page 289
October 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXIII.OCTOBER 1, 1902.No. 19.


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower291
Blindness Gradually Turning From Fleshly Israel291
A Minister encourages his Flock291
Jewish Hopes respecting Palestine292
The Outcome of This Age292
"Are there Few that be Saved?"294
Crossing Jordan into Canaan296
Poem--Judge Not299
Grace Sufficient; only Believe302
Fidelity to Earthly and Heavenly Bridegrooms303
"The Great Company"303

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 290

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

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


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

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."


OUR NEW BIBLES.

The three dollar grade is gone, except a few which we have agreed to hold until the end of the year. We still have a hundred or two of the two dollar grade, but they will not last long.

We have a few of both grades without pictures, to permit their being sent by mail to foreign countries. We will hold these for the foreign friends until November 15th: after that they will be open to all, for same prices, $2 and $3 postpaid.


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


WE REGRET inability to supply charts promptly--except the 25c wall chart with metal hangers. Will fill orders for others as quickly as possible. Painters as well as printers in this vicinity are extremely busy at present.



[R3081 : page 291]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

BLINDNESS GRADUALLY COMING OVER NOMINAL
CHRISTENDOM AND GRADUALLY TURNING
AWAY FROM FLESHLY ISRAEL.


Is it not remarkable that as nominal Spiritual Israel begins to stumble into unbelief over "the stone of stumbling"--rejecting the ransom-sacrifice of Christ --the Jews, Israel after the flesh, begin to get glimpses of Jesus such as they have never before had? Note the following eulogistic expressions respecting our Lord, from the lips of eminent Jews of our day:--

"I regard Jesus of Nazareth as a Jew of the Jews, one whom all Jewish people are learning to love."--Isadore Singer, Editor of Jewish Encyclopedia.

"Jesus was the gentlest and noblest rabbi of them all. In Jesus there is the very flowering of Judaism."--Henry Berkowitz, Rabbi of Rodeph Shalam Congregation, Pennsylvania.

"Jesus is soul of our soul, as He is flesh of our flesh. Who, then, could think of excluding him from the people of Israel?"--Max Nordau, M.D., Paris, France.

"Even the most conscientious Jew may, without hesitation, recognize in view of the immense effect and success of His life, that Jesus has become a figure of the highest order in the history of religion. The fact that Jesus was a Jew should, I think in our eyes, rather help than hinder the acknowledgment of His high significance."--N. Porges, Ph.D., Rabbi, Leipsig, Germany.

"We Jews honor and revere Jesus as we do our own prophets who preceded him."--Jacob H. Schiff, New York City.

"I am of the opinion that we should endeavor with all possible zeal to obtain an exact understanding of the great personality of Jesus, and to reclaim him for Judaism."--M. Lazarus, Ph.D., Professor of Philas University of Berlin.

"If he (Jesus) has added to their spiritual bequests new jewels of religion, truth and spoken words, which are words of life, because they touch the deepest springs of the human heart, why should not Jews glory in him?"--Gustav Gottheil, Ph.D., Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanuel, New York.

"We want our children to know that in Jesus of Nazareth, Judaism produced one of the most beautiful types of humanity, one of the world's greatest teachers."--Dr. K. Kohler, New York.

A MINISTER ENCOURAGES HIS FLOCK.


Rev. Dr. Reid, of Watertown, thus explains to his people the present status of the doctrine of hell, and meantime gives us a suggestion of how impious he considers his congregation of "saints" to really be at heart. He evidently knows "his sheep" to be downright hypocrites. He says, as reported, evidently by himself, in the public press:--

"The age of religious barbarism is past. Science, the accentuation of the Fatherhood of God, man's moral nature and spiritual experience make the hypothesis of a material hell incredible. The world would cast out the preacher who would dare to repeat today the message of Jonathan Edwards, that the view of the miseries of the damned would double the ardor of the love and gratitude of the saints in heaven.

"Yet there is a hell. Yet there are lost souls. Yet the guilty do go into everlasting punishment.

"You are in hell when you cannot look your fellow creature in the face because of the wrong you have done him; in hell when you would like to wring your own neck; in hell when you do not have a word to say for yourself, but are struck dumb by the consciousness of your own meanness and arrogance and baseness. You are in hell when envy, hatred and malice hold carnival in your heart; in hell when you know that you are not telling the whole truth; in hell with all your lies, losses and perversions and distortions of the truth. Perhaps there is a chapter in your lives that you keep closed or sealed because of its iniquity or infamy. [R3081 : page 292] Then you are in hell now; in the hell where men skulk and start and fail; in the hell where the limbs tremble and the heart thumps and the flesh creeps and the teeth chatter and the blood runs cold and the hair stands on end, the heart stops and the cold sweat overpours the face."

JEWISH HOPES RESPECTING PALESTINE.


The Jewish Exponent furnishes the following information: The failure to secure satisfactory terms from the Sultan of Turkey, as noted recently in these columns, is felt keenly but has not discouraged the leaders.

"Dr. Herzl set forth the standpoint of the Zionists, and formulated the conditions of Jewish settlement in a self-contained part of Palestine and in other parts of Asia Minor, on the basis of a Charter.

"These proposals were carefully considered from the Turkish side. Through his representatives the Sultan declared his fullest sympathy for the Jewish people; but the concessions which His Majesty expressed himself ready to make for a Jewish settlement could not be considered adequate according to our Zionist program. The negotiations have thus, this time also, remained without result. Nevertheless, the Sultan caused Dr. Herzl to be assured of his esteem and sympathy. The relations have in no way been broken off. On the contrary, we may hope that the advantages which a regular and legally guaranteed settlement of Jews present according to our program, will be recognized by the Turkish Government to their full extent.

"For that moment the Zionist organizations must be prepared; the agitation must be carried on incessantly, and the material means must be collected. The more efficient our movement becomes, the more speedily and surely will it reach its goal.

"It is rumored that the Actions Comite of the Zionist movement in Vienna is now seriously considering the proposition to hold the next Zionist Congress in New York. The question will probably be decided upon at the October meeting of the comite.

"Lord Salisbury is credited with having said on the Zionist solution: 'It is a question of sixty per cent; if sixty per cent of the Jews desire Palestine, they will get it.' It is, however, rumored that Lord Rothschild, impressed by the Alien Immigration Commission--which, when it again meets, will sit in Soho, the French quarter of the metropolis --and his conversations with Dr. Herzl will lead in a movement for the settlement of a large number of Russian Jews in lands, as Disraeli put it, 'in propinquity' to Palestine, and at present under the British flag. When his lordship will move, or whether at all, a short few months should tell, but from excellent sources I know that he has some such scheme in mind, and that the details are being investigated on his behalf.

"Lord Rothschild has heretofore held outwardly a most impartial attitude on all solutions, and whilst steering clear of Zionism has let it be known that he does not view attacks upon the movement with favor. Hence the idea he is studying may prove one that will unite all parties, and with his name at the back of it there would be no financial difficulties."

STARTLING STATEMENT IN NEW YORK PULPIT.


New York, Sept. 7.--The Rev. Dr. R. S. MacArthur, at the 100th meeting in the Evangel tent today, assailed the doctrine of baptism. He declared that the dropping of water on an infant at birth was heathenism and that the idea that God would forever condemn an innocent but unbaptized babe makes Him a tyrant.

That utterance, coming from Dr. MacArthur, had a wonderful effect on his hearers. They rose to their feet and applauded wildly. The scene was striking. [R3082 : page 292]

"Baptism," he declared, "never saved a human soul. The doctrine of baptismal regeneration is both unreasonable and unscriptural. The superstitions that have gathered about infant baptism form one of the saddest chapters in church history. Thousands through all the ages have believed that a child dying without being baptized was eternally lost. This dark and dreary superstition has cast a gloom over the history of the church for centuries.

"This doctrine is heathenism, pure and simple. The idea that God would forever condemn an innocent babe because some one had not put a few drops of water on its head and face makes God a tyrant. Rather than believe in such a God I would be an avowed infidel.

"This doctrine of baptismal regeneration makes the minister of religion a worker of magic, a fakir, a performer of ecclesiastical miracles. Such teaching is a violation of all sound reason and true scriptural teaching."

Very good! Excellent! But while this eminent Baptist D.D. is plucking beams out of the eyes of others, let him not overlook the Baptist beam in his own; viz., that immersion in water is the door into the Church of Christ. If that were true it would mean that all not so immersed are out of the Church of Christ. And according to the misunderstanding of Baptists and others this would mean outside of divine mercy; for do not Christians generally claim that mercy ends with this age and that this age is merely for the gathering of God's elect Church?--And that the prospect of all others is eternal torment? We trust that Bro. MacArthur and other Baptists will not stop their investigation, but proceeding learn what the real baptism is, and the distinction between it and its water-symbol; and what the true Church is and the distinction between it and the sects of Christendom. We shall be glad to help all the sincere ones in the solution of these problems, on receipt of postal card requests.

THE OUTCOME OF THIS AGE.


W. G. MOREHEAD, D.D., Professor in United Presbyterian Theological Seminary.


There are principles at work in modern society, which, if left unchecked, will soon make the advent of the Antichrist not only possible, but certain. THE LAWLESS DRIFT IS ALREADY ON US, precursor of worse to come. Who does not perceive that the forces are already loose which tend to the disintegration of the whole social fabric! Who does not perceive that the axe is already aimed at the chief hoops which bind together the staves of [R3082 : page 293] the civil polity! The restlessness under restraint, the revolt against authority and law, the spread of Socialism, the growth of agnosticism, the prevalence of materialism, fostered, as it largely is, by both the science and the politics of our time, the enormous greed of those who have and who want still more, the deep, ominous growl of those who have not, and who want and will have all this, and much more than this, betokens the breaking down of the barriers, the overthrow of the restraining influences, and the speedy advent of the great adversary. The Frenchman spoke well, perhaps better than he knew, who lately said, "I think I hear the galloping of the man on horseback!"

We have only to suppose the portentous movements of the times to grow and gather head until the hindrance is gone, the breakwater is down--and then--yes, what then? Then cometh "the Man of Sin," the world deceiver, whom the Lord shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and shall bring to nought by the appearing of His Coming. Then the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever.

The above clipping is from the pen that attacks "Millennial Dawn" as being "the product of insanity." It is surely a poor blind pen, or, at least, a somnambulistic one, when it cannot see that the "Man of Sin" of prophecy flourished for over a thousand years as Papacy: and that since the Reformation movement he has been slain with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. True the wound has to some extent been healed; but yet a little while and the bright-shining of the presence (parousia) of the Lord shall utterly destroy him, and all other kindred systems of error which now counterfeit, with varying degrees of accuracy, the true Christ--Head and "body."--2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 13:3,12.--M. Dawn, Vol. II., Chapter 9.

LOOKING FOR THE WRONG ADVENT.

Prof. Moorehead and others of his school of thought tell the world generally that they set no time for Christ's second coming. They give the impression, surely, that they are in daily, yea, hourly expectation of seeing our Lord reappear in flesh on a cloud in the sky. But in the above the Professor tells the truth plainly; viz., that he and those who share his expectations are not at all looking momentarily for the Lord. Instead they are looking for "the speedy advent of the great adversary," i.e., "Then cometh the 'Man of Sin'."

How is that? Why such an expectation of the advent of Antichrist instead of the advent of the true Christ?

It is because these dear brethren are sadly blinded by a literal interpretation of the symbolical Book of Revelation, and an expectation of Christ's Kingdom in the flesh; whereas the Word declares: "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God."-- I Cor. 15:50; John 3:3,5.

The result is a blindness much more dense than that of the world on a subject of which they profess to be past-masters. Worldly people "can discern the signs of the times" far better than to suppose, as these self-blinded brethren do, that the trend of the world is toward greater veneration for fellow-mortals. The world well sees that the trend is in the reverse direction,--toward a denial of all authority and power, --divine as well as human.

How strange it seems that sane minds can imagine that "the galloping man on horseback," a general, or emperor, or who not, would ever deceive the world--"the whole world" into thinking him greater than God, and doing him homage accordingly! In our judgment, this is just as improbable as that "the cow will jump over the moon."

This man--Anti-Christ, is expected to convert the world and build the Jews a temple at Jerusalem,-- all in three and a half years after he makes a start; and he has not yet made a start, and only "portentous movements of the times" are in evidence. Christ's advent is to be just three and a half years after the advent of this preposterous man. And yet these brethren deceive themselves into thinking that they are not time setters, and that they are looking for Christ's advent. We are sorry for them!

In conclusion: We kindly suggest to the Professor that the Common Version rendering of 2 Thes. 2:8, "the brightness of his coming" poor as it is, is better than his substitution; viz., "the appearing of his coming." If he will look at these words in his Greek New Testament he will find that "coming" is not the proper word at all: that the Greek word here rendered "coming" is parousia, and that all scholars agree that in English it means presence (as of one who has already come). We suggest as a literal translation of the words,--"The bright-shining of the present one,"--the revealing or manifestation of one previously present, but unseen, unrevealed.

Our position is that Anti-Christ has already fulfilled his part, and a wonderful and awful part it was; --that now according to promise the true Christ has come a second time, in glory, and not in flesh, to reign, and not to sacrifice;--that his first work is the sifting of his church--the separation of the tares, etc., and the gathering of the true "wheat" into the Kingdom garner--beyond the vail, as spirit beings like their Lord: the sleeping ones awakened to First Resurrection glory, honor and immortality, and those who are alive and remain "changed" in the moment of dying to the same glory conditions. Soon, perhaps before all the "wheat" has been garnered, the fire of tribulation and anarchy will break out in the world--"a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation"--a time when faith in God and man and a disbelief of the Bible will be rampant throughout "Christendom" nominal. In that trouble and its overthrow of all law and order, government and religion, the world will learn an everlasting lesson, and be prepared for the reign of righteousness. --The rulers of the Kingdom of Light will, however, be as unseen to mortal eyes as are the present rulers of the darkness of this world--Satan and his coadjutors; --the earthly representatives of the Kingdom being men--perfect men--the ancient worthies, approved of God before the call to "change" of nature was given.--Heb. 11:39,40.



[R3083 : page 294]

"ARE THERE FEW THAT BE SAVED?"

EMERGING from that blackness of error called Calvinism (with its heaven of blessing for the "little flock" and its eternal torment for all others, as taught by good but sadly deceived men --John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles H. Spurgeon and others--) into the glorious light of the goodness of God, shining in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord and revealed in the divine Plan of the Ages, the writer was subjected to the same attacks of Satan (the great Enemy of God and man) to which all others seem to be exposed. Coming as an angel of light, he seemed to welcome us into the light out of the gross darkness which he himself had brought upon the world. And while our heart trembled with joy, and yet with fear also, lest after all we should find some evidence that God would do some terrible and unjust thing, to some of his creatures, at least, the suggestion came, God will not permit any to be lost.

