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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXV.AUGUST 1, 1904.No. 15.


CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower227
Mixing Worldliness and Godliness227
The Vanishing Sense of Sin227
Chinese View of Christian Civilization228
Russian Peoples in Ferment229
Fear Not, O Zion!229
"Go, Ye Swift Messengers!"230
"If the Lord be God, Follow Him"232
Out of Babylon the Great (poem)235
"Faint Not Because of Evil Doers"235
Interesting Questions Answered238

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

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

page 226

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




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"MILLENNIAL DAWN READERS MEET," ETC.


The Cleveland friends inform us that in their announcements of meetings in the daily papers they have long been in doubt as to how to mention their meetings. Lately they have adopted the above style with good results.

We can see the advantages in it. (1) Those who have read the DAWNS will know at once what it means. (2) Some who have the DAWNS but have neglected reading them may be aroused to investigate them. People like to go where others are going and to read what others are reading.

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.



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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

MIXING WORLDLINESS AND GODLINESS.


THE secular press informs the world that recently The Pastime Club of Knightsville, Ind., was opened by prayer by the pastor of the Methodist Church of that place--as a compromise with the young folks who were members of his church and also of the club. The pastor and older members attended the dance to see that the "fun" did not go too far, and to stop it if it did. "There was no interruption."

Three days later, in the basement of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Toledo, Ohio, a different kind of "fun" was witnessed. The press account says:--

"The participants were Clark Crawford and Edward Gendon, two local boxers of some note, and the affair was given under the direction of the Young Men's Club of the church. William Parker acted as referee and declared the fight a draw at the end of the third round, but it was in fact "a fight to a finish," as neither one of the fighters would have been able to have finished the bout. While the authorities of the church had given their consent to an athletic entertainment, they were surprised this afternoon to learn that the fight had been the fiercest ever held in Toledo. Another six round bout was given, aside from two wrestling matches."


***

We mention these matters, not by way of intimating that no godly people remain in these churches, nor in the denominations which they represent, but as illustrations of the misconception of what a church is and what its mission in the world is.

Under the impression that eternal torment is the future portion of all not in some manner connected with "some church," goodness of heart, benevolence, constantly suggests greater and greater compromises to secure the interest and attendance of young men and women. To get the unconverted interested at all requires worldly attractions, and hence every concession is made that conscience will allow, and some that it does not approve but "winks at."

The lack of a knowledge of God's great plan for the world's salvation, and of his separate and distinct plan for the selection and salvation of the "little flock," the Church, first, has warped all judgment, and is rapidly devitalizing all the denominations of Christendom. Should we labor to combat these worldly tendencies? No, it would be useless: it is the logical result of the errors of doctrine. The whole system--"Christendom"--is full of worldlings: many of them very moral and respectable, but thoroughly unregenerate, unconverted,--ignorant of the principles of Christianity and inclined to regard the few "saints" as fanatics.

The divine plan is the one we should follow--the one with which we should cooperate. God declares that "Christendom," "Babylon," is rejected and now calls on all who are Israelites indeed, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues."--Rev. 18:3.

THE VANISHING SENSE OF SIN.


Evolution doctrines and "higher criticism" of the Bible have for years been gradually impressing upon the people that there was no original sin in Eden--no fall from righteousness into the horrible pit and miry clay of sin. Their teaching is that men were at first close akin to monkeys and have been grandly climbing upward. This seed is bringing forth fruitage throughout Christendom, and especially amongst the more intelligent. Let us quote the words of Rev. R. F. Coyle at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, recently held in Buffalo, N.Y. He said:--

"Not only are they largely alienated from the [R3403 : page 228] Church, but from alienation they have passed to animosity. Next to this, one can but note the drift of the people in general away from lofty ideals. It is something that should give us pause when conservative journals and conservative public men are constrained to characterize this as an 'age of graft.' Warnings have recently sounded out from both pulpit and bench against the money madness of our times. The President of the United States, in view of the public land frauds and postal peculations, has been forced to say, '"Government of the people, by the people, and for the people" will perish from the earth if bribery is tolerated.' A distinguished prelate of the Roman Catholic Church declares that of all our sins as a people that of dishonesty is most pronounced.

"Linked to this (the fading out of conviction), its fruitage indeed is the vanishing sense of sin. It is winked at and glossed over and condoned. There are no sinners any longer, and especially in the high places of respectability. If there are any lost people, they are down in the slums."


***

Another matter which assists in the causing of a realization of sin to vanish from the public conscience is the fact that the creeds unscripturally uphold the thought that the wages of sin is eternal torment. And since the meanest specimens of humanity are instinctively recognized as too good for such a fate, the only rational course left is to depict as sin only the most brutal conduct.

Thus does error act and react injuriously, lowering the moral standard, universally and increasingly. Only the Truth sanctifies. "Sanctify them through thy Truth," was our Master's prayer.

THE DIFFERENCE AND THE REASON FOR IT.


Four Protestant ministers--D.D.'s--recently participated in the dedication of a Jewish synagogue at Columbus, Ohio. All of them made felicitous remarks. One of them, Dr. Lewis, amongst other things, said: "He believed that all creeds should strive together for the abolition of atheism and idolatry. The combination would be invincible. In the past the Jewish creed was strong for the right; in the future it would be strong for right in union with the religions that were followers of Jesus Christ."

Such utter blindness to the fundamentals of Christianity is truly lamentable. The essence of this statement is that any kind of a religion will do except idolatry.

And yet every one of these gentlemen would oppose the real gospel message of the Bible, whose foundation is the "ransom for all" and an opportunity for every child of Adam to learn of the only name given under heaven and among men whereby we must be saved. Every one of them would denounce MILLENNIAL DAWN. Why? Because they are blinded by error; because "the darkness hateth the light."

A CHINESE VIEW OF CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION.


"A remarkably keen and trenchantly written characterization of Western civilization from an Oriental point of view has been published in a little book entitled, 'Letters from a Chinese Official' (McClure, Phillips). While originally written for an English hearing, the significance of these letters (the anonymous author believes) 'should appeal with a peculiar force to Americans.' Their interest, he says, and justly, depends, 'not upon topical allusions, but upon the whole contrast suggested between Eastern and Western ideals. And America, in a preeminent degree, is representative of the West....What is at stake in the development of the American republic is nothing less than the success or failure of Western civilization.'

"It is not flattering to Occidentals, the comparison drawn between the two civilizations by this Chinaman, who contends that Eastern 'profound mistrust and dislike' of Western ideals are based upon reason. The antiquity of Asiatic civilization, he says, has given a stability to its institutions not found in the West,--it 'embodies a moral order, while in yours we detect only an economic chaos.' 'You profess Christianity, but your civilization has never been Christian; whereas ours is Confucian through and through....Among you, no one is contented, no one has leisure to live, so intent are all on increasing the means of living....We of the East measure the degree of civilization, not by accumulation of the means of living, but by the character and value of the life lived....And we would not if we could rival you in your wealth, your sciences and your arts if we must do so at the cost of imitating your institutions. [R3404 : page 228] ...While we recognize the greatness of your practical and scientific achievements, yet we find it impossible unreservedly to admire a civilization which has produced manners so coarse, morals so low and an appearance so unlovely as those with which we are constantly confronted in your great cities.'

"Irony of ironies--it is the nations of Christendom that have come to teach us by fire and sword that Right in this world is powerless unless it be supported by Might! Oh, do not doubt that we shall learn the lesson! And woe to Europe when we have acquired it! You are arming a nation of four hundred millions! --a nation which, until you came, had no better wish than to live at peace with themselves and all the world. In the name of Christ, you have sounded the call to arms! In the name of Confucius, we respond!" --Review of Reviews.

AN UNFORTUNATE GERMAN.


We clip the following from the daily press:--

"A sharp watch over the tongue is necessary in Germany nowadays, where a careless remark easily brings the speaker under the heavy hand of the law. A workman attending his father's funeral not long ago was overcome with grief as he turned away from the grave and sobbed out: 'Farewell! We shall never meet again!' His words were reported to a magistrate, who summoned the workman for an outrage against public morals by denying the immortality of [R3404 : page 229] the soul and sentenced him to fifteen days' imprisonment."


***

The above does not surprise us. Indeed it would not surprise us if similar conditions should yet prevail in these United States. The trend is in that direction, and once the federation of churches is more positively effected, much more arbitrary proceedings may be looked for.

RUSSIAN PEOPLES IN A FERMENT.


News of internal conditions in Russia are difficult to obtain because of the rigid censorship by the Government. Some things leak out, however, which indicate that the great empire composed of various peoples, all more or less oppressed and maltreated, are greatly disaffected and hoping that Russian reverses in the far East may somehow result in their greater liberty--either through a general insurrection or through compelling a more liberal government. The London Standard says:--

"There is a general similarity in the intelligence from all parts concerning the exceptional activity of the secret police, and the frequent disappearances of persons presumably suspected of implication in political plots. In Kronstadt, where an attempt is reported to have been made to injure the forts, there have also been executions under military law. In Moscow recently an eye witness reports that eighty coffins, under military escort, were taken out of the town at dead of night by an unfrequented road which was picketed with soldiers, and buried, presumably in the woods, where soldiers had previously been observed maintaining an inviolable cordon. There is a nervous feeling in the very air, and even the most sober-minded are drawing ominous conclusions from the significant fact that the regiments stationed in European Russia are being retained in their places, and only the reservists called up under the mobilization orders are being forwarded to the front."

A SOCIALIST BISHOP.


Addressing a big congregation of men at Blackburn yesterday on social delusions, Bishop Thornton, vicar of Blackburn, and formerly Bishop of Ballarat, referring to the submerged masses said it was inconceivable that God sent men into the world to exist under such conditions.

A great shaking of the social system was impending, but no remedy would last which divorced sacred from secular things. No wise man could possibly help being both a socialist and a Christian.

He wanted the possession of land and money treated as a trust, the gradual taxation of wealth for the common good, and municipal life slowly and wisely extended, particularly in regard to intemperance and the housing of the people.--Daily Express, London.



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FEAR NOT, O ZION!

IN a recent issue we showed that the universal anarchy should not be expected before October, 1914 A.D. We have recently heard of two dear brethren who, not grasping the subject very clearly, got the impression that we in that article were declaring, "My Lord delayeth his coming." Other new readers, not well informed, may possibly need a further word to show them that neither the time of the coming of our Lord, nor of the establishment of his Kingdom, are in any degree involved in the date of the final anarchy.

Our Lord's presence, as shown in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., dates from October, 1874, where the forty years' harvest began, of which he is the great Chief Reaper. The date for the final anarchy in no sense affects it. April, 1878, marks the date of the establishment of the Kingdom, as shown in the same volume. At that date was due the resurrection of the sleeping saints who died "overcomers." Thus the establishment of the Kingdom commenced: it has since progressed as one after another of the same class have since died and been "changed" in the moment of death. The Kingdom will be fully established or "set up" by October, A.D. 1914, as already pointed out; for that date closes the forty years of "harvest" and accomplishes its design--the gathering of all the wheat into the garner of the heavenly condition.

The separating of the "tares" is now in progress while the "wheat" is being garnered, but the symbolical burning of the "tares" should not be expected until the wheat is all safe in the "garner." Our Lord, addressing the wheat class, says,--"Watch ye that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all those things coming upon the world [including the "tares"] and to stand before the Son of Man."--Luke 21:36.

But while the "wheat" class may thus expect to escape the world's trouble, it will have its own trouble before; for "judgment must begin with the house of God." (I Pet. 4:17.) And speaking of this, the Church's judgment, the Apostle declares: "Every man's work shall be tried so as by fire," etc. (I Cor. 3:13.) From some of the presentations of Revelation we are inclined to the belief that when Church-federation shall have enabled it to considerably control politicians it may again be the privilege of some of the "members" to again suffer violent deaths for their loyalty to the Truth. But this will not be severe experience for those who, like the apostles, rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for the name and cause of our Lord. "Rejoice and be exceeding glad, [R3405 : page 230] for so persecuted they the prophets before you," are our Master's words.

So then, dear friends, it is evident that the coming of universal anarchy after the "harvest," after October 1914 A.D., has nothing whatever to do with either the presence of the Reaper or the setting up of his Kingdom. Indeed, the guidance and overruling of that anarchy will be under the control of the glorified Church--the Christ. Thus those days of anarchy will be shortened and not permitted to go on to their reasonable end--a general strife, "every man's hand against his brother"--which would in the end mean "no flesh saved." On the contrary, the glorified Christ will permit the trouble to go only so far as to teach the world a great lesson: that its rule of selfishness means in the end destruction--to be devoured one of another. It too will teach the foolishness of human boastings in re present wisdom, civilization, etc.

Just another word on this subject. We find that some have concluded that because anarchy destroyed the Jewish nation in the one year following their "harvest," therefore we should expect that the one year, from October 1914 to October 1915, following the Gospel age "harvest," would measure the period of universal anarchy coming. We cannot agree to this conclusion, because the type or parallel goes [R3406 : page 230] no further than the end of the forty years' "harvest" in both cases--October 69, where the year A.D. 70 began, and October 1914, where the year 1915 A.D. will begin (Jewish reckoning). The anarchy period lies entirely outside of any dates or reckonings furnished us. It may be one year or more. The "elect" are not to be in it, and as for their interest in friends who may experience its sorrows we now know our Father's character and plan so well that we dare trust our friends as well as ourselves to his loving care, assured that God's provisions will be the wisest and best.



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"GO, YE SWIFT MESSENGERS!"

SEVERAL inquiries and suggestions have been sent to us lately respecting the interpretation of Isaiah 18th chapter. One of these, from our dear Pilgrim-Brother Barton, seems remarkable in several respects. The below interpretation is his, elaborated a little. It will be interesting to all of our readers, and if flaws or objections occur to any of you, we will be pleased to have them called to our attention. We are anxious to set before the Lord's family all that the Master provides as "meat in due season," yet we hesitate specially when the interpretation seems to bring into prominence the work of our Society. We must not, however, shun to declare the whole counsel of God. We submit the following as the most reasonable interpretation known to us of the chapter in question.

