souls gives way,
He then is all our hope and stay."

Oh, how precious is this hiding place! What rest and refreshment we find in the midst of the commotion that is even now bestirring the whole world, but especially the nations of Christendom – rest from the pride and folly of men in their abortive efforts to readjust the present unsatisfactory social order; and rest from the strife of tongues in their equally vain attempt to evolve the clear principles of truth and righteousness from the present confusion of human traditions. (Psa. 31:20.) Here we find rest, peace, light and joy, which the world can neither give nor take away.

Few indeed are those who can understand our motives in thus withdrawing from the world and from the various [R5255 : page 180] organizations of the nominal Christian Church, to walk alone with God; and many are the reproaches which such must endure for His name's sake. But fear not; "shut thy doors [of faith] about thee," and heed not the reproaches; turn a deaf ear to them, and "Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread," (Isa. 8:13.); and, "Above all, take [for the conflict before you] the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." (Eph. 6:16.) "And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." – I Jno. 5:4.

It is to inspire such a faith as this that the Lord has offered us, in addition to all His precious promises, so many encouragements to simple, childlike trust in Him, and that He has bidden us to turn a deaf ear to the reproaches of man, saying, "Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My Law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings....I, even I, am He that comforteth you; who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of a man that shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy Maker, that has stretched forth the Heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? ...I have put My Words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand, that I may plant the Heavens [establish the new Heavens], and lay the foundations of the earth [the new earth], and say unto Zion [the people tried and proved by these afflictions to be the worthy heirs of the new Kingdom – the new Heavens and earth], Thou art MY PEOPLE." – Isa. 51:7,12,13,16.

While the storm of trouble which is to engulf the whole world will affect all men, both individually and collectively, the Lord's people, who seek only to draw yet closer to Him, entering more fully into the secret place of communion and fellowship and rest in Him, and shutting the doors of faith about them, will there be safely hidden from the alarm and fear and trembling that will take hold upon all other classes. And while they patiently endure its effects upon their temporal interests, they will rejoice not only in the knowledge of God's overruling Providence, in the whirlwind and in the storm as well as in the calms of life, but also in His blessed assurance that His wrath will be thus revealed only "for a little moment," and then will His righteous Kingdom be manifested in power and great glory, and they "shall shine forth as the sun." – Matt. 13:43.

Speaking of the trouble at the end of the Gospel Age, our Lord said, "Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36.) Again (vs. 28) He said, "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." "My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors."

How much trouble there will be in our passing into the secret "chambers," in passing unto the Lord, we do not know. Yet when this trouble comes, there will be such a blessing from the Lord that those who go through it will be able to rejoice in tribulation. Whatever their experiences will be, these will be joyful in that they will have the thought of being forever with the Lord. We can rejoice even as did St. Stephen.

RETRIBUTION FOR WILFUL SIN

Verse 21 seems to refer to the operation of the principle of justice in God's judgments upon the world. The Heavenly Father stands for Justice, and He has appointed that all of His Mercy shall be exercised through the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord will be specially identified with the trouble upon the nations, but it will not be so much His work as the Father's. The Day of Trouble is called the Day of Jehovah. We read that "In that Day His feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives," and that there shall be a great earthquake. – Zech. 14:4.

While God has done nothing for mankind during the past six thousand years, but has rested so far as any work of Restitution is concerned, yet in some instances He has interfered to prevent the spread of evil, as in the case of the Amalekites and of the Sodomites. The Scriptures seem to indicate that in the end of this Age He will intervene in the affairs of mankind, and execute justice in the time of trouble.

In the Scriptures, Justice is represented as calling for retribution. The blood of the murderers' victims is said to cry for vengeance. Whether the sin has been literal murder, or has been some injustice which has led to crime or suicide, Justice will require of humanity this much of retribution on this score. Justice demands that the children of Adam shall suffer. The Church of Christ is a separate class, taken out from the world and having their sins forgiven. They are upholders of Truth and righteousness.

But this time of trouble coming upon the world will be the time when Justice will get its dues, so to speak. Justice will take its "pound of flesh." It will require for the more or less wilful sins of humanity. The class that has [R5256 : page 180] reaped the benefit of the spoliation of the poor in the past, will have to pay some of the toll to Justice in squaring the accounts. The Apostle James says, "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for the miseries that shall come upon you." We are not to think, however, that in this present time God is dealing with the rich. None are on trial now except the Church of Christ. The others are merely the world of mankind, one part of which God will permit to wreak a measure of vengeance on the other part. But man's extremity will be God's opportunity. His appointed time for the establishment of His Kingdom will have come, and He will cause this wrath of man to work out good for humanity.

Those who are causing this trouble to come on are not aware of what they are doing. But when satisfaction shall have been made to Justice, Messiah's Kingdom will interpose. We read that "except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." This exacting of a penalty for such sins as we have enumerated is not at all in conflict with the Bible teaching that Christ died for sin. Jesus pays the sin-debt of the world.

The sin-debt of the world was a death penalty. Unless the Lord Jesus had met that penalty, the world would never be released. That death penalty would have remained upon the world, without any injustice in any way. The selfishness which has led to murder is, however, much more than the meeting of Adam's sin penalty by our Lord. Whoever has, through injustice, been responsible for murderous conditions is held responsible for those conditions.

We read that in the end of the Jewish Age our Lord said that God would require from that generation a reckoning for all the righteous blood shed from the time of Abel down. (Matt. 23:35.) And the trouble which came upon the Jewish nation in the end of their Age fully settled that account. They had light and knowledge, and thus were held responsible. They were obliged to suffer because of the injuries that were not only perpetrated by some, but endorsed or winked at by others. [R5256 : page 181]

LIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY

In the close of this Age, it would seem, the judgment of the Lord will be upon Christendom, which has had much light, although at times only a refracted light. But a measure of responsibility has come with it, and apparently the Lord's edict is that they shall not escape the penalty. From this generation He will require all the righteous blood shed during this Age, upon it, even as He did from the Jews in the end of their Age. This will cause the great time of trouble here, as it did there. So far as the world is concerned, they might not perceive the relationship between this time and the past. We know only from the Scriptures. God gives us this understanding, that we may have the greater poise and comfort of mind.

In thinking of the nature of the tribulation at the end of this Age, we are first of all to remember that it is a tribulation coming upon the world and the hypocrites. The Lord tells us that if we are faithful, we shall not come into the condemnation coming upon the world. The intimation is that those who are not faithful enough to get into the Little Flock will come into this condemnation with the world. So the Lord tells us of some who will get their portion with the hypocrites. – Matt. 24:51.

Only the wheat class constitute the Church of Christ. Only they will be gathered into the barn. (Matt. 13:30.) The tare class will undergo this time of trouble coming upon the world. The hypocrite class will include the rich of this world. These are addressed by St. James, 5:1-6. In these verses, the Apostle is turning aside from his line of thought. Then he addresses the Church again. The trouble will be especially hard on the rich, who are represented as weeping and howling for misery.

The Great Company class is typically represented by the scapegoat of Israel's Atonement Day ceremonies. The bullock typifies our Lord Jesus, and the Lord's goat His faithful followers. (Heb. 13:11-13.) After the faithful ones have finished their course, then something will be done with the scapegoat – the Great Company. The account in Leviticus is very specific that the high priest will then lay upon the head of the scapegoat all the iniquities of all Israel. (Lev. 16:21.) All the sins of all the people were laid upon the head of the scapegoat, that it might bear them away – make full satisfaction. As has been suggested, God has made provision for the cancellation of original sin through Christ, and has made arrangements for the satisfaction of Justice, so far as all the other sins of the world are concerned, through the Great Company class.

There is a correspondency between the end of the Jewish Age and the end of this Gospel Age in this way: As expiation for the taking of the life of Jesus was required of the Jewish nation, so at the end of the Gospel Age, the sacrificed life of the Church will in a measure be required of nominal Spiritual Israel.

