[R1301 : page 65]
ZION'S WATCH TOWER and Herald of Christ's Presence
ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL
"Watchman, What of the Night?" "The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11
VOL. XII. MAY, 1891. NO. 5.
VIEW FROM THE TOWER.
Those of our readers who were not privileged to attend the Convention and Memorial Supper, recently held in Allegheny, will be anxious to learn something of it.
It was a most blessed occasion in every sense of the word; and it was the general sentiment among those who had attended on previous occasions, that for spirituality this meeting not only surpassed any of the previous ones of the same order, but also any other religious convention they had ever attended. Truly it is good to be here, was the testimony of all.
The attendance from surrounding towns and States was about 140. They came various distances --Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Kentucky being represented. A goodly proportion of our regular Allegheny congregation was also in constant attendance.
The requests made in the March TOWER, that only those trusting in the merit of the precious blood of Christ should come, and that all coming should do so with a desire and prayer to do some good as well as to get some profit, seems to have been heeded. The spirit of meekness, gentleness, brotherly kindness and zeal for God's Word--all elements of the spirit of love --which pervaded the meetings and displayed itself privately as well as publicly, was very marked. Some, in the closing testimony meeting, said they had not supposed such perfect heart-union and sympathy possible on earth, especially in such a promiscuous gathering from far and near of people used to thinking for themselves, and without a bond of any sort except that of the spirit of the truth--the spirit of Christ--Love.
The program announced in the March TOWER was carried out. The morning and evening sessions of the first day (Sunday, April 19th) were testimony meetings, and were truly feasts of fat things, spiritually. One after another, many related, briefly, how the Lord had graciously led them out of darkness into his marvelous light, into the sunshine of his truth, into love, into the fellowship of his sufferings and joys, and into the glorious and sustaining hope of ultimately attaining his likeness and joint-heirship with him in his Kingdom. Early in the first session it was decided by general consent that the trials, difficulties and discouragements, in which each one had a large experience, should be forgotten and passed by to give room for the more blessed consideration of our present joys and future hopes through the Anointed One, thus putting in practice the Apostle's injunction to forget those things which are behind and to reach forward for those things which are before, and thus to press along the course for the great prize of our high-calling, looking unto Jesus, the author and soon to be the finisher of our faith. [R1301 : page 66] Many of the testimonies will never be forgotten. They came from all classes and ages, and from those gathered out of nearly every sect of the nominal church, and from some reclaimed from Infidelity. Those who once called themselves Baptists, Methodists, Adventists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics and Infidels, here united their hearts and voices in praising God for leading them out of darkness and bondage into the marvelous light of present truth. Christians in the vigor of life joining with the aged and the new beginners formed a scene long to be remembered. One brother, with tears, told how he had once been an unbelieving blasphemer, how he had examined the creeds of the various sects, and had concluded that Christianity was a tissue of nonsense, but how the truth had finally reached him, how he at first treated it lightly, but how he was finally convinced and converted, and how he had given himself fully and unreservedly to God and his service, and was now trying to let the true light shine, by living a consistent Christian life and by scattering the reading matter through which, under the blessing of God, his gross darkness had been dispelled and the light of truth let into his heart.
The discourse of Sunday afternoon was designed to show that while the whole armor of God, fastened with present truth, is necessary to those who would be overcomers of the world in this evil day, and will be supplied to all the consecrated ones seeking it, yet more than this is necessary. It is necessary that the spirit of the truth shall be received as well as the letter of the truth. The spirit of the truth was shown to signify the true, proper influence of the truth, the influence which God designed it should exert upon all who rightly receive it. The spirit of the truth is a spirit in full accord with the truth; a spirit or disposition which, so far from wishing to warp or twist the truth to suit former prejudices, gladly surrenders all else and seeks to know and to do in fullest harmony with God's will and plan. The spirit of the truth leads those possessed of it to count it all joy to sacrifice conveniences, time, money and influence in the service of the truth. And it was shown that none could have the full spirit of the truth without becoming a living sacrifice to its service, and thus following in the footsteps of Jesus. Then some scriptures were noticed which teach that all who do not become partakers of the spirit of the truth will surely lose the form of the truth and go into the outer darkness in which the world is enveloped--upon whom will come, in the great time of trouble now approaching, the chagrin, disappointment and vexation figuratively described as weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Master's words, recorded in John 15:2-6, were found to be in full accord with this. He there addresses only the consecrated ones, who have by faith and consecration been admitted into membership in the one true Church --as branches of the Vine, which is Christ. And his warning is explicit as to the only terms and conditions upon which this membership may be retained. "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he [the Father, the great Husbandman] taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he pruneth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered."
We noted carefully that while God in Christ had opened up the way and made it possible for us to become members of his body, his Church, yet the joining of that Church is our part under that arrangement, and can be accomplished only by a full consecration or baptism into his death. (Rom. 6:3). And we noted likewise that as no man could join us to Christ but ourselves only, so no man could "pluck us out" or separate us from Christ but ourselves only; and hence the admonition of the Lord, "Abide in me." The resemblance between this thought and that illustrated in the parable of the Wedding Garment was noted. The latter parable specially marks the present time, the end of the Gospel age, and shows how some will cease to abide in Christ by putting off the wedding garment-- Christ's imputed righteousness. This we saw clearly fulfilling on every hand by some who, having been admitted into the light of present truth under and because of the robe of Christ's righteousness, are now discarding that robe by claiming that Christ's death was not a corresponding price (a ransom) or covering for our [R1301 : page 67] sins--thus attempting to stand before God without any imputed righteousness--standing, therefore, in all that they have left, which the Apostle pointedly describes as the filthy rags of their own righteousness.
Such, we saw from the parable, were to be forced out of the light of present truth as unworthy to have part in the feast to which they had been admitted only because clothed in the garment of Christ's righteousness. And having ceased to abide in Christ, the Vine, they can no longer bear the real fruit.
We noted, too, the words of the Apostle regarding this evil day, as to how God would send strong delusions for the very purpose of separating, cutting off, such branches as do not bear fruit--such as receive the truth, but not the spirit of it, the love of it. Then, remembering the justice and love of the great Husbandman, we sought to ascertain what principle he recognized when he would thus send strong delusions to cut off and cast forth some whom he declares no man can separate from him and his love, or pluck out of his care, or sever from membership in Christ. We found the answer in the Master's words: "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away."
Seeing, then, the importance of this fruit-bearing quality in God's estimation, we sought the meaning of the words "fruit," and "much fruit." We found that the fruits of the spirit are Meekness, Gentleness, Patience, Brotherly Kindness, Love; and that these develop gradually, and not instantaneously--that as with the grapes, first came a fruit-bud of promise, next the flower, next the tiny green grape, next the developed but unripened fruit, and lastly the ripe, luscious fruit, so with these fruits of the spirit: they are all the same fruit, Love, only in various stages of development, just as the flower and the green grape are developments toward the fully ripe grape.
