page 225
October 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

VOL. XVII.OCTOBER 1, 1896.No. 19.


CONTENTS.


Special Items, Bibles at Cost, etc226
View from the Watch Tower--227
The Silver Question in Prophecy227
The Cries of the Reapers232
The Facts Fitted to Prophecy233
What We May Expect235
Solomon Anointed King235
Solomon's Wise Choice236

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 226

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.


BIBLES AT COST--CHEAPER THAN EVER.


Competition has finally brought the prices of Bibles to, we believe, the very lowest notch.

Recent concessions for large lots permit us to name the following remarkable low rates:--

   <"Bagster Teachers' Bibles,"> Emerald type, gilt, 97 cents each.
The same with red under gold edges,                              $1.10
   "Oxford Teachers' Bibles," Minion type, gilt edges, 97 cents each.
The same with red under gold edges,                              $1.10
   "Oxford Teachers' Bibles," large type ('Bourgeois"),
with the pronouncing feature added, gilt edges,                  $1.38
The same with Patent Index cut into edge,                        $1.68
   Ditto, with red under gold edges,                             $1.48
The same with Patent Index cut into edge,                        $1.78

All the above contain full Teachers Helps (index, concordance, maps, etc.) and are bound in "French Seal," divinity circuit.

ADD 25 CENTS FOR POSTAGE ON ANY OF THESE BIBLES.


[R2045 : page 226]

A PRECAUTIONARY CORRECTION.

Anent the offer of our last issue, of Florida land, free: One of the brethren fears that the statement with reference to the Florida climate near St. Petersburg might be misunderstood; and suggests that we say to the friends that fresh meat hung in the open air will keep for a long while there, but not forever: it becomes dry and unfit for food.


page 226

EXTRA COPIES OF THIS ISSUE.

Anticipating the desires of the friends, we have printed an extra supply of this issue. Orders will be filled in rotation as received.



[R2039 : page 227]

VIEW FROM THE TOWER.


THE SILVER QUESTION, AS RELATED TO PROPHECY FULFILLING BEFORE OUR EYES TO-DAY.


AS our readers well know, we take no part in this world's politics. "For our enrollment as citizens is ready in the heavens, wherefore a Savior we are ardently awaiting." (Phil. 3:20, Rotherham.) "Now, therefore, we are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God." (Eph. 2:19.) Attending to our heavenly politics is not only our preference, but it is also our King's command,--"Seek ye first [chiefly] the Kingdom of Heaven." Loyalty to this kingdom, which alone can bring to mankind the blessings of perfect rulers and perfect laws, demands all our mind, strength, and energy (except so much as is necessary to secure needful food and raiment). We, therefore, have no time to spend in disputing respecting "the course of this world" and the schemes and theories which, if put into effect, would accelerate or retard the coming trouble and dissolution. Nor can we know which methods would most quickly and most thoroughly work out the great plan of God for instructing men regarding their own impotency and lack of wisdom, and thus preparing them to realize Christ's Kingdom as "the desire of all nations."

What we have to say upon the gold and silver question, the money question, will thus be seen to be lifted out of the realm of politics altogether, and not designed to make one solitary vote for either party, believing that God has decreed the overthrow of present institutions in the very calamities in which the exercise of their own worldly wisdom and selfishness shall involve them. However, in the financial developments of recent years we see the beginning of a marked fulfilment of prophecy which must not be overlooked or passed by unnoticed.

We refer to the prophecy of the Apostle James (5:1-6): --"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries which shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasures together for the last days."

Hitherto we have contented ourselves with a general application of this prophecy to our day and the approaching trouble, which will fall with special severity upon the rich. The particulars of the fourth verse of this prophecy have until recently perplexed us. It reads,--"Behold that hire which you fraudulently withheld from those laborers who harvested your fields, cries out; and the loud cries of the reapers have entered the ears of the Lord of armies." Here special reference is made to a very large class of the toiling population of the world, the food producers; and to some great fraud practiced against these specially.

But is this reprimand spoken against the farm owners? Does it signify that they have been defrauding their farm hands of their wages? or do the words apply to another class who are defrauding the farming population in general out of their legitimate earnings? Let us see.

In times past farmers as a class have been regarded as amongst the most upright, as well as the most free and independent among men, and their employees have been fairly well paid and contented. As to defrauding their helpers of their wages when earned, that seems well nigh impossible, the laws being such that the humblest laborer could sell the farm to recover wages due him by its owner; besides, injustice on so small a scale would not seem of sufficient importance to be made the subject of prophecy, but would be included under the more general warnings against [R2040 : page 227] iniquity. Where then has there been, or could there yet come to be, such a great fraud as would thus cry out to God and be immediately associated as a leading cause in precipitating the coming trouble; as indicated in this prophecy?

We meet with no better success if we attempt to apply the prophetic statement to laborers in general; for we fail to find a general fraud practiced by employers to withhold wages. On the contrary, the contracts [R2040 : page 228] between employers and employees are yearly becoming more precise and explicit, leaving no room for frauds. The laws give "wages" a preference over all other debts in the event of insolvency; and in every way they seek to protect the laborer from frauds, even giving him a judgment against his employing debtor which would permit the sale of his works for its payment. Besides, had the Lord meant in a general way that all labor will be oppressed and underpaid, and had he wished to call this defrauding, it would have been just as easy to have omitted all reference to farmers. Finding that none of these suggestions fit the prophetic statement, let us examine the prophecy afresh in the light of recent developments, and we will see that it foretells that the farmers of Christendom, as a class, suffer from a great fraud, whose effect will ultimately be the precipitation of the great trouble coming upon the world as a judgment;--in the day of vengeance and of recompensing and righting many wrongs. This view seems to meet every requirement of the prophecy and to coincide exactly with transpiring events.

For centuries the farmers have been properly considered the conservative element of society. More cautious than the laboring, mechanical and clerical classes, they move more slowly, and thus have tided over many a political crisis, in Europe as well as in the United States. Accustomed to moderate toil and to moderate remuneration, farmers have been very generally the representatives of justice and contentment, and have been so regarded. But a change has come, or is coming, over the affairs of farmers throughout Christendom. Although they have profited somewhat by the mechanical inventions of our day, they find themselves retrograding financially, especially during the past four years. This applies, not merely to one section, but in general to all parts of so-called Christendom. What is the trouble? The answer given is, Overproduction has caused a decline in prices so great that the business is unprofitable; and many who are handicapped with debts, interest, etc., have lost, or are in danger of losing, their farms, etc. But why do not farmers abandon crops that are not profitable in favor of other crops for which there is a greater demand, and in which there are better profits? The answer is, They have done this, especially for the past three years, with the result that all crops are depressed in price; and since debts must if possible be met, the unprofitable crops are increased in the vain hope of a year of good prices which would make up past deficiencies and clear off debts.

But is it true that there is an overproduction? Are large stocks of grain and cotton being stored away annually, representing such an overplus? No; the amounts carried over are so moderate as to cause apprehension of a famine if the crop should be short one season in the United States or India or Russia. It has been just so for years--plenty generally, but comparatively little to carry over to the next year. Why, then, is it that overproduction is claimed, and blamed for the great decline in prices? May there not be some other influence at work?

Yes; it is becoming more and more manifest that there is another influence at work besides that of supply and demand, and that it has been affecting prices for some years with a steadily downward tendency. For instance, the price of cotton* in 1878 was 11 cents per pound. Since then it has steadily declined to 7 cents in 1894. The price of wheat in the same period (with some fluctuations in years of foreign shortage and famine) has steadily declined from $1.20 per bushel in 1878 to 61 cents in 1894. These two items (wheat and cotton) constitute the chief items of the United States' exports; consequently such heavy declines in values mean a great loss of wealth to the United States as a whole people; but to the farmer it means worse-- to him it means the loss of all profit and scarcely a living for his family and help.

*Since farm prices may vary greatly, we make use of Waldron's averages of New York City wholesale prices, which include transportation from the interior and middlemen's profits. We compare the years 1878 and 1894 because 1878 marks the date of the resumption of specie payments and every way is a fairer starting point than 1873, although the latter would make a more favorable showing for our use in several respects; and because 1894 marks the point where silver, wheat and cotton reached their lowest, and brought general demoralization along agricultural lines;--leading to heavy competition and overproduction and consequent depreciation in prices for corn, oats, barley, potatoes and other products dependent upon home consumption.

But it will be noticed that other farm products have not suffered so great a decline, and the difference may afford a clue to the reason of the decline in these two staples. For instance, rye sold in 1878 at 65 cents per bushel and in 1894 at 68 cents. Oats sold in 1878 at 33 cents per bushel, in 1894 at 37 cents. Corn sold in 1878 at 52 cents per bushel, in 1894 at 51 cents. Kentucky leaf tobacco sold in 1871 at 7 cents per pound and in 1894 at 9-1/2 cents. Fresh beef wholesaled in 1878 at 5-1/4 cents per pound, and in 1894 at 5-1/2 cents. Fresh pork sold wholesale in 1878 at 4-1/4 cents per pound, in 1894 at 5-1/2 cents. Hay sold in 1878 at $7.25 per ton, in 1894 at $8.50.

We account for this difference between the farm products which have more than held their own down to 1894 (viz., corn, rye, oats, tobacco, beef, pork) and those which suffered a decline of one hundred per cent. during that period (viz., wheat and cotton), thus: The former were not affected by the decline of the value of silver during the period named and the latter were affected by it, and fell and rose in price in proportion as silver fell and rose in price--barring minor fluctuations incident to supply and demand.

But how could the price of silver affect the two principal staples of our land and not affect the others? We answer, Because our wheat and cotton are sold in competition with the wheat and cotton of silver standard countries, while the other products named encounter no such competition, or one so insignificant as to be easily overcome. For instance, United States' beef, pork, corn and tobacco control in the markets of the world and suffer no competition from products of silver countries; while the rye and oats, when exported, compete with the products of gold standard countries. On the contrary, United States' wheat and cotton compete with Russia's wheat, India's wheat and India's cotton. India and Russia are both silver-standard countries. The price of wheat in silver, in India has been well maintained all this time, while United States' wheat has declined one-half.

Indian wheat to-day brings about $1.20 per bushel (silver) as against $1.10 (silver) in 1878; and if the United States and Europe had not (from 1872 to 1878) [R2040 : page 229] taken from silver the monetary standing it has enjoyed from the earliest dawn of history,* our United States and Canadian wheat would all along have brought the same or better prices, being of superior quality. The difficulty with the United States' farmers' receipts from their wheat is that this nation is doing business on a gold basis; and so the $1.10 to 1.20 per bushel (the steady price of wheat, the world's staple food, in silver, the world's money+), when converted into gold, fell gradually with the price of silver; and the latter depreciated because of legislative action by the principal governments of the world. The same influence affected cotton: it is still worth ten cents a pound in silver in India and would be bringing more in the United States if gold and silver were again on a parity; because our cotton is of superior quality.

*Silver money was the only money standard of the Jewish nation. Gold was then treated as merchandise--as precious stones--and fluctuated in price accordingly. All values were measured by silver standard, as they still are except in Europe and the United States.

+More than one-half the people of the world still recognize silver as their standard; and where it has been demonetized, the people, the masses, as they awake to the situation, are crying out to have it remonetized.

That overproduction alone cannot be blamed for the great fall in the price of wheat and cotton, is evidenced by another article similarly affected, where overproduction cannot be blamed; namely, rice. The price of rice has fallen more than one-half by reason of the demonetization of silver. American importers can purchase rice in India, China and Japan at say 4 cents per pound silver money, which would make it cost them only 2 cents per pound in our gold standard money, and they will buy where they can buy to their own advantage. The rice-growers of the Southern States are feeling the pressure dreadfully, but do not know who or what to blame for it.

These misfortunes of the United States' farmer through the demonetization of silver are shared also by the farmers of Canada and Europe. They, too, had to meet the silver prices of India and Russia, while paying their help, their taxes, their interest, etc., on a gold basis of doubled value. Consequently, as all who are acquainted with foreign affairs know, the farmers of Europe and Canada have been groaning aloud and praying their rulers to provide some relief. Various measures of relief have been discussed, but nothing satisfactory has been found; and competition receives the whole blame. Few except the shrewd bankers see the real situation; and it is to their interest to hide the truth and, so far as possible, to prevent [R2041 : page 229] the trick played upon the people from being discovered by the people, and the conditions changed.

But how came it that a measure destined to work such havoc to the interests of the people should become the law of every civilized land?

It was carefully planned and gradually brought to the point of success. Great Britain is unique among the nations in that her agricultural interests are as nothing compared to her commercial interests. In proportion to her population she is the richest nation of earth. According to a standard work--Mulhall's Dictionary of Statistics--the wealth of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1892 was $45,745,000,000. Much of this is invested in manufactures and shipping; but being of small territory, as compared with the United States, proportionately less is required for home railroads, etc., and proportionately more of it seeks investment abroad--wherever profits show themselves combined with safety. Hence Great Britain is unique also in that it is a creditor nation, whilst most of the nations are borrowers. Thus, for instance, the United States, although actually wealthier, has nearly double the population of Britain and an immense stretch of country, mines, railroads, etc., and hence is a borrower.

The study of British financiers (than whom there are none shrewder) has naturally been along selfish lines. They studied and advocated, not what would benefit the world as a whole, but what would benefit their little corner of it; and not either the interests of their little islands, but specially, if not wholly, their own interests as financiers,--money lenders. But in all this, be it remembered, they did no different from what many others would have done if they had possessed the vantage ground of money to lend and brains to guide them in loaning it to their own best advantage.

These financiers as early as 1798 seem to have conceived the idea of separating gold and silver, and as silver was in use by the masses of the world and could not be moved by them, they there adopted gold as their standard; and from then until now have sought to degrade silver. Their efforts were unavailing, however, until 1873: until then silver not only held its own, but the world over really had a greater purchasing power than gold at the 16 to 1 ratio.

The United States civil war was encouraged by British financiers, who made vast fortunes out of the necessities of that hour; and long experience having made them masters of the arts and mysteries of national finances (while others were as yet novices), they prepared and laid plans to make even greater profits out of the close of hostilities and the returning prosperity. Their method of operation was cooperation: they advised and influenced American bankers; and we must admit that some of their purely selfish advice was as good as could be found at the time and under those trying circumstances.