The latter part of the chapter--verses 3 to 7-- seem to apply to our day only, thus justifying a similar application of verses 1 and 2. In other words, it is evidently proper for us to expect a fulfilment of this prophecy at the present time. Whatever it refers to, we should be able to discern now or soon, as applicable to events now transpiring.

The first word of the chapter, "Woe," should more properly be translated "Ho!" Thus Prof. Young's translation reads, "Ho! to the land shadowed with wings." This is by many supposed to refer to the United States of America, and the wings are supposed by some to represent the eagle wings so conspicuous on its coins, seals, bank-notes, etc., in its emblem of liberty. To us, however, the wings would more particularly symbolize divine providence caring for this land. Bible students will remember that God frequently uses the eagle and its wings as symbolical of divine care and protection. True, the promise "He shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust" (Psa. 91:4), is not made to the United States nor to any earthly nation, but to the Church, the "holy nation": nevertheless, in a sense the affairs of earthly nations are supervised in the interest of the "peculiar people" whom God is now gathering out of all nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues to be the Bride of Christ.

Glance briefly at the facts. This favored land was unknown to civilization, kept hidden, as it were, until the due time--until it was needed as a home, an outlet for the rapidly overcrowding masses of Europe. More than this, it opened at a time when the Reformation movement was agitating "Christendom" so called, when the study of the Bible was awakening conscience and character and Christian common sense. The awakened class was not generally the rich or the titled or the very comfortable, neither was it the very degraded and ignorant and helplessly poor, but the middle class of European society. These did the thinking and the protesting, and in turn endured the suffering under the persecution engendered. And these were the ones who needed an asylum and who found one in this land shadowed, cared for, by the "wings" of divine providence.

What has been true of the "Pilgrim fathers" and their reasons for settlement here has been true also of others. Of course all have not fled from religious persecution. On the contrary, the majority [R3404 : page 231] have sought a new home for the betterment of their temporal interests. But were not even these seeking escape from social and financial oppressions more or less burdensome? Although many feared the influx of so many of the middle and lower classes, yet natural laws and legislation have hindered the coming of the most degraded; and under divine providence the assimilating process has kept pace with the immigration, so that the vast improvement in the manners and appearance is phenomenal, and suggests to us what may be expected on a still broader and deeper scale under the blessed "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began."-- Acts 3:19-21.

Look, too, at the history of this nation. We are far from claiming that it is perfect: we can see much room for improvement in every direction, and are willing to admit that Americans can still learn some things from other parts of the world--particularly from Great Britain; nevertheless no other nation on earth has such a history. We, as Christians, are opposed to war on general principles, and yet we must acknowledge that some causes of war are more just than others, and of this more just class the wars of the United States seem to have been. True, selfishness has its firm hold upon all the people, and no doubt certain ignoble aims have actuated some of the people in connection with these wars, yet in general, as wars go, they have been, so far as the masses were concerned, just wars--wars having some apparent necessity and not undertaken purely for conquest. In every instance the victory has been with this favored nation, and in no instance has she treated the vanquished ignobly. On the contrary, millions of money were paid to Mexico and Spain when it need not have been paid, but large indemnities might have been forced.

The prosperity of this land is so phenomenal as to be the constant surprise of the world. The poor from all nations have become the wealthiest nation on earth. And, whatever may yet become true, under the changing conditions by which the trusts are [R3405 : page 231] obtaining so great a control, this land hitherto has certainly been well illustrated by the statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World" in the harbor of New York City--the gift of that clear-sighted Frenchman, Bartholdi. The great truth thus symbolized is appreciated by but few, however. Few see that the influence of liberty in the United States has been a potent factor in breaking the shackles of serfdom throughout the world. The practical illustration of people governing themselves so successfully, so prosperously, excited the admiration and the envy of their relatives and friends in every part of Europe, and led to the concession of greater liberties everywhere. Great Britain long gave partial suffrage to her people, but only recently, under that influence of Liberty enlightening the world, she gave universal suffrage. The same was the lesson and its results in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Austria and elsewhere in Europe. Even Russia liberated her serfs and will yet be forced by the increasing light to give her people the ballot. On the whole, then, dear friends, we say that no other land could so well lay claim to being shadowed or protected by the wings of divine providence as can these United States--including Canada, really the same people in character, in interest, in freedom, in prosperity, and in divine favor.

"BEYOND THE RIVERS OF ETHIOPIA."

This is the second statement of the prophecy. In ancient times little was known of the world's size, etc., and Ethiopia was called "the ends of the earth." As for instance, the Queen of Sheba came from Ethiopia, "from the ends of the earth," to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Interpreting the text from this standpoint it would mean: "beyond the waters of the ends of the earth"--a very fitting manner in which to describe America, as yet unknown and not intended to be pointed out particularly at that time. We have, then, the prophecy thus: "Ho! to the land shadowed by wings [divine providences], which is beyond the waters of the ends of the earth." And the next declaration is,--"That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even upon the waters,

IN VESSELS OF BULRUSHES."

No one ever heard of a vessel of "bulrushes," or rather (literally) of "papyrus" or paper as the Revised Version renders the word. Are we to expect the fulfilment of this prophecy in the future--that the steamships of the future will be built of paper? We think not. The tendency is rather toward greater strength, so that wooden vessels are rapidly giving place to those built of steel. Rather we should interpret the language as symbolical--as representing books and tracts going out in every direction bearing messages as God's ambassadors to all who have an ear to hear their message. By these paper-messages, these divine embassies, all inhabitants of the earth who can see and hear are called upon to note the Lord's ensign about to be set up in his Kingdom, and the trumpet of Jubilee now sounding and to grow more and more distinct as the Jubilee morning ushers in. See verse 3.

"GO, YE SWIFT MESSENGERS."

This language is much more reasonable when [R3405 : page 232] applied to God's message going forth in literature than to worldly ambassadors in paper boats, surely. It is astonishing to those who have any knowledge of the facts how the WATCH TOWER literature, OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS, MILLENNIAL DAWN, etc., are going out as "swift messengers" to all parts of the earth and in many languages. These originate in the land shadowed by the wings of divine providence. Indeed, it is certain that from no other land could they so well be sent: and tolerably certain, too, that had it not been for "Liberty enlightening the world" other nations would not permit the publication of so glorious a "gospel of good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people."

"TO A NATION SCATTERED AND PEELED."

To what nation does the message go? We answer, it goes to the "Holy Nation," the Royal Priesthood. (I Pet. 2:9.) Many people of various nations may handle and read these messages, but they are only for the one; and it is doubtful if others will be able to fully understand their message in the present time. Besides, the description fits no other nation. It is "a nation scattered and polished [R.V. "smooth"] --to a people terrible [in their experiences] hitherto; a nation meted out [whose course and experiences in life the Lord has measured out for them for their highest welfare] and trodden down [as a part of their necessary experience] whose land the rivers divide [R.V.]." The reference to the rivers may be taken either as suggesting that the river of death separates this "Holy Nation" from its inheritance on the other side of Jordan; or as in Psalm 46:4.

The swift messengers [or "light messengers"-- Young] have a message of special comfort and consolation, of interest to every member of this "holy nation" of terrible experiences hitherto; a message that the time of Zion's travail is nearly ended--that soon the birth of the "New Creation" in the "first resurrection" will be complete and that forthwith all the nations of earth will see the Lord's standard and hear the trumpet of Jubilee. This "holy nation" shall "at that time" be brought as a present unto the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts"--to Mount Zion, the Heavenly Kingdom.--Verse 7.

Let us show the Lord more and more our zeal, our love for himself and his wonderful message by our cooperation in the sending forth of his swift paper messengers. "Go, ye swift messengers!" Every year adds to the number who by word and deed say, "Go!" and also adds to the number of these messengers sent forth. God speed them to the accomplishment of his glorious service--present and future--and God bless also the dear Colporteurs and Volunteers engaged with us as his ambassadors in this ministry!



[R3406 : page 232]

"IF THE LORD BE GOD, FOLLOW HIM."
--I KINGS 18:21,30-46.--AUGUST 21.--

ELIJAH'S requirement of King Ahab, that the principal representatives of the ten tribes should gather at Mount Carmel, and with them the 450 priests of Baal, was promptly complied with. Ahab seemed to lose his bravado, and to realize that he was, in a general sense at least, subject to Elijah as the Lord's representative, and that the claim of the latter that the three and a half years of drouth was the penalty for idolatry seemed reasonable. He evidently understood that the test of the two religions was about to be made; but since Elijah was only one in contrast with so many priests of Baal, with the heads of all the tribes, and with the king and his courtiers, and since this seemed the only course open to secure the coveted rain, the king seems to have offered no objection.

The top of Mount Carmel, the place of meeting, was about seventeen miles from the palace at Jezreel. It was an ideal place for just such a spectacle as occurred there. It was probably a few days before the invited persons assembled, but when they were come together Elijah, in the audience of the people, proposed to the 450 priests of Baal a test to demonstrate whether Baal or Jehovah was God. Under the circumstances these men could evidently do nothing else than assent to the test, and it was an especially appropriate one, too; for Baal was noted for being preeminently the sun god, the god of nature, fertility, etc. The three and a half years of drouth already testified against Baal's power to bless the fields and flocks of his devotees with fertility and fruitfulness, and now, additionally, Elijah proposed that the god who would answer by fire should be esteemed the real one. The priests of Baal made ready an altar and laid upon it the sacrifice in the morning; then, after their custom, they prayed and importuned, sometimes in a loud voice and sometimes softly, that Baal would answer and demonstrate his power by fire from heaven consuming the sacrifice.

CALL LOUDLY ON BAAL. OUR GOD "HEARETH IN SECRET."

As the noon-day sun shone out scorchingly in that climate, not only the stones of their altar became hot, but the fat of the slain sacrifice must have been sizzling with heat, and it would have seemed to require very little to have accomplished their object. Tradition says that, after the manner of many of the deceptions of heathen religions, a man was placed inside of the altar with a view to his setting on fire the wood under the sacrifice at the appropriate moment; but the legend declares that he was subsequently found suffocated. At all events, according to the Scriptural account, as the day advanced beyond the time of noon, the priests of Baal became more and more desperate, calling, O Baal, hear us! hear us! As they cried aloud, Elijah made the scene still more impressive [R3406 : page 233] upon the minds of the elders of Israel by ironical remarks, suggesting that their god, Baal, was perhaps on a journey or perhaps asleep or what not, and he exhorted them to call still louder upon him. Chagrined, frenzied by their defeat, they called still more wildly, and ran about the altar after the manner of heathen priests in some parts until this day, yelling and cutting themselves, claiming that they had committed sins, that they would chastise themselves for these sins, and that Baal should thus be propitiated and hear and answer them. This continued until three o'clock in the afternoon, when Elijah proposed that in the cool of the evening he would make his test, assuring the people that Jehovah, who had withheld the rain, would demonstrate his power by sending the fire to burn the sacrifice offered in his name.

Elijah built an altar in the name of the Lord--that is, consecrated by prayer to the Lord. Presumably he had all the help necessary in its construction, and he added to it a feature not common to altars, namely, that it had a trench round about which he caused to be filled with water from a never-failing spring which is to be found on the slope of Mount Carmel. Four earthen jars (misnamed in the text barrels) were filled and emptied three times, until the whole altar, wood and sacrifice were saturated and surrounded by water. This would be a demonstration to the heads of the nations that the miracle to be performed would be genuine. Then Elijah prayed to God, "O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again."

The prayer is beautiful in its simplicity, manifesting that the Prophet had no boastful spirit in connection with his mission, but that humbly he recognized that he was merely a servant of the Lord. It showed, too, that his desire was not personal display of power, but the blessing of his nation and the drawing of their hearts to the Lord. The Lord responded, and fire from heaven came down in the sight of the people and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the earth with which the altar had been constructed, used as mortar, licking up the water in the trench. The people were convinced and gladly acknowledged the Lord Jehovah, thereby correspondingly denying Baal. It was a great victory for the cause of right, and would carry through the leaders of all the tribes full information to every quarter of the kingdom.

ELIJAH'S COURSE NOT OURS.

At Elijah's command the 450 prophets of Baal were caught ("Let not one of them escape") and at Elijah's direction they were executed at the foot of the mountain --at the brook whence the water had been brought for the sacrifice. Infidels have been inclined to comment upon this slaughter of the priests of Baal as representing persecution and religious fanaticism. We are to remember, however, what we have already called attention to, namely, that God had peculiar dealings with this nation of Israel, and that Elijah, as the divine mouthpiece of the occasion, was fully commissioned to carry out the divine execution against these men, who had been exercising so baneful an influence among his people, leading them from light to darkness, from the worship of God to idolatry. This would give no right or authority to anybody at the present time to execute fellow creatures because of difference of religious belief, because the world in general today is not under an arrangement such as that which prevailed in Elijah's day between God and the one nation of Israel. Today civilization frames laws and has courts of justice which decide on penalties for violations of those laws-- the death penalty being usually reserved for murder or treason. We are to remember that in the peculiar relationship between God and Israel, under their covenant made at Sinai, God himself was the King, the ruler of that nation; consequently these priests of Baal were traitors against him, and, according to the laws of our time, from this standpoint would be worthy of death.

However, there is a higher law than ours which we must recognize. It must be admitted that God is the proper judge of the whole world: that it is with him to say who may live and who may not. Were the world living today under the direct government of the Lord, and were there today a properly certified Prophet of the Lord whom, as the mouthpiece of God, we had no reason to doubt, it certainly would be entirely proper for us to hear the word of the Lord and execute his sentences on any and every subject to the fullest extent. But during this Gospel age--from the time God gave up the fleshly house of Israel and began the establishment of spiritual Israel-- he has not claimed or exercised kingly authority in the world. On the contrary, he tells us that present governments, although they call themselves Christendom, are really "kingdoms of this world." He tells us to look forward to the future, to the second coming of Christ in power and great glory as the time for the establishment of the Kingdom of God under the whole heavens. He tells us that the Kingdom thus established will be the antitypical kingdom, and assures us that when that time shall come a great blessing will come to the whole world--a blessing of knowledge of the Truth and of opportunity to serve it; and that whosoever will not heed the message at that time, whosoever will not avail himself of the glorious opportunities of that time, will be "cut off from amongst the people" in the Second Death.--Acts 3:22,23.

