this is txt filethis is txt file Z1911 October
page 369
October 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXXIIOCTOBER 1No. 19
A.D. 1911--A.M. 6040


CONTENTS

Views of "Our Very Best Convention"371
Ten Days Session in the Mountains371
A Diversified Program373
Reception at Overlook Inn375
What of the Harvest?377
King Cyrus God's Shepherd378
God's Purifying Word379
The Second Temple's Foundation379
Was the Proper Course Taken?380
Spiritual Israel's Policy380
"Songs in the Night"380
A Song of Deliverance380
Knowledge Necessary to Growth in Grace381
The Terms Upon Which We are Called381
Show Me Thy Face (Poem)382
Some Interesting Letters382
Further Word From India382
The View From Ireland383

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

THIS 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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WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
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"SCRIPTURE STUDIES" IN NEW BINDING

The binding of the six volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES" has generally been conceded to be quite attractive: it may, therefore, surprise some to know that we have changed the general style and that we believe the change works a wonderful improvement. We are living in a day of progress and we are merely endeavoring to keep up with the procession in outward appearance. We believe that we are far ahead of the procession so far as the subject matter of these volumes is concerned when compared with all other religious teachings and Bible expositions.

We had a sample of the new edition at the Mt. Lake Park Convention. The Colporteurs there and all who saw the sample agreed that the change made is a very desirable one. About sixty new Colporteurs joined the working force at the Convention and were permitted to start with the new edition. Otherwise the old edition will continue to be supplied until exhausted--about November 1.

The new volumes will be supplied in paper boxes, the first three boxed together, or the entire six. Colporteurs are finding that the full set of six, with THE WATCH TOWER for a year, all for $2.65, is a very attractive proposition, which also leaves a good margin for the Colporteur's expenses. Any person of ordinary ability by following the Colporteur "method" of presenting the books should be able to make reasonable expenses. We do not encourage anybody to think of doing more than this, although a few do more. Indeed some of the Colporteurs are contributors to the Tract Fund. There is still a wide field of good territory open.


[R4893 : page 370]

THE MEMORIAL DATE FOR NEXT SPRING

It seems early to announce the date of the Memorial for 1912, but some of our readers are asking for it, as our journal reaches far-off points. The date for the celebration next Spring will be Sunday evening, March 31, 1912, after 6 p.m. According to the Jewish calendar the fourteenth day of the month will begin at the time mentioned, and it was on that date that the lamb was to be slain, and that our "Lamb" was slain. And it was on the same night preceding that our Lord instituted the Memorial and symbolical eating of His flesh and blood as the antitype of Israel's Passover Lamb.



page 370

STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES

SERIES I., "The Plan of the Ages," gives an outline of the Divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)

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

SERIES II., "The Time is at Hand," treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)

SERIES III., "Thy Kingdom Come," considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter of the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)

SERIES IV., "The Day of Vengeance," shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of Matt. 24 and Zech. 14:1-9: 660 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)

SERIES V., "The Atonement Between God and Man," treats an all-important subject--the hub, the center around which all the features of Divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)

SERIES VI., "The New Creation," deals with the Creative Week (Genesis 1 and 2), and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the Body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)

The above prices include postage.



[R4886 : page 371]

VIEWS OF "OUR VERY BEST CONVENTION"

WE HAVE already noted the fact that there is a general disposition to rate each Convention at its conclusion "the very best." But with full allowance for this tendency we believe that we are fully justified in writing down the Convention of September 1-11, 1911, as outstripping all the previous assemblages of the kind held under our Society's auspices. Several matters contributed. The weather was fine, with rains at night but fair in the daytime, except one forenoon, during the eleven days. The accommodations were comfortable and the mountain air invigorating. The assignments of topics to the various days contributed in a measure also, and the fact that there were no outside attractions of any kind assisted us in our desires to forget the world and all else but heavenly things during this little season of withdrawal from the busy cares of life for communion with the Lord and study of His Word. The Auditorium proved to be a very satisfactory one. The speakers could be heard from all parts of the great building, which seats about thirty-six hundred and has standing room for another thousand.

From morning until night, day after day, the Lord's people assembled for praise and study, comparatively few seats being vacant. Rarely were there under three thousand in attendance. On our principal occasion the audience was estimated at four thousand. These, of course, included residents of that vicinity. A conservative [R4887 : page 371] estimate of the friends of the Truth present at the Convention would be three thousand.

Noting the mention made in THE WATCH TOWER of the consecration of children on similar occasions a request was made here. Accordingly two opportunities were afforded, which brought forward about a hundred children consecrated by their parents to the Lord--for sickness or health, for poverty or wealth, for life or death--that God's will might be done in them, toward them, and that the parents might be blessed with wisdom and grace to instruct them and guide them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Two opportunities for baptism were given, in order that some who could not stay to the end of the Convention might be served as well as others who could not come at its beginning. The total number of adults immersed in symbol of their full consecration to be dead with Christ was one hundred and seventy-eight.

From Monday evening until Friday evening--five evenings--Brother Russell held receptions at "Overlook Inn," or "Bethel," as it was called. About six hundred were invited each evening. This afforded a special opportunity for greetings and fellowship. Each evening Brother Russell gave a brief address. Intermingled with hymns of praise some simple refreshments--ice cream and cake--were supplied and then, as the dear friends filed out, Brother Russell shook hands with each and engaged in a word of greeting. A newspaper report of the first evening's topic will follow. No reports were published of the other evenings so far as we heard.

One of the most interesting features of the Convention was its closing session, when the speakers, to the number of about one hundred, ranged themselves in front of the long platform and a congregation of about four thousand filed past shaking hands with each. More than an hour and a half was consumed thus. Some were joyful, some were tearful. All seemed earnest and determined by the Lord's grace to attain to the Grand Convention promised in the Scriptures--"the General Assembly of the Church of the First-borns." At the conclusion of the handshaking, as each passed out, one of the little celluloid hearts was presented, as is intended to be done at each Convention.

We cannot attempt to give even a resume of the numerous addresses made on this occasion. Perhaps we cannot do better this time than give newspaper reports, which follow:--


BIBLE STUDENTS TEN-DAYS' SESSION IN THE MOUNTAINS

For the past week a most remarkable Bible school has been in session in the top of the Allegheny Mountains, in the well-known Chautauqua grounds. The hotels and cottages have been filled to overflowing, and numbers of cots have been in use. The delegates are from all parts of the world. The enthusiasm is not of the boisterous sort, but manifests itself in earnestness of look and tone, and in the continued large attendances at the meetings. These begin in the morning and continue practically all day with an intermission for noon luncheon. The programmes are pleasantly varied. The large auditorium has splendid acoustic properties. Its capacity is rated at forty-five hundred, including the platform, which seats five hundred men.

Lovers of the Bible cannot fail to be impressed with the earnest fidelity of every speaker to the Holy Scriptures. Higher Criticism finds no place in the programme, neither does the doctrine of Evolution. Both are publicly denounced as contrary to the teachings of the Bible. The Bible is treated not as many books, but as one book. The claim is set forth that it is God's Book because holy [R4887 : page 372] men of old spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. It is claimed that this operation of the Holy Spirit in the minds of the writers of the Bible is responsible for the oneness of its testimony.

WHY THE BIBLE SEEMS CONTRADICTORY

The claim of the International Bible Students Association is that the reason that Christians are divided into various sects and parties is not that the Bible has contradictory teachings corresponding with the contradictions of the creeds, but because our fathers through the colored spectacles of their creeds in the past but partially understood its teachings. Rightly understood it must be in complete harmony with itself and have but one teaching --one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father over all, and one Lord Jesus Christ, and one Church of the First-born whose names are written in heaven.--Hebrews 12:23.

These students seem intent upon finding the harmony in the Bible which all acknowledge should be there, if all the writers of the Bible were inspired by the same Holy Spirit. More than this, unlike any other class of Christian people in the world, these Bible students claim to have found the key of interpretation which makes the entire book harmonious from Genesis to Revelation. Surely no more earnest company of Christian people ever assembled at Mountain Lake Park. Surely none ever assembled to give more careful study to God's Word. Surely none ever seemed more thoroughly rejoiced, more happy in the Lord. And the claim is that this happiness springs from a right understanding of the Bible which has drawn the hearts of believers nearer to God and nearer to each other.

THANK GOD FOR THE LIGHT

"Ah!" says one, "Our hearts are glad because we see that the Bible's teaching, rightly understood, is that God is love and that God's dealings with the world are not ended but really only beginning. We now see what we were blinded to for a long time, namely, that the work of this Gospel Age is the selection of the 'Church of the First-born, whose names are written in heaven.' (Heb. 12:23.) We now see that these are to be the Bride of Christ, associated with Him in His glorious Kingdom for which we pray, 'Thy Kingdom come.' We now see that Messiah's Kingdom is to be established in power and great glory amongst men, and that its work will be to bless and uplift humanity.

"Once misled by the creeds of the Dark Ages, we supposed that all the heathen must be in torture because we knew that these were not qualified as saints for the presence of God and His eternal glory. How we wondered at this! We wondered how our great Creator could be either just or loving and yet bring into existence a race of beings under such conditions and for such an end. Now we see that we were deluded and that in so believing we were believing men and not God--mistaken men, however good. We once believed, too, that all our neighbors, friends, relatives who were not of the saintly class--not fit for heaven, and so dying, would be consigned to eternal torture. Ah! how our hearts rebelled against such a decision, but we thought that if our great Creator had so determined, it must be right, and continued to believe it. Now we see, as the Scriptures declare, that this fear was not of God, 'but taught by the precepts of men.'"

CAUSE FOR CHEERFULNESS

"Can you wonder that we are cheerful, happy in the Lord," says Pastor Russell, "rejoicing that we can now see our God and the teachings of the Bible in a new light--a light consistent with consecrated reasoning faculties? Can you wonder that we are happy to find that the Church is to get even greater blessings than it ever dreamed of--to be with the Lord Jesus, the Redeemer, as His Bride in a great work of blessing, reclaiming and saving mankind from sin and death? Can you wonder that we are happy in realizing that the heathen millions who never had an opportunity for testing and trial, which God declares is secured for every member of Adam's race through the merit of Christ's sacrifice, are to be granted a trial?

"Can you wonder that we feel greatly relieved to know that many noble men and women, friends and neighbors, of all denominations, not saintly and not followers in the footsteps of Jesus, and not therefore to be accounted worthy of a share in His Kingdom as members of His Bride Class, are nevertheless to have a glorious provision in God's due time? We are glad that while we may hope for heavenly, spiritual blessings beyond the veil, the hope of the world is in restitution to all that was lost by sin and redeemed by the Cross. We are glad to think that in God's due time Adam and every member of his race will have full opportunity of coming back to harmony with God and to full human perfection and to everlasting life in an earthly Eden. We are glad to understand God's Word to teach that the Second Death will be like the first except that it will be everlasting--none will be redeemed from it, none will be resurrected from it. But we are glad that none but the wilfully wicked, the incorrigible, will be consigned to that obliteration, annihilation. Of such St. Peter tells us that they will perish 'like natural brute beasts.'"

WHEN WILL THESE THINGS BE?

"Will it be long before these matters become general?" was asked.

"No, the glorious consummation is near, according to our understanding of the Bible," replied Pastor Russell. "A revised statement of the Bible chronology shows that six thousand years have just passed, and that we are thirty-seven years in the seventh thousand. This seventh thousand, we understand, is the Messianic period, in which Satan is to be bound and all the works of darkness to be overthrown. During this period Messiah shall reign, establishing truth and righteousness and blessing the whole world with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. Indeed, we believe that the inventions of the past forty years stand closely related to this New Dispensation upon which we are entering. Furthermore, our own better understanding of God's Word we attribute, not to superior wisdom on our part, but to the [R4888 : page 372] fact that God's due time has come for parting the veil and showing us 'things to come.'"

THE WORK IS GOD'S

"Is it your expectation that your Association will be used of God in bringing about this Messianic epoch--in converting the world?" was the next query.

"Our Association is indeed glad to do what it can to scatter the darkness and to reveal the light now due. It does indeed hope for some blessing upon its efforts, especially among the more religious, the consecrated Christian people of all denominations. But it is far from our expectation that we could accomplish the overthrow of Satan and his intrenched system which now holds sway in the world. We do not by this cast any reflection upon the many good men and good women associated with the powers that be--the ruling powers, the political powers, financial powers, social powers. Doubtless these, like ourselves, are doing all in their power to forward the [R4888 : page 373] cause of truth and righteousness, each along his own lines and according to his own light.

"This work has been in progress for centuries, but we feel sure cannot effect the grand results foretold in the Bible. For their accomplishment it is necessary that our Lord Jesus, the invisible, glorious King of kings and Lord of lords, shall assume His great power and begin His reign of a thousand years of triumph over sin and death. Nor is it our expectation that His Kingdom will be inaugurated in a peaceful manner, nor that the world will even know what is the matter with its affairs. The Bible teaches us that we are on the verge of the most terrible time of trouble which the world has ever known. The only consolation we have in connection with this matter is the Divine promise that behind that awful cloud of human (rather an insane) fury, there is a silver lining. The storm will level poor humanity in the dust, but thereby, incidentally, it will act as a plowshare to prepare humanity for the blessing of Messiah's reign of righteousness, peace, justice, truth."

An official of the Association made the following comment upon the proceedings of the Convention:--

A DIVERSIFIED PROGRAM

September 1 was the opening day. General W. P. Hall, U.S.A., gave the opening address, which was quite pithy and to the point, as might have been expected from our famous Philippine warrior. Stripped of his epaulets and honor medals the General looked every inch a preacher. It is said that his Philippine experiences had considerable to do with bringing General Hall into the ranks of Bible Students. His glimpse of heathendom convinced him that the world needs the Kingdom of God's Son, in power and great glory, to accomplish among men things which no human arm or human tongue can bring to pass.

Hon. J. F. Rutherford was the chairman of the first half of the Convention, September 1-6. Mr. Rutherford made a very interesting address in which he outlined the hopes and objects of the Convention, and congratulated those present on the beauties of the location chosen for the assembly. He expressed hopes that all might be richly blessed of God and carry with them blessings to their various homes.

THANKFUL DAY--SEPTEMBER TWO

The day opened with a praise and testimony meeting, which manifested no backwardness. There were ten to twenty-five nearly always on their feet waiting opportunity to give their testimony to God's grace, to their appreciation of His Word, and to their desire to be close followers in the footsteps of Jesus. Then followed discourses by Brother W. M. Hersee, of Canada; Brother Daniel Toole, of Michigan, and Brother A. M. Saphore, of Pennsylvania.

The afternoon services opened with a praise meeting. The vast audience seemed to sing with the spirit and with the understanding. Then came an address by Brother R. E. Streeter, of Rhode Island; Brother F. F. Cook, of Michigan, and Brother O. L. Sullivan, of Tennessee.

There was great variety, but the theme which pervaded all the addresses and the testimonies was in harmony with the keynote of the day, thankfulness, appreciation of Divine goodness, gratitude. Discontent and everything analogous thereto were reprehended.

HOLINESS DAY--SEPTEMBER THREE

The opening service was one of praise to the King of kings; then followed Brother A. E. Burgess, of Michigan, and Brother J. F. Rutherford, of Missouri.

In the afternoon Brother A. I. Ritchie, of Ontario, and Brother C. T. Russell, of Brooklyn, and Brother I. F. Hoskins, of California, followed each other. The speakers of the day discussed the subject of holiness, what it is and what it is not. It showed that Adam's race is a fallen one, none of them perfect, hence none of them absolutely holy, however well intentioned. They pointed out that the Divine arrangement in Christ provides that those who by faith accept Jesus and make full consecration to Him and strive to walk in His steps--these are reckoned as holy or blameless. Their imperfections may still be manifest, notwithstanding their best endeavors for perfection, but they are covered in the Divine sight, because their imperfections are unwilful and because they are treated as new creatures in Christ Jesus.

A Sunday evening service was held, conducted by Pastor Russell. It was a question meeting, and a number of very interesting questions were discussed and answered, apparently to the satisfaction of the vast audience.

HOPE DAY--SEPTEMBER FOUR

The day opened with an hour's praise and testimony meeting. It was very orderly, dignified and earnest; those who testified seemed full of hope, and, as some expressed themselves, living on the mountain top of faith and hope.

There were two discourses in the forenoon, one by Brother J. D. Wright, of Ohio, the other by Brother P. E. Thompson, of Ohio. Hope was the general theme, though discussed from different standpoints by the two gentlemen--ably in both instances. Hope was shown to have a basis. Many hopes have a poor foundation, because built upon unsatisfactory promises and by unsatisfactory promisers.

The Christians' hope is built upon the promise of God set forth in the Holy Scriptures. So surely as the Bible is the Word of God, these exceeding great and precious promises are unshakable foundations for an exceeding great and precious hope. The Christians' hope was shown to be a hope of glory, honor and immortality--joint-heirship with the Redeemer in His Kingdom. Theirs is a hope which will endure trials. It will not fail. It has the assurance that all things shall work together for good to God's faithful people, and that if they suffer with Him they shall reign with Him. This hope includes a change of nature from earthly to spiritual and the prospect of reigning with Jesus on the heavenly plane over the affairs of mankind for the purpose of uplifting humanity and the earth from their present condition of imperfection to all that was represented in Eden originally. The unwilling and disobedient are not to be hoped for, however; God has given no promise of eternal life to any except those who will conform their lives to the Divine standards. The wicked will be utterly destroyed after having repudiated Divine favor and opportunity.

