page 173
August 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

VOL. XVI.AUGUST 1, 1895.No. 15.


CONTENTS.


Special Items: Sister Russell's Letter174
A Word of Caution174
Views from the Tower175
The Time of thy Visitation178
Tract Society's Introductory Letters181
Consecration vs. the World and its Affairs182
Bible Study: The Brazen Serpent183
Bible Study: The New Home in Canaan183

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 174

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

THIS journal is set 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." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 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 man," "a ransom
for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth
"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; MRS. C. T. RUSSELL, Associate.




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[R1850 : page 174]

SISTER RUSSELL'S LETTER.

Sister Russell is generally busy in the TOWER office; but just now she is making a little tour among the Lord's people in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, etc. Sister Russell's meetings are usually "parlor talks." Her present mission is to see and cheer the Lord's flock and to bring us word of their spiritual welfare. She writes:--
Springfield, Mass., July 25, '95.

MY DEAR HUSBAND:--I arrived a few hours ago from Troy, on the 1.12 train and am safely and pleasantly sheltered with Sister Clark who gives me a cordial greeting, and I am resting a little and trying to feel ready in mind and body for the evening meeting.

We had a good time in Troy, also in Saugerties and Yonkers, as well as in New York City and Brooklyn. Indeed, I have most cheering news from all with whom I have met thus far, and they all have messages of love and encouragement for you. The spirit of God is wonderfully manifest among his people.

I have not had a chance to write you since I left New York, my stay in each place being so short that what little time I had with the friends was wholly occupied; and it has been midnight and after, almost every night before we retired. I am somewhat weary to-day, but tomorrow will not be so hurried.

It was a great pleasure to receive your letter on my arrival here, and to know that you are so thoughtful of me and that I have your prayers constantly. I feel that I am constantly dependent upon divine grace, for I have no strength of my own. In so many ways I have realized the Lord's special helpfulness supplying my deficiency out of his abundant fulness that many times I am even surprised at it. I am trying to fulfill my mission as thoroughly as possible, but I must leave particulars until I return. I expect to hear from you next at Boston.

Kindly remember me to all the family and inquiring friends. I think of you always, dear, and am anxiously anticipating the return home. Your loving wife,
MARIA F. RUSSELL.


[R1851 : page 174]

A WORD OF CAUTION.

We learn that certain persons are writing to Z.W.T. readers for the addresses of all known to be interested in Z.W.T. publications. We advise that such requests be ignored;--do not even answer them. The "babes" in the truth will get enough confusion and error and sifting, without your thus helping to send them more. Satan is very active, spreading all kinds of snares; and all who cannot help others out of these snares should be doubly careful that they assist none into them. You may be sure that if you are requested to send addresses of Z.W.T. people, it is because your applicant knows that the Z.W.T. office does not know him well enough to send such addresses, or because he is well known to be a propagator of false doctrines. The "sheep" and "lambs" are far better a little lonely in the "green pastures" and beside the "still waters" than in communication with the "grievous wolves" of this evil day, against whom we are cautioned by the Apostle Peter. Read 2 Pet. 2:1-3; Acts 20:28-32.

Experience proves to us all that anyone who cannot by the grace of God claim for himself (to some degree) the Eight Qualifications of a minister (servant) of the truth, mentioned in our issue of Oct. 15, '94, and declare his appreciation of those qualifications, and his desire to grow in them, is not such an one as would probably be a benefit to the sheep and lambs, or be in any manner qualified to "feed" them.



[R1844 : page 175]

VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.


RELIGIOUS VIEW.


YOUNG Peoples' Societies are the order of the day. The phenomenally successful "Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor" at its recent annual convention claims to have had present over fifty thousand delegates, representing societies numbering nearly three million members. It does not claim to be unsectarian, but allsectarian. Its success is due to the fact that it may be said of it, "All men speak well of you." It won sectarian favor, by making it a fundamental rule that each Society should be connected with some church, and that it must cooperate with the pastor, and that its members must never if possible be absent from the services of its own church. An institution so loyal to sectarianism could not fail to be successful.

But "Christian Endeavor" had its rise amongst Congregationalists, and bears the stamp of their love of liberty in that its officers, etc., are selected by general ballot. The astute managers of Methodism soon saw that the Young People's movement had come to stay, and that if as young people they got the idea of managing their own affairs, selecting their own leaders, officers, etc., it would not be long before they would get to be old folks and have the same ideas respecting conferences, choosing their own ministers, etc.; and this would mean the destruction of the Methodist Episcopal polity, by which the bishops or clergy now manage that denomination's affairs so successfully.


***

As a result the Epworth League was organized, to handle the young folks of the M.E. Church; and in an unobtrusive manner accustom them to the recognition of Episcopacy in their affairs. Otherwise they are identical with the Y.P.S.C.E. This movement also has scored quite a success. It has just held a convention at Chattanooga, Tenn., where nearly fifteen thousand delegates were in attendance. The M.E. young people are being withdrawn from the Y.P.S.C.E. and from the "Boy's Brigade" into the "Epworth League" and the "Epworth Guards," in which the Church Pastor always has the control. As the Episcopal system made the Church of Rome powerful and great, so the same system is daily adding power and influence to the M.E. Church.


***

The influence was contageous, and soon the Methodist Protestant denomination organized its Christian Endeavor Societies as Methodist Protestant Societies of Christian Endeavor. Their convention was held recently in Pittsburg.


***

Baptists, too, concluding that their young people might lose sight of their distinctive doctrines, organized "The Baptist Young People's Union." Their convention, just held at Baltimore, Md., reports 6,559 delegates present.

We cannot feel otherwise than sympathetic with the avowed objects of these Societies, and the manifest endeavors of some of their leaders. Yet on the other hand we cannot overlook the fact that they are strands of another rope which is being thrown around the rising generation, to bind them more tightly to the theological errors which they have inherited, and from which otherwise they would have the better chance to get free. Their time already overfilled with church "work" is now so filled to the brim that they have no time to see the fallacies of their church-creeds nor to seek for truth "as men search for silver." Besides, filled with the intoxication of numbers and the excitement of annual conventions, etc., they have little appetite for spiritual things; they do not realize the inconsistency of much that they profess to believe, and are therefore not hungering and thirsting after something better, and are less susceptible to present truth. They remind us of some in the Apostle's day who knew only the baptism of John, unto repentance. (Acts 18:25-19:4.) Repentance [R1844 : page 176] is the first step, and it is important; but those who would make their calling and election sure to joint-heirship with Christ must be sanctified with the truth,--errors do not produce the right sort of sanctification.

On the whole we would feel glad to see so many young people even slightly interested in religious things did we not realize (1) that it is likely to attract some away from the "deep things of God," the truly spiritual things, and (2) that with the activity of our day these associated and well organized millions will sooner or later realize their power and start crusades (political and otherwise), which will bias public opinion, influence legislation, and sooner or later, probably, be used of Satan against liberty and the truth. It is very safe to follow Apostolic methods and recognize and belong to only "the Church of the first-born" whose names are written in heaven and who altogether will be but a "little flock."

And yet, one cannot overlook the fact that among the earnest laborers in these Societies are some noble men and women, upon the altars of whose hearts burns the fire of full consecration to our Lord. This encourages us, and reminds us that there are numbers yet in Babylon who should be sealed with the present truth. Let us each be fully awake to the use of our opportunities for serving that class.

In illustration of what we mean, we quote from an address by Miss C. Grant before the Epworth Convention. Her subject was "Church Amusements--What to have and what not to have." She urged that the Scripture injunction be remembered: "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord God, and touch not the unclean thing." She urged that whatever amusements are recognized be of the stamp approved by the Apostle's words: "Whatsoever things are true. Whatsoever things are honest. Whatsoever things are just. Whatsoever things are pure. Whatsoever things are lovely. Whatsoever things are of good report." But she said,--

"Frankly we must acknowledge that our churches of today are not keeping entirely to that standard. In an endeavor to meet the needs or nature of our younger young people and to hold our own, so to speak, with the world's fascinating allurements, or in special efforts to make (in other words to extort) the money that should be freely given, we have undoubtedly gone too far over on the world's side and I believe that for good reason our church papers are giving the warning cry of 'Danger!' And this danger is the greater because so few seem aware of it. What I would say to those of you here today who are among the workers in this line or who have any voice in the work, and what I wish I could say to all our Epworth young people everywhere, is, present no entertainment that has not been carefully and prayerfully considered in the light of God's word, "Come out from among them and be ye separate and touch not the unclean thing." Many err from blindness to the importance of this matter, but this morning I beg you to go home from this conference now ready, if never before, to scatter light, to open the eyes of others, to say a strong, firm, but courageous No! to whatever has upon it the 'image and superscription of Caesar." But do this not in a dictatorial way that is certain to antagonize, not in an 'I am holier than thou' spirit, that is equally certain to arouse opposition, but in a self-forgetting, Christ-like spirit that shall win others by its firm and loving loyalty.

"To specify somewhat as to what not to have, I will illustrate by plain mention of some examples. There is a so-called 'Brownie Entertainment;' what could be less suggestive of harm than that name? Without due investigation, it has been entered into by our churches here and there and has proved to be theatrical in its real nature; children have been kept out very late practicing; dancing, under the changed name of marching and 'drills,' has been taught, and in one instance by the very person who instructed certain ballet dancers; in some places the entertainment has been called the church theater. Can such work be consistent with our vows, with holy Christian living? Its effect upon the spiritual life of the young people engaged in it, I leave you to imagine."

She also rebuked other improper entertainments, "The Midway Plaisance," etc.

The Rev. C. H. Payne, of New York City, spoke of a coming revival which he intimated might be in the nature of a revolution. We wonder whether or not he may have gotten a glimpse of the true Church's power and kingdom soon to be manifested (Rom. 8:22,21) and the new earth (social order) under that new heavens (ecclesiastical order). He said:--

"It will be a revival of original Christianity. The greatest need of the world today is the Christianization of Christianity, the making of Christianity what Christ himself intended it to be. Christ's own type of Christianity must and will be realized. The present age has been marked by brilliant discoveries, but the greatest discovery has yet to be made, and when made will startle and quicken the world. That discovery is the discovery of Christ. He has never yet been really and fully known; has never been rightly recognized; never had a fitting place in the world for which he died. He is coming to the front as the rightful and recognized leader of his own forces; the church will soon awake to see Him as her true leader, listen to His words of command and follow Him to victory.... It is my firm belief that the church of Christ is on the eve of such a mighty spiritual and moral upheaval; the incoming [R1845 : page 176] of a revolutionary power that will make the church truly Christian, in fact as well as in name, and sweep the world forward toward the Millennial dawn."

One excellent move, among the Epworth Leaguers, is represented in the "Tongue Bridlers Brigade," the members of which are required to take the following pledge:

"In consideration of the feelings of my fellow human beings, I hereby agree, in my ordinary conversation, not to speak ill of persons, especially in their absence, but to speak well of all as opportunity is afforded, and as I can conscientiously do so."

We trust that this movement may do some good, and help to stop one of the greatest evils in the world, "gossiping." But we remind the prospective or probationary members of the "royal priesthood" that the Chief Priest of our profession (or order) has put upon all who would be recognized by him as members of his glorious Melchesidec Priesthood, a pledge whose conditions are much more sweeping and comprehensive than the above. We fear that many have overlooked it. It is to this effect:--

"A new commandment I give unto you,--that ye love one another." "Love as brethren; be pitiful, be [R1845 : page 177] courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing." "Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another." "He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love." "Respect all men, love the brotherhood." "Love one another with a pure heart fervently." "Love suffereth long and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up; love seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, and thinketh no evil." (1 Pet. 3:8,9, 1:22; Rom. 12:10; 1 John 4:8.) "Let us not love in word, neither in tongue [merely], but in deed and in truth [sincerely]. And hereby we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before the Lord."-- 1 John 3:18,19.

Where love rules the heart, even imperfectly, it commands that we think as little evil of one another as possible; and that we judge each other's motives generously, charitably; and if we love others as we love ourselves we will be careful to screen each other's imperfections from others, except where principles are involved. Love is the very essence of our Lord's spirit: and "if any man have not the spirit of Christ [to some measure and growingly], he is none of his." Let us therefore practice and acquire tongue bridling, not merely outwardly, and from "consideration for the feelings of fellow men," but as one of the necessary graces of the heart which if absent would prove that we are "none of his."