The Lord seems to give this suggestion, when He says that "the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation." (Luke 11:50,51.) And St. Paul writes that all things written in the prophecies shall be fulfilled. So in the end of this Age there are certain things charged up against Christendom for their evil deeds. This will include all the persecutions of this Gospel Age, including also, presumably, all the persecutions against the Jews. Therefore the Scriptures indicate that a great time of trouble similar to that which came upon the Jewish nation will now come upon all Christendom. The experiences of Israel in the year 70 will be paralleled in the experiences of the year 1915.

[R5256 : page 181]

A WORD TO THE WATCHERS  Audio

"Let us watch and be sober." – 1 Thess. 5:6.
T
HE APOSTLE PAUL is addressing the Church, himself included, when he says, "Let us watch and be sober." He indicates in the context that we are to watch for the Day, for Messiah's Kingdom, which will produce that Day. We know to expect the rising of the Sun of Righteousness. The Church is to be delivered from sin and death early in the morning of that wonderful Day. Their part is to be in the First Resurrection, to glory, honor and immortality with their Lord.

St. Paul tells us that God has so arranged His Program that the Day will come as a thief in the night – stealthily: and that those who are asleep will not be aware that the Day has come, and might therefore not be expected to be in a waiting attitude. Our Master's words are, "Take heed to yourselves, lest...that Day come upon you unawares....Watch ye therefore." (Luke 21:34,36.) We believe that He leaves the matter in obscurity, because it will be better for us as a whole not to know the exact time. For instance, in the long period of the Dark Ages it was better that Christians did not know just when the time of Christ's return would come. There were wonderful events transpiring in their day, and have been, in fact, in every day, but so much the more, we read, as the Day approaches.

While the Adversary is ever active in his efforts to do harm to the Lord's cause, he will be still more seductive in his evil influences during the last days. We must therefore, as the Day draws near, be more and more alert in guarding every point of attack. The Lord allows us to do this watching, and He will reward the faithful ones, for He takes pleasure in the watchers. These will not be careless. Any who are careless will not be of the Kingdom class, for they are not of the kind that He wishes to glorify.

God wishes those who are awake to be learning more and more of His Plan. These will grow in grace and in knowledge as they watch. They will not be like the world. The world will be in a stupor – they will be unworthy of the Day. Darkness covers the whole earth at the present time. But God's people are granted a special light. They love the light. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psa. 119:105.) It is not a light like that of the moon, which reaches far out, but merely a little light at the feet of those who are watching for it. Those who are going to sleep will find their light going out.

EVIDENCES OF THE NEW DAY

The way that the Lord has been marking out for His people all down through the Age has been a narrow way – a very narrow way. His light is given only to those who are seeking – those who are waiting – those who are watching. These will discern the dawning of the morning. day are manifestations of the New Dispensation. The dawn is here. We are astonished that the people do not see. But they attribute these wonderful things to different causes. They think that these are merely the results of man's taking another step forward in progress from the monkey-stage. He has become more intelligent, goes to concerts, churches, etc. He is getting farther away from the monkey! The power to use steam and electricity proves to these that we are entering the Brain Age! They forget that the few are talented inventors, etc.

We can see that all these great blessings belong to the New Dispensation. God is bringing it about. We can see that it is not the educated people, but those less educated, who have discovered the wonderful inventions most useful to man. The inventions which have proved the greatest blessings the world has ever known have been discovered by unlearned men. These things are not due to the "brain age," as they tell us. Perhaps none of the present generation will compare with Shakespeare; perhaps none will compare with St. Paul; none perhaps will compare with Solomon, or David, or Moses.

WATCHMEN FOR A PURPOSE

The Apostle says, "Let us watch and be sober." We cannot say that he here refers to abstinence from the use of liquors, tobacco and other things which have a stupefying effect on the nerves. The thought is that we should be watchful and sober in mind. We find a great many people who are excitable – carried about by every wind of doctrine. They cannot give the reason for what they accept. They do not know that the Truth is intended for only the one class of people – for those who are watching.

How carefully we should watch all the increasing signs of the New Day! But the watchman who stands at the post of duty, and sees things going on, but keeps his mouth shut, is of no use at all. We want a watchman for a purpose! Those who are on the alert should call the attention of others to these wonderful things. They should seek to arouse the Household of Faith.

There are people who are as fully consecrated as ourselves, perhaps, only they are not awake. We should give them a kindly shake to arouse them to see the wonderful things. And since we are to be called away soon to the marriage, we are to remember that a part of our watching should be to keep our garments white. We are to watch to some purpose. If we realized how near the Bridegroom is, how careful we would be of our robes! Others do not know, but the Bride-elect knows how near the Bridegroom is. She will watch and be sober.

In one sense of the word, there might be many things to lead to excitability. We might merely jump up and down as we see the wonderful things, and clap our hands, etc. But not so! We are to be sober. Yet we are not to be stupid – stolid. We should remember that the Lord is giving us this knowledge to be used, and we should use it more and more. As we more clearly see our imperfections, we should watch and be sober, and we shall accordingly be circumspect, we shall be helpful to others, and will put on more and more the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit – patience, meekness, gentleness, brotherly-kindness, love. And as we watch, we shall be putting off anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife. Thus we shall be pleasing and acceptable to the Bridegroom, and we shall thus be making ourselves ready to enter in with Him into the joys and blessings that are now so near – at the door.

[R5257 : page 182]

THE MESSENGERS OF GOD IN "THE LAST DAYS"  Audio

"He shall give His angels [messengers] a charge concerning thee, to guard thee in all thy ways." – Psalm 91:11.
I
N THE MIDST of the "perilous times" of this "evil day," and of the warning voices of the Holy Prophets and Apostles pointing out snares and pestilences and subtle dangers on every hand – and in the midst, too, of a realizing sense of the actual existence of such evil besetments and perils – how precious to the saints are the assurances of Divine protection and care and personal love!

Evidently the person referred to in our text as giving a charge, or message, is Jehovah, the Heavenly Father. The Prophet David is prophesying in respect to some person, then future. That person was primarily, we believe, the Lord Jesus Christ; and secondarily, all those whom He has accepted as members of His Body throughout this Gospel Age – the Messiah class, Head and members. The words imply a special care of God over this class. All through the Scriptures they are referred to as those whom God specially loves and specially cares for. Our Lord Jesus is the Only Begotten, the Well-beloved Son, and all those who are His members are peculiarly loved. Jesus said to some of His faithful disciples, "The Father Himself loveth you."

The charge given to the angels we would understand to have a very broad application. The Apostle Paul assures us that the angels of God are ministering spirits sent forth to minister unto and to serve those who shall be heirs of salvation, the saved ones of this Gospel Age. Yes, all of these, because believers in Christ, because at heart faithful, because fully consecrated to the Lord and begotten of His Spirit, are the special and happy objects of His grace, ministered to and served by the invisible messengers. 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." The Master's words seem to imply that one or more of these angels have charge over the consecrated ones, the Very Elect. access to the Father. Before we speak, He knows our minds. Before we realize our own necessities, He has made provision for them. A wonderful watch-care has been arranged. It is hard for us to understand how the Almighty God can give such particular care and attention to our needs. Instead of being puffed up that God has manifested such loving consideration towards us, it should make us feel how little we are, how unworthy of such blessings.

Although the Father makes such use of Heavenly messengers, this by no means invalidates the thought that the Lord's earthly children are frequently used of Him as ministers, servants, the one of another. Indeed, we may be assured that the invisible messengers are required generally to act through human instrumentalities. Of this we have illustrations in the Harvest work, supervised by our present Lord and His Heavenly hosts, yet in the main carried on by members of His Body in the flesh.

The Apostle Paul has stated that the Lord makes His [R5257 : page 183] ministers, or servants, a flaming fire, and intimates to us that any and every agency and power that Divine providence uses is a part of that care over His people. (Heb. 1:7.) In other words, every agency used of God – whether it be fire or electricity or man, or whatever – would be a messenger of God. And whatever would not be to His praise and work out what He chooses, He is able to restrain – as He tells us. – Psalm 76:10.

