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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XX111.AUGUST 1, 1902.No. 15.


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower227
Laws of Nature vs. Laws of God228
Without Religion Man is Lost229
Higher Criticism Infidelity Reaching the Sunday School230
Who is He that Condemneth?230
The Desire of All Nations Shall Come233
Poem--"He Careth For You"235
Israel's Typical Tabernacle235
Nadab and Abihu Cut Off237

I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me. Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. -- Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 226

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

THIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated,--Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God"--"which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed."--Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken;--according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the
Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and
the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished,
God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to
him.--1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these
"living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready,
the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection;
and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting
place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for man," "a ransom
for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth
"in due time."--Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as
his joint-heir.--1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's
witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of
the next age.--Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom--the restitution
of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the
hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church.--Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.




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

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.

FAVORABLE METHODS OF SERVICE.

The chiefest service we could commend, open to all who are unencumbered and in active use of their faculties, is the colporteur work. It is an honorable form of ministering the truth from house to house, as the apostles served. It is a service which the Lord seems to have blessed as much or more than any other for gathering the "wheat." It is apparent at once to all that to sell such books as the DAWNS at 25 cents each, cannot be for money-making: that it is merely another way of preaching the truth. No other religious books are sold at any such price. Indeed few subscription books sell for less than two to three dollars each. Any who can serve in this work are invited to write to us for "Hints to Colporteurs."

MORE VOLUNTEER AMMUNITION.

The friends are displaying great energy this year in the distribution of literature near Christian meeting places. We bid you all God-speed in this very effective preaching of the Gospel. Our first order for the special issues of our journal used this year was for 1,000,000 copies. Over one half of this quantity has already gone out to fill large requisitions and nearly 200,000 are on back orders waiting for the papers as fast as the printers can supply them. We hope to get caught up very soon now, and request that those who have sent us small orders for mail shipment exercise just a little more patience. "Let patience have her perfect work." We have just issued 400,000 more of these issues, so as to be ready for your later orders.

Meantime let those who have not been engaged in this branch of the service enquire of themselves whether or not they can afford to miss so grand an opportunity for showing forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light. Do you know of and are you using a better method of preaching the truth? "He that reapeth receiveth wages [joy and peace and blessing in the present life even] and gathereth fruit unto everlasting life.



[R3048 : page 227]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

TROUBLE AMONGST METHODISTS.


FOR MANY YEARS Rev. Agar Beet, D.D., has been theological tutor of Richmond College, England. Of him a prominent English journal says: "Dr. Beet occupies a unique position in Methodism. He is the only Methodist theologian today who has won a very great reputation outside his own denomination. His writings, particularly on the question of eschatology, have won a very wide circulation and have produced a profound effect in many quarters." Dr. Beet, it seems, got to studying the Bible and found in it nothing to support the common supposition that God has so constituted man that he can never cease to be. He has found it to teach, on the contrary, that everlasting life is God's gift through Christ to our dying race, and that a refusal of that gift would signify death--not life, in torment or otherwise: that "the wages of sin is death;" that "the soul that sinneth it shall die;" that "he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life, but the wrath of God [the curse--the sentence of death] abideth on him."

Dr. Beet's crime consisted in teaching these Bible truths with which Methodist doctrines, like those of so many other "traditions of the ancients," conflict. To teach along these Biblical lines would quickly extinguish all the "fires of hell" which Methodists have poked so industriously for a century; it would relieve God of the charges of injustice and lovelessness and devilishness hurled against him by some of his fallen creatures who, nevertheless, know well that they are not so depraved as either to plan or work out such diabolical tortures; it would show up Methodism as well as other "isms" as slanderers of God in these respects, and would undermine confidence in the infallibility of their teachings, and send the people for instruction to the Bible instead of to creeds and catechisms of the dark ages and to other blind guides.

The "Wesleyan Institution Committee" concluded that the foregoing grounds were quite sufficient for dropping Dr. Beet from the college faculty. There is plenty of room for Higher Criticism Infidelity and for anti-Scriptural evolution theories in all such institutions, but no room for the truth--the Bible must not be heard, for it, being the great antagonist of error, would speedily make havoc of the multitudinous errors developed in medieval times and duly labeled "Orthodoxy." In a defense of his position, published in The Methodist Times (London), Dr. Beet says:

"During the last century Methodist opinion about the doom of the lost has completely changed. Very few Wesleyan ministers can now read Wesley's sermons on 'Hell' and on 'Eternity,' Nos. 73 and 54, without repudiating much of their teaching with indignation. Evidently the writer accepted on these topics current phraseology without duly weighing its meaning. But I notice that, when selecting fifty-three sermons as an embodiment of his distinctive teaching, Wesley did not include these sermons; and that, in the sermon on 'The Great Assize,' which he did include, there is very little which contradicts the teaching of my book.

"This change of opinion has been carefully ignored. Many scholarly and godly ministers have nursed their doubts in silence, some under a sense of guilt for concealing their opinions, until the need for concealment has become to them a humiliating and intolerable bondage. In some cases, men have not dared even to think, lest the thoughts they dared not utter should make them the more conscious of their bondage. This doubt and fear are very widespread. There has been a retreat from the position held by our fathers, along the whole line; for the more part in darkness and solitude. Of all this, I have abundant and pathetic proof, some of which I am able to produce."

A reviewer writing in one of the leading London dailies says on this subject:--

"For my own part I have no quarrel with Dr. Beet on this matter. I presume that few men of intelligence and culture accept today the old dogma of eternal suffering which was preached with so much fervour forty or fifty years ago. Even the Wesleyan Conference itself has expunged from its catechism the definite statements that once found so lurid an expression. I remember very well [R3049 : page 228] in the days of my childhood being asked the questions and giving the answers, both of which I had learnt from the catechism. 'What sort of place is hell?' Answer: 'Hell is a dark and bottomless pit full of fire and brimstone.' Question: 'How will the wicked be punished there?' Answer: 'The wicked will be punished in hell by having their bodies tormented by fire, and their souls by a sense of the wrath of God.' Question: 'How long will those torments last?' Answer: 'The torments of hell will last for ever and ever.' These questions and answers were in a catechism designed, as was said on its title page, for children of tender years. I presume, therefore, that the Methodist Conference has changed its views on these particular questions, or these questions and answers would not have been expunged from their catechism.

"In theory, however, there has been no change in Methodist doctrines or dogmas. The standards are the same today as at the beginning. Wesley's 'Fifty-three Sermons,' with his 'Notes on the New Testament,' remain the ultimate court of appeal. At the Synods Wesleyan ministers are still asked the old questions, and are expected to give an affirmative answer. Though there has been no change in Methodist dogmas or standards, there has been an unmistakable change in the character of Methodist preaching, and that change has been noticed, not so much in what has been said as in what has been left unsaid. Questions on which forty years ago, or even twenty years ago, Methodist ministers were emphatic, today they are very largely silent on, and this silence is not always because the ministers themselves feel in any doubt or uncertainty on the questions, but because it is not considered wise or prudent to stir up any kind of religious controversy. The gospel of expediency is very popular in most religious communions.

"Dr. Beet, in his manifesto, says: 'This change of opinion has been carefully ignored. Many scholarly and godly ministers have nursed their doubts in silence, some under a sense of guilt.' If this statement be true, it seems to me to show a lamentable lack of moral courage on the part of the ministers in question. It is sincerely to be hoped that none of these ministers preached what they had ceased to believe. I am afraid that the atmosphere of ecclesiastical communions generally is not favourable to the growth of courage or the development of an independent spirit. The dead hand of the ancient creed-makers is still upon us.

"I am told that those who are anxious that Dr. Beet should no longer occupy the Professor's chair at Richmond College are very desirous of maintaining what they call 'the purity of doctrine.' It is all very well to stand for 'purity of doctrine,' if we only knew what purity of doctrine is. One, of course, can admire their zeal, and in some measure share their anxiety. But it seems to me that if we were one-half as anxious about purity of conduct as we are about purity of doctrine it would be very much better for the world. There are a hundred questions of doctrine on which we may disagree, and our disagreement will not affect by a hair's breadth the condition or the destiny of communities or of individuals....We are horrified at what we call heresy, but we wink at drunkenness. We plunge the whole denomination into convulsions because a man dares to depart, even in the smallest degree, from what we conceived to be the standard set up a hundred and fifty years ago; and yet we allow publicans and brewers and Stock Exchange gamblers and company promoters and swindlers and oppressors to occupy prominent positions in the Church, to take the chair at missionary meetings, and lay foundation stones of churches and Sunday schools.

Notwithstanding the fact that all nations have been made drunk with Babylon's wine of false doctrine (Rev. 17:2) we find the non-professors rather less intoxicated than are professing Christians and able to give some rather sound advice, as in the article just quoted. Thank God that the Millennial Morning is here and that it will not be possible to keep the world and the Church asleep, stupid, thoughtless much longer! The silver Jubilee trumpets are being sounded by the priests (of the "royal priesthood") announcing the Jubilee, and incidentally awakening all true Israelites to the fact that for a long time they have been subjects of "nocturnal halucinations" and horrible nightmares, without basis or reason.

LAWS OF NATURE VS. LAWS OF GOD.


The Christian, accepting the Bible as his standard of philosophy, long ago found himself in conflict with so called Science which, ignoring a personal and almighty God whose will controls Nature, defies Nature; places Nature's Laws high above all others and attempts to prove Nature to be her own Creator by evolutionary processes under the Laws of Nature. The followers of the Lord, Jehovah, recognize his right to control the universe and--both directly and through his Son and his apostles and others to so control Nature that winds and waves and demons and disease would obey. Those who believe in the miracles of the Bible neither deify Nature nor reverence its operations as unalterable laws, but they do, on the contrary, sanctify the Lord God in their hearts.

It is pleasant to find a Scientist committing himself on these lines and renouncing his worship of Nature as a god. Prof. S. P. Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, recently took this position in a paper read before the Philosophical Society of Washington. Among other things he said:--

"It is perhaps a hard saying to most that there are no such things as 'laws of nature'; but this is the theme on which I have to speak.

"These, then, are the laws of man's own mind, or the effects of his own mind, which he projects outside of himself and imagines to be due to some permanent and unalterable cause having an independent existence...

"To decorate our own guesses at nature's meaning with the name 'laws of nature' is a presumption due to our own feeble human nature, which we can forgive for demanding something more permanent than itself, but which also leads us to have such an exalted conceit of our own opinions as to hide from ourselves that it is these very opinions which we call nature's laws.

"The history of the past shows that once most philosophers, even atheists, thus regarded 'the laws of nature,' not as their own interpretations of her, but as something external to themselves, as entities partaking the attributes of Deity--entities which they deified in print with capital letters--as we sometimes do still, tho these 'laws' now are shorn of 'the glories of their birth and state' which they [R3049 : page 229] once wore, and are not turning out to be, 'substantial things.'

"But are there not really things (like the fact of gravitation, for instance) external to ourselves, which would exist whether we were here or not, and which are part of the order of nature? Apparently, yes,--but part of the laws of nature, no!

"The present generation has begun, if not to be modest or humble, to be somewhat less arrogant in the assumption of its knowledge. We are perhaps beginning to understand, not in a purely poetical sense, but in a very real one, that there may be all around us, in heaven and earth, things beyond measure, of which 'philosophy' not only knows nothing, but has not dreamed.

"As a consequence of this, there is growing to be an unspoken, rather than clearly formulated, admission that we know little of the order of nature, and nothing at all of the laws of nature....

"Let us repeat, and repeat once more, that tho nature be external to ourselves, the so-called 'laws of nature' are from within--laws of our own minds--and a simple product of our human nature. Let us agree that the scientific imagination can suggest questions to put to nature, but not her answers. Let us read Bacon again, and agree with him that we understand only what we have observed. Finally, let us add that we never understand even that, in the fulness of its meaning; for remember that of all the so-called laws of nature the most constantly observed, and most intimately and personally known to us, are those of life and death--and how much do we know about the meaning of them?...

"The lesson for us is we must not consider that anything is absolutely settled or true."

Ah yes! Now we know that they know that they don't know. Believers alone know the knowable things, and all else they leave to the all wise One in whom they trust. "Thy Word is Truth," and it is scientific from the standpoint of The Divine Plan of the Ages and from no other standpoint.

"WITHOUT RELIGION MAN IS LOST."


The Atheists of Berlin, a numerous body, are criticising the Kaiser for his pronounced religious tendencies and the publicity he is giving his views on the subject. They remind him that the ablest minds in Germany do not share his belief in a hereafter, that in proof of it the Berlinese are the least given to church attendance of any large city in the world, and that disbelief instead of hindering actually does more to advance the material well-being [R3050 : page 229] of the empire than Christianity has done or can do. The critics inveigh particularly against the royal pronouncement that a man whose life is not founded on religion is a lost man. This reasoning they contend belongs to the benighted centuries and is a reflection upon enlightened Germany of today. The address which has aroused this complaint was delivered last week in Posen. Here is the part objectionable to infidelity: "The German empire to-day is rooted in simplicity and fear of God. I look to all, priests and laymen, to help me uphold religion among the people, in its health and strength. This applies equally to the two creeds, Catholic and Protestant.

"It is with pride and joy that I am able to tell you that the pope said to my special ambassador who went to Rome on the occasion of the Holy Father's jubilee that he had always had a high opinion of the piety of the Germans, and especially of that of the German army. The pope asked my ambassador to tell his sovereign that the one country in Europe where order and discipline still prevailed, with respect for authority and regard for the church, and where the church could live, was the German Empire, and for that the Papal See was indebted to the German Emperor.

"This justifies me in saying that our two great creeds must, while living side by side, keep in view their one great aim--to uphold and strengthen the fear of God and reverence for religion. Whether we are 'moderns' or whether we labor in this or that field, does not matter at all. He who does not found his life on religion is a lost man. I rejoice that I have placed my whole empire, my people and my army, as well as myself and my house, beneath the Cross and under the protection of Him who said, 'Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.'"

We are living in a peculiar time in more respects than one. While the whole "religious world" is losing its faith in the Bible and accepting instead a belief in Evolution;--that Nature is our god which made us and is evolving us into higher conditions by some kind of "Laws of Nature"--and while doubt is growing respecting a personal Creator or any interest he takes in mankind;--at the same time each skeptical person seems more anxious than ever that the common people should maintain their respect for "religion." They care little what kind of religion-- good or bad--so long as it has some fear, some terrors, connected with it that will restrain the common people. They realize that if the latter ever get to see matters in the same skeptical light in which the wealthy and educated view them it would mean a death knell to the present order of things social, political, financial and ecclesiastical. They want no change; realizing that any possible change would surely be to the detriment of their "interests."

The Kaiser is one of the world's wise men; and it is for this reason that he throws his influence more and more toward Papacy which, he realizes, will hold its influence upon the "common people" longer than will Protestantism; because it has a firm grasp upon the reason and intellect of its votaries. This disposition is a growing one: Patronize every religion that will maintain superstition.

We do not complain at this worldly wisdom, believing, as we have frequently stated, that the worst form of government is better than anarchy, and that even gross superstition has points of advantage over scoffing atheism. It is for this reason that we seek to avoid setting free with the truth those who would use their liberty as a license for evil doing.

But in this general tendency we forsee some of our coming tribulations. As the Pharisees and rulers and Doctors of Law, in the harvest of the Jewish Age, were "grieved that they taught the people" and fearful that the truth would lead to dire calamities upon their nation, so we apprehend it will ere long be in this harvest of the Gospel Age. Not only will the nominal Church preachers feel jealous that their flocks should understand the Bible better than themselves, but civil rulers, public men, legislators, etc., [R3050 : page 230] will sympathize with and assist in suppressing anything that would "unsettle the faith" of Christendom.