***

We have wondered considerably that The Evangelical Alliance, the first movement toward ecclesiastical union, organized in A.D. 1846 (the U.S. branch later), has kept so quiet of late; when "Union" has been heard on every side. We are not surprised, therefore, to learn through the Presbyterian Banner (July 24) that,--

"It is the purpose of the Evangelical Alliance for the United States to extend its work by the organization of local branches of the Alliance in the cities and towns throughout the country, with the object of promoting the interests for which the parent organization was formed.

"The constitution to be adopted by the local alliances has been prepared, and in its definition of the objects of the organization is the following:

"The Alliance shall stand in the name of Christ on the side of practical religion, good citizenship, enforcement of law, promotion of sobriety, the prevention of cruelty, the alleviation of suffering, the correction of injustice, the rescue of the unfortunate, the reformation of the depraved, and for such kindred ends as pertain to the true social mission of the Church.

"In the furtherance of such objects it is distinctly declared that the Alliance shall not attempt to exercise ecclesiastical or administrative authority over the allied churches. It shall be the servant of the churches, recommending such united action as it deems most wise. It shall be a purely voluntary association, which leaves the churches, with all their diverging views of doctrine and polity, absolutely unsolicited either to worship or to fellowship, which would contradict their independent convictions. Nor shall it lay the churches under any financial obligations."

For this we have been waiting for some time. This is the road that leads to cooperative Union amongst Protestants, and to cooperative fellowship with Romanism.

But the Alliance is not quite so creedless as the Banner's statement implies. It has "Nine Articles" governing it; and all who would be associated in it must subscribe to them. We quote:

"The parties composing the Alliance shall be such parties only as hold and maintain what are usually understood to be evangelical views in regard to the matter of doctrine understated."

Then follow the Nine Articles of Faith, some of which are excellent, of course, but being what is "usually understood as Evangelical," they contain three items which would debar any who had been well "sealed in their foreheads" with the truth; viz., profession of faith in the trinity, in human immortality and in eternal torment;--quite sufficient to keep separate the Cleansed Sanctuary class.*

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. III., Chap. 4.

Quite probably there will be a change of the name of the Alliance, about the time that the Church of England joins it, and gives it "life," power, vitality (Rev. 13:15), so that thereafter federated Protestants will act with Papacy and assume a general supervision of the government and morals of the world;--to their betterment in some respects, no doubt, but to the prejudice of present truth and its servants and agencies.

It will be noticed in the above quotation that "practical religion, good citizenship, enforcement of law," etc., are prominent;--first in the list of objects to be attained. This means that as soon as the Alliance has its branches in good working order, it will take a hand in practical politics and make its influence felt in government circles. The same disposition is to be noticed in the Christian Endeavor and other Young Peoples' Societies: they adopted resolutions which show that they are not averse to using the influence of their members in guiding the affairs of State. No doubt the motives are excellent; but experience, as well as Scripture, teaches us that such power will be used dictatorially when once obtained. No man will be able to buy or sell (exchange) spiritual doctrines, when that power is at its zenith, except such as bear its stamp of approval or orthodox or evangelical "marks."--Rev. 13:16,17.

THE SOCIAL VIEW.


How strangely the affairs of earth sometimes move! For instance, the governments of Europe consider Socialism their most dangerous enemy, and yet the force of circumstances is impelling them to adopt socialistic measures. The increasing military armament makes necessary increased revenues. Europe imports little except the necessaries of life, and taxes on these cannot be increased; for it would bear too heavily upon the poor masses. It must, therefore, be gotten from the well-to-do. But how? There is great opposition there to class taxation such as an Income Tax; and the only way out of the difficulty is for the governments to take control of certain classes of manufacture and raise the additional revenues in the way of profits. And this is the essence of socialism--which claims that all the large business operations should be conducted by the government with the people's wealth, and for the benefit of the people. [R1845 : page 178]

France began the matter a long while ago in making of the tobacco business a very profitable government monopoly. She is now considering the advisability of monopolizing other branches of business.

Germany has long operated many if not all of her railroads at a profit, and is looking about for some other profitable monopolies.

Russia has been trying the liquor business for nearly a year in four of her provinces (much after the style of the South Carolina dispensary system), and has determined that it will be expedient and profitable to extend it. The Czar's ukase decrees that the system shall be extended to eight provinces on July 1, '96, and to seven other provinces by July 1, '97 and to the remainder of the empire by Jan. 1, '98. The object is claimed to be a decrease of drunkenness, and purer liquors; and it is claimed that these have been the results thus far. No doubt it is true that restrictions can be enforced by government-employed-and-paid liquor manufacturers and sellers, that could not be enforced amongst those directly interested in the profits. But undoubtedly the profit of the immense business is the chief reason for its being monopolized by the government. The report of the success of the scheme in Russia, together with recent reports that drunkenness is greatly on the increase throughout Europe, and their need for revenue, will doubtless lead the other nations of Europe to similarly monopolize the manufacture and sale of liquors.

While this would doubtless be the way to regulate the evil, it will present the peculiar anomaly of so called "Christian nations" engaging in a disreputable business. Fancy the Czar, the head of the eighty millions of Greek Catholics, and the Kaiser, at the head of some forty millions of nominal Christians, providing them with whiskey, wine, beer, etc., in the name of God and as the representatives of Christ upon the thrones of "Christendom" [R1846 : page 178] (Christ's Kingdom). Fancy the signs--for instance, Emperor William III., by the grace of God, Exclusive Manufacturer and Seller of all Kinds of Intoxicants, to the Christian church-nation of Germany. Sarcastically this might be termed driving the devil out of the liquor business, and giving the monopoly of it to God. To such absurd conclusions do the erroneous claims of "Christendom" (that its rulers are of divine appointment and that in them is fulfilled the claim that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and his anointed) lead.

THE HEBREW VIEW.


The Eighth Annual Conference of American Hebrew Rabbis was held this year in Rochester, N.Y., July 10-12. This is an attempt to harmonize Orthodox and Radical (infidel) Jews. Dr. Wise, the President of the Conference, declared that they had "abolished the barrier of circumcision." Another speaker (Dr. E. G. Hirsch) said, "If we can keep the old Sabbath, let us; but if we cannot keep it, let us have the new." With the Jews, as with others, there seems to be a desire for Union no matter what the sacrifice of faith or principle.


***

The Woschod, a St. Petersburg organ of the Russian Jews, declares that Jerusalem will soon have a Jewish university. Students of all nationalities and all creeds will be admitted, but the rules will be in accordance with the Jewish ritual. The Semitic languages and Jewish literature will find special attention. The university is to be opened in 1897 in localities rented for the purpose, but a suitable building will be erected soon after, as the funds are in readiness. What is still needed is the permission of the Turkish government, and suitable teachers.

This is one of the best evidences of Palestine's revival. It must, we believe, become socially elevated, and quite wealthy within less than twenty years, to permit the fulfillment of Ezek. 38:8,12,13, before A.D. 1915.



[R1846 : page 178]

THE TIME OF THY VISITATION.


"And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, 'If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.'"--Luke 19:41-44.
THE Lord's earthly ministry was fast nearing its close, as also was the time of Israel's special favor. To Israel first was the gospel of the new dispensation preached; and the privilege of preparing to enter the spiritual phase of the Kingdom of God was being withheld from the Gentiles to fulfil the promise of God to their fathers, that his special favor should be to them first--"to the Jew first, and afterward to the Gentile."--Luke 24:46,47; Acts 13:46; 3:26.

In fulfilment of his promise God had greatly favored Israel, but chiefly in that to them were committed the oracles of God--the law and the testimony of God. (Rom. 3:2.) And by and by he sent to them prophets and wise men to remind them of their privileges and obligations, that at the appointed time they might be found worthy to enter into their inheritance. But they heeded not the prophets (Matt. 23:37), and so, last of all, God sent his Son. (Matt. 21:33-46.) And now, for three and a half years, the Son of God himself had been preaching to them the gospel of the Kingdom. But neither did they reverence his Son. They not only despised his teaching, but they also hated and reviled him, and were continually plotting against his life.

In the midst of all this ingratitude and wickedness God had patiently borne with Israel, but now the time of retribution was close at hand. As a nation they had so [R1846 : page 179] hardened their hearts by continued perversity that, although according to the promises they were looking for and expecting the Messiah about that time, they were nevertheless unable to discern "the time of their visitation." The Messiah had come--born a Jew, of the lineage of David; his advent was announced by angel messengers with heavenly anthems of praise and benedictions; his anointing likewise received the divine testimony from heaven--"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." His claims and his teaching had received the most marked seal of divine approval and endorsement in the testimony of numerous and very public miracles, and his personal character and demeanor were such as to command the most profound respect and reverence of all men, even his enemies bearing witness to the grandeur of his character. "Never man spake like this man," said the officers who were sent to arrest him, but who could not, being overawed by the majesty of his presence. Many of the people said, "Of a truth this is the prophet." "Others said, This is the Christ. ...When Christ cometh will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?" And when Pilate thought to subdue the people when they clamored for his death, he brought him forth and said, "Behold the man!" --Should a man like that die? "I find no fault in him."

Alas! so hard-hearted and consequently so blind had this people become, that they not only failed to recognize the time of their visitation, but they also conspired against the Lord to slay him. "He came unto his own and his own received him not;" he did "among them the works which none other man did," but they heeded not their testimony; "the light shined in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not;" the table of God's rich bounty was spread for them in vain, and because of their hardness of heart it became unto them "a snare and a trap."

It was in view of this dreadful condition of heart which prevailed throughout the nation, and of the national crime which was even then contemplated and which should so soon be perpetrated by his people--"his own people" according to the flesh--and of the fearful retribution they were about to precipitate upon themselves, that Jesus wept over them and uttered the plaintive lamentation of our text, "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace."

These words were not the demonstration of a merely selfish patriotism for his own nation according to the flesh, but the deep solicitude of a noble heart which grieved for a nation that failed so sadly to realize both its privileges and its degradation, and which therefore must soon receive the fearful visitation of divine wrath.

Just here it will be profitable to note what constitutes a national sin, as illustrated in Israel. Their great national sin was the rejection and crucifixion of the anointed Son of God. On the part of the minority of the nation--the rulers and recognized teachers--the sin was active: they plotted and planned; they sought to catch him in his words and in some way to so entangle him as to find a legal cause against him; at different times they specially commissioned hirelings to arrest him; and finally they violently and publicly instigated an excited and clamorous mob against him. But on the part of the majority of the people the sin was passive, both in the rejection and in the crucifixion. They weakly failed to exercise their right of private judgment, and although often they heard him gladly, and hung upon his words, and said, Of a truth this must be the Christ, and on one occasion were even constrained to take him by force and make him their king, nevertheless they failed to act on their own convictions and dependently inquired, "Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?" They blindly submitted to their erring and blind leaders, and both together fell into the ditch. Thus the whole nation, except the remnant that believed, were either actively or passively involved in the great sin of the rejection and crucifixion of the Lord.

There is a most potent lesson here for those weak and ignoble characters which think to shirk responsibility by indifference and passive acquiescence with popular errors. Both the active and the passive of the nation of Israel suffered alike the penalty of their national crime; for that which the Lord in the above words foretold soon came to pass. The siege of Jerusalem was one of the most appalling calamities. Their enemies stormed the city from without, cut off their supplies of food and drove them to all the horrors of famine, when parents actually killed and ate their own children; and added to all this were the terrors of civil war: every man's hand was against his neighbor. The punishment inflicted upon the nation extended, not only to the inhabitants of the capital city, but to the whole people, driving them out of their own land and scattering them as fugitives among all nations, never again to be reinstated until their King should come "a second time without a sin-offering unto salvation;" when their blindness shall be turned away and they shall say, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." But not until the fulness of the Gentiles shall have come into possession of the Kingdom which was first offered to, but was rejected by, them shall their blindness be turned away. The forfeiture of this chief favor, together with the calamities and persecution they have suffered ever since, is their national penalty.

There is something touchingly beautiful in this expression [R1847 : page 179] of the Lord's sympathy for the blind and erring. What moral grandeur is this that could so triumph over vindictiveness and hate! What dignity and grace and glory! Lord, help thy children to "consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself;" "who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously;" who seemed to forget the sting of persecution against himself in his deep sorrow and pity for the blindness and moral degradation of his persecutors.

