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

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

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

VOL. XXXVAUGUST 1No. 15
A. D. 1914 – A. M. 6042
CONTENTS
The Way, the Truth, the Life 227
The Channel of All Our Blessings 228
The Reward of True Discipleship 229
"The Entrance of Thy Words Giveth Light 229
Our Great Burden-Bearer 230
Importance of Little Things 230
Spiritual Israel's Enemies 231
True Courage Vs. the Spirit of Bravado 232
Instructions for God's Workmen 232
True Cause of Much Failure 232
The Wedding Feast 233
Gentiles Called to the Wedding 234
The Outer Darkness 234
A Day of Questions 235
Render Unto God His Due 235
Photo-Drama Trials and Blessings 236
The Eureka Drama Outfits 238
Pacific Coast Convention 238
Interesting Letters 239

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
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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.

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FOR SCANDINAVIAN FRIENDS

It will be interesting to Swedish friends residing in the East to learn that the Svenska Veckobladet has contracted with the Newspaper Syndicate for the regular publication of a full report of the PASTOR RUSSELL SERMONS. This should prove a means of interesting some of your friends in Present Truth. A six-months subscription may do it. The price is one dollar a year. Send your subscriptions to us.

VOLUNTEERING SHOULD PROGRESS

About six million copies of this year's VOLUNTEER I.B.S.M. have gone forth; but why not as many more? Order all you can use, free. It is excellent for this year. It especially answers those who falsely claim that we are preaching "the end of the world in 1914."

While giving the Drama-Volunteer matter the precedence, because of the Drama date, the regular Volunteering is as important as ever.

BETHEL HYMNS FOR SEPTEMBER

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 September follow:

(1) 311; (2) 14; (3) 158; (4) 104; (5) 133; (6) 8; (7) 87; (8) 188; (9) 197; (10) 281; (11) 26; (12) 43; (13) 222; (14) 25; (15) 173; (16) 108; (17) 4; (18) 286; (19) 193; (20) 34; (21) 78; (22) 279; (23) 105; (24) 213; (25) 145; (26) 181; (27) 144; (28) 179; (29) 314; (30) 47.

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THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE

"If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." – John 8:31,32.)
A
T HIS FIRST Advent our Lord came to the Jewish nation, which was a House of Servants in covenant relationship with God. To these was to be granted the first privilege of becoming sons of God, and their blessing would be in proportion as they were faithful to the light that would come to them. Before they could become sons of God, however, it was necessary that Jesus should be their Redeemer, should make reconciliation for iniquity, and thus open up the way. This He had come to do, but He had not done it as yet. Whoever would come to understand the Divine purposes and arrangements, and act in harmony with them, should be made free, should be liberated from the condemnation resting upon them as Jews, from the results of the weaknesses of their flesh, and would be brought into full accord with God.

We can see that this great privilege also meant something more than all this. It meant something still higher – even joint-heirship with Messiah. But all these things were a hidden mystery as yet. They were known up to that time only by our Lord Himself; they were made clear to Him because He had been begotten of the Holy Spirit. There were many things hard to be understood. Jesus spoke in parables, in dark sayings, for the very purpose of making the Way of Life then opened up a "narrow way." And so we read in the Scriptures that some said of the Master's words: "This is a hard saying! Who can hear it?" Who could believe it?

The particularly hard saying referred to was that His "flesh was meat indeed, and His blood was drink indeed," and that by eating and drinking of these they might gain eternal life. And so we read that after this many forsook Him and abandoned the thought of being His disciples, so blinded were they to their own interests. Instead of following on patiently, they said, This is all foolishness! We do not understand it!

Jesus was anticipating this condition of things when He spoke these words to them. He would put them on their guard. It was as though He would say, You have declared that "never man spake like this man!" Already you have heard words very different from the words of the Scribes and Pharisees. Now continue; hold on for a little while. If you will do this, you will grasp the situation in due time. Exercise faith – exercise patience. You have begun to have interest in these things, and as you fully become My disciples you will be granted a knowledge of the Truth. And this Truth will make you free; it will give you all the blessings and privileges that come to the children of God. Greatly blessed were the few who took heed to the Master's counsel!

BLESSINGS BEGUN AT PENTECOST

These words of Jesus were not addressed especially to the twelve Apostles, but to the Jews in general who were sympathetically drawn. Nicodemus may have been one of these; he was inclined to stumble over the spiritual things; he could not see how one could be born again. The Holy Spirit was not yet given, we read, "because Jesus was not yet glorified." St. Paul tells us that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." – 1 Corinthians 2:14.

But some saw enough in Jesus to attract them to Him. These, in honesty of heart, said, Surely His words are true, and His criticisms of our nation are true. We do [R5507 : page 227] not see how He is going to fulfil these prophecies; but He says to us, Hold on and you will understand later. And some did hold on – "above five hundred brethren." As Jesus had promised, these were given the privilege of becoming disciples indeed.

When Pentecost came, the Heavenly Father received all who had continued in Jesus' Word, and they were begotten of the Holy Spirit into the Lord's family. Then they began to see spiritual things – they were illuminated. All the light did not come at once, but they progressed as the days and years went by. They were indeed Christ's true disciples – such followers of Jesus as the Father was pleased to recognize. They were not only made free from the condemnation of the Law Covenant, but made free from sin and death. They received a new will, a new mind, and the Holy Spirit showed "the deep things of God" unto them.

In His prayer to the Father, our Lord said, "Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth." By the word Truth Jesus was here referring to the Father's revealment of His Divine Plan through the Holy Spirit; and the sanctifying influence would come through the knowledge of that Truth, received into an honest heart. This sanctification, or setting apart, strictly speaking, began with the Pentecostal blessing, and still continues to operate. And this sanctification progresses as long as the individual allows the Truth to have its designed influence in his life. We see a difference between our text and the one just quoted. In the latter case it is the Word [R5507 : page 228] of Jehovah, and in the former it is the Word of Jesus. Jesus says, If you continue in My Word, you will become more and more acquainted with the Heavenly Father, and will know His will, His way, His method; thus you will know His Word. All things are working out His will – the will of the Father – and seeing and doing the will of the Father, the sanctifying process will follow. Jesus says to all, "I am the Way; I am the Truth; I am the Life." I am the only One through whom you can come to the Father and become His sons; and abiding in Me will bring you the grand consummation.

THE CHANNEL OF ALL OUR BLESSINGS

We perceive, then, that Christ is the sufficiency which God has provided for us in all respects. "He of God is made unto us Wisdom, and Righteousness [Justification], and Sanctification, and Redemption [Deliverance]." (1 Corinthians 1:30.) We first receive, through learning of His sacrificial work on our behalf, necessary wisdom, instruction and guidance, by which we may through His merit come to the Father. And He is our Wisdom all along the way. The Heavenly Father had a glorious Plan before the foundation of the world; this was hinted in Eden, just after the fall. In due time He gave a further intimation of that Plan through Enoch and through Abraham, and still later through Moses and the Prophets. But how the world was to benefit from it was all hidden, all kept secret.

Not until Jesus came was the way of life opened up, made manifest. "He [Christ] hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel." The essence of the Gospel was never even declared, much less known, before Jesus came. The Apostle Paul says that this salvation "at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him." (Hebrews 2:3.) Our Lord began to speak it; but the secret of the Gospel, its Mystery, was not fully revealed until after Pentecost. It was not until after Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit that He Himself began to comprehend it clearly – not until then did He begin to set before us the way of life and immortality. And even then His words were parabolic, and it was not until His followers were begotten of the Holy Spirit that they were able to enter into "the deep things of God."

JESUS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

In addition to His being our Wisdom, Jesus becomes our Righteousness. He covers our sins. He imputes to us His own righteousness, the merit of His own sacrifice. And this imputation brings us to a condition of complete righteousness – not actual, but reckoned, which God is pleased to recognize in the way He has arranged.

Our Lord does not become the Righteousness of everybody – not even of those who give some heed to His Words – but to those alone who come to the point of full submission to the Father's will. And there is a good reason for this; for only those who offer themselves to become members of His Body during this Gospel Age, only the spirit-begotten, would be profited by a justification by faith. Others would be condemned to death by it now. In the next Age, others will come to Him. But only those who come to Him now, to walk in His steps, have a faith-justification.

JESUS OUR SANCTIFICATION

The step of consecration on the part of those who become Jesus' disciples is in the Scriptures called sanctification. But it is not the same sanctification which comes to us through Him. God says, "Sanctify yourselves, and I will sanctify you" – that is, Set yourselves apart, and then I will set you apart; I will put you into this place where you desire to come. So, to all of us who come to the Father through Him, Jesus not only becomes our Justification, but through Him we also have Sanctification – the complete setting apart. We are accepted in Him, and His grace and Advocacy enable us to attain complete and final sanctification.

God sets us apart by begetting us of the Holy Spirit to the new nature and making us prospective members of the Royal Priesthood – prospective members of the Body of the Anointed One. This is Scripturally called a foretaste, or "earnest," of our inheritance, which will be experienced to the full when we are changed from the human to the spirit nature – "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." But this "earnest of our inheritance" is given us with the intention of our growing in the process of sanctification already begun in us until its completion. We attain this through Christ.

JESUS OUR DELIVERANCE

Those who make satisfactory progress will have in the resurrection full deliverance from sin, from all imperfections of the flesh, and from the flesh itself – full deliverance through the power of the First Resurrection. Christ thus becomes our Deliverance. We shall then attain the full completeness of sons of God on the Divine plane.

In all these things Christ is the Center; through Him alone can we obtain these blessings. While the Father gives them, they are given through His Son, who is the Father's Representative. Jesus received the Spirit of the Father and has shed it forth upon us. This is pictured in the type, in the anointing of the high priest. The holy anointing-oil was poured upon his head, and it ran down over his body. So we are anointed through our Head as members of the great High Priest.

"He who raised up Jesus from the dead will raise us up also by Jesus"; that is to say, Jesus will be the active agent. But there are certain features of the Divine Plan which Jesus will accomplish in His own name; for instance, the world's blessing and uplifting. While the Father is the Author of the entire Plan, yet this blessing comes to the world exclusively through the sacrifice of the Son. Christ will do the work of the Millennial Age, and will then deliver mankind up to the Father.

But His work for the Church is different: "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His abundant mercy, hath begotten us." (1 Peter 1:3.) It is not the Son who has begotten us, though it is through the Son that we receive this Divine favor. The price, or cost, of obtaining this special Divine favor is the sacrifice of our lives. The particular thing which the Church receives more directly from the Son is justification. Yet this justification is of the Father, and it is not an actual justification, but an imputed justification. It is a special arrangement on the Father's part for us that we may come into His favor now in advance of the world – the First-fruits unto God and the Lamb.

Ours is a wonderful God, and His great Plan of the Ages is marvelous beyond expression! Our hearts rejoice that our eyes have been anointed to see these glorious things hidden to the many during this Gospel Age, knowing that all the blind eyes shall yet be opened, and all the deaf ears be made to hear!

"THEY TURN THEIR EARS FROM THE TRUTH"

The Lord's preaching always produced two opposite effects upon the promiscuous multitudes that heard Him: He attracted one class and repelled the other. Those who were full of pride and conceit, and who preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil and because they realized that if they admitted the light of Truth they must of necessity conform their characters to it – all such were repelled by the teachings of Christ. And [R5507 : page 229] if the Lord had undertaken the work of the ministry according to the methods pursued today, depending for support on the good will and contribution of the people, that support would often have been very meager, or at least, very fluctuating.

On some occasions multitudes received His testimony, but later deserted Him, walking no more with Him as He continued to enforce the lessons of Divine Truth. (Luke 4:14-29.) Sometimes the multitudes hung upon His teachings, "wondering at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth"; yet again and again they forsook Him, only the merest handful remaining. – John 6:60-69.

What consternation would follow in the various churches of today, if the professed ministers of the Gospel should follow the Master's example in similarly declaring the whole counsel of God! How quickly they would become unpopular and be charged with breaking up the churches! The congregations of the great temples of fashion ostensibly dedicated to the service of God and the teachings of Christ would not stand it. They go there to [R5508 : page 229] be entertained with pleasing and eloquent discourses from titled gentlemen who presumably know the tastes and ideas of the congregation, and will preach to please them. They are quite willing to pay their money for what they want, but they do not want the Truth.

Those who followed the Lord only for a little season and then forsook Him, of course then ceased to be His disciples and were no longer so recognized; nor did they presume longer to claim to be His disciples. A disciple is a pupil, a learner; and when a man ceases to be a student and pupil of Christ, the great Teacher, he is no longer His disciple. This was very manifest when the Lord was present, and when His name was one of reproach among men; but later, when His presence was withdrawn, and when His doctrines were unscrupulously mixed with human philosophies to such an extent as to divest them of reproach, and to make them really void, then men began to claim to be His disciples. This was long after His doctrines had been utterly repudiated.

THE REWARD OF TRUE DISCIPLESHIP

The Lord's expression, "Then are ye My disciples indeed," implies a distinction between real and merely nominal disciples. And since we desire to continue to be Jesus' sincere disciples, let us mark the expressed condition: "If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed." The hypocrisy of merely nominal discipleship is an abomination to the Lord.

It is a blessed thing to take the first step in the Christian life – that of acceptance of Christ as our Redeemer and Lord and yielding ourselves fully to the Father through Him. But the reward of this step depends entirely upon our continuance in His Word, in the attitude of true disciples. The disposition of human pride is to wander away from the simplicity of Divine Truth and to seek out new theories and philosophies of our own, or to pry into those of others who desire to be considered wise and great according to this world's estimate.

The reward of continued discipleship is, "Ye shall know the Truth" – not, Ye shall be "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth." (2 Timothy 3:7.) Here is the mistake many make; failing to continue in the Word of the Lord, they delve into various human philosophies, which ignore or pervert the Word of the Lord and set up opposing theories. To those who seek for Truth among these human theories, there is no promise that they shall ever find it, and they never do.

Divine Truth is found only in the Divinely appointed channel – our Lord, the Apostles and the Prophets. To continue in the doctrines set forth in the inspired writings of the Prophets and the Apostles, to study and meditate upon them, to trust implicitly in them, and to faithfully conform our characters to them, is what is implied in "continuing in the Word" of the Lord. And this is entirely compatible with the heeding of all the helps which the Lord raises up from among our brethren in the Body of Christ, as enumerated by the Apostle Paul. (Ephesians 4:11-15; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14.) The Lord always has raised up, and will to the end raise up, such helps for the edification of the Body of Christ; but it is the duty of every member carefully to prove their teaching by the infallible Word.

If we thus continue in the Word of the Lord as earnest and sincere disciples, we shall indeed "know the Truth," be "established in the Present Truth" [the Truth due], and "be rooted and grounded in the Truth"; we shall be "firm in the faith," and "able to give a reason for the hope that is in us"; to "earnestly contend for the Faith once delivered to the saints"; to "war a good warfare"; to "witness a good confession" and to firmly "endure hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ," even unto the end of our conflict.

We do not come into the knowledge of the Truth at a single bound; but gradually, step by step, we are led into the Truth. Every step is one of sure and certain progress leading to a higher vantage ground for further attainments both in knowledge and in established character.

The Truth thus acquired, step by step, becomes a sanctifying power, bringing forth in our lives its blessed fruits of righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Spirit, love, meekness, faith, patience and every virtue and every grace, which time and cultivation ripen to a glorious maturity.

Not only shall the true disciple thus know the Truth and be sanctified by it, but the Lord also said, "The Truth shall make you free." Those who have received the Truth know by blessed experience something of its liberating power. As soon as any measure of it is received into a good and honest heart, it begins to strike off the fetters of sin, of ignorance, superstition and fear. Its health-restoring beams penetrate the darkest recesses of our hearts and minds, and thus invigorate the whole being; it quickens our mortal bodies.

"THE ENTRANCE OF THY WORDS GIVETH LIGHT"

Sin cannot endure the light of Truth; and those who continue to live in sin when a sufficiency of light has been received to manifest its deformity must inevitably lose the Light, because they are unworthy of it. Ignorance and superstition must vanish before this Light. And what a blessed realization it is to be thus liberated! Millions, however, are still under the blinding influence of error. Under its delusions they fear and reverence some of the basest tools of Satan for their oppression and degradation, because they hypocritically claim Divine appointment; and they have been made to fear God as a vengeful Tyrant, consigning the vast majority of His creatures to an eternity of torment. Thank God! We who have received the Truth have awakened from that horrible nightmare, and the bondage of Satan over us is broken. The Light has scattered our darkness.

We are made free, too, from the fear that we now see coming upon the whole world as the great civil and ecclesiastical systems that have so long ruled the world are being terribly shaken. All thinking people are in dread of the possible outcome of anarchy and terror; the alarm of all is increasing as we near the awful crisis toward [R5508 : page 230] which we are rapidly hastening, and as the danger becomes more and more apparent. Yet, in the midst of it all, and with the fullest assurance of the infallible Word of God as to the terrors of the conflict through which the world will soon have to pass, the true disciples of Christ who abide in His Word are not afraid, but rejoice; for they know that God's object in permitting this mighty storm is to clear the moral atmosphere of the world, and that after the storm, there shall come, by His providence, an abiding peace. Instructed in the Truth, they realize the necessities of the situation, and have confidence in the Divine providence that can make even the wrath of man to praise Him, make all things work together for good.

Blessed promise! – "If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed, and ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." Dearly beloved, having received this wondrous favor from the Lord, shall we not continue in it, giving no heed to seducing doctrines but bringing forth its blessed fruitage in our lives? And shall we not be faithful to it under all circumstances, defending it against every assault, and bearing its reproach? Let us prove our appreciation of the glorious Light by our loyalty and faithfulness, working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

[R5508 : page 230]

OUR GREAT BURDEN-BEARER

"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." – 1 Peter 5:7.
T
HESE COMFORTING words of the Apostle Peter are addressed to the Church of Christ; and all who are of the Lord's people surely realize that there are cares and difficulties of life which are our portion and which are perplexing. These cares of life come also to those who are of the world – to some more and to some less. But they surely come to all who are the Lord's children.

