page 305
October 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXII.OCTOBER 1, 1901.No. 19.


CONTENTS.

Views From the Watch Tower307
The Jews and their Prospects308
Hatred Against Jews in Gt. Britain309
To Abolish Prayer Meetings310
The Costly Pearl310
Cleveland Convention Echoes311
The Impending Industrial Crisis311
Momentous Project of Men Arming312
In the School of Adversity313
"For God was with Him"315
Words of Cheer and Encouragement318
Motto Cards for Home Embellishment306

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 306

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--
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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.

MOTTO CARDS FOR HOME EMBELLISHMENT.


For several years we have realized the blessing accruing to the Christian home from a liberal supply of Scripture Text Cards and mottoes displayed upon its walls--as reminders of faith and patience and love and perseverance in the narrow way of life. They should greet the eye in the parlor, dining-room and bed-room as Holy Spirit messages.

We have supplied these to the friends practically at cost for several years--from time to time reducing the price as our purchase of larger quantities enabled us to secure lower prices from the publishers. Very generally our supply has been short of the demand, so this year we have ordered early and in large quantities from the London publishers and have secured prices which will permit us to supply our subscribers below American wholesale rates.

These are mostly printed in silver on dark red and green glossy cards with cord hangers; but some are on light cards embellished in choice colorings and designs. The majority of course are such as are usual and never grow old; but each season adds a few new and choice ones and these we have up to date. In ordering state if you have had any of our $1.00 packages and how many. Then we can know about what assortment you already have, and can pretty surely supply you such as you have never yet had.

This year we will put up $1.00 packages such as ordinarily would amount to $2.00 purchased elsewhere: and we will prepay postage. We aim to do all in our power for the spiritual strengthening and encouragement of the Lord's flock. These prices are open to all.



[R2881 : page 307]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.


ECCLESIASTICAL FEDERATION.


THE EVIDENCES looking toward a federation of the various Christian sects are multiplying; --city federations, county federations, and state federations are announced from time to time in the daily press, and thus the way is being prepared, the idea is being hatched. In England the movement seems fully as far advanced as here; there the Church of England is the preponderating power, and, as the Scriptures indicate, will have much to do with effecting the union whenever it comes.

The Protestant Episcopal Church has always held aloof from other Protestant bodies; claiming (as do the Catholics) that there can be no true and authorized ministers competent and authorized to preach the Gospel without Episcopal ordination;--that all others are fraudulent pretenders. They are willing to fellowship as "clergymen" any Protestant ministers of good character who will submit to re-ordination at the hands of an Episcopal bishop, but no others.

In the light of these facts the following cablegram will be read with interest:--

"WAITS ON ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY."

ENGLISH ARCHBISHOP HESITATES IN SENDING DELEGATES.

"London, August 29.--Will the Archbishop of Canterbury, officially or otherwise, send a representative to the Ecumenical Methodist conference which opens Wednesday? This question, according to Bishop J. W. Hartzell, is attracting the attention of [R2882 : page 307] many of the delegates who are in London to attend this most important church meeting.

"The question is important," said the bishop, "because of the meaning which the outside world will place on the archbishop of Canterbury's action. Invitations were extended to all the churches to attend. Acceptances have been received from the Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians and the Salvation Army. The primate of all England, alone, has not been heard from. We anticipate that the conference will have an important bearing upon the future growth of the church. It ought to tend to increase fraternity, dissipate the remnants of antagonism and organize into unions the smaller bodies of the different continents. The aggressive propagation of Methodism will be carefully considered by the gathering."

The conference will sit for 12 days, and Bishop C. M. Galloway will preach the opening sermon. The American and Canadian delegates, who are here to attend the conference, number 300, while the English delegates number 200. Chile, Brazil and Mexico are represented in the conference for the first time.

On September 5th, the Archbishop of Canterbury replied to the invitation to the effect that he hoped soon to see all Methodists united to the Episcopal Church. The Conference refused to take any notice of the reply, or even to permit it to be read in conference; the reason assigned being that the Archbishop had ignored the Council in toto, in that he addressed his reply not to it, but to a newspaper editor. No doubt this was intentional--the Archbishop's position is such that to address the Council would be to recognize Methodism as "branch" of the Church of Christ, a thing which Episcopalianism has never yet done officially. However, this may raise a point to notice the settlement of which will solve the federation problem.


***

SCIENTISTS DUPED BY CLEVER TRICK PLAYED YEARS AGO.


MYSTERY OF FAMOUS PLIOCENE SKULL CLEARED BY PREACHER'S CONFESSION--BURIED AS A HOAX.

Los Angeles, Cal., Aug. 1.--The Rev. W. H. Dyer, an Episcopal clergyman of this city has confessed that the celebrated mystery of the human skull found in a gold mine in Calaveras County, Cal., in 1866, about which antiquarians have wrangled for 35 years and which inspired Bret Harte's poem, "To [R2882 : page 308] the Pliocene Skull," was buried as a joke to puzzle the men of science. Dyer says he was one of a coterie of jokers who knew of the scheme and who were greatly astonished at the noise it made in the scientific world. According to the story, R. C. Scribner, who kept a store in the camp, now Los Angeles, got an old Indian skull, went to the bottom of the shaft while the miners were away and buried the skull deep in the auriferous gravel. It was soon found and he assisted in having it sent on East to be submitted to geologists and authorities on the birth of the human species.

The result of the examination of the skull at Harvard University caused a great stir in the scientific world. The problem it presented was taken up by the Government, through the geological survey, and all the scientific publications gave columns of space to the speculations of the scholars.

Bret Harte declined to regard the discovery as a serious matter, and wrote the famous poem ridiculing the craze it had caused.

Scientists deserve our pity if not our sympathy. They have established scores of theories relative to the formation of the earth and of man upon it; and of course reject totally the Bible account of the creation of Adam in God's image six thousand years ago. They are on another track; they will read only the rocks, etc., and from them will get the truth. And they will accept as truth only such things as agree with their preconceived opinion, viz., that God did not create man in his own image--that he was evolved from a monkey by a "law of nature" which operates whether there is a Creator or overseer or not; and they greatly doubt if there is a personal God, and of course there could not be an impersonal one.

God's people need continually to remember the Bible's testimony, that although all the upward tendencies operating in the world to-day are of God and through more or less godly channels, yet "The world by wisdom knows not God." "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass her master's crib,"--but the natural man, if a "scientist," seems to know not his Creator. His self-confidence hinders his seeing the truth. Only "the meek will he guide in judgment and teach his way"--"the wise are taken [entrapped] in their own craftiness"--they are too wise to learn, too great to be "taught of God" through his word. Psa. 25:9; 1 Cor. 3:19.

The finding of an old bone some time ago created quite a stir. It was surely a proof of pre-adamite man--so gullible do scientists become in their search for the proofs to contradict the Bible. Of course a scientist with keen imagination could allow for certain abrasions and erosions, and could proceed to make an entire anatomy to conjecturally fit with the wonderful bone. The matter was quickly dropped afterward when the explanation came that it was found in a long abandoned wooden sewer leading from a butcher's place, and that it was the bone of an old sheep.

Likewise the finding of the skull above referred to was "wonderful!" Its owner must have lived thousands, if not millions of years before Adam's day; and this skull found embedded in the gravel of the Pliocene division of the Tertiary Period was absolute proof sufficient to tickle scientists. Surely if these great men could and would search as diligently and reason as astutely to uphold and corroborate the Bible's simple statements, they would be taught of God.

But their school will open by and by--during the Millennial reign of Christ and the church, who will be their instructors. Mark the great teacher's words: "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." Let us, as the Apostle urges, "humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt us in due time."--Luke 10:21; 1 Pet. 5:6.

THE JEWS AND THEIR PROSPECTS.


Mr. Zangwill, a Jewish writer of note, forecasts the future of fleshly Israel in considerable harmony with the prophetic delineation; but he fails utterly to recognize the divine power which, operating in and with Messiah's Kingdom, shall take hold of "Jacob" and lift up that people and use them as beacon-lights for the world. "Thus all Israel shall be delivered [from blindness], as it is written: There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer [the Christ--Jesus the head and the church his body] and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins....For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all."--Rom. 11:26-32.

Mr. Zangwill says in part:--

"I am not a prophet with a definite vision of the future of the Jews. No man can forecast the precise directions their activity will take in the twentieth century. I can only point out what the position of the Jews has been for the last nineteen centuries and some powerful forces which have just arisen and which will undoubtedly mold them during the present century.

"One thing seems increasingly probable--that the Jews will return in increasing numbers to Palestine, their old and never-forgotten home. By the year 2000 A.D. I don't see why there shouldn't be 2,000,000 Jews inhabiting the land, transforming it into a garden of beauty and fertility and supplying it with harbors and railways, with a government of their own, which will be the model government of the world. I am firmly convinced that the mission of the Jews is this: To be a people set on a hill--Zion's Hill--whose social, political, agricultural and religious condition will be the moral beacon light of the world. From the laws of that community other nations will learn to govern wisely. From her social condition other nations will learn the science of sociology. From her spiritual supremacy other nations will learn the real meaning of religion. In short, I believe the hope of humanity lies in the development of the Jewish race after its return to Palestine.

"From the time of Christ until about this generation the outside world knew practically nothing of the life and work of the Jews. For long centuries the Jew was persecuted by Christian and Pagan in every country, and this very fact led to the preservation of [R2883 : page 309] his individuality. Frowned upon everywhere, the Jews grew closer to one another, intermarried among themselves, and had comparatively little intercourse with the outside world. And this was their salvation.

"Recently, however, the absolute freedom granted them in almost all civilized countries has tended to destroy their identity as a race. They are no longer bound to one another by the strongest ties in the world--those of persecution--but have mingled with the general community, and the Jew is to-day seeking his own interests, financial or social, largely forgetful of his fellow Jews. The common idea that all Jews work unselfishly for each other is no longer true. They have imbibed the paganism of your so-called Christian nations, and every man is trying to get the better of the other. Five years ago this condition was absolutely alarming. It appeared as though the Jewish race would shortly become merged with other races and disappear altogether, after its wonderful preservation during 3,000 years.

"My hopes for the race lie largely in the Zionist movement, whether in its direct or indirect effects. Under the enthusiastic guidance of Dr. Herzl, it is making steady progress. Its first object is to raise sufficient money to obtain the Land of Palestine from the Sultan, under whose suzerainty the movement would be carried out. Already about a million dollars has been contributed to this fund, and every city and almost every village in the world has its band of enthusiastic Zionists.

"This money has not been contributed by the rich Jews generally, but by the poorer classes of Jews. The rich take little interest in the scheme. They are often men who have the bent for mere money-making and have largely lost their patriotism. They stand at the top of the social ladder in the world's chief centers of activity; their position is secure; they have nothing to gain by reclaiming Palestine, and seem to care little for the plan. This, however, does not in the least dampen the enthusiasm of the ardent Zionists. Money is fast coming in from every quarter of the globe, and it is believed that in a few years there will be a sufficient sum to accomplish our desires. Then, having gained possession of the land, we should not be so foolish as to rush great numbers of uneducated, unskilled Jews into the country, but would use Jewish shrewdness in sending skilled agriculturists, carpenters, merchants and men and women generally who, under the guidance of practical idealists, would form a sound basis of the model community that is to be.

"Finally, I think the world is daily coming round to the Jewish conception of life. Christianity has proved a failure. Look at the Christian nations to-day warring against one another like savages. What a spectacle is presented by the allied armies in China! The battle of the future is between the old Judaism and the new paganism. A sense of justice is what the world needs to-day--such justice as was preached and foretold by the great Jewish prophets; and I believe it will be left to the Jewish race--whether as a model community in Palestine or as a spiritual army scattered over the world--to supply this need and to make justice supreme in the hearts of men."

HATRED AGAINST THE JEWS IN GREAT BRITAIN.


In every nation of Europe except Great Britain the Jews have suffered persecution, and labor under more or less restriction of privileges. As we have already pointed out from the Scriptures, fleshly Israel is to suffer yet more--"the time of Jacob's trouble" is to last up to the very close of the "day of vengeance" when they shall be delivered by the setting up of the Kingdom. This persecution, we believe, will extend to all nations--our own included-- and will tend to still further cause the Jews to long for the Land of Promise and the good things foretold for them under Messiah's Kingdom. We quote a cablegram as follows:--

"London.--Anti-semitism is on the verge of open and widespread outbreak in England, according to Isaac Suwalsky, editor of 'The Jew,' an influential East End Yiddish newspaper. He asserts that daily attacks are made on poor Jews in the streets of the Whitechapel district, and that symptoms of hatred toward the Jews exist even among the highest political and social classes in the kingdom.

"He says that unless this feeling is promptly and forcibly bridled Judaism in Great Britain is threatened with persecution outrivaling anything in Russia, France, Austria or Germany.

RACIAL PREJUDICE PLAIN.

"The symptoms to which the editor refers have become alarmingly common in the London Ghetto. During the last three months the Whitechapel police courts have been regularly called upon to punish persons for assaults on Jewish peddlers and householders. Several 'Jew hunts' have lately occurred on the highways in this district. Testimony in most of the cases proved that racial prejudice was the sole cause of attack, the victims being industrious, law-abiding residents, frequently inoffensive youths.

"When the outbreaks fail to take the form of injury or robbery the persecution assumes a terrorizing character. The policemen who guard the crossings are kept busy rebuking truck drivers and 'busmen guilty of hounding Jews with brutal taunts and of making deliberate attempts to run them down.

BOTH PARTIES ACCUSED.

"'Anti-semitism is aggressively intrenched in the United Kingdom. It reaches from the slums to the Whitechapel office of the prime minister. Both political parties are deliberately pledged to it. The conservatives espouse it under the guise of immigration reform. The liberals employ it when they persistently and venomously charge that the Boer war is being waged at the behest of Hebrew capitalists. Jewish candidates belonging to both political parties in all parts of London were fought throughout the late general election by means of placards petitioning the people, 'Don't elect a Jew.'

"'When anti-semitism gains full momentum in England there will be sad hours for the Jews in this country, where liberty of action and speech are so pronounced that the passions of the populace can only be controlled with difficulty. [R2883 : page 310]

SENTIMENT OF RICH AND POOR.


"'There is at present more hatred of Jews in the West End of London than in the East End. The roughs of Whitechapel are Jew baiters for amusement. The cultured people of Downing street and Park Lane are anti-semites by conviction.

"'Down here the Jews are suffering from the country's excessive patriotism. Because most of us wear beards we are called 'Kruger' by the Hooligans of the neighborhood. I am ashamed to confess that some highly placed personages of our own faith are largely responsible for the coming crusade. They are so wrapped up in the pursuit of titles that they have little time for and less interest in the amelioration of the condition of their pauperized brethren in the East End.

"'There has as yet been no bloodshed in Whitechapel on account of the race animosities inspired at present by distinguished supporters. However, anti-semitism in London may soon reach that stage.'"

TO ABOLISH PRAYER MEETINGS.