Hear him again: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto [R1847 : page 180] thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate; for I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." How long the Lord waited to be gracious, how slow was he to wrath, and how plenteous in mercy! But, nevertheless, the reckoning day must come and the harvest of an evil sowing must be reaped.

"If thou hadst known," O Israel, "the things that belong unto thy peace," how different would have been the consequences! But while we consider these words, we call to mind the fact that in all these things fleshly Israel was typical* of the whole nominal gospel church--"Christendom" --and see that these words of lamentation over their stumbling and fall apply with equal force, as the prophets also indicated, to Christendom--the nominal spiritual Israel, which, at this parallel point of time, the harvest of this age, similarly fails to recognize the time of her visitation, and which, in consequence, is about to precipitate upon herself "a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation"--a trouble, therefore, even greater than that which befell fleshly Israel; and justly so, for her privileges and opportunities have been a thousand times greater.

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. vii.

Again, therefore, we seem to hear the Master's voice saying, "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace." What things belong unto the peace of God's professedly consecrated people? It is nothing short of the fullest acceptance of Christ and his teachings, and obedience to them; for not the forgetful hearers, but the doers of the word are blessed. Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all other things needful will be added.

We rejoice to know that even as in the Jewish harvest there was a remnant who did know and follow the things that belonged to their peace, and who therefore received the end of their faith as joint-inheritors with the Lord of his Kingdom and glory, so now also there is a believing and faithful remnant out of nominal spiritual Israel which discerns the time of her visitation. Yes, some of us have learned the things that belong unto our peace; and consequently, in the midst of the threatened dangers and commotion that even now begin to distress Christendom in every department of its life--civil, social, financial and religious --the peace of God, which passeth the understanding of all those who do not possess it, keeps our hearts.

Praise the Lord for his keeping power! His truth is our shield and buckler; and beyond the tempest which, according to the sure word of prophecy, we know must soon come, we see the glory of the established Kingdom--the Kingdom of light and peace. As the Lord said to his early disciples, so now he says to us, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears; for they hear; for verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear and have not heard them;" for verily the Master himself hath caused us to sit down to meat and hath come forth and served us, according to his promise.

Meanwhile all the elements of strife and discord which shall eventuate in the predicted and unparalleled trouble are in active operation; and, as the time approaches, the distress of nations, and of individuals as well, rapidly increases. In our view of the civil, social, financial and religious situation of Christendom to-day, we have called attention to some of these things, and our readers, we trust, are sufficiently awake to the signs of the times to note many more.

In religion, as vital godliness has declined, the forms of godliness have multiplied, and the people mistake the show for reality. Disregarding their right and duty of private judgment, they blindly follow their blind leaders, as did their Jewish prototypes; and, like them, they are also destined ere long to stumble into the ditch together. Now, as then, the harvest message comes through unexpected and unpretentious channels, and the masses of professed Christians, who fail to rightly estimate their personal responsibility and weakly lean upon their leaders, ignobly surrender their personal liberty and inquire, Have any of the priests or reverend doctors of divinity or theological professors, etc., believed on him? thinking thereby also to shirk their own personal responsibility. But their passive submission to the popular current, which is strongly set against the Lord and his truth, the active agents in which are the very priests and reverend doctors and theological professors to whom they look, all heedless of the Prophet's warning (Isa. 28:7,8; 29:11,12), will no more shield them from personal responsibility and from the impending trouble than did such passive submission shield the masses of fleshly Israel from the tribulation that involved them all, leaders and followers alike.

Such being the religious condition in Christendom, it is no matter of surprise that political, social and financial conditions are influenced by it. The great increase of light on all subjects, incident to this "day of preparation" for the great change of dispensation, has quickened thought and activity in every direction, and the listless, sleepy, pleasure-loving Church, intoxicated with the spirit of the world (Isa. 28:7), has been unable to help men to realize the true import of all these things; it has failed to center the attention of the people upon Christ and his coming kingdom and the signs of its approach, or to win their hearts to him and his blessed law of love and justice. Consequently strife, selfish ambition and general discontent and unrest prevail everywhere, and the dire results are felt in social, political and financial circles to such an extent that great fear of impending catastrophe is more and more taking hold upon all minds.

How rapidly events are marching toward the predicted culmination! Let those whose anointed eyes behold with joy the providence of God in permitting the adverse winds to rise and then controlling them so as to make them eventually work out his own good purposes, rejoice; yet rejoice with trembling, for neither have we yet reached the goal nor stood all the tests of faithfulness and endurance which must prove our worthiness to enter in to the final joy of our Lord. Let us be sober, and watch unto prayer.



[R1847 : page 181]

TRACT SOCIETY'S INTRODUCTORY LETTERS.


IT has been decided best to recall all of the Introductory Letters issued under the auspices of ZION'S WATCH TOWER TRACT SOCIETY, and to issue no more of them.

ZION'S WATCH TOWER TRACT SOCIETY is only a business association (has no creed or confession). It merely represents a fund entrusted to its officers for use to the best of their judgment in the spread of the Truth;--especially of those truths set forth in MILLENNIAL DAWN and ZION'S WATCH TOWER, by means of which many of the donors have been brought, by God's mercy, out of darkness into his marvelous light. The funds donated are used under the direction of the Editor (who is President of the Tract Society), just as they were used before the Society was organized. It was chartered at the request of some of the friends and contributors with a view to the continuance of the "harvest" work should the Editor die before the end of the "harvest."

This Society, therefore, would have the same right as any other business firm to give a Letter of Introduction to any one it might think worthy. But we find that the very word "Society" is liable to be misunderstood by some to mean Church; and that some are in danger of regarding this Society's Letters of Introduction as if they were Commissions, Authorizations or Ordination papers. We discontinue these Letters because we wish to "avoid the very appearance of evil," as the Word teaches.

Neither one man, nor many men unitedly, can either give or take away from anyone authority to preach in the name of the Lord. God only can give such authority; and he alone could cancel it. He has given this authority to all his people, saying: "He that hath my word let him speak my word." We sought specially to guard against such an idea as that the Letters of Introduction were letters of authority, and the Letters themselves state this most explicitly; but since they are misunderstood by some, they might later on come to be misunderstood by many. Hence they are recalled before they can do harm. Indeed, they may do good by leading to this emphatic calling of attention to God's as the only competent authorization; and the pointing out afresh that ZION'S WATCH TOWER TRACT SOCIETY is not a religious but a business association. It makes no creeds; it merely keeps accounts of the moneys received and expended; just as a banking firm receives deposits and returns checks or vouchers showing what was [R1848 : page 181] done with the money. It makes no demands, nor assessments, nor does it beg or importune for money. It merely gives notice that it is ready to receive and use, as wisely as possible, whatever money may be sent by the interested ones, who have been helped out of Satan's darkness into the sunlight of God's loving plan by its aid.

But what shall we do to shield the flock from some who have left the truth of which the ransom is the foundation? Well, the "sheep" are, very properly, learning to be on guard against "wolves in sheep's clothing," and must be all the more on guard and receive not every spirit. They must all the more carefully watch against the wiles of the devil. Let them remember that the true spirit is--

(1) "First pure, then peaceable." And let them beware of any and all coarseness, vulgarity or other uncleanness or impurity, in word, act or personal appearance.

(2) Let them remember that the spirit of Christ is never without meekness and gentleness. A contentious, quarrelsome, rude, selfish spirit is a sure indication that the one possessing it is not fit to be a teacher even or "babes in Christ." But specially beware of some who are hypocritically smooth and meek and who engender doubts, suspicions, fears, and destroy faith and confidence with feigned love and tears. The openly contentious are far less dangerous than these wolves in sheep's clothing.

(3) Reject instantly and have no fellowship or communion with any who either openly deny the merit of Christ's work as our ransom-price, or who do so by the sophistry of their arguments, while professing to hold to the ransom, upon which they put a false meaning, ignoring the true meaning of the word ransom, Gr. antilutron, --a corresponding price. Such errors although the worst and most destructive are easiest of all to "prove"-- a moment or two will suffice; then act on the true principle and have no fellowship with them, and investigate no further.

(4) The outward proofs of character may be satisfactory, and the first applied tests of doctrine--faith in Christ as a savior from sin and its penalty, by a ransom,-- may be quickly made; but then comes a further criticism. For we are not to "swallow" even the less important teachings of any except as we find them to be in harmony with God's Word. Unless you are absolutely sure of them, turn and look at the connections of any Scriptures quoted to prove any new point. Accept only such views of Scripture passages as agree well with the context. Many are susceptible to error through neglect of this rule.

(5) While "preaching" is one of the very best methods for giving and receiving instruction, it is only proper for such as have some natural ability in that direction. Others should be encouraged to serve in other ways, each "according to his several ability." (Matt. 25:15.) Some who are not platform speakers are excellent otherwise, "apt to teach," and should be appreciated and used in Bible Class talks. And even an orator should not be encouraged unless he have an aptness for teaching--an ability to make matters clear, and not as some to use fine language and yet only confuse the hearers. With small groups "Parlor talks" and "Bible Class" studies are in our judgment preferable to set sermons.

(6) Even if there be a recognized "preacher" in the company, there should be, if possible weekly, a meeting at which all could be heard, on the lines of propositions 1, 2, 3 and 4 above;--a Bible-Study class.

(7) There should be, if possible, one meeting per week for prayer, praise and testimony--a meeting not for doctrinal discussion but for spiritual exercise and enjoyment, and for self inspection and mutual helpfulness in holy things.

(8) The congregations established by the apostles appear to us to have had both the Congregational and the Episcopal features.

The Congregational feature is seen in that each congregation had the control of its own affairs under the Lord, its head, to whom alone it was responsible; and each regulated its own ministry.

The Episcopal feature is seen in the fact that it was understood and expected that the Lord, the great Shepherd of his sheep, would provide pastors, teachers, etc., for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry. (Eph. 4:11-13.) The congregations looked for the Lord's providential leading in this matter, yet were not unmindful that there were many false teachers raised up by the adversary, and they sought to prove their teachers.

When, and so long as, teachers were recognized as having been God-provided, and so long as they approved themselves by conduct and the Word of God, to the congregation, they had more honor than others; and their opinions were given proportionately the more weight. (1 Tim. 5:17; Heb. 13:17; Rom. 12:10; 13:7.) But still [R1848 : page 182] the power rested with the congregation to reject any teacher according to their judgment of the Word and will of God.

(9) Love is the only bond of perfectness--the perfect bond. Neither bind yourselves nor others with any other bond. Love supreme to God will mean that loyalty to his Word will outrank all other considerations; love for the brethren will mean a generous readiness to see as many as possible of each other's virtues and talents and to seek for each other's highest spiritual welfare--whatever the channel.

(10) Avoid all "organization"; meet as a family of God; recognize as "brethren" all who profess forgiveness of sins through faith in the precious blood and who show by their daily life that they are "striving against sin"; and choose your honored servants from your midst. In choosing seek not your own will or glory, neither that of other brethren, but the will and glory of God only, remembering the foregoing considerations as you find them Scriptural.

Should the Editor have occasion to send any special messenger to you he will probably give him his personal letter of commendation. (The giving of such letters is usual among friends whether Christians or of the world. But every child of God should feel a special responsibility as to whom he recognizes as friends or introduces to God's people as teachers.) If a Brother come to you bearing such a letter signed by the Editor, you may know that he is one with whom the Editor is well acquainted, and who he believes has some special talents for serving to you the bread of life.



[R1848 : page 182]

CONSECRATION VS. THE WORLD AND ITS AFFAIRS.


A BROTHER, once very deep in Secretism, and who knows that the Editor has had no such experience, writes as follows:--

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Your remarks under caption of Secret and Beneficial Societies in TOWER, of June 15, '95, seem rather funny to me. You hit the nail very fairly considering that you were hammering so much in the dark. I am glad that you defend the principle of protection as afforded by legitimate or old line companies, life, fire and accident. With you, however, I think their days are numbered. No human business was ever organized with broader and more philanthropic intentions than Insurance, and no business has been so abused and diverted from its real purposes. When Insurance fails (as it has failed) from the effect of selfishness, we can not hope that any human work will succeed.