The word care is used in two different ways. Thinking of the word in the sense of exercising proper thought and giving proper attention to that which is entrusted to us, or concerning which we are responsible, we might be in danger of misunderstanding our text. The word care, however, very often has in it the thought of worry, trouble of mind; and this is its use by the Apostle in this place. The Apostle Paul also says, "Be careful for nothing" – be worried about nothing, have anxiety about nothing. So we might render the words of St. Peter, "Casting all your anxiety upon Him; for He is taking thought for you."

IMPORTANCE OF LITTLE THINGS

The Apostle's advice is not that we shall throw off all sense of responsibility, and cease to exercise care in what we do and in respect to our duties and obligations. Surely we all agree that the man or the woman without care for anything, in this proper sense, would be totally unfit for any position in life. We often notice evidences of some one's not having been sufficiently careful. Perhaps the wall paper has been carelessly marred or the furniture scratched; doors are slammed or left swinging when they should be closed for warmth, etc. Some might say, Oh, these are very small matters! But one who is careless, thoughtless, and inattentive to these matters is very likely to be untrustworthy in larger matters.

Personally, it is painful to us to see these things; and undoubtedly it is so to all who exercise proper care. The children of God, His representatives before men, should not go blundering along through the world or needlessly annoying others, whether it be the brethren or people of the world. Our influence for good may be greatly marred [R5509 : page 230] by inattention to what might be called little things, but what in reality are not so. There is a trite saying which is full of meaning: "Trifles make perfection; and perfection is no trifle." The Lord's people should be the most careful people in the world.

Our Lord said, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much"; and the reverse of the statement would be equally true – that he that is unfaithful in that which is least is unfaithful also in much. (Luke 16:10.) These little things of every-day life may prove to be more crucial tests of real character than will seemingly larger matters. Little courtesies, little acts of thoughtful consideration for others, how much they mean! How greatly they often affect the happiness of those around us and our own influence as ambassadors of Christ! So we need to exercise much care and thoughtfulness in regard to our words, our actions and everything with which we have to do. This is not the care that we are to cast upon the Lord for Him to bear. This we are properly to bear ourselves.

OUR EXPERIENCES SUPERVISED BY THE LORD

God is the most careful Being in the Universe, we may be sure. He is not careful, in the sense in which the word is used in our text – in the sense of worry and unrest of mind – but He is care-full in the right and proper sense. There are cares that come to the Lord's people because they are harassed by the Adversary. These experiences the Lord permits for the very purpose of leading His people to cast their care upon Him, of bringing them closer to Himself, of teaching them patient endurance, of showing them more fully their need of Him, their utter helplessness and wretchedness without Him.

But worries and frettings – anxieties that would hinder us in the Lord's service, that would rob us of our peace in the Lord – should be dropped, not carelessly, however, but intelligently, with the thought that Jesus, our great Burden-bearer, has invited us, yea, urged us, to cast all our care – all that would disturb our peace – upon Him. He will make our burden light and ease our tribulations. This is a rest of faith, and cannot be attained otherwise than through faith in His love, faith in His promises.

OUR FATHER'S CARE FOR HIS CHILDREN

Each day that a Christian lives he should be more reliant upon the Lord. He should realize more fully than before that our Heavenly Father, who has provided for the grass of the field and for the birds of the air, cares far more for His children than for the flowers or for many sparrows, and that He has a Plan also for the world – an arrangement for their blessing, in due time. But we have already entered into the blessing of the Lord; we have already become His children, and are His especial care. And "like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him" – those that reverence Him.

We cannot be faithful children of God if we are full of worry. Worry is one thing, but proper carefulness is another. We should be more careful every day, and thus be able to fulfil our obligations to the world in general, to our families, to ourselves, to the brethren, and to the Lord – to render our God more effective service.

We are not to be troubled and anxious as to where we are to get our next suit of clothes. We have a suit of clothing for the present, such as the Lord has seen fit to give; and we are to do our best to provide the things [R5509 : page 231] needful. If the Lord should never give us apparel as good as many others have, or as rich or dainty food, we should not worry, but be content with whatever His providence arranges for us, and accept it thankfully. He will give what is best – what is for our good as New Creatures. We should not doubt, nor fear that He will not provide for our needs. He knows all about our affairs, and is not unmindful of our welfare. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you."

How needful this humility before God, and how consoling and precious this loving assurance! As we go on in this blessed way marked out by our Lord, let us learn more and more fully that we are not to ask anything according to our wills, but only that His will may be done in us and for us. His Wisdom is unerring. Let us tell the Lord all about our burdens, great and small, and let us appropriate to ourselves His love and sympathy, applying to our hearts the balm of His Word, of the precious promises which are the heritage of His own, trusting Him that He is both able and willing to supply our every need – yea, that He delights thus to bless us, if we abide in His Love.

"How strong and sweet my Father's care!
The words like music in the air,
Come answering to my whispered prayer –
'He cares for thee!'

"Then naught can hurt me, shade or shine,
Nor evil thing touch me or mine,
Since Thou with tenderness Divine
Dost care for me!"

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SPIRITUAL ISRAEL'S ENEMIES

"Be thou strong and very courageous." – Joshua 1:7.
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HESE WORDS of Jehovah to Joshua upon his succession of Moses, as the leader of Israel, were used on the occasion of the entrance of the children of Israel upon their new life after they, as the people of God, had crossed the Jordan. They would still have battles, more now than before, and perhaps more than they realized, they needed strength – they needed courage. The basis for their strength and courage was the promise of God. God had declared to Abraham that He would bring his seed into the land of Canaan, and would give it to them for a possession. Those who believed this promise would need a large measure of strength and courage.

God had sent Moses His servant to deliver them from Egypt, and to bring them as His people to the land which He sware unto their fathers should be theirs. It required a good deal of courage to come up out of the land of Egypt; and God had manifested His favor to them in the wilderness, by the blessings which came to them when they were faithful and obedient, and by chastisements when they failed and were disobedient and rebellious. Now they were entering upon the realization of the promises whose fulfilment had been anticipated. "Be strong, be courageous," they were admonished by Jehovah through Joshua. They had come into the Promised Land, and now they must war a good warfare against their enemies. God had not promised to give them amicable possession; they were to fight and conquer their foes.

As Israel was a typical people, so theirs was a typical warfare. It would have been terrible if they had thought that all those people whom they were commanded to destroy were thus to drop into a Hell of torture unending! If the Israelites were told to be strong and of good courage in sending their enemies into such a hell, it would be a horrible thought! But when we perceive that the penalty of sin is death and not eternal torment and that "hell" is the condition of death, we view the matter in a different light. Whether men die by the sword or by pestilence or by consumption or by accident, it is merely the fulfilment of the Divine sentence upon the whole race, which will continue to be fulfilled in God's own time and way. This gives a different aspect to the whole matter.

HOPE FOR THE AMALEKITES, HITTITES, ETC.

The wickedness of the Amalekites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, etc., had come to the full. They had had some opportunities, some light, and the sinful course they had pursued should now come to an end. They, and all others that have gone down to the grave in ignorance and sin will, when Messiah takes His Kingdom, come forth to resurrection possibilities and better, more favorable conditions. And as they in the past have had an experience with sin, they will in the future have an experience with good, and an opportunity to decide then between right and wrong, good and evil. We hope that there will be some of those peoples who will have profited by their experiences in the past, and will choose the good when the contrast is before them and the blinding influences removed.

ISRAEL'S ENEMIES TYPICAL

The children of Israel represented Spiritual Israel. The enemies which they destroyed represents the enemies of the Church. In the case of the Church, we have come from a state of sin and degradation into harmony with God. With some this may have been a very prolonged journey, and with others it may have been shorter, because of greater faith and obedience. We reached the place of special blessing when we made a full consecration to God – we there entered into rest. "We who have believed do enter into rest," says the Apostle Paul. And this rest which we enter seems to have been typified by this "Promised Land" of Canaan.

But when we enter into this rest of Faith we find certain powerful enemies that must be conquered. These enemies we find entrenched in our own bodies. In the typical peoples who were the enemies of Israel, those who were entrenched in strong fastnesses the Israelites found it very difficult to dislodge and destroy; it was much [R5510 : page 231] easier to destroy others. So far as we know, the Israelites were long, long years – centuries perhaps – in thoroughly conquering the land and their enemies. It was not until the time of King David that these enemies were thoroughly subjugated. And so it is with the enemies in our flesh – we should war a good warfare against them. We must make no concessions to the flesh; all these enemies are to be exterminated – fought to the death.

The result of this warfare is death; either the death of the New Creature, or the death of the old creature. If the New Creature fail to overcome, he will be exterminated – he will die the Second Death. Jehovah, in using the words of our text, is speaking more to us – the Spiritual Israelites – than to Joshua and the Natural Israelites; that is to say, we may make a still deeper application of His words than could fleshly Israel. But we cannot conquer in this fight alone. The Apostle Paul exclaims, "When I am weak, then am I strong," meaning, When I realize my own weakness and cannot [R5510 : page 232] successfully battle alone against the flesh and its infirmities, then am I strong in the Lord. I could not fight a good fight of mine own self. He realized the fulfilment of the promise of the Lord: "My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in [thy] weakness."

Surely this is the experience of all of God's "little ones." And the realization of this leads us to look to the exceeding great and precious promises of the Lord, in order to strengthen our heart and to renew our endeavors, that we may be strong and of a good courage, and that finally by God's grace we may come off conquerors, and more than conquerors, through Him who loved us and bought us with His own precious blood.

TRUE COURAGE VS. SPIRIT OF BRAVADO

Let us be of a good courage! There are various kinds of courage: One kind is born of egotism and self-reliance, another kind results from a spirit of recklessness, which fails to take a proper estimate of the difficulties to be encountered. But true courage, the courage which the Lord's Word enjoins upon His people, and which all Spiritual Israelites are to seek to possess, is a courage which, while carefully noting and realizing the trials and difficulties before them, and recognizing their own insufficiency, looks to the Lord in faith for the needed assistance, trusting in His precious promises. This enables them to be strong and courageous in the presence of difficulties, dangers and obstacles which would appal those who are trusting merely in their own strength.

It will be noted that our Motto-text for this year – 1914 – is along this same line, and is a part of verse 9 of the chapter from which the text at the head of this article is taken. This will be a momentous year – a glorious year! Then let us all "be strong and very courageous" – strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! Greater is He who is on our part than all they that be against us! Let us put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand in this evil day.

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR GOD'S WORKMEN

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." – 2 Timothy 2:15.
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OD'S approval should be the highest aim of every one who professes to believe in Him as the Creator, and especially of those who accept Him as their Father and who claim to hold the precious relationship to Him of children. His will should be their highest law, and it should be a part of their daily and hourly pleasure, as it is their privilege, to seek to know His will and to do it. This implies study, consideration – not a mere formality of thoughtless reading, or perfunctory worship, but the diligent use of every available means to learn what is His will.

The Apostle Paul gives Timothy the advice contained in our text, and urges him to be "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." And the intimation is that the ability rightly to divide the Word of God is to be gained by the study of His Word. The truth of astronomy might give us some knowledge; yet we see that some who have devoted their entire lives to astronomy have lost sight of God, and have become atheists. Guided by the Word of God, any study may be helpful. But it must be viewed, considered, received, from the standpoint of the Revelation of God.

The word workman suggests the thought of being engaged in service. This injunction of the Apostle applies to all who belong to the Church of Christ. We are God's servants. A great work is going on; this work is the calling out of the Church class from the world. The Church that is called out is said to be the Temple of God, whose "living stones" are being chiseled and polished and made ready for their places in the building. [R5512 : page 232] We are the workmen. We are seeking to prepare ourselves for God's presence, for God's Kingdom. This preparation is our first duty; we are to prepare ourselves and to help to prepare others.

TRUE CAUSE OF MUCH FAILURE

The fashioning of these "living stones" is the development of their character. Each one thus engaged is working out his own salvation. We are God's laborers in doing this work in ourselves. But if we would have Divine approval, we must have the Divine wisdom – "which cometh down from Above," and which we learn from the Word of God. – James 3:17.

Apparently a great many professing Christians, after they have given much time to the cultivation of their brain – spending years in seminaries – will eventually find that they have failed both to have the Lord's ideal accomplished in themselves and to do much good to others. This seems to be the result of a failure rightly to divide the Word of Truth. In that Day many shall say, Lord, Lord, we have prayed and taught and done many marvelous things in Thy name! Some of these the Lord says He will not recognize as His Elect. He may have a place in which He will use some of them, some day, yet for this special place He wishes those who are anxious to know and to do His will rather than to know how they may please men, or how they may receive large emoluments or honor of men. Those who are anxious to know His will are most sure to have His will done in them.

MISAPPLICATION OF SCRIPTURES

The expression, "rightly dividing the Word of Truth," implies that the Word of Truth may be studied, may be handled. We see many ways of handling, or dividing, the Scriptures. Many Scriptures applicable long ago are quoted as appropriately due now, and vice versa; and those which belong to the future are quoted as applicable now, or in the past. There is a general liability to error in not discerning how to divide them aright.

Rightly to divide the Word of Truth, then, is to make such a prayerful study of it as will enable us to place things where they belong. For instance, if we fail to distinguish between the begetting of the Holy Spirit, and the quickening of the Holy Spirit, and our spirit birth, and get these all confused, we shall do harm. It is not merely the seeking to show a variety of doctrines, but the seeking to make clear what we give to others, that is the part of wisdom. The Apostle was showing Timothy that, as an Elder of the Church of Christ, he might present the different features of the Truth in such a way as to confuse his hearers, who then would not know what they believed. Thus they would be in just the condition to accept whatever teaching any one brought them, especially if that one should happen to ridicule their belief.

This seems to be the condition of many today. Evidently there are many who have been serving or attempting to serve God, who have not been giving out "meat in due season," but who have been giving out truths in a very confused way. It is for us, then, to be on guard and seek carefully to follow the instruction of the Apostle, [R5512 : page 233] "Study to show thyself approved unto God." Do not mind so much what men may say or think, but seek the approval of God first.

It is proper for us to seek the approval of the holy, of the saintly; but God's approval should have the precedence. We must be workmen, not idlers and drones; for these will not have any place in the Kingdom. God is calling to service now those who are willing to serve under disadvantageous conditions. We are, therefore, to remember that we are to be servants; and that unless we find the proper service, we cannot have a place in this company which God is training. If we wish His approval, as expressed in His Word, we are to see that the conditions as there outlined are fulfilled in our case. "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." We are told to "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world." (1 John 2:15.) We are not to set our hearts upon these things. Our hearts are to be set upon the doing of the Lord's will.

The Lord intimates that those who will be faithful to Him will have the opposition of the world. "If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." Therefore, if we have no opposition, we lack this evidence of acceptability with Him. We are to rightly divide the Word of Truth, and to see that our lives are in harmony with it. At the same time we are to seek to present God's Word to others, that they may enjoy the same privileges and blessings.

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THE WEDDING FEAST
– AUGUST 23. – MATTHEW 22:1-14. –

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the Prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her brood under her wings, and ye would not!" – Luke 13:34.
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ERE WE have another parable of the Kingdom. Today's lesson shows that the promises of God and His providences toward Israel under the Law Covenant were all designed to fit and prepare the Israelites to be God's holy nation, and especially to provide at the coming of Christ a sufficient number to constitute the elect Church, Messiah's joint-heirs in the Kingdom – His Bride. The parable shows that only a few were "Israelites indeed," in whom was no guile – not enough to constitute the Kingdom class; hence the call of this Gospel Age, selecting from the Gentiles a sufficient number of saintly characters to be joint-heirs with the Jewish remnant in the Messianic Kingdom.

The Kingdom of Heaven, otherwise styled the Kingdom of God, is not to be an earthly Kingdom, but a Heavenly one, whose Ruler, the glorified Christ, will not be an earthly king, but a Heavenly Being of the highest rank – of the Divine nature. This Kingdom, representing God and the Heavenly rule, or dominion, is to be established amongst men for the eradication of sin. Its first work will be the binding of Satan, the "Prince of this world." Afterward all the works of darkness will be overthrown. The overthrow will at first cause a great Time of Trouble, following which, as the Reign of Righteousness progresses, the curse in its every form will give way before the blessings of Messiah's Kingdom – until there shall be no more curse, no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying.

But before this Heavenly Kingdom can be established, it is a part of the Divine decree and arrangement that there shall be a Bride class selected from amongst men. These are begotten of the Holy Spirit and are God's workmanship, in whom He works by the exceeding great and precious promises of the Scriptures and by the providences of life. Thus they are being transformed in mind and made ready for the glorious birth-resurrection by which they will be "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," from earthly nature to Heavenly nature. Thus they will enter into the joys of their Lord by becoming His Bride class, His joint-heirs in His Kingdom.

APPLICATION OF THE PARABLE

For the development of this Kingdom class the world has now been waiting since the days of Jesus, when by His death He opened up a new Way of Life and became the Advocate before the Father for all those desirous of being His disciples, His joint-heirs, His Bride.

Today's lesson takes up the Kingdom project at the time of our Lord's earthly ministry. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power [liberty or privilege] to become sons of God." – John 1:12.

Jehovah Himself is the King who made a marriage for His Son – arranging before the foundation of the world that there should be certain joint-heirs with Christ in His Kingdom. This marriage, of course, could not take place until the King's Son had come into the world and had made the way for His followers and for the Kingdom of which He is to be King.

At the appropriate time God sent His servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding; but they would not come. John the Baptist and his disciples did this work of calling to the attention of the Jewish people the fact that the King's Son was in their midst. He said, "There standeth One among you whom ye know not." (John 1:26.) Again he said, "He that hath the Bride is the Bridegroom; but the friend of the Bridegroom, who standeth and heareth Him, rejoiceth greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice; this my joy therefore is fulfilled." (John 3:29.) John rejoiced to hear the voice of the Bridegroom. Prophetically he foretold that the calling of the Bride class had come, although he himself could not be a member of it.

MADE LIGHT OF THE MESSAGE

Again other servants were sent forth. Jesus sent His disciples to the Jews, saying, "Tell them that are bidden, Behold, I have prepared My dinner; My oxen and My fatlings are killed, and all things are ready; come unto the marriage" feast.