The afternoon session was a symposium, participated in by Brother E. Thomson, of Washington City; A. G. Wakefield, of Virginia; F. C. Detweiler, of Pennsylvania, and W. M. Wisdom, of California. The topic was "The Christian's Armor." The helmet, the breastplate, the sword, the sandals and the shield were discussed and their spiritual significance shown. Those who heard doubtless had a fresh impetus toward holy living--keeping the armor bright and in service against the wiles of the flesh and the Adversary.

CONSECRATION DAY--SEPTEMBER FIVE

The day opened with a praise and testimony meeting. Again there was no lack of testifiers who testified to the [R4888 : page 374] grace of God, to the blessings of the Truth and to the favors and privileges accorded those persevering in their consecration of heart and life, of time and talent.

Brother J. G. Kuehn, of Ohio, and Brother F. H. Robison, of Indiana, delivered addresses in the forenoon, which were received with earnest attention. The thread of their discourses was in harmony with the topic of the day--Consecration. The vast audience heard with deep interest the real meaning of full consecration of heart and life and all to God. Various illustrations were given and exhortations to faithfulness on the part of those who have made a covenant with the Lord lest they should draw back or in anywise prove themselves unfaithful to the covenant of sacrifice. In the afternoon Brother G. B. Raymond, of New York, delivered a powerful discourse on the subject of Baptism. He set forth in no uncertain terms the importance of baptism when viewed from its Scriptural standpoint. He showed that it included a full consecration to the Lord. Following the discourse an opportunity for symbolic immersion in water was granted, and 113 took advantage of the opportunity.

HARVESTER'S DAY--SEPTEMBER SIX

The praise and testimony meeting with which this convention day opened was very interesting from the fact that it confined itself to testimonies along the line of the Harvest work, which were given by many who had energetically engaged in the public service. At 10:30 Pastor Russell gave an address on the harvest and its laborers-- "the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few." He claimed that himself, as well as others, had for years [R4889 : page 374] been in error respecting the Scriptural use of this expression regarding the harvest. He now saw that death is not the harvest mentioned by the great Teacher. He pointed out that there was a harvest time in the close of the Jewish Age, and that similarly the Master taught that the Gospel Age, in which we are living, would close with a harvest work. He showed that the Jewish harvest lasted for forty years, ending in A.D. 70, with a great time of trouble upon the Jewish nation--upon all who failed to be gathered into the garner. He claimed, giving Scriptures apparently in support, that the harvest is the end of this Age and is to be much more important; that instead of being the harvest of one little nation, it is the harvesting of all the Christian effort manifested in all the Christian work of today.

The harvest work is not sectarian; it is the work of the Lord. Just as the work of Jesus and His Apostles did not gather the whole people of the Jews into the condition of spiritual sons of God, so the harvest of this Age will not gather all the sons of God to heavenly glory, but only those found faithful. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." The trouble with which the Jewish harvest ended was pointed out as a prototype of the trouble with which the Gospel Age harvest will terminate. It was even intimated that we are already in the harvest period, and that the separating of the wheat and tares is already in progress.

The diversified means used by our Lord in connection with this harvest work was referred to with appreciation. From what was said one would judge that the International Bible Students Association is carrying on a great work in the aid of Bible students in all parts of the world. The work in America and Great Britain, of course, is the principal work, but mention was also made of the importance of the work in progress amongst the people of India and Africa. It would seem that Bible study from the standpoint which harmonizes the conflicting creeds is appreciated even amongst those Christians who have come out of heathendom.

In the afternoon addresses along the lines of harvest work were delivered by Brother J. H. Cole, of Ohio; Brother I. F. Hoskins, of California, and Brother E. W. Brenneisen, of Texas.

PRAISE DAY--SEPTEMBER SEVEN

The prayers and testimonies and hymns of the opening session were in line with the appointed topic of the day--praise to God from whom cometh every good and every perfect gift. Then followed a discourse by Brother Menta Sturgeon, of Missouri, and another by Brother W. E. Van Amburgh, of Dakota. The praise feature was the dominant note in both discourses, which were heard with deep interest by a full house.

Brother Russell conducted a question meeting for an hour. Many questions were asked which were very interesting, and were apparently handled in a manner satisfactory to the audience.

The afternoon session was a symposium participated in by Brother M. L. Staples, Virginia; Brother (Dr.) A. D. Young, New York; Brother H. E. Hollister, Illinois; Brother J. F. Stephenson, District of Columbia; Brother J. P. McPherson, Ontario; Brother P. D. Pottle, Ohio; Brother Arthur Allen, New Jersey; Brother (Dr.) R. L. Robie, Illinois; Brother Wm. Weber, Maryland; Brother Wm. Mockridge, New York; Brother T. E. Barker, Massachusetts, and others. The topic dealt with the qualities of character which Christians are called upon to put off, and the character qualities they are to put on if they would progress in the Divine favor. Amongst the things to put off were anger, malice, envy, hatred and strife. Amongst the things to put on were meekness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly kindness and love.

FRUITAGE DAY--SEPTEMBER EIGHT

Another excellent testimony and prayer meeting, with which praise was interspersed, was held. The fruitage of the Spirit was the theme of the day--Christian fruitage. The discourses of the forenoon were by Brother George Draper, of South Dakota, and by Brother A. H. MacMillan, of Nova Scotia. The fruits of the spirit were called to the attention of the audience, and the methods by which they are developed in every Christian heart were discussed. Love was shown to be the sum of all the fruits, while patience was shown to be a necessary element of every fruit.

In the afternoon there was a symposium on the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It was participated in by Brother A. N. Mann, West Virginia; Brother W. S. McGregor, Massachusetts; Brother C. P. Bridges, Massachusetts; Brother C. F. Fillman, Ohio; Brother M. L. Herr, Pennsylvania; Brother James H. Cole, Ohio; Brother C. J. Woodworth, Pennsylvania; Brother Carl Hammerle, Pennsylvania, and Brother W. F. Hudgings, Missouri. The subject was well and thoroughly handled, and doubtless all who heard will hereafter better see and understand the relationship between the trials and sufferings and disappointments of the present life, and the fruits of the Spirit which must be developed in preparation for the future life.

SPIRIT-BIRTH DAY--SEPTEMBER NINE

The morning meeting for praise and testimony was left exclusively to those who had participated in the baptism service of Tuesday. They gave some good testimonies. Very evidently they were very sincere and doubtless many of them experienced a great blessing and reward for their faithfulness in standing up for the truth and symbolizing their consecration after the [R4889 : page 375] manner prescribed in the Bible and exemplified by our Lord and one Apostle in their own persons, as one present expressed the matter. Brother F. A. Hall, of Indiana, and Brother E. W. Brenneisen, of Texas, were the speakers of the forenoon. They showed clearly the distinction between spirit begetting and spirit birth--that the former takes place at the time of Christian consecration and that the latter will take place at the resurrection of the dead.

In other words, spirit begetting is the start of life as new creatures in Christ. The development of the embryo new creature proceeds during the present life--represented as it were in the chrysalis state. The resurrection will be the birth of the embryo to the full perfection of the new creature, even as the cocoon delivers up the beautiful butterfly whose embryo it held for a time; so human conditions and death will deliver up the new creature, a spirit begotten one perfected.

Paul (I Cor. 15) says of spirit birth, "It is sown in weakness, raised in power; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; it is sown an animal body, raised a spirit body." This spirit begetting and spirit birth, however, are exclusive matters not intended for all the human family, but only for the elect--"called and chosen and faithful." The world in general is neither to expect a spirit begetting nor a spirit birth. It is shown that the promise for them is in restoration to human perfection and an earthly Eden. There will be a regeneration to human perfection during the thousand years of Messiah's glorious reign.

This afternoon Pastor Russell is to deliver a discourse on true Baptism and its proper symbol, following which another opportunity for symbolic baptism will be afforded.

KINGDOM DAY--SEPTEMBER TEN

This will be virtually the last of the Convention, though some may remain over for the 11th. The public meetings will be at an end. Today's program includes a testimony meeting, a discourse by Pastor Russell, another by Brother P. S. L. Johnson, and another by Brother B. H. Barton, and at 4 p.m. a farewell address by Pastor Russell to be followed by a love feast. Everyone here is expecting a "feast of fat things" today, and doubtless they will obtain it. Conditions seem favorable, at least.


ELECTION OF OFFICERS FOR ENSUING YEAR

The following officers were elected to serve during the ensuing year: President, Pastor C. T. Russell, of Brooklyn and London; Vice-President, A. I. Ritchie, of Ontario, Canada; Secretary, E. W. Brenneisen, of Texas; Treasurer, W. E. Van Amburgh.

As concerning the work during the coming year, the President, Pastor Russell, said: "We are continuing our work along the present successful and every way advantageous lines. We believe that we are following Divine guidance in our endeavor to make known the true interpretation of God's wonderful Book, which we all in the past so seriously misunderstood and misrepresented. Partially blind eyes everywhere are opening today, and warm Christian hearts are rejoicing to see more clearly than before the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God which passeth all understanding."

"What about your own movements, Pastor Russell?"

"It was understood when I left London in the spring that I would visit them again in the fall; that expectation I must fulfil. With our modern rapid and great conveniences the journey is not a burdensome one. I expect to return about the first of December."

Following this Pastor Russell will go on a world's tour and a committee has been selected to accompany him on his journey.

The persons invited to serve on this committee are Major-General W. P. Hall, U.S.A.; Mr. E. W. V. Kuehn, of Toledo; Mr. J. T. D. Pyles, of Washington, D.C., and Mr. Charles F. Anderson, of Baltimore, Md. Not all of these gentlemen have positively accepted the responsibilities of this service, but it is confidently expected that they will accept. As the Association pays no [R4890 : page 375] salaries, the invitation carries with it the responsibility of all providing for their own expenses.


RECEPTION AT "OVERLOOK INN"

Although Pastor Russell delivered two addresses yesterday, and is on the programme for several future occasions, none of these afford the Bible Students personal fellowship with the beloved President of the Association. Accordingly arrangements were made whereby six hundred can meet the Pastor each evening by special appointments. Last evening witnessed the first of these Receptions at "Overlook Inn."

The six hundred invitations offered for the evening were heartily accepted. It was a happy crowd--not mirthful, not hilarious, not jolly, but happy, restful, peaceful --just such expressions of faith as one would expect to find amongst earnest Bible students who have found the "pearl of great price." These Bible students claim this and more; that they find in the Bible precious promises for the non-elect world--wholly different from the heavenly prize for which they declare they are striving.

Pastor Russell greeted each guest personally on arrival, then made a brief address, following which some light refreshments were partaken of. Social and religious refreshments were enjoyed, and in good season the gathering dispersed, after joining in a hymn and being led in prayer by the entertainer. Pastor Russell's words of greeting, which we subjoin, were evidently greatly enjoyed by the hearers.

He said: "Dear Christian Brethren, I congratulate you and myself on the Lord's blessings toward us which have permitted us to come together at this beautiful Park in the top of the Mountains for a few days' rest from secular affairs and to engage with each other in Christian fellowship and study of the Father's Word. I am reminded of the Master's words to His Apostles inviting them to just such a little season of rest and refreshment as we are enjoying here. The Apostles had been absent proclaiming the Kingdom at hand. They returned at the time when Herod cruelly beheaded John the Baptist. They were astonished that God would permit such an unjust procedure. They thought of Jesus, the King, whom they proclaimed and whose power had been so abundantly manifest in the casting out of demons and the healing of the sick. They surely wondered why so great a power should remain passive while the beloved forerunner of Jesus was put to ignominious death. If Herod's power could thus be exercised against one of the Prophets, why might he not be able to do similarly against Jesus and His Apostles? Were they trusting in a King whose authority was an empty boast and who was helpless in the presence of opposition?

"The Great Teacher realized the situation, and when they began telling Him of John and of their teachings and of their wonderful works in His Name, Jesus said unto them, 'Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while; for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure, so much as to eat.'--Mark 6:31. [R4890 : page 376]

"Let us for a moment imagine ourselves as instead of the Apostles, and the Master speaking to us instead of to them. Let us see how much we have in common with them, even after eighteen hundred years have passed. We, like them, have had the pleasure, privilege and responsibility as ambassadors for God, of telling to the ears of the willing that Messiah's Kingdom is at hand. As it was at hand eighteen centuries ago in the sense that it then was offered to the Jews who declined to receive it, so now in the end of this Age, Messiah's Kingdom is at hand in the sense that it is about to be established in power and great glory, because the preliminary work of finding the Bride and the guests for the wedding has about been accomplished.

"As the Apostles were astonished at the beheading of John, so we frequently have been astonished to note to how great an extent Divine providence permits the prosperity of the 'prince of this world' and the 'children of this world' in their opposition to those who are sacrificing their lives for the cause of God, of Truth, of righteousness. Our Great Teacher feels as deep an interest in His followers today as He did eighteen centuries ago, and He has made provision for us financially and otherwise, that we may come together here in this beautiful mountain top away from the world's strife, from business and worldly pleasure. Let us hear again the Master's words and now apply them to ourselves: 'Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest a while.' Here commune with Me and with the Father. Here tell us of what you have done and what you have taught. Here examine carefully to see how correctly, how truthfully, you have presented My message.

"As the coming and going throng hindered Jesus and the Apostles from even taking proper refreshment, so with us. Being so fully engaged in Divine service and even though greatly enjoying it and glad to tell the good Message in season and out of season, sometimes we do not in the busy course of the Lord's service and in making necessary provisions for our temporal needs have sufficient time for eating the spiritual food, that we may be properly refreshed, strengthened and upbuilt in the 'most holy faith.'

"And now here we are. Already we have had precious fellowship with the Great Teacher and with the brethren. I trust that we are all feeling more than repaid for having come here. I trust that the Message of Divine Grace and Truth which first began to be spoken by our Lord, and which was confirmed unto us by those who heard Him, is now refreshing our hearts as we 'repeat the story o'er and o'er of grace so full and free.' Let our prayers and endeavors continue that our stay may be profitable, strengthening, uplifting, to the intent that we may be the better developed as 'copies of God's dear Son.'

"I am reminded also of another occasion when Jesus took three of the Apostles apart into a mountain top-- the Mount of Transfiguration. He was transfigured before them. His face appeared to shine, His garments to be glistening white. And with Him were Moses and Elias, also glorious in their appearance. The sight was too glorious for the Apostles fully to comprehend. In a partial stupor of drowsiness one of them proposed that they should stay always in the mountain top and that a tabernacle be built. But as they came down from the mountain the Great Teacher explained that what the disciples had witnessed was merely a vision. Moses and Elijah had merely appeared to be present, just as in the vision given to St. John--the Apocalypse. Persons were seen and heard in John's vision. So in this also. Every purpose was served just as well as though Moses and Elias had been personally present.

"As for Jesus, He, of course, was personally present, but not glorified, as the vision show Him. He had not yet passed beyond the veil into the heavenly, glorious state. His garments were not white, but merely were made to seem so. His countenance did not really glow like the sun, but merely so appeared. St. Peter, referring to this very vision, declares that it was no fanciful fable, even though it should not be classed as on an equality with Divine revelation made through the prophets. He says, 'We have not followed cunningly-devised fables when we declared unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we were eye-witnesses of His majesty when we were with Him in the Holy Mount and heard the voice from the cloud. But we have a more sure word of prophecy to which we do well to take heed as to a light shining in a dark place until the day dawn.' --2 Pet. 1:19.

"Christian experience today runs along the same lines. The more earnest and zealous of the Lord's followers are invited to go up with Him into the Mount of Transfiguration. Our eyes of understanding are opened. We see wonderful things--old things in a new light and new things as they become due to us in our day. Surely the advanced Christian sees his Master resplendent with a new brightness as he comes to closer fellowship with Him and with the Father in the Holy Mount! May this be our blessed experience, dear friends, during this Convention season. Seated with Jesus in the heavenlies, may we appreciate more and more the things of the Kingdom, as in contrast with earthly things.

"It would be foolish for us to think of abandoning the duties of the hour to build tabernacles with a view to remaining in this ecstatic fellowship. No, the vision will be but for a few days, and again we will return to the valley, realizing that what we have enjoyed was but a vision and foregleam of what we shall experience after our resurrection 'change.' May it be with us as it was with St. Peter. As he looked back to the vision in the Holy Mount and was sure that he followed no fable, so may we in coming days look back to present experiences to rejoice in them and to realize that they have brought us into a closer fellowship with our Redeemer in the sufferings of this present time and in hope of the glory that shall follow at His appearing and Kingdom.

"By the way, let us not forget that that transfiguration scene was a picture of the coming Kingdom. The resplendent Jesus represented our Lord in glory, while Moses represented the Law Covenant. Elijah represented the Church of this Gospel Age, which will end her earthly career by being taken to heaven, even as Elijah typically was carried into the heavens. Both branches of the Kingdom, both divisions of the Church, the Jewish and the Christian, stand related to Messiah, the center of the Divine blessing promised for all the families of the earth. [R4891 : page 376]

"In concluding, dear Brethren, let me quote you the words of the poet and trust that they will be more than fulfilled in your experiences and mine during this Convention":--

"Come ye yourselves apart and rest awhile,
Weary, I know it, of the press and throng;
Wipe from your brow the sweat and dust of toil,
And in My quiet strength again be strong.

"Come, tell Me all that ye have said and done,
Your victories and failures, hopes and fears;
I know how hardly souls are wooed and won;
My choicest wreaths are always wet with tears.
[R4891 : page 377]
"Come ye aside from all the world holds dear,
For converse which the world has never known--
Alone with Me, and with My Father here,
With Me and with My Father not alone.

"Then fresh from converse with your Lord return,
And work till daylight softens into even;
The brief hours are not lost in which we learn
More of our Master and His rest in heaven."


WHAT OF THE HARVEST?