Poor fellows! they do not realize that the people generally have almost no faith to unsettle; and that the vast majority are too indifferent to heed and search for and thus obtain the truth and too weak-kneed to stand up for it if they did see it. Nor do they know, as we do, that the Lord has so arranged it that--"None of the wicked shall understand but the wise shall understand."--Dan. 12:10.

HIGHER CRITICISM INFIDELITY REACHING THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.


Having conquered the college professors and through them the ministry, during the last twenty-five years, this latest form of Infidelity has permeated denominational literature and public school text books, and now the question is how to deal it out in the Sunday Schools wisely; i.e. how to insidiously introduce it to the young so as not to shock them and lead them to a total repudiation of Churchianity and all else built upon the Bible, and so as not to shock any of the parents who may still be "old-fogy" believers in the Bible's divine authorship. The ideas of one prominent in the preparation of the "sincere milk of the Word:"

Rev. A. E. Dunning, D.D., editor of The Congregationalist and one of the International Committee on the Sunday school lessons, describes the situation as follows:

"A widening chasm divides the teaching of the Bible in schools and colleges from its teaching in many Sunday schools. The accepted principles of the development of life and of the growth of literature, as taught in public schools, are being contradicted in Sunday schools, in the effort to defend theories of the creation of the universe and of the composition of the Bible which are contrary to known laws of the evolution of nature and of literature. The consequences of such opposing teachings are not difficult to predict.

"The main conclusions of Biblical criticism are now accepted with practical unanimity by all scholars who have given attention to them. They have been reached by patient investigation, and have displaced traditional theories among educated people.

Zion's Watch Tower cheerfully takes its place amongst the uneducated who refuse to accept the guesses, philosophies and conclusions of "science falsely so called" in contradiction to the testimony of "holy men of old who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the holy spirit,"--the Bible. All of Satan's attacks of the past have been weak and puerile as compared with this one,--this deflection, or revolution, rather, inside the ranks of those professing loyalty to God and the Bible. Our expectation is that it will spread with amazing rapidity, and constitute a part of the sifting of wheat from tares and chaff. And many will be surprised at the results unless forewarned by the voice of the Lord through his Word, that--"A thousand shall fall at thy side, ten thousand at thy right hand."--Psa. 91:7.



[R3050 : page 230]

WHO IS HE THAT CONDEMNETH?

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."--Isa. 54:17.

WHAT A HERITAGE! What would one not give, sacrifice, to have this assurance which pertains not only to the life which now is, but goes far beyond, lays hold upon and blesses the eternal interests of all who attain this heritage. It is not applicable to one individual alone, but as declared, it belongs to all the servants of the Lord--every true spiritual Israelite may claim it, rest upon it and rejoice in it.

Our text may to some extent be applicable to regathered and re-favored Israel after the flesh, in the near future when the Lord will fulfil to them all his good promises; but without question it belongs to spiritual Israel--new creatures in Christ Jesus, joint-heirs with him of the Abrahamic promises as the seed of Abraham.--Gal. 3:29.

Spiritual Israel may sometimes feel as our Lord himself expressed the matter, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" and may not always realize the object and necessity for some of the experiences through which the Lord permits Zion as a whole, and each individual Christian as her members or children, to pass; they may see that at times the Lord has apparently permitted the great adversary or his deluded servants to forge against them grievous weapons of destruction, and to assail them in health or in their social peace or financially; sometimes these weapons of the adversary have seemed to do terrible execution against them, and many may wonder how the Lord's good promise of our text is being fulfilled: "No weapon that is formed against her shall prosper."

Many tongues have arisen against the Lord's Zion as a whole and against each member individually-- tongues laden with the "poison of asps", tongues bitter with envy, malice, hatred and strife,--tongues which hesitate not to slander and misrepresent, to say all manner of evil falsely. And to a large extent these weapons and tongues have succeeded, have wrought havoc with the sheep, as also with the Shepherd; and God permitted it--he neither stopped the weapon nor stilled the tongue; and yet he assures us apparently to the contrary of this in our text. What is the true explanation of this situation?

The explanation is that "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwell in you"--ye are "new creatures" in Christ Jesus, "old things are passed away, behold all things have become new." (Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 5:17.) The weapons and tongues attempt to assail us as new creatures, but fail of this and merely do injury to the old creature--to the flesh, which we have already consecrated to death anyway. By helping to kill or to mortify the flesh, our adversaries are really helping us as "new creatures" instead of hindering us as designed. God thus turns what seems to harm us into everlasting joy and blessing.

The context bears out this thought, declaring, "All [R3051 : page 231] thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children." (v. 13.) Ah yes, these spiritual sons of God need the instructions of the Lord's Word in order to understand his dealings --in order to enable them to have the great peace here predicted. God's children in the school of Christ learn not their lessons all at once, but gradually, "Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little," by degrees they come to comprehend the exceeding great and precious promises of the Father's Word which unite in declaring that under his supervision "All things shall work together for good to them that love God--to the called ones according to his purpose"; this is a sufficiency for the beginning of faith and, therefore, a sufficiency for the beginning of the peace. As our instruction progresses we learn the philosophy of our experience--that by the trials and vicissitudes of this present life, by our warfare with the world, the flesh and the devil, by our strivings in this battle, we are forming characters in accord with righteousness; and, additionally, we learn that God seeketh such characters, and is thus developing us because he has for the world in general a great and wonderful plan of salvation not yet fully made known, in which he desires that the "elect" Church of this Gospel age shall be co-workers, joint-heirs with their Lord and Redeemer, as the royal priesthood under him, their Head,--the great Prophet, Priest and King so long promised, whose work shall be to overthrow the powers of evil, to bind the Adversary, to lift up and enlighten the world of mankind and to grant to every redeemed child of Adam a full, gracious opportunity of return to the Father's favor through obedience and restitution.

When once the eyes of our understanding are opened to appreciate the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of our Father's plan, we see that the world of mankind are not in torture and hopeless misery, but are in the great prison house of death; we see that our Lord Jesus has by the grace of God tasted death for every man; and we see that it is on the strength of this redemption for the whole world by the one sacrifice of sin that the promise has gone forth that all shall be brought to a knowledge of the truth that they may be saved. From this standpoint everything becomes new; old fears and perplexities pass away, and the light of the knowledge of the goodness of God shining into our hearts, becomes more and more a transforming power therein,-- changing us from glory to glory. And if we continue in this way it will eventually fit us for participation with our Redeemer in all this glorious Millennial work. We see that it is because of God's desires to have us thus members of his "elect" Church that he has favored us in advance of the world with the knowledge of his goodness and redeeming love, and that he has anointed us with his spirit and called us to this high, heavenly calling. Praise his name!

As the teaching of the Lord to the Church belongs to the present time, so does the peace of those who are taught apply in the present time, and is in proportion to our readiness to receive instruction and come to a knowledge of God. Those who instructed by the divine Word have reached a large degree of knowledge of the divine character through the divine plan, may, should, must have the peace of God which passeth all understanding, ruling in their hearts. If they have not the peace they cannot have the joy of the Lord; and if they have not this, even under the present trying circumstances and conditions, it is because they have not been sufficiently taught of the Lord; and if they have been long in the school of Christ without this attainment, it is an evidence that they have not been giving the proper earnest heed to the Word,--it is an evidence that they have been following the traditions of men rather than inquiring for the old paths, the way of the Lord. Let us all take heed lest we let slip those things which we have heard, remembering that the earthen vessels in which we have the treasure of the new mind are leaky, and that this necessitates our keeping near to the fountain spring--near to the Lord, near to his Word and, hence, near to all others who are close to the Lord and to his Word.

The context further declares respecting this class under consideration, "In righteousness shalt thou [the godly] be established; thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near thee." (vs. 14.) This also applies to the present life and not to the life of glory. Those who are not established in righteousness now will not be accounted worthy to be sharers in the first resurrection, respecting which it is written, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection." Righteousness, justice, must be the foundation of every character acceptable to God: as justice is the foundation of the Lord's throne, so it is the foundation of all with which he has to do; and if we are his it must be the sub-stratum of our Christian character. We must learn to be just before we are generous; we must learn that while love may call for sacrifices, duty, obligation calls for justice first. In the blindness and darkness which came to us from the dark ages, before the anointing of our eyes with the eyesalve of truth from the words of the Lord and his apostles--when in our blindness we conceived of God as unjust and unloving because of misrepresentation of his plan, we had so low an ideal before our minds that we found it easy to excuse injustice or cruelty or selfishness, since, according to our false standard and misconceptions of God, he was the exemplar of all this. The Lord undoubtedly had mercy upon us on account of our ignorance and blindness; but now since he has opened the eyes of our understanding, has shown us his own justice and his own boundless love, and since we are seeking to copy these, there is no longer room for us to excuse unrighteousness or injustice in our hearts. It may require time to bring every word and act and thought into harmony with the new mind instructed from the Word;--we may never succeed to our own satisfaction in this matter in our present life, because of the weaknesses of the flesh through which our wills must operate; but we can at least make strong effort, and by the Lord's assisting grace [R3051 : page 232] accomplish great things in righteousness, not only of intention, but in righteousness of thought, of judgment, of conduct.

This righteousness in which the Lord's children are to be established, is further explained by the statement, "Thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear." As we look back into the dark ages we see that it was full of oppression practiced in the name of the Lord and in the name of righteousness and in many cases, undoubtedly, practiced conscientiously. In all good conscience men oppressed one another because of their fears, their false theories declaring that the Lord was about to torture to all eternity all who did not accept a certain theory of belief, and it seemed to them the veriest kindness to inflict torture by thumbscrew, rack and stake for the correction of heretics--with a view to saving them possibly from an eternity of suffering; and with the view also to hinder them from misleading others to such an awful eternity. This oppression, this cruelty, was the result of fear, and the fear was the result of misunderstanding of God's character--because they were taught of men and not taught of the Lord, as the Prophet declares, "Their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men."--Isa. 29:13.

As the light of the truth comes into our hearts giving us a true knowledge of the Lord, instructing us as his children, perfect love casts out fear, and proportionately it casts out superstition and intolerance and oppression, as the Prophet here declares. The Lord's people are to love religious liberty for themselves and are correspondingly to grant the same to all others. "Thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear." This class will be anxious to set men free, not anxious to enslave them. On the other hand the declaration is, "Thou shalt be far from terror, for it shall not come near thee;" the Lord's people ought to be the most fearless people in the world as respects earthly disasters and calamities; taught of the Lord they have learned that there is only one being who needs to be feared--the one who has the power to destroy the soul. They do indeed fear to displease or offend him; and yet, having learned of his goodness, mercy and love, they do not fear him in the ordinary sense of the word, but rejoice in him, confide in him, trust him as a child trusts a father, and this confidence grows in proportion as they are taught of the Lord--in proportion as they learn to trust, both from the Word of the Lord and from his providences, his dealings with them.

The text further shows that there will be not only individual oppositions to be encountered, but that Zion as a whole will be assailed by foes; as we read, "Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake." (vs. 15.) Wonderful words of consolation! We cannot at present judge to what extent this may have a fulfilment not many years hence, when there shall be a general gathering together of opponents to the truth and its servants. Already there have been various combinations instigated by the adversary, and they have all come to naught. They have really harmed none because it is impossible to injure the very elect. They have indeed caused the stumbling of some, and heartaches to many, yet, nevertheless, under the Lord's providence they have worked out deeper and richer experiences in all who were in the proper attitude of heart to be thus taught. [R3052 : page 232]

"Nearer my God to thee,
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me."

The assurance here given is nothing but what we might reasonably know when we consider the Lord's own declaration, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but shall accomplish that which I please, and shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isa. 55:11.) So surely as our Heavenly Father has purposed the blessing of all the families of the earth through the seed of Abraham, just so surely it will be accomplished. And as the power of the Adversary raised against our Lord Jesus and the weapons formed against him, and which smote him down in death prevailed for a time, yet were merely so much of the outworking of the foreknown divine plan, so all of the machinations of the Adversary and the oppositions of the world and the flesh as well, cannot hinder the development of the various members of the body of Christ who, as the Heavenly Father has predicted, are to be joint-heirs with his Son in the Millennial Kingdom of blessing.

The Word of the Lord declares that even those who crucified the Master, and who, in their conscientious conviction that they were doing right, said, "His blood be upon us and upon our children"--these are all yet to be the subjects of divine mercy in due time; because as the Apostle Peter declares that they did it "through ignorance." (Acts 3:17.) The Lord foretells the time that they shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and shall all mourn because of him; and he foretells, too, that at that time so far from crushing them or torturing them, he will favor them by pouring upon them the spirit of prayer and supplication.--Zech. 12:10.

It is a different matter, however, when those who "have been enlightened and have tasted of the good Word of God and of the powers of the age to come and have been made partakers of the holy spirit," shall become accusers of the brethren, adversaries, persecutors. No blessings are promised to these; but the declaration is that "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea." Judas was an ensample of this class in his day; of him the Master said in love and in sorrow,--not in anger,--"It were better for that man had he never been born"--his life has been more than wasted. It is not our thought that the Lord will have torments for these in the future, but rather that they die the Second Death, and that in some manner they receive retribution in the present life as did Judas.

But he that is one of the Lord's people, possessed by his spirit, could not be a persecutor or opponent of the brethren,--none surely except those who become poisoned with the adversary's covetous disposition, [R3052 : page 233] with the desire for self-exaltation. No wonder that the Lord cautioned us against this sin of covetousness under which Satan originally fell, by which Mother Eve was seduced from loyalty to the Lord, and by which Judas and various other enemies of the Lord have been mislead. Let us be more and more on guard against it. Let others do what they will-- whatever the Lord may permit--as for us, let us say with the Apostle, "we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth"--all of our energies and powers must be enlisted on the side of the Lord and on the side of all those who are his. Not a finger dare we move, not a whisper dare we utter injurious to the members of the body of Christ, of whom the Lord declares, "No weapon formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement, shalt thou condemn."

WHO IS HE THAT CONDEMNETH?

The closing words of our text remind us of the language of the Apostle (Rom. 8:31-39), "If God be for us, who can be against us?"--who can prosper against us, who can accomplish anything against us? That God is for us is already manifested in that he spared not his own Son, but redeemed us with his precious blood; and in that he has called us in Christ Jesus to be his "elect" Church, his Bride. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth." In harmony with this, our text declares of these servants of the Lord, "Their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." Some may endeavor to condemn them and may indeed succeed in finding fault with them for having imperfect judgments, and being sometimes imperfect in their conduct or words; but what will it matter that such should condemn those whom the Lord approves? The Lord informs us that he knows our imperfections better than any could know them; but that of his own grace he has provided a covering for our unintentional blemishes through the merit of the sacrifice of his Son. Who then shall succeed in condemning these whom God approves, whom God justifies, whom God declares to be right and acceptable to him through Jesus Christ? Others may claim that they are actually as nearly perfect as some of the faithful "elect," but the difference is that whereas God must reject all to any degree blemished, these have the covering of his Grace in Christ and are accepted according to their intentions and endeavors; and, therefore, they shall be able to stand, for he is able to make them stand in their testing or judgment.--Rom. 14:4.

Let us as members of the house of Sons, accepted in the Beloved, take from our Father's Word in this text the strong consolation which he intends it should give us. Let our faith triumphantly sing, and our joy and rejoicing in the Lord know no bounds. According unto our faith it will be unto us. But while it will be on account of our faith that the Lord will approve of us, accept us, and bless us, he has, nevertheless, assured us in advance that where the tree of faith exists and grows, the character development, the fruitage of the faith will surely also abound, and that thus by our works (imperfect though they be) we shall give evidence of the faith that is in us. Such a living faith may well cause rejoicing in the house of our pilgrimage, with this assurance that even the machinations of our enemies shall work out for us blessings, under our Heavenly Father's supervising care, wisdom, love and power.