As to the secret societies, they use a ritual applicable to each different degree, which is fully as reasonable as that of many of the churches, and like those of the churches, it is usually of heathen origin. The worship of the Sun appears prominently in Masonry, and so it does in the service of the Catholic and Episcopal churches. The term "Worshipful," as used in masonry, is now practically obsolete, but was formerly and generally used as a term of respect. I occupied the station of "Worshipful Master" for three years, but I never received the adoration of my fellow mortals, and I certainly never gave it to others. Your suggestion, that it is done ignorantly, is a good suggestion, but it does not apply in that case. Perhaps no man in my state, during the twenty odd years I was a member of the fraternity, gave more careful study to the symbolism of Masonry, its moral teaching, and its jurisprudence.

While masonry does not inculcate the worship of its officers, it does what is worse; for in its essence the symbolism used in the ceremonies are derived from devil worship.

Although no longer unequally yoked with those unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-17), I do want to say for those who are still in the bondage that they have much excuse. Masonry consists very largely in a series of moral instructions, taught agreeably to ancient usage, by types, symbols and allegorical figures. It is a system, and a very beautiful system--as is very much of Satan's work--when seen from the worldly standpoint.

Your fellow-worker in the best (not the worst) of bonds.


***

Another Brother writes:--

"Masonry is not Christianity; and he who is so deluded as to think it is, is led thereby into a labyrinth of grievous errors. I think I know what I am talking about, for I was for seven years 'Master' of a 'Lodge,' and conferred hundreds of degrees. Masonry will not take away sins, or save a soul from death; and it is a grave question whether or not a child of God has any business spending time and money in any worldly institution. There is nothing pure that is earthly, but purity comes down from above."


***
[R1849 : page 182]

An interested Brother writes us as follows:--

I send in this letter a check for Five Dollars to be spent in the Lord's work.

May I offer a suggestion? I wish very much that the TOWER would contain an article on entire consecration. I know many of the articles in the TOWER have that thought as their basis, but I feel that the Lord is testing us, and that an article of that kind would help us.

When we have consecrated our all to God, I believe our all comprises whatever we have--time, money, strength, everything. Now I think we (at least, some of us) fail to see what a great privilege we could have, in being permitted to help spread this blessed gospel of joy and hope in the Lord and the resurrection from the dead. We are poor in this world's goods, but we can give a little; and that mite I think should be used in the Master's service. One of the sisters, a dear, good woman, was speaking, a short time since, about an organization, known as the A.P.A., and declared her belief in its principles and her intention of contributing to its support. I was much surprised, as she had just symbolized her consecration by immersion. I tried to show her that, even if nothing could be said against the order from an earthly standpoint, she was running for the prize of the high calling; that her health, time, money and all the other blessings she enjoys come from and belong to the Lord, and should be used in his service; that we are dead to this world, its pursuits, enjoyments, hopes, organizations; and that if we give money or influence to support worldly things, we are not living up to our consecration.

I believe in the truth as revealed to us to-day, and am blessed in being permitted to see clearly the plan of God.

REPLY.--This letter itself is quite a good expression upon the subject of consecration. Other expressions on the subject will be found in MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. I., pp. 233-239, 346-349; VOL. III., pp. 208-210; and others in ZION'S WATCH TOWER, May 15, '93, p. 153; Feb. 1, '94, pp. 38-40; etc.


***

A young Brother recently interested inquires: Do you think it is proper for the saints to use tobacco? We reply:

Tobacco is not specifically condemned in the Bible; [R1849 : page 183] though the principle of discarding every defiling, abominable thing is distinctly taught; and therefore every Christian is privileged to spend as much money for it and to eat and smoke as much of it as he sincerely believes will do him good, physically and spiritually, and result to the Lord's glory--"Whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do," it should be done with an eye single to the Lord's glory. --1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17; Matt. 6:22.

The Apostle says (2 Cor. 7:1), "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." Speaking for myself, and I believe that this is also the judgment of all faithful Christians who have to any extent put in practice the Apostle's words, I would say that I cannot see how it would be to God's glory, or to his own profit, for any Christian to use tobacco in any form. He "that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1 John 3:3.) We cannot imagine our Lord reeking with the fumes of tobacco or putting into his mouth anything defiling.



[R1849 : page 183]

THE BRAZEN SERPENT.
--AUG. 11.--NUM. 21:4-9.--

Golden Text--"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up."
--John 3:14.--
THE incident of this lesson needs no additional words of explanation. Its full import is brought before us in the Golden Text. The fiery serpents represented sin, whose bite is deadly. "The sting of death is sin;" and "the wages of sin is death." In sending Israel relief, God foreshadowed the greater relief he would afterward send to mankind in general,--Christ the sinners' ransom-price.

The serpent was of brass (literally, copper), which is a type of the human nature.* God thus declared in type that the man Christ Jesus would be lifted up upon the cross as our sin-offering, as it is written, "He [Jehovah, the heavenly Father] made him who knew no sin to be a sin-offering for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5:21.) "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16.) As Israel looked to the brazen serpent for healing, so must all the sin-bitten children of men look to Christ, the sin-offering, for healing from sin and death. Christ took the sinners place; he bore the full penalty of our sins; his flesh (his humanity) he gave for the life of the world. Wherefore, he was also highly exalted to a nature superior to the human which he had sacrificed, even to the divine nature, and given a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. (John 6:51; Isa. 53:5,6; Phil. 2:7-11.) Thus we view him, not only as our Redeemer, but also as our exalted Lord with power and authority not only to deliver us from the sleep of death but also to train and discipline all the willing and obedient up to perfection of character and fitness for eternal life.

*See TABERNACLE SHADOWS.

The result of the lifting up of Christ will eventually be the drawing of all men unto him. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said signifying what death he should die." (John 12:32,33.) Yes; it will be the power of the cross of Christ, it will be the love of Christ and of God there manifested, that will be the drawing power upon the hearts of men when, by and by in his glorious reign, and after the great tribulation of this evil day shall have sealed its instruction upon the hearts of men, making them more humble and teachable, all his goodness and grace shall be brought into effectual operation.

It would be a great mistake, however, to confound this drawing power of the cross of Christ which will by and by be realized by all men, with the statement of John 6:37,44,45 --"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out....No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."

The class here referred to is not the whole world drawn by the power of the cross in the age to come, but a special class now being selected out from among the world by the Spirit of God through his word of truth and given to Christ as his peculiar treasure--his bride and joint-heir. In the provisions of his wonderful plan God has thus given to Christ all the loyal, consecrated, faithful ones of the Gospel age. They are his, his jewels, called of God to be joint-heirs with him of his glory and kingdom. Had they not been thus called of God and in his plan given to Christ, they could not of themselves have grasped such an honor. To have done so would have been the height of presumption. Their exaltation is therefore of God's own appointment: "they are called and faithful and chosen;" and they are all taught of God--led by his spirit through his word of truth.

And Christ here expresses his pleasure to receive all such according to the divine appointment; and he will raise them up at the last day--the glorious day of his return and the setting up of his Kingdom in the earth--the day, thank God, which even now begins to dawn.



[R1849 : page 183]

THE NEW HOME IN CANAAN.
--AUG. 18.--DEUT. 6:3-15.--

Golden Text--"Thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee."--Deut. 8:10.
AFTER the forty years' sojourn of Israel in the wilderness they were now again on the borders of the promised land and about to enter it. All the rebellious adult generation had died. Only Joshua and Caleb and Moses remained; and even Moses, though faithful and loyal to God to the highest degree, could not enter the land of promise, because in presumptuously and without authority smiting a second time the rock whence flowed the water of life, instead of merely speaking to the rock as he was directed, he committed a sin which typified the sin unto death. The rock represented Christ who was smitten once for the world's benefit; but those who would crucify the Son of God afresh and again put him to an open shame shall not enter into the Canaan of the heavenly rest. Moses did not really commit that sin, but his presumptuous act being a type of it, he could not enter into Canaan, but [R1849 : page 184] must die in the wilderness, though he had come to the very borders and in sight of the goodly heritage.

How solemn this lesson to the Church for whose instruction those types were made! Yes, we may come even to the borders of the glorious inheritance of the saints; and not only so, but we may also lead others there, and yet [R1850 : page 184] ourselves be castaways and die the second death, if we cease to recognize the one all-sufficient sacrifice of Christ our Redeemer and Lifegiver.

Probably Moses knew nothing of the typical significance of the penalty of his rash act; but without a word of complaint he accepted the chastening of the Lord and made diligent haste to accomplish the work of the Lord for Israel before he should lie down to rest. There is a touching sweetness as well as a grandeur of nobility in the devotion of Moses to the Lord and to his work for Israel. When God bade him made ready to ascend the Mount to view the promised land and there to lie down and die alone, apart from all he had loved and labored for so long, Moses' only reply was an expression of deep concern for Israel-- "And Moses spake unto the Lord, saying, Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, ...that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd." (Num. 27:12-17.) And God regarded his request and appointed Joshua to succeed his beloved servant Moses.

Then Moses diligently applied himself to the completion of his work, giving his fatherly counsel to his beloved people in whose interests he had sacrificed every earthly good and for whom he had endured hardness--incessant toil and care and privation and reproach and weariness and vexation of spirit for forty eventful years. How tender and wise his counsel! In it all there is no vaunting of self, no boasting of his own faithfulness; but there are strong and earnest words of exhortation, encouragement, instruction and advice, the account of which read in the entire book of Deuteronomy.

If we read these memorable words so full of wisdom and counsel, forgetful of their import to the Church also, the antitypes of fleshly Israel, and merely as items of Jewish history, we miss discerning the very object of their record. "They are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world [the present evil world] are come." (1 Cor. 10:11.) Consider a few of these comforting thoughts in the light in which they shine to us, the spiritual antitypical Israel of God, to whom the promises and exhortations spoken directly to fleshly Israel apply in a wider and fuller sense.

Deut. 4:23,24,30-40.--"Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God;... for the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. [See also Heb. 12:29; 10:31.] If thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice,... he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them [the Abrahamic covenant, of which the Gospel Church, as the spiritual seed of Abraham, are the chief inheritors.--Rom. 9:8; Gal. 3:29]. For ask now of the days that are past, ...since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is [which God hath done for his spiritual Israel], or hath been heard like it? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire [out of the glorious manifestations of his adorable presence with the church] as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation by proofs, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand and a stretched-out arm, and by great terrors like all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? [While in those days no wonders were greater than those wrought on behalf of fleshly Israel, they are eclipsed by the greater wonders wrought on behalf of spiritual Israel in their emancipation from the bondage of sin, and in their wonderful leading through all their wilderness way, beset as they have been by foes without and within, hotly pursued by Satan and tempted, tried and persecuted as they have been. What a miracle of grace is every child of God!]"

The text of this lesson is an exhortation to love and loyalty and obedience to God, and to steadfastness in his service. Let us ponder its propositions carefully, and let them sink deep into our hearts.

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." It is not a mere passing sentiment of appreciation that the Lord desires of us: it is all-absorbing love that he desires--a love which delights in God, which meditates upon his law and strives patiently, and at the cost of any sacrifice, to please him. Such love is not natural to us: we must strive for it, pray for it and daily and hourly cultivate it.

Through Moses the Lord indicates how we should endeavor to cultivate this love. It is by meditating upon his just and holy law, his precepts and instructions which manifest to us the glory of his character. Hear him: "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."

The Christian who abandons the daily reading of the Word of God and meditation upon its precepts is not a growing Christian. The precepts and promises of God are very rich; but they have no sweetness to the soul that does not keep them ever fresh before the mind and delight himself in them, and shape all his course in life in strict adherence to the principles therein set forth. Let us say with the Psalmist: "With my whole heart have I sought thee [Lord], O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee."--Psa. 119:10,11.

Then let us weigh well the counsel of verses 10-12, as the principle applies to us with double force. "And it shall be when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers,...to give thee great and goodly cities which thou buildedst not, and houses full of all good things which thou filledst not, and wells digged which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; then beware lest thou forget the Lord which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage." Beloved, shall the goodness of God ever cause us ungratefully to forget him? Many indeed are the forgetful recipients of his favors. How much of the divine bounty in spiritual things has been accorded to the children of God; yet even these blessings misused may be turned into a curse. The light misused may turn to darkness, and then, how great is that darkness! (Matt. 6:23.) If to serve the flesh we make merchandise of the truth received, ere long that inestimable blessing becomes our accuser before God and we are borne out of the light into the outer darkness. And those who thus go after other gods which their own perverse wills set up are liable to the penalty of verse 15 which, in its application to the reprobates from spiritual Israel, corresponds to the faithful warnings of the Apostle Paul in Heb. 6:4-8 and 10:26-31.



page 185
August 1st

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

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

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

VOL. XVI.AUGUST 15, 1895.No. 16.