The pastors of the Christian churches of Kansas City, at a meeting recently, adopted a resolution, declaring it to be their sense that the mid-week prayer meeting, as it is conducted in a majority of Protestant churches, has outlived its usefulness, and appointed a committee to prepare and report a program for such meetings which shall be more modern in its character and better calculated to meet the needs of present day church people.

Dr. George H. Combs, pastor of the Prospect Avenue Christian Church, who brought the subject up, and at whose suggestion the committee was appointed, declared that he thought the age had outgrown the old-fashioned prayer meeting. He said: "The prayer meeting was perfectly adapted to the needs of the time which brought it into existence, but that time has long been past. The best men's lives have now become so full of other things that they cannot be induced to come out and spend an evening in prayer."

No minister who took part in the discussion that followed this somewhat advanced statement dissented from any part of it. The remarks of each indicated that he had only been waiting for an opportune moment to so express himself.

The above is a significant sign of the times. The Christian that neglects prayer cannot live the Christian life--cannot "walk as He walked"--the narrow way to glory, honor, and immortality. And congregations composed of praying people could neither desire nor afford to abandon prayer meetings, which perhaps more than any other kind of meetings have been blessed of God to the keeping alive of the spiritual few among the cold and dead nominal professors of Babylon for lo these many years.

Yet it is a good movement--it will work out blessings for those who really love the Lord; for it will open their eyes to the deadness of Babylon and lead them to give closer ear to the Lord's message, "Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues"--soon to come in a great time of trouble.--Rev. 18:4.

On the contrary we urge that amongst those who read this journal and are interested in the harvest message, prayer and testimony be given an increasingly prominent place--such as it held in the primitive church. The injunction to watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation, is applicable to each individual Christian, but specially applicable to them as a company, as a church, as we are entering the hour of temptation that shall test all that dwell upon the whole earth.--Rev. 3:10.

The Allegheny church has six such meetings every Wednesday evening in the homes of the friends in different parts; and it is specially noticeable that those who love and attend these meetings, while probably no less tempted and tried than others, are much [R2884 : page 310] less likely to fall into the snares of the Adversary than those who neglect them. Usually at least four prayers are offered and most of the time devoted to hearing testimonies respecting the Lord's providences and their experiences during the week (up to date testimonies) especially along the lines of the previous Sunday afternoon's discourse at Bible House chapel. These are so profitable that we wish all might enjoy them. They are open to all, but though none are urged, nearly all take part and thus both give and receive a blessing.

Recently we have adopted the plan of having one meeting each month devoted almost exclusively to prayer and praise--voluntary prayers being called for by the leader, two at a time, until all present have had full opportunity to address the throne of grace--interspersed with praise, and with opportunity for two or three short testimonies in the middle of the meeting. The results are excellent. Whoever addresses the Lord from a sincere heart is sure to have a blessing.

Brethren, let us watch and pray, in the congregations of the saints and in private, more zealously than ever, as we approach the dark hour of earth's great trial. No other ground is safe. This has the Master's approval and example.


[R2890 : page 310]

THE COSTLY PEARL.


The pearl of greatest price I sought.
Alas! I sought, but found it not.
The hours of work and sleep were wasted,
The fruits of pleasure passed untasted,
And still with eager zeal I hasted,
The charms of fortune to entice
With some new gift or sacrifice.

Until, one sad, discouraged day,
A spirit, meek and quiet, lay
Upon my brow a hand restraining,
It smoothed away my lips complaining,
Upon my brow a hand restraining;
And while I joyed in perfect rest,
I held the gem, of all the best.
R. B. Henninges.



[R2884 : page 311]

CLEVELAND CONVENTION ECHOES.


EVEN AT the risk of seeming repetition we must say that this last General Convention quite surpassed all of its predecessors;--in numbers, interest and enthusiasm.

About 500 WATCH TOWER readers met, many for the first time, and the feast of soul was delightful. Nine of the "Pilgrim" brethren were present and, with the Editor of this journal, delivered most of the fifteen addresses, to most attentive hearers. The Convention was in constant session from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M., except intermissions for refreshments, from Thursday noon, Sept. 12, to Sunday night, Sept. 15. It closed with a love-feast at which seven Pilgrims and five brethren representing the Cleveland church in one hand presented a broken loaf, shared symbolically, while with the other they received and gave parting greetings as the congregation filed past them.

It was good to be there. Those present will probably never forget its spiritual joys and uplifts. The principal attendance was at the Sunday afternoon session, when some one who counted reported 823 in attendance. The next largest attendance was on Saturday at 3 P.M., when after a discourse on baptism--its proper form and real significance--twenty-five brethren and forty-one sisters (total 66) symbolized full consecration by water immersion;--the ages of the participants ranging from 22 to 70 years. The occasion was a deeply impressive one, both to participants and witnesses.

Those in attendance came from every quarter;-- from Nova Scotia, Ontario and Montana on the north, to Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas on the south, and especially from the intermediate States--about sixteen in all being represented.

A colporteurs' meeting showed 23 in attendance, while about 30 new ones expressed the intention of giving all, or a portion of their time hereafter to colporteuring, and took lessons from expert brethren and sisters in an ante-room. This is one of the features of this harvest work which the Lord has been pleased to specially bless in leading his people out of darkness into his marvelous light. The meeting indicated a renewed zeal along this line of the service. Others may be contemplating such service and we invite correspondence respecting methods and territory; say what territory you would prefer.

Our hope is that the considerable expense entailed by such conventions (railway fare, etc.) will be more than compensated for in the spiritual blessings which will surely go with those in attendance to their neighborhoods, and especially to the various smaller congregations of the saints. May the Lord add his blessing to the efforts put forth by the Cleveland Church and by all in attendance.



[R2884 : page 311]

THE IMPENDING INDUSTRIAL CRISIS.


JOHN SWINTON, widely known as a writer upon labor conditions and prospects, sums up his recent cogitations in an article in the New York Herald. We make some quotations that will be of interest to all who have read Millennial Dawn Vol. IV. He says, under the above caption:--

"We may have stormy times in our country before the twentieth century has gone far. We may see some apocalyptic illustrations of the workings of that industrial Revolution which is now transforming our body politic into "something new and strange" and which is bringing about organic changes in our Republic, our Commonwealth, and our social system, by means both visible and invisible, through agencies containing the 'promise and potency' of a kind of development not to be foreseen. We may yet see that gigantic modern power called Capital and those immeasurable latter day forces grouped under the name of Labor engaged in performances of large interest and concern to the American people.

"Already there are signs and omens not to be disregarded, and more of them are coming in sight all the time, as we whirl along.

"There are other things than the great labor revolts of our time, so numerous, so continuous, so disquieting and so portentous, which prompt me to write these words.

"Those of the readers of the Herald who can recall the years that immediately preceded the election of Mr. Lincoln will be able here to make comparisons of a suggestive character. They do not need to be told in how far the passions, the contentions and the menaces of that portentous period resemble those that have come into existence of late years through the discord between the great wielders of capital and the millions of workers for wages, and through the ceaseless strain of both parties in the strenuous struggle. As forty years ago each party declared that it would 'never submit or yield,' so now again the defiant words are heard in the contentious camps.

"But I shall refrain from further suggestions in this line, as I recall the passions and the events that stirred our country forty or more years ago and that led up to the other years, never to be forgotten. Let warning be taken while yet it may. And let it be said of the present writer in days to come that he was an 'alarmist' at the opening of the twentieth century, as was another man in the year 1859, when he wrote 'The Impending Crisis,' a crisis for slavery which came so unexpectedly in less than two years after Mr. Helper's book was printed.

"The magnitude of the labor revolts that have broken out within a year has never been paralleled in any other time or country. I need not speak of those of the many building trades, the coal miners, the machinists, the San Francisco unions, the factory hands, the clothiers, the steel workers, or a hundred lesser industries. By the estimate of an expert, who has kept count as nearly as possible, it would seem that not far from a million wage workers have 'gone on strike' during the last twelve-month; and [R2884 : page 312] this, of course, signifies that a much greater number of other people have been disturbed or have suffered in consequence.

"No wonder that a foreign writer, in reviewing the situation, gives his essay such a headline as 'The Industrial Anarchy in the United States.' The importance, the gravity, the passionateness and the significance of some of the strikes have been very great. They have affected business, trade, Wall street, the markets, politics, and the daily life and welfare of large masses of our people. They have brought heavy losses to many of the parties concerned in them; they have rent many schemes and crippled many enterprises; they have caused bankruptcies; they have been the source of woes unnumbered; they have wrecked lives and broken hearts; have sent men and women to the poorhouse, the madhouse and the graveyard....

"Notwithstanding the magnitude and the multitude of the convulsing strikes, it is altogether likely that they will become yet greater, more numerous and more convulsing as the industrial and financial powers advance in their development. The forces now in operation by which they are promoted are very sure to increase in strength and momentum as time goes on. A generation ago but a few hundred men used to take part in a strike; some time afterward thousands of men would go out on strike; nowadays hundreds of thousands of men join in a strike, and, moreover, a score of different trades in as many States sometimes 'back up' one trade during a strike, while the great body of organized workers sympathize with the strikers, even if they do not always enter into a 'sympathetic strike.' Looking at the [R2885 : page 312] growth of labor unionism everywhere, and in nearly all industries, it is not difficult to make forecasts, applicable to the years that are not far off.

"The domination of unlicensed capitalism and the existence of labor unionism are at stake in these contests.

"It is to be remarked here that the many and great strikes of recent times have been almost wholly free from violence or riotous conduct on the part of the workmen, though the militia have sometimes been called out in the name of the law, as at Buffalo and Troy. The strikes may be properly characterized as 'peaceful revolts.' Passion has run high in some cases at times, but self-restraint has kept it within safe bounds. Every organization, when its members go on strike, always declares that its desire is to secure success in a peaceful and orderly manner; and there can be no doubt that this desire is sincere, for its sincerity has been made manifest by circumstances beyond enumeration. Any suggestion of offering resistance to law is sure to be denounced, as are any unlawful means of gaining an object. Were this otherwise the formidable labor revolts of our day would be a terror indeed.

MOMENTOUS PROJECT OF MEN ARMING.

"A short time ago, however, when the great strike of the steel workers got under headway, the Herald startled the country by printing a despatch from West Virginia that the first military company ever formed by a labor union had been organized at Wheeling by Crescent Lodge, Amalgamated Association. Here, at last, it looked as if there were occasion for both alarm and amazement. One seemed to catch sight of armed and uniformed hordes of steel workers in full array, stalwart men, twice a hundred thousand of them, three times stronger than the regular army of the United States. It is true that the report, after telling that the labor soldiers were 'not to be in any way under the control of the State,' said that they were organized only for self-defence and the protection of property; but that could hardly be regarded as consoling by those people who hold their property under the protection of the State which the Amalgamated Military Company had refused to recognize. There seemed to be something like amalgamated humor in the Crescent report from Wheeling. But soon after the appearance of the first despatch the Herald printed another, which gave the information that, on account of the excitement created by the first report, Crescent Lodge had resolved to postpone the organization of the military company till the steel strike was ended.

"The interest in the original report, however, has not been diminished, for it is now known that the Crescent Lodge, at Wheeling, is not the only one that has taken the subject under consideration, and that other labor organizations in different parts of the country have done likewise. They claim that the 'right of the people to keep and bear arms' is guaranteed by the constitution, and that, as the working-men are the 'bone and sinew of the country,' the constitutional right cannot be denied to them.

"It would be foolishness to ignore such things, since the publication of the startling Wheeling despatch in the Herald. The news, however, does not convey a menace to any man's rights. It is quite undisturbing; not at all dangerous in a democratic republic.

"The members of workingmen's organizations are often trained and disciplined to some extent, after the manner of the militia, as may be seen on Labor Day. They drill for their parades; they are proud of their appearance on the march; they follow their flags; they pay honor to the union that makes the best show, and they are also to have experience in athletic exercises.

"At this point it may be mentioned that a good number of trade unions, especially of those in the Western States, have recently prohibited their members from joining the regular State militia, under pain of expulsion, and the reason given for this action is that the State troops are used 'in the interest of capitalism,' against the labor element, and in the suppression of justifiable strikes. It is a fact, nevertheless, that, at least in Pennsylvania and Illinois, the State militia have, on several occasions, suffered from the charge of being unduly sympathetic with labor in the case of a strike....

"Before closing my remarks, I would make note of one thing that undoubtedly has an influence in disturbing the mind of the commonalty in these times. I refer to the oft repeated public reports of [R2885 : page 313] the stupendous incomes of certain great trusts, flamboyant millionaires, banking institutions, big corporations, stock speculators, market riggers and indescribables. To go no further back than the current month, we have had in August such figures of the dividends of the Standard Oil Company, and the revenues of the billion dollar Steel Trust, and the 'earnings' of at least one of our banks, and the incomes of some of our heavy investors or operators; such figures, I repeat, as might well 'make humanity stagger' and cause Croesus to take to the woods.

"To the ordinary mind, these reports, even when trustworthy or official, are inexplicable, incomprehensible and bewildering. Never before, in all time, did the golden stream, the millions and the billions, roll so rapidly as now, rolling into treasuries so vast that they could not be compassed in a day's march by all the labor unions in America. The ordinary mind is apt to become excited in reading about them every day, and to ask why it is necessary to cut down anybody's wages, even if he gets two or three dollars a day, and joins a union to keep them up.

"The news of the latest dividend of the billion dollar Trust was printed simultaneously with other news of strikes, more strikes, and yet other strikes. Can any one be surprised that even thoughtless people are led to indulge in thinking?

"I am asked to make a guess as to the outcome of all these big passionate and ominous labor revolts, which are constantly growing in magnitude, momentum and force. I can't do it. I cannot see how they are to be prevented or put down without a change of circumstances so great as to be unthinkable, or without a change in bodies of men who are beyond reason, or without some kind of change in the relation between capital and labor. It is possible that there may be something in the theory of 'spontaneous generation,' and that it will work out all right in the end, regardless of the lesser movements of either of the belligerents. I can't tell, nor can Mr. Morgan. It would certainly be bad business to use the regular army or the State militia against masses of men striking for life. It would certainly be poor policy to carry 'government by injunction' further than it can be enforced. It is surely folly to abuse and threaten organized labor in the interest of organized capital at periods of storm and stress consequent upon an industrial and social transformation, when our country is passing out of the old into the new and the unknown."



[R2885 : page 313]

IN THE SCHOOL OF ADVERSITY.
--GEN. 39:20-40:15.--OCT. 13.--

"For God was with Joseph, and showed him mercy."
AS THE FAVORED child of his beloved wife, Rachel, Joseph was no doubt esteemed by his father as the special inheritor of the Abrahamic promises. He remembered his own experiences, and how the divine favor had come to him, making him an heir of that promise; and doubtless he had, to a greater or less extent, communicated these hopes and promises to all of his sons, and especially to Joseph, his favored one. Joseph's dreams, which so angered his brethren, must have appealed to him and to his father as rather an intimation on God's part of his pre-eminence. It must therefore have caused great disappointment and chagrin to Joseph, first to find himself in the pit, and his strong cryings and tears unheard both by his brethren and the Lord. It must have been a source of bitter disappointment and chagrin when he found himself sold to the Ishmaelites, to be a slave. But however disappointing these circumstances we can see that they were profitable experiences, tending to develop in him a proper character, if rightly accepted--to develop patience, obedience, trust.

