page 161
June 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. XXIV.JUNE 1, 1903.No. 11


CONTENTS.

The Editor on His European Journey163
The Royal Priesthood164
No Condemnation and No Separation167
"The Body is Dead"171
"Thy Kingdom Come" (Poem)173
"God Moves in a Mysterious Way"173
Public Ministries of the Truth176
Special Items:
Volunteers, Attention!162
Zion's Glad Songs162

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 162

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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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.

VOLUNTEERS, ATTENTION!


The new ammunition is now being sent to all who have ordered consignments. Larger orders go by freight and the smaller ones will reach you by express or mail. Remember that we prepay all charges, and that you should not pay anything to the railroad or express company delivering. Those who have not ordered should write us at once.

ZION'S GLAD SONGS.


We have this booklet of spiritual songs in large supply again, and orders can be filled promptly. While it is not expected that the "Songs" shall take the place of the noble hymns in the book POEMS AND HYMNS OF DAWN, they will be found appropriate for social meetings and praise services. The price is 5c each, postpaid; 60c per doz.

POEMS AND HYMNS OF DAWN.


This work contains a very choice selection of 160 poems and 333 hymns, purged, we trust, from much of the too common hymn-book theology. In cloth binding only, 50 cents. TOWER subscribers supplied at the wholesale rate, 25 cents. This price now includes postage.



[R3198 : page 163]

THE EDITOR ON HIS EUROPEAN JOURNEY.

U.S.M.S. "NEW YORK."

GREETINGS to "the Children of the Morning" --of the Dawn--of the Light:--

On board the Steamship "New York" I am nearing Great Britain and the dear brethren there whom I know by correspondence and so dearly love, and whom I hope soon to greet personally. Nevertheless, all the dear readers of the WATCH TOWER are before my mental vision, and I take this opportunity for sending you a message of love and fellowship. It is a source of great pleasure and encouragement to me to realize that your love and prayers are with me on my journey; and I well know that every feature of my experiences will be of interest to you.

Just a week ago (on April 14th) I bade farewell to a goodly company of the Church at the railway depot in Pittsburg. On the previous Sunday I said "Goodbye" to the Church at Allegheny as a whole, shaking hands with about 300 personally; but I was cheered, nevertheless, by the final parting at the train. Next morning I was met at New York depot by representatives of the Churches of New York, Brooklyn, Yonkers, Jersey City, Perth Amboy and Philadelphia, who saw me on board my steamer and tarried until the starting of the vessel,--then from the pier waved me their love and good wishes as they assured me previously that I had their prayers.

I was not so vain as to accept these love-tokens as personal tributes; but received them, on the contrary, as expressions of devotion to the Lord and appreciation of his truth, with which in his providence I had become associated as a servant;--a minister of the Lord, a minister of his Word, a minister of his people. All may be sure that my heart fully reciprocated the kind wishes and blessing accepted from these dear friends, who in a still larger sense represented to me all of the dear WATCH TOWER readers of America who rejoice to send me, with their prayers and love, as their representative for a few weeks to those of like precious faith in Europe.

Our steamer has had a quiet voyage, and in many ways I have been "kept" by divine providence--so that I have had no seasickness since the first two days out, and was able to respond to the invitation of our captain to assist in conducting the usual Sunday morning services of the vessel--including an address of about thirty minutes on the Hope that is the anchor to our souls, both sure and steadfast.--Heb. 6:19.

I had no reason to hope that among the passengers would be many with "an ear to hear"; nor could I expect, in so brief a space, to do more than sound one chord on our precious Harp (the Bible). Committing results to the Lord, I pointed out the great Covenant Promise which our heavenly Father gave to Abraham and his seed: that it was, "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed"; that the natural seed, Isaac and Jacob and the nation of Israel, held fast the promise but never inherited it; that the true Seed only began to come in the person of the Lord Jesus; that the true Church, the true members of the body of Christ, are members of this "Seed" and heirs according to that original promise which has not yet had its fulfilment, but awaits the completion of the Seed--the completion of "the Church which is his body." "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."--Gal. 3:29.

Briefly noting that this is the Christian's hope of our text, and that it is still unfulfilled, we saw that it is still to be striven for by all who would make their calling and election sure; and that in the light of this [R3198 : page 164] promise and hope all true Christians should recognize present experiences, trials, etc., as so much of their education in the school of Christ,--in preparation for their work in the coming age--the work of blessing the families of earth during the promised Millennial Kingdom.

Only five of the passengers have had either interest or curiosity sufficient to lead them to converse with me on the subject,--and only two of these with earnestness; but if two or even one should ultimately develop as a ripe grain of "wheat" how glad and thankful we would be. So far as I can ascertain, about one-half of the passengers are professing Christians, and about two-thirds of these Episcopalians--of whom not one has seemed interested. Of the two manifesting interest one is a Baptist, the other a Methodist. A Baptist minister aboard declared himself an Evolutionist and in full sympathy with "higher criticism" --denying that the Lord bought us. When pressed with Scripture he denied the authority of Paul and the other Apostles, and claimed to hold to the life and words of Jesus only. When confronted with our Lord's own words to the effect that he came to "give his life a ransom for many" he avoided further discussion.

More and more it becomes evident that we are in the great trial-day of the Christian faith, and that it is not so much a question of Who will fall? as of "Who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:17.) The prophet declared, "A thousand shall fall at thy side" (Psa. 91:7), and so we find it. So far from glorying in the evidences that many are falling from the fundamental [R3199 : page 164] faith, and that many have already fallen, we are pained. Nevertheless, recognizing this as one of the signs of the close of the present dispensation, we can rejoice that the Millennium of blessing will ere long be ushered in;--when dim faith will be swallowed up in the sunlight of truth;--when "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep;" when "the wayfaring man though a fool need not err." --Isa. 9:11; 35:8.

I seal and mail this when near the British shore, where (Southampton) Brother Henninges is expected to meet me and accompany me to London. Continue to remember me in your prayers, that our Father and Elder Brother may direct our every word and act to his glory and to the profit of our dear brethren on this side of the world--of various tongues but of one spirit --in as well as outside of Babylon.

Faithfully, your brother and servant in the Lord,
CHARLES T. RUSSELL.



[R3199 : page 164]

THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD.

"Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light....Ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious, to whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also as living stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices* acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."--1 Pet. 2:9,3-5.

*Sinaitic MS. omits spiritual before sacrifices.

AT no time in the Church's history has our great Adversary been so active in multiplying false doctrines and in diverting attention from the truth by introducing unprofitable and irrelevant questions as at present. Just when the exaltation and glory of the Church are soon to be accomplished, and when the faithful are about to be received into the joy of their Lord, every device is resorted to to beguile them of their reward and to frustrate this feature of the divine plan. To really frustrate any part of the divine plan is impossible: God has purposed to take out from among men a "little flock," "a people for his name," a royal priesthood; and such a company is assuredly being gathered; but whether all those now in the race for the prize will surely be of that company, is still an open question. Take heed, beloved, that no man take thy crown. (Rev. 3:11.) If any come short of their privileges and prove unworthy of the rich inheritance, there are others who will quickly fill their places.

We beseech you, brethren, as you value the glorious hope set before you in the gospel, that you give no heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, as the Apostle terms them (1 Tim. 4:1); but that, with fixedness of purpose, you apply yourselves to the one thing you are called and are privileged to do as prospective members of that Royal Priesthood. Let us never forget that we are a "peculiar people," separate from the great body of nominal Christians, as well as from the world, having higher hopes, aims and ambitions and favored with a clearer insight into the deep things of God, having been called out of our former darkness into his marvelous light. And if thus separate from the world and from Christians who partake largely of the worldly spirit, what wonder if we find them all out of harmony with us, and either ignoring or opposing us.

Such opposition is to be expected and will, doubtless, continue until we finish our course in death. To submit patiently to this opposition is to sacrifice our own natural preferences for the friendship and the pleasures of the present life, and to endure hardness as good soldiers for the truth's sake, in whatever shape that hardness may come, in our effort to do the Lord's will and work of advancing the interests of his Kingdom. [R3199 : page 165] This is what is meant by the presenting of our bodies living sacrifices in the divine service. To be really in this service involves: first, the careful and continual study of God's plan; second, the imbibing of its spirit; leading, thirdly, to an enthusiastic zeal for its accomplishment, and to activity to the extent of ability in its service, at whatever cost or sacrifice it may require.

If we are faithful in this service we have no time, nor have we the disposition, to give heed either to false doctrines or to other themes which have no bearing on the one thing to which we have solemnly dedicated our lives. Our time is not our own if we have consecrated all to God; and consequently, we have none to spare for the investigation of fanciful false theories, built upon other foundations than that laid down in the Scriptures; nor have we time to devote to the ideas and pursuits which engross the world's attention, many of which are harmless in themselves, but would be harmful to us if we were to allow them to occupy consecrated time and to divert our attention from the one thing we ought to be doing. The Apostle warns us "to shun profane babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness;" but adds, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth." "Teach no other doctrine: neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions rather than godly edifying which is in faith."--2 Tim. 2:15,16; 1 Tim. 1:3,4.

Each consecrated believer should ask himself, How carefully have I studied that which I have clearly recognized as divine truth? and how fully capable am I, therefore, of handling the sword of the spirit? Few indeed are those who can say they have fully digested and assimilated all they have received; that they have let none of these things slip from memory; that they have so treasured it up in their hearts that it is their meditation by day and by night; that they have a ready answer--a "Thus saith the Lord"--for every man that asks them a reason for the hope that is in them, concerning any point of doctrine; that they can clearly and intelligently portray the divine plan, quote the divine authority for each successive step of it, and, if need be, point out its place in the divine system of types. To gain such proficiency in the Word is indeed the work of a lifetime; but every day should see a closer approximation to that proficiency, and will, indeed, if we are faithful students and faithful servants of the truth.

If all the consecrated were thus busily engaged putting on the armor of God, and in proving it by actual use in zealous endeavors to herald the truth and to help others to stand, there would indeed be no time left for disputings on the Anglo-Israel question, or whether the earth is a plane instead of a globe, or whether the principles of socialism would be advisable among Christians in the management of their temporal affairs. Nor would there be time for politics, nor even for the good temperance-reform work, nor the work among fallen women, nor among the slums of the great cities, nor even for preaching the doctrine of divine healing. All this is work which can and will be effectually accomplished in "the Times of Restitution," now in the near future; and, besides, there are others interested in these works (and we are glad of it and bid them Godspeed), while we recognize and seek to accomplish the work set before us in the divine plan. And if, indeed, we have no consecrated time for these things which are only side issues and not harmful in themselves, except as they divert attention and consume valuable time which has been consecrated to another and higher use, surely there is none whatever for giving heed to false doctrines such as so-called Christian Science and the various no-ransom or Evolution theories, all of which are attempts to show men how to climb up to everlasting life by some other way than that which the Scriptures point out; viz., by faith in the precious blood of Christ shed on Calvary for our redemption. He that climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber (John 10:1); and we are commanded to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather to reprove them.--Eph. 5:11.

How narrow this way! say some, contemptuously, of those who, like Paul, devote their energies to the one thing--the service of the truth. Yes, that will be the verdict against you, of all except the few who, like yourself, have carefully sought out this "narrow way," and who are determined to walk in it, regardless of the reproach it brings. The way to the mark for the prize of our high calling is not wide enough to admit all the vain philosophies and foolish questions and babblings and speculations of science, falsely so called. It is only wide enough to admit the Lord's plan and those who are willing to discard all other plans and projects and questionings and to devote themselves fully and entirely to its service, and who are quite willing to bear any reproach it may bring.

Consider your calling, brethren, for ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood to offer sacrifices acceptable to God; a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. The very object of our being called into this light is that we may let it shine. If we do not let it shine we are unworthy of it, and the treasure will be taken away and we will be left in darkness. If indeed [R3200 : page 166] we have received the light and have consecrated ourselves fully to God, let us ask ourselves. What am I doing to show forth the praises of him who hath called me out of darkness? Am I going forth with these tidings to my neighbors near and far? Am I busy from day to day in seeking to vindicate the divine character, and to make known God's righteous ways? Am I economizing time and means, and so arranging my temporal affairs as to give as much time as possible to the work? And, then, am I diligently studying to make myself thoroughly familiar with the truth, so that I may indeed be a living epistle known and read of all men within the circle of my influence? --a workman indeed that need not be ashamed? Can I truly affirm that I am

"All for Jesus, all for Jesus--
All my being's ransomed powers;
All my thoughts, and words, and doings,
All my days and all my hours"?

If so, then we are just narrow-minded enough to say, This one thing I do; and I make everything else bend to this one thing of showing forth God's praises and helping others into his marvelous light. And to this end I cultivate and use what talents I possess as a wise steward of my heavenly Master.

Dearly beloved, we impose no vows or bondage upon each other, but the call has its own limitations: the Master has directed us, saying, "Go ye and teach all nations [for the gospel is no longer confined to the Jewish nation], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all things"--concerning our (questionable) Anglo-Israelitish origin? No.--All things concerning the shape of the earth? No.--All the vain philosophies of men who have erred from the truth, and all the subtle sophistries by which they make void the word of God? No.--"Observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you."-- Matt. 28:19,20.