The first step of these financiers was to have the United States Government stop issuing legal tender notes, "greenbacks," upon which no interest was paid, and instead to issue larger notes bearing interest, called "bonds." These the National Banks could purchase and draw interest on and use as a basis for their notes. Thus the government debt would be controlled by the British money lenders and their American allies and agents. This program was mapped out in a circular sent to moneyed people and United States banks, known as the "Hazzard Circular" because issued by Charles Hazzard who claimed to be the agent of London capitalists (1862). The following copy of the circular, was published in the Council Grove Guard, Sept. 18, 1886, and purports to have been taken from the letter files of the First National Bank of Council Grove, Kansas, by Isaac Sharp, in 1873. James G. Nisbett of Posey County, Indiana, has made affidavit that Charles Hazzard gave him a circular about July 25, 1862, substantially the same. The following is an extract:--

"Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power, and chattel slavery destroyed. This I and my European friends are in favor of; for slavery is but the owning of labor, and carries with it the care of the laborer, [R2041 : page 230] while the European plan, led on by England, is capital control of labor by control of wages. This can be done by controlling the money. The great debt that capitalists will see to it is made out of the war must be used as a measure to control the volume [quantity] of money. To accomplish this the bonds must be used as a banking basis. We are now waiting to get the Secretary of the Treasury to make this recommendation to Congress. It will not do to let the greenback, as it is called, circulate as money any length of time, as we cannot control them. But we can control the bonds, and through them the bank issues."

These "financiers" have no special desire to injure other men; but, treating finances as their "business," they scheme to make all the profits they can, whoever must pay these profits. These British bankers are really pawnbrokers on a large scale. When poorer nations are in any distress and apply for a loan, it is to British money lenders that they appeal. These shake their credit, depreciate the value of their bonds, buy them cheap, obtain commercial treaties, and often control the custom houses and the receipts from import taxes, pledged for the interest and principal of the debt. The British government, participating through the "commercial treaty" arrangement, is thus made a party to the transaction, though it reaps no profit from the doubling of the value of the bonds and the enormous profits thus secured. Then, in case the debtor nation does not live up to its hard contract to the letter, the British fleet is ordered to close the ports, or to bombard them, or to seize something as security. "Shylock" must have his pound of flesh, if he cannot get the money; and he gets the "dear British public" sufficiently interested with him to build and maintain the greatest fleet in the world to act as his police officers and debt-collectors; chiefly with the smaller nations however. (The Dutch, French and German money-lenders do much of the lending to the large and powerful nations.)

The policy of the British government, guided by these financiers, in harmony with the foregoing "Hazzard circular," has been, and yet is, to favor large national debts. Thus, for instance, while Britain is per capita the wealthiest nation in the world, its debt is the largest (except that of France)--$1,186,790,000. This, represented by interest bearing bonds, is largely held by the banks of England, Scotland and Ireland, which are permitted to issue notes for the amounts they hold, --much the same as the National Banks of the United States. As giving some idea of the immensity of this banking business, take the fact that the United States has paid since 1860 of principal debt $1,213,199,050, and interest to the enormous sum of $2,676,000,000; or a total sum of nearly four billions of dollars. And the debt is not half paid yet. Indeed, as is well known, it has been considerably increased recently.

After the United States war of the rebellion, and the Franco-Prussian war, British financiers, noting the fact that two rich nations (the United States and France) were heavily in debt, thought it an opportune time to make the breach between gold and silver, and sought the cooperation of bankers in other nations, especially in the United States and Germany, to have the single gold standard adopted, or, if this could not be done, to at least stop the coinage of silver at the then recognized ratio, about 16 to 1.

If evidences of such a plot to increase the value of gold, and of all debts, by demonetizing silver were entirely wanting, common sense would tell us that some mighty influence lay behind such a movement. Reason would answer, without evidence, "It must have been brought about by those who would be benefited by such a change, and not by those whom it would injure." It would injure the debt-burdened nations--Russia, Spain, Italy, China and especially the two that had last contracted the heaviest war-debts--the United States and France. It would benefit Germany (whose war expenses the French were made to pay, and which thus at once constituted Germany a creditor nation). It would benefit Great Britain above all, and it would benefit Holland which also is a creditor nation through its rich bankers.

British financiers, as we have seen, had long tried to part gold and silver by refusing to recognize silver at home and in the colonies of Canada and Australia; but this did not avail: silver, being a standard in the vast majority of the nations of the world, was more in demand than gold at the 16 to 1 ratio, and continued so until 1874, nearly a year after the conspiracy to ruin it had accomplished its work by securing laws prohibiting its coinage in Holland, the United States and Germany; --in Holland in 1872, in Germany in 1872-1873, and in the United States Feb. 12, 1873. The creditor nations, as we have seen, had an interest (through their moneyed men) in seeking to destroy the money value of silver, but all the interests of the United States lay in the opposite direction. Not only is she a debtor nation, but she is also one of the chief silver producers in the world, and as well a producer of the world's staples--cotton and wheat--in competition with silver standard countries.

But so potent is the influence of the United States in the world's finances that all efforts to degrade silver without her aid must have failed; for she is at once [R2042 : page 230] the greatest luxury purchaser and the greatest staples seller among the nations. Hence it is not surprising to learn that,--

"In 1872, silver being demonetized in Germany, England and Holland, a capital of L.100,000 [$500,000] was raised, and Ernest Seyd was sent to this country with this fund as agent for foreign bond holders to effect the same object."*

*The Banker's Magazine, as quoted by Senator Daniels of Virginia in a speech before the United States Senate, May 22, 1890.

The official records of Congress+ under date April 9, 1872 say,--

+Congressional Globe--speech of Congressman Hooper of Massachusetts before the House.

"Ernest Seyd of London, a distinguished writer and bullionist, has given great attention to the subject of mint and coinage. After having examined the first draft of this bill (for the demonetization of silver), he made various sensible suggestions, which the committee adopted and embodied in the bill."

Mr. Frederick A. Luckenbach at Denver, Colorado, made affidavit that he first became acquainted with Mr. E. Seyd in London in 1865, renewing his acquaintance almost every year; and "upon each occasion became his guest at one or more times, joining his family at dinner or other meals." In February, 1874, while at dinner at Mr. Seyd's house, the conversation turned [R2042 : page 231] upon the rumored corruption in the British Parliament, and Mr. Seyd then told Mr. Luckenbach that "he (Seyd) could relate facts about the corruption of the American Congress that would place it far ahead of the English Parliament in that line." After dinner Mr. Seyd took Mr. Luckenbach aside, and after making him pledge his honor not to relate what he was about to say, made this statement:

"I went to America in the winter of 1872-1873, authorized to secure, if I could, a bill demonetizing silver. It was to the interest of those I represented--the governors of the Bank of England--to have it done. I took with me L.100,000 sterling, with instructions that if it was not sufficient to accomplish the object, to draw for another L.100,000, or as much as was necessary."

This affidavit by Mr. Luckenbach was made after the death of Mr. Seyd, on May 6, '92, before the clerk of the Supreme Court of Colorado.

It would be unjust to presume that all the members of Congress who assisted in passing that bill knew that they were thus perpetrating a great injury upon this nation (especially upon its farmers, and upon the farmers of every civilized nation). It is probable indeed that considerable of the money was spent upon a very few; and that the majority were as honest and as earnest as many of the good and intelligent people who to-day are deluded into crying out for "honest money," when they are favoring the very side of the question that has robbed and is systematically robbing the people by destroying the value of a large share of their money (silver) and making the gold of double value-- doubly hard to obtain. The silver-demonetization bill when before Congress was skillfully handled, and its real object and intended effect were not appreciated, apparently, by many Congressmen, who have so declared. Among these are the following prominent names: Senators Voorhees, Allison, Beck, Conkling, Congressmen Blaine (who at the time was speaker of the House), Garfield, Kelly, Cannon, Bright, Holman and Burchard. All agree in their testimony given later in Congress, that they were not aware that silver had been demonetized.

Senator Beck, in a speech before the Senate, Jan. 10, 1878, said:--

"It (the bill demonetizing silver) never was understood by either house of Congress. I say that with full knowledge of the facts. No newspaper reporter-- and they are the most vigilant men I ever saw in obtaining information--discovered that it had been done."

Did space permit we could quote similar, forceful language from the others. The very title of the bill was misleading: it was called, "An Act Revising the Laws Relative to the Mint, Assay Officers and Coinage of the United States." And President U.S. Grant, whose signature made the act a law, it is said, did not know of its character, and so declared four years after, when the effect began to be apparent. Indeed, few but the long-headed "financiers" took much notice of specie, as the Nation had not yet resumed specie payments, and this was supposed to be a helpful preparatory step in that direction.

We may say that the mechanical and manufacturing and money interests of the United States have suffered little so far, because their share in the increased debts and interest have thus far been largely offset by their cheaper food and clothing. But the farmer's ruin means the ultimate ruin of the phenomenal prosperity of the United States; because our manufacturers depend for a market on home consumption, and the farm-workers number nearly 8,000,000 of our total laborers. If these are poverty stricken, it will injure every business except banking and pawnbroking. Further, it is conceded by all financiers that a nation's prosperity is indicated by the excess of its exports over its imports. Farm products constitute over eighty per cent. of the United States exports, or over $800,000,000 out of the $1,019,573,000 exports of 1894. This means that the same quantity of farm products at silver prices (as before the demonetization) would bring nearly $800,000,000 additional capital into the United States annually; --enough in two years to more than pay off the national debt. But that which would be to the advantage of the people would be to the disadvantage of "Shylock," who wants debts large, money scarce and interest high.

That the effect would be what it has been was foretold by numerous statesmen upon the floors of Congress. Some were blind to the issue, and some were quieted by self-interest, and some relied upon the advice of "financiers," but others spoke valiantly against the wrong. The late Hon. James G. Blane said in a speech before the United States Senate (1880):--

"I believe the struggle now going on in this country and in other countries for a single gold standard would, if successful, produce widespread disaster in and throughout the commercial world. The destruction of silver as money, and the establishment of gold as the sole unit of value, must have a ruinous effect on all forms of property except those investments which yield a fixed return in money. These would be enormously enhanced in value, and would gain a disproportionate and unfair advantage over every other species of property. If, as the most reliable statistics affirm, there are nearly $7,000,000,000 of coin or bullion in the world, very equally divided between gold and silver, it is impossible to strike silver out of existence as money without results that will prove distressing to millions and utterly disastrous to tens of thousands. I believe gold and silver coin to be the money of the constitution; indeed, the money of the American people anterior to the constitution, which the great organic law recognized as quite independent of its own existence. No power was conferred on congress to declare either metal should not be money; congress has, therefore, in my judgment, no power to demonetize either. If, therefore, silver has been demonetized, I am in favor of remonetizing it. If its coinage has been prohibited, I am in favor of ordering it to be resumed. I am in favor of having it enlarged."

The late Senator Vance said later:--

"The power of money and its allies throughout the world have entered into this conspiracy to perpetuate the greatest crime of this or any other age, to overthrow one-half of the world's money and thereby double their own wealth by enhancing the value of the other half which is in their hands. The money changers are polluting the temple of our liberties."

Others also lifted their voice against the wrong perpetrated, among them Mr. William McKinley.

President Cleveland's government recently sent [R2042 : page 232] official letters to the United States ministers in foreign countries, requesting reports on monetary affairs. The report of Mr. Currie, minister to Belgium, has just come to hand and is a remarkable showing in harmony with the experiences of the people of the United States. His report of the reply to his questions given by the Hon. Alfonse Allard, Belgian Director of Finance, as published in the daily press, runs as follows:--

"Since 1873 a crisis, consisting in a fall in all prices, exists continually, nor does it appear possible to arrest its progress. This fall in prices, reacting on wages, is now evolving a social and industrial crisis.

"You asked me why we returned in 1873 to monometalism, limping though it be. I can conceive no other reason, unless that it was to please a certain class of financiers who profited thereby--a class supported by theories invented and defended at that time by some political economists, notably by members of the Institute of France.

"You ask what influence these monetary measures have had in Belgium on industry and wages? Money, which was already scarce in 1873, has become still scarcer, and that fall in prices which was predicted has taken place. The average fall in the price of all the products of labor is 50 per cent. since 1873--that of cereals over 65 per cent. Industry is no longer remunerative, agriculture is ruined, and everybody is clamoring for protection by duties, while our ruined citizens [R2043 : page 232] think of wars. Such is the sad condition of Europe."

In a letter to the National Republican League (June 11, 1891) Senator J. D. Cameron said:--

"The single gold standard seems to us to be working ruin with a violence that nothing can stand. If this influence is to continue for the future at the rate of its action during the 20 years since the gold standard took possession of the world, some generation, not very remote, will see in the broad continent of America only a half-dozen overgrown cities keeping guard over a mass of capital and lending it out to a population of dependent laborers on the mortgage of their growing crops and unfinished handiwork. Such sights have been common enough in the world's history, but against it we all rebel. Rich and poor alike; Republicans, Democrats, Populists; labor and capital; churches and colleges --all alike, and all in solid good faith, shrink from such a future as this."

English financiers know very well why the farmers of the world, and especially the farmers of the United States and Canada who export, are suffering; and they sometimes confess that it is their own selfishness. For instance, we quote from the editorial columns of The Financial News (London), April 30, 1894, as follows:--

"We have frequent diplomatic differences with the United States; but, as a rule, there is seldom associated with these any sense of animus between the peoples of the two countries, and such squabbles pass over and are forgotten. But now we are encouraging the growth of a feeling that, on a question which affects the prosperity of millions of individual Americans, this country is inclined to entertain views unfriendly to the States. We know, of course, that the unfriendliness is accidental, and that our monetary policy is controlled by purely selfish considerations--so purely selfish that we do not mind seeing India suffering from our action much more than America does....