[R3052 : page 233]

THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS SHALL COME.

"For thus saith the Lord of hosts: Yet once [more] it is a little while and I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations and the Desire of all Nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts."--Hag. 2:6,7.

HERE IS ONE of the richest promises in the blessed Word of God. It is the gospel in a nutshell--the gospel of grace to the world and of glory to the Church; and it is signed at both ends with the signature of the Sovereign of the universe, Jehovah of hosts. It was thus uttered by the mouth of one of his holy prophets--Haggai. But though with the other writings of the prophets it was held sacred as the Word of the Lord and reverently read by his anciently chosen people, fleshly Israel, their understanding of it fell far short of its true significance; and not until the holy Spirit was given as a comforter, a guide into all truth and a revealer of things to come (John 14:26; 16:13), was the precious import of this declaration of Jehovah made manifest to his saints (the gospel Church), as it has been through his holy apostles and prophets.--Eph. 3:5.

Fleshly Israel thought they saw in this declaration an intimation of the exaltation and universal dominion of their nation, the fall of the Persian kingdom and the subserviency of all other nations to them, and that the house of Israel, thus exalted and enthroned above all the nations, would be filled with the glory of the Lord and recognized by all the world as God's specially chosen and honored people--a holy nation and a royal priesthood. With such a hope in view they diligently and cheerily worked to rebuild the ruined temple and to repair the fallen walls of Jerusalem after the decree of the Persian monarch, Cyrus, granted them liberty to return from captivity. But centuries rolled on; the Persian empire fell but Israel's glory still tarried; for they only passed from under the dominion of Persia to that of Greece, and then of Rome; and then, as a nation scattered and peeled, they were driven out of the land of their fathers--the land of divine promise--and scattered among all nations and persecuted among them all unto this day.

What then? has God's promise failed? or has he forgotten it? No; for the Apostle Paul, under the leading of the holy Spirit, calls it to mind again (Heb. 12:26-28) and shows that the house which is to be thus filled with the glory of the Lord is not the fleshly house or kingdom of Israel, but the spiritual house or kingdom of God--the Gospel Church.

The shaking of the earth mentioned in this text [R3052 : page 234] presupposes a former shaking, and this one is shown to be the last. The former shaking was that typified in the quaking of the earth at the giving of the law at Sinai; for under the law, says the Apostle, every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, and at various intervals the nation was thoroughly shaken and sifted by captivities and otherwise, that only the loyal and true might remain. (See Hebrews 12:25,26; 2:2; 3:17; 10:28.) But this last shaking is to be a greater shaking than fleshly Israel ever experienced; it is to be a shaking of the heavens [symbol of the ruling power] and the earth [all organized and law-abiding society] and the sea [the lawless and anarchistic elements] and the dry land [the established aristocracy of wealth and social independence]. And it is to be a shaking, not only of one nation, but of all nations--"And I will [R3053 : page 234] shake all nations." Surely this predicted shaking of all nations is but a repetition of the prophecy of Daniel (12:1) of a great time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.

But the Apostle Paul gives us the comforting assurance that "This word, yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, that the things that cannot be shaken may remain." And he further shows (Heb. 12:28) that that which will remain after the shaking, and which cannot be moved, will be the kingdom of God, which we shall inherit if we prove worthy--i.e., if we stand all the tests and shakings and cannot be shaken out.

The Apostle, in stating that the kingdom of God --the true Church, the elect--cannot be shaken, thereby intimates that it shall not be exempted from those blasts that shall shake and utterly remove all other organizations, but rather that the true, elect Church shall not be moved by them. Her foundation is sure. "God is in the midst of her, and she shall not be moved." (Psa. 46:5.) As a matter of fact, we find ourselves today in the midst of these perilous and disintegrating influences. The storm is rising, and, as predicted, it is felt first by the Lord's little flock of consecrated believers. Their faith and patience and zeal and endurance are being tried by every means that the adversary can devise. Every device of error is being put forth in its most pleasing and subtle form; and advantage is being taken of every weakness of the flesh to overcome those who are endeavoring to fight the good fight of faith and to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil.

And when we consider that "we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities, and powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12), we realize that the contest is a very unequal one unless we lay hold upon the strength which God supplies to us through Christ.

The Apostle's language further intimates that since only that which cannot be shaken will remain and will inherit the kingdom, all others will fall. And in this light the words of the Psalmist--"A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand"--are seen to be no exaggeration. Nor should the faithful few be at all dismayed when the various shakings sift out their number; for so it must be until only that which cannot be shaken shall remain. Thus the whole nominal church, both within and outside the various organizations, must be shaken until only the true and faithful remain; for God will gather out of his kingdom all things that offend.--Matt. 13:41.

But this shaking is permitted, not only to sift out of the Church all shakeable things, but it is to extend to all the nations; and so unprepared are they for the storm that is coming, and so unable to resist it, that the Apostle, with prophetic foresight, declares that their shaking signifies their removal (Heb. 12:27); and further, that their removal is not in order that anarchy may prevail, but in order that the kingdom of God, which cannot be shaken, may take their place.

Thank God for the prospect of an unshakeable kingdom, whose kings shall reign in righteousness and whose princes shall decree justice (Isa. 32:1; Prov. 8:15), and under whose dominion the whole earth shall be at rest. (Isa. 14:7.) This is the kingdom which the Prophet declares will indeed be "the desire of all nations," when it is once established and its blessings begin to be realized by the world. Yes, truly "the desire of all nations shall come"--with blessings of life and health and peace and prosperity and good government. It is for this coming kingdom and its blessings that the whole creation groans and travails together in pain, waiting for the adoption, viz., "the redemption of our body"--the body of Christ, the heirs of the kingdom. (Rom. 8:22.) As soon as this body is all selected, fitted and tested, then the kingdom will be established and the desire of all nations will have come--the long desired peace and prosperity which every experiment of their own will have failed to secure. And doubtless every possible experiment will have been tried and proved futile before that time; the last, that of socialism, ending in universal anarchy.

It is this body of Christ, this spiritual house of Israel, which, though lashed by many a storm, nevertheless "cannot be shaken," because it is firmly founded upon the Rock Christ Jesus: it is this house that Paul calls "the temple of God" (I Cor. 3:16; 6:19) that is to inherit the kingdom of God, and that Jehovah says he is going to fill with his glory.

He will fill it with the glory of the divine nature: he will make every member of it like unto Christ's glorious body: he will endue them with power from on high to execute faithfully all of the divine purpose for human restitution, and for the establishment of universal harmony and peace. Praise the Lord for such a prospect for both the Church and the world. May its inspiration be felt by every devoted heart, and its warning be heeded by every one who feels to any degree inclined to be unstable. Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand unshaken in the midst of the storms of this evil day, and be counted worthy to be a living stone in that glorious temple of God, now shortly to be filled with his glory, and to be an heir of that kingdom which cannot be moved, and which shall indeed be the desire of all nations. [R3053 : page 235]

"HE CARETH FOR YOU."
"Casting all your care upon him;
for he careth for you."--I Peter 5:7.
"What can it mean? Is it aught to him
That the nights are long and the days are dim?
Can he be touched by the griefs I bear,
Which sadden the heart and whiten the hair?
Around his throne are eternal calms,
And strong, glad music of happy psalms,
And bliss unruffled by any strife.
How can he care for my poor life?

"And yet I want him to care for me,
While I live in this world where the sorrows be;
When the lights die down on the path I take;
When strength is feeble, and friends forsake;
When love and music, that once did bless,
Have left me to silence and loneliness;
And life-song changes to sobbing prayers--
Then my heart cries out for a God who cares.

"When shadows hang o'er me the whole day long,
And my spirit is bowed with shame and wrong;
When I am not good, and the deeper shade
Of conscious sin makes my heart afraid;
And the busy world has too much to do
To stay in its course to help me through,
And I long for a Saviour--can it be
That the God of the universe cares for me?

"Oh wonderful story of deathless love!
Each child is dear to that heart above:
He fights for me when I can not fight;
He comforts me in the gloom of night;
He lifts the burden, for he is strong;
He stills the sigh, and awakens the song;
The sorrow that bowed me down he bears,
And loves and pardons, because he cares.

"Let all who are sad take heart again.
We are not alone in our hours of pain;
Our Father stoops from his throne above
To soothe and quiet us with his love.
He leaves us not when the storm is high,
And we have safety, for he is nigh.
Can that be trouble which he doth share?
Oh, rest in peace, for the Lord does care!"



[R3053 : page 235]

ISRAEL'S TYPICAL TABERNACLE.
--EX. 41:13.--AUGUST 3.--

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise."--Psalm 100:4.

WE CANNOT DO JUSTICE to this lesson here; nor is it necessary. We refer our readers to the booklet, "Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices,"* which a majority of them already possess, and which we believe has been very helpful to the Lord's people,--deepening the work of grace in their heart by its explanations of the riches of divine grace already bestowed upon us and those yet future, illustrated in Israel's typical tabernacle and its typical arrangements, sacrifices, etc.

*Price 10c. each; 50c. per doz--free to those too poor to pay, upon postal card application.

Incidentally we guard our readers against certain misapplications which, from contemporary reviews of the lesson, we may infer to be quite common. The tabernacle and its court, etc., were not, as many suppose, a church edifice, or place of worship for Israel. An ordinarily able minister and writer wholly misrepresents the tabernacle and its services as follows:

"Suppose yourself approaching the Tabernacle at some desert camping place....It is a brilliant sight; the white hangings of the court contrast with the dark coverings of the tabernacle within. The gorgeous entrance curtain is looped up, for the Court is full of worshipers bringing sacrifices. White-robed priests are burning offerings at the large bronze altar in the center, while another is using the sacred laver near the Tabernacle entrance preparatory to entering. The many-colored curtain is here looped back on its golden pillars. From within we catch a gleam of the golden table and exquisitely wrought lampstand, while a fragrance of rare incense floats out upon us. Deep in the recesses of the Holy Place we can see the resplendent curtain, and we tremble as it seems almost luminous with the shining of the Shekinah behind it. All is so reverently silent that we hear the chime of bells on the high-priest's garment as he moves forward, and, turning, we read above his beautiful robes and glittering breast the crown and meaning of it all, "Holiness to the Lord."

Quite to the contrary of this description, the Israelites in general were not permitted within even the outermost of the Tabernacle enclosures, the Court. Nor could they see over the high linen curtain which enclosed it, nor directly see through its doorway, which was behind a "gate" of heavy curtains. Only the tribe of Levi, consecrated to the Lord's service, was permitted inside this enclosure in the Court, and of these only the one priestly family, consisting at first of the five persons, Aaron and his four sons, were permitted to enter the Tabernacle proper, whose curtains, so far from being looped up about the gold-covered pillars, so as to permit the Levites to see the candlestick, tables, etc., were kept down, with the very object of hindering them from seeing anything within. And that they might not seek to look in when the officiating priests lifted the curtain and passed under it, a divine law was promulgated forbidding them to look, and prescribing a penalty of death for disobedience.--Num. 4:19,20.

All of this has a deep significance in connection with the proper understanding of the meaning of these types. As the Court represented the condition of justification through faith in the sacrifice for sins in the atonement accomplished by the high-priest, so its brazen altar represented primarily the perfection of the man Christ Jesus, upon which his offering was accepted of God, as our sin-atonement, sanctifying in turn any offering of others that might be presented upon it. Likewise the laver taught in type a cleansing of the flesh, and a putting away, so far as possible, of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit on the part of those in the justified condition as preparatory to their entering the Tabernacle itself. As only the priests were permitted to enter the Tabernacle, or [R3054 : page 236] even to see its glories and beauties, the teaching is that as the Court represents one condition, the "Holy" represents another, and the "Most Holy" still another condition. As the priests, before being consecrated to the priestly office, must be Levites, so those who would be of the Royal Priesthood must previously have been justified believers, otherwise they would not be acceptable as members of the Royal Priesthood. Their entrance as priests into the Holy symbolizes their change of nature--from justified human nature to that of "new creatures," begotten of the spirit. The Holy represents the state or condition of these new creatures in this present life, while still in the flesh, and only reckonedly new creatures, while the Most Holy represents their future state or condition, in which they will be perfected as new creatures by participation in the first resurrection--beyond the "Vail."

Our Forerunner, the "High Priest of our profession," or order, passed through the Court condition as the perfect man, presenting himself in consecration when thirty years of age; and then passed from the Court condition into the Holy, the sanctified or new creature condition, when begotten of the holy spirit. The three and a half years of our Lord's ministry are represented in the Holy of the Tabernacle; and as the First Vail represented his consecration to death, so the Second Vail represented his actual death, beyond which he arose in the perfect spiritual condition--the Most Holy. In all this he was the Forerunner of those who will constitute the Royal Priesthood, his house, the members of his "Body." We by nature are sinners, and hence must enter the Court condition of justification through faith in our Lord's sacrifice; we must be cleansed from the defilements of the flesh, so far as possible, through the word spoken unto us, represented in the washing at the Laver; and then we must make our consecration full and complete, represented by the Vail at the door, if we would enter thus into the Holy, enjoy the privileges typically represented in the light of the Golden Candlestick and the Shewbread and the Incense Altar, which signify the light, the truth, and the spiritual privileges, praises, prayers and communion which we have with the Lord as members of the body of Christ, this side the Second Vail. And for all who shall finish their course faithfully and joyfully, there remains beyond the Second Vail of actual death a glorious share in our Lord's resurrection to perfect spiritual conditions, to be partakers of the divine nature and to behold his glory in the first resurrection.

The natural man, even tho justified, represented by the Levite, cannot see into, cannot discern, cannot appreciate, cannot enjoy, the privileges of the consecrated. He can hear through the priests some description of the glorious things beyond, but he cannot fully comprehend them or see their beauty-- except by becoming a priest--by consecration, by self-sacrifice to the Lord.

The same expositor whom we quoted above, errs again, as follows:--

"Christian ministers continue the Tabernacle service of Aaron and his sons, pointing men to Christ, leading men in prayer, and inciting them to offer their bodies a living sacrifice. They are to be revered as standing in this noble succession."

We fear there are many ministers in the nominal church who have neither part nor lot in the Royal Priesthood. Many of them confess that they are not even Levites, not even in the Court condition, when they acknowledge that they disbelieve the Scriptural teaching of man's fall into sin and the atonement for his sin effected by the great High Priest--when they claim, on the contrary, that there was no fall and no need of a redemption, but that man has reached his present plane of intelligence by a process of evolution. These evolutionists, of whom there are many in the nominal church ministry, are not in the Court condition of justification, nor have they any right or standing there. They are not even of the Levite class, the household of faith; consequently, they could not be of the priestly class.

Altho many others of the ministers of the nominal church, as well as of the laity, have reached the position of justification through faith in the Lord's redemptive work, and altho some of them have washed at the brazen laver, purifying their lives through the Word of truth, yet comparatively few have gone on to take the step of full consecration necessary to their becoming members of the Royal Priesthood--necessary to their having the right to enter into the Holy, to discern the glorious truths represented therein, "the deep things of God," which can be seen only in the light coming from the Golden Candlestick, symbolizing the enlightenment of the holy spirit. But if the word "ministers" be used in the Scriptural sense, as signifying servants--persons devoted to the service of God, consecrated to do his will even unto death, then the term "minister" will be applicable, not only to those of this class who do public preaching, but to those of this class also who with different talents are serving the Lord and laying down their lives for the brethren in other ways public and private.