At this time the word lost still had associated with it that unscriptural, wicked and awful meaning of eternal torment; for, although we had gotten rid of that misbelief, and saw that lost means dead, destroyed, the influence of that old error still gave a false coloring to the words formerly supposed to teach it. Hence the greater force in the suggestion that God would not permit any to be lost;--for surely no enlightened mind can candidly imagine the eternal misery of a solitary individual in all of God's universe.

Reason and judgment swayed for a time, first to one side and then to the other, according to circumstances and moods, until we learned that our reasoning powers are not to be relied upon to settle such questions; that they are imperfect as well as liable to be prejudiced; and that for this cause God had given us his inspired Word to guide our reasoning faculties into proper channels. Then, appealing to the Scriptures, we found abundant proof that unless God therein trifles with his children's confidence (and as men would say "bluffs" them, with suggestions and threats which he knows he will never execute) there surely will be some lost as well as some saved.

Among these Scriptures are not only those similes which speak of the salt which lost its value, and was thenceforth good for naught, but to be trodden under foot, and of the destruction of those servants which would "not have this man to rule over" them (Matt. 5:13; Luke 19:14,27), etc., but the following plain statements:--

Some "wrest...the Scriptures even to their own destruction."--2 Pet. 3:16.

"Pride goeth before destruction."--Prov. 16:18.

"The Lord preserveth [saves] the souls of his saints."--Psa. 97:10.

"The Lord preserveth all them that love him, but all the wicked [not the ignorant] will he destroy." --Psa. 145:20.

"False teachers...bring in damnable heresies, ...and bring upon themselves swift destruction."-- 2 Pet. 2:1.

Some are "vessels of wrath fitted to destruction." --Rom. 9:22.

"Them that walk after the flesh...shall utterly perish in their own corruption."--2 Pet. 2:10-12.

"The destruction of the transgressors and of the [wilful] sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed."--Isa. 1:28.

"The Lord will "destroy them that corrupt the earth."--Rev. 11:18.

"The way of the Lord is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity."-- Prov. 10:29,30; 21:15.

Some fall into "many foolish and hurtful lusts [desires], which drown men in destruction."-- I Tim. 6:9.

"For many walk,...the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction."--Phil. 3:18,19.

"Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction." --2 Thess. 1:9.

"If any man defile the temple of God, him will God destroy."--I Cor. 3:17.

"The judgment of God [is] that they who do such things are worthy of death."--Rom. 1:32.

"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.

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy Spirit,...if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame."--Heb. 6:4-6.

"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escape not who refused him that spake on earth [Moses, the typical teacher], much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven."

"Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God."--Heb. 12:25,15.

"The soul that will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among his people."--Acts 3:23.

"By one offering he [Christ] hath perfected forever them that are sanctified....Let us [therefore] draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith. ...Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering,...exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the [Millennial] Day drawing on. For if we sin wilfully, after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more [part for us in the] sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall consume the adversaries."-- Heb. 10:14,22-27.

If "he who [in the typical nation] despised the law of Moses [the typical lawgiver] died without mercy, of how much sorer [more serious] punishment shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot [disgraced] the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the [New] Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy [ordinary] thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace?" Surely the wages of such conduct would be everlasting, while that in the type was not, but was covered by the great sacrifice for sins once for all. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."--Heb. 10:28,29,31.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see [R3083 : page 295] life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."--John 3:36; I John 5:12.

"His servants ye are to whom ye render service; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness."--Rom. 6:16.

"The end of those things is death."--Rom. 6:21.

"To be carnally minded is [to reap the penalty] death; but to be spiritually minded is [to reap the reward] life and peace."--Rom. 8:6.

"Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."-- Jas. 1:15.

"There is a [kind of] sin unto death;...and there is a [kind of] sin not unto death."-- I John 5:16,17.

"Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill [destroy] the soul [being]: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna [the second death]."--Matt. 10:28.

"The wages of sin is death."--Rom. 6:23.

"As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?"--Ezek. 18:32; 33:11.

"All the wicked will God destroy."--Psa. 145:20; 147:6.

What could be more explicit than this testimony of God's Word? And how reasonable it all is! Torment might properly be objected to as unjust as well as unmerciful; but taking away life from those who will not conform their lives to the just and holy and kind regulations of the New Covenant which God has opened to our race, through Christ's great atoning sacrifice, is reasonable, just and merciful.

It is reasonable: why should God continue his blessings, of which life is the chief, to those who after knowing and being enabled to conform to his just requirements, will not do so?

It is just: because God is under no obligation to man. Man is already his debtor ten thousand times; and if he will not render loving respect to his Creator's wise and good commands, Justice would demand that those blessings be stopped.

It is merciful on God's part to destroy the incorrigibly wicked--those who, after full knowledge and opportunity have been enjoyed, refuse to be conformed to the lines of the law of God's Kingdom-- the law of love. (1) Because all who will live ungodly --out of harmony with God's law of love--will always be like the restless sea, more or less discontented and unhappy. (2) Because such characters, be they ever so few, would mar the enjoyment of those who do love peace and righteousness. And to these God has promised that the time shall come when sin and its results, weeping and pain and dying, shall cease (Rev. 21:4), when he will destroy out of the earth those who corrupt it. (Rev. 11:18.) (3) Because God has promised that there shall yet be a clean world (Isa. 11:9; Rev. 21:5), in which the unholy and abominable and all who love and make lies shall have no place. (Rev. 21:8.) "Thou shalt diligently consider his place and it shall not be."--Psa. 37:10.

Only such as have preferred their own wisdom to that of the Bible can read the foregoing words of God, and yet believe that all men will be everlastingly saved. [R3084 : page 295]

Only such as are puffed up with a sense of their own benevolence can hold that God never would be satisfied or happy if one of the race perished. God has gotten along very well without the sinners thus far, and could do so forever. It was not for selfish reasons that he redeemed all, and is about to restore all who will accept his favor in Christ.

But some attempt to evade the foregoing statements of Scripture with the claim that they refer to wickedness, and not to wicked people; that they mean that all wicked people will be destroyed by their conversion --by having their wickedness destroyed. We ask those who so think to read over these words of God again, carefully, and see that they could not, reasonably, be so construed. Notice that even though the Word mentioned nothing about the destruction of wicked doers, but merely mentioned the destruction of wickedness and wicked things, this would nevertheless include wicked doers; because, of all wicked things, intelligent, wilful evil-doers are the worst. But the Word does specify wicked persons; and all who are familiar with rules of grammar covering the question know that when the person is specified the destruction of his wickedness merely could not be meant.

"The wicked shall be [re] turned [back] into hell [sheol] and all nations [Gentiles, people] that forget God." (Psa. 9:16.) "The lake of fire, which is the second death" (Rev. 20:14), is "prepared for the devil and his angels [messengers or servants]." (Matt. 25:41.) And all who, with Satan, serve sin are his servants or messengers. (Rom. 6:16.) For such, yes, for all such, and for such only, God has prepared the penalty of everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power." And from Satan their chief down to the least one of his children who, notwithstanding knowledge and opportunity to the contrary, cling to evil and choose it rather than righteousness, this tribe will be blotted out to the praise of God's justice, to the joy and welfare of the holy and to their own real advantage.

It will not do to judge others by ourselves, in all respects. The fact that God's saints do not feel opposition to God's will, and cannot understand how others can entertain such sentiments, sometimes leads to the false conclusion that if all others enjoyed a similar knowledge of God they too would delight in his service. That such a conclusion is false is evident, from the fact that Satan, who knew God thoroughly, "abode not in the truth," but became "the father of lies" and "a murderer." And, after six thousand years' witness of sin and its results, he is still the Adversary of righteousness. After nearly two thousand years' knowledge of the love and mercy of God manifested in Christ's sacrifice for sin, he is still as unmoved by that love as he is unmoved by pity for human woe. And more than this: God, who knows the future as well as the past, shows us, unquestionably, that after being restrained (bound) for a thousand [R3084 : page 296] years by the power of Christ's Kingdom, and during that time witnessing the blessings of righteousness, he will, when granted liberty at the close of the Millennium, still manifest a preference for the way of sin and opposition to God's arrangements. Surely this proves that intelligent beings, and perfect beings, too, can know God and yet choose a way of disobedience,--whether or not our minds can grasp the philosophy of their course.

But the philosophy of the matter is this: A perfect being, angel or man, is a blank page upon which character must be engraved. Knowledge and a free will are the engravers. Pride, Selfishness and Ambition may be engraved, or Love, Humility and Meekness. The latter is the blessed or God-like character, the former is the sinful or devilish character. According to which are engraved will be the character. If the will decide for sin and cultivate the wicked character, the result will be a wicked being. If the will decide for righteousness and God-likeness, the result will be a holy being.

The same principles in a general way apply also to fallen men. No matter how fallen and weak they may be, they have free-wills. They can will aright, even when they cannot do aright. And under the New Covenant God accepts, through Christ, the imperfect deeds where the wills are perfect.

For some who are now evil doers and lovers of sin, our hope is, that they are such because of blinding of the devil (2 Cor. 4:4), which leads them to make a choice they would not make if they had a full, clear knowledge. God's guarantee to all, through Christ, is that all shall come to an accurate knowledge of the truth, and thus to a full opportunity to choose between righteousness and sin. We have no hope for any who, after coming to a clear knowledge, choose sin, wilfully: neither in this age nor in the next is there hope for such, according to God's Word.



[R3084 : page 296]

CROSSING JORDAN INTO CANAAN.
--JOSHUA 3:9-17.--OCTOBER 12.--

"When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee." --Isa. 43:2.

FOUR HUNDRED and seventy years had elapsed from the time God gave Canaan to Abraham, by promise, before his descendants actually crossed Jordan and began to inherit the land. The promise had been long of fulfilment, and doubtless had severely taxed the faith of the people to whom it belonged; yet even in this respect the delay was a blessing to them, as serving to stimulate and develop faith. Nor are we to forget that the original promise has not yet been fulfilled; because the land was promised, not only to Abraham's seed, but also to himself, and the noble patriarch still rests and waits in the sleep of death for the accomplishment of the divine promise, which will be fulfilled on a far larger scale when the people of God shall have passed the antitypical Jordan into the antitypical Canaan --the Millennial Kingdom condition. We are not left in doubt upon this matter. We have the Apostle's words in Heb. 11:13,39,40, that Abraham and other faithful servants of the Lord still wait for the fulfilment of the promise made to them, until first the still higher, spiritual, heavenly promises, made to the Gospel Church, the Christ, shall have been accomplished, "God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." Stephen assures us along this same line, saying that Abraham received not so much of the land as to set his foot upon, and his argument, based upon this fact, is Abraham's resurrection in the future, and the fulfilment to him personally of his share in the divine promise.--Acts 7:25.

If in all this there was a lesson of patient waiting on the Lord and confident trust in his promise, to Abraham and his natural seed, there is a still larger and fuller lesson in it to Spiritual Israel, the spiritual Seed, along the same lines of faithful, patient waiting on the Lord for the fulfilment of the exceeding great and precious things he has promised us.

Some have been inclined to question the justice of God's giving to Israel the land of Canaan, already inhabited by others;--the justice of not only permitting but commanding them to destroy the inhabitants of that land, and to take possession of it as their own. This transaction is held up as an illustration of the "land-grabbing" disposition of natural man, which seems to increase century by century, notwithstanding the increase of civilization and the general appreciation of justice. We are not of those who would defend the course of nations of modern times along these lines. As Christians, guided by our Master's example and instruction, we should seek to do good unto all men as we have opportunity, and to leave them in peaceable possession of their homes, property and liberties. We are to recognize a difference, however, between the divine law of love, placed upon and accepted by the Lord's consecrated people, and the law of selfishness, under which the mass of mankind --including the vast majority of nominal Christendom --still operates, and will continue to operate until the new dispensation and its new laws shall be ushered in by divine power. Nevertheless, seeing that the Church is separate from the world, in the Lord's plan and in his dealings, we can look with comparative equanimity upon the overriding of justice and equity by the kingdoms of this world, and may realize that in many instances the Lord may take advantage of their natural disposition toward warfare and conquest and empire-building, and may allow the wrath of man thus to work out certain features that will be ultimately favorable to the accomplishment of the divine purposes.

Not being able to see behind the vail all the gracious purposes of our Heavenly Father, and not being wise enough to know how they can best be carried out, the Lord's people occupy largely the position of spectators in respect to the course of this [R3085 : page 297] world,--its politics, conquests, etc. Were we to take a hand in the world's affairs on either side of such questions we might, for aught we know, be working contrary to the divine will and program. While, therefore, we seek to be separate from the world and its affairs, and to give our thought and attention, sympathy and interest, to the affairs of the heavenly Kingdom, and while our voices, if ever raised at all on such questions, should be raised on behalf of justice, mercy and peace, nevertheless, we can view with great composure whatever changes may take place in the world, knowing that our heavenly Father has all power to overrule these matters differently if he chooses.

We say to ourselves, "All the good purposes which he hath purposed in himself shall be accomplished;" and he knoweth how to accomplish these in the manner that will be most to his praise and most for the good of his cause, as it shall ultimately be developed, and we remember the Master's words, "Ye are not of this world, even as I am not of this world. I have chosen you out of the world, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain"--fruit unto eternal life. Our work is the work of him that sent us; we are ambassadors for God; and present work is the calling, upbuilding, instructing and general preparation of the Church to be the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, and our mission is to co-operate in her call and to make ready. Later on will come our share in the ruling and judging of the world, as kings and priests of the divine order, in the divine time, and backed by the divine power to success and the blessing of all the families of the earth.

"The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." He, therefore, had the right to give Canaan to the descendants of Abraham without giving a reason why to any creature. He had a right to give it when and how and to whom he pleased. He does, however, condescend to inform us that in blotting out these many little nations of Palestine, descendants of Noah's grandson Canaan, he did so not along arbitrary lines, but along lines of justice. These Canaanites (also known as Hittites, and by various other tribal names, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Jebusites and Amorites) were not ignorant savages, but quite civilized peoples who, after the manner of the Sodomites, had gone into great excesses of licentious idolatry. In Abraham's time God foresaw where their course would lead them, but he delayed to bring the promised seed of Abraham into their land for a time, because as we read, "the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet come to the full."--Gen. 15:16.

These people were to be destroyed by the Israelites for two reasons; first, to have permitted them to live and to become incorporated with the Israelites in the land, by intermarriage, etc., would have been injurious to the seed of Abraham which God intended to develop, and of which he designed to make types of spiritual Israel. Furthermore, in the type which the Lord was making on a large scale, these Canaanites or Amorites represented the weaknesses and imperfections of the fallen nature. They symbolized sin; and their destruction by the Israelites prefigured the destruction of sin, the blotting out of the blemishes of sin, and the gradual uplifting of God's people in the antitype of Canaan--in the Millennial Kingdom.