The husbandman, as he looks at a new branch, does not expect to find immediately a ripe cluster of grapes; nor does the great Husbandman expect perfect Love in a new branch or member of the body of Christ. But as the fruit-bud is looked for very early, and the branch which has none is counted merely "a sucker," and is cut off from being a member of the vine, so, says the Great Teacher, will be God's dealing with those who have joined the body of Christ: if they put forth no effort to bear the fruits of the [R1302 : page 67] spirit, they can have no place among the branches.
We noted, too, a difference between the present probationary membership and the full membership in the Church of Christ as it will be when glorified, neither a member too many nor one too few. They shall be pillars in the temple of God to go no more out forever. We saw that the Church in its present condition of trial or probation contains many who will not be accounted worthy of a place in the glorified Church of the Kingdom--the real bride. We saw that all who come unto the Father through the merit of the Son (during the acceptable time) are accepted and counted in as probationary members of the one Church; that their names are recorded as such in heaven; that crowns are apportioned to all these; and that if they do not attain full, everlasting membership and glory with Christ, the fault will be entirely their own. And in this connection each seemed to hear the Master's words: I will not blot out the names of the overcomers who abide in me and bring forth fruit; and also his warning: Take heed, let no man take thy crown.
These considerations seemed to stir up all to greater attention to fruit-bearing, and especially to hastening forward the full ripe fruit of Love, which every branch must bear to be worthy of a place in the glorified Church. We marked the tendency of even fruit-bearing branches to reach out and take hold of other things than those provided for their support by the husbandman, and noted the same tendency among the consecrated to seek supports outside the Word of God and to lay hold upon the things of this world. Yet we felt encouraged by the Master's assurance that if we are really fruit-bearers the great Husbandman will prune us, cut us loose from all things contrary to his truth and to our best interests, and will thus make us more faithful. We rejoiced, then, in the loving care of God which keeps all who abide in the Vine, and which will not cut off from membership in Christ any who bear fruit. [R1302 : page 68]
Finally, we examined what must be the use of the ripe fruit; and we saw that as the ripe grapes are always sacrificed, thus to yield pleasure and profit to others, so Love, fully ripe Love, always leads those who possess it to sacrifice themselves --first, to the will and pleasure of the Lord, the Husbandman, and secondly, to the pleasure and profit of those to whom he sends them to minister. This showed us that all possessing the real spirit of the truth, Love, must be active sacrificers of self in the service of the Truth; and when we remembered how this was the very spirit of our Master, we gladly owned that to have the spirit of the Truth is to have the spirit of Christ--Love.
Monday the 20th and Wednesday the 22nd were all-day sessions with intermissions for necessary physical food. They were devoted to the answering of questions, because it was believed that in that way a larger field of investigation could be covered than in any other. The questions were plentiful, and generally of a sort that indicated deep thought, and careful study of the plan of the ages.
Tuesday's meetings: In the forenoon a discussion on "Baptism--the real and the symbolic" was followed by an opportunity for questions on the subject from those contemplating obedience to the watery symbol. The afternoon session was fully occupied by the immersion of such as desired thus to symbolize their death with Christ, their begetting to the new nature and their hope of full birth to the divine likeness as sharers with Christ in his resurrection. (Phil. 3:10,11.) It was deeply impressive to see first fifteen sisters and then thirty-six brethren buried in the water in the likeness of death and raised from it in the likeness of a resurrection to newness of life.
Most of those immersed were Christians of long experience and well advanced in years, the youngest being a brother in his twentieth year. These, recognizing the force of the symbol, of their own choice, without any constraint, desired to follow the Master in the symbol as well as in the reality. The solemn scene of this token of the entire consecration of fifty-one of the Lord's dear children to his blessed service was one never to be forgotten.
Following this service, the immersed ones gathered in the front of the chapel, and, in the name of the one Lord and the one Church, his body, consisting of all the faithful consecrated ones, from Pentecost to the present, they were accorded the right hand of fellowship. May the sweet memories of that occasion long abide with each of them and with us all.
On Tuesday evening, the anniversary of our Lord's last Passover Supper, we celebrated the memorial of his great sacrifice as our Paschal Lamb--the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. There were about three hundred present. The significance of the emblems representing the flesh and blood of our Redeemer was shown, and how his sacrifice of the human nature and its rights was for us, that we, who had lost these in Adam, might receive them back again as the gift of God through Christ, our Lord. It was explained that our eating (partaking) of the merit and rights thus provided was by faith--an acceptance and appropriation of his ransom-sacrifice, and of the blessings thus secured, by each.
Then we looked further and saw that the emblems, as explained by the Apostle (1 Cor. 10:16), represent not only the death of our Lord Jesus as our ransom, but also our participation with him in death--not as ransomers, but merely as joint-sacrificers with him, that we might be accounted worthy also to be his joint-heirs in the glory of his Kingdom. We seemed to hear him explain that to drink of his cup meant on our part a pledge to die with him; and then his inquiry, Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And our hearts replied in the words of James and John, We are able. We pledged ourselves to faithfulness to him, to his Word and to all the fellow-members of his body, and then rejoiced to hear his assurance, Ye shall indeed drink of my cup and be baptized with my baptism. We sang in conclusion that precious old hymn--"Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,[R1302 : page 69] Then we quietly adjourned to our abodes, reflecting the while upon the scenes and incidents of eighteen centuries ago--Gethsemane, Pilate's judgment-seat, and Calvary.
Which before the cross I spend;
Life and health and peace possessing
From the sinner's dying Friend."
The succeeding days were devoted chiefly to the Colporteur work and to private counselling with those who desired to enter it. The interest in the Colporteur work seems to be growing. Several persons, by previous arrangement, started out to give their lives thenceforth as missionaries in this, which more and more seems to commend itself as the best method of preaching the gospel at the present time. Beside these, some nine others declared their desire to engage all their talents in this fruitful quarter of the harvest field, and left the convention determined, by the grace of God, to lay aside present weights and hindrances, and to shape their affairs so that they may soon be able to give their entire time to the work of spreading the good tidings, and thus serving the Lord by helping his body, the consecrated Church. Thus it is that the Bride is to make herself ready.--Rev. 19:7.
The Colporteurs' meetings included several lessons and illustrations of the best methods of presenting MILLENNIAL DAWN to the attention of the people so as to interest them without exciting their prejudices. The more experienced and more successful of the Colporteurs in this way did great service to the less experienced and less successful, and thus to the cause in general.
We have heard from a number of those who were present from a distance, since their return to their homes, that the blessed influence of the meetings, as a sweet perfume, abides with them as a foretaste of the General Assembly of the Church of the First-born Ones, whose names are written in heaven.