"Senator Cameron points a plain moral when he remarks that if the United States would venture to cut herself adrift from Europe and take outright to silver, she would have all America and Asia at her back, and would command the markets of both Continents. 'The barrier of gold would be more fatal than any barrier of a custom-house. The bond of silver would be stronger than any bond of free trade.' There can be no doubt about it, that if the United States were to adopt a silver basis to-morrow, British trade would be ruined before the year is out. Every American industry would be protected, not only at home, but in every other market. Of course the States would suffer to a certain extent through having to pay her obligations abroad in gold; but the loss on exchange under this head would be a mere drop in the bucket compared with the profits to be reaped from the markets of South America and Asia, to say nothing of Europe. The marvel is that the United States has not long ago seized the opportunity, and but for the belief that the way of England is necessarily the way to commercial success and prosperity, undoubtedly it would have been done long ago. Now, Americans are awakening to the fact that 'so long as they narrow their ambition to becoming a larger England' they cannot beat us. It has been a piece of luck for us that it has never before occurred to the Americans to scoop us out of the world's markets by going on a silver basis, and it might serve us right if, irritated by the contemptuous apathy of our Government to the gravity of the silver problem, the Americans retaliate by freezing out gold. It could easily be done....There have not been wanting of late, indications of growing irritation with this country for its dog-in-the-manger attitude towards a question [the Silver question] that is convulsing two continents, and gravely compromising the future of the poorer States in Europe."

That the farmers' cry that reward for toil is kept back by fraud is general to all gold standard countries-- to all Christendom--we quote as follows:--

Under date Sept. 22, '96, the New York World publishes a lengthy cable message, signed by leading agricultural men of Europe met at Budapest, Hungary, as an International Agricultural Congress, addressed to candidate W. J. Bryan, saying,--

"We wish you success in your struggle against the domination of the creditor class, which, during the past 23 years has secured, both in Europe and America, monetary legislation destructive of the prosperity of your farmers and others....We believe that failing such restoration [of silver to money privileges], the gold premium throughout all Asia and South America will continue to rob the farmer (equally of America and Europe) of all rewards for his toil, and that your election may avert from Europe serious agrarian and social troubles now pending."

The New York World, under date of Sept. 24, '96, publishes the following words of Prince Bismarck to Herr von Kardorf, leader of the Free Conservative Party in the German Reichstag. Prince Bismarck said;--

"I am too old to go to school over the currency issue, but I recognize that, although I acted in 1873 on what I regarded as the best advice, my action was too precipitate in view of the results which have followed.

"The one class that we cannot afford to estrange [R2043 : page 233] is the farming class. If they are convinced, and they assure you they are convinced, that agricultural depression is peculiar to these monetary changes, our government must review its position."

The present extreme depression of silver, and of all commodities sold on a silver basis, came very gradually, --for two reasons. (1) It required time and manipulation to depress silver, a commodity still in great demand by more than one-half the world's population. (2) Silver-mine owners and others directly interested, together with statesmen who foresaw the coming evil, pressed their arguments so forcibly in Congress that expedients were resorted to by the United States Government, such as the Remonetization Act of 1878, and The Silver Purchasing Act of 1890. But expedients were found impracticable. Silver must either be a money with full, equal power with gold as legal tender, or else it must be considered a merchantable commodity like diamonds, wheat, etc., and be subject to fluctuations according to supply and demand; and when in 1893 the last of these expedients was repealed, silver at once dropped to one-half the price of gold, and all the evils of its demonetization were felt to their full in 1894, except as the consequent panic may be far-reaching, progressive and enduring.

It may seem remarkable that, with these facts before them, so few of the great journals and magazines have had a word to say on this phase of this subject; and this criticism applies specially to so-called Farm Journals, supposed to be devoted to the interests of the farmer, but really devoted to money-getting through their advertising patrons. A sort of explanation of their course is found in what is known as "The Buell Circular." It is said to have been sent to all the banks of the country, and reads as follows:--
"OCTOBER 9, 1877.

"Dear Sir:--It is advisable to do all in your power to sustain such prominent daily and weekly newspapers, especially the agricultural and religious press, as will oppose the issuing of greenback paper money, and that you will withhold your patronage or favors [discounts, etc.] from all applicants who are not willing to oppose the Government issue of money. Let the Government issue the coin, and the banks the paper money of the country, for then we can better protect each other.

"To repeal the law creating national bank notes, or to restore to circulation the Government issue of money, will be to provide the people with money, and will, therefore, seriously affect your individual profit as bankers and lenders. See your Congressman at once, and engage him to support our interests, that we may control legislation.
"James Buell, Secretary, 247 Broadway."

Sixteen days after the date of this circular the New York Sun publicly announced that an attempt had been made to bribe it in harmony with the suggestions of the circular; and four days later the Chicago Inter-Ocean exposed an attempt to bribe it to misrepresent along the same lines. It published the communication in full, including the private letter which we here copy:--
"The American Bankers' Association.

"Strictly private.

"Dear Sir:--Please insert the enclosed printed slip as leaded matter on the editorial page of your first issue immediately following the receipt of this, and send marked copy with bill to

"Yours truly,
James Buell, Secretary."

It would appear that the farmer has none to look out for his interests: it pays to lead him to slaughter, or to keep quiet while others lead him. Alas! poor selfish, fallen humanity. How much need there is for "the Lord, the righteous Judge" to take the Kingdom and begin his long-promised reign of righteousness!

THE FACTS FITTED TO PROPHECY.


And now, after what may appear a lengthy account of this great fraud (but not too lengthy, we believe, to prove that it has been a systematic conspiracy to defraud the people in the interest of "Shylock"), we come [R2044 : page 233] to the connection between these facts and the prophecy of the Apostle James (5:1-9), a literal translation of which reads thus:--

"Come now, you rich, weep and lament over those miseries of yours which are approaching. Your securities have become worthless and your garments have become motheaten. Your gold and your silver have become rusted; and the rust of them will be for a testimony against you, and will consume your bodies like fire. You have heaped together treasures for the last days. Behold! that reward which you have fraudulently withheld from those laborers who harvested your fields, cries out; and the loud cries of the reapers have entered the ears of the Lord of armies! You have lived delicately, in self-indulgence, upon the land and been wanton. You have nourished [fed] your hearts in the day of [your] slaughter. You [your class] condemned, you [your class] murdered the Just One [Christ], and he resisted you not."

"Be you patient, then, brethren, till the presence of the Lord [who will adjust matters righteously,-- lifting up him that is poor and him that hath no helper, and taking vengeance on all evil-doers]. Behold the husbandman, anticipating the fruit of the earth, waits patiently for it--until he shall receive both the early and the later harvest.* Be you also patient: establish your hearts, because the presence of the Lord has approached. Add not to each other's sorrows brethren, that ye be not punished [also]: behold the Judge is standing at the doors."

*See oldest MSS.

We need not particularize the evidences which prove that our day of wealth-accumulation is here graphically described, and many of the rich and great of this world see distinctly the approach of socialism and ultimately of anarchy, which, by overthrowing the present social structure, will wreck the fortunes which consist of bonds, mortgages, etc., and from fear lead to the discarding of rich apparel, and to the secreting of wealth. All who are awake can see these things hastening toward us, and they are now probably less than fifteen years distant. Although we have referred frequently to this prophecy during the past twenty-three years we have until now felt somewhat perplexed to know what mighty question would turn the large majority of conservatives into a minority, permitting the social order to fall before anarchy as the Scriptures clearly indicate: but now all is clear as we witness in the affairs of our day the plain fulfilment of this very explicit prophecy. The farming element, hitherto the [R2044 : page 234] bulwark of society, its guarantee against anarchy, is suddenly arousing and crying out that it is being robbed by legislative enactments; and it is preparing to assert its rights.

Suddenly, as in a moment almost, the entire scene began to change: the silver question has overthrown old party lines, and is rapidly dividing the people of the world into two great classes--(1) the rich and their friends and dependents, and (2) the poor and their friends and dependents; and amongst the latter the farmers are rapidly taking their stand.

Without as yet clearly realizing the fraud practiced on them by "Shylock," the farmers are nevertheless impressed that the demonetization of silver has something to do with the woes which are causing them to cry out. The present political revolution is, therefore, by all odds the most important factor yet discerned in the division and concentration of the forces for "the battle of the great day of God Almighty."

Thus we find the reason for the Apostle James' reference to farmers: "Behold, that reward which you ["rich men"] have fraudulently withheld from those laborers who harvested your fields, cries out; and the loud cries of the reapers have entered into the ears of the Lord of armies!" Ah, yes! those who labor for the world as food-producers are the farmers. And now, just at the time to fit the prophecy, they have a grievance--a general grievance, to which they are all awaking: and as they awake they are crying out as the prophecy foretold. And they cry out justly. "Shylock" has robbed them by a trick, by a deception, by a fraud; by misrepresentation, covertly securing the demonetization of silver to his own advantage, and to the ruin and slavery of those who produce the food by which he subsists. They do not rob the farmer of the money, but, as the prophecy says, they "keep back" not directly, but "fraudulently," by (unjust legislation secured by misrepresentation and fraud) nearly one half of the reaper's hire,--represented in the present difference between the price of silver and gold in his products.

As usual the burden falls upon the most patient and poorest paid class. Consider the necessary clearing, breaking, fencing, plowing, harrowing and fertilizing to get the soil ready for the crop; then the value of the seed, the sowing, the pests, the floods, the drouths, the weeds, the machinery, the reaping, the threshing, the teams and teaming to get it to market. Surely one dollar a bushel for wheat is small enough pay for these laborers in the world's harvest fields; and surely, when they are defrauded of one-half of this by "Shylock's" manipulation of finances they have a right to cry out; and surely their cries should enter into the ears and find sympathy with all just men, as they do enter into the ears of the just and avenging Lord of hosts. The city laborer has sympathy if his wages fall below $1.50 per day;--but even more sympathy is deserved by the small farm owners when the price of wheat falls below $1.00 per bushel, while their mortgage interest continues at 6 to 10 per cent. until their little all is wiped out.

George K. Holmes, a statistician of note, quoted in standard publications, gives the grand total amount of mortgages on farms in the United States at $2,209,148,431. On this he says the average rate of interest is 7-1/3 per cent., making the annual interest charge $162,652,944. This means bankruptcy to those who sell wheat at 60 cents and cotton at 5 cents, less heavy freights. What wonder that these patient, conservative "reapers" are uttering "loud cries."

But this prophecy testifies to far more than we have yet noted. This silver-demonetization-fraud, and its pinching of the farmers, causing them to take sides with the discontented elements of society, is only another step in the mobilization of what the Lord denominates his great army. This army is so called, not because composed of "saints" (for as already shown the "saints," the "brethren," are to be patient and not join the discontents), but because it is the power, the force, which the Lord will use in dashing to pieces the present selfish systems, preparatory to the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom upon their ruins.

As we understand this prophecy, these cries of the farmers are only beginning, as they are only beginning to feel the severe pinch. It will be seen, then, that we do not expect that the coming Presidential election will result in the remonetizing of silver, the abatement of the fraud of "Shylock," and the hushing of the "loud cries" of the cultivators of the soil. This prophecy shows that all these will continue and increase and lead eventually to the climax of anarchy in every civilized land; --"a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation"--man's extremity, God's opportunity.

True, there are many things that at present would indicate that the silver party will come into power and reestablish silver on a parity with gold. There are many reasons for supposing that the unique position of this nation amongst the nations of the world, as chief importer of luxuries and chief exporter of necessities, would enable her, backed by the silver countries, to turn the tide for silver against combined Europe --while really the majority of Europe is in its favor. But we must remember that "Shylock" has great power. He largely controls the merchants, manufacturers and railroads; they are his debtors and almost necessarily his servants and worshipers. All the debts of all nations, for instance, represent labor performed, and should therefore be represented in money circulating amongst the people and seeking investment and employing labor in ten thousand branches of industry; but "Shylock" has deluded the people's lawmakers into believing that such a condition of cheap money, low interest and plenty of work would be "dangerous" and so the debts of all nations (amounting to $27,555,690,000*) have been largely put into the shape of interest-bearing bonds. "Shylock," also, through his servants, who are the advertising patrons, largely controls the press. Also on his side are now arrayed the shrewdest politicians of all the old parties; and the people are no match for the cunning of those wily men. A month more of the political canvass remains, and we will not be surprised if shortly before election day one or more subtle delusions are brought to bear, to alarm or hoodwink the people, who are very fearful of making a bad matter worse. Money can buy almost anything, and plenty of brains and tongues and pens are for sale, in addition to those directly interested in "Shylock's" business, or honestly deluded by the fraudulent cry of "the honest dollar."

*From the report of the Director of the United States' Mint for 1894.

[R2044 : page 235]

But even should the silver party win the election by so large a majority as to insure the seating of its representatives, we must expect that it would only the more thoroughly arouse "Shylock" to redoubled energy and expenditure, to retain his control of the great advantage fraudulently gained over the farmers, [R2045 : page 235] and to a large extent over all who belong to the debtor class. And he will succeed: the prophecy so indicates. Prophecy is not always a statement of what should be; it is merely a fore-statement of what will be. Hence we may know of a surety that "Shylock" will successfully continue to hinder the remonetization of silver, or in some equivalent way to specially oppress the farmers of the civilized world, UNTIL the fulfilment of the first verse of this prophecy,--the weeping and lamenting of the rich over the destruction of all their valuables.

It may be well here to remind our readers again that we are not expecting immediate anarchy. We expect spurts of business revival on present and still more depressed levels, interspersed with more and more frequent panicy spasms, labor troubles and expedients, until finally, probably between 1908 and 1912, the wealthy and luxurious will represent about one per cent. and the discontented, hopelessly poor about ninety-nine per cent. of the population of "Christendom;" and then, while "Shylock" sits upon the safety-valve, the great and awful explosion may be expected. The interim of time "Shylock" will spend in heaping together still greater treasures than he now possesses, and in operating his present fraudulent financial system or its equivalents, while he hears, unmoved by either justice or pity, louder and yet louder the cries of the oppressed victims of his greed in every nation. Surely, the divine judgment against this class is but a just retribution. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." Yet in wrath the Lord will remember mercy; and the weeping and lamenting and loss will work out ultimate good, we trust, to many.


***

None need be surprised to find the religious teachers, the pulpit and the religious press, as well as the wealthy pew holders zealously on the side of the fraudulent keeping back of the farmer's just dues, and the general burdening of the poor by thus doubling all debts. The Scriptures clearly indicate (under symbols) that in the finale of the conflict, in which society as at present constituted will perish, the rulers, financiers, and all the worldly great men, and the Roman Catholic system as well as Protestant systems, will be together, and fall together, and in the conclusion of this "battle" between them and the Lord and his army of the poor and oppressed of every nation.--See Rev. 19:15-21.