Human systems, misnamed churches of Christ, have raised false standards on the subjects of the priesthood, and have separated God's people contrary to his arrangement, into "clergy" and "laity." Very shortly now the Lord will show how different is the divine standard of measurement; for surely then will be demonstrated what our Lord and the apostles explicitly declared, that "not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called" and accepted into his priesthood; but chiefly "the poor of this world, rich in faith, to be heirs of the Kingdom."--I Cor. 1:26; Jas. 2:5.

Amongst the Lord's priests will be found some very lightly esteemed amongst men, some who have been mechanics or farmers or laborers or housekeepers, but whose hearts were fully devoted to the Lord, and whose ministry consisted in doing with their might whatsoever their hands found to do, as unto the Lord--doing good unto all men as they had opportunity, especially to the household of faith-- laying down their lives for the brethren. When the lists shall be proclaimed doubtless the names of many highly esteemed amongst men, the names of many [R3054 : page 237] great and noble and wise and learned, honored of men and expected to be honored of the Lord, may be found wanting; because, in their love for the approval of men they sought not exclusively the honor which cometh from God only--because either of their failure in not exercising the proper faith in the ransom, or because of their failure to exercise the proper consecration,--devotion of their lives to the Lord's service.

It is to this priestly class that the Golden Text is applicable. Their thankfulness to the Lord for his mercies and blessings leads them to count not their lives dear unto themselves, but to lay down their lives willingly in his service. Their hearts are filled with praise, because, having made consecration of themselves, and having entered thus the courts of the Lord to be seated with Christ in heavenly conditions, the heavenly light and food supplied them enables them to rejoice exceedingly even in tribulation, even in matters which otherwise, according to the flesh, without the strength and enlightenment of the truth, would discourage them and cause them fear. Because they have entered into this fellowship with the Lord in his sufferings, with his spirit of appreciation, therefore they may be joyful even in the house of their pilgrimage --and when the pilgrimage of the present life is ended, and as new creatures they shall pass beyond the vail, there shall be fulness of joy for them as they enter into the joys of their Lord in the full and complete sense--made like him, seeing him as he is, and sharing his glory.



[R3054 : page 237]

NADAB AND ABIHU CUT OFF.
--LEV. 10:1-11.--AUGUST 10.--

Golden Text.--"Let us watch and be sober."--I Thess. 5:6.

ALTHOUGH not directly so stated, there is sufficient ground for the inference that the sin for which Nadab and Abihu were smitten by the Lord, was committed while they were under the influence of intoxicating liquor. The basis for this inference is that immediately following the description of their wrong doing and its punishment comes the Lord's injunction,--"Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die; ...that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean."--Vs. 9,10.

The two young men smitten in the prime of life, were Aaron's oldest sons; there were two younger brothers. All had just been consecrated to the priesthood, under their father Aaron as the chief priest, by the direction of their uncle Moses, carrying out the divine arrangement. With many advantages every way, they had corresponding responsibilities, as well as grand prospects for the future, all of which [R3055 : page 237] were destroyed because of their lack of reverence for the Lord--their carelessness respecting his regulations, and the vows which they had just taken upon themselves as his special servants. Their experience furnishes an excellent temperance lesson. How many others in highly favored situations in life have come to disrespect the Almighty's arrangements through the use of intoxicating liquors!--how many have similarly blighted their prospects in life, hastened their death, and brought sorrow upon their kindred!

The Chicago Tribune has collected statistics respecting the murders in the United States, between the years 1891 and 1901, and declares that 53,000 of these murders resulted more or less directly from the use of intoxicating liquors. The statistics of the State of Massachusetts for the year 1895 show that over ninety-six percent of those convicted for crime in that State, were users of strong drinks. In 1899 the New Voice obtained the testimony of one thousand jailors (whose terms of office would aggregate more than six thousand years of experience), and their returns showed that seventy-two percent of the criminals then in jails under their charge, were brought there by drink. The American Grocer using government statistics (April 1901) figures the total bill of this country for liquid refreshments during the year at $1,228,674,925. And of this amount it figures that alcoholic liquors cost $1,059,563,787,--the remainder representing the sum spent for tea, cocoa, coffee, soda water and the like. Some one has calculated that the money spent for alcoholic liquor would equal a pile of silver dollars 1754 miles high; and the Christian Observer remarks, "It would take ten men with scoop shovels to throw away money as fast as we are wasting it for grog."

In the presence of such a stupendous evil, blighting earthly prospects for so many, depriving so many of the reasonable comforts and necessities of life, disqualifying so many for thoughts and deeds of purity and goodness, and accomplishing instead so much misery and sorrow, what Christian could feel interested in the traffic? What Christian would not be willing to forego personal rights and liberties in connection with this terrible adversary of the race and rejoice in any self-denials it might cause him, even though he might feel himself stronger than the majority of men, and thoroughly capable of withstanding its insidious attacks and undermining tendencies as respects character, etc? It is not for us at the present time to make "sumptuary laws" for the world, nor in any manner to attempt to rule the world; but as surely as we believe that when the Lord's Kingdom shall have fully come it will thoroughly chain up this monster evil, as one of the most powerful of Satan's agencies, just so surely should all who so believe show to others by precept and example their opposition to this curse.

There is, however, a deeper lesson for us in the experiences of the two priests under consideration. As they were members of the tribe of Levi, so those whom they typified would be members of the "household of faith." As they went further than this and consecrated to the priesthood and were truly and properly accepted of the Lord as priests, their antitypes [R3055 : page 238] must be persons, classes, who have come under the terms of the "royal priesthood" in the full, proper sense of the word. They do not represent merely nominal Christians--merely such as imagine themselves consecrated to the Lord through a misunderstanding, as is the case with many in the nominal church of today: they represent persons, classes, in the true, consecrated Church of the Lord.

The Scriptural account does not specify respecting the wrong doing of Nadab and Abihu. The expression "strange fire" does not clearly indicate to us whether their wrong doing consisted in using an incense other than the kind that the Lord had prescribed, or whether they used it at the wrong time, or in a wrong place, or whether the fire which enkindled the incense was taken from some other place than the altar, as the Lord had prescribed, or whether their incense was repulsive to the Lord because the offerers were in a state of intoxication--possessed of a wrong spirit. The latter, as we have suggested, seems to be implied in the declaration of the 10th verse respecting holy and unholy, clean and unclean conditions of approaching the Lord.

The great lesson here for the royal priesthood is not so much in respect to intoxicating liquors, as in respect to a wrong spirit and unclean condition of mind and heart in approaching the Lord. We are bound to suppose that those who have made a consecration to the Lord and are seeking to "cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Cor. 7:1), will not be guilty of literal intoxication. Those who have received to any degree the spirit of the truth and have come to appreciate in any measure the spirit of a sound mind, surely realize that in our soberest and most favorable condition, our minds are none too sound;--they realize that continually the Lord's people have need of his assisting grace supporting their imperfect judgments, and they could not ask for such grace to help were they not also using their best endeavors to preserve and exercise what sense they have naturally.

The lesson for the consecrated, therefore, is in accord with what the Apostle has written, "Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." (Heb. 4:1.) Our consecration through faith in the Lord has brought us under the anointing of the holy spirit, has permitted us to enter into the holy and to enjoy the privileges and favors of those "deep things of God" which none can see or appreciate without the anointing of the spirit. Outsiders-- not of the consecrated and accepted class, not of the royal priesthood, the peculiar people, and who therefore have no privilege in the way of offering incense to the Lord, have no such opportunities as we of offending the Lord by offering him unacceptable sacrifices,--unacceptable prayers, unacceptable services. As we do not know in which way these two sons of Aaron offended against the divine arrangement or whether they both offended alike, we may lay to ourselves, as the antitypical priesthood, lessons all along the line.

(1) When we approach the Lord we are not to come to him under the influence of an evil spirit, intoxicated with the spirit of the world or of Babylon, by whose wine it is declared all the nations have been made drunken.--Rev. 14:8; 18:3.

(2) When we would approach the Lord even in a right spirit, we must make sure that we have the proper incense which he has stipulated will be acceptable to him, whose ingredients represent the perfections of our Lord Jesus reckonedly appropriated to us.

(3) Additionally we must be sure that we do not get fire for our incense from any other quarter than from the altar--consecrated fire or zeal, sanctified by the merit of our Lord's sacrifice.

In "Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices" we have offered the suggestion that these two priests possibly represent two different classes in the church--two classes amongst those who have made consecration to the royal priesthood and have been accepted, both of which classes will fall from the priesthood. We have suggested that one may represent the class who will die the Second Death (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26,27) and that the other may represent the class who lose their membership in the royal priesthood because of an insufficiency of zeal to make their calling and election sure; but who, nevertheless, are at heart loyal to God and will be "saved so as by fire," through great tribulation. (Rev. 7:14.) True there is nothing in the type to indicate any difference between these two, nothing to indicate any hope in the future for either of them. We think it not unreasonable, however, to surmise that the type merely shows that both men lost their standing in the priestly company by reason of failure to rightly appreciate their privileges. We are assured that all these matters are typical, yet we find it difficult to suppose this type to mean that one-half of all who consecrate to the Lord as members of the royal priesthood, will suffer the Second Death. Yet this would seem to be the only alternative interpretation, if we reject the thought that the two men merely represented the two classes who lose the priesthood without indicating their proportion as respects the whole. The two should have a meaning;--either as one half of the whole or as two classes. We accept the latter view; because the Scriptures clearly show two classes who will lose the royal priesthood, and because the other proposition, that they represented one-half of the consecrated lost in Second Death, seems to us wholly untenable.

In any event the lesson to those who desire to be faithful to their privileges, is a strong one, having made our consecration to the Lord, having received of his anointing, let us seek carefully to "make our calling and our election sure" to the blessings and privileges of the future--as the dispensers of divine bounties to mankind in general, in the Millennial Kingdom, associated with our Lord. Let us take all the lessons out of this that we can, as respects due reverence to him with whom we have to do, and due appreciation of the proper spirit, the proper incense [R3055 : page 239] and the proper zeal to be used in coming before the Lord, that we may abide in his love and favor.

MISCONCEPTIONS CAUSE DIFFICULTIES TO MANY.

Those who do not see with us the great divine plan of the ages, with its wonderful opportunities of the future for the blessing of all the families of the earth;--who do not see with us that the present age is merely for the selection of the royal priesthood for the future work of glory and blessing of mankind;-- who do not see with us that the Jewish system with its priesthood, sacrifices, incense, etc., etc., were merely types or shadows of the higher things in God's plan now being developed;--such are apt to look at the statements of this lesson with astonishment; and are apt to feel that God acted in a very arbitrary manner toward these two priests in striking them down in death, because of some failure to approach him in the prescribed manner. They fail to see that the Lord [R3056 : page 239] was instituting types which must be carried out to the very letter, and which must illustrate the exactness of his dealings with the "royal priesthood."

Looking at the matter in a wrong light, they not only see the two men suddenly deprived of life, but they reason that if God's anger thus destroyed them --then, the very next moment, according to their theory, they would appear at God's bar for their eternal sentence; and since they could not believe that the two men who were unfit to live amongst men were any more fit to live in heaven, they feel obliged to conclude, according to their theory, that the Lord not only suddenly smote them down as respects their earthly life, but additionally turned them over for an eternity of torture at the hands of devils. Those who really believe this misrepresentation of the divine plan must necessarily be unfavorably influenced by it in their own dealings with their children, their neighbors, etc.,--their ideas of justice and of love, etc., must necessarily be blunted by such misconceptions of the divine character and procedure.

To our understanding of the teachings of the Lord's Word, on the contrary, there would be no such difficulty as this. Nadab and Abihu were men, members of the fallen race, all of whom are under sentence of death. They had been merely reckonedly, not actually, justified, because "the blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin." They were, therefore, although typically occupying the place of priests, not really different from the remainder of the world--for they had received no release from the Adamic condemnation. Hence, since their position and all were typical, so also their death under the circumstances could mean no greater loss to them than death under other circumstances would mean to their fellows--they merely went into the tomb a little sooner than they otherwise would have done. But long centuries after their death and the death of their fellows,--better and worse,--in God's appointed time, the great antitypical sin-offering appeared; --and the great antitypical Priest, offered the great sacrifice for sins accomplished at Calvary, and the whole world was brought back from the sentence of sin and death--including Nadab and Abihu, Aaron and Moses, and all the remainder of our race,--including also us who were not yet born.

The Atonement day sacrifices begun by our Lord and Redeemer, continue; and we, his called ones of this Gospel age, are privileged to participate in the sacrificing work with our great High Priest, as the sons of Aaron participated with their father. Soon the entire work of sacrificing will be at an end; soon the great High Priest will finish the work of making an atonement, and will then, as did the priest in the type, come out to the altar and lift up his hands and bless all the people--the dead and dying world. The day of blessing will be a long one, because "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years." It will be quite sufficient to accomplish the purposes intended, of lifting up, helping, strengthening, blessing, bringing to full restitution, all who will come into harmony with the Father. In that day Nadab and Abihu with others of mankind, who have done better and who have done worse, will be on trial before the judgment seat of Christ,--the Church, the royal priesthood, being associated with Him in the judgment. (I Cor. 6:2.) In proportion as any have had favorable opportunities and used them unfavorably, in similar proportion have they degraded themselves so that they will proportionately experience stripes and difficulties in getting started upon the great "highway of holiness," which will then be opened up for the whole world of mankind,--that they may return thereon to the Lord and to eternal life; and only those who fail to come back under such gracious opportunities, into full harmony with the gracious divine plan, will be destroyed irrevocably in the Second Death.

"LET US WATCH AND BE SOBER."

The Apostle's exhortation in our Golden Text is well worthy of being continually borne in mind by all who would make their calling and election sure to a place in the glorious priesthood of the future-- "Let us watch and be sober." Let us watch in the sense of taking careful notice of all the directions which the Lord our God has given us, respecting what would not be acceptable service to him. Let us watch ourselves, striving to walk as nearly as possible in the footsteps of the great High Priest, who was, we are sure, right and acceptable to the Father in every particular. Let us be sober--not only not literally intoxicated with ardent spirits, but let us not be intoxicated with "the spirit of the world," or the spirit of Babylon, churchianity. Let us have the spirit of Christ, the spirit of a sound mind, the spirit of meekness, the spirit of gentleness, the spirit of love for God, for our fellows, and for all men, seeking as we have opportunity, to do them good. Let us be sober in the sense that we will not be frivolous; that while happy, joyous in the Lord, free from the anxious cares that are upon many others through misapprehension of our Father's character and plan, we may, nevertheless, be sober in the sense of earnest, appreciative of present opportunities and privileges in connection with the Lord's service;-- not thoughtlessly negligent, letting opportunities and privileges slip through our hands to be afterwards regretted.



page 241
August 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXIII.AUGUST 15, 1902No. 16.


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower243
Industrial Feudalism243
What Will the Higher Critics Do With Paul?244
Is There a Crisis in Methodism?244
Living by Every Word Out Of the Mouth of God245
Journeying Toward Canaan248
Interesting Questions Answered251
We are Well Able to Overcome it253

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 242

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.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO--
BRITISH BRANCH--131 GREEN ST., FOREST GATE, LONDON.

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.

MISSIONARY ENVELOPES.

Every letter you send through the mail may be a more or less potent messenger of the truth, even on its outside, by the use of these envelopes. They catch the attention not only of those to whom they are addressed, but postmen and others have an opportunity, and often the curiosity, to read their message of peace; the gospel in a condensed form. Price 25c per hundred post paid.


WE ARE HOLDING some of the new Bibles for a time, for some of those who hope to find it more convenient to send the money later. We still have some of both styles of binding ($2 and $3), and those desiring may order.


"TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF BETTER SACRIFICES" is out of stock temporarily (both English and German), but we hope to have plenty very soon.


WALL CHARTS painted on cloth, on rollers, 5 ft. long, similar to the one in Dawn I. are again in good supply. They are of good appearance suitable for sitting rooms and small halls. Express prepaid $1.50.