CONTENTS.


Special Items: Method of Service, Etc186
Views from the Tower187
"With What Body do they Come?"188
The General Resurrection189
The Resurrection of Damnation190
The Resurrection of the Just191
"Shall Never Die."193
"We shall be Like Him."194
Bible Study: Crossing the Jordan196
Bible Study: The Fall of Jericho196

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 186

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

THIS journal is set 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." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 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 man," "a ransom
for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth
"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; MRS. C. T. RUSSELL, Associate.




SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
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Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accident, or other adversity are unable to pay for the TOWER will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.


[R1852 : page 186]

HOW SOME DO AND OTHERS MAY SERVE.

Many who are tied down by family duties, or other hindrances, so that they cannot go forth giving all their time and strength in the spread of the truth, ask us to suggest methods of service.

You already know of the wonderful privilege you have in the "Silent Ministry" of tract distribution, in which all to a greater or less extent can engage;--at hotels, depots, conventions, on Circus-day in small towns, and at a little distance from churches on Sundays. To have free, for the asking, all the tracts you can judiciously use, is a rare privilege; and to have tracts which present the truth, is another rare privilege.

You already know what opportunities for testifying to the real "second blessing" are afforded by the various "Prayer Meetings," "Class Meetings," "Christian Endeavor Meetings;" and how "a word in season" and the gift of a tract or loan of a DAWN has helped many a poor sheep "out of darkness into the marvelous light" of God's truth.

But now we call to your attention two other methods of service.

(1) Every now and then some of the "blind leaders of the blind," fearing that some of their followers may see the light of the Millennial Dawn, publish in their town paper an attack upon it. What they cannot refute, they feel free to slander and misrepresent, or else to treat sarcastically. It does not require great skill to show their misrepresentations, point out their sophistry, and in a few words tell how much your own heart has been blessed, and your own life made happier and holier, by the truth, and to commend it to others;--and then ask the same Editor to publish your reply. Offer to loan the DAWN to whoever will read it, as the surest way to convince them that its teachings have been misrepresented. Send us a marked copy of the paper containing your article, and the addresses of all who apply for the book on loan in reply to your offer.

(2) Another excellent method is to make note of addresses of specially good, reverent, honest people and write to them of your hope that they like yourself are God's children and truth-seekers; ask whether they have ever read The Plan of the Ages; tell them what assistance it has rendered you, in the study of God's Word and plan; mention its low price, and offer to loan it to them if they are not situated so that they can purchase it; and enclose one tract in your letter, selected for being most in harmony with their article which you commend. If any points in their article must be criticised, do it as gently as possible. [R1852 : page 186]

EPISCOPALEANS AND SALOONS.

The Anglican Synod which closed its session in Toronto, Canada, June 18, has control of certain property which it leases for the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors. Some objected to this being longer continued and the matter was put to a vote in which the majority decided that the practice be continued, and it is continued.

During the discussion, as reported in the secular press, the "Hon. S. H. Blake declared that God's church should not do the devil's business. Such a policy defeats its own objects. The church ought not to take the devil into partnership and defend liquor licenses on the miserably low ground of dollars and cents."

A London journal says that for eighteen years the Rev. Osbert Mordaunt, a Church of England clergyman, has been the proprietor of a "public house" at Hampton Lucy, Warwickshire. He keeps a salaried manager to attend to the liquor business, and devotes the profits to local improvements.

What think you is the Lord's judgment of such business done in his name and for his glory?



[R1851 : page 187]

VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.


THE recent onslaught of the Chinese upon the missionaries in certain parts of China, and the general feeling against them in all parts, gives force to the remarks of Rev. E. R. Donehoo of Pittsburg, who has for a long time been identified with Chinese missions in the United States. In an interview, published in the public press, July 29, he said--"He believes the efforts to convert Chinese from Paganism are futile; that although Chinamen go to Sunday School and seem to take an interest in the Christian religion and even profess Christianity, yet they cling to their heathen ideas and ceremonies." "Mr. Donehoo is looked upon as the leader and adviser of the resident Chinese, and has formed his opinion after years of experience and study."

If this be true, if Christianity has no influence on these people who constitute so large a proportion of earth's population, what hope has Rev. Donehoo for the conversion of the world? In what manner does he propose that every knee shall be made to bow and every tongue to confess Jesus Christ? How will he expect to see fulfilled the prayer of our Lord--"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven?"

We have long seen that the task which Christians have set for themselves--to convert the world and make of it God's Kingdom--is a hopeless one. After more than eighteen centuries not only is there but a fragment of the world Christianized, but many, yea, the majority of those who bear the name of Christ have evidently neither part nor lot in the matter; and like some of old are twofold more the children of destruction than they were before.--Matt. 23:15.

Surely, Mr. Donehoo and all others, seeing their own impotency to fulfil the promises of God, should begin to inquire for the Bringing Back of the King. The eyes of their understanding should quickly see that in him is the only hope of victory over Satan, sin, ignorance and degradation.

One great difficulty in the way of such is the false view of the King and the Kingdom, presented to them by Pre-millennialists; --that Christ will come again in the flesh and with his Church in the flesh set up a fleshly Kingdom. Here is the opportunity for all whose eyes are open to the correct view of the subject to show, to all who have ears to hear, that the Kingdom of God cometh not with outward show, neither shall any say, Lo, here! or lo, there! for it will be in their midst, a spiritual, invisible, powerful Kingdom, like that of the present "Prince of this world," Satan, except that its objects and methods will be right and pure and good, and its servants the servants of righteousness.

Discourage the hopes some are building upon Communistic Colonies, etc., all of which will certainly fail; and encourage them to look beyond the enveloping great and general trouble, which will completely destroy present institutions, to the new order of things which will be established in the hands of the seen agents and representatives of the coming Kingdom--"Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets."--See Luke 13:28; Psa. 45:16.

SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL VIEW.


Ten suicides in one day, in London, is the sad record for July 27, '95, never before equaled. But statistics show that the number of suicides is largely on the increase.

One lesson to us is, that notwithstanding the greater advantages and opportunities of life every way, over all past times, yet the poor human family is still and increasingly a "groaning creation." Their groans and pains are often directly and indirectly the result of sin reigning in them and producing discontent. Perhaps pride or ambition have utterly failed to attain foolish or sinful aims; or perhaps after attaining have failed and have wrecked the little emptiness which filled the soul. [R1851 : page 188]

Well has the Apostle said to Christians that "Godliness with contentment is great gain." And we might add that the godliness which does not bring contentment is of little value, and not likely to last. We do not mean the contentment of sloth and indolence; but the intelligent contentment which springs from full confidence in the Lord's love, wisdom and power to cause all things to work for good to those who devotedly love him. Such have the peace of God to rule their hearts and can sing:--

"Content whatever lot I see
Since 'tis my God that leadeth me."
They alone in the storms of life can lift up their heads and hearts and rejoicing sing:--
"My Lord how full of sweet content
My years of pilgrimage are spent!
Could I be cast where thou art not,
That were indeed a dreadful lot.

"While place we seek or place we shun
The soul finds happiness in none;
But with our God to guide our way
'Tis equal joy to go or stay."


***

Business prosperity has suddenly returned to the United States to the great relief of many who for some time have been finding it difficult to hold on to life and its necessities. WATCH TOWER readers have been pinched considerably, for amongst them are not many great or rich. About 5,000 have been unable to even pay for their TOWER. The colporteurs too, who have found it difficult to pay their ways during the past year and a half are doing better now, and we rejoice with them.

Of course the Tract Fund suffered too, but we refrained from mentioning the fact lest it should cause pain to some who have been unable to do all that their hearts had hoped in the beginning of the year; and lest some should strain themselves or deny themselves life's necessities in order to have a share in this service. Indeed now that the pressure is easing up we may say to the praise of our Lord that he has supplied the necessities of the work most wonderfully, --from one source or another: hundreds of thousands of tracts have been printed and shipped to all parts of the world; and MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., in Swedish and in Danish are nearly ready.

At the beginning of the year we feared that we should be unable to keep Brother McPhail on the road continuously: but as the reports of his visits showed them to be profitable to the Lord's flock spiritually, and as the Lord continued to supply the means, he has been continued; and now we have in view another traveling representative, hoping to add thereby to our Lord's glory and to your spiritual prosperity. Remember that the Tract Society's "pilgrims" never solicit money and never take up collections.


***

The revival of business will be unfavorable to some. Be on your guard; and be not overcharged with the cares of this life.

Some seem to forget that present prosperity is as much in line with our expectations and expositions of Scripture as were the adverse times. We have repeatedly pointed out that the "pangs" of trouble will grow more sharply severe and more frequent until the birth of the new order of things, applying the great Apostle Paul's simile of 1 Thes. 5:3. Indeed, we expected the present interval of quiet and prosperity six months earlier than it came; and so announced in our issue of July 1, '94, p. 226, and 230. See also Jan. 1, '92, View; and MILLENNIAL DAWN Vol. I, Chap. 15.



[R1852 : page 188]

"WITH WHAT BODY DO THEY COME?"


THE following is a quotation from the Easter Sermon of T. DeWitt Talmage, D.D., with comments thereon. Mr. Talmage said,

"'Why should it be thought with you an incredible thing that God should raise the dead?' Things all around us suggest it. Out of what grew all these flowers? Out of the mold and earth. Resurrected. Resurrected. The radiant butterfly, where did it come from? The loathsome caterpillar. That albatross that smites the tempest with its wing, where did it come from? A senseless shell. Near Bergerac, France, in a Celtic tomb, under a block, were found flower seeds that had been buried 2,000 years. The explorer took the flower seed and planted it, and it came up, it bloomed into bluebell and heliotrope. Two thousand years ago buried, yet resurrected. A traveler says he found, in a mummy pit in Egypt, garden peas that had been buried 3,000 years ago. He brought them out, and on June 24, 1844, he planted them, and in thirty days they sprang up. Buried 3,000 years, yet resurrected!

"Do not this waking up of men from trance, and this waking up of grains buried 3,000 years ago, make it easier for you to believe that your body and mine, after the vacation of the grave, shall rouse and rally, though there be 3,000 years between our last breath and the sounding of the archangelic reveille? Physiologists tell us that while the most of our bodies are built with such wonderful economy that we can spare nothing, and the loss of a finger is a hindrance, and the injury of a toe-joint makes us lame, still we have two or three apparently useless physical apparati, and no anatomist or physiologist has ever been able to tell what they are good for. Perhaps they are the foundation of the resurrection body, worth nothing to us in this state, to be indispensably valuable in the next state. The Jewish rabbis appear to have had a hint of this suggestion when they said that in human frame there was a small bone which was to be the basis of the resurrection body. That may have been a delusion. But this thing is certain, the Christian scientists of our day have found out that there are two or three superfluities of the body that are something gloriously suggestive of another state."

A writer in the American Practitioner and News, a medical journal, comments as follows,--

"In the celebration of the great festival of the Church commemorative of the risen Lord it was expected that the [R1852 : page 189] sermons delivered would repeat with poetry, eloquence, and sometimes with logical force, whatever science, history and philosophy may have contributed to the argument of the resurrection; but the scientific world was hardly prepared for such a breath-taking novelty as that put forth by the great Brooklyn divine.

"In truth, the facts of science give little if any support to the hypothesis of the resurrection of the physical body; and, recognizing this, wise preachers generally confine themselves to St. Paul's allusion to the seed, etc., and call upon their hearers to take the rest upon faith.

"The statements that seeds have been preserved for thousands of years, and then have grown, is on a par with the stories of frogs and other lower forms of life that have lain imprisoned in clay or rock for centuries or kiliads, and have been found still living when their prison houses were broken by the miners. The truth of the statements has been wisely questioned; but, if they be true, they give no help to the argument for the immortality of the soul, and, with greater force be it said, absolutely no support to the hypothesis of a resurrection of the physical body.

"It is strange that any man in possession of the truth, and with a mind capable of reasoning upon the truth, should parade any such analogical rubbish before an audience of cultivated men and women! For such arguments can have no weight till the fable of the Phoenix rising from his own ashes and the resurrection of a dead tree from the decaying compost of roots and branches can be scientifically demonstrated.