But was the Message of Jesus and His disciples received? Nay! The people, under the guidance of the Scribes and the Pharisees, the theologians of that time, made light of the Message and went their way – one to his farm, another to his merchandise, saying, We do not believe this Message respecting the Kingdom. Some did even worse than this. They entreated these servants shamefully, spitefully, and slew them. Not only was Jesus slain by the unbelieving ones who had been invited to the feast, but His faithful disciples also were evilly treated and slain.

Then, as seen in another parable, Jehovah was wroth with that people Israel, and sent forth His armies, destroyed those murderers and burned up their city. The fact that it was the Roman army under Titus which destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70 did not make it any less the army of Jehovah, for He is able to make the wrath [R5510 : page 234] of man praise Him and able to use whom He may please as His messengers, or servants.

GENTILES CALLED TO THE WEDDING

Meantime God said to His servants, the Apostles, and to others through them, The wedding is provided, but the Jewish nation, which was especially invited, have not been found worthy of the honor. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage feast. So those servants went into the highways and gathered together as many as they found, and brought them in. Thus the wedding was provided with guests.

Highways represent public concourse, the world over. The Lord's ambassadors were no longer to restrict themselves to Jews, but were to make known to every people, kindred and tongue, the fact that God is now calling out of the world a little company, lovers of righteousness, to be followers of the Lamb and eventually to become joint-heirs with the Redeemer in His Kingdom. Be it noted [R5511 : page 234] that these ambassadors were not to intercept all the people in the highways, but merely to urge upon all those whom they met in the concourse, the great privilege of the open door to the Wedding Feast.

These were not all saintly, good; some of them, on the contrary, were bad. The Apostles explain this, saying that not many great, not many rich, not many noble, but chiefly the poor, the mean things of this world, hath God chosen. The Apostles speak, along the lines of our lesson, of the class that God is selecting from the world. No matter how mean, no matter how degraded, no matter how ignoble by nature – all who are willing to receive the grace of God may be made suitable for the wedding by the covering of the wedding garment, the Righteousness of Christ.

Indeed, however noble or worthy many are naturally, they are still not fit for the presence of the King. All who attend this wedding must have on the wedding garment – must be covered with the merit of Christ's Righteousness. The wedding is thus furnished with guests – all that the King had intended – every place filled. Thus and otherwise does the Lord indicate that the number of the Elect is a definitely fixed one; and that as soon as the special number has been found, the call will cease.

INSPECTING THE GUESTS

The custom of the Jews, arranged by Divine providence doubtless, was that at every wedding feast each guest was to put on a white wedding garment, covering his own garments. Thus all at the wedding were on an equal footing as respects dignity, because they were the guests of the host. So all who come to God's great Feast provided through Christ must come, not through any worthiness of their own in the flesh, but acknowledging that they have an insufficiency of merit to be acceptable to God, and must accept the merit of Christ as making them worthy of the honor to which they aspire in responding to this invitation.

Each guest entering the house was supplied with the robe, and was expected to put it on immediately. For any one to appear without that wedding garment would be a mark of disrespect to the host who had provided it. Indeed, for any one to appear at the wedding without the robe would imply that he had taken it off; for no one was admitted without the robe. This is the picture given us in the parable. A guest was found there who had not on the wedding garment – one, therefore, who in disregard of his host had removed his wedding garment, the wearing of which was the condition of his admission.

The words, "When the king came in," signify an inspection just prior to the feast. Since the King of the parable is Jehovah Himself, this would seem to mean that God takes note through the exhibition of Divine Justice in some manner of any one professing loyalty, yet disregarding the merit of Christ's death. Or, Christ might properly be understood to be referred to as the King in this instance; for at His coming He is to be invested with Kingly authority and power by the Heavenly Father, as our Lord Himself indicates in the parables of the Pounds and the Talents. At His Second Advent, therefore, He tells us, He will Himself inspect all those who pose as being His faithful servants – all those who are desirous of enjoying the Wedding Festival.

The man found without a wedding garment in the presence of the king we should understand to represent a class, and not merely one individual. So we might find just such a class today, professing to be followers of Christ, professing to be waiting for the marriage of the Lamb, professing to hope to enter into the joys of their Lord, yet telling us that they are no longer trusting in the merit of Christ's Sacrifice for their standing with the Father. These have rejected Jesus as their Savior, their Redeemer, the Atoner for their sins. They merely retain Him as their Teacher, and then, apparently, accept only a part of His teachings.

These are manifestly unfit to be members of the Bride of Christ. Only the loyal, only the faithful, are to be of that class. The parable shows that all those who reject the merit of Christ's Sacrifice will be rejected from the Kingdom class. They are unable to say how they came in without a "wedding garment"; for they did not come in without it. No one was ever admitted into the fellowship of the Spirit in the Church which is the Bride of Christ without first having on the wedding garment of Christ's merit, covering his imperfection. Those admitting thus that they have taken off the wedding garment are cast out summarily. The king said to the servants, "Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

THE OUTER DARKNESS

When our minds were filled with hallucinations of the Dark Ages, we read into this and into other Scriptures what they do not contain. We assumed that the class represented by the man without the wedding garment would be cast into eternal torment, and there suffer to all eternity. But now, examining the Scriptures more carefully, we have perceived that as all of these guests at the wedding came into the light of the wedding chamber from the darkness of the outside world, so the casting of one of them out of the light into the outer darkness would merely mean the taking from such a one the knowledge and the joys represented by the wedding-chamber light.

As for the outside world, we know that the Apostle John declares that the whole world lieth in darkness, "in the Wicked One." We know also that as soon as the Bride class shall have been completed, a great Time of Trouble will prepare the world for the blessings of Messiah's Kingdom later on. During that trouble all those who are in the darkness will have weeping and gnashing of teeth – discontent, anguish, disappointment, etc., connected with the overthrow of many of their wrongly based human hopes and expectations.

Our Lord concluded the parable with the statement, "For many are called, but few are chosen." This does not mean, as we once supposed, that only an Elect few will get any favor from God in the future, and that all the remainder of mankind will be eternally tortured. We must read it in harmony with the context. The Jewish [R5511 : page 235] nation was called, or invited, to the wedding – and failed, except the few "Israelites indeed." For eighteen hundred years the Message has gone out into the highways, to one nation after another of the Gentiles, until many have more or less heard the call of the Gospel Age. Yet only a few have accepted and have therefore come into the elect condition. And of those who come into this elect condition there will still be a class not properly appreciative which will be cast away, or rejected.

Again the Master drew attention to the matter, saying, "Fear not, little flock; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." The Little Flock, composed of both Jews and Gentiles, will through their faithfulness become God's chosen people, His elect Church, the Bride of Christ. Then, later on, they with their Lord will be the Heavenly Father's Agency for blessing all the non-elect with the glorious opportunities of Restitution to all the earthly blessings and good things lost through Father Adam's disobedience and fall. "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed and heirs."

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A DAY OF QUESTIONS
– AUGUST 30. – MATTHEW 22:15-22. –

"Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." – Verse 21.
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ODAY'S Study shows us that the wicked vine-dressers, the unready guests, were so enamored of their own methods and theories as to make them really blind to the beauty of the Divine Plan as expressed by Jesus. We are not speculating about this. St. Peter, explaining to the Pentecostal inquirers, said, "I wot that in ignorance ye did it [crucified Christ], as did also your rulers." (Acts 3:17.) St. Paul declared, "For had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." (1 Corinthians 2:8.) Error, fostered by self-will and by plans and schemes not of God, always has a blinding effect, so much so that the Apostle declares that "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not" the true Message of God when it reaches them.

Even Christians, in proportion as they are influenced by error or selfishness and not filled with the Holy Spirit, are blinded. Some see more, and some less, of the length, the breadth, the height and the depth of the Love of God, which passeth all understanding. No wonder St. Paul prayed for us the opening of the eyes of our understanding wider and wider! – Ephesians 1:18.

Perceiving that the teachings of Jesus were influencing the masses, the worldly-wise (and spirit-blind) Scribes and Pharisees, who knew the inconsistencies of their own teachings, thought that they could show up as inconsistent the teachings of Jesus. To this end they sent amongst the multitude some of their followers, to ask questions and to seek to entrap Jesus, to show the inconsistency of the hopes which He was inspiring in the people, and thus to discredit Him with the multitude. The first of these was to seek to entrap Him into saying something that would prove His disloyalty to the government and thus lead to His arrest as a seditious person, teaching contrary to Caesar's law of taxation. On the other hand, if He advocated Caesar's law, they thought that thus He would antagonize the public sentiment.

Jesus had a wisdom from Above. In answer to their query, "Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar or not?" He replied, "Why do ye tempt Me, ye hypocrites? Show Me the tribute money. And they brought unto Him a penny. And He saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say, Caesar's. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." No wonder they marveled at such an answer, and left Him! Truly, "Never man spake like this man!"

THE THINGS THAT ARE CAESAR'S

Nor can we say that the Master merely dodged the question shrewdly. Some very rascally men are able to dodge questions and to have a laugh at the questioner's expense. But in this case the answer was complete – the truth, and the whole truth, in every sense of the word fully in harmony with all the teachings of the Master. His followers were instructed not to be seditious, not to be quarrelsome, faultfinding, but to be thankful, holy, happy, subject to "the powers that be." They were to recognize that the powers that be of the kingdoms of the present time are ordained of God, and not merely of men.

True, indeed, earthly kingdoms are not God's kingdoms, as they sometimes claim. True, indeed, they frequently are usurped empires and powers. True, indeed, they sometimes foster sin, iniquity, unrighteousness, and are largely, from outward appearances, the result of human scheming and wickedness. Nevertheless, the people of God are to recognize that Jehovah is the great Over-Lord; and that although it is a part of His program for the present to permit a reign of Sin and Death at the hands of sinful men, nevertheless He still exercises such a supervision – of hindering one or advancing the cause of another ruler – as justifies the statement that He ordains, authorizes or permits these kingdoms. Whatever, therefore, the Heavenly Father has authorized or permitted, not one of His obedient children should for a moment think of resisting or overturning.

The Scriptures declare that God raiseth up and God casteth down; that He has at His disposal myriads who, filled with the spirit of anger, hatred, malice, strife, are ready, whenever an opportune moment comes, to exercise their power and to advance their own selfish interests. Whenever, therefore, the Lord wishes to make a change in earth's rulership and arrangements, He needs only to remove the restraining hand of His providence, [R5513 : page 235] and forthwith evil influences will work the change. As for the people of God, they are all exhorted to be peacemakers, promoters of righteousness, living peaceably with all men, fully subject to "the powers that be," and recognizing them as of Divine ordination, permission.

In the case of the Roman Empire, of which Caesar was head, we note that God had prophetically foretold, centuries before, through the prophecy of Daniel, its rise to universal dominion. It was not, therefore, for Jesus or for any of His disciples to speak against representatives of that Roman power. If Rome ruled, Rome needed to be supported; and the method of support was, properly enough, through taxation. How just, then, were the words of Jesus, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"! We remember that the Master Himself paid tribute, instructing St. Peter, when they had no money, to catch a fish, from whose mouth he obtained the coin necessary for his taxation and that of Jesus.

RENDER UNTO GOD HIS DUE

Had the questioners been intent upon rendering to God their obligations due to Him, they would have been in so different a frame of mind that, instead of seeking to entrap Jesus in His words, they would have been glad to be His disciples. What things, then, are God's? What [R5513 : page 236] do we owe to Him? We answer that as His creatures we are His. Every talent and power we possess ought by right of justice to be used in the service of our Creator and for His praise.

Additionally, we who recognize the fact that we were sinners by nature, and that God's mercy has provided a redemption through Christ, should gladly present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, our reasonable service. This reasonable service is accentuated when we realize the goodness of God; namely, that He purposes to bless the whole world with the privilege of restitution to all that was lost by Adam and redeemed at Calvary. When we learn that the Call of this Gospel Age is with a view to permitting the followers of Jesus to be associated with Him in His Messianic Kingdom, we should be filled with reverence, as well as with astonishment. Realizing the possibilities of such a high calling, such a change of nature and attainment of glory, honor and immortality, we should render to God our little all, and realize that it is unworthy of Divine acceptance, except as being worthy through the merit of Jesus' Sacrifice. We are accepted only in the Beloved One.

RESISTING UNTO BLOOD

In full accord with all that has been said foregoing is the thought that we must not render unto Caesar the things of God. Here lies the snare for many of God's people. They perceive that the friendship of the world can be bought only at the price of the sacrifice of Truth. Increasingly they are convinced of the truth of the words of Scripture, "Marvel not if the world hate you"; "The darkness hateth the light"; etc. Even though they render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to every man his due – "honor to whom honor is due," etc. – nevertheless their standard is so different from that of the world, and their viewpoint of everything so different, that it breeds an antagonism, a conflict of interests.

So Jesus said, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:18,19.) Increasingly they have impressed upon them the force of the Apostle John's words, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." – 1 John 2:15.

All this signifies that the world's standards, customs, ambitions, views, etc., are so different from those inculcated by the Spirit of the Truth that it is impossible for these to fully harmonize the one with the other. "No man can serve two masters." Hence to serve the Lord with all our mind, soul and strength, to render Him His dues, means to put ourselves crosswise with the views and sentiments of the world. This is the real test of Christian character. Only such as stand this test of "God first," loyalty to the principles which He inculcates, can hope to be members of the Kingdom class which is now being selected.

In other words, rendering to God the things that are God's will eventually cost us every earthly interest and prospect. But to the loyal, the faithful, God provides compensation. Instead of the world's smile which they lose, they receive the smile of the Heavenly Father and the favor of their Redeemer. They have also the Master's promise of a hundredfold more in this present life in compensation for everything which they sacrifice for His Cause, the Cause of God, the Cause of Truth Divine! And with this abundant compensation in the present life comes the assurance of everlasting life in the coming Age, under its favorable conditions.

[R5513 : page 236]

PHOTO-DRAMA TRIALS AND BLESSINGS
T
HE DRAMA is sweeping over the country at a wonderful rate, being shown every day in approximately sixty cities. The audiences vary from one hundred to three thousand and more – usually, perhaps, averaging five hundred. Surely a great witness in defense of the Bible is going forth! We are having some excellent responses from the public. Many are being turned back from coldness, indifference, infidelity, atheism, to a faith in God and in His Word superior to anything ever before enjoyed.

The opening of the DRAMA in seven new places each day necessitates our using the telegraph freely. We notify the friends at each place as to what days are available, and inquire whether or not the local friends are able and willing to present the DRAMA to the public in their city free. A noble response is met with everywhere. Those who cannot participate express regrets.

Thus will be seen the importance of having a DRAMA Committee in each Class and of knowing just what the Class is financially able and desirous of doing toward the presentation of the DRAMA. Then, when an offer of dates is received from the I.B.S.A. DRAMA Office the Committee, having already looked into the matter of public auditoriums, is ready to make inquiry, and, if possible, to obtain the use free for the DRAMA as a public benefit, worth more than a year in college to each citizen. Not more than the cost of the light should be charged for any publicly-owned auditorium.

Theatre people properly approached see that the DRAMA will give their theatre wider publicity than anything else. It will draw a new audience of people of the better class, such as rarely attend the theatre. To secure this publicity, theatres will be glad, regardless of their regular rates, to give a very low price for a number of days, especially in the dull season, when there is no expense except for electric current and janitorage. Having determined your course, advise the I.B.S.A. DRAMA, Brooklyn, as quickly as possible, just what you wish to do.

We are no longer able to proffer assistance beyond the lectures, music, picture operator, superintendent, posters, window cards, publicity aids and free scenario. The immense expense the Association is under may be imagined when we say that forty thousand dollars worth of blank paper has already been used for the printing of the free Scenario; and the printing, folding, bundling and freighting has cost still more! Otherwise, how glad we would be to meet all the expenses!

USE THE SPIRIT OF A SOUND MIND

However, we are learning that God's way is the wiser way – that God's people are more blessed by the DRAMA when the cost for its local presentation falls on them, and when they serve it as ushers and phonograph operators. The self-sacrifice incidental to all this brings a rich blessing. So we have nothing of which to complain.

Our enemies endeavor to hinder the work by falsely reporting that the Association is very rich – thus hindering charitably disposed people from proffering aid. The fact that we never solicit money seems so strange, even to our friends, that some have gotten the same impression. One dear sister when ushering was asked by a visitor to the DRAMA how he could best give some money to the I.B.S.A. for the forwarding of this great work. The [R5513 : page 237] usher answered him that there was no way, and that the money was not needed. If our friends are thus foolish or misinformed, how can we blame our enemies for saying the same things, which they would like to have others believe to be true, so that, all gifts being cut off, our work would stop? However, we are leaving the matter in the Lord's hands. If the funds cease, the work must cease proportionately. Realizing Divine supervision, we shall be thoroughly content to have it so.

While the DRAMA brings great blessings and privileges in conjunction with opportunities for service and self-denial, it also brings severe trials to the dear brethren. All are so anxious to serve, and all so independent in their feelings, that it sometimes means as many different plans and arrangements as there are members in the Class. Meekness, patience, brotherly kindness, forbearance, love, are qualities which seem to be greatly needed, and many opportunities for their cultivation may be found. So far as we know, friends are passing through these little ordeals with a blessing – an enlargement of the heart and a broadening of their sympathies. It is a time for putting [R5514 : page 237] into operation the Apostle's words, "Yea, all of you be subject one to another." – 1 Peter 5:5.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

Before the opening of the DRAMA the Superintendent must expect to look out for the newspaper publicity, to see that the Class has gotten out in good localities the posters sent them, that the DRAMA volunteer matter has arrived, that they have distributed it early in the week preceding the opening, and that the window cards are put out freely in every part of the city – all of the Class participating in this work. He will also see the ushers selected by the Class, and if any of them are too old or too young or are unsuitable, he may make some kind suggestions as to what to do. The very best, wisest, most intelligent members of the Class should be the Ushering Committee. The Class will also look out, amongst their number, for a suitable Floor Manager, or Chief Usher, and suggest one or two names, either brother or sister, for this service, according to circumstances. Frequently brethren are unobtainable on account of business requirements.