PAPER CHARTS 36 in. long with hangers, metal bound, showing chart of the ages and prophetic outlines, prepaid 25c each.

We are preparing a smaller edition of this chart on very tough paper, suitable for inserting in the new Bibles. They will be very convenient for reference. Price postpaid 10c.



[R3056 : page 243]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

INDUSTRIAL FEUDALISM.


The Independent has recently published an article from the pen of Mr. W. J. Ghent which has attracted general attention. Mr. Ghent points us back to the days of feudalism when lords and barons led and governed the residents of their estates almost like slaves through under chiefs, and declares that in many respects similar conditions are now approaching. "The next distinct stage in the socio-economic development of America...will be something in the nature of a benevolent feudalism," is the way he puts it; "concentration of capital and the increase of wealth will continue,...'the rich will grow richer, and the multi-millionaires will approach the billion-dollar standard.'" He proceeds:--

"The more the great combinations increase their power, the greater is the subordination of the small concerns. They may, for one reason or another, find it possible, and even fairly profitable, to continue; but they will be more and more confined to particular activities, to particular territories, and in time to particular methods, all dictated and enforced by the pressure of the larger concerns. The petty tradesmen and producers are thus an economically dependent class; and their dependence increases with the years. In a like position, also, are the owners of small and moderate holdings in the trusts. The larger holdings--often the single largest holding--determines the rules of the game; the smaller ones are either acquiescent, or, if recalcitrant, are powerless to enforce their will. Especially is this true in America, where the head of a corporation is often an absolute ruler, who determines not only the policy of the enterprise, but the personnel of the board of directors."

"The laborers and mechanics were long ago brought under the yoke through their divorcement from the land and the application of steam to factory operation. They are economically un-free except in so far as their organizations make possible a collective bargain for wages and hours. The growth of commerce raised up an enormous class of clerks and helpers, perhaps the most dependent class in the community. The growth and partial diffusion of wealth in America has in fifty years largely altered the character of domestic service and increased the number of servants manyfold. Railroad pools and farm-implement trusts have drawn a tightening cordon about the farmers. The professions, too, have felt the change. Behind many of our important newspapers are private commercial interests which dictate their general policy, if not, as is frequently the case, their particular attitude upon every public question; while the race for endowments made by the greater number of the churches and by all colleges except a few state-supported ones, compels a cautious regard on the part of synod and faculty for the wishes, the views, and prejudices of men of great wealth. To this growing deference of preacher, teacher, and editor is added that of two yet more important classes--the makers and the interpreters of law. The record of legislation and judicial interpretation regarding slavery previous to the Civil War has been paralleled in recent years by the record of legislatures and courts in matters relating to the lives and health of manual workers, especially in such cases as employers' liability and factory inspection. Thus, with a great addition to the number of subordinate classes, with a tremendous increase of their individual components, and with a corresponding growth of power in the hands of a few score magnates, there is needed little further to make up a socio-economic status that contains all the essentials of a renascent feudalism."

"Macaulay's famous dictum, that the privileged classes, when their rule is threatened, always bring about their own ruin by making further exactions, is likely, in this case, to prove untrue. A wiser forethought begins to prevail among the autocrats of today--a forethought destined to grow and expand and to prove of inestimable value [R3057 : page 243] when bequeathed to their successors. Our nobility will thus temper their exactions to an endurable limit; and they will distribute benefits to a degree that makes a tolerant, if not a satisfied people. They may even make a working principle of Bentham's maxim, and after, of course, appropriating the first and choicest fruits of industry to themselves, may seek to promote the 'greatest happiness of the greatest number.' For therein will lie their greater security."

Mr. Ghent considers "the present state machinery is admirably adapted for the subtle and extra-legal exertion of power by an autocracy" and hence that neither new laws nor violent methods will be invoked. He continues:--

"The prevention of discontent will be the prior study, to which the intellect and the energies of the nobles and their legates will be ever bent. To that end the teachings of the schools and colleges, the sermons, the editorials, the stump orations, and even the plays at the theaters will be skilfully and persuasively molded; and the questioning heart of the poor, which perpetually seeks some answer [R3057 : page 244] to the painful riddle of the earth, will meet with a multitude of mollifying responses....Literature will take on the hues and tones of the good-natured days of Charles II. Instead of poetry, however, the innocuous novel will flourish best; every flowery courtier will write romance, and the literary darling of the renaissance will be an Edmund Waller of fiction. A lineal descendant of the famous Lely, who

'...on animated canvas stole

The sleepy eye that spoke the melting soul,' will be the laureled chief of our painters; and sculpture, architecture, and the lesser arts, under the spell of changed influences, will undergo a like transformation.

"This, then, in the rough, is our benevolent feudalism to-be. It is not precisely a Utopia, not an 'island valley of Avilion'; and yet it has its commendable, even its fascinating features. 'The empire is peace,' shouted the partizans of Louis Napoleon; and a like cry, with an equal ardency of enthusiasm, will be uttered by the supporters of the new regime. Peace and stability will be its defensive arguments, and peace and stability it will probably bring. But tranquil or unquiet, whatever it may be, its triumph is assured; and existent forces are carrying us toward it with an ever-accelerating speed. One power alone might prevent it--the collective popular will that it shall not be. But of this there is no fear on the part of the barons, and but little expectation on the part of the underlings."

The writer of the above seems to have a clear grasp of the subject and presents it well. Our only disagreement with his hypothesis is that it will not work out as the wealthy intend it shall. The next great world-wide financial depression which we believe to be but a few years ahead of us will disconcert these plans and confound the whole world. Stockholders will demand dividends even on watered stocks; and managers however benevolently disposed and however prudent will be compelled either to advance prices or to curtail expenses or both and in the end the lower classes are sure to be so hard pressed that the Scripture predictions respecting our times will be fulfilled.--James 5:1-5; Dan. 12:1.

WHAT WILL THE HIGHER CRITICS DO WITH PAUL?


"Let the Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus be given up as non-historical, there still remains the unquestionably historic and authentic testimony of Paul." This is the keynote of an article by Rev. Dr. William Cleaver Wilkinson, of Chicago University, in which he dwells upon the incalculable need the Christian Church has for Paul, as one whose testimony "no fiercest crucible fires of historical criticism can possibly in the least affect." Dr. Wilkinson (who writes in The Homiletic Review, June) does not think that this importance of Paul's testimony is adequately appreciated. He says:

"The cry, so rife everywhere about us, 'Back to Christ!' really means, from the lips of many who utter it, 'Away from Paul!'--nay, even, almost, 'Away with Paul!' With many zealously active and widely influential Christian teachers and writers the feeling has been growing stronger every day for now a decade of years or more that the Apostle Paul has too long been suffered to dominate, too exclusively, our conceptions of Christianity. The view has been propagating itself by boldly declaring itself that the proper way to regard Paul's writings is to regard them as setting forth, not authoritatively the true doctrines of Christ, but only as setting forth one great mind's own individual way of conceiving those doctrines. The doctrines themselves, it is urged, in their unadulterated purity, are to be sought in the words of the living Jesus, as those words are reported by the four evangelists, but especially by the three synoptic evangelists so called, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The records of these historians, we are told, are to be carefully sifted; for the truth which they give is mingled with error--the error of imperfect report and imperfect transmission. Besides this, so we are further given to understand, there is the error, an uncertain amount, to which Jesus himself, as proved by his own admissions of ignorance on some points, was liable."

From this "pitiable state of hopeless incertitude," Paul rescues us by his witness to a "living, an ascended, a glorified Christ." It was for the sake of this service that Christ waited until after his resurrection and ascension before calling Paul to the apostleship. It is Paul alone who gives to Christ's pre-existence and to his exaltation after death the proper prominence, making almost nothing, in comparison, of the Lord's earthly life. It was not upon Jesus as a man among men, but upon Jesus as supreme divine Lord over men that Paul laid commanding emphasis. Dr. Wilkinson continues:

"The Christian Church can not afford to obey the call 'Back to Christ!' if that call be understood to mean back to the earthly Christ of the Gospel histories, away from the heavenly Christ of the epistles of Paul. The tendency, now so strong and prevalent so widely, to deal with Jesus on severely 'scientific' principles of historical criticism, simply as a man who lived once in Palestine, and whose words and deeds were very imperfectly reported by very ill-qualified biographers, biographers that must be halted with challenge at every point and not confidently relied upon, unless they all three happen to relate the same thing in the same way--I say all 'three,' not all four, because John is to a great extent discredited and counted out as not John, but another man by the name of John--this tendency, however it may suppose itself to be peculiarly loyal to Jesus is, in deepest truth, the most specious and the most dangerous disloyalty to him that he has ever encountered in all the centuries since he finished the work on earth that was given him to do.

"Let it be duly considered, if Christ comes at length to be measured by this rule, the time will then not be distant when he will be still further reduced; and from being the pre-eminent, the ideal, the flawless man, will be found out to be at best a man not well enough known to deserve such distinction, and, at worst, a man shown to have had his limitations, his weaknesses, his infatuations, even his faults of temper in speech and in behavior, such as bring him down after all quite comfortably near the level of the better sort of average human nature."

In the opinion of Dr. Wilkinson, however, "nothing even conceivable, except the actual literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, can account for the undoubtedly historical phenomenon of the Apostle Paul, his career, and his written words."

The above from the Digest is a great satisfaction to us. We rejoice that the Chicago University has one professor still sufficiently true to God's Word and to logic to acknowledge the Apostle Paul's sound words, and their accord with the mind and words of our Lord Jesus. None who appreciate the divine plan of the ages can for a moment question that the Lord specially raised up the great Apostle to the Gentiles. We, yes, the entire cause stands or falls with this great mouth-piece of God.

IS THERE A CRISIS IN METHODISM?


Rev. Dr. L. W. Munhall, an evangelist of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is very sure that there is a crisis and that he knows what has caused it. The cause is "the dishonor put upon God's Holy Word" by Methodist professors, editors, and preachers. He does not hesitate to name them, and his list includes the names of many of the most notable in the denomination. Dr. Munhall's charges are not strictly new. He has been making them for at least three years. On June 23 he repeated them before a Methodist ministers' meeting in Philadelphia, where he secured the passage of resolutions denouncing "higher criticism" [R3057 : page 245] as "wretched stuff." He has now published his views in a pamphlet entitled "A Crisis in Methodism," in which he asserts that the spiritual life of Methodism is dying out. He writes:

"What is the real cause of our spiritual decline? Many causes have been named, some of which explain in part; but, for myself, I believe the real cause of it all is the dishonor put upon God's Holy Word in many of our educational institutions, by some editors of church periodicals, and not a few preachers; because of which the Holy Spirit has been grieved and withdrawn His power in large measure from us. Because of their commanding influence, our educational institutions are the chief offenders. Of course, I know that all these institutions are not given to this mischievous business, but most of the leading ones are. In the faculties of these institutions are men who are skeptics and rationalists; who do not at all believe the Bible is God's Word and in the doctrines of Methodism, and who [R3058 : page 245] do not hesitate to let the students know their position. They repeat infidel objections to the Bible and call it modern scholarship, and then give the young men under them for instruction to understand that they believe it all, and many of these young men take up with these skeptical views, and go out into the ministry, not to preach the Gospel of the blessed God, but their questionings, rationalism, and agnosticism."

Dr. Munhall includes in this indictment, by name, Prof. H. G. Mitchell, of Boston University School of Theology, who is accused of boasting that "he would revolutionize Methodist theology"; Prof. C. W. Rishill, acting dean of the same institution, whose book, "The Foundations of Christian Faith," "is full of poison"; Prof. Milton S. Terry, of Garrett Biblical Institute, who is charged with teaching the unhistoric character of Genesis; President Charles J. Little, of the same institute, and President Samuel Plantz, of Lawrence University, who are charged with "a denial of the omniscience of Jesus"; President Bradford P. Raymond, of Wesleyan University, who also teaches the limitation of Christ's knowledge; President William F. Warren, of Boston University, who indorses Professor Mitchell's "extremely rationalistic and Unitarian position"; President J. W. Bashford, of Ohio Wesleyan University, who is "a little more cautious in his statements than the other presidents named, but sympathizes with their views"; and, especially, Chancellor James R. Day, of Syracuse University, who is charged with staying away from Dr. Munhall's evangelistic meetings in that city three years ago because the latter assailed the critics who "teach infidel objections to the Bible." Others named in the indictment are the editors of Zion's Herald and The Methodist Review, and Prof. "Borden P. Bowen" (Bowne), of Boston University. Dr. Munhall quotes Dr. James M. Buckley as saying three years ago to Prof. M. S. Terry that if the latter were a professor in Drew, he (Dr. Buckley) would prefer charges of heresy against him. Dr. Munhall expresses himself as follows:

"I solemnly, positively, and most emphatically declare such teachings to be unbiblical, unmethodistic, and infidel; that they are destructive of spiritual life in the church and subversive of the Christian faith and hope. If any one doubts this, it is with him to explain why revivals that were once common in our educational institutions are seldom or never known; and why the faith of many of our young men is being wrecked while in college."



[R3058 : page 245]

LIVING BY EVERY WORD OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.

"Man shall not live by bread alone; but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."--Matt. 4:4.

BREAD is a general name for food; for that which satisfies the cravings of hunger; for that which builds up and strengthens; for that which enables the continuance of life. It was appropriate, therefore, that the Lord should use bread as a symbol, or figure of that heavenly sustenance which God has arranged should now upbuild and strengthen his people, and eventually, by the first resurrection, impart to them life everlasting. Divine truth is represented as being such spiritual food; and our Lord himself, because in the divine plan he is the channel of the truth,--"the way, the truth, the life,"--is spoken of as being also "the bread of life" for his people. We are to eat, or partake of the life-giving qualities which he freely gives us in himself, if we would reach the goal of our hope--eternal life.

Our text is our Lord's reply to the Tempter when he was in the wilderness fasting and hungry. The Tempter had suggested the use of the powers which Jesus had received a few days previous when, at his baptism in Jordan, he received the holy spirit, and with it the gifts and powers which subsequently enabled him not only to heal the sick, but to turn water into wine and to feed a multitude by increasing the two barley loaves and the two small fishes. The Adversary's proposition was that the Lord should use this power for the gratification of his own appetite. He said, "Command that these stones be made bread."

However pleased the Lord was to have these divine powers communicated through the holy spirit he had received, however glad he was, at appropriate times, to perform the miracles incidental to his ministry, he knew that the powers were not given him for any selfish use, for any self-gratification; and, therefore, he declined the suggestion and his reply is our text. In passing, we note that there is a lesson here worthy of the attention of all God's people; that spiritual and divine things are not to be used in a mercenary or selfish manner. So far as they can discern matters, the Lord's people are to keep separate and distinct their own personal preferences, desires and appetites, from the heavenly and spiritual things; and not use the latter for the services of the flesh, however pure and good the fleshly desires may be.

Our Lord's words accept the suggestion that bread, food, necessary to human sustenance under present conditions; but they carry the thought further --they draw our attention to a higher life than the present one. The present life is not really life, but death: the world is under divine sentence of death; and only those who have come by faith into relationship with God have "passed from death unto life;" as our Master on another occasion said, "He that hath the Son hath life, he that hath not the Son shall not see life." And again he said to one who was thinking of becoming his servant, his follower--"Let the dead bury their dead, follow thou me."

From this standpoint we see that man cannot live by bread alone. He has the divine sentence against him, "dying thou shalt die"; and he can find no kind of bread, no kind of food, that will produce life in the full and complete sense of that word--that will swallow up death in life. He must look for another kind of "bread of life" than any earthly food; he must [R3058 : page 246] have another kind of "water of life" than any earthly drink. It is this heavenly food or supply to which our Lord refers; saying, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

But how is it possible for us to live by the words that proceed out of the mouth of God? What did Jesus mean? How can God's words give us life?