THE BIBLE HARVEST NOT A HARVEST OF DEATH--NOR A
REVIVAL HARVESTING, BUT A REAPING OF THE
FRUITAGE OF THE AGE--"THE HARVEST
IS THE END OF THE AGE"

Wednesday was known at the Bible Students Convention at Mount Lake Park as "Harvester's Day." The early morning session was one of praise, prayer and testimony, but only those working in a public or semi-public manner in the Gospel Vineyard were classed as Harvest Workers, and these alone were invited to give testimony. It surely could not be denied that the testimonies were excellent, evidencing great zeal for God, for His Word and for His people.

It was subsequent to this testimony meeting, namely, at 10:30 o'clock, that Pastor Russell stepped upon the platform to deliver an address to Harvest laborers. He spoke for one and one-half hours, and evidently to the pleasement of his hearers. His text was, "The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest."--Matthew 9:37,38.

The speaker said in part: "Many of us for long years thought of the Bible references of the harvest, our text included, as applicable to every time. We had not then learned that the Bible must be studied dispensationally, in order to be understood. Now we perceive that the time of our Lord's first advent was the harvest time of the Jewish Age, and that as a harvest it applied to that nation only.

For more than sixteen hundred years the Law Covenant had been in operation between God and Israel. Under it they had been disciplined and schooled, instructed through the Law and by the Prophets. Jesus came, not only to be the Redeemer of mankind in general, but especially to offer Himself as King to the Jews, and to make them His joint-heirs in His Kingdom. Had there been a sufficient number of Jews in heart-readiness to receive the Gospel Message, according to Divine agreement, the entire Bride Class would have been elected or chosen from that one nation, and not a Gentile would have been invited to participate in the honors of these Spirit-begotten, called in the Scriptures the spiritual Seed of Abraham. (Gal. 3:29.) Nevertheless the Lord foreknew, and had provided for Israel's rejection and the opening of the door to membership in the Bride Class to worthy Gentiles.

"It was at the close of the Jewish Age, at the time, therefore, when that people should have and did have their greatest degree of ripeness and preparation that our Lord presented Himself and began to do the reaping work. He sent forth His disciples as His representatives, two and two, and later He sent 'seventy also.' When these returned our Lord declared to them, 'I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor; other men (the faithful Prophets, etc., of the past) labored and ye are entered into their labors--to gather the fruit of their labors. --John 4:38.

"The Great Teacher tells us distinctly that while His work was that of reaping, He blended it with a sowing. Seeing that the Jews were not ready for the Kingdom-- seeing that eighteen centuries would be required for the calling and developing of the spirit-begotten ones, the Master started the work of seed-sowing for the new dispensation. Then, according to His parable, He left the work in the hands of His servants and 'went into a far country,' even heaven itself. Since then He has been supervising His work and has been represented through the faithful members of His Church, His Bride. He and the Apostles sowed the good seed of the Kingdom, meanwhile gathering the ripe wheat of the Jewish nation into the Kingdom class through the begetting of the Holy Spirit. By and by the harvesting of the Jewish Age ended completely, when all the wheat of that nation were gathered into the Gospel Church of spirit-begotten ones, and then came the burning of the chaff--the great time of trouble with which the Jewish Age fully ended, A.D. 70.

"Since then the work of seed-sowing, evangelism, etc., amongst the Gentiles has gone on, not without difficulty, however. As our Lord's parable shows, Satan, the Adversary, came in the night, during the 'dark ages,' and oversowed the wheat-field with tare seed. As a result, the field looked very prosperous, although in reality the tares had a choking and disastrous effect on the wheat. Nevertheless, the Lord would not allow the separating of wheat from tares until the full end of the Age, the harvest. The Bible intimates that the tares were so numerous and so intertwined with the wheat in their various interests that to have plucked them all up would have brought the disastrous 'time of trouble' too soon; hence the decree that both should grow together until the harvest. 'The harvest is the end of the age.'-- Matthew 13:39.

"Our studies together, dear Brethren, have led the majority of us to conclude that we are now living in the harvest time--in the end of this Age. Oh! how glad we will be if it is true! How glad we are to believe it true! and, we think, on good evidence. If it is true, as we believe, that the forty years' 'harvest' of this Age began in 1874, the implication is that the trials of the Church are nearly at an end--that the faithful will soon be gathered to the heavenly garner. By the glorious 'change' He will cause us to shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of our Father for the scattering of the world's dark night and the ushering in of the new day. Messiah's day is to bring glorious opportunities for earthly blessings to Israel, and to all the families of the earth through Israel. If our hopes be true then they mean a blessing, not for the Church alone, but for the entire groaning creation, which, if willing and obedient under Messiah's reign, will be released from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty appropriate to the children of God.-- Romans 8:21.

"As Bible students we have already seen that the Jewish nation as a people were prototypes of spiritual Israel in many particulars--that the period from the death of Jacob to the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 is the exact parallel to the period of the Gospel Church from the death of Jesus to October, 1915, A.D.

"Surely it is not by accident that these two Ages correspond, nor by accident that Israel as a people typified spiritual Israel! Neither will it be by accident if the events of 1915 correspond to the events of A.D. 70. In other words, as the harvest of the Jewish Age ended with a time of trouble, so our Lord's words assure us that this Gospel Age and its harvest will end with 'a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.' (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21.) That a crisis is nearing everybody admits. That socialists and anarchists are threatening [R4891 : page 378] the very fabric of society nobody will deny. The Bible alone explains the situation and shows us, dear fellow-students, that the work of the present Age is about completed--that the elect members of the Bride of Christ have nearly all been found and made ready. The blessing for the world will be along material lines ushered in by the time of trouble, which will eventuate in anarchy, according to the Scriptures--a general leveling of the human family as the initial step of the reign of the glorious Messiah, whom men will shortly see and recognize with the eyes of their understanding."

Pastor Russell took up the various features of missionary work in home and foreign lands, in which he and associated Bible Students are co-laboring. He referred to the progress in Bible study which is being effected throughout the civilized world and to the more or less successful methods. He urged all to remember that every child of God is an ambassador and representative of the Kingdom and prospectively a member of the "Body" of the glorious Messiah.

Pastor Russell also gave some interesting details respecting the progress of Bible study in Central Africa, in South Africa, in Jamaica, India, etc. He urged that each consecrated child of God should remember that he is to be, with the Master's direction, a burning and shining light, showing forth the praises of Him who called Him out of darkness into His marvelous light. He urged love for God and for our fellows and the absolute avoidance of all appeals for money. He said our Heavenly Father informs us that He is rich, that all the gold and [R4892 : page 378] silver are His and the cattle upon a thousand hills. "Let us use carefully, frugally, wisely, liberally, what He has so kindly sent, but let us not ask for more, even from Him. And surely we are not authorized to beg in the Name of our rich Heavenly Father! If our work is of Him, He is able to sustain it, and He will do so until it shall be finished. If it is not of the Lord, then the sooner it stops the better we should be pleased."


***

In the afternoon, from two to three, was another prayer and testimony meeting along the same lines as the morning meeting. It, also, was a success.

At three p.m. Brother J. H. Cole gave an address to Colporteurs on successful Colporteur methods.

At four Brother I. F. Hoskins gave an address to Colporteurs.

At four-thirty Brother E. W. Brenneisen gave an interesting talk on tract distribution, the distribution of free literature. According to his statement, The International Bible Students Association is engaged in quite an extensive work distributing much free literature in all the prominent languages and on topics calculated to produce healthy growth along lines of Scripture study and righteousness in word and deed.



[R4892 : page 378]

KING CYRUS GOD'S SHEPHERD
--EZRA 1:1-11; 2:64-70.--OCTOBER 15.--

"He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy."--Micah 7:18.
THE HEATHEN GODS are all vengeful. The God of the Bible alone lays claim to being a God of love, "whose mercy endureth forever," as one of the Psalms repeats again and again. Alas! how terribly our God of Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power has been misrepresented to the world, and to the Church, as a God delighting in the eternal torture of the vast majority of His Creatures; for if such were His provision for them, and He knew the end from the beginning, it would surely prove that He delighted in, and intended their torture. But when our eyes open to a proper interpretation of God's Word, how His character becomes glorious before our eyes and commands our love and our devotion! As the Apostle declares, it is the Divine Love which constrains us to be faithful and obedient.

Today's study relates to the release of the Israelites from their Babylonian captivity, and their return to Palestine. This return was in exact fulfilment of the Lord's Word at the mouth of Jeremiah, the Prophet, who specifically told, not only of the destruction of the city, [R4893 : page 378] but also that it would be seventy years before the return of its inhabitants.--Jer. 25:12; 29:10; compare II Chron. 36:22,23.

We suggest a careful reading of the Scriptures above cited to establish the fact that the seventy years predicted related to the desolation of the city of Jerusalem and of their land, and not merely to the captivity of the people, some of whom went into captivity twenty years before the city was destroyed. Many in applying this have started the seventy years from the beginning of the first captivity, and thus are twenty years out of the way. Facts of history have been so built around this error, gradually, that many now hold the unscriptural view; but if the Bible is to be our criterion we must stand by it.

One of the most wonderful things connected with the story of Israel's release from Babylonian captivity is that Cyrus was named by the Prophet Isaiah in advance, and called "God's Shepherd"--"Cyrus is My Shepherd and shall perform all My pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, thou shalt be built; and to the temple, thy foundation shall be laid." (Isa. 44:28.) Profane history gives Cyrus a very honorable name, calling him "gracious, clement and just, treating men as men, and not as mere tools to be used and cast aside--a conqueror of quite a different type from any the world had previously seen." Plutarch declares that "In wisdom, virtue and magnanimity he seems to have surpassed all kings."

KING CYRUS' NEW METHOD

Nebuchadnezzar's theory of government was to bring representatives of the peoples of all lands to Babylon and there make them homogeneous, choosing the best of every nationality. But when Cyrus came upon the scene, as the conqueror of the Babylonian empire (Darius, the Mede, being under him), he found that the theory of his predecessor had not worked out satisfactorily. The mixed people of Chaldea were not patriotic. Cyrus adopted the opposite plan for governing the world. He not only gave liberty to the Jews to return to their own land, and gave them assistance back, but he did the same for the people of other nations, exiled in Babylon.

The brief epitome of the giving of his proclamation of liberty to the Jews is, "Thus saith Cyrus, King of Persia: All the kingdoms of earth hath Jehovah, the God of heaven, given unto me; and He has charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Jehovah, the God of Israel (He is the God), which is at Jerusalem; [R4893 : page 379] and whosoever is left, in any place where he sojourneth [unprepared for the journey], let the men of his place help him with silver and with gold and with goods, and with beasts, beside the free-will offering for the house of God, which is at Jerusalem." The King himself gave liberally toward the work and, through the treasurer, numbered to the Israelites vessels and utensils of the temple, great and small, fifty-four hundred.

Tradition says that the Israelites set out on their journey accompanied by an escort of a thousand cavalry for their protection from the desert Arabs, and that they went forth to the sound of joyous music, in harmony with Isaiah 48:20,21--"Go ye out of Babylon; flee from the Chaldeans, with the voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even unto the end of the earth; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed His servant Jacob."

GOD'S PURIFYING WORD

If we have been astonished from time to time at the readiness of the Israelites to go into idolatry, we may also feel astonished that from the time of their return from the Babylonian captivity, idolatry, in its grosser form, was never even known amongst them. In Babylon they sat down by the banks of the rivers and "wept as they remembered Zion" in its desolate condition; and then their thoughts traveled back to the gracious promises of God to which their nation was still heir. Then hope for deliverance brought prayer to the Deliverer. The effect of the captivity was excellent. Those who availed themselves promptly of King Cyrus' offer were such as reverenced the Lord and trusted in His promises.

The total number to return was about the same number that now occupy the city of Jerusalem (returning after a still greater scattering than at the time of the destruction of their city by Nebuchadnezzar), about fifty thousand.

Professor Addeney has well remarked of that time, "The Jews now constituted themselves into a church. The chief concern of their leaders was to develop their religious life and character. The policy of exclusiveness saved Judaism. This is an application--though a very harsh and formal application--of the principles of separation from the world, which Christ and His Apostles enjoined upon the Church, the neglect of which has at times nearly resulted in the disappearance of any trace of truth and life, like the disappearance of a river that, breaking through its banks, spreads itself out in lagoons and morasses and ends by being swallowed up in the sands of the desert."

Dr. Peloubet says of this time, "The exiles brought together the representatives of the divided kingdom and made one nation where there had been two, welding the twelve tribes together like iron in a furnace." God represented this union through Ezekiel (37:15-28) by two sticks. On one was written "Judah" and on the other "The House of Israel." These sticks were joined together, "And they shall become one in thine hand." This was done in the presence of the people to show that the exiles of Israel, carried to Babylon, B.C. 722, when Samaria was destroyed, were to unite with the captives of Judah. "And I will make them one nation, and one king shall be king over them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." Thus we see that there were no "ten lost tribes," for whom there has been so much seeking.



[R4894 : page 379]

THE SECOND TEMPLE'S FOUNDATION
--EZRA 3:1-4; 5.--OCTOBER 22.--

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise."--Psa. 100:4.
THE JOURNEY from Babylon to Jerusalem required about five months. Ezra, with his smaller company, subsequently made the journey in four months. We can well imagine the enthusiasm of this company of captives, of all the tribes, people of all ages. A few of the very aged remembered having seen the land and the city in their childhood.

Arrived at their destination they found terrible dilapidation. The crumbling hand of time had co-operated with the destructive fires of Nebuchadnezzar's army, seventy years previous. To live in the city was scarcely practicable. The people scattered in the country round about for a distance of twenty miles. First, attention was properly paid to making themselves comfortable, preparing dwellings, training olive trees and vines. But shortly after, the religious sentiment stirred them to prepare for offering formal worship to the God whose favored people they were delighted again to be.

First, the altar was built on the height of Mount Moriah, supposedly the very spot where Abraham offered his son Isaac--the very spot which was the site of the altar in Solomon's temple. Divine worship began, and the Feast of Tabernacles was observed in the seventh month. By the next spring they felt ready to begin the reconstruction of the temple, and a start was made by laying its foundations. The enthusiasm of the people for the worship of the true God is noted in connection with this service; namely, a foundation celebration was held, and the people shouted and wept by turns as they thought of God's goodness and sought again to apply to themselves the Divine promises.

In this connection we read that some of the very aged of the company who had knowledge of the original temple of Solomon, wept, perhaps in appreciation of the fact that the one they were founding would be much less glorious than Solomon's.

The news of the return of the people and of their start to rebuild the temple of the Lord spread amongst the people of the land, who, in some respects at least, had been recognized as Israel's enemies. Now, however, they desired to join hands and become participators in the building of the new temple. They made overtures to this effect, saying, "Let us build with you, for we seek your God as ye do; and we do sacrifice to Him since the days of Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, which brought us up hither."

However, this kind offer was refused, with the answer, "Ye have nothing to do with us, to build a house unto our God; but we ourselves will build it unto the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, hath commanded us." Then these people, repulsed, sought to delay the work and to hinder its building. They even hired attorneys to frustrate the matter at the court of King Cyrus in Persia, and through the days of his son, Cambyses, until King Darius came to the throne. The latter followed out the original policy of Cyrus and [R4894 : page 380] gave full authority to proceed with the work at Jerusalem.

WAS THE PROPER COURSE TAKEN?

Many have said that the Jews in this matter showed themselves narrow-minded and bigoted; that they should have been glad to have the assistance and the co-operation of their neighbors in the building of the temple, and in all the arrangements for God's worship; they should have had the missionary spirit.

Not so, we reply. Their course was the only proper one when we understand the terms and conditions under which God was dealing with Israel. It was not their commission to make Israelites out of all nations; they, as one nation, had been elected or selected by God to establish and to offer the sacrifices and worship which God had ordained through Moses. They were not at liberty to change or amend the Divine proposition and to bring others into the "elect" nation. There was indeed a method by which outsiders, non-Israelites, might become Israelites--by becoming "proselytes of the gate"; but in no other than in such an open, public renouncement of their wills and by devotion to Jehovah could any one become a participator in the Divine promises made only to the Seed of Abraham.

The Jews are still following the Divine arrangement for them in keeping aloof from other religions and by refraining from inter-marriage with other peoples. God has thus preserved this nation separate from all others; and He tells us why. For them He has a great place in the Divine programme. They are again to become God's people, God's representatives in the earth, after the Elect Church shall have been completed and shall have been glorified on the heavenly plane. The latter will constitute the Spiritual Seed of Abraham and the Spiritual Kingdom of God, while the former will constitute the earthly seed of Abraham, and be the earthly representatives of God's Kingdom to the world. These two Seeds are referred to in God's promise to Abraham, saying, "Thy Seed shall be as the stars of heaven and as the sands of the seashore." And through these two Seeds, the spiritual and the natural, God's blessing of restitution is shortly to be showered upon mankind in general, under the reign of Messiah for a thousand years.

SPIRITUAL ISRAEL'S POLICY

The same policy should be observed by Spiritual Israel --"The Temple of God is holy, which Temple ye are." No outside, unconsecrated stones are wanted in this Temple. Let the world build its own. God Himself is the Builder of the Church, which is the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Holy Spirit. God permits his consecrated ones to be associated with Himself in the building of this Temple; as St. Paul declares, the saints, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are to "build one another up in the most holy faith." (Jude 20.) There is absolutely no place for worldly workers in conjunction with this great work of God now in progress.

Incalculable harm has resulted from the failure to note this matter properly. The children of this world and the children of the Kingdom of God too frequently join, after the manner suggested in our study. The effect always is to bring in worldliness and to give the worldly mind a measure of control in respect to spiritual things, of which they have no real knowledge--"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." --I Cor. 2:14.