The following extract from the Asheville, N.C., speech of candidate W. J. Bryan indicates that the ministers of the various denominations are already lining up on "Shylock's" side of this question. He said,

"How things have changed in the last eighteen hundred years. Look at the people who head the gold standard propaganda in the United States. Look at the bondholding class and the money changers classes, the brokerage classes of New York, who are trying to fasten a gold standard upon the people of this country, not openly, but secretly and in disguise, and then turn back eighteen hundred years when the meek and lowly Savior threw the same kind of people out of his temple because they had made his house a den of thieves. And then think that these people come and appeal to the ministers of the gospel and the church papers to save them from the wrath to come.

"My friends, when certain ministers of the gospel denounce the great mass of the people who stand behind free coinage, when the ministers have denounced these advocates of free coinage and have taken their places upon the side of these great aggregations of wealth, I remind them that when the Savior was here it was the common people who heard him gladly--the very people whom these ministers to-day call anarchists and socialists. My friends, when I find--there are not many of them, but they are quite conspicuous--when I find these men casting their lot upon that side and exhausting abusive language in their description of the great masses of the people of this country. I feel like saying to them that if they will take their chances with Dives, I will risk my chances with Lazarus."

Although reluctant to even seem to dabble in politics we have felt it to be our duty to call attention to this notable fulfilment of a notable and particularly clear and explicit prophecy. Let us all as "brethren" rejoice in this, another sign that our "redemption [deliverance] draweth nigh." In closing, let us again urge upon all the Prophet-Apostle's words: "Be you patient, brethren," even though some of you should be killed, symbolically, as the Just One, our Master, was actually betrayed and killed by the "money-lovers." (See John 12:6; Matt. 21:12; Luke 6:24; John 11:47-53.) The word here rendered "covetous" signifies "money-lovers," as rendered in the Diaglott translation. As we see retribution coming upon the rich and proud and mighty and hypocritical, let us each endeavor that our own lives be honest, humble, Christ-like, that we may be spared in this day of exposure of sin and of recompensing of evil deeds.



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SOLOMON ANOINTED KING.
--OCT. 4.--1 KINGS 1:28-39.--
THAT Solomon was the Lord's choice among David's sons to succeed him upon the throne of Israel is clear from 1 Chron. 22:8,9. --"The word of the Lord came to me, saying,...Behold, a son shall be born to thee who shall be a man of rest: and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days." (See also 2 Sam. 12:24,25; 1 Chron. 17:11-15; 2 Sam. 7:12-17.) And it was in view of the fact that Solomon was the Lord's choice, that David assured Bath-sheba, Solomon's mother, that her son should surely inherit the Kingdom.--1 Kings 1:13,30.

Solomon was the second son of David by Bath-sheba. His name signifies "the peaceful," thus commemorating the promise of God concerning him. The additional name Jedediah (the beloved of Jehovah) seems to have been given by Nathan the prophet as a sign of David's forgiveness and restoration to the divine favor (2 Sam. 12:25), as the special love thus expressed before the child could know or choose good or evil could not have been for his own merit, and therefore must have been for his father David's sake, whom God had loved and chosen, and of whose posterity was to come the long promised Messiah--King of the antitypical Kingdom of God. Hence the names, Solomon (the [R2045 : page 236] peaceful) and Jedediah (the beloved of the Lord) indicated that David was still the beloved, that he was fully restored to the divine favor, and that the promises of God made to him and his posterity still held good.

Solomon came to the throne at an early age, probably at about nineteen or twenty. Of his personal qualifications at this time we know but little except from 1 Kings 3:3,--"And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed [unto the Lord] and burnt incense in high places." This was prohibited by the Mosaic law (Deut. 12:13,14), but was accepted of God until the Temple was built.--See 1 Sam. 9:12; 1 Kings 3:2.

It was not long, however, until the seductive influences of position, power, wealth and general prosperity bore down with telling effect upon the character of this favored young man whose future was all aglow with promise. His character had never been developed in the school of experience, for he was reared in luxury from his youth up; nor were his principles put to the test. His principles were not fixed and firm. Though he loved God because of what he had seen and heard of his goodness to his people and to David his father, and because God loved him and had chosen him to be king, yet his heart was not anchored in God. He had not learned to love God for his inherent goodness--because he is the embodiment and glorious exemplification of righteousness and truth. And it is only those who love righteousness, and who therefore love God, because he is righteous, who are truly anchored in God, and who, consequently, have any stability of character. That Solomon was sadly lacking in such love to God and the consequent stability of character, his subsequent course soon began to show.

Yet, though God knew the end and all the intervening steps of his career from the beginning, though he foresaw his moral decline and its baneful influence upon the nation, still in his own wise purpose he chose Solomon to be king over Israel; and the purpose of God in choosing him was admirably accomplished, notwithstanding his own degeneracy [R2046 : page 236] and the sins into which he led the nation. That purpose and its accomplishment will be more clearly understood from our consideration of the succeeding lesson. But let us observe here that God did not propose always to provide for Israel a king whose reign would afford them the largest measure of temporal prosperity. Indeed, when they demanded a king and he granted them their desire, he faithfully forewarned them of the infringements of kingly power upon the rights and liberties of the people. (Read 1 Sam. 8:9-18.) All of this the nation experienced in the subsequent years of their history.

This was not the Lord's idea of government, but it was his foretelling of what he foresaw that the imperfect and selfish heart of man would do when exalted to power; for he knoweth what is in man. So it was in Israel, and so it has been in all the world: selfishness exalted to power has always used that power, largely at least, for self-aggrandizement.

The Lord's instructions to the kings of Israel were, however, to the opposite of all this; viz., that the king should study the law of the Lord, and put its principles in practice--"that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left." (Deut. 17:18-20.) But no king, either of Israel or of any other nation, however wise or good, ever did that. All have been more or less inflated with the pride of power, and their hearts have been lifted up above their brethren. Even David, the beloved of the Lord, succumbed to this baneful influence until, being greatly intoxicated with it, he fell into gross sin. The temptations of power to our impaired humanity in any position are always to the gratification of pride, ambition and self-aggrandizement. The only ruler of the world who will fully meet the requirements of the divine law, turning not aside to the right hand nor to the left, will be Jehovah's Anointed Son, our blessed Lord Jesus, who so loved his (future) subjects that he gave his life for them. His heart is never lifted up by pride, though God hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, both of things in heaven and things in earth.--Phil. 2:9-11.

In him there is no scheming for self-aggrandizement, no ambition except lovingly and willingly to serve and bless his subjects, and that not only in theory, but in a blessed reality fully attested by his great sacrifice on their behalf. Though he was rich, for their sakes he became poor; though he had everlasting life, yet for their sakes he freely gave his life a ransom for theirs. Of him it is written, "Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness;" and he is called "the Prince of peace." Until his righteous reign is established in the earth the whole creation groans and travails in pain, and neither Israel nor the world could enjoy the blessings of that peace and prosperity which God designs to give through Christ. The reign of Solomon only prefigured this; and, as we shall see, the typical peace and prosperity of his reign were very hollow and unsatisfactory, yet the brilliant bubble was a speaking type of the future glorious reality; and when it had accomplished this mission of shadowing forth the glory to be revealed in Christ, the bubble burst and the groaning creation continued to groan under the heel of the oppressor, and will until he whose right it is shall take the kingdom and possess it.



[R2046 : page 236]

SOLOMON'S WISE CHOICE.
--OCT. 11.--1 KINGS 3:5-15.--
IT is important to observe that the text of this lesson is the record of a dream. (Vss. 5,15.) The dream was from the Lord. In it the Lord suggested the question to Solomon, and also a proper answer to the question. Then he expressed his pleasure at the suggested answer, and told how he would reward the spirit which it manifested. "And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream." Yet in all the subsequent years of his reign Solomon realized the blessings mentioned in that dream just as surely as if the suggested prayer had been actually his, and, indeed, we may assume that upon awaking Solomon endorsed the wise prayer of his dream, although his subsequent course as a king does not indicate that those noble sentiments always actuated him. God was using Solomon as a type, and his reign was in some sense to prefigure the glorious reign of Christ, "the Prince of peace."

Starting with unusually bright prospects--with a future all aglow with the promises of God, if he would faithfully walk uprightly before him, with the counsel, instruction and assistance of his father David and of the prophet Nathan, early placed upon the throne of Israel and in favor with all the people, amply provided with abundant treasure for the great work of building the temple and commissioned of God to do it, we see him neglecting the instruction of the Lord suggested in the prayer of his dream; and, overcome by the temptations of power, he is seen perverting the blessings of God to selfish ends. Instead of wisely and justly considering the best interests of the nation and humbly remembering that he was elevated to the kingly office for the purpose of serving his brethren, Solomon became the oppressor of his people, while he indulged himself in more than heart could wish.

But while his wealth and magnificence attracted the attention of the world, his policy toward the nation finally led to the disruption of the kingdom under his son and successor, Rehoboam; for though "the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones," they were not in possession of the masses of the people, who felt oppressed, but were displayed in the follies of royalty,--in magnificent palaces for himself and his heathen wives, and in gardens and raiment and chariots and soldiers, etc.--See 1 Kings 12:4.

His career ended in the glory of an unhealthy temporal prosperity. Yet it served well the purpose of God in foreshadowing the higher and real glory of Christ's Kingdom. It was the glory of Christ's Kingdom to which special reference was undoubtedly made in Solomon's inspired dream. In so far as that dream was fulfilled in Solomon and his reign it prefigured the glorious and peaceful reign of David's greater Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The prayer suggested in the vision was indeed the attitude of his heart. He truly sought the wisdom of Jehovah for the blessing of his dominion; and to this end he cheerfully submitted himself to the divine will in all things. It was this disposition of heart in our Lord Jesus, that pleased the Father, who therefore gave to him the wise and understanding heart, and has added also riches and honor of which the riches and honors of Solomon were typical. And as there was none like him before him, so there shall be none after him. "His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom." He truly shall be the "Prince of peace;" and in the beginning of his reign the glorious spiritual temple of God, the Church (which Solomon's magnificent temple foreshadowed), shall be completed, and filled with the glory of the Lord.



page 237
October 1st

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

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

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

VOL. XVII.OCTOBER 15, 1896.No. 20.


CONTENTS.


Special Items238
View from the Watch Tower239
Hope of Another Chance240
Dr. Talmage's Views With Comments240
Questions of General Interest248
Solomon's Wealth and Wisdom250
The Proverbs of Solomon250
The Temple Which Solomon Built251
The Temple Dedicated252

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 238

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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THE SILVER QUESTION IN PROPHECY.

Our Oct. 1st issue, devoted chiefly to the exposition of James 5:1-8, has had a very great demand. We printed twenty thousand copies, but they are nearly gone, orders are coming in for extras from one copy to two hundred, and the supply will soon be gone. If the orders continue, it is proposed to reset that article for a TOWER Extra and in it give the leading article of this issue--"Hope of a Second Chance."


TRACTS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES.


Do not forget that we have plenty of foreign as well as plenty of English tracts and that sample copies for free distribution are sent in any quantity to all TOWER subscribers.

Our latest tracts are "Do the Scriptures Teach that Eternal Torment is the Wages of Sin?" translated into German (No. 34) and into Hollandish or Dutch (No. 33), and "Why are Ye the Last to Welcome Back the King," translated into Swedish (No. 35).



[R2046 : page 239]

VIEW FROM THE TOWER.


WE noted not long since that Hon. W. E. Gladstone had addressed a letter to the Pope, setting forth the claims of the Church of England to recognition as a sister Church to that of Rome and others styled "Catholic;" pointing out its claims to Apostolic succession through its bishops, and hence the validity of the ordinations of its clergy; and urging that such a recognition would greatly open the way to a reunion of Christendom. We pointed out at the time that this feature of the religious union would fail because, while the Book of Revelation clearly points out a federation of Protestants as the "Image," it as clearly distinguishes between this "Image" and the original "Beast" --Papacy--while showing that they will be considerably in fellowship.--Rev. 13:15-17.

The Pope submitted the question to his advisors, and now gives forth as the final, infallible and never changeable decision of the Roman Church on this subject, in effect, that neither the Church of England nor the ordinations of her clerics can be recognized; that the only way back to the "Mother" is through repentance and conversion.

Here is a peculiar case: the daughter recognizes the mother, and the mother the daughter, and the whole world is witness to the family resemblance; but the mother dare not acknowledge the daughter for fear of criminating herself; for she and all the other daughters [R2047 : page 239] are illegitimate. Certainly: the true Church is a virgin, and the Church of Rome poses as the true, virgin Church of Christ.--Compare Rev. 17:5 and 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27.

This decision will probably carry some "high-church" Episcopalians formally into Romanism, but it marks clearly the division between the two sides of the great "scroll" which is shortly to roll together. --Rev. 6:14; Isa. 34:4.


***

How fortunate for the humble that the Lord has given no earthly church patents! Each denomination would like to claim such divine favor. The Church of Rome has long claimed this exclusive patent right, and has supported the claim with other "great swelling words" and blasphemies, while overawing human judgment by the numbers of her ignorant devotees. The other systems were so inclined at first, but lately have contented themselves with the claim that God gives letters patent to all denominations which they recognize as "Evangelical" or "Orthodox;" i.e., all denominations professing to believe, (1) that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three in manifestation and yet "one in person, and equal in power and glory" (quite contrary both to reason and Scripture); (2) that eternal life is not a gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord, and immortality not a special prize to be sought after by faithful obedience, but, on the contrary, a natural quality appertaining to every man; in consequence of which (3) all who do not experience conversion to God before their death are hopelessly lost, and will be tormented forever.--Compare Rom. 2:7; 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:16; John 10:29; 13:16; 14:28.

Hence Protestants sometimes say, and often give the impression, that salvation is dependent upon membership [R2047 : page 240] in some church--Protestant, Roman, Greek, Armenian, or almost any other human organization. But it is seldom that we see anything so extreme as the following, clipped from the Detroit Weekly Tribune, July 15, '96,--

"At the recent meeting of the Episcopal Division Convention of Maine the Rev. Arthur B. Papineau referred to Christians outside the Episcopal Church as 'heathen.' 'We are the Catholic Church,' he said, 'opposed to Romanism on the one hand and Protestantism on the other. We must tell them that outside of this church there is no salvation.'"