OVERCOMERS DEVELOPED BY TRIAL

These angels are to "keep thee in all thy ways" – not only in all the affairs of the Church, both individually and collectively, but also in all times; it was kept during the Dark Ages as well as at other times. But this care will not keep us from temptation. None can be of this elect Church unless they have trials. In order to have the overcoming qualities of heart they must have the tests. But the Lord's promised grace is to be with them for their assistance – not to overcome for them, but to sustain them. His grace is sufficient for us. He does not make up for a poor will; but He does make up for imperfect bodies. If the will is poor, He does not want such in His elect Church. He wants His people to be strong in will – nothing doubting – overcomers.

The next verse of the Psalm from which our text is taken proceeds to say that these messengers which have a charge over the affairs of the Church, Head and Body, will keep the feet from stumbling. In a general way we might apply the term feet to some members of the Body all down, in all times of the Age; as we might say, for instance, one member is a hand, and one a foot, etc. The Church, resting on those feet members all the way down, throughout the Gospel Age, will be guided aright; they will not be allowed to stumble; for, "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my pathway." Thus they would be enabled to surmount the difficulties in their path.

So all down through the Gospel Age the messengers of the Lord have helped His people over all of their trials. But this reference to the feet seems especially applicable to the last members of the Body of Christ. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace...that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" (Isa. 52:7.) This would seem to apply to the last members of the Church. This could not have been said all the way down the Age. It is only for us who are living at the present time to say.

These various manifestations of progress that we see, are just beginning. The new regime is only opening. [R5258 : page 183] After our Lord shall have delivered and glorified the Church, then He will begin the work with the world. None had the right to say, "Thy God reigneth," in the past; but since 1878, we are making this proclamation.

CHRIST'S PRESENCE A STUMBLING-STONE

The text seems to imply that the feet members at this time would be in a position of special trial, and be as a stumbling-stone. And this calls to our remembrance that the Lord foretold this, saying, "He shall be...for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel." (Isa. 8:14.) This stone was stumbled over in the end of the Jewish Age. (I Peter 2:8.) The Scriptures set forth that Jesus is the Way. The Lord is a Stumbling-Stone in the pathway of many. These passages do not refer to the world. It was not the Gentile nations that stumbled over Jesus at His First Advent, but it was some of the true Israelites who were there stumbled. And the text implies the stumbling of some true Spiritual Israelites because of the coming of the Lord in a way totally different from what they had imagined. So we believe that there are very many good Christian people today who are stumbling over Christ's Presence. They thought so and so; they imagined so and so. And all is so different from what they had imagined and expected that it is just as it was in the end of the Jewish Age, when the rabbis stumbled.

The question is, why should not the angels have charge over all good people, so that they would not stumble? Is not this the promise? We answer that the promise is made to all who are of the elect class. But in order to remain members of this Body, they must all stand the trial. It will be a test. Are they willing to have the assistance of the angels – messengers? Are they willing to surmount these difficulties and to remain in the way?

One class will be in a condition to receive the trials in the proper manner; another class will be so self-confident, so overcharged with the cares of this life, and so lacking in spiritual development, that they will not be ready to avail themselves of the services of the angels. This is because God uses as His messengers some whom the world will not be ready to receive.

PARALLELISM BETWEEN JEWISH AND GOSPEL AGES

In the Jewish Age the Lord used some whom the scribes, the doctors of the Law and the chief priests could not accept at all. If He wanted to use agents, or channels, or messengers, to teach the people, why did He not choose the learned scribes or the pompous Pharisees of that day? Why did the Lord use as His messengers men who had been fishermen, tax-gatherers – persons whom the learned would think entirely unfit as instructors, or teachers? We recall that in the end of the Jewish Age it was written of two of them (and perhaps of them all) that the people perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men. (Acts 4:13.) How could it be that God would pass by some of the most learned of that day? "Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight." – Matt. 11:25,26.

So today the Lord is using channels, agencies, messengers, that are not acceptable to many whom they approach. And while these are making up their minds to believe, slow in this because overcharged with the cares of this life, the elect company will be made up. Then the others will say, "Lord, Lord, open unto us." But the Lord will declare that He cannot recognize them as members of His Body, the Elect. They will not have shown the spirit of meekness, gentleness, patience, love, necessary to give them a place in this Body. So it will be only the Body members who will be lifted up by the messengers and carried safely through the trials and difficulties which will be permitted to test the love, loyalty and obedience to the will of God, of all who have made with Him a Covenant of Sacrifice – even unto death.

HOPE
"O Father, just to see Thee face to face,
E'er endless death
Should claim me for its own –
To hear Thy voice, behold Thy Throne!
And for one moment
Hear Thee call me Thine, and Thine alone!
Ah! that were worth
Long years of suffering and pain.

"But what, O God, must be the joy of this –
To see Thy face,
To feel Thy touch, and folded to Thy breast
To hear Thee say, "We ne'er shall part!"
Break not, O heart!
Though thou hast naught of worth,
Be this thy plea
God's own Almighty love, and Christ's sufficiency."

A Friend.

[R5258 : page 184]

SPIRITUAL VISION PROPORTIONATE TO HEART PURITY  Audio

"Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." – Isa. 52:11.
T
HE VESSELS of the Lord in the Tabernacle, and also in the Temple, were those vessels which were connected with the holy services – in the Court, in the Holy and the Most Holy. They consisted of hooks, censer, pans snuffers, cups, bowls – a variety of precious vessels. Those used in the Holy and the Most Holy were of gold, and those used in the Court were of copper.

The only ones who were allowed to handle these vessels at all were the consecrated class. The priests handled these in the Holy and the Most Holy in certain parts of the service, and in less important services they were covered up and borne in the hands of the Levites. So the vessels were handled only by the priests and the Levites. They required a cleansing before being used, and so were washed. Every bearer of these was required to be cleansed, typically washed free from sin.

In the antitype, our Lord is the great High Priest. The most faithful of His followers are those who are counted as the Priesthood in God's sight, on trial now to see whether they will constitute the Priests in glory. But all who have made consecration have the Robe of Christ's Righteousness. Whoever is not thus clothed upon by the righteousness of Christ, whoever is not thus justified in God's sight, can have neither part nor lot in handling the holy things – the precious truths. must be clean, pure of heart. "Blessed are the pure in heart." We have not perfection of flesh at the present time. When we have come into Christ, this imperfection of the flesh is said to be covered by a clean, white robe, representing the righteousness, the merit, of Christ. We must abide in Him. So long as we are in the flesh, we must have the Robe of Christ's Righteousness, in order to be clean.

Moreover, as it was required of the priests that they keep their robes clean, so we are exhorted to put away all filthiness of the flesh and to keep our robes clean. We are told that the Church will be without spot, and clean. (Eph. 5:26,27.) And if we marvel how this could be, the Scriptures show us how it is. We were cleansed from sins of the past when the robe was given us, and this means also a provision on God's part for the continued cleansing of all the sins that are ours through weakness, through temptation, through unavoidable failures. But nothing in this provision indicates a cleansing from wilful sin.

PURITY OF HEART ESSENTIAL

We as New Creatures could not have wilful sin and still remain New Creatures; for the New Creature represents the mind of Christ, which is holy. Whatever weaknesses and imperfections there may be are attached to the flesh; and all these are covered by the Robe of Christ's Righteousness. We approach the Throne of Heavenly Grace and find grace to help in every time of need.

The context seems to make the text applicable in the present time. It was applicable in our Lord's day. He was holy, harmless, undefiled. It was applicable in the Apostles' day. All these must be clean. One, who was unclean, Judas, went to his own destruction. We believe that he went into the Second Death because he failed to use the opportunities that had been given to him.

As it was possible for Judas to fail, it is also possible for us to fail – to a greater or a less extent. As he was put out of the Divine service because of impurity of heart, love of money, etc., so we may be sure that all not pure in heart will be put out of this service. Just as none would be placed in this service if not pure in heart, so if any become impure they will be put out of it.