This is just what the apostles did. There were plenty of errors and side issues in their day; but, ignoring them, they resolutely devoted themselves to the promulgation of the truth. Paul paid no attention to his fleshly genealogy, because he recognized himself as a new creature in Christ Jesus. It was easier for him to prove his fleshly origin as an Israelite than for any of us to do it; but he cared nothing for that. He did not care whether he was of the ten tribes or of the two tribes; for he had on none of the tribal righteousness of the Law. His only ambition was to be found "in Christ, not having on his own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ--the righteousness which is of God by faith." (Phil. 3:9.) He says (verses 3-7), "We [new creatures in Christ] are the [real] circumcision, which worship God in spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh [or the fleshly relationships], though indeed I have had confidence also in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I had more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the Law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the Church; touching the righteousness which is of the Law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ."

Hear him again in his zeal for this one thing to which he had devoted his life: "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the mystery of God; for I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified. [I riveted your attention on this one thing! I kept this one thing continually before you.] And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and power [of the truth], that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."-- 1 Cor. 2:1-5.

Paul was a plain uncompromising teacher. When he knew he had the truth, he spoke it with confidence, and boldly declared that everything contrary to it was false doctrine; and he taught his disciples that it was not only their privilege, but their duty also, to be established in the faith and to know, on the evidence of God's Word, why they believed, and to be able to give to every man that inquired for it a reason for the hope that was in them.

There is among Christians today a great lack of established faith on any point of doctrine. They say, "I think," "I hope," or "Perhaps it may be so, but this is only my opinion, and it may be right or it may be wrong. I have charity, however, for your opposing opinion, and for every man's opinion; for who knows which is right? I'm sure I cannot say; but, nevertheless, I have great faith and charity (?). I shake hands with every body and call him brother if he claims to be a Christian, no matter what he believes and teaches, whether he is pointing to Christ as the door to the sheepfold, or whether he is trying to teach men how to climb up some other way. In Christian love I bid them all Godspeed and pray for the success of all their teachings, no matter how antagonistic they may be to each other or to the Scriptures as I read them."

All this passes among Christians generally for large-hearted benevolence and personal humility, while in fact it is an ignoble, compromising spirit that is unwilling to forego the friendship of those who oppose [R3200 : page 167] the Lord by opposing the truth; and which would rather see the truth suffer, and those weak in the faith stumbled, than that they should bear the reproach of Christ. Those who have real and sincere faith in God are willing to take him at his word; and with these the first principles of the doctrine should long ago have been established; much of the superstructure of gold and silver and precious stones should already be erected, and the work be steadily progressing. Such are able, if they are loyal and true to God, to discern between truth and error. The Apostle John, recognizing this ability, says, "If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed; for he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds." (2 John 10.) We ought to know what we believe and why we believe it, and then should be bold and uncompromising in declaring it; for "if the trumpet give an uncertain sound who shall prepare himself to the battle?"

Again says the Apostle (1 Cor. 2:6-10), "However, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect [developed; we are not to cast our pearls before swine]; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes [the popular leaders and teachers] of this world, that come to naught. But we speak the wisdom of God, which was hidden in a mystery, which God ordained before the world unto our glory; which none of the princes of this world knew....Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit; for the spirit [or mind of God in us, is so anxious to know his truth, that it] searcheth all things; yea, the deep things of God."

The princes of this world do know something of astronomy and geology, and have their ideas of the shape of the earth, etc., but they have not known this hidden wisdom of the divine plan, which maps out a destiny so glorious to the faithful saints who will constitute the royalty of the age to come. Let the world speculate as it may about its own themes of interest, but let us devote ourselves to the one thing in hand, avoiding foolish questions and genealogies and contentions, ...for they are unprofitable and vain. (Titus 3:9.) Let us be faithful to our commission to preach this gospel to the meek who are ready to hear it. (Isa. 61:1.) Let the bride of Christ be diligent in making herself ready (Rev. 19:7), for the marriage of the Lamb is the event of the very near future.



[R3200 : page 167]

NO CONDEMNATION AND NO SEPARATION.
--ROM. 8:1-14.--MAY 31.--

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

THE chapter of which this lesson forms a part is unquestionably one of the most precious in the entire Bible. It begins with the assurance that condemnation has passed, and concludes with logical proofs of everlasting divine favor toward those who become "New Creatures" in Christ Jesus. In the preceding chapter the Apostle specially points out condemnation and imprisonment upon the whole race of Adam as sinners under the divine Law--and especially upon the Jew, additionally under the Mosaic Law. He points out the utter hopelessness of those who attempt to escape the penalty of death by self-justification through "works of the Law." After thus showing the bondage of all, he points to the door of salvation--the redemption in our Lord Jesus: saying, "I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord." It is to this class, which gets the victory through Christ, that there is no condemnation, and can be no separation from the divine love and favor, so long as they abide in him as the branch in the Vine.

This lesson is well fitted in, as giving us a glimpse of the Apostle's spiritual liberty and relationship to God at the time of his imprisonment at Caesarea. Once he had had his liberty according to the flesh, and in his ignorance and blindness had done many things contrary to the Lord, not properly appreciating his liberty [R3201 : page 167] nor knowing how to use it aright. Now, although a prisoner and outwardly restrained, he had gained great liberty and blessing, and also freedom from divine condemnation, with assurance of hope toward God, not only respecting the present life, but also the one to come.

In the first verse the word "therefore" carries us back to the preceding argument, and shows us that our freedom from present condemnation is the result of our Lord's sacrifice on our behalf. (Rom. 7:25.) It is because we appreciate the fact that justice provided a redemption price for our sins, and because we have availed ourselves of the terms offered its beneficiaries, that we realize that the condemnation of the divine Law no longer holds as against us. In his preceding argument the Apostle had clearly shown that the difficulty did not lie in the Law itself; that God could not give an imperfect or, in any sense, an evil Law. The Law was just, perfect and good; the difficulty was in us, that through the inheritance of sin and its weaknesses we were unable fully to comply with the requirements of the divine Law. How, then, do we escape its condemnation? [R3201 : page 168] The Apostle answers that we reached the present standpoint of release--freedom from condemnation --when we came into Christ. Others, out of Christ, are still under the condemnation. It is an important question, therefore, for each to decide for himself, whether or not he has taken the step which alone can bring him into this happy condition. The Apostle, in a previous chapter (5:1), marks the first step out of condemnation and into Christ as being justification, which brought peace with God, the covering of the sins that were past; but this was not enough, for if all the sins that were past were cancelled, and no arrangement was made for our daily imperfections of word and deed, we would quickly be again condemned. Hence, to those who would be entirely freed from condemnation, another step was necessary--a step into Christ. These two steps should not be confounded; it is one thing to get out of responsibility for past sins, and quite another step to get into Christ, and under the full covering of his merits as respects all the remainder of life. The two steps are mentioned in Rom. 5:1,2: faith in the redemption brings justification from past sins and peace with God; but by it also, as the Apostle explains, we have access into this grace (the favor of sonship, membership in the body of Christ) wherein we stand, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God (because glory and honor and immortality are promised to every member of the New Creation--every member of the body of Christ).

The last clause of this verse, "who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit," is properly omitted by the Revised Version, because not found in ancient MSS. The thought, however, is correct enough, and these very words are found in the conclusion of verse 4. The words do not properly apply in verse 1, for that describes those who are in Christ, as members of his body, and none are counted as in him except those who are walking after the spirit--not after the flesh.

The Apostle calls our attention (vs. 2) to two laws in operation. We were under one of these, which sentenced us, as sinners, to death. We got out from under that law entirely when we got into Christ Jesus, as members of his body. Our Redeemer kept the Law, was blameless; then gave his blameless life as a redemption price to purchase us who had been the slaves of sin and death from that slavery. We were redeemed by his precious blood. As he was raised to a new nature by the Father's power, we now are invited to become associates with him in that new nature--to be counted in as members of his body, under him as the Head. The whole transaction is one of faith; faith first in his sacrifice, and God's acceptance of it, and our justification thereby. Secondly, faith in our call to membership in his body; faith that our consecration in response to that call made us acceptable with the Father and recorded our names in the Lamb's book of life as children of God upon this new plane. All who can realize that they have taken these two steps may, therefore, realize that from God's standpoint they are no longer thought of nor treated as members of the human family, but as members of the new order--members of the body of Christ.

Hence, they may realize themselves as entirely freed from the condemnation that was against them as human beings, and as having come under a new law, a new arrangement, which in Christ guarantees them life everlasting. The new law judges us as new creatures in Christ, according to the spirit, the mind, the intention, in righteousness, and not as human beings, according to the flesh and its weaknesses and imperfections.

The Law of God,--strict justice without mercy,-- represented in the Mosaic Law and its covenant, could not help the weak, fallen race, because the easiest requirement it could make would be perfection toward God and toward men, and our race being fallen was unable to comply with its demands. It was, therefore, "weak" (powerless) for our deliverance, because we were weak on account of the imperfect, fallen flesh. But God, through Christ, made an arrangement for us which does not violate his own Law--sending his Son to accomplish our redemption--the payment of our penalty. God's Son was not sent in sinful flesh, but "in the likeness," or nature of our flesh, which had become sinful,--he, the while, being holy, harmless, separate from sinners. The object of his coming in our likeness is set forth; viz., as an offering for sin--a sin-offering and atonement-sacrifice on our behalf.

This course in no sense of the word justified sin-- in no degree made sin right, or declared it proper. On the contrary, the very means which God adopted for our relief, at the same time "condemned sin in the flesh." Thus at the same time that the door of salvation was opened to us we were most emphatically assured that there was no hope in any other direction.

Notwithstanding the great clearness and explicitness with which this doctrine of the necessity for a sacrifice for sins is set forth in the Scriptures,--in the Old Testament as well as in the New--it seems remarkable that some still stumble over it. There is no avoiding the conviction that there is something wrong with their hearts, else their heads would not thus become confused respecting a matter which is so explicitly set forth in the Word. The Apostle points out that it was so with the Jews as a nation. They stumbled over the cross of Christ;--they then admitted and still acknowledge that Jesus was a great Teacher. Rabbis all over [R3201 : page 169] the world today are claiming Jesus as a great Jew, whose teachings have blessed the world in great measure. Their dispute is with the cross of Christ,--that they were sinners who have no way of escape except through an atonement on their behalf, and that Christ's death constituted the sin-offering, through faith in which alone any may become acceptable to God--justified. The same objection exists in the heart of the natural man who is not a Jew. He prefers to climb up some other way, rather than to go through the door; he would use the teachings of Jesus as a ladder to get into the sheepfold; but declines to enter through him as a door, and to acknowledge himself condemned of God and irretrievably lost, except as the great sacrifice for sins and the merit of the Redeemer are applied on his behalf. Nevertheless, those who refuse God's way will find that it is unalterable, and that "there is none other name given under heaven or amongst men whereby we must be saved." Those who will not enter by this door, those who will not accept the forgiveness of their sins through the merit of Christ's sacrifice, cannot have the divine favor, cannot be considered members of the body of Christ nor heirs with him--they are not in Christ Jesus--they are yet in their sins, because they believe not God's testimony. Some are now in this attitude who were once in the light of truth on this subject; who once had on the wedding garment, but took it off--rejected the robe of Christ's righteousness, and are attempting to stand before God in their own righteousness, merely accepting Jesus as a Teacher and not as a Redeemer. We consider the condition of such to be most dangerous. We cannot feel sure that they will ever have an opportunity to accept again the merit of the precious blood which they once enjoyed and spurned, "counting the blood of the covenant [the death of Jesus] wherewith they were [once] sanctified an unholy [common] thing," thus doing despite unto the spirit of grace--despising, disdaining, repudiating the favor of divine forgiveness through the blood. So rejecting the Redeemer, they take their cases out of the hands of the Mediator of the New Covenant. Thus they fall at once into the hands of the living God, and are subject to the full requirements of the absolute Law without mercy--because all of God's mercy extended to sinners is in and through him who loved us and bought us with his own precious blood. We do not say that all who reject the blood of the covenant do so thus to their everlasting loss, but are glad to believe, on the contrary, that many of them have been so blinded by the god of this world that they have never seen clearly and, hence, never rejected entirely the blood-bought robe of righteousness. For all such we shall expect that the light of the new dispensation will show them the divine plan clearly, and we shall trust that many of them will be ready humbly to accept God's grace upon his own terms.

The Apostle points out (vs. 4) that this Law of the spirit of life in which we as new creatures in Christ rejoice is really the same Law that once condemned us-- that the change from condemnation to death to justification to life signifies no change in the Law, but a change in our position. It is a law of life to us, because, by God's grace through Christ, we have come into a place where we are able to comply with the requirements of the Law and to fulfill them. It is not our flesh that has been changed, so that it is perfect and able to obey the Law, but that as New Creatures the flesh is reckoned dead, and we are reckoned according to the spirit or mind; and with our minds, or spirits, or wills, we are able to keep God's Law perfectly--that is to say, we can will to do right, we can endeavor to do right, we can strive to please God, and so long as God accepts [R3202 : page 169] the will, the intention, the endeavor, and ignores our flesh and its uncontrollable weaknesses, that long we can realize that the divine Law approves us; and that will be just so long as we abide in our present position as members of the body of Christ, and we are privileged to remain members of the body of Christ just so long as our desires are for righteousness and in opposition to sin. The New Creature does not love sin, but, instead, loves righteousness, the very reverse. If the will, the heart, should turn again, so as to love unrighteousness, so as to desire to do the things that are contrary to the Lord's will, it would mean that we had died as New Creatures, and become alive again as fleshly creatures, to mind the things of the flesh, to have its hopes, its aims and its objects. In that case we should come again under the law of sin and death, and be judged again according to the flesh, the sentence, as before, being, "The wages of sin is death." Moreover, such a turning, as a sow to wallowing in the mire, and as a dog to his vomit, would, in the case of those who have become New Creatures in Christ and so passed out of Adamic death, mean the Second Death--the result of their own wilful rejection of God's favor through Christ, which they spurn after having once enjoyed. It will be seen, then, that there are two ways of rejecting God's grace; one by turning to sin (not merely by being overcome of the weaknesses of the flesh temporarily, but by a deliberate choosing of sin, and intentional abandonment of righteousness); the other by a mental rejection of the conditions of favor--a mental repudiation of the blood of the New Covenant. These two forms of committing the sin unto death--unto Second Death--are clearly set before us by the Apostle in Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-31.