SIN SHOULD BE ACKNOWLEDGED.

It was customary in olden times that when a general sacrifice was offered it should be followed by a feast, and apparently while the sacrificing was in progress throughout the day a feast also had been prepared on the mountain top, and it is in reference to this that Elijah said to [R3407 : page 234] the king, "Get thee up, eat and drink, for I hear the sound of an abundance of rain." The Prophet may have been speaking figuratively, or possibly his words might be understood better, "I hear from the Lord the message of an abundance of rain coming." Ahab and his associates might much better have spent the time in fasting and prayer for divine forgiveness for the idolatry which had brought upon them the drouth, and which now had led to the execution of the priests of Baal. Nevertheless the Lord, through the Prophet, did not urge upon them any avowals of sorrow that they did not volunteer themselves. Herein is one of the distinct differences between those who are at heart the Lord's people and others. Imperfections and failures each one finds in himself continually, but those who are the Lord's true people feel so aggrieved at their failures that they are promptly led to the throne of grace that they may obtain mercy and find grace to help in future time of need, but others take their failures lightly and fail to profit by them accordingly.

As for the Lord's people, some of them can testify that their failures have really resulted in great blessing to their own souls and great advancement in overcoming weaknesses. The sentiment of the consecrated is well expressed by the poet, who says:

"O! may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide thee from thy servant's eyes."

While the king and the heads of the tribes were feasting Elijah was praying for the rain and waiting for it. Seven times in all he sent his servant to look in the direction from which the rain storms usually came, to see whether or not anything in the nature of a cloud was visible in the clear sky, and only at the last did he get the favorable report that his servant saw a cloud about the size of a man's hand rising in the west. Here we see beautifully blended the part of God and the part of man in respect to prayer. Elijah did not pray for rain until he understood that the Lord's time had come to send rain: then he prayed with all earnestness and expectancy--with confidence; for we cannot doubt that the one who built the altar and flooded it with water and expected and witnessed the consuming of the sacrifice by fire from heaven would be full of confidence respecting the sending of rain, for which, nevertheless, he prayed. Just so it is with the Lord's people today in the matter of prayer. God has definitely promised us certain things, and these we may as positively expect and may appropriately request; other things, however, not promised, we are not to expect.

WHERE CHRIST IS HIS WORD IS STUDIED.

This is the key to our Master's words, "If ye abide in me and my Word abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you." For us to have the ear of the Lord it is requisite that we shall abide in Christ --as members of his body, and through him children of the Father. It is necessary also that his Word abide in us--that we study the Lord's promise, that we know what he has promised, so that we may ask only those things which he has already declared to us he is pleased to grant. Just another suggestion respecting what we may ask and what we may not request in prayer, leaving the fuller examination of the subject to another time. We may not ask the conversion of our friends, because the Lord has not told us thus to pray. He set us no such example, neither did the apostles, and the entire teaching of the Scriptures is to the contrary. We may, however, with propriety pray for wisdom and grace upon our hearts and upon our lips, that we may know how to present the Lord's message clearly and forcefully and convincingly to those we love and desire to see brought under the influence of the Truth. The Lord's arrangement is, "Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free."

God's arrangement is, further, that the Truth shall not be injected into our minds in some miraculous manner when this is unnecessary, but that it shall be proclaimed by those who already have learned it. Hence the preaching of the Gospel is the Lord's means by which he is pleased to grant the blessing of his Truth and through his Truth his grace, during this Gospel age, to those who are in a proper attitude of heart to receive the same. Take another illustration: We are not taught to pray for money or luxuries, but we may labor and ask the Lord's blessing upon our labors, and such guidance of them as would be best, with a heart ready to receive with thankfulness much or little as the Lord may see best for us. Our only request may be for the absolute necessities as expressed in our Lord's prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread." We may also pray with propriety, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven," and may be sure that in the Lord's due time this petition, which has gone up for eighteen centuries to the throne of grace, shall be answered, and showers of blessing shall come from the presence of the Lord during the second presence of our King, flooding the world with times of restitution of all things.

When the little cloud was seen and reported to Elijah, a message was at once sent to the king to hasten his return to the palace before the great downpour of rain should come. The king evidently believed Elijah implicitly and made haste homeward. Elijah, apparently endued with supernatural power, ran ahead of the king's horses as an act of courtesy, and as showing that he as a servant of the Lord nevertheless recognized Ahab as the king of the nation. Thus to some extent the shame and confusion of the king's position throughout the day was offset on his return home.

BE OF GOOD COURAGE.

A general lesson may be drawn from these incidents by the Lord's people of the New Creation today. The Elijah-like class have the lessons of courage and faithfulness and trust. Let us be strong in the Lord and in the [R3407 : page 235] power of his might; let us speak his word plainly and show forth on every suitable occasion and by every proper means the glories of him who hath called us from darkness to light. It is not for us to vanquish the enemies of the Truth and put them to death as did Elijah, but it is for us to slay and utterly expose the errors and follies which are deceiving the people. The Lord's little ones, as the Scriptures declare, may be mighty through his power to the pulling down of the strongholds of error and to the turning back of the tide of deception and sin from those who are in the reasonable attitude of mind to receive the Truth --those who are merely deceived into error and not willingly and wilfully its followers and beneficiaries.

There is a great lesson here, too, for those who are today more or less bound by error, and confused and thereby led to render worship to that which is false. Infidelity in our day is calling upon many to worship the god of nature; and, through higher criticism and evolution theories, the priests of error are misleading and deceiving many in spiritual Israel who really desire to know the Truth. The Lord is making an exhibit today as between Truth and Error, which is in many respects as astonishing and miraculous as the demonstration made at Elijah's hands. The Truth today is shining out clearly, the sacrifice of the Lord's people is being accepted, demonstrations of the Truth and of the servants of the Truth are everywhere being manifested. It is time for all who have been in any measure of darkness on the subject to scrutinize the evidences carefully and to decide as did the representatives of Israel, "The Lord he is God"--and to decline henceforth to recognize the errors of Babylon and the messages of her prophets, which are being demonstrated to be false. It is time for all to come to a decision whether they are for the Lord or whether they prefer to worship false systems and errors. In the language of our Golden Text, If the Lord be God let us follow him-- thoroughly, completely. Let us not only be sincere, but earnest in our religion. Let it take hold upon all the affairs of our lives, and, as the Apostle expressed it, not only let it direct our conduct and words, but back of this, our very thoughts. To use his language, "Let us bring even our thoughts into captivity to the will of God in Christ."



[R3409 : page 235]

OUT OF BABYLON THE GREAT.
A sinner, lost, and in my guilt I lay,--
Although a son, devoted son of Rome;
But Jesus in his love pass'd by that way,
And now I am a child of God become.

My soul was famish'd, till I found my God:
Rome gave me nothing to supply my need.
But since I've known the merits of Christ's blood,
My soul is with the richest dainties fed.

Confession to a priest ne'er gave me peace,
But lull'd my soul to sleep in carnal ease,
Till God awoke me, in his sovereign grace,
And taught me not myself but him to please.

And, now, my peace doth like a river flow,
Since I have known redemption, through that blood
Which makes the sinner whiter than the snow,
And constitutes him, now, a priest with God.

The rock on which my peace with God is built
Is Christ, who is God's righteousness for me;
His precious blood, for sin, on Calvary spilt,
Is all my trust, and my security.

Lord Jesus! Thou the mighty work hast done!--
Hast vanquish'd death and hell and set me free:--
Hast glorified thy Father, and art gone
A place, in heaven, to prepare for me.

Thou art my only Mediator there,
The one High Priest,--by God thou wast ordain'd,
Nor Mary--mother of our Lord--may share
That office, which by Thee alone is claim'd.

My prayers and praises I present through thee,
My only Priest! my only Saviour Thou!
From Romish bondage Thou hast set me free,
Nor need I fear her maledictions now.

My Lord will soon his injur'd name defend,
And all corruptors of his word shall find,
When he in clouds of glory shall descend,
That they have been blind leaders of the blind.

Oh! give me grace to praise thee more and more,
That light e'er shone on my benighted soul;
Thee, only, would I love, and Thee adore,
And pray that light may shine from pole to pole.

Lord! bring Thine own from 'neath her blinding power,
Her superstitions, and her priestly thrall;
Ere Thou on her thine indignation pour,
From earth sweep Babylon--both great and small.
--London Times.



[R3407 : page 235]

"FAINT NOT BECAUSE OF EVIL DOERS.
FOR IN DUE TIME THEY SHALL BE CUT OFF."--
PSA. 37:1,2.
--I KINGS 19:1-8.--AUGUST 28.--

Golden Text:--"In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me."

ELIJAH, flushed at the victory over the priests of Baal, was not thereby made haughty or boastful toward the king, though evidently he anticipated that the drouth and now finally its abatement, with abundant rain and with the attendant manifestation of divine power, would work a reformation in Israel. King Ahab and the rulers of Israel were evidently converted, at least temporarily, from Baal to Jehovah,--as evidenced [R3408 : page 236] by their willingness to permit the execution of the 450 priests of Baal. There was one person, however, on whose condition of heart Elijah had not counted, and that was Jezebel the queen, who really was at the bottom of the false religious system in which, as we have seen, her father had been at one time a chief priest in Zidon.

When the queen heard the result of the day's procedure she was angry--angry with God, angry with the Prophet Elijah for having shown up the falsity of Baal, angry with her husband the king for having permitted the demonstration to proceed to the disadvantage of Baal, and for permitting his priests to be executed. She was furious, and sent a message to Elijah--according to the customary form of those times--declaring that he would be as dead as the priests of Baal within twenty-four hours. Canon Farrar thus graphically pictures the queen, her message, etc. He says: "We can imagine the bitter objurgations which she poured upon her cowering husband for having stood quietly by while her prophets and Baal's prophets were being massacred by this dark fanatic, aided by a rebellious people. Had she been there all should have been otherwise!...The oath shows the intensity of her rage--like that of the forty Jews who bound themselves by the oath that they would not eat or drink until they had slain Paul--and the fixity of her purpose, as when Richard III declared that he would not dine until the head of Buckingham had fallen on the block. She presents the spectacle so often reproduced in history and reflected in literature, of a strong woman completely dominating a feebler consort."

GOD'S REPRESENTATIVE INTIMIDATED.

The message sent to Elijah was evidently a boast and threat designed to intimidate him and to cause him to flee the country, the very effect it did produce. Jezebel was quite probably at heart afraid to have an encounter with the man who, as God's representative, was able to produce the results testified to by her husband and by the rain: she was too shrewd to risk a defeat, and her course prospered. Poor Elijah, so courageous previously, so ready to risk his life, was now panic stricken and fled to Beersheba, the farther part of Judea. Even then he did not feel himself safe, because Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, was a close friend to Ahab, king of Israel; so leaving there his boy servant, who is supposed to have been the son of the widow of Zarephath, he continued his flight southward through the wilderness to Mount Sinai--Horeb.

It is useless for us to speculate how Elijah might have done otherwise than he did--how he might have boldly stood up for the Lord, denounced the Queen, rallied the heads of the tribes of Israel and carried forward to a general completion the reform movement which he began. We are to remember that Elijah was a type, and hence that his doings as well as his words were in a particular sense and degree ordered of the Lord--beyond any knowledge or motives of his own. It is only when we view this entire narrative of Elijah and Ahab and Jezebel from the standpoint of a type of more wonderful things coming afterward on a larger scale--only then can we grasp in any measure the force and meaning of the lessons taught through these types.

ANTITYPICAL FEATURES.

Although we have already noticed this matter, we cannot pass the story now without brief reference to the antitypes. We see in John the Baptist the repetition of the type, he being a fresh type corresponding to Elijah, as Herod corresponded to Ahab, and Herodias was an advanced type of Jezebel. Similarly John the Baptist, like Elijah, sought to effect a reformation in Israel, and similarly he failed. Let us glance very hastily at the antitype of these things portrayed in the book of Revelation. There the antitypical Jezebel is distinctly pointed out, and, in harmony with commentators since the Reformation time, we understand the antitype to be the apostate Church, the Papacy,--the civil government of the Roman empire in its decisions corresponding to King Ahab, consequently the agent of the antitypical Jezebel in accomplishing her desires, in propagating her system and destroying the prophets of the Lord. As had been predicted, so it was fulfilled: "She wore out the saints of the most high God," and "was drunken with the blood of the saints."--Rev. 17:6; 18:24.

In the antitype, if Papacy represents the woman Jezebel, and if the civil power was the antitype of Ahab, where is Elijah? We answer that the antitypical Elijah all through this Gospel age has been made up of the Lord's faithful people, the saints--a body of many members, yet in all a "little flock." We have already shown that the antitypical Elijah, who must first come and do his work before the second advent of Christ in the glory of his Kingdom, is the true Church of Christ in the flesh --of which Jesus was the Head, of which the Apostles were prominent members, and to which number all the true saints of the Lord from then to the end of the Gospel age, while in the flesh, must belong. This Elijah class was invisible during a large portion of this long period of nearly nineteen centuries. As Elijah the Prophet disappeared just prior to the drouth and was not seen and could not be found during the drouth, so with the antitypical Elijah class. As a class they disappeared about the year 300 and were not seen for about three and a half symbolic years, namely until the time of the Reformation, about 1550, even as Elijah disappeared after announcing the drouth and did not reappear until nearly the conclusion of that period of three and a half literal years. The drouth really began about 539 A.D. and the copious showers of refreshing came three and a half symbolic years later in 1799 A.D.