The duty of the Chief Usher, or Floor Manager, will be to see that the other ushers are well placed and understand their duties, that perfect order is kept, and that the public is being, not only kindly, but graciously met. They are for the moment your guests. In the Superintendent's absence the Moving Picture operator will be his and our representative in your city, having charge of the DRAMA to see that it is put on exactly as arranged for, with not a single alteration or deviation. Any inefficiency or anything you think unwise may be called to the attention of these brethren and reported to us. But meantime trust them as the Society's representatives, and co-operate. They, in turn, are directed to show every consideration to the wishes of the Class in anything that will not conflict with the positive rules governing the DRAMA.

In advance of the DRAMA expect a sister, whose stay will be only about one day. She will come to give instructions on the phonograph. Two, and only two, volunteer phonographers may learn; and they should be bright – not too nervous. The sister will remain long enough to show one performance and to see her pupils operate at one exhibition. This will be plenty of time, yet none too much. So have the pupils ready, and give them every opportunity to learn their work thoroughly.

So far as possible the ushering sisters will wear white dresses, to help distinguish them from the audience. Additionally they should make a little head-piece of uniform style. One neat design consists of two connecting rosettes of white satin ribbon.

The ushers should, if possible, have little prayer meetings frequently, requesting Divine blessings on their efforts to show forth, in their words, in their actions, in their looks, the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. They should co-operate thoroughly with the Chief Usher and with the whole spirit of the DRAMA.

Children under twelve years old should not be admitted, except when accompanied by parents, teachers or guardians. Even then they should be seated at the rear under surveillance of the ushers. Adults should have the preference always. Children can get out for matinees; but some adults have evenings only. Babes in arms should never be admitted. If an exception to this rule were ever made, the mother should be asked to sit near the door and should be made to promise to take the child out immediately if it cries. Do everything to preserve quiet and order. Avoid frequent and excited calls for order. If any one is seen to be rude or boisterous, approach the person kindly and whisper a loving word in season respecting the Golden Rule and the rights of others.

RE THE FINALE

Following the FOURTH PART of the DRAMA comes the Finale Sermon. On that occasion the speaker will call attention to the regular meetings of the I.B.S.A. in your city, giving the address; or, if you think worth while, cards bearing that address might be distributed to the people at the close of the service. It is not wise to discuss local meetings during the showing of the DRAMA.

No books are to be hawked, or sold, in the ordinary sense of the term. With the opening of each DRAMA a set of books is to be sent, merely for use as samples until the close of the DRAMA, when they may be sold and the money turned over to the chosen representative of the Class, to whom they have been charged. Orders received meantime should be sent in promptly, directly to THE WATCH TOWER Office, through the representative of the Class.

We avoid special effort to sell the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES lest any should get the impression that the sale of the books is the object of the DRAMA.

At the last, or Finale Meeting, the speaker will ask for addresses. Afterward he will take charge of those addresses, distributing them amongst those whom he deems best qualified for the calls. The matter is left entirely in his hands, but give him the best advice you can of the capability of those who desire to participate. The good of the Lord's Cause alone is sought. Let us all sink any personal feeling. The Editor would be glad if his own personality did not come so much into the DRAMA, but it has seemed absolutely necessary for two reasons:

(1) The public would take comparatively little interest in anything gotten out by a religious society which they did not know – they would esteem it something "cheap" and not "worth while."

(2) If the personality were not made prominent, we would be charged with hypocrisy – deceiving the people. We want the people to see the DRAMA unprejudiced, that they may judge for themselves where the hypocrisy and misrepresentation come from.

The Class will please introduce to the Superintendent, the person whom they nominate to be the Floor Manager, or Head Usher, and two sisters to learn phonograph operating to relieve each other if necessary.

PHOTO-DRAMA CLASS EXTENSION

We are not yet ready to give full particulars, but we are planning how the brethren who have been engaged in [R5514 : page 238] Class Extension work can prosecute the same in conjunction with the PHOTO-DRAMA. In our next issue we hope to be able to outline this work fully. To operate a DRAMA properly there should be at least three brethren with each of the THREE PARTS – nine for the DRAMA complete – one to operate the stereopticon; one to operate the phonographic lectures, oratorios, hymns, etc.; one to serve as usher and general order-keeper. More could be used, but three will do.

PART I. would be presented in a town on Sunday, either in the morning, afternoon or evening; or, if the interest and the population justified, it could be presented all three of these times. But after it has been shown, it should go to the next town, and then to another and another – keeping on continuously from town to town, village to village, schoolhouse to schoolhouse, court house to court house, public hall to public hall. Following it the next day or the next Sunday or the next session, as the case might be, PART II. would be going on and on. Following this would be PART III. As soon as the three presentations have been made, another set of brethren should be ready to take up a series of Chart Talks on the Bible, and, later on, to invite the interested to regular Dawn Circles.

These DRAMAS for the smaller villages and country places will not have the finest pictures now shown in the regular presentation of the DRAMA; but those used will be elegant, nevertheless. The Story will be just the same, and the value to each individual, we doubt not, just as great. We may be sure that country folk will attend the DRAMA, and talk about it and read about it, as much or more than do their city cousins.

We are preparing a special stereopticon, which can be used by attachment of a cord to an ordinary electric light fixture, and can be, if necessary, transformed quickly so as to use acetylene gas – obtainable from the reservoir of an automobile.

We are giving all these particulars now so that you can think the matter over. Classes that have been carrying on Class Extension work and believe they are able to carry on this new work, financing the expenses connected with the small halls, schoolhouses, etc., will please discuss the matter, decide upon it and advise us at once. If not sure that you will be able to manage the matter, better wait awhile and make sure. Let those be served first who are sure that they are ready, willing, anxious to assist in this great work.

THE "EUREKA DRAMA" OUTFITS

Having perfected our arrangements, we stopped the printing in order to add the following:

"EUREKA DRAMA" OUTFIT NO. X
Any of our readers desiring to purchase for his own
 use the full set of 96 DRAMA lectures (three
 PARTS, two hours each) with nine choice introductory,
 intermission and closing hymns and a portable
 phonograph, with a carrying case, can have the
 entire outfit for....................................$38.50
"EUREKA DRAMA" OUTFIT NO. Y

This outfit is the one especially intended for the DRAMA EXTENSION described foregoing. Its three PARTS require only the same number of lecture and music records as foregoing; but, because of public use, each PART must have its own Phonograph, each PART its own Stereopticon, etc. We therefore show each PART complete in itself, as follows:

PART I. includes one Primo Stereopticon for electric
 current – Oneida Lens (three for varying distances);
 special price........................................$20.00
[R5515 : page 238]
Variable Rheostat (five amp., ten amp., or fifteen
 amp.) may be effective for house current or for
 heavy current arc lights.............................  6.00
Attachment for Acetylene Gas or Presto Light (useful
 in places where there is no electric current, but
 where gas can be taken from an automobile tank)......  4.00
DRAMA stereopticon slides, beautifully tinted, with special
 carrying box and carrying case....................... 38.00
One portable Phonograph, one Operator's Book, Lecture
 and Hymn Records for PART I., and carrying case...... 19.50
                                                      ------
Total cost of PART I., "EUREKA DRAMA" No. Y...........$87.50
 Additional would be the expressage from Brooklyn.
 The Society would furnish posters, window-cards and free
scenario, and would supply the bound scenario for sale in any
quantity at one-half retail prices.
PARTS II. and III. would cost exactly the same as the
 above, the entire three PARTS amounting to..........$262.50

Needless to say, all the prices here quoted are extremely low. Nevertheless it runs into a great deal of money to provide these "EUREKA DRAMAS" in quantities. For instance, we are preparing for orders from at least one hundred Classes, which would run the cost into $26,250, aside from packing, shipping, clerical work, free scenario, free PHOTO-DRAMA announcements, posters, etc. It would afford us great pleasure to announce this all free on demand, but expenses already depleting the treasury forbid such a course.

Those who desire to purchase the DRAMA outright may do so. Others may have the PARTS on loan (subject to return to the Society on demand if not being used) if they will deposit $30 for each PART, $90 for the complete set of "EUREKA DRAMA" No. Y. On the return of the DRAMA this payment will be refunded, less a proper charge for broken slides, repairs, expressage, etc.

In writing to us on this subject of DRAMA EXTENSION, please address, I.B.S.A., "EUREKA DRAMA," 124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y.

page 238

PACIFIC COAST CONVENTION

T
RUTH friends on the Pacific Coast have been urging a General Convention. Few of them were able to attend the Central and Eastern Conventions in the Summer, but they hope that considerable numbers from the East will come to the Pacific Coast Convention. There is some little competition between San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and San Diego, but, so far as we are able to judge, there was unanimous agreement that Santa Cruz is the most centrally located of the four and an ideal place for a seaside Convention. Besides, we understand that there are special excursion rates to Santa Cruz from various parts of the Pacific Coast which would convenience the Truth friends of that vicinity.

The dates are Aug. 30 to Sept. 6, inclusive – eight days.

We have no doubt that it will be a very enjoyable and profitable Convention; for we have the assurance of the Lord in advance that where even two or three of His people are gathered, His presence and His blessing will be with them. Nevertheless, according to our usual custom, we urge nobody to attend the Convention. We merely make mention of it, and recommend that each one contemplating attendance shall consider the matter carefully, prayerfully, counting the cost. "Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory," but with singleness of heart let each seek to know and to do what he believes to be most pleasing to the Lord.

Those not so circumstanced as to be able to attend in person may, nevertheless, sing and make melody in their hearts, and unite their prayers with those of the Conventioners, and thus insure a share of the blessing.

Accommodations have been arranged for at $1.25 per day up, and for lodging at 50c. single, and 75c. double, page 239 meals at cafeteria. Address Convention Committee, care H. S. Holway, Chairman, Santa Cruz, Cal.

Railway rates can be arranged through local agents. Special excursions from San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.

[R5515 : page 239]

INTERESTING LETTERS
RE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I want to thank you; oh, I want to thank you so much, for the privilege of seeing the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION! I had never thought to live to see the everlasting Gospel preached to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people!

Yet so it is. Our Boston audience is cosmopolitan. Some are not able to understand English; some cannot read; yet all are reached. All have the Gospel preached unto them. Words cannot tell you how my heart rejoices! How near, how blessed, how real, these things are to me!

Last Sunday as I was making my way to a box, an usher said to me, "We have strict orders to allow no one in the boxes." I said, "Oh dear! what shall I do? I cannot take a seat while strangers are being turned away!" She said, "But you cannot see the pictures there." I answered, "I can see fairly well, and I can hear splendidly, and best of all I can see that great audience having the everlasting Gospel preached to them."

Surely they are being prepared for the manifestation of the sons of God and the blessing of all the families of the earth! The DRAMA is put so wisely, so kindly, that no one can take offense. When some great truth is brought out, then always the view from the other side is taken, as some pleasing picture is thrown across the screen. Thus much wisdom, much love is shown.

Our ushers must find their work quite a physical strain, but all, I am sure, wish to show the politeness that comes from a heart fully consecrated to follow in the Master's steps – laying down life for the world. I love to think that we are dealing with our children of the next Age! What privileges, what joys, are ours!

I love to think of that audience as one day catching up the mighty song begun in Heaven, and extending to every creature on the earth, praising Him who is worthy of every adoration! And so, dear Brother, we thank God most heartily, and are glad to co-operate even in the smallest way.

Your Sister in the most blessed Faith,

F. E. RILEY.

TOWER A PARTICULAR MEANS OF GRACE
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

For some time I have been thinking of writing to tell you how much I have been helped and stimulated by THE WATCH TOWER, but have refrained from doing so, partly because I did not want to take up your time. Like the two disciples of old, however, my heart so burns within me that I feel I must express my deep gratitude for the "meat in due season" that is so bountifully served to the Lord's people by you.

Many of the articles seem to have been like a message direct from the Lord Himself to me; and, in consequence, my heart goes out to Him in loving gratitude, and to you also, as His faithful messenger.

Often, the Lord has, in response to prayer for guidance in various matters connected with the "daily round," shown me, through one of your articles in a current TOWER, quite clearly and definitely the course He would have me pursue. This has been so marked that I am convinced that the Lord, knowing the needs of His people, has made THE WATCH TOWER a very particular means of grace and help.

This thought has been confirmed to me in another way: Some time ago, under an extra pressure of work – Harvest work – I allowed my regular morning reading of the VOLUMES and TOWERS to lapse, and I soon found, to my cost, that my rest of heart and trust in the Lord were being very easily disturbed, and for a little time I wondered why this should be. But a remark of yours to the effect that the first and most important work that every one of the Lord's people should engage in, is the making of his own calling and election sure, enabled me to view the matter of work for the Lord as He would have me see it. Since that time the regular, daily reading has brought me an ever-increasing peace and rest in the Lord and an ever-increasing joy, and, consequently, strength in His service.

Your untiring labor of love for the Lord and the brethren is a constant encouragement to me to serve in like manner; and I thank God upon every remembrance of you, and particularly as I remember you daily at the Throne of Grace. With much love, I am Your brother by His grace,

GEO. T. R. SWAIN. – Eng.

SURELY, USE EVERY OPPORTUNITY
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I thought I would write you for information and advice. We had the pleasure of spending three days with our dear Brother T__________ in our old haunts – Lima and Van Wert. There we met some of our old friends and they were surprised to see us. They all thought that I had long filled a drunkard's grave. But thanks be to our Lord for His Mercy toward me!

While in Lima I called on a friend who is now one of the leading business men in that city. He had done all in his power to get me on the sober path, but he did no good. So we told him and his friends of our experience and how we had found the Truth and how it had made me free from Satan's bondage.

Oh, how happy he was! Then he urged me to give a public talk to let them all know, in Mendon, Ohio, where we once lived. So this is what I would like to have some advice on. We thought that it would be good to use for our subject, "How I Became a Sober Man," telling all our experience, how we came to learn the Truth, bringing in God's great Plan of the Ages, and after the meeting pass the literature.

This Lima man would go with us, also a former saloon keeper who is about to symbolize his consecration.

May the Lord bless and keep you! Pray for me.

In the service of our King,

C. B. H.

page 239

REJOICING IN THE WONDERFUL LIGHT
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I gladly improve this opportunity of expressing my deep appreciation of your progressive work along the lines of Present Truth. The STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and all other helps which the Lord has provided through you are a great blessing to me, and I am constantly rejoicing in the wonderful light now shining. Pray for me, dear Brother, that I may be found faithful, even as I remember you every day at the Throne of Grace.

Please accept the enclosed sum to be placed in the Good Hopes fund. May the dear Lord richly bless you, is my daily prayer.

Your Sister in the Lord,

BARBARA JONES.

[R5515 : page 239]

CREDULITY FEEDS UPON LITTLE
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Since reading Brother Baker's letter in a recent WATCH TOWER, "I feel it borne in upon me," as our Quaker friends say, to write you. Had the brother stopped to think he might, like many of us, have recalled how he had seen a crowd of children frightened at the suggestion that the "school-killer" or some other goblin, terrible to the childish imagination, was coming. The children of believers do not hear about the "bogey-man" perhaps, but they hear and read about demons, and their imaginations are as susceptible as those of less favored little people, and it does not require more than a shadow to start a wave of hysteria. But were it proven that demons did appear, what would they have to do? Can they touch the "Lord's anointed"?

Regarding the case of the brother mentioned, who knows that he was not already insane when he went to the meetings of the society named? It is a point that has come under my observation, that often persons "change their religion," as well as become over-zealous in attendance upon church services, before their relatives or acquaintances discover their mental impairment; so they say "they have gone insane over religion." The source may be that in themselves they feel a loss, a sense of insufficiency, and in searching for help turn to any or all forms of faith. I am sure we do not wish to give the demons more glory, credit and notoriety than we can help! Only a week ago a bright, attractive woman was brought to the hospital, and to my usual question: "What do you think is the cause?" put to two of the family separately, the prompt reply from each was, "Russellism." (They were shown that she had been insane seven years before she attended a meeting.)

This is the third case in which this cause was given without any hesitation, and in each case the fallacy of the reasoning was made apparent to the relatives. Credulity is such a common weed! and it flourishes because it requires so little to feed upon. But "O, the blest morning already is here!"

Your sister in the glorious hope,

MARY CHRISTIANCY (M.D.)
Of State Hospital for Insane.

page 241
August 1st

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

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

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

VOL. XXXVAUGUST 15No. 16
A. D. 1914 – A. M. 6042
CONTENTS
Four General Conventions 242
View From the Tower 243
Nations Hurrying to Armageddon 243
The War Cloud's Silver Lining 243
"The Desire of All Nations" 244
Control of the Tongue a Necessity 245
Our Lord's Estimate of Slander 245
How Character is Built 247
The Importance of Daily Self-Scrutiny 247
Loyalty Proved by Prompt Obedience 248
Saying, "Give Us of Your Oil" 249
The Great Commandments 250
"God Looketh on the Heart" 251
The Ten Virgins 251
Parousia and Epiphania 252
Eureka Drama – Class Extension 253
Some Interesting Letters 254
First South African Convention 254
A Voice from Korea 254
"Times and Seasons" 255

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

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

page 242

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

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

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

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

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

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FOUR GENERAL CONVENTIONS

SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 30-SEPTEMBER 6

For particulars of this Convention see our August 1st issue. The Convention is to be held at Santa Cruz, on the Pacific Coast. The arrangements made are very economical. About fifteen speakers will participate – amongst them Brother Russell. Arrangements are being made for showing the "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" during four of the evenings of the Convention.

There is great enthusiasm amongst the Brethren of the Pacific Coast. We learn that Los Angeles alone will send five carloads to the Convention. For reservations, etc., address Comfort Committee, care Mr. H. S. Holway, Santa Cruz, Calif.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS, SEPTEMBER 18, 19, 20
EXCURSION RATES – FARE AND ONE-THIRD ON SALE, 17th AND 18th.

A three-day Convention has been arranged for, to be held in the Chamber of Commerce Auditorium, which has a seating capacity of twenty-five hundred.

The Committee on arrangements has been appointed locally. Everything possible will be done to make this Convention very interesting for all attending. It will be convenient for a considerable number. Brother Russell hopes to be present on the evening of the 18th and a part of the 19th. Several Pilgrim Brethren are scheduled for this Convention. All contemplating attendance at the Convention are requested to send applications for accommodations, stating what they desire. Favorable terms have been arranged. The Comfort Committee can be addressed care of Mr. M. J. Adams, 1120 Seventh Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas.