The chief difficulty in most minds, in connection with this slaughtering of the inhabitants of Canaan lies in the unscriptural thought, brought into Christian creeds during the dark ages, that the apparent death of an individual is really his entrance into more abundant life, either under pleasurable or tormenting conditions. And since these Canaanites were declared to be disapproved of God, the general thought respecting them is that while the Israelites killed them and took possession of their property, they, without further opportunity, were thrown at once under the control of devils and into an eternity of flaming torture. There is nothing of this kind connected with the Bible narrative. It is all the addition of human imagination, built upon numerous fantastic speculations of the dark ages. According to the Scriptures, death is really death, and these Canaanites, when slain by the sword of Israel, became unconscious, and will remain so until the Lord's time shall come for their awakening from the sleep of death. They shall come forth in the Millennial morning, as our Lord's word indicates--"All that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and shall come forth."--John 5:28,29.

They will not come forth as saints to the resurrection of life, the First Resurrection; but as members of the world in general, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, they will come forth to the judgment-resurrection; that is, to the gradual raising up that will be instituted during the Millennial age, a raising up of all who will be obedient to the judgments, the disciplines, the corrections in righteousness, which will be then brought to bear upon the whole world of mankind by the great Judge, our Lord Jesus, and by the Royal Priesthood, the Church, his assistant judges, of whom the Apostle says, "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?"--I Cor. 6:2,3.

In view of this, then, we can readily see that no injustice was done to the Canaanites by the Lord's decree, and that so far as they were concerned they suffered no more than, if as much as if some pestilence or famine or other common disaster had come upon them. They suffered the death-penalty, as all the human family suffer it, and our confident hope respecting them and all mankind is built upon the fact that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to redeem all from the curse or sentence of death which came upon all through father Adam's disobedience;--and that he who redeemed the world is shortly to bless all the families of the earth with a gracious opportunity to come back into harmony with God, back to human perfection. And when we realize that the call of the church in the present time is for association in this work, it gives a meaning to the trials and difficulties which constitute part of our instructions in that great work; and it also gives the Royal Priesthood a hope toward God which overbalances all the trials of the present time. [R3085 : page 298]

The Land of Promise, Canaan, is frequently described in the Scriptures as a goodly land, "a land flowing with milk and honey," a figurative expression representing its general prosperity and productiveness. That the inhabitants were wealthy is attested by recently unearthed Egyptian histories of about that time. Geike says:--

"The records of Rameses II show the condition of Palestine and adjacent countries, in the age of Moses itself [prior to the exodus of Israel]. The Egyptian king brought back from them, he tells us, gold, glass, gum, cattle, slaves, ivory, ebony, boats, horses, chariots inwrought with gold and silver or painted, iron, steel, dates, oil, wine, asses, cedar, suits of armor, fragrant wood, war galleys, incense, gold dishes with handles, ornaments of lapis lazuli, silver dishes, precious stones, honey, lead, spears of brass, colors--the plunder, in fact, of a rich and civilized country. The meadows of Palestine, its fortresses, its groves and its orchards, are mentioned showing that prosperity of every kind abounded."

The Israelites needed to be encouraged for so great an undertaking, and hence the various tribes of Canaanites were mentioned by Joshua, that they might know that they were all included in the Lord's bequest; and that they might know that he had taken cognizance of the whole situation. It was much to Israel's advantage that these various tribes of Canaanites were distinctly separate, and did not cooperate to any particular degree. Moreover, they evidently felt secure in that the River Jordan separated between the hosts of Israel and their land, and being quite a swift river, it would be very difficult for a multitude to cross without boats or bridges, and many of them. The crossing took place when the Jordan was overflowing its banks, and was therefore much wider than usual; and we may presume that the Canaanites would feel so much the more secure, and less vigilant in any attempt to repel an invasion, supposing the river to be specially impassable at this particular season. Had the crossing been undertaken when the river was low, the Canaanites would have, undoubtedly, disputed the way; and Israel would have had a severe battle with poor weapons against a probably well equipped enemy. Besides, the miracle God intended to work would have seemed much less forcible at any other season of the year. Israel needed this further miracle and evidence of divine power and intervention on their behalf to give them courage for the work before them.

A man from each of the twelve tribes was selected; each one was to carry a stone from the midst of the Jordan to the shore, and these twelve large stones were to be set up as a memorial, a reminder to Israelites for coming generations of how the Lord had brought them over Jordan. (Josh. 4:2,9.) The priests bearing the ark were separated from the remainder of the Israelites by about three-quarters of a mile (two thousand cubits). They went upstream this distance, and were thus prominent before the eyes of Israel in what they did. As soon as the feet of the priests before the ark touched the waters of Jordan the waters began to subside, and as the waters subsided they took another step and another and another until they were able to walk on firm ground to the center of the river-bed, where they stood firmly until all the hosts of Israel--in all about two millions--had passed over. Still in no haste, they waited until twelve stones were placed where they had stood, and then the priests with the ark of the Lord passed over.

We are not to question the power of God in respect to this miracle, in whatever manner it was accomplished; but in looking for the manner we are to presume, as far as possible, that the Lord used some natural means in connection with it. If we were to suppose that the river rose up like a wall at the right hand of the priests, as tho it had been cut by a knife, it would seem unreasonable, and the downflowing waters would rise higher and higher, until it would overflow the banks on either side more and more, [R3086 : page 298] and the water of even a small river, at this flood time, would amount to a considerable quantity and flood a considerable space. It is preferable, therefore, that we understand the words of the record, as implied in the Revised Version, to mean that the banking up of the waters was "a great way off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zeretan." In other words, we are not to understand that the dammed up wall of waters was close by the priests, but about twenty miles further up the river, near the town of Adam, where the river passes through a comparatively narrow gorge. How they were banked up there we are not informed by the record; no matter in what manner, it was a miracle --no less a miracle if we understood the method pursued by the Lord in its accomplishment. It may have been that an earthquake temporarily elevated the channel at this narrow place, and thus gorged the water for a time; and it is said that there are evidences at that point that some such physical disturbances did once occur. Or a slip in a hillside might have carried a large body of soil into the valley, and thus have choked the stream, which even down at Jericho is normally only ninety feet wide and thirteen feet deep. As an illustration of how this may have occurred we quote the following from Canon Tristram:--

M. Ganneau has drawn attention to the fact, mentioned in the history of Sultan Buybars, that in A.D. 1267, whilst the bridge at Gier Damich (or Adam) was being repaired a landslip some miles above dammed up the Jordan for several hours and the bed of the river below was left dry, the water being drained off to the Dead Sea. What occurred 650 years ago, by what we call natural causes, may well have occurred 3,000 years before, timed by divine interposition."

In our previous studies we noticed that these things were written aforetime for our admonition-- that they were examples or types of matters respecting God's dealings in the future: now the question arises, What did this passing of Jordan by the typical people symbolize? and, especially, what did the bearing of the ark by the priests have to do with it? We have already indicated that for various reasons we cannot accept the view of Jordan and of Canaan so long held by many Christians, which represents Jordan as being death and Canaan as being heaven, as expressed by the familiar lines of the poet: [R3086 : page 299]

"On Jordan's stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wishful eye
To Canaan's fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.
No chilling winds nor boisterous breath
Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness and sorrow, pain and death,
Are felt and feared no more."

The very fact that the Israelites did have trials and pains and sorrows and battles, after they entered into Canaan, seems to contradict the thought that it represented heaven itself. As we have already intimated, our understanding is that Canaan typified the new earth condition, under the administration of the Millennial Kingdom. What, then, does the River Jordan signify? We answer, that it would seem to stand for, represent, the divine condemnation, the curse, the sentence against our race which has for six thousand years hindered mankind from entering into the blessed Kingdom conditions and opportunities and blessings which shall ultimately prevail for all. In this sense of the word death, Jordan, would stand for it well--the death sentence. This seems rather to be implied in the name of the river, which is derived from the names of the two main springs by which it is formed; viz., jor, signifying "down," and dan, which signifies "judge." The word Jordan would thus have the significance of "judged down," that is, condemned, and as a type it would stand for the divine condemnation which hindered even those who desired to be the servants of God from entering into peace and rest and blessing and favor with God.

In this view of the matter, we see how appropriate it was that the Ark of God's covenant, representing the Lord himself, his grace, his goodness, his promises, should stand in the midst of Jordan--effecting a cancellation of the sentence of death--in order that the Millennial blessings might be attained by all under the lead of Joshua's antitype. That the Ark of God was borne by the high-priest and the under-priests, and that these first passed into Jordan, is also significant: it represented how our great High-Priest and the Royal Priesthood, his Church, must first pass into Jordan before any of the people could pass over. And the fact that the high-priest and the under-priests stood in the midst of Jordan while the people all crossed over, illustrates how the passing over, free from divine condemnation, will be effected by the work of the great High-Priest, and his associated "brethren." He gave himself for our sins; he became a curse for us; he, as the man Christ Jesus, stopped in the midst of Jordan, that the world might pass over; the Royal Priesthood are following him in this sacrifice, and they too are stopping in the midst of Jordan; they also, as joint-heirs with their Lord, lay down their lives on behalf of the brethren,--to the intent that the whole world of mankind, or as many as will, may enter into the glorious Kingdom privileges, according to the divine arrangement.

It was not necessary that the priests should remain in Jordan, and die there, on behalf of the delivered Israelites, in order to complete the type, for instead, by the Lord's direction, twelve stones were placed where they stood, representing the twelve tribes of Israel--representing the 144,000 out of all the twelve tribes (Rev. 7:1-8) who constitute the Royal Priesthood, and who become dead with Christ, according to the flesh, that they may live with him as new creatures, partakers of the divine nature, and participators with him in the great work of blessing all the families of the earth.

JUDGE NOT BY OUTWARD APPEARANCE
Judge not; the workings of the brain
And of the heart thou can'st not see;
What looks to thy dim eye a stain,
In God's pure light may only be
A scar, brought from some well-won field,
Where thou would'st only faint and yield.

The look, the air, that frets thy sight,
May be a token that below
The soul had closed in deadly fight
With some internal, fiery foe,
Whose glance would scorch thy smiling grace,
And cast thee, shuddering, on thy face.

The fall thou darest to despise:
May be the angel's slackened hand
Has suffered it that he may rise
And take a firmer, surer stand;
Or, trusting less to earthly things,
May henceforth learn to use his wings.

And judge none lost; but wait and see,
With hopeful pity, not disdain;
The depth of the abyss may be
The measure of the height of pain
And love and glory that may raise
This soul to God in after days.--Selected.



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GRACE SUFFICIENT; ONLY BELIEVE.
--JOSHUA 6:12-20.--OCTOBER 19.--

"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down."--Heb. 11:30.

AFTER ENTERING Canaan the covenant of circumcision was renewed by the Israelites. Evidently their long journeying in the wilderness, because of unreadiness to enter into Canaan at the first, was to be understood by the Israelites as a period of partial disfavor with the Lord; hence both the circumcision of their children and the annual commemoration of the passover ceased during that period. The renewal of both when they had entered Canaan marked the return of divine favor and evidenced their more acceptable condition of faith toward God. Another change occurred: the manna, the bread from heaven on which they had fed for thirty-nine years, ceased after they had gotten into Canaan and had eaten their first passover there.

They were now ready to take possession of the [R3086 : page 300] land which God had given them, and were encamped near the city of Jericho, which occupies a sort of key position to Canaan from the direction of their approach. Joshua, the new leader, evidently had in mind the necessity of prompt action against Jericho, and was, no doubt, considering the fact that his army had no implements suitable for attacking such a walled city defended by well armed men, even though the latter were comparatively few in number. It was while on this reconnoitering expedition that he met an angel of the Lord with drawn sword in hand, who, in answer to his question, informed him that he was the Captain of the Lord's hosts. Joshua, after doing reverence to him, received instructions how he should proceed for the capture of Jericho, and our lesson details the manner in which those instructions were followed out, and the great victory resulting.--Joshua 6.

We have already seen that the land of Canaan prefigures the Millennial Kingdom with its rich blessings which may be secured by all who, under the command of the greater Joshua--Jesus and his glorified Royal Priesthood, desire to be the Lord's people. The renewal of circumcision on entering the land, would thus signify that one of the first institutions of the Millennial Age will be a consecration to the Lord --to put away sin, to live separate from sin as the Lord's assisting grace will enable. The renewal of the passover would symbolize that in the Millennial dispensation the important work of redemption by the precious blood will again be brought prominently to the attention of all who desire to be God's people, and that they can only be his people by a full recognition [R3087 : page 300] of the Lamb that was slain, and by an eating of his flesh--partaking of the mercies and blessings flowing from his sacrifice. The ceasing of the manna, and the eating, instead, of the fruits and grains of Canaan, may be understood to signify that the new dispensation will have spiritual food and sustenance of its own, and that in great variety and abundance; and that mankind will no longer be dependent upon the divine revelation contained in the Scriptures--upon the Word of God through ancient prophets and apostles. Good and necessary as these are under present conditions, they cannot be to the world all that the more direct teachings and blessings and instructions and guidance of the Millennial Kingdom will be, and will, therefore, not be needed under the new conditions. Now, the Word of God is a lamp for the feet of his saints, and some of its light shines beyond his saints to others in this night time; but by and by, when the Sun of righteousness shall arise and the whole earth be flooded with the glorious light of truth and knowledge, the lamp which at present we cannot prize too highly, will cease to occupy its present exalted and indispensable position, although it will always be appreciated and reverenced.

Another thought respecting Canaan: we have already noted that the Royal Priesthood may in some sense of the word be said to be already in the land of Canaan throughout this Gospel age--by faith--already in the place or condition which Israel after the flesh and the mass of mankind "entered not into because of unbelief." (Heb. 4:3,6,10.) To this class, Jordan would fitly represent consecration unto death; and Canaan would represent our present newness of life while still in the flesh. To these, the circumcision represents, as the Apostle explains, circumcision of the heart and putting away of sin from the wills; to these the passover signifies not only the acceptance of the merit of Christ's atonement on our behalf, but also a communion and participation with him in his sacrifice. These, as justified persons, having been fed with the manna from heaven, have been strengthened and brought across Jordan; and now as new creatures they live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"--they live upon the divine promises --"Thy words were found and I did eat them." (Jer. 15:16.) To these the capture of Jericho and all the battlings with the Canaanites represent victories of the "new creature" over the flesh; not accomplished by their own strength, but accomplished for them by the Lord in recognition of their faith and trust in him.

The capture of Jericho was accomplished in a peculiar manner; the methods which, by the Lord's command, Joshua adopted, would certainly appear foolish. For six days the armed men of Israel were to pass around the city, one time each day, followed by priests bearing the ark of the covenant and by other priests tooting with rams' horns, keeping time as they marched. The program on the seventh day was the same except that the armed men and the priests bearing the ark and others with the trumpets passed around the city seven times, and that when they had passed around it the last time the priests with the rams' horns ceased their tooting and gave a long blast upon the horns which was the signal for all the people of Israel to give a shout as they had previously been directed by Joshua according to the Lord's instructions. It required faith on the part of Joshua to issue such instructions; it required faith on the part of the armed men of Israel and of the priests to carry out their part of the program which seemed so senseless, so little likely to effect anything against the city which was to be captured; it required faith on the part of all the people to expect that when these procedures had been accomplished and the final long blast on the trumpet had come (v. 5), that the walls of Jericho would fall down flat. No doubt it was part of the divine program thus to develop and test and strengthen the faith of Israel, and to teach them that the victories they were about to gain would not be in their own strength or might, but by the Lord's power.

