page 337
November 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXII.NOVEMBER 1, 1901.No. 21.


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower A New Era for the Jews, etc339
Anti-Clerical Agitation in Spain340
Hell Less Popular with Methodists341
Poem: Are You Watching?342
Israel Oppressed in Egypt342
Concerning the Closing of the Call344
He was a Goodly Child345
The Parabolic Vineyard Wasted348
Encouraging Words from Friends350
Another Swiss Helper351

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 338

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.




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO--
BRITISH BRANCH, 131 GIPSY LANE, FOREST GATE, LONDON E. ENGLAND.

PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE, 5c (2-1/2d.) A COPY.
MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR, AS FOLLOWS:--

Those of the interested who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for the TOWER will be supplied FREE, if they send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually.


ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.

PILGRIM VISITS ARE FREE OF ALL CHARGES.

We find that some of the friends have refrained from requesting "Pilgrim" visits because they supposed they would be expected to contribute for his railway fare and also for his support. This is a mistake: the services of the preaching "Pilgrims" laboring under the auspices of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY are absolutely without charge;--nor do they take up any collections. The Society pays their railway and all other expenses out of its funds, which are all voluntary donations, from such as are able and anxious to serve in this manner.

All we ask of the friends visited is that they provide a parlor, hall, school-house or church building for the meetings and that they board and lodge the "Pilgrim" during the two or three days of his visit. We attend to all else.

REQUESTS FOR PILGRIM SERVICE.

The Pilgrim routes are made out months ahead; so it is too late to write us, as some do, when they learn from last page that a Pilgrim is coming to their vicinity. If you desire visits write us a Postal Card (or on a card of that size) answering the following questions: (a) Have you regular meetings now? (b) How many usually attend? (c) Who are the chosen leaders of the class? (d) Did the class vote its desire for Pilgrim visits? (e) Are you able and willing to secure a suitable room for private meetings? (f) Could you arrange also for one public meeting? and what number of an audience could probably be gathered?

You can answer all queries briefly, thus: (a) Yes. (b) 14. (c) John Smithson and Amos Browning. (d) Yes. (e) Yes. (f) Yes: 100 to 300.



[R2897 : page 339]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.


A NEW ERA FOR THE JEWS.


LONDON, September 24.--Israel Zangwill, the novelist, poet and playwright, who has become one of the most prominent of the prophets in the Zionist movement gave to-day some significant facts concerning the coming conference of the Zionists at Basle, Switzerland. "It is not impossible," said Mr. Zangwill, "that Dr. Herzl may have a great surprise for the world, to be announced at that convention. He has been negotiating in person with the Sultan of Turkey for a charter for Palestine, and it is possible that he has obtained that charter. It seems likely at any rate that the charter may be had before many months.

"Once the charter is assured, much larger contributions should be obtained. We have at present about a million dollars, most of it from three or four subscribers. We're not going to admit anyone except skilled workmen. Jews who want to get into Palestine under the new charter will have to come up to a high standard financially, physically and morally in order to be admitted. If we were going to let in those who were looking for food where there was no food except such as the colonists make for themselves, it would lead to a great disaster."

"What sort of government would Palestine have under the charter from the Sultan?" asked the reporter.

"Well, there's the Chartered Company in South Africa, for instance. Perhaps it would be something like that. But you may say that the leaders of the Zionists have read deeply enough in their histories to know that the pilgrim fathers didn't have the present [R2898 : page 339] constitution of the United States in their heads when they sailed for America. The constitution evolved itself--and just so the government of Palestine will evolve itself."

WATER WORKS IN JERUSALEM.


The ancient aqueducts and reservoirs of Jerusalem testify to the abundant provision that was made for running water in the Holy City when it was the metropolis of the Jewish state. It is only within the last few weeks that they have been brought again into the service of the city, which, during intervening centuries, has been dependent upon the scanty accumulation of rain water. The droughts of the present summer led to distress, which, happily the new governor of Jerusalem, Mohammed Pjevad Pasha, had the will and energy to combat. He secured the Sultan's consent to lay immediately a pipe from Solomon's pools, nine miles south of the city. The pipe draws from the sealed fountain mentioned in the song of Solomon: "My beloved is like a spring, shut up in a fountain sealed," the deep down subterranean spring, which, from the time of Solomon, flowed through an arched channel to a distributing chamber. The tunnel is roofed with stones in the shape of an inverted V. It is one of the oldest structures in existence. It passes through the valley where are the beautiful ancient gardens of Solomon mentioned in Ecclesiastes. After passing around the slope of Zion, it enters the city through the grounds of the mosque Omar, which is in the old temple area.

This drawing from Solomon's pools will enable the use of twelve ancient fountains in the city. It will require twenty kilometers of piping, ten centimeters in diameter when finally installed. The governor has also successfully repaired the Virgin's fount, in the valley of Jehoshaphat, outside of the city walls. Its waters pass to the pool of Siloam to a tunnel built by Hezekiah, as his workmen recorded in a rough-hewn Hebrew, which is the oldest inscription extant. It was stolen, but afterward recovered, and is now in a museum at Constantinople.

A ROMANIST VIEW OF MORTAL SIN.


"The new Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Hexham and Newcastle made his visitation to St. Joseph's, West Hartlepool, on Sunday. In the course of his address he said it was one of his duties to point out their faults. He reproved them [R2898 : page 340] for their irregular attendance at mass, for drunkenness, and for the irregular attendance of their children at the day schools. The practice of Roman Catholics sending their children to Protestant schools when they had schools of their own, he said, was one of which no bishop could approve. It was a mortal sin, for which no priest could give absolution."

The above is clipped from an English journal and serves well to show how men who are not vicious may be combative and dictatorial to such a degree as to not only do violence to God's word and character, but also to insult reason, even in its most degraded form. This bishop is very new and fresh every way, when he thinks that even ignorant Romanists will believe him sincere in thus declaring that the sending of Catholic children to the public schools constitutes a sin unto death--that hath never forgiveness. And by this the bishop means a sin unto endless life in the torments of hell. Poor world! the "Doctors of Divinity" have long been Satan's deceiving agents; but thank God for the promise of his word in Rev. 20:2,3.

UNREAL HOPES AND FALSE PROFESSIONS.


An editorial comment in a prominent New York journal says:

"Future life, no matter how gorgeously it is depicted, is, and must be, a depressing subject for people of one sort, comfortable, prosperous, and self-satisfied. For before they can make their triumphal entry into Heaven they feel they have to make their exit from a world in which they are far more thoroughly at home than in any heaven they have ever heard of. Hence the difficulty about the rich man's entering the Kingdom of Heaven is not confined to one side only. The rich man, for his part, is not in a hurry to get there. And inasmuch, as people of this kind set the tone in society, it is no wonder that scientific investigation of immortality is not encouraged. People do not want to hear about it, and above all they do not want to know about it. For if once they knew, it would be most inconvenient. They would have to act on their knowledge, and that might upset the habits of a life time. And the older one gets the less one likes that. What the decision was would not so much matter; whether science decided for immortality or for annihilation, the blissful ignorance that enabled one to ignore the subject in ordinary life would be gone for ever. Hence an uncertainty to which we have grown adapted is deliberately preferred to a knowledge that would involve the re-adjustment of ingrained habits."


***

"When the Son of Man cometh shall he find the faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8.) It surely is very scarce at present; and as the higher critics proceed, and as the evolution theories spread, faith in God and in His Word becomes more and more vague and lifeless. How thankful we should be to God for the "meat in due season" and light of present truth which hinders us from being "shaken" as are others. Heb. 12:25-28.



[R2898 : page 340]

ANTI-CLERICAL AGITATION IN SPAIN.


THE humiliation of Spain in the war with the United States has given a basis to various movements for reform in the land of the Don, politically, socially, and ecclesiastically. One of these movements, headed by Don Sigismundo Peyordeix, is attracting considerable attention in church circles, and according to the Frankfurter Zeitung is developing rapidly both in extent and in intensity. The agitation is anti-clerical, but not anti-Catholic. According to the same journal, Don Sigismundo sees in the Jesuit order the chief source of the ills that have befallen the church and the people of Spain. Originally a priest in Barcelona, he has now, in conjunction with a number of other dissatisfied ecclesiastics, organized a formal crusade against the status quo in the Spanish church. His official program is announced in these words: "We are Catholic, but not clerical; on the contrary, anti-clerical." The organ of the movement has been a weekly journal called El Urbiore, so named after a famous mountain fastness which neither the Mohammedans nor the French were ever able to subdue. In addition to this journal, Sigismundo has recently published a larger work against the Jesuits, entitled "Crisis de la Compania de Jesus," and is developing great literary activity in non-Spanish periodicals also. The first organ of the movement having been suppressed, a new periodical was called into existence, called El Cosmopolita. In a recent indictment of the Jesuit order the Spanish agitator designated twenty-four points, in which he considers a reform necessary. Among these are the following: Alleged decline of the true worship of God and of the true following of the crucified Savior; exaggerated and idolatrous reverence for the saints; the worship of the Sacred Heart and other objects of adoration; decrease in the practice of Christian virtues, such as righteousness, wisdom, temperance; and the increase of external religious exercises that appeal only to the senses, such as processions, festivals, and the whole body of ceremonies; decrease in love and care for the poor, and the growth of the desire for riches, power, and influence; neglect of the Gospel and the traditions and an increasing exaggeration of churchly authority and especially of the power of the Vatican; simony and favoritism in the papal and episcopal government; the prominence given to political trickery in the management of church affairs, and the deterioration of love, justice, and holiness in the leaders of the church; tyranny on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities over the lower clergy and the people. The Frankfurter Zeitung quotes Don Sigismundo as saying:

"Against all these weaknesses and evils, which indicate a terrible degeneration of Christian spirit in the church, I have determined to raise my voice day and night, with the permission of my superiors or without this permission. These evils spring from the spirit of Anti-Christ, and to fight this I do not need the permission of Pope or bishop; the call of God and my conscience are sufficient authority."

[R2899 : page 341]

He also makes it a point to attack the enforced celibacy of the priests, declaring that while celibacy is a good thing in itself it is such only when it is adopted as a matter of free choice and not of compulsion. With reference to the outcome of the agitation and of the present condition of affairs, he writes further as follows:

"What will be the consequences as far as the future is concerned? This is hard to say beforehand. In the church there is a schism threatening. The Primate of Toledo and the Archbishop of Saville are the two opposite poles in the Spanish church. The former aims at a reintroduction of the Inquisition, and the latter strives for the same freedom of the clergy that prevails in the United States. In political circles there prevails an opposition to the liberal spirit of the lower classes, and the higher classes are sighing for the Inquisition. In economic affairs suffering is rapidly increasing and immorality is making rapid strides. Corruption in official circles caused the catastrophe in Cuba and in the Philippines, and Spaniards, monks, and Free Masons have all acted like robbers. Spain is the most unhappy land on earth because it is ruled by the Jesuit order. The people are without faith or confidence, without manhood, without strength, without law, without science, even without the sense of honor. The highest that this country can do is to hope that the vulture of Jesuitism may soon cease to devour the vitals of this people. However, as it seems, there is the dawn of a new day, when the people will take terrible vengeance on those who have materially and morally ruined their fatherland."--The Literary Digest.



[R2899 : page 341]

HELL LESS POPULAR WITH METHODISTS.


REV. J. A. FAULKNER of Drew Theological Seminary has given to the world his opinion on this subject, in the columns of The Methodist Review. We quote as follows:

HELL ONCE POPULAR.

"(1) It is within the memory of men now living that frequently the declaration was heard from the pulpit that there were infants and children in hell. (2) The descriptions of hell were frightfully realistic; that is, realistic as judged from a literal interpretation of the Scripture. Vivid pictures of physical torment were frequent. (3) The impression was made that the vast majority of mankind--including all, or nearly all, the heathen world--were doomed to eternal destruction [torment?]. (4) This doctrine formed a staple of preaching to an extent not known to-day. Then it was a frequent theme, now it is a rare theme in the pulpit.

WHY LESS POPULAR NOW.

"If we inquire the causes which have led to this change of emphasis and attitude toward the doctrine of hell, I think we may mention the following: (1) The growth of humanitarian sentiment. Thirty or fifty years ago there were severer ideas as to punishment in general, and a more calloused feeling in regard to suffering, than is the case today. Take the treatment of prisoners and the prevalence of capital punishment. Treatment that we would consider shockingly cruel, that would arouse a feeling of indignation in all minds, was then taken as a matter of course. It was so in regard to school discipline. I was in common school between 1865 and 1872. In years so recent as those, I say distinctly that the punishments in vogue were cruel and barbarous. But they were never so considered then. The growth of love, the larger influence of the spirit of Christ on society, has made an entire change in the atmosphere in which we live. That change has silently made obsolete and of none effect the kind of preaching that once was powerful on the minds of men. (2) Theological developments have also had their influence. Methodism has made familiar the thought that God deals not only justly with all men, but mercifully as well, that there is an impartiality in His treatment of souls, that men must be given an equal chance of salvation, that no man will be condemned for rejecting a Christ he never heard of, or for sinning against light he never had....

"(3) The better understanding of Scripture also accounts in part for the change in the thought of hell. Our familiarity with the modes of speech in the East, the intense imagery, the word-painting, the use of parable, figure, simile, with which Oriental speech abounds--all this has made us skeptical of the hard and matter-of-fact methods of our Western speech when it coarsely makes literal what the sacred writers left figurative. In other words we now understand that in that fresh, imaginative, child-like age the sacred writers, necessarily spoke, as Easterns, that the Holy Spirit had to use the only vehicle that was open to him, and that therefore we must seek to interpret in our Western tongue the truths that underlay the extravagant, tropical descriptions of the Oriental writers. The growth of the science of Biblical hermeneutics has had its share in modifying the old-fashioned ideas of hell.

"First, it has made sad the hearts of those whom God has not made sad. It has turned the hopes of thousands of devout believers into ashes, and filled the souls of God's children with tormenting doubts and dark forebodings as to their own salvation and the salvation of their friends. The brilliant and pious Henry Rogers expressed the despair which this doctrine wrought in him: 'For my part I should not grieve if the whole race of mankind died in its fourth year. As far as I can see I do not know that it would be a thing much to be lamented.' Albert Barnes confesses to the same confusion of spirit: 'In the distress and anguish of my own spirit I confess that I see no light whatever. I see not one ray to disclose to me the reason why sin came into the world, why the earth is strewn with the dying and the dead, and why man must suffer to all eternity.' These two testimonials from eminent divines in England and America may be taken as representing thousands of similar questionings and thoughts of despair in those who have tried to realize the full meaning of the popular doctrine when it was a living thing: Second, the doctrine has worked havoc in turning those who otherwise [R2900 : page 342] might have been Christians into infidels. It was this which made an infidel of the elder Mill. 'Compared with this,' he says, 'every other objection to Christianity sinks into insignificance.' It helped make Theodore Parker a Unitarian. It gave an immense impetus to the spread of Universalism and Unitarianism, and afforded a ready fulcrum to the lever by which the preachers of these two sects lifted the people away from Christianity. It will be found that the preaching of hell, in the fashion common some years ago, works in an entirely opposite way from that which the preacher wishes: that is, it turns those away from Christ whom he desires to influence by a salutary fear, and those who are already Christians or on the way to Christ it fills with anguish, doubts and despair."


***

We are glad to see this professor so candid and outspoken; and rejoice that the editor of The Methodist Review had the courage to publish the article. It will do good in the way of loosing the bonds of superstition and helping prepare some for the truth; yet it is deficient in that it does not go far enough and show up the basis of the error to be the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of God's Word through mistranslations, etc., which have deceived the minds of lay-readers and grossly misrepresented the divine character and plan. For these reasons it tends in the direction it condemns--toward Universalism and Unitarianism, with all that this means as respects a denial of the fall of man and of his redemption by the great ransom-price of Calvary. It means a loss of reverence for the Bible under the false supposition that it supports or in any degree sanctions this atrocious calumny against God and human reason.