JOS. RABINOWITZ AND HIS MISSION TO ISRAEL.
THE REPORT OF THE LONDON COUNCIL FOR AIDING HIS WORK, FOR THE YEAR 1890.
During the last few months the persecutions and sufferings of the Jews in Russia have called forth the deep sympathy of the English nation. No philanthropist can read the descriptions of their manifold and severe trials without profound pity. To the student of God's Word they suggest solemn thoughts. They remind him both of the "severity of God," and of the wonderful purpose of mercy, which will finally be made manifest. The condition of Israel is, indeed, very sad; yet amidst all the political, social, moral and physical evils which oppress them, we can see the upholding and sheltering faithfulness of the God of Abraham; we can trace indications of the blessed influence of the law of God, which they still reverence and study; and we have reason to hope that in the furnace of affliction some are led to inquire into the meaning of God's dealings with his people during the long period of their exile. We are thankful that at a time like the present the testimony of our dear Brother Joseph Rabinowitz continues to go forth with great clearness and [R1303 : page 69] power. And while the injustice and cruelty which they suffer must greatly deepen and embitter the opposition of the Jews to Christianity, the present distress seems to incline many to listen eagerly to the voice of one of their brethren, who, filled with a deep love to his nation, directs them to Jesus, as to the promised Messiah, and unfolds to them the testimony of Scripture.
Since the publication of our last statement, the new Hall has been finished, in which the meetings of the Congregation of the New Covenant are to be held.
The following document, in the Hebrew language, was placed in the foundation stone, and will be read with deep interest by all who love Israel and pray for the conversion of God's people:
"1. Every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God."-- Heb. 3:4.
"4. The foundation of this house to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who forever reigneth over the house of Jacob, was laid by a Hebrew, Joseph, son of David Rabinowitz, on the coronation day of the exalted Emperor of Russia (may he prolong his days and be prosperous), on the 15th day of May, by the help and money support contributed by the brethren in the Lord that dwell at London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, in the land of Great Britain, in order to preserve (literally, increase) the name and remembrance of that dear man and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Rev. A. N. Somerville, D.D., who, in his great love towards the Jews, came in the month of February, 1888, and visited Rabinowitz in the city of Kischineff to hear from his mouth the word which he proclaimeth to the Jews.
In a letter dated November 6th, Mr. Rabinowitz gives the following retrospect of the last six years:
"The beginning of my labors among Israel was not owing to the influence of any church or person, but solely through the grace, compassion and love of God, which convinced me that the synagogue and the wisdom of the Jews were utterly unable to bring help to our nation, and that the only salvation was in Jesus Christ, who is the Redeemer of each individual soul and the Messiah of Israel. This direct and personal origin of my labors has given to them a peculiar character, different from the ordinary missionary methods, and providentially the method thus assigned to me is more in accordance with the political and legal condition of Russia.
"My one desire from the beginning was to bring my brethren into contact with the words of Christ, which are spirit and life, that by the power of the Holy Spirit they may believe in Jesus, the Son of the living God.
"In order to lead my brethren, who were languishing in the exhausted atmosphere of the synagogue, to the reviving fountain of the divine Word, as we possess it in the Scriptures, it was necessary to possess a meeting-place, separated from the synagogue and distinct from the existing churches.
"It seems a small thing in itself, but it is of great importance to the work of evangelization, that by God's mercy the Russian Government has allowed us to meet as a congregation of Israelites of the New Covenant and to build a hall for our services. For six years we have met, and in the same place the services have been held, and I can now trace the effects on the synagogue and on the churches.
"The synagogue excommunicated me in 1884, and the Jewish papers predicted that I would have no hearers except my brother. Instead of this my Hall has been a centre, where every Saturday public services are attended by a large number of Jewish men, women, and youths, to listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to worship the Father in the name of our Lord.
"The synagogue notices that the Hebrew language, which is still regarded by the Jewish nation as sacred, is at present more in the service and to the glory of the Gospel, than of the Talmud and Judaism. My hearers openly express their conviction that they never heard before the true meaning of Scripture. We can see indications of misgivings on the part of the synagogue that Israel is about to free itself from the fetters of Talmudism and to follow the example of us children of the New Covenant. One leading member of the Jewish synagogue congratulated me cordially, when he saw our beautiful new Hall, and wished me success in my work, adding: 'I am convinced that our leaders are in error and unable to help us.' Another earnest Jew, when he entered our Hall, exclaimed, 'This does feel like a holy place.' (Ex. 3:5.) This impression is not confined to Kischineff and Bessarabia, but it is throughout the whole of Russia, as is evident from letters received by me from earnest Israelites in all parts of our Empire."
Mr. Rabinowitz explains the difficulties he has had to encounter in maintaining his position of perfect independence from all "churches," and laboring quietly in the simple testimony of Christ to his brethren.
Another feature, noticed by Mr. Rabinowitz, is the remarkable change in the attitude of the Jews toward himself and the other believing Israelites. Instead of the bitter opposition and undisguised contempt of former days, they meet now with respect and kindness. The behavior of the Jews who attend the services is strikingly calm and reverent. The New Testament is read in many houses, and the Lord's prayer offered in Hebrew, and many verses of the New Testament are known by heart. "Some years ago," says Mr. Rabinowitz, "I was pelted with stones and mud by hundreds of Jews, and now, from the highest to the lowest, respect and kindness are shown to me, and there is great willingness to speak on the truths of the Scripture." [R1303 : page 71]
During the months when the new Hall was being built, much interest was excited, and it became the occasion of many discussions on the teaching of Rabinowitz. The fact of a permanent meeting-place being built greatly impressed the Jews, as a sign of his fixed purpose to devote himself to the work of the Gospel among Israel. We can sympathize with our dear brother when he writes: "I cannot describe to you in words the hope that gladdens my heart now I possess this beautiful and quietly situated Hall, and our own printing press. I intend to have, besides the meetings on the Sabbath day, two public meetings during the week for Bible teaching, also to have some classes for young men and conversational meetings with strangers passing through our town."
A very important branch of Mr. Rabinowitz's work is the publication of his interesting and instructive addresses, which are peculiarly adapted to the Jewish mind. Of these pamphlets there have appeared sixteen numbers in Hebrew and Jargon. Twenty-seven thousand two hundred copies have been printed, and the stock is nearly exhausted.
The friends of Israel will unite with us in thanksgiving, that the Lord has raised up our brother and upheld him in his important work, which is full of difficulties and daily trials. The Word of God is his strength, and by constant meditation and prayer his own heart is sustained and refreshed, so that he is able to preach Jesus with joyful opening of his lips. We long to hear of far greater blessing, and to see the power of the Word in bringing Israel to repentance and faith.