Just how this would apply during the Millennial age we may not yet clearly discern; but we are sure that in some manner the lesson will be given to all who then desire to come into harmony with God, that the power of sin, its fortresses and entrenchments in the fallen race, cannot be overcome without divine assistance, and that reliance upon God and obedience to the great Captain of the Lord's hosts will be essential to every victory. The royal priesthood who have already entered, by faith, into the favors or privileges of the Millennial Kingdom (forgiveness of sins and harmony with the Father and blessings as new creatures), already realize the lesson, that sin is so [R3087 : page 301] thoroughly entrenched in their fallen human nature that it can be overcome only by divine power. All through the present time the royal priesthood sound the trumpets of warning against sin, and declare themselves as "new creatures" opposed to it, and announce that ultimately it must completely fall; and during the Millennial age this same priestly class, glorified, will still sound the trumpet note of obedience to God and opposition to sin, and in harmony with their instructions they shall finally sound a great blast, and all who are on the Lord's side will join in, and by the Lord's grace the power of sin will be utterly overthrown, its walls will fall down flat, and no longer constitute opposition, and every one who is on the Lord's side will be energetic in the complete destruction of sin not only as relates to his own person, but as respects the utter extermination of sin in every form and in every phase.

The people were told in advance that the entire city was condemned of God; that he had taken the matter in charge and that they were merely to execute the divine decree against that city in its utter destruction and the extermination of every living thing therein, all of which combinedly symbolized evil. The only things that were not to be destroyed either with fire or sword, were the metals, such as gold, silver, etc.; and these were not to be appropriated by the Israelites, but were to be considered the Lord's. Special caution was given, and the warning that any violation of these terms would bring a corresponding curse upon the person or persons offending and upon the whole camp of the Israelites wherever the condemned things should be found.

Thus during the Millennial age the general lesson will be that sin must be exterminated utterly, and whoever shall seek to hold on to any portion of it will thereby bring a corresponding curse upon himself as did Achan in this instance for securing to himself a "wedge of gold", and "a goodly Babylonish garment."

The lesson to the royal priesthood now, as well as to the world in the Millennial age, is that the Lord requires not merely an outward conformity to his Word, but a heart loyalty to him, which will enter fully into sympathy with righteousness and into hatred of iniquity--otherwise the penalty will be the Second Death, as symbolized in the destruction of Achan.

In respect to the slaughter of the people of Jericho, we must remind our readers of the points in our previous lesson in which we showed that the people thus put to death were not cast into an eternity of torture, but that they merely died with probably as little, or less, pain than if they had been smitten with some lingering disease; and that they have a share in the divine mercy and a provision in the great atonement which the Lord Jesus, our great High Priest, is accomplishing for the sins of the whole world, and which will shortly be finished and permit the blessing of all the families of the earth through their Redeemer.

Just a word respecting the miracle of the overthrow of the walls of Jericho. It was a miracle, however it was to be accounted for, as is demonstrated by the connecting facts, the order of the procedure and the particular time, shout, etc. Doubtless God, in the accomplishing of this miracle, used some natural means as in other instances. Possibly an earthquake may have been caused at that particular spot, so as to affect the walls without affecting or alarming the people of Israel but a short distance outside of the city. Another suggestion offered is that there is a dynamic force in certain chords of sound which as yet is but slightly understood, and that it is possible that the Lord operated along the line of this law but little understood by us, for the accomplishment of the overthrow of this wall, using the sound-chord of the long blast, and of the voices of the people, in conjunction with the marching. This does not seem to us a very reasonable view of the matter, nevertheless we give some curious incidents cited, as rather confirmatory, by those who favor such a view. These illustrations follow:--

"'All structures, large or small, simple or complex, have a definite rate of vibration, depending on their material, size and shape, as fixed as the fundamental note of a musical chord. When the bridge at Colebrooke Dale (the first iron bridge in the world) was building, a fiddler came along and said he could fiddle it down. The workmen laughed in scorn, and told him to fiddle away to his heart's content. He played until he struck the keynote of the bridge, and it swayed so violently that the astonished workmen commanded him to stop. At one time considerable annoyance was experienced in one of the mills in Lowell. Some days the building was so shaken that a pail of water would be nearly emptied, while on other days all was quiet. Experiment proved it was only when the machinery was running at a certain rate that the building was disturbed. The simple remedy was in running it slower or faster so as to put it out of time with the building. We have here the reason of the rule observed by marching armies when they [R3088 : page 301] cross a bridge, viz., Stop the music, break step, and open column, lest the measured cadence of a condensed mass of men should urge the bridge to vibrate beyond its sphere of cohesion. Neglect of this has led to fearful accidents. The celebrated engineer, Stephenson, has said that there is not so much danger to a bridge when crowded with men and cattle, as when men go in marching order. The Broughton bridge near Manchester, gave way beneath the tread of only sixty men. A terrible disaster befell a battalion of French infantry while crossing the suspension bridge at Angiers, in France. Repeated orders were given the troops to break into sections, but in the hurry of the moment and in the rain they disregarded the order, and the bridge fell.'--Professor Lovering, of Cambridge. Tyndall tells us that 'while away up amid the Alpine solitudes of Switzerland a few years ago, I noticed the muleteers tie up the bells of their mules, and was told that the protracted combined tinkling would start an avalanche.'"--Harper's Young People.

The sum and essence of our lesson is expressed in the words of the Apostle, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Phil. 4:13.) Faith is an essential; but we must have crossed the Jordan; we must have been justified; must have partaken of the antitypical passover; must have been sanctified before we could have of the Lord either a promise of victory over our Jericho, or before we could exercise [R3088 : page 302] such a faith as would result in that victory. If in the type faith could bring the fall of the strong walls of a city, how great must be the value of faith in the antitype! "This is the victory which overcometh the world, even your faith," but only so long as we trust in the Lord and seek to do those things pleasing to him, can we exercise this overcoming faith.



[R3088 : page 302]

"YE WERE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE."

Question.--In considering the subject of the ransom in the light of a commercial transaction, as expressed by the Apostle in the words, "Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price" (I Cor. 7:23), will you kindly state in as few words as possible what was the price paid? by whom was the purchase made? when was it bought? to whom was the price paid? when will that which was purchased be delivered?

Answer.--The Scriptures most distinctly declare that the whole human family was "sold under sin," by the first Adam. The price paid him was the fruits of disobedience to God, which eventually proved to be very bitter rewards. The race thus sold under sin became subject to sin's wages; viz., death, by divine sentence. This sentence was irrevocable, and, hence, would have meant everlasting death, everlasting destruction, had not the Almighty graciously provided for us a ransom. The word "ransom" (Greek, antilutron), signifying corresponding price (Matt. 20:28; I Tim. 2:6), indicates to us the method by which God proposed to assist our race without compromising his own justice and its sentence of death. In order to be our ransom price it was necessary that our Lord Jesus should become "the man Christ Jesus," yet without sin, without taint, without blemish. This condition was attained through his miraculous birth,-- and this purity and freedom from the death sentence upon the rest of mankind was maintained, to the end of his life, in that "he was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate" from the sinner-race. In this condition he was ready, prepared thus to become our ransom-price, and this he did become by sacrificing himself, laying down his life on our behalf.

As the condemnation upon the entire race came through one man's disobedience, so the voluntary sacrifice of the man Christ Jesus who was without sin, was a complete offset to the crime and condemnation of the first man, Adam; and as the race of Adam partook of his penalty, so also his race partakes in his redemption; and thus, as by one man's disobedience the many became sinners, so by the obedience of one the many were justified to life--freed from the condemnation of death.

Here we see Adam and his race lost under the sentence of death, needing to be purchased or redeemed. Here we see the man Christ Jesus, the Redeemer, and perceive that he gave the corresponding price for all. Here we see God, the Judge, who sentenced Adam, accepting the man Christ Jesus in his stead, as his substitute, a ransom, or corresponding price. We have additionally the words of the Apostle, assuring us that Christ "through the eternal spirit offered himself without spot to God"--a sacrifice well-pleasing. (Heb. 9:14). We have besides, his testimony that our Lord Jesus took upon himself our human nature, that "he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." We have, also, the testimony that this plan was such an arrangement as to preserve the honor and dignity of divine justice, and yet to bring mercy and forgiveness to the human culprit, in the words, "That he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus." Without the payment of Adam's penalty for him, God could not have justly released the sinner from his sentence;-- to have done so would have been an injustice--a violation of justice--as surely as the original sentence was a just one.

As already indicated, the payment of this penalty began when our Lord reached perfect manhood and made his consecration to death at Jordan, symbolizing it in baptism. It was finished on Calvary. As the ransom, the man Christ Jesus must stay dead; but in harmony with the previous proposition of the Father he was granted life on a higher plane, as a partaker of the divine nature, in reward for his obedience unto death, even the death of the cross. When he ascended up on high and appeared in the presence of God, he presented before him the sacrifice which he had made in the flesh, appropriating a part of it at once to those who had already believed on him--the apostles and other faithful ones of that time--and to all those who would believe on him through their word throughout this Gospel age. In evidence that this was accepted of the Father and accounted sufficient to cancel our sins, note the fact that the Redeemer was at once granted the privilege of pouring out at Pentecost upon his faithful disciples the holy spirit of adoption, as evidencing to them the full forgiveness of their sins; and thus indirectly testifying not only that Jesus had arisen from the dead and ascended up on high, but, also, that his sacrifice for sins was full, sufficient and acceptable to justice.

As to when the thing purchased will be delivered, we reply, that in the case of the Church there is a reckoned deliverance granted at once, when we believe. We are counted free from sin--justified by faith, justified by his blood, by the grace of God; and this justification becomes to believers the ground or foundation of their consecration to the Father, as joint-sacrificers with Christ in the sufferings of this present time, and the foundation of their hope of being joint-participators with him in the glories to follow. In the case of the world in general, practically no benefit from the death of Christ comes in the present time. The world must wait until the Church of Christ, admitted by divine grace to a share in his sufferings, shall have filled up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ (Col. 1:2,4), and shall have been glorified with him. Then these, as the glorified sons of God, shall shine forth in Millennial grandeur, [R3088 : page 303] for the blessing of the world, by the rolling away of the clouds of ignorance, superstition, prejudice, etc., and by lifting up so many as will, out of present slavery to sin and death into the liberty of the sons of God. That Millennial day, then, will be the great day of delivering that which Christ purchased with his precious blood--delivering mankind in general (so many as shall heartily accept divine favor on the original terms proffered to Adam; viz., thorough obedience).



[R3088 : page 303]

FIDELITY TO EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY BRIDEGROOMS.
Dear Mr. Russell:

Since appreciating the light of present truth and endeavoring to walk in it I have been much restrained in my reading, and have several times been forbidden to attend any meetings held, or to hold any communications with any of the dear brethren.

For a while I quietly submitted and never had any reading matter around, except the Bible, when my husband came home. Then I grew bolder, and began to leave a tract about again. But each attack was worse, and finally my husband said: "If I see any more of those books or tracts about I'll burn them." My son has a Leeser, a Diaglott, etc.; they as well as the "Dawns," were all taken care of by my oldest son who is not in the truth.

I find I must read the "Dawns"; they are more to me than my daily food, yet when I surreptitiously get one and am reading, I tremble and hide it if I hear a footfall. I am not happy, especially since it was shown to me that we should obey God, rather than man. Ought I to obey my husband [R3089 : page 303] in this, seeing that Christ is my Head? I feel like a coward in this.

OUR REPLY.
Dear Sister:

Your favor of the 22nd is before me. I am glad that you have expressed yourself freely, and am glad to note that you have the spirit of a sound mind on this important subject. Your husband, probably a strong-minded man, has not fully recognized to what extent his attitude toward you on this subject is unreasonable and tyrannical. We are fully in sympathy with the Scriptural injunction that wives should obey their husbands; but this does not, as you have perceived, imply that the wife should obey her husband in matters contrary to the admonitions of the heavenly Bridegroom. No reasonable earthly husband will make such requirements, and we will trust that yours will consider the matter differently ere long. He will be helped, however, in seeing the right way by your kind and loving treatment of him, and your earnest endeavor to please him in all legitimate and proper ways, but by your positiveness, your firm decision and resolute conduct in the matters which appertain to your proper liberties of conscience. I would readily agree to keep my books and papers out of sight during my husband's presence in the home; but I would neither agree not to think nor to read, nor would I agree to absent myself from the meetings of those of like precious faith.

I would tell my husband plainly that it is our duty to obey the heavenly Bridegroom first, and that when he says "Forget not the assembling of yourselves together," I considered it duty to follow that admonition at any cost; that I hoped this would appeal to him as a reasonable and correct course; that I had no thought of neglecting legitimate, proper, home obligations and duties toward him, and the other members of my family, but would be as faithful or more faithful, than if under the influence of any other than my present convictions. I would tell him that this much liberty at least was thoroughly understood by me when entering the marriage relationship; that if in his marriage vows he did not intend to accord liberties of conscience he had misled and deceived me, and that in any event I would not submit to that kind of bondage, and that the quicker the matter was decided the better; that under no circumstances or conditions would I move one iota from this position, so long as I considered that my position was according to the will of the Lord; that if this led to any breach between us the fault and the change were certainly on his side, as I had never given away my liberty of conscience and never intended to do so, and would not ask him to violate his; that I believed that my view of this would not only stand the test of the Scriptures but also of all men and women possessed of sound common sense.

In harmony with this I would assure my husband that the truth, so far from making me less careful of his interests and my obligations as a wife, should make me more careful; and that I believed that if he took a right view and stand upon the subject, as I was determined to do, it would mean an increase of blessing to us both and to the household.

If after a reasonable season of patient, loving remonstrance against such attempts to fetter my conscience there was no change for the better, I would consider that I had been deserted by my husband;--that he had ceased to be a husband and become an oppressor and was not treating me as even a slave might hope to be treated in respect to his or her conscientious convictions. Taking the matter to the Lord I should look for relief--for the liberty wherewith Christ makes free. Not liberty to remarry, however; indeed even aside from the divine law making marriage perpetual (except upon one condition--Matt. 19:9) such an experience should be sufficient for anybody.

I will remember you at the throne of grace, that the Lord will guide in your affairs.

"THE GREAT COMPANY."


Question.--When and how did the class that fails to keep its consecration get "before the throne"? I understand that this class is to pass through the tribulation and "wash its robes and make them white in the blood of the lamb."