He meant that all hopes of eternal life depend upon God--upon the divine plan and its promises. Looking into these promises we can see distinctly that the divine plan, dating from before the foundation of the world, is that all of God's creatures, created in his likeness and abiding in faith, love and obedience, in harmony with him, shall have life everlasting. This is God's general word upon the subject; namely, that obedience is the condition of life everlasting. This is, undoubtedly, what our Lord had in mind in using the words of our text: he may also have had the thought that he had come into the world upon a special mission, to do the Father's will, and that his understanding from the beginning was that his perfect obedience to the divine will would insure him glory, honor, immortality with the Father, eventually; but that any disobedience would mean the forfeiture of divine favor, and would involve the sentence of disobedience; namely, death.

Our Lord's prompt decision, therefore, was that to disobey the Father's will, and thus to secure bread for the sustenance of his body, would be a great mistake; that food thus secured could sustain life for but a little while;--that his better plan would be to trust in the Word of God, the divine promise that those who love and serve and obey him shall ultimately come off conquerors and more, and have eternal life with God. And this, our Master's conclusion, is full of instruction for us who are his disciples, seeking to walk in his footsteps. We are to learn the lesson that a man's life consists not in the abundance of things which he possesseth--food and raiment-- but that his life in the fullest, grandest, highest sense, is dependent upon his complete submission to the divine will--his careful attention to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

The words of God's mouth to us are not exactly the same as to our Lord Jesus and to the holy angels; --because we are by nature children of wrath even as others--sinners: we must, therefore, be addressed from a true standpoint to begin with. Thus it is that we hear the words of God's mouth in different languages at different times in our experiences.

(1) The first word of God's mouth to us is the message of justice--informing us that we are sinners, imperfect, helpless, as respects our own restoration to the divine image. This first word which proceedeth out of God's mouth to us is alarming; he declares us to be under a sentence or curse of death because of sin;--that "the soul that sinneth shall die"; that "the wages of sin is death." It tells us that by nature we are "children of wrath even as others,"-- strangers and foreigners, aliens from God and all his blessings, which are held in reservation for those who love him and obey him and maintain the perfection in which they were created. It is necessary that we should hear this voice; necessary that we should be alarmed and feel fearful of the penalty of death; and necessary that we feel lonely and discouraged in our separation from God and our alienation from his gracious provisions for those who love him and whom he loves. This fear and dejection are necessary in a [R3059 : page 246] general way to prepare us for the next word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God; namely,

THE WORD OF GOD'S PITY AND AID.

(2) The message that God, while manifesting his absolute justice and the immutable integrity of his first word and sentence, is, nevertheless, kindly disposed toward us--that he pities us in our fallen condition. This word is not to the effect that divine pity will admit us as sinners into divine favor, present and future; but that divine pity contemplated in advance a ransom-price which, meeting the claims of divine justice, would permit of man's recovery from his condition of sin and death,--back to a condition of holiness and life everlasting--as though he had never sinned, had never been sentenced. This word which proceeded out of the mouth of God, prophesying a blessing and opportunity for recovery to as many as will accept, was first a voice to Abraham saying, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." As this hope begins to dawn in the heart of the penitent one, seeking life-eternal at the fountain of grace and truth, the ears of his understanding listen intently for other words of life from his Creator and he hears (Acts 10:36),

THE VOICE OF GOD "SPEAKING PEACE BY JESUS CHRIST."

(3) The message of peace is that God has already provided the ransom price for sinners;--that Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man"; that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and rose again for our justification." This word from God's mouth informs us that through this transaction, which is entirely his own without our instigation or aid, "He may be just and yet the justifier of those who believe in Jesus." (Rom. 3:26.) Oh, what joy, what hope of life comes into our hearts as we hear this word which proceeded out of the mouth of God! We exclaim with the Apostle, "If God be for us who can be against us?" If God so loved us while we were yet sinners, much more does he love us since we are seeking him, desirous of returning to fellowship with him, and since we accept the provision of his grace in Christ Jesus our Lord. Thus to all who accept the atonement which is in Christ Jesus, through his blood, God indeed speaks words of grace and peace--forgiveness, reconciliation, mercy, love, kindness.

GOD'S WORD TO RECLAIMED SONS.

(4) Another word or message proceeds from the mouth of God, to such as have heard of his grace in Christ and have accepted it. He calls them children-- not now "children of wrath," not now "children of the Evil One," but he addresses them as reclaimed children, as his own, as those to whom he is pleased to give his blessings upon certain conditions which [R3059 : page 247] he specifies; saying, "My son, give me thine heart." This call for the heart is a call for full consecration, for complete setting apart to the Lord and to his service. Our will is the center of our intelligence, our being; if the heart, the will, be given to God, it carries with it the title to every action, word and thought. It is such only as delight to respond to this Word or message from the mouth of God that he is pleased to own in the special sense of sonship which pertains to this Gospel age--sonship in the house of sons, of which Christ Jesus, our Lord, is the Head.

"THE WORD OF PROMISE."

(5) In our ignorance of the greatness of our Heavenly Father and the richness of his grace toward us in Christ Jesus our Lord, we might fail to appreciate the necessity or desirability of a full consecration of our hearts to him. In our ignorance we might prefer to say, "Some of self and some of thee." Knowing this, God, in his compassion, has been pleased to set before us certain features of his plan, and hence we hear his voice again in the "exceeding great and precious promises" of his Word. In these he points out to us the wisdom of a full consecration and complete obedience to him--assuring us in these promises that by obedience to them we may become partakers of the greatest of all blessings,--the divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:4.) Oh, how wonderful that the great Creator should condescend not only to redeem sinners but to urge, to entice them to receive his bounties and blessings! From the time the consecration begins a measure of the holy spirit is granted, that the consecrated one may, by application--by hungering and thirsting for the words which proceed out of the mouth of God, and by feeding upon them, --be enabled to "Comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge." (Eph. 3:18,19.) Ah, yes! those who have heard and have fed upon "the words which proceed out of the mouth of God" thus far, find indeed a new life begun, a new vitality, a new energy,--new hopes, new aims, new ambitions, "old things are passed away," everything is tinged with the glories of the heavenly things which "eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man to conceive"--the things which God hath in reservation for them that love him;--an understanding and appreciation of which God, in some measure, gives to such by his spirit, which "searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."

FEEDING ON THE WORD OF ADMONITION.

(6) Hearkening further for the words which proceed from the mouth of God--"Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life"--we hear a word of admonition. The Father instructs us, that the glorious things to which he now calls us cannot possibly be ours unless our consecration to him and submission to the influences of his providences and promises shall change, transform, renew our minds; --so that the things once loved we will hate, and the things once hated we will love. As a father spareth not the rod of chastisement from the son whom he loves, so the Lord will not spare the rod of affliction and chastisement from those who are truly his; because he loves them, and because he desires to develop in them such a character as will be pleasing to him, and as will permit him eventually to make them his sons on the plane of glory, heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, their Lord.

This word respecting the necessity of chastisement and our correction in righteousness, that we may become conformed to the image of God's dear Son (Rom. 8:29), is accompanied with assurances of love from the Father--assurances that "Like as a Father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that reverence him." He says to us also, through another apostle, "Faint not when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." He explains that such discipline is not prompted by anger towards us, but by his love, and if we are rightly exercised by the disciplines, trials, experiences of life, they will "work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;"--they will work out in us such characters as the Lord will be able to use in the service to which he hath called us--the service of the Millennial age--the service of the royal priesthood, to be associated with Christ in the work of judging and blessing the world of mankind. The proper response of all who have the true spirit of sonship is expressed in the language of our Lord and Master, "Not my will but thine be done," O Lord; "I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart." Such as thus respond to the chastisement of the Lord, step more and more into divine favor, and hear other words of comfort, of grace, of help.

"YE HAVE NEED OF PATIENCE."

(7) God's Word or message of patience is, "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (Jas. 1:4.) How necessary to our perfection is this divine counsel--this Word which proceeds from the mouth of God! We might imagine that we had received sufficient testing and proving to indicate our loyalty to the Lord, to the principles of righteousness, long before we had been sufficiently proved according to the Lord's standards in the testing of character. He therefore graciously explains to us how necessary patience will be, that we should not think it strange concerning the fiery trials which must test us, as though some strange thing had happened unto us. (I Pet. 4:12.) On the contrary he points out to us as we grow in grace and in knowledge and in ability to comprehend --that the glory, honor and immortality to which he has invited the Church of this Gospel age, is so high, so grand a position, that those who would share those honors must expect, necessarily, to be severely tried and tested that their absolute loyalty to the Lord and to the principles of his righteousness-- justice, truth, love--shall be beyond question. Our characters must become crystalized along these lines, firm as adamant, before we shall be ready to be received as the "overcomers" who shall inherit all things, and share the kingdom and glory with the Captain of our salvation. He points out to us, further, [R3059 : page 248] that if it was necessary for the Captain of our salvation to be tempted and tried, tested and proved, much more reasonable is it that we who were children of wrath, and justified only through his grace, should be thoroughly proven as respects our loyalty.

WORDS OF CONSOLATION FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.

(8) We might well be exercised with the strictness of the divine requirements as respects this overcoming class, and might say to ourselves, Others may attain to such glories and blessings; but we are too weak in the flesh through the fall and cannot hope to come off victors--cannot hope to stand the trials and tests which the Lord would impose. And here the Lord speaks again, a gracious word of comfort, consolation and encouragement, informing us that the perfection he is expecting is not a perfection in the flesh and of the flesh which is weak and imperfect, [R3060 : page 248] but a perfection of the heart, of the will, of the mind, of the intention. He informs us that he is not judging us as human beings according to the flesh, but as new creatures according to the mind, the new will. He informs us that although he will expect the new mind to do its very best in the matter of controlling the flesh and bringing it into subjection, yet, nevertheless, he knows that the flesh being imperfect, perfection according to the flesh is an impossibility to any of the fallen race: and that, therefore, his arrangement through Christ under the New Covenant is, that the imperfections of the flesh which are not assented to by our wills are not counted as ours. They are covered by the merit of Christ's sacrifice, and are ignored in the Heavenly Father's reckoning with us. He assures us that we are to be judged according to the spirit (will, intent) and not according to the flesh.

What comfort and consolation are in these assurances! These are wonderful words of life, indeed! They inspire us with hope. If God will accept perfect heart-intentions, as instead of the absolute perfection of the flesh,--then indeed we have hope of attaining to the standard which he has marked for us,--the standard of perfection. We can be perfect in intention, in will, or, as the Master expresses it, "pure in heart", even though we cannot be perfect in the flesh. We hear through the Apostle the word proceeding out of the mouth of God to this effect, "The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit." (Rom. 8:4.) We can walk after the spirit, though, so far as our mortal bodies are concerned, we cannot walk up to the spirit's requirements. Our minds can walk up to the spirit, our intentions can be perfect; and this is what our Heavenly Father seeks in us, perfection of intention.

THE WORD OF RESURRECTION.

(9) A further word from the mouth of God assures us that he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust--under sentence of death, "Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return"--weak, imperfect, dying; and that it is not his purpose that we shall always be in conflict with ourselves--perfect will against imperfect body,--that he has provided that in the resurrection we shall have new, perfect bodies in full accord with our new minds. He assures us that he is able and willing to do all this, and that he proposes to give to his "elect" bodies of a still higher order than the human--that he will give us spiritual bodies. They shall have a part in the first resurrection, and thenceforth be able to do the Father's will perfectly in every respect--as they now show themselves desirous of doing his will so far as they are able. Oh, gracious provisions! O wonderful words of compassion, inspiring us to wonderful hopes of eternal life and glory! It will be to such as thus overcome in spirit, in faith (I John 5:4), that the Lord will give the final word of his mouth--"Well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord."

Every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God--every admonition, every encouragement, every promise, is necessary to the development of those whom God is now calling to eternal life as joint-heirs with his Son in the Kingdom. The eating of natural food could not bring this life-eternal, nor its attendant glories; but the eating and appropriating of these words from the mouth of God can bring to us all these blessings which we crave. Let us then, more and more, as the disciples, pupils, of the Lord Jesus, keep in memory and act upon the suggestion of the words of this text, "Man shall not live by bread alone: but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God."



[R3060 : page 248]

JOURNEYING TOWARD CANAAN.
--NUM. 10:11-13,29-36--AUGUST 17.--

Golden Text:--"For thy name's sake lead me, and guide me."--Psa. 31:3.

ISRAEL spent nearly a year in the vicinity of Mt. Sinai. It was about a year and fifty days after their departure from Egypt that, by the Lord's instruction, they broke camp to journey toward the promised land--Canaan. Doubtless, their first impressions respecting the matter were that the Lord, through Moses, would lead them directly into the Land of Promise, and no doubt they wondered at the delay. We can see, however, that a nation reduced almost to the condition of slavery, would need many lessons to prepare the people for the glorious heritage which the Lord had promised them. In previous studies we have seen how the Lord inculcated lessons of trust, duty, obedience, worship and temperance, and subsequent events will prove to us that even with all these instructions the people were not yet ready to trust and obey the Lord so as to be properly fit for their inheritance.

During the eleven months spent in the vicinity of Mt. Sinai, important arrangements were effected --all tending to a larger degree of organization, government and personal responsibility amongst the people. [R3060 : page 249] When ready to leave Mt. Sinai they had not only their tribal organizations, but were additionally grouped in companies of ten and these into fifties and these again into larger groups or commands, so that the entire host was well marshalled. Besides this, they had in each tribe a Judge or lawgiver for minor questions; weightier matters being brought to Moses and through him to the Lord. Moreover, the Lord put his spirit upon seventy of the elders of the people, of all the tribes, so that they prophesied or taught the people, each in his own department; while the tribe of Levi had been specially set apart to the divine service. The Tabernacle had been made with all its appurtenances, and the regular order of worship had been established--typical, like the people, of the better things coming afterward.

If, as we see, it was appropriate that Israel according to the flesh should have training-lessons in trust, obedience, etc., we can readily understand that their antitype, spiritual Israel, has much need of instruction, much need to learn lessons along the same lines,--and still more particularly, if they would be prepared to enter into typical Canaan. We need to learn to trust the Lord implicitly after we leave Egypt, the world, and set forth on the way to our Canaan; we need to learn that he alone is able to deliver us from the spirit of the world which would still pursue us and bring us back into captivity; we need to learn to trust the Lord for the heavenly manna and to gather it day by day; we need to learn confidence in the Lord, not only in the presence of the leaders whom he raises up for us, but also in their absence, and not to set up for ourselves earthly idols to draw our hearts away in any measure from the Lord and his arrangements, and the great purpose for which we have started under his leadership; we need to learn the import of the Covenant which he has graciously made with us, sealed with the precious blood;--to be faithful to our share therein to the extent of our ability, and to trust the remainder to our great Mediator.

We need also to learn the Tabernacle lessons-- how and under what conditions we may have fellowship with God--may enter into the court and still further into the Holy, and ultimately, as members of the High Priest's body, into the Most Holy. We need to learn order in respect to natural as well as spiritual things; and that while the liberties of the Lord's people are to be conserved and bondage to evil is to be avoided, that, nevertheless, in all of the Lord's arrangements there is order, as represented in the order established amongst the Israelites. We are to learn first of all to be subject to the Lord, and secondly, to every ordinance of God; we are to consider the truly consecrated people of God as a unit and are to seek to co-operate one with another, and to remember the Apostle's words, "Remember them which have the rule over you," (Heb. 13:7), and again, "Yea, all of you be subject one to another." (I Pet. 5:5.) All of these lessons are necessary to us, as similar lessons in type were necessary to typical Israel.