[R4892 : page 380]

"SONGS IN THE NIGHT"
--PSALM 85.--OCTOBER 29.--

"The Lord hath done great things for us whereof we are glad."--Psa. 126:3.
WE ARE STILL in the night of weeping. Sickness, sorrow, sighing and dying continue, and will continue until the glorious morning of Messiah's Kingdom. How glad we are that we have learned that then the glorious change will come to earth! The Prophet David expresses this thought, saying, "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psa. 30:5.) St. Paul breathed the same sentiment when he declared, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:22.) The sons of God in glory will, with their Lord, constitute Emmanuel's Kingdom.

At present these sons of God are comparatively little known or recognized amongst men; frequently they are considered "peculiar people," because of their zeal for righteousness and truth and for God. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is"; and we shall share His glory, honor and immortality and with Him scatter Divine blessings to all the families of the earth.

"A SONG OF DELIVERANCE"

Our lesson, the 85th Psalm, may properly have several applications. The first of these would be to Israel's deliverance from the Babylonian captivity, when Cyrus gave permission that all who desired might return to Palestine. About fifty-three thousand availed themselves of this privilege and of his assistance. The people rejoiced in this manifestation of the turning away of Divine disfavor and the return to them of Divine favor and blessing. The pardon of their transgressions as a nation was here evidenced in this privilege of returning to God's favor.

A secondary application of the Song is just before us. Israel has been in a far greater captivity to Christendom during the past eighteen centuries. She has the promise, nevertheless, of a mighty deliverance. The Cyrus who gave them liberty to return from literal Babylon was a type of the great Messiah who is about to give full liberty for the return of God's ancient people to Divine favor--to Palestine. St. Paul refers to this coming deliverance of Israel in Romans 11:25-29. The Deliverer will do more than merely regather them. He will do that which the 85th Psalm has predicted; as the Apostle says, "This is My Covenant with them when I shall take away their sins." See also Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-11.

Israel's sins have not yet been taken away, even as the world's sins have not yet been taken away. The great Redeemer indeed has died for sin, and He is the sinner's friend, but as yet he has only appeared in the presence of God for us--the Church--not for the world. He is the Church's Advocate only; He advocates for none except those who desire to approach to God, and these are the saintly only--such as love righteousness and hate iniquity. [R4892 : page 381]

The world is enslaved by Sin and Death, the twin monarchs which are now reigning and causing mankind to groan. We were born in this enslaved condition; as the Scriptures declare, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, in sin did my mother conceive me." Our race, groaning under the weaknesses and imperfections we have thus inherited--mental, moral and physical--longs for the promised deliverance from the bondage of sin and death. The majority of mankind undoubtedly feel the gall of their slavery, and will be glad to be free.

The great Deliverer is the antitypical Cyrus. Soon He will be victorious and will establish His kingdom under the whole heaven. Soon the Church class, the saintly, "the elect," will be glorified, and then the time will come for the blessing of the non-elect--for their restitution to human perfection and to a world-wide Paradise, which Messiah's kingdom and power will produce. "He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet; the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." Death will be destroyed; sheol, hades, the grave, will be destroyed, by the resurrection of the dead therefrom--"Every one in his own order."

"SONGS IN THE NIGHT HE GIVETH"

While the whole creation groans under its load of sin and sorrow, the saintly few may sing, may rejoice, even in the midst of all the sorrows of life, and even though they share the results of sin as fully or even more fully than do others. The secret of their joy is two-fold: (1) They have experienced reconciliation to God. (2) They have submitted their wills to His will. They obtained this new relationship by the way of faith in the Redeemer--faith in His blood of Atonement. They entered by the "strait gate" and "narrow way" of consecration to God--surrendering their own wills and covenanting to do the Divine will to the best of their ability.

This submission of the will to God and the realization that all their life's affairs are in God's keeping and under His supervision gives rest to the heart. They have a rest and peace in this surrendered condition which they never knew when they sought to gratify self-will and ignored the right of their Creator to the homage of their hearts and the obedience of their lives.

Similarly, these have joy and peace and songs of thankfulness to God because to them He grants a knowledge of His Divine purposes, and shows them things to come. These see beyond the trials and tribulations of the present time--they see the glories that will follow the present time of suffering. These see that the Church, the saintly few of all denominations and of all nationalities, are prospective heirs of God--heirs of glory, honor and immortality and association with the Redeemer in His glorious Kingdom. This encourages them. They see also the outlines of the Divine Programme for the blessing of all the families of the earth. When they thus perceive that God is interested in their dear ones who are not saints, and interested in the whole human family, very few of whom are saints, it causes them rejoicing. When they perceive that God has arranged that through Christ and the glorified Church all the families of the earth shall be blessed, it makes them "joyful in the house of their pilgrimage"--while waiting for their own change from human to divine nature.



[R4894 : page 381]

KNOWLEDGE NECESSARY TO GROWTH IN GRACE

"Ye have put off the old man with his deeds and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who created him."--Col. 3:9,10.
IN OUR TEXT the expression "put off" suggests the additional thought of putting out. As an illustration, let us consider Congress. When by a vote the party in power is put out of power, we do not understand that they are put out of Congress. One party which has been in control is to be superseded by the other party. Such a transfer would, in some respects, mean a new line of policy altogether.

So it is in the change of becoming New Creatures in Christ, members of the Body of Messiah. In many things a radical change takes place. The new will must regulate what we shall eat, what we shall wear; in fact, it must be the ruling power over everything after we have become New Creatures, begotten of the Holy Spirit; for we have elected a new Head. The change of headship is an instantaneous work. There was a time when we were on the other side of the question. Finally we decided to come on the Lord's side, and accepted Him as our Head. At the moment we accepted the change the will of the flesh was put out of control and the new will installed in power. Then we became New Creatures. But we were undeveloped in character.

As when a new party comes into power in Congress that party cannot regulate things all at once, but by degrees effects the changes desired, so with the new mind. It gradually makes change after change, and thus the renewing work, the transforming work, goes on, the new mind gaining more control and bringing the thoughts, words and deeds under the supervision and direction of the Lord. As we come to know God better, we come to see His will better. More and more we come to see things from the Divine viewpoint and to regulate every word and every act of our life therefrom.

Through knowledge, as well as in knowledge, the New Creature is renewed or refreshed, built up, made strong. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. What the old mind had was the wisdom of this world. What the New Creature receives is the wisdom of God. The development of the different powers of the New Mind is a gradual work, dependent upon knowledge. With the new will the knowledge becomes the energizing and strengthening power, and finds opportunities by which the New Creature can accomplish its purpose. This knowledge is that which cometh from above. It is not merely the knowing how many chapters there are in the Bible, nor how many verses there are in the Bible and being able to quote them; but by the various providences [R4895 : page 381] of God in life, it is to come to such a knowledge of God that it is sufficient for His will to be made clear to us, to insure obedience. Our knowledge is increased in proportion as we give heed to the things which God has spoken; in proportion as we set our affections on things above and not on things on the earth.

THE TERMS UPON WHICH WE ARE CALLED

All Christians should know the terms and conditions upon which "God hath called" them, namely, (1) To suffer with Christ in the present time, and (2) To be glorified and reign with Him in the coming Age to bless the world. These should know both the reason for their suffering and the character which God would develop in them, without which they could not be "fit for the Kingdom." It is concerning these characteristics, "putting on the new man," necessary to those who would [R4895 : page 382] make their "calling and election sure," that our present lesson treats. Let us consider some of them.

"Let love be without dissimulation." St. Paul had already explained the necessity for love, but now he puts us on guard against a merely feigned love, which would only outwardly appear kind and polite. The true spirit of love, the holy spirit, will not be a dissimulating one, a hypocritical one; the love will be genuine, heart-felt, as well as mouth-expressed. This love is to be toward God and toward all, in proportion as they are God-like, or striving to be so. It is to be a love of that which is good, right, pure, true.

"Abhor that which is evil." We are not merely to avoid doing that which is evil, not merely to have no love or affinity for evil, but more than these, we are to hate, to abhor evil. As the love for God and for all things true and pure and making for righteousness is to be cultivated, so the abhorrence of sin and impurity of every kind is to be cultivated. Thus, the stronger we become in Christian character the more intense will become our love for the good, the pure and the true; and the more intense will be our opposition to the untrue, the impure, the sinful. The more we learn of the beautiful harmonies of this heavenly grace of love, and the more they become the melodies of our own hearts, the more distressing and repugnant and abhorrent will sin and selfishness, "the spirit of the world," be to us; just as discords in music grate upon our ears in proportion to our knowledge and appreciation of musical harmonies.

As holiness and sin are opposites, so our feeling toward these must be represented by the sentiments of love and hatred. To grow cool in love for righteousness is to lose some of the abhorrence for sin. Let us, therefore, cultivate in ourselves hatred for sin, selfishness, impurity and every evil way, that we may find it the easier to cultivate in our hearts the beautiful graces of the Spirit.

Only in our minds have the old things passed away and all things become new. Actually, this change will be accomplished when we become spirit beings. Meantime, if we shall be counted worthy of a place in the First Resurrection, it is required of us that we shall demonstrate our willingness of mind, our earnest desire, to be all that the Lord would have us be. In no way can this be better demonstrated to the Lord or prove more helpful to ourselves than in keeping a strict surveillance of our hearts and of our thoughts.



[R4893 : page 382]

SHOW ME THY FACE
Show me Thy face--one transient gleam
Of loveliness Divine,
And I shall never think or dream
Of other love than Thine;
All lesser lights will darken quite,
All lower glories wane,
The beautiful of earth will scarce
Seem beautiful again.

Show me Thy face--my faith and love
Shall henceforth fixed be,
And nothing here have power to move
My soul's serenity.
My life shall seem a trance, a dream,
And all I feel and see,
Illusive, visionary--Thou
The one reality.

Show me Thy face--I shall forget
The weary days of yore;
The fretting ghosts of vain regret
Shall haunt my soul no more.
All doubts and fears for future years
In quiet trust subside;
And naught but blest content and calm
Within my breast abide.

Show me Thy face--the heaviest cross
Will then seem light to bear;
There will be gain in every loss,
And peace with every care.
With such light feet the years will fleet,
Life will seem brief as blest,
'Till I have laid my burden down
And entered into rest.
Selected.



[R4895 : page 382]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS

FURTHER WORD FROM INDIA

MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I praise the Lord for granting me another opportunity to inform you, our Pastor and beloved Brother in the Lord, of the glorious harvest work that is going on in Travancore.

Sectarian missionaries and their agents are very active, yet the glad tidings appeal to the hearts and minds of the poor, and they gladly hear the message and accept it heartily, and soon they themselves become preachers of the message to the aristocratic clergy.

You will be glad to know, dear Brother, that the Present Truth which the Lord has given to longing hearts everywhere through your instrumentality (though it seems "devilish" and "anti-Christian" to nominal Christians), is making great impression in the hearts of even orthodox Hindoos and Mohammedans.

I wish you could have heard the preaching by one of the latter who is interested in the Truth. He spoke of the coming Kingdom of Christ in such a way that I could hardly believe my own ears and eyes. There were some Orthodox Hindoos also present in the meeting.

Many of the Mohammedans ask me why they are not mentioned by you in your writings. They claim that they are the descendents of Abraham through Ishmael. They want to know particularly whether they, as a nation, will have any special message from you on a Scriptural basis. I don't wish to say anything until I hear from you about the same.

I am very sorry to say that the $200 you mentioned in your last letter has not reached me yet. This has put me into much difficulty, as all our Pilgrims and Elders are to be helped. I admire their loyalty to God and the Master; though they starved, they went and preached the Gospel without murmuring. I borrowed 200 rupees in order to help me carry on the Lord's work. I am very anxious to hear from you, dear Brother, in regard to this. [In original Tower there is a photograph inserted here entitled:] TWENTY WORKERS OF THE "I.B.S.A." IN TRAVANCORE DIST., INDIA. [R4895 : page 383]

Every week we have new congregations added. People from far and near beg me to go and present the Truth to them. Already they are well informed that our society does not pay any salary to anybody, yet they do want to hear the Message. What shall I do? Truly the Harvest is great!

Again, the difficulty re tracts: I placed the order and paid 75 rupees in advance and now I am unable to go and get the printed tracts. We submit everything to the Lord's will.

Enclosed please find the statements for June and July, and the list of payments made to the brethren. Statement of the local fund and the work summary for July will follow.

The Friends all send their love to you, dear Brother, and they all pray that if it be the will of God they may be permitted to see you in person in due time. With my love and prayers, Your brother and servant in the Lord,
S. P. DEVASAHAYAM.


THE VIEW FROM IRELAND

MY DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER IN CHRIST:--

I am sure you will be pleased to learn that there are good results in evidence from the last meeting you held here. Two persons have become deeply interested and others are investigating. The class here numbers from 25 to 30, with bright prospects of an immediate increase.

The public meeting held last night was attended by about 100 earnest hearers, several of whom seemed deeply interested.

The attendance was good for a week night, particularly when taking into consideration that the meeting was not very extensively advertised. The hall was not large enough to warrant very extensive advertising. We used the hall in which the class now meets regularly; which is, indeed, a very suitable room for the purpose.

Our opinion is that the Lord's work will advance considerably in northern Ireland during the next two or three years. The Irish people, like the Welsh, are naturally religious. Prejudice against the Truth has been, and still is, very strong in Ireland, but it has begun to give way. We strongly believe that many religious people in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales will be prepared to accept the Truth as a result of the labor troubles, which are prevailing so generally in these countries. There are three Colporteur sisters canvassing here and they informed me that the situation above mentioned has already been beneficial to their work.

The unrest and dissatisfaction in Great Britain are terrific, and the people seem on the verge of general anarchy. But we are sure the Lord will continue to "hold the four winds of heaven" until the harvest work shall be consummated. Apparently three years will be quite sufficient to bring on the awful climax of trouble in Europe. The more severe the "spasms" of trouble grow, the more favorable seem to be the opportunities for prosecuting harvest work.

Prior to my visit to Britain it was my opinion that the climax of trouble might first be reached in America, but my opinion has undergone a radical change since traveling in Britain. In America the working people are paid "living wages," and many of them own their own homes, and have money in the banks, while over here the working people are nearly all wofully underpaid and own no property.

In America many of the working people would be heavy losers should anarchy prevail; while over here they have practically nothing to lose. Think of men performing hard dock work for 17 shillings ($4.08) a week, and people working in factories for from 8 to 15 shillings ($2 to $4) a week! These poor people have no real incentive to preserve the present order of things. The distress resulting from poverty over here is appalling. Praise God for the blessed Restitution work soon to begin.

The cost of living is only about 25 per cent. less than in America. Rents, clothing, shoes and a few other things are cheaper here than in America, but luxuries and most necessities, in the line of groceries, are as high here as in America, and some are higher. Most meats, as well as butter and eggs, are higher than they are in the United States. Am pretty sure [R4896 : page 383] that on the whole the cost of living here is not more than 25 per cent. cheaper than in America. This is doubly offset by the great difference in wages, which are from two to three times greater in America than they are in Britain.

The striking spirit has become epidemic all over Britain. Even the rag-pickers of Belfast are striking. They want a penny more per stone (14 pounds) for their rags. The striking newsboys and "hoodlums" created a riot at Dublin recently. A large number of striking newsboys paraded the streets of Belfast. They resembled an army of "ragamuffins." Poor creatures!

I am informed that the operators can illy afford to advance wages--taxed to keep up an army, navy, etc.

Dear Brother, I am so glad that the dear Lord permitted me to visit Europe at this time, because it has greatly increased my appreciation of the Truth generally. You have warm, noble friends here in Belfast who dearly love you. And the writer loves you more than ever, and more than ever esteems the blessed privilege of association with you in the Lord's work. Much Christian love to all.

Your brother in Him,
FRANK DRAPER.


page 383

LABOR TROUBLES IN GREAT BRITAIN

MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Many thanks for your letters safely received and which have careful attention. I have been north for a short tour and stayed a little to rest my body through the kindness of Brother and Sister Tait, of the Glasgow Church. They have the use of a country house about 40 miles from Glasgow. We had some meetings in the neighborhood, one for the public in Rothesay, which seemed to arouse some interest. The work in the country goes on well, and the friends generally are quick to seize opportunities of service.

You will have heard of the sharp time we have had of late; the transport workers--railway men, dockers, carters throughout the country--"struck" work. Then there came a sort of fever in many different branches of labor, and a general desire to strike for better wages and lesser hours; and the recognition of unions was manifested. For a few short but very lively days the country seemed on the verge of an internal war which would have been far more disastrous than an invasion by the Germans. At present things are quieted down, but there is no telling how soon they may be again inflamed. All this is sharpening not only the brethren, but others who know something of our literature, and I believe the Lord will use this to the benefit of the work. The books continue to sell well, though just now the holiday season is on and sales are not quite so brisk as during the past few weeks.

The strike has delayed our work considerably, and the shipment of sewn sheets was held up quite a time. We hope soon to get quite up to date with the binding, for we have now succeeded in getting delivery to Aylesbury. The work in the office goes all right.

You probably have my letter about the financial position. I hope it demonstrated to you just how we have been short of money. I am glad you are soon to be with us. The Lord continue to bless you in all your ways to His praise and glory!

Ever yours in His grace and service,
J. HEMERY.