The Photo-Drama of Creation will be exhibited evenings only, September 17, 18, 19, 20.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, SEPTEMBER 24,25,26,27

A Convention especially convenient for many of the Southern friends has been arranged for Atlanta, Ga. All sessions of the Convention are scheduled for Convention Hall, Kimball House, centrally located. Some able speakers will be present. A profitable season is expected. Brother Russell expects to be at this Convention on the 25th. Desirable and economical arrangements have been made for the accommodation of the friends. All who desire accommodations should write in good season, addressing the Comfort Committee, care of Mr. W. S. Stevens, 328½ E. Georgia Avenue, Atlanta, Ga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 27-OCTOBER 4
EXCURSION RATES – 2c. PER MILE, ON SALE 25th to 27th.

We have accepted a very cordial invitation from Saratoga Springs, with use of large, fine Convention Hall. This location will be favorable for the Eastern friends. Able speakers will be on the program. Brother Russell expects to be at this Convention September 27th and 28th. A refreshing season of fellowship in the Lord with many of like precious faith is anticipated. No one should count on less than $1.25 per day expense, board and lodging. Higher rates are, of course, obtainable. Address I.B.S.A. Comfort Committee, Convention Hall, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The Photo-Drama of Creation each evening.

*                         *                         *

We do not urge attendance at these Conventions; we leave that for yourself to decide. Those who attend, we believe, will have a special spiritual refreshment. But it may not be convenient for all, financially or otherwise. We must seek to use the best judgment we possess, asking wisdom from Above. If you should attend, be sure it is with a heart overflowing with gratitude to God and prayerful for blessing to yourself and others in attendance. If you cannot attend, you can surely remember the Conventioners and ask for them rich blessings from on High, and thus share the blessing.

I.B.S.A. BEREAN BIBLE STUDIES
FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
Questions from Manual on Series Second of
"STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES"
STUDY V.
Week of September  6..Q. 13 to 18  Week of September 20..Q. 25 to 30 Week of September 13..Q. 19 to 24  Week of September 27..Q. 31 to 36 

Question Manuals on Vol. II., STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, 5c. each, or 50c. per dozen, postpaid.

[R5516 : page 243]

VIEW FROM THE TOWER
T
HE long expected shaking of the social earth is, we believe, already in progress. The great war for which Europe has been drilling its troops, preparing its treasuries and armaments, is shaking every nation of the world, financially, socially, politically. Strong as the nations feel themselves to be, all tremble in dread at the results of the conflict now in progress. Only the Bible can or does speak authoritatively respecting results. In the same breath it tells of disaster and of blessings – disaster to the nations, but ultimate blessings to the people through the new Government of Messiah's Kingdom.

St. Paul, referring to our day and to present conditions, declares the Lord's Message, "Yet once more will I shake, not the earth only, but also the heavens." By inspiration the Apostle informs us that this will be the last great shaking which the world will ever have, because in this troubled time in the early dawn of the Millennium, everything shakable will be shaken and destroyed so thoroughly that nothing will remain except that which is unshakable – that which will fully have the Divine approval. The Apostle says that the only thing remaining unshakable will be the Kingdom of God in the hands of The Christ – Head and Body. – Hebrews 12:18-27.

We should not get the thought that the shaking of the nations is just beginning, but rather that the shaking that has been in progress for some time is now reaching its violent stage. For years Europe has been trembling with occasional violent revolutionary shocks; but now it is preparing for the great shock, the great "earthquake," as the Bible symbolically styles it. – Revelation 16:18.

Knowledge is power. For the past fifty years in particular knowledge has been preparing the masses of humanity, and their power has been growing apace. Proportionately the errors, superstitions and serfdoms of the past have been obliged to yield. A social revolution has proportionately progressed, different in its kind from anything of the past. Socialism is a revolution based upon increase of knowledge, even though, as we shall seek to demonstrate, much of its reasoning is fallacious, and much of its work likely, in the future, to be terribly injurious; in fact, if not eventually overruled by Christ's Kingdom, nothing would escape its misguided destructiveness.

NATIONS HURRYING TO ARMAGEDDON

Europe is honeycombed with Socialism, which, like yeast, is fermenting the entire social fabric. Kings and emperors dare not oppose it too openly, and all of their secret intrigues have failed to hinder its development. The general war now begun has inspiration from different quarters. Politics have to do with it – a desire to enlarge national boundaries. Religion has something to do with it – the Greek and the Roman Catholic Churches being opponents, the sympathies and prejudices of the people are directed accordingly.

But Socialism is, we believe, the main factor in the war now raging and which will be earth's greatest and most terrible war – and probably the last. Socialism is related to the war by the fact that kings and emperors hope that patriotism and self-defense will cement the interests and sympathies of their peoples, now tending to disintegrate under the influence of Socialism. They would rather risk a general war than face a social revolution.

Already press reports tell us that in Russia patriotic enthusiasm is healing dissension. They tell us further that the differences between the Nationalists and the Ulsterites of Ireland are being forgotten in the presence of the war crisis, which has involved Great Britain. Doubtless the same is true in Germany to a considerable extent. The various political factions are ignoring their differences in the presence of a national danger. Austria-Hungary, four distinct peoples with varying interests and centrifugal tendencies, will doubtless be welded together in self-defense. Similarly, the discontented of France and Italy are having their attention diverted temporarily. For a time, at least, the peace propaganda and the determination of the internationals to oppose the war is drowned by public sentiment.

THE WAR CLOUD'S SILVER LINING

But after the shock of battle – What? Such a war as is now progressing will surely bring no great victory to any single nation or to any combination of nations. The winners in the war will surely pay a high price for every victory. Civilization, falsely styled Christendom (Christ's Kingdom), drenched with blood and terribly impoverished at the end of the war, will have been only partially shaken. The great Armageddon battle of the Scriptures will have been only partially fought. The remnants of armies, returning to their homes sour and discouraged with defeat or costly victory, will be war-sick and mad against their rulers who led to the carnage. Then the great Armageddon of the Bible may be expected. Every man's hand will be against his neighbor. Various factions and parties will proclaim panaceas, and will endeavor to force them upon the public. As a result, foretold in prophecy, "there shall be a Time of Trouble, such as never was since there was a nation." – Daniel 12:1. [R5516 : page 244]

The shaking process will continue, the Apostle tells us, until Messiah's unshakable Kingdom shall assert itself and take control of the world's affairs. The Lord through the Prophet Haggai tells us this, saying, "I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come." (Chapter 2:7.) All people really desire peace, joy, happiness, blessing, such as God purposes to provide through Messiah's Kingdom. The world really wants what God purposes to give them; but they do not comprehend their needs, and are seriously misled as to the methods by which they might be obtained.

We as Bible students are coming more and more to appreciate the fact that the Divine Plan presented in the Bible is wonderful in its simplicity and its comprehensiveness. More and more we are coming to see that our error in the past has been that we studied not the Bible, but the creeds – and correspondingly had darkness instead of light.

SYMBOLIC SHAKING AND BURNING

Note again St. Paul's quotation of the Lord's words, "Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven." (Hebrews 12:26.) We have seen what the shaking of earth signifies as respects society, governments, social order. In the same symbolic language of prophecy the heavens represent the ecclesiastical systems, as the earth represents the social. The meaning of the Lord's words is, therefore, clear; the coming trouble is not to be merely one upon the world of mankind, but in a very special sense it is to signify a shaking of the Church – the ecclesiastical, or spiritual, or heavenly powers.

There are doubtless saints in every church, in every sect, in every party. And these alone constitute the true Church, the saints of God – "the Church of the Firstborns, whose names are written in Heaven." (Hebrews 12:23.) The masses of Christians of all denominations, according to this prophecy, will be shaken – shaken in faith, shaken from their self-conceit, superstitions and bigotries. Only the true Church, only those who are in vital union with Christ, only the saints, will remain unshaken in the strenuous storm described by the Apostle.

While Socialism has been shaking the political earth for the past thirty years, other forces have been shaking with great severity the ecclesiastical heavens. Inquire where we may, we find that not only ignorance and superstition have been letting go their hold upon all Christians, but additionally many of God's professed people have been shaken loose from faith in a Divine Revelation – many even shaken loose from faith in a personal God. Indeed, it is the habit of Christian ministers to boast amongst themselves that they have lost faith in the Bible – under the influence of what is known as Higher Criticism, formerly styled Infidelity.

Probably not more than one in ten of all the Protestant ministers of the world would today acknowledge that he still holds fast his faith and confidence in the Bible as God's inspired Message. The other nine-tenths, if cross-questioned, [R5517 : page 244] would privately admit that they had lost their hold, or been shaken loose, and perhaps would boast of it even in public. Others, through fear of loss of prestige or salary, would seek to dodge the question and give evasive answers.

The shaking has proceeded from the clergy and the college-bred, through the professors and the text-books, down to the high schools, and, to some extent, the grammar departments of the public schools. Everything that can shake the faith of the people in respect to the inspiration of the Bible seems to be at work, and extremely few anywhere are found lifting up their voices and their pens in defense of the Divine Revelation and a personal God.

Let no one think that the shaking of the ecclesiastical heavens is ended. The Bible pictures the culmination as a sudden catastrophe which will awaken and set free all in Babylon who are the Lord's people – "Israelites indeed," without guile. – John 1:47.

"THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS"

The shaking of the heavens and the earth mentioned by St. Paul, corresponding with the shaking mentioned by the Prophet Haggai (2:7), is referred to under a different figure in St. Peter's writings. Following the style of some writers of today, who tell us of a general European conflagration, St. Peter describes the end of the nominal Church systems of our day under the figure of a fire. The heavens being on fire shall pass away with a great noise – great disputation, confusion, etc.; "the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up," writes St. Peter. "The fire of that Day shall try every man's work of what kind it is," writes St. Paul. – 2 Peter 3:10; 1 Corinthians 3:13.

Those who have built with gold, silver and precious stones supplied by the Divine Message and its promises, will survive the conflagration, because their faith and hope and relationship to God are indestructible. But all those who have built with wood, hay and stubble of human tradition and churchianity will find their work utterly destroyed in the fire of that Day. All their hopes, all their anticipations, will be utterly gone. "Yet themselves shall be saved, so as by fire." (1 Corinthians 3:11-15.) Then he explains that God will save this class because they have been truly consecrated Christians, who have built their false hopes and wrong expectations upon the sure foundation – Christ and His redeeming work.

The passing away of the present symbolic heavens, or ecclesiastical powers, will leave the place of spiritual control to the "new heavens" – the Church of Glory. The passing away of the present social earth will give place to the new order of things styled "the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2 Peter 3:13.) The new earth will be this same planet, but under new conditions, new social arrangements, provided by the Messianic Kingdom. At that time the prophecy of Haggai will begin to be fulfilled – the portion which declares "the desire of all nations shall come." That new earth condition is pictured by St. Peter most beautifully, saying:

"Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, as before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must receive [retain] until the TIMES OF RESTITUTION of all things spoken by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets since the world began." – Acts 3:19-23.

"SOON shall restitution glory
Bring to earth a blessed rest;
And the poor, and faint, and weary
Shall be lifted up and blest.

"Just beyond the coming trouble
See the reigning Prince of Peace!
Lo! God's Kingdom now is coming,
And oppression soon must cease.

"Tell how Eden's bloom and beauty
Once again shall be restored,
Making all man's wide dominion
As the Garden of the Lord.

"He's now gath'ring out His jewels,
Those who with Him soon shall reign;
And earth's weeping and sad farewells
Soon shall change to joyous strain."

[R5517 : page 245]

CONTROL OF THE TONGUE A NECESSITY

"I say unto you, that every idle [unprofitable or pernicious] word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment." – Matthew 12:36.
O
UR LORD was addressing some of the Scribes and Pharisees who were trying to "catch Him in His words" – to take advantage of technicalities of language. In their endeavor to oppose Him, those Scribes and Pharisees were doing everything they could to discomfit or vanquish Him in His reasoning, even going to the extent of using arguments which they did not really believe. This is a very dangerous procedure. No matter how just we think our cause to be as a whole, we are not to resort to any misuse of language to uphold what we believe to be the Truth.

Possibly those Pharisees might have said amongst themselves, "We must use strong arguments to keep ahead of that Nazarene. He uses strong language Himself. We must hold up our end of the controversy, and not show the white feather." But this position did not justify their conduct. Since Justice is the foundation of the Throne of God, any attempt to take advantage of another in any manner whatever will surely bring its own punishment.

From our Lord's comments at various times on the subject of the tongue we realize that in His day there must have been some seriously wrong condition prevailing amongst those with whom He came in contact. The Scribes and Pharisees attributed evil power to Him, and declared that He was the tool of Satan – that Satan was speaking through Him, etc. At first our Lord told them in a general way that they deceived themselves. Later, He reproved them severely and showed the fallacy of their arguments. In connection with our text He declared that by their words they should be condemned – be dealt with, corrected in righteousness and brought to true reformation, or else perish in the Second Death.

THE POWER OF THE TONGUE

Human beings are the only earthly creatures that can talk – whether orally or in writing or otherwise. More and more the people of God realize the wisdom of the Apostle James' statement that although the tongue is a little member, yet it is the most dangerous of all, because it has the widest influence. If a man sin not with his tongue, he is a perfect man. (James 3:2.) We cannot estimate the possible results of our words. This influence may reach even to the ends of the earth. Therefore we are to consider carefully what we may say, in order to determine whether our words will glorify God or whether they will dishonor Him – whether they will stir up good thoughts and impulses in the minds of others or whether they will stir up that which is evil.

In His Wisdom God has seen fit so to create us that our conduct of today has much to do with our character of tomorrow. Thus we are either making or breaking character continually. It is well that all should know this fact. Not only worldly people, but Christians also, should understand this principle; for Christians are now on trial for glory, honor and immortality. Therefore by neglecting to weigh carefully their words they might lose the great prize for which they are striving.

THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

By way of emphasis our Lord declared that every idle word – every unprofitable utterance – must be accounted for in a day of reckoning. With the Church, we understand the Scriptures to teach that this day of reckoning is this Gospel Age. Daily are we to go to our Heavenly Father and say, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us." Not only must we render up our account daily, but at the end of our course there will be a general summing up. By this we do not understand that at the end of our race course we shall be lined up and questioned about every word of our experience, but that each one who comes into contact with the Truth is either building up character or else breaking it down, and that his character at the end of his probation will determine his reward. As a pupil daily learns his lessons and prepares himself for the final examinations at the end of the year, when there is a general testing of his knowledge, so with the pupils in the School of Christ. Day by day our Master deals with us; but at the end of our course there is to be a summing up.

Doubtless there are in every one of us some things that are disapproved of the Lord; for we all have the treasure of the New Mind in earthen vessels and therefore cannot do as we would. But we have pledged ourselves to serve the Lord and to be loyal in doing His will. Therefore He is dealing with us now. In so doing, He warns us that the tongue is a very important member of our body, and that we are to be careful how we use it; for it will have a bearing upon the final decision in the end of this Gospel Age, when the returns are brought in. Then it will be determined whether we are worthy of the highest honor – joint-heirship with our Savior – or whether we shall be servants to that class or whether we [R5518 : page 245] shall be unworthy of life upon any plane of existence.

OUR LORD'S ESTIMATE OF SLANDER

But there is also a reckoning with us now. Our Lord declares that the tongue is so important a member that it represents our hearts more accurately than does anything else. The hand might do a good deed, yet the heart might be very different from the hand. In fact, the hand might not express the real sentiment of the heart at all. But the tongue is sure to give utterance to what is really in the heart. Therefore by our words we are daily either building up or tearing down character.

There is a spirit which shoots out bitter words. From the standpoint of the Lord, this is MURDER. Thus at the end of the Jewish Age the Scribes and Pharisees criticised and slandered our Lord. Although from their knowledge of the Law they knew that they would be accountable for their actions, yet they did not appreciate the fact that they would be judged by their words.

So will it be in the world's Judgment Day – the Millennium. Mankind will be held responsible for the work of their tongues. But they will have a more favorable opportunity then than if judged now; forces will then be at work which will give them a more prompt judgment; and therefore they will learn their lessons quickly. They will have a responsibility for their words. Those that "knew not will be beaten with few stripes"; but those who "knew and did not" act according to their knowledge, "will be beaten with many stripes."

SPECIAL BRIDLES FOR THE TONGUE

Under stress of sudden temptation the Lord's people, who are now on judgment, might impulsively say that which is not pleasing to the Master. But we must learn not to speak thoughtlessly; we must learn to weigh our utterances. Since we are servants of God, we should ever take heed to our ways, in order to render the best possible service. We are not merely to have a good will to do that which is right; we are to seek to bridle our tongues. Whatever vows or resolutions or restraints we may seek to put upon our tongues may be considered as bridles, by which we are determined to bring ourselves into full subjection to the will of God. [R5518 : page 246]

So long as Satan and his demon host are at large, the Lord's people will do well to take heed to their ways, that they sin not with their tongue. Satan and his angels are seeking to subvert those who have given themselves to the Lord and to catch them in their words. So while we are in their presence we must be especially on guard, that they may not entrap us. As the Psalmist says, "I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked [One] is before me."

AN IMPORTANT LESSON FOR ALL

Although our Lord declared that men should give account for every pernicious word, yet He referred to the thoughts behind the words. It was the attitude of heart that distressed Him. He knew the attitude of heart displayed by the Scribes and the Pharisees would bring injury upon them.

Amongst the Lord's people there is nothing more important than that they should learn to be very just. While it is right to be loving, kind, generous, yet justice is the very foundation of character. All love and kindness not based upon justice are neither satisfactory nor pleasing to the Lord. In dealing with others, a child of God will not think, What will my fellow-men let me take from them? but, What are the rights of others, and what would my Heavenly Father have me do?

It is very natural for one to recognize his own rights in any matter, but the fallen nature does not so quickly perceive the rights of others. Therefore one of the most important lessons for the Lord's people to learn is to do unto others as they would have others do unto them – simple justice.