There are good lessons in Joseph's experiences for all who are hoping to be heirs of the spiritual features of this same Abrahamic covenant,--joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord. (Gal. 3:29.) The promise is sure, and the privilege of inheriting is ours; but in order that we may be prepared for that service and its responsibilities it is needful that we should learn lessons of humility, patience, faith, endurance. Our Lord, the head of this "Seed of Abraham," endured such contradiction of sinners, and trials and testings, and learned obedience to the Father's will even unto death,--although he was perfect, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. Much more does it seem necessary that we who are called to be "members of his body" should pass through severe testings and trials, to be fitted and prepared for the glory that shall follow.

Arrived in Egypt, the Lord's blessing was upon Joseph in a remarkable manner, in that he was sold [R2886 : page 313] as a slave to a wealthy master. We have little insight into Joseph's previous history, but apparently he was a remarkable boy when he entered Potiphar's house at seventeen years of age. His manliness and sedateness and faithfulness to duty and quick intelligence were a good inheritance from his father, who had earnestly desired his birth;--which was, indeed, in answer to prayer. He evidently inherited considerable of his father's faith, benevolence and executive ability, and as a result rose rapidly in Potiphar's house to a position of great responsibility, to have charge over all his master's affairs. We cannot doubt that the boy's mind frequently reverted to his father and brethren, and his dreams, and to the Abrahamic covenant. Unquestionably he believed in those promises, and doubtless often wondered how they would be fulfilled,--what would be the leadings of divine providence in his affairs. His faith in God, his trust in the promises, served to separate him from the evil influences connected with that sudden transfer of his life from the pasture fields of Canaan to the busy scenes and luxuries and pleasures and sins of one of the greatest cities in the world at that time, a capital of the most renowned nation in that day.

So it is with every life; there is need of an ideal, of a hope, of a good ambition, to act as a ballast and to keep the life steady in the midst of the divers winds [R2886 : page 314] and currents of the present evil world. The boy or the girl who has had a proper training by godly parents, especially in respect to the hopes set before us in the gospel, has much advantage every way over youthful companions who have no specific object and motive in life, who lack the ballast of the divine promises, and are driven hither and thither by the changing winds of time, generally into folly and often into sin, in search of satisfaction, which all crave. Christian parents who have been derelict of duty toward their children cannot too quickly correct the fault and help them to settle their minds upon the only things that can bring them true peace and joy and satisfaction, and balance, in the storms of life.

But if Joseph thought he had learned all the necessary lessons of experience, and that his course henceforth would be one of prosperity, he was mistaken. Divine providence had marked out for him a higher station than that of chief overseer of the household affairs and business of General Potiphar; and if his station was to be a higher one, likewise also he must receive further lessons in a still severer school, in order to be prepared for the still greater exaltation in due time. Suddenly, while evidently enjoying his master's confidence and his mistress' favor, calamity came upon him, and that through no fault of his own, but really because of his faithfulness to his master. He was falsely accused by Potiphar's spited wife. He was cast into prison; and this expression, "prison," meant and still means something entirely different in Egypt and all eastern countries from what it means in Europe and America. There prisons were dark, loathsome, terrible places; and prisoners were frequently horribly mistreated, bound in iron fetters, etc. That this was Joseph's treatment, at first, seems evident from a reference to the matter in Psalm 105:18: "Whose feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in iron." This must have been a severe trial to Joseph, a doubly bitter experience by reason of the hopes he had been entertaining respecting divine favor and future exaltation.

And so it is with the spiritual heirs of the Abrahamic promises: sometimes, while in the discharge of duty to the best of our ability, and when apparently we have the Lord's blessing and favor upon us and our affairs in a most marked degree, suddenly trouble may arise, adversity come, the powers of darkness seem to triumph, and for the moment we may be apparently culprits in the judgment of our fellow-men, and apparently forsaken by divine providence. The only consolation in such conditions is that we have suffered wrongfully--"as deceivers, yet true." Such experiences, doubtless, are needful to us; for though we may sing:--

"I would rather walk in the dark with God,
Than go alone in the light,"

yet this might be but an empty boast unless we were put through the trying experiences which would develop such faith, such a trust, as would hold to the Lord's hand, and trust divine providence in the darkest hour. We are to learn to walk by faith, and not by sight, to trust our Lord where we cannot trace him.

Joseph's faith evidently stood the test, and his nobility of character shone out even under those adverse conditions; and this became a sign to the master of the prison that the Lord was with Joseph, that he was a peculiarly exemplary and wise young man-- now twenty-seven years old. The warden of the prison was anxious to have such a faithful servant to assist him in his work. Indeed, there is always room in this world for efficient men and women, and the most efficient are those in whom is the spirit of the Lord, and who have "the wisdom which cometh from above--first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits." (James 3:17.) The prison keeper doubtless was actuated by selfish motives to favor Joseph and put him in charge of the prisoners. But no matter for this; it was the operation of divine providence, nevertheless, and not merely Joseph's abilities that secured for him the position. However, we are to note that those whom God specially favors, and specially uses, must have character. A rough diamond may not look better than an ordinary pebble, but it has something of firmness and purity about it that ordinary pebbles do not have, that justifies the cutting and polishing and ultimate mounting as a gem. So we are to remember that while all our blessings are of the Lord and through Christ, nevertheless we have something to do in the matter of "making our calling and election sure"; we must have the love, the devotion, the zeal for God and for righteousness; and not only must we have this character, but we must have the submission which will enable us to accept and profit by the various trials of faith and patience which divine providence sees proper to permit us to experience for the trimming and polishing of the jewel.

Not only were Joseph's experiences as a slave and as a prisoner calculated to give him a sympathy for those in adversity, but additionally he was learning lessons of experience and wisdom, educational in their character, which would prepare him in time to stand before King Pharaoh and to be made his Prime Minister. Some of these experiences he gained in the prison, as related in this lesson. The prisoners at that time were not all culprits, but sometimes the subjects of the king's displeasure. Two such persons high in Pharaoh's household (the "butler" or cup-bearer to the king, being one of the highest officers in honor and trust, and the baker, the manager of the king's culinary department, and general steward of the household) were cast into the same prison with Joseph because of having in some manner offended the king; and as Joseph had by this time chief charge of the prisoners he must have come frequently and into intimate contact with these men, so well versed in the affairs of the kingdom. And under the circumstances they would undoubtedly be communicative to Joseph, as we may be sure he was receptive to all the information obtainable. They must have thought him a very different sort of prisoner from others of that time when he even noticed so small a matter as sadness upon their faces, and enquired considerately respecting the same. So all of the spiritual heirs of the Abrahamic promise, while passing through the trials and difficulties needful to their preparation and polishing for the future glory, must learn to be compassionate. "Blessed are the merciful; they shall obtain mercy." Their own experiences help to mollify [R2886 : page 315] their hearts, and make them tender-hearted toward all who are in trouble. All of the Lord's people should be peculiar in these respects--"full of mercy and good fruits."

Joseph's expression of sympathy soon brought from the prisoners an explanation of their sadness-- they had each dreamed on the previous night, and each was troubled, thinking that his dream foreboded evil. Joseph was blessed by the Lord with some intuitive understanding of dreams, and promptly gave their interpretation--one of the officers would in a short time be released, while the other would be executed; and having sympathized with the one who would suffer, and having congratulated the one who would be released, Joseph made request of the latter that in his coming days of prosperity he would remember him and his kindness, and if possible secure his release through the king's mercy.

Joseph's two dreams, and now these two dreams of the butler and baker, and two subsequent dreams by Pharaoh, all give evidence of having been in some manner divinely inspired, and intended to exercise certain influences and to bring about certain results. In our accepting these for all that they were, we are not to be understood as endorsing the thought that every dream is of the Lord, or is to have a special prophetic or providential fulfilment. Quite to the contrary, we believe that the majority of dreams are mental fictions, the result frequently of disordered stomachs and of the brain being partly asleep and partly awake, producing often unreasonable and absurd images, without special meaning except as warnings for better care in respect to our eating. We may even go further than this, and say that we feel sure that there is still a third kind of dreams,--dreams of a still [R2887 : page 315] different origin--neither inspired by the Lord nor by indigestion, but by evil spirits, for the purpose of misleading the dreamer. To make sure that our dreams are not the inspiration of evil we must make sure that we are not the children of the Evil One, but that having renounced sin and fled for refuge to the hope set before us in the Gospel, we have, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus our Lord, obtained adoption into the family of God, and thus obtained relationship to him and protection from the power of the Evil One, and his delusions as respects our affairs; and come under the gracious promise that "all things shall work together for good" to us because we love God and have been called according to his purpose. In the dreams mentioned in this connection we are to notice that those of the butler and baker and Pharaoh were not the dreams of God's people, but nevertheless were evidently inspired of him, and that the purposes of these dreams were not specially in the interest of the dreamers, but largely in the interest of Joseph.

As respects the Lord's people of to-day, there is much less necessity for dreams than in olden times. We have the Word of God--God's testimony bearing upon every subject needful to us. This message is so complete that the Apostle could say that by it the man of God might be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work. (2 Tim. 3:16,17.) This should not hinder us from recognizing a dream as from the Lord, provided it would stand the tests of the written Word--provided the dream was not in any sense in conflict with God's revelation in the Scriptures. If the dream be in conflict with the Scriptures we are to reject the dream. If we find it in harmony with the Scriptures we are to accept it because of that harmony, and merely allow it to draw our attention more particularly to the Scriptures with which it accords. But whether by dreams or walking by faith entirely, and not by sight or dreams in any particular, the true child of God, the heir of the spiritual promises to Abraham, is to look for, to expect, to find, to realize, more fully even than our Golden Text says of Joseph, that "the Lord was with him, and showed him mercy." If the Lord be with us and show mercy toward us, no matter how he may do this, we are to take his favor with grateful hearts, and to show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, and who eventually will bring us out of the prison-house of death into the glories of the everlasting Kingdom, to joint-heirship with his Son.



[R2887 : page 315]

"FOR GOD WAS WITH HIM."

GEN. 41:38-49.--OCT. 20.

"Them that honor me, I will honor."--1 Sam. 2:30.
DIVINE FAVOR was the secret of Joseph's success, as it has been the secret of the success of all who have attained true greatness in the world. In previous ages true success was more or less identified with earthly prosperity, riches and power; but during this Gospel age--the spirit dispensation --true success and divine favor stand related to spiritual prosperity, attainments and usefulness, as exemplified in our Lord Jesus, in the Apostles, and in the less prominent servants of the Cross from their day until now. The principle is the same, though the mode of operation is different. Adversity is still the school in which the chief lessons in character-building are to be learned--in which the correct ideals of life are to be formed, and ultimately to be crystalized into fixed character. The story of Joseph's experiences, which in this lesson culminate in great advancement and blessing, illustrates the fact that God has to do not only with the shaping of national affairs, but also with the individual affairs of all who are "called according to his purpose," and who are seeking to live up to the requirements and conditions of that call.

It was probably because Joseph had some basis of character that the Lord chose to use him to prepare the way for his family to come into Egypt, etc. And we may be sure that had he proven neglectful of the lessons and experiences through which he passed the Lord would have changed or modified his dealings accordingly. As it was, the Lord's favors and blessings were evidently bestowed upon a worthy character, which, so far as we may judge from the record, responded obediently and trustfully in every trial. That Joseph's faith in the Lord was the basis [R2887 : page 316] of his strength of character, fidelity to duty and to principle, there is no reason to question. Had he doubted the Lord's providence in his own case, as foreshadowed in his own dreams, he would have been inclined to say to his two princely prisoners, when they related their dreams, as recorded in the last lesson, that they should have no confidence in dreams, for he had proven their unreliableness to his own bitter chagrin, having dreamed of power and influence, and having received, instead, degradation, slavery, and imprisonment. But he evidently still believed in his dreams, still expected release in some manner, and believed that the Lord was overruling in his affairs.

Such a trust and confidence in the Almighty Ruler, as our Heavenly Father, is still more appropriate in us, the spiritual heirs of the Abrahamic promise; because we have much advantage every way over Joseph and others of our predecessors, who were heirs of only the natural blessings. Those who lived before Christ, no matter how high their station, at the very most were members of the "house of servants," while we of this Gospel age are freely recognized of God as sons, members of the "house of sons," of which our Lord Jesus is the Head. The sons not only are granted, through the holy spirit, deeper and clearer insight into the divine plan, but much advantage every way over the house of servants and over the world in general. Yet as with Joseph and the typical throne of Egypt, it is not sufficient that we should be favored of God and called to joint-heirship in the Kingdom of earth; but it is necessary that we shall prove submissive and tractable under his disciplines and instructions; that we may be "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." It is necessary especially that our faith should be strong, and to this end that it should be tried, that it may be to the praise of his glory who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Joseph's confidence in his ultimate deliverance, and the fulfilment of God's promise, did not hinder him from doing all he could in a proper manner to effect his own deliverance. We notice how, after kindly treating the imprisoned butler, explaining his dream for him, and rejoicing with him in the prosperity intimated, he solicited that when the prince would again be in royal favor he would kindly remember that his comforter, Joseph, was still in prison, and if possible secure the royal pardon for him. It was proper that he should thus take reasonable steps toward his own liberty, and no doubt the two years longer that he remained in prison brought testings of his faith, of his trust in the Lord; for the butler seems to have forgotten him entirely when his prosperity returned. However, in all this, as we can now see, the Lord was caring for him. He was learning the lessons of patient endurance, of suffering for righteousness' sake, of faith in the Lord. Had he been released by royal decree and set at liberty, he might have gone back to hunt up his father and his brethren in Palestine; or he might have gotten immersed in business of some kind in Egypt; but under divine providence he was kept safely in prison, learning necessary lessons, until he was thirty years of age; and it was at this time that Pharaoh the king, having had two remarkable dreams, which seriously impressed themselves upon his mind, and having consulted the wise man of Egypt, could find no satisfactory solution for them. It was then that the butler bethought him of his own dream while in the prison, and of the wonderful young man there who had interpreted it so accurately, and whose kindness he had so quickly forgotten. Here was an opportunity of serving the king and serving his prisoner-friend; so he mentioned Joseph to Pharaoh in most complimentary terms. Thus we see illustrated the fact that kindnesses done to others, even though they seem to be quickly forgotten, may possibly return in blessing on our own heads later on, and be used of the Lord as channels of blessing.

Pharaoh called for the prisoner, and the explanation of his dreams was so thoroughly satisfactory that he could not doubt their truthfulness, and corroborated by the testimony of the butler, he concluded that Joseph's ability as an interpreter resided in the fact that God was with him; that God was using him; and that in some manner or other the God who had given these dreams, and such an interpretation to so remarkable a young man, would be pleased to bless and to use his servant still further in connection with the precautions to be taken to avert the severity of the famine predicted. Pharaoh was possessed of autocratic power, and was at liberty to exalt whom he would to authority in his kingdom, and very wisely he concluded that none could be more safe to trust than the one whom the Almighty trusted and made his friend;--the one to whom and through whom he revealed the secrets of knowledge. There is a lesson [R2888 : page 316] of wisdom here for the Lord's people and for all--to the effect that although the Lord's people may not be perfect, it is safer, in an emergency, to trust those whom the Lord has trusted than any others.