Answer.--This class seems to be located most particularly at the present time--altho there may have been some throughout this age, who, because of failure voluntarily to suffer, have been forced to suffer either with Christ in tribulation experiences, or to deny him and thus be condemned to the Second Death. In the tribulation time which will follow the Church's glorification we anticipate crucial tests upon all the Lord's true people, and faithfulness then will mean "great tribulation" ending in death, which to these will signify change to spiritual conditions. On the other hand failure to meet the trials devotedly will mean full, intelligent rejection of Christ, and will bring the full penalty of such a course; viz., Second Death.



page 305
October 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXIII.OCTOBER 15, 1902.No. 20.


CONTENTS.

"Though Ye Be Established"307
"He Wholly Followed the Lord"309
Fleeing for Refuge311
"Choose Ye this Day Whom Ye Shall Serve"313
We are not Ignorant of his Devices315
Poem--The Morn is Coming317
"A Vessel Unto Honor, Sanctified"318
Letters of Interest319
Special Items306

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

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

page 306

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




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

OUR LINEAR, WIDE-MARGIN, DAWN-REFERENCE BIBLES.

The three dollar grade is gone, except a few which we have agreed to hold until the end of the year. We still have a hundred or two of the two dollar grade, but they will not last long.

We have a few of both grades without pictures, to permit their being sent by mail to foreign countries. We will hold these for the foreign friends until November 15th: after that they will be open to all, for same prices, $2 and $3 postpaid.


WE REGRET inability to supply charts promptly--except the 25c wall chart with metal hangers. Will fill orders for others as quickly as possible. Painters as well as printers in this vicinity are extremely busy at present.


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."



[R3089 : page 307]

THOUGH YE BE ESTABLISHED.

"I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though you know them, and be established in the present truth."--2 Peter 1:12.

WHAT things are here referred to? Assuredly the necessity of giving all diligence to add to our faith virtue [fortitude]; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance [self-control]; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity [love]:... For if ye do these things ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.--Verses 5-11.

To be established in the truth signifies that we have carefully studied and thoroughly proved it by "the law and the testimony" (Isa. 8:20), and that as a consequence we are convinced of its verity, so that our faith is steadfast and immovable: we know whom we have believed; we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good; we have partaken of the sweets of fellowship with him; we have partaken of his spirit of meekness, faith and godliness to such an extent as to be led into a joyful realization of the fulness of his grace as manifested in the wonderful divine plan of the ages; and we have been permitted to see, not only the various features of that plan, but also the necessity and reasonableness of all its various measures in order to the full accomplishment of its glorious outcome in the fulness of the appointed times. This is what it is to be "established in the present truth." It is indeed a most blessed condition, bringing with it such peace and joy as the world can neither give nor take away.

But though we be thus established in the present truth, we need to bear in mind that our election to the high position to which we are called is not yet made sure. The race for the prize of our high calling is still before us, and we are yet in the enemy's country, surrounded by many subtle and powerful foes, so that if we would be successful we must "fight the good fight of faith," remembering, too, that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but [God's Truth is] mighty to the pulling down of the strongholds" of error and superstition and of inbred sin; and remembering, also, that "we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."-- 2 Cor. 10:4; Eph. 6:12.

It is in view of these facts--of the warfare before us, of the subtlety of our temptations and of the weakness of the flesh--that the faithful Apostle Peter urges all diligence in the cultivation of the Christian graces and a continual calling to remembrance of the precious truths we have learned, that we may be strengthened thereby to make our calling and election sure. Faith is a good thing; but faith without virtuous works is dead; and to hold the truth in unrighteousness is worse than never to have received it. The truth is given to us for its sanctifying effect upon our hearts and lives. Therefore let it have free course and be glorified. Let its precious fruits appear more and more from day to day. Add to your faith virtue--true excellence of character, such excellence of character as will mark you as separate from the world and its spirit. In all such the world will see those moral qualities which they must approve, however they may oppose our faith. Add sterling honesty, truth and fair dealing in all business relations; moral integrity, in all social relations; manifestly clean hands and a pure heart, and a bridled tongue that works no ill to a neighbor. All of these the world has a right to expect from those who call themselves Christians; and all of these are indispensable features of that virtuous character which must be added to our faith. The clean hands will not dabble in anything that is not virtuous: they will have nothing to do with unrighteous schemes or [R3090 : page 308] projects in business. The pure heart will not devise evil things, or harbor evil thoughts, or plot mischief. And the bridled tongue will not be given to evil speaking, but will hold its peace when it cannot speak well and wisely. But the promptings of virtue go further than merely these negative features which refuse to do anything which would work ill to a neighbor; they incite not only to passive, but also to active, goodness--in benevolent charity which seeks to alleviate suffering, to sympathize with sorrow, to comfort those in distress and to elevate and bless others --to assist "all men as we have opportunity."

To such a virtuous character we are counseled to add knowledge--the knowledge of God's character, that we may the more thoroughly imitate it, and of his truth, that we may more fully conform to its teachings: and to knowledge, temperance--moderation, self-restraint, in all things. "Let your moderation be known unto all men." We are not to be hasty and hot-tempered, or rash and thoughtless. But we should strive to be evenly balanced, thoughtful and considerate: our whole manner should be characterized by that carefulness which would indicate that we are ever mindful of the Lord's pleasure, of our responsibility to him as his representatives, and of our influence upon our fellow-men, to see that it always is for good, never for evil.

"And to temperance, patience." "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." Yes, this grace smooths the way for every other, because all must be acquired under the process of patient and continuous self-discipline. Not a step of progress can be gained without the exercise of this grace of patience; and not one of the graces more beautifully adorns the Christian character, or wins the approval of the world's conscience, or glorifies the God of all grace whose truth inspires it. It is long-suffering meekness earnestly striving to stem the tide of human imperfection and weakness, and endeavoring with pains-taking care to regain the divine likeness. It is slow to wrath and plenteous in mercy; it is quick to perceive the paths of truth and righteousness, and prompt to walk in them: it is mindful of its own imperfections and sympathetic with the imperfections and shortcomings of others.

"And to patience, godliness"--a careful study and imitation of the divine character as presented in the divine Word.

"And to godliness, brotherly kindness"--an exercise and manifestation of the principles of the divine character toward our fellow-men.

"And to brotherly kindness, charity"--love. Kindness may be manifested where but little love exists toward the subject of such kindness; but we cannot long persevere in such acts of kindness before a sympathetic interest is awakened; and by and by that interest, continually exercised, deepens into love. And even though the subject may be unlovely in character, the love of sympathy for the fallen and degraded grows, until it becomes tender and solicitous and akin to that of a parent for an erring son.

Peter indeed describes a most amiable character, but who can consider it without feeling that to attain it will be a life-work. It cannot be accomplished in a day, nor a year, but the whole life must be devoted to it; and day by day, if we are faithful, we should realize a measure of growth in grace and of development of Christian character. It is not proper that we know the truth, and are contented to hold it in unrighteousness. We must see to it that the truth is having its legitimate and designed effect upon the character. And if the truth is thus received into good and honest hearts, we have the assurance of the Apostle that we shall never fall, and that in due time we shall be received into the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Hence we see the necessity of ever keeping the instructions and precepts of the Lord fresh in our minds, and of drinking deep into its inspiring spirit, although we are already established in the faith. To be established in the faith is one thing, but to be established in Christian character and in all the graces of the spirit is quite another.

A PRACTICAL SUGGESTION.

Feeling as we do the necessity of a deeper work of grace, both in our own hearts and in the hearts of all of the dear household of faith, the thought has occurred to us that more special effort in this particular direction on the part of us all would probably be of great benefit. We do not know through what discipline of faith and patience we may yet be called to pass in the approaching dark night of which we are forewarned, but "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," and also, thank God, sufficient unto the day is the grace thereof, if we earnestly lay hold of it and patiently continue in it. As each day brings its trials, so, if we have been rightly exercised by the trials, each day should bring its victories--thus leaving us strengthened and more firmly established in character, as well as in faith.

With the end in view of specially promoting the growth of Christian character, our suggestion, which has already been made and adopted by the congregation in Allegheny and many other places, is that wherever a few of the consecrated can arrange to meet together, it would be well to appoint a midweek meeting for this special purpose. Such a meeting should be devoted to worship, prayer and praise, and to brotherly exhortation, conference and counsel, but not to Bible study or controversy. All discussions of doctrinal matters should be eliminated from such a meeting, and such subjects as would elicit controversy avoided, leaving such matters for another meeting, at an appropriate hour on the Lord's day, when all meet together; the object being, not to ignore doctrine, nor to discourage Bible-study; but, while meeting this necessity at the one meeting (on the Lord's day), to devote the other (the mid-week meeting) to the other equal necessity, without distraction.

Our arrangement here in Allegheny and Pittsburgh is as follows: As our congregation is much scattered, we have them parceled into as many neighborhood gatherings as is necessary for the accommodation of all desiring to attend; and a leader is appointed [R3090 : page 309] for each meeting, discretion being observed as to capability. They should be brethren established in the faith--sound in doctrine, faithful and pious. These meetings are held on Wednesday evenings at the residence of some member of each little group. The meeting is opened with a hymn and prayer, the reading, by the leader, of Sunday afternoon's text; then each one is asked to give his or her personal experience as to progress in the narrow way--as to how he or she is growing in grace and striving to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. Here they may humbly tell of their victories, or speak of their trials, or ask for Christian counsel and sympathy in hard places, speaking more freely in such little gatherings than would be possible or proper in larger assemblies. Here they can hear each other's petitions for each other, and Christian love and sympathy flow the more freely from heart to heart.

The object kept in mind at these meetings is a fresh, living, weekly and daily experience with the Lord and in his service, and not merely a stale experience of the remote past. A clear past experience is good, but a clear present experience is better;-- much more vitally important. Doctrine is ignored at these meetings except as the word doctrine applies to all Scripture teachings, including hope, trust, obedience, godliness, prayer, etc. Too many, we find, have been contenting themselves with knowing the truth, without making special efforts to live it, daily and hourly. As honesty of heart and faith in the Redeemer's finished work and consecration to his service are necessary to a full entrance into the "holy," where the deeper features of the divine plan can be discerned and fully appreciated, so these qualities must remain, must abide, or the light will become darkness--you will be cast out of the light into the outer darkness in which the world and the nominal church grope after the phosphorescent glimmerings of error--Spiritism, Christian Science, Theosophy and Universalism.

The leader of such a meeting should study to adapt his counsel, correction or encouragement to the special needs of each of the little group over which he is placed, and his reverent piety and personal interest in each should inspire the confidence of all. We believe that such mid-week meetings prove steppingstones to higher attainments in the divine life, and that thus all may be greatly blessed and profited; and the whole body will be able the more effectually to minister to one another in spiritual things. On the middle Wednesday evening of each month the prayer feature is given more attention and an opportunity granted for all to address the throne of grace two or three in immediate succession. At a quarterly Sunday evening general meeting of the same character, we hear of the spiritual progress of the various little groups both from the leaders and the various attendants, and quarterly the leaders are transferred to other groups.

May the blessing of the Lord go with the suggestion, and may the outcome be a strengthening of the bond of Christian love and mutual sympathy and fellowship everywhere.



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"HE WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD."
--JOSHUA 14:5-15.--OCTOBER 26.--

WHAT A GRAND, what a wonderful testimony this is respecting any man;--he wholly followed the Lord. And the words have special force and weight in Caleb's case, because by nature he was not of the children of Israel, but only by adoption into the tribe of Judah. He was of the seed of Abraham, but through the rejected son Esau. The lesson of his faithfulness and reward is, therefore, of special force and weight to us who by nature are children of wrath, members of the worldly class of humanity, whose natural disposition was typified in Esau whose little faith in the promises of God, and greater appreciation of the good things of this world, led him to sell his birthright for a mess of pottage. Many of us who now rejoice that we are counted in as Israelites indeed, justified by faith, sanctified by the truth,--of the people of God, sharers in the great inheritance, --realize that many of us once loved the things of this present life more than the things of the life to come, and were disposed to grasp the tangible things of the present rather than to sacrifice these in the interest of the future glories and blessings of the divine promise.

After the fall of Jericho Israel passed through various experiences in taking possession of the land of promise. First, there was the sin of Achan, his covetousness which led him to disobedience of the divine command respecting the possessions of the people of Jericho. His love for the condemned things not only cost him his life, but brought considerable injury to the cause, just as with us one whose consecration is defective and who loves the present evil world, and contrary to the divine command secretly encourages evil in his own life, may bring considerable disaster to the Lord's cause before the secret sin is made manifest, and eventually brings upon the wrong doer the weighty penalty implied in the Apostle's words, "If we live after the flesh, we shall die." Achan's course also represented the rule of the Millennial age, when all who even secretly love evil will be made manifest and will be destroyed from amongst the people.--Acts 3:23; Rev. 20:9.

Later on the Lord brought the people to the valley between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim. In the wonderful natural amphitheater between the two mountains the people were gathered while from the one mountain was read the blessings of the Law and its keeping, and from the other the curses which would come upon those who would fail to keep the Law; thus did the Lord reimpress upon the people their continued obligation to him and the fact that their prosperity would depend upon their faithfulness to his law. So it is [R3091 : page 310] also with the royal priesthood who by faith have reckonedly entered the land of promise; from the time of their consecration the Lord speaks to them through his Word and through his providence, instructing them that although free from the Law covenant which was upon Israel they have come under the still higher statement of the divine law, briefly comprehended in the word, Love; and that on the one hand spiritual blessing, refreshment and growth will come to them in the line of obedience to this law of love, and on the other hand weakness, inability to overcome the world, the flesh and the adversary, and general spiritual disaster will be their portion if they neglect this divine law of the New Covenant, Love. So in the Millennial age after the antitypical Joshua shall have brought the world under the new conditions of the Millennial Kingdom, the law of God will be distinctly set before all as the standard of conduct, it will be the law of love, the highest expression of the divine law with its many illustrations and explanations and assistance as may be necessary to bring the matter to the comprehension of every creature. "The law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Micah 4:2) Those who will obey the leadings of the glorious Joshua, the Deliverer, the Christ, will by his help and encouragement and guidance be brought off victors in the end; and those who will not obey that Law-giver and the law expressed through him, shall be chastened, judged, and if these corrections in righteousness do not serve to bring their hearts into accord with the Lord, there will be but one end possible; the wages of sin (no longer Adam's sin) will call for their death--Second Death--from which there will be no redemption, no recovery, no release.

Later on came the great battle between the Israelites under Joshua and the confederated kings of that region, resulting in the defeat and destruction of the latter and their armies on what is generally known as Joshua's long day. Then followed sundry other defeats of Israel's enemies until a sufficient portion of the land had been conquered to permit of its distribution between the tribes.