A SEASONABLE WORD ON CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.
FROM BROTHER W. E. PAGE.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Meeting so much "Christian Science" out this way, I was led to investigate the basis of its claims by the lamp of the Word, and I find it a most noxious weed. First, for my own profit, I wrote out what I found, and have since remodeled and chiseled it down. You may find good use for it as it is, or can use it as a foundation for a criticism in the TOWER on this most manifest perversion. I send it to you for such use as you deem best. Put it in the waste basket if that is the best place for it, and do not hesitate a moment to tell me so, if these articles bother more than they help. I only want to do good work, but with our weak judgments we cannot always discern where we help and where we hinder.
The Lord is gracious to us, bearing with us in our infirmities, and ever and anon giving us deep draughts at the fountain of truth, and its blessings of peace and love in justification and sanctification. O! that this year may prove the one of most sincere consecration and abundant zeal to us all, who are of this way.
W. E. PAGE.
When presenting various features of the Father's great "Plan of the Ages," we have not infrequently met professed believers in Christ who seemed to accept the truth, and apparently warranted expectations of full fellowship. However, as the acquaintance grew, an almost indefinable barrier to communion would arise; and being anxious to receive those whom the Lord sends (Matt. 10:40), and desiring to esteem all professed brethren as most worthy (Phil. 2:3), we have often been perplexed and in straits as to what course we should pursue in our association with them. The grounds of the older sects are so well defined that we have but little difficulty in understanding our proper attitude toward them; nor is there particular danger of confusion from those forms of error which plainly and fairly present their teachings in well defined terms. Since our eyes were anointed that we might understand present privileges and labors (Rev. 3:18), we have been most perplexed and confused by the newer forms of doctrine which, on investigation, we find deny the Lord that bought them (2 Pet. 2:1), while with much feigned reverence and humility they profess allegiance to him, thus falsely presenting themselves as angels of light --messengers of truth. (2 Cor. 11:13-15.) However considerate we may desire to be, when we meet such false, seductive teaching, we must, without strife and to the best of our ability, unmask [R1304 : page 72] it (2 Tim. 2:24-26), and be careful neither in word nor deed to wish it God-speed (2 John 9-11), remembering that it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.--1 Cor. 4:2.
One of the most wide-spread of these later forms of subtle error that we meet is "Christian Science." Many of its votaries are kind, well-intentioned people, but they are completely blinded by the perversions of the system; and we believe many such will gladly free themselves from this dominion of the Devil, when the shackles of ignorance and prejudice which now bind them are stricken off in the advancing light of this dawning day. As our conclusions and the grounds for them may be of use to some others of the brethren who may be perplexed as to the proper attitude they should assume towards this heresy, we have decided, with the Lord's help, to present what we have found. Our quotations on the subject are wholly from the writings of a Mrs. Eddy, who is the chief apostle of the various forms of this doctrine, which are legion.
When setting forth our faith regarding the "restitution of all things," and God's wonderful plan for selecting the "Seed" which is to bless all nations, to those entangled in this doctrine, we almost invariably meet with the claim, "That is just what we believe; you must be a Scientist." The claim is so sincerely made that we are led to hope that we have met with another grain of wheat. To make sure of our ground, we present the ransom and its necessity, which seem to meet their approval, yet from various remarks, especially those made in a general way, we are conscious of a vital disagreement, somewhere, on the fundamental principles of the Lord Jesus' work. A short investigation into Mrs. Eddy's work disclosed the cause for this, and developed the fact that her teachings are based upon private meanings put upon words. Hence, when we present our views to one of her followers, the words we employ do not convey our meaning to them, and until we learn this, and find out what interpretation they put upon our words, we are sorely perplexed. Mrs. Eddy very cunningly lays the foundation for her master-piece of word-jugglery, as follows:
"Aside from the opposition to what is new, the greatest difficulty in introducing our metaphysical system is to express metaphysics in physical terms and then be understood physically. This difficulty is overcome only by teaching the student the metaphysical meaning of terms in common use."
What a preparation to deceive! Surely any teaching that must rest on special meanings placed on "terms in common use," should arouse the suspicions of those who are sincere and pure in heart. The Master did not find it necessary to employ so questionable a course, but so taught that the "common people heard him gladly."
In examining Mrs. Eddy's teachings, we do not follow the order of her books, but take up the essential truths she perverts, as seems best. Among Webster's definitions of person we find, "A self-conscious being;" and being is defined as "existence, opposed to non-existence; that which exists in any way, whether it be material or spiritual;" and we submit that the universally accepted meaning of person today is, "a self-conscious being." Again, we submit that to the unprejudiced and candid reader the unqualified teaching of the Bible, in language in common use, is that God is the great and only self-existent, "self-conscious being."
But Mrs. Eddy says, "Jehovah is not a person. God is principle." How elusive and vague this is! The first meaning in Webster given to principle and which is marked obsolete and rare, is, "beginning, commencement;" second, "hence a source or origin; that from which anything proceeds; fundamental substance or energy;" and third, "an original faculty or endowment of the soul." Ah yes! "The serpent was more subtle than all the beasts of the field." (Gen. 3:1.) How this cunningly-laid perversion illustrates his full subtlety! While we stand aghast at the bold belittling of the great Jehovah, we cannot but wonder at the consummate skill shown. (Read Ezekiel 28:12-19.) We know that God is the source of all good things: he from whom every right thing proceeds: the self-existent, "self-conscious being," possessing and originating all qualities of moral perfection. Owing to the inexactness of language, the wedge of error here introduced (if, as common people, we follow Webster) is very slim, and not readily [R1304 : page 73] detected at first glance. If not detected, the next step will entangle the unwary very seriously. To the alert, however, the danger is not so great as it seems; for Mrs. Eddy does not accept the common meaning of the word principle, but proceeds to put a private interpretation upon it. Following her statement regarding Jehovah, she defines principle as "life, truth, love, substance and intelligence." These (in language in common use) are all qualities or attributes of beings; and thus God is reduced to the position of the sum of certain qualities of conscious existence, and is dethroned from his rightful position as the Creator of all these qualities. Those misled by these teachings are speedily so befogged that they are utterly unable to discern between honest treatment of the Scriptures and this woful perversion of them.
Having dethroned God, the next natural step is the deification of man; and this work these teachings do in a less subtle form, and in one more easily followed, although the word-twisting is dexterously kept up. Webster defines entity as "a real being, whether in thought or in fact: being, essence, existence." Mrs. Eddy says--"Entity signifies the particular nature of being; and God, without the image and likeness of himself, NAMED MAN, would be nonentity" --without existence. Following this we give from her book a series of quotations deifying man.