[R4896 : page 383]

FOURTEEN YEARS AGO

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--In a WATCH TOWER of fourteen years ago, after giving the Syriac rendering of Heb. 10:22, you say:

"Here the Apostle mentions five conditions: (1) Honesty of heart; (2) an undoubting faith; (3) a blood-sprinkled heart (Heb. 9:14), a heart, or will, that has been justified, not merely through faith *[tentative justification], but also through the application of the blood *[vitalized justification], the virtue of the ransom given once for all by our Redeemer; (4) a clean conscience; (5) washed, or purified, bodies, i. e., with the outward man in the process of cleansing by the purifying Word of Truth and grace.

*These bracketed words are not in the 1897 TOWER.

"The purifying, or cleansing, of the heart, through faith in the precious blood, seems to be much better understood by Christians than the purifying of their bodies, their flesh, through obedience in the application to themselves, in daily life, of the promises, precepts, warnings and illustrations of Scripture--as water, or cleansing truths, etc., etc."

Brother Russell, I thought until I read this that the two justifications were something that you had never seen until very recent years. Truly, as another said in regard to some similar discovery over which we were wondering and rejoicing, "Brother Russell has been years ahead of us all the time; and when he would tell us things, none of us ever saw but half, and when various things came up we considered them new, because we had not been able to assimilate them when they were first given to use," or words of similar import. I am so glad.

The first thing I ever read was old "Food for Thinking Christians." I had forgotten all about the Three Covenants; but when you began to write about them it seemed all right, and as if I had always had that idea; though I could not explain it, nor say where I got it until I re-read that old pamphlet.
I. P. W.



page 385
October 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXXIIOCTOBER 15No. 20
A.D. 1911--A.M. 6040


CONTENTS

Feeding on the Words of God387
Obedience the Test388
The Spirit of Discontent389
Tendency Not to See Our Own Faults389
What the Church Sacrifices390
God's Providence Re Two Queens391
"Mene, Tekel, Upharsin"392
The New Covenant393
Justification by Faith394
The Co-Operative Church Movement395
"The Issues of Life"396
"The Peace of God"397
Pride of Heart Abominable397
Questions on Our Lord's Life-Rights398
The Merit and the Life-Right398
Actually No Life-Rights to Sacrifice398
Failure Releases Imputed Merit399
Life-Rights Represented in New Covenant399
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies399

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 386

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

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

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

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




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

Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.


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


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



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

[R4898 : page 386]

FRIENDS LIVING NEAR ESPERANTO CLUBS

We have some leaflets in Esperanto (the well recommended international language) consisting of a portion of the "Do You Know?" tract. For friends living in cities where there are Esperantists there is an opportunity for service in ascertaining the time and place of their study-room and in serving them with the literature. On account of their interest in the language, some would read who would not otherwise do so, in their native tongue. Write us, saying how many of these Clubs you could serve and how many leaflets are desired.


INDIA MISSION

The good work progresses favorably in the India Mission. The last word is that the native teachers number twenty-four and that they are serving, with more or less regularity, thirty-two congregations. The work done for July is as follows:

  277 general meetings..........In attendance 8,180 persons
  315 cottage meetings.......... "      "     2,527    "
  280 meetings with the sick.... "      "     1,684    "
  Class meetings for Bible
    study, 63................... "      "     2,878    "
                                             ------
  935 total..................... "      "    15,269    "
page 386



BETHEL HYMNS FOR NOVEMBER

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 November follow:

(1) 165; (2) 259; (3) 331; (4) 188; (5) 7; (6) 293; (7) 260; (8) 307; (9) 91; (10) 99; (11) 197; (12) 110; (13) 170; (14) 198; (15) 105; (16) 130; (17) 217; (18) 93; (19) vow; (20) 95; (21) 117; (22) 119; (23) 211; (24) 299; (25) 12; (26) 307; (27) 53; (28) 176; (29) 209; (30) 87.



page 386

STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES

THESE STUDIES ARE RECOMMENDED TO STUDENTS AS VERITABLE "BIBLE KEYS." PRICES ARE NET AND BARELY COVER COST OF PRODUCTION.

SERIES I., "The Plan of the Ages," gives an outline of the Divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)

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

SERIES II., "The Time is at Hand," treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)

SERIES III., "Thy Kingdom Come," considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter of the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)

SERIES IV., "The Day of Vengeance," shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of Matt. 24 and Zech. 14:1-9: 660 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)

SERIES V., "The Atonement Between God and Man," treats an all-important subject--the hub, the center around which all the features of Divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)

SERIES VI., "The New Creation," deals with the Creative Week (Genesis 1 and 2), and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the Body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)

The above prices include postage.

IN FULL LEATHER BINDING, gilt edges, the set (6 vols.) $3.00, (12s. 6d.), plus postage, 60c. (2s. 6d.)

Also published in foreign languages as follows: German, five vols; in Swedish, Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 5; in Dano-Norwegian, four vols.; In Greek, three vols.; in French, two vols.; in Hollandish, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian and Polish, one vol. each; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same.

Vol. 6, German and Swedish (WATCH TOWER form), $1.50 each.



[R4896 : page 387]

FEEDING ON THE WORDS OF GOD

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."--Matt. 4:4.
WE READ that these words were a part of our Lord's answer to Satan when the Adversary exhorted Him to command the stones to be turned into bread, in order to satisfy His hunger, after fasting forty days in the wilderness. The Lord knew, however, that it would be unlawful for Him thus to use the superhuman power which came to Him as a result of His consecration to the Father's service. That power was not to be used for His flesh. Hence our Lord refused to use His superhuman powers for the gratification of the flesh, even though He hungered. Then Satan suggested, How do you expect to live if you do not exercise your power to live? Our Lord's answer, as we see, was that man shall not live by bread, merely, but by every word, every promise that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Our hope of eternal life, therefore, rests upon that obedience to God which would entitle us to eternal life, according to His arrangement. If our Lord had gratified the flesh He might have satisfied His hunger, but He would have violated His covenant of obedience to God. Whoever would have eternal life must seek to be obedient to God, to all that God has commanded, all to which He has directed the individual. Of course, He might have one command for the angels, another for man, and a third for the Church. But since we find that we are not able to obey perfectly every command of God, we cannot hope for eternal life by perfect obedience to the letter of the Word of God. Even though God has accepted us as His children, we can hope for life only by having the spirit of obedience to His Word.

One of the lessons to be learned in the School of Christ is that a "man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth"--food and raiment, etc.-- but that his life, in the fullest, highest, grandest sense, is dependent upon his complete submission to the Divine will. Careful attention to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, to every admonition, every encouragement, every promise, is necessary to the development of those whom God is now calling to eternal life as joint-heirs with His Son in the Kingdom. Let us, then, more and more, as the disciples of the Lord Jesus, keep in memory the words of the text, and act upon them.

LIVE BY EVERY WORD FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD

But how is it possible for us to live by the words that proceed out of the mouth of God? What did Jesus mean? How can God's words give life?

He meant that all hope of attaining eternal life depends upon God--upon the Divine Plan and its promises. Looking into these promises we can see distinctly that the Divine Plan, dating from before the foundation of the world, is that all of God's creatures, created in His likeness and abiding in faith, love and obedience in harmony with Him, shall have life everlasting. This is God's Word upon the subject, namely, that obedience is the condition of life everlasting. This is, undoubtedly, what our Lord had in mind in the words of our text. He may also have had the thought that He had come into the world upon a special mission, to do the Father's will, and that His understanding from the beginning was that His perfect obedience to the Divine will would insure Him glory, honor and immortality with the Father, eventually; but that any disobedience would mean the forfeiture of Divine favor and would involve the sentence of disobedience --death.

Our Lord's prompt decision, therefore, was that to disobey the Father's will and thus to secure bread for the sustenance of His body, would be a great mistake; that food [R4897 : page 387] thus secured could sustain life for but a little while; that His better plan would be to trust in the Word of God, the Divine promise, that those who love and serve and obey Him shall ultimately come off conquerors and more, and have eternal life with God. And this, our Master's conclusion, is full of instruction for us who are His disciples, seeking to walk in His footsteps.

DISCIPLINE AN EVIDENCE OF SONSHIP

One "word of God" which is very comforting to His children is His assurance of Parental care and discipline. "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?" (Heb. 12:7.) In this statement the word "chastening" should not be understood as meaning disapproval on the part of our Father, and sin on the part of the individual, but rather instruction. We are guided in the matter by remembering that although our Lord was a Son in whom there was no sin, yet He received, in the Father's providence, as a part of the "cup" poured for Him, various trials, disciplines. All of these experiences were very profitable, showing that the Father loved Him; that the Father had something which He was desirous that our Lord should do that He would not have been qualified to perform without some of these educational instructions and experiences.

Some disciplines, some chastisements, come as a result of our own mistakes and the natural consequences flowing [R4897 : page 388] from those mistakes and the apologies and heartaches which may necessarily follow them. God could save us from these experiences and so seclude and shelter our lives that we would not have anything to tempt us. But such is not His proposition. He wishes us to have these experiences that we may be guided in the right way and learn of our own weaknesses.

If we did not come into contact with various testing experiences we should not know where we are weak. Thus we learn where we can strengthen our characters and how we can be thoroughly developed as New Creatures. The Scriptures speak of our Lord Jesus as "enduring such contradiction of sinners against Himself." (Heb. 12:3.) Our trials, or disciplines, in meeting every opposition that can come to us, should bring more or less of correction in righteousness. Even if this would not mean outward stripes, we, in any event, would have our mental regrets as New Creatures, and thus we would get a form of correction, or discipline. Additionally, the Lord causes His children to come into peculiar trials as an example either to the brethren or to the world. In many of these, whatever the cause, we may understand them to be also corrections or instructions in righteousness.

TRIAL--DISCIPLINE--NECESSARY TO THE PERFECTING OF OUR CHARACTERS

Character cannot be developed wholly without trial. It is like a plant. At first it is very tender; it needs an abundance of the sunshine of God's love, frequent watering with the showers of His grace, much cultivating with the applied knowledge of His character as a good foundation for faith and inspiration to obedience. Then, when thus far developed under these favorable conditions, it is ready for the pruning hand of discipline, and is also able to endure some hardness. Little by little, as strength of character is developed, the tests applied to it serve only to develop more strength, beauty and grace, until it is finally developed, perfected, fixed, established, through suffering.

This great work of developing and training character is necessarily a slow and tedious one, and not infrequently it is a painful process. But the Apostle plainly tells us that such things are necessary for the development of steadfast and enduring character. Consider how your own experience has verified this, you who have been for some time under the Lord's special care and leading. How much richer you are for all the lessons of experience, and for the patience and other spirit-fruits that experiences have developed in you!

Although, like the Apostle, you can say that "No chastening for the present seemeth joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward, it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." (Heb. 12:11.) The lessons of experience and discipline have made you stronger. They have increased your faith and drawn you into closer communion and fellowship with the Lord. They have made you feel better acquainted with Him and enabled you to realize more and more His personal interest in you and His love and care for you. And this in turn has awakened a deeper sense of gratitude and an increasing zeal to manifest that gratitude to Him. This also deepens the sense of fellowship with God, and gives confidence to the hope of final and full acceptance with Him as a son and heir, made worthy through Christ.

OBEDIENCE THE TEST

Another helpful "word of God" is found in I John 2:5: "Whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected." Here we have a test by which to determine our development as a New Creature. Only those who have received the Word of God can keep it, can retain it and comply with its requirements. The text suggests that it is a difficult matter to keep the Word of God. On all sides we hear various reasons why we should retain, hold fast the world, the flesh, rather than that which the Lord's Word holds out to us. There are many allurements to entice us from the "narrow way." Hence these who hold fast to the Word of God are "overcomers."

The Scriptures intimate that to live righteously and godly in this present time will cost us our very lives. "Whosoever will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12.) Under present conditions faithfulness means faithfulness even unto death. The intimation is that unless we have the love of God we will not undertake to be obedient to His Word; that otherwise we can neither retain the Word of God nor be in accord with it, serving it even unto death.

Our Lord Jesus illustrated the perfection of obedience to the Word of God when He said, "I come to do Thy will, O God!" Everything written in the Book; everything that was God's will, He was glad to do at any cost. Our Lord Jesus could not have reached this degree of submission to the Divine will unless He had had love for the Father. And so with us. Unless we have love for God and the principles of righteousness we cannot continue in this way.

Consequently, only those who so love God that they would surrender life to do His will, are properly keeping His Word. We may say that this condition is reached when we first make consecration, for the heart has given up its will and surrendered itself fully to the Lord--"Not my will, but Thine, be done." All those who are complying with the conditions of self-sacrifice have reached the mark of perfect love. Of course, there is another sense of perfecting which we shall attain in the resurrection. But only those who will keep God's Word by faithfulness even unto death will secure the prize and become partakers of the divine nature.

The test is OBEDIENCE. In proportion as we keep the Lord's Word, in like proportion the love of God is perfected in us; for if we have received the mind of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the effect will be to cause us both to will and to do His good pleasure to the extent of our ability. And this ability should be continually on the increase year by year. Although we may not hope to be perfected until we shall be "changed" and be granted our new resurrection bodies, nevertheless, we may keep so closely in touch with the Lord in the spirit of our minds that we may have continual fellowship with Him; and by confessing our faults daily and seeking his forgiveness we may continue to the end of our journey clean from sin, even though we must still acknowledge the infirmities of the flesh, that in our flesh dwelleth no perfection.

THE WORK OF RESURRECTION

A further word from the mouth of God assures us that He knoweth our frame, He remembereth that we are dust--weak, imperfect, dying; and that it is not His purpose that we shall continue always to be in conflict with ourselves--perfect will against imperfect body; but that He has provided that, in the resurrection, we shall have new, perfect bodies, in full accord with our new minds.

He assures us that He is able and willing to do all this and that He purposes to give to His elect, bodies of a [R4897 : page 389] much higher order than the human--that He will give us spirit bodies--and that of the highest rank. We shall have part in the First Resurrection, and will thenceforth be able to do the Father's will perfectly in every respect, as we now show ourselves desirous of doing His will so far as we are able. O gracious provisions! O wonderful words of compassion, inspiring us to wondrous hopes of eternal life and glory! It will be to such as thus overcome in spirit, in faith (I John 5:4), that the Lord will give the final Word of His mouth--"Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord!"

"A little while; now He has come;
The hour draws on apace--
The blessed hour, the glorious morn,
When we shall see His face.
How light our trials then will seem!
How short our pilgrim way!
The life of earth a fitful dream,
Dispelled by dawning day!"



[R4899 : page 389]

THE SPIRIT OF DISCONTENT

"So far as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."--Rom. 12:18.
THE SCRIPTURES speak of the hour of trial coming upon all men. (Rev. 3:3,10.) We believe that hour is upon us--already begun. To the world it means discontent, bitterness, evil-surmising, hatred, strife, robbery, murder. It is this spirit which is about to wreck society. The Scriptures seem very clearly to establish this fact.

Let us not forget that this trial hour in some respects begins with us, the Church. God permits it. He has given us great light respecting Himself, His character, His glorious plans, etc. He has instructed us respecting our "high calling" to the divine nature. We have accepted His invitation and have been begotten of His Holy Spirit. We have entered the School of Christ and have been given lessons respecting the character we must attain if we would be accepted as members of the Bride company. Much advantage every way has been ours. Now the examination is on. Which of us will graduate with honors? Which will show that, however poor and imperfect in the flesh through heredity, he has attained a character-likeness of the Lord in his heart and mind? This is the test.

How shall we expect this test to be applied? Dearly beloved, we see how it is being applied. We perceive from observation and through correspondence that the examination is going favorably with some and very unfavorably with others. In some places the entire Class of Bible Students seems to be involved. Petty questions respecting authority and methods are causing distraction and tending to arouse contentions. This detracts from service of the Truth. It cools the ardor of some; it makes others positively bitter. Anger, malice, hatred, envy, variances, strifes--all fruitages of the evil spirit--appear to some extent to gain control.

EACH SHOULD JUDGE HIMSELF

We are not judging nor condemning anybody, but with the Apostle are saying to all that each should judge himself. Each should see to it, not only that he has the graces of the Spirit--humility, gentleness, meekness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love--but that he manifests these qualities in his conduct, in his words. We should remember, too, that the Lord's test is not merely along the lines of love for the beautiful, the good and the gentle, but a patient, kind and loving forbearance also for those who are out of the way, and even for enemies. We should bear in mind that justice is as elementary a feature of the Divine character, as love itself. Hence if we would be god-like, if we would be copies of God's dear Son with His likeness, we must have the principle of justice firmly established in our character. We should be generous, benevolent, loving toward all; but we should be just even before we are generous. If we love not our brother whom we have seen, how can we show that we love his Father and our Father whom we have not seen?

This same spirit of discontent is testing God's people in their homes. Keener perceptions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, enable us all to see wherein we have ourselves been either just or unjust, and also where others have been either just or unjust toward us. This increase of knowledge brings a responsibility upon us individually, to see to it that any injustices of the past shall be fully, quickly, heartily apologized for and undone and henceforth avoided. This work thoroughly done will keep us thoroughly occupied--straightening ourselves, bringing the conduct and thoughts of our mortal bodies into full submission to the Divine standards, as we now more fully discern these.

TENDENCY NOT TO SEE OUR OWN FAULTS

But there is a tendency in an opposite direction--not to see our own faults and rectify them, but to see the faults of others, to note the injustices which they have practised upon us and to resolve that they must toe the mark of our new appreciation of our rights and that right quickly, or otherwise be forced so to do. This is the very spirit of the world, which is rapidly precipitating the great time of trouble. Those in power feel that they must use force. Labor realizes as never before its own power and is thereby tempted to exercise it and hastily enforce upon the world its convictions of right and justice.