We fear that many of the Lord's dear people have not fully realized that obedience to the rules which govern the New Nature means absolutely the "Golden Rule" on their part toward all others. They must not do to others what they would not have others do to them. It is the duty of the New Creature to bring the body into such subjection that justice shall rule in every act and word, and so far as possible in every thought. One must be just in his thoughts before he can properly be just in his dealings. Whoever thinks unjustly will act unjustly in spite of endeavors to the contrary.

THE TREASURE STORED IN OUR HEARTS

As we reflect that the Church is standing before the Bar of Divine Judgment, under the personal inspection of our Lord, and that in His estimation our words are a criterion of judgment, we cannot weigh too carefully the underlying principles upon which His decision will be made. Our Lord's words, as recorded in Matthew 12:34-36, indicate that both the heart and the mouth are under special scrutiny. How necessary therefore is a right condition of heart, in order that the words of our mouth may be acceptable to our Lord and Redeemer!

In our Lord's statement, the heart is representative of the character, and the mouth is the index of that character. The word heart is sometimes used in Scripture with the force of the word mind. Out of the abundance of the mind the mouth speaks. A good man brings forth good things out of the treasure of his mind. But all mankind are by nature sinners; therefore all are by nature evil to some extent. God does not approve of any who are under the sentence of death. Nevertheless there are those of the condemned race of Adam who are relatively good – those who, despite the imperfections under which they were born, the blemishes of their fallen nature, are desirous of being in harmony with the One who is all-good.

We find nothing in Scripture to support the doctrine of total depravity – to imply that there is nothing whatever of good in humanity. Even though no one is perfect, nevertheless, there are some who have at least a good will, good intentions. Such superior characters of past Ages were represented in the Ancient Worthies – Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Prophets of Israel, etc., who fully demonstrated their obedience to God and their loyalty to the principles of righteousness.

THE CLASS APPROVED OF GOD

During this Gospel Age also there are some who are good. Amongst the heathen, as well as in Christian lands, there are those who are well-meaning, well-intentioned, those who are not malicious, not striving to do wrong, but endeavoring to do right. In order to have the Divine approval in this Age, however, one must be of those who come unto the Father through Jesus; for none others are accepted of God. The Father will not receive any one whose heart is not sincere, who does not have good intentions, who does not manifest loyalty to Him and to the principles of righteousness.

Therefore any whom we have reason to believe are accepted of God, begotten of the Holy Spirit, are no longer to be counted as "children of wrath, even as others," but as of the Household of Faith. Despite the frailties of their flesh, they are good at heart; else God would not accept them. With these there is a constant conflict between the New Will and the desires of the flesh.

When we come to consider those who are good at heart, we find that all of them have imperfect bodies – some more so than others. Shall we give up the struggle for the prize because we cannot do perfectly? No! The Lord assures us that He looks at the heart, not at the flesh; that He has made a very gracious arrangement through our Lord Jesus by which the imperfections are cleansed away. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." Therefore all His children may come with courage to the Throne of Heavenly Grace, there to obtain mercy and help in every time of need.

CHIPS OR APPLES – WHICH?

The good things brought forth from the treasure of a good man's heart will be those things which he has stored up from time to time. As the Psalmist says of the godly man, "His delight is in the Law of the Lord; and in His Law doth he meditate day and night." And of himself he declares, "Mine eyes prevent [anticipate] the night watches, that I may meditate in Thy Word," Law, precepts – the spirit, the purpose of that Law, not merely the outward form. So should we meditate upon the spirit of the Law of God. The sentiment of our heart should be the desire to get the Divine Mind as nearly as possible on every subject. All who are eager to be in harmony with God and to attain His character-likeness will think upon things that are good, pure, holy. – Psalm 1:2; 119:148; Philippians 4:8.

As one thinks upon things that are good, the mind becomes stored with good. Wherever there is a mouth disposed to speak upon things that are evil, there is an evil disposition – a mind in which evil has been stored. Whatever one has stored up in the mind will be topmost and sure to be spoken. An evil treasure will show itself, despite all endeavors to hide it; and likewise a good treasure will manifest itself; for the mind can hold only a certain amount. – Luke 6:45.

A father saw his son reading a novel. He knew that his son was in the habit of reading along this line. Calling the boy, he said, "John, I wish you to empty the apples out of that basket, and then take the basket to the woodshed and fill it with chips." The son did as he was directed. When he returned the father said, "Now put in [R5519 : page 247] the apples." The son replied that he could not do this, because there was not room enough in the basket for both chips and apples. Then the father said, "That is just what you are about to do with your mind. You have been filling your mind with chips; and when you try to put in apples, there will be no room." Thus it is with all of us. If we fill our minds with jokes, foolish sayings, etc., we shall not be able to fill them with the things of the Holy Spirit. – Ephesians 5:1-7.

Many of the Lord's people find that, while their hearts are good, there is in their flesh a tendency for certain things that are not good. Thus there is a continual struggle between the flesh and the spirit as to whether the treasure stored up shall be chips or apples, so to speak. It is for each New Creature to decide which shall fill his mind – what kind of society he will choose, where he will go, what he will read, what kind of influences he will come under, what kind he will resist, etc. If in the past he has to any extent treasured up evil things, he should now try to rid himself of them. If his mind has been filled with jokes and levity, things not proper to the child of God, he should seek to put these away.

HOW CHARACTER IS BUILT

Finally, there is a relationship between this laying up of a good treasure in our minds and that of which our Lord spoke when He said, "Lay up for yourselves treasure in Heaven." In laying up treasure in our minds and hearts, we are building character. Whoever goes into a man's house and sees what he has gathered in the way of treasures can easily perceive the direction in which that man's mind is bent. His preferences demonstrate his character. Thus it is with us all; the things which we cultivate are an index to our character.

When we come to render up our account as New Creatures, character will decide whether we shall be esteemed worthy to be of the Lord's elect Little Flock. Only those who have laid up the treasure of a character like that of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Pattern, will be fit for an inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven. Our eternal destiny therefore will be decided by the way in which we now use our minds and the thoughts which we now accumulate. Whoever cultivates good thoughts will receive a blessing, not only in the present life, but throughout the future.

Our first concern, then, must be for the heart – that its affections and dispositions may be wholly under the control of Grace Divine; that every principle of truth and righteousness may be enthroned there; that justice, mercy, benevolence, meekness, self-control, faith, brotherly-kindness, love, supreme reverence for God and for Christ, and a fervent love for all the beauties of holiness, may be firmly fixed as the governing principles of life. If these principles are established in the heart, we shall have no difficulty in controlling our tongue; for out of the good treasure of our heart the mouth will speak forth words of truth, soberness, wisdom and grace.

[R5519 : page 247]

THE IMPORTANCE OF DAILY SELF-SCRUTINY

"If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged; but when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." – 1 Corinthians 11:31,32.
I
N THESE words the Apostle seems to be saying that if we as Christians should properly criticize ourselves, examine ourselves, correct ourselves, the Lord would not find it necessary to take us in hand and give us judgments, or criticism. But if we fail to do this judging, or criticizing, of ourselves, then it will be necessary for the Lord to do it; for He has taken us into His family, He has made us sons, and we are in the School of His Son, our great Elder Brother, to be trained and instructed. This is our Judgment Day.

The object of this chastening on the part of the Lord is not to vent His displeasure upon us by causing us pain; but it is as the Apostle states, "that we may not be condemned with the world." We judge ourselves when we criticize our own conduct, our own words – our own thoughts, even – and try them by the principles laid down in the Word of God – justice, kindness, mercy, love. As our Master admonishes us, if we find that we have done wrong, we should leave our gift before the altar – we should first go and make apologies to the one whom we have injured or wounded by any word or act of unkindness or rudeness. Then we may come and offer our gift.

Such a course would be forcing one's self, obliging one's self to do the right thing. It is not enough that one should say, "I know that I was wrong; I should not have done as I did; but, then, I am imperfect; I cannot do just what is right in everything." This course would not be in harmony with the spirit of our text. Our text shows that if we do wrong we have a solemn duty to make it right, to the best of our ability. If we have had an uncharitable thought against another it is not necessary that we go to the person and tell him this; for we might make the matter worse by so doing. But we should judge ourselves in the matter and give ourselves a thorough setting-down. We ought to give ourselves a good lesson, a lasting one. Thus we would be right in heart, in intention, approved of the Lord.

THE PROPER COURSE TOWARD OTHERS

We understand that it is the Lord's will respecting us that we should carefully scrutinize our thoughts, words and actions. If we find that we have injured another with our tongue or in any manner, we should go to that person, and to any to whom we have spoken, and make it right, make proper apologies, putting a penalty upon ourselves – a penalty that we shall not forget. If the penalty requires considerable humility, so much the better. If we neglect to punish ourselves, this would show that we are not in the proper condition; and the best thing the Lord could do for us would be to give us a severe chastisement. This might not come in the same day or week or month. But we may be sure that if we do not do right in the matter, we shall come to the place where the Lord will take us in hand. If He does so, He will give us some trying experiences. It may be that some one will do something unkind to us or say something evil about us, and the Lord may permit this. Or He may allow us to get into a position that would bring upon us some kind of punishment.

The world will be on judgment, or trial, in the next Age. If we were of the world our special judgment would come then, instead of now. We would be making marks upon our character that would require stripes in the next Dispensation. But so surely as we belong to the Church class, we must receive our judgments and punishments in the present Age. If we fail to give them to ourselves, our Master will give them to us.

There is another Scripture which says that we are to "judge nothing before the time." (1 Corinthians 4:5.) This does not refer to our judging ourselves. We cannot judge ourselves in the sense of passing sentence in our own case; but we should carefully watch our conduct, our words and our thoughts, and deal with ourselves in regard to our own derelictions and our offenses against others. Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them." [R5519 : page 248] This means that we are to notice this fruitage of life which we see both in our own case and also in that of others – in our brethren, in our neighbors. In our own minds we are to judge and disapprove of evil actions and words. We should say, Is this right or is it wrong? We should be judging such matters all the time.

NOT OUR PROVINCE TO PASS SENTENCE

Every day we see a great many things in life that are displeasing to the Lord. We hear others use vile language or improper language. We see acts of cruelty or injustice. So we can be judging these things as we go through life and getting lessons out of them. This does not mean that we should judge the people who do these things and decide what punishment they should receive. We are neither authorized nor competent so to do. We are not to sit in judgment as to the condition of the heart, except along lines where the Word of God plainly states that we are to judge. Appearances are very often deceptive, and things are not always what they seem to be.

The Lord tells us that the time will come when we shall be appointed judges of the world, but that this time is not now, and we are not to anticipate our work of the future either in our minds or in our words. Nor should we repeat to others what we may see or hear that would lower another in their eyes, save in a case when to do so would be a matter of duty. If we were to form judgments of others and go around telling what we think of this one or that one, we would have a hard time of it and would do an immense amount of harm. Thus we would come under the just condemnation of the Lord and surely bring upon ourselves His rebuke.

While we appreciate the truth of the Lord's words that a good tree will bring forth good fruit, and while we can see many times that there is something wrong in the conduct of certain ones, yet we are not able to judge of what would be the proper punishment for such conduct. We may know that the daily fruitage of a life indicates the condition of the heart, but we are not to pass sentence upon any. The Lord will make this decision. In the Master's words, "By their fruits ye shall know them," He gives us the thought that it is only in regard to that of which we have positive knowledge that we should render a decision in our own minds. We can know that the fruitage of a certain life proves that such a one is out of harmony with God. Yet we would have no right even then to pass sentence in the case. We cannot know what may have led to that unfavorable condition.

"I JUDGE NOT MINE OWN SELF"

In regard to judging in our own case, no one should be so well able as ourselves to know our heart. But St. Paul shows us that we should use a certain amount of leniency in judging even ourselves. He says, "Yea, I judge not mine own self;...but He that judgeth me is the Lord." This is not a contradiction of the words [R5520 : page 248] of our text, but his thought seems to be that when we come to realize how high is God's standard, we might be inclined to judge ourselves too severely, not taking into account that we were shapen in iniquity. We might better think somewhat along this line: I realize that I have failed again today to live fully up to what I had hoped. I feel condemned before the bar of my own judgment because of it. But I hope the Lord will be able to make some allowance for me in this matter. I trust He can make some excuse for me that I do not see for myself. I am not sure how much allowance should be made; I am not able to judge myself accurately.

We should then go to our Father in earnest prayer, telling Him of our sorrow that we have not succeeded better in glorifying His name. We should plead the merits of the blood of our dear Redeemer, promising the Lord that we will strive to do better, if possible, by His assisting grace.

There are some of the Lord's children who possess only a small amount of self-esteem and who therefore would be inclined to be too severe in their judgments of themselves, and hold themselves to the strictest account for every imperfection. Such should try to judge themselves justly. All judgment should be just, even when we ourselves are the culprits. Justice is the foundation of the Lord's Throne. We should never lose sight of the fact that we have the covering of the robe of our Savior's righteousness and the Mercy-Seat, to which we should go every day for cleansing from every defilement. But it is not only proper, but indeed a duty that we daily scrutinize ourselves, and see that we keep the body in subjection to our new mind. Thus doing, and thus applying daily, nightly, for the application of our Redeemer's merit to cover our unwitting mistakes and faults, we shall be kept in our Father's love and approval, and shall not need so much chastening from the Lord.

This daily taking stock of ourselves, the discernment of our gains and losses as New Creatures in Christ, and of how and where these came to us in our constant warfare with all our spiritual foes within and without, will surely prove profitable to each child of God who takes such account of himself in the fear of the Lord, desiring only to be pleasing to his Father in Heaven, to become all that God would have him to be – a saint indeed.

[R5520 : page 248]

LOYALTY PROVED BY PROMPT OBEDIENCE

"He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself unto him." – John 14:21.
T
HE WORDS of our text are a part of our Lord's last discourse to The Twelve before His crucifixion. The words, "He that hath My commandments," signify, He that hath received My commandments, and is willing to become My disciple. The mere hearing of the command, or the mere understanding of the command, is not the receiving it. People misunderstand this point. Many hear the command, and yield a partial obedience to it, but they do not receive it in the true sense of the word. This matter of a definite contract with the Lord is a very important one. Those who do not make it are not truly His disciples, have not really put themselves into His hands, and are in danger of shipwreck.

We may know about a certain blessing, but in dealing with the Lord we need to finish our contract. One who merely says, "I will try not to do anything contrary to the Lord's will; I will do whatever He forces upon me," is not in the right attitude to enter the School of Christ. There are certain steps by which we become Christ's disciples. A person may be a visitor at a school, but he has not become a member of the school unless he has met the terms – has accepted the rules and regulations under which the school is operated.

OUR LORD'S LAW OF LOVE

The Apostle Paul says, "Ye are not under the Law, but under grace," and yet the Lord speaks of our keeping [R5520 : page 249] His commandments. How shall we harmonize these two thoughts? We are to recognize a distinction between the Law, the commands which Christ gives, and the Law Covenant, to which the Apostle refers. We are not under the Law Covenant, which required that those who would have its blessings must keep its every requirement perfectly or suffer the curse, death. The arrangement under our Lord Jesus is that if His disciples, those already under His Robe of righteousness, seek to do His commandments, strive with their whole heart to do His will, they shall have eternal life through Him. The mediator of the Law Covenant was not competent to make any allowance for imperfections.

Our Lord here speaks of "commandments" – plural. We should, therefore, not understand these words to mean the same as when He said, "A new commandment I give unto you"; neither should we understand Him to mean the epitomized statement of the Law of the Ten Commandments – "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself." We understand our Lord to mean, Whoever receives My teachings, whoever will follow Me, will thus be demonstrating that he has love for Me; and such I will love. These "commandments" would seem to be the general teachings of the Lord as they bear on all the affairs of life. We do not understand them to be some set, particular statements, as in the 5th chapter of Matthew. He there designates a number of qualities that are necessary – meekness, righteousness, etc.; these are not commanded.

LOVE DELIGHTS TO SERVE

Our Lord's commands are not put in the form of compulsion, but whoever loves Him will serve Him. Speaking through the Apostolic Epistles, and in the Book of Revelation, Jesus has given us various expressions of what righteousness is, what love is. Whoever, therefore, desires to be with Him, to reign with Him, should wish to obey every hint coming from Him. There is nothing put in the nature of an arbitrary command – merely the statement of principles. But these become to us commands. To know His will is a law to such as love Him – they wish to serve Him. This seems to be the Divine arrangement for this Age – that we should be left without a "thou shalt" or "thou shalt not," so as to prove the degree of our interest and loyalty.

Some of our friends say to us sometimes, Do you think the Lord will reject me if I do not leave the nominal church, or if I do not perform the symbol of water baptism? And we have to tell them they have misunderstood the whole matter. The Lord is merely showing us the line of duty and of privilege, and whoever does not take delight in doing the Lord's will would better not do it at all. The Lord seeks such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth. In the Millennial Age He will deal with the world through stripes and blessings; and obedience will be compelled. But now He says, Here is My will; you can read between the lines, if you desire. I do not put you under a Law Covenant, but I place before you a great opportunity. If you appreciate the privilege, become My disciple. You will not need to make any boast, but show your obedience, your appreciation – take a prompt and positive stand. I will not insist on anything, then, but will give you the opportunity.

The Lord will take note of those who appreciate His great offer, and when He comes to claim His Bride these are the ones who shall reign with Him.

[R5520 : page 249]

SAYING, "GIVE US OF YOUR OIL"
M
ILLIONS of people have had their attention drawn to the teachings of THE WATCH TOWER and the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES respecting our thought that the Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation is due some time about October, 1914. Eight million volumes of the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES are in the hands of the public. Some who scoffed, railed, laughed and talked about the impossibility of our expectations are startled by the suddenness with which the great European war has started. All admit that there never has been such a war before, and that there never again can be such a war. Ignoring the Bible, all admit that the consequences of this war will be so terrible, the impoverishment of the nations so great, that wiser counsels must prevail in the future. We see from the Bible viewpoint that the result of this war will lead up to the wrecking of our present civilization in a period of anarchy. Whatever way the war may eventuate, it will surely be unsatisfactory. Discontent will more than ever prevail amongst the masses. A reign of terror throughout the civilized world is to be expected as a result.