"God cannot destroy man, because he is the reflection of God." "The science of being reveals man perfect, even as the Father is perfect." "If man went out for a single instant in death, or sprang from nothingness into existence, there was an instant some time without man, when Jehovah was without entity and there was no reflection of Mind or Soul, and Principle had no idea." "God, Soul, is, and was, and ever will be; and man is co-existent and co-eternal with this Soul." "The science of man, understood, would have eradicated sin, sickness and death in a less period than six thousand years."
Surely pride and boastfulness could assume no more than is here claimed. None of the "meek" would arrogate such position and virtue to themselves. To show the foolishness and the fruit of such exaltation of man, we quote the following:
Man is "The infinite idea of infinite Spirit,... the spiritual image and likeness of God,... the full representation of Mind: hence the idea of Principle, not person. [Man is] The compound idea of God, including all other ideas, the generic term for all that reflects God's image and likeness....Woman is the highest term for man....[Man is] The conscious identity of being as found in Science, where man is the reflection of God, Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which hath no separate mind from God; that which hath not a single quality underived from Deity; that possesses no life, intelligence, or creative power of his own, but reflects all that belongs to his Maker."
"'And God said let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth' (Gen. 1:26)--what is incapable of sin, sickness and death, in so much as it derives its esse from God, and possesses not a single original or underived power: hence, cannot depart from holiness. Nor can God from out himself, whence man was evolved, engender a capacity or freedom to sin. In divine Science, God and man are inseparable, as PRINCIPLE AND ITS IDEA."
Of course this enthronement of man necessitates a perversion of the entire Scripture teaching regarding his creation and fall. To allay the suspicions that might arise if this work were too abruptly done, the approach is very gradually made, and the error introduced under high pretensions to spirituality and learning. As a sample we quote the following:
"As crude forms of mortal mind yield to higher significations, the metaphysical Genesis of the Scripture will be hailed with head and heart. The following brief comments are the spiritual or scientific version of the text."
"The serpent is introduced into the Scriptural record without any specified origin; but some maintain he was a veritable demon, even the climax of subtlety and falsehood, created by a perfect and divine spirit....Adam, or error, even the belief of mind in matter, began this reign of mortal man somewhat mildly, increasing in jealousy and falsehood until his days were numbered by the law of Truth, and the mortality of error made manifest. The garden [R1304 : page 74] was a term used to signify the body, in the first records of Mythology; sexuality and self-abuse the forbidden knowledge. Man was not to presume upon the prerogatives of his Creator, but to recognize God, the Father and Mother of us all.--Compare with Genesis 3:4,5.
"This Allegory represents error in every one of its beliefs, always asserting itself as Truth and over Truth: and giving the lie to Truth, saying, I can open your eyes, I can do more for you than God (good) has done. Bow down to me, have other gods, admit I am right, and more real to the senses, pleasant to the eyes and more to be desired than Truth. The history of Adam, or error, is a dream without a dreamer: first, a supposition of assertion; secondly, that nothing says I am something; and third, that something springs from nothing, and is life, substance and intelligence. The order of the allegory describing the mythological creation, even a creation springing from dust instead of Deity, is maintained in about this form. Mortal man, starting from chaos, or old night, from the lowest propensities; non-intelligence becoming intelligence; the basal portions of its formations of mind indicating the appetites and passions: its upper portions the sentiments, implying the hope that mind will sometime escape from matter, giving a material sense of things as the sense of mind, and matter having dominion over mind: body originating in non-intelligence, and mind afterward inserted, the creation a propagating principle in vegetable and animal, alias God in matter, or matter without God: a man's life consisting of the things that he eateth, and having no connection with God, Spirit; his senses unable to perceive Spirit, and matter dooming them to die. This mythological history of man, so unlike the scientific record of man as the image and likeness of God, having dominion over the earth, and whose Mother is Spirit, first creates man of dust, and without a Mother, afterwards gives him a Mother who is governed by mesmerism, controlled by a belief, called serpent, her origin a rib, her capacity for knowledge gathered through material sense and from the tree of knowledge, whereof if a man eat he shall die, and her progeny, self-constituted suicides, hastening towards death in pursuit of life. The word Adam, divided into two syllables and reading A-dam, indicates more closely the character and the curse of the divine spirit, or Mother of man bestowed upon it."
The fall being "spiritualized" out of existence, and man being "perfect even as the Father," there is no necessity for a man, Christ Jesus, to give his "life," a ransom--a corresponding price--"for the life of the world," and to redeem the race with his precious blood. Hence Christ Jesus, the Anointed Savior, simply becomes a fine example, a "good man." We quote again from Mrs. Eddy:
"Jesus was the son of a virgin mother by whom scientific being was so far understood that she knew that God was the Father of man, and man the offspring of a divine Principle. Jesus was the name of the man, and Christ but another name for God, the Principle and creator of that man. The signification of God being 'good' (?!), the term Christ Jesus may be rendered as good man, or God-man."
Christ not being a ransom-sacrifice, no atonement work was done by him, and a new signification must be found for the Scripture teaching that he is the "propitiation [satisfaction] for the sin of the world." (1 John 2:2.) To keep the case clearly before us we will give Webster's definition of the word atonement, and then its "spiritual" signification as given by Mrs. Eddy.
"Atonement: (Webster) Reconciliation after enmity or controversy. Satisfaction or reparation made by giving an equivalent for an injury."
"Atonement: (Mrs. Eddy) The teachings, demonstrations and sufferings of the man Jesus, when showing mortals the way of salvation from sin, sickness and death....Soul's triumph over material sense. The supremacy of spirit asserted, man reassuming the image and likeness of God in his scientific atonement with him. Jesus of Nazareth gave the all-important proof that when God is understood, it will be seen that Soul creates its own body, and cannot for the smallest instant do without a body. This divine Science overcame death and the grave, and was Jesus' final demonstration that the body is the same after as before death: hence there is a state of probation and progress, whereby to grow out of a material and into the spiritual sense of existence beyond the grave. The meek, mighty Nazarene exhibited a material body after the crucifixion, to show his followers the great need there is of spiritualizing thought and action to make man God-like before death, that after it he may be fit for the higher school of the just made perfect. Not death, but the understanding of Life, God, spiritualizes man, and determines forever his progress and the state of his body. Mortality disappearing, and immortality coming to life. Self-abnegation and love blessing its enemies. Not blood flowing from the veins of Jesus, but his out-flowing sense of life, truth and love, so much higher, purer and more God-like than mankind's, shedding its hallowed [R1304 : page 75] influence on the whole human race and marking out the only way to heaven. Not the death of the cross, but the cross-bearing deathless life, that Jesus left for the example of mankind, ransoms from sin all who follow it."