This period of three and a half years, equaling forty-two months of 1260 days, is particularly mentioned in all three of these different forms in Revelation. (12:6,14; 13:5) [R3408 : page 237] The whole world is witness to the great drouth that prevailed throughout Christendom from the year 300 until the time of the Reformation. It is particularly known as the period of the "Dark Ages." With the reappearance of the Elijah class prominently before the world, represented in the reformers of Luther's time, we have some measure of reassertion of the proper worship of God. The Reformation work up to the year 1799 was preparatory, just as the work of Elijah on Mount Carmel and with the priests of Baal was preparatory. Then followed the great shower of blessing, scattering the Word of God throughout the whole world in every language under heaven. Nearly all of the present Bible Societies were organized between 1803 and 1815. There has been a great and refreshing shower of Grace and Truth come to the world. The antitype of Ahab, civil government, has to a considerable extent recognized the general truth of the matter, but they are more or less closely affiliated with and under the influence of the Jezebel system, and alas! as Revelation clearly points out, Jezebel today has daughters --systems termed Protestant--which, nevertheless, copy largely the mother's spirit. It is through the influence of the daughters that the antitypical Elijah may expect future persecutions, instigated by the mother, accomplished through the daughters, as typically represented in the case of John the Baptist, beheaded by Herod at the instance of Salome, but at the instigation of Herodias--Jezebel. This, however, is looking down to a period in the future.

ELIJAH IN THE SLOUGH OF DESPOND.

Elijah under the juniper tree, praying God that he might die because he had been no more successful than his fathers had been in the mission of restoring Israel to the true worship, is almost amusing when we think of the fact that the Prophet had fled panic stricken a few days before to escape Jezebel's threat against his life. Why thus flee from death and yet pray the Lord for death? The Prophet's experiences and conduct are but an illustration of what frequently occurs. Amongst the Lord's people some of strong faith at times become discouraged, panic stricken, fearful. For the moment they seem to forget whose servants they are, and the almighty power that is behind them, able and willing to make all things work together for good to his faithful ones.

The fact of the matter is that all of the Lord's consecrated servants devoted their lives to sacrifice when they became followers of the Lamb, and if they could but realize their consecration continually, they would be ready for the consummation at any moment at the Lord's pleasure and by whatever means or channel his providences may permit. The Lord's consecrated ones of the Elijah class are to remember that not a hair of their heads could fall without their Father's knowledge and permission, and the attitude of their hearts should be that expressed by our dear Redeemer--the Head of the Elijah body--"The cup which the Father hath poured for me, shall I not drink it?" The language of their hearts should be that expressed by the poet:

"Content whatever lot I see,
Since 'tis my God that leadeth me."

Doubtless the Prophet's discouragement of heart was but a natural consequence of the tension under which he had been for some time laboring in his zeal for the Truth and the exciting conditions attending his fear and flight. He slept under the juniper tree, but was awakened that he might partake of specially provided refreshments: further rest and further supplies of food brought him strength for a farther journey. We may take from this two lessons: First, a natural one, that however earnest and zealous the Lord's people may be, they need rest and food, and these cannot be neglected with impunity if we would be strong and courageous in mind and heart. Second, the feastings and fastings of the typical Elijah may well represent special blessings and refreshments of the Truth in the experiences of the Church during the past centuries, and also represent certain fastings. Elijah's reaching Horeb, the Mount of God, would seem to typify the Kingdom in its incipient establishment in the end of this age--which various Scriptures teach us was reached in 1878. There certain lessons, refreshments, etc., were evidently due to come to the Elijah class, and so we have found it. Of this we will learn more in our next lesson.

The Golden Text suggests a personal application of Elijah's experiences to all of the Lord's people at any time. Whatever our distresses, whatever our discouragements, whatever may be our Ahabs and Jezebels, we may find consolation by carrying our every trial and difficulty to the Lord in prayer. No affair of life that comes to the [R3409 : page 237] Lord's people, sorrow or anguish or distress of mind in any sense, is too small to bring to the Lord. "Cast all your care upon the Lord, for he careth for you," is a very consoling and very encouraging suggestion from the Word. However, the Lord's people are to learn more and more distinctly, as their years of membership in God's family and tutelage in the school of Christ go on, that they are not to ask the Lord to guide their efforts according to their wisdom, that they are not to request that their wills shall be done either on earth or in heaven, but rather, telling the Lord their burdens, great and small, they are to realize and appropriate to themselves his sympathy and love, and to apply to their own hearts as a balm the consoling assurances of his Word, that he is both able and willing to make all of their experiences profitable to them if they abide in him with confidence and trust. His grace is sufficient for us, his strength is made perfect in our weakness.



[R3409 : page 238]

INTERESTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED.

THE LENGTH AND BREADTH OF RESTITUTION.


Question.--Is it proper to say that Restitution will bring to the obedient of the world a higher condition than that in which Adam existed before he fell? In other words, Will the development resulting from an experience with evil be something beyond a restoration of Adam's position?

Answer.--The word Restitution fixes the answer to this question; no man could be restored to a condition not previously enjoyed. Adam was the representative of his race, and the privileges and rights and opportunities granted to him belonged to his posterity as well. Through Adam's sin all of these rights, privileges and blessings were forfeited--for himself and for all of his posterity--death being the sentence covering the loss.

Restitution will mean the recovery of all these things that were lost. The "Restitution Times" are clearly shown to be the thousand years of Christ's reign. The Restitution work is most evidently the bringing back from both sin and death, degradation and depravity, from "the curse," of Adam and his children and all that he possessed before the curse came. Properly enough, this will be accomplished with each individual in a full, free and understood offer, such as every member of the human family must ultimately have. If, with a clear understanding of right and wrong, they wilfully and intelligently reject the right and choose the wrong, their condemnation to the Second Death will be wholly a matter of their own responsibility, and not because of Adam's transgression, nor because of any failure on the Lord's part to proffer them the Restitution he has provided, through Jesus, for every man.

Undoubtedly the world will attain to lengths and breadths and heights and depths of knowledge of God and his plan, and of his love and of his wisdom and of his power, such as Father Adam never enjoyed. But such attainments will be no part of Restitution, for they never were lost. However, we are to remember that had Father Adam remained obedient to the Lord all of these things would have been his privilege, pleasure and opportunity; and hence, while not directly a part of Restitution work, they are indirectly associated with it: as the privileges of these things were lost, so the privileges of returning to them are to be granted.


WERE ADAM AND CHRIST REPRESENTATIVES OF THE RACE?


Question.--Were Adam and Christ in any sense representatives of the race?

Answer.--Adam, as the federal head of his family, was its representative in Eden. This is demonstrated by the fact that we, as his posterity, are involved in every matter affecting him. Thus the sentence or curse of death coming upon Adam affected and impaired as a curse every member of his offspring.

Christ was not a representative in this same sense. He was Adam's substitute--his Redeemer--the one who paid for Adam the penalty demanded by divine law, thus releasing Adam from the original sentence of death. Since Adam was our representative, therefore we have a participation or share with him in the benefits accruing to him through his redemption by Jesus, his substitute. Thus Christ's death is efficacious to the cancelling of all of its effects upon all of his posterity. As we have already seen, the opportunity for return to divine favor, which is to come to every member of Adam's family, is his release from the curse. So far as the sentence is concerned, this will be accomplished at the very beginning of the Restitution work; but the blotting out of all of the effects of the curse will be another matter. The effects of the curse have become very extended and are represented in the impairments of mankind, mentally, morally and physically. After the curse shall have been legally cancelled it will require long years under the Lord's arrangement for the wiping out, or blotting out of Sin's records in the human mind and body. Thus the lifting of the curse and the blotting out of its effects will be seen to be two different matters: the first was accomplished for all mankind by the death of Christ; the second he proposes to accomplish for as many as will be obedient to his voice during the Millennial age.


HOW TO REPLY TO UNIVERSALISTS.


Question.--What answer should be made to Universalists, who claim that Christ's death purchased everlasting life for all who lost it through Adam's [R3410 : page 238] transgression, and therefore guaranteed a restoration to perfect and everlasting life to every man?

Answer.--Very few Universalists of this kind are to be found. Generally, they either directly or indirectly deny the Ransom--deny that Christ's death purchased everlasting life for anybody. Their theory generally rests upon the assumption that there was no divine sentence to be met; that divine mercy could exercise itself without meeting the demands of divine justice; that our Lord Jesus died, not to purchase us, not to pay the ransom price, not to redeem us, not as a substitute for Adam, but merely, they say, as an example to us of full obedience to righteousness, even at the cost of life.

To such we answer that if Jesus was merely our [R3411 : page 239] example, and not our Redeemer, then our only hope would be to keep his example to such an extent that we would be individually pleasing to the Father as he was; and this would mean that we must keep the whole law blameless as he did. Those who understand this proposition must see clearly that, if that be true, there is no hope for any of us, for, as the Apostle declares, "By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in God's sight." Christ was justified by the deeds of the law, but perfect deeds were possible to him, because he was born holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. Perfect deeds, perfect fulfilment of the divine requirements, are absolutely impossible for us who were born in sin, shapen in iniquity. If, therefore, Jesus be merely our pattern, our exemplar, and not also our Redeemer, we are of all men most miserable, for seeing salvation we shall be wholly unable to attain it. Our whole hope is in the declaration of the Lord's Word that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, that his death was to meet the penalty against us as a race--for Adam's sins and ours. Our hope is that, being covered by faith with the robe of his righteousness, our imperfect attempts to follow his example in obedience to the Father's will will be accounted as though they were perfect--"through the merit of him who loved us and bought us with his own precious blood."

But if there be Universalists who take the position implied in this question, our answer would be as heretofore, that Christ's death did purchase lasting life for all who lost it through Adam's transgression, and that God has guaranteed a full restoration of all that was lost "to every soul of man that believeth" --in the Scriptural sense of obedient believing. Nothing in this implies that they will get all these things at the moment of their awakening from the tomb. At that time they will get a beginning of perfect life if they are obedient to the voice of the great Physician, which will eventuate in their absolute perfection in the close of that Millennial day. Our Lord, describing the matter in John 5:29, declares that the dead will come forth unto a resurrection by judgment. They will come forth from the tomb, from oblivion, to physical conditions somewhat similar to those enjoyed before they died, with surroundings in every way much more advantageous; with Satan bound that he can deceive them no more; with the good influences of righteousness and Truth let loose in the world to such an extent that ultimately the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth; with judges and law givers under the supervision of the Royal Priesthood to look after their best interests, to reprove and correct and chastise their failures, and to encourage, reward and bless their endeavors, and thus, by judgments, of rewards and punishments, they would be gradually brought up step by step, up, up, up to the highway of holiness, to the absolute perfection at the farther end, which the Lord is pleased to grant to all who will have it upon these his terms, obedience to his Son. "But it shall come to pass that the soul that will not hear [to obey] that Prophet shall be cut off"--in the Second Death, from which there will be no redemption and no recovery.


THE SPIRIT AND BRIDE SAY COME.


Question.--When will the Spirit and the Bride say, Come?--Rev. 22:17.

Answer.--This will be fulfilled in the future for several reasons:

(1) There is no "Bride" now. The Church, the "little flock," is now the "chaste virgin" "espoused" to the Lord. She will be the Bride at marriage, and for long centuries she has been looking forward to that great event at the close of this Gospel age.

(2) The context refers to the river of the water of life of verses 1 and 2 of the same chapter. There is no such river now, nor will there be until the establishment of the Kingdom; for this is the picture: the New Jerusalem (the Church in glory, the Kingdom) comes down from God out of heaven, adorned "as a Bride" and then from its throne will proceed the "river of the water of life" of which all may drink freely, and to which the Spirit and the Bride will invite all. Now the prospective members of the Bride class have the Lord's Spirit in them, "a well of water springing up unto everlasting life."--John 4:14.

By and by these well-springs brought together in glory with the Lord shall constitute the source of the great river of life which shall bless and heal all nations. "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gal. 3:29.) By and by the prophecy will be fulfilled: "He that believeth in me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

(3) Now the call is a different one and is not open to mankind. Our Lord declared, "No man can come unto me except the Father which sent me draw him." The Apostle declares that now many are blinded by the Adversary and hence could not see even if there were a river of life flowing, and could not hear even if there were a Bride to say, Come.


HE SHALL "POUR OUT HIS SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH."


Question.--Does Joel's prophecy concerning the pouring out of the Lord's "spirit upon all flesh," apply to the present or to the future age?

Answer.--It applies to the coming age--the Millennium. God is now pouring out his spirit only upon the Church--"his servants and handmaidens." See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. v., p. 179.



page 241
August 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXV.AUGUST 15, 1904.No. 16.


CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower243
Disbelief in Future Life Dangerous243
Church and State in France244
Antagonism Against Socialism244
The Stability of Zionism245
A Word to our Dear Colporteurs246
Elijah Instructed and Encouraged248
The Harvest and Gentile Times250
Elijah Taken in a Whirlwind251
Justified and Called255

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

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

page 242

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




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GENERAL CONVENTION, BOSTON, MASS., AUG. 19,20,21


FOR PARTICULARS REGARDING CONVENTION ARRANGEMENTS, SEE LAST PAGE, THIS ISSUE.

NOTE THE DATES BELOW.

This Convention takes place in connection with the G.A.R. Encampment, for which the railroads have made very low excursion rates. For rates and routes inquire of your nearest Railroad agents. Tickets will be on sale as follows:--

In "Central Passenger Association" territory--west of Pittsburg, Buffalo, Parkersburg and Wheeling, to Chicago and St. Louis, etc.--from Aug. 12 to 14.

In "Trunk Line Passenger Association" territory--east of Pittsburg, Buffalo, etc., to New York City, Albany, etc.--from Aug. 13 to 15.

In "New England Passenger Association" territory-- east of Albany, New York City, etc.--from Aug. 13 to 16, except from points within 150 miles of Boston; from the latter places the purchasing dates are Aug. 15 to 18.

In each case journey must begin before midnight of last date named.

Anyone residing within the "New England Passenger Association's" territory unable to take the "G.A.R. Excursion" above mentioned at the dates named, should ask for an "Excursion Certificate to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's Convention at Boston, Mass." He will pay full (one way) fare for the certificate but will be entitled to a return ticket at a reduction, provided 100 such tickets can be shown. So, then, get the cheaper "G.A.R. Excursion" tickets if possible; but otherwise get the "Certificate" mentioned, and thus help others as well as yourself to lower rates than regular fare.

UNUSED "WATCH TOWER BIBLES."


Any of our readers having copies of the Linear Bibles with wide margins containing references to DAWNS and TOWERS, in good condition and not being used, which they desire to sell, will please advise us. There were only 5,000 of these Bibles published and since then many new readers have become interested in the "Berean Bible Studies," mentioned in the front part of those Bibles who would be glad to have the helps which those Bibles afford. We have constant requests and would have more if it were known that the Bibles were obtainable. The printing of a small new edition would be too expensive to be considered, and we doubt if there would be sufficient demand for another edition of 5,000.