Joseph was at once made what we to-day would call Prime Minister of Egypt. He was the representative of Pharaoh, and as such had greater power than any monarch or Prime Minister of Europe, except the Czar of Russia and the Sultan of Turkey or their representatives. Many have inclined to doubt the possibility of such an exaltation from prison to second place in the throne; but such are not sufficiently familiar with the customs of eastern countries. A story, for instance, is told of the Sultan of Turkey, that one day having a severe toothache, and his usual dentist being absent from the city, his servants were sent to get any dentist they could find. They found one in comparative poverty, clothed him suitably to be presented to the Sultan, who, after he had performed the service, gave him the title and emoluments of Pasha, with both a city and a country residence, wealth, etc. Joseph's experience was not much more extreme than this. Doubtless, though the narrative does not show it, some explanations were offered respecting his previous character as Potiphar's servant, and as the trusty overseer in prison; satisfying Pharaoh's mind that he was an honorable man, worthy of confidence and trust, besides the attestations of divine favor. So there is likely to be in all of our affairs a time of change, in which, if we have been misunderstood and misrepresented, the truth will ultimately be brought forth, as the Lord [R2888 : page 317] declares, "He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday." (Psa. 37:6.) We are to wait patiently for the Lord, and to take patiently such experiences as his providences may mark out for us, questioning not the wisdom, the love and the power of him with whom we have to do --of him who has promised that all things shall work for our everlasting welfare, if we abide faithful to him.

Pharaoh's ring was a signet ring. In ancient times royal commands were not signed and sealed, as at present, but sealed only, the monarch having a peculiar seal which, wherever it went, was recognized as his, and to have counterfeited which would have been gross felony, punishable with death. It was this seal that was given to Joseph, that by and through the authority expressed in it he might issue such commands as he pleased in respect to the accumulation and building of granaries and storing in the same part of the surplus crop of the seven years of plenty.

The honor and distinction of Joseph as next to Pharaoh seems well to illustrate the glorious exaltation of our Lord Jesus (in which the church, as his body, will soon share). Our Lord was tested, yet notwithstanding his faithfulness he went into the great prison-house of death; on the third day was delivered and raised up to power and great glory, and to be next to Jehovah God in the throne of the universe. The divine signet was given to him, and the proclamation was that "All men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father," and that nothing should be done except at his command--that all power in heaven and in earth was committed unto him. (John 5:23; Matt. 28:18.) The faithful members of the elect body of Christ, the Church, the overcomers, must also be tried in various ways, and for righteousness' sake must suffer in the present time, be misunderstood, misrepresented, etc. These also must go into the prison-house of death, and be therein parts of three great days (thousand-year days), a part of the fifth thousand, all of the sixth thousand, and early in the seventh thousand years, or third thousand-year day, their resurrection is due; that they may become joint-heirs with Christ their Lord and Head, in the glorious things of the Kingdom. All this was well marked by the parts of three years which Joseph spent in prison, and his subsequent exaltation.

The meaning of the new, Egyptian, name given to Joseph is rather in dispute, Canon Cooke claiming that it means "Bread of Life." It was appropriate in view of the great work which Joseph accomplished --the accumulation of a great store of wheat during the years of plenty,--sufficient to supply the necessities of the whole people during the seven years of famine. In this respect again we are reminded of Christ, who called himself the "Bread of Life." We are reminded, too, that it was through a work which he accomplished that the living bread is provided, for the whole world of mankind typified by the Egyptians; and that through him also the bread of life comes to his brethren, typified by Joseph's brethren and Jacob. As there was no life for all the people there except through Joseph and his work, and as Joseph did his work as the agent or representative of Pharaoh, so we see, as an anti-type, that there is no life for anyone of the world except in and through Christ Jesus our Lord, and that his work is accomplished in the name of, and as the representative of our Heavenly Father, the supreme ruler of the universe.

Some are always ready to make objection and to find fault, rather than to make reasonable explanations, and some such object to Joseph's course in collecting one-fifth of the harvest of the plentiful years, and using it later on to strengthen the authority of Pharaoh and his control over all the people of his realm. We might say that even the one-fifth of the crop increase might not be considered an unreasonable tax, as it is the usual amount of rental charged in that vicinity to-day, and even more than that is frequently charged here and elsewhere in civilized countries; but we do not know that the one-fifth was exacted from the people as a tax. We do not know that Pharaoh's purse and bank account were not drawn upon for the purpose of this storage-wheat at the low price which would prevail during a period of such great surplus. We shall presume the latter, in the absence of any information to the contrary; and as for using this to strengthen the authority of the throne, and the contrariness of this from all democratic ideas, we have nothing to say except that it remains to be proven that a republican form of government is in all respects the best for fallen humanity. The Lord does not propose as a remedy for present ills, social, political, moral, etc., to introduce a Millennium along the lines of a republic; but he does propose its introduction along the lines of a monarchy-- an absolute monarchy, in which his Son, who redeemed the world, will reign to bless the world by the exercise of autocratic power; for the subjugation of evil; for the bringing of all mankind into full appreciation of the principles of righteousness, and, so far as they will, into full accordance with the great supreme ruler, Jehovah--that they shall be his subjects forever, as the people of Egypt typically became the perpetual servants of Pharaoh.

As Pharaoh gave to Joseph a wife, named Asenath (signifying "Favor"), and she became Joseph's associate in honor and dignity, and co-laborer and helpmate with him in his work of blessing Egypt, so Jehovah God proposes a bride for his exalted Son, our Lord, and she also will be a favorite. It has required all of this Gospel age for her betrothal and preparation for the marriage, and the time is now nigh at hand when she shall be brought near to the King, as the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, adorned in the glorious linen robe of her Lord, fitly embroidered with the elements of character which he can approve.-- Psa. 45:13,14.

Joseph's head was not turned by the prosperity which came to him; he showed himself worthy of it-- that he had profited by previous experiences, so as to know how to use the prosperity wisely. He was not slothful in business, but fervent in spirit; and seeing that the Lord had opened the way before him we find him immediately taking steps to carry out his mission. His first move was to travel throughout the lengths and breadths of Egypt, to determine the most eligible sites for the building of granaries, or storehouses; and the Lord's blessing continued with him and prospered him in the work thus given him to do. [R2888 : page 318] So it should be with us; in whatever department of the Lord's service he is pleased to open the door of opportunity to us, we should enter it promptly and with energy--with zeal for him and for the cause to which he has called us. This is one condition of our acceptableness with him. If we are slothful, inattentive to opportunities, undoubtedly they will be removed from us, and given to others, for the Lord is abundantly able to raise up one or another to serve his cause without interfering with, or overruling our free moral agency. Let us more and more appreciate what a privilege we enjoy in being co-laborers together with God, and especially in connection with this great service which our Lord and Master Jesus is executing, and to fellowship in which we have been called, as his bride and joint-heir.

They that honor God he will honor, in his own way; and his way will always be found eventually to be the best way. We not only are to honor the Lord by word of mouth, but especially are we to show forth his praises in the affairs of life--in connection with home duties, business duties, service of the truth: in all things we are to glorify him in our bodies and [R2889 : page 318] spirits which are his; and those who thus do shall be blessed indeed of the Lord and be used of him. The slightest service here permitted us is an honor indeed, and faithfulness in these slight services of the present time are eventually to be blessed and rewarded with the greater and grander service of the Kingdom.



[R2889 : page 318]

WORDS OF CHEER AND ENCOURAGEMENT.


Dear Brother Russell:--After a thankful and (to me) blessed perusal of the last issue of Watch Tower, I want to state that I have truly come out of Babylon, since I read the very first Tower that ever came into my hands--March 15 and April 1, 1900. So powerful was the impression made upon me by it that I was then, and have been ever since convinced of these great truths, and all my former doubts are satisfied forever. Now I realize what the blessed Master meant by the words, "The truth shall make you free." Regarding churches in general, when I think of the good, conscientious Christians, many of whom I would fain emulate; and think of seeming to be better than they, I feel very much troubled and very humble. Nevertheless, I can never believe their way again. I often think of the church at Allegheny, and wish I might enjoy the blessing of meeting with you all at times.

The lesson on "Patient Endurance," and that on "Duty-Love" in May 1 Tower, are my constant study. I was a member of the Episcopal church. Our minister has called time and again and kindly solicited my return. I have deferred telling him of my change of views only out of consideration for him, as he has been deep in affliction the past year, and when I look at his kind face and think how I may hurt him, I cannot but forbear. This is my standpoint at present. Do not think I am ashamed to own my Lord; O, no! I am watching my opportunity, which will be soon, I believe. I have distributed tracts to many, having myself enjoyed the blessed truths revealed in them; truly God assisted you to write them. I thank you for their precious lessons. When I think of my unworthiness, and humble station, and realize what great things the good Lord has called me to, can I do aught but press onward to the attainment of the high "mark"?

May God bless and strengthen you in preparing the marginal references you contemplate for the new Bible! Pray for me that I may do all for Him that I can find to do.
Yours in the Master,
Mrs. R. L. Jones,--Ohio.

[I am glad, dear Sister, to note that you are "tender-hearted" and trust that when, in withdrawing, you announce your present position to the minister and members of the church, it will be worded kindly, inoffensively. See the "Withdrawal Letters" which we supply free for this purpose,--sufficient for all the church membership. But, dear Sister, when you feared to cause pain and disappointment to an earthly minister and friend, did you forget the Friend above all others--the Lord--and his smile of approval? Remember the poet's words,--

"O, let no earthborn cloud arise,
To hide thee from thy servant's eyes."

Let us see to it, dear Sister, that the Lord's approval has first place in our hearts.--Editor.]


Dear Brother Russell:--Our "Volunteer Rally" yesterday was a success every way respecting the amount of work done and the spiritual blessings received. The Lord was evidently with us paving the way, and the interest manifested by the friends from surrounding towns who came to help in the Harvest work was certainly strengthening and encouraging to us here, and the meeting together of all after the day's work was edifying in the extreme. That our hopes and aims are one, was beautifully brought out in the testimonies, praise, prayers and thanks; and it was manifest that the Holy Spirit was in our midst. It was "spontaneous combustion," so to speak, and the afternoon was not half long enough to give all an opportunity to voice their gratitude for blessings received, and for being privileged to do something for Jesus in the "Volunteer" work. We realized how we had been called and thus far led; and that if we continue to walk faithfully nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God. Bro. Russell and his helpers, and all of the Lord's children everywhere were remembered in our prayers.

The number engaged in tract distribution was seventy-nine, as follows: From Tiffin, 19; Ft. Wayne, 6; Auburn, 1; Ypsilanti, 3; Battle Creek, 1; Pt. Clinton, 5; Detroit, 3; Fostoria, 2; Bowling Green, 1; Ottawa Lake, 1; Findlay, 1; Toledo, 36; total, 79. Tracts distributed about 5,000; churches served, about 55. The weather was extremely hot,--harvest weather--just the sort to ripen wheat, and the volunteers proved themselves veterans, and turned up smiling [R2889 : page 319] and content, receiving ample pay in the mysterious blessing that comes over one when handing out tracts. Certainly the Lord is our strength in all our ways!

We feel satisfied so far as the day's work went, and know the Lord will bless it in his own time and way. Praying that the Lord will further bless us with his grace, we are, dear brother,
In the "Harvest" work,
The Toledo Class,--Ohio.


Dear Brother Russell:--Just a line to thank you for the Gospel Truth as I believe Christ would have us know it, and which I have received at your hand. I think I have made good use of the tracts sent me a few months ago; since that time I have learned of the meeting-place of the brethren in Liverpool and got a blessing. My family are members of the Methodist church, to which I am attached, but now I see the Gospel in a different light, thank God! With the help of prayer I am trying to do a little of the Lord's work among my shipmates, many of whom are skeptics; I am trying to convince them of a living God and a future judgment. Please let me know if there is a meeting-place in or around Boston that I can attend while my ship is in port. I am willing to be at your service in delivering God's Word, in the shape of tracts or magazines at church doors or meetings of any kind in Liverpool or Boston.

God bless you in the work of spreading the true gospel throughout this wicked world. I pray his Kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Your loving brother in Jesus,
James H. Wallace,--England.


My dear Brother:--I have at last decided to give up all, and I have prayed earnestly for help to make the surrender complete; God forbid that it should be otherwise!

My contract in the business indicated above (insurance) will expire in November next; but I want to be wholly occupied in a better work long before that time. In fact, I can't hold my tongue now, I must declare the light I have found (through your help) in the Scriptures; these are now my delight, where before they were uninteresting, though I have been a member of the Missionary Baptist church for twenty-three years, and a deacon fourteen years, but I will send in my letter of withdrawal soon.

I have been a leader in the Reform Party in politics, in this State, for ten years, and have held many positions of trust; but have found that a failure, and will give it up. Have been a drawing speaker, but my voice is nearly gone, hence I will have to supplement it with literature in spreading this "good news" so little known in these parts. I am willing to take a very humble place in the ranks because of my extreme unworthiness and the lateness of the hour.

I have seen in some of your literature that you have colporteurs for Millennial Dawn, and other works. Write me terms and full particulars, also any help you can give me on my spiritual condition.

Yours thankfully, H. L. Brian,--Texas.



[R2890 : page 319]

THE ASSASSINATION AND ITS PROBABLE RESULTS.


It is difficult to account for the peculiar operation of the brain of the anarchist who shot the noble President of this nation,--William McKinley. What could he, or the class he is supposed to have represented in the act, hope to gain by such an act? What motive of any kind could inspire such a deed? It is most charitable to view the assassin and his accomplices as mentally unbalanced to a greater degree than are the majority of the human family; so that to their view the essential of peace and blessing is less law: whereas those who are directed by the Word of the Lord know that the world needs yet more stringent laws for the correction of evil-doers. How blessed the assurances of the Scriptures that the great reign of righteousness--law and grace--is near at hand. That the Millennial Kingdom will not only effectually restrain such unbalanced creatures, but by restitution processes will lift them up toward soundness and righteousness.

A cypher letter has just been found and interpreted. It announces that the anarchists have plotted the assassination of President Roosevelt, Senator Hanna, the governors of all the States and the financial princes--J. D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan and C. M. Schwab. It seems difficult to suppose that the anarchists hope to terrorize the people so that no one would accept office. Do they not know that there are several millions of men anxious for a chance at these offices and willing to brave every risk? Anarchists are comparatively few in these days of prosperity: not in prosperous times,--not until "trouble like a gloomy cloud" shall have gathered world-wide and shut out the light of hope, need we fear that the insanity of anarchy will prevail to the extent predicted in the Scriptures--the overthrow of the entire social fabric.