"'Tis not worth while to argue such questions, since there can be no analogy between a resurrection of a body out of grave mold and the development of a plant or animal from an impregnated seed or egg. One is only a case of delayed development, while the other can be nothing less than the reconstruction of dead and disintegrated elements.

"As for the hypothesis that there is in the body an indestructible germ that will resist death, and on resurrection day reconstruct the body, there is nothing in all the realm of anatomy and physiology to support it. It is an ancient conceit, and has far less significance than the fable of the Phoenix. And to say that this hypothesis gains any support from the fact that there are in the body some organs whose function is not fully understood is absolute nonsense. Dr. Gilbert asks Dr. Talmage to look at the decayed and tissue-stripped wrecks at the end of a season of dissection. We would invite him to look at the ashes and caput mortuum after a cremation, and find the elements out of which the old body of the subject is to be reconstructed....

"The hypothesis of the resurrection of the physical body [R1853 : page 189] can find no support in either science or philosophy. If it is to be received as truth, let it be taken on faith as a fact of revealed religion; but do not let us make it ridiculous by trying to support it upon far-fetched facts and impossible analogies."


***

The foregoing conclusions based upon a scientific examination of the facts are in most thorough accord with God's revelation--the Bible. It is the statement, "I believe in the resurrection of the body," made by various church-creeds, but not by the Bible, that misleads so many. Many think the expression a quotation from the Scriptures, and hence endeavor to believe it, despite every evidence of fact and reason to the contrary. The Bible never makes the absurd statement that the bodies which we bury will be raised again. On the contrary, in explaining the philosophy of the resurrection, and illustrating it, Scriptures state most emphatically, "Thou sowest not that body that shall be."--1 Cor. 15:36-38.

It is a fact that very many corpses become fertilizers for the roots of trees, which absorb their elements, and that thus, during centuries, the constituent elements of many human bodies have passed repeatedly from tree to fruit and from fruit to animal organism again. And to believe that in preparing the resurrection body God will use his omnipotent powers to recover every atom of matter which once composed the old body is absurd; especially when he has said nothing of the kind, but does speak to the contrary. Indeed, if it be true that our bodies are continually in process of decomposition and change, which waste is continually supplied by food, and that a complete change of the entire system is accomplished every seven years, then a man dying forty-nine years old would have had substance enough for seven bodies if every atom of it were given back to him in a resurrection body. And if such a conclusion seems foolish, is it not equally foolish to suppose that God will seek the elements which composed the body at the time of death, as necessary for his work of reconstruction? He who has created all things is surely as able to create bodies from new matter as from the old elements, which should require to be sought for throughout the animal and vegetable kingdoms. It is such foolish misrepresentations of the Scripture teachings which makes infidels of many men of sense;--who do not examine the Bible on the subject for themselves, but judge it by the testimony of its professed expounders, Dr. Talmage and others.

THE GENERAL RESURRECTION.


By the term general resurrection we mean that provision for attaining everlasting life which God has provided for humanity in general. As the Church of this Gospel age is "not of the world," but a specially select or elect class, "chosen for a purpose," so their resurrection is to be totally different from that of the world. Their resurrection is called in Scripture the first or chief resurrection, in which only the "blessed and holy" will have a share. We leave the consideration of that special resurrection until after we have considered the general resurrection.

While the fact that a resurrection is provided for all through Christ's death is abundantly stated in the Scriptures, minute and detailed descriptions of it are not given. God evidently did not design to acquaint the world with the detail of his plans before the time; and he furnished only such data as would enable his Church to reason it out in the light of the present due time.

To understand why God has provided a resurrection for all is important in its bearing upon the subject. It is because Jesus Christ by God's grace tasted death for every man--because he thus redeemed all from the death penalty inherited through father Adam. God's object in providing a ransom co-extensive with the fall was that, as by Adam's disobedience many were made sinners and shared [R1853 : page 190] his death penalty, even so, by the obedience and sacrifice of "the man Christ Jesus," all may by faith in him be justified from sin, and attain eternal life through resurrection.

Our Lord declared that eventually, "All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth; they that have done good [the justified and approved of God through Christ] unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil [all not so approved] unto the resurrection of damnation [literally, judgment]." (John 5:28,29.) The resurrection unto life, refer to the saints, the "overcomers," and will be considered later; we now have to do only with

THE RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION.


The expression--"unto the resurrection of damnation" would better be translated "unto resurrection by judgment." The translators of our common English version supposed that there was no hope except in the present life, and consequently could think of no object God would have in calling the unjustified from their graves, except to damn (i.e., condemn) them publicly, and send them to eternal torment; and they translated accordingly. Had they translated correctly, they or others might the sooner have gotten the true import of our Lord's words. Judgment (Greek, krisis) signifies a trial, with a sentence as a result. The world of mankind, by reason of Adam's disobedience, all passed under his sentence (Greek, krima, rendered "judgment" in Rom. 5:16) once, and consequently needed no more sentencing: the one sentence forfeited all rights to life on the part of Adam and his children: but our Lord was about to finish the great sin-offering at Calvary, and, as one of the results of his ransom-sacrifice, he declared, in the words under consideration, that there would result not only a resurrection of the justified to life, but also a resurrection by judgment of the, as yet, unjustified ones.

In considering the meaning of "resurrection by judgment," it is needful that we recognize a difference between mere awakening from the sleep of death, and full resurrection. The awakening that we may expect for the world will be similar to that of Lazarus of Bethany, of the son of the widow of Nain and of Jairus' daughter;--the restitution of a small measure of life, such as had been previously enjoyed. But so far from this awakening being a full, complete resurrection, it will be only the first step necessary in that "resurrection by judgment" which is to be thrown open to all. That awakening will be after the Kingdom of Christ and his bride (the overcomers, the saints) has been fully established;--after the nations then living shall have been brought under the influence of the Kingdom, and been considerably blessed by the knowledge of the truth, then fully revealed.

As soon as they are awakened the knowledge of the Lord will begin to reach them, and then their judgment or trial will begin. If obedient to the knowledge which will then reach them, they will gladly accept Christ as their Redeemer and King, and come under subjection to the terms of his New covenant; and then, under the provisions of that time, their restitution will begin. It will progress rapidly or slowly according to the degree of their zeal and love for the Lord and for righteousness. It will thus be a restitution by judgment, or a resurrection by or according to judgment: a judgment according to their obedience or disobedience.

Thus resurrection, secured for all by our Lord's death, will be granted or offered to all; but it will be forced upon none. Whoever does not choose to gladly accept it, whoever does not enter into the very spirit of the Lord and his righteous arrangements, will be accounted a "sinner," and will be cut off from life at the close of his first century of experience if he does not by that time heartily accept, or if at any time afterward he should grow weary of well-doing.

Full resurrection--full raising up to the grandeur of life and nature lost in Adam will, therefore, not be attained by any of the world (sharers in the "resurrection by judgment") until the close of the Millennial age of trial and restitution. (Restitution by trial and resurrection by judgment are synonymous expressions.) And even then, it will be only such as shall be "accounted worthy"--only such as, by that time, under the discipline of that age shall have developed characters fully in conformity with that of our Lord. Their perfection will be the resurrection of all that was lost by Adam and redeemed by Christ;--perfect manhood, as Adam possessed it when in God's image, before he sinned and fell; but with the addition of knowledge and character, incident to the experiences of the fall, the redemption and the thousand years restitution, uplifting and resurrection by judgment.

Some have raised the question whether or not God whose "work is perfect" could recreate and awaken men in an imperfect condition. We reply, No; God does not deal with or judge in any manner the imperfect man. Hence, as soon as Adam became a transgressor God sentenced him and abandoned further trial. In accordance with this we have the statement, "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." Thus the law of God's Empire stands firm that "all unrighteousness is sin," and that "the wages of sin is [not another trial, but] death." Meantime God's mercy, without impairing his law, provided Christ as the Ransomer and Judge of fallen man;-- to judge them in their imperfection and to bring them up to perfection. Indirectly this will be God's judgment, as we read, "God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained" --Christ. (Acts 17:31,32.) And the Apostle explains that "Christ died and revived [oldest Greek MSS.] that he might be Lord both of the dead [mankind] and living [angels, etc.]." (Rom. 14:9; 1 Pet. 3:22.) He gained this right to judge and to help fallen man by purchasing him with his own life,--"a ransom for all." The angels who "kept not their first estate" needed not to be [R1854 : page 190] purchased before they could be judged or tried; because they had not been sentenced to death and are not in death. But the fallen angels are to be granted a trial (1 Cor. 6:3), [R1854 : page 191] and hence it is stated that our Lord shall "judge [both] the quick [living] and the dead at his appearing and kingdom."

However, the fact that mankind are all said to be "dead" does not imply that they must all become totally unconscious in death, nor that any will be judged or tried while unconscious in death. On the contrary, Adam was a "dead" man as soon as God pronounced the sentence of death upon him, although he was 930 years in dying; for life represents the perfect state in which there is no element or degree of death. Thus the Apostle writes to the Church, Ye are "passed from death unto life [reckonedly]." And our Lord said to one, "Let the dead bury their dead." "He that hath the Son hath life [reckonedly, already]; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1 John 5:12.) The same thought of judging or trying the "dead" is put before us in Rev. 20:12. "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God:...and the dead were judged," etc.

In perfect accord with this view (and no other) is that peculiar statement of John 5:25: "Verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming* when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall LIVE." According to the general conception this should read, they that live shall hear, but this would not have been true and in harmony with the plan; hence the peculiar and guarded expression used, which is only appreciable as we come to see more deeply into God's plan for that coming age. All are dead--under death's dominion; death has passed upon all. The Redeemer has come, the ransom has been paid, and in due time all the dead "shall hear (be brought to a clear conception of it), and they that hear (receive and obey it) shall [in due time] LIVE"--reach perfection of life-- perfection of being.

*Sinaitic MS. omits "and now is."

As a matter of fact, no one will be judged in an unconscious state of death. All will be awake in the sense of having consciousness; but during the entire Millennial age, while being raised up out of death to perfection of life, they will still be "dead," although like the Church of the present time they will be reckoned as though they had passed from death to life, from the moment that they accept the New Covenant of the Lifegiver.

It will be necessary for all of the "body of Christ," the saints, to die; for sacrifice, even unto death, is their covenant; but it will not be necessary for every individual of the world to go down into the unconsciousness of the tomb in order to comply with the sentence upon Adam;+ for as we have shown they are already legally dead and can get no life except from Christ, the Redeemer and Life-giver. If we were to be held to the letter of the penalty, it would mean that we would not only surrender every spark of life, but that it is forever forfeited. It is from this penalty--as a whole--that we were redeemed by the precious blood. Hence, he who has become Lord [rightful controller] of the dead can stop the dying at any stage he may please, and begin the life-giving processes of the New Covenant. We may expect therefore that as soon as the Church has been exalted to Kingdom glory the restitution or revivifying or raising up processes will begin--with those "dead" men and women then (in the ordinary sense of the word) "alive." When it shall have progressed considerably (possibly a century or two later) the process will extend to the awakening of some of those "dead" ones who had lost every spark of life. When their judgment shall have proceeded to a reasonable degree, others will be awakened, until all that are in the graves, "the dead, small and great," will be standing judgment before the great white throne which God has so graciously provided and promised.

+It may occur to some that Heb. 9:27, "It is appointed unto men once to die," is a contradiction to this; but only because of a total misapprehension of the meaning of this scripture, which is fully explained on page 78 of Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices, which most of our readers already have.

While the bodies with which they will be awakened or "come forth" from hades (the grave) will be physical bodies, human bodies, of flesh and blood and bones, they will not be the same bodies; for not the body, but the being is to be restored. And they will be very different at the completion of their restitution from what they will be at its beginning--at the awakening. Their awakening will be in bodies such as men have at present--imperfect bodies --mentally and morally; but we should suppose that a reasonable amount of physical restitution would be granted at once such as our Lord's miracles intimated. We do not suppose that any will "come forth" blind, deaf, leprous, etc., and it will take the "resurrection by judgment," during the "times of restitution," to develop gradually to perfection the features and organs marred by the fall.