VOLUNTEER AMMUNITION.


The Volunteer distribution of tracts this year has been immense, and only now have we succeeded in filling all your orders. We have a reserve in stock now: if any of you find yourselves short, order all you can judiciously use.



[R3410 : page 243]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

DISBELIEF IN A FUTURE LIFE DANGEROUS.


PROFESSOR GOLDWIN SMITH notes the fact that the tendency of our times is to destroy faith in a future life, or, as the Professor states it, faith in immortality. (We need not quarrel over terms, especially when the Professor's use of the word immortality, though less exact than our own, is the usual, the customary one in our day. In his use of this word, he is in accord with the teachings of the Scripture,--that God has provided a future life, through a resurrection, for every member of Adam's race.) We give extracts from his article, which was published in The North American Review, as follows:--

"It would seem that we have come practically to a point at which--evolution and the higher criticism having between them done the work of demolition, and the work of reconstruction, if it is ever to be done, being still in the future--no small part of educated mankind has renounced or is gradually renouncing the hope of a future life and acting on the belief that death ends all.

"A general contraction of views to the man's own life must apparently be the consequence of the conviction that this life is all. A man of sense will probably be inclined to let reforms alone, and to consider how he may best go through the brief journey of life with comfort, if possible with enjoyment to himself and in pleasant intercourse with his fellowmen. High social or political aspirations, or high aspirations of any kind, will hardly survive the disillusion.

"We have an interest in our own children. But otherwise what interest have we in the generations that are to come after us on which a religion of humanity can be founded? It is not a very lively interest that we feel even in the remoter members of the human race, to say nothing of those in the next street. Yet these exist; and of their existence we are conscious, and are reminded by the electric cable. Of the existence of future generations, supposing there is no future life, we shall not be conscious, and, therefore, for us they will not exist. We cannot even say with absolute certainty that they will exist at all. The end of man's dwelling-place and, therefore, of all human progress, science tells us, will be a physical catastrophe; and there are even those who seem to think that this catastrophe may be forestalled by a recurrence of the glacial era. Natural law, which science bids us venerate, departs, it must be remembered, with the lawgiver. Nothing remains but physical forces without a guiding mind, the play of which it is impossible to forecast. As to posthumous fame, it would be an arrant delusion, even if one man in a million could hope to obtain it.

"Whatever conduces to the enjoyment and prolongation of this life will probably be sought more energetically than before. Material progress, therefore, may quicken its pace. Nor is it likely that men will be quite so ready as they are now to throw away their lives in war. At present the soldier in facing [R3411 : page 243] death is probably sustained by a notion, however dim and vague, of a reward for the performance of his duty.

"It can hardly be doubted that hope of compensation in a future state, for a short measure of happiness here, though it may have been somewhat dim, has materially helped to reconcile the less favored members of the community to the inequalities of the existing order of things. The vanishing of that hope can scarcely fail to be followed in the future by an increased impatience of inequality, and a growing determination not to put off the indemnity to another world. In fact, this is already visible in the spirit and language of labor agitation. Serious problems of this kind seem to wait the coming generation.

"It would not be surprising if in this dissolution of the ancient faith and failure of familiar supports, there were to be a partial reaction in favor of churches which, like the Roman Catholic or the Eastern Church, can pretend to offer the assurance of authority and to still the disquieting voice of reason while they lap the disturbed soul in the soothing element of [R3411 : page 244] religious esthetics. A tendency of this kind is already seen in ritualism, which bids the doubting take refuge in the sacerdotalism and sacramentalism of the Middle Ages. But such a back-stream of opinion and sentiment would, of course, not be lasting."

He concludes, "After all, great is our ignorance, and there may be something yet behind the veil."


***

The Professor is an astute thinker and reasoner. He sees the trend of our times; he sees the advancing wave of unbelief which as a flood is even now increasingly sweeping over Christendom.

The Lord's Word has forewarned us of present conditions (Isa. 28:14-20; 29:9-16; Psa. 91:7) and has cautioned us to "put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand in this evil day" (Eph. 6:11); and now, as predicted, the "fire" of this day is trying every man's work. (I Cor. 3:13.) Alas! how many have been building up in themselves and others faith in human traditions and creeds which now are "wood, hay and stubble" in the devouring flame of "higher criticism." Alas! how few have built up their own faith and that of others with the "gold, silver and precious stones" of divine Truth.

However, in this also "we sorrow not as others who have no hope." As we behold many falling away from a position they occupied only nominally anyway, and from a faith that was never more than superficial, and from a worship in which they drew near the Lord in lip service without the heart, we rejoice that for such the present "shaking" (Heb. 12:26) means not eternal torment nor even "Second Death," but an awful experience in this life which, under divine Providence, may work out for them a blessing during the Millennium.

Prof. Smith sees what the Scriptures so clearly show,--that the loss of faith at the end of this age will have much to do with the precipitation of the great time of trouble and anarchy with which this age is to finish. He sees this selfishness already manifesting itself as the Scriptures foretold it would do.-- I Tim. 3:1-5.

CHURCH AND STATE IN FRANCE.


Under the "Concordat," of long standing between the French government and the Papacy, France out of revenues and taxes has paid salaries to the Roman Catholic priests, bishops, etc. It is generally conceded that this arrangement will be dissolved about the first of next year. If so the support of religion will probably depend on voluntary contributions, as in this country. Roman Catholics assume that this will be a great blow to religious institutions: they seem to have little confidence in voluntary religion.

Nor are the Roman Catholics alone in their fears for the future; for as Protestants and Jews received like treatment in France the cancelation of the Papal "Concordat" is expected to mean a similar cutting off of Jews and Protestants from financial support. The twelve Jewish consistories of France and Algeria receive 220,000 francs ($44,000), or from 1800 to 5000 francs to each rabbi or minister. The Hebrews are, of course, somewhat agitated respecting this loss, and as to how fully it would be compensated for in voluntary donations.

The various Protestant ministers are perturbed even more than the rabbis and are calling for some kind of federative union among themselves, and the "Fraternal Committee" has been appealed to--to see that the interests of the Reformed churches be taken care of in the parliamentary action on the proposed separation. France has been paying annually to Protestant ministers 1,500,000 francs ($300,000).

A few Protestants seem to take the proper view of the matter--that such support from the world is contrary to the best interests of true religion. Thus, gradually, France is getting ready for the great wave of "trouble such as was not since there was a nation."

THE ANTAGONISM BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIALISM.


"M. Anatole Le Roy-Beaulieu, in a recent lecture delivered at Harvard, one of a series dealing with religion and democracy, commented on the antagonism between Christianity and socialism. Socialism, he admitted, is founded upon a love of humanity, and many of its elements are to be found in Christianity. Their ideals have much in common. 'The aspiration of the socialist is the renovation of society: that is also the Christian ideal. Montesquieu, in the eighteenth century, marveled at the fact that Christianity, preoccupied as it is with the affairs of the other world, has contributed so evidently and so much to the improvement of the life upon earth.' Yet, in spite of these analogies, M. Leroy-Beaulieu discovers differences so radical between the spirit of Christianity and the spirit of socialism that he believes their conflict to be vital. On this subject he said further, according to the report of his lecture in the Boston Evening Transcript:--

"'Christians and religious men in general have as their object the improvement of conditions. Communist ideas are indeed found in the Church--as we have seen in an earlier lecture. But until the present collectivist ideas have succeeded in the Church only in monasteries, in convents, in sects which are founded upon contempt for the world. So Saint Francis of Assisi, for example, might be cited as a kind of socialist or democrat. But what was his ideal? The conquest of riches? On the contrary, poverty was the first article of his profession and the virtue that he chiefly preached. This is far indeed from the idea of modern socialism. What the socialist of to-day [R3411 : page 245] wants--if not for himself, then to divide among others --is the world's money.

"'Again, there is a vast difference in the methods as well as in the ideas of socialism and Christianity. We mean, of course, the general spirit of Christianity. We do not include all Christians in our generalization. The spirit of Christianity's method is one of love toward God and man. Charity is the great idea--did not some one say the only innovation? --of Christianity. Christ's words were, 'Peace be with you.' This was no working formula, no catch-word. It was genuine. Christ toiled for peace. Not so the modern socialist. Peace may be their ultimate object, but it is a peace which can be attained only by means of war. In the modern socialist's conception of the word, Napoleon himself fought for peace. None of the socialists tend to any other method. French, Italians, Germans, Russians--so they be socialists-- are unanimous that the only way to establish the peace they aim at is through a war of classes. M. Jaures, the poet-politician, is a type of the class.

"'It follows that socialists as a body oppose the doctrines of love and of long suffering that characterize men of religion. The calming of class strife, the appeasing of civic tempests by the oil of charity does not appeal to them. Religion, according to Jaures, is 'une vieille chanson'--the cradle song that lulled the restlessness of old. It is not the martial music which is needed for the battles civilization has to fight today.

"Far deeper than appears at first sight lies the gulf that separates Christianity and socialism. The socialist has his religion, but it is neither Judaism nor Christianity. These faiths place their ideal in another world--to turn men's eyes to the treasures in heaven was the object of their teaching. Socialism-- the religion of positivism and materialism--pins its faith to the treasures of earth. It is not hard to appreciate the reasons why a man who regards his life on earth as a brief trial is willing to submit with patience to injustice. For the socialist it is different; for him this world is everything. It is manifestly incumbent upon the socialist leaders, then, to snatch from the masses every semblance of belief in a world to come. There is but one expedient for them: if they are to remove the hope of a heavenly paradise, they must compensate, they must offer an earthly paradise in its place.'

"The religious plan, the lecturer continued, is to develop not war, but love among men, and by means of that love for the fraternity, which is the proposed aim of the socialists themselves. 'Christianity, then, has the better methods for attaining the socialistic ideals; and thus, after all, socialism, if it means what it professes, makes a serious mistake in its warfare upon Christianity."--Literary Digest.

THE CONFLICT BETWEEN CATHOLICISM AND SOCIALISM.


"It is an indubitable fact that, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary, Europe is now decatholicizing herself. One might even go further with safety and say that she is dechristianizing herself. Slowly but surely, with the irresistible movement of a geological subsidence, faith is waning among the industrial workers, and even among the peasants. In Belgium, [R3412 : page 245] in France, in Germany, the workmen who follow no particular creed number hundreds of thousands--yes, millions--and as their hopes of any heavenly kingdom dissolve other hopes assert themselves with a growing intensity. Wherever free thought penetrates Socialism enters also.

"Frightened by the socio-industrial consequences of free thought, an increasing section of the rich class leans toward the church, and especially toward the Roman Catholic Church, which is regarded by all as the strongest bulwark of the capitalists' interest. The apparent clerical reaction is thus shown to be in fact a corollary of the decline of faith amongst the masses. But it is nevertheless true that the alliance of priest and capitalist, the coalition of spiritual and temporal power, against Socialism and free thought, furnishes the conservative and reactionary parties with formidable means of action and constitutes the most redoubtable threat against the immediate future of European civilization. It is a contest between the Black International and the Red International. On the one hand are all those who hold that authority should descend from above, and who find in the Roman Catholic Church the most perfect expression of their ideal, the most inflexible guardian of their class privileges; on the other hand are those who insist that authority shall come from the people, and who, by the logic of circumstances, can found their hopes on nothing but Social Democracy."--New York Independent.

THE STABILITY OF ZIONISM.


The death of Dr. T. Herzl, the principal leader of the "Zionist" movement among the Jews, is seemingly a serious loss--calculated to hinder the progress of the movement for the reestablishment in Palestine of a Jewish State under the protection or suzerainty of Turkey or the great powers of the world. However, from another standpoint it may do good--teaching those interested that they must trust not in man but in God. The time for regathering of faithful Jews to Palestine is due, according to the Scriptures, and it will not be long until the "door" of opportunity opens to them. The Lord is the real leader of the movement and he will guide in his own way. It is understood that Dr. Herzl looked with considerable favor upon the British Government's offer of all that the Jews at present desire, in a location far south of Palestine, in Africa. Dr. Herzl's continuance at the head of the movement might have proved inimical to the interests of the divine arrangement centered in Palestine. "Behold I will gather them out of all countries whither I have driven them....Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them."--Jer. 32:37-42; 31:27-40.



[R3412 : page 246]

A WORD TO OUR DEAR COLPORTEURS.

WE want you each and all to realize that you are continually, daily, in our thoughts and prayers. We know exactly what your general experiences are, and are anxious to assist you in every possible manner. Firms that prosper in the subscription book business --in expensive books yielding large profits--drill their new agents for about a week on just the words to say and just the tone and emphasis to give them to make the best impression. We regret that this is impossible with us; but neither is it as necessary as with "book agents." Our Colporteurs are in the work "for the love of it"--for the love of the Truth--and the animation and emphasis of their presentation are not "put on," but are the spontaneous utterances of their hearts. Over three hundred are now actively engaged in this blessed service in this country alone, and not one of them follows it as a business,-- all recognize it as a ministry of the Truth and themselves as "ambassadors for God" to his true children.

But zeal requires knowledge to make it the more effective. Knowledge on the subject of colporteuring comes from experience, and our experience covers years and is world wide. Hence it is both our duty and our pleasure to assist the dear devoted Brethren and Sisters engaged in the Colporteur service.

We perceive that some full of zeal and enthusiasm on entering the work soon become discouraged from lack of success, while others, who start timidly and fearfully, do well. The reason for these peculiar conditions evidently is that the latter give the more careful heed to the printed instructions, while the former, too self-reliant, fail to profit by the experiences of others thus supplied. None should attempt a "method of his own" until he has been in the work at least three months, using one of the successful methods presented in Hints to Colporteurs.