Thanks be to God for the opening of our eyes by the eyesalve from his Word, by which we can see clearly that the one Church is not a human organization, nor in anywise dependent upon human organizations, either for ultimate salvation or for present spiritual sustenance. This one, true Church includes all who during this Gospel age, upon the basis or foundation of justification (through repentance, and faith in the precious blood of Christ), have made with God a covenant of full consecration, and who by God's grace are seeking to perform that covenant. These are the "members in particular of the body of Christ"--the "jewels," the "living stones," the "royal priesthood." Wherever they may be (within or outside of human organizations), "the Lord knoweth them that are his," and calleth and leadeth forth his own sheep.--Rev. 18:4.


***

Taking note of the fact that earthly princes are not very generally supporting Papal claims, the Pope by a recent Encyclical has changed the order for prayers, and Romanists will no longer pray as formerly for princes. Instead, prayer will be offered for the liberty of the Church (of Rome) and for peace and union among Christian nations.

The full liberty of the Church of Rome would mean the liberty of the leopard beast (Rev. 13), and as of yore would mean no personal liberty, but a great destruction amongst the true sheep and lambs of the true Shepherd--the only Head and Lord of the one true Church.


***

The Roman Catholic Church, realizing that its influence in Hungary has of late been on the wane, and that religious as well as political independence are on the increase there, has decided to take steps to maintain and increase its hold upon the rights and liberties of the people. A Vienna journal, the Vaterland, publishes the programme proposed. We give a few of the points, as follows:--

Catholic Societies are to be formed. The religious teachers in the colleges are to be watched that they establish the students in the Roman Catholic faith. Secular teachers must see that their teachings are in the spirit of Catholicism, and the bishops are to insist upon the right (?) of selecting secular as well as religious textbooks. Newspapers favorable to Roman Catholicism are to be started and patronized, and bishops shall oversee with greater diligence the morals and habits of the lower clergy.

The European press professes to see in this a stern battle; believing that the liberal and patriotic Hungarians will resist the more heroically. The Frankfurter Zeitung, a usually careful and well informed journal, says:--

"Strictly to carry out the injunctions of this decree would divide Hungary into two camps engaged in a life-and-death struggle with each other; namely, a Catholic-Rumanian party and a Hungarian-Protestant party. Every single item in the decree is fraught with danger to the state and to Protestantism in Hungary. Even that point which seems the most harmless, namely, the injunction that bishops are to watch over the lives and morals of their priests, means much for Hungary. Clerical fanaticism has hitherto not been thriving very noticeably in Hungary, because the priests have heretofore not been hindered by their liberal congregations from living with their wives and children. Cases are known where Catholic priests have not hesitated to appear on the streets with their wives and children, and no particular offense was taken."



[R2047 : page 240]

HOPE OF ANOTHER CHANCE.


EXTRACTS FROM DR. TALMAGE'S SERMON AT WASHINGTON CITY, AUG. 9, '96, WITH COMMENTS.


"IF the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be."--Eccl. 11:3.

"There is a hovering hope in the minds of a vast multitude of people that there will be an opportunity in the next world of correcting the mistakes of this. The object of my sermon is to show you that common sense declares with the text that such an expectation is chimerical. 'If the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.'

(1) "There are those who say that if the impenitent and unforgiven man enters the next world and sees the disaster, as a result of that disaster he will turn, the distress the cause of his reformation; but we have ten thousand instances all around about us of people who have done wrong and disaster suddenly came upon them--did the disaster heal them? No, they went on. There is a man flung of dissipations. His nerves are all a jangle. From crown of head to sole of foot he is one aching, rasping, crucifying torture. Where is he? He is in hell on earth. Does it stop him? Ah! no. [R2047 : page 241] After a while delirium tremens pours out upon his pillow a whole jungle of hissing reptiles. His screams horrify the neighbors as he dashes out of bed crying: 'Take these things off me!' He is drinking down the comfort of his family, the education of his children, their prospects for this life and perhaps their prospects for the life to come. Pale and convalescent he sits up. Physician says to him: 'Now, my good fellow, I am going to have a plain talk with you. If you ever have an attack of this kind again you will die. I can't save you, and all the doctors in creation can't save you.' The patient gets up, starts out, goes the same round of dissipation and is down again; but this time medicines do not touch his case. Consultations of physicians say there is no hope. Death ends the scene.

"Pain does not reform. Suffering does not cure. What is true in regard to one sin is true in regard to all sins, and yet men are expecting in the next life there will be opportunity for purgatorial regeneration. Take up the printed reports of the prisons of the United States and find that the vast majority of the criminals were there before, some for two times, three times, four times, six times. Punished again and again, but they go right on. Millions of incidents and instances working the other way, and yet men think that in the next world punishment will work out for them salvable effects. Why, you and I cannot imagine any worse torture from another world than we have seen men in in this world, and without any salutary consequence.

(2) "Furthermore, the prospect of reformation in another world is more improbable than here. Do you not realize the fact that a man starts in this world with the innocence of infancy? In the other case, starting in the other world, he starts with the accumulated bad habits of a lifetime. Is it not to be expected that you could build a better ship out of new timber than out of an old hulk that has been ground up in the breakers? If starting with comparative innocency the man does not become godly, is it possible that starting with sin [R2048 : page 241] a seraph can be evoluted? Is there not more prospect that a sculptor will make a finer statue out of a block of pure, white Parian marble than out of a black rock that has been cracked and twisted and split and scarred with the storms of a half century?

"'But,' say some people, 'we ought to have another chance in the next world because our life here is so very brief.'

(3) "My friends, do you know what made the ancient deluge a necessity? It was the longevity of the antediluvians. They were worse in the second century than in the first, and worse when they got three hundred years old, and worse at four hundred, and worse at five hundred, and worse at six hundred, and worse at eight hundred; until the world had to be washed and scoured and scrubbed and soaked and sunk and anchored a whole month under water before it was fit for decent people to live in. I have seen many pictures of old Time with his scythe to cut, but I never saw any picture of Time with a chest of medicines to heal.

"If eight hundred years of life time could not cure the antediluvians of their iniquity, I undertake to say that all the ages of eternity would be only prolongation of depravity.

(4) "'But,' says some one, 'in the next life the evil surroundings will be withdrawn, and good influences will be substituted, and hence, expurgation, sublimation, glorification.' But you must remember that the righteous, all their sins forgiven, pass right up into a beatific state, not needing any other chance, that will leave all those who have never been forgiven, and who were impenitent, alone, alone! and where are the salvable influences to come from? Can it be that Dr. Duff, who spent his whole life in pointing the Hindoos to heaven, and Dr. Abeel, who spent his life in evangelizing China, and that Judson, who spent his life in preaching the gospel to Burmah--can it be expected that they will be sent down from some celestial missionary society to educate and to save those who wasted their earthly existence? No. We are told distinctly that all missionary and evangelistic influences will be ended forever, and the good, having passed up to their beatific state, all the morally bankrupt will be together; and where are the salvable influences to come from? Will a specked or bad apple put in a barrel of diseased apples make the other apples good? Will one who is down be able to lift others up?

"If a man in this world was surrounded with temptation, in the next world (all the righteous having passed up into the beatific state), the association will be more deteriorating, depreciating and down. You would not send a man to a cholera or yellow fever hospital for his health, and the great lazaretto of the future, in which are gathered the diseased and the plague-struck, will be a poor place for moral recovery.

"I wonder what is the curriculum in the College Inferno, where a man having been prepared by enough sin, enters and goes up from freshman of iniquity to sophomore of abomination, and on up, from sophomore to junior, and from junior to senior, and day of graduation comes, and the diploma is signed by Satan, the president, and all the professional demoniacs attest the fact that the candidate has been a sufficient time under their drill, and then enters heaven. Pandemonium, a preparatory school for celestial admission! Ah, my friends, while Satan and his cohorts have fitted a vast multitude for ruin, they never fitted one soul for happiness--never.

"You see this idea lifts this world from an unimportant way station to a platform of stupendous issues, and makes all eternity whirl around this hour. Oh, my soul! my soul! Only one trial, and all the preparation for that trial to be made in this world, or never made at all. Oh, my soul! my soul! You see this piles up all the emphasis and all the climaxes and all the destinies into this life. No other chance. Oh, how that intensifies the value and the importance of this chance. Alexander and his army used to come around a city and they would kindle a great light, with the understanding that as long as that light was burning the city might surrender, and all would be well, but if they let that light go out, then the battering rams would swing against the walls and there would come disaster and demolition. Oh, my friends, all you and I need to do to prepare for eternal safety is just to surrender to the King and Conqueror, Christ. Surrender hearts, surrender life, surrender everything. The great light keeps burning, light kindled by the wood of the Cross, light flaming up against the dark night of our sin and sorrow. Oh, let us surrender before the light goes out, and with it our last opportunity of making [R2048 : page 242] our peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

COMMENTS ON THE FOREGOING.


We publish the foregoing, because, weak as it is, and easily answered by those who have in mind the Scripture teachings, it is nevertheless the strongest presentation of that side of the subject that has yet come under our observation; and we desire to give, for the benefit of the uninstructed, a proper answer to such reasonings.

First, then, that there may be no mistake, let us say that we fully endorse the statement that whoever hears the message of divine grace should make haste immediately to respond;--to accept justification by faith in the precious blood, and to present himself with every talent a living sacrifice in God's service; and that there will never be another chance provided for any who have enjoyed a full chance in the present life and have despised it. But we cannot agree that Mr. Talmage or any other man is competent to decide which of mankind have had, and which have not had, a full opportunity. Only the appointed Judge is either authorized or capable of deciding this question.--John 5:22.

However, we can say nothing further in harmony with the discourse: on the contrary, we must condemn all of its reasonings as sophistical and wholly unscriptural.

The only excuse that can be offered for the selection of so mis-fit a text for such a subject, by a man of Mr. Talmage's ability, is, that he felt that he must have some text, and this one came as near as any to be found in the Bible, which could be made in any degree to hint that the only chance for gaining everlasting life is the present life.

Those who will turn to the Scriptures and examine this text with its context will find nothing whatever to justify the interpretation given it by Mr. Talmage. Yet probably not one in a thousand of those who heard or read the discourse turned to and read the scripture cited as authority for all the weighty conclusions based on it. Alas! there is far too much confidence reposed in human teachers who frequently are far from faithful "oracles of God."

(1) The text has not the remotest reference to human probation. There is nothing to indicate that it refers to mankind at all. It merely points out that we may know that inanimate things act under nature's laws-- clouds full of water drop it upon the earth; a tree, whichever way it falls, is powerless to change or move its position. If any lesson or comparison to man were instituted it would be that so man falls helpless in death, and that "there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest" (Eccl. 9:10); but we see no comparison to man in the verse or its context.

The poor drunkard who finally becomes such a slave to his appetite that he loses all self-control, and battles in vain to regain his freedom, is used as a proof that experiences are not reformatory, whereas every person knows that some of the most valuable lessons we learn are lessons of experience, so that it has become a recognized proverb that "a burned child dreads the fire." The fact is that morphine, opium, nicotine and other drugs obtain such a mastery over their subjects that often the latter weep and strive for freedom in vain, and would welcome gladly any deliverance,-- Keely Cures, or what not?

All that can be said against such slaves of appetite the Apostle Paul declares to be true in some measure of all sinners. He says (Rom. 7:14-25): "For I know that in me (that is, in my [fallen] flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but how to perform I find not: but the evil which I would not, that I do....O wretched man that I am [as all by heredity are], who shall deliver me from this dead body [this body which my will cannot fully control, and with which there is a constant battle]?" Then comes the answer, that God has appointed Christ to be our deliverer --"I thank God [there is deliverance from this slavery] through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The fact then, attested by our experience and by God's Word, is that we all are slaves of Satan, sin and death, and all need a Savior. We who have already found Christ as our Savior may well rejoice; but by what authority can we declare that his power to save, to deliver from Satan, sin and death is limited to the "few there be that find" the narrow way in the present age? Quite to the contrary, the Scriptures, while plainly declaring, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see," declare none the less explicitly that the time is coming when all the sin-blinded eyes shall be opened; and that Christ, the true light, shall yet lighten "every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:9.) The eye of faith thus grasps firmly the promises of God's Word,--that the knowledge of the Lord shall yet fill the whole earth, that "all the families of the earth" shall ultimately be "blessed" with the knowledge of the "good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto [R2049 : page 242] all people," "every creature," even "those that are in their graves," who shall come forth to hear it.

Moreover, the Scriptures explain how it comes that the majority of mankind are now blinded and deceived, saying, "The god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (2 Cor. 4:4.) And those whose eyes are not thus blinded by sin and superstition are alone the favored "drawn" by the Father to Christ. These, upon accepting Christ, are translated "out of darkness into his marvelous light." This [R2049 : page 243] the Apostle expresses when addressing those whose eyes of understanding have been opened, saying, "That ye...may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge [mere human understanding]."--Eph. 3:18,19.

This special class now called, chosen, and found faithful, are called "God's elect." God is choosing them for a purpose,--a good purpose, a grand purpose, a holy purpose. He is not choosing this "little flock" to sit in glory and (as described by Jonathan Edwards) to look over the battlements of heaven and see the great mass of humanity in eternal torment and to praise God for their own deliverance from such a fate; but he is electing them in order that through them, with Christ Jesus, as the elect and foreordained "Seed of Abraham," "all the families of the earth [shall] be blessed."

The Apostle points out the very slaves of sin, mentioned by Mr. Talmage, groaning under the weight of the yoke which the great task-master, Sin, has imposed upon them, but, so far from seeing no hope for such, he declares, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now [not in despair and hopelessly, but] waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God [for their deliverance]." (Rom. 8:19,22.) The whole creation is not waiting intelligently, for "the god of this world has blinded their minds;" but they are ignorantly and blindly waiting, groaning and hoping for the "Golden age" and life elixirs of which the world's poets have long sung; all of which hopes are far inferior to the wonderful Millennial blessings which God has promised shall be ushered in, when the elect number of the "royal priesthood," the "sons of God," now making their calling and election sure by conformity to the predestinated conditions of joint-heirship, shall have been "changed" and manifested in glory.--Rom. 8:29,17,18.

The Apostle distinctly states this, saying, "The creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God." That he does not here refer to the Church, the saints, but to mankind in general, is evident from the context; for he turns then to believers and declares, "And not only they [the world] but ourselves also [the elect Church--the seed of Abraham, through whom "they" are to be delivered, after "we" have been "glorified" as the sons of God, we,] which have the firstfruits of the spirit, even we groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption [the full recognition of our sonship], to wit, the redemption [deliverance] of our body"--the body of Christ, the Church, in the first resurrection.