We see no special significance in the assassin's deed as respects the peculiar times in which we are living--the "harvest"--except that it will probably lead to stringent repressive laws against anarchists. Such we would approve, but opine that a restriction of liberty in this approved direction might soon lead to an abuse of power and a restraint of proper liberties; --an attempt to restrain any and everything not favored by general public sentiment. For instance WATCH TOWER publications have thousands of enemies who would not hesitate to misrepresent its teachings as anarchistic, and in doing so think they did God service;--after the example of Saul of Tarsus. We are expecting some such violent interruption of the "harvest" work within a few years now; but will conclude then that "the door is shut." Meantime let us each and all "labor while it is called day; for the night cometh wherein no man can work."



page 321
October 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXII.OCTOBER 15, 1901.No. 20.


CONTENTS.

Finishing Touches of Christian Character323
Anarchy Opposed to Christian Faith326
Joseph the Merciful327
Speaking Perverse Things330
The Close of a Noble Life330
Jephthah's Vow333
Encouraging Words--British Branch333
Disadvantageous Postal Ruling322

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 322

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.

[R2892 : page 322]

A DISADVANTAGEOUS POSTAL RULING.


The Postoffice authorities inform us that we may expect (in common with many other publishers) to be deprived of the privilege of mailing thick pamphlets (M. DAWN) at the special second class rates of postage heretofore enjoyed. We deny the right of the Postmaster General to make such a law;--for law-making it practically is, since the present law has been otherwise interpreted for the past thirty years, by all previous Postmasters General; and several of them desired and petitioned Congress (the law-making branch of the Government) to change the law, which Congress refused to do. This is in no sense a blow at our publications, however, and if others submit we will probably make no legal protest.

One effect will be to curtail the circulation of paper-bound DAWNS because it will require us to pay 7 cents extra postage each; and we must collect this from our customers. We can still however reach some of you at low rates by express where the orders are for twenty books or more, east of Pittsburg and south as far as Virginia at the old rate, one cent per book: west of Pittsburg (20 or more) as far as Illinois and Kentucky at two cents per book. These prices apply only to paper-bound and leatherette-bound books. The cloth-bound books are unchanged in rate--average postage 10 cents each prepaid by mail or express.



[R2890 : page 323]

FINISHING TOUCHES OF CHRISTIAN CHARACTER.


"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things."--Phil. 4:8.
MANKIND in general does too little thinking, and what it does do is more or less along improper lines, and built upon false bases or premises. Nevertheless, all will agree as respects human welfare, there is a power in thought second to no other power in the universe. Few, perhaps, realize to what extent this is true,--to what extent their own happiness and well-being is dependent upon right thinking,--to what extent whole communities and nations owe their happiness or misery to their right or wrong thinking upon the important problems of life. Words are a power in the world, but only in proportion as they awaken thoughts and lead to actions; words, thoughts, deeds, is the order. Truly did the wise man say, "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." (Prov. 23:7.) If he thinks justly, he will speak and act justly; if his thoughts are selfish and ignoble, his words will be deceitful and his conduct dishonest.

It is because the power of thought is to a considerable extent recognized that it is appealed to on every hand. The teacher appeals to it; the preacher appeals to it; the politician appeals to it; the financier appeals to it; the sociologist appeals to it; the thousands of pamphlets, books, newspapers and magazines published in every land and in every tongue are all appealing to thought. Thought, indeed, may be said to be the great engine which is moving the whole world in its every department. The difficulty is that few are of logical and discerning mind, the fall having affected every member of the human family has disordered our reasoning faculties; and charlatans and demagogues and self-seekers very frequently take advantage of the weak mental state of humanity to delude with sophistry, and thus to hinder and obscure correct thinking and reasoning. Against the great force and weight of selfishness in its every member does humanity thus labor, as well as against the wiles of Satan; and it is not surprising that generally it is misled and deceived, because added to its incubus of false premises it must struggle also against its own inertia, sluggishness and inaptitude.

The Lord, also appeals to the power of the mind through his Word, and urges upon his people that they be "transformed by the renewing of their minds." (Rom. 12:2.) Indeed, it may be said that the cultivation of the power of thought began with God's people, and that so far as religious matters are concerned it has in no particular degree gone from them. While heathen religions seek to restrain the intellect and appeal chiefly to the passions, prejudices and fears, the Lord, to the contrary, calls to his people, saying, "Come, let us reason together." (Isa. 1:18.) We are willing to admit that nominal Christendom has not heeded the Lord's invitation to any great extent--that very largely nominal Christians avoid thought on religious subjects, and especially avoid reasoning; but we hold that to the extent they thus violate the divine arrangement they have not their "senses exercised by reason of use," and are to be esteemed, at very best, only babes in Christ. Heb. 5:13,14.

We are willing to agree also that thinking may be a very dangerous matter in the absence of absolute knowledge upon which to base and exercise our reasoning faculties; but the Lord has protected his faithful along this line by providing us in his Word with the proper basis for reasoning on all subjects involving our duty to our Creator and to our fellow-creatures. The Scriptures lay down certain broad lines, and invite God's people to reason within these lines of revelation, and by reasoning thus to taste and see that the Lord is gracious; and come to a clearer knowledge of him, a better understanding of his character and plan. Many who are awakened to independent [R2890 : page 324] thinking are careless of the limitations of the divine revelation, and consequently the influence of the divine Word upon them is a mental liberty and enlightenment which, lacking the divine control, is very apt to go to the extreme of license, selfishness, self conceit and infidelity. Wherever the Bible has gone it has been the torch which has led civilization: millions have profited by its enlightening influence, though only comparatively few walk close to its light and within its prescribed limitations of reason and conduct; and these few are the true Christians--the "wheat" of this age, "the first-fruits unto God of his creatures," which God is now harvesting.-- James 1:18.

THE CONTROL OF THOUGHT.

Some are inclined to believe that since man's brain differs from each other man's brain to some extent, therefore his thinking must necessarily be different; in a word, that a man can only think in harmony with his brain construction. But we reply, Not so; each may learn to weigh and balance his own thoughts, to curb some and to encourage others; but to do this each must have before him an ideal of character, to be copied. Thoughts can be controlled just [R2891 : page 324] as words and actions can be controlled: the will is at the helm, and must decide which thoughts and sentiments it will entertain and encourage, and which it will repel. It is necessary, therefore, first of all for the will to be rightly directed, and secondly, to be strong, and to use its power in the control of thought; --in curbing those thoughts which it recognizes as evil, and in stimulating those which it recognizes as good, helpful, beneficial. The will, in Scripture called the "heart," is therefore continually appealed to by the Lord, as he now seeks amongst men for his "peculiar people." The message is, "My son, give me thine heart"--thy will. This request is not addressed to wilful sinners, for they are not recognized or addressed as sons of God, but as children of the Evil One. Those whom God recognizes as his sons are such as have been brought into harmony with him through forgiveness of sins, by repentance and faith in Christ Jesus, the Redeemer. It is to such that the Lord makes known that if they would "go on to perfection"--to the full attainment of his gracious purposes respecting them, the only proper course would be to give their hearts, their wills, to him in consecration.

The heart, the will, thus given over to God, seeks to know the divine will, to catch the divine thought and to obey it in word and in act; and in proportion as this condition of the new mind is attained, in that same proportion will there begin to be a newness of life in every respect; in ambitions, hopes, sentiments, and efforts. It is for this reason that the revelation of the divine will and plan is furnished to believers --that by growing in the knowledge of it, by thinking on these things, by filling the mind with the divine plan and will, the transforming influence may extend into every avenue of life.

OUR TEXT ADDRESSES THE SAINTS.

A common mistake amongst people would be to address the words of our text on the subject of right thinking to sinners, to evil-doers and evil thinkers; but this is a mistake. The entire Epistle to the Philippians is addressed to "All the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi" (1:1); and the exhortation is applicable to all the saints everywhere, but not to others than saints--not to the worldly, not even to the household of faith, until they have made a full consecration of themselves to the Lord. It would be useless to address others along this line; the exhortation would be of no effect. Hence, the exhortation of this lesson is not specially applicable to any but the most advanced Christians--not even to the "babes in Christ," but only to those who are somewhat matured in the new life. As for the babes who are not developed new creatures, they will have their attention very thoroughly occupied with the cruder elementary lessons, respecting the coarser sins which the new creature must abhor and battle against. This text addresses those who have made considerable progress along these lines of putting away "the filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit"--those who are seeking to perfect holiness in their hearts, and so far as possible also in their earthly bodies.-- 2 Cor. 7:1.

The context proves our assertion, for after speaking of prayer and thanksgiving to God and the peace of God which passeth all understanding, keeping their hearts and minds, the Apostle sums up this advanced position of grace with the words of our text as the finality or finish of the argument, and of the process of character-development: "Finally, brethren."

"WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE TRUE."

This is the first question to be asked respecting any matter: Is it true or is it false? If it is false the Lord's people are to have nothing whatever to do with it,--no matter how beautiful. Love for the truth lies at the very foundation of saintship, and we remember that the Lord declares through the Apostle that those who will be rejected and stumbled in this harvest time are such as "receive not the truth in the love of it" (2 Thes. 2:10)--such as have pleasure in unrighteousness (untruth). With our poor and at very best imperfect brains there is great danger of our being misled, and hence the Word of the Lord appeals to us with force that we should not even touch that which we realize is untrue. This does not mean that we may not weigh and balance evidences to discern the truth from the untruth; but it does mean that as soon as the truth is discovered it will be embraced and acknowledged, and the untruth as vigorously disavowed and completely withdrawn from. To tamper with error after we see it to be error, to "see how it would reason out, anyway," when we know the matter is on a wrong basis, is to lay a trap for our spiritual feet, one which frequently stumbles travelers on the way to Zion.

If we are following God's admonition through the Apostle, in this text, it will mean an avoidance of fiction, of novels, of unrealities. This, on the other hand, will mean an increased reverence for whatsoever things are true, an increased devotion to them, an increase of time for their study, and an increase of the spirit of truth in our hearts as a result. [R2891 : page 325]

"WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE HONEST."

The truth of the thing is only one of the tests to which it must be put. We may find a matter to be true and yet not find it to be worthy of our thought, dishonorable. Who does not know that there are dishonorable and dishonoring thoughts, the pondering of which not only wastes valuable time, but instead of bringing a reward, a blessing for the time spent upon them, entails a loss, a disadvantage, in that it leaves a dishonorable stain in our minds, unworthy of us as new creatures in Christ Jesus?

The true but dishonorable or unworthy things presenting themselves for our consideration at the bar of our minds are perhaps oftenest in connection --with others--the weaknesses, the errors, the follies, or what not of our neighbors, of our friends. The entertaining of these thoughts, the pondering of them, will be unfavorable to us, and the sooner we discern the matter and dismiss them the better, the happier, the more noble will be our own hearts. The dismission of these unworthy thoughts will leave us the opportunity and the energy, if we will, to expend that much more time upon whatsoever things are not only true but also honorable, worthy of our attention as new creatures in Christ Jesus.

"WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE JUST."

Here we have another limitation. Our minds are to be occupied in thinking about righteousness or just things, principles, etc.; we are not to be continually meditating upon grievances and injustices, either real or imagined. We are to remember, on the contrary, that we are living in the period which the Scriptures denominate "the present evil world," and that it could not be this if Justice prevailed generally. We are to remember that hereunto we were called,--even to endure injustice, for righteousness' sake;--to do good, to lay down our lives in the service of the Lord and his Word, and yet to be evil-spoken of and to be misunderstood and to have all manner of evil said against us falsely for Christ's sake. We are, therefore, not to think strange of the fiery trials that shall surely come upon all who are of the Royal Priesthood; but rather, having settled this matter in advance, when we made our consecration, we are to take it as it comes, as a matter of course, not grieving over nor specially thinking about the trials, the injustices, etc. And thus doing we will have the more time to give to thinking of the more helpful, the more strengthening, the more elevating things--the things that are just, the things that are in harmony with righteousness, respecting the past, the present and the future, as promised in the Lord's Word.

"WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE PURE."

There is a vast amount of impurity everywhere throughout the world. It, therefore, behooves the Lord's consecrated people to follow the Apostle's injunction, and to carefully strain out the impurities, and see that they do not enter into our hearts, our thoughts, realizing that with them in the result will be to work our defilement, to a greater or less degree. Whoever maintains purity of thought will have comparatively little effort in maintaining purity of word and of action. Whether the impurity come from one direction or another--from the world or the flesh or the devil--its attack must first of all be upon the mind; and if repelled there the victory is won: if not repelled we cannot know what the consequences would be, as the Apostle James declares: "Lust [selfish desire of any kind], when it has conceived [in the mind] bringeth forth sin [develops sinful words or deeds], and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death."--Jas. 1:15.

No wonder, then, that the Apostle mentions the necessity for our thoughts being guarded along the line of purity, and that if a matter were ever so well established as a truth, and if it involved no injustice, and even were not dishonorable, yet were impure, this would be quite sufficient to condemn it as unworthy of the mind of the Lord's consecrated people. Nor is it to be overlooked that any smut or impurity entering into the mind may cause such a defilement as will give trouble in its complete eradication, not only at the time, but for years afterward.

"WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY."

The saints are exhorted to be meek and peacemakers, but in order to be thus they must have amiable thoughts, lovely and lovable thoughts, kind thoughts, gentle thoughts. These in turn will gradually develop into graces of character. We are not to think upon subjects gendering anger, hatred, strife, --vexatious thoughts, quarrelsome thoughts, vindictive and contentious thoughts. These all are to be shunned as enemies to the new creature, and instead we are to think of the beautiful things, the amiable things, we may know respecting our neighbors, our [R2892 : page 325] friends; even though we be not able to fully close our eyes against their injustices or evil deeds, we may at least refuse to waste valuable time in thinking about their weaknesses and thus cultivating unamiable, quarrelsome dispositions in ourselves.

"WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE OF GOOD REPORT."

It may be argued by some that since the world hateth the light and the children of the light, and rejoiceth in iniquity and in getting the advantage over others, therefore those things which would be reputable with it would not be the holy things suitable to the thoughts of God's people. But not so, we answer; the world does recognize to a considerable extent a right standard, even though it does not follow that standard, nor even pretend to do so-- even though it hates those who it sees are endeavoring to walk up to that standard; even though it calls the children of light hypocrites, and crucifies them, as in the case of our Lord. It is policy and false religion that generally excite religious persecution. Nevertheless, if anyone will follow the standard that is reputable, and think upon those things he will find therein a blessing.

FOR THE VICTORS ARE THE REWARDS.

Some may feel that if they thus sifted and tested and rejected all the untrue, the unworthy, the unjust, the impure and the unamiable thoughts presenting themselves, that they would have no topic left whereon to engage their minds, and this we believe would be true with a great many--their minds for a time [R2892 : page 326] would be quite vacant of thoughts, if all the evil and improper ones were rejected, banished; but by the time they would be in this attitude they would have such a "hunger and thirst after righteousness," truth, things lovely, things pure, things noble, that they would be in the right condition to receive the very spiritual food which the Lord has provided for them. There is one thing, and one thing only, which fully combines all of the above propositions, and demonstrates itself to be the one thing true, honorable, just, pure, lovely,--and that is, the divine character and plan. Let us think upon its various features. Let us study the divine Word and behold through it, as a telescope, the beauty of the divine character, the splendor of the divine plan, as revealed in God's Word and plan...whose length and breadth and height and depth no man can measure, and only the saints can comprehend by the holy spirit, and that in proportion as they receive of the holy spirit, the holy mind, the holy thoughts, replacing and displacing the unholy thoughts and sentiments of the natural man. (Eph. 3:18.) What a splendid premium the Lord thus places upon the study of his Word in the esteem of all who are of the class addressed by the Apostle in our text!