Salvation from the present "evil world" Mrs. Eddy thus makes a matter of works, and is not through faith in Jesus, as taught by the apostles. Thus the Adversary again undertakes to set forth "another gospel, which is not another." --Gal. 1:8,9.
Again she says, "The way is straight and narrow that leads to the understanding that God is life. It is warfare with the flesh whereby we conquer sin, sickness and death, now or hereafter; but certainly before we can reach the goal of Spirit or Life, which is God. The truth of man makes a new creature. Old things have passed away, behold all things become new. Passions, selfish appetites and every sensuality yield to spirituality, and the balance of being is on the side of God. Christian perfection is won on no other basis. The scientific unity between God and man must be wrought out in demonstration."
Man being "co-existent and co-eternal with God," death must be an illusion, and is so set forth:
"Death: an illusion; there is no death. Matter has no life, hence it cannot die, and mind is immortal. The flesh warring against spirit frets itself free from one belief only to be fettered by some other one, until all belief yields to the understanding of God. Any material evidence of death is false, for it contradicts the spiritual facts of life. The unreal and untrue. The opposite of God, or life."
The fall and death being done away with, there cannot, of course, be any resurrection from among the dead, or raising of the race up to something lost in Adam. Hence in this new "Science" resurrection becomes mere development. We quote her definition of resurrection as follows:
Those taught of God can have no difficulty in tracing the sinuous course of that "old dragon," in these unstable and unlearned perversions of Scripture, which soon cause their teachers to become "raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame." Those who have watched the effect of these doctrines upon those proclaiming them readily discern that the "evil tree" is yielding its proper fruit.
Again, Mrs. Eddy sets forth her claimed many miracles of healing as the basis of her religion, and the proof of its divine origin. To those uninstructed in the way of truth, this claim is very weighty, and many are ensnared by it. These, seeing no wisdom in the permission of evil, and having no conception of the great things God has in store for those who, under the severest tests, maintain a love for righteousness and a hatred of wickedness, quickly fall in this evil day of subtle sophistries. Supposing "Godliness to be gain," i.e., a means to secure present temporal ease in finances or social life, freedom from aches and pains, etc., some, in their eagerness to escape from the hardship of enduring unfavorable conditions, are blinded to the opportunity for discipline thus offered, and rush headlong into any specious promise of relief that is made, without applying the rules and tests provided in the "sure word of prophecy," and are quickly ensnared by the Adversary. Being one of the highest order of God's created beings, who wilfully left his first estate and does iniquity (Ezek. 28:12-15), the devil can loosen the bonds of suffering on those who give heed to his seductive teachings, until he gains full and complete control of their moral powers, and can thus use them as his pliant, even if unsuspecting, tools, simply releasing them temporarily to gain his own purposes. When these are served, or when the time for binding him has fully arrived (Rev. 20:2,3), he will execute his full malignity, not only upon his own willing coadjutors, but also upon those who have been his dupes. We unhesitatingly brand this whole system of Christian Science, so-called, as another form of spiritualism put forth by the father of lies, who is a liar from the beginning. That there is a power, even superhuman, in it, we admit; but we believe it is the power of Satan, the great deceiver of men, which will be used only for the destruction of man.
[Satan's dominion is a dominion of death, and he undoubtedly has the power to slightly relieve the sick when his delusive purposes and doctrines would be best subserved thereby. (Heb. 2:14.) The fact that Satan's kingdom [R1304 : page 76] and its methods are thus divided and in opposition --working evil, sin and death as ever, and at the same time turning in to heal the sick in order the more securely to bind and blind his dupes in subtle errors--shows that "the god of this world" realizes that his reign of sin, ignorance, superstition and death is nearly at an end.--EDITOR.]
Let God's children beware lest they be entangled by this siren song. The system perverts everything it touches, and not even the Lord's prayer escapes its contamination. For the information of the brethren, we give the following "spiritualized" version of it."Principle, eternal and harmonious,
Nameless and adorable intelligence,
Thou art ever present and supreme.
And when this Supremacy of Spirit
Shall appear, the dream of matter will disappear.
Give us the understanding of truth and love;
And loving we shall learn God,
And truth will destroy all error,
And lead us into the life, that is soul,
And deliver us from the errors of sense,
Sin, sickness and death.
For God is life, truth and love, forever."
Trusting completely in our Lord, the Anointed Savior, who has bought us with his precious blood, we can quickly escape this evil, and enter into and retain a present rest in Christ, and be prepared for that perfect and everlasting rest that "remaineth for the people of God."-- Heb. 4:9,10; Isa. 26:3; Psa. 91.
A VOICE FROM THE JEWS.
The American Hebrew Free Thinkers' Association has just published an altogether notable utterance. It was brought out in reply to an article by a Jewish Rabbi, arguing that Jesus was either a myth or an impostor. This association appointed three of its number to examine this attack on Jesus and to report their views of it.
Their remarkable report states substantially that Christianity cannot be a fraud or delusion, because it has stood all tests, and has gone ever forward with giant strides until it is now the most liberal and progressive religion the world has ever seen--a religion adapted to every country and every people on the globe; that this progress is an occasion of wonder to the Jews themselves; that this world would have been in a sorry condition had not the religion of Jesus come into it; that Christianity broke down the Jewish narrowness and bigotry which sought only the welfare of the Jews and despised all others; that the Jews to-day enjoy the greatest benefits in those countries where the people live nearest up to the teachings of Jesus Christ; that his teachings, whether he be a myth or a reality, do without doubt improve all who follow them; that the Christian religion to-day shows no sign of weakness, but is all the time gaining strength while all other religions are declining before it; that Judaism itself alone remains immovable--a fossilized monument to God's truth, with a glorious record in the past but with little hope for the future; that the elaborate ceremonies of the old dispensation and the predictions of the Jewish prophets must have meant something; that the ancient Jews looked for a fulfilment of these at some future time; that the Jews of the present day do not look for the fulfilment of anything; that for eighteen hundred years not a Jewish prophet has arisen to oppose the claims of Christ; that as a consequence Christ must be believed by the Jews to have fulfilled the law; that the Targum, one of the best Jewish authorities, applies a part of Isaiah 52nd and all of the 53rd chapter to the Messiah; that the Pesekta, the Tanchuma, the Siphre, and other eminent books, are fulfilled in Jesus Christ; that though it is a common thing for Jews to say that Jesus Christ never existed, and is only a myth, a fable, yet there is good proof that he did live, and that he came at the very time when the Jewish nation was looking for the promised Messiah; that if Christ were God then his death and resurrection amounted to nothing, since God could leave his earthly body and assume it at pleasure; that with the light of two thousand years shining on Jesus they want something better (in opposition to Christ) than mere assertion; that as [R1304 : page 77] honest, free-thinking men they are in doubt; and finally, that if any one is able to prove that the Messiah is yet to come they would like very much to hear from him.