The cloud, representing the Lord, rested over the Tabernacle during the sojourn in the vicinity of Sinai; but in harmony with the instructions given through Moses, when the appointed time had come, the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle and went before the people and about one hundred and fifty miles distant, rested over another wilderness nearer Canaan. The people followed it in marching order and apparently at first with great enthusiasm, praising the Lord. Vs. 35 seems to refer to Psalm 68 which describes the journey; see also Psa. 132:8. But whatever were the joyful anticipations of the people, they found the wilderness of Paran into which the Lord led them the scene of great trial, for it was much more rugged than the wilderness of Sinai and much less adapted to the care of their flocks and herds. This brought to the people fresh trials of faith and courage and endurance and confidence in the Lord and appreciation of his promises.

So with spiritual Israelites: after the Lord has given us certain lessons and experiences, some of which come to us under quiet and restful conditions, the order of procedure may be changed, and the indication of the Lord's providences may lead to some breaking up of conditions which had been both favorable and unfavorable in some respects--leading into new circumstances and conditions. It is not for the true spiritual Israelite to murmur or complain or even to express a choice; but to look to the Lord [R3061 : page 249] for guidance. If he can discern the leadings of divine providence, even though it be in a wilderness condition more arid and undesirable than that in which he has previously been, he is to follow the Lord's leadings unquestioningly and with songs of faith and confidence.We are marching toward Canaan and know that other experiences are due us and must be undergone ere we can inherit the promises. The lesson for us is prompt and thorough obedience to the Lord's leadings without murmurings-- with joyfulness; and this can only be expected on the part of those who have learned the lessons previously given them, and above all the lesson of faith,-- confidence in the Lord's power and goodness and faithfulness.

REBELLION AGAINST GOD'S PROVIDENCE.

It was while in Paran that the people began to murmur again--for the leeks and onions and garlic and fish, etc., of Egypt. As little children to a father, they lamented to Moses--even regretting that they had been led out of bondage. Moses appealed the matter to the Lord, and the latter granted the request in displeasure, telling Moses that he esteemed the people to be murmurers against himself; because he was the real Leader and Moses merely his servant. The people wanted more meat, expressing themselves as wearied of the manna, so God sent them quails. An immense flock of quails was blown by a providential storm from the south and east over the Elantic Gulf into their camp. A writer on Eastern subjects says: --"These quails cannot sustain themselves long on the wing, and after crossing the desert 30 or 40 miles they would scarcely be able to fly....When exhausted they would easily be taken as they flew at a height of about two cubits (3 or 4 feet) from the [R3061 : page 250] ground." The people got an abundance; but ate so greedily that a pestilence broke out among them, which cost the lives of many, so that they called that place Kibroth-Hattaavah--"Graves of Greediness." Thus the Lord permitted their discontent and spirit of rebellion to work out a severe penalty in a natural way.

Is it not sometimes after the same manner with the Spiritual Israelites? Do not some after being well fed on spiritual manna permit a selfish, craving spirit to interrupt their fellowship with the Lord to some extent--hankering for earthly, fleshly, good things; --forgetting the wisdom of our Leader, the Lord, and that his love which thus far has delivered us, and fed and led us, is still with us, as wise and as good as ever? Sometimes it is a repining against our lot in life, a desire for more ease and comfort and wealth and social influence, than are within our reach: sometimes it is a protest against our share of the aches and pains of the groaning creation and our inability to get rid of these: sometimes it is a protest against the illness and death of a loved one.

How unwise! Should not those who have been fed on the spiritual manna realize that all of Spiritual Israel's affairs are under the Lord's care and supervision? Should they not remember that,--He doth not willingly afflict the children of men, but for their good? (Lam. 3:33; Heb. 12:10.) Ah! some have found that the prayers of murmurers, even when answered, as were Israel's, sometimes bring unexpected drawbacks;--that selfish prayers are too expensive. Some have gained wealth and lost the truth and its service: some have gained health only to find that with it they gained other trials no less severe: some have had their dear ones restored to them from the very jaws of death, only to wish afterward that God had not answered their prayers;--or, more correctly, to wish that they had accepted the Lord's wisdom and providences trustfully, contentedly, uncomplainingly.

The lesson to Israel was, that they should trust the Lord implicitly; and accepting and using all that they had, all that the surroundings would supply, they should have used it as wisely and as thoroughly as possible--accepting all things, natural as well as miraculous, as God's gifts. And therewith they should have been content, thankful, happy. So, too, Spiritual Israel should use wisely such things as are within their reach--accepting all as God's gifts with thanksgiving; but their petitions should be for spiritual gifts --including patient-endurance and heart-contentment.

REBELLION AGAINST THE DIVINE ORDER.

It was in Paran that Miriam and Aaron rebelled against Moses' leadership asserting themselves his equals in authority. Miriam, the prime mover in the matter, referred to Moses' marriage to a negress (Ethiopian) as an evidence of his general incapacity to manage his own affairs, much less those of a nation. The text of the complaint is given only in part, but undoubtedly the fact that they were now near to Canaan and well organized and that it was now comparatively easy to lead the people, led to this wrong position. Both were quite willing that Moses should be leader when the start was made and when all the chances seemed to be against the success of the movement.

Poor Moses! If it almost crushed him when the people murmured against him, how must he have felt when his two most trusted advisers thus showed that they too had a wrong view of the Exodus, and considered Moses a self-appointed leader! True, it does appear to us as though his meekness had led him into a marriage in every way beneath his education and station in life; but then, was he not under divine supervision in all his affairs? And could not the Lord have hindered the marriage unless he saw some way in which it could prove advantageous? And should not Miriam and Aaron have remembered this, and minded their own business? As a matter of fact we believe that the Lord was favorable to the marriage; --that thus he forestalled any inclination on the part of Israel to accept the children of Moses as their kings and lawgivers to the subversion of the divine program.

The Lord's indignation was shown in smiting Miriam with leprosy and refusing to heal her for seven days even at the entreaty of Moses;--that thus the camp of Israel might also get a lesson in harmony with a subsequent statement,--"Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."

The lesson of trusting to the Lord's vigilance in minding his business and the lesson that each Israelite indeed should mind his own business, are still closely identified. Many, nay all, still need to learn these lessons. The officiousness which inclines so many to think that the Lord's work will go to wreck unless they control the lever and pass their judgment upon everybody and everything, is dangerous to all who have it, and their name is legion. It is born of too great self-conceit mixed with lack of respect for God's wisdom and with a desire to meddle as "busybodies in other men's matters." Each should early learn that while doing his own part with his might he should trust much to the Lord, and that to him each

"COME THOU WITH US AND WE WILL DO THE GOOD."
servant stands or falls. Failure to do this leads to leprosy--sin.

Hobab, here introduced to our attention (vs. 29), was Moses' brother-in-law. (Judg. 4:11--R.V.) Raguel is here given as the name of Moses' father-in-law and is supposed to refer to the same person called Jethro in another place. The explanation offered is that Raguel was his proper name and Jethro, which signifies Excellent, was his title as a chieftain of the Midianites, of the clan known as Kenites which dwelt in Midian east of Sinai. Hobab, therefore, was also a chieftain amongst the Kenites and undoubtedly, as Moses' words suggest, was well acquainted with the country through which Israel would pass. Moses invited him to cast in his lot with the Israelites promising him that thus he, and such of his tribe as would come with him, should become joint-participators with the Israelites in the promises God had made them,--"Come thou with us and we will do thee good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning [R3061 : page 251] Israel...and it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the Lord shall do to us, the same will we do unto thee." Although Hobab at first refused, the promise of a share with Israel apparently influenced him favorably; because mention is made elsewhere of the Kenites as having share with Israel in the promised land.--Judges 1:16; 4:11; I Sam. 15:6; I Chron. 2:55.

Doubtless this narrative of divine arrangement with Hobab through Moses, was intended to convey a lesson to spiritual Israelites also. It represents that some who are not children of the promises according to the flesh, were, nevertheless, accepted of God because of the exercise of faith,--because of their willingness also to endure the trials and difficulties and warfare of the children of Israel, that they might be participators with them in the rewards and promises. So to-day, we may say to those who are still aliens, strangers, foreigners to the Lord's covenants, "Come thou with us and we will do thee good." We may tell whoever has an ear to hear of the gracious things which the Lord has promised, of everlasting life in Paradise, to all who are his,-- faithful to the end of the journey; and yet, it will be a matter for the exercise of their wills: if they share in the blessings, they must also be willing to share the difficulties of the way, and the reproaches of the Lord's people. Not only may we thus speak to people orally, inviting them to join with us, but our lives in general should be "living epistles," giving testimony of our faith in the Lord and in his promises;-- helpful, encouraging and attractive to others.

Our Golden Text applies to every spiritual Israelite, and surely all such must recognize the leadership of the Lord, else they cannot have peace and joy and blessing, and cannot make progress toward our Canaan. The Israelites learned to look for the movement of the cloud by which the Lord led them, [R3062 : page 251] and only once is it recorded that they ever disobeyed its leading--and that once was accompanied by their reverse in battle before their enemies, which doubtless impressed the lesson. (Num. 14:44,45.) Similarly, one of the most important lessons for the spiritual Israelite is to learn to look to the Lord for leading in all of life's affairs--never to attempt any undertaking either temporal or spiritual without seeking to note the will of the Lord concerning the same.

The sooner this lesson is learned, the sooner disasters in life will be obviated; nevertheless, we are to remember that the Lord's providences may lead us into trying circumstances and conditions, and not always into pastures green. Yet in these, faith will be tested and developed and faithfulness to the Lord's leading will gradually bring us assurances that all things are working together for our good, for our spiritual welfare--the matters which appear to be favorable and comforting, and the experiences which seem to be rough and distressing. We are not to ask or expect the Lord's leading for our own sakes, nor for any merit or worthiness in us, but, as our Golden Text expresses it, for the Lord's sake--in accordance with his promise to us as spiritual Israelites, the seed of Abraham;--for his own name's sake and work's sake, in that he has purchased the blessing of the world, and is now taking out a people for his name to be his agents in this work of blessing,--for his own name's sake in that he has invited us, promised us the victory if we abide in his love.



[R3062 : page 251]

INTERESTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED.


IS THE COVENANT STILL BINDING ON THE JEW?


Question.--Does the Jewish Law Covenant still exist? or was it fully terminated at the introduction of the New Covenant sealed by our Lord's death? If it still exists as a covenant, are all Jews now living still under and bound by that Sinaitic covenant? and if so, is the offer to the Jew still good that if he can still fulfil his part of that Law Covenant, he may have eternal life as a reward therefor aside from Christ?

Answer.--The Law Covenant was an agreement between God and the nation of Israel by which God pledged himself to give certain rewards to that nation if obedient; and Israel in turn bound itself to keep that law, and consented in event of failure to do so, that they had no claim upon the promises, but that they would justly come under divine sentence afresh. That covenant ceased, so far as God was concerned, when that nation was rejected at the time they rejected Jesus, and their rejection was noted in our Lord's words, "Your house is left unto you desolate." The rewards of the law were, nevertheless, secured by one Jew; namely, our Lord Jesus, because of his perfect obedience --even unto death. To him therefore, legally went all the blessings and privileges contained in and implied by the Law Covenant and the Abrahamic Covenant, to which it was merely "added." Thus we see that from God's standpoint the covenant arrangements have been fulfilled in Jesus, the faithful Jew, and that its provisions, therefore, cannot in any manner be extended to others now--nor could others ever hope to claim its provisions, even if they were open now.

However, while God has thus accomplished his side of the covenant, the Jews have never accomplished their side. Every circumcised Jew comes under the provisions of the Law Covenant and is subject to all its conditions, and can escape those conditions only in the divinely appointed way--by accepting Jesus as his Savior, the curse of the law: for he is the end of the law for righteousness [righteously] to every one that believeth (Rom. 10:4), but not to others. A believing Jew, in accepting Christ, ceases to be a Jew and becomes a Christian. Consequently all Jews not thus believing are still under the Law Covenant to which they have subscribed and to which they are bound by their own covenant or engagement; and there is no way for them to get free from their obligation to keep the whole law, except by believing into Jesus and thus in his sacrifice, having the righteousness of the law fulfilled in them. (Rom. 8:4.) The curse which they brought upon their own heads remains with them. "His blood be upon us and our children." (Matt. 27:25.) They can only escape the curse of the law and the additional curse of this gross violation of it, by having the merit of his [R3062 : page 252] blood, his sacrifice, imputed to them, as a sin sacrifice, the atonement of their guilt.

A COMPARATIVE ESTIMATE OF THE ELECTION.


Question.--There is a difference of opinion amongst us respecting your meaning in the article "A Comparative Estimate of the Election," page 26, in Jan. 15, 1902 number of the WATCH TOWER, hence I inquire, Is it your thought that the consecrated number includes only those who have come to a knowledge of present truth? If so, are we to understand that for every one who now comes into fellowship in the light of present truth, some other one has gone out of this light into darkness?

Answer.--Quite to the contrary. We understand that consecration to the Lord is necessary in every case before there will be a proper ability to receive the truth in the love of it--the truth respecting the deep things of God. It is our thought that of the suggested 31,500 already consecrated in 1881, scarcely any had any knowledge of what we term "present truth." Our thought is that a knowledge of present truth will be brought to all of these consecrated ones and will constitute a test of their consecration, of their sincerity; just as at the first advent our Lord offered himself not to the Gentiles, the unconsecrated, but to Israel the consecrated, typical people. The offering constituted a test to the Israelites; such as were meek and lowly of heart were the better prepared to receive the Messiah; such as were proud, vain-glorious either of their own persons or of their sects or parties, were thereby blinded and stumbled and hindered from accepting the truth. So it is today; the meek, the humble, the lowly of heart who are following the Lord implicitly have much advantage every way over the majority of God's consecrated people now, beset by worldliness and personal or sectarian pride and ambition. Nevertheless, having made a consecration and having been accepted of the Lord, a reasonable time should properly be granted to such to make their calling and election sure, to learn life's lessons respecting the emptiness of pride and ambition, and the fact that the true peace and joy in the Lord are to be found in humility of heart and closeness to the Master. We believe that in the Lord's providence "present truth" has been presented time and again to many of these consecrated ones and that some were ready and received it the first time, while to others it came two, three, four times before they had learned their lessons properly so as to be able to discern the emptiness of sectarianism and the bitterness and nausea of human creeds and theories in order that they might be able to appreciate the good tidings of the Word and plan of God. Others failing to profit by experiences granted them will, we believe, be rejected from the "overcomers" class.

In all reason we must expect that the period of favor with many of these is expired and that the crowns apportioned to them at the time of their consecration are no longer held for them, but will be granted to others who will take their places; and that their names will no longer be written amongst the victors, but will be blotted out from that glorious place, though not blotted out of God's memory, nor blotted out of existence, but rather that they may be re-entered as members of another class, the "Great Company," who shall pass through the great tribulation which, peradventure, may work in them blessings which they were not prepared otherwise to receive.

We are not to expect that the Lord would wait until these names began to be stricken from the list before he would begin to prepare others for their places: rather we are to presume that he would have in training a considerable number already consecrated but not accepted to the high calling (because the general call has ceased) and therefore not at once made acquainted with present truth. As vacancies shall occur amongst the accepted, or "elect" class because of failure to fulfil consecration vows, it will open the way for these later consecrated ones to be accepted to the "high calling" and then it will be proper for them to come to an appreciation of present truth, and to discern clearly the prize of our high-calling, the race course leading to it and the requirements of every faithful runner. That this has been the Lord's method since 1881 is evidenced very clearly by the fact that now at the time when we would expect that a good many names would be blotted from the roll as having failed to be victors, there are, we find, a considerable number consecrated since 1881, ready to receive the truth. And so deep is their consecration and earnestness and zeal that once they come into contact with the truth they assimilate it quickly, with understanding and appreciation, and make rapid progress in the race course toward the mark of the prize--perfect love.