Such a ruling of the mind is a conquest; such a self-mastery is a victory; the greatest victory that can be gained. As the Scriptures declare, "He that ruleth his spirit [mind] is better than he that taketh a city." (Prov. 16:32.) And the prescription given by the Apostle in our text, for the mental health of the saints, is the very soul-discipline necessary to our development in character, to the degree pleasing to God and acceptable, through Christ Jesus our Lord. These are the victors to whom will be granted a share in the Kingdom. Ah, then, as the Apostle exhorts, "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author of our faith" until he shall have become the finisher of it (Heb. 12:1,2); remembering that he who is on our part, and who has engaged to help us and to carry us through every difficulty, and to fully instruct us if we submit ourselves to him, and thus to "make us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light," is Jesus, --who loved us and bought us with his own precious blood.

Well do the Scriptures generally enforce the importance of guarding the mind, the will, the heart, saying, "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." Keeping it, to the saints now called and in the race, means life more abundant, with glory, honor and immortality. Neglecting it, refusing to exercise self-control, means the permission of selfish desires to be conceived in our brains, and to lead away from the Lord and his "narrow way" on toward sin, on toward the wages of sin-- death--Second Death.



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ANARCHY OPPOSED TO ALL CHRISTIAN FAITH.


IT IS DIFFICULT to get a clear statement of the principles of the anarchists, as they are at war with all received principles of human government and conduct, as well as antagonistic to all religions that accept revelation or the future accountability of human beings. Some light is thrown on the fundamental doctrines of the anarchists, for which many of them are willing to give up liberty and life, by a contributor to the London "Times," who has made a study of the social creed of the anarchists, and therefore writes with a fuller understanding than the hasty political doctors who have prescribed so many remedies for the direful disease. We here reprint his summary of the anarchist belief:

"'They hold that there is no moral law, natural or revealed, and, therefore, that every individual is entitled to be a law unto himself. Granting the premise, the conclusion seems irresistible. No majority of citizens, however large, can create a moral right. It can pass municipal laws, and, subject to certain limitations, those laws may bind in conscience men who believe that all civil power is of divine ordinance. But local and temporary majorities have often made or approved laws in flagrant contradiction with the most elementary conceptions of right, while the sacredness sometimes ascribed to natural law, as that law is deduced from the moral judgments of mankind, semper et ubique, depends on the view that it emanates from the universal conscience and that the voice of conscience is superhuman.

"The anarchist rejects this view. He denies any supernatural government of the world, and, therefore, he denies, very consistently, the moral right of any power whatever to fetter his individual judgment or his individual will. All attempts to curb him in the free indulgence of his individual lusts and passions are in his eyes oppression. The fundamental laws on which society rests are to him tyrannical abuses by which the majority seek to limit the boundless license which is the birthright of every man born into this world. It is idle to tell him that those laws are supported by vast majorities. He answers that majorities, however vast, are mere synonyms for superior force, that he personally disapproves of the state of society which these laws have created and which they maintain, and that he has an innate right to assail that state by any means he chooses. His practical conclusion is appalling, but it seems to me to follow quite reasonably from his premises; and, as those premises are consciously or half-consciously held by thousands in all ranks of society, I fear that we are likely to hear more of him in the future.'

"It is clear from this that the fundamental faith of the anarchists is atheism, not only as to the supreme supernatural governing power and future accountability, but as well as to conduct in the affairs of this life, denying the moral right of any power whatever to fetter or direct his individual judgment. All atheists may not be anarchists, but all anarchists are necessarily atheists. They cut adrift from the regulation or direction of their lives by divine or human power. This makes them anarchists. Their growth in Europe, foolish and crazy as it may be held, is not so surprising, considering the centuries of oppression and wrong operating on minds restrained by no moral [R2893 : page 327] or religious sentiment; but that their creed should have followers in this country shows not only the loss of all sense of moral accountability, but the density of ignorance and passion. The principles of the Christian religion or of any other of the world's great religions constitute a complete refutation of the creed of the anarchists. They are therefore the enemies of the human race."



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JOSEPH THE MERCIFUL.
--GEN. 45:1-15.--OCT. 27.--

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."--Rom. 12:21.
DIVINE PROVIDENCE in the affairs of men is the essence of this lesson. Joseph was now thirty-nine years of age, having been next to Pharaoh in the throne of Egypt for nine years. The seven years of plenty were in the past; the granaries of Egypt were full with enough to spare, and two years of the predicted famine were already past. It would seem that Joseph had made no attempt to communicate with his father and brethren; first, probably because the methods of communication at that time were limited, but more particularly, we opine, because he had for some years been realizing that divine providence was shaping his affairs. He remembered his early dreams, and could see that they were now in a fair way of fulfilment. He would leave to divine supervision this matter, which was evidently beyond his control anyway. He no doubt thought of the famine, and how it would affect Palestine, and thus the interests of his father and brethren, their households, flocks and herds. He no doubt expected that as other people from the vicinity were coming to Egypt to buy grain, so quite probably eventually the Hebrews would come also; and they were forced to come by the close of the second year of the famine.

We may surmise that some law prohibited the sale of grain to foreigners, except by the chief ruler's permission, and that thus Joseph's brethren were obliged to come before him to explain. This thought is sustained by the fact that Joseph, wishing to try his brethren, first cast them into prison as spies--as though they were emissaries of a foreign power; which perceived the wealth of Egypt in food, and was meditating an attack upon the country. This gave Joseph the opportunity of inquiring minutely respecting the home conditions of his brethren, concerning his father and Benjamin, his younger brother, who was not with the brethren. Finally he gave them the opportunity of proving the truth of their statements, holding Simeon as a ransom until they would come again and bring Benjamin with them, knowing full well that they would be obliged to do this, because the famine would continue. These experiences proved a valuable lesson to the ten brethren, respecting the difficulties in which they were, and called to mind their past wrong conduct in respect to Joseph, for they accepted their present difficulties as retribution. "They said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear, therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child;--and ye would not hear? Therefore behold also his blood is required. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter."

Joseph was not hard-hearted, but wise in his treatment of his brethren. Most evidently not a solitary act was inspired by vindictiveness. He was evidently taking God's view of matters; viz., that it is proper that a certain amount of retribution shall come upon evil-doers, so as to impress upon them the more thoroughly the sinfulness of sin. Thus parents and guardians of children should not permit their kindness and sympathy to hinder a reasonable, moderate punishment of wrong-doing. Nevertheless, pity and love should be back of all, as it was in Joseph's case; merely planning for the better opportunity and the larger amount of blessing in due time.

When their grain was exhausted, and want was staring them in the face, Jacob finally consented to let Benjamin go with his brethren for the second purchase of grain; not, however, until Judah had become pledge for Benjamin, that he would not return to his home or family unless Benjamin also returned. The coming of the brethren to Joseph's house a second time, with the proof of the genuineness of their original story, was sufficient ground for their entertainment most graciously, and for the liberation of Simeon; --the whole company, to their surprise, being invited to dine with the governor, Joseph. They were surprised, too, that by some preconcerted arrangement they were seated at the table in the order of their ages; and further astonished that their younger brother, Benjamin, received five portions, as an evidence of special regard of the governor. They were rejoiced, undoubtedly, at the good fortune that had overtaken them, and making ready started on their homeward journey, doubtless thinking to themselves--We thought that our hardships of the previous time were probably in the nature of retributions, and that God's hand was in it, but after all, it seems that it was merely a natural thing that we should be taken for spies. Now, behold, we are prospered.

But they had not gone far until they were overtaken by the governor's agents, who represented that a theft had been committed, that the governor's valuable silver mug, called by the Egyptians, "Cup of Divination," was missing. They protested their innocence, that they were not that kind of men, and suggested that they be searched thoroughly. Examination was made of the grain sacks of one after another, until finally the cup was found in Benjamin's sack, and the whole company, previously elated, now returned prisoners to the governor of Egypt, whose hospitalities they had so recently enjoyed, and apparently had so poorly requited. Perhaps they began to think about the Joseph matter again, and to say to [R2893 : page 328] themselves, The evil that we thought was past is still pursuing us. It was a good lesson undoubtedly, helping to impress upon their minds, not only the value of honesty, but also the thought that although the wheels of justice grind sometimes slowly, they grind surely and very fine.

Benjamin, with the rest, denied that he had stolen the cup, and whether the brothers believed him or not, they would not lay special blame upon him, but generously shared it as a whole company. Judah, speaking for them, said, "What shall we say unto my Lord? What shall we speak, or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquities of thy servants. Behold, we are my Lord's servants, both we and he also with whom the cup was found." They did not explain to Joseph the nature of their iniquity, though this evidently was in their minds. Joseph, however, wishing to see to what extent they had still the same evil, jealous disposition which they manifested toward him, proposed to let the others go free and merely to hold Benjamin, as the slave. The ruse was successful, and developed the fact that the brethren had learned lessons and formed characters in the interim which made them now more sympathetic one for another, and for their father. Their wrong course in Joseph's case had not been persisted in, but had been repented of. Judah explained the whole situation to Joseph through the interpreter, and so vividly did he picture Jacob's love for Benjamin, and his sorrow at the supposed death of Joseph, and the interest of the whole family in their father, that Joseph could no longer refrain --could no longer restrain his emotions. He felt that the time had now come to reveal himself to his brethren, and in order that they might feel the less embarrassed under the circumstances he ordered all the Egyptians from the room, and then explained briefly and sympathetically that he himself was their brother Joseph.

What wonder that the brethren were troubled, as they thought probably of how they would be disposed to retaliate were they in his place of power. But Joseph soon convinced them that he had none but kindly feelings for them, that he was merciful, forgiving. The spirit which he exhibited under these circumstances is worthy of emulation, not merely by natural men, but also by the "new creatures in Christ Jesus." How often do we find that the Lord's people are narrow in such matters, instead of being broad and generous, loving and forgiving. Joseph now speaking to his brethren in the Hebrew tongue, repeated to them the words, "I am Joseph," and added, "whom ye sold into Egypt," that thus they might recognize him, not only by his speech, but by his knowledge of the facts, that it was really their brother who was before them. But this expression was so gracious, and anger and malice were so absent from his every word and act, that they were inspired with confidence, and at his request drew near to him.

Many Christians would have spoiled the whole effect of this great lesson upon their brethren had they been in Joseph's place, by poor judgment, by reading the brethren a lecture;--by telling them what they already knew about the wrong of their conduct, about how now they were in his power, and how he could evil entreat them, but would not. Joseph was too wise and too merciful to take such a course. He took the contrary one, saying, "Be not grieved nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither." It seems wonderful indeed that a natural man could and would have so much of the spirit of God as is here manifested, and yet we know that Joseph was only a natural man--the holy spirit not having been [R2894 : page 328] poured out upon any of our race until Pentecost. It gives also a suggestion respecting the breadth of character of the ancients, quite in contradiction of the theory of evolution, which would claim that at that early period, man being but slightly above the monkey, would have coarse and brutish sentiments.

Joseph preached a great sermon to his brethren in few words, when he said, "God did send me before you to preserve life"--he thus overruled your wrong course, and has brought out of it a blessing. He gave his brethren credit for ability to understand such things. That the Lord overruled their course for good, did not prove that their course was a good or proper course; it merely proved the divine power and the divine wisdom and divine providence, that was over Joseph and over all the house of Jacob, causing all things, even the evil thing, to work out for good, according to the divine plan. How great and how lasting a lesson came to Joseph's brethren through their experiences, and through this his short sermon we cannot tell; but there is a great lesson here for all of God's people today along the line of mercy toward those who deliberately sin against us; and also along the line of noting, discerning and referring to divine providence in connection with our affairs. We are not only to note divine providences, but we are to give credit for them, as it is written, "In all thy ways acknowledge him." Prov. 3:6.

Joseph could have permitted his experiences to have developed a great deal of personal pride. He might have reasoned to himself, as some would have reasoned, that he was merely lucky, or that he was naturally bright, attractive, smart, and that this was the secret of his success; that this was the reason his father loved him specially; that this was the reason, when sold for a slave, he was bought by a good master in affluent circumstances; that this personal brilliancy was the cause of his rise in Potiphar's house to eminence; that the same effected his rise to a position of authority in the prison; that his keenness of intellect had enabled him to interpret the dreams; and that in general he stood head and shoulders above other men; and that others realized this, and hence he had come by his exaltation in a natural way. But had he thus been heady and high-minded, and self-conceited, we may be sure that it would have led to a fall--that God would not have continued to bless, prosper and advance him. We may be sure, too, that had he thus developed a spirit of pride and self-conceit, his conduct with his brethren would have been very different from what it was. He would have been crowing over them, and mistreating them in order to convince them of his power, and thus would have shown himself to be a very much smaller [R2894 : page 329] man than his proper course shows him to have been. He was a great man, and his greatness was manifested, not merely in his financial management of the kingdom of Egypt, but especially manifested in his reliance upon God, his realization that the divine promise and blessing, through his great-grandfather, Abraham, his grandfather, Isaac, and his father, Jacob, was resting upon him in some manner, and that because of this divine favor things were working as they were.

The spiritual seed of Abraham may draw valuable lessons from this narrative. If it was appropriate that Joseph should acknowledge the Lord as the giver of all his blessings, which were all of an earthly and temporal kind, how much more should the spiritual Seed of Abraham acknowledge the spiritual blessings received at the Father's hand,--and recognize in every mercy and favor opportunities of service; that it is the hand of providence. Surely these should always be on the alert, to realize and to confess,--"It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes." But on the contrary, we are sorry at times to find some of God's spiritual children inclined to be puffed up, and to speak of God's favor, the knowledge of the truth which they have received of the Lord, as though it were something of their own achievement; --as though some honor were due them, as the inventors of the divine plan.

Again, the spiritual Israelite should be even more merciful than Joseph. If he could see that the persecutions he receives, from his brethren and others, are merely incidents of divine providence-- which the Lord is using to prepare him for coming blessings and exaltation, should not the spiritual Israelite take his disappointments as God's appointments? And should he not with a clearer eye of faith, be the better able to see that many of his spiritual advancements have come as a result of persecutions from the world and from false brethren? And should he not, like Joseph, look with great complacency upon all these various agencies which God has been pleased to use in spiritually uplifting him, to perfect him as a "new creature," an heir of God, a joint-heir with Jesus Christ, his Lord? He surely should. And the only things which can hinder us from seeing that our advancement is of the Lord, and not of ourselves, will be a lack of humility, and a lack of trust in divine providence; and the only things which could hinder us from feeling patient forbearance and kindly sympathy and love for those who have despitefully used and persecuted us, would be a lack of the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of mercy, and a failure to see properly that whatever agencies God may use in our spiritual upbuilding are to be appreciated and sympathized with;--whether they be brethren or of the world-- Egyptians.