Ah, yes! We agree that pain and punishment cannot lift men out of sin and reconcile them to God. It is for this very reason that a Savior was sent. If a law and obedience to it and punishments could have reformed mankind, no doubt God would have chosen that way. (Gal. 3:21.) But what the law could not do, and what pain and sorrow could not do (Rom. 8:3), God proposes to do through Christ. (Rom. 7:24,25.) He proposes a glorious deliverance--the binding of Satan (Rev. 20:2), the opening of the blind eyes (Isa. 29:18; 35:5) and the helping of all who will accept his grace back to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by the Second Adam. (Luke 19:10.) It is for this purpose to give a universal blessed opportunity for life, that Christ died for all--redeemed all. It is for this purpose that the Kingdom of Heaven on earth has been promised, repeatedly, through the holy apostles and prophets--for which, as Christ's joint-heirs, the Church of "overcomers" is being selected. (Matt. 6:10.) Under that Millennial Kingdom (whose kings and priests will be invisible) the deliverance of the groaning creation will be effected and the incorrigible destroyed in the second death.

(2) Mr. Talmage's reasoning is strangely out of harmony with his Catechism, as well as his Bible, respecting the "innocency of infancy." He seems to forget that all of Adam's posterity are "born in sin and shapen in iniquity," and "prone to sin as the sparks to fly upward." He fails to take notice of prenatal influences upon character; and the Bible reference to it in the statement that by one man's disobedience sin and its results entered the world (Rom. 5:12), and its approval of the human proverb, "The fathers ate a sour grape [of sin] and the children's teeth are set on edge." But Mr. Talmage and all other sensible people know that either depravity or weakness of character are born in every child; and that many criminals were so low-born that it is almost impossible for them to pursue a righteous course under the present Satan-blinded and sin-abounding conditions.

No, although purity and goodness should be cultivated from infancy, the hope of the world does not lie in the purity of infancy and the avoidance of sin; for then none would be saved.--"There is none righteous, no, not one." The hope of humanity is in Christ --in what he did at Calvary in paying the ransom-price for the sins of the whole world; in what he is doing now in selecting the royal priesthood for the great future work of restitution, during the Millennium.--See Acts 3:19-21.

(3) Mr. Talmage argues truly that the Antediluvians were wicked, and that eight hundred years of experience did not make them clean from sin, but led to greater depravity. We agree that the course of sin has always been downward, and always will be. Noah's preaching was not expected to avert the flood any more than Moses' law was intended by God to deliver Israel [R2049 : page 244] from sin. As by the deeds of the law no flesh could be justified and saved, so by the preaching of Noah no flesh could be justified and saved. All the lessons of the past were intended to establish and enforce the fact that there is but one remedy for sin, the great sin-offering "finished" at Calvary. In the merit of that sacrifice Christ, the Redeemer, is fully authorized to begin the reign of Grace which shall not be powerless as was the reign of the Law; nor baneful as was the reign of sin and death, but mighty through God for the overthrow of the reign of Sin and Death, the deliverance of the groaning creation from their bondage, the blessing of "all the families of the earth" with the offer and opportunity of eternal life, and the final overthrow with "everlasting destruction" of all wilful sinners in the Second Death.

(4) Rejecting the Scriptural proposition, that the Church is being selected from the world for the purpose of blessing, instructing, ruling and judging the world during its Millennial "day of judgment," Mr. Talmage assumes without any Scriptural warrant that the judgment of the world will end with this age with the coming of the Judge to the throne, and that then earth's billions will be sentenced without having known that they were on trial or that there is hope for them (Eph. 2:12; 2 Cor. 4:4), and that then this great multitude will be given over to the instruction of Satan and his under demons. Not only is such a view unreasonable, but there is no Scripture to this effect, while there are many quite to the contrary,--showing that in the end of this age Satan shall be bound that "he may deceive the nations no more" for a thousand years; that then Christ and the glorified Church shall reign in righteousness, that "his reign shall be glorious" (Isa. 24:23) and shall witness the complete overthrow of sin and every enemy of righteousness; for Christ must "reign until he shall have put all enemies under his feet." (1 Cor. 15:25-28.) The same lesson is also clearly taught in our Lord's prayer: "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." Where, then, is the basis for Mr. Talmage's suggestion of a College Inferno of which Satan is the President and the under demons professors to have charge of the race? Truly, that would be a hopeless condition. But the Scriptures cited, and to be cited, prove that God's plan is the reverse of this,--to take the race completely out of the hands of "the Prince of this world" and to place it in "the world to come" absolutely under the control of the Prince of Light, "the Lord, the righteous Judge," who with his glorified Church will constitute a "Royal Priesthood," prepared by trials and temptations to sympathize with and assist the poor, degraded but blood-bought race: to bless them with an accurate knowledge of the truth and "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets."--Acts 3:19-21.

But who are "the righteous" of whom Mr. Talmage speaks so confidently, saying,--"Remember that the righteous, all their sins forgiven, pass right up into a beatific state?" Who are these? Are they few or many? How came they to have their sins forgiven? These important questions are all passed over in silence by Mr. T. Not a mention in the sermon of the fact that all were sinners, and that the penalty of all was paid by Christ Jesus, our Redeemer, and that the only ones whose sins are blotted out are those who by faith in the great sacrifice, and repentance from sins, and consecration to God have been adopted into God's family. [R2050 : page 244]

But those whom he describes are Scripturally termed the "elect" Church, the royal priesthood, the approved heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord and Redeemer who will prove faithful unto death. These are those of whom the Lord spoke, saying, --"Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." They are not the great multitudes of inconsistent professors, but the few known unto the Lord and dear to him as the apple of his eye, "a peculiar people, zealous of good works," who lay down their lives in his service. (See Psa. 50:5; Mal. 3:17.) And if this be true, and if, as Mr. T. declares, all others are to be given over hopelessly to the care of devils, it is an awful, a more horrible thought probably than Mr. T. meant to convey.

Yet where is the escape from his dilemma of his own and not of Scriptural construction? Can any claim that sinners are saints, that bad people are good, that the unrighteous are righteous, that unbelievers are justified? Not more than one in ten of professing Christians will lay claim to the foregoing Scriptural description of the "righteous,"--those believing in Christ implicitly, fully consecrated to God's service, and seeking to "walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit." How then, we ask, could we expect that the "little flock" that will "pass right up into a beatific state" will be more than a mere handful of the 1,500,000,000 now living or of the more than 50,000,000,000 that have died?

DR. TALMAGE'S DIFFERENT VIEW.


But Mr. Talmage can reason very differently about another chance for some, when he so desires! About two years ago he preached a sermon, published broadcast, in which he took the other side of the subject, but got equally far away from the true plan of God, the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He said in substance,--

I have no sympathy with the thought that a mere handful of humanity will be saved and that the vast host of our race will be lost. I have no share in the belief that our Lord Jesus Christ is going to suffer a [R2050 : page 245] crushing defeat, and that Satan is going to gain a victory by which he will carry off nearly all the spoils, and hell be peopled a thousand to one more than heaven. I believe that there will be a larger number saved than lost, and I will tell you how I reckon it. First, we have the fact that one half of our race dies in infancy. I hold that all of these will go to heaven because innocent of sin. Secondly, we know that a vast majority of the adult heathen have never seen "the true light," have died in ignorance, and therefore will not be punished as intelligent wilful sinners, but will be saved. Thirdly, we have a large class whose mental acumen is insufficient, who are non compos mentis, including the insane, idiotic and simple, who could not be sent to eternal torment because of their misfortunes, and hence must also be taken to heaven. Thus the larger proportion of our race will reach heaven, and the few, comparatively, suffer eternal torment.

We will state our objections to this unscriptural theory, then proceed to contrast it with Mr. T's latest deliverance, and finally show the Scriptural presentation in contrast with both; remarking by the way that Mr. Talmage, Presbyterian as he is, seems to have lost all of his Calvinistic theology, as he ignores entirely the distinction between elect and non-elect infants and heathen. We are glad to note this. But we object to

THIS GOSPEL OF SALVATION BY INNOCENCE.


(1) It is not true that infants, idiots, etc., are innocent of sin, so that they would be salvable on account of innocence; for, although they have committed no wilful, personal sins, they are nevertheless members of the race of Adam and sharers in the condemnation of original sin. As it is written, "By one man's disobedience many were made sinners." "By the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation." "By one man's offense death reigned [over all]." "By one man [in whom all sinned] sin entered into the world and death by [as the result of] sin; and so death passed upon all men."--Rom. 5:12,17,18,19.

This proposition being true, that none are innocent, but all are under condemnation, it follows that Mr. Talmage's billions of infants, heathen, etc., can be no more justified by their ignorance than by their works. (Rom. 3:20.) There is only one way of escape from the "condemnation" that rests on the whole world; namely, by justification, through faith in the Redeemer and his sin-offering of himself. "There is no other name given under heaven or among men whereby we must be saved," and the salvation is through knowledge, faith and obedience, and not through ignorance or incapacity or imperfect works. If Mr. T's theory be correct, it is a great mistake on God's part that all who are not idiots do not die in infancy; that thus all might get into heaven. According to this process of reasoning, the preaching of Christ, so far from being "good tidings," is bad tidings; because if all died in ignorance, in heathenism, all would then be saved.

SAVAGES AND MANIACS TAKEN TO HEAVEN.


(2) But we object to Mr. Talmage's gospel on another score. If heaven were made the receptacle of the heathen, savages, barbarians, the idiotic, simple, insane and infants, it would cease to be heaven to a considerable extent, and become a pandemonium. Mr. T. will no doubt admit that the billions of ignorant, imbecile and degraded, whom he describes as the vast majority of the heavenly throng, have never formed characters, and that they will need to do so before they would be fit companions for saints whose characters are formed after the divine pattern. And since each infant, as it develops, will become a free moral agent, what assurance have we in this theory that after all several billions of these infants, heathen, etc., would not choose disobedience, sin, rather than obedience, righteousness, and raise up an insurrection in heaven worse than has ever been known on earth? Verily, if the plan presented in the Scriptures were not much more reasonable than this theory, we would have serious grounds for questioning its being the divine plan, which must surely display divine wisdom.

Should Mr. Talmage attempt to make his theory more reasonable by claiming that the billions of heathen, idiots, infants, etc., would be changed instantly and miraculously and made perfect beings, fit for heaven, we would object that if such were the divine plan, and if development of character by contact with trial and temptation were unimportant, it would impeach the divine wisdom and love and justice for having permitted six thousand years of sin and death and the loss thereby of some; for according to the theory we are criticizing all this was unnecessary--worse than useless. If Mr. T. were not yet convinced we would quote his text at the head of this article, "In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be," and applying it Scripturally would urge that it teaches that no change of character takes place in the grave. It is in agreement with the Scripture which declares, "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." The earliest and only opportunity after death to gain knowledge and to form character will be when "All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth."

Here, then, we have the two extremes of Mr. T's view. (a) He assumes to decide that there can be only one chance of gaining everlasting life;--that all who do not enter the "strait gate" and walk the "narrow way" are hopelessly lost. (b) Yet remembering the Lord's words, "Few there be that find it [the strait gate]," he next determines (contrary alike to reason and Scripture) that the vast majority (who do not get [R2050 : page 246] a proper chance in this life) must go to heaven, and get their chance there. Indeed, Mr. Talmage seems ready to claim that the free agency of the "vast majority" will be abrogated, and that the savages, idiots and infants will be declared "predestinated" and "elect" beyond their own power to dissent from or alter their conditions. What a medley! What incongruity! What inconsistency! A logician, following Mr. T., would pretty surely be led either to "Universalism" or to ignore the "redemption which is in Christ Jesus" and trust solely to his own righteousness. But now contrast

THE SCRIPTURAL PRESENTATION OF THE DIVINE PLAN.


As we have already shown, the Scriptures clearly teach that all men are under divine condemnation, wholly irrespective of their own deeds: all were "born in sin," all inherited our father Adam's condemnation and share in the blight of sin and death which came upon him, and through him, by heredity, upon all men. "The fathers ate the sour grape [of sin], and the children's teeth are set on edge." (Rom. 5:12; Jer. 31:29; Ezek. 18:2,3.) None could get rid of this condemnation, --neither the Jew by his knowledge of the Law and possession of the oracles of God, nor the Gentile in his ignorance. (Rom. 3:9,10,19,23.) All were unworthy of eternal life; and the race as a whole had been in this pitiable condition for four thousand years, when God in great mercy had compassion on all and sent "a Savior, and a great one," not of the Jew only, but also of the Gentile, who, until then, was left "without God, and having no hope."--Isa. 19:20; Eph. 2:12.

The salvation contemplated in God's plan was not merely a reform--a salvation from some of the evil consequences of the fall--but a salvation unto the uttermost, of all who come unto God by Christ. To make it comprehensive, available to all, Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man. He "gave [R2051 : page 246] himself a ransom [a corresponding price] for all, to be testified in due time.--Heb. 7:25; 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.

Thus the redemptive sacrifice is seen to have been for the benefit, not only of those living when it was made and their progeny since, but also for the billions who had previously died "without God and having no hope,"--all of whom went down into "sheol," "hades;" the great prisonhouse of death;--everlasting death, everlasting destruction, and not everlasting torment,* being the wages of sin under the divine law. (Rom. 6:23; Gen. 2:17.) But it is one thing that the penalty for all mankind has been paid, life for life (Jesus' life for Adam's life--Rom. 5:12,17,18,19), and that Jehovah God has accepted that ransom price, and manifested his acceptance, both by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus from the dead and by the descent of the holy spirit at Pentecost (Rom. 1:4; Acts 2:33,34); quite another thing will be the salvation or deliverance from death of the redeemed ones,--the deliverance of the dead and dying creation from the bondage of corruption --the bondage of death as well as of sin.

*See WHAT SAY THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT HELL? 80 pp. 10 cents.

Hence the necessity for the second coming of our Savior. He came the first time as a sin-offering to pay our ransom price, and bought us with his own precious blood,--his life; but he comes a second time, not as a sin-offering, but "unto salvation,"--to save or deliver from sin and death all whom he redeemed at his first advent, or as many of them as shall wish for salvation upon his terms, when they shall be brought to "an accurate knowledge of the truth" "in due time."