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Dr. Agnew, of Philadelphia, expresses the opinion that the climatic changes which are now going on in this country will, in time, cause the flora of the tropics to flourish up north.
The Times of Morocco says that so habitual is drunkenness among foreigners there that the natives think that it is a part of the religion of Christians and Jews. When a wearer of the blue ribbon explains its meaning to them, they exclaim: "What! you a Christian and don't drink, and you are not a Jew? You must be a Mohammedan!"
Something like a preachers' trust has been organized by the Iowa Presbytery, that body having decided to discourage theological students from preaching, as it interferes with ordained ministers seeking places. The Word, it would seem, is not, in the estimation of the Iowa Presbytery, something to be scattered broadcast free of charge, but is to be considered partly in the light of a premium to secure places. This is something of a departure.
Count von Moltke, Germany's greatest general in modern times, whose death has lately been announced, in a recent speech before the Reichstag left no one in ignorance as to his views of the next European war. The powers of Europe, he declared, "are armed as they never have been armed before. No one of them can be so completely shattered in one or two campaigns as to confess itself beaten and to conclude peace on hard terms, or as not to recover in a year or two and renew the conflict. It may be a seven-years' war; it may be a thirty-years' war. Woe to him who sets fire to Europe." The old warrior dispelled the idea that the next war would be short, sharp and decisive. In his opinion such a war would be both fierce and protracted.
The locomotives for the Jaffa and Jerusalem railroad recently reached Palestine. They bear the names of "Jerusalem," "Ramleh" and "Jaffa." A Philadelphia company has the honor of supplying the motive power. The most interesting fact about the appearance of the iron horse in the Holy Land is that the Jewish rabbis have already figured out a fulfilment of prophecy. In the book of Nahum is found that which is now interpreted as a revelation of the locomotive. Consul Gillman, of Jerusalem, tells this in a recent report to the state department. He sends the passage. The words are significant. They are found in Nahum 11:3,4, and are as follows: "The chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation. They shall seem like torches; they shall run like the lightning." Mr. Gillman, also reports that there is quite a boom in Jerusalem real estate on account of the building of this railroad. More visitors arrived in the holy city last year than in any previous year, and Americans outnumbered any other nationality. "The Jews from all lands," says Consul Gillman, "continue to come to Palestine to reside in increasing numbers. Many of them are aged persons, who immigrate with the sole object of dying in Jerusalem, in accordance with their religious belief, so that they may be buried on the Mount of Olives."
EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--I wish to say a word about the Anniversary Meeting, which has just closed--held for the commemoration of our Lord's death, and for Bible study. It is the third one I have been privileged to attend. It was a sweet and precious spiritual feast, as well as a good, profitable investment of time-- as also were the two former meetings. "How sweet to my soul is communion with saints.""And if our fellowship below
In Jesus be so sweet,
What heights of rapture shall we know,
When on his throne we meet?"
This meeting was the nearest approach in its character to the New Testament idea of the assembling of the saints, for worship and study ("Search the Scriptures"), that I have ever seen or heard of. How I wish every consecrated child of God on earth could have been present, and seen and heard all that was done and said. It certainly was the most satisfactory religious gathering I ever participated in. We now enter upon a new Christian year. May it be to us all the grandest year of our lives in our dear Redeemer's service. God be with you and all the members of the Church of the Firstborn, till we meet again. Yours in the forefront of the battle, contending earnestly for the faith,
JAS. A. WEST.
BROTHER RUSSELL:--We could not remain at the meeting until it closed, for which we were very sorry, as it was of great benefit to me, only six weeks old in the truth. I have been fighting for it to the best of my ability. The nominal church members get offended. Some say we are Infidels, and some think we are studying so hard that our minds are affected. Well, we do study hard, and it is so grand. We have consecrated our all to the Lord and to his service to be used to his glory; and, the Lord willing, I am going to try the colporteur work as soon as I can get things arranged, and if the Lord accepts of my service and blesses me in doing his work, then we will break up housekeeping and both wife and I will engage in the harvest work. We dare not delay long, but will have to work while the "winds" are held, as there is commotion in the elements and it may break out soon and we would be too late to gather any grain into the garner of the Lord. I expect to begin reaping by selling the DAWNS, by the 15th or 20th of this month, the Lord willing. There have been several here to hear what new doctrine we are preaching, and, with the help of the Lord, we have tried to explain it to them. They listen very attentively, and some, before going away, have remarked, This is so different from anything we have ever heard, yet we think you are right. We are beginning to see God in his true character and to worship him in a spirit of love and not of fear. Thanks be to God, we are not joined to Babylon in any sense, having left all secret orders, and on Saturday evening, at prayer-meeting, we publicly asked that our names be dropped from the class book of the M.E. Church. What joy came to our hearts in doing so no one can tell. Write to us and advise us.
Yours in the Lord, W. L. KELLY AND WIFE.
DEAR BROTHER:--I greatly fear I cannot attend the meeting in April, although I would like so much to do so. I am settling up my business, with a view to entering the "harvest" work, which I intend to prosecute with earnestness when I am once started and fully equipped for the Master's work. Much light has been let in on me from day to day, which is very noticeable since I was at Allegheny a year ago. And I fully expect more when I am once out giving all my time and talents to our Lord.
The more I study the Master's plan and work, the plainer I see there is no time to "prove oxen," "marry wives," or "go to see land" (Luke 14:19), or to do anything that draws one away from his work; and I hope, as soon as I can "let go" here, to become totally lost in his service.
The March TOWER reached me on time and was, as usual, full of "meat" for the truth-hungry, and those articles in reference to the work and meeting came near prompting me to attend whether or no.
If I can or cannot attend, I trust the good Lord will bless, guide and direct the whole proceedings to the accomplishment of grand, good and glorious results. Truly the gathering will have my heartiest and best wishes and my petitions for its success.
Remember, dear brother, that as you wield the sword of truth against the mighty foes which we know exist, and, as a result, meet with much opposition and discouragement, that you are remembered by me from day to day, and almost from hour to hour, in a spirit of kindness, co-operation, sympathy and love, and prayer to God for your sustenance, guidance, support and care. page 79
Yours in the blessed Redeemer, H. J. STEVENS. (M.D.)