There is force, then, in the Apostle's explicit definition of the class justified under the Law of the spirit [R3202 : page 170] of life--that it is those who are in Christ, and who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit--who are not seeking to satisfy the cravings, appetites and desires of the flesh, but are seeking to control these, and to keep them in subjection to the new mind, to their utmost ability. Walking after the spirit does not necessarily mean walking up to the spirit. Only the Lord Jesus could walk up to the spirit of the perfect Law of God; but all the members of his body, all who are in Christ Jesus, may walk after the spirit--as nearly up to it as may be possible for them to do. Such a walk is acceptable to God, in the case of all those who are abiding in Christ, through faith in his blood. If, by reason of weaknesses of the flesh, through an unfavorable heredity, they be very degraded and weak, and able merely to hobble along with difficulty and slowness after the spirit, they are nevertheless counted as though they walked up to the spirit perfectly. In other words, God's arrangement for accepting the will, the intention, of the members of the body of Christ, instead of their actual performances, meets every requirement, and justifies freely, fully, completely, all who are in Christ-- not one of whom could have been justified by the Law under the Jewish covenant or otherwise.

The Apostle answers a supposed question as to how we may know those who are New Creatures in Christ and walking after the spirit, from others. This is a difficult question. There are some not in Christ whose flesh is much less depraved than that of some who are in Christ; hence, if they were measured by the deeds of the flesh, the one in Christ might appear to less advantage than the one out of Christ. The Lord, therefore, exhorts his people to judge not by outward appearance merely, assuring them that some are hypocritical, and that God looketh on the heart, the intention. So again the Apostle enjoins us, saying, "Henceforth know we no man after the flesh." He did not mean that we should pay no attention to the shortcomings of the flesh, either in ourselves or in other members of the body. All fleshly weaknesses should be striven against, and they may frequently demand rigorous treatment in the interest of the New Creature; but, nevertheless, we are to distinctly differentiate between the New Creature and his weak mortal body, and are to love and sympathize with the brother, while it may be necessary for us, in his interest, and also in the interest of the Church, to reprove or rebuke or otherwise correct his wrong course. The Apostle's definition of how we are to know the two classes apart is (vs. 5) that the unregenerate will mind the things of the flesh, while the regenerate will mind the things of the spirit. There is a great gulf fixed between these two classes, and there should be no need that any one should long be in doubt on the subject of whether he is or is not a member of the Church, the body of Christ. If he is in Christ he has the new ambitions, the new hopes, the new aims, and however short he may at times come of realizing these aims and ambitions, his heart being right it will always revert to the divine standard. His affections are for the things that are just and pure and good, however he may find the law of sin and death assailing him, through the weaknesses of his mortal body. He is not to be content with merely this condition of mental preference for the right and having his heart solicitous for righteousness, experiencing grief if he finds himself overcome by temptation; but, as the Apostle elsewhere enjoins, he is to be so deeply in earnest about the matter that he will not only do his best to right every wrong, but will continue seeking for grace at the heavenly throne, that he may be more and more able to overcome, that he may grow stronger and stronger in spirit, and that the power of his flesh may be correspondingly weakened. The Apostle exhorts such to make straight paths for their feet, for their weaknesses, for their lameness, according to the flesh--to avoid the ways of temptation and weakness as they discover them, and thus show their hearts' desires for righteousness. He urges again that all keep continually setting their affections on things above, so that the things of the earth may have less and less influence and control over them to hinder them in their course. He urges that the heart, the mind, the lips, the conduct, that are filled with the Lord's truth and service, will be thus sanctified and separated so that the Wicked One will find less and less opportunity to take the advantage.

The matter is set forth in still different terms in vss. 6,7. We are to distinguish the mind of the flesh from the mind that is in accord with God, for the one is at enmity with God and the other in harmony with him. The mind that is in harmony with God finds delight in his Law, in righteousness, purity, goodness, peace, faith, through the promises of God, and looks forward with joy to the glorious realization of all the wonderful hopes inspired through those promises. The fleshly mind (however polite or polished or well educated and decorous and under control of the mortal body) is not in accord with God; it has its own ambitions, its own plans, and takes pleasure in these, and is grieved if they are thwarted; builds its hopes and aims chiefly upon what can be attained in this present life; is not in accord with God, nor disposed to accept with gratitude whatever he may be pleased to send; but rather is full of choice and self-will--not subject to divine control, nor can it be, because it is fleshly, and because, at the present time, all mankind is in a state of sin, alienation from God, etc. These two conditions of mind are contrasted, and the Apostle assures us that [R3202 : page 171] the one is death; that it means death; means that the person who has that mind is still in the death condition, has not received Christ as the Life-giver. "He that hath the Son hath life," and may have, too, a joy and peace of the new mind in Christ; but he who has not the Son, he who has not surrendered his will, is still in death, still under condemnation, still an alien from God.

This does not mean that those whom we are unable to bring now under the scope of the gospel of Christ may never become amenable to it. It does not mean, either, that the flesh itself is opposed to God, and God opposed to the flesh. The word "flesh" here is used in the sense of sinful flesh, because all mankind, through the fall, has become sinful. Originally, however, as represented in Father Adam before the fall, the flesh was pronounced very good, and God's own workmanship, in his own image, was not opposed to the Law of God, but in full accord with it. The divine Law was written in the very organism of our first parents; the difficulty is that through the fall this divine Law has been very considerably obliterated, and instead the law of selfishness--which includes all evil --has been engraven upon the hearts of their posterity. Hence the proposition of the Lord for the world is that he will restore all mankind to that primeval condition, for which times of restitution have been provided and promised by the mouth of all the holy prophets. (Acts 3:19-21.) It is in full accord with this that the Lord, speaking of the operation of the New Covenant, declares that under it (Christ being the minister of that New Covenant and its administrator during the time of its operation) he will take away the stony heart of selfishness, and will make a new heart of flesh, tender, sympathetic, generous, God-like. In other words, he will re-write in the organism of mankind, by the processes of the Millennial age,--the times of restitution,--all the original character and God-likeness and law which he possessed as originally created. When perfection shall have thus been accomplished for so many as will receive the Lord's favor on his terms of love and hearty obedience, it will no longer be true that the mind of the flesh will be at enmity with God, as it was not true originally, when Adam was in accord with God.

To understand the Apostle it must be kept clearly in mind that he is writing these words, not to the world nor about the world, but to the saints and about the saints. He is describing the condition of those who have passed from death unto life, who have become New Creatures, contrasting them with the world, still [R3203 : page 171] in sin and divine disfavor. They that are in the flesh, living according to their own wills, who have not heard, or, hearing, have not accepted God's grace in Christ, cannot please God, cannot be said to be acquitted, cannot be considered as under divine favor.

Turning to the Church, the Apostle points out, "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwelleth in you." The Apostle here indicates what it is that constitutes us New Creatures. We are New Creatures because begotten again; because begotten of the spirit of God. We were not thus begotten until first we had been justified by faith in the blood of Christ, and then had heard the invitation to present our bodies living sacrifices, and then had complied with that invitation and consecrated our all upon the Lord's altar. Then we received the spirit of God; then we were recognized as New Creatures in Christ--as no longer flesh beings, but as spirit beings.

Here, then, is the test. Those who have the spirit of Christ must have been begotten to it; those who have not the spirit of Christ are not his. Thus we are to judge ourselves, and thus we are to judge of the brethren--by the spirit, the intention, the will, and not by the success, not by the flesh. Oh, how generous this would make us in our judging of the brethren! If they profess and give any evidence of loving the Lord, trusting in the precious blood, loving holy things, loving the brethren, loving the word of grace and truth, and of seeking to develop the fruits of the spirit, they are surely brethren, surely "in Christ." If they have not this spirit, love the world, prefer worldly company, give themselves wholly to worldly ambitions, pride of life and self-gratification, we have strong reason to doubt their relationship to the Lord, no matter what they may profess. And this feature of the matter should be especially applied by each one of us to himself, as an individual test of his relationship to the Lord, and each one who finds the spirit of worldliness growing upon him should feel that he is losing ground, should seek afresh to set his affection on things above and to grow in grace.

"THE BODY IS DEAD."

The Apostle explains that in the case of these New Creatures in Christ, from the divine standpoint the body is treated as dead, but the spirit, or mind, is treated as alive. It is the New Creature which God recognizes, to which he purposes to give a new spirit-body in due time--in the first resurrection. It is necessary that this thought be clearly fixed in our minds, in order that we may continually realize our peace toward God and his favor and sympathy toward us in Christ. If we lose sight of the fact that God regards us from the standpoint of the will, if we get to thinking of ourselves and God's estimate of us as according to the flesh, we are sure to get proportionately into darkness and confusion and discouragement. But let us not forget, on the other hand, that the spirit, or will, is counted alive [R3203 : page 172] because of its righteousness, because it is in harmony with God. Let us, therefore, never be slack in respect to the will, or intention, governing the conduct of our lives, but remember that any laxity will mean the proportionate loss of spiritual life. To will right is always possible to us, and nothing less than an absolutely loyal will could be acceptable to God in Christ.

However, as the Apostle explains in vs. 11, if God's spirit animates us, the result will surely be that these bodies which we reckon dead, and which God graciously reckons dead, will be so quickened, so energized, so controlled by the new mind, the holy mind, the spirit of our new nature, that they will become actively "quickened"--toward righteousness, toward the service of the Lord, the service of the truth--in doing good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the household of faith. This is only what we should expect, too, for the spirit of God is powerful in whatever way it be applied. As an illustration of its power, the Apostle points us to our Lord Jesus and his literal death, and how God's holy spirit raised Jesus from the dead in his resurrection. The thought is that this power of God thus exercised on behalf of the Lord Jesus, and which he promises so to exercise in the close of this age on behalf of all the faithful members of the body of Christ, indicates a power of God by which, if we avail ourselves of it, the new nature will find strength to conquer, to keep the flesh under, and, more than this, to make it active, energetic in the service of righteousness. The Apostle is not here speaking of the future resurrection of the just--the completion of the first resurrection as spirit beings. He is speaking of the figurative resurrection, which the Lord's consecrated people experience in this present time. As he elsewhere expresses it, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above;" and again, "You hath he quickened [made alive, resurrected figuratively] who were dead in trespasses and sins,...and hath raised us up together, and made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."--Col. 3:1; Eph. 2:1,6.

The sum of the matter, then, is that we who are New Creatures find that we do not owe anything as New Creatures to the flesh; that all of our advantages and blessings have come to us along other lines. We ought, therefore, to ignore the flesh and its desires and appetites, and ought to walk as strictly after the spirit as possible in all of our affairs. Do we ask why? One answer is here given (vs. 13), "If ye live after the flesh ye shall die." We who have received the grace of God, who have heard of his mercy and love, and have been accepted in the Beloved, have counted all our earthly interests as sacrifices, that we might have share with Christ in the sufferings of this present time and in the glory that shall follow. For us to live after the flesh would mean to die in the most absolute sense --the Second Death--because we have had the full benefit of the ransom already imputed to us. There is hope for the world, which knows, as yet, comparatively little or nothing of the grace of God, which has not tasted, has not seen, etc.--there is hope for the members of this class that under the Kingdom rule they will be caused to see clearly, and may then respond obediently to the divine arrangement; but if we sin wilfully after that we have received a knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins for us--therefore, there would remain no future hope for us. But, on the other hand, let us hope that few of those who have accepted the grace of God are disposed to draw back unto perdition; but are rather disposed to go on and to secure the end of their faith,--glory, honor and immortality, joint heirship in the Kingdom. To us who are thus minded the Apostle's words are encouraging, when he says, "If ye, through the spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." The condition upon which we may continue our relationship to the Lord, and our hope for a share in the glories of the first resurrection are thus definitely stated to include mortification of the deeds of the body--restraining the fleshly inclinations, putting them to death, crucifying them, using them up in the service of the Lord and his cause. Such mortification of the deeds of the body, such a battle against the weaknesses of the flesh, is what the Apostle elsewhere speaks of as the "warfare," when he tells us that the flesh warreth against the spirit, and the spirit in turn warreth against the flesh, for the two are contrary, and will be opponents to the end of life; and if the spirit has been willing, and has fought to the best of its ability against the weaknesses of the flesh, the Lord will count the victory complete, through the merit of the Redeemer.