This salvation reaches no one until the end of the Gospel age, except "believers" who (in a reckoned sense) grasp "the hope of salvation" and anticipate it by faith. The apostles declare that we are "heirs of salvation," and point us to the fact that it "shall be brought unto" us "at the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," at his second advent; and tell us that "now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed," and that meantime we are "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time." (See Rom. 13:11; 1 Thes. 5:8; Heb. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:5,13; Heb. 9:28.) The completion of

SALVATION IS CALLED "RESURRECTION"


--and thus is divided into two parts: "the first resurrection," including our Lord Jesus and all the overcomers of this Gospel age, "members of his body," is the chief, the highest, the most desirable; and none except the overcomers who have walked with their Lord in the narrow way of self-denial and suffering for righteousness' sake can have part in it: it is a rising up to life upon the spirit plane, and can be attained only by those "made partakers of the divine nature." (Rev. 20:6; 2 Pet. 1:4; Phil. 3:10,11.) These only are being called, chosen and proved during this Gospel age. These victors, the faithful, the "overcomers," will constitute the Royal Priesthood after the order of Melchizedeck (of which the Lord Jesus is the Head or Chief Priest), which is to "reign on the earth" as God's Kingdom, to order the affairs of men and bring to all the great salvation purchased by our Lord when he gave himself "a ransom for all."--1 Pet. 2:9,10.

The salvation to be offered to the world in general is termed a "resurrection by judgment"--a rising up to the perfection of life through a judgment or disciplinary process during the Millennium. It includes mankind,--the so-called "living" (but really "dying," of whom God speaks as "dead," because the sentence of death stands against them until they accept Christ Jesus as their Savior) as well as "all that are in the [R2051 : page 247] graves" who "shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth [--awaken from the sleep of Adamic death, which would have been an "eternal sleep" except for Christ's sacrifice]." These billions will be "judged," granted a trial, during the Millennium, and those found worthy of everlasting life will get it at the close of the Millennium, and all unworthy of it will be cut off from life in "the second death"--"everlasting destruction."

The awakening from Adamic death will not be resurrection in the full sense; but rather a preparation for resurrection (Greek anastasis) which applies to all the steps to be taken upward toward perfection of life-- the high plane from which all fell in Adam. As the little flock of this Gospel age passes reckonedly "from death unto life" by the acceptance of Christ, so all the world during the Millennium will be brought to a knowledge of God and Christ, but only those who accept Christ as their Savior, and the New Covenant with God through him, are reckoned as having any life (John 3:36); and with these it is only a beginning of the resurrection, or raising up process, which will not be perfected until the thousand years are finished.

It is a resurrection of judgment (i.e., by judgments); because reward and discipline will be the process by which the lessons of righteousness will be enforced and characters developed. The good physician, who so loved the sinners as to lay down his life for them, will be the Chief of the kings and priests who will instruct, govern, "judge" the world in righteousness; and this guarantees that everything will be done that can be done to help out of sin into righteousness and eternal life all who choose to seek life upon God's terms.

But, although obedience to the laws of Christ's Kingdom will be enforced, no man's free moral agency will be interfered with: it will be true of those who then know of and fail to gain life, as it is true of some now, "Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life." (John 5:40.) Those who will refuse to make any progress, or even to start, are mentioned by the prophet Isaiah (65:17-20) who, describing the Millennial condition, says, "The sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed [cut off from life]," though dying at that age he would be but as an infant. By complying with the laws of that time he might live at least to the close of the Millennial age.

Under the rule of that age--the reward of progress and deliverance from weaknesses, mental, physical and moral, will be given to the obedient, and "stripes," reproofs, etc., will be inflicted for wrong doing and failure to progress. It is evident, therefore, that the close of the Millennium will not only find all men fully informed, and the knowledge of the Lord filling the whole earth and all outwardly obedient, but, as we might expect, it will find some who will have partially misused their opportunities, whose hearts, wills, will not be fully submitted to the Lord's will; and the separation and destruction of these as "goats" from the others, "sheep," is properly the last act of that Judgment age, as represented in Rev. 20:7-10.

"ALL THE WICKED WILL GOD DESTROY."

The whole population of the world will then be "as the sand of the sea," and all will be subjected to a final test of loyalty to God. For a thousand years they will have had experiences in every way favorable, and, Satan being bound, they will have had no special temptations to disloyalty to God; and it will be but proper that a test of loyalty should be made which will manifest to all, which are at heart loyal to the Lord, and which are still selfish, self-willed and disloyal. That test will be crucial: no excuse or allowance can be made for any there, because all will then have had all the experience, knowledge and help which infinite wisdom and love have seen proper to provide;--all that could be of service in forming character. The result of this final trial will be the destruction of Satan and all who have any sympathy with sin, in the Second death--"everlasting destruction," symbolically pictured as a "lake of fire and brimstone," the antitype of the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) outside the walls of the typical Jerusalem; so also in Matt. 25:31-33,41,46. There "fire" is symbolic as well as the "sheep" and the "goats;" and as in Revelation signifies --"the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the Second death." The punishment for sin as declared by Scripture is not everlasting torment, but everlasting death. "The wages of sin is death!" "The soul that sinneth [wilfully], it shall die!" The wilful evil doers, after rejecting the opportunities of the New Covenant, shall be "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power."

The proportionate numbers of those who shall pass this final trial successfully and enter into life everlasting, --beyond all sighing, crying and dying,--is not even hinted at; nor is the number or the proportion of any consequence when we are assured, (1) that the saved will include every member of Adam's race (condemned in Adam but redeemed by the great "ransom for all") who, upon full opportunity, chooses to "take of the water of life freely" in God's appointed way; and (2) that the lost are only such as infinite wisdom sees to be incorrigible, and who, thus "punished with everlasting destruction," shall be no more.

Now what have we seen?--a second chance? Nay verily; except it be argued that Adam's original trial was a first chance which brought the sentence of death --condemnation upon all the race; and that the ransom paid by Christ secures another (an individual) chance [R2051 : page 248] for each member of the race. We have seen in this great divine plan one, but only one, individual chance, or trial, for each member of the redeemed race. Those who have enjoyed a full chance in this Gospel age and have wilfully rejected Christ we cannot expect will get another chance to reject and crucify him (Heb. 6:4-8; 10:26-31); but all who have not yet had a full chance are guaranteed a full chance, a fair and favorable trial, "in due time," by virtue of the "ransom for all." [R2052 : page 248]

We conclude that God's plan is much more reasonable than Mr. Talmage's plan. It saves no one in ignorance and sin, it overrides no one's free agency; its provisions take hold of every creature of Adam's race, all are treated impartially, none are to be saved under it except those who become copies of God's dear Son, our Lord Jesus; none are to be lost for lack of full opportunity to attain that character. In God's plan every condition and arrangement is found that sanctified reason could desire; and the various parts fit together perfectly, attesting its divine authorship. But of the many false theories of salvation and their originators, God says,--"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,...For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! And his grace, who hath measured its fullness in Christ?



[R2052 : page 248]

QUESTIONS OF GENERAL INTEREST.


Question. What do you mean by the expressions "earthly phase" and "spiritual phase," in relation to the Kingdom? (MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., page 288.)

Answer. There is only one kingdom per se; and that is, the Church; but it will have servants and representatives which to the world will be its kingdom or direct government. Though all will be instructed to recognize the overruling spiritual Kingdom of Christ and the Church and the still superior Kingdom of the Heavenly Father, yet this spiritual phase will be represented by the Patriarchs and other overcomers of past ages who will constitute the "earthly phase" of the Kingdom. (Luke 13:28; Heb. 11:39,40.) The "great company" do not belong to the Kingdom at all. They will be associated in some way not explained, but will not be part of the Kingdom real, nor yet of the earthly or representative Kingdom.

Question. Is the Church a part of the atonement sacrifice? If so, why is our Lord Jesus only referred to as the "Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world?"--1 John 2:2; 4:10; 1 Tim. 2:6.

Answer. The atonement is based upon the sacrifice made by the high priest, who "offered up himself." The Church's share in the atonement is a reckoned one. In the same sense that the Church is reckoned as the body of Christ, so its sacrifices are reckoned as being joined with that of Christ, and are so represented or typified in the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement. So, as accepted members of the body of Christ, we throughout the Gospel Age "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." The sufferings of Christ are reckoned as continuing so long as we, his Church, reckonedly members of his body, his flesh and his bones, are suffering. The merit in God's sight as the ransom lay in the sacrifice which our Lord Jesus offered. Ours is merely incidental, and reckonedly accepted as a part, in order that we might be granted a share also in the rewards.

Question. What is the difference between "ransom," "propitiation" and "atonement?"

Answer. The ransom is the corresponding price, and was paid by our Lord by the giving of his life. The propitiation was accomplished when he ascended up on high, appeared in the presence of God on our behalf and presented as for us and in payment of our penalty his death as our ransom. The atonement is the result of the offering of the ransom and its acceptance by God as a propitiation or satisfaction. It has a secondary feature or bearing upon us, when we realize the fact that so far as the divine law is concerned an atonement has been made; and if we are rightly exercised thereby, it will lead us to a condition of harmony of mind with God and to a desire to please and serve him, which is the human side of the at-one-ment.

Question. In what sense does the Apostle (Heb. 6:1) advise the Church to leave "the [first] principles of the doctrines of Christ;" does he mean that the practice of baptism, etc., should be abandoned?

Answer. The Jews had washings or baptisms under the Law, but they had nothing to do with Christian baptism. Every time a Jew washed his hands he performed a baptism. But it is not the washings under the Law to which the Apostle Paul refers. He does not say, leave baptisms because they are part of the Law, with which Christians have nothing to do. If he is so interpreted with reference to baptism, the same argument would apply to the other doctrines mentioned in the same connection; namely, repentance from dead works (all works are dead if without faith), faith in God, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. Surely, we are not to understand that we should cease to believe in or practice [R2052 : page 249] repentance and faith; neither should we cease to believe in and practice baptism. What the Apostle is trying to show is, that we should not have to learn all of these things over and over again. He was reproving the Hebrews addressed, because, when they ought to have been teachers (chapter 5:12), they required somebody to teach them the first principles (the first principles mentioned in chapter 6:1,2). They should have understood all of these things, and been able to teach them; and while continuing to believe in these they should have been adding to their knowledge of the Word and plan of God; and not only so, but they should remember that it is not only correct doctrines on these subjects that are necessary to our full development as followers of Christ, but in addition the graces of Christian character; the doctrines being only a means to an end, and not the end itself. Therefore he says, Leaving the first principles, let us go on to perfection--let us cultivate our characters and endeavor to grow more and more like our Lord.

In the same way a child, when it goes to school, first learns the multiplication table, how to add and subtract and divide. These are the foundation principles of mathematics; and yet we would think a child either very stupid or careless in his studies to remain several years learning these first principles; and we would say that it ought to leave the first principles and go on to other things; by which we would not mean that it should forget these first principles or consider them errors or something to be despised, but that it should remember them and use them and add to them the higher branches.

For a full treatment of the subject of Baptism see TOWER, June 15, '93.

Question. In the TOWER for Sept. 15, '96, page 222, you say, "If the powers that be should ever compel us to vote, it would be our duty to act with the side most nearly approved by our consciences." Can any earthly power compel us to be disloyal to our King? Let us ever bear in mind that no person can have any power at all against us, except it be given from heaven, and that God is not going to give any person power to compel his children to violate their consciences rather than be thrown out of work. Many have been drafted and fought in time of war against their wills; but he who has laid down his life, given it up for Christ and the Gospel will never take it back again to destroy the life of his fellow-man, or in any way to please man. "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Let God take care of the sacrifice, while we fulfil it. Called out of the world, dead to the world, how can we heed the threats of the world? Dead to sin, how can we use our members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin? "His servants ye are to whom ye render yourselves servants to obey." Our salvation depends on our faith in God and our loyalty to him.

Many will talk of their faith and courage until it comes to the test; then their courage often fails. Too many begin the life of sacrifice without considering the cost, and with too many it is a failure.

Another writes:--I cannot see why we should permit them to compel us, especially in the voting part, to act against our conscience at all. Shall the body of Christ do wrong at the behest of the powers that be?

Answer. These two readers have totally misunderstood the answer to which they refer; and since others may have misunderstood similarly, and to guard against error on so vital a point, we answer these publicly.

If laws should be passed commanding every man of twenty-one years to vote at election time, as has already been proposed in the Ohio legislature, it would not mean a violation of the writer's conscience to obey this law, although we prefer to have nothing to do with electing the rulers of this world and would be unwilling to shed blood to maintain them in office, should such a crisis ever arise. In this connection we should but follow the Lord's direction, If any man compel thee to go a mile, go with him.--Matt. 5:41.

But if ever compelled by law to vote, we may be sure that we will not be compelled by law to vote for any particular person or party. Therefore, should it become our duty by law to vote, we would be obliged to use our judgments as between parties, platforms and candidates. We would find none of these in all respects up to our ideal and standard; and hence some would vote one way, while others, equally conscientious, [R2053 : page 249] would vote another way. We might better have said, that in such an event it would be the duty of each to vote according to his conscientious judgment;--for principles and men most nearly in line with his conception of wisdom and righteousness; using his full liberty to cross off the names of any or all candidates, if not approved, and of substituting any names he may approve.

Conscience is never to be violated, and the above remarks of the objectors are fully endorsed. They merely misunderstood our meaning.

Question. The word "body" found in Lev. 21:11, is from the Hebrew Nephesh, which is so many times translated "soul." Would it be proper to substitute the word "soul" for "body" in this text? See statement in Oct. 15, '95, Tower to the effect that it is not proper to say a "dead soul."

Answer. This text more critically rendered would read, "Neither shall he go in to any living creature [soul] after death." The Hebrew language is "poor," and many words must serve many shades of thought each. Hence, "any dead body" is equivalent to "any body [soul] dead; i.e., any living creature [soul] after death." The same is true of Num. 6:6; 19:13; Hag. 2:13.



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SOLOMON'S WEALTH AND WISDOM.
--OCT. 18.--1 KINGS 4:25-34.--
IF, as already shown, the wealth of Solomon and his peaceful reign prefigured the glory and peace of Christ's Millennial reign, so also Solomon's wisdom prefigured the all-comprehensive wisdom of Christ. And as representatives of many nations came to hear Solomon, so when the Kingdom is the Lord's, and he is governor among the nations, all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto him, as the Prophet declares. They will say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths."--Isa. 2:3.