As we urge the world not to undertake the matter by force, but to hearken to the Word of the Lord--"Wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord, until that day"--so we urge upon the Church of Christ: Do not attempt to force husbands, wives, parents and children up to the line of perfect justice toward you. Be sympathetic, forbearing, even as God has been sympathetic and forbearing toward us and toward all mankind. If the injustice has been long-standing, that is not a reason why it may not be quickly rectified, but, on the contrary, it is a reason why we should suffer long and be kind, while trying to show the erring one his fault, speaking the Truth in love, and in meekness instructing those who oppose us.

There is no doubt about it that more than half of humanity live in gross violation of the principles of justice, as well as contrary to the principles of love. Sometimes it is the husband, who, while loving his wife and children, rules them in so arbitrary a manner as to cause them to doubt his love and sympathy. Such a course on the part of a brother in the Lord is probably owing to some misconception of the Divine order. He knows the Bible teaches that the husband is the head of the family, but does he know how, properly, to take and to hold this noble headship? Apparently many have not learned that the chief function of headship is not merely to be the provider for the temporalities of life nor merely [R4899 : page 390] to be the responsible head who must finally decide in respect to the family's interests. Rightly seen, man's headship means much more. It is his duty to look out for the health, the happiness, the morals, and the spiritual interests of his family. And this includes a reasonable consideration of their natural weaknesses and imperfections, mentally and morally, as well as for their physical weaknesses and imperfections.

DUTIES OF THE HEAD OF THE HOME

A true head of a happy home must of necessity frequently ignore his own preferences and tastes in many things, because his duty to his family and to their happiness would so demand. Man's headship, then, from the Scriptural standpoint, means much more than to be the "boss," the judge, the decider of affairs. And this is further proven by the Scriptural declaration and illustration in which Christ and the Church and their mutual relationship are made a pattern of the proper love and respect and co-operation between husband and wife.

Our Lord is indeed Head over the Church, and to whatever extent we, His Church, recognize this Headship and follow His directions we find them wise and helpful and advantageous. And to whatever extent we do not follow them we later find that we have missed some blessing. Our Lord does not force us to recognize His headship. Our necessity forces it. So it should be in a properly regulated home. The conduct of the husband and father should be that of self-sacrificing devotion to those dependent upon him, rather than an attitude of general assertion of headship, commands or threats.

It may take days or weeks or years for the head of the family to demonstrate his love and care for those under his supervision--before they will realize the same. Perhaps his devotion may never be recognized in the present life. All the same his duties as a father, husband, caretaker, etc., are fully upon him, regardless of how his devotion may or may not be recognized by his family. As with the Lord, so with the husband--meekness, gentleness, consideration, should always be manifest.

We have heard with regret that some dear brethren of the Lord have misinterpreted STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. VI., along this line and that as a result their lives, instead of being made more loving and gracious, have become the reverse--more dictatorial, unsympathetic, tyrannical. We hope that these reports are overdrawn at least, and we hope also that the clearer knowledge on the subject has, at least, made some more noble and more loyal and more esteemed by their families.

"WOMAN'S RIGHTS" SENTIMENTS IN THE AIR

And how about the sisters? Alas, not all of them are rightly exercised by the precious truths with which the Lord has so highly favored us! The greater knowledge of justice and injustice, and of the rights of man and woman, become tests to the sisters, as well as to the brethren. They, too, are in the hour of temptation, trial. The "Woman's Rights" sentiment is in the air. It does not make for peace and harmony. On the contrary, it is a part of the general spirit of discontent--the spirit of the world, which our great Adversary is stirring up more and more. As in the world this is stirring up the time of trouble, so in the Church and in the family it is bringing a time of trouble in advance of the world's tribulation. Alas! dear brethren and sisters, what shall it profit us if we gain a few rights and destroy our own peace and happiness and the peace and happiness of those whom we have vowed to assist and comfort and to sustain while life lasts?

As St. Paul says, "Ye were called to liberty, but use not that liberty for an occasion to the flesh." Our real liberty which brings us blessing and Divine favor and peace of soul is a liberty from error and superstition, and a liberty from the bondage of selfishness--a liberty to sacrifice, to serve, to lay down our lives for the brethren [R4900 : page 390] and for all men as we have opportunity--and particularly the liberty or privilege of showing to those of earthly relationship that we are copies of the Master and have His Spirit of self-denial, love, sympathy, good fruits.

There are, indeed, times and places where both the brethren and sisters must stand for principles and the liberty to worship God; but, these being granted, we may well sacrifice all other things as trivial; or, if we must contend, let us contend for only such things as our Redeemer would have contended for. Thus let us "walk in His steps, as He has set us an example."--I Pet. 2:21.



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WHAT THE CHURCH SACRIFICES

IN THE SCRIPTURES the word sacrifice is very properly used in two ways--first, to describe the surrender of our will in order to have God's will done in us; second, to indicate the work of our great High Priest, to whom we give up ourselves, and who makes that consecration acceptable to God. Primarily we sacrifice what we possess of the present earthly rights, privileges and opportunities; for this is what we possess. But, additionally, we give up something by faith. By faith we believe that God has made a provision that all mankind shall have the privilege of restitution to perfection during the Millennial Age; and by faith we forego, or give up, our share of Restitution privileges. Thus our principal giving up is our surrender of what we have; and our secondary giving up is that which we have by faith in God's great Plan.

However, it is not necessary for one to have an appreciation of the coming restitution blessings in order to sacrifice these and thus to present himself a living sacrifice, as the Apostle exhorts. (Rom. 12:1.) A knowledge of Restitution blessings is connected with a full knowledge of the Ransom. We can see that others in the past did not have this knowledge clearly. But since those who consecrate to the Lord give up everything that they have, this would include Restitution also. So, then, while the saints who lived before the Harvest period did not have this knowledge of Restitution, yet they made an acceptable sacrifice through faith in the Redeemer.

The terms offer, sacrifice, devote, etc., sometimes have different meanings. When, for instance, we read that the high priest offered the sacrifices and also that we offer our bodies living sacrifices, we would differentiate between these uses of the word offer and say that to devote for sacrifice is our part. This we do when we present our bodies. We can do no more than present them. This is shown in the type by the bringing of the two goats to the door of the Tabernacle and the tying of them there. In this sense we sacrifice--that is, we give up our own will and our own rights to everything. But the Heavenly Father does not deal with us in the sense of accepting a sacrifice from us, except through the Redeemer. As our great Advocate He stood ready to impute His merit to our offering; and as the High Priest, the representative of God, He sacrificed it. We had already [R4900 : page 391] presented ourselves; and our offering was completed when the High Priest accepted the sacrifice and began the killing of the antitypical goat. But this is a gradual work. In the type, the life was accepted instantly when the High Priest thrust the knife into the goat; but the sacrifice was not actually completed until the blood was taken into the Most Holy. And so in the antitype.

OUR WORK NOT COMPLETED AT CONSECRATION

This work of sacrificing the Church our Lord is continually accomplishing in one way or another all through the Gospel Age. When we received the begetting of the Holy Spirit we became New Creatures. And this actual dying, and all the sufferings in the "narrow way," and our continuing to yield ourselves to the guidance of the Lord, are all parts of the work of sacrifice. When we sacrifice our will we should not entertain the thought, Now I have done my part, let the High Priest do the rest! This is not the right thought. At any moment we may cease to will and thus cease to present ourselves; at any moment we may sit down and say, "We will take our ease." We must not do so; but we are to continue to fill up the sufferings of Christ.

It is not all over when we consecrate. Then we gave up all of our rights and interests. It requires a great deal of grace to be dead to the world and alive to God. This the Apostle represents when he says, For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the Most Holy by the high priest, wherewith to make atonement for sin, are burned outside the camp. (Heb. 13:11.) In one sense of the word that "goat" is dead. Our experiences represent the actual suffering and going outside the camp --all that happens to us while we are reckoned dead according to the flesh.



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GOD'S PROVIDENCE RE TWO QUEENS
--NOVEMBER 5.--ESTHER 4:1-5:3.--

"The Lord preserveth all them that love Him."--Psalm 145:20.
TODAY'S STUDY has Queen Esther for its topic. She was a Jewess, noted for her beauty, and on this account she was chosen of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to be his queen. It is presumed that she received the name Esther, which signifies a star, because of her beauty, Hishtar being the Chaldaic equivalent for Venus. She succeeded Vashti, the former queen, who had displeased the king and been divorced.

In the opposite course of these two queens we find a lesson bearing on the Suffragette question of today. The king had a banquet with the lords of his empire. It may be assumed that it was a revel, and that the king and his guests, at the height of the revel, were more or less under the influence of wine. Giving Queen Vashti the benefit of the doubt, this was probably her reason for ignoring the king's request.

Many will say that she did just right in asserting her womanhood, in "standing up for her rights," etc. We will not dispute that all women have rights, and that Queen Vashti had hers and that she exercised them. We merely offer the suggestion that in a question of "rights," along lines of force and compulsion, Queen Vashti won a victory which cost her dearly.

In Queen Esther's procedure, which is the subject of this lesson, we see the opposite course pursued--the queen won a great victory with happy results by a totally different procedure, and one which in our judgment recommends itself to the wisest and best of men and women.

Vashti could have taken a similar course but did not. However much she might have felt that the king's requirement of her presence would expose her to jest or rudeness, she should have relied upon her charm and tact and purity and upon her husband's love and care. While it was not hers to intrude into the banquet, once invited, her presence should have been a hallowed one, a sweet perfume, a rebuke to any immodesty. Like many another well-meaning woman, Queen Vashti was unwise; she abandoned the most potent defense of pure womanhood when she met command with refusal. But then we must remember that Vashti was neither a Christian nor a Jewess, and was therefore without any Divine instruction or guidance.

ESTHER STOOPED FOR VICTORY

Queen Esther was not a suffragette. When invited to become the queen she did not decline and see to it that she stood on the same ground as Vashti. She accepted her accession as of Divine providence. She clothed herself with humility and with the most becoming of her fine apparel. She made herself as agreeable to the king as possible. It is presumed that at this time she was in her fifteenth year. Haman, the king's favorite, took a dislike to the gate-keeper of the palace, Mordecai, a Jew, because the latter did not bow before him, as did others. Mordecai was so faithful that Haman could not hope to find a fault with him, and thus to cause his removal. His hatred extended to the entire Jewish race. He prevailed upon the king to issue a decree that all the Jews of his kingdom should be set upon and killed as enemies of the country. This, of course, would include Mordecai, his special enemy, whom he would then feel free to kill.

As the time for the enforcement of the decree drew nearer and nearer, Mordecai and all the Jews throughout the empire were in great distress and fear, yet not without hope that their God would work some deliverance. This matter is detailed in our lesson.

Queen Esther was cousin to Mordecai, although the latter was old enough to be her father. She was, indeed, his adopted daughter. He appealed to her to use the influence of her position to have the king rescind the order. She delayed because, strangely enough, at this very time, the king had shown a coldness toward her, and had not called for her for a month. [R4901 : page 391]

LOVE AND BEAUTY CONQUERED

Mordecai pressed the matter more urgently, assuring her that she was about to lose a great privilege of service for her people; that God had evidently raised her to this position in the kingdom for this very hour and for this very purpose of bringing to the Jews relief and that, if she failed to note and to use the privilege, God doubtless would use some other agency and still bring deliverance in harmony with His promises. The appeal was sufficient. The queen merely delayed for three days more, requesting that Mordecai and all the Jews of the royal city join with her in a three-days' fast before God, which of course included petitions to God for the deliverance of His people, and for wisdom to guide Esther in her endeavor to use her talent and opportunity wisely.

Queen Esther risked her station, and even her life in going into the king's presence without a summons; but, attired in her royal apparel, she risked everything for her race. She charmed the king, who extended to her his royal scepter, which she touched. He perceived [R4901 : page 392] that she had a request to make, and urged her to speak. Wisely she refrained and asked the king and Haman, his prime minister, her enemy, to partake of a special dinner with her in the court garden. After the visit the king again urged her to say what wish of his attractive queen he could gratify. This was Queen Esther's opportunity, and she replied, asking why, if he loved her, he would issue an edict that she should be killed, and all of her race, the Jews.

Her case was immediately won. The king perceived that he had been inveigled by Haman into making an unjust decree. A bad law stipulated that no decree of a Persian king could be changed. This decree had been stamped with the king's seal, and the king, angry at Haman, made another decree, namely, that Haman should be hanged, and that the Jews everywhere should be notified that they had royal consent to use force against their enemies in defending their lives.



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"MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN"
--NOVEMBER 12.--DANIEL 5.--

"For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil."--Eccle. 12:14.
A LAW OF RETRIBUTION operates. Good thoughts, good words, good deeds, are sure to bring good results--sooner or later. Evil thoughts, evil words, evil deeds, are sure to bring evil results--sooner or later. This Divine Law operating in the world, rewarding good and evil deeds, save in exceptional cases, now operates only amongst the Jews and amongst Christians. This is because only Jews and true Christians have come into covenant-relationship with God. The Apostle's declaration is true--"The world lieth in the Wicked One"; "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not." The time promised in the prophecies has not yet come when "all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped." (Isa. 35:5.) Nevertheless, in a general way God exercises a supervision of the world's affairs, restraining evil from going to such lengths as would be irreparable; restraining it also from working real injury to those who are in covenant-relationship with Him--Jews and Christians.

Sodom and Gomorrah, Nineveh, Nebuchadnezzar and our lesson of today tell of exceptions to God's rule of dealing merely with His covenanted peoples. In our lesson the fall of Belshazzar's kingdom was not merely a judgment upon it, but a part of the great type of the fall of antitypical Babylon at the hands of an antitypical Cyrus.

The king of Babylon, feeling secure in the great walls of his capital, three hundred and fifty feet high, revelled with his generals and nobility. To renew the memory of their great victories of the past, he brought forth for the occasion the golden vessels taken in the pillage of Solomon's temple--a triumph over the Jews and, as was generally supposed, over Jehovah, the God of the Jews.

In the midst of the banquet a horror came over the [R4902 : page 392] assembled dignitaries as a human hand was beheld writing on a wall of the banquet room in letters of fire, "Mene, Tekel, Upharsin." The wise men and astrologers were unable to read the writing or give its significance. Daniel was remembered and sent for. He not only showed the reading but its meaning. The secret evidently lay in the manner in which the letters were arranged, the characters themselves being Chaldaic. The Prophet Daniel declined the rewards and honors offered for the interpretation. He told the king plainly that the writing signified that he was "tried in the balances and found wanting." The Babylonian kingdom, so far from advancing human interests, had really retrograded from the original type. Another nation--Medo-Persia--would be given a trial. Later, the Grecians were given universal empire; still later, the Romans; and finally God permitted what was styled the "Holy Roman Empire," or the reign of Christ. Each of these has proven its insufficiency--its inability to bring to the world the blessing which God declares shall ultimately abound when Messiah's true reign shall be inaugurated, and the blessing and uplifting of mankind will become the "desire of all nations."

EVERY MAN'S WORK TO BE TRIED

We have said that Jews and Christians, because of covenant-relationship with God, are now on trial--being judged. This has been God's repeated declaration to the Jews. Their shortcomings are punished in a manner that the shortcomings of others, not in covenant-relationship with God, are not punished, but their punishments and stripes are intended to work out blessing for them eventually. Had it not been for the persecutions which have come to the Jews they would not today be a separate and distinct people as God designed, and hence they would not be ready as a people to receive and be the first to participate in the glorious blessings of the Messianic Kingdom. In proportion as they maintain loyalty to their Law and confidence in the promises of God they will be prepared for the fulfilment of these great promises which are still theirs--earthly promises of restitution, etc. --Acts 3:19-23; Isa. 35.

While God's promises to the Jews pertain to the earthly phase of the Kingdom and its blessings, His promises to covenanted Christians are spiritual, heavenly. These respond to God's invitation, "Gather together My saints unto Me," saith the Lord, "those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5.) That covenant to sacrifice earthly things will be rewarded with heavenly things. In proportion as they are faithful to their covenant of sacrifice they will be spiritually refreshed, strengthened in the will and in the power of His might and rich toward God in faith and in works. Those riches of grace and spirit, the full attainment of which will come in the First Resurrection, are often associated now with poverty and sorrows of an earthly kind. The heavenly things are to be attained only by those who sacrifice earthly things. Hearken to the Master's words, "Whoever will live godly shall suffer persecution"; "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."--2 Tim. 3:12; Rev. 2:10.

ALL REAP AS THEY SOW

During Messiah's thousand-year reign of righteousness the world will be dealt with and brought to its judgment, its testing, its crisis. But it will be a righteous testing or crisis, giving to all mankind a fair test as to loyalty to God. The result of this opportunity, or trial for everlasting life or everlasting death, will come as a result of the great redemption work accomplished at Calvary. It is the will of God "that all men should be saved [recovered] and come to a knowledge of the Truth." (I Tim. 2:4.) In that glorious Epoch Satan will be bound and the fetters of sin and death now upon our race will be broken, and all will be granted the full opportunity of returning to the blessed conditions and favors enjoyed by [R4902 : page 393] Father Adam in his perfection--but refusing this favor they will be destroyed, and that without remedy, in the Second Death.

But while that future time will be the actual testing period of the world for life or death everlasting, we are not to forget that every good deed and every evil deed committed now will have a bearing then. Every good deed, every good thought, every good word, has its uplifting and beneficial influence upon character; and every evil word, thought and deed has its injurious effect upon character. Every kindness done to one of the Lord's saintly, elect members, will be rewarded. Every evil deed done to one of the least of these will be surely punished.

Thus the world of mankind is now laying up in store helps or hindrances as respects their own everlasting interests. The honorable, the upright, even though they do not become Christians or saints, will have proportionately a better standing in the future time of trial. The dishonorable will have proportionate degradation in the future, and will come forth proportionately more degraded, and will need proportionately more stripes in order to rise up out of sin, degradation and death, by the assistance of the Savior and the glorified Church.-- I Cor. 6:2.