Now is the time to properly assist those whom Dr. Faulkner may have awakened--before they stumble into skepticism. We know of nothing so helpful to such newly awakened ones as the pamphlet, "What Say the Scriptures About Hell?" followed by "The Divine Plan of the Ages." We supply these "helping hands" or "Bible keys" at very low prices or loan them free to those who so request.


[R2899 : page 342]

ARE YOU WATCHING?


Are you watching for the "presence"
Of the Reaper of the field?
Knowest thou what "signs" proclaim Him
Tho' at present He's concealed?
Dost thou watch with straining vision
For the dawning of the day?
Can'st thou hear the legions tramping
On Emmanuel's highway?

Art thou faint with weary vigils,
Looking for thy coming Lord?
Have thine eyes grown dim with weeping,
Sick at heart with hope deferred?
Sore discouraged at the prospect
Of the field so full of tares,
And the Prince of Evil working
To encompass us with snares?

Sad indeed it seems, my brother,
When we view from earthly height;
For we fail to see the sunshine
That disperses present night.
Climb the peak, O, weary pilgrim,
Of our God's eternal truth,
And from thence behold the landscape!
Then shalt thou renew thy youth.

We'll not think God's arm is shortened
When upon that height we stand;
For His purposes are rip'ning,
And His own shall rule the land.
Tho the night precedes the morning,
Yet at last shall rise the Sun;
And the shadows quickly vanished,
Shall proclaim the morn has come.

Know his "presence" then, O pilgrim!
"In like manner" hath He come.
Reapers, now the sickle wielding,
Soon shall sing the "Harvest Home."
Tares are burning. Wheat is gath'ring,
Soon shall all be gathered in.
Welcome ye the "Lord of Harvest,"
Who shall triumph over sin.
A. J. Morris, M.D.



[R2900 : page 342]

ISRAEL OPPRESSED IN EGYPT.


--EXOD. 1:1-14.--NOV. 10.--

"God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant."--Exod. 2:24.
SLAVERY is too strong a word to use with reference to Israel's condition in Egypt. We have seen that Jacob and his family, servants, herds and flocks, were received graciously for Joseph's sake, and located upon the grassy plains known as the land of Goshen. Pharaoh evidently in this matter was controlled by a spirit of benevolence, and by an appreciation of Joseph, and by a realization that his brethren, though not his equals, were men of ability, and likely to make good neighbors. He probably also recognized that as the Egyptians were not a pastoral people the Israelites would not be serious competitors in business, but on the contrary would probably help along the general interests of the kingdom. Moreover, he perceived that the land of Goshen, being toward the East, would serve as a measure of protection against invaders. But whatever his conjectures, he evidently could not have imagined so rapid a development, so great an increase of numbers in that people. That their increase was phenomenal is fully attested by vs. 7 of the lesson. "The children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly and multiplied and waxed exceedingly mighty; and the land (of Goshen) was filled with them." Here are five different expressions used to indicate their phenomenal growth. And when we remember that these all sprang from Isaac, and that he was the only son of his mother, and born when his father was over a hundred years old; and when we remember, further, that Jacob also, was born only after repeated prayers, and that Rachel his wife similarly was long unfruitful, it seems the more evident [R2900 : page 343] that the Lord's providence had much to do with the change which came over Jacob's family after it was transplanted to Egypt.

The seventy souls mentioned in verse 5 were all males except two, Dinah, Jacob's daughter, and Sarah, his granddaughter. (Gen. 46.) It is reasonable, therefore, to infer that the females of the company, not included in the count, were about as many more. Neither is it unreasonable to infer that since Abraham's household represented many servants and helpers, Isaac's also, and Jacob's, these may have accompanied Israel to Egypt and have been merged into the nation under the law of circumcision. It is well that we have these facts in mind when considering that from the time of Jacob's death to the time of the Exodus was a period of only 215 years; and yet in the meantime the Israelites were so fruitful, increased so abundantly, multiplied and waxed exceeding mighty, to such an extent that at that time the male representatives of the nation numbered 600,000; which, counting four to a family, would imply a total enumeration of 2,400,000.

Infidelity has been inclined to scoff at this record, and to declare that such an increase was impossible; but we are to bear in mind the distinct statement of verse 7, to the effect that the increase was phenomenal, beyond all precedent or ordinary calculation. One of the Hebrew words used in describing the increase gives the thought of swarming (as bees and fishes), and this in accord with the divine forestatement. (Gen. 46:3.) M. Millett, French Consul in Egypt, declares: "The air of this country is much purer and better than in any other. This salubrity of the air imparts itself to all organic beings, plants and animals. The females, not only of the human species, but also of the animals, are more fruitful than any other in the world." Doubtless also morality, freedom from wars, pestilences and special diseases, had much to do with the rapid increase of that people. As affecting the reasonableness of the record, Prof. Curtis quotes a volume of family memoirs, which shows that 5,564 persons are known to have descended from Lieut. John Hollister, who emigrated to America in 1642. It is said that in the early settlements of North America the actual rate of increase for several successive periods was for the population to double itself every fifteen years. Calculating at this rate, and counting husbands or wives for the seventy persons in the text (in all, 140), the increase would amount to 2,293,760 in 200 years.

The statement of verse 8 doubtless applies to some period after the death of Joseph. Since Joseph ruled Egypt for eighty years, it is quite probable that there was more than one Pharaoh on the throne, and it is the general supposition amongst scholars that the new king of verse 8 signifies a new dynasty--a change in the royal family through insurrection or otherwise. Possibly the very fact of the general peace and prosperity of Egypt, during Joseph's term of office, led to a general abandonment of the affairs of state on the part of the royal family, and thus paved the way to such a rebellion and change of dynasty --an ambitious family grasping the reins of power after the death of Joseph, and at a time, probably, when matters, were not running so smoothly in the kingdom's affairs, by reason of the loss of the divinely guided governor.

The kings of the new dynasty did not recognize Joseph, nor any indebtedness on the part of Egypt to him, and the Israelites, his people. On the contrary, the new ruler, less ready than his predecessors to look for the leadings of divine providence, cast a suspicious eye upon the Hebrew people, noted how rapidly they were increasing in numbers and prosperity, and reasoned that they had no ties to either Egypt or its throne, and that therefore their further growth would be inimical to the empire's welfare; because, in the case of wars, they might espouse the cause of the enemy, or might attack the government and seek to make themselves the rulers of Egypt. This would be worldly wisdom as represented in the treatment of the Sclavonian peoples today; and no doubt it was so regarded then. The new king put into execution plans intended, not to destroy the Israelites, nor to drive them off, but merely to hold them in check--to prevent their further marvelous increase. He sought to discourage the ambitions of the people by overwork under discouraging conditions, hoping that this rigorous treatment would impair their virility or possibly cause them to feel that they would not wish to bring forth children to so burdensome a life as their own. But the record is that the repressive measures were unsuccessful, and that the people of Israel increased more and more. The new king did not take divine providence into account.

Scholars are quite united in the belief that Rameses II was either the first or second ruler of this new dynasty, antagonistic to Israel. His mummy was found in 1881; we saw it exhibited in the museum located near the Great Pyramid, in 1892. Of the identity there can be no reasonable doubt. The [R2901 : page 343] head of the mummy shows phrenologically just such a character as the history implies. The hooked Roman nose shows great determination, while the low forehead indicates a deficiency of the quality called benevolence. How surprised Rameses will be before long, when in due time, with the remainder of earth's millions, he shall come forth from the prisonhouse of death! He may still see his old mummy, and undoubtedly will see Israel, as represented in the ancient worthies, occupying the chief place in earthly power for the blessing of Egypt and all the families of the earth, under the ministration of spiritual Israel --Christ and the Church in glory. What a lesson he and others will read in the developments of the divine plan, as they will then perceive them--things which we perceive already because the eyes of our understanding are opened to the things revealed in the divine Word, and which will be corroborated more and more as we approach the Millennial day.

We are not to understand that the Israelites as a whole were compelled to leave their industries and engage in brickmaking and the construction of treasure cities, palaces, highways, etc. On the contrary, we are to suppose that drafts were made from time to time upon the people, much after the manner of the conscriptions for the army in Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Russia. This same method of dealing with the people was in vogue in Egypt until quite recently, when the British Government took control [R2901 : page 344] there. It is known as the Corvee system of enforced labor. We recall that Solomon introduced such a system in Israel, compelling each individual to serve so many months upon public works. The same system is in vogue to some extent in various civilized countries, where the farmer is permitted to pay such a proportion of his taxes in money, and another proportion in labor--or, instead of the labor, he may pay it all in money. The system, rightly operated, of course, would be no more of an injustice to the people than an ordinary tax, but evidently the object of Rameses, the oppressing Pharaoh, was to injure the people under the guise of public works and necessary taxation.

A lesson which we spiritual Israelites may learn from Israel's experience in Egyptian bondage is that our God is abundantly able to make all of life's experiences work to our advantage; and that his word is sure of fulfillment in its due time, regardless of what man may propose. Had Rameses adopted a different policy in dealing with Israel they might have forgotten the promise of God, which indicated the exact time in which their deliverance from Egypt would come--they might have become so interested in Egypt and its affairs, and in their land of Goshen, etc., etc., and so intermingled with the people of Egypt, that they would have forgotten the promise of their deliverance, and that the land of Canaan should then be theirs. In this we see another illustration of the fact that sometimes we receive greater blessings through adversity than through prosperity. As the adversities of fleshly Israel drew them together, and separated them from the Egyptians, so the trials and adversities of the spiritual Israel tend to draw them nearer to each other, and nearer to the Lord, and to separate them from the world,--leading their hearts more and more to an appreciation of the goodly heavenly Canaan which God has promised us. As the Israelites were more fruitful under the persecutions and oppositions, so we frequently find it to be with the spiritual Israel, that not only the zeal increases, but numbers also increase, as well as "fruits of the spirit," under persecutions and difficulties.



[R2901 : page 344]

CONCERNING THE CLOSING OF THE CALL.


A BROTHER wrote us on this question recently, and a portion of our reply may be of interest to others and hence we present it below. We wrote him:--

Respecting restitution: We have held from the first, or at least, since 1881, that we are in "the times of restitution" now; and that the opening features of restitution work will be manifested in the downfall and destruction of the things pertaining to this present order, making ready for the new order of things. We have given the illustration in first and second "Dawns" of how the new order of things might be compared to the beginning of a contract for the substitution of a new building for an old one--that the first evidences of the work would be those of destruction, the pulling down of the old. We still hold this, and hold that this is all that we should expect--that we should not expect personal, physical restitution now. Some years ago we had the impression that possibly some signs of physical restitution to humanity would be due in this "harvest" or lapping period; but all question on this subject is dispelled for years past, as we have seen most clearly that the new order of things and its blessing must wait until the entire "body" of the Great Priest has been completed--until the entire work of atonement has been finished--then the High Priest, head and body complete, will lift up his hands and bless the people, in glorious garments,--i.e., clothed in the majesty of divine power and authority as the foretold Prophet, Priest and King in one.

Some years ago we were less careful than now in the use of language respecting the restitution times, in mentioning that coming condition as a "call" to restitution. We should have been more particular, more specific, and should have said that the "Trumpet of the Jubilee" would be blown, announcing the beginning of restitution times. This work is now being done, through the Watch Tower literature, etc. The Jubilee Trumpet is not a call, in the ordinary sense of the word call, but rather an announcement; the Lord will announce his Kingdom and its blessed regulations, and will expect every one to yield implicit compliance; and those who do not yield compliance will receive "stripes;" and if still persistent will "be destroyed from amongst the people." This thought is very different from the thought of a call, as that term applied during the Gospel age, when the matter was open to each who heard to either accept or reject the high calling and its "narrow way."

Respecting consecration before 1881 being necessary to a share in the high calling: We must admit that all who were consecrated in 1881, when the general call ceased (because the full number had accepted which would complete the elect class) would have a precedence over any others: Indeed, that no others could be accepted to the "Bride" position in any sense, except as some of these already consecrated ones should be accounted unworthy, and their places and crowns vacated. (Rev. 3:5,11.) But since it requires all of these consecrated ones to complete the elect number, it follows that any who would be accepted to take their places must make their consecration and be accepted of the Lord subsequent to 1881.

We are to remember, moreover, that justified believers are accounted "holy," and their justification is specifically designated in this way in several instances. For instance, the Apostle says, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God," etc. And again, "Else were your children unholy; but now are they holy"--children one or both of whose parents are the Lord's children. It is from this class of justified ones that we should expect the Lord to accept the number necessary to complete the elect number--to take the places of those who in 1881 were in a consecrated attitude, but who, because of unfaithfulness since, will be rejected from [R2901 : page 345] the "Bride" class, to have their portion either with the second company, "saved so as by fire," or with those who sin wilfully and deliberately, and thus incur the "Second Death" penalty. We should, therefore, look for those who would now come into divine favor and joint-heirship with Christ amongst this class--amongst those who were already justified in October, 1881, or amongst the children of such as were justified at that time; though we may not know nor say that others may not have become eligible by a more recent justification.

Since the general "call" ceased October, 1881, although the "door" is not yet shut, but stands ajar for some to pass out who fail to keep their covenant, and for others to pass in to take their places, that the predestinated number may attain the prize, and yet that none shall attain to it except such as are copies of God's dear Son, in heart, in intention--it is impossible for us to make positive promises of joint-heirship in the Kingdom to any who may consecrate their lives to the Lord at the present time. All that we can say to them is that consecration is their reasonable service in any event, and that if the Lord shall manifest his acceptance of their sacrifice it would be proper for them to consider this an evidence that they had been accepted of the Lord to all the rights and privileges of such sacrificers as made their consecration before the general call ceased.

As to what would constitute evidences of divine acceptance, we suggest two, the enjoyment of both of which would seem to us a good basis for full assurance [R2902 : page 345] of faith on this point. (1) God's acceptance of the sacrifice might be reasonably inferred if the consecrated one finds opportunities for self-sacrifice, self-denials, etc., in the service of the Lord, of the truth and of the brethren--however humble the service or opportunities for "laying down our lives for the brethren." (2) God's acceptance of the sacrifice should in the present time imply not only a begetting of the spirit of holiness, but also an ability to appreciate clearly the spiritual features of the divine plan, represented by the light of the golden candle-stick in the "Holy," and by the shew-bread, and by the privileges of communion and service represented by the incense at the golden altar.

Whoever has these two evidences has what we think he should consider a satisfactory proof that he is inside the first vail of the Tabernacle, that he is therefore counted for the time being at least as a member of the High Priest's body. And such, we believe, should consider themselves as fully eligible to the prize as any upon the race-course, upon condition of faithfulness even unto death. It will be noticed, however, that we distinguish between an appreciation of spiritual things and appreciation of restitution and earthly things merely. We believe that the "natural man," under favorable conditions, may appreciate a great deal of the divine provision for the world, and that it is the spiritual things which God has specially in reservation for the little flock, which can be appreciated only by those begotten of the spirit. This does not mean that the natural man cannot understand what we mean when we discuss spiritual things; but that, as the Apostle declares, though he understands what we say, our words are "foolishness unto him," he cannot grasp them as truth, and as applicable to himself.



[R2902 : page 345]

HE WAS A GOODLY CHILD.