Then Joseph explained the providence of God, the years of plenty and the years of famine, and how God had been supervising the entire matter, and that this was his means of preserving Abraham's posterity, concluding, "So now, it was not you that sent me hither, but God." We are not to give credit to the evil agencies through which we have received blessings, otherwise we might soon be disposed to call evil good; but we are to give full credit to God, because that which was intended to be evil, and which was evil of itself, divine wisdom, so far above the earthly plane, was able to overrule for our good. It is as we learn the lesson of God's inherent goodness--as we learn to respect his wisdom, love and power that our faith grows stronger and stronger, until we are able to trust the Lord, not only in things which we can see are working out for our good, but able to trust him also in respect to things which seem entirely dark and out of which apparently no good can come; thus we trust him where we cannot trace him. And this is faith; and faith is a gift of God in that it is cultivated to acceptable development by the Lord's gracious promises, rightly received, appreciated and acted upon.

While Joseph had patiently waited for the Lord's time to come, and for twenty years had not seen his father's face, having now witnessed the fulfillment of his first dream, the bowing of his brother's sheaves to his sheaf, he realized that the Lord's time had about come for him again to see his father, when the second dream would be fulfilled. And whereas he was all patience before, now he was all energy and haste, because the time was come, and so he said to his brethren, "Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt. Come down unto me; tarry not." He impressed upon his brethren the glories of his position, not by way of boast or pride, but by way of assuring them of his authority and power to care for them, and so that they might fully assure their father Jacob that his caution might not hinder him from taking advantage of the goodly land of Goshen, now put at their disposal. His brethren and father were not invited to come and share in his throne and regal power, but were invited to come and partake of all the blessings flowing therefrom. Just so during the Millennial age, after the Christ, Head and Body, represented in Joseph shall be in the throne of glory and of power--in the heavenly Father's throne--when the Kingdom of God shall be established in the earth, all who feel a famine, a hunger, for the true bread of heaven, for eternal life, will be invited to come and receive abundantly of it. None, however, of the earthly class will be invited to share in the Kingdom honors, for the Kingdom class will be complete. But they will be invited to come and receive the blessings of the Kingdom, mental, moral and physical, health and strength, under the favor of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

The parting of Joseph and his brethren was an affecting one; they now understood the meaning of their previous experiences, including the cup found in Benjamin's sack; they saw that these matters all were leading up to the present manifestation to them of the love and sympathy of Joseph, and now, as expressing his special love for Benjamin he kissed him first, weeping tears of joy and recognition, and then did to all the others similarly, and sent them on their way. There is power in affection, in love; but it is necessary that the loving affection be manifested, ere that power can be felt. A difficulty with many parents, husbands, wives, children, is that they do not manifest all the affection which they feel. Pride or fear or some other thing hinders, restrains them, from [R2894 : page 330] being as frank with each other as they should be. Joseph's example here is worthy of emulation. He was the wronged one; he was the one in power; he was the one who should have the dignity, and he, therefore, was the one who could best afford to humble himself, and to kiss and make an ado over his brethren. We may be sure that they appreciated it; that such a manifestation of affection on the part of the highly exalted brother touched a tender spot in their hearts, and doubtless worked good for them to the remainder of their lives. And so we may find it with our friends and relatives, that a manifestation of our love and kind feeling toward them will not only be reciprocated, but will do them good; and that our affection restrained of expression will leave an icy coldness, which nothing else will remove, and that such coldness will affect not only them but ourselves also unfavorably--sapping all of life's joy-springs. [R2895 : page 330]

Let us remember, in this connection, the words of our text, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Joseph exemplified this advice. He not only did not permit the evil course of his brethren to overcome him, and make him evil and bitter, but he overcame their evil tendencies, characters and dispositions by his love, his mercy, his kindness, his generosity,--affecting them favorably, no doubt, for the remainder of their days. Such a course is much more incumbent upon us than upon Joseph. He did it spontaneously; we have had the example and precepts of our Lord and his Apostles, and, as well, the begetting of the spirit of holiness. "What manner of persons ought we to be in all holy living and God-likeness?"



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"SPEAKING PERVERSE THINGS."


TO WHAT ABSURDITY, yea blasphemy, men will sometimes go in their endeavor to say something "new" that will bring them into prominence before the public. The following utterance of a Brooklyn preacher deserves first place in this unsavory list. The pity is that his congregation and the public press put themselves on his low plane as respects spiritual things. What could be thought of Dr. Hillis' claim to believe in the vicarious atonement of Christ for the sins of the world, after we know his general view of the subject of atonement and entering the holy of holies as expressed in the following clipping. The gentleman's erudition is so highly esteemed among men that he is decreed a "Doctor of Divinity;" but it has utterly unfitted him to be a minister of the gospel of Christ--a declarer of the only name given under heaven and among men whereby we must be saved, and of the only vicarious sin offering, of the only and great High Priest, who has entered the holy of holies by virtue of his own sacrifice finished at Calvary and which alone has merit before God for the forgiveness of sins.

SLAIN FOR THE NATION'S SINS.

New York, Sept. 19.--The Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis spoke this morning at the memorial services in Plymouth church, Brooklyn. He said in part:

"Among the heroes and martyrs who have died vicariously let us make a large place for our slain leader. In the highest sense, the president has now entered into the holy of holies, bearing the sins of his people with him. Reverently we confess that he was wounded for our transgressions and he was bruised for our iniquities.

"With sorrow and shame, we hear and now confess that for our transgressions he was stricken. But we remember that the angel of martyrdom and the angel of immortality are twin brothers. Perhaps the death of our president has shocked the people into the consciousness of their sins. Perhaps his blood will cleanse away the people's transgressions. If today, assembled in church and hall, the people register a vow that they will strengthen the home, the school, the press and the church, through wise legislation and noble precept, expel anarchy, lawlessness, injustice, class hatred from the land, our martyred president will not have died in vain. Then, verily, he will have slain more in his death than in his life."



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THE CLOSE OF A NOBLE LIFE.


--GEN. 50:15-26.--NOV. 3.--

"So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."--Psa. 90:3.
JACOB was a hundred and thirty years old when his sons returned with news of Joseph's greatness in the land of Egypt. His joy at hearing that his son was still alive, and now great, was off-set by the natural weakness of his advanced years. Hence he could scarcely trust himself to believe the report, even with the explanation given by his sons, of how they had sold Joseph into slavery, and had besmeared his coat with blood for their father's deception, twenty-two years before. However, the story of his sons was well attested by the royal present which Joseph had sent to him, and by the Egyptian wagons sent to bear him and the family as comfortably as possible in the journey. These wagons were doubtless the carriages of that day, workmanship in that line not having advanced to present proficiency. Jacob was persuaded, and started on the journey, during which he offered sacrifices to the Lord, possibly questioning in his own mind the wisdom of thus leaving the land of promise, and whether or not it might be interpreted of the Lord as an abandonment of his faith, or a relinquishment of the blessing which from earliest childhood had centered and directed his course of life. [R2895 : page 331]

The Lord answered his query, and his sacrifices (probably by a dream) assuring him that he was taking the proper course in going into Egypt, and that ultimately his posterity should come again into "the land of promise." The spiritual Israelite should thus have in view at all times that which by his covenant has become the center of his life, the center of his interest, of his hopes and of his aims--the Abrahamic covenant and his share therein. He, too, must be on the look-out lest there shall be deceptions of the Adversary combined with earthly prosperity and the world's favor. When we are undergoing disadvantages or persecutions we are in much less danger than when the tide of worldly prosperity sets in our direction. Let us remember at such times to go often to the Lord, to seek to know his will, fully, completely; to bring to mind our covenant and its value, as above all earthly considerations. And let us offer unto the Lord the true sacrifice--presenting the merits of our dear Redeemer's sacrifice as the ground of our acceptance, repeating the full devotion of our hearts--renewing our covenant. This is the only safe way in this pilgrim journey.

We pass hastily over the narrative of the presentation of Jacob and Joseph's brethren to Pharaoh, and their settlement in the land of Goshen. After they had resided there seventeen years (Gen. 47:28) Jacob died, was buried with all the ceremonials common to the Egyptian court, because he was a relative of Pharaoh's representative. And it is here that our lesson proper begins. Joseph's brothers judged him to have a disposition considerably like their own; they could not believe him to be thoroughly generous and forgiving, and though they acknowledged his kindness toward them, they said to themselves, This was merely on account of our father Jacob, and not on our account, and now that our father is dead Joseph will treat us differently. It was because moved with such feelings that they first sent a messenger to Joseph, and afterward followed themselves into his presence, to ask his mercy and to declare themselves willing to be his servants.

It strikes us that this well illustrates the condition of many who come to the Lord with an insufficiency of faith. They are convinced of his mercy toward them, and yet are always fearful. The truth is that they do not know him; they think of him as moved by like passions with themselves, more or less depraved, more or less controlled by animosity. It is an evidence of growth in grace when we come to that place in our experiences where, admitting our own guilt and unworthiness of divine favor we have, nevertheless, become so intimately acquainted with the Lord as to have a full assurance of faith in his declaration that our sins are forgiven. It is to such a development of grace that the Lord referred, saying, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3.) But such a knowledge is not to be obtained instantaneously, but rather is to be the result of a growth in grace; for we grow in grace as we grow in knowledge, and we grow in knowledge as we grow in grace;--the two keeping pace, the one with the other, as do our feet in walking. It is because the majority who have named the name of Christ do not grow in grace and in knowledge that they fail to attain to that grand condition of which the Apostle speaks as "full assurance of faith"--full confidence in the Lord, in his goodness, in his wisdom, in his love, in his providential care over all of their affairs. And the lack of such growth is owing to their failure to offer their sacrifices unto the Lord --to commit all of their ways to him.

Joseph's answer to his brethren was most noble, and gives good evidence that his conduct was not merely an outward profession, but the result of an established character. He did not even say to himself, My brothers have misunderstood me, but though I freely forgive them I will use their fear as a stepping stone to greater power over them, and will say to them, I will do you no harm, but on the contrary treat you most kindly, as long as you are fully obedient to me, and send me presents yearly, or give me tithes of your increase, or come annually to make obeisance before me, and to acknowledge afresh your wrong, and to confess my generosity. No; he had too noble a character for this; he was too unselfish. On the contrary, he said, "Fear not; for am I in the place of God?" The secret of his right course with his brethren was the correct view which he took of the matter himself; he saw himself as merely God's servant in dealing with his brethren, and in all things. He saw that God's providence had been in the whole affair. How could he think otherwise? He saw the fulfilment of his inspired dreams; he had noted the miraculous leading of divine providence in the various steps by which he had been led from slavery to the [R2896 : page 331] throne of Egypt; he probably reflected that if now he should either do evil toward his brethren, or think unkindly of them, he would be casting a reflection upon one of the instrumentalities which God had used for his blessing. He could not do this and be loyal to and appreciative of divine power, and he communicated to his brothers for their encouragement and comfort this thought; that although they had purposed evil, and had done evil, nevertheless the thing really done was a good thing, but for which they deserved no credit, but discredit, and God all the honor. He would have them see that this was the basis of his dealing with them, and that he felt not the slightest animosity, but a full appreciation of the divine blessing, which had come through their course.

How great a blessing it would be for all spiritual Israelites to learn well this lesson; viz., that if we accept the results of any matter as being good, and if we realize that we were guided to those results by divine providence, we should think and feel most generously, most kindly, toward those who were the instruments used by providence, notwithstanding the fact that they might have been unwilling instructors, or, like Joseph's brethren, have verily intended opposite results. Those who are enabled to take such a view of affairs and forces operating in their daily lives are enabled "always to triumph through the Lord," as the Apostle expresses it. And such find no room for bitterness or railing, either against Satan or against any of his servants. 2 Cor. 2:14; Jude 9.

This does not mean that they call the evil course [R2896 : page 332] good; nor that they will or should have any sympathy with the evil course; nor with the evil motives inspiring it; nor with the evil persons, so long as they are in harmony with the evil motives and evil course. But it does mean that their minds will be so filled with the thought of divine supervision in their affairs, and how all the time they were safe under the protecting care, the shadow of the Almighty, and that all things are working for their good, however they outwardly appear, that they will not have any bitterness whatever, either of word or of heart, toward those who attempted to, and outwardly did, do them evil, but whose evil intentions and conduct were overruled by the Almighty. In proportion as the Lord's people get into the large place where they can take a broad view of the situation, in that same proportion will they find themselves not only delivered from anger and malice and hatred and strife toward their opponents, but instead, possessed of "the peace of God which passeth all understanding," ruling in their hearts, keeping them secure amidst all of the storms and vicissitudes of life--because their anchor holds within the vail. They have "set to their seal that the Lord is true," and hence can rejoice always.

Not only was Joseph's course the right one in the sight of God, the noble one in the sight of all right-minded people, the blessed one as respected his brothers, their comfort, their peace, their love toward him,--but it was in every sense the proper and the best course as respected his own peace, joy, blessing. When he allayed their fears and comforted them, and spake kindly unto them, and promised them and their families the same care as when their father lived, he was taking also the course which must have brought the greatest blessing and comfort to his own heart. All do not know it, but it is a fact that the grandest quality that man can exercise, and the one which brings the largest amount of blessing itself, is the exercise of the God-like quality of mercy, compassion, benevolence. Those of spiritual Israel who have not practiced in this direction are not far advanced in spiritual development, and those who have practiced realize the truthfulness of the Lord's words, "Blessed are the merciful," and "Blessed are the peacemakers."

The next few verses of our lesson cover the period of fifty-four years from the death of Jacob to the death of Joseph; and give us comparatively little information, except that they give fresh evidence that the basis of Joseph's strength of character and fidelity to principle which carried him safely through the vicissitudes of his remarkable experience was faith in God--faith in the Abrahamic promise. And so we find it to-day, and all through the past, so far as we are able to decipher the teachings of history; those who have been the Lord's faithful people, have all been inspired by the hope set before us in the gospel. This is the hope of which the Apostle speaks, saying that it is "an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast;"--it holds firm and secure in the storms and difficulties of life, and prevents the wrecking of our lives upon the rocks of sin, deception, doubt, selfishness, etc.

Who can doubt that it was Joseph's respect unto the divine promise that kept him faithful as Potiphar's steward, again in the prison, and again as Pharaoh's representative in the throne? In proportion as heavenly promises are before our minds, earthly and selfish ambitions are dwarfed and lose their power over us. Joseph's eye of faith, centered upon God's promise to Abraham and upon the land of Canaan, exercised a potent influence, because he realized that to be a friend of God, and an heir of God's promises, called for a purity of heart and of life which God could approve. Looking back he saw the influence of these promises upon his great grandfather, Abraham, upon his grandfather, Isaac, and upon his father, Jacob, and we see that the same promise controlled him to his great advantage. The people who today become enamored of wealth and of position and of power, so that they would be willing to sacrifice principles of justice and of truth that they might selfishly grasp these, thereby give evidence that they lack the power of the truth, the power of the Abrahamic promise, to control them and their lives. Had the Abrahamic promise not been forceful and weighty in the mind of Joseph he might have been plotting and scheming for the throne of Egypt or to have obtained the mastery over his own brethren; but realizing that God was behind the promise he was waiting patiently for that, as the greatest and most wonderful blessing conceivable--far beyond the things which he could have grasped, and the grasping of which would have meant his relinquishment of God's promise. Not, however, that he expected to go up out of Egypt into the land of Canaan himself; for he evidently knew, and it probably came down to us through him, that God had appeared to Abraham, and told him that his posterity should be in Egypt, and be evilly treated there, and that the period of their sojourn would be four hundred years.