This is illustrated by the case of Ananias and Sapphira, who were put out of their affiliation with the Priesthood because of their love of money and their attempt to deceive. [R5259 : page 184] We remember this also in the case of Simon Magus and others mentioned in the New Testament. There might be some defiled of heart and other people not know of it. As the Scriptures intimate, there might be some highly esteemed among men, and not highly esteemed in God's sight. And there might be some not much esteemed among men, but highly esteemed of God. "The world knoweth us not, even as it knew Him not." – I John 3:1.

PRESENT-DAY OPPONENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

No doubt there are those occupying pulpits who may esteem themselves as really the ministers of God, and be thus esteemed of others, who do not honor His Word. We are told that some of the ministers of Satan are thought to be ministers of God. (2 Cor. 11:13-15; Rev. 2:2; 3:9.) Some of them confess that they have no faith, no God at all. Some of them say that God is simply the god of nature. And others, again, say that they believe in God, but do not believe in the Scriptures.

We cannot suppose that these are bearing the vessels of the Lord's House in any sense of the word. Probably they never did bear these vessels. Or possibly they might have done so, and then gone into error, gone out of the Court condition altogether, become enemies of the cross of Christ. (Philippians 3:18.) The Apostle speaks of some such who hold down (Greek katecho) the Truth in unrighteousness. In this text the word hold is used, not in the sense of retaining the Truth, but of oppressing it. – Romans 1:18.

In another Epistle the Apostle speaks of some who preach Christ with contention (Phil. 1:15,16.); but he is not in any way here referring to those bearing the vessels of the Lord's House. He seems to refer to those who have not known Christ, but who nevertheless were drawing attention to the fact that there is a Christ; that they had heard that there was such a claim put forth – that there is a Christ – just as there are some today who are more or less calling attention to certain features of the Truth. We would not think that these in any sense of the word are bearing the vessels of the Lord's House, but rather that they are opponents.

The passage from which our text is taken seems to indicate that those who bear the vessels of the Lord's House would have a special force and influence at the present time. This is shown in the statement, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him who bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" (Isaiah 52:7.) This seems to be applicable now in a sense that it never was previously; for the time for the Kingdom reign is practically here, the time for this Message of God is at hand. We believe that the Kingdom of God is in process of erection, and the gathering of the saints now in process of completion. With the completion of this class will come the inauguration of the Kingdom.

The context also shows that the time is near when the Message shall be preached to every creature. We believe that this is even now being fulfilled. Many are seeing the Restitution of all things and the glorious outcome of the Divine Plan. All who would be thus engaged in proclaiming the Message are exhorted to be clean. [R5259 : page 185]

THE PURE IN HEART THE TARGET OF THE ENEMY

The intimation of the Scriptures everywhere is that there are adverse influences at work in the world, tending to defile the people of God. They all have, of course, through the weaknesses of their own flesh, a sufficiency of temptation, we might say, to overcome. But the Scriptures say that this is not all they have to contend against. There are fallen angels that operate through occult influences and that are intent upon defiling especially the saintly class. But they are intent upon defiling all.

The purer the person, the more surely will he be the target. You notice that the speckled birds are more a mark for the huntsman than are the others. Thus all who are bearing the vessels of the Lord's House are special targets for the fiery darts of the Wicked One. So we must contend against the world, the flesh and the Adversary. Those who are in the right condition of heart, the pure in heart, earnest as the Lord's children, watch to keep their garments clean. Unless they watch, they will surely get their garments defiled. Satan is specially endeavoring to touch them; and we know that wherever he would touch there is defilement. Whoever the Wicked One touches receives a measure of injury. And there is a measure of culpability in the individual before he is touched.

The suggestion is that to whatever extent one becomes defiled, unclean, in that proportion he would not be fit to be entrusted with the vessels of the Lord's House. Perhaps all of God's people can say from experience that they know something of what this means. Doubtless it is the experience of all of the Lord's children that in proportion as their hearts are clean their spiritual vision is clear. And in proportion as they depart from this purity, in that proportion they would have less and less opportunity for service – for bearing the vessels of the Truth.

[R5259 : page 185]

INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS FOR RETRIBUTION  Audio

"Lay not this sin to their charge." – Acts 7:60

So far as St. Stephen was concerned, he had no special claim to make upon Justice for retribution. The question then arises, has any one such a claim? The answer is that it would seem that any one who suffers injustice has a claim for retribution. In our common courts, there are some crimes and acts of injustice which are taken up for consideration, though there are others which would never be touched, unless the individual concerned took up a charge.

In St. Stephen's case, we understand that the wrongs done him are charged up against the wrong-doers. They were already tainted with original sin, as members of the human family; they were already under condemnation to death. The Lord Jesus had already begun the work of making satisfaction for their sins and for the sins of the whole world. In His own time and way, God will judge these sinners. Hence they shall have a just recompense, in proportion as they were guilty of wrong-doing.

Jesus intimates that crimes against any of the members of His Body will have to be expiated. The doing of injury to one of the Lord's people is especially evil in God's sight, and especially punishable; for these are in special covenant relationship with Him, while the world is outside of this protection of Divine Justice, except in a general way.

The words attributed to our Lord, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," given in our Common Version Bible, are not found in the oldest Greek MSS. It would be rather more difficult for Jesus to offer such a prayer than for us to do so; for the Scriptures declare that He knew what was in man. We do not know. Any prayer that we might offer respecting man would be very different from what Jesus would offer. Therefore, we must leave these words out of consideration when thinking of St. Stephen's words.

GENERAL AND SPECIAL RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW

We ask ourselves, to what extent was St. Stephen right and within his privileges in offering such a prayer? If he were one of the Apostles, we should be bound not to make inquiry, but to suppose that he was right. The fact that the words are recorded in Scripture does not prove anything more than if they were from one of us.

In our Common Law, there seems to be this principle – each individual seems to have certain rights in addition to the general rights under the Law. These special rights he may or may not press, if occasion should arise. In St. Stephen's case, we understand that he had a right to waive the claims of Justice, and did so. It is as though he had said, "I put in no protest, and ask for no vengeance on my account."

The question then arises, did he have a right to wish for vengeance on them? We think not. Our Lord's instructions are, "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." (Luke 6:36.) But so far as the general principles of righteousness are concerned, we must not interfere. St. Stephen very properly limits his prayer in this sense, as if he were saying (paraphrasing), "Heavenly Father, I am not asking for vengeance on them, but that they may not be held especially responsible for this sin against me."

DEFENSE OF THE INTERESTS OF THE TRUTH A DUTY

We are admonished by our Lord to love our enemies, and to do good to them who hate us, and to pray for them who despitefully use us and persecute us. The question then comes in, Would it ever be right for us to appeal to Justice? Should we always say, "Father, forgive them; I forgive them"? Should we wish that the courts should do [R5260 : page 185] nothing against them? No! Where the interests of the Lord's Cause are involved, it is our duty to say something in defense of the Truth; but not in a personal matter.

Of course, the world will not understand our motive, for the world does not act except for personal reasons. Consequently, they would suppose that we acted for our own sakes. But we have given up all our earthly rights, in consecration; that is, we covenanted to give up every claim to our just rights in the world. This is the substance of our consecration.

Where the interests of the Lord's Cause are involved, however, it is our duty to act for the good of the Truth, for the reason that certain impressions inimical to the Truth may be stopped. We see illustrations of this principle in the case of the Apostle Paul at court; also when he said to Elymas the sorcerer, "O thou child of the Devil, ...wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?...thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season." (Acts 13:10,11.) In these cases, and also [R5260 : page 186] in that of Alexander the coppersmith, we may be sure that the Apostle was not seeking personal revenge.

This attitude should also be ours in all the affairs of life. If anything is done in opposition to those who oppose themselves, it should be done in the same spirit that the Apostle showed in the course which he took. We all find that as we grow in grace and in knowledge we develop a spirit of charity – forgiveness. This is as it should be. Greater knowledge of God, greater development in character-likeness of Christ, should make us the more generous, forgiving.