--EXOD. 2:1-10.--NOV. 17--

"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it."--Prov. 22:6.
EVERY CHILD is not born a Moses, and no amount of training would make him his equal as a man. We have everything to say in accord with the Golden Text, and not a word in opposition; nevertheless, the foundation for greatness must be laid before the birth. It is a great mistake made by many--and one to which they are assisted by false theological views--that each child is a special creation of God, so that, if an idiot, God may be blamed; and if well endowed and balanced mentally and physically, God receives the credit. The Scriptural proposition is to the contrary of this, viz., that all God's work is perfect (Deut. 32:4)--that Adam was his workmanship, and that he is not responsible for the defects and imperfections which more or less mar every member of our race. In a sense, of course, all that we have, even though imperfect, is of God, since he is the author of all life and indirectly our Creator. --Exod. 4:11.

But our defects are explained to us in the Scriptures to be the results of sin, and the natural development of its death penalty, working in the race under the laws of heredity. We are all born in sin, shapen in iniquity, in sin did our mothers conceive us. (Psa. 51:5.) But we are not all born in the same degree of degradation. While fallen parents cannot bring forth a perfect offspring they can, and sometimes do, produce types higher than themselves. This is accomplished by a law of nature affecting the mental conditions of the parents, and especially of the mother (and she is always susceptible to favorable or unfavorable mental and moral influences from her husband) during the period of gestation.

According to this divine law, therefore, parents are to a considerable degree responsible for the prominent traits of character in their children. If this matter were more thoroughly understood, more fully appreciated by parents, the result would be a great improvement in the natural quality of the children born. The husband would endeavor to make the surroundings favorable to the highest emotions and sentiments and aspirations on the part of his wife; who, in turn, would co-operate and set her affections on noble and good and pure and generous things, with meekness; and the result would surely be the birth of children much more resembling Moses than the majority do--in nobleness of character combined with humility.

Nothing herein stated, however, is intended to encourage the begetting of children by the Lord's [R2902 : page 346] consecrated people living in this "harvest" time. That begotten and born of the flesh is flesh; while that begotten and born of the spirit is spirit. (John 3:6.) The "new creatures" in Christ Jesus have a still higher and grander work before them than the producing of even perfect children, were such a matter possible. They have the privilege of co-operation with God in the development of the "new creatures," the spiritual sons of God: and like our Lord and the apostles they prefer this highest of all privileges. Not that we dispute for a moment the Apostle's word: "Marriage is honorable in all;" but that we emphasize with him that he that marrieth doeth well, but he that marrieth not doeth better. (1 Cor. 7:38; Heb. 13:4.) So now we emphasize that he that brings forth natural children of the highest type does well, but he that co-operates with God for the begetting of spiritual sons does better.

Our information respecting the birth and childhood of Moses is very meager. We know that his father's name was Amram, which signifies "Noble people." His mother's name was Jochebed, which signifies, "Jehovah is glorious." Though they were Hebrews, and as a race in bondage to the Egyptians, these names imply that this family of the tribe of Levi were persons of moral and religious sentiments-- noble people in the proper sense of the word. This is implied also in the Apostle's statement, that they acted from faith.--Heb. 11:23.

As we saw in a previous lesson, the Egyptian rulers of the new dynasty were fearful that the rapid increase of the Hebrews would ultimately mean that they would become the dominant race, or else that they would take their departure--as, indeed, they expected to do, according to the traditions which they reverenced, and which instructed them respecting the time of their sojourn in Egypt, and of the promise of God respecting their ultimate deliverance, by the interposition of his power. The Egyptians did not wish to lose the Hebrew people, as their efficiency as laborers had been demonstrated, and as they were profitable to the Egyptians in the way of trade. They neither wished to drive them away nor to kill them off. What they did desire was that they should not increase so rapidly. To hinder this phenomenal increase various expedients were tried, none of them effective; and finally, as a repressive measure, an edict went forth that all the male children of the Hebrews should be put to death, the intention evidently being the curtailment of the race for a time only, permitting children to be born later on.

It was about this time that Moses was born; evidently there had been no such restriction at the time Aaron, his elder brother, was born. Moses was the third in the family; his sister, Miriam, the second, was the little maid mentioned in our lesson. The babe Moses was secreted by his mother for three months, in violation of the king's command, and at the risk of her own life as well as his; and the reason given is that she perceived that he was a goodly child --fine-looking, giving promise of the great man which he afterward became. The Apostle declares that the parents had faith--not faith in the child, nor yet in themselves, nor in the king; but faith in God, that he would bless and preserve the child; and we cannot doubt that this faith was accompanied by prayer to the Lord. We cannot doubt that even before the child was born, under such peculiar circumstances, the godly, faithful parents consecrated it to the Lord, to be trained for him, and instructed to the best of their ability, and to be the Lord's servant to whatever extent he would be pleased to use him. Without some such hopes and prayers the faith which the Apostle mentions would be inappropriate. Faith and prayers and consecrations usually go together, hand in hand, anyway,--both as respects ourselves, our children, and all with which we have to do.

It was a very shrewd device which the parents adopted for the child's preservation, and it either shows a divine guidance or an inventive mind, with a good knowledge of human nature, or all of these. Moses' parents read human nature well when they concluded that the princess of Egypt, if she found the babe at the time of the taking of her bath (perhaps a religious rite), would be sure to be touched, and her heart appealed to by any child, and especially by so "goodly" a boy. It was a cunning arrangement, too, to have Miriam, his sister, nearby, at the time of the finding of the babe in the bulrush basket, and to have her suggest the getting of a Hebrew woman to nurse the child, and then getting his own mother. Undoubtedly the Lord's hand and wisdom were behind the entire matter; but even so, it teaches us the lesson that God is pleased to use human instrumentalities in the accomplishment of his purposes. [R2903 : page 346] The parents did right to exercise their ingenuity for the preservation of their child, at the same time that they exercised faith in the Lord. And so with us: our faith is not to be of the indolent kind which refuses to act, and would thus fail to be in the way to be used of the Lord; but rather ours also is to be a faith manifested by works. It is such faith that the Lord is pleased to bless.

The princess is supposed to have been Neferari, the wife of Rameses II, and daughter of the preceding monarch;--all Egyptian kings being called Pharaoh. She adopted the waif as her own son, yet was willing that he should be nurtured in a Hebrew home for a time--it is presumed, until he was either seven or twelve years of age; after which she had him brought to the royal palace and instructed in all the wisdom and learning of the Egyptians. How apt the thought of the poet in respect to Moses' case when he says:

"God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform!"

How appropriate it was that the leader of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, as a type of the great Messiah, should be an educated or learned man; and yet how still more necessary it was that he should first have well fixed in his mind, in infancy and childhood, the basic principles of religion; and how marvelously the Lord arranged for both of these elements of his education. We cannot doubt that the parents, whose faith already had been manifested, would instruct the boy in respect to the Abrahamic promises, in which they trusted; viz., that as the seed of Abraham they were ultimately to be great, and to be used as the Lord's channels for blessing all the families of the earth; and that, as foretold to Abraham, the time [R2903 : page 347] when the Lord would bring his people forth from Egyptian bondage with a high hand and an outstretched arm of power was well nigh up. He was no doubt, thoroughly informed respecting his relationship to the Israelites, and no doubt not only faith in the promises, but a patriotic feeling of devotion to his people was liberally inculcated--because these qualities stand out nobly throughout his entire life, as they could not do unless they had been thoroughly implanted and cherished.

Comparatively few parents seem to realize the privileges and responsibilities placed within their hands in connection with their own offspring. The Christian mother who has a growing family has certainly a wide scope for the use of all her talents, if she will but use them, in giving instructions in righteousness and in the reverence of the Lord, to her little ones. And it is a mistake frequently made, to suppose that children cannot appreciate religious principles, and that therefore they should not be given even "the milk of the word," or primary lessons along the lines of the divine law. We believe, on the contrary, that while children are born with a certain amount of depravity and predilection to evil, nevertheless, their little minds are in a large measure blank pages, upon which principles either for good or for evil are sure to be deeply engraved. If their minds be not directed in the lines of justice and mercy and love and patience, and if they be not taught that these are the divine requirements, and their reasonable service, we may be sure that they will be taught the reverse of these, as they come in contact with the various depraving influences of life--the world, the flesh, the devil. Those parents who consider their children to be each a little garden-spot, and who faithfully plant in these the seeds of justice and love and patience and meekness and gentleness, and all the fruits of the spirit, to the extent that they may be able, will be sure to find a rich reward in the graces of character that will result, under the Lord's blessing--especially if the children have been consecrated to him from infancy, or better, before birth.

On the contrary, those who do not take the time to implant the seeds which would produce these graces, these mental and moral flowerets, will find, even as with an earthly garden, that it will not stay vacant until maturer years have come, and a more convenient season; but, instead, noxious weeds of evil disposition will grow, flourish, go to seed repeatedly, and bring forth bitter fruitage, to vex not only the individual himself, but also the parent, and society in general. Let each parent, therefore, so far as possible, see to it that any children he may bring forth will be "goodly," well-favored, by helpful pre-natal influences; and let him see to it also that having assumed the responsibilities of a parent he does good work in these little gardens, which are under his care --that the weeds of error are promptly plucked, and that the seeds of good are liberally sown.

Although Moses was born over thirty-six hundred years ago, and therefore comparatively near to the time when the evolution theory claims that man was only "one step above a monkey," we find that not only was he a wonderful child and a wonderful man-- even before the Lord specially blessed him in making him the leader of Israel, and putting his power upon him--but we find also high standards of mental and moral attainment amongst his people--the Hebrew Joseph, for instance. We find, additionally, that in Moses' time there was a distinct and well-advanced civilization amongst the Egyptians. For instance, the city of Zoan, one of the capitals of Egypt, near which Moses was born and reared, is shown by modern research to have been a most wonderful city-- as compared with modern times. Of it a celebrated writer says: "The ruins show it to have been a marvelous city, the Athens of Egypt. An Egyptian poet of that day says of Zoan: 'She is beautiful, beautiful! Nothing like her is found amongst the monuments of Thebes--the very secret of pleasures of life. Her bowers bloom with gardens. Each garden is perfumed with the smell of honey. Her granaries are full of wheat. Flowers for nosegays are in the houses. Her ships come and go every day. The joys have fixed their seat there.'" And concerning the development of literature and arts in that day our quotations further on will show that they were far advanced.

If as a child Moses was remarkable and attractive, so that Stephen calls him "exceeding fair" or margin "fair to God" (Acts 7:20), signifying refined, elegant; and if it be true, as Josephus says, that those who met him as he was carried along the streets forgot their business, and stood still to gaze at him, we may well suppose that his early training by pious parents, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and his subsequent instruction "in all the learning of the Egyptians," as the adopted son of the monarch-- the result must have been a very noble, refined and handsome man. And yet, strange to say, that with all these accomplishments by nature and education, he is described to us as having been "the meekest man in all the earth." Who can doubt that this very quality of meekness was largely inculcated by the poverty of his parents, and their subjection to bondage, and the humble sentiments inspired by their consecration of Moses to the Lord from the time of his begetting? Certain it is that very rarely are those who are the natural children of princes and rulers humble-minded. Yet this meekness was another of the qualities essential to Moses as the leader of God's people. As it was, we find that his forty years' dealing with the Israelites in the wilderness, as their leader and the mediator of their covenant with God, so far overcame the meekness of Moses that he was hindered from entering the promised land, because he took to himself, instead of ascribing to God, some of the credit of bringing water out of the rock, saying, "Ye rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?"--smiting the rock.

Under all circumstances we must think it very remarkable that a man so really great, and occupying so exalted a position for such a length of time, should have overcome the haughty "spirit of princes" in which he was reared, and have maintained his meekness with so slight an exception down to the very close of his career. We may well ask ourselves what would have been the result had God chosen for the leader of Israel a man who was naturally haughty and proud, or any other man than one who was very [R2903 : page 348] meek indeed. No other than a meek character could possibly have stood such a strain as Moses so grandly and so faithfully endured. There is a lesson for the Lord's people here. The Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus, was also meek and lowly of heart, and those whom God is now calling from the world to be joint-heirs with Jesus, members of his body--as the great anti-type of Moses, to lead mankind out of the bondage of sin and Satan--these all must have likeness to their Lord and Head in this quality of meekness, if they would attain to his general character in other respects. We do well to remember continually the Apostle's injunction, that we "Humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt us in due time"--so that we may be meet [fit] for the inheritance, the Kingdom.

Concerning Moses and the educational opportunities of his time, secular history gives us some intimations. The library of Rameseum at Thebes-- over whose gate was the inscription, "For the healing of the soul"--contained twenty thousand books, and it is significant as indicating the intellectual activity of that time, that this structure was built by Rameses II, by whose wife Moses is supposed to have been adopted. Stephen declares (Acts 7:22) that "Moses was both mighty in words and in deeds," and Stanley's [R2904 : page 348] "Jewish Church" says respecting him,--"He learned arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, medicine and music. He invented boats, and engines for building, instruments of war and of hydraulics, hieroglyphics, division of lands." It declares further that he taught Orpheus, and was hence called by the Greeks Musaeus, and by the Egyptians Hermes.

We know not how substantial is the basis for these traditions, but we do know that they are not of accord with the Scriptural records of Moses as a great leader. A lesson for us to learn in this connection is that God has his own way of preparing for all the various features of his own great plan. He knew the praying people who, at the proper time, brought forth their son. He knew how to direct so that the child, the youth, the man, should be an instrument ready for his own purposes; and yet in all of the divine dealings, here as elsewhere, we notice that God does not coerce those whom he uses for his work; but that rather he uses instruments ready, willing, desirous of being used. Let us each, therefore, seek by humility, by zeal, by love for the Lord and for his cause, by faith in his power, to be in that condition of heart and mind which will make us ready to be used, and useful in any department of the divine service to which the Lord may be pleased to call us.



[R2904 : page 348]

THE PARABOLIC VINEYARD WASTED.
--ISAIAH 5.--NOV. 24.--

Golden Text: "Woe unto them who are mighty to drink wine."

APPARENTLY our Lord had in mind the parable of the vineyard presented in the first seven verses of this chapter, in the parable which he gave, recorded in Matt. 21:33-44. In both parables the vineyard represents the Jewish polity, and the vines represent the people, especially such as were in influence and power--the leaders.

Both parables show a lack of the proper influence of the truth which had been granted them, upon the hearts of the Jewish people. The Lord's favor and the knowledge of his goodness as it had reached them, had not brought forth pleasant fruit, but that which was acrid and bitter--had not brought forth love, but selfishness, and self-indulgence. This is set forth in verse 7. Having given Israel his law, instructing them through it respecting right and wrong in their dealings with each other, the Lord had reason to expect "judgment," that is, justice; but he beheld oppression. He beheld that those who had the greatest knowledge of righteousness were still exercised by a spirit of selfishness to the extent that they took advantage of their more ignorant brethren. The Lord says that when he looked for righteousness, peace, and prosperity, behold a cry arose to him from the oppressed--from those who under the social order of things failed to get their reasonable and legitimate share of the bounties which the Lord had freely granted.

An intimation respecting the method of this oppression is given in verse 8, in the words, "Woe unto them that join house to house, and lay field to field, till there be no place [for the poor to occupy], that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!" The description represents a condition of things very similar to that which we are told now obtains in Great Britain, and indeed throughout Europe, where large estates are held by private owners, and thus withdrawn from the use and occupancy of the people in general. Landlordism seems also to be included in the thought--adding house to house. The Lord in another place declares respecting the future, "They shall no more build and another inhabit, no more plant and another eat the fruit thereof;" which may be understood to signify that in the future time of the Lord's Kingdom, houses will be built for the owners' occupancy--and not to be rented.