We are not to think of this as being the warfare of a fleshly will against a spiritual will, nor the battling of the old nature against the new nature. These are erroneous conceptions, not in accord with the Scriptural delineations. We cannot have two wills and yet be in Christ. We cannot serve two masters. The matter must be decided--it must be settled before we are accepted to membership in the body of Christ. Hence it is, that a full consecration of all that we have and are is necessary to membership in Christ. Henceforth there is only the one will, the will of Christ. As for the will of the flesh, we do not own it to be ours; we ignore it, we oppose it--we are the New Creatures; the will of the flesh and, in general, the flesh, are contrary, and thus reckoned by the Lord as well as by us as dead; we must keep the body under--keep it dead; we must not allow a fleshly will to assert itself in us. This does not mean that we can hinder a fleshly desire, but [R3203 : page 173] there is a vast difference between a desire and a will. Our flesh may desire various things which we believe the will of God would oppose, but our wills will not consent. Even though through weakness of the flesh an error might have been committed, the will could not have consented so long as it was loyal to the Lord. The new will may have fallen temporarily into a stupor and so have come under the power of the flesh for a time, but as surely as it was the new will it never consented to sin and never approved of it.

This, then, is the guide by which we may know our true position, not only at the beginning of the race, but to the end of it; viz., if we are led by the spirit of God--if that is the direction in which we are following, if that is what we are seeking--then we are sons of God; he owns and accepts all who have come unto him through Christ, and who are trusting in the merit of the wedding garment, and who continue in this attitude of heart. These will continue to be owned of the Lord as sons to the end of the present journey, to the end of the present time of sacrifice; and beyond he will own them as his sons in the first resurrection, giving them the suitable spirit bodies he has promised them.--Rom. 8:14; 2 Tim. 2:11,12; 1 John 3:2.


[R3204 : page 173]

"THY KINGDOM COME!"

"For as the earth bringeth forth the bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations."--Isa. 61:11.
Thy Kingdom come! Give ear, O King of ages!
This earnest prayer is knocking at thy door;
The Church of God with one accord engages
In hopeful pleading till the night is o'er.

Thy Kingdom come! We wait the promised glory
That, like the sea, embraces every shore.
We wait the time proclaimed in psalm and story,
When strife shall cease and nations war no more.

Thy Kingdom come, and bring its feast of gladness
To groaning creatures wasted by despair;
To dry all faces with the breath of gladness,
And soothe our sorrows with thy love and care.

Thy Kingdom come! To darkened minds revealing
The blissful springs of gratitude and praise.
Come, Sun of righteousness, with beams of healing;
Dispense thy light in universal rays.

Thy Kingdom come! O, haste the Bride's appearing;
Let every soul her wand of healing feel,--
While all the ransomed of the Lord, revering,
Adore Jehovah, and in homage kneel.
--G.M. Bills.



[R3204 : page 173]

"GOD MOVES IN A MYSTERIOUS WAY."
--ACTS 27:33-44.--JUNE 7.--

"Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses."--Psa. 107:6.

NOT long after Paul's discourse before Festus and Agrippa, opportunity offered for sending him a prisoner to Rome, in accordance with his own appeal. He was not sent alone, but in company with other prisoners and under a strong guard. The journey from Caesarea to Rome was by water on merchant vessels, and was probably in the fall of the year, when the storms on the Mediterranean are frequently very severe, sometimes lasting for several days, as in the case mentioned in this lesson. The storm lasted for fourteen days, and was evidently unusually severe. The dangerous season for navigation was reckoned from September 14 to November 14, at which time all navigation in the open sea was suspended for the winter. It is presumed that this storm occurred about September 25.

Doubtless, were we able to look at affairs from God's standpoint, as we will be able to view them by and by, we should see more reason than we now are able to discern why the Apostle's journey to Rome should have been attended with such trying experiences, mental and physical, as were incidental to the shipwreck, wintering on the island of Malta, etc. Possibly the Apostle's faith was being tried; possibly it was being rooted and grounded by these experiences. The Lord had distinctly informed him in a vision that he should go to Rome as his ambassador. He was now on the way, and on several occasions matters looked serious; it seemed as though he would never see the capital of the world; never have the privilege of presenting the truth to the brethren residing there, to whom he had already sent the Epistle to the Romans; never have the opportunity of laboring in their midst, as he had hoped and promised to do.

When in port at Crete a conference was held respecting the wisdom of wintering there or of going on, and the Apostle gave his opinion that it would be unsafe to go on. This may have been the result of some inspiration, but quite possibly was merely the result of his own judgment of the weather, etc. He had already had large experience in seeing disasters, as we are informed in one of his epistles written previous to this time: "Thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep." (2 Cor. 11:25.) Besides, his trade as a sail-maker would naturally bring him in contact with sailors, and interest him in all matters pertaining to the craft. Those in command, however, decided to proceed on the journey, and encountered the disastrous storm of our lesson. During those fourteen days the Apostle had [R3204 : page 174] abundant opportunity to fear and doubt and question the Lord's providences, and apparently it was not until the night of the thirteenth day of the storm that the Lord sent an angel to the Apostle, with the consoling message that he should not fear--"Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar; and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee." (Vs. 24.) We may safely assume that the Apostle, during these testing days, remained heartily loyal in faith toward God, and that this message at the close was in the nature of an encouragement and an expression of approval.

We may draw a good lesson from this incident, not only in respect to our own affairs in life,--that the Lord may lead in mysterious ways regarding our temporal matters and our service for him and his cause;--but we may additionally apply the lesson in a general way to all spiritual testings and trials. The Lord gives us, for instance, assurances of his love and care, and of the ultimate outcome of the narrow way to all who faithfully follow in the steps of Jesus; but meantime he may permit trials and difficulties of various kinds to come as storms upon us, threatening our very destruction, threatening the overwhelming of our spiritual life, darkening the sky of our hopes with the thunderclouds of our enemies' threats and Satan's roarings. Our duty is to let the eye of faith be undimmed by these various terrible conditions,--to let our hearts be firmly fixed upon him who has promised, and who is able also to perform. Thus,

"When the storms of life are raging,
Tempests wild on sea and land,
I will seek a place of refuge
In the shadow of God's hand.

"Enemies may strive to injure,
Satan all his arts employ;
God will turn what seems to harm me
Into everlasting joy."

The expression, "God hath given thee all them that sail with thee," is very meaningful. It reminds us of Abraham's prayer for Sodom--peradventure there were even five righteous persons, God agreed to save the city. There is no suggestion in these words of the "fatherhood of God, and brotherhood of men," as that false teaching is now advocated by many who have a noble impulse. The thought, on the contrary, is that there was only one man on that ship who was in personal relationship to God. The others, whatever their natural traits of character, had never come into personal relationship with the Father. Another thought from the words is that the divine care going with the saints may prove a great blessing to their companions, even though, as in this case, they be worldly and unregenerate. This thought is particularly applicable in the earthly families of God's people. The believing consecrated father or mother is the direct subject of divine care; for of the angels it is written, "They are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation," and, in ministering to these, very frequently (indeed, we may suppose generally) those of their families who have not come into full relationship with the Lord are to some extent included under the protecting care. Elsewhere the Apostle points out that in some respects the believing wife has a blessed influence over her husband; or the believing husband a favorable influence over the wife in regard to the children, else the children would be accounted unholy. (1 Cor. 7:14.) This is another illustration of the same general lesson that divine care, though specially for the saints, includes all of their interests of every kind. This does not necessarily imply earthly prosperity, wealth, preservation from accident, shipwreck, etc., as in Paul's case, and yet it does always mean, in some sense and in some degree, an advantage. Let us take from this thought all the comfort we can. All things shall work together for good to the Lord's saints, and those who are nearest and dearest to them will surely be participants to some extent in their interest and in the divine care.

Promptly after receiving the assurances of the safety of all on board, the Apostle made the matter known to the ship's company, and manifested his own faith in the message by cheerfulness and breaking of his fast, and advising all the others to do likewise. His spirit was contagious; they were all cheered, and doubtless they were all impressed not only by the fact to which the Apostle called their attention--namely, that this disaster had come upon them by their failing [R3205 : page 174] to follow his advice--but also by the evidence of God's special favor toward him in connection with the knowledge of their ultimate rescue. So it should be with us: whatever we know that is good or comforting or refreshing to ourselves, we should dispense to others. Had the Apostle kept this good news to himself, it would have implied one of two things; either that he did not have faith in its fulfilment, or that he was selfish; but having the Lord's spirit of generosity, as well as large trust in the Lord, he did not hesitate to make known the coming deliverance; and he glorified God in that he did not claim to have this knowledge of himself, but credited it to a revelation. Evidently the prisoner had produced a deep impression upon many of the soldiers and sailors. Who can say that at some future time the Apostle's brave and noble conduct may not have influenced some of his two hundred and seventy-six companions--possibly eventually drawing some of them to the Lord? So it should be with each of us; we should be prompt to tell to others the best tidings we have; sympathy with the groaning creation in the [R3205 : page 175] various trials of life should lead us to point to the Lord's promises respecting the coming Kingdom and the blessings that should then be to all the families of the earth. Whoever does not thus proclaim daily, on every suitable opportunity, gives evidence either of lack of knowledge or of faith in the revelation or of selfishness, which the Lord can not approve, and which, persisted in, will ultimately debar him from a share in the Kingdom.

Another thought properly connected with this lesson is the absence of any suggestion of a revival service being held on board the boat. Neither Paul nor Luke nor Aristarchus are reported to have made the slightest effort, except as their lives were living epistles. It is barely possible that religious services may not have been permitted on the vessel; but, anyway, we know from the Apostle's general course of conduct, that he did his fishing for men amongst rather different classes. As we understand the matter, the seamen of that day were of a coarse and ignorant class. We cannot doubt that the Apostle would have been glad indeed to have served any of his companions had he found in them the hearing ear--according to the Master's words, "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear." That the sailors were not in a condition to receive or appreciate the gospel is evident from the lesson; because they were selfishly intent upon using the only small boat available for their escape, and premeditated leaving the soldiers and the prisoners on the vessel. We mark the spirit of selfishness as totally unbecoming in anyone begotten of the spirit of God, and contrast it with the spirit of the Apostle, as generous, loving, considerate of others. A similar test shows us that the soldiers in general were not of a class likely to have a hearing ear, because, when perceiving that the vessel would go to pieces, and that thus some prisoners might escape, they counselled their destruction. "The liberal heart deviseth liberal things," and all of the Lord's consecrated people should not only have the noble impulses coming to them because they are the Lord's and because they have tasted of his grace, and been made partakers of his spirit, but, additionally, they should see to it that this spirit prevails in them; that it is manifest in all the affairs of life. They should see to it that they do not crush out the noble impulses which would properly come to them; that, on the contrary, they foster them and encourage them and develop them more and more. Thus we grow in grace as we grow in knowledge, by obedience to the things which we learn.

The centurion alone seems to have profited by the experiences. He alone seems to have read the Apostle's living epistle to any advantage, and upon him it did make an impression, for while he would not have objected so much to the killing of the other prisoners, who probably were seditious characters and worthy of death, he saw no way to make an exception of Paul, and for Paul's sake, therefore, all the prisoners' lives were spared.

Notwithstanding the Apostle's assurance of the Lord that the lives of the entire ship's company were given him, that all would be saved, he realized the propriety of using all proper diligence in cooperation with the promise. Hence, when he discerned the evident intention of the sailors to escape in the small boat, leaving the passengers, unable to guide the vessel, at the mercy of the sea, he communicated the facts to the centurion, pointing out the necessity of compliance with reasonable precautions to insure the fulfilment of the divine promise. So we all should understand that we have something to do in realizing the gracious promises of God to us. In connection with the affairs of this present life he has promised that our bread and water shall be sure, but this does not imply that we shall neglect reasonable opportunities for securing these. He has promised us also a share in the Kingdom by and by; but it is for us to make our calling and our election sure. God is thoroughly capable and thoroughly willing to perform all of his part in connection with every matter, but it is to our advantage that he calls upon us to show our faith by our works--by our cooperation with him in all reasonable ways. He does not expect us to perform miracles; but he does expect us to do what we are able to do both in respect to present things and eternal matters. By and by the Apostle's predictions were fulfilled, and the entire ship's company, some by swimming and others by floating on wreckage, reached the land. We notice again that the Apostle did not propose, on reaching land, to have a general revival service; he was not bent on exciting men's minds, but was practising the same gospel methods which the Master taught him; viz., "Let us reason together"-- sit down first and count the cost of discipleship, and, if willing to pay the price, "Come, take up thy cross, and follow me." If this, the Lord's method for gathering his people from the world, were still pursued, there would be many fewer nominal Christians; but we believe there would be no smaller number of the genuine ones. The time for bringing in the world is not yet; hence the Master's words in prayer, "I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the world, that they all may be one... that [ultimately, 'in due time'] the world may believe." The gathering of the elect class for the Kingdom is under disadvantageous conditions which will thoroughly test them, and make their way so narrow that few will find it, and still fewer make progress in it. When God's time for dealing with the world shall have come, the powers of heaven and of earth will cooperate with the glorified Church in making the gospel so plain that a wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.

So far as the record shows, the Apostle and his companions did no mission work amongst the barbarians of the island on which they were wrecked, nor amongst the soldiers and sailors, their companions during that winter. They left no Church there;--we may safely presume that they found no hearing ears. The lesson to us from this should be that we are not to expect the conversion of the world nor anything akin to it. We are to expect that the Lord will find with the truth a sufficient number to complete the elect Church, and then, with the power and the authority of the Kingdom, establish righteousness and cause the knowledge of himself to fill the earth and bless the whole world through the Church.--Gal. 3:29.



page 177
June 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. XXIV.JUNE 15, 1903.No. 12


CONTENTS.