This method which God has adopted, of "resurrection by judgment"--a resurrection which will not be complete until the thousand years are finished--is manifestly a wise one. It affords every possible opportunity for even the most debased to take of the water of life freely. It gives say twenty times as much experience with the effects of righteousness as each had known in the unsatisfactory pleasures of sin in the present life. It carries the identity of man, from the time of his experiences with sin, on to the completion of his experience in divine favor and righteousness; whereas much of the benefit would be lost in any other manner of resurrecting the world of which we can conceive. If resurrected (lifted up to perfection) at the moment awakened, men would not know themselves or each other, --so great would be the changes mentally, morally and physically.

THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST.


The resurrection of the just or righteous is marked off in Scripture as totally distinct from the general or world's resurrection above considered; but the name just does not signify that any of Adam's race can be said to be "righteous" or perfect, in the absolute sense, but that the overcomers, the Church, are reckoned so,--accepted as perfect in the Beloved, their Lord and Redeemer. [R1854 : page 192]

This resurrection of the just began with our Lord, the only actually just or perfect one. He was not of Adam's seed, but was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. It will be completed in the resurrection of "the Church which is his body." It is therefore called "His resurrection" (Phil. 3:10), "the resurrection" (Emphasis in the Greek--1 Cor. 15:42; Phil. 3:11), the first or "chief resurrection."--Rev. 20:6.

This is called "the resurrection of [or to] life," in contrast with the "resurrection by judgment" (John 5:29), because those who are accounted worthy to share this resurrection will have already passed their judgment or trial in the present life; and will have been accepted by the Lord as "blessed and holy," "overcomers;" and therefore it will not be necessary for them to pass through the thousand years' judgment with the world. Nor will it be necessary for them to wait for life until the end of the world's judgment, trial or probation. (1 Cor. 11:32.) Having been already declared "worthy" (Rev. 3:4,5), they will be given the gift of life, the life, perfection in life, at the beginning of Christ's reign of glory and power--for they are to reign with him as his Bride and joint-heirs. Hence it is that in describing the resurrection of the Church the Apostle (1 Cor. 15:51,52; 1 Thes. 4:16,17) declares that (instead of being awakened imperfect and requiring a thousand years to reach perfection, as will those of the resurrection by judgment) the members of the true Church will, at the appointed time, each receive life in complete measure instantly--"the dead in Christ" first, and afterward those who are alive and remain at that time.

While telling us through the Apostle that we can see the glories of our resurrected condition only dimly now, the Bible nevertheless gives us some clue to our future condition. It describes the resurrected condition of the Church, the overcomers, saying, "Thus is the [Greek emphatic, special] resurrection of the [Greek emphatic, special] dead, --It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown an animal body, it is raised a spiritual body."--1 Cor. 15:42-44.

This was advanced truth to the Church, whose highest conceptions as Jews had been a resurrection in a body of flesh, an animal body, subject to many of the present blemishes. But the Apostle led them up, step by step, to see the reasonableness of his statement. He began by showing the possibility of the dead coming to life again. He next showed that if the resurrection of the dead be denied it would imply a disbelief in Christ's resurrection; for if it was possible for God to raise Christ from the dead, it is equally possible for him to raise whoever else he may choose, and this he shows is the hope set before the Church in the gospel.--Verses 16-21.

Verse 21 shows that the right or authority to awaken the dead, and to bring some or all to perfection, was gained by our Lord by his death as a ransom for all (See also Rom. 14:9); and verse 22 makes the statement that just as all who were in Adam shared his sin and death, so all who are in Christ share his victory and life. Angels were not in Adam, and did not share his sin and its penalty, death; neither did the lower animals. Only those who were in him, his unborn posterity, and they all without exception, shared both his sin and its penalty. So all in Christ will share his victory and have everlasting life;--but no others, for "he [R1855 : page 192] that hath not the Son shall not see life [in its perfection], but the wrath of God abideth on him."

"All in Christ" has therefore the sense of all vitally united to and related to Christ in faith and obedience;-- now the chosen "little flock" only, but by and by, in the Millennial "day of Christ," it will include "whosoever will" of all the ransomed race.

Having established this broad fact, that all in Christ shall be made fully alive, shall have "eternal life," the next step (verse 23) is to show that there are two orders or classes amongst these, (1) the Christ class--"the Church which is his body," and of which he is "the Head, God blessed forever" (Eph. 1:22,23; Rom. 9:5); and (2) afterward those who are Christ's during his presence [during the Millennial reign.]"

The first mentioned class is known in Scripture under the various titles, "joint-heirs with Jesus Christ" their Lord, "brethren," "the bride, the Lamb's wife," "the living stones" constituting, with "Christ Jesus the Chief corner stone," the spiritual or "holy temple" in and through which the world during the Millennial age shall have access to God, and the "royal priesthood" which under the great High Priest shall minister for those who would approach God during the Millennium, "the members in particular of the body of Christ. (Rom. 8:17; John 20:17; Rev. 21:9; 1 Pet. 2:5,9; 1 Cor. 12:27.) The second mentioned class which will include all of the human family accounted worthy of eternal life during the second presence or Millennial reign of the Christ (Rev. 20:4) are Scripturally known as the children of Christ to whom he will be the Everlasting Father--the life-giver to eternity. --Isa. 9:6.

Having thus explained the two classes that will get perfect life, eternal life, through Christ Jesus--the Bride and the children--the Apostle proceeds as we have just seen, to describe the first (chief) resurrection, that of the class termed the Bride, the Body of Christ,--the "overcomers" of the Gospel age,--showing that as they will all have finished their course, they will get the perfection of life instantly, being made without further process or trial incorruptible, glorious, honorable, powerful spirit-beings. And then, lest any should get the idea that all will be thus changed from flesh to spirit-beings in the resurrection, he adds (verse 44), "There is an animal body and there is a spiritual body." Then he proceeds to show (verses 45-48) that the first Adam is the sample of what an earthly or animal body will attain to in the resurrection, and that the Lord in his resurrection, "a life-giving spirit," is an illustration of the resurrection condition of the Church; and he assures [R1855 : page 193] us that so surely as we have been born of the flesh and thus attained something of the likeness of the earthly or animal man, so, being begotten by the spirit to the new, "divine nature," we, if subsequently born of the spirit, shall also bear the likeness of the Lord, the heavenly one, and ourselves be heavenly beings.--Verse 49.

Lest we should stumble into supposing that our resurrected bodies will be merely called spiritual, but yet actually be flesh and blood, as now, the Apostle adds, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." The promise and hope held before the Church was always the hope of the Kingdom. For it all have prayed, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;" and our Lord said, "Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." (1 Cor. 15:50; Luke 11:2; 12:32; Dan. 7:18,22.) Attention is thus called to the fact that the Church, the "little flock," the kingdom class, which is to bless the world, is to be made spiritual, like Christ, and be no longer "flesh and blood," after its resurrection; while the blessing it is to bring to the willing and obedient of the world will be "restitution," of all the human powers represented in the first man created, the perfect, earthly, fleshly image and likeness of the invisible God, who is a spirit.

Then the Apostle, putting himself in the place of his readers, knew that their next thought would be--Ah, then! If all the Church must be spiritual to have a share in the Kingdom, and if the dead in Christ are to be raised spirit beings, like the Lord after his resurrection (who as a spirit being could be invisible to men, and was invisible during the forty days before his ascension except for the few occasions of a few moments each when he appeared in various forms as the angels have often done*), then how great would be our loss if we should be "alive"+ when the Lord comes and sets up his Kingdom?

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. v.

+While the world is said to be "dead," the word "alive" is used of the Church.

The Apostle gives we may presume as clear and explicit an answer to this supposed query as was due to be understood at that time. He says, "Behold, I show you a mystery, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump."

Mark! the Apostle's positive assurance is, that a change from the flesh and blood conditions of human nature must take place with all who would be inheritors of the Kingdom; for the change now commenced in the spirit of their minds must be fully completed, and in the resurrection God will give them bodies in harmony with their new minds; they must be fully "partakers of the divine nature" before they could share the realities of the Kingdom. The Apostle makes this so positive that his readers should have no cause to think that he expected a fleshly King, or fleshly joint-heirs with him in that Kingdom. The subjects of the Kingdom will undoubtedly be human beings; but the rulers will be spirit-beings, completely "changed;" for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God."

Many overlook this, the real point of the Apostle's argument, and imagine that he has said that some of the Church, alive at the second presence of the Lord, will not die. But he says nothing of the kind. Indeed, if he had so said his words would be a contradiction of other statements of Scripture, which declare of the Church, the body of Christ, "Ye shall die like men;" and our Lord's statement, "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life." Notice that the Apostle does not say that we shall not all die, but that "we shall not all sleep." Those living at the time of Christ's second presence, when he has begun the setting up of his Kingdom, will not need to sleep after they die, and thus wait for the Kingdom. Instead, to them the moment of death will be the moment of change; they will not sleep for a moment, but will be changed the same moment in which they will die, instantly, --"in the twinkling of an eye." This will be at or during the sounding of the Seventh or last trump,--in the beginning or early part of its sounding; for it is a symbolic trumpet, which will sound during the entire Millennium.

After describing thus particularly the chief resurrection of the dead to spiritual nature, body, powers, etc., and that those of the same class living at the time will experience a similar change without sleeping in unconsciousness, the Apostle returns to the consideration of the blessing of the world, by this elect Church, during the Millennium, and the full making alive of all in Christ during his presence and kingdom, saying,--

"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality [when the Church has been glorified with her Lord], then shall be brought to pass [during that Millennial reign] the saying which is written [as a general promise to the world-- 'He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people will he take away from off all the earth.' By the close of that Millennial reign, it can be said] Death is swallowed up in victory! O death, where is [now] thy sting? [Sin and wilful sinners being destroyed by that time, there will be nothing thereafter to cause death.] O grave, where is thy victory?" The Lord with his Church, his bride, shall have conquered Adamic death and the prison-house of death, the grave, shall have been opened, and all the prisoners shall have had fullest opportunity to accept Christ, and the everlasting life which he will offer to all, under the terms of the New Covenant sealed with his own precious blood; and all desiring life upon those terms shall have received it; and all rejecting the gracious, righteous terms shall have been reckoned wilful sinners and been destroyed from among the people.--Acts 3:23.

"SHALL NEVER DIE."


"Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."--John 11:26.

This text, misinterpreted by many, is made the basis for a very erroneous theory; namely, the claim of some that they are already "living the resurrected life, and will never [R1855 : page 194] die." They assume a "holier than thou" manner, and adopt a vegetable diet, refusing animal food, etc., saying that animal foods are proper enough for common people, but not for those believers who have entered "the resurrected life." If their attention be called to the fact that our Lord ate lamb, fish, etc., and placed no restrictions, they reply: That was before his resurrection. You call their attention to the fact that he ate animal food (fish), twice at least, in the presence of his disciples, after his resurrection (Luke 24:41-43; John 21:13), and they are silenced for want of an answer, but not convinced; for they "love to have it so."--Jer. 5:31.

Satan evidently gets a pretty thorough hold upon their self-willed minds; for they begin to misapply Scriptures, by the wholesale, to fit their theory; and if you quote to them the teachings and practices of the apostles, to the [R1856 : page 194] effect that everything, that can be eaten with thanksgiving to God, is proper and not to be despised (1 Tim. 4:3,4), their answers show that they think themselves far beyond the apostles in wisdom and in divine favor. This of itself should be a warning, to all truly led and taught of the Spirit, to let alone and avoid anything with such tendencies to self-esteem and self-righteousness.

Other texts, which they wrest to their own delusion, are such as--"He that hath the Son hath life." "He that believeth in me hath everlasting life." "You hath he quickened," etc., etc. They do not wish to examine the context, which would clearly show that we have everlasting life by faith, and must wait for its actual reception until the time "When he who is our life shall appear," and, by actual resurrection change, give us the eternal life, actually, in our new bodies. If their attention is called to their error they are disappointed, and pass to another of their proof-texts, and so on,--unconvinced, because unwilling to be convinced.

The strongest of their proof-texts is the one cited above, which they think may somehow belong to them, although they admit reluctantly that others believed on the Lord and died, all along during the past eighteen centuries. They still cling to their misapplication of the words,--"He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die;" and fancy that the apostles and others who died could not have been so advanced as themselves,--for the apostles ate animal food.

When the passage is examined in its connection (John 11:23-26), it will be seen that it refers to those who shall be fully made alive in the resurrection.