It was at this time when the enemies had been reduced in a general way and a considerable portion of the land of Canaan was in possession of the Israelites, that a division of the land was made between the tribes, each tribe still having considerable to do in the way of conquering its own province and destroying the inhabitants remaining therein to dispute their possession. Joshua occupied the place of judge, formerly held by Moses, and the various tribes were assigned their portion by him; Judah evidently was one of the last to make application for an allotment, and Caleb was one of the representative men in the tribe of which he was an adopted member. The representative elders of Judah came also with him as implying their indorsement of his request for Hebron, promised him by Moses, and because they also considered that to be one of the most desirable localities of Palestine.

Caleb rehearsed to Joshua the story of the spying out of Canaan and reminded him that Moses promised that the particular part of Canaan he trod upon in spying should be his portion. He showed how this promise had fully entered into his heart; that not only had he the faith which enabled him to make the good report as to the possibility of Israel, under the Lord's favor, taking possession of the land of promise at once, but the same faith was with him afterward; he believed the Word of the Lord through Moses respecting his ultimate inheritance in it. The same promise and faith had been with him and actuated him during the wars of Israel in taking possession of the land, and now he still had full confidence that God would accomplish all the promises of Moses through the new leader Joshua. He was not unmindful of the fact that Hebron, which was the portion promised him by Moses, was not yet conquered; that it was in possession of the Anakim, giants, and that there would be serious battles to be fought before he could take full possession. His confidence was, however, that the same God who had made him the promise in the beginning, who had kept him thus far and who had fulfilled the promise up to this time, would be with him still and give him victory over the entrenched and fortressed enemies in Hebron. How well this illustrates the progress of the spiritual Israelites who in the present time, by faith, are living the new life in the land of promise, battling with the enemies and overcoming them in the name and by the power of the Lord! They look back to the beginning of their experiences and rejoice that the Lord has kept them and blessed them in all spiritual things up to the present, and in proportion as they realize this they have faith to look forward into the future and to see the final outcome,--see themselves victors in their contests even with the strongest and most entrenched enemies of the flesh,--its giant passions, customs, etc. Amongst these enemies of spiritual Israelites, living high up in the mountain fastnesses, giant in form and thoroughly fortified, are religious customs, traditions of men, nominalism, sectarian pride and ambition and love of show. But the same grace of God which was sufficient to enable us to gain the victory over the common sins, in the valley, is able still to give us the victory over all these enemies of the new mind, the new creature, and to bring us off conquerors and "more than conquerors through him that loved us" and bought us with his precious blood. But as faith was necessary at every step of the journey--to spy out the land, to enter in, to fight the battles, so the same faith increasing as it has progressed, is necessary now for our final victory and our entrance into the full promised inheritance. Doubtless, the same condition in some respect will be true during the Millennial age to the world also: at first the requirement of the Kingdom will be obedience in outward form; but ultimately the requirement will be the full submission of the heart to the will of God ere the restitution class will reach full perfection and enter upon the inheritance of everlasting life at the close of the Millennial age.

It is pleasant in passing to note the generous language of Caleb in respect to the ten other spies who were with Joshua and himself, and who brought back the evil report. Here would have been a fine opportunity for an ignoble man to have spoken evil of those associates and to have endeavored to glorify his own [R3091 : page 311] faithfulness and that of Joshua in contrast with the unfaithfulness of the ten. But no; generously he passes over their wrong conduct in as mild language as possible, and so far from denouncing them or reviling them, he speaks of them as "my brethren." The spiritual Israelite must have this same disposition, only with us it should be still more pronounced than with Caleb, because we, having been anointed with the holy spirit and through this anointing having been taught many of the "deep things of God," may well judge ourselves by a standard much higher than any with which Caleb was acquainted; surely spiritual Israelites have much advantage every way over natural Israelites. Whenever, therefore, we hear those professing the new life and large attainments of grace speaking evil of their brethren, we are to remember [R3092 : page 311] the word of the Lord, that revilers shall have no part in the Kingdom of God; we are to remember that it is written of our Lord that "when he was reviled he reviled not again"; we are to remember that evil speaking is classed by the Apostle as amongst the works of the flesh and of the devil, and the conduct of Michael, the archangel, is held up before us as a shining example of propriety, in that he did not bring a railing accusation against Satan, but merely said, "The Lord rebuke thee"; we are to remember too the Apostle's specific declaration, that evil speaking against others is a part of the filth of the flesh from which we, as the Lord's people, must be cleansed if we would be acceptable to him through Jesus Christ our Lord; and that revilers "shall not inherit the Kingdom of God."--I Cor. 6:10.

Let us not be misunderstood; the Scriptures nowhere teach that all men are brethren in the spiritual sense; on the contrary, they teach that the unjustified are not God's children, but "children of wrath," and some of them are so thoroughly evil that from God's standpoint they are of "their father the devil"; we are to recognize as brethren in Christ only the household of faith, and to draw a sharp line of demarcation in our minds and in our salutations as between these and the children of this world. This does not imply either that the children of this world are to be treated unkindly by us or insulted or offended; rather they are to have our sympathy, our love, to whatever extent possible, our assistance as the Apostle suggests. We are to "do good unto all men as we have opportunity," especially unto the household of faith,--the brethren. Brethren are still to be recognized even though they fall into difficulty, dangerous snares of the adversary; and if it be necessary that our fellowship be withdrawn for a time, it is merely with the view to assist them back to their proper relationship to the Lord and back to our love and sympathy in fullest measure; as the Apostle says even such are to be treated, not as enemies, but, as misguided brethren for whose recovery we are to be willing to lay down even our lives--an hour here, another hour there, an effort for this one and an effort for another one because they are the Lord's. It is only after such brethren have turned back from the Lord's service like a "sow to her wallowing in the mire" or after they have discarded the redemptive work of Christ like the man in the parable who took off the wedding garment-- only then are we to esteem them as enemies, adversaries, and even then we are not to bring against them a railing accusation, but to leave the matter for the Lord's judgment.--2 Thess. 3:15.

The essence of this lesson to the spiritual Israelite is that in order to inherit the good promises of God, we, like Caleb, must have faith in God and a corresponding obedience, that of us, as of him, the Lord will write, "He wholly followed the Lord."



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FLEEING FOR REFUGE.
--JOSHUA 20:1-9.--NOVEMBER 2.--

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."--Psa. 46:1

VERY WISE INDEED was the divine arrangement of cities of refuge for the Israelites. Six of these were designated, so scattered throughout the length and breadth of Palestine that they were convenient for the whole people. They were of divine appointment and had already been referred to through Moses (Num. 35:9-34; Deut. 4:41-43; 19:1-9), and by him their purpose had been fully set forth. Now that Israel had entered the land of promise and taken possession of it, the time had come for the putting of this measure into effect. The six cities chosen as refuges were all of them cities of the Levites which would all the more insure their being free from all tribal bias or prejudice. The tribe of Levi stood separate and distinct from all the other tribes and was specially interested in all; as the religious representatives of the nation it was fitting, therefore, that these refuges from justice should be of the Levites wards--under their protection.

From earliest times and in almost all countries the taking of life has been a capital offense calling for the death of the slayer. In almost all countries, too, particularly in the East, it is considered the bounden duty of the person next of kin to the one slain, to avenge his death; with some it is permissible to take money as a compensation for the loss of life, but with the Jews it was not so; the law "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" held with special rigidity in respect to a life for a life. We can see the wisdom of this general law recognized by the whole human family --that human life must be considered sacred and that he who would slay another must be shown no pity. Life was originally a divine gift, although forfeited through sin, and whatever remnant of it is transmitted from parent to child is still to be esteemed as so much of the original divine gift, and no one is at liberty to treat it lightly.

The cities of refuge were a step in advance along the line of tempering justice with mercy; they were established, not for the protection of wilful murderers [R3092 : page 312] but, for those who unintentionally, through error or accident took the life of another; any one who even thus committed man-slaughter was really worthy of death under the decree, "He that sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed,"--regardless of any excuse which he might be able to offer, either of aggravation or passion or self-defense or accident. The arrangement was that anyone believing himself to be free from malice, wilful, intentional murder, might flee to one of these cities of refuge and there be protected from the full demands of the law against his life--he might thus have a measure of mercy extended to him without the condoning of his offense. It was a further regulation that the routes leading to these cities of refuge should be built and kept in thorough order, free from stumbling stones, with bridges over water-courses, etc., so as to afford the guilty ones full opportunity for a rapid flight to secure safety. Moreover at frequent intervals sign boards were erected pointing in the direction of the city of refuge and bearing the word, "Refuge." It was also a custom among Jews that two scribes should accompany the refugee with the special object of persuading the avenger should he overtake the culprit, to permit him to reach the city of refuge and there have a proper trial of his cause to hear what could be said on his behalf. This was a recognition of the justice of vengeance, but it was also an inculcation of mercy. Apparently the whole people felt a sympathy for every person fleeing from an avenger to a city of refuge, as each one realized his own liability at some time to commit a similar offense and thus likewise need to seek refuge and mercy.

Arrived at the city of refuge, the culprit was not free, but was obliged to stand for trial before the elders of the city representing the congregation of Israel. He was received into the city and protected until such time as the trial could take place. His cause was carefully investigated;--Prof. Beecher remarks respecting these trials: "Much stress is laid upon the previous conduct of the slayer, and the relations between him and his victim, whether he lay in wait for the slain man (Deut. 19:11), whether he 'hunted' for him or not (Ex. 21:13; Num. 35:20,22), whether he smote him 'in secret.' (Deut. 27:24). Was it presumptuous, --that is to say, malicious? (Ex. 21:14). Was it with guile? (Ex. 21:14). Especially, was there enmity previously between the two men? (Num. 35:21,22). Was there hatred of the slain on the part of the slayer? (Num. 35:21,23; Deut. 19:4,6,11; Josh. 20:5)."

The fact that so many particulars were enumerated shows that the trial contemplated was to be a careful one; it was not therefore the intention of these cities of refuge to defeat the ends of justice, but that while serving the ends of justice, mercy might be extended to those who were proper subjects for it. If the man were found guilty of deliberate murder, intentional, premeditated, the city of refuge did not save him from the death penalty; and if he were acquitted of any malice, he, nevertheless, was obliged to remain in the city of refuge or within its suburbs of 1,000 cubits beyond the walls (Num. 35:26,28), for the remainder of his life, or until the death of the high priest. This was putting a heavy penalty upon carelessness, passion, etc., a penalty of separation from family, a restriction of liberty which, undoubtedly, would be beneficial, not only to the individual under restriction but, in its influence beneficial upon the whole people. The careless man is culpable, and when his carelessness results in serious injury to another it is but right that the matter should result in his own inconvenience --that it should cost him something.

The high priest was in some respects the most prominent individual in the nation, and his death, therefore, would be such a notable event as to be known throughout all the tribes, and on that occasion all refugees in all cities of refuge would be at liberty to return to their homes free from danger from the avenger, the avenger's opportunity expiring with the death of the high priest; and were he to avenge after that, he would be the murderer and be obliged to flee to a city of refuge. This unique arrangement, it will be observed, is the very reverse of our present-day arrangements of jails, penitentiaries, etc., and in some respects, at least, it presents advantages. The culprit [R3093 : page 312] himself was the one who sought the prison and who desired to stay therein for his own protection during the appointed time. This certainly avoided the necessity of building massive, walled, iron-barred jails from which prisoners continually seek to escape. And instead of inciting the people to the pursuit of the offender under the presumption of his guilt even before his trial, it rather conduced to a reverse condition of sentiment--the supposition of the culprit's innocence and the desire and sympathy on the part of the people to assist him to safety and protection and mercy.

Our Golden Text draws to our attention an antitypical significance of these cities of refuge: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble." From the time we become acquainted with the real facts of our case, we realize that a death sentence has been issued which involves each one of us. We realize, too, that justice has a full right to pursue us unto death because we have "all sinned and come short of the glory of God"; and because the "wages of sin is death." The Apostle Paul points out this matter distinctly (Rom. 5:12), saying "By one man['s disobedience] sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so [thus] death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." From the moment, therefore, that we recognize that we are sinners--that we could not stand approved in the divine presence,-- from that moment we realize that the avenger, Justice, is upon our trail, and that it is only a question of time when we will be overtaken and destroyed unless we reach some place of refuge. As we flee we see finger-posts which God has set for our instruction pointing us to Christ as the only place of refuge, and to him we have to flee.

We are abiding now within the hallowed precincts of this salvation, deliverance, refuge, which God himself has provided for us; even as it is written, "It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth?" And yet it is with us even as it is shown in the type, a place of refuge not from wilful and intentional violation of the divine Law, but a refuge to cover our weaknesses [R3093 : page 313] and ignorance--the results of the fall. As a thorough investigation was made in the type, so we may be sure that in our cases a thorough investigation of motives, intention, etc., will be instituted.

Fortunately for us, this refuge in Christ is specially intended for those who are "new creatures in Christ Jesus," whose sinful course prior to coming to a knowledge of the Lord is accounted, not as intentional or wilful, but, as of ignorance. Our responsibilities for wilful sin may, therefore, be said to begin with and keep pace with our knowledge of the divine Law. Although acquitted as respects wilful sin whose penalty would be the Second Death, it is necessary that we continue to "abide in him"--that we do not put off the robe of Christ's righteousness. If we leave the city of refuge,--if we abandon our trust in the precious blood which cleanseth us from all sin, we become liable again to the demands of Justice and that without mercy. Divine justice is represented in the avenger, as divine mercy is represented in the city of refuge, and he who would leave the city of refuge necessarily falls into the hands of Justice; as again the Apostle explains, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God"--to depart from Christ, to abandon the mercy and forgiveness which the Father has extended toward us, as culprits,--through the Beloved One.

How long must we abide thus in the mercy of Christ and have no standing or liberty outside of his robe of righteousness, no safety outside his provision of refuge? We answer that we must thus abide "until the death of the high priest." This is already in a large measure accomplished--the Head of the antitypical high priest, our Lord and Master, already has finished the work that the Father gave him to do, and the members of the body of the high priest, his Church in the flesh, are filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, and soon the entire high priest, its every member, will have died. Then the new dispensation will be ushered in and no longer will we be obliged to own our own imperfection and the need of a covering before justice; from thenceforth having been made perfect by a share in the First Resurrection, having been made like our Lord and Master, we shall be presented before the Father blameless, unreprovable, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, without any vengeance against us on the part of divine justice.

The entire arrangement is of God--Justice is the avenger of sin, and Christ is the refuge and deliverance; therefore, while acknowledging the Lord Jesus and appreciating very highly his work for us, the redemption accomplished through his sacrifice and all the blessings which come from the Father through him, and thus honoring the Son as we honor the Father also, it is nevertheless appropriate that we should remember that all these blessings are of the Father through the Son. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble."