All these things we have presented in our publications, sermons, etc., also in the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, which already has been shown to audiences totaling more than four millions. This war is riveting conviction upon the minds of many respecting the correctness of our expectations. Their question is, "What next?" And they will not think of looking for an answer in the direction of the ministers of the nominal Churches, who they now know have been keeping them in the dark and trying to prevent their obtaining the true light from God's Word, as it is now shining amongst the Bible Students. [R5521 : page 249]

A WORD OF CAUTION

Now is the time for our moderation of thought, speech and manner. When our dear relatives, friends, neighbors and the public begin to inquire of us respecting the horoscope of God's Word, we should be very meek, gentle, patient in our replies. Any haughty manner, any spirit of "I told you so," would be a rebuff to those who are now inclined to look to us for assistance, guidance, instruction in the teachings of God's Word. Sympathetically we should put ourselves in their places and treat them most kindly, telling them that this war is probably connected with the great anarchy which is to follow; that it will probably weaken the nations as nothing else would have done, and thus give the discontented element of society, not only an excuse, but an opportunity, for overthrowing all governments and precipitating the world into the most terrible calamity ever known.

We recommend that the distresses of the Time of Trouble be not so much discussed as the grand outcome, the MESSIANIC KINGDOM, to follow. We should help our friends and neighbors to look beyond the dark cloud to the silver lining, assuring them that God's Word implies that this Time of Trouble is necessary as a preparation for Messiah's Kingdom. The plowshare of trouble must first prepare human hearts for the sowing of the good seed of the next Dispensation. As we read, "When Thy judgments are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." – Isaiah 26:9.

Let us always remember our ordination, or commission, or authority, to preach – as we read, "To bind up [R5521 : page 250] the broken-hearted, to declare the deliverance of the captives." Let the world, the flesh and the Devil break men's hearts, if they will. Let the great Time of Trouble break them, if it will. Our commission is not to break hearts, but to heal them, to bind them up, to pour in the gracious promises of God's Word, sympathetically. The promises are represented symbolically as the oil. Thus shall we best show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9.) Thus shall we best assist those who sadly need our assistance. We must remember that we were equally in the dark but a short time ago, and that our neighbors and friends are no more responsible for being in the dark than we were. It should, therefore, be ours to excuse rather than to berate or faultfind.

THE FOOLISH VIRGIN CLASS

It is not for us to determine who will be of the foolish virgin class and fail to get into the Marriage, and thus as a result pass into the great tribulation and get a lesser reward. Nevertheless, we must feel some interest and curiosity in respect to our Master's parabolic prophecy. While it has been true that Christian brethren charged with the cares of this life and therefore not filled with the Spirit, the oil, and lacking the light of the Lamp, have repeatedly said to us, "I wish that I could see that as you do," or, "Show me that in a few words," nevertheless they have been unwilling to take the time necessary for proper investigation and the filling of the Spirit. All this is, we believe, still more abundantly true now.

Many of this overcharged class, neglecters of their Covenant of Sacrifice, will be stimulated by the outward signs of our time. Doubtless many of them will study and come clearly into the light and to a fulness of consecration to the Lord's service. Some of these may come in with such fervent zeal that they may be accounted of the Lord worthy of a place in the Bride Class. Others may come along so slowly that they will be of the Great Company Class, the foolish virgins of the parable.

The conclusion of the parable shows us that by the time the foolish virgin class shall have become thoroughly awake, thoroughly convinced of the Divine Plan, etc., and fully awake to the privileges of their consecration vows – by that time the Little Flock Class will have passed into the wedding, and the door to that glorious privilege and opportunity will be forever shut. The Master is to have but one Bride Class. The others, therefore, will be rejected and must pass through great tribulation, eventually to come to a glorious place on the spirit plane as the antitypes of the Levites, while the faithful Little Flock will be glorified as the Royal Priesthood, in association with their Master.

The point we would particularly impress is that we should all be praying and striving for an abundance of the fruits of the Holy Spirit – manifestations of patience, gentleness, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love – that thus we may be enabled to render any assistance to those who now will be inquiring. It is a special privilege for us to be the representatives of the Lord and His Divine Plan. But instead of making us haughty, proud, disdainful, it should make us very humble, gentle and loving, remembering that such honors are not deserved by any of us, but are of the Lord's grace.

[R5521 : page 250]

THE GREAT COMMANDMENTS
– SEPTEMBER 6. – MARK 12:28-44. –

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." – Luke 10:27.
O
N THE question day when the Doctors of Divinity sought to entrap our Lord many questions were asked. A week ago we considered one. The final question constitutes today's Study. A Scribe, a man of more than average education, had heard the various questions propounded and had perceived how well our Lord had answered them. Then he essayed a question – quite probably in all sincerity, and not with a view to entrap Jesus. He asked, "What is the chief commandment of all?" – doubtless referring to the Decalogue. Jesus replied that the first, the chief, of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is One Lord; and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the chief commandment."

Our Lord here made a quotation from the Old Testament. (Deuteronomy 6:4,5.) How wonderfully comprehensive the statement! Who today, hundreds of years afterwards, could more completely epitomize the great truth of this text? Heavenly Wisdom was manifested in its first statement. The same Heavenly Wisdom was manifested in our Lord's reference to it. He added nothing, because nothing could be added.

Moreover, we are daily seeing more clearly the force of this expression – Love. Love is the principal thing! Many in times gone by, according to the creeds professed, might have changed this statement to read that we should dread, fear, tremble; for the Almighty God of the Universe, we were told, had a great hell of torture prepared from before man's creation, in which He purposed that the great majority of humanity should be eternally tormented. But that was in the creeds. The Bible stands out distinctly separate from all human creeds and superstitions, and tells us that God is Love, that He is the Father of Light and Mercy, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift.

The Bible, too, tells us of the Divine forgiveness, Divinely arranged for through the precious blood of Christ from before the foundation of the world. It tells us also that this forgiveness of sins is not merely for the Church, the Elect, the little handful now being called out from the world; but that eventually the Love of God will be manifested to all of His creatures, to the intent that, coming to a knowledge of that love in due time, they may renounce sin and accept the Divine provision – receiving in return under Messiah's Kingdom the great blessing of Restitution of mental, moral and physical perfection, lost through Father Adam's disobedience.

THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

Jesus proceeded beyond the question, and declared that the Second Commandment stands related to the First; namely, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Again we stand all astonished with wonder at how much is stated in very few words. Many a volume is written that contains far less. No other religion than that of the Bible reveals such a God of mercy and compassion, as manifested by His loving provision for the welfare of His creatures. No other religion even hints at love in return. No other religion suggests so high a standard of dealing with our fellow men.

This Law of God, now nearly four thousand years old, was probably more or less made known through the Jews to other nations and peoples (Deuteronomy 4:6-8); but none of them grasped its true import. The closest approach [R5521 : page 251] to this sentiment is probably found in the writings of Confucius, to the effect that one should not do to others what he would not have others do to him. But oh, what a contrast! One is merely a negative statement; the other is a positive one – "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

Truly, there is something about the Law of God which stamps it as Divine. How beautiful the world would be, with all its thorns, thistles and difficulties, if men were only able and willing to live up to these two grand Laws – each man loving the Heavenly Father supremely, serving Him with every power and talent, and loving his neighbor as himself, seeking to serve that neighbor as he might have opportunity! That would be Paradise. Thank God, this is just what we are assured the world will yet be, when the Messianic Kingdom is established. [R5522 : page 251]

The Divine arrangement which provided the death of Christ as an offset for Adam's sin has also provided the Reign of Christ as the offset of the reign of Sin and Death. And the Divine promise assures us that ultimately all who love and desire righteousness and truth shall be blessed and perfected, and shall have everlasting life. It assures us also that the earth, God's footstool, will be made glorious, during the thousand years of Messiah's Reign; and that eventually all lovers of sin, refusing to make progress in righteousness, will be destroyed from amongst the people in the Second Death. Thus will the happy Day be ushered in for which we have so long prayed: "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, even as it is done in Heaven." Then will be fulfilled the promise that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, and the whole earth be filled with the glory of God.

"NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM"

The Scribe was impressed, and conceded the truth of Jesus' answer. He said, "Master, Thou hast said the truth; for there is one God; and there is none other but Him; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as himself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."

"And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, He said unto him, Thou are not far from the Kingdom of God!" By this the Master meant that the Scribe was very near to the point where he might become one of His disciples – one of those waiting for the Kingdom, hoping for it, striving for it, preparing for it. It was such "Israelites indeed," in whom was no guile, that Jesus especially sought to gather from amongst the Jewish people, preparatory to throwing open to the Gentiles the door to Kingdom privileges. The Jews understood that at His coming Messiah would select a Kingdom class, to which would be granted Divine power. This is just what Jesus was doing. His words, His teachings, were drawing some and repelling others.

All the sincere, all the honest-hearted, are like this young Scribe – not far from the Kingdom. If their honesty, their sincerity, lead them to zeal to know and to do the will of the Father, then they will be blessed; for "the secret of the Lord is with them that reverence Him, and He will show them His Covenant."

"GOD LOOKETH ON THE HEART"

The Temple at Jerusalem was still new, and money was needed for its maintenance, etc. The people were privileged to contribute, and apparently did so with willing hearts. However much misled by the traditions of the elders – otherwise the teachings of their forefathers – however confused they were by the misleadings of their blinded Doctors of Divinity, they had a desire to serve God and to worship Him. This was manifested by their readiness to bring their money and to cast it into the treasure boxes of the Temple, which stood near its doorway.

Jesus was sitting opposite these treasure boxes, and took note how all classes contributed – the rich of their abundance, the poor of their penury. There came along a widow who put into the treasure box two mites – the smallest copper coins in circulation – each one worth about one-eighth of a cent. We need not assume that the poor widow put this in in an ostentatious manner; for the coins were too small to boast about. We shall assume that Jesus, by Divine power, knew the woman, her circumstances and the amount of her gift. He made it a text for a little sermon to the Apostles. He declared that yonder poor woman had made a larger contribution in the sight of God than had anybody else who had contributed. To their wonderment He explained that she had practically cast in all that she had – her living – while the others had merely contributed certain portions from their abundance – portions the loss of which they perhaps would not seriously feel.

This little incident shows us the Lord's appreciation of sacrifices and services. It is not the great things that any of us do, or attempt to do, that the Lord highly esteems. The very small affairs of our lives, the very small sacrifices, the very small self-denials, that in the world's sight would be nothing, in the Master's sight will be great, if they denote love, devotion and self-sacrifice to the Lord and His Cause.

Moreover, the Lord knew that the woman was giving money to an institution which was repudiating Him and which shortly would be destroyed because of being unworthy to continue. But whatever might be the condition of others, the Lord looked at the heart of this contributor and the motive for the gift – "She hath done what she could." For aught we know she became ultimately a disciple. It is of just such self-sacrificing material that the Lord makes disciples.

[R5522 : page 251]

THE TEN VIRGINS
– SEPTEMBER 13. – MATTHEW 25:1-13. –

"Watch, therefore; for ye know not the day nor the hour." – Verse 13.
T
HE PARABLE of today's Study is supposed to have been uttered by our Lord about three days before His crucifixion, as part of His response to the question, "What shall be the sign of Thy Coming and of the end of the Age?" In the preceding chapter the Master traces various experiences of His people down to the time of His Second Coming – the time of the consummation of this Gospel Age and of the inauguration of the Messianic Age, the Age immediately ahead of us.

In considering this parable, it is proper to notice, first of all, that it has not been applicable at all times and under all conditions. This is shown by the first word, "Then" – at that time – "the Kingdom of Heaven shall be likened unto ten virgins." Furthermore, it should be noted that the parable does not describe the world in general, but merely the "virgin" class – the Church class – the pure ones who have left the world, who have come to God through Christ, who have been justified by faith in His blood, and who have thus been made prospective members of the Kingdom class, the Bride class. This parable shows, then, that in the end of this Age a separation, or division, will take place in the true Church of Christ, regardless of [R5522 : page 252] what may be the attitude of the world or of the nominal Church.

With the Jews, betrothal took place between the bride and the bridegroom usually a year before they came together at the marriage feast. During that year the obligations of marriage applied, and any unfaithfulness to the bridegroom vitiated or annulled the contract, which was usually made, not by the bridegroom himself with the bride, but through others, intermediaries. So, during this Gospel Age, a Church is being betrothed to Christ, and covenant obligations are being entered into in behalf of the Bridegroom, Christ, who is "afar off" and who is now entering into a covenant with those who would be members of His Bride class. These covenants and agreements are made through brethren, ministers, servants, of the Lord and of the Church.

The Scriptures represent that during the long period between the time when our Lord went away and the time of His return there has been a serious unfaithfulness on the part of many professing to be of the Church of Christ. In the Revelation these are charged with harlotry. We are assured that they will not be recognized, but will be fully repudiated, rejected, at His Second Coming. But although the mass of those professing to have entered into a covenant with the Lord were foreseen to be unfaithful, nevertheless the Lord just as distinctly declares that at His Coming there will be a faithful "virgin" class – pure ones, separate from the world, uncontaminated. It is this class which the parable describes. It shows incidentally that not even all of the virgins will be accepted as members of the Bride; but that, in addition to purity, a certain watchfulness and zeal will be considered essential.

PAROUSIA AND EPIPHANIA

Many Bible students hold that this parable began to have its fulfilment in the Millerite Movement, which in 1844 culminated in a disappointment. For some fourteen years prior to that time a cry had gone forth throughout the Church that the time of the Second Coming of Christ was at hand. History tells us that many noble characters of all denominations believed the Message and, in the strength of their faith, went forth to meet the Bridegroom. But they were disappointed, in that the Bridegroom tarried.

Then all of the "virgins," both wise and foolish, slumbered and slept. A general stupor, uncertainty and drowsiness came over all. Some of them dreamed of strange knockings during that time, too. Later, at midnight, the Bridegroom came apparently, and announcements were made to that effect – "Behold the Bridegroom! Go ye forth to meet Him!"

An increasing number of Bible students believe that this latter cry sounded forth just thirty years after the disappointment of the followers of William Miller; namely, in 1874. They do not claim that Jesus came in the flesh then; but, on the contrary, they hold that He is never to come in the flesh – that He is flesh no longer, that He has "ascended up where He was before" – to the spirit plane – far above angels.

These Bible students call our attention to the fact that the Bible distinctly differentiates between the Parousia of Christ and His Epiphania, at His Second Coming. The word Parousia signifies presence, without in any sense of [R5523 : page 252] the word indicating that the presence is visible. The word Epiphania signifies the revealing of one who is already present. These Bible students claim that in the end of this Gospel Age Christ will be present, invisible to men, during a period of forty years, doing a work especially in His Church – rewarding the faithful, as shown in the parables of the Pounds and the Talents, and receiving the "wise virgins," as in the parable of our lesson.

With the conclusion of this work of separating the wise virgins, and after they shall have entered into the joys of their Lord by the glorious change of the First Resurrection, then will come Immanuel's Epiphania, revealing, showing forth. "When He shall appear, ye also shall appear with Him in glory." "He shall be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance." In other words, the revelation of Christ to the world will be subsequent to His revealment of Himself to the "wise virgin" class. The world will know that He has taken His great power and begun His Reign of Righteousness, not by seeing Jesus in the flesh, but by seeing the great Time of Trouble which then will break upon the world – "a Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation." – Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21.

THE LAMPS AND THE OIL

The views of these Bible students are interesting to us. Whether all of their conclusions may be accepted or not, they are at least worthy of consideration, inasmuch as they furnish a new interpretation of some Scriptures not previously understood. Whether they have the times and seasons properly divided is another matter, upon which each individual Christian should use his own judgment. Let us follow the parable from this standpoint; for we know of no other to which the terms and conditions of the parable could be applied.

Let us note that all the "virgins" are to hear this Message, "Behold the Bridegroom!" – the expected One has come. It does not follow that they will all hear at once – rather the contrary. During the period of the "cry," whether it be forty years or more or less, as long as the cry goes forth there will be opportunity to hear it. And all of the virgin class must hear it.

The "oil" of the parable evidently represents the Holy Spirit, while the "lamps" represent the Bible. All of these virgins had the Bible and some light therefrom; but only those possessing the Spirit of the Truth in their hearts in good supply would be able to hold out. To the others the Lamp would cease to burn. They would cease to be able to appreciate and apply the Scriptural prophecies relative to Christ's Second Coming.

ONLY ONE WAY TO GET THE HOLY SPIRIT

The "wise virgins" trimmed their lamps in response to the Message – they examined the Scriptures. Like the Bereans of old, they "searched the Scriptures daily to see whether these things be so." Thus they had light in their lamps, as well as "oil," the Holy Spirit, in their hearts. Then it was that the "foolish virgins" said, "Give us of your oil." We wish that we could be as earnest at Bible study as you are, but these things are no longer interesting to us. Do give us some of your oil (spirit)!

However, there is but the one way to get the Holy Spirit, and that is from the Lord Himself and upon His own terms. In order to receive a fresh supply of Oil we need to look well to our covenant with the Lord and to our zeal for Him and the Truth, to our loyalty to the principles of righteousness. This costs something of time and study. It costs something, perhaps, of neglect of the things of this life. It means to forego strife for wealth and fame. It means to live close to God.

This is the cost of the precious Oil which is to give Light to those who will have it. Hence the wise virgins declared, in no ungenerous spirit, that they had none too much of the oil of the Holy Spirit for themselves. Then they advised their brethren who were deficient to go to God, who giveth liberally and upbraideth not, and to seek the Oil by obedience to His Word, by the searching of the Scriptures and by close following of the Master's leading in the Narrow Way. [R5523 : page 253]

THE SHUTTING OF THE DOOR

Meantime, the "wise virgins" were going in, one after another – passing beyond the veil – until finally the last of the foreordained number had gone in and no more could enter. "Then the door was shut."

Once in our misunderstanding we thought that this shutting of the "door" after the wise virgin class had gone in represented that all the foolish virgins and all the remainder of mankind were shut out of God's favor – banished to eternal torment. Now, however, we notice that the "door" merely shuts in the Kingdom class, the Little Flock, to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom. While others will never be able to enter into that Kingdom, God has other blessings for them, all of which will come through the Kingdom class – Christ and His Bride.