Joseph's hope in God and in that Abrahamic promise must have been, therefore, a hope through a resurrection of the dead; and although it taught a valuable lesson, it was doubtless because of his imperfect understanding of the resurrection, and the power of God, that he so particularly gave commandment respecting the carrying up of his bones out of Egypt into Canaan, when the time of God's favor should come, and Israel should be delivered. And so must the spiritual Israelite have his mind centered in the future fulfillment of the divine promises, through a resurrection of the dead, if he would be delivered from the worldly influences of this present time, and be kept loyal to the Lord and to the highest principles of character. This faith in a future kingdom, future honor, future riches, future glory, dwarfs into insignificance the honor and glory and wealth of this present time, and makes all true believers separate from the world in these respects, and thus prepares them to think of the affairs of this present time from a more just and more equitable and dispassionate standpoint--they are removed from the immediate influence of selfishness in its most powerful forms, even though they still find, notwithstanding their faith in the promises, the necessity for keeping the body under, and mortifying its natural disposition toward selfishness. [R2896 : page 333]

Our Golden Text is appropriate to the lesson, and every way worthy of the attention of the spiritual Israelite. We know that our days are numbered as respects the present life. We know that we need not expect eternal life under present conditions, and thus far the world and the Christian are on a common level; but here they part, the one saying to himself, "Life is short, and I must grasp and use it for myself, the best I can." The other, with a higher wisdom, that cometh from above, realizes his own inability and insufficiency, heeds the message from the Lord respecting an eternal life beyond the tomb-- the resurrection life, and goes to the Lord, petitioning for wisdom respecting the life that now is, as well as that which is to come.

In answer to his petitions he is taught of God in the experience of life to more and more appreciate the eternal, the everlasting life, and to spend time and energy in building up such a character as would be pleasing to his Creator, and bring the reward of "life everlasting." The Christian, in numbering his days, does not do so with a doleful or disconsolate sentiment, although he does so with sobriety. He counts the days as they go as so many blessings, so many privileges, so many opportunities to "show forth the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light," to render assistance to others in the pilgrim journey, and to develop in himself more and more of the character pleasing in the sight of God,-- to become more and more a copy of God's dear Son. As he numbers the days gliding swiftly by, and perceives how he is using them in harmony with the divine instructions, he ultimately comes to that condition of heart in which he is longing for the Kingdom and the full attainment of all the glories into which he hopes to be ushered, as a sharer in the first (chief) resurrection. And from this standpoint he numbers the days as they go by joyfully, and is glad when the days of the years of his present pilgrimage end; because his hope in the Lord, and in the gracious features of his plan, is growing daily stronger, clearer and brighter.



[R2897 : page 333]

JEPHTHAH'S VOW--A BETTER TRANSLATION.


In our September first issue we answered a question respecting Jephthah's daughter. Since then Brother C. J. Peterson calls to our attention the following item from the Appendix of the Emphatic Diaglott.

"The original, Judges 11:30, when properly translated, reads thus: 'And it shall be that whoever comes forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace, from the children of Ammon, shall surely be Jehovah's, and I will offer to him a burnt offering.' The vow contains two parts: (1) That person who would meet him on his return should be Jehovah's, and be dedicated forever to his service, as Hannah devoted Samuel before he was born. (1 Sam. 1:11.) (2) That Jephthah himself would offer a burnt offering to Jehovah.

"Human sacrifices were prohibited by the Law (Deut. 12:30); and the priests would not offer them. Such a vow would have been impious, and could not have been performed. It may be safely concluded that Jephthah's daughter was devoted to perpetual virginity; and with this idea agrees the statements that 'she went to bewail her virginity;' that the women went four times in every year to mourn or talk with (not for) her; that Jephthah did according to his vow, and that 'she knew no man.'"

We are glad that our attention is called to this evidently better translation, which clears away the difficulty, and shows that the burnt-offering was one thing, and the devotion of the daughter another thing. We are to remember, too, the testimony of the entire Old Testament, to the effect that prior to our Lord's birth all the women of Israel coveted earnestly the great blessing and privilege of being possibly the mother of Messiah, or amongst his forebears. We are to remember, also, the exultant language of the Virgin Mary when finally it was announced to her that she had won this long-sought prize: "Henceforth all shall call me blessed"--all shall recognize me as the one who has attained this blessed privilege of being the mother of Messiah.



page 333

ENCOURAGING WORDS THROUGH THE BRITISH BRANCH.


Dear Brother Russell:--

You will be pleased to know that the work in Great Britain is going on nicely. There are now fourteen Colporteurs spending all their time and energy in the blessed service, in this country, and several others are giving much of their spare time in the same way, some of these with a view to entering wholly into the work when able. These are encouraged from time to time by seeing some fruit of their labors.

The volunteers have been quite industrious also, and the tract distributors as well. We shall not at this time give figures to show how many Dawns and Tracts have been placed in the hands of the people here this year, as we hope to do so in due time in the Annual Report.

As brethren and sisters have taken their holidays this summer, the principal thought with most of them seems to have been how to use this time to the very best advantage. With this in mind, many have gone to new places, and have consulted together so that as many as possible of the seaside towns might be visited. While there, they have been diligent in the volunteer work and tract distribution to the residents and visitors from all parts of the country, who might carry of the influence back to their homes. Some happy results have attended these labors of the harvesters, for which we thank God. We continue to pray, as we doubt not you also do, that the Lord of the Harvest will send forth more laborers into the field.

Herewith are extracts from interesting letters recently received at the British Branch.

Yours faithfully in Christ,
E. C. Henninges.


page 334 Dear Friend:--

I write to thank you for the parcel of booklets and tracts which you forwarded. As the Lord opens up opportunity for me, I shall make good use, I trust, of the good seed entrusted to my care.

I know many "thinking Christians" who are expecting our Lord's return, but who weary in the waiting, and are, I think, somewhat confused in their minds, looking for the person and neglecting the "signs." For these I shall find the little pamphlet on the Second Advent extremely valuable, though I am beginning already to find that many of these dear people are not quite ready to assimilate the "meat in due season."

My own experiences in studying this magnificent work are such as I have never known before. From childhood I have been a great reader, and have read the standard works in all departments of English literature; but no work apart from the Holy Scriptures has ever given me such satisfaction and joy--such understanding of the Divine Word--as Millennial Dawn. It is indeed happiness to live now, for clouds of darkness have rolled away from my mind.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
A. E. D.,--Gloucestershire.


My Dear Brother:--

In consequence of the distribution of "Food for Thinking Christians," I am now coming into contact with many enquirers, some of whom are giving the truth careful consideration, while others are becoming veritable enemies, denouncing us and our work, saying that it belongs to the devil. I thank God for positive proof that his grace is amply sufficient for us all, and we feel that, having put our hands to the plow, we dare not look back, but will press along the path revealed, whereon the light shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

I have sent literature to various parts of this country, and to Bermuda; so you see that our little circle of work is spreading. I only wish I were able to do more; but if the Master wishes us to do so, I have no doubt he will open the way. We shall be glad of another supply of "Food."

With kindest love from Brother C., my wife and self, and praying our Father's richest blessing be your portion, believe me,
Very sincerely yours in Him,
H. W. L.,--Kent.


Dear Brother:--

We are now settled in D__________. We have been spying out the land, and--well, if it isn't flowing with milk and honey altogether, we think there should be some good work done here.

We should like to serve the churches here with some "Food" on the Sundays. There is a considerable number of them, and we shall require a large quantity. Brother C. will be the "captain," and I will be one of the "volunteers," meantime, and perhaps the Lord will send recruits.

With Christian love and kind regards, we are,
Yours in His service,
(Colporteurs),--C. & C.,--Scotland.


Dear Brother:--

Greeting! It is refreshing to hear of the increased interest in London, and we praise the dear Lord you are permitted to see some fruit of your labor. Thank God, the time is near when the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Oh, may we all be faithful unto death, and so have a glorious share in revealing our gracious Father's character to an astounded world! Oh, what a prospect, how stimulating! How can we keep from singing? Are not we the blessed people who hear the joyful sound? Hallelujah!

We have not done so well as usual the past two weeks, and we must acknowledge we have been much disappointed; but we shall certainly, in future, be more sympathetic with those who are less successful; yet, if it please the Lord, we wish to do better, so as to encourage others to come out into this branch of the harvest work. Please pray for us; we remember you without ceasing.
Yours in our dear Redeemer,
L. & K. (Colporteurs),--Leicestershire.


Dear Sir and Brother:--

Of the "Food for Thinking Christians," which you sent for distribution, I have given away about 200, not without a good deal of opposition; but I rejoice that the truth is being listened to by a number, and obeyed by a few, among whom are one of my brothers, a sister and her husband, who are now rejoicing in the truth of God's Word; also a dear friend who recently went to Scotland; there he has had to suffer persecution for the truth's sake; but in that he greatly rejoices--that he is counted worthy so to suffer.

I find that the majority of people have to be educated up to these things, and our tracts are most useful for that, in my experience.

With all good wishes for the furtherance and spread of the truth, I am as ever,
Yours sincerely in the Lord's service,
J. R.,--Northumberland.


Dear Brother:--

We distributed about 500 of the Towers in R., when prejudice against the truth became so great that we were obliged to withdraw. The place is small and the news of the circulation spread so rapidly, and so much had been said against them, that a very large number of the people began to refuse them. Truly, Satan hath blinded their eyes, lest the glorious gospel of Christ should shine into their hearts, and they be free; but thank God for the assurance that this condition shall not long obtain. Soon the light and knowledge of the Lord shall be caused to fill the whole earth, and Satan will no longer have power to deceive the people.

I am thankful still to be privileged to do a little "harvest" work, now and again, and I do thank God that I do see some fruit for my labor. I often wonder why our Lord has been so gracious to me, for I am so unworthy. His blessings have been so rich, that I am persuaded that nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ, my Savior.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
G. H. T.,--Scotland.


page 335 Dear Brother:--

On occasion of your recent visit to M__________, from which place I have been transferred, I did not get an opportunity to see you and have a talk; circumstances beyond my control prevented me from being at M__________ that day.

On taking up my duties here, I soon began to realize that I was alone, so far as my views are concerned, and that if I wished to have any friends and co-workers, I must set to work at once. I distributed quite a lot of tracts without apparent success; but am pleased now to inform you that by the help of God, I have made a very favorable impression on three of my workmates. We have spent several profitable evenings together at my home, and I have reason to hope that our heavenly Father, in answer to my prayers, has favored me with at least one brother and helper.

Although my knowledge as yet is limited, I am quite sure that our Master will help us, for it is written, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." I am most anxious to transmit to others the truths with which I have been favored, in the earnest hope that I may be of some use in heralding the approach of our Master's kingdom, and thereby discharge, to some extent, the great debt which I owe him for all that he has done for me.

I trust that you will remember me in your prayers.
Yours in Christ's service,
A. M.,--Lancashire.

[R2897 : page 335]

LETTERS FROM THE HOME FIELD.


[The following letter, written on return from the Oakland Convention to the Brother who so kindly entertained the friends, will be very interesting to many of our readers. We publish it with Brother Weber's permission.--Editor.]

My dear Brother Webster:--I am glad to write you that I arrived home Tuesday morning. Had a very pleasant and profitable journey, for which I thank and praise my heavenly Father. How much I thank him upon every remembrance of you! He put it into your heart to write to me; then so to arrange that I met you on that memorable day in Baltimore; then in inviting me to this last feast at your home--to meet Brother Russell, your own dear family, and so many of God's dear children; then to feast at our Father's table. Oh, how good it tasted! I felt so hungry for the truth. Altho the Lord has richly blessed me since this glorious truth began to dawn upon my soul, I had never met with but two people of the Dawn faith before this.

I have written a long letter to the Church where I have been a member for nearly 30 years, asking them to drop my name from their roll of membership, and giving my reason for this. I shall also have to write to several missionary societies and other churches and colleges where I have been a contributor. Of course for the present fiscal year I shall have to contribute according to my pledges, but after that it will close and I shall be able, if the Lord continues to prosper me, to do more for this Truth for which I now stand.

Well, I will not weary you with too long a letter. I thank the Lord for you and ask you to extend my sincere thanks to dear Mrs. Weber and the girls for all their work of labor and love, also to the boys that were kept so busy. I know God will bless them. And now whenever you come East remember your oldest (or youngest) boy in Cromwell, Conn. I shall indeed esteem it a favor to have the privilege of having you with us, and any of your family that can conveniently come this way. I am arranging with Brother Russell to have a Pilgrim brother come here and give Chart lectures.
Yours in the Master's service,
A. N. Pierson,--Connecticut.


Dear Brother Russell:--I have not written for a long time; nevertheless my thoughts and prayers are constantly with you and the friends at the "Bible House."

Circumstances forbid my entering the colporteur service, as I had so fondly hoped; but I wish you to know that my zeal for the cause is no less fervent than when I was first enlightened. The experience of those days was sweet to me, for then I drank deep draughts from the fount of knowledge-- it was sweet in my mouth, but you are acquainted with the after effects. We can have Christian experience only as we put on Christ; and since it is my daily labor to be transformed by the renewing of the mind into an example of godliness, I can bear witness to the truth of the experiences of the brethren. You may remember how anxious I was in the beginning to spread the Truth; how confident that I would be an excellent instructor of the foolish and erring ones. Having read four volumes of Dawn, I felt there was very little more to be known about the Scriptures; but now having advanced further in the knowledge of God's plan, and having developed further in Christian character, I feel thoroughly unfit to be a teacher of so great truths.

The school I had last winter was closed prematurely for lack of students. I have tried in many ways to provide for my temporal necessities more comfortably at home, but they have all failed;--rather they have not materialized as I expected; but perhaps from the Lord's standpoint they were a success. I know one thing; they have taught me humility and dependence upon God's loving care. This assurance that I am still in the way I think is due you.

The Watch Tower I find an indispensable vade mecum, ever full of instruction profitable for all who run for the attainment of the joy set before us. May the Lord ever provide you wisdom, strength and courage, that you may incessantly preach the Word, endure hardness as a good soldier, and be faithful unto death.

Yours in the service of our present Lord,
James A. Browne,--Georgia.

[The above is from a colored brother; and incidentally we remark that about 200 colored persons on the Watch Tower lists give good evidence that they are of the "pure in heart," "accepted in the Beloved." Some have thought that we in some measure disdained brethren of color, because we stipulated that the "Volunteer" distribution should be done at white Protestant churches. But not so: we meant no disparagement of Catholics, nor of blacks; but arranged thus merely because their average standards of intelligence, etc., do not seem to warrant the necessary outlay.--Editor.]



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