IGNORANCE THE REAL CAUSE OF MUCH INJUSTICE

The Lord blesses us in giving us a clearer knowledge of the Truth. When we come to the knowledge of the Truth, it gives us a sympathetic feeling for the world. We are all fallen. But the Apostle says, "Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (I Cor. 6:11.) Others, who are not cleansed, not sanctified, not justified, are in the gall of bitterness, so to speak.

When we consider all the evil deeds done in the world, and when we look back through the pages of history, we can see that the majority of those who perpetrated evil did so because they did not appreciate the principles involved in the matter. St. Peter, speaking by inspiration, says that in ignorance Israel killed the Prince of Life. (Acts 3:15,17.) St. Paul, who gave the authority of the Sanhedrin for the stoning of St. Stephen, tells us that he did these things in ignorance, in blindness; and that he verily thought that he was doing God service.

If this was true of all these cases in the past, may we not think that quite certainly the same principle is operating now – individually, personally? The Lord is able to stop these things, and will do so in due time. He will lift the veil and let the light shine out in due time. But it is not the due time as yet. The Church has not yet completed the sufferings of Christ.

OUR SHARE OF THE CUP OF SUFFERING

We should rejoice in having a share in the sufferings of Christ, and should receive our share in meekness and uncomplaining obedience, realizing that the Father hath poured the cup which we are to drink. If we love our enemies and do not wish to do them harm, but on the contrary wish to open the eyes of their understanding and to do them good, then we have the right spirit. Any desire to do them injury would prove that we are lacking in the Lord's Spirit. Whoever finds that he has a spirit of viciousness will find that he has much to learn. But whoever finds in himself evidence of the Spirit of the Lord in this matter, may rejoice.

By and by, these very ones who are persecuting, slandering, doing evil towards us, will see clearly, and they will be ashamed. As the Scriptures say, "Your brethren that hated you and cast you out for My Name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed." (Isa. 66:5.) The time when they shall be ashamed is the time when Christ shall appear and they shall see. "And when He shall appear, we shall be like Him." So, then, our opportunity for revenge will be future, and our revenge will be to do our enemies good. We will do them so much good that they will be thoroughly ashamed of what they are now doing against us.

[R5262 : page 186]

MAKING THE WILDERNESS BLOOM
B
IBLE STUDENTS are more and more having proofs set before them of the fulfilment of the Scriptures. The promise has stood in the Bible for centuries, that God would ultimately turn away the curse from the earth and that, instead of thorns and thistles, it would yield blessings to mankind. This great change was to come at the close of the six great Days of a thousand years each – the period of the reign of sin and death. The great Seventh Day, the Day of Christ – a thousand years – is to witness a wonderful transformation from darkness to light, from evil to good, from the curse to the blessing.

That thousand years of blessing is in the Bible styled "The Times [or years] of Restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.) Bible Students are calling the attention of each other and of the world to the fact that the six thousand years of the reign of sin and death are past, and that we are living in the dawn of Messiah's Day – the Millennium.

Blessings are coming to mankind from every quarter. But they are not coming as miraculously as many had expected. God's blessing is coming through human enlightenment. He is lifting the veil, and men of ordinary capacity are seeing things which their equally bright forefathers never dreamed of. Artesian wells are serving to irrigate certain sections and to make them very fruitful. The diverting of streams for irrigation purposes is rapidly making arid lands blossom as the rose.

Advancement along the lines of horticulture is improving our plants and flowers greatly. It is difficult to imagine how more beautiful bloom could ever have been seen in Eden of old, or how anything more nearly perfect and beautiful could ever be hoped for in the Paradise which by and by will be world-wide. Horticulture is receiving enlightenment and blessing from Heaven. Ideal apples, pears, plums, grapes, etc., are coming to us in the place of the poor stunted fruits of the past. We may well wonder how there could be much further improvement made in some directions. Yet the matter of improvement is about in its infancy.

We quote below an interesting item respecting a valuable work now being conducted by Mr. Burbank, of California, a man who has already given us some new varieties of fruit and done much to educate the world along horticultural lines. We quote:

"While the recognition of the value of Burbank's work by the Carnegie Institution and the appropriation of funds was helpful at a time most needed, it is not as important from a utilitarian standpoint as was the bill passed by Congress last August giving Mr. Burbank grants of lands for conducting his experiments regarding the spineless cacti. The bill provides for the placing of twelve sections of desert land at his disposal in locations to be selected by him in California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, each section containing 640 acres of land.

"While the stories of the spineless cactus and its possibilities as an addition to the food and industrial resources of the country were ridiculed at the beginning, the demonstrations already given by Mr. Burbank are convincing proof of its practicability. About ten years ago he began to study the cactus with a view of making it useful to the human race, instead of the enemy it always has been regarded. He recognized its good qualities, namely, that it was hardy and would grow where nothing else would, in the blistering heat of the desert, and that it had much nutrition stored in its thick leaves and golden or crimson fruit. [R5262 : page 187]

"His first two objects were the removal of the sharp thorns covering the branches, leaves and fruit, and the removal of the woody, fibrous skeleton of the leaves, which made them indigestible. The cactus selected by Burbank for his experiments was the Opuntia species, native to Mexico and South America. Hundreds of thousands of seeds were planted and extensive crossings were made between the pollens of the flowers. In making the thornless cactus, Mr. Burbank recognized the fact that it took much of the vital force of the cacti to develop the powerful thorns and supply the leaves with fibers. In breeding these away he gave nature a chance to devote her energy to improving the fruit. He has accomplished this in a manner that seems absolutely marvelous.

"The fruit of the cactus is like a fat cucumber in appearance, slightly flattened at the ends. It is delicious for jelly and jams, and one variety has a pineapple flavor. The juice has been found invaluable for mixing paint, and [R5263 : page 187] the coloring of the red fruit is permanent and of great brilliance. Cactus fruit already is on sale in the Western States, and a large commercial company has been formed in California for its exploitation.

"At present Mr. Burbank is devoting his time chiefly to the selection of the sites of his experiment fields in the desert lands supplied him by the Government. If, as is generally believed, his claims can be demonstrated upon this large scale, he will add many millions of dollars to the resources of the world. There are billions of acres of desert ground in different parts of the world, and if these are all made productive, the benefit to all is apparent.

"It is claimed that an acre of cactus plants will produce 200 tons of food value. A corn production of a ton and a half is considered good, and a five-ton yield of alfalfa is exceptional. The leaves of the cactus may be used as forage as acceptably as alfalfa. If the produce is utilized for the manufacture of wood alcohol, the yield is estimated as amounting to $1,200 value per acre as against $35 for Indian corn. It must be considered that this cactus is to be produced entirely upon desert lands, which never before have been productive of anything of commercial value."

[R5260 : page 187]

"WITH WHAT JUDGMENT YE JUDGE"
R
ECENTLY we received a copy of a letter sent to Rev. Moorehead. We have not learned if it received a reply. The spirit of the letter is kind and moderate, hence we publish it. It is in marked contrast with the various slanderous attacks made upon the Editor of THE WATCH TOWER. A number of religious papers of various denominations attack Brother Russell with slander and abuse, and such a manifestation of alarm and viciousness as to suggest that they are terrified and fearful that all their honor of men and titles and scholarship and musty creeds will be scattered as the chaff of the summer's threshing floor.

We trust that Brother Russell's friends, as well as his enemies, recognize how different is his attitude. He does indeed attack false doctrines unsparingly, but he never, in his sermons or any of his writings, descends to personalities. It is because the clashing creeds cannot be sustained by their devotees that the latter manifest their displeasure by attacking Pastor Russell.

The letter follows:

REV. WILLIAM G. MOOREHEAD, D.D. DEAR DR. MOOREHEAD:

I read some time ago your article in the seventh volume of Fundamentals on "MILLENNIAL DAWN," the teaching of Mr. C. T. Russell. I felt like writing you at that time but did not. Recently I read the summary of your article in one of my religious papers and have had an increasing impression to write you. I hesitate to do so because of the high regard I have always had for you as one of my teachers of twenty years ago, and also because of the high esteem in which you are held in the company of Biblical expositors and Christian workers in general. Yet I feel also that in the interest of truth and fairness your article should have some attention.