We have found that some Colporteurs get poorer results with larger experience; and we have learned to attribute such a retrogression to a gradual change of "method" to a poorer one, often unconsciously. All these reasons lead us to present below four of the most successful methods now in use amongst our dear Colporteurs. They are all alike in that they are brief, and do not discuss or even mention the doctrines, nor attempt to prove or argue Scripture. Many of the dear friends err in not observing this point. To attempt to tell the plan of God in a few words is to spoil matters and neither you nor your auditors have time for a lengthy discussion. The six volumes of DAWN treat the plan in the proper order and as briefly, we believe, as it can be clearly expressed.

Make note of the interested ones and call back to see them after they have had time to read. Then you can talk as far as they have read, but if "wise as a serpent," you will not talk much beyond that point, but deepen their interest in their reading by continually referring their questions to the books which they then will have.

When referring to the price, usually say, "Only thirty-five cents;" in contrasting say that "books on such topics usually sell for a dollar and a half each." But when referring to the price of a set say "only two and a quarter," making no mention of "dollars" this time because, unconsciously to the person, the price appears more trifling than if the word "dollars" be used.

The fourth method mentioned below is intended specially for use in a new edition of these books which will have the general title, "Studies in the Scriptures." instead of "MILLENNIAL DAWN." Some sets of these will be ready (for trial by Colporteurs to test whether or not the new name will help in effecting sales) about October 1st. Whether or not the new name will later be abandoned, or ultimately supersede MILLENNIAL DAWN we leave to the Lord's providence to determine.

METHOD A.

Good morning! I am doing a little Christian work in this neighborhood; may I have a moment of your time? [If an opportunity is given enter the house.]

The Bible and Tract Society of Allegheny, Pa., which I am representing has prepared some systematic studies of the Bible, which have been a great blessing to many of the Lord's people, and we are endeavoring to place them in the hands of all who will appreciate them. I have a copy of the book, which I would like to show you. [Show book, preferably in your own hands.] It is a "Helping Hand" for Bible students, entitled, "The Divine Plan of the Ages."

This, the first volume of the work, takes up sixteen very interesting studies, all "meat in due season" for thinking Christians. The object of the work is to teach the study of the Bible systematically. All know that in studying the Bible a great many things are found that are hard to understand; this work takes up those difficult parts. For instance [pointing to the seventh chapter], "The Permission of Evil." We all have often wondered and asked why God permits evil, sin, sickness, suffering, death, and these awful and terrible disasters, etc., and why he does not prevent them when he has the power to do so. All this is beautifully explained and answered from the Scriptures, in this seventh chapter. It shows just why God has permitted sin and evil for now six thousand years, since the fall of our first parents in the Garden of Eden. It also points out God's promises for the final overthrow of evil in his own due time; when Satan will be bound, and the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters cover the great deep.

The sixth chapter treats of our Lord's return, and shows the object of his second coming--his work at that time,--that it will be a restoring of all that was lost in the Garden of Eden. In proof of this it gives the testimony of "all the holy prophets since the world began."

[I do not always bring in the next paragraph.]

The fifteenth chapter treats on "The Day of Jehovah" --the time in which we are living, and shows that the ever-growing conflict between Capital and Labor is clearly foretold in the Scriptures, and what the final outcome will be.

Chapters two and three I must tell you about; they are so helpful, especially if you have young friends inclined to be skeptical. The one gives evidences, aside from the Bible, that there is an all-wise Creator; the other thoroughly answers "higher criticism" and infidelity by the internal proofs that the Bible is inspired. These chapters alone are worth many times the cost of the entire set of books. As one reader has well said, "These helping hands to Bible study are worth more dollars than they cost in cents."

We have six volumes of this work, beautifully bound in cloth, similar to this first volume I am showing you, but averaging 500 pages. We sell them all for the very low price of $2.25, the usual price of one volume on such a topic. The title of the second volume is, "The Time is at Hand;" the third, "Thy Kingdom Come;" the fourth, "The Day of Vengeance;" the fifth, "The Atonement Between God and Man;" the sixth, "The New Creation."

I am only taking orders today, and will deliver next Monday [or whatever day you decide on].

[If this does not secure the order, give a brief outline of the Chart; and refer them to the Apostle's statement (2 Tim. 2:15), "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly [R3413 : page 247] dividing the Word of truth." Show them from the Chart how to apply and rightly divide the Word of truth:--]

This Chart shows the past dealings of God as related in the Scriptures, and also the future development of his plan; and it shows us just where we are on the stream of time. It is fully explained in the twelfth chapter.

[If an order for the set of six volumes cannot be obtained, urge that the first volume at least be taken and read--over a million and a quarter of them already issued.]

METHOD B.

Pardon me. I represent the Bible and Tract Society. I thought you might be interested in the "Plan of the Ages." It explains why evil is permitted--sickness, wars, crimes, etc.,--something we are all interested in, and want to know more about. It shows that the Bible, when rightly understood, is in perfect harmony with itself and with reason, from Genesis to Revelation. More than a million copies of this book are now in circulation. It is unsectarian. The book is extremely interesting and makes plain so many points that have troubled us all our lives. It is truly wonderful how it opens up the Scriptures!

Aside from this it treats satisfactorily the important subjects and questions of the day, such as, What is the world coming to, into what are we drifting, religiously and socially.

This Chart is fully explained in the book, and shows how to "rightly divide" the Scriptures, in order to have perfect harmony from first to last. It awakens an absorbing interest in the Bible, and develops reverence and love for the Creator. Every presentation is abundantly substantiated by Scripture. I am sure you will enjoy reading it. The type is large, the chapters short. It has good paper and contains 380 pages. A cloth-bound book for thirty five cents! Think of it! Such books usually sell for a dollar and twenty-five cents.

If you prefer the entire set of six volumes, the cost is just two twenty-five for the lot. I am merely taking orders today; my delivery will be on__________day. You can pay then. Let me see--What are the initials? How do you spell your last name? Now,--Shall I bring you the complete set; six volumes for two twenty-five? Very well. I thank you, and you will thank me. I bid you good day.

METHOD C.

Good morning! Excuse me, please, for troubling you. I am representing the Bible and Tract Society of Allegheny, Pa., and think you will be interested in our work. This Society sends us out to call the attention of Christian people to the MILLENNIAL DAWN, or PLAN OF THE AGES. Perhaps you have heard of it. There are already over a million in circulation, and the exceedingly low price of thirty-five cents per volume places it within the reach of all. The object of this book is to teach us to study the Bible systematically, so that we can understand it. No doubt you have noticed in studying the Bible that you often come to passages you cannot understand. This has been my experience, and I have often felt discouraged in trying to study the Bible without a system. However, I have found a great blessing through carefully studying the Bible in connection with this book. The author takes up matters that have never before been satisfactorily explained or understood; for instance, "THE PERMISSION OF EVIL AND ITS RELATION TO GOD'S PLAN." We have all wondered why God permits evil--sickness, death, calamities, murders, wars, etc. This book explains why these things are permitted, and does it from the Bible standpoint. The book also explains "THE OBJECT OF OUR LORD'S RETURN," "THE RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS," and "THE DAY OF JUDGMENT," subjects in which we are all interested, but which very few understand to their satisfaction. In this work the Scripture texts are given, so that you can refer to them as you read, and all can understand if they will.

There are in this volume sixteen chapters on the most interesting and important subjects in the world;--380 pages; nice paper; large, clear type; ALL FOR THIRTY-FIVE CENTS! There are six volumes of the work, averaging 500 pages each, all for $2.25, about the usual price of one volume on such subjects. I am merely taking orders today, for delivery next__________day. May I enter your name for a set?

[If purchase is declined proceed to show Chart.]

This Chart gives an outline of the whole plan of God, as revealed in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Beginning with the creation of man, it shows us just where we stand on the stream of time, and the progressive steps each one must take to become like our Lord. It gives the Divine Plan in order, and makes the Bible so plain that even a child can understand it. [Have memorandum book ready, with pencil in hand.] I am only taking orders today, and will deliver next__________day; you pay for the book when delivered. [Whether the other volumes should be further mentioned or not, depends upon interest and circumstances.]

Vol. II., "The Time is at Hand," treats of the manner of our Lord's SECOND ADVENT; it also gives a complete Bible chronology, which is very important in order to help us to understand something of the times in which we are now living. It has a long chapter on The Anti-Christ.

Vol. III., "Thy Kingdom Come," treats on various important themes also. It has one long chapter on The Great Pyramid in Egypt, with seven full-page illustrations of it. It shows that it is mentioned in the Bible, and is truly called "The Stone Bible."

Vol. IV., "The Day of Vengeance," takes up the affairs of the Church and the world in general; shows us the meaning of all the trouble and confusion around us, as explained in the Bible,--that the times we live in are a fulfilment of the Word of God. It shows what the outcome of the impending trouble will be, and also gives the only remedy, set forth IN THE SCRIPTURES! One chapter is an itemized explanation of our Lord's great prophecy, in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, and is worth more than the price of the set of books.

Vol. V., "The At-one-ment Between God and Man," explains everything connected with the ransom--why it was necessary; how it was accomplished; the separate and related works of the Father, Son and holy Spirit in connection with our salvation--with the Scriptures bearing upon these interesting themes. One chapter on "The Undefiled One" deserves special mention. It shows how Jesus was born of a woman without partaking of her sins or weaknesses as a member of the fallen race.

Vol. VI., "The New Creation," deals with everything pertaining to life and godliness affecting the Lord's consecrated people from start to finish--Church duties, home duties, family duties--everything. It has also one chapter on the natural creation, showing the harmony of the Genesis accounts with the facts of nature.

It is the most wonderful work that has ever been published on these subjects, and you get the complete work-- SIX VOLUMES--for only two twenty-five, the usual price of one such volume. These six volumes are a whole Christian library in themselves, and all for only $2.25, payable on delivery. May I take your order? This is the noblest cause in the world, and we all want to have a share in it. [R3413 : page 247]

METHOD D.

Pardon me if I intrude. May I ask, Is this a Catholic or a Protestant home? [After answer proceed.] Very well then. I am doing a little Christian work, in which I believe you will be interested.

Christian people are becoming more and more awake to the fact that a great tidal wave of unbelief is sweeping over Christendom;--not the blasphemous atheism voiced by Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll, but the cultured kind represented in the scholarship of our day, which makes the danger all the more insidious.

Not only are the great Colleges and Seminaries undermining the faith of the better educated, but the Common School books, and especially those used in the High Schools, are similarly inculcating a distrust in the Scriptures, a contradiction of its teachings. For a college graduate of to-day to declare his faith in the inspiration of the Scriptures would bring upon him the scorn of his companions--a scorn which few would court, or could endure. At very best, a few will be found to claim that they believe that Jesus and his Apostles were sincere, though they blundered in quoting from the Old Testament as inspired.

Such a belief in Jesus and his Apostles is no belief at all; for if present-day "higher critics" are wise enough to know when and where our Lord and his Apostles erred in their quotations from the Old Testament, then these wise men of our day are our proper guides,--more inspired than Jesus and his Apostles.

Our Society, realizing the need, is seeking to do all in its power to stem the tide and lift up the Lord's "standard for the people." It has prepared six sets of Scripture Studies (of which this volume is one) for the Lord's people of all denominations to use in lending a helping hand to all perplexed inquirers with whom they may, by God's providence, come in contact. These are supplied at bare cost, and can be had direct from the Society's warerooms or of its colporteurs, who are gradually reaching forth these helping hands far and near. These valuable "studies" are supplied at little more than two cents each;--16 of them well [R3414 : page 248] bound in a cloth case, embossed in silver, for 35 cents.

The thought is this: As a Christian man or woman you have children or relatives or neighbors or friends open to your influence--perhaps, indeed, seeking your counsel--asking, "How do we know that there is a God?" or, "What proofs have we that the Holy Scriptures are inspired?" It is no longer wise to call these silly questions, nor to ask, "Are you an infidel?"

However competent you might be to prepare answers to these and a score of other questions, you may not have the needed time and opportunity to do so. How convenient then to step to your book-case, take down the proper study on the subject, and to say to the inquirer, Sit down and read that short study, and the whole matter of your question will be fully and satisfactorily settled; and if your doubts ever again arise come over and read the same again.

Possibly you may be a member of an Epworth League or Christian Endeavor Society, or of a Baptist Young People's Union, and may be called on for an essay on some Scripture topic. How convenient to select one among these numerous studies (covering almost every topic) and to find therein the appropriate Scriptures cited. Ministers use them thus when composing special sermons and addresses.

Ministers who have large libraries touching every conceivable religious topic--many volumes costing $6 to $8 per volume--may not feel their need of these "Scripture Studies" but to others they are almost indispensable. Indeed, in addition to the price feature, which brings them within the reach of everybody--six volumes of over 3,000 pages for $2.25--the usual price of one such volume--they are written in pure, but simple English, whereas the "scholarly works" are replete with technical terms and only for the few.

We invite Christian people of all denominations to join us in our work of extending these "helping hands" to the rising generation. A single friend or relative helped--rescued from doubt or unbelief--would repay the cost of these studies a thousand times.

[Note.--Catholics seem to prefer the term Scriptures to Bible.]



[R3414 : page 248]

ELIJAH INSTRUCTED AND ENCOURAGED.
--I KINGS 19:9-18.--SEPTEMBER 4.--

Golden Text:--"Fear thou not, for I am with thee."--Gen. 26:24.

ON Mount Horeb, Mount Sinai, is a cave called the cave of Moses, and it was toward this apparently that Elijah bent his steps, still heart-sore and discouraged, as he fled from Jezebel. It was here that the Lord appeared to him inquiring why he was there. His answer was that he was there because of his zeal for the Lord, because he was discouraged that the true worship in Israel had been set aside, that his reformation work had apparently been a failure, and, after all the miracles that the Lord had wrought through him, the people were seeking his life. In answer the Lord gave him illustrations of different ways of accomplishing results: First he caused a fierce wind to tear the mountains and break the rocks, but Elijah recognized that the wind was not the Lord but a manifestation of his power. Then an earthquake came, shaking the foundations of the mountains; but similarly the earthquake was not the Lord but merely a part of his power. Then came a fire; but the fire was not the Lord. Then a still small voice, and this voice, when Elijah heard it, he recognized as being the Lord, and in humility and fear he covered his face.

"NOT BY MIGHT NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT."