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"CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YE SHALL SERVE."
--JOSHUA 24:14-25.--NOVEMBER 9.--

DECISION, one of the most important elements of Christian character, is the essence of this lesson. When Joshua was about 110 years old, realizing that his course was about run, he called a general assembly of the Israelites, presumably the heads of every tribe and family, and reviewed before them the Lord's mercies from the time of the call of Abraham. It was now about thirty years since Joshua had succeeded Moses as the leader and law-giver, the judge of the nation. Under his able administration Canaan had been divided amongst the tribes, and a quarter of a century of prosperity in the new land had followed, not, however, without its conflicts and difficulties. In leaving the people Joshua sought to impress upon them not only the blessings and favors that they had received of the Lord, but also the obligations which they had assumed in becoming his people prospectively; heirs of the Abrahamic covenant, and blessers of all the nations of the earth. He shows how Abraham's fore-fathers had been idolaters "on the other side of the flood," that is, on the other side of the great river Euphrates; and that God's favor had been markedly with Abraham and his posterity up to the time of which he spoke. In order to impress upon their minds what they might expect of the Lord in the future, he calls pointedly to their attention his dealings with them in the past, the lessons in Egypt, the deliverances, the crossing of the Red Sea, the experiences of the wilderness, their crossing of Jordan into the land of promise, their conquest of the land against the various inhabitants. He would have them remember that these victories were not of their own strength or ability or wisdom, but that the Lord was on their side; calling attention also to one of the great battles in which their enemies were discomfitted by great swarms of hornets, and then he comes to the exhortation which constitutes this lesson.

It is profitable, too, that the spiritual Israelite frequently take such a review of God's providences. He may look back not only to God's manifestations of favor and power during the Jewish age to natural Israel, but he may see also divine favor of another time granted to spiritual Israel during this gospel age. Noting the differences of dispensations, he can see that God's blessings were of a temporal kind during the Jewish age; that those who were faithful to the Lord were blessed in their flocks and herds and earthly advantages and health, while during this Gospel age those who reverently obey the Lord and seek to walk in his ways are blessed in spiritual things; he opens the eyes of their understanding, feeds their hearts; grants them refreshment of the water of life, and light of the knowledge of the goodness of God which shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord, and makes known to his faithful the lengths and breadths and depths and heights of divine love, wisdom, [R3093 : page 314] and power. They now realize a protection from the world, the flesh and the adversary, and the peace of God which passeth all understanding rules in their hearts, even though the same divine providence may permit them to have various trials and difficulties, persecutions and disappointments and reverses, physical, financial and social. The spiritual Israelite's evidence of divine favor on his behalf is in the healing of his soul from the sicknesses of sin, and in the invigoration of the new life, and in the victories over the weaknesses of the flesh and the oppositions of the Adversary--these are potent arguments with the spiritual Israelite respecting the goodness and faithfulness of our God, as the temporal victories recited by Joshua were evidences of them to the natural Israelite.

As Moses before he died had called upon Israel to renew their covenant with the Lord, so Joshua desired at the close of his days to make an appeal to his brethren on behalf of faithfulness to the Lord, that would long be remembered by them. He recognized the fact that God seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth--not of fear, not of compulsion but of a willing mind, and his argument accordingly was along this line--Brethren, let us make a firm resolve that in view of God's goodness to us we will ever be faithful to him; let us fear him in the sense of reverencing his commands, in the sense of fearing to displease one who has been so gracious to us; let us remember, too, that notwithstanding [R3094 : page 314] his graciousness, he is dealing with us along the line of principle, and that if we depart from the principles he approves his blessing and favor will depart from us. Let us put away, therefore, the gods which your fathers served, and serve Jehovah only. It may have been that there was still a lurking of idolatry amongst the people, or it may have been that Joshua was merely guarding them against the idolatrous tendencies which more or less assail all mankind--a tendency to forget more or less the invisible God and to set upon earthly objects--idols-- the affections and reverence which properly belong to him. Joshua would incite the people to a good resolution.

Just so, too, we see that spiritual Israelites need frequently to incite one another to faithfulness to God, to an appreciation of what he has done for us and what he rightly expects of us, and to caution one another against what we recognize to be the tendencies of the world--the drawing away of our hearts and affections toward earthly things.

The Israelites had come into a land whose people practiced idolatry accompanied by a lascivious form of worship, and there the laws of God upon them would necessarily mean restraint against which their fallen natures would more or less rebel, and Joshua wished them to have these matters well before their minds and to decide the question of loyalty to God in full view of the facts as they already realized them, or would subsequently appreciate them; on the one hand were the license and attractions of the sensuous forms of idolatry and the pleasures of sin such as they are, for a season, with divine disfavor; on the other hand were the restraints of the divine law accompanied by divine favor, protection and care, relating not only to the present life, but to that also which is to come. He inquired whether it seemed evil-- that is undesirable--to them to be Israelites, to be God's people, to be under the restraints of his laws in order to have his favor and blessing. They would as a people now be tested along this line individually and nationally, and he desired to anticipate the coming tests and trials of their faith and obedience by fortifying their minds and leading them to make a decision one way or another. Then as a leader he took his own position most positively on the side of the Lord, saying, "As for me and my house (my family) we will serve the Lord."

Many would be inclined to doubt the wisdom of setting before the people such a choice; they would be inclined, on the contrary, to leave no choice about it, but to insist and demand that the Lord be recognized and obeyed at all hazards. But really Joshua was merely emphasizing the choice which God puts before people continually; he leaves them open to choose good or evil,--to serve him, or to serve self or sin or wealth or other idols. As a matter of fact we have no right to attempt compulsion, because the Lord leaves the matter open for choice, as Joshua did; he is seeking those who desire to be his servants, his royal priesthood, his holy nation, his peculiar people; those who do not so desire he does not desire, and he is not calling them and drawing them now. Our Master emphasized this lesson in his preaching, saying to the Jews, "If any man will come after me (as a disciple), let him take up his cross and follow me"; he exhorts them furthermore to sit down and count the cost of discipleship before undertaking to make a choice, just as Joshua in this lesson drew before the minds of his hearers something of the two sides of the question which he exhorts them to decide properly on the Lord's side,--on the side of life and peace and blessing and the promises of God.

Although this matter of choosing was left open to the people during the Jewish age, and under the still higher call during this Gospel age, yet it will not be so left open during the Millennial Age; men will not then be invited to choose whom they will serve and worship; on the contrary, when the Kingdom has been established, the law shall go forth, and without asking for the preferences of any for good or for evil, obedience will be enforced and the evilly disposed will be forcibly restrained. Such a reign of law and order will be maintained and those who will not conform thereto will be chastened as well as instructed, and all who shall not come into accord with that Kingdom and its law of righteousness outwardly, and ultimately conform to it heartily, will be cut off in the Second Death.--Acts 3:23.

The people responded nobly, that they appreciated God's care and blessings and that they would be faithful and loyal to him; but realizing that promises are easily made and need to be deeply impressed, Joshua repeated the injunction the second time (verse 19) saying in substance: Ye can not serve the Lord easily,--you must not imagine that the promises you are making can be kept without considerable effort, [R3094 : page 315] neither must you imagine that a partial perfunctory observance of the divine law will please the Lord or have his blessing,--he is a jealous God. As a husband or wife having entered into the marriage relationship would properly be jealous of any intrusion or indifference or coldness, so the Lord having accepted Israel as his peculiar people would watch over them with a jealous care, would not be indifferent if they divided their affections or worship as between him and others. And God is the same today and forever, and wishes his Spiritual Israel to understand that to abide in his love means obedience to his regulations, all of which are reasonable services. He would have us understand, clearly, that while he has favored us by lifting our feet from the horrible pit and miry clay of sin, condemnation and death, and has reckonedly justified us, placing our feet upon the rock, Christ Jesus,--although he has adopted us into his family as sons robed in Christ's righteousness, accepted in the Beloved one, nevertheless, having done these favors for us he would disown us and cast us off as unworthy of further favor if we deliberately prove unfaithful to him.

As the Israelites re-affirmed their decision to be faithful to the Lord so let us Spiritual Israelites engrave deeply upon our hearts our consecration, and let us frequently revive and review that consecration that the cares of life do not obliterate it to any degree.

But these two exhortations and two responses were still not enough for Joshua, for a third time, as still further and more deeply impressing the lesson, he exhorted them not only to put away all thought of idolatry, but, on the other hand, to incline their hearts to the Lord. It is after we have become God's people through justifying faith, after he has called us no longer servants, but sons, that he speaks to us, saying, "My son give me thine heart." To give the heart to the Lord means a full consecration of the will and hence of every hope, ambition and interest; and this is really the only way in which we can assure ourselves that no form of worldly idolatry will have any place in our lives. If we merely attempt to serve the Lord in an outward way ceremoniously and nominally, it will be but a little while until insidiously the world, the flesh and the Adversary will draw our attention and energies away from the Lord to various things, entangling them in various earthly alliances and worships that will mean spiritual poverty and luke-warmness, if not absolute coldness of heart towards the Lord. Let us, therefore, like those addressed by Joshua, reach a positive decision once for all; and whatever it may cost and however seductive and beautiful the service and worship of self or Mammon may appear to us, let us, in view of the experiences of the past and the promises which reach into the future, decide that we will serve the Lord; not waiting for him to raise his hands in judgments and denunciations, but listening for his voice that we may know his will and do it.

There were three witnesses to this contract or covenant. The first was the people themselves who would now long remember this covenant thrice repeated. The second was Joshua's declaration, in connection probably with the tables of the Law, that Israel's covenant was renewed by statute and ordinance--that the original covenant of Sinai had been ratified, reaffirmed. The third witness was a monumental stone which he "erected under an oak" [or oak grove] that was about [near] the sanctuary of the Lord. This also would be a witness to them of what they had done --of their pledge to the Lord in the presence of Joshua. So it is well for the Lord's spiritual people to do more than merely make a covenant or agreement with the Lord in their hearts and minds. That decision of the mind is important first; but it needs besides helps, such for instance, as a confession of it before the fellow members of the body of Christ, the Church; and it needs some memorial of it, as for instance in the baptismal memorial of consecration unto death.

Because of our weaknesses through the fall, and because of the seductions of the Adversary and the world, we need to hedge about the new creature and its good resolutions so that we may be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Let every true Israelite adopt the words of Joshua "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," and as this would mean no light matter for himself so, also, it should be no meaningless phrase as respects his household; it should mean that his children shall be trained in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; it should mean that minor children shall not be allowed to rule the house nor to discredit parents outside the home, but that the parental influence exercised in kindness, in love and in firmness, shall seek to bring the children of each family so far as possible into covenant relationship to the Lord, instructing them in the way of the Lord, both by precept and example.



[R3095 : page 315]

WE ARE NOT IGNORANT OF HIS DEVICES.

THE FOLLOWING extracts from a letter in which one dear Sister in Christ relates to another her temptation of the Adversary along Christian Science lines will be interesting, and we trust profitable, to many of our readers. She writes:

"My dear mother seemed always to 'hunger and thirst after righteousness.' She was so glad to know and understand every word of truth as it was brought to her, and rested in it. She used to say, 'It is all perfect peace now.' That was after you were gone. She had never read any of the Dawns except the first volume and part of the fifth. I read part of the second to her, but it was only just the beginning. I cannot be glad enough that it was given her to know so much of the blessed truth in the short time that she had left; yet I have thought that if she had never known she might have been living even now in that same tired, almost hopeless way. Indeed the doctor blames the truth entirely, and has been very bitter against it [R3095 : page 316] and all our people ever since. When mamma was taken down sick she was not nearly so bad as usual, but she did not seem to change much, either for better or worse for a long time. One day the doctor called me into the parlor and said: 'I do not know what to make of your mother's case; unless she can be aroused to exert herself and try to throw off the disease she will run down very fast, and nothing can then be done for her. She seems bright and cheerful, but she has no power of resistance in herself, or else she is not trying to live. I am doing all I can; if you know any way to arouse her you can do more for her than any of us.'

"After he went away I told mother just what he had said. She replied: 'That is not so: I am trying to get well; but it must be just as the Lord wills, he knows best.' The doctor had told me that had it not been for her strong will she could not have lived through several previous bad attacks (she said she must get well for the sake of her children), and it was now so different! This time when I reminded her that the children needed her more than ever, she said: 'The Lord knows best what they need, and I will be with them as long as he pleases.'

"Years before I had heard some people--and intelligent ones, too--argue that any strong willed person could not only keep another alive for years, but could even raise the dead by sheer force of will. Isn't that a crazy idea? Well, just then I would have believed anything; I became simply possessed with the thought that since the Lord would not help her I could and would, if only my strength would hold out until spring.

"For months I never left her room except for a few minutes at a time, not even going down stairs to meals for days in succession; I just took a cup of coffee in the hall, and sometimes I would not leave even for that. Of course, I used every means in my power; giving her medicine regularly until the doctor told me to leave them off as her stomach was too weak for them to have any beneficial effect. I spent a great deal of time rubbing her until she became so sensitive that she could not bear that; but when those terrible cramps or sharp pains came in different parts of the body, they were stopped almost instantly if I laid my hand on her. I could put her to sleep in less than two minutes by putting my hand on her head, or by taking hold of her hand, and she slept just as long as I sat beside her even if I removed my hand; but if I left the room she was awake instantly. One day she told me it made her nervous for me to look at her, so I went over on the other side of the room to sit. In a few minutes she called me to come back because she felt so strange if she could not see me all the time. I was almost afraid to think of other things for fear of forgetting my purpose even for a moment.

"After a while she began to think that something was not just right, and said so; but for a time she was puzzled not knowing what to make of it. One day she said, 'I could die so easy if you would only let me!' Another time she said, 'The Lord is going to take me anyway, but if you would only let me go it would be so much easier. I did the same thing with your father and kept him alive and suffering for weeks, knowing that it was resisting the Lord's will; but he took him at last in spite of all I could do, and it will be the same with you.' Of course, I pretended not to understand her, but I was never so frightened in all my life, nor so determined to have my own way whatever came of it. So I did not lie down day nor night for three weeks, for fear of getting sleepy; and I did not dare to feel tired during all this time. The doctor came regularly every day, but he gave no medicine; he would inquire how she had passed the night and all about her; once he told a funny story to make her laugh, and said to me, 'Keep right on as you are doing, she is getting along splendidly.' And she really seemed to be doing so, and she grew strong enough to sit up and talk and read, and even walked a few steps one day. At last the doctor said: 'If you could hold out two weeks [R3096 : page 316] longer we shall have her out of doors, and she will soon be as strong as ever, once she gets out into the air, and you can have a long rest.' I said I was not tired--did not believe in resting, etc. He wanted to know if I was not a Christian Scientist; I said, 'No; of all silly things Christian Science is the worst; every one of those people must have softening of the brain.' 'Well,' said he, 'you are the queerest person I ever saw; what do you believe?' I answered, 'I am too busy to think about beliefs.'