It is well to remember that the wisdom of Solomon which attracted the attention and admiration of the world (Vss. 29-34), was not the heavenly wisdom, not spiritual understanding such as is now enjoined upon the saints, which can only be spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:8-14), and which is never popular with the world. Solomon's wisdom was but an imperfect realization of the wise and understanding heart suggested in his dream-prayer (1 Kings 3:9), which will find its full realization in Solomon's antitype.

It was Solomon's worldly or secular wisdom which impressed the world. By nature and through God's providential blessings in making of him a type, Solomon's mental faculties were large and well developed; and these he exercised in many directions with marked success;--as a statesman, judge and financier. The statement that his wisdom excelled that of the Chaldeans, etc., seems to imply that his wisdom was along the line of the sciences and philosophies popular with them. But although "he spake 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1005," they were not all deemed of the Lord worthy of a place amongst the sacred Scriptures.

The heavenly wisdom of the books of Ecclesiastes, Proverbs and Solomon's Song we accept as of divine direction, as were the words of the prophets who frequently wrote things they did not comprehend.-- 1 Pet. 1:10-12.



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THE PROVERBS OF SOLOMON.
--OCT. 25.--PROVERBS 1:1-19.--

page 250

THE Book of Proverbs was not written nor prepared by Solomon in its present form. Apparently quite a number of the proverbs for which he was celebrated were uncollected until a number of years after his death. The book as a whole divides itself into five portions.

I. Chapters 1 to 9, discourses on Wisdom, which is personified.

II. Chapter 10 to 22:16, Solomonic proverbs. These are recollections of epigrams.

III. Chapter 22:17 to 24:34, the words of the Wise.

IV. Chapters 25 to 29, King Hezekiah's collection of Solomonic proverbs.

V. Chapters 30 and 31, Words of Agar, Words of Lemuel, and an alphabetical acrostic on The Virtuous Wife. These last two chapters, it will be noticed, do not claim to be Solomon's proverbs, but were evidently thought by the editor to contain sufficient wisdom to be worthy to be classed with the Proverbs of Solomon. Nor is such a procedure on the part of the editor out of harmony with modern usage; for instance, if we take up the latest Revised Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, we will find it to contain a large number of words and definitions of which Mr. Webster neither wrote nor knew in his day.

The Book of Proverbs contains very much that is recognized as wisdom by all who have understanding, whether worldings or Christians; but, as already suggested, the Proverbs do not deal with the heavenly wisdom which is foolishness with men and often runs counter to that which would be the best of earthly policy. It deals with wisdom from the earthly standpoint, and not from the standpoint of self-sacrifice in preparation for joint-heirship with Christ in the heavenly kingdom. [R2053 : page 250]

Nevertheless, although the Proverbs were not prophecies, like the writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc., we may well esteem them to have been supernaturally prepared inasmuch as Solomon was granted a supernatural wisdom, in order, as we have seen, that he might represent or prefigure Christ Jesus, our Lord, the "greater than Solomon." The propriety of respecting the Proverbs as inspired is shown in the fact that several quotations from them appear in the New Testament writings. Compare the following: Prov. 1:16 with Rom. 3:15; Prov. 3:7 with Rom. 12:16; Prov. 3:11,12 with Heb. 12:5,6; Prov. 3:34 with James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5; Prov. 10:12 with 1 Pet. 4:8; Prov. 11:31 with 1 Pet. 4:18; Prov. 20:9 with 1 John 1:8; Prov. 25:7 with Luke 14:10; Prov. 25:21,22 with Rom. 12:20; Prov. 26:11 with 2 Pet. 2:22. Furthermore, our Lord and the Apostles referred to the Jew's sacred Scriptures as a whole as divinely inspired, making no exception of Solomon's writings contained therein, which were, however, but a portion of his three thousand proverbs.

In this lesson the first six verses tell the object of the Proverbs to be for instruction, especially of the young and unlearned; to teach them true wisdom, appreciation of justice, of righteous dealing and equity in general.

Verse 5 points out that the instructions are not merely for the youth; that no matter how wise a man may be, he will still have opportunity for increasing his wisdom, and that a teachable attitude of heart and a desire to know the truth are necessary to progress in wisdom, and that a teachable attitude of heart and a desire to know the truth are necessary to progress in wisdom. How profitable it would be to Christian people if this lesson of verse 5 were very generally applied by them! They would no longer be satisfied with a mere acceptance of creeds of the past, but would be going to the fountain head of wisdom, the Divine Revelation. They would no longer be saying practically, if not by words, We need and care nothing for the Divine plan of salvation; but, like the Bereans of old, they would be searching the Scriptures daily, that they might more perfectly understand the Divine plan.

The first clause of verse 7 is a quotation from one of his father David's Psalms (111:10), and is a gem of wisdom. If the word "fear" be given the sense of reverence, the passage will be better understood. The [R2053 : page 251] reverence of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. They who say in their hearts there is no God are certainly stupidly foolish. They have failed to learn the very first lesson of wisdom. Reverence for the Lord is one of the first essentials in approaching his Word as a student: God's revelation looked at from any other standpoint than that of reverence will not yield its blessings to the searcher. One of the peculiarities of our day, and particularly pointed out by the Apostle Paul (2 Tim. 3:1-5), is the lack of reverence which manifests itself, not only in the world, but also amongst those associated as believers and in their families. The general tendency is toward headiness, high mindedness, arrogance, self-consciousness, disobedience. All of these come under the head of lack of reverence for God and for the order and arrangement which he has established. The present irreverence is undoubtedly the result of the general awakening from the darkness and superstition of the dark ages,--when the great adversary brought in such teachings as produced a distressing fear of the Almighty, based upon misrepresentations of his character and plan. These were received with credulity, from human sources, without proving by the Scriptures, to which the Apostle exhorted. As mankind awakes from this superstition, as a pendulum vibrates from one extreme to the other, so human sentiment, finding that it has been too prejudiced and too fearful in the past, now goes to the opposite extreme of doubt, skepticism, infidelity, irreverence for all the experiences of the past as well as irreverence for God and his Word. As this spirit progresses and influences a wider and wider circle in Christendom, it is preparing the way for the great climax of skepticism and irreverence which will end in the overthrow of all law and order and the disregard of all the experiences of the past and the wisdom of God's Word, in the anarchy and confusion with which this age will close,--in preparation, however, for the establishment of the Kingdom of righteousness in the hands of Christ and the Church.

Verses 8 and 9 point out, by the symbols of a wreath and a chain (used in ancient times as marks of honor and respect), that the way to true prosperity lies through obedience to parents, and in general would direct us to learn wisdom from the experiences of those who have gone before in life's pathway. The fact that we to-day are living in an age of peculiar progress in knowledge and invention, superior in many respects to anything with which the ancients were acquainted, will not lead a wise man utterly to ignore the experiences of the past, nor to consider himself, because favorably circumstanced, as superior in mental ability to many of times past. Our day is known as the "brain age," and many are unduly puffed up and do not consider that the brain capacity of the present time is not greater than that of past times, but that merely the opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge are superior. The wisest and best men to-day quote the wisdom of the past, not only in the Proverbs of Solomon and the words [R2054 : page 251] of the Lord and the Apostles and the Psalms of David and the Law given by Moses, but also in the words of Shakespeare.

Verses 10-19 were apparently intended as guards against the youthful tendency to brigandage more common in ancient times than now, because to-day, with the advantages of telegraph and telephone, it is more easy to apprehend and punish highway robbers than ever before. But the lesson of these verses can be applied to our day with still greater force. There are to-day different inducements held out, but on much the same line. First, financial brigandage: the inducement to join in business ventures which would dishonestly rob others by misrepresentation, by swindling advertisements, by fraudulent deceptions, trickery, etc. Second, we are coming into a time when there will be more of a temptation to a social brigandage with inducements held out and hopes of gain and common interest by combining for the passage of laws which would do violence to the liberties and interests of others. And ultimately there will be inducements to revolution, disorder, anarchy, in the hope of getting by violence the property of others.

The last clause of verse 18 points out that those who follow such a course will surely bring calamity upon themselves.

Verse 19 shows that the principles here set forth are applicable to all who are greedy of gain and willing to sacrifice the lives or interests of others to obtain it. The words of the Apostle apply here with special force: "They that will [to] be rich fall into temptation and a snare [of the adversary]."--1 Tim. 6:9. page 251

For further thoughts on Solomon's writings see TOWER, Apr. 15, '93, pages 121-127.



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THE TEMPLE WHICH SOLOMON BUILT.

--NOVEMBER 1.--1 KINGS 5:1-12.--

page 251

THE important point of this lesson is very slightly related to, or expressed by, the verses chosen above. [R2054 : page 251]

The temple built by Solomon did not cover the largest area of ground, nor was it the most lofty and massive structure of ancient times. Many of the ancient temples were superior in these respects; yet this temple was probably richer in its ornamentation and more costly than any of the others, because of the large amount of gold used in its construction. The building itself was of white limestone, which in the sunlight would very strongly resemble white marble. The stone necessary for its construction abounds in the vicinity of the temple itself; indeed, under the city of Jerusalem are large caverns known as "Solomon's Quarries," from which it is supposed that the stones for the temple were quarried. Some very large stones, more or less imperfect, and possibly for that reason not used, are still to be seen in these quarries. The beams, inner walls, doors and roof of the temple were constructed of cedar and red sandalwood. These were all (roof included) completely overlaid with gold--not merely gilded with gold leaf, such as is now used, but covered with plates of gold about an eighth of an inch thick, which were fastened on with gold nails and bestudded with precious stones of various kinds. [R2054 : page 252]

The fact that some of the stones bear Phoenecian marks has led some to suppose that part of the stone for the temple was imported; but we think it more probable that Phoenecian workmen were employed in quarrying, stonedressing, etc., and used such marks as they were in the habit of using in their own country. So far as the record shows, only the timber, including "fir" for scaffolding, was imported; the cedar coming from Lebanon. The country of Palestine did not afford such timber as was necessary.

The apostles (in the New Testament), in referring to the Church, spoke of it as represented in the stones of which the temple was constructed, each member of the Church being a "living stone," and their faith and character being represented in the gold, silver and precious stones of the temple's adornment; but the wood of the temple is not used to symbolize Christians or their faith and character, because wood is perishable. The Apostle indicates that "wood, hay and stubble" have no place in the true temple, the Church (1 Cor. 3:12); and as we consider Solomon's temple, we find that the wood was merely used as a filler, that the symbol was the gold which covered the wood. The wood was merely used because of the impossibility of collecting such an immense quantity of gold as would have been necessary to make the roof and inner walls and doors of solid gold. In this view of the matter, the typical proprieties of Solomon's temple are preserved; symbolically it was of stone and gold only.

Not only were the materials of the temple typical, but the fact that many of these materials were gathered together before Solomon's reign was also typical, and in addition the peculiar preparation and fitting of the stones, etc. Each was shaped and fitted and marked for its particular place before the construction began. So in the antitype: each member of the true temple of God, which the greater than Solomon is about to construct --the glorious Church and Kingdom--each living stone, is fitted and prepared by the chiseling, polishing, etc., in the quarry of this present life, and thus prepared for the particular place which he is to occupy in the future development of God's great plan. And as, when the various stones and parts had all been prepared, the construction of Solomon's temple was speedily and noiselessly executed, "without the sound of a hammer," so, when all the living stones of the antitypical temple have been made ready under the supervision of the antitypical Solomon, this true temple of God will come together quickly, without noise or confusion, in the "first resurrection" of the "blessed and page 252 holy" on whom the second death has no power.

For the typical significance of other features of the Tabernacle and Temple see our issue of May 15, page 113 and TABERNACLE SHADOWS.



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THE TEMPLE DEDICATED.
--NOVEMBER 8.--1 KINGS 8:54-63.--
THE first verse of this lesson draws our attention to the prayer of Solomon in connection with the dedicating of the temple to God and his worship. Not only does the construction of the temple give evidence of Solomon's earnestness toward God and his desire to walk in the ways of wisdom, but now that its construction is finished his prayer and its dedication bear testimony to the same. His faith toward God and his humility of heart are everywhere manifested, not only in the words of his address in prayer, but also in his attitude upon his knees before the Lord, and in the sight of the people, with his hands spread up to heaven. It is a beautiful picture, and suggests to us the importance of not only having good desires, but also of permitting those desires to occupy our time, thoughts and attention fully; for during all the period of the construction of this great temple for the Lord, we may suppose that Solomon was kept very actively engaged as the chief supervisor of its construction; and we may reasonably suppose that during this time he was a most model ruler, walking in the reverence of the Lord. Well would it have been for him had his time always been similarly well filled with works for the glory of God, or for the good of God's people. It was after this great work had been accomplished, that he began selfishly to turn his thoughts to self-gratification, which ultimately led him into devious paths, which were far from wise, according to the expression of his own proverbs.

Verses 55-61 give Solomon's address to the people --a benediction and exhortation combined. In this, as in his prayer, Solomon shows great modesty, as well as zeal for the Lord and for righteousness; for he included himself as well as all the people in the exhortation, "Let him not leave us nor forsake us."

Verses 62 and 63 give some conception of the importance of this occasion in the estimation of the whole nation--as indicated by the enormous sacrifice offered.

It was following the dedicatory prayer and the offering of the sacrifices that God accepted the temple and manifested that acceptance by causing the shekinah glory to shine upon the Mercy Seat in the Most Holy, thus indicating a transfer of the Divine presence with Israel, from the Tabernacle (the temporary, movable place of worship) to this, as the permanent place for the manifestation of God's presence in the midst of the people. The typical features of this will be readily discerned by all. As the shekinah glory in the Tabernacle represented God's presence with Israel, accompanying their wilderness journey and difficulties, so now the anti-type of this is God's presence with the Church of the Gospel age in its present temporary or tabernacle condition; and so the coming of the divine glory upon the completed temple represented the future glory of the Church when its living stones shall have been brought together, when that which is perfect shall have come. The glory in the Tabernacle was merely a foretaste and illustration of the greater glory of the temple; and so in the Church's experience, the present indwelling of the Holy spirit in God's Church is only the "first fruits of the spirit," in comparison to the fullness of the spirit which will be ours when the temple of God shall have been completed, glorified, filled with his spirit.



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