The antitypical Elijah, the saints, as they look about them and see the world in general in idolatry, and even the Lord's professed people largely given up [R3414 : page 249] to the worship of fashion and the idolatry of wealth and fame, are very apt to feel discouraged--to feel as Elijah did, that they are quite alone. They are very apt to wonder why God seems so indifferent to the matter which so greatly concerns them. Why does he not overthrow all the altars of Baal? Why does he not overthrow Mammon? Why does he not bring in by his supreme power the great Kingdom of righteousness, which he has taught us as his people to expect? Why should we be more jealous for the Lord than he seems to be for his own name and cause? We need a lesson such as Elijah got, and we are getting that lesson.

We are learning that while God could have spoken to the world with force and power, as represented by the wind and earthquake and the fire, yet all of these would not have expressed to the world the Lord's real character. To know the Lord they must be permitted to hear the still small voice--the voice of truth, the voice of love, the voice of wisdom. Moreover, we see that the Lord is about to bring upon the world of mankind just such experiences as might be symbolized by these matters displayed to Elijah. The strong winds of war are to be let loose upon the world--indeed quite probably they are already being let loose. The effect will be the rending and tearing of earth, society, the nations. Then will follow a great earthquake, symbolical--a revolution--referred to in Revelation as so mighty an earthquake as had never before been known amongst men. (Rev. 16:18.) It will be a revolution which will affect all the governments of the world, socially, politically, financially and ecclesiastically. Following this will come the fire-- symbolical fire that will symbolically consume the earth, consume society. "The elements [society] shall melt with fervent heat, the earth [society] also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." Such is the symbolical description given by the Apostle Peter.

The same symbol of fire is used by the Prophet Zephaniah and is located at the end of this age in the words, "Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, that I may pour upon them my indignation, even my fierce anger: for the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." The very next sentence shows us that the fire of God's jealousy is a symbolical fire, and other Scriptures show us that it is anarchy that is thus figuratively brought to our attention; for it is to be followed by a time of blessing as the Prophet says, "Then [following the fire --the anarchy] will I turn unto the people a pure language, and they shall all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent."--Zeph. 3:9.

This "pure language" or pure message of God's Word, which the Prophet shows as following the fire of anarchy, is the still small voice of our lesson. Elijah recognized this to be the power of God for bringing blessings and fulfilling his promises to the seed of Abraham, and through it to all the families of the earth in due time. And so the Lord's people today, as the antitypical Elijah class, are learning that God will do his great work through the still small voice of the Truth in due time, and that the due time for it will not be until the storm, the earthquake and the fire shall have passed. "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."--Isa. 26:9.

"BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."

These same thoughts are brought to our attention in the 46th Psalm, in which the Lord, through the Prophet David, sets forth a picture of the time of trouble which belongs to the day of the Lord into which we have already entered--the day of trouble which will prepare the world for the great day of blessing, the Millennial day. In this Psalm the Lord represents the earth being moved, the mountains being carried to the midst of the sea, its waters roaring, its mountains shaking, etc. These things picture the commotions that are about to take place in the social, political and religious systems of the world. The Lord's people, the Elijah class, are represented in the Psalm as not fearing these things, because they constitute the Lord's holy city or holy Kingdom. Then in verses 6 to 10 the Lord gives an interpretation of the shaking and melting mountains, etc., as signifying the raging of the people, anarchy, the unsettling of the kingdoms, the melting or disintegration of society. As a result there will be great desolations in the earth: as another result all wars are to cease unto the ends of the earth, and then (vs. 10) comes the message which will be enforced throughout the Millennial age, "Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

This command, Be still, corresponds to the still small voice which Elijah heard--to what we as the antitypical Elijah are now hearing from the Word of God, namely, that not by earthly might nor by earthly power will the Lord establish his rule, but that in the coming time his King shall reign in Zion and execute judgments in the earth, rewarding the righteous and punishing the evil doer, with the result that all shall come to a knowledge of the Lord from the least to the greatest; that the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the sea; and with the further result that the Spirit of the Lord shall be [R3415 : page 250] poured upon all flesh, as the mouth of the Lord has promised. This is the glorious message which the Prophet declares results from the great atonement sacrifice made by our Lord; his statement is that the Lord gave himself a ransom for all--"to be testified in due time."--I Tim. 2:6.

After Elijah learned this lesson respecting the Lord's methods of bringing about the blessing, he was quite ready to follow the divine direction and to return to the land of Israel to make ready for (1) his own departure; (2) to appoint Elisha his successor as prophet and to instruct him for the service; (3) to outline the changes soon to come in the governments of Israel and Syria. He was further consoled and doubtless surprised by the Lord's declaration that he had yet 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal nor kissed the image--which was the custom. Similarly the Elijah class has been encouraged of the Lord by an unfolding of the divine Word, that the blessings and reformation of the world will all come about in God's due time and manner--through the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom. Similarly the Elijah class has come to understand that there is an important work yet to be accomplished by it in the world: that there are thousands in the nominal systems who are not in sympathy with the errors there taught, who are merely confused and blinded by the misrepresentation of the divine character.

"BE OF GOOD COURAGE."

Elijah returned to the land of Israel, and apparently paid no attention whatever thereafter to Jezebel and her threats, but prosecuted a work of arousing true faith in the true God and obedience to his Law. He not only called Elisha, as directed of the Lord, but following out further directions or the spirit of the directions, he re-established what were called "schools of the prophets"--gatherings of young men desirous of studying the Law and appreciating the divine will. Thus we see that the awakening at Mount Carmel, witnessed by the heads of all the ten tribes of Israel, bore its fruit--that idolatry was at a discount thereafter, that Jezebel and Ahab evidently did not have it in their power to oppose or destroy these schools of the prophets, and, in general, the reformation work which Elijah was prosecuting. He is supposed to have continued this reformation work for some ten years or more after his return from Mount Sinai before he was taken up in the whirlwind.

The Golden Text of the lesson fits well to the antitypical Elijah class. These should realize that one with the Lord is a majority, and should not fear the words nor the deeds of humanity so long as they can realize themselves the Lord's servants, cooperating, serving, active in the line of his direction. The message to these is, "Fear not their fear, nor be afraid;" "Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Christ"--the Head of the body--and trust to his guidance and overruling according to his promise, which assures us that all things shall work together for good to them that love him. Why should we fear? What should we fear? "If God be for us who can prevail against us?" True, evil doers do seem to prevail at times--do really prevail against us--as, for instance, the Jewish Sanhedrin prevailed against our Lord to his crucifixion; but such prevailing is only seemingly against us. In reality, as the Apostle declares, it is working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. We are to view matters from this standpoint, and to rejoice in whatever tribulation divine wisdom may see fit to permit to come against us, anxious only that our union and relationship with the Lord may be maintained.



[R3415 : page 250]

THE HARVEST AND GENTILE TIMES.

QUESTION.--If the "Times of the Gentiles" can be changed as suggested in the July TOWER, so that the anarchy will follow 1914 A.D., instead of preceding it, might not similar changes be made in respect to all the various lines of prophetic time-proof set forth in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vols. II. and III?

Answer.--You are entirely in error. Not a figure, not a date, not a prophecy is in any sense or degree affected by the article to which you refer. Indeed the harmony and unity of the whole is the more fully demonstrated. Read again the article you refer to, "Universal Anarchy, etc." (July 1 issue), and you surely will see this. If it is not apparent to you upon a further study let us know the particular point of your difficulty and we will endeavor to make it plain.

The harmony of the prophetic periods is one of the strongest proofs of the correctness of our Bible chronology. They fit together like the cog-wheels of a perfect machine. To change the chronology even one year would destroy all this harmony,--so accurately are the various proofs drawn together in the parallels between the Jewish and Gospel ages. It would affect the ending of the Jubilee Cycles, the 1335 days, the 2300 days and the Times of the Gentiles, throwing out of gear all the wonderful harmonies of these in the "Parallel Dispensations." [R3415 : page 251]

We commend to you a fresh and careful study of the presentations of DAWNS, Vols. II. and III., on these points. Evidently the time features of Present Truth all stand or all fall together, and we see no weakness or signs of their falling: on the contrary everything throughout the world is confirmatory of them.

And while it is true that the great mass of Present Truth is in many respects entirely independent of our "times and seasons," nevertheless they are so related that the latter are almost necessary to explain the former. For instance, without recognizing that we are now living in the "harvest" of the Gospel Age and in the parousia of the Son of Man, how could we account for our great increase in knowledge respecting the various features of the divine plan?

The easiest and best explanation of the "feast" now spread before us as the Lord's "household of faith" (indeed the only reasonable one) is that the Lord is now fulfilling his promise recorded in Luke 12:37: "Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself [as their servant] and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." While these "things new and old" are handed from one servant to another and to the entire household, can any of us doubt that the Master himself is dispensing the delicious viands which so refresh us?

And if this be so it is a proof that we are in the "harvest" or end of this age just as surely as similar blessings marked the "harvest" of the Jewish age. And the times when these blessings have reached us corroborate the prophetic testimonies respecting when the harvest began (Oct., 1874 A.D.) and when it will end (Oct., 1914 A.D.), a period of 40 years, just as was the Jewish harvest. Unlike error, these things stand investigation and the more searching the investigation the more satisfactory will the results be, we believe, to those who are in the right attitude of heart --to those who seek not to cavil, but to know the mind of the Lord. To the "Israelites indeed" it is now "given to know" these things which are still mysteries to the world. Only "the pure in heart," the thoroughly sincere, the honest, are in the position to have the "ear to hear" this "knock" of the heavenly One (Rev. 3:20); only those who have the eyes of their understanding opened can discern the presence of our King; only those who hunger and thirst for the Truth can properly relish things new and old, now so bountifully provided. These privileges are now restricted to the "meek and lowly of heart," and these conditions must be maintained or else this special hearing, sight and taste will be lost. Such loss in the Scriptures is styled "outer darkness" --the darkness and confusion in which we see the whole world now to be; but from which, thank God, there will be a rescue "in the morning"--when the Sun of Righteousness shall shine clearly forth, turning the outer-darkness into outer-light. But for such, meantime, there is necessarily a great "shaking" and "horror of great darkness" and trouble.



[R3415 : page 251]

ELIJAH TAKEN IN A WHIRLWIND.
--2 KINGS 2:1-11.--SEPT. 11.--

Golden Text:--"He was not, for God took him."--Gen. 5:24.

THE words, "When the Lord would take up Elijah," suggest that Elijah had a specially protected life--that it was not subject to the power of his enemies--that he was wholly under divine control. And this is true also of the antitypical Elijah class of this Gospel age. It was true, we remember, of the great Head of this class, Jesus in the flesh. The scribes and Pharisees made many attempts at his life before the successful one, but could not harm him previously because "his hour was not yet come." So with every member of his body in the flesh, every member of the Elijah class--not even a hair of their heads could fall without divine notice and permission. These are not to esteem that any of their affairs are accidental, for being fully consecrated to the Lord and fully accepted by him, all of their affairs, great and small, are under divine supervision--their health or sickness, their rights or privileges, their joys or sorrows.

We are not in this wishing to intimate fatalism, but rather a divine supervision. If trials and disciplines and corrections, either of poverty or sorrow or ill health, be necessary for the correction of these they will surely have them; and some or all of these may [R3416 : page 251] come to them even though not as chastisements, but as lessons of experience necessary for their development for places in the Kingdom or for their usefulness in the Lord's service in the present time--as was the case with our Lord. Those who are of the Elijah class, fully consecrated to the Lord, will be glad to have this divine supervision of their affairs and will rejoice in it. This, however, would not mean that they may not and should not do whatever would appeal to them as being wise and reasonable for the maintenance of their health or its recovery, for the satisfying of their hunger or thirst, or for the betterment of their temporal interests. But while using what to them may appear to be reasonable means, [R3416 : page 252] they will consider that these also are all in the hands of the Lord, and, if successful, that they are his provision, to be accepted with thankfulness; while, if unsuccessful, they will be willing to accept the results without murmuring--with full assurance of faith that God is able to make all things work together for their good.

AT THE SCHOOLS OF THE PROPHETS.

Elijah and Elisha were at Gilgal, one of the cities at which was located a "school of the prophets," where piously inclined young men sought instruction respecting the divine Law under the supervision of those who were recognized as prophets, and with a view to become doctors or expounders of the Law of God in the various cities in which they lived. Elijah and Elisha had been at this place for some time, and now Elijah proposed a journey, suggesting that Elisha go not with him. The latter, however, would not forsake the older prophet, whom he styled his master, and toward whom he performed the duties of a body-servant. So they went together to Bethel, at which was located another "school of the prophets." We are not told how long was the stay at Bethel, nor what the prophets did or said at the school, but we do know that the pupils, known as the sons of the prophets, came privately to Elisha and in confidential whispers asked him if he was aware that the Lord was about to take from him his master Elijah.

Elisha's answer was that he did know it, but did not wish to discuss the matter. Evidently he was filled with sorrow at the thought of the loss he was about to sustain, for everything indicates that during the ten years or more that he had been Elijah's servant and co-laborer in the prophetic office, a deep personal attachment had sprung up between the two men, who in some respects were very dissimilar. Again Elijah suggested that Elisha should tarry while he would go on to the city of Jericho; but again, with strong vociferations of his earnestness, Elisha declined to leave his master. When they arrived at Jericho Elisha had a similar experience, the sons of the prophets again asking him whether or not he had heard of the Lord's intention to take up the prophet, and again he refused to discuss the matter. For the third time Elijah suggested to him that he tarry while he would go farther under the Lord's direction, not to a city but to the river Jordan, but Elisha would not tarry and they went on.

These visits to the schools of the prophets before Elijah was taken away doubtless had a beneficial effect upon these students of the Lord's Word, who well knew the aged prophet and his allegiance to God and God's power manifested through him. This last visit would be impressed upon their minds and go with them to the various cities of Israel in due time. Meanwhile the revelation which had been made to them, that God intended to take Elijah by a whirlwind, would prepare them for this final miracle and attestation of him as a servant of the Almighty. Apparently the prophets of this last school, fifty in number, while modestly refraining from following with Elijah and Elisha, nevertheless were deeply interested in the event they knew was about to take place. They went to a prominent point near Jericho, high above the river Jordan and overlooking it, and there witnessed what transpired. In the distance they beheld Elijah take off his mantle and roll it into the form of a club, and therewith smite the waters of the river Jordan, dividing them so that the two passed over as the Israelites had previously done by the miracle which the Lord wrought through Joshua at very nearly the same point. On the prophets went, up the steep hillside beyond Jordan--quite possible Mount Nebo, where Moses died.--Deut. 32:49,50.