Conventions Across the Sea179
The Editor on His European Journey179
The Apostle Paul at Rome183
Paul's Charge to Timothy186
Quarterly Review191
Public Ministries of the Truth192
The Editor's Return192
General Conventions, Etc192
Special Items:
Corrected Bible Prices178

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 178

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.

CORRECTED BIBLE PRICES.


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ZION'S GLAD SONGS.


We have this booklet of spiritual songs in large supply again, and orders can be filled promptly. While it is not expected that the "Songs" shall take the place of the noble hymns in the book POEMS AND HYMNS OF DAWN, they will be found appropriate for social meetings and praise services. The price is 5c each, postpaid; 60c per doz.

POEMS AND HYMNS OF DAWN.


This work contains a very choice selection of 160 poems and 333 hymns, purged, we trust, from much of the too common hymn-book theology. In cloth binding only, 50 cents. TOWER subscribers supplied at the wholesale rate, 25 cents. This price now includes postage.



[R3205 : page 179]

CONVENTIONS ACROSS THE SEA.
--THE EDITOR ON HIS EUROPEAN JOURNEY.--

DEAR WATCH TOWER READERS:--

I posted my previous letter just as our vessel, the New York, reached Southampton. As I stepped ashore I was met by Brother Henninges, and a little later, on arrival at London, by a delegation representing the London Church. Assuredly our greetings all around were most cordial, and unitedly we thanked God for a safe journey and asked divine blessing upon our mission.

Five meetings were held in London. The first on Saturday afternoon was a greeting and salutation meeting, and in the course of my remarks I mentioned the cordial greetings sent with me by the brethren of the Allegheny congregation; assuring the friends that those greetings well represented the sentiments of all the dear brethren and sisters of America. They in turn wished me to tell you all of their love and to give you their greetings in the Lord, and to testify to you that the Lord's people, though separated by oceans, are of one spirit--begotten of the one Father.

The evening session lasted from 7 to 9; the attendance being about 400 (about the same as in the afternoon). My text was Heb. 6:13-17--respecting the hope that is an anchor to our soul and that is based upon God's promise to Abraham, which he confirmed with an oath; so that not only Abraham might have "strong consolation," but we also who look back to that oath-bound Covenant, expecting its fulfilment and trusting by God's grace that we may be heirs of that Covenant's provisions--as Abraham's spiritual "seed." Our hearts rejoiced in the Apostle's assurance, "If ye be Christ's (members or bride) then are ye Abraham's [R3206 : page 179] seed and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:29.) We saw clearly that if we are heirs of that promise it is still unfulfilled, and our faith laid fresh hold of the promise and oath of God, and we assured ourselves not only that it could not fail of fulfilment, but that our Lord's glorification as the Head of the "seed," as the antitypical Isaac, was an additional guarantee that soon the Church, as the antitypical Rebekah, would be united to him and the promise proceed to complete fulfilment--the blessing of all the families of the earth under the Millennial Kingdom.

On Sunday we had three sessions: at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The attendance in the morning was estimated at 400, in the afternoon at 600 and in the evening at 800. The dear friends of the N. London congregation provided a bountiful luncheon at 6 p.m. on Saturday as well as Sunday: all were cordially invited to partake. The number participating on Sunday evening--about 300--fairly represented the deeply interested of London and surrounding cities and towns.

Our text on Sunday morning was Phil. 4:8,7. The Church rather than the public was addressed, and the "way of the Lord" made as plain as possible: (1) The way in which we first saw ourselves to be sinners. (2) Our first view of Christ as our Savior, and our justification through Christ in his blood. (3) Our consecration, begetting to the new nature as members of the elect. (4) Our experiences after we thus as New Creatures entered the school of Christ. (5) The trials and polishings by the way to fit and prepare us for the Kingdom--to polish us as the Lord's jewels. (6) The assistance of the brethren in the good way by words and example--our Elder Brother's being first and Brother Paul's next.

The afternoon session was devoted to questions: this being deemed the most practical way of reaching topics in which the brethren were most deeply interested. Two hours were thus spent--profitably, we [R3206 : page 180] trust, to all. Many of the questions indicated deep thought on the subjects dear to us all.

The closing session of the London Convention was well attended--notwithstanding an all-day rain. The interest was excellent, as indicated by the close attention given for two hours by people of whom nearly one-half had little or no previous knowledge of the truth.

Our topic on this occasion was: "Millennial Hopes and Prospects." At the close nearly an hour was spent giving and receiving cordial farewells and good wishes. Would that our pen were capable of delineating the words of earnest greeting--the loving glances of the eyes and the earnest pressure of the hand. We assured the dear friends that we accepted their warm words and many kind acts as first of all to the Lord, who has given us all the precious truths which so rejoice all who have the hearing ear of faith. That, secondly, I was welcomed and loved as a representative of the Lord's people rejoicing in present truth--not only in America but throughout the world. That, thirdly, I accepted a portion of their love and greetings personally--as a servant and representative of the Lord and his people. (And this is uniformly my course and view.)

On Tuesday (April 28) we took up our journey for Denmark and Sweden--a journey of over two thousand miles--to meet our dear Scandinavian friends, whom not having seen we loved as brethren in Christ. Representatives of the London assembly escorted us to the railway depot and bade us Godspeed, hoping to see us yet again before our return to America. Brother Henninges accompanies me and is a real comfort and true yokefellow in every way. The Lord reward him!

Our first stop was at Copenhagen: We were met at the depot with a most cordial welcome and escorted to comfortable lodgings. The notice of our coming had brought brethren and sisters from various directions who awaited our coming and, with the local brethren, almost overwhelmed us with the evidences of their love and fellowship. Although our communications were through a brother who served as interpreter, yet eyes and hand-clasps added emphasis.

We had three meetings in this great city--two of these were semi-public, including not only the friends of the truths represented by ZION'S WATCH TOWER publications, but their Christian friends whom they had been endeavoring to interest. The largest attendance was about 200--very good indeed for a mid-week meeting.

Continuing our journey we reached Stockholm on Sunday morning, May 3--the dear leader of the Danish meetings accompanying us. As we alighted from the train we were met by about ten Swedish brethren--amongst them the two dear brethren who for some time past have been colporteuring in these parts and whose efforts God is blessing. A hasty wash and we were off for the meeting place, where we found a crowded roomful of Swedish brethren and sisters singing most heartily an old and familiar tune in words which we could not understand. But the circumstances and earnestness and illuminated faces all told us that the unknown tongue gave praise to the same God, inspired by the same hopes built upon the same promises. We began at once our address--a dear brother (once a minister in the Swedish State Church) serving as interpreter, repeating our words in Swedish, sentence by sentence.

For two hours we discussed the oath-bound covenant, hope in which constitutes the anchor of our faith as the Lord's brethren and joint-heirs. The moist eyes and nods of assent told clearly that the truths were recognized and appreciated and that many of those present were sincerely desirous of making their calling and election sure as "heirs according to the promise," as joint-heirs with Christ Jesus our Lord.--Gal. 3:29.

Our second public meeting was at 5.30 p.m. Sunday, and lasted until nearly 8 o'clock. About 250 were present and the closest attention was given to our presentation of the "Millennial Hopes and Prospects." Some of the audience--about one-half--were outsiders not fully committed to present truth. They were seemingly sincere Christians, however, and we may reasonably hope that some of them may yet be blessed by the Lord through these or other instrumentalities;--that they may be enabled to "comprehend with all saints the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God which passeth all knowledge."-- Eph. 3:18.

Monday's meetings at 11 a.m. to 1, and 3.30 to 6, were attended by about 100 each. These doubtless are all deeply interested, even though some may not as yet be fully committed. The topics of these meetings related to the steps of discipleship; the conditions for entering and continuance in the narrow way to "glory, honor and immortality." Our heart was much encouraged by hearing from two, who could speak English, that they had discerned the way they had long been seeking, and had made a full consecration of their all to the Lord and were rejoicing accordingly.

We may hope that there were more, for some of the dear friends spoke most eloquently with their eyes, and by all their actions indicated that they longed to talk with us. One dear brother caught our hand in both of his and looked us in the face with moist [R3206 : page 181] eyes, and then, pointing to his mouth, shook his head; then he pointed to his eyes and then to his forehead; --then he looked heavenward, then pressed our hand afresh in both of his. Thus he told us, as forcibly as could words in any language: I cannot speak to tell you of my joy of heart, but the eyes of my mind have been opened and now I can see our heavenly Father in his true light and can understand his wonderful plan, and I want to thank you because it was through your instrumentality that our Father sent me this priceless blessing.

We have just left these dear brethren and sisters on our return journey to fill appointments in Great Britain. About 25 or 30 came to the depot in the rain to see us off. Impressive were the handshakes of these dear friends who, though poor, purchased railway tickets so as to get on to the platform to see the last of us. Through the interpreter they said, We fear that we do not and cannot show you how much we love you in the Lord and how much we appreciate the privileges of this Convention.

One dear Swedish sister, a school teacher (able to speak English), who has had the truth for only about one year and a half, but during that time has done much to present it to others, came to meet us at Copenhagen, went with us to Stockholm and returned with us to Copenhagen and went home after seeing us off. As we finally parted, she handed us some flowers, saying, "These are not from me but from all the dear Swedish friends of the truth. I was the first of them to meet you and now I am the last of them to bid you farewell and Godspeed--so accept these flowers, please, as a token of our Christian love for you and the work the Lord has given you to do." This dear sister, a hard worker, traveled in all over 700 miles to enjoy and feast upon the truth and to show her love for it. Can it be wondered if I write now: I shall never forget my visit to Scandinavia, and shall ever pray and seek for the Lord's blessing upon his work there.


***

Journeying from Stockholm by rail to Malmo (375 miles) and by sea (15 miles) brought us back to Copenhagen, where we again bade good-bye to our Danish friends. Thence by rail we reached Korsor (70 miles), where we again took ship for Kiel (100 miles). Here we saw the German Emperor's war yacht and about 24 German war vessels, and rejoiced in spirit that ere long they will be remelted, that their tons of metal may be used in peaceable pursuits under the administration of the great Prince of Peace. From Kiel a rail journey (500 miles) brought us to Flushing, [R3207 : page 181] where we again took steamer (115 miles) to Queensboro pier and were again on British soil. The rail journey to London (50 miles) was through the most highly cultivated country we saw on our entire journey or anywhere. It seemed a picture of what Paradise restored will shortly be.

On our first arrival in England we added to our itinerary several intermediate appointments. One of these was Leeds, our next stopping place, which we reached after a journey of 250 miles. The dear friends met us at the depot, greeting us most cordially; --our arrival was delayed, and they had waited all afternoon. The weather was damp and chilly, but not so their ardor, nor ours. We felt at home with them at once. After tea we proceeded to the Y.M.C.A. hall and for an hour and a half addressed a very intelligent audience of about 125 on "The Oath-bound Covenant" of Heb. 6:17. A special supper had been arranged, at which a goodly company gathered, and after a refreshing night's rest we started for Glasgow (200 miles)--a happy party escorting us to the train and sending kindest greetings to the "brethren in America."

Glasgow was one of our stopping places in 1891, when we hunted up some six TOWER subscribers. Now, on the arrival of the train, 30 dear brethren and sisters were on the platform and greeted us most enthusiastically--assuring us of the love of others not able to be present. We had heard that the Scotch were undemonstrative, and very averse to "wearing their heart on their sleeve," but the warmth of our reception convinced us that the Scotch had been misrepresented, or else that the "love of the truth" had greatly transformed these dear friends, who, by their hands and faces, no less than by their words, so enthusiastically welcomed us. We were most hospitably entertained, and pray for the divine blessing upon our hosts and their families. This was Friday evening, and the Church's committee of arrangements (8) called on us to submit suggestions of details for the Convention, not previously arranged by mail. Our fellowship was most pleasant and both opened and closed with prayer.

The Saturday morning program consisted of interesting reports from various little companies of believers in Scotland presented by representatives. They were most interesting and showed clearly that not only in Glasgow, but in every direction thereabouts, the truth is extending and under God's blessing is finding the Israelites indeed. We addressed the dear friends briefly on this occasion, congratulating them on the many evidences of God's favor and blessing upon them, pointing out that the keynote of the present movement is, "Gather together my saints unto me: those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." We rally not around a sectarian standard or [R3207 : page 182] name or creed, but to the Lord. We who are united to Christ need not creeds or other human bonds to unite us--our union with the Head means union with all united to him and love for all such in proportion as each has or attains the Lord's spirit. We assured the dear friends that we brought greetings to all of like precious faith from brethren in America, and that your thoughts and prayers were surely with us.

The afternoon discourse was on "The Oath-bound Covenant" (Heb. 6:13-17), and that of the evening on "The exceeding great and precious promises." (2 Pet. 1:4-11.) These we showed to be the Church's share in the Abrahamic Covenant. The attendance for a week-day was excellent--about 400 at each session.