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THE NEW COVENANT

"They, like Adam, have transgressed the Covenant."--Hosea 6:7.
AFTER THE CREATION of Adam, God entered into Covenant relationship with him to the effect that through obedience he might have eternal life. Adam failed; and thus that Covenant was broken. The relationship between God and man was changed. God no longer sustained the life of man and gave him everything for his happiness, but the Divine sentence of death passed upon the entire human race. Because of the undeveloped condition of the earth at that time, everything was favorable for man's death, as unworthy of life. God intimated, however, that He had compassion upon humanity; and that at some later time He would grant a blessing. This promise implied reconciliation to Himself. Later, God made a special promise to Abraham-- "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:3.) During all this time God had in view the great Plan which He is now carrying out, the establishment of a New Covenant through a great Mediator between God and man who would sacrifice His life to satisfy Divine Justice.

The time not having come for the development of the great Mediator, God made a typical arrangement with the nation of Israel. That nation was made to represent the world. Moses was made to represent the world's Mediator. At Sinai God entered into a Covenant with Israel, not directly, but through Moses, the Mediator of that Law Covenant. God was bound to give Israel eternal life if they would keep that Law. (Ex. 19:3-9.) Moses was the Mediator, the counselor and the instructor of the people to bring them to the place where they could keep the Divine Law and have eternal life. In due time it was discovered that the Law gave eternal life to none. What would God do? There was perplexity.

"In due time" God sent forth His Only Begotten Son, qualified to be the Redeemer of Adam's race. In due time Jesus, as the Son of God, became the Redeemer, in that He gave His life to be the ransom-price for the world, and began the redemption work. As the man Jesus He could not redeem and restore the world, for it would require His death as a man to furnish the redemption-price. Hence His first work was to lay down His life as a ransom-price, to lay it down in the sense of putting it into the hands of Divine Justice. In harmony with the Divine arrangement, the Father raised Him from the dead to a new nature; and He still had this ransom-price to his credit.

During the Gospel Age He has been imputing the merit of this to the Church class in order that they may join with Him in a covenant by sacrifice, in harmony with the Scripture which says, "Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5.) Christ's sacrifice and the sacrifice of His members constitute the "better sacrifices" than those of Israel in the type. These "better sacrifices" began with our Lord's experiences at Jordan and will continue down to the time when the last member of His Body shall have shared in His suffering, and shall have been made partaker of His glory in the resurrection.

MEDIATOR COMPLETE WILL INAUGURATE NEW COVENANT

By that time, the great Mediator complete, our Lord and His members, will be ready to inaugurate the New Covenant which God has promised, through the Prophet Jeremiah. (Jer. 31:31.) This New Covenant is intended to bless all the families of the earth, as God said to Abraham. (Gen. 12:3.) The promise is that this New Covenant will be made with Israel. In order to avail themselves of this Covenant, therefore, all other nations and peoples will be obliged to become a part of Israel. Thus eventually Abraham will become the father of many nations. All who will come into harmony with God will be the children of Abraham, in the sense that they will attain to that faith which Abraham had. Both the faith and the obedience will be necessary. As soon as the New Covenant shall have been sealed it will become operative. The Christ will then stand forth to be the Mediator of the New Covenant. [R4903 : page 393]

This Covenant will be like unto the old Law Covenant; but it will be better, superior, the one of which the Law Covenant was a shadow. God will not then deal with Israel directly, but through the Mediator. Primarily, the Ancient Worthies will be fully received and will gladly accept the Mediator and all the terms and conditions of the New Covenant. Since they will be perfect they will be entirely able to comply with its conditions. They will have no weakness of the flesh, as they will be raised from the dead perfect human beings. During the period of the Mediatorial reign the Mediator will stand ready to help and assist all who will come back into harmony with God. None will be brought immediately into communication with God, however, but they will be dealt with through the Mediator until the close of the Millennium, when they will be turned over to the Father. During the Messianic Age all will be subject to the Mediator's arrangements and the Father's arrangements through Him. Gradually the effect will be to take away the stony heart out of all flesh and to restore all mankind to that which was lost--perfection, mental, moral and physical. Those who refuse to participate in this blessing, we are told, will be destroyed from amongst the people. (Acts 3:22,23.) Those who continue to progress will reach the [R4903 : page 394] condition of perfection of heart, of mind and of body which God requires.

MANKIND WILL BE RESTORED TO PERFECTION

At the close of the Mediatorial reign all mankind will be ready to profit by the experiences of the Millennium and will be turned over to God, to Divine Justice. Then they will be actually on the same plane that Adam was before his fall; and it will be for them to maintain this Covenant relationship with God. If they fail, as Adam did, then they will die the Second Death. But if they are faithful they will be passed on to eternal life. The test will be made by God, who will loose Satan for a little season, to demonstrate who will yield to his seductions. (Rev. 20:7-9.) God wishes those to have eternal life who can stand all kinds of tests and whose loyalty to Him will be above the power of temptation.

So we see that preparations for the inauguration of the New Covenant began at the time when Jesus came into the world, and are still going on. These preparations are; first, the development of the Priesthood, the Head and the Body, the High Priest and the underpriests; second, the offering of "the better sacrifices." Thus we have the entire picture--the New Covenant about to be inaugurated, the people about to have the blessing, just as they would have if God had received them to Himself and had dealt with them personally, with compassion and mercy. But He will receive and pass as satisfactory none except those who are perfect. His dealing with the Church now as perfect is in view of the fact that their imperfections are made up for by the Advocate; and they, as the Royal Priesthood, have their standing as New Creatures in Christ.

We understand that the New Covenant goes fully into operation at the beginning of the Millennium and that it brings blessings all through that Age. Under this New Covenant the Lord will take away the sins and stony hearts of mankind. (Ezek. 36:26,27.) But the New Covenant does not become personal between God and mankind until the Mediator steps out of the way. (I Cor. 15:24.) After He steps out of the way, Covenant relationship with God will be established just as with Adam, and God will guarantee eternal life to all who continue obedient to the Divine Law.



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JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH

IN ROMANS 5:1, where the Apostle says, "Being justified by faith we have peace with God," his thought is that our peace or harmony with God began with our faith and led on to this condition of grace wherein we stand as sons of God, begotten of the Holy Spirit and rejoicing in the hope of Kingdom glory, honor and immortality. Our justification by faith began with the first element of our faith; that is to say, when first we saw the Lord even imperfectly.

From the time we first approached God we began to have a measure of peace, which continues with us as long as we are walking in the right direction, growing in knowledge and obedience. Those whose faith or obedience stops find their peace with God diminishing. If the faith and obedience extend to the point of full consecration and begetting of the Holy Spirit, it becomes the "Peace of God which passeth all understanding," ruling in our hearts. (Phil. 4:7.) The latter text refers to the perfected peace imparted by the Holy Spirit, which results from a full consecration to the will of God.

After trust and obedience had increased to the point where we were willing to present our bodies living sacrifices to the Lord, then we entered into this fuller blessing, wherein we now stand. But in order to enter, we must first have our faith vitalized by the great High Priest, who imputes to us as much of the merit of His sacrifice as is necessary to perfect us; and secondly, we must be accepted as sacrifices by our Heavenly Father, who indicates His acceptance by begetting us of the Holy Spirit to newness of life.

The vitalization is that which makes justification complete and unchangeable. The person whose justification has been vitalized has received his full share in the merit of Christ. To such there would remain no more an interest in the great atonement if he were to turn back, like the sow to the wallowing. If he fails to go on to perfection as a New Creature, the only thing for him would be a "certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries."-- Heb. 10:27.

By way of illustration, let us consider a person not in harmony with God, but feeling after him. Typically he recognizes the Divine Presence as represented in the Tabernacle. He draws near to God. As he approaches the Tabernacle he finds but one gate for entrance from the Camp to the Court. After he enters that gate he beholds the brazen altar with its sacrifices, representing the Redeemer's meritorious sacrifice. Passing the altar implies faith in the redeeming work. From the time he enters the "court" condition of faith his faith continues to increase with each onward step of obedience. Next the first veil is seen, representing consecration to death. If the stoop of full consecration to pass under the veil be made, the result is full or perfect peace, such as our Lord referred to when He said, "My peace I give unto you."--John 14:27.

His faith is no longer merely a faith in the Redeemer's work; more than this, it has become "peace, the gift of God's love," the begetting of the Holy Spirit, which passeth all understanding, ruling in his heart. But if, after the first veil is reached and seen to represent the sacrifice of all earthly interests, that step is not taken, the result will be a lessening of the peace, and possibly a more or less retrograde movement toward the gate, toward the world.

The difference between the justification of those now justified through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the other Ancient Worthies who were said to be justified by faith is this: The Ancient Worthies lived at a time when their faith could not be vitalized. Hence, nothing that they could do would give them more than the privilege of having the Divine approval and a better hope for the future, according to the amount of knowledge they enjoyed. They could never gain eternal life actually, except through the Redeemer. Hence they received only the promise of eternal life. Their full justification will come when the Redeemer shall have made application of His merit to the world.

During the Gospel Age matters are different. Whoever would be justified by faith and similarly approved of God now, must present His body a living sacrifice. Those who do so, in this "Acceptable Time," will be accepted of the Lord and begotten of the Holy Spirit. Such then cease to be of the earthly, and get their reward with the heavenly class, with our Lord, on the spirit plane.



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THE CO-OPERATIVE CHURCH MOVEMENT

NEWSPAPER items advise the world that Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, financier, and other prominent men are backing and financing a great religious movement for this fall--a religious revival to be simultaneously launched in every part of the United States by the active co-operation of Christians of all denominations. Realizing that few except women attend the usual Church services, this movement is to be specially directed toward men. It is styled, "The Men and Religion Forward Movement."

Each Christian should properly ask himself, what should be my attitude toward this movement? We therefore offer some suggestions to WATCH TOWER readers, but they are merely suggestions. Each child of God, of course, is free to follow his own judgment respecting the Divine will. The Editor will merely express his own convictions, his own mental attitude, and such as like may copy the same wholly or in part.

OUR SYMPATHY SHOULD GO OUT TO THEM

Our sympathy goes out toward the good people who are launching this movement, even though we have every reason to believe that probably only a few of them may be devout Christians in the deepest sense of that term. We sympathize with those who are not Christians at all in the Biblical sense, who are merely well-meaning moralists and who, not understanding the Divine Plan, consider the real, saintly Christians to be merely extremists and freaks. Going about to establish a righteousness of their own (Rom. 10:3), they are in deep earnest in desiring the welfare of humanity. We surely rejoice that their intentions toward their fellowmen are good and not evil, not injurious.

This kind of sympathy with their methods should lead us to speak to them and of them in most kindly terms, whether they be ministers or laymen, rich or poor. God is on the side of everything that is good and sympathetic with everything that is good and right-- to the extent that it is good-intentioned. And so His children should be. Thus the Master taught: When the Apostles told Him that they had forbidden others to cast out demons because they followed not with them, He said, Forbid them not, for whosoever is not against us is on our part. In other words, there should be a bond of sympathy between all who are right-minded, just, kind, well-meaning, whether or not they can see eye to eye theologically.

A HOUSE-TO-HOUSE CANVASS

It is a part of this general revival scheme to visit every home and to make inquiry respecting the attitude of every citizen as respects the Church relationship, attendance at meetings, etc. These visitors will call at our homes. The fact that we see that they are attempting an impossible work, and the fact that we believe that they are ignoring the Divine methods, should not blind us to the fact that some of these dear people are spending time and energy in what seems to be a valiant fight for the Lord.

Our sympathy should go out toward them and they should be received by us in the most kindly and generous manner. But we need to be on guard lest our zeal should outstrip our wisdom, and we should do them and the cause harm rather than good. We should be wise as serpents at all times and as harmless as doves.

For instance, our sympathy with their good intentions, uniting with our knowledge of a more excellent way, would incline us to use such an opportunity for instructing them in this more excellent way. In our zeal we might forget that a certain preparation of the heart is necessary before the Truth can be received into even a good and honest heart and that it will do no good to others. Instead, therefore, of attempting to delay these visitors and apparently to hinder their work by engaging in theological discussions, the wiser course would seem to be to give in a dignified and kindly manner and unobtrusively our little witness for the Truth and to leave the matter there. If their hearts be in right condition the Truth itself will appeal to them. And if they hunger and thirst after righteousness, they will seek more of it, either at the time or later.

A SUPPLY OF "PEOPLES PULPITS"

Each reader should have a supply of PEOPLES PULPITS covering interesting topics, for wise use on such occasions. After answering the questions kindly and very briefly and without any attempt to convert, some free reading matter on the subject might be suggested, with the intimation that if he would read it you could get it for him, but without any attempt to thrust it upon him or to unduly urge him to accept it. If he has no ear for the Truth, it would be better to save the reading matter for another less likely to waste it.

Again, if the gentleman manifest an interest, do not thrust upon him a great amount and thus make it appear common and valueless. Rather make a selection of one, letting him know that there are many so good that you scarcely know which one to give him. Select the one which, in your judgment, would be most likely to help him and tell him that, should he want more, you would be glad to hear from him. Show him also the SCRIPTURE STUDIES and in a very few, moderate, well-chosen words let him know your estimation of them and how you wish that all Christians could have them and obtain from them the same blessing which you and thousands of other Christian men and women have experienced.

YOUR CARD AND CHURCH RECORD

Below we print a little statement which may be used by those who please as their card. It bears answers to nearly all the questions likely to be asked you. Of itself it will be a witness for the Truth that may seem foolish --even silly--to some who are not spirit-begotten, but will prove powerfully enlightening to such as are Spirit-begotten --which is the only class we expect to reach anyway.

We have arranged this so that it may be clipped and handed to your inquirer with as little inconvenience as possible:--


MY CHURCH CONNECTION
IS WITH
"The Church of The Living God
Whose Names are Enrolled in Heaven."
Hebrews 12:23.


I joyfully recognize as members of the same Church all who profess faith in Christ's redeeming sacrifice and full consecration to death with Him--whether in or out of earthly sects and parties.

I am not a member of any earthly sect, believing that they are all of human organization. I love all who love God and are seeking His ways, but I abominate the creeds of the "dark ages," which did so much to misrepresent the Divine Character and Plan and which so seriously enslaved so many of God's people in the chains of ignorance and superstition.

I meet regularly with other Bible students for the study of God's Word, regardless of creedal limitations and colorings.

We give our children religious instruction at home, believing this to be the Divine arrangement set forth in the Bible. We have found God's way helpful, both to them and to us.

[OVER]


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[OVER]

Name................................................
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One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism
One God and Father of All
One Church of the First-Borns, and
One Hope of Glory, Honor and Immortality
Eph. 4:5,6; Heb. 12:23; Rom. 2:7.



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"THE ISSUES OF LIFE"

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."--Proverbs 4:23.
ORIGINALLY man was created in God's image and likeness. As a result of the fall our hearts are not perfect, but are prone to sin. The Lord invites us to give our hearts, our affections, to Him: "My son, give Me thine heart." (Prov. 23:26.) God has provided the Channel whereby He can restore us to the relationship of sons, that Channel being the Lord Jesus. After we have accepted the Lord's proposition and given Him our hearts, we become the Lord's dear children, as the Apostle expresses it. The next thing is to keep the heart in loyalty, in full submission to the Divine will. The necessity for thus keeping the heart is manifest. Even though our hearts are loyal to the Lord, yet we are surrounded by adverse conditions. The world, the flesh and the Devil are assailing our hearts, which need, therefore, to be watched continually. As the Apostle says, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels." (2 Cor. 4:7.) We have these adverse tendencies, or conditions, to deal with.

God is not judging His people merely in respect to their flesh, in respect to the deeds of life. These are more or less imperfect. He has so fixed the matter that the result of that which springs from the heart, for which the heart is responsible, is life or death. If the issues are right, the result will be life eternal. If the issues are wrong, the result will be death, unworthiness of life. It is not merely the issues of our conduct that determine the everlasting result, life or death, but the issues of our hearts. They not only affect the present life, in the cleansing or polluting of those with whom we come in contact, but they determine or settle the matter as to whether or not we shall have life.

Thus the issues of the heart constitute the decisive test. The statement does not say that the antithesis of life is death; but the question is, Shall we have life? We have already been in death. We can have life only through the appointed Channel, the Redeemer. If we accept the issue of life and receive God's favor of life everlasting, we avoid the other issue, death everlasting. Not only is this question decided by the issue of our hearts, but it is also true that those who attain the condition of life during this Age will attain either the glory of the divine nature or membership in the "great company." They will be either of the Royal Priesthood or the servants of this priesthood. Hence, a great deal depends upon the issues of the heart. Therefore, we should desire the things approved, the things of God. We should seek to have the very best achievable issue, or result, to attain to the prize of our calling in Christ Jesus!

MUST ROOT OUT OF OUR HEARTS ALL LOVE OF SIN

It is not sufficient that we acknowledge sin in its various forms to be evil, and that we resolve that we will strive against it because it is under the Lord's ban; in addition to this we are to root out of our hearts every longing, every desire for everything not thoroughly approved by the Lord. Oh, what a cleansing this would mean in the hearts and lives, and especially in the thoughts of many who have named the name of Christ! Many who fail to note this point find themselves continually beset with temptations because, while outwardly avoiding gross immoralities, they secretly harbor sympathies for things condemned, desiring that they might have them, if only they were not forbidden.

The more attention we give to this subject the more we will be convinced from our own personal experiences of the truth of the Scriptural declarations respecting the beginnings of sin as secret faults in the mind, the heart; and the more we will appreciate the statement of our text, "Keep thy heart [mind, affections] with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."