Of course we must expect that some, even after receiving the light of present truth, will prove unfaithful to it and go out into the "outer darkness" of the world, where shortly, in the great time of trouble, they will share in the predicted "weeping and gnashing of teeth;" and we must expect that the going out of the race by these will be followed by the letting of others into the race course as well as in case of those who were consecrated prior to 1881, and whose testing largely consists in their coming into contact with the light of present truth. However, those who have come into the light of present truth under consecration made since October, 1881, will be much less likely to be [R3063 : page 252] finally rejected than those who were consecrated prior to 1881; because the receiving of the light of present truth constitutes one trial or sifting in every case, and this test is already past by those now being accepted.

"GOD GIVETH IT A BODY."


Question.--In explaining the resurrection of the dead, in I Cor. 15:36-38, the Apostle uses the illustration of wheat, or any kind of grain, saying, "That which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain," "but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him." My question is respecting this latter part of the text--"giveth it a body." Would not this seem to imply that as in a grain of wheat or corn there is a germ which survives the death of the remainder of the kernel, so in mankind there must be something to survive the death of the body--some kind of an "it" to which the Lord will give a body in the resurrection? What is this "it" in humanity?

Answer.--If we say that the "it" represents the soul we state the matter truthfully, but in a manner liable to be misunderstood by the average reader or hearer, because very few seem to understand what a [R3063 : page 253] soul is, according to the Bible usage. There are any number of views and theories respecting what a soul is, yet all of them, except the Scriptural definition, are vague, indefinite, inconsistent, unreasonable. According to the Scriptures the word "soul" is the equivalent of the word "being;" and stands for the intelligent person or "sentient being." The body is not the soul, though there could be no soul without a body; and the breath of life or spirit of life is not the soul, though there can be no soul without the spirit of life. As elsewhere explained,* when a body has been organized and infused with the spirit or energy of life, so that intelligence and thought result, that resultant condition is sentient being, or soul condition.

*Millennial Dawn Vol. V., Chap. 12.

God's sentence of death as the wages of sin is against the soul: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." And this sentence is executed through the deterioration of the body, either by sickness or otherwise, snapping the golden cord of life, causing the spirit or energy of life to break its union with the body. The result we call death, even before the putrefaction sets in which destroys the body. It is the death of the soul, the cessation of being, which has occurred.

In the divine arrangement God has provided in the death of our Lord Jesus a ransom for all (I Tim. 2:5,6), --all the souls of the human family--for Adam and Eve, and all the souls begotten, generated, by them. Consequently, although the divine sentence is upon every soul of man unto death, in view of this atonement which God has provided we who have faith in the efficacy of the atonement and in the ultimate carrying out of the divine plan are permitted to speak of these dead souls as though they were not dead, but merely asleep--"them that sleep in Jesus." (I Thess. 4:13,14.) All who were dead in Adam, having been bought by Jesus are not yet made alive by him, nor even in any measure resuscitated, but are spoken of as no longer extinct but reckonedly sleeping--waiting for the Millennial morning, when all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth again to being and to the opportunities of a raising up, or restoration to all that was lost--the process of raising up being betokened by the judgments of the Millennial age--rewards for those who will do well, chastisements for those who do ill, destruction if they persevere in ill doing. This judgment, in our common version Bible, is mistranslated "damnation." --John 5:29.

The "it" in the case of the world is the soul, or being which became extinct in death, but which was redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and is to be the subject of restitution power at his second advent. Each "it," each soul, each sentient being of the human family, redeemed by our Lord, was designed to have a body. Indeed, it cannot awake or come into being at all without a body. It will be necessary that the body shall be produced, created, and that, so far as the brain at least is concerned, identical with the body that perished when the soul fell asleep. Thus for the world the Lord will give "it" a body of its own kind;--human kind--a body which can go onward and upward to restitution and full human perfection, if the mind, the will, the soul, governing it, shall become obedient to the great Prophet, Priest and King, the glorified Christ, during the Millennial age; otherwise it will be cut off in the Second Death, and that without hope of recovery.--Acts 3:21-23.

In the case of the Church, a justification by faith is granted to believers, by which they are accounted free from the sentence of death, and permitted to consecrate their justified lives as sacrifices in the Lord's service--joint-sacrificers with their Lord, in whose foot-steps they are called to follow. These, in their consecration, are reckoned as dying to the human nature entirely, and their new minds are reckoned as having been transformed, as being no longer human minds or wills, but spiritual minds or wills--"We have the mind of Christ." This will, still exercised through a human body, is by the Lord and by his children accounted as the beginning of the new nature, the nucleus or new will of the "new creature." This new creature, however, has no suitable spirit body at the present time, but tabernacles in the earthly, dying body--which indeed perishes as the new creature develops. The faithful of this class will constitute the first resurrection, described by the Apostle. (I Cor. 15:42-44.) The new mind is the "it" in this case; no longer a human mind or will or spirit, but a new spiritual one, changed; and in the resurrection God will give "it," this embryo new creature, a spiritual body, as he has promised, and as it hath pleased him.



[R3063 : page 253]

"WE ARE WELL ABLE TO OVERCOME IT."
--NUM. 13:26-14:10.--AUGUST 24.--

"Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust."--Psa. 40:4.

ISRAEL having been taught certain great lessons in the wilderness, journeying toward Canaan, and having learned them to some extent, was now at Kadesh Barnea on the southern borders of the land of promise. The people suggested the sending of spies to investigate the condition of things in Palestine before going further. (Deut. 1:22.) The Lord acceded to the proposition and through Moses made selection of twelve chief men, one from each of the tribes--excepting the tribe of Levi and counting both Ephraim and Manasseh for Joseph. This caution in sending the spies was not condemned of the Lord; nevertheless, the people who for more than a year had been guided in all of their affairs by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night--directing their marchings, locations and camps, the time of their stay, etc.,--the people who had been miraculously fed with the quail and who had experienced the continuous miracle of the manna, and who had witnessed the discomfiture of their enemies by divine power when the hands of Moses were held up;--these people might have had faith enough in the Lord to have continued under his leadership whensoever and wheresoever he led them, confident of his care and of his power. [R3063 : page 254]

The twelve spies quite probably separated into small groups and thus made the more extensive investigation; however, their return seems to have been at one time, which is rather against this supposition. Ten of the number reported favorably as respected the land, but unfavorably respecting the possibilities of conquering it; the other two, Joshua and Caleb, with greater faith in the Lord, were less apprehensive and assured the people, "Let us go up at once and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it." However, the people had not fully learned the lesson of faith in God their Leader, and hence the report of the majority thoroughly aroused their fears and discouraged them from attempting the conquest.

The majority report was given with an appearance of great equity, telling, on the one hand, that the land indeed was a goodly one, and exhibiting in demonstration some fruits, amongst which was the renowned bunch of grapes from Eshcol, which they had carried suspended on a pole between two of their number; but, on the other hand, they seem to have exaggerated in their description of the difficulties:-- having reached a conclusion in their own minds they sought to impress it upon their report; and, like many of our own day, considered that in order to secure their end, a little exaggeration was justifiable;--the people were giants and the Israelites in comparison as grasshoppers; the cities were immense and were walled up to heaven; the land though rich, as evidenced by the fruits they brought, they reported "eateth up the inhabitants thereof";--meaning either that local warfare was prevalent or that it was a pestilential land, not healthy, or that as a whole it was a barren land and the samples of fruitage they brought represented exceptional portions.

No wonder the people who had looked forward so longingly to this land of promise felt greatly discouraged; such a report would be well calculated to discourage anybody. Yet it was just such a report as the people in general would have made, since it was made by their representatives out of every tribe. The report was an "evil" one, not only in that it exaggerated the difficulties, but in that it also entirely ignored the divine supervision of the past. Among [R3064 : page 254] other things that inspired fear was the report of the giants--Nephilim: these they represented as being descendants of the Nephilim, or giants which had caused such terror to the world before the flood. (Gen. 6:4.) The people were so thoroughly disheartened that they set up a great wail of despair;-- it was a night of sadness when they had expected joy; it seemed to crush out all the hope which had previously buoyed them up in the journey; they murmured against the Lord as well as against Moses and Aaron, declaring that they would have preferred to have died in Egypt or in the wilderness. They seem to have concluded that the Lord through Moses would now force them into the land of Canaan,-- seemed to see themselves destroyed by the sword, and their families a prey to their enemies. In their frenzy they said, Let us choose from our number a leader instead of Moses, reverse the program--return to Egypt and call it the land of favor!

It must have been a sad occasion for the meek Moses: once before the people had proposed to choose another captain or leader, but this was during his absence in Mt. Sinai; now in his presence they repudiated him and all that he had endeavored to do for them. Only Joshua and Caleb stood by the Lord and defended Moses and Aaron who had fallen on their faces before the assembly; these two professed faith in the Lord; saying, "If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us; their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us; fear them not." But these noble and courageous words of faith were lost upon the angry people: discontent and fear had gained thorough control of their minds, so that instead of loving and appreciating these noble men and their counsel, they were about to stone them to death.

Then the Lord interfered as on a previous occasion; a bright light shining out from the Tabernacle reminded the people that the Lord their Leader was not only gracious and careful, but just; and that he could and would punish transgression as before. A pestilence broke out amongst them, and among its first victims were the ten spies who had brought the discouraging report. Moses pointed out these matters to them and showed what a lack of confidence in God their Leader they had manifested. He gave them also the Lord's message that because of unbelief they had failed to improve their opportunities, and in consequence none of them above twenty years of age should ever enter the land of promise--the youth and children, being held of the Lord as not responsible, were exempted. The Lord explained to them that for every day that the spies had spent in searching the land to bring an evil report, there should be a year of delay in eventually reaching it. Thus God here answered their prayer. "Would to God that we had died in the wilderness!"--God determined that they should all die there.

Shortly their courage revived and they determined that having come thus far to enter the land of promise they would go forward and take possession of it;--they would ignore the Lord's declaration that they might not now have it;--they would take it anyway for themselves. Another evidence is here given of their lack of faith in the Lord; they did not realize as they should have done how much the Lord's hand had been connected with all their progress thus far, and that without him they could do nothing. When they informed Moses of their purpose, he refused his consent and co-operation, and forewarned them of disaster in any enterprise in which the Lord was not their leader, nevertheless they marshalled a host and went forth, soon to retreat in disorder before their enemies, leaving numbers of their brethren slain upon the field of battle. It was a difficult matter for them to learn to rely, not upon themselves, but upon the Lord. Thence their journey turned again into the wilderness.

LESSONS FOR SPIRITUAL ISRAELITES.

That the land of Canaan and its rest from the wilderness journeying is intended to be a type for [R3064 : page 255] the spiritual Israelites, is clearly shown by the Apostle in his reference to it, and to how Joshua led the people into its rest. (Heb. 4:3-8.) Canaan evidently cannot typify the perfect heavenly state into which the Church hopes to enter; because when Israel did enter Canaan there were years of battling with the inhabitants thereof,--finally overcoming them by the Lord's assisting power. The Scriptures teach us, on the contrary, that when the Church shall have experienced the First Resurrection change, all her trials and difficulties, her conflicts with the Amalekites and Hittites and Jebusites and Philistines will be ended;-- that which is perfect shall have come, and that which is in part shall have been done away. We must, therefore, understand Canaan to represent the Millennial Kingdom condition, into which all who are the Lord's people shall be brought, under the leadership of the antitypical Joshua (Jesus), the Church being the priesthood glorified. The antitype of Canaan's trials and difficulties will be experienced in overcoming the weaknesses pertaining to the flesh, and in developing more and more under the Lord's guidance and blessing into the full perfection of human nature--by restitution processes then in operation, rewarding every act of obedience and reproving and punishing every act of disobedience.

Fleshly Israel not only made this type in the wilderness, but accomplished in considerable measure its antitype; for during the 1600 years of their experience they were, under the Lord's guidance, being prepared for the Millennial Kingdom (Canaan). At our Lord's first advent they as a nation had reached a place corresponding to Kadesh Barnea, a place of decision in respect to entering into the Kingdom condition. Had they been in the right attitude of heart, full of faith and trust in the Lord, they would have received him, and the Kingdom of God could at once have been established. But in unbelief they rejected him who was the antitype of Moses and Aaron and therefore did not enter into rest; instead, another long, wearisome journey in the wilderness has been their portion, for now nearly 1900 years. Shortly, at the second advent of our Lord, he, as the antitype of Joshua, will lead all his people Israel, as many as shall come into the faith of Abraham, and thus become his people, into the land of promise-- into the Millennial Kingdom with its blessings, mercies and promises.

But is there a lesson for spiritual Israelites in connection with these Canaan fightings, etc.? Yes, we answer: we are to be like Joshua and Caleb, and by faith are to enter into the land and confirm the Lord's promises and give a good report thereof. By faith we have already entered into divine favor; we must have already tasted that the Lord is gracious; we have already experienced forgiveness of sins; we know as the remainder of mankind know not,--even those who seek righteousness and harmony with God --that the Lord's power is not limited. We realize that we are fully able to meet the conflicts and difficulties and trials belonging to a consecrated life. By faith we are already living in this Kingdom; already we are battling with the world, the flesh and the devil, day by day, but at the same time resting--in the promises of the Lord; in the strength and grace which he supplies; in the victories which he grants us.

It will be remembered that the name Joshua is otherwise translated Jesus (see Heb. 4:8) and means "deliverer of his people--help of God." The name Caleb signifies "dog"; and this reminds us that the poor of this world, rich in faith, who are to be heirs of the Kingdom with their Lord Jesus, were represented in our Lord's parable as being on a level with the dogs. As the rich man, representing Fleshly Israel, to whom belonged the promises as the child of Abraham, failed to enter into them because of his unbelief and rejection of Jesus, and was cast off from divine favor for a time, so Lazarus represented those "dogs" who have, during this Gospel age been accepted as children of Abraham through faith. Viewing Joshua and Caleb from this standpoint as representing the Lord and the faithful though despised few who share with him the people's wrath for their good report, we can see that these alone, at the present time, have the proper faith in God to enter into his rest in advance of the world, and to make full consecration of themselves to him and his service, and to battle with the world, the flesh and the devil, and to conquer through the blood of the Lamb. And these, now by faith fighting the good fight, shall in the near future as God's representatives lead forward all the hosts of his people--redeemed mankind --who, learning lessons of bitter experience in the wilderness condition, will eventually be glad to enter into Millennial Canaan, there to inherit the rich promises of God's Word.

The essence of this lesson is represented in the Golden Text. Faith and trust in the Lord is the paramount essential for acceptance and blessing at his hand,--"Without faith it is impossible to please God." "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." If we leave the world (Egypt) to become the Lord's people, and receive the lessons of experience at his hand with proper faith in him, the outcome will surely be a readiness and promptness to make a full consecration, a full submission of ourselves to do the Lord's will; to follow his leadings; to inherit whatsoever he has for us. And if the faith be of the proper kind we will say with the Prophet, "I will fear no evil for Thou art with me--thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." Such, and such alone, can be lead of the Lord in this present Gospel age, in which we must walk by faith, not by sight. Such alone will have the confidence to go forward encountering the various oppositions within and without in the present time. Such will eventually be God's representatives and leaders in the blessing of the world in the Millennial age. Let us learn well the lesson of faith, of trust: as God informs us [R3065 : page 255] of his appreciation of this quality, and that he can deal with us only in proportion as we possess it, so in our own experiences we find that we love most to assist and encourage those who manifest an abiding confidence in us.



Prev Top of Page Next