Not only is the resurrection power vested in our Lord, but also power to keep the resurrected believers alive everlastingly; --the dead shall be made alive, in the resurrection, and if they still believe will "never die."

"YOU HATH HE QUICKENED."


"You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins." "If the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he...shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his spirit which dwelleth in you."

These passages speak of those who are "begotten of the spirit" and are awaiting God's due time, the resurrection, morning, to be "born from the dead." Figuratively, they are already dead to sin, and, figuratively also, alive toward God and righteousness. The new will, or new mind, being brought under the influence of the spirit of God has now a power for spiritual activity in God's service, and may reckonedly begin the resurrected life, in the sense of bringing word and act and thought into captivity to the will of God in Christ.

Nevertheless, we still have the newly begotten will or heavenly mind, "the mind of Christ," as a treasure in our earthen vessels (2 Cor. 4:7), and it will never be satisfactory, to God or to us (except reckonedly through Christ), until the treasure of the new mind or will, polished by the Lord, is set as a jewel in a heavenly, spiritual casket or body, by an actual quickening, as described in 1 Cor. 15:42-44.

"WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM."


To those who, after reading the foregoing and our other writings on the subject, still think that our risen Lord is a man, that he was put to death in the flesh and was quickened or resurrected in the flesh, and that the same body that hung upon the cross and was laid in Joseph's tomb is the Lord's present body,--merely caused to shine and therefore called a glorious body, a spiritual body, etc., --to such readers we can say little more. Some seem to be unable to comprehend that a spirit-body is not a flesh-body and a flesh-body not a spirit-body. Our Lord's words to Nicodemus make the subject very clear. He says, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit;" and that no one can even see the Kingdom of God, nor enter into it, except he be not only begotten, but also born of the spirit.--John 3:3-6.

On the one hand, while they admit that our Lord was a spirit-being before he was born into this world, and that as such he did not have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), some even deny that he changed his nature and became human, that "he was made flesh" (John 1:14), and claim that he was a spirit being all the time as before, and merely used the flesh as clothing and pretended that it was he, pretended to be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, pretended to be tempted like as we are, pretended to weep and pray, while really he was still as ever the mighty one incapable of suffering and death. They claim that our Lord did not die, but that it was merely the fleshly body which he used as a robe that cried, "My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?" and died. And yet these same people imagine that somehow Christ got so fastened to that body of flesh and bones that he could not get along without it since, although they will admit that such a marred and torn fleshly body is totally unsuitable for a spiritual heaven, they think that it was taken there, and that ever since our Lord is compelled to put up with its inconvenience and to bear the scars and marks of thorns and nails. These same people, of course, think similarly of the resurrection of the [R1856 : page 195] Church,--that the sin-deformed and maimed bodies of the present time will be resurrected and taken to heaven to be perpetual inconveniences and disagreeable reminders of the sins and blemishes of the present evil world.

Another class admits that when our Lord was "made flesh" his change from spiritual to human nature was complete, and that thereafter he was the "man Christ Jesus," and that it was necessary that he should be a man, because nothing else than a man's life could redeem the life of the man Adam and those who died in him;--that as by a man came death, by a man should come the resurrection of the dead. (1 Cor. 15:21.) They know, too, that the Scriptures say that Christ was rich, but for our sakes became poor (of a lower nature), and that he took the human nature for the purpose of tasting death for every man. They admit that he did all this and that the Scriptures declare that he who was "put to death in the flesh" was "quickened [resurrected] in Spirit," yet somehow they cling to our Redeemer's flesh-body of humiliation, which he took for a purpose and fully and completely used for that purpose of "tasting death for every man." (Heb. 2:9.) He is to die no more and hence has no further use for such a body. They forget to reason that if our Lord's nature could be changed once, from a spirit-nature to a human-nature, then it could be changed again, from human to divine nature. In some manner, however, they get quite confused on the resurrection and fancy (1) that all of the same dust must be in the resurrected body; or (2) that at least some of the particles of the old body must be there, as a start for God to work upon in producing the new body; or (3) that the new body must at least be flesh and bones, and exactly like the one buried.

A few, driven to the extremity by the Apostle's words, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God," say, Oh, no! flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom, but flesh and bones can. They do not see that the term "flesh and blood" is another way of saying "human nature," as in the expressions, "All flesh is grass," and "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father in heaven."

With the wrong thought in mind they stumble over our Lord's statement (Luke 24:39), "A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." Understood aright, this passage proves that our Lord's real body has not flesh or bones, for was he not at his resurrection made a "quickening spirit," and is he not now the express image of the Father's person, and is it not plainly written that "God is a spirit?" Our Lord, as one born of the spirit, was spirit since his resurrection, and demonstrated the fact on this very occasion by coming and going like the wind--they could not tell whence he came nor whither he went. "So is every one that is born of the spirit" and consequently is spirit. (John 3:6,8.) It was in order that he might not alarm them that he appeared in flesh and material clothing, and he wanted them to get the full benefit of this fact, and practically said, You are alarmed and think you see a spirit, but you see only flesh and bones, etc., you do not see a spirit, "a spirit has not flesh and bones as ye see me [to] have [or to possess]," assumed for the very purpose of communicating with you, and of a form well known to you for the past three years. He avoided the expression "flesh and blood" for that would have meant, A spirit hath not human nature as ye see me have; and this would have been untrue, for he was changed and was no longer human but highly exalted.

He to whom nothing is real except that which he can see or touch, is unprepared to understand spiritual things. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God; neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned." Such cannot believe in God except as a great man; they have seen nothing greater than human nature, and to them the words "divine nature" can mean nothing higher than shining human nature.

Our Lord gave the early Church a great lesson on this subject which they learned well; but it, like many other lessons, is wasted upon many who consider themselves part of the Christ to-day. He first taught them that he was no longer dead, but alive. To help them grasp the situation, [R1857 : page 195] the poor mangled body of his humiliation was removed from the tomb; although that body was not any longer he nor its elements even a part of his new resurrection body. Since "we shall be like him" in our resurrection, and since our resurrection is a part of "his resurrection" (Phil. 3:10; 1 Cor. 15:23), it follows that the inspired record of our resurrection would in every particular correspond to his, which was not so particularly described. (See 1 Cor. 15:42-45.) So, then, he was sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body. As we shall be changed if we are faithfully his, so he was changed and there put on incorruption, immortality. (Verses 52,53.) This was but the completion of his begetting of the spirit at his baptism: that which was begotten was the new, spiritual nature; it was the same that was quickened into activity in the work of sacrifice given him to do; and it was the same that three days after his work was finished was born. "That which is born of the spirit is spirit;" and he was thus "the first born from the dead," "the first-born among many brethren."

All this is implied, nay asserted, in the declaration, We shall be like him and see him as he is. (1 John 3:2.) Considered carefully with its connections, this statement proves much. The Apostle declares to the "sons," "It doth not yet appear what we shall be [but, if we are to be flesh-beings with present blemished bodies, or bodies at all like them, this statement would not be correct, for we know, alas, too well! what we are]; but we know that when he shall appear we shall [by being changed from mortal to immortal, from animal or human bodies to spiritual bodies, from flesh and blood to incorruption] be like him; for we shall see him as he is." The only conclusion is that if we be not like him, of the same (spiritual) nature, we could not see him as he is, for unless changed and made like he is, we would be like him as he was.

"Thou sowest not that body which shall be." The children of Adam are all of one seed, one kind, and in the general resurrection of judgment those accounted worthy will again have human bodies, like to the perfect sample, --the first man Adam, created in God's image. They will be of the same kind or nature, just as corn always produces corn, and oats always produce oats. The same kind of corn or oats is produced, but not the very grains that were buried. Those who experience a change of nature, from human to divine, now, through Christ, will not have human, Adamic bodies when perfected in the resurrection, but spirit bodies, now begotten and quickened shall be born in the resurrection,--like unto Christ's glorious body.



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CROSSING THE JORDAN.
--AUG. 25.--JOSH. 3:5-17.--

Golden Text--"When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shalt the flame kindle upon thee."--Isa. 43:2.
THE Golden Text emphasizes the sentiment of this lesson to the children of God. As Israel in passing through the Jordan had nothing to fear because the ark of the Lord, the symbol of the divine presence stood in the midst of the threatening danger, so the Christian has nothing to fear so long as he realizes the divine presence and approval. Through rivers and seas of trouble he may wade, and through fiery furnaces of affliction he may pass, but none of these things can harm him while the Lord is with him.

The Lord's presence and love realized under such circumstances as they cannot be under ordinary conditions give such strength to faith and hope and love as could not otherwise be gained. And thus all things are made to work together for good to them that love God, to the called according to his purpose.



[R1857 : page 196]

THE FALL OF JERICHO.
--SEPT. 1.--JOSH. 6:8-20.--

Golden Text--"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days."--Heb. 11:30.
LONG before the Canaanites had been accursed! Long before their land had been promised to the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The Lord's time had now come to give possession; and the place of entrance was close to Jericho. Jericho was accursed or condemned: its time of judgment had come as that of Sodom four centuries before in the same rich, fertile valley. But God would vary the method for a purpose. As he had made of the Sodomites an illustration of those who would suffer everlasting destruction or second death (Jude 7), so he would now illustrate another thing in the Jerichoites: he would show in their slaughter, how the "old man" of our fallen nature is to be utterly destroyed by us as "new creatures" under the lead and instruction of the real Joshua --Jesus.

Nothing could be done,--none could fight against Jericho until they had been circumcised; which typified the circumcision of the heart, the putting away, the cutting off, of the love of sin from the hearts of the true Israelites. The next lesson to be typified was that our power over our natural desires (represented by the Jerichoites) must come from God. The natural desires and appetites are protected by strong walls, the will of the flesh, which first must be broken down before we as "new creatures" can conquer our natural selves, our depraved appetites or desires.

This power of God in the type was shown in the fall of Jericho's wall; but before it fell the faith of the circumcised ones was made active as shown in the seven days marching around the city and seven times on the seventh day representing completeness. The slaughter of the Jerichoites, then, represented the victory of true Israelites over self-will, self-love, self-indulgence and over every enemy of the new nature--for the two are contrary one to the other and one or the other must die.--Compare Gal. 5:16,17.

Everything in Jericho was accursed, condemned or devoted; and so everything in and of our carnal nature is condemned or devoted--every living creature must be put to death. This represents that every active influence and principle of the fallen nature must be destroyed, "Mortify [kill] therefore, your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence [desire], and covetousness [greed], which is idolatry." --See Col. 3:5-10.

Yet the deliverance of Rahab (who afterward married into the tribe of Judah and became an Israelite, and has the honor of being one of the ancestors of our Lord Jesus), shows in type that some of our members once enemies of the new nature may be so transformed that instead of being the servants of sin they may become servants of righteousness, through full consecration. For instance, talents for speaking, writing, teaching, singing, etc., once used in the service of Satan and sin may be reckoned dead and quickened to newness of life and activity in God's service. But as such a transfer could only be through a reckoned death and quickening through faith in the great sacrifice for sin, this too must be illustrated in the type. And it was illustrated in the act of faith which displayed the scarlet cord. [R1858 : page 196]

The inanimate valuables, the gold, silver, brass and iron vessels, etc., were all consecrated, too, but not to destruction; they were to be devoted to the Lord's service. So with the truly circumcised Israelites indeed: not only are all their carnal powers to be destroyed as servants of sin but all that they possess is to be consecrated to the Lord's service, their treasures of gold and silver and their ordinary possessions represented in the vessels of brass and iron. All must now be considered as belonging to the Lord: and any appropriation of these to their own selfish uses brings a curse as was illustrated by the sin of Achan, who appropriated of the spoils of Jericho, some gold and silver and a fine Babylonish garment. The result of his covetousness was his own destruction and for a time he troubled all Israel.

So, amongst the spiritual Israelites covetousness of gold, silver and the fine Babylonish garments, is a most fruitful source of spiritual weakness and in many leads to destruction. "For the love of money is a root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. They that will [to] be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."--1 Tim. 6:9-11.

The blowing of the trumpets by the priests may well be understood to typify the proclamation of God's Word against sin and his assurance to his people that he is able and willing to give the circumcised new creatures victory over their carnal propensities. Not until we understand the assurance of the Word of the Lord and have faith therein are we able to blend the shout of victory with the sound of the trumpets and see the obstacles to self-mortification fall before us.



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