HARVEST SIFTINGS TYPIFIED.

There has been considerable speculation respecting this account of the three times and places at which Elijah invited Elisha to part company with him: that Elijah was too modest to desire many witnesses of the final manifestation of God's favor toward him, or that he wished to spare Elisha the sadness of the later parting; but these suggestions are not satisfactory to us. To our mind these were a feature of the type whose antitype must be expected in this present time. As Elijah represented the consecrated ones who will as overcomers constitute the body of Christ and become participants with our Lord in the glories of the Kingdom in the first resurrection, so apparently Elisha would represent a consecrated class of this time, in some respects inferior. These will have an acquaintance with the Elijah class, will minister to them in various ways, yet not be identified with them as members of the same death-devoted company.

In harmony with this illustration or type we shall expect that, as the present age draws to its close and the Elijah class passes away entirely, there will come various siftings or testings to this class of inferior consecration to separate them from the company and fellowship of the Elijah class. Whoever will fall away in this sifting will cease to belong to the Elisha class. Those who endure the siftings and testings will thus maintain their position in the Elisha class, and some will thus continue according to the type down to the very close of Elisha's experience, and will then in consequence of this faithfulness receive a great blessing--a double portion of the Elijah spirit.

As the two prophets went on Elijah said to Elisha, [R3416 : page 252] Make request what I shall give thee, as I go from thee shortly. Elisha's request for a double portion of the spirit of Elijah is not to be understood as meaning twice as much of God's power as Elijah possessed, for this would have constituted Elisha a prophet of double the power of Elijah. Besides, how unreasonable a request would it have been for him to make-- that Elijah should give more than he himself possessed. We must understand him, therefore, to mean that if Elijah's spirit or power would in any wise be remaining with any prophets in the earth who would represent the Lord, that Elisha desired that he might have twice as much as any other one--not selfishly, we may assume, but that he appreciated Elijah's disposition and position as a servant of God, and desired that as far as possible he might enter into a similar work of service. His request was granted conditionally, but he was told that it would be dependent upon his own watchfulness.

The lesson which we draw from this request of Elisha and the conditions of its fulfilment is that the consecrated class whom he represents in the end of this age will need to be on the alert if they would discern the passing away of the Elijah class, and that only in proportion as they do discern the completion of the Elijah class and its passing into glory will they become the recipients of a proportionately large measure of the spirit and zeal of the Elijah class. From the Scriptures we get the thought that after the Elijah class shall have been completed, tested, proven and glorified, there will still remain a period of time before the full ending of the "present evil world" or dispensation--before the full inauguration of the Millennial glories. During that period the class which we believe Elisha represented--namely, a consecrated class, but lacking in some measure the full spirit of devotion exhibited by the Elijah class--will be quickened and energised by the change of dispensation and the evidences of the fulfilling of the divine plan, so that thereafter they will be practically as devoted and self-sacrificing and zealous every way as the Elijah class had been.

The receiving by Elisha of power from the departed Elijah seems to correspond in considerable measure to the "foolish virgins" getting their oil and being able to trim their lamps after the "wise virgins" have gone in to the wedding and the door is shut. As the foolish virgins were not evil but good--"virgins" --so Elisha was not an evil man but a good man and a prophet: as the foolish virgins lacked something that the wise virgins possessed, so Elisha lacked something of what Elijah possessed, and that lack, which was supplied to the foolish virgins in the oil, is represented in Elisha's case in the mantle and blessing.

As the Parable of the Virgins does not go on to show what happened to the foolish virgins except that they failed to enter into the marriage because the door was shut, so the Elisha picture merely shows that Elisha did not accompany Elijah, but on receiving his benediction and power he continued for a while the work that Elijah had been doing. So it is our thought that during the great time of trouble there will be a consecrated class who had not a sufficiency of zeal in self-sacrifice to be counted of the Lord as members of the Elijah class or body of Christ, who nevertheless will experience a great time of refreshing and become thoroughly devoted after they realize that the Church has been glorified--after they begin to see also the fulfilment of various Scriptures respecting Babylon. This class, whom we understand to be represented in the Scriptures as the "great company," whose number no man knows, who wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, and eventually come up to spirit conditions, though not to be of the Royal Priesthood in the throne (Rev. 7:9-17)-- these are represented as recognizing by and by that the little flock, the Bride class, the Elijah class, have [R3417 : page 253] passed beyond the vail and they are shown to rejoice accordingly, saying, "Let us be glad and rejoice and give glory to God, for the marriage of the Lamb is come and his wife hath made herself ready!" This class in turn, though not worthy to be the Bride, the wife, is invited to participate in the great marriage feast which is to take place shortly after the glorification of the Church.--Rev. 19:7-9.

ELISHA, IF A TYPE, A DOUBLE ONE.

We might here remark that although we are treating Elisha as a part of the type as well as Elijah, yet there is nothing in the Scriptures that positively intimates that this is the case--it is a mere inference. In Elijah's case, as we have already pointed out in a previous lesson, there is no doubt; beyond peradventure Elijah was a type of the elect Church in the flesh. But if Elisha was a type, we believe that we are justified in considering him a type of two classes. First, of the class already suggested, who are with the Elijah class and who maintain relationship to the close of Elijah's period and who then become partakers of his spirit. And this type would seem to extend as far as Elisha's re-crossing the Jordan, smiting it with the mantle of Elijah. If the crossing of Jordan into the land of Canaan be taken to represent death, then the picture should be read as indicating that this "great company" will all pass through death, which is just what the Scriptures elsewhere seem clearly to show-- that in order to be on the spirit plane at all it will be necessary for them to "all die as men."

In this view of the matter we assume that Elisha, [R3417 : page 254] after crossing the Jordan and entering Canaan, would represent another, a different class, namely, the earthly phase of the Kingdom--Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets, the beginning of the restitution class. Elisha's work after crossing Jordan was restitution work in many respects, and in this particular would well correspond to what we may expect of the earthly phase of the Kingdom after its establishment --after the great time of trouble. But again we remind the reader that the typical character of Elisha is not beyond question, as it is nowhere affirmed in the Scriptures, but merely inferred by us because of his association with Elijah.

CHARIOTS OF FIRE AND HORSES OF FIRE.

The record is that Elijah and Elisha were separated by chariots of fire, but that Elijah was taken up not by these but by a whirlwind into heaven (margin). We might draw different inferences from this, but feel safer to adhere closely to the wording of the text. The fiery chariots and horses we infer to be a part of the type, and shall not be at all surprised to find the fulfilment in severe persecutions which will come upon the last members of the Elijah class--persecutions unto death possibly. If this be the correct interpretation of the type there would be a special significance attaching to Elisha's seeing the departure of Elijah. It would seem to signify close personal friendship and loyalty between them down to the very close, and that the effect of these fiery trials would be to energize those who had previously been less energetic in the carrying out of their consecration.

The whirlwind in the type should be interpreted, in harmony with general Scripture usage, as signifying a fierce trouble--a trouble, too, which would agitate the heavens or ecclesiastical powers as an earthquake would represent disturbances of the social conditions. Thus read in advance of the fulfilment the type seems to imply that the end of the Elijah class will occur amidst great ecclesiastical commotions, accompanied by fiery trials--thus we think probably the change will come to the last members of the elect "body."

"HE WAS NOT, FOR GOD TOOK HIM."

Our Golden Text relates to Enoch, but is not inappropriately applied by the Lesson Committee to Elijah, for what was true of one was apparently true of the other also. Enoch, the faithful prophet of old, whose only prophecy recorded is his announcement of the second coming of the Lord to execute righteousness in the earth and to convince the gainsayers (Jude 14,15), suddenly disappeared from amongst men, and the inspired record is that he was not found because God had taken him; and so likewise Elijah, having served his mission, disappeared from amongst men for God took him. True, the sons of the prophets suggested to Elisha afterward that perhaps the Spirit of the Lord, which had taken him up, would drop him down to some other portion of the world, but there is nothing to confirm such a supposition. "He was not found, for God took him."

The question arises, Where did God take these two prophets of old? and there is no answer to the question. True, in Elijah's case it is stated that the whirlwind took him up into heaven, but the word heaven here is used to represent the sky, the circumambient air, and has no reference whatever to the heaven which is God's dwelling place. That neither of these prophets went to the latter place we have the very best evidence in our Lord's words, "No man has ascended into heaven save he which came down from heaven, even the Son of man."--John 3:13.

We can only conjecture respecting these two prophets, and our conjecture is that they were not only taken away in order that their disappearance from the earth might be typical, but that possibly the Lord has taken them to some other suitable habitation, perhaps some other world, that in due time he might bring them back to earth and possibly thereby impress upon mankind some lessons which could not otherwise be so forcefully taught. For instance, he might thereby give the lesson of his abundant ability to fulfil any and every promise ever made to mankind. We have no thought, however, that Elijah has ever yet returned to this earth--we have no thought that he was present on the Mount of Transfiguration with the Lord and the apostles as already shown; we accept the Lord's testimony respecting the spectacle on the Mount--that it was a vision merely.--See our issue of April 1, 1904.

"DEATH PASSED UPON ALL MEN."

Some may be inclined to argue that Enoch and Elijah must have died, because the penalty of death was against them as well as against all the other members of our race, and because the Apostle reiterates this penalty, saying, "By one man's disobedience sin entered the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all for all are sinners." (Rom. 5:12.) We reply that nothing in our view, in our judgment, is in discord with this sentiment of the Apostle. The death sentence passed against Enoch and against Elijah as well as against the remainder of Adam's children, and wherever they are they must still be under that death sentence; they cannot be released from it until the full close of the antitypical atonement day--which will close synchronously with this Gospel age, which is its antitype. Wherever these two venerable prophets may be they are not perfected [R3417 : page 255] because, as the Apostle points out (Heb. 11:38,40), God has provided for us--the Gospel Church, the body of Christ,--some better thing than he provided for any of the ancient worthies, and they without us shall not be made perfect. We are confident, therefore, that Enoch and Elijah, wherever they may be, are not yet made perfect--they have not yet escaped from the bondage of corruption. They are still under the sentence of death and will be until that "curse" shall be lifted in the dawn of the new dispensation.

From the divine standpoint every one is dead who is either under the sentence or whose life to any extent has been impaired as a result of the curse. The whole world in this sense of the word is dead, and Enoch or Elijah can only be thought of or spoken of as alive from the standpoint of faith, even as we speak of ourselves who are accepted of the Lord as members of the body of Christ and as having passed from death unto life--namely, by faith, by hope. As we speak of ourselves and each other as alive toward God through faith in Christ, so we may speak of Enoch and Elijah as alive through the merit of the great sacrifice at Calvary, of which they shall partake actually in due time, becoming actually alive and being made actually perfect.

"CHANGED IN A MOMENT, IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE."

As for the change of the Church, the Elijah class in the flesh--precursors or forerunners thus of the anointed body in the Spirit--the change of these members at this time the Scriptures clearly indicate to be one which the world will not recognize. As the Scriptures declare, although we are sons of God, sons of the Highest, nevertheless we must die like men-- we must go down like the great Prince, Jesus, into death, and must be raised to the newness of life, to spirit conditions, to the divine nature. The Apostle assures us that those living in the end of this age, during the parousia of the Son of man, will not need to sleep--to tarry in the death condition--for the moment of their death will be the moment of their change to glory, honor and immortality, the divine nature.



[R3417 : page 255]

JUSTIFIED AND CALLED.

QUESTION.--Can any one be justified and yet not be called? or are all the justified ones called?

Answer.--It is possible for one to be justified and yet not be called. All justified persons are not called.

Abraham and others of the past were "justified by faith," but living before the ransom was given, before the Captain had been perfected, before the Gospel age "call" began, before the new and living way (or new way of life) had been opened up, those grand [R3418 : page 255] ancient worthies were not called to be members of the Bride class.

"Justification by faith" throughout this Gospel age is merely the first step in the ways of the Lord, now opened to whosoever hath an ear to hear. The second step is consecration, a full surrender of our all to the Lord. We may safely conclude that all who took the first step were welcome to take the second one, and that it would appear the "reasonable service" to all sincere ones who properly appreciated God's mercy in forgiving their sins. Those not thus influenced usually found their faith grow as cold and lifeless as their love, and thus losing their faith were without justification again--part of the unjustified world.

Whoever of the justified were of the right spirit and made consecration of their all during the period of the call, were of the "called ones" mentioned by the Apostle and urged to make their calling and election sure by obedience to their covenant. This same class now, since the end of the "call," are not thus called, but are in a waiting attitude. Knowing from the Scriptures that "many are called but few chosen," they are waiting for an opportunity to take places amongst the "called" as substitutes for some not found worthy.

It would not be unreasonable to suppose that there are hundreds in just such a waiting condition, although the present-day preaching is not very favorable to either justification or consecration: justification through faith in the ransom-sacrifice of Jesus, the only kind, is little understood or taught.

On the other hand there are doubtless thousands in all the denominations of Christendom who have taken both steps (justification and consecration) who are overcharged with cares of this life and whose periods of opportunity gradually expiring leave places for those who seek and pray and hunger to enter into the favor of the "called" class. We have no positive means of knowing who are thus accepted as substitutes, but we think it reasonable to consider three conditions as indicative of such acceptance. (1) A growth in the fruits of the spirit. (2) Activity in serving the Truth to the extent of talents and opportunities. (3) An ability to grasp prominent features of the Truth with considerable clearness.

The question then arises, What about justified believers who have consecrated and who may never find a chance as substitutes? We incline to consider these to be few,--that the Lord will give the hearing ear to comparatively few except as there may be an opening for them. However, if any of said class do fail of an opportunity to become substitutes we would be sure that divine love and care would be over them just as surely, and that failing a place in the elect Church through no fault of theirs, these would be given some good portion which would much more than reward and satisfy them.



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