[The Doctor did find it possible, finally, to come to Allegheny, and we had the pleasure of reading in his happy face the joy and peace that filled his heart, as, during those days of blessed communion, we sat together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.--EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Although I was compelled to leave Allegheny before the close of the meetings, I am glad to say it was good to be there. I was much impressed by the spirit of love and brotherly kindness manifested on all occasions. I met quite a number who were there four years ago, and I rejoiced to see evidence of growth in grace and knowledge of the truth. The meetings will no doubt be a source of strength to all. All will go forth with renewed vigor for another year's labor in the harvest field. These meetings are certainly very refreshing oases in the desert. However, there was one man in the congregation who, from his argument in private conversation, was without the wedding garment, denying the ransom, and trying to show some how to climb up some other way. Such are branded in the Word of God as thieves and robbers. I am sure he received no sympathy there. The sheep were on the alert, and he was bound hand and foot by the truth. Let each of those enlightened steadily hold up the standard of truth through opposition, sure that the victory will finally be ours, and looking for the glorious Kingdom of God, soon to be established.
Yours in fellowship and service, JOSIAH PARKES.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--No doubt many of the brethren have written to you to tell how they observed the Passover Supper, and of the sweet communion they had with the Master upon that occasion; and I feel that I cannot allow this opportunity to pass without also bearing a word of testimony to the same. Three of us, Brother Enbody, Sister Remmel and [R1304 : page 79] myself, met together in an "upper room" in our quiet little home, and, after specially reviewing the events of the five days immediately preceding "that same night in which he was betrayed," we partook of his flesh and his blood, renewed our consecration to him, communed in prayer, and, after comforting one another with his words, departed in peace. It was a glorious hour, and we were greatly strengthened in spirit by his presence. Glory and honor be to his name. As I look out upon the world and see the tottering of the nominal house, the shaking of church, state and society, the gathering of the vast armies among the so-called Christian nations, all giving evidence of the nearness of that "battle of the great day of God Almighty," I humbly lift my heart to him in praise, knowing that "our deliverance draweth nigh." The sifting still continues, and the question of the hour is, "Who shall be able to stand?" May God continue his blessing with you and your labors, and eventually crown you in his kingdom.
Your brother in Christ, E. C. REMMEL.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:--My heart is overflowing with joy since the Memorial Supper. I prayed the Lord to be specially present with me, as I must be separated from all of the dear ones, and my prayer was more than answered. I sang hymn 276 and prayed the fulfilment of hymn 277 upon myself. What a sweet privilege, too, to be reckoned with the saints so soon to be glorified with the Head. I am in good hope that I shall be with you at your next annual gathering.
Yours in Christian love, MRS. A. J. SAUTER.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--Your good letter was duly received. I have been very busy, hence have not been able to put in any regular work at canvassing. But now I have my work in shape, and am studying (wife and I) preparatory to the work. When Brother James sent me your PLAN OF THE AGES God had me where I could learn. We have been sorely tried. It was all right; bless his holy name forever! Wife and I have a Bible reading by our fireside every night. Have prayers morning and night, and read a chapter at table after eating dinner. O, what a fountain the blessed Bible is! I do want to pour out my life daily in service to my blessed Jesus. The MILLENNIAL DAWN has saved us from terrible darkness, and has been a wonderful help to us. How could I stand without present truth? O, thank God for his goodness to us! We daily remember you and Sister Russell at the throne of grace.
I expect to commence canvassing soon. Will commence at home, and then canvass towns near here for the present. Will let you hear from time to time. I know I shall have your page 80 prayers continually. Yours in the love of the truth,
EDWARD R. WEST.
A later communication from the same brother says:--
Please send me the TOWER and the Emphatic Diaglott, for which find enclosed the amount in Money Order.
I am rejoicing as never before. The light keeps coming, and O, how glorious it is! I cannot tell you how very precious the blessed Bible is to us. It rejoices my heart to see how some of our citizens take hold of your books. I have sold about sixty of them in this little town of four or five hundred inhabitants. They are creating quite a stir. Wife and I are studying together, daily and happily. We are rejoicing in the Lord.
MR. & MRS. RUSSELL:--Dear brother and sister in Christ. A short time ago I had the pleasure of visiting with a much esteemed friend (Mrs. E. M. Garrison) who gave me a copy of the WATCH TOWER, and also told me of you and your noble work. Now I love the image of my Master wherever I find it, and I love to be in communion with God's workmen, although I may not understand much. If wrong I am anxious to be set right, but I always tread carefully and prayerfully upon new ground for fear of being led astray. I do not wish to make any mistakes, for I wish to "come again with rejoicing," and not that my works shall be burned.
I have a great deal of confidence in Mrs. Garrison's judgment concerning Christian work and workmen; therefore on her recommendation I enclose twenty-five cents to pay for your work, entitled MILLENNIAL DAWN. I am one of the Lord's poor, but he often gives me a little surplus to purchase some good thing or to assist some good cause. On account of poor health I cannot do what I would be glad to do for the dear Master. Will you kindly remember me in your earnest prayers. May the Lord bless you and your work is the prayer of yours lovingly,
MRS. A. E. BILLS.
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Just a few lines whilst sending subscriptions for TOWER. A few here are enjoying the precious truth, and are being helped by the TOWER as it comes month by month. We pray that you and it may still be kept in the narrow way to Life. Truly the Day shall declare what otherwise would be hidden. I believe with you that the kingdoms and governments of the world have nearly run out their time. How thankful we should be that we are the holders of the Lord's promises. I am glad of the stand the TOWER makes for the ransom by our blessed Master. I never have had any doubt about it, but I have seen of late that there is great necessity to hold that truth firmly and clearly.
My wife, with Brother Sharples, Brother Watkins and Sister Upjohn, join with me in wishing you much joy in the Lord, and you have our prayers for your continued usefulness in the Master's work. Yours affectionately in our one Lord,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Times are still very hard with me, but as I must have the TOWER, I enclose remittance for it. I have tried to use it in the spread of the "Glad Tidings," but I find so few whose hearts are open even to read. I feel, dear brother, that the pathway grows brighter and brighter. Through suffering I am being perfected. The last year's study of the life of our dear Lord has brought me into closer fellowship with him. He is the one altogether lovely. I am not idle. I have two large Bible classes on Sunday: one in the town, and the other two miles in the country. Two evenings in the week I meet a class of large boys, and talk to them about Jesus. My greatest desire is to be about my Master's work. O! the preciousness of the Gospel. May God's richest blessings rest with yourself and wife in spreading the glad news. Pray for me.
Yours in the love of the Master, G. C. HITCHCOCK.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I enclose to you a money order for $25.00, for which you will send me tracts numbers one, two, five, six and seven; also about three thousand Arp slips, and one thousand envelopes, and $3.00 of this goes to Tract Fund. I feel as though I must supply the neighboring towns and villages with tracts, to prepare them for DAWNS. The Anniversary was held at Bro. R.'s house, with love and joy. God bless you all! Pray for me, that I may be more fervent in spirit, and that I may go with willing steps for the Lord. I would love to lay in a larger supply of tracts, etc., but as my family expenses cut this off I must make this suffice at present.
Your brother in Christ, H. WILLIAMS.
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