"About that time came your letter in which you spoke of the high calling, and of consecration as the giving up of your own wills entirely to the Lord. You seemed to think it a duty as well as a privilege for those who saw it,--but it seemed to me that I had never so much need of my own will as just then; --for two weeks longer to get mother out. I thought if your letter had only come two weeks later, when she would be strong enough to get along without me it would have been all right; for as she gained strength I let her help herself, only watching her all the time so as to be ready to help her whenever she needed me. I never forgot that she was my mother, and that I had no right to have any influence over her actions, only while it was necessary to help her during her great weakness. That was the way I looked at it; besides, I had begun to be tired as the strain grew less. I was so excited over that letter of yours that mamma noticed it and asked about it; so I read her that part of it where you spoke of angry parents being 'imitators of God as dear children' by torturing their children with red-hot pokers, etc.! How we both laughed over that! But for the rest--What if the Lord wanted to show that his way was different from mine, and should undo all of my work (for I certainly thought that it was all my own doing)! On the other hand, he might take his own way anyhow. He was stronger than I, and could do it, that I knew. I studied then as I had never done before--mostly the Bible--to see if there was not some promise or something else which gave us the right to demand certain things in return for service. You know, how discouraging such a search as that would be! The [R3096 : page 317] verse 'Like as a father pitieth his children' reminded me so much of my own dear father, with whom I should have been glad to leave everything;--and the matter was decided.

"Mamma knew the difference from the first, though I never told her in words, and she was so glad and so satisfied. Our dear Father and his precious promises--our blessed hope--she could not talk enough of these things; but she grew so much weaker that she could not bear to have anything read to her, so I used to read and tell her just a few words at a time; even talking made her head ache and I could do nothing for her after that time. Yet she was so patient and contented (though she suffered all the time); still we thought it was the bad, rainy weather, and I never thought that the Lord's will was so different from mine until it was too late to change. Then I was sure that I had done wrong in order to selfishly secure what I had thought would be peace with God,--that in abandoning my self-will I had deliberately sacrificed a human life, which was a blessing to and needed by others, and which could not be recalled! Has not Satan the strangest way of helping us to reason backwards, and twisting things out of place until one can not tell right from wrong? During the day all was confusion, but at night the house was quiet, and there was time for study and prayer. The dear Lord showed me so plainly that all these things were in his hands, not mine, and you know how close he will come when we are anxious only to know and to do his will. Romans 8 made so clear that which was partly explained in the very letter that had seemed to cause so much trouble in the beginning. Since then I can truly say,

"This is my heart's sincere desire (to be)
Nearer my God to Thee."
I am so glad to leave everything in his care. Perhaps one reason is that I have had no great temptation to do otherwise since; but I am not looking ahead for temptations, only trusting for today. When I think of all the dear Lord has done and has promised it seems almost too much!"
[R3095 : page 317]

THE MORN IS COMING.
Our age's sphere of light,
Though widening still, is walled around by night;
With slow, reluctant eye, the Church has read,
Skeptic at heart, the lesson of its Head.--Whittier.


Despite the light that cheers the world today,
Shadows surround us, on our heavenward way,
And Error darkens Truth's celestial ray.

Not yet the beams, whose radiant splendors dart
From the fair realms of Science and of Art,
With equal glory shine from soul and heart:

Men worship golden calves and serpents still;
Like cringing slaves bow to their masters' will--
Obey the letter, but the spirit kill;

Still tremble at the Priest's uplifted rod,
For fear that he may doom them, by a nod,
To endless hell-fire in the name of God.

False prophets still the wrath of Heaven provoke;
And hypocrite, and Pharisee, and rogue,
Sit in high places in the synagogue.

As sheep disguised, wolves still make sheep their prey;
The blind still lead the blind the downward way;
And sneaking Judases their Lord betray.

Still is assailed the free soul that aspires;
Still persecution feeds her smoldering fires;
And still, to murder Truth, are leagued the Liars.

Still everywhere a selfish spirit rules--
Men herd themselves in squabbling sects and schools,
And deem dissenting brethren knaves or fools;

Still hack their heads with dull, polemic swords,
Fan the fierce flames of hate with windy words,
And take the Devil's plaudits for the Lord's.

The world, which God gave to his children all,
They parcel into sections, large or small,
And round each petty church "patch" build a wall;

Shout their strange shibboleths and battle cries,
Assert pre-emption title to the skies,
And curse him as a heathen who denies.

Thus bigotry and sect intolerance
Sharpen the infidel's else harmless lance,
And cause the Devil's imps for joy to dance!

Thank God! Religion is a plant that grows:
Its perfect flower perennially blows,
More fragrant and more fair than Sharon's rose.

It yet shall rise from out the sloughs and swamps,
Shed from its shining leaves the dungeon damps,
Break every bond that yet its free growth cramps!

Methinks I see it rising and expand!
Its mighty branches arching every land,
From Zembla's snows to India's sunny strand.

Upward, forever up, I see it rise,
Flashing resplendent glory on our eyes,
Until its crown is lost within the skies.

And there, beneath this everlasting tree,
This Tree of Life and Human Destiny,
I see the nations gather, bond and free,

Gentile and Jew, of every clime and race--
God's children all--and standing face to face,
Own but one God, their Father, and embrace!

Then, only then, will men indeed be free,
Then will the Golden Age we dream of be,
And Jesus Christ reign universally.
--Charles W. Hubner.



[R3096 : page 318]

"A VESSEL UNTO HONOR, SANCTIFIED."

"If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and made meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work."--2 Tim. 2:21.

IT IS IMPORTANT to notice that this instruction is given, not to the world, but to the Church--to those who are believers in Christ and who are consecrated to him and desirous of being used in his service. If the counsel were given to worldly people, no such incentive would be held out; for such have no ambition to be in the Lord's service. The world can better appreciate such maxims as, "Honesty is the best policy," etc.; for temporal good is all they seek. Yet it is indeed a good thing for worldly men to purge themselves of evil dispositions and practices. Moral reforms are always commendable as steps in the right direction, and we are always glad to see worldly men trying to break away from the bondage of bad habits--from the drink habit and from lying, profanity and other vices.

But such purging from the filth of the flesh can never render such vessels fit for the Master's use. With all their efforts at cleansing they are still unclean; and the Lord desires clean vessels for his use. It is only when, by faith, we are plunged in the cleansing blood of our Redeemer that we are clean and acceptable to God.

"There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains."

But having been thus reckonedly cleansed from sin, and clothed in the pure robe of Christ's righteousness, it is all-important that we strive to make this reckoned righteousness an actual thing to the extent of our ability; for only so can we prove ourselves worthy of the imputed righteousness. It is purely of divine grace that we are reckoned of God as righteous, before we have actually become so. Seeing in us the desire to be righteous and the effort to be so in his appointed way, God, accepting the will for the deed, reckons us righteous now, and treats us as sons, since we have been redeemed from the curse and have accepted this gracious provision for reconciliation.

If, however, after being thus reconciled to God and reckoned righteous, our course of conduct proves that we no longer love righteousness; if we do not endeavor to make the reckoned righteousness an actual thing by a constant endeavor to purge out the old leaven of sin; if we are content to let it remain and to work in us, and if we neglect to strive against it, then we are proving by such a course that our love of righteousness is growing weaker, and we are proving our unworthiness of the Lord's gracious reckoning in our favor. But if, on the contrary, we are striving daily to purge out the old leaven of sin, if we are not merely working it down occasionally and allowing it again and again to ferment and disturb the whole spiritual being, endangering its complete souring and spoiling (but purging it out by constantly resisting it) cleansing our thoughts, words and deeds with the truth, and cultivating the blessed fruits of the spirit of love, joy and peace,--then, indeed, as the Apostle affirms, we shall be vessels meet for the Master's use.

And not only so, but the Lord can honor such vessels because they honor him; they fairly represent him and his cause. If they are meek and humble-minded, not inclined to think of themselves more highly than they ought to think, but to think soberly, the Lord can exalt them to positions of trust and honor without injury either to themselves or to the cause; and thus they are more and more sanctified and prepared for every good work.

Let as many, therefore, as would be honored and used of the Master now and hereafter--as many as have this hope in them--seek to purify themselves, to purge out the old leaven of sin. In the language of another forceful illustration, let us endeavor to war a good warfare against the world, the flesh and the devil. And be assured that in these duties we have the work of a lifetime; and even at its close we will still find the necessity for the robe of Christ's righteousness to cover the remaining deformities of our character.

While the purging here spoken of refers to the general cleansing from all sin and uncleanness, the Apostle had special reference on that occasion to purging from a disposition to hearken to the false doctrines of those who would subvert the faith of the Church. His counsel is to avoid foolish questions and strife about words to no profit; to shun profane and vain babblings which increase only unto more ungodliness, which savor more of bombast and self-exaltation than of truth and godliness, and, on the contrary, to study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen [R3097 : page 318] that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.--2 Tim. 2:15.

There is much significance in that word "study"; and only the studious find the narrow way to the divine approval and acceptance. Study to show thyself approved--study the doctrine; study your course of conduct, to keep it in harmony with the doctrine. Study how to promote the peace and prosperity of Zion, and how to shield yourself and others from the missiles of error and from the poison of an evil, worldly spirit. Study to perform the duties of a faithful soldier of the cross--the seemingly insignificant, as well as the bravest and noblest deeds. A soldier has many seemingly trivial duties to perform, and he is as really doing his duty as a soldier when he is polishing his armor, foraging, cooking his meal, cleaning camp, clearing the way or building bridges for the army to pass as when he is fighting the enemy. All such necessary incidental work is entirely compatible with his commission as a soldier, and is not to be considered "entanglements" or hindrances. And these things cannot be avoided or carelessly done without a measure of unfaithfulness.

So with the Christian soldier. The routine of life, house-work, daily toil, any and everything incidental to a proper and honest provision of "things needful" for ourselves and those dependent on us for support, as well as provision for the prosecution and care of the Lord's work,--all this is a proper part of our engagement as soldiers of the Lord. The Apostle Peter was as truly serving the Lord when catching the fish from whose mouth he got the coin wherewith to pay the Lord's taxes and his own, as when proclaiming, The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. The [R3097 : page 319] Apostle Paul was as truly a soldier of the cross and doing his proper work as such when making tents (rather than be chargeable to any) as when, at Mars hill, he preached Jesus and the resurrection. Whatever is done with a view to the glory of our Lord, the Captain of our salvation, or for the benefit of any of our fellow-soldiers, or for our own preparation for this warfare, or in the discharge of obligations which our Captain has recognized and approved,--this is proper work for us as soldiers, and not entanglement in the affairs of this life.

But the Christian soldier must study to perform even the commonest duties in a manner creditable to his calling. Nor must he permit himself to become entangled with other things which do not relate to his duties as a soldier, and thus to be side-tracked. For instance, if a soldier knowing how to repair watches were to divert his attention from his regular duties, neglect his camp and battle duties, and the commands of his Captain and the proper work of a soldier to acquire some extra compensation by this means, he would be an unfaithful soldier. And so the Christian who turns aside to seek some personal, temporal advantage, to the detriment of his duties as a soldier, is likewise, to some extent, an unfaithful soldier and likely to be drawn out of the ranks entirely.

Study to show thyself approved. Study the Word. Study yourself that you may become well acquainted with yourself--that you may know your talents for service and in what directions they lie, and your weak points and how they may be guarded against; that you may know both your abilities and your shortcomings. Then study to avoid error and to shun all foolish questions and profane and vain babblings. Remember that only the foundation of God standeth sure, and that all other foundations are worthless and all other theories must come to naught. But "The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."--2 Tim. 2:19.

And if any man desire honor from God, let him not fail to seek it in God's appointed way--along the pathway of humility; for the Lord giveth his favors to the humble. If you would be a vessel fit for the Master's use and a vessel of honor, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and he will exalt you in due time. Do not be in a hurry about it either; but whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, beginning and ever continuing to cleanse your earthen vessel, that it may be fit for the Master's use.



[R3097 : page 319]

LETTERS OF INTEREST.


Dear Brother:

I drop you a line to inform you that Pilgrim Brother Hay has been here and has done us all good. We held two meetings, one a Bible study and the other a sermon on the resurrection, both of which were instructive and edifying. The meetings were held in the house I occupy. I presume Brother Hay has written you telling you of our meeting.

At present and for the last couple of weeks two Colporteurs are in Belfast canvassing for the Dawns. They report having made satisfactory progress thus far. I do hope they will be successful in finding quite a number of hearing ears. We meet at my home on Sundays, and spend our time in praise, prayer and searching of the Scriptures, thus confirming our faith in the good things of the Kingdom.

I am hoping and trusting that before long others will come into the light of the truth and rejoice with us.

I have received the New Bible cuts or pictures for which I thank you, I did not expect any such addition. The Bible is proving very helpful and I prize it more every day. The friends in the Truth here all desire to be remembered to you in warmest regards.

I am still rejoicing in the love of God and trying day by day to keep in the race toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Your Brother in Christ,
JAMES BRIGHT,--Ireland.

Dear Brother Russell:

I have just returned from a two weeks' trip to Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Middlesboro and Leeds, and last Sunday, London. In every place I met with the same loving feelings of gratitude to God for present truth, and of appreciation of your loving service to the Church. Every church sends you loving greetings, and the assurance that they hope the Lord's providences will permit your visiting this side some day. As I told you once before, so I repeat it that I believe nobody on earth has so many people who love them as yourself, and I voice the expression of all the churches here in my own feelings of gratitude to yourself for your labors for us all. God bless you Brother Russell, and may you to its complete fulness realize the meaning of those words, "For as much as ye have done it to the least of one of these my brethren ye have done it unto me."

I never met with such a reception in my life as the Glasgow Church gave me--15 of them at the station to greet me, and in every hand a "Watch Tower." It is very hard to leave the churches here. My meetings ranged in size from 3 at Middlesboro to 200 at Glasgow. It seems to me that there is a wonderful work going on here. The "wheat" seems coming out far faster than on the American side. I could have found many more little groups to visit had I had the time.

With loving regards to yourself and all the Allegheny household,
Your Brother in Christ,
W. HOPE HAY,--England.

page 319 Dear Brother Russell:

Greetings! Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever. It is with a sense of deep gratitude of heart that I pen these few lines; the privilege that is imparted to us of constantly feeding upon the meat that is being given us in due season, is so great that we can only say, "What shall we render unto the Lord for all his goodness unto us?" Only do as Paul tells us: "Present your bodies a living sacrifice unto the Lord." The joy of knowing that our eyes have been opened and our ears unstopped; that we should see this wondrous plan of God, is past expressing in words. It is needless to tell you how I appreciate the colporteur work, although somewhat frail in health; it is the heart that God will look at. When I look back upon my past life I see that the paths in which God has led me were, although not always pleasant, good for the forming of the character that is so necessary, for the reaching of the mark for the High Calling. O joy unspeakable when we think upon these things that are so pure and holy and beautiful! What are we that the Lord should be so mindful of us? The only way will be for us to know as much as we can and to be able to give a reasonable answer for the hope that is within us. Once again thanking you and also praising the Lord that through you and your fellow workers we are constantly receiving such splendid instruction, I remain, with Christian love,
Yours in the one hope,
A. FOSTER,--England.



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