It will be observed that we do not consider this lesson to be a "temperance lesson" in the ordinary sense of that term,--but a rebuke of the Lord against intemperance of every form--intemperate selfishness, etc. Moreover, although the parable and general lesson connected with it was addressed originally to the Jews, it appears to us, like many other Scriptures, to have a deep signification and meaning in respect to the Gospel Church, spiritual Israel, as well as for natural Israel. Indeed, as we have heretofore seen, natural Israel was in all its affairs, and the messages sent to it, a type of spiritual Israel, and hence all the things written and done toward and respecting the typical nation, should be understood as having a higher and deeper application to the anti-typical nominal spiritual Israel--"Babylon"--of to-day.

At no time probably has there been a greater disposition than at the present to add field to field, and house to house--to amass wealth, and to control the land and machinery, and all sources of wealth and [R2904 : page 349] power. The Lord says that woe is coming upon this class, and this announcement is in fullest accord with the various declarations of the Scriptures which point out that the great "day of vengeance" is near at hand; and that it will be a time of severe trouble upon the whole world, but especially upon the rich. The Lord's warning is that surely many houses shall be desolate, and that even great and fine residences shall be without occupants. (Vs. 9.) The thought apparently is that the time of trouble of which we read that "they shall cast their gold and silver into the streets, but it shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's anger," will be especially against the great who live in earthly palaces, and who for safety's sake will desert these or be destroyed during the period of anarchy.--Ezek. 7:19.

This spirit of acquisitiveness which lies at the foundation of all the trouble is to be found in every land, but nowhere more than in so-called "Christendom," and Christendom alone is evidently referred to in the prophecy, except as it may also have applied to fleshly Israel in the harvest time of the Jewish age, in which similar "wrath to the uttermost" in anarchy came upon that typical people. The fact is that large plantations and farms are managed by employees instead of each person planting and reaping on his own account: it is intimated that by and by this will lead to serious results. When the present social fabric breaks up, and there is "no hire for man nor hire for beast," and "no peace to him that goeth out, nor to him that cometh in," because every man's hand is against his neighbor,--then the large farms and plantations will be at a serious disadvantage, and the yield will be correspondingly diminished.

Verses 11,12-22, mention wine and strong drink. We concede that literal wine and intoxicating liquors in general are a dreadful bane to Christendom; we concede that many who occupy influential positions, as well as a mighty host of the common people, are greatly injured by intoxicating liquors. We urge and warn all of the Lord's people against this evil, insidious, and contaminating influence. However, we are not certain that the Lord here refers exclusively to literal intoxicating liquors. It is true, at least, that there is another kind of intoxication that is very prevalent at the present time: it is scripturally termed the wine of Babylon: it produces an intoxication along religious lines, and hinders people from discerning and comprehending the divine Word, character and plan. It is the wine of Churchianity, which confuses those who use it, and beclouds their minds in this respect to the true Christianity. It addles their judgment and brings the people into captivity to false doctrines and false teachers, "because they have no knowledge,"--verse 13.

Concerning this symbolic wine and intoxication, the Lord declares that Babylon has "made all the nations [inhabitants of the earth] drunken" with the wine of her incontinency and unfaithfulness to Him. (Rev. 17:2; 18:3.) The stimulating power is not the spirit of a sound mind, but the delusion of a false doctrine; as the Prophet declares, they are "drunken," but not with wine.--Isa. 29:9-13.

Instruments of joy and praise they do indeed employ, often spending much money upon grand pipe organs wherewith they would praise the Lord, even in the delirium of their false conception of his character and plan; as it is written, "but they regard not the word of the Lord, neither the operation of his hands." They are not looking to see what the Lord is doing, nor inquiring to know concerning the mighty work which he is about to accomplish in the setting up of his Kingdom; and hence to them the overthrow of Babylon and the confusion and anarchy incidental to the establishment of the Kingdom will be as the same Prophet declares, God's "strange act," "strange work."--Isa. 28:21.

"Because the people have no knowledge," they are consumed with thirst at the present time. The wine of false doctrine has produced erroneous views of various questions, and with the incidental bemuddled condition of the mind there comes at the present time a thirst for more knowledge, and for explanations and for consistency which their teachers cannot satisfy. The people in general have lost their taste [R2905 : page 349] and appreciation for the water of life, the truth; and false teachers warn them against it as poison. The wine of false doctrines now being manufactured at all the Theological Seminaries is the wine of evolution and higher criticism, which does not satisfy the thirst, but increases the confusion of mind, and makes null every attempt to appreciate and comprehend the divine plan, as set forth in God's Word. Even Babylon's notables are dissatisfied, famished.--See Amos 8:11.

Verses 14-17 show the end of the matter. The grave figuratively opens her mouth to swallow these up; and in the time of trouble, unquestionably, large numbers will perish literally from the earth. But sheol, the grave, will specially enlarge, in that it will take into it more than human beings: it will take into it the great octopus system of Babylon, with its many heads and many arms, financial, political, social, religious, etc. In that day of trouble, all classes will be humbled together, and the Lord and his righteousness will be exalted in the sight of mankind.

Verses 18-23 take us back again to point out the peculiarities of some who are prominent in the evil of this time, and who will bring special woes upon themselves. These are not those who are beset by temptations and yield through weaknesses resulting from the fall; but such as greedily take hold of sin and in-equity, through their vanity and self conceit. They deceive themselves into supposing that they are hastening the Lord's work, and that they are acting under the counsel of the Lord in their various sectarian enterprises; but the fact is that they are not in the condition of mind to appreciate the Lord's counsel, being drunken with false doctrine. Hence it is that they call evil good, and good evil, and put darkness for light, and light for darkness, and bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter, and are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight, mighty in respect to their own wine of false doctrine.

What could better compare with this matter of calling evil good, and good evil, than is general when the word gospel is used. The meaning of gospel is "good tidings;" but that which Babylon calls gospel is most awfully bad tidings--the announcement that nearly all the world of mankind (all except a little [R2905 : page 350] flock) are to go to eternal torment. And when the real good tidings is announced, we find these same persons drunken with the wine of false doctrine, rabid in their denunciation, calling it "nocturnal hallucinations." Do they not indeed put light for darkness, and darkness for light? Do they not indeed label "poison" the true message of the divine plan, and label "gospel," that which is the most awful and bitter dose that human intellect could be asked to accept with joy? Indeed, as a Presbyterian minister expressed it--"You must not attempt to masticate our doctrines, for if you do you can never swallow them; they are in this respect like a Brandreth pill." And yet this bitter dose, of which reason would forbid the swallowing, is misnamed sweet, heavenly truth.

But do the ministers of Babylon show any disposition to justify the wicked for reward, or to take away the righteousness of the righteous from him? Yes, frequently; for instance, not long ago a brother in the West, who had accepted the true gospel, the true light, the sweet story of divine love, wisdom, and power, died. The Lutheran minister called upon the family (formerly attendants and members of his church), and without even waiting to be invited to preach the funeral discourse, said that, of course, he would be prohibited from preaching the funeral sermon, as it would be contrary to the rules of the church. The Brother had always been a consistent Lutheran, and after receiving the truth gave good evidence of his profession of being sanctified thereby, --yet in this way, and by derogatory statements, this minister of the gospel of eternal torment attempted to take away his righteousness from him. Indeed many Christian people have found to their surprise that, after leaving the nominal church, the special pillars of the same are ready to say all manner of evil against them falsely--or, at least, to imply evil. The same Lutheran minister a little later on was invited to preach at the funeral of a notoriously unregenerate man, and he accepted the invitation with alacrity, and, of course, in his discourse tried to justify the wicked, the reward probably being the influence upon the family, and in favor of the denomination.

Verses 24-30, describe the great time of trouble now impending, in which, the Lord's great army shall overthrow Babylon and plow deeply with sorrow and tribulation the hearts of mankind, and make the world ready for the new dispensation, the Millennial Kingdom. See "The Day of Vengeance"--Millennial Dawn, Vol. IV.



page 350

ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FRIENDS.


Dear Brother Russell:--

Your answers to my questions, and the little extra, "Things Whereof Ye Wrote unto Me," are in accordance with my views on the subject, and also what I had expected from you, after carefully reading your article in the July number of the Watch Tower, 1893, on the relationship of man and wife, with which Sister Stovel and myself were much delighted at the time it was published. It entirely coincided with our views on such relationship, which opinion neither of us have had the slightest reason to change in the slightest degree. Indeed we had positively refused to believe the whole of what we had heard of your opinions and advice; but as assertions were made to the contrary, I thought before denying them, to get your direct word upon the subject, feeling quite sure that if I was in error, you had good scriptural ground for your opinion.

I have not seen Sister Stovel since she came back from Cleveland Convention; but to-day I received a long letter from her, informing me of the glorious time you all had there, and expressing herself as not only much delighted with the meetings, but as greatly benefited and strengthened for her journey along the narrow way towards her now dearer Lord and Redeemer, than ever. She also says that undoubtedly all enjoyed like blessings with her. I deeply regret not having been able to be present and to participate in such a foretaste of the joys set before us.

I ask your continued prayers, dear Brother, that I may be supplied with an abundance of strength from the throne of the heavenly grace, to keep firmly, steadily, and courageously treading the narrow way, and finally be found worthy, in my Redeemer, of a conqueror's crown.

I ask God's blessing upon you in your many trials and labors in the cause of the truth, and continued striving to build up and assist the members of the body of Christ.
Yours in the love of Christ,
Ebenezer Stovel,--Canada.


Dear Brother:--

Many thanks for the parcel of "meat in due season," which I was able partly to dispense this morning. First I distributed to about 200 houses, and afterwards to about the same number of persons leaving places of worship in the town. God grant that some of his dear hungering children may be even now feasting on the health-giving, satisfying, present truth!

I am with you in the meeting now commencing, and would that I were actually present. Give my love to all the brethren. God bless you and all who love the Lord in sincerity and truth.
Yours in Him, W. S.,--Hants.


Gentlemen:--

You will, I am sure, pardon the liberty I take in writing to you. To-day there fell into my hands a booklet which I read with the deepest interest, and I feel sure, profit. I notice on the last page you very kindly offer free copies for friends of readers, and further reading matter. If not asking too much, I would esteem it a favor if you would send me some copies for distribution among my Christian friends. I feel that this booklet has come as a message to be honored, and I pray God to bless your labors abundantly.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
W. B.,--Norfolk.



[R2905 : page 351]

ANOTHER SWISS HELPER.
Dear Brethren in Christ:--

Am sorry I cannot write in English. Am a Swiss. About 27 years ago I was converted. Constrained by the love of Christ, I worked for six years in the Lord's vineyard, and also followed my profession and had much joy and peace in the Lord and in his work. The Lord led me into the Baptist church where I labored for 27 years with joy. I did not think that anything would ever separate me from it. In 1880 I entered the Theological Seminary in Hamburg. In 1884 I received several calls from Baptist churches, and thought it God's will that I should accept a call to a church in Breslau, where I felt the Lord's blessing upon me. While I was there a large church was built with a seating capacity of 600. In Breslau Catholicism is very strong. Among the 280 that I was permitted to baptize on profession of their faith, one-third were Catholics. In 1893 I received a call to one of the largest Baptist churches in Germany, at Konigsberg in Prussia. A new chapel was built and meetings were held in 16 places in the country. During the three and three-fourths years of my stay, about 500 were converted and baptized. Three other brothers labored there beside myself; two in the country and one in the city. Then I received a call to Zurich, my mother-country, where the work had been progressing slowly. Considering the call as coming from the Lord I accepted it. The congregation was small, but with great joy I labored there 5 years, and built a chapel and residence. There, also, I was permitted to baptize 200 on profession of their faith, among them some Catholics.

About four months ago I received "Millennial Dawn," Vol. I. I read the book with deep interest and blessing. Sent for the three succeeding volumes and several pamphlets, and have read them through. I am deeply convinced as to the truthfulness of this work. My biblical and theological convictions have been corrected in a manner and degree I had never before experienced. I felt that honesty and humility were necessary that I might give due honor to these truths, and God has granted me these. I hear that the leader of a faith and prayer-cure institution, one of the most influential men in Switzerland, and who is considered a high authority, has denounced the book (Millennial Dawn), and has burned many. Have done much searching for the last 27 years respecting matters referring to the consummation of the age, and endeavored to be watchful of the signs of the times. It is due to this fact, in part, that I so highly prize this book and am determined to study it very carefully with the Bible, and to proclaim the truths so important to our times. I have commenced to do so in my congregation, but have learned what I formerly did not know, that even the Baptist church has traditions and confessions which prevent free searching and preaching of the truth. When I was told by my congregation that there were certain limits and rules which I could not overstep, I told them I would permit no such barriers to be placed around me, and resigned my position as Baptist minister. It seemed plain to me that this was God's will concerning me, though I do not know how he will lead me in the future. I have four children, 15, 12, 10 and 6 years, respectively. October is my time to leave and my successor will take my place. I am now waiting on the Lord to do as he may direct. This is not easy, as I am not a man of means, but I am persuaded the Lord will lead me aright. When my former congregation in Konigsberg heard that I had resigned, they extended a call to me with the assurance they would build a third chapel if I would come. But I do not feel free to accept. To me it is clear that I must not again be connected with any congregation, but should stand free, in order to declare the whole truth, as it is now due and now needed.

Have recently been reading a new book by a Swiss theologian, Reinhardt. The author endeavors to demonstrate from a philosophical standpoint what "Dawn" presents from the standpoint of divine revelation. In many respects there is a striking similarity between this book and "Dawn." But Reinhardt is a rationalist, and believes the theory of evolution, and consequently is in error. He speaks of Chas. T. Russell in his book, the author of "Dawn," but cannot say more than "he believes too firmly in the inspiration of the Scriptures."

For a time before reading "Dawn," I thought of entering Dowie's Zion work, and wrote to Dowie, [R2906 : page 351] but as yet I have received no reply; but since reading "Dawn," I feel that the Lord has another way for me, and other duties. My desire at present is--I should like to have a year for quiet and study, to search my Bible and spend in prayer, and thoroughly study "Dawn." When I am thus prepared of the Lord, I would like to preach the truth, as it is now due, in the cities of Germany and Switzerland. After Paul's conversion he had time for quiet and study; but I have been a minister for 17 years, and in the entire period have had no opportunity for rest and study, though I preached from four to five times a week. Through the study of "Dawn," there has been a revolution in my biblical and theological opinions, and I must have time to become established before I can publicly expound these doctrines, though I have a deep conviction of their truthfulness.

As I am entirely without means, I must look to the Lord to provide the means to support my family, and this he will do if he wishes me to have the time for study. I wait for his direction. Of this I am thoroughly convinced, I cannot longer be a Baptist minister.

Permit me to enclose a photo of my wife and myself. I am 44 and my dear wife 37. Our only concern is that we may attain the high privileges to which we are called, and that we may be co-laborers during the short time that remains, in gathering the elect.

Should you consider it wise that I should go to you in America for a short time (without my family), I am ready to do so. I would be very thankful to receive an answer as soon as possible, in German writing, as October is approaching, when I must leave my home and field of labor. My desire is that God's will may be done in me and through me. May he also direct you in the advice you may give me.

In Christian love and esteem, yours,
Jan Kradolfer, Minister,--Switzerland.



page 353
November 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXII.NOVEMBER 15, 1901.No. 22.


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower
Human Forces Bursting all Bonds and Barriers355
A New Chemical Agent356
Streams in the Desert356
In Peril from Their Own Troops357
Faith Severely Tested357
Certainly I Will Be With Thee359
The Ten Plagues of Egypt361
An Editor Lectures Churchianity364
Love Ye One Another364
The Church Expectant364
A Usurpation of Authority367

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 354

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.




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO--
BRITISH BRANCH, 131 GIPSY LANE, FOREST GATE, LONDON E. ENGLAND.

PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE, 5c (2-1/2d.) A COPY.
MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR, AS FOLLOWS:--

Those of the interested who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for the TOWER will be supplied FREE, if they send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually.


ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.

PILGRIM VISITS ARE FREE OF ALL CHARGES.

We find that some of the friends have refrained from requesting "Pilgrim" visits because they supposed they would be expected to contribute for his railway fare and also for his support. This is a mistake: the services of the preaching "Pilgrims" laboring under the auspices of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY are absolutely without charge;--nor do they take up any collections. The Society pays their railway and all other expenses out of its funds, which are all voluntary donations, from such as are able and anxious to serve thus.

All we ask of the friends visited is that they provide a parlor, hall, school-house or church building for the meetings and that they board and lodge the "Pilgrim" during the two or three days of his visit. We attend to all else.

REQUESTS FOR PILGRIM SERVICE.

The Pilgrim routes are made out months ahead; so it is too late to write us, as some do, when they learn from last page that a Pilgrim is coming to their vicinity. If you desire visits write us a Postal Card (or on a card of that size) answering the following questions: (a) Have you regular meetings now? (b) How many usually attend? (c) Who are the chosen leaders of the class? (d) Did the class vote its desire for Pilgrim visits? (e) Are you able and willing to secure a suitable room for private meetings? (f) Could you arrange also for one public meeting? and what number could probably be gathered?

You can answer briefly, thus: (a) Yes. (b) 14. (c) John Smith and Amos Brown. (d) Yes. (e) Yes. (f) Yes: 100 to 300.

When you see a notice of a "Pilgrim Visit" near you and do not know the meeting address, enquire of us by Postal card immediately. Those arranging for "Pilgrim meetings" will please notify us early respecting their arrangements.



[R2906 : page 355]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.


HUMAN FORCES BURSTING ALL BONDS AND BARRIERS.


JUSTICE BREWER, of the Supreme Court of the United States, was one of the speakers at the recent Yale bi-centenary celebration, and he made some statements which were extremely startling as coming from one in his high judicial position. The Picayune epitomizing his speech says:

"Commenting on the extraordinary results attained in scientific discovery and mechanical invention, and their use in all the business and economies of daily life in a country inexpressibly rich in natural endowments, and inhabited by a vast and rapidly increasing population of the most enterprising and intelligent races of men, he said:

"'These various causes are operating in our midst to produce wealth, consolidation, centralization. The rapidity and multitude of mercantile transactions are seen in colossal fortunes, in gigantic undertakings, in enormous financial consolidations, and corresponding organizations of labor. Local self-control is giving way before the pressure for centralized power. The town meeting is supplanted by the State Legislature, while the latter in its turn is yielding to the expanding power of Congress. Political parties are largely under the management of bosses, and the whole great forces of industry, business and politics seem passing under the domination of single central control.'

"The eagerness with which the physical forces brought into play by scientific discovery and invention have been adopted and enlisted in every branch of industry and business is not more remarkable than is the tendency towards the concentration and centralization of human forces and agencies. On one side capital is concentrating. On the other labor is combining. Each is mustering all its forces so that each may work with the other with completer system and to better advantage, and, in case of a conflict, each will be able to hurl itself against the other with all the great energy and effectiveness, and the prospect is that, sooner or later, both sides will attain conditions of such formidableness as that the shock, should they come in full collision, will destroy the existing social and political organization of the Republic, unless the masses of the people, who will not be bound to either side, shall rally to crush out the combatants and save the country's institutions.

"It has been declared by jurists that there is no evil which can occur in human economy that cannot find its remedy in the courts, but Justice Brewer does not agree with any such doctrine. He said in his Yale address:

"'You cannot stay this movement towards consolidation and centralization. It is a natural evolution. The commercial spirit is taking advantage of the wonderful facilities given by steam and electricity. Injunction against strikers will not stop it; legislation against trusts will not. Attempting to stay the movement of its chariot wheels by injunction or statute is lunacy, compared with which Dame Partington's effort to stop the Atlantic with a mop was supreme wisdom.'

"Then the last appeal is to the court of public opinion, and it must be a court independent of the contending parties. Not all the people of the United States belong to the privileged class of combined capitalists any more than they are members of labor organizations. The aristocracy of capital is made up of only a few thousands at the most. Organized labor may embrace a few millions of men not yet united under a central power. But although they may be so combined when the great conflict shall come, they will only make up a minority proportion of the entire population. There will be a great body of the people, to the number of tens and scores of millions, who will to a greater or less degree be independent, in sentiment at least, of both concentrated capital on one side and combined labor on the other, and this great majority will sit as a court to judge and determine what is necessary to protect the people's liberties and their free institutions from the aggressions of either or both of the combinations."


***

The thinking people of the world all perceive that [R2906 : page 356] the great day of trouble is approaching,--very much as we have shown it from the Scriptures in The Day of Vengeance and The Divine Plan of the Ages. Yet, as above stated, they hope that the masses will at the proper moment save society from complete wreck and ruin in anarchy. It is well for mankind that hope occupies so large a place in the natural heart which has nothing else to lean upon.

But if the Scriptures forbid us to exercise such hopes they give "us who believe" a still better hope of blessings to follow. The learned Justice hopes for the farming element, which heretofore has always been the conservative one, to preserve society and to enforce law and equity. But the Scriptures show the reverse of this. They show that it will be the reapers, the farmers, who will specially suffer and cry out at this time, and be specially instrumental in bringing about the anarchy.

Already the "Agrarian Party" (the farmers) of Europe are now causing kings and emperors serious trouble. They cry out that they cannot make a living at present prices and want prohibitive tariffs which would so increase the cost of living for laborers and mechanics as to seriously disturb manufacturing and all foreign commerce. This is the result of the demonetization of silver--farmers of gold standard countries being obliged to compete with farmers of silver standard countries, while manufacturing is all done in gold-standard countries and has no such competition with the cheap labor of heathendom.

Phenomenal conditions have given American farmers great prosperity--at the expense of millions in India and Russia, who have suffered from famine. But we are not to expect bountiful harvests here, and famines elsewhere to keep up prices, always. When the reverse movements come, the farmers of this favored land will also begin to cry out as represented in James 5.

A NEW CHEMICAL AGENT.


"The first milestone on the journey toward bloodless surgery has been reached. Its name is Adrenalin, that being the title of a chemical composition recently discovered by Dr. Jokichi Takamine, a well known and highly educated Japanese, who is connected with a chemical house that has a local office in this city. Adrenalin is to medicine what liquid air is to science, the only difference being that the chemical is under complete control, with unlimited possibilities before it.

"By the local application of Adrenalin, in solution of one part to 5,000, operations may be performed on the nose, ear and eye without the spilling of a drop of blood. Such operations have also been performed with Adrenalin in solution of one part to 10,000. [R2907 : page 356]

"Thus has it been demonstrated that the discovery is the most powerful medicine known, and at the same time, it might be said, the most expensive. Physicians but it at $1 a grain, or $7,000 a pound.

"The isolation of the blood

pressure raising constituent of the suprarenal gland is of course the chief virtue of Adrenalin, and its uses and developments along this particular line are unlimited. It has also been ascertained, however, that Adrenalin is a most powerful cardiac stimulant, and it has been hinted by physicians that it may be possible to resuscitate persons who have died of heart failure.

"Premature childbirth may also be made obsolete, as it is said Adrenalin can be made to revivify the heart of the dead child. Work along these lines is now being carried forward by Dr. Takamine in his laboratory, and before another year is gone it may be possible to perform amputations without the loss of blood, which is so disastrous to the patient."--New York Herald.

STREAMS IN THE DESERT.


"Surely the 'Great American Desert' of our childhood days will soon be a thing of the past. The only conception of a desert that the next generation will be able to obtain must come from pictures and descriptions of something that once existed, but is no more. Indeed, it is quite likely that we shall not have to wait for the next generation to witness the realization of this change.

"A special from San Bernardino announces that an artesian gusher, with a flow of nearly 200 inches of water, has been struck on the Mojave desert, near Victor, at a depth of less than 200 feet, by parties who were drilling for oil. This is not, by any means, the first time that water has been struck in Southern California by persons who were seeking for oil, and in some cases the water has proved to be more valuable than a moderate amount of oil would be.

"Out on the Colorado desert, below sea level, they have obtained a fine supply of artesian water at a moderate depth, and at the other end of the desert, near Yuma, water is flowing through a canal which is big enough to be navigated by a steam launch.

"All this is only a slight foretaste of what is to come within the next few years. That favorite quotation of our friend, the country editor 'The desert shall blossom as the rose,' is destined to be exemplified to a remarkable degree in Southern California within the next decade. Not only shall the desert blossom as the rose, but also the less beautiful but more profitable cabbage and potato and cauliflower and sugar beet and watermelon and fruit tree, and many other things which profit a man's stomach and swell his bank account."--Los Angeles Daily Times.


The foregoing clippings corroborate the testimony of the Scriptures,--that we are in the dawn of the new epoch, long by God's prophets foretold--the Millennium, the period of divine favor for the blessing of Adam's race through him who redeemed it-- Christ. They corroborate the assurance that under that Kingdom of Messiah the "curse" shall be lifted from the race and as Sin and Death have reigned for 6,000 years, now soon Grace and Truth shall reign unto righteousness and life.--Rom. 5:17-21.

Meantime, also let us not forget the teaching of the Lord's Word that so far as humanity is concerned, it is so full of selfishness that it cannot enter into these blessings now due peaceably; but must needs pass through "a time of trouble [anarchy] [R2907 : page 357] such as was not since there was a nation." We must note the trend of events in this direction therefore, also. It is significant that one Socialist publication claims to have sent out during the forty weeks of this year, over 6,000,000 papers and pamphlets. And below we quote a cable to the Chicago Daily News--also significant.

IN PERIL FROM THEIR OWN TROOPS.


"London, Sept. 30.--Dangerous social fanatics in the ranks of continental armies are causing unrest in a number of the principal capitals of Europe, according to a high officer of the British army who has just returned from a professional tour of the continent. He asserts that some monarchs are in peril when in the presence of their own troops and are now taking drastic measures to correct the evil. To the correspondent of The Daily News he said today:

"The barracks of Europe have become nurseries of anarchism. Realizing the opportunity offered to them in the leisure hours of army life, anarchists have gladly submitted to conscription and subsequently have poured the poison of their doctrine into the ears of their comrades. They have appealed especially to young peasants caught in the net of compulsory military service, and have sent many of the latter out of the army convinced of the tyranny of the ruling classes and eager to identify themselves with the radical element of the population.

"This has happened on a particularly large scale in Germany, Austria and Italy, and the officials of those countries are greatly disturbed. They have adopted measures for strangling revolution in the barracks. The latter are now frequented by government eavesdroppers and spies who make short work of the preachers of assassination and insurrection."



[R2907 : page 357]

FAITH SEVERELY TESTED.

*This was written as the S.S. Lesson for Aug. 25 but was accidentally omitted. Many requests lead us to present it now.



"By faith, Abraham when he was tried, offered up Isaac;... accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a figure."--Heb. 11:17,19.
WITH CHANGES of dispensation come changes of divine methods of dealing with the faithful. The Lord's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son was totally different from any command he would give to his people now; and yet tests of a similar import, though of different kind, are laid upon the Lord's people to-day, and for a very similar purpose, viz., the testing of our heart-loyalty toward the Lord:--testing of faith in him,--in his wisdom, in his power, in his goodness.

In Abraham's day the patriarchal form of government prevailed, and under it the father of a family held an autocratic power which seemingly was rarely questioned by the children. The same extreme view of paternal government prevails, at least outwardly, in China to-day, we are informed. The patriarch, Abraham, was amenable to no earthly law or ruler, but to God only; and when the Lord proved or tested his faith and obedience by calling for the sacrifice of Isaac upon Mount Moriah, Abraham, full of faith and obedience, promptly responded, and there was no law or power to restrain the obedience. Even Isaac, who by this time was twenty-five years of age, seems to have offered not the slightest resistance to the divinely arranged program as set before him by his father; for in the vigor of youth he certainly need not have been bound to the altar contrary to his own will.

A severer test upon Abraham than this one could not be imagined. What could be a more difficult thing for any father to do than to slay his own child, even in response to the divine command? But in Abraham's case the sacrifice was a doubly keen one, because, not only had he the natural parental love for his offspring, but this was the son of promise, for whose birth he had waited according to divine promise, and longed and prayed, for twenty-five years--the son whose birth in his old age was admittedly a miracle of divine power--the son in whom, according to the divine word, centered all the gracious promises which had filled Abraham's heart for now fifty years; and which, during all this period, had constrained him to be a pilgrim and a stranger in the earth, so that he might in due time inherit these gracious promises which belonged to the future. How strange it must have seemed to him--how utterly inexplicable, that the Lord should ask him to surrender Isaac as a sacrifice!

Our respect for Abraham's faith rises higher and higher, as we behold the various manifestations of his confidence in God, and his obedience to the divine command. We say to ourselves, even as new creatures and partakers of the divine nature, O that we might have in fullest measure this abounding faith, this willing obedience, this trust, resting securely in God, this assurance that he is able to accomplish all that he has promised, even though the accomplishment of it should make necessary a resurrection from the dead! For the Apostle assures us that Abraham philosophized upon this matter--respecting the fact that Isaac was his legitimate heir, and had been so acknowledged of the Lord, saying, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." He could see no other way that God's word could be true; yet so strong was his faith that he trusted that the Lord was able to raise his son from the dead in order to fulfil the promise. Heb. 11:19.

This is exactly the kind of faith that the Lord desires to find in the spiritual seed of Abraham, the Gospel Church--a faith that will trust him even where it cannot trace him; a faith which recognizes his perfect wisdom, perfect love and perfect power. It is not a faith, however, that is a spontaneous growth, under present fallen conditions. It requires years for its development. Abraham had not this degree of faith when first he entered the land of Canaan as a pilgrim. It was the lack of this perfect trust in God which made him fearful to acknowledge Sarah to be his wife, when later he went into the borders of Egypt; it was a faith that had grown through his continued intimacy [R2908 : page 358] with his Almighty "Friend." His previous trials and testings had already contributed to the development of this his finished faith; the long waiting and frequent disappointments in respect to Isaac had been beneficial; the attempt to assist the Lord in the fulfilment of the promise, in the begetting of Ishmael, and the subsequent rejection of Ishmael as not being of the Lord's arrangement, had no doubt helped to establish the patriarch in his confidence that God's purposes are immutable, and his power unlimited.

And so it is with the spiritual seed of Abraham, the Christ, the Church:--our faith-development also is a work of time and patient endurance of trials and testings, which, rightly received, work out for us an increase of knowledge, an increase of faith, and an increase of fellowship with God,--until, by the Lord's grace, we later on reach such a development of faith in him as sometimes surprises ourselves, and assures us that we have made some progress; because at the beginning of our way we could not have endured the same trials successfully. Thus we see that in many respects even our faith is a gift of God--that while we exercised some faith in the beginning of our experiences, yet the development of it to such a condition and degree as will be acceptable to God is of God's grace, through his providential leadings, dealings, instructions. To him, therefore, we must render the praise, not only for the glorious results, but also for the faith and the works of this present time, which fit and prepare us for the coming glory and blessings.