Sunday was the great day of our spiritual feasting with our Lord (in prayer and praise and the study of his Word) and with each other as fellow-heirs of the promises. The opening session was a general testimony meeting. One after another told the story which we all know from experience, but which we are always glad to hear afresh--of God's grace and providential leading into the clearer light of present truth. Several of the dear Colporteurs were heard from at this meeting, and their testimony was like that of all others,--of their own blessing, and of their joy in the service notwithstanding occasional discouragements. We took occasion again to express our joy that the Lord had been pleased to use our humble efforts, but gave the glory to the Lord, pointing out that "of his fullness have all we received, and favor upon favor;"--that the due time had come for the fuller light to illuminate the divine Word and therefore it was sent of the Lord for all Israelites indeed; and that any little trials and sufferings and sacrifices which had come to us incidentally to the serving of the truth to the household of faith had been far more than compensated for in the blessings and favors and privileges granted us in the present time, besides the promised share in the Kingdom glories. The discourse following was on the greatness of God's power working in his saints. (Eph. 1:19.) We saw the divine power exercised through the Word of promise and his grace sufficient for all trials and to bring off conquerors all his faithful. We saw also his power to do for us and with us in the future --raising us up to glory and using us then to bless the world.

At the Sunday afternoon session Brother Henninges addressed the Convention, his topic being "Consecration," from Prov. 23:26. Close attention was given while he pointed out the consecration of Abraham and the other worthies of the past, and then that of our Lord and his apostles, and brought home the lesson to all that only by full self-surrender to the Lord can any hope to attain divine favor and everlasting life.

The Sunday evening service (from 6.30 to 9 p.m.) was the most largely attended session of the Convention and its closing one. About 1,000 were present, and the close attention given by many for so long a session leads us to hope that some hearts and heads were reached by the truth. We cannot hope that all or even many of those who heard had an "ear to hear" or "an understanding heart"; but we do hope that audiences so remarkable for intelligence as were these of Glasgow received some thoughts respecting the divine plan of salvation which they will never forget, even though but few of them may be finally of the very elect who shall eventually as "overcomers" "make their calling and election sure." Quite a number of medical men were present, doubtless through respect to one of the brethren, who is a very prominent physician--a professor in the medical college here and one of the two chief surgeons in the Glasgow hospital.

Monday was spent with friends in the suburbs of Glasgow most delightfully, resting and attending to correspondence. In the evening we were joined by over sixty of the Glasgow Church, who spent three hours with us--a sociable and farewell visit which closed with prayer for the Lord's continued favor upon the Church here and upon us in our further journeying and ministering and upon all the dear Israel of God--known to us and unknown. The dear friends requested us to extend their greetings and hearty good wishes to the Allegheny Church and to all the "brethren of like precious faith." About 28 of the Glasgow friends intend an (80 miles) excursion to Edinburgh to visit the Church there at the time of our visit--there to bid us a final goodbye. They urge, however, that we come again when the seventh volume of DAWN shall have been prepared,--for we assured them that we could not at present consider it the Lord's will that we should make so long a journey until the DAWN series is completed. Having a day at our disposal, we have accepted an invitation north, at Dundee, prior to our Edinburgh engagements --Wednesday and Thursday, May 13 and 14. En route to the railway depot we met "Aunt Sarah," who wished us to visit her "shop," in the rear portion of which the Glasgow Church had its start in a Dawn Circle of about four to six persons. We took a cup of tea there and ate some of a fruit cake baked for us by another sister upon the first TOWER announcement of our visit. Some who could not come to Edinburgh gathered at the depot to bid us farewell (30). As the train started they were still singing-- "God be with you till we meet again." Our hearts [R3207 : page 183] and theirs were full. We remembered our Lord's promise in Matt. 19:29, and realized its fulfilment afresh. Praise his name!

At Dundee station we were met and heartily welcomed by six of the friends--just one-half of the total number interested. Sixty-one gathered for the one meeting which our time permitted there. Close attention was given us for two hours while we endeavored to show the exceeding riches of God's grace to usward, set forth in the Oath-bound Covenant. We hope later to know of some fruitage. We were most hospitably entertained and started early the following morning, May 13th, for Edinburgh.

We reached Edinburgh shortly after noon and were met at the station with a most cordial welcome by representatives of the Church. The grand city was in commotion and gala dress in honor of a state visit of the King; nevertheless our first evening session was well attended and close attention was given to our presentation of "The Oath-bound Covenant." The meeting on Thursday at 3 p.m. was chiefly for the deeply interested. Our topic was, "The Losses and Gains of Christ's Followers," from Phil. 3:7-14. Then followed a luncheon--sandwiches, cakes and tea --served by the Edinburgh Church and shared by nearly a hundred. Next came our closing public service, the topic being "Millennial Hopes and Prospects." At 9.45 we were at the railway station with a delegation of the local church to bid farewell to the 34 visiting Glasgow brethren and sisters. This was a general farewell and again "God be with you till we meet again" was sung with zest. We will never forget our Scotch brethren and their urgent request that we come again. As evidencing the zeal of dear friends here we mention that quite a number came as much as 400 miles journey to attend this convention; [R3208 : page 183] and one dear sister (from Shetland Islands, north of Scotland) when bidding us good-bye, said, "I am sure that not many came so far to see the King as I have come to meet you; I have travelled by land and sea for two days and two nights to get here, and now it will take two days and two nights to reach home again." We assured the dear sister of our deep appreciation of her Christian love, and that we accepted the compliment not personally, but as a mark of her love for the great King of kings, who has honored us in permitting us to dispense present truth-- the harvest message--now in its due time.

Faithfully, your brother and servant in the Lord,
CHARLES T. RUSSELL.



[R3208 : page 183]

THE APOSTLE PAUL AT ROME.
--ACTS 28:16-24,30,31.--JUNE 14.--

Golden Text.--"I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ."--Rom. 1:16.

DOUBTLESS the favorable impression made by the Apostle Paul upon the centurion who brought him prisoner to Rome--the evidence which the latter had on the journey, in the storm, in the shipwreck, and subsequently during the stay at Malta--combined with the favorable letter sent by Festus to Caesar explaining that the charges against the Apostle were evidently the results of religious hatred, etc., secured for him very different treatment from that usually accorded to prisoners sent to Rome. He was treated as a prisoner to the extent that he was continually chained to a guard, a Roman soldier, responsible for his appearance whenever demanded. These guards were changed every few hours, so that, on the whole, probably a considerable number of the garrison had personal contact with the Apostle, knew his manner of living most intimately, and many of them must have heard his teaching and preaching to the numbers of Jews and Christians who visited him. It is surmised, --not without grounds, we think,--that some of these soldiers, who were subsequently sent to Great Britain, carried the gospel thither. Certain it was that the Apostle's life was a living epistle which cannot have been without its effect, either for the blessing or the hardening of those with whom he came in contact--to some a savor of life unto life; to others a savor of death unto death--according as they received or rejected the knowledge and light. The same should be true of all the Lord's followers to the extent of their abilities and opportunities; each should let his light so shine as to glorify the Father. Business acquaintances, social friends, neighbors, relatives,--all should know exactly where we stand on all questions of righteousness, as well as what is the foundation for our faith and hopes.

We are informed that Paul dwelt in his own hired house--more properly apartments, not necessarily an entire building. The expenses of maintaining such a residence, where numbers of people could be invited, must have been considerable, and evidently the Apostle did not here continue his trade of tent-making. It is possible that his necessities were supplied by his friends at Rome and elsewhere: it is possible also that by this time, in the Lord's providence, he had inherited a considerable patrimony from his father's estate. The lesson in this particular is that God is able to supply all of our real needs in one way or another. It is for us to do with our might what our [R3208 : page 184] hands find to do, using our time and strength and talents in the Lord's service to the best of our judgment, and leaving all arrangements as well as results in his hand. No doubt it was to the Apostle's advantage that for a time he was left in penury and found it necessary to labor, working with his hands for life's necessities while he was preaching the good tidings. Thus he demonstrated his loyalty to the Lord, to the truth, to the brethren, to principle; and thus he set us an example along these lines which, doubtless, has since been profitable to many of the Lord's followers.

Paul had a considerable number of kinsmen and acquaintances in Rome, the number of whom we know was at least over thirty-two according to the salutations of his epistle written to them previously at Corinth. (Rom. 16:1-15.) Doubtless these were informed of the Apostle's arrival and visited him speedily. But our lesson calls our attention particularly to the Apostle's energy in seeking to be about the Master's business, --seeking to make known the good tidings to those who as yet had not heard it. Three days after his arrival in Rome he sent forth an invitation requesting the leading Jews there to visit him. We can learn a good lesson from this in harmony with the Apostle's words, "Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." Our chief business, like his, should be the Lord's service; the comfortable fixing of our abode and our fellowship with our friends and relatives should not occupy the most important part of our time. We should remember the Apostle's words, "This one thing I do"; and applying them to ourselves we should be "instant [unceasingly] in season and out of season [when convenient and when inconvenient to ourselves]" in our service of our Lord and his cause.

The Jews accepted the invitation and visited the Apostle: doubtless they came readily for several reasons. First, all the Jews residing in Rome had been subject to persecution, which had some three years previously driven Aquila and Priscilla from the city. This persecution had now to some extent abated, but doubtless it had left the hearts of the Jews in a much humbler condition than they would otherwise have been. Persecutions certainly have their value to the Lord's people; they help to make us tender-hearted, compassionate and sympathetic with others, as well as help to polish and develop us in Christian character. Secondly, the Jews were, doubtless, interested in a fellow-countryman in distress, and specially interested in one whom they found to be so peculiarly treated by the Roman government--one granted so great liberty as Paul enjoyed. The Lord's providence was certainly in this matter, and the Apostle's peculiar form of restraint was evidently favorable to the cause he represented. The Jews would certainly beware how they would raise a commotion against one who, though a prisoner, was treated with such consideration, and one who was under the direct protection of a soldier, and for violence to whom they would be directly responsible to Julius, who is supposed to have been the perfect of the Praetorium, or "captain of the guard," of that time--a man of good repute. It was while a prisoner in his own house that the Apostle found favorable opportunity for writing several of his epistles--to the Philippians, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Colossians. Doubtless the two years spent in prison in Caesarea were valuable to the Apostle himself, as giving him more abundant opportunity for further study of the divine plan than he could have enjoyed while engaged continually in the mission work. Now this added experience and grasp of the gospel found their expression in the epistles referred to, and were communicated to the Church at Rome. We should remember, too, that Rome was the very center of influence at that time, that from its influences radiated in every direction. Thus we see the Lord's guidance in the Apostle's affairs, and applying the lesson to ourselves it impresses upon us his assurance that "all things shall work together for good to those who love God, to the called ones according to his purpose." Consoled with this promise we can endure trials and disappointments, even though at the time we cannot see how such experiences will ever work good. Thus we learn that

"Faith can firmly trust him,
Come what may."

To the chief Jews who visited him the Apostle explained briefly the cause of the opposition of the Jews, the necessity of his appeal to Caesar and the assurance that he had naught whereof to accuse his own nation. His nobility of character is prominently before us at every turn of his affairs. How many less noble minds would have felt embittered against their own nation! How many would have charged the rulers of it in immoderate terms for their injustice, hypocrisy, etc.! We love the Apostle all the more because we discern in his course the true, noble, Christian spirit and principle. Let us seek to emulate his example, not only in respect to what we shall say of earthly laws and rulers, but let us also apply the same rule to all who seek to do us injury; let us not render evil for evil and railing for railing, but let us remember how it is written of our Lord that "when he was reviled he reviled not again."

Mark the wisdom of the Apostle in handling his subject: He not only showed no unkindness of sentiment toward those who had been the cause of his imprisonment, but he declared to his hearers that he was bearing his bondage because of the hope of Israel. He [R3209 : page 185] was not seeking for their sympathy; he was seeking to turn their hearts to the Lord. Hence, as soon as possible in his narrative he directed their attention to this central fact, that Israel had a hope, and that it was because of his loyalty to Israel and Israel's hope that he was suffering imprisonment.

Kindness often begets kindness (though not always), and the Jews responded in most considerate terms that they knew nothing against the Apostle and that they would be pleased to hear his story from his own lips. They admitted, however, that they had some prejudice against the doctrines he advocated because they had heard unfavorable reports concerning Christianity--that "everywhere it is spoken against."

The nearer we approach to the truth the more likely we are to find numerous enemies. Good men and bad men may have both friends and enemies, but it is reserved to the pure gospel and those who uphold it to be everywhere spoken against--to have few zealous friends outside its own little consecrated band; but it will not always be so. It is so now because we are still living in an epoch known spiritually as "this present evil world" (Gal. 1:4), and because Satan is the god of this world, who now worketh in the children of disobedience, blinding their eyes to the truth and constraining them to hate the light and oppose it. By and by Satan will be bound, and his deluded subjects will have the eyes of their understanding opened (Isa. 35:5; Rev. 20:1): "then shall ye return"--turn about-- see things from the divine standpoint, and discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not--discern a marked difference from the present time--that evil doers will suffer, and that those who do the will of the Lord will be greatly blessed and no longer be everywhere spoken against.