The parable shows that later on the foolish virgin class get the Oil, the Holy Spirit, in proper measure and are able to get light from their lamps; that they recognize that the end of the Age has come, and earnestly desire, and in prayer "knock," that the door of the Kingdom may be opened to them. But the Lord's answer to them is, "I cannot recognize you. There is only one Bride class, and they have already come in to Me."

In view of this, all of the Lord's consecrated people should be earnestly on the watch, filled with the Spirit and having their Lamps "trimmed and burning." None might know the day and the hour when the Bridegroom would come, in the sense of His Parousia; nevertheless, all of the virgins were to be aware of His presence after He had come. Any one who did not know of it would, to that extent, lack the evidence that he belonged to the Bride class; even the foolish virgins knew of the Bridegroom's presence.

In the parable the Lord does not tell what may happen to the foolish virgins; but other Scriptures show that they pass through a portion, at least, of the great Time of Trouble coming upon the world; and that when finally they are received of the Lord, it will not be as His joint-heirs in the Throne, but as honored servants of the Bride. They are elsewhere spoken of as "the virgins, the Bride's companions, who follow her" and who will ultimately be brought into the presence of the King and have an inferior share in the work of the Kingdom. (Psalm 45:15,16.) Next in order will come the blessing of Natural Israel and of all the families of the earth for a thousand years, for their uplifting from sin and death to righteousness and life eternal – or failing in this, the destruction of the incorrigible in the Second Death, from which there will be no recovery.

[R5523 : page 253]

EUREKA DRAMA – CLASS EXTENSION
R
EAD over several times our explanation of this proposition in August 1 WATCH TOWER. We have stated matters there carefully and as clearly as we know how. With each outfit goes an Instructor's Book and a letter giving general explanations of how the DRAMA should be presented. But we would not recommend any to undertake the operation of a stereopticon who has not already some conception of how it should be operated. No fewer than two could operate the DRAMA – one taking care of the phonograph, the other operating the stereopticon. A third person would be desirable as a general overseer, usher, helper, literature-distributer, etc. This EUREKA DRAMA preaching gives the Sisters an exceptional opportunity. The Y Eureka might be a little too heavy for them to carry, but any could manage the X Eureka.

We regret the necessity for emphasizing the fact that the full amount stipulated must accompany your order. Only by purchasing for cash can we secure the prices named.

We describe One Part as follows: –

A box of tinted stereopticon slides, encased in a fibre carrying case with handle, 26 inches long, 7 inches wide, 7 inches high, weight, 35 lbs.

One carrying case, with handle, for phonograph and its records and two operator's books, 26 inches long, 9 inches wide, 13 inches high, weight, 40 lbs.

One metal carrying case, with handle, containing stereopticon, 18 inches long, 7 inches wide, 12 inches high, weight, 22 lbs.

One fibre case, with handle, containing rheostat, 10 inches long, 9 inches wide, 7 inches high, weight, 12 lbs.

The screen on which the pictures would be shown you can prepare as cheaply as we. For a small room and small pictures a good, large bed-sheet will do. But it would be well to provide at the start a screen about 13½ feet by 15 feet. This will mean 10 yards of wide sheeting and would require only one seam lengthwise through the center and a hem at each end. We can supply these with the outfit for $3.50 extra.

Rarely would there be need for taking more than one section of the DRAMA (the above four cases) at one time. But if for any reason you desired to take two, it would mean twice the above. Or if you took the entire three sections, the packages would be three times as many.

When you send in your order with the Express or Post Office money order, there will be no mistake as to whether you wish the outfit on the loan plan or on the purchase plan. At the same time specify, please, the State in which you will be working, and the County whose small towns and villages you propose to thoroughly work. [R5524 : page 253]

Some inform us that they have stereopticons that will serve their purposes, and wish merely to purchase the remainder of the outfit. Such should indicate this in their order and deduct accordingly from the amount. See itemized statement in last issue.

You have never seen or heard our new portable Phonograph. It is very small and light, but powerful. Our records will fill large Court Rooms. Some write us that they have suitable phonographs. We advise, however, that our portable phonograph is so cheap ($8.00) that you would best have it and leave the other for the family or sell it.

EUREKA DRAMAS sent out on the loan plan must go just as we are preparing them, so as to have uniformity. This means a phonograph and a stereopticon with each Part and implies the promise that the Three Parts will be kept busy.

Those who purchase outright may, if they choose, take only one stereopticon and only one phonograph, deducting $8.00 each for the phonographs and $20.00 each for the stereopticons and $6.00 each for the rheostats and $4.00 each for the Acetylene burners not desired.

Some write us desiring the DRAMA records and musical records only. We are pleased to supply these at the prices mentioned in our last issue with the phonograph, or at $8.00 less if the phonograph is not desired. Any [R5524 : page 254] preferring can order their discs direct from the Columbia Graphophone Co.

You will have the privilege of giving away the free scenario, or of selling the paper-bound and cloth-bound scenario at regular prices – purchasing from us at half price, plus postage or freight. You may handle STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES similarly.

Nothing that we have written on this subject should be understood as intimating that this DRAMA EXTENSION would be a profitable business – nor that anybody should engage in it to the neglect of his or her family duties; nor would it be necessary for those engaging in this work to give it their entire time. Some might be able to give their Sundays, others some week nights, and some both. Of course, some may be so situated that they can give this work their entire time.

We are not recommending this DRAMA EXTENSION work to successful colporteurs. We believe that they already have and are using one of the best methods we know of for serving the Truth, and feeding the hungry sheep.

Brethren not heretofore engaged in Class Extension, here have a chance. Also their wives or natural sisters. If unmarried Sisters engage at all extreme care should be exercised that strict decorum and proper Christian dignity be always observed. Preferably only persons professing full consecration to God, and who have taken the Vow, should participate in any way.

We have not proposed furnishing moving pictures for five reasons: (1) Our films are too costly. (2) Only experienced persons can operate them. (3) We are arranging to have full DRAMA shown in the smallest places having Motion Picture Theatres. (4) The Class Extension DRAMAS will be kept busy serving villages of under 1000 population. (5) These usually have School Houses or Union Church Houses obtainable free.

We hope to have reports from all these EUREKA DRAMAS weekly. Please make them out Mondays. Address I.B.S.A., EUREKA DRAMA, 17 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.

          "EUREKA DRAMA" OUTFIT NO. X

Any of our readers desiring to purchase for his own
 use the full set of 96 DRAMA lectures (three
 PARTS, two hours each) with nine choice introductory,
 intermission and closing hymns and a portable
 phonograph, with a carrying case, can have the
 entire outfit for ......................................... $38.50

          "EUREKA DRAMA" OUTFIT NO. Y

   This outfit is the one especially intended for the DRAMA
EXTENSION described foregoing.  Its three PARTS require
only the same number of lecture and music records as
foregoing; but, because of public use, each PART must have
its own Phonograph, each PART its own Stereopticon, etc.
We therefore show each PART complete in itself, as follows:

PART I. includes one Primo Stereopticon for electric
 current – Oneida Lens (three for varying distances);
 special price ............................................. $20.00
Variable Rheostat (five amp., ten amp., or fifteen
 amp.) may be effective for house current or for
 heavy current arc lights ..................................   6.00
Attachment for Acetylene Gas or Presto Light (useful
 in places where there is no electric current, but
 where gas can be taken from an automobile tank) ...........   4.00
DRAMA stereopticon slides, beautifully tinted, with special
 carrying box and carrying case ............................  38.00
One portable Phonograph, one Operator's Book, Lecture
 and Hymn Records for PART I., and carrying case ...........  19.50
                                                              -----
Total cost of PART I., "EUREKA DRAMA," No. Y ............... $87.50
   Additional would be the expressage from Brooklyn.
   The Society would furnish posters, window-cards and free
scenario, and would supply the bound scenario for sale in any
quantity at one-half retail prices.
PARTS II. and III. would cost exactly the same as the
 above, the entire THREE PARTS amounting to ................$262.50
   With only one Stereopticon, one Rheostat, one Acetylene
burner and one Phonograph, $185.00.  Expressage from Brooklyn
extra.

[R5524 : page 254]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
FIRST SOUTH AFRICAN CONVENTION
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

The first South African Convention of the International Bible Students Association has now gone down into history, leaving with those who were privileged to attend a glorious memory that will serve as a stimulus and an inspiration until we get to the greatest of all Conventions, beyond the veil.

On Friday, April 10, the brethren gathered from all parts of the sub-Continent (one dear sister traveling nearly a thousand miles) to enjoy four whole days of blessed fellowship with the Lord and with one another. We were a very "little flock," indeed. Our largest attendance was 34; but whether in His providence He will ultimately bestow upon us the Kingdom or not, the Lord did certainly on this occasion give us abundant manifestation of the sweetness of His presence and the fulness of His Love. For four days, from the "Welcome" to the "Farewell," we were on the mountain top with the Lord, and we enjoyed the experience so much that we, too, would fain have built tabernacles to dwell there!

Amid such a plethora of blessings it is difficult to single out any for special mention, but the baptismal service on Friday afternoon was especially helpful. Although we were a small company, I think we made a record on this occasion; for we immersed almost half of the entire Convention. Eight sisters and eight brothers symbolized their consecration in the Lord's appointed manner. The hearts of all present went out to them, and our prayers ascended for them, that He who has begun the good work in them, will enable them to finish their course.

In the evening this service was followed by the Memorial, when 32 symbolically appropriated the merit of the Lord's broken body, and, thoroughly furnished thereby, symbolically drank with Him the cup which the Father had poured. Our hearts grew solemn as we realized that possibly this might be our last Memorial on this side the veil. We called to mind our Lord's words on a similar occasion: "With desire I have desired to eat THIS Passover with you." We remembered that the special sufferings followed hard upon "this" Passover, and sought grace to endure a similar experience, if it be His will.

Next morning we had a helpful Question meeting, when many interesting queries were satisfactorily answered. Saturday afternoon a Praise and Testimony meeting furnished a general opportunity for witness-bearing to the Lord's goodness, of which the brethren were not slow to avail themselves. The day closed with an excellent address on "The Triumph of Love" by dear Brother Stubbs, of Durban.

Sunday morning we had a modern Berean Study in Volume I., Chapter 5, when the value of this method of Scripture study was amply demonstrated. The lesson was much enjoyed by all. In the afternoon seven Brothers participated in a symposium on "The Graces of the Spirit." This stimulated us all, and we feel the need for greater diligence in seeking to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ, making no provision for the flesh." Sunday evening was given over to the public, but owing to a heavy rainstorm, only about fifty turned out to hear a lecture on "The Resurrection of the Dead, its Nature and Purpose," although at previous lectures the audiences numbered as many as five hundred.

Monday morning we talked about the Harvest Work, and considered how best it might be advanced in South Africa. This was followed in the afternoon by a splendid exposition of "The Benefits of Christian Fellowship," by dear Brother Howat, of Johannesburg. In the evening was the Farewell meeting of the Convention. On this occasion, following St. Paul's argument in Ephesians 6:10-19, we were exhorted to put on the whole armor of God and to fight the good fight of faith, that we might lay hold upon eternal life. Our hearts and our eyes both were full as we filed past brethren representing various Classes, to the strains of that old, familiar hymn of hallowed memory, "God be with you till we meet again," bidding each other farewell, and hoping to meet again in the Kingdom, if not before.

What shall we render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward us? By His assisting grace we shall grasp more firmly the cup of salvation and, calling upon the name of the Lord, drink it to the dregs.

All the brethren at the Convention were filled with a deep sense of gratitude to God for you, dear Brother, and in this I know that we represented the sentiment of all the brethren in [R5525 : page 255] Africa. They desired me to convey to you their hearty appreciation of your faithful ministry, and your noble example of fortitude and devotion to the Lord's Cause. They wished me to assure you of their loving sympathy with you in the many besetments that necessarily fall to your lot in your exalted position in the Harvest-field, and of their constant prayers that He who has brought you thus far will sustain you to the very end of the way and secure for you an abundant entrance into the Kingdom. Our loving message finds happy expression in the following Scriptures, which I was instructed to forward to you: Philemon 7; Hebrews 6:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:11,12.

The first South African Convention shall long remain a hallowed memory, by which all will be stimulated to more fervent zeal for God and to greater activity in the Harvest service.

With Christian love to yourself and to all the dear ones of the Tabernacle, I am, dear Brother,

Your brother in His grace and service,

WM. W. JOHNSTON.

A VOICE FROM KOREA
BELOVED PASTOR AND BROTHER: –

I am a stranger to you in one sense; but I came to a knowledge of Present Truth through your writings just twenty-two months ago. For some time I have been anxious to write and tell you of my special appreciation of the Truth, but circumstances did not permit until now.

You will be interested in knowing that I am a Korean. When the first missionaries landed here (in 1885) Korea was a hermit kingdom. Since then some Koreans became identified with Christianity to avoid severe punishment by officials who came under the influence of missionaries who were accustomed to using the rod.

In time some of our people began to read books from abroad that spoke of liberty, civilization, revolution, etc. The missionaries taught that in order to secure civilization and liberty the Koreans would have to become their friends and call themselves Christians.

Many did this; but during the past few years great changes have been taking place. The people have been learning that they cannot be punished unless guilty of wrong, and the sticks of the missionaries lost their power correspondingly.

About five years ago missionaries boasted of 500,000 Koreans who were Christians, but now the number is put down at 110,000. It is said that these are the cream.

For about eight years I drifted through the dangerous currents of what I now see was Spiritism – Satanic teaching. Now I thank God that He sent our beloved Brother R. R. Hollister here with the Glad Tidings and saved me out of these currents which were leading me to an unknown place. My senses were almost lost; it took about six months to have the eyes and ears of my understanding opened. Since then I have consecrated myself to the Lord and continue to praise Him.

I felt quite at home up to March of this year – while Brother and Sister W. J. Hollister were with us; but now I am very lonesome, as there are but two of us, one assistant and myself. The snarling "wolves" are about and show their teeth, so to speak. Thank God that He accepts such weak ones as His workers in the Harvest field! I pray you will be so good as to remember us at the Throne of Heavenly Grace!

I want to see you – as well as dearly beloved Brothers R. R. and W. J. Hollister and wife – and other brothers and sisters in the Truth on this side the veil.

Ever praying the rich blessing of our Lord upon you, and that the end of the way may be crowned with an abundant entrance into His everlasting Kingdom, I am

Yours by His Grace,

P. S. KANG. – Korea.

SOME GOOD SUGGESTIONS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I want to express to you my continued love, and to assure you how much I myself and our Class appreciate the PHOTO-DRAMA. We are very thankful to the dear Lord for this added privilege of service. There were over 40,000 free admissions here. The DRAMA is certainly wonderful, especially the record Lectures; and the book form of Scenario does seem about the next best and most direct way imaginable of opening blind eyes. Praise the Lord!

For about a year it has seemed to me very strange that some of the friends are so inclined to question the accuracy of the chronology if certain events do not transpire by or about October of this year. It has seemed to me that the chronology should not be too closely associated with events; that the present Savior did not startle the world with the bright-shining of His presence suddenly in 1874, though He came at that date; that even the Jew was not aware of His favor in 1878, but it BEGAN; that Babylon did not feel its rejection, nor topple over in 1881, but was "spewed out" and is no longer recognized, just the same, while even yet, after 33 years, the world is not startled by the evidence, nor does Babylon believe it. Hence I feel that should the present order of things roll on for some time yet, we should not then doubt October, 1914, any more than we doubt 1874, 1878 or 1881. But we should be watchful, prayerful, and "keep our garments," awake to the fact that the chronology may be accurate, while our ideas of how the Lord will order events may be wrong. The Lord may permit SEEMING inaccuracies to test whether our consecration is to Chronology or to Him, and He may be as apt to wind up matters very suddenly as to seem to prolong them. Therefore let us have faith, but await His enlightenment as to events.

Affectionately in Him,

S. H. HUSTON. – Texas.

"A GREAT WASTER"
DEAR FRIENDS: –

A recent experience has caused me to write you in order that a word of caution may be given those distributing Volunteer literature.

I have just returned from the post-office, one mile distant, and am deeply grieved at finding this year's Volunteer literature scattered in the street, gutters, on the trolley track, run over by every kind of vehicle and soiled and torn. It was evidently thrown from an automobile without being properly folded.

(1) I had previously covered the town with the same literature myself. (2) The local by-law against scattering literature on the street was broken. (3) The Truth was cheapened and its cause apparently injured.

I suppose the distributer thought he was serving the Lord and the Truth; but it seems to me that one should have a higher respect for the Truth than to allow it to be trampled in the dust through his carelessness. I gathered the literature up as I came home, feeling very much grieved. What would people think of us, and what would the Lord think of us, if we should throw Bibles in the streets in order to instruct the people in righteousness? Our literature represents God's Word. Let us honor it!

Would it not be well for brethren using automobiles and distributing literature to properly fold the tracts and throw them well into the yard, as near to the house as possible? It would also be well to ascertain whether the towns they visit have not been already volunteered and thus avoid duplicating the work and wasting the literature which was made possible by the sacrifice of others.

Your Brother in the Lord,

GEO. E. BLAKE, JR. – Mass.

"NOT SLOTHFUL IN BUSINESS"
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I believe many of us would work with greater zeal if we could better realize the opportunities for presenting the Truth among those we know. We are apt to think that many have no ear for the Message.

Recently I resolved to be more diligent in searching for those who might be hungry for the Truth. Accordingly I carried in my produce wagon a supply of BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY, No. 61, displayed more conspicuously than usual, so as to attract attention.

One thanked me very kindly for a copy. I had known him to be somewhat friendly to the Truth. Another came to the wagon with Bible in hand, and when asked whether a Baptist or a Methodist replied Presbyterian, but had lately begun to read Pastor Russell's SCRIPTURE STUDIES and was greatly interested in them; adding, "I have gone to my Pastor with some Bible questions that he has so far failed to answer." Another asked my purpose of displaying the papers, and said he had two little books which were very interesting that he wanted me to read. They were TABERNACLE SHADOWS and the HELL booklet. He asked me to bring him Vol. I on the next trip.

In our daily petitions we remember you and the Harvest work. Pray for me that I may never look back.

Yours by His grace,

F. M. MORRIS. – Florida.