Mount Moriah is one of the hilltops embraced in the city of Jerusalem, which of course was not in any degree built or inhabited in Abraham's time. The Temple was built upon this hilltop, and the original rock upon which it is supposed Abraham offered his son--later represented by the ram--is now to be seen. True, it is no longer called the Temple, but a Mohammedan mosque--the Mosque of Omar. Nevertheless, the Mohammedans have preserved this natural rock from any desecration, and visitors are permitted to look upon it over a railing;--the writer so viewed it with keen interest in 1892. In Solomon's Temple it constituted the base of the altar of sacrifice, and a drain (apparently a natural one) leads from this place of the killing of the sacrifice, underground toward the valley of Jehoshaphat, or the "valley of dry bones," which typically represents Adamic death, as the Valley of Hinnom symbolizes the Second Death. We see in this the divine foreknowledge and fore-arrangement in respect to every feature of the plan of salvation. God not only foreknew that he would use the land of Palestine in connection with the development of typical Israel, but he premeditated also the construction of the Temple, centuries afterward, upon the site which he selected for it. And that site, and the Temple, and the city, Jerusalem, and the Valley of Jehoshaphat and the Valley of Hinnom, all were intended to be, and are, so many lessons in respect to the divine plan, past, present and to come--to those who have the eyes of their understanding opened to see these matters from the right standpoint--from the standpoint of Jehovah, who promised forgiveness and blessing through Abraham's seed, and who has since been gradually working out his great and glorious propositions. Although our Lord Jesus, the Head, and the Church which is his body, were not slain upon this typical rock in Mount Moriah, nor in any other one spot in the world, nevertheless, the lesson is a clear one to all who understand that the blood of bulls and of goats, which can never take away sin, offered upon this spot--typified the better sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Only those who recognize the fact that Abraham was a type of God (Rom. 4:17, margin), as Isaac was a type of Christ, can have any clear and satisfactory comprehension and appreciation of the incidents of this lesson. As Abraham was willing to offer his only son, in whom centered the promises, so Jehovah gave his Only Begotten Son, in whom centered the promises, that he should die on our behalf--a sacrifice to meet the demands of Justice, to the intent that thereby every promise of God respecting the blessing of all the families of the earth might be made possible, and in due time be accomplished. Although Abraham's hand was stayed, that he should not obey the Lord's command, nevertheless, the entire incident illustrates what other Scriptures affirm, viz., that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission" of the world's sins;--that unless the heir of the promises should die for man's redemption the promises could never be fulfilled. And this lesson is fully carried out in the picture before us; for although Abraham was not permitted to offer Isaac, a representative of Isaac was offered, the ram which God had provided.

So, throughout the Jewish age, God permitted the natural children of Abraham to rejoice in his promise of blessing, requiring of them also that they continuously show forth the fact that the blessings could not come without a great sin-offering;--requiring them also to sacrifice bulls and goats, as sin offerings year by year continually, though these could never take away sin. They pointed to the great sin-bearer, who should also be the great deliverer. And now we, of this Gospel age, viewing the matter from the standpoint of its accomplishment, can see, as the Word of God declares, that the same God who in times past provided for the typical sacrifices has now provided the real one,--"by whose stripes we are healed." We can see also, as the Apostle explained, that as Isaac was so are we--the antitypical Isaac, members of the body of Christ--offered upon the Lord's altar. We see that Jesus, our Lord and Head, "offered up himself," and that we, covered by the merit of his sacrifice, are permitted to "present our bodies living sacrifices" upon the same altar, and to "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ."--Col. 1:24.

What a joy, what a blessing, to see the real meaning and value of the antitype; and to realize that the death of Christ the Head, and the sacrifice of the Church, his body, so far from annulling or destroying the original divine plan, are only steps in its accomplishment: that in the divine order the sacrifice of the human nature is essential to a part in the first resurrection, with its glory, honor and immortality. It rejoices us to realize that so far from the divine plan being frustrated by the death of the antitypical Isaac it is being consummated thereby--that the death of the Christ is the broad foundation which God is laying, by which he can "be just and yet the [R2908 : page 359] justifier" of all them that believe in Jesus; so that when this glorious Messiah and his house of sons shall be exalted to the power intimated in the promise, he will be fully competent and fully authorized to confer upon the world the great and wonderful blessings which God forestated to father Abraham in an obscure and typical manner.

In the light of the spirit's revelation we rejoice to see that the blessings which are coming through this "seed of Abraham" (Gal. 3:16,29) will not only be, first of all, the divine favor toward the Church, evidenced in the glory, honor and immortality bestowed upon every member thereof, but additionally the blessing also upon the natural seed of Abraham, Israel according to the flesh; and furthermore, the blessing upon all the families of the earth, as the Lord has promised;--the blessing of release from the control and deceptions of Satan, and from the dominion of sin and its weaknesses: so that all who will may hear the voice of that great Prophet, Priest and King, and come forth step by step, not only out of the prison-house of death, but also out of "the valley of the shadow of death,"--clear up, up, up, to the mountain-tops of perfect life and perfect harmony with the divine Creator, lost for all through father Adam by disobedience, but redeemed for all--for as many as will accept it--by the precious blood of Christ.

Occasionally some poor creatures of unbalanced mind, untaught and ignorant as respects the divine character and plan, misapprehending the Lord's dealings with Abraham and his posterity as types, imagine that as God called upon Abraham to sacrifice his son, so he calls upon them to make some human sacrifice. Fortunately these poor deluded creatures are not numerous, and they call for our sympathy rather than for our denunciation. The friends of God, the children of God, will make no such mistake respecting the divine will, because, as it is written in the Scriptures, "they shall be all taught of God." Those who are taught of God know that human life is to be held very sacred. They know also not to lean to their own understandings, nor to dreams nor to imaginings. They see further that even in Abraham's case God did not wish the human sacrifice, but merely tested Abraham's faith. Nor have we such promises made to our children; we have, therefore no such faith to be tested by the death of our children; hence it would be impossible for God to test us thus. Moreover, when we see that the entire procedure with Abraham was typical, and when we understand its lessons, the entire matter is clear and plain to us.

While the seed of Abraham, the Church, has no such testing as his, it has, nevertheless, many severe faith-trials and testings, and as these are rightly received, and in proportion as faith abounds and triumphs in respect to all of our affairs of life, we are more and more blessed and taught of the Lord, and more and more acceptable to him, and more and more meet for the inheritance with the saints in light, as Abraham's seed.



[R2909 : page 359]

"CERTAINLY I WILL BE WITH THEE."
--EXOD. 3:1-12.--DEC. 1.--

MOSES, at forty years of age, having been schooled in all the learning of the Egyptians, and recognized as mighty in word and in deed, as noted in a previous lesson, determined to cast in his lot henceforth with the people of God. He renounced his relationship to the king's family, "refusing to be any longer called the son of Pharaoh's daughter." He chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, and with them to have an inheritance in the promises made to their fathers. While with the Egyptians he was a sharer of the riches which were accruing to that people through the oppression and bondage of the Israelites; and Moses could no longer be a participator in the fruits of this wrongdoing, nor enjoy these pleasures of sin, injustice. We have this attestation to his moral rectitude, his love of justice. It indicates that he was naturally high-minded, noble, just. How many of the Lord's people, living under the instructions of the Gospel, and the enlightening influences of the holy spirit at the present time, need to take a lesson from Moses' course. How many would be willing to enjoy the fruits of sin and injustice--to continually receive and enjoy wealth and luxuries known to be unjustly wrung from poor unfortunates? How many would be inclined to console themselves with the thought that they were not directly responsible for the injustices and oppressions whose profits they nevertheless would enjoy? How noble was Moses' course, and how much approved of the Lord! It is proper that all who know and love righteousness and justice should take a firm stand upon these principles.-- Heb. 11:24-26.

It is written that Moses' course in this matter was the result of his "esteeming the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt." The reproaches of Messiah were heaped against the Israelites; for undoubtedly the Egyptians had learned that the Israelites believed themselves to be the heirs of the great promises from the Almighty made to their father Abraham, and repeated to Isaac and Jacob,-- that through this nation should come the great Messiah, the great Deliverer, who should bless and rule the world. No doubt the oppressed people were frequently taunted upon these extravagant hopes, by their oppressors. But Moses, believing these promises, preferred to associate himself with the despised people, and left the courts of Egypt. As the Apostle explains, this was because "he had respect unto the recompense of the reward"--he hoped by allying himself with his own people to preserve his share in these Abrahamic promises and in the blessings which must ultimately come through them by a better resurrection. --Heb. 11:35,39,40.

Although, naturally, Moses was meek, he nevertheless was not ignorant of his education and abilities; and these being known to the Israelites he had every reason to suppose that they, expecting deliverance from Egypt about this time (in harmony with God's Word to Abraham about four hundred years before) would rejoice in having him for a counsellor, a representative, a qualified law-giver, amongst them. [R2909 : page 360] In his zeal for his brethren, and in his abhorrence of the injustice practised upon them, he smote one of the Egyptian task-masters, and delivered the oppressed Hebrew. He presumed that by such a course he would awaken the energies and spirits of his people and that they would accept him as their leader and that the deliverance from Egypt would forthwith begin. But his disappointment was great when the next day he discovered that his kinsmen had no such loyal feeling toward him as he had toward them; for, while endeavoring to correct a dispute between two Israelites, the one who did the other wrong resented the endeavors of the peacemaker, and showed that he and a large class whom he represented failed to appreciate the conduct of Moses, and failed to accept him as a law-giver. The erring Israelite demanded, "Who made thee a judge or a law-giver over us?" Where is your authority? We deny that you have any. Would you slay me, as you did the Egyptian yesterday? Moses was completely disheartened, and fled to the wilderness of Paran. He had fondly hoped that his sacrifice of the throne and glory of Egypt for his people's sake would be appreciated by them, at least, but coming to his own his own received him not. Apparently he had made a great sacrifice, and to no purpose. Undoubtedly the natural meekness of his disposition was intensified by this rebuff.

Thoroughly discouraged, cut off from the cultured class of Egypt, cut off also from his kinsmen, whom he had hoped to assist, Moses hermit-like, settled down to a life in the wilderness. His natural nobility and training made him chivalrous in the defence of women, and soon he found himself defending the seven daughters of Jethro, who, as shepherdesses, were tending his flocks. This led to his marrying one of these, and himself becoming a shepherd, caring for his father-in-law's flocks. Forty years was the period of this isolation, this great change of life from one of culture, refinement and honor amongst men, to the solitudes of that wilderness. Moses, so far as we have information, up to this time had no direct manifestation of God's favor. He merely had a knowledge of the hopes which belonged to his people through the promises made to Abraham. He doubtless regarded as a mistake his action at forty years of age, in attempting to become the leader of his people; yet from the inspired record we must suppose that his faith in the divine promises never faltered, and that he preferred to be on God's side, and an outcast from Egyptian society, rather than the reverse. Nevertheless, we can see that God's supervision was over all of his affairs, and that with the tests of his loyalty came valuable experiences, preparing him for the Lord's great work, in the Lord's time. It gave him another kind of schooling, and a valuable one, though he was ignorant of it at the time. We cannot doubt that his wandering as a shepherd over that wilderness for forty years made him thoroughly familiar with every road, every hill, every stream, in it, and that this was subsequently of great advantage to him, when, under the Lord's direction, he became the leader of Israel through that wilderness toward Canaan. Neither need we doubt that Moses' own character received valuable lessons of patience and humility and obedience to the divine will during those forty years. Even his marriage here to Jethro's daughter, who bore him two sons, would seem to have been overruled by the Lord for the good of his people; for the woman being an African, a black, the sons would of course be mulattoes, and would correspondingly have less respect amongst the Israelites than if they had been Moses' children by an Israelitish woman, for as such they might have had the reverence of the people in Moses' stead at the time of his death, and thus the tendency might have been to establish a rulership in his family line, which evidently was not the divine purpose.

How often the Lord's people--spiritual Israelites --find that they have experiences somewhat along the line of Moses! How sometimes our efforts and energies and plans for good, yea, our self-sacrifices, seem to be rejected, their value nothing, and ourselves turned away from activities and opportunities which we had coveted as opportunities for the Lord's service. How disheartening we have found this, until later on we discovered that the Lord's hand was able to bring blessing out of our disappointments, and how we could and have learned lessons under trying circumstances, which we could never have learned otherwise. And how these lessons have been ordered of the Lord so as to fit and to prepare us for future usefulness in his service and to his people. Let us, then, have the more courage and the more faith and the more trust in God--trusting him where we cannot trace him, knowing that all things shall work together for good to them that love him--the called ones according to his purpose.

It was at this time, when Moses was eighty years old, that the Lord sent him to deliver Israel. Perhaps it was not accidental that Moses' career was thus divided into two equal periods--40 years of Egyptian training, and rejected; then 40 years' absence followed by his successful deliverance of God's people. Perhaps in this Moses was a type. So also the period from the time Israel started as a nation (at the death of Jacob, the last of the patriarchs) until the antitype of Moses "came unto his own and his own received him not" (1845 years) is the same length as the period of his absence, at the end of which is his second advent, shortly to be followed by the successful deliverance of all of God's people from the oppressions of Satan, sin and death.

What a change the forty years wrought in Moses! At its beginning he was ready and anxious to lead the Israelites; full of modest confidence in himself, as a leader, a commander, a law-giver, for that people-- no doubt realizing by faith that God had prepared him and educated him that he might have the proper qualifications to be their leader. But now, when the Lord's time has come, his courage is gone, his self-confidence is upset, and he protests to the Lord that he is totally unqualified. Now the Lord needs to encourage him, and Moses receives more deeply than he could have done forty years before the thought that Israel's deliverance was not to be by man or through man, but by the Lord himself,--and that the human agent would be merely the Lord's representative. What a valuable lesson Moses was learning, and how necessary is such a lesson to all of the Lord's people, especially to any and to all whom he would use in [R2910 : page 361] any special sense in connection with his work. We must learn that it is not our work, but God's work, not our power or ability or wisdom, or greatness or learning, but the divine power working in and through us, which is mighty to the pulling down of strongholds, and to the lifting up of weak, and to the bringing in of the great salvation which he has promised. The more thoroughly we learn this lesson the better it will be for ourselves, and for all who, in the Lord's providence, we are sent to assist in his way-- to deliver from the bondage of sin and death.

Our Golden Text, "Certainly I will be with thee," is an inspiration to the Lord's people everywhere and at all times, when endeavoring properly to do any part of the Lord's work, heeding his call through the Word. If God be for us, and if God be with us, who can prevail against us eventually? There may be with us, as there were with Moses and his service, various difficulties, trials, vexations and disappointments, --for we have the treasure of the new nature in earthen vessels, and the weaknesses and imperfections and short-sightedness of these are sure at times to cause us difficulties and discouragements. On such occasions our duty is to turn the eyes of our understanding to Him whom we serve, whose ambassadors and representatives we are, and to recall his promise, "Surely I will be with thee." This means eventual victory, though, perhaps, through devious ways that we know not, and expect not, which nevertheless will ultimately prove to have been advantageous to us and to our Master's glory.

"This shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee." No doubt Moses thought now of his failure to interest his people when he went to them still covered with the honors of the schools and the army, and in the prime of life; and perhaps he now contrasted his present condition as a shepherd, forgotten by many who knew him in Egypt, without renown, without favor before the court, without influence or prestige; and no doubt he said within himself, If I could make no impression before, how could I hope now to accomplish as much? But, "This shall be the token unto thee," to prove "that I have sent thee." He was to know that when God sent it meant that the right time had come, and that all of God's good purposes would be accomplished. He was to know that without the Lord he could do nothing; that with the Lord he could do all things. And so all of the people of God, who would be useful and used in his service, must learn this lesson: "Without me ye can do nothing." Then God gave Moses the absolute assurance that he and his people should come forth out of Egypt, and should worship in the very mountain in which now he beheld the burning bush, and talked with the angel of the Lord.