The Apostle did not attempt to preach the gospel at this first interview, but simply introduced himself and his message and made an appointment for a future meeting, at which, according to the Greek text, a great number gathered, to whom he expounded the matter, testifying the Kingdom of God and persuading them concerning Jesus--from morning until evening. We can imagine the substance of this long discourse: it evidently was along the same lines as our Lord's words to the two with whom he went to Emmaus after his resurrection, when he opened unto them the Scriptures --showing the types of the Law, the necessity for an antitypical sin-offering and the necessity for an antitypical Prophet, Priest and King; the predictions of the Prophets concerning these things; the words of David, of Isaiah, of Jeremiah, of Zechariah, Joel, etc., etc. Doubtless, too, the Apostle gave an account of the purity of our Lord's life and teachings, and narrated the facts proving his resurrection, and his own witness that the Lord was no longer a man, but a glorious being, whose presence when seen by the Apostle shone above the brightness of the sun at noonday. Doubtless, too, he pointed out the high calling of the Church, and that this opportunity for becoming spiritual Israel was accorded first of all to fleshly Israel; and that the Gentiles, nevertheless, according to the words of the prophets, would be called in to fill up, to complete the elect number that God had predestinated to this glory. Doubtless he showed that the call involved suffering, sacrifice and self-denial now on the part of those who would share in the glories of the heavenly Kingdom as it will be established at the second coming of Messiah, and the resurrection of the Church, which is his body.

As is always the case, the truth proved a separator, and we are not surprised to find that among those who were interested enough, and curious enough, to desire to hear the Apostle, some believed and some disbelieved. The truth in the harvest time of this age has a similar effect: it is a sickle which both gathers the wheat to the garner and separates the tares. Paul was not responsible for the effect of the truth upon his hearers. He earnestly desired to do them good, and used his very best endeavors to present the truth wisely, but the responsibility lay then with the hearers, not with Paul, nor with the Lord. It is the Lord's intention that the truth shall attract only the one class --the pure in heart, the Israelites indeed--and that it should separate and antagonize those who are not in the right condition of heart, but are moved even in their religious devotions by selfishness. So we find matters today; not all are ready for the present truth. Some who are noble and generous in many respects have a prejudice of mind, or heart, which hinders them from being able to receive the good tidings. With some it is love of the sect, or party, with which they are identified, and whose teachings must be more or less antagonistic to the truth because of the error they contain; with others the difficulty is the fear of man, which bringeth a snare--the fear of greater unpopularity and the realization that faithfulness to the Gospel of Christ would mean self-sacrifice. The Lord is using just such testings now as then to separate the wheat from the tares, the gold from the dross. We can not expect that he will do otherwise for us or for any, and our prayers and endeavors must be in the direction of thorough honesty with the Lord, with the brethren and with his truth--the love of the truth being above all things else. The Lord's declaration respecting the class that will fall in this time of testing is that he will send them strong delusion, that they will believe a lie, because they received not the truth in the love of it.--2 Thess. 2:10,11. [R3209 : page 186]

The good work thus promptly and thoroughly begun, we doubt not, was continued by the Apostle with fervency during the remainder of the two years he was a prisoner. He was not privileged to go out and make public discourses in Rome, for at that time the Emperor was not only the head of everything social and political, but also the ecclesiastical head of the world, and any new religion would be under special restraint in Rome, the seat of the imperial government. Hence, in all probability Paul's condition as a prisoner --at liberty to receive all who would come to him-- was the best not only for him, but for the cause he represented. We are reminded here that some are kept prisoners at home by family duties, or illness, or other bonds of obligation or necessity, and that where such conditions prevail the Lord's people should both pray and expect that the Lord would bring to them such as might be benefitted by their ministries of the truth. Let us each be zealous to use our opportunities, whether our advantages be great or small, and let us rely upon it that the Lord knows our condition and is able to change it according to his good pleasure and wisdom. Under the existing conditions, no one was able to forbid the Apostle, or to restrain him, from speaking with the utmost confidence and boldness the truths pertaining to the Lord Jesus and the Kingdom of God which he would establish at his second advent--the present Gospel age being for the selection and polishing and testing of those who will be joint-heirs with him in that Kingdom. Let us be faithful and let us see to it that our ministries, both public and private, be along these lines--that we do not permit any other gospel to take the place of this one which the Lord has committed to us. We note incidentally that we are living in a day of many gospels--the gospel of socialism, the gospel of health by proper living, the gospel of faith cures, mind cures, hypnotic cures, etc.; the gospel of various sciences; the gospel of the power of the will, etc., etc. Whatever their advocates may say about these gospels, let us remember that none of these is the gospel which the Lord and his apostles committed to us; let us inquire for the old paths and let us keep them faithfully until by and by we shall hear the Master's words, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord." Then we shall know as we are known; then we shall understand much better than the various theories of the present time could possibly instruct us. If we win the great prize it must be, in any event, at the cost of our present earthly lives; and, hence, the gospel of health is in some respects in direct antagonism to the gospel of sacrifice which we preach. By this we do not mean that the Lord's people should be negligent of health; but we do mean that it should in their estimation be so secondary to the gospel of God's dear Son and the glory to be attained through him and through association in his sacrifice, that earthly life and earthly health and earthly physical development should be loss and dross in comparison.

Here the narrative of the Apostle's work ends. Tradition tells us that the Apostle was liberated at the end of the two years; that he again visited the churches of Asia Minor and, subsequently, made a visit to Spain, preaching the gospel; and that later on he came to Rome again a prisoner without favor, and that he suffered martyrdom after spending a considerable time imprisoned in the Mamertine prison, a dread dungeon in Rome. Tradition says that his Roman citizenship saved him from crucifixion, and that he was, instead, decapitated. St. Paul's Cathedral at Rome is said to have been built near the site of his execution.

It was probably during this latter imprisonment that the Apostle wrote his epistles to Timothy and Titus, in one of which (2 Tim. 4:7,8) he declares, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also who love his appearing." As we note the noble character of this dear brother in the Lord, we all desire to emulate it and thus to be copies of the Lord Jesus. And now we have approached, we believe, close to the termination of the narrow way, close to the time when we hope to hear the Master's "Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Let us, therefore, be encouraged the more to buckle on tightly the armor, and to fight the good fight faithfully to the close, that we may with the Apostle share the crown of rejoicing which the Lord has promised to all who love him supremely--even unto death.



[R3210 : page 186]

PAUL'S CHARGE TO TIMOTHY.
--2 TIM. 3:14-4:8.--JUNE 21.--

"There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness."

A DREADFUL conflagration burst forth in the City of Rome a few months after Paul was set at liberty, which laid waste a large area of the city during the six days it continued. Nero, the Emperor, "enjoyed the dreadful sight from a turret of his palace, singing and dancing the mime of the 'burning of Troy' during the progress of the national catastrophe." It was rumored that Nero himself caused [R3210 : page 187] the fire, and to avert suspicion he had it charged to innocent Christians, of whom, it would appear, there was a considerable number by that time. Christians, being unpopular with their heathen as well as their Jewish neighbors, were made the scapegoats, and they suffered dreadfully. One very careful account says: "Multitudes of every age, of every sex, were arrested. They were slain with the sword; they were exposed in amphitheaters; they were covered with the skins of wild beasts to be torn to pieces by dogs; they were wrapped in sheets of pitch, tied to stakes and set on fire. Nero drove among the people in his chariot, lighted by the flare of these hideous human torches."

The Lord's faithful of today ought to be prepared to suffer similarly for the truth, whether called upon to do so or not. It seems improbable that anything so dreadful should occur in our enlightened day; and yet we have various Scriptural reasons for expecting that within ten years all who stand faithfully and boldly for the truth will suffer to a considerable extent--some of them quite probably even unto death. What charge could be brought against them? We answer, the same charge that could be brought against their brethren of Paul's day--they are unpopular; the world hates them; their loyalty to truth and principle will hinder them from being highly esteemed among men, and probably make them the scapegoat of evil-doers.

It was about two years after this conflagration and persecution that the Apostle was arrested, imprisoned, and, very shortly after, beheaded; and it was while waiting in his prison that he wrote his second epistle to Timothy, who was, apparently, at the time with the Church at Ephesus--where tradition says he remained until his own martyrdom, which probably occurred about thirty years later, in A.D. 96. Our lesson is based upon extracts from this letter to Timothy; it urges him with Mark to visit him at Rome, but he was beheaded before they reached there. The grandeur of the sentiments expressed, the confidence and hope, can be appreciated only when we remember the circumstances bearing upon the Apostle at the time they were written. Realizing that he had come to the end of his own course, he sought to impress as much as possible of his own spirit and zeal upon Timothy--that he might be the more faithful and efficient servant of God. The exhortation is specially applicable to all who seek in any manner to minister to others--and this really includes all of the Lord's people, each one of whom should be a living epistle showing forth and speaking forth the Lord's message as his ambassador. Let us each apply to himself the words of this lesson.

Timothy is first reminded of how great his privileges had been--that he was well born, under religious instruction from his infancy. He is reminded, too, in a most modest manner, of how he had received his understanding of the Scriptures through the Apostle, and had been assured that the instructions were of God-- that the Apostle spoke as an oracle of God; "He that heareth us, heareth God." The Apostle points to the Word of God as a great light, or lamp, able to make wise unto salvation. He must have referred chiefly to the Old Testament, since the New Testament was not yet completed; but no one will doubt that if the Old Testament is valuable for the instruction of the Lord's people, the New Testament is still more valuable as its key and elucidation. The Apostle's words give the thought that these divine instructions are for the purpose of making the Lord's people wise unto salvation, --of showing them how they may please God and be acceptable to him under the terms of his covenant. However, the Apostle carefully guards the matter by indicating that such wisdom cannot be unto salvation except through the faith that is in Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus must be recognized as the antitypical Prophet, Priest and King, and must have reverence and obedience as such to the extent of our ability, else there can be no salvation. Ours is not a gospel of works merely, but a gospel of faith, which acknowledges that we cannot perform the works which we recognize to be perfect, but must needs have the merit of our Redeemer imputed to us.

We live in a time when the Bible is more generally in the hands of the people than ever before, but in a time when its inspiration is more generally doubted than it has been for centuries. Only a short time ago the opponents of the Bible, Paine, Voltaire, Ingersoll, et al., were called infidels; but today its opponents and traducers are found in the majority of the pulpits of Christendom, and in the Professors' chairs of nearly all its colleges and seminaries. This recent view holds the Bible to be worthy of reverence because of its age, but not as a revelation from God; it places the Bible alongside of Shakespeare, and draws comparisons in favor of the latter; it attempts to question not only the inspiration of the book, but even its reliability as history. So virulent is this attack that the faith of all Christendom is being shaken to its foundation, and our expectation is that within ten years there will be a distinct cleavage between those who accept the Word of God and those who reject it, and that amongst those professing the name of Christian the unbelievers will be an hundred-fold more numerous than the believers. This will form a part of the great falling away predicted for that day: "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."

The best proofs respecting the inspiration of the Scriptures are to be found on the inside--in the divine plan of the ages which it records with such grand harmony. [R3210 : page 188] The trouble with the higher critics is that they do not see this internal evidence, but, on the contrary, have accepted the incongruous and unreasonable theories of the dark ages which misrepresent the real teachings of the Bible, and these higher critics are now showing the book (which they believe to be full of inconsistencies) from the outside--endeavoring to prove that it was not written by the people whose names are attached to its various parts. To those who see the divine plan which the book contains, these arguments of the higher critics respecting the authorship of the parts are of little weight; for it matters not to us who wrote the books, so long as we see they contain the elements of a divine plan so stupendously grand that we are confident no human mind conceived it or could have depicted it.

That the Apostle was a firm believer in the inspiration of the Scriptures is evidenced by his declaration, found in this lesson, to the effect that "all Scripture [holy writings] given by inspiration of God, is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for rebuke, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect [complete], thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

In harmony with this testimony of Paul respecting inspired writings, we have the words of the Apostle Peter assuring us that holy men of old spoke as they were moved by the holy spirit. (2 Pet. 1:21.) It seems difficult for some to understand how this inspiration could be, and yet the individuality of the writer be maintained. The matter, however, becomes very clear and simple when we consider that God was able to inspire the sentiments and leave much of the clothing of those sentiments to the judgment and taste and mannerism of the prophet, merely overruling where necessary to hinder any misstatement which might prove injurious, and to secure an exactly proper statement of a necessary item.*

*We refer the reader to MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., especially to Chap. 3, "The Bible as a Divine Revelation, Viewed in the Light of Reason."

How true are the Apostle's words that the teachings of this wonderful book are profitable! What other book ever so inspired us with hopes and joys eternal, and of newness of life in order to attain this? What other book ever proved valuable to so large a number for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness? --None. The value of all other books is in proportion to their fidelity to the teachings of this Book of books. What is true of teachers is true also of books written by teachers: "If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them."-- Isa. 8:20.

Not only can no man of God be "complete and thoroughly furnished unto every good work" without the assistance of the Bible, but it is admitted even by worldly men that no man's education is complete without a considerable knowledge of this wonderful Book. The Lord's people who are growing in grace and in knowledge are daily becoming more convinced of their need of the instructions which flow from this Book, by whatever silver tongues and helping hands of explanatory writings the interpretation may come.