I feel that this article from your pen is unworthy of a man like you. I cannot understand why such a careful student as yourself should make statements such as you make in this article, when they are so manifestly and greatly in error.

In addition to reading five of the six volumes of "MILLENNIAL DAWN" carefully, and the sixth volume in part, I have also read many other pamphlets, magazine articles and sermons of Pastor Russell's, and also every criticism I have found or heard of in opposition to his teachings. I was one of his critics for about fifteen years, and I based my criticisms upon reading about half of one chapter of one of his books. A few years ago it occurred to me that I might not understand his full thought, so I took time to inform myself on the subject I had been criticising, and when I obtained more information I became an admirer of his work, though I do not agree with him in all his conclusions. I have reached the conclusion concerning the authors of the criticisms that I have read, that they do not know any more about Pastor Russell's teachings than I did in the days when I was so liberal with my condemnation. They all remind me of the testimony of the two witnesses who offered testimony before the Jewish council when Jesus was on trial. They said, "We heard him say: 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.'" Now Jesus had said something like that – though essentially different. These critics seem to have read Pastor Russell's works with the same methods and motives that Thomas Paine, Robert Ingersoll and others of their class read the Scriptures and criticized them. This seems very unfortunate since it has been done by men who have been eminent for Christian character and leaders of Christian thought.

Coming now to your article: I cannot take up all the mistakes you have made in this, but will confine myself to those lying on the surface. In the opening sentence you assure us that in the MILLENNIAL DAWN series there are "six rather bulky volumes, comprising in all some two thousand pages." On page 123, you speak of "a careful reading of these volumes," so we conclude that you have read them all carefully. (This is what you should have done before putting yourself on record in criticism of them.) I note that in your references to and quotations from these books you confine yourself to the first three volumes, and chiefly to the first two. I note also that you quote a single sentence, or part of a paragraph, giving only a partial presentation of the author's thought, and then proceed to criticize it. This is a most unfair method. It reminds me of an article I read a few years ago in which the writer was opposing the doctrine of the total depravity of man, and as a proof text he quoted John 9:3, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents," and said that Jesus here taught that here were at least three persons who had never sinned. Your method with Pastor Russell is identical.

Under the heading, "Ninth Error," in your article, you say: "One of these, the ninth error, essential and fundamental in Christianity, is the person and work of the Holy Spirit. There is a strange and ominous silence regarding this most important [R5261 : page 187] subject very apparent in the writings of Pastor Russell. A careful reading of those volumes, comprising more than one thousand pages, has discovered but one solitary reference to the Spirit; it is a casual mention of the Spirit in connection with the Day of Pentecost. The statement is simply made as a historic fact, or rather as an event which marks a stage in the development of the Christian Church. Not one word of teaching has the writer found in MILLENNIAL DAWN as to the distinct personality of the Spirit, or as to His supreme agency in the salvation of sinners."

Now I must say frankly, though courteously, that I cannot understand how, or why, a man with your record for accuracy could be so careless or dishonest as to make such a statement. In your opening statement you say, "There are six volumes of two thousand pages;" and here you say that you have given these volumes a careful reading, and count but ONE thousand pages, and then you make a bold and erroneous statement – that the author ignores the Holy Spirit. [R5261 : page 188] A judge would not think of rendering a verdict with only half the evidence in, but you speak boldly in condemnation of Pastor Russell when you are only half way through his books. Now, if you have gotten these volumes a "careful reading," I do not see how you missed in the fifth volume, pages 163 to 300, where the author gives ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SEVEN PAGES to a full presentation of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, in connection with the redemption of the race of man. How can you explain this?

It is true that Pastor Russell may teach some things concerning the Holy Spirit that you will not agree with, but he does not ignore the Spirit, as you say he does. It is evident that in making this criticism you were very careless, to say the least, and this should make those who are seeking the Truth very cautious about accepting your statements without full verification.

Another mistake which lies on the surface in your article is found on page 125, where in reference to Pastor Russell's lecture on the subject of "To Hell and Back Again," you say: "Crowds have listened with no little satisfaction to his assertions that there is no hell, no eternal punishment, no hopelessness after death." Now I have not heard Pastor Russell speak at any time, nor have I read this particular lecture, but if he in this lecture teaches that there is no hell, and no punishment for the finally impenitent, then he in this lecture flatly contradicts what is very clear in all his writings. I have never read an expositor who speaks with more clearness and earnestness of the eternal punishment to be meted out to the finally impenitent. It is true that he does not believe in a literal lake of fire of burning brimstone, and that men are eternally tortured in this, but in this he is not out of harmony with thousands of other good, orthodox teachers.

I hope you will not think me impertinent if I, as one of your former students, ask you a question here, as we used to have the privilege of doing in the class-room. In this article of yours, in Fundamentals, on page 126, you say: "We read in Revelation 19:20; 20:10, that after a thousand years in the lake of fire the Beast and the False Prophet are still there undestroyed." Now, I have looked up the several translations that I have in my library and I do not find that word "undestroyed" in any of them. In what translation will I find it, and what is the authority for putting it into that passage? I am a seeker after the full Truth, and if that has any authority for being in that passage I would like to know it, for it is important.

Now, in closing, I want to say that you need have no concern about one of your pupils following Pastor Russell. I have his books in my library and consult them freely, as I do every other good expositor I can find, and afford to buy. I have gotten beyond the early stage of the disciples who wanted to forbid some to teach or cast out devils because they "follow not US." I have gotten unlimited aid from you, and also from Pastor Russell. I do not feel like saying with you that he is "being used of the evil one to subvert the truth of God." My church officials still regard me as sufficiently orthodox that they can go to sleep and allow me to continue preaching to the congregation.

With kindest regards for you and highest appreciation of the help I have received from you, I am

Yours in His service,
T. S. THOMPSON. – N. Dak.

[R5261 : page 188]

MOSES CALLED TO SERVICE  Audio
– JULY 20. – EXODUS 3:1-14. –

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." – Matthew 5:8.
M
OSES was forty years old when he fled from Pharaoh, discouraged. He was eighty years old when God called him to be the leader of Israel. The first forty years of his life were an ordinary schooling, the last forty a special schooling in meekness. He was now ready for service at exactly the time when God wished to use him. So thoroughly discouraged had he become that he who was ready to lead the hosts of Israel without a special Divine commission and authorization was now so distrustful of himself that even when called of the Lord he apologized, pleading his unfitness, etc. He did not realize that he had only then become fit.

So it is with some of God's children today. They little realize the importance of the lesson of meekness – submission – teachableness. He who learns this lesson is getting the most important preparation for Divine service. "The Lord resisteth the proud, but showeth grace to the humble" – the meek, the teachable, the submissive. The Apostle, on the strength of this principle, urges the Church, saying, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God" – submit yourselves to whatever God's providence shall bring to you in life's experiences – "that He may exalt you in due time" – after He shall have made you ready for the exaltation and for the service He wishes you to perform. – I Peter 5:6.

Moses was tending Jethro's flocks, and perhaps considering how wise it was that forty years before he had been unsuccessful in arousing his brethren to flee out of Egypt. He could see now, in the light of maturer years, what a herculean task he would have had as their leader. He could see with maturer years the dangers and the difficulties of the wilderness journey. He could better understand the difficulties that would have attended his people in attempting to take possession of the land of Canaan – how they would have been resisted by the inhabitants of the land, more experienced than they in warfare, etc. Quite possibly he philosophized upon the folly of human ambitions, and concluded that the people unready to be delivered had been as wise or wiser than himself in remaining rather in bondage.

THE BURNING BUSH CONSUMED NOT

Thus meditating, while his flocks pastured on the mountainside, Moses caught sight of something most unusual. A bush was afire, yet it was not consumed. The longer he gazed, the more curious he became, until he resolved to investigate. He approached the bush. From it came a voice, declaring the phenomenon to be a manifestation of God's presence and power. Moses obeyed the command that he should take off his sandals, because it was holy ground, by reason of the presence of the Angel of the Lord. Moses covered his face in reverence, while he hearkened to the Divine message.