By various signs God established the faith of his servant. The burning bush itself was one of these demonstrations of divine power. Another demonstration was the casting of his rod upon the ground, and its becoming a serpent, a symbol of evil, and the divine power exercised again by which the serpent was turned again into a staff, representing God's power to turn evil things into good things through the operation of faith. Again, his hand was thrust into his bosom, and taken out was found to be leprous, and being thrust in again and taken out was found to be restored to health. In sending out his people in the present time, his ambassadors, the body of Christ, to service (services that are much inferior in many respects, yet superior in some regards), the Lord does not give us these visible demonstrations of his power, but we may be sure that none are sent unless first they are given some testimonies on a higher spiritual plane. They must behold the Lord as the great light; they must realize that his justice is as a consuming fire as respects everything sinful, everything evil, but that through Christ he has mercy upon our imperfections, and grants us to see his light and to enjoy it without being consumed thereby.

Only after such lessons have been learned in the school of experience under our great Teacher and Pattern, Jesus, are we ready for the Lord's service in various ways, as he may be pleased to indicate them and to send us and use us. Let us learn thoroughly the lesson that our undertakings, even for the Lord and in the interest of his people, can only prosper in the Lord's time, and when we are sent of him; but that nevertheless every effort we may put forth, even in our ignorance, if done in meekness, humility, and with a respect for the recompense of reward, will surely be owned of the Lord, and blessed of him to our good and to our development for future service, even as in Moses' case.



[R2910 : page 361]

THE TEN PLAGUES OF EGYPT.
--EXOD. 11:1-10.--DEC. 8.--

"The angel of his presence saved them."--Isa. 63:9.


HE WHO SEES, in the narrative of the ten plagues upon Egypt, and Israel's deliverance thereby, nothing beyond what is contained in the simple story recognizes only the shell, and not the kernel of the lesson. In the type it was typical Israel alone that was delivered by Moses and the first-born; in the antitype it will be "the groaning creation" that will be delivered--all such who will accept deliverance, under the leadership of the antitypical Moses, Christ, and his Royal Priesthood,--the elect Church of this Gospel age. In the type it was Pharaoh and his coadjutors that were first chastened by the plagues and subsequently destroyed in the Red Sea. Their antitype is Satan and all his coadjutors, --all who profit by evil; and in the beginning this will include many who unwittingly are under his blinding influence; but ultimately it will include only such as are wilful and deliberate servants of sin and lovers of unrighteousness--injustice, etc.

A previous lesson showed us Moses, receiving instruction and encouragement from the Lord respecting his future work as the deliverer. We saw him at the burning bush, and noted his reverence for the Lord and yet his need of being thoroughly convinced [R2910 : page 362] that God, with his infinite power would go with him, if he would again go to his countrymen, and essay to be their deliverer from bondage. We noted that the Lord gave him, as a sign or evidence of his commission, the miracle of his rod or walking stick turning into a serpent, and being changed back to a stick; and another sign in respect to leprosy coming upon his hand, and being instantly healed by putting it again into his bosom. When Moses had been himself convinced he enquired of the Lord by what means he should convince the Israelites of his authority as their leader, and that the Lord would now deliver them. He was commissioned to introduce himself to the Israelites by these same signs by which he himself had been convinced of the divine authority and backing for his undertaking; and if either or both of these evidences were insufficient Moses was commissioned to take water from the Nile river, in sight of his countrymen, and to pour it upon the dry land, where it would become blood, the Lord assuring him that by means of some or all of these signs the people would be convinced and accept his leadership.

These three signs, which were so convincing to the Israelites, doubtless signified certain truths which, in the present time, will be convincing to the Lord's true people at the proper time; and demonstrate to them that there is to be a great deliverance of all who trust in the Lord, from the power of Satan and the bondage of sin and death. Time and space forbid a thorough examination of the antitypical significance of these signs here; but in our next issue we hope to show that we are now living in the time when the antitypes of these signs are due to antitypical Israel, as proofs of the presence of the Deliverer and the imminence of the deliverance. We expect to show that the antitypes of these signs are now being given, and of what they consist.

Moses' next mission, with Aaron, was to go before Pharaoh and make a demand that the Israelites might be permitted to go a three-days' journey into the wilderness to worship God and do sacrifice to him. Nothing was said respecting their non-intention of returning, nor was it necessary to do so. They were not in a just sense bondmen; they had not forfeited their liberties, either through war or debt; they had the same right to depart that they had to come into Egypt; and, if their request for a temporary absence were granted, they could later determine whether or not they would return to Goshen. The request in this form made the trial of Pharaoh the less severe; nevertheless, his refusal to grant the holiday proved conclusively that he would have refused to grant them full liberty. Instead, Pharaoh sent forth instructions to the task-makers to increase the burdens upon the Hebrews, declaring that if they were worked hard enough they would have no time to think, and speculate about holidays, etc. It was at this time that the Israelites were required to turn out their full quota of brick per day, without having a straw furnished them, as had previously been the custom--straw being then used as a binder for bricks, which were sun-dried, instead of being burned hard, as at the present time. This stage of the Israelitish bondage is fully corroborated by certain recent excavations in Egypt, which show some structures built of brick, with straw binder; some with brick with binders of reeds and rushes, and some, finally, with practically no binders at all, and therefore that much the more difficult to handle in the making.

The effect of this move was at first to discourage the Hebrews and to lead them to complain to Moses, [R2911 : page 362] through their elders, that instead of being a deliverer and a helper he was bringing increased miseries. And so, likely, it will be with many of the groaning creation, in the near future. Their first efforts and aspirations toward the deliverance which the Lord has promised them will be resented by "the powers that be," and for a time their efforts at attainment of coveted blessing will seem to work disadvantageously. Nevertheless, the effect in the end will be to the more deeply impress upon all the evils of the present reign of sin and selfishness, and to make all the more appreciative of the Millennial blessings and liberties of righteousness, when they shall be attained; and the more determined that they will follow the leadings of the Lord, and be obedient to him, that they may attain that liberty.


PHARAOH'S HEART HARDENED.

Under the Lord's instructions Moses presented himself before Pharaoh, and made formal demand that the people be let go. Nevertheless, the Lord said to him, "I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt." "But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies and my people, the Children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt, by great judgments; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord."

This is perhaps as appropriate a place as any to consider the sense in which the Lord "hardened" Pharaoh's heart. And we may here also consider the Apostle's expression on the subject, saying: "The Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, 'Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.' Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth." (Rom. 9:17,18.) The Lord had raised up to the throne of Egypt a man of iron will and perverse spirit, who would not readily yield, and upon whom, therefore, repeated and severe judgments would be necessary, which would demonstrate divine power on behalf of Israel. Secondly, these would incidentally constitute a retribution against the whole people of Egypt, as participators in the unjust oppression exercised toward Israel. In a word, divine power would be better shown, and retributive justice better rendered, and a lesson for all time better written, by the raising up to the throne of Egypt of this man, than by raising up to the throne any of the others who might have been heirs, had they lived, or had he not lived.

It should be noticed that neither here nor elsewhere does God interfere with the freedom of the will of any individual, whether amongst those who profess obedience to him, or others. As respects the hardening of Pharaoh's heart: as we look carefully into the narrative we find that it was accomplished through God's mercy only, and hence that no charge could be [R2911 : page 363] laid against divine justice on this account. It was because of Pharaoh's repenting that the Lord stayed one and another of the plagues brought upon him, and the nation which he represented. But this goodness and mercy of God, which should have led him to repentance, led him in an opposite direction, to greater hardness of heart. And so it is with the world in general today: when the judgments of the Lord fall severely upon the world there is a tendency to contrition, humility and repentance; but when the Lord's blessings abound there is the greater likelihood amongst those who are rebellious of heart to become hardened and unappreciative. So it was with Pharaoh, and so it will be with "the powers that be" in the end of this age; but so it must not be with those who are truly the children of God. To all these God's mercies and blessings, favor upon favor, should and do lead to greater appreciation, thankfulness and loving obedience, because they are his.

It has been surmised that these ten plagues upon Egypt began about July 1st, and lasted until the following April,--in all about nine months. This surmise is based upon the character of the different plagues, and what is known of the climate and usual conditions of Egypt favorable to the plagues. The first three, the waters changed to blood, the frogs, and the lice (insects), appear to have been common to the Israelites as well as to the Egyptians, the land of Goshen being spared from the remaining seven plagues--flies or winged pests; murrain, or cattle disease; bains, or smallpox; hail and fire; locusts; darkness; and finally the death of the first-born. During this series of plagues Pharaoh relented a little occasionally to the extent that he agreed that the males of the Hebrews should go forth, as requested, to sacrifice in the wilderness, the females and children being held as hostages for their return. But this brought out the answer that when they would go it must be all of them, including their cattle and herds, and to this Pharaoh would not hear, until Egypt was smitten with the tenth plague, and all the first-born of Egypt (humanity and animals) died; then he urged them to go. The chastisement was sufficient. So it will be in the end of the time of trouble that is approaching, and which is figuratively represented by these plagues, especially "the seven last plagues."--Rev. 15:

When the last plague has been poured out, as a vial of divine wrath, "the powers that be" will realize that it is useless to fight against God. And as Pharaoh and his people received a severe retributive punishment for every evil they had inflicted upon the Israelites, and as their first-born became retributive representatives of the Israelitish babes they had caused to be drowned in the Nile, so their flocks and herds, and the crops that were destroyed by the locusts and insects, etc., and all the troubles upon them, were retributive punishments, for the unjust exactions made of the Israelites. So we may suppose that the great troubles and losses which will come upon "the powers that be" of the present time, in the approaching trouble, will, in some sense or degree, be a retributive requirement,--an offset for a not sufficiently benevolent and just treatment of many under their control in the present time, when the blessings and inventions of our day should be accruing more generally to the benefit of the masses.

Objection has been found by some to the statement that the Lord, through Moses, instructed the Israelites to "borrow" of their Egyptian neighbors jewels of silver and gold, etc., and that they did so, and thus "spoiled the Egyptians"--took away a great spoil or trophy of valuables, when they went. Two answers may be made to this objection. The first is that our Common Version translation is very inaccurate, and thus gives ground for the thought of a deception; the word in the original signifies asked, requested, or begged for, and should not be rendered "borrowed." The Revised Version renders this properly, "asked for." The Hebrew word is the same as when Solomon "asked" wisdom, and did not "ask" long life; neither "asked" he riches; neither "asked" he the life of his enemies. (1 Kings 3:11.) As it would be improper to render the word "borrow" in Solomon's case, it is equally inappropriate in the case of the Israelites. Similarly the word rendered "lent" should be "gave." The fact is that the Egyptians were thoroughly sore of heart under the repeated castigations given them by the Lord, during the nine months of the plagues. They were glad to learn that their representative and king had finally ordered the people to leave the country. They felt themselves like hastening them out, lest some further visitation should come upon them; or lest Pharaoh should again change his mind. Hence, when the Israelites importuned them for jewels and fine garments, etc., they gave them freely, hoping to be rid of them the quicker. The other answer to the argument is that in all justice the Egyptians owed the Hebrews the value of these jewels, and more too, for the onerous services they had compelled them to render; and hence the Israelites were not asking an alms for which they had given no equivalent, but were really asking for their back pay.

Our Golden Text seems to be wholly misapplied. It seems to have no reference to Israel in Egyptian bondage; neither does it fully and completely apply to their antitype--those who will be delivered from the power of Satan, sin and death during the Millennial age. It applies merely to the overcoming Church, the "Church of the First-born," which was represented only by Moses and the first-born of Israel, spared during the night of the Passover. The Lord is specially with this class, the "little flock," the "elect," "the body of Christ," who shortly shall lead the people out of bondage into the liberty of the sons of God. As many as obey the voice and follow the leading of this great Prophet, Priest and King, of which Jesus is the Head, and his elect Church the members in particular of the body, will be fully delivered from the power of Satan, represented by Pharaoh.

A general lesson, applicable to all persons and at all times, is that justice should be done; that none should be oppressed; that the Lord cherishes the cause of the oppressed, especially if they be his people; and that he will deliver them and will permit the wrath of man to work out retributive justice and punishment upon all oppressors.



[R2912 : page 364]

AN EDITOR LECTURES CHURCHIANITY.


REMARKABLE as it may appear, the editors of the secular press seem to grasp the religious situation much better than do the average ministers of the gospel or editors of religious journals. Perhaps this is because they are in a better position to see truthfully and point out tersely what they do see; they are bound neither by creedal obligations nor by "bonds of bread and butter" to abstain from seeing and narrating honestly, truthfully.

In evidence, note the following, clipped from the editorial columns of the Cleveland Press.

"LOVE YE ONE ANOTHER."


"That there is a great need of revival today is evident to all. The church has allowed politics, business and speculative thought to get beyond her influence as a spiritual impulse and ethical standard. Modern reforms which have as their end the betterment of men's lot have sprung very largely from a diffused Christianity, and too often the bearing of the church toward them is cold and unfeeling, if not actually antagonistic.

"The churches are all blessed with a proportion of really Christian men and women, whose giving and prayers and unselfish service keep the world from falling into ruin. These are the church. But these are not satisfied. They feel a deep need of revival. It is only the dead and frivolous and indifferent that are satisfied. Modern scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, cleansing the outside of the platter, whited sepulchers, self-deceived, measuring themselves by themselves, in daily deadly danger of crucifying their Lord afresh and putting Him to an open shame--these are the satisfied ones.

"We need a revival of religion because of our lack of love. This is the center and core of Christianity. You love them that love you, your families, your friends, but what thank have ye? Do not the heathen the same? When you make a feast you invite persons agreeable to yourself, for your enjoyment and theirs. This is not a sin, but it is no better than the heathen, for they do the same. The Christian feast is for the poor and the homeless and friendless. The Christian love is for one's enemies. The Christian service is for the disagreeable and weak and vicious and unclean. The Christian duty is to all the world. But Christian men live under rules and standards that are the incarnation of selfishness. There is no love in business, no love in war, no love in modern pleasure.

"Frivolous and selfish wives, deadening the religious life of husbands; worldly and godless husbands, making it difficult for their wives to live as Christians; parents a stumbling block to growing children and a byword to them that are without; professing Christians mad with lust of gold and place and power, silent and unfeeling in the face of social wrong, without compassion for the multitude, ambitious for social preferment, given over to vanity, envious, skilled in the hypocrisies and expedients of selfishness, denying daily in word and deed the power of godliness. Surely these need revival.

"How few Christians there are who can lead an inquiring soul to a knowledge of Jesus! They are without excuse. To say that they cannot do this is to hide behind a lie. There is not a housewife but can teach her maid to cook and clean and sew; not a mother but can teach her children the elements of etiquette; not an artisan but can talk intelligently about the trade he has mastered; not a scholar but can give some account of what he knows; not a political partisan who is not eager to explain his views; not a lawyer but stands ready to argue any case, pro or con; not a doctor who cannot give some reason for the cure he prescribes; not a business man but can train others for his business. But many of these say they cannot talk to another upon the subject of religion.

"For many a Christian employer to speak to his workmen of the love of Jesus would be to cause bitter mirth and deepen the conviction among them that he is a hypocrite. Those who do not confess Jesus with their lips because they consider their example sufficient, too often furnish an example of everything but Christianity. But it is the insistent, searching word of Jesus that every man is responsible for his neighbor, no matter how he may feel about the responsibility or how cleverly he may shirk it.

"The spiritual energies of the modern church are paralyzed and neutralized by a great and plain contradiction between what church members say and do.

"Christian gentlemen organizing great financial undertakings and incidentally corrupting governments, bribing the public, overriding the laws of the land; such believers would find it hard indeed to lead another to the Savior. Their proper method is to hire an evangelist, for it is very evident in this case that religion is religion and business is business.

"It would seem that the next great revival will be a revival within the church itself. It will consist in an improvement in quality, rather than increase in quantity of church members. It will turn away from machinery and artificiality and organization, and will depend upon personality and character. It will deal directly as between man and man. It will be a thing of life; of everyday life to be lived as the hours go, simply and honestly.