After thus laying down the foundation of Timothy's established faith, and after thus urging him to abide, or continue, in those things which he had learned, the Apostle proceeds to deliver his dying charge. He sets the matter forth in a most solemn form, according to the Greek--"I adjure thee [I most solemnly urge upon you, therefore] before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom." We may accept these urgent words from the Apostle as applicable to ourselves. We, also, stand before God; we, [R3211 : page 188] also, are trusting in his favor for eternal life; we, also, are adopted into his family, and as sons are hoping to have such experiences as will fit and prepare us for the glorious things the Father has promised to them that love him. We, also, have respect to the Lord Jesus and his appearing and Kingdom--hoping to have a share with him in those future glories and grand opportunities. We, also, remember that that Kingdom is to judge the world, and to judge the fallen angels--the latter, the quick, the living, who have never passed into death, but are restrained by chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day; the former, the race of mankind to which we belong by nature, children of wrath even as others, all of whom are dead, under sentence of death. Hoping for a share in all these glorious privileges, what manner of persons ought we to be! Let us hearken to the charge further:--

"Preach the Word!" All of the Lord's people are teachers; as it is written, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good tidings," etc. This anointing of the spirit which came upon our Lord, the Head of the Church, comes down to, and covers every member of the body, anointing each one similarly to preach the good tidings, the Word of God's grace and mercy and peace through Jesus--to all who have an ear to hear. The Christian washerwoman is to preach this message; so is the Christian business man and laborer and housewife, each according to his opportunities--and there are surely some opportunities for all. All should be able to show forth the praises of him who hath called us "out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9); --should be living epistles known and read of all men. We are to consider the preaching of the Word [R3211 : page 189] to be the chief business of life, and the earning of a living and keeping ourselves in comfort to be secondary and incidental to the one vocation to which we are called of the Lord. He who would hold back the word of truth must surely do so for a reason, and the reason cannot be a proper one. If he has received the truth in the love of it, he will love to tell it forth; and any restraint will, therefore, indicate either that he is subject to the fear of man or ashamed of the Lord and his Word; and the Master has declared that such are not fit for the Kingdom--not fit to be of the Bride class, whatever else they may be fit for.--Luke 9:62.

"Be instant in season and out of season." This cannot mean that we are to violate the laws of reason and decency by intruding the good tidings upon others at times inconvenient and unseasonable to them; but it does mean that we are to have such a love for the truth, such an earnest desire to serve it, that we will gladly accept the opportunity to do so, however inconvenient it may be for ourselves. It is the chief business of our lives, to which life itself even is subservient, and hence, no opportunity for service must be laid aside.

"Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine." This part of the exhortation is not alike applicable to all; too many feel at liberty to reprove and to rebuke. Doubtless many need reproofs and many need rebukes, but how few are able to administer these to profit and not to injury! The Apostle addressed these words in a particular sense to Timothy as an experienced elder in the Church of Christ, and to some extent an overseer amongst the elders. It would be a great mistake to apply these words in general, and for each of the Lord's people to see to what extent he could administer reproofs and rebukes to his brethren. Rather should sympathy go out to such an extent that reproofs and rebukes would be avoided, except as duty, because of responsibility in the Church of God, should necessitate this. Even so experienced an elder and overseer as Timothy must see to it that his reproving and rebuking and exhorting should be done with all longsuffering--with patience, gentleness and forbearance, and with doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2); showing clearly wherein the principles of righteousness were infringed and pointing out distinctly the Word of the Lord concerning the same. This duty still rests upon those who occupy places of prominence in the Church to which they have in the Lord's providence been appointed; and in proportion as they are filled with the Lord's spirit of love and gentleness and meekness and patience and forbearance, they will strive to perform this delicate and unpleasant business of reproving and rebuking, where necessary, in most modest language and under the most favorable conditions.

Without knowing how long it would be from his day until the harvest, the end of the age, the Apostle did know distinctly from the Scriptures that a great falling away would come and that the end of the age would be a period of special trial amongst the Lord's people, when every man's work would be tested; as he elsewhere wrote, "The fire of that day shall prove every man's work of what sort it is." In verses 3 and 4 of our lesson he describes the conditions which prevail today in the nominal churches. The time has come when sound doctrine is not endured, when the faithful ministers of the Word are considered back numbers, and when up-to-date higher critics are wanted for all the high-salaried pulpits. The Revised Version says, "Having itching ears will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts [desires], and will turn away their ears from the truth and turn aside unto fables." How true to the facts! In scarcely any of the pulpits of Christendom are the truths of God's Word set forth. The great mass of preaching is largely composed of anecdotes or delineations of science, often falsely so called, or essays on politics, social uplift, etc. The preaching of the Lord is obsolete because the hearts of men have been turned largely from the Word of God to the great Adversary's deceptions--putting darkness for light and misrepresenting the Bible through the creeds of the various churches.

But what should be the attitude of the true soldier of the Cross at such a time? The faithful ministers of the truth, whether they teach merely by example or precept, or by the printed page or orally,--what should be their attitude? It is clearly pointed out by the Apostle saying, "Watch thou in all things, endure affliction [suffer hardships], do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry"--demonstrate what you have professed and what you know to be the truth, that you are a servant of God and not of man, that you are loyal as an ambassador of the great King in delivering none other than the message he sends.

As clinching this earnest appeal for faithfulness to the Word of the Lord, the Apostle refers to himself-- that he must give up the fight; that the end of his life course was apparently in sight; the time of his departure from life was at hand. How we can rejoice that he could and did write the burning words of verses 7 and 8, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith," etc. As we glance through the Apostle's history we concur with his judgment, and see that he was not boasting; but was a faithful follower in the footsteps of Jesus; that he did make a good fight for right, for principle, for truth, for the Lord against sin and selfishness; that notwithstanding its narrowness and ruggedness, he did run faithfully over the course from the time that he started in [R3211 : page 190] it; that he did keep the faith to the close, at the cost of self-denial, of self-sacrifice, hardships and persecutions. And here we must remember that keeping the faith is not merely keeping it in us, but is in the sense of faithfully declaring it; for whoever does not declare the good tidings to others will soon lose the faith himself. Let us press along the line toward the same mark for the same prize of joint-heirship with the Lord; and if when we come to the close of life we can say, as did the Apostle, that we have fought well all along the course and kept the faith, the Lord will not say to us that we did not do as much as the Apostle Paul or as much as the Lord Jesus, but having done what we could, having been faithful in the few things and in the small talents entrusted to us, we will hear the welcome words, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord."

These joys of the Lord the Apostle refers to as a crown of righteousness. The Apostles James and John speak of the same crown and call it the crown of life. (Jas. 1:12; Rev. 2:10), and the Apostle Peter speaking of the same calls it the crown of glory. (1 Pet. 5:4.) The thought at the bottom of each of these expressions is evidently the same; namely, the custom in olden times of running races and the giving of a crown to the successful runner at the end of the course. As it was not sufficient to enter a race, or start to run, but it was required that the race be run faithfully and perseveringly to a conclusion, so with this race which we are running as followers of Jesus, it is essential not only that we shall make consecration to the Lord, but that we persevere to the end, and our reward will be the crown of life in the sense that we will get life on the highest plane, inherent life, immortality. It will be a crown of righteousness in the sense that only those who are approved of God as righteous will thus be rewarded and glorified; and our hope is, therefore, that we may be accepted in the Beloved; that the righteousness of the Lord may be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit; and that the rewards which God has promised to those who love him and serve him will be granted to us. The crown of glory is another name for the same grand reward--the glory of the Kingdom, the glory of immortality, the glory of the Father's favor, the glory of being joint-heirs with Christ in his Kingdom.

The Apostle declares that his crown is laid up for him; he did not claim to possess it at the time, except by faith, and he had never seen it except by the eye of faith. This laying up of crowns is an expressive figure. The Scriptural thought seems to be that when justified [R3212 : page 190] believers make a full consecration to the Lord and are accepted as members of the body of Christ, their names are written in the Lamb's book of life, and crowns are set apart for them. If they are faithful their names will never be blotted out and their crowns will never be given to others, but if unfaithful others will be permitted to take their places upon the roll of honor and attain to their inheritance to the crown, their share in the Kingdom.--Rev. 3:11; Rev. 3:5.

The Lord, the righteous Judge, will determine the matter of unworthiness for the crowns. The Apostle's language elsewhere in this letter seems to imply that some who did have confidence in him had lost their confidence, and in the heat of trial had deserted him. "At my first defense no one took my part,


PETER AND PAUL.

"In the Vatican library at Rome is preserved a bronze medal with the heads of Peter and Paul, which was found in the cemetery of Domitilia, one of the Flavian family, and if genuine is no doubt the earliest portraiture known of the two great apostles. The medal is referred to the close of the first century or the beginning of the second, and at this early period the features of the two apostles must have been faithfully preserved. Both heads are full of character, and that of Paul in particular is distinguished by solemnity and dignity, and the thoughtful and wrinkled brow indicates the high intellect that so remarkably characterized the man."


but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their charge." (2 Tim. 4:16.) He here intimates that he cannot even accept the judgment of the brethren respecting his faithfulness, but that he has appealed his case in the fullest sense of the word to the great Lord and Judge who shall finally determine these matters for him and for all. He is a righteous Judge and, therefore, will not condemn any who are seeking, to the best of their ability, to serve and praise him. He will approve such, but being a righteous Judge none may venture to hope that he will approve that which is evil, unrighteous, unfaithful; hence, if our hearts condemn us not we may have peace with God.

The Apostle was not expecting his crown of righteousness, the crown of life, the crown of glory, at the moment of death; but pointed Timothy forward to the [R3212 : page 191] second coming of Christ, and the general giving of rewards, as the Lord has promised, "at that day." We rejoice to believe that we are living "in that day," and hence that the Apostle is no longer waiting, but has received his crown during this harvest time, and we expect that those who are now alive and remain need not wait, but that when the hour of death shall come to them there will be no need of sleeping to wait for a future time, but the death change will mean the immediate entrance into the glorious conditions referred to by the Apostle.

The Apostle distinctly points out that although he, with the other apostles, occupied a high position in the Church of Christ, this did not signify that only the Lord and the apostles were to be crowned as victors; on the contrary, he includes all of the faithful ones of this Gospel age; saying that the crown of righteousness is not for him only, but "for all those who love his appearing." Ah! the loving of his appearing is indeed a close test, whether applied now or in the Apostle's day! The Apostle himself could not have looked forward with joy to the day of Christ's revelation in Kingdom power and glory, if he had not felt that he had fought a good fight and kept the faith courageously; and so it must be with all others who have named the name of Christ and started to run in this Gospel race for the heavenly prize. If they are overcharged with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches in any sense, they will put far from them the thought of the Lord's presence and Kingdom; they will not be looking for it and longing for it; they will not be loving it. Those who love the Lord's appearing must of necessity love the Lord himself, and this will mean that the love of Christ will constrain them to endeavor to serve him and those who are his. John Calvin remarks, "Paul excludes from the number of the faithful those to whom Christ's coming is a source of terror."



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QUARTERLY REVIEW.
--JUNE 28.--

Golden Text: "The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom."--2 Tim. 4:18.

IT will, undoubtedly, be advantageous to us to glance back in review over the wonderful experiences covered by the Sunday School lessons of the ending quarter. They extend over a period of about thirty years--from the resurrection of Jesus to the end of Paul's imprisonment in Rome, about A.D. 62. The dominating thought through these lessons is the earnestness of the early Church in the service of the Lord, that earnestness being based upon the strong conviction that Christ's death had been the redemption-price for mankind; that the Church was now being called out to be members with Christ in his Kingdom; that the necessary experiences for participation in the Kingdom would be such loyalty to the Lord and to the truth and to the brethren as, under present conditions of sin, would lead to suffering and self-sacrifice on the part of all the faithful; and that the Kingdom to be especially for the blessing of all the families of the earth would bring to the faithful suffering ones of this present time, glory, honor and immortality, which would much more than compensate them for every sacrifice, every trial and every sorrow.

Another of the important lessons of this quarter, repeatedly clinched in the various experiences of the Apostle Paul, is expressed clearly in the Golden Text-- namely, the Lord's ability to deliver his people from all the machinations of the Adversary and his blind emissaries. He who was faithful in the Apostle's case is none the less so today in respect to our affairs. Furthermore, the Golden Text suggests to us the very happifying thought that our Lord is not only able to deliver us from all these human enemies and from the Adversary, but that he is able also to preserve us from the last enemy--death. The Apostle at the time of writing these words was in almost hourly expectation of martyrdom--that he would go down into the portals of the tomb--yet he had confidence in the Lord that he would not leave his soul in Hades; he had confidence in our glorious hopes in respect to all the members of the Church, expressed in the words, "The gates of hell [Hades--the state of death] shall not prevail against it." The grave has prevailed against the Church, not only against the great Head of the flock, but against all the members of his body, and the Adversary has seen to it that many of them came to death ignominiously, as malefactors, as deceivers, although true. But we have the Lord's assurance for it that this was not the end--that in due time, in the resurrection morning, all who have gone down into death will be delivered; that he, the Son of Man, would take unto himself his great power, and open the prison doors and set at liberty the captives of death, his own loved ones being the first to participate in the First Resurrection to glory, honor and immortality, and then being used of him as his co-laborers in the great work of delivering all the captives of the tomb, bringing all to the knowledge of the truth, and permitting as many as will to come back to life everlasting, perfection.

In this way the Apostle expected the Lord to preserve him, to keep him unto his heavenly Kingdom: he had no thought of death being an utter extinguishment of life; he had full confidence in the resurrection promise, and that the Lord was able to keep that which he had committed unto him against that day--that [R3213 : page 191] glorious Millennial morning--that glorious resurrection morning when the Kingdom would be established, and when the blessings of the Lord would be conferred first upon his faithful, as shown in the parables, and that subsequently all the families of the earth should be blessed through that Kingdom.--Matt. 25:1-30; Luke 19:11-27.



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