God's message portrayed to Moses' mind the foundation for his hopes and those of the Israelites. The statement, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob," brought to this instructed man of God a clear understanding of what was signified by this experience. By it God reminded him of the special Covenant which He had made with Abraham, and had renewed with Isaac, and confirmed to Jacob for an everlasting covenant. Thus Moses was assured that God had not forgotten the good things which He had promised. Thus his faith and hope must have been re-established. He learned that God's time had come for the deliverance of the Israelites and for their attaining the Land of Promise – Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey – i.e., very rich, very productive.

If during those forty years, and perhaps before, Moses had time and again wondered whether God really cared for the Israelites and why He permitted them to be oppressed by the Egyptians, he now had God's own assurance that He did know it and that He did care, with the intimation that for some good reason He had all these years waited, and had withheld help which He at any time had been able to give, and that He had a purpose in so [R5262 : page 189] withholding. The Lord's explanation of the matter closed with an invitation to Moses to now be His servant, and messenger and mouthpiece to Pharaoh, calling upon him to liberate the captive Israelites.

"CERTAINLY I WILL BE WITH THEE"

Then Moses, who forty years before was full of confidence and courage, and ready to lead the Israelites, but who now was lacking in self-confidence, replied to the Lord: "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" This meant, Lord, surely you know that I am a failure; with all the educational advantages that I had, I am fit for nothing better than to be a sheep-tender; Lord, surely there must be some one much more competent than I for the leadership of Israel, else I fear that my people will never get out of Egypt.

God's reply was: "Surely I will be with thee." I shall not expect you to do this of yourself. I realize that it is a great task, a mighty work, but "I will be with thee." By way of making the matter forceful, the Lord declared not only that Moses should lead forth the people, but that they should come to that very mountain, "the mount of God" – and worship Him there.

Moses, remembering his previous failure, was cautious. He inquired what response he should make to the Israelites if he should tell them that God sent him this time and they should inquire, Who? Which God? What is His name? The Divine answer was that God's name is, "I AM THAT I AM" – the self-existing One. But Moses had become so distrustful of himself that he still could not think of undertaking this great work. He urged that the Egyptians would not let the people go. He felt more and more convinced that their intention was to keep the Israelites as their slaves. Another objection was that the Israelites themselves would not believe that God had really appeared to Moses.

Answering these objections, the Lord gave Moses certain signs, convincing him that he was talking to the Omnipotent One, and assured him that these same signs would be convincing to the Israelites and the Egyptians.

SLOW OF SPEECH AND INCOMPETENT

So meek was Moses that although he fully believed the Lord and trusted His power, he could not realize that even with Divine help he would be successful. It must be God's thought that some one else would be found for so important a work. Moses declared, "I am not eloquent, but am slow of speech and of a slow tongue." Moreover, he was inexperienced as a servant or prophet of the Lord. Surely it must be that the Lord was merely trying him to see whether he would be rash enough to undertake such a matter, but really intending to use some one else. But no! The Lord's answer was, "I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say." – Exod. 4:10,12.

So today the Lord's true people of the Gospel Age are all spirit-begotten, and are all thereby authorized and qualified to be ambassadors for God, to speak the Truth in love, in the name of God, and as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. But to some of us at times it seems impossible to realize how great the honor God has conferred upon us in inviting us to be His agents and mouthpieces in speaking His Message to the world or to the brethren in the Church. And then when convinced that the Lord will be with us, some are in danger of being too rash and wilful in connection with the matter. While such need no encouragement, doubtless those who, like Moses, need to be encouraged, are in less danger of being injured by the great honor that attaches to the service of God in any capacity.

To the humble ones now, as to Moses of old, God declares: "I will be with thee; I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say." As one lesson is to have no confidence in ourselves or in our own judgment or strength, another important lesson is that we should have every confidence, absolute confidence, in God. Not until this lesson is learned will any be really fit to be God's mouthpieces. In the case of Moses, humility, lack of self-confidence, meekness, had become so pronounced in him during his forty years of training along that line that he prayed the Lord that, even if he should be used, some one else might be the spokesman. God heard his request and granted that he should have his brother Aaron for a companion and mouthpiece, when he would go before Pharaoh to make demands in the name of the Lord.

Nevertheless, Aaron was not the one competent for the great work. He did not have the same schooling that Moses enjoyed. Therefore God appointed that Moses should be as a god, or ruler, to his brother Aaron and that the latter should be as his servant, or mouthpiece, speaking only as authorized by the meek and lowly Moses in whom, because of his meekness, God was reposing the responsibility.

Everything in the Scriptures points us to the fact that humility is a quality most essential to all of the Lord's people who would be used of the Lord in any important or special work for Him. If the followers of the Lord could continually keep this in memory, and would persistently shape their course accordingly, how much they would be used, we may be sure. Any service for the Lord is an honor; but the more we are permitted to serve, the more will be our blessing in the present life and the greater also will be our reward in the life to come. Let us, therefore, as the Apostle says, humble ourselves under God's mighty hand, that He may exalt us in due time.

[R5264 : page 189]

THE REFINER'S FIRE
He sat by a fire of seven-fold heat
As He watched the precious ore,
And closer He bent with a searching gaze,
As He heated it more and more.

He knew He had ore that could stand the test,
And He wanted the finest gold,
To mould as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems of a price untold.

So He laid our gold on the burning fire,
Tho' we fain would have said Him, "Nay";
And He watched the dross that we had not seen
As it melted and passed away.

And the gold grew brighter, and yet more bright,
But our eyes were so dim with tears,
We saw but the fire – not the Master's hand –
And questioned with anxious fears.

Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow
As it mirrored a Form above,
That bent o'er the fire, unseen by us,
With a look of ineffable love.

Can we think that it pleases His loving heart
To cause us a moment's pain?
Ah, no! but He saw thro' the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.

So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a whit more heat
Than was needed to make it pure!

Unknown.

[R5263 : page 190]

MEN OF DESTINY  Audio
– JULY 27. – EXODUS 5:1-14. –

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." – Matthew 5:4.
N
APOLEON was styled a man of destiny, and surely many things connected with his experiences look as though the Lord's providence had something to do with him. This does not signify that he was a servant of God – far from it! But it does signify that Divine Wisdom has at all times been able to overrule the wrath of man to serve Him, and the remainder to restrain, thus to cause all things to work out the Divine purpose. Just what were the Divine purposes in Napoleon's day was far from clear, to even the saints of God then living. Indeed, we may say that that purpose is only partially understood by the Lord's people yet, although Bible Students can see with the eye of faith many ways in which the campaigns of Napoleon worked changes which undoubtedly have had much to do with the world's progress during the past century. To the ear of faith God declares, All my purposes shall be accomplished. "The word that is gone forth out of My mouth shall not return unto Me void; it shall accomplish that which I please, saith the Lord." – Isaiah 55:11.

The Pharaoh who reigned in Egypt at the time that God delivered the Israelites was also a man of destiny. We may be even more sure of this than in respect to Napoleon, because we have Divine assurance of the fact. "And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee My power; and that My name may be declared throughout all the earth." (Exodus 9:16.) "St. Paul declared that God hardened this Pharaoh's heart that he should not let the people of Israel go free. He quotes the Divine Word: "For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth." – Romans 9:17.

But God's people very seriously misunderstood the purport of these words when in the past they interpreted them to mean that God had created Pharaoh a wicked, hard-hearted man, and that subsequently, He still further hardened his heart. Not so! The Scriptures declare that all God's work is perfect. He never made an imperfect man. Adam was created in His Maker's likeness, His moral image. It is sin that has wrought the havoc, that has made man selfish and hard-hearted.

VIEWING THE OTHER SIDE

This degeneracy has been passed down from parent to child along the lines of heredity, so that Pharaoh was by nature what his forefathers had made him, plus the action of his own volition. St. James declares, "God tempteth no man." (James 1:13.) There is nothing surer than that God has never directly used His mighty power to harden the heart of any human being. On the contrary, the Lord's providences, blessings, instructions and mercies are all intended to soften the heart, to take away its stoniness.

Bible Students now realize that the Apostle meant to tell us that from amongst the princes of Egypt God raised up to the throne of that kingdom a stubborn ruler, upon whose heart the mercies of God, in lifting one plague after another, would have only a hardening effect. And God raised this prince to the throne, so as to teach a great lesson respecting Divine tenderness, gentleness and forgiveness, and to illustrate the principle that God's greatest blessing to mankind – a free will – may be perverted by Satan to work his greatest injury.

Not all men of destiny are in opposition to God, however. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon and the Prophets, as well as Jesus and His Apostles and all His followers, are men of destiny – foreknown, "called of God." With these men of destiny the Lord equally operates, and similarly. Upon these His mercies, tenderness and gracious promises have a softening effect, making them tender-hearted, forgiving, loving, more and more tending toward the development of the graces of the Holy Spirit – "meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love."

The destiny of these men is only partly worked out in the present life. They are permitted to pay a goodly price for the maintenance of their fellowship with God and inheritance of His promises. This costs them the friendship of the world, and oftentimes the loss of things highly esteemed amongst men, but it brings them the "Peace of God which passeth all understanding." And this peace and joy and comfort amidst tribulation are merely the foretaste of the riches of Divine grace which God has in reservation for these – in Messiah's Kingdom.

Such of these saints as lived before the Redeemer offered His sacrifice for sins are to have a better resurrection to earthly nature than the remainder of mankind will have, and to be "princes in all the earth" as the human representatives of the Messianic Kingdom for a thousand years. The men of destiny, from the time of the First Advent of our Lord down, are to have a still higher reward – a change of nature. The Captain of their Salvation, the Redeemer, has already reached His destiny of high exaltation, "far above angels, principalities and powers" – "at the right hand of God." – Philippians 2:9; Ephesians 1:20,21.

The loyal band following in His footsteps in the Narrow Way, seeking, according to the Divine promise, glory, honor, immortality and joint-heirship in Messiah's Kingdom, are also men of destiny. But their destiny has not yet been attained. It is for them to wait until the full number of the elect Church shall have been called, chosen and proved faithful. Then their destiny will be reached by the glorious change of the First Resurrection; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." By their change they will be perfected in the Divine nature like their Master. (2 Peter 1:4.) O glorious destiny! United, or married, to their Lord on the Heavenly plane, they will be His joint-heirs, a Royal Priesthood, to reign with Him a thousand years for the very purpose of blessing the world of mankind, for whose recovery Christ died. – Revelation 20:6.

Eventually, the destinies of those faithful before the Cross and those faithful since the Cross will be united in the Kingdom, as St. Paul declares. The Ancient Worthies, although proved, cannot be made perfect until the Church, of still higher destiny, shall have reached her glory. – Hebrews 11:38-40. Apparently the bricks were made of unburned clay, and straw was provided for use as a binder. By the new rule, the Israelites must produce the same number of bricks per day, but must additionally scour the fields and hedges to gather some kind of stubble that would serve them as binders. Thus their tasks were practically doubled; and if not performed, they were beaten. Can we wonder that the Israelites of less faith murmured against Moses and Aaron and blamed them with the increase of their tasks! Nevertheless, by these very bitter experiences the people were all the more prepared to welcome the liberty subsequently offered them in God's providence.

And is this not true in respect to some of our spiritual liberties also? To some extent, at first, our efforts to please and obey God bring greater trials of the flesh, greater oppositions from the Adversary. The Lord would strengthen our faith, and cause us to appreciate the privilege of being set free from the power of sin and [R5264 : page 191] death, and of being inducted into His family.

Confirmations of this very account of the tribulations of the Israelites were discovered by the French savant, M. E. Naville, in 1884. He found the city of Pithom, which the Israelites built. (Exodus 1:11.) In the British Museum in London and also in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, there are on exhibition some of these very bricks. In size they are about four inches to eight inches square and about two inches thick – unbaked, but very hard. Another traveler, describing the walls of Pithom, says: "The lower courses of these walls, and for some distance up, are made of well-made bricks, with chopped straw in them; but, higher up, the courses of brick are not so good. The straw is long and scanty, and the last courses have no straw at all, but have sedges, rushes, and water plants, which had been mingled with the mud in their making."

PREPARATIONS FOR CANAAN

The statement of Exodus 1:14 is generally understood to imply that the Israelites were compelled to learn all the trades and occupations of their masters. They had been from Abraham's time a pastoral people, and by this very operation they were forced, as it were, into an industrial school in the foremost civilization of that day. It was a severe training, but a very useful one and undoubtedly a grand preparation for the necessities that lay before them. Shall we say that all this was of chance? Shall we not rather say that the Lord in His providence was dealing with them – humbling them, as well as qualifying them for the larger opportunities He intended to present?

Whoever can discern the Lord's leadings in connection with typical Israel of old should be fully prepared to note and appreciate Divine providences in his own case as a Spiritual Israelite. Nevertheless, few lessons are harder to learn than this one – that God supervises the affairs of all who are truly His. Nevertheless, it is well to remember that only those who have entered into covenant relationship with God, and who are maintaining that relationship, can apply to themselves the comforting words of St. Paul, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." – Romans 8:28. Our present experiences of disappointment, trials, vexations, oppositions, etc., are designed to work in us the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and to thus "work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

[R5264 : page 191]

SOME INTERESTING QUESTIONS
ADAMIC OR SACRIFICIAL DEATH?

Question. – Suppose that one of God's consecrated saints should die by some convulsion of nature – flood, fire, etc. – would such a death be sacrificial, or would it be Adamic?

Answer. – A consecrated child of God could not die the Adamic death. His death would either be the sacrificial death or the Second Death. If when he died he were a consecrated child of God, his death would be merely a completion of the consecration which he had previously made. Our lives are made holy and acceptable by the great High Priest, in whatever form death may come. But if in the meantime this consecrated child of God should turn away from Him, then it would be the Second Death. If he sin wilfully, deliberately, he commits the "sin unto death." – I John 5:16.

OUR LORD'S BAPTISM

Question. – Was our Lord baptized in water before He was baptized of the Holy Spirit?

Answer. – The Scriptural account of our Lord's baptism at Jordan seems to imply that God made the manifestation of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus after His baptism in water. He was baptized into death before He went into the water, in the sense that He had given up His own will; in the sense that the Apostle quotes from the Old Testament – "Lo, I come: in the volume of the Book it is written of Me; I delight to do Thy will, O My God." (Psa. 40:7,8; Heb. 10:7.) Our Lord came to do everything written in the Book concerning Him.

Our Lord was already dead to His own will; otherwise He could not have gone to John at Jordan. But God's manifestation of His acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice of Himself, apparently waited until after Jesus had performed the symbol. So we read that after He had come up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. God gave that outward sign, not for all, but for John, who "saw and bare record," as the Scriptures declare. – John 1:32-34.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Question. – How near to the character-likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ must one attain on this side the veil in order to have good hope of being one of the Elect on the other side of the veil?

Answer. – Jehovah God will not accept anything that is imperfect. Even our human nature presented to Him sacrificially by the High Priest needed first to be covered by the merit of the Priest Himself and to be thus perfected before being Divinely accepted. In thinking of ourselves, however, we are to remember that we have the New Creature in an earthen vessel. It is the New Creature that must have the likeness of Christ.

In the flesh we are beset by the world, the flesh and the Devil. All these things conspire to hinder the New Creature from working perfectly in the old body. The will must be nothing less than perfect. As Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart." (Matt. 5:8.) Purity of heart must be absolute.

The pure of heart are those whose intentions are pure, whose motives are pure, who desire the best – long for the best. These may have strong consolation, may have full confidence toward God respecting the glorious things He has promised; for they could do no more than the best they are able to do in the mortal body – and thus show their devotion.

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