"A witness is useful only in so far as he knows. He is not permitted to testify upon what he has heard, or upon what he imagines, or guesses, or hopes. What he has seen and knows, this is his only testimony of any power. To what great realities does the average modern Christian testify? A man eager, almost frantic, in his striving for wealth; the frivolous, shallow member of some Christian church, intriguing and degrading herself for the sake of social preferment among worldlings; to what do these testify? Church 'service,' misnamed, wherein indolent believers luxuriate in enjoyment of observing with critical eye the intellectual gymnastics of their minister; to what do these testify? Cold and formal prayer meetings, sepulchral and oppressive, to what do these testify?

"THE CHURCH EXPECTANT."


"The brightest glory of the new century's dawn springs from a hope, deep and widespread, of coming religious revival. In the last few years a great change in the matter of worldliness has swept over Christian people everywhere, chilling into deadly torpor [R2913 : page 365] their spiritual energies. Worldliness has come to characterize those who profess to be citizens of heaven.

"Earnest Christian parents are everywhere perplexed and saddened because church membership is of little aid in keeping the children unspotted from the world. Cash, like charity, covers a multitude of sins, and failure to make money is about the only hell believed in and feared.

"The great contradiction between what Christians say and do threatens to destroy the churches. It is now commonly, if not universally, held that financial success is proof positive that a church is prosperous.

"It was inevitable that the masses should find in the Sermon on the Mount just that moral ideal and standard which best expressed their unspoken aspirations and desires. Turning to the church, they expected to meet a powerful and sympathetic ally, for the church professed to base its life upon these very teachings of Jesus. But alas! stupefied with worldliness and prostrate under the sturdy blows of an unspiritual rationalism, the church had no answer for the masses. Mutual antagonism, suspicion, misunderstanding, and, on the part of the workingmen, very often hatred, was the result. The church preached and professed to believe the moral ideas which formed the only hope for the masses and did not practice what it preached. The church stood for religion, the masses for morals; and both were wrong inasmuch as a half truth is not the truth. Now, these alienated forces are coming together. Religion has got as far as it can without an adequate morality; and social ethics has got as far as it can without religion.

"A first feature of the coming revival will be its emphasis upon the teachings of Jesus. In the transaction of business, in the giving and taking of the exchanges, in the close touch and stress of politics, in the lighter and happier amenities of social intercourse, Christian men and women will endeavor to set forth Jesus. The new revival will powerfully affect the daily lives of Christians. It will make a distinction in the way a Christian man works and enjoys himself and the way an unconverted man does these things. It will be marked by a return to the morality of the golden rule."


***

We fear that in the above description of "The Church Expectant" the writer has described what he hopes for rather than what he sees evidences of as approaching. There is already such a "Church of the living God, whose names are written in heaven" (and some of these are probably to be found in all the denominations of Christendom, and some of them outside of all); but they are, as a rule, poor in this world's goods and not very highly esteemed among men, and often are spoken evil of, falsely, for their fidelity's sake.

Whoever expects nominal Churchianity to reform and become a household of saints will be grievously disappointed. On the contrary the Scriptures clearly show us that all denominations are, and will increasingly be, merely moral clubs "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof,"-- "drawing nigh unto God with their lips while their hearts are far from him."

But, let it come;--it is a part of the "harvest" work of separating the "wheat" from the "tares." As the worldly spirit of formalism more and more gains control of all sects, it will wean and separate more and more the Lord's true people, who alone have ever been the true Church in our Lord's estimation. These must realize their lean and starved condition, and that Babylon has no substantial food for their nourishment and upbuilding,--only the husks and chaff of formalistic piety. They must realize that the doctrinal tables spread by Babylon are unreasonable and nauseating--musty and putrid "traditions of men" (Isa. 28:8), before they will look beyond Babylon's bondage of sectarianism and creedal fences, and leap the barriers to freedom and the feast of fat things spread for them now by our present Shepherd.



[R2912 : page 365]

THE WIDE-MARGIN LINEAR BIBLE.


THE ARRANGEMENT of the Tower and Dawn references, for the margins of these Bibles, has proven to be much more of a task than was at first anticipated. The work is progressing, though slowly, and none must expect the Bibles before February, 1902--though we will do our very best to have them a month earlier.

In one way the delay has been to the advantage of some of our readers: had we met with no obstacles the edition would have been far too small. We first thought of 1,000 copies--then concluded to risk 2,000; but the orders have rolled in on us until now they exceed 3,000. We felt sure the Bible would be what every Watch Tower student would need; but were not sure to what extent all would appreciate our efforts and trust our judgment. The evidences are gratifying to us, as we are sure the books will be appreciated by you, and profitable to you in Bible study, when you have received them and learned to use them.

We had fixed October 1, as the limit of the time during which we would receive advance orders at the prices already mentioned--$2.00 for "French Seal" (sheep) binding, and $3.00 for the "Persian Morocco" (tougher leather) binding; however, we have concluded to allow all who will to place their orders at the same prices up to November 15, next. We will, meantime, order some more than we expect orders for; but as there will be some financial risk in so doing, the tardy must pay for this, and the prices will then be $1.00 additional on each kind.--Still, however, they will be the cheapest Bibles in the world,-- worth double. On the other hand, the coming orders may again be more than we expect, and the tardy may get none,--for the orders must be filled in rotation as received.

We regret that we cannot encourage our British readers to hope for these Bibles. The "Oxford Press Co.," of England, has notified us that they will not allow the book on British soil, as they hold exclusive copyright privileges for Great Britain and Ireland on [R2912 : page 366] the "Revised Version," which constitutes a feature of the Linear edition. We have written them explaining this edition, and offering a royalty, and will get them to our British friends, if possible. They may send in their orders to our British Branch (prices, 9s. and 13s.); we will include these in our orders anyway.

Money may be remitted later--anytime before January 1st, 1902. Books not paid for by then will be granted to others, if the supply be short.



page 366

ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FRIENDS.


Dear Brother Russell:--

I am very glad to inform you that we, that is, those of us who attended the Richmond, Va., Convention, enjoyed the meetings very much. We reached the hall on Sunday morning, when you were about half through your discourse on Baptism, regret that we were not in time to hear it all. The afternoon Sermon on "Salvation" was grand, and gave us impressions which shall be as lasting as life. I thought of the large number of people in Richmond, and yet so few, comparatively, to listen to the discourse.

I informed you some months ago that I had rented a space in the ferry house where I placed a box for the distribution of Tracts. We were arranging for continuing it for another month when the Agent informed me that he had taken tracts from the box, to his wife, who had become very much interested; and desired him to refund the money which I had paid as rent, and also to continue the box in the ferry house at her expense. This, you must see, was very encouraging.

A brother at the Richmond meeting from this locality testified there that he had become interested through reading tracts taken from the boxes in the Ferry waiting rooms. We are quite sure that large numbers of people are reading the tracts, seldom do we find one cast aside or destroyed.
Your Brother in the blessed truth,
GEO. M. TURNER.--Virginia.


[R2913 : page 366] Dear Brother Russell:--

Maybe you will remember that, coming home on the train from the Richmond Convention, I mentioned to you my friend who lives in Vermont. I think I spoke of feeling somewhat anxious, because I had not heard from her for some little time. Two days after that I received a letter, a long one, from her, from which I wish to quote just a bit. She says: "For myself--I can truly say, Margaret, that I now see clearly what our high calling is. I realize that once having seen it, and made a full and complete consecration of ourselves, we have surrendered all hope of life on the human plane--that if we fail then to be "faithful unto the end," nothing is left for us but eternal death. I have "counted the cost"--I have laid my little all upon the altar. It is too late for me to draw back now. You will not think I have been hasty. It is seven months now since I began to study these things for myself. Slowly, but surely, I have come into the light. The Truth has held me and I could not escape. I know it is God's own truth. And oh, Margaret, how could I do anything else but yield to my King fullest allegiance!"

You can understand what joy it gave me to hear this --in fact I cried for joy (and I am not easily moved to tears) to know that she has made the consecration, and has begun to realize joy and peace. She says further along in the letter: "With prayer and humility for weeks I have been counting the cost; and it has been a solemn and a glad surrender. I realize how utterly I am nothing; I know I am weak--but I know that I have His almighty strength to lean upon. It has brought such a blessed peace and rest and joy. I need not tell you, for you know it. And yet I must tell it--only I have not words to express it. I cannot see why He should have chosen me, and loved me, and taught me, but I know He has. I do not know where or when or how my trials will come. I dare not say I am ready for them, only as He gives me strength. I am not worrying about it. There is no room for worry in this strange, glad peace that fills me." She had read Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 5, and when she wrote had just finished chapter eleven of Vol. 4. I can see she is not clear on some points yet, she does not yet realize that all who are truly the Lord's are called to "come out"--but I believe it will not be long before she will see this.

Pardon the length of this letter, but I wanted you to know this, because I am sure you will rejoice with us.

We have just enjoyed our Pilgrim Draper's stay with us, and feel it has been a season of refreshing.

With much Christian love, I am your sister in the Lord,
MARGARET SMITH.--Washington, D.C.


Dear Brother Russell:--

I do not often have opportunity to express to you my appreciation of your great benefits to me, for my time is taken up very much and I am studying the Bible with those wonderful helps, the Dawns.

Since my coming into the truth, one year ago last month, my views, plans, ambitions, hopes, condition of heart, knowledge in serving Christ, attitude toward mankind, and attitude toward many other things, have changed. What blessed truths the Lord has provided for his humble servants at this time!

I think one of the brethren wrote you that there were thirteen believers immersed here at Washington, Sunday, August 25th. There were three sisters and ten brothers, and I am happy to tell you that I was one of the ten that symbolized their consecration to the Lord.

My dear brother, I know your time is taken up in something greater, grander than reading letters; but I wish to say a word in connection with the spreading of the truth. Since starting out in the one hope and faith, one year ago, I see what wonderful progress the truth is making in separating the wheat and tares, the Lord's true people from the world. Truly the way is narrow and few will find it, but that few are in such an attitude of heart that they look for a "thus saith the Lord," for every step, so that they can follow the leading of the truth which we find in the Scriptures. I can see and testify that this light is doing the work it was sent to accomplish; and as the great time-lock that holds the time prophecies is now open it enables the true virgin class to obtain a much better understanding of God's word.

Trusting that you may continue to be "the steward of Christ," upholding all truth, I am your brother in Christ,
MARSHALL G. ELLIS,--Heights, D.C.


Dear Brother Russell:--

To let the brethren know what may be accomplished by a little with the Lord's blessing, and to encourage the brethren who read the Tower to send out to their friends and relatives "Dawns," "Towers" and tracts, I send you the following short sketch of how the Lord gave us the light and gospel of peace, and how it has grown in so short a time.

Three years ago this winter a brother in Wisconsin sent a "Dawn Vol. I." to a brother in Spokane, Wash. At that time, so far as I have been able to find out there were but two "Dawn" and "Tower" readers in the city, and they were not acquainted. That one "Dawn" was the means of starting the work which has brought together a class of eighteen brothers and sisters, all of whom have been engaged in the "Volunteer" work, so far as circumstances would permit. All are now firm believers in the Gospel of Peace (Eph. 6:15); and together they have distributed about eight thousand sample tracts, booklets and "Watch Towers," and there are many others who are brothers who do not take part in the "Volunteer" work. So my dear brethren, be not discouraged if you see no results from your efforts (1 Sam. 18:7). Continue in the good work for it is indeed handing forth "meat in due season" to the household of faith.
Your brother in the Lord,
CHAS. E. BELL,--Washington.



[R2914 : page 367]

A USURPATION OF AUTHORITY.


CONGRESS is the law-making branch of the United States Government: the President and his Secretaries are the executive branch--whose duty it is to enforce the laws as Congress makes them. Congress passed the present postal laws nearly thirty years ago, and all Postmasters General since, until now, have enforced them faithfully, even though several of them have appealed to Congress to change the laws, so as to prevent so general a circulation of cheap periodicals. Congress in every case has refused to change the laws which have done so much to make the American public "wide awake."

Now, however, we have a Postmaster General who attempts to usurp the law-making functions of Congress and to ride rough-shod over the will of the people as repeatedly expressed through their representatives in Congress. The duty of the people is to resent such unlawful disregard of their rights; and the protests should properly go to the President of these United States, who undoubtedly is quite unaware of this piece of injustice and lawlessness being practiced under his administration.

Postmaster General C. E. Smith, and his third Assistant, E. C. Madden, who have engineered this nefarious violation of the law, and who are glorying in their shame, show clearly that they are not men to be trusted, when they plan for ruling the people and decide what liberties the people ought to be allowed and what disallowed.

What is the remedy? It is to make such conduct odious to all lovers of liberty--to all who love justice. And the best way to do this is to promptly inform President Roosevelt (addressing him at Washington, D.C.), telling him that the credit of his administration is involved by the conduct of these his representatives, and calling for their dismissal and for the appointment of men who are not of their lawless (anarchous) cast of mind. Send postal cards or letters, or if convenient get up general petitions and obtain as many signatures (of old and young) as you can. All are interested, and all have a right to protest against the infraction of the laws favorable to "the poor of this world," who are the chief users of the paper-bound pamphlets whose circulation is being interfered with. The rich buy cloth-bound books, which are not affected by these acts of these pseudo-law-makers.

We do not claim that the Postmaster General is destitute of good impulses in this matter: his claim is that he wishes to save the people's money. But our reply is that the people do not wish him to economise at the expense of violation of the people's laws. They do not need a paternal government. They are able to change the laws, through their representatives when and how they please.

If the laws of the land were being enforced we should not have one word of remonstrance to make, however much their enforcement might injure us. But when, under divine providence, the laws are on our side it would be wrong for us to submit without protest and thus to encourage still further violations of law in disregard of the rights and wishes of the law-makers --the people. Office holders should be held to account as the public's servants;--otherwise they will be justified in concluding that the people are serfs and desire to be ruled by Czars.

SOME SUGGESTIONS.


Many need no suggestions from us, but are quite competent to express themselves forcefully and cogently. Others, however, may be helped by the following general suggestions as to brief forms, which each may change and modify to suit his own tastes. Hon. Theo. Roosevelt, Washington, D.C.: Respected Sir:--

Doubtless you are unaware of the gross injustice being done the poor by your subordinates--the Postmaster General and his Third Assistant. They have undertaken to make "rulings" respecting pamphlets (2nd class mail), which are gross violations of the laws of Congress of nearly 30 years standing. We call upon you to cleanse your Cabinet of such law-breakers. Give us examples of obeyers of the laws in their stead, and we will esteem you, for your justice, accordingly.
(Signature.)

To the President of the United States, Washington, D.C.

Your Excellency is respectfully petitioned to overrule recent Postoffice legislation against second-class mail matter.
(Signature.)

To the President of the United States: Washington, D.C. Your Excellency:

We call upon you to redress the grievance of the poor, and at the same time uphold the Postal Laws of Congress, by causing the unlawful act of the Third Assistant Postmaster General to be set aside and its perpetrators ousted. We refer to the recent illegal "rulings" respecting pamphlets, refusing them second class mail privileges such as Congress designed and expressed; and such as they have enjoyed for the past 30 years. The acts of your subordinates must be regarded as the acts of your administration. We hope to have this wrong speedily righted.
(Signed.)

To the President of the United States. Washington, D.C. Hon. Sir:--

We, the common people, hold you responsible for the violation of our Postal Laws at the hands of your Postmaster General and his Third Assistant. Congress enacted the law for second class mail in the interest of education and intelligence amongst the poor and the middle classes. It is robbery and fraud for these men now to frustrate that law which the people, by their representatives in Congress, have now three times refused to alter. We urge you to dismiss these law-breakers and to put in their stead men who will obey the laws as the people, through their representatives, enact them. Thus you will win the esteem of lovers of law and equity.
(Signature.)



Prev Top of Page Next