We are not to wonder that God has so constituted us as to permit temptations to come to our minds, nor are we to pray that we may have no temptations; for if there were no such presentations, no such temptations, there could be no victories on our part, no overcoming of sin and of the Wicked One. We know that for this very reason we are now in the School of Christ; not that we shall there be shielded from all temptation, but that we may learn of the great Teacher how to meet the Tempter, and by our Master's grace and help come off conquerors, victors in the strife against sin. The degree of our success in this conflict will depend largely upon the keenness of our faith and trust in the great Teacher. If we have confidence in His wisdom, we will follow closely His instructions and keep our hearts, minds, with all diligence. Faith in the Lord's wisdom and in His help in every time of need is necessary to us in order that we may be thoroughly obedient to Him; and hence it is written, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"; that is, it will be by the exercise of faith and the obedience which flows therefrom that we will be enabled to come off conquerors and "more than conquerors" through Him that loved us and gave Himself for us.--I John 5:4; Rom. 8:37.

We are not to seek Divine aid far in advance; as, for instance, to ask to be kept throughout the year to come, or month to come, or week to come; rather we ought to know that if we have made a covenant with the Lord and are His, He is near us at all times, in every trial, in every temptation; and that His assistance is ready to our use, if we will but accept it and act accordingly. Hence our prayers should be for help in the time of need, as well as general prayers for the Lord's blessing and care for each day.

The difficulty with many is that they are looking for some great battles instead of averting the great battles and keeping their minds cleansed from secret faults. The little battles, which are much more numerous, are principally the ones in which we gain the victories, with their ultimate rewards. "Greater is he that ruleth his own spirit [mind, will] than he that taketh a city."-- Prov. 16:32.

Finally, the grand results of obedience to this counsel [R4904 : page 397] of the Lord, the grand attainment of those who have faithfully kept their hearts with diligence, is expressed in the words of the Psalmist, and may well be the repeated, earnest prayer of all the sanctified in Christ Jesus: "Cleanse Thou me from secret faults....Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer."--Psa. 19:13,14.



[R4898 : page 397]

THE PEACE OF GOD

"The peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." "Great peace have they which love Thy Law: and nothing shall offend them."--Phil. 4:7; Psa. 119:165.
GOD'S LAW represents God's will. All who are right minded, rightly disposed, will rejoice in having God's will well done. Originally, God's will was written in man's nature. After sin had effaced it there, God wrote it upon tables of stone for Israel. It is the righteousness of this Law that Christians obey (the Divine regulations, the Divine requirements, whatever they may be) so far as possible. We delight to do God's will.

To love God's Law, then, would be to appreciate the fact that God has a great purpose; to take delight in finding out what God's will is; and to have full confidence in His Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power. Great peace have all those who so do. They do not understand every dealing of Divine Justice, but their faith holds to the fact that He is too wise to err. Thus they have peace in confiding their interests to Him.

In this text the Apostle differentiates between the mind and the heart. The heart represents the affections. The Apostle urges not only that we should have good feelings in the matter, but that our minds should be at rest. If after we have made a consecration of ourselves to the Lord we should do something to violate our conscience in some respect, we would feel estranged from Him. Then our hearts should know that we might draw near to the Lord again; and we should endeavor by prayer to get back into harmony with God and thus to effect a reconciliation. Our Lord has made provision on our behalf, that we should have an Advocate with the Father. (I John 2:1.) He who appeared in the presence of God for us at first is the same One who ever liveth to make intercession for us. So we come to the Lord through the arrangement which He has made; and we rejoice that we may obtain forgiveness and grace to help in time of need.

The text does not refer to our own peace, but to the peace of God, the peace which comes to us through a realization of God's power, of His goodness and willingness to hold us by His right hand as His children. This peace stands guard continually, as a sentinel, to challenge every hostile or worrying thought or fear. It so keeps the Christian's mind that he at heart has peace with the Lord, fellowship, communion; and it guards his mind also, his reasoning faculties, instructing him and assuring him respecting the Divine power, wisdom and love.

We should make request increasingly for grace and wisdom and the fruits of the Spirit, for opportunities for serving the Lord and the brethren, and for growing more and more into the likeness of God's dear Son. Under these conditions the promised "peace which passeth all understanding" will guard our hearts and our thoughts. Selfishness and ambition would find little room in hearts so filled. Even when in "deep waters" Divine peace can dwell in our hearts and keep them.

The Apostle's thought seems to be that those whom he addresses have come into harmony with God through acceptance of His terms. Turning from all opposition, they have become the children of God through faith, obedience, self-sacrifice and consecration to death. The Apostle urges that God's peace should be in these and should continue. They should be guarded by that peace. The expression, "through Christ Jesus," suggests that, as we entered into this peace through our great Advocate, so we can continue in this peace only by His continuing to be our Advocate; otherwise, through imperfections of the flesh, we would get out of harmony continually.

"Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb. 4:16.) Thus as we come daily and say, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," we abide in the peace; for we have this great Advocate. Therefore, this peace abides-- a continuing supply of grace through the great Advocate.



[R4898 : page 397]

PRIDE OF HEART ABOMINABLE

"Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord."--Prov. 16:5.
PRIDE MUST take its stand with the other reprehensible qualities of the fallen human mind, character. The Scriptures recognize two conditions of heart, the right and the wrong. The one that God approves is called Love; the other, the one that He disapproves, is Selfishness. All selfishness is opposed to God's Law. Anything selfish is contrary to the Divine purpose. The quality of pride is specially abominable to the Lord, because there is not a creature in the Universe that has anything to be proud of. Everything that anyone has is a gift; it is not of his own manufacture or creation. God gives the blessing. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights." (James 1:17.) It is of His fulness that we have received. Everyone, therefore, who is proud, is certainly very reprehensible in God's sight, for he has been only a recipient of favor, blessing. All God's creatures are dependent upon Him.

Worldly pride challenges faith in God and obedience to Him. Only those of the Lord's people who are of good courage and full of confidence in the Lord can overcome this giant of pride. It is necessary that the victory should be made complete. Pride, in its every form, should be so thoroughly humiliated, killed, that it can never rise again to destroy us. This battle each one has to fight; and the only proper weapon with which to overcome is the "Sword of the Spirit," showing us what is pleasing and acceptable in God's sight. "He that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."--Luke 18:14.



[R4905 : page 398]

QUESTIONS ON OUR LORD'S LIFE-RIGHTS

SPIRIT LIFE-RIGHTS NOT SACRIFICED

QUESTION.--What rights did our Lord possess when He was a spirit-being, before He became a man, and what became of those rights when He became a man?

Answer.--Our Lord was rich and for our sakes became poor (2 Cor. 8:9) by exchanging the heavenly rights and perfection for the earthly rights and perfection. This exchange was not a sacrifice [not an offering]; for it was the man Christ Jesus who became a ransom. There is no statement in the Scriptures that He sacrificed any pre-human rights. He did, however, resign these for the "joy that was set before Him."--Heb. 12:2.

The rights that man needs are earthly rights, human rights; and it is those rights that Jesus redeems through giving His earthly life sacrificially. As a spirit being He could not have sacrificed the rights of a spirit being; for there were no spirit beings condemned to death. It was the man Adam whom He was to redeem. "Since by man came death, by man comes also the resurrection of the dead. For as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive."--I Cor. 15:21,22.


RANSOM-PRICE FURNISHED AT CALVARY

Question.--What did our Lord accomplish at Calvary?

Answer.--The laying down of life on the part of our Lord did not ransom the race, as we have shown, but it furnished the ransom-price which is to EFFECT THE RELEASE of humanity, in God's due time and order; He gave Himself an antilutron [a corresponding price]."-- I Tim. 2:5,6.

Our Lord's sacrifice, His willing resignation of His life to death, was meritorious in the Divine sight and was rewarded by the Father's giving Him a new life on a higher plane. The new life was started in His begetting at Jordan and was completed in His resurrection. This right to earthly life, not having been forfeited by sin, still belongs to our Lord. This earthly life-right He purposed to give to Justice as an offset [counterbalance, or equivalent] for the sin of one man, which involved the race. He was put to death a flesh-soul. He was rewarded as a spirit-soul. He has the right to His flesh-soul yet, to appropriate for Adam and his race, sealing for them the New Covenant.


THE MERIT AND THE LIFE-RIGHT

Question.--How shall we distinguish between the merit of Christ which He will appropriate for the sins of the world, and the life-right of Christ which He will give for the sins of the world? Answer.--Our Lord's righteousness on the human plane of course appertained to Him while He was a man. He has no righteousness as a man now. He has merely the credit of that righteousness in the Father's sight, in the sight of Justice, constituting a merit which is to be appropriated to the world in due time, but which is loaned to the Church during the Gospel Age.

The human life-rights Jesus had need for up to the moment He died. In dying He committed them to the Father, according to the Father's arrangement. He said, "The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18:11.) When a man, those life-rights were His to use; but He does not need them now; for He has better rights. But He has a right to human life, which He does not need personally--but which He needs in order to give for the world of mankind, that they may have life everlasting if they will.

The Lord is to be viewed from the standpoint of His own personality. First of all, He was a spirit-being; secondly, He was made flesh--holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; thirdly, for permitting the earthly life to be taken from Him, God rewarded Him personally with a high exaltation.--Phil. 2:9.

God has arranged that this glorious Personage shall do certain things for the world of mankind. The power to do these things lies in the fact that He still has a right to earthly life, which He does not need. He holds it over to give to the world in the Millennial Age, gradually, as they will come into harmony with the terms of the New Covenant. He imputes now a share of that value to such as desire to become His members--to cover their blemishes and make their sacrifices acceptable to the Father.

Christ's merit was in doing the will of the Father. That merit the Father rewarded with the new nature on the other side of the veil. And, of course, that merit still persists; and He will always have, in God's sight, a personal merit, irrespective of anything that He may do for mankind. Therefore we cannot suppose that He would give away His merit; in that case He would be left without merit. But having obtained His reward, He has a right to human life, which is so recognized by God. And this constitutes a thing of merit in God's sight--a value for the redemption of Adam and his children--his purchase-price, so to speak. This He is to use for the world shortly and this He is now imputing to us.


THE IMPUTATION OF CHRIST'S MERIT
Question.--What is meant by the expression, "Christ's imputed merit"?

Answer.--When speaking of Christ's imputed merit we should keep distinctly in mind that He has a personal merit, a righteousness of His own, which He has never given away. He needs His own righteousness. In this sense of the word He could not give us His righteousness, without being bereft of righteousness. The same would be true of His life-right. He has a right to life; but it is not that right to life which He imputes to us; for He needs it Himself. He needs His own personal merit.

In what sense, then, do we say that He will give to mankind during the Millennial Age and impute to the Church during the Gospel Age, a life-right and righteousness respectively. In this way: He will give to mankind His human life-right, the merit that was His as the reward for His obedience as the man Christ Jesus, namely the privilege, or right, to live as a human being. That right was secured to Him by obedience to the Law. (Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:12.) Now He is highly exalted, a partaker of the divine nature, and no longer needs that right to human life and the righteousness which goes with that right. He is quite satisfied and complete in His present condition. He has, to give to the world, by and by, the right to human life and the righteousness which goes with that right, the merit of that earthly sacrifice. Of this, He imputes to the Church at the present time a sufficiency to make good for their imperfection. We are complete in Him, so that our offering of ourselves may be, through Him, an acceptable sacrifice to God and reckoned holy.


ACTUALLY NO LIFE-RIGHTS TO SACRIFICE

Question.--Do the under-priests sacrifice their earthly life-rights?

Answer.--Since God purposes to give eternal life only to those who are perfect, and since we of Adam's race are all imperfect, therefore, we had no life-rights to sacrifice. But Jesus appeared as our Advocate and purposes to help us if we are desirous of becoming followers in His steps, and thus of being sharers with Him in His [R4905 : page 399] sacrifice, and afterwards in the glories of His Kingdom.

To enable us to do this, He purposes to make up for us a sufficiency of His merit to compensate for all of our blemishes and defects. But we do not present this merit imputed to us by our Lord. Our whole part is faith that our great Advocate is able to make up for our shortcomings. He makes up that which is imperfect, and then offers us in sacrifice; and the Father accepts the sacrifice. Really, we never had any life-rights to sacrifice.


FAILURE RELEASES IMPUTED MERIT

Question.--In the case of one who makes utter failure and who dies the Second Death, is the imputed merit released at the time his failure is determined or at the time when he actually dies?

Answer.--The merit of Christ is imputed to those who come unto the Father through Him. Those who repudiate this earthly merit of Christ have it no longer from the moment of their repudiation; from the moment of their rejection of the Lord; all the merit that they had is released, forfeited, gone. This does not mean that they must die actually at that moment. But they fall into the hands of the living God; that is out of the hands of Mercy, into those of Justice. And we know that no one can stand in the presence of the living God and Justice without perfection. Those who repudiate the Ransom seem to have no longer a sense of sin. This is illustrated by the parable of the man who takes off the "wedding garment"; from the moment of his repudiation, no longer is it his in any sense of the word.


LIFE-RIGHTS REPRESENTED IN NEW COVENANT

Question.--During the Millennial Age where will be the life-rights that Jesus laid down at Calvary?

Answer.--That which we speak of as the life-right of the great Redeemer is, we understand, that which is typified by the blood of Atonement. According to the type, in the end of this antitypical Day of Atonement, that blood of Atonement will be applied to Justice on behalf of the whole world of mankind and will be accepted on their behalf--that is to say, as the Apostle expresses it, "to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." (Heb. 2:17.) As soon as the people shall have been released from their death-condemnation they will be in a position to begin to receive blessings, but not before. As the great High Priest, our Lord undertakes, at the close of the Gospel Age, to seal with the Blood of Atonement a New Covenant between God and the seed of Abraham, natural Israel; and He, together with the "Church, which is His Body," undertakes to stand as the Mediator of that Covenant. All who come into full accord with that Law will have eternal life. Through all those years the Mediator will merely carry out the provisions of that Covenant, [R4906 : page 399] which promises that they shall have the privileges of Restitution. If they avail themselves of the opportunity they shall have eternal life.

At that time, the right to human life will have passed out of the hands of our Lord as Redeemer, and will all, thenceforth, be represented in the Covenant itself, which guarantees all the things that God declared man should have. The stony heart of mankind will give place to a heart of flesh; and all who will live up to the terms of this Covenant shall have eternal life. During the Millennial Age the New Covenant will represent the life-rights laid down by our Lord. Whoever fails to observe that Law will receive chastisements. By this arrangement Christ, as Mediator of the New Covenant, will for a thousand years dispense the blessings. During this Gospel Age our Lord keeps the right to life under His own control in order to give it to Justice as the ransom-price for the world's sins, for the redemption of the world. As soon as He gives up this right at the end of this Age, Justice relinquishes it, and mankind receives it, as shown foregoing.



page 399

BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study VI., Order and
Discipline in the New Creation.

NOVEMBER 5

(38) In case the trouble does not cease after a personal appeal, and further proceedings become necessary, what course of action should be strictly followed by all concerned? P. 292, par. 1.

(39) What is the object of withdrawing fellowship from those who "walk disorderly"? P. 292, par. 2.

ACCUSATIONS AGAINST ELDERS.

(40) What two principles are recognized by the Apostle in 1 Tim. 5:19, R.V.? P. 293, par. 1.

(41) What should faithful Elders as well as other members of the New Creation expect, if they follow closely in the Master's steps?

(42) Should hearsay evidence be considered at all? If not, what kind of evidence should be required? and what course of action followed? P. 293, par. 2; P. 294, par. 1,2.

NOVEMBER 12

MISTAKEN CALLS TO PREACH.

(43) What is the popular impression respecting a call to preach? P. 294, par. 3.

(44) How are all the members of the New Creation called to preach? Give Scriptural proof. P. 295, par. 1.

(45) With respect to teachers, what should the Church expect of the Lord, and how should self-seeking and ambitious brethren be regarded? P. 295, par. 2; P. 296, par. 1,2.

(46) Distinguish between a proper and an improper ambition among the members of the New Creation. P. 296, par. 3; P. 297.

(47) Is 1 Thess. 5:14,15 applicable only to the Elders, or to the entire Church? P. 298, par. 1.

NOVEMBER 19

"WARN THEM THAT ARE UNRULY."

(48) How should we chiefly consider our own defects, rather than each other's? P. 298, par. 2.

(49) What method of reasoning should be used with the unruly? P. 298, par. 3.

(50) While sympathetically regarding disorderliness as perhaps inherited, should it be permitted to injure the Church or hinder the service of the Truth? P. 299, par. 1.

ADMONISHING NOT A GENERAL ORDER.

(51) Why is admonishing the special duty of the Elders? P. 300, par. 1.

(52) What is the application of 1 Thess. 5:12,13, in this connection? P. 300, par. 2.

NOVEMBER 26

(53) What conditions would necessitate a public rebuke? and how and by whom should it be administered? P. 301.

(54) To what extent may the Church as a whole admonish the disorderly, or exclude them from the assembly? P. 302, par. 1, first half.

(55) What is the "sin unto death," how does it manifest itself, and what are the Apostle's injunctions to us respecting those who commit this sin? P. 302, par. 1, last half.

(56) How apply our Lord's words, "Let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican," to those who "walk disorderly"? P. 303.

"COMFORT THE FEEBLE-MINDED."

(57) How shall the Elders and the Church in general follow this exhortation? P. 304, par. 1,2.

(58) How does the Lord regard the feeble-minded or faint-hearted ones, and what lesson does this teach us? P